Vegas Sports Masters Blog

Catch More NCAA Tourney Sweet 16 Goodies

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Tuesday, March 26, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  THE NCAA TOURNAMENT’S SWEET 16 –WE HAVE OUR ANNUAL TOURNEY BREAKDOWN CHARTPLUS, QUICK-HITTER SKETCHES OF ALL THE TEAMSSTILL STANDING IN THIS YEAR’S “BIG DANCE” The NCAA Tournament’s first full week of play produced a grand total of only seven outright upsets – and one almost giant upset (see UCF vs. Duke) – but as we gather the troops for the Sweet 16 beginning Thursday night in Louisville and Anaheim ‘ya do gotta wonder if any of these eight regional semifinal games will deliver a big upset or two and do keep in mind that right now there are five games with…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Favorites Win All 16 Weekend Games!

Monday, March 25, 2019 at 1:00 PM

The Dean of Sports Handicapping sure wasn’t expecting to write about something like THIS in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping. This past weekend in the NCAA Tournament, favorites went a stunning 16-0 straight up in the second round.That’s never happened before. It rarely comes close to handicapping. This is the event famous for shocking upsets and Cinderella stories. We came inches away from ONE such event happening when Central Florida’s tip-in at the buzzer rolled off the rim vs. Duke. Otherwise, it was win after win for the favorites.Near-misses for Tennessee and LSU came against Iowa and…

NCAA Tournament Update: Duke Headlines the Sweet 16

Monday, March 25, 2019 at 12:00 AM

WE'RE DOWN TO THE SWEET 16 BUT COULD WE'VE ALREADY SEEN THE TOURNEY'S BIGGEST MOMENT? The odds-on favorites to win it all in this man's NCAA Tournament - the Duke Blue Devils (+ 225) - sure got scared silly in Sunday's epic 77-76 non-cover victory against 13-point underdog UCF. Folks, never has a basketball rolled off a rim in the "Big Dance" with more on the line than when the UCF Knights had its final tip-in attempt slide halfway 'round the cylinder and fall out as it not only kept the Dookies alive but, in essence, likely sabotaged the championship…

Richie Baccellieri: How Sharps are Betting the NCAA Second Round

Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 11:00 AM

We’ve had some time for weekend lines to settle. Here’s a look at how sharps (professional bettors) have been attacking Saturday and Sunday action. Many did VERY well with underdog bets Thursday and Friday. In retrospect, openers were shaded too much against anticipated public action on favorites. Some very good dogs this season.Games are presented in order of tipoffs at each site. SATURDAY’S GAMESJACKSONVILLE12:10 p.m. ET: Maryland vs. LSU (-2.5)2:40 p.m. ET: Wofford vs. Kentucky (-5.5)LSU was bet up from an opener of -1 to -2 on Friday. Then it blew up to -2.5 Saturday morning with many stores testing -3.…

NCAA Tourney -- Round of 32 Winners Comin’ Your Way

Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  NCAA TOURNAMENT –WE HIT THE WEEKEND’S ROUND OF 32 ANDAND – BELIEVE IT OR NOT –ONE-FOURTH OF THE STILL-ALIVETEAMS ARE TWIN-DIGIT SEEDS We looked it up:Last year entering the NCAA Tournament’s Round of 32 games, there were a half-dozen teams that sported double-digit seeds and we were busy going gaga over that factoid.Now, here in March 2019 there are even more … eight of the still-alive teams sport #10-or-lower seeds and so no wonder the NCAA Tourney Underdogs covered 20 of the 32 games played this past Thursday / Friday with the updated spread figure through Friday night’s action reading like…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Reactions to the NCAA Tourney

Friday, March 22, 2019 at 12:00 PM

There were some misguided concerns in the sports wagering world that Las Vegas would lose its appeal during March Madness if betting was legal in other parts of the country. Let me assure you, betting on the NCAA Tournament is bigger and better than ever based on energetic crowds jamming sports books all across the city Thursday.Even with many tourists downloading apps that allowed them to avoid standing in lines, lines were STILL long throughout the day and night Thursday. That’s going to continue today as the “round of 64” concludes, and this weekend in the second round.I wanted to…

Here’s Friday’s NCAA Tournament Games

Friday, March 22, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE NCAA TOURNAMENT UPDATE: LOOKIN' BACK AT THURSDAY WINNERS AND LOOKIN' AHEAD TO FRIDAY'S GAMESGee, the way yesterday's NCAA Tournament was going through the afternoon session you would have thought underdog bettors were gonna be able to hit their local department stores and buy one of everything ... seven-of-eight dogs covered the price tags on Thursday afternoon and that featured the prerequisite #12 seed (Murray State) beating a #5 seed (Marquette) plus mild upsets by #10 seeds Minnesota and Florda.But hang on.The tourney took a took last evening when night-time favs Villanova, Purdue, Wofford, Kentucky, Michigan and Gonzaga all cashed…

Richie Baccellieri: How Sharps are Betting the NCAA First Round

Thursday, March 21, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Normally in this spot, I’d run game-by-game through the schedule to let you know how sharps are betting each matchup. That would be redundant this season because the Wise Guys are hitting most of the underdogs. Lines have dropped from openers up and down the Thursday and Friday schedules with only a few exceptions.Among the reasons for this:*Oddsmakers posted openers that slightly shaded against anticipated public interest. Squares (recreational bettors) tend to bet favorites. They know a lot more about those teams than they do all the underdogs from mid-major or small conferences. Your typical bettor is terrified of putting…

NCAA Tournament: Thursday Games

Thursday, March 21, 2019 at 12:00 AM

HERE'S A SAMPLING OF THURSDAY'S ACTION PLUS, KEY NEWS & NOTESOkay, so we all listened to the TV talking heads the past few days ramble on about the sport's heavyweight teams - Duke and North Carolina and Virginia and Kentucky, etc. but the $64,000 question is how will these bluebloods now fare spreadwise in their opening-round games of this here-and-now NCAA Tournament that really swings into high gear shortly after 12 p.m. Eastern time here on this Thursday, March 21st?Well, check out the following Las Vegas price tags ...Kentucky is a 22-point favorite against Abilene Christian on Thursday night and…

Network Notebook: Challenge of Majors vs. Mid-Majors

Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at 1:00 PM

Recreational bettors often have huge troubles making smart picks in first round NCAA Tournament games matching “teams they’ve heard of” vs. “teams they haven’t.” They know that upsets are common in the Big Dance. But, those point spreads seem so low when a team like LSU (who earned the #1 seed in the SEC) is laying single digits to a team like Yale (does the Ivy League still play basketball?).Here are the mistakes they commonly make:*Betting all the bigger-name favorites*Betting way too much on favorites assuming blowouts are coming*Randomly choosing dogs because they’re “supposed to.”*Trusting something they heard some guy…

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

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 9:00 AM

As promised, I’m back for March Madness with my sharp reports. Today I’ll look at how pro’s have been betting the Tuesday and Wednesday play-in games. Thursday morning I’ll have a rundown of key moves for the “Round of 64.” Saturday morning, I’ll report what I can of sharp action in the “Round of 32.”Some good preliminaries this year. I know a lot of you are anxious to get a look at Belmont tonight. Wednesday’s St. John’s/Arizona State feature could be one of the most heavily bet play-in games ever with the New York audience having a vested interest so…

NCAA Tournament Overview

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  OUR JIM SEZ NCAA TOURNAMENT REPORT –WE GO ‘ROUND THE COUNTRY WITHOUR REGION-BY-REGION SKETCHES PLUSLET YOU KNOW WHAT TEAMS SPORTTHE “BEST VALUE” TO WIN IT ALL Go right ahead and compile all the statistical data you’d like when it comes to this year’s NCAA Tournament … and then we’ll tell you this factoid:Since 2000, #1 seeds have copped 13 of the last 19 national championships while #2 and #3 seeds have combined to snatch up five titles and then 7th-seeded UConn won all the marbles back in 2014.In other words, everyone likes to be “cute” with their brackets out there but…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: How to Handicap the NCAA’s

