|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|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.
|03-15-14||Pittsburgh v. Virginia -3||48-51||Push||0||4 h 45 m||Show|
15* Pitt/Virginia ACC Early ANNIHILATOR on Virginia -3
The Virginia Cavaliers (26-6) have been tremendous this season. They are pushing for a top-2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and they are doings so behind a 17-2 record in ACC play. This team has been better than it has gotten credit for all season, and that is the case again this afternoon as a mere 3-point favorite.
The Cavaliers have a massive advantage in rest and preparation heading into this showdown with Pittsburgh. While Virginia has only had to play one game after getting a bye into the quarterfinals, Pitt has had to play two games. That makes this the 3rd game in three days for the Panthers.
Another reason that the Cavaliers will be more prepared in this one is that they got to play the early game yesterday. They played right before Pitt and dominated Florida State. That allowed their players and coaches to watch the Pitt/UNC game after, which will give them a leg up on the Panthers as they'll know what to expect.
Virginia is 7-0 ATS versus good shooting teams that make 45% or more of their shots after 15-plus games this season. The Cavaliers are 9-0 ATS versus good teams that outscore their opponents by 4-plus points per game after 15-plus games this year. Virginia is 9-1-1 ATS in its last 11 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. These three trends combine for a 25-1 system backing the Cavaliers. Bet Virginia Saturday.
|03-14-14||Cleveland Cavaliers +9.5 v. Golden State Warriors||103-94||Win||100||11 h 36 m||Show|
15* Cavs/Warriors NBA Late-Night BAILOUT on Cleveland +9.5
The Cleveland Cavaliers (25-40) are fighting for their playoff lives right now. They trail the Atlanta Hawks by four games for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, and also have to worry about betting by Detroit and New York. Every game is a must-win for them right now.
They have handled the pressure nicely every since trading for both Luol Deng and Spencer Hawes, which has made them a much stronger team. They just went on the road and beat Phoenix 110-101 as an 8-point underdog on Wednesday. This will be just their 2nd game in 6 days, so they will be well-rested and read to go tonight.
Meanwhile, this will be Golden State's 3rd game in 4 days, and its 7th game in 11 days. This is a tired team right now. Making matters worse is that it will be without one of its best players in Klay Thompson, who will miss this game to travel to the Bahamas for the funeral of his grandmother.
Thompson has averaged 18.8 points and gone 14 of 29 from 3-point range in four career games against Cleveland. The Cavaliers will be out for revenge from their 104-108 (OT) loss to the Warriors in their first meeting of the season on December 29. They let a 17-point lead slip away in that contest, and they clearly weren't as strong of a team then as they are now.
The Cavaliers are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games following a win. Cleveland is 6-1 ATS in its last seven Friday games. The Cavaliers are 6-2 ATS in their last eight road games. The Warriors are 1-4 ATS in their last five when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game. Roll with Cleveland Friday.
|03-14-14||Los Angeles Clippers v. Utah Jazz +9.5||Top||96-87||Win||100||9 h 6 m||Show|
20* NBA Western Conference GAME OF THE MONTH on Utah Jazz +9.5
The Utah Jazz are showing tremendous value as a massive home underdog to the Los Angeles Clippers tonight. Asking the Clippers to win by double-digits in Salt Lake City is simply asking too much.
Despite being down this season, the Jazz are still a very tough out at home. Just ask the Clippers, who have won their last three visits to Utah by a combined 5 points with finals of 116-114, 105-104 and 107-105. The Jazz will be out for revenge after losing their first two meetings this season in Los Angeles.
The Clippers come into this game way overvalued due to their current 9-game winning streak. Five of those victories have come by single-digits, and if the Clippers were to win tonight, it will be by single-digits, too. They are without their top bench player in Jamal Crawford (18.7 ppg), who is their second-leading scorer. He is doubtful to play tonight after missing the past two games with a calf injury.
The Jazz are an impressive 6-1 ATS in their last seven games vs. a team with a winning percentage above .600. Utah is 5-1 ATS in its last six home games vs. a team with a winning road record. The home team is 23-8 ATS in the last 31 meetings in this series. The Clippers are 4-17 ATS in their last 21 visits to Salt Lake City. Bet the Jazz Friday.
|03-14-14||Memphis Grizzlies +1 v. Toronto Raptors||86-99||Loss||-107||7 h 14 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Memphis Grizzlies +1
The Memphis Grizzlies (38-26) are playing as well as anyone in the NBA right now. They have won 11 of their last 14 games overall to move into the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference. However, they cannot relax as they lead the No. 9 Phoenix Suns by just two games.
