Sunday, March 27, 2011

Elite 8 Sunday Picks - March Madness 2011

By Pauly
New York City

After a remarkable Thursday and Friday in New York City, my streak came to a grinding halt when both dogs won yesterday. I had bet both favorites. Bleh. Such is life as a sportsbettor. The sharps got murdered last Thursday night betting favorites and the dogs/teams that won played again on Saturday. Guess what? Both dogs won again.

My only saving grace on Saturday was a pair of UNDER totals on the Arizona/UCONN game. I finished the day with a small loss, but I can't help but think how much uglier it would have been without it. By the way, thanks to RJ Bell and company for swaying my opinion on the UNDER. I kept vacillating on that total all morning until I saw one of RJ's videos on and I liked what they had to say about a slower paced game.

Both my Saturday picks had a legit shot at covering, but everything that could go wrong -- did. Both UConn and Florida held leads in the 2nd half only to squander it away. Florida chucked up too many treys and failed to hit their free throws. UCONN was friggin' lucky to advance to the Final Four. Their lackluster playing in crunch time seemed like a sure recipe for disaster, but they somehow stole the victory. It sucked for me because they won, but didn't cover. Ah, fuck me.

Oh well. Some days you kick the dog. Other days, the dog pisses on your leg.

And yes, we got peed on, albeit, a little trinkle, but canine urine is urine nonetheless. But thank God for Sundays and a chance to get back on the (gravy) train. I'm ready to shake off Saturday's malaise and can't wait to get back in the game. No more dog piss. I'm gonna kick the dog by betting the dogs!

Here are today's picks. Fade/tail at will. It's up to you...

- UNC +1.5. I don't like Carolina as a favorite (because Roy Williams squad can't bet the fucking spread to save their lives), but love Carolina as a dog. Yes, the #2 seed UNC is getting points (even though they beat UK earlier this year and whooped Marquette), but not by much. The line opened at Kentucky -1. I jumped on UNC when the line moved to -1.5. Around noon ET, the line moved back to -1. After yesterday I'm skiddish that more dogs will win, but this game is a virtual coin flip. I love racing, eh?

- VCU +11.5. It's hard not to see Kansas in the Final Four. Historically speaking, there has to be at least one #1 seed right? With that said, Kansas wins a close game. VCU is a much stronger team than Richmond, not to mention the hottest team in the tournament led by Coach Shakra "Chaka" Smart. Unlike Butler, VCU cruised into the Elite 8 and didn't struggle in the second and third rounds -- unless you count a close game with FSU as a "struggle" in the Sweet 16. Let's not forget that VCU was one of the last teams selected in the tournament -- they had to play a play-in game. Conspiracy theorists and the tin foil hat cabalists are suggesting that the NCAA is rigging the Final Four to included VCU -- in an attempt to sway the public/media pundits on expanding March Madness to a 96-team field. Come to think about it, I'm slightly sympathetic to their assertion, but we won't know for sure until the game tips off and we'll see how the zebras alter the outcome of the game. Will the refs call it tight with ticky-tack defensive fouls against Kansas? And just how many 50-50 calls will fall in favor of VCU?

- UNDER 147 for VCU/Kansas. Close game. Slower paced. I'm expecting Kansas to win by five or six and barely cracking 70 points. I keep closing my eyes and seeing 72-66 or 70-64 as a final score. Then again, that might just be the effects of the wake-n-bake.

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.
That's it for now. Instead of live blogging the minutiae of sports betting, follow my progress on Twitter via @taopauly for live Elite 8 updates. Not to fear, the regular poker-themed programming will resume on Monday with a heady, new link dump with juicy nuggets of poker news.


  1. i see a final score in the vcu/kansas game similar to the richmond/kansas score. kansas by 20.

  2. the fix is in! Pauly is back!