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70-52 PAST FIFTY-NINE DAYS OVERALL

53-44 PREMIUM SERVICE PAST FORTY-NINE DAYS

 

 

22-9 NBA since 5/5

7-4 special NHL Playoff releases since 5/10

 

 

NBA FINALS OPENER WINS

As you will see below a sensational five-year "23-5" system successfully covered the spread again (Lakers 102-89 romp)

NBA PLAYOFF SYSTEM (Lakers -5' at home versus Celtics in a 9:05 eastern Finals opening game tipoff on ABC): One of the keys to this selection is that tonight's side is priced a full "two points lower" than in the opening game of the now completed Western Conference Finals which means we have some line value. It comes as no personal shock that the price tag on this contest has slowly started to drop from the opening figure considering that Boston had won-and-covered 11 of their initial 14 playoff tilts and essentially made bettors like me a fortune. In the 2010 playoffs the Celtics Big Three (Pierce, Garnett, Allen) have suddenly gotten a big assist from guard Rajon Rondo who has matured in front of our eyes. Due to overall health and excellent depth from a bench that includes veteran Rasheed Wallace, the Celtics have made a surprising run to the NBA Finals while knocking off two teams (Cavaliers, Magic) who had the best overall regular season marks. It would make sense to "take" the points tonight considering that these pair of franchises have won a grand total of 32 NBA championship titles and have met 11 different times in the Finals. I will admit that most players involved in the 2010 Finals do not really understand this rivalry which dates back to the 1950's. But the bottom line is that most of the current Lakers roster suffered the humiliation of losing to the Celtics in the 2008 Championship series which ended with Boston winning by a resounding 39-POINT margin. Not only were the Lakers humiliated in that contest, Boston fans after the game actually threw rocks at the Los Angeles team bus. This is not the first time that Boston has "rubbed it in" as back in 1984 Cornbread Maxwell mimicked a "choke hold" in the direction of the Lakers who have beaten the Celtics just twice in the Finals. The window of opportunity is beginning to close for Los Angles superstar Kobe Bryant who due to age has started to become injury prone. One of the reasons why the Lakers were challenged severely in the opening round by Oklahoma City was due to the fact that Bryant was dealing with knee issues. Even though both teams have benefitted from extra rest, Bryant in particular has had a chance to heal some wounds and essentially is going into the Finals near 100% capacity. A few years ago Kobe did not trust his teammates in the championship series, but the trust factor finally did arrive a year ago when the Lakers "ran the table". Despite all the prosperity that both Kobe Bryant and his head coach Phil Jackson have enjoyed, the fact of the matter is that tandem has never brought down the proud Celtics franchise in the Finals which makes this opening contest critical. Los Angeles operate out of the PACIFIC Division and that is critical considering that Boston this season has posted a disastrous mark (1-8 ATS) when up against opposition from the Pacific draw as they literally have been run out of the building by an up-tempo pace. According to my database research one of the keys to this evening is that both sides have picked up an abundant amount of REST which actually favors the "home" team. In the past three years the Lakers are a fabulous 15-5 ATS/HOME when having 3+ days of rest. On the flipside ever since Doc Rivers has been head coach Boston is a very poor 13-27 ATS when having 3+ days of rest prior to taking the court. These two angles are backed up by a fabulous 82-PERCENT SYSTEM (23-5 past five years in a battle between quality teams that have won 60-to-75% of their games) which actually plays AGAINST extremely "well rested" road underdogs like Boston playing for just the second time in a 7-day span. That 23-5 system favors the Lakers late this evening

 

 

RARE NBA "5 UNIT" BEST BET EVENT COVERS BY 13' POINTS 

NBA side-and-total sweep on 5/27 from the Western Conference as the Phoenix Suns (+8) nearly pulled off the upset in what turned out to be by far the LOWEST scoring game of the series (103-101 final score)

