|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|01-22-14||Texas Tech +7.5 v. West Virginia||81-87||Win||100||8 h 59 m||Show|
15* Big 12 PLAY OF THE DAY on Texas Tech +7.5
This is a classic revenge game for the Texas Tech Red Raiders, who lost at home to West Virginia by a final of 86-89 on January 6. Two weeks later, the Red Raiders will be out for payback tonight.
Texas Tech has been playing great since that defeat. After falling at Texas 64-67 as a 10-point underdog, it came back and beat Baylor at home 82-72 as a 5-point dog, while also topping TCU on the road 60-49 as a 2-point favorite.
West Virginia has been overrated all season, and it continues to be tonight. This team simply isn't that good, and that has shown in the last three games. It fell at home to Oklahoma State (72-73) and Texas (69-80) before getting throttled on the road at Kansas State (56-78).
Each of the last three meetings in this series have been decided by 3 points or less. The Mountaineers are 13-29-1 ATS in their last 43 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record. WVU is 7-22-1 ATS in its last 30 home games. The Mountaineers are 2-11 ATS in their last 13 games following a S.U. loss. The road team is a perfect 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings. Bet Texas Tech Wednesday.
|01-22-14||Philadelphia 76ers v. New York Knicks OVER 204||Top||110-106||Win||100||8 h 34 m||Show|
20* NBA TOTAL OF THE WEEK on 76ers/Knicks OVER 204
The Philadelphia 76ers have gone under the total in five straight games heading into this showdown with New York. As a result, the books have been forced to set the bar too low in what I believe will be an absolute shootout tonight.
Philadelphia is combining with its opponents to average 211.1 points per game this season, which is 7.1 points more than tonight's posted total. The 76ers play at the fastest pace in the league with 102.4 possessions per game.
Neither team has been good defensively this season. Philadelphia ranks 24th in defensive efficiency, giving up 105.6 points per 100 possessions, and 109.9 points per game on the year. New York ranks 27th in defensive efficiency, yielding 105.9 points per 100 possessions.
The 76ers are 38-19 to the OVER in their last 57 road games with a total set between 200 and 204.5 points. The OVER is 9-3 in 76ers last 12 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400. The OVER is 10-4 in Knicks last 14 games following a loss. Bet the OVER in this game Wednesday.
|01-22-14||Dallas Mavericks v. Toronto Raptors UNDER 202||85-93||Win||100||7 h 4 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday Total DOMINATOR on Mavs/Raptors UNDER 202
The books have set the bar too high tonight in this contest between Dallas and Toronto. These teams played in a 109-108 overtime thriller in their first meeting of the season, and it's going to take overtime again to push this total over the number.
After giving up 94 or fewer points in six straight and nine of their last 10, the Raptors have allowed 100-plus points in each of their last two games, both losses. They can point to their defense for the defeats, and I look for them to get back to playing the excellent D that they have been all year tonight.
Toronto will control the tempo playing at home tonight. It ranks 23rd in the league in pace at 94.7 possessions per game. The key to Toronto's turnaround this season has been its defense. It ranks 6th in the league in defensive efficiency, yielding just 100.2 points per 100 possessions.
Plays on the UNDER on all teams where the total is 200 to 209.5 (DALLAS) - 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 75-30 (71.4%) over the last five seasons. The UNDER is 5-0 in Mavs last five vs. Eastern Conference. The UNDER is 5-1-1 in the last seven meetings in Toronto. Take the UNDER in this game Wednesday.
|01-21-14||Clemson +11 v. Pittsburgh||43-76||Loss||-102||8 h 52 m||Show|
15* ACC PLAY OF THE DAY on Clemson +11
The Clemson Tigers are one of the most underrated teams in the country this season. Quietly, they have gotten off to a 13-4 start this season and have proven their worth in ACC play. They have opened 4-1 in the conference, which includes a win over Duke.
Pittsburgh is a much-improved team this season as well, but it is way overvalued here and has been for much of the season. It has gone just 2-8-1 ATS in its last 11 lined games, time and time again failing to cover lofty spreads.
The Panthers are coming off a huge loss to Syracuse by a final of 54-59 over the weekend. I fully expect them to suffer a hangover from that defeat as it will be tough to bounce back emotionally from such a close defeat.
Plays against home favorites of 10 to 19.5 points (PITTSBURGH) - after scoring 60 points or less against opponent after 2 straight games where both teams score 65 points or less are 44-15 (74.6%) ATS over the last five seasons. Pittsburgh is 1-12 ATS after three straight games outrebounding opponent by six or more over the last three seasons. Take Clemson Tuesday.
|01-21-14||Boston Celtics +9.5 v. Miami Heat||Top||86-93||Win||100||8 h 37 m||Show|
20* NBA Eastern Conference GAME OF THE WEEK on Boston Celtics +9.5
The Boston Celtics are showing tremendous value as a big road underdog to the Miami Heat tonight. They catch the Heat playing their worst basketball of the season, and I look for them to give the defending champs a run for their money.
Indeed, Miami has lost four of its last six games overall. Now, it is in a very tough situation returning home from a six-game road trip. Making matters worse for the Heat is the fact that they'll be playing the second of a back-to-back and their 4th game in 5 days.
Despite being on a tough run of late, Boston has shown some fight. It has covered the spread in five of its last eight games overall, which includes losses at the Clippers (105-111) as an 11-point dog, at the Warriors (97-99) as an 11.5-point dog, and at the Blazers (104-112) as a 12-point dog. The Celtics have lost their last four road games all by 8 points or less.
Boston beat Miami 111-110 on the road in their first meeting of the season. Plays against home teams (MIAMI) - revenging a loss where opponent scored 110 or more points, extremely tired team - playing their 4th game in 5 days are 28-6 (82.4%) ATS over the last five seasons. Bet the Celtics Tuesday.
|01-21-14||Indiana +12 v. Michigan State||66-71||Win||100||7 h 51 m||Show|
15* Big Ten PLAY OF THE DAY on Indiana +12
The Indiana Hoosiers will be highly motivated for a win tonight when they head to East Lansing to take on the Michigan State Spartans. Not only do they have revenge in mind, but they also want to get the sour taste out of their mouths from an ugly loss last time out.
Indiana lost 56-73 at home to Michigan State on January 4 just over two weeks ago. There's no question it wants payback from that defeat. Off a big win over Wisconsin, it was only human nature that the Hoosiers would let down against Northwestern last game, and it cost them as they lost outright. The Spartans will have their full attention.
Michigan State is way overvalued right now due to its 10-game winning streak heading into this game. Plus, the Spartans are expected to be without their best player in Adreian Payne (16.2 ppg, 7.7 rpg), who is listed as doubtful with a foot injury.
Indiana is 5-1-1 (83%) ATS in its last seven road games. Tom Izzo is 30-47 ATS after covering five or six of their last seven games as the coach of Michigan State. Roll with Indiana Tuesday.
|01-20-14||Indiana Pacers v. Golden State Warriors +1.5||102-94||Loss||-110||12 h 22 m||Show|
15* Pacers/Warriors TNT Late-Night BAILOUT on Golden State +1.5
The Golden State Warriors should not be an underdog at home to the Indiana Pacers tonight. I'll gladly take advantage and back them at a great price in a game that I believe they win with ease.
After losing two of their last three games overall to the Nuggets and Thunder, I look for the Warriors to try and make a statement tonight. The defensive intensity will be there after giving up massive point totals to both the Nuggets (123) and Thunder (127).
Indiana comes in overvalued due to winning four straight games coming in. All four of those wins came at home, but the Pacers have proven to be beatable on the road, posting an 11-6 record. Golden State is 12-5 at home this season.
Plays against road favorites (INDIANA) - after having covered 4 of their last 5 against the spread, a top-level team (>=75%) playing a team with a winning record are 60-25 (70.6%) ATS since 1996.
Home-court advantage has been huge in this series. The home team has won 11 of the last 12 meetings in this series. The home team is also 9-2 ATS in the last 11 meetings. Take the Warriors Monday.
|01-20-14||Baylor +10.5 v. Kansas||68-78||Win||100||11 h 47 m||Show|
15* Baylor/Kansas ESPN Monday No-Brainer on Baylor +10.5
The Baylor Bears will be a highly motivated team tonight when they take on the Kansas Jayhawks. They are way undervalued due to losing three of their first four games in Big 12 play, and I'll gladly take advantage by backing them as a double-digit dog here.
At 13-4 and with wins over Colorado, Dayton, and Kentucky all away from home, I have no doubt that Baylor is still one of the better teams in the country. I look for the Bears to prove that tonight against what is perceived to be as the best team in the Big 12.
After a 4-0 start in conference play, I have no doubt that Kansas is overvalued in this one. Three of those wins came by seven points or less, so it is fortunate to have this record. Remember, the Jayhawks have lost four games this season, including a home loss to San Diego State.
The road team is 13-3 ATS in the last 16 meetings in this series. Baylor is a very profitable 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings in Kansas. Clearly, the Bears have not minded playing in Lawrence at all. Roll with Baylor Monday.
|01-20-14||Miami Heat -5 v. Atlanta Hawks||Top||114-121||Loss||-110||7 h 22 m||Show|
20* NBA Monday No-Doubt Rout on Miami Heat -5
The Miami Heat are back on track with two straight wins over Philadelphia and Charlotte. I look for them to cap off their current six-game road trip with a blowout victory at Atlanta after starting the trip on a three-game skid.
Since losing star center Al Horford, the Atlanta Hawks have really struggled. They have lost five of their last seven games overall while going 2-5 ATS in the process. This team was already lacking talent even with Horford, but without him they're in a world of hurt.
Plays on road favorites (MIAMI) - off a road win against a division rival, tired team - playing their 3rd road game in 5 days are 42-12 (77.8%) ATS since 1996.
Miami is 11-1 ATS in a road game where the total is between 200 and 204.5 over the last two seasons. Atlanta is 9-21 ATS when playing only its 2nd game in 5 days over the last two years. The Hawks are 0-5 ATS in their last five games playing on three or more days rest. Bet the Heat Monday.
|01-19-14||Denver Nuggets v. Phoenix Suns +1||103-117||Win||100||23 h 0 m||Show|
15* NBA Sunday PLAY OF THE DAY on Phoenix Suns +1
After losing four of their last five games overall, the Phoenix Suns will be highly motivated for a victory when they host the Denver Nuggets on Sunday. I look for them to continue their dominance of this team and to get right back on track.
Phoenix is a very solid 22-17 on the season, which includes two wins over Denver already. It won 114-103 at home on November 8, and 103-99 on the road on December 20. The Suns are now 24-8 straight up in their last 32 home meetings with the Nuggets.
The Suns are a very solid 13-6 at home this season, while the Nuggets are just 9-10 on the road and have historically struggled away from home. The Nuggets just lost at home to Cleveland last time out, and they are 2-7 ATS in their last nine games following a S.U. loss.
Denver is 4-15 ATS in its last 19 road games after scoring 55 or more points in the first half of two straight games. Phoenix is 8-1-1 ATS in its last 10 games vs. Northwest Division opponents. The Suns are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games following an ATS loss. Phoenix is 20-6-1 ATS in its last 27 games when playing on one days' rest. Roll with the Suns Sunday.
|01-19-14||Oregon -2.5 v. Oregon State||72-80||Loss||-106||23 h 55 m||Show|
15* Oregon/OSU CBB Sunday Night BAILOUT on Oregon -2.5
The Oregon Ducks opened the season 13-0 and were rolling. Three straight losses later to Colorado, Cal and Stanford, and this team is searching for itself. Due to this 3-game skid, I look for the Ducks to be even more motivated than usual as they do battle with in-state rival Oregon State in the Civil War Sunday.
