College Hoops Takes Center Stage


With the Super Bowl in the rear view mirror, the next big event on the sports stage is college basketball’s season-ending tournaments. Since 1997, college basketball’s national champion has come from several different conferences: the Pac 10 (Arizona), SEC (Kentucky and Florida), Big 10 (Michigan State), the ACC (Duke, Maryland, North Carolina), Nig 12 (Kansas) and the old Big East (UConn, Syracuse, Louisville). Over the next few weeks, let’s examine some of the top hoop teams in each conference, starting this week with the ACC. Duke: A down year for Duke? For losses already for Coach Mike Krzyzewski, a pair against the Top 10 but also a pair of defeats (Notre Dame, Clemson) outside the Top 25. It’s a young team with 6-8 freshman Jabari Parker (19 ppg, 7.7 rpg) team with sophomores Amile Jefferson and Rodney Hood. They like the uptempo style, tops in the conference in scoring averaging 87 ppg in ACC play.

One problem is defense, ranked second to last in the ACC in field goal shooting defense, giving up 45% shooting. It’s not a big team in the low post and they can be pushed around by power frontcourts. In the last to Clemson, Duke was outrebounded 48-30. The Blue Devils are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 home games, 10-4 over on Saturdays. Duke has at least 4 losses in its first 16 games for the first time since the 1996-97 season. Syracuse: Coach Jim Boheim has a powerhouse team that has met every challenge, including wins over No. 8 Villanova (78-62), No. 18 Baylor (74-67) and No. 22 Pitt (59-54). Freshman guard Tyler Ennis (12 ppg, 5.5 apg) leads a unit that is tops in the conference in steals, while 6-8 senior C.J. Fair (16.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg) and 6-8 sophomore Jerami Grant (12.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg) provide frontcourt muscle. They turn up the defense on the road, 4-1-1 under the total away. Syracuse is in the middle of a stretch playing 5 of 6 at home.

The Orange is 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 games vs. a team with a winning record. Pitt: The Panthers have been impressive, with a pair of losses to Cincinnati and Syracuse by a total of 5 points. Their calling card is defense, third in the ACC in points allowed with 6-9 senior Talib Zanna (13 ppg, 8 rpg) and 6-8 Mike Young in the paint. In the backcourt, 6-5 senior Lamar Patterson (17 ppg) and sophomore James Robinson are highly efficient, as the team doesn’t score a ton of points but ranks 7th in the nation in assists. Despite all that defense this team is 60-29-1 over the total on Saturdays. They only play one top 20 team before the ACC tourney, hosting Syracuse next week. Virginia: The Cavaliers are getting it done with a terrific one-two punch of 6-5 sophomore Malcolm Brogdon (11 ppg, 5 rpg) and 6-6 senior Joe Harris (12.3 ppg). Virginia plays great defense, second in the ACC in points allowed, as well as third in field goal shooting defense (36% allowed). Virginia hasn’t done well when stepping up, losing to Wisconsin (48-38), VCU (59-56) and Duke (69-65), slowing the pace down. The Cavaliers are 22-8 ATS in their last 30 Saturday games. One flaw that could be fatal in March is free throw shooting, one of the worst in the ACC at 62.5%.

Clemson: The Tigers are one of the poorest offenses in the country (64 ppg), but stay alive by strangling opponents with defense, tops in the ACC in points allowed (53.6 ppg), field goal defense (32% allowed) and three-point defense (22%). 6-6 junior K.J., McDaniels (16 ppg, 7 rpg) is a workhorse in the paint along with 6-10 sophomore Landry Nnoko. It’s no surprise they started the season 8-5 under the total. But do they have the offense to come back against good teams when needed? Clemson got thumped by Florida State (56-41) and Pitt (76-43) shooting 30% and 32%. Against Pitt Daniels got into early foul trouble and this team doesn’t have other offensive options. Clemons is in the middle of a stretch now playing 5 of 6 on the road. Florida State: The Seminoles are a tough team to play because they attack opponents in a variety of ways.

