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|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|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
|01-12-13||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||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
|01-05-13||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||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
|01-03-13||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
|01-02-13||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||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.
|12-30-12||Dayton v. USC -3||Top||61-63||Loss||-109||4 h 24 m||Show|
I'm playing on USC. Dayton comes in with the better record. However, with the game being played in Southern California, I believe that the Trojans are favored for good reason.
While theve struggled out of the gate, I believe this USC team is better than the record indicates. Keep in mind that its been a very difficult schedule. This is a chance to close out their non-conference slate with a win over a quality opponent and I look for them to go all out to make that happen.
Dayton has only played one true road game all season. To their credit, the Flyers did win that one. Still, they're a long way from home here and getting home for New Year's Eve may already be on their minds. Expect homecourt to be the difference. *9 Personal Favorite
|12-29-12||Denver Nuggets v. Memphis Grizzlies -6.5||Top||72-81||Win||100||10 h 22 m||Show|
I'm playing on MEMPHIS. This one sets up very nicely for the home team. The Grizzlies, who are playing with "double-revenge" had the past two nights off. They should have fresh legs. Off back to back losses and looking for some payback from the earlier losses to Denver, they should also be very hungry.
On the other hand, the Nuggets played last night at Dallas. Its true that they've been good in that situation this year. However, not all b2b spots are the same. Not only will the Nuggets be playing the second of back to back games, they'll also now be playing their fourth game in five days. Throw in the fact that the first of those four games was on Christmas - a potentially extra busy, emotional and/or stressful time - and this has been a very grueling stretch. They don't play until New Year's Day and could already have their minds on returning to loved ones in time to ring out the year. The fact that they won big last night could add to the Nuggets' complacency.
Even with last night's win the Nuggets are still only 8-13 on the road. Even with a loss here last time out, the Grizzlies are still 12-3 at home.
The Grizzlies, 5-0 SU the last five times that they played with two day's rest in between games, are 50-34-2 ATS the last 86 times that they were in the revenge role. With the schedule and venue in their favor, I expect them to improve on those stats in convincing fashion here. *10 Personal Favorite
|12-29-12||Xavier v. Tennessee -6||Top||47-51||Loss||-110||8 h 6 m||Show|
I'm playing on TENNESSEE. Everyone knows Xavier is usually a good team. Sometimes a very good team. To a certain degree, that reputation sticks with a team, even when its going through a tough time. In this case, I believe that Xavier remains a bit over-valued by the betting public and that that Musketeers will be in over their heads.
The Musketeers, who suffered heavy losses from last season, are off back to back losses. They were blown out by 15 points by rival Cincinnati and followed it up by losing outright against lowly Wofford. That makes it 0-4 ATS their last four.
Think the ATS losing streak can't continue? Consider that the Musketeers are 4-11 ATS the last 15 times that they'd failed to cover their previous three or more consecutive games.
The well-rested Volunteers are 3-0 SU/ATS the last three times that they played with seven or more day's rest in between games, 17-8 ATS their last 25 in that situation. They're also 6-1 SU/ATS the last seven times that they played a home game with an O/U line in the 120s.
The Vols are outscoring teams by 15 ppg on this floor. I backed them when they beat a good Wichita State team by nine here a couple of weeks ago (69-60 win on 12/13) and they've since followed it up by beating up on a couple of weaker opponents. I feel that they'll have no trouble taking care of business against (once) might Xavier. *9 Personal Favorite
|12-28-12||Missouri v. UCLA -3||Top||94-97||Push||0||9 h 50 m||Show|
I'm playing on UCLA. Missouri has the higher ranking. However, I believe that the Bruins are favored for good reason.
The Tigers, who have struggled as small road underdogs in recent years, haven't played a true road game all season.
Keep in mind that this Missouri team suffered major losses, including five seniors, from the one that won 30 games last year. While senior Bowers is contributing nicely, one of the remaining seniors (Dixon) is gone.
While the Bruins have battled through some adversity, they come in on a 4-game winning streak and with a chip on their shoulder. They're a talented team and I look for them to accomplish what the UCLA football team could not - a win and cover. *9 Personal Favorite
|12-28-12||Los Angeles Clippers v. Utah Jazz +3||Top||116-114||Win||100||8 h 2 m||Show|
I'm playing on UTAH. I'm not normally not in the habit of going against teams on 15-game winning streaks. However, I feel that the Clippers' run will come to an end here.
While LA was playing a big TNT game vs. Boston last night, the Jazz had the night off. LA is 2-3 ATS this season in the second of b2b games.
Let's not forget that the Jazz have been very tough here at Utah for ages. They're record here this season is just as good as LA's road record.
The Jazz are playing with "revenge," having lost a 1-point game here against the Clippers a few weeks ago. They're still 29-4 SU (22-10-1 ATS) the last 33 times they were a host in the series.
Don't be surprised when the streak comes to an end. *9 best bet
|12-25-12||San Diego St +5.5 v. Arizona||Top||67-68||Win||100||12 h 4 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN DIEGO STATE. (I'm keeping today's college writeups slightly shorter than normal, as Christmas has me running a bit behind.) The Wildcats are a very good team and they're off to a great start. I'm not convinced that they're better than the Aztecs though, who are also a very strong team. That being said, I feel that getting this many points is providing excellent value.
While the Wildcats are 11-0, the Aztecs are 11-1. In fact, they're 11-0 their last 11, since dropping their opener vs. Syracuse.
Speaking of 11-0, note that San Diego State has won 11 straight against teams currently in the Pac-12. Clearly the Aztecs "get up" for games against teams in their part of the country, wanting to show that they're the "best in the west."
The Aztecs, who upset Arizona last year, are 33-16 ATS (39-11) the last 50 times that they faced a team with a winning record. During that stretch, they've gone 7-3 ATS against teams which score 77 or more per game.
While Arizona is strong at both ends of the floor, the Aztecs are also 16-6 ATS (19-3 SU!) their last 22 against teams which allow 64 or fewer points.