I have no doubt that Oregon is still one of the best teams in the country despite this recent skid, and I look for it to show it tonight. This team is simply undervalued right now due to the streak and the six straight losses against the spread as well, and now is the time to pounce.
Oregon State (9-7) is clearly overvmatched in this one. Its true colors have shown as the schedule has gotten tougher of late, losing five of its last eight games overall. Oregon won both meetings by double-digits last year to improve to 24-8 straight up against Oregon State since 1997. The Ducks are 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings in Oregon State.
Oregon is 7-0 ATS in road games versus good shooting teams that make 45% or more of their shots after 15-plus games over the last three seasons. Oregon State is 14-37 ATS in its last 51 home games following a home loss. The Ducks are 6-1-1 ATS in their last eight road games. Bet Oregon Sunday.
|01-19-14||San Francisco 49ers +4 v. Seattle Seahawks||Top||17-23||Loss||-105||116 h 58 m||Show|
25* NFL Playoffs GAME OF THE YEAR on San Francisco 49ers +4
The San Francisco 49ers have had to go on a much more difficult path to reach the NFC Championship Game. Despite winning 12 games during the regular season, they had to go on the road in the first two rounds. After dominating Green Bay in the box score but only winning 23-20 in the Wild Card Round, they continued their momentum with a 23-10 win at Carolina in the Divisional Round.
San Francisco has now made the NFC Championship Game for a third consecutive season in the first three years under Jim Harbaugh. It is more prepared to handle the pressure of this game than Seattle, which hasn
|01-19-14||New England Patriots v. Denver Broncos -4||16-26||Win||100||113 h 37 m||Show|
15* Patriots/Broncos AFC Championship No-Brainer on Denver -4
Denver got the monkey off its back by beating the San Diego Chargers in the Divisional Round. This game wasn
|01-18-14||Louisville v. Connecticut +2||76-64||Loss||-110||12 h 31 m||Show|
15* Louisville/UConn ESPN Saturday Night BAILOUT on Connecticut +2
The UConn Huskies have been undervalued for most of this season. That is certainly the case again here tonight as they are a home underdog to the defending champion Louisville Cardinals. I'll gladly take advantage.
I've seen enough from the Huskies to know that this team can beat anyone in the country. It has racked up neutral court wins over Maryland and Indiana, home wins over Florida and Harvard, and road wins over Washington and Memphis. That's an impressive slate.
Louisville is 0-3 against the best three opponents that it has faced this season in UNC, Kentucky and Memphis. I would argue that it doesn't have a good win yet considering all of its wins have come as a favorite of 13.5 points or more. It is short-handed as well as it is playing without Chane Behanan (dismissed from team) and third-leading scorer Chris Jones (11.3 ppg).
UConn is 8-1 ATS versus good teams who outscore their opponents by 4-plus points per game after 15-plus games over the last two seasons. The Huskies are 8-1 at home this season, outscoring opponents by 16.1 points per game. The Cardinals are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS win. The Huskies are 18-5 ATS in their last 23 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600. Roll with UConn Saturday.
|01-18-14||Golden State Warriors v. New Orleans Pelicans UNDER 204.5||97-87||Win||100||9 h 15 m||Show|
15* NBA Saturday Total DOMINATOR on Warriors/Pelicans UNDER 204.5
After back-to-back poor defensive performances in giving up 123 points to Denver and 127 to Oklahoma City, you can bet that head coach Mark Jackson isn't going to stand for it. He'll get after his team, and the Warriors will respond with a much better effort defensively tonight.
Making matters easier for the Warriors is the fact that they'll be playing against a New Orleans team that is short-handed right now. The Pelicans are without leading scorer Ryan Anderson (19.8 ppg) and starting point guard Jrue Holiday (14.3 ppg, 7.9 apg). They may also be without fifth-leading scorer Tyreke Evans (12.6 ppg), who is questionable with an ankle injury.
New Orleans has really struggled offensively of late. It has scored 96 or fewer points in six of its last eight games overall. Golden State had given up 102 or fewer in five straight games before its last two poor performances.
Each of the last four meetings in this series have seen 203 or fewer combined points with totals of 197, 203, 186 and 165 points, respectively. Dating back further, nine of the last 10 meetings have seen 203 or less points, making for a 90% system backing the UNDER pertaining to tonight's total set. Bet the UNDER in this game Saturday.
|01-18-14||George Washington v. St Bonaventure -3||Top||79-71||Loss||-110||10 h 16 m||Show|
25* Atlantic 10 GAME OF THE YEAR on St. Bonaventure -3
St. Bonaventure is one of the better teams in the country that not too many folks know about. Despite being just 11-6 on the season, this team is favored for good reason over George Washington (14-3) tonight.
All six of the Bonnies' losses have come on the road this season with five of them coming by 6 points or less. That includes back-to-back impressive losses at UMass (68-73) as a 7-point dog and at Saint Louis (60-66) as an 11-point dog. They'll clearly be motivated to get back in the win column today.
You have to like their chances considering the Bonnies are a perfect 7-0 at home this season, outscoring opponents by an average of 18.0 points per game. All three of George Washington's losses have come on the road this year. Off a massive win over VCU earlier this week, the Colonials are in line for a colossal letdown today.
GW is 0-6 ATS in its last six road games versus good teams that outscore their opponents by 4 or more points per game after 15-plus games. St. Bonaventure is 6-0 ATS after allowing 30 points or less in the first half of two straight games this season. The Colonials are 7-21 ATS in their last 28 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Bonnies are 23-8 ATS in their last 31 home games, and 8-1 ATS in their last nine games following a loss by 6 points or fewer. Bet St. Bonaventure Saturday.
|01-18-14||Dartmouth v. St John's -13||55-69||Win||100||9 h 15 m||Show|
15* CBB Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on St. John's -13
The St. John's Red Storm (9-8) are going to be highly motivated for a win today. As a result, I'll back them as a generous 13-point favorite against Dartmouth (7-7) Saturday.
The Red Storm may be the best team in the country that has eight losses or more on the season. This is a team that returned all five starters from last year and was expected to be improved, but after a slow start, they are undervalued right now.
St. John's is coming off five straight losses against a brutal schedule, and it wants to take out its frustration today. Six of its eight losses have come by 10 points or less, and five of them have come against Wisconsin, Syracuse, Xavier, Georgetown and Villanova.
This is a Dartmouth team that has home losses to Vermont (53-62), Hartford (56-68) and Bryant (56-68), as well as a road loss to IUPU-FT Wayne (64-80) among its seven losses overall. Those results allow me to believe that they have no chance of hanging with the motivated Red Storm today.
Plays on favorites of 10 or more points (ST JOHNS) - off 2 or more consecutive losses as a favorite, with a winning percentage of between 45-55% on the season are 29-6 (82.9%) ATS since 1997. Take St. John's Saturday.
|01-18-14||Iowa State -1.5 v. Texas||76-86||Loss||-110||7 h 15 m||Show|
15* CBB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Iowa State -1.5
Off back-to-back losses for their first two defeats of the season, I am backing the Iowa State Cyclones to bounce back with a road win at Texas Saturday. This is a serious contender to win the Big 12, and it cannot afford a third straight loss if it wants to accomplish that feat.
Texas is coming off back-to-back wins, including a victory at West Virginia last time out. This is a quality team and one that is better than most expected coming into the season, but I believe it is overvalued due to the solid start. This team is a bit of a fraud and will fade as the Big 12 season rolls along.
Iowa State shot just 31.4% against Kansas while giving up 49.2% shooting to the Jayhawks, yet still only lost 70-77. Even playing their worst game Monday, the Cyclones still had a chance to win that game in the end.
The Cyclones are a perfect 6-0 ATS after having lost two of their last three games over the last three seasons. They are coming back to win by 14.1 points per game in this spot. Iowa State is also 6-0 ATS after failing to cover the spread in two or more consecutive games over the last two years. It is winning by 14.6 points per game in this spot. Bet Iowa State Saturday.
|01-18-14||Marquette v. Butler||Top||57-69||Win||100||5 h 16 m||Show|
20* Big East GAME OF THE MONTH on Butler PK
The Butler Bulldogs will be more motivated for a win today than they have been at any point in the season thus far. That's why I'm going to back them at a very generous price as a pick 'em at home against Marquette Saturday.
Butler has lost five straight games coming in with three of those losses coming by five points or less, including setbacks to Villanova (73-76) and Georgetown (67-70). It is ready to put an end to this skid, which has been the result of a brutal schedule and poor fortune in close games more than anything.
Marquette is just 1-4 in true road games this season. I really believe that the Bulldogs are going to be the more motivated team here because they lost both meetings to the Golden Eagles last year by a combined three points, including a 72-74 setback in the NCAA Tournament. They want revenge this year.
The Golden Eagles are 0-8 ATS in their last eight vs. Big East opponents. Marquette is 0-6 ATS in its last six games overall. The Golden Eagles are 0-5 ATS in their last five games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record. These three trends combine for a 19-0 system going against Marquette. Also, the Bulldogs are 16-6 ATS in their last 22 games following an ATS loss. Take Butler Saturday.
|01-18-14||West Virginia v. Kansas State -4.5||56-78||Win||100||5 h 1 m||Show|
15* Big 12 PLAY OF THE DAY on Kansas State -4.5
The Kansas State Wildcats get the call Saturday as a small home favorite over the West Virginia Mountaineers. This is one of the most underrated teams in the country, and they continue to lack the respect they deserve from the books.
That has been very evident of late as the Wildcats have gone a healthy 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games overall. That includes wins over the likes of Ole Miss, Gonzaga, George Washington, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma.
I'm just not sold on West Virginia (10-7), which is getting too much respect from the books here. It has lost its last two games to Oklahoma State and Texas at home. I think its two narrow road wins over TCU and Texas Tech by a combined eight points to open the Big 12 season have it overvalued.
Kansas State is 9-1 at home this season, winning by an average of 11.2 points per game. The Wildcats are 9-1 ATS in home games versus good teams who outscore their opponents by 4-plus points per game over the last two seasons. The Mountaineers are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 games following a S.U. loss.
The Wildcats are 6-0 ATS in their last six home games. The Mountaineers are 9-23-1 ATS in their last 33 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Kansas State is 8-1 ATS in its last nine games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record. The Wildcats are 20-6-1 ATS in their last 27 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. Roll with Kansas State Saturday.
|01-17-14||Dallas Mavericks v. Phoenix Suns +2||110-107||Loss||-105||9 h 15 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday Night Line Mistake on Phoenix Suns +2
The Phoenix Suns are showing tremendous value as a home underdog to the Dallas Mavericks Friday. They are a home underdog and really should not be. But just like they have been all season, this team is getting overlooked.
Indeed, Phoenix is 22-16 straight up on the year and a very healthy 25-12 ATS. This team has the best ATS mark in the entire league, which is the ultimate sign that a team is undervalued.
Dallas is coming off a big loss at the Los Angeles Clippers by a final of 127-129, and it will suffer a hangover off that defeat. That's especially the case considering it has a huge game against Portland on deck tomorrow night. It will be looking ahead to that contest as well.
Phoenix is 13-5 straight up at home this season. Plays on home underdog (Phoenix) off a home win, in January games are 54-20 (73%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Suns are 17-6 ATS as an underdog this season. Phoenix is 20-5-1 ATS in its last 26 games when playing on 1 days rest. The Suns are 14-3 ATS in their last 17 games following an ATS loss. Roll with Phoenix Friday.
|01-17-14||Chicago Bulls +4.5 v. Washington Wizards||Top||93-96||Win||100||7 h 26 m||Show|
25* NBA Eastern Conference GAME OF THE YEAR on Chicago Bulls +4.5
The Washington Wizards are in a massive letdown spot tonight. They not only beat the defending champion Miami Heat last time out, they destroyed them 114-97. They are certainly feeling good about themselves heading into this game with Chicago tonight.
