|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|02-01-23||Seton Hall v. St. John's +1||Top||84-72||Loss||-110||11 h 54 m||Show|
St. John’s is off a close call where they only beat Georgetown by two points. Had they lost there, it would have been really embarrassing. As it stands, the Johnnies have dropped 7 of 10 overall.
But I like them here, at home vs. a Seton Hall team that is off one of its best performances in quite some time. The Pirates just went on the road and beat Butler 70-49. I’m choosing to view that as an “outlier” performance.
Seton Hall had a week off before facing Butler. They’d previously lost at home to Marquette by 21 points. Before that, they’d won two games by a total of five points.
Now Seton Hall did take the first meeting with St. John’s by 22 points and is 6-2 SU their last eight games overall. But the Johnnies should amped to avenge that loss here at home where they are 10-3 SU this season.
This one boils down to pace. St. John’s plays at the fourth fastest tempo in the country. That can lead to some bad defensive efforts, but they are averaging almost 80 points/game at home. Seton Hall has three wins by a total of four points this year. If not for those, they’d be an afterthought. Despite some injury concerns, I like the home team here. 10*
|02-01-23||Kings v. Spurs +7.5||Top||119-109||Loss||-107||11 h 50 m||Show|
Here’s another NBA play where we will have to hold our noses. San Antonio has lost six in a row and 11 of their last 12 games. They’ve failed to cover each of the last five times out.
But, despite all that, I’m not sure Sacramento (who is playing its third consecutive road game) should be laying this many points.
The Kings still carry a bottom 10 defensive rating and have given up more points than they’ve scored on the road this season.
They needed overtime to get the “W” on Monday in Minnesota. I think there’s a good chance the Kings “overlook” the Spurs tonight.
Despite all their woes, San Antonio is 8-3 ATS their last 11 games against teams that have winning records. Take the points. 8*
|01-31-23||Fresno State v. Wyoming -3.5||Top||62-85||Win||100||14 h 5 m||Show|
Wyoming is a team in dire need of a turnaround as they have lost 9 of 10 overall with the one victory coming by a single point. But heading into tonight, the Cowboys have a key edge over their opponent in that they’ve been off for a full week.
The revenge angle is also in play here. Wyoming lost to Fresno State 58-53 back on December 28th. In that game, they held FSU to just 36.7% shooting but were ultimately undone by second chance points. Wyoming had 16 fewer shot attempts, which is obviously huge in a game that was decided by only five points.
That would be the first of what would end up being three straight losses by five points or less for the Cowboys.
This team has gotten healthier since. You wouldn’t have known it from last Tuesday’s showing at UNLV, but at home I’m expecting a better effort. There’s a reason the Cowboys come in as the favorites.
Fresno State has lost five of six itself with four of those losses coming by double digits. Over the weekend, they fell by 17 at home to Utah State. I think this situation sets up tremendously well for Wyoming. Lay the short number. 10*
|01-31-23||Vanderbilt v. Alabama -14.5||Top||44-101||Win||100||12 h 25 m||Show|
Usually, when we talk about Vanderbilt wandering into Tuscaloosa “at the wrong time,” we think of Nick Saban. But over at the Coleman Coliseum, things are likely to get pretty ugly Tuesday night.
That’s because the 4th ranked Crimson Tide just got humiliated out in Oklahoma on Saturday. They lost 93-69 in the SEC-Big 12 Challenge and saw their nine-game win streak come to a crashing halt.
But Bama is still undefeated in SEC play (10-0), one of just six teams in the country without a conference loss.
They’ve already beaten Vandy once, by 12, and that was on the road. The final margin tonight should be a lot greater when you consider the Tide are winning by an average of nearly 23 points/game at home.
The Commodores have lost five of seven overall. They didn’t get to play a Big 12 team over the weekend, but did lose another conference tilt, 72-66 at Texas A&M. Vandy obviously isn’t anywhere near as talented as Alabama and this is a terrible spot to be facing one of the best teams in the country, who should be plenty angry and motivated. Lay it. 10*
|01-31-23||Lakers v. Knicks -2||Top||129-123||Loss||-110||11 h 52 m||Show|
Both the Lakers and Knicks are looking to bounce back from losses to Brooklyn in their most recent games. I think the home team is well-positioned to be the one that gets the job done.
This is the second night of a back to back for the Lakers, who lost 121-104 in Brooklyn last night. Neither LeBron James or Anthony Davis suited up Monday. That was their second loss in a row, coming on the heels of the “controversial” overtime loss to Boston Saturday night.
The Knicks lost in Brooklyn Saturday night, 122-115 as a 1-point favorite. Defensively, they had few answers, especially for Kyrie Irvin. Prior to that though, NY had won two straight.
Curiously, the Knicks are just 12-13 SU at home this season. I expect that record to improve moving forward. The Lakers, just 10-16 on the road, are getting too much respect from the oddsmakers here.
Look for the Knicks to punish a Lakers team that is allowing 120.9 points/game on the road. James and Davis both remain on the injury report and if one (or both) were not to play tonight, the current number is a steal. (Note: this play stands whether or not James and/or Davis plays or not). 8*
|01-30-23||Raptors +2 v. Suns||Top||106-114||Loss||-110||13 h 42 m||Show|
The Raptors have started to play a bit better. They’re still five games below .500 and 12th in the East, mind you. But they’ve also won three of four, most recently defeating the Kings in Sacramento by a score of 123-105 (as a 4.5 point dog). Now they head to Phoenix, looking to improve to 3-1 on this current trip out West.
The Suns had a miserable post-Christmas stretch where they lost 9 of 10. Injuries were the main culprit. Devin Booker remains out but the team has now won five of six. The only loss in that stretch came here at home vs. Dallas Thursday night. I faded the Suns in that spot and will do the same again tonight.
Saturday’s 128-118 win in San Antonio was a little misleading as the Suns needed overtime. It also bears mentioning that the Spurs are one of the two worst teams in the league.
Toronto has scored more points than its allowed this season, so they should have a better record. They beat the Suns 113-104, albeit at home, back on December 30th.
Landry Shamet and Cameron Payne also remain out for Phoenix. DeAndre Ayton was battling a non-COVID illness last week while Chris Paul is just a week removed from his own seven-game absence. Take the points while you can get them. 10*
|01-30-23||Iowa State v. Texas Tech +1.5||Top||77-80||Win||100||13 h 17 m||Show|
Texas Tech picked up a much needed win on Saturday as they defeated LSU 76-68 as a 2.5 point road favorite in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. But the Red Raiders are still winless (0-8) in conference play. They look to change that Monday night against an Iowa State team that’s also now reeling a bit.
Iowa State was not successful in its game vs. the SEC, losing 78-61 at Missouri as a one point favorite. That drops the Cyclones to 0-3 ATS their last three games. They’ve dropped three of five outright, all three of the SU losses coming on the road.
This is a huge revenge game for Texas Tech, who got beat 84-50 in Ames back on January 13th. There was a wide disparity in three-point shooting for the game as ISU went 12 of 22 from deep while TT was 5 of 26.
Despite being 0-8 in Big 12 play, the Red Raiders have almost always been competitive. Five of their losses have been by seven points or less. Two of those were by three or less (to Texas and Kansas) and they also lost in OT to Oklahoma. There have been three games on the conference slate where Texas Tech had the lead at halftime.
Prior to losing in Ames three weeks ago, the Red Raiders were a perfect 8-0 ATS vs. Iowa State going back to 2019. Take the points (while you can get them) and even look to bet TT as a slight favorite (if the line moves). 10*
|01-30-23||Blues v. Jets -1.5||Top||2-4||Win||130||20 h 59 m||Show|
These two divisional rivals meet up with both teams struggling in recent games. The Jets are just 3 points out of first place but have lost 3 straight including a rare pair at home. St. Louis is singing the blues this season. They are just 4-6 L10 and have lost 4 straight, scoring just 8 goals and allowing 19. The Jets have usually played a fine defensive style with the fifth-ranked defense and a very good PK. In most of their recent games, Winnipeg has continued to shut down the opposition, but a very capable offense has not shown well. The Blues are well below average on defense and offense at five-on-five, and just average on special teams. They have some significant injuries as well.
|01-29-23||Bengals +1 v. Chiefs||Top||20-23||Loss||-112||90 h 5 m||Show|
The Bengals were a road favorite just a few days ago, but with clarification about Mahomes' availability, this game is now a pick'em. The Bengals have had more success than any team against the Chiefs. Against the Bills last week, the Bengals' offense was the complete package. Burrow threw for 250 yards and two touchdowns, and the run game put up a huge 160+ yards against a tough Bills run defense. The defense dominated, limiting the Bills to just 60 rush yards, and Allen to no passing TDs.
PLEASE NOTE: This pick was previously posted as favoring the Chiefs, when the write-up clearly stated that it was a selection on the Bengals. It has since been corrected. Call it pilot error: I clicked the wrong button. My apologies for the confusion.
|01-29-23||49ers v. Eagles -2||Top||7-31||Win||100||38 h 28 m||Show|
The Eagles have home field and the crowd on Sunday, but face a 49ers team that has been completely dominant in the second half of the season. Both teams are healthy but the 49ers face some question marks around Samuel and their starting running backs. Philadelphia whipped the Giants, but it has not been smooth sailing while Hurts was injured. He put concerns about his shoulder to rest last week but faces the league's best run defense this week and will likely have to throw the ball more. The SF defense is more susceptible in the air and has also not faced a good rushing QB since Mariotta and the Falcons. Atlanta won that game convincingly.
|01-29-23||Providence v. Villanova +2||Top||70-65||Loss||-110||4 h 19 m||Show|
Ed Cooley and Providence are doing it again as the Friars come into Sunday on a nice 11-2 run. They are ranked #23 in the country.
If you recall, Providence was considered one of the luckiest teams in the country last season as they won a ton of close games. This year has been a little different. Only three of those 11 wins since the beginning of December have been by single digits.
But the Friars are just a short favorite here at Villanova. If this line “flips” (i.e. Nova ends up being favored), it will put a fascinating trend in play. This season, unranked favorites are 19-9 ATS when taking on a Top 25 foe.
Regardless of where the line ends up though, I am taking Nova here. Providence’s two losses this month both were on the road - at Marquette and at Creighton. The Friars shot the lights out earlier this week vs. Butler and I see some shooting regression taking place today.
Villanova is 6-2 at home. There are three areas which will serve them well in this matchup. The Wildcats are very good at limiting opponents’ two-point shooting, free throw attempts and second chance opportunities, all strengths of this Providence team. Lastly, ‘Nova has been off for nine days and should be well prepared for this contest. 10*
|01-28-23||Raptors v. Blazers -4.5||Top||123-105||Loss||-112||13 h 45 m||Show|
Portland has strung together consecutive home victories (beating San Antonio and Utah) and will now look to make it three in a row as they host Toronto (who is in the second game of a back to back).
The Blazers beat the Spurs 147-127 in a game where I laid the -9. Then they beat the Jazz 134-124 as 3.5-point favorites on Wednesday.
It’s a massive edge in rest for the home team tonight as, like I said earlier, Toronto was in action last night. Unfortunately, that result didn’t work out too well for me as I had the Under in their 129-117 loss to the Warriors.
Typically, spots like this have been good to back the Blazers. They are 6-1 ATS this season when coming off three or more consecutive home games.
This will be the fourth time Toronto finds itself playing in the second of back to back road games with no rest in between. They’ve lost each of the last three times by an average of 8.3 points. 10*
|01-28-23||Ohio State +5.5 v. Indiana||Top||70-86||Loss||-115||11 h 48 m||Show|
Ohio State has been the unluckiest team in the country so far, but I think that changes tonight at Indiana.
The Buckeyes had a nice 93-77 win at home over Iowa last Saturday, but then reverted back to their losing ways by falling at Illinois 69-60 as 3.5-point dogs. That was on Tuesday. OSU is now 1-6 straight up and against the spread over its last seven games.
But four of those six losses have come by four points or less. Really, the Buckeyes could have won any of those.
Indiana had its own poor stretch, losing six of nine while going 1-8 ATS. But the Hoosiers have now won four in a row, beating Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan State and Minnesota.
