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I had another day of mixed results on Friday, posting a consecutive 7-9 ATS mark. Sitting at 15-21 ATS is not sitting well with me. But if you’ve followed me since my starting days at Win Daily, I’ve never had a losing campaign. So I look at this like glass half full and we have 31 more games to pull out of this rut. But even with the bad beats and sitting in neutral, we once again saw the magic of March as two #12 seeds won outright and so did a #13 seed. It’s crazy! And it’s what we dial into our TV’s for this time of year.

We’re going to do something cool for this tournament, and that’s pick all 67 games against the spread. Realistically, that’s a bad idea for your bank roll. And I will not bet every game nor advise you do unless you manage the unit size you bet. But for the readers out there, I want to include info on each game in case you’re dialed in on a contest that doesn’t fall on my radar. So we’ll make three groups, BEST BETS (1.5 to 2 units), NORMAL BETS (1 unit), and FUN BETS (0 to 0.5 units). Now, let’s lace up the old Converse sneaks, make a few odd stretching movements, and hit the hardwood for what is going to be an awesome two weeks of betting. Just don’t pull any muscles in the process.

Feel free to read my quick breakdown of each game. But in short, here are my plays for today (All Games Posted by 3pm today).

BEST BETS (1.5 to 2.0 units):

  • Dayton +8.5 over Arizona (Loss)
  • Tennessee -6.5 over Texas
  • Creighton -4 over Oregon

NORMAL BETS (1.0 units):

  • Michigan State +3.5 vs UNC (Loss)
  • Kansas +4.5 over Gonzaga (Loss)
  • NC State -5.5 over Oakland (Win)
  • Duquesne +10 over Illinois
  • Iowa State -1.5 Live Bet (Win)

FUN BETS (0.5 units):

  • Washington State +7 (Loss)

2024 Tourney Record: 15-21 / -7.7 units

SATURDAY MARCH 23rd – ROUND 2

Game 37: #7 Dayton Flyers vs #2 Arizona Wildcats (1245pm)

Both these teams got here in different ways on Thursday. Arizona needed a wake up call at halftime and then proceeded to pull away from LBSU. They also failed to cover the spread by 0.5 points which put some people (me pointing to me) in a small rage as the Wildcats led by 24 late and allowed Long Beach to score the last four points. But that’s March! As for Dayton, they went on a 24-4 run in the last 7 minutes of the game to turn a 17-point deficit into a 3-point win. This one stung the most as it was a best bet that actually would have move the needle to plus money on Thursday. But we roll with the punches and try to figure out where to get an edge in this game.

If you believe more in ELO ratings then Dayton is your team today. ELO doesn’t like the Wildcats like other rating systems, ranking them behind a team from their own conference, Colorado, a #10 seed. Overall Arizona is 15th in ELO. And while it doesn’t love Dayton, they are 34th making the gap much closer than other metrics. One other area that is obscure is the old RPI ratings, which is no longer used by anyone and has been replaced by NET. This has Dayton as the #4 team in the country! The other standards you’ll see all have Arizona in the top 5 (KenPom, NET, Donchess) so those are where you’ll see a wider spread for today’s game.

When I start putting them all together, and weighing each one based on recent results, I get a spread at 6.5. So because of that, I’m going to take the extra points and back the Flyers. They’ve lost 7 times this year, and outside of the loss to Houston, all other losses are by eight points or less. Meaning last game against Nevada was somewhat of an aberration when they got down 17. They have the look of a giant killer playing a solid out of conference schedule and ranking 3rd overall in 3-point percentage. If they get hot, they could pull off the outright upset today against Zona.

PICK: Dayton +8.5 over Arizona (BEST BET / 1.5 units)

Game 38: #5 Gonzaga Bulldogs vs #4 Kansas Jayhawks (315pm)

The college basketball world and betting public is down on Kansas. One reason is the Kevin McCullar injury as he is Kansas’s leading scorer. The other is the viewpoint from their last game where a curious call disallowed a block that could have given #13 Samford a win over KU. And then everyone saw Gonzaga rip apart McNeese State leaving two teams heading in completely different directions. Now over 80% of money and Bets are on the Zags

What I’ve seen this year is a Gonzaga team that struggles to guard good big men. Case in point Edey, LeDee and Clingan all scored over 20 points and shot over 60% against the Bulldogs. This looks like a favorable matchup for Hunter Dickinson and think he’ll have a big game and keep it close.

PICK: Kansas +4.5 (NORMAL BET / 1.0 units)

Game 39: #9 Michigan State Spartans vs #1 North Carolina Tarheels (530pm)

Michigan State is back and playing it’s typical feisty ways come March Madness. They ran away in their first matchup on Thursday with Mississippi State. Now, they come in as a short underdog versus the #1 seeded UNC Tarheels. And considering they’ve been through the battle tested Big 10, they should be ready to give North Carolina everything they have today. As for UNC, they earned the #1 seed but haven’t faced upper echelon competition of late with just Duke being their only ranked team since January. Because of that, I’ll take the Fighting Izzo’s to keep this one close.

PICK: Michigan State +4 (NORMAL BET/ 1.0 units)

Game 40: #7 Washington State Cougars vs #2 Iowa State Cyclones (610pm)

It’s hard for me to fade the Cyclones right now. But the Cougars play such a methodical game and will try to slow this down to a hault. We’ve seen money come in on the Cougars as this line opened at ISU -8. I’ll follow the money and take WSU to play a tightly contested battle today.

PICK: Washington State +7 (FUN BET / 0.5 units)

Game 41: #14 Oakland vs #11 NC State Wolfpack (710pm)

PICK: TBD (FUN BET / 0.5 units)

Game 42: #7 Texas Longhorns vs #2 Tennessee Volunteers (800pm)

Texas was able to completely neutralize Colorado State and dominate the paint. And they won easily without their star Max Abmas having an efficient night. But Tennessee is much like a Big 12 team, losing 10 of their 12 games to conference opponents. I like the Vols to play a suffocating defense and keep Texas in the 50’s. By doing so, they’ll get enough from Knecht and company to punch a ticket to the Sweet 16.

PICK: TBD (FUN BET / 0.5 units)

Game 43: #11 Duquesne vs #3 Illinois Fighting Illini (840pm)

Can anyone stop Terrance Shannon Jr for Illinois? But can anyone stop the Dukes who have won 8 straight? It’ll come down to defense tonight and if Duquesne can play the style they have for the past 3 weeks, they will keep this game in striking distance. The Dukes were ranked top 50 in defensive efficiency all season and will create defensive pressure hoping to turn the Fighting Illini over.

PICK: Duquesne +10 (FUN BET / 0.5 units)

Game 44: #11 Oregon Ducks vs #3 Creighton Blue Jays (940pm)

Oregon has been one of the few teams that has come up big for me in the college postseason. But I think Dante finally goes up against someone that can give him trouble in Kalkbrenner. And Oregon does not defend the three point line well. They play multiple zones and try to create havoc. A veteran team like Creighton will expose those zones and get quality looks all night.

PICK: TBD (BEST BET / 2.0 units)

TOURNAMENT BETTING RECORD: 15-21 / -7.7 units

To be posted by 10am Wednesday March 19th

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Thursday brought us some memorable moments. Seeing Oakland pull off the massive upset of Kentucky was the icing on the cake. But we saw crazy comebacks (Dayton) and great singular performances (Cuisinard of Oregon). That’s March Madness for you! Overall, I went 7-9 yesterday but was 1-3 in my best bets. Nevada’s collapse really cost us a lot as they allowed Dayton to end the game on a 24-4 run.

We’re going to do something cool for this tournament, and that’s pick all 67 games against the spread. Realistically, that’s a bad idea for your bank roll. And I will not bet every game nor advise you do unless you manage the unit size you bet. But for the readers out there, I want to include info on each game in case you’re dialed in on a contest that doesn’t fall on my radar. So we’ll make three groups, BEST BETS (1.5 to 2 units), NORMAL BETS (1 unit), and FUN BETS (0 to 0.5 units). Now, let’s lace up the old Converse sneaks, make a few odd stretching movements, and hit the hardwood for what is going to be an awesome two weeks of betting. Just don’t pull any muscles in the process.

Feel free to read my quick breakdown of each game. But in short, here are my plays for today (Day Games Posted, Night Games coming by 12pm):

BEST BETS (1.5 to 2.0 units):

  • New Mexico -2 over Clemson (Loss)
  • Florida -1.5 over Colorado (Loss)
  • San Diego State -6.5 over UAB (Loss)
  • Texas A&M +1 over Nebraska (Win)
  • TCU -3 over Utah State (Loss)
  • James Madison +5.5 over Wisconsin (Win)

NORMAL BETS (1.0 units):

  • FAU -3 over Northwestern (Loss)
  • Duke -12.5 over Vermont (Win)
  • Charleston +10.5 over Alabama (Loss)
  • St Mary’s -5 over Grand Canyon (Loss)

FUN BETS (0.5 units):

  • UCONN -26.5 over Stetson (Win)
  • Grambling +28.5 over Purdue (Win)
  • Yale +12.5 over Auburn (Win)
  • WKU +14.5 over Marquette (Loss)
  • Baylor -13.5 over Colgate (Win)
  • Longwood +23.5 over Houston (Loss)

2024 Tourney Record: 8-12 / -5.3 units

FRIDAY MARCH 22nd – ROUND 1

Game 21: #9 Northwestern Wildcats vs #8 Florida Atlantic Owls (1215pm)

FAU was one of the stories of the tournament last year as they reached the Final Four for the first time in school history. They came into this season with high expectations, as most of the team that made that run returned this year. However, it’s been an up and down season, to the point where they were on the bubble come Sunday. But they made it, and now have a chance to put together another memorable run. They take on Northwestern who had a solid season ending up fourth in the Big 10. They played Purdue to OT twice, winning once. And they also beat Big 10 champs, Illinois. However, I think the athleticism of the Owls will give the Wildcats trouble. And the experience from last year’s run will help fuel them to a victory today.

PICK: FAU -3 over Northwestern (NORMAL BET / 1.0 units)

Game 22: #14 Colgate vs #3 Baylor Bears (1240pm)

Baylor is one of my sleeper’s to make it to the Final Four. They are battled tested, playing in the Big 12 against several top teams. And they have quality guard play in RayJ Dennis and Ja’Kobe Walter. Their head coach, Scott Drew, has a national title and is one of the best coaches in the country. They lost to a buzzsaw in the Big 12 tourney as Iowa State mowed through everyone including Houston. So they may be overlooked slightly but I expect them to come out and play hard basketball from the tip tomorrow. Colgate, winners of the Patriot League, have their hands full. They haven’t beat a team inside KenPom’s top 100 all year. And the two top 20 teams they played, Arizona and Illinois, beat them by an average of 22 points. Expect similar tomorrow with Baylor.

