Jack Jones ALL Sports Picks
|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|03-22-14||Texas +5 v. Michigan||65-79||Loss||-105||9 h 38 m||Show|
15* Texas/Michigan Midwest Region ANNIHILATOR on Texas +5
This play is just as much a fade of Michigan (26-8) as it is a play on Texas (24-10). I strongly believe that all of the No. 2 seeds are overrated outside of perhaps Kansas, and Michigan may be the most overrated of them all.
Sure, the Wolverines won the Big Ten, which is no small feat, but they did so by getting extremely lucky in close games. A whopping 13 of their 17 Big Ten wins came by 10 points or less. Seven of those came by 5 points or fewer. This game easily could be decided by 5 points or less with the way that Michigan hasn't been able to blow teams out.
Even more telling are Michigan's only four Big Ten losses this season. All four came by double-digits against Indiana (52-63), Iowa (67-85), Wisconsin (62-75) and Michigan State (55-69). Clearly, this team is nowhere near as good as its record would indicate because it simply was very fortunate in close games all year. But winning the Big Ten got them a No. 2 seed, and now there is value in playing against them.
Texas has been one of the most underrated teams in the country all season. It got not love coming into the year due to missing the Big Dance last season, and it continues to get no love today as an underdog in a game that I fully expect them to win outright, though I'll take the points for some insurance.
The Longhorns played a gauntlet of a schedule in the Big 12 this season, which will have them prepared for this contest. It managed to win a whopping nine games against NCAA Tournament teams this year. I love its size inside, which is why it ranks 4th in the country in rebounding at 41.8 boards per game. Michigan relies too much on its perimeter and will get dominated on the glass. Michigan ranks 303rd in the country in rebounding at 31.9 boards per game. I'll take the better rebounding team more times than not because second-chance opportunities lead to easy points.
Michigan is 1-7 ATS off a win by 15 points or more this season. It is only winning 74.3 to 73.6 in this spot, or by an average of 0.7 points per game. The Longhorns are 7-1 ATS in their last eight vs. Big Ten opponents. The Wolverines are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games following an ATS win. Roll with Texas Saturday.
|03-21-14||Kansas State v. Kentucky -5||49-56||Win||100||53 h 48 m||Show|
15* K-State/Kentucky Friday Night Line Mistake on Kentucky -5
The Kentucky Wildcats were one of the youngest teams in the country coming into the season. It was obvious that they came into the year overrated, and they struggled in the early going. However, like almost every John Calipari team, they got better as the season progressed.
Indeed, the Wildcats are peaking heading into the NCAA Tournament. They beat LSU (85-67) and Georgia (70-58) handily in the SEC Tournament before falling by a single point to Florida (60-61) in the SEC Title Game. That's the same Gators team that has now won 26 straight games, so the Wildcats believe they can play with anyone.
The other Wildcats from Kansas State also had a very solid year. However, I believe this is the worst team to represent the Big 12 in the NCAA Tournament, and the most likely to get knocked off in the first round. Kansas State went 15-2 at home this season compared to just 5-10 on the road. It simply is not the same team when it steps away from Manhattan.
Kentucky is 24-11 ATS in its last 35 road games off five straight games committing 14 or less turnovers. Kentucky is one of the most athletic teams in the country, while Kansas State is one of the least athletic teams in the Big 12. I believe that athleticism, coupled with the growth of this team throughout the season, leads to a blowout victory for the favorite. Bet Kentucky Friday.
|03-21-14||NC Central v. Iowa State -8.5||Top||75-93||Win||100||53 h 48 m||Show|
20* NC Central/Iowa State Friday Night BAILOUT on Iowa State -8.5
The Iowa State Cyclones (26-7) have been underrated all season. They have made me a lot of money going on an against this year, but mostly on. I rode them all the way through a Big 12 Tournament Championship, and I still feel they are being undervalued heading into the Big Dance.
The way to know that is the case is just to compare the rest of the spreads for the top three seeds. Iowa State is the smallest favorite (8.5) of all the top three seeds in the tournament. Sure, NC Central is a quality team in a small conference, but it will get blown out by double-digits in this one.
In fact, NC Central has played just three NCAA Tournament teams this season. It went 1-2 in those games while losing by double-digits to both Cincinnati and Wichita State. I look for it to suffer a similar fate tonight as it is way overvalued due to its 20-game winning streak coming in that has come against soft competition.
Iowa State saved its best basketball for last. After a win over Oklahoma State in the regular season finale, it would win three straight games over Kansas State (91-85), Kansas (94-83) and Baylor (74-65) to win the Big 12 Conference Tournament. All four of those teams are in the big dance.
This team is certainly battle-tested as it went 12-6 against teams that are currently in the NCAA Tournament. What makes the Cyclones so difficult to deal with is that they start five players who can all shoot the 3-pointer. Big 12 Player of the Year Melvin Ejim (18.1 ppg, 8.5 rpg), first-team All-Big 12 DeAndre Kane (17.0 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 5.8 apg), and third-team All-Big 12 Georges Niang (16.5 ppg) lead the way.
The Cyclones are 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall. Iowa State is a perfect 7-0 in neutral site games this season, going 5-1 ATS in its last six neutral site games in the process. Iowa State is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 non-conference games. NC Central is 1-4 ATS in its last five games vs. a team with a winning percentage above 60%. Bet Iowa State Friday.
|03-21-14||San Antonio Spurs v. Sacramento Kings +8||99-79||Loss||-105||12 h 18 m||Show|
15* Spurs/Kings NBA Late-Night BAILOUT on Sacramento +8
The Sacramento Kings are showing tremendous value as an 8-point home underdog to the San Antonio Spurs tonight. I look for this game to go right down to the wire with the home team having a chance to win outright in the closing seconds.
Despite their overall struggles, the Kings still tend to play very well at home. In fact, they are outscoring opponents on the season in all home games, so it clearly has been an advantage playing inside of Sleep Train Arena. They'll give the Spurs all they want and more tonight.
In fact, Sacramento has played San Antonio very tough in recent meetings. The Spurs have won by 8 points or fewer in three straight meetings with the Kings, but all three of those contests took place in San Antonio. The Kings lost 93-95 and 104-112 in the first two meetings this season with both being on the road.
I have no doubt that San Antonio comes into this game way overvalued due to its current 11-game winning streak. It has also covered five straight. This has become a very public team as a result, which has forced oddsmakers to inflate the line tonight to a number where the only play is on the home dog.
Sacramento is 31-15 ATS in its last 46 games as a home underdog of 6.5 to 9 points. The Kings are 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall. Sacramento is 11-3 ATS in its last 14 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. The Kings have covered in four of their last five meetings with the Spurs. Roll with the Kings Friday.
|03-21-14||Stephen Austin v. VCU -6||77-75||Loss||-106||51 h 48 m||Show|
15* CBB Friday No-Doubt Rout on VCU -6
This is a very good price to get the VCU Rams at Friday as they take on the Stephen F. Austin Austin Lumberjacks. The Lumberjacks are getting a lot of love from the books and the betting public because of their 31-2 record and 18-0 mark in the Southland. I'm not buying it.
The Lumberjacks have only played one team that is in the NCAA Tournament. That was a 72-62 loss to Texas. This team plays at a fast pace and tries to force a bunch of turnovers, but it will be running into a team in VCU that wreaks havoc more than anyone in the country.
The Rams force the most turnovers in the country at roughly 18 per game. They are absolutely relentless, and I don't believe Stephen F. Austin is ready to deal with that kind of pressure for 40 minutes. This style of play is the reason that the Rams made the Final Four just a couple years ago because it's perfect for tournament basketball.
VCU is 7-0 ATS in its last seven games in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Rams are 10-1 ATS in road games in their last 11 first round tournament games. Roll with VCU Friday.
|03-21-14||New York Knicks v. Philadelphia 76ers +12||93-92||Win||100||9 h 10 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday Undervalued Underdog on Philadelphia 76ers +12
The Philadelphia 76ers are showing tremendous value as a double-digit home underdog to the New York Knicks tonight. I'll take advantage and back them in a game that will likely be decided by single-digits either way between these Atlantic Division rivals.
Believe it or not, the 76ers have not quit on their season despite losing 22 straight games coming into this one. This streak has only inflated their lines to the point where you have to back them because there's so much value in doing so. As a result, they have come through for bettors of late while being highly competitive.
Indeed, the 76ers are 4-2 ATS in their last six games overall. That includes a 110-123 loss at New York as a 15.5-point underdog, a 94-101 home loss to Indiana as a 16-point dog, a 90-99 road loss to Indiana as a 19-point dog, and a 94-102 home loss to Chicago as an 8-point dog. Those efforts right there against some of the top teams in the league show that they have not quit.
While the 76ers are undervalued due to their losing streak, the Knicks are way overvalued due to their winning streak. They have won seven straight games coming into this contest, including a 92-86 home victory over Indiana last time out. However, that was their only win against a team that would be in the playoffs if the season ended today, and thus they have been beating up on weak competition this entire time.
Asking the Knicks to win by 13-plus points to beat us is simply asking too much. This is a division rivalry, so the 76ers are not going to just lay down. Also, these teams just played on March 10 with New York winning by 13 in a game that was much closer than the final score would indicate. So, the 76ers will want revenge less than two weeks later. Not to mention, four of the past five meetings have been decided by 10 points or less with that 13-point home victory for the Knicks being the lone exception.
Plays on home underdogs of 10 or more points (PHILADELPHIA) - revenging a loss where opponent scored 100 or more points, off a cover where the team lost the game straight up as an underdog are 31-7 (81.6%) ATS since 1996. New York is 4-18 ATS in its last 22 road games after having won six or seven of its last eight games. Bet the 76ers Friday.
|03-21-14||Oklahoma State -2 v. Gonzaga||77-85||Loss||-106||48 h 38 m||Show|
15* CBB Friday Higher Seed Upset Special on Oklahoma State -2
The Oklahoma State Cowboys are the most dangerous 9-16 seed in the entire tournament. They were one of the highest-ranked teams in the country coming into the season, and underachieved during the early part of the Big 12 schedule.
However, the Cowboys have really turned it on of late to show what most of us thought they were capable of at the beginning of the year. It has won five of its last seven games overall with its only losses coming on the road to Kansas and Iowa State. Both losses came in overtime, and those are the two best teams in the conference in my opinion.
Incredibly, the Cowboys have gone 0-4 in overtime games this season, and they've lost six other games by 6 points or less. So, only two of their 12 losses either came by more than six points and without overtime. That alone shows that this team was much better than its record would indicate.
Gonzaga had a good season in the West Coast Conference, but this conference was down this season as Saint Mary's wasn't its normal self. The Zags went just 3-4 against NCAA Tournament teams this season with two of those victories coming against BYU, who doesn't deserve to be in this field. It lost to Dayton (79-84), Kansas State (62-72) and Memphis (54-60) while beating lowly New Mexico State (80-68) in its four non-conference games against Tournament teams.
The Bulldogs are 0-8 ATS in road games after successfully covering the spread in two or more consecutive games over the last three seasons. The Bulldogs are 0-7 ATS in road games off two consecutive covers as a favorite over the last three years as well. These two trends combine for a 15-0 system backing the Cowboys. Take Oklahoma State Friday.
|03-21-14||Nebraska v. Baylor -3||Top||60-74||Win||100||108 h 2 m||Show|
20* Baylor/Nebraska CBB Friday Early ANNIHILATOR on Baylor -3
The Baylor Bears (24-11) are one of the hottest teams in the country entering the big dance. It looked as if their season was lost after losing eight of their first 10 Big 12 games. However, this team has responded in a big way by going 10-2 in its last 12 games overall.
That included a trip to the Big 12 Championship Game, where it would lose to Iowa State. Few teams have played a schedule as tough as Baylor. It has faced a whopping 20 games against current NCAA Tournament teams. Sure, 15 of those were in the Big 12, but the non-conference schedule was brutal, too. They went 4-1 against tournament teams in non-conference with their only loss coming to Syracuse.
Nebraska (19-12) is a great story this season. It was nice to see it make its first NCAA Tournament in ages, but the feel-good story ends against Baylor. The zone defense that the Bears like to run will give the Huskers fits. You have to be able to hit the 3-pointer to beat the zone, and the Huskers are not equipped to do so. They only shoot 33.9 percent from 3-point range as a team.
The length of the Baylor zone is very difficult to deal with because of the two big men inside in Cory Jefferson (13.5 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 1.3 bpg) and Isaiah Austin (11.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.3 bpg), who are both future pros. That zone is the biggest reason why the Bears have won 10 of their last 12 because opponents just simply haven't been able to adjust to it. Plus, you can't practice against it because no team has players like Jefferson and Austin on their practice squad.
Perhaps the biggest reason I'm on Baylor is because it is going to have a massive home-court advantage in this one. The AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX is only 180 miles away from Baylor's campus. Meanwhile, Nebraska fans are going to have to travel 860 miles to watch their team play. You can bet the crowd noise is going to be heavily in the Bears' favor in this one. Bet Baylor Friday.
|03-20-14||Milwaukee Bucks +14 v. Golden State Warriors||Top||110-115||Win||100||15 h 36 m||Show|
20* Bucks/Warriors NBA Late-Night BAILOUT on Milwaukee +14
Because the Milwaukee Bucks have the worst record in the league, they have been extremely undervalued over the past couple months. The betting public wants nothing to do with this team, so oddsmakers have been forced to inflate their spreads, and thus they have been getting the cash at an alarming rate.
Indeed, the Bucks are 15-6-1 ATS in their last 22 games overall. Amazingly, Milwaukee has only been beaten by more than 14 points two times in its last 24 games overall. That makes for a dynamite 22-2 system backing the Bucks pertaining to tonight's 14-point spread.
The Warriors are clearly overvalued in this contest. They could be without two starters in Andre Iguodala and Andrew Bogut. Iguodala is for sure out, while Bogut missed last game and is doubtful with an ankle injury. It is also safe to assume that Golden State will be looking ahead to a huge showdown against the Western Conference-leading Spurs on Saturday night.
Milwaukee has won three of its last four trips to Golden State OUTRIGHT. It has gone a perfect 4-0 ATS in the process with its only loss coming by 6 points. The Bucks are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven meetings with the Warriors overall. The road team is 7-1 ATS in the last eight meetings.
The Bucks are 15-4 ATS in their last 19 road games when playing 9 or more games in 14 days. Milwaukee is 71-42 ATS in its last 113 games following four or more consecutive losses. The Warriors are 1-7-1 ATS in their last 9 games following a SU win of more than 10 points. Golden State is 9-19-1 ATS in its last 29 games following an ATS win. The Bucks are 5-0 ATS in their last five road games vs. a team with a winning road record. Bet the Bucks Thursday.
|03-20-14||BYU v. Oregon -3||Top||68-87||Win||100||90 h 52 m||Show|
25* Round of 64 GAME OF THE YEAR on Oregon -3
The Oregon Ducks (23-9) represent my strongest play for all of the Round of 64 games. I look for them to put a beat down on the BYU Cougars (23-11) and likely roll by double-digits in this one.
Oregon is one of the most underrated teams in the country. It opened 13-0 before losing eight of its next 10 games. However, seven of those losses came by single-digits, including five by 4 points or fewer, and four by exactly 2 points.
The Ducks would regroup and win eight of their final nine games heading into the tournament. That includes wins over UCLA, Arizona State and Arizona, which are three fellow NCAA Tournament participants. This red-hot team is going to be tough to deal with.
Oregon ranks 11th in the country in scoring offense at 81.8 points per game. Joseph Young (18.6 ppg), Mike Moser (13.5 ppg, 8.0 rpg) and Jason Calliste (12.4 ppg) can all fill it up. They all shoot the 3-ball well, too. Calliste shoots 50.8%, Young 41.6% and Moser 37.9%. They make 39.2% from distance as a team, which is incredible.
I don't even believe that BYU deserved to be in the NCAA Tournament. It did almost all of its damage at home while going just 9-10 on the road this season. Now, it lost second-leading scorer, top rebounder and top assist man Kyle Collinsworth (14.0 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 4.6 apg) to a season-ending knee injury in the WCC Championship Game loss to Gonzaga. He was the heart and soul for this team as he did a little bit of everything for the Cougars.
BYU is 0-8 ATS as a neutral court underdog or pick over the last three seasons. Oregon is 6-0 ATS in all post-season tournament games over the last three seasons. The Cougars are 1-9 ATS in road games in all tournament games over the past two seasons. These three trends combine for a 23-1 system backing the Ducks. Bet Oregon Thursday.
Note: I locked this line in as soon as it came out anticipating that it would move in a hurry. I wanted my long-term clients to be able to get in on it as soon as they could. As expected, it has jumped to -6 in most places as of this writing (11:30 Sunday Night). According to my numbers, this line should be set at -8 or higher. So, I still recommend a bet on Oregon at the current -5.5/-6 spread. I'll update this note if it moves to closer to -8. Thanks.
|03-20-14||Western Michigan v. Syracuse -13||53-77||Win||100||23 h 41 m||Show|
15* CBB Thursday No-Doubt Rout on Syracuse -13
The Syracuse Orange are going to be highly motivated for a victory when they hit the court Thursday. Sure, every team is going to be motivated, but this team will be playing with a chip on its shoulder with the way it finished the season. As such, I look for them to make a statement with a blowout victory over Western Michigan.