Looking at this matchup from a market perspective, I say it’s a good spot to buy low on Ohio State while simultaneously selling high on Indiana.
KenPom has Ohio State ninth in the country in offensive efficiency and 20th overall. Both those rankings are higher than Indiana. I’ll take the points and won’t be surprised if this turns into an outright upset. 10*
|01-28-23||Western Kentucky +12.5 v. Florida Atlantic||Top||63-70||Win||100||7 h 7 m||Show|
Florida Atlantic has still not lost a conference game this season, one of only seven teams that can say that. While the Owls probably won’t lose today, I do think that it’s too many points they are laying to Western Kentucky.
WKU is at the opposite end of the C-USA spectrum currently. The Hilltoppers are 3-7 SU in conference play after dropping four in a row.
But you may recall, I had them against FAU earlier this month. It looked like it was maybe going to be an upset with WKU ahead in the second half. But the Hilltoppers fell apart late and lost by 14. They haven’t won since.
They certainly remember that game though and should come out motivated to knock off a team now ranked in the Top 25. FAU has had plenty of close wins so far, six by four or less to be precise. Their luck is probably due to end at some point.
How about here? Western Kentucky has been a double digit dog only one time all year and that was when they knocked off UAB. Take the points. 10*
|01-27-23||North Dakota +8.5 v. North Dakota State||Top||75-91||Loss||-110||12 h 58 m||Show|
I came up short with my Summit League Game of the Month last night, but that’s where we’ll stay for tonight’s lone College Basketball selection as we’ve got the “battle of North Dakota” with North Dakota taking on North Dakota State.
Just to reiterate what I wrote yesterday, everyone in this league is chasing Oral Roberts, who has yet to drop a conference game. Nobody is further off the pace than North Dakota, who at 1-8 SU in league play finds itself in last place.
But I believe this to be an excellent time to take the points with the Fighting Hawks. While they came up short (again) Monday at Western Illinois, four of their previous five conference losses had been by six points or less.
North Dakota State has dropped back to back games, both here at home, as they were smashed by Oral Roberts, then lost by 2 to UMKC despite shooting 55% from the field.
North Dakota certainly remembers what happened the first time these teams met, which was a horrible 22-point home loss for them. They’ll be out for revenge here and, at the very least, should get the cover. I don’t see NDSU matching its shooting from last Saturday (against UMKC) nor do I see ND shooting as poorly as they did in the first meeting. Take the points here. 10*
|01-27-23||Bucks v. Pacers +9||Top||141-131||Loss||-110||10 h 23 m||Show|
The Pacers snapped a seven-game losing streak on Tuesday as they rallied back from a 20+ point deficit to defeat the Bulls 116-110 here at home. But then they immediately reverted back to their losing ways, falling the next night in Orlando by a score of 126-120.
While struggling recently, Indiana has already exceeded its projected win total (23.5) from the preseason. So, in that regard, the season is already a success! But this is a team that can make the playoffs in the depth-shy Eastern Conference (at least the play-in round) so I don’t see them “phoning it in” even after going Over their win total.
Milwaukee is near the top of the East, which is what you’d expect, but they had problems beating a severely undermanned Denver team two nights ago. The Nuggets were without four key players, Nikola Jokic being one of them, and yet still ended up making a game of it. The final score of 107-99.
That was the Bucks’ first game without the injured Bobby Portis. They’ve struggled on the road this year, going just 12-12 with a -3.8 point/game differential. I want no part of laying this many points on the road with the Bucks, even if they’ve beaten the Pacers nine straight times.
Indiana plays hard almost every night, even without leading scorer Haliburton. They are 16-9 SU and 16-8-1 ATS at home. Had it not been for a terrible 1st quarter against Orlando, they likely could have come back and won that game. I’ll take the points here. 10*
|01-26-23||Mavs +1.5 v. Suns||Top||99-95||Win||100||13 h 19 m||Show|
Dallas really needs to get going as they’ve dropped five of six, including a 127-126 loss at home Tuesday to a Washington team that was playing short handed. That was despite 41 points from Luka Doncic. That particular game was decided on a made free throw in the final 4.1 seconds.
The Mavs are still top six in the Western Conference, but this losing streak has created a sense of urgency. Seven teams are within two games of them, which means missing the playoffs (while unlikely) is not out of the question.
One of those seven teams on the Mavs’ heels is Phoenix. Actually these teams are tied with matching 25-24 SU records. But the Suns have won four in a row after being dreadful for most of January. They’ve covered the spread all in all four games, all of which were here at home.
Last time these teams met, Dallas won by 19 at home. I still think they are the better team and Phoenix is just 6-12 ATS in revenge spots this season.
Three of those last four Suns’ victories were by five points or less and the other one was against Charlotte where they shot a blistering 55 percent from three. While healthier than they were a couple weeks ago, the Suns are still without Devin Booker. Look for Doncic to lead Dallas to a victory here. 10*
|01-26-23||Ducks v. Avalanche -1.5||Top||5-3||Loss||-143||11 h 42 m||Show|
Anaheim has won two of their last three games, but they have been picking the low-hanging fruit, so to speak, win victories over Arizona and Columbus. Their recent losses have all been by wide margins. The Ducks are not good at all on the road, and have allowed more than 5 goals a game on average in their recent losses. The Avs have won 6 straight, and have been particularly stingy in goals-allowed, with just 8 in total in those 6 games.
The Ducks are 31st in goals scored and worst in the league in goals allowed. Their PK is equally poor. Goalie John Gibson shut out the Jackets, but otherwise has given up nearly 6 goals a game in recent appearances. The Avalanche offense has been slow to develop this year, but is starting to come, and certainly the potential is there. Their power play is in the top ten, and the Ducks are one of the league's most penalized teams.
Look for another lopsided victory for the Avs tonight and take Colorado on the puck line (-1 1/2).
|01-26-23||South Dakota State v. St. Thomas||Top||54-60||Loss||-110||12 h 38 m||Show|
South Dakota State, like everyone else in the Summit League, is chasing an Oral Roberts team that is undefeated in conference play. But nobody’s closer than SDSU, who is two games back of the “summit” (i.e first place). The Jackrabbits begin a three-game road swing tonight against one of the weaker teams in the league, St. Thomas (MN).
St. Thomas just got done with their own three-game road trip and that did not go well. The Tommies lost all three games, two of them by double digits. Now they are unbeaten at home, winning all nine game straight up and covering all seven vs. DI opponents. But the trends don’t really support that streak continuing here as the team is 4-12 ATS when off a conference loss since joining DI three seasons ago.
Also, these teams already met once and South Dakota State won 71-64 as a 4.5-point favorite.
The bottom line is that I don’t think returning home is enough for St. Thomas here. They’ve never beaten SDSU in three previous tries and the road team is rolling right now, with a four-game SU win streak that has seen them cover the spread in three straight. 10*
|01-25-23||Blue Jackets v. Oilers -1.5||Top||3-2||Loss||-145||11 h 10 m||Show|
The Oilers have won six straight games, and are now just four points back of the Division-leading Golden Knights. With a light schedule this week, the Oilers face the Blue Jackets after three days rest. Edmonton has scored 31 goals in their 6 games win streak. This recent surge is largely a reflection of very good secondary scoring behind the the stellar offensive duo of MCD and Draisaitl.
Columbus is 3-7 in their last ten games and has allowed an average of 4 goals a game in their last three. They are a very poor team on the road this season, and are still not out of the woods as far as injuries go. Columbus is 30th in goals-allowed and face a hard-charging Oilers team with a fine and improving offense and the top-ranked power play in the league. Look for the favored Oilers to pad their win streak with a one-sided victory against the Jackets. Take the Oilers on the Puck line at -1 1/2. 10*!
|01-25-23||USC Upstate v. Gardner-Webb -8||Top||66-78||Win||100||12 h 38 m||Show|
We’re digging deep for the latest Game of the Month selection, heading to the Big South on Wednesday. Gardner Webb and USC Upstate both find themselves “middle of the pack” in the conference right now, so what’s the edge? Read on …
USC Upstate is just not good on the road. The Spartans are 2-9 this season when not playing at home and they are losing by an average of double digits. Part of that is they only average 62.9 points/game away from home.
Sure enough, USC Upstate is coming off a 64-58 loss to UNC Asheville on Saturday.
Gardner Webb won at Winthrop over the weekend, but pushed as two-favorites. That makes it six straight games without a cover for the Runnin’ Bulldogs. But this is a buy low spot.
The home team has double revenge from last season. Meanwhile, SC Upstate has just one win in the last four games overall and it was by a single point over the last place team in the conference. I’m laying the points. 10*
|01-24-23||Wyoming +7 v. UNLV||Top||72-86||Loss||-110||14 h 11 m||Show|
Wyoming’s luck is due to turn, sooner rather than later, and we may have seen the start of it Saturday night when the Cowboys edged Colorado State 58-57 in Laramie. Tonight, they’ll hit Vegas to face UNLV and I see this as being a pretty generous spread given the Runnin’ Rebels’ own perilous state.
UNLV has dropped four in a row and six of seven. They have just one win by more than seven points since December 4th. So they are not an ideal candidate for the favorite role and if you need that point to be reaffirmed, know that the Rebels are 1-6 ATS laying points at home this season.
Hunter Maldanado is back for Wyoming, which is huge. After missing the loss to Air Force, Maldanado didn’t shoot the ball particularly well vs. Colorado State. But I expect a better individual effort in his second game back.
Looking at the eight-game losing streak Wyoming was on - before beating Colorado State - they fell to a number of good teams. Boise State, San Diego State, Utah State and New Mexico are the top four in the Mountain West and there were out of conference defeats at the hands of St. Mary’s and Dayton.
I like the underdog to control pace and cover the number in this one. 10*
|01-24-23||Clippers -4.5 v. Lakers||Top||133-115||Win||100||13 h 26 m||Show|
The Clippers finally seem like they’re putting it together, albeit it’s only been two straight wins and one of them was against San Antonio. But they also won 112-98 in Dallas on Sunday thanks to a dominant second half performance. I like them here to cover against the Lakers.
The Lakers have also won two straight, but both were miracle comebacks as they trailed Memphis by seven with three minutes to go (won 122-121) and then Portland by 25 at halftime (won 121-112). I don’t see this as a sustainable blueprint for success.
The Clippers are 2-0 vs. the Lakers so far this season, winning by six as the “road team” and 13 as the “home team.” (Both teams play here at the Crypto.com Arena, obviously). The Clippers have won and covered four straight when listed as “the road team” in this rivalry.
The Lakers are just 1-8 ATS vs. the rest of the division in 2022-23. Over the last three seasons, they are 14-30 ATS in division games.
When the Clippers are at full strength, as they are now, they are simply better than the Lakers. LeBron has little help. Kawhi Leonard scored 30 and Paul George had 21 against Dallas. Either is capable of leading the Clippers to victory on any given night. Lay it. 10*
|01-24-23||Notre Dame +9 v. NC State||Top||82-85||Win||100||11 h 1 m||Show|
Notre Dame is a team that has really struggled in 2022-23 as the Fighting Irish are 9-11 SU overall and don’t have a true road win to their name. Things have been even worse at the betting window where they are 3-16 against the spread. Not exactly the final season that HC Mike Brey envisioned.
But I like the Irish to at least keep it close tonight in Raleigh. For all their ATS struggles, they’ve only been a dog of this size once and that was against North Carolina. This, I believe, is the correct time to jump in and “buy low.”
NC State hasn’t exactly been an ATS juggernaut through the years. They are a money-burning 27-47 vs. the number the last three seasons, a record which includes 10-26 at home and 15-32 in conference games. So the Wolfpack shouldn’t be trusted laying this many points, especially off the loss to UNC on Saturday.
Keep in mind that two of NC State’s last three wins have been by four points or less. And they needed OT to beat Miami here at home.