The Wizards are primed for a huge letdown following that win. Adding to the letdown factor is the fact that Washington beat Chicago 102-88 on the road on January 13 just five days ago. I really believe the Wizards won't even show up tonight.
The Bulls, meanwhile, will be out for revenge from that loss earlier this week. This team has been playing great, but it continues to get disrespected. The Bulls have won six of their last seven games overall behind the most underrated head coach in the business in Tom Thibodeau.
Plays against favorites (WASHINGTON) - in a game involving two average teams (+/- 3 PPG differential.), after a blowout win by 15 points or more are 72-33 (68.6%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Bulls are 36-16 ATS in their last 52 Friday games. Chicago is 7-2 ATS in its last nine vs. a team with a losing record. Washington is 1-6 ATS in its last seven Friday game. The Wizards are 1-4 ATS in their last five home games. Bet the Bulls Friday.
|01-17-14||Minnesota Timberwolves +2 v. Toronto Raptors||89-94||Loss||-104||8 h 41 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday Undervalued Underdog on Minnesota Timberwolves +2
The Minnesota Timberwolves are a well-rested team. This will only be their second game in five days, so they'll be ready to go tonight. This is the best team in the league that currently has a losing record, without question.
In fact, the Timberwolves are 0-11 in games decided by four points or less this season. That's how close they are to being a 29-9 team rather than an 18-20 one. Due to having a losing record, this team is going to be showing great value going forward.
I have been big on Toronto for much of the season, but it should not be a favorite against Minnesota tonight. The Raptors are one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, but they aren't better than a middle-of-the-pack team from the West.
Minnesota is 8-1 ATS off an upset loss as a favorite this season. It is coming back to win 114.7 to 100.6 in this spot, or by an average of 14.1 points per game. The Timberwolves are 7-0 ATS off a home loss this year, winning 118.4 to 98.3 in this spot, or by an average of 20.1 points per game. Take the Timberwolves Friday.
|01-16-14||Oklahoma City Thunder v. Houston Rockets -2||104-92||Loss||-109||11 h 37 m||Show|
15* Thunder/Rockets TNT Thursday BAILOUT on Houston -2
The Houston Rockets are going to be out for revenge in a big way tonight when they welcome the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Toyota Center. That's why I'm not concerned that they'll be playing the second of a back-to-back, because they'll want this one enough that fatigue will not be a factor.
The reason Houston is going to be extra motivated is not only the fact that it lost to Oklahoma City in six games in the playoffs last year, but also that it suffered its worst loss of 2013-14 to the Thunder as well. The Rockets fell 86-117 on December 29 in Oklahoma City.
The biggest difference from then and now is that the Thunder no longer have Russell Westbrook. They clearly aren't even close to the same team without their start point guard. In fact, the Thunder have lost five of their last eight games overall with their three wins coming against Boston, Minnesota and Milwaukee.
Houston is 15-5 at home this season where it is outscoring opponents by 8.3 points per game. The Rockets are 20-7 ATS in their last 27 games off a road non-cover where the team won straight up as a favorite. Houston is 34-16 ATS in its last 50 games off a road win by 3 points or less. The Rockets are 29-12 ATS in their last 41 home games off a road win against a division rival. Houston is 37-15-3 ATS in its last 55 Thursday games. Take the Rockets Thursday.
|01-16-14||Nebraska-Omaha +13 v. North Dakota State||69-91||Loss||-110||8 h 23 m||Show|
15* CBB Thursday Night Line Mistake on Nebraska-Omaha +13
Nebraska-Omaha is one of those teams from a small conference that the betting public has not caught onto. The Mavericks have been a covering machine, going 6-2 ATS this season, and I'll continue to ride them showing tremendous value tonight.
This is a Nebraska-Omaha team that returned four starters from last season. It is led by three absolute studs in John Karhoff (14.4 ppg), CJ Carter (14.1 ppg) and Devin Patterson (12.1 ppg). The Mavericks are averaging 83.3 points per game this season and shooting 78.6% from the free throw line.
North Dakota State also returns a lot of talent from last season, but this team is simply overvalued tonight. The Bison have failed to cover the spread in three of their last five games overall, which includes a 71-82 loss at IUPU-FT Wayne despite being a 7-point favorite.
NDSU is 0-7 ATS versus very good teams - outscoring their opponents by 8+ points/game after 15+ games over the last 3 seasons. Omaha has not lost by more than 13 points yet this season, which includes covers at Iowa (75-83) as a 29.5-point dog, at UNLV (70-73) as a 14-point dog, at Minnesota (79-92) as a 16-point dog, and at Hawaii (73-77) as a 9-point dog. Roll with Nebraska-Omaha Thursday.
|01-16-14||New York Knicks +10.5 v. Indiana Pacers||Top||89-117||Loss||-110||8 h 7 m||Show|
20* Knicks/Pacers TNT Thursday No-Brainer on New York +10.5
The New York Knicks get the nod Thursday as a double-digit underdog to the Indiana Pacers. They have really turned it around of late and are playing their best basketball of the season heading into tonight's contest.
New York has won five of its last six games overall, which includes victories over the likes of Dallas, Miami and Phoenix. The big reason for the turnaround has been the return of health to both Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton.
The motivation factor is clearly going to be on the Knicks' side in this one. They lost in six games to Indiana in the playoffs last season, and they also fell in overtime 96-103 in their first meeting of the 2013-14 campaign. New York is going to be out for blood tonight.
Plays against home favorites (INDIANA) - top caliber team - outscoring their opponents by 9+ points/game against opponent after allowing 105 points or more are 31-6 (83.8%) ATS over the last five seasons. New York is 20-0 ATS revenging a loss where opponents scored 100 or more points over the last two seasons. Bet the Knicks Thursday.
|01-16-14||Houston +18 v. Louisville||52-91||Loss||-110||7 h 24 m||Show|
15* CBB Thursday Undervalued Underdog on Houston +18
The defending champion Louisville Cardinals are once again overvalued tonight as an 18-point favorite over the Houston Cougars. I'll gladly fade them here, which is something I've done with quite a bit of success this season.
Louisville is really lacking quality wins this season. In its three toughest games this year, it lost to UNC (84-93), Kentucky (66-73) and Memphis (67-73). This team has failed to cover in three straight games, and they are nowhere near as good as they were a year ago when they won it all.
The team dismissed Chane Behanan in early January, which left the Cardinals very thin along the front line. Now, they are expected to be without third-leading scorer Chris Jones (11.3 ppg), who is out with an oblique injury.
Houston (10-6) is quietly having a solid season. I have backed this team with success a few times this year, and I believe it is one of the more underrated teams in the land. It nearly beat Cincinnati (60-61) last time out, and it beat UConn (75-71) just a couple weeks ago. This team is capable of hanging with Louisville.
The Cardinals are 3-14 ATS in their last 17 home games following four consecutive games as a favorite. The Cougars are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. The Cardinals are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Cougars are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games. Take Houston Thursday.
|01-16-14||Connecticut +6.5 v. Memphis||Top||83-73||Win||100||7 h 23 m||Show|
20* UConn/Memphis ESPN No-Doubt Rout on Connecticut +6.5
The Connecticut Huskies are showing their best value of the season as a mid-sized road underdog to the Memphis Tigers tonight. I look for them not only to cover, but to likely win this game outright tonight.
Had they been eligible for the NCAA Tournament last year, they would have gone. Now eligible in 2014, and with all five starters back from that team, the Huskies are the real deal at 13-3 this season. They have beaten Maryland, Indiana, Florida, Washington and Harvard en route to this solid start.
Memphis comes in overvalued after back-to-back wins at Louisville and Temple. Those two wins have certainly masked their 53-69 home loss to Cincinnati in their last home game, but I certainly have not forgotten about it. UConn plays hard-nosed defense and will give this young Memphis team fits.
The Tigers are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 home games versus poor pressure defensive teams that force 14 or fewer turnovers over the last two seasons. Memphis is 2-11 ATS in its last 13 home games off a win by 10 points or more. Bet Connecticut Thursday.
|01-15-14||Washington +9.5 v. California||56-82||Loss||-106||11 h 30 m||Show|
15* Washington/California Pac-12 BAILOUT on Washington +9.5
The Washington Huskies get the call Wednesday as a big underdog to the California Bears in the final game of the night on the college hardwood. Asking the Bears to win by double-digits to beat us is simply asking too much.
The Huskies are off to an 11-6 start this season, but they have saved their best basketball for the Pac-12. They have gone 3-1 SU & 3-0-1 ATS in Pac-12 play, which includes an impressive road win at Arizona State (76-65) as a 10.5-point underdog, and a blowout home win over Colorado (71-54) as a 3.5-point dog.
Despite playing well, the Huskies are getting no respect from the books. While Cal is also playing well, it is indeed getting all kinds of respect from the books. Cal has gone 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS in Pac-12 play, and I have been on the Bears for two of those three games. I just think it's time to fade them now that they are overvalued due to this impressive mini-run.
California is 2-10 ATS in its last 12 games after scoring 80 or more points in a win over a conference rival. Washington is 9-2 ATS in January games over the last two seasons. Lorenzo Romar is a sensational 93-63 ATS as an underdog as the coach of Washington.
The Bears are 4-10 ATS in their last 14 home games following three or more consecutive road games. The Huskies are 4-0 ATS in their last four road games. The Huskies are 4-1 SU & 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings with Cal. Bet Washington Wednesday.
|01-15-14||Denver Nuggets v. Golden State Warriors -7||Top||123-116||Loss||-110||11 h 57 m||Show|
20* NBA on ESPN GAME OF THE MONTH on Golden State Warriors -7
The Golden State Warriors are playing as well as anyone in the league right now. They have won 11 of their last 12 games overall, and now they have had four days to recover from a grueling stretch of games having last played on January 10. They'll have no problem getting motivated to face Denver on National TV tonight.
The Nuggets have been one of the most streaky teams in the league this season. They had lost eight games in a row from late December to early January before reeling off five straight wins. They lost their last contest at Utah 103-118, and I look for that to be the start of another losing streak for this team.
Golden State is a healthy 5-1 SU & 5-1 ATS in its last six home meetings with Denver. The Warriors are 12-4 at home this season where they are outscoring opponents by an average of 7.7 points per game. Denver is just 8-10 on the road and has historically been an awful road team.
Plays against road teams (DENVER) - off a double digit loss as a favorite of 6 points or more, a marginal winning team (51% to 60%) playing a winning team are 27-6 (81.8%) ATS since 1996.
Golden State is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 games when playing on three or more days rest. Denver is 1-7 ATS in its last eight games following a loss. The Nuggets are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 vs. Western Conference foes. Bet the Warriors Wednesday.
|01-15-14||NC State v. Wake Forest -2||Top||69-70||Loss||-109||8 h 30 m||Show|
20* CBB Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on Wake Forest -2
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons get the nod as a small home favorite over the NC State Wolfpack tonight. This is a very generous line given how Jeff Bzdelik's team has played at home.
Indeed, the Demon Deacons are a perfect 10-0 at home this season where they are outscoring opponents by an average of 14.8 points per game. They have beaten the likes of Richmond (76-66), St. Bonaventure (77-62) and North Carolina (73-67) at home this season, so it's not like they have beaten up a bunch of cupcakes.
While Wake Forest has four returning starters and is much-improved in 2013-14, NC State is a young team with just one starter back. It has struggled of late, losing three of its last five games overall, including a 45-76 home loss to Virginia last time out. It also has a home loss to NC Central (72-82) on its resume.