Syracuse (27-5) opened the season 25-0 before faltering down the stretch, losing five of its last seven games overall. After winning all its close games for most of the season, it has been on the wrong side of close games of late. Four of its five losses have come by 6 points or less. This team is still one of the best in the country, and it is now undervalued due to this recent poor stretch, which has been mostly due to bad luck.
You can bet that Jim Boeheim has this bunch grounded and making sure that they know they aren't as good as they thought they were, and that they cannot just show up to win games. C.J. Fair (16.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg), Tyler Ennis (12.7 ppg, 5.6 apg), Trevor Cooney (12.2 ppg) and Jerami Grant (12.2 ppg, 6.9 rpg) do most of the heavy lifting for this team.
Sure, Western Michigan is red hot, but it has been beating up on the weak MAC. A look at a few of its losses this season show that it is certainly prone to the blowout. The Broncos have double-digit losses to Hawaii (68-78), Northwestern (35-51), Eastern Michigan (37-56), Buffalo (63-84) and Toledo (85-96) this season. As you can see, three of its losses came by 16-plus points, and you can chalk up another one Thursday.
One huge factor here that cannot be overlooked is that this will essentially be a home game for Syracuse. Its campus is located just 150 miles from the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY. Western Michigan isn't too far at 448 miles away, either, but you can bet that the seats are going to be filled with mostly orange.
Syracuse is a perfect 8-0 ATS versus good foul drawing teams that attempt 25 or more free throws per game this season. A big reason for that is that the Orange don't foul in their patented zone defense. The key to beating the zone is shooting the 3-pointer, and the Broncos only shoot it at 33.2 percent as a team. Massive advantage Orange. Take Syracuse Thursday.
|03-20-14||Dayton +6 v. Ohio State||60-59||Win||100||20 h 6 m||Show|
15* Dayton/Ohio State CBB Thursday Early ANNIHILATOR on Dayton +6
The Dayton Flyers are chomping at the bit to take on in-state foe Ohio State. Thad Matta simply will not schedule the Flyers, but he doesn't have a choice now. I believe that Dayton is the best team in the state of Ohio this season, and that will show on the court Thursday.
Dayton really impressed me in the non-conference schedule this season. It beat then-No. 11 Gonzaga (84-79) and fell to then-No. 18 Baylor (66-67) by a single point on a neutral court. The Flyers would beat Cal (82-64) on a neutral court and Georgia Tech (82-72) on the road.
However, the Flyers have saved their best basketball for last. They have won 10 of their last 12 games overall with both of their losses coming to Atlantic 10 Tournament champ St. Joe's. That includes wins over fellow NCAA Tournament contenders George Washington (75-65), UMass (86-79) and Saint Louis (72-67) during this stretch.
The Flyers are one of the more efficient offensive teams in the country as they shoot 46.6 percent from the floor and score 73.4 points per game. They have four players averaging at least 9.9 points per game in Jordan Sibert (12.2 ppg), Devin Oliver (12.1 ppg, 7.5 rpg), Dyshawn Pierre (11.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg) and Vee Sanford (9.9 ppg).
While Dayton has had no problem scoring this season, Ohio State has gone on long scoring droughts in games, which will be its downfall Thursday. The Buckeyes rank 208th in scoring offense at 69.8 points per game and 227th in assists at 12.0 points per game. While Aaron Craft is a hell of a defender, he provides little on the offensive end and is asked to do more than he is capable of.
Because of their lack of scoring, the Buckeyes have had a hard time putting teams away. That has really been the case of late as each of its last six games were decided by single-digits, including five by 4 points or fewer. That's why there is a very good chance that we get the money even if the Flyers don't win outright, and thus there is a ton of value here at this +6 number.
Dayton is 6-0 ATS in road games versus very good teams that outscore their opponents by 8-plus points per game this season. The Flyers are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games. The Buckeyes are 0-7 ATS in their last seven neutral site games. Ohio State is 0-7 ATS in its last seven Thursday games. The Buckeyes are 0-6 ATS in their last six games overall. These five trends combine for a 34-2 system backing the Flyers. Roll with Dayton Thursday.
|03-19-14||San Antonio Spurs v. Los Angeles Lakers UNDER 223||Top||125-109||Loss||-110||13 h 13 m||Show|
20* Spurs/Lakers ESPN Late-Night BAILOUT on UNDER 223
The books have set the bar too high in this contest between the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers. These teams played just five days ago on March 14, and familiarity breeds low-scoring games.
Plus, both meetings between the Spurs and Lakers this season have been very low-scoring when compared to tonight's total set of 223. They combined for 176 points in a 91-85 San Antonio road victory on November 1, and 204 points in a 119-85 home victory for the Spurs on March 14.
San Antonio is going to play defense night in and night out. It is only allowing 97.8 points per game this season, and it has held the Lakers to an average of 85 points per game in two meetings this year. I look for them to limit LA to fewer than 100 points once again in this one, which will pave the way for the UNDER to come through.
Plays on the UNDER on road teams where the total is greater than or equal to 200 (SAN ANTONIO) - after a blowout win by 15 points or more against opponent after a blowout loss by 15 points or more are 32-9 (78%) over the last five seasons.
The UNDER is 21-7 in the last 28 meetings in this series. The UNDER is 9-2 in Lakers last 11 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600. The UNDER is 7-2 in Spurs last nine vs. a team with a losing record. The Lakers are 30-16 to the UNDER vs. explosive offensive teams that score 103-plus points per game over the last three seasons. Take the UNDER in this game Wednesday.
|03-19-14||Iowa v. Tennessee +2.5||Top||65-78||Win||100||13 h 15 m||Show|
20* Iowa/Tennessee First Four No-Brainer on Tennessee +2.5
The Tennessee Volunteers (21-12, 11-7 SEC) were one of the last teams to get into the field of 68. I was excited to see them get in because I know that they are capable of making a run with what they have to offer. I look for them to win this First Four game over Iowa with relative ease.
Tennessee had some very impressive wins this season. In fact, its 87-52 victory over No. 1 seed Virginia may have been the most impressive win of any team all year. What I love about this team is that it plays defense. The Vols rank 16th in the country in points allowed (61.1) per game and 20th in rebounds (38.8) per game.
Iowa, on the other hand, plays little to no defense. It ranks 180th in points allowed per game at 70.1. Poor defense is the reason the Hawks have lost six of their last seven games coming into the Tournament, and they were really fortunate to get in because of it. They gave up 76-plus points in five of their final seven games, which included losses to Northwestern, Illinois, Indiana and Minnesota, who aren't tournament teams.
While the Hawkeyes are ice cold coming in, the Vols have been playing some of the best basketball in the country. They have won five of their last six with their only loss coming 49-56 against Florida in the SEC Tournament, a game in which Tennessee led most of the way. Its last four wins have come via blowout over Vanderbilt (76-38), Auburn (82-54), Missouri (72-45) and South Carolina (59-44).
Tennessee is 8-1 ATS vs. dominant rebounding teams, outrebounding their opponents by 7-plus boards per game. Iowa is 0-6 ATS in road games after having lost four or five of its last six games over the last three seasons. The Hawkeyes are 0-8 ATS in their last eight games off two or more consecutive losses as a favorite. The Hawkeyes are 0-7 ATS in their last seven games overall. Iowa is 0-6 ATS in its last six vs. a team with a winning record. These five trends combine for a 35-1 system backing the Vols. Bet Tennessee Wednesday.
|03-19-14||Miami Heat v. Boston Celtics UNDER 199||96-101||Win||100||10 h 2 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday Total DOMINATOR on Heat/Celtics UNDER 199
I have no doubt that the books have set the number too high in this contest between rivals Miami and Boston tonight. Sure, these teams aren't the rivals they were when Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were still around, but Rajon Rondo remains a Celtic and is the leader of this team, so he will have his teammates up for this one.
I look for the defensive intensity to remain at a high level, which has been a constant when these teams have gotten together in the past. In their most recent meeting on January 21, the Heat beat the Celtics 93-86 at home for 179 combined points. I look for a similar output tonight.
Boston has really struggled to put the ball into the basket over the past couple months. It has scored fewer than 100 points in 19 of its last 24 games overall. I think that it's a safe bet that it will be held to under the century mark in this one as well.
One of the biggest reasons this number has been inflated it because Miami has gone 3-0 to the OVER in its last three games overall. However, two of those were against Denver and Houston, which are two of the best offensive teams in the league, and the Nuggets don't play any defense. They combined for 196 points with the Cavaliers last night, and will come back tired playing the second of a back-to-back and their 7th game in 11 days.
Miami is a perfect 9-0 to the UNDER in road games after scoring 55 points or more in the first half of two straight games over the last two seasons. It is combining with its opponents for an average of 188.4 points per game in this spot. The UNDER is 6-1 in Miami's last seven vs. a team with a losing record. The UNDER is 13-6 in Celtics last 19 home games. Boston is 20-9 to the UNDER vs. a team with a winning record this season. Roll with the UNDER in this game Wednesday.
|03-18-14||Indiana State +9.5 v. Arkansas||Top||71-91||Loss||-110||11 h 47 m||Show|
25* NIT Opening Round GAME OF THE YEAR on Indiana State +9.5
The Indiana State Sycamores (23-10) are showing tremendous value as a big road underdog to the Arkansas Razorbacks (21-11) tonight in the Opening Round of the NIT. Asking the Razorbacks to win by double-digits to beat us is simply asking too much.
Indiana State was the second-best team in the Missouri Valley Conference this season, trailing only Wichita State, which has yet to lose at 34-0. The Sycamores would make it to the MWC Title Game before falling 69-83 to the Shockers.
The Sycamores are a balanced team that is capable of competing with anyone in the country. They have five players averaging at least 9.8 points per game this season, led by Jake Odom (13.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 4.5 apg), who does a little bit of everything for this team.
Arkansas is going to come into this game lacking motivation after falling short of the NCAA Tournament when it looked like it would be in for sure a couple weeks ago. However, an ugly loss at Alabama (58-83) and an even worse loss to South Carolina (69-71) in the SEC Tournament in the final two games of the season did them in.
Plays on road underdogs of 3.5 to 9.5 points (INDIANA ST) - an average offensive team (67-74 PPG) against an average defensive team (67-74 PPG) after 15+ games, after scoring 30 points or less in the first half in 2 straight games are 82-39 (67.8%) ATS over the last five seasons. Bet Indiana State Tuesday.
|03-18-14||Miami Heat v. Cleveland Cavaliers UNDER 196||Top||100-96||Push||0||8 h 17 m||Show|
20* NBA Eastern Conference TOTAL OF THE WEEK on Heat/Cavaliers UNDER 196
The books have set the bar too high tonight in this contest between the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers. I recommend a play on the UNDER in what will be a low-scoring, defensive battle. Both of these teams have a lot to play for tonight.
Miami is trying to catch Indiana for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, while Cleveland is fighting to stay alive for the playoffs. That's why both teams should bring max intensity to the defensive end of the floor tonight.
However, my biggest reason for liking the UNDER is Cleveland's lack of offense without Kyrie Irving (21.2 ppg, 6.2 apg), who is expected to miss the next two weeks with a bicep injury. This team is going to be lost offensively without Irving, and they will look to play at more of a slow-it-down pace without him, too.
Recent meetings between these teams in Cleveland have been very low-scoring. Indeed, the UNDER is 9-1-1 in the last 11 meetings in Cleveland. Each of the last three meetings in Cleveland have seen 193 or fewer combined points.
Miami is 7-0 to the UNDER In road games after a combined score of 205 points or more in two straight games this season. The UNDER is 6-0 in Cavaliers last six games playing on one days' rest. The UNDER is 14-3 in Cleveland's last 17 vs. Eastern Conference opponents. The UNDER is 8-2 in Heat last 10 games vs. Eastern Conference foes. The UNDER is 13-4 in Cavaliers' last 17 home games. Take the UNDER in this game Tuesday.
|03-17-14||Oklahoma City Thunder -2.5 v. Chicago Bulls||Top||97-85||Win||100||8 h 19 m||Show|
20* Thunder/Bulls ESPN Monday No-Brainer on Oklahoma City -2.5
The Oklahoma City Thunder get the call Monday as a small road favorite over the Chicago Bulls. This is a very generous price for the Thunder, who are rarely this short of a favorite. They trail the Spurs by two games for the No. 1 seed in the West, so they have everything to play for.
I look for the Thunder to play with a chip on their shoulder after an embarrassing 86-109 home loss to the Dallas Mavericks Sunday. They were playing without Russell Westbrook (21.6 ppg, 7.1 apg, 5.7 rpg) yesterday as he rested his knee, but he is expected to return tonight, which will make all of the difference in the world for this team.
I am one of the biggest believers in the Bulls that there is. I love Tom Thibodeau and think he deserves Coach of the Year every year with what he has done with this team through injuries and trades. However, the odds are finally starting to catch up with them, and they are now overvalued as only a 2.5-point dog to a much superior team in the Thunder.
Oklahoma City is 4-0 SU & 3-1 ATS in its last four meetings with Chicago with three of those victories coming by double-digits. It has won by 12, 30, 6 and 14 points in the last four meetings, respectively. The Bulls have had no answer for Durant and Westbrook, and now with defensive stopper Luol Deng gone, they certainly won't tonight, either.
The Thunder are 8-1 ATS in their last nine road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600. Oklahoma City is 12-3-1 ATS in its last 16 games following a double-digit home loss. The Thunder are 21-8 ATS in their last 29 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Bulls are 0-5 ATS in their last five Monday games, and 0-4 ATS in their last four games following a S.U. win. OKC is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 meetings in Chicago. Bet the Thunder Monday.
|03-16-14||Cleveland Cavaliers +11 v. Los Angeles Clippers||80-102||Loss||-105||12 h 54 m||Show|
15* Cavs/Clippers NBA Late-Night BAILOUT on Cleveland +11
The Cleveland Cavaliers (26-40) are fighting for their playoff lives. They trail the Atlanta Hawks by four games for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Basically, every game for them from here on out is a must-win as they cannot afford to fall any further behind.
The Cavaliers are handling the pressure of these must-win games incredibly of late. They have won back-to-back road games against Western Conference playoff contenders in Phoenix (110-101) as an 8-point underdog, and Golden State (103-94) as an 9.5-point dog. Now, they get another playoff contenders in the Clippers.
I believe Los Angeles is way overvalued tonight due to its 10-game winning streak coming in. It has really shown signs of being overvalued of late, too, going 1-2-1 ATS in its last four games overall. Three of those wins came by single-digits, including a 109-108 home victory over Atlanta as a 15-point underdog.
One key factor for the Clippers' struggles is that they have been playing without second-leading scorer Jamal Crawford (18.7 ppg), who is doubtful to play again tonight due to a calf injury. Also, both Chris Paul (ankle) and Blake Griffin (back) are banged up and listed on the injury report, though both are expected to play tonight.
Cleveland has been a thorn in Los Angeles' side over the past two seasons. Indeed, the Cavaliers have gone 3-1 SU & 3-1 ATS against the Clippers in their last four meetings. What makes that so impressive is that they have been an underdog of 6-plus points in every game. Dating back further, Cleveland is 12-2 SU in its last 14 meetings with the Clippers.
The Cavaliers are 8-1 ATS in their last nine games following a win. Cleveland is 7-1 ATS in its last eight after scoring 100 points or more in its previous game. The Cavaliers are 7-2 ATS in their last nine road games. Cleveland is 6-1 ATS in its last seven meetings with Los Angeles. Roll with the Cavaliers Sunday.
|03-16-14||Dallas Mavericks v. Oklahoma City Thunder UNDER 215.5||Top||109-86||Win||100||9 h 29 m||Show|
20* NBA TOTAL OF THE WEEK on Mavericks/Thunder UNDER 215.5
The books have set the bar too high in this contest between the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder Sunday. Both teams have a lot to play for in this one as the Thunder are trying to earn the No. 1 seed in the West, while the Mavericks are trying to fend off all comers just for a spot in the playoffs. The level of defensive intensity will be at an all-time high in this one.
Another reason the UNDER is the play is because both teams come in well-rested, and thus they'll be well-prepared defensively to stop their opponents' offensive strengths. Dallas has had three days off since playing last on Wednesday, while Oklahoma City has had two days off since playing on Thursday.
Looking at the last three meetings in this series, it's easy to see that this number has been inflated. Dallas and Oklahoma City have combined for 200, 208 and 203 points in their last three meetings, respectively. If you don't count overtime, then the Mavs and Thunder have combined for 210 or fewer points at the end of regulation in each of their last 14 meetings.
Since you can't count on overtime, that makes for a perfect 14-0 system backing the UNDER in this contest pertaining to tonight's total set of 215.5 points. This is free money tonight ladies and gents. Roll with the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|03-16-14||Utah Jazz +15 v. San Antonio Spurs||104-122||Loss||-107||9 h 28 m||Show|
15* NBA Sunday Night Line Mistake on Utah Jazz +15
The Utah Jazz get the call Sunday as a massive 15-point underdog to the San Antonio Spurs. They are showing some of their best value of the season tonight because they have not quit on their season and will continue to play out the string, just like they have been.
