|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|01-05-14||San Francisco 49ers -2.5 v. Green Bay Packers||Top||23-20||Win||100||68 h 39 m||Show|
20* 49ers/Packers NFC Wild Card No-Brainer on San Francisco -2.5
Given the 49ers
|01-04-14||New Orleans Saints +2.5 v. Philadelphia Eagles||26-24||Win||102||47 h 9 m||Show|
15* Saints/Eagles NFC Wild Card BAILOUT on New Orleans +2.5
|01-04-14||New Orleans Pelicans v. Indiana Pacers UNDER 194.5||Top||82-99||Win||100||11 h 57 m||Show|
20* NBA Saturday PLAY OF THE DAY on Pelicans/Pacers UNDER 194.5
The books have simply set the bar too high in this game between the New Orleans Pelicans and Indiana Pacers. I look for a low-scoring, defensive battle tonight with neither team exceeding 95 points in this one.
It's sad to say it, but one of the biggest reasons I like this UNDER is that New Orleans sharp-shooter Ryan Anderson was carted off the court last night with a neck injury. The Pelicans aren't nearly as efficient without Anderson, who leads the team in scoring (19.8 ppg) while also shooting 40.9 percent from 3-point range and 95.2 percent from the free throw line. It's a huge blow to them offensively.
Now, the Pelicans will be up against the best defensive team in the NBA. Indeed, the Pacers rank 1st in the league in defensive efficiency, giving up just 93.4 points per 100 possessions. Indiana also like to play at a slow tempo, ranking 21st in the league in pace at 95.3 possessions per game. New Orleans is 19th in pace at 95.8 possessions per contest.
If you don't count overtime, the last four meetings between the Pacers and Pelicans would have gone UNDER this posted total of 194.5. They have combined for 185, 176, 194 and 186 points at the end of regulation in their last four meetings, respectively. There's clearly a ton of value with this UNDER tonight ladies and gents.
Indiana is 18-6 to the UNDER as a favorite this season, including 12-4 to the UNDER as a home favorite. The UNDER is 13-4 in Pacers last 17 home games overall. The UNDER is 22-10-1 in the last 33 meetings in this series. Bet the UNDER in this game Saturday.
|01-04-14||Louisville v. Rutgers +17||83-76||Win||100||9 h 8 m||Show|
15* American Athletic PLAY OF THE DAY on Rutgers +17
This play is more of a fade of the Louisville Cardinals than anything. They are simply way overvalued after winning the championship last year, and after their 12-2 start this season. They have no business being a 17-point favorite at Rutgers Saturday.
Forward Chase Behanan has been dismissed from the team recently, leaving Louisville thin along the front line. It didn't bother them one bit in a 90-65 win at UCF in its first game without Behanan last time out. However, that result is the reason that the Cardinals are overvalued here, and I fully expect them to come back down to earth in their second game without him.
Rutgers is off to a respectable 7-7 start this season while being competitive in every game under first-year coach, Eddie Jordan. Indeed, all seven of the Scarlet Knights' losses this season have come by 11 points or fewer, including five by 6 points or less. They are coming off an impressive 71-66 home victory over Temple last time out and are fully capable of competing with Louisville, which may be looking ahead to its game against Memphis next.
The Cardinals are 1-5 ATS in their last six games following an ATS win. Roll with Rutgers Saturday.
|01-04-14||Kansas City Chiefs v. Indianapolis Colts UNDER 46.5||Top||44-45||Loss||-110||44 h 34 m||Show|
25* NFL Playoffs TOTAL OF THE YEAR on Chiefs/Colts UNDER 46.5
The books have set the bar too high in this contest between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Wild Card Round. I'll take advantage by backing the UNDER in what I believe is going to be a low-scoring, defensive battle.
I was on the UNDER when these teams just met in Week 16 as the total was inflated then and closed at 47. Indianapolis won by a final of 23-7 in an important game for both teams. The Colts outgained the Chiefs 367-287 in the win as neither offense was dynamic.
Now, the books have failed to adjust enough and have set basically an identical total to the first meeting. I believe we'll see a similar combined point total of 30 points between these teams. They are very familiar with one another after playing two weeks ago, which clearly favors a defensive battle.
Both teams have been solid on defense as the Chiefs are yielding just 19.1 points per game, while the Colts are giving up 21.0 points per contest. Neither team has been dominant offensively this season as the Chiefs rank 21st in total offense at 337.3 yards per game, and the Colts rank 15th at 341.7 yards per contest. Indianapolis has really been hurting on this side of the ball since losing Reggie Wayne as well.
Indianapolis and Kansas City have gone UNDER the total in five of their last six games overall. They have combined for 33 or fewer points in five of those six meetings. That's impressive when you consider that three of those came with Peyton Manning under center for the Colts.
Kansas City is 7-0 to the UNDER when playing against a good team (Win Pct. 60% to 75%) in the second half of the season over the last 3 seasons. The Chiefs are 6-0 to the UNDER after allowing 175 or more rushing yards last game over the last 3 seasons. The Colts are 10-0 to the UNDER when playing on a Saturday since 1992. The UNDER is 5-0 in Chiefs last 5 Saturday games. The UNDER is 4-0 in Colts last 4 Wild Card Games. These five trends combine for a perfect 32-0 system backing the UNDER. Bet the UNDER in this game Saturday.
|01-04-14||Oklahoma State v. Kansas State +6.5||Top||71-74||Win||100||7 h 8 m||Show|
20* Big 12 GAME OF THE WEEK on Kansas State +6.5
The Kansas State Wildcats get the call Saturday as a home underdog to the Oklahoma State Cowboys. The Cowboys are one of the most overrated teams in the country due to playing a pretty soft schedule up to this point and getting through it at 12-1.
Kansas State is playing its best basketball of the season heading into this win, winning eight straight games while going 6-1 ATS in lined games in the process. That includes wins over Ole Miss (61-58) and Gonzaga (72-62) to prove that they are for real. Their last two games weren't even close as they rolled over Tulane (72-41) and George Washington (72-55).
The Wildcats have owned the Cowboys in recent meetings. They have gone 4-1 SU & 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings with their only loss coming by a final of 70-76 on the road last season. I like that dominance to continue in the Big 12 opener today with likely an outright victory, though I'll gladly take the points for some insurance.
Kansas State is 8-1 ATS in home games versus good defensive teams - shooting pct defense of <=42% over the last two seasons. The Wildcats are 16-1 ATS in their last 17 home games after two straight wins by 10 or more points. The Cowboys are 5-16 ATS in their last 21 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Roll with Kansas State Saturday.
|01-04-14||West Virginia v. TCU +5||74-69||Push||0||7 h 8 m||Show|
15* CBB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on TCU +5
Off a disastrous 2012-13 campaign, the TCU Horned Frogs came into the 2013-14 season way undervalued. They remain that way as a home underdog to the West Virginia Mountaineers in their Big 12 opener Saturday when they really should be the favorite.
TCU has opened 9-3 this year while going 5-1 ATS in all lined games to show how underrated it really is. Two of the three losses came against very good SMU and Harvard teams on a neutral court. The Frogs have gone on the road and beaten Washington State (64-62) as a 14-point dog, and Mississippi State (71-61) as an 8.5-point dog. They have also beaten Tulsa twice.
West Virginia has been unimpressive en route to an 8-5 start this season. It doesn't have a good win all season as its eight victories have come against the likes of Mount St. Mary's, Duquesne, Georgia Southern, Presbyterian, Old Dominion, Loyola-Maryland, Marshall and William & Mary. The Mountaineers were at least a 7.5-point favorite in all of those games.
The Mountaineers are 1-10 ATS vs. good free throw shooting teams that make 72% or more of their attempts over the past two seasons. West Virginia is 0-6 ATS in its last six vs. Big 12 opponents. The Mountaineers are 7-22-1 ATS in their last 30 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. WVU is 16-33-2 ATS in its last 51 games overall. Take TCU Saturday.
|01-04-14||Washington +17.5 v. Arizona||Top||62-71||Win||100||5 h 37 m||Show|
20* Pac-12 GAME OF THE WEEK on Washington +17.5
The Washington Huskies are showing tremendous value as a massive road underdog to the Arizona Wildcats today. I'll take advantage and back them as 17.5-point underdog fresh off their biggest win of the season.
I was all over the Huskies last time out as they went into Arizona State and came away with a 76-65 victory as a 10.5-point underdog. I still believe this team is underrated and their best is yet to come. There's no question that the Wildcats will bring out the best in them.
Arizona is the No. 1 ranked team in the country and for good reason. However, it has created expectations for itself that it simply cannot live up to in the near future now that we have entered conference play. That is especially the case off a 60-25 win over Washington State. There's no question that the value in this game is with the Huskies, especially considering that the Wildcats could be looking ahead to UCLA.
Plays on road underdogs of 10 to 19.5 points (WASHINGTON) - excellent free throw shooting team (>=73%) against an average free throw shooting team (65-69%), good ball handling team (<=14.5 TO's) against a poor pressure defensive team (<=14.5 TO's) are 26-7 (78.8%) ATS over the last five seasons.
Arizona is 3-11 ATS in its last 14 games following a home win over a conference rival. Lorenzo Romar is 22-6 ATS as an underdog of 10 or more points in all games he has coached. The Huskies are 13-6 ATS in their last 19 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Take Washington Saturday.
|01-04-14||Houston +3 v. Vanderbilt||Top||24-41||Loss||-105||41 h 29 m||Show|
20* Houston/Vanderbilt Compass Bowl ANNIHILATOR on Houston +3
The win total for the Houston Cougars coming into the season was just five. They exceeded expectations and could have finished even better than their 8-4 record win you look at all of their impressive, close losses. I'll gladly back the Cougars as an underdog to Vanderbilt in the Compass Bowl Saturday.
Indeed, Houston lost four games this season by a touchdown or less to four bowl teams in BYU (46-47), UCF (14-19), Louisville (13-20) and Cincinnati (17-24). UCF beat Baylor in a BCS bowl, while Louisville rolled Miami. Both of those losses to the Knights and Cardinals were on the road, too.
The Cougars are putting up 33.9 points per game offensively behind freshman quarterback John O'Korn. The freshman threw 26 touchdowns against eight interceptions on the season. His favorite target was standout wide receiver Deontay Greenberry, who caught 76 balls for 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns.
"It was just an amazing experience and such a blessing to start as a true freshman for the majority of the season," O'Korn said. "Going into the season, our motto was 'Something to Prove' and I think we proved a lot, as coach preached by our entire body of work. Those close to the program know we haven't even reached our full potential yet, so we are really excited about this coming game obviously and next season moving forward."
Vanderbilt had a great season as well, finishing with eight wins on the year. However, the Commodores were very fortunate to win eight games because they played one of the easiest schedules in the SEC. Also, two of their wins were against injury-plagued Florida and Georgia teams. I believe blowout losses to Missouri (28-51) and Texas A&M (24-56) are a much truer indication of how good this team is.
Making matters worse for the Commodores is that they will be without starting quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels, which is a huge blow to the offense. Carta-Samuels had 2,268 passing yards and 11 touchdowns on the season, while also rushing for 115 yards and five scores.
Backup Patton Robinette started the two games that Carta-Samuels missed. He completed 21 of 40 passes for 273 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions in a blowout loss to Texas A&M (24-56) and a fluke win over Florida (34-17). The Commodores were outgained 183-344 by the Gators and should have never won that game.
The Cougars are 12-2 ATS in their last 14 games overall. Houston is 8-1 ATS vs. awful passing defenses that allow a completion percentage of 62% or worse over the last three seasons. The Cougars are 6-0 ATS in their last six non-conference games. Houston is 5-2 ATS in its last seven vs. SEC opponents. Roll with Houston Saturday.
|01-04-14||Nebraska +17.5 v. Ohio State||53-84||Loss||-110||3 h 37 m||Show|
15* CBB Saturday Early ANNIHILATOR on Nebraska +17.5
The Nebraska Cornhuskers are going to be one of the most improved teams in the country by season's end. I believe they show that tonight and hang with a very good Ohio State team to stay within this inflated number, giving us the cover.
The Cornhuskers have played three very tough games in their last five contests overall, which will have them battle-tested heading into this showdown. They lost at Creighton (67-82), at Cincinnati (69-74) and at Iowa (57-67). This is a team that returned all five starters from a year ago and will be competitive in Big Ten play.
Ohio State is overvalued due to opening the season 14-0. It has created expectations for itself in terms of the point spread heading into conference play that it cannot live up to. Plus, I fully expect the Buckeyes to be looking ahead to their showdown against Michigan State on Tuesday, which will also help allow the Huskers to stay within the number.
Plays against favorites of 10 to 19.5 points (OHIO ST) - after 8 or more consecutive wins, undefeated on the season are 67-39 (63.2%) ATS over the last five seasons. Tim Miles is 11-1 ATS off a loss against a conference rival as the coach of Nebraska. Miles is 7-0 ATS in road games after playing two consecutive road games as the coach of Nebraska. Bet Nebraska Saturday.
|01-03-14||Nebraska-Omaha +10 v. Hawaii||73-77||Win||100||12 h 6 m||Show|
15* Nebraska-Omaha/Hawaii CBB Midnight BAILOUT on Nebraska-Omaha +10
Nebraska-Omaha is a team that I have been on all season. I'm not about to stop now, especially catching them as a double-digit underdog against Hawaii tonight. This team will be ready to give the Warriors a fight tonight.
Despite playing a brutal schedule, the Mavericks have managed to open 10-4 and remain one of the most underrated teams in the country just because the betting public does not know about them. Their four losses have against quality competition, too.
Nebraska-Omaha lost at Iowa (75-83) as a 29.5-point underdog, at UNLV (70-73) as a 14-point dog, at Drake (80-88) as a 5.5-point dog, and at Minnesota (79-92) as a 16-point dog. As you can see, they have only lost by double-digits once all season, and No. 2 will not be coming tonight.
This is a Mavericks team that returned four starters from last season and does a lot of things right. They are scoring 84.9 points per game thanks in large part to their 78.2% from throw shooting. They don't foul often defensively, yielding an average of only 22 free throw attempts per game.
Nebraska-Omaha is 6-1 ATS in its last seven road games. The Mavericks are 6-1 ATS in their last seven non-conference games. The Mavericks are 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall. Roll with Nebraska-Omaha Friday.
|01-03-14||Clemson +3 v. Ohio State||Top||40-35||Win||100||26 h 42 m||Show|
20* Clemson/Ohio State Orange Bowl No-Brainer on Clemson +3
The Clemson Tigers are certainly happy to be playing in a BCS Bowl Game after capping off a 10-win regular season. Sure, they lost by double-digits to both Florida State and South Carolina, but a closer look into those games shows that they gave them away. They committed a combined 10 turnovers in the two losses, including six against the Gamecocks. It
|01-03-14||Oklahoma State v. Missouri +2||31-41||Win||100||25 h 27 m||Show|
15* Oklahoma State/Missouri Cotton Bowl ANNIHILATOR on Missouri +2
The Missouri Tigers never really got the respect they deserved all season. Picked my most to finish near the bottom of the SEC East, the Tigers wound up winning the division to earn a trip to the SEC Championship Game. Had they beaten Auburn, they would likely be playing in the BCS Championship. They fought tough, compiling 534 yards of total offense, but lost in the end by a final of 42-59. This team is very excited with their season and more than happy to be playing in the Cotton Bowl, looking to end the year on a positive note.
The same may not be the case for the Cowboys, who let a tremendous opportunity slip through their fingertips. They controlled their own destiny against Oklahoma in the season finale, needing to win to capture the Big 12 Title and a BCS Bowl game. They would lose by a final of 24-33 at home despite being a 9.5-point favorite. That kind of loss is going to be much more difficult for the Cowboys to get over because they were actually one of the favorites to win the conference this season. Missouri was an underdog all year, and it is a dog again in the Cotton Bowl, showing tremendous value.
Missouri boasts an explosive offense that is putting up 39.0 points and 492.9 yards per game to rank 17th in the country in total offense. Few teams in the land have the kind of balance that the Tigers do, which makes them so difficult to contain. They average 236.5 yards per game on the ground and 256.5 through the air. Dual-threat quarterback James Franklin has been awesome when healthy, and the senior certainly wants to go out a winner. Franklin is completing 65.5 percent of his passes for 2,254 yards with 19 touchdowns against five interceptions, while also rushing for 474 yards and four scores.
An SEC team should almost never be an underdog to a Big 12 team on a neutral field, especially when it's one of the top teams in the SEC. There's no doubt that the Tigers played the tougher schedule this season, and that will work in their favor as they'll be more battle-tested in this one. Their only losses came to South Carolina and Auburn, and they even blew a 17-0 lead against the Gamecocks or they'd be 12-1 right now.
The Tigers are 10-2-1 against the spread in all games this season. Missouri is 9-0 against the number after allowing 375 or more rushing yards last game since 1992. The Tigers are 22-9 against the spread in their last 31 games after allowing 42 or more points last game. Missouri is 33-16 against the spread off a loss by 17 points or more since 1992. Head coach Gary Pinkel is 15-3 against the spread off a loss by 17 points or more as the coach of Missouri. The Tigers are 25-4 ATS in their last 29 games after allowing more than 40 points in their previous game. Take Missouri in the Cotton Bowl Friday.
|01-03-14||Golden State Warriors v. Atlanta Hawks +3||101-100||Win||100||8 h 42 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday Night Line Mistake on Atlanta Hawks +3
The Atlanta Hawks (18-14) have been underrated all season. They continue to be so as a 3-point home underdog to the Golden State Warriors tonight. I'll take the points in a game I believe they are going to win outright.
