College Hoops SEC 2013

by Jim Feist of

 The SEC has a bunch of teams that play
great defense and are loaded with talent, depth and athleticism. Kentucky won
the national championship in 1998 and again last season. Florida knocked on the
door in 2000, getting to the title game against Michigan State, before winning
back to back titles in 2006-07. Here’s a look at some of college basketball’s
best teams in the SEC that hope to knock on the door again.

Florida: The
Gators have wrapped up their 15th straight 20-win season. Florida Coach Bill
Donovan likes the up-tempo game and he has another strong group. With so many
young teams in college hoops, the Gators have a veteran team. They have a
talented Big Four of senior guards Kenny Boynton and Mike Rosario running the
break, and 6-10 senior Erik Murphy and 6-9 junior Patrick Young pounding the

They lead the SEC in assists and field goal shooting, both from
the field and from beyond the arc. The Gators smoked Wisconsin earlier in the
year, but lost to Kansas State (67-61) and Arizona (65-64). All of Florida’s
first 10 SEC victories were by double digits, including a 69-52 triumph over
Kentucky last week. The over is 21-6 in Florida’s last 27 Saturday games and 8-0
over against teams with winning percentages below .400. The Gators play three of
their final five games at home and are expected to do well in the SEC tourney.

Kentucky: The rebuilding Wildcats are the defending champs, but unlike
Florida they are super young, as usual, led by 6-4 freshman Archie Goodwin and
6-7 freshman Alex Poythress. A third freshman, 6-10 Nerlens Noel, is leading the
nation with an average of 4.4 blocks and the SEC with 9.5 rebounds, but suffered
a season-ending knee injury in Kentucky’s 69-52 loss at Florida last week. It
was a huge blow.

Noel’s injury means more playing time for 7-foot
freshman Willie Cauley-Stein, who mainly served as Noel’s backup. “I’ve been
coaching for 22 years and this is the first injury we’ve had of this kind during
the season, which makes it even more devastating,” coach John Calipari said. The
Wildcats are 3-11 ATS in the SEC and 9-21-1 ATS following a spread loss. If you
like to play totals, keep in mind Kentucky is 16-4-1 under in its last 21 road
games! They get a chance for revenge in the regular season finale, hosting

Alabama: The Tide is like their football counterpart,
exceptional on defense, second in the SEC behind Florida in points allowed, just
57 per game. However, they are also the gang that can’t shoot straight, one of
the weaker offensive teams averaging just 62 ppg. After a bumpy December losing
5 of 6 they’ve been playing well, holding 8 straight opponents under 58 points
(winning 6).

Junior guard Trevor Releford and sophomore guard Trevor
Lacey run the backcourt, with 6-6 soph Rodney Cooper up front. They are not a
big team, preferring to slow the pace down. They rank among the league leaders
in blocks, steals and scoring defense. Alabama is on a 21-6 run under the total
and needs every win it can get as it attempts to boost a tenuous NCAA Tournament

Mississippi: Ole Miss is torching the nets, running and gunning
averaging over 79 points per game, fifth in the nation. Junior guard Marshall
Henderson (19.5 ppg) runs the offense and leads the SEC in scoring, plus there
is fine low post play with 6-7 senior Murphy Holloway (14.5 ppg) and 6-9 senior
Reginald Buckner. In conference play, sophomore point guard Jarvis Summers has
averaged 11.1 points, four more than he did in the non-conference schedule.

But February has not been kind, getting blown out at Missouri (98-79)
and losses to Kentucky at home (87-74) and at Florida (78-64). Are they ready
for prime time with that suspect defense? The Rebels are 9-3 ATS in their last
12 home games and on a 5-0 run over the total this month.

Missouri: The
newcomer to the SEC has been impressive, 21st in the nation in scoring, third in
rebounds and tops in the SEC in free throw shooting (75%). The Tigers are the
only team in Division I with six players averaging at least 10 points this
season. Sparkplug junior guard Phil Pressey dishes out 7 assists per contest and
has plenty of weapons to feed with 6-5 sophomore Jabari Brown (15 ppg) , 6-8
senior Laurence Bowers (14.7 ppg) and 6-9 senior Alex Oriakhi (10.7 ppg, 8.7
rpg) .

