Hoops and Horses: March Madness, Taking a Stand at Fair Grounds


If you like betting both basketball and horse racing, you've come to the right place!

Each week in Hoops and Horses you'll find analysis and key basketball bets from The Action Network's BlackJack Fletcher plus racing picks from Jose Contreras.

BlackJack Fletcher is a senior gambling  analyst for The Action Network. He studies and breaks down gambling angles from all sports and delivers consistent winners. For all of BlackJack’s plays visit http://myaction.app/blackjackfletch.

Handicapper Jose Contreras is an analyst for horse racing network TVG and a regular contributor to America's Best Racing.

Get this week's picks below, and be sure to check back for new selections each week. Happy betting!


Friday, March 22

Virginia (1st half, -13.5) – The Cavaliers will be looking to bounce back from last year’s first round exit. They play stifling defense and should easily cover this number in the first half.

Wisconsin (-2) – Two weeks ago, Oregon wouldn’t have even been in the NCAA Tournament. Now, most people think they will beat a solid Wisconsin team. I like how Wisconsin plays down low and they play very strong defense. The Badgers cover the small number.

Kansas State (money-line) – UC Irvine is one of those trendy underdog picks and that’s precisely why you should avoid them. Kansas State is a top defensive team in the country. Even without Dean Wade, Kansas State has better athletes and is the better all-around team.


For this series, I will be looking for one key horse to single in a Pick 3 in hopes of cashing a profitable exotic wager. The budget will be in the $20 range and I will keep track of ROI each week. This week’s key horse:

This week’s key horse:

Fair Grounds, Race 11, $300,000 Muniz Memorial Handicap, 5:10 p.m. ET

#3 Synchrony: I was visually impressed with his win last time out. He was coming off a layoff and he was able to overcome a less-than-stellar trip to get the job done. He got into some traffic trouble and had to go wide, but he finished with good strides to win by more than a length. This distance seems to be ideal for him and he absolutely loves this turf course. I expect Bricks and Mortar to go off as the betting favorite, but I feel like the field he beat last time out wasn’t the strongest of Grade 1-quality fields.

$1 Pick 3 ticket:

Race 11: 3

Race 12: 2,6,7,8

Race 13: 4,6,8,10,11

Total: $20

Total wagered: $140

Total returned: $130.10

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