As the year comes to a close, we continue to distance, wear masks, and wait for the distribution of vaccines that will help lead the pilgrimage back to a normal life. With the spike in cases, the power brokers of sport have had to adjust on the fly. And while safety certainly is on the marquee, there is no question that the almighty dollar is backstage, directing the show.
Big Ten and Football Playoffs
Look no further than the Big Ten Conference. Remember them? The conference first to announce they were cancelling football for the year? Well, once the SEC, Big 12, and ACC decided to play, the Big Ten “re-evaluated.” Not wanting to get left out of the profits, they decided that it suddenly was safe enough to play a truncated season. Before you call them greedy, you should know that they instituted a rule that stated a team must play at least 6 games in order to be allowed entry to the Big Ten Championship Game. And of course, in order to be considered for the College Football Playoff, you had to be the Big Ten Champ. The rule made sense. Unless the conference’s cash cow, Ohio State, was the team it impacted.
And what do you know, with Ohio State completing their season at 5-0 and #4 in the country, the folks at the Big Ten decided to meet. And to absolutely no one’s surprise, they “revised the rule” allowing Ohio State to play in the Big Ten Championship. They will presumably roll Northwestern on their way to the College Football Playoff, carrying millions along with them for the conference. Now, don’t get me wrong. I always want to see the best 4 teams meet in the playoff. But I wonder if an emergency meeting would have been convened on the rule if the team at issue was a 3-2 Iowa or a 4-1 Indiana.
Rough Start for College Hoops
As for college basketball, it is clear that we are in for a bumpy ride with one ultimate goal in mind. Already starting late and eliminating early season tournaments, the NCAA has hit choppy waters to say the least. The early season’s marquee game featuring #1 Gonzaga v. #2 Baylor was cancelled minutes before tipoff. The highly anticipated UVA-Michigan State game was called off this week as well. Duke just announced that they were cancelling the remainder of their non-conference schedule. And programs all around the country have paused their season.
While safety first remains the message, the goal is clear. Cancel as many regular season games as possible to make sure a few dozen healthy teams get to March. March Madness is everything to college basketball and those that run it. It’s when the country pays full attention, the TV deals engage, and the dollars start to flow. Last year’s cancellation of the tournament cost the NCAA and its schools over $400 million. The sport cannot allow that to happen again. As such, expect cancellations to continue through the winter to protect against widespread attrition before March. Now let’s dive into my sports betting picks recap from this past week.
Sports Betting News and Picks Recap
Cancellations, opt outs, and no fans be damned! The KrackWins crew won’t let anything slow us down. We started off the season hot following a +5.3 unit week last week by going 12-4 (+16.5 units). That is +21.8 units on the year so far in CBB. The NFL actually had its first down week in over a month, going 4-8 (-5.1 units) and a light college schedule went 1-2 (-1.9 units). All in all, we went 17-13 (+9.5 units) this week.
Just when you thought you couldn’t take any more, the NBA is back in action in 10 days. Our users know that we had another winning year in the NBA last year, even with the wackiness of the bubble. Be on the lookout for our NBA primer next week. Get ready to make money this winter when the basketball picks will be coming fast and furious.