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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 11:56 AM



Hey, NCAA Tournament Committee folks, your job is gonna be tougher than ever this year when it comes to sorting through the final at-large teams.

No doubt one of the real dilemmas for the committee is do you reward top-of-the-line mid-major squads ... or do teams finishing in the back-half of their major-conference standings get the nod instead?

For years and years, we've offered up our opinion here at Jim Sez ... let's get more mid-major teams into the mix and stop rewarding .500-type conference clubs from the ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC ... okay?

Sadly, right now we don't think that'll change, but we'll see.

We'll get to a batch of "bubble teams" momentarily but first this key reminder ...

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will keep on piling up the huge profits all this week with lots of NBA and NCAA Basketball winners right here onlineor at our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 - so go ahead and win with all the hardwood action today!


TCU (17-8, 6-6) - Here's a Big 12 team that is a perfect "case-in-point" when it comes to power conference teams that sit right smack in the middle of their league standings and may not deserve an NCAA Tournament berth over a "smaller name" squad. True, Jamie Dixon's TCU Horned Frogs have won conference road games at Texas and at Kansas State - and TCU sports a solid RPI number (37). Still, gotta believe TCU needs to win 21 or 22 games overall and maybe even one more road win (at Iowa State?) to get on the right side of the bubble.
Current NCAA Tournament Forecast - TCU sneaks/gets in as a #11 seed

NEVADA (19-6, 8-4) - It's true ... the Nevada Wolf Pack sport the best RPI in the Mountain West Conference (45) and this club does own league road wins at New Mexico, Wyoming and Boise State but you gotta wonder if it came down to one or two at-large bids remaining would Nevada get the nod over above-mentioned TCU or perhaps some other power conference club? Hmm. Best thing the 'Pack can do is win five of its final six regular-season games and/or get to the Mountain West Conference Championship Game and then it'll have our vote!
Current NCAA Tournament Forecast - Nevada also makes it as a #11 seed. P.S., maybe you get a TCU vs. Nevada showdown in "The First Four" and the winner plays #6 seed USC.

MONMOUTH (22-5, 14-2) - Folks, here's the perfect example of a "smaller name" team having the apparent credentials to nab an NCAA Tournament at-large bid over one of those 17-11, 8-8 power conference crews ... but what do the Hawks have going for 'em in terms of an NCAA Tourney argument? Monmouth has a solid 48 RPI (that's better than Syracuse, Michigan and Kansas State) and did win a non-league road game in Memphis but that strength of schedule ain't great (lost 102-74 at North Carolina on Dec. 28th) and there's no upcoming game that can really spark the SOS figure. If Monmouth loses in its MAAC Championship Game next month, then we could see 'em working up a big sweat come Selection Sunday.
Current NCAA Tournament Forecast - Monmouth gets snubbed as an at-large squad if it doesn't win its league mini-tourney

Right here/right now we'd also consider the following as "bubble teams" ... Memphis, Miami, Kansas State, Alabama, BYU, Boise State, Michigan and Marquette.


Got a question for you hoop folks:

Through the games of February 13th, who do you think is the best pointspread team in the NBA ... and the worst?

Well, you might be surprised to learn the Philadelphia 76ers own an NBA-best 33-22-0 ATS (against the spread) log for a tidy .600 winning percentage following Monday's 105-99 upset win at 7.5-point favorite Charlotte. Right behind the Sixers in the NBA's pointspread standings are Houston (33-24-0), Toronto (31-23-1) and Washington (31-23-0).

The bottom of the pointspread barrel?

Well, Portland is 22-33-0 for a league-worst .400 winning rate with Milwaukee (22-32-0) and Charlotte (22-31-2) not a heckuva lot better.

What really interested us in taking a long look at the up-to-date NBA Pointspread Standings just days away from this year's All-Star Game break is the fact that the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers are just 24-27-2 versus the vig (a sluggish .471 winning percentage) while the two-time Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors are just 27-26-2 against the odds (a 51 percent winning rate) and - yes -- we realize the Cavs and Warriors are laying hefty prices more often than not but the truth of the matter is neither team has really enjoyed a pointspread streak of any real note.

Could that happen out of this All-Star Game break?

Perhaps, but as is our nature here at Jim Sez we always like to look ahead beyond the upcoming break and forecast a team (or two) that we believe will surge spreadwise and right now are "candidates" include the Memphis Grizzlies (30-27 spreadwise) and the Minnesota Timberwolves (23-32 against the odds). The Grizz is getting healthier by the day and that's key while we like the fact Minny's had more than half a season to digest new coach Tom Thibodeaux's system, so we expect better results from mid-February on. Don't be surprised if the Grizzlies and T-Wolves are among the NBA's best bets the rest of the way ... you heard it here first!

Finally, is there an NBA team that figures to teeter in the other direction?

Our guess is that Oklahoma City (30-25-1 ATS) may wear down a bit with G Russell Westbrook having to play so hard and for so many minutes - if OKC's bench players don't come through, than the Thunder will be a pointspread bust after the break.

NOTE: Lots more basketball action in the next edition of Jim Sez and remember our NBA First-Half Report Card Grades comin' your way later in the week.

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