Speaking of good defensive teams, the Aztecs have been dominant defensively recently, holding four straight opponents to less than 60. Note that they're 40-3 SU, after allowing 60 or less, 7-0 their last seven.
The Wildcats are only 5-9 ATS the last 14 times that they were listed as neutral court favorites in the 3.5 to 6 range, including an 0-3 ATS mark their last three in that situation. Don't be surprised if they suffer their first loss here. *10 Best Bet
|12-25-12||Houston Rockets v. Chicago Bulls -4.5||Top||120-97||Loss||-105||13 h 44 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHICAGO. These teams met last month at Houston. A close game saw the Rockets pull out a 93-89 victory. With today's rematch being played at Chicago, I expect the revenge-minded Bulls to return the favor.
While they didn't play well in their last game, the Bulls have gotten it together recently. A look at their last game, a loss at Atlanta, shows that the Bulls were playing the second of back to back road games and that they were coming off an upset of the Knicks the previous day. So, it was a difficult spot, scheduling-wise, for them.
The Bulls are well-rested now though, in addition to being back home. They're 27-12 SU the past couple of seasons, when playing with two day's rest in between games.
True, the Rockets have won three straight, all three in impressive fashion. However, two of those came at home; they're still 3-7 on the road. Also, the only time that they previously won three straight this season, they followed it up by losing 120-98. (They're 8-14 ATS the past couple of seasons, after having won their previous three.)
Even with the loss at Atlanta, the Bulls have still won seven of their last 10. They haven't lost two in a row since the loss at Houston.
In fact, after their lost five losses, they've responded by going a perfect 5-0 SU/ATS. They won those games by scores of 93-86, 101-78, 95-85, 96-89 and 100-89. I expect them to respond with another win and cover here. *10 Roast
|12-25-12||Mississippi v. Hawaii +8.5||Top||81-66||Loss||-110||7 h 42 m||Show|
I'm playing on HAWAII. (I'm keeping today's college writeups slightly shorter than normal, as Christmas has me running a bit behind.) The Rebels are a solid and experienced squad. However, they're a long way from home here and laying a lot of points. I feel it will prove to be too many, as I'm expecting a close game. In four road or neutral court games, the Rebels scoring 76.2 points and allowing 75. They were just 1-3 ATS in those games. Those four road/neutral court games weren't against elite teams either, as they faced Middle Tennessee STate, Loyola Marymount, Indiana State and San Francisco. The Rebels won one of those games by seven points and all three of the others were decided by three or less. The Warriors are 5-3 at home, outscoring opponents by a 72 to 64.9 margin. The Warriors may not be that experienced but they are talented and have a legit star in Vander Joaquim, one of five players averaging better than nine points per game. Joaquim averages 14.3 ppg and 7.3 rbg and that's not even the best on the team in either category. That honor belongs to Standhardinger, who is averaging an impressive 16.1 and 8.1 The Warriors are 3-0 ATS the last three times that they were listed as home underdogs in the 6.5 to 9 range. In a game that comes down to the wire, don't be surprised if Hawaii pulls off the upset. *9 Annihilator
|12-25-12||New York Knicks v. Los Angeles Lakers -3.5||Top||94-100||Win||100||7 h 45 m||Show|
I'm playing on LA. The Knicks come in with the much better record and they've already defeated the Lakers once this season. However, I believe that the Lakers are favored for good reason.
True, the Knicks won by nine at MSG. However, in addition to playing on the road, the Lakers were without Pau Gasol AND Steve Nash in that game. They also weren't playing well at the time.
Things are much different. Now playing at home, the Lakers are playing their best basketball of the season. They'll have both Gasol and Nash this time. Off a comeback victory against a Golden State, a team which had been playing well, the Lakers have now won four straight.
Nash's return went about as well as could be hoped. Nash helped key the comeback while scoring a dozen points and adding nine assists.
Coach D'Antoni said this of Nash: "The guy is a winner. I think that we're a completely different team with him out there. The floor opens up and it changes everything."
Of course, D'Antoni should be extremely motivated to win here. The last thing he wants to have happen is to let his former team sweep the season series against his new team, particularly not in front on the national audience.
The Knicks, 1-6 in Christmas Day road games, have been dominated by the Lakers here at LA. In fact, the Lakers have won five straight against the Knicks here, winning those games by an average of greater than a dozen points.
The Lakers are 6-1 SU the seven times that they played a home game with an O/U line of 210 or greater, going 72-20 SU their last 92 in that situation. I expect them to improve on those stats this afternoon, covering the small number along the way. *10 Personal Favorite
|12-23-12||Dallas Mavericks v. San Antonio Spurs -11||Top||91-129||Win||100||4 h 46 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN ANTONIO. While they've stumbled a bit recently, the Spurs have had a great start to the season. I recently played against them when they lost at Oklahoma City. However, I believe tonight's game sets up well for a blowout victory.
The Mavericks are 4-11 on the road and have lost five of six overall. The Spurs are 9-2 at home.
The Spurs are outscoring teams by 10 points per game here. The Mavs are being outscored by nearly eight on the road.
The Spurs have taken care of business vs. the league's weaker teams, going 11-1 SU and 9-3 ATS.
The Spurs are healthy. The Mavs are not. In addition to Dirk being out, Derek Fischer hasn't been playing while Collison and Brand are both banged-up.
The Spurs have dominated the Mavs here and they've also won 21 straight home games in the month of December. With a few days off after this and nothing to "save themselves for," I expect the Spurs to continue that streak in convincing fashion here. *9 Personal Favorite
|12-22-12||Weber State v. Portland State +7.5||Top||73-69||Win||100||13 h 30 m||Show|
I'm playing on PORTLAND STATE. I won with the Vikings against Oregon State a little over a week ago. Getting double-digits at the betting window, they lost by only five. I feel that they're offering very fair value once again.
Here's an excerpt of that 12/12 writeup on Portland State: "I've successfully played against teams from the Big Sky Conference more than once already this season. However, I believe that this will be a good spot to back a Big Sky team.
|12-20-12||Oklahoma City Thunder v. Minnesota Timberwolves +4||Top||93-99||Win||100||8 h 15 m||Show|
I'm playing on MINNESOTA. I like how this one sets up for the home team. The T-Wolves had last night off while the Thunder played a fairly hard fought game at Atlanta.
