Hedging, Edging, Lawn work...

Big game tonight for me. As a fan of UNC that's obvious. As a bracket fiend with a little bit at stake it rises even more. I'm potentially in the thick of it on various leaderboards and I'm planning out how I'm going to hedge. Hedge?
If UNC wins, I finish in the top three in a few brackets and win a nice chunk of coin. If UNC loses I win nothing. Therefore, probably my best strategy is to bet on Michigan State for a piece of my winnings. UNC wins or lose I'm assured of profiting something.

Even better, UNC is favored by 7.5. Thus, there is the possibility of them winning the game outright, but not covering and I win on both sides. If UNC wins by more than 7.5 I cut into my winnings but that's a trade-off I think is worth it.

Gene D is dealing with a similar situation so we are trying to develop an optimal strategy. Will have to consider the most favorable lines from the online casinos.

I definitely have Carolina on the brain. Yesterday, and the picture doesn't do it justice, I was randomly mowing the lawn did some rows back and forth across and then circled inward, next thing I know, because of trees and the randomness of my cut, I had left a swath of grass that was a perfect picture of the state of North Carolina. Completely not on purpose. Unfortunately, I didn't take this shot until I had hacked it up a bit, but I decided it was weird enough that I should paste it here. Wish that meant it was a sign they'd win, but if anything it might just be proof of the game is etched on my brain on a deep subconscious level.

On Saturday, and my apologies to anybody trying to call me, my phone died, and then I decided perhaps radio silence was the best way to play it out. I find, if Carolina loses in the final four, invariably somebody will call me up and bitch about how my team destroyed their bracket like it was my fault. And at that point, I'm not really in the mood to defend my team. Especially if they are the favorite and lost. Or somebody will call before the game and drop a 1000 gambler's jinxes on me. Not good. You'd think these people would have heard of the moosch. Don't they play casino online? Better off to seal myself into a bubble and just focus on the game. Radio Silence begins at some point this afternoon, so my apologies if you need to get a hold of me.

Tonight, I'm either heading to the coast (20%) to watch the game with Gene and play the megas tomorrow, or watching it at home (80%). I have to help my wife with some stuff for her work, so depending on how long that takes will make the decision for me. Completely out of my hands. What I won't be doing is traveling during any part of the game. Might watch it at my in-laws and their HD big screen TV but my propensity to cuss during the game will probably eliminate that. And the fact, they'd probably rather pull their toenails out with their teeth than watch basketball.

My thoughts on the game are simple. I'm scared. MSU scares the hell out of me. As Seth Davis, oft-repeated on Saturday, "They are a team of destiney." They'll be playing the final game in Michigan. All the fans of Nova and UCONN that flew home were onloading tickets to a bevy of eager sports fans who will be showing up in green and white. Thus Ford Field will be 75% MSU fans and %25 Tar Heel fans.

At a couple of Sugar Bowl games, I've seen teams with maybe a 65-35 advantage in fans and you can hear it. I can't imagine what that place is going to be like tonight. Supposedly, like New Orleans after Katrina, this is a game for the city. I remember that Monday Night game and the Saints were an unstoppable force. The crowd willed them to win.

I think on an emotional level the economy's effect on Detroit is far less than Katrina, but if they capture just a bit of the same frenzy it's going to be tough task for the Heels to prevail. Though I think getting blitzed by Kansas last year at the final four will make it tough for them to let the game get too far out of hand early as MSU rides that emotional wave. Will Carolina withstand MSU's opening salvos. Hopefully, MSU will be too amped come out too excited and have no legs in the end as Carolina wins by a wider margin than the should.

With college students the home court edge is always so key. So it's a little shocking the line is 7.5. That means if this were a neutral court UNC would be a double digit favorite... and with the way MSU plays defense... I don't think so. MSU has a good chance to win, and in a tight finish I'll have a shot at hitting both sides of my action, though I'm feeling like if Carolina wins it'll be in the scenario I project in the paragraph above.

The crowd will be electric and the MSU players have demonstrated the hearts of champions. You could see it in their eyes on Saturday they were not going to lose. You could also read defeat in the UCONN players eyes with about 12:30 to go in the game. Same thing happened with Louisville and if Carolina lets' MSU get a late lead of any sort the same thing could happen to my Heels.

Speaking of their eyes, I got Jess to watch some of the action and I used my "reading" skills to show off a bit. You could see when the game was going to get out of reach for UCONN just by reading the body language and it did. The dunk over Robinson kind of sealed it. I say dunk, because Robinson blocked it clean and it just spurted, fortunately for Izzo, into the hoop. Imagine, if his block didn't spill into the basket how much of a momentum shift it would have been.

Back to my reads... As I'd predict whether players would make or miss free throws with a high accuracy it really kind of wowed her. Not that I don't think any sports fan could do it, but still to a girl who doesn't know sports it's impressive. For example, in the opening of the second game, they show a 85% free throw shooter like Hansbrough, on the face of it he's going to make it, but it's obvious he's too amped to make his first shot and you say with full confidence he's going to miss and he does, girls just coo how did you know? It's obvious. Like a first timer sitting on the nuts you can't miss it. She thinks I'm pyschic and should never lose when I play online casino games. Yeah, if only the jpegs were that easy to read.

You watch a team long enough and you can tell when a shooter is going to make or miss a three pointer just by observing if he's set, square to the basket, or if there is any hitch in his stroke. She thought it was really eeriy I'd say "Yes," or "Damn!" when the shot was barely out of Ellington or Hansbrough's hands and always be right.

Still, that novelty wore off for her, and I got shoo'ed to the the bigger TV in the office after the first half of the Carolina game. Oh well so much for converting her to a sports fan.

By the way, enjoy the new Scott Van Pelt ESPN radio ads even if it makes a couple of sublte digs at Who Dat nation.

Also, on another sports note. Anybody that questions whether or not soccer is exciting and wants to continue believing that shouldn't watch Fox Soccer Channel. In what is essentially a pennant race, the Pool has sliced into Man United's insurmountable lead (Phillies-Mets style). On saturday, mired in a draw, a zero-zero affair that was loaded with highlights, as shot after shot hit the woodwork of the goal and didn't go in, and keepers made save after save, Liverpool finally got their goal in injury time. They could not afford a tie (1 point) and had to get three points for the win to keep the pressure on Man U. When it finally came the tension was at a fever pitch.

On Sunday, Man U is trailing Aston Villa 2-1 late. One Christina (on purpose) Ronaldo goal later and it's tied. In injury time a 17 year old Italian in his first game ever hit a scorcher to give Man U the win to retain their precious lead over the Pool. Both games were far more edge of your seat type action then either final four game--and these were just regular season matches. Alright. I think two paragraphs to soccer is enough.

However, if any of you is thinking of widening your betting horizons I'm a fairly good picker of soccer games, so shoot me an email if you want some tips. If you are looking for lines check out bwin's casino online.

Not much poker today, but we'll get back to it after the megas tomorrow.

And don't forget radio silence for me tonight starts in a couple of hours.

Good luck everybody and go heels.



Soccer really is awesome...i watch it all the time when there isn't football, basketball, baseball, MMA, golf, x-games sports, tennis, surfing, volleyball, or if espn isn't showing Moneymaker winning the wsop. Didn't some spice girl marry a soccer dude?..anyway, keep up with the soccer updates so I don't get lost in my MLS fantasy league.

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