It’s finally here! We’ve reached the best gambling weekend of the year. No matter how much basketball you’ve been following, now is the time to lock in. Everyone gets their gambling fix this week. From the hardened daily gamblers to Brenda in Accounts Receivable, we all come together this week and join in on the Madness. The beauty of it is, Brenda can kick everyone’s ass in a bracket pool.
Duke comes in as the #1 overall seed and the deserving favorite on the futures market at +220. This isn’t another bracket strategy article. God knows we will all see more than enough of those this week. Upsets are the name of the game this time of year and the futures market is a great place to make some money on long shots.
Whether you’re going to be enjoying the festivities in a sportsbook, or depositing on mybookie.ag and sweating out the games at work, you might as well get some long shot tickets on teams to win the whole damn thing.
Here are a couple teams worth buying low on.
Cincinnati Bearcats +8000
Cincy just came off of a convincing AAC Championship victory over the Houston Cougars. They drew a 7 seed in the NCAA, playing an Iowa team that has backed their way into the tournament. This year has been another typical year for a Mick Cronin squad. They make it very tough to score and they don’t turn the ball over. They rank 10th in the country in opponents made FG per game and 19th in turnovers per game. So they make it difficult to get off a shot and they value the rock. That’s a dangerous recipe.
One of the interesting nuggets that will get tossed around this week is how the first weekend for Cincy is being played in Columbus, Ohio. That’s only an hour and a half drive for the Bearcats faithful. If they do get past Iowa (which is one of my favorite plays of the first round) they will likely face the 2 seed Tennessee. A virtual home game for Cincy versus a boom or bust Tennessee team looks like a decent upset possibility.
If the Bearcats can move on in the bracket, the 1 seed in the south is Virginia. While the Cavaliers are a strong team on both ends of the floor, Cincinnati could potentially play enough suffocating defense to spring the upset. Cincy has been sort of a poor man’s Virginia over the past couple of seasons.
At 80/1, there are worse places you can invest your money.
Nevada Wolfpack +6500
For whatever reason, everyone seems to be turning on the Wolfpack. Maybe it’s the locker room Fight Club videos, or the fact that they didn’t win their conference tournament again. This is a team that went down to the Cinderella story Loyola-Chicago by 1 point in the Sweet Sixteen last year. They brought back essentially the same team this year. They are one of the most experienced teams in the entire field, and people might be sleeping on them too much.
The path for the Pack sets up well, as a 7 seed who could easily be a 5 seed. I don’t think their first round matchup with the Gators will be as close as many seem to think. Yes, Florida has looked better towards the end of the year, but Nevada simply a better team. Their second round matchup could be with the weakest 2 seed in the tourney. I’m not as high on the Wolverines as most and if that matchup presents itself in the second round, I really like Nevada.
Gonzaga is the 1 seed in their region, and I really like the Zags this year. That being said, I do think Nevada’s experience could really play a huge role in a potential matchup with Gonzaga down the road.
Eric Musselman is not running a John Calipari type of program in Reno. The players for Nevada have been through thick and thin together over the past few years, and I think that experience can carry them deep in this tournament.