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Point Shaving scandal represents dark side of sports betting

The dark side of sports betting has been revealed this week with news of an alleged points shaving and basketball gambling ring at the University of San Diego . Federal authorities say 10 people have been charged them with running a sports betting business that affects the outcome of games. Any time the FBI is involved in something, you know it’s serious. The NCAA says it plans to conduct its own investigation after the FBI completes its work. NCAA vice president of enforcement Julie Roe Lach called the allegations sad, which may be the understatement of the year. But she did add that they are very serious. The charges were unsealed on Monday in San Diego. Those charged include Brandon Johnson, USD’s career scoring leader who is now playing in the NBA Development League , as well as former assistant coach Thaddeus Brown and former player Brandon Dowdy. On Tuesday, eight of the 10 people pleaded not guilty in federal court. Six of the eight defendants were granted bail ranging from $35,000 to $50,000. Read More

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NCAAB Championship Game Tonight

It all comes down to one night, when the (March) Madness comes to an end and a new College Basketball champion is crowned in Houston.The No. 3 seed Connecticut Huskies and the 8th-seeded Butler Bulldogs meet in the 2011 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Game on Monday at Reliant Stadium (9:23 pm ET, CBS).Butler (28-9 SU, 20-14-1 ATS), last year’s Cinderella team, bounced this year’s Cinderella right out of the Big Dance, crushing the hopes and dreams of the Virginia Commonwealth Rams with a 70-62 victory in their Final Four matchup on Saturday.The Bulldogs cashed as a 3.5–point favorite and the score crept over the total of 130. The Bulldogs know all about crushed dreams: Last season, the Bulldogs went all the way to the NCAA title game only to lose a 61-59 heartbreaker to the Duke Blue Devils. Guard Shelvin Mack scored 24 points for Butler on 8-of-11 shooting from the floor, but he was one of the few offensive standouts on either team, as both the Bulldogs and Rams shot less than 40 percent from the floor.

Meanwhile, Connecticut (31-9 SU, 22-12 ATS) is the last hope of the Big East conference, which sent a record 11 teams to the NCAA Tournament only to have just two (the Marquette Golden Eagles were the other) remaining going into the Sweet 16. UConn edged the Kentucky Wildcats 56-55 in the second Final Four game Saturday, cashing as a 2-point underdog. The score went well below the total of 138.5. The Huskies will be gunning for their third national championship. The Huskies’ defense has been huge during March Madness, limiting opponents to 59 points per game. Kentucky shot just 33.9 percent from the floor. The Huskies are a 3.5-point favorite and the over/under total is at 129 points in NCAAB Odds.

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NCCAB Final Four Matchup time.

Virginia Commonwealth Rams face Butler Bulldogs in Final Four on CBS Saturday’s Final Four opener between the No. 11 seed Virginia Commonwealth Ramsand the No. 8 seed Butler Bulldogs has captured the attention of College Basketball fans across the nation – and a lot of people who’ve never even seen a basketball court.

That’s what happens when you bring two Cinderella teams together and then add a shot at the national title to the mix.

At the 2011 NCAA Tournament, Virginia Commonwealth and Butler square off in the first Final Four matchup at Reliant Stadium in Houston (6:09 pm ET, CBS).

The winner will advance to the NCAA Championship Game on Monday, where they’ll face the winner of the other Final Four game between the No. 4 Kentucky Wildcats and No. 3 Connecticut Huskies.

The Rams (28-11 SU, 18-20 ATS, 12-6 CAA) have impressed many during March Madness , attracting a load of new fans and making bettors a bucket load of cash. Last Sunday, the Rams won their fifth straight when they shocked the No. 1 seed Kansas Jayhawks 71-61 in the Elite Eight round. VCU covered as an 11-point underdog and the score went under the total of 145.5.

It was just the latest big win for the Rams, who kicked things off with a win over the No. 11 seed USC Trojans in the play-in game, and went on to beat the No. 6 Georgetown Hoyas, the No. 3 Purdue Boilermakers and the No. 10 Florida State Seminoles.

Butler (27-9 SU, 19-14-1 ATS, 13-5 Horizon) needed overtime to beat the No. 2 seed Florida Gators 74-71 in their Elite Eight matchup. The Bulldogs covered as a 4-point underdog and the score went over the total of 134.

Butler has been the hottest team in NCAA Basketball for two months now. Back on Feb. 3, Butler was 14-9 SU and 6-5 in the Horizon League and looked like it would be lucky to make the NIT Tournament.

Since then, the Bulldogs have won 13 straight, a run that includes wins over the No. 1 Pittsburgh Panthers in the opening round and the No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers in the Sweet 16.

Kentucky Wildcats, Connecticut Huskies square off in March Madness on CBS

This is the weekend College Basketball bettors look forward to all year: the Final Four followed by the national title game on Monday.

And while one Final Four matchup features a pair of Cinderella teams, the other has two of the proudest College Basketball programs in the nation.

What some might call the “power-conference” matchup has the No. 4 Kentucky Wildcats against the No. 3 Connecticut Huskies in Houston (8:45 pm ET, CBS).

Looking at the basketball accomplishments of the two schools is almost mind-blowing.

Kentucky leads all schools in total NCAA tournament appearances with 51, and is tied with the North Carolina Tar Heels in NCAA tournament wins with 105. It has an NCAA record 42 Sweet 16 appearances, an NCAA record 33 Elite-8 appearances, and is now fourth with 14 Final Fours. It has made it to the NCAA championship game 10 times, and ranks second to UCLA in NCAA championships with seven.