Sure, the Jazz have lost three in a row coming in, but all three have been to playoff contenders and all went down to the wire. They lost to Atlanta (110-112), Dallas (101-108) and the LA Clippers (87-96) and had chances to win all three of those games late. I believe they'll be in it for four quarters against the Spurs, too.
San Antonio comes in way overvalued due to its current 9-game winning streak. It has also covered three straight games, and the betting public has been all over this team. That's why the oddsmakers have been forced to set this line much higher than it should be knowing that the betting public would pounce on the Spurs if they set it where it actually should be. They need even action on both sides, which is why they inflate lines like this.
Utah will be motivated for a win tonight due to going 0-3 in its first three meetings with San Antonio this season. Two of those were decided by single-digits, including a 105-109 road loss at San Antonio as a 14-point dog in their most recent meeting on January 15. I look for a similar result here as the Jazz lay it all on the line to try and avoid the season sweep.
Plays on road underdogs of 10 or more points (UTAH) - cold team - having lost 8 or more of their last 10 games against opponent hot team - having won 8 or more of their last 10 games are 49-19 (72.1%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Jazz are 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Utah is 4-1-1 ATS in its last six vs. a team with a winning record. San Antonio is 2-11 ATS after successfully covering the spread in three or more consecutive games over the last two seasons. Take the Jazz Sunday.
|03-16-14||Michigan State -3 v. Michigan||Top||69-55||Win||100||18 h 7 m||Show|
25* Conference Tournament GAME OF THE YEAR on Michigan State -3
The Michigan State Spartans are going to be out for revenge Saturday when they take on the Michigan Wolverines. They lost both regular season meeting, though the home loss comes with an asterisk because they were playing without their top two post players in Adreian Payne and Branden Dawson.
In fact, Payne (15.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and Dawson (10.2 ppg, 8.3 rpg) have missed significant time due to injury this year, while Keith Appling (12.5 ppg, 4.7 apg) has been bothered by nagging injuries as well. That's why it is amazing that the Spartans have still managed to go 25-8 this season while playing a brutal schedule.
Now healthy, this team has really taken off. The Spartans have one three of their past four with their only loss coming by a mere two points at Ohio State. They beat Iowa (86-76) at home before topping Northwestern (67-51) and Wisconsin (83-75) in the Big Ten Tournament. That game against the Badgers was an even bigger blowout than the final score would indicate.
Michigan is the most overrated team in the country in my opinion. It has won so many close games this year to really inflate its record. That includes two wins by a combined 4 points in the Big Ten Tournament over Illinois (64-63) and Ohio State (72-69). The Wolverines' luck runs out Sunday in the championship game against a Spartans team that simply wants it more after losing the first two meetings.
Michigan State is 8-1 ATS in road games when playing against a good team (winning percentage from 60% to 80%) this season. The Spartans are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Michigan State is 4-0 ATS in its last four games overall. The Wolverines are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS win. The Spartans are 6-0 ATS in road games after leading in their previous game by 15 or more points at the half over the last two seasons. Bet Michigan State Sunday.
|03-16-14||Houston Rockets v. Miami Heat UNDER 209||104-113||Loss||-110||6 h 57 m||Show|
15* Rockets/Heat ABC Sunday No-Brainer on UNDER 209
The Houston Rockets and Miami Heat will each be laying it all on the line defensively. Houston has lost two in a row coming in, while Miami has lost two straight and four of five. You can bet that both teams will be pissed off heading into this one, which will show a lot more on defense than it will on offense.
Another reason to love the UNDER in this contest is that these teams just played each other. Houston beat Miami 106-103 at home on March 4, and now they meet for a second and final time this season less than two weeks later. Familiarity breeds low-scoring games as both teams will now be more equipped defensively to stop the opposing offensive strengths.
Miami is 5-1 to the UNDER in its last six games overall. It has really been struggling offensively, averaging just 95.2 points per game in its last five games overall. Houston has hit the breaks offensively in its last two games, scoring 98 points at Oklahoma City and 87 at Chicago in its back-to-back losses.
Plays on the UNDER on road teams where the total is 200 to 209.5 (HOUSTON) - off an upset loss as a road favorite, with a winning record on the season playing another winning team are 66-29 (69.5%) since 1996. The UNDER is 13-4 in Rockets last 17 when playing on two days' rest. The UNDER is 7-1 in Heat last eight games following a S.U. loss. Bet the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|03-16-14||Duke v. Virginia +1.5||63-72||Win||100||4 h 3 m||Show|
15* Duke/Virginia ACC Early ANNIHILATOR on Virginia +1.5
The Virginia Cavaliers will be out for revenge from a narrow 65-69 loss at Duke on January 13 in their lone meeting this season. Nobody has been able to win at Cameron Indoor, and the Cavaliers actually held a lead in the final minute of that game. On a neutral court this time around, I look for them to have their payback.
Virginia has really taken off since that loss to Duke, going 15-1 in its last 16 games overall with its only loss coming in overtime at Maryland in the season finale. That was after they had already wrapped up the ACC regular season title, so it was a clear letdown spot. This team will be motivated to cap off the double-whammy in winning the ACC regular season and tournament titles.
While Virginia beat two very good teams in FSU and Pitt coming in, Duke struggled to beat two teams that didn't even sniff the NCAA Tournament in Clemson (63-62) and NC State (75-67). This Blue Devils team has been vulnerable all season because they do not play much defense at all. They'll be up against arguably the best defensive team in the country in Virginia, which gives up just 55.1 points per game on 38.5 percent shooting. Duke allows 66.9 points on 45.4 percent shooting to compare.
Virginia is 8-0 ATS versus good shooting teams that make 45% or more of their shots after 15-plus games this season. The Cavaliers are 9-0 ATS versus good teams that outscored their opponents by 4-plus points per game after 15-plus games this season. Virginia is 5-0 straight up on a neutral court this season. The Cavaliers are 9-0-2 ATS in their last 11 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. These four trends combine for a perfect 31-0 system backing the Cavaliers. Take Virginia Sunday.
|03-15-14||Baylor v. Iowa State -1||Top||65-74||Win||100||10 h 10 m||Show|
20* Baylor/Iowa State Big 12 Championship No-Brainer on Iowa State -1
The Iowa State Cyclones are on a mission in this Big 12 Tournament. They have brought down more fans from Ames for the Big 12 Tournament than any other year in the history of their program. The Cyclones actually seemed to have home-court advantage over the Kansas Jayhawks last night in Kansas City.
While any regular season win over Kansas would bring a letdown into play the next game, I don't believe the letdown factor will be an issue here since this is the Big 12 Title game. I have no doubt that the Cyclones are the better team in this one, and that will show on the court Saturday night.
The home team won both meetings during the regular season, and I look for that home-court advantage that the Cyclones have brought down to Kansas City with them known as "Hilton South" will help guide them to a victory in this one. Plus, they have saved their best basketball for last with three straight wins over Okie State, K-State and Kansas.
I do commend Baylor for its ability to rebound following a 2-8 start in the Big 12. It was left for dead by the media, yet it is now an NCAA Tournament team due to winning six straight coming into this one. However, this is also a very tired Bears team as this will be their 4th game in 4 days. This will only be Iowa State's 3rd game in 3 days, and I believe that extra day of rest will really come into play here since the Cyclones had a bye into the quarterfinals.
Iowa State is a perfect 7-0 ATS in road games after a game with 5 or less offensive rebounds over the last three seasons. The Cyclones are 8-1 ATS revenging a double-digit road loss vs. opponent over the past three seasons. Take Iowa State Saturday.
|03-15-14||Indiana Pacers -5 v. Detroit Pistons||112-104||Win||100||10 h 58 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Indiana Pacers -5
The Indiana Pacers (48-17) have not been playing very good basketball since the All-Star Break. They have lost four of their last six games overall, and they are a woeful 0-9 ATS in their last nine games. They have clearly been overvalued for quite some time after their fast start to the season.
Now, I believe this team is actually undervalued due to failing to cover the spread in nine straight. It's time to hop back on the wagon tonight as they are just a 5-point road favorite over the hapless Detroit Pistons (25-40). I look for them to come out and dominate from start to finish in this one folks.
Detroit has been alive for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference all year long despite its struggles. Even with that to play for, this team just doesn't show up on a nightly basis. The Pistons have gone 3-11 in their last 14 games overall with their only wins coming against Sacramento, New York and Atlanta.
This has been a one-sided series to say the least. Indiana is 6-1 SU & 5-2 ATS in its last seven meetings with Detroit. All six of those victories came by 6-plus points, including blowouts of 18, 32, 19 and 11 points. The Pacers did lose to the Pistons back in December, so they certainly won't be taking this team lightly.
Detroit is 10-21 ATS in home games versus teams with winning records over the last two seasons. Indiana is 41-26 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points over the last two seasons. The Pistons are 13-22 ATS after an ATS win this season. The Pacers are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 trips to Detroit, and 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings overall. Take the Pacers Saturday.
|03-15-14||Michigan State v. Wisconsin||Top||83-75||Win||100||5 h 26 m||Show|
25* Big Ten Tournament GAME OF THE YEAR on Michigan State PK
The Michigan State Spartans represent my strongest play for the entire 2014 Big Ten Tournament as they take on the Wisconsin Badgers in the semifinals. They will want revenge from a 58-60 road loss to Wisconsin in their lone meeting of the season on February 9.
That was a rare win for the Badgers in this series. The Spartans are 5-1 straight up in their last six meetings, and I look for the dominance to continue today. This line makes zero sense considering the Spartans were without two of their best players in Keith Appling and Branden Dawson in that regular season meeting this year, yet they still only lost by two points on the road.
Appling (12.6 ppg, 4.7 apg), Dawson (10.0 ppg, 8.4 rpg) and Adreian Payne (15.6 ppg, 7.4 rpg) have all missed significant time this season due to injury. That's why it is amazing that the Spartans have managed to go 24-8 as these are three starters and three of their best players. Now at full strength, Michigan State is going to be a dangerous team going forward. Wisconsin stands no chance in the rematch.
The Spartans are 6-0 ATS in road games after allowing 25 points or less in the first half last game over the last two seasons. Michigan State is 6-0 ATS in its last six meetings with Wisconsin. Take this perfect 12-0 system backing Sparty straight to the bank. Bet Michigan State Saturday.
|03-15-14||George Washington v. VCU -4.5||55-74||Win||100||5 h 7 m||Show|
15* Atlantic 10 Tournament PLAY OF THE DAY on VCU -4.5
The VCU Rams will make easy work of the George Washington Colonials Saturday. The two regular season meetings between these teams tell all that there is to know about why this is going to be a blowout in VCU's favor.
George Washington does not have the guards to deal with VCU's pressure. It turned the ball over 21 and 22 times in the two regular season meetings with the Rams. Now, with no time to prepare for that pressure in practice, the Colonials will be in a world of hurt in this one. I look for the Rams to turn them over time and time again, which will lead to easy bucket after easy bucket.
VCU has really kicked it into another gear the closer we got to tournament time. It has gone a perfect 5-0 SU & 5-0 ATS in its last five games overall, winning by 19, 11, 6, 19 and 18 points, respectively. While I respect what George Washington did this season in making the big dance, the fact of the matter is that it isn't even in the same class as VCU, and that will show on the court today. Roll with VCU Saturday.
|03-15-14||Pittsburgh v. Virginia -3||48-51||Push||0||4 h 45 m||Show|
15* Pitt/Virginia ACC Early ANNIHILATOR on Virginia -3
The Virginia Cavaliers (26-6) have been tremendous this season. They are pushing for a top-2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and they are doings so behind a 17-2 record in ACC play. This team has been better than it has gotten credit for all season, and that is the case again this afternoon as a mere 3-point favorite.
The Cavaliers have a massive advantage in rest and preparation heading into this showdown with Pittsburgh. While Virginia has only had to play one game after getting a bye into the quarterfinals, Pitt has had to play two games. That makes this the 3rd game in three days for the Panthers.
Another reason that the Cavaliers will be more prepared in this one is that they got to play the early game yesterday. They played right before Pitt and dominated Florida State. That allowed their players and coaches to watch the Pitt/UNC game after, which will give them a leg up on the Panthers as they'll know what to expect.
Virginia is 7-0 ATS versus good shooting teams that make 45% or more of their shots after 15-plus games this season. The Cavaliers are 9-0 ATS versus good teams that outscore their opponents by 4-plus points per game after 15-plus games this year. Virginia is 9-1-1 ATS in its last 11 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. These three trends combine for a 25-1 system backing the Cavaliers. Bet Virginia Saturday.
|03-14-14||Cleveland Cavaliers +9.5 v. Golden State Warriors||103-94||Win||100||11 h 36 m||Show|
15* Cavs/Warriors NBA Late-Night BAILOUT on Cleveland +9.5
The Cleveland Cavaliers (25-40) are fighting for their playoff lives right now. They trail the Atlanta Hawks by four games for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, and also have to worry about betting by Detroit and New York. Every game is a must-win for them right now.
They have handled the pressure nicely every since trading for both Luol Deng and Spencer Hawes, which has made them a much stronger team. They just went on the road and beat Phoenix 110-101 as an 8-point underdog on Wednesday. This will be just their 2nd game in 6 days, so they will be well-rested and read to go tonight.
Meanwhile, this will be Golden State's 3rd game in 4 days, and its 7th game in 11 days. This is a tired team right now. Making matters worse is that it will be without one of its best players in Klay Thompson, who will miss this game to travel to the Bahamas for the funeral of his grandmother.
Thompson has averaged 18.8 points and gone 14 of 29 from 3-point range in four career games against Cleveland. The Cavaliers will be out for revenge from their 104-108 (OT) loss to the Warriors in their first meeting of the season on December 29. They let a 17-point lead slip away in that contest, and they clearly weren't as strong of a team then as they are now.
The Cavaliers are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games following a win. Cleveland is 6-1 ATS in its last seven Friday games. The Cavaliers are 6-2 ATS in their last eight road games. The Warriors are 1-4 ATS in their last five when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game. Roll with Cleveland Friday.
|03-14-14||Los Angeles Clippers v. Utah Jazz +9.5||Top||96-87||Win||100||9 h 6 m||Show|
20* NBA Western Conference GAME OF THE MONTH on Utah Jazz +9.5
The Utah Jazz are showing tremendous value as a massive home underdog to the Los Angeles Clippers tonight. Asking the Clippers to win by double-digits in Salt Lake City is simply asking too much.
Despite being down this season, the Jazz are still a very tough out at home. Just ask the Clippers, who have won their last three visits to Utah by a combined 5 points with finals of 116-114, 105-104 and 107-105. The Jazz will be out for revenge after losing their first two meetings this season in Los Angeles.
The Clippers come into this game way overvalued due to their current 9-game winning streak. Five of those victories have come by single-digits, and if the Clippers were to win tonight, it will be by single-digits, too. They are without their top bench player in Jamal Crawford (18.7 ppg), who is their second-leading scorer. He is doubtful to play tonight after missing the past two games with a calf injury.
The Jazz are an impressive 6-1 ATS in their last seven games vs. a team with a winning percentage above .600. Utah is 5-1 ATS in its last six home games vs. a team with a winning road record. The home team is 23-8 ATS in the last 31 meetings in this series. The Clippers are 4-17 ATS in their last 21 visits to Salt Lake City. Bet the Jazz Friday.
|03-14-14||Memphis Grizzlies +1 v. Toronto Raptors||86-99||Loss||-107||7 h 14 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Memphis Grizzlies +1
The Memphis Grizzlies (38-26) are playing as well as anyone in the NBA right now. They have won 11 of their last 14 games overall to move into the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference. However, they cannot relax as they lead the No. 9 Phoenix Suns by just two games.
The Grizzlies certainly will not relax tonight as they look to avenge an 87-103 home loss to the Raptors in their first meeting of the season on November 13. That was back when this team was not healthy and playing poorly. They have overcome injuries to Marc Gasol, Mike Conley and Tony Allen and are now back to full strength, which is the biggest reason for their excellent play.
Toronto has been undervalued all season and is much better than it has gotten credit for. However, the betting public has caught up to the Raptors finally, and they are no longer overvalued. In fact, they are actually favored in this game tonight to prove it. They have no business being favored against a better team in the Grizzlies, which made it to the Western Conference Finals last year.
Memphis is 11-3-1 ATS in its last 15 games vs. a team with a winning record. The Grizzlies are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five Friday games. Memphis is 17-8-1 ATS in its last 26 meetings with Toronto, including 9-4 ATS in its last 13 road meetings. Take the Grizzlies Friday.
|03-14-14||Iowa State +4 v. Kansas||Top||94-83||Win||100||21 h 0 m||Show|
25* Big 12 Tournament GAME OF THE YEAR on Iowa State +4
The Iowa State Cyclones want serious payback from losing the first two meetings with Kansas this season. This team is well aware of its struggles with Kansas over the past couple seasons, losing each of the last five meetings, including all three last year.
However, a closer look shows that they were competitive in every game but one. They lost two meetings with Kansas last year in overtime. This year, they fell by seven points at home (70-77) and 11 points on the road (81-92). That trip to Lawrence was much closer than the final score would indicate as the Jayhawks pulled away late.