Missouri outrebounded 20 of its 24 opponents this season. But
they have not been impressive on the road, and have road contests coming up at
Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee. The Tigers are on a 1-4 ATS run on the
road. Missouri has scored 45.6 percent of its points inside the paint this
season. All that running means they are on a 21-5 run over the total, plus 15-4
over in SEC play.

Big East: What A Conference!

by Jim Feist of

Once again the Big East is loaded
with talented teams. Marquette, Cincinnati and Louisville came aboard back in
2006, among others, joining powerhouse schools like UConn, Syracuse, Villanova
and Pitt to form a 16-team Super Big East conference. A Big East representative
won college basketball’s national championship twice in the last ten years
(UConn, 2004 + 2011) and several will be knocking on the door again.

Syracuse: The Orange were the darlings of college hoops…until losing
back to back games two weeks ago, at Villanova in OT (75-71) and at Pitt
(65-55). Still, don’t overlook this talented group, one that knocked off
then-No. 1 Louisville (70-68) and plays that suffocating Boeheim zone. Syracuse
has a surprisingly veteran team for this day and age with senior guard Brandon
Triche (14.5 ppg), 6-8 junior C.J. Fair (14 ppg, 7 rpg) and 6-9 soph Rakeem

But the guy who makes the offense hum is 6-6 sophomore
Michael Carter-Williams and his 8.5 assists per contest. And, of course, that
defense, tops in the Big East in shooting percentage (36.6% allowed): The under
is 6-2 against a team with a winning percentage above .600. They host Providence
and Georgetown this week.

Pitt: Pitt does a lot of things well, 15th in
the nation in shooting (.48%), 6th in assists, plus the defense topped No. 6
Syracuse two weeks ago (65-55). Senior G Tray Woodall (10.8 ppg, 5.5 apg) leads
in scoring, with 6-9 junior Talib Zanna (10.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg), 7-0, 250-lb
freshman Steven Adams (7 ppg, 6.7 rpg) up front. They are on a 14-5 run over the
total, though the offense shoots just 66% from free throw line (13th in Big

They win with defense, allowing 54.5 ppg in Big East play (No.
1), 5th in FG defense (39%). The Panthers rank third in the Big East in 3-point
percentage but 11th in 3-pointers attempted. But they have not been an under
team: the over is 6-2 in the Panthers last 8 road games, 20-7 over following a
win and 54-26-1 over the total in Saturday games!

Marquette: The Golden
Eagles have been getting hot at the right time, on a recent 9-2 SU, 6-4 ATS run.
They beat Georgetown (49-48) in a slow down game, but got bombed by Florida
(82-49) when the Gators controlled the tempo. They are 4th in Big East in
shooting (45.7%), second in free throws (73%), but not good from long range
(29%, 14th in Big East) for Coach Buzz Williams.

The offense is led by
6-4 junior G Vander Blue (15 ppg), who leads in scoring but comes off the bench,
so he’s seen as the best 6th man in nation, plus 6-9, 290-lb junior Davante
Gardner (12 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and 6-5 senior Trent Lockett (7.7 ppg, 5 rpg).
Marquette’s reserves average 29.9 points, fifth-most in the nation, compared to
16.6 last season. The bench scoring accounts for 42.1 percent of the team’s
total offense, which is fourth-highest in the nation. The over is 41-18 in the
Golden Eagles last 59 Saturday games.

Louisville: Rick Pitino’s troops
are doing it again with defense, third in the Big East in points allowed and
allow 39.6% shooting in conference play. He has an ace scorer in junior guard
Russ Smith (18 ppg) and senior Peyton Siva (10.6 ppg, 6 apg) leading the
offense, and a pair of board bangers in 6-11 junior Gorgui Dieng and 6-6 soph
Chane Behanan (10 ppg, 7.2 rpg).

The loss to Syracuse starting a
stunning three-game skid, losing at Villianova and Georgetown the next two
games, before they got back on course with a 70-51 rout of No. 25 Marquette.
Next week starts a tough stretch to end the regular season with games at
Syracuse, then at home against Cincinnati and Notre Dame. The Cardinals are 25-9
ATS following a win.

Georgetown: The Hoyas don’t dazzle on offense, as
the way to win the rugged Big East is with Big D. They do, allowing 55.4 ppg in
conference play (second) and 37% shooting (also second). They lost to No. 1
Indiana earlier in the season in OT. The frontcourt leads the way with 6-8
sophomore Otto Porter Jr (14.8 ppg, 7.6 rpg) and 6-8 junior Nate Lubick. A key
blow appeared to be the loss of 6-8 soph Greg Whittington (12 ppg, 7 rpg) in
January to academic issues, but the Hoyas kept winning. This weekend Georgetown
heads to Syracuse, one of two meetings with the Orange still on deck. Good luck!

