|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|04-09-14||Oklahoma City Thunder v. Los Angeles Clippers -3||Top||107-101||Loss||-108||11 h 13 m||Show|
25* NBA on ESPN GAME OF THE YEAR on Los Angeles Clippers -3
The Los Angeles Clippers have a chance to pull within a half-game of the Oklahoma City Thunder for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference with a victory tonight. That would be huge because they are likely to match up in the second round of the playoffs, and home-court advantage would be big. The Clippers would also own the tiebreaker having taken 3 of 4 from the Thunder this season.
The Pacific Division champion Clippers have been playing as well as anyone since a 125-117 road victory over the Thunder on February 23. They have gone 18-3 since that point while averaging 110.8 points per game. They lead the league in scoring at 107.8 points per game on the season and are clicking at the right time.
Los Angeles will be well-rested and ready to go having had two days off since a 120-97 home victory over the Lakers on Sunday. Oklahoma City, meanwhile, is running on fumes. It will be playing the second of a back-to-back and its 5th game in 7 days after last night's win at Sacramento. This is one of the toughest situations for any team, especially this late in the year when everyone is already worn down.
The Clippers are 32-6 at home this season, outscoring opponents by 11.0 points per game. Oklahoma City is 1-5 ATS in its last six road games. Los Angeles is 5-1 ATS in its last six games overall. The Clippers are 5-1 ATS in their last six vs. a team with a winning record, and 4-0 ATS in their last four vs. a team with a winning percentage above 60%. Bet the Clippers Wednesday.
|04-09-14||Arizona Diamondbacks +128 v. San Francisco Giants||7-3||Win||128||11 h 30 m||Show|
15* MLB Wednesday PLAY OF THE DAY on Arizona Diamondbacks +128
The Arizona Diamondbacks are a much better team than their 2-8 record would indicate. Due to the slow start, this team will be extra motivated for a win tonight to try and right the ship. I like their chances of getting it due to the edge they have on the mound in this one.
Bronson Arroyo has been one of the most underrated starters in the league over the past several seasons. He has posted a 3.88 ERA or better in four of his last five seasons in the big leagues. Arroyo is 6-5 with a 2.41 ERA and 1.227 WHIP in 15 career starts against San Francisco.
The right-hander has really dominated the Giants of late. He is 3-0 with a minuscule 1.03 ERA in his last four starts against them, allowing just three earned runs and 19 base runners over 26 1/3 innings. It's safe to say that this is one team he feels very comfortable facing.
Tim Lincecum has completely lost it over the past couple seasons. He went 10-15 with a 5.18 ERA in 2012, and followed it up with a 10-14 record and a 4.37 ERA in 2013. Lincecum is 1-1 with a 6.86 ERA in his last four starts against Arizona, surrendering 16 earned runs and four homers over 21 innings of work. Paul Goldschmidt is 12 for 23 with six home runs versus Lincecum.
Arizona is 12-4 (+10.6 Units) against the money line with triple revenge having lost three straight against an opponent over the last two seasons. Arroyo is 19-7 (+12.5 Units) against the money line after a loss over the last two seasons. The Giants are 0-4 in Lincecum's last four starts against Arizona. Roll with the Diamondbacks Wednesday.
|04-09-14||Chicago Bulls -2.5 v. Minnesota Timberwolves||102-87||Win||100||9 h 51 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on Chicago Bulls -2.5
The Minnesota Timberwolves are coming off a big win over the San Antonio Spurs last night. That sets them up for a letdown spot here tonight against the Chicago Bulls. The T'Wolves will be fatigued, and the win wasn't really that impressive as the Spurs rested Tony Parker and are looking ahead to the playoffs.
Chicago, meanwhile, will be going full speed ahead tonight in hopes of earning the No. 3 seed in the East. It is currently tied with the Toronto Raptors with an identical 45-32 record for that No. 3 spot, but loses out via tiebreaker. Getting that No. 3 seed and likely avoiding Miami in the second round would actually be pretty big.
The Bulls have been acting like they're gunning for it over the last couple weeks as they've saved their best basketball of the season for last. They have gone a perfect 5-0 SU & 5-0 ATS in their last five games overall, winning four times by double-digits. That includes road wins over fellow Eastern Conference playoff contenders in Atlanta (105-92) and Washington (96-78).
Chicago will be well-rested and ready to go tonight. It has not played since Saturday's 18-point win over the Wizards, giving it three days off to rest and prepare for Minnesota. Meanwhile, the Timberwolves will be playing the second of a back-to-back and their 7th game in 11 days. This is a short-handed team as it is with Chase Budinger out, and Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic listed as doubtful tonight.
The Bulls are 24-9 ATS in road games versus good ball handling teams that commit 14 or fewer turnovers per game over the last two seasons. Minnesota is 35-55 ATS in April home games since 1996. The T'Wolves are 4-14 ATS in their last 18 home games after having won three of their last four games. The Timberwolves are 3-13 ATS in their last 16 games playing on 0 days rest. The Bulls are 5-0 ATS in their last five meetings in Minnesota. The road team is 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings. Take the Bulls Wednesday.
|04-09-14||Brooklyn Nets v. Orlando Magic +5.5||Top||111-115||Win||100||8 h 49 m||Show|
20* NBA Wednesday Night Line Mistake on Orlando Magic +5.5
The Brooklyn Nets are in a massive letdown spot tonight. They just beat the Miami Heat 88-87 last night, completing the four-game season sweep of the defending NBA champions. It's only human nature for these players to suffer a letdown off such a big accomplishment.
I look for the Orlando Magic to knock the Nets off their pedestal tonight. The Magic have not played since Saturday, having three days off to prepare for the Nets in this one. Meanwhile, Brooklyn will be playing the second of a back-to-back and its 6th game in 9 days, which is a very tough situation this late in the season for any team.
The Magic clearly have not quit. They have gone 3-3 in their last six games overall, which includes wins over playoff contenders in Portland (95-85) and Charlotte (110-105). They also beat Minnesota (100-92) at home last time out, and what's important about that is the fact that the Timberwolves were coming off a 1-point victory over the Heat the night before, so they were in this same letdown spot that the Nets are in.
The Nets are just 16-23 on the road this season, while the Magic are a very respectable 18-20 at home. Brooklyn is 1-4 ATS in its last five road games. Orlando is 9-2 (82%) ATS in its last 11 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. The Magic are 4-1-1 ATS in their last six home games overall. Take Orlando Wednesday.
|04-09-14||Philadelphia 76ers +13.5 v. Toronto Raptors||114-125||Win||100||8 h 48 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday Undervalued Underdog on Philadelphia 76ers +13.5
The Philadelphia 76ers have been a huge money maker for me down the stretch of the season. There is this perception out there that they have packed it in, which has forced oddsmakers to set their lines way higher than they should be. These players clearly have not quit.
That's evident by the fact that Philadelphia is a sensational 8-3 ATS in its last 11 games overall. It has beaten both Detroit and Boston in two lof its last five games, and it has stayed withing single-digits of Atlanta on the road and Brooklyn at home during this same stretch. In fact, the 76ers have only lost by more than 10 points three times in their last 11 games, which were their three non-covers.
Asking Toronto to win by 14-plus points to beat us tonight is simply asking too much. That's especially the case when you consider that it could be without two starters in Kyle Lowry (17.4 ppg, 7.6 apg) and Amir Johnson (10.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg). Lowry has missed the past four games with a knee injury, while Johnson has sat out the last three games with an ankle injury. Both are currently listed as questionable, and it may be foolish to bring them back against a team like the 76ers.
This is an Atlantic Division rivalry folks, so the 76ers clearly aren't going to lay down for the Raptors. Despite going 0-3 against the Raptors in the first three meetings of this series, they have all been very competitive. The 76ers have lost all three meetings by 10 points or fewer, and I look for that trend to continue tonight with the possibility that they actually pull off the upset.
Philadelphia is a dominant 10-1 (91%) ATS in its last 11 vs. Eastern Conference opponents. The 76ers are 4-0 ATS in their last four vs. NBA Atlantic Division foes. The Raptors are 1-4-1 ATS in their last six games following a win. Bet the 76ers Wednesday.
|04-08-14||Los Angeles Angels v. Seattle Mariners -113||3-5||Win||100||11 h 14 m||Show|
15* Angels/Mariners AL Late-Night BAILOUT on Seattle -113
The Seattle Mariners get the nod Tuesday as a small home favorite against the Los Angeles Angels. This is the home opener for the much-improved Mariners, who have opened 4-2 this season. I expect it to be very rowdy at Safeco Field because of it.
Sure, Robinson Cano is locked up for the next 10 years. But that first game in a Mariners home white uniform Tuesday night against the Angels is admittedly meaningful. "Not just the game in Seattle, but it's emotional for me," Cano said. "I'm very emotional and happy, because I'm starting with a new team for a long time and a new time in my career."
Seattle fans will also be excited to see rookie James Paxton, who tossed seven shutout innings of an 8-2 win over the Angels in his first start of the year. He allowed just two hits and struck out nine. The Mariners swept the Angels in that opening series, and I look for them to open 4-0 against them tonight.
Los Angeles is at a huge disadvantage on the mound with Hector Santiago, who posted a lucky 3.56 ERA in spot of a woeful 1.403 WHIP last year with the White Sox. Santiago gave up four runs and 10 base runners over 5 innings of that 2-8 loss to Paxton and the Mariners in his first start of the season.
Seattle is a sensational 28-9 (+18.1 Units) against the money line at home with a money line of -100 to -125 over the last three seasons. The Angels are 1-6 in their last 7 games with the total set at 7.0-8.5. The Mariners are 4-1 in Paxton's last five starts. Seattle is 5-0 in its last five games following a loss. Take Seattle Tuesday.
|04-08-14||Cincinnati Reds +130 v. St. Louis Cardinals||5-7||Loss||-100||9 h 5 m||Show|
15* NL Tuesday PLAY OF THE DAY on Cincinnati Reds +130
The Cincinnati Reds are showing tremendous value as a nice-sized road underdog to the St. Louis Cardinals tonight. After losing Game 1 of this series to the rival Cards, I look for the Reds to bounce back with a Game 2 victory in this one.
Homer Bailey posted a 3.49 ERA, a 1.124 WHIP and an 8.6 K/9 over 32 starts in 2013. The right-hander is 2-1 with a 1.93 ERA in his last three starts against St. Louis, allowing just four earned runs and 20 base runners over 18 2/3 innings while striking out 18.
Lance Lynn is the only weak link in St. Louis' rotation. The right-hander posted a 3.97 ERA and a 1.314 WHIP over 33 starts last season. Lynn is 1-1 with a 6.30 ERA and 2.009 WHIP in his last two starts against Cincinnati, allowing 7 earned runs, 5 homers and 20 base runners in 10 innings.
The Reds are 55-20 in their last 75 after allowing 5 runs or more in their previous game. Cincinnati is 55-24 in its last 79 when its opponent scores 5 runs or more in its previous game. The Reds are 5-1 in Bailey's last six road starts. The Cardinals are 1-7 in Lynn's last eight starts when their opponent allows 5 runs or more in their previous game. Roll with the Reds Tuesday.
|04-08-14||San Antonio Spurs v. Minnesota Timberwolves UNDER 208.5||Top||91-110||Win||100||9 h 33 m||Show|
20* NBA TOTAL OF THE WEEK on Spurs/Timberwolves UNDER 208.5
The San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves will take part in a defensive battle tonight. The books have set the bar way too high for this game, especially when you look at their recent head-to-head history and the injury concerns coming in.
The Spurs and Timberwolves have combined for 203 or fewer points in five of their last six meetings overall. Each of the last five meetings in Minnesota have seen 203 or fewer combined points as the games have tended to be lower scoring at the Target Center.
San Antonio will be without Tony Parker (16.8 ppg, 5.9 apg) tonight, while Minnesota is expected to be without Nikola Pekovic (17.4 ppg), Kevin Martin (19.2 ppg) and Chase Budinger (6.7 ppg). So, the Spurs are without their leading scorer, while the Timberwolves are without two of their top three scorers.
Minnesota is 8-0 to the UNDER in home games versus very good shooting teams that make at least 48% of their shots over the last three seasons. The UNDER is 8-0 in Spurs last eight games following an ATS win. The UNDER is 7-0 in Spurs last seven games following a SU win of more than 10 points. Throw in that they have combined for 203 or fewer points in their last five meetings in Minnesota, and we have a perfect combined 28-0 system backing the UNDER. Bet the UNDER in this game Tuesday.
|04-07-14||Kentucky v. Connecticut +3||Top||54-60||Win||100||11 h 51 m||Show|
20* UConn/Kentucky NCAA Championship No-Brainer on Connecticut +3
The UConn Huskies have been disrespected the entire NCAA Tournament. That's evident by the fact that they have gone a perfect 5-0 ATS in all five games despite being an underdog in four of them. They are using being disrespected as motivation to win a title.
People are quick to dismiss the fact that the Huskies have forced Michigan State and Florida into their worst games of the season over the past two rounds. They beat the Spartans 60-54 while holding them to 39.1% shooting and forcing 16 turnovers. They beat the Gators 63-53 while limiting them to 38.8% shooting.
Both Keith Appling and Scottie Wilbekin has horrible games at the point guard position due to the perimeter defense of Ryan Boatright, who combined with Shabazz Napier to form the best defensive guard tandem in the country. They will make life hell on the Harrison twins for Kentucky tonight, which will be a big key to victory.
Napier (17.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 4.9 apg) has been the best player in the tournament thus far. He has scored an average of 21.0 points per game, and even when he only had 12 against Florida, DeAndre Daniels stepped up with 20 points and 10 rebounds, Boatright added 13 points and 6 boards, and Niles Giffey had 11 points. This clearly isn't a one man show.
