Ken Thomson

As we look into the crystal ball to see what we can prognosticate for the upcoming College Hoops season, things are a bit more clouded with the recent arrests of several prominent assistant coaches from four big programs. The uncovering of Teflon Rick finally getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar and being let go at Louisville brings several issues to the forefront.

Don’t mess with the Feds! There will surely be more pins to fall over the next several months with these fallen coaches singing about what they know to avoid jail time. This stuff has been going on in Big Time College sports for a long time but with the F.B.I. getting involved, the rules are changed and so will the practices of many coaching staffs. Not all coaching staffs however, as with PED’s in sports, there will always be those who try another deceitful avenue that gives their team an edge.

As a handicapper who has a lot of so called insiders at many schools, I do indeed get a lot of solid information before it becomes mainstream. I’ve been around the Hoops scene since I was a kid. Growing up in Jersey with an Uncle that took me around the 5 boroughs of New York while he was coaching 17-20 year old kids, got me acclimated to big time athletic competition at it’s finest. I feel I can scout basketball as well as most and look to use my skills to have another outstanding College Hoops campaign.

Sparty got a surprise when Miles Bridges came back for another season which bolsters Izzo’s Green & White right to the top. Arizona should have a real crack at getting back to the Final Four with the squad Sean Miller has put together. There are the usual cast of characters – Duke, Kansas, Florida, Villanova, and of course North Carolina, which some how was able to side step any punishment from the NCAA despite being found to have offered sham classes to their athletes over the last two decades. Because they were offered to all students, no harm, no foul! What a joke! That said, the Heels should be a top ten team as they try to repeat.

I attended the Final Four in Phoenix last year and will have a good feel of who will get to the Big Dance by late January. There will be the mid-majors that will surprise as well with Middle Tennessee State and Wichita State at the top of that class. With all that goes on during November & December on the Gridiron, we will pick and choose our spots and then put up numerous plays when Conference play begins.

I’d love to continue babbling but I have a Blue Ribbon Book to read and stats to compile. With 50 new head coaches at the D-I level and tons of transfers to get down in my head there is NO DOWN TIME in the handicapping industry…at least until March is over and I take Baseball season off!

Looking forward to Tip-Off on November 10th – only two weeks away!

Basketball Guy

We enter the 2017-18 College Basketball season with a dark cloud hanging over the sport. Rick Pitino was the first casualty and he doesn’t figure to be the last. While this poses many challenges, I say, let’s try to make lemonade out of lemons.

There are going to be major adjustments to Louisville’s power rating, so the bookmaker has a more difficult job to do. Do they adjust the power rating too much, too little, or just enough? This definitely creates opportunity for us as bettors and there figures to more teams with the same dilemma. Either way, the bookmakers have a very tough task ahead of them as making November and December College Basketball point spreads will be harder than Chinese arithmetic. Two hundred plus board teams to evaluate while the NBA, NHL, NFL, and College Football are still going strong, is one tough assignment. Only focusing on College Football and College Basketball, I feel our side has the advantage from a workload standpoint.

Coaching changes, incoming recruiting classes, and seniors running out of eligibility, mean lots of adjustments and plenty of room for errors to be made know matter how strong the book or bookmaker. If we can isolate those errors, it will be advantageous but our side of the counter faces the same guessing game with said adjustments. The last two seasons have been strong for us and I see no reason why a third super year in a row won’t occur.

Every year I give out a couple of long shots for the team to cut down the nets in the Spring. It would be real easy to give out Duke and Kentucky every year but lets try to turn a little into a lot. Mick Cronin is a heck of a coach and he has a little more talent than he usually does so lets take a shot with the Cincinnati Bearcats at 100 to 1 or better. Do your shopping of course. Missouri brings in Cuonzo Martin to coach and Michael Porter to play and if the stars line up in Columbia anything can happen at about 75 to 1.

No matter what, it will be a very interesting season and surely a hell of a year with plenty of betting opportunities. And while there is still much work to do, I can’t wait for November 10th to get here.

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