Handicapping the NCAA - NIT Tourneys

League: NCAA Basketball
By: Tony George Published on: 03/16/2015

Ah yes, Bracket Madness is here, and office pools are buzzing already on Monday, and of course Las Vegas is bracing for the biggest wagering event of the year. The only hetero-sexual males not having some sort of action in March Madness this week and weekend are in the cemetery.

Yes indeed it is Kentucky and everyone else this year, but they will have to side step some landmines here as they will face teams vastly better than the weak SEC offered them in the regular season in this tourney. They have Kansas (who will be out early), potential rematch with Wichita State and ACC Tourney Champ and red hot Notre Dame in their region.

While there is not only the March Madness bracket to fill out, there are hours of handicapping to be done if you’re interested in the Las Vegas Angle perspective (which I am), there are a few basic items that should help you not only with that side of the coin, but also filling out office pool brackets.

Last year I was monitored by Sports Watch, a respected sports handicapping monitoring service and I finished ranked Number One with an against the spread record of over 71% with 46 selections. Some luck involved, yes, but also experience in what works and what does not work after doing this 23 years. Here are some items to consider during March Madness, and do NOT forget the NIT Tourney which starts Tuesday along with the 2 Big Dance "Play In" games, because the NIT Tourney goes by the wayside in many peoples mind, and it is one of the better opportunities to make some dough if you know what to look for and understand the set up of this tourney (home -road) since highly seeded teams get to play at home. I have been highly successful in this tourney and urge you to follow it as well.

Here are some Key Points to consider:

March Madness - The Big Dance

One of the keys to the March Madness - and DO NOT forget the NIT tourney, is good guard play. Ball handling, turnovers, and shooting skills advance teams in these post season tourneys. Also an overall view of the teams free throw percentage, as we all know that at days end many of these games come down to free throws in the final 2 minutes. Look at teams who won conference championships, good guard play was abundantly apparent.

NIT Tourney

The NIT Tourney is about motivation, much like a bowl game. Numerous teams are disappointed they missed the cut in the big dance and while they may be a "Name Brand" team and open up with a home game (games are home and road in this tourney till the final 4), a small conference team catching points in this scenario will many times upset a team from a power conference, as they are dialed in to win.

Short Notes:

NIT games played on home floors until Final Four. Look at road records of opposing teams, many times it is why they did not make it to the big dance

Fade teams that do not have good defensive rebounding teams, too many easy points off the opponent, especially if they have active rebounders, this mismatch is a BIG Factor in winning games and covering numbers

Avoid Public Darlings early - Media Hyped teams. They carry inflated numbers. We all know who they are.

Expect the unexpected (Mercer Beat Duke last year). It WILL Happen. Reduce the number of "No Brainer Plays" as much as possible. Remember Florida Gulf Coast last year anyone?

Mid - Major giants play hard and have a David vs Goliath mentality, teams like Wichita State,VCU, Davidson, Wyoming. Wofford, and Buffalo come to mind. Catching big points with these teams should be considered.

Good Guard play is essential - reduced turnovers - ball handling - free throws all are CRUCIAL.

Go against bad coaches (Rick Barnes from Texas an example). Some coaches simply cannot coach big games or tourney games well, established programs many times fade out early in tourney time, do your homework. Conversely coaches who go deep in March Madness and dial their teams up in March (Tom Izzo at Michigan St for example) are always worth an added point or two in value.

When going with the Las Vegas angle side of things, remember LESS IS MORE. The more you spread around 8 or 9 games a day on Thursday and Friday, the more likely you will lose - Low Volume equals profits.

Teams that rely on 3-Point shooting for the vast majority of their offense need to be taken with that in mind, and when facing a team with good perimeter defenses, need to be avoided laying over 4 or 5 points. Live by the 3 and die by the 3, and many die early against a good defensive team.

These are just a few things to consider not only with the Las Vegas Line side of things, but also in your Office Pools, Survivor Pools and filling out brackets.

Check out Tony George at www.tonygeorgesports.com Your March Madness Headquarters all things Las Vegas Line-wise, Home of the Best DOCUMENTED Cappers in the Nation, with GUARANTEED Plays.