Kentucky has been fortunate to make it this far thanks to three last-second game-winners from Aaron Harrison. This Wildcats' team filled with freshman stars doesn't like when one guy gets all the credit. Harrison has gotten all the credit from the media because of his clutch shots, but in all reality it's not all him. I believe that could work against Kentucky and divide this locker room, rather than bring it together.
The Wildcats remain without Willie Cauley-Stein, which makes them extremely vulnerable defensively. Cauley-Stein is averaging 6.8 points. 6.1 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks per game this season. No other player on the team averages one block per game. Without his presence in the middle, this is just an average defensive team. I look for UConn to exploit it by attacking the rim without fear tonight.
UConn is 16-4 ATS in its last 20 games as a neutral court underdog of 6 points or less or pick. The Huskies are 9-1 ATS after playing a game as an underdog this season. UConn is 6-0 ATS in its last six non-conference games. The Huskies are 14-3 ATS in their last 17 NCAA Tournament games. Bet UConn Monday.
|04-07-14||Tampa Bay Rays v. Kansas City Royals -102||2-4||Win||100||9 h 36 m||Show|
15* MLB Monday PLAY OF THE DAY on Kansas City Royals -102
The Kansas City Royals are showing tremendous value as a home underdog to the Tampa Bay Rays tonight. I'll take advantage and back this underrated team along with one of the most underrated starters in the league.
Kansas City scored seven or more runs five times last season while winning six of seven meetings with the Rays. Tampa Bay ended up with a 7.95 ERA in the season series, which was its highest mark against any opponent.
Matt Moore was rocked for five earned runs over 5 2/3 innings in a 2-7 home loss to the Royals in one of those seven games. That dropped Moore to 0-1 with a 6.40 ERA and 1.817 WHIP in two career starts against Kansas City, giving up nine earned runs and 23 base runners in 12 2/3 innings.
Jason Vargas has finished with no worse than a 4.25 ERA in any of his last three seasons, including a 3.78 ERA in 2010 and a 3.85 ERA in 2012. The left-hander clearly doesn't mind facing Tampa Bay, going 3-4 with a 3.47 ERA in eight career starts against the Rays.
The Rays are 3-8 in their last 11 road games vs. a left-handed starter. Tampa Bay is 4-10 in its last 14 games as an underdog. The Royals are 8-2 in their last 10 games vs. a left-handed starter. Kansas City is 11-3 in its last 14 games following a loss. The Royals 6-0 in their last six home meetings with Tampa Bay. Take the Royals Monday.
|04-06-14||Oklahoma City Thunder v. Phoenix Suns +3||115-122||Win||100||11 h 28 m||Show|
15* Thunder/Suns NBA TV Late-Night BAILOUT on Phoenix +3
The Phoenix Suns (45-31) have been the most underrated team in the league this season, hands down. They continue to get no respect from oddsmakers as they are a home underdog to the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight. I'll take advantage.
Phoenix is tied with Memphis for the No. 8 spot in the playoffs in the West, and one-half game behind Dallas for the No. 7 seed. It clearly won't be lacking any motivation tonight. Oklahoma City, meanwhile, appears to be stuck in the No. 2 spot without being able to move up or down barring a huge run or a big collapse. This game is much less important to the Thunder.
The Suns have handled the pressure very well down the stretch, winning seven of their last nine games overall, including a 109-93 victory at Portland as a 4.5-point underdog on Friday night. They have even won six of their last eight road games, and a big reason for their success has been the healthy return of Eric Bledsoe, who combines with Goran Dragac to form one of the best backcourts in the league.
Phoenix is 28-9 ATS versus good 3-point shooting teams that make 36% or more of their attempts this season. The Suns are 13-2 ATS versus teams who are called for 2-plus more fouls than their opponents this season. Phoenix is 49-26 ATS in all games this season. The Suns are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 Sunday games. The Thunder are 0-4 ATS in their last four road games. Phoenix is 36-15-1 ATS in its last 52 games when playing on one days rest. Roll with the Suns Sunday.
|04-06-14||Memphis Grizzlies v. San Antonio Spurs UNDER 191||92-112||Loss||-108||9 h 28 m||Show|
15* NBA Sunday Total DOMINATOR on Grizzlies/Spurs UNDER 191
I look for a low-scoring, defensive battle tonight between the Memphis Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs. I believe the books have set the bar too high in this one, and that it shouldn't be set above 190 points.
These teams are very familiar with one another due to their playoff battles over the past couple of seasons. They have gone to overtime in four of their last 10 meetings, and even if you count the overtimes, they have combined for less than 200 points in nine of those 10 contests. That's how low-scoring this series has been.
Both teams have plenty to be motivated about tonight. San Antonio is trying to inch closer to the No. 1 seed in the West, while Memphis is trying to hang on to one of the final playoff spots in the West. As a result, I look for both teams to be laying it all on the line defensively to try and get a win tonight.
The UNDER is 20-8 in Grizzlies last 28 road games. The UNDER is 10-3 in Grizzlies last 13 games overall. The UNDER is 4-0 in Spurs last four games overall. The UNDER is 8-1 in Spurs last nine when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game. Take the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|04-06-14||San Diego Padres v. Miami Marlins UNDER 7.5||Top||4-2||Win||100||4 h 55 m||Show|
20* MLB TOTAL OF THE WEEK on Padres/Marlins UNDER 7.5
I'm going to back the UNDER in this game between San Diego and Miami in what I fully expect to be a pitcher's duel Sunday afternoon. These teams combined for five runs yesterday and I look for a similar result today.
Both of these teams feature two of the worst lineups in baseball. The Padres are only scoring 1.6 runs per game through five games this season. While Miami has started hot at the plate, that has created some extra line value here with the UNDER. It won't last as Miami is one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in the league.
Nathan Eovaldi is the Marlins' No. 2 starter, and he's certainly underrated. He allowed two earned runs in six innings of a 4-3 win over Colorado in his first start of the season. Eovaldi is 1-0 with a 0.79 ERA in two career starts against San Diego, giving up one earned run over 11 1/3 innings.
Ian Kennedy is a solid middle-of-the-rotation starter for San Diego. He has gone 2-1 with a 4.01 ERA in four career starts against Miami. In his most recent start against the Marlins, he gave up one earned run over 6 1/3 innings of a 2-3 road loss.
Eovaldi is 30-14 to the UNDER in all games as a starter. The UNDER is 23-9-1 in Padres last 33 games overall. The UNDER is 35-16-1 in Padres last 52 vs. a team with a winning record. The UNDER is 31-15-5 in Marlins last 51 games vs. a right-handed starter. The UNDER is 8-1-2 in Eovaldi's last 11 starts with a total set of 7.0-8.5. Bet the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|04-05-14||Kentucky -1.5 v. Wisconsin||Top||74-73||Loss||-106||74 h 37 m||Show|
20* Kentucky/Wisconsin Final Four ANNIHILATOR on Kentucky -1.5
The Kentucky Wildcats are 10 times better today than they were in the first half of the season. This young team filled with freshmen has improved by leaps and bounds. They now have the confidence after winning several close games to get here to come up big in a game of this caliber.
The Wildcats have won six of their last seven games overall with their only loss coming to Florida (60-61) by a single point in the SEC Championship. That's the same Florida team that is in the midst of a 30-game winning streak right now.
Kentucky has had the toughest route to get to the Final Four. It has had to go through Kansas State, No. 1 Wichita State, No. 4 Louisville and No. 2 Michigan. It clearly feels like it can beat anyone in the country after going through that gauntlet.
I believe Wisconsin is a worse team than each of the last three teams that Kentucky has beaten. The Badgers were fortunate to beat Oregon in the second round after erasing a double-digit halftime deficit. They also needed overtime to get by Arizona.
Like Oregon gave Wisconsin trouble due to its athleticism, Kentucky is going to give the Badgers all it wants and more in the athleticism department. The Wildcats are one of the best rebounding teams in the country, outrebounding opponents 41-31. The Badgers are only outrebounding opponents 33-32 on the year. Kentucky doesn't start a player that is shorter than 6', 6" and it's ability to win the boards will be the difference in this one.
Kentucky is 13-2 ATS in its last 14 games off two straight wins by 6 points or less. The Wildcats are 7-0 ATS in all tournament games this season. Kentucky is 8-1 ATS in NCAA Tournament games over the last three seasons. Kentucky is 7-0 ATS in its last seven games overall. The Wildcats at 8-1 SU in neutral court games this year. Bet Kentucky Saturday.
|04-05-14||Brooklyn Nets v. Philadelphia 76ers +10.5||105-101||Win||100||9 h 23 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday PLAY OF THE DAY on Philadelphia 76ers +10.5
The Philadelphia 76ers are showing tremendous value as a double-digit home underdog to the Brooklyn Nets Saturday. I'll take advantage and back this team, which has been a big money maker for me over the last month of the season.
Indeed, the 76ers are a very profitable 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games overall, raking in solid profits for guys like myself who can stomach betting them. They have stayed within 10 points of Indiana (twice), Chicago (twice) and New York over the past three weeks. They just went into Boston and won 111-102 last night.
The Brooklyn Nets have been playing well, but they are kind of stuck in a bad spot right now. They would be the No. 5 seed in the East if the season were to end today, trailing the No. 4 seed by 2.5 games with only seven games to play. Their chances of getting home-court advantage in the first round are slim and they know it.
The first meeting between these teams this season was a blowout in Brooklyn's favor as Joe Johnson made 10 3-pointers, and Michael Carter-Williams sat out that game due to injury. However, the last two have gone right down to the wire. Philadelphia beat Brooklyn 121-120 as a 6-point home dog on December 20, and lost 102-108 as a 9-point road dog on February 3. I look for this 4th and final meeting to be decided by single-digits, too.
The Nets are just 14-23 SU & 17-20 ATS in all road games this season. They are 1-4 ATS in their last five road games. The 76ers are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 vs. Eastern Conference opponents. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings in this series. Philadelphia is 11-5 ATS in its last 16 meetings with Brooklyn. Bet the 76ers Saturday.
|04-05-14||Connecticut v. Florida -6||63-53||Loss||-110||71 h 58 m||Show|
15* UConn/Florida Final Four No-Brainer on Florida -6
The Florida Gators (36-2) have proven to be more than worthy of their top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. They have now won 30 straight games while dominating their way to the Final Four. They are the hottest team in the field, hands down.
All four of Florida’s victories in the big dance have come by double-digits with wins over Albany (67-55), Pittsburgh (61-45), UCLA (79-68) and Dayton (62-52). No other team can even come close to claiming that. Now, the Gators only have to win by 7-plus points to cover this spread.
What makes Florida so difficult to deal with is its ability to play all kinds of different defenses. Billy Donovan will deploy man-to-man, full court press, and several different zones depending on the opponent. Give him a whole week to prepare for UConn, and you can bet he’ll give his team the best chance to win by doing everything they can to shut down Shabazz Napier.
Napier has single-handedly carried UConn this far, but his run of greatness ends Saturday. He has averaged 23.3 points per game in the big dance while scoring 19-plus points in all four games. Even though he did score 26 in a 65-64 home win over the Gators in their first meeting this year, he'll be up against a much better team that has not lost since that contest. This is a revenge game for Florida, which only adds fuel to its fire.
The Gators are led in scoring by Casey Prather (13.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg), Scottie Wilbekin (13.4 ppg) and Michael Frazier II (12.6 ppg). Patric Young (10.8 ppg, 6. rpg), Dorian Finney-Smith (8.9 ppg, 6.7 rpg) and Will Yeguete (5.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg) handle the dirty work inside. This is just a very balanced team that can beat you a number of different ways, but they do so mostly with their 3rd-ranked scoring defense (57.6 ppg) in the country.
UConn is 0-7 ATS in its last seven games following four consecutive wins. Florida is 20-9 ATS in its last 29 NCAA Tournament games. The Gators are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games overall. Rarely will you get this team as this small of a favorite against anyone, and we'll take advantage as the Gators likely win their 5th straight game by double-digits. Take Florida Saturday.
|04-05-14||San Francisco Giants -110 v. Los Angeles Dodgers||7-2||Win||100||7 h 38 m||Show|
15* Giants/Dodgers NL West ANNIHILATOR on San Francisco -110
The San Francisco Giants (4-1) are making a statement to start the 2014 season. They have been an every-other-year type of team over the past several seasons, winning two of the past four World Series every other year. They clearly look like a contender in the early going.
While the Giants' offense has been superb in scoring 6.2 runs/game, I'm backing them today because of Madison Bumgarner on the mound. The left-hander is one of the most underrated starters in the league. He has topped 200 innings each of the past three seasons while posting a 2.77 ERA (2013), 3.37 (2012) and 3.21 (2011).
Bumgarner loves facing the rival Dodgers, going 8-3 with a 2.61 ERA and 0.954 WHIP in 11 career starts against them. He'll be up against Paul Maholm, who has not fared well recently against San Francisco. His last two start against the Giants were atrocious as he gave up 10 earned runs and 21 base runners over 9 2/3 innings.
Los Angeles is 2-12 (-12.7 Units) against the money line with a tired bullpen that has thrown 13+ innings over the last three games over the last two seasons. The Giants are 9-2 in their last 11 games as a road favorite of -110 to -150. San Francisco is 35-16 in Bumgarner's last 51 starts vs. NL West opponents. The Giants are 6-1 in the last seven meetings, including 4-0 in the last four meetings in Los Angeles. Roll with San Francisco Saturday.
|04-04-14||Oklahoma City Thunder v. Houston Rockets UNDER 212.5||107-111||Loss||-100||10 h 28 m||Show|
15* Thunder/Rockets ESPN Friday No-Brainer on UNDER 212.5
The books have set the bar too high in this contest between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets tonight. Both teams are still worried about playoff seeding, so the defensive intensity should be high in this one, especially since it's being nationally televised on ESPN.
