Finding Upsets In The NIT
Wayne Root: How to Find Upsets in the NIT
It's not fair to say that the NCAA Tournament was hit by a rash of upsets. Favorites started to find their footing after that crazy first session last Thursday. But, THE KING OF UPSETS was certainly very happy with my first week results. You read about some of that late last week. This past weekend, I was on NC State in their upset of Villanova. I was on Louisville in their upset of Northern Iowa. I was on Wichita State in their upset of Kansas (though that game actually closed at pick-em).
And, I won my PINNACLE plays Saturday and Sunday with Butler (+) vs. Notre Dame covering in regulation and surviving overtime!) and West Virginia over Maryland in what was a pick-em game for many bettors.
The Big Dance resumes on Thursday, and I'll have a special report for you next Thursday that will discuss how to look for upsets and shockers over the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament. Today, we switch gears to talk about the next few days of the NIT. How do handicappers find upset specials in the second round and quarterfinals of this event? Does the chance for upsets greatly diminish because the favorites are typically playing on their home floor? Let's go over a few key factors.
*You do have to be very careful in the NIT because home court advantage matters a lot in some cases, and barely at all in others. There's no reason to ask a road dog to win straight up against a fired up home team playing in front of a loud crowd:
The home team will play hard for 40 minutes
The home team will get calls from the refs in crunch time
The road team WON'T get calls from refs and could throw in the towel.
On the other hand, sometimes these home sites are quiet because the student body and even the players just aren't that fired up about the NIT. The best home courts may be worth 4-5 points in the NIT. But, the worst may not be worth anything at all. The market is giving you about 3 free points for a home court advantage that doesn't exist in those cases. In the quieter locales:
The home team will have sustained lapses, and may lose discipline when trailing
The home crowd will stay quiet, which means the refs call it straight
The road team can attack with confidence and exploit any advantages they find
So, the first key to picking upsets at this stage of the NIT is evaluating the strength and value of home court advantage in every game.
*Trust inside play vs. outside play for road dogs! In neutral court action, it's easier to ask a three-point heavy team to win for you because both teams are dealing with the same shooting backdrops. In the NIT, the road team is seeing an arena for the first time...and it's often a unique site in and unfamiliar part of the country. The host plays there all the time. Don't call for an upset that's contingent on a trey-heavy team shooting well for you in a road game!
If a team is strong inside and has a physical advantage they can exploit on both sides of the floor, THEN it makes sense to take them as a road underdog. They'll be shooting from close-in. They'll have a lot of second chance opportunities. This type of team can counteract the tendency for home teams to earn more free throw attempts. Ideally, they have the better defense too.
*Look for attitude and swagger! It takes a certain kind of mindset to win on the road in March. If you can recognize which teams are likely to bring some anger to proceedings...you'll be in very good shape. Maybe they're mad that they didn't get a top seed. Maybe they're mad that the media isn't paying enough attention to what they've been accomplishing. Maybe you have a group of seniors that think cutting down the nets in New York would be a great way to finish their college careers. Whatever it is...look for the intangibles that can put a road underdog over the top...particularly in the quarterfinals when a trip to the Final Four is on the line.
When there are surprise visitors to Madison Square Garden, it's usually because a quarterfinal host relaxed because they figured they were destined to reach the Final four...while a visitor took matters into their own hands and created their own destiny.
If you've been struggling with your postseason basketball picks, take destiny into your own hands by signing up with THE KING OF LAS VEGAS. Purchase my daily BASKETBALL BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about which of my long term programs best suits your individual needs, please talk to my representative in the office at 1-877-ROOT-WINS. Call during normal business hours this week. Try to take care of business Monday because there are NIT games Monday and Tuesday nights in this intermission before the Big Dance resumes.
Back with you Thursday to talk about the Sweet 16. I won't post official selections here in my web article. That's not fair to paying clients. But, I will talk about finding upsets, or affordable "value" favorites (like my plays this past weekend on UCLA over UAB and Utah over Georgetown). The biggest sports betting event of the calendar year will resume shortly. The only man in the sports betting industry with a star on the "Walk of Fame" in the sports betting capital of the world is ready to help you win. It's time for YOU to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!
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