Wake Forest has won 12 of its last 16 home meetings with NC State. The Wolfpack are 0-7 ATS in their last seven games after scoring 60 or less points. Wake Forest is 6-0 ATS in January home games over the last two years. The Demon Deacons are 22-7-1 ATS in their last 30 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. Roll with Wake Forest Wednesday.
|01-15-14||Houston Rockets -5 v. New Orleans Pelicans||103-100||Loss||-108||8 h 26 m||Show|
15* NBA Wednesday No-Doubt Rout on Houston Rockets -5
The New Orleans Pelicans are in a world of hurt right now. They are without two of their top three players, and as a result, they have lost six straight games heading into this contest with Houston. Five of those losses have come by six points or more.
Leading scorer Ryan Anderson (19.8 ppg) may miss the rest of the season. Top assist man Jrue Holiday (14.3 ppg, 7.9 apg) remains out with a fractured leg. Also, shooting guard Tyreke Evans (12.6 ppg) is questionable to play tonight with a bum ankle.
Houston comes in playing well having won four of five. It has really dominated this series of late, winning five of its last six meetings with New Orleans. Four of those five wins came by seven or more points, including a 100-82 victory in its last trip to New Orleans.
Plays against home underdogs of 3.5 to 9.5 points (NEW ORLEANS) - revenging a loss vs opponent, off a cover where the team lost the game straight up as an underdog are 72-34 (67.9%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Pelicans are 3-14 ATS in their last 17 Wednesday games. Take the Rockets Wednesday.
|01-15-14||TCU +21 v. Oklahoma State||Top||50-82||Loss||-109||8 h 21 m||Show|
20* Big 12 GAME OF THE WEEK on TCU +21
The Oklahoma State Cowboys are getting way too much respect from the books tonight as a 21-point favorite over the TCU Horned Frogs. I'll gladly take advantage and take all the points I can get here.
Oklahoma State is in a huge letdown spot here. It will be looking ahead to its massive showdown with Big 12 favorite Kansas this Saturday in Lawrence. It will not be giving TCU the attention it deserves because of it.
The Horned Frogs are one of the most improved teams in the country this season with a 9-6 start. They are undervalued due to opening 0-3 in Big 12 play, which included a 62-68 loss at Baylor last time out. I look for them to easily stay within 21 points of a Cowboys team that will just be going through the motions tonight.
As horrible as TCU was last season, it still stayed within 18 points or Oklahoma State in both meetings. The Cowboys are 0-7 ATS when playing against a good team (Win Pct. 60% to 80%) after 15 or more games over the last two seasons. Bet TCU Wednesday.
|01-15-14||Duquesne +11.5 v. St. Joseph's||75-84||Win||100||7 h 10 m||Show|
15* Atlantic 10 PLAY OF THE DAY on Duquesne +11.5
The Duquesne Dukes get the call as a double-digit underdog tonight to the St. Joseph's Hawks. I look for this game to go right down to the wire with the Dukes having a good shot to pull off the upset on the road.
Duquesne is off to a respectable 8-6 start overall. It has played its best basketball on the road this season, going 3-1 straight up in true road games.
St. Joe's is 10-5 this season, but it could be without one of its best players tonight. Second-leading scorer Ronald Roberts (14.6 ppg, 7.4 rpg) is questionable to play with a back injury after missing Saturday's game against George Mason.
What really attracted me to Duquesne is the fact that it has played St. Joseph's very tough in recent years. In fact, three of the last six meetings between these teams have gone to overtime. Duquesne hasn't lost by more than eight points to St. Joseph's in any of the last seven meetings.
St. Joe's is 1-8 ATS after a game where it was called for 10 or less fouls over the last three seasons. The Hawks are 18-35 ATS in their last 53 games as a home favorite of 6.5 to 12 points. The Hawks are 8-20 ATS in their last 28 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record. The road team is 6-0 ATS in the last six meetings in this series. Roll with Duquesne Wednesday.
|01-15-14||Missouri State +10 v. Indiana State||55-70||Loss||-110||7 h 20 m||Show|
15* Missouri Valley PLAY OF THE DAY on Missouri State +10
The Missouri State Bears are one of the most improved teams in the country in 2013. They are still getting treated like a bottom feeder in the Missouri Valley, which simply is not the case.
Missouri State is off to a 12-4 start this season with three of its losses coming to three of the best teams in the country in Wichita State, Louisville and Virginia. That loss to Wichita State came by a mere three points with a final of 69-72 to really show what the Bears are capable of.
I am high on Indiana State this year as well, but this is simply a tough spot for the Sycamores. They will be looking ahead to their game at No. 5 Wichita State on Saturday. They won't give Missouri State the attention it deserves, and thus they won't win this game by double-digits.
Indiana State is 1-8 ATS as a home favorite of 10 or more points over the last three seasons. The Bears are 11-2 ATS in their last 13 games following a S.U. loss. Missouri State is 18-6 ATS in its last 24 vs. MVC foes. The Sycamores are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 home games. Take Missouri State Wednesday.
|01-14-14||Butler +10.5 v. Creighton||60-88||Loss||-110||9 h 13 m||Show|
15* Big East PLAY OF THE DAY on Butler +10.5
The Butler Bulldogs are showing tremendous value as a double-digit road underdog to the Creighton Bluejays Tuesday. I look for them to be highly motivated and to lay it all on the line after a brutal stretch of games heading in.
Butler got off to a 10-2 start this season to pick up right where it left off under former head coach Brad Stevens. However, it hast lost four straight games all by 11 points or less to Villanova (73-76), Xavier (68-79), DePaul (94-99) and Georgetown (67-70) coming in. I look for it to possibly pull off the upset here.
Creighton is coming off a big 95-89 home victory over Xavier last time out, which was on Sunday. That means that it has only had one day to prepare for Butler, while the Bulldogs have had two days to prepare after losing to Georgetown on Saturday. That is a huge advantage for the Bulldogs, who catch the Bluejays in a letdown spot.
Plays on underdogs of 10 or more points (BUTLER) - 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 117-60 (66.1%) ATS over the last five seasons.
Butler is 7-0 ATS versus good 3 point shooting teams - making >=37% of their attempts after 15+ games over the last 3 seasons. Creighton is 9-19 ATS after having won 12 or more of their last 15 games over the last 3 seasons. The Bulldogs are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 games following a ATS loss. Bet Butler Tuesday.
|01-14-14||Temple +14.5 v. Cincinnati||Top||58-69||Win||100||9 h 13 m||Show|
20* American Athletic GAME OF THE WEEK on Temple +14.5
The Temple Owls are showing tremendous value as a massive underdog to the Cincinnati Bearcats Tuesday. This team is way undervalued due to its poor 5-9 record, but a closer look shows that this team is better than its record would indicate.
In fact, all nine of Temple's losses have come by 14 points or less, including eight by 10 or fewer, and seven by 7 or less. This team hasn't really been blown out yet, and I don't look for that to happen for the first time Tuesday, either.
Cincinnati is overvalued right now due to covering six of its last seven games overall. It is coming off a 20-point home win over Rutgers in a game that was much closer than the final score would indicate. The Scarlet Knights went 0-for-14 from the field over their final 14 shots of the game.
Plays against favorites of 10 or more points (CINCINNATI) - off a blowout win by 20 points or more over a conference rival against opponent off a loss by 10 points or more to a conference rival are 69-32 (68.3%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Owls are 5-0 ATS in their last five games following a double-digit home loss. Temple is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 road games. Take Temple Tuesday.
|01-14-14||Penn State +11 v. Michigan||67-80||Loss||-106||8 h 13 m||Show|
15* Big Ten PLAY OF THE DAY on Penn State +11
The Penn State Nittany Lions will be one of the most improved teams in the country by season's end. Six of their eight losses have come by 10 points or less. I look for them to put up a fight against Michigan tonight as well.
The Nittany Lions are coming off back-to-back losses to Minnesota and Indiana by exactly three points. In fact, they have opened 0-4 in Big Ten play, which is why they are undervalued here. There's no question they are hungry for their first victory.
After making the championship game last season, the Wolverines have clearly been overvalued this season. They have lost four times already and have very few impressive wins. Their only wins by more than this 11-point spread have come against UMass-Lowell, South Carolina State, Long Beach State, Coppin State, Houston Baptist, Holy Cross and Northwestern.
Penn State played Michigan very tough in both regular season meetings last year. It lost 71-79 at Michigan as a 22-point underdog, but got revenge with an 84-78 home victory as a 13-point dog. Just like the Wolverines overlooked them last year, I could easily see it happening again considering Michigan has a huge game on deck at Wisconsin Saturday and could be looking ahead.
The Nittany Lions are 15-3 ATS in road games versus teams who make 8 or more 3 point shots/game on the season after 15+ games since 1997. Penn State is 4-1-1 ATS in its last six road games. Michigan is 4-11 ATS in its last 15 vs. Big Ten opponents. The Wolverines are 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record. Roll with Penn State Tuesday.
|01-14-14||New York Knicks v. Charlotte Bobcats -1||Top||98-108||Win||100||7 h 19 m||Show|
20* NBA Eastern Conference GAME OF THE MONTH on Charlotte Bobcats -1
After losing three straight and eight of their last nine games overall, the Charlotte Bobcats are highly motivated for a victory tonight. They come in on two days' rest and will be ready to go as they welcome the New York Knicks.
While the Bobcats are well-rested, the Knicks are a tired team right now. They will be playing the second of a back-to-back and their 8th game in 13 days. Making matters worse is that they needed overtime to beat Phoenix at home last night.
Carmelo Anthony even questioned sarcastically "Do we really have to play tomorrow?" after last night's win over Phoenix. This is clearly a tired team, and one that could find itself looking ahead to Thursday's showdown with the East-leading Indiana Pacers.
New York is 4-16 ATS in its last 20 road games after having won six or seven of its last eight games over the past three seasons. The Bobcats are 12-2 ATS in their last 14 vs. NBA Atlantic Division foes. They have won two of their last three meetings with the Knicks. Bet the Bobcats Tuesday.
|01-13-14||Washington Wizards v. Chicago Bulls -2.5||Top||102-88||Loss||-108||8 h 24 m||Show|
20* NBA Monday No-Doubt Rout on Chicago Bulls -2.5
The Chicago Bulls are way undervalued right now due to trading away Luol Deng. Instead of giving up after the trade, the Bulls have made a point to prove that they can win without him. They are playing their best basketball of the season leading into this game against Washington.
Indeed, the Bulls are a perfect 5-0 SU & 5-0 ATS in their last five games overall with all five victories coming by 5 points or more. D.J. Augustin has proven to be an excellent pick-up midseason. He has had seven or more assists in four of his last seven games overall and is really doing a heck of a job running the offense.
The Wizards have not played well of late, losing five of their last seven games overall with all five of those losses coming by 7 points or more. The home team has won each of the last four meetings in this series. The Bulls are 25-10 SU in their last 35 home meetings with the Wizards. Washington is a tired team right now as this will be its 5th game in 7 days.
The Bulls are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a losing S.U. record. Chicago is 5-0 ATS in its last five games overall. The Bulls are 4-0 ATS in their last four home games. Chicago is 4-0 ATS in its last four games when playing on one day of rest. These four trends combine for a perfect 20-0 system backing Chicago. Bet the Bulls Monday.
|01-13-14||Virginia +7 v. Duke||65-69||Win||100||7 h 24 m||Show|
15* Virginia/Duke ESPN Monday No-Brainer on Virginia +7
The Virginia Cavaliers are one of the most underrated teams in the country. I even underestimated them early, but once they have hit conference play, they have really played tremendous basketball.