TONIGHT'S SPECIAL "5 UNIT" NBA REDZONE BEST BET TOTAL (Suns at Lakers UNDER 217' in a 9:05 eastern tipoff on TNT): This is one of those wagers where I feel the oddsmakers have made a loud statement. In the initial pair of Western Conference championship tilts played in Los Angeles, the hometown Lakers lit up the scoreboard to the tune of 126 points per contest. Even though the Lakers lost both games that were played in the Valley of the Sun where Phoenix employed a "zone" defense that clogged up the lane, Kobe Bryant and company still put up on average 107 points per pop on the scoreboard. As for the Phoenix offense they have averaged a whopping 113 points per outing in the Western Conference Finals and on Tuesday their bench came through with an enormous 54 point effort. Going into this evening the Suns are on a 7-1 "over" run while the Lakers are 10-1-1 "above" the spot long term in the playoffs. Despite all of the aforementioned factors which have pushed spots to as high as 220 points, we actually have a LOWER over/under figure than in games three-and-four which speaks volumes. Following their second consecutive setback on Tuesday evening, both Lakers head coach Phil Jackson and superstar Kobe Bryant in postgame press conferences hammered on the word DEFENSE which has been severely lacking. It was just a few years ago when the Lakers lost the NBA Finals against a smothering Boston Celtics defense and promised they would improve in that critical area. Kobe Bryant has mentioned several times this postseason that his Lakers are a better defensive squad than at this time a year ago and with a "must win" situation this evening there is no doubt they will have to show radical improvement. In the offseason Los Angeles acquired the services of former NBA "defensive player of the year" Ron Artest. Even though for the most part he has been a disappointment in a Lakers uniform, Artest did slow down league scoring champion Kevin Durant during the opening round of the playoffs and certainly has the ability to shine again in this series where Los Angeles has a definite advantage in both "length and size". Quoting Kobe Bryant you win championships with the ability to "defend and rebound" which is exactly what the Lakers have done with their big men (Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom) for most of the campaign. The following may come as a surprise by offensively the Lakers are averaging 5 points per game LESS (101.7 ppg) as opposed to this time a year ago, but yet here they are again in the Western Conference Finals. Phoenix head coach Alvin Gentry has actually taught DEFENSE in practice sessions and that unusual strategy has according to 37 year old veteran Grant Hill help vault the Suns to this lofty stage of the postseason. Phoenix is so free-flowing and fun on offense that people assume they do not care about defensive intensity, but that is the main reason why they were able to win multiple ROAD games this postseason both at San Antonio and Portland where they recovered from "double digit" deficits 3 different times. During this impressive playoff run Grant Hill has shut down the likes of Manu Ginobili and Andrew Miller. To some extent the Phoenix veteran did the same thing to both Tony Parker and Brandon Roy. There were many prognosticators who felt Phoenix had little chance to get by San Antonio who had knocked them out of the playoffs 4 consecutive times in the past decade, but the fact of the matter is that the Suns played a PHYSICAL type of contest better than the Spurs who through the years had perfected that style of rough play. The bottom line is that this current edition of the Phoenix Suns is completely unlike the speedy "7 seconds or less" teams that Mike D'Antoni used to coach. The Suns actually led the NBA in scoring once again this campaign, but it was a with a "rythym" offense that relies on ball movement along with the pick-and-roll. I will admit that Phoenix was the top three-point shooting team during the regular season connecting on 41% of their attempts from behind the arc, but the Lakers actually had the league's BEST DEFENSE against the "trey" limiting the opposition to an average of just 32.8% from long range (32.3% so far in the playoffs entering the Western Finals). My database research indicates that ever since Phil Jackson has been head coach, the Lakers have played UNDER the total at a solid 55% overall clip (134-110) when off consecutive road games. Ever since Alvin Gentry has been head coach (entering this series) the Suns were 42-27 UNDER when off consecutive high scoring affairs where a combined 205+ points were put on the scoreboard. For this entire season to date the Suns are 20-11 UNDER after successfully covering the spread 5 times in a 7-game span. In the past three years Phoenix is a whopping 11-3 UNDER/ROAD when off an upset win as an underdog so this is an excellent percentage wager

 

13-4 NBA PLAYOFF TEAR

Including the sixth and final contest from the Western Conference Finals as the underdog Lakers win OUTRIGHT 111-103 on the road

