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|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|02-09-13||Louisville v. Notre Dame +5.5||Top||101-104||Win||100||15 h 36 m||Show|
I'm playing on NOTRE DAME. I've had a pretty good read on the Cardinals in recent days. I successfully played against them when they failed to cover vs. Pittsburgh and came right back and played on them when they blew out Marquette. I feel that tonight will prove to be an excellent spot to go against them.
While I believe the Irish have an excellent shout at an outright win, I also feel that we could easily see a very close game and that the points could come into play. Keep in mind that four of the last five meetings went to OT, a couple of those going to double-OT.
Pitino had this to say of the Irish "Notre Dame has a great home-court advantage, one of the best in college basketball. We've been in some really, really tight ball games with Notre Dame, a lot of exciting ones, and this should be another exciting one."
Also note that the Irish have won their last three home meetings against the Cardinals by average of 19.5 points. The last game on this floor was exactly two years ago to the day - the Irish won by 10. The last time that the Cardinals won here was way back in 1994 - a 3 point win in OT.
The Irish are 46-3 their last 49 at home. They're also 8-4 ATS the last dozen times that they were listed as home underdogs in the 3.5 to 6 range. I expect them to rise to the occasion with at least another cover here. *10 main event
|02-09-13||New Mexico v. UNLV -5||Top||55-64||Win||100||14 h 25 m||Show|
I'm playing on UNLV. The Lobos are a strong and well-coached team, worthy of their high national ranking. However, they're not as good on the road as they are at home. Facing what should be a very determined Rebels team, I expect the Lobos to struggle at this difficult venue.
The Rebels should be highly motivated here. Not only have they lost two in a row, but they've also got "revenge" on their minds, having suffered a 5-point loss at New Mexico exactly one month ago. They also haven't forgotten that the Lobos beat them here in last year's conference tournament.
I believe that the Rebels need this game more and I expect an extremely motivated effort.
Like their guests, the Rebels are a much different team at home, last March notwithstanding. They're 12-1 here and the lone loss came in November. Not only have they won 11 straight at the Thomas & Mack Center, they're 30-1 in regular-season games here since the start of last season.
To their credit, the Lobos did win an early season neutral court game vs. UConn and they also did eke out a 1-point win at Cincinnati. Their overall record (8-2) away from home does look pretty good, at least at first glance. However, their best conference road win came at Wyoming, a 4-point win . That's not an easy venue - but the Cowboys aren't as talented as the team that they'll face here.
Prior to win at Laramie, when facing a top tier team (San Diego State) of the likes of the one they'll see here, the Lobos were destroyed by a score of 55-34. (Some of you will likely recall that I backed the Aztecs in that one.)
The blowout loss at San Diego State was preceded by a close win at Boise, another team not in the class of the one they'll face here. Prior to that, when facing a good Billikens squad at St. Louis , the Lobos were crushed by a score of 60-46.
The last regular season meeting between these teams here at UNLV saw the Rebels win by 15. Don't be surprised when they pull away for another double-digit win tonight. *10 GOM
|02-09-13||Detroit Pistons v. Milwaukee Bucks -6.5||Top||105-100||Loss||-109||15 h 41 m||Show|
I'm playing on MILWAUKEE. The Pistons have taken two of three meetings this season. Playing at home and with the schedule in their favor, I expect the Bucks to even the season series tonight.
The Bucks have lost two straight. However, those games came at Utah and Denver. Their last home game resulted in a 9-point win.
Since being upset by the Pistons here in early January, the Bucks have played only four home games. They won three of them, all three victories coming by a minimum of seven points.
As for the Pistons, they're just 1-4 on the road, since that 1/11 victory here. The four losses came by 59 combined points, three of them by at least a dozen. For the season, they're a dismal 5-19 away from Detroit.
While the Bucks have had the last two days off, the Pistons are off an upset win vs. the Spurs last night. Give them credit for winning that game. However, keep in mind that they're only 2-6 ATS when off an upset win and just 5-7 ATS (3-9 SU) when playing the second of back-to-back games.
The Bucks, 7-4 when off two day's rest in between games, are 8-5-1 ATS (10-4 SU) when off a double-digit loss. I expect them to take care of business here. *10 personal favorite
|02-08-13||New York Knicks v. Minnesota Timberwolves +6||Top||100-94||Push||0||7 h 28 m||Show|
I'm playing on MINNESOTA. Playing the final game of a homestand, I expect a highly motivated effort from the revenge-minded T-Wolves tonight.
The T-Wolves played the Knicks very tough at MSG earlier, losing by just three points. That 94-91 game should give them some confidence here.
Now, in addition to playing at Minnesota, they catch the Knicks off a 10-point loss at Washington.
While its true that T-Wolves are still dealing with some injury issues, their point guard (Rubio) has a number of games under his belt and is heating up. Over his last two games alone, Rubio has 25 assists.
Center Greg Stiemsma said this of Rubio: "He's been playing really well lately. His pace of the game, his playcalling, everything is elevated. It's fun to see, fun to be a part of."
The Knicks have played only five road games in 2013 and they've won just two of them. Those two victories came by an average of only 5.5 points too, a 3-point and an 11-point win.
The T-Wolves are 8-4 ATS when off a double-digit loss. In addition to the 3-point loss at MSG earlier, the T-Wolves lost by two by the Knicks in last season's game here, a 100-98 affair last February. I won't be surprised to see this one also come down to the wire and am grabbing all those generous points. *10 best bet
|02-08-13||Dartmouth v. Columbia -11.5||Top||60-57||Loss||-104||8 h 13 m||Show|
I'm playing on COLUMBIA. The Lions have lost a few in a row. Stepping down in class to take on a team which they swept each of the past two seasons, I expect them to snap their losing streak in convincing fashion this evening.
Dartmouth is 1-8 on the road and has yet to beat a quality team away from home. This season's lone road win came at Longwood back on 12/1. (With a 3-21 record, Longwood is the worst team in the Big South.) Note that the Big Green are 0-2 ATS as road underdogs in the 9.5 to 12 range.
When the Lions win, they tend to do so by a fairly comfortable margin. Seven of their nine victories have come by greater than 10 points. (The other two came by 9 and 7.) I believe there's a fairly wide gap between these teams and I'm expecting more of the same here. *10 Personal Favorite
|02-07-13||Seattle +17 v. Denver||Top||55-72||Push||0||12 h 44 m||Show|
I'm playing on SEATTLE. I successfully played on the Redhawks a couple of times early in the season. Playing their first season in the WAC Conference, I suggested that this team was going to play with a chip on its shoulder. While its been some time since I've backed them, off a blowout loss, I expect the Redhawks to again "play with a chip on their shoulder" en route to an ATS victory.
The Redhawks, who lost by 13 (as 6.5 point underdogs) at home against Denver last month, are 2-1 ATS when attempting to avenge an earlier home loss, while going 5-3 ATS when off a conference loss. The Redhawks are also an impressive 8-2 ATS their last 10 road lined games.
Note that five of Denver's last six victories have come by 15 or fewer points.
True, Seattle did lose its last game by 20 points. However, a closer look shows that was the first in 2013 that the Redhawks lost by greater than 13 points. In fact, seven of their last nine losses have been by seven or less. I look for this one to be closer than many will be expecting and am grabbing all the points I can get. *10
|02-07-13||Los Angeles Lakers +2.5 v. Boston Celtics||Top||95-116||Loss||-107||9 h 20 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA LAKERS. My "Personal Favorite" plays are typically reserved for plays on teams which are favored. However, when I strongly believe an underdog is poised to win outright, I'll occasionally use one on an underdog. That's the case here.
The Lakers, who had yesterday off, have been a much better team of late. They've won three straight and six of seven. Last time out, they limited Brooklyn to 83 points. Thats noteworthy as we find them at 29-5 SU the last 34 times that they held their previous opponent to 85 or fewer points, 4-1 SU/ATS their last five in that situation.
While the Celtics won last night, the absence of Rondo - and perhaps the Garnett trade-talk - figures to catch up with them in this back-to-back spot. Note that the Celtics are an ugly 17-32-2 ATS the past couple of seasons, when off a game the previous day.
Listed as small underdogs, the Lakers scored a minor upset here almost exactly (2/9/12) a year ago. With the schedule in their favor and playing arguably their best basketball of the season, I look for history to repeat itself here. *10 personal favorite
|02-07-13||Canisius v. Manhattan +3||Top||54-67||Win||100||10 h 26 m||Show|
I'm playing on MANHATTAN. While Canisius comes in as the favorite, I believe that the Jaspers will be the team which comes away with the win.
I believe this is a bit of a tough spot for the Golden Griffins. They're off games against Loyola-MD and Iona, two of the top teams in the conference. After this, they face Niagara- the team's biggest rival - and also one of the top teams in the conference. That's followed by Loyola-MD again. With all those "big" games in the recent past and near future, I feel that it will be difficult to fully focus on a Manhattan team which ranks near the bottom of the conference and which the Golden Griffins already defeated. Note that Cansisius is only 3-8 ATS the last 11 times it was listed as a road favorite of three or fewer points.
On the other hand, I feel that the revenge-minded Jaspers should be fully focused on the task at hand. They still view themselves among the upper teams in the conference and believe that they can show in in the conference tournament. However, they also know that they can't afford to wait and just suddenly turn it on.
Note that the Jaspers won by eight last time out, their second win in three games. They were 17.5 point favorites when they hosted Canisius last season, winning by 13. Things have changed - but not enough to warrant such a massive line swing. At least not in my opinion. *10 best bet.
|02-06-13||Indiana Pacers v. Philadelphia 76ers -2.5||Top||88-69||Loss||-105||11 h 40 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. The 76'ers are suddenly catching fire. They're 4-1 SU/ATS their last five and 3-0 SU/ATS their last three. Its true that none of those recent wins have come against elite teams. However, tonight's schedule provides them with an excellent opportunity to extend their winning streak while beating a quality opponent at the same time.
Its true that the 76'ers will be without Thaddaeus Young here. Admittedly, he's an important player for them. However, we often see teams play their best the first game after one of their top players goes down. I expect the 76'ers to come together and play their hardest to help make up for the loss of Young - and feel that the venue and schedule advantages will more than compensate.
After a dominating 78-61 victory over Orlando on Monday, the third straight time that they allowed less than 85 points, the 76'ers had last night off. This is the sixth day of February and this will be only their third game.
By comparison, the Pacers will be playing their third game in the last three days alone. A tough scheduling spot, indeed. In fact, this is the only set of back-to-back-to-back games in the NBA this season, only made possible due to a December 26th blizzard that caused a game at Indiana to be postponed.
After last night's game, the Pacers were already admitting they felt fatigue creeping in. After scoring 29 last night, Paul George noted: "You definitely feel it. I felt it tonight, really ... "
Regardless of the schedule, the Pacers typically haven't fared too well as small road underdogs. In fact, they're 4-11-1 ATS (4-12 SU) the last 16 times that they were listed as road underdogs of three or fewer points, going 0-6 ATS their last six in that role. Overall, they're only 10-16 on the road.
The 76'ers recent winning streak has come here at Philadelphia, as this will mark the sixth game of an 8-game homestand. Now 14-8 ATS the last 22 times that they played their previous three at home, I expect the 76'ers to be the fresher team and expect a win and cover. *10 Personal Favorite
|02-06-13||Boston Celtics v. Toronto Raptors -3||Top||99-95||Loss||-110||7 h 43 m||Show|
I'm playing on TORONTO. Some might be surprised to see the Raptors favored against the Celtics. Indeed, its not something you see every day. I feel that the home team is laying points for good reason though.
The Raptors, who may see Bargnani return tonight, have been playing hard for many weeks. Now, they've got a legit star in Rudy Gay in the fold - and he's got a couple of games with the team under his belt. The team and the city are buzzing - really, this is arguably as good as this team has "felt" in quite some time.
On the other hand, already without Rondo, the Celtics may be distracted by all the recent trade talk surrounding Garnett. While the team does have a few recent covers, clearly these aren't the happiest of days.
A look at the schedule shows that both teams had the past two nights off. The Raptors will also have tomorrow off. On the other hand, the Celtics will host the Lakers, a long-time rival, tomorrow. I feel it may be easy for them to look past Toronto.
Note that the Celtics are a rather surprising 2-5 SU/ATS when playing with two day's rest in between games. Perhaps more importantly, they're also an ugly 1-5 SU/ATS the last six times that they played the front-end of back-to-back games.
The Raptors lost big at Boston back in November. They've had recent success against the Celtics here at Toronto recently though, winning three of the last four meetings including each of the last two. They won those games by scores of 86-74 and 84-79. More of the same here. *10 Atlantic DIV GOW
|02-06-13||Baylor v. Oklahoma State -7||Top||67-69||Loss||-110||7 h 32 m||Show|
I'm playing on OKLAHOMA STATE. As is the case for most teams, homecourt is significant for both these clubs.
The Cowboys are a strong team, particularly at home. They began the season by winning their first five, before suffering a road loss at Virginia Tech. They responded with five more victories en route to a 10-1 start and a national ranking. Early wins came against the likes of NC State and Tennessee.
The Cowboys then suffered a tough 1-point home loss against Gonzaga. That led to a stretch where they lost three straight road games, a home win against TCU mixed in between. The last of those road losses came at Baylor, against these same Bears.
The Cowboys have since responded with three straight big wins and find themselves back in the Top 25. Most recently they won at Kansas.
Playing with "revenge" and looking to prove that they belong in the rankings, I expect a highly motivated effort from the Cowboys here.
Note that Oklahoma State is 11-1 at home, 7-4 ATS in lined games.
The Bears remain relatively tough at home but mediocre on the road. They come in off an 8-point loss at Iowa State, their second straight. Prior to that, they were upset by Oklahoma. This isn't one of their better roles as we find them at only 7-12 ATS the last 19 times that they were listed as road underdogs in the 6.5 to 9 range.
While they were beaten by a strong Baylor team here last season, the Cowboys are still 13-2 the last 15 times that they were a host in this series. Its payback time at the Gallagher-Iba Arena tonight. *10 Personal Favorite
|02-05-13||South Carolina v. Kentucky -17.5||Top||55-77||Win||100||14 h 20 m||Show|
I'm playing on KENTUCKY. The Wildcats may not be as dominant as usual but I still believe they've got more than enough to lay a beating on South Carolina.
The Gamecocks are off a double-digit home loss against Georgia and have now dropped six of their last eight. In the game against the Bulldogs, they shot 35.8% from the field, while watching Georgia connect at a 58% rate.
Off an OT win on Saturday and now stepping down in class, I feel the Wildcats are ready to explode against a team they've dominated. The Wildcats are 5-0 the last five meetings with the Gamecocks and 46-10 all-time.
With an O/U line in the high 130s, note that the Wildcats are 23-15-1 ATS (36-3 SU) the last 39 times that they played a home game with an O/U line in the 135 to 139.5 range. Note that the Gamecocks are 0-5 SU/ATS the last five times that they played a road game with an O/U line in that range.
Kentucky's last three wins against the Gamecocks have come by 24, 15 and 31 points, an average of greater than 23. I look for them to win this one by 20+ too. *10 Personal Favorite
|02-04-13||Seton Hall +16.5 v. Pittsburgh||Top||46-56||Win||100||14 h 47 m||Show|
I'm playing on SETON HALL. I respect the Panthers. In fact, they've covered three straight games and I've been on them in every single one of those games. However, I feel that they're laying a few too many points here and that they're in a bit of a difficult scheduling spot.
Off big televised games at Louisville and vs. Syracuse and with Cincinnati, Marquette and Notre Dame on deck, I feel that the Panthers may be ripe for a bit of a letdown.
While I did back the Panthers when they blew out Depaul a couple of weeks ago, it should be noted that was the only one of Pittsburgh's last seven games which resulted in a victory of greater than 15 points.