Monday, March 18, 2019 at 12:00 PM

I have to say that I was fairly impressed with the job done by the selection committee this season. Sure, there are a few head scratchers in the brackets. Villanova won the Big East regular season and tournament, but is seeded at #6 while Marquette is a #4 seed. That doesn’t make any sense. But, compared to the gross errors of past seasons, big improvement!Of course the style of handicapping I’ve been teaching for years here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping doesn’t concern itself much with seeds. You focus on the skills of key players and…

The NCAA Tournament: Getting a Grip on the 68-Team Field

Monday, March 18, 2019 at 12:00 AM

LET THE MADNESS BEGIN AS THE NCAA TOURNAMENT TIPS OFF TUESDAY NIGHT IN DAYTON - AND WE'RE CHOCK FULL OF OPINIONS ON THIS YEAR'S BIG DANCEGeez, please allow us to get something off our chest as we start off this NCAA Tournament-filled column:If you watched ESPN's two-hour Selection Show from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern time last night then you had a few yucks with Kentucky head coach / comedian John Calipari and you learned a little something about the sport's young stars (see Duke's Zion Williamson and Murray State's Ja Morant) but, when it was time for "experts"…

Selection Sunday Can Be a Heart-Breaker

Saturday, March 16, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  THE NCAA TOURNAMENT REPORT –SELECTION SUNDAY GONNA BE A REAL BUMMERFOR A BUNCH OF BUBBLE TEAMS …WE FORECAST WHO’S IN, WHO’S OUTAND PLENTY OF OTHER GOODIES TOO …SOME EARLY-BIRD NCAA TOURNEY TIPS Now, it’s all about the madness … as in what college basketball teams come Sunday night are gonna be really mad they didn’t make this year’s “Big Dance” but let us go on record to state that none of the teams we list below that are gonna get “snubbed” really have a leg to stand on:The fact of the matter is – at least the way we see it…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Betting Over/Unders in Tournaments

Friday, March 15, 2019 at 1:00 PM

We don’t talk very often about handicapping Over/Unders here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping. It’s a niche in this field that doesn’t appeal to everyone. Virtually ALL bettors want to bet teams sides in games. A relative handful like the additional challenge of playing totals.That relative handful can make a killing in college basketball tournaments!Now, I’m not suggesting that you go out and start betting every Over/Under willy nilly. Just be aware that you can find edges because of the complexity of tournament dynamics.Generally speaking, you should be thinking about UNDERS rather than Overs. Oddsmakers know…

College Basketball’s Surprise Squads this Mini-Tourney Week

Friday, March 15, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  THE NCAA TOURNAMENT IS RIGHT ‘ROUNDTHE CORNER AND THERE’S SOME SURPRISING SQUADSLURKING AS THEY LOOK TO STEAL “BIG DANCE” BERTHS –WHAT COULD BE A REAL DILEMMA COME SUNDAYFOR THE KNOW-IT-ALL COMMITTEE FOLKS …DON’T FORGET WEEK 6 OF ALLIANCE FOOTBALL IS THIS WEEKEND Okay, so we’re not gonna sit here and tell you that this week’s College Basketball Conference Tournaments have been chock full of upsets despite the fact that West Virginia (14-19) is still very much alive-n-kickin’ in the Big 12 Tournament and that Nebraska (18-15) is hoping to make it three in a row in the mighty Big 10 Tournament…

The College Mini-Tourneys are in Full Bloom

Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  MORE COLLEGE BASKETBALL MINI-TOURNEY ACTION –WE TACKLE THE AMERICAN ATHLETIC AND BIG WESTPLUS, KEY SPREAD NOTES TOO …NFL FREE AGENCY OFF AND RUNNIN’ Remember what we said here at Jim Hurley’s Network prior to the start of this week?There were gonna be a whole slew of opportunities to cash in on this week’s wall-to-wall College Basketball Conference Tournaments – otherwise known as the Mini Tourneys – as we informed y’all that there were 168 games in all from Monday-thru-Selection Sunday. Well, here’s a little update as we head into the uber-busy Thursday menu that features 54 games including action from all…

Network Notebook: If Gonzaga Can Lose, Anyone Can Lose!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at 1:00 PM

You would be hard-pressed to find many who thought Gonzaga would lose outright to St. Mary’s Tuesday night in the West Coast Conference championship game. Sure, “betting” St. Mary’s could be justified, either plus the points or on the money line as a long shot paying 10/1. That’s not the same thing as BELIEVING they WOULD win.But, that’s the nature of conference tourneys. Elite teams who are locked into Big Dance bids have nothing to play for. They’re all looking ahead to next week when results really matter. Plus, they have trouble getting up to face teams they’ve already crushed.…

Get on Board For More NCAA Conference Tournies

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE COLLEGE B-BALL REPORT: WE'RE ROLLIN' WITH MORE CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT PREVIEWS!Okay, let's not skip a beat - it's time for more of this week's College Basketball Conference Tournaments - a/k/a, the mini tourneys:First, this key reminder that Jim Hurley's Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will keep beating the books with more College Basketball and NBA winners plus don't forget it's Week 6 straight ahead in the AAF (Alliance of American Football), so, let's cash in big all this week right here online or 1-800-323-4453. Keep in mind when there's day-time hoops, we'll have our selections bright and early! Keep in…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Handicapping Major Conference Tournaments

Monday, March 11, 2019 at 1:00 PM

Major Conference Tournament action begins Tuesday with the ACC. The other power conferences get underway Wednesday. Though, some of these leagues are so big now that most of the top teams in the nation won’t be on the floor until Thursday.The single best tip I can give students here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping for analyzing major tournaments is to focus on THE MOTIVATION FACTOR. This is a great equalizer on neutral floors because…*Many of the best teams really don’t have anything to play for this week. They’re already locks to get in the Dance. You’ve…

It’s Mini-Tourney Week ’Round the Land

Sunday, March 10, 2019 at 12:00 AM

HERE'S MORE COLLEGE B-BALL CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT GOODIES -WE GET YOU QUICK-HITTER COMMENTS ON FIVE DIFFERENT MINI-TOURNIES THIS WEEKAre you in the mood for some real-live March Madness?Good, 'cause between now and this coming Sunday -a/k/a Selection Sunday - there are a whopping total of 168 College Basketball Conference Tournament games on tap and they include everything from the ACC to the Atlantic-10 to the Big 12 to the Sun Belt Conference ... and everything in between.Hey, there's gonna be a whole of movin' and shakin' when it comes to next week's NCAA Tournament bids based on these aforementioned 168 games…

Blockbuster Weekend in College Hoops World

Saturday, March 9, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE COLLEGE HOOPS REPORT - THE WEEKEND'S BLOCKBUSTER GAMES PLUS, HERE'S THE TEAMS NEEDING TWO-OR-MORE WINS TO GET INTO NCAA TOURNEY CONVERSATION News flash: This final regular-season weekend for a bunch of College Basketball "name" teams will be a real litmus test of what's straight ahead when the NCAA Tournament begins later this month ... the likes of Duke, North Carolina, Michigan, Michigan State and Houston all play in high-profile games this weekend and should we at all be surprised if one or more of 'em appear in next month's Final Four in Minneapolis?Of course not, should be your response!There's…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Understanding a Key Dichotomy

Friday, March 8, 2019 at 12:00 PM

I haven’t talked much about this in the past here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping. But, it’s an important theme for students to understand as they continue to handicap mid-major tournaments this weekend, and then major events beginning next week.There are two types of teams that can make you money in tournaments.*For individual games, you can score easy winners by recognizing the highs and lows of INCONSISTENT teams. This characteristic rarely wins a conference tournament because teams can’t win games in their “down” performances. Tough to string together three or four straight victories if you’re up…

Get on Board with College B-Ball Mini-Tournament Goodies

Friday, March 8, 2019 at 12:00 AM

COLLEGE HOOP TALK - THERE'S MORE MINI-TOURNEY ACTION PLUS, LAST NIGHT'S BIG WINNERS ...IT'S WEEK 5 OF THE AAF It's March and there's sure to be a whole lot of "Madness" straight ahead on the road to Minneapolis (see Final Four on Saturday, April 6th and National Championship Game on Monday, April 8th):Heck, the College Basketball Conference Tournaments are just now swinging into action - there are five different leagues that are busy today with their mini-tournies on this second Friday of the month (see the Missouri Valley, West Coast, Southern, MAAC and Ohio Valley) and we know you're all…

More NCAA Tournament Talk & NBA Matchups Tonight

Thursday, March 7, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE COLLEGE HOOPS REPORT - HERE'S OUR UP-TO-THE-MINUTE PROJECTED TOP 8 SEEDS IN EACH REGION OF THIS MONTH'S NCAA TOURNAMENT ...NBA THURSDAY NITE TNT SHOWDOWNS FROM MILWAUKEE & PORTLANDOkay, so maybe you're of the mind that NCAA Tournament seedings don't matter all that much - after all, last year's #16 seed UMBC knocked off mighty #1 Virginia and thus wrecked the notion that a #16 seed "would never" beat a No. 1 and certainly we've seen loads of double-digit seeds survive-and-advance a round or two (or three) many years in tourney play. Still, let's not kid ourselves: It's better to…

Network Notebook: What’s on Duke’s Horizon without Zion?