PICK: Baylor -13.5 over Colgate (NORMAL BET / 1.0 units)

Game 23: #12 UAB vs #5 San Diego State (130pm)

The UAB Blazers caught fire in the American Athletic Conference tournament and won four games in four days to capture a berth in the NCAA Tournament. UAB doesn’t shoot the ball well but they crash the boards and grab a high percentage of offensive rebounds. That’s a good recipe for success against teams in the AAC. But not necessarily against a physical team like San Diego State. The Aztecs are good all around but especially on defense where they rank 9th in the nation in defensive efficiency. Like FAU, they also made an unexpected run to the Final Four reaching the Championship Game. They brought back the core from that team and are ready to make another deep run.

PICK: San Diego State -6.5 vs UAB (BEST BET / 1.5 units)

Game 24: #15 Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs #2 Marquette Golden Eagles (200pm)

A lot of Marquette’s chances to make a deep run in this tournament hinge on the health of G Tyler Kolek. There are signs pointing to his return as he’s been practicing with the team this week. He’s such a key to their offense as he leads the nation with 7.6 assists per game. But Golden Eagles also have a volume scorer in Kam Jones who averages close to 17 ppg. Their matchup against WKU is intriguing because of the anticipated pace. The Hilltoppers lead the nation in adjusted pace and Marquette is not far behind with the 9th quickest possessions. Western Kentucky had a four-game losing streak coming into the conference tournament but snapped that with three straight wins. However, they haven’t played a team in the top 100 all year and Marquette will be a big adjustment. Because of their pace, and Marquette’s potential for being rusty if Kolek is back, I think WKU can cover this big number.

PICK: WKU +14.5 over Marquette (FUN BET / 0.5 units)

Game 25: #16 Stetson vs #1 UCONN Huskies (245pm)

UConn clearly the best team in the country and there is nothing they do badly. In their 3 losses, all on the road, the winning team shot 50% or better including a combined 52% from three. So to beat the Huskies, you’ll need to have one of your best shooting days and hope they are off. Which isn’t a formula most teams can put together. Which brings us to Stetson who does shoot the ball well ranking 37th nationally in 3-point percentage. But they are terrible on defense ranking in the bottom 5% in most major categories including 343rd in defensive adjusted efficiency. They rely heavily on their starters and have a thin bench which could cause issues versus a UCONN team that can get you in foul trouble. Also, of the Huskies 33 wins, 15 have come by 20+. They know how to blow people out.

PICK: UCONN -25.5 over Stetson (FUN BET / 0.5 units)

Game 26: #11 New Mexico vs #6 Clemson Tigers (310pm)

Let’s stick with the theme of yesterday and back another double digit seed early here on Friday. New Mexico won the Mountain West in impressive fashion taking down favorite San Diego State. For those of you who haven’t seen the Lobos play, they have some familiar names in House and Mashburn. Except it’s the offspring of stars from yesterday; Eddie House and Jamal Mashburn. But make no mistake, both can play and give coach Richard Pitino the established guard play needed to win games in March. The crazy part of New Mexico’s run is that they were just 4-6 in their last 10 games before entering the MWC tourney. However, their opponent, the Clemson Tigers also fared similarly as they lost 3 of 4 to end the season including an embarrassing loss to BC in the ACC tourney. For this pick, I’m backing the hotter team with as Clemson is just 10-10 since the start of 2024 while New Mexico is 14-8 including a current 4-game win streak.

PICK: New Mexico -2 over Clemson (BEST BET / 2.0 units)

Game 27: #13 Yale Bulldogs vs #4 Auburn Tigers (400pm)

Prior Ivy League winners, when put in the right matchups, have pulled off major upsets in the NCAA Tournament. And Yale does fit that profile as they play at one of the slowest paces in the NCAA. But Auburn will try to get them out of that and create defensive pressure. The Tigers are in the top 25% of the country in steal percentage and 2nd overall in block rate. While Yale has size to matchup with an elite NCAA team, they will struggle against Bruce Pearl’s defensive tenacity. However, styles make fights and I think the slower pace of play will keep Yale in this one long enough to get us a cover.

PICK: Yale +12.5 over Auburn (FUN BET / 0.5 units)

Game 28: #10 Colorado Buffalos vs #7 Florida Gators (430pm)

This is one of the harder games for me to handicap because I truly like both teams. Colorado came up big late to knock off Boise on Wednesday in Dayton. But they were fortunate as well since the Broncos shot 2 for 18 from three. Colorado got outrebounded by a tally of 41-31. And that’s why I’m backing Florida here as they crash the boards better than most. They are 7th in offensive rebounding rate and are tied for 1st in the nation in rebounds per game. They also defend the three well, which is where Colorado wants to beat you. Even without their injured C in Micah Handlogten, the Gators have enough size and depth to give the Buffalos fits.

PICK: Florida -1.5 over Colorado (BEST BET / 2.0 units)

Game 29: #9 Texas A&M Aggies vs #8 Nebraska Cornhuskers (630pm)

The Aggies play an ugly brand of basketball. They don’t shoot very well, and they play at a slow adjust tempo (270th). But they rebound the heck out of the ball and force turnovers. Reminiscent of Bob Huggins teams which normally are difficult to matchup up with come March if you haven’t seen that style. And that’s what I’m banking on, literally, today in their matchup with Nebraska. The Cornhuskers are not good on the boards and have a propensity to turn the ball over. This looks like a stylistic issue for Nebraska and for that reason I’ll back the dogs here.

PICK: Texas A&M +1.5 over Nebraska (BEST BET / 2.0 units)

Game 30: #13 Vermont vs #4 Duke Blue Devils (650pm)

This isn’t your typical Vermont team though they have put up wins like their past teams. In fact, Vermont is 19-1 in it’s last 20 games coming into their matchup with Duke. But they do it with defense as they don’t shoot the three particularly well and they don’t have any standout scorers. Duke on the other hand, is prolific offensively and can push the pace. While the Blue Devils are often an upset candidate, I like them to take care of Vermont handily today.

PICK: Duke -12.5 over Vermont (NORMAL BET / 1.0 units)

Game 31: #16 Grambling vs #1 Purdue Boilermakers (725pm)

Will Purdue lose to another double digit seed? Or will they follow in Virginia’s footsteps and win the National Championship the year after losing to a #16 seed? I think they’ll fare better this year but their Achilles heel is turnovers. In their four losses, they were a combined -38 in TO differential. That includes a 16-5 mark last Saturda5 in the Big 10 Semifinal game. Purdue will outrebound you and they won’t foul much. You have to press their ball handlers otherwise it’s ballgame if they get it to Edey. Grambling will pester you, ranking 78th nationally in Steals and 50th in TO%. I say they do enough to keep this within the number.

PICK: Grambling +28.5 over Purdue (NORMAL BET / 1.0 units)

Game 32: #13 Charleston vs #4 Alabama Crimson Tide (735pm)

Alabama resembles Kentucky. Prolific offense that can beat you from everywhere. But they also lack the defensive prowess the Cats did and that can be problematic in March. Charleston has had better teams but they are still a team to be reckoned with this year. The Cougars come at you in waves as they have 9 players averaging at least 10 minutes a game. They’ve won 12 straight coming into today’s matchup and if they can stay close early will build their confidence to pull off the upset.

PICK: Charleston +10.5 over Alabama (NORMAL BET / 1.0 units)

TOURNAMENT BETTING RECORD: 1-3 / -1.2 units

To be posted by 10am Wednesday March 19th

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Wednesday knocked me down as both Montana State and Boise State crumbled in the late game situations. But it’s on to the big dance now and the most fun two days of betting in all of sports. Let’s get to today’s 16 games and dial back in. And hopefully we get some great upsets and stories to make us remember this Madness like the Bryce Drew’s and Jimmer Fredette’s of years past.

We’re going to do something cool for this tournament, and that’s pick all 67 games against the spread. Realistically, that’s a bad idea for your bank roll. And I will not bet every game nor advise you do unless you manage the unit size you bet. But for the readers out there, I want to include info on each game in case you’re dialed in on a contest that doesn’t fall on my radar. So we’ll make three groups, BEST BETS (1.5 to 2 units), NORMAL BETS (1 unit), and FUN BETS (0 to 0.5 units). Now, let’s lace up the old Converse sneaks, make a few odd stretching movements, and hit the hardwood for what is going to be an awesome two weeks of betting. Just don’t pull any muscles in the process.

Feel free to read my quick breakdown of each game. But in short, here are my plays for today (Day Games Posted, Night Games coming by 12pm):

BEST BETS (1.5 to 2.0 units):

  • Oregon +1.5 vs South Carolina
  • Nevada -1.5 vs Dayton
  • McNeese State +6.5 over Gonzaga
  • Drake -1.5 over Wash State

NORMAL BETS (1.0 units):

  • BYU -9.5 over Duquesne
  • Morehead State +11.5 over Illinois
  • Arizona -20.5 over Long Beach State
  • Colorado State +2.5 over Texas
  • Texas Tech -4 over NC State
  • Stetson +7.5 over Kansas
  • Iowa State -15.5 over South Dakota State

FUN BETS (0.5 units):

  • UNC -23.5 over Wagner
  • Michigan State -1.5 over Mississippi State
  • Akron +12.5 over Creighton
  • Oakland +13.5 over Kentucky
  • Tennessee -20 over St Peter’s

2024 Tourney Record: 1-3 / -1.2 units

THURSDAY MARCH 21st – ROUND 1

Game 5: #9 Michigan State Spartans vs #8 Mississippi State (1215pm)

Tom Izzo either hates his team or despises his team. He never truly loves them unless they make a deep run in March or win it all. The way he’s acted this year, I think this one is in the hate basket. The Spartans struggled down the stretch losing 5 of it’s last 7 games. But they were in every contest including one against Purdue where they only lost by 5. In fact, they only lost 3 games by double digits this year, with two of those to Wisconsin. Mississippi State has some quality victories this year including a 2-0 record against #2 seed Tennessee. But they turn it over a ton, which can lead to bad losses as shown by their performances against Georgia Tech and Southern, both ranked outside of the top 130.