Notre Dame may not be on the level of some of NC State’s recent opposition, but I expect them to play hard Tuesday and cover this generous spread. Three of their last five losses have been by seven points or less. 10*
|01-23-23||Spurs v. Blazers -7.5||Top||127-147||Win||100||13 h 40 m||Show|
I feel that Portland let a golden opportunity slip through their grasp last night, hosting the Lakers. The Blazers had a one day rest advantage over LA and were six-point favorites at home. Up 25 at halftime, it certainly appeared that the home team was headed for victory. But it ended up being a 121-112 loss instead.
That was the Lakers’ first road game since January 9th. Tonight, Portland hosts an even worse team that hasn’t played a road game since January 11th. That would be San Antonio, who has the worst defensive rating in the league as well as the worst point differential.
I realize that it may seem a bit “scary” to lay this many points with a team that is just 2-8 SU and ATS over its last 10 games. But, if the Blazers can’t cover here, it might be time to “fold up the tent.”
San Antonio is truly horrific. They just allowed the Clippers to shoot 63% from the field on Saturday and score 33 or more points in three different quarters.
The Spurs are 2-9 SU their last 11 games overall and are being outscored by an average of almost 12 points/game on the road this season. Lay it. 10*
|01-23-23||Duke +3 v. Virginia Tech||Top||75-78||Push||0||10 h 43 m||Show|
Both teams are on long ATS losing streaks coming into “Big Monday.” Duke has failed to cover five in a row (and seven of its last eight) while Virginia Tech has failed to cover its last seven games.
But the difference here is that Duke has still been winning games, straight up. They are 3-2 SU during the five-game ATS losing streak and 5-3 SU over the course of the 1-7 ATS slide. They just defeated #17 Miami on Saturday, 68-66.
Virginia Tech hasn’t just failed to cover seven in a row, they’ve lost all seven of those games straight up. I understand that they’re at home tonight and eventually will cover a spread. But I don’t think the Hokies should be favored here against - what I feel - is pretty clearly a better basketball team.
This will be the first time that Duke is an underdog this season. This despite Jeremy Roach being back in the lineup, which obviously makes the Blue Devils a better all-around basketball team.
I’m taking the points here. 10*
|01-22-23||Cowboys +4.5 v. 49ers||Top||12-19||Loss||-120||8 h 34 m||Show|
Two very fine teams, both off huge wild card victories, meet up on Sunday. We are looking at the 4th and 5th best offenses, and the 5th and 6th best defenses, so there is no obvious advantage. That said, each defense has weak point. For Dallas, it is the run game; 21st rated though improving lately. The 49ers' soft spot is their pass defense. They are 20th in pass yards allowed and 22 in completion rate.
|01-22-23||Pelicans +7.5 v. Heat||Top||96-100||Win||100||8 h 47 m||Show|
New Orleans has been trending in the wrong direction for awhile now, losing 8 of its last 11 games including each of the last three. They are now 7 games adrift of the top spot in the Western Conference and 5.5 games behind second place Memphis.
So a win here today in Miami is much needed. The Pelicans will be looking to avenge an ugly 124-98 loss they took at the hands of the Heat back on Wednesday.
Obviously, this Pelicans’ losing streak coincides with Zion Williamson being out of the lineup. Brandon Ingram is also out. But CJ McCollum averages 21.3 and a team-high 5.8 assists. I expect better results for this team moving forward.
This is too many points to pass up in my opinion. Miami is only 7-14-2 ATS at home including 5-13-2 when going off as the favorite. They were just blown out (by 25) in Dallas Friday night, a game the Heat actually went off as two-point favorites.
|01-22-23||Bengals +6 v. Bills||Top||27-10||Win||100||15 h 36 m||Show|
The Bengals travel to Buffalo to play in the snow tomorrow against a favored Bills team. The Dolphins, the best pass-centric team the Bills have faced this year, put up 81 points in three games against Buffalo this year, winning once and losing the others by 3 points. The Bengals are an elite pass-first team with a far better defense than Miami's. With the spread now at 6 points, I am not at all confident that the Bills can put this game away, in spite of Cincinnati's O-line injuries. Burrow, of all passers, is the least likely to be seriously affected by O line deficiencies. Very high sack totals has been the norm for him until this year, and he has thrived anyway. The cold weather has not affected him, he loves the limelight, and he and the Bengals are unlikely to be affected by crowd noise.
|01-22-23||Merrimack -1.5 v. St Francis NY||Top||63-55||Win||100||5 h 21 m||Show|
The NEC (Northeast Conference) has treated me well in January! I’m 2-0 when playing this conference (which is found on the added board) including a big win with Wagner on Friday.
Merrimack is a team that just lost to Wagner, 62-57 as a two-point favorite, on Monday. Despite that loss, the Warriors have a big-time advantage going into their next game. They’ve had nearly a week off while their opponents, St. Francis (NY), just played 48 hours ago.
St. Francis lost 87-61 to St. Francis (PA) on Friday. They’d previously won three in a row, but all those games were close. None were decided by more than seven points.
These teams already played once this month. Merrimack won 65-53 as a 4.5-point home favorite, holding St. Francis to 39.6% shooting.
Merrimack isn’t very good offensively, but they are holding opponents to 56.7 points/game in conference play. St. Francis has been wildly inconsistent at the offensive end this season and figures to struggle (again) here in this matchup. 10*
|01-21-23||Giants +7.5 v. Eagles||Top||7-38||Loss||-110||43 h 15 m||Show|
The Giants face the Eagles at home in the divisional round. This should be no contest considering their respective positions in the standings, but I believe it will be a much closer game and here is why.
|01-21-23||Rockets v. Wolves -8||Top||104-113||Win||100||12 h 52 m||Show|
Minnesota is coming off a 128-126 win over Toronto where they were five-point underdogs here at home. They go from that, to being a significant favorite here tonight against sorry Houston.
The T’wolves have already beaten the Rockets twice this season, by 12 and by 8. The larger margin of victory was here at home.
Houston has not won a game since the day after Christmas! The losing streak hit 12 with their 122-117 home loss to Charlotte on Wednesday. They’d previously dropped four in a row on the road, three of those by 20 or more, while giving up an average of 133.8 points per game.
It gets even worse. The Rockets haven’t covered a spread since January 2nd. It’s eight straight ATS losses.
On the road this season, the Rockets are 4-20 and being outscored by over 10 points/game. Play against them at all costs right now. 10*
|01-21-23||NC State v. North Carolina -5.5||Top||69-80||Win||100||9 h 29 m||Show|
It’s not too often that you can use “North Carolina” and “undervalued” in the same sentence, but I think that’s where we are at right now with the Tar Heels, who I believe are one of the Top 25 teams in America.
Over its L10 games, UNC has lost just twice, both on the road - at Pitt (by 2) and at #10 Virginia (by 6). Since losing to Virginia, Hubert Davis’ team has responded by winning twice, as they should have, as double digit favorites, beating Louisville and Boston College.
This is a matchup where they are catching NC State in the second of two straight road games. The Wolfpack won at Georgia Tech on Tuesday, but this is the first time all season that they’re playing two straight true road games. They’ve previously lost at Miami and Clemson. Last Saturday, they needed OT to defeat Miami at home in a revenge spot.
Remember that North Carolina entered this season ranked #1 in the polls! They are far more talented than what we saw back in November.
As a home favorite of 3.5 to 6 points, the Tar Heels have covered five straight times. NC State is just 15-31 ATS the last three years in conference play. Lay it. 10*
|01-21-23||Jaguars +9.5 v. Chiefs||Top||20-27||Win||100||17 h 30 m||Show|
The last really good team the Chiefs played was the Bengals and they lost. They beat the Chargers, the Jags' competition last week, by 3 points, and the rest of their recent competition hasn't been strong. This is a much better Jags team than the last time the Chiefs faced them and we are now looking at a 9 point spread. Lawrence has grown immensely as a passer and bounced back from some uncharacteristically poor play in the first halves of his last two games, so let us hope his jitters are behind him. The weather will be been less than perfect on Saturday and the Jags have the edge in the run department, so a possible edge there. The Jags' O-line has protected Lawrence very well to date but the Chiefs are a voracious team when it comes to passer pressure. I expect a big game from Etienne on Saturday.
|01-20-23||Warriors v. Cavs -6.5||Top||120-114||Loss||-115||12 h 52 m||Show|
Golden State goes from one NBA Finals rematch to another. Last night, they lost 121-118 in Boston, a rematch of last year’s Finals. Now they face a team that played in four consecutive Finals (2014-17), that being Cleveland. LeBron might now be long gone, but this current Cavaliers team is most certainly for real.
The Warriors found themselves on the wrong end of an 8-0 OT run last night in Boston. They are now just 5-18 on the road. Having to play again on the road, in the second night of a back to back, after blowing a double digit second half lead, is a tough spot.
Given the way this line is moving, I suspect the Warriors may be giving someone the night off. In the second game of six previous road back to backs, we’ve seen them elect to rest one or multiple starters. They did beat Washington 127-118 in an identical situation Monday. But the five previous times saw them lose by an average of more than 20 points/game.
Furthermore, this will be Golden State’s fifth straight game on the road.
Cleveland is 19-4 SU/16-7 ATS at home this season. They are #2 in the league in defensive efficiency. Even if Donovan Mitchell (questionable) can’t play here, I believe the Cavs take care of business and snap a 14-game losing streak to the Warriors. Lay it! 10*
|01-20-23||Central Connecticut State v. Wagner -4.5||Top||50-72||Win||100||12 h 58 m||Show|
We turn to the NEC (Northeast Conference) for today’s Best Bet. Believe it or not, I’ve already cashed a Game of the Month in this Conference here in January, betting Fairleigh Dickinson (1st place team) against St. Francis (NY).
Here we’ve got Wagner, laying just a short number, hosting a Central Connecticut State team that is among the very worst in the country. I have no hesitation in playing the favorite here.
Wagner just stopped a three-game win streak earlier this week (Monday) with a 62-57 win at Merrimack as two-point underdogs. Prior to that, the Seahawks had failed to cash eight in a row. That’s why we’re able to get them at such a cheap price tonight.
Now laying points with a team that’s 1-8 ATS over its last nine lined games may seem like a dicey proposition. But, as stated earlier, C Conn St is one of the worst teams in the country. Currently #327 at KenPom (out of 363 teams), the Blue Devils have won just four games all season and three of those were at home.
In their last two games, we’ve seen C Conn State lose by scoring only 49 and then by giving 88 points. They are 1-10 SU when playing away from home and losing by a substantial margin (double digits in true road games). Lay it! 10*
|01-19-23||Nets -1 v. Suns||Top||112-117||Loss||-110||13 h 20 m||Show|
You can watch this one on TNT. After essentially “punting” on the game in San Antonio Tuesday, the Nets should bounce back here against a Phoenix team that’s even more short-handed.
Already without Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving did not play against the Spurs. The result was an embarrassing 106-98 loss to what I consider to be the worst team in the league.
Since Durant went down, the Nets’ offensive numbers have gone in the toilet. They’re averaging fewer than 100 points over the last three contests. But Irving is probable to go here.
We don’t know exactly who WON’T be going for Phoenix. Devin Booker, Chris Paul, Cameron Payne, Cameron Johnson, Jae Crowder, Josk Okogie and Landry Shamet are all on the injured list. But of the seven, only Paul and Johnson have a chance of playing here.
The Suns have won just once in their last 10 games and this is the first game back home after a four-game trip, a spot we typically see teams struggle in. 10*
|01-19-23||William & Mary v. Delaware -6||Top||53-80||Win||100||10 h 19 m||Show|
Delaware looks to halt a two-game losing skid here as it hosts William & Mary in Thursday night CAA action. The good news (for the Blue Hens) is they’re back home. The two straight losses both came on the road, at Hofstra and at Northeastern, the latter by just a single point in a game they led by 12 at the half.
Now the Blue Hens have been without Jameer Nelson Jr for the last four games and are just 1-3 with the lone win coming against Towson. Nelson is questionable to return here, but I still like the home team regardless. Note all three losses without Nelson came on the road.
William & Mary is also off a loss, and a humbling one at that, as they were beaten 82-54 at Charleston. Now there’s no shame in losing to a team that’s 19-1 and the “flag bearer” for your conference. But getting beat by 28 is another thing entirely.