Granted, the athletic Thunder aren't usually too bothered by playing the second of back to games. However, on an extended winning streak and playing the final game before Christmas, I feel that they could get potentially caught looking ahead to the break a little here.
While they're off back to back road losses, the T-Wolves have been playing very well here at Minnesota. In fact, they're a perfect 3-0 SU/ATS here this month.
For the season, the T-Wolves are 7-3 SU and 6-4 ATS here. They allow just 91.4 points per game on this floor, while scoring 96.5 themselves.
It should be noted that the T-Wolves fought hard against the Heat and that losing (103-92) on the road against the defending champs is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, they outrebounded the Heat by 28 in that game.
Coach Rick Adelman noted: "I like the way our guys battled. We just have to respond.''
Adelman has been been excellent at getting his team to "respond" from a double-digit loss, as the T-Wolves are already a perfect 3-0 SU/ATS in that situation this season.
Off a double-digit loss at Toronto on 11/4, the T-Wolves won by double-digits (as 7.5 point underdogs) at Brooklyn the next night. Off a double-digit loss at Golden State, they won outright at Sacramento in their next game. Most recently, off a 10-point loss at Boston, the T-Wolves returned home and won by 18.
The T-Wolves have covered three straight home meetings in this series and five of the last six. I expect AT LEAST another cover here. *10 Best Bet
|12-19-12||Northern Illinois v. Seattle -4||Top||48-75||Win||100||10 h 3 m||Show|
I'm playing on SEATTLE. A member of the WAC for the first time, the Redbirds are playing with a chip on its shoulder. They want to show that they belong. They've mostly taken care of teams that they should be beating but have struggled against top tier teams. After getting outclassed by the Washington Huskies, the Redbirds had a bit of a letdown in losing vs. Jackson State in their next game. I expect them to be fully focused tonight as these Huskies aren't nearly as good as the ones they hosted last week. Indeed, Northern Illinois has lost 20 or more games in six straight seasons. This year's team may be a little better than last year's but the Huskies are still young and another 20+ loss season is looming large. They've only got two wins this season and those came against Judson College and SIU Edwardsville. Give the Huskies credit for covering the spread in each of their last three losses. However, keep in mind that those losses still all came by five or more points and by an average of nearly a dozen. This young team is now playing its third straight on the road, while playing thousands of miles from home. The Redbirds beat the Huskies by a dozen points last season and that was at NIU. Playing on their home floor and upset by their last performance, I expect an inspired Seattle team to take care of business once again. *10 Personal Favorite
|12-18-12||Cal Santa Barbara v. California -13.5||Top||59-68||Loss||-110||15 h 49 m||Show|
I'm playing on CALIFORNIA. The Bears should have advantages all over the floor here. They should also be in a foul mood after having lost three in a row.
While those losses have helped in keeping this number down a little, lets keep in mind that they came against the likes of Wisconsin, UNLV and Creighton, three very good teams.
Obviously, UC-Santa Barbara is a major step down in class.
The Gauchos lost three starters from last year's team, including all-conference stars Orlando Johnson and James Nunnally.
Prior to the season, Gauchos' coach Williams had this to say: "...boy, we
|12-18-12||Toronto Raptors v. Cleveland Cavaliers -4.5||Top||113-99||Loss||-105||13 h 39 m||Show|
I'm playing on CLEVELAND. The Raptors have earned a couple of wins recently and have actually covered the spread in three straight. Outworking teams can do that.
Its important not to confuse hard work with talent though. This is still a lower tier team that is missing arguably its two most talented players.
A closer look at the recent Toronto wins shows that they were both at the Air Canada Centre. They were also both against teams that were in difficult scheduling situations.
I played on the Raptors in the first win, partly as they were catching the Mavericks in a difficult situation. In hindsight, I probably should have also taken them in Sunday's win over Houston, given that Jeremy Lin and co. were playing at MSG the following night.
Either way, the Raptors aren't at home any longer. They're 1-14 on the road, getting outscored by an average of 104.2 to 92.6.
This time, I don't expect the Raptors, 11-18-2 ATS (7-24 SU) the last 31 times they were off an "upset win," to outwork and/or be more focused than their opponent.
This time, the Raptors will be facing a Cleveland team which is desperate to snap a losing skid and knows that, on paper, this is their most winnable game the rest of 2012. (A look at their schedule tells me that they won't be favored by this much again anytime in December.)
The Cavs, who now have their star (Irving) back, lost their last game here. However, they beat the Lakers by six here in their previous home game. So, this is a team capable of defending its home floor.
They're 1-0 ATS as home favorites in the 3.5 to 6 range this season (10 point win vs. Wizards) and I look for them to improve on those stats tonight. *9 Personal Favorite
|12-17-12||San Antonio Spurs v. Oklahoma City Thunder -4.5||Top||93-107||Win||100||14 h 37 m||Show|
I'm playing on OKLAHOMA CITY. The Spurs eked out a 2-point win when these teams met at San Antonio last month. With tonight's rematch being played at OKC, I expect the revenge-minded Thunder to return the favor.
While they haven't covered their last couple of games, the Thunder are still on a serious roll. In fact, they've won 10 straight and have vaulted to the top of the overall standings.
The Thunder haven't lost yet this entire month and they're averaging 109.6 points while shooting better than 50& during their current winning streak.
I feel that the Spurs, who are without Jackson and who may be without Manu Ginobili, will have some trouble keeping up. Even if he does play, Ginobili may be at less than 100%. Meanwhile, Duncan is off a game in which he scored just five points, while making just two of 13 shots.
The Thunder are typically at their best when attempting to avenge an earlier loss, going 44-26 ATS (47-23 SU) the last 70 times that they were in that situation, including 5-2 SU/ATS the last seven.
