Beware the Local Press and the Homers

I have intended to write this article for a long time. When we do our handicapping, we should always consider the information we know to be important, but ignore the background noise and chatter we hear from all the usual suspects. One of the usual suspects is the local media.

The Michigan / Texas Tech Sweet 16 hoops contest last night is an excellent example of what I’m talking about. I wrote this article about handicapping early season college hoops contests. After we got about 8 to 10 contests under our belts, added this article about Strength of Schedule. Neither article suggests you should pay attention to anything the “local experts” and usual suspects are saying.

In case you have forgotten, Texas Tech pounded Michigan, in a game that was never really close – Tech 63 Michigan 44

Here are two articles by local experts regarding how Michigan would perform in its matchup with Texas Tech:

The first article published on M Live (for a little more on who or what M Live is check this out, and needless to say, they are indeed homers) opens with the silliest supposition I have read in a long time, to wit:

Sports in general and the NCAA Tournament in particular often make fools of overconfident prognosticators. But here’s one prediction for Thursday’s Sweet 16 matchup between Michigan and Texas Tech: It will go down to the wire.

Holy crap…where do I begin?

The overconfident prognosticator dutifully runs through his handicapping, which was simply a rehash of the stats. And, in my opinion, arbitrarily designates the Wolverines a winner, as I don’t see how his handicapping leads him to his conclusion. our overconfident prognosticator finishes by prognosticating Michigan would win in a close one, overconfidently prognosticating a final score of Michigan 68 Texas Tech 65. The game did not “go down to the wire.” Epic Fail

Next up, our friends from the Detroit Free Press. They don’t spend much time actually handicapping, as these guys are experts. We are told they are “Free Press columnists and sports writers,” so, yeah, we “know” they “know” their stuff. Hell, they’re experts! These guys must have read the M Live article, as all three agree the contest will be a rock fight between these squads. Here are our prognosticators prognostications:

Jeff Seidel – Michigan 62 Texas Tech 58

Shawn Windsor – Michigan 63 Texas Tech 60

Nick Baumgardner – Michigan 59 Texas Tech 57

Final Score, Again – Texas Tech 63 Michigan 44

There is a lot of misinformation out there masquerading as factual, good advice and handicapping. As a handicapper and someone betting your own hard-earned money, you must know the difference. Do your own handicapping and develop your own opinions. It is absolutely fine to consider other opinions to help you form your own. But never, NEVER, bet on a game based on the type of opinions I have shown you in this article. Always consider the source.

Finally, my handicapping told me Texas Tech was the correct play, so I was on the Red Raiders +1.5. I always post the ticket with the article, but I cashed it before getting around to writing this. So, you’re just gonna have to trust me on this one.


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