Believe it or not, these teams tend to play in defensive battles when they get together. The UNDER is 5-0 in the last five meetings in this series. Dating back further, the Thunder and Rockets have combined for 211 or fewer points in each of their last nine meetings, which makes for a perfect 9-0 system backing the UNDER pertaining to tonight's total set of 212.5 points.
There are two key injuries in this one that will also help keep the final combined score UNDER the posted total. The most important is Russell Westbrook (21.3 ppg, 6.9 apg), who is sitting out to rest his knee following the second of a back-to-back. The other is Dwight Howard (18.5 ppg, 12.3 apg), who is doubtful with an ankle injury. Sure, Howard's defense will be missed, but Omer Asik (5.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg) is his replacement. Asik is nearly the same player defensively as Howard, but not even close to the same player offensively.
Plays on the UNDER on any team (OKLAHOMA CITY) - in a game involving two good excellent shooting teams (>=47%), in a game involving two average ball handling team (14.5-16.5 TO's) after 42+ games are 34-8 (81%) since 1996. Plays on the UNDER on home teams where the total is greater than or equal to 200 (HOUSTON) - a good team (60% to 75%) playing a team with a winning record, on Friday nights are 33-10 (76.7%) over the last five seasons.
Oklahoma City is 14-5 to the UNDER when the total is greater than or equal to 210 this season. The UNDER is 31-14 in Thunder's last 45 games off a home win by 10 points or more. The UNDER is 5-0 in Thunder last five vs. a team with a winning S.U. record. The UNDER is 5-0 in Rockets last five vs. a team with a winning S.U. record. The UNDER is 5-0 in the last five meetings. These three trends combine for a perfect 15-0 system backing the UNDER. Roll with the UNDER in this game Friday.
|04-04-14||New Orleans Pelicans v. Utah Jazz -2.5||96-100||Win||100||10 h 41 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday No-Doubt Rout on Utah Jazz -2.5
Sure, the Utah Jazz have lost 16 of their last 18 games overall which would make most believe that they have quit. A closer look shows that they have simply played a gauntlet of a schedule and that they clearly have not quit.
Only three of those 16 losses have come against teams that aren't currently in the playoff hunt. The two wins came against Philadelphia and Orlando, which are teams not in the playoff hunt. One of the losses came to New Orleans on March 28 by a final of 95-102 on the road, which places the Jazz in revenge mode a week later.
New Orleans is depleted right now, which is why it stands no chance of covering in this game tonight. Its top four scorers in Anthony Davis (21.1 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 2.8 bpg), Ryan Anderson (19.8 ppg), Eric Gordon (15.4 ppg) and Jrue Holiday (14.3 ppg, 7.9 apg) are all expected to miss tonight's game. Anderson and Holiday are for sure out, while Davis and Gordon are doubtful.
Home-court advantage has been absolutely huge in this series between Utah and New Orleans. The home team is 9-1 straight up in the last 10 meetings. The Jazz are 4-0 straight up in their last four home meetings with the Pelicans. New Orleans is 3-10-1 ATS in its last 14 meetings in Utah. The Pelicans are 3-9-2 ATS in their last 14 road games. Bet the Jazz Friday.
|04-04-14||Milwaukee Bucks v. Chicago Bulls UNDER 185.5||90-102||Loss||-109||9 h 58 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday Total DOMINATOR on Bucks/Bulls UNDER 185.5
The Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls will take part in a defensive battle tonight. While this is a low total, the books have not set it nearly low enough. There is still a ton of value in backing the UNDER, especially when you look at recent meetings between these teams.
The UNDER is 3-0 in three meetings between the Bucks and Bulls this season. They have combined for 152, 181 and 153 points for an average combined score of 162 points, which is roughly 24 points less than tonight's posted total of 185.5. As you can see, there is a ton of value with this UNDER based off head-to-head history.
Milwaukee has been atrocious offensively in two of its last three games, scoring 67 and 77 points in losses to Miami. That's easy to understand when you consider how depleted the Bucks are right now. Both O.J. Mayo (11.7 ppg) and Ersan Ilyasova (11.2 ppg) recently went out with injuries. This team is led by Brandon Knight, Ramon Sessions and Khris Middleton offensively now, which is not good.
Chicago is a perfect 8-0 to the UNDER in home games versus terrible teams that are outscored by their opponents by 6-plus points per game over the last two seasons. The Bulls are 29-13 to the UNDER when the total is between 180 and 189.5 points this season. Chicago is 21-7 to the UNDER as a home favorite this year. The UNDER is 5-0 in Bulls last five after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game. Take the UNDER in this game Friday.
|04-04-14||Detroit Pistons +10 v. Brooklyn Nets||Top||104-116||Loss||-102||8 h 40 m||Show|
20* NBA Eastern Conference GAME OF THE MONTH on Detroit Pistons +10
The Detroit Pistons clearly have not packed it in even though they are out of the playoff hunt. Their last two games have resulted in a win over Milwaukee and a 94-101 road loss at Indiana as a 10.5-point underdog. Those two effort show that they have not quit.
Brooklyn is in a tough spot here emotionally. It is currently the No. 5 seed in the East while trailing the Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls by 2.5 games for the No. 3 and No. 4 seed with only eight games remaining. Its chances of earning home-court advantage in the first round are slim, and it knows it. The Nets could be more worried about finding rest for their players here down the stretch.
Simply put, Detroit has Brooklyn's number as this is a terrible match-up for the Nets. Indeed, the Pistons are 3-0 against the Nets this season, winning by 12, 4 and 16 points. Their huge height advantage has been the biggest reason as the Pistons have outrebounded the Nets by a combined 38 boards in the three wins. Getting double-digit points here is an absolute gift from oddsmakers.
Plays on road teams (DETROIT) - 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 89-33 (73%) ATS over the last five seasons. Detroit is 9-0 ATS in April games over the past two seasons. Take the Pistons Friday.
|04-04-14||Cleveland Cavaliers v. Atlanta Hawks UNDER 203||Top||98-117||Loss||-104||8 h 39 m||Show|
25* NBA TOTAL OF THE YEAR on Cavaliers/Hawks UNDER 203
The stakes are high in this game between Cleveland and Atlanta, which is why I fully expect a defensive battle. Atlanta is percentage points behind New York for the 8th and final playoff spot in the East, while Cleveland is two games behind New York for the same spot.
You can bet that both teams will be laying it all on the line defensively to try and get a win in this contest, which is the most important of the season for both squads. I also expect that pressure to affect the offenses as neither team will shoot it very well in this one.
Not counting overtime, the Hawks and Cavaliers have combined for 197 or fewer points at the end of regulation in each of their last five meetings in this series. That fact alone shows that there is a ton of value in backing the UNDER in this one, especially given the pressure-packed circumstance for both teams.
Cleveland is 7-0 to the UNDER off a road win scoring 110 or more points this season. The UNDER is 6-0 in Hawks last six games following a loss. The UNDER is 5-0 in Hawks last five after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game. The UNDER is 10-1-1 in Hawks last 12 games following an ATS loss. These four trends combine for a 28-1 system backing the UNDER tonight. Bet the UNDER in this game Friday.
|04-04-14||New York Yankees -138 v. Toronto Blue Jays||7-3||Win||100||9 h 46 m||Show|
15* AL Friday No-Doubt Rout on New York Yankees -138
Japanese star Masahiro Tanaka begins his big league career in Toronto tonight for the New York Yankees after signing a seven-year, $155 million deal this past offseason. I look for him to have a ton of success early in the season as opposing hitters will be at a huge disadvantage having never seen him before.
Tanaka earned that deal after going 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA in Japan last year. He backed it up with a very strong spring training, going 2-0 with a 2.14 ERA in five games while striking out 26 batters and walking three in 21 innings. This is a very generous price to be able to back a starting pitcher of his caliber as I fully expect him to be one of the best in the league.
Toronto will be giving the ball to Dustin McGowan, who will be making his first big league start since September of 2011. He missed all of 2012 with foot and shoulder injuries, and made 25 appearances out of the bullpen last year. He also missed all of 2009 and 2010 with arm issues. McGowan is 2-2 with a 5.23 ERA in eight career starts against the Yankees.
The Yankees are 36-16 in their last 52 Friday games. The Blue Jays are 9-20 in their last 29 Friday games. Toronto is 1-4 in McGowan's last five starts as an underdog. New York is 22-10 in its last 32 games as a favorite. New York is 35-17 in its last 52 meetings with Toronto. Bet the Yankees Friday.
|04-04-14||Indiana Pacers +1 v. Toronto Raptors||94-102||Loss||-102||8 h 42 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday Undervalued Underdog on Indiana Pacers +1
The Indiana Pacers trail the Miami Heat by only percentage points for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Clearly, this team is lacking no motivation with only six games to play. I look for them to take care of business against the short-handed Toronto Raptors tonight.
Sure, Indiana has been playing its worst basketball of the season, losing five of its last seven games. However, it is coming off a confidence-building 101-94 win over Detroit. I believe these recent struggles have provided us with a ton of line value here tonight as I believe the Pacers should be in the neighborhood of a 5-point favorite.
Toronto is expected to be without its best player tonight in Kyle Lowry (17.4 ppg, 7.6 apg, 4.8 rpg), who is listed as doubtful with a knee injury. Also, starting forward Amir Johnson (10.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg) is questionable after leaving early Wednesday against Houston with an ankle injury. Chances are, since he didn't return, he won't be ready two days later.
Plays on road underdogs (INDIANA) - cold team - failing to cover the spread in 12 or more of the last 15, tired team - playing 6 or more games in 10 days are 53-24 (68.8%) ATS since 1996. The road team is 7-1 ATS in the last eight meetings in this series. The Raptors are 0-3-1 ATS in their last four games following a win. Roll with the Pacers Friday.
|04-03-14||New York Yankees -138 v. Houston Astros||Top||4-2||Win||100||10 h 20 m||Show|
20* American League GAME OF THE WEEK on New York Yankees -138
Looking to avoid the embarrassment that would come from a 3-game sweep at the hands of the Houston Astros, I look for the New York Yankees to take Game 3 tonight to salvage this series. This is really a generous price for them all things considered.
Houston lost a whopping 111 games last season, and it isn't magically a contender in 2014 after two wins over the Yankees. New York is the contender with the additions of Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann, as well as the return to health of a couple star players.
Ivan Nova is coming off a tremendous 2013 season and I look for him to pick up right where he left off. Nova went 9-6 with a 3.10 ERA over 20 starts and three relief appearances last season. He'll be up against a Houston team that hasn't swept the opening series of a season since 2001.
New York is 69-31 (+30.2 Units) against the money line revenging 2 straight losses where team scored 2 or less runs since 1997. Nova is 14-3 (+10.3 Units) against the money line on the road with a money line of -100 to -150 in his career. Houston is 25-57 in its last 82 home games. The Astros are 18-58 in their last 76 during game 3 of a series. The Yankees are 42-19 in their last 61 games after losing the first two games of a series. Take New York Thursday.
|04-03-14||San Antonio Spurs v. Oklahoma City Thunder UNDER 209.5||Top||94-106||Win||100||9 h 28 m||Show|
20* Spurs/Thunder TNT Thursday No-Brainer on UNDER 209.5
The Oklahoma City Thunder (54-19) and San Antonio Spurs (59-16) square off tonight in a battle between the top two teams in the Western Conference. I look for this to be a low-scoring, defensive battle pertaining to tonight's total set of 209.5
This will be the 4th and final meeting of the season between these teams. This is the highest total set of any of the four games as the previous three were 205, 207.5 and 202.5, respectively. That fact alone lets you know that there is some value on the UNDER here.
A big reason for the inflation is that these teams have combined for 216 and 213 points in their last two meetings. However, in that 216-point outing, the Thunder shot 54.2% as a team while the Spurs shot 53.3%. Neither team will come close to matching those blistering percentages in this one. Five of the past seven meetings in this series have seen 200 or fewer combined points, so the past two meetings were clearly the aberration.
Both teams still have plenty to play for, which is why the level of intensity defensively should be a very high level. The Thunder are trying to fend off the Clippers for the No. 2 seed in the West while inching closer to the Spurs, who want to clinch the No. 1 seed ASAP to give their starters some rest down the stretch.
The Spurs are 4-0 to the UNDER in their last four vs. a team with a winning percentage above .600, 6-0 to the UNDER in their last six games following a SU win of more than 10 points, 7-0 to the UNDER in their last seven following an ATS win, and 7-1 to the UNDER in their last eight games playing on 0 days of rest. The UNDER is 4-0 in Thunder's last four home games vs. a team with a road winning percentage greater than .600. These five trends combine for a 28-1 system backing the UNDER. Roll with the UNDER in this game Thursday.
|04-03-14||Minnesota v. SMU -3||65-63||Loss||-106||24 h 52 m||Show|
15* Minnesota/SMU NIT Championship ANNIHILATOR on SMU -3
I've said all along that SMU is the best team not to make the field of 68 in the big dance. I am sticking by that statement as I look for the Mustangs to prove that they are the best team outside of the NCAA Tournament by not only beating Minnesota for the title, but also covering the 3-point spread.
There are several reasons to back SMU in this one. My personal favorite reason is that they played the early game on Tuesday in the semifinals, so players and coaches were able to watch Minnesota play in the late game to get down its tendencies.
The Golden Gophers would go to overtime against Florida State, so the Mustangs got an extra long look at them. Head coach Larry Brown will have a tremendous game plan for his team coming into this one because of it.
Sure, it's concerning that Rick Pitino can give son Richard some advice on how to beat SMU, but let's be honest. Minnesota is nowhere near the same team as Louisville. The Cardinals' press really hurt the Mustangs this season, but the Golden Gophers' press is laughable compared to that of Louisville.
The Mustangs are one of the best defensive teams in the country. They give up just 62.2 points per game on 38.3% shooting, which is extremely impressive considering their opponents average 70.4 points on 44.0% shooting. They are also efficient offensively, scoring 71.2 points per game on 48.3% shooting.