Going back to the start of December. W&M is 5-6 SU overall. But three of the wins came by three points or less and another was over a non-DI team. All five losses, meanwhile, were by double digits.
With or without Nelson, look for the Blue Hens to blow out the Tribe. 10*
|01-18-23||Hawks v. Mavs -3.5||Top||130-122||Loss||-110||13 h 30 m||Show|
Remember when Atlanta drafted Luka Doncic, then immediately traded him to Dallas in exchange for Trae Young? OOPS! The Hawks probably regret that move, this season more than ever, as Doncic is putting in a MVP-caliber season while Young has seemingly lost the ability to shoot from three.
There are 35 NBA players that have attempted at least 250 three-pointers this season. Young is 33rd in 3PT% (at 32.5).
Now the Hawks do come into Dallas on a three-game win streak. They beat Indiana, Toronto and Miami over a four-day stretch, the first two coming on the road. But the only other time this season that the Hawks found themselves on a three-game win streak, they went out and lost the next game, by six at Utah.
Dallas should be glad to be back home after a five-game road trip where they went 1-4. They are 16-6 SU at home and while only 8-11-3 ATS, this is a short number that I’m not really worried about.
The Mavs have won & covered each of the last three times they’ve been off back to back losses. Only once all season have they lost more than two in a row. 10*
|01-18-23||Duquesne v. St Bonaventure +1.5||Top||56-65||Win||100||12 h 51 m||Show|
For this A-10 matchup, we’ve got two teams that have been covering the spread quite a bit lately. Duquesne is 7-1 ATS its last eight games, the only non-cover coming against Dayton where the Dukes were eight-point road underdogs and lost by 12. St. Bonaventure is 4-1 ATS over its last five games, also winning three of those straight up.
Obviously, the Bonnies have been the less successful team overall this year, but they come into this one sporting an 8-1 SU record at home. They are also 8-1 ATS here. The lone home loss came back on 12/13 to Florida Gulf Coast, as a 3.5-point favorite.
Saturday saw the Bonnies defeat Richmond, 71-63, as they outscored their opponents 48-34 in the second half.
I don’t like this spot at all for Duquesne as they are playing a third straight road game. They lost at Richmond the previous Saturday before winning at St. Joe’s last Wednesday.
Despite the rest advantage, the Dukes face a daunting task trying to win here at the Reilly Center. They opened as the favorite, something I disagree with, considering they have just one true road win. St. Bonaventure also holds teams to an average of 62.8 points and 40.2% shooting here at home. 8*
|01-18-23||TCU v. West Virginia -2||Top||65-74||Win||100||12 h 51 m||Show|
WVU is DESPERATE for a win tonight. The Mountaineers are 0-5 to start Big 12 play, which was tied for last (until Texas Tech lost Tuesday). But they’ve been in almost every game, save for the one against Kansas. The other four conference losses have all been by seven points or less.
Saturday saw West Virginia lose by one at Oklahoma. They at least got the cover, as 3.5 point underdogs, when Seth Wilson made a “meaningless” three right before the buzzer.
TCU is probably feeling pretty good about itself after smashing Kansas State over the weekend. But this looks like a bit of a letdown spot for a Horned Frogs team that is just 5-10 SU off a conference win the last three seasons.
West Virginia has one of the best home court advantages in the country, yet has lost two straight in Morgantown. Can’t see them losing three straight.
TCU’s three-point shooting issues (below 29% for the season) become a problem more so on the road. WVU is 9-1 SU as a favorite this year and I’m laying the short number here. 10*
|01-17-23||Nets -6 v. Spurs||Top||98-106||Loss||-110||21 h 59 m||Show|
Yes, Brooklyn is without Kevin Durant. But if there’s a worse team in the NBA than San Antonio, I’m not aware of them. The Spurs have been outscored by 9.1 points/game (worst in the league), 8.7 points per 100 possession (29th out of 30), own the worst defensive rating and are 28th on offense.
Overall, the Spurs have dropped five straight and eight of nine coming into Tuesday.
The Nets have lost two in a row without Durant, but held the lead going into the 4Q Sunday vs. OKC. They were ultimately doomed by shooting 29% from three.
But this has “get right game” written all over it for Brooklyn, who beat the Spurs by 36 earlier this month. Durant did have 25 points in that win, but also played just 29 minutes.
The Nets still have Kyrie Irving and also got 23 points from Seth Curry off the bench on Sunday. Two other starters finished in double figures. There’s enough firepower on hand to beat the lowly Spurs. 10*
|01-17-23||Illinois-Chicago v. Valparaiso -2||Top||66-76||Win||100||20 h 49 m||Show|
Valparaiso is not having a good season. The BEACONS are just 1-7 in Missouri Valley games. But so are their Tuesday opponents, UIC. The difference here is Valpo is coming off its first conference win while UIC has lost five in a row.
The Beacons beat Evansville, who are the worst team in the MVC. But UIC isn’t much better. The Flames may play fast (84th in tempo), but they aren’t efficient on offense (325th). The defense isn’t any good either (206th).
Five of UIC’s seven conference losses have been by at least 13 points. The two that weren’t both came at home.
Being at home tonight should motivate Valpo. They haven’t won here since 12/21. Saturday’s win was at Evansville.
Valpo is probably in store for some positive regression in terms of three-point shooting. They are below 30% from the year. It’s hard to imagine staying that bad for a full season. 10*
|01-16-23||Cowboys v. Bucs +3||Top||31-14||Loss||-120||19 h 25 m||Show|
Even after a sub .500 season it is hard to go against Brady and the Bucs. It would be easier if Prescott were playing a little better. A few things stand out in this match-up. As noted in the media, the Cowboys a. haven't won in a quite a while against the Bucs, b. don't play well on real grass, and c. Tampa, while losing more than winning this season, are above .500 at home.
The Cowboys have gotten away from their running game lately; the Bucs who are last in the league in rush yards for the season, have put up just as many yards as Dallas lately. The Bucs seldom run the ball, but did against the Cowboys in their first game and again against the Seahawks, two of their best performances this year. The Cowboys are susceptible to the run, so it is a possibility we will see more from Fournette and the rush defense on Monday. Brady has looked better connected to his targets, and might hold on to the ball a little longer with the season on the line.
Prescott has no impressed at all in recent games, and it isn't just the picks he has thrown. The offensive breakdown in a game that should have mattered last week is concerning. Dallas could revert to the run, and should be able to move the ball vs Tampa, but in the end, given his history and his ability to move the ball when he needs to this season, I'm choosing Brady over Prescott. Tampa is as healthy as they have been all season. A mistake could decide this game, a pick or an interception, and it is more likely to come from Dallas. Take Tampa + the points.
|01-16-23||Florida Atlantic v. Western Kentucky +4.5||Top||76-62||Loss||-110||10 h 7 m||Show|
FAU is 16-1 with the nation’s second longest win streak, but they have been a very lucky team so far, particularly of late. The Owls’ last five wins have all come by four points or less, four of them by that exact margin. I don’t think they can continue winning like this.
Hosting North Texas on Saturday, Florida Atlantic trailed at the half. That was after needing overtime to get by FIU earlier in the week.
Western Kentucky had been one of the most disappointing teams in the country, but the Hilltoppers have rallied for a three-game SU/ATS win streak, including an impressive victory at UAB. This despite HC Rick Stansbury being away from the team.
FAU has not had an easy time winning at WKU through the years. They’ve dropped 9 of the previous 12 visits. Those were different teams obviously, but the Hilltoppers have always been a strong home team.
The only other time they’ve been a home dog this year, WKU pushed, losing by four to North Texas. This time they get the cover and I obviously give them a great shot at pulling the outright upset against a team that’s due to drop a game. 10*
|01-16-23||Suns v. Grizzlies -10.5||Top||106-136||Win||100||9 h 25 m||Show|
Two teams headed in very different directions here. Phoenix is just 2-11 over its last 13 games and has covered the spread only two times in the last nine games. Memphis is on a nine-game win streak, during which they are 6-3 ATS.
But, surprisingly, this is a revenge spot for the Grizzlies.
They lost to the Suns, here at home, 125-108 right after Christmas (12/27). That was after blowing the Suns out (in Phoenix) just four days earlier.
The Grizzlies are a devastating home team. Not only are they 18-3 at the FedExForum, but they are winning by an average of 10.8 points/game.
This is a depleted Suns roster with little chance of doing anything today. No Booker, Paul, Payne or Johnson. That wasn’t the case when they beat the Grizzlies last month. Memphis has scored 121 or more points in six straight games. Phoenix has failed to score 100 five of its last seven and has given up 123.5 PPG over its last two. Lay it. 10*
|01-15-23||Ravens +9.5 v. Bengals||Top||17-24||Win||100||31 h 53 m||Show|
It is offense vs defense when the Bengals host the Ravens on Sunday. Resting Andrews, Dobbins and others last week, the Ravens deserted their running game, with rookie QB Anthony Brown throwing for 270+ yards, not to mention 2 picks and an end zone fumble. Credit to the kid, he did appear to settle somewhat as the game went on, and it was surprisingly easy at times for the Ravens to move the ball. It will likely be back to Huntley, Dobbins and the running game this week against a solid Bengals run and an average pass defense. Of note, the Bengals are susceptible to longer passing plays; the Ravens averaged over 14 yards per completion last week.
|01-15-23||Magic v. Nuggets -10||Top||116-119||Loss||-110||13 h 53 m||Show|
Denver sat Nikola Jokic on Friday and still beat the Clippers 115-103 on the road. So you have to like their chances here, at home against the lowly Magic, even with a large spread in play.
The Nuggets are tied (with Memphis) for the best record in the Western Conference right now at 29-13. They’ve won five in a row overall and covered the spread in four of the wins (with one push). Since 12/18, the team is 12-2 SU and 9-4-1 ATS.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, you have Orlando, who is a bottom five team in the NBA, although definitely better than the bottom four. The Magic are at the end of a five-game road trip and while things have gone surprisingly well so far (2-2 SU, 3-1 ATS), I think they’re ripe to get blown out tonight.
Jokic will play for the Nuggets and that’s obviously bad news for an Orlando team that carries a bottom 10 ranking both offensively and defensively.
The Nuggets aren’t just winning games, they are crushing teams, outscoring the last five opponents by an average of 19.6 points/game. I have no problem laying this number Sunday night. 10*
|01-15-23||Ohio State v. Rutgers -3||Top||64-68||Win||100||7 h 59 m||Show|
One could probably make the case that BOTH of these Big 10 squads are a bit underrated at the moment. Ohio State and Rutgers each find themselves listed in the KenPom top 15, however neither are to be found in the AP or Coaches’ polls.
Ohio State was in the Top 25 of those polls, but has dropped three straight relatively close decisions, including two when favored at home. I suppose there’s no shame in losing to Purdue, but losing as a 14.5-point favorite in Columbus to Minnesota was very bad for the Buckeyes.
The market seems to think this is a “must win” for OSU, but I’d be careful about that as Rutgers has lost just once over its last seven games (Iowa) and that was a game where the ShotQuality data suggested they probably should have won. A win here and you have to think the Scarlet Knights are in the “official” Top 25.
What I like about this Rutgers team is their defense. They are #3 in the country in defensive efficiency, trailing only Tennessee and Houston. That’s a massive edge over Ohio State, who is 99th in defensive efficiency.
This is the second meeting of the year between these teams. Ohio State won the first, 67-66, but that was not without controversy as the Big 10 later admitted that the game-winning shot should not have counted. Look for Rutgers, who is 34-9 L43 home games, to exact revenge in this one. Lay the short number. 10*
|01-14-23||Portland v. Gonzaga -17.5||Top||75-115||Win||100||14 h 19 m||Show|
Gonzaga just escaped BYU with a 75-74 win, but did not cover as 6.5-point road favorites. That makes it an 0-3 ATS start to the New Year for the Zags, all of those games coming as single digit favorites on the road.
I think it’s worth pointing out though that the three teams they just faced are all top five in the WCC.
Portland is NOT top five and that’s why the Zags are laying double digits here as they return home Saturday. The oddsmakers are expecting a blowout and so am I.