Speaking of that Depaul game, the Panthers, 4-9 ATS the last 13 times that they were favored at home by greater than a dozen points, were actually laying a (slightly) larger number for that game than they are here. Yet, Seton Hall is a significantly better team than Depaul, at least in my opinion. While the Blue Demons are 10-11, the Pirates are 13-9, including a victory at Depaul the only time those teams faced each other.
True, the Pirates have lost a few in a row. However, two of those losses came by six or fewer points and they barely missed covering in each of those. The Pirates have only lost by greater than 15 points twice all season and just once in their past seven games.
Note that the Pirates are 3-1 ATS the last couple of seasons after failing to cover three in a row and 7-2 ATS after three or more consecutive SU losses. Last year's game was decided by seven points (73-66 Seton Hall) and I won't be surprised when this one is also decided by single-digits. *10 best bet
|02-04-13||Portland Trail Blazers v. Minnesota Timberwolves -2.5||Top||100-98||Loss||-113||13 h 26 m||Show|
I'm playing on MINNESOTA. The T-Wolves come in playing with "double-revenge." Not only did the Blazers beat them at Portland back in November, the Blazers also knocked off the T-Wolves here at Minnesota last month.
When these teams mets last month, the Blazers were playing arguably their best basketball of the season, as they were in the middle of a stretch which saw them win four straight six of seven. They've since cooled off a little though, winning just four of 12 games.
Admittedly, the T-Wolves haven't been too good. I believe that they may have turned the corner a little in their last game though, a 115-86 blowout win over the Hornets, a team which had quietly been playing quite well.
Luke Ridnour had this to say about the big win: "To have a blowout win is something that our team needed at this point. Hopefully we can build on it.''
Overall, the T-Wolves are 12-9 at home while the Blazers are 7-15 on the road, 0-4 their last four.
Even factoring in last months upset against Portland here, the T-Wolves are 9-6 ATS (11-4 SU) when laying points this season. That includes a 4-0 ATS mark when favored at home by three or fewer points. I expect a highly motivated effort to lead to another win and cover tonight. *10 Personal Favorite
|02-04-13||Charlotte Bobcats +13.5 v. Miami Heat||Top||94-99||Win||100||13 h 4 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHARLOTTE. Obviously, I can't claim that the Bobcats are as good as the Heat. However, I can say that they're getting a large handful of points and that I feel this is a good spot for them.
The Bobcats had last night off. They're playing the second last leg of a 5-game road trip, one which hasn't gone particularly well. They're beyond the point of trying to have a winning record on road trips - but the Bobcats generally do try and salvage something from each of their excursions away from Charlotte. Going into Miami and playing the champs tough would accomplish that goal.
Note that the Bobcats are 26-16 ATS the last 42 times that they were listed as road underdogs in the 12.5 to 15 point range, going a lucrative 13-5 ATS their last 18 in that situation.
It should be mentioned that Charlotte appears likely to be without Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who left last game with a concussion. The Bobcats didn't fare well after he went down but they know he's going to be OK now though and have had a chance to prepare for his potential or probable absence.
The Heat are off a game in Canada last night. A look at the last nine times that they played the second of back to back games, dating back to last season, reveals that the Heat went a respectable 5-4 ATS and 8-1 SU.
However, an even closer look shows that NONE of those nine games resulted in a victory of greater than 13 points. The Heat did lose by 19 but their victories came by 9, 13, 5, 3, 3, 9, 11, and 3 points. (That's an average of seven per game.)
Even off a cover last night, the Heat are still only 7-11 ATS their last 18. They've lost two of three and only two of their last six games has resulted in a double-digit win. I look for them to receive a tougher test than most will be expecting. *10 best bet
|02-04-13||Fairfield -6.5 v. Siena||Top||64-54||Win||100||12 h 16 m||Show|
I'm playing on FAIRFIELD. The Saints used to be class of this league. Those days are gone now though. Those days are gone now though. Averaging less than 60 points per game, the Saints are only 6-16 overall, going 7-11 ATS.
The Stags, on the other hand, are a fairly respectable 13-10. That includes a perfect 5-0 record (3-2 ATS) when facing a team which scores 64 or fewer points per game. They're also 3-0 their last three, two of those victories coming by double-digits.
While they have managed a couple of recent wins against lesser quality opponents, the Saints are only 2-7 ATS (2-9 SU) against teams with a wining record. They're also only 7-13 their last 20 off a conference win. The only previous time that they won two in a row this season, they stepped up in class to face Niagara and lost by 17. Stepping up in class to face Fairfield, I expect them to receive another dose of reality. *9 personal favorite
|02-03-13||Baltimore Ravens +4 v. San Francisco 49ers||Top||34-31||Win||100||301 h 17 m||Show|
I'm playing BALTIMORE. I've been riding the Ravens these playoffs, backing them in their victories over the Colts, Broncos and Patriots. Once again, I believe they're offering us excellent value.
The general consensus seems to be that the 49'ers are better in all facets of the game, with the exception of kicker. At least, I sure seem to hear a lot of people making that claim.
I don't see it that way.
Let's start by looking at the quarterbacks, the most important players on the field.
While I know many/most would probably choose Kaepernick but if I had the choice to have either QB for this game, I'd personally take Flacco.
There's no denying that Kaepernick has been really good. He's deadly on the ground, can beat you with his arm and has made good decisions.
That said, since the playoffs began, I believe Flacco has been every bit as good, some could argue better. I like the fact that he's got more playoff and overall experience. I like his demeanor and believe that he's peaking at the right time.
When making my Super Bowl pick, I probably give more weight to the head coach than many other handicappers. While I lost with Belichick last year, I've successfully backed the likes of Green Bay and New Orleans in recent years in no small part because I respected McCarthy and Payton.
Both Harbaugh brothers have obviously done a great job in getting their teams this far. I consider both to be very good coaches.
However, if given the choice, I'd take the older brother, John.
I backed Baltimore when these teams met on Thanksgiving a couple of years ago. I remember Jim saying: "John's the smartest guy I know.
Growing up, as brothers would do, the two brothers competed against each other. Jim was born with the better physical gifts. However, John made up for it with smarts. Obviously any athletic advantage Jim might have, won't play a factor here. The older and typically calmer brother, I feel John has the edge.
True, the 49'ers defense had the better regular season stats. However, this Raven defense is peaking at the right time - having shut down the likes of Luck, Manning and Brady. Meanwhile, the 49er defense has shown some vulnerability in the playoffs.
I believe that the two weeks in between games may also favor a Baltimore team which was forced to play one more playoff game to get here. Aging defenders like Lewis and Reed will benefit from the rest. (I also believe the experience of those type of players will prove invaluable.) Perhaps more importantly, the Ravens will have extra time to compare for the unconventional SF offense.
Note that the Ravens are 14-5 SU and 13-6 ATS the last 19 times that they played with two week's worth of rest, going 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS their last four in that situation.
While I like the Ravens to win, in a game that could come down to the wire, getting more than a field goal, I'll happily grab the points. *10 Best of Best
|02-03-13||Marquette v. Louisville -10.5||Top||51-70||Win||100||15 h 31 m||Show|
I'm playing on LOUISVILLE. Some of you will likely recall that I successfully played against the Cardinals in their most recent game. Hosting Pittsburgh, the Cardinals were mired in a 3-game losing streak. Yet, they were still laying six points. I noted that I felt the Panthers had an excellent shot at an upset and also that I felt Louisville would be happy just to eke out a win.
While it wasn't easy, the Cardinals did indeed manage to eke out a 64-61 win over the Panthers. Now, with their losing streak snapped, I feel that they're ready for bigger and better things ... a blowout win.
Speaking of blowouts, the Carinal have won three of the last four in the series and their last two victories have come by 13 and 25 points.
The Golden Eagles are great at home but only mediocre on the road. They're definitely not slouches and they have been competitive. However, I feel that they're going to be in over their heads against what I expect to be a highly determined Louisville team.
Back in their groove, note that the Cardinals are 22-10 ATS the past few seasons, when off a conference win. During that time, they're 4-2 ATS as home favorites in the 9.5 to 12 range. I expect them to improve on those stats in convincing fashion here. *10 personal favorite
|02-02-13||Michigan v. Indiana -4.5||Top||73-81||Win||100||11 h 8 m||Show|
I'm playing on INDIANA. Obviously these teams are both very good. I like what the Hoosiers bring to the table a little more though and I feel that homecourt will prove significant.
Michigan averages a healthy 74.6 points per game on the road. However, Indiana averages a whopping 87.3 at home.
Michigan allows just 63.5 ppg on the road. However, Indiana permits a paltry 58.6 at home.
I feel that the Hoosiers have a little more to prove and I expect them to play with a chip on their shoulder, en route to a statement win and cover. *10 Big Ten GOM
|02-02-13||Oklahoma City Thunder v. Cleveland Cavaliers +10.5||Top||110-115||Win||100||5 h 21 m||Show|
I'm playing on CLEVELAND. Obviously the Thunder are an excellent team. However, that doesn't mean that they can't over-valued. In this case, I feel they're laying a little too large a number.
While the Cavs are off a loss vs. the Pistons last night, note that they're a solid 8-3 ATS when off a divisional game. They're also 4-1 ATS the last five times that they played the second of back-to-back games, most recently an outright win at Toronto.
The Thunder are just 8-15-2 ATS (10-15 SU) the last 25 times that they played a road game with an O/U line in the 200 to 204.5 range. I expect them to have their hands full here. *10 best bet
|02-01-13||Dallas Mavericks v. Phoenix Suns -2.5||Top||109-99||Loss||-110||14 h 55 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHOENIX. The Suns come in with double-revenge, having lost to these same Mavericks twice already this season. Although they haven't typically been too good in the "revenge role" in recent years, I feel that this will be prove to be an excellent spot for the Suns to get some payback.
While Phoenix had last night off, the Mavs are off a hard-fought "emotional" loss at Golden State. Playing their third game in four nights, they'll be without Kaman and it appears likely that they'll also be without Nowitzki.
Note that the Mavs have won just three of 10 games, when playing the second of back-to-back games. Note that ALL seven losses came by at least four points, six of them by eight or more.
The Suns have quietly played well at home recently. Their last two games here have seen them beat the Lakers and the Clippers, both wins coming by a minimum of five points. With the schedule in their favor, I expect them to step up with another big effort, en route to a win and cover. *10 Personal Favorite
|02-01-13||Youngstown State v. Detroit -11||Top||77-88||Push||0||13 h 14 m||Show|
I'm playing on DETROIT. The Penguins enter on a bit of a roll including an impressive win over Valparaiso on Wednesday. I expect reality to set in this evening though.
The Titans already crushed the Penguins by a score of 101-60 - and that was at Youngstown State.
Naturally, the Penguins would like to get some payback from that loss. However, wanting and actually doing are entirely different matters.
The Titans average 78.6 points per game and more than 80 in games against other Horizon teams. That's by far the most in the conference. That number climbs to 83.7 at home.
As it was on their own homecourt, I believe that's going to make it tough for the Penguins, who average 67.5 on the road, to keep up.
While the Penguins have won just 12 of their last 40 on the road, the Tiants are 34-10 at home during the same stretch.
The Titans beat the Penguins by 17 in a neutral court game last March. However, they probably still haven't forgotten that the Penguins did upset them here early last season. I expect them to keep the pedal to the metal the entire way here, en route to another double-digit win. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-31-13||Oregon State v. California -7.5||Top||68-71||Loss||-110||15 h 31 m||Show|
I'm playing on CALIFORNIA. Admittedly, the Bears haven't been a very good bet at home this season. Their early season results have worked in our favor a bit here though, as I believe that this line, which has come down a bit from its opener, could easily be higher.
The Bears hold opposing teams to 37.3% shooting here. On the other hand, when playing on the road, the Beavers allow their hosts to hit 46.8% of their shots.
While the Bears are 26-18-3 ATS (40-7 SU) the last 47 times (4-3 ATS and 6-1 SU L7) that they were listed as home favorites in the 6.5 to 9 range, the Beavers are a poor 1-5 ATS (0-6 SU) the last six times that they were listed as road underdogs in the 6.5 to 9 range.
One of those games came in last year's game here. The Bears were favored by nine and they won by 14. The Bears were also laying nine points in the previous meeting here. They won that one by 28.
The Bears just finished up a 1-2 road trip with a 10-point loss at Colorado. They won their most recent home game (vs. WSU) by 13 points though and we find them at 3-0 SU/ATS when off a conference loss. They're 13-5 ATS their last 18 in that situation. During that stretch, they're also 2-0 SU/ATS after playing three straight on the road. I expect a double-digit win. *10 End of Month Blowout
|01-31-13||Butler v. St. Louis -2.5||Top||58-75||Win||100||14 h 49 m||Show|
I'm playing on ST LOUIS. Butler comes in with the higher ranking and has certainly proven that its worthy of respect. That said, I feel that the Billikens are favored for good reason.
While Saturday's 83-71 win vs. Temple was impressive, the Bulldogs managed only 53 points in losing their most recent road game. Back on the road and facing a very stingy opponent, I expect them to have some trouble scoring here.
The Billikens are a very good team. They've won two in a row and 11 of 13. Long known for their defense, they're allowing just 57.8 ppg. At home that number dips to 55.8 points, opposing teams hitting 41.3% from the field. By comparison, Butler is giving up an average of 67.5 ppg on the road.
The Billikens came into this season with high expectations. They could badly use a "signature win" and this game provides an excellent opportunity to beat a ranked opponent.
The Bulldogs are only 1-3 ATS the last four times that they scored 80 or more points in their previous game. Don't be surprised when they suffer a rare loss tonight. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-31-13||Memphis Grizzlies v. Oklahoma City Thunder -8.5||Top||89-106||Win||100||13 h 13 m||Show|
I'm playing on OKLAHOMA CITY. I successfully played against the Thunder in their last game. They got blown out by the Lakers. The Thunder were playing the final game of a long road trip and a grueling stretch to start the year. They were also facing a revenge-minded Laker team which was in "desperation mode." Things set up much differently here.
For starters, the Thunder are back home, where they're a dominating 19-3 SU and 14-8 ATS. They're also now well-rested. Fatigue will no longer be a factor.
Russell Westbrook noted: "It's a great feeling to get back in front of your home fans. We have to take advantage of it."
Note that the Thunder are an outstanding 30-12-1 ATS (36-7 SU) the last 43 times that they were off an upset loss, going 7-1 SU/ATS their last eight.
Instead of facing a desperate Laker team, the Thunder will now take on a Memphis team which is somewhat comfortable in its spot in the standings and which may be a little distracted from yesterday's big trade.
While they had talked of trading him for some time and while they do get a couple of solid players in return, Gay was a top tier player. He was the team's leading scorer and he just hit the go-ahead shot, scoring 26 overall, in Monday's win. Facing an elite team like OKC, I expect him to be missed.
Instead of facing a "revenge" minded Laker team, this time the Thunder are the ones playing with payback on their minds. That's because Memphis beat them here back in November. Lack of motivation should not be an issue.
Note that the Thunder are an excellent 18-9 ATS the last few seasons, when attempting to avenge an earlier home loss, including 4-1 SU/ATS their last five in that situation. Overall, they're 48-28 ATS (51-25 SU) the last 76 times that they attempted to avenge an earlier loss. I expect them to improve on those stats with a double-digit win. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-30-13||Oregon v. Stanford -2||Top||52-76||Win||100||10 h 45 m||Show|
I'm playing on STANFORD. The Ducks come in with the the higher ranking. However, I believe that the Cardinal are favored (slightly) for good reason.
Give the Ducks credit for winning. However, also note that they are averaging 15.7 turnovers per game (most in the conference) and that their last five wins have come by an average of just five points. They turned the ball over 23 times on Saturday but a great shooting day bailed them out. I expect their good fortune to come to an end against what figures to be a very determined Stanford squad.
The Ducks will be without starting point guard Dominic Artis, out with a foot injury. They're 2-4 ATS off a conference win and 14-15 on the road the past few seasons. During that time the Cardinal are 36-10 at home.