NBA PLAYOFF PERCENTAGE SIDE (Lakers +1' at Suns in a 8:35 eastern tipoff on TNT): This line reflects the fact that Phoenix is actually the side with more momentum going into game-six of the Western Conference Finals. Even though the Suns lost on Thursday evening, they recovered from a massive 18-point deficit early in the second half on the road and nearly stole a game in Los Angeles. The Suns bench came alive again in the third quarter Thursday to make the game competitive and those same reserves totaled 54 combined points the last time these two teams squared off in the Valley of the Sun. One of the reasons why I am going against the grain this evening is due to the fact that Boston just clinched the Eastern Conference Finals in game-six which means a veteran roster is going to get some extra rest. The last thing Los Angeles wants to do is get extended to a game-seven on Monday which would give them only TWO days to get ready for the championship series. This pick is very similar in scope to last night when there was much public sentiment that the Orlando Magic would climb out of an "0-3" hole after suddenly gaining momentum. Even though Phoenix came very close to ripping off 3 consecutive triumphs in the Western draw and now has the "perceived" momentum, that does not necessarily mean they will come out on top even though star Steve Nash went out on a limb and literally guaranteed a triumph. I am fully aware that Nash (29 points) came alive offensively in game-five, but the fact of the matter is that the Lakers actually WOULD like Nash to turn into a shooter instead of constantly dishing out assists. Even though Thursday's contest ended up going right down to the wire the Lakers did many good things including an edge of 14 more field goals attempted. The Lakers also made many "defensive switches" which helped force Steve Nash to shoot the basketball much more than normal. On the stat sheet Thursday Los Angeles actually had the edge in turnovers, rebounds and blocked shots. Head coach Phil Jackson is known as the "zen master" and in public comments yesterday actually mentioned that his team will be prepared for a game-seven, essentially giving the Suns a "false" sense of confidence. Turing to the database here is a 67-PERCENT SYSTEM (68-34 since 1996 in a game involving a pair of quality squads that have won 60-to-75% of their games) that actually plays AGAINST teams like Phoenix off a contest where they covered the spread but lost straight-up on the scoreboard. In the past three years the Lakers are an excellent 17-6 ATS/ROAD after losing twice outright in a 3-game span. But the big news is that ever since Phil Jackson has been head coach, the Lakers are a mind boggling 13-3 ATS/ROAD when off 4 consecutive games where the defense permitted 100+ points on the scoreboard

 

21-13 ALL BASKETBALL BEST BETS SINCE 3/25

31-30 BASEBALL BEST BETS PAST SEVENTY FOUR DAYS

58-50-4 ALL PREMIUM BASEBALL PAST SEVENTY-THREE DAYS (small favorites, underdogs, totals)

"Marquee" basketball Best Bet monsters (4 Units or higher) finish 4-1 in April

 

48-34 NBA PREMIUM WAGERS FINAL 70 DAYS OF COVERAGE

159-133 ALL PREMIUM RELEASES PAST 107 DAYS

 

17-11 ALL BASKETBALL BEST BETS SINCE 3/31

ALL BASKETBALL BEST BETS FINAL 73 DAYS OF COVERAGE (40-30)

 

"Marquee" basketball Best Bet monsters (4 Units or higher) 4-1 in April

Including Butler COVERING the NCAA Championship

COLLEGE BEST BETS FINISH "6-0" INCLUDING AN NCAA FINAL FOUR PARLAY

14-5 all PREMIUM college final ten days of coverage

 

 

NIT CHAMPIONSHIP SWEEP (Dayton-and-Over)

Championship game "mania"

--Saints and Under NFL SUPER BOWL SWEEP

--5-Unit first-half BCS Championship total WINS (along with Alabama in college FOOTBALL'S Championship)

--5- Unit Best Bet Virginia Commonwealth COVERS in the opening CBI Championship tilt last week

-- BEST BET Missouri State COVERS in the College Insider Championship

--4-Unit MARQUEE Best Bet monster North Carolina/Dayton OVER (139) WINS with ease in the NIT Championship (147 combined points scored)

--NIT Championship side Dayton (-3) COVERS in a 79-68 win over North Carolina

--"4 Unit" NCAA Championship Best Bet Butler (+7') COVERS with ease in a contest decided by TWO points

MARQUEE COLLEGE BEST BETS (4 Units or higher) OUTSTANDING 13-5 IN MARCH

"2-0" IN APRIL

8-1 COLLEGE BEST BETS FINAL EIGHT DAYS OF COVERAGE

14-5 ALL PREMIUM COLLEGE FINAL TEN DAYS OF COVERAGE

--4/5 NCAA Championship Best Bet monster Butler (+7') COVERS with ease in a game decided by TWO point margin

--4/3 NCAA Best Bet Parlay Butler (-1) COVERS against Michigan State in 52-50 thriller

--4/3 NCAA Best Bet Parlay Duke (-2') COVERS with ease in 78-57 rout of West Virginia

--4/1 "4 Unit" BEST BET monster North Carolina/Dayton OVER (147) WINS in a 79-68 shootout

