Vegas Sports Masters Blog

Richie Baccellieri: Sharps Have Their Eyes on Sixers

Monday, April 23, 2018 at 3:00 PM

Everybody knew that the Philadelphia 76ers were a team of the future in the NBA. Many sharps I’m talking to are now seeing them as a team of the present. The Wise Guys have been confidently backing Philadelphia in its series with Miami (2-1-1 ATS so far). Philadelphia is also getting respect in futures prices (though sharps tend not to bet those preferring to roll over parlays at series prices for a bigger return).How far can Philadelphia go this season?*They’re already up 3-1 on Miami, and a virtual lock to advance with two more home games if needed. Philadelphia had…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Tough to Win $$$ in MLB with Good or Bad Teams

Monday, April 23, 2018 at 1:00 PM

Though many handicappers and professional bettors were bracing for this, it’s still amazing how quickly bad teams have sunk to the bottom of the standings just a few weeks into the 2018 season.Through the weekend…Cincinnati 3-18Miami 5-16Baltimore 6-16Kansas City 6-15Chicago White Sox 4-14Texas 8-15San Diego 8-15There has been some talk of “tanking” in baseball. That’s not the right word in terms of the players. It’s not like they’re going out trying to lose. Pitchers want to get outs. Hitters want to post good numbers so they can stay in the league and make big money. But, at the team level…franchises…

NBA’s Eastern Playoff Series Just Getting Wilder

Monday, April 23, 2018 at 1:55 AM

THE NBA PLAYOFF UPDATE: CAVS GET EVEN WITH THE PACERS PLUS, THERE'S MORE WILD STUFF FROM 'ROUND THE EASTERN CONFERENCE ...NFL DRAFT NOTEBOOK: TRACKING THE TOP D-BACKSLet us ask you this important NBA Playoffs-related question:Are you beginning to see a pattern developing in three of the four Eastern Conference first-round playoff sets where we'll head to Game 5's with series tied at two games apiece? It has to do with getting out to big leads in these games - and whether or not clubs can hang on right to the finish line.Naturally, the most spell-binding of them all continues to…

The Cavs & LeBron Facing Round I Troubles

Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 12:37 AM

 THE JIM SEZ WEEKEND UPDATE –NBA PLAYOFF NOTES PLUSNFL DRAFT REPORT AS WECHECK OUT THE TOP O-LINEMEN Wait a second …Is this actually gonna be the year that LeBron James doesn’t make it to an NBA Finals?Heck, “The King” has been part of the championship round for the past eight consecutive post-seasons but right now his Cleveland Cavaliers are facing a first-round problem of sorts following Friday night’s 92-90 meltdown loss to the 1.5-point home favorite Indiana Pacers. The Cavs – as you’re all well aware by now – blew a 57-40 halftime lead in the important “swing game” and so…

Richie Baccellieri: Why Sharps are Usually on Dogs in NBA Playoffs

Friday, April 20, 2018 at 1:00 PM

If you’ve been paying attention to early betting in the NBA Playoffs so far, you’ve already noticed a continuation of the general “Pros vs. Joes” tendency in other sports. The public loves betting favorites. Sharps prefer backing underdogs.While it’s obviously true that a big part of the reason for that is that public money drives lines higher than they should be…creating an additional half-point to a point (or more) of value, there are other reasons why sharps prefer fading the chalk. I wanted to discuss those with you today.First of all, it’s a common phenomenon in ALL sports for dominant…

NBA Playoffs: Cavs-Pacers Game 3 Plus NFL Draft Talk

Friday, April 20, 2018 at 10:53 AM

 OUR FRIDAY JIM SEZIS CHOCK FULL O’GOODIESWITH THE NBA PLAYOFFS / NFL DRAFT / MLB Step aside, NBA Western Conference:Tonight’s all about the folks in the East as there are three NBA playoff series on this Friday night and the games are being played in Indiana, Washington and Milwaukee.Obviously, the most intriguing game of the night is that Cleveland Cavaliers versus Indiana Pacers Game 3 showdown with that series even at a game apiece and you see that the gritty Pacers are the 1-point betting favorites at last check … hmm.Consider that Cleveland – fresh off Wednesday night’s 100-97 non-cover win…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: What’s Home Court Worth in NBA Playoffs?

Friday, April 20, 2018 at 9:00 AM

If you watch a lot of NBA Playoff action on TV, you’ll often here TV announcers and the talking heads in studios talk about the enormous power of home court advantage in the playoffs. Loud, boisterous fans are the “sixth man” that intimidate opponents and officials. They’ll tell you home court is worth a lot more in the playoffs than in the regular season because houses are packed and the action is so intense.While you will occasionally find teams who overachieve on their home floors, most of what those TV announcers are telling you is just hype. Home court advantage…

More NBA Playoff Goodies

Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 2:51 PM

 THE NBA PLAYOFF UPDATE –WARRIORS AIM TO MAKEIT A SHORT-AND-SWEET SERIES VS. SPURS WITH GAME 3 ON THE THURSDAY NITE MENU …MORE NFL DRAFT GOODIES: THE TOP RBs/WRs/TEsIN THIS ROOKIE FIELD So, what’s the best path for the Golden State Warriors if – indeed – they wish to cop a second straight NBA Championship and a third title in the past four years?Well, for starters the simple answer is to make this opening-round Western Conference playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs as short as possible as in clean sweep / broom job … what have you!No doubt the Warriors –…

Jim Sez NBA Report and NFL Draft: D-Linemen

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at 12:08 PM

THE NBA PLAYOFF REPORT - CHECKIN' OUT SOME GAME 2 TILTS (CAN CAVS, JAZZ, T-WOLVES GET EVEN?) ...PLUS, WE JUMP-START OUR NFL DRAFT '18 COVERAGE WITH A LOOK AT THE TOP DEFENSIVE LINEMENYou know the deal: NBA road teams are always happy "just to get a split" when playing the first two games of a playoff series and so both the Utah Jazz (at Oklahoma City) and the Minnesota Timberwolves (at West's #1 seed Houston) will be going all-out to snag Wednesday night's Game 2 affairs in an attempt to "get even" in their respective best-of-seven series.As far as the…

Network Notebook: Key Handicapping Stats for the NBA Playoffs

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at 9:00 AM

For years we’ve covered the NBA Playoffs for you in-depth here at this website. Between our HANDICAPPING NOTEBOOK and “Hurley Sez” columns, you’ve always been ahead of the analytical curve when it comes to understanding what it takes to pick winners.Through those many years, the sport of pro basketball has evolved significantly. Right now, we’re seeing more of an emphasis than ever on three-pointers. That means you longtime handicappers need to adjust how you evaluate games. What used to be as important isn’t as important any more.Here’s how JIM HURLEY currently ranks the box score stats in order of importance.THREE-POINTERS:…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Early Studies Show MLB Ball Not Juiced

Monday, April 16, 2018 at 2:00 PM

Something important came up late last week that I wanted to alert you to. You may recall that multiple studies last season showed that a change in baseball construction was partly behind the huge increase in home runs in 2017. Even though the commissioner denied it, you can’t fool science!The new batch of baseballs that was delivered across the league this year has largely returned to normal, which is part of the reason scoring has been lower than expected this April. Yes, the weather has been cold in many spots. And, yes a few sluggers are having so much trouble…

Jim Sez NBA Playoff Report

Monday, April 16, 2018 at 12:49 PM

THE NBA PLAYOFFS ARE OFF-AND-ROLLIN' WITH THE ROCKETS JUST HANGING ON WHILE THE WARRIORS FLEX THEIR MUSCLES IN A PAIR OF GAME 1 WESTERN CONFERENCE TILTS ...WHAT'S AHEAD ON THE NBA MONDAY NITE CARD? WE PREVIEW HEAT-SIXERS GAME 2"The Beard" is boss."Dub Nation" is happy again.But "The King" and his on-the-court guys have plenty to worry about ... and we've only just begun the NBA Playoffs.The approximately two-month chase to land the golden ball - a/k/a, the NBA Championship - began this past weekend and whatta doozy couple of days we had as the playoffs revved up its engines.Heck, in…

Richie Baccellieri: Do Sharps Use the Zig Zag Theory?