While Oregon got the upper-hand last season, the Cardinal have long dominated the Ducks here. (They're 13-2 SU and 11-4 ATS L15 as a host against Oregon.) I expect them to resume that domination this evening. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-30-13||Los Angeles Clippers v. Minnesota Timberwolves +5||Top||96-90||Loss||-110||8 h 9 m||Show|
I'm playing on MINNESOTA. The Clippers did manage to get back on track with a win last time out. However, I still don't believe they currently deserve to be laying this many points on the road. Not without their leader.
The Clippers are still just 1-4 their last five, 0-3 on the road.
The T-Wolves are playing with "double-revenge," having lost both previous meetings. Lack of motivation should not be an issue.
When these teams met here a little less than two weeks ago, Rubio was playing his first game of the season and the T-Wolves were also playing without their head coach - that can be tough for a team and the T-Wolves struggled.
Rubio's got some games under his belt now though and Minnesota's coach (Adelman) is back tonight, the first time since Jan 5th.
I expect the well-rested and revenge-minded T-Wolves to give their best effort, en route to earning at least a cover. *10 Western Conf Best Bet
|01-30-13||Toronto Raptors +7 v. Atlanta Hawks||Top||92-93||Win||100||7 h 35 m||Show|
I'm playing on TORONTO. The Raptors have lost a couple lately. However, they've still been excellent at the betting window in recent weeks. They're 9-6-1 ATS their last 16.
While they've lost two in a row, the first of those came by a single point. The second loss came Monday, a 114-102 defeat vs. Golden State. Note that the Raptors are 6-4-1 ATS off a double-digit loss.
The Hawks are off a tough 2-point loss vs. New York. Prior to that, they'd won three straight. However, they'd lost eight of 10 before that. A closer look shows that only three of the Hawks' last 14 games have resulted in an Atlanta victory of greater than eight points. While they haven't played since Sunday, which would normally be a good thing, note that the Hawks are 0-5 ATS when playing with two day's rest.
Listed as 9.5 point underdogs the last time that they played here, the Raptors won by 16 points. While another blowout win is probably unlikely, another upset wouldn't shock me. Either way, I expect a competitive game with the visitors earning at least a cover. *10 Eastern Conf. Best Bet
|01-30-13||Villanova v. Notre Dame -7.5||Top||60-65||Loss||-106||7 h 20 m||Show|
I'm playing on NOTRE DAME. The Wildcats are off back to back very impressive wins. Both were at home though. They're at a very difficult venue tonight though and I expect their streak to come to an end.
While the Wildcats are 13-17 on the road the past few seasons, the Irish are 45-3 at home. That includes a 19-1 SU and 13-7 ATS record when playing a home game with an O/U linein the 135-139.5 range.
After going through a rare rough patch, the Irish got back on track in the second half of Saturday's game. Down 35-28 at South Florida at the break, they dominated the second half, outscoring the Bulls by a 45-30 margin. I expect them to carry the momentum into today's game.
The Irish won at Villanova last season. The previous year, playing at Notre Dame and laying five points, they won by a score of 93-72. I expect homecourt to again prove significant and for the Irish to cruise to another double-digit win. *10 main event
|01-29-13||Dallas Mavericks v. Portland Trail Blazers -2||Top||104-106||Push||0||13 h 59 m||Show|
I'm playing on PORTLAND. The Mavericks pounded Portland when these teams met earlier in the season. However, that was at Dallas. The Blazers are a different team here at the Rose Garden. Although one could argue that the Mavs, who are further out of the race, need the game more, the Blazers also desperately need all the wins they can get. I expect homecourt to prove significant.
While the Mavs are 7-16 on the road, the Blazers are 15-8 here at home. That includes a 6-2-1 ATS (7-2 SU) record when listed as home favorites of three or fewer points.
While his team has played well recently, Dallas coach Rick Carlisle knows tonight's game won't be easy. He was quoted as saying:
|01-29-13||Northern Iowa +1.5 v. Evansville||Top||51-54||Loss||-110||10 h 37 m||Show|
I'm playing on NORTHERN IOWA. Evansville has home-court advantage and already won the first meeting between these teams. I still believe that Northern Iowa is the better team though. Tonight, I expect the revenge-minded Panthers to prove that point on the floor.
The Panthers have four players that average double-digits in scoring and five that average 9.5 or more.
The Panthers lost by one last time out. They've been excellent off a loss though, going 3-1 SU/ATS off a conference loss. Don't be surprised when they step up and get some payback tonight. *10 best bet
|01-29-13||Golden State Warriors v. Cleveland Cavaliers +1.5||Top||108-95||Loss||-110||9 h 51 m||Show|
I'm playing on CLEVELAND. With Curry having left last night's game, the Cavaliers have gone from being slight underdogs to slight favorites. I don't expect the pointspread to come into play though.
The Cavs, who had the last two nights off, are playing their best basketball of the season. They're 3-0 SU/ATS their last three games and 4-1 SU/ATS their last five. Note that they're also 5-3 SU/ATS when playing with two day's rest in between games.
They should be fresh and they also know that they get some time off after this game. Playing with revenge from an earlier loss at Oakland, I expect them to be at their best.
Unlike their guests, the Warriors are not well-rested. They played at Canada yesterday. They're thousands of miles away from home and playing the final leg of a road trip.
While Curry's status remains uncertain at this point, I like the Cavs even if he does play and regardless of who the Warriors have in the lineup. It should be noted that the Warriors finally got Bogut in the lineup last night but that he's not expected to play tonight either.
While last night's win was impressive, note that the Warriors are a dismal 9-19 ATS the last 28 times that they were off a double-digit win, 3-5 ATS their last eight in that situation.
Behind another big game from Irving, the current Player Of The Week, I expect the Cavs to win their fourth straight for the first time in the "post Lebron" era. *10 best bet
|01-28-13||Indiana Pacers +5.5 v. Denver Nuggets||Top||101-102||Win||100||12 h 50 m||Show|
I'm playing on INDIANA. The Nuggets are off three straight wins while the Pacers are off back to back losses. I expect that to lead to a very determined effort from the visiting Pacers, who will look to wrap up their road trip with a victory. Note that they're 3-1 ATS after playing their previous three (or more) on the road.
Even with a 4-point loss at Utah last time out, the Pacers are still an impressive 16-7 SU their last 23 games.
The last time that the Pacers lost back-to-back games was back in early December, when they were beaten by the Thunder and by these same Nuggets. (Indiana would immediately respond to that 2-game slide with a 15-point victory.)
Speaking of the earlier meeting, the Nuggets won that one by three points, winning at Indiana. The Pacers haven't forgotten that loss and will be looking for some payback here.
Prior to the 2-game slide in early December, the Pacers' previous 2-game losing streak was in mid-November when they lost games on 11/13 and 11/14. They responded to that 2-game skid by winning their next game by 20 points.
Even with the earlier cover at Indiana, the Nuggets are still only 5-9 ATS against Eastern Conference opponents. Their last two games against the Pacers have each been decided by four points or less. I expect them to have their hands full the entire way once again. *10 non-conf best bet
|01-28-13||Orlando Magic +9.5 v. Brooklyn Nets||Top||77-97||Loss||-110||11 h 46 m||Show|
I'm playing on ORLANDO. The Magic have certainly had trouble winning games. Many will see that their poor overall record and be quick to go against them here, particularly after realizing that the Magic played yesterday. I expect Orlando's best effort tonight though and feel that the line is generously high.
Many would likely be surprised to learn that the Magic are actually among the most profitable road teams in the entire league. They're 13-6 ATS away from Orlando.
True, the Magic did play yesterday, a 2-point loss vs. the Pistons. Before getting too concerned about the back-to-back spot, keep in mind that the Magic had two day's off, prior to yesterday's game. So, its not like they are playing three games in four days (or 4 in 5) or anything like that. In fact, this is the first time that the Magic have played b2b games in all of 2013. So, their schedule has been very manageable of late. I don't expect fatigue to be an issue.
It should also be noted that the Magic are 3-0 ATS the last three times that they played a road game, after having played the previous day. They beat Charlotte and Golden State outright and covered at Atlanta.
This is the first game of a road trip for the Magic. Given their recent woes at home (and Orlando's strong ATS stats on the road) I believe the trip is coming at a good time.
JJ Redick said. "The way we're losing is tough. But we can control our mindset, our attitude, our perspective over these last nine games before the All-Star break. We have a chance to use this road trip to get better, and we will."
I believe this may prove a tough spot for the Nets. At the very least, its not a good spot to be laying such a large number. They're off back-to-back losses and they're not playing good defense right now.
As coach Carlesimo said, "... we're just getting annihilated on points in the paint."
For the reason, the Nets rank 28th in the league in terms of their field goal defense, opposing teams hitting 46.3% against them.
Playing their first game back off a trip, with games against the Heat, Lakers and Bulls to follow, I believe the Nets may have trouble getting fully focused for a struggling Magic team which they already defeated three times back in November.
The Nets have struggled as home favorites in this range and they're only 3-6 ATS when off a double-digit loss.
I expect the revenge-minded Magic, who have been excellent as road underdogs in this range, to be a little more hungry tonight and for that to lead to at least another cover. *10 main event
|01-28-13||Pittsburgh +6 v. Louisville||Top||61-64||Win||100||7 h 26 m||Show|
I'm playing on PITTSBURGH. I won with the Panthers on Saturday. They absolutely dismantled Depaul. While I respect Louisville, I feel that the Panthers are providing us with excellent value again here.
While the Cardinals figure to be desperate, the Panthers are playing well and they know this is their opportunity to steal a win against a highly ranked opponent.
After his team scored more than 90 on Saturday, coach Dixon noted: "Obviously we'll be ready for Monday."
Pittsburgh has played the Cardinals tough here recently. Last season, the Panthers lost by three points here. The previous season, they also lost by three here.
A closer look shows that nine of the last 11 meetings between these teams have been decided by seven or fewer points.
The Panthers boast a balanced lineup with many players capable of stepping up to lead the team.
As Trey Zeigler noted: "Any night anyone can lead us in scoring," Zeigler said. "When you have 10 guys that can bring something to the table ... "
While the Cardinals have been a strong favorite overall, they haven't fared well as home favorites in this range. Off a loss last time out, their third straight, note that the Cards are now only 7-10 ATS the past couple of seasons, when off a conference loss. They should be more than happy just to eke out a win here to "stop the bleeding" and aren't likely to be concerned with "winning big."
The Panthers are 8-5 ATS as underdogs the past couple of seasons. I expect at least another cover here. *10 Main Event
|01-27-13||Oklahoma City Thunder v. Los Angeles Lakers +4||Top||96-105||Win||100||6 h 56 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA LAKERS. The Lakers got the monkey off their backs with a big win last time out. While the Thunder obviously represent a significant step up in class, I expect Kobe and co. to build some momentum and for them to be at their very best this afternoon.
The Lakers had a player's only meeting after losing against Memphis. I believe it will help them moving forward.
Dwight Howard noted: "After the Memphis game, we put the past behind us. We've got to sustain it for the rest of the season. We have to play together and play for each other."
Kobe, who is averaging better than 35 points per game his last five meetings with the Thunder, had this to say: "We're bonding together and we're communicating with each other very well. You can't just sweep things under the rug all the time. It's not about showing we've turned the corner. It's about doing it."
The Thunder are very good - but they're not unbeatable. They've already lost twice on the current trip and seven times on the road on the season. Note that they're playing the final game of a fairly long trip. Although they had yesterday off, its been quite a grueling schedule for the Thunder for some time. Also, note that they're 0-3 ATS when playing a road game with an O/U line in the 205 to 209.5 range.
One of the best things about Friday's win was that the Lakers allowed only 84 points, holding the Jazz to 42% shooting. That's the type of defense they need to play to compete with top tier teams like the Thunder. They're 3-1 ATS the last four times that they allowed 85 or less in their previous game.
I expect to see a very hungry Laker team that builds off Friday's win and follows it up with AT LEAST another cover here. *10 best bet
|01-26-13||New York Knicks v. Philadelphia 76ers +3.5||Top||80-97||Win||100||9 h 28 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. The Knicks eked out a win at Boston on Thursday, their second straight game decided by three points.
The 76'ers, who are 6-3 ATS the last nine times that they were underdogs of four or fewer points, are in a good scheduling spot. They had the last few nights off and they don't play tomorrow. They should be fresh and fully focused on avenging a pair of earlier losses suffered against these same Knicks. Note that they're 5-2 SU/ATS the last seven times that they played with three or more day's rest in between games.
On the other hand, with Atlanta on deck tomorrow night, note that the Knicks are just 1-3 the last four times that they played the front end of back to back games. The only victory came against Charlotte. That was back in early December and the win came by only two points.
The Knicks may get Felton back tonight and that should eventually make them stronger. However, he's been gone a dozen games now and working him into the lineup may not initially pay dividends.
Even with Thursday's victory, note that the Knicks are only 3-6 ATS the last nine times that they were listed as favorites of four or fewer points.
Philadelphia forward Thaddeus Young had this to say of the 76ers current mindset: "Somehow we have to figure it out, come together and stay together as a team. We know what the problem is. We've been in every game so far and fought back."
I'll grab the points but I expect Young, Holliday and co. to rise to the occasion and to score the upset. *10 Atlantic Div. GOM
|01-26-13||DePaul v. Pittsburgh -16.5||Top||55-93||Win||100||8 h 23 m||Show|
I'm playing on PITTSBURGH. At first glance, this line may seem a little high. However, I believe it could actually be even higher and I'm expecting a blowout.
There's a very big difference in level of talent between the top teams in the Big East and bottom ones. The Panthers are a top tier Big East team while the Blue Demons are among the worst.
The Blue Demons are just 1-5 (2-4 ATS) their last six games. The lone win came against Providence, perhaps the only team worse than them in the conference this season. Last time that they played on the road, the Demons lost by 21 at Connecticut, a team Pittsburgh beat with relative ease last Saturday.
Off a couple of fairly close wins and with Louisville and Syracuse on deck, I believe the Panthers will be motivated to keep the pedal to the metal the whole way here.
The Panthers are 8-3-2 ATS (13-0 SU) the last 13 times that they were listed as home favorites in the 15.5 to 18 point range. I expect them to improve on those stats in convincing fashion this afternoon. *10 personal favorite
|01-26-13||New Mexico v. San Diego St -4||Top||34-55||Win||100||8 h 35 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN DIEGO STATE. The Lobos have the higher ranking. However, I believe that the Aztecs are favored for good reason.
The Aztecs may not be ranked at the moment. However, they were not long ago and they got back on track with a big win last time out.
Coach Steve Fisher noted: "We're a veteran ball club that knows how to win. This victory started on Sunday when we started watching film. We had not been practicing like a championship team should. We were better the last couple days. I'm not surprised with how we came out and played."
The Aztecs are typically at their best against good teams. They're 8-3 SU/ATS their last 11 against teams with a winning record, going 36-18-1ATS (41-14 SU) their last 55.
The Aztecs are also 21-12 ATS the last 33 times that they were listed as home favorites in the 3.5 to 6 range and 18-9 ATS (21-6 SU) their last 27 against teams which allow 64 or fewer points per game.
After getting beaten by the Lobos in last year's conference tournament final, the Aztecs have had this game circled. I expect their best effort and for that to lead to a win and cover. *10 annihilator
|01-25-13||Utah Jazz v. Los Angeles Lakers -5||Top||84-102||Win||100||11 h 23 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA LAKERS. The Lakers struggles have continued recently and things are getting desperate. Playing with "double-revenge" against a Jazz team which is never as good away from Utah, I expect Kobe and co. to respond with their best effort.
The Jazz have been playing well lately and they did beat Miami not long ago. However, their last three wins have come at home and the most recent two came against the likes of Cleveland and Washington. So, they fact that they've been winning was somewhat expected. Note that the Jazz are just 6-11 ATS the last 17 times that they played their previous three at home. (They're 63-83-3 ATS their past 100+ in that situation.)