So far Gonzaga has won all seven home games by an average of 28.1 points/game. This remains an elite offensive team that is 6th in the country in efficiency, not to mention shoots it at a 51.4% clip.
Portland is coming off a bit of a surprise result as they were two-point home underdogs at home in a 92-87 win vs. San Francisco. But the last time the Pilots hit the road, they were beaten soundly, by St. Mary’s 85-43 as 17-point underdogs. May not get quite that ugly here, but the Zags will roll. 10*
|01-14-23||Chargers v. Jaguars +2.5||Top||30-31||Win||100||24 h 59 m||Show|
This will be an interesting match-up between two young QBs. Trevor Lawrence and the Jags got a taste of "lose and it is over" last week, and Lawrence did seem a little jittery vs. the Titans. He has been a quick study in his brief history so far, and I think he will step up this week. Etienne and the Jags' running game will be a deciding factor. The Jags, unlike the Chargers, have some balance in their offense, and the Chargers REALLY struggle against the run.
|01-14-23||Seattle Kraken -1.5 v. Blackhawks||Top||8-5||Win||110||9 h 22 m||Show|
The surprising Kraken are rolling on the road, taking on all comers and winning 6 straight. They are now 15-4 in away games after shutting out the mighty Bruins 3-0. We have seen plenty of goal production from Seattle lately, with 4 or more, and a high of 8, in six of seven games.
The Blackhawks have won three straight games, likely their best stretch this season, but that streak ends tonight. Seattle has a top three offense and a solid defense while facing a very poor Blackhawks' defense and the league's worst goal scorers.
Seattle's net-minder Jones has shut out the last two teams he has faced. Look for Seattle to continue with a hot hand tonight. The Kraken to win on the puck line at -1 1/2.
|01-14-23||Celtics v. Hornets +8||Top||122-106||Loss||-110||11 h 11 m||Show|
On paper, this looks like a big mismatch with the best team in the East (and probably the entire NBA) taking on the team with the worst record in the Conference.
Boston has been very impressive in rolling to a league-best 32-11 record. They come into the weekend riding a five-game win streak after defeating Brooklyn 109-98 Thursday.
But the Celtics haven’t been that great as road favorites so far, at least at the betting window as they are 7-10-1 ATS in that role. With another game here in Charlotte Monday afternoon, I can see this not exactly being a peak performance (Jaylen Brown is questionable to play).
Meanwhile, it should be “all hands on deck” for the Hornets, who are back home after playing the last four games on the road. They’ve lost six of seven overall, but did upset Milwaukee on the road, 138-109 as a 10-point underdog.
With Boston only outscoring its opponents by 2.5 points/game on the road, I just think this is too many points. 10*
|01-14-23||Seahawks +10 v. 49ers||Top||23-41||Loss||-110||42 h 30 m||Show|
It would be hard to imagine the 49ers not emerging victorious on Saturday but the question is "by how much?" First off, there is a huge risk of heavy rain and wind, making for the likelihood of a run-dominated game. The Giants ran 60% of the time in their last game and have had plenty of success with it, averaging 160+ yards in their last three games. The Seahawks' defense doesn't handle the run at all well, so the 49ers would be wise to take advantage irregardless of the weather. Seattle, and especially Walker has had rush success lately, as the Seahawks have put up even more yards than the 49ers on the ground L3 Seattle will likely have a tougher time moving the ball against an excellent SF rush defense.
|01-14-23||Kentucky +12 v. Tennessee||Top||63-56||Win||100||5 h 39 m||Show|
This is the ultimate buy low spot on Kentucky, who just lost outright - as a 20-point home favorite (!) - to South Carolina earlier in the week. Now the Wildcats face one of the best teams in the country (Tennessee) and are catching double digits themselves.
It’s not been a great watch in Lexington so far this season as UK has not covered a spread since before Thanksgiving. That’s 10 straight ATS losses for “those keeping score at home.”
But how many times do you get KENTUCKY catching double digits? Not many. The most points they’ve gotten in any game all season was 4.5. That was against Alabama, another top 10 team, on the road. I don’t think that the difference between ‘Bama and Tennessee is as great as the oddsmakers’ number here makes it out to be.
Teams have shot just 20.9% from three against Tennessee this season. That cannot possibly continue. I say that because the NCAA record for 3-point FG% defense (in a single season) is 25.3%.
Double digit road underdogs, after losing outright as a double digit favorite, are a solid 57.5% ATS the last 30 seasons. Grab the points here. 10*
|01-13-23||Devils -1.5 v. Ducks||Top||6-2||Win||100||12 h 41 m||Show|
The Devils are rested and on the road to face the Ducks today. NJ has been dynamite on the road this season, 15-2 to date. They've also been explosive in their last two appearances, knocking off the 'Canes and Rangers, and have scored 4 or more goals in 5 of 6 games. The Ducks do play better in their own pond, but ares still just 8-12 at home. They have been shelled in two straight home games, allowing 13 goals while scoring just 3! This game is a mismatch. New Jersey has a sixth ranked offense and fourth ranked defense against the Ducks "worst or close" defense, offense, PP and PK. Yikes! Can you spell Bedard?
|01-13-23||Magic v. Jazz -5.5||Top||108-112||Loss||-110||22 h 15 m||Show|
Utah has been sliding in recent weeks (2-8 SU L10 games), but did just defeat their old teammate (Deron Williams) and Cleveland earlier this week. I like their chances of not only making it two straight, but also covering the spread on Friday.
The Jazz get Orlando off a win, and a rather shocking one at that as the Magic beat the Blazers on the road, 109-106 as an eight-point underdog.
But this will be the Magic’s fourth straight road game, all out West. The Portland win came on the second night of a back to back, making that result all the more shocking. But even with the two days off here, I think fatigue could be setting in.
At home, the Jazz are averaging 120.9 points/game. That’s far too much for an Orlando team that only averages 106.6 on the road. The Magic were at 51.3% from the field in their last game. Rarely, do they shoot better than 50% in two straight games. 10*
|01-13-23||Yale +1.5 v. Cornell||Top||82-94||Loss||-110||18 h 27 m||Show|
Note the early tip time for this one (5 PM ET). After registering a big win over Penn (88-69 as 3.5 point favorites) last Friday, Cornell promptly dropped its first Ivy League game the following day (75-68 to Princeton, as three-point favorites). The Ivy League leaders are again at home this Friday and with such a short number, most are going to be calling for a bounce back. I’ve got a bit of a different read on this one.
Yale has played three close games to open conference play. They dropped the first two, 62-60 at Columbia and 81-77 at Dartmouth. Both times they were double digit favorites. Then came the first win in the Ivy League, 58-54 over Harvard last Saturday. But again the Bulldogs failed to cover, this time as 7.5-point favorites.
But this will be the first time Yale has been an underdog since facing Kentucky on 12/10. They covered the number in that game pretty easily.
It’s a much shorter number obviously vs. Cornell, but I still like Yale’s chances. They have a major edge defensively in this matchup as Cornell ranks 226th in efficiency over at KenPom. Yale is 69th. 8*
|01-12-23||Cavs v. Blazers +3.5||Top||119-113||Loss||-110||14 h 25 m||Show|
Portland will host Cleveland Thursday night, looking for a reversal of fortunes as the Blazers have dropped four straight while the Cavs have won four of six.
They say “there’s no place like home,” but for Portland that was untrue two nights ago when they went out and lost to Orlando, 109-106, here at home. That was their first game back home following an 0-3 road trip and they shot just 6 of 35 from three. I expect much better shooting in this game, even though Cleveland has a reputation of being very good defensively.
While the Cavs have won four of six, they are just 1-2 on the current road trip and this is going to be their fourth road game in seven days (third in five). Donvan Mitchell’s 46 was not enough against his former team (Utah) on Wednesday as the Cavs lost to the Jazz 116-114.
It’s been a good first half of the season in Cleveland, but we’ve seen the team start to “give a little back” at the betting window where they are 2-6-1 ATS their last nine games. The market seems to have caught up to this team. Furthermore, the Cavs are just 6-12-2 ATS on the road this year.
|01-12-23||Colorado v. USC -3.5||Top||61-68||Win||100||14 h 34 m||Show|
Let’s head to the Pac 12 for tonight’s College Basketball selection as USC hosts Colorado. The Trojans have already taken some early action, including from me, as I think this is a great spot for them to bounce back from back to back losses.
Both those losses occurred on the road, at Washington State and UCLA. It was a close one against their rivals, with USC even roaring back to take the lead in the final 30 seconds, but they ultimately fell two points short. But at least it was an easy cover as 11-point pups.
Before the two straight losses, USC had won seven games in a row, one of them over Auburn. Andy Enfield’s team was 11-3 overall with two of the losses coming to Tennessee and Wisconsin.
At home, don’t think the Trojans will shoot 18.5% from three again as they did vs. UCLA.
As for Colorado, they have prevailed in seven of their last eight games. But that one loss was to Cal, on the road. I understand that the Buffaloes just beat up on Oregon and Oregon State, but this line opened too low as USC is 6-1 ATS this season against teams that have a winning record. Lay it. 10*
|01-11-23||Sharks v. Kings -1.5||Top||3-4||Loss||-100||11 h 11 m||Show|
The 7-3 Kings are at home to the Sharks, who are struggling at 3-7. The Sharks managed a win against the Coyotes last night, but they defend poorly and are playing in a back to back situation. It will likely be Reimer in net for the Sharks, and he has struggled in three straight games, although having the 28th ranked defense in front of you doesn’t help. Copley will very likely start for the Kings. He’s been a bit of an eye-opener this season at 11-2, giving up just 2.5 goals a game.
The Sharks have had success in the past against the Kings, and the last time they met resulted in a close Kings’ win. The Kings are getting solid and varied scoring and have a good power play. They’ve scored 6 and 5 goals respectively against better teams than the Sharks. At home, and with better rest, look for the Kings to win big tonight. Take the Kings at – 1 ½.
|01-11-23||Missouri State v. Illinois State +4||Top||66-76||Win||100||13 h 34 m||Show|
Illinois State snapped a three-game losing skid its last time out, beating Evansville on the road, 69-61. Now they’ll turn around and host a Missouri State team that just had a four-game win streak ended with a 74-61 loss at Belmont.
I won’t lie and sell you that Illinois State is a “good team,” but the Redbirds’ record could certainly be a lot better. They have four losses by four points or less.
Missouri State being a road favorite here immediately caught my attention. The Bears have had to lay points in only one true road game so far this season. While they won and covered in that spot, it was against Illinois-Chicago, who is a pretty bad team.
If this game comes down to the free throws, and it very well might (considering the tight spread), then Illinois State has a huge edge. The Redbirds are making 79.8% of their FTs (82.1% at home). Missouri State, meanwhile, is a woeful 59.1% from the charity stripe (57.1% on the road).
ISU is a solid 13-6 ATS in its last 19 home games. Take the points. 10*
|01-11-23||Pacers v. Knicks -4||Top||113-119||Win||100||12 h 13 m||Show|
Needless to say, Indiana has outperformed their low expectations coming into the season. One more win and the Pacers go Over their season win total!
Unfortunately, Pacers’ fans, you’re going to have to wait another day. I like the Knicks here, at home, coming off a loss.
The Knicks were a trendy pick Monday night vs. Milwaukee and looked to be well on their way to victory. But they blew a 17-point lead here at home and ended up losing by four. This should have them coming out angry for tonight.
Last month, the Knicks beat the Pacers, 109-106 in Indiana, and went off as a 1-point favorite. I think the number should be higher here.
Indiana has a negative efficiency rating (-1.9), so I think their 23-18 record is a bit fraudulent. I see them as being due for a downturn. Fade. 10*
|01-10-23||VCU -3 v. Loyola-Chicago||Top||78-64||Win||100||11 h 29 m||Show|
I played VCU on Saturday, laying 5.5 against Davidson. They came through for me, winning in rather dominant fashion, 89-72. Let’s go back to the well with the Rams again.
VCU actually fell behind Davidson 10-0 after the first four minutes. But from there, it was all Rams. I don’t see them falling behind like that here against Loyola Chicago, so expect another comfortable victory.
