Your weekly does of sports betting tips and news, every Saturday at 10am Eastern.
Duke vs North Carolina – Duke should never lose a basketball game. A recent ESPN+ NBA mock draft (subscription required) had these predictions for Duke players:
- 2nd – Paolo Banchero, 6’10” power forward, stretch 4.
- 8th – AJ Griffin, 6’6” wing.
- 17th – Mark Williams, 7’1” center.
- 27th – Trevor Keels, 6’5” wing.
- 34th – Wendell Moore Jr., 6’6” wing.
With this talent, Duke has the highest upside of any college basketball team.
In the past, the markets have given them more credit than my metrics suggest. For example, my member college basketball numbers predicted a 9.5 point win for Duke over North Carolina in the regular season finale. The markets closed with Duke as an 11 point favorite. It’s not uncommon for the best teams in the nation to get this kind of respect.
Duke lost to North Carolina in that regular season finale, as they struggled with turnovers and poor defense in the second half. The markets haven’t given the Blue Devils the same respect since. In the Final Four, my numbers like Duke by 4.6 points, and the sharp sports book Circa has Duke -4.5 on Saturday morning.
Final Four Prop – Despite the five Duke players that might get drafted by the NBA, it was a sixth who lifted them over Texas Tech. In this Sweet 16 game, Jeremy Roach, a 6’1″ guard, had 15 points and hit three critical baskets in the waning moments.
Roach has started the four tournament games over Trevor Keels, and he will most likely start against North Carolina. However, with all of Duke’s talent, Roach’s usage could go down, and he has averaged 8.6 points over the course of the season. This suggests value on Roach under 9.5 points.
The Masters – Several years ago, I gave a talk in Minneapolis on the most important factors for predicting who will win the Masters. One of the more important variables was how well a golfer had performed at Augusta National in previous tournaments. This factor is unlike other tournaments where course history has little impact on the outcome.
This list shows which golfers have excelled given the number of rounds they have played in their career. When you combine course history with this season’s Strokes Gained statistics, two darkhorse considerations might be Hideki Matsuyama (+3500 on FanDuel) and Louis Oosthuizen (+5000).
Women’s Final Four – Aaron Barzilai used his Stanford Ph.D. to break into basketball analytics, and he worked as the Director of Basketball Analytics for the Philadelphia 76ers. In his most recent project, he has created Her Hoop Stats, the go to resource for women’s basketball.
In the women’s NCAA tournament championship game, Her Hoop Stats has the following prediction:
- South Carolina over Connecticut by 5.7 points (70.6% win probability)
New Coach in Tampa Bay – Bruce Arians left the sideline to take a Senior Football Consultant role with the Buccaneers, and defensive coordinator and former Jets head coach Todd Bowles was promoted. His time with the Jets may not leave Bucs fans inspired (a 24-40 record in four seasons).
However, Bowles had these starting quarterbacks: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh McCown and Sam Darnold. Three of those four seasons featured gunslingers whose Completion Percentage Over Expected ranked 25th or worse.
Now, Bowles has Tom Brady, many talented receivers and a strong offensive line. The Bucs are -320 (per FanDuel Sportsbook) to win the NFC South and the favorites to win the NFC.
MLB Preview – I joined Andrew Fillipponi on his radio show More Ways to Win to preview season-long bets for the upcoming MLB season.
Most notably, a couple of my favorite win totals include overs for Arizona and Cincinnati and unders for the New York Mets and Detroit. You can catch the show at 10:00a.m. ET Sundays on the Audacy app and 93.7 the Fan in Pittsburgh.
Coach K – Win or lose against North Carolina, Mike Krzyzewski will have a rosary in each pocket. Before each game, he finds the time for a prayer.
Among many other topics, a profile by ESPN’s Wright Thompson of Coach K looks at how his childhood mentor Father Rog allowed him to reconcile his Catholicism with his insatiable fire for winning.
Data driven betting information
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