Los Angeles, CA
Darkness. The blackness of morning is one of the few downsides to the recent shift in Daylight Savings Time. That's one of the other reasons why March Madness feels like Christmas morning, because I'm awake way before I should be and tip-toeing around the apartment trying to catch a fat, bearded guy in a red suit leaving behind a special present. Except, that fat guy is not St. Nicholas, rather, a chubby tout from Vegas who swears that he has a sure thing for me, provided that I give him $100 and re-tweet his tout services. Everyone is a hustler.
My picks might suck, but they will always be free.
This morning, when the darkness finally lifted, I was greeted by grey malaise on a rainy Sunday. Radiation rain. That's what I've been calling the first droplets of rain that fell on the West Coast of America with the slightest, safe bits of Fukushima radiation. One of my slightly-paranoid inner voices encouraged me to stay indoors today, which was not difficult of a task considering that I had a jar full of "Charlie Sheen" OG, energy bars, and a couple of bottles of rum. I wasn't going anywhere today anyway, because it's the last batch of games before we're down to the Sweet 16. Yep, only 8 teams will advance today. The question of course is -- which ones?
The Earth experienced a minor anomaly yesterday, the so-called Super Moon which marked the closest that the moon rotated around our planet in 18 years. I guess that's the main reason why I finished 5-1 in my picks (not including a money line bet on Florida) and hit not one, but two parlays ... including a rare 5-teamer that paid 27-1 (the other was a pedestrian 3-teamer). The 27-1 shot was a nifty win, but I was cursing myself the rest of Saturday night for not betting more. Even though I shipped a pair of parlays, I'm probably still stuck overall (lifetime) wagering those pesky -EV bets. Parlays and teasers make bookies very wealthy.
I was thrilled to book the rare win, which only occurred thanks to the Super Moon. I need astronomical anomalies and computer-generated picks to win wagers. The computer spit out chalk on Saturday and I was happy to oblige betting mostly favorites. He two dogs I liked, Butler and Morehead State, ended up splitting. I doubled down on Morehead when the line moved to +5. To my dismay, I'm stubborn and Morehead's run got overshadowed by Richmond.
Meanwhile, Butler became this year's bracket buster by picking off #1 seed Pitt. Yep, I told ya the Big East was overrated. Too bad I didn't listen to my gut when putting together my brackets. I bet Butler, but picked Pitt on most of my sheets. I was a pig in shit when the line moved in my favor and I bet Butler twice yesterday, which made up for the second bet on Morehead.
And yeah, the Pitt-Butler ending was sketchy as hell.
The sickest, insane, most deviant moment of this year's March Madness happened courtesy of San Diego State. The Aztecs (and my semi-adopted SoCal team) looked like awesome Final Four material for 30 minutes, but then someone flipped the doom switch because they went cold. Frigid cold. They couldn't fucking score and blew a double digit lead. As time ticked away and the clock was under 2 minutes, my future looked grim. The only way SDSU was going to cover 6 points? Overtime. Because during an extended an overtime session, they got 5 minutes of extra time to win by a margin of 6. I guess the gambling gods and/or St.Francis of Assisi heard my prayers, because I got what I wanted and the SDSU game went into OT. However, midway through the OT, SDSU found themselves in the same position as regulation. Fuck me, I desperately needed a second OT for a shot at covering -- which I miraculously got. And courtesy of the Super Moon, SDSU won by 7 in the second OT and covered the spread. I won my bet and should not have, but did, so whattagonnado? Do I believe in miracles? Fuck yeah.
So not it's time to divulge my (few, but always free) picks for today. Tail or fade at will...
March Madness Picks - 3/20 Sunday:That's it for now.
- UNC -4. I'm sticking with yesterday's trend of betting favorites. UNC easily advances to Sweet 16s, but it's in the later stages of the tourney that they usually struggle. The line moved to -5, so I'm happy that I locked in better number.
- VCU +9. Let's ride the hot team! VCU won a play-in game, upset Georgetown, and now has a shot at advancing to the Sweet 16. I sincerely doubt they get there, but they'll put up a valiant fight, which is why +9 seemed like a gift.
- Marquette +4.5. I like Darius Johnson-Odum. Let's see if Cuse can contain him. I'm not 100% sold on this pick, yet I'm betting it small anyway just have some action.
- FSU +5.5. This isn't on the "sheet" but I added a small bet on FSU as a dog against #2 seeded Notre Dame, hoping that the ACC trumps the overrated Big East.
Disclaimer: These picks are for entertainment purposes only. After all, gambling is illegal at Bushwood Country Club and in most 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 sports betting, please head over to Twitter and follow my progress on @taopauly for live March Madness updates. Regular poker programming will resume on Monday.
1:20pm: Kansas can't lose, right? I hit them up on the money line at -420. Seriously. Give me the money line at 420, Bob! By the way, Happy 420 to all my herb friendly readers on the East Coasters.
2:43pm: I added Ohio St. - 11 when I got breaking news that one of George Mason's starters was ill and not playing.
3:12pm: OSU looked too good in the first half. Mason looked...overwhelmed at times. I added a second half bet of -1.5. It's gonna continue to be a rout and at some point the benches will empty and the scrubs will play, but OSU's second squad is much more talented than Mason's.
3:14pm: While I was shopping around, I added an impulse buy... the OVER 142 in the Arizona/Texas game.