Monday, April 16, 2018 at 9:00 AM

Whenever the NBA Playoffs roll around, I get asked a lot about the zig-zag theory. Bettors everywhere assume that “the pros” use that to pick winners during the playoffs. I have to admit that it hasn’t been true for a long time. Sure, sometimes sharps will expect a team to bounce back off a bad game…or to come back to earth after a great game. But, they’re not really playing “the zig zag theory” when doing so.The first problem is that nobody can agree on what the exact definition of “zig zag” is. Do you skip Game One and start…

Previewing Sunday NBA Playoff Openers

Saturday, April 14, 2018 at 12:58 PM

THE NBA PLAYOFFS - HERE ARE THE SERIES THAT START UP SUNDAYIt's wall-to-wall NBA Playoffs this spring weekend and so let's get you up to snuff with the post-season series that get all revved up beginning on Sunday:Folks, the NBA Playoffs is always a real blast - and this year Jim Hurley's Network is gonna rock-n-roll with a bunch of post-season basketball winners and so make sure you're all aboard for all the playoff goodies. And make sure you cash in big with all our Major-League Baseball winners too -- check it all out right here online or via our…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Finding Smart Bets in the NBA Playoffs

Friday, April 13, 2018 at 3:00 PM

I’ve been handicapping and beating the NBA Playoffs since before many of you were born. The game has changed a lot over the years. I think for the better, though some would say it’s for the worse. People used to think Michael Jordan’s championship level didn’t measure up to “the good old days” of Bill Russell’s Celtics. Now people are saying modern stars don’t measure up to Jordan. In 20 years, people might be thinking of the 2010’s as the glory years compared to 2038.While the sport has changed a lot, my basic fundamentals haven’t changed. Though, I admit I’ve…

Richie Baccellieri: How Sharps are Betting NBA Playoff Openers

Friday, April 13, 2018 at 1:56 PM

There wasn't a lot of buzz in Las Vegas about the tail end of the NBA regular season. Bettors were much more focused on March Madness in college basketball. They knew that the pro PLAYOFFS would be much more fun to bet because all of the players would be trying. It's depressing to see how bad late-season NBA has gotten in the era where tanking is embraced (though denied by the commissioner).The fun finally starts Saturday with the first four openers in Round One. Everyone else takes the floor Sunday. Here's a look at how sharps have been betting this…

Saturday NBA Playoff Previews

Friday, April 13, 2018 at 12:11 PM

THE NBA PLAYOFFS GET ALL REVVED UP - CHECK OUT SATURDAY'S ACTION THAT TIPS OFF A GREAT ROUND IHip, hip, hooray! The NBA Playoffs are here and everyone wants to know: Are we headed for a Cleveland Cavaliers versus Golden State Warriors IV in this year's NBA Finals?Well, check outthe up-to-the-minute Odds to Win it All here and you'll find out what the good folks in Las Vegas think ... hey, they do think we're headed to Cavs-Warriors one mo' time!NBA ODDS TO WIN IT ALLTEAM ODDS BASED ON $100 PLAYSGolden State- 225Houston- 150Cleveland+ 600Toronto+ 750Philadelphia+ 1600Oklahoma City+ 3100Portland+ 3800Utah+…

Betting the NBA Playoffs by Jim Feist

Friday, April 13, 2018 at 12:00 AM

Betting the NBA Playoffs by Jim FeistThe NBA playoffs are here and I have been asked if betting the playoffs is the same as betting the regular season.  My answer is a simple one, NO!   The playoffs are very different from what you've seen in the regular season. In the regular season many of the coaches and players pace themselves so that they avoid injuries and fatigue with the sheer intention of being ready for the playoffs which are much more important to them. Based on current odds the Golden State Warriors are the favorite to win the championship with…

NBA First Round Plyoffs

Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 2:35 PM

THE NBA PLAYOFFS ARE (FINALLY) SET -AND WE WHET YOUR HOOPS APPETITE WITH QUICK-HITTER GLANCES AT ALL EIGHT OF THE OPENING-ROUND SERIES On your mark, get set ... go!The NBA Playoffs are off-and-runnin' beginning this Saturday, April 14th and whatta way to put a capper on the 2017-18 regular season as last night the Minnesota Timberwolves outlasted the Denver Nuggets 112-106 in overtime to snag that eighth/final playoff berth in the Western Conference while everyone else in both the East and the West was busy sorting out the seeding stuff ... so catch our quick-hitter looks below at all the…

Network Notebook: Important NBA Playoff Questions

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at 12:00 PM

The NBA Playoffs begin this weekend. About a month ago, the mainstream media had locked in on a storyline of "Golden State is still the clear favorite...if the Warriors don't win it will be Houston." Since Steph Curry's injury, the door seems to be a bit more wide open for welcoming in other contenders. Handicappers must determine how open that door really is...and who's capable of kicking it down.Here's a list of key questions you should be thinking about as you approach the postseason.*Is Golden State really as vulnerable as it seems?The Warriors have played so far below their normal…

Jim Sez NBA Awards

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 1:34 PM

THE WEST'S FINAL PLAYOFF SPOT GOES TO DENVER AT MINNESOTA WINNER ON SEASON'S FINAL NITE ... PLUS, IT'S TIME TO ANNOUNCE OUR NBA AWARDS It's always a bit amazing to consider that NBA teams can play 81 of their 82 regular-season games and still not know whether they'll be headed to the playoffs or not.Consider the Denver Nuggets and the Minnesota Timberwolves:Both of these clubs will head into the final night of the 2017-18 regular season on Wednesday with identical 46-35 records and up for grabs is that final Western Conference post-season berth.It's the only all-or-nothing game on the NBA's…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Don’t Bet the “Due” Theory

Monday, April 9, 2018 at 4:00 PM

The Dean of Sports Handicapping is very happy to announce that we’ll be expanding class time this spring to allow for TWO presentations per week in my Advanced College of Sports Betting and Handicapping. In the immediate future, course work will run on Mondays and Fridays rather than just on Wednesdays. That will allow for us to give both Major League Baseball and the NBA Playoffs acceptable coverage. Today we’ll talk about baseball. Friday, I’ll introduce the 2018 basketball playoffs that will begin Saturday.Last week we talked about percentages, specifically how to turn any money line into the corresponding win…

Richie Baccellieri: Japanese Star Ohtani is About to Get Expensive

Monday, April 9, 2018 at 2:00 PM

A lot of sports bettors, sharp and square alike, were very interested in the performance this season of Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani. If he was going to be overrated (which was possible given all of the hype), sharps were ready to jump in against him. If he was the real deal (which seemed less likely after a shaky spring), you’d have to bet him early before the line finally caught up.Well, a week-and-a-half into the 2018 season, it’s now possible that Ohtani is going to be the most important player in the betting markets. His first two starts as a…

NBA Down The Stretch Previews

Monday, April 9, 2018 at 10:14 AM

THE NBA REPORT: THE REGULAR SEASON WRAPS UP WEDNESDAY BUT LOTS OF DRAMA STILL PLAYING OUTBASEBALL NEWS & NOTES: BEWARE OF THE BUCCOSIt's in sight ... the NBA Playoffs are set to start on Saturday / Sunday and take note that there's only 27 games remaining in this 2017-18 regular season. But, hey, there's plenty of big hoop showdowns between now and Wednesday night and let's spend a few moments on Monday's action on the hardwood:Tonight, it's ...OKLAHOMA CITY (46-34) at MIAMI (43-37) - 7:35 p.m. ETOkay, so who would have ever thought the OKC Thunder would be fighting for…