Loyola has now failed to cover five in a row after it was beaten 86-75 at George Mason over the weekend. That was also the Ramblers’ fourth consecutive SU loss. Drew Valentine’s team is struggling big time right now as each of those four losses were by double digits.
Bettors can’t be happy with this Loyola team, who is 3-12 ATS in all games this season. Even getting points hasn’t really helped as they are 1-4 ATS in that role. After giving up 80 or more points in the previous game (as is the case here), the Ramblers are 0-4 ATS this season.
Give me VCU and it’s 52nd ranked defense. Loyola is outside the top 200 defensively. Lay the short number. 10*
|01-09-23||TCU v. Georgia -12.5||Top||7-65||Win||100||22 h 57 m||Show|
TCU seems like a pretty square dog to me. Including the semifinal win over Michigan, they have six wins by eight points or less. Give them credit for getting here, but the Horned Frogs are severely outclassed in this National Championship matchup with Georgia.
Against Michigan, the Horned Frogs needed two pick-sixes and a pair of turnovers at the goal line. And they still only won by six! They were outgained for the game 528-488.
While Georgia did trail almost the entire game against Ohio State, they actually did outgain the Buckeyes 533-467. And OSU is a much better team than TCU, who may not have its starting running back for this game.
The Bulldogs have not only won 10 straight times as a favorite of 10.5 to 21 points, but they have covered the spread in 9 of those 10 wins.
I think in a situation like this, it’s typically a good idea to fade the crowd and it’s pretty clear to me that vast majority of people are taking the points in this one. I think that’s a mistake. UGA wins big and repeats as National Champs. 10*
|01-08-23||Hawks v. Clippers -3.5||Top||112-108||Loss||-110||14 h 40 m||Show|
The Clippers badly need to get back on track. They’ve lost five in a row and failed to cover the spread in the last four games.
The Hawks aren’t in any better shape as they’ve dropped six of eight amidst chemistry issues. As a three-point favorite, they were beaten by the Lakers on Friday and gave up 130 points.
There’s seemingly always a question about Kawhi Leonard and Paul George’s statuses when you play the Clippers, but I like them regardless tonight. This will be just the second time in the last nine games that they get to play at home.
Atlanta was down 70-49 at the half to the Lakers and is 7-13 on the road.
Look for this to be a “get right” spot for LA. 10*
|01-08-23||Blue Jackets v. Capitals -1.5||Top||0-1||Loss||-125||6 h 7 m||Show|
The Capitals whipped the Blue Jackets last week in Columbus, and now face them at home. The Blue Jackets are playing their 2nd game in two nights on Sunday. Columbus is appalling on the road at just 2-12 this year. The Capitals are a strong home team and will be much tougher to play against with the return of Backstrom and everyone's favorite, Tom Wilson. The Blue Jackets are not as fortunate, still with a very long list of injuries. Ranking 30th in both goals scored and PP, and 31st in goals allowed, they will have their hands full against the Capitals' top ten offense and defense.
|01-08-23||Rams v. Seahawks -5.5||Top||16-19||Loss||-115||18 h 43 m||Show|
The Seahawks let the season get away after that promising start, but all is not quite lost yet. A win against the Rams gives them a statistical chance. Seattle rallied last week, putting up 23 points against a tough Jets defense. Smith was solid again, and a little more diverse in his targets and RB Walker is finally back in form, off a pair of 100 yard games in his last two starts. Their defense has been the stumbling block but it has shown recent improvement against some tough competition in their last three weeks. At this point it is at least better than the Rams'.
|01-08-23||Niagara v. Manhattan +3||Top||59-64||Win||100||7 h 30 m||Show|
Let’s head to the MAAC Sunday afternoon where Manhattan will look to get back on track hosting Niagara. The Jaspers have lost three straight, the last two coming at home. They were slight favorites (-2) to beat Canisius earlier in the week, but went down 64-57. I don’t see this team losing three in a row at home, so as a dog, they are my lone College Hoops play for Sunday.
Now Niagara comes in riding a four-game win streak, the last two coming as short underdogs. The Purple Eagles beat Rider and Fairfield to start 2023, the latter on the road. But just like I cannot see Manhattan losing three straight at home, I can’t see Niagara making it five wins in a row.
Let’s point out that Thursday’s win at Fairfield was an OT game for Niagara and they really benefited from horrible shooting by the opposition, who went 31.8% overall from the floor and 2 of 16 from three. I don’t see Manhattan shooting that poorly here.
There have not been many wins so far for the 4-10 Jaspers. But being underdogs here should lead to a sense of “disrespect” as I believe the home team feels it can certainly win this one.
Also worth pointing out that Niagara is the 3rd luckiest team in the country per KenPom. They are 5-0 in games decided by seven points or less so far, which does not even include the overtime game on Thursday. The only other time that the Purple Eagles were road favorites this season, they lost outright to New Jersey Tech 62-53. Take the points here. (Probably won’t need them though). 10*
|01-08-23||Ravens v. Bengals -9||Top||16-27||Win||100||17 h 48 m||Show|
The Ravens, missing Lamar Jackson and other starters, travel to Cincinnati, to face Burrow and the mostly healthy Bengals. Taking the emotional unknown of last week's tragic event out of the game, this is not a situation that favors Baltimore. The Bengals are very much pass-first, in spite of a fine if underused RB in Mixon. While Baltimore is very tough against the run, the Ravens' pass defense is barely average this year, and while they've shown improvement vs the pass lately, the Ravens have not faced a top QB since the Jags. The Ravens can successfully press a QB, but Burrow is an old hand vs passer pressure, and the Bengals O line is much improved this year.
|01-07-23||Bruins -1.5 v. Sharks||Top||4-2||Win||105||22 h 26 m||Show|
Here is a very good situation for a Big Bad Bruins win. Boston is 7-3 L10, but a fine 11-4 on the road this season. They catch the Sharks on the wrong end of a back to back, with Reimer who has struggled lately, in net. The Sharks are horrible at home with just 4 wins to date. They are languishing down in the cellar on defense and aren't much better on offense. The Bruins by comparison, with the best defense and PK in the league, are also #2 in goals scored and #4 on the power play. Ullmark should start and he is in the Vezina conversation for his season's play, not to mention super-sharp in recent action.
Boston is a legitimate large favorite for Saturday, but with both offensive and defensive prowess, they are also a solid bet on the puck line. Take the Bruins to take on prisoners, winning and covering against the Sharks.
|01-07-23||Titans v. Jaguars -6||Top||16-20||Loss||-110||43 h 55 m||Show|
The Titans are on the road, facing a surging Jags team for all the marbles. While last week’s loss was more of a rest game, the Titans have stumbled almost unbelievably in their last 6 games, with the defense regressing almost everywhere but rushing yards allowed and yards per attempt. Compare to the Jags’ defense who have shown real improvement down the stretch. Points against totals are hugely better, and they are much tougher in the red zone and against the run. Even their passing game is improving, a bonus against the Titans poor pass offense.
|01-07-23||Pelicans v. Mavs -7||Top||117-127||Win||100||12 h 15 m||Show|
Bad spot here for New Orleans, who is in the second game of a back to back without Zion Willamson and Brandon Ingram. The Pelicans fought valiantly last night at home, but ultimately lost to the Nets 108-102 and didn’t cover the 4-point spread.
Dallas had Friday off and should come out angry here after having their seven-game win streak snapped in embarrassing fashion Thursday when they were blown out here at home by the Celtics, 124-95.
It has to be very frustrating for the Pelicans to look at that final score from last night as Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving miss a combined 32 shots for Brooklyn. NO had its own shooting woes in the second half, however, making just 2 of 12 threes. They finished the game at 39.8% overall.
While the Pelicans have been an excellent home team so far, they are below .500 on the road (7-10 SU) and this is not the situation to get back on track.
The Mavericks were 29-9 ATS the previous two seasons when off a game like Thursday where they were held under 100 points. They haven’t been as profitable in that situation this season, but it’s still a good spot to jump on as Luka should have another big game. 10*
|01-06-23||Heat v. Suns +1.5||Top||104-96||Loss||-110||14 h 2 m||Show|
The Suns are a bit of a mess right now due to Devin Booker being injured. The team has lost four straight. In the last two games, they’ve finished with only 83 and 88 points.
But all four of those losses came on the road. I know that when a team is playing its first home game following a long road trip, it’s usually not the best time to jump on board. However, the Suns should be very happy to be back at home where they are 14-5 this season.
Miami is at the end of a five-game road trip here. They’ve won two and lost two thus far. The last game saw the Heat lose to a Lakers team that did not have LeBron James or Anthony Davis. They let Dennis Schroder go for a season-high 32 points.
Mostly because of injuries, the Heat have underperformed this season. They are just a game above .500 and sitting eighth in the Eastern Conference standings. But due to Phoenix’s recent woes and the short number, my guess is that most bettors will be on the road favorite here. I think that’s a mistake.
The Suns almost won at Cleveland on Wednesday and that is not an easy place to play. (Cavs are 18-4 at home). They lost on a last second jumper by Evan Mobley. I think this is a good buy low spot on Phoenix, who isn’t a home dog very often. Miami is 7-18 ATS as a favorite this season. 8*
|01-06-23||Akron +3 v. Ball State||Top||63-70||Loss||-110||13 h 56 m||Show|
Akron hasn’t had much success on the road this season, but the Zips have won six of seven overall and tonight I expect them to go into Ball State, and at the very least, cover the number.
Ball State has won six in a row themselves. The Cardinals opened MAC play by winning at Toledo, 90-83 as an 8.5 point underdog. Coming off a win like that is usually a good time to fade a team. I just can’t see BSU matching the kind of shooting we saw from them in the last game (52.5% overall, 11 of 22 from three).
The underdog has a big edge defensively in this game, ranking 103rd in efficiency while the favorite is just 235th in that department.
Akron has also had Ball State’s number, winning and covering all four meetings the last two seasons. Every win has been by at least nine points.
I just think that the better team is getting points in this one. Ball State is 1-3 ATS this year after scoring 80 or more points the previous game.
|01-05-23||Pacific v. San Diego -6||Top||84-82||Loss||-110||15 h 38 m||Show|
Two teams looking to make their mark in the West Coast Conference square off late Thursday as San Diego welcomes in Pacific.
San Diego (8-8 SU, 5-9 ATS) is off a big win as 11-point underdogs at San Francisco. This will be the Toreros first time playing at the Jenny Craig Pavilion since an 84-58 win over UC San Diego back on December 12th. They went 2-3 SU/ATS on the recently completed road swing.
Pacific (8-9 SU, 6-9 ATS) is also coming off an outright win as they beat Loyola Marymount 78-72 as a 4.5-point underdog. But that was at home. I don’t see a second straight upset win in the cards for the Tigers.
San Diego is averaging over 80 points/game at home this season. They are #59 in the country in offensive efficiency as per KenPom.
The defensive numbers aren’t great for the Toreros, but I also don’t think Pacific can take advantage. This is a Tigers team that lost to a non-DI school (CS-East Bay) at home last month. They also lost by 20 at home to BYU. Lay the points here. 8*
|01-05-23||Celtics -2 v. Mavs||Top||124-95||Win||100||12 h 8 m||Show|
On Tuesday, the Celtics were blown out in the most shocking way imaginable, 150-117 by Oklahoma City. It was the most points allowed in a game by the franchise since 1979!
It was also the Celtics’ second loss in a row. I played against them on New Year’s Day when they started this four-game road trip with a 123-111 loss at Denver. Despite basically being fully healthy, the Celtics have dropped five of nine overall.
But they are still the best team in basketball in my view and their reputation still carries a lot of weight in the marketplace as they are favored here, on the road, over a Dallas team that’s on a seven-game win streak.
These teams met back in November, in Boston, and the Celtics won 125-112 as 5.5-point favorites.