SMU's route to get here has been much tougher than Minnesota's. The Mustangs have had to beat three teams from major division 1 conferences in LSU, California and Clemson. The Golden Gophers have only had to beat one, which came against FSU in overtime. The other three were against High Point, Saint Mary's and Southern Miss all at home by 8 points or fewer.
SMU is 6-0 ATS in road games off a win by 6 points or less over the last three seasons. Minnesota is 1-7 ATS in road games versus good teams that outscore their opponents by 8-plus points per game this season. The Mustangs are 5-1 ATS in their last six non-conference games. Bet SMU Thursday.
|04-02-14||Los Angeles Clippers v. Phoenix Suns UNDER 214||Top||112-108||Loss||-108||12 h 25 m||Show|
20* NBA Western Conference TOTAL OF THE MONTH on Clippers/Suns UNDER 214
The books have set the bar too high tonight in this contest between the Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns. This will be the 4th and final meeting between these Pacific Division rivals, and familiarity breeds low-scoring games.
The UNDER is 3-0 in the first three meetings between these teams. They did combine for 217 points last meeting, but the other two resulted in 200 and 195 combined points. That's an average of 204 combined points per game, which is 10 points less than tonight's posted total.
My biggest reason for backing the UNDER is that Los Angeles is expected to be without two of its top three scorers in Blake Griffin (24.0 ppg, 9.6 rpg) and Jamal Crawford (18.6 ppg). Griffin is doubtful with a back injury, while Crawford is doubtful with an injured Achilles.
The Clippers are 16-4 to the UNDER versus poor passing teams that average 20 or fewer assists per game over the last two seasons. Phoenix is a perfect 9-0 to the UNDER in home games off two straight games outrebounding opponent by 10 or more since 1996. The Suns are 16-5 to the UNDER off a double-digit loss as a favorite of 6 points or more since 1996.
The UNDER is 11-4-1 in Clippers last 16 games overall. The UNDER is 4-0 in Suns last four overall. The UNDER is 10-2-1 in the last 13 meetings in this series, including a perfect 6-0 in the last six meetings in Phoenix. Both teams have a lot to play for tonight, so look for the defensive intensity to be at a high level.
|04-02-14||St. Louis Cardinals v. Cincinnati Reds +108||0-1||Win||108||10 h 32 m||Show|
15* MLB Wednesday PLAY OF THE DAY on Cincinnati Reds +108
The Cincinnati Reds get the call Wednesday as a small home underdog to the St. Louis Cardinals. Rarely will you ever get this team as a home underdog, and I'll take advantage today as the Reds look to bounce back from a 1-0 loss to the Cardinals in Game 1 of this series.
Tony Cingrani is one of the best starters in the league that nobody knows about, and a future star. The left-hander went 7-4 with a 2.92 ERA in his rookie season while also winning both of his starts versus St. Louis. He is the real deal folks.
Michael Wacha is getting a lot of love for what he did late in the season last year. He only allowed three runs in 27 innings in his first four postseason starts before getting shelled for six runs over 3 2/3 innings in a Game 6 loss to Boston in the World Series. He is simply overvalued to open the season.
The Cardinals finished 27th in the league last year with a .238 batting average against southpaws. Cincinnati is 46-17 (+20.9 Units) against the money line in home games after a loss over the last three seasons. The home team is 8-2 in Kerwin Danley's last 10 games behind home plate in Cincinnati games. The Cardinals are 0-4 in their last 4 road games vs. a left-handed starter. Roll with the Reds Wednesday.
|04-02-14||Charlotte Bobcats v. Philadelphia 76ers +8.5||123-93||Loss||-105||9 h 25 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday Night Line Mistake on Philadelphia 76ers +8.5
The Philadelphia 76ers continue to show tremendous value due to having one of the worst records in the league. This team has made me a lot of money of late, and I'm going to continue to back them because they are undervalued once again as an 8.5-point home underdog to Charlotte.
Sure, the Bobcats are improved this season and will make the playoffs, but they should not be this heavily favored against anyone at home let alone on the road. They are pretty much guaranteed either a No. 6 or a No. 7 seed in the East, so they really don't have a whole lot to play for the rest of the way.
Philadelphia clearly has not quit. It has gone a very profitable 6-2 ATS in its last 10 games overall. That includes a 90-99 at Indiana as a 9.5-point dog, a 94-102 home loss to Chicago as a 13.5-point dog, a 92-93 home loss to New York as a 12-point dog, an 81-91 loss at Chicago as a 16-point dog, and a 123-98 home win versus Detroit as a 6-point dog.
The only big blowouts and non-covers suffered by the 76ers during this stretch came at San Antonio and at Houston, which can be expected as those are two of the best teams in the Western Conference. Many thought they would fold after ending their 26-game losing streak, but that wasn't the case last time out. They fought tough at Atlanta for four quarters before eventually losing 95-103 as a 12-point dog.
Home-court advantage has been huge in this series of late. The home team is a perfect 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Philadelphia is 7-2 SU in its last nine meetings with Charlotte. It won its last home meeting with the Bobcats 95-92 on January 15 as a 2-point favorite. Now, it is an 8.5-point underdog, which just goes to show you how much value there is in this line.
Charlotte is 2-12 ATS revenging a close loss vs. opponent of 3 points or less over the last three seasons. The Bobcats are 35-59 ATS revenging a same season loss vs. opponent over the last three seasons. The Bobcats are 3-12 ATS after scoring 100 points or more in two straight games over the last two years. Philadelphia is a perfect 8-0 ATS in its last eight games vs. Eastern Conference opponents. Take the 76ers Wednesday.
|04-01-14||Minnesota v. Florida State -1.5||Top||64-67||Loss||-110||11 h 6 m||Show|
25* NIT GAME OF THE YEAR on Florida State -1.5
The Florida State Seminoles (22-13) and Minnesota Golden Gophers (23-13) square off in the NIT Semifinals tonight in Madison Square Garden. I look for the Seminoles to win this game and advance to the Championship behind their gritty defense.
Both teams will be motivated, but I believe the motivation is greater for the Seminoles. They actually lost to the Golden Gophers on the road by a final of 61-71 on December 3 earlier this season. They turned the ball over 17 times, and they'll want revenge from that defeat.
I've been much more impressed with FSU's path to get here. It did struggled with Florida Gulf Coast before beating Georgetown and Louisiana Tech, which are both better teams than anything Minnesota faced. The Golden Gophers have beaten High Point, Saint Mary's and Southern Miss all by 8 points or fewer at home.
The Seminoles only allow 66.4 points per game on 39.9% shooting, while the Gophers give up 68.0 points per game on 42.5% shooting. FSU has been improved on offense this year, too, scoring 71.1 points per game on 46.8% shooting. Minnesota is putting up 71.7 points on 44.8% shooting.
Minnesota is just 5-10 in all road games this season, while Florida State is 10-8 in games away from home. The Seminoles are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 neutral site games, while the Gophers are 1-5 ATS in their last six neutral site games. FSU is 10-3 ATS when playing only its 2nd game in 8 days this season. The Seminoles are 12-3 ATS off a home game this year. Bet Florida State Tuesday.
|04-01-14||Golden State Warriors v. Dallas Mavericks UNDER 205||122-120||Loss||-110||10 h 39 m||Show|
15* NBA Tuesday PLAY OF THE DAY on Warriors/Mavericks UNDER 205
The books have set the bar too high in this contest between the Golden State Warriors and Dallas Mavericks tonight. One look at the scores in the first three meetings between these teams this season and it's easy to see that this number has been inflated.
Indeed, the Warriors and Mavs have met three times with final combined scores of 193, 188 and 202 points. That's an average of 194.3 points per game, which is roughly 11 points less than tonight's posted total. If you don't count overtime, then the Mavs and Warriors have combined for 202 or fewer points in six of their last seven meetings as well.
Golden State just isn't the same offensive team without second-leading scorer David Lee (18.5 ppg, 9.4 rpg), who has missed the past two games with a hamstring injury. It has made a big impact on the Warriors, who have scored an average of 91.3 points per game in their last three games overall. They literally have no inside scoring presence without Lee, who is listed as doubtful tonight.
The UNDER is a perfect 8-0 in Warriors last eight Tuesday games. The UNDER is 5-0 in Mavericks last five vs. a team with a winning record. The UNDER is 5-0 in the last five meetings in this series. These three trends combine for a perfect 18-0 system backing the UNDER tonight. Roll with the UNDER in this game Tuesday.
|04-01-14||Atlanta Braves +107 v. Milwaukee Brewers||Top||5-2||Win||107||10 h 45 m||Show|
20* National League GAME OF THE WEEK on Atlanta Braves +107
I was on the Atlanta Braves yesterday in an 0-2 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. I believed they had the edge on the mound with Julio Teheran over Yovani Gallardo, but it wasn't to be. Teheran pitched well in a 2-0 loss.
Once again, I feel the Braves have the edge on the mound in this one, too. Plus, they cannot be any worse at the plate than they were yesterday when they managed a measly five hits. I'll back them at a great price here tonight in the role of the underdog as they improve to 1-1 on the season.
Alex Wood went 3-3 with a 3.13 ERA in his first year in the majors in 2013. The 23-year-old had a dominant spring, allowing one earned run while striking out 16 and walking just two over 20 innings. He went 3-2 with a 3.54 ERA in 11 starts last season. I like this kid's confidence leading into this start, too.
"I feel more weight on my shoulders now than I ever did last year, because last year if I did well, I exceeded expectations," Wood told the Braves' official website. "If I didn't, it was, 'Oh he's 22 years old,' or, 'He went through the minor leagues fast, he's going to have some growing pains.'
"Well, I really didn't experience many growing pains last year, so now what I did last year is what everyone expects. But I wouldn't have it any other way. My biggest thing is getting an opportunity. If I get an opportunity, I don't typically let it get away."
Kyle Lohse has certainly been an underrated pitcher in this league for quite some time, but he's past his prime and now on the downside of his career. Lohse posted a 5.49 ERA over five starts in the spring. He sports a 4.17 ERA in 12 career starts against the Braves.
The Braves are 5-1 in their last 6 after scoring 2 runs or less in their previous game. Atlanta is 8-3 in its last 11 during game 2 of a series. The Brewers are 4-11 in their last 15 home games vs. a left-handed starter. Atlanta is 6-1 in its last seven games with Greg Gibson behind home plate. Milwaukee is 1-6 in its last seven games with Gibson behind home plate. Take the Braves Tuesday.
|03-31-14||Philadelphia 76ers +12.5 v. Atlanta Hawks||95-103||Win||100||8 h 14 m||Show|
15* NBA Monday Undervalued Underdog on Philadelphia 76ers +12.5
The Philadelphia 76ers have been undervalued for quite some time now as we approach the end of the season. Many feel that this team has given up, but from following them closely, that is clearly not the case. They have gone 5-2 ATS in their last seven games overall while being much more competitive against some quality competition in the Pacers, Bulls (twice), Knicks, Spurs, Rockets and Pistons.
Sure, the 76ers lack talent due to a couple of trades, but they just recently got back a key player in Tony Wroten (13.3 ppg) from injury. To no surprise, the 76ers put an end to their 26-game losing streak in his first game back, beating Detroit 123-98 on Saturday night. This team will play out the season and relish the role of spoiler as all of these players are fighting for jobs next year.
With the way Atlanta has been playing for a couple months, it has no business being this heavily favored against anyone. Atlanta (31-41) has gone 6-20 since February 4, and it is in the midst of its second losing streak of six games or more during this stretch. Kyle Korver leads the league in 3-point shooting at 48.6 percent, but has missed the past six games with a back injury, and he's questionable to return tonight.
The 76ers have a huge edge in rest here as this will be just their 3rd game in 7 days, while the Hawks will be playing their 6th game in 9 days. Philadelphia is a perfect 7-0 ATS in its last seven vs. Eastern Conference opponents. Atlanta is 5-20-1 ATS in its last 26 games overall. The Hawks are 1-6 ATS in their last seven home games. Roll with the 76ers Monday.
|03-31-14||San Antonio Spurs v. Indiana Pacers +4.5||Top||103-77||Loss||-108||8 h 44 m||Show|
20* Spurs/Pacers Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Indiana +4.5
The Indiana Pacers should not be a home underdog to anyone. I'll take advantage Monday and back them at arguably their best price of the season as a 4.5-point home dog to the San Antonio Spurs.
The Pacers are undervalued right now due to having lost four of their last five games overall. Their one win during this stretch came against Miami, so they have proven they can step it up when they need to. They only lead the Heat by one game for the No. 1 seed in the East, so this is a very important game for them.
All four of Indiana's losses during this five-game stretch have come on the road. It returns home tonight where it is a sensational 33-4 on the season, outscoring opponents by a whopping 12.5 points per game. That's why this team knows how important it will be to secure home-court advantage in the East.
San Antonio comes in overvalued due to its franchise-best 17-game winning streak. The competition has been weak to say the least, which is the biggest reason for this streak. Their last four games have come against the 76ers, Nuggets (twice) and Pelicans. I'm predicting their run comes to an end tonight, but I'll gladly take the points for some added insurance.
Plays against any team (SAN ANTONIO) - revenging a loss where opponent scored 110 or more points against opponent off an upset loss to a division rival as a favorite are 42-11 (79.2%) ATS over the last five seasons. Indiana is 14-4 ATS in its last 18 home games following a double-digit loss. Take the Pacers Monday.
|03-31-14||Atlanta Braves -117 v. Milwaukee Brewers||0-2||Loss||-117||4 h 22 m||Show|
15* MLB Season Opener on Atlanta Braves -117
The Atlanta Braves get the nod as my favorite play to open the 2014 MLB season. This is my MLB first play of the year, and I just want to let my long-term clients know that I'm going to be more selective in the early going. I got off to a poor start the past couple baseball seasons, so I am tweaking my approach a bit this season, and I think it will benefit both of us.
