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January 2013

Basketball picksJanuary 31, 2013

If you are going to make your college basketball picks, then you need to know the things that lead to wins in college hoops. You might think that you know what it takes to get a win. You might also be wrong. There are four factors that will have the biggest impact on your college basketball spread picks. If you can identify the teams that do these things well, then you will have much more success.

The first thing to look for is shooting percentage. How well does a team shoot the basketball and how well do they play field goal percentage defense on the other side of the floor. Putting the ball in the basket is still the goal, and the teams that do it better will have better results at the end of the day.

You will want to think about turnover ratio per possession. If a team holds onto the ball, then they will get more shots. Getting more shots is always better, because it gives even a poor shooting team the opportunity to score. If a team can take care of the ball and force opponents into turnovers, then they have a better chance to win.

You should also think about offensive rebounding percentage. This is similar to turnovers in that it gives teams extra possessions. Taking care of the glass is a very important thing for any team that fancies itself competitive.

Lastly, you need to know how often a team gets to the line. Teams that create fouls will be much more successful, and your college basketball picks will do much better when you bet on those teams. Don’t make your plays until you know how teams compare in these very important areas of the game.


Basketball picksJanuary 31, 2013

When you make your college basketball picks against the spread, you will need to know as much about individual conferences as possible. This is truly the only way to make money on a consistent basis. So what should you make of the Big Ten this year? Big Ten basketball is always a bit of a mess during the middle parts of the year, but this year seems especially difficult to break down. The league is full of good teams and bad teams, with very few teams in the middle. What this means for people making college basketball picks is that there are going to be some very big spreads to deal with. When good teams are playing bad teams at home, you will see 15-20 point numbers.

The top of the league features Michigan and Indiana, and both of those teams are almost impossible to beat. When you make your college basketball picks, you will also want to know about the second tier at the top. That tier is made up of Michigan State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Ohio State. Wisconsin seems to be the most underrated of this group. Though they have shown the ability to play with the teams at the top, the Badgers still have not found their way into the top 25. This means that you might be able to find some value betting on the Badgers, who you going to bet on when it comes to college basketball.

Who do we find at the bottom of the league? Nebraska, Penn State, and Northwestern are the two worst teams, while Purdue and Illinois are somewhere in there, too. Illinois started out the year very hot, but they have fizzled out. Now might be a good time to jump back on them in terms of value. People went from really liking the Illini to really hating them, and this has produced a situation where Illinois has tremendous value. This is especially true at home, where they tend to give their best effort. Think about Illinois when you see a chance to bet them.


Football picksJanuary 31, 2013

As you make your NFL picks against the spread this weekend, you will need to first think of the betting public and what it is trying to do The public often bets one way or another, and when big games are on the table, the public usually loses. So what is the public betting in this big game? Have they taken a side, and is it the right side? For the most part, the public has been on the Baltimore Ravens and the over. This has been the case since the line opened almost two weeks ago. Is the public setting itself up for a disaster?

First, you should know that simply fading the public with your  Super Bowl picks is not a guaranteed way to win. The public will often win even when they are all over a side or the other. You should think critically about this game and decide for yourself where the value is. Right now, the line is at around 3.5 points or 4 points, with the 49ers favored. The total is sitting at 47.5 at most places, having crossed over the critical numbers of 48 and 49 already.

The public seems to like the Ravens for a specific reason. They like the Ravens because of the good story and the gut feeling. All signs point to San Francisco being the better team from a statistical perspective. You have to ask yourself, then – do I trust the numbers or am I looking to go with the good story? There are many times when the public wins by playing these sorts of games. It is your choice, though, and you will be the person to live with the consequences at the end of the day.