You know we’re going to get an inspired showing from the Celtics after they got humiliated by one of the worst teams in the league. Lay the points. 10*
|01-05-23||Fairleigh Dickinson +1 v. St Francis NY||Top||76-57||Win||100||15 h 2 m||Show|
Last month, Fairleigh Dickinson gave a truly horrific effort against Richmond, actually trailing at the half 42-9! The Knights then lost their next game, 82-73 to Queens U, one of the new D-I programs this season. But they battled back and posted consecutive wins to end 2022, first beating Merrimack 71-63 and then Centenary 99-50.
Certainly, those wins won’t impress anyone, but it is not as if Wednesday’s opposition, St. Francis (NY), is anything to be concerned about. This is not exactly the marquee matchup for Thursday College Hoops. FDU is rated #328 at KenPom while SFNY is #348.
FDU is one of the worst defensive teams in the country, but has the edge offensively and I think their tempo (70th fastest in the country) will bother St. Francis.
In their last game, St. Francis lost to Central Connecticut State, another of the worst teams in the country. Actually, they didn’t just lose, they got beat by 22!
The fact that this is a revenge game for FDU (five straight losses to St. Francis) puts them over the top for me. Homecourt advantage won’t mean much on a Thursday afternoon. 10*
|01-04-23||Spurs v. Knicks -9.5||Top||114-117||Loss||-105||13 h 37 m||Show|
After winning and covering eight straight, the Knicks promptly dropped five in a row. But now they’re pointed back in the right direction after back to back blowout wins. They should make it three in a row tonight when they host the Spurs.
They may not have the worst record in the league, but no team has been outscored by more than the Spurs have been. In their last game, they went down by 36 at the hands of Brooklyn. The Spurs never led at any points in the game.
The Knicks outscored Houston 81-53 over the final three quarters on Saturday, then led by as many as 32 against Phoenix on Monday.
I don’t expect their to be any kind of letdown tonight, considering NY will be playing with revenge for a 122-115 loss that occurred in San Antonio last week. In that game, Julius Randle scored 41 but the Spurs shot 51.1% as a team.
Since then, the Knicks have gotten back to playing outstanding defense, giving up just 88 and 83 points the L2 games. The Spurs have the worst defensive rating in the league and are 28th on offense. Lay it. 10*
|01-04-23||Northern Iowa v. Valparaiso +3||Top||69-67||Win||100||12 h 56 m||Show|
Four games into conference play and Valparaiso is still looking for its first Missouri Valley win. The Crusaders host Northern Iowa on Wednesday. I sense there will be a real sense of desperation here for the home team and thus will back them plus the points.
Valpo is coming off a dreadful shooting night, one in which it made just 29.5% of its FG attempts against Indiana State. They ended up losing 68-50. Coming off an embarrassing effort such as that, at home no less, you’ve got to expect an inspired effort here.
Northern Iowa is playing its second straight true road game, the first time that situation has come up for them in 2022-23. The Panthers won at Illinois State on New Year’s Eve, 66-60, a slight upset as they came into that game as one-point underdogs. Prior to that win, they’d dropped four of six.
This is a game flying under the radar on Wednesday’s CBB slate, but again, I like the situation for Valpo, who had scored 70 or more in each of its previous four home games. The Crusaders are due for better shooting after that abysmal last performance. They are 13-5 ATS when coming off a game where they scored 60 points or less.
UNI, on the other hand, is 4-10 ATS after holding its previous opponent to 60 or less. That includes 0-4 this season. Take the points. 10*
|01-03-23||Wizards v. Bucks -7.5||Top||113-123||Win||100||12 h 50 m||Show|
The Wizards upset the Bucks as 2.5-point underdogs on New Year’s Day, winning 118-95. But that upset comes with a giant asterisk. The Bucks were short handed for that game as Giannis Antetokounmpo sat out due to knee soreness. Jrue Holiday also missed the game with an illness and Khris Middleton didn’t play either.
Both Giannis and Holiday are expected to play in the rematch tonight. I’m expecting a big Bucks’ win at home.
The Bucks have dropped five of six, so they could use an impressive performance. The Wizards are 5-0 SU/ATS in their L5 games, but remember that it wasn’t that long ago they were on a 10-game losing streak.
With Giannis and Holiday on the floor, the Bucks have a +8.9 net rating and are a much better team defensively. I’m aware Washington may get Bradley Beal back, but when these teams are close to full strength, it’s a clear mismatch for Milwaukee.
When coming off an upset loss as a favorite, the Bucks are a perfect 6-0 against the spread this season. The Wizards’ have allowed an average of only 103.8 points during the five-game win streak, but that’s well below their season average of 112.4 and I’d expect them to regress at the defensive end sooner rather than later. Lay the points here. 10*
|01-02-23||Nuggets v. Wolves +2.5||Top||111-124||Win||100||11 h 30 m||Show|
In a tough Western Conference, the T’wolves really need to get going. Right now, they are on the WRONG side of the cut line when it comes to the play-in tournament. Not even being among the West’s Top 10 is certainly a bit of a shock, considering where this team was projected to be coming into the season.
Tonight, Minnesota hosts Denver, who is coming off a big win over Boston last night. I played the Nuggets Sunday as they easily covered as 1.5-point underdogs, winning 123-111. Nikola Jokic had yet another triple double (30-12-12) in a game that featured a 30+ minute delay due to a defective rim.
Denver is in 1st place in the West with a 24-12 record. But coming off last night’s win, this sets up as a letdown spot for them. It will be only their fourth time playing in a back to back this year. The Nuggets are also 0-2 ATS this season coming off a SU win where they were listed as the underdog.
Things may not be looking good in Minnesota as the team is 0-6 SU and 1-5 ATS over its last six games. They lost here at home to the Pistons on Saturday, 116-104. But, because of that, there is no doubt as to which side should come out more motivated Monday night.
The T’wolves went 3-1 against the Nuggets last year and have lost back to back home games only one time so far this season. Give me the points. 10*
|01-02-23||West Virginia +3.5 v. Oklahoma State||Top||60-67||Loss||-105||11 h 39 m||Show|
Both teams are coming off close losses on the road to open Big XII play. In each instance, the loss occurred in the state of Kansas. West Virginia lost to Kansas State 82-76 in overtime (pick ‘em game) while Oklahoma State lost 69-67 (as 10-point underdogs) at Kansas.
The difference between these teams is that WVU is on an 0-3 ATS losing streak while OK State is 3-0 ATS its last three games. I look for these streaks to end Monday.
WVU had won four straight games before losing in Manhattan. Oklahoma State is only 3-3 SU over its last six games. I don’t think that the Mountaineers should be underdogs here, even on the road.
With this game likely to be pretty low-scoring (total is currently 139.5 - and it wouldn’t surprise me if it stayed Under), that’s just another reason to take the points.
I’ve got West VIrginia rated as the better team. Oklahoma State is 1-5 ATS the last six times it has been a home favorite of 3.5 to 6 points. 10*
|01-01-23||Celtics v. Nuggets +1.5||Top||111-123||Win||100||12 h 41 m||Show|
Boston ended a seven-game homestand on a four-game win streak. They beat Minnesota, Milwaukee, Houston and the Clippers. They’ve had two days off to prepare for this New Year’s trip to Denver.
As good as the Celtics are, the Nuggets are worthy adversaries. They’ve won 9 of 11 and one of those losses was by a single point.
At home, Denver is 13-3 and outscoring visitors by nine points per game.
When these teams played in Boston on November 11th, the Celtics made 16 three-pointers and shot 55% overall. That will not be repeated.
Jokic continues to be ridiculous for the Nuggets, making 50% of shots in 26 straight games. 10*
|01-01-23||49ers -9.5 v. Raiders||Top||37-34||Loss||-108||26 h 27 m||Show|
The Raiders have been one of the most disappointing teams in the NFL this year, and are now at home to the best defense in the league with a fill-in QB. The 49ers have several reasons to keep their foot on the gas. They have an outside chance at a bye week in the playoffs and they need to give their young and promising QB all the experience they can before the playoffs. Vegas has seen their points-scored drop by 5 in their last three games and by thirteen last week. They lost to the Rams and Steelers with a total of 26 points while Carr was at QB. Now with an untried Stidham under center, the prospects are bleak for point production. Stidham will have to face a healthy Bosa and the rest of the 49ers headhunters. Carr was sacked 3 times last week, and it could go up on Sunday. The Raiders real hope is elite running back Jacobs, but he will have his hands full against the top rushing defense in the league. Jacobs was limited to under three yards a carry last week.
|01-01-23||Cornell v. Dartmouth +8.5||Top||74-63||Loss||-110||6 h 58 m||Show|
I’m taking Dartmouth here, despite their five consecutive losses. Three of the five have been by single digits and the last four on the road. The Big Green now return home for the first time in a month, hosting a Cornell team that’s 10-3 and on a four-game win streak. Line is inflated here.
When off three consecutive SU losses, Dartmouth is 8-1 ATS. That includes covering the last two games.
As you may have surmised, the Big Green haven’t shot well during the 5-game skid. I’d say 35.6% is abnormally poor though. We should see that number start to go up at home though as they have a 49.5 FG% here for the year. They also are holding teams to 39.9%
Yes, Cornell can score and is very good at the offensive end. But they are not sound defensively, yielding 78.7 points/game away from home. They are 254th in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency.
While I’m not so confident to predict an outright win here for the Big Green, they should easily cover at home. Take the points. 10*
|01-01-23||Colts v. Giants -5.5||Top||10-38||Win||100||60 h 12 m||Show|
The Giants are home to the Colts in Week 17. It is a very significant game for NY, and they likely couldn't have a better opponent. The Colts are going nowhere fast, with an indifferent game last week and essentially no offense. Foles, with very limited time with the team, was about as expected; 3 points and a trio of picks. On a short week for the Colts, don't expect huge improvements from him.
|01-01-23||Jaguars -3 v. Texans||Top||31-3||Win||100||39 h 12 m||Show|
Who would believe the Jaguars as a potential play off team a year ago? The Jags now face the Texans on the road, hoping to improve on a 4-1 recent record. Lawrence has the Jags' offense working very well, with a passer rating of over 100 in 5 of 7 games. Last week was not one of them, but he still played a smart effective game with no picks, against a very tough Jets pass defense. While we have seen more of a pass-first offense lately, the Jags, with Etienne and Robinson (and Lawrence chipping in), could go back to running the ball on Sunday. Houston's rush defense is a mere shadow of their pass defense, and is 32nd in the league in rush yards allowed. Lawrence has been protected well this season but will face some pressure from the Texans, who have had 4 sacks on average over their last three games. The pass defense is the Texans' best (some would say only) asset, but Lawrence maneuvered around an even better one last week.
|12-31-22||Knicks -4.5 v. Rockets||Top||108-88||Win||100||11 h 8 m||Show|
The Knicks are having all sorts of problems at the moment as they’ve dropped five in a row and are 0-4-1 ATS that same stretch. But they get a “new year’s present” tonight in the form of a matchup with the sorry Rockets.
It wasn’t all that long ago that the Knicks were on an eight-game win streak. It’s not like they’re being blown out during this losing streak. All five losses have been by seven points or fewer. One was a buzzer beater while another was an overtime loss to Dallas that required a Herculean effort from Luka Doncic.
Houston is unlikely to provide much resistance for a Knicks team that is desperate to get back on track. The Rockets have dropped seven of eight, the last two by a combined 39 points.
The Knicks are 22-7 ATS their last 29 road games. Look for them to tighten up at the defensive end and cover this small number. Julius Randle had 41 points and 11 rebounds in the last game and is capable of carrying the offensive load. 10*
|12-31-22||San Diego State -3.5 v. UNLV||Top||76-67||Win||100||8 h 58 m||Show|
San Diego State, the presumed favorite to win the Mountain West this year, has been termed “disappointing” thus far, even though the Aztecs have a fine record and their defensive efficiency rating (13th) is among the best in the country.
I had to settle for a ‘push’ when I played the Aztecs, as 16-point favorites, against Air Force earlier in the week. This time, as they are set to hit the conference road for the first time, we’re getting a far lower number and one that I believe they’ll cover easily.
UNLV is in a bit of freefall as the Runnin’ Rebels have lost two of three following a 10-0 start. Both losses were close, 75-73 to San Francisco and 75-72 to San Jose State, the latter being a game that went to OT. But the Rebels are a team that struggles to score in the half court. That will be a big problem here.