Florida State is a dynamite defensive team allowing 36% shooting in ACC play (third), solid from the line and tough on the road. They lost at No. 15 Florida by one point and a two-point loss to Michigan in overtime. The Seminoles have a lot of depth and balance with 6-9 senior Okaro White (12 ppg, 6.8 rpg) and 6-7 Montay Brandon up front, plus senior Ian Miller and 6-5 sophomore Aaron Thomas in the backcourt, both averaging 13 ppg. The under is 14-5 versus a team with a winning record.  Written by Jim Feist for

Exposing the Top 25: Where the polls went wrong


Each week throughout the college basketball season,  Jesse Schule
will dissect the new Top 25 rankings, looking for betting value. He’ll showcase
the most overrated team, along with the most underrated ranked team, and an
unranked squad that he feels should be in the Top 25.

Most underrated Top
25 team: Wichita State Shockers (19-0 SU, 12-3-1 ATS)

It’s tough to make
an argument that the Shockers aren’t underrated. After all, they have the best
record in the country at 19-0 and yet they’re ranked behind both Villanova and
Michigan State, despite the fact that both those teams have suffered at least
one loss this season. There is also the fact that the Shockers are covering the
spread in 80 percent of their games so far, a truly amazing statistic
considering we are more than halfway through the season.

Critics will say
that the Shockers’ schedule doesn’t see them play a single ranked opponent all
season. That doesn’t mean they haven’t played any quality teams. They have
registered impressive double-digit victories over BYU and DePaul, and they beat
Saint Louis and Alabama on the road. We saw what this team was capable in last
year’s tournament and there is every reason to expect them to be a contender
once again this March.

Most overrated Top 25 team: Villanova Wildcats
(16-2 SU, 12-4 ATS)

The Wildcats climbed all the way to fourth in the
national polls this week. But on the very same day the new rankings came out,
they were blown out on their own court by the Creighton Bluejays. They didn’t
just lose that game – they lost by a staggering 18-point margin at

The Wildcats play three straight road games over the next 10 days,
then return home to host a dangerous Xavier team. It seems inevitable that
Villanova will slide downward in the rankings as the season

Unranked team that should be ranked: Creighton Bluejays (15-3
SU, 12-5 ATS)

The AP dropped the Bluejays from the rankings this week,
after their 10-game winning streak came to an end on the road against
Providence. Creighton, though, is almost guaranteed to shoot back up into the
rankings after its upset win at Villanova.

Doug McDermott and the boys
shot 60 percent from 3-point range in the win over the Wildcats, hitting 21
3-pointers. Any team that is capable of doing that on the road versus one of the
nation’s Top 5 teams is going to strike fear into any opponent.

By Jesse Schule of VegasTopDogs.

What Sports to Watch and Bet On This Week


There is NBA and NCAA basketball on the agenda this week, as well as the NHL. But we will start with the NFL playoffs, where the spotlight will be under center as it usually is.

Quarterback Play Will Be Huge In The NFL Playoffs

Russell Wilson leads Seattle as 9-point home favorites against Drew Brees and New Orleans on Saturday, while the nightcap has Tom Brady and New England as 7.5-point favorites at home against Andrew Luck and Indianapolis. On Sunday, Colin Kaepernick and San Francisco are 2-point road favorites against Cam Newton and Carolina, while the schedule wraps up with Peyton Manning and Denver as 10-point favorites at home against Philip Rivers and San Diego, who won in Denver in Week 15.

The Heat Take Over New York

The two-time defending champions from Miami have a trip to New York lined up, and they should be favorites on the road on Thursday, when they face the Knicks and Friday, when they take on the Nets in Brooklyn. No teams in the NBA have been as disappointing (and that is being generous) as the New York clubs, although the Nets had won three in a row as of Tuesday.

Can Carolina Pull Off Another Upset?

You have no idea what you’ll get with North Carolina so far in this NCAA hoops season as they have knocked off the likes of Louisville, Kentucky and Michigan State, but then they will lose to Wake Forest. The Tar Heels could be underdogs on the road at Syracuse on Saturday in their first meeting with the #2 Orangemen as ACC foes.

American Teams Anchor Loaded NHL Saturday Night

Saturday night is the big night in the NHL week, and this Saturday, the American teams take the spotlight in a pair of late-night matchups. Boston is in San Jose in one showdown, while Detroit faces off with Los Angeles. Look for the home teams to be favored here.

