Don’t bet with Illini

Mar 15, 2005 9:02 AM

Let the madness begin!

This is probably my most favorite time of the year for sports. It is just constant crazyness for days. Great for the bettors and the books with all the nonstop action.

Every room in the city seems to be taken and I saw extra beer trucks unloading cases yesterday outside several casinos. That could have been for the wild NASCAR crowd that was in town this weekend.

Well, let’s take a little overview of the brackets.

CHICAGO

Illinois looks to have a pretty easy trip to the Elite Eight where they most likely will have to face the Oklahoma State Cowboys. All the Illini have to do is get by an overmatched Fairleigh Dickinson team, then beat either Alabama or Boston College. In this bracket look for Illinois to be over priced and over bet before a mostly pro Illini crowd. I will take a stand here and take the points in all of the Illinois games.

Arizona looks like the only team that can prevent an Oklahoma State-Illinois matchup in the great eight. In a near pick’em game if these two meet, I will take the Cowboys to get the job done and then beat Illinois on the way to the Final Four.

ALBUQUERQUE

This is my favorite bracket as I really love a team in here. I will follow Wake Forest all the way to the championship. One thing I like about March Madness is that we get "over / unders" on every game. I will bet every Wake game over the total. These guys can light it up.

Wake’s biggest danger could come from Gonzaga, the perennial Cinderella. Look for the Deacons to eke out the win against Zaga in a high scoring affair. I see Pittsburgh beating Washington and Louisville downing Georgia Tech in what should be a real tight game. Wake Forest will stop Louisville on its way to facing Oklahoma State in the Final Four.

SYRACUSE

The Tar Heels of North Carolina look to have the easiest trip to the Final Four. They should win easy in their first game with either Oakland or Alabama A&M and then have no problem getting by Villanova or Florida to face either Kansas or UConn. I feel that UConn will beat Kansas and give UNC its toughest game, but the Heels will prevail.

AUSTIN

This bracket looks wide open and could offer a lot of upsets. Tournament tested Duke will have its hands full with Michigan State. I see the upset here as State downs the top seed Blue Devils. Kentucky will only have to get past either Oklahoma or Cincinnati reach the Elite Eight. Look for the Wildcats to get the win, but go down at the hands of Michigan State in a real barn burner.

MY FINAL FOUR

Oklahoma State, Wake Forest, North Carolina and Michigan State. Awe, if only it were that easy!

Well that’s my strategy this week. Take the points and bet against Illinois. Lay the points with Wake Forest and bet over the total. Next week, we’ll see if we need to adjust our thinking.