The Thunder are also a lucrative 12-7 ATS (13-6 SU) the last 19 times that they were listed as home favorites in the 3.5 to 6 range. They're 4-1 SU/ATS their last five home games against the Spurs, including 3-0 SU/ATS the last three. I expect them to keep on rolling for another day. *9 Personal Favorite
|12-17-12||Detroit +19 v. Syracuse||Top||68-72||Win||100||13 h 35 m||Show|
I'm playing on DETROIT. The Orange have been great against the spread this season. Their ATS winning streak appeared to be in jeopardy last time out, as they were only up by three points vs. lowly Canisius at halftime. To their credit, the Orange dominated in the second half. Still, the cover was only secured by a 3-pointer in the closing seconds. They're laying nearly as many points here and they're facing a much better opponent. I feel all the recent covers have caused the line to become a little too inflated.
Off a comeback win over Akron, Detroit comes in with some positive momentum. The Titans were behind much of the way that game, including 10-0 out of the gate. I like the way the Titans never quit and how they closed the game on a 17-5 run. While the Titans obviously know that winning here won't be easy, I believe that Saturday's victory will give them some much-needed confidence here.
Keep in mind that the Titans returned three starters from a team that went to the Big Dance last year. Led by Coach McCallum's son, a talented players averaging nearly 20 points in a game, the Titans have quietly won four straight. They're 3-0 ATS the last three times that they were road underdogs of greater than a dozen points and I look for them to step up and earn the cover this evening. *10 Main Event
|12-15-12||Tennessee Tech v. Wisc-Milwaukee +1||Top||69-58||Loss||-110||11 h 42 m||Show|
I'm playing on WISCONSIN-MILWAUKEE. This isn't exactly Saturday's "sexiest" matchup. However, as far as I'm concerned, winning a "boring" matchup is more important than losing an "exciting" one. In this case, with the pointspread essentially a non-factor, I feel we're getting excellent value with the home team.
At 5-4, Tennessee Tech comes in with the better record. Wisconsin-Milwaukee is only 3-8. A closer look reveals that the Panthers are 3-1 at home though while the Golden Eagles are only 1-3 on the road.
While the Golden Eagles are being outscored 71-62 on the road, the Panthers are outscoring teams by a 70.2 to 64.7 margin at home.
Last game, Tennessee Tech lost by 20 at Gardner Webb. In their previous road game, the Golden Eagles lost by 16 at Lipscomb. This is a team which has padded its record with wins over the likes of Crowley's Ridge, Coastal Carolina and Berea.
Keep in mind that the Panthers returned three starters from a team that won 20 games last season. Last year's team dealt with numerous injuries too. This year's team is healthy, thus far.
Meanwhile, the Golden Eagles are also without DeOndre Haynes. (Coach Payne said this of Haynes: "...He
|12-15-12||Elon v. Massachusetts -7.5||Top||73-78||Loss||-110||4 h 23 m||Show|
I'm playing on MASSACHUSETTS. Elon comes in with the better record. In fact, at 6-3, the Phoenix currently have he best overall record in the Southern Conference. While the Phoenix are indeed an improved team from recent years, I expect them to have their hands full against what I expect will be a highly motivated Massachusetts squad.
True, the Minutemen have a pretty ugly ATS mark, at the moment. They're still 4-3 SU though and the three losses came vs. NC State, Tennessee and Miami, far more talented teams than they one that they'll face here.
When matched up against lesser foes, Harvard, Providence, Siena and Northeastern, the Minutemen have gone a perfect 4-0 SU. They finally broke through with a cover last time out, too - a 72-66 victory at Northeastern, when listed as 3.5 point favorites.
Note that this game is technically being called a "neutral" court game, as its being played at Springfield, rather than Amherst. That's only a distance of about 30 miles though. So, its not exactly going to be a "neutral" environment.
These teams also faced each other last season. The Minutemen hammered them by an 87-65 score, covering as 9.5 point favorites. I believe that they're still the superior team and I expect them to demonstrate that with another convincing win and cover. *10 Annihilator
|12-14-12||Charlotte U v. Miami (Fla) -7.5||Top||46-77||Win||100||10 h 4 m||Show|
I'm playing on MIAMI. Last night, we went against undefeated Wichita State. Playing at home, the Vols would pull away for a 9-point victory. Tonight, I expect it to be the Charlotte 49'ers which suffer their first loss of the season.
With a 9-0 record, the 49'ers are clearly doing something right. Clearly, this is Alan Major's best team, in this his third season as Charlotte's coach. That's not saying all that much, however, when considering that the 49'ers were only 23-37 in his first two years.
Also, I believe that the 9-0 record needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Not only have the opponents been largely inferior but the 49'ers have only played one true road game. I expect that record to begin to come back to earth, starting tonight.
The Hurricanes aren't ranked at the moment but I believe that they have the talent of a Top 25 team. Keep in mind that this team returned four starters from a squad that won 20 games last season, highlighted by a number of memorable victories, including one at Duke.
Among Miami's victories last season was a 15-point win at Charlotte. Now, an (arguably) improved Canes team get to host the 49'ers.
Last time out, the Hurricanes went on the road and beat up on Massachusetts, another A-10 team, one which I feel is superior to the one that they'll face tonight. (Massachusetts returned four starters from a team that had 25 wins last season.)
Now, the Canes return home where they recently beat Michigan State and Detroit. Those victories came by eight and 15 points, respectively.
While the 49'ers are 2-4 ATS (1-5 SU) the past couple of seasons as road underdogs in the 6.5 to 9 range, the Canes are 2-1 ATS (3-0 SU) when listed as home favorites in the 6.5 to 9 range. I feel that this number could easily be higher and I expect the Canes, who beat Charlotte in all phases of the game last season, to improve on those stats this evening. *9 Personal Favorite
|12-13-12||Wichita State v. Tennessee||Top||60-69||Win||100||11 h 59 m||Show|
I'm playing on TENNESSEE. Wichita State comes in with the much better record and also the higher ranking. Don't be "shocked" when the Volunteers hand their guests their first loss though.
True, the Shockers are off to an impressive 9-0 start. However, the toughest teams that Wichita State has faced are Virginia Commonwealth, Depaul and Iowa.