The Warriors are in their biggest letdown spot of the season. They are coming off a 123-114 road win at defending champion Miami last night in which everything went right. They shot 56.1% from the field and it just seemed like they could not miss.
It's only human nature for a team like the Warriors to have a letdown off such a big win. Plus, they will now be playing the second of a back-to-back and their 3rd game in 4 days. Meanwhile, Atlanta comes in on two days' rest and will be ready to go.
Plays against road teams where the line is +3 to -3 (GOLDEN STATE) - after going over the total by more than 18 points in their previous game, a good team (60% to 75%) playing a team with a winning record are 31-6 (83.8%) ATS over the last five seasons.
The Hawks are 12-4 SU & 10-6 ATS at home this season. Golden State is 27-55 ATS in its last 82 road games after scoring 60 points or more in the first half of last game. Atlanta is 6-1 ATS in its last seven vs. Western Conference foes. The underdog is 9-3 ATS in the last 12 meetings in this series. Take the Hawks Friday.
|01-03-14||Toronto Raptors v. Washington Wizards UNDER 193.5||Top||101-88||Win||100||7 h 12 m||Show|
20* NBA TOTAL OF THE WEEK on Raptors/Wizards UNDER 193.5
The Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards will take part in a low-scoring, defensive battle tonight. Both of these teams like to play at below-average tempos, and their recent meetings have been low scoring.
Toronto ranks 21st in the league in pace at 95.4 possessions per game, while Washington is 23rd at 95.3 possessions per game. Toronto ranks 15th in the league in offensive efficiency with 102.4 points per 100 possessions, and Washington is 21st in that category at 101.1 points per 100 possessions.
What gets overlooked with both of these teams is how solid they have been defensively this year. Toronto ranks 8th in defensive efficiency, giving up just 100.3 points per 100 possessions. Washington is in the top half of the league in that category, ranking 14th at 102.7 points per 100 possessions allowed.
The UNDER is 5-1 in the last six meetings in this series. These teams have combined for 191 or fewer points in five of the last meetings. That includes a 96-88 road win by Toronto for 184 combined points in their first meetings of 2013-14 on November 22. The UNDER is 5-1 in Raptors last 6 vs. a team with a losing S.U. record. Bet the UNDER in this game Friday.
|01-02-14||Oklahoma v. Alabama UNDER 52||Top||45-31||Loss||-105||10 h 8 m||Show|
20* Oklahoma/Alabama Sugar Bowl Total DOMINATOR on UNDER 52
I look for a low-scoring, defensive battle between the Oklahoma Sooners and Alabama Crimson Tide. These are two of the better defensive teams in the country and that will be on display tonight in the Sugar Bowl.
Alabama is giving up just 11.3 points and 274.7 yards per game to rank 4th in the country in total defense. Oklahoma is yielding 21.3 points and 336.3 yards per game to rank 14th in total defense.
Both teams rely heavily on the run, which will keep the clock moving. I have a hard time seeing Oklahoma doing much offensively against an Alabama defense that is yielding just 108 yards per game on the ground and 3.4 per carry.
Plays on the UNDER on neutral field teams where the total is between 49.5 and 56 (OKLAHOMA) - in a game involving two top-level teams (>= 80%), in a non-conference game between two teams from major division 1-A conferences are 46-14 (76.7%) since 1992.
Alabama is 26-11 to the UNDER in its last 37 games versus good rushing teams that average 200 or more rushing yards per game. The Crimson Tide are 34-14 to the UNDER in their last 48 games as a favorite of 10.5 to 21 points. The UNDER is 4-0 in Sooners last four vs. SEC opponents. Bet the UNDER in this game Thursday.
|01-02-14||Washington +11 v. Arizona St||76-65||Win||100||9 h 45 m||Show|
15* CBB Thursday PLAY OF THE DAY on Washington +11
The Washington Huskies are showing tremendous value as a double-digit road underdog to Arizona State in their Pac-12 opener Thursday. I'll take advantage and snag all the points I can get in this one.
Washington comes in undervalued due to failing to cover the spread in three straight games heading into this contest. Arizona State is overvalued due to covering the spread in three straight coming in.
This has been a one-sided series in recent years to say the least. Indeed, Washington is a perfect 7-0 in its last seven meetings with Arizona State. That makes it mind-boggling that the books have made the Huskies a double-digit underdog when they simply dominate this series.
Plays on road underdogs of 10 to 19.5 points (WASHINGTON) - excellent free throw shooting team (>=73%) against an average free throw shooting team (65-69%), good ball handling team (<=14.5 TO's) against a poor pressure defensive team (<=14.5 TO's) are 25-7 (78.1%) ATS over the last five seasons.
The Huskies are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600. Washington is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 meetings at Arizona State. The road team is 16-6 ATS in the last 22 meetings. Roll with Washington Thursday.
|01-02-14||Brooklyn Nets +12.5 v. Oklahoma City Thunder||95-93||Win||100||9 h 41 m||Show|
15* NBA Thursday PLAY OF THE DAY on Brooklyn Nets +12.5
There's no denying that the Brooklyn Nets have been the most disappointing team in the NBA up to this point. As a result, there's going to be some value in backing this team going forward. I believe that's the case tonight as a 12-point underdog to Oklahoma City.
The reason the Nets are being undervalued here is because they are coming off back-to-back blowout road losses to Indiana (91-105) and San Antonio (92-113). While those two teams are two of the best in the league, the Thunder in their current state are not.
Oklahoma City is without Russell Westbrook likely for the rest of the season due to another knee injury. This team is not the same without him, and just like it struggled in the playoffs last year, it will really struggle the rest of the way to find points.
Plays on road underdogs of 10 or more points (BROOKLYN) - off a road blowout loss of 20 points or more, a bad team (25% to 40%) playing a team with a winning record are 71-34 (67.6%) ATS since 1996.
Brooklyn is 13-4 ATS in its last 17 road games when playing only its 2nd game in 5 days. The Nets are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 road games after failing to cover the spread in two or more consecutive games. The Thunder are 1-9 ATS after a game with 15 or less assists over the last two years. Take the Nets Thursday.
|01-01-14||Indiana Pacers v. Toronto Raptors UNDER 193||82-95||Win||100||9 h 35 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday PLAY OF THE DAY on Pacers/Raptors UNDER 193
The books have set the bar too high tonight in this contest between the Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors. I look for a low-scoring, defensive battle between two of the better teams in the league defensively.
The key here is that both teams play at a slow tempo. Toronto ranks 22nd in the league in pace at 95.2 possessions per game. Indiana is just behind them, ranking 23rd in the league in pace at 95.2 possessions per game. Both teams are right in the middle of the pack in offensive efficiency (Indiana 13th, Toronto 15th) as well.
As stated before, both teams get after it defensively. Indiana ranks 1st in the league in defensive efficiency, giving up 93.2 points per 100 possessions. Toronto is a surprising 9th in this category, yielding 100.9 points per 100 possessions.
This has been a very low-scoring series of late. The UNDER is 4-1 in the last five meetings with combined scores of 175, 174, 198, 146 and 178 points. Plus, that 198-point effort was tied 90-90 at the end of regulation for 180 combined points before overtime.
So, if you only count regulation, the Pacers and Raptors are combining for an average of 170.6 points per game in their last five meetings. That's over 22 points less than tonight's posted total of 193. As you can see, there's a ton of value with this UNDER. Roll with the UNDER in this game Wednesday.
|01-01-14||Michigan State +7 v. Stanford||Top||24-20||Win||100||22 h 32 m||Show|
20* Michigan State/Stanford Rose Bowl No-Brainer on Michigan State +7
The Michigan State Spartans have been disrespected all season. They are legitimately a couple blown calls by the refs in a loss to Notre Dame away from being undefeated and playing in the BCS Championship.
I believe the Spartans should be the favorite in the Rose Bowl against Stanford. They will be all jacked up to prove their doubters wrong once again, especially when you consider that they have not been to the Rose Bowl in 26 years.
"It's going to be a special moment when we walk out on that field," head coach Mark Dantonio said. "When you set down and write down your goals and think about the goals in whatever job that you take or occupation, you're going to have some different things that you want to try to accomplish. That was one of the things we were trying to accomplish."
Michigan State is winning behind a defense that ranks 1st in the nation at 248.2 yards per game allowed, including an FBS-low 80.8 rushing. Stanford relies heavily on its running game to move the football, so having that type of run defense will be crucial in this game.
The Spartans don't get a lot of credit for how their offense performed this season, but they still managed 29.8 yards per game and have been revived since a switch at quarterback. Connor Cook threw for 304 yards and three touchdowns in a 34-24 win over Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship to earn MVP honors.
Running back Jeremy Langford has rushed for 1,338 yards and 17 touchdowns this season. He has amassed 104 or more rushing yards in eight straight games, which is largely due to the improved play of Cook, making this offense no longer one-dimensional.
Michigan State is 7-0 ATS in road games when playing against a team with a winning record over the last two seasons. The Spartans are 7-0 ATS vs. good passing teams with a completion percentage of 58% or better this season. Michigan State is 6-0 ATS vs. good offensive teams that score 31 or more points per game this season. The Spartans are 8-0 ATS in their last eight road games off two straight conference games. Michigan State is 4-0 ATS in its last four neutral site games. These five trends combine for a perfect 32-0 system backing the Spartans. Take Michigan State Wednesday.
|01-01-14||Boston College +9.5 v. Harvard||58-73||Loss||-110||6 h 35 m||Show|
15* CBB Wednesday PLAY OF THE DAY on Boston College +9.5
The Boston College Eagles are way undervalued due to their poor start. They returned all five starters and 96 percent of their scoring from last season, so I have no doubt that this team is better than it has shown thus far.
The reason the Eagles are undervalued here is because they have failed to cover the spread in five straight games coming in, while Harvard has covered in four straight leading up to this one. As a result, the public is on Harvard and off of Boston College.
Boston College is 97-64 ATS in its last 161 road games overall, including 36-19 ATS in its last 45 January road games. The Eagles are 71-43 ATS in their last 114 after having lost two of their last three games coming in. Harvard is 17-35 ATS in its last 52 games after allowing 80 points or more in its last game. Take Boston College Wednesday.
|01-01-14||Wisconsin -1 v. South Carolina||24-34||Loss||-110||18 h 47 m||Show|
15* Wisconsin/South Carolina Early ANNIHILATOR on Wisconsin -1
The Wisconsin Badgers suffered three losses this season by a touchdown or less to some very good teams. They should have beaten Arizona State, but had that game stolen away from them by the referees. They also played Ohio State very tough inside the shoe and could have won that game, falling by a touchdown. Sure, the loss to Penn State to close out the season is concerning, but it will only have head coach Gary Anderson and his team more determined to make amends and close out the season on a positive note.
The numbers show that the Badgers have been one of the best teams in all of college football this season. They are putting up 35.7 points and 486.7 yards per game to rank 19th in the country in total offense. They boast a rushing attack that is putting up 283 yards per game and 6.6 per carry, and one that cannot be stopped. Both Melvin Gordon (1,466 yards, 12 TD, 8.1/carry) and James White (1,337 yards, 13 TD, 6.4/carry) have topped the 1,000-yard mark this season. Joel Stave has made the plays when he has needed to at quarterback as well.
What gets overlooked is a Wisconsin defense that is only giving up 14.8 points and 294.4 yards per game to rank 6th in the country in total defense. If not for the dominant Michigan State defense, this would have been the best stop unit in the Big Ten this season. As you can see, they are outgaining their opponents by a whopping 192.3 yards per game on the season, which is one of the best marks in the land.
The Gamecocks have a solid defense as well, but they have been relying on turnovers all season. They forced a combined 11 turnovers in wins over Clemson and Mississippi State in games they probably should have lost. Wisconsin only turns it over 1.2 times per game, so it won
|01-01-14||Iowa +8 v. LSU||Top||14-21||Win||100||18 h 47 m||Show|
25* College Bowl GAME OF THE YEAR on Iowa +8
The Iowa Hawkeyes represent my strongest bowl release for the entire 2013-14 postseason. I look for them to not only give LSU a run for their money in the Outback Bowl, but to likely win outright as well.
Iowa was arguably the best eight-win team in the country this season. Its four losses came against the likes of Northern Illinois, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin, who are all ranked in the Top 25. It had a chance to win the game in the fourth quarter in every one of those contests, not once getting blown out from start to finish.
This isn't the same dominant LSU team we have become accustomed to in years' past. That could not have been more evident in the season finale as the Tigers needed to drive 99 yards for a game-winning touchdown to beat Arkansas (0-8 in SEC) by a final of 31-27 at home despite being a 28-point favorite.
Anthony Jennings led that 99-yard drive against Arkansas due to a season-ending injury to Zach Mettenberger earlier in the game. I believe he is getting way too much respect from oddsmakers because of that one drive. The loss of Mettenberger is absolutely huge, but I don't believe it's being reflected in this line at all.
Iowa plays a very similar style to LSU which makes this a good match-up. Both teams like to pound the rock with their running game, and each is pretty solid defensively, though Iowa has been the superior team on that side of the ball. LSU had the edge offensively before the injury to Mettenberger, and now I believe there is no edge there whatsoever. Jennings has thrown just 10 passes all season.
The Hawkeyes were improved offensively this year which was the biggest reason for their turnaround. They scored a respectable 27.3 points per game this season. They only gave up 18.7 points and 303.2 yards per game to rank 7th in the country in total defense. The key is their run defense, which ranks 16th at 120.8 yards per game and 3.5 yards per carry allowed.
These teams met in the 2005 Capital One Bowl with the Hawkeyes beating the Tigers 30-25. They held them to just 118 rushing yards in the win, and they have the kind of run D that is going to take away LSU's strength again, which is its rushing offense now that Mettenberger is down.
Kirk Ferentz is 28-9 ATS versus good rushing teams that average 200 or more rushing yards per game as the coach of Iowa. Iowa is 14-3 ATS in its last 17 games vs. good offensive teams that average 37 or more points per game. The Hawkeyes are 4-1 ATS in their last five bowl games. The Tigers are 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven games following a win. Bet Iowa in the Outback Bowl Wednesday.
|01-01-14||Nebraska +9 v. Georgia||24-19||Win||100||17 h 47 m||Show|
15* Nebraska/Georgia Gator Bowl Rematch on Nebraska +9
It has to be deflating for Georgia players to be playing in the Gator Bowl as they came into the season with aspirations of winning a BCS Championship. Those hopes have been crushed due to injuries and poor play as the Bulldogs have lost four games this year after nearly beating Alabama in the SEC Title game last year. Their reward? How about a rematch with a team that they beat by 14 in the exact same bowl game last year. Georgia cannot be excited one bit to play Nebraska in the Gator Bowl again.
Meanwhile, the Cornhuskers will come into this game the more motivated team wanting revenge from last year
|12-31-13||Milwaukee Bucks +6.5 v. Los Angeles Lakers||94-79||Win||100||11 h 4 m||Show|
15* Bucks/Lakers New Year's Eve BAILOUT on Milwaukee +6.5
I faded the Los Angeles Lakers as an 8-point favorite over the Philadelphia 76ers last time out with success. I still believe they are overvalued tonight as a 6.5-point favorite against the Milwaukee Bucks, and I'll fade them again as a result.
Los Angeles already had a pretty poor roster before all of the injuries started happening. Now, it is without four key players in Kobe Bryant, Steve Blake, Steve Nash and Xavier Henry. Plus, Pau Gasol and Jordan Farmar are battling nagging injuries. This Lakers' team in its current state is no better than Milwaukee.
The Bucks are 33-16-2 ATS in their last 51 road games vs. a team with a losing home record. Milwaukee has won three of its last four meetings with the Lakers. The Bucks are 10-3-1 ATS in the last 14 meetings. The underdog is 14-4-1 ATS in the last 19 meetings. Roll with the Bucks Tuesday.
|12-31-13||Portland Trail Blazers v. Oklahoma City Thunder UNDER 213.5||98-94||Win||100||9 h 34 m||Show|
15* NBA Tuesday Total DOMINATOR on Blazers/Thunder UNDER 213.5
The books have set the bar too high in this game between two of the best teams in the Western Conference in the Portland Trail Blazers (24-7) and Oklahoma City Thunder (25-5). When two good teams like this get together, it usually brings out the best in both defensively.
The biggest reason this line has been inflated is that Portland has gone over the total in nine straight and 15 of its last 16 games overall. The books have been forced to set a higher total than they know they should simply because the betting public catches on to these trends and backs the over blindly.
Compared to tonight's total, this has been a pretty low-scoring series. In fact, six of the last seven meetings between the Thunder and Blazers have seen 206 or fewer combined points. If you don't count overtime, then 10 of the last 11 meetings have seen 206 or fewer combined points. The UNDER is 18-6-2 in the last 26 meetings in Oklahoma City.
Playing at home, I look for Oklahoma City to control the tempo. With Russell Westbrook lost with another knee injury, the Thunder do not want to try and run with Portland, or they will get beat. Look for them to make this a half-court game and to rely on their solid defense to get the win.