Written for

The VegasTopDogs Year in Review


     The end of the sports year is coming to a close. and with it, come the memories that will stay with us, for the seasons end. The passion, the controversy, and the satisfaction, and even the embarrassment of many moments of the sports seasons will sit buried in the archives of our emotions for all time. let’s take a look at some of the biggest sports stories and moments of 2013.

The Boston Red Sox shocked the world this season in baseball, by their remarkable worst-to-first reversal by winning the World Series in 6 games over the St. Louis Cardinals. where they outscored the powerful Cards 2-1 And Big Popi batted .688 knocking in 2 HRs, 6 RBIs, and scored 7 times, easily winning the MVP.


Andy Murray finally ended the drought for the Brits. Becoming the 1st British man to win the Wimbledon championship in 77 years. Defeating Novak Djokovic in straight sets, in a match that lasted over 3 hours.

LeBron James dodged his haters again, leading the Miami Heat as NBA Finals champions, repeating champs, by surviving the pesky and stubborn Spurs, who were up in the series 3-2, but the Heat got themselves righted, and won it in 7 breathtaking games.

Louisville won the national title. Louisville continued to find ways to score points and ways to make the stops when needed, in a fantastic title game for the ages, when they defeated Michigan 82-76. The Baltimore Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII over the San Francisco 49ers 34-31. With Ray Lewis’ last journey being the big momentum pusher for the Ravens, Joe Flacco played his heart out earning him a monster contract. It had just about everything fans could want in a Super Bowl. The Alabama Crimson Tide, continued to roll. Taking home its 3rd national championship in 4 years, pounding the surprise Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 42-14.


The Yankees hitter, Alex Rodriguez, was given a extraordinary 211-game ban in MLB’s Biogenesis investigation. OL Jonathan Martin left the Dolphins with his accusations of bullying at the hands of fellow OL, Richie Incognito. Martin stated he was the point of verbal attacks, of racial slurs and belligerent threats. We finally got Lance Armstrong admitting to doping. After years upon years of speculation, the Tour de France machine, confessed he used PEDs. What made this even weirder, was his adamant denial for so long, then to finally arrogantly just say “yep, I did.”


The awful Aaron Hernandez murder case. never a highlight, more of a lowlight, but a huge sports story this year. When NE Patriots star TE Aaron Hernandez was arrested and charged with the homicide of Odin Lloyd. And the gang connection possibilities. It all came as a huge shock.

We came into a great direction, finally, when the BCS would in the end be replaced by a 4-team playoff. Thankfully, no more computer based champions. Peyton Manning had a ridiculous start to the NFL season. Wasting zero time getting his Broncos ready and firing in the 2013 NFL season, throwing for 7 touchdowns in the very 1st game of the year. Surpassing the old 50 TD record by Tom Brady, Manning adds yet another record, to his 5 inch thick record book already. We got acquainted with the fast paced offensive style of Chip Kelly into the NFL. When he accepted the head coaching job for Philadelphia Eagles. Many were on the fence if his style would be effective in the NFL. It has shown it was more than effective with the surprising emergence of star QB, Nick Foles, leading the team.

Super freshman, Jameis Winston owns the NCAA football world. The Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston stood as the biggest and baddest QB in the nation. After allegations of inappropriate relations with a female, he went on to win the Heisman Trophy. Winston won the trophy easily, finishing with the 7th-largest margin of victory in Heisman voting history.

And let’s not forget the amazing game we will all certainly remember, when Auburn DB Chris Davis returned a missed field-goal attempt 100+ yards to score the game-winning touchdown as time expired vs. #1 Alabama. Auburn won 34-28, putting them into the title game. It was more than a busy year in sports, it was entertaining, and drama filled, as always.

And as always, wishing you all a SAFE & HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014.

Football Betting Matchups From The NFL And NCAAF

The action is starting to heat up on the gridiron in both the NFL and NCAA, and this week is loaded with matchups in the sportsbook that will keep you busy on Saturday and Sunday.


Dallas Cowboys at Detroit Lions – A pair of 4-3 teams from the NFC meet in the Motor City, and the Lions are 3-point favorites at home. However, the Cowboys have won two in a row while playing some very good football.

