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Mike Bets #100

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The 100th edition of Mike Bets starts with a somber tone after the colossal failure that was Saturday’s Mike Bets #99. The easiest way to depict what happened is to simply show my college basketball record before and after Saturday. Here’s what I was looking at that morning –

College Basketball Record: 269-250-4 on individual bets, 9-49 on parlays, +$252

All Involved CBB Picks: 337-303-7 ATS, 26-42 Dog MLs

It’s impossible to be upset with this. Even if you just take the higher $22 unit that I didn’t use for a good stretch at the start of the season, this is more than 10 units up. It was a great place to be. Now this is where I stand after Saturday –

College Basketball Record: 278-266-4 on individual bets, 9-52 on parlays, -$70

All Involved CBB Picks: 346-319-7 ATS, 27-44 Dog MLs

Yes, that is a $322 swing in the wrong direction in one day. How? Everything went wrong after 8 pm. In all of the games that started before then, I was 9-10 (with an additional two parlay losses) for a -$81 total. Great? Not even close. But that was at least a manageable spot to be in. That’s a bad day, but it’s one that happens every once in a while. Then the late night games tore my heart out. Here’s how it happened.

First up was Pitt v. Notre Dame. I won’t even pretend that this was a close game. It was for about eight minutes, but then Notre Dame closed on a 65-38 run. It wasn’t an expected result with Pitt on the bubble and the Fighting Irish nowhere near it, but these things happen in basketball. Result: -49 (Pitt spread + a parlay with Pitt ML), –130 overall

Next was Arizona State v. Stanford in another example of a team below .500 playing a team with tournament aspirations. Because of the talent ASU has despite their struggles, Stanford was even a road underdog in this one. They took a one-point lead in the final two minutes, but ASU closed the game 5-0 to win by 4. Result: -20 (Stanford ML), -150 overall

Now, at the same time, I was keeping track of Belmont v. Murray State. Belmont (-2.5) had coverage by half a point with 2:41 left, but consecutive threes from Murray State led to a 72-71 final. Belmont won but didn’t cover. This one hurt because Murray State, with 11 seconds left, decided to hold for the last shot instead of shooting earlier and potentially giving Belmont a chance to rebound and then cover at the line. Result: -24, -174 overall

Taken individually, none of those results were too egregious. The issue was that they all happened at once, right before the two worst beats of the night.

Before we get to those, Wyoming lost to San Diego State by like 26 or something. I don’t respect them enough to look up their final margin of defeat. It was an absolutely abysmal two-game series for a ten-win Cowboys team that couldn’t even cover lines of +17 and +19. Just pathetic. Result: -24, -198 overall

This is where it gets absolutely brutal. First up was CS Fullerton. The line was +9, and, after a 30-37 first half and some initial second half struggles, they pulled within 4 points with 1:27 to go. Things could not have gone worse from that point on. They missed four three-pointers to score just two points in five possessions. That wasn’t the worst of it though. The big issue was that they let CS Bakersfield score 8 points in the last 30 seconds. There was the offensive rebound that led to the layup with 29 seconds left. There was the fast break dunk up 6 with 22 seconds left. That was a disgusting lack of sportsmanship with no shot clock on, but it wasn’t as bad as the second fast break dunk up 6, this time with 17 seconds left. How many times are you going to see a team up by two possessions in the last 30 seconds and purposely scoring instead of waiting to get fouled? But wait, there’s more. CS Bakersfield scored on a fast break lay-up with 7 seconds left. They were up 8 points. I’ll remind you here that the line was +9. This one broke me, but the night only got worse from there. Result: -24, -222 overall

Here enters the Anteaters of UC Irvine. In a bid to rescue some semblance of positivity from the day of basketball, I put $100 on this one. UC Irvine, undefeated in conference play, was -3 against a 4-5 Hawaii team. What could go wrong? Everything. Irvine was up 57-47 with two minutes left. All they had to do was not forget how to play basketball. Instead, this happened –

Dead indeed.

Result: -100, -322 overall

For those six games to happen in succession – and for those last two to happen ever – is just absolutely ridiculous. I’m haunted by what happened that night. But, in a tribute to Mike Bets of the past, here is your inspirational quote of the day –

As long as you don’t die, losses in the past can be used to fuel victories in the future

Alexander the Great (allegedly)

Let’s get inspired folks.

Before I get to the picks, I do want to take a quick moment to appreciate the fact that we are here at Mike Bets 100. I can’t say I’m proud of the way the picks have gone at times, but I am really proud of what this has turned into and all of the work behind it. Knowing that some people do take the time to read these means a lot. Here’s to 100 more.

Today’s Picks –

Back to $11 for spread, $10 for ML (gamble responsibly)

  • Louisville v. Georgia Tech (+5)
  • Wofford v. ETSU (+110)
  • Loyola (-7.5) v. Missouri State
  • Texas Tech v. Oklahoma (+7)
  • Drake (-18) v. Illinois State
  • Mavs v. Suns (+135)
  • Bulls v. Knicks (+155)
  • Pelicans v. Kings (+135)
  • Heat v. Hornets (+204)

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