Jim Sez NBA Playoff Report

Saturday, April 7, 2018 at 12:19 PM

THE NBA REPORT - THE PLAYOFFS BEGIN NEXT WEEKEND AND WE BREAK DOWN THE POST-SEASON FAVORITES, SLEEPERS AND LONG SHOTSYou tell us: Is there a major sports league that can truly drag through the regular season more than the NBA? C'mon, there's a batch of teams that continue to "rest" starters / star players all the time and so the NBA has become increasingly tough to handicap during its 82-game per-team regular season but the playoffs - ahh, the playoffs - that's a whole different story.The NBA post-season is a blast - it's basically a two-month sprint to the finish…

NBA Must-Win Games

Friday, April 6, 2018 at 3:59 PM

THE NBA UPDATE - ARE TEAMS IN "MUST-WIN" GAMES GETTING OVERPRICED THESE DAYS? ...MLB NEWS & NOTES: THE 2-AND-0 STARTING PITCHERS THAT DESERVE YOUR WAGERING ATTENTIONWe're getting down to the real nitty-gritty time of this 2017-18 NBA regular season and that generally means one thing in the handicapping world:Teams in a "must-win" mode are overpriced items and you can take full advantage.Consider in Wednesday night's late game where the San Antonio Spurs - now 45-34 and very much locked in a ferocious fight for a playoff spot with five or six other Western Conference foes - were a 6.5-point betting…

Network Notebook: Early MLB Surprises

Friday, April 6, 2018 at 3:00 PM

Everyone knows you shouldn’t overreact to the first week of action in any sport. The results carry a huge load in short attention spans because baseball fans have been waiting months for the action to begin. It’s possible that, come June, NOBODY will remember that the NY Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Minnesota Twins were leading their respective divisions entering the second weekend of 2018 action.The betting markets are still pricing the preseason projected divisional winners like champions (Washington, the Chicago Cubs, the LA Dodgers, Cleveland, Houston, and the hybrid of Boston and the New York Yankees who were…

Richie Baccellieri: How Sharps Bet April Baseball

Friday, April 6, 2018 at 1:00 PM

As promised last time, we now move our focus to betting Major League Baseball and the NBA. I'm going to wait until the playoffs start before digging into basketball. That's a week from Saturday, so we'll have our first NBA article in a while a week from right now.Today and Monday, we'll look at how sharps are betting baseball. The most important factor early in the season involves game conditions. It's amazing the stark variety of conditions teams are playing in right now. There's nice weather in California. Domes never have weather issues. But, other places are dealing with freezing…

Baseball Betting Basics by Jim Feist

Friday, April 6, 2018 at 12:00 AM

Baseball is here and I will give you tips on making money in baseball.  There are many ways to bet baseball, unlike years ago when you were limited to either the home or road team and maybe the total. Today, there are a variety of wagers you can make in games.One thing you have to remember is that the game of baseball has changed over the last 20 or 30 years. At one time, pitchers like Gibson or Koufax would regularly go the distance in their games. Bullpens didn’t have the specialists they have today. Today, you have pitchers in…

The Jim Sez NBA Report

Wednesday, April 4, 2018 at 3:57 PM

ONLY ONE WEEK BEFORE THE PLAYOFFS BEGIN AND WE WALK YOU THRU THE FINAL DAYS OF REGULAR-SEASON PLAYPLUS BASEBALL NEWS & NOTESThe clock is tick, tick, ticking down on the final days of this here-and-now 2017-18 NBA regular season and there's still plenty of storylines and subplots on the table.So, we're gonna spend part of today's Jim Sez column examining the biggest storylines/subplots as we approach the conclusion of this regular season on April 11th, but first this key reminder ...Jim Hurley's Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will continue to bash the books with basketball winners after a brilliant NCAA…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Knowing the Percentages in Baseball

Wednesday, April 4, 2018 at 1:00 PM

Now that college basketball has ended, it’s time for students here in my Advanced College of Sports Betting and Handicapping to focus on Major League Baseball and the NBA. I’ll wait to talk about pro basketball until the playoffs arrive. There are so many garbage games right now in the NBA that it’s barely worth your effort…unless you can devote hours every day to studying how backups perform and how coaches change their rotations based on the needs of the moment. Let’s wait for the playoffs until the best players in the world are all trying to win a championship.Major…

Richie Baccellieri: How Sharps are Betting the NCAA Championship Game

Monday, April 2, 2018 at 1:00 PM

This is going to be one of the easiest reports I’ve ever written. Sharp sentiment is very clear on both the side and the total in Monday Night’s NCAA Championship game featuring the favored Villanova Wildcats and the underdog Michigan Wolverines. The public still has time to make its presence felt between now and kickoff. That could be trickier to anticipate in advance because the dog is a “public” team and the price on the favorite is one of the highest we’ve seen since the Sweet 16 began.First, the team side. The game opened at either Villanova -6.5 of -7…

Network Notebook: Handicapping the NCAA Championship

Monday, April 2, 2018 at 12:00 PM

It’s kind of popped up out of the blue. The Maize and Blue! But, Monday night’s National Championship showdown between the Villanova Wildcats and Michigan Wolverines is starting to look like some of the “David vs. Goliath” battles of years past.Villanova has become a juggernaut, launching and burying treys from all over the court. Some computer systems now have the Wildcats as the highest Power Rated college basketball team ever after five straight double-digit victories in the Dance. At the very least, this team seems capable of higher “peaks” than anyone else in history because of the impact three-point shooting…

NCAA Championship Game Preview

Monday, April 2, 2018 at 10:24 AM

THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME -IT'S MICHIGAN VS. VILLANOVA FOR ALL THE MARBLES (AND WE HAVE TONIGHT'S KEYS TO VICTORY!) It's time to crown a college basketball champion - time for that final "one shining moment".Who's it gonna be now, guys ... Michigan or Villanova?Well, the Las Vegas oddsmakers - at last check - had the 'Nova Wildcats as 6.5-point betting favorites and need we remind y'all that Jay Wright's Big East bunch is a perfect 5-and-oh ATS (against the spread) in this man's tournament this spring (see our game-by-game tourney chart below).Guess when you stroke 18 trifectas and practically lead…

Jim Sez Final Four Previews

Saturday, March 31, 2018 at 12:57 PM

NCAA TOURNAMENT FINAL FOUR - HERE'S LOYOLA VS. MICHIGAN, VILLANOVA VS. KANSAS PREVIEWSThe Villanova Wildcats have that been-there/done-that feeling: Just two years ago Jay Wright's club won it all thanks to a near half-court heave at the buzzer to beat North Carolina and now - with a team that sat in the #1 spot in the polls for some 14 weeks of this 2017-18 college basketball season - we've seen the 'Cats priced at a minus 205 betting favorite to win it all and so the good folks believe this is Villanova's tourney to win. Right? We'll get to the…

Network Notebook: Final Four Team Profiles

Friday, March 30, 2018 at 3:00 PM

VILLANOVA AND MICHIGAN FAVORED SATURDAY, BUT BOTH KANSAS AND LOYOLA MIGHT BE LIVE DOGSIf there's one thing that's clear from studying the last four teams standing in this year's NCAA Tournament, it's that there are no pretenders. All four of Villanova, Kansas, Michigan, and Loyola-Chicago play smart basketball and emphasize fundamentals.*Defense wins championships...and we have four teams who play excellent defense. That may be less clear to some of you who only look at final scores. But, when you adjust for pace and schedule strength...Villanova has a top 15 defense, Kansas a top 40 defense (out of 351 Division I…

NCAA TOURNAMENT UPDATE: WE PREVIEW THE FINAL FOUR SHOWDOWN BETWEEN LOYOLA-CHICAGO VS. MICHIGAN

Friday, March 30, 2018 at 2:13 PM

Let's face it ... the two words are just magical: Final Four.And after a full week of the national media chatting up the likes of Sister Jean and this very special Loyola-Chicago squad, it's finally time we dig in and get you our Jim Sez preview of this Final Four bash with a quickie reminder that we'll preview the battle of the #1 seeds - that's Villanova versus Kansas in the Final Four nightcap - in our weekend edition of this column, so don't miss out.THE FINAL FOURAlamodome - San Antonio, TX#11 LOYOLA-CHICAGO (32-5) vs. #3 MICHIGAN (32-7) - 6:09…