San Diego State should control tempo this afternoon. I think UNLV struggles at both ends of the court here. Since it’s last loss, SDSU has won three straight by 16+ points.
Just think the line is a little low in this one. Lay the points. 10*
|12-30-22||UCLA -8 v. Washington State||Top||67-66||Loss||-110||15 h 36 m||Show|
After a couple of hiccups against Illinois and Baylor, certainly excusable losses (especially since they were played on a neutral floor), UCLA has rattled off eight consecutive victories, most of them by double digits. I’ll look for them to continue rolling tonight when they visit the Palouse.
Washington State has dropped two in a row for the fourth time this season. The Cougars are just 5-8 on the season. Now, the three previous times they’ve been off back to back losses previously, they’ve delivered a win. But those wins came against Eastern Washington, Northern Kentucky and George Washington. In every one of those games, they were the favorites.
UCLA has dominated this Pac 12 rivalry through the years, winning 40 of the past 47 matchups.
The eighth ranked Bruins have eight wins by 10 or more over the past month, including beating Kentucky (in New York) and a 27-point thrashing of Maryland in a true road game. This should be a cakewalk by comparison.
The biggest problem for Wazzu in this game is that they are turning the ball over on 21.2% of all possessions, which is 292nd nationally. UCLA excels at turning its opponents over, doing so on 25.3% of all possessions, 11th best in the country. Lay the points here. 10*
|12-30-22||Clemson -5.5 v. Tennessee||Top||14-31||Loss||-110||12 h 9 m||Show|
Our first New Year’s Six Bowl Game is a matchup of top 10 teams, but #6 Tennessee and #7 Clemson are in drastically different places heading into the Orange Bowl.
Tennessee’s season came crashing down with a 63-38 loss to South Carolina in the second to last game. Not only was that a humiliating result, but it cost the Volunteers a shot at the College Football Playoff. Adding injury to insult, QB Hendon Hooker suffered a season-ending injury. In addition to not having Hooker here, the Vols have seen their two top receivers opt out and they will be without offensive coordinator Alex Golesh, who is now the head coach at USF.
Clemson has some opt outs as well. But the big news for them is the switch at QB. Cade Klubnik is now the starter after an impressive ACC Championship Game performance where he completed 20 of 24 passes for 279 yards, sending DJ Uiagalelei packing. All of a sudden, an 11-2 season that was “disappointing” (by this program’s standard) has renewed enthusiasm.
Hooker’s replacement is Joe Milton and you can look for him to struggle against what remains an outstanding Clemson defense (even with the opt outs). Milton is simply not very accurate on deep balls and was only 11 of 21 for 147 yards against Vanderbilt.
I think Clemson is the team that “wants” this game more. The Tigers have covered 11 of their last 14 bowl appearances and are 20-7-1 ATS vs. Top 10 opponents under Dabo Swinney. Lay the points. 10*
|12-29-22||Rockets v. Mavs -10.5||Top||114-129||Win||100||13 h 55 m||Show|
Dallas should be in line for a big win tonight when they host Houston, who is one of the worst teams in the league and just 1-6 SU in its L7 games.
After being such a disappointment at the betting window for the first month of the season, we’ve seen better results from the Mavs recently. They have won four in a row including a 126-121 victory over the Knicks on Tuesday. In that game, Luka Doncic turned in the first 60-20-10 game (points-rebounds-assists) in league history.
Three of those four recent wins for the Mavs have been by six points or less. One of them was in Houston 112-106 as seven-point favorites. Doncic had 50-8-10 in that game.
Doncic may not repeat those individual numbers tonight, but the Rockets are playing their third road game in four nights and are just 4-14 on the road this year. I am expecting a blowout.
The Rockets just lost by 24 in Boston two nights ago. This is a team with a bottom three offensive and defensive rating. Lay it! 10*
|12-29-22||Cowboys -10.5 v. Titans||Top||27-13||Win||100||32 h 2 m||Show|
I am holding my nose this week and taking the Cowboy against a wounded and slumping Titans side. We don't know who will actually play for the Titans in a somehow meaningless game for their playoff hopes. For the Cowboys, Thursday's game is a fine chance to press for a play-off bye week, and an opportunity to work out some bugs in their recent inabilities to defend. There are some significant issues in the Cowboys' defense. Their tidal surge of passer pressure (3rd in the league) has ebbed alarmingly in their last three weeks, exposing some real problems. Their passing yards-allowed has climbed by a full 100yds L3, and is actually worse than the 31st ranked Titans' figures over the last three games. Their rushing yards allowed did improve in their last game, but their abilities against the run have not impressed in the second half of the season. Luckily for the Cowboys, the much injured Titans are in no position to take advantage. Tannehill, a very under-rated QB, is out and Henry, who is questionable, may well be rested. The Titans' pass attack was pitiful last week, and the Cowboys' passer rushers should have their way against a poor Titans' pass defense.
|12-29-22||Iowa v. Nebraska +4.5||Top||50-66||Win||100||11 h 15 m||Show|
Many will view this as a “bounce back” or “get right” game for Iowa after they suffered an inexplicable 92-83 loss to Eastern Illinois last week, a game where the Hawkeyes were 31-point home favorites. I am far less convinced that any such “bounce back” takes place.
Nebraska is a team that has already taken Purdue, the class of the Big 10, into overtime this year. That game was played right in Lincoln. The Cornhuskers might be considered towards the bottom of the conference pecking order, but they are still a respectable 89th in the country over at KenPom.
Iowa is still soft defensively, ranking outside the top 100 in adjusted efficiency. So Nebraska should be able to put up points here. Particularly on the inside as Iowa lets teams shoot over 50% from inside the arc. For the season, 54% of the Cornhuskers’ FG attempts are two-pointers.
Overall, Iowa has lost four of seven since a 5-0 start. Something to keep in mind is that Eastern Illinois had just one D-I win prior to stunning the Hawkeyes. That’s a very concerning result if you’re Fran McCaffery.
Nebraska has balanced scoring with six players averaging between 9 and 14 points/game. Five players scored in double figures in the last game, a 75-65 win over Queens. Take the points in this Big 10 matchup. 10*
|12-28-22||Air Force v. San Diego State -16||Top||55-71||Push||0||14 h 48 m||Show|
At 9-4 overall, Air Force is a lot better than usual this year. The Flyboys have even covered seven in a row. But this is a spot to sell high on the Falcons as they face San Diego State, the class of the Mountain West.
The Aztecs aren’t defending as well this year as we’re accustomed to seeing, but are still 14th in the country in efficiency and that’s good enough for me. They should have beaten Arkansas (blew a double digit lead) and also have a win over Ohio State on the non-conference slate.
The offense has been better for SDSU as well and that’s while not shooting all that well from three. Air Force is due for some serious regression when it comes to three-point defense (opponents only hitting 24% against them) so this is a game I’ve targeted for the Aztecs to get hot from deep.
So far, Air Force has played one of the weakest schedules in the entire country. San Diego State will be the best team they’ve faced yet.
This number will scare some away, but not me as the Aztecs have won their last two games by a total of 50 points. They are also 7-0 at home with an average margin of victory of +18.0. Lay it. 10*
|12-28-22||Nets -5 v. Hawks||Top||108-107||Loss||-110||11 h 57 m||Show|
Atlanta seemed to be in prime position for a win heading into Indiana last night. But they lost 129-114. If the Hawks can’t beat the Pacers, then I don’t see how they stand much of a chance vs. a Nets team that’s won nine straight while covering the spread in six of its last seven games.
While one could make the argument that there’s not a ton of value in laying this number with Brooklyn, on the road, Atlanta has been a terrible team to bet on of late. The Hawks are 6-14 ATS the last 20 games and have failed to cover by an average of 4.7 points/game, the worst mark in the league during that time.
Another potential problem for Atlanta is that Trae Young left last night’s game with an ankle injury. The Hawks were already missing two other starters - Clint Capela and De’Andre Hunter. This is not a team you want to back right now.
As for the Nets, five of their last nine wins have come on the road, including 125-117 at Cleveland Monday night. The Cavs are not an easy team to beat, especially at home. But the Nets hung 125 points on what had been the league’s most efficient defense this year. Atlanta is far worse at defending than Cleveland.
Brooklyn is leading the league in FG% and 3-point FG%. Kevin Durant has scored at least 25 points each of the last 13 times he’s faced Atlanta while Kyrie Irving is averaging 28-5-5 over his L10 games. Lay the number here. 10*
|12-28-22||Central Florida v. Duke -3||Top||13-30||Win||100||6 h 29 m||Show|
The uncertain status of QB John Rhys Plumlee makes this handicap a bit difficult, but UCF is certainly not the play given the uncertainty and Duke is a team that really improved throughout 2022 and should be fired up to be here in the Military Bowl (played in Annapolis, MD).
The Blue Devils won five ACC games this year. That’s after winning none last year. This is the program’s first bowl since 2018, meaning the first for virtually every current player. On the other side, UCF had higher aspirations for the season than this game. The line move reflects the respective motivations.
Losing to Tulane in the AAC Championship Game cost the Knights a shot at playing in the Cotton Bowl. They come into the bowl on a three-game ATS losing streak. There was an outright loss to Navy and they only beat USF by 7.
All of Duke’s losses this year were by one score, so they could have finished better than 8-4 and even been in the ACC Title Game. The three conference losses were by a total of eight points.
Duke QB Riley Leonard accounted for the third most touchdowns in the entire FBS (31 - 20 passing + 11 rushing). This is an offense that can run the ball effectively. So can UCF, but Plumlee not being 100%/possibly out would hurt them. There’s no opt-outs for Duke, who will be at full strength and that should give them the edge over a possibly disinterested UCF team. 10*
|12-27-22||Clippers v. Raptors -5||Top||124-113||Loss||-110||10 h 18 m||Show|
The Clippers had absolutely zero business winning last night’s game in Detroit, let alone covering the spread. Down 14 with 3:34 left, LA appeared left for dead, but instead somehow rallied to force overtime where they’d go on to win 142-131. They were 5.5 point favorites.
I will look to fade LA again here, even if Kawhi Leonard ends up playing. A second night of a back to back after an OT game where they rallied just seems like a bad situation all around. The Clippers remain just 9-8 on the road and don’t play particularly good defense.
Toronto hasn’t played since before Christmas when they upset the Cavaliers in Cleveland (not easy to do), 118-107 as a 5-point dog. It was a perfect 3-0 ATS road trip for the Raptors, which included another outright win where they snapped the Knicks’ eight-game win streak. The only SU loss on the trip was by three, in overtime, at Philadelphia (who has been the hottest team in the league).
Back to the Clippers, they have lost five of the seven times they’ve played in the second night of a back to back this year. 10*
|12-27-22||Utah State v. Memphis -7||Top||10-38||Win||100||8 h 45 m||Show|
This number is down to -7 and I think it’s time to hit Memphis, who should be favored by double digits here against Utah State in the First Responder Bowl, playing in Gerald J Ford Stadium (home of SMU) in Dallas, TX.
The venue is familiar to Memphis as this is where they played their last regular season game, which ended up being a 34-31 loss to SMU. That was one of three losses by a field goal or less for the Tigers, who went 0-4 in one-score games this season. That’s pretty unlucky.
Utah State was last seen suffering the worst beat of this, or any other, College Football season. They were on the verge of being Boise State outright, but then fell apart and ended up not even covering as 17-point underdogs. But close calls mostly went the Aggies way this season; they were 4-0 SU in one-score games.
Close game records aside; Memphis is the much better football team here. I’ve got Utah State rated as one of the very worst teams in a bowl this year. Memphis will be motivated to win as they want to avoid their first losing season since ‘13. As a favorite, the Tigers are 6-1 this year and are winning by an average of 20 points/game.
The Utah State offense is going to be without its two top running backs due to opt out and injury. They will struggle to move the ball while Memphis should have no problem cashing in against an Aggies’ defense that is 94th in points per drive allowed when opponents get inside the 40-yard line. Lay the points in this one. 10*