Tuesday, March 19

50 Dime Winner - Wright State (+12 1/2) covers at Clemson

And this is what I told you.....

These smaller postseason tourney are all about motivation and desire; who wants to really be playing, especially these opening games.

Wright State was all set to make its 2nd straight Dance appearance but then it lost to Northern Kentucky last Tuesday in the Horizon League championship game.

The Raiders, though, have had a FULL WEEK to get over that disappointment.

Clemson won 4 of its 5 regular season games. The Tigers put themselves on the Dance bubble. They opened up a 16-point, halftime lead in their ACC Tourney opener against NC State. They ended up losing 59-58.

The Tigers still thought they had a good chance of getting an at-large invite. Their bubble was burst on Sunday night. Now, 48 hours later, here they are - a team that made the Sweet 16 a year ago with 4 seniors back - playing in a tournament they probably had no interest in playing in.

Where's their motivation? 

I question their desire.

And irony of ironies, they're coached by Brad Brownell, who held the same position at Wright State from 2007-10.

Maybe Clemson wins it. Maybe a team with 5 fifth-year seniors delivers. But I say Wright State has had enough time to put the disappointment from last Tuesday's loss to Northern Kentucky in the rear view mirror and shows enough fight to stay easily within this generous number and that's all that counts at the ticket window.



Thursday, March 14

100 Dime Winner - Oregon (-4') tops Utah

And this is what I told you.....

Oregon beat up a bad Washington State team last night 84-51. Held the Cougars to 30.8% from the floor and forced 20 turnovers that led to 26 points to advance to this quarterfinal matchup with Utah.

5 straight wins now for the Ducks, a streak that's coincided with Dana Altman's decision to surround PG Payton Pritchard with 4 guys that are 6-9. That big lineup has yielded 51, 47, 61, 47 and 51 points in wins by 28 and 26 at home against Arizona State and Arizona, on the road by 11 and 8 at Washington State and Washington, and last night versus Washington State again.

Just 1 meeting this season between these two and Oregon won it at Utah back on January 31 by a 78-72 finale. The Utes were up 14 in the first half, but then the Ducks switched to a man-to-man, full-court press and Utah couldn't handle the trapping defense or Oregon's length. By intermission Utah found itself trailing by 4 and that deficit swelled to 14 in the second half before the Utes cut it down to 4 in the final minute.

Only reason Utah was able to keep the game close was the fact it hit 11 of 31 three-balls. Otherwise, the Utes self-destructed, going 13-of-23 from the line and committing 19 turnovers. 

Utah averages 76.3 ppg and topped 80 in 6 of its last 8 games, but this Oregon D is ranked 19th in the nation in points allowed at 63.7. And Utes' center Jayce Johnson, who averages 7 points and 7.5 rebounds, is questionable after missing the season's final two games with an ankle injury. He had 11 points and 13 rebounds in the first meeting. 

Larry Krystkowiak is 2-14 vs. Dana Altman during their 8-years of Pac-12 battles, including 0-4 in Vegas in the tournament. He was so worried about his team handling Oregon's pressure that he prepped for the 1st meeting by having his Utes play 4 on 5 to simulate the Ducks' press. It obviously didn't work as Utah committed 19 TOs as I pointed out above. 

I like the fact that Oregon played last night. If this was a 3rd game in 4 days scenario I would be concerned, but the second of back-to-backs I'm not sweating it, especially with the Ducks on a roll. 



Wednesday, March 13

100 Dime Winner - Providence (-1') pounds Butler

And this is what I told you.....

Providence just beat Butler at home on Saturday 83-70. 

Wasn't even that close as the Friars led 27-11 early and were up 66-38 with 12:06 to play before the Bulldogs started pressing on practically every possession to make the final score a bit more respectable. 

Providence hit a season-best 11 three-balls with freshman guard A.J. Reeves leading the way with 24 points on 9-of-13 from the field, including 6-of-8 from beyond the arc. What a difference he brings to the team now that he's recovered from a foot injury that cost him 9 games in the middle of the season.