The Braves are coming off a 96-66 season to win the NL East. They have a ton of talent back from that team, led by Freddie Freeman and Justin Upton among a potent lineup. While the pitching staff has had some injuries to deal with, the Braves will be giving the ball to arguably their best starter today.
Julio Teheran's emergence last year was as big of a reason for the Braves' 96-win campaign as any. The right-hander went 14-8 with a 3.20 ERA as a rookie last year, and he followed it up with a 1.80 ERA and 26 strikeouts against four walks in 25 innings this spring. I have no doubt he'll be one of the best starters in the league this year, and we're getting him at a terrific price to open the season.
I have Milwaukee pegged in 4th place in the NL Central this year. Sure, they get Ryan Braun back from a 65-game suspension, but he'll be a shell of his former self not on PED's. Plus, I like fading Yovani Gallardo, who posted a 4.18 ERA last season with the Brewers and is on the decline. He lost velocity on his fastball last year, which led to the inflated ERA.
The Braves are 35-17 in their last 52 during Game 1 of a series. Atlanta is 31-14 in its last 45 games as a favorite. The Braves are 9-4 in Teheran's last 13 starts overall. The Brewers are 17-35 in Gallardos last 52 starts as an underdog. Milwaukee is 18-35 in its last 53 day games. Bet the Braves Monday.
|03-30-14||Toronto Raptors v. Orlando Magic +4.5||98-93||Loss||-105||7 h 23 m||Show|
15* NBA Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Orlando Magic +4.5
The Orlando Magic obviously have had a rough season. However, they have been sneaky good at home, going 17-18 straight up in all home games this season. I believe they should be the favorite in this game against Toronto tonight.
Orlando has not quit on its season. It is coming off back-to-back home wins over playoff contenders in Portland (95-85) and Charlotte (110-105). It is certainly doing a good job of playing the role of spoiler, and I look for that to continue tonight.
Toronto has been underrated for much of the season as it is 41-31 on the year and sitting in third place in the Eastern Conference. However, I believe the odds have finally caught up to the Raptors, and now it's time to fade this overvalued bunch.
One reason the Magic will be motivated for this game is the fact that they are 0-2 against the Raptors this season and want to avoid the sweep. In fact, they have lost six straight in this series overall. They'll be looking to put an end to this skid tonight.
Orlando is a sensational 9-1 ATS as a home underdog of 3.5 to 6 points this season. Toronto is 16-32 ATS in its last 48 games off a close home win by 3 points or less. The Magic are 12-3 ATS in their last 15 home games overall. Roll with the Magic Sunday.
|03-30-14||Kentucky -2 v. Michigan||Top||75-72||Win||100||7 h 25 m||Show|
25* Elite Eight GAME OF THE YEAR on Kentucky -2
The Kentucky Wildcats represent one of my strongest plays of the NCAA Tournament as they take on the Michigan Wolverines in the Elite Eight. I look for their athleticism and talent to overwhelm the Wolverines, who are the most overrated team left in the tournament.
Kentucky has played the toughest schedule to get to this point. It has beaten Kansas State, Wichita State and Louisville. This young team has only gotten better as the season has gone on, and they are playing their best basketball of the year at the right time. I look for that to continue against Michigan, which is a lesser opponent than both Wichita State and Louisville.
The Wolverines were on the right side of almost all of their close games this season, including a 73-71 victory over Tennessee last round. Their luck runs out today. Michigan has relied on the 3-pointer (40.2%) to get this far, but Kentucky's length at all positions will take away that strength. The Wildcats only allow 31.8% shooting from 3-point range this year.
The Wildcats are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Kentucky is 6-0 ATS in its last six neutral site games. The Wildcats are 5-0 ATS in their last five Sunday games. Kentucky is 4-0 ATS in its last four NCAA Tournament games. These four trends combine for a perfect 21-0 system backing the Wildcats. Bet Kentucky Sunday.
|03-30-14||Indiana Pacers v. Cleveland Cavaliers UNDER 184||76-90||Win||100||5 h 35 m||Show|
15* NBA Sunday Total ANNIHILATOR on Pacers/Cavaliers UNDER 184
The Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers will take part in a defensive battle today. If recent meetings between these teams is any indication, there's no question that the books have set the bar too high in this one.
The Pacers and Cavaliers have met three times already this season, so they are very familiar with one another. They have combined for 160, 167 and 163 points in their last three meetings, respectively. That's an average of 163.3 combined points per game, which is roughly 21 points less than tonight's posted total of 184.
Indiana ranks 20th in pace at 95.4 possessions per game, while Cleveland is 19th at 95.5 possessions per game. The Pacers lead the league in defensive efficiency, giving up just 95.5 points per 100 possessions. Their job will be much easier tonight considering Cleveland is without leading scorer Kyrie Irving (21.2 ppg).
Indiana is 30-13 to the UNDER versus poor foul drawing teams that attempt 24 or fewer free throws per game this season. The Pacers are 22-5 to the UNDER when the total is between 180 and 189.5 points this season. Indiana is 15-3 to the UNDER after a combined score of 175 points or less in four straight games since 1996. The UNDER is 7-0 in Pacers last seven games overall. The UNDER is 6-0 in Cavaliers last six vs. NBA Central Division foes. The UNDER is 56-21-2 in Cavaliers last 79 Sunday game. Take the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|03-29-14||New Orleans Pelicans v. San Antonio Spurs UNDER 202.5||80-96||Win||100||9 h 18 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday Total ANNIHILATOR on Pelicans/Spurs UNDER 202.5
The books have set the bar too high tonight in this contest between the San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Pelicans. I look for a low-scoring, defensive battle between these Southwest Divisions rivals who are very familiar with one another.
The last two meetings between these teams have seen 197 and 196 combined points, respectively. Five of the last seven meetings have seen 197 or fewer combined points as well. It's clear that when these division foes get together, defense wins out.
I look for that to be the case even more tonight, especially for the Spurs considering the Pelicans are likely without all five starters. Ryan Anderson (19.8 ppg) and Jrue Holiday (14.3 ppg) are out, while Anthony Davis (21.3 ppg), Eric Gordon (15.4 ppg) and Brian Robers (9.5 ppg) are all listed as doubtful.
Points will certainly be hard to come by for the Pelicans as they'll be lost offensively. The Spurs could easily elect to rest their starters in this spot considering they are playing the second of a back-to-back and Greg Popovich has been known to give his guys a night off in these spots.
San Antonio is 20-7 to the UNDER in its last 27 home games after scoring 120 points or more in its previous game. The UNDER is 6-1 in Spurs' last seven games when playing the second of a back-to-back. Take the UNDER in this game Saturday.
|03-29-14||Los Angeles Clippers v. Houston Rockets UNDER 217||118-107||Loss||-105||9 h 48 m||Show|
15* Clippers/Rockets Western Conference No-Brainer on UNDER 217
There is a lot at stake in this game between the Clippers and Rockets tonight. Los Angeles leads Houston by just one game for the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference. As a result, I expect both teams to put their best foot forward defensively tonight.
Looking at the last two meetings between these teams this season, it's easy to see that this number has been inflated. The Clippers won 107-94 on the road on November 9 for 201 combined points. They also won 101-93 at home on February 22 for 194 combined points.
Most wouldn't realize it, but both Los Angeles and Houston rank inside the top 10 in the league in defensive efficiency. The Clippers rank 6th at 101.6 points allowed per 100 possessions, while the Rockets are 10th at 102.2 points per 100 possessions.
Plays on the UNDER on all teams where the total is greater than or equal to 210 (HOUSTON) - in a game involving two good teams (60% to 75%), on Saturday games are 26-6 (81.2%) since 1996.
Houston is 8-1 to the UNDER In home games versus good shooting teams that make 46% or more of their shots this season. The Rockets are 13-2 to the UNDER versus good teams that outscore their opponents by 6-plus points per game in the second half of the season over the last two seasons. The UNDER is 10-1-1 in Clippers last 12 games following a win. The UNDER is 8-1-1 in Clippers last 10 games overall. The UNDER is 4-1 in the last five meetings in this series. The UNDER is 6-0-1 in Clippers last seven games playing on 1 days' rest. Roll with the UNDER in this game Saturday.
|03-29-14||Dayton +10 v. Florida||Top||52-62||Push||0||19 h 58 m||Show|
20* Dayton/Florida Elite Eight No-Brainer on Dayton +10
I was on both of these teams in the Sweet 16. I had Dayton +3.5 in an outright win over Stanford (82-72) in the Sweet 16 while also backing Florida -4.5 in a blowout victory over UCLA (79-68). While I have been heavy on both teams, I have no doubt the right move is to take the points on the Flyers in the Elite Eight.
Dayton has been underrated all season. My biggest reason for backing it last round was the fact that it had the two best wins in the tournament to get to the Sweet 16 in Ohio State and Syracuse. It also beat Gonzaga and California while losing to Baylor (66-67) by a single point in the same tournament in non-conference action earlier this season. The Flyers are 41-19 ATS in their last 60 non-conference games, so they have been underrated for quite some time.
Florida was my pick to win the Big Dance coming into the Tournament, but now it's time to fade it as it is clearly overvalued as a double-digit favorite here. The Gators won't have the same kind of home-court advantage they had in the first three rounds. Dayton should have a very good following in this true neutral court setting.
What makes the Flyers so difficult to deal with is that they shoot 46.5% as a team and 37.5% from 3-point range, which are both better than Florida. They start five guys that can shoot the 3-pointer. Jordan Sibert (12.5 ppg, 43.0% 3-pointers), Devin Oliver (11.9 ppg, 38.4%), Dyshawn Pierre (11.0 ppg, 39.7%), Vee Sanford (9.7 ppg, 30.2%) and Khari Price (6.4 ppg, 39.7%) all share the ball well to find the open man for the long ball.
Dayton is 6-0 ATS versus excellent teams that shoot 45% or better and allow 42% or worse this season. The Flyers are 7-0 ATS in their last seven vs. SEC opponents. Dayton is 7-1 ATS in its last eight game overall. These three trends combine for a 20-1 system backing the Flyers. Bet Dayton Saturday.
|03-28-14||Kentucky +4.5 v. Louisville||74-69||Win||100||48 h 33 m||Show|
15* Kentucky/Louisville Sweet 16 Rivalry Play on Kentucky +4.5
The Kentucky Wildcats have saved their best basketball for last. This has become a staple for recent John Calipari teams because they are so young, so they go through growing pains early in the year before it all comes together late. That's precisely what has happened for the Wildcats in 2013-14.
Indeed, the Wildcats made it to the SEC Title game before bowing out to Florida (60-61) by a single point. Considering how strong the SEC has been with three teams remaining in the NCAA Tournament, there's no question that this team is underrated. The Wildcats proved it with a 78-76 victory over previously unbeaten Wichita State.
Kentucky has the athletes to match up with Louisville. That's why it was able to knock off the Cardinals 73-66 in their first meeting this season on December 28. It held them to just 39.7 percent shooting for the game, including 6-of-26 from 3-point range. The Wildcats only shot 43.5 percent overall and 21.4 percent from distance, so it's not like they played a flawless game, either.
The AAC has proven to be one of the most overrated conferences in the country. Conference champ Cincinnati was ousted in the first round, while Memphis was throttled by 18 points against Virginia last round. UConn is still alive, but barely. The Cardinals simply beat up on a weak conference this season, but they'll meet their match in the long, athletic Wildcats in the Sweet 16.
Kentucky is 61-33 ATS in its last 94 games off a win by 6 points or less. The Wildcats are 14-7 ATS after having won two of their last three games this season. Take Kentucky Friday.
|03-28-14||San Antonio Spurs v. Denver Nuggets UNDER 215.5||133-102||Loss||-104||9 h 13 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday Total ANNIHILATOR on Spurs/Nuggets UNDER 215.5
The books have set the bar too high tonight in this game between the Denver Nuggets and San Antonio Spurs. Familiarity breeds low-scoring games, and these teams just played two nights ago in a 108-103 San Antonio home victory for 211 combined points.
Recent meetings between these teams have been very low scoring when compared to tonight's posted total of 215.5. Indeed, the Spurs and Nuggets have combined for 211, 196, 182 and 199 points in their last four meetings, respectively. That's an average of 197 combined points per game, which is roughly 19 points less than tonight's posted total. The UNDER is 35-15-1 in the last 51 meetings as well.
Denver has all kinds of injury issues right now that make points hard to come by. It is without Nate Robinson, J.J. Hickson, Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari and JaVale McGee. San Antonio is without Danny Green and Matt Bonner. These injuries are a big reason why I believe this recent UNDER trend between these teams continues tonight.
The Nuggets are 8-1 to the UNDER vs. excellent 3-point shooting teams that make 39% or more of their attempts this season. The UNDER is 6-0 in Spurs last six Friday games. San Antonio is 5-0 to the UNDER in its last five when its opponent scores 100 points or more in its previous game. The UNDER is 4-0 in Spurs last four games overall. The UNDER is 4-0 in the last four meetings in this series. These last four trends combine for a 19-0 system backing the UNDER. Bet the UNDER in this game Friday.
|03-28-14||Cleveland Cavaliers +8.5 v. Brooklyn Nets||Top||97-108||Loss||-105||8 h 44 m||Show|
20* NBA Friday Undervalued Underdog on Cleveland Cavaliers +8.5
The Cleveland Cavaliers are making one final run at trying to make the playoffs despite playing without Kyrie Irving. The loss of Irving has really made them come together as a team, and don't forget, backup point guard Jarrett Jack could start on a lot of teams.
Cleveland has won three straight over New York, Toronto and Detroit to pull within three games of the Atlanta Hawks for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. It hasn't lost any of its last six games by more than 7 points, which includes narrow losses to Miami (96-100), OKC (95-102) and Houston (111-118) to prove that it can play with anyone.