Plays on the UNDER on road teams where the total is greater than or equal to 200 (PORTLAND) - off an upset loss as a road favorite, with a winning record on the season playing another winning team are 85-42 (66.9%) since 1996. The UNDER is 19-7-2 in Thunder last 28 vs. a team with a winning S.U. record. The UNDER is 26-11-2 in Thunder last 39 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game. Bet the UNDER in this game Tuesday.
|12-31-13||Duke v. Texas A&M -11.5||Top||48-52||Loss||-108||22 h 17 m||Show|
20* Duke/Texas A&M Chick-fil-A Bowl BAILOUT on Texas A&M -11.5
The Duke Blue Devils were a tremendous story this season. David Cutcliffe won Coach of the Year due to leading the Blue Devils to their first 10-win season in school history. While it was a nice story, the result is that Duke is overvalued heading into this bowl game with Texas A&M.
I would certainly make the argument that Duke did not have many good wins this season as its 10 victories came against NC Central, Memphis, Troy, Navy, Virginia, Virginia Tech, NC State, Miami, Wake Forest and North Carolina. It was very fortunate to win many of those games, too, as four came by a touchdown or less.
Duke's true colors shows in a 7-45 loss to Florida State in the ACC Championship Game. I believe a similar beat down is in store at the hands of Texas A&M this week. No matter what happens for the Blue Devils, this will be considered their best season in school history. They will find it hard to be motivated because of it, and even if they are, they're way out-classed in this one talent-wise.
Texas A&M played the 29th-toughest schedule in the country this season with its only losses coming to current No. 2 Auburn, No. 3 Alabama, No. 8 Missouri and No. 16 LSU. Duke played the 62nd-toughest schedule in the country this year to compare. The fact of the matter is that Duke is one of the easiest opponents that Texas A&M will have faced all year.
Johnny Manziel wants to go out a winner in likely the final college football game of his career. Quietly, Manziel had another monster season this year, completing 69.1 percent of his passes for 3,732 yards with 33 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, while also rushing for 675 yards and eight scores.
Manziel leads a Texas A&M offense that ranks 4th in the country at 538.2 yards per game. This is an offense that put up 42 points against Alabama, and one that will put up a big number against a Duke defense that ranks 70th in the country at 408.5 yards per game. I don't believe the Blue Devils have anywhere near the firepower to keep up. They rank just 67th in total offense at 408.1 yards per game. As you can see, they are actually getting outgained on the season and managed to win 10 games. Something does not add up.
Duke is 0-6 ATS in road games versus excellent offensive teams that average 6.25 or more yards per play over the past three seasons. The Blue Devils are 3-12 ATS in their last 15 road games after covering the spread in four of their last five games coming in. The Blue Devils are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a S.U. loss. The Aggies are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a S.U. loss. It's also worth noting that Duke has suspended leading rusher Jela Duncan (562 yards, 3 TD) heading into this bowl game. Bet Texas A&M in the Chick-fil-A Bowl Tuesday.
|12-31-13||Northern Illinois +23.5 v. Iowa State||63-99||Loss||-104||8 h 45 m||Show|
15* CBB Tuesday Night Line Mistake on Northern Illinois +23.5
The Northern Illinois Huskies are showing tremendous value as a massive road underdog to the Iowa State Cyclones. They will be up for this game to try and knock off one of the top-ranked teams in the country.
The same cannot be said for Iowa State, which is coming off a huge tournament win in Hawaii. Now, Iowa State has its Big 12 opener on deck Saturday against Texas Tech, and it will be looking ahead to that game. I simply do not see the Cyclones being motivated enough tonight to cover this massive spread.
I've liked what I've seen so far from Northern Illinois, which returned four starters from last year and is 5-5 on the season. Four of its five losses have come by 13 points or less, including three by five points or fewer. The only exception was a 54-80 road loss to a very good UMass team as a 20.5-point dog. The Huskies have gone 3-2 SU & 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall, which is impressive when you consider they were an underdog in each.
Northern Illinois is 8-1 ATS in road games versus poor pressure defensive teams - forcing <=14 turnovers/game over the last 2 seasons. The Huskies are 11-1 ATS in road games after a game with 9 or less assists over the last 2 seasons. Northern Illinois is 57-37 ATS in its last 94 games as a road dog of 10 or more points. Take Northern Illinois Tuesday.
|12-31-13||Mississippi State -7 v. Rice||44-7||Win||100||18 h 35 m||Show|
15* Mississippi State/Rice Liberty Bowl Line Mistake on Mississippi State -7
I'll take the SEC over Conference USA any day of the week, especially when the SEC has to lay a touchdown or less. I look for this to be an absolute blowout as Mississippi State rolls to a double-digit victory over Rice.
I really like the Bulldogs' mindset heading into this one as well. They had to win their final two games of the season against Arkansas and Ole Miss to become bowl eligible, so they were clearly fighting hard for that honor. You can bet they will not squander it, either.
Rice has had a great season no matter what happens in this bowl game. It won the Conference USA Championship with a 41-24 victory over Marshall to close out the season. Sure, it wants to win this game, but its season is already made. There's no doubt that Mississippi State wants this victory to finish with a winning record.
One of the biggest reasons I like the Bulldogs to roll is that quarterback is recovered from a nerve injury in his non-throwing arm suffered late in the season. He was forced to sit out two games before returning in the second half against Ole Miss to lead the team to victory. This guy is one of the most underrated players in the country, finishing 11th in the SEC with 751 rushing yards, which put him second among SEC quarterbacks ahead of Johnny Manziel.
These teams have a common opponent in Texas A&M. Mississippi State only lost by a final of 41-51 at Texas A&M, while Rice lost 31-52 at Texas A&M. The difference was that Manziel was actually suspended for the first half of the Rice game, so he didn't play until after intermission. The Bulldogs had to face Manziel for a full four quarters.
Speaking of schedule, the Bulldogs played a much tougher slate than the Owls, which will make a huge difference in this one as well. Mississippi State played the eight-toughest schedule in the country, while Rice played just the 104th-toughest. The Bulldogs didn't have one bad loss as their six came to Oklahoma State, Auburn, LSU, South Carolina, Texas A&M & Alabama. You'll find all six of those teams currently ranked in the Top 21.
Rice is 3-12 ATS in its last 15 road games after having won 5 or 6 of its last 7 games. The Owls are 2-5 ATS in their last seven games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game. The Bulldogs are 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall. Mississippi State is 5-1 ATS in its last six games following an ATS win. The Bulldogs are 4-0 ATS in their last four games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game. Bet Mississippi State in the Liberty Bowl Tuesday.
|12-31-13||Virginia Tech +7.5 v. UCLA||12-42||Loss||-105||16 h 17 m||Show|
15* VA Tech/UCLA Sun Bowl No-Brainer on Virginia Tech +7.5
The Virginia Tech Hokies were closer to being a 12-0 football team than most might realize. Three of their four losses came by a combined 13 points, while the other came to then-No. 1 Alabama by a final of 10-35 in a game that was much closer than the score would indicate. The Hokies held the Crimson Tide to just 206 total yards in the loss, but gave up three non-offensive touchdowns.
Virginia Tech clearly has one of the best defenses in all of college football. In fact, it ranks 4th in the country in total defense at 269.6 yards per game allowed. The Hokies also gave up a mere 17.4 points per game. I believe their defense will keep them in this game against UCLA, which ranks 54th in total defense at 391.5 yards per game.
UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley has been sacked 33 times. Virginia Tech leads the ACC in sacks (37) while ranking among the nation's top 10 against the rush (103.8 yards/game), the pass (168.5 yards/game) and in interceptions (19). The Bruins, meanwhile, gave up an average of 193.6 rushing yards per game over their final seven games.
The Bruins are 3-12 ATS in thier last 15 road games off an upset win over a conference rival as an underdog. UCLA is 6-17 ATS in its last 23 road games following a bye of at least one week. The Hokies are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games in December. The Bruins are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game. Roll with Virginia Tech in the Sun Bowl Tuesday.
|12-31-13||Boston College +7.5 v. Arizona||Top||19-42||Loss||-115||15 h 57 m||Show|
20* Boston College/Arizona AdvoCare Bowl Early ANNIHILATOR on Boston College +7.5
The Boston College Eagles were one of the most underrated teams in the country this season. I look for that to show once again in their bowl game against the Arizona Wildcats on Tuesday, December 31.
Boston College managed to win seven games this year when it was only projected to win 4.5 coming into the season. While those seven wins were solid, I was actually more impressed with what I saw from the Eagles in two losses this season than anything.
They played Florida State tougher than anyone this year, losing by afinal of 34-48 as a 24-point underdog. They put up 407 total yards in the loss, including 210 on the ground to prove that they can run against anyone. They also lost 14-24 at Clemson as a 24-point underdog.
Arizona is getting too much respect for its win over Oregon at the end of the year. That Ducks team quit down the stretch, so instead of getting respect for that win, the Wildcats should be getting a lot less respect for losing three of their final four games. Two of those came at home, while the other was a 21-58 beat down at the hands of Arizona State.
Both teams love to run the football, which makes stopping the run huge. Boston College averages 219 yards per game and 5.5 per carry on the ground, while Arizona averages 266 yards per game and 5.3 per carry. Well, the Eagles only allow 154 yards per game and 3.9 per carry, while the Wildcats allow 170 yards per game and 4.2 per carry.
Arizona is 0-6 ATS vs. poor passing defenses that allow a completion percentage of 62% or worse over the last two seasons. Boston College is 17-4 ATS in its last 21 games after three consecutive games where it forced one or less turnovers. Arizona is 15-31 ATS in its last 46 games as a favorite of 3.5 to 10 points. The Wildcats are 2-7 ATS in their last nine vs. a team with a winning record. The Eagles are 5-0 ATS in their last five vs. a team with a winning record, and 6-0 ATS in their last six games following an ATS loss. Take Boston College in the AdvoCare V100 Bowl Tuesday.
|12-30-13||Texas Tech +14.5 v. Arizona State||Top||37-23||Win||100||100 h 52 m||Show|
25* Pre-New Year's Bowl GAME OF THE YEAR on Texas Tech +14.5
The Texas Tech Red Raiders represent my strongest bowl release of all prior to January 1st. I absolutely love this team catching two touchdowns against Arizona State, and I believe they not only have an excellent chance to cover the spread, but to win outright as well.
Texas Tech wants to be here after a seven-win season in head coach Kliff Kingsbury's first year on the job. This team played very well in the first half of the season before a brutal schedule and costly turnovers did them in down the stretch. As a result, they come into this season way undervalued due to their finish.
Arizona State does not want to be here. It was beaten 14-38 by Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship Game on December 7. So, instead of going to the Rose Bowl, the Sun Devils have to settle for the Holiday Bowl. There is absolutely no chance they get up for this game, and as a result they are very vulnerable despite the clear edge they have in talent on the field.
UCLA was in the same position last year. It had just lost to Stanford 24-27 in the Pac-12 Championship Game to miss out on the Rose Bowl. What did the Bruins do in the Holiday Bowl? How about get blown out 26-49 by Baylor despite being a 3-point favorite in that contest. They weren't motivated for that game, and neither will Arizona State be.
The numbers show that Texas Tech is an elite team. It is outgaining opponents by an average of 93.7 yards per game on the season thanks to an offense that ranks 10th in the country at 512.9 yards per game, including 2nd in passing at 392.0 yards per game.
Plays on any team (TEXAS TECH) - poor rushing team (100-140 RY/G) against an average rushing defense (140-190 RY/G) after 7+ games, in a non-conference game between two teams from major division 1-A conferences are 43-15 (74.1%) ATS since 1992. The Sun Devils are 1-4 ATS in their last five bowl games. The Red Raiders are 27-11-3 ATS in their last 41 games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game. Bet Texas Tech Monday.
|12-30-13||Washington Wizards v. Detroit Pistons -2.5||106-99||Loss||-109||8 h 1 m||Show|
15* NBA Monday No-Doubt Rout on Detroit Pistons -2.5
This is a classic home-and-home situation. These teams just played two nights go with Washington rolling to a 106-82 home victory. I look for Detroit to return the favor and get revenge in blowout fashion at home this time around.
The Pistons will be very hungry for a victory after losing four of their last five coming in. You have to like their chances of bouncing back considering they are a sensational 26-7 at home against Washington since 1996.
Plays on all teams where the line is +3 to -3 (DETROIT) - after going over the total by 48 or more points total in their last ten games, a marginal losing team (40% to 49%) playing a losing team are 30-8 (78.9%) ATS over the last five seasons.
Detroit is 20-8 ATS after failing to cover the spread in two or more consecutive games over the past two seasons. The Wizards are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a SU win of more than 10 points. The Pistons are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 home meetings with Washington. Bet the Pistons Monday.
|12-30-13||Virginia v. Tennessee -2||52-87||Win||100||7 h 8 m||Show|
15* CBB Monday PLAY OF THE DAY on Tennessee -2
The Tennessee Volunteers are showing tremendous value as only a 2-point home favorite over Virginia Monday. I'll gladly take advantage and back the Vols, who will be hungry after losing two of their past three games coming in.
Tennessee has played its best basketball at home this season. It is 5-1 at home, outscoring opponents by an average of 14.2 points per game. Virginia has only played one true road game all year, which was a 72-75 loss at Wisconsin-Green Bay.
Virginia is 16-32 ATS in its last 48 games as a road underdog of 6 points or less. Tennessee is 26-11 ATS in its last 37 home games with a line of +3 to -3. The Cavaliers are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Virginia is 5-13-1 ATS in its last 19 road games. Take Tennessee Monday.
|12-30-13||Texas +14 v. Oregon||7-30||Loss||-110||95 h 22 m||Show|
15* Texas/Oregon Alamo Bowl No-Brainer on Texas +14
This is a classing 'Win one for the Gipper' game. While there's no question that Oregon is the supremely talented team, I believe Texas' will to win for Mack Brown will be the reason it easily covers this two-touchdown spread and possibly wins outright.
Brown will resign after 16 seasons in Austin as this will be the final game of his coaching career. He has a National Championship under his belt, and while this season didn't go exactly as planned, the Longhorns still had a chance to win the Big 12 in the final week of the season.
"The standard is really high here," said the 62-year-old Brown, whose 158 victories at Texas rank behind only the late Darrell Royal's 167. "We set a standard at this place. You'd better win all of them. I understand that. ... The standard is really high here and I'm proud of being part of setting that standard."
While Texas will continue to fight to the finish for Brown, Oregon packed it in a long time ago. After its loss to Stanford that killed its BCS Championship hopes, it has simply refused to give good effort. The Ducks would go 0-4 ATS over their final four games of the season, which included a 16-42 loss at Arizona.
This team is still good enough to win when it just goes through the motions, which was evidenced in a 36-35 home victory over Oregon State as a 24-point favorite to close out the season. However, the Ducks are not good enough to beat Texas by two touchdowns just going through the motions. With the way that they finished out the season, the Ducks will not be showing up in the Alamo Bowl, either.
Brown is 8-1 ATS in road games off a loss by 10 points or more to a conference rival as the coach of Texas. Brown is 16-4 ATS after a game where his team forced no turnovers as the coach of Texas. The Longhorns are a perfect 6-0 ATS when playing with two weeks or more of rest over the last three years. Roll with Texas Monday.
|12-30-13||Ole Miss -3 v. Georgia Tech||Top||25-17||Win||100||92 h 52 m||Show|
20* Ole Miss/GA Tech Music City Bowl No-Doubt Rout on Ole Miss -3
The Ole Miss Rebels from the SEC should be a much bigger favorite over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets from the ACC. These were two middle-of-the-pack teams in their respective conferences, and there's no question that the SEC was far and away the superior conference.
Ole Miss faced a similar situation in last year's bowl game. It was only a 3-point favorite over Pittsburgh in the Compass Bowl, yet prevailed in blowout fashion by a final of 38-17. I was all over the Rebels in that game, and I'm on them again for many of the same reasons.
First and foremost. the Rebels underachieved this year because they had a whopping 19 starters back from last year's team. However, what hurt them most was a brutal schedule. They played the 10th-toughest schedule in the country, while Georgia Tech played the 42nd-toughest.
Ole Miss still managed to win seven games this year, including a 27-24 victory over LSU, as well as road wins over Vanderbilt (39-35) and Texas (44-23). However, it was not very lucky in some close games against good competition. It lost to Auburn (22-30), Texas A&M (38-41) and Mississippi State (10-17) all by a touchdown or less.
I look at Georgia Tech's schedule and I don't see one good won. It's seven victories came against Elon, Duke, UNC, Syracuse, Virginia, Pitt and Alabama A&M. It lost all of its tough games, including blowout losses to Miami (30-45), BYU (20-38) and Clemson (31-55). In fact, Georgia Tech is 0-6 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
Triple-option teams like Georgia Tech are at a huge disadvantage in bowl games. That's because teams have nearly a month to prepare to defend the triple-option, which is a tough system to defend if you only have a week to do so. It's an easy system to defend when you get a month, and Ole Miss will be ready for it.