Isaiah Jackon added 20 and 5 rebounds off the bench while Alpha Diallo chipped in with 11 points and 9 rebounds for the Friars, who outshot Butler 50.9% to 44.8 and outrebounded them by 15 in the game.

Providence won the 1st meeting in OT, 73-67, at Hinkle Fieldhouse on February 26, outshooting Butler then, too, 41.4% to 31.7%

I know this is a "neutral" site game, but you can't hide the fact that Butler was lousy outside of Indianapolis this year, going 2-9 on the road, including 2-7 on the Big East highway. And considering how one-sided this series has been with Providence winning 10 of 13 meeting since the Bulldogs joined the conference, I've got no issue laying the bucket with the team that swept the season series and dominated the meeting just 4 days ago.



Sunday, March 10

100 Dime Winner - Penn State (-8) beats up Illinois

And this is what I told you.....

I know Illinois is jockeying for a better tournament slot, but that's not what counts in this game. Fact is, these two teams are heading in opposite directions and with Penn State holding the homecourt advantage that's another big edge in the Lions' favor.

PSU is off a 66-65 win at Rutgers. Shouldn't have been that close as the Nits were up 18 at halftime, 37-19. 

Bottom Line: Penn State is on a 4-1 roll and has won its last 3 home games, beating Maryland, 78-61, Nebraska, 95-71 and Michigan, 75-69.

Anyone and everyone is beating the Huskers, but knocking off the Terps and Wolverines is impressive.

1st meeting went to the Lions, 82-76, as a +2 road dog February 23. They were up 15 in the 2nd half before Illinois went on a 9-0 run to cut the deficit to 5 late. Lamar Stevens, who averages a team-best 19.9 ppg, had 25 and center Mike Watkins had a double-double with 10 points, 13 rebounds and 5 blocks. Penn State owned the boards, 40-33, including a 30-19 edge on the defensive glass, and won that game with ease despite committing 17 turnovers.

Illinois started February hot with 4 straight wins, including upsets of Michigan State and Ohio State. But the Illini have since gone 1-4 with the lone win coming at home against a lousy Northwestern team that everyone beats up.

Illinois just lost its home finale on Thursday to Indiana 92-74. The Hoosiers shot 55.4% and scored 52 points in the paint. And that game was at home. This was is on the road where the Illini are 2-7 in conference play with their last one being a 73-56 loss at Purdue.

Penn State makes it 6 straight wins in the series and I think the lesson learned from the win against Rutgers the other night carries over: when you get up on an opponent, don't let up. That's why I'm not worried about laying this number at -7 either.



Saturday, March 9

100 Dime Winner - Texas Tech (-2') wins at Iowa State

And this is what I told you.....

The wheels were wobbling on the Iowa State bus, but they fell off in Morgantown in Wednesday's 90-75 loss to a really bad West Va team.
 
The Cyclones, losers of 4 of 5, started the week with scuffle in practice that somehow resulted in leading scorer Marial Shayok (18.7 ppg - 2nd in the Big 12) suffering a toe injury afterward. He missed the West Virginia game, but during that game there was a dust-up on the floor that was caught by the ESPN cameras between two players, Mike Jacobson and Talen Horton-Tucker.
 
Shayok was still experiencing soreness after working out Friday; he's a game-time decision today.
 
Iowa State's late-season collapse is nothing new; coach Steve Prohm's record in February-March the past four years is 21-24.
 
Here comes Texas Tech into town seeking payback for a 68-64 loss in Lubbock back on January 16. At the time, it was only the Red Raiders' 2nd loss of the season.
 
T-Tech is rolling, winning 8 straight (7-1 ATS).  And the Raiders are rested. They've been idle since beating up Texas at home 70-51 on Monday.
 
Iowa State might lead the conference in scoring (77.9) and shooting (47.8%), but the Red Raiders are No. 2 in the nation in scoring D (58.2) and No. 1 in field goal D (36.5%).
 