PICK: Michigan State -1.5 over Mississippi State (FUN BET / 0.5 units)

Game 6: #11 Duquesne vs #6 BYU Cougars (1240pm)

Duquesne is on a heater winning 10 of their last 11 games, including four straight in the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament to steal a bid from a team on the bubble. Now they bring that momentum into today’s contest with BYU, who had a successful first season in the Big 12. The Cougars beat all the top teams in the conference except Houston and finished 6th out of 14 teams. They live and die by the three ball, as 50.7% of their shots come from behind the arc. That’s good for 2nd most in the nation. While Duquesne plays good D, showing in the top 50 in several categories, they haven’t seen the quality that BYU will throw at them as they’ll shoot it from every position on the court.

PICK: BYU -9.5 over Duquesne (NORMAL BET / 1.0 units)

Game 7: #14 Akron Zips at #3 Creighton Blue Jays (130pm)

There were points in the season where Creighton resembled a top 5 team. They opened the season as the #8 team in the country and has a resume of great wins such as a 19-point thrashing of #1 UCONN. But they play with their food too much at times, even with one of the biggest mismatches in the nation at center (7′ 1″ Ryan Kalkbrenner). This was evidenced in losing to Providence twice as well as Butler. The Zips play tough defense and want to get into a physical match. They have the nation’s leading rebounder in Enrique Freeman. While their height may not matchup with Kalkbrenner, their physical style will. I’m high on Creighton in this tournament because they are one of the best 3-point shooting teams and they hardly ever foul (sleeper Final Four team). But I have this game at 9.5 points, so I’ll take the extra 3 points and ride the Zips.

PICK: Akron +12.5 over Creighton (FUN BET / 0.5 units)

Game 8: #15 Long Beach State vs #2 Arizona Wildcats (200pm)

Is there any team come March that is more frustrating than the Arizona Wildcats? Outside of Mike Bibby’s miraculous freshman season in 1997, Arizona seems to disappoint year in and year out. They haven’t been to a Final Four since 2001 and an Elite Eight since 2015. But here we are again, with another promising Wildcats team. Will this finally be the year they stop breaking hearts? Well today’s game against LBSU will go a long way in determining that. Arizona has had some bad losses, USC and Oregon St to name a few. And LBSU will push you as they have the 12th fastest pace in the nation. But for an athletic Arizona team, that should play right into their hands. Arizona is 8th in offense and 11th in defense and are led by Senior Guard Caleb Love (transfer from UNC). Experienced guard play, along with scoring easy buckets in transition, will help them avoid any nerves and roll over Long Beach today. Their last 7 victories have come by an average winning margin of 23.2 points.

PICK: Arizona -20.5 over Long Beach State (NORMAL BET / 1.0 units)

Game 9: #16 Wagner vs #1 North Carolina Tarheels (245pm)

Wagner picked up an impressive win on Tuesday in Dayton. But they got lucky, in my opinion, as Howard’s top two shooters combined to go 4 for 17 from three point range. Carolina has shooters all over led by ACC Player of the Year RJ Davis. They also have advantage in the post with C Armando Bacot and F Harrison Ingram. To beat Carolina, you must have an efficient offense that can keep pace because the Tarheels will score. That’s not Wagner’s strength as they are 333rd in the nation in Offensive Efficiency.

PICK: UNC -23.5 over Wagner (FUN BET / 0.5 units)

Game 10: #14 Morehead State Eagles vs #3 Illinois Fighting Illini (310pm)

Morehead State has the looks of a giant slayer. They put up a lot of three point shots and have a player in Riley Minix who can take over a game. Minix shoots averages 20.8 points per game which is 23rd best in the nation. And they have a sharp shooter in Khalil Thomas who puts up over 7 three point attempts per game and shoots it at over 43%. But Illinois showed how good they can be by winning the Big 10 Championship. They have their own star power in Terrence Shannon Jr, who is 3rd in the nation in scoring and netted 74 points in the final two games in the conference tourney against Nebraska and Wisconsin. But I’m going with the Eagles in this one to keep it respectable and possibly give the Illini a scare. Afterall, the last two Big 10 tournament winners both lost in the first round in major upsets; #1 Purdue to #16 Farleigh Dickinson & #5 Iowa to #12 Richmond.

PICK: Morehead State +11.5 over Illinois (NORMAL BET / 1.0 units)

Game 11: #11 Oregon Ducks vs #6 South Carolina Gamecocks (400pm)

This is one I had circled as soon as the brackets came out. Oregon is finally “somewhat” healthy and playing up to their preseason potential. They’re still without key pieces but C N’Faly Dante is feeling good and dominating opponents as witnessed by his performance against Colorado when he went 12-12 with 25 points in the Pac 12 championship game. They also get a major contribution from freshman guard Jackson Shelstad who has played 80% of the minutes or more since Feb 1st. South Carolina is a nice story, as they came became ranked for the first time in decades and saw their win total rise to 26 from 11 last year. My concern with South Carolina is that they like to play at an extremely slow pace and lull you to sleep with physical play. Oregon’s weakness, when watching them, was guarding the three. And the stats back that up as they were 255th in the nation in opponents three point percentage. They throw a 2-3 zone, and at time a 1-3-1 zone, at teams to try and create steals but that can burn them by allowing open 3’s (The Ducks are in the top 10% in steal percentage). SC won’t beat you with three’s and they will give it up at times. Give me the Ducks as one of my best bets today!

PICK: Oregon +1.5 over South Carolina (BEST BET / 2.0 units)

Game 12: #10 Nevada Wolfpack vs #7 Dayton Flyers (430pm)

We have the Mountain West showcasing their 4th team of the tournament in Nevada. They have a dynamic backcourt with Jarod Lucas and Kenan Blackshear dominating the ball. Even though they lost early in the MWC tournament, they come into today’s game winners in 10 of their last 12 games. On the other side, Dayton has a great player of their own in DaRon Holmes. However, they went 3-3 down the stretch and are just 8-5 since late January. I’m going with the hotter team and one that can disrupt teams on defense as well as hit the three at a high rate.

PICK: Nevada -1.5 over Dayton (BEST BET / 2.0 units)

Game 13: #10 Colorado State Rams vs #7 Texas Longhorns (650pm)

You know my affinity for Colorado State and they were the one team that showed up for me in Dayton by throttling UVA. They pass the ball well and play tough defense. Maybe Virginia wasn’t the best example, but the Rams held them to 41 points on Tuesday. As for Texas, they are just 6-7 in their last 13 games. That includes losses to non-tournament teams such as Kansas State, WVU and UCF. The only two tournament teams they beat are Texas Tech and Baylor. I just don’t think this is a well rounded team and I like the Rams to pull off the upset.

PICK: Colorado State +2.5 over Texas (NORMAL BET / 1.0 units)

Game 14: #14 Oakland Grizz vs #3 Kentucky Wildcats (710pm)

First off, I do think Kentucky is vulnerable to an upset because they don’t play good defense and their effort sometimes comes into question. However, they are prolific offensively and can put up 100 points at ease (surpassed that mark 6 times on the season). They shoot the three as well as anyone ranking 1st nationally in 3-pt percentage (41.2%). Oakland has played 4 tournament teams and lost to all of them, with the closest being 8 points. They finished 17-3 in their last 20 games which got them to the dance, but it’ll be a quick one-and-done for the Grizzlies. However, the because of the lack in defense with the Wildcats, I think the Grizz can stay within this number and get a backdoor cover.

PICK: Oakland +13.5 over Kentucky (FUN BET / 0.5 units)

Game 15: #12 McNeese State Cowboys vs #5 Gonzaga Bulldogs (725pm)

If you haven’t seen it yet, get a look at McNeese State’s opponents. They include four unranked teams with one of them named Mississippi University for Women. Who they beat 92-23. But don’t let that fool you, McNeese State’s 30-3 record is legit and they are a good basketball team. They shoot the ball well, ranking 6th in the nation in 3-pt percentage. And they force turnovers but rarely turn it over themselves. They have four regular players that shoot over 40% from three! In all, this team can play. As for Gonzaga, this isn’t your typical Zags. Without Drew Timme they’ve been in transition mode most of the year trying to find a primary scorer. Graham Ike, their inside presence, has done that of late but he’s also prone to fouling which he did in the WCC finals. And St Mary’s attacked Braden Huff who as a freshman struggled to guard the post. While Gonzaga ranks 9th in offensive efficiency, it’s because of the proficient play down low. They rarely shoot the three-ball, and when they do they make just 35% of their attempts. All signs point to a potential upset, but for betting I’ll take the points and the Cowboys.

PICK: McNeese State +6.5 over Gonzaga (BEST BET / 1.5 units)

Game 16: #15 South Dakota State vs #2 Iowa State Cyclones (735pm)

Iowa State closed out the conference tournament with a blowout of #1 seeded Houston. It was as impressive of a performance of any team this year. And it aggravates me to see them, who many consider the best #2 seed, matched up in the same bracket with the #1 overall seed in UCONN. I think that just may fuel the Cyclones and Head Coach TJ Oztelberger to press their foot on the gas starting tonight at 735pm. The Jackrabbits won the Summit League and come in on an 8-game winning streak but struggle on the boards and guarding the three. They haven’t seen the pace and ferocity that a team like ISU plays with which will cause major problems for SDSU.

PICK: Iowa State -15.5 over South Dakota State (NORMAL BET / 1.0 units)

Game 17: #15 Saint Peter’s vs #2 Tennessee Volunteers (920pm)

Tennessee Guard Dalton Knecht is one of the best players in the nation. And Tennessee is still wearing an embarrassing defeat at the hands to Mississippi State. This is a team that was 8-7 in Quad 1 games and 16-1 in all others. Simply put, they beat average and bad teams. And that’s exactly what St Peter’s is. They rank 350th in effective FG% and will have trouble making baskets today against the Vols.

PICK: Tennessee -21 over Saint Peter’s (FUN BET / 0.5 units)

Game 18: #11 NC State Wolfpack vs #6 Texas Tech Raiders (940pm)

NC State had an impressive run in the ACC tournament pulling off 4 wins and 3 outright upsets. Bit like the Big 10, ACC Champs haven’t fared well in the big dance. In the last 3 years, the Champs have just one win and have lost in 1st round twice (1-3 overall). Texas Tech isn’t UVA, or whoever else you want to compare to in ACC. They are top 50 in both offense and defense and rank in KenPoms top 25. The magic ends today for the Wolfpack as the Raiders advance to the Round of 32.

PICK: Texas Tech -4 over NC State (NORMAL BET / 1.0 units)

Game 19: #13 Stetson vs #4 Kansas

The injuries to Kansas have made them a shell of themselves. Hopes of a National Championship are likely gone with the news of Kevin McCullar Jr out for the tourney. And their star big man, Hunter Dickinson is playing with an injured shoulder. Stetson is a live dog here as they create turnovers and can hit the three ball. We just don’t know what Kansas team we’ll see.