The Grizzlies certainly will not relax tonight as they look to avenge an 87-103 home loss to the Raptors in their first meeting of the season on November 13. That was back when this team was not healthy and playing poorly. They have overcome injuries to Marc Gasol, Mike Conley and Tony Allen and are now back to full strength, which is the biggest reason for their excellent play.
Toronto has been undervalued all season and is much better than it has gotten credit for. However, the betting public has caught up to the Raptors finally, and they are no longer overvalued. In fact, they are actually favored in this game tonight to prove it. They have no business being favored against a better team in the Grizzlies, which made it to the Western Conference Finals last year.
Memphis is 11-3-1 ATS in its last 15 games vs. a team with a winning record. The Grizzlies are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five Friday games. Memphis is 17-8-1 ATS in its last 26 meetings with Toronto, including 9-4 ATS in its last 13 road meetings. Take the Grizzlies Friday.
|03-14-14||Iowa State +4 v. Kansas||Top||94-83||Win||100||21 h 0 m||Show|
25* Big 12 Tournament GAME OF THE YEAR on Iowa State +4
The Iowa State Cyclones want serious payback from losing the first two meetings with Kansas this season. This team is well aware of its struggles with Kansas over the past couple seasons, losing each of the last five meetings, including all three last year.
However, a closer look shows that they were competitive in every game but one. They lost two meetings with Kansas last year in overtime. This year, they fell by seven points at home (70-77) and 11 points on the road (81-92). That trip to Lawrence was much closer than the final score would indicate as the Jayhawks pulled away late.
What has given the Cyclones trouble against Kansas is the size and strength of their interior big men, namely Joel Embiid. Embiid had 16 points, nine rebounds and five blocks in their first meeting this season. He came back with 14 points and 11 boards in the second. In the two meetings combined, the 7-footer posted 30 points, 20 boards and six blocks while shooting 70.6 percent from the field.
Now, Embiid is out for the conference tournament as he deals with a back injury. The Cyclones match up with the Jayhawks much better without Embiid on the floor, so much so that I believe they are the better team now and will win outright. I'll just take the points for some insurance.
Another factor that cannot be overlooked here is that Kansas played an overtime game yesterday against Oklahoma State. That will take more out of them, especially now that they are short-handed without Embiid. The Jayhawks also played a couple hours after the Cyclones did yesterday, which is another slight advantage for ISU as it got a chance to watch Kansas after it beat Kansas State in the early game.
The Jayhawks are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a S.U. win. Kansas is 2-5 ATS in its last seven games vs. a team with a winning record. The Jayhawks are 0-4 ATS in their last four games following an ATS win. The Cyclones are 5-2 ATS in their last seven neutral site games. The Cyclones are 71-46 ATS versus teams that outscore their opponents by 8-plus points per game after 15-plus games since 1997. Bet Iowa State Friday.
|03-14-14||Seton Hall v. Providence -2.5||74-80||Win||100||10 h 36 m||Show|
15* Big East Tournament PLAY OF THE DAY on Providence -2.5
The Providence Friars came up big in a must-win situation yesterday in terms of making the NCAA Tournament. They beat St. John's, and now they move on to face Seton Hall. They are currently the last team listed on Joe Lunardi's 'Last Four In' line, so they cannot afford to lose this game if they want to make the big dance, either.
One big advantage that the Friars have over the Pirates is that they'll be well-rested in comparison. Indeed, this will be the third game in three days for Seton Hall, while this will be just the second game in two days for Providence. The Pirates had to play the first round on Wednesday, while the Friars had a buy into the second round.
Seton Hall is getting a lot of respect from oddsmakers here, but it shouldn't be. It has won back-to-back 1-point games over Butler and Villanova. It is getting the respect due to that Villanova win, but as I've said all season, the Wildcats are not nearly as good as their record would indicate. They are extremely vulnerable as we look ahead to the NCAA Tournament as well.
