My Monday blog

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#1
Right idea, wrong day.

For a third straight season, the NCAA and broadcast partner CBS unveiled an in-season look at the top 16 overall seeds for the upcoming men's basketball tournament.

The reveal took place Saturday at the CBS studios in New York with Greg Gumbel serving as host and Clark Kellogg and Seth Davis providing analysis.

According to the Division I Men's Basketball Committee, the four #1 seeds for the NCAA tournament are Duke, Tennessee, Virginia and Gonzaga.

The #2 seeds would be Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina and Michigan State.

Purdue, Kansas, Houston and Marquette were voted as the #3 seeds while Iowa State, Nevada, Louisville and Wisconsin completed the all-important top four lines of the seeding list.

The idea for an in-season peek at the top four seeds in each of the four regions is a good one.

It creates publicity for college basketball's signature event, provides content for college basketball television analysts and whets the appetite of college hoop fans everywhere.

But why not reveal the top 16 teams on a late Sunday afternoon after the weekend games have been played?

By moving the release date to Sunday, the committee would not only have a chance to process the weekend results of important showdowns like Duke-Virginia, Wisconsin-Michigan and Cincinnati-Houston, but also replicate the short turnaround time required five weeks from now.

The actual Selection Sunday show on CBS is scheduled for Sunday, March 17 at 6:00 p.m. ET.

Duke is the #1 overall seed -- the one of the ones, if you will -- and deservingly so.

EOG contributor WINKYDUCK several months ago secured odds of 6/1 on Mike Krzyzewski's team to cut down the nets on Monday, April 8 in Minneapolis and that attractive price is now long gone.

Zion Williamson, a virtual cinch to win the Wooden Award as the nation's most outstanding player, is an 18-year-old man-child with incredible explosiveness for a player his size (6-8 and 285 pounds).

Williamson will be the #1 overall selection in the June NBA Draft and I believe he's as good as current NBA player Julius Randle right now.

Randle is averaging 20 points and nine rebounds per game this season for the New Orleans Pelicans.


POINTS GALORE.....Scoring in the NBA is at a 34-year high.

Not since the mid-1980's have games averaged more than 220 points per game.

Hardcore analytics are the leading reason for the scoring revolution.

Teams are employing more and more statisticians every season to assist coaching staffs with game plans and strategy sessions.

No longer do we see players taking tough mid-range shots with a hand in their face.

Instead, the focus is on pace, space and the three-point shot.

Credit the betting marketplace for keeping abreast of the changing game.

After 838 NBA games this season, the percentage difference between the number of overs and unders is negligible.

I count 420 overs and 413 unders with five pushes.

The two most productive spots on the offensive end of the floor remain the restricted area for layups and dunks and the three-point arc for uncontested long balls.

So much for the mid-range jumper.


WACKY WALTON....ESPN commentator Bill Walton needs to drop his repeated references to "The Conference of Champions" for the struggling Pac-12 Conference.

It's understood Walton is trying to be entertaining while hoping to draw attention to himself and his network.

But the revenue-generating sports of football and basketball have never looked worse in the Pac-12.

The football teams are a combined 7-15 in bowl games over the past three seasons and Pac-12 basketball is dangerously close this season to being a one-bid league for the NCAA tournament.

EOG contributor PARLAYNOW recently labeled the Pac-12 as the "Conference of Dung."

Walton's praise of the Pac-12 ignores the reality of a conference in decline.

And it's only a matter of time before the on-field competitive struggles and off-field financial troubles of the football and basketball programs trickle down to negatively affect the country club sports of golf, tennis, swimming and water polo.


MONDAY'S BEST BET.....Play 855 Virginia -1 (-110) over North Carolina.

Quality team off a loss.

Tony Bennett over Roy Williams.

UVA point guard Ty Jerome is not 100% but the Cavs should be good enough against a Tar Heel team forced into overtime to defeat a subpar Miami squad this past Saturday.

UNC freshman point guard Coby White was visibly frustrated with several teammates last game as the home team struggled to shake Miami.

