NCAA Tournament: Middling At Halftime

Monday, 20 March, 2017

Follow on Twitter@cimini

Sports gambling continues to gain steam at the same rate fantasy sports did in the early 2000s.

Still, there is very little discussed in terms of actual sports gaming wagering.

Ed Salmons oddsmaker at Westgate resort reported that their handle increased by 20% year over year from the first four days of the NCAA tournament last year (Guest appearance March 20th on Mitch and Pritch ESPN 1100). That’s remarkable as Salmons specified the repeat customers are through the roof.

Accuracy of point spreads from Salmons and other books was as sharp as can be during the first four days. More than a handful of games at halftime were within a point or two of the full game spread.

That’s great if you had the first half wager as well but the majority of bettors take full game action.

That leaves bettors left with a conundrum of middling at halftime to lower the blow of a potential ATS loss.

Become apart of Zack’s exclusive Superphone club. Get access to free picks and premium plays at a discounted price by texting 702-505-4530 or filling out this form

This option to me makes more sense than waiting for a live bet during game action in the second half.

Typically the market value of halftime lines is gravitated fairly in terms of the original line. One also has a full fifteen to twenty minutes to decide their hedge dollar amount and percentage to take off their full game wager.

In-game is far more reactionary with lines inflated based on the last spurt of whichever team. You’ll also have less than ninety seconds to place this wager. You don’t want to know how many dead sprints I’ve seen people do and regret it by the next live bet option TV timeout.

In the end I fully believe you should middle when an opportunity presents itself at halftime. This is a best practice used in the NFL season when the sharpest of lines are out on a weekly basis.

With tournament games on from the early morning to late at night you want to protect your dollars invested as best as possible.

NBA Podcast: Team Futures and Olympic Preview

Friday, 5 August, 2016

Follow on Twitter@cimini

Zack Cimini and Eric Wong partner up for another all hoops podcast. In the first portion of the podcast they discuss NBA team future over/unders. In the last segment they discuss Olympic team odds. Have a listen as Eric brings great Olympic insight before the games begin.

Podcast: NBA Free Agency and Las Vegas Summer League Discussion

Wednesday, 13 July, 2016

Follow on Twitter@cimini

Zack Cimini and Eric Wong of debut their first podcast. They discuss all the wild NBA free agency moves and what they’ve seen so far in the Las Vegas Summer League. Hear the best of both worlds as both have dominated the handicapping and NBA fantasy basketball industries.

Cavs Still Underdog To Win Finals

Wednesday, 10 June, 2015


The Cavs are up two games to one in the best of seven NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors. If not for a poor ending to game one, they could very well be up 3-0. Winning close games is a part of any sport, but Vegas and oddsmakers still believe the 67-win Warriors are the advantage team in this series.

Defense from the Cavaliers has kept the Warriors from having rhythm offensively for four full quarters. To start games the Warriors have fell behind in every first quarter to start the series. In fact, they’ve trailed every quarter besides the lone overtime in game one that they won.

Three games in to any series of two competitive teams is a mere beginning to a series. Flashback to the Bulls two games to one lead over the Cavaliers. Another close game scenario in game four landed to the Cavs and shifted the series from that point forward. The Bulls never looked the same and the series quickly turned to a lopsided finish. Cleveland won the series four games to two.

Golden State just needs to buckle down and move the ball around a bit more offensively. There just is not any fluid movement with the basketball or too many turnovers. Role players such as Draymond Green, Leandro Barbosa, and Harrison Barnes seem to be trying too hard on the offensive end as Stephen Curry dealt with his game and a half shooting slump. Taking quality shots as a team will help alleviate the scoring void that’s hit them against the Cavaliers defense.

Game four is not a must-win as people would think. Golden State has a strong home record and would still have games five and seven to look as home-court advantage games. Of course that means they’d have to win one game on the road, which they’d rather do now than have to do in game six.

Before game four there will likely be some money that comes in on the Cavaliers anticipating a game four win. But I believe Vegas has the odds right on the series price here with Golden State. After all just two games ago, Golden State were upwards in the -700 territory and Cleveland +400. You can’t have a rapid overreaction in any type of market, even with a two-game win streak from an underdog.


Monday, 1 June, 2015


Last year there were numerous players capable of winning Finals MVP between the Spurs and Heat. The list ranged deep before you would see Kawhi Leonard’s name at 20-1. He defended, scored, and rebounded to become the catalyst to be the difference and MVP a season ago.

This year both the Cavaliers and Warriors have the same deep pedigree of talented players. With the Warriors favored to win the series, Stephen Curry(reg season MVP) is also the odds on favorite to win Finals MVP at -175.