I really like the veteran leadership on this Providence team, which has helped guide it to four wins in its last five games overall to put itself in position to make the NCAA Tournament. The lone loss came at Creighton on Senior Night for the Bluejays. Senior guard Bryce Cotton (21.4 ppg, 5.8 apg) is one of the best players in the country that nobody knows about. LaDontae Henton (13.7 ppg, 7.4 rpg), Kadeem Batts (12.7 ppg, 7.8 rpg) and Tyler Harris (11.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg) compliment Cotton well. Take Providence Friday.
|03-14-14||Houston +19 v. Louisville||65-94||Loss||-110||10 h 36 m||Show|
15* AAC Tournament PLAY OF THE DAY on Houston +19
The Louisville Cardinals are getting way too much respect from oddsmakers and the betting public heading into this showdown with Houston. Their 92-31 beat down of Rutgers was impressive, but it has also created expectations for the Cardinals in terms of the point spread that they cannot live up to.
While the Cardinals are getting a lot of love for that win, the Cougars aren't getting enough for their 68-64 triumph over SMU as an 8.5-point underdog. I was on them as my 25* AAC GAME OF THE YEAR and stated that they are the biggest sleeper in this conference tournament. They are fully capable of giving Louisville a run for its money, too.
Houston has won five of its last six games overall, and it is 7-1-1 ATS in its last nine games. It boasts two of the best players in the conference tournament in TaShawn Thomas (15.5 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.7 bpg) and Danuel House (13.7 ppg, 5.0 rpg). Jherrod Stiggers (11.2 ppg) and L.J. Rose (9.0 ppg, 5.5 apg) are excellent as well. Each came up huge against SMU as Stiggers led the team with 19 points, while Rose was second with 16 points, 6 boards and 4 assists.
Sure, it's concerning that the Cougars were blown out 52-91 at Louisville in their first meeting of the season. However, they played the Cardinals much tougher in their second meeting, falling 62-77 as a 15-point home underdog. Playing them for a third time, they now know what to expect from their pressure defense. I believe this trend will continue and that the third and final meeting will be decided by less than 15 points, let alone 19.
Plays against favorites of 10 or more points (LOUISVILLE) - hot team - having won 8 or more of their last 10 games, in any tournament semi-final game are 28-7 (80%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Cougars are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games following a win. Roll with Houston Friday.
|03-13-14||Los Angeles Lakers v. Oklahoma City Thunder -16.5||Top||102-131||Win||100||11 h 47 m||Show|
20* Lakers/Thunder TNT Late-Night BAILOUT on Oklahoma City -16.5
The Oklahoma City Thunder will want revenge from one of their worst losses of the season, a 110-114 road loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on March 9 just five days ago. I look for them to get payback in blowout fashion and to cover even this lofty spread with ease.
The Thunder blew an 18-point lead in that game as Jodie Meeks went off for 42 points to lead the comeback for the Lakers. Unfortunately for L.A., there will be no comeback this time once the Thunder get up big because they will remember that blown lead, and thus they'll keep the foot on the gas for four quarters.
Oklahoma City cannot afford letdowns this time of year as it trails San Antonio by just one game for the No. 1 seed in the West. It's safe to say that the Lakers have the Thunder's full attention tonight not only because of the revenge, but also because of their standing in the West.
The Lakers have dropped seven straight meetings in Oklahoma City by an average of 15.7 points, including a 97-122 loss in their lone visit this season on December 13. Los Angeles has given up an average of 129.5 points per game in its last four games overall as its defense has been non-existent. OKC has scored 114.1 points per game in its last eight games and will score at will tonight.
Los Angeles is 13-27 ATS versus very good teams that outscored their opponents by 6-plus points per game over the last three seasons. The Lakers are 8-22 ATS in their last 30 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600. Oklahoma City is 74-43 ATS after having lost two of its last three games since 1996. The home team is 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings in this series. OKC is 3-0-1 ATS in its last four home games. Bet the Thunder Thursday.
|03-13-14||Utah +7.5 v. Arizona||39-71||Loss||-105||6 h 59 m||Show|
15* Pac-12 Tournament PLAY OF THE DAY on Utah +7.5
This Utah team really deserves a shot at the NCAA Tournament, but for now, they are on the outside looking in. They
|03-13-14||Purdue +9 v. Ohio State||61-63||Win||100||5 h 29 m||Show|
15* Big Ten Tournament PLAY OF THE DAY on Purdue +9
The Purdue Boilermakers were one of the most improved teams in the country this season with four starters back from last year. While it didn't always show up in the win/loss column, I saw enough from this team in the second half of the season to know that they are capable of beating anyone in the Big Ten Tournament.