While they did score an upset here earlier, the Jazz are only 9-15 (9-14-1 ATS) on the road. When playing away from Salt Lake City, they get outscored by a 101 to 96.2 margin, allowing opposing teams to hit more than 48% of their shots.
As for the Lakers, their last three games all came on the road, most recently at Memphis and Chicago. Those aren't easy venues to win at. Their last home game came against Miami - obviously another tough opponent. Their previous two home games both resulted in double-digit victories though.
Note that every Laker victory since Christmas has come by at least six points. All but one of those wins came by double-digits.
Enough is enough. LA rises to the occasion and gets it done. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-25-13||Oklahoma City Thunder v. Sacramento Kings +9.5||Top||105-95||Loss||-110||12 h 33 m||Show|
I'm playing on SACRAMENTO. I successfully played against the Thunder when they lost against the Warriors a couple of nights ago. At the time I noted that the Thunder had been going through quite a grueling schedule recently and that I thought they may not be all that fresh.
Here's an excerpt from Wednesday's writeup which includes what I said about OKC's recent schedule: "Tough spot for the Thunder. Not only did they play a late game vs. the Clippers last night, they also played an OT game in the high altitude of Denver on Sunday night. This will be their 7th game in the last 11 nights and their 11th game since January 6th. By comparison, the Warriors will be playing just their eighth game since January 5th..."
The Thunder have since had a night off and they've admittedly been great at bouncing back from a loss. However, I'm still not sure that they're ready to be laying nearly double-digits on the road. Note that they're 0-3 ATS when playing a road game with an O/U line in the 205 to 209.5 range.
It should also be noted that the Thunder have a date with the Lakers on deck. LA may be struggling at the moment but a game vs. Kobe and co. remains something to potentially get caught looking ahead to.
The Kings do indeed struggle on the road. They're actually above .500 here at Sacramento though and have won two of three here.
The Kings have played the Thunder relatively tough of late, as each of the last three meetings were decided by 11 or less. They covered at OKC in this season's only previous meeting and they're 5-2 ATS when off a game against a division opponent. Knowing they've got an extended road trip on deck, I expect the Kings to go all out with their best effort tonight and for that to lead to at least a cover. *10 best bet
|01-25-13||Milwaukee Bucks v. Cleveland Cavaliers +4.5||Top||108-113||Win||100||10 h 5 m||Show|
I'm playing on CLEVELAND. It would be easy to make a case for the Bucks. They've got a better overall record, they've had success in this series and they're 6-2 since making a coaching change. All that's been factored into the line though. I believe that the Cavs are better than their record suggests. I expect their best effort tonight and feel that the line is providing us with excellent value.
When Kyrie Irving is on top of his game, the Cavs are a different team. Indeed, they're 4-2 when the reigning Rookie of the Year tops the 30 point mark.
As Byron Scott noted: "When he's aggressive, everyone picks up on that ... That's the type of player that we need out there. He's obviously capable of doing that every single night. When he's aggressive, he makes us a better basketball team."
Irving had 40 last time out. The Cavs won outright vs. Boston.
The Bucks have won three straight. They're an awful 46-74-7 ATS (54-73 SU) the last 127 times that they were off three straight victories though.
Also just 4-6 SU/ATS the last 10 times that they were listed as road favorites in the 3.5 to 6 range, I expect the Bucks to have their hands full the entire way here. *10 Central GOM
|01-25-13||Loyola Md v. Manhattan +3||Top||51-41||Loss||-110||10 h 27 m||Show|
I'm playing on MANHATTAN. Loyola-MD sits in its customary spot on top of the conference. I expect the Greyhounds to get upset this evening though.
While I respect the Greyhounds, I see them coming in a bit "complacent" here. They're off a big road win at Fairfield, the team that they faced in the finals of last year's MAAC Tournament, and they've got a showdown vs. Iona on deck on Saturday. I feel it will be easy for them to look past lowly Manhattan.
That'll prove costly though. Having finally adjusted to life without Beamon, the Jaspers are starting to play well. They've covered five of their last six and they've had this game circled. Their last home game resulted in a 12 point victory.
The Jaspers are 5-1 ATS against teams with a winning record and they're 3-1 ATS when off a SU conference loss. They're also 3-1 ATS in lined home games.
Last year's game here saw Manhattan lose by two points. That was preceded by a 1-point win by the Greyhounds at Loyola-MD. Needless to say, the Jaspers could have won either of those games. They haven't forgotten. I'll gladly take the points but I look for the Japsers "to take the next step" and for them to record the outright win. *10 best bet
|01-24-13||Los Angeles Clippers v. Phoenix Suns +6.5||Top||88-93||Win||100||11 h 20 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHOENIX. I know the Clippers are a very good team. I'm aware that the Suns have had some trouble winning games this season. I'm also aware that the Suns played last night. Even taking those three factors into consideration, I believe that the Suns are providing us with excellent value here.
Lets start by taking a look at the three factors I mentioned.
1. Yes, when healthy, the Clippers are a very good team. However, they're not the same club without Chris Paul running the show. He's expected to be out of the lineup again tonight.
2. True, the Suns have had trouble earning victories. They won one last night though, a 106-96 win at Sacramento. They've now won two of their last four.
3. The Suns are indeed playing the second of back-to-back games. However, its also true that they had an extended layoff before last night's game. So, this is actually only their third game in the past 10 nights. So, its definitely not the most grueling of b2b spots.
The Clippers are off back-to-back losses. They're 0-3 ATS their last three games. They're also 1-3 ATS when off a double-digit defeat.
The Suns should have plenty of motivation. Not only have the Clippers beaten them soundly twice already this season but this is a rare home game on TNT. They're 7-3 ATS the last 10 times that they played a home game with an O/U line in the 190 to 194.5 range. I expect them to step up and improve on those stats tonight. *10 best bet
|01-24-13||USC +3.5 v. Arizona St||Top||93-98||Loss||-106||12 h 6 m||Show|
I'm playing on USC. I've had success picking my spots to back the Trojans in recent weeks. I feel that this is another good spot to do so.
Whenever I take a small underdog, I generally need to think that they're going to win the game outright, or at least I need to believe that they've got a very serious chance of doing so.
In this case, I do believe that USC has an excellent chance of winning outright. However, as the Trojans' last two games have been decided by only three combined points, a 1-point win and a 2-point loss, getting a few extra points to work with could easily prove valuable. Note that two of Arizona State's last five games were also decided by three or fewer points.
Also, note that last year's game here was very close, a 4-pt win by ASU. The previous year's game here was even closer, a 2-point win by USC.
The Trojans have covered three of four and four of six. I believe that they're more talented than many realize. They're also in one of their best roles, as they're 19-8 ATS the last 27 times they were listed as road underdogs in the 3.5 to 6 range.
On the other hand, the Sun Devils, who are off back to back losses, are only 9-20 ATS the last 29 times that they were laying points.
The Trojans have been the better team over the last week and I won't be surprised when they take this game down to the wire and score the upset. *10 best bet
|01-23-13||Oklahoma City Thunder v. Golden State Warriors +2||Top||99-104||Win||100||15 h 13 m||Show|
I'm playing on GOLDEN STATE. Tough spot for the Thunder. Not only did they play a late game vs. the Clippers last night, they also played an OT game in the high altitude of Denver on Sunday night. This will be their 7th game in the last 11 nights and their 11th game since January 6th. By comparison, the Warriors will be playing just their eighth game since January 5th.
While the Thunder have the superior overall record, the Warriors' home record (13-6) is nearly identical to OKC's 14-6 road record.
While last night's game did result in a double-digit win, Durant and Collison both still saw more than 40 minutes while Westbrook and Ibaka averaged greater than 38 minutes, each playing more than 37. Even for an athletic team like the Thunder, I believe fatigue may well prove to be a factor this evening.
Even with last night's victory, note that the Thunder are still 2-3 SU/ATS as road favorites of three or fewer points. The Warriors are 13-9 ATS as underdogs.
The Warriors did lose a couple of games last week, when they were without Curry in the lineup. He's back now though and has scored 48 points his last two games, both of them Golden State victories.
The Warriors very nearly beat the Thunder in the last meeting here, losing a 119-116 thriller last February. With the schedule in their favor, I feel that they're in good position to take the next step and score the outright win. *10 best bet
|01-23-13||Denver Nuggets v. Houston Rockets -2||Top||105-95||Loss||-105||15 h 23 m||Show|
I'm playing on HOUSTON. I successfully played against the Rockets on Martin Luther King Day. The Rockets were mired in a losing streak and I didn't feel that they deserved to laying such a large number on the road. They did up battling back and winning by six but that wasn't enough to cover.
The Rockets did get a win though, which was all that mattered to them. Now, they've got some much-needed confidence back. They're also back on their home floor and are now laying a much smaller number than they were on Monday. Granted, they're stepping up considerably in class, as the Nuggets are tough. However, I still feel that they're in a good spot and I expect homecourt advantage to prove significant.
The Nuggets already upset the Rockets here back in early November. The Rockets have been very good as small home favorites ever since though; they're 4-1 ATS as home favorites of three or fewer points. Overall, they're 13-8 ATS (14-7 SU) here at Houston.
On the other hand, even with their earlier win here, the Nuggets are still a poor 9-15 away from Denver.
Knowing that they'll have to play a rematch at Denver before January is over, I expect the revenge-minded Rockets to build off Monday's win and to protect their homecourt with a win and cover. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-22-13||Orlando Magic v. Detroit Pistons -5||Top||90-105||Win||100||15 h 32 m||Show|
I'm playing on DETROIT. These teams have met twice already this season. They'll also play each other again on January 27, less than a week away. Knowing that they loss both of the first two meetings and knowing that the upcoming game is at Orlando, I expect the Pistons to be very determined to take care of business on their homecourt this evening.
The Pistons will face a struggling Orlando squad. The Magic are off back to back losses, one of those coming vs. lowly Charlotte. Going back further finds them with only two wins in their last 15 games.
The Pistons are off a 15-point win over Boston last time out. They've now won eight of their past 12 games.
Even with the earlier loss here, the Pistons have still beaten the Magic 28 of the last 39 times that the teams faced each other here. I expect them to improve on those stats, picking up the cover along the way. *10 personal favorite
|01-22-13||Michigan State v. Wisconsin -5.5||Top||49-47||Loss||-107||14 h 33 m||Show|
I'm playing on WISCONSIN. The Spartans have the higher ranking. However, I believe that the Badgers are favored for good reason.
The Badgers have long been dominant at home and this typically been a very strong role for them. They're 22-6 ATS (26-2 SU) the last 28 times that that they were listed as home favorites in the 3.5 to 6 range.
During the same stretch, the Spartans were an ugly 6-13 ATS (5-14 SU) when listed as road underdogs in the 3.5 to 6 range.
The Spartans are off an impressive 59-56 win over Ohio State. However, they're still just 3-6 ATS their last nine lined games. They're also a dismal 1-9 ATS the last 10 times that they held their previous opponent to 60 or fewer points.
The Badgers lost at Illinois last time out. However, they'd won at Indiana in their previous game and they crushed Illinois by 23 in their most recent home game.
The Badgers have won 12 of their last 15 home games against Top 25 teams. With revenge on their mind from last season, I expect them to deliver a solid win and cover. *10 Main Event
|01-21-13||San Antonio Spurs v. Philadelphia 76ers +6.5||Top||90-85||Win||100||10 h 39 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. The 76'ers come in with some momentum. .They have won two of three including a big comeback OT win over Toronto last time out. The Raptors have been playing well and they had a 19-point lead in the second half. So, coming back showed a lot of character. While that comeback was likely fairly taxing, the 76'ers have had the last two nights to recover. This will be the fourth time in a row that they've had two days off in between games. They should be fresh and rejuvenated with some new found confidence.
Holliday is playing great basketball for this time recently, averaging 30.7 points and 11.3 assists over the 76'ers last three games.
Thaddeus Young, who had 27 points and 14 rebounds of his own said this of Holliday's game agains Toronto. "Jrue was incredible and carried us in overtime. It was a gut-check type of performance and he was there for us when we needed it in overtime.''
The Spurs won on the road last time out. However, they won by only five points and they're still just 3-7 their last 10 away from San Antonio. Only one of those three wins came by more than seven. Note that they're currently without Ginobili.
Playing their fourth straight here at Philadelphia, note that the 76'ers are, 13-7 ATS the last 20 times that they played three or more consecutive at home. Looking back further finds that they're 75-51-4 ATS their last 130 in that situation.
The 76'ers, who are playing with revenge from a 1/5 loss at San Antonio, are 11-5 ATS the last 16 times that they were a host in this series. I expect at least another cover here. *10 best bet
|01-21-13||Loyola (Md.) v. Fairfield -4.5||Top||65-60||Loss||-101||9 h 14 m||Show|
I'm playing on FAIRFIELD. These teams just faced each other on 1/11, at Loyal-MD. I won with the Greyhounds in that matchup. However, I like the revenge-minded Stags on their home floor.
The Stags have won eight of their last 12, when in the "revenge" role. They've won 28 of their last 37 at home. During that stretch, the Greyhounds areonly 20-18 on the road.
With Fairfield having failed to cover a few in a row, I believe we're getting a very fair line. Note that the Stags are 8-3 SU (5-3 ATS in lined games) the last few seaons, after failing to cover their previous three. They're 21-13 ATS (24-13 SU) their last 37 in that situation.
The Stags are looking to avenge more than just the recent loss. This is the team which kept them out of the NCAA Tournament last year. Revenge is sweet. I expect a win and cover for the highly motivated home team. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-21-13||Minnesota Timberwolves v. Atlanta Hawks -7.5||Top||96-104||Win||100||6 h 53 m||Show|
I'm playing on ATLANTA. Since a New Year's Day victory, the Hawks have only won two games. Laying five points, they can beat Utah by eight on 1/11. Their next win came vs. Brooklyn on 1/16. Laying three points, they won by 14. I backed them in both of those games while avoiding them i their losses. I feel that this will be another good spot for them to break out with a big win.
While the Hawks have won 13 of 20 home games, the T-Wolves are only 6-14 on the road. When playing away from Minnesota, they allow opposing teams to hit 48% of their shots.
The Hawks, who have won nine straight home meetings in this series and 11 of 12 in the series overall, are playing with "revenge" from a loss at Minnesota.
While the Hawks are banged-up themselves, they've catching the T-Wolves with an even longer list of injured players including big men Kevin love and center Nikola Pekovic. Note that Pekovic.25 points and 18 rebounds in the previous game. Alexey Shved is another key player out. In addition to all the injuries, the T-Wolves are also without their coach.
The T-Wolves are an ugly 39-65-2 ATS the last 100+ times that they played a road game with an O/U line in the 185 to 189.5 range. During that same stretch, the Hawks are 84-69-1 ATS when playing at home with a line in the same range. I expect the Hawks to improve on those stats with a big win and cover this afternoon. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-20-13||Baltimore Ravens +10 v. New England Patriots||Top||28-13||Win||100||34 h 31 m||Show|
I'm playing on BALTIMORE. The Patriots remind me a of a school yard bully, a bit like Mike Tyson in about the mid 90s. Not Tyson like he is today and not Tyson like he was before losing to Buster Douglas. Rather, the Tyson that would beat up on guys with names like Peter McNeeley. Buster Mathis Jr. and Frank Bruno.
While he was no longer invincible, the Mike Tyson was still considered to very good. He'd only lost once and many were writing that loss to Douglas in Japan off as a fluke.
Other fighters were typically still very intimidated by Tyson and he'd routinely destroy any opponent that was lacking confidence. However, when matched up against an opponent that wasn't scared of him (Holyfield) Tyson found the going far more difficult.
It seems to me that some, perhaps many, teams are intimidated by New England. Like Tyson, the Pats annihilate a lot of opponents.
While it remains to be seen if they can pull off the upset, I believe the Ravens will have the type of mentality that Holyfield had in the Tyson fights. I don't believe that they're intimidated. They believe that they're on a mission and they're confident that they can beat this team. After the fashion in which they won at Denver - a game nobody was giving them a chance for - they truly believe that anything is possible, many believing fate is on their side.