Ole Miss is 35-19 ATS in its last 54 road games vs. a team with a winning record. The Rebels are 7-0 ATS after having lost two of their last three games over the past two seasons. The Yellow Jackets are 0-6 ATS in their last six vs. at team with a winning record as stated before. Georgia Tech is 1-11 ATS in its last 12 games after failing to cover the spread in two of its last three games coming in. Ole Miss is 3-0-1 ATS in its last four bowl games. These last four trends combine for a 27-1 system backing the Rebels. Take Ole Miss Monday.
|12-29-13||Philadelphia 76ers +8 v. Los Angeles Lakers||111-104||Win||100||11 h 49 m||Show|
15* NBA Sunday PLAY OF THE DAY on Philadelphia 76ers +8
The Los Angeles Lakers should never be an 8-point favorite against any team in the league with Kobe Bryant out. I'll gladly take advantage and back the Philadelphia 76ers as an 8-point underdog to the Lakers tonight.
The Lakers are 27-49 ATS when playing 6 or more games in 10 days over the last 3 seasons. Los Angeles is 4-13 ATS after covering the spread in two or more consecutive games over the past 2 seasons. The 76ers are 4-0 ATS in their last four meetings in Los Angeles. The road team is 8-1 ATS in the last nine meetings. Bet the 76ers Sunday.
|12-29-13||St. Louis Rams v. Seattle Seahawks UNDER 43||9-27||Win||100||47 h 26 m||Show|
15* Rams/Seahawks NFC Total DOMINATOR on UNDER 43
The books have been forced to set the totals in the NFL much higher than they are comfortable with late in the season due to the OVERS cashing in so frequently up to Week 16. However, UNDER bettors really rolled in Week 16 due to the value as 11 of 16 games went UNDER the total. I believe there are many more inflated totals in Week 17, and this is one of them.
These are two of the better defensive teams in the league. Seattle ranks 1st in total defense at 280.7 yards per game and 2nd in scoring defense at 14.8 points per game. St. Louis is a respectable 17th in total defense at 350.1 yards per game. The Rams have the NFL's best run defense since Week 10, allowing just 68.0 yards per game over the past six games.
I look for this game to follow a similar path to the first meeting between these teams in which Seattle won by a final of 14-9 in St. Louis. The Seahawks had not business winning that game as they were outgained 135-339 for the game, but took advantage of two turnovers to win an absolute defensive battle.
This has been a very low-scoring series throughout the years. Seven straight and nine of the last 10 meetings in this series have seen 43 or less combined points. The Rams and Seahawks have combined to average just 32.2 points per game in their last 10 meetings, which is 10.8 points less per game than today's posted total of 43. As you can see, there is a ton of value with the UNDER given the low-scoring nature of this series.
The UNDER is 21-7 in Rams last 28 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The UNDER is 17-8-1 in Rams last 26 road games overall. The UNDER is 19-6-1 in Rams last 26 December games. The UNDER is 5-0 in Seahawks last five December games. The UNDER is 6-1 in the last seven meetings in this series. Roll with the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|12-29-13||San Francisco 49ers v. Arizona Cardinals +1||Top||23-20||Loss||-110||47 h 46 m||Show|
20* 49ers/Cardinals Late-Afternoon ANNIHILATOR on Arizona +1
You would be hard-pressed to find a team playing better than the Arizona Cardinals in the second half of the season. Indeed, the Cardinals have won seven of their last eight games overall with their only loss coming at red-hot Philadelphia by a final of 21-24 as a 3.5-point underdog. That loss is starting to look more and more acceptable as the Eagles are one of the only teams that can rival how well Arizona has played down the stretch.
In a must-win situation at Seattle last week, Arizona rose to the occasion and beat the Seahawks 17-10 as an 8-point underdog to put an end to their perfect 14-0 home record over the past two seasons. They outgained the Seahawks 307-192 for the game and managed to win despite turning the ball over four times. That
|12-29-13||Carolina Panthers v. Atlanta Falcons UNDER 46||Top||21-20||Win||100||44 h 1 m||Show|
20* NFL TOTAL OF THE WEEK on Panthers/Falcons UNDER 46
The books have been forced to set the totals in the NFL much higher than they are comfortable with late in the season due to the OVERS cashing in so frequently up to Week 16. However, UNDER bettors really rolled in Week 16 due to the value as 11 of 16 games went UNDER the total. I believe there are many more inflated totals in Week 17, and this is my favorite of the bunch.
I look for a low-scoring, defensive battle between Carolina and Atlanta Sunday. Both teams have something to play for here as the Panthers have an outside shot at the No. 1 seed, and would clinch a first-round bye with a win. Atlanta wants to send out Tony Gonzalez with one last victory in the final game of his career.
Carolina ranks 1st in the league in scoring defense at 14.7 points per game, and 2nd in total defense at 300.9 yards per game. It limited a high-powered New Orleans offense to just 13 points in a huge 17-13 win last week that put it in position to win the NFC South and a first-round bye.
Atlanta hasn't played that great defensively this season, but I like its chances of being successful this week on that side of the ball. The Panthers rank just 25th in the league in total offense at 319.1 yards per game. Now, they are expected to be without leading wide receiver Steve Smith (64 receptions, 745 yards, 4 TD) due to a knee injury. For an offense that was already lacking weapons, this is a huge blow.
These teams combined for 44 points in their first meeting of the season as the Panthers won 34-10 at home, outgaining the Falcons 373-289 in the process. I look for a much better effort from the Falcons defensively this time around given the circumstances, and I sill expect the Panthers to hold Atlanta in check again.
Carolina is 40-14 to the UNDER off a win over a division rival since 1992. The Panthers are 7-1 to the UNDER in their last eight games overall. Carolina is 7-0 to the UNDER in its last seven games following a win. Atlanta is 6-1 to the UNDER after allowing more than 150 yards rushing in its previous game. Bet the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|12-29-13||Jacksonville Jaguars +11 v. Indianapolis Colts||10-30||Loss||-110||44 h 1 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Afternoon Line Mistake on Jacksonville Jaguars +11
The Jacksonville Jaguars clearly have not quit on their season and are not worried about draft picks. These players continue to play out the string for head coach Gus Bradley, which will probably save his job going into next year. They have won four of their last seven games overall while going 5-2 against the spread in the process. Their two non-covers during this stretch came by exactly three points. Two of their three losses came by a touchdown or less, so they have been very competitive in the second half.
Indianapolis just has a way of playing to the level of its competition. When you look at its numbers, it
|12-29-13||Baltimore Ravens v. Cincinnati Bengals UNDER 45||17-34||Loss||-110||44 h 1 m||Show|
15* Ravens/Bengals AFC North No-Brainer on UNDER 45
The books have been forced to set the totals in the NFL much higher than they are comfortable with late in the season due to the OVERS cashing in so frequently up to Week 16. However, UNDER bettors really rolled in Week 16 due to the value as 11 of 16 games went UNDER the total. I believe there are many more inflated totals in Week 17, and this is one of them.
There is a lot at stake in this AFC North rivalry between Baltimore and Cincinnati to close out the season. The Ravens are playing just to get into the playoffs, while the Bengals are playing for playoff positioning. They could move up to the No. 2 seed if everything goes right, but they could also drop to the No. 4 seed with a loss, which would mean they'd have a tough first-round match-up with Kansas City. It's safe to say that both teams will be laying it all on the line given the circumstances.
These are two of the best defensive teams in the league squaring off Sunday. Cincinnati ranks 5th in the league in total defense at 311.1 yards per game, while Baltimore is 9th at 331.7 yards per game. The Ravens, who rank 29th in total offense at 313.1 yards per game, will have a hard time moving the football and putting up points against a Bengals' defense that is allowing just 16.7 points per game at home this year.
This has been a very low-scoring series to say the least. Ten of the last 12 meetings in this series have seen 40 or fewer combined points. Only two of those 12 games exceeded this total of 45 points. Baltimore beat Cincinnati 20-17 in overtime in their first meeting of the season on November 10. The Ravens won despite only gaining 189 total yards in the game.
The UNDER is 17-3-1 in Bengals last 21 games following a SU win of more than 14 points. The UNDER is 22-9 in Bengals last 31 December games. The UNDER is 7-3 in Raven's last 10 vs. AFC North foes. Take the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|12-28-13||Detroit Pistons v. Washington Wizards -2||82-106||Win||100||8 h 45 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Washington Wizards -2
The Washington Wizards were blown out by the Minnesota Timberwolves last night. As a result, they are way undervalued as only a 2-point home favorite tonight over the Detroit Pistons. I'll take advantage of this value tonight.
Plays on all teams where the line is +3 to -3 (WASHINGTON) - after going over the total by 48 or more points total in their last ten games, a marginal losing team (40% to 49%) playing a losing team are 30-8 (78.9%) ATS over the last five seasons.
Detroit is 3-12 ATS (-10.2 Units) in road games versus good offensive teams - scoring 99+ points/game over the last 2 seasons. Washington is 19-8 ATS (+10.2 Units) when playing on back-to-back days over the last 2 seasons. The Wizards are 24-9 ATS (+14.1 Units) revenging a loss where opponent scored 100 or more points over the last 2 seasons. Roll with the Wizards Saturday.
|12-28-13||Brooklyn Nets v. Indiana Pacers UNDER 194||91-105||Loss||-107||8 h 43 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday Total ANNIHILATOR on Nets/Pacers UNDER 194
Indiana likes to play a half-court game, and it will control the tempo at home. The Pacers rank 20th in the league in pace at 95.4 possessions per game. The Nets like to play at a slow tempo as well, ranking 25th in pace at 94.6 possessions per game.
Indiana ranks 1st in the league in defensive efficiency, giving up just 93.4 points per 100 possessions. The Nets are in a world of hurt right now without their two best post scorers in Brook Lopez and Andray Blatche. They are forced to play defensive-minded Reggie Evans a ton of minutes because of it.
The UNDER is 12-3 in Pacers last 15 home games. The UNDER is 8-1 in Pacers last 9 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400. The UNDER is 18-8-1 in Pacers last 27 vs. a team with a losing record. Bet the UNDER in this game Saturday.
|12-28-13||Louisville v. Kentucky +2.5||66-73||Win||100||5 h 13 m||Show|
15* Louisville/Kentucky CBB Saturday No-Brainer on Kentucky +2.5
This is a classic case where the defending champions are way overvalued. Louisville should not be favored on the road at Kentucky, and I'll gladly take advantage by backing the home dog in this one.
Kentucky is one of the best rebounding teams in the country. It is outrebounding opponents 44-31 on the season and averaging 14 offensive boards in the process. It is also shooting 35 free throws per game.
The Wildcats are 35-17 ATS off three straight games where they outrebounded their opponents by six or more since 1997. Kentucky is 72-48 ATS off a no-cover where the team won straight up as a favorite since 1997. John Calipari has never lost as the coach off Kentucky off a combined score of 155 points or more in two straight games, going a perfect 6-0 ATS in this spot. Roll with Kentucky Saturday.
|12-28-13||Cleveland Cavaliers v. Boston Celtics UNDER 195.5||100-103||Loss||-110||2 h 50 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday Total DOMINATOR on Cavaliers/Celtics UNDER 195.5
The bar has been set too high in this game between Cleveland and Boston Saturday. This is going to be a low-scoring game and I'll back the UNDER because of it.
This line has been jacked up because the Cavs have gone over the total in seven of their last eight games overall. They are coming off a double-overtime game, which has created a ton of value on the UNDER toady.
Boston is 15-5 UNDER (+9.5 Units) in home games when playing against a bad team (Win Pct. 25% to 40%) over the last 3 seasons. Cleveland is 26-11 UNDER (+13.9 Units) after allowing 110 points or more 2 straight games since 1996. Boston is 9-1 UNDER (+7.9 Units) after 2 or more consecutive losses this season. Take the UNDER in this game Saturday.
|12-28-13||Rutgers +14 v. Notre Dame||Top||16-29||Win||101||41 h 56 m||Show|
20* Rutgers/Notre Dame Pinstripe Bowl No-Brainer on Rutgers +14
There's no denying that the Rutgers Scarlet Knights struggled in the second half of the season. However, those struggles have them way undervalued as they head into the Pinstripe Bowl against Notre Dame as a two-touchdown underdog.
This team could have packed it in, but they showed they wanted to go to a bowl game by winning their final game of the season in dominant fashion. They beat South Florida 31-6 as a 4-point home favorite to get their elusive sixth win to earn a trip to this bowl game. They held the Bulls to just 151 total yards in the triumph.
"We came out today and it was do or die," said running back Paul James, who rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns. "We were fighting to get to that bowl game. Now that we are there everyone is excited and happy to get there."
Notre Dame, which went to the BCS Championship Game last year, cannot be excited to be going to the Pinstripe Bowl this season. Sure, the Fighting Irish have a decent fan base in New York, but the proximity of Rutgers to Yankee Stadium should have the Scarlet Knights with a slight home-field advantage.
This is a classic 'who wants to be there more' game. Rutgers clearly wants to be here after the way it finished out the season with a win over South Florida, and with an opportunity to go up against a big program like Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish do not want to be here at all and feel like they deserve a better both after an eight-win season.
Plays on any team (RUTGERS) - poor rushing team (100-140 RY/G) against an average rushing defense (140-190 RY/G) after 7+ games, in a non-conference game between two teams from major division 1-A conferences are 43-15 (74.1%) ATS since 1992. Rutgers is 23-9 ATS when the total is between 49.5 and 56 since 1992.
Notre Dame is 5-18 ATS in its last 23 games after covering the spread in five or six of its last seven games. The Scarlet Knights are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven bowl games. Rutgers is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 games vs. Independent teams. Notre Dame is 2-5 ATS in its last seven bowl games. Bet Rutgers Saturday.
|12-27-13||Washington v. BYU +3.5||Top||31-16||Loss||-110||28 h 49 m||Show|
20* Washington/BYU Fight Hunger Bowl BAILOUT on BYU +3.5
The BYU Cougars played a very respectable schedule this season and managed to get through it at 8-4. They were in every game that they played as all four of their losses came by 10 points or less, including setbacks on the road to both Wisconsin and Notre Dame.
Bronco Mendenhall has gone 6-2 in bowl games as the coach of BYU with four straight victories coming in after last season's 23-6 triumph over San Diego State in the Poinsettia Bowl. He'll have his players ready to go in the Fight Hunger Bowl Friday.
The same cannot be said for Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian, who bolted for the USC job. Replacing him will be interim head coach Marques Tuiasosopo, and this will be a major distraction for the team. The players who are coming back will be going through a mix of emotions as they await the arrival of new head coach Chris Peterson next year.
I've been very impressed with the offense of BYU, which is averaging 495 yards per game and 5.9 per play. Quarterback Taisom Hill does it all, rushing for 1,211 yards and nine touchdowns while also throwing for 2,645 yards and 19 scores. Jamaal Williams is right behind him with 1,202 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on 5.9 per carry.
BYU has been solid defensively as well, yielding just 384 yards per game and 4.8 per play. They key to stopping Washington is slowing down its rushing attack, and BYU has the perfect antidote. It is allowing an average of only 3.8 yards per carry this season despite its 12 opponents averaging 4.5 per carry on the year.
The Cougars are a sensational 9-1 ATS as an underdog over the last three seasons. Mendenhall is 17-4 ATS when playing against a good team with a winning percentage from 60% to 75% as the coach of BYU. Mendenhall is 9-2 ATS in road games versus good rushing teams that average 200 or more yards rushing as the coach of the Cougars. Bet BYU Friday.
|12-27-13||Los Angeles Lakers v. Utah Jazz -3.5||103-105||Loss||-107||10 h 33 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday Night Line Mistake on Utah Jazz -3.5
The Los Angeles Lakers are getting too much respect from the books as only a 3.5-point road underdog to the Utah Jazz. I realize that the Jazz have the worst record in the West, but they are a better team than the Lakers right now.
Los Angeles is without Kobe Bryant and its top two points guards in Steve Nash and Steve Blake. It is also expected to be without Pau Gasol tonight as he continues to recover from a respiratory infection. The Lakers simply cannot be competitive without these four players.
Utah his finally at full strength and has played its best basketball of the season over the past couple weeks. It has gone a respectable 4-4 in its last eight games overall despite playing seven of those games on the road. The four losses came to San Antonio, Miami, Atlanta and Memphis.
The Jazz have won four of their last five meetings with the Lakers. Los Angeles is 2-14 ATS in road games off a home loss over the last three seasons. After playing defending champion Miami tough at home on Christmas Day, this is clearly a letdown/hangover spot for the Lakers. Take the Jazz Friday.
|12-27-13||Denver Nuggets v. New Orleans Pelicans -2.5||Top||89-105||Win||100||9 h 33 m||Show|
20* NBA Friday No-Doubt Rout on New Orleans Pelicans -2.5
The New Orleans Pelicans just recently got back their best player in Anthony Davis, who is averaging 19.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game this season. They will be a force to be reckoned with with Davis back in the lineup going forward.
I believe the Pelicans are way undervalued due to losing four of their last five games overall. However, all five of those games were on the road and the four losses came against playoff contenders in the West in Denver, Golden State, LA Clippers & Portland. They capped off the trip with a 113-100 win at Sacramento, and will be looking forward to returning home where they have won their last two.
Denver has lost four in a row coming in to mostly quality competition as well. However, three of its four losses came at home, and three of the setbacks came by 8 points or more. The Nuggets' only win in their last six games came against New Orleans on December 15, with has the Pelicans in revenge mode heading into this rematch.