What has given the Cyclones trouble against Kansas is the size and strength of their interior big men, namely Joel Embiid. Embiid had 16 points, nine rebounds and five blocks in their first meeting this season. He came back with 14 points and 11 boards in the second. In the two meetings combined, the 7-footer posted 30 points, 20 boards and six blocks while shooting 70.6 percent from the field.
Now, Embiid is out for the conference tournament as he deals with a back injury. The Cyclones match up with the Jayhawks much better without Embiid on the floor, so much so that I believe they are the better team now and will win outright. I'll just take the points for some insurance.
Another factor that cannot be overlooked here is that Kansas played an overtime game yesterday against Oklahoma State. That will take more out of them, especially now that they are short-handed without Embiid. The Jayhawks also played a couple hours after the Cyclones did yesterday, which is another slight advantage for ISU as it got a chance to watch Kansas after it beat Kansas State in the early game.
The Jayhawks are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a S.U. win. Kansas is 2-5 ATS in its last seven games vs. a team with a winning record. The Jayhawks are 0-4 ATS in their last four games following an ATS win. The Cyclones are 5-2 ATS in their last seven neutral site games. The Cyclones are 71-46 ATS versus teams that outscore their opponents by 8-plus points per game after 15-plus games since 1997. Bet Iowa State Friday.
|03-14-14||Seton Hall v. Providence -2.5||74-80||Win||100||10 h 36 m||Show|
15* Big East Tournament PLAY OF THE DAY on Providence -2.5
The Providence Friars came up big in a must-win situation yesterday in terms of making the NCAA Tournament. They beat St. John's, and now they move on to face Seton Hall. They are currently the last team listed on Joe Lunardi's 'Last Four In' line, so they cannot afford to lose this game if they want to make the big dance, either.
One big advantage that the Friars have over the Pirates is that they'll be well-rested in comparison. Indeed, this will be the third game in three days for Seton Hall, while this will be just the second game in two days for Providence. The Pirates had to play the first round on Wednesday, while the Friars had a buy into the second round.
Seton Hall is getting a lot of respect from oddsmakers here, but it shouldn't be. It has won back-to-back 1-point games over Butler and Villanova. It is getting the respect due to that Villanova win, but as I've said all season, the Wildcats are not nearly as good as their record would indicate. They are extremely vulnerable as we look ahead to the NCAA Tournament as well.
I really like the veteran leadership on this Providence team, which has helped guide it to four wins in its last five games overall to put itself in position to make the NCAA Tournament. The lone loss came at Creighton on Senior Night for the Bluejays. Senior guard Bryce Cotton (21.4 ppg, 5.8 apg) is one of the best players in the country that nobody knows about. LaDontae Henton (13.7 ppg, 7.4 rpg), Kadeem Batts (12.7 ppg, 7.8 rpg) and Tyler Harris (11.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg) compliment Cotton well. Take Providence Friday.
|03-14-14||Houston +19 v. Louisville||65-94||Loss||-110||10 h 36 m||Show|
15* AAC Tournament PLAY OF THE DAY on Houston +19
The Louisville Cardinals are getting way too much respect from oddsmakers and the betting public heading into this showdown with Houston. Their 92-31 beat down of Rutgers was impressive, but it has also created expectations for the Cardinals in terms of the point spread that they cannot live up to.
While the Cardinals are getting a lot of love for that win, the Cougars aren't getting enough for their 68-64 triumph over SMU as an 8.5-point underdog. I was on them as my 25* AAC GAME OF THE YEAR and stated that they are the biggest sleeper in this conference tournament. They are fully capable of giving Louisville a run for its money, too.
Houston has won five of its last six games overall, and it is 7-1-1 ATS in its last nine games. It boasts two of the best players in the conference tournament in TaShawn Thomas (15.5 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.7 bpg) and Danuel House (13.7 ppg, 5.0 rpg). Jherrod Stiggers (11.2 ppg) and L.J. Rose (9.0 ppg, 5.5 apg) are excellent as well. Each came up huge against SMU as Stiggers led the team with 19 points, while Rose was second with 16 points, 6 boards and 4 assists.
Sure, it's concerning that the Cougars were blown out 52-91 at Louisville in their first meeting of the season. However, they played the Cardinals much tougher in their second meeting, falling 62-77 as a 15-point home underdog. Playing them for a third time, they now know what to expect from their pressure defense. I believe this trend will continue and that the third and final meeting will be decided by less than 15 points, let alone 19.
Plays against favorites of 10 or more points (LOUISVILLE) - hot team - having won 8 or more of their last 10 games, in any tournament semi-final game are 28-7 (80%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Cougars are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games following a win. Roll with Houston Friday.
|03-13-14||Los Angeles Lakers v. Oklahoma City Thunder -16.5||Top||102-131||Win||100||11 h 47 m||Show|
20* Lakers/Thunder TNT Late-Night BAILOUT on Oklahoma City -16.5
The Oklahoma City Thunder will want revenge from one of their worst losses of the season, a 110-114 road loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on March 9 just five days ago. I look for them to get payback in blowout fashion and to cover even this lofty spread with ease.
The Thunder blew an 18-point lead in that game as Jodie Meeks went off for 42 points to lead the comeback for the Lakers. Unfortunately for L.A., there will be no comeback this time once the Thunder get up big because they will remember that blown lead, and thus they'll keep the foot on the gas for four quarters.
Oklahoma City cannot afford letdowns this time of year as it trails San Antonio by just one game for the No. 1 seed in the West. It's safe to say that the Lakers have the Thunder's full attention tonight not only because of the revenge, but also because of their standing in the West.
The Lakers have dropped seven straight meetings in Oklahoma City by an average of 15.7 points, including a 97-122 loss in their lone visit this season on December 13. Los Angeles has given up an average of 129.5 points per game in its last four games overall as its defense has been non-existent. OKC has scored 114.1 points per game in its last eight games and will score at will tonight.
Los Angeles is 13-27 ATS versus very good teams that outscored their opponents by 6-plus points per game over the last three seasons. The Lakers are 8-22 ATS in their last 30 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600. Oklahoma City is 74-43 ATS after having lost two of its last three games since 1996. The home team is 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings in this series. OKC is 3-0-1 ATS in its last four home games. Bet the Thunder Thursday.
|03-13-14||Utah +7.5 v. Arizona||39-71||Loss||-105||6 h 59 m||Show|
15* Pac-12 Tournament PLAY OF THE DAY on Utah +7.5
This Utah team really deserves a shot at the NCAA Tournament, but for now, they are on the outside looking in. They
|03-13-14||Purdue +9 v. Ohio State||61-63||Win||100||5 h 29 m||Show|
15* Big Ten Tournament PLAY OF THE DAY on Purdue +9
The Purdue Boilermakers were one of the most improved teams in the country this season with four starters back from last year. While it didn't always show up in the win/loss column, I saw enough from this team in the second half of the season to know that they are capable of beating anyone in the Big Ten Tournament.
The Boilermakers simply had bad fortune in close games this season. They lost road games at Wisconsin (76-70) by six and at Iowa (76-83) by seven, while also falling at home to Michigan (76-77) in overtime in three of their final four games of the regular season. Those three games right there all show what this team is capable of because it had a chance to win every one.
Purdue is going to be out for revenge on Ohio State after dropping both regular season meetings. It lost 69-78 at home and 49-67 on the road. Sure, that is concerning, but to beat a pesky team like Purdue by 9-plus points three times in one season is asking a lot. Plus, the Boilermakers will have a bit of a home-court advantage as this game will be played in Indianapolis.
Plays against neutral court teams (OHIO ST) - after going under the total by 42 or more points total in their last seven games, with a winning record on the season playing a losing team are 51-15 (77.3%) ATS since 1997. The Boilermakers are 30-16 ATS in their last 46 games following an ATS loss. The Buckeyes are 0-4 ATS in their last four neutral site games. Take Purdue Thursday.
|03-13-14||Houston +8.5 v. SMU||Top||68-64||Win||100||4 h 59 m||Show|
25* AAC Tournament GAME OF THE YEAR on Houston +8.5
The Houston Cougars represent my strongest play for the entire 2014 AAC Tournament Thursday when they take on the SMU Mustangs. While they aren't one of the five ranked teams in the AAC, they are certainly the sleeper in this conference tournament.
Houston closed the season very strong by winning four of its final five games, which included a 77-68 victory over Memphis. This team also went on a 6-1-1 ATS run to close out the year, time and time again being undervalued. The Cougars have two of the best players in the tournament in TaShawn Thomas (15.5 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 2.7 bpg) and Danuel House (13.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg).
SMU showed that perhaps it was a fraud all this time at the end of the season. It lost at home to Louisville 71-84 before going on the road and falling to Memphis by a final of 58-67. This team has no business being this heavily favored on a neutral floor against a quality Houston team.
That's especially the case when you consider how closely-contested the regular season series won. SMU won both meetings, but by just 7 points on the road (75-68) and 4 points at home (68-64). You can bet that the Cougars are going to want revenge in the third and final meeting, which is the most important one with their season at stake.
The Cougars are 6-1-1 ATS in their last eight conference games. The Mustangs are 5-21-1 ATS in their last 27 neutral site games. Houston is 4-1 ATS in its last five meetings with SMU. The Cougars are 7-1 ATS after covering two of their last three against the spread this season. Bet Houston Thursday.
|03-12-14||Memphis Grizzlies v. New Orleans Pelicans UNDER 191||90-88||Win||100||10 h 55 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday Total DOMINATOR on Grizzlies/Pelicans UNDER 191
The books have set the bar too high tonight in this contest between the Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans. Both teams have played in some high-scoring games of late against soft defensive teams, which has inflated the number. It's time to take advantage.
New Orleans has combined with its last three opponents for 216-plus points in each game. Those three opponents: the Lakers, Bucks and Nuggets. They'll be up against one of the best defensive teams in the league tonight in Memphis, which has combined for 200-plus points in its last two games, including a 109-99 victory over high-scoring Portland last night.
These teams are very familiar with one another as this will be their 4th and final meeting of the season. They have combined for 187, 202 and 183 points in the three meetings. Dating back further, the Grizzlies and Pelicans have combined for 187 or fewer points in six of their last seven meetings. They have combined for an average of 183.6 points per game in their last seven meetings, which is nearly 8 points less than tonight's posted total.
Memphis is 8-1 to the UNDER in road games versus teams that forced 14 or fewer turnovers this season. The UNDER is 10-3 in Pelicans last 13 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game. The UNDER is 5-1 in the last six meetings. The UNDER is 4-0 in Grizzlies last four vs. a team with a losing record. Take the UNDER in this game Wednesday.
|03-12-14||Sacramento Kings v. Philadelphia 76ers +8.5||Top||115-98||Loss||-100||9 h 56 m||Show|
20* NBA Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Philadelphia 76ers +8.5
There aren't many bettors out there who are willing to throw down big money on the Philadelphia 76ers at this point. That's why their lines will be inflated going forward, and there will be plenty of value with this team. That is certainly the case tonight as a 9-point home dog to the Sacramento Kings.
Sure, it is concerning that the 76ers are riding a 20-game losing streak, but contrary to popular belief, they have not quit. You have to consider that these players are playing for jobs going forward, so they aren't going to pack it in. Also, they hung with the Knicks for three quarters before eventually losing 110-123 on the road last time out, so they have not packed it in.
Sacramento (22-42) has no business being this heavily favored against anyone, especially on the road. The Kings have dropped three straight road games all by double-digits to Toronto (87-99), Brooklyn (89-104) and Detroit (89-99) to fall to 9-23 away from home this year. If either one of these two teams have quit, it's the Kings.
This is a tough spot for Sacramento as well as this will be the second of a back-to-back and their 8th game in 13 days. This is a tired team right now, while the 76ers come in on one days' rest. Also, this will be just the 3rd game in 7 days for Philadelphia, so it is well-rested and ready to go.
This has been a one-sided series to say the least. Indeed, Philadelphia is 10-1 SU & 10-1 ATS in its last 11 meetings with Sacramento. It has won each of the last three meetings by 9-plus points each, including a 113-104 road victory as a 9-point underdog on January 2 in their first meeting this season.
Plays against any team (SACRAMENTO) - revenging a loss where opponent scored 110 or more points against opponent off a loss against a division rival are 84-38 (68.9%) ATS over the last five seasons. Bet the 76ers Wednesday.
|03-12-14||Fordham v. George Mason -5||Top||70-67||Loss||-106||11 h 6 m||Show|
20* Atlantic 10 GAME OF THE WEEK on George Mason -5
The George Mason Patriots are the best team in the country that currently has 11 wins or less on the season. This is a team that returned all five starters from last year, but the luck just hasn't fallen their way in close games. As a result, their record is 11-19 when it could easily be 19-11.
Indeed, a whopping 12 of their 19 losses came by 8 points or fewer, and 11 of those came by 6 points or less. As you can see, this team has simply fallen short in the close games. I like the fight I'll saw from them to close out hte season as they went 5-2 ATS over their last seven games, which included outright road wins at UMass (91-80) as an 11-point dog, and at La Salle (59-57) as a 6-point dog.
Fordham (9-20, 2-14) did pick up one of its two conference wins this season at home against George Mason, but that simply places the Patriots in revenge mode. Unlike the Patriots, the Rams are every bit as bad as their record would indicate. They lost eight straight games to close out the season, including six of those by double-digits. They don't even want to be still playing as they packed it in a long time ago.
The Patriots boast two of the best players in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. Sherrod Wright (15.8 ppg) and Bryon Allen (15.2 ppg) can both fill it up when they need to. These two are fully capable of carrying this team deep into the tournament as a sleeper.
Fordham is 0-7 ATS in road games versus poor pressure defensive teams that force 14 or fewer turnovers this season. George Mason is 6-0 ATS off a home loss against a conference opponent this season. The Patriots are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a S.U. loss. These three trends combine for a perfect 17-0 system backing the Patriots. Bet George Mason Wednesday.
|03-12-14||Virginia Tech v. Miami (Fla) -6||53-57||Loss||-110||8 h 42 m||Show|
15* ACC Early Afternoon ANNIHILATOR on Miami -6
We are getting the Miami Hurricanes (16-15, 7-11) at a bargain price in their 2014 ACC Tournament opener. They get to take on the Virginia Tech Hokies (9-21, 2-16), and I look for this one to result in a blowout victory in their favor.
Sure, they did hand the Hokies both of their conference victories this season with a 1-point home loss and a 7-point road loss. However, the fact that they lost both meetings has kept this line lower than it should be, and there's no question the 'Canes are going to want revenge while keeping their season alive in the rematch.
Miami has shown me enough to know that it is a sleeper in this ACC Tournament. It won four of its final six games to close out the season, so it is playing well coming in. It has gone on the road and knocked off the likes of UNC (63-57), Georgia Tech (56-42), Florida State (77-73) and NC State (85-70) in ACC play this season, playing its best basketball away from home.
Virginia Tech is 0-6 ATS in road games after having lost 15 or more of its last 20 games over the past two seasons. Miami is 11-1 ATS off a home win by 10 points or more over the last two seasons. The Hurricanes are 34-16-1 ATS in their last 51 games vs. a team with a losing S.U. record. Take Miami Wednesday.
|03-12-14||Washington v. Utah -5.5||61-67||Win||100||7 h 7 m||Show|
15* Pac-12 PLAY OF THE DAY on Utah -5.5
This Utah team really deserves a shot at the NCAA Tournament, but for now, they are on the outside looking in. They
|03-11-14||Dallas Mavericks v. Golden State Warriors UNDER 210||85-108||Win||100||11 h 27 m||Show|
15* Mavericks/Warriors NBA Late-Night BAILOUT on UNDER 210
The books have set the bar too high tonight in this contest between the Dallas Mavericks and Golden State Warriors. I'll take advantage and back the UNDER in what I foresee to be a low-scoring battle come game's end.
These teams tend to bring out the worst in one another offensively because they match up well with one another defensively. Indeed, the Mavs and Warriors have combined to score 207 or fewer points in each of their last six meetings with the UNDER going 5-1 during that stretch.
Their two meetings this season have been very low-scoring. The Warriors won 95-93 at home for 188 combined points on December 11, while the Mavericks were victorious 103-99 at home on November 27 for 202 combined points. Not counting overtime, the last six meetings have averaged a combined 195.3 points per game, which is roughly 15 points lower than tonight's posted total of 210.
Many don't realize this, but the Warriors actually rank 3rd in the league in defensive efficiency this season, trailing only the Pacers and Bulls. The UNDER is 4-0 in Mavericks last four vs. a team with a winning record. The UNDER is 8-2-1 in Warriors last 11 games overall. The UNDER is 20-6 in Warriors last 26 vs. NBA Southeast Division opponents. The UNDER is 25-9 in Warriors last 34 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game. Take the UNDER in this game Tuesday.
|03-11-14||BYU v. Gonzaga -4||64-75||Win||100||10 h 4 m||Show|
15* BYU/Gonzaga WCC Championship No-Brainer on Gonzaga -4
I look for the Gonzaga Bulldogs to take down the WCC Conference Tournament Championship tonight with a lopsided victory over the BYU Cougars. The Bulldogs have won six of the past eight WCC titles and they'll add another one to their r
|03-11-14||San Antonio Spurs -5 v. Chicago Bulls||Top||104-96||Win||100||9 h 55 m||Show|
20* NBA Tuesday No-Doubt Rout on San Antonio Spurs -5
The Chicago Bulls are in a massive letdown spot tonight. They are coming off their biggest win of the season in a 95-88 home victory in overtime against the defending champion Miami Heat on Sunday. It's only human nature to have a letdown off such a huge victory.