New York Jets at Cincinnati Bengals – The Jets got a hand to shock New England to go to 4-3, but they’ll be 6-point underdogs on the road against the Bengals, who lead the AFC North at 5-2 and have yet to lose in three home games this season.

Atlanta Falcons at Arizona Cardinals – The 2-4 Falcons have fallen from Super Bowl contenders to being 1-point underdogs on the road at 3-4 Arizona. Of course, Atlanta has had to battle through some important injuries.

NCAA Football

UCLA at Oregon – #12 UCLA has lost five of their last six at #3 Oregon, who are favored by 22.5 points in Eugene on Saturday. The 7-0 Ducks are trying to keep their BCS title hopes alive, while the 5-1 Bruins are looking to keep pace in the Pac-12 South.

South Carolina at Missouri – The #21 Gamecocks dropped to 5-2 after being upset at Tennessee, and there is a good chance they’ll be the underdogs at Missouri against the #5 Tigers, who are 7-0. However, watch the betting line as both teams could be without their starting quarterbacks.

Texas Tech at Oklahoma – In the Big 12, 7-0 Texas Tech has quietly snuck up to 10th in the BCS rankings, but they’ll be underdogs by a touchdown at #15 Oklahoma, who are 6-1. The Red Raiders have won just twice in their last nine trips to Norman.

Oh How Sweet It is! A Run Down of the Sweet 16 by Joe D’Amico

Oh The Sweet 16 is upon us. As usual, some pre-season favorites are here, some teams that were on the fence, and not one, not two, but three Cinderella teams in 12 seeded Oregon, 13 seeded La Salle, and 15 seeded Florida GC. In the 8 matchups, there are two contests with huge lines in Louisville as a 10-point fav over Oregon and Florida laying 16 vs. Florida GC. We also have two matchups in which the #2 and #3 seeds face off in the Duke/Michigan State and the Miami/Marquette games. Over the L15 years, the favorite has covered 57 times while the ‘dog covered 59 times.

Over the L2 seasons, the fav’s got the money 11 of the 16 contests. This particular Sweet 16 has three #1 seeds, three #2 seeds, three #3 seeds, and two #4 seeds. The East possesses the only bracket that is composed of seeds 1, 2, 3, and 4.

As of print, these are the odds to win it all: Louisville 3/1

Indiana 9/2

Florida 5/1

Miami Fl 7/1

Ohio State 8/1

Duke 8/1

Kansas 12/1

Syracuse 12/1

Michigan State 12/1

Michigan 12/1

Arizona 25/1

Wichita State 30/1

Marquette 40/1

Oregon 60/1

La Salle 75/1

Field (Florida GC) 75/1

Guys, there is one sure way to make a profit and finish the NCAAB season a big winner…that is by following a proven Tournament Champion. This season alone, I am 23-6 in NCAAB Games of the Month and 11-3 in their Games of the Year. And it is just going to get even better. I have made you money in EVERY NCAAB Tourney since turning pro all those years ago. I just posted a HUGE OPPORTUNITY with my NCAAB UPDATED DISCOUNTED TOURNEY PKG. You will receive all of my winning NCAA Tournament releases, as well as each NIT, CBI, and CIT play that I post for less than the price of just 1 game. Finish this college hoops campaign in the plus column. Just follow me and count your winnings. Thank you and Good Luck. Joe D’Amico How Sweet It is! A Run Down of the Sweet 16 by Joe D’Amico of

March Madness is officially here and it’s time to get your brackets ready!!

