Usually, I catch the March Madness gambling bug around the Thursday or Friday before Selection Sunday; right when the best games that each conference has to offer start to ramp up. There’s just something about hearing Bill Raftery and Jim Nantz and watching noon games from my phone at my desk that just makes me want to throw a few hundred of my hard earned dollars at the nearest bookie (or website) with dozens and dozens of teaser-pleasers, four team parlays and anti-Michigan State-in-the-Big-Ten-Tournament bets.
It’s a yearly tradition, unlike any other. Not to brag, but it’s a yearly tradition that I’ve done exceptionally well in. Just ask the Chi People’s Champ.
So, for the rest of March, I will be giving you, THE PEOPLE, my picks of the day, reasons why they are my picks of the day, and why you should take some of your hard earned dollars and put in a few bets of your own.
Just don’t forget to wet the beak if you run into me in Chicago after your ROI quadruples right before St. Patricks day night.
NCAA Conference Tournament Winner Lock
As I was getting my Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader on this morning at work, I decided to flip through the Conference Tournament odds just to see if there was anything juicy out there. As I was scrolling through, I clicked on the Big East and saw this:
I couldn’t shovel my money out quick enough. Xavier at +350? That’s a god dang steal.
All for one and one for all, BABAY.
I’ve watched a TON of Musketeers basketball this year and let me tell you, this squad can do everything very, very well. So much so that I keep throwing them out there with people in the know as my future NCAA Tournament Champion just to see what they have to say. Although most of them sneer at the idea of it at first, after thinking on it for a few, they come around.
Xavier is feeling themselves right now. They just unseated Villanova for their first Big East Championship. They will probably have to play St. Johns before having to play Providence or Butler (5-1 against those teams in the regular season) before the Championship game. IF Villanova can get to to Sunday (something I’m starting to question more and more after their play recently), I think Xavier will be out for blood and looking to avenge those two embarrassing losses to the Wildcats during conference play.
Remember, it’s hard to beat a team of Xavier’s caliber three times in college basketball; especially when one of them is playing (and wanting) a No. 1 overall seed.
— Xavier Musketeers (@XUAthletics) March 6, 2018
I love the St. Johns money line (and am beginning to talk myself into laying -4.5 as well) against the Georgetown Patrick Ewings. The same theory exists here as it did above; it’s hard to beat a team three times in a single season. In the two match-ups against the Hoyas before this one, the Red Storm have lost by a combined seven points in four halves and two overtimes of basketball.
St. Johns will be playing in front of what should be a home crowd WITH Shamorie Ponds in the lineup. They have the firepower from outside to make big baskets down the stretch and a defense, when committed, that could make the Hoyas day a long one.
Four point, three team teaser: Give me Texas (-5.5 down to -1.5) over Iowa State (TRASH TEAM), Arizona State (-7 down to -3) over Colorado and Louisville (+1 up to +5) against Florida State for a cool +170.
I fully believe that Texas and Arizona State can cover their own spreads, but was a little nervous on the Louisville game. This one should be a toss up. So, since it’s the first one on the docket today (and because I’m a degenerate), I am obligated to bet it somehow.
North Carolina over Syracuse, Marquette over DePaul, North Carolina State over Boston College, and — just because I’m a lunatic and I will gamble against the Cyclones every chance I can get — Texas over Iowa State.
North Carolina has had one hell of a stumble into March. They NEED to put things back together after back-to-back Chuck Norris spinning leg kicks from Miami and Duke to end the ACC regular season schedule. I think Theo Pinson drives the Syracuse 2-3 zone crazy today.
In regards to Marquette… well, they’re playing DePaul. And DePaul is using tons and tons of loser excuses still. So that’s just a no brainer.
The last time North Carolina State played Boston College they were 11-21 from long distance and Boston College has a short, short, short bench. After playing a feisty Georgia Tech team yesterday afternoon, I think the Pack should walk away with this one.
I don’t recommend counting your dollars before they’re back in your pot, but go ahead and count your dollars here. These are as sure as sure goes.
May lady luck be on all of our sides.
Got some fire picks of your own? Tweet them at me, @jerryscherwin. I will begin to feature a Second City Sports fan pick from here until the end of the Madness.