On the other hand, the Vols are off tough road games at Virginia and Georgetown while also having faced respectable teams like Oklahoma State and Massachusetts, a team arguably better than its current 4-3 record indicates.
While they deserve credit for their undefeated record, keep in mind that these are not the same Shockers that won the 2011 NIT Title or the 2012 Missouri Valley Conference title. While they still have excellent athletes, this is a team that has had nine scholarship seniors graduate in the past two seasons alone. Note that the Shockers are also expected to be without shooting guard Evan Wessel in this game.
The Vols have had plenty of time to get over their disappointing road defeats, having last played on 12/5. Note that Tennessee is 21-5 the past 26 times that it played with seven or more day's rest, including 2-0 SU/ATS the past couple of seasons.
While the Shockers are 10-17 ATS (8-19 SU) the last 27 times that they were listed as road underdogs or three or fewer points, or at pick'em, the Vols are 10-4 ATS the last 14 times that they were listed as home favorites or three or fewer points, or at pick'em.
The Vols have only played two games on this floor and they won both with relative ease. Most recently, on 11/26, they crushed Oakland by a score of 77-50. (Regulars may recall that we backed the Vols in that game.)
I expect homecourt to be the difference as the Shockers inexperience and personnel changes finally catch up with them. *9 annihilator
|12-12-12||Oregon State v. Portland State +11.5||Top||79-74||Win||100||15 h 15 m||Show|
I'm playing on PORTLAND STATE. I've successfully played against teams from the Big Sky Conference more than once already this season. However, I believe that this will be a good spot to back a Big Sky team.
I expect the Vikings to be the "hungrier" team here. They'll be playing an instate rival, one that hails from a much bigger conference. They'll also be playing in front of a packed house, as tickets for the game are reportedly already sold out.
While they tend to play some pretty weak competition, note that the Vikings are 15-5 SU and 10-5 ATS their last 20 games here. NONE of the five losses came by greater than seven points.
The Beavers are certainly better on paper. However, injuries to Gomis and Brandt have narrowed the gap a little. Asking them to cover double-digits on the road is asking a lot. Keep in mind that the Beavers are 3-17 SU (6-13-1 ATS) their last 20 road lined games.
The Vikings, who already covered as large underdogs at Oregon, have only played one home game all season, a double-digit winner. They were blown out out at Oregon State last season. However, the previous three meetings (all some time ago) between these teams were ALL decided by five or fewer points. I have a feeling the Vikings give their guests a real scare here. *10
|12-12-12||Los Angeles Clippers v. Charlotte Bobcats +8.5||Top||100-94||Win||100||11 h 10 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHARLOTTE. The Clippers are on an extended winning streak and they beat me last night. That won't stop me from going against them here though.
Last night's victory was hard-fought, the Clippers had to battle the entire way to pull out the win.
Note that the Clippers are only 2-2 SU/ATS when playing the second of back to back games. Going back to last March, they're only 7-10 ATS and 6-11 SU when playing in that situation.
This is worse than just a regular back to back spot though. The Clippers are also playing their fourth game in the last five days. Throw in a trip from the West Coast mixed in the middle of that and its been a very busy stretch for them.
True, the Bobcats have been struggling, most recently losing by eight vs. Golden State. I liked the fight that they showed against the Warriors last game though, battling back from an early deficit instead of giving up.
After that loss Kemba Walker, who finished with 17 second half points, noted: "We've got to play that way from the start. That's it. We waited too long to play that way. I take full responsibility. I've got to set the tone early and I didn't do that.''
I expect Walker and co. to come out ready to play from the opening tip tonight.
Note that Michael Jordan joined Tuesday's practice, working with players and playing one-on-one vs. Kidd-Gilchrist. That could easily provide a spark and some inspiration.
The Bobcats are on the road tomorrow, before coming back home to face Orlando on 12/15. After that, its an extended trip out West. In other words, with the exception of that game against the Magic, "winnable" games aren't likely going to come around too often in the near future. With the schedule in their favor, I believe that this is indeed a winnable game. I expect the Bobcats to go all out and look for that to result in at least a cover. *10 best bet
|12-11-12||Los Angeles Clippers v. Chicago Bulls +3.5||Top||94-89||Loss||-105||14 h 2 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHICAGO. Derrick Rose remains out. However, the Bulls have been coming around. They're 3-0 SU/ATS their last three games, most recently knocking off the Knicks by eight points on 12/8. I expect them to keep the momentum going for another at least another night. In addition to wanting to extend the winning streak and to protect their home floor, the Bulls have the added motivation of playing with revenge from an embarrassing 11/17 loss, at LA. That 21-point debacle (101-80) was by far their most lopsided defeat of the season and I expect it to provide the Bulls with some added incentive here. After that 11/17 loss, Joakim Noah noted: "We got outscrapped and we got out-competed..." I don't expect lack of "hustle" to be an issue for tonight's rematch. Note that the Bulls were slight underdogs for the game against the Knicks and that they're 9-4 ATS the last 13 times that they were off an "upset" win. Although their ATS record hasn't been that great in this situation, with no spread to cover this time, its also worth noting that the Bulls are 25-11 SU the past 36 times that they played with two day's rest in between games. During the recent winning streak, in addition to playing stout defense, the Bulls have been getting an average of more than 20 points (20.3) per game from Marco Belinelli, who has stepped up his game, making the most of the injuries to others. Belinelli noted: "This is not my first year in the league. This is my sixth year. I don't want to be just a 3-point shooter. I want to be a complete guy. Saturday we played offense and defense, rebound, ran. That's the way we have to play." While they've been very tough at home and are admittedly playing well (6 straight SU wins) right now, the Clippers are still 0-4 ATS (1-3 SU) their last four on the road. Three losses by at least seven points and a 1-point win. A closer look at the Clippers' current 6-game winning streak shows that five of the wins have been at home, none of them against elite teams. The lone road win came by a single point. Including the victory over the Knicks, the Bulls are a terrific 14-6 ATS the last 20 times that they were listed as underdogs of four or fewer points. (Thirteen of those resulted in SU victories.) Its also worth mentioning that they're 24-5 SU the last 29 times that they played a home game with an O/U line in the 185 to 189.5 range. I'll take the points that are being offered but expect them to step up and score the outright win. *10 Main Event