I feel that type of confidence will serve them well here.
Lets not forget that the weather figures to be fairly nasty and Brady won't have Gronkowski to throw to.
These teams met at Baltimore in September. The Ravens won 31-30. They also faced each other here in last year's playoffs. New England won by a field goal, 23-20. That was also the exact same score in the previous game here, a 23-20 win by the Pats in Oct. 2010.
I'm expecting another close one, with the Ravens refusing to be intimidated and am grabbing all those generous points. *10 annihilator
|01-20-13||San Francisco 49ers v. Atlanta Falcons +5||Top||28-24||Win||100||30 h 22 m||Show|
I'm playing on ATLANTA. Last week, Russell Wilson and the Seahawks were the talk of the town. This week, its Colin Kaepernick and the 49'ers who are all the rage. I feel that they're over-valued.
While they've had an extra day in between games, the 49'ers are still a West Coast team playing on the East Coast. While he may indeed be pretty "special," Kaeparnick is still a rookie making his first playoff road start.
While they are obviously a very talented team, I've found that every time that the 49'ers start winning a couple in a row, everyone wants to start handing them the Super Bowl. More often than not, that's when they've stumbled. (They were just 2-5 ATS and 2-4-1 SU after two straight wins.)
Many aren't giving the Falcons any credit for last week's win. They only see a team which nearly blew it and can't get over Atlanta's past postseason failures. I see a team which jumped all over a very opponent and a team which had the poise to come back and win, when it really mattered. I also see a team which exorcised some demons by earning that elusive playoff win.
Last week, I said the Falcons were being "disrespected," as they were barely favored against Seattle. This week, they're getting more than a field goal against the 49'ers, a team which was recently destroyed (42-13) by the Seahawks. Needless to say, I feel that the #1 seed is again being dis-respected.
Seemingly tired of being "disrespected," the Falcons were 3-0 ATS as underdogs (or in pick'em games) this season. All three of those resulted in outright victories. In fact, the Falcons didn't just win, they crushed those opponents.
When getting three points at San Diego, they won 27-3. When getting three points at Philadelphia, they won 30-17. Then, when listed at pick'em here at home against the Giants, the Falcons won by a score of 34-0. That's a combined score of 91-20 in the Falcons' favor, in the three games when they weren't favored.
The Falcons are 21-5 here the past few years, including 8-1 here this season. I'll happily take the points but expect them to win outright. *10 nfc main event
|01-19-13||UNLV v. Colorado St -3||Top||61-66||Win||100||13 h 1 m||Show|
I'm playing on COLORADO STATE. This is a very good conference with a number of strong teams. These are two of them. The Rebels are off a fairly impressive win at San Diego State. That will have many expecting another win here. Not me.
The Rams are stronger than many people realize. They've already hammered the likes of Washington and Virginia Tech. They won at Washington by 18 and beat the Hokies on a neutral floor by 36. They're also undefeated on their home floor.
Off a dominating win over Air Force last time out, the Rams are now 24-15 ATS as favorites the past couple of seasons. Colorado State jumped out to a 34-19 lead at halftime and never let up. The Rams would finish with a commanding 79-40 victory and a 40-19 advantage on the boards.
Note that the Rams are a perfect 9-0 SU the last nine times that they allowed 60 or fewer points, 6-1 ATS in lined games. They're 10-7-1 ATS off a conference win the past 2+ seasons.
On the the hand, the Rebels typically don't respond well to a big conference win. They're 7-16 ATS the past couple of years off a conference win and just 9-17 ATS after scoring 80 or more points.
The Rebels are still 6-9 ATS the last 15 times that they were underdogs and they're still only 1-4 ATS in 2013. (They're now 5-12 ATS in January the past 2+ years.) They're also 0-4 ATS the last four times that they played a road game with an O/U line in the 140 to 144.5 range.
Conversely, the Rams are 11-5 SU/ATS the last few seasons when the line was in the 140s including a 2-0 SU/ATS mark when playing at home with a line in the 140 to 144.5 range.
One of those victories came over these same Rebels here last season, a 66-59 victory. I expect another win and cover here. *10 personal favorite
|01-19-13||Kansas v. Texas +8.5||Top||64-59||Win||100||9 h 40 m||Show|
I'm playing on TEXAS. Needless to say, the Jayhawks are a strong team. In fact, some of you may recall I won with them in their very last game, a blowout win over Baylor. I feel that they're laying too large a number here.
Off their big win over Baylor and with rival Kansas State on deck, it may be easy for the Jayhawks to look past a struggling Texas team. I feel that will prove costly though.
True, the Longhorns are 0-3 to start conference play. They've never started 0-4 under Rick Barnes though and I believe that they're better than we've seen. I feel we can expect their best effort here.
Kansas coach Bill Self noted: "It's not an uncommon scene - good teams and good programs getting off to rough starts - depending on where they are playing. But, this is different than most Texas games, I believe, because they are off to a start that isn't indicative of how great their program has been. And they'll get it back, Rick will get it back. But let's just hope that doesn't happen at our expense."
While the Jayhawks are expected to have McLemore, he may be a little less than 100%. He practiced Thursday after getting hurt late in the win over Baylor.
Even with the Baylor win, the Jayhawks are only 6-8 ATS when laying points. Despite their struggles, the Longhorns are still 4-3 ATS when getting points, moving to a profitable 14-8 ATS in the underdog role the past few seasons.
Last year's game here came down to the wire, a 69-66 Kansas win. I'm expecting another close one and am grabbing all the points I can get. *10 best bet
|01-18-13||Toronto Raptors v. Philadelphia 76ers -4||Top||101-108||Win||100||11 h 10 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. The Raptors have been fighting hard and have been quite a profitable team in recent weeks. Their "competitiveness" combined with Philadelphia's recent struggles has helped in keeping this line quite low. While I respect the Raptors, I believe that the low line is providing us with excellent value on what should be a very hungry home team.
The Raptors did have yesterday off. However, they lost a heart-breaker on Wednesday and I feel that the may not yet be fully recovered. Down significantly against Chicago, they battled all the way, only to ultimately lose in OT.
Off that heartbreaker, the Raptors are back on the road where they've won just four of 20 games. While the 76'ers have struggled, they're still above .500 here at home.
Not surprisingly, homecourt has been significant in two of this season's previous three meetings. The teams split the two games at Toronto. However, the 76'ers won by eight in the lone meeting here at Philadelphia. Note that the 76'ers were laying 5.5 points for that game and that we're getting a better number on them here.
Including that result, the 76ers are 3-2 ATS (4-1 SU) as home favorites in the 3.5 to 6 range while the Raptors are only 1-4 SU/ATS as road underdogs in the same range.
While the Raptors may be still hurting a bit from Wednesday, the 76'ers should be very fresh. They had the last two days off and have actually had two day's off after each of their last three games. The Raptors have been outworking and out-hustling some teams but I don't expect that to happen here. *10 Atlantic GOM
|01-17-13||Oregon v. USC +3.5||Top||76-74||Win||100||13 h 46 m||Show|
I'm playing on USC. I've had some success with the Trojans of late. They've covered three of their last four games and I've been on all three of those ATS wins, while avoiding the loss. The three covers came against Utah, Colorado and Stanford (they beat Stanford outright and crushed Utah.)
The Ducks have certainly been playing well and their recent win streak has propelled them into the Top 25. While I respect the Ducks, I don't believe there's as much of a talent gap between these teams as suggested by the standings.
I also feel that the Ducks could be potentially patting themselves on the back a bit, while possibly looking past "lowly USC" and ahead to Saturday's showdown at UCLA.
While backing the Trojans recently, I've been mentioning that I believe they're better than their record indicates and that they've been under-valued.
Apparently USC athletic director Pat Haden felt the same way. Even after the blowout win at Utah, the school fired coach Kevin O'Neill.
Haden was quoted as saying: "Despite a nice road win in our last game, I felt it was best to make a change now, with most of the Pac-12 season still ahead of us, in order to re-energize our team."
While it can admittedly sometimes go either way, I expect the USC players to respond well to the change, at least for tonight. With a legit chance to take out a ranked opponent, I expect the Trojans to rise to the occasion, stepping up and earning AT LEAST a cover. *10 best bet
|01-17-13||Miami Heat v. Los Angeles Lakers -2.5||Top||99-90||Loss||-103||15 h 5 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA LAKERS. After avoiding them during their skid, I've successfully backed the Lakers each of their last two games. Both of those resulted in blowout victories. Those were against lesser teams, so obviously the Heat represent a significant step up in class. I believe that the Lakers will be up for the challenge though and I expect them to continue their current "winning streak" for another day.
While the Lakers had last night off, the Heat were busy beating up on the Warriors. True, that game wasn't that taxing, as the Heat were in cruise control by the fourth quarter and the starters got some added rest. However, they still had to play. Wade, Chalmers, Bosh and Allen still played at least 26 minutes while Lebron played more than 30.
While the Heat are certainly capable of winning in a back-to-back spot, I do think the fact the Lebron "made history" last night (youngest player to reach 20,000) could be cause for a potential letdown, if only a very slight one.
In addition to playing the second of back-to-back games, the Heat will be playing their third game in four nights and they're playing the final game of a 6-game road trip.
Note that Miami is a surprisingly poor 4-10-1 ATS the past 15 times that it was listed as a road underdog of three or fewer points.
Lebron always plays with a chip on his shoulder and will surely want to try and get the better of Kobe on national TV. However, the same can be said of Kobe and its the Lakers who need this game more.
The Lakers had recently stumbled against some "elite" competition and they're still trying to get themselves back in the playoff race. A victory over the defending champs on national TV would make a statement that they're officially "back," capable of beating top tier teams and that the "new era" is now really underway. Of course, the "W" is the standings is also important, particularly with the Lakers' next three games coming on the road.
Kobe had this to say: "It's a good measuring stick for us to see how much we've improved since last week, when we played against several top teams and they all beat us. This is a big test with the defending champs coming to town."
While Nash and Howard are settling in nicely, Gasol is also expected to return tonight.
For all their struggles, lets keep in mind that the Lakers still have a better record at home (12-9) than the Heat do on the road. (Miami is now 9-9 away from home.)
I expect Kobe and co. to "pass the test," covering the small number along the way. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-17-13||Michigan v. Minnesota -2.5||Top||83-75||Loss||-110||6 h 53 m||Show|
I'm playing on MINNESOTA. Both teams are off to great starts. However, both lost last time out. Playing at home, I expect the Gophers to be the team which bounces back.
The Gophers now have two losses. On the other hand, the Wolverines are coming off their first defeat. That alone will have many favoring Michigan. However, I actually believe that will favor Minnesota.
The Gophers have already had to deal with failure. They've already successfully bounced back from a loss. (After losing vs. Duke back in November, Minnesota responded with a 9-point win over Memphis in its next game.)
On other had, the Wolverines had thoughts of going undefeated. Losing that first game, after being perfect so long, can be difficult.
I believe that last year's games will provide some extra motivation for the Gophers. They very easily could have been 2-0 against the Wolverines last year but instead went 0-2. Note that neither game was on this floor.
Note that the Gophers are a physical team, one which leads the conference in offensive rebounds and that they're undefeated at home.
Michigan coach John Beilein noted: "We could have lost both games very easily last year. They were both last-second games. It's another great opportunity for us to grow. ... It is all about the process, and the journey and the process are what leads you to the end."
The Wolverines are only 5-12-2 ATS (3-16 SU) the last 19 times that they played a road game with an O/U line in the 135 to 139.5 range. Don't be surprised when they lose their second straight. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-16-13||Brooklyn Nets v. Atlanta Hawks -4||Top||95-109||Win||100||15 h 34 m||Show|
I'm playing on ATLANTA. After back-to-back road losses including an embarrassing 97-58 blowout at Chicago on Monday, I expect the Hawks to be in an extremely foul mood here. I said the same thing the last time that they played here (as they were also off b2b road losses) and the Hawks rewarded me with an 8-point victory over the Jazz. With the schedule in their favor, I expect the Hawks to again bounce back with a badly needed win and cover.
While the Hawks have had trouble on the road of late, they've still won four of their last five at home. All four wins came by a minimum of seven points. They've now won 11 of their last 15 here.
While the Hawks had last night off, the Nets were involved in a hard-fought game vs. pesky Toronto. They'll be playing their third game in four nights here. Note that the Nets are just 1-5 SU/ATS when playing a road game, after playing the previous night. Overall, they're just 3-8 ATS the last 11 times that they played the second of back to back games.
I like that this is the front-end of a home-and-home series. The Hawks are desperate and know they need to defend their home floor. The Nets are potentially a little weary and also potentially patting themselves on the back a bit. They know they'll get a chance to beat these same Hawks at Brooklyn on Friday and may not be quite as hungry here, as a result.
The Hawks are 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS the last six times that they were off a double-digit loss. They've dominated the Nets here at Atlanta and I expect that to continue for at least another night. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-15-13||Milwaukee Bucks v. Los Angeles Lakers -6.5||Top||88-104||Win||100||15 h 50 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA LAKERS. The Lakers snapped their skid in a big way on Sunday night, blowing out Cleveland. While the Bucks are having a better season than the Cavs, I feel that they're another team which the Lakers should be able to handle.
This season's Bucks, who are averaging 96.5 points per game, have had trouble keeping up with the league's better offensive teams. In fact, they're just 1-7 SU and 2-6 ATS when matched up against teams which score 99 or more points per game. The Lakers average 103.4 and have scored 99 or more in 15 straight games.
The Bucks have also long had trouble with the Western Conference. In fact, they're a dismal 19-40 SU/ATS against teams from the West the past few seasons, including a 2-9 ATS (3-8 SU) mark this season.
While Gasol remains out, the Lakers got Dwight Howard back last time out.
As Steve Nash noted: It's great to have Dwight back. He's obviously huge for our team. We need him down there anchoring the defense and drawing a crowd on offense."
Note that Howard averaged 27.3 points and 16.7 rebounds in his last three matchups against the Bucks, all with Orlando.
Kobe had this to say: "We obviously ran into a tough patch last week. We were struggling, were decimated by injuries and we just so happened to play some of the top teams in the league. Now here's an opportunity to really pick it up and get going."
When stuck in a losing streak, a big win can do wonders for a team. I expect the Lakers' confidence to be high here and for them to "pick it up and get going" en route to another win and cover. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-15-13||Northern Iowa +13 v. Creighton||Top||68-79||Win||100||12 h 8 m||Show|
I'm playing on NORTHERN IOWA. The Bluejays are a very good team. Having the reigning Missouri Valley Conference player (Doug McDermott) helps. That said, the Panthers are a solid team and they had success in limiting McDermott last season. I believe the line will prove to be too high.
The Panthers limited McDermott to less than 20 points each time that they faced him last season. Jake Koch, now a senior, was a big part of that. Koch, both taller and heavier than McDemott, leads the Panthers in both steals and rebounds.
Having limited McDermott to 14 and 18 points, the Panthers were able to play the Bluejays very tough last season. Both games were decided by a mere three points, the home team winning each.
Going back further finds that these teams have met nine times (3 times in the 2011 season) since 2009. Northern Iowa won five of those games, four of the wins coming by eight or less. All of Creighton's four victories came by single-digits, an average margin of victory of only five.
The Panthers may only be 2-2 SU in 2013. However, both losses came by four or fewer points. Additionally, they're off a momentum and confidence-building 84-53 destruction of Bradley.
After the big win, Northern Iowa coach Ben Jacobson, who has ties to Creighton coach Greg McDermott, had this to say: "We just needed a little bit of bounce in our step."
While the Bluejays are 5-7 ATS the last dozen times that they were a home favorite of greater than 12 points, the Panthers are 8-2 ATS the last 10 times that they were road underdogs in the 12.5 to 15 range, 13-5 ATS the last 18 times that they were road underdogs of greater than a dozen.
