Tuesday, January 17, 2006

College Hoops Big 10 gambling mess

What is the deal with the Big 10, anyways? Are these teams (outside of the Wisco Badgers) really actually good? Or are they just impressing themselves (and AP voters) by beating a higher-ranked in-conference team one day and losing to a lower-ranked in-conference team the next? Look at the conference's middle of the pack in conference play:
  • Illini - beat Michigan & MSU, lost to Iowa.
  • Indiana - beat Michigan & Ohio St, lost to MSU.
  • Iowa - beat Penn St & Illinois, lost to Wisco.
  • Michigan State - beat Indiana & Ohio St, lost to Wisconsin and Illinois.
  • Ohio State - beat Penn St & Purdue, lost to MSU and Indiana.
  • Northwestern - beat Minnesota & Purdue, lost to Penn St & Wisconsin. (yes, I consider the 'Cats wholly part of the 'middle-of-the-Big-10-pack.' 2-2 in conference, baby).

The Big 10 is going to end the regular season with 5-6 teams in the top 25 - one in the top 10 [Wisco, likely, b/c of their start and their favorable schedule - they get Michigan (on the road), Indiana and Illinois (both at home) only once], and 4 in the 15 - 25 range because they're going to be killing each other all year. For tourney purposes, that means one #3 seed, five or six #6-#8 seeds, and maybe a low #11 or so.

But what will they do in the tourney? Given the coaching in this league, and the depth of talent at all these schools, I think you should favor them heavily in March. But lets wait a bit, and see how the rest of this season plays out....

On to tonight's pick:
Illinois Fighting Illini at Indiana Hoosiers
I see my buddy Union Jack threw down some cash on the Hoosiers. Not a bad move, generally. I generally liked how they started against the Sparts, even without DJ White, and as JoeJackson and I discussed, if that game is in Indiana, then it could go either way. And I like that they are coming home for this matchup against the Illini. But I do have one particular issue with this game: Mike Davis scares the hell out of me. So I don't think I'm going to ride the Hoosier train with you, Union. Instead, my thoughts are this: There are going to be some points scored in this game - heavy points. The Illini are substantially worse defensively on the road than at home (granted, they've only played 2 actual road games all year). I expect this to be a running game (quite different from the defensive slow-down ugly-fest that was the weekend MSU-OSU matchup - recapped here and here). So, my pick is:
Illini at Indiana Over 135

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As I mentioned a while back, the Sedge Court Journal crew has invited me to participate in their basketball handicapping contest. I threw down my first post for that contest here.

My favorite online gambling sites are Bet365 and Pinnacle Sports:

Bet It Live With bet365!

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