Submitted by Wayne Root on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at 11:00 AM
Las Vegas has hosted the Pac 12 postseason college basketball tournament for a few years now. But, there’s never been quite this amount of buzz. Don’t get me wrong, the city is always electric for this event. This season, though, avid fans of three teams who travel well are all very confident they have the best team. And they’re not being shy about expressing it!
*Oregon is the top seed, and their fans are convinced that they’ll earn the #1 seed in the West in the NCAA’s if they win this tournament. Don’t tell Oregon fans they’re not as good as Gonzaga!
*Arizona is the #2 seed, and their fans have always been on the arrogant side for as long as I can remember. Hey, the program earned it! This team will likely have to beat both UCLA and Oregon in succession to cut down the nets. Their fans are acting like it’s already happened.
*UCLA is the #3 seed, but many fans and respected bettors consider this team the most dangerous threat to be playing in early April. The offense is almost unstoppable many nights. The defense is improving. And, a tournament victory here would launch the Bruins to a very high Dance seed as well. There’s a strut to the walk of UCLA fans that we haven’t seen on the West Coast in ages.
I can tell you that sportsbook operators LOVE when this much passion comes to town. Everyone is backing their favorite teams very aggressively. The same thing happened in the West Coast Conference tournaments with support for Gonzaga and St. Mary’s. Only one team gets paid out as the winner. Sportsbooks collect from everyone else! In the Pac 12, that’s really been kicked up a notch because fans are betting like their money will influence what happens on the court.
This could open the door for some great contrarian bets this week. I’m THE KING OF LAS VEGAS because I like to zig when the public zags! But, I really have to think this approach through in terms of the 2017 event because the rest of the Pac 12 may not be able to take advantage.
*Normally, when league superpowers are looking ahead to the semifinals and finals, they take their eyes off the ball in the quarterfinals. You’ve already seen that happen in some of the mid-majors. But, much of the Pac 12 is so bad this year that Oregon, UCLA, and Arizona may be able to win and cover even if they do take their eyes off the ball!
*Normally, when league superpowers start to feel pressure late in close games, the wheels fall off because they were so badly prepared for the preliminary. For a team like UCLA or Oregon, having the wheels fall off might mean they win by only 10 instead of 20. No big deal.
*Normally, when an unheralded dog with a chip on its shoulder senses an upset, it goes in for the kill. I can’t even tell if any of the “bottom nine” know how to play with a chip on their shoulder! They sure haven’t shown the ability to scare the powers this season.
It’s great that this tournament is on my local turf. I can go out personally and get the lay of the land at the new T-Mobile Arena (built to house the new NHL hockey team that will call Vegas home next season). There might just be a PINNACLE play or other ROOT TRUST selection if I smell a nailbiter in advance of the weekend.
What about the semifinals and finals? You’ll have to be a paying customer to find out!
I can assure you that I’ll have big plays all through the week in both day and night sessions. Maybe I’ll skip the Pac 10 to find better value in the Mountain West tourney (played once again at the Thomas & Mack Center), or any of the other events this weekend. Our strongest edge as a bettor is the ability to pass. Oddsmakers must post a number on every game. We get to pick our spots.
And, THAT’S the main reason that WAYNE ALLYN ROOT is the only man in the sports betting industry with a star on the “Walk of Fame” here in Las Vegas! I know how to pick my spots!
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Maybe I’ll have a SHOCKER or two in the Pac 12 tournament. Maybe the shocker will be that I’m passing the tournament! Don’t make ill-informed guesses and bad bets on your own opinions. It’s time for you to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!