Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Veteran Bookie's Ten Tips To Winning Bracket Picks

      Don't know where to start in picking winners in those NCAA Tournament brackets? Let veteran bookie Carlo AA guide you.

1. "The biggest mistake you can make this season is picking Florida, which is a No. 1 seed, to win it all. They're not that good. They breezed through the SEC but the SEC stinks. There's only one other good team in the SEC and that's Kentucky. Going undefeated in that conference means nothing.
     "There's another reason not to pick Florida. They finished the season No.1 in the polls. Only a few teams that finished the season ranked No.1 have ever won a national championship. When it comes to winning the national championship, finishing the season ranked No.1 is the kiss of death."
2. "Another big mistake is picking Wichita State to win it all. This is a very good team but if they were in a better conference, they'd have four or five losses. They might make the Final Four but that's it.  To win it all you have to play tough teams on the road game after game. State is good enough to go far but not all the way. Also, they're undefeated this season. To win it all, they'd have to finish the entire season undefeated. That's just not going to happen."

3. "In picking the Final Four, never pick all four No.1 seeds. Only a few times have all No.1 seeds made the Final Four. But include at least one No.1 seed in your Final Four. Only a few times has there been a Final Four with no No.1 seed. That happened a few years ago, in 2011, and it was weird. It screwed up a lot of brackets.

5. "Something else that never happens. All 2-seeds almost ever make it to the Sweet 16. So when you pick your Sweet 16,  include just two or three 2-seeds."

4. "People love to pick upsets. They like to brag about their upset wins. They're really tough to pick. It's a crap-shoot. The best bets for upsets are a 13-seed over a 4-seed, an 11-seed over a 6-seed or a 12-seed over a 5-seed. In fact, that 12-seed over a 5-seed happens so often, you might pick two of them. The worst bet for an upset is a 16-seed over a 1-seed. That never happens.

5. "Don't include low seeds in your Final Four. That's reaching and betting with your heart. Don't pick any seeds in your Final Four lower than a 9-seed--and picking a seed that low is pushing it.

6. "If you're picking by conference, don't go with a team from the Pac 12 or the Big Ten to win it all. It's been about a dozen years since a team from one of those conferences won a national championship."

7. "When you pick the national champ, pick a No. 1 seed. The national champ is usually a No.1 seed. Once in a while it's a 2-seed or a 3-seed, but never lower than a 3-seed.

8. "Do some research. Find out which teams, among the best teams, have the best point guards. Those are the teams that will make the Final Four and win the championship. Without a very good point guard, you're not going to win it all.

9. "When you're dong research, find out which teams were playing badly at the end of the season. Syracuse, for instance, was playing badly at the end of the season. Don't pick them to go very far."

10. "Don't use poll rankings to pick winners. Poll rankings are misguided. They're made by people who don't see all the games. A lot of these people are supposedly experts but some of them don't know what the hell they're talking about.