Plus, the Bulls can say they already beat the Spurs 96-86 on the road in their first meeting of the season. Meanwhile, San Antonio will be out for revenge from that defeat. That that it is healthy, it has been playing some of its best basketball of the season.
Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard, and Danny Green have all returned from injuries as the Spurs are back to full strength. It has really paid off as they have won six straight coming into this one with five of those victories coming by 9-plus points. That includes a 111-87 home victory over Miami on March 6. They have had two days' rest since last beating the Magic on Saturday, so they're well-rested and ready to go.
San Antonio is 15-3 ATS in road games versus poor foul drawing teams that attempt 24 or fewer free throws per game this season. The Spurs are 32-12 ATS after scoring 105-plus points in two straight games over the last three seasons. San Antonio is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 trips to Chicago. Bet the Spurs Tuesday.
|03-10-14||Phoenix Suns +10.5 v. Los Angeles Clippers||105-112||Win||100||11 h 18 m||Show|
15* Suns/Clippers NBA Late-Night BAILOUT on Phoenix +10.5
The Los Angeles Clippers should not be a double-digit favorite over the Phoenix Suns tonight. Los Angeles is simply being overvalued right now due to its 7-game winning streak, and that started to show last time out as it only won 109-108 at home over Atlanta as a 15-point favorite.
Phoenix (36-26) is tied with Memphis for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, so it has a lot to play for right now. Sure, this will be a second of a back-to-back for the Suns after falling 107-113 at Golden State as a 9.5-point underdog Sunday, but fatigue should not be a factor.
That's because the Suns had two days off prior to Sunday after last beating the Thunder on Thursday, March 6. Also, Phoenix will be motivated to avenge a 96-104 home loss to the Clippers less than a week ago on Tuesday, March 4. The Suns won their first visit this season to the Clippers by a final of 107-88 as an 8-point underdog on December 30.
There is a chance that Eric Bledsoe returns tonight as he has been cleared to play, but he'll likely return Wednesday. Also on the injury front, the Clippers are expected to be without second-leading scorer Jamal Crawford (18.7 ppg), and they simply aren't nearly as good of a team without him.
Plays on underdogs of 10 or more points (PHOENIX) - revenging a loss where opponent scored 100 or more points against opponent off a home no-cover where the team won straight up as a favorite are 39-12 (76.5%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Suns are 20-8 ATS in all road games this season. Take Phoenix Monday.
|03-10-14||Bowling Green v. Northern Illinois -3||51-54||Push||0||9 h 18 m||Show|
15* CBB Monday PLAY OF THE DAY on Northern Illinois -3
The Northern Illinois Huskies (14-16) get the call as a small home favorite over the Bowling Green Falcons (12-19) in the first round of the MAC Tournament. This is an absolute gift from oddsmakers, and we'll take advantage.
Northern Illinois has been undervalued for quite some time now, and that has continued here tonight. Indeed, the Huskies are 10-0-2 ATS in their last 12 games overall. That includes outright wins over Kent State as an 11-point dog, Miami Ohio as a 3-point dog, Eastern Michigan as a 4-point dog, Toledo as a 5.5-point dog and Ball State as a 2.5-point dog.
Bowling Green is not playing well coming into the MAC Tournament. It has gone 0-3 SU & 0-3 ATS in its last three games overall with blowout losses to Akron (47-57), Ohio (61-72) and Buffalo (65-88). It has lost eight of its last 10 overall and I don't foresee it magically turning things around tonight. The Huskies already beat the Falcons 45-36 on the road as an 8.5-point dog back on January 12 in their first meeting of the season.
The Falcons are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a losing S.U. record. Bowling Green is 0-4 ATS in its last four road games. Northern Illinois is 10-0-2 ATS in its last 12 games overall. The Huskies are 5-0-1 ATS in their last six home games. These four trends combine for a perfect 24-0 system backing the home team. Roll with Northern Illinois Monday.
|03-10-14||Philadelphia 76ers +16 v. New York Knicks||Top||110-123||Win||100||9 h 53 m||Show|
25* NBA Atlantic Division GAME OF THE YEAR on Philadelphia 76ers +16
The Philadelphia 76ers represent my strongest play in the Atlantic Division for the entire 2013-14 season Monday. This line has clearly been inflated to the point where there is a ton of value with the road underdog because the betting public wants nothing to do with the 76ers right now.
Indeed, the 76ers come in riding an NBA-high 16-game losing streak. I don't believe they have quit at all, it's just that it has taken time to get used to playing with some new players after trading away a couple starters. This team should start gelling soon because this will be just their 2nd game in 6 days, so they have had plenty of practice time to get used to playing together over the past week.
New York (24-40) should not be this heavily favored against anyone. It is overvalued right now due to going 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS in its last three games overall. However, those three games came against teams that would not be in the playoffs if the season ended today. This team has played poorly all season, and they should not be getting this respect because of a brief run of solid play against soft competition.
Plays on road teams (PHILADELPHIA) - a good offensive team (98-102 PPG) against a poor defensive team (98-102 PPG), after allowing 100 points or more 2 straight games are 87-33 (72.5%) ATS over the last five seasons. The road team has won both meetings this season, and the road team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings overall. The Knicks are 1-7 ATS in their last eight vs. Eastern Conference foes. Bet the 76ers Monday.
|03-09-14||Indiana Pacers v. Dallas Mavericks UNDER 196.5||94-105||Loss||-102||10 h 18 m||Show|
15* NBA Sunday Total DOMINATOR on Pacers/Mavericks UNDER 196.5
Both the Dallas Mavericks and Indiana Pacers will be playing with a lot of intensity tonight. I believe that will favor the defense in this one as both teams put their best effort of the season into the defensive end of the floor.
Indiana is a pissed off team right now having lost a season-high three straight games. It has given up 112 and 109 points in its last two games, respectively, so it will be blaming the poor play on defense. As a result, it will get after it defensively. The Mavs have lost three of four while allowing 100-plus points in three of the losses, so their message will be defense heading into this one.
These teams played in the ultimate defensive battle the first time they got together this season. Dallas beat Indiana 81-73 on the road on February 12 for 154 combined points. While I do expect more points in this one, I don't foresee them sniffing 196 combined points. Each of the past four meetings have seen 186 or fewer combined points with the UNDER going 4-0.
The UNDER is 5-1 in Pacers last six vs. a team with a winning record. The UNDER is 4-0 in Pacers last four Sunday games. The UNDER is 4-1 in Mavericks last five home games. Bet the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|03-09-14||Wisconsin v. Nebraska +3||Top||68-77||Win||100||9 h 13 m||Show|
20* Big Ten GAME OF THE WEEK on Nebraska +3
The Nebraska Cornhuskers (18-11) are squarely on the bubble in terms of making the NCAA Tournament. They could really use a win Sunday over Wisconsin (25-5) to get on the right side of the bubble, and they'll be highly motivated in their regular season finale as a result.
Nebraska is playing as well as anyone in the Big Ten right now. It has won seven of its past eight games overall heading into this showdown with the Badgers, who really don't have a ton to play for in this one.
The Huskers are 14-1 at home this season, outscoring opponents by 11.4 points per game. Quietly, they have had one of the best home-court advantages in the country. This place will be rocking Sunday with what's at stake.
Nebraska is 8-0 ATS in home games against a team with a winning record this season. The Huskers are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Nebraska is 12-3 ATS in its last 15 vs. Big Ten opponents. The Badgers are 1-6 ATS in their last seven Sunday games. Bet Nebraska Sunday.
|03-09-14||Oklahoma City Thunder v. Los Angeles Lakers UNDER 230.5||110-114||Win||100||5 h 18 m||Show|
15* Thunder/Lakers ABC Sunday No-Brainer on UNDER 230.5
The value in this game between the Lakers and Thunder is clearly with the UNDER. While both teams can score, the fact of the matter is that this number has been set too high, and you would be foolish to back the over on totals this high with any consistency.
The reason for the inflation here is that both teams have played in ridiculously high-scoring games of late. The Lakers and their opponents have combined for 236-plus points in three straight, while the Thunder are coming off a 250-point effort against the Suns. Both teams have created expectations for themselves that they cannot live up to in terms of point-scoring.
These teams have played twice this season with combined scores of 210 and 219 points, which are high, but not nearly as high as this total set tonight. Those totals were set at 204.5 and 210.5, respectively. That just goes to show you really how much value is with the UNDER in this one based on the total sets alone.
The Lakers and Thunder have not combined for more than 226 points in any of their last 30 meetings. You have to go all the way back to 2008 to find the last time that they combined for more, which was when the Thunder were the Supersonics in a 105-130 loss to the Lakers. That makes for a perfect 30-0 system backing the UNDER. Roll with the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|03-09-14||Miami Heat v. Chicago Bulls UNDER 188||Top||88-95||Win||100||3 h 43 m||Show|
20* Heat/Bulls ABC Early ANNIHILATOR on UNDER 188
The books have set the bar too high in this contest between the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls Sunday. I look for a low-scoring, defensive battle, which is usually the case when these teams get together.
That was certainly the case the last time these teams met up on February 23. Miami beat Chicago 93-79 at home for 172 combined points. I look for a similar final combined score in this one this afternoon as both teams get after it defensively.
Both teams have been playing at a snails' pace this season. Chicago ranks 29th in pace at 93.0 possessions per game, while Miami surprisingly ranks 23rd in pace at 94.4 possessions per game. Chicago also ranks 2nd in defensive efficiency, allowing just 97.9 points per 100 possessions.
Plays on the UNDER on road teams where the total is between 180 and 189.5 points (MIAMI) - a good team (+3 to +7 PPG differential) against an average team (+/- 3 PPG differential), after allowing 110 points or more are 24-4 (85.7%) since 1996. Chicago is 14-4 to the UNDER in a home game where the total is between 180 and 189.5 points this season. Take the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|03-08-14||New York Knicks v. Cleveland Cavaliers UNDER 199||107-97||Loss||-110||22 h 56 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday Total ANNIHILATOR on Knicks/Cavaliers UNDER 199
The New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers are each trying to stay alive for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Each has a long way to go, but they are both still fighting. That's why the intensity level will be high in this game, which favors a defensive battle.
Both teams will also be tired as this is the second of a back-to-back for each. I look for the jump shots to come up short tonight, and for both offenses to struggle. There's no question that fatigue favors defense as well as neither team will be looking to push the ball much in this one.
Cleveland traded for Luol Deng before the deadline. That is huge for the UNDER here considering he will be matched up against Carmelo Anthony. The key to stopping the Knicks' offense is stopping Anthony, and Deng has been one of the most underrated defenders in the league in his career.
The Cavaliers are 11-2 to the UNDER as a home favorite of 6 points or less this season. Cleveland is 12-3 to the UNDER in a home games where the total is between 190 and 199.5 points this season. The UNDER is 13-3 in Cavaliers last 16 home games overall. The UNDER is 4-1 in the last five meetings between these teams in Cleveland. Take the UNDER in this game Saturday.
|03-08-14||Oklahoma State v. Iowa State -3||Top||81-85||Win||100||19 h 32 m||Show|
20* Big 12 GAME OF THE MONTH on Iowa State -3
The Iowa State Cyclones (22-7) will roll on Senior Day against Oklahoma State (20-10). The Cyclones are not only hungry for Senior Day, but they're also looking to bounce back from two straight road loss against tough competition in Kansas State and Baylor.
I like their chances considering they have one of the best home-court advantages in the country. Indeed, Iowa State has only lost TWO games over the past TWO seasons combined. Both of those losses came to Kansas, which wins the Big 12 every year, so that's no surprise. The Cyclones are 14-1 at home this season, outscoring opponents by 17.6 points per game.
Oklahoma State is getting a lot of love from oddsmakers right now due to its 4-game winning streak. However, three of those wins came at home, while the lone road win came against TCU, which is winless in Big 12 play. The Cowboys have lost six of their other seven road games against Big 12 opponents with their only win coming by a single point at lowly West Virginia.
Iowa State is 24-4 ATS in its last 28 home games as a favorite of 3 points or less or pick. The Cyclones are 13-2 ATS in their last 15 March home games. The Cowboys are 1-8 ATS as a road underdog of 6 points or less or pick over the last three seasons. The home team is 10-2 SU in the last 12 meetings in this series. The Cowboys are 2-9-1 ATS in their last 12 road games. Bet Iowa State Saturday.
|03-08-14||Georgetown +10 v. Villanova||Top||59-77||Loss||-110||16 h 23 m||Show|
20* Big East GAME OF THE MONTH on Georgetown +10
The Georgetown Hoyas (17-12) are squarely on the bubble in terms of making the NCAA Tournament. A win over Villanova (27-3) would likely put them on the good side of the bubble heading into the Big East Tournament. As a result, they won't be lacking any motivation today.
Georgetown put itself in this position by winning two of its last three games over Xavier (74-52) and Creighton (75-63). Its only loss came at Marquette (73-75) as a 4-point dog during this stretch. Those three efforts really show what this team is capable of, and it's clear that the Hoyas have saved their best for last.
After wrapping up the Big East title with a 77-70 win at Xavier on Thursday, the Wildcats are in a massive letdown spot here. Plus, they will only be playing on one days' rest, while the Hoyas will be playing on three days' rest having last played on Tuesday. That is a huge advantage for the road team here.
Adding fuel to the fire for the Hoyas is the need to revenge a 60-65 home loss to the Wildcats in their first meeting of the season on January 27. That was back when they were not playing very well at all, but this team has really turned it on here toward the end of the season when games matter most.
Georgetown is 10-1 ATS when revenging a loss over the last two seasons. It is coming back to win 66.9 to 60.5 in this spot, or by an average of 6.4 points per game. Villanova is just 3-12 ATS when playing its 2nd game in 3 days over the last three seasons. The Hoyas are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games overall. Bet Georgetown Saturday.
|03-08-14||Connecticut +9.5 v. Louisville||48-81||Loss||-110||16 h 31 m||Show|
15* UConn/Louisville CBS Saturday No-Brainer Connecticut +9.5
The Connecticut Huskies (24-6) will want revenge from one of their worst losses of the season. They fell 65-76 at home to the Louisville Cardinals on January 18, and I look for them to try and return the favor in this one. They shot just 35.2% from the field in the loss.
Louisville comes in overvalued off its big win at SMU on Wednesday. Russ Smith simply could not miss, connecting all six of his 3-point attempts in the second half to help the Cardinals pull away for an 84-71 victory. He is a streaky shooter, and there's zero chance he shoots as well as he did last time out.
UConn has been playing very well over the past month and a half. It has gone 10-2 SU & 8-4 ATS in its last 12 games overall since that loss to Louisville. It has beaten Memphis and Cincinnati during this stretch, and its two losses came by 5 and 9 points.
The Huskies are 6-0 ATS in road games versus good teams that outscore their opponents by 4-plus points per game after 15-plus games over the last two seasons. Louisville is 0-7 ATS as a home favorite of 6.5 to 9.5 points over the last three seasons. The Huskies are 4-0 ATS in their last four road games vs. a team with a winning home record. These three trends combine for a 17-0 system backing the road dog. Roll with Connecticut Saturday.
|03-08-14||Baylor v. Kansas State -3.5||76-74||Loss||-106||16 h 8 m||Show|
15* CBB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Kansas State -3.5
The Kansas State Wildcats have had one of the best home-court advantages in the entire country. Getting them as only a small home favorite over the Baylor Bears is an absolute gift from oddsmakers Saturday. Let's take advantage.
Indeed, Kansas State is a sensational 15-1 at home this season. It is outscoring opponents by an average of 11.3 points per game at home this year. It is a perfect 8-0 at home in Big 12 play with wins over the likes of Kansas, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Texas and Iowa State, which are all likely NCAA Tournament teams.
Baylor is getting a lot of love from oddsmakers due to winning six of its last seven. But that has come against a very soft schedule with the only two road wins coming against TCU and West Virginia, which are arguably the two worst teams in the Big 12. The Bears did beat Kansas State in double-overtime at home, but that now places the Wildcats in revenge mode, which only adds to their motivation.
Kansas State is 9-0 ATS in home games versus good teams that outscore their opponents by 4-plus points per game this season. The Wildcats are 6-0 ATS as a home favorite of 6 points or less this season, and 6-0 ATS in home games revenging a road loss over the past two seasons. These three trends combine for a perfect 21-0 system backing the Wildcats. Take Kansas State Saturday.
|03-07-14||Utah Jazz +7 v. New York Knicks||81-108||Loss||-105||9 h 58 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday Undervalued Underdog on Utah Jazz +7
The New York Knicks (22-40) are getting too much respect from the books tonight. The fact of the matter is that this team is all but done for, and even a 118-106 win at Minnesota last time out does not change that. The Knicks know it, and so do I.
New York had lost seven straight and 13 of 15 prior to that win over the Timberwolves. It had been beaten by double-digits in four straight games before the win, too. Basically, this line has been inflated due to that win, and it should not have been because it didn't matter.
Utah has lost four straight games coming in, all of which have come on the road. This has also created some extra line value here as the betting public wants nothing to do with the Jazz after this stretch of basketball. I like the young players on this Jazz team, and they are not going to pack it in this early in the season as guys are playing for jobs.
Plays against any team (NEW YORK) - off a road win by 10 points or more, a bad team (25% to 40%) playing a team with a losing record are 32-16 (66.7%) ATS over the last five seasons. Utah is a perfect 7-0 ATS in road games after having lost four of its last five games this season. The Knicks are 12-20 SU & 11-21 ATS at home this season. Take the Jazz Friday.
|03-07-14||Portland Trail Blazers v. Dallas Mavericks -2||98-103||Win||100||9 h 58 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday No-Doubt Rout on Dallas Mavericks -2
The Dallas Mavericks will be highly motivated for a victory tonight when they host the Portland Trail Blazers. They have lost three straight games coming in and need to put an end to this skid in a hurry.
Dallas (36-26) only leads Memphis (34-26) by one game for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Losses at this point are very costly, especially three in a row. You can bet that the Mavericks will be putting their best foot forward tonight because of it.
The Mavericks have won three of their last four meetings with the Blazers. They are also 29-12 straight up in their last 41 home meetings with Portland. Rarely will you ever get Dallas as this small of a home favorite, and we'll take advantage tonight.
Portland is 8-19 ATS in its last 27 road games following a win by 10 points or more. Dallas is 10-1 ATS after trailing its previous game by 15 or more points at halftime over the last three seasons. The Mavericks are 27-12 ATS in their last 39 games following a road loss. Dallas is 41-15 ATS in its last 56 games following an ATS loss, and 36-16 ATS in its last 52 games following a S.U. loss. Roll with the Mavericks Friday.
|03-07-14||Cleveland Cavaliers v. Charlotte Bobcats UNDER 196||Top||92-101||Win||100||7 h 28 m||Show|
20* NBA TOTAL OF THE WEEK on Cavaliers/Bobcats UNDER 196
The books have set the bar too high tonight in this contest between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Charlotte Bobcats. Both teams are fighting for their playoff lives down the stretch, so the intensity should be at a very high level defensively.
These teams have faced each other twice this season with defense shining through. The Bobcats won both meetings 90-84 at home for 174 combined points, and 86-80 on the road for 166 combined points. From those two results alone, it's easy to see that there is a ton of value with the UNDER in this one.
Both teams like to play at a slow pace. Cleveland ranks 20th in pace at 95.5 possessions per game, while Charlotte is right behind them in 21st at 95.2 possessions per contest. The Cavaliers rank 24th in offensive efficiency at 99.9 points per 100 possessions, while the Bobcats are 25th at 99.6 per 100 possessions.
The UNDER is 9-1-1 in Bobcats last 11 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400. Cleveland is 28-13 to the UNDER after allowing 110 points or more in two straight games since 1996. The Cavaliers are 60-32 to the UNDER after scoring 100 points or more in two straight games since 1996. Because the Cavs are coming off back-to-back high-scoring games, this total has been inflated. We'll take advantage. Bet the UNDER in this game Friday.
|03-07-14||Illinois State v. Missouri State +1||48-53||Win||100||4 h 16 m||Show|
15* MVC Tournament PLAY OF THE DAY on Missouri State +1
The Missouri State Bears are one of the most underrated teams in all of college basketball. They went 19-11 this season and I look for them to grab their 20th win tonight. They were the only team to take unbeaten Wichita State to overtime this year, blowing a 20-point lead in that game.
Illinois State (16-14) had a solid season as well, but it did most of its damage at home. The Redbirds were just 4-11 SU & 4-10 ATS in all road games this season.
The Redbirds did recently beat Missouri State 67-63 at home on February 18, but that places the Bears in revenge mode. Missouri State won the first meeting 78-70 at home.
Illinois State is 1-13 ATS in its last 14 games off a close road loss by 3 points or less. The Redbirds are 0-6 ATS after covering two of their last three ATS this season. Missouri State is 9-1 ATS off a conference loss by 10 points or more over the last two years. The Bears are 8-0-1 ATS in their last nine games following a SU loss of more than 20 points. These four trends combine for a 36-2 system backing the Bears. Bet Missouri State Friday.
|03-06-14||Los Angeles Clippers v. Los Angeles Lakers UNDER 225.5||Top||142-94||Loss||-110||12 h 55 m||Show|
20* Clippers/Lakers TNT Late-Night BAILOUT on UNDER 225.5
The books have set the bar way too high tonight in this contest between the Clippers and Lakers. The value is clearly with the UNDER in this game, and I'll gladly take advantage as it would take a really high-scoring effort from both teams to top this massive total.
The Clippers are expected to be without two of their best shooters, but also two of their worst defenders. J.J. Redick may miss the rest of the season, while Jamal Crawford is doubtful with a calf injury. These losses will hamper their offensive production, so the Clippers will try and make up for it on the other end.
While recent meetings between these teams have been high scoring, they have not been THIS high scoring. The Clippers and Lakers have combined for 210, 219 and 204 points in their last three meetings, respectively. Dating back further, 24 of the last 25 meetings between these teams have seen 221 or fewer combined points.
Plays on the UNDER on all teams where the total is greater than or equal to 210 (LA LAKERS) - average shooting team (43.5-45.5%) against an average defensive team (43.5-45.5%), after a game - allowing a shooting pct. of 55% or higher are 25-8 (75.8%) since 1996. The UNDER is 35-16 in Clippers last 51 Thursday games. The UNDER is 6-1 in Lakers last seven games after allowing more than 125 points in their previous game. Bet the UNDER in this game Thursday.
|03-06-14||Oklahoma City Thunder v. Phoenix Suns UNDER 218||122-128||Loss||-103||9 h 29 m||Show|
15* Thunder/Suns NBA Total DOMINATOR on UNDER 218
Both the Phoenix Suns and Oklahoma City Thunder have played in some ridiculously high-scoring games of late. As a result, oddsmakers have inflated this total as both teams have created expectations for themselves that they cannot live up to.
One look at recent meetings between these teams and it's easy to see that this number has been inflated. Five of the past six meetings have seen 110 or fewer combined points. The past two meetings have been very low-scoring.
In their final meeting of 2012-13, the Thunder beat the Suns 97-69 on the road for 166 combined points. In their first and only meeting of 2013-14, the Thunder won 103-96 at home for 199 combined points. Oddsmakers set the total for that game at 198, and now it has been set roughly 20 points higher for the second meeting. That shows the line value here on this UNDER.
Oklahoma City is 10-1 to the UNDER after scoring 120 points or more over the past two seasons. The Thunder are 9-1 to the UNDER off two consecutive home wins by 10 points or more over the last two years. The UNDER is 21-5 in Suns last 26 Thursday games. Roll with the UNDER in this game Thursday.
|03-06-14||USC-Upstate +8 v. Mercer||75-78||Win||100||10 h 31 m||Show|
15* CBB Thursday PLAY OF THE DAY on USC Upstate +8
The USC Upstate Spartans (19-13) are showing tremendous value in the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament semifinals tonight as they take on the Mercer Bears (24-8). Oddsmakers are giving the Bears a little too much respect in this one due to home-court advantage.
The Spartans have been one of the most underrated teams in the country this season. They have only lost one game by more than 10 points all season, and that came at Cincinnati. They have only lost one game in conference play by more than 6 points all season as well.
USC Upstate clearly has really had Mercer's number this season. After losing 60-62 on the road in their first meeting, the Spartans got revenge with an 80-61 home victory on February 2. They outrebounded Mercer by 7 and 8 boards in the two meetings, respectively.
Plays on a road team (USC UPSTATE) - after two straight wins by 6 points or less against opponent after scoring 85 points or more are 55-26 (67.9%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Spartans re 5-1-2 ATS in their last eight games overall. the Bears are 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall. Bet USC Upstate Thursday.
|03-06-14||Miami Heat v. San Antonio Spurs UNDER 209.5||87-111||Win||100||9 h 17 m||Show|
15* Heat/Spurs TNT Thursday No-Brainer on UNDER 209.5
The Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs will take part in a defensive battle tonight. This is a rematch from their epic 7-game NBA Finals series in which San Antonio had the title stolen away from them by Ray Allen and company.
Familiarity leads to low-scoring games. I believe the defensive intensity tonight will be very high in this rematch, especially as both teams are rounding into form as we enter the final 1/4 of the season.
One way to know that there is value with the UNDER tonight is the fact that the total has been set 4.5 points higher than in their first meeting (205) of the season. Also, eight of the past 10 meetings have seen 205 or fewer combined points.
Miami is a perfect 8-0 to the UNDER in road games after a combined score of 205 points or more in two straight games over the past two seasons. The average score in these teams has been 101.0 to 91.4, or a combined average of 192.4 points per game. Take the UNDER in this game Thursday.
|03-05-14||Dayton v. St. Louis -7||Top||72-67||Loss||-106||10 h 44 m||Show|
20* Atlantic 10 GAME OF THE MONTH on Saint Louis -7
The Saint Louis Billikens are coming off their first two-game losing streak of the season. They need a win tonight to clinch at least a share of the Atlantic 10 title, so they certainly will not be lacking any motivation. In fact, I look for them to play with more passion tonight than in any other game all season.
This is Senior Night for the Billikens, who rely on their seniors more than any other team in the country. Indeed, five of their top six scorers are seniors in Jordain Jett (13.9 ppg), Dwayne Evans (13.8 ppg, Rob Loe (10.1 ppg, Mike McCall Jr. (9.5 ppg) and Jake Barnett (4.9 ppg). I look for all five of these guys to rally around one another and to put on one final dominant performance in front of their home fans.
Dayton comes in playing well, having gone 7-1 SU & 5-3 ATS in its last eight games overall. But it has done most of its damage at home and against a soft schedule. Its lone loss during this stretch came at St. Joseph's (53-79) in blowout fashion. While the Flyers are overvalued due to their recent stretch of success, the Billikens are undervalued due to having failed to cover in six straight games.
Saint Louis won 67-59 in the first meeting with Dayton on the road back on January 11. That's important because Dayton is 0-7 ATS in road games revenging a loss over the past two seasons. It is losing by an average of 12.5 points per game in this spot. Bet Saint Louis Wednesday.
|03-05-14||West Virginia v. Oklahoma -8||62-72||Win||100||10 h 44 m||Show|
15* Big 12 PLAY OF THE DAY on Oklahoma -8
The Oklahoma Sooners (21-8) have gone under the radar all season. Lon Krueger has done an excellent job with this team as the Sooners are clearly one of the best teams in the Big 12, which is arguably the best conference in the country. They are tied for second in the conference with 10-6 record.
While the Sooners do have some impressive road wins this season, they have done most of their damage within the conference at home. Indeed, they are 6-2 at home this season in the Big 12 with blowout wins over the likes of Oklahoma State (88-76), Baylor (88-72), Kansas State (84-73) and Texas (77-65). To beat all four of those teams by double-digits is saying something considering all four are likely going to the big dance.
West Virginia (16-13), meanwhile, will not be going to the big dance. It has lost three of four, including blowout losses against Texas (71-88), Baylor (75-88) and Iowa State (66-83). Its lone win came against Big 12 bottom feeder TCU, which has yet to win a conference game. The Mountaineers did beat the Sooners at home 91-86 in their first meeting, but that will just have Oklahoma out for revenge and playing even more motivated on Senior Night.
Oklahoma is 7-0 ATS off two straight games with nine or less offensive rebounds this season. The Sooners are 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall. Oklahoma is 4-0 ATS in its last four games vs. a team with a winning record. These three trends combine for a 15-0 system backing the Sooners. Roll with Oklahoma Wednesday.
|03-05-14||Houston Rockets v. Orlando Magic +7||101-89||Loss||-110||8 h 33 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday Night Line Mistake on Orlando Magic +7
The Orlando Magic are showing tremendous value as a 7-point home underdog to the Houston Rockets tonight. While they likely won't need the points, I'm going to take them for some added insurance in a game that should go right down to the wire.
Sure, Houston is the more talented team, but this is a very tough spot for the Rockets. Indeed, they will be playing the second of a back-to-back off arguably their biggest win of the season last night against the defending champion Miami Heat. It's only human nature for them to suffer a letdown off that victory.
Orlando, meanwhile, comes in on two days' rest and ready to go. The Magic have been extremely tough at home over the past month. They have gone 7-1 SU & 7-1 ATS in their last eight home games overall with their only loss coming to Memphis by a final of 81-86. They have beaten the top two teams in each conference in Oklahoma City and Indiana during this stretch, too.
Another bonus is that leading scorer Arron Afflalo is expected to return after a five-game absence. The Rockets are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 0 days rest. Orlando is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 home games. Houston is 0-8 ATS in its last eight meetings with Orlando. Take the Magic Wednesday.
|03-05-14||Indiana Pacers -4.5 v. Charlotte Bobcats||Top||87-109||Loss||-108||8 h 50 m||Show|
20* NBA Eastern Conference GAME OF THE MONTH on Indiana Pacers -4.5
Off a 96-98 home loss to the Golden State Warriors last night, the league-best Indiana Pacers will come back highly motivated for a victory tonight. They have only lost two games in a row one time this season, and it's not about to happen against a team they have dominated.
Indeed, the Pacers are 14-1 in their last 15 meetings with the Bobcats. They have won the last five by an average of 17.8 points per game. Indiana cruised to a 99-74 victory at Charlotte on November 27. Its last two trips to Charlotte have resulted in wins by a combined 52 points.
The Bobcats are in a bit of a letdown spot here as they return home from a grueling 3-game trip against San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Miami. They went 0-3 SU & 0-3 ATS in those three contests, losing each by double-digits. That just proved that this team still has a long ways to go before it can compete with the league's elite, such as Indiana.
"Mentally, we've got to be way tougher than we are because it's time, you know, it's just time," David West said. "It's just not something that you can just say a week before the playoffs, say, 'OK.' You've got to work your way into it. But as a group, it's time. We've got a tough three-game trip coming up and it's just time."
"We've been getting away with playing sub-.500 teams and winning ballgames like these," Paul George said. "We just can't play with fire on nights like these."
I believe in the leadership of this team with West and George at the forefront. When they say they are going to do something, they usually go out and do it. That's why I look for this team to rally around these two and to come up with one of their most dominant performances of the season tonight in Charlotte.
The Pacers are 36-16-1 ATS in their last 53 games following a S.U. loss. The Bobcats are 13-27-2 ATS in their last 42 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. Bet the Pacers Wednesday.
|03-05-14||Louisville v. SMU +3.5||84-71||Loss||-109||7 h 24 m||Show|
15* Louisville/SMU Top 25 No-Brainer on SMU +3.5
The SMU Mustangs (23-6) have been one of the most underrated teams in the country all season. They are once again getting no love from the books as a home underdog to the Louisville Cardinals (24-5) tonight. I look for the Mustangs to make another statement to let the country know that they are one of the best teams in the country, which they are.
SMU has had one of the best home-court advantages in the land. It is a perfect 15-0 in all home games this season, and 10-1 ATS in home lined games. It is outscoring opponents by a whopping 19.6 points per game at home. It has beaten the likes of UConn, Memphis and Cincinnati at home this year.
The Mustangs hung tough with the Cardinals in their first meeting of the season, falling by a final of 63-71 on the road as a 13.5-point underdog. They outrebounded the Cardinals 48-35 in that game, including 18-6 on the offensive glass. I look for rebounding to be a big factor as to why they get revenge on Louisville at home this time around.
SMU is 7-0 ATS versus good teams that outscored their opponents by 8-plus points per game after 15-plus games over the last two seasons. Mustangs are 8-0 ATS in their last 8 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record. Louisville is 0-6 ATS off an upset loss to a conference opponent as a favorite over the last two seasons. The Cardinals are 0-6 ATS after a loss by 6 points or less over the last two years. These four trends combine for a perfect 27-0 system backing the Mustangs. Take SMU Wednesday.
|03-04-14||Marquette v. Providence -2.5||Top||80-81||Loss||-109||9 h 14 m||Show|
20* CBB Tuesday No-Doubt Rout on Providence -2.5
The Providence Friars (19-10) are one of the most underrated teams in the country. They are squarely on the bubble in terms of making the NCAA Tournament, so they won't be lacking any motivation tonight.
They have been handling this pressure very well of late as I have successfully won with them in each of their last three games. They lost at home to Villanova 79-82 (OT) as a 5-point underdog before going on the road and winning at Butler (87-81) as a 1-point dog and at Seton Hall (74-69) as a 2.5-point dog.
Adding to the motivation for the Friars is the fact that they lost to Marquette (17-12) by a final of 50-61 in their first meeting of the season. The Golden Eagles are pretty much done for in terms of making the big dance unless they win the Big East Tournament, so finding motivation could be tough for them.
The Golden Eagles are 5-15-1 ATS in their last 21 vs. Big East opponents, and 2-7 ATS in their last nine road games. The Friars are 6-1 ATS in their last seven home games, and 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall. Marquette is 0-4 ATS in its last four games overall. Bet Providence Tuesday.
|03-04-14||Florida State -2 v. Boston College||74-70||Win||100||9 h 14 m||Show|
15* ACC PLAY OF THE DAY on Florida State -2
The Florida State Seminoles (17-11) have some work to do if they want to make the NCAA Tournament. They certainly cannot afford to lose this game at Boston College tonight, and I expect them to respond in a big way because of it.