|12-11-12||North Dakota State +14.5 v. Minnesota||Top||57-70||Win||100||13 h 48 m||Show|
I'm playing on NORTH DAKOTA STATE. With a top 15 ranking and a 10-1 overall record, the Gophers are obviously a good team. That said, I feel that this will prove to be a difficult spot and I expect them to have their hands full here. I believe that the Gophers are ripe for a letdown here. Not only did they just have to return from the West Coast, they're also off an emotional game, one which saw Tubby Smith reach 500 wins, the 19th Div. 1 coach to ever do so. As Minnesota's Andre Hollins noted: "This a huge win for coach's career ..." While the Gophers, who face Michigan State later this month, could easily overlook the Bison, I feel that will prove costly. North Dakota State nearly upset the Gophers right here last season. Listed as an 11 point favorite, Minnesota eked out a 63-59 victory. While the Gophers are arguably better than they were, note that the Biston brought back their top five scorers from that team and are also even better this season. Indeed, the Biston check in off three straight double-digit wins and with an 8-2 record overall. One of their losses came at Indiana, the top team in the country - and they hung within 14 points of the Hoosiers. Including the cover vs. Indiana and the near upset here last season, the Bison are a highly profitable 16-5 ATS their last 21 lined non-conference games. While the Gophers are 0-3 ATS as home favorites in the 12.5 to 15 range the past few seasons, the Biston are 1-0 ATS as road underdogs in that range. The Gophers have only lost to a Summit League team once and that was way back in 1936. That happened to be against North Dakota State. I won't go as far as calling for another upset here - although it wouldn't shock me - but I do expect the Bison to step up and give the Gophers another real scare. *10 Best Bet
|12-10-12||Golden State Warriors v. Charlotte Bobcats +5||Top||104-96||Loss||-110||5 h 32 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHARLOTTE. I successfully played against the Warriors in their last game, at Washington on Saturday. They won but had their hands full the entire way, failing to cover. While I respect the Warriors, I feel that they're again a little-overvalued here. I like how this one sets up for the home team. The Bobcats got embarrassed in their last game and are on a losing skid. The Warriors are in the midst of a road trip, thousands of miles from home. They've already had plenty of success on the trip and could be patting themselves on the back a little, while potentially overlooking the lowly Bobcats. Speaking of patting themselves on the back, the Warriors haven't typically fared too well when they've been on a 3-game winning streak. In fact, they're just 1-8 SU and 3-6 ATS their last nine in that situation, most recently getting upset by Orlando one week ago. The Warriors also have a game at Miami on deck, another reason to potentially look past Charlotte. The Bobcats were 3.5 point underdogs when they hosted the Warriors last year and they won outright by 12 points. Hungry to get back on track and knowing that they're going to be facing these same Warriors at Oakland in a couple of weeks, I expect the Bobcats to go all out to defend their homecourt, earning at least a cover in the process. *10 Best Bet
|12-08-12||Minnesota v. USC +8||Top||71-57||Loss||-110||14 h 12 m||Show|
I'm playing on USC. With a top 20 ranking, the Gophers are obviously a pretty good team. That said, they're a long way from home. I expect them to have their hands full tonight and feel that the the number being offered on the home team is generous.
True, the Trojans are off to a tough start. However, in fairness, they've had a very tough opening schedule. They began the season with a blowout win over Coppin State, as expected. Next, they beat Long Beach State by 18, laying 9.5 points.
From that point onwards, their next six games have come against Illinois, Texas, Marquette (those 3 games coming in 3 days) followed by San Diego State, Nebraska and New Mexico. Of those, only the game vs. San Diego State was played here at USC. They lost that one by six.
So, while the overall record may not look too impressive - there's good reason. This team is still 2-1 on its home floor and the lone loss would have resulted in a cover against today's larger number.
Admittedly, the Gophers have also played some tough teams. However, they've also sprinkled in a lot more cupcakes than the Trojans have. (They've been favored by double-digits in four games and another didn't have a line.) They did win at Florida State. However, this will be just their second true road game of the season. LA is a long way from Minnesota (or Tallahassee) and offers plenty of distractions.
These teams met at Minnesota last season. The Trojans had real trouble scoring, losing 55-40. They're off a game which saw them shoot a season-high 52.9% though and I expect them score considerably more on their home floor. In fact, while I'm happy to grab the points, I won't be surprised if they step up and score the outright win. *10 Best Bet
|12-08-12||New Orleans Hornets v. Miami Heat -13.5||Top||90-106||Win||100||9 h 43 m||Show|
I'm playing on MIAMI. The Hornets are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Off back to back losses the Heat should be in a foul mood. They should be looking to take out their frustrations on someone. The Heat, who had last night off, catch the Hornets off a hard fought game vs. Memphis last night. New Orleans, still without Davis and Gordon, will now be play its third game in the last four nights. The Heat beat the Hornets by 14 last year. Given the setup, I expect this one to be even more lopsided. *10 Personal Favorite
|12-08-12||Cleveland State v. North Carolina State -16.5||Top||63-80||Win||100||7 h 12 m||Show|
I'm playing on NC STATE. I believe that there is a major gap in talent between these teams. Yet, recent results are keeping the number quite reasonable.
The Wolfpack haven't gotten off to quite the dominant start that they were probably hoping for. However, his is a team which is talented enough that it is expected to contend for the ACC title.
I expect NC State to be in a foul mood. After going 3-0 ATS/SU to start the season, the Wolfpack lost vs Oklahoma State on 11/18. Still stunned from that loss and the return trip home, they slept-walked through a win vs. UNC-Asheville. Next, was a loss at Michigan. Last time out, they blew the cover at the buzzer, beating UConn by only four. I believe that they'll be looking to take out their frustrations in the form of a blowout win and that inexperienced Cleveland State represents the perfect opponent.