NCAA Baskall Betting Tips: Who to Bet On/Against Off Win or Loss

Which college basketball teams are the best and worst
against the spread off a straight up win and straight up loss? Two weeks ago, we
gave the Margin of Cover (MOC) breakdown. Renamed “sweat barometer” in Chad
Millman of ESPN’s column, MOC is similar to scoring margin, but it is measured
by how much a team covers or fails to cover the point spread, many sports
handicappers believe MOC is invaluable in isolating under and overvalued teams.

The teams are ranked using that same MOC statistic.

As of: games
entering Feb. 11

Minimum number of lined applicable games: seven

Here are the top teams to bet on off a win according to their MOC

Team ATS Record Margin of Cover

Miami Fl 14-3 +9.2

Francisco 7-1 +8.1

Towson 9-3 +7.3

Florida 12-5 +6.0

Colorado St. 9-6 +5.7

Southern Miss 10-6 +5.5

Northridge 10-3 +5.2

Western Mich 10-4 +5.0

These would be the
best teams to best against off a straight up win according to MOC

ATS Record Margin of Cover

Marshall 0-10 -10.8

Drexel 1-8 -7.8

TCU 0-7 -6.6

Cleveland St 3-7 -5.3

Oregon St 2-8 -5.1

Here are the top teams to bet on following a straight up loss according
to their MOC

Team ATS Record Margin of Cover

G Washington 8-0

UL Lafayette 8-5 +6.2

South Dakota 8-6 +5.5

7-2 +5.3

CS Fullerton 6-4 +5.2

Nebraska 8-3 +5.2

would be the best teams to best against off a straight up loss according to MOC

Team ATS Record Margin of Cover

SE Missouri 2-7 -6.7

Northridge 2-7 -5.8

Alabama 1-7 -5.6

Morehead St 4-6 -5.3

Southern Illinois 5-9 -5.0

Not surprisingly, a disproportionate
number of teams are from smaller conferences as most pro gamblers believe the
lower profile the team, the better the opportunity. There is no discernable
pattern as to general rules of thumb to whether it is better to bet on or
against a squad based on their previous game result.

Written by Joe
Duffy of

Has Rajon Rondo proved his worth in Boston

The All-Star point guard has been sidelined with a torn ACL. What does this mean for Celtics fans and the team this season? The aggressive point guard is done for the rest of the 2013 season, which means catastrophe in Beantown.

When Rondo was 1st getting his wings beneath him, back in 2006, he happened to be in the floundering early stages of the BIG 3 faction. He was the point guard, “in the right place, at the right time” is how many considered about the Kentucky native. When he was drafted out of Kentucky, he was seen as a decent passer and a good rebounding guard. Then he stepped in and quickly had a chance to play with future Hall of Famers on the court, in the iconic basketball city of Boston.

Not a bad way to start your career. Many folks questioned if Rondo was really that good, or if he simply excelled playing with the legends around him. Of course, I think it was a combination of both…early in his career.

Learning the game at a skilled level from top professionals, and winning the championship in 2007, his 2nd season in the NBA certainly once more, is a pretty fine way to begin your NBA career. As a rook, Rondo put up humble numbers, with 6 pts, 4 rbs, and 4 asts.

Now, 6 years later, he is without a doubt confirmed he is the leader of team. The Celtics go how Rondo goes, easily the top playmakers on the team. Rajon, with his basketball ability is a triple double threat everytime he steps on the court. At only 6-1, averaging 6 RPG, putting him 1st on the list of rebounding PGs in the NBA. He was often disregarded as “the other guy” playing with KG and Pierce. He is the link that holds it together. With his defense, his scorching speed and his great control of the games pace is immeasurable.

The Boston Celtics need someone to keep their declining offense moving, time has caught up with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, who just cannot lead the team like they could have even 5-6 years ago.

Which leaves the burning question, who will step it up now in Boston at the 1 spot? Guys are going to have to play dissimilar roles; in my opinion, I think Leandro Barbosa should get 35 minutes a game. Although not the blazing speed demon he used to be, he still can move the ball and can score well too. And he will keep defenses honest with his deep ball.

