Many in the boxing world felt slightly cheated when Floyd Mayweather announced that he would face Argentinian Marcos Maidana on May 3rd, rather than Amir Khan. The undisputed pound-for-pound king had stated that he would let the fans decide whom he would fight, but despite Khan coming out in the poll, “Money” opted to face Maidana.
March Madness is set to begin tomorrow, and there’s plenty of buzz around players like Creighton’s Doug McDermott, Duke’s Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins of Kansas. But all everyone seems to be talking about is the Quicken Loans Billion Dollar Bracket which is insured by Warren Buffet. Buffet has been making the rounds on television, as has Dan Gilbert, the billionaire founder of Quicken Loans and owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Now Nate Silver is chiming in as he he launches his FiveThirtyEight blog on ESPN. Silver calculated that you would have roughly a one in 7.4 billion chance to win. So basically you have no chance, but I decided to fill one out anyways. Why not? I haven’t filled out a bracket for years, but this promo was just interesting enough to get me to try it.
March Madness has become an institution and filling out brackets an annual ritual. Of course that’s just the beginning as places like Las Vegas will be a zoo this weekend with all the first round games. Around the world it doesn’t quite measure up to events like the World Cup which will have bettors going crazy in every part of the planet, from Canada down to South Africa betting houses. People for that one will be checking every betting site and wiki to find information. That’s what’s going on here this week for March Madness. College hoops gets some attention, but not a ton during the regular season. Then everyone tries to become an expert over a couple of days as they start filling out their bracket.
Of course, your girlfriend who sticks with the favorites and then some of her favorite teams can probably do just as well as you given all the luck that’s involved.
I like to go with my own teams as well. Why not pick teams you like? Winning a bracket pool with lots of people is practically impossible. Of course, in office pools, you do have a real chance to win, or at least get some bragging rights for doing well, so I guess there some research is in order.
But with the Buffett bracket, I blew through it quickly and picked teams I liked. I have just as good a chance as anyone – one in 7.4 billion!
Super Bowl Sunday is finally here, so we can finally get to the game as opposed to the endless talk out there on the web and all the cable channels. The game has been analyzed from every possible angle, and while opinions vary greatly on who will win, many expect this to be a close game and a classic Super Bowl. You can be sure that bets are flowing into the sportsbooks in Las Vegas and betting enthusiasts all over the world are researching various bets, including the famous Super Bowl prop bets and a list of free bet offers.
The most interesting angle here involves Peyton Manning versus the Seattle defense. We’ve seen so many examples of high-powered offenses getting stuffed in the Super Bowl, with notable examples being Jim Kelly’s Buffalo Bills who seemed unstoppable untile they ran into the New York Giants defense and an offense that ground out the clock. We also saw a diffeent Giants defense stuff Tom Brady when he had some of his best offenses. Even though they won their Super Bowl, the “Greatest Show on Turf” Rams were definitely slowed down by the Titans, and then they ended up losing to the Patriots.
We’ve also seen plenty of offensive explosions, particularly in the 1980s when Joe Montana was racking up big numbers in the Super Bowls. But he faced some pretty weak defenses in those games.
So the big offense versus tough defense storyline is front and center here, and it’s magnified due to the involvement of Peyton Manning. Manning has gotten some grief for mediocre playoff and Super Bowl performances, and now he has another chance to enhance his legacy with this matchup. The important aspect of Manning’s game is that he’s an excellent tactician, so he won’t be afraid to use the running game if necessary to keep Seattle off balance, unlike Jim Kelly who seemed determined to win the game with his arm and then paid the price. On the other hand, we’ve seen Manning get frustrated by the great Patriot defenses in the past. Can that happen here?
Which then brings us to his legacy. If Manning loses, there will be those who hold that against him. That’s just the way these things go. He is one of the greatest QBs ever already. The question is how many people try to argue he belongs at the top of that list. If he wins today, he will be the only quarterback to win Super Bowls with more than one team, and that will certainly add to his legacy.
So be prepared to have this topic discussed endlessly after the game.
As usualy, the BCS provided plenty of drama leading up to the final weekend of college football before the bowl season. Supporters of the BCS have always pointed to this weekly drama as the reason we should keep this ridiculously flawed system that only let the top two teams in the country play for the National Championship. In some years this has worked out great with epic matchups between Ohio State and Miami and then USC and Texas. Those games made the BCS system a significant improvement over the old system, where #1 rarely played #2 in the bowl games. But the imprved system made most of us want more, as it further exposed the arbitrary nature of college football and the silly notion that losing one game could disqualify you from playing for a championship. It also highlighted on a weekly basis the absurd notion that opinions and style points should somehow determine the fate of a football team, as opposed to winning a game on the field in a playoff.
Next year we will finally move to a more rational system. But for this year, with some lucky breaks at the end, including the resolution of the Jameis Winston drama, we got a game with Florida State and Auburn that most people can support. With that we also got some more games that football fans and betters can enjoy, and there will be plenty of people researching odds and free bets in order to enjoy an interesting slate of games.
The title game will get a ton of attention as usual, as the incredibly talented Florida State team seems poised to put an end to the SEC dominance of this game. Auburn is a 7.5 to 8.5 underdog with the various sports books, which is a pretty big spread considering Auburn won the SEC. Of cours ethe miracle finishes need to be considered as well. But this game is often ripe for upsets, as the break between the end of the season and the game can stretch out over a month. We’ll see if Florida State is really that good, or if they just ran up the score against mediocre competition.
One of the best bowl matchups has Ohio State roughly as a 2 or 2.5 point favorite over Clemson in the Orange Bowl. Ohio State opened as a 5 point favorite in some books and over a field goal in others, so money is definitely coming in on Clemson. Both teams have issues on defense, as it will be difficult for Clemson to stop Ohio State’s running game while the Ohio State defense often gets carved up by good quarterbacks like Tajh Boyd.
The worst game looks like Baylor vs Central Florida, where Baylor is favored by over two touchdowns. Of course the spread will make this interesting for betters, but it’s hardly the type of game fans look forward to. Perhaps UCF can spring the upset. Enjoy!