Wednesday, March 6, 2019 at 9:00 AM

Until a certain Duke player blew out a shoe and injured his knee, the Blue Devils were at the top of the college basketball futures board. Zion Williamson was so dominant on a talented roster, that even other legitimate powers like Gonzaga and Virginia weren’t seen as likely to derail Duke.As of publication deadlines, whether or not Zion will return this season is a big question mark. Many NBA advisors are suggesting it’s a dumb risk with so many millions at stake in the very near future. Old school college voices want him to return to prove his loyalty and…

College Basketball’s Mini Tournies Are up and Runnin’

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE JIM SEZ REPORT: HERE'S THE COLLEGE HOOPS UPDATE AS WE'RE TRACKING THIS WEEK'S MINI-TOURNIESForgive us if you've seen us write this once (or more) before: This year's College Basketball Conference Tournaments - a/k/a the mini-tourneys, as we'd like to say - likely will KO a batch of NCAA Tournament "deserving" teams and put forth a handful-or-more teams that come from nowhere to cop their wild / often wacky league tournaments.Sure, you can say it happens each and every year but if you've truly been following the college hoops universe this 2018-19 campaign then you know that parity is widespread…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Handicapping Mid-Major Tournaments

Monday, March 4, 2019 at 9:00 AM

I’m as excited as anybody that March Madness officially begins Tuesday night with the first postseason tournament of the 2018-19 college basketball campaign. That’s the quarterfinal round of the Horizon League event that begins at conference sites. More mid-major tournaments get going this week, before everyone else across the land plays next week.Handicapping these mid-major tourneys can be different than handicapping the bigger conferences. Many of these leagues will only get ONE spot in the Big Dance. So, the best team in the conference has THE MOTIVATION FACTOR on its side in addition to the most dynamic PLAYMAKERS AND GAMEBREAKERS.…

College B-Ball’s Desperate Teams This Final Week of Play

Monday, March 4, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE COLLEGE HOOPS UPDATE: HERE'S A BATCH OF TEAMS IN "GOTTA-HAVE-IT" MODE THIS WEEK ...THE ALLIANCE FOOTBALL: HERE'S THE WEEK 4 RUNDOWN AS DOGS RULE THE ROOSTOkay, so if you've been paying real close attention to the world of College Basketball this year - and especially these past couple of weeks - than you know that more than a dozen teams have popped up on various "on-the-bubble" lists and so needless to say there are a batch of hoop squads that face what we'll call "gotta-have-it" games this week.We'll concentrate here in today's Jim Sez column on a quartet of…

NCAA Tourney Win it All Odds ... and More!

Saturday, March 2, 2019 at 12:00 AM

COLLEGE BASKETBALL'S ODDS TO WIN IT ALL: WE WEIGH IN WITH SOME KEY COMMENTS AS WE NEAR THE CONFERENCE MINI-TOURNEY ACTION ...NFL DRAFT ODDS & ENDS: WE'RE TALKING FIRST-ROUND DRAFT TRADESGotta admit we're really looking forward to this year's various conference tournaments - a/k/a the mini-tournies - because our contention is there will be a handful of teams that are gonna make a run from the middle of the standings pack to nab an automatic bid to this month's NCAA Tournament.In case you're wondering, here's the teams that are not in or near first place in their respective conferences /…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Familiarize Yourself with “Outsiders”

Friday, March 1, 2019 at 12:00 PM

We have a very unique situation in college basketball this season where several relatively small schools that don’t belong to major conferences are likely to earn bids to the NCAA Tournament even if they don’t win their conference events.Now, I’m not talking about Gonzaga. That’s a strong program with a great history. They will deservedly be a #1 seed. You should already be familiar with the head coach, their veteran stars, and hopefully you watched them beat Duke in Maui early in the season. That was a great, well-executed game.Wofford? Do you know anything about Wofford? You might remember that…

Alliance Week 4 Plus Key College B-Ball Notes

Friday, March 1, 2019 at 12:00 AM

 THE ALLIANCE FOOTBALL –TRACKING THE WEEK 4 ACTION …COLLEGE BASKETBALL’S WEEKEND NOTES The Alliance of American Football – a/k/a the AAF – heads into Week 4 of this 10-game regular season and there’s still a couple of teams that are perfect SU (straight-up):The Birmingham Iron and the Orlando Apollos each are 3-and-oh while zooming into Saturday / Sunday action and here’s the lowdown when it comes to Week 4: On Saturday, it’s …SAN DIEGO (2-1) at MEMPHIS (0-3) – 4 p.m. ET, Bleacher Report Live … The switch to QB Philip Nelson has powered up the 6.5-point road favorite San Diego Fleet…

Bubble Teams on Tonight’s College Sked

Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE COLLEGE HOOPS REPORT - CHECKING OUT THE "BUBBLE TEAMS" ON THIS VERY BUSY THURSDAY NITE SKED ...NBA'S WHO'S HOT / WHO'S NOT TEAMSIn yesterday's edition of Jim Sez, we analyzed how the nationally-ranked College Basketball teams failed to cover six of the seven games played on Tuesday's docket - the Las Vegas prices might have been a tad bloated in a couple of cases (see 11-point favorite North Carolina over Syracuse 93-85) - as we asked the question whether the ranked teams were feeling any pressure as we headed towards next month's NCAA Tournament and thus they caved underneath…

Network Notebook: Ranked College Teams Flat Again Tuesday

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at 9:00 AM

It’s a point that JIM HURLEY tries to drive home for you every college basketball season. Even the best teams have trouble playing well late in February knowing that March Madness is just around the corner.We saw several great examples of that in Tuesday night action. Ranked teams either started slowly…finished poorly…or barely showed up at all. Here’s an all-inclusive list of results. You’ll see that only one team covered its spread!#3 Duke (-3) lost outright at Virginia Tech 77-72. This was a natural flat spot off the emotional “rally around the flag” road win at Syracuse this past weekend.…

College Hoops -- Key Mid-Week Games on Tap

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  THE COLLEGE B-BALL MID-WEEK MENU –FEAST YOUR ORBS ON THESE KEYTUESDAY-THRU-THURSDAY SHOWDOWNS(AND CHECK OUT THE KEY SPREAD STATS TOO) Okay, so let’s call these the “dog days” of this 2018-19 college basketball season:We’re not quite into the March Madness mania just yet but these late-season / regular-season games the final week of February are uber-important and so we’ll tackle a few of the Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday tilts in just a second but first this key reminder … Jim Hurley’s Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will keep beating the Las Vegas and offshore books with more College Basketball and NBA winners…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Litmus Test Losers

Monday, February 25, 2019 at 11:00 AM

There were two college basketball games I was playing very close attention to this past weekend. I want to focus today’s coursework in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping on two high-profile losers of those litmus tests.Both were in serious consideration for #1 or #2 seeds in recent days. Now, it’s possible both will fall down to #3 seeds.  I’ll take them one at a time. TENNESSEE LOST AT LSU SATURDAYYou probably know that LSU’s best player was a scratch minutes before tipoff. This should have allowed Tennessee to erase the memory of the prior week’s horrible loss at…