Tied at 13-4 with Kansas State (who plays later in the day for 1st place in the Big 12, there's added incentive for Texas Tech to roll big here and with Shayok questionable and the Cyclones in a state of disarray, I'll lay the cheap number with the road chalk with no second thoughts whatsoever. 



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Last night in the NIT I nailed a 50 Dimer as Wright State overcame a horrendous start to easily cover as a 12 1/2-point road dog in a 7-point loss at Clemson.

Tonight I turn to one of the last of this year's First Four games in Dayton for play that's even BIGGER as I have a 75 Dime Line Error Lock on the Arizona State-St. John's play-in game as I pursue College Winner # 6 of 8 since joining the site. 
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Jay McNeil's Rating System

I believe the biggest mistake gamblers make is they put too much stock into win/loss percentages. They simply don't matter because every play - at least in my case and for any handicapper who is worth a grain of salt - is rated for money-management purposes.

 

I use a weighted scale - ranging from 10 dimes to 100 dimes - to rate my releases.

 

This rating system not only defines my success in terms of net profit at the end of the day, week, month or season, but it also gives you an idea of how strong each release is and how you should play it.

 

Two simple things to remember:

 

      1) In terms of ratings, clearly a 50 dime play is twice as strong

          as a 25 dime play; five times stronger than a 10 dime release.

 

      2) Base the size of your wagers on the percentage of your total

          bankroll for a given day.

 

To explain that second rule a bit further, let's say you've got $100 to play with on a Monday night and I've got a 50 dime play on the football game's side. You've got two ways to play it based on your personal bankroll allocation system. You could put all $100 down on the play because that's the maximum you're willing to risk on the game tonight. Personally, that's not how I would play it. It's a 50 Dime play. That's means it's half the size of my top-rated play, which is a 100 dimer as I noted above. So I would only be betting $50 on the play.



Again, you have to make the final decision, but either way, the biggest advantage of this easy concept: You never get in over your head by betting more than you have in your pocket.

Who is Jay McNeil?

My family moved to Vegas when I was seven. I grew up about 1/2 mile from where the Mandalay Bay now stands. You don't grow up in Sin City without knowing everything there is about gambling. Believe me, I was playing poker and betting sports long before any casino was going to let me through their doors.

 

My humble opinion: Being immersed in the gambling culture here in Las Vegas is crucial if you want to make a living betting on sports. The minute I turned 21, I started hanging out at the old Stardust sportsbook and that's where I got my greatest education from the seasoned gamblers and bookmakers, guys who were 25 to 50 years older than me. I listened and learned as they talked about spotting bad lines and how to handicap various factors into determining whether a number in football or basketball was distorted by public perception.

 

I took those lessons, learned them well, and then added another layer of knowledge thanks to something that totally escaped those old-school guys: the Internet. The world wide web allowed me to have eyes and ears at every football stadium and basketball courtside in the country. Beat-writers covering every scrimmage, every practice, every game, suddenly became my advance scouts.

 

I'm telling you straight-up: the Internet revolutionized the sports handicapping industry. I myself spend at least 4-6 hours a day scouring teams' web sites and local newspapers while handicapping. It's the difference between winning and losing.


When I have plays, you'll find them here and nowhere else online. No 800 numbers or tipsheets for me. This is my online home going forward.


I don't fear taking chances. Play big or go home. 


I don't fear losing, but I can't live with myself if I would sit here the day after knowing I didn't take a shot. That's the only regret I can't live with.


I might lose big, but I'd rather play big and win big more often than not because that's how you make money over the long term....not playing like a scared mouse.


Those that worry about losing, simply lose more than they win because fear clouds their judgment.

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Sean Michaels, Jay McNeil, Chuck O'Brien

Matt Rivers, Scott Delaney

Karl Garrett (NHL) and Gabe DuPont (NHL) 

do NOT release plays every day


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