PICK: Stetson +7.5 over Kansas (NORMAL BET / 1.0 units)

Game 20: #10 Drake vs #7 Washington State

TOURNAMENT BETTING RECORD: 1-3 / -1.2 units

To be posted by 10am Wednesday March 19th

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The NCAA tournament begins tonight in Dayton with the first set of First Four games being played. However, the Madness started last week as we saw an insane amount of upsets in the Conference Tournaments. Bid stealers, as some would call them, left some prominent teams home. While I say the difference between the 68th and 69th team doesn’t make a significant impact on the overall tournament, it is fun to debate. And the simple fact that the Big East got just 3 teams in the dance is laughable. Not as bad as FSU not making the playoffs in College Football but not too far away.

We’re going to do something cool for this tournament, and that’s pick all 67 games against the spread. Realistically, that’s a bad idea for your bank roll. And I will not bet every game nor advise you do unless you manage the unit size you bet. But for the readers out there, I want to include info on each game in case you’re dialed in on a contest that doesn’t fall on my radar. So we’ll make three groups, BEST BETS (1.5 to 2 units), NORMAL BETS (1 unit), and FUN BETS (0 to 0.5 units). Now, let’s lace up the old Converse sneaks, make a few odd stretching movements, and hit the hardwood for what is going to be an awesome two weeks of betting. Just don’t pull any muscles in the process.

ARTICLE UPDATE: WEDNESDAY MARCH 19th Games Added. Results from Day 1 is +0.45 units.

WEDNESDAY MARCH 19th – DAYTON, OH (2 Games)

Game 3: #16 Grambling State Tigers at #16 Montana State Bobcats (Midwest Region 640pm)

Well Howard made a heck of a run at it late in the game yesterday to almost pull off a historic comeback. But they fell just short, literally speaking as all three of their final attempts to tie the game fell woefully short. But for a “Fun Bet” at 0.5 units, I got the price of admission. Speaking of admission, I feel like I struggle in 16 seed vs 16 seed matchups every year. So take this one for what it’s worth. Or maybe give it some extra juice as I’m bound to hit one!

Grambling State comes in this game on a significant hot streak. They started the season 2-10 and finished with a 20-14 record. Of late, GSU is 9-1 in their last 10 games with the only loss coming in double OT versus Alabama State. The Tigers finished first in their conference and ran away from each team in the Southwestern Athletic Conference to claim their first ever NCAA appearance. The issue with the Tigers is that they don’t do anything particularly well. On offense, they rank in the bottom 10% of the nation in scoring. The only thing that stands out is they get to the line, and Montana State will help them with that. But they’re FT% is just 112th in the nation.

As for Montana State, the Bobcats are a prolific offensive team ranking in the top 65 in effective FG%, 2-pt FG% and 3-pt FG%. And defensively they create turnovers with a top 50 steal percentage. And Grambling State will cough it up as they rank 344th in TO%.

I’m going back to the well and taking the more profound shooting team in a 16 seed matchup. Hopefully this one will give it a little more legs to get us to the window and cash us a ticket before the real games start.

PICK: Montana State -4.5 over Grambling State (FUN BET / 0.5 units)

Game 4: #10 Colorado Buffalo at #10 Boise State Broncos (South Region 910pm)

I know this is hoops but imagine this matchup on the gridiron. Coach Prime dressed in all white bubble jacket standing out on the Blue Field of Boise State. Sitting there shining like the star he is in a place known for ruggedness and being the Cinderella story. Well maybe for another year, but hopefully Deion makes an appearance in Dayton tonight to give the Buffalo’s some added juice, and flair.

Colorado was on the bubble coming into the Pac 12 tournament. Then three straight wins and an appearance in the last ever Pac 12 Championship game was enough for the committee to punch their ticket to the Big Dance. In fact, they won eight straight games at the end of the season before losing to Oregon on Sunday. I love their shooting prowess, as they are 5th best in the NCAA with a 39.4% three-point percentage. They are led by guard KJ Simpson who will play every minute and do it effectively, scoring 19.6 ppg. They also have a big force in the middle in Eddie Lampkin who will undoubtedly post you up and try a multitude of spin moves. From inside to out, this team is solid and there’s a good reason they’re 25th in KenPom’s rankings.

Boise on the other hand, bowed out in the first round of the MWC tournament. But they got in based on their resume, making this the 5th appearance under Head Coach Leon Rice. However, they’ve yet to win one NCAA tourney game in his tenure. This one will be even more special, as his son G Max Rice is a senior and playing his last season. The Broncos play at a slow pace and have a solid defense, allowing opponents to shoot just 30% from 3, good for 23rd best in the country. They also have size and a big front line that causes issues at the rim.

I’m going with the unconventional pick here and the Boise State Broncos. I saw Oregon dominate the paint against Colorado. Lampkin is big but has just 5 blocks all season. Boise is a good rebounding team and doesn’t give up extra shots. Additionally, the Buffs haven’t beat anyone in KenPom’s top 42 all year. The Broncos have 6 wins against such competition. I’ll ride with the Mountain West once again as they are out to prove to everyone how good of a conference they truly were this year. And plus, I like the dad and son combination going for one last win (or maybe more).

PICK: Boise St +3.5 over Colorado (NORMAL BET / 1.0 units)

TUESDAY MARCH 19th – DAYTON, OH (2 Games)

Game 1: #16 Wagner Seahawks at #16 Howard Bison (West Region 640pm)

Who doesn’t love a good battle between one-word universities. Simple yet profound and proud, both Wagner and Howard had to pull off several upsets to win their respective conferences. For Howard, they started the year 5-11 but found something midseason to finish strong with 13 wins in their last 18 games. Per KenPom.com, they struggle protecting the ball ranking 354th out of 362 teams in TO%. But they crash the boards well (39th in OReb% in NCAA) and get to the line often with the 11th highest FT rate in the country. The other thing they do well is shoot the three, led by G Marcus Dockery who shot over 41% from behind the arc in over 200 attempts.

Wagner on the other hand got to Dayton with bully ball. In the three games in the NEC tournament, they held their opponents to a combined 35.3% shooting and outrebounded them 116 to 95 (average of +7 per game). It’s been their recipe for success all year as they allow just over 62 points per game which is top 10 in the nation. The problem is, they are one of the worst shooting teams in the country ranking 353rd in effective FG%. They also struggle at the FT line shooting just 70% (249th).

Wagner wants to win with defense and playing at a slow pace. In the end, I think Howard will have enough offense to get their first ever NCAA Tournament win. That will send them to Charlotte to face #1 UNC on Thursday.

PICK: Howard -3 over Wagner (FUN BET / 0.5 units)

RESULT: LOSS / -0.55 units

Game 2: #10 Colorado State Rams at #10 Virginia Cavaliers (Midwest Region 910pm)

The Mountain West Conference landed 6 teams in the NCAA tournament. And tonight, we’ll get to see one of those teams play and gauge how good their conference really was. For one, I love the top teams in the MWC and think several can make it to the second weekend. I do question the bottom half, including the Rams, and how they compare to other teams that were left out.

But simply put, this is a great matchup for Colorado State. The Virginia Cavaliers come into this game with one of the worst offenses in college basketball. As typical of a Cavs team, they play excellent defense and try to bleed the clock on offense to minimize possessions. But the thing that stands out to me is that they have been bludgeoned by good teams, losing games to Duke by 25, Wisconsin by 24 and UNC by 10 (Va Tech beat them by 34 but they’re not a “good” team). The only teams they beat in KenPom’s top 35 were Florida, Clemson and Wake. And that was by a combined 6 points. Overall, Virginia is just 2-7 in Quad 1 games.

On the other hand, Colorado State has 6 wins against teams in the tournament this year. They are 6-7 in Quad 1 games in NCAA this season. Their pace is solid and they shoot the ball very efficiently (32nd in Effective FG%). CSU also has a significant advantage at the FT line, as they shoot 75.4% from the charity stripe (54th in NCAA) and Virginia shoots just 63.7% (355th). That’s important in these closely contested games.

We’ve seen some money movement as this line opened at -1.5 and is now at -2.5. My simple model says this should be at -3.5. So, I’ll lean on the above metrics and take the more well-rounded in the Rams to pull this one off. If so, they will head over to Charlotte to matchup with #7 seeded Texas in a very winnable game.

PICK: Colorado St -2.5 over Virginia (NORMAL BET / 1.0 units)

RESULT: WIN / +1.0 Units

TOURNAMENT BETTING RECORD: 1-1 / +0.45 units

To be posted by 10am Wednesday March 19th

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The NBA All-Star Break is the proverbial half-way point in the season. Yes, most teams have played 2/3rd of their games, but the break signifies a good time to hit the reset button and prepare for the push to the Larry O’Brien Trophy. It’s also a good time for us daily bettors to focus on what has worked and where we can find advantages in the market. I’m going to share with you the data I have collected for the entire season and key metrics that will help your handicapping and set you up for success in the 2nd half. It’s winning season, so let’s go!

To date my NBA game bets, which can be found daily at this link, are 30-18. This is coming off a successful NFL Season (49-29) and College Football Bowl Season (19-11).

NBA BETTING FACTORS

As a starting point, I want to layout what I’m looking for when scanning the market for bets on a given day. These aren’t the only factors, as player injuries and availability come into play as well. But using the below factors will get you to a specific game and help you narrow the betting field for the day.

BACK-TO-BACK NIGHTS: The first, which is quite obvious, is whether a team is playing on back-to-back (B2B) nights. The latter, not surprisingly, often signifies a betting advantage. Players hate playing back-to-back games. They often say it’s the one thing they would do away with. And the numbers show. Teams playing in back-to-back nights are 83-96 Against The Spread (ATS). Or better stated, they cover the spread just 46% of the time. Just blindly playing the fresher team would have netted you 4.7 units in the first half. We’ll get to more of this later and show which teams to fade and which teams to consider on B2B’s.

TRAVEL (5+ Game Road Trip): Every team goes through at least one, if not multiple, long road trips per year. The NBA tries to stack Western and Eastern trips for the opposite coast just to minimize their long flights. But on that last leg of the road trip, we typically see the wear and tear kick-in. Doc Rivers took over as Head Coach of the Bucks in the middle of a 5-game road trip in which Milwaukee went 1-4 SU and ATS. And he famously complained about the schedule makers doing him no favors. If a coach complains, you know the players are the ones behind that engine.