This is the most exciting time of the college basketball season and the most anticipated and watched event in sports next to the Super Bowl.
I have correctly pegged 2 of the 4 teams who made it to the FINAL FOUR in eight straight years.
This year I am giving you some of my top advice on what it takes to be a champion. Of course, you can never foresee injuries, suspensions, foul trouble, poor officiating, etc. throughout the big dance.
Everyone likes underdogs and Cinderella teams but you have to look at the team records, their strengths and the conferences that they play in.  There is usually one team that surprises everyone but fails to win it in the end, such as Utah in 1998 vs. Kentucky and Butler coming up short in 2010 and 2011.
Since 1998, the Championship team has not been seeded lower than a #3 and in 1997 Arizona was a #4 seed and won it all. As you can see in the past 15 tournaments, the top teams usually go all the way. Digging even deeper you have to go back to 1988 when a #6 seed Kansas team coached by Larry Brown won it all, but things were different back then as players didn’t bolt to the NBA after one season in college. As much as I like to select a solid #4 or #5 to go all the way, it’s not a smart idea. Nineteen of the last 22 National Champs have been a #1 or #2 seed.
Before I start to bore you with all of my numbers and trends, let me share some of my top tips for picking your brackets. Great teams do not lose more than 7 games in a season, so if a team has 8 or more losses, stay away from them.  Also, each of the past 15 champs were from one of the major 6 conferences (Big East, SEC, PAC-12, BIG 12, ACC, BIG 10). The teams in these conferences play the toughest games night in and night out on a regular basis and have been more battle tested.  Mid majors/small schools tend to make it to the Sweet 16 or Elite 8, but not the FINAL FOUR.
So, if you are like me and really like the way Gonzaga, St. Louis, Memphis and New Mexico are playing this season, you might want to think twice about advancing them deep in your brackets.
Looking at the teams who lost 7 or fewer games this season, play in a major conference, and are seeded #3 or better this year, you can narrow down your Final Four selections from this list of nine teams. 
From here, I would look at how these teams faired on neutral courts and on the road during their season. It is also important to consider each team’s starting guards, their defensive strength, team rebounding, and if they can make their foul shots.
From my 20 years of experience, I offer you my professional advice and helpful tips. My hope is that this article has fed your excitement for the tournament while giving you a competitive edge to turn some heads in your company pools!  Enjoy the tournament and remember, pick with your head, not with your heart!
Follow Tony Karpinski for more updates and information throughout the tournament at

Exposing the Top 25: Where the polls went wrong

By JESSE SCHULE of Each week throughout the college basketball season, Covers Expert Jesse Schule will dissect the new Top 25 rankings, looking for betting value. He’ll showcase the most overrated team, along with the most underrated ranked team, and an unranked squad that he feels should be in the Top 25.

Most Underrated Top 25 Team – Georgetown Hoyas (24-5 SU, 15-10 ATS)

Can anyone beat Georgetown right now? Sure, the Hoyas slipped up on the road at Villanova, but so have Louisville, Syracuse and Marquette. Georgetown bounced right back from its only defeat in 12 games by blowing out the Orange at home on Saturday. After covering the points in nine of their last 10 games, the Hoyas appear to be the team to beat as we head into the NCAA Tournament.

Most Overrated Top 25 Team – Gonzaga Bulldogs (30-2 SU, 16-12-2 ATS)

The Gonzaga Bulldogs sit at the top of all of the polls after rattling off 13 consecutive wins. As impressive as this run is, it’s important to consider that not one of those victories came against a Top 25 team. In fact, the last time the Zags faced a ranked team is the last time they lost. Gonzaga fell to the Butler Bulldogs on the road in January and it has a losing record against ranked teams (1-2 SU). Even more telling, both those two losses came against two teams that have since fallen out of the rankings (Butler and Illinois). The Zags face St. Mary’s Monday in the WCC Tournament final. It would be no surprise to see a close game and potentially an upset.

Unranked Team That Should Be Ranked – Notre Dame Fighting Irish (23-8 SU, 14-14 ATS)

The Irish aren’t popular with the public or the books, but I think they are a lot better than people give them credit for. They have proved time and time again they can play with the best teams in the country. Notre Dame has a record of 4-3 versus Top 25 teams, including an overtime win against No. 4 Louisville last month. The Irish might be getting a lot of points as an unranked underdog in the tournament when playing ranked opponents. I like Notre Dame as a dark horse to make some noise in the coming weeks.

Are the Miami Hurricanes really as good as the rankings show them?

The Miami Hurricanes have had a spectacular season, which not a lot of fans of college hoops were expecting this year. After finishing last year with a 20-13 record, and a 9-7 conference record, there didn’t appear to be a lot to be all that excited about. But this season has been a wild and exciting surprise for ‘Canes fans, they have a team that moves up and down the court quick and up tempo, and doesn’t seem to slow down for anybody.

