Mar 29
by Don

So we have our home base of operations established and get up early for Thursday’s action.  We bounce downstairs and over to Planet Hollywood about 1.5 hours before the first tipoff.  It is critical to get our bets in and find a good spot because this first game is our beloved Gators and this will most likely be their “one shining moment” as they are a slight dog in their first round game.

We go up to the “Mezz” and see an incredibly snaked line of bettors waiting to place their bets for the morning action.  We make a quick executive decision to head back downstairs to the actual sportsbook as sure they would have more people working and actual pros manning the booth and not temps who just got a crash course in sports wagering.  So we bounce only to see an almost equally intimidating line there.  Oh well, we are here and we need to get these bets in.

The line moves slowly, but we are make some progress.  I strike up a conversation with this Michigan State alum and he is chatting me up about this year’s team when his buddy comes over and says, “Hey man your dad is up at the front.  Let’s go.”  I didn’t even have time to process what he was saying when Sparty looks at me and says “let’s go!”  So we proceed to the front of the line and cut about 200 people who have been waiting for God only knows how long.  When I get there Sparty and his friend were already smoothing things over with the people at the front by saying that it was his dad and what not and how it was all good somehow.  Glorious.  I had left 44 and Hollywood behind without even a word, but when you have a chance to jump the line, you jump.   They understood.

So after the euphoria of the moment passed, Sparty finishes his thoughts on this year’s team and how he has watched every game that they have played this year and that there was no way they would cover the spread.  He says that this team is all IZZO and fairly light on superstar talent.  Every game is a grind and the 14 point spread was way too much, no matter even if they are playing a middle of the road team like New Mexico State.  He predicted that they would win, but it would be 7 or less and in no way would it be double digits. I thought that he made a lot of sense so that only confirmed that little bit of action I was already going to bet.

That’s what great about this weekend.  Everyone comes out and is a small expert on the team that they follow.  If you can get some real intel as to the feel of a team and not straight homerism then you are ahead of the game.   Well my man came through because MSU only won by 3.  Nice.

If someone was to ask me about Florida I would have said that we have virtually no inside presence and have to have an up tempo game to have success.  They will hang tough, but will probably drop this game because they just don’t have enough consistent firepower to beat a good opponent who has balance scoring.  True to form, Florida put up a great fight and took BYU to double overtime before losing 99-92.  No shame in that.

Mar 24
by Don

There is nothing more insane than the first weekend of March Madness.  Seemingly tens of thousands of people (almost exclusively men) descend upon Vegas for a smorgasbord of basketball, booze and b… umm fine dining?  Well that’s what we do anyways and this year was by far the best.

44, Hollywood and myself head off to Paris for what looks to be a great weekend of sports betting.  We had a few great meals, some crazy parlays, and no luck at the black jack tables.  This only tells half of the story.  So let’s get into it shall we?

The flight in was a good one.  44 was able to get on my flight out so we basically spent the time game planning.  Now every year 44 claims that he has done some “research” and has the answers to what ails us, namely poor betting.  Well this year we go in a total different direction, we want professional help.  Once airborne, 44 breaks out his trusty laptop and proceeds to search for a handicapper that we can believe in.  This may seem strange, but we were looking for a guy who had a good story, one that we could relate to, believe in, basically a smarter version of ourselves.  We found one in Keith Fredrick.

Keith seemed like a good guy who has been having tremendous success and we were hoping to jump on the train ourselves.  This was a critical addition to our normal pre tourney banter of, “who has seen X play”? and “where is school X even located?”  You can see that we needed the help.

44 and I get to Paris and look forward to setting up shop there.  A couple of years back they had turned their theater into a defacto MM put complete with huge big screen TV’s, food, and a mobile sportsbook.  This is critical since the first games are early and we will probably need to roll out of bed to place our first bets.  Standing in line to check in we over heard a couple of guys (not hard actually since they were screaming) lamenting the fact that Paris has sold out this year and has booked a conference this year so there will be no MM seating in the theater.  This poses a slight problem since we were looking to have our early action local, but you roll with the punches.

We get settled in and go grab a quick bite next door at the Mexican restaurant in front of Planet Hollywood.  There 44 spots a sign that says that Planet Hollywood has a huge viewing area for the tourney on the “Mezz”, so after lunch we bounce to check it out.

The “Mezz” is great.  There are 8 huge projection screens set up with a ton of betting stations.  This is mint since we are right next door and can make this happen with no problem.  Now we just wait for Hollywood’s arrival and we are set.

Day one ends with more anticipation than excitement as the only black jack session we have nets me a couple of hundred bucks and spanks 44 for six.  So we head back to home base and regroup for tomorrow will most certainly be epic.