I could have easily have titled today's post "Snowbound" in honor of conditions here in God's Country today. We're really socked in again with snow, and it's coming down sideways right now at as heavy a rate as it has been since it all started early last night. Amazing! Sure glad it's spring time! I've used "Shop Around", though, to bring up a very important point that I probably don't need to expand too much upon, but it is one that is easy to illustrate with examples from yesterday's action.
I'm sure I don't need to tell any of you that when you're looking to play the numbers, you want to get the best one you possibly can. If you're looking to take points, you want to get the most available. If you're laying, you want to lay as few as necessary. As "Exhibits 1 & 2", I submit both of the games I was on yesterday. With Butler, the early number was (+1 1/2) with them, but when I got the chance to jump a (+2) about 2 hours before tip time, jump I did. The (+1 1/2) was still out there in some houses, but why would I care about that?
When it was time to get serious about the Bradley game, I found that the opener of (-2) had jumped anywhere from (-2 1/2) to (-3 1/2). Which way do you think I went? Which way would you have gone? It only makes sense that you lay the lesser number.
As you can tell from both of these examples, "shopping the number" made all the difference for me. Butler was a "push" that would have been a loss if I hadn't gotten the bigger number. Bradley was a win either way, but that wouldn't have been the case had the Tulane kids not fouled with less than 2 seconds to go in the game.
Granted, the numbers aren't always going to fluctuate greatly from house to house, but we've seen it over and over again how 1/2-point can make all the difference in success or failure. The bottom line is don't settle for the first thing you see. Watch what happens with the public. They're not always right, but once things get rolling, numbers can change a great deal, and we can use that to our advantage. Be patient, pay attention and get the best number you can.
Doing so paid off big time for me yesterday. It was a bad week, but we were able to salvage a little bit because of yesterday's plays. Upon further and deeper review of last week's numbers, though, it was only 2 days that killed me. When I dropped 6 straight without a win on Tuesday and Wednesday night, I got buried, but I'm a glass half full kind of guy. It looks like a real struggle with the 5-8 (2-3 in the NBA and 3-5 with college hoops) I put up last week, but when you factor out Tuesday and Wednesday, things were a lot more settled with wins in 5 of 7. Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades though, but I'm still in great shape as we move into the last week of March with a record of 22-13 (15-8 with college hoops and 7-5 in the NBA).
This will be the last day for awhile that I'll have to split up the posts, but we have an extra early game in the NIT this morning. So, let's get to work.
COLLEGE HOOPS (9-6 ATS/7-6 SU/9-6 TOTALS yesterday, 46-48/45-38/55-39 for the week and 178-149/193-119/169-158 so far for the month)
The Madness (4-4 ATS/2-4 SU/3-5 TOTALS yesterday and 21-23/17-18/22-22 for the week)
BUTTA (1-0 yesterday and 2-0 for the week)
1. Ohio St. (-340) over Iowa St. and Kansas (-270) over N. Carolina - I'm going to go ahead and push away from the numbers hung on both these favorites even though I think they're both going to be pretty safe with Ohio St. (-7) and Kansas (-6). If I can put them together just to win and still get (-129) back, that's what I'm going to do. These are basically home games for both teams, but the only problem we have with the numbers is the opponents. If Iowa St. hits a few of their bombs, they can keep it close. And who can tell what the Tar Heels might be able to do if they can get going with their athleticism?
2. Miami-Fla. (-8, U128 1/2) 72, Illinois 54 - Too big, too strong and too much. That describes where this matchup stands in favor of the 'Canes. It was my feeling that the Illini shouldn't have been in this field in the first place, and they'll get bounced hard tonight.
ALL THE REST
1. Creighton (+6, U145) 66, Duke 62
2. Fla.-Gulf Coast (+7, O133 1/2) 73, San Diego St. 67
3. Temple (+11 1/2, U147 1/2) 73, Indiana 73
4. Ohio St. (-7, U142) 69, Iowa St. 62
5. Mississippi (-4, U143) 67, LaSalle 51
6. Kansas (-6, O143) 86, N. Carolina 72
7. Florida (-7 1/2, U124) 62, Minnesota 50
The NIT (1-0 ATS/1-0 SU/0-1 TOTALS yesterday and 11-9/12-8/12-8 for the week)
BUTTA (no play yesterday and 0-1 for the week)
Virginia (-10 1/2, U123 1/2) 67, St. John's 44 - I still don't know how St. John's won their 1st round game last week, but they look to be in trouble here. They're on the road again, and this time, they've got a real athletic Virginia squad to deal with that has no problem running up big scores at home. The Johnnies have had trouble wearing out late in game against teams like these this season, and I think that's what we're going to see again with this matchup this morning.
The CIT (4-2 ATS/4-2 SU/6-0 TOTALS yesterday and 10-12/12-9/18-4 for the week)
Kent St. (+4, U141) 64, LOYOLA (MD.) 62
There we go. College hoops done. NBA still to come later on. I just hope with the way the weather's going here that the satellite holds out. Right now, I've got a tape delay replay of the Giants vs. A's matchup from yesterday in Arizona. Sure looks nice and warm down there! See you soon.