Richie Baccellieri: How Sharps are Betting the NCAA Final Four

Friday, March 30, 2018 at 12:00 PM

The buzz has been building all week as the Final Four of the 2018 NCAA Tournament fast approaches. Both of Saturday’s national semifinals are going to be heavily bet. I’m not sure if we’ll set records because this is always a special attraction here in Las Vegas. But, it’s a good possibility because the number of props continues to rise in this sport, as it does in the Super Bowl. Plus, in-game wagering is bigger than it’s ever been in this sport.Doesn’t hurt that we have some marquee teams involved.*Villanova is an Eastern power that’s developed a confident betting constituency.…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Dancing on Air

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 at 1:00 PM

I’ve been handicapping and betting the NCAA Tournament since long before it became a national sensation. I have to admit that I’ve never seen this event run so EASY for analysts who know what they’re doing. It’s one thing to be a “hot” handicapper. But, this doesn’t feel like a hot streak. This feels like taking candy from a baby.A week ago at this time, we talked about my 5-1 performance in the Round of 32. The only loser was when Kansas allowed a three-pointer at the buzzer to Seton Hall. After that, it got BETTER!Check it out… KELSO STURGEON’S RECENT…

NCAA TOURNAMENT FINAL 4 REPORT

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 at 11:12 AM

Network 22-9 (71%) in the NCAA's Going Into the Final Four3-0 In the First Four6-4 In Round 15-2 in Round 25-2 in the Sweet 163-1 in the Elite 8 So, who's gonna wind up cutting down the nets inside the Alamodome right 'round 11:45 p.m. ET come Monday night?Ahh, the smart alecks who thought that blueblood teams such as Duke or North Carolina or Kentucky would snatch up the 2018 crown were all dead-wrong … but did you know that the story-of-this-tournament Loyola-Chicago entered the "Big Dance" at 300-to-1 odds to win it all and according to one web site story…

Richie Baccellieri: How Sharps are Betting the NIT Final Four

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at 12:00 PM

The NIT has been quite a fun and profitable betting experience for underdog lovers. None of the top seeds advanced to the Final Four that will be played Tuesday Night at Madison Square Garden in New York. In fact, all four survivors had to win on the ROAD in the quarterfinals to advance. And, at some point in the process, all four had to beat their section’s #1 seed on the road.At least we know that all four remaining teams are excited about being in this tournament. That helps handicappers focus on team strengths and weaknesses rather than worrying about…

Network Notebook: Underdogs Still Dominating Dance

Monday, March 26, 2018 at 1:00 PM

Another winning week in the NCAA Tournament for JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK, keyed by a recognition that the betting markets were still overpricing favorites. In fact, this year, that might have been more dramatic than ever because it was so obviously wrong!This was a year of PARITY in college basketball, with very little separating those at the top of the computer ratings and those in the next 40 spots below them. A couple of buckets here and there, and anybody could beat anybody! Yet, oddsmakers kept pricing like it was the old days because the public still wants to bet the…

The First Look at the Final Four

Monday, March 26, 2018 at 10:41 AM

Network 22-9 (71%) in the NCAA's Going Into the Final Four3-0 In the First Four6-4 In Round 15-2 in Round 25-2 in the Sweet 163-1 in the Elite 8THE NCAA TOURNAMENT - THE FIRST LOOK AT THE FINAL FOUR:MICHIGAN, 'NOVA ARE SOLID BETTING FAVS FOR SATURDAY'S BIG GAMESHey, whoever first coined the phrase "March Madness" really knew what they were talking about! It's gonna be a great week of b-ball build-up as we zoom in on Saturday's Final Four twin-bill ... that's Loyola-Chicago versus Michigan and Villanova vs. Kansas -- as college basketball's premier event hits center stage deep in…

NCAA Elite-8 Weekend Previews

Saturday, March 24, 2018 at 11:43 AM

Network 19-9 (68%) in the NCAA's after a 5-2 Sweet-16!2-1 in Friday's Sweet-16!Texas Tech (+2) Purdue WINS 78-85Syracuse (+11) Duke WINS 65-69Kansas (-5) Clemson 80-76 Loses by 1 point3-1 In Thursday's Sweet-16!Loyola-Chicago (+1) over Nevada 69-68Texas A&M (+2.5) vs. Michigan 72-99Kansas State (+5.5) over Kentucky 61-58Florida State (+6) over Gonzaga 75-60NCAA TOURNAMENT - THE ELITE 8 MATCHUPS ARE HERESurvive-and-advance ... yes, and this time ladies and gents you advance right to the Final Four! Here's the rundown on this weekend's four big, big, big games in the NCAA Tournament's Elite 8 round.Don't miss out as we bring you all the…

Richie Baccellieri: Squares Getting Crushed with Money Line Parlays

Friday, March 23, 2018 at 4:00 PM

A growing trend among square bettors (the general public) is to put favorites into money line parlays to make them seem less expensive. These bettors think they’re gaming the system…but they’re actually setting themselves up for disasters.Thursday night’s Sweet 16 action was just the latest example, as prominent public teams like Kentucky and Gonzaga both lost outright. That after a Sunday where five of eight underdogs won outright, with prominent victims like Michigan State, North Carolina, Cincinnati, and Xavier falling by the wayside (Auburn was the other upset).My main goal in writing these articles for you the past few years…

Network Notebook: The Power of Pace

Friday, March 23, 2018 at 1:00 PM

There’s already been a lot of press coverage about the upset-riddled half of the bracket that finished up Sweet 16 play Thursday night. The mainstream media and general public are in SHOCK that Kentucky and Gonzaga both lost so unimpressively. Loyola-Chicago’s luck was supposed to have run out a long time ago. The only favorite that won Thursday, Michigan, played awful the week before and seemed untrustworthy as chalk.You know what hasn’t been talked about yet? The impact of PACE in Thursday’s action. Three of the four games saw slow teams take faster opponents out of their comfort zones to…

Friday Sweet 16 Previews

Friday, March 23, 2018 at 12:10 PM

THE NCAA TOURNAMENT UPDATE: THE SWEET 16 FRIDAY MENU3-1 In Thursday's Sweet-16!Sweet-16 Stunner WINS! Loyola-Chicago (+1) over Nevada 69-68Underdog Bonus loses - Texas A&M (+2.5) vs. Michigan 72-99Sweet 16 Late Power Parlay Sweeps 2-0Kansas State (+5.5) over Kentucky 61-58Florida State (+6) over Gonzaga 75-60It's a fun-fun-fun Friday night of NCAA Tournament hoops with powerhouses Villanova, Duke and Kansas all in action on the hardwood ... is there an upset (or two or three) out there lurking that involves these teams?Heck, in last night's installment of the Sweet 16 the chalk guys were going down one right after the other as…

Thursday Sweet 16 Previews

Thursday, March 22, 2018 at 9:56 AM

THE NCAA TOURNAMENT UPDATE: HERE'S THE THURSDAY HOOPS MENUIt's been a sweet ride to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 for the likes of Cinderella squad Loyola-Chicago and ACC after-thought Florida State - heck, these guys were supposed to be long gone from the scene by the time this tourney swung into its second week but both teams copped first- andsecond-round NCAA Tournament wins en route to busting a whole lot of brackets.Now, Loyola-Chicago - a/k/a the "Fighting Sister Jeans" and the #11 seed in the South - and aforementioned Florida State (the #9 seed in the West) are just two…

THE NCAA TOURNAMENT SWEET 16 REPORT

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 at 2:27 PM

Hey, we all have to just sit tight till Thursday night for the next installment of "March Madness" as this year's NCAA Tournament has been like nothing we've ever witnessed ... but get a load of this:While this week's Sweet 16 features #11 seed Loyola-Chicago and the ultimate comeback kids from #7 Nevada, the fact of the matter is the 13 power conference squads that comprise most of this remaining field -- that's Kansas State, Kentucky, Villanova, West Virginia, Texas Tech, Purdue, Florida State, Michigan, Texas A&M, Kansas, Clemson, Syracuse and Duke -- are a collective 22-4-1 ATS (against the…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Keys to a Big Weekend