--4/1 NIT Championship side Dayton (-3) COVERS in a 79-68 triumph

--3/31 Virginia Commonwealth/St. Louis UNDER (128) fails in a 71-65 verdict

-- 3/30 COLLEGE BEST BET Missouri State (-5') COVERS in 78-65 romp of Pacific in the College Insider Championship

--3/30 NIT Rhode Island (pick) fails 68-67 in OVERTIME versus North Carolina

--3/29 "5 UNIT" COLLEGE BEST BET Virginia Commonwealth (-9') COVERS in a 68-56 home triumph versus St. Louis

--3/28 NCAA Duke (-5) COVERS in a 78-71 triumph versus Baylor

--3/28 NCAA Tennessee (-2) fails in a 70-69 outright loss against Michigan State

--3/27 NCAA BEST BET TOTAL West Virginia/Kentucky OVER (133) WINS in a 73-66 contest

--3/27 NCAA BEST BET TOTAL Butler/Kansas State OVER (134') fails in a 63-56 final verdict

--3/27 NCAA side West Virginia (+4) OUTRIGHT Elite Eight upset

--3/27 NCAA side Butler (+3') OUTRIGHT Elite Eight upset

--3/26 NCAA BEST BET SIDE Tennessee (+4') OUTRIGHT 76-73 upset of Ohio State

--3/26 NCAA BEST BET TOTAL Saint Mary's/Baylor UNDER (142) WINS with ease in Sweet Sixteen clash with 121 combined points scored

--3/26 NCAA side Northern Iowa (+1) fails in 59-52 setback

--3/26 NCAA total Northern Iowa/Michigan State UNDER (121') WINS in a Sweet Sixteen late night affair with 111 combined points scored

 

 

NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP WIN

Decided by TWO point margin

TONIGHT'S "4 UNIT" REDZONE COLLEGE BEST BET ( Butler +7' versus Duke in a 9:20 eastern NCAA National Championship tipoff on CBS): One may want to call this the college "intangible lock of the year" because in essence the stars have lined up to give us a very good chance at seeing a memorable upset. It was exactly TWENTY-FIVE YEARS ago when we had the biggest upset in college basketball history as #9 seed Villanova knocked off Patrick Ewing and heavily favored Georgetown in the 1985 Finals. The last time a " non" power conference squad won the national championship just happened to be exactly TWENTY YEARS ago when Nevada-Las Vegas (Mountain West Conference) pulled off the trick. Certainly there has never been a school as small as Butler (4,200 enrollment) that has run the table in the NCAA's but one can make an argument that tonight's game is a reflection on the current state of college basketball. We are currently in an era that is defined by the NBA's minimum-age limit whereby the very best players participate only briefly before leaving BCS-Conference schools. Small conference "mid major" programs now have an edge in chemistry and in the case of the Bulldogs prior EXPERIENCE in postseason pressure situations. Butler has reached the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA Tournament 3 times in the past eight years and this particular squad just happened to return all FIVE starters from 2009. Back on Saturday as predicted Duke showed the nation and all the negative media critics that they truly deserved to be a "one seed" instead of West Virginia who ended up in the #2 slot. This evening it is Butler who has special motivation to prove that a "mid major" program can be a viable threat to win the Big Dance. Going back to day-one of this tournament Texas-El Paso was a popular upset pick by prognosticators to immediately knock the Bulldogs out of the Big Dance. Not only did that upset not occur, Butler has now knocked off opposition from 3 of the absolute toughest conferences (Big East, Big 12, Big 10) in the entire country. It is hard to call Butler a true cinderella since they entered this tournament with a high #5 seed. In addition TEN of the 15 players on Butler's roster just happen to reside from the "basketball crazy" state of Indiana where even high school programs are king. Even though he looks like a student Butler's Brad Stevens has the MOST WINS all-time by a head coach in his initial 3 years of service. Despite his very young age (33) Stephens does not panic on the sidelines and that is also reflected in his players who lost leads against both Syracuse and Kansas State but were mentally tough enough to recover in the clutch. It is easy to see why Butler has been cast as a prohibitive underdog even though they are playing just 6 miles from campus which assures enormous fan support. It was exactly one year ago when Michigan State (+8) actually had the advantage of playing in their home state but ended up getting blown out by North Carolina in the NCAA Title tilt. It certainly is not everyday that we have a squad that has won 25 games in a row getting so many points from the oddsmakers but the fact of the matter is that Butler has some injury issues. As predicted injuries played a huge part in Saturday's Final Four as both Michigan State and West Virginia were not completely healthy and ultimately were unable to notch victories even though both head coaches (Tom Izzo, Bob Huggins) had long track records of success. Butler has a pair of starting front-line players Matt Howard (concussion) and Shelvin Mack (thigh) who are officially listed on the injury report but this team has a lot of depth. On offense the Bulldogs seemingly always have 5 players who can both "pass and catch" as they constantly work the shot clock which eventually wears down the opposition. I want all of you to be aware that prior to this tournament both Duke (2-6-1) and Butler (3-7 very end of January through February) struggled "against the spread" but have made investors a fortune in the Big Dance. It is also worth considering that Duke (34) and Butler (33) almost have the same number of overall victories which means TAKING the generous points is the way to go. Turning to the database I see that Duke is actually a poor 10-20 ATS/ROAD long term following a game where they made 50+% from three-point territory. Here is a 65-PERCENT SYSTEM (68-37 since 1997) that goes AGAINST "neutral court" favorites like Duke in a game involving two excellent defenses, after a blowout win of 20+ points in margin. That system indicates that Duke's pounding of West Virginia actually puts them in a "go against" betting situation. Here is a 66-PERCENT SYSTEM (110-58 past five years) which plays ON "veteran" underdogs like Butler of 3'-to-9' points off a very low scoring game where both sides put less than 66 points on the scoreboard, with all FIVE starters returning. It is almost unheard of to have an underdog setup like what we are seeing this evening so I am putting the label of "college postseason game of the year" on this pick

