Hollywood Sports 25* BOUNCE-BACK GAME OF THE MONTH: CONGRATULATIONS to everyone that joined Frank Sawyer this afternoon in CA$HING his 25* NCAA Tournament Game of the Year on NC State to improve Hollywood Sportsí RED HOT 22 of 31 (71%) run in CBB! Frank LOVES March Madness & there are PLENTY OF WINNERS LEFT starting with his 25* Bounce-Back Game of the Month. DONíT MISS IT!
Game: Ohio University at Michigan Mar 16 2012 7:20PM
Grade: Loser (-110)
Reason: At 7:20 PM EST on Friday, we will be playing the Michigan Wolverines minus the points versus the Ohio Bobcats in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament. Ohio (27-7) is a trendy pick for pulling the upset this evening after winning the Mid-American Conference tournament in their 64-63 win over Akron last week. However, this also looks like a team that may have peaked during that run. The Bobcats have failed to cover the point spread in 4 straight games following a victory. Ohio has also failed to cover the spread in 4 straight games played on a neutral court. In theory, the Bobcats employ a style of play that makes them dangerous in this spot. They shoot a lot of 3s. They are second in the nation by forcing turnovers in 26.7% of their opponent's possessions. However, Michigan is a bad matchup for them here since they only turn the ball over in 17.6% of their possessions (36th in the nation). But we keep a few things in perspective. Ohio has only one senior on their roster. Their best wins all season were against Akron and Marshall -- while Michigan has played and defeated both Michigan State and Ohio State. The Bobcats have failed to cover the point spread in 4 straight games against teams with a winning record. And this team has failed to cover the spread in 4 straight games against teams from the Big Ten. While Ohio does have talented players like D.J. Cooper, they do not have the talent Michigan has with stars like Tim Hardaway, Jr. and freshman phenom Trey Burke. And keep in mind that Cooper only converts 39.0% of his shots inside the arc. Pundits filling out their brackets looking taking stabs at being a genius by predicting upsets point to Ohio's upset win over Georgetown two years ago. As has been evidenced all week in the NCAA Tournament as well as the lesser postseason tournaments, if teams shoot the lights out, they are likely to win. The Bobcats played their best game of their season in 2010 in their upset over the Hoyas. They will have to play their best game of the season to beat the Wolverines in this one. Sure, it could happen. But Ohio shoots only 42.7% from the field this season. If they shoot anywhere close to their seasonal average, Michigan covers the spread. We like those odds.
Michigan (24-9) left a bad impression in the minds of many after their listless 77-55 loss to Ohio State in a game where they shot just 30.9% from the field. Unusually poor shooting performances are just as much outliers as hot shooting nights -- so we fully expect the Wolverines to shoot much better in this game. Michigan should bounce-back here as they have rebounded to cover the point spread in 10 of their last 12 games after a point spread loss. This team returned four starters from the team that gave Duke everything they could handle in the Round of 32 last season. And, frankly, with the emergence of Burke at point guard who replaced Darius Morris who left for the NBA, this team is probably better than last season's team. Furthermore, John Beilein teams are very tough to prepare for in tournament play. They implement a Princeton-styled offense of back door cuts and big men who could shoot jumpers on the perimeter. Furthermore, the Wolverines can move away from their typical man-to-man defense into 2-3 and 1-3-1 zone looks. This helps explain why Michigan has is an impressive 25-10-1 ATS in their last 36 games against teams with a winning record. The Wolverines have also covered the spread in 7 of their last 10 games played on a neutral court. Together, these team trends produce our specific 58-15-1 ATS combined winning angle for this situation. Additionally, Michigan is supported by a historical bounce-back angle that has been 71% effective since 1997. Favorites in the 3.5-9.5 point range from a major 1-A conference coming off a loss to a conference rival and now facing a team from a second tier conference have rebounded to cover the point spread in 59 of the last 74 situations where these conditions applied. Beilein's teams do well in the first round and rarely look past their opponents. After their poor showing in the Big Ten Semifinals, the Wolverines should be very focused to get back to playing good basketball. With at least two future NBA players on the court in Hardaway and Burke, they should take care of business in this one. 25* CBB NCAA Tournament Friday Night Special Feature with the Michigan Wolverines minus the points versus the Ohio Bobcats. Best of luck for us -- Frank.
FRIDAY UPDATE: I may add another play after giving tonight's card one more look. Frankly, I am not liking the situations in as many of these Thursday/Friday games as in the past -- and I am not going to make the mistake in forcing action just to have a big card. I was prepared to have Wichita State, UNLV and New Mexico State all as plays last night but all three games had problems with them that eventually compelled me to back off. All those teams lost and failed to cover the spread. I am very happy with those decisions since the only thing better than winning games is not losing games. I have another handful of sides I am looking at -- such as Belmont that I have decided to pass on -- because they all have similar nagging problems. However, on the plus side, I am already foreseeing some great situations for tomorrow. Don't be surprised if we have more plays tomorrow even with the smaller card than we had today. I suspect that will be the same for Sunday as well. So, stay tuned. Thanks, Frank.