The season looks to be in danger right now, for Boston. Certainly losing #9 hurts awfully. For any chance of success they will need to come collectively as an organization and play differently. Possibly concentrating more on a reduced middle game, or slowing the tempo down even more, get some play from Brandon Bass, who is capable of getting things done, when he gets good playing time.

Currently, sitting in the bottom region of the playoff hunt, they could with no trouble slip out of the race. But if the Celtics do in fact make the playoffs, without Rondo, that alone would be an achievement. With Garnett and Pierce aging away, no proper center in the middle, Rondo gone for the season, it looks to be a tough road at the forefront. It appears that the semi-successful run in Beantown is beginning to wrap up.

Written by Mike Anthony of

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 Big East (UConn,
Syracuse). Over the next few weeks, let’s examine some of the top hoop teams in
each conference, starting this week with the ACC.

Duke: Coach Mike
Krzyzewski has another talented team that is just three years removed from a
national title, one that is flexing its ACC muscles again. This is a veteran
team led by 6-10 senior Mason Plumlee (18.4 ppg, 11.3 rpg), and 6-11 senior Ryan
Kelly (12.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg) up front, while senior G Seth Curry (16 ppg) runs the
break. They like the uptempo game, 13th in the nation in scoring (80 pg), 21st
in shooting 48% as team.

Duke beat No. 3 Kentucky (75-68) as -4 chalk,
beat No. 2 Louisville (76-71) in pick ‘em and beat No. 4 Ohio State (73-68) as
-6. In a win against the Buckeyes, Duke shot 47% and allowed .338% shooting.
They trailed 31-23 at the half but Duke freshman Rasheed Sulaimon scored all 17
of his points in the second half.

NC State: The Wolfpack is staying
alive with a frontcourt that is one of the best at offensive rebounding in the
ACC, led by 6-8, 250-pound senior Richard Howell (13 ppg, 11 rpg) and 6-9 junior
C.J. Leslie (15 ppg, 7 rpg). NC State shoots .51% from the field as a team,
third in the nation and they like to run, 79 ppg (9th in country). The Wolfpack
is on a 17-7-1 ATS run.

They lost to Oklahoma State (76-56) as -10
favorite, lost 79-72 at Michigan as a +5 dog, but beat rival Duke (84-76), then
lost two of three at Maryland (51-50) and at Wake (86-84). The Wolfpack is 8-3-1
ATS against the ACC as well as a on a conference run 11-4 over the total.

Miami: Where did these guys come from? Miami is all about defense,
allowing 58.7 ppg in ACC play (third), 36.9% shooting (second) and just 30% from
long range (third) for Coach Jim Larranaga. That’s why they started 12-2 under
the total! The Canes are physical up front, led by 6-5 senior Durand Scott (14.6
ppg), 6-11 senior Kenny Kadji (13 ppg, 7.2 rpg) and 6-10, 250-lb senior Julian
Gamble (6.5 ppg, 5 rpg).

They lost to Florida Gulf Coast (63-51) in
second game, lost to No. 4 Arizona (69-50) and to Indiana State in OT (57-55),
but crushed No. 1 Duke (90-63). Miami held Duke to 29% shooting, 4 of 23 from
3-point land, while shooting 57%. The defeat was the third worst for a No. 1
team. Miami is home this week and has a manageable schedule until a March 2nd
rematch at Duke. Think the Cameron Crazies will be up for it?

Carolina: The Tar Heels have a powerhouse offensive team that is running and
gunning again for Roy Williams, tops in the nation in rebounds and one of the
best scoring teams. It’s a young team with 6-9 sophomore James McAdoo (14.7 ppg,
8 rpg) and 6-7 junior Reggie Bullock (14 ppg, 5.8 rpg), while a pair of guards
average over 4 assists in freshman Marcus Paige and senior Dexter Strickland.

But can they play any defense? Indiana burned them (83-59) as did Butler
(82-71), and Virginia and Miami topped them by slowing the pace down. Despite
all that offense, the under is 25-12 in Tar Heels last 37 road games against a
team with a home winning percentage of greater than .600.