The Vikings had a good year last season. If you look at their early season record, you'd think that they're going to be just as good as last year. That memory or last year along with this season's record is helping in keeping the line However, that record is deceiving, as they've played a number of weak teams. The only good team that they played was Michigan - and the Vikings lost by 30 as a 16 point underdog. The only other decent team that they played was Robert Morris and the Vikings lost that one by 11. Wins have come against the likes of Grambling and Alabama Huntsville; they won the latter by only two points.
Last year, the Vikings returned nearly every starter. As coach Gary Waters noted before the season, "All that is gone." Tim Kamcyzc was the only returning starter, a junior.
Anton Grady was one of the few players who got some experience for Cleveland State last season. He's currently second on the team in scoring with 13.7 points per game. His 5.5 rebounds per game also ranks second and he's #1 in both blocks and steals. Unfortunately for Cleveland State, Grady is out. Needless to say, he'll be missed by a team already short on experience.
NC State has already thrived as a favorite in this range so far this season. The Wolfpack won by 17 when they were favored by 13 as a neutral court favorite vs. Penn State. when favored by 19 vs. Miami Ohio, they won by 38. I expect another blowout. *10
|12-07-12||Orlando Magic v. Sacramento Kings -3||Top||82-91||Win||100||7 h 22 m||Show|
I'm playing on SACRAMENTO. This line has fallen a bit from its opener. Its small enough that a SU has a strong shot of also resulting in an ATS victory. I feel that's providing us with excellent value on the home team.
The Magic may have a decent ATS record on the road - but they're typically getting more points than this. They're still averaging less than 90 points in games away from Orlando, going 3-6. Last time out, they managed only 81 points, eking out a cover in an 87-81 loss.
Including that cover at Utah, the Magic are off three straight ATS victories, including upset wins at LA and Golden State. They've been on the road for all of December though and I feel that it will start to catch up with them here. Note that the only previous time that the Magic had covered the spread in three straight games, they were defeated by 15 points at Minnesota in the next game.
The Kings got back on track with a win last time out, Demarcus Cousins finished with 25 points and 13 rebounds, Tyreke Evans returned to score 23, including a couple of key 3-pointers late in the game. They've got some positive momentum and I look for them to keep it rolling tonight. *9 annihilator
|12-07-12||Los Angeles Lakers v. Oklahoma City Thunder -7.5||Top||108-114||Loss||-105||7 h 13 m||Show|
I'm playing on OKLAHOMA CITY. The Thunder enter tonight's game on a major roll, having gone an impressive 9-1 SU/ATS their 10 games, including a perfect 5-0 SU/ATS their last five.
Obviously, the Thunder aren't going to keep covering forever. Teams can't "bring it" the same way every single night and pointspreads eventually do catch up with extended ATS winning streaks. However, I don't expect any letdown for an ESPN game vs. Kobe Bryant and the fact that tonight's opponent is the "mighty" Lakers has kept this line fairly reasonable. Unfortunately for LA fans, their team is currently a shell of its former self.
Sure, the Lakers won big last time out. That was against the Hornets though, a team that doesn't have the type of talent that they'll be up against tonight. Keep in mind that this team banged-up team is still 3-5 SU/ATS its last eight.
The Thunder are 8-3 ATS (9-2 SU) here, outscoring opponents by an average margin of more than a dozen points per game. The Lakers are 2-5 SU/ATS on the road.
Note that the Thunder, who are playing only their their third game in December, are also 18-7 SU the last 25 times that they played with two day's rest in between games, 2-0 SU/ATS this season. The last time that they played with two day's rest was only three days ago, a 6-point win over Brooklyn The only previous time that they played with two day's rest in between games, they beat the Clippers by 16 points. Interestingly, both OKC scores were identical, the Thunder tallying 117 in each of those games.
This hasn't been a good role for the Lakers in recent seasons, when they're actually outmatched on the road. In fact, they're 1-5 ATS and 0-6 SU the last six times that they were listed as road underdogs in the 6.5 to 9 range.
I expect the well-rested Thunder, who beat the Lakers by 16 the last time that the teams met on this floor, to keep rolling for another night. *10 Main Event
|12-07-12||Charlotte Bobcats v. Milwaukee Bucks -7||Top||93-108||Win||100||6 h 46 m||Show|
I'm playing on MILWAUKEE. I've won with the Bobcats a few times this season, most recently when they covered against the Knicks a couple of nights ago. However, that was at home - and they were catching the Knicks looking ahead to last night's game at Miami. Tonight, the Bobcats are on the road and I expect them to have the full attention of their opponent.
The Bucks came to Charlotte on 11/19 and they were on quite a roll. I played on the Bobcats in that game and they rewarded me with an upset win. Off three straight victories and with a string of bigger games on deck, I felt the Bucks could overlook the Bobcats.
They've since played that tougher stretch of games, including Miami, Chicago (twice) New York, Boston and most recently at San Antonio. With a 2-7 record since the trip to Charlotte, needless to say, the Bucks are no longer "rolling."
Returning home and stepping down in class - while also getting a chance for some payback against the team that started the skid - I expect the Bucks to be all business here.
The Bucks have dominated the Bobcats here, going 13-1 all-time. Behind a highly motivated team effort, I look for them to get back on track with a convincing win. *10 Personal Favorite.
|12-06-12||Dallas Mavericks v. Phoenix Suns -3.5||Top||97-94||Loss||-105||7 h 14 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHOENIX. Its "Customer Satisfaction Night" at the US Airways center tonight. That's a promotion where the Suns are offering fans their money back, if they're not completely satisfied with tonight's game, regardless of whether they win or lose.
I'm not sure of the fine print, or how many fans will try and request a refund. However, I do like how this one sets up for the Suns.
Off a disappointing road trip, the Suns are surely very happy to get back home. They're 2-9 on the road but 5-3 here at home.
While the Suns have admittedly had some trouble covering larger spreads at home, with a low line set for tonight's game, it should be noted that four of their five victories here have come by at least three points.
Meanwhile, with last night's blowout loss at LA, the Mavs are now just 2-7 on the road. Note that they're also just 1-3 SU/ATS when playing the second of back to back games.