The Boilermakers simply had bad fortune in close games this season. They lost road games at Wisconsin (76-70) by six and at Iowa (76-83) by seven, while also falling at home to Michigan (76-77) in overtime in three of their final four games of the regular season. Those three games right there all show what this team is capable of because it had a chance to win every one.
Purdue is going to be out for revenge on Ohio State after dropping both regular season meetings. It lost 69-78 at home and 49-67 on the road. Sure, that is concerning, but to beat a pesky team like Purdue by 9-plus points three times in one season is asking a lot. Plus, the Boilermakers will have a bit of a home-court advantage as this game will be played in Indianapolis.
Plays against neutral court teams (OHIO ST) - after going under the total by 42 or more points total in their last seven games, with a winning record on the season playing a losing team are 51-15 (77.3%) ATS since 1997. The Boilermakers are 30-16 ATS in their last 46 games following an ATS loss. The Buckeyes are 0-4 ATS in their last four neutral site games. Take Purdue Thursday.
|03-13-14||Houston +8.5 v. SMU||Top||68-64||Win||100||4 h 59 m||Show|
25* AAC Tournament GAME OF THE YEAR on Houston +8.5
The Houston Cougars represent my strongest play for the entire 2014 AAC Tournament Thursday when they take on the SMU Mustangs. While they aren't one of the five ranked teams in the AAC, they are certainly the sleeper in this conference tournament.
Houston closed the season very strong by winning four of its final five games, which included a 77-68 victory over Memphis. This team also went on a 6-1-1 ATS run to close out the year, time and time again being undervalued. The Cougars have two of the best players in the tournament in TaShawn Thomas (15.5 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 2.7 bpg) and Danuel House (13.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg).
SMU showed that perhaps it was a fraud all this time at the end of the season. It lost at home to Louisville 71-84 before going on the road and falling to Memphis by a final of 58-67. This team has no business being this heavily favored on a neutral floor against a quality Houston team.
That's especially the case when you consider how closely-contested the regular season series won. SMU won both meetings, but by just 7 points on the road (75-68) and 4 points at home (68-64). You can bet that the Cougars are going to want revenge in the third and final meeting, which is the most important one with their season at stake.
The Cougars are 6-1-1 ATS in their last eight conference games. The Mustangs are 5-21-1 ATS in their last 27 neutral site games. Houston is 4-1 ATS in its last five meetings with SMU. The Cougars are 7-1 ATS after covering two of their last three against the spread this season. Bet Houston Thursday.
|03-12-14||Memphis Grizzlies v. New Orleans Pelicans UNDER 191||90-88||Win||100||10 h 55 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday Total DOMINATOR on Grizzlies/Pelicans UNDER 191
The books have set the bar too high tonight in this contest between the Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans. Both teams have played in some high-scoring games of late against soft defensive teams, which has inflated the number. It's time to take advantage.
New Orleans has combined with its last three opponents for 216-plus points in each game. Those three opponents: the Lakers, Bucks and Nuggets. They'll be up against one of the best defensive teams in the league tonight in Memphis, which has combined for 200-plus points in its last two games, including a 109-99 victory over high-scoring Portland last night.
These teams are very familiar with one another as this will be their 4th and final meeting of the season. They have combined for 187, 202 and 183 points in the three meetings. Dating back further, the Grizzlies and Pelicans have combined for 187 or fewer points in six of their last seven meetings. They have combined for an average of 183.6 points per game in their last seven meetings, which is nearly 8 points less than tonight's posted total.
Memphis is 8-1 to the UNDER in road games versus teams that forced 14 or fewer turnovers this season. The UNDER is 10-3 in Pelicans last 13 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game. The UNDER is 5-1 in the last six meetings. The UNDER is 4-0 in Grizzlies last four vs. a team with a losing record. Take the UNDER in this game Wednesday.
|03-12-14||Sacramento Kings v. Philadelphia 76ers +8.5||Top||115-98||Loss||-100||9 h 56 m||Show|
20* NBA Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Philadelphia 76ers +8.5
There aren't many bettors out there who are willing to throw down big money on the Philadelphia 76ers at this point. That's why their lines will be inflated going forward, and there will be plenty of value with this team. That is certainly the case tonight as a 9-point home dog to the Sacramento Kings.
Sure, it is concerning that the 76ers are riding a 20-game losing streak, but contrary to popular belief, they have not quit. You have to consider that these players are playing for jobs going forward, so they aren't going to pack it in. Also, they hung with the Knicks for three quarters before eventually losing 110-123 on the road last time out, so they have not packed it in.