The Nets are overvalued right now due to some solid play over the past month-plus. They have no business being this heavily favored tonight. They are also coming off back-to-back losses to New Orleans and Charlotte. The Nets are going to make the playoffs, but they have little chance of earning home-court advantage in the first round. They are kind of stuck in la-la land because of it.
Cleveland is 12-1 ATS after playing four consecutive games as an underdog this season. Brooklyn is 0-7 ATS after a road game where both teams scored 100 or more points this season. The Nets are 4-17 ATS off a loss by 6 points or less over the last two seasons. The Cavaliers are 6-0 ATS in their last six games overall. Bet the Cavaliers Friday.
|03-28-14||Tennessee +2.5 v. Michigan||Top||71-73||Win||100||45 h 48 m||Show|
25* NCAA Tournament GAME OF THE YEAR on Tennessee +2.5
The Tennessee Volunteers represent my favorite play for the entire 2014 NCAA Tournament when they take on the Michigan Wolverines in the Sweet 16 Friday night. I will be unloading on them, and I recommend you do the same.
No team is playing better than Tennessee right now. It has gone 8-1 in its last nine games overall with its only loss coming to Florida in the SEC Tournament, which isn't a bad loss considering the Gators have won 28 straight and counting. A whopping seven of the Vols' eight wins during this stretch have come by 13 points or more.
That includes wins over Iowa (78-65), UMass (86-67) and Mercer (83-63) to open the big dance. The SEC has proven to be one of the better conferences in the country with Florida and Kentucky still around, so what the Vols have been doing of late deserves even more credit.
Michigan does not deserve the credit it is getting. The Wolverines lucked into a Big Ten Title because they won every close game they were in. In fact, their four Big Ten losses this season all came by double-digits. When you factor in margin of victory, the Wolverines are clearly nowhere near as good as their record, and they'll get exploited Friday.
Michigan has had a very easy route to get here with wins over Wofford and Texas that have been far from impressive. It only averaged 32 rebounds and seven offensive boards per game, while Tennessee grabs 39 rebounds and 12 offensive boards per game. It's clear to me that the Vols are going to dominate the glass, which will be the key to their victory in this one.
Another advantage working in the Vols' favor is their ability to defend the 3-pointer. Not only do they give up just 33.8% shooting from distance, they only allow 15 attempts per game. Michigan attempts 22 3-pointers per contest, relying heavily on the long ball. I look for the Vols to defend it very well, which will be another key to their win.
Tennessee is 7-1 ATS in its last eight games overall. The Vols are 56-37 ATS in all games over the last three seasons. Bet Tennessee Friday.
|03-28-14||Boston Celtics v. Toronto Raptors UNDER 194.5||Top||103-105||Loss||-103||7 h 14 m||Show|
25* NBA Atlantic Division TOTAL OF THE YEAR on Celtics/Raptors UNDER 194.5
I backed the UNDER between the Celtics and Raptors when they met up just two nights ago in a 99-90 Toronto road victory for 189 combined points. I'm going to back the UNDER again as familiarity breeds low-scoring games.
A big reason I was on the UNDER two nights ago is because of familiarity considering both the Celtics and Raptors are Atlantic Division Rivals. This will be the 4th and final meeting of the season between these teams, and the first three have been very low-scoring.
Indeed, the Raptors and Celtics have combined for 180, 171 and 189 points in their first three meetings. That's an average of 180 combined points per game, which is 14.5 points less than tonight's posted total of 194.5. As you can see, there is a ton of value with the UNDER Here.
Boston is 10-1 to the UNDER when playing against a marginal winning team (win percentage between 51% and 60%) this season. The Celtics are 16-5 to the UNDER off a home loss this season. The UNDER is 8-2 in Raptors last 10 Friday games. The UNDER is 20-8 in Celtics last 28 games following an ATS loss. Roll with the UNDER in this game Friday.
|03-28-14||Charlotte Bobcats v. Orlando Magic +4.5||105-110||Win||100||6 h 23 m||Show|
15* Bobcats/Magic Southeast Division DAGGER on Orlando +4.5
The Orlando Magic get the call as a home underdog to the Charlotte Bobcats tonight. The Bobcats have no business being a favorite here, and the only reason they are is due to being in the playoff race.
However, the Bobcats will likely be a No. 7 or No. 8 seed no matter what, so they really do not have all that much to play for at this point. They are overvalued right now due to being the playoffs and also due to a recent stretch of solid play prior to coming back down to reality and dropping three of their last five.
Orlando has not quit, and it will not give in to a Southeast Division rival like Charlotte tonight. The Magic are coming off a 95-85 home victory over Portland on Tuesday to show that they have not quit. Now, they have had two days' rest prior to this game, so they will be ready to go tonight.
Charlotte is 2-14 ATS after two straight games being called for 5-plus less fouls than its opponent over the last three seasons. Orlando is 8-1 ATS as a home underdog of 3.5 to 6 points this season. The Magic are a respectable 16-18 SU at home, while the Bobcats are 14-21 SU on the road. The Magic are 7-1 ATS in their last eight home games vs. a team with a losing road record. Orlando is 11-3 ATS in its last 14 home games overall. Take the Magic Friday.
|03-28-14||Indiana Pacers v. Washington Wizards +2||78-91||Win||100||6 h 23 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday Night Line Mistake on Washington Wizards +2
The Washington Wizards get the nod as a home underdog to the Indiana Pacers tonight. Washington will be hungry for a win after losing two straight and four of its last five games coming in. It is currently a No. 6 seed and wants to not fall to No. 7 to avoid either Miami or Indiana in the playoffs.
The Pacers are in a massive letdown spot tonight. They are coming off a huge 84-83 home win over Miami on Wednesday to pull three games ahead of the Heat for the No. 1 seed in the East. Off such a big win, it's only human nature for them to have a letdown tonight since they still have plenty of room to spare to earn that No. 1 seed even if they lose this one.
Washington has been thoroughly embarrassed by Indiana in two meetings this season, which will add to its motivation. It has lost both road meetings by finals of 73-93 and 66-93. The Pacers will have a hard time showing up because of it as well, thinking they'll just have to go through the motions to beat this team. Look for the Wizards to fight back tonight.
Despite having one of the best records in the league, the Pacers are just a mediocre 19-16 on the road this season. Indiana is 4-17 ATS in its last 21 road games. The Pacers are 6-21-1 ATS in their last 28 games overall. Indiana is 1-10 ATS in its last 11 games vs. a team with a winning record. The Wizards are 15-7 ATS in their last 22 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. Roll with the Wizards Friday.
|03-27-14||UCLA v. Florida -4.5||68-79||Win||101||24 h 49 m||Show|
15* UCLA/Florida Sweet 16 No-Brainer on Florida -4.5
Rarely will you ever get the Florida Gators as this small of a favorite against anyone. I'll take advantage and back the hottest team in the country left in the tournament to win by 5-plus points over UCLA in Sweet 16 action Thursday.
The Gators have won a whopping 28 straight games heading into this one to improve to 34-2 on the season. I just really love the veteran presence on this team with so much experience back from last year. Scottie Wilbekin, Casey Prather and Michael Frazier II handle the scoring load, while Patric Young, Dorian Finney-Smith and Will Yeguete are the enforcers inside.
This is the most versatile team left in the tournament. Head coach Billy Donovan can mix and match his defenses from man to man, to full court press, to a variety of different zones. That's why the Gators rank 3rd in the country in scoring defense at 57.5 points per game allowed. With Tennessee, Kentucky and Florida still alive, apparently the Gators deserve a lot more credit for their perfect record in the SEC this season.
UCLA has been excellent in head coach Steve Alford's first season on the job, but this team will meet its match Thursday. The Bruins have beaten Tulsa and Stephen F. Austin to get here, which is soft competition to say the least. That doesn't even compare to the Gators' emphatic win over Pittsburgh (61-45) last round. Plus, the Bruins were essentially playing at home for those two games, and now they have to travel to Memphis, TN where there's no question the Gators will have a big following.
Florida is a perfect 7-0 ATS in road games after allowing 60 points or less in four straight games since 1997. It is winning 73.3 to 57.6 in this spot, or by an average of 15.7 points per game. That's a span of 18 years without a loss. The Gators are 19-8 ATS in their last 27 NCAA Tournament games. The Bruins are 0-7 ATS in their last seven vs. SEC foes. Take Florida Thursday.
|03-27-14||Philadelphia 76ers +20 v. Houston Rockets||98-120||Loss||-110||13 h 42 m||Show|
15* NBA Thursday PLAY OF THE DAY on Philadelphia 76ers +20
The Philadelphia 76ers are highly motivated to put an end to their franchise-high 25-game winning streak. This team is embarrassed, and they are tired of getting on Sportscenter for all the wrong reasons.
The 76ers have responded well recently, playing much more competitive basketball while earning backers a nice return on their investment in the process. They are 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall, which four losses by 10 points or less to Indiana, New York and Chicago (twice).
Houston isn't the type of mentally tough team that will lay it all on the line tonight to cover this massive 20-point spread. Plus, it could be looking ahead to a huge showdown on Saturday with the Los Angeles Clippers, who lead the Rockets by a narrow margin for the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference.
Philadelphia is a perfect 7-0 ATS in road games off two consecutive road games this season. It is actually winning 106.1 to 102.4 in this spot, or by an average of 3.7 points per game. This team has just been more comfortable the longer it is on the road. Houston is 11-25 ATS in its last 36 games as a home favorite of 12.5 points or more. Philly is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 meetings with Houston. Bet the 76ers Thursday.
|03-27-14||Baylor +3.5 v. Wisconsin||52-69||Loss||-104||21 h 19 m||Show|
15* Baylor/Wisconsin West Region ANNIHILATOR on Baylor +3.5
The Baylor Bears get the nod Thursday against the Wisconsin Badgers. Few teams can claim to be playing as well as Baylor coming into this one, and no team has been as dominant as the Bears through the past two rounds of the big dance.
Indeed, Baylor is 12-2 in its last 14 games overall. Its only losses came at Texas and versus Iowa State in the Big 12 Championship Game, which saw a ton of Cyclone fans in attendance. This team has beaten a whopping eight NCAA Tournament teams during this stretch, including blowout wins over Nebraska (74-60) and Creighton (85-55) by a combined 44 points.
Scott Drew has taken Baylor to two Elite Eights in recent memory. He always has his teams playing their best around tournament time, and 2013-14 has been no exception. What makes this team so difficult to deal with is the zone defense, which boasts 7-1 center Isaiah Austin (11.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.3 bpg) and 6-9 Forward Cory Jefferson (13.6 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 1.3 bpg) who both have freakishly long arms to turn away shots at the rim.
Wisconsin has been overrated for most of the season due to winning so many close games. It was fortunate to get by Oregon last round after erasing a double-digit halftime deficit. It won't have the crowd in its favor this time to carry it. The Badgers played the first two rounds in Milwaukee, WI not too far from campus, but now they'll have to travel out to Anaheim, CA and out of their comfort zone.
Baylor is a brilliant 9-2 straight up in neutral court games this season. The Bears are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Baylor is 11-4 ATS in its last 15 non-conference games. The Bears are 6-0 ATS in road games off a game where they made 55% of their shots or better over the last three seasons. Roll with Baylor Thursday.
|03-27-14||Dayton +3.5 v. Stanford||Top||82-72||Win||100||21 h 49 m||Show|
20* Dayton/Stanford Double-Digit Seed DAGGER on Dayton +3.5
The No. 11 Dayton Flyers are showing tremendous value as a 3.5-point underdog to the No. 10 Stanford Cardinal in this one. I'll take advantage and back the Flyers in a game I fully expect them to win outright in this double-digit seed battle.
No team has two better wins to this point than Dayton. It knocked off Big Ten power Ohio State in the first round before upsetting former Big East power and ACC newcomer Syracuse in the second. This team also beat both Gonzaga and Cal in the non-conference, and lost to Baylor by a single point.
The Flyers are a very balanced team with four players who can beat you on a given night. Jordan Sibert (12.4 ppg), Devin Oliver (11.9 ppg, 7.5 rpg) and Dyshawn Pierre (11.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg) are studs. The entire starting five can all shoot the 3-pointer as each guy shoots 30.2% or better, four shoot 38.9% or better, and three top 40% from distance, making this a tough matchup for anyone.
I was on Stanford against Kansas, but there's no doubt in my mind that this team is getting too much respect now. The Cardinal only won that game because Joel Embiid was out and because the Jayhawks had an off game. The Flyers will have more fans at this game since it is being played in Tennessee and they are from Ohio, while Stanford has to travel clear across country.
Dayton is 10-3 ATS in non-conference games this season, and 40-19 ATS in its last 59 non-conference games overall. The Flyers are 8-2 ATS as an underdog this season. The Flyers are 12-3 ATS after having won two of their last three games this season. Bet Dayton Thursday.
|03-26-14||Los Angeles Clippers v. New Orleans Pelicans +7||96-98||Win||100||9 h 46 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday Undervalued Underdog on New Orleans Pelicans +7
The New Orleans Pelicans have proven that they are going to play out their season despite the fact that they have been eliminated from the playoffs. These are the teams that you can back late in the year and catch some really good lines because they are inflated as the betting public assumes they are going to quit.
All the Pelicans have done over the last three weeks is go 7-3 straight up in their last 10 games overall. That includes three straight wins over playoff contenders in Atlanta (111-105) on the road, and Miami (105-95) and Brooklyn (109-104) at home. Their only three losses during this stretch all came by 8 points or fewer against playoff contenders in Portland, Memphis and Toronto.
Los Angeles comes in overvalued due to having won 13 of its last 14 games overall. It s last five games have all come against non-playoff contenders in Utah, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit and Milwaukee. It has won by single-digits in three of those four games, and it has also lost at Denver (100-110) for its lone defeat.
