I’m certainly ready for all of March’s madness, no matter the sport!

Right now at my house, I have my laptop tuned into ESPN3 for the NCAA Wrestling Championships in St. Louis, Missouri, and my big screen TV tuned into TNT for the Montana/Wisconsin clash. I’ve already watched Murray State – one of my Final Four teams in my bracket I posted on at ChrisJordanSports – dispose of Colorado State, and I’m ready for a full day of action.

I do wish oddsmakers would put odds on the Wrestling Finals, would be interesting to see how much action would come in on the event, which is growing in popularity. Oh well, until then, we all know where the abundance of money is coming from this month, and that’s on the hardwood. Hoards of people come to Las Vegas every year, on this particular weekend, just to watch the games in the sports books.

Bally’s and Caesars Palace are always popular places, with their spacious seating. Personally, back in the day when I was part of a large betting group and was insistent on putting in my own bets with my share, I would visit Bally’s Excalibur and the Palms. The last one, admittedly, was because of those cocktail waitresses.

Now I’m cool with flipping through the channels, having the picture-in-picture loaded and relaxing in the comforts of my home on the 8th hole of a beautiful golf course. Weather is nice, bets have been laid since Monday and I’m feeling good about everything right now. Just need winners, and my future bets to hold up.

Not sure how you’re doing your handicapping, but you quite possibly might be looking for an edge, whether it’s with the coaches, the underdogs, specific conferences, colors of uniforms, alma maters – you get the point – there are definitely favorable intangibles to use in the first round of this event.

One of my favorites is handicapping the coaches.

Sort of tells me how much preparation a coach puts into his approach, if a powerhouse team is better suited as a first-half play, cause it’ll rest legs for the Round of 32. Definitely an advantage of looking at coaching records in the opening round (now known as the second round, since there is a First Four with four pigtail games).

Let’s start with some of the profitable guys, beginning with Michigan coach John Beilein, who led the Wolverines to a share of the Big10 regular season championship, is a perfect 5-0 SU and ATS. Also, Kansas State’s outspoken skipper, Frank Martin, is 3-0 both SU and ATS in his three tournament appearances, and Matt Painter has led Purdue to a 5-1 ATS record.

Cal’s Mike Montgomery was 8-1 SU heading into the event, but saw his Golden Bears, a Sweet 16 choice of mine, get blasted by South Florida.

Thinking about the top seeds? Careful, Duke’s Coach K is 13-1 SU, but just 7-7 ATS, mainly cause his Blue Devils are always big favorites as one of the higher seeds. They’re laying a rather low -12 to Lehigh on Friday.

Kansas’ Bill Self is 11-2 SU but a mediocre 7-5 ATS in the round of 64, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo is 10-4 SU and 8-6 ATS and North Carolina’s Roy Williams is a perfect 13-0 SU and 7-5-1 ATS.

Looking for a good moneyline play with a coach? How about West Virginia’s Bobby Huggins. His Mountaineers opened up as a 1-1/2 point choice over Gonzaga, but the bettors moved the line to the other side, making the Bulldogs a favorite by the same spread. But Huggins is 9-3 SU in the first round of the event with teams he’s taken; then again, so is Gonzaga’s Mark Few.

Some of the coaches you may want to think about going against in the first round, based on their ATS trends are Connecticut’s Jim Calhoun, Kentucky’s John Calipari and North Carolina State’s Mark Gottfried.

Calhoun is 10-1 SU in this round, but likely because his team is laying a huge number, he’s a disappointing 3-8 at the window. Calipari has won seven of eight trips to this round – at the helm of Memphis and Kentucky – yet his teams have only cashed out three times. Gottfried, who has breathed new life into the North Carolina State Wolfpack, has only covered the number once in six first-round games.

Looking for a good favorite to go against, on the moneyline, cause its coach can’t win in this round? Look at Temple. Legendary coach John Cheney has to be disappointed, as current Temple coach Fran Dunphy is 1-9 SU and ATS in this round. The guy simply can’t get ready for the tournament. Dunphy, who has been in place at Temple since 2006, has to prepare for the South Florida team that routed Cal in a pigtail game in Dayton.

Also, Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall is 1-6 SU in the round of 64, and tonight it’ll take on VCU, who became last year’s tournament darling with its run to the Final Four. You can get VCU at +250 on the moneyline as of Noon pacific.

Hopefully this will give you an added edge when handicapping the first round, err, second round, of this year’s dance.

QUOTE OF THE DAY – This has to be from Iowa State guar Scott Christopherson, who showed no fear whatsoever when being questioned about playing defending national champion Connecticut today. “I mean, Kemba Walker’s not coming back, is he? Obviously, we know Connecticut is one of the most storied programs in all of college basketball. We know they’re the defending national champs. (But) we feel like we earned our way to be here, too. We respect them, but I don’t think there’s like a fear factor with them at all.”

And why would there be, when Iowa State is seeded 8th, and the Huskies are seeded 9th?

TODAY’S PLAY – Tonight, at ChrisJordanSports, I am going for my fourth-straight winning day, I absolutely love what I see with my 500* Opening Round Dog Shocker of the Year. Three nights ago I scored with the Milwaukee Bucks as a 600* getting it done in New Jersey against the Nets. Two nights ago it was a 300* dog winner on Mississippi Valley State, in a game it should have won outright, but did in fact cover. Last night my 300* dog winner was on Vermont, an outright pup that beat Lamar by 12 points. $1 bettors are up $1,200 the last three days! I put nearly half that bankroll into action tonight!!! Yep, nothing more profitable than the madness in March, and I’m the best there is when it comes to making money this time of year. Let’s keep things going with this easy Thursday-night winner, the best underdog on the board.

BRACKETS – I’m sure you’ve all turned in your brackets, but if you’d like to keep track of the stable of handicappers at ChrisJordanSports, click HERE to follow your favorite analyst.

R.I.P. GENTLEMAN JACK – I close this blog out on a sad note, as I lost a close and personal family friend – Gentleman Jack Newton. One of the most colorful characters from the Las Vegas tables, Gentleman Jack was one of the most feared gamblers ever to walk into a casino. He was one of the original high-stakes gamblers who honed his skill back in the post-depression era and on into the 1970s. He won using conventional ways, such as counting cards not to mention a few unconventional ways revealed in his book ‘Gentleman Jack Newton: Confessions of a Crossroad Gambler.’ Gaming legends – including the likes of Jack Binion, Doyle Brunson and one of his best friends, famed sports bettor, Billy Walters – all respected him, then and now. They’ve all noted that Newton was the best at his trade. Last checked, his book is available at Amazon from sellers listing it for nearly $300 per copy. Course, that would have been insurance on a 20-hand at a blackjack table for Gentleman Jack, who I’m certain has already found a high-stakes table beyond the pearly gates. Rest in Peace Gentleman Jack, while Las Vegas became a little less colorful on Wednesday, Heaven became a bit more classier.

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Comments
  1. Very interesting info!Perfect just what I was searching for!

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