Sacramento (22-42) has no business being this heavily favored against anyone, especially on the road. The Kings have dropped three straight road games all by double-digits to Toronto (87-99), Brooklyn (89-104) and Detroit (89-99) to fall to 9-23 away from home this year. If either one of these two teams have quit, it's the Kings.
This is a tough spot for Sacramento as well as this will be the second of a back-to-back and their 8th game in 13 days. This is a tired team right now, while the 76ers come in on one days' rest. Also, this will be just the 3rd game in 7 days for Philadelphia, so it is well-rested and ready to go.
This has been a one-sided series to say the least. Indeed, Philadelphia is 10-1 SU & 10-1 ATS in its last 11 meetings with Sacramento. It has won each of the last three meetings by 9-plus points each, including a 113-104 road victory as a 9-point underdog on January 2 in their first meeting this season.
Plays against any team (SACRAMENTO) - revenging a loss where opponent scored 110 or more points against opponent off a loss against a division rival are 84-38 (68.9%) ATS over the last five seasons. Bet the 76ers Wednesday.
|03-12-14||Fordham v. George Mason -5||Top||70-67||Loss||-106||11 h 6 m||Show|
20* Atlantic 10 GAME OF THE WEEK on George Mason -5
The George Mason Patriots are the best team in the country that currently has 11 wins or less on the season. This is a team that returned all five starters from last year, but the luck just hasn't fallen their way in close games. As a result, their record is 11-19 when it could easily be 19-11.
Indeed, a whopping 12 of their 19 losses came by 8 points or fewer, and 11 of those came by 6 points or less. As you can see, this team has simply fallen short in the close games. I like the fight I'll saw from them to close out hte season as they went 5-2 ATS over their last seven games, which included outright road wins at UMass (91-80) as an 11-point dog, and at La Salle (59-57) as a 6-point dog.
Fordham (9-20, 2-14) did pick up one of its two conference wins this season at home against George Mason, but that simply places the Patriots in revenge mode. Unlike the Patriots, the Rams are every bit as bad as their record would indicate. They lost eight straight games to close out the season, including six of those by double-digits. They don't even want to be still playing as they packed it in a long time ago.
The Patriots boast two of the best players in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. Sherrod Wright (15.8 ppg) and Bryon Allen (15.2 ppg) can both fill it up when they need to. These two are fully capable of carrying this team deep into the tournament as a sleeper.
Fordham is 0-7 ATS in road games versus poor pressure defensive teams that force 14 or fewer turnovers this season. George Mason is 6-0 ATS off a home loss against a conference opponent this season. The Patriots are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a S.U. loss. These three trends combine for a perfect 17-0 system backing the Patriots. Bet George Mason Wednesday.
|03-12-14||Virginia Tech v. Miami (Fla) -6||53-57||Loss||-110||8 h 42 m||Show|
15* ACC Early Afternoon ANNIHILATOR on Miami -6
We are getting the Miami Hurricanes (16-15, 7-11) at a bargain price in their 2014 ACC Tournament opener. They get to take on the Virginia Tech Hokies (9-21, 2-16), and I look for this one to result in a blowout victory in their favor.
Sure, they did hand the Hokies both of their conference victories this season with a 1-point home loss and a 7-point road loss. However, the fact that they lost both meetings has kept this line lower than it should be, and there's no question the 'Canes are going to want revenge while keeping their season alive in the rematch.
Miami has shown me enough to know that it is a sleeper in this ACC Tournament. It won four of its final six games to close out the season, so it is playing well coming in. It has gone on the road and knocked off the likes of UNC (63-57), Georgia Tech (56-42), Florida State (77-73) and NC State (85-70) in ACC play this season, playing its best basketball away from home.
Virginia Tech is 0-6 ATS in road games after having lost 15 or more of its last 20 games over the past two seasons. Miami is 11-1 ATS off a home win by 10 points or more over the last two seasons. The Hurricanes are 34-16-1 ATS in their last 51 games vs. a team with a losing S.U. record. Take Miami Wednesday.
|03-12-14||Washington v. Utah -5.5||61-67||Win||100||7 h 7 m||Show|
15* Pac-12 PLAY OF THE DAY on Utah -5.5
This Utah team really deserves a shot at the NCAA Tournament, but for now, they are on the outside looking in. They
|03-11-14||Dallas Mavericks v. Golden State Warriors UNDER 210||85-108||Win||100||11 h 27 m||Show|
15* Mavericks/Warriors NBA Late-Night BAILOUT on UNDER 210
The books have set the bar too high tonight in this contest between the Dallas Mavericks and Golden State Warriors. I'll take advantage and back the UNDER in what I foresee to be a low-scoring battle come game's end.