The Seminoles have been handling the pressure of these must-win games quite well of late. They have won three of their last four, including a 71-66 victory at Pittsburgh and a 67-60 triumph at Wake Forest in their two road games during this stretch. They also beat Georgia Tech 81-71 at home with their only loss coming to red-hot UNC.
Boston College (8-21) has nothing to play for but pride at this point in the season. While this team clearly has not quit, I just don't believe that it is tough enough to take down the gritty Seminoles in this spot. FSU will want it more, and it will get it behind one of the best defenses in the country. The Seminoles only allow 38.9% shooting, while the Eagles give up 46.4% shooting.
The Eagles are 0-8 ATS in home games vs. a team with a winning record this season. Boston College is 1-10 ATS after playing its last game on the road this season. The Eagles are 1-9 ATS in all home games this year. Clearly, they have had zero home-court advantage. Take Florida State Tuesday.
|03-04-14||Philadelphia 76ers v. Oklahoma City Thunder UNDER 219||92-125||Win||100||8 h 19 m||Show|
15* NBA Tuesday Total ANNIHILATOR on 76ers/Thunder UNDER 219
The books have set the bar too high with this total tonight between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Philadelphia 76ers. I fully expect an Oklahoma City blowout, which will lead to the starters getting pulled early. The Thunder do not have a deep bench scoring-wise as their bench is mostly filled with players known more for their defense.
These teams met once this season with the Thunder winning 103-91 on January 25 with a total set of 208 points. Now, the books have set the number 11 points higher than the previous meeting despite their 194-point effort. As you can see, there's clearly value with the under here based on the 11-point difference alone.
Philadelphia was a high-scoring machine through the first half of the season, which created a lot of expectations. However, it has traded away two of its best players in Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner, and now points have been much harder to come by. The 76ers have been held to 100 or fewer points in six of their last nine games overall, including an 81-92 loss at Orlando last time out.
Plays on the UNDER on all teams where the total is greater than or equal to 200 (PHILADELPHIA) - after going under the total by more than 18 points in their previous game, terrible team, winning 25% or less of their games on the season are 29-9 (76.3%) over the last five seasons.
Philadelphia is 9-1 to the UNDER in road games where the total is greater than or equal to 210 this season. Oklahoma City is 28-11 to the UNDER off a home win by 10 points or more over the last two seasons. The UNDER is 10-2-1 in 76ers last 13 road games, and 6-0-2 in 76ers last eight road games vs. a team with a winning record. Roll with the UNDER in this game Tuesday.
|03-03-14||Minnesota Timberwolves -5.5 v. Denver Nuggets||132-128||Loss||-103||10 h 18 m||Show|
15* NBA Monday No-Doubt Rout on Minnesota Timberwolves -5.5
The Minnesota Timberwolves (29-29) are fighting for their playoff lives right now. They currently sit 5.5 games behind both the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks for the final two playoff spots in the Western Conference. As a result, you can expect them to lay it all on the line from here on out.
The Timberwolves have responded well to the pressure of these must-win games since the All-Star Break. They have gone 5-1 SU & 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall, which includes a home win over Indiana (104-91) and a road victory at Phoenix (110-101). In fact, all five of their wins came by 9 points or more. This team is much better than its record would indicate as it simply fell victim to a plethora of close losses in the first half of the season.
Denver (25-33) has clearly quit on its season. It has gone 1-10 SU & 2-9 ATS in its last 11 games overall, which included a 90-117 road loss at Minnesota on February 12. Not helping matters is the fact that the Nuggets are without their best player in Ty Lawson (18.0 ppg, 8.8 apg). They are also without Danilo Gallinari, JaVale McGee and Nate Robinson. Also, Kenneth Faried (11.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg) is questionable tonight with a knee injury.
The Timberwolves are an incredible 12-1 ATS in their last 13 road games vs. a team with a losing home record. Denver is 2-10 ATS in its last 12 games overall, including 0-5 ATS in its last five home games. The Nuggets are 7-19 ATS in their last 26 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. Minnesota is 10-3 ATS in its last 13 meetings in Denver. The road team is 20-5-1 ATS in the last 26 meetings. Bet the Timberwolves Monday.
|03-03-14||Kansas State +9 v. Oklahoma State||Top||61-77||Loss||-102||10 h 13 m||Show|
20* K-State/Okie State ESPN Monday No-Brainer on Kansas State +9
The Oklahoma State Cowboys (19-10) are way overvalued here as a 9-point favorite over the Kansas State Wildcats (20-9) tonight. Asking the Cowboys to win by double-digits to beat us is simply asking too much.
I was all over the Cowboys as my 25* CBB GAME OF THE YEAR against the Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday. I felt it was a bad spot for the Jayhawks considering they had just clinched a share of the Big 12 Title for the 10th consecutive season. I figured they would be in line for a letdown and a poor performance, and that was the case.
Kansas turned the ball over 22 times in that contest to essentially give the game away. Now, off such an emotional, big win, the Cowboys are the team in the letdown spot. They are getting a lot of love from oddsmakers due to that victory, and as a result, they are overvalued. I'll gladly fade them here.
Kansas State is one of the most underrated teams in the country. Sure, it has done most of its damage at home with wins over the likes of OKlahoma State, Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas and Iowa State. However, I have also been impressed with some of its road efforts this year. It only lost at Texas (64-67), at Iowa State (75-81) and at Baylor (OT). This team has shown me enough on the road to know that it can stay within double-digits of the Cowboys.
Sure, this is Senior Night for Oklahoma State, but that means little considering it only has two seniors on its entire roster. Only one of those seniors actually plays significant minutes in Markel Brown. That's why I don't believe the motivation for Senior Night will really be there for the Cowboys, which won't allow them to overcome this natural letdown spot off the big Kansas win.
The Wildcats are a sensational 8-1 ATS versus very good teams that outscore their opponents by 8-plus points per game this season. Oklahoma State is 6-13 ATS versus good teams that outscored their opponents by 4-plus points per game this year. The Wildcats are 14-4 ATS in their last 18 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record. The Cowboys are 10-25-1 ATS in their last 36 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record. Bet Kansas State Monday.
|03-02-14||Stanford +11 v. Arizona||66-79||Loss||-110||11 h 50 m||Show|
15* Stanford/Arizona ESPNU BAILOUT on Stanford +11
The Arizona Wildcats are getting too much respect from the books tonight as a double-digit favorite over Stanford. I'll gladly take the points with the Cardinal, who need to finish strong to assure they'll be playing in the NCAA Tournament.
Adding to Stanford's motivation is the fact that it will be out for revenge from a heartbreaking 57-60 home loss to Arizona back on January 29 in their first meeting of the season. I love double-digit road underdogs playing with revenge after losing the first meeting at home.
Stanford has been one of the most underrated teams in the country over the past couple months. That is indicate by the fact that it is 10-3 ATS in its last 13 games overall. The Cardinal have impressive road wins over Oregon & California during this stretch.
Plays on underdogs of 10 to 19.5 points (STANFORD) - revenging a close loss vs opponent of 3 points or less, off a road loss by 10 points or more are 41-12 (77.4%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Cardinals are 7-1 ATS when revenging a loss vs. opponent this season. Arizona is 0-6 ATS off two consecutive conference wins by 10 points or more over the last three seasons. Take Stanford Sunday.
|03-02-14||Utah Jazz v. Indiana Pacers UNDER 189.5||91-94||Win||100||9 h 32 m||Show|
15* NBA Sunday Total ANNIHILATOR on Jazz/Pacers UNDER 189.5
The books have set the bar too high in this contest between the Utah Jazz and Indiana Pacers tonight. I'll take advantage by backing the UNDER in what I expect to be a low-scoring, defensive battle.
Indiana is the best defensive team in the league. It is giving up 91.2 points per game overall, and 86.6 points per game at home. The Pacers rank 1st in defensive efficiency, giving up just 94.3 points per 100 possessions. The Jazz rank just 23rd in offensive efficiency, scoring 100.4 points per 100 possessions. Utah also ranks 27th in pace at 93.7 possessions per game.
These teams met once already this season with the Pacers winning 95-86 in Utah for 181 combined points. The books set the total at 185.5 points for that contest, and now they have set it at 189.5 for the rematch. That alone tells you there is some value here with the UNDER.
Utah is 7-0 to the UNDER against teams with a winning record in the second half of the season this season. Indiana is 8-0 to the UNDER In a home game where the total is between 185 and 189.5 this season. The UNDER is 7-0 in Jazz last seven road games. These three trends combine for a perfect 22-0 system backing the UNDER. Roll with the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|03-02-14||Marquette +10.5 v. Villanova||Top||56-73||Loss||-110||5 h 50 m||Show|
20* Marquette/Villanova CBS No-Brainer on Marquette +10.5
The Marquette Golden Eagles (17-11) are squarely on the bubble in terms of making the NCAA Tournament. They could use a signature win like this one at Villanova to boost their r
|03-01-14||Minnesota Timberwolves -3.5 v. Sacramento Kings||108-97||Win||100||11 h 30 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Minnesota Timberwolves -3.5
The Minnesota Timberwolves (28-29) are essentially in a must-win situation for the remainder of the season. That's good news when you decide to back them considering they will be giving it their all on a nightly basis.
I really like the Timberwolves here as a short road favorite here against the Sacramento Kings. They are 5.5 games back of the Suns for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Kings (20-38) currently hold the second-worst record in the West.
Minnesota is surging, having won four of its last five games overall while going 4-1 ATS in the process. That includes a 104-91 home win over Eastern Conference-leading Indiana, as well as a 110-101 road win at Phoenix last time out. That game against the Suns was on February 25, meaning that the T'Wolves will have had three days' rest heading into this one.
Sacramento, meanwhile, is coming off a 122-126 loss at the Los Angeles Lakers last night. It will be playing the second of a back-to-back. The Kings have gone just 2-7 ATS in their last nine games overall, and they're starting to show signs of already packing it in given that they have little to play for the rest of the way.
Minnesota is 12-3 ATS revenging a home loss vs. opponent this season. The Timberwolves are 11-1 ATS in their last 12 road games vs. a team with a losing home record. The Kings are 7-18 ATS in their last 25 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. Roll with the Timberwolves Saturday.
|03-01-14||Kansas v. Oklahoma State +1||Top||65-72||Win||100||14 h 8 m||Show|
25* College Basketball GAME OF THE YEAR on Oklahoma State +1
The Oklahoma State Cowboys represent my strongest play of the entire 2013-14 college basketball season Saturday. I fully expect them to win today with ease over the Kansas Jayhawks, and thus they have earned 25* CBB GAME OF THE YEAR status.
Oklahoma State just got back its best player in Marcus Smart (17.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 4.7 apg, 2.6 spg) two games ago from a 3-game suspension. To no surprise, the Cowboys have played two of their best games of the season, beating Texas Tech (84-62) at home and TCU (76-54) on the road.
The Cowboys are still in desperate need of victories to get into the NCAA Tournament as they are clearly a bubble team at this point. That will have them motivated, as will the fact that they lost 78-80 at Kansas on January 18 in their first meeting of the season despite getting out-shot 39.4% to 55.8%. It's amazing they were able to hang tough given those percentages, and I look for them to be flip-flopped in Stillwater this time around.
Kansas is in a massive letdown spot tonight. It is coming off an 83-75 home victory over Oklahoma to clinch at least a share of the Big 12 title for a 10th straight season. Having accomplished that monumental feat, I look for this young Jayhawks' team to lose focus and fail to show up today in Stillwater.
The last three meetings between these teams have all been decided by 5 points or less, so the Cowboys clearly have proven they can hang tough with the Jayhawks. Oklahoma State is 6-0 ATS in home games off one or more consecutive unders over the past two seasons, winning by 22.8 points per game in this spot. Bet the Cowboys Saturday.
|03-01-14||Houston v. Temple -3||89-79||Loss||-106||14 h 8 m||Show|
15* American Athletic PLAY OF THE DAY on Temple -3
The Houston Cougars (14-14) are in a massive letdown spot tonight. They are coming off an upset 77-68 win over Memphis on Thursday as a 7-point home underdog. I look for them to fail to show up off such a big victory, especially considering they still cannot make the NCAA Tournament without winning their conference tournament.
Temple (7-20) obviously has a poor record this season, but I've seen enough from this team to know that it is much, much better than its record would indicate. The fact of the matter is that the Owls simply have been on the wrong side of the majority of their close games this season.
The Owls have also played a brutal schedule of late as seven of their last eight games have come against teams that will likely be playing in the big dance in Villanova, SMU (twice), Louisville (twice), UConn and Memphis. The only exception was a 74-88 road loss at Houston, which places Temple in revenge mode tonight.
Houston is just 2-8 straight up in true road games this season. Temple is 16-4 ATS in its last 20 home games off a loss by 15 points or more. The Owls are 10-2 ATS revenging a road loss vs. opponent over the last three seasons. Temple is 8-1 ATS as a home favorite of 6 points or less over the last three years. The Cougars are 0-7 ATS in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of less than .400. Take Temple Saturday.
|03-01-14||Orlando Magic +14 v. Miami Heat||98-112||Push||0||10 h 60 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Orlando Magic +14
The Miami Heat are getting a lot of love from oddsmakers right now for how well they have been playing of late. They have won six straight games while going 5-0-1 ATS in the process.
Now, the Heat are clearly overvalued as a 14-point favorite over the Orlando Magic tonight. They have a tendency to play down to the level of their competition, and I believe that is precisely what is going to happen tonight.
Orlando has clearly not given up on its season. It is 5-5 in its last 10 games overall, which is impressive considering it has beaten Oklahoma City and Indiana during this stretch, which are currently the top teams in their respective conferences.
The Magic have a knack for playing the Heat tough on the road for whatever reason. They have not lost by more than 12 points in any of their last six visits to South Beach. In fact, they only lost 99-101 as a 13-point dog in their first trip to Miami this season back on November 23.
Plays against favorites of 10 or more points (MIAMI) - after 6 or more consecutive wins, with a winning record on the season playing a losing team are 48-19 (71.6%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Heat are 4-10 ATS in their last 14 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400. The road team is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. Take the Magic Saturday.
|03-01-14||Minnesota +9 v. Michigan||56-66||Loss||-110||11 h 8 m||Show|
15* Big Ten PLAY OF THE DAY on Minnesota +9
The Minnesota Golden Gophers (18-11) are squarely on the bubble in terms of the NCAA Tournament. They are in desperate need of a big victory, and they have a chance to get that Saturday at Michigan (20-7).
Minnesota will be out for revenge from its 60-63 home loss to Michigan on January 2. It shot just 39.6% from the field and 26.3% from 3-point range to essentially give the game away. However, I like the fact that the Gophers outrebounded the Wolverines 38-24 for the game, and I look for them to dominate the glass again this time around, which will keep them in it.
I'm really, really not sold on Michigan. This team has bad losses against Iowa (67-85), Indiana (52-63) and Wisconsin (62-75) in three of its last seven games overall. It also needed overtime to beat Purdue (77-76) on Wednesday. Minnesota is coming off a solid victory against Iowa (95-89) on Tuesday in a must-win situation, giving it confidence coming into this contest.
Minnesota is a perfect 14-0 ATS in its last 14 games after a game where it made 60% of its shots or better. It is coming back to win in this spot 77.4 to 65.7, or by an average of 11.7 points per game. The Wolverines are 0-5 ATS in their last five games following a S.U. win. The road team is 6-0 ATS in the last six meetings in this series. These three trends combine for a perfect 25-0 system backing the Golden Gophers. Roll with Minnesota Saturday.
|03-01-14||Boston College v. Wake Forest -2||80-72||Loss||-113||9 h 8 m||Show|
15* CBB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Wake Forest -2
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons get the call Saturday as a mere 2-point home favorite over the Boston College Eagles. This is an absolute gift from the books, and thus let's take advantage.
Wake Forest has been dominant at home this season, going 13-3 while outscoring opponents by 8.5 points per game. Boston College has been atrocious on the road, going 2-10 in games away from home. Home-court advantage has been huge in this series as the home team has won three straight and seven of the past eight meetings.
Boston College (7-21) made its season by going into Syracuse and winning 62-59 on February 19, handing the Orange their first loss of the season. I expected the Eagles to pack it in after that huge win, and that has been the case. They have failed to cover the past two in a 42-69 loss at Miami, and a 59-66 home loss to Pitt.
The Demon Deacons are a perfect 6-0 ATS versus a team with a losing record over the last two seasons. The Eagles are 5-12 ATS in their last 17 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record. The favorite is 10-3 ATS in the last 13 meetings. Roll with Wake Forest Saturday.
|03-01-14||Texas v. Oklahoma -3.5||65-77||Win||100||9 h 8 m||Show|
15* Big 12 PLAY OF THE DAY on Oklahoma -3.5
The Oklahoma Sooners (20-8) should be a much heavier home favorite over the Texas Longhorns (21-7) this afternoon. The books have given us a gift here folks, and it's time to pounce.
Oklahoma comes in motivated off a 75-83 loss at Kansas on Monday, meaning that it has had four days off to rest and prepare to bounce back. Meanwhile, Texas is coming off a big 74-69 win over Baylor on Wednesday, meaning that it has only had two days to rest and prepare for Oklahoma. Those two days in the Sooners' favor give them a big advantage.