College Hoops

Monday, February 25, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE COLLEGE HOOPS UPDATE - WE PRESENT OUR "OSCAR-THEMED" WINNERS FOR THIS PAST WEEKEND ...THE AAF WEEK 3 RESULTS ... PLUS, IT'S OUR NBA NOTEBOOKGo right ahead. Take a long walk on our Jim Sez "red carpet" and find out who our weekend winners were ... the envelopes, please!BEST PERFORMANCE BY A TOP 10 TEAM UNDER THE GUN - Let's hand the statuette to the #3 Virginia Cavaliers who roared back from a 12-point first-half deficit to bop the 5-point home underdog Louisville Cardinals 64-52 and a heaping round of applause goes to G De'Andre Hunter who poured in 26…

Our Early-Bird NCAA Tourney Brackets

Saturday, February 23, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE COLLEGE B-BALL REPORT: HERE'S A FUN PEEK OF HOW THIS YEAR'S NCAA TOURNAMENT COULD LOOK...(YES, VERY MUCH SUBJECT TO CHANGE!) One thing about these final three weeks of College Basketball action before we get to Selection Sunday on March 17th:There's gonna be a whole lot of slam-bang hoops straight ahead where a batch of high-profile teams are going to get beat and where a fair share of middling teams likely will find ways to win their mini-tournies and thus earn higher NCAA Tournament seeds. In a moment, we'll present our "Could-It-Be 2019 NCAA Tournament" but first this quickie reminder…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: NBA Post-Break Handicapping

Friday, February 22, 2019 at 1:00 PM

Pro basketball gets much more intense at the top of the NBA after the All-Star Break, but much less intense for non-playoff teams or those tanking at the very bottom to improve their draft position.This can make it very tricky to handicap the board on a daily basis. Oddsmakers already know which teams are trying and which teams aren’t. It’s your job to dig even deeper, often focusing on tricky angles like:*Who “should” be trying, but is coasting instead*Who “shouldn’t” be trying, but is anywayI’m always emphasizing THE MOTIVATION FACTOR to you here in the coursework. Late season NBA teams…

AAF Week 3 Action Plus Key College Top 25 Tilts

Friday, February 22, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE JIM SEZ WEEKEND REPORT - WE CHECK OUT ALLIANCE FOOTBALL WEEK 3 ACTION PLUS, THERE'S COLLEGE HOOPS TOO!It has not taken very long to establish the Orlando Apollos as the class of the brand-new Alliance of American Football: Head ball coach Steve Spurrier's squad is 2-0 SU (straightup) and 2-0 ATS (against the spread) - the only team in the AAF with a perfect spread mark so far - and now here's Week 3 on the immediate horizon this winter weekend and Orlando is a whopping 14.5-point betting favorite for the Saturday night home game against 0-and-2 Memphis.Last weekend's…

Duke’s Disastrous Night on Tobacco Road

Thursday, February 21, 2019 at 12:00 AM

COLLEGE HOOP UPDATE: #1 DUKE LOSES ZION FIRST, GAME NEXT IN 88-72 SETBACK VS. ARCHRIVAL NORTH CAROLINATHE NBA REPORT: HERE'S SOME POST-BREAK TEAMS TO WATCH ...THE NFL DRAFT: WE FORECAST PICKS #21-THRU-32 (AND REVIEW OUR TOP 20 PICKS FIRST) Maybe Duke received a bad batch of "kicks" from the folks at Nike ... hey, star freshman Zion Williamson's knee injury in the opening minute of last night's never-in-doubt 88-72 loss against 9.5-point underdog North Carolina surely is no laughing matter although early reports claim he suffered only a "mild knee sprain" but when's the last time you saw a kid blow…

Network Notebook: NBA at the Break

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 at 9:00 AM

You longtime readers of JIM HURLEY’S HANDICAPPING NOTEBOOK know we like to check in on a pet stat periodically in both pro basketball and Major League Baseball. Unbalanced home/road splits can sometimes cause illusions in the middle of the season. At the end, everything balances out (41 at home and on the road in the NBA, 81 apiece in MLB). In the middle, it NEVER is completely balanced.The stat “Wins Minus Home Games Played” tells you at a glance who the possible pretenders are. Teams who have good records because they’ve played more than half of their games at home…

College Basketball’s Mid-Week Report

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 at 12:00 AM

OUR JIM SEZ PROJECTIONS FOR THE TOP 4 SEEDS IN EACH REGION OF THE NCAA TOURNAMENT AND MUCH MORE!The eyes of the college basketball world will be on Wednesday night's epic #8 North Carolina at #1 Duke showdown inside Cameron Indoor Stadium but let's not forget some of the other high-octane mid-week hoop games on the docket such as #17 Villanova at Georgetown, #18 Louisville at Syracuse, Florida at #13 LSU and #6 Nevada at San Diego State - all of them on Wednesday - and then on Thursday's sked it's #7 Michigan at Minnesota, Pepperdine at #2 Gonzaga and…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Hitting a Wall

Monday, February 18, 2019 at 1:00 PM

In mid-February you’ll hear TV announcers talk about freshman players “hitting a wall” in college basketball. That’s because we’ve reached the point in the calendar where high school seasons would normally be ending  (in terms of the number of games played), and first-year college students aren’t prepared for their new endurance test.Personally, I think people make too much of this most of the time. A coach doesn’t want to admit he made a tactical error, so he blames a freshman. Coaches make so many mistakes! And, even when it does happen, the player eventually gets a second wind in March…

Key College Hoop Games This Week Plus AAF Action

Monday, February 18, 2019 at 12:00 AM

COLLEGE BASKETBALL'S BLOCKBUSTER WEEK - HERE'S THE BEST GAMES EVERY DAY THIS MONDAY-THRU-THURSDAY ...PLUS, THE AAF GETS COOKIN' WITH SOME WEEK 2 DANDIES INCLUDING ORLANDO-SAN ANTONIO "OVER" WINNER FOR JIM HURLEY'S NETWORKOkay, so following last night's three-point crazy NBA All-Star Game - see Team LeBron 178, Team Giannis 164 - we bid adieu to the pro hoopsters until Thursday night as they continue a looong break and hats off to All-Star MVP Kevin Durant who continues to amaze with the sweetest stroke we've ever seen from a big man. Durant's 31-point / 7-rebound game was the best of the best…

NBA Western Conference Report Card Grades

Saturday, February 16, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA REPORT: HERE'S THE WESTERN CONFERENCE REPORT CARD GRADES ...The NBA All-Star Game break began Friday and there won't be any "meaningful" games in the league till we get to Thursday, Feb. 21 ... now that's a break! We'll get you our annual NBA Report Cards in just a second - today's the NBA Western Conference - but first this key reminder:Jim Hurley's Network of Handicappers and Bloggers bopped the Las Vegas and offshore books throughout the NFL Season and now it's time to romp on the hardwood and with more Football goodies from the AAF. So, let's cash…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: In-Game/Halftime Betting

Friday, February 15, 2019 at 12:00 PM

As legalized sports betting continues to grow across the country, it’s becoming more and more clear that bettors will have options well beyond the classic full-game team sides and totals. The industry is convinced that “in-game” wagering is going to be huge (because European companies have profited so much with soccer in this regard). Also, young creative brains are coming up with “fantasy-style” props that sports fans seem to be enjoying. Bettors who visited New Jersey in recent weeks are raving about all the options available.Honestly, most of my experience is with full-game wagering. No comparison. I’ve been as professional…

NBA Report Cards Plus AAF Week 2 Goodies

Friday, February 15, 2019 at 12:00 AM

IT'S NBA REPORT CARDS - HERE'S THE EASTERN CONFERENCE ...CHECKIN' IN ON THE ALLIANCE OF AMERICAN FOOTBALLJust a reminder that the brand-new Alliance of American Football (AAF) sets out for Week 2 action this Saturday / Sunday:On Saturday, it's ...Salt Lake City at Birmingham (2 p.m. ET) - The home teams went 4-0 SU (straight-up) and ATS (against the spread) in Week 1 play and now the host Iron is a 7-point favorite against a Salt Lake City squad that could be without QB Josh Woodrum (hamstring).Arizona at Memphis (8 p.m. ET) - The visiting Hotshots are an 11.5-point fav…