UConn has made the Big Dance 30 times, been to the Sweet 16 a total of 16 times and the Elite Eight 10 times. This is the Huskies’ fourth Final Four and the program has won the national title twice, the last one in 2004.

With all those March Madness appearances, you’d think the teams would have crossed paths, and they have – but just once.

The last time the teams met at the NCAA Tournament was a round of 32 matchup in 2006, which the Huskies won 87-83 but failed to cover as a 9-point favorite.

And the teams met earlier this season, when the Huskies won 84-67 and covered as a 5-point road underdog on Nov. 24. The score went over the total of 143. Connecticut is 2-1 SU and 1-2 ATS in the past three meetings, two of which have gone over the total.

The Wildcats are a 2.5-point favorite and the over/under total is at 140.

Check out expert handicapper Scott Matthews’ podcast here , or check out www.smpicks.com .

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Someone may just make a ton of cash on a $10 bet, Also NCAA NIT News, along with NBA and MLB

So someone may score one hell of a payday on a small $10 bet. Millions flock to Las Vegas in the hopes of turning a few bucks into riches but very few actually accomplish that. Most leave with empty pockets or maybe having broken even. Some win enough to pay for the trip.

But very few could manage what one College Basketball bettor has done during March Madness, even though he hasn’t actually won anything yet.

The Las Vegas Hilton is known as the Mecca for sports betting in Las Vegas, as it will take bets other sports books won’t and offers plenty of attractive prop bets.

Three months ago, long before anyone outside Richmond, Virginia, had ever heard of the VCU Rams , the Las Vegas Hilton’s Race and Sports Book took a $10 wager on VCU to win the 2011 NCAA Basketball Championship – at 5,000 to 1 odds.

And make no mistake, the Hilton is nervous about the bet cashing. Read More

Over in the NIT Houston may have the Final Four but New York City has the NIT championship game , which takes place Thursday with the No. 1 seed Alabama Crimson Tide and the No. 4 Wichita State Shockers squaring off at Madison Square Garden (7 pm ET, ESPN2).

In a battle of two teams that both screamed loud and long about being snubbed by the NCAA Tournament, the Alabama Crimson Tide edged out the Colorado Buffaloes in their semifinal matchup Tuesday at MSG. The Tide fell short of covering as a 2.5-point favorite.

When the Big Dance participants were announced on Selection Sunday, Alabama (25-11 SU, 12-4 SEC) was a highly questionable omission, and has proven over the past two weeks at the NIT that it probably should have made it into the real March Madness. Read More

In the NBA if you looked at the NBA standings just about any time up until two weeks ago, you would have thought the Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs would be home and cooled off during the stretch drive, with just a few weeks until the NBA Playoffs .

Both were leading their respective conferences and appeared primed for a long postseason run, perhaps even meeting in the NBA Finals.

Now, suddenly, both teams are struggling mightily and both are in desperate need of a win. Both will make the playoffs, there’s no danger of that not happening, as the Spurs still lead the Western conference and the Celtics are just 2 games back of the first-place Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference. But the way both are playing, they won’t advance past the first round. Read More

Finally with the start of the MLB Season Scott Matthews is one of the few handicappers in the business that truly understands the game of baseball which is why last year he had a documented winning record of 73%. So with today being the first day of MLB play why not get on the winning team today. SmPicks.com

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It’s all about Basketball today Ncaa and NBA

The Basketball world is providing much News today so Lets get started, First off in the NBA Lebrons ready to go home again.James and the rest of the Miami Heat face his old team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, on Tuesday at Quicken Loans Arena (7 pm ET, NBA TV).Back on Dec. 2, James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh led the Heat into Cleveland for James’ first game there since he dumped the Cavaliers and signed with Miami as a free agent last summer. James was booed and jeered lustfully and responded with 38 points in the Heat’s 118-90 blowout win. Perhaps having had enough of the “We Hate You” signs all over the arena Read More

Over to the NIT For College Basketball Betting fans, the NIT Tournament semifinals and final this week are like an appetizer before the main course on Saturday, when the Final Four gets going at the Big Dance in Houston.But at least the NIT got one thing right: It’s got two No. 1 seeds in its Final Four.The No. 1 seed Alabama Crimson Tide and the No. 1 Colorado Buffaloes will square off Tuesday at Madison Square Gardens in one of two NIT semifinal matchups (9 pm ET, ESPN2).The other semi has the No. 4 seed Wichita State Shockers and the No. 2 seed Washington State Cougars meeting earlier Tuesday (7 pm ET, ESPN2). The winners of the two semis meet Thursday in the NIT Final at MSG.Alabama (24-11 SU, 17-13-1 ATS, 12-4 SEC), with its solid conference and overall record Read More

Lastly an interesting article Basketball bettors cleaning up with VCU Rams Very few people saw the Virginia Commonwealth Rams ’ upset win over the No. 1 seed Kansas Jayhawks coming.Very few – but some.Kansas was a double-digit favorite in its matchup with the Cinderella Rams in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday. The Rams shocked the Jayhawks 71-61 to advance to the Final Four , covering as an 11.5-point underdog and paying lucky moneyline bettors up to +700 at some sports books.You would think that the public was all over the Jayhawks, and therefore Las Vegas and online sports books were laughing all the way to the bank, right? Not exactly.It seems some bettors who populate the online betting world and Las Vegas sports books are a lot smarter than those (and there were many) picking the Duke Blue Devils or Ohio State Buckeyes to win it all when March Madness comes to a climax this weekend in Houston. Read More

Thats it for today
Scott Matthews
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