White will be facing Virginia's vaunted pack-line defense for the first time in his career.

No team in the country plays at a more deliberate pace than Virginia.

If UNC is sloppy with game management, the Tar Heels trailed Miami by 7 points with only 7 minutes left in the second half, Virginia will escape the Smith Center with a victory.


INSIDE INFO.....A little birdie whispered in my ear this past week about an injury to Chicago State's Christian Jacob.

Jacob is one of the few D-I talents on a Chicago State squad featuring mostly D-II and D-III players.

Chicago State this season is 3-22 overall and 0-10 in conference play.

The Cougars are 0-18 on the road.

Only MEAC dregs Delaware State and Maryland Eastern Shore are rated lower than Chicago State on Ken Pomeroy's trusted scale.

Cal Baptist pounded Chicago State, 94-44, as a cheap 17.5-point favorite this past Thursday.

Jacob played well (20 points in 30 minutes) against Cal Baptist in a narrow 79-77 loss at Chicago State earlier this season.

Information about Jacob's injury was not widely distributed and the last news story posted to Chicago State's official basketball website was dated January 4.

Someone who follows WAC basketball closely was asked why the injury information was not disseminated to the public.

The WAC insider responded bluntly, "Because no one gives a shit about Chicago State basketball."

Not true.

Some people love to follow Chicago State hoops.
 
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Abundy

EOG Enthusiast
#3
JK, I find it hard to believe there would only be 5 pushes in 838 NBA games. That is telling me the oddsmakers are not on top of the market. Their numbers. Should be closer to the line they set thus having the final score fall on that number. Just a thought.
 
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John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#6
JK, I find it hard to believe there would only be 5 pushes in 838 NBA games. That is telling me the oddsmakers are not on top of the market. Their numbers. Should be closer to the line they set thus having the final score fall on that number. Just a thought.

Good thought, Abundy.

I thought the same thing.

I trusted the numbers put forth by Covers and I assume they have a formula that either grades over or under and makes it difficult to grade a push.

Just guessing.
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#11
When was the last time Pac-12 won it?

Last season, all three Pac-12 reps were eliminated before the first weekend of the tournament.

UCLA and Arizona State lost in the First Four and then Arizona was upset by Buffalo in the first round.

Arizona lost by 21 points as an 8.5-point favorite.

UCLA (-2.5) and Arizona State (-1.5) also lost in the role of the favorite.
 

Heim

EOG Master
#12
ASU has the size & athleticism to make a run. They've had injury issues all season. A lot depends on Dort. He gets out of sync when his shots aren't falling. If he's on they can be Sweet 16.
 
#13
JK, I find it hard to believe there would only be 5 pushes in 838 NBA games. That is telling me the oddsmakers are not on top of the market. Their numbers. Should be closer to the line they set thus having the final score fall on that number. Just a thought.
Good thought, Abundy.

I thought the same thing.

I trusted the numbers put forth by Covers and I assume they have a formula that either grades over or under and makes it difficult to grade a push.

Just guessing.
For whatever reason, Covers is probably wrong. Using another database, Killer Sports, you get 409-408-21 to the Over. Assume around half the games have a hook on the total and so will never push, you get 2.52% of all games actually push. SBR Odds' NBA half point calculator has a total of 220.5 landing on 220 at 2.52% and landing on 221 at 2.40%.

OTOH, Covers.com has 5/838 or 0.60% pushes which is too low.
 
#14
Wouldn't the fact that the average total is now higher reduce the chance that the total lands on a whole integer total due to the fact that variance is now multiplied times an average higher total? I doubt variance is "tighter" or lower with higher average totals -- although, Covers very low pushes would only make sense with many more half point totals than average.

What do you think comptrbob? Also, would anyone know which season in the last 34 years, the NBA had its lowest average total, what that average was, and what percentage of those totals were pushes?
 

Abundy

EOG Enthusiast
#16
Totals use to be in the low 200s not many years ago. The numbers were sharper then. Some of these games now are 30-40 off the closing number
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#17
I assumed Covers has a formula whereby it tries to get a decision (over or under) by looking at three or four sports books in a particular order.
 