I tracked 26 times in which a team went on a 5+ game road trip. In the last game of that stretch, the teams are collectively 13-22 ATS. And they are even worse straight up with a 10-25 record. Just something to keep an eye on in the 2nd half.

HOME/AWAY ATS Splits: Some teams are a better home team and some play better on the road. When the splits are wide, it’s something we track and keep an eye on for future advantages (i.e. a good home ATS team versus a bad road ATS team). On the season, home teams are 409-411 ATS. So while it’s an even split league wide, I’ll give you some teams that thrive in certain roles (i.e. home team or away).

HOME DOGS: Who doesn’t love a good home dog? It’s what we love to bet on the gridiron so why not the hardcourt. Well data shows it’s not always the prudent choice as home dogs are 155-159 ATS this season. But some are better than others and we’ll point those out below.

0-5 Point / 5-10 Point / 10+ Point Spreads: I’ve analyzed three brackets of key spreads and assessed what each team has done as either a favorite or dog in these point ranges. For example, the Mavericks are 13-5 ATS as a 0-5 point favorite. But they are 6-7 ATS as a favorite of 5 points or more.

Recent Play (i.e. Last 5 Games): While I won’t share much information on this category in the below. It is something you’ll see me point to as part of my handicapping when posting plays in Discord or on our betting page. So keep a lookout for L5 performance numbers. Basketball is a game of runs.

So it’s time to give you some key stats and ATS/SU numbers in the categories above that will help you identify team strengths and weaknesses heading into the home stretch of the NBA season.

BEST & WORST RECORDS ATS:

There’s an old adage that good teams win but great teams cover. And if you follow that, then the Orlando Magic is your favorite team. They crushed the books in the 1st half with a 36-19 record ATS. They were great as favorite’s (15-4) and underdogs (21-15). The Magic have exceeded expectations this season and are sitting in 8th place in the Eastern Conference with a 30-25 record.

On the flip side are the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks are a mess on the court and in the sports books as they own a 17-38 record ATS. They books haven’t adjusted as the Hawks went 3-11 ATS in December and 2-12 ATS in January. They’ve rebounded slightly in February with a 5-3 record ATS. But they still cover just 31% of the time.

BEST & WORST HOME RECORDS ATS:

Home court advantage is one thing. Home court ATS winners are another. And we go to the Lone Star state for the team that takes care of their home court the best; the Houston Rockets. The Rockets invested money into their team in the offseason and that has shown on the court as they have drastically improved their play and find themselves competitive in a tough Western Conference. They are 19-9 ATS at home, where they’ve played 13 of those games as favorites and the other 15 as underdogs.

The one team at the polar opposite end of the standings is Atlanta with an 8-20 ATS record at home. But we’ve highlighted their misfortunes earlier so instead let’s look at the 2nd worst home team which are the Washington Wizards with a record of 10-16 ATS in our Nation’s Capital. The Wizards are just stuck in purgatory with some of the worst team basketball players this side of the Atlantic. And it’s obvious that Washington fans can’t stand to watch their team either. Which may explain why they play so well on the road (we’ll get to that next).

BEST & WORST ROAD RECORDS ATS:

Would you believe me if I told you a team with 9 wins on the season is the best team to bet with on the road? Well believe it or not, it’s true. The Washington Wizards are 19-9 ATS on the road. They thrive in those situations with 27 of their 28 games as a dog (they’re 1-0 as a road fave).

While Atlanta is also bad on the road ATS, they’re not the worst! That title goes to the Charlotte Hornets who are 8-17 ATS away from the Queen City. The Hornets have Lamelo Ball (sometimes) and Brandon Miller to build around. So the future could be bright. But the present is bleak and we need to attack betting against the Hornets in the 2nd half. Of their 41 losses, 26 have been by double digits including a 53 point loss to the 76ers back in December.

BEST & WORST BACK-TO-BACK RECORDS ATS:

Almost every NBA team plays the B2B scenarios differently. It might have been what got ex-Nets HC Jacque Vaughn fired earlier this week as the team points back to a December game when he sat almost everyone (he actually started a few starters then benched them after Q1). But it’s important to know who plays these situations well and we look to the Dallas Mavericks who are 5-2 ATS in B2B’s. While they have the most wins, we also have three teams that are 4-1 ATS in B2B’s in the Clippers, Jazz and Trail Blazers.

One team to fade in B2B’s is the Indiana Pacers who are a dreadful 1-6 ATS in 2nd leg of the games. We all know they play at a furious pace which leads to poor play when faced with two games in two nights.

NBA TEAM-BY-TEAM STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES:

ATLANTA HAWKS: The Hawks have no real strengths in the betting market. The only highlight is the one game in which they were 10 point dogs, they covered. So they’re 1-0 as 10 point underdogs. We all know they’re the worst in many categories but specifically as a home underdog where they are 2-6 ATS (25% cover).

BOSTON CELTICS: We haven’t talked about the best team in the NBA primarily because Vegas has a good pulse on the C’s. Boston is 27-26 ATS. They are pretty much 0.500 in all key categories. However, one area they are above 0.500 is as a 10-point favorite. In this situation they are 10-8 ATS. They are two games under 0.500 as a road favorite where they come in as 11-13 ATS.

BROOKLYN NETS: We all know Brooklyn is bad in B2B’s (1-4 ATS) and on the road (9-15 ATS). But they’re very profitable as a home favorite where they are 9-3 ATS.

CHARLOTTE HORNETS: Give me the Hornets, says almost no one at the counter. They are 21-33 ATS which is 2nd worst in the league. They are decent in B2B’s with a 5-2 ATS and have covered their only game as a road favorite (but we prob won’t see another).

CHICAGO BULLS: The Bulls are a mess on the court but a sneaky good play in the betting markets. They thrive in the 5-to-10-point favorite role where they are 8-3 ATS. However, they are just 5-8 ATS as a small favorite (i.e. less than 5 points).

CLEVELAND CAVS: Cleveland is a great story as they’ve surged into the #2 seed in the East. They’re particularly good as a small favorite (less than 5 points) as they are 13-7 ATS in that role. They struggle as a small underdog (less than 5 points) where they are 3-6 ATS.

DALLAS MAVS: Not many are better than Dallas in the role as a favorite. They are 19-12 ATS as a favorite and 13-5 ATS as a small fave. Avoid them when the Mavs are getting 5 to 10 points as they are 0-5 ATS in that situation.

DENVER NUGGETS: The champs are a tough team to bet on as they are 19-29 ATS as a favorite. Their best role is as a dog of 5-to-10 points as they are 2-0 in those situations. That’s been when Jokic hasn’t played so we likely won’t see many more of those. So maybe look for when they play the Lakers as they are 2-0 ATS against their foe from LA.

DETROIT PISTONS: The first-half was a nightmare for the Pistons as they set a new NBA record for consecutive losses. But not all was bad in the betting market as they were 13-8 ATS as 10-point dogs or more. On the flip side, they were just 1-4 ATS as favorites.

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: The Warriors are a heavy public team which can often make their lines being inflated. But they perform very well as an underdog as they lead the league with a 68% winning percentage ATS when they get points (15-7 ATS). They are two different stories as a favorite as they are 7-3 ATS on the road in those situations. But just 7-14 ATS as a home fave.

HOUSTON ROCKETS: We noted how the Rockets are rock stars at home with a 19-9 ATS record. However, on the road as a dog they are just 8-14 ATS.

INDIANA PACERS: The Pacers are fun. Especially as an underdog where they are 18-12 ATS. Even better they are 8-3 ATS as a home dog. Obviously, we need to stay away on B2B’s (1-6 ATS) but also avoid them as a 5-10 point favorite as they are 4-8 ATS in that role.

LA CLIPPERS: The Clippers are a team worth CONSIDERING AS A FUTURES BET FOR NBA CHAMP. But they have James Harden, so the playoff sabotage is coming. And they’re the Clippers, who have never made it to the finals. However, they are a darling for bettors as a favorite. As shown by their 24-12 ATS record when favored by 10 points or less. Just beware when they are double digit faves as they’re just 1-6 ATS in that role.

LA LAKERS: The Lakers won the In-Season Tournament and hung a banner in their arena to honor that momentous achievement. But that’s been about the only thing worth highlighting on an otherwise dismal season. They are stuck in neutral sitting in the play-in game seeding. The only role they thrive in is as a double digit favorite where they’re 3-1 ATS. However, stay far away when they’re a road favorite as they’re just 2-8 ATS in that situation.

MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES: The Grizzlies season ended before it really even started. They lost their superstar, Ja Morant, to a suspension and then proceeded to lose their first 6 games of the season. And they never dug out of that hole. One area in which they perform well is as a small favorite (5 points or less) as they are 5-2 ATS in that spot. But run far away when they’re a small dog as they are 4-10 ATS in that role.

MIAMI HEAT: The reigning Eastern Conference champs have yet to find their form from last April/May/June. They are an underwhelming 25-30 ATS. They’re worst position is as a home underdog as they are 1-6 ATS in that spot. They play a little better away from home as an underdog as they’re 10-7 ATS when getting points on the road.

MILWAUKEE BUCKS: The Bucks are the 2nd worst team ATS on the season. The addition of Dame Lilliard has made their spreads inflated. And their defense just isn’t good enough to trust with big numbers (17th in defensive rating, they were 4th in 2022-23). They are 2-0 ATS against both the Celtics and Hornets. The latter they see two times next week. We know the bad, but what stands out is they are 3-12 ATS as a double digit favorite.

MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES: The Twolves have surprised most everyone by catapulting to the top of the Western Conference standings. But they aren’t great in the betting market as Vegas has a good pulse on their performances. One area in which they excel is as a home underdog, where they are 3-0 ATS. But they struggle as a small favorite where they are just 4-9 ATS.

NEW YORK KNICKS: The Knicks were a betting favorite in January when they went 13-3 ATS. They’ve come back to earth in February but are still a team finds themselves at the top of the ATS standings. Their biggest strength is as a favorite where they are 21-12 ATS. They struggle in the road dog role as they’re just 6-9 ATS in that spot.

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER: If not for the Magic, the Thunder would be the best team to back ATS. They are 23-15 ATS as a favorite and 11-5 ATS as a dog. They can cover on the road (16-11 ATS) or at home (18-9 ATS). Their best leverage situation is as a road underdog as they’re 8-3 ATS in that role. But also look at the 0-to-5 point favorite situation as they’re 7-2 ATS there.

