i just spent my entire weekend being completely amazed by how accurate vegas bookmakers are with their spreads and lines - and i spent the rest of the time being suckered by them again and again.
thank god i don't live anywhere near nevada.
and, oh yeah, nothing beats college hoops.
it's amazing to see and hear how much everybody hates duke. i can't believe that many people took belmont and 19 points. but as they neared the upset, the whole sportsbook was clearly on their side. i didn't have any money on the game, but i was with everyone in total support.
it's been a long time since the days of dawkins, amaker, alarie, hurley, hill, brand and jason williams, now replaced with obnoxious douchebags like redick and mcroberts and now paulus and scheyer. they've become completely unrootable. where has my love gone?
speaking of love, i was repaid with none of it by the teams i bet money on. for the 1.5 points i got for wagering on kent, they repaid me with just 10 points in the first half. for the 9 points i got for wagering on winthrop, they gave me just 11 second half points in return. and, to top it all off, the 32 points i got for mississippi valley state was 3 more than the team scored in the entire game.
good job, asswipes.
but that's not the worst of it. i watched stanford put 21 on cornell in the first half, using the astounding athleticism of 7'0" brook lopez, being quicker in the backcourt and just being a much better overall team.
the spread for the second half came out: 4.5 points.
okay, let's think about this. stanford's a much better team. they're bigger and faster and stronger. lopez can score whenever he wants. and, although their starters were not going to play the entire second half, i've got to believe that the rest of the team is 4.5 points better than an outclassed ivy league team during 20 minutes, right?
seems like easy money, i thought. gotta be a mistake by vegas. what's 4.5 points when you just went up by 21? cornell can't do anything to stop them, right?
wrong. stanford was just 4 points better.
i still can't figure it out.
and i can't figure out why i took cal state fullerton and 11 points over wisconsin without knowing that the titans didn't have a starter over 6'5". that would have meant more to me than the badgers' deliberate style of play. yes, this is how people lose money - even those who watch endless amounts of basketball.
we set up two tvs in the house to keep us away from the sportsbook and their devilish halftime spreads. seriously. that 4.5 line in the stanford game is still freaking me out.
i went into the tournament in love with drake. i saw them twice and just went nuts over their style of play. it was everything that was right and fun with college hoops. composed, smart and ballsy basketball.
that being said, the team i saw play this year was not the the team that lost to western kentucky. throwing up 30 footers with 20 left on the shot clock is not composed basketball. steadfastly refusing to go backdoor or post up is not smart basketball. playing predictably and exclusively from the outside is not ballsy.
they blew it.
i took 'nova and the points to beat clemson - just because clemson can't hit free throws, and that makes games closer. but it wasn't close anyhow and it was nova hitting free throws to end it. jay wright's a good coach. it's smart to bet on good coaches.
and i got points for taking davidson and siena, even though i didn't need them. add that to giving up six to take notre dame on friday and still winning, and i can tell you that it was a good first round for staten island basketball alumni, both on the court and in the sportsbook.
i took notre dame again with points against wazzu. not only did i think they'd win going away, i thought that wazzu wouldn't have an answer to the irish's firepower.
and how did notre dame repay me? you got it, a season-low 41 points.
seriously, how does this happen?
in other news, the only thing better than watching duke lose is watching them lose while also getting five points.
i did take marquette and 1.5 over stanford, and got very lucky. first off, trent johnson's ejection gave marquette four extra points that evened out the score in regulation. and truth be told, brook lopez got fouled on his game winning baseline jumper. it should've been an "and one", but wasn't. stanford wins by one. marquette wins by .5 with the spread.
the lines were dead on. an amateur would say that vegas is fortunate, but that was the sixth or so line they hit directly on the spot. i'm not naive, but figuring out how they do that is gonna make me want to do math.
i took texas and gave up 6.5 to a weak miami team. i didn't watch the game (we were driving back), but i did watch rick barnes coach last year, and now, in retrospect, i regret the pick. and yes, a much more talented longhorn team barely squeaked by with only 3 points to spare. damn. my bad.
note: anyone who thinks that a rick barnes coached texas team will beat a john calipari coached memphis team, even with the game being played in houston, is clinically insane.
speaking of, i bet against jay wright and took siena. yes, i bet against a good coach. you can figure out how that turned out. i am an idiot.
i also took the over on siena/villanova (174) and san diego/western kentucky (134). i won both by 2 and 1 points respectively. again, i want to do the math to figure out how.
i never thought i would repeatedly say those words.
all in all, i think i broke even in tahoe. but, when you consider all the thrills that the first weekend of march madness gave me, there's no doubt who came out ahead.
and, you heard it here: go davidson.