The Panthers won't be able to stop McDermott. However, they should be able to do a much better job than Missouri State just did. I expect that to allow them to keep it relatively close the entire way, giving the Bluejays and their fans a much tougher game than they were probably expecting. *10 best bet
|01-15-13||Toronto Raptors +7 v. Brooklyn Nets||Top||106-113||Push||0||13 h 37 m||Show|
I'm playing on TORONTO. These teams have faced each other twice already this season. The Nets managed to win those games. However, neither victory was easy; both were decided by seven or fewer points. I expect the revenge-minded Raptors to give their hosts all that they can handle again here.
The Raptors really felt that they let last month's meeting at the Air Canada Centre, a game they led by eight at halftime, get away from them. They believe that they can play with this team and I expect them to come in both confident and motivated.
Dating back to last month's meeting at Toronto, the Raptors have won 10 of 14 games. That includes a 3-1 SU/ATS record on the road, too. The lone loss came at San Antonio, the day after Christmas.
Granted, the Nets have been playing very well recently. However, they've also had a pretty favorable recent schedule. They did beat a good Indiana team last time out. However, they were playing with rest and the Pacers were in a back-to-back spot. Prior to that, the Nets previous four opponents had been Phoenix, Philadelphia, Sacramento and Washington. None of those four teams have played nearly as well as Toronto in recent weeks. (To their credit, they did beat OKC before that.)
Having already beaten the Raptors twice and perhaps patting themselves on the back a bit from the recent win streak, I feel the Nets may not be quite as focused as their guests here.
Note that the Nets play tomorrow, the first leg of a home and home series vs. Atlanta. The Raptors have tomorrow off. While the Raptors are a non-factor in the playoffs, the Nets and Hawks are currently #4 and #5 in the Eastern standings and have very similar records. So, that could be potential cause to be "looking ahead."
Furthermore, note that the Nets are 1-4 ATS the last five times that they played the front end of back-to-back games. The only one of those five games that resulted in a win of greater than two points came against Charlotte, the worst team in the league.
The Raptors did suffer a disappointing loss last time out. They're 33-27 ATS the past couple of seasons when off a double-digit loss though the Nets are 9-13 ATS off a double-digit win, during the same stretch. With the Nets also only 3-5 ATS as home favorites in the 6.5 to 9 range, I'm grabbing the points. *10 best bet
|01-14-13||NC-Greensboro +4.5 v. Appalachian State||Top||70-83||Loss||-110||8 h 16 m||Show|
I'm playing on UNC GREENSBORO. The Mountaineers have been excellent as underdogs this season. However, I don't believe that they're ready to be laying this many points against what I feel may well be a superior Spartans squad.
Playing without Trevis Simpson, the Spartans lost last time out. However, that defeat came by only three points (as a 7 point dog) and they'd won their previous game by 39.
While the Spartans are 11-8 ATS off a conference loss, the Mountaineers are 8-11 ATS the past couple of seasons off a conference win.
These teams both faced Virginia Tech back in November. I find it revealing that the Mountaineers were 19-point underdogs against the Hokies while the Spartans were only 5-point underdogs, a few days earlier. Granted, the venues were different. However, a 14-point difference in lines is significant.
The Spartans have won back-to-back games in this series, most recently a 10-point win in the conference tournament last March. Note that three of the previous four meetings were decided by four or fewer points. I believe this one could again easily come down to the wire and am grabbing all the points I can get. *10 Southern Conf. GOY
|01-13-13||Cleveland Cavaliers v. Los Angeles Lakers -7.5||Top||93-113||Win||100||13 h 24 m||Show|
I'm playing on the LA LAKERS. Enough is enough. The Lakers have lost six straight, failing to cover in five of those games. A closer look shows that their last five games have come against the likes of OKC, San Antonio, Denver, Houston and the Clippers. Needless to say, the Cavaliers represent a significant step down in class.
True, the Lakers are still without Gasol and Howard. Defeating elite teams without those two bigs is going to be challenging. Beating a Cleveland team which is 9-29 (5-17 on road) and which is without its own big (Varaejo) should be an entirely different matter.
Coach D'Antoni knows that the time is now and this team needs to take advantage of this very winnable game. He was quoted as saying: "I told the team, the biggest thing is our season starts Sunday. We've got to make a run. We've got one shot at it, and everybody needs to get ready mentally and physically. We won't be mathematically out of it Tuesday if we don't do it Sunday, but it has got to turn around somewhere. And we have to make our stand and do it. I am an optimist and I think it can happen."
Both teams had Saturday off. While the Lakers also have tomorrow off, the Cavs will be playing at Sacramento. That's noteworthy as they're just 7-13 AT (5-15 U) the last 20 times that they played the front end of back-to-back games. That includes a 1-4 SU/ATS mark their last five in that situation, the lone victory coming by just two points vs. lowly Charlotte.
Playing with revenge from a loss at Cleveland last month and desperate to snap their skid, I expect the Lakers to step up and "make their stand" with a big win and cover. *10 Non-Conf GOM
|01-13-13||Houston Texans +10 v. New England Patriots||Top||28-41||Loss||-115||120 h 26 m||Show|
I'm playing on HOUSTON. You probably remember that these teams faced each other here about a month ago. If so, you'll recall that the Pats crushed the Texans in that game. That result is one of the factors causing this line to be much higher than it was for last month's meeting. I believe it will prove to be too high.
The Texans were among the best teams in the league for much of the season. Right up until the time they played here, at least. That loss sent them into a bit of a tailspin. The Texans flipped the switch back on last week though, knocking off a tough Cincy team which was playing very well. With their "mojo" back and having earned some "relief" in bouncing back, I expect the revenge-minded Texans, who are now 5-0 ATS their last five January games, to be at their best here.
Note that Houston is 10-2 ATS the last 12 times it attempted to avenge an earlier loss, going 3-0 SU/ATS its last three in that situation.
The Texans rode Arian Foster hard in the win over the Bengals. He had 140 yards on 32 carries. While Foster deserves a lot of that credit, the Houston offensive line did an excellent job of opening holes for him, against a touch Bengals' defensive line. I believe that strong running game will serve the Texans well here.
The Pats are only 1-3 ATS their last four playoff games and they're also a somewhat surprising 0-4 ATS (1-3 SU) the last four times that they played with two or more week's worth of rest in between games. When in that situation this season, they eked out a 6-point win over the Bills.
This O/U line is a bit lower than it was for last month's meeting. Therefore, its worth noting that the Pats are a poor 2-7 ATS the last nine times that they played a home game with an O/U line in the 45.5 to 49 range. Going back further finds them at just 9-23 ATS their last 32 in that situation. I expect them to have their hands full the entire way. *10 AFC Best bet
|01-13-13||Seattle Seahawks v. Atlanta Falcons -1||Top||28-30||Win||100||117 h 5 m||Show|
I'm playing on ATLANTA. Talk about a lack of respect. The Falcons are the #1 seed in the NFC. They've got an experienced QB who practically never loses here. They're well-rested and well-coached. Yet, they're barely favored. While I'm well aware of their past postseason shortcomings, I feel that the low number is providing us with excellent value.
The Seahawks rallied for a win at Washington last week. That was against a team which also had a rookie QB though - one which wasn't close to being 100% healthy. That was also against a team which had (arguably) over-achieved just to make the playoffs. Additionally, the Hawks got to play a game in the later part of the day.
Now, however, this West-Coast based team will be contending with an early starting time, while playing its second straight road game. Now, they'll be facing a healthy QB and a team that has been fully focused on the playoffs and on improving its "legacy." I believe that the Hawks, who are much bettere defensively than the Skins (and also arguably better offensively) will prove to be a far tougher opponent.
The Falcons did lose their final game of the regular season, a 22-17 loss vs. the Bucs. They're 6-0 SU the last six times that they were off a divisional loss though and that was a meaningless game. The last time that they were really "motivated" for a game here, the Falcons destroyed the Giants by a score of 34-0. While we may not see another destruction like that one, I expect to see that type of resolve and focus from Atlanta.
While they've got a great homefield advantage, the Seahawks are still 8-17 SU their last 25 road games. During that stretch, the Falcons are 20-5 here at Atlanta. That includes a 6-3 SU/ATS mark as home favorites of three or fewer points. That also includes a 7-1 mark here this season. They outscored teams by a 24.5 to 17 margin here.
The Falcons beat the Seahawks each of the last two seasons. While Russell Wilson wasn't on the team at the time, each of those games came at Seattle, where the Hawks are a much better team. Playing at home and playing with a chip on its collective shoulders, I expect the #1 seed to again take care of business. *10 Playoff GOY
I'm also playing ATLANTA on the MONEYLINE for the first half. While it may seem too obvious to mention, the Falcons have the significant advantage of playing at home. They're dominant here. The Seahawks are also excellent on their homefield. They're thousands of miles from home now though, playing an early game.
We did see the Hawks rally for a win last week. However, we also saw the Skins jump all over them right out of the gate.
The Falcons have outscored teams by a 12.9 to 9.5 margin in the first half here at home this season. They've got something to prove here and I expect them to come out strong.
While I do expect the Falcons to be leading a halftime, I am recommending the money-line rather than the short pointspread. The price is quite reasonable and it gives us a push in the event of a tie at halftime and the win if the Falcons are leading by only a single points. *8 annihilator
|01-12-13||Houston Rockets v. Philadelphia 76ers +1||Top||100-107||Win||100||9 h 7 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. This should be an excellent spot for the 76'ers to break their losing streak. While Philadelphia had the last two nights off, the Rockets were busy getting blown out at Boston last night. Not only will they be playing their second game in two nights here, they'll also be playing their fourth game in the past five, all four of those games in different cities.
The Rockets, 7-10 away from Houston, are 4-6 ATS when playing the second of b2b games, most recently losing by nine at New Orleans. They're now 7-13 SU/ATS their last 20 in that situation.
These teams met at Houston about a week before Christmas. In that game, the Rockets were "fresh," as they had the previous night off. The 76ers came in off a game the previous night and got smoked. With the shoe now on the other foot, I expect the revenge-minded 76ers to bounce back with a badly needed victory. *10 best bet
|01-12-13||Utah Jazz v. Detroit Pistons -2||Top||90-87||Loss||-110||9 h 0 m||Show|
I'm playing on DETROIT. I successfully played against the Jazz last night. They played well most of the game but folded against a determined Atlanta team in the fourth quarter. That figures to be a rather deflating loss and I look for the Jazz to stumble again tonight.
The Pistons also played last night. However, the won big at Milwaukee. They've now quietly won five of six. The lone loss came here vs. Charlotte in their last game though. So, they should be hungry to atone for that setback tonight.
While its true that both teams are playing in a b2b spot, the Pistons have the schedule in their favor. Not only are they playing at home but they also had four nights off, prior to last night's game. Really, the schedule has been very manageable for the Pistons for some time as they haven't played back-to-back games since 12/21 and 12/22. (They were 2-0 SU/ATS in those games, winning by 41 combined points.) They should still be relatively fresh here.
On the other hand, the Jazz will be playing their third game in four nights. They're just 3-6 SU/ATS when playing the second of b2b games. This will be their sixth game in nine days. Fatigue may be a factor, particularly for a team dealing with injury issues in the backcourt. All things considered, this number seems more than fair. *9 personal favorite
|01-12-13||USC +4 v. Utah||Top||76-59||Win||100||7 h 31 m||Show|
I'm playing on USC. The Utes have been a covering machine when listed as underdogs this season. However, they're favored here and I'm not convinced that they're the better team.
I won with Trojans in their last game, a cover at Colorado. I also won with them when they beat Stanford recently. As I've been saying when backing them in those games, I feel that this is a solid team which is currently under-valued. I believe that's still the case here.
This has long been a winning role for USC. Indeed, the Trojans are 18-8 ATS the last 26 times that they were listed as road underdogs in the 3.5 to 6 range.
It was exactly one year ago to the day that these teams last met. Laying 11 points, the Trojans won by 17. While that was at USC, don't be surprised to see the Trojans step up with another outright win. *10 Pac-12 GOM
|01-12-13||Baltimore Ravens +10 v. Denver Broncos||Top||38-35||Win||100||97 h 59 m||Show|
I'm playing on BALTIMORE. Denver had a great season and comes in riding the longest winning streak in the league. Throw in the fact that they're led by Peyton Manning and we find the Broncos laying a very big number. I believe it will prove to be too big.
For starters, entering the playoffs on an extended winning streak doesn't always guarantee success in the playoffs. Just ask the teams that lost in the Wildcard Round, all four of which were on winning streaks.
The Redskins entered the playoffs off seven straight victories. The Vikings entered the playoffs off four straight wins. The Bengals entered the playoffs off three straight victories and having won seven of their previous eight games. Lastly, the Colts had won back to back games and five of their previous six. With the exception of Seattle, none of the teams that won (Houston, GB, Baltimore) entered the playoffs on a winning streak. In fact, all three of those teams had lost their regular season finale.
We can kind of throw out the Seattle/Washington game, as those teams were both "hot." But, in all three of the other games, the "hotter" team was defeated.
Note that I'm not saying that Denver's winning streak should be ignored - only that it may not be quite as important as many likely assume.
You may recall that these teams faced each other on 12/16, at Baltimore. The Broncos dominated that game by a 34-17 count. Everything that could go wrong for Baltimore did go wrong and what appeared like it was going to be a 10-7 (or 10-3) halftime score, turned into a 17-0 Bronco lead due to a "pick-6" right before halftime. I expect a MUCH better effort from the revenge-minded Ravens here.
That 12/16 defeat vs. the Broncos was one of only two games all season long which saw the Ravens lose by more than six points.
The Ravens have won five of their last eight when playing with "revenge." They've also now won five of their last seven in January. I expect them to give the Broncos all they can handle with an excellent shot at the outright win. *9 annihilator
|01-12-13||Butler v. Dayton +1.5||Top||79-73||Loss||-106||3 h 46 m||Show|
I'm playing on DAYTON. As I write this, Butler is a very slight favorite. I understand the book's need to balance action. So, if that number achieves this for them, than its the correct one. However, as far as I'm concerned, my numbers (which aren't trying to balance action and only reflect what I believe will happen) have Dayton favored.
The Flyers are 35-11 on this floor the past few seasons, 7-2 this year. Note that both losses here came by a single point. They already lost to the other conference newcomer (at VCU) last time out and should be extremely motivated to avoid letting it happen again. Of course, the chance to defeat a ranked opponent is always nice as well.
For all their success, the Bulldogs are still only 2-6 ATS the last eight times that they were road favorites of three or fewer points. Five of those resulted in SU losses, which is what I'm expecting here. *9 False Fav GOW
|01-11-13||Portland Trail Blazers v. Golden State Warriors -7||Top||97-103||Loss||-109||14 h 22 m||Show|
I'm playing on GOLDEN STATE. I like how this one sets up for the home side. The Warriors, who had last night off, were beaten here on Wednesday, a rare home loss. On the other hand, the Blazers are off an "upset" win over Miami last night on TNT.
The Blazers did beat the T-Wolves when playing the second of b2b games recently and have admittedly been respectable in that situation overall this season. However, they still have just five wins their last 14 times in that situation, since last year. More importantly, a closer look reveals that they've been very fortunate to play poor or mediocre opponents when playing the second of b2b games. Prior to win vs. Minnesota, they were beaten 102-79 at Toronto, when playing the second of b2b games.
Additionally, note that Portland is just 2-7-1 ATS when off an "upset" win. Not only is a TV win over the defending champions cause for a potential, letdown but the Blazers figure to find their hosts in a foul mood.
The Warriors have been at their best when off an "upset" loss. They're 12-7 ATS their last 19 in that situation, going 3-0 SU/ATS their last three in that situation.
