The whole hoopla (pardon the pun) surrounding the Rick Pitino scandal had me thinking about the coach – and all coaches – lately from the gamblers’ perspective. Who are these guys? How much credit do they deserve when a team earns success? How much should be shared with the players that are actually out on the floor? How much can the year a coach is having be indicative of whether the team is worth betting on in the future?
The last question is really what true NCAA basketball betting players are interested in dissecting. Coach’s come and go faster than players do these days, it seems, so when you see a team in college basketball coached by someone of stature like Rick Pitino, Roy Williams, etc…, does that push you over the top to back their players because of what they’ve done in the past?
It probably shouldn’t, but it probably does. How many times have we bet Duke because of Coach K, and that these are “Coach K’s kids”, only to watch them break our hearts when it matters? Do we learn our lesson? I suppose some of us do.
The truth is the coach’s do deserve much of the credit. They’re recruiting and realizing this raw talent. They’re making smart lineup calls and guiding the offense and defense even though they’re not actually out there playing. They’re taking time to regroup a team that’s lost its direction or wisely manage the clock to give his guys any edge he can.
But where does Pitino fall these days? Is he still an elite? Would you bet Louisville on that merit? My strong feeling is that he is not, and I question whether he ever was. Yes, he’s certainly earned success, but Rick tends to run his teams like a dictator rather than a father. You’ll notice the pattern that he likes to put his face out there when the team is successful, rather than his players. But his teams do work hard, and they are entertaining. They’re also extremely competitive, rarely getting blown out.
I know Louisville has a lot of college basketball betting fans going into this season, but for the smart, patient sports gamblers among us, let’s wait on that bandwagon until we know the talent is there to support the coach this year.