ORLANDO MAGIC: We follow up the Thunder with the best team at covering spreads in the NBA; the Orlando Magic. They are dynamite as a favorite going 15-4 ATS. In particular, they are 7-1 ATS as a small favorite. They’re also 5-1 ATS as a road fave. While it seems like there could be regression in the 2nd half, they already opened with a road win and cover at Indiana. So I’m not fading the team from central Florida at all.

PHILADELPHIA 76ers: The Sixers are my team and I feel like I have a good grasp on them. The problem is, they’re great 1st half betting stats were primarily with the league MVP in their lineup. But now he’s gone and they’ve fallen on bad times. Since his injury in Golden State, the Sixers are 3-7 ATS and SU. While they’ve been good in the favorite role this year, 23-14 ATS, it’s something we’ll have to recalibrate in the 2nd half. I’ll look at them in the mid-dog range as they’re 2-0 in that spot since Embiid’s injury.

PHOEXIX SUNS: Phoenix is another team overvalued in the betting market as they have the 5th worst ATS record. They’re decent as a road dog, 5-4 ATS. But fade them as a home dog as they’re 0-3 ATS in that spot.

PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS: The Blazers are a bad basketball team. And they aren’t much better in the betting market posting a 25-29 ATS record overall. They’re best role is as a big dog (10 or more points) as they are 12-6 ATS in that role. They are bad as a favorite sitting at 1-4 ATS.

SAN ANTONIO SPURS: The Spurs have the bigger picture in mind. But as they grow a team around Victor Wembanyama, they are still finding ways to compete this season. They thrive in the favorite role, going 4-1 ATS on the season. Where they struggle is on the road when a 5-to-10 point underdog, as they’re 3-10 ATS in that spot.

SACRAMENTO KINGS: The Kings have failed to live up to their expectations coming off a 48-win season and #3 seed in the West. While they are on pace for 47 wins, they’re in the 8th seed in the West and may have to be in the play-in games. Looking at their strengths betting wise, they are 8-5 ATS as a dog on the road. They’re also 3-0 ATS against Denver and 2-0 ATS against LA Lakers. Their weakness is as a big fave. They are 0-3 ATS at home when favored by 10 points or more.

TORONTO RAPTORS: The Raptors punted on the season trading away a few of their core players in OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam. But they’re a team to keep an eye on when a small favorite as they’re 7-4 ATS in that role. But stay away when the spread gets over 5 points, as they’re 2-7 ATS as a 5-to-10 point favorite.

UTAH JAZZ: The Jazz have been a pesky team and it shows in the ATS standings. They have the 3rd most ATS wins with 31. In particular, they are 5-0 ATS as a small fave at home. They are middle of the road as an away dog going 11-13 ATS in that role.

WASHINGTON WIZARDS: As we noted earlier, Washington is the best road team ATS with a 19-9 record. They’re also good as a dog of 10 points or more, showing a 13-7 ATS record. Where they’re bad is at home, with a 10-16 ATS record overall.

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Fantasy basketball is a totally different beast than baseball or football. NBA DFS is ruled by the players who stay constantly connected, their eyes glued to their phones or their laptops as crucial lineup changes are announced throughout the day. This game isn’t for the faint of heart or the casual player. In order to win big in NBA DFS players must be on top of it 24/7.

The game is all about value. With NBA DFS, your strategy is about getting the most bang for the buck. In order to understand the strategy that will help you do that, let’s first look at how the scoring breaks down for DraftKings and FanDuel, so you know what each site values and what you should prioritize when you build your lineups.

Offensive ScoringDraftKingsFanDuel
2-Point FG+2+2
3-Point FG+3.5+3
Free Throw+1+1
Offensive Rebound+1.25+1.2
Assist+1.5+1.5
Turnover-0.5-1
Double-Double+1.5N/A
Triple-Double+3N/A

For the most part, these two scoring systems are the same—with some key differences. For one, FanDuel penalizes turnovers with a -1, but DraftKings only docks turnovers at a -0.5 clip. This may lead you to target more accomplished ball handlers on FanDuel to keep from incurring lots of those -1 penalties cutting into your point totals.

Offensive rebounds are virtually the same (1.25 versus 1.2). Free throws and two-point field goals are exactly the same between the two sites, so for your big men, the two sites are pretty much the same on the offensive end. While twos are the same, three-pointers are a little more valuable on DraftKings (3.5 points) versus FanDuel (3 points), so a dead-eye shooter from distance like Steph Curry is worth a little more on DraftKings.

One thing that stands out, too, is that DraftKings rewards big games. In NBA DFS, they give out an extra 1.5 points for double-double games (double-digit scores in two statistical columns between points, assists, rebounds, blocks, and steals) and an extra three points for triple-doubles (double-digit scores in three of those statistical columns). Across sports, DraftKings loves the breakout game.

Defensive scoring is calculated as follows:

Defensive ScoringDraftKingsFanDuel
Block+2+3
Steal+2+3
Defensive Rebound+1.25+1.2

Defensive scoring is pretty similar here, too, but with some differences: steals are two points on DraftKings and three on FanDuel, just like blocks. Also, just like with offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds are 1.25 to 1.2. Overall, there is a slight advantage to picking up the premium defender in your FanDuel lineup if all other considerations are the same.

Let’s take a look at the different lineups:

DraftKingsFanDuel
PGPG
SGPG
SFSG
PFSG
CSF
GSF
FPF
UTILPF
C

Here we see more differences between the sites. On DraftKings, you get eight players, the five standard positions plus three utility-type roles. The first is a guard, and that player can be a PG or SG. You also get a utility forward position, where you have the option to choose a SF or PF. The third utility role is a true utility position, as DraftKings gives you the opportunity to plug in any player.

The lineup construction for FanDuel is a little more standard than DraftKings with a total of nine players: at PG, SG, SF, and PF, and one at C. With no utility player wiggle room here, your job is a little bit easier. An important distinction, though, is that starting this year on FanDuel, only your top eight players count toward your point total. Be mindful of this: while you technically get one more player, the same number of players counts toward your points total. This is a new change, so it’s unclear how it is going to affect strategy, but it seems to favor a stars-and-scrubs approach where you have eight legit players and one guy who is more of a value pick with high upside. That way, if he doesn’t produce for you, that’s OK: you didn’t dedicate too much space in your salary cap to that pick.

Because NBA DFS is so intense to play, knowing the right statistics is important. Start by looking at a player’s fantasy points. If you don’t have time to get into anything else while building your lineups, here is where you can see who has been the most effective day in and day out. The downside, of course, is that everybody else can see that, too. You won’t be able to uncover any value picks here as you survey the slate and build your lineups. Especially as you get started, it’s good to get familiar with these numbers.

The next thing to look at is the standard statistic lines. For anything that is valued by these sites (field goals, free throws, assists, rebounds, steals, blocks, and turnovers), it’s easy to find every player’s per game average in that column. Looking at what you’re likely to get from these players and calculating an expected fantasy output is pretty easy thanks to these averages. Look for the type of guys who fill up the box score and add value in all sorts of ways, not just the Carmelo Anthony types who are one dimensional fantasy players because all they add in value are field goals and free throws.

You also want to take a look at how often each player is on the floor. Looking at a player’s minutes-per game on the floor can give you a sense of how integral they are to a team’s offense. You may be looking at two players who have similar stat lines, but if one is on the floor more often than the other guy, you’d want to take the guy who stays out longer, as he’s going to have more chances to rack up points for you. It’s a good rule of thumb to fill your lineups full of players who start for their respective teams, because even the best sixth or seventh man off the bench gets left there some nights.

It is worth your time to take a look at the minutes distribution on different teams. Some teams have a pretty small rotation of key players, with maybe seven or eight guys on the roster actually racking up serious minutes. There are other teams in the league who have really deep rosters and like to rotate ten or twelve guys through each game. Be realistic when assessing a player’s time on the court. Even if a player seems like he should be getting more time on the court, if the coach and front office don’t see it that way, that player will be splitting time and won’t be on the court long enough to get you many points.

Knowing which coaches have a reputation for keeping their starters on the floor will also be beneficial. If a game gets lopsided, some coaches might pull their starters in order to get their reserves some more time on the floor, which would be bad news for you if you have any starters in that lineup. You want your guys to stay out on the court as long as they can to keep racking up the points for your squad.

As you’re deciding between players, though, be sure to look at workload. Some players aren’t impacted much by playing games on back-to-back nights, but some players’ production really takes a hit in those situations. If you’re looking at taking a flier on a player, be sure that they’re not worn out from a tiring game the night before. Especially if your lineup hinges on that player providing big value, be sure that they’re going to be 100 percent for you.

Minutes might tell you who gets on the court a lot and stays there, but if you pick a defensive specialist who isn’t a big part of his team’s offense, you won’t get much fantasy production out of that player. This is why you want to look at a player’s usage. Usage percentage will also help to illuminate how important a player is to his team. This is an advanced statistic that calculates how often the ball is in a player’s hands while he’s on the court.

Ideally, you want to build a lineup full of starters who stay on the court and keep the ball in their hands. Even if they don’t all go for thirty points that night, you’re likely to get some assists, while guys who only touch the ball on field goal attempts won’t have many opportunities to rack up assists for their team (and yours).

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

–Michael Jordan

Something that makes the NBA different than other sports, though, is streakiness. An NBA player might get hot over a stretch of games and see his numbers shoot up. His attempts may increase too because of his newfound confidence. Targeting these players with the “hot hand” is a good strategy as long as you aren’t overpaying.

As with the MLB, it isn’t just about the players you choose and their strengths, it’s also about who they’re facing off against. A great statistic for you to use when considering defenses is defense versus position (DVP). This stat is the average number of fantasy points that a team allows to a certain position on the court. You typically know who’s going to be guarding who one-on-one, so DVP will help you identify who the weak defenders in the league are. Once you know who these guys are, you should target who’s going up against them.

If you can, target the players who play in up-tempo offenses and are playing against another up-tempo team. Hopefully, the two teams will have a back-and-forth game that gets both of them into the 120s and above.

Team points per game (PPG) is a great statistic to help you figure out how potent an offense is. Ideally, you are looking to match two equal, high-scoring offenses who play at a fast pace and play below-average defense. When you’re looking at matchups trying to find that fast-paced shootout, make sure you check out each team’s pace. A team’s pace is the average number of possessions a team gets per game. More possessions mean more scoring opportunities. You want guys playing on teams with a really high pace factor. Defensive efficiency is a very good statistic for pace, too. It represents the effectiveness of a team’s defense, giving you the average number of points a team allows in every one hundred possessions. If both teams have high numbers with this statistic, this is the kind of game you want to target.