College Hoops and More NFL Draft Coverage

Thursday, February 14, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE JIM SEZ REPORT: HERE'S THE UPDATES WITH TOP 4 SEEDS IN EACH NCAA TOURNAMENT REGION ...THE NBA'S BIGGEST MONEY-BURNERS ...OUR NFL DRAFT FORECASTS ROLL ON WITH A PROJECTED LOOK AT PICKS #11-THRU-#20Happy Valentine's Day to one and all ... now here's a real sweetheart of a Jim Sez column as we feature College Basketball, NBA and our latest NFL Draft projections too:Okay, so Selection Sunday is still more than a month away - see March 17th - but in keeping with our weekly updates of who we see as gobbling up the top four seeds in each region, let's…

Network Notebook: Flat in February

Wednesday, February 13, 2019 at 12:00 PM

In a sport where everyone can’t stop talking about “March Madness,” the month of February can get short shrift. Many top college basketball teams played that way Tuesday night. They can’t wait for tournament time to arrive.*Michigan (-7) never showed up in a 75-69 loss at woeful Penn State. That was just Penn State’s second win of the season in conference action. Michigan is still on the short list of national title hopefuls. But, elite teams are very mortal when they come out flat. Penn State isn’t even NIT caliber this season.*Kentucky (-9) was upset at home by LSU 73-71.…

NBA’s Best Bets in 2018-19 Plus Tonight’s Key College Games

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  THE NBA SPREAD SHEET –HERE’S TO THE LEAGUE TOPMONEY-MAKING SQUADS HEADINGTOWARDS THE WEEKEND’S ALL-STAR BREAK …COLLEGE B-BALL NOTEBOOK:THE TUESDAY NITE RUNDOWN HAS#2 DUKE IN ANOTHER KEY ROAD GAME The NBA All-Star Game is set for this Sunday in Charlotte, so there’s only a batch of games between now and Thursday night’s limited three-game sked.Sounds like a good time to examine who are the league’s biggest money-makers so far … and why: DALLAS (34-21) – Trust us, it ain’t easy playing .618 ball ATS (against the spread) when you’re some two-thirds through the way in regular-season play but the Mavericks – just 26-30…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Should You Bet the AAF?

Monday, February 11, 2019 at 1:00 PM

In our last class get-together, I mentioned that was taking a “wait and see” approach to the Alliance of American Football. You probably watched some of the action this past weekend. Weather was lousy across the nation, so most sports fans (and bettors) at least checked out parts of a telecast while staying inside on their couches.To me, the league earned a mixed grade. Play on the field couldn’t possibly live up to network hype. You’d have thought General Patton was one of the head coaches, and every team was full of young, hungry athletes fighting for their chance in…

Is Football Season Back Already?

Monday, February 11, 2019 at 12:00 AM

HERE'S THE QUESTION - ARE YOU FOLKS MISSING FOOTBALL? 'CAUSE WE HAVE "THE ALLIANCE" ON OUR JIM SEZ RADAR AS THE NEW LEAGUE KICKS OFF ...COLLEGE BASKETBALL NOTES - WHAT'S STRAIGHT AHEAD FOR POWER CONFERENCE BUBBLE TEAMS? ...THE NFL DRAFT REPORT: WHAT THE TOP 10 PICKS WOULD LOOK LIKE RIGHT HERE AND RIGHT NOW If you were suffering from post-Super Bowl / football-in-general withdrawals this past week, who could blame you? Still, following a 22-weekend run of gridiron action, we were all faced these past couple of days with a no-football weekend ... unless you tuned into the Alliance of…

College Hoops Hot-Hot-Hot Weekend

Saturday, February 9, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  THE COLLEGE HOOPS REPORT –WEEKEND’S MARQUEE MATCHUPSPLUS, BUBBLE TEAM TALK TOO …THE NFL DRAFT:WHAT MOVES WE COULD SEEIN ROUND ONE AS RAIDERS,PATRIOTS & RAMS (AMONG OTHERS)LOOK TO MOVE ON UP There’s a batch of hotsy-totsy matchups on the weekend docket in the world of College Basketball:Count ‘em up and there’s four monster-sized showdowns on Saturday pitting Top 25 teams against one another – including #2 Duke at #3 Virginia – and on Sunday there’s a key Top 25 showdown from the better-than-you-think American Athletic Conference.We’ll touch on a batch of these games and get in some “bubble team” chatter too but…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Handicapping Hoops Totals

Friday, February 8, 2019 at 1:00 PM

It’s been a long time since we talked about handicapping basketball Over/Unders in the coursework here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping. I know most of you are focused on team sides. Most of my paying customers are as well. But, I want to make sure that those of you who DO bet totals are practicing the proper fundamentals.The first thing to remember is that betting totals is mostly you against the “sharps.” The general public doesn’t bet these, except maybe in very high profile TV games. You can’t take advantage of “bad public moves” because they’re…

College B-Ball’s Better-Than-You-Think Spread Sides & NBA Trade Deadline Chatter

Friday, February 8, 2019 at 12:00 AM

COLLEGE BASKETBALL'S BETTER-THAN-YOU THINK TEAMS - THEY'RE BREAKING THE BANK ATS THIS YEAR ...THE NBA TRADE DEADLINE: THE MOVERS AND SHAKERS (AND A LOT OF SIT-STILL TEAMS TOO)Contrary to what the mass media might tell y'all, there's been a whole lot more to this here-and-now College Basketball season than simply the Duke Blue Devils (okay, so they are -140 to win it all at last glance!).The truth of the matter is while Duke's a handsome 14-8 ATS (against the spread) this year, there are a batch of Division 1 teams that have been major money-makers and some of these squads…

NBA Trade Talk -- And More!

Thursday, February 7, 2019 at 12:00 AM

NBA TRADE DEADLINE LOOMS - WHO'S GOING WHERE AT CRUNCH TIME? ...THE COLEGE B-BALL REPORT: OUR TOP SEEDS UPDATE PLUS, TWO OF TONIGHT'S KEY TILTSLet's just say that in a "perfect world" by 3 p.m. Eastern time today, the Los Angeles Lakers will "have their man" (see New Orleans' mega-star Anthony Davis) and the likes of the Toronto Raptors and Oklahoma City Thunder will have added a key piece or two in their attempts of filling out a championship-to-be roster.Folks, it ain't ever a "perfect world" when it comes to the NBA and so that's why we believe you'll see…

Network Notebook: Superpower Research

Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at 12:00 PM

College basketball fans and bettors are in for a real treat the next few weeks. We have a unique situation where teams battling for #1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament will be matched up against each other.If you’ve been following the sport, even just casually, you know that Duke and Virginia from the ACC are in line for top slots (with North Carolina possibly about to knock on the door)…that Tennessee and hard-charging Kentucky from the SEC are also very much in that discussion…that Michigan and Michigan State from the Big 10 were up until very recently, and may be…

Wrappin’ Up The Football Season Plus College Hoop Goodies

Tuesday, February 5, 2019 at 12:00 AM

IT'S THE SUPER BOWL 53 AFTERMATH COLUMN - WE TIE UP ALL THE LOOSE ENDS OF THIS FOOTBALL SEASON WITH THE COMPLETE NFL POINTSPREAD STANDINGS CHART PLUS THERE'S THE ODDS TO WIN IT ALL LIST FOR 2019 (AND MORE!) ... PLUS COLLEGE HOOP NOTEBOOKWhen the curtain finally came all the way down on this just-completed 2018 NFL Season it was - to borrow a phrase - same old / same old as the New England Patriots snagged the franchise's sixth Super Bowl title since 2001.The Pats have now won every other Super Bowl the past five years - in 2014,…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: February’s “Motivation” Factor

Monday, February 4, 2019 at 1:00 PM

Now that the Super Bowl is behind us, it’s time for students here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping to focus on basketball. For most of you, that means COLLEGE basketball. History has made it very clear that most gamblers love riding down to the to March Madness through February and March, before switching over to the NBA once the playoffs begin.Regular students know that my fundamentals for handicapping any sport involve the study of PLAYMAKERS AND GAMEBREAKERS, followed by THE MOTIVATION FACTOR. When the stars align, those provide a very powerful combination that will lead to…