 

 

NIT CHAMPIONSHIP SIDE-AND-TOTAL SWEEP

Including a "4 Unit" monster Best Bet total (147 combined points scored)

TONIGHT'S "4 UNIT" REDZONE COLLEGE BEST BET TOTAL ( North Carolina versus Dayton OVER 139 in a 7:05 eastern tipoff on ESPN): We have seen a substantial move on this NIT Tournament total which opened as low as 136' points in some offshore locations. That movement is stunning when you consider that both semifinal clashes in this tournament stayed below the spot on Tuesday including the North Carolina tilt that was eventually decided in overtime. The upward movement on this total is also shocking since North Carolina is has played below the total (22-10) in almost 70% of their outings for the entire season. One of the main reasons why the Tar Heels have suffered through a terrible season has to do with an offense that did not hit the 80-point barrier in Atlantic Coast Conference play. Of course the defending NCAA Champions saw all of last year's roster jump early for NBA riches which means that head coach Roy Williams has literally been forced to start over. The bottom line is that Williams coached teams are know for putting bountiful points on the scoreboard and this deep run in the NIT draw has seen point guard Larry Drew grow up. It was Drew who scored the Heels final 5 points of regulation Tuesday in the victory against Rhode Island. Earlier in this NIT tournament Drew nailed a clutch game winning shot over Mississippi State's Jason Varnado who just happened to lead the entire country in blocked shots. Twice during this NIT run has North Carolina had to face a defensive-oriented opponent on the road including Alabama-Birmingham who has been known to slash the pace of games. But I want to take all of you back to game-one of the NIT when North Carolina hosted a William+Mary contingent that had set a school record for "three point" shots attempted. Even though William+Mary had constantly played below the spot during the regular campaign, that game at North Carolina soared OVER the total (23 point margin) with 5:00 remaining on the clock. Turning to the subject of Dayton they had their most problems this season against opponents who slashed the pace and turned the affair into a "half court" battle. Make no mistake the Flyers tonight will be attempting to force an UP-TEMPO pace led by a pair of SENIOR guards (London Warren, Rob Lowrey) who each are taking the court for a final time and each are averaging at least 3.6 assists per contest. Back on Tuesday evening in the semifinals Dayton was facing a Mississippi squad whose high octane attack had averaged a whopping 88 points in three NIT tournament tilts. This evening we have a much lower posted total involving Dayton which gives us some value to work with. Keep an eye out tonight for Dayton forward Chris Wright (first-team All-Conference) who has posted double-digit scoring in 18 of the most recent 22 outings. Once again in Tuesday's semifinal the Flyers played below a rather lofty total of 142 points which sets up an interesting angle from my database research. In the past two years Dayton is a whopping 19-5 OVER if their prior game stayed below the spot. Way back in game-one of the NIT tournament both North Carolina (15-2) and William+Mary (13-2) were on long streaks playing "below" the spot and that game once again ended up going way OVER. With North Carolina involved tonight this in my mind is the "NIT Total of the Year"

 

NCAA FINAL FOUR "PARLAY SWEEP"