Home-court advantage has been huge in this series of late as the home team is a perfect 6-0 SU & 6-0 ATS in the last six meetings overall. The Nuggets are 4-10 ATS in their last 14 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Pelicans are 14-6 ATS in their last 20 games playing on 3 or more days rest. Bet the Pelicans Friday.
|12-27-13||Louisiana-Monroe +25 v. Ohio State||31-71||Loss||-110||7 h 28 m||Show|
15* CBB Friday PLAY OF THE DAY on Louisiana-Monroe +25
The Ohio State Buckeyes are way overvalued right now due to their perfect 12-0 record and No. 3 ranking. I'll gladly fade them in their final non-conference game before Big Ten play. That makes this a huge lookahead spot for the Buckeyes, who play Purdue on December 31.
I've seen enough from Louisiana-Monroe this season against quality competition to make me believe that the Warhawks can be competitive. They have gone 4-1 ATS in their five lined games while playing some very good teams tough.
They lost 63-80 at Kansas as a 26-point underdog, 54-61 at Ole MIss as a 16.5-point dog, and 62-75 at LSU as a 15.5-point dog. If they can stay within 17 points of those three teams, who are all likely to make the NCAA Tournament, then they can certainly stay within 25 of Ohio State tonight.
Plays against favorites of 10 or more points off 10 or more consecutive wins are a healthy 145-92 (61.2%) ATS over the last five seasons. LA-Monroe is 7-0 ATS in road games off three consecutive non-conference games over the last three seasons. The Warhawks are 7-1 ATS in their last eight non-conference games. The Buckeyes are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 home games. Roll with Louisiana-Monroe Friday.
|12-27-13||Marshall v. Maryland +3||31-20||Loss||-120||21 h 49 m||Show|
15* Marshall/Maryland Military Bowl ANNIHILATOR on Maryland +3
The Maryland Terrapins are ecstatic to be going to a bowl game for the first time since 2010. After going a combined 6-18 in Randy Edsall's first two years on the job, the Terrapins rebounded for a 7-5 record this season.
They really had to play well down the stretch just to get in. They were at 5-4 before going 2-1 over their final three games. That included a surprising 27-24 overtime win at Virginia Tech, and a blowout 41-21 victory at NC State to close out the season. Their only loss came to Boston College by a final of 29-26 after the Terps squandered an 11-point fourth quarter lead.
Now, the Terrapins will be jacked up to be playing in this bowl game. They will have a huge home-field advantage as they will be playing just 27 miles from their campus inside the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. There's no way they should be an underdog here given the circumstances.
Marshall had a solid season as well, but it lost in the Conference USA Championship to Rice, which cost it a better bowl game. The Thundering Herd won't be nearly as excited to be playing in this game as Maryland will be.
The Thundering Herd played their worst football on the road this season, going 3-4 SU & 1-5-1 ATS in all games played away from home. Maryland played its best football on the road, going 4-2 SU & 4-2 ATS in six games away from home. The four wins came against VA Tech, NC State, West Virginia & UConn.
I believe teams that played a tougher schedule during the regular season have a much better chance of being successful in the bowl game. I love when these teams are an underdog, too. Maryland played the 69th-toughest schedule in the country, while Marshall played the 126th.
Maryland's offense has been very good when quarterback C.J. Brown has been healthy, and he'll be ready to go for this bowl game. Brown is completing 58.9 percent of his passes for 2,045 yards with 11 touchdowns against six interceptions, while also rushing for 538 yards and 12 scores. The defense has played admirably all season, ranking 31st in the country in total defense at 367.7 yards per game.
The Terrapins are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games. Maryland is 4-0 ATS in its last four neutral site games. The Terrapins are 4-1 ATS in their last five bowl games. The Thundering Herd are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game. Bet Maryland Thursday.
|12-26-13||Utah State v. Northern Illinois +1||21-14||Loss||-106||31 h 35 m||Show|
15* Utah State/Northern Illinois Poinsettia Bowl ANNIHILATOR on Northern Illinois +1
Sure, Northern Illinois missed out on a chance to play in a BCS Bowl game due to its first loss of the season in the MAC Championship against Bowling Green. Many folks believe they will not show up because of these circumstances, but I am not one of them.
Northern Illinois has one of the best leaders in the entire country at quarterback in Jordan Lynch, and I have 100% confidence he'll rally the troops and go out with a victory in the final game of his collegiate career. You think this senior is just going to pack it in in his final game? No chance.
Lynch was as deserving as anyone to win the Heisman Trophy. He was worth more wins to his team than any player in the country. Lynch has completed 63.1 percent of his passes for 2,676 yards with 23 touchdowns and seven interceptions, while also rushing for 1,881 yards and 22 scores. No player put up better numbers than that.
The Huskies still have plenty to play for. They can set a single-season school record for victories despite the loss to Bowling Green. "(That) game doesn't define us - we're not going to let it," coach Rod Carey said. "We've got another game. We still have a lot to play for."
I give Utah State a lot of credit for the way that it has fought after losing starting quarterback Chuckie Keaton for the season. However, this guy is simply irreplaceable, and the Aggies are much worse off without him. Keaton had thrown 18 touchdowns against two interceptions before going down with injury.
Backup Darell Garretson has nine picks against five interceptions on the year for a comparison. He is also completing just 60.3 percent of his passes compared to 69.4 for Keaton. The massive edge the Huskies have at the quarterback position in this one will be the reason that they win as Lynch won't be denied in his final game.
Northern Illinois is 8-1 ATS after allowing 325 or more passing yards in its last game over the past three seasons. It is coming back to win 47-9 to 20.9 in this spot, or by an average of 27.0 points per game. Take Northern Illinois Thursday.
|12-26-13||Memphis Grizzlies +7.5 v. Houston Rockets||Top||92-100||Loss||-103||9 h 42 m||Show|
20* NBA GAME OF THE WEEK on Memphis Grizzlies +7.5
This is the perfect spot to fade the Houston Rockets. They will be playing the second of a back-to-back and their 5th game in 7 days, which is one of the toughest spots in the league. Plus, they are coming off a huge win at San Antonio last night, setting them up for a big letdown spot here.
After not spending Christmas with their families, these Rockets' players return home and will be more concerned about spending time with their loved ones rather than playing this game. Memphis, meanwhile, comes in on two days' rest having last played on Monday. It will be 100% focused heading into this one.
Houston is 8-28 ATS in its last 36 home games when playing its 5th game in 7 days. Memphis is 6-2 ATS in its last eight games when playing on two days rest. Houston is 0-6 ATS in its last six games following a S.U. win. Bet the Grizzlies Thursday.
|12-26-13||Atlanta Hawks v. Cleveland Cavaliers UNDER 205||127-125||Loss||-110||8 h 39 m||Show|
15* NBA Thursday Total DOMINATOR on Hawks/Cavaliers UNDER 205
There is a ton of value on the UNDER in this game between Atlanta and Cleveland tonight. The books have been forced to set this total higher than it should be due to Atlanta going 10-1 to the over in its last 11 games, and Cleveland going 6-1 to the over in its last seven games.
A look at the recent meetings between these teams says everything. The Cavs and Hawks have combined for 205 or fewer points in six of their last seven meetings. The one 205-point effort was an overtime game in which the game was tied 91-91 at the end of regulation for 182 combined points.
These teams have met once this season with Atlanta winning 108-89 on the road for 197 combined points. That total was set at 195.5 on December 6, and this total has been set nearly 10 points higher at 205. That shows you how much value is on the UNDER in this game tonight.
Plays on the UNDER on all teams where the total is 200 to 209.5 (ATLANTA) - after going over the total by 36 or more points total in their last five games, winning between 51% and 60% of their games on the season are 72-25 (74.2%) over the last five seasons. Cleveland is 36-20 to the UNDER in home games following one or more consecutive losses over the last three seasons. Roll with the UNDER in this game Thursday.
|12-26-13||Pittsburgh +5 v. Bowling Green||Top||30-27||Win||100||27 h 56 m||Show|
20* Pittsburgh/Bowling Green Pizza Bowl No-Brainer on Pittsburgh +5
The Bowling Green Falcons feel very accomplished. They won the MAC this season with a win over previously unbeaten Northern Illinois in the title game. No matter what happens in this bowl game, the Falcons will have had a great season.
The success that Bowling Green had this year lead to head coach Dave Clawson leaving to become the head coach at Wake Forest. Assistant head coach Adam Scheier will be the interim coach for the bowl game. This will be a distraction for the Falcons as well as they probably feel betrayed by Clawson for leaving.
Pittsburgh (6-6) will be motivated to finish with a winning record for the first time since 2010. Only once was Pittsburgh really blown out all season, and that came in the opener against Florida State, which is clearly the best team in the country. The other five losses all came by 11 points or fewer.
The Panthers played the 32nd-toughest schedule in the country this season according to strength of schedule ratings that I trust. Bowling Green played the 124th-toughest schedule in the country this year. So, there's no question that the Panthers are more battle-tested heading into this one.
I believe that will pay off and I'll gladly back a dog from the ACC over a favorite from the MAC, which is arguably the weakest conference in the country. Bowling Green went 0-2 this season against teams from BCS conferences, including a 10-42 loss at Indiana.
The Panthers are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing more than 40 points in their previous game. Pittsburgh is 5-0 ATS in its last five December games. The Panthers are 21-6 ATS in their last 27 games following a loss. Bet Pittsburgh Thursday.
|12-25-13||Los Angeles Clippers v. Golden State Warriors -2||Top||103-105||Push||0||20 h 51 m||Show|
20* Clippers/Warriors ESPN Late-Night BAILOUT on Golden State -2
The Golden State Warriors are back in business now that they have gotten a healthy Andre Iguodala back. This guy was one of the biggest acquisitions in the offseason, but he has gone unnoticed for the most part.
The Warriors have won each of their last two games with a blowout home win 102-83 over the Lakers, and an impressive 89-81 road victory over the Nuggets. Quietly, Iguodala has shot 52.2 percent from the field this season while averaging 11.2 points, 5.2 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists. He is their best perimeter defender, which always gets overlooked.
Los Angeles is being overvalued right now due to its five-game winning streak heading into this game. Four of those five wins have come at home. The Clippers are just 8-7 on the road this year, while the Warriors are 9-4 at home. The home team has won four straight meetings between these teams, including three by double-digits.
Plays against road teams where the line is +3 to -3 (LA CLIPPERS) - after going over the total by more than 18 points in their previous game, a good team (60% to 75%) playing a team with a winning record are 31-6 (83.8%) ATS over the last five seasons. Golden State is 9-1 ATS a home game where where the total is between 205 and 209.5 points over the last two seasons. The Clippers are 1-6 ATS in their last seven meetings in Golden State. Bet the Warriors Wednesday.
|12-25-13||Iowa State -4.5 v. Boise St||70-66||Loss||-104||18 h 13 m||Show|
15* Iowa State/Boise State ESPN 2 No-Brainer on Iowa State -4.5
The Iowa State Cyclones are clearly one of the most underrated teams in the country. They have opened the season a perfect 10-0 while going 5-2 against the spread in lined games. They will be going for their best start in school history Wednesday, so they clearly want to accomplish that feat.
That shouldn't be a problem against a Boise State team that hasn't beaten anybody this season. It has lost to its two toughest opponents in Kentucky (55-70) and St. Mary's (74-82). It also barely escaped with a 62-61 victory over Hawaii a couple days ago to open up this tournament.
Iowa State has beaten three of the best teams in the country en route to this 10-0 start to really prove that it is for real. It has taken down the likes of Michigan, BYU and Iowa already this season, and Boise State is not as good as any of those three squads.
The Cyclones are 39-17 ATS in their last 56 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record. Iowa State is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 games overall. The Broncos are 0-7 ATS in their last seven games vs. a team with a wining record. Boise State is 0-7 ATS in its last seven games vs. a team with a winning percentage above 60%. Roll with Iowa State Wednesday.
|12-25-13||Chicago Bulls v. Brooklyn Nets UNDER 187.5||95-78||Win||100||9 h 21 m||Show|
15* Bulls/Nets ESPN Early Riser on UNDER 187.5
The books have set the bar too high in this game between the Chicago Bulls and Brooklyn Nets. These teams do not like each other at all after playing in seven-game series in the opening round of the playoffs last year.
That also means that these teams are familiar with one another, and familiarity breeds low-scoring games. One big difference from the playoffs series last year is that the Bulls no longer have Nate Robinson at point guard to bail them out, which is big with Derrick Rose out.
Neither team really likes to push the tempo. Chicago ranks 28th in the league in pace at 93.5 possessions per game, while Brooklyn ranks 24th in pace at 94.9 possessions per game. The Bulls also rank 29th in the league in offensive efficiency, averaging just 96.2 points per 100 possessions. However, they make up for it on the other end, ranking 5th in defensive efficiency at 98.7 points per 100 possessions allowed.
Chicago is 14-3 to the UNDER when the total is between 180 and 189.5 points this season. The Bulls are 12-2 to the UNDER vs. a team with a losing record this season. The UNDER is 23-8 in Bulls last 31 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of less than .400. Take the UNDER in this game Wednesday.
|12-24-13||Oregon State -3 v. Boise State||Top||38-23||Win||100||28 h 59 m||Show|
20* Oregon State/Boise State Hawaii Bowl ANNIHILATOR on Oregon State -3
The Oregon State Beavers played an absolute brutal schedule this season and will come into the Hawaii Bowl a lot more battle-tested than Boise State. They will be hungry to make amends for a five-game losing streak to close out the regular season and to gain back some momentum heading into next year.
According to some ratings that I trust, the Beavers played the 12th-most difficult schedule in the country, while the Broncos played the 94th-toughest schedule. Only three Pac-12 teams played a tougher schedule, and it comes as no surprise that four of the top 11 teams are from the Pac-12 considering how tough that conference was this season.
Oregon State's five losses to close out the season came against Stanford, USC, Arizona State, Washington, and Oregon. It only lost by a final of 35-36 at Oregon as a 24-point underdog in the season finale to really show what it is capable of. USC crushed Fresno State in their bowl game, and Boise State lost to Fresno State earlier this season.
Boise State did get a taste of the Pac-12 to open the season. It lost by a final of 6-38 at Washington in what was every bit the blowout that the final score would indicate. The Broncos were outgianed 346-592 by the Huskies in the loss. They also fell to Fresno State, BYU and San Diego State this year in what was a down year for them given their expectations over the past decade.
The Broncos suffered a big blow when starting quarterback Joe Southwick was suspended for the Hawaii Bowl after urinating off a hotel balcony. He has gone as far as to take a polygraph test to prove his innocence, which he passed. However, Boise State issued a statement late MOnday afternoon standing by the decision to dismiss Southwick.
"We investigated the matter with university administrators, coaching staff, a law enforcement official, hotel security and student-athletes," the statement said. "We made the decision to send the student-athlete home, and we stand by this difficult decision."
Backup Grant Hedrick played well in place of an injured Southwick earlier this season, so in all honesty it doesn't make that big of a difference. I do believe Southwick is slightly better, but the big thing is that this is going to be a distraction for the team. Not to mention that head coach Chris Peterson left to take the Washington job, leaving Bob Gregory as the interim coach. That's another distraction that the players have had to deal with leading up to this game.
Oregon State ranks 3rd in the country in passing offense at 382.1 yards per game. It is led by Sean Mannion, who is having a monster season. He is completing 66.0 percent of his passes for 4,403 yards with 36 touchdowns against 14 interceptions. Boise State's biggest weakness has been against the pass as it has allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 64.1 percent of their passes for an average of 248 yards per game.
The Beavers are 11-1 ATS in their last 12 road games vs. awful passing defenses that allow a completion percentage of 62% or worse. Oregon State is 15-5 ATS in its last 20 road games following a bye week. The Beavers are 7-0 ATS after allowing 450 or more total yards in two consecutive games since 1992. The Broncos are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game. Bet Oregon State Tuesday.
|12-23-13||Atlanta Falcons +14 v. San Francisco 49ers||Top||24-34||Win||102||33 h 54 m||Show|
20* Falcons/49ers MNF GAME OF THE MONTH on Atlanta +14
The Atlanta Falcons clearly have not quit on their season. They have won two of their last three games, and each of their last four games have been decided by four points or less. That includes losses to playoff contenders in New Orleans (13-17) and Green Bay (21-22) for their only two setbacks during this stretch. In fact, this team has been very competitive all season as 10 of their 14 games have been decided by eight points or fewer. Unlike last year, they simply have not gotten the breaks in close games.
Atlanta has every reason to show up Monday to try and avenge last year
|12-23-13||Indiana Pacers v. Brooklyn Nets UNDER 193||103-86||Win||100||8 h 56 m||Show|
15* NBA Monday Total ANNIHILATOR on Pacers/Nets UNDER 193
Both the Pacers and Nets have been going over the total frequently of late. The Pacers are 7-4 to the over in their last 11 games, while the Nets are 4-0 to the over in their last four games. This has forced the oddsmakers to adjust and set this total tonight higher than it should be.
A dead giveaway that there is value with the UNDER tonight is the fact that the books set the total at 187.5 in the first meeting of the season between these teams. Indiana won that contest 96-91 for 187 combined points.
Both Brooklyn and Indiana like to play at a slower pace than league average. Indiana ranks 22nd in the league in pace at 95.3 possessions per game, while Brooklyn ranks 25th in pace at 94.7 possessions per contest. The Pacers make nothing easy on their opponents as they rank 1st in the league in defensive efficiency, giving up just 93.6 points per 100 possessions.
