Remember last week I was asking out loud, how the hell are they going to fill 4 hours of programming over 2 nights with what seemingly didn’t seem like a lot of footage considering what I’d spoiled goes down. Well, we got our answer last night in the form of essentially a 45 minute rose ceremony, so that took up 25% of it. And now tonight, we’ve definitely still got close to an hour of footage left in Iceland, then a 1hr ATFR. So now it seems like it’s possible it all might be rushed. We’ll get to that in a second. In case you missed it, yesterday I posted what to expect in terms of the footage you’ll see from Iceland. I mean, it was relayed indirectly to me from someone who has seen the episode, so you know it’s what happens. The only question left is what’s Clayton’s status post show. All I can tell you about that is what I’ve heard, and that’s that he’s single. After all this we’ll see tonight, I find it very hard to believe somehow Clayton and Susie are going to announce, “Yeah, we got back from Iceland, talked it out, and we’re a couple now.” Find that hard to believe. But to know if they’ve spoken or not is damn near impossible. So we’ll see, but all things I’ve been told is he’s single. But technically he could be single, but “talking” with Susie, so who the hell knows. And as for our “Bachelorette” announcement, the latest I’m hearing over the weekend was Gabby, but that’s not confirmed from anywhere. Just the one I was hearing the most.
So just think what needs to be covered in the 2hr finale tonight:
-His talk with Susie convincing her to stay
-Her agreeing and then meeting his parents
-His talks with Gabby and Rachel separately in their rooms to tell them essentially, “Yeah, I know I begged you to stay a couple days ago, buuuuuuut, I’m in love with Susie, again, so I’m gonna have to ask you kindly not hold against me the screw job I just pulled over on you.”
-The final rose ceremony with Susie where Clayton declares his love for her but she tells him in return she’s not in love with him and leaves.
-The live ATFR where we get to hear from Rachel and Gabby, then bring out Clayton with each of them (separately I would assume), then Susie to get an update on if anything has happened with them post filming.
-Our “Bachelorette” announcement and, you would think, introducing us to her first 5 guys like they’ve done in the past.
Whew. That’s a lot to get done in 2 hours, but somehow they need to make it work. More thoughts on that on Page 2.
Not gonna have many “Reader Emails” tomorrow since I leave early for Vegas in the morning. I will have some thoughts up about the finale, maybe answer a few emails, but once I leave, any “Bachelorette” news will all be done on social media through the weekend, so follow me there for the latest. I fully expect the cast list of the guys for next season will drop overnight, because they did the exact same thing last year. Katie’s men were released the Wednesday after Matt’s ATFR and I spent essentially my whole first day in Vegas finding you their last names and IG accounts. Expect the same tomorrow. The guys have been in LA this weekend holed up in a hotel, so I’m guessing they’ll be finding out who the “Bachelorette” is when we all do tonight. If I somehow find out before then, I will post on social media. This week’s podcast with Annie Jorgensen and Carolyn Moore from “Joe Millionaire” will also be posted either late tonight after the “Bachelor” finale or first thing in the morning before I leave. Two really good interviews and, well, lets just say Carolyn doesn’t hold back on some things in regards to Kurt. So look for that tomorrow.
It’s my favorite time of year in Vegas. Hands down. Nothing beats it. Super Bowl Weekend? Psssh. It’s one game. World Series? Ummmm, does anyone really truly watch baseball anymore? NFL Opening Weekend? It’s close. But the opening weekend to March Madness is truly the best few days to be in Vegas and that’s where I’ll be this week. 16 games each Thursday and Friday beginning at 9:15am PT and going all the way til basically 9:30pm. When you have that many games, there’s destined to be a few buzzer beaters, some blowouts that are still in play for gamblers because of the spread, and some crazy backdoor covers that ALWAYS happen. The field was released this past Sunday night, so lets get goin.
Now, I know you all came here for my Super Duper Special Stone Cold Lead Pipe First Round Lock that I’m undefeated on in this column since I started doing this 5 years ago. I’m 5-0 Against the Spread, with 3 of them winning the game outright as dogs. In case you’ve missed those plays in the past, here they were:
2017: UNC-Wilmington (+8 ½) vs Virginia – Winner (lost 76-71)
2018: Loyola-Chicago (+4 1/2 ) vs Miami – Winner (won outright 64-62)
2019: UC Irvine (+4) over Kansas St. – Winner (won outright 70-64)
2020: No tournament – COVID
2021: Ohio (+7) vs Virginia – Winner (won outright 72-68)
2021: BONUS PICK: UCSB (+7) vs Creighton – Winner (lost 63-62)
I’ll be honest, a lot of pressure this year. And I REALLY like more than one game in the first round this season. I have quite a few games I like, so it wasn’t easy to narrow it down to the game I hope keeps my perfect record intact. I’ve been watching college basketball a lot over the last 2 months and feel I’ve got a pretty good grasp on teams and situations. Not to mention knowing the history of the tournament, I rarely bet favorites. Most of the first round plays I like are underdogs. Some ones I considered were Vermont (+5.5), Murray St. (+1), UT-Chattanooga (+7.5), and USC (-1.5). But it came down to two plays for me to put in this column. Since I really like both, and I plan on betting both, you’re getting two plays this year, just like last year.
South Dakota St (+2) over Providence
BONUS PICK: Virginia Tech (+1) over Texas
With spreads that low, I’m basically expecting both teams to win outright. South Dakota St. is 30-4, they’ve won 21 games in a row, and are the second highest scoring team in college bball this season, averaging over 86ppg. Providence won the Big East, but a closer look at their schedule and you see they won so many close games this season, it’s kind of unheard of. When a #4 seed is only a 2pt favorite over a #13 seed, Vegas is telling you seeding doesn’t matter in this game. Look at the other three 3/14 matchups. A 5.5, 7.5, and 14 pt spread. The Big East regular season champ is laying 2 pts? I think South Dakota St. should be favored in this game, so we’ll take any points we can get.
As for Virginia Tech, you just saw them win 4 games in 4 days and beat Duke in the ACC Championship, averaging 80ppg a game in those 4 wins. This team is hot and also 13-2 in their last 15 games. As for Texas, they might be better defensively, but they have a hard time scoring. I just don’t see them keeping pace with the Hokies. VT should be a 2 or 3 pt favorite in this game, so you’re getting a little value here as well. As always is the case in the tournament, a dismal shooting day can do any team in and you can’t handicap against that, but I’ll take my chances with a Hokie team playing lights out towards the end of the season vs a Texas team that sometimes struggles to get to 60 pts in a game.
DOUBLE BONUS: Just to have a little fun and guard against late free throws and, lets face it, with spreads this small it’s not unheard of if either team wins. However, I don’t see either favorite, IF they do win, winning by double digits. So, if you can do a teaser, I’d do a 3 team, 8 pt teaser with South Dakota St. (+10), Va Tech (+9), and add in the Memphis/Boise St. UNDER 140 (teased up from 132). I don’t see either of these teams coming close to hitting 70 pts, so that’ll put that under at 140. Good luck.
Thoughts on last night on Page 2…