Indeed, the Cavaliers are a perfect 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS in conference play this season. They are not only winning, they are dominating, which is impressive when you consider they have played two of three games on the road. They won at Florida State (62-50) and NC State (76-45), while also thumping Wake Forest (74-51) at home.
Duke has proven to be overrated in conference play, going 1-2 SU & 1-2 ATS. The Blue Devils lost at Notre Dame (77-79) and at Clemson (59-72), but beat lowly Georgia Tech (79-57) at home. Honestly, Duke doesn't have many impressive wins this season. It has beaten UCLA and Michigan, but fallen to Kansas, Arizona, Notre Dame and Clemson. The fact of the matter is that this Duke team just isn't as good as many in years' past.
Virginia played Duke extremely tough last season. It lost 58-61 on the road as a 10.5-point underdog, but got revenge at home with a 73-68 triumph as a 1-point favorite. Virginia is the second-best defensive team in the country, giving up just 55.2 points per game on 36.9% shooting. It is also outrebounding foes 38-29, while Duke is only outrebounding its opponents 34-33. The Blue Devils are simply soft this season.
Virginia is a sensational 8-1 ATS when playing its second game in three days over the last three seasons. The Cavaliers are 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a SU win of more than 20 points. Virginia is 14-6 ATS in its last 20 games following an ATS win. The Cavaliers are 20-9-1 ATS in their last 30 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600. Duke is 1-8 ATS in its last nine Monday games. Take Virginia Monday.
|01-12-14||San Diego Chargers v. Denver Broncos UNDER 55||17-24||Win||100||75 h 24 m||Show|
15* Chargers/Broncos Divisional Round BAILOUT on UNDER 55
If the first two meetings between the Broncos and Chargers this season are any indication, oddsmakers have inflated this total set in their grudge match in the Divisional Round Sunday. I'll take advantage and back the UNDER folks.
Denver beat San Diego 28-20 on the road on November 10 for 48 combined points. The Broncos were held below their season average with just 397 total yards, while the Chargers were held well below their season average as well with 329 total yards.
The second meeting was even more of a defensive battle. San Diego beat Denver on the road by a final of 27-20 for 47 combined points on December 12. That was the most points that could have been scored considering the Chargers were held to 337 total yards, while the Broncos were limited to a season-low 295 yards.
San Diego knows the formula to beating Denver it to control the ball, which is something it has done remarkably in those two games and all season. It held the ball for 38 minutes in the first meeting, and 39 minutes in the second. The Chargers will implement the same ball-controlled plan that that they did in the first two games to try and keep the ball out or Peyton Manning's hands as much as possible.
The reason the Chargers have been able to control the ball so much down the stretch of the season is a new-found running game. Indeed, they have rushed for 144 or more yards in five straight games, including 196 against a very good Bengals' run defense last week. Philip Rivers no longer has to do it all as the running game has really held up its end of the bargain of late.
San Diego's defense has also improved as the season has gone on. In fact, it has allowed 24 or fewer points in six straight games, including 17 or less in four of those. The Chargers are allowing a mere 16.3 points per game in their last six games overall.
While there's no question that Denver has a potent offense, its defense has really got untracked over the last couple of weeks. The Broncos have allowed an average of just 13.5 points per game in victories over Houston and Oakland to close out the season. They held their own against the Chargers in the first two meetings, and I look for them to limit them to around 300 yards once again in the grudge match.
The Chargers are 7-1 to the UNDER vs. good passing teams with a completion percentage of 61% or better this season. The UNDER is 10-2 in Chargers last 12 vs. AFC opponents. The UNDER is 4-1 in Broncos last five vs. AFC West foes. The UNDER is 9-4 in Chargers last 13 games overall. Roll with the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|01-12-14||Iowa +8 v. Ohio State||84-74||Win||100||3 h 8 m||Show|
15* CBB Sunday PLAY OF THE DAY on Iowa +8
The Iowa Hawkeyes are one of the most underrated teams in the country in 2013-14. I look for them to not only cover with ease today, but to likely win this game outright against the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Iowa returned basically everyone from last season's team that made it to the NIT Championship. It is off to a 13-3 start this year with its three losses coming to Villanova (83-88), Iowa State (82-85) and Wisconsin (71-75) all on the road. As you can see, the Hawkeyes were in every game they played.
Ohio State is in a hangover spot here after losing its first game of the season at Michigan State in overtime by a final of 68-72. It will not be completely focuses against Iowa after such a tough loss, and I look for the Hawkeyes to cover with ease because of it.
Iowa is 11-1 ATS versus teams who are called for 17 or less fouls/game after 15+ games over the last 2 seasons. The Hawkeyes are 33-15 ATS in all games over the last two seasons. Iowa is 16-3 ATS after playing a game as a home favorite over the last 2 seasons. Bet Iowa Sunday.
|01-12-14||San Francisco 49ers v. Carolina Panthers||Top||23-10||Win||100||72 h 44 m||Show|
20* 49ers/Panthers NFC No-Doubt Rout on San Francisco PK
The San Francisco 49ers are the hottest team in the league that
|01-11-14||Brooklyn Nets v. Toronto Raptors UNDER 193.5||Top||80-96||Win||100||20 h 59 m||Show|
20* NBA Saturday Total DOMINATOR on Nets/Raptors UNDER 193.5
The Brooklyn Nets are coming off a double-overtime victory over the Miami Heat. That game was tied at 89-89 at the end of regulation for 178 combined points, and I expect this game to see a similar combined total at the end of four quarters.
That effort will really have the Nets worn down. This is an elder team comprised of many players who are past their primes. I believe last night's game will affect them more offensively than it will on the defensive end. Expect their jump shots to come up short the majority of the time.
Brooklyn is expected to be without Deron Williams again tonight, and that really hampers its offense. Shaun Livingston takes his place at point guard, which is an upgrade defensively but certainly a step back offensively.
Both of these teams rank in the bottom half of the league in pace. Toronto is 19th in pace at 95.3 possessions per game, while Brooklyn is 26th at 93.7 possessions per game. Just like the Nets miss Williams' offense, the Raptors miss Rudy Gay's offense after trading him to Sacramento.
Plays on the UNDER on all teams where the total is between 190 and 199.5 points (BROOKLYN) - after beating the spread by 36 or more points total in their last five games against opponent after beating the spread by 54 or more points total in their last ten games are 37-13 (74%) ATS since 1996. Brooklyn is 25-8 to the UNDER as a road underdog of 6.5 to 12 points over the last three seasons. Roll with the UNDER in this game Saturday.
|01-11-14||Rutgers +14 v. Cincinnati||51-71||Loss||-110||10 h 59 m||Show|
15* CBB Saturday Night Line Mistake on Rutgers +14
Rutgers (7-8) is one of the most underrated teams in the country to this point due to its poor record. A closer look at the schedule shows that the Scarlet Knights have been competitive and in every game that they have played.
Indeed, all eight of Rutgers' losses have come by 11 points or less. That includes road losses to UAB (76-79) as a 5-point dog and to Georgia Washington (87-93) as a 10.5-point dog. The Scarlet Knights also lost at home to Seton Hall (71-77), Princeton (73-78) and Louisville (76-83).
That game against the defending national champion Cardinals last time out really showed what the Scarlet Knights are capable of. They covered with ease as a 14.5-point dog, and I believe they give the Bearcats are run for their money here.
I believe Cincinnati remains overvalued due to its 69-53 win at Memphis a week ago when everything went right. I faded the Bearcats with success as a 6.5-point favorite at Houston on Tuesday in a 61-60 win. I'm going to fade them again here as they simply should not be this heavily-favored.
Plays on road underdogs of 10 or more points (RUTGERS) - off a cover where the team lost straight up as an underdog against opponent off 2 or more consecutive road wins are 73-37 (66.4%) ATS since 1997. Each of the last three meetings between Cincinnati and Rutgers have been decided by 10 points or less.
Rutgers is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 road games after a home game where both teams scored 75 points or more. The Scarlet Knights are a perfect 8-0 ATS in their last eight road games after playing their last games as an underdog. Cincinnati is 0-10 ATS after playing a road game over the last two years. These three trends combine for a 27-1 system backing the Scarlet Knights. Take Rutgers Saturday.
|01-11-14||Central Florida v. Connecticut -11.5||61-84||Win||100||10 h 59 m||Show|
15* CBB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Connecticut -11.5
The UConn Huskies have played one of the toughest schedules in the entire country. They have managed to get through at 12-3 despite playing the likes of Maryland, Indiana, Florida, Stanford, Washington, Houston, SMU and Harvard among others.
After losing two of their last three games overall, there's no question that the Huskies will be focused today. They finally get a little bit of a 'break' in their schedule here taking on a UCF team that is 9-4, but one that has hardly played anyone.
All four of UCF's losses this season have come by 11 points or more. The Knights fell at home to both Florida State (68-80) and Louisville (65-90), while also losing at Valparaiso (70-85) and Florida Atlantic (70-85). This will be the Knights' toughest test of the season thus far, and I have no doubt they'll fail miserably while getting beat by 12-plus points.
The Huskies are 7-1 at home this season where they are outscoring opponents by 15.2 points per game. The Knights are 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall. UConn is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 Saturday games. Bet Connecticut Saturday.
|01-11-14||Texas A&M +12 v. Tennessee||57-56||Win||100||10 h 59 m||Show|
15* CBB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Texas A&M +12
The Texas A&M Aggies certainly aren't ecstatic about their 10-4 start this season. However, they were able to right the ship in their conference opener with their best performance of the season in a 69-53 victory over Arkansas.
Now, I believe the Aggies are showing their best value of the season as a double-digit dog at Tennessee. They will want revenge from the multiple-overtime thriller they played against the Vols last season, losing by a final of 85-93.
The Vols are way overvalued right now due to a four-game winning streak coming in. They are coming off a 68-50 blowout win at LSU on National TV on Tuesday, and that result is the biggest reason why this line has been inflated. The Tigers simply played awful in that loss.
Plays against a home team (TENNESSEE) - after allowing 50 points or less against opponent after 2 straight wins by 15 points or more are 59-29 (67%) ATS over the last five seasons. Roll with Texas A&M Saturday.
|01-11-14||New Orleans Saints +8 v. Seattle Seahawks||Top||15-23||Push||0||51 h 19 m||Show|
20* Saints/Seahawks NFC Saturday No-Brainer on New Orleans +8
The New Orleans Saints finally gotten over the hump while winning an important road game last week against the Philadelphia Eagles. That game wasn
|01-11-14||Alabama -2 v. Georgia||Top||58-66||Loss||-112||8 h 59 m||Show|
20* SEC GAME OF THE MONTH on Alabama -2
The Alabama Crimson Tide are the best 7-loss team in the country. Their seven losses have all come by 10 points or less to Oklahoma (73-82), Duke (64-74), Drexel (83-85), South Florida (64-66), Wichita State (67-72), Xavier (74-77) and UCLA (67-75).
As you can see, they have played a brutal schedule to this point and could have one every game that they played. This team is going to be a covering machine in the second half of the season due to its poor start record-wise, leaving it way undervalued.
Unlike Alabama, Georgia (7-6) is every bit as bad as its record would indicate. It has lost six games this season to Georgia Tech, Davidson, Temple, Nebraska, Colorado and George Washington. That slate doesn't come close to stacking up against the competition that Alabama has lost to.
Georgia is coming off a huge 70-64 overtime win at Missouri on Wednesday, setting it up for a big letdown spot here. The Bulldogs were playing for head coach Mark Fox, who recently lost his father. That was a classic 'win one for the gipper' game, but this one is not. The Bulldogs will get back to playing their same, poor basketball.