The one big question mark on the Hurricanes is the fact that they haven’t beaten too many strong opponents so far. Questions surround the team from Florida. They have beaten teams like LaSalle and Stetson, neither who are considered tough teams, but they also have huge wins against teams like Duke, NC State, and underrated Michigan State on the year. Of course, a win is a win. As of 2/23/2013, the ‘Canes were 22-4 and ranked at the time, #2 in the country in the nations AP top 25 poll rankings. Still sitting at top of the ACC with a 22-4 record, and is nevertheless 13-1 in the conference. With a conference that has had a fairly down year, with Duke being their only authentic competitor in the conference with them.

Led with a balanced attack between their 3 main guys, guard Durand Scott, guard Shane Larkin and big man Kenny Kadji, all who can jointly burn your team for 13-15 each, and before you know it, they alone could have 50-55 between them.

Kadji who is also one of their best rebounders as well, he can be a mass to handle for any opposing team on the court. Especially because he can play defense so well and puts the ball in the hoop on a regular basis. But in general, the veteran senior loaded squad has a lower scoring team, averaging only 69/game. But they are based on their stifling defense, which only gives up 58 points/game. Including 15 games where they gave up 60 or less, pretty impressive at any stage of evaluating.

Teams that I believe have been pushed aside during this Miami Hurricanes storyline have been Michigan State, Michigan, and even Syracuse, if you’re looking at straight competition played. Between those teams, they have beaten tremendous teams like Ohio State, Kansas, Louisville and Wisconsin.

The ‘Canes recently lost to a team that no one fears, the 12-14, Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Now of course, it was a giant upset, team wise, but their defense let it down big time and let the Deacons hang 80 on them, who were coming in only scoring 67 a game, and shooting a miserable 43%, light them up. Not to discredit anything the ‘Canes have accomplished this year, but with the streak now behind us, and March Madness staring us in the eye like a leopard. Written by Mike Anthony of

College Basketball Betting Secrets: Late Season Bet on Bubble Trouble

Intro: In college basketball betting, bubble teams,
squads in must-win situations, offer great opportunity for the bettor. But it is
to go with them against the college basketball line or against them? Body: As we
approach the final weeks of the college basketball regular season, which
includes the major conference tournaments, it’s time to remind you of one of the
great pitfalls gamblers make. That is to bet on the team that needs a win more.

Combine this with the public’s infatuation with betting on the better
team, some of the best investment opportunities are forthcoming in the early
days of March Madness betting simply by fading bubble teams.

Why are
they great go-against teams for the sharp player? The previously stated motive
is one of them. The linesmakers know that gamblers accept as true that the
bubble teams will be more motivated. Thus, bettors are ready and willing to lay
extra points.

But the fact is, if a team is on “the bubble” they haven’t
been victorious often enough in such “must win” games. The squads that excel in
pressure games have their NCAA at-large bid locked up by this time of the year.

The most opportune situation is when a bubble team is matched up against
a squad in a pure spoiler role. Let’s clarify the relatively objective
definitions. Not that we really need it, but the cheat-sheet we utilize for
which teams qualify as “bubble” would be Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology on

Lunardi essentially has 12 bubble teams: last four in, last four out and
next four out. From a handicapping standpoint, the list gets smaller as the year
goes on.

A team in a “pure spoiler role” is one that has no chance at an
at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Again, Bracketology is our favorite cheat
sheet if there is any doubt, though we of course follow college basketball to
the point where we know who’s certainly in, who is out, and who is on “the

One of our Golden Rules of online betting is to bet on
inconsistent teams to continue to be inconsistent, while the public seems to
believe unpredictable teams will somehow improve in stress situations.

When Team Bubble is going up against inferior “spoiler” teams, they are
going to be overpriced because of public perception. We do caution that while
betting online against bubble teams is certainly our strong bias, as always the
angle is merely part of our preponderance of data scrutinized before finalizing
a bet.

In so far as over/under plays, we also lean towards betting the
under in such games. In spoiler versus bubble team circumstances, there is
plenty of motivation for both squads. Intensity shows up positively on the
defensive end, but the angst of a must-win game shows up negatively with sloppy
play on the offensive end.

Written by Joe Duffy of