Final Four Teams A Surprise?

Handicapping Tips From Legendary High Roller TONY SALINAS!


I spend a lot of time blasting sportswriters and the public for the poor job they do evaluating teams. You definitely get the best of it over time by fading media driven public perceptions.

What's funny this year is how everyone's talking about how Michigan State and Butler were "surprise" teams in the Final Four. Both were fifth seeds after all in their regionals. You don't expect to see teams that low get this far, certainly not two in the same season.

Go back and look at the preseason rankings though. Here were the AP college basketball rankings before the season started:

2...Michigan State
8...West Virginia
11. Butler

The ESPN Coach's poll was similar, with Michigan State at #2, then Duke, West Virginia, Butler going 8-9-10.

Butler's a Cinderella? They were a top dozen team at the beginning of the season, then played great all year! The selection committee gave them a bad seeding.

Michigan State did have some issues at times this year, but they entered the campaign as a very talented team that was National Runner-up in March of 2009. They have a great coach. How can Michigan State be a surprise in the Final Four given what we've watched the past decade?

It turned out the media was actually right before the season started! Much of the betting value this year came because relatively parity tricked everyone into second-guessing themselves. I took full advantage with one of my biggest college seasons ever, and a great run through the Big Dance.

Who will I be rooting for on Saturday? You regulars know I'm mostly a dog player. But, there's not really much dog value when the spreads are this small. Butler's just barely above pick-em...and Duke's laying a bucket. The key here is understanding the matchups, the styles, the pressure, the big game experience, then figuring out who's going to win. Straight up winners usually cover the small spreads.

Maybe you'll get a free point or two going against Duke. That's been true every game in the tournament and they're 4-0 ATS this far. What looked like free points turned out not to be because the Blue Devils shoot so well and hustle for rebounds.

I don't want to go too deep into my thinking process because I will have a VERY BIG release this Saturday. The more I explain what I'm thinking, the more likely you are to try and figure it out on your own. The best way to get the exact same plays I'm betting the biggest myself is to call 1-888-536-8880. If you sign up for the rest of basketball through the NBA, I'll include Saturday's NCAA semifinals and Sunday's NCAA championship game at no additional charge. Be sure to ask about baseball when you call. The season starts this weekend!

Game day releases and HIGH ROLLER packages can also be purchased here at the website with your credit card.

We've been GETTING THE BEST OF IT all through the Big Dance...and now it's time to close the show with MONSTER MONEY MAKERS through the weekend you've all been waiting for.

I'll have some NBA notes for you in Sunday's article. Then, starting Tuesday of next week I'll outline my baseball handicapping strategies, focusing on how to pick winners looking at the weather, at umpire tendencies, and the dynamics of winning and losing streaks.

Winning as a 365-day a year job for me. I've been a pro bettor for decades. I've got a proven track record. And I'll win for you this weekend!

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