Began with Butler's thrilling 52-50 win versus Michigan State

PART ONE OF TODAY'S "3 UNIT" NCAA REDZONE BEST BET DOUBLEHEADER (Butler -1 versus Michigan State in a 6:07 eastern tipoff on CBS): I will begin from the database which indicates that teams with a greater winning percentage have gone an excellent 8-2 ATS the past five years in the Final Four and that angle supports both Butler and Duke who have been cast as favorites for very good reasons. The bottom line is that Michigan State despite their tremendous head coach and constant success in the NCAA Tournament are continuing to operate WITHOUT their best player guard Kalin Lucas which at the lofty stage the Big Dance is a big negative especially since Butler has the ability to operate out of a "four guard" setup. Michigan State is also operating with forwards Delvon Roe (knee) and Chris Allen (foot) hurting. One has to remember that Michigan State nearly blew a double-digit lead in the second half against Maryland in the contest where Lucas was originally injured. After that last second escape the Spartans had the benefit of facing a Northern Iowa contingent that was suffering a "hangover" affect on the heels of their massive upset of the #1 overall seed ( Kansas) in the tournament. In the Elite Eight round Michigan State had the benefit of opposing a Tennessee contingent that had NEVER been passed the "Sweet Sixteen" round and was unfamiliar with the intense pressure, especially in the final minutes where the Spartans experience paid off. Even though Butler is from a very small conference (Horizon League) this team actually does have prior experience in the NCAA Tournament and a long track record of "mid major" success only rivaled by Gonzaga. It may seem like an eternity but way back in round-one Texas-El Paso was a popular upset pick over the Bulldogs who despite reeling off 24 consecutive victories was not getting respect from the national media. One of the keys to handicapping Butler is that they were eliminated in the opening round of the NCAA a year ago but actually RETURNED all of their players who have been on a mission since day one. I am aware that teams from "non" power conferences have traditionally not done well in the Final Four (2-5 SU/ATS) including most recently George Mason in 2006, but the fact of the matter is that Butler is not a "double digit seed" which is one of the reasons why they are a slight favorite this evening. It was exactly one year ago when Michigan as a 4' point underdog pulled off an outright upset in the semifinals in part because they had the opportunity to play in front of their HOME fans which of course is the case this time around with Butler who is about 6 miles away from Lucas Oil Stadium. It was an exceptional year for the city of Indianapolis who saw their beloved NFL Colts reach the Super Bowl and this city now has a chance to nab a championship crown courtesy of college basketball. This particular NCAA Tournament has been radically different from a year ago as a grand total of 8 different "at large" squads made the field from " non" power league conferences. With so many non-BCS teams in the field it comes as no personal shock that Butler has made it all the way to the Final Four. For both of tonight's entrants to be #5 seeds and the "non" power league squad cast as the favorite to me speaks volumes regarding the Bulldogs who have shown remarkable ability to stay patient in "crunch time". Even though Butler blew leads against Syracuse (Big East) and Kansas State (Big 12) they refused to get rattled which means odds are they will perform well when it counts in this particular near pick-em situation. One could make a strong argument that both the Big East and Big 12 were by far the two best conferences this season in college basketball so for Butler to knock off a pair of their representatives is quite remarkable and most certainly they have had the much tougher path to the national semifinals as opposed to this evening's opponent. Even though Tom Izzo continues to show what a remarkable head coach he is getting Michigan State to the Final Four without their best player, the fact of the matter is that Butler mentor Brad Stevens has the MOST WINS ALL TIME in his initial 3 seasons as a head coach. Butler at all times has 5 players on the floor who can both "pass and catch" and their constant working of the shot clock eventually wears out the defenses of their opposition. What grabbed my attention was that even though Butler committed 20 turnovers against Kansas State they still were able to control the pace and advance to the national semifinals. Not only does Butler control pace of games their DEFENSE has not allowed more than 59 points in any of the NCAA games so far. Despite the fact that Michigan State has been an outstanding NCAA investment for bettors I am troubled by their spread record against "non" conference opponents (3-9 ATS) back in the months of November and December. I will admit that Butler for most of the campaign had problems covering "inflated" price tags against inferior league opponents and that the Bulldogs only big regular season " non" conference win was against Ohio State when Evan Turner was injured. But the fact of the matter is that tonight marks just the second time this season where Butler has been favored by 3-or-less points (or at a pick-em) and they are 1-0 ATS in the spot where the oddsmakers are not asking too much of them<Continued...