Virginia: The
Cavaliers are getting it done with a terrific one-two punch of 6-8 junior Akil
Mitchell (12 ppg, 9 rpg) and 6-6 junior Joe Harris (15.3 ppg). Virginia plays
good defense, tops in the ACC in points allowed (51 pg), as well as third in
field goal shooting defense (.37%). On offense they are second to Duke, shooting
39.7% from long range. The Cavaliers are 8-0-1 ATS in their last 9 home games
and 24-10 under the total at home. Virginia has beaten North Carolina (61-52)
but has the rematch coming up next week on the road.

Written by Jim Fiest of

College Basketball Betting Secrets Revealed

When our winning rate decelerated in 2012, we conducted
an internal audit. We wanted to find if there was a clear-cut pattern as to
when, why, and how our picks won. We studied the records and analysis with each

We scoured over years and years of data, picks, and intel used to
support the bets. Many times we hit 60-70 percent over thousands of games, other
times in the lower to mid 50 percentile.

In short, the most apparent  deviation was when we allowed technology to supersede old-fashioned time-proven metrics that we won with on scorephones and though today.

The sport that stood out was college basketball. Our soul searching made it clear that
injuries, especially players returning from such, scheduling dynamics, clear-cut
emotional letdown situations and more are still the key to isolating off-lines.

Technology is great. Super systems, sharp versus square, market analysis are among the valuable tools that we added to our arsenal over the years. But in reality, this information is most affective corroborating old-fashioned time tested techniques.

Examples of strategies that should never be
downplayed would be exploiting scheduling dynamics. Here is from a recent
premium report, “In a schedule where 29th-year head coach Greg Kampe dubbed as
stupid, Oakland is playing on the road in 15 of its first 19 games and traveling
nearly 17,000 miles. OU is just 1-8 this season away from home and have lost
five straight. They are understandably very road weary. The schedule maker has
given us a gift here.”

After a 2-1 spread start, Oakland lost seven of
their next eight road games our clients were informed.

Similarly, the same day we won with UNLV over Canisius. “Canisius is playing their fourth game
in seven days. Two were on the road or neutral at Syracuse and Temple. Now they
are playing 1971 miles away from home. Yes, they will be fat and happy following
the stunner over Temple, but what a tough turnaround heading to Vegas to play
another good team in 48 hours. This is the same squad that lost to Stony Brook
and was blown out of the arena in a short trip to Syracuse, so all signs point
towards following up their best game of the year with a thud.”

We find to be the best source for streamlined travel analysis.

Analyzing injuries is not just about which players will not be playing
that night, but what happens in the games (yes plural, not just his first game
back) when key players return. An example, “NIU is coming into form getting key
players back. Abdel Nader is averaging 14.0 points per game in three contests
since returning from suspension. Nader is averaging 27.1 points per 40 minutes

Akeem Springs is averaging 11.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game
since moving to a role off the bench in the last three games. Springs is
shooting 50.0 percent, including 54.5 percent from 3-point range, during that
time; Antone Christian returned against DePaul (Dec. 16) after missing six games
due to injury. In his second game back at Seattle (Dec. 19), Christian scored a
season-high 11 points in just 10 minutes of action.”

So often it takes
time for chemistry to develop and for a player to rid of rust and ease back into
the line-up. That’s why a team’s progress must be tracked two, three, and four
games after a key player returns from a sustained absence.

Teams with
schedules that have had a disproportionate number of road games will usually be
undervalued. Those who have had substantial home cooking will be overestimated
and are so often fade plays once they hit the road.

Teams’ own SID
releases are goldmines for betting bellwethers. We find them best organized in
the news section of Of course Google and Google News remain daily
musts for searching specific information.

We have a long list of harbingers we keep an eye out for in addition to the aspects above.

Inexperienced teams tend to play much better at home early in the year,
but after about a dozen games start to improve as a road bet just as their road
power ratings drop. Experienced teams start out quickly and are especially
quality road bets. But likewise after ten or so games, they reach a point of
diminishing return and become a bit of a fade, especially on the road.

How do we define “experience?” The “experience tracker” at
is our favorite cheat sheet for such.

Another common occurrence would be
squads that experiment with different line-ups early in the season, but settle
into a rotation. How have the done with the stability? Are they improving a bit
each game as one would expect?

Technology is wonderful and gamblers must
exploit, but not at the expense of time-proven handicapping golden nuggets.

In hindsight I began to allow high tech toys to overshadow proven sports
betting procedures. Introspection reminds us a proper balance begins by
acknowledging the game itself is mastered much like it was before the
Information Age. So is handicapping.

Written by Joe Duffy of