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 at 9:00 AM

You probably saw the footage from Las Vegas this past weekend of bettors in sports books reacting in horror when Seton Hall nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer against Kansas to cover the spread by half a point. A seven-point loss turned to a four-point loss against a spread of 4.5. I was certainly among those angered by that shot. It kept me from going a perfect 6-0 in the Round of 32!My selections last weekend were:50 units on Loyola-Chicago (outright winner)25 units on Gonzaga (winner)25 units on Texas Tech (winner)25 units on Syracuse (outright winner)25 units on Maryland-Baltimore County…

Richie Baccellieri: How Sharps are Betting the Sweet 16

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Point spreads went up Sunday night here in Las Vegas for this week’s Sweet 16 action. There’s already been time to deduce sharp intent (strategies from professional wagerers) as well as the most likely bets from squares (the general public). I’ll run through what I’ve learned so far, taking the matchups in the order they’ll be played Thursday and Friday. Thursday 7:05 p.m. ET: Nevada vs. Loyola-ChicagoNevada opened as a favorite of -2.5, possibly because oddsmakers expected some interest from “locals” in betting the Wolfpack. But, it’s hard to lay points with a team that had to rally from way behind…

Network Notebook: Media Shocked, Smart Handicappers Aren’t!

Monday, March 19, 2018 at 2:00 PM

After one of the most balanced college basketball seasons we’ve seen in years, it should come as no surprise to anybody that may of the elite seeds didn’t even make it past the first weekend of the 2018 NCAA Tournament.*Two #1 seeds are already gone, something that hasn’t happened in years. And, frankly, the last two are still vulnerable THIS week because Kansas is missing a key player (while having a shaky Dance history under this head coach) and Villanova has a knack for playing nailbiters against quality opponents who aren’t intimidated.*Two #2 seeds are already gone, and Purdue needed…

Jim Sez NCAA Update: The Sweet 16

Monday, March 19, 2018 at 9:53 AM

Network 14-7 (66.7%) in the NCAA's after a 3-0 Sunday!Butler (+3.5) over Purdue 73-76Syracuse (+9.5) over Michigan State 55-53Florida State (+5.5) over Xavier 75-70IT'S THE BELIEVE-IT-OR-NOT NCAA TOURNAMENT WHERE HALF OF THIS WEEK'S SWEET 16 TEAMS WERE NOT EXPECTED TO BE HERE (THAT'S SEEDS #5 OR LOWER!) AND WE TAKE QUICK PEEKS AT WHO SURVIVED-AND ADVANCEDBusted brackets? Heck, most of America's NCAA Tournament bracket sheets have been absolutely destroyed!Can you ever remember in the same year having first/second-round losers that included a pair of #1 seeds (Virginia and Xavier), a pair of #2 seeds (North Carolina and Cincinnati), two #3…

Network Notebook: Evaluating Results Using “Phantom Score”

Friday, March 16, 2018 at 1:00 PM

You longtime readers know that JIM HURLEY likes using a quick and easy stat called “Phantom Score” to help paint the picture of a game that’s just been played. It tells you at a glance which teams are performing well in the categories that matter most. Therefore, it gives you some hints about which teams are likely to thrive moving forward in a tournament.If you’re not familiar with the term, “Phantom Score” is simply “two-point scoring PLUS total rebounds.” It takes out three-pointers, which blow hot and cold mostly due to luck. It takes out free throws, which can be…

Richie Baccellieri: A Tug-of War in Every Game in the 2018 Dance

Friday, March 16, 2018 at 10:15 AM

If you’ve been reading my coverage of the sports betting markets through the years, you’ve learned to recognize what I’ve been calling “tug-of-war” spots where the sharps (professional wagerers) are on one side, the squares (the public) are on the other…and the line is moving back-and-forth a half-point at a time depending on who bet mort recent.Squares are taking the favorite at -2.5, sharps are betting the dog at +3. Squares are taking the favorite at -7.5, sharps are taking the dog at +8. Squares are taking the popular TV team at -13.5, sharps are taking the dog at +14.This…

Jim Sez Friday NCAA Previews

Friday, March 16, 2018 at 10:03 AM

HERE'S NCAA TOURNAMENT ACTION ON AN UBER-BUSY FIRST-ROUND FRIDAY(PLUS, SOME TIDBITS FROM THURSDAY'S WILD ACTION)Hey, who knew the FBI would be the least of the Arizona Wildcats' problems?Geez, the last Pac-12 team to be alive in this year's NCAA Tournament while coming into yesterday's play was absolutely obliterated 89-68 by 9.5-point pup Buffalo and so wave bye-bye to the "conference of champions" - yes, that's a dig at announcer Bill Walton - and likely bye-bye to 'Cats head coach Sean Miller who is 95 percent certain to get the axe within the next few days.As it turned out, Arizona was…

Big Dog Upsets in the NCAA Tournament, by Jim Feist.

Friday, March 16, 2018 at 12:00 AM

The NCAA tournament moves past the first round and I’ll now take a look at any upsets that may have occurred. I don't really agree that these games are really upsets, yeah when you put a North Carolina up against Lipscomb you make a 20-point line that is the top team against an also ran mid-major. You will notice that the biggest teams, those teams that are favored by 19 points or more, they're all winning.  The upsets are happening when you have Wichita State going down or Arizona losing to Buffalo. Let's talk a little bit that one. The…

NCAA TOURNAMENT’S THURSDAY MENU

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at 4:33 PM

Step right up to the greatest show on earth ..."March Madness" is officially here with the NCAA Tournament's First-Round games on this Thursday/Friday always offering up great action - and great value with a slew of underdog sides that figure to make things very sticky for a bevy of high-profile teams in this year's tourney.We'll preview a quartet of games here in today's edition of Jim Sez - that's one in four different time slots beginning in the noon hour in the East - and we'll scribble down other news/notes too, so grab that remote control, throw some more ice…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Late Game Failures

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Who can get a basket late in a close game? Answer that question, and the world is your oyster. Fail to even study the issue, and you’re very unlikely to make money as a sports bettor during the NCAA Tournament.I’m off to a 2-0 start on my personal plays in the 2018 Big Dance, releasing 25-unit winners Tuesday night on Radford (-) over LIU-Brooklyn and St. Bonaventure (+) over UCLA. If you watched those games on TV, you know that the secret to success was that my “go-against” teams had no idea how to get the ball in the hoop…

Richie Baccellieri: How Sharps are Betting NCAA Play-in Games

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Four games on the NCAA Tournament schedule Tuesday and Wednesday. Let’s see how sharps (professional wagerers) have been betting the games matching #16 seeds, and #11 seeds for the right to join the main field. Remember that all four games are being played in Dayton, so no home court advantage (or even home area advantage) for any of the teams involved. St. Bonaventure does have some experience on the floor because it plays Dayton in the Atlantic 10. TUESDAY’S GAMESRadford vs. LIU-Brooklyn: You probably haven’t paid much attention to these two teams through the season. Radford is the bettor tea,. An…

Jim Sez NCAA Tournament Report

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 10:21 AM

WE ZOOM 'ROUND THE COUNTRY WITH OUR REGIONAL SKETCHES PLUS GET Y'ALL STARTED WITH THE FIRST FOUROkay, so who's your favorite, your sleeper team, your long shot to win it all in this here-and-now NCAA Tournament?Betcha all your b-ball buddies have been asking you these questions the past 24-to-48 hours and so we'll weigh in on such vital matters shortly while doing region-by-region sketches of the South, East, West and Midwest. First, however, this key reminder …Ladies and gentlemen, don't miss out as bring you all the winners in this year's NCAA Tournament along with all the other College Basketball…

THE NCAA TOURNAMENT COMMITTEE BLEW IT ON MANY FRONTS!!