Plays on the UNDER on all teams where the total is between 190 and 199.5 points (INDIANA) - after leading their last two games by 10+ points at the half against opponent after scoring 100 points or more 3 straight games are 29-7 (80.6%) since 1996. Indiana is 9-1 to the UNDER as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points this season. Roll with the UNDER in this game Monday.
|12-23-13||Atlanta Hawks v. Miami Heat UNDER 207.5||Top||119-121||Loss||-110||8 h 33 m||Show|
20* NBA Monday PLAY OF THE DAY on Hawks/Heat UNDER 207.5
The books have set the bar too high in this contest between two of three teams in the Eastern Conference who actually have winning records on the season. I look for a low-scoring, defensive battle between the Hawks and Heat tonight.
It's easy to see that this total has been inflated. The reason why is that Atlanta has gone over the total in nine of its last 10 games overall, while Miami has gone over the number in eight of the last 10. These recent over trends have forced the oddsmakers to set too big of a number here as the betting public is all over the over. We'll take advantage and back the under.
This will be the second meeting of the season between Atlanta and Miami. The first resulted in a 104-88 home win by the Heat with a total set of 204.5 points. They combined for 192 points in that game, and I look for a similar result in this one.
Get this. If you don't count overtime, Miami and Atlanta have combined for 201 or fewer points in 28 straight meetings since 2008. That's a perfect 28-0 system backing the UNDER in this game pertaining to tonight's total set of 207.5 points. Take the UNDER in this game Monday.
|12-23-13||Detroit Pistons v. Cleveland Cavaliers UNDER 203||115-92||Loss||-105||7 h 27 m||Show|
15* NBA Monday Total DOMINATOR on Pistons/Cavaliers UNDER 203
This line is simply an overreaction from both the Pistons and Cavaliers playing in high-scoring games of late. The over is 9-0 in Pistons last nine games overall, while the over is 5-1 in Cavaliers last six games overall. This has created a ton of line value for us to pounce on the UNDER tonight.
Just looking at the season averages for both teams, it's easy to see that there is some value with this UNDER. Detroit is combining with its opponents to average 202.3 points per game on the season, while Cleveland is combining with its opponents for 196.8 points per game on the year.
Both teams rank in the bottom half of the league in pace. Detroit is 16th in the league in pace at 96.5 possessions per game, while Cleveland is 17th at 96.1 possessions per game. Detroit is 16th in offensive efficiency at 102.8 points per 100 possessions, and Cleveland is 26th at 97.8 points per 100 possessions.
Plays on the UNDER on all teams where the total is greater than or equal to 200 (DETROIT) - after being beaten by the spread by 18 or more points total in their last three games against opponent after going over the total by 48 or more points total in their last seven games are 73-39 (65.2%) over the past five seasons.
Cleveland is 26-9 to the UNDER off a division game over the last three seasons. The Cavs are 15-5 to the UNDER in home games versus good offensive teams that score 99 or more points per game over the last two seasons. The UNDER is 13-3 in Cavaliers last 16 games following a SU loss of more than 10 points. The UNDER is 41-18 in the last 59 meetings in this series, and 20-7 in the last 27 meetings in Cleveland. Bet the UNDER in this game Monday.
|12-23-13||Ohio +14 v. East Carolina||Top||20-37||Loss||-106||26 h 4 m||Show|
20* Ohio/East Carolina Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl No-Brainer on Ohio +14
The Ohio Bobcats certainly looked terrible in losing three straight games down the stretch in blowout fashion. However, they showed tremendous character by coming out on Senior Day and destroying Massachusetts by a final of 51-23 to really take out their frustration. That effort was led by senior quarterback Tyler Tettleton, who has had a tremendous career here. He came into the season as the school
|12-22-13||Chicago Bears +3 v. Philadelphia Eagles||11-54||Loss||-103||45 h 28 m||Show|
15* Bears/Eagles NBC Sunday Night BAILOUT on Chicago +3
The Bears have picked up two huge wins over the past two weeks to stay alive for the NFC North Title. If they win out, they will be crowned your division champions. After throttling Dallas 45-28 at home on December 9, the Bears went on the road and knocked off Cleveland 38-31 last week. Jay Cutler started shaky in his first start back from injury, but led the Bears to 21 points in the fourth quarter and a confidence-building come-from-behind victory.
Chicago has been dynamite on offense under first-year head coach Marc Trestman no matter who has been under center. It is averaging 29.0 points per game and 393.4 yards per contest to rank 7th in the league in total offense. The Bears should have their way with a Philadelphia defense that ranks 30th in the league, giving up 402.2 yards per game. The Eagles allowed 370 passing yards to Matt Cassel and the Minnesota Vikings last week in a humbling 30-48 road loss. If they would have won that game, they could have clinched the NFC East with a victory this week.
Now, the Eagles can afford to lose this game and still clinch the division with a win over the Dallas Cowboys next week. That could have them not even showing up knowing that next week
|12-22-13||Toronto Raptors +10 v. Oklahoma City Thunder||104-98||Win||100||8 h 43 m||Show|
15* NBA Sunday Night Line Mistake on Toronto Raptors +10
The Oklahoma City Thunder are in a massive letdown spot here. They are coming off a 113-100 win at San Antonio Saturday night, which is their biggest rivals. It's only human nature for them to come back home tonight and not show up with the effort it will take to cover a double-digit spread in this 2nd of a back-to-back situation.
Toronto has been playing team basketball since trading away Rudy Gay to Sacramento. It has won four of its last six games since the trade, which includes a perfect 3-0 road record with wins over the Lakers, Bulls, and Mavericks. This is one of the most underrated teams in the league in my opinion.
Plays on road teams (TORONTO) - 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 69-23 (75%) ATS over the last five seasons. Plays against favorites of 10 or more points (OKLAHOMA CITY) - after 6 or more consecutive wins, with a winning record on the season playing a losing team are 47-18 (72.3%) ATS over the last five seasons.
Mark Brooks is 15-29 ATS off five or more consecutive wins as the coach of Oklahoma City. The Thunder are only winning 101.2 to 99.2 in this spot, or by an average of 2.0 points per game. They are clearly overvalued here and it's time to fade them, especially on the 2nd of a back-to-back off such a big win over the Spurs. Take the Raptors Sunday.
|12-22-13||California +11 v. Creighton||54-68||Loss||-102||8 h 29 m||Show|
15* CBB Sunday Night Line Mistake on California +11
The California Bears are showing tremendous value as a double-digit underdog to Creighton tonight. This is going to be one of the better teams in the Pac-12 despite some early struggles.
This is a classic case of overvalued and undervalued at its finest. Cal has favored to cover the spread in three straight games coming in, while Creighton has covered the spread in three straight. This automatically creates the kind of line value that is hard to pass up.
Cal's three losses this season have come against very good competition on the road in Syracuse, Dayton and UC-Santa Barbara. Creighton has some ugly losses to San Diego State and George Washington on a neutral court despite being a favorite in both contests, so this team is vulnerable.
Cal is outrebounding its opponents 40-33 on the season, and getting to the free throw line 24 times per game. Creighton is only outrebounding foes 37-32 and getting to the line 21 times per game.
Plays on road underdogs of 10 or more points (CALIFORNIA) - after failing to cover 4 of their last 5 against the spread against opponent after having covered 3 of their last 4 against the spread are 116-58 (66.7%) ATS over the last five seasons. This trend just goes to show that you should back a cold team ATS against a hot team ATS, especially when catching double-digits on the road. Bet California Sunday.
|12-22-13||Boston Celtics +12.5 v. Indiana Pacers||79-106||Loss||-110||7 h 43 m||Show|
15* NBA Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Boston Celtics +12.5
The Boston Celtics are showing tremendous value as a big road underdog to the Indiana Pacers tonight. Boston will be motivated for a number of reasons tonight, not the least of which is an 82-97 home loss to the Pacers in their first meeting this season.
Boston blew a 50-42 halftime lead to Indiana in that game. Yesterday , Boston blew a 92-84 lead over Washington with 6:14 to play. A 14-1 run by the Wizards gave them a 106-99 win to escape with a victory from the jaws of defeat.
Sure, this will be a second of a back-to-back for Boston, but that's not concerning one bit. That's because the Celtics had two days off before that game against Washington, and now they won't play against until December 28 after this game against Indiana. That will have them playing with a sense of urgency as they want to enjoy their break with an upset victory over the Pacers.
Boston has played extremely well since that loss to Indiana back on November 22. It has gone 8-6 SU & 8-6 ATS in its last 14 games overall. What's most amazing about this run is that the Celtics have not lost one game by more than 8 points during this stretch, making for a perfect 14-0 system backing them pertaining to tonight's spread of 12.5. Roll with the Celtics Sunday.
|12-22-13||Arizona Cardinals +10.5 v. Seattle Seahawks||Top||17-10||Win||100||61 h 23 m||Show|
25* NFL GAME OF THE YEAR on Arizona Cardinals +10.5
The Arizona Cardinals are still getting no respect. They are 40/1 to win the NFC and 75/1 to win the Super Bowl. Sure, they have to win out and get some help to make the playoffs, but this is a team that deserves more respect than they are getting. They could finish with 11 wins and not make the postseason, and I believe they are under the radar because they aren't considered a playoff team due to their situation in the stacked NFC.
The Cardinals will want revenge not only from their 22-34 home loss to the Seahawks earlier this season, but from their 0-58 loss in Seattle last year en route to losing 11 of their final 12 games. However, this team has done a complete 180 in 2013 and has finished the season playing its best football of the year.
Since the loss to Seattle, Arizona has won six of its last seven games overall with its only loss coming as a 3.5-point underdog at Philadelphia by a final of 21-24. Carson Palmer's 106.0 passer rating is among the NFL's best during this stretch. He has made a huge difference on this team by giving head coach Bruce Arians a legitimate passing attack to work with.
However, it's the Arizona defense that really has me believing they can not only stay with Seattle, but possibly put an end to the Seahawks' home winning streak. The Cardinals rank 7th in total defense, 8th in scoring defense, 1st in rushing yards allowed per game, 2nd in rushing yards allowed per play, 5th in passing yards allowed per play, 7th in opponent passer rating, T-7th in sacks, 4th in takeaways and 5th in interceptions.
As you can see by these impressive stats, this is a defense that will keep you in the game. That's why the Cardinals went out and signed Palmer because he was the missing link. The organization knew they had a top-notch defense, but Palmer has made a huge difference in giving the Cardinals their first winning season since 2009. Malcolm Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald have benefited from a passing game that the Cardinals have not seen since Kurt Warner was here.
There's no question that Seattle is one of the best teams in the league, but it is getting too much respect here. The books are putting too much stock in the Seahawks' 23-0 win over the New York Giants last week. The Giants have clearly quit on the season. While this is a must-win situation for Arizona, Seattle knows that it can afford to lose this game and then beat St. Louis at home next week to secure the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage in the NFC. There's no question in my mind that Arizona wants this game more, and that will show on the field Sunday.
Plays against favorites of 10.5 or more points (SEATTLE) - outgaining their opponents by 1.75 or more passing yards/attempt, after allowing 5.5 or less passing yards/attempt in 2 straight games are 38-12 (76%) ATS since 1983. The Cardinals are 39-17 ATS vs. good teams who outscore their opponents by 6-plus points per game since 1992. Arizona is 37-21 ATS revenging a same season loss vs. opponent since 1992. The Cardinals are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games overall. Bet Arizona Sunday.
|12-22-13||Connecticut v. Washington +6||82-70||Loss||-110||4 h 28 m||Show|
15* UConn/Washington ESPNU No-Brainer on Washington +6
Washington is off to just a 6-4 start this season, but all but one of its losses have come against quality competition. Three of its four losses have come to Indiana, Boston College and San Diego State, which were all on the road.
The Huskies have played very well over the past month, winning four of their last five games with their only loss coming at San Diego State by a final of 63-70 as an 11-point underdog. They are 5-1 at home this season where they are putting up 85.3 points per game on the season.
UConn is overvalued due to its 9-1 start. This team has won a whopping four games by two points or less and by a combined five points. That's how close this team is to being a 5-5 squad right now.
What's most amazing about that is that UConn has yet to play a true road game this season. It will be traveling all the way out to the west coast to play in a hostile environment. UConn has lost three of its past four non-conference true road games dating to last season.
UConn is only even with teams in rebounding margin this season. It is only grabbing seven offensive boards per game while giving up 11. Washington is outrebounding opponents 37-33 on the year. While UConn is only getting to the free throw line 20 times per game, Washington is getting to the charity stripe 26 times per contest, cashing in 77.6% of them.
UConn is 0-6 ATS versus good foul drawing teams who attempt at least 25 free throws per game over the past two seasons. UConn is 0-6 ATS in road games off two straight non-conference games over the last two years. Take Washington Sunday.
|12-22-13||Tennessee Titans v. Jacksonville Jaguars +5||20-16||Win||100||38 h 59 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Jacksonville Jaguars +5
It has been fun to watch the way that the Jaguars have rallied in the second half of the season after a winless first half. They have won four of their last six games overall with victories at Tennessee, Houston and Cleveland, as well as a home triumph over the Texans. They did play pretty well last week given the circumstances, but lost 20-27 to Buffalo due to committing four turnovers to give the game away.
Chad Henne has played well at quarterback, and the defense has improved under the defensive-minded Gus Bradley as the season has gone on. Henne is completing 60.0 percent of his passes for 2,673 yards and 10 touchdowns on the season. Jordan Todman played well in place of an injured Maurice Jones-Drew last week, rushing for 109 yards on 25 carries to give the offense some nice balance. In fact, the Jaguars have rushed for 112 or more yards in four straight games to take some of the pressure off of Henne.
Tennessee has completely fallen apart down the stretch, losing five of its last six games overall to take itself right out of the playoffs. Now, officially eliminated from the playoffs after last week
|12-22-13||Tampa Bay Buccaneers +4.5 v. St. Louis Rams||13-23||Loss||-110||38 h 59 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Afternoon Line Mistake on Tampa Bay Buccaneers +4.5
After an 0-8 start where nothing went right and they lost every close game, the Buccaneers have really showed some pride in the second half of the season. This team has been given the toughest schedule in the league, having to play Carolina and New Orleans twice, while also having to go up against the entire NFC West division. They have been done no favors from the schedule makers, which clearly has them battle-tested heading into the final two games of the season.
Tampa Bay has gone a very profitable 5-2 against the spread in its last seven games overall. It has beaten Miami, Atlanta, Detroit and Buffalo outright during this stretch. All three of its losses during this span have come against arguably the three best teams in the NFC in Seattle, Carolina and San Francisco. It even took the Seahawks to overtime on the road back on November 3, losing 24-27 as a 16-point underdog to rally show what it is capable of.
Given the difficult schedule, the Bucs have actually played very well defensively this season. They only give up an average of 344.5 yards per game to rank 13th in the league in total defense. The Rams have been more vulnerable on this side of the ball, ranking 21st in total defense at 362.9 yards per game. They aren
|12-22-13||Indianapolis Colts v. Kansas City Chiefs UNDER 45.5||Top||23-7||Win||100||38 h 58 m||Show|
20* NFL TOTAL OF THE WEEK on Colts/Chiefs UNDER 45.5
The books have set the bar too high in this game between the Indianapolis Colts and Kansas City Chiefs in Week 16. To be fair, they had it right when they opened it at 41.5, but they have been forced to move it a full four points to 45.5 in some places due to so much action on the over. This has created a ton of line value for us to swoop in and catch the UNDER at a great number.
I believe this line is an overreaction from Kansas City's huge point totals over the past two weeks against Washington and Oakland on the road. Those are two terrible defenses, and both the Redskins and Raiders gave the Chiefs a bunch of cheap points. Now, they'll be up against a playoff team, and the Colts aren't about to give them easy scores Sunday.
Kansas City ranks 4th in the league in scoring defense at 18.2 points per game, while Indianapolis is a respectable 12th at 22.8 points per game. I look for both defenses to have their way with two below-average offenses this week. The Colts rank 22nd in total offense at 337.3 yards per game, and they just haven't been the same since losing Reggie Wayne. The Chiefs rank 17th in total offense at 341.3 yards per game.
Plays on the UNDER on all teams where the total is between 42.5 and 49 points (KANSAS CITY) - after a game where they forced 3 or more turnovers against opponent after 4 consecutive games where they committed 1 or less turnovers are 23-6 (79.3%) since 1983. Kansas City is 6-0 to the UNDER when playing against a team with a winning percentage from 60% to 75% in the second half of the season over the past three seasons. Take the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|12-21-13||Oklahoma State v. Colorado +6.5||Top||78-73||Win||100||15 h 42 m||Show|
20* Oklahoma State/Colorado ESPN 2 Late-Night BAILOUT on Colorado +6.5
The Colorado Buffaloes are one of the most underrated teams in the country. They continue to get no respect from oddsmakers Saturday as a 6.5-point underdog against Oklahoma State in a game that they should be favored in.
Colorado returned four starters from last year and will be an NCAA Tournament team in 2014. It has opened 10-1 with impressive wins over the likes of Kansas, Harvard and UC-Santa Barbara.
What I like most about the Buffaloes is their rebounding and free throw shooting. They are outrebounding opponents 40-30 on the season, which is one of the best margins in the country. They are also getting to the line 32 times per game, converting 70.5% of them.
Oklahoma State has arguably the best trio of guards in the country. However, the Cowboys will be overmatched on the glass in this one, which will be the difference in the game. They are only outrebounding their opponents 39-36 on the season against a pretty soft schedule to this point.