Alabama is a perfect 5-0 SU & 4-1 ATS in its last five meetings with Georgia. It has won its last two visits to Athens by finals of 52-45 and 74-59. The Bulldogs are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win. Bet Alabama Saturday.
|01-11-14||Memphis v. Temple +7.5||Top||79-69||Loss||-106||7 h 59 m||Show|
20* American Athletic GAME OF THE MONTH on Temple +7.5
The Memphis Tigers are in a massive letdown spot here. I was all over them as a 10-point underdog at Louisville on Thursday in a 73-67 road victory. Now, I'm going to fade them two days late in a game I don't expect them to show up for.
It's only human nature for a team to lack focus after beating the defending national champs. That will be the problem for the Tigers in this one as they won't get Temple the focus they deserve.
Despite being just 5-8 this season, there's no question that the Owls are a hell of a lot better than their record would indicate. In fact, seven of their eight losses have come by 7 points or less. They simply haven't been getting it done in close games, and I fully expect this one to go down to the wire, too.
The Tigers are 0-4 ATS in their last four Saturday games. The Owls are 6-1 ATS in their last seven Saturday games. Temple is 4-0 ATS in its last four games vs. a team with a winning percentage above 60%. Memphis won't be able to celebrate its Louisville win for long as it gets stunned today by the Owls. Take Temple Saturday.
|01-10-14||Cleveland Cavaliers v. Utah Jazz -2||113-102||Loss||-110||9 h 19 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday No-Doubt Rout on Utah Jazz -2
The Utah Jazz are playing their best basketball of the season right now, especially at home. They should be a much bigger favorite tonight against the Cleveland Cavaliers, who simply cannot win on the road.
Utah has won three of its last four games overall, including a 112-101 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder last time out on Tuesday. The Jazz have reeled off a season-high four straight home wins, and a big reason for that is they are finally healthy.
Cleveland has lost eight of its last 10 games overall, and it is a woeful 2-15 on the road this season, getting outscored by an average of 11.0 points per game. The reason the Cavs are getting so much respect here is because of the trade for Luol Deng. However, it's going to take Deng some time to get acclimated to the new system. It's not like he makes them a playoff contender, either.
The Jazz have won six of their last seven meetings with the Cavaliers. The Jazz have won six of their last seven home meetings with Cleveland as well. Dating back further, Utah is 27-7 all-time against Cleveland in Salt Lake City.
Utah is 20-8 ATS in its last 28 non-conference home games. The Cavaliers are 5-14 ATS in their last 19 road games. Cleveland is 3-12 ATS in its last 15 Friday games. Utah is 14-6 ATS in its last 20 vs. NBA Central Division foes. Cleveland is 9-21-1 ATS in its last 31 vs. NBA Northwest Division opponents. Take the Jazz Friday.
|01-10-14||Houston Rockets -3 v. Atlanta Hawks||Top||80-83||Loss||-103||8 h 53 m||Show|
20* NBA Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Houston Rockets -3
The Houston Rockets should be a much heavier favorite tonight against the Atlanta Hawks. I'll gladly back them as a small 3-point road favorite as they look to build on their 23-13 record this season.
Dwight Howard has certainly enjoyed his new home in Houston, averaging 17.8 points, 12.9 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game to return to his former self when he was in Orlando. With Atlanta being without Al Horford for the rest of the season, Howard is in line for a big game tonight.
The Hawks are simply getting too much respect due to their 97-87 win over Indiana last time out. Prior to that game, they have lost four of their previous five games overall. They simply caught the Pacers, who were playing the second of a back-to-back and their 4th game in 5 days, in a good spot.
Houston has simply owned Atlanta in this series. It is a perfect 6-0 straight up and 5-1 against the spread in its last six meetings with the Hawks. All six wins have come by five points or more, including the last two in blowout fashion by finals of 113-84 and 123-104.
Plays on road favorites (HOUSTON) - off two or more consecutive home wins, with a winning record on the season playing another winning team are 34-9 (79.1%) ATS over the last five seasons. The Rockets are 5-0 ATS in their last five meetings in Atlanta. Bet the Rockets Friday.
|01-10-14||Washington Wizards +9 v. Indiana Pacers||66-93||Loss||-105||7 h 19 m||Show|
15* NBA Friday Undervalued Underdog on Washington Wizards +9
The Indiana Pacers are clearly one of the best teams in the league. However, I believe they are being overvalued here as a big home favorite against the Washington Wizards. Asking them to win by double-digits to beat us is simply asking too much.
Indiana has failed to cover the spread in three straight games coming in. A big reason for that is the fact that it is in the midst of a very tough stretch, as this will be its 5th game in 7 days. That is one of the hardest situations for a team to go through.
The Wizards have been very competitive this season as they've quietly gone a respectable 16-17 to position themselves to make the playoffs. They are coming off back-to-back road wins at Charlotte and at New Orleans, and they really want to see where they stack up by going into Indiana and coming away with a victory.
Washington is going to want revenge from its ugly 73-93 loss to Indiana in their first meeting this season. However, that result was an aberration as the Wizards played the Pacers very tough prior to that result. Three of the previous four games were decided by eight points or less, and the only one that wasn't was a 104-85 home victory for the Wizards.
The Wizards are a very healthy 48-31 ATS as an underdog over the past two seasons. Washington is 7-1 ATS in its last eight road games. The Wizards are 7-1 ATS in their last eight vs. Eastern Conference opponents. Indiana is 1-4 ATS in its last five games overall. The Pacers are 0-4 ATS in their last four vs. Eastern Conference foes. Roll with the Wizards Friday.
|01-09-14||California +8 v. Oregon||96-83||Win||100||12 h 37 m||Show|
15* Pac-12 PLAY OF THE DAY on California +8
The Oregon Ducks are one of the most overrated teams in the country. They opened 13-0 this season against a very easy schedule before suffering a reality check at Colorado over the weekend, falling by a final of 91-100. Oregon is now 0-4 ATS in its last four games overall, which included narrow wins over BYU (96-100) and Utah (68-70).
California is undervalued due to suffering four early-season losses, all of which came on the road against quality teams in Syracuse, Dayton, UC-Santa Barbara and Creighton. This is a team that returned four starters from last year and one to watch out for as a sleeper to win the Pac-12. The Bears are off to a good start in conference play, winning 69-62 at Stanford in their opener.
That game against Stanford was last time out, which was one week ago today. That means the Bears have had a full week to prepare for Oregon. Meanwhile, the Ducks played on Sunday, meaning that they have only had three practice days to get ready for California. The edge in rest and preparation clearly favors the Bears in this one.
"They'll have a full week, so we'll see a team that's very well-prepared," Oregon head coach Altman said. "You give Mike a full week, he's going to have them ready to go. So we're going to have to be really sharp."
California is a perfect 11-0 S.U. in its last 11 meetings with Oregon. This has clearly been a match-up of their liking throughout the years, and that was evident again last season as they took all three meetings with the Ducks. This 11-game winning streak dates back to 2009 and cannot be ignored, especially with four starters back from last season. Roll with California Thursday.
|01-09-14||Oklahoma City Thunder v. Denver Nuggets +3||Top||88-101||Win||100||11 h 22 m||Show|
20* Thunder/Nuggets TNT Late-Night BAILOUT on Denver +3
The Oklahoma City Thunder should not be favorite on the road at Denver tonight. This Thunder team is only a shell of itself without Russell Westbrook, and that has been evident of late. The Thunder has lost three of their last four games overall, including a home loss to Brooklyn, an da road loss to Utah (101-112).
Denver comes in playing well having won three straight with home victories over Memphis (111-108) and Boston (129-98), as well as a road win over the Lakers (129-98). A big reason for the turnaround is that head coach Brian Shaw has opened up the offense and allowed his players a little more free reign. The result has been an average of 125.7 points and 53.1 percent shooting during this three-game streak.
"Coach (Brian Shaw) let us hoop. He just let us get out and play," forward Kenneth Faried said. "He figured out that this altitude is a killer for teams and the personnel that we have is people who will get out and run, play great defense and it's fun when we do that instead of just calling plays all the time. It has really held and it got the burden off our back of wondering what he wants."
Faried has averaged 18.0 points on 20-of-29 shooting during the win streak after scoring 7.5 per game in his previous 12. Point guard Ty Lawson, meanwhile, has posted a season-best four consecutive double-doubles. Randy Foye has scored in double figures in six straight and has a season-high 23 against Boston on Tuesday, including seven made 3-pointers.
The Nuggets will be out for revenge tonight after having lost each of their first two meetings of the season with the Thunder. How important was Russell Westbrook in those two wins? The star guard averaged 25.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 7.5 assists and clearly was the driving force behind them.
The Nuggets are 35-16-1 ATS in their last 52 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. Better yet, Denver is 10-1 ATS in its last 11 home games vs. a team with a road winning percentage greater than 60%. The Nuggets are 15-5-1 ATS in their last 21 games following a S.U. win of more than 10 points. Bet the Nuggets Thursday.
|01-09-14||Memphis +10 v. Louisville||Top||73-67||Win||100||8 h 42 m||Show|
20* Memphis/Louisville ESPN Thursday No-Brainer on Memphis +10
The Louisville Cardinals are being way overvalued here tonight as a double-digit favorite against a very good Memphis team that will be making the NCAA Tournament. A win over Louisville tonight would certainly boost its chances.
I believe the reason this line has been inflated is due to the fact that Memphis is coming off its worst loss of the season, a 53-69 setback at home against Cincinnati. However, I have no doubt that the Tigers were looking ahead to this game, and that they simply overlooked the Bearcats.
Memphis is battle-tested in the early going having already played the likes of Florida, Cincinnati, Oklahoma State (twice) and LSU. It beat Oklahoma State and LSU, while also only losing to Florida by a mere two points. This team has proven that they can play with anyone in the country.
Another reason that the Cardinals are overvalued is that they won the title last year. However, against their two toughest opponents this season, they have been exposed. They lost to North Carolina (84-93) on a neutral court, while also falling at Kentucky (66-73). They honestly do not have a single good win this season as they rest of their opponents have been cupcakes. That's evident by the fact that they have been a double-digit favorite in all but one game this year.
Memphis is 8-1 ATS in its last nine games following an ATS loss. The Cardinals are 1-4 ATS in their last five home games following three or more consecutive road games. The Tigers are 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 meetings with the Cardinals, including 5-0-1 ATS in their last six trips to Louisville. The road team is 5-0-1 ATS in the last six meetings. Take Memphis Thursday.
|01-08-14||Boise State +7 v. San Diego State||66-69||Win||100||11 h 46 m||Show|
15* Boise/SDSU ESPNU Late-Night BAILOUT on Boise State +7
The Boise State Broncos get the call tonight as a road underdog to the San Diego State Aztecs. This is a perfect spot bet on the Broncos, who will be the more motivated team tonight, hands down.
San Diego State is coming off its biggest win of the season, a 61-57 triumph at Kansas on Sunday. Rarely does anyone escape Lawrence with a victory, but the Aztecs accomplished that feat. It's only human nature for them to return home and suffer a letdown three days later.
This was a very closely-contested series last year. San Diego State won two of three meetings by finals of 63-62 at home, and 73-67 on a neutral court in the MWC Tournament. Boise State won 69-65 at home.
As you can see, all three meetings were decided by six points or less. Dating back to 2012, the last four meetings have been decided by six or fewer. Boise State, which returns five starters from last year, will be the more motivated team due to losing two of three last season.
The Broncos are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 conference games. San Diego State is 2-5 ATS in its last seven conference games. The Aztecs are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600. Roll with Boise State Wednesday.
|01-08-14||Phoenix Suns +8 v. Minnesota Timberwolves||Top||104-103||Win||100||10 h 55 m||Show|
20* Suns/Timberwolves ESPN No-Brainer on Phoenix +8
The Phoenix Suns are showing some of their best value of the season tonight as an 8-point underdog to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Somehow, despite their 20-13 start, this team continues to lack the respect they deserve from oddsmakers.