Monday, March 12, 2018 at 4:00 PM

!Let's be a straight shooter about this whole NCAA Tournament Selection Show deal ...We here at Jim Sez - to be perfectly honest -- have been extremely fair to the ever-changing NCAA Tournament Committee folks over the years and often times have defended the "chair" and his cohorts even when they've angered snubbed teams but this year's whole process has us peeved!For starters, a drawn-out and oft-boring show on TBS instead of the per usual one-hour Selection Show on CBS simply didn't fly - don't those TV brainiacs realize it's much more exciting to see the brackets posted one-by-one instead…

Network Notebook: Looking for Cinderella

Monday, March 12, 2018 at 12:00 PM

One of the most enjoyable aspects of handicapping the first round of the NCAA Tournament each year is involve scouting out upsets. They can pay off big if you bet them on the money line. You can coast to victory if you took the points. Even in office pools, you can get a leg up on the competition by figuring out which "public" teams are likely to fall flat out of the gate.JIM HURLEY won't post any official underdog selections here in THE HANDICAPPING NOTEBOOK. That wouldn't be fair to paying clients. But, we will spend some time today looking…

NCAA Teams to Watch, by Jim Feist

Sunday, March 11, 2018 at 12:00 AM

The NCAA tournament  getting underway with the big prize going to the last team standing on April 2nd in San Antonio, Texas.  I am going to go over those teams I believe could have a great chance or be that Cinderella team this year with a chance to win it all in the NCAA tournament.Virginia: The top ranked team and ACC Champion looked the part with a convincing win and cover over North Carolina last Saturday. I love the defense and the coaching this club possesses.  They will be the number one seed, yet which teams can knock them off?Gonzaga:…

GO AHEAD AND CHECK OUT OUR SELECTION SHOW IDEAS

Saturday, March 10, 2018 at 9:24 AM

Bust out the brackets already! The NCAA Tournament's always much-hyped and much-anticipated Selection Show on Sunday (6 p.m. ET on CBS / ESPN) is must-see television -- of course - and we just so happen to be chock full of ideas/recommendations for the "Big Dance" committee folks. We'll lay it on y'all shortly in today's Jim Sez column but first this key reminder ...WE CALL IT MARCH MADNESS BECAUSE IT'S TIME TO MAKE MONEY LIKE MAD*Nobody Makes It Bigger, Faster Or Madder Than Jim Hurley's Network*Last Year Of The 48 Games Played In NCAA Rounds 1 & 2 We Went…

Network Notebook: Don’t Overreact to Bye Blowouts

Friday, March 9, 2018 at 2:00 PM

All season we’ve been talking about how balanced college basketball has been. Teams destined for #1 and #2 seeds in the NCAA’s aren’t as far above the field as you’ve seen in past seasons. It’s not just “anything can happen on any given day,” but “there are no truly great teams with a bunch of pretty good teams.”You might be thinking JIM HURLEY and his NETWORK team are changing their minds about that after all the blowout results on Thursday. Didn’t teams like Virginia, Duke, Villanova, Xavier, Kansas, and maybe even top Pac 12 seed Arizona established clear superiority in…

Richie Baccellieri: Sportsbooks Not Happy When Favorites Cash

Friday, March 9, 2018 at 11:00 AM

After this past weekend, I talked about how the public was making its presence felt with active betting on high-profile favorites in big TV games. Squares took a hit fading Michigan in the Big 10 tournament, and fading Wichita State at home in its regular season finale Sunday. But, the past few days, favorites have been getting the job done in major events.*Favorites cashed all four tickets Thursday in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament, with Virginia, Clemson, Duke, and North Carolina all winning easily. TV networks were certainly hoping for more drama than they got. At least that set…

Thursday Conference Tournament Action

Thursday, March 8, 2018 at 9:54 AM

THE COLLEGE HOOPS UPDATE: MORE MINI TOURNEY TALK AS THE THURSDAY CARD FEATURES A WHOPPING 48 BIG ON-THE-BOARD GAMESIt's really/truly time to hoop it up: The College Basketball world is in full tilt mode with nearly half-a-hundred mini-tourney games on this Thursday docket and - in case you don't have your handy-dandy schedule in front of you - note that there are 12 different conferences/leagues in action here on March 8th and they include power conferences such as the ACC, Big East, Big 12, SEC and Pac-12. We'll chit-chat about a few of these mini-tourney games in a moment plus…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Focus on Team Weaknesses

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at 2:00 PM

It's very easy for handicappers to fall into the trap of focusing on team strengths when handicapping tournament basketball. You know who the star players are. You know who the best coaches are. TV coverage is a virtual commercial for the strengths of all the teams because networks are basically running day-long ads for their corporate partners.While it's important to know the strengths of all the teams. I'd argue that it's more important for handicappers to know the weaknesses. Your biggest money winners will come from great situations you uncover where weaknesses will be exposed and pounded for 40 minutes.*Maybe…

Conference Tournament Madness - Wednesday Preview

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at 11:40 AM

IT'S MINI-TOURNEY MADNESS - WE CHECK OUT THE EIGHT (8) CONFERENCE TOURNAMENTS THAT TIP OFF WEDNESDAY (AND LET YOU KNOW WHERE WE MIGHT FIND SOME UPSETS!)Folks, there are 27 on-the-board College Basketball games on the Wednesday docket - and that's over the course of nine different conference tournaments. In the latest Jim Sez edition, we previewed the ACC Tournament that rolled into action on Tuesday, so next we hit up the other Eight (8) leagues that begin their mini-tourney play here on "hump day":SUN BELT CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT ... Wednesday-thru-Sundayat Lakefront Arena - New Orleans, LANo doubt a one-bid league here…

Richie Baccellieri: Public Makes Presence Felt with Cloud of Chalk

Monday, March 5, 2018 at 4:00 PM

If you were paying attention to the college basketball markets this past weekend, you noticed that the impact of the general public was influencing the line in big games. Squares (the public) love betting favorites. Prominent favorites were pounded before LOSING OUTRIGHT in a few spots.*Squares (and some sharps) were fading Michigan hard Saturday and Sunday in the Big 10 tournament. Too many people figured the Wolverines were going to hit a wall having to play so many back-to-backs. Chalk lovers lost badly with Michigan State Saturday, and then again with Purdue Sunday. Credit to the oddsmakers for openers that…

Network Notebook: Michigan A Legitimate Final Four Threat

Monday, March 5, 2018 at 1:00 PM

A week ago at this time, the Michigan Wolverines were a popular sleeper choice to do well in the Big 10 tournament. They had closed the season well. Most Power Ratings had them as a Sweet 16 threat even if they were only a #5 Big 10 seed at Madison Square Garden. If Michigan State or Purdue stubbed their toe, Michigan just might sneak through and steal the conference tournament title.Well…Michigan STOMPED on the toes of both Michigan State and Michigan, after dispatching with Iowa and Nebraska (who we profiled as the hottest point spread team in the country a…

Jim Sez College Tournaments Report

Monday, March 5, 2018 at 10:54 AM

THE COLLEGE HOOPS REPORT - MINI-TOURNEYS RUNNIN' WILD FROM COAST-TO-COAST THIS WEEKAny shot you can skip out of work this week? After all, it's Mini Tourney Week in the wonderful (and often wacky) world of College Basketball where the likes of Murray State, Loyola and Michigan all snagged automatic bids in their respective conference tournaments this past Saturday/Sunday and there's a whole boatload of teams that soon will get rewarded with automatic bids - just remember that from Monday thru Friday there's a bevy of leagues getting into the action with mini-tourney play as the Mid-American Conference tips off tonight,…

Weekend College & Pro Hoops Report

Saturday, March 3, 2018 at 12:14 PM

THE COLLEGE HOOPS REPORT: - WE GETCHA WHAT’S STRAIGHT AHEAD THIS FIRST WEEKEND IN MARCH …NBA NEWS & NOTES: - THE WESTERN CONFERENCE BATTLE UNDERNEATH THE ROCKETS & WARRIORSHang on to your hat!There’s a slew of College Basketball Conference Tournament games on this weekend’s agenda including the start of Colonial Conference (see quickie preview below) not to mention the championship games from the Big 10 and Missouri Valley Conference on Sunday … talk about your great lead-ins to the Academy Awards!The bottom line is there are a bunch of one-bid leagues playing from coast-to-coast this weekend to decide who’s their…