Football picksJanuary 31, 2013

As you make your NFL spread picks this weekend, you will undoubtedly want to know what you are going to get with the San Francisco defense. For two years now, the 49ers have had one of the best defenses in football. They have been able to get after the QB and they have hit hard in the secondary. There are many all-pros on the San Fran defense, but things haven’t looked great in recent weeks. Atlanta took it to the 49ers for a good portion of last weekend’s game, and that is not a good sign if you are a 49ers backer. What is happening to this defense? And is there anything they can do to fix it?

One of the biggest problems has been the health of Justin Smith. He hurt his arm a few weeks ago, and the defense has struggled ever since. Not only have the 49ers missed the contributions of Justin Smith, but his problems have hurt the productivity of Aldon Smith. The other Smith depends upon Justin to eat up blockers, opening up holes on the inside stunt. This has made the 49ers less formidable in pass defense, and it has exposed them to some extent in that part of the game. In addition, some QBs have been able to beat the rush by throwing the ball very quickly. Matt Ryan of the Falcons had success with this strategy one week ago.

The problem for Baltimore is that Joe Flacco is not a quick trigger kind of QB. He likes to take his time in the pocket and settle in. He likes to hit the deep ball more than most other quarterbacks. San Francisco is going to get after him to some extent, and you have to think that the two weeks off has given Justin Smith a chance to feel a little bit better. If you are going to make your NFL picks on the biggest game, you should try to get a bit more information in the pre-game on Justin Smith. If he is anything near healthy, then the 49ers will have tremendous success on defense.


Football picksJanuary 31, 2013

Of all of the story lines heading into the Super Bowl this week, one of the most interesting surrounds Ray Lewis. Specifically, there is the question – can this guy keep doing it? Can he maintain the level of play that has helped Baltimore reach this point? With all of the injuries and the general age questions, Ray Lewis might be about to run out of gas. He doesn’t have to play a full season, though. He just has to be ready to go in the big game. As people prepare to make their NFL football picks this weekend, they will want to know which Ray Lewis is about to show up.

The truth of the matter is that Ray Lewis has transformed his body to some extent. He is no longer the huge, hulking middle linebacker that used to patrol the middle. These days, Ray Lewis is a smaller, more athletic player. He doesn’t take the pounding that he used to. What does this mean for his game on Sunday? It means that he might have more in the tank than you think when you are making your NFL picks. This Ray Lewis and this bunch of Ravens have at least enough to get through this game. You shouldn’t worry too much about them running out of gas. Your primary questions should be about the Baltimore ability to stop the San Francisco running game.

San Francisco has the offensive line to run over Baltimore and they have the backs to do damage in the open field. Baltimore has not seen anything like this offense, and the Ravens will need to be as good as possible to stay in the game. Ray Lewis will be charged with chasing Colin Kaepernick around, and if he is not up to the task, then the 49ers will win a Super Bowl once again.


Basketball picksJanuary 21, 2013

Now that football has winded down, college basketball will get fired up. College basketball gets very interesting heading forward, and this is the time of year when people start going down. Just in January, Duke and Michigan went down in tough road games against rivals. Indiana lost, again, to a good Wisconsin team. When you make college basketball picks, you need to think about what January means in the college game. It is the time for upsets, as teams start getting knocked in off in big numbers. Many of these teams have built up very good resumes through the first few months of the season, and losses will be surprising at first. Over time, they will be routine.

This is the time of year when you need to think about picking home teams. Teams just play better at home, and that has been proven time and again when you do the studies. This does not mean that you should not pick any road teams. Some teams are going to go on the road to win tough games and these teams might cover the spread, too. When you make your NCAA college basketball picks, you will want to think long and hard before you make a bet on a road team. There are some times when you could win with those picks, but you have to be careful with them.

This is also the time of year when teams start to harden. You probably do not know much about a team by looking at their win in November over an in-state club. At this point, though, you can draw conclusions about what a team is. If a team has struggled to rebound the ball through this part of the year, then you can guess that they will continue to struggle. This is not to say that teams will stop improving. Many of them will. It is just to say that teams have personalities now, and those personalities are hardening.


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