As a result, Phoenix has gone a sensational 23-9 ATS on the season. Sure, it is playing the second of a back-to-back off a loss at Chicago last night, but it had two days off prior to that game so fatigue will not be an issue for this deep team.
It's easy to see why the Suns are showing such good value tonight. Even in their losses they have been competitive. Indeed, the Suns have only lost three of their 33 games by more than eight points this season. That makes for a 30-3 system backing Phoenix pertaining to tonight's 8-point spread.
Phoenix is 14-3 ATS versus poor defensive teams that allow 99 or more points per game this season. The Suns are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a S.U. loss. The Timberwolves are 6-19-1 ATS in their last 26 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Minnesota is 9-23-1 ATS in its last 33 games following a S.U. win. Bet the Suns Wednesday.
|01-08-14||Colorado -7 v. Washington State||Top||71-70||Loss||-106||9 h 20 m||Show|
20* Pac-12 GAME OF THE WEEK on Colorado -7
I've been riding the Colorado Buffaloes with a lot of success this season, and I'm going to continue to do so tonight as I don't believe the oddsmakers have adjusted enough for how good this team really is.
I was on the Buffaloes as a 3-point favorite against Oregon Sunday in a game they won 100-91 at home to hand the Ducks their first loss. While some will see this as a letdown spot, I don't. Colorado can't afford letdowns if it wants to make the NCAA Tournament after falling just short last year.
This is a team that returned four starters from last season and one that will make some noise in the Big Dance. Their only losses have come to Baylor and Oklahoma State on a neutral court, and they have beaten the likes of Harvard, Kansas and Oregon already. The Buffs outrebound their opponents by nine boards per game, and shoot 12 more free throws than the opposition on average.
Washington State is in shambles right now. It has opened 7-7, including back-to-back blowout road losses to Arizona (25-60) and Arizona State (47-66) to open conference play. It's no surprise that these blowout losses have occurred considering they are without leading scorer DeVonte Lacy (17.7 ppg) for the past two games. He is expected to sit out this one, too. The Cougars' second-leading scorer is Royce Woolridge (9.8 ppg), so they are clearly lost offensively without Lacy.
'We have got to get better offensively," WSU coach Ken Bone said. "It's hard when arguably your best player, definitely your best scorer, is not out there, so again to try to manufacture points in creative ways. It makes it a little bit difficult, to say the least, but you got to keep plugging at it."
The Buffaloes are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 road games following three or more consecutive home games. Colorado is 7-1 ATS in its last eight games following a win. The Cougars are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game. Roll with Colorado Wednesday.
|01-08-14||Illinois +10 v. Wisconsin||70-95||Loss||-106||9 h 19 m||Show|
15* Big Ten PLAY OF THE DAY on Illinois +10
The Wisconsin Badgers are way overvalued right now due to their perfect 15-0 start to the season. They have no business being a double-digit favorite against a very good Illinois team tonight, and I'll take advantage and fade them because of it.
Illinois is off to a 13-2 start this season with solid home wins over Indiana and Penn State to open conference play, as well as impressive road wins over Missouri and UNLV. In fact, Illinois' only two losses this season came by a combined 10 points on the road against Georgia Tech (64-67) and Oregon (64-71).
For the most part, Wisconsin has beaten up on an easy schedule. However, in games against its stiffest competition, all have been decided by 10 points or less. The Badgers beat Florida (59-53), Saint Louis (63-57), West Virginia (70-63), Virginia (48-38), Marquette (70-64) and Iowa (75-71) all by 10 points or less.
Really, this team is fortunate to be undefeated right now as it continues to win its close games. This one will go right down to the wire as well. The Fighting Illini are 3-0-2 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Take Illinois Wednesday.
|01-08-14||Texas +12.5 v. Oklahoma State||74-87||Loss||-110||9 h 19 m||Show|
15* Big 12 PLAY OF THE DAY on Texas +12.5
The Texas Longhorns are one of the most underrated teams in the country this season. They have opened 11-3 and have gotten back to playing team basketball under head coach Rick Barnes. Their only losses have come by BYU, Michigan State and Oklahoma with two of those coming by four points or less.
Texas does have some impressive wins on its resume, most notably its 86-83 victory at North Carolina as a 10.5-point underdog. The Longhorns did lose their Big 12 opener by a final of 85-88 against a very good Oklahoma team, but that result will only have them coming back more hungry tonight.
Oklahoma State is one of the better teams in the land, but it has no business being a double-digit favorite against Texas tonight. I went against the Cowboys as a 5.5-point favorite at Kansas State over the weekend as the Wildcats won outright. I'll gladly fade them again here as they are clearly overvalued.
The Cowboys are 12-26 ATS in their last 38 games as a home favorite of 12.5 to 18 points. Oklahoma State is 6-16 ATS versus good teams who outscore their opponents by 8 or more points per game over the past two seasons. The Longhorns are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a S.U. loss. Texas is 12-4 ATS in its last 16 games following a S.U. loss. The Cowboys are 5-17 ATS in their last 22 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Bet Texas Wednesday.
|01-08-14||Wake Forest +11.5 v. Virginia||Top||51-74||Loss||-110||7 h 37 m||Show|
20* ACC GAME OF THE WEEK on Wake Forest +11.5
The Virginia Cavaliers are getting way too much respect from the books as a double-digit home favorite over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons tonight. I'll take advantage and back the dog in a game that will go right down to the wire.
Wake Forest is off to an 11-3 start this season, which includes a win over North Carolina last time out. Its only losses have come against Kansas, Tennessee and Xavier, which are three very good teams. This is a squad that returned four starters from last year and will be a tough out in the ACC all year.
Virginia is clearly not as good as it is perceived. This team has gone just 10-4 this season with some ugly losses along the way at home against Wisconsin (38-48) and on the road against Tennessee (52-87). It is coming off a 62-50 win at Florida State, but I believe that is why it is overvalued here.
Joe Harris, who led the team with 16.3 points per game last year and is their best player, went out with a concussion against Florida State early. That's why it was impressive that the Cavaliers went on to win that game, but they clearly are not the same team without this guy over the long haul. Harris is listed as doubtful to play tonight. Even if he does play, this spread is inflated, so it would just be an added bonus if he sits.
The Cavaliers are 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record. Virginia is 3-8 ATS in its last 11 home games. The Cavaliers are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Virginia is 1-5 ATS in its last six games following a win. The Demon Deacons are 7-1 ATS in their last eight meetings with Virginia. Take Wake Forest Wednesday.
|01-07-14||Portland Trail Blazers v. Sacramento Kings UNDER 217.5||119-123||Loss||-107||10 h 1 m||Show|
15* Blazers/Kings NBA Late-Night BAILOUT on UNDER 217.5
The Portland Trail Blazers have created expectations for themselves as a high-scoring, dominant team that they cannot live up to. That is certainly reflected in this total tonight as the books have simply set the bar too high between the Blazers and Kings. One look at their season averages shows that.
Portland is averaging 108.7 points per game and giving up 102.6 points per game, combining with its opponents for an average of 211.3 points. Sacramento is scoring 100.6 points per game and giving up 104.5 points per game, combining with its opponents for an average of 205.1 points. The total should be set somewhere in between those averages around 208, providing us nearly 10 points of value with tonight's total set of 217.5.
One look at recent meetings between these teams, and it's also easy to see that this number has been inflated. You have to go all the way back to 2005 to find the last time these teams exceeded this total. Indeed, each of the last 31 meetings between the Kings and Blazers have seen 215 or fewer combined points, making for a perfect 31-0 system pertaining to tonight's total set.
Each of the last 10 meetings have seen 207 or fewer combined points, including a 96-85 road win for Portland in their first meeting this season on November 9. To compare, the oddsmakers set that total at 198.5 points. Now, two months later, they are setting it 19 points higher. You can just see that the value is with the UNDER in this one folks. Take the UNDER in this game Tuesday.
|01-07-14||Cincinnati v. Houston +9.5||Top||61-60||Win||100||9 h 56 m||Show|
20* American Athletic GAME OF THE WEEK on Houston +9.5
The Houston Cougars are showing their best value of the season tonight. Asking the Cincinnati Bearcats to go on the road and win at Houston by double-digits to beat us is simply asking too much.
The Cougars returned three starters from last year and a ton of talent. They have opened 10-5 this season, including 7-1 at home, where they have been virtually unbeatable. That includes a 75-71 win over UConn as a 9-point underdog. TaShawn Thomas (17.5 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 3.7 bpg) is an absolute beast and can carry this team when he needs to.
Cincinnati comes in red hot having won six straight, including an impressive 69-53 win at Memphis last time out despite being a 5.5-point underdog. However, I believe that win has the Bearcats way overvalued here, and they could easily suffer a letdown because of it. Remember, this team lost on the road to both New Mexico (54-63) and Xavier (47-64) in blowout fashion earlier this year.
Plays against road teams as an favorite or pick (CINCINNATI) - in a game involving two average offensive teams (67-74 PPG) after 15+ games, after allowing 65 points or less 5 straight games are 30-8 (78.9%) ATS over the last five seasons.
Cincinnati is 0-9 ATS after playing a road game over the last two seasons. The Bearcats are 0-7 ATS off an upset win by 15 points or more as an underdog since 1997. Houston is 6-0 ATS in home games after two straight games with nine or less offensive rebounds over the last three seasons. The Cougars are 6-0 ATS after allowing 30 points or less in the first half of two straight games over the last two years. These four trends combine for a perfect 28-0 system backing the Cougars. Roll with Houston Tuesday.
|01-07-14||Ohio State +5.5 v. Michigan State||68-72||Win||100||8 h 16 m||Show|
15* Ohio State/MSU ESPN Big Ten BAILOUT on Ohio State +5.5
The Ohio State Buckeyes should not be an underdog to the Michigan State Spartans tonight. The Buckeyes are off to a perfect 15-0 start this year and continue to get little respect from the books.
To open up Big Ten play, the Buckeyes have covered two straight with a 78-69 road win at Purdue as a 6-point favorite, and an 84-53 home win over Nebraska as a 15.5-point favorite. They have four starters back from last year including Aaron Craft, who guides what I believe to be the best defensive team in the country. The Buckeyes only allow 54.9 points per game and 36.9% shooting.
Michigan State is off to a great start as well at 13-1, but I believe this team has a lot more problems than most. The Spartans survived several close calls in the early going, and they proved they were beatable when North Carolina went into East Lansing and throttled them 79-65. MSU has rebounded since, winning and covering each of its last five games, but as a result it is overvalued heading into this one.
This has been a very closely-contested series to say the least, so I'm going to take all the points I can get. Remarkably, each of the last five meetings have been decided by eight points or less, including four by four points or fewer. The one eight-point game was a 68-60 home win for Ohio State. So, the Buckeyes have not lost by more than four points to Michigan State in any of the last five meetings. Ohio State is also 4-1-1 ATS in its last six trips to East Lansing.
Plays against home favorites of 3.5 to 9.5 points (MICHIGAN ST) - after beating the spread by 24 or more points total in their last three games against opponent after going over the total by 18 or more points total in their last three games are 93-47 (66.4%) ATS since 1997. Ohio State is 21-6 ATS in its last 27 Tuesday road games. The Buckeyes are 7-0 ATS in their last seven vs. Big Ten opponents. Ohio State is 6-1 ATS in its last seven vs. a team with a winning record. Take the Buckeyes Tuesday.
|01-07-14||Toronto Raptors v. Indiana Pacers UNDER 188||Top||79-86||Win||100||6 h 22 m||Show|
20* NBA TOTAL OF THE WEEK on Raptors/Pacers UNDER 188
The Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers will take part in a defensive battle tonight. This will be the third meeting of the season already between these teams, and familiarity breeds low-scoring games.
