This is the time of the season when some teams are in desperate efforts to make an argument for at-large placement into the 2021 NCAA Tournament (assuming, of course, that they can't win their conference tournament). And some of them are looking for the highest seed they can get.
Wednesday's three-team parlay involves some of those squads, and we've got some winners that you can cash at BetOnline.
If you find something that's clicking, should you run away from it?
Minnesota continues its Jekyll-and-Hyde act. The Gophers have scored a number of nice wins in the nation's toughest conference, beating the likes of Ohio State, Michigan, Purdue and Iowa, as well as a non-conference victory over Saint Louis. And what these big efforts had in common is that they were all at home.
When playing Michigan, Purdue and Iowa on the road, as well as Illinois and Wisconsin as the visitor, they could hardly get close enough to get a whiff. Then they shot 36% from two-point range and 32% overall in dropping a 72-59 decision at Maryland.
At best, they would have a curious case for an NCAA Tournament berth, and it might just be that this game against Indiana, which has a season sweep over 11th-ranked Iowa to its credit, will determine which of these teams gets an at-large selection, if it happens at all. Remember, this league is stacked, and there should be at least seven teams who are guaranteed a spot in the Big Dance.
Minnesota's Liam Robbins may be the best shot-blocker out there, but Indiana's Trayce Jackson-Davis is probably the best player on the floor. And the Gophers have a long way to go in terms of shooting the ball. You have to win on the road to impress people, and Richard Pitino's team hasn't done that yet.
The first time these teams played, Evan Mobley took advantage of Arizona State's relative lack of assertiveness on the inside and rambled for 19 points, 13 rebounds and SIX blocked shots as the Trojans rolled in the desert.
The freshman, who is going to be one of the top choices in the NBA Draft, is taking more and more control of situations, with nine double-doubles and a ton of swats. He's a 62% shooter, and together with his brother Isaiah, who really gets after it on the offensive boards, USC has about as good a 1-2 punch up front as any team in the Pac-12.
The Men of Troy are ranked 17th in the Associated Press poll, but are they even the best team in their own league? A rematch with Colorado might answer that question (the Buffs won the first meeting), but that's eight days off. ASU does not shoot well enough to overcome their lack of effective aggressiveness on the glass (325th and 277th in offensive and defensive rebounding percentage, respectively - ouch!).
And there is no reason to believe they're going to do any business inside of the arc - they were just 31% in two-point shooting in the first meeting.
You aren't going to find these teams in the national rankings, but this is a key matchup - and actually, a key PAIR of matchups, since they play against Friday - in determining who might get an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament from the Mountain West. Remember that you have Colorado State and Nevada in the mix, as well as San Diego State, which is in fourth place in the MWC but is 25th nationally in the latest AP poll.
Utah State's even-foot Portuguese import, Neemias Queta, is the difference-maker here. He is second in the nation in blocked shot percentage. But his impact isn't felt merely through the shot-blocking figures.
The Aggies are fourth best in the country in defending inside the arc, allowing a microscopic 42%. And they are the third best defensive rebounding team in the nation. That essentially dictates Boise State's approach. So the Broncos must take more threes than normal (treys constitute about 37% of their attempts) and they have to hit them, because there are few second chances.
If the Broncos were dead-eye from downtown, I'd feel better about them, but they are outside the nation's top 100 in three-point accuracy.
Charles Jay is unlike most analysts associated with
handicapping and the gaming industry, in that he also has had extensive
experience in the so-called "mainstream" media as well.
He has been involved with professional sports industry for
almost two decades, working in all capacities, as a matchmaker, booking agent,
manager, and also as an editorial consultant on USA Network's "Tuesday Night
Fights," which, for a time, carried "Charles Jay's Line" on
upcoming fights. As a broadcaster, he has called world title fights around the
world for various outlets, and has served as a color commentator for Sunshine
Network and Prime Network.
His radio experience includes being the host of numerous
programs, including "Sportswatch with Charles Jay" on KDWN in Las
Vegas, "Total Action" on WAXY 790 in Miami, and "Charles Jay's
Winning Edge", syndicated into 55 markets by the American Radio Networks,
and he's done podcasts on all subjects related to sports, gaming and popular
Working within the casino industry, he has a special events
consultant for Casino Magic in Mississippi, as that venue established itself in
the early 1990s as a hotbed of boxing activity in particular. Prior to this, he
had been engaged as a casino gaming columnist for, among others, Casino Player,
Card Player and Sports Form (now known as Gaming Today), specializing in
blackjack. And later on, his investigative series on boxing, entitled
"Operation Cleanup," won him much critical acclaim, including the
2003 "Dignity" Award, in the category of "Best Sports
Writer," as bestowed by the Retired Boxers Foundation, a non-profit
organization dedicated to rendering assistance to ex-fighters in need.
In 2006 he established a content services division of his
company, which has eventually evolved in JayWords, and he is arguably the
world's most prolific sports & gaming writer, with over 20,000 articles to
his credit, the vast majority of which have been sports handicapping pieces. So
you might say he has analyzed as many sporting events as anyone alive during
this period. He has also brought some interest with his so-called
"gimmick" odds on special events, including the Academy Awards, the
NFL Draft, and the Super Bowl, for which he posted dozens and dozens of
different odds propositions with various sportsbooks.
This renaissance man is a winner of the Retired Boxers Foundation's "Dignity Award" and a member of the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame; graduate of the University of
Miami (Florida) who currently resides in the South Florida area.