Abundy

EOG Enthusiast
#18
I agree, JK. I think they probably use the half point to determine the winner. I think sides would be much higher number than 5 pushes
 
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#20
I assumed Covers has a formula whereby it tries to get a decision (over or under) by looking at three or four sports books in a particular order.
I agree, JK. I think they probably use the half point to determine the winner. I think sides would be much higher number than 5 pushes
There is no apparent reason why Covers would go out of its way to produce a lower push rate since they publish pushes along with O/Us. Sportsbooks generally would favor not having pushes because they generate refunds which are just overhead and don't add to profits. Of course, they also don't want to totally have half-point totals because that would give players a bit of an edge.

I'm guessing that Covers uses the line from a book that tends to use more half points. As far as sides, Covers has 9 NBA pushes this far, Killer Sports has 18 pushes on sides. I checked VegasInsider and they have 8 games that push on the total.

Higher totals may come with a bit higher variance and thus fewer pushes, but mostly it just shifts the whole distribution toward higher numbers.
 
#22
A few more thoughts:

Using KillerSports, this year, games on or before Oct 21 went 27-12-0 (69.2%) to the OVER so # of pushes possibly were hurt early because of lopsidedness. As JK noted the O/U ratio has regressed quickly back to roughly 50/50.

Going back 24 years to the 1995 season, push rate was 1.85% with the average total = 199.
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#24
Final score: Virginia 69 North Carolina 61.

We had to win the game twice.

Up 36-29 at the half, Virginia was forced to battle back from a 53-46 deficit with less than nine minutes left in the game.

Too bad we only get paid once.

UVA did not panic despite being outscored on the road, 24-10, to start the second half.
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#27
Thanks FW.

I watched the replay of the game and I was delighted UNC panicked offensively in the game's final two minutes directly in front of head coach Roy Williams.
 
#32
Final score: Virginia 69 North Carolina 61.

We had to win the game twice.

Up 36-29 at the half, Virginia was forced to battle back from a 53-46 deficit with less than nine minutes left in the game.

Too bad we only get paid once.
If you wanted to get paid twice, you could have bet it in play -- and/or, also at plus money on a straight up win in-play -- the straight up win at plus money being a better bet than your original bet (UVA -1).

"We" -- you mean Virginia. (Applies to only the first we reference above.)
 
#33
There is no apparent reason why Covers would go out of its way to produce a lower push rate since they publish pushes along with O/Us. Sportsbooks generally would favor not having pushes because they generate refunds which are just overhead and don't add to profits. Of course, they also don't want to totally have half-point totals because that would give players a bit of an edge.

I'm guessing that Covers uses the line from a book that tends to use more half points. As far as sides, Covers has 9 NBA pushes this far, Killer Sports has 18 pushes on sides. I checked VegasInsider and they have 8 games that push on the total.

Higher totals may come with a bit higher variance and thus fewer pushes, but mostly it just shifts the whole distribution toward higher numbers.
A few more thoughts:

Using KillerSports, this year, games on or before Oct 21 went 27-12-0 (69.2%) to the OVER so # of pushes possibly were hurt early because of lopsidedness. As JK noted the O/U ratio has regressed quickly back to roughly 50/50.

Going back 24 years to the 1995 season, push rate was 1.85% with the average total = 199.
I know you did't quote my questions/post above, but thanks for answering my question anyway. I appreciate your efforts.

Thanks,

Foresthill
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#34
If you wanted to get paid twice, you could have bet it in play -- and/or, also at plus money on a straight up win in-play -- the straight up win at plus money being a better bet than your original bet (UVA -1).

"We" -- you mean Virginia. (Applies to only the first we reference above.)

Funny points.

With the advent and widespread availability of in-play wagering, you could argue you should only bet before the game starts when you think your team is going to go wire-to-wire.
 
#36
The Pac 12 is a complete joke because of Larry Scott. How he still has this job is a head scratcher. There has to be some way to get rid of him.
 
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