The first two have been very competitive and very low-scoring. Indiana beat Toronto 91-84 at home for 175 combined points on November 8, but the Raptors would have their revenge with a 95-82 home victory on January 1 for 177 combined points.
Dating back further, and not counting overtime, the Pacers and Raptors have combined for 180 or fewer points in each of the last six meetings. They have combined for an average of 171.7 points per game at the end of regulation over this span, which is over 16 points less than tonight's posted total.
Both teams like to play at a slow tempo, and both get after it defensively. Indiana ranks 24th in the league in pace at 95.0 possessions per game, while Toronto is 22nd in pace at 95.1 possessions per game. Indiana ranks 1st in defensive efficiency at 93.1 points per 100 possessions allowed, and Toronto is 7th in defensive efficiency at 100.6 points per 100 possessions.
Indiana is 7-0 to the UNDER in home games vs. good free throw shooting teams - making >=76% of their attempts this season. The Pacers are 11-1 to the UNDER as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points this season. The Pacers are 14-3 to the UNDER when the total is between 180 and 189.5 points this year. Bet the UNDER in this game Tuesday.
|01-07-14||Tennessee v. LSU -2.5||68-50||Loss||-110||7 h 56 m||Show|
15* Tennessee/LSU ESPN Tuesday No-Brainer on LSU -2.5
The LSU Tigers (9-3) are coming off an ugly 70-74 home loss to Rhode Island, which I believe has them undervalued here. They were obviously looking ahead to their first SEC game, and I fully expect them to come back motivated with their best effort of the season tonight.
I have a lost of respect for Tennessee as I have backed them a couple times this year. However, after three straight blowout home wins, I believe this team is overvalued. Remember, the Vols were beaten 61-70 at Wichita State and at home against NC State by a final of 58-65 prior to this winning streak.
LSU returned four starters from last year, and these guys will be motivated to put an end to a five-game losing streak to Tennessee in this series. There are some absolute studs in this group of returnees, led by Johnny O'Bryant III (14.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg) and Jordan Mickey (14.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 3.6 bpg), who hold down the paint inside.
Tennessee is 5-16 ATS in its last 21 road games after scoring 85 points or more in two straight games. The Vols are 7-22 ATS in their last 29 games after two straight games where they made 50% of their shots or better. Tennessee is 0-2 SU in true road games this season, and 1-4 ATS in its last five road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Tigers are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games following a loss. Bet LSU Tuesday.
|01-06-14||Orlando Magic +9.5 v. Los Angeles Clippers||81-101||Loss||-108||11 h 20 m||Show|
15* Magic/Clippers NBA Late-Night BAILOUT on Orlando +9.5
The Orlando Magic are showing tremendous value Monday night. Asking the Los Angeles Clippers to win by double-digits to beat us is simply asking too much. I'll gladly take the points on the Magic in this one.
In its first game without Chris Paul (shoulder), Los Angeles was destroyed 92-116 at San Antonio on Saturday. The oddsmakers aren't giving Paul enough credit with this line as he's clearly worth more to the Clippers than this.
Orlando comes in undervalued due to failing to cover the spread in three straight games. Well, two of those were against two of the best teams in the league in the Heat and Warriors, so they come in battle-tested. The Magic have gone a very profitable 9-6 ATS in all road games this season.
The Magic beat the Clippers once already this season with a 98-90 home victory despite being a 7-point underdog. They also won their last visit to Los Angeles by a final of 104-101 last season as a 13.5-point dog. They clearly aren't afraid of the Clippers, especially now that they are without their best player in Paul.
Orlando is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games vs. a team with a winning percentage above 60%. The Magic are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600. Orlando is 10-2-1 ATS in its last 13 meetings with the Clippers, including a perfect 5-0 ATS in its last five meetings in Los Angeles dating back to 2008. Take the Magic Monday.
|01-06-14||Auburn v. Florida State -8||Top||31-34||Loss||-110||74 h 39 m||Show|
25* BCS Bowl GAME OF THE YEAR on Florida State -8
The Florida State Seminoles have been the most dominant team in the country all season. All 13 of their victories have come by 14 points or more, including 12 by 25 or more. They are outscoring opponents by an average of 42.3 points per game on the season to simply destroy the opposition. The result has been a very profitable 11-2 record against the spread for bettors who have been willing to lay these big numbers on the Seminoles all season.
Florida State is putting up 53.0 points and 531.7 yards per game to rank 6th in the country in total offense. Jameis Winston won the Heisman Trophy winner after completing 67.9 percent of his passes for 3,820 yards with 38 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, while also rushing for 193 yards and four scores. The offense has been impressive, but the Seminoles have been even better on the other side of the ball. They are giving up just 10.7 points and 269.3 yards per game to rank 3rd in the country in total defense.
The extra time to prepare for this game will favor FSU more than it will Auburn. That
|01-05-14||Arkansas State v. Ball State -6.5||Top||23-20||Loss||-110||50 h 9 m||Show|
20* Arkansas State/Ball State Go Daddy Bowl BAILOUT on Ball State -6.5
The Ball State Cardinals are one of the most underrated teams in the country. They have been crushing opponents due to a high-powered offense en route to a 10-2 campaign heading into this bowl game. I look for them to roll against Arkansas State by a touchdown or more.
First and foremost, Ball State is going to be extra motivated to get its first bowl win in school history. It is 0-7-1 in eight previous bowl games, and there's no question this team represents their best chance to put an end to this horrid streak.
Ball State is lead by senior quarterback Keith Wenning, who is the all-time leader in touchdown passes (91), passing yards 11,187) and completions (1,012) in school history. He threw for career highs of 3,933 yards and 34 touchdowns while tossing only six interceptions this season.
Wenning leads a Ball State offense that ranks 18th in the country in total offense at 486.3 yards per game. While the defense has been giving up a lot of yards, it is among the nation's leaders in forcing turnovers at 2.5 per game. It has 18 fumble recoveries alone.
Arkansas State is one of the worst bowl teams in the country. It is gaining just 413 yards per game against opponents that allow 441 yards per game on the season. It is giving up 418 yards per game against opponents that only average 388 yards per game. As you can see, it has underachieved on both sides of the football this season when you compare its numbers to its opponents season averages.
The Red Wolves will find it hard to be motivated Sunday knowing that they will have a fourth head coach in four years next season. For a second straight year, defensive coordinator John Thompson will be leading this team in their bowl game. These players have to be getting really, really sick of all the changes, and it's certainly a distraction.
Arkansas State has some performances this season that were really head scratchers. It lost at Memphis 7-31 while getting outgained 155-505 for the game. It lost 7-23 at home to Louisiana-Lafayette while gaining a mere 168 total yards in the loss. It also barely beat Georgia State 35-33 at home as a 24-point favorite late in the year, getting outgained by the Panthers 290-432.
Ball State's two losses both came on the road to bowl teams in North Texas (27-34) and Northern Illinois (27-48). The game against NIU was close the entire way until a couple of garbage touchdowns late. Indeed, it was a 27-27 game with less than six minutes to play in the fourth quarter.
The Red Wolves are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games. The Cardinals are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 non-conference games. Ball State is 22-9 ATS in its last 31 games overall. The Cardinals are 26-9 ATS in their last 35 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game. Take Ball State Sunday.
|01-05-14||Indiana Pacers v. Cleveland Cavaliers UNDER 187||82-78||Win||100||7 h 17 m||Show|
15* NBA Sunday Total DOMINATOR on Pacers/Cavaliers UNDER 187
I'm backing the UNDER in this game between the Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers Sunday. Both teams play at a very slow pace, and each gets after it defensively due to their defensive-minded head coaches.
Cleveland ranks 17th in the league in pace at 95.9 possessions per game. Indiana ranks 21st in pace at 95.2 possessions per game. The Pacers rank 1st in defensive efficiency, surrendering just 93.3 points per 100 possessions. Cleveland ranks 28th in offensive efficiency at 96.9 points per 100 possessions.
The Cavaliers could be without Kyrie Irving again today, which would only be an added bonus for this UNDER. I am backing the UNDER whether or not Irving plays, but considering he sat out Saturday's game with a bruised knee, there's a good chance he's not healthy enough to return Sunday. He is currently listed as questionable.
These teams have met twice this season, and both have been extremely low scoring. Indiana beat Cleveland 89-74 at home on November 11 for 163 combined points. Indiana also won 91-76 at home on December 31 for 167 combined points. So, these teams are obviously very familiar with one another having played twice already, which certainly favors a low-scoring game tonight.
The UNDER is 6-1 in Pacers last seven games overall. The UNDER is 50-20-2 in Cavaliers last 72 Sunday games. The UNDER is 10-4-1 in Cavaliers last 15 vs. a team with a winning S.U. record. Bet the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|01-05-14||Golden State Warriors v. Washington Wizards +4||112-96||Loss||-110||7 h 17 m||Show|
15* NBA Sunday PLAY OF THE DAY on Washington Wizards +4
The Golden State Warriors have been put up on a pedestal due to their recent win over the Miami Heat on Thursday night. I faded them with success by backing the Hawks +3 Friday in a 1-point Warriors' win. I'll continue to fade them tonight as they are clearly in a letdown spot here off back-to-back huge road wins over the Heat and Hawks.
Off back-to-back home losses, the Wizards certainly won't be lacking any motivation tonight. They are undervalued due to their recent poor play, but after their head coach called them out, I look for them to come back with one of their best efforts of the season Sunday.
"More selfish play than we've had. We can't play that way. We've proven over the last couple years we can't play that way," Randy Wittman said. "Getting concerned with, `Why am I coming out? How many minutes am I getting? How many shots am I getting?' Rather than: `What is the team doing?' ... We're not good enough to do it that way."
Some of the players on the team were in agreement following an 88-101 home loss to Toronto Friday, getting booed by their fans. "At times, it looked like we didn't want to play," said Trevor Booker, who had eight points and 13 rebounds. "It's pretty embarrassing, especially when they started booing us."
Washington is a sensational 20-8 ATS as a home underdog over the past two seasons. The Wizards are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 home games after having lost two of their last three games coming in. The Warriors are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 Sunday games. Washington is 7-1 ATS in its last eight games following an ATS loss. The Wizards are 12-3 ATS in their last 15 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. Washington is 7-2 ATS in its last nine games following a S.U. loss. The Wizards are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game. Take the Wizards Sunday.
|01-05-14||Oregon v. Colorado -3||91-100||Win||100||15 h 23 m||Show|
15* CBB Sunday PLAY OF THE DAY on Colorado -3
The Colorado Buffaloes are one of the most underrated teams in the country. They have opened the season 12-2 with their only losses coming to Baylor and Oklahoma State on a neutral court. They have beaten the likes of Harvard and Kansas this season.
Colorado has one of the best home-court advantages in the land dating back to last year. It has opened 10-0 at home this season, outscoring opponents by an average of 13.4 points per game. The Buffaloes are 4-1 against Oregon since joining the Pac-12, and they have won all four meetings in Boulder all-time.
Oregon is simply overvalued right now due to its 13-0 start. It is coming off a 70-68 overtime victory at Utah last time out, but it won't be as fortunate against a much better Colorado team today. The Buffaloes have won four straight at home against Top 25 teams after beating then-No. 6 Kansas on December 7.
The Ducks are 4-11-2 ATS in their last 17 vs. Pac-12 opponents. The Buffaloes are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games following a S.U. win. Colorado is 23-11-1 ATS in its last 35 games following an ATS loss. The Buffaloes are 4-0 ATS in their last four Sunday games. Roll with Colorado Sunday.
|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.