The Madness that is March by Jim Feist

Saturday, March 3, 2018 at 12:00 AM

The craziness of March has already begun as the conference tournaments started this week. Already we’ve seen the underdogs show up and have a lot of bite to go along with their bark. Truth be known, there are many teams this year that can be ranked within a very few points of each other. Then you have a few teams, namely the Dukes, North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, Villanova and perhaps Xavier that could be ranked a little bit higher than the rest. But that difference between the upper echelon teams and the next level is not that great that the…

Network Notebook: Three-Point Shooting More Important Than Ever

Friday, March 2, 2018 at 4:00 PM

We’ve talked for years here in JIM HURLEY’S HANDICAPPING NOTEBOOK about the “random” impact of three-point shooting in college basketball. Even now, as recently as yesterday, you will find many games where the winner won because they shot over their heads from long range, or the loser lost because they kept clanking shots of the rim.Let’s make clear though that “random” doesn’t mean insurmountable. That’s the element of “roulette” that keeps smart handicappers from winning 80% or 90% of their bets. If college basketball (or any sport) was overly predictable, Las Vegas couldn’t exist. There HAS to be an element…

Richie Baccellieri: Don’t Be a Square in Conference Tournaments

Friday, March 2, 2018 at 10:00 AM

Now that we have a major conference college basketball tournament underway, I’m starting to hear a phrase from bettors in sports books that’s prominent every year.“Doesn’t that line seem low to you?”Casual bettors lose money every March because they can’t shake the square tendency to want to bet favorites. That’s compounded by the fact that “neutral court” lines are closer to zero than those played on home courts. A guy will remember that a prominent team was laying -7 at home during the season in a game they won by double digits. Now, on a neutral court, the line is…

More College Tournament and NBA Notes

Thursday, March 1, 2018 at 10:23 AM

COLLEGE B-BALL'S MINI-TOURNIES ROCK-N-ROLL ON WITH MIZZ VALLEY AND METRO ATLANTIC STARTING UP ON THIS FIRST DAY OF MARCHPLUS, A LOOK BACK AT DAY ONE OF BIG 10 TOURNEY AS IOWA, RUTGERS SNAG ROUND 1 WINSHERE'S THREE NBA PLAYERS THAT WILL HAVE MAJOR END-OF-SEASON IMPACT ON THE PLAYOFF PICTURE AHEADHope you like the College Basketball Conference Tournaments 'cause they'll be part of the everyday landscape between now and Selection Sunday (see March 11th).Now as we enter the merry month of March, there's two other conferences/leagues getting their mini-tournies underway and we'll preview both the Missouri Valley Conference and the Metro…

Jim Sez Midweek Roundball Report

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 at 11:09 AM

THE COLLEGE ROUNDBALL MID-WEEK REPORT -WE BEGIN OUR MINI-TOURNEY PREVIEWS WITH THE BIG 10 CONFERENCE INVADING NEW YORK CITY (SAY WHAT!) ...NBA ROUNDTABLE TALK: ARE THE RED-HOT ROCKETS NOT GETTIN' ENOUGH RESPECT?Let the mini-tourney games begin! The College Basketball Conference Tournaments are ready to take center stage 'round the land and right here at Jim Sez we'll be offering up quick-hitter previews/comments on all of the tourney action and so let's get right to it beginning with Wednesday's action:BIG 10 TOURNAMENT ... Wednesday-thru-Sundayat Madison Square Garden -- New York City, NYLet's just say that midtown Manhattan will be bustling with…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Understanding Championship Odds

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at 3:00 PM

With the start of conference championship tournaments on the horizon, many Las Vegas sportsbooks have begun posting their odds to win each league tournament. Those are now on the board alongside odds to win the National Championship in the Big Dance. Seeing all of these numbers reminded me of one thing. Most bettors are horrible at math!Here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting, I want to make sure you have the fundamentals necessary to be a winning gambler. A big key is a recognition of how math fits in the handicapping process…both in terms of projecting game results and…

Richie Baccellieri: How Sharps Prepare for Conference Tournaments

Monday, February 26, 2018 at 2:00 PM

We have some conference tournaments getting started this week, including the high profile Big Ten tournament featuring potential #1 NCAA Tournament seeds Michigan State and Purdue. With that in mind, I wanted to go over how professional wagerers prepare for conference tournaments.*I’ve always emphasized to you the importance of being ready EARLY. Sharps know their numbers in every game before anything hits the board. That’s why they’re able to pick off soft openers and get their money positioned well from the outset. Have your Power Ratings locked in as soon as the regular season ends in each league. Make your…

Jim Sez College Basketball Update

Monday, February 26, 2018 at 10:17 AM

THE COLLEGE HOOPS UPDATE - HERE'S MONDAY / TUESDAY KEY GAMES PLUS WE HAVE AN OSCARS MOVIE THEME AS A BACKDROP TO SOME COOL CATEGORIESLadies and gents, sure we're getting ready to officially christen it "March Madness" time but first things first and that means it's the start of Oscars Week (okay, so the Oscars air on Sunday night but we've got a little movie theme going here, so bear with us!) and so play along while we put Oscar-nominated picture along with a college basketball item/team/player:DARKEST HOUR - What else, the ongoing FBI probe is gonna crash the "Big…

Network Notebook: Nebraska Now 18-2 ATS its Last 20 Games

Monday, February 26, 2018 at 7:00 AM

There’s been so much going on in college basketball recently, particularly OFF the court with stories that TV pundits love to debate all day long on cable, an incredible development has stayed off the media radar. With their 76-64 win Sunday over Penn State as a 2-point favorite, the Nebraska Cornhuskers are now an incredible 18-2 against the spread over their last 20 games.Bettors make money at 11-9, and a lot of money at 13-7. Nebraska has only failed to cover two times out of 20.Interestingly, there are a pair of 8-0 streaks in that long run.*From December 5 to…

Jim Sez Weekend Basketball Report

Saturday, February 24, 2018 at 12:55 PM

THE COLLEGE BASKETBALL WEEKEND REPORT - IT COULD BE A REAL MESSY MARCH WITH FBI PROBE HANGING OVER KEY TEAMS ...NBA NEWS & NOTES: SOME STELLAR SHOWINGS FROM FRIDAY NIGHTLooking for a real "dark horse" come NCAA Tournament time next month?How about the FBI!No doubt there are plenty of NCAA teams/coaches/players sweating bullets this winter weekend as the on-going FBI probe continues into the oft-seedy world of college athletics but - big picture here - we're wondering if there will be any sanctions announced against the likes of Duke, Kentucky, Michigan State or North Carolina (and possibly other NCAA Tournament-bound…

Network Notebook: Be Wary of Soft Defenses

Friday, February 23, 2018 at 11:31 AM

Through JIM HURLEY'S continuing efforts to prepare you for college basketball handicapping down the stretch and into the tournaments, you'll see us discussing often the importance of DEFENSE. We were writing "Defense Wins Championships" back when our web coverage first started many years ago. It's just as true now as it was back then. The fundamentals of winning are always important, on the basketball floor and at the betting window.An obvious correlating phrase to that mantra would be "Bad Defense CAN'T Win Championships." That should go without saying. But, you'd be surprised how many bettors don't know who the bad…

College Hoops Notebook and NFL Mock Draft

Friday, February 23, 2018 at 11:07 AM

THE COLLEGE HOOPS NOTEBOOK - WHO COULD BE SOME OF THE REAL MAKE-A-RUN TEAMS IN MARCH? …PLUS, THE LATEST SEGMENT OF OUR EARLY-BIRD JIM SEZ NFL MOCK DRAFT AS WE PROJECT PICKS #21-THRU-#32Let's get out our crystal ball and wonder aloud who will be "make-a-run" teams in the merry month of March … and let's not go all Mr. Obvious here:VIRGINIA TECH (20-8, 9-6 ACC) - Gotta love Hokie head coach Buzz Williams when it comes to March … even when his teams (both at Marquette for years and now here with V-Tech) lose they give their opponents a major…