For the season, the Mavs are getting outscored by an average of 102.2 to 92.9 when playing away from Dallas.
With the venue and schedule in their favor, I expect the motivated Suns to "satisfy" their fans, en route to a win and cover. *10 Personal Favorite
|12-06-12||New York Knicks v. Miami Heat -7.5||Top||112-92||Loss||-108||5 h 13 m||Show|
I'm playing on MIAMI. When properly motivated, in my opinion, the Heat are still the best team in the league. The first part of that sentence is key, the "when properly motivated" part.
Facing a team which blew them out earlier, I don't expect motivation to be a problem this evening.
Sure, the Knicks beat up on the Heat earlier. That was at New York though. The Heat are a perfect 8-0 at home this season and they've beaten the Knicks five straight times here.
It should be noted that Carmelo Anthony hurt his finger late in last night's game. If he is even available tonight, he may be at less than 100%. Remember, Stoudemire is already out.
If Anthony can't go, of if he's limited, that means JR Smith would be expected to pick up a lot of the slack. He's hit less than 34% of his shots in eight games against the Heat since the start of last season though. So, that may not be a very reliable option.
On the other hand, James is averaging better than 30 points his last 18 regular season games against NY while Wade is averaging better than 30 his last 13 in the series.
While the Heat are still 13-8-1 ATS (20-2 SU!) in December the past few seasons, the Knicks are just 1-3 SU/ATS when playing the second of b2b games, most recently losing by 10 at Brookyln the last time that they were in that situation.
Add it all up and I'm expecting the revenge-minded champs to deliver a blowout. *9 roast
|12-06-12||Long Beach State +21.5 v. Syracuse||Top||53-84||Loss||-110||5 h 56 m||Show|
I'm playing on LONG BEACH STATE. After dominating their conference the last couple of seasons, this year's Long Beach State team lost four starters, players which had helped build their program into what it is today. Obviously, that's a blow. However, the cupboard is far from bare for this well-coached team.
Prior to the season, coach Monson had this to say of losing those four starters. "It's not like those four guys went to the NBA after one year or just all of a sudden up and graduated. We
|12-05-12||Gonzaga v. Washington State +11.5||Top||71-69||Win||100||8 h 55 m||Show|
I'm playing on WASHINGTON STATE. I respect the Bulldogs, who are off an impressive 8-0 start. However, I feel that they're laying too many points here.
While they're not too far from home, this is the Bulldogs' first "true" road game of the season. They'll face a Cougars team which is a perfect 5-0 on its home floor.
In fact, dating back to a 81-59 blowout of Gonzaga almost exactly two years ago, the Cougars have won 17 straight games on this floor, against non-conference opponents.
The Bulldogs did avenge that loss at Gonzaga last season. However, even that victory came by only eight points.
Even coach Few acknowledged: "This is going to be a difficult week. Washington State is always difficult for us ... "
Having a showdown vs. ranked Illinois could also potentially have the Bulldogs looking ahead.
That'll prove costly as the Cougars are hungry and have a genuine star in senior Brock Motum, who averages nearly 20 points (17.9) and seven boards per game.
Including the victory over Gonzaga here two years ago, the Cougars are 22-10 ATS in home lined games the past 2+ seasons. During that time, the Bulldogs are 8-12-2 ATS on the road, including a 1-3 ATS mark as road favorites in the 9.5 to 12 range.
I successfully played against the Bulldogs in their first "neutral" court site game this season, when they failed to cover vs. Clemson. I expect them to have their hands full once again. *10 Best Bet
|12-05-12||Dallas Mavericks v. Los Angeles Clippers -8.5||Top||90-112||Win||100||8 h 42 m||Show|
I'm playing on LA. I like how this one sets up. The Clippers haven't been covering the spread too often lately, while the Mavs have gotten the money a few times. That's helped to keep the line in the single-digit range, which I feel is providing excellent value.
A closer look shows that the Clippers have actually won three straight and that their last home game resulted in a 35-point victory. Last time out, they rallied from a 14-point deficit, for a 1-point win at Utah. So, despite the recent struggles at the betting window, this talented team has shown some real signs of "coming around" recently.
Keep in mind that the Mavs are 2-6 SU and 3-5 ATS on the road while the Clippers are 7-3 and 6-4 SU at home. The Clippers are outscoring teams by an average of 9.5 ppg on this floor while the Mavs are being outscored by an average margin of 7.8 ppg on the road.
Sure, Kaman will want to have a big game in his first appearance against his former team. However, the Clippers should be equally motivated by the sight of some of their former teammates.
The Clippers took two of three from the Mavs in 2012, crushing them by 19 at Dallas in the last meeting. I expect another convincing win and cover here. *9 Personal Favorite
|12-05-12||New York Knicks v. Charlotte Bobcats +8||Top||100-98||Win||100||4 h 16 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHARLOTTE. After a stretch which saw them win six of eight, the Bobcats have now dropped four straight. That should provide them with a sense of urgency to get back on track here. Its also helped to provide us with some added line value, as we're getting a solid handful of points to work with here.
A closer look at the recent skid reveals that the last three losses have all been by six or fewer points. The Bobcats have still won five of 10 home games this season, the average score of games here being 98.1 to 99.1.
The Knicks have been very good at home but they're 5-4 road record isn't all that special. With a game at Miami on deck tomorrow night, followed by a game at Chicago on the weekend, I feel they could easily get caught looking past the Bobcats here. Grab the points. *9 Best Bet
|12-02-12||Boise State v. Seattle +9||Top||87-64||Loss||-110||7 h 33 m||Show|
I'm playing on SEATTLE. I won with the Redhawks in their first game, a blowout win against Montana State. I've included an excerpt from the analysis of that play here:
Some might see the teams involved here and wonder why Seattle is laying nearly double-digits. However, I feel that the line could be even higher and am expecting a double-digit win. Tonight's game is a big deal for Seattle. The Redhawks begin their first season of play in the Western Athletic Conference and they're eligible to play in the NCAA tournament for the first time since returning to Division I, five years ago. Junