Los Angeles, CA
Exciting opening day of the March Madness college hoops tournament. It was sort of a waste of a St. Patrick's Day for me because I focused on hoops instead of celebrating the day that St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland by shooting laser beams out of 3-leaf clovers.
I lost money with a bunch of bookies instead of pissing it away at a bar slurping back green-dyed beer. On a good note, despite the betting downturn, I had a couple of elongated sweating experiences over a 13-hour stretch, so it was well worth the price of admission as I frantically paced around my apartment when I wasn't wearing out the spot on my couch.
March Madness is my favorite time of year when it comes to sports betting probably because I don't have any emotional investments in the games that would occur in professional sports (like rooting for my hometown Rangers, Knicks, Jets, or Yankees). Alas, I'm detached from the majority of my bets which means they are all investments. At least, that's how I justify my actions.
The opening round this year had a unique twist -- CBS shared the wealth among three other stations (TBS, TNT, and truTV), which meant that I had access to pretty much every game without having to sweat the action through a live stream -- something I had been doing the last few years.
As per usual, the overall coverage was palatable. As per usual, my biggest complaint is too many commercials and either too much hype or too little analysis, which is why I barely listened to the talking heads, instead, lowering the volume and replacing it with a Grateful Dead bootleg. I prefer watching the games on mute with music blasting. It's the only way for me to do it.
I went 4-5 betting wise (not including a money line and a 4-point teaser) and I ended up the day in the hole. I knew that I was rolling the dice with Utah State, but took a shot anyway. I just picked the wrong #12 seed to cause some damage. My other pair of upsets, Bucknell and Belmont, both shit the bed. The two most profitable bets for me were tips from others (Buffalo66 clued me in on Richmond and I jumped on Phil Ivey's Florida pick). The St. John's game killed any chances for me to turn a profit, which is something that I deserve because... 1) I made a bet based on emotions, and 2) I've been telling everyone who's been asking me that the Big East has a couple of good teams, but overall, they are overrated. If I followed my own advice, I would have cleaned up fading Louisville and St. Johns. I tried to fade UCONN, but Bucknell decided not to show up and left all of their sizzling shooters back home in Lewisberg.
Oh, well. Part of my penance today will be to fade Big East teams. In fact, just before tip off, I'll probably whip up a parlay or teaser card fading Syracuse, Georgetown, and Villanova.
My picks have been requested by a few of you, so piggyback or fade at will...
March Madness Picks - 3/18 Friday:That's it for now. I have a 4-point teaser and a couple of meaningless 8-team parlays, but who cares about those sucker bets anyway? I'll be keeping an eye on the first halves of the games and make adjustments on the fly with second half bets. I'll post any added picks here throughout the day, but keep an eye on my Twitter feed.
- George Mason +1 seems like a coinflip on paper, but Mason is a team that I did very well betting on during the regular season. Besides, that's Grubby alma mater and they usually play well in the opening round.
- VCU +5.5 is on my radar because VCU had to beat USC in a play-in game to get a shot at Georgetown, so they've already broken a sweat in the tournament. I like mid-majors in these positions (against an overrated league like the Big East). Alas, I have Georgetown wreaking havoc on a couple of my sheets and making a deep run. They should win this game but for some reason, VCU is calling out to me, so I hope they make it close.
- UNDER 133.5 VCU/Georgetown seems like a logical choice considering that the under hits a lot of the early games.
- Texas - 10.5 sounds like a gift. The Longhorns should win by 16+ or more. I think Texas is the most underrated #4 seed in the tournament this year.
Disclaimer: These picks are for entertainment purposes only. After all, gambling is illegal at Bushwood and in parts of rural America. The Tao of Poker is not a registered investment adviser or broker/dealer. Readers are advised that the material contained herein should be used solely for informational purposes. Tao of Poker does not purport to tell or suggest which games that readers should wager for themselves. True gamblers should always conduct their own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Tao of Poker will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by a reader's reliance on information obtained on Tao of Poker. Readers are solely responsible for their own investment decisions.
Instead of live blogging the minutiae of my uber-degen sports betting on Tao of Poker, please head over to Twitter and follow my progress on @taopauly for live March Madness updates.
9:30am: It breathe a sigh of relief whenever someone I trust also picked the same team. Great minds think alike, right? Buffalo66 just tweet'd that his early pick of the day is George Mason. He got them at +1.5. I quickly checked the offshore books and sure enough, the line had moved to +2. If I liked George Mason at +1, I love them even more at +2.
1:20pm: Happy 4:20 on the East Coast. I'm pissing my money away with a 3-team 4-point teaser... Indiana St +16.5, UNC -13, and Purdue -11.
1:44pm: Added Xavier +1 (jumping on the Buffalo66 bandwagon). In today's super degen NIT action, I also loaded up the needle with a tiny taste of a bet on Santa Clara -4.