Network Notebook: Be Wary of Soft Defenses

Friday, February 23, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Through JIM HURLEY’S continuing efforts to prepare you for college basketball handicapping down the stretch and into the tournaments, you’ll see us discussing often the importance of DEFENSE. We were writing “Defense Wins Championships” back when our web coverage first started many years ago. It’s just as true now as it was back then. The fundamentals of winning are always important, on the basketball floor and at the betting window.An obvious correlating phrase to that mantra would be “Bad Defense CAN’T Win Championships.” That should go without saying. But, you’d be surprised how many bettors don’t know who the bad…

Baseball Total Wins by Jim Feist

Friday, February 23, 2018 at 12:00 AM

As spring arrives that means that the baseball season isn’t far off. The men of summer will start their preseason soon and that means it’s time to take a look at betting opportunities in total wins for the season. Today I’ll take a look at some of those plays and which totals I will be betting. First, here are the current total wins posted for each team.American League EastNew York Yankees 93.5Boston Red Sox 91.5Toronto Blue Jays 81.5Baltimore Orioles 77.5Tampa Bay Rays 76.5American League CentralCleveland Indians 93.5Minnesota Twins 82.5Kansas City Royals 76.5Chicago White Sox 68.5Detroit Tigers 68.5American League WestHouston Astros 96.5Los…

Richie Baccellieri: How Sharps Bet College Basketball Futures

Thursday, February 22, 2018 at 11:00 AM

I normally don’t talk seriously about betting National Championship futures prices in this sport until closer to the Big Dance. But, this season is unique in the fact that the championship race truly seems wide open. It wouldn’t be a shock if none of the future #1 (or #2) seeds went the distance. All the powers have weaknesses, or the ability to look mortal when their treys aren’t falling. Several teams in the top 40 of most Power Ratings could have deep runs if they get hot or catch a few scheduling breaks.With that in mind, let’s stalk about how…

College Hoops Midweek Report

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 at 7:24 AM

THE COLLEGE ROUNDBALL MID-WEEK REPORT - IT'S TIME TO CHAT ABOUT TOURNEY TOP SEEDS, OVERPRICED TEAMS AND MUCH MORE IN TODAY'S JIM SEZ ...NBA RETURNS THURSDAY NIGHT: HERE'S THE TOP STORYLINES FROM HERE TO THE END OF REGULAR-SEASON PLAYCan we fill you in on a College Basketball fun fact?The conference tournaments - a/k/a the mini-tournies - will rev up its engines beginning next Wednesday, Feb. 28th with the Big 10 Conference invading Madison Square Garden in New York City.And did you realize that three of the nation's power conferences will decide their mini-tourney champions in the Big Apple?The Atlantic Coast…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Don’t Let Bracketology be a Distraction

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Most of our coursework here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting involves techniques and strategies you should use when trying to find smart bets. Today, I want to talk first about what NOT to do in these final weeks leading up to the tournaments.Don’t, and I mean DON’T spend too much time listening to all the “bracketology” coverage. ESPN has decided to make that a brand. Other places are jumping on the bandwagon. For sports bettors, that stuff is virtually meaningless. You might “think” it’s important because the media will have you believe that teams on the bubble will…

Network Notebook: When to Use “Revenge” in College Basketball

Monday, February 19, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Because we’re in the second half of conference schedules in college basketball, the opportunity to bet “revenge” as a handicapping angle is prominent every single day. You probably noticed this past weekend that it often doesn’t work! JIM HURLEY wants you to know that smart handicappers must pick their spots with this “intangible.” Only occasionally is it really a special factor that ignites a blowout cover.First, the main reasons that “revenge” is overused by bettors...*Usually the inferior team lost the first game, and doesn’t have the means to “lift” its level of play in a rematch. A team must be…

Richie Baccellieri: What Separates Sharps from Squares in College Hoops?

Sunday, February 18, 2018 at 1:00 PM

There are several key characteristics that tell you when somebody is “sharp” in college basketball betting, meaning they’re likely a professional, or a long-term earner that might also have other avenues of revenue. In fact, you can often tell when somebody is a true sharp or a pretender just by focusing on these keys. TIMINGSharps bet the openers, because they already have their number mind before oddsmakers even act. Pro bettors don’t “wait to see the number” before starting their handicapping process. The process is complete before Vegas (or offshore) numbers go up. The general public doesn’t even know when openers…

Network Notebook: The Big 12 Was Overrated

Friday, February 16, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Yes, the Big 12 was impressive early in the season. A lot of talent. A lot of athletes. A lot of legitimate results. But, JIM HURLEY is confident based on his read of the league in recent weeks that the Big 12 on the whole isn’t likely to be a big deal in the NCAA Tournament. Let’s look quickly at the most highly regarded teams.#7 TEXAS TECH is the highest rated team in the polls and the most respected computer assessments. This is a veteran team with five senior starters. That gave them a leg up at the start of…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Current Points of Emphasis

Thursday, February 15, 2018 at 4:00 PM

As we transition into the latter stages of the college basketball season, it’s important for serious bettors to remember that all the work you do now should not only be designed to pick daily winners…but to help you pick even more winners as you travel down the road to March Madness. Forward thinking is vital!With that in mind:*Pay attention to how many offenses work to get good looks on three-pointers, compared to those who are getting lazy and just launching out of semi-desperation. I’m seeing this more and more the past few days. A team falls behind and just starts…

NFL Team Rankings for 2018 (part 2) by Jim Feist

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 at 12:00 AM

This week we’ll take a look at my next eight teams in order in the NFL for their 2018 rankings.Packers:Let’s first have a look at what the Pack has to contend with in their division. The Lions, Vikings and Bears. The only one of that group, in my opinion, that is a legitimate challenge, would be the Vikings. Not to belittle the Lions but they have not shown in many years the ability to step up their game. The Bears are a work in progress. In addition, the Bears and Lions bring in two new head coaches. As is the…

Richie Baccellieri: Do Sharps Still Focus on Underdogs in College Hoops?

Friday, February 9, 2018 at 4:00 PM

The general rule in sports betting has always been that the public (squares) love to bet favorites, while professional bettors (sharps) prefer underdogs…particularly after the line has been driven up by public betting on favorites!That dynamic isn’t quite as strong right now in college basketball because the public won’t be heavily involved until tournament time. And, because sports books are less likely to move lines based on public action. A mindset years ago of “move the lines to help balance the books” has been replaced by “it’s okay to be one-sided on a game as long as you’re opposite the…

THE NBA TRADE DEADLINE - CAVALIERS KEEP REAL BUSY BUT WILL ALL THE MOVES HELP

Friday, February 9, 2018 at 1:52 PM

COLLEGE HOOP NEWS/NOTES: NORTH CAROLINA SNAGS 82-78 WIN/COVER VERSUS DUKEIf nothing else, then game-day program sales will be way up at Cleveland Cavaliers' games the rest of this 2017-18 regular season!The three-time defending Eastern Conference champs played a game of musical chairs with their roster prior to yesterday's 3 p.m. ET NBA Tread Deadline and -- when all the dust had settled -- the Cavs had added a second-round draft pick (from Miami), guards Rodney Hood and George Hill (from Utah and Sacramento, respectively) plus G Jordan Clarkson and F Larry Nance, Jr. from the Los Angeles Lakers; on the…

Network Notebook: Are There Any “Real” Hoop Super Powers?

Friday, February 9, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Whether you’re watching Duke/North Carolina on a Thursday night, Purdue/Michigan State on a Saturday, or some other matchup of ranked teams later in February, the question is going to arise in your mind “are these REALLY two of the best teams in the country?”There are no true superpowers this season. Even teams with gaudy won-lost records have weaknesses that are exposed by other quality opponents, or whenever their treys aren’t falling. Villanova can dominate one night, then lose as a 16-point favorite to St. John’s the next. Purdue/Michigan State this weekend matches #3 vs. #4 in the polls…but #3 will…

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