While the top of the heap features the expected big names, I’m always one to venture down the list for value purposes. This past NCAA championship I recommended Tyus Jones at 25-1 for Duke. During last year’s NBA Finals I recommended a hedge on the MVP(recommended Spurs to win title at 5-1 earlier in the playoffs) by grabbing Dwayne Wade at 10-1 for Finals MVP. I figured if the Heat had any chance of beating the Spurs Wade would have to turn to his old ways for a series—flashes he did show throughout the end of the regular season and some of the NBA playoffs.

This year we’ve heard people rationalize time and time again that Draymond Green is the key to the Warriors even with how well Stephen Curry has played. Curry fills the stat sheet while Green just does his job. That has somewhat changed as the season has stretched on. Green is becoming more and more involved in the offense.

With Klay Thompson’s status unknown, the shifting priorities of the Warriors and Cavs could play into the hands of Green. The Cavaliers are already a strong defensive team that would be able to shift more focus on the perimeter and on Stephen Curry. This would lead to more opportunities for another Warrior player to step up offensively, and you’d have to think Green would be one of the main options in that department.

Defensively, what he can do guarding various players already has his value as a sleeper MVP warranted.

Currently you can grab Green at 15-1 odds. We’re three days away from the Finals beginning and have yet to hear Thompson’s status. Grab the odds now before they shift on word of Thompson possibly missing game one or more.


Monday, 1 June, 2015


We’re a long ways from the November start of the 2015-2016 college basketball season. A few weeks ago I gave out a long shot recommendation on the Syracuse Orangemen at 200-1 odds. That was value based in my eyes and has come down considerably since it was first released.

There will be several rule changes in effect next season that could cause a difference in a few outcomes.

Currently the top of the board for futures features a pro-heavy ACC list with Kentucky(SEC). Duke, Maryland, and North Carolina are all in the mix at the top of the future market. Maryland has had a blended mix of adding transfers similar to the way Gonzaga/Iowa State do, but also hit with developing key recruits that have stayed at Maryland. They have upperclassmen along with returning sophomore Melo Trimble that make them a dangerous team on paper.

Duke and Kentucky are there for obvious reasons. Coach K and Calipari have led the way of the 1 and done era.

But for the first time in the last five years I will not be picking a team from the ACC or Big East. In 2011 I picked UConn, 2012 I misfired, 2013-Louisville, 2014-UConn(Sweet 16 odds), and last year I picked Duke.

My odds on favorite heading into the 2015-2016 season will be the Kansas Jayhawks. The Big 12 did very poor last year in March Madness after being hailed as the top conference most of the season. Self and his talented Jayhawks teams have also faltered in the tournament on numerous instances.

There is no doubt he is a great coach. Before Duke won the title last year they faltered in round two to Mercer the season prior, they also had an exit caused by Lehigh a few years before that. Exiting in March does not mean a coach can’t get the job done in a matter of six to eight months.

Kansas in my opinion is under valued in the future market. Shopping around you’ll be able to find them in the range of 13-1 to 16-1.

What draws me to Kansas is their returning players. I love the nucleus in place with veterans Frank Mason, Wayne Selden, Perry Ellis, and Brannen Greene. Besides North Carolina’s veteran group there won’t be another team in the country that can match their chemistry. Kansas is also getting an early start to their season by participating in the World University Games in July.

Recruiting wise they’ve added two top 25 players in Cheick Diallo and Carlton Bragg. Both will help fill a void on the inside to a team that was too perimeter oriented last season. Their raw talent will provide the necessary hustle plays you look for in talented tall freshman. That mix usually goes well with a veteran group.

The word parity gets tossed around too much in college basketball. To me there is a big gap from the top ten teams in college basketball to the next five and on and on. You have a lot of teams that have minimal depth that fade in February and March as a result. How often players are transferring is also hurting the development of schools that would have a chance to lift from a top 15-25 team into the top ten.

Even the asset of playing in a power conference with key strength and conditioning coaches goes a long way. The transformation players bodies go through from one offseason to the next has grown leaps and bounds. You don’t see this occurring too often in mid to lower level conferences. It’s happening on the campuses of schools that have the state of the art equipment and top notch strength and conditioning coaches. This also pays dividends in-season as staffs have the personnel to keep a player’s body in preventive mode from injuries while still getting stronger in-season.

Kansas may have 3-5 losses in conference play but should be a solid one seed in March. Look for Kansas to creep down from their current future position as the preseason nears in college basketball. Grab the Jayhawks in future markets at 13-1 to 16-1 odds.