The Clippers could easily get complacent, and it looks like they have already started to. Another reason why they not be fully engaged in this game is the fact that they are 3-0 in their first three meetings of the season with the Pelicans. That places New Orleans in revenge mode as it desperately wants to avoid the season sweep.
Los Angeles is just 19-16 on the road this season, while New Orleans is 18-17 at home. Plays on home underdogs of 3.5 to 9.5 points (NEW ORLEANS) - good shooting team - shooting >=46% on the season, hot shooting team - 3 straight games making >=47% of their shots are 22-5 (81.5%) ATS since 1996. New Orleans is 10-2 ATS in its last 12 home meetings with Los Angeles. Roll with the Pelicans Wednesday.
|03-26-14||Miami Heat v. Indiana Pacers -2||Top||83-84||Loss||-100||8 h 16 m||Show|
20* Heat/Pacers ESPN Wednesday No-Brainer on Indiana -2
This is a statement game for the Indiana Pacers (51-20), who lead the Miami Heat (48-21) by just 1.5 games for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. They realize their best chance of beating the Heat in the playoffs is with home-court advantage, and a win tonight would certainly inch them closer to getting it.
Home-court advantage has been absolutely huge when these teams have gotten together in recent years. The home team has won six straight and 10 of the last 12 in this series. The home team has won both meetings this season, and I look for this trend to continue tonight.
Miami has not been playing well over the past month. It has gone just 5-7 straight up in its last 12 games overall and all five of its wins came by single-digits, so it really hasn't been blowing anybody out. The Heat are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games as well.
The Heat are 0-6 ATS in their last six road games. Miami is 0-5 ATS in its last five games following a S.U. win. Combine these two trends with the fact that the home team is 6-0 in the last six meetings, and we have a perfect 17-0 system backing Indiana tonight. Bet the Pacers Wednesday.
|03-26-14||Toronto Raptors v. Boston Celtics UNDER 195||99-90||Win||100||8 h 16 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday Total ANNIHILATOR on Raptors/Celtics UNDER 195
The books have set the bar too high tonight in this contest between the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics. These Atlantic Division rivals are very familiar with one another, and familiarity leads to low-scoring games.
Indeed, both meetings between the Raptors and Celtics have been extremely low-scoring this season. Toronto won 93-87 at home on October 30 for 180 combined points, while Boston won 88-83 at home on January 15 for 171 combined points. As you can see, both of those games finished well below tonight's posted total of 195, creating a ton of line value.
Both teams rank in the bottom half of the league in pace. Toronto ranks 22nd in pace at 94.6 possessions per game, while Boston is 17th in pace at 95.8 possessions per contest. Surprising to many is the fact that Toronto ranks 8th in the league in defensive efficiency this season, yielding 101.6 points per 100 possessions. The Celtics are right in the middle of the pack at 16th (104.2).
Boston is 9-1 to the UNDER when playing against a marginal winning team (51% to 60%) this season. The Celtics are 20-9 to the UNDER off one or more consecutive overs this season. The UNDER is 35-17 in Celtics last 52 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game. Toronto is 29-11 to the UNDER when playing against a team with a losing record in the second half of the season over the last three seasons. Take the UNDER in this game Wednesday.
|03-25-14||Oklahoma City Thunder v. Dallas Mavericks UNDER 211.5||Top||119-128||Loss||-105||8 h 13 m||Show|
20* Thunder/Mavs TNT TOTAL OF THE MONTH on UNDER 211.5
The Oklahoma City Thunder take on the Dallas Mavericks for the second time in 10 days tonight. Familiarity leads to low-scoring games more times than not, and I look for the final combined score of this contest to stay well below the posted total of 211.5.
This has been a very low-scoring series in recent years. In two meetings this season, they have combined for 195 and 200 points. If you don't count overtime, Dallas and Oklahoma City have combined for 210 or fewer points in each of their last 15 meetings. That makes for a perfect 15-0 system backing the UNDER pertaining to tonight's total set.
Both teams have participated in overtime games and high-scoring affairs recently, which has inflated this number. Dallas has gone to overtime in two of its last three games, while Oklahoma City went to double-overtime against Toronto a few nights back. Provided this one avoids overtime, I have no doubt it will stay below the total. Bet the UNDER in this game Tuesday.
|03-25-14||Toronto Raptors v. Cleveland Cavaliers UNDER 195.5||100-102||Loss||-110||7 h 20 m||Show|
15* NBA Tuesday Total DOMINATOR on Raptors/Cavaliers UNDER 195.5
The books have set the bar too high in this Eastern Conference showdown between the Toronto Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers. I'll take advantage and back the UNDER in what I anticipate to be a very low-scoring contest.
Scoring has been slow in recent meetings between these teams. They have combined for 197 or fewer points in each of their last five meetings, including 189 and 192 in their two meetings in 2013-14. The UNDER is a perfect 5-0 in the last five meetings and 8-1 in the last nine meetings.
Cleveland is without leading scorer and assist man Kyrie Irving (21.2 ppg, 6.2 apg) until early April. This team has done a decent job of scoring without him so far, but that's how it works. Usually, a team can make up for a superstar for a few games, but over time they really start to miss that star. I believe that will be the case starting tonight against defensive-minded Toronto.
Both of these teams like to play at slow paces in the half court. Toronto ranks 22nd in the league in pace at 94.6 possessions per game, while Cleveland is 19th at 95.6 possessions per game. The Raptors rank an impressive 6th in the league in defensive efficiency, yielding just 101.4 points per 100 possessions.
Cleveland is 8-0 to the UNDER off a game with five or less offensive rebounds over the last three seasons. The Cavaliers are 10-1 to the UNDER off a road win this year. The UNDER is 21-5-1 in Raptors last 27 vs. a team with a losing S.U. record. The UNDER is 8-1 in Cavaliers last nine after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game. Take the UNDER in this game Tuesday.
|03-25-14||Belmont +7 v. Clemson||68-73||Win||100||7 h 19 m||Show|
15* Belmont/Clemson NIT Tuesday No-Brainer on Belmont +7
The Belmont Bruins (26-9) have been impressive in their quest to reach Madison Square Garden in the NIT. They went on the road and beat one of the teams that many felt were snubbed from the NCAA Tournament in Wisconsin-Green Bay (80-65) before topping Robert Morris (82-71) at home.
Clemson has had a solid season and has taken care of business in the NIT, beating Georgia State (78-66) before squeaking by Illinois (50-49), both of which came at home. How, the Tigers will face their stiffest test in the Bruins, who I believe can win this thing outright.
These teams both have one common opponent in North Carolina. Belmont went on the road and beat UNC 83-80 as a 14-point underdog on November 17, while Clemson lost at UNC 61-80 as a 7-point dog on January 26. That result alone shows what the Bruins are capable of.
Belmont is a perfect 6-0 ATS in road games after playing a home game this season. Clemson is 5-14 ATS after having won three of its last four games over the past three seasons. The Bruins are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games overall. The Tigers are 1-8 ATS in home games off two straight games with nine or fewer offensive rebounds. Roll with Belmont Tuesday.
|03-24-14||Arkansas +2.5 v. California||64-75||Loss||-110||13 h 35 m||Show|
15* Arkansas/California NIT Late-Night BAILOUT on Arkansas +2.5
The Arkansas Razorbacks (22-11) should not be an underdog to the Cal Bears (20-13) tonight in the second round of the NIT. I'll take advantage and take the points in a game I have the Razorbacks winning outright with room to spare.
The SEC has proven to be underrated in the NCAA Tournament, and it has also fared well so far in the NIT. Arkansas got off to a great start to show that it was fully engaged, topping the second-best team from the MVC in Indiana State by a final of 91-71 in the opening round.
California has been faltering down the stretch to miss out on the Big Dance. It has lost four of its last six games overall with one of its wins coming against Utah Valley State and the other against Colorado (66-65) by a single point. Colorado was crushed in the NCAA Tournament by Pitt, and the Bears lost the the Buffaloes in the Pac-12 Tournament as well. The Bears are 3-12-1 ATS in their last 16 games overall.
The Bears are expected to be without arguably their best player in Richard Solomon (11.0 ppg, 10.2 rpg), who is listed as doubtful with a concussion. Without him, this is a very small team, and they will certainly miss his rebounding. Look for the Razorbacks to get plenty of second-chance points, which will be key to their victory.
The Razorbacks are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record. Cal is 0-6-1 ATS in its last 13 home games. The Bears are 1-9-1 ATS in their last 11 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Arkansas is 4-0 ATS in its last four non-conference games. These four trends combine for a 26-1 system backing the Razorbacks. Take Arkansas Monday.
|03-24-14||Detroit Pistons v. Utah Jazz +1||Top||114-94||Loss||-110||10 h 32 m||Show|
20* NBA Monday No-Doubt Rout on Utah Jazz -1
The Utah Jazz showing tremendous value as basically a pick 'em against the Detroit Pistons tonight. Salt Lake City remains a tough place to play despite the season the Jazz are having, and I look for them to take care of business at home tonight.
It's clear to me that Detroit has given up on its season, which is the biggest reason I am going to fade it tonight. It has lost five straight games to essentially fall out of the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Pistons have lost 15 of their last 18 games overall. I cannot see them picking themselves up off the mat tonight.
While the Jazz have been struggling as well, the main culprit has been a brutal schedule that featured six straight losses to teams that would be in the playoff if the season ended today. In their first game against a non-playoff contender, the Jazz got back on track with a victory over the Orlando Magic on Saturday to prove they have not quit. This will only be their 2nd game in 5 days, so they are well-rested and ready to go.
Utah is 15-1 SU in its last 16 meetings with Detroit as this has clearly been a one-sided series. The Jazz are also 14-2 SU in their last 16 home meetings with the Pistons. Enough said. Bet the Jazz Monday.
|03-24-14||Philadelphia 76ers +21 v. San Antonio Spurs||91-113||Loss||-105||10 h 44 m||Show|
15* NBA Monday Night Line Mistake on Philadelphia 76ers +21
The Philadelphia 76ers have been a huge money maker for me of lately. I'm going to continue to ride them as I feel once again they are undervalued as a massive underdog tonight to the San Antonio Spurs.
The reason the 76ers have been catching so many points of late is because they are in the midst of a 24-game losing streak. However, there's no question this team is tired of the embarrassment of being on Sportscenter for all the wrong reasons, and they have been playing inspired basketball to try and put an end to the streak as a result.
Indeed, Philadelphia has been much more competitive of late. Seven of its last nine losses have come by 13 points or less, including home losses to Indiana (94-101), New York (92-93) and Chicago (94-102), and road losses to Indiana (90-99) and Chicago (81-91). As you can see, this team has been competitive with some of the best teams in the league, and I look for that to be the case again tonight.
Like the 76ers are undervalued due to their losing streak, the Spurs are way overvalued due to their winning streak. They have won 13 straight games heading into this one. This is a massive letdown spot for the Spurs, who will not be motivated at all to face the 76ers. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me one bit of Greg Popovich takes this opportunity to get his starters some rest, which would only help our cause.
Plays on road teams (PHILADELPHIA) - 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 60-28 (68.2%) ATS over the last five seasons. The 76ers are 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall. Roll with the 76ers Monday.
|03-24-14||Brooklyn Nets v. New Orleans Pelicans +2||104-109||Win||100||9 h 14 m||Show|
15* NBA Monday Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on New Orleans Pelicans +2
The New Orleans Pelicans get the nod as a small home underdog to the Brooklyn Nets tonight. They should not be a dog in this contest given the rest situation and how well this team has been playing of late.
Indeed, the Pelicans come in on one days' rest having last played on Saturday, while the Nets will be playing the second of a back-to-back and their 3rd game in 4 days. The Nets also went to overtime Sunday against Dallas, which makes this task that much more difficult. Also, they are already short-handed playing without Kevin Garnett, while Andrei Kirilenko is questionable with an ankle injury suffered yesterday.
The Pelicans have been a thorn in the side of a lot of teams of late despite the fact that they will not be going to the playoffs. They have gone 6-3 in their last nine games overall with their only three losses coming to playoff contenders in Memphis, Portland and Toronto all by 8 points or less. They have won back-to-back games at Atlanta (111-105) and versus defending champion Miami (105-95).
The Pelicans are 5-1 ATS in their last six when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game. New Orleans is 6-2 ATS in its last eight home games vs. a team with a losing road record. The home team is 8-3-1 ATS in the last 12 meetings in this series. Take the Pelicans Monday.
|03-24-14||Indiana Pacers v. Chicago Bulls UNDER 180||77-89||Win||100||9 h 14 m||Show|
15* NBA Monday Total DOMINATOR on Pacers/Bulls UNDER 180
The books have set the bar too high in this contest between the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls tonight. These teams just played on Friday with Indiana winning 91-79 at home for 170 combined points. I look for a similar result in this one.
Familiarity breeds low-scoring games, and having played just a couple nights ago, the edge goes to the defenses of both teams. The books set the total at 179.5 for that contest, which is basically the same for this one. Their failure to adjust provides us with some value on the UNDER tonight.
These are the two best teams in the league defensively. Indeed, the Pacers rank 1st in defensive efficiency at 95.4 points per 100 possessions, while the Bulls are 2nd at 97.9 points per 100 possessions. Also, Indiana ranks 20th in the league in pace at 95.5 possessions per game, while Chicago ranks 28th at 92.9 possessions per game. As you can see, both teams like to play in the half court, which benefits the under with the way they play D.