You might wonder what happens when a faster-paced team plays a slowerpaced, better-defending team. In that situation, things typically average out. That tells you that finding one up-tempo team in a matchup isn’t ideal, as it would be better to find a game where two are facing off against one another.

“You can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good.”

–Jerry West

Strategy in NBA DFS is what will separate you from the rest of the players out there. While it might be tempting at first, you can’t just play LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Steph Curry every game. NBA players are very consistent from one game to another, so building a lineup with top players and expecting to get more value than their price is a bad decision. The key to winning money at NBA DFS is by using math to find the undervalued players in great matchups, those great value picks.

The system I like to use is 5x, 6x, 7x. If you pick up a top-end guy like a LeBron or KD for $10,000, you need him to produce five times that number, with fifty points for you that night in order for it to be worth it. Because those type of players eat up so much of your salary cap, you need them to do more than just have their average or expected night. You need them to break out for a huge game.

However, you can’t just fill up a lineup full of superstars. You’re going to have to have some mid-level and lower-level salary guys in there too, so for the mid-level guys you want to get six times his salary in terms of fantasy points. Remember that a few bad games might change even a very good player’s valuation and therefore his pricing. This is why it’s so important to do your research: there are always good players out there who are undervalued.

With lower-level salary guys, you’re looking for them to produce seven times their salary. This might seem like a lot to ask, but there are good values to find every night. How do you get these huge breakout value picks, though? That’s the million-dollar question with NBA DFS. Because players are so consistent night in and night out, and there are so many great statistics out there to help players predict fantasy success, it’s not just about picking good players and sitting back hoping to beat the system that way. That won’t work.

What you need to do with NBA DFS is stay up on the news. It sounds like a pretty basic concept, as it seems like every player should be doing this. Still, that really is what separates great fantasy players from mediocre ones. There is a definite skill to acquiring the news and quickly analyzing it. Each night is a new puzzle and only the best problem solvers walk away with the cash each night.

You can follow player updates on various sources throughout the day and if you follow all the NBA beat writers on Twitter, you’ll be up on the latest news from the people closest to the team up until tip-off. That may be a lot to ask, though, because there are so many beat writers and they won’t only be tweeting out injury updates. Everyone has their own method of staying on top of the news, so make sure to find a process that works for you. Be sure to follow the experts and make sure you’re near your computer or phone, so you can get the inside scoop to all the late-dropping news as the lineup lock approaches.

Now, let’s say you find out that a star player is injured and out of the lineup that day. Consider the effect that’s going to have on their team. Imagine the minutes of every game as a pool to be distributed among the players on that team. If a player who is typically on the court for forty minutes a night is now out of the lineup, there are a lot of minutes in that pool up for grabs. There’s also a lot of usage that gets transferred over, too.

Typically, the way it works is that the usage transfers mostly to the other original starters, and the minutes go to the bench players who are now in the lineup. There’s a bump on both sides, though. There are tools that can help you decide what’s going to happen when a starter is out of a team’s lineup. Good projection systems will adjust the usage with the new combination of guys on the court. As injuries linger, more data will become available. The larger the sample size of minutes played together, the more accurate the data on usage and other categories will be. Always check the sample size.

It used to be that both DraftKings and FanDuel locked their lineups at 7:00 p.m. ET, so if a player was a late scratch, fantasy players’ lineups got blown up. This was especially true when teams were getting late into the season with no hope of making the playoffs, so they started tanking to get better draft picks the next year. Because this delay of information was such an issue, DraftKings recently changed their rules. You can swap players in and out until their game tips off.

Again, staying up on the latest news is important. If you’re following Los Angeles beat writers on Twitter and they announce five minutes before tip-off that LeBron is out of the lineup because of a strained calf, you can swap in a player just in time to save your team’s chances that night. Without making that swap, all your research would be down the drain because you’re not going to win money with a zero in your lineup.

These injury scratches are common in other sports too, of course, but in MLB, even though the teams play almost every day, the lineups are typically announced a couple hours prior to the first pitch. In the NFL, teams announce their injured players’ statuses throughout the week and their official inactive players are announced hours before the game. But in the NBA, teams play almost every day and often will pull a player out with only a few minutes to spare before game time, so DraftKings changed their policy on swaps. This is good news for you, but it also means that you need to pay attention to the news for longer, so you don’t miss a single last-minute change.

Unless you can be near your computer from 6:00 p.m. to at least 7:00 p.m. ET every night, playing NBA DFS is probably not for you. It is a serious time commitment. If you’re going to play, you need to make sure that you can play well. If you commit a significant portion of your salary cap to a superstar player, expecting him to rack up major points for you, but then he gets pulled out of the lineup in the few minutes before tip-off and you’re out at dinner, you can kiss your chances of winning good-bye. The players who stay focused don’t get burned like this.

One strategy to use with the late swap is to enter a mock lineup during the day. Hold off on submitting until all the information rolls in from your sources. Then take that extra time to make your optimal lineup. So, if you don’t like any players from the 7:00 p.m. games, you can wait to lock in your players until the 8:00 p.m. games, allowing you an extra hour of research and more time to wait for news to drop.

An important thing to know is that pricing for players is set the night before each game. This means that if one of your starters gets pulled, you may not have to look far for his replacement. If that team has a good sixth man at your starter’s position, you may just want to plug him in as your replacement, especially if the offense is catered toward getting the ball to a player with his profile. Also remember that players from the second unit are priced accordingly, so in this situation you could get a guy at a minimum (or near minimum salary) who will be in the starting lineup for the night, with increased overall usage and minutes.

You can use this knowledge to your advantage when looking for value picks, as well. If you want to set up a stars-and-scrubs lineup, you could do pretty well for yourself by taking a couple superstars who are in great matchups that should play out for 5x points, two to three guys who will produce 5-6x value, and a player or two who are filling in for injured starters but have the skills and role in the offense to produce six or seven times what their cost is to you in terms of salary.

Another way to get the most value is by stacking. Just like in the other sports, you can stack one team or both teams in a game. It would be smart to pick up two to three guys from one team who are set up to provide a lot of value. Maybe you could find a couple guys who are going to be on the floor a lot in a fast paced back-and-forth game or a couple minimum-priced players who are filling in for the night. Let’s say both teams score a lot of points and move the ball quickly up and down the court, so it’s going to be a shootout. Take a look at how the second team’s offense works. If you can, target two to three players from that team who are also key contributors. A shootout— especially one that goes to overtime—will result in a lot of points for you.

Another thing to take a look at is the depth of the whole team. If there are a lot of injuries on their squad and their bench is depleted, they’ll be leaning on five or six guys to produce for them that night. It might be smart to stack that team in a high-scoring game. Stacking three to four players on the same team can be a smart play on occasions where a team is really thin on depth and only has seven or so players in their rotation. Each player will be forced to play heavy minutes, which will translate to good production for you.

Ideal games to stack are games that come down to the final whistle. Not only do you want a high-scoring affair, you also want a game where all the starters and players you roster stay on the court until the buzzer goes off. This is where you can use Vegas to your advantage. Take a look at the spreads in the games. If a spread is five points or less and the over/under is maybe 230 or more, Vegas is predicting a back-and forth high-scoring close game, which will be one for you to stack both sides on. Each time players go up and down the court, whoever it is, you’ll be racking up the points. This is especially true on the off chance the game heads to overtime, as unlike with other sports, the two teams will be scoring points back and forth for the entire overtime period.

Something to remember, especially when paying up for superstars, is that you want your players to be on the court the whole game so that they provide the kind of value you need from them. If you’re going after a player like LeBron, be sure that this game isn’t going to turn into a blowout or that his team isn’t going to pull him off the court early to rest him for the playoffs or to ensure a loss if the team is tanking.

The biggest thing to remember with NBA DFS, though, is that you want to get the picks right. Let the other guys take all sorts of risks on players who they think will have breakout games. What you’re looking to do is build a lineup that has the highest floor possible with some upside, so you know with a certain amount of confidence that your team is going to produce for you. Get the guys who are consistent night in and night out and are underpriced on that given night. Get the guys who are going against a weak defender. When news comes out about players getting pulled for injuries, or sickness, rest, or “rest” late in a losing season, be the player who quickly adjusts on the fly and produces optimal lineups.

To prepare for an average night with a seven-game slate, here’s what I do. The night before or first thing in the morning, I go to the schedule and look at the slate. My plan is to find the potential shootout game by looking at each game’s over/under. I want to find the two to four highest-scoring games and notate them as the potential game stack games. From there, I look to see what players are already ruled out and who is questionable for the slate that I need to keep an eye on throughout the day. Next, I look at who the potential value players will be and look for the high-priced players that are in a juicy matchup that I also want to target.

I try to start each of my lineups by locking in my favorite value players that provide the best lock for 5-7x value. I also lock the higher-priced players who I think have the floor for safety along with the highest ceiling for their price tag. From there, I round out my lineups from a position-by-position standpoint to see who to fill into the proper slots. I notate which positions look deep and which positions look scarce.

I try my best to narrow and adjust my player pool, listing out my favorite four to eight plays at each position. As the day goes, I like to create five to ten mocks and play out different scenarios in my head. For instance: “If the Warriors versus Rockets game turns into a shootout, this would be the lineup that would crush” or “If these two value guys hit and Harden does his thing, this should be a great cash lineup.”

As the day progresses and news is released, I readjust the earlier mocks and create new ones. The part that gets tricky is how much to listen to the “experts.” Throughout the day, podcasts and articles get posted on various sites. With all the new information that comes out and with all the injuries and lineup changes, it’s difficult to adjust your old opinions and keep track of all the potential combinations. If you’re not available and don’t have the time to focus and grind from 6-8:00 p.m. during the NBA season, you should really take the season off because this is when the money is won. It’s crucial to decipher all this information throughout the day and readjust your lineups on the fly. Your 9:00 a.m. lineups will get crushed on most nights if you don’t readjust at least portions of your lineup in response to the new info.

When the news drops, you can find me at my desk focused in, adjusting my lineups as every minute goes by. The feeling of pressure and anxiety is a bit like sitting in a college classroom during a final with only three minutes left, knowing that any second the teacher will tell the class, “Pencils down.” Now, add the fact that you have thousands of dollars at risk.

To be honest, on some days I don’t know how I reached the point where I’m rostering guys I have never even heard of and have $5,000 riding on some scrub getting the first start of his career, but that’s how a typical night of NBA DFS goes. When the games start on those days, I’m sick to my stomach and look at my lineup thinking, “How did I end up with this team? This one guy I took a shot on is going to make or break my lineup.” There is such a sense of relief as 7:00 p.m. comes, though. The only thing left is for the players to play.