The Warriors are still 10-6 ATS (11-5 SU) on this floor. I expect them to bounce back with a big win. *10 Top West. Conf Report.
|01-11-13||Utah Jazz v. Atlanta Hawks -4||Top||95-103||Win||100||9 h 21 m||Show|
I'm playing on ATLANTA. The Hawks don't have a very good pointspread record at home this season and they're currently mired in a slump. However, they've still won 11 of 17 home games and they're not laying a very large number here. Facing a Utah team which is only 8-14 (8-13-1 ATS) on the road, I expect the Hawks to break through with a much needed win and cover.
Off four straight losses, including a double-digit blowout at Cleveland on Wednesday, the Hawks should be in a nasty mood. In fairness, three of those losses were on the road and the lone home game came against Boston, after they'd just played an exhausting game the previous night, losing by a point at Detroit.
Al Horford noted: "It's about energy, man, and we need to defend better.''
Josh Smith added: "We've got to get back to playing beautiful basketball.''
Tonight, the Hawks are playing with some rest, as they had last night off. They're 3-1 ATS (4-0 SU) off a double-digit loss this season. Only one of those four games came at home (12/22 vs. Chicago) and the Hawks won that one by 17 points, when laying four.
I expect the Hawks, who have taken five of six vs. the Jazz, to bounce back with another convincing win and cover here. *10 personal favorite
|01-11-13||Fairfield v. Loyola Md -2||Top||58-63||Win||100||10 h 51 m||Show|
I'm playing on LOYOLA-MARYLAND. These teams faced each other in the MAAC Championship game last season and a rematch this season is entirely possible.
Led by Derek Needham, the Stags have played well so far this season. They know this is a big game and would clearly love to get some payback, after the Greyhounds kept them out of the NCAA Tournament with a 48-44 win last March.
I believe that the Stags will have to wait for their revenge though. (They'll get another chance in 10 days, when these teams play at Fairfield.)
The Stags lost at Niagara last time out and have been on the road since before Christmas. This will mark their fifth straight road game, a span that went through both Christmas and New Year's.
Going back further finds that 13 of Fairfield's 16 games have been played away from home. Give the Stags credit for winning eight of those away/neutral games. However, don't be surprised if they're a little road weary here. After Needham, I'm not sold on this team's depth. I expect it to catch up with them here against the defending conference champs.
Note that the Stags are now 0-6 ATS the last six times that they'd played three or more consecutive road games.
Speaking of winless records, the Stags are also 0-4 SU/ATS the last four times that they were listed as road underdogs (or pick'em) of three or fewer points.
The Greyhounds are off back to back wins, most recently crushing St. Peters by 16. They've now won 17 of their last 25 home lined games. I expect the defending champion Greyhounds (who leave to the Patriot League after this season) to flex their muscles here, covering the small number and serving notice that they're still the team to beat - at least for now. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-10-13||USC +9 v. Colorado||Top||60-66||Win||100||5 h 11 m||Show|
I'm playing on USC. With all due respect to Colorado, I feel that this line is too high.
The Trojans may have only won three of their last six games. However, all three of the losses were by eight or fewer points. I believe that they're a little under-valued at the the moment.
The Buffaloes nearly knocked off Arizona but still lost. They followed that up with another loss at Arizona State. Note that they've now played eight games which were decided by 10 or fewer points. Don't be surprised when this one also proves closer than many will be expecting. *9 best bet
|01-10-13||Rider v. Manhattan -3.5||Top||69-60||Loss||-110||2 h 1 m||Show|
I'm playing on MANHATTAN. Losing George Beamon was certainly a blow to the Jaspers. He's been out more than a month now though. I believe they've still got more than enough to take care of business here.
Manhattan was an 11-point favorite and lost outright vs. Rider here last season. That result should ensure the Jaspers don't take the Broncs lightly. Note that this year's Rider team lost its best player (Gadson) and has a new head coach.
The Jaspers are 3-1 ATS as favorites. They've covered the spread in back to back games and I look for them to get it done again here. *9 roast
|01-09-13||Memphis Grizzlies v. Golden State Warriors -1.5||Top||94-87||Loss||-107||9 h 18 m||Show|
I'm playing on GOLDEN STATE. I quite like how this one sets up for the home team. Without question, the Grizzlies are a solid team. However, they're typically not quite as good away from Memphis. They're also dealing with some rumors surrounding Rudy Gay. That could prove a distraction, as trading him would likely be seen by the players and fans as a sign that management didn't believe the current roster could win the West. Either way, winning here at Oakland has not been easy this season as the Warriors are 11-4 on this floor. I expect the Grizzlies to find their hosts fully focused and ready to play. The Warriors lost last time out. However, they'd previously been playing very well, going 4-0 SU/ATS their previous four. Plus, the loss came on the road and against the Clippers, a team which they had just beaten. The Warriors have since had the past three day's off. Some teams don't fare well with extra rest in between games. The Warriors haven't been one of those teams though. They're 4-0 SU/ATS when playing with three or more day's rest in between games. The last time that the Warriors played with three day's rest was when they crushed the Clippers by 21 points here. They also won by 11 at Utah, which typically isn't an easy place to play, last time in that situation. Prior to that, they beat Denver. Before that, they beat Atlanta. So, that 4-0 SU/ATS record with extra rest has come against some tough opposition. Speaking of tough opposition, the Warriors are an impressive 10-2 ATS against teams with a winning record. They're also 4-1 ATS off a double-digit loss and 5-0-1 ATS After allowing 105 or more points. The Warriors are playing with "revenge," as the Grizzlies beat them here. As noted, that hasn't happened often. They're also catching the Grizzlies playing the third leg of a road trip and potentially looking ahead to San Antonio, who they host on Friday. Add it all up and I expect a win and cover for the home team. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-09-13||Tulsa v. Marshall -5||Top||61-79||Win||100||5 h 28 m||Show|
I'm playing on MARSHALL. The Herd are admittedly off to a dismal start at the betting window. Their poor ATS record has kept this line lower than it could easily have been though. I believe it will prove to be too low and that tis will be the game that the Herd step up and earn a cover. This has been one of Marshall's better roles in recent seasons. The Herd are 23-12-2 ATS (32-5 SU) the last 37 when listed as home favorites in the 3.5 to 6 range. That includes a 79-61 victory over Tulsa, when laying four points, here last season. I'm expecting a similar result tonight. *10 personal favorite
|01-09-13||Louisville v. Seton Hall +10.5||Top||73-58||Loss||-110||5 h 26 m||Show|
I'm playing on SETON HALL. Obviously the Cardinals are a very good team. However, this is a high line and I believe that the Pirates, although still a little short-handed, are better than they're being credit for. Louisville isn't exactly healthy either as sophomore forward Chane Behanan, averaging better than 11 points and better than seven rebounds, suffered a left high ankle sprain in practice on Monday. As Pitino noted: "Without Chane, we'll have to make some adjustments." The Pirates have shot very well from beyond the arc, hitting at least nine 3-pointers in six straight games. In fact, they and lead all Big East teams in 3-point makes (133) and attempts (348) while sitting second at 38.2 percent. While the competition admittedly hasn't been anything like what they'll see here, the Pirates have been very tough on this floor. Their recent loss at Notre Dame was their only defeat of greater than seven points all season all season. We're getting even more points to work with here than we were for that game, despite the fact the the Pirates are now at home. I believe that's providing excellent value and I look for the Pirates to step up and provide their high profile guests with a tougher test than most will be expecting. *10 Main Event
|01-08-13||Brooklyn Nets v. Philadelphia 76ers -1||Top||109-89||Loss||-110||20 h 7 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. The 76er's have lost three straight. However, all those came on the road, including games at San Antonio and OKC. I expect them to bounce back with a much needed win here.
The recent 3-game slide came at the end of a long road trip. In fact, the 76ers haven't played at home since 12/21 - they won that game (vs. Atlanta) by 18 points. Needless to say, the 76ers, who have won eight of their last 12 here, should be happy to be home. They've had a couple of day's in between games to catch up on some rest, "chores," and to get adjusted to being back.
Note that the 76ers are 4-2 SU/ATS when playing with two day's rest in between games.
The Nets have also had a couple of day's off in between games - although they arguably didn't need the break as much. Either way, they're only 1-3 SU/ATS when playing with two day's rest in between games.
Admittedly, the Nets come in playing well, having won three straight and five of six. (Their winning streak combined with the 76ers' current skid are helping to keep this line the way it is.) One of those wins came at OKC. So, that was certainly impressive. Then again, the Thunder just lost vs. the Wizards last night - so, they certainly aren't unbeatable. A closer look shows that the Nets' other four victories came against Sacramento, Washington, Cleveland and Charlotte. Those four teams are a combined 34-90. So, give them credit for the recent wins - but lets not start calling them a "elite" team quite yet.
With an O/U line in the high 180s, note that the 76ers are 17-8 ATS (18-7 SU) the last 25 times that they played a home game where the O/U line ranged from 185 to 189.5 range.
These teams played a very close one at Brooklyn just before Christmas, the Nets eking out a 3-point win, the 76'ers covering. Finally playing on their home floor, I expect the revenge-minded 76ers to get some payback. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-07-13||Alabama -9 v. Notre Dame||Top||42-14||Win||100||28 h 36 m||Show|
I'm playing on ALABAMA. You guys surely already know the story behind this one. Notre Dame comes in undefeated while Alabama has a single loss. Yet, its the Tide which are laying more than a touchdown. That's going to have a lot of people tempted to take the points. I'm not one of them.
The SEC was down a little bit overall this season and I successfully played against some SEC teams (LSU, Florida) during the bowls. That said, this is still the best conference in the country and the teams at the top of the pack (Alabama, Georgia, [email protected] etc) are arguably better than any team in any other conference. The Tide did mix in a few weak teams - but took care of business accordingly.
The Irish did certainly beat some talented and big named teams, including Stanford. However, some of those teams (Oklahoma, USC, Michigan) weren't as dominant as they often are. Also, keep in mind that the Irish barely beat Purdue, Michigan, Stanford, BYU and Pittsburgh. All five of those victories came by a TD or less, three coming by a field goal.
Both teams can run the ball and both can play defense. However, I give the edge to Alabama in both those areas. I also give the Tide a significant advantage at the QB position. For the season, Alabama averaged 38.5 points per game. Notre Dame averaged 26.7.
While the Irish are 2-7 SU/ATS their last nine games played in January, the Tide are 7-2 SU/ATS their last nine January games. I believe Alabama's experience (and Saban's experience) here in the "big game" will prove helpful and I look for the Tide to ultimately pull away for a double-digit win. *10
|01-06-13||Indianapolis Colts v. Baltimore Ravens -7||Top||9-24||Win||100||17 h 6 m||Show|
I'm playing on BALTIMORE. I believe that the Ravens are better on both sides of the ball. While Luck has certainly done an admirable job, he's still prone to making rookie mistakes and the playoffs are new ground for him. Flacco, on the other hand, has plenty of playoff experience. While he hasn't taken the Ravens to the Super Bowl yet, he has enjoyed some playoff success.
Of course, the fact that Ray Lewis is (likely) playing his final game here is also a significant factor. Lewis is a legend here and one of the best leaders in the game. I expect the entire team to be fired up to "win this one for Ray."
While there will be a lot of emotion with it being Lewis' last game there, Flacco is the type of QB that keeps an even keel no matter what the situation. I expect him to have his team able to use the emotion to the Ravens' advantage.
Obviously the Colts badly want to win this game too. However, I don't think that they'll feel the same sense of urgency. This is a young team and they'll have plenty of opportunities to return to the playoffs. No matter what happens here, they can already hold their heads high.
Keep in mind that while they were 4-4, the Colts were outscored by an average 29.1 to 21.1 margin on the road. They eked out a win in their last road game (at KC) but were outgained by a whopping 507-288 count, in terms of total yards.
The Ravens are 5-1 SU/ATS in the Wildcard Rd of the playoffs. During that time, they're 22-11-2 ATS as home favorites in the 3.5 to 7 range, 4-1-1 ATS the last six.
Throw last week's loss at Cincinnati out. The real Ravens showed up the previous week, beating up on the Giants by a 33-14 margin while getting their "swagger" back in the process. I expect them to step up and get it done. *10
I'm playing BALTIMORE on the moneyline for the first half. There's going to be a ton of emotion in Baltimore, with this likely being Ray Lewis' last game here. Flacco is the type of QB that keeps an even keel no matter what the situation. I expect him to have his team ready to use that emotion to their advantage.
The Ravens have outscored teams by a 15.1 to 10.9 margin in the first half of games here this season. The Colts, on the other hand, have been outscored by a 16 to 11.7 margin in the first half of their road games. While the price may seem a bit steep, getting a push if the game is tied and a win if the Ravens are up by 1-3 points makes this line preferable, in my opinion, to the first half ATS line. *6
|01-05-13||Utah Jazz v. Denver Nuggets -9.5||Top||91-110||Win||100||10 h 29 m||Show|
I'm playing on DENVER. These teams have met twice so far this season. The home team won both games, the Nuggets covered each time. The Jazz eked out a 2-point win at Salt Lake City. However, the Nuggets blew them out here at Denver.
No real surprise there, as both these teams are MUCH better on their home floor.
The Jazz won on the road last night. However, they're still 7-13 on the road. On the other hand, even with a loss here last time out, the Nuggets, who had last night off, are 10-2 (9-3 ATS) here at Denver.
The Jazz are 1-4 SU/ATS the last five times that they played the second of b2b games. For the season, they're 3-5 SU/ATS in that situation. The three wins came against Orlando, Washington and a home game vs. Phoenix. None of those are good teams. The five losses came against Indiana, Memphis, Houston, Sacramento and San Antonio. All five defeats came by a minimum of eight points, four coming by double-digits.
Playing in the altitude of Denver against what figures to be an angry Nuggets team, I expect the Jazz to get blown out once again. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-05-13||Minnesota Vikings v. Green Bay Packers -7.5||Top||10-24||Win||100||27 h 48 m||Show|
I'm playing on GREEN BAY. You guys likely know the story-line here. These teams just faced each other at Minnesota last week. In an exciting game which they needed to have, the Vikings eked out a 37-34 victory.
That Week 17 loss at Minnesota was the reason that the Packers are playing here. If they'd won that game, they would have earned a bye. So, its not like the Packers weren't trying to win. Still, there's a difference between playing for a bye and playing for a playoff spot, or playing to stay alive in the playoffs.
Of course, there's also a big difference between playing in the dome at Minnesota and playing a January game at Lambeau Field.
Adrian Peterson has proven to be a very special runner and Christian Ponder has certainly had a respectable season . However, Aaron Rodgers gives the Packers a significant advantage at the most important position in the game.
If he's not the best QB in the league, Rodgers is right there near the top. He tends to carve up the Vikings too, as he's got a 132.5 passer rating his last five games against them, throwing 16 TDs to just one interception while completing 74.7% of his passes.
While Peterson has had some personal success at Lambeau, the Vikings are still 1-5 in AP's career there. Peterson has averaged better than 100 yards there, scoring five TDs. It hasn't mattered.
Green Bay has beaten the Vikings convincingly here, too. In fact, in addition to having won five of six outright, the Packers are also 5-1 ATS the last six times that they were a host in the series. The Pack beat the Vikes by a combined score of 68-21 the last two meetings here.
Rodgers said this on the difference of playing at home as compared to playing at Minnesota: "The road got a little tougher having to play on opening weekend, but we've got a home game and that's why you win the division. You get to go back home and the game will be a different type of game. They won't have the home-crowd advantage and hopefully that will make a difference.''
Including this season's result here, the Packers are 17-8 ATS (22-3 SU) at home the past few seasons. During that stretch, the Vikes are only 9-14-1 ATS (7-17 SU) away from Minnesota.
The Pack are outscoring teams by an average of 11.6 ppg here this season. They lost their first game of the season here and have since won their last seven here. They won those seven games by an average margin of 13 points.