The UNDER is 25-10-1 in Pacers last 36 games when playing on one days' rest. The Bulls are 20-8 to the UNDER in their last 28 home games. The UNDER is 10-4 in the last 14 meetings in this series, including 4-1 in the last five meetings in Chicago. Indiana is 17-5 to the UNDER when playing its 3rd game in 4 days this season. Bet the UNDER in this game Monday.
|03-23-14||Baylor v. Creighton -3||Top||85-55||Loss||-115||11 h 54 m||Show|
20* Baylor/Creighton West Region No-Brainer on Creighton -3
This is an excellent matchup for the Creigthon Bluejays (27-7) and a terrible one for the Baylor Bears (25-11). That's why I'm backing the Bluejays as a short favorite in this Round of 32 showdown out of the West Region.
Creighton is the most efficient offensive team in the country. It relies heavily on the 3-pointer, making an incredible 42.1% of its shots from distance. All five starters in Doug McDermott (45.5%), Ethan Wragge (47.4%), Grant Gibbs (45.2%), Jahenns Manigat (41.5%) and Austin Chatman (39.5%) shoot the 3-ball very well.
Baylor is a zone team that does well against teams that rely on their inside game to get most of their points. However, the Bears are extremely vulnerable against teams that can shoot the 3-pointer because the zone philosophy forces opponents to beat you from outside. No team in the entire country is better equipped to beat a zone than Creighton.
The Bluejays are 5-0 ATS in their last five vs. Big 12 opponents. Creighton is 5-1 ATS in its last six non-conference games. The Bluejays are 31-11 ATS in their last 42 Sunday games. I've been a Baylor backer for a while now, but now it's time to jump off that wagon and fade because of this terrible matchup for the Bears. Bet Creighton Sunday.
|03-23-14||Milwaukee Bucks +8 v. Sacramento Kings||Top||107-124||Loss||-107||7 h 34 m||Show|
20* NBA Non-Conference GAME OF THE MONTH on Milwaukee Bucks +8
The Milwaukee Bucks represent my strongest release in an East vs. West battle for the entire month of March Sunday. The Sacramento Kings have no business being this heavily favored over anyone; not even the Bucks.
Sure, Milwaukee (13-56) owns the worst record in basketball, but it is undervalued as a result. Oddsmakers are forced to inflate its lines because of that fact. Now, the Bucks have been an absolute covering machine because time and time again they are catching too many points.
Indeed, the Bucks are 16-6-1 ATS in their last 23 games overall. They have lost their last two games on the road to Western Conference playoff contenders in Portland (115-120) as a 12.5-point dog, and Golden State (110-115) as a 13-point dog.
Milwaukee clearly has not quit on its season by the way it keeps covering spreads at an alarming rate. Sure, it isn't winning a lot of games, but it has been competitive in almost every game for a while now. In fact, it has only lost seven of its last 23 games by double-digits. It comes in well-rested an ready to go having last played on Thursday, March 20.
This is a revenge game for the Bucks, who just lost at home to Sacramento by a final of 102-116 on March 5. This contest takes place less than three weeks later, so you can bet that the Bucks will be the more motivated team. The Kings won't have any interest at all, and they could easily suffer a hangover from their loss to the Western Conference-leading Spurs on Friday.
Plays on underdogs of 3.5 to 9.5 points (MILWAUKEE) - revenging a loss vs opponent of 10 points or more, off 2 road covers where the team lost straight up as an underdog are 29-8 (78.4%) ATS since 1996.
Milwaukee is 7-0 ATS in road games versus good offensive teams that score 99-plus points per game in the second half of the season this season. The Bucks are 9-1 ATS after scoring 100-plus points in two straight games this season. Milwaukee is 72-42 ATS in its last 114 games off four or more consecutive losses. The Bucks are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 road games. The Kings are 5-16 ATS in their last 21 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400. Bet the Bucks Sunday.
|03-23-14||Kentucky v. Wichita State -5||78-76||Loss||-103||6 h 31 m||Show|
15* Sunday Round of 32 No-Doubt Rout on Wichita State -5
The Wichita State Shockers (35-0) are showing tremendous value as only a 5-point favorite over the Kentucky Wildcats (25-10) in the Round of 32. Despite being undefeated on the year, the Shockers continue to lack the respect they deserve and should be a bigger favorite in this one.
There are so many doubters out there that believe Wichita State is a fluke. That couldn't be further from the truth because this is basically the same team that made the Final Four last year. Now, the Shockers have come back even stronger in 2014, and it's clear after a 64-37 win over Cal Poly that this team is on a mission.
What has been most impressive about Wichita State's perfect season is the way it has taken care of business with only a handful of close games along the way. In fact, only ONE of its 35 wins this season has come by less than 5 points. That is a remarkable stat, and one that is very important when you consider this 5-point spread.
Kentucky could have suffered a big blow with the injury to starting point guard Andrew Harrison. He seemed to hyperextend his elbow late against Kansas State on Friday. Harrison averaged 10.7 points and 3.8 assists per game and would be missed. However, I am on Wichita State regardless of the injury, but if he doesn't go it would only be an added bonus.
Wichita State is 14-1 ATS when only playing its 2nd game in a week this season. The Shockers are 7-0 ATS when playing their second road game in three days over the last two seasons. Gregg Marshall has done a tremendous job of preparing this team for tournament basketball. I'll back this veteran Shockers squad over the young, inexperienced Wildcats in the Round of 32. Roll with Wichita State Sunday.
|03-23-14||Stanford +6.5 v. Kansas||60-57||Win||100||3 h 5 m||Show|
15* Stanford/Kansas Early ANNIHILATOR on Stanford +6.5
The Stanford Cardinal (22-12) catch the Kansas Jayhawks (25-9) at less than full strength in the Round of 32. Without Joel Embiid, the Jayhawks are very beatable, and that couldn't have been more evident than in their first-round game against Eastern Kentucky.
Kansas actually trailed late in that game before eventually pulling away 80-69 in a game that was much closer than the final score would indicate. Embbid (11.2 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.6 bpg) missed that game, and he's going to miss this game, too.
Stanford is a team that does most of its work inside the 2-point line, which is why the loss of Embiid as Kansas' primary rim protector is huge. Chasson Randle (18.9 ppg), Dwight Powell (13.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg), Anthony Brown (12.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg) and Josh Huestis (11.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg) form a solid quartet that will give the Jayhawks are run for their money today.
The Cardinal are 10-1 ATS versus poor pressure defensive teams that force 12 or fewer turnovers per game after 15-plus games over the last two seasons. Stanford is 14-3 ATS after having won two of its last three games this season. Kansas is 1-10 ATS in road games after four straight games forcing opponent to commit 14 or less turnovers over the past two seasons. The Cardinal are 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games. The Jayhawks are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games. Take Stanford Sunday.
|03-22-14||San Antonio Spurs v. Golden State Warriors UNDER 208.5||Top||99-90||Win||100||11 h 1 m||Show|
20* Spurs/Warriors NBA Late-Night BAILOUT on UNDER 208.5
The books have set the bar too high in this contest between the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors. These teams are very familiar with one another after meeting in the playoffs last year, and familiarity breeds low-scoring games as it favors defense.
Looking back at the past several meeting between these teams, it's easy to see that this number has been inflated. The Spurs and Warriors have combined by 206 or fewer points in each of their last seven meetings. Not counting overtime, they have combined to average 183.6 points per game in their last seven meetings, which is roughly 25 points less than tonight's posted total.
Believe it or not, these are two of the best defensive teams in the league. Golden State ranks 3rd in defensive efficiency, allowing just 99.5 points per 100 possessions. San Antonio ranks 4th, yielding 100.2 points per 100 possessions. They trail only Indiana (95.4) and Chicago (97.9) in this department.
Golden State is 13-1 to the UNDER revenging a straight up loss vs. opponent as a favorite this season. The Warriors are 12-3to the UNDER after allowing 110 points or more this season. Golden State is 20-6 to the UNDER after a combined score of 205 points or more this year. Bet the UNDER in this game Saturday.
|03-22-14||Connecticut +3.5 v. Villanova||Top||77-65||Win||100||35 h 14 m||Show|
25* East Region GAME OF THE YEAR on Connecticut +3.5
The UConn Huskies (27-8) would have qualified for the NCAA Tournament last year had they been eligible. Instead, they had a great season and didn't get to play in it. They returned all five starters from that team, so this is a veteran bunch that has only gotten better this season.
Indeed, the Huskies have won 27 games compared to just eight losses. When you consider that three of those losses came to Louisville, this team really did have a fine season. They made it to the AAC Championship Game and lost to the Cardinals before knocking off St. Joe's in the Round of 64.
Shabazz Napier (17.6 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 5.0 apg) will be the best player on the floor Saturday, and he's capable of carrying this team to a victory like he did Thursday with 24 points, eight boards and six assists in the win over St. Joe's. DeAndre Daniels (12.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg) and Ryan Boatright (12.0 ppg, 3.5 apg) are no slouches themselves.
UConn played a much tougher schedule than Villanova did this season. It has gone 8-5 against NCAA Tournament teams with those three losses to Louisville, as well as Stanford and Cincinnati by a combined seven points. It has wins over Florida, Harvard, Memphis (three times) and Cincinnati (twice).
The Huskies are 22-10 ATS in their last 32 neutral site games. Connecticut is now 10-3 ATS in its last 13 NCAA Tournament games. The Huskies are 5-1 ATS in their last six vs. Big East opponents. The Wildcats are 1-5 ATS in their last six NCAA Tournament games. The underdog is 4-0-1 ATS in the last five meetings in this series. The Huskies are 13-4 ATS in their last 17 games as a neutral court underdog or less. Villanova is 12-33 ATS after four straight games committing 14 or less turnovers since 1997.
I strongly believe that the Wildcats are one of the most overrated teams in the country due to playing a soft schedule in the weak Big East Conference. I also like the rugged defense of UConn, which gives up just 63.6 ppg and 39.0% shooting. Their perimeter defense is incredible, and it will wreak havoc on a Villanova team that relies on finesse and 3-point shooting. Rugged beats finesse tonight. That shows today as the Wildcats get upset by the Huskies, though we'll take the points for some insurance. Bet UConn Saturday.
|03-22-14||Oregon +5 v. Wisconsin||Top||77-85||Loss||-107||11 h 23 m||Show|
20* Oregon/Wisconsin West Region No-Brainer on Oregon +5
I was all over the Oregon Ducks (24-9) as my 25* Round of 64 GAME OF THE YEAR in an 87-68 victory over BYU. I will continue to back them for a lot of the same reasons as they give Wisconsin a run for their money in the Round of 32, likely winning this game outright.
Oregon is one of the most underrated teams in the country. People forget that it opened 13-0 this season because it would go on to lose eight of its next 10 games. However, seven of those losses came by single-digits, including a whopping five by 4 points or fewer. The Ducks have only lost four times all season by more than 4 points.
The Ducks have clearly regrouped and are one of the hottest teams in the country. They have won nine of their last 10 games overall, which includes wins over UCLA, Arizona State, Arizona and BYU, which are four fellow NCAA Tournament participants. This red-hot team is going to be tough for the Badgers to deal with Saturday.
Oregon puts up 82.0 points per game on 46.9% shooting, including 38.7% from 3-point range this season. Joseph Young (18.6 ppg), Mike Moser (13.3 ppg) and Jason Calliste (12.4 ppg) can all fill it up. Plus, they all shoot the 3-ball well, which is what makes them so difficult to deal with. Calliste makes 50% from distance, while Young (40.9%) and Moser (37.8%) are solid shooters as well. Fellow starters Damyean Dotson (30.5%) & Johnathan Loyd (36.0%) can hit the 3, too.
Unlike Oregon, Wisconsin has been extremely fortunate in close games. That's why I believe it is one of the most overrated teams in the tournament and should not have received a No. 2 seed. A whopping 12 of its wins came by single-digits this season. Head coach Bo Ryan's style just does not mesh well in the Big Dance, which is why the Badgers have failed to make a deep run as far back as I can remember. The Badgers won't be able to handle the athleticism of this Ducks squad.
The Ducks are 8-1 ATS in their last nine road games versus good teams that outscore their opponents by 8-plus points per game after 15-plus games over the past three seasons. Wisconsin is 8-20 ATS when playing a good team (win percentage from 60% to 80%) over the last two seasons. Oregon is 7-0 ATS in postseason tournament games over the last three seasons. The Ducks are 8-1-1 ATS in their last 10 neutral site games. The Badgers are 0-4 ATS in their last four games following a win. Take Oregon Saturday.
|03-22-14||Philadelphia 76ers +16.5 v. Chicago Bulls||81-91||Win||100||9 h 31 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Philadelphia 76ers +16.5
The Philadelphia 76ers are clearly a prideful team. They have been trying desperately to put an end to their 23-game losing streak, and they have been covering spreads at an alarming rate as a result. This team wants to put an end to this skid because they know how embarrassing it is to be on Sportscenter every night for the wrong reason.
As a result, the 76ers clearly have not packed it in even though they have had every reason to. They have gone an impressive 5-2 ATS in their last seven games overall with losses at New York (110-123) as a 15.5-point dog, at Indiana (90-99) as a 19.5-point dog, versus Indiana (94-101) as a 16-point dog, versus Chicago (94-102) as a 13.5-point dog, and versus New York (92-93) as a 12-point dog.
That game against Chicago occurred just a few days ago on Wednesday, March 19. So, that will add to the motivation for the 76ers as they'll want revenge just three days later. Meanwhile, Chicago could suffer a hangover from its 79-91 loss at Eastern Conference-leading Indiana last night. This isn't a team built to blow teams out, either, which work in our favor here.
Chicago is 1-8 ATS in home games versus poor defensive teams that allow a shooting percentage of 46% or worse this season. It is actually losing 90.4 to 97.7 in this spot, or by 7.3 points per game. The Bulls are 22-38 ATS as a home favorite over the last two seasons. Philadelphia is 66-42 ATS in its last 108 games as a double-digit underdog. The 76ers are 5-0 ATS in their last five vs. Eastern Conference foes. The Bulls are 8-18 ATS in their last 26 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400. Take the 76ers Saturday.
|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.