Colorado is 9-1 ATS versus good shooting teams that make 48% of their shots or better over the last three seasons. The Buffaloes are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Cowboys are 1-6 ATS in their last seven neutral site games. Oklahoma State is 5-15 ATS in its last 20 games vs. a team with a winning percentage above 60%. Bet Colorado Saturday.
|12-21-13||Philadelphia 76ers v. Milwaukee Bucks OVER 201.5||106-116||Win||100||11 h 54 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday Total DOMINATOR on 76ers/Bucks OVER 201.5
The books have set the bar too low tonight in this contest between the Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks. I'll take advantage and back the OVER in a game where I see both teams putting up 100-plus point.
The 76ers play at the fastest pace in the league. They average 101.8 possessions per game, and they force their opponents to play at their pace. Philadelphia also ranks 29th out of 30 teams in defensive efficiency, surrendering 106.7 points per 100 possessions.
Philadelphia is combining with its opponents for an average of 213.8 points per game on the season. These teams met on November 22 earlier this season with the 76ers winning by a final of 115-107 in overtime. The game was tied 102-102 at the end of regulation.
Michael Carter-Williams just recently returned to the lineup for the 76ers, and having him in there makes a huge difference considering he is the catalyst of the offense. He led the 76ers to a 121-120 win over the Brooklyn Nets last night.
The OVER is 8-1 in 76ers last nine games when playing on 0 days rest. The OVER is 35-15-1 in 76ers last 51 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game. The OVER is 4-0 in Bucks last four games overall. Take the OVER in this game Saturday.
|12-21-13||Utah Jazz +4.5 v. Charlotte Bobcats||88-85||Win||100||10 h 59 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Utah Jazz +4.5
This is a great spot to fade the Charlotte Bobcats. They are coming off a huge come from behind win over the Detroit Pistons last night, erasing a 20-point deficit in the second quarter and a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
Clearly, the Bobcats used a ton of energy to come back and win that game, and they'll be flat tonight because of it. That's especially the case when you consider this will be their 4th game in 5 nights, which is one of the toughest situations an NBA team can have. The Bobcats are 14-31 ATS in their last 45 games playing on 0 days rest.
Sure, Utah got crushed by Atlanta last night, but that's actually going to work in our favor here. The Jazz were able to rest their starters in the fourth quarter, and thus they'll be fresh and ready to go. I look for the Jazz to play with an extra sense of urgency after last night's poor performance.
Utah is a perfect 9-0 straight up in its last nine meetings with Charlotte dating back to 2008. It is showing tremendous value as an underdog tonight, and I look for it to make it 10 straight wins over the Bobcats in this series. I'll just take the points for some insurance. Bet Utah Saturday.
|12-21-13||Texas Tech +11.5 v. Arizona St||62-76||Loss||-110||10 h 37 m||Show|
15* CBB Saturday Night Line Mistake on Texas Tech +11.5
The Texas Tech Red Raiders are a much-improved team this season under former National Championship winner, Tubby Smith. Smith has taken 17 of his last 20 teams to the NCAA Tournament, and it won't be long before he gets the Red Raiders there, too.
Fortunately for Smith, the cupboard wasn't bare to start the season. The Red Raiders welcomed back four starters this year, and they have opened a solid 7-4 to this point. Their four losses have come to four of the better teams in the country in Arizona, Pittsburgh, LSU and Alabama. So, this team is certainly battle-tested.
Arizona State is simply getting too much respect here as I don't believe it has a win of any significance yet. However, it does have two losses that make me believe that this team is overrated. The Sun Devils fell 60-88 to Creighton and 57-60 to a depleted Miami team on a neutral court.
Plays on road underdogs of 10 or more points (TEXAS TECH) - excellent free throw shooting team (>=73%) against an average free throw shooting team (65-69%), good ball handling team (<=14.5 TO's) against a poor pressure defensive team (<=14.5 TO's) are 25-6 (80.6%) ATS over the last five seasons. Roll with Texas Tech Saturday.
|12-21-13||Buffalo v. San Diego State -1||24-49||Win||100||44 h 39 m||Show|
15* Buffalo/SDSU Potato Bowl No-Doubt Rout on San Diego State -1
The books really missed their mark in this game when they opened Buffalo as a 3.5-point favorite over San Diego State. There is a reason this line has moved to the Aztecs actually being the favorite, and it's a good reason at that. I am going to side with this line movement in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Saturday.
San Diego State played a brutal schedule this season and has shown me enough to know that it is every bit as good as its 7-5 record, and probably better. It has had to face the likes of Ohio State, Oregon State, Fresno State, San Jose State and Boise State this season.
The Aztecs held their own against four of those teams, beating both San Jose State (34-30) as a 6.5-point dog and Boise State (34-31) as a 6-point dog. They only lost to Oregon State (30-34) as a 6.5-point dog and Fresno State (28-35) as a 6.5-point dog. Those four performances right there show me that this team is for real.
Buffalo did not beat anyone of any significance all season. The Bulls' eight wins came against Stony Brook, UConn, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, UMass, Kent State, Ohio and Miami (Ohio). Only one of those eight teams will be going to a bowl game, and that is Ohio. The Bobcats barely made it into a bowl game at that.
In their four toughest games of the season, they were thoroughly outmatched. The Bulls lost to Ohio State (20-40), Baylor (13-70), Bowling Green (7-24) and Toledo (41-51) in a game that was a bigger blowout than the final score would indicate. Buffalo trailed 38-0 before scoring 41 points all in the second half in garbage time.
The Bulls rely heavily on running back Branden Oliver to carry their offense. Well, Oliver averaged no more than 2.8 yards per carry in each of the team's losses to Ohio State, Baylor and Bowling Green. He was held to a combined 151 yards on 57 carries against those three teams for an average of 2.6 yards per carry.
Things won't get any easier for Oliver against San Diego State's stout run defense. The Aztecs rank 21st in the country against the run, giving up just 132.9 yards per game and 3.7 per carry. That's impressive when you consider that the 12 opponents they have faced average 187 yards per game and 4.6 per carry on the season.
San Diego State is 19-8 ATS in its last 27 road games following a road loss. The Aztecs are 4-1 ATS in their last five games after allowing more than 40 points in their previous game. The Bulls are 1-5 ATS in their last six games vs. a team with a winning record. Buffalo is 5-11 ATS in its last 16 non-conference games. Roll with San Diego State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Saturday.
|12-21-13||UAB +9.5 v. LSU||63-86||Loss||-106||8 h 7 m||Show|
15* CBB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on UAB +9.5
The UAB Blazers continue to go under the radar as a 9.5-point underdog Saturday. Asking LSU to win by double-digits to beat us is simply asking too much, and I'll take advantage and back the Blazers in a game that will go right down to the wire.
UAB returned four starters from last season and has opened a solid 9-2. That record is very impressive when you consider that they have already played New Mexico, Nebraska, Temple and North Carolina. Against the two toughest teams they've face, they beat UNC 63-59 at home, and only lost 94-97 to New Mexico on a neutral court.
What I love about the Blazers is that they are the best rebounding team in the country, averaging 48.2 boards per game, which including 15 offensive rebounds per contest. They are outrebounding their opponents by a whopping 13 boards per game.
LSU usually has an advantage over teams on the glass because of its height, but that won't be the case here. Another factor to watch is that the Tigers are only getting to the free throw line 20 times per game and making just 64.4% of them. They aren't an aggressive team when it comes to drawing fouls.
Plays on road underdogs of 3.5 to 9.5 points (UAB) - in a game involving 2 up-tempo teams (>=60 shots/game), after 2 straight games - allowing a shooting pct. of 37% or less are 24-3 (88.9%) ATS since 1997. LSU is 0-10 ATS in its last 10 home games off a close road win by three points or less. The Tigers are 4-16 ATS in their last 20 games as a home favorite of 9.5 to 12 points. Take UAB Saturday.
|12-21-13||Northern Iowa +10.5 v. Virginia||43-57||Loss||-110||7 h 8 m||Show|
15* CBB Saturday Afternoon ANNIHILATOR on Northern Iowa +10.5
The Northern Iowa Panthers have played a brutal early schedule that will have them battle-tested heading into this showdown at Virginia, which will certainly help them be competitive and possibly pull off the upset.
Indeed, the Panthers have played George Mason, Maryland, La Salle, Iowa State and VCU already this season. They took an undefeated and Top 15 Iowa State team to overtime, while beating VCU 77-68 last time out.
That's the same VCU team that went on the road and beat Virginia 59-56 back on November 12, giving these teams a common opponent. Virginia has been off for a whopping two weeks since a 72-75 loss at Wisconsin-Green Bay, and I look for it to be rusty in this contest as a result.
Virginia has three losses already this season without a good win. The Cavaliers are 3-11 ATS In their last 14 games overall. Virginia is 1-5 ATS in its last six home games. Bet Northern Iowa Saturday.
|12-21-13||USC v. Fresno State +6.5||Top||45-20||Loss||-110||41 h 29 m||Show|
20* Fresno State/USC Las Vegas Bowl ANNIHILATOR on Fresno State +6.5
Sure, Fresno State had its BCS Bowl hopes crushed with a loss to San Jose State in the regular season finale. However, if they were going to pack it in, they wouldn't hav ecome back the next week and beaten a very good Utah State team 24-17 in the Mountain West Championship.
"Any time Fresno State gets a chance to play against BCS teams like USC we get up for it and our fan base gets up for it," coach Tim DeRuyter said. I believe him, and I look for the Bulldogs to be fully engaged in this one to show what they can do against a BCS opponent like USC.
The same cannot be said for the Trojans, who will be playing under a third different head coach in this game. Ed Orgeron did a tremendous job in bringing this team back from the dead, but once he learned it wasn't enough to get the job next year, he decided to step down.
That leaves offensive coordinator Clay Helton to lead the Trojans in Las Vegas before Steve Sarkisian takes over next year. These players won't even want to show up for this game with all they have been through. That's especially the case for those players who will be playing under Sarkisian next year.
Fresno State boasts the nation's top-ranked passing attack at 411 yards per game, and the fifth-ranked scoring offense at 45.3 points per game. Derek Carr leads the nation with 4,866 passing yards to go along with 48 touchdowns against a mere seven interceptions. Davonte Adams has caught 122 balls for 1,645 yards and 23 scores.
USC is 0-7 ATS in road games after failing to cover the spread in two out of their last three games over the last 2 seasons. The Trojans are 1-7 ATS in their last eight non-conference games. USC is 2-6 ATS In its last eight games following a double-digit home loss. Bet Fresno State in the Las Vegas Bowl Saturday.
|12-21-13||Colorado State v. Washington State OVER 66||48-45||Win||100||40 h 59 m||Show|
15* Colorado State/Washington State Bowl Season Opener on OVER 66
What a game the bowl committee has chosen to lead off the 2013 bowl season. I expect plenty of offensive fireworks in this New Mexico Bowl showdown between Colorado State and Washington State. The books have not set this total high enough.
These are two of the most explosive offensive teams in the land. Colorado State ranks 29th in the country in total offense at 462.1 yards per game, while Washington State ranks 54th in total offense at 423.2 yards per game against what USA Today called the toughest schedule in the nation.
It's clear that neither team has been able to stop anyone with any consistency this year. The Cougars rank 99th in total defense at 446.7 yards per game allowed, while the Rams rank 78th in total defense, giving up 417.6 yards per game.
The key here is that both team's offensive strengths should have their way with the opposing defense's weaknesses. Washington State ranks 4th in passing offense at 364.5 yards per game, and Colorado State ranks 99th against the pass at 265.4 yards per game. The Rams rank 31st in rushing offense at 202.7 yards per game, and the Cougars rank 78th in rushing defense at 184.0 yards per game.
Jim McElwain is 8-1 to the OVER in road games played on turf as the coach of Colorado State. Mike Leach is 23-6 to the OVER versus excellent offensive teams who average 6.25 or more yards per play in all games he has coached. Leach is 7-0 to the OVER in road games off three or more consecutive ATS wins in all games he has coached. Take the OVER in the New Mexico Bowl Saturday.
|12-20-13||Nebraska-Omaha +15 v. Minnesota||79-92||Win||100||22 h 6 m||Show|
15* CBB Friday PLAY OF THE DAY on Nebraska-Omaha +15
The Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks are one of the most underrated teams in the entire country. They have opened the season 8-3 SU and 4-1 ATS in their lined games. From what I've seen against solid competition, I have no doubt that the Mavericks can stay within 15 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers Friday night.
Nebraska-Omaha returned four starters from last season. CJ Carter (15.1 ppg) has led the way, but John Karhoff (13.0 ppg), Devin Patterson (12.6 ppg) and Marcus Tyus (9.9 ppg) have all made significant contributions as well.
The Mavericks' only three losses this season came on the road at Iowa (75-83) as a 29.5-point dog, at UNLV (70-73) as a 14-point dog and at Drake (80-88) as a 5.5-point dog. As you can see, they have lost a game by more than eight points all season. If they can stay within eight of Iowa, they can certainly do so against Minnesota.
The Golden Gophers are a quality team this season with an 8-2 record. However, it's not like they have blown away some of their poorest competition. They only beat Lehigh (81-62), Coastal Carolina (82-72), New Orleans (80-65) and South Dakota State (75-59) at home. They also only beat Chaminade (83-68) as a 20-point road favorite. Nebraska-Omaha is a much better squad than all five of those teams.
Plays against home favorites of 10 or more points (MINNESOTA) - after allowing 65 points or less three straight games against opponent after two straight wins by 6 points or less are 22-5 (81.5%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Mavericks are 5-1 ATS in their last six road games. Bet Nebraska-Omaha Friday.
|12-20-13||Houston Rockets +6 v. Indiana Pacers||81-114||Loss||-110||8 h 19 m||Show|
15* Rockets/Pacers ESPN Friday No-Brainer on Houston +6
The Indiana Pacers are coming off a crushing loss to the Miami Heat. They blew a double-digit lead in the second half on Wednesday and fell by a final of 94-97. I look for them to suffer a hangover from that defeat as it was their biggest game of the season to this point.
Former All-Star Danny Granger is expected to make his season debut tonight for the Pacers. He has been out so long that I believe his return will only be a distraction for this team as they try to find ways to fit him in. They have been better off without him up to this point.
The Houston Rockets have played solidly all season and currently sit with a 17-9 record. James Harden is expected to play tonight as he continues to recover from an ankle injury. Houston is 8-1 against the Eastern Conference this season with its only loss coming in overtime in a game in which Harden was sidelined.
The Rockets are 5-1 ATS in their last six games vs. Eastern Conference opponents. Houston is 4-0 ATS in its last four Friday games. The Rockets are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 vs. NBA Central Division opponents. Bet Houston Friday.
|12-20-13||Sacramento Kings +11 v. Miami Heat||Top||103-122||Loss||-110||19 h 0 m||Show|
20* NBA Non-Conference GAME OF THE MONTH on Sacramento Kings +11
The Miami Heat are in a massive letdown spot Friday. They are coming off their biggest win of the season, a 97-94 home victory over the Indiana Pacers Wednesday night. They erased a double-digit deficit in the second half to come back and beat their biggest rivals.
Now, I fully expect the Heat to come out flat against the Sacramento Kings Friday night. They won't be mentally locked in enough to win this game by double-digits, which is what it would take to beat us.
Sure, Sacramento hasn't been playing that well, but it does have a 106-91 win over Houston recently. Plus, the Kings are getting used to having Rudy Gay since the big trade. With a few games now under their belts with Gay in the lineup, I look for this team to really take off in the near future.
Last year, Sacramento took Miami to overtime as a 15-point road underdog. I look for this game to go right down to the wire as well for reasons mentioned above. The Kings will never be out of this game, and I wouldn't be surprised one bit to see them win this game outright.
Plays on road underdogs of 10 or more points (SACRAMENTO) - after one or more consecutive losses, on Friday nights are 74-34 (68.5%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Kings are 5-1 ATS in their last six after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game. Sacramento is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 games vs. a team with a winning percentage above 60%. The Heat are 1-7 ATS in their last eight home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400. Take the Kings Friday.
|12-20-13||Utah Jazz +7.5 v. Atlanta Hawks||85-118||Loss||-105||19 h 57 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday Undervalued Underdog on Utah Jazz +7.5
The Utah Jazz are starting to play much better basketball now that they are finally healthy. Trey Burke has been very impressive in his return from a broken finger, and he has led the Jazz to three wins in their last five games overall.
All three of those wins came on the road over Sacramento (122-101) as a 7-point dog, Denver (103-93) as a 10.5-point dog, and Orlando (86-82) as a 3-point dog. The two losses came against the Spurs and Heat, who are arguably the two best teams in the league.
Speaking of the Heat, the Atlanta Hawks are in a huge lookahead spot tonight. They have a game against the defending champion Miami Heat on deck, and they won't be able to help themselves but to look ahead to that game. Their lack of focus will allow the Jazz to not only cover, but possibly win this thing outright.
Atlanta is 1-10 ATS off two consecutive covers as a favorite over the past three seasons. The Hawks are 1-10 ATS off two straight wins by 10 points or more over the past three years. Atlanta is 13-30 ATS off two or more consecutive ATS wins over the last three season. The Hawks are 3-12 ATS in home games off two or more straight wins over the last two years. The Hawks are simply overvalued in this spot tonight. Roll with the Jazz Friday.
|12-19-13||Chicago Bulls v. Oklahoma City Thunder UNDER 193||Top||95-107||Loss||-110||9 h 8 m||Show|
20* Bulls/Thunder TNT Thursday No-Brainer on UNDER 193
I look for a low-scoring, defensive battle tonight between Oklahoma City and Chicago. That has been the case in recent meetings between these teams, and I look for that trend to continue with no Derrick Rose in this one.