Now you can understand the grind of the game and specifically how much skill and effort is needed to be successful. Every day is a new challenge and a new battle to win. The best players out there have found ways to simplify their process and avoid the clutter. Not only do they readjust one lineup, but they have the power to adjust ten, twenty, fifty, or one hundred fifty lineups on the fly. Stay cool under the pressure, be confident, and trust your process. Develop a daily routine that you’re comfortable with. Then constantly refine it until you’ve found a system that works with your schedule and is profitable more often than not.

They say the harder you work, the luckier you get, and one thing I guarantee you is this: the hardest workers in the NBA DFS industry are the ones on top of the leaderboards on most nights. Some call them lucky, but the veterans in the game know the truth.

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Welcome to the Friday edition of Cash with Flash Best Bets! We have NBA & CBB action on tap for tonight so let’s get after it!

Glad to see you and I hope that your sports betting endeavors are going well. It’s been difficult handicapping professional sporting contests during the pandemic but if you’ve been tailing me, listening to my show, or read my books then you have been making money.

Cash with Flash Best Bets has 2020-2021 season-long totals of 66-53-1 for NFL football, 48-21 in NCAAF, 46-36 for NCAAB, 16-9 in NHL, 72-42-1 in the NBA, and 109-50 for tennis this season. 

Had you wagered $100 dollars on each pick we offered you’d be ahead of the game by about $12,000 since September 8, 2020. That’s not too bad for tailing Cash with Flash Best Bets. 

Thursday was an awful day as we went 0-3 on the night. That leaves us with a 23-18 record through eleven days of this column. Stay in this space and we’ll make you money without taking you on a roller-coaster ride.

In our first week, we won three units and we made that our goal each week. For the week we are down roughly 2.1 units and we have some work to do in order to reach our weekly goals.

Bad nights are a part of the business and we fully expect a bounceback Friday tonight!

You are doing it all wrong if you aren’t practicing some sort of money management system. I discuss a couple of them in my books and I will be sharing little tidbits here in this column at Win Daily.

Managing your cash is numero uno. Hiring someone to pick winners is an easy thing to do but if you don’t have the discipline to manage your money correctly then wagering on sporting events for long-term success won’t likely be successful. 

We have nine games on the Friday NBA slate for tonight and plenty of opportunity to Cash with Flash!

Houston Rockets vs Toronto Raptors

Houston is a seven-point road underdog tonight when they face Toronto tonight. The Rockets has lost nine consecutive games and they are up against a Raptors squad that has a two-game losing streak of their own they would love to snap tonight. Houston is still without Christian Wood and without him, the Rockets don’t have the offense to match Raptors Fred VanVleet and Kyle Lowry. Toronto is 7-1 ATS over their last eight games on one-day rest. Lay the points and go with Toronto to cover the spread in this one. 

Atlanta Hawks vs Oklahoma City Thunder

The Hawks enter this matchup as 3.5 point away favorites and have won three of their past five games including a huge 15 point home victory over Boston. OKC has won two of their past five games and eeked out a three-point home victory over San Antonio. This will likely be a tight game all the way up to the end but the Hawks have more firepower offensively and it will be that firepower that will allow Atlanta to cover the spread tonight. Lay the points and take the Hawks to cover. 

Sacramento Kings vs Detroit Pistons

The Kings are one-point away favorites and have lost nine consecutive and are 0-9 ATS over those nine losses. Detroit has lost four of its last five games and has covered the spread in two of their past five games. Sacramento has allowed an average of 126 points per game over their past five ballgames while the Pistons have allowed 108 points per game over their past five. Take the point and go with the Pistons at home in this matchup.

Good luck tonight!

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Isaiah’s Protocol for the NBA DFS slate is built around DraftKings pricing, but is good across the industry with some slight adjustments to salaries on the various sites. I’d like to point out that the players I’m recommending are best used together for cash game purposes. These players are also decent considerations for guaranteed prize pool (GPP) tournaments when used individually with other contrarian type players.

We’re looking at an exciting 4 game NBA DFS slate that’s packed with intriguing players. Ironically, all these teams have been playing every other day, so we have some solid data to look at. Luka Doncic suffered an ugly ankle injury his last time out and his status remains questionable today. This news has a tremendous impact on the entire NBA DFS slate and should be monitored closely. I like to advise all my readers to join the staff at WinDaily in our Discord chat rooms as we discuss some of the important news leading up to tip off, and break down some key players even further.

Strategy

It’s extremely important to understand that this is a cash game article. My focus is to find 8 players on the DraftKings NBA DFS slate that will get the recommended 300 point total that should be enough to finish in the top 50% of double up, 50/50, or head to head games. For cash games, ownership is far less important as we’re simply looking to find a roster that will finish in the top 50% of the contest, and win some cash. Proper bankroll management is important for limiting the number of deposits you make with your own money. Doubling a wager in cash games is an excellent way to counter risks you may take playing GPP contests. It’s always better to take shots at bigger GPP contests with the “house” money you’ve already won playing cash games.

DraftKings gives us a $50,000 salary cap to roster 8 players. This gives us an average of $6,250 per player. Getting to the recommended 300 point plateau, we need all 8 players to average 37.5 DraftKings fantasy points (DKFPTS). While it may sound challenging, keeping this elementary math in the back of your head while building your roster is important. Limit your risk as much as possible and find 8 players that fit this criteria. Lets take a look at this NBA DFS slate.

Scenario

Both The Toronto Raptors (-13.5), and The Boston Celtics (-7.5) are up 3 games to none, and could wrap up the series today. Unlike the other games in these series, this is important to make a note on because if they get substantial leads today, they may pull some of the starters to rest them before the next round of games. The Raptors especially, having the second highest implied team total (ITT) on the slate (115.5), make their players high risk/reward candidates.

With the Luka Doncic news pending, there should be some value opening up on this NBA DFS slate. Patrick Beverly (Doubtful, calf injury) is another piece of news, that I may target on both sides of the ball.

Cash Game Core (Spend Up)

Pascal Siakam ($7900) Pascal fits the mold of high risk/reward on this NBA DFS slate. He’s averaging 43 DKFPTS against the Nets in 6 games this season. Siakam is a threat to reach the double/double bonus every time he’s on the floor. He posted a 26/8/5 stat line for 45 DKFPTS last game. After starting out cold in the bubble, his game seems to rounding into form. Pascal scores 1.16 fantasy points (FP) per minute, and has a decent usage rate of 27.5%. He’s matched up against a Brooklyn squad that ranks 26th against power forwards. The Nets look to have all but given up on the season. $7900 is just too cheap for the upside here. I’m taking the risk that he gets at least 30 minutes, and 40 DKFPTS, for 5X value.

Fred VanVleet ($7700) VanVleet is another guy who has been on point in the bubble. I love targeting Raptors against this banged up, defensively deficient Brooklyn squad. Fred’s salary still doesn’t seem to be increasing enough, as his 6 game average verse the Nets dictates 46 DKFPTS this season. That alone would give him 6X value. I think he’s playing better than those numbers represent. I see VanVleet as the forth starter to leave the court in a blowout scenario, after Gasol, Lowry, and Siakam.

Others I’m considering in the upper tier on this NBA DFS slate include Paul George ($8000), Kyle Lowry ($8100), and Rudy Gobert ($7800).

Cash Game Core (Average)

Jamal Murray ($6800) Jamal’s minutes were down the last 2 games verse Utah after getting blown out. His salary and ownership dropped as well! Murray is still averaging 42 DKFPTS in just over 35 minutes/gm. verse the Jazz in 5 games this season. I expect Murray and the Nuggets to step up in a big way today after watching Donovan Mitchell attempt to flush their season down the toilet. Anything close to his season averages gets us 6X value. He’s a key piece (with upside) in our cash game lineups.

Serge Ibaka ($5800) Ibaka seems to be fully recovered from a knee issue that sidelined him earlier this month. Feasting on this Brooklyn front court seems like easy pickings on this NBA DFS slate, especially with a Raptor bench player that may see his full allotment of minutes. Anything around this 36 DKFPTS average against the Nets this season, gives us 6X value. Using his salary at center gives us a lot of extra salary to work with. It may also be a contrarian move with a lot of people paying up for a stud at the center position.

Mike Conley ($6300) Conley picked up right where he left off, after leaving the bubble for the birth of his baby. He didn’t miss a beat, shooting 9-13 from the field, draining 7 of 8 from behind the arc, and adding 27 points. Utah’s 37 point thrashing of Denver on Thursday gave him 38.5 DKFPTS on his $5900 salary. That equated to just under 7X value. He got a nice bump in salary but I still think he’s a viable option in cash games.

Risk Option

I really like the combination of Jaylen Brown ($7300) and Kemba Walker ($6900) in cash game lineups at these salaries. Boston will be without the services of Gordon Hayward (ankle) for a while. I expect Marcus Smart to be deployed as a defensive specialist to slow down Tobias Harris and annoy Embiid as much as possible. The Celtics will be looking to lean on the other starters to step up their offense. I’m not 100% sold on rostering Celtics knowing they may get pulled for rest if Philadelphia doesn’t show up for this do-or-die game. Their respective salaries are enticing for cash game purposes on this NBA DFS slate.

Cash Game Core (Value)

As I mentioned earlier, The Luka Doncic/Patrick Beverly news in that DAL/LAC game should open up some nice value on this NBA DFS slate. If Doncic can’t play, look for Tim Hardaway Jr. ($5700), Seth Curry ($4600), Trey Burke ($4100), and even Delon Wright ($3500) to step up their games offensively. On the flip side, if defensive specialist Patrick Beverly can’t go, I expect Landry Shamet ($3400) to get the start at PG, and both Lou Williams ($5900), and Reggie Jackson ($3500) to see bumps in production.

Shake Milton ($4400) Milton is looking to plant an anchor as a future piece of the Sixer squad. His minutes and productivity have been steadily increasing, and I expect him to see solid minutes today for a Philadelphia team desperate to find offense anywhere they can.

Some others I’m considering on this NBA DFS slate are Marcus Morris Sr. ($5400), Jordan Clarkson ($5300), Ivica Zubac ($4400), Monte Morris ($3900)

I highly encourage all readers to join myself, and the rest of the WinDaily family in the Discord chat rooms as we break down and discuss our favorite plays further. Thank you for reading my content and feel free to leave a comment, or hit me up on Twitter @IsaiahsProtocol.

Good Luck And Have Fun

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