These teams tend to bring out the worst in one another offensively because they match up well with one another defensively. Indeed, the Mavs and Warriors have combined to score 207 or fewer points in each of their last six meetings with the UNDER going 5-1 during that stretch.
Their two meetings this season have been very low-scoring. The Warriors won 95-93 at home for 188 combined points on December 11, while the Mavericks were victorious 103-99 at home on November 27 for 202 combined points. Not counting overtime, the last six meetings have averaged a combined 195.3 points per game, which is roughly 15 points lower than tonight's posted total of 210.
Many don't realize this, but the Warriors actually rank 3rd in the league in defensive efficiency this season, trailing only the Pacers and Bulls. The UNDER is 4-0 in Mavericks last four vs. a team with a winning record. The UNDER is 8-2-1 in Warriors last 11 games overall. The UNDER is 20-6 in Warriors last 26 vs. NBA Southeast Division opponents. The UNDER is 25-9 in Warriors last 34 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game. Take the UNDER in this game Tuesday.
|03-11-14||BYU v. Gonzaga -4||64-75||Win||100||10 h 4 m||Show|
15* BYU/Gonzaga WCC Championship No-Brainer on Gonzaga -4
I look for the Gonzaga Bulldogs to take down the WCC Conference Tournament Championship tonight with a lopsided victory over the BYU Cougars. The Bulldogs have won six of the past eight WCC titles and they'll add another one to their r
|03-11-14||San Antonio Spurs -5 v. Chicago Bulls||Top||104-96||Win||100||9 h 55 m||Show|
20* NBA Tuesday No-Doubt Rout on San Antonio Spurs -5
The Chicago Bulls are in a massive letdown spot tonight. They are coming off their biggest win of the season in a 95-88 home victory in overtime against the defending champion Miami Heat on Sunday. It's only human nature to have a letdown off such a huge victory.
Plus, the Bulls can say they already beat the Spurs 96-86 on the road in their first meeting of the season. Meanwhile, San Antonio will be out for revenge from that defeat. That that it is healthy, it has been playing some of its best basketball of the season.
Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard, and Danny Green have all returned from injuries as the Spurs are back to full strength. It has really paid off as they have won six straight coming into this one with five of those victories coming by 9-plus points. That includes a 111-87 home victory over Miami on March 6. They have had two days' rest since last beating the Magic on Saturday, so they're well-rested and ready to go.
San Antonio is 15-3 ATS in road games versus poor foul drawing teams that attempt 24 or fewer free throws per game this season. The Spurs are 32-12 ATS after scoring 105-plus points in two straight games over the last three seasons. San Antonio is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 trips to Chicago. Bet the Spurs Tuesday.
|03-10-14||Phoenix Suns +10.5 v. Los Angeles Clippers||105-112||Win||100||11 h 18 m||Show|
15* Suns/Clippers NBA Late-Night BAILOUT on Phoenix +10.5
The Los Angeles Clippers should not be a double-digit favorite over the Phoenix Suns tonight. Los Angeles is simply being overvalued right now due to its 7-game winning streak, and that started to show last time out as it only won 109-108 at home over Atlanta as a 15-point favorite.
Phoenix (36-26) is tied with Memphis for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, so it has a lot to play for right now. Sure, this will be a second of a back-to-back for the Suns after falling 107-113 at Golden State as a 9.5-point underdog Sunday, but fatigue should not be a factor.
That's because the Suns had two days off prior to Sunday after last beating the Thunder on Thursday, March 6. Also, Phoenix will be motivated to avenge a 96-104 home loss to the Clippers less than a week ago on Tuesday, March 4. The Suns won their first visit this season to the Clippers by a final of 107-88 as an 8-point underdog on December 30.
There is a chance that Eric Bledsoe returns tonight as he has been cleared to play, but he'll likely return Wednesday. Also on the injury front, the Clippers are expected to be without second-leading scorer Jamal Crawford (18.7 ppg), and they simply aren't nearly as good of a team without him.