Indeed, the UNDER is 4-0 in the last four meetings in this series and 7-1 in the last eight meetings. The Bulls and Thunder have combined to score 189 or fewer points in each of the last four meetings, averaging 180.3 combined points during this stretch.
Chicago actually matches up pretty well with Oklahoma City. The Bulls have two of the best perimeter defenders in the league in Luol Deng and Jimmy Butler to match up with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook when needed.
These are two of the best teams in the league defensively. The Bulls are giving up just 42.9% shooting, while the Thunder are allowing 42.0% shooting. Chicago ranks 5th in defensive efficiency at 97.7 points per 100 possessions, trailing 4th place Oklahoma City (97.4) in that category.
The Bulls are 20-9 to the UNDER when playing their 3rd game in 4 days over the past two seasons. The UNDER is 5-0 in Bulls last 5 games following a SU loss of more than 10 points. The UNDER is 6-0 in Bulls last 6 vs. a team with a winning S.U. record. The UNDER is 34-16-2 in Bulls last 52 Thursday games. The UNDER is 24-9-2 in Thunder last 35 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game. Bet the UNDER in this game Thursday.
|12-19-13||UC-Santa Barbara v. Troy State +14||57-54||Win||100||8 h 9 m||Show|
15* CBB Thursday PLAY OF THE DAY on Troy +14
The Cal-Santa Barbara Gauchos are getting too much respect from oddsmakers here as a 14-point favorite over Troy. They have a rematch with Utah State on deck tomorrow, and they will certainly be looking ahead to that contest and not giving Troy the attention it deserves.
The Trojans have played a couple of good teams tough this season to make be believe that they can hang with UCSB. They lost on the road to both Ole Miss (54-69) and UAB (69-81) as a 15-point underdog in each. That's the same UAB team that beat UNC.
Santa Barbara is a quality team, but it is getting too much respect for recent wins over Cal and San Diego. It has done most of its damage at home this season, and this will be a neutral court game played in Utah. The Gauchos do have three losses on the year, so they are clearly beatable.
The Trojans are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record. Troy is 6-0 ATS off a road loss in which it scored less than 60 points over the past two seasons. The Trojans are 18-7 ATS off a loss by 20 or more points since 1997. Take Troy Thursday.
|12-18-13||Chicago Bulls v. Houston Rockets UNDER 192||94-109||Loss||-100||10 h 16 m||Show|
15* Bulls/Rockets ESPN Wednesday Night BAILOUT on UNDER 192
In the second game of a double-header on ESPN, I fully expect a low-scoring, defensive battle between the Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets tonight. Both teams have been hurt by injuries this season. and those injuries are a big reason why this game will stay UNDER the posted total.
Chicago is without Derrick Rose and could be without point guard Kirk Hinrich, who is listed as questionable. it is scoring just 91.2 points per game on the season and 90.2 on the road. Fortunately, the defense has been dynamite, holding opponents to just 92.4 points per game this year.
The Rockets are expected to be without leading scorer James Harden, who is doubtful with an ankle injury. Also, Jeremy Lin is doubtful with a back injury, meaning that they'll likely be without their two starting guards. I look for them to play at a much slower pace than they normally would because of it, and to try and feed Dwight Howard inside in more half-court sets.
Points are going to be very hard to come by for both teams tonight due to these injuries. Chicago has been forced to play at a slow pace without Rose, ranking 28th in the league at 94.0 possessions per game. It also ranks 28th in offensive efficiency, averaging 95.0 points per 100 possessions. The only thing saving the Bulls is that they rank 3rd in the league in defensive efficiency, limiting opponents to 96.9 points per 100 possessions.
The UNDER is 5-1 in Bulls last six games overall with combined scores of 167, 152, 161, 181, 176 and 165 points. As you can see, they haven't even sniffed this 192-point total recently. The UNDER is 21-7 in Rockets last 28 home games. The UNDER is 10-1 in Rockets last 11 games when playing on 2 days rest. Take the UNDER in this game Wednesday.
|12-18-13||San Antonio Spurs v. Phoenix Suns +2.5||108-101||Loss||-100||10 h 46 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday Undervalued Underdog on Phoenix Suns +2.5
The Phoenix Suns continue to get no respect from the book as a home underdog to the San Antonio Spurs. I'll take advantage once again and back them in a game that I believe they are going to win outright.
Phoenix will be going for its sixth straight win, which would be its longest winning streak since the 2009-10 season. First-year head coach Jeff Hornacek has this team playing unselfish basketball with 10 different players that can beat you on a given night.
The result has been a 14-9 start with league-best 17-5-1 ATS mark. I have almost been more impressed with some of the Suns' losses this season than their wins. Seven of their nine losses have come by eight points or fewer, including road losses to San Antonio (96-99) and Oklahoma City (96-103) as double-digit underdogs.
Now, the Suns will be out for revenge on the Spurs, who are going to be playing without their best player. Tony Parker is expected to miss the next two games with a shin injury. He is the one player that the Spurs simply cannot afford to play without because the offense goes as he goes. They have no business being favored without Parker in the line-up.
Phoenix is 8-1 ATS in its last nine games vs. a team with a winning record. San Antonio is 0-5 ATS in its last five games vs. a team with a winning record. These two trends combine for a 13-1 system backing the Suns. Bet Phoenix Wednesday.
|12-18-13||Portland Trail Blazers v. Minnesota Timberwolves -1.5||Top||109-120||Win||100||9 h 46 m||Show|
20* NBA Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on Minnesota Timberwolves -1.5
The Portland Trail Blazers are simply overvalued right now due to their 22-4 start. I faded them last night with success by cashing in the Cavaliers +5 as the Blazers hit their second straight game-winner at the buzzer for a 3-point victory.
Not only does that set the Blazers up for a letdown spot here, it also has them coming in very tired. In fact, this will be the second of a back-to-back and the 4th game in 5 days for Portland. That is one of the toughest situations that a team can be in, and I look for that fatigue to show in Portland's play tonight.
There's no question that Minnesota is a vastly improved team in 2013-14. Kevin Love is healthy and has led the Timberwolves to a respectable 12-13 start. They have played their best basketball at home this season, going 7-4 while outscoring the opposition by 6.5 points per game.
Plays against favorites (PORTLAND) - after going over the total by more than 6 points in three consecutive games, vs. division opponents are 26-9 (74.3%) ATS over the last five seasons. The favorite is 17-6 ATS in the last 23 meetings in this series. The Timberwolves are 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 games following a S.U. loss. Minnesota is 14-5-1 ATS in its last 20 games following an ATS loss. Take the Timberwolves Wednesday.
|12-18-13||Indiana St +10 v. St. Louis||66-83||Loss||-108||8 h 44 m||Show|
15* CBB Wednesday Undervalued Underdog on Indiana State +10
The Saint Louis Billikens are way overvalued this season due to making the NCAA Tournament last year. Sure, they returned a lot of talent from that team, but asking them to beat a very good Indiana State team by double-digits tonight is asking too much.
The Sycamores have opened 7-2 this season and are two measly points away from being undefeated. Their two losses have both come on the road to Belmont (95-96) and Tulsa (62-63) by a single point. That's the same Belmont team that beat North Carolina on the road.
Indiana State really proved what it was capable of with an 83-70 win at Notre Dame as an 11-point underdog on November 17. This is a team that returned four starters from last year and will be underrated for most of the season, so it's important that you hop on board early to take advantage of the value.
The Sycamores are scoring 79.1 points per game while shooting 50% from the field, 44.8% from 3-point range, and 75.2% from the line. To compare, Saint Louis is scoring 70.5 points per game, shooting 43.7% from the field, 30.2% from 3-point range, and 70.7% from the charity stripe.
It's easy to see that Saint Louis is overvalued considering it is just 2-7 ATS in all lined games this season. The Billikens are 0-9 ATS off three straight games where both teams scored 70 points or less over the past two seasons. Bet Indiana State Wednesday.
|12-18-13||Charlotte Bobcats v. Toronto Raptors UNDER 191.5||104-102||Loss||-108||7 h 17 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday Total DOMINATOR on Bobcats/Raptors UNDER 191.5
The books have set the bar too high in this battle between the Charlotte Bobcats and Toronto Raptors tonight. I don't expect either team to reach 96 points in this one, which is what it would take for this game to go over the posted total.
Rudy Gay has been shipped to Sacramento, meaning that Toronto is going to have a transition period to get used to playing without its best scorer. It did fine against Chicago in a 99-77 victory last time out, but that win can be attributed to great defensive play.
Both teams play at extremely slow paces. Charlotte ranks 24th in the league in pace at 95.4 possessions per game, while Toronto ranks 20th in pace at 96.1 possessions per game. Both rank in the bottom half of the league in offensive efficiency as well. Charlotte is 29th at 94.6 points per 100 possessions, while Toronto is 19th at 101.1 points per 100 possessions.
Surprisingly, both teams rank in the top half of the league in defensive efficiency. Charlotte is 4th in the league, giving up 97.1 points per 100 possessions. Toronto is 11th at 100.9 points per 100 possessions allowed. These teams played in a defensive battle in their first meeting of the season on November 6 as Charlotte won 92-90 at home for 182 combined points. I expect a similar combined points total here.
Plays on the UNDER on home teams where the total is between 190 and 199.5 points (TORONTO) - revenging a same season loss vs opponent, off a road blowout win by 20 points or more are 35-11 (76.1%) since 1996. Charlotte is 16-3 to the UNDER in a road game where where the total is between 190 and 194.5 points over the last three seasons. The UNDER is 8-0 in Bobcats last eight games after giving up 10 or less offensive rebounds in two straight games. Roll with the UNDER in this game Wednesday.
|12-18-13||Indiana Pacers v. Miami Heat UNDER 190.5||Top||94-97||Loss||-110||8 h 47 m||Show|
20* Pacers/Heat ESPN Wednesday No-Brainer on UNDER 190.5
As was the case in the first meeting of the season between the Pacers and Heat, the oddsmakers have set the bar too high. The total was set at 191.5 for that game, and the Pacers won by a final of 90-84 for 174 combined points.
These teams are very familiar with one another having played in the Eastern Conference Finals in seven games this past season. Familiarity breeds low-scoring games. The UNDER is now 4-0 in the last four meetings with combined scores of 175 or fewer points in each.
Indiana ranks 23rd in the league in pace at 95.6 possessions per game. Miami actually ranks in the bottom half of the league in pace at 18th with 96.6 possessions per game. Indiana ranks 1st in defensive efficiency, giving up 93.6 points per 100 possessions. Miami is 6th in defensive efficiency at 98.5 points per 100 possessions.
The UNDER is 11-1 in Pacers last 12 games when playing on one day of rest. The UNDER is 4-0 in Pacers last four vs. a team with a winning record. The UNDER is 6-0 in Heat last six home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600. The UNDER is 4-0 in Heat last four vs. a team with a winning record. The UNDER is 4-0 in the last four meetings. These five trends combine for a 29-1 system backing the UNDER. Bet the UNDER in this game Wednesday.
|12-18-13||Texas +11 v. North Carolina||86-83||Win||100||7 h 55 m||Show|
15* Texas/UNC ESPN 2 Holiday Hoops ANNIHILATOR on Texas +11
The Texas Longhorns are one of the most underrated teams in the league this year. They have gone completely under the radar while opening the season 9-1. They have won five straight since their lone loss of the season to then-No. 25 BYU.
Center Cameron Ridley scored a game-high 22, while freshman point guard Isaiah Taylor added 15 points and eight assists without a turnover in an 85-53 win over Texas State Saturday. The Longhorns featured a balanced offensive attack with five players averaging double figures scoring.
North Carolina is in a massive letdown spot here. It is coming off an 82-77 home win over then-No. 11 Kentucky, and I look for it to suffer a letdown off such a big victory. Remember, the Tar Heels lost to UAB and Belmont earlier this season, so they are vulnerable. They are simply getting too much respect here as a double-digit favorite due to the Kentucky win.
Rick Barnes and Texas have gone 4-1 against Roy Williams and North Carolina in their last five meetings. That includes an 85-67 home win for the Longhorns last year despite behind a 5-point underdog. That Texas team wasn't nearly as good as this year's version.
The Longhorns are 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings with UNC. North Carolina is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games following a win. The Tar Heels are 1-5 ATS in their last six vs. Big 12 foes. UNC is 1-4 ATS in its last five home games vs. a team with a winning road record. Roll with Texas Wednesday.
|12-17-13||Memphis v. Florida -3||75-77||Loss||-110||10 h 58 m||Show|
15* Memphis/Florida ESPN Tuesday No-Brainer on Florida -3
Now that they have finally gotten healthy and have all their key players back from suspension, the Florida Gators are going to be a very dangerous team going forward. They proved that last time out with a 67-61 victory over Kansas, and I look for them to build off that win with another triumph over Memphis tonight.
Florida has opened 7-2 this season with its only two losses coming on the road to Wisconsin (53-59) and UConn (64-65). As you may know, both Wisconsin (12-0) and UConn (9-0) remain undefeated this season. The loss to the Badgers came without some key players, while the loss to the Huskies game on a game-winning buzzer-beater.
Memphis (7-1) is a quality team that is improved this season, but I just believe that Florida is on a completely different playing field. The 80-101 loss at Oklahoma State early in the season shows me that the Tigers aren't ready to compete with the best teams in college basketball. Sure, they would beat the Cowboys in their second meeting, but that was obviously a letdown spot for OSU.
The Gators are 15-7 ATS in their last 22 games following a ATS win. Florida is 4-1 ATS in its last five games overall. Memphis is 4-9 ATS in its last 13 vs. SEC foes. The Tigers are 0-4 ATS in their last four Tuesday games. Billy Donovan is 54-37 ATS when the line is +3 to -3 as the coach of the Gators. Roll with Florida Tuesday.
|12-17-13||Portland Trailblazers v. Cleveland Cavaliers +5||Top||119-116||Win||100||8 h 44 m||Show|
20* NBA Tuesday PLAY OF THE DAY on Cleveland Cavaliers +5
The Cleveland Cavaliers come into this game playing their best basketball of the season. I look for them to knock off the red-hot Portland Trail Blazers tonight, but I'll take the points for some added insurance.
Cleveland has won five of its last seven games overall while going 6-1 ATS in the process. Its only losses during this stretch came on the road to Atlanta and Miami, which are two of only three teams with winning records in the Eastern Conference. The Cavs area perfect 4-0 at home during this stretch, beating Chicago, Denver, New York and the Clippers.
Portland is simply overvalued due to its 21-4 start. There's no question they are improved this season, but the Blazers have created expectations for themselves that they cannot live up to. Plus, this will be their 3rd game in 4 days, while the Cavaliers come in on two days' rest since a 107-114 loss at Miami as a 13-point underdog on Saturday.
Mike Brown is 56-29 ATS after successfully covering the spread in three or more consecutive games in all games he has coached. Terry Stotts is 22-39 ATS off a road win in all games he has coached. The Blazers are 0-7 ATS in their last seven Tuesday games. The Cavs are 4-0 ATS in their last four home games. Bet Cleveland Tuesday.
|12-17-13||St Bonaventure v. Wake Forest -6||62-77||Win||100||7 h 28 m||Show|
15* CBB Tuesday No-Doubt Rout on Wake Forest -6
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons are much-improved this season and will be making a run at the NCAA Tournament. Jeff Bzdelik returned four starters from last year, and this is a sleeper team to look out for in the ACC.
The Demon Deacons have opened 8-2 this season with their only losses coming to very good Kansas and Tennessee teams on a neutral court. They are a perfect 7-0 at home this year, which includes a solid win over Richmond (76-66) last time out as only a 1-point favorite.
St. Bonaventure may be 7-3 this season, but it really has played a soft schedule It has not beaten anyone of any significance this year. It has lost to Siena, Louisiana Tech and Buffalo, while barely escaping with victories over Wagner (70-67) and UMass-Lowell (67-58). Leading scorer Matthew Wright (17.3 ppg) is questionable to play tonight with an ankle injury after missing Saturday's game against Iona.
Wake Forest is 7-1 ATS in its last eight games vs. Atlantic 10 opponents. The Demon Deacons are 7-2 ATS in their last nine non-conference games. Wake Forest is 12-4 ATS in its last 16 home games. Take Wake Forest Tuesday.
|12-16-13||Baltimore Ravens +7 v. Detroit Lions||Top||18-16||Win||100||10 h 35 m||Show|
20* Ravens/Lions ESPN Monday No-Brainer on Baltimore +7
The Baltimore Ravens come in playing their best football of the season. They have won three straight and four of their last five to put themselves in prime position to make the playoffs. Their only loss during this stretch came at Chicago as a 3.5-point underdog by a final of 20-23 in overtime. They now control their own destiny in the AFC Wild Card race, knowing that if they win out they will be in the playoffs. They also still have a chance to catch Cincinnati for the AFC North Title.
Baltimore has played in so many close games this season that this 7-point spread is simply too much to pass up the underdog Ravens. Indeed, nine of the Ravens