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Welcome to my blog which deals with mixed martial arts betting and preview with a detailed analysis on the world of MMA. This blogs covers anything relating to the UFC, Strikeforce, Dreams or any other MMA organization.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Final Four Notes and Final Four Picks

NCAA tournament notesEveryone knows that No. 1 seeds have never lost a first round game (84-0) and that just four No. 2 seeds have lost in the first round. However, while the top-two seeds may be 55-1 SU the last seven years, they have gone just 29-27 ATS! Favorites have posted losing pointspread records in each of the last five years in the NCAA's first round (including the play-in game). The closest they came to a winning mark was in 2002, when they went 17-16, or minus-.6 units!

Overall, favorites are just 73-91-1 ATS the last five years."Non-board" teams have posted a respectable 50-47-2 ATS the last six years, including a 17-10 mark the last two years! Among the six "power conferences", Big-10 teams have been the best favorites, going 24-14-1 ATS since 2001, while SEC teams own the worst mark, going just 12-28 ATS when favored.

However, SEC 'dogs' have posted a 9-5 ATS mark, just ahead of Big East dogs, which have gone 15-9. Teams out of the CAA have gone 5-1-1 ATS the last five years with MVC teams not far behind, posting a 9-2-1 ATS mark.Over the last 15 years, the title has been won 12 times by a school from either the ACC, Big East or SEC. Only two Pac-10 teams, UCLA in 1995 and Arizona in 1997 plus Michigan State of the Big-10 in 2000, have broken through. While all four No. 1 seeds have never made it to the Final Four in the same year (seeding began in 1979), only one Final Four has been played without a single No. 1 seed. That was in 1980, when Louisville (a two-seed) beat UCLA (an eight-seed) in the national title game. The two other Final Four teams that year were Iowa (5) and Purdue (6).

The Pistons won 105-98 in Toronto last night and at 51-12, continue to own the NBA's best record. The Mavericks won 95-81 in Houston and upped their NBA-best road record to 22-9 and more importantly, moved a half-game up on the idle Spurs (51-14 to 50-14). The Rockets are now 2-16 in games without McGrady.

The Suns easily took care of the Clippers, winning 126-95, a night after scoring 129 points in Seattle. Phoenix leads the Clippers by 7 1/2 games in the Pacific Division and at 108.4 PPG, is the league's highest scoring team again this year. Even without the injured Stoudemire (not to mention the traded Johnson and Richardson), Phoenix is averaging a mere two PPG less than last year's 110.4 PPG average. The Suns also own a plus-6.9 PPG differential, the third-best figure in the league and only slightly lower than the plus-7.1 PPG they posted last year.

While the Magic entered last night's home game with the Jazz having lost 19 of their previous 23 games and the Knicks entered their home game with the Hawks losers of 24 of 28, both teams won. Orlando beat Utah 114-108 in overtime and New York edged Atlanta 121-117 in double-overtime. Things did not go as well for two other struggling teams, the T-wolves and the Blazers. While Minnesota did cover in its 95-92 loss to the Lakers, it marked the team's sixth straight loss, its seventh straight on the road and its 20th in its last 23 road games!

The Blazers lost in New Jersey to the Nets, 78-65. The league's lowest scoring team (88.4 PPG) had scored just 66 points the night before in a loss to the Bulls but outdid themselves in this one. Portland scored just five fourth-quarter points against the Nets, the second-worst 4th quarter in NBA history. Almost unbelievably, the Warriors scored just two points in the 4th quarter of a game against the Raptors back on Feb 8, 2004.

It's a short three-game card in tonight's NBA, including a TNT doubleheader. The Celtics are in Miami to take on the Heat at 8:05 ET and the T-wolves continue their road trip in Oakland against the Warriors at 10:35 ET. Opposite a busy NCAA tournament schedule, one wouldn't expect much interest in these rather ordinary matchups. However, that's why God created pointspreads! The Heat are favored by nine points (208) and the Warriors are favored by six points (199).

Here are my opening day picks for hte final four


Are pigs flying? Has hell frozen over? Is it raining cats and dogs? I find myself answering the word "No" to all three questions, yet find myself scratching my head as to why the Tom Izzo led Michigan State Spartans are laying less than a couple of buckets to the George Mason Patriots. That being said, the lines low for a reason, and that's because A. GM is a damn good basketball team, and B. the Spartans have underachieved all season long. Mason won its first CAA regular-season championship since 1999-2000 and matched its school-best record of 23 wins set in 2003-04. Now, the Patriots have a chance to prove themselves against the 21-11 Spartans that edged them 66-60 in the consolation round of last year's BB&T Classic at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. Its 11th seed is the highest ever for a Patriots team and the highest for a CAA team since UNC Wilmington was an 11th seed back in '03. HC Jim Larranaga will be without the services of second leading scorer PG Tony Skinn after giving Loren Stokes of Hofstra a groin blow late in their game a few weeks back, but the Patriots are deep enough and match up well to really give the Spartans a ruin for their money shorthanded. This lines low for a reason people, and the Spartans might suffer a groin blow of their own if their not careful. Grab the points!!!

ORAL ROBERTS (+12') VS. MEMPHIS 2:50 ET Dallas, TX

Friday's game marks Oral Roberts first NCAA Tournament appearance in 22 years, as they dropped a 92-83 opening round decision to the same Tiger program in Memphis during the 1984 tourney. This is a squad that played the likes of 5 tourney participants this season that includes Oklahoma, Marquette, Montana, Utah State, and Monmouth (whom they beat by a 62-54 count in the Great Alaska Shoot-out). They lost to a very sound Utah State team by 5 in OT, by a triple at Marquette, and by 8 at Oklahoma. The Golden Eagles, led by seventh year HC Scott Sutton, enter the tournament winners in 13 of their last 15 contests including a three-game sweep of the Mid-Con Tournament to punch their ticket to the dance. There's no doubt that Memphis is the superior team in this match-up, but the Tigers recent form hasn't been the greatest. If their shots continue not to drop, which has been the case of late, the Golden Eagles have an excellent shot of covering this lofty spread with ease. OR's resume shows they've been battle tested this season, and I'll gladly take the gracious amount of points against the weakest #1 seed in the tourney.

Buy your picks at Who2beton or at Don Best