The Sooners already beat the Longhorns 88-85 on the road in their first meeting of the season on January 4. They won despite getting out-shot 42.9% to 50.8%, but the difference was their 39-28 rebounding advantage, including a 14-6 edge on the offensive boards. I look for them to shore up the defense, while also continuing to dominate the class in the rematch.
Oklahoma is 10-1 ATS in Saturday games this season. Texas is 0-6 ATS in road games after a game forcing opponent to commit 8 or less turnovers over the last three seasons. The Sooners are 6-0 ATS after two straight games giving up 9 or less offensive rebounds this season. These three trends combine for a 22-1 system backing the home team. Bet Oklahoma Saturday.
|03-01-14||Pittsburgh -3 v. Notre Dame||Top||85-81||Win||100||7 h 8 m||Show|
20* ACC GAME OF THE WEEK on Pittsburgh -3
The Pittsburgh Panthers are showing tremendous value as a mere 3-point favorite at Notre Dame today. I'll take advantage and back them at an excellent price in a game I expect them to run away with by double-digits.
Pittsburgh (21-7) is undervalued right now due to having lost three of its last four games coming in. Those losses came against potentially three NCAA Tournament teams in Syracuse, UNC & Florida State, and all three came by 5 points or less, so they were simply unfortunate in close games.
Now, the Panthers get to face a Notre Dame (15-14) team that is clearly in rebuilding mode. The Fighting Irish have gone just 6-10 SU & 5-11 ATS in ACC play this season to really get exposed. They have nothing to play for at this point in the season, while the Panthers will be determined after losing three of their past four.
The Fighting Irish are 6-18-2 ATS in their last 26 home games. Notre Dame is 0-7 ATS after two straight games committing 8 or fewer turnovers over the last two seasons. The Fighting Irish are 1-7 ATS in home games when playing against a good team (win percentage from 60% to 80%) this season. Take Pittsburgh Saturday.
|03-01-14||Missouri State +17.5 v. Wichita State||45-68||Loss||-110||7 h 7 m||Show|
15* Missouri State/Wichita State ESPN No-Brainer on Missouri State +17.5
Wichita State (30-0) goes for a perfect regular season today when it hosts Missouri State (19-10) in their regular season finale. That is a ton of pressure, and I look for it to affect the quality of play for the Shockers, and for this game to go down to the wire because of it.
Missouri State is one of the most underrated teams in the country. You could certainly argue that the Bears gave the Shockers their stiffest test of the season to this point. They lost 69-72 as a 9.5-point home under on January 11 in their first meeting of the season.
Obviously, the Bears have confidence that they can beat the Shockers after that performance. They held Wichita State to just 35.3% shooting from the field and 22.7% from 3-point range. However, the Shockers were able to squeak out the win due to shooting a whopping 40 free throws, making 31 of them. They aren't going to get to the line that many times again.
Missouri State is 17-6 ATS when revenging a loss vs. opponents over the last two seasons. The Bears are 26-11 ATS in conference games over the past two seasons. The Shockers are 3-7-2 ATS in their last 12 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400. Bet Missouri State Saturday.
|02-28-14||Chicago Bulls v. Dallas Mavericks UNDER 192.5||100-91||Win||100||11 h 54 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday Total ANNIHILATOR on Bulls/Mavericks UNDER 192.5
The books have set the bar too high in this contest between the Chicago Bulls and Dallas Mavericks tonight. I'll gladly take advantage and back the UNDER in what I believe will be a low-scoring, defensive battle.
Chicago is one of the worst offensive teams in the league this season, averaging just 92.9 points per game overall and 91.9 on the road. However, it makes up for it with a defense that surrenders just 92.3 points per game. The Bulls rank 2nd in the league in defensive efficiency, yielding just 97.7 points per 100 possessions. They rank 28th in pace at 93.1 possessions per game.
When the Bulls and Mavericks get together, Chicago's slow-it-down, half-court style usually reigns supreme. The UNDER is 5-1 in the last six meetings, and they have combined for 188 or fewer points in five of the six. Dallas and Chicago have averaged a combined 178.2 points per game over their last six meetings, which is roughly 14 points less than tonight's posted total.
The UNDER is 4-0 in Bulls last four games vs. a team with a winning record. The UNDER is 4-1 in Mavericks last five games vs. a team with a winning record. Chicago is 12-4 to the UNDER off a home win this season. The Bulls are 27-13 to the UNDER when playing their 3rd game in 4 days over the last two seasons. Take the UNDER in this game Friday.
|02-28-14||Memphis Grizzlies v. Oklahoma City Thunder UNDER 193.5||Top||107-113||Loss||-110||9 h 54 m||Show|
20* Griizzlies/Thunder Western Conference No-Brainer on UNDER 193.5
I look for a defensive battle between these two Western Conference rivals who seem to meet in the playoffs every year. As a result, they are very familiar with one another, and familiarity leads to low-scoring games.
That has certainly been the case in the past two meetings between these teams. Indeed, they combined for 163 points in an 86-77 home victory for the Thunder on February 3, and 177 points in a 90-87 home victory for the Grizzlies on January 14. Seven of the past nine meetings have seen 192 or less combined points.
Oklahoma City has to blame its defense for a 3-game losing streak coming into this one, allowing 103-plus points in all three losses. I look for it to buckle down on that side of the ball tonight. Memphis is only scoring 92.9 points per game on the road this year, but allowing a super 91.5 points per game away from home. The Thunder rank 4th in the league defensive efficiency, while the Grizzlies rank 8th.
Memphis is 8-0 to the UNDER in road games versus teams who attempt 18 or more 3-point shots per game in the second half of the season this season. The UNDER is 7-0 in Grizzlies last 7 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. These two trends combine for a perfect 15-0 system backing the UNDER. Bet the UNDER in this game Friday.
|02-28-14||Providence +3.5 v. Seton Hall||74-69||Win||100||9 h 50 m||Show|
15* CBB Friday PLAY OF THE DAY on Providence +3.5
The Providence Friars (18-10) are squarely on the bubble in terms of the NCAA Tournament. That's why I look for them to be highly motivated tonight when they take on Seton Hall (14-14), especially considering the Pirates beat them 81-80 in their first meeting of the season.
Providence is one of the most underrated teams in all of college basketball. This team is a legitimate threat to make a run in the big dance once they get there due their veteran presence with four returning starters, led by stud point guard Bryce Cotton (21.5 ppg, 5.9 apg), who is the heart and soul of this team. The Friars have four players averaging at least 12.1 points per game.
This is a tough time of year for Seton Hall. It is coming off back-to-back losses to Creighton and DePaul to assure that it will not be going to the big dance unless it wins the Big East Tournament. That means that the Friars could find it hard to be motivated over their final three regular season games, and thus fade material.
Seton Hall is 0-6 ATS in home games versus good rebounding teams that outrebound their opponents by 4-plus boards per game over the last two seasons. The Pirates are 0-6 ATS in home games after scoring 60 points or less over the last two years. Seton Hall is 8-18-1 ATS in its last 27 home games. The road team is 12-5 ATS in the last 17 meetings. Roll with Providence Friday.
|02-27-14||Iowa -4 v. Indiana||86-93||Loss||-106||9 h 9 m||Show|
15* Iowa/Indiana ESPN Thursday No-Brainer on Iowa -4
I had the Iowa Hawkeyes selected as a premium pick in the game that got postponed against Indiana a week ago. I am going to back the Hawkeyes again tonight as this is the make-up game with the Hoosiers, and the line is very similar.
I really like this spot for Iowa (19-8), which has lost back-to-back games for the first time all season, so it will be highly motivated for a win here tonight. It is coming off an 89-95 loss at Minnesota as the Gophers could not miss, shooting 61.2% from the field, and 57.9% from 3-point range. It was actually an impressive 6-point loss given those shooting numbers.
Indiana (15-12) is having a lost season as it rebuilds. It has gone just 5-9 in Big Ten play, including 1-4 in its last five conference games overall to play itself out of the NCAA Tournament. The Hoosiers realize their only chance to make the big dance now is to win the conference tournament, and thus I look for them to struggle to find a reason to be motivated for the rest of the regular year, especially off a deflating 58-69 loss at Wisconsin where they blew a 10-point halftime lead.
Iowa is a perfect 9-0 ATS after failing to cover the spread in two or more consecutive games over the last three seasons. It is coming back to win 76.0 to 60.6 in this spot, or by an average of 15.4 points per game. The Hawkeyes are 38-17 ATS in their last 55 games overall, and 14-6 ATS in their last 20 vs. Big Ten foes. Take Iowa Thursday.
|02-27-14||Washington Wizards v. Toronto Raptors UNDER 197||Top||134-129||Loss||-105||7 h 21 m||Show|
25* NBA Thursday Night TOTAL OF THE YEAR on Wizards/Raptors UNDER 197
The books have set the bar too high in this contest between the Washington Wizards and Toronto Raptors tonight. I'll gladly take advantage and side with the UNDER in what I predict will be a very low-scoring affair.
Familiarity favors defense, and these teams are clearly very familiar with one another. This will be the 4th and final meeting of the season between these division rivals. They just played on February 18 nine days ago in a 103-93 road victory for the Raptors. They combined for only 196 points despite Toronto shooting 57% from the field, and Washington shooting 47%.
It's very unlikely that both teams shoot that well again. In fact, that 196 combined points was the most between these teams in their last four meetings. They have combined for 196, 189, 184 and 166 points in their last four meetings, respectively, with the UNDER going 4-0. That's an average of 183.8 combined points per game, which is roughly 13 points less than tonight's posted total of 197.
Washington is 75-42 to the UNDER in its last 117 road games with a total set between 195 and 199.5 points. The Wizards are 11-2 to the UNDER in road games revenging a straight up loss vs. opponent as a favorite over the last three seasons. The UNDER is 6-1 in Wizards last seven Thursday games, while the UNDER is 20-6 in Raptors last 26 Thursday games. Bet the UNDER in this game Thursday.
|02-27-14||VCU -10.5 v. Fordham||85-66||Win||100||8 h 49 m||Show|
15* CBB Thursday No-Doubt Rout on VCU -10.5
The Virginia Commonwealth Rams (20-7) will be highly motivated for a victory tonight as they take on Fordham (9-16). They have lost back-to-back games for the first time all season, falling against two of the best teams in the conference in Saint Louis (62-64) and UMass (75-80) by a combined 7 points, both on the road.
Their NCAA Tournament hopes aren't in too big of jeopardy, but another loss and they will be. I like their chances of getting back on track against Fordham in blowout fashion tonight. VCU already beat Fordham 76-60 at home on January 29 despite shooting just 33.8% from the field. I expect a much better shooting effort, and a similar blowout.
This is a Fordham team that has lost 12 of its last 14 games overall, including four straight all by 11 points or more to George Washington (67-93), St. Bonaventure (65-76), Richmond (70-82) and St. Joseph's (72-87). It appears that this team has packed it in at this point as evidenced by the four straight double-digits losses.
Fordham is 28-60-3 ATS in its last 91 games following an ATS loss. Fordham is 1-6 ATS in its last seven games vs. a team with a winning percentage greater than 60%. Fordham is 0-4 ATS in its last four games overall. Roll with VCU Thursday.
|02-26-14||Stanford v. Arizona State -1.5||64-76||Win||100||19 h 6 m||Show|
15* Stanford/ASU ESPNU Late-Night BAILOUT on Arizona State -1.5
The Arizona State Sun Devils (19-8) are getting no love tonight as only a 1.5-point home favorite over the Stanford Cardinal (18-8). I'll gladly take advantage and back this bubble team in terms of the NCAA Tournament in a game that it really needs to boost its r
|02-26-14||Baylor v. Texas -4||69-74||Win||100||17 h 6 m||Show|
15* Big 12 PLAY OF THE DAY on Texas -4
This is a very generous line to be able to back the Texas Longhorns (20-7) at home tonight as only a 4-point favorite over Baylor. That's especially the case when you consider the Longhorns already beat the Bears 74-60 on the road in their first meeting of the season despite shooting 18.2% from 3-point range and 58.8% from the free throw line.
I would usually tend to back the team playing with revenge in the second meeting, but not in this case. That's because I believe there is a ton of value here with the Longhorns because they have not played well in their last two games, getting beaten badly at Iowa State and at Kansas. Those two losses will have them coming back focused and determined for a win at home tonight.
Baylor (18-9) comes in overvalued due to having won four straight games to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive. However, you have to consider that their two road wins came against Big 12 bottom feeders in TCU and West Virginia, and their two home wins came against teams in Kansas State and Oklahoma State that have not been very good on the road.
Texas is 28-9 straight up in all meetings with Baylor since 1997, including 13-3 straight up in all home meetings over this span. The Longhorns are 14-2 at home this season, which includes blowout wins over WVU (88-71), Oklahoma State (87-68), Kansas (81-69) and Iowa State (86-76) in Big 12 play. Bet Texas Wednesday.
|02-26-14||California +12.5 v. Arizona||59-87||Loss||-106||17 h 6 m||Show|
15* California/Arizona ESPN 2 No-Brainer on California +12.5
The books are once again overvaluing the Arizona Wildcats, which has been a common theme here in the second half of the season after their torrid start. The result has been a 3-6 ATS mark in their last nine games overall, which has coincided with the loss of forward Brandon Ashley (11.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg) for the remainder of the season.
California (18-9) is a bubble team in terms of the NCAA Tournament, and thus it needs this victory. It has played some of its best basketball on the road this season, going 5-4 in true road games with wins over the likes of Stanford (69-62), Oregon (96-83), Oregon State (88-83), Washington State (80-76) and Washington (72-59) within the Pac-12.
The Bears handed the Wildcats one of their two losses with a 60-58 home victory as a 6-point dog back on February 1st. Sure, the Wildcats will be in revenge mode, but asking them to win by 13-plus points to beat us is simply asking too much. That's especially the case when you consider that the last five meetings have all been decided by 8 points or less, including four of those by 4 points or fewer.
Also, California has not lost to Arizona by more than 10 points in any of the last 15 meetings in this series. That makes for a perfect 15-0 system backing the Bears dating back to 2006 pertaining to tonight's spread of 12.5 points. I'll take all the points I game get in this closely-contested rivalry. Take California Wednesday.
|02-26-14||Cleveland Cavaliers v. Oklahoma City Thunder -12.5||114-104||Loss||-110||17 h 50 m||Show|
15* NBA Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Oklahoma City Thunder -12.5
The Oklahoma City Thunder (43-14) are trying to capture the No. 1 seed in the West. Two straight losses to Miami and the Los Angeles Clippers since the All-Star Break certainly have not helped their cause, and I fully expect them to come back highly motivated for a victory tonight because of it.
I faded the Thunder with success in both of those losses to the Heat and Clippers. Part of my reasoning was that Russell Westbrook had just returned from injury since the All-Star Break, and that they would be out of sync with him back in the lineup. Now, with two games and nearly a week of practice with Westbrook under their belts, they should be in sync tonight.
Helping matters will be the fact that they'll get to play one of the worst teams in the league in the Cleveland Cavaliers. While the Thunder come in on two days' rest, the Cavaliers will be playing the second of a back-to-back and their 6th game in 9 days, which is one of the toughest situations in the league today. Cleveland is also deflated right now after having lost three straight coming in, which really puts a damper on its chances of making the playoffs. The Cavs are also short-handed right now, playing without three key players in Anderson Varejao, Dion Waiters and C.J. Miles.
Mark Brooks is 51-25 ATS after failing to cover 3 of their last four against the spread as the coach of Oklahoma City. Brooks is 54-26 ATS off an upset loss as a favorite as the coach of Oklahoma City. As you can see, this team tends to respond in a big way off a poor performance, and a string of performances where they didn't meet expectations. The Cavaliers are 1-7 ATS in their last eight games following a S.U. loss. The home team is 11-4 ATS in the last 15 meetings. Take the Thunder Wednesday.
|02-26-14||Los Angeles Lakers v. Memphis Grizzlies -10.5||Top||103-108||Loss||-110||17 h 50 m||Show|
20* NBA Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on Memphis Grizzlies -10.5
The Memphis Grizzlies (31-24) currently sit in 9th place in the Western Conference, trailing the Phoenix Suns by 1.5 games for the 8th and final playoff spot. As a result, they won't be overlooking anyone the rest of the way as they try and play catch up.
They certainly won't be overlooking the Lakers, who beat them 96-92 back on December 17 as a 2.5-point underdog. However, these are two completely different teams since that meeting. The Grizzlies are finally healthy, while the Lakers are simply playing out the string and playing different lineups to see what they have heading into next year.
Memphis had won four straight prior to an 89-92 loss at Charlotte on Sunday. They have had two days off since that game to rest, working on their mistakes, and prepare for the Lakers. Meanwhile, the Lakers will be playing a second of a back-to-back and their 3rd game in 4 days after getting destroyed 98-118 at Indiana last night. I expect a similar beat down at the hands of the Grizz tonight.
The Grizzlies are 12-4 ATS in their last 16 vs. Western Conference opponents. Memphis is 7-2 ATS in its last nine games following a loss. Los Angeles is 2-5 ATS in its last seven games overall, which includes three losses by 17-plus points. Bet the Grizzlies Wednesday.