All Hail the Patriots -- Again -- As Super Champs

Monday, February 4, 2019 at 12:00 AM

SUPER BOWL LIII - PATRIOTS KO RAMS 13-3 IN DEFENSIVE DOGFIGHT AS N'ENGLAND ROLLS TO A SIXTH TITLE ... HURLEY CONTINUES BIG GAME WIN STREAK, TABS TE UNDER!A QUICK GLANCE AT 2019 NFL FAVORITES FOR THE LOMBARDI TROPHY ...COLLEGE ROUND-BALL NEWS / NOTESJust call it the Joy of Six ... As in a record-tying six Super Bowl trophies for the inimitable and peerless New England Patriots.Sure, the Pats didn't exactly light up the scoreboard as they did in previous playoff wins this year against the Los Angeles Chargers (a 41-28 win/cover) and the Kansas City Chiefs (a dramatic 37-31 overtime…

More Super Sunday Facts / Figures Plus College B-Ball Stuff

Saturday, February 2, 2019 at 12:00 AM

 IT’S SUPER BOWL 53 WEEKEND –HERE’S SOME FUN FACTS/FIGURESAS WE GEAR UP FOR SUNDAY’S SLAM-BANG AFFAIRPLUS, COLLEGE B-BALL NOTES TOO Always fun to think “what if” when it comes to those folks holding Super Bowl LIII “Win it All” tickets from back in the summer … if you’ve got the New England Patriots to pay out 6-to-1 (see our chart below) to win SB 53, do you “hedge your bet” and place a chunk on the Los Angeles Rams plus the 2.5 or maybe 3 points here?Most bettors we’ve spoken to this week say that’s definitely the strategy to employ here:Heck,…

Richie Baccellieri: How Sharps are Betting the Super Bowl

Friday, February 1, 2019 at 4:00 PM

Actually, the big story through the two-week build to Super Bowl 53 is that the sharps WEREN’T betting the Super Bowl! Almost all pro bettors wanted the Los Angeles Rams +3 against the New England Patriots. Sports book operators have been deciding whether or not they were going to give sharps the most important number in football.Media coverage of sports betting has grown tremendously over the past couple of seasons. That means you already know that the game opened near pick-em, with early public money (and some sharps) hitting the Patriots at pick-em, -1, and -2 (sharps preferring the Pats…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Handicapping the Super Bowl

Friday, February 1, 2019 at 1:00 PM

You may be thinking that KELSO STURGEON couldn’t possibly have anything new and interesting to say about this Sunday’s Super Bowl matching the AFC Champion New England Patriots and the NFC Champion Los Angeles Rams. You’ve been watching much of the analysis on TV. Even if you kept the TV off your buddies have been talking about the game.Nobody can escape pre-Super Bowl hype!It’s even worse in Las Vegas. More TV and radio networks are sending pundits here for the big game because sports betting has become more accepted across the country. Any legitimate information source will have reporters in…

Our Jim Sez Super Bowl 53 Preview is Here

Friday, February 1, 2019 at 12:00 AM

OUR SUPER BOWL LIII PREVIEW - IT'S PATRIOTS VS. RAMS IN SUNDAY SHOWDOWN SOME 17 YEARS TO THE DAY FROM THEIR FIRST SUPE MATCHUPYou can set your watch to it … every 17 years on this very date the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams (formerly from St. Louis) square off in a Super Bowl showdown. Hey, if we're writing this in the year 2036 than we won't be kidding!All we know now is when they close the curtain on this here-and-now 2018 NFL season with Super Bowl LIII on Sunday, Feb. 3rd, either the Patriots will be…

Super Bowl 53 Props and More!

Thursday, January 31, 2019 at 12:00 AM

SUPER BOWL LIII - HERE'S SOME PROP PLAYS TO CONSIDER FOR THIS SUNDAY'S GAME …THE COLLEGE B-BALL REPORT: WE ENTER FEBRUARY AND GET YOU THE TOP 10 SEEDS IN EACH REGION OF THE NCAA TOURNAMENT Okay, so you know that the Las Vegas price tags - both the Side and the Totals - have been sitting there at New England - 2.5 points and 56.5 points for the past few days now although we've personally run into a few folks who claim "their guy" has the Patriots at -3 points here for Super Bowl LIII.Jim Hurley's Network of Handicappers and…

Network Notebook: Handicapping the Super Bowl

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 at 1:00 PM

While having an annual two-week preamble to the Super Bowl is great for building drama, it can be horrible for casual bettors who don’t know how to separate what’s important from what isn’t.Any TV network that covers any sport suddenly has five guys at a long desk acting like experts. They would all be broke if they had to bet their sports opinions. Instead, somebody pays them to sit in front of a camera and tell you how great both teams are.Now…some of them are going to end up being right because one of the teams HAS to cover the…

Super Bowl Preview

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 at 12:00 AM

The NFL brings us their big show and it will be a great one for 2019.Tom Brady and Bill Belichick bring us the 2019 version of the New England Patriots and they are good - as usual. We all heard from the beginning of the season how this is the end of their run. Sure, the end is coming, it's just not this season. This year's edition of the Patriots team took its time to get serious about putting all the pieces together, make them fit and work well. That is not unusual for a Belichick team, as he treats…

Super Bowl Notes Plus NBA Pointspread Standings

Tuesday, January 29, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  IT’S SUPER BOWL 53:CHECK OUT “WHEN THE RAMS HAVE THE BALL” …NBA POINTSPREAD STANDINGS:SPURS, MAVS THE BEST BETS SO FAR Here’s the straight facts:The Los Angeles Rams ranked second in the National Football League in total offense in this 2018 regular-season – third in rushing (139.4 yards per game) and fifth in passing (295.6 ypg) -- while scoring 527 total points (or 32.9 points per game) which ranked second in the league behind the Kansas City Chiefs who averaged a whopping 35.3 ppg this year.In the post-season so far, the Rams have scored “only” 30 and 26 points in back-to-back wins/covers…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: How Much is a Player Worth?

Monday, January 28, 2019 at 1:00 PM

With news breaking Monday morning that Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans wanted to be traded, this is a good time to revisit the discussion of how much a player is “worth” to oddsmakers and bettors.You regular students here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping won’t be surprised to learn that I disagree with oddsmakers, and many other handicappers regarding this topic. Personally, I don’t believe you can determine a players point value in a vacuum. A PLAYMAKER or GAMEBRAKER might be worth a few to several points on certain teams that lack depth, but might…

The Countdown is On for Super Bowl 53

Monday, January 28, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  IT’S SUPER BOWL WEEK –AND WE START OFF OUR JIM SEZ GAME ANALYSIS WITH“WHEN THE PATRIOTS HAVE THE BALL” …PLUS, COLLEGE BASKETBALL’S TEAMS TO WATCHAS WE NEAR THE CRUCIAL MONTH OF FEBRUARY It’s official.The countdown is on for Super Bowl LIII this Sunday in Atlanta (6:30 p.m. ET kickoff on CBS) and it’s time to break down this New England Patriots versus Los Angeles Rams showdown on an everyday basis till we get to Super Sunday.In a moment we’ll begin our week-long game analysis with our first category – “When the Patriots Have the Ball” – and we’ll get down-and-dirty with…

College Hoops -- It’s a Monster Weekend on Tap

Saturday, January 26, 2019 at 12:00 AM

COLLEGE BASKETBALL'S MONSTER WEEKEND - TRACKING THE TOP TEAMS AND CHECKIN' OUT THE SEC VS. BIG 12 TILTS ...THE SUPER BOWL 53 NOTEBOOKIt's the weekend before Super Bowl LIII - so that means it is time to hunker down with a whole lot of college hoops.Folks, it's really a master-blaster weekend when you consider all the top teams in action and that includes #1 Tennessee who is part of the SEC versus Big 12 head-to-head action with the Volunteers hosting West Virginia here on this final Saturday in January. We'll zip through a bunch of this weekend's college b-ball games…

Richie Baccellieri: College Basketball Money Makers

Friday, January 25, 2019 at 4:00 PM

We have a week off from football, so I’m going to devote my usual Friday report to money makers in college basketball. I’ll talk about how sharps are betting the Super Bowl on next Friday’s update. If you’ve been paying any attention at all to sports media, you know that all the early money is on New England at -2 or less, while sharps (and much of the public) are waiting to see if they can get the Rams at +3 before kickoff. (No reason to write an entire article telling you THAT!)Let’s go through some big TV conferences in…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Scouting Sparty