Th Packers, who have won nine of their last 10 (7-2-1 ATS) when playing on a Saturday, are battle-tested in the playoffs and I believe that they've got a significant coaching edge. I look for them to take care of business on Saturday, earning the cover along the way. *10
|01-05-13||Oklahoma v. West Virginia -4||Top||67-57||Loss||-105||5 h 9 m||Show|
I'm playing on WEST VIRGINIA. These teams already faced each other once this season. That was technically a non-conference game though, so this will be the Mountaineers' first official game as a member of the Big 12. That should have the players and fans a little extra fired up. Added motivation comes from the fact that the Sooners won the earlier meeting.
Homecourt can't be ignored here. The Sooners are 3-20 their last 23 road lined games, going just 8-15 at the betting window. During the same period, the Mountaineers have won 21 of 28 home lined games. They're 5-0 here this season, outscoring teams by a 76.8 to 67.2 margin. They'll face an Oklahoma team which recently lost to lowly Stephen Austin.
The Mountaineers have failed to cover a few in a row. However, they've still won those games and those ATS losses have worked in our favor by keeping the line low. I expect them to get the new era started off with a win, covering that low number along the way. *9 annihilator
|01-05-13||Towson v. Drexel -10||Top||69-66||Loss||-108||5 h 1 m||Show|
I'm playing on DREXEL. The Dragons struggled at the betting window in November and for the first portion of December. They got the new year started with an impressive 77-60 win at Georgia State last time out though and are currently playing well. They've been underdogs in each of their last five games and they've won three of those outright. Now 16-5 ATS in January the past few seasons, they're taking a significant step down in class. Indeed Towson State has won just three of its last 34 road lined games.
The last meeting between these teams was almost exactly one year ago. Drexel won that 1/4/2012 game by a score of 60-27. I expect a double-digit win this afternoon. *10 Top Colonial Athletic Report
|01-05-13||Georgetown v. Marquette -3||Top||48-49||Loss||-110||3 h 18 m||Show|
I'm playing on MARQUETTE. Georgetown comes in with the higher ranking However, I believe that the Golden Eagles are favored for good reason.
Georgetown is ranked for good reason and with its strong defense, does deserve respect. That said, the Hoyas haven't played since way back on 12/22. That's a long layoff when factoring in Christmas and New Year's. Now, potentially dealing with some early rut, they have to play at a very hostile environment.
The Golden Eagles are off a momentum-building win over UConn in their big opener (hit tying shot at buzzer to force OT and won by 6) and they've now won 17 straight at home - that's the sixth longest streak in the country. They'll have their coach back (was gone for 1 game) and I expect them to be fully fired up at the opportunity to knock off a ranked opponent.
Assistant coach Brad Autry, said this about Marquette: "I'm just ecstatic because I feel like we've turned a corner into who we are with this team. I think the players feel that as much as anything."
The Golden Eagles are 15-5 ATS in January the past couple of years, the Hoyas are only 5-11 ATS during the same time.
The Golden Eagles beat the Hoyas by double-digits last season and 4-1 SU/ATS the last five series meetings here. They're catching Georgetown playing its first true road game of the season. I expect another win and cover. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-04-13||Texas A&M v. Oklahoma +3.5||Top||41-13||Loss||-120||13 h 52 m||Show|
I'm playing on OKLAHOMA. The Aggies had a great year as come in as the favorite. I'm not convinced that they're the better team though.
The Aggies did win at Alabama and obviously deserve credit for that victory. They really didn't win that many other big games though. Their other SEC victories came against Arkansa, Ole Miss, Auburn, Miss State and Missouri. Those five teams went a combined 11-29 in SEC action, none finishing above .500. When matched up against other top tier SEC teams Florida and LSU, a pair of teams which both lost their bowl games, the Aggies were defeated. Arguably their hardest non-conf. game came against LA Tech and they only eked out a 2-point win in that one.
While they didn't beat Alabama the way that the Aggies did, Oklahoma did beat the likes of TCU, Oklahoma State, Texas, Baylor, Texas Tech and West Virginia. None of those were as big as the Bama win but they're all arguably at least as impressive, if not more, than any of the Aggies' other wins.
The Aggies may have a Heiman leader at QB. However, the Sooners have the career Big 12 leader in passing yards. Indeed, Jones is the first FBS quarterback ever to throw for at least 3,000 yards and 26 touchdowns in four seasons.
The Sooners are 5-2 ATS the last seven times that they played with two or more week's worth of rest. Having hammered the Aggies by a 41-25 margin last season and going 8-1 the last nine meetings against them, the Sooners come in full of confidence. I expect them to step up and get it done. *10
|01-03-13||Stanford v. USC +3||Top||69-71||Win||100||11 h 55 m||Show|
I'm playing on USC. The Cardinal come in as only slight favorites here and many bettors likely won't be able to resist. I'm expecting the Trojans to pull off the "upset" though, although I personally won't view it as such.
Without question, Stanford is a solid team. However, I believe that the Trojans are also better than many realize and that playing on their homecourt will prove significant.
Stanford has only played two true road games all season. One was a 9-point loss and the other was a 2-point win.
Note that Stanford is 0-3 ATS the last three times it was a road favorite of three or less. During that stretch, the Cardinal are also 1-5 ATS when playing a road game with an O/U line in the 120s.
While it didnt result in a cover vs. the closing line, I like that the Trojans were able to beat Dayton last time out and feel that victory will give them some positive momentum to carry into conference play. I look for them to step up and surprise. *10 best bet
|01-03-13||Kansas State v. Oregon -7.5||Top||17-35||Win||100||12 h 59 m||Show|
I'm playing on OREGON. Both teams would have obviously preferred to be playing each other for the national title. However, there should be no lack of motivation on either side. That means it should come down to the players and coaches. With all due respect to K-State and Bill Snyder, for my money, the Ducks have the edge in both areas.
This Oregon team has dominated every team that it has faced, with the exception of Stanford. No other team has been able to keep up with them. They scored more than 40 points in every single game besides the Stanford one, defeating every opponent by double-digits.
Those blowout victories came against other capable and/or high-scoring teams like USC, Arizona, Washington, Arizona State and Oregon State. I believe that K-State is more like those teams than it is like Stanford, the one team which gave Oregon trouble.
K-State has certainly had an impressive season. However, I don't think the Wildcats have done as much as Oregon. While the Ducks' loss was a nailbiter, the Wildcats' lone loss came in blowout fashion, as they were destroyed at Baylor. Two of their other wins came by six or fewer points. They haven't seen a team like the one that they'll face tonight.
Note that the Wildcats failed to score 30 points in three of their final seven games, four times on the season.
While the pointspread might seem a bit high, consider that every Oregon win came by double-digits. Also, note that the Ducks are 5-1 ATS the last six times that they were listed as favorites in the 3.5 to 10 range. I expect them to "do their thing" and for the Wildcats to ultimately be unable to keep up. *10 Main Event
|01-02-13||Louisville +14 v. Florida||Top||33-23||Win||100||10 h 49 m||Show|
I'm playing on LOUISVILLE. Some people might be surprised that Louisville is here. I'm not one of those people. I won with the Cardinals in their first game of the season, a blowout win over instate rival Kentucky. A few months later, I also won with the Cardinals in their regular season finale against Rutgers, which served as a de facto Big East championship game.
I believe that the victory over Rutgers will provide the Cardinals with some real momentum here. That was a game that they trailed and where their QB (Teddy Bridgewater) was at far less than that 100%. However, Bridgewater and co. gutted out a win. They believe in each other and believe anything is possible.
Bridgewater would come off the bench to go 20 of 28 for 263 yards in the win over Rugters - pretty impressive numbers given how banged up he was and how stingy the Rutgers defense was. He would finish the season with 3452 yards and 25 TDs, completing 69% of his passes. While he'll be up against another tough defense here, the month off figures to have helped give Bridgewater time to heal.
The Gators are indeed one of the top teams in the country. They're not necessarily a team that wins by a wide margin though and they're going to be up against a tough and determined opponent.
A look at Florida's last five games shows four wins and a loss. Two of the wins came by only a touchdown and one of those was against lowly LA-Lafayette. Another win came by 11 points - still not enough to cover this large number. The only victory that came by greater than 11 was against Jackonsville State. Laying 37.5 points, the Gators would only score 23 points. Earlier in the season, they Gators have four other wins by two touchdowns or less.
The Cardinals have coaching stability, something many teams can't say. Charlie Strong reportedly could have had the job at Tennessee but instead decided to stay at Louisville.
Speaking of Strong, he knows a thing or two about the Gators, as he ran their defense from 2003 through 2009, his fourth different stint on the Gators' staff.
I expect Strong to have his Cardinals ready to play and I look for them to improve to 5-0 ATS the last five times that they were listed as underdogs in the 10.5 to 21 range. *10
|01-02-13||San Antonio Spurs v. Milwaukee Bucks +5.5||Top||117-110||Loss||-110||9 h 19 m||Show|
I'm playing on MILWAUKEE. Its hard to make a case against the Spurs. They're a talented and well-coached team, one which is playing well. That said, the Bucks are also playing well. They've covered three straight games, winning both home games outright. One of those was a 19-point blowout of the defending world champion Heat. Going back further finds them at 6-2 their last eight on this floor. The Bucks upset the Spurs here last January. They're playing with 2-day's rest in between games and they have tomorrow off. On the other hand, the Spurs played New Year's Eve, which was their third game in four nights. They also play a TNT game at MSG tomorrow, a game to potentially get caught looking ahead to. While the Spurs were dominant defensively (allowed 76 pts!) on New Year's Eve, note that they're 1-3 ATS the last four times that they allowed 85 or fewer points. I'm taking the points with the revenge-minded home underdog. *9 best bet
|01-02-13||Nebraska v. Ohio State -20||Top||44-70||Win||100||8 h 34 m||Show|
I'm playing on OHIO STATE. At first glance, this line may seem a little steep. However, I feel that it could easily be higher and that we're actually getting a bit of a "bargain."
After three straight non-covers, the Buckeyes bounced back with a 43-point win over lowly Chicago State, covering the 36.5 number with relative ease. The Huskers represent a step up in class but they're still nowhere near Ohio State. Knowing they have a tough road game at Illinois on deck, the start of a stretch of games all more difficult than this one, I expect the Buckeyes to really want to make the most of this "blowout opportunity."
This Nebraska team has proven susceptible to the blowout too. The Huskers lost by 14 vs. Kent State, by 22 vs Creighton, by 22 at Oregon and by 16 at Utep. This will be by far their toughest test yet.
Ohio State hammered the Huskers 71-40 here last season, almost exactly one year (1/3/2012) to the day. A few weeks later, the Buckeyes followed it up with a 79-45 win at Nebraska.
Including last year's win here, they're 7-2 ATS (9-0 SU) the last nine times that they were listed as home favorites in the 18.5 to 24 range, going 21-10 ATS (31-0 SU) their last 31 in that role. I'm expecting another blowout. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-01-13||Los Angeles Clippers v. Denver Nuggets||Top||78-92||Win||100||9 h 26 m||Show|
I'm playing on DENVER. Its hard for teams to keep on winning forever. That's why it doesn't happen. While the Clippers closed out 2012 on an extremely impressive and extended winning streak, its an entirely new year now. I expect their run to come to an end.
The Clippers dominated the Nuggets on Christmas Day. That loss fresh in their memories, the Nuggets will be looking for some payback here.
A closer look shows that the 12/25 game was played at LA. That's noteworthy as the Nuggets are a poor 8-14 on the road but an outstanding 9-1 here at Denver - a much better winning percentage than LA has on the road.
Note that the Nuggets have had an extra day off. While the Clippers played on 12/30, the Nuggets last played 12/29 at Memphis. (I successfully played against them there as they were coming off a big road win at Dallas the night before.) Note that the Nuggets also have tomorrow off while LA faces Golden State.
The Nuggets are 7-3 the last 10 times that they attempted to avenge an earlier loss, going 45-35 their last 80 in that situation. I expect them to improve on those stats here, continuing their excellent play on this floor. *10 best bet
|01-01-13||Northern Illinois v. Florida State -14||Top||10-31||Win||100||11 h 24 m||Show|
I'm playing on FLORIDA STATE. I won with the Huskies way back on 9/1, their very first game of the season. They didn't win but they easily covered at Iowa. While the Hawkeyes didn't prove to be very good, that was still a solid effort for the Huskies, who would go on to have another excellent season. The class of the MAC, the Huskies come in confident here and with a chip on their shoulder. That helps. However, it'll only take a team so far, when matched up against a team which is also hungry and which has significantly superior talent. In this case, I feel that the Seminoles are better on both sides of the ball.
|01-01-13||Connecticut v. Marquette -5||Top||76-82||Win||100||8 h 1 m||Show|
I'm playing on MARQUETTE. With all the football going on and it being New Year's, I'm running behind today. So, am keeping this writeup a little brief. The Golden Eagles are 11-3 ATS the last 14 times that they played a home game with an O/U line in the 130 to 134.5 range. On the other hand, the Huskies are 0-7 SU/ATS the last seven times that they played a road game with an O/U line in the same range. The Huskies have won just eight of 20 overall on the road while Marquette is 36-5 its last 41 at home. This season, the Golden Eagles are outscoring teams by a 73.9 to 58.4 margin at home, in going 7-0. They beat the Huskies by 15 (79-64) in the lone 2012 meeting and that was at UConn. I expect another solid win and cover here. *9 M.E.
|01-01-13||Nebraska +9.5 v. Georgia||Top||31-45||Loss||-110||4 h 47 m||Show|
I'm playing on NEBRASKA. I successfully played "against" the Huskers in this bowl last year. Up against an SEC opponent (South Carolina) the Huskers were crushed by a score of 30-13. While the Huskers are again up against an opponent from the mighty SEC, I like how everything sets up for them and feel this is a far more favorable matchup.
True, the Huskers were hoping for more, as they could have been in the Rose Bowl. However, there's still plenty to play for. This is still a New Year's Day Bowl, the very one they got embarrassed at last year. Needless to say, they don't want that to happen again. Throw in the fact that they got blown out in that season finale and this should be a very hungry team.
Georgia, on the other hand, did not get blown out in the its last game. Its loss was even more devastating though. You likely saw it, or know about it. An all out war against Alabama; an exciting game that went back and forth.
Ultimately, the Bulldogs lost though and their run defense was exposed in the process. They were so very close to winning that game and they likely feel that they would have beaten Notre Dame, if given the chance. That makes playing in this bowl a tough pill to swallow.
Outside of the fact that I feel that the Huskers will be hungrier, I feel that they'll be able to have success on the ground (they're #8 in the country in rushing yards) and that the Bulldogs will have trouble slowing down Taylor Martinez, a style of QB they're unfamiliar with.
I expect the Bulldogs, 1-4 ATS the last five times that they played with two or more week's worth of rest, to have another fight on their hands the entire way. *10 Annihilator
|01-01-13||Michigan +6 v. South Carolina||Top||28-33||Win||100||4 h 45 m||Show|
I'm playing on MICHIGAN. I won with South Carolina in last year's bowl, as the Gamecocks wiped the floor with Nebraska. While I certainly still respect Spurrier and co, I feel that the Gamecocks are going to have considerably more difficulty against a Big Ten team this year.
If they didnt know better, some might think that Michigan played a much easier schedule than South Carolina, based on the the Wolverines hailing from the Big Ten and the Gamecocks coming from the SEC. However, the Wolverines faced both Notre Dame and Alalbama this year, the two teams playing the national championship game. The Wolverines also faced Ohio State, the nation's other undefeated team (They lost all three but two of the losses came by a TD or less.)
Additionally, the Wolverines had games against the likes of Michigan State and Nebraska. On the other hand, South Carolina got to avoid Alabama and had a non-conference slate which included Wofford and UAB. While the win over Georgia was impressive, lets not forget that the Gamecocks were blown out by Florida and that they lost vs. LSU, a team which lost yesterday.
The bottom line is that the SEC is still probably the best overall but the conference isn't as dominant as it has been in recent years. Top tier teams from other major conferences - like Clemson yesterday - can now compete and defeat teams near the top of the SEC. Don't be surprised to see it happen again this afternoon. *9
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