Plays on underdogs of 10 or more points (PHOENIX) - revenging a loss where opponent scored 100 or more points against opponent off a home no-cover where the team won straight up as a favorite are 39-12 (76.5%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Suns are 20-8 ATS in all road games this season. Take Phoenix Monday.
|03-10-14||Bowling Green v. Northern Illinois -3||51-54||Push||0||9 h 18 m||Show|
15* CBB Monday PLAY OF THE DAY on Northern Illinois -3
The Northern Illinois Huskies (14-16) get the call as a small home favorite over the Bowling Green Falcons (12-19) in the first round of the MAC Tournament. This is an absolute gift from oddsmakers, and we'll take advantage.
Northern Illinois has been undervalued for quite some time now, and that has continued here tonight. Indeed, the Huskies are 10-0-2 ATS in their last 12 games overall. That includes outright wins over Kent State as an 11-point dog, Miami Ohio as a 3-point dog, Eastern Michigan as a 4-point dog, Toledo as a 5.5-point dog and Ball State as a 2.5-point dog.
Bowling Green is not playing well coming into the MAC Tournament. It has gone 0-3 SU & 0-3 ATS in its last three games overall with blowout losses to Akron (47-57), Ohio (61-72) and Buffalo (65-88). It has lost eight of its last 10 overall and I don't foresee it magically turning things around tonight. The Huskies already beat the Falcons 45-36 on the road as an 8.5-point dog back on January 12 in their first meeting of the season.
The Falcons are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a losing S.U. record. Bowling Green is 0-4 ATS in its last four road games. Northern Illinois is 10-0-2 ATS in its last 12 games overall. The Huskies are 5-0-1 ATS in their last six home games. These four trends combine for a perfect 24-0 system backing the home team. Roll with Northern Illinois Monday.
|03-10-14||Philadelphia 76ers +16 v. New York Knicks||Top||110-123||Win||100||9 h 53 m||Show|
25* NBA Atlantic Division GAME OF THE YEAR on Philadelphia 76ers +16
The Philadelphia 76ers represent my strongest play in the Atlantic Division for the entire 2013-14 season Monday. This line has clearly been inflated to the point where there is a ton of value with the road underdog because the betting public wants nothing to do with the 76ers right now.
Indeed, the 76ers come in riding an NBA-high 16-game losing streak. I don't believe they have quit at all, it's just that it has taken time to get used to playing with some new players after trading away a couple starters. This team should start gelling soon because this will be just their 2nd game in 6 days, so they have had plenty of practice time to get used to playing together over the past week.
New York (24-40) should not be this heavily favored against anyone. It is overvalued right now due to going 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS in its last three games overall. However, those three games came against teams that would not be in the playoffs if the season ended today. This team has played poorly all season, and they should not be getting this respect because of a brief run of solid play against soft competition.
Plays on road teams (PHILADELPHIA) - a good offensive team (98-102 PPG) against a poor defensive team (98-102 PPG), after allowing 100 points or more 2 straight games are 87-33 (72.5%) ATS over the last five seasons. The road team has won both meetings this season, and the road team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings overall. The Knicks are 1-7 ATS in their last eight vs. Eastern Conference foes. Bet the 76ers Monday.
|03-09-14||Indiana Pacers v. Dallas Mavericks UNDER 196.5||94-105||Loss||-102||10 h 18 m||Show|
15* NBA Sunday Total DOMINATOR on Pacers/Mavericks UNDER 196.5
Both the Dallas Mavericks and Indiana Pacers will be playing with a lot of intensity tonight. I believe that will favor the defense in this one as both teams put their best effort of the season into the defensive end of the floor.
Indiana is a pissed off team right now having lost a season-high three straight games. It has given up 112 and 109 points in its last two games, respectively, so it will be blaming the poor play on defense. As a result, it will get after it defensively. The Mavs have lost three of four while allowing 100-plus points in three of the losses, so their message will be defense heading into this one.
These teams played in the ultimate defensive battle the first time they got together this season. Dallas beat Indiana 81-73 on the road on February 12 for 154 combined points. While I do expect more points in this one, I don't foresee them sniffing 196 combined points. Each of the past four meetings have seen 186 or fewer combined points with the UNDER going 4-0.
The UNDER is 5-1 in Pacers last six vs. a team with a winning record. The UNDER is 4-0 in Pacers last four Sunday games. The UNDER is 4-1 in Mavericks last five home games. Bet the UNDER in this game Sunday.