Friday, January 25, 2019 at 1:00 PM

Normally I focus on “big picture” handicapping here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping. We talk about the fundamentals that matter most. We talk about on-field evolution of the various sports. We rarely focus an entire class session to one individual team.Today, I want to do that with the Michigan State basketball team. The Spartans are on a fantastic run that’s completely stumped oddsmakers and “due theory” bettors. The most recent example was Thursday night, when Michigan State (-5) won at Iowa 82-67. This seemed like an ideal spot for Iowa because it was a “TV home…

More Supe 53 Stats Plus College Basketball Notes

Friday, January 25, 2019 at 12:00 AM

SUPER BOWL LIII NOTEBOOK - CHECKING OUT THE BRADY VS. GOFF PLAYOFF STATS ...COLLEGE ROUNDBALL REPORT: THE MID-MAJORS THAT DESERVE NCAA TOURNEY BIDWish we had a nickel for every time the media has talked about New England Patriots QB Tom Brady and Los Angeles Rams QB Jared Goff during this Super Bowl "bye week"!Hey, it's only natural that the Super Bowl LIII signal-callers received tons of attention, so we're gonna only add to it right now with some comparative numbers so far through the first two playoff games for both slingers:The truth is Mr. Brady - while guiding his Patriots…

We Map Out Last 10 Super Bowls -- Plus College Hoops

Thursday, January 24, 2019 at 12:00 AM

SUPER BOWL LIII - THE LAST 10 YEARS OF SUPER SUNDAYS - PLUS, MORE KEY FIGURES ...COLLEGE BASKETBALL'S CONFERENCE-BY-CONFERENCE BREAKDOWN OF WHO'S GETTING INTO THE NCAAsIt didn't take too long - like 15 minutes or so - for the betting public to "switch sides" and go from the Los Angeles Rams as the posted 1.5-point betting favorite to now the New England Patriots being a 2.5-point fav for Super Bowl LIII on Sunday, February 3rd. But is being the betting favorite really ideal when it comes to Super Sunday?Check out our accompanying chart below here in today's Jim Sez column…

Network Notebook: Does “Bracketology” Matter?

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at 1:00 PM

Now that you’re focused on handicapping and betting college basketball, you’re going to be flooded with chatter about “bracketology.” No way you can get away from it if you’re watching games on TV.ESPN created a virtual brand out of nothing. It’s not like the committee is going to care what a bracketologist things! Other networks are getting on the bandwagon. They figure, if it helps ESPN get viewers, it will probably help them get viewers. There’s no shortage of guys in suits who think they’re experts on everything.Generally speaking, sports bettors shouldn’t care about this stuff. Many build their own…

Super Countdown is On -- Plus College B-Ball Action Too

Tuesday, January 22, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE SUPER BOWL LIII COUNTDOWN IS ON! ...COLLEGE B-BALL'S KEY WEDNESDAY NITE MATCHUPSLike it or not, the NFC and AFC Championship Games have been put in the proverbial rear-view mirror - the New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs are "yesterday's news" and they'll have their shots at getting to Super Bowl LIV a year from now.Now, it's all about legacies and dynasties when it comes to the New England Patriots: Three Super Bowl appearances in a row, four in the last five years, five in the last eight years and - incredibly - nine in the last 18 NFL…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: College Hoops Crunch Time

Monday, January 21, 2019 at 1:00 PM

If you’ve started watching more college basketball on TV as the football season winds down, you’ve surely noticed a disturbing tendency across the sport. Many teams have NO IDEA how to run a crunch time offense.I could start listing games where I watched that happen in the past month. But, that would fill up all of our time today. I’m guessing you’ve seen the same thing in the final minutes of close games.*Teams run down the clock on themselves*Teams force up guarded or super-long three-pointers*A “hero” flies into traffic and forces up a bad shot*Mediocre passers try to force the…

Patriots vs. Rams -- SB 53 is All Set

Monday, January 21, 2019 at 12:00 AM

IT'S PATRIOTS VS. RAMS - OUR FIRST UP-CLOSE LOOK AT SUPER BOWL LIII AND THE "FALLOUT" FROM SUNDAY'S NFC & AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME OVERTIME GAMESSo much for that good, old-fashioned "home-field advantage"! Okay, so it was well documented that home teams had won each of the last 10 NFL Championship Games - the last five in the NFC, the last five in the AFC - while going into this past Sunday's action from New Orleans and Kansas City; plus, we had informed y'all that six of the last eight NFL Conference Championship Game betting favorites had cashed too.Sure, all that…

The AFC Championship Game Preview

Saturday, January 19, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME - IT'S PATRIOTS VS. CHIEFS WITH SUPER BOWL 53 STARING AT 'EM STRAIGHT AHEADIf you're the New England Patriots, then this AFC Championship Game has become a well-travelled stop in your yearly scheduleEight in a row. Thirteen of 'em since the QB Tom Brady / head coach Bill Belichick alliance was formed way back in the 2001 season. Old news, if you will. Yet still amazing.But, ahh, if you're the Kansas City Chiefs then this is really something special. Your first AFC Championship Game since the 1993 season when a dude named Joe Montana quarterbacked your…

Richie Baccellieri: How Sharps are Betting Conference Championships

Friday, January 18, 2019 at 4:00 PM

This Sunday’s conference championship games in the NFL plays are going to be very heavily bet. They might as well be Super Bowls based on what we’re already seeing. All four teams have strong betting constituencies. Casual fans love betting huge TV games, and sharps have reasons to step in too.Let’s see what’s been happening so far in kickoff order.LOS ANGELES RAMS AT NEW ORLEANS: We’ve been hopping between Saints -3 and -3.5 all week. Generally speaking squares (the general public) wants to take favorites in big TV games. Give them Drew Brees in the Superdome, and they’re going to…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: NFL Conference Championships

Friday, January 18, 2019 at 1:00 PM

A fast-paced week just flew by, and now we’re closing in quickly on Championship Sunday in the NFL.Today’s coursework here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping will focus on handicapping angles for the NFC Championship game matching the Los Angeles Rams and the New Orleans Saints, and the AFC Championship game matching the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs.So far this week, I’ve heard three main angles being discussed from the mainstream and gambling media (it’s getting harder to tell them apart these days). Those are… BET THE HOME TEAMSWe’re in a temporary run where home teams…

The NFC Championship Game Preview

Friday, January 18, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  THE NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME –IT’S RAMS VS. SAINTSSUNDAY AFTERNOON SHOWDOWNIN THE CRESCENT CITY Will the real Los Angeles Rams and the real New Orleans Saints please stand up here on NFL Championship Game Sunday?The Rams – who started this here-and-now season on a three-game SU (straight-up) and ATS (against the spread) winning streak and who enter Sunday’s game inside the Louisiana Superdome on a three-game SU /ATS winning streak – have endured some turbulence along the way as they went 2-7-2 vig-wise during an 11-game stretch between Sept. 27th thru Dec.16th.The Saints?They staggered early and late in ’18 but rock-n-rolled their…

AFC Championship Game Notes ... Plus College Roundball

Thursday, January 17, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE NFL CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES - TODAY WE STUDY THE UPCOMING AFC TITLE TILT WITH KEY NUMBERS FROM PATRIOTS-CHIEFSPLUS THE COLLEGE ROUNDBALL REPORT Here's a strange-but-true factoid when it comes to the NFL Championship Games: As is the case in the NFC - which we illustrated in an earlier-week Jim Sez column - the last time an AFC Championship Game road team advanced to a Super Bowl was way back in the 2012 season (see Baltimore 28, New England 13).For the last five years in a row, AFC title tilt hosts not only have moved on to the SB, but in…

Network Notebook: Handicapping Championship Weekend

Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at 12:00 PM

TV networks are thrilled that the top four teams in the NFL made it to this weekend’s conference championship games. That guarantees huge ratings and a bunch of hype about offensive superstars. Sports books are thrilled because all four finalists have strong betting constituencies. The Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans and New England at Kansas City will be bet almost like Super Bowls themselves.The problem for handicappers is that all four teams aren’t quite following their media storylines. Some unique circumstances last week helped create one-sided results that may not have predictive value moving forward. A quick summary in…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: Handicapping College Basketball

Monday, January 14, 2019 at 12:00 PM

College basketball is really heating up this week as many successful teams will go head-to-head. TV Networks know how to grab the attention of sports fans once football winds down!I’ve decided to devote today’s coursework to college hoops. The NFL Playoffs were kind of boring this weekend, with home favorites winning every game straight up and covering three of the four. We’ll get back to the NFL in our Friday class get-together here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping just in time for Championship Weekend. Both New England at Kansas City in the AFC and the Los…

Checkin’ Out the NFC Championship Game Notes

Monday, January 14, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE NFL CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES: WE DIG INTO RECENT NFC TITLE GAME HISTORY PLUS ZOOM IN ON SOME KEY STATS FOR THE RAMS AND THE SAINTSCOLLEGE HOOPS UPDATE: KEEP YOUR EYES ON THESE POTENTIAL MARCH PARTY-CRASHERSOkay, so what does it mean to be at home for the NFC Championship Game?Well, check out the accompanying chart below and you'll notice that home teams have survived and advanced to the Super Bowl for the past five years in a row - with home teams covering the all-important pointspread in four of these last five title tilts - and so you gotta go all…

NFL Championship Game Sunday is Straight Ahead

Sunday, January 13, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  THE NFL PLAYOFFS –NOW HERE’S TO THE WINNERSAS CHIEFS, PATS, SAINTS & RAMS MOVE ONTO CHAMPIONSHIP GAME SUNDAY Talk about puttin’ the bite on the dog!After an NFL Wild Card round produced four-of-four underdog winners back on the weekend of Jan. 6-7, the league’s heavy hitters – a/k/a, the well-rested #1 and #2 seeds – put the hammer down during the just-completed NFL Divisional Playoff round. Three of the four chalk-eaters snagged the cash (that’s Kansas City, the Los Angeles Rams and New England) and thus put to rest this notion that NFL Underdogs were gonna rule yet another year of…

Now, It’s the NFL Divisional Playoffs Sunday Style

Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 12:00 AM

Jim Hurley 2-1 In Saturday's Divisionals winning with Rams and Colts/Chiefs UNDER. Now 6-2 in the Playoffs!THERE'S MORE NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF ACTION - THE SUNDAY MENU WITH GAMES FROM FOXBORO AND N'ORLEANSThe weather outside could be frightening in Foxboro on this Sunday afternoon; it'll be room temperature warm inside the dome in New Orleans. The $64,000 question is will either - or both - visiting teams come into these rather hostile environments and play the survive-and-advance game? Ahh, that's what everyone wants to know on the NFL Sunday: LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (13-4) at NEW ENGLAND (11-5) - 1:05 p.m. ET, CBS…

Richie Baccellieri: How Sharps are Betting the NFL Divisional Round

Friday, January 11, 2019 at 4:00 PM

Last week’s Wildcard games were heavily bet here in Las Vegas. Reaction was somewhat subdued once the games were played because favorites weren’t having much success. Squares love laying points! And, we have a lot of transplanted Chicago sports fans who live here. They hated to see the Bears lose to the Eagles late last Sunday. Crowded but relatively subdued is the best way to describe local sports books last weekend.Let’s look at this weekend. The public typically loves laying points with rested bye teams. But, there are some quality dogs poised to challenge. Here’s how betting has played out…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: More NFL Handicapping

Friday, January 11, 2019 at 1:00 PM

A week ago at this time here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping, I emphasized to you the importance of studying defense in advance of Wildcard weekend. All the teams involved had defenses ranging from good to great in the categories that matter most. Once the final scores were in the books, you could see how defense controlled the quartet of playoff openers.*Indianapolis held Houston to just seven points, forcing DeShaun Watson to throw 20 incomplete passes even though he was mostly throwing short. Houston was just 3 of 13 on third down conversion attempts (and 2…

NFL Divisional Playoffs -- Saturday’s Action

Friday, January 11, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  THE NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS –HERE’S THE SATURDAY SHOWDOWNSFROM KANSAS CITY AND LOS ANGELES Okay, so exactly when is all this underdog madness in the NFL post-season gonna end … or is it?Go back to the start of last year’s playoffs when pups cranked out a 9-1-1 ATS (against the spread) record and include last weekend’s Wild Cards and this is what you see:Underdogs are a collective 13-1-1 versus the vig (that’s a .929 winning percentage) in the league’s last 15 post-season games. Mama-mia!Now, the NFL storms its way into the “best weekend of the season” – don’t you wish you had…

NFL Divisional Playoffs -- #1 and #2 Seeds Join the Fun

Thursday, January 10, 2019 at 12:00 AM

THE NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS CHECKIN' OUT THE #1 AND #2 SEEDSPLUS COLLEGE BASKETBALL REPORTHey, remember them? They are the NFL's #1 and #2 seeds in the NFC / AFC Playoffs and they were sitting idly by last weekend when all four underdog sides cashed in the Wild Card Games - and three of 'em won outright! - but now #1's New Orleans and Kansas City and #2's the Los Angeles Rams and New England swing into post-season action this Saturday / Sunday.As one would expect, all of the top seeds are favored with the price tags ranging anywhere from Patriots…

Network Notebook: Handicapping the NFL Divisional Round

Wednesday, January 9, 2019 at 1:00 PM

Last week, JIM HURLEY outlined three keys to picking winners over Wildcard Weekend. Jim went 3-1 in the Wild Cards, losing only with the Bears. Those themes turned out to be very important. They were...*Quarterback Experience*Red Zone Defense*Coaching SavvyIf you watched the games, you probably spent last weekend marveling at how poorly the inexperienced quarterbacks played (we're talking about you DeShaun Watson, Lamar Jackson, and Mitchell Trubisky), and at the in-game decisions of some of the coaches. Red zone defense? Winners went 9 of 14 scoring touchdowns in the red zone, while losers went 4 of 10.This week, the red…

All Hail the Clemson Tigers

Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 12:00 AM

Jim Hurley Ends Another Winning Bowl Season with Clemson (+5.5) over Alabama 44-16 and starts the NFL Playoffs going 3-1 in the Wild Cards!!THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT: CLEMSON'S THE GRIDIRON KING ONCE AGAIN AS WE HIT THE REWIND BUTTON ON THEIR ROLLICKING 44-16 WIN AGAINST 'BAMA ...PLUS, OUR FINAL COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWL POINTSPREAD CHART AND OUR "FINAL FOUR" FOR NEXT YEARMaybe it's no coincidence at all: For the fifth consecutive year since College Football's National Championship Game was played to finish up the playoffs, a team that entered the game NOT #1 wound up winning the whole ball of wax…

Kelso’s Advanced Sports Betting: How to Handicap Alabama/Clemson

Monday, January 7, 2019 at 7:00 AM

This past Friday, I raised the possibility that defenses might be back in control of their own destiny in the NFL. That was certainly a theme over Wildcard Weekend. Will it be the theme of Monday night’s National Championship game featuring the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers? Answer that question, and you’ll go a long way toward determining the right side and total selections.Regular students here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping know that I can’t post my official selections here in the coursework. That wouldn’t be fair to paying customers. I’m happy to provide…

Richie Baccellieri: How Sharps are Betting Alabama/Clemson

Sunday, January 6, 2019 at 6:00 PM

Just one game to talk about for Monday. But, it’s the most important game of the college football season. We’ll all be watching Alabama take on Clemson Monday night to see who wins the national championship.How have sharps been betting this game? Professional wagerers expressed a very clear preference for Clemson at the early numbers. First stores up this week were showing Alabama -7. Many quants I talked to had spent the past month saying these two teams were only a field goal apart. I know a few oddsmakers who had it more like three or four in their Power…

The NFL Postseason

Sunday, January 6, 2019 at 1:00 PM

Well, we finally reached the end of not only 2018 but the end of the regular season of NFL games. It has been an interesting ride; many things have changed over the past 4 months dating to back September and October.  The high-flying teams, the high-octane offenses like that of the Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints and the Los Angeles Rams have somewhat cooled off. You might have noticed that the teams that are running the ball and playing good defense are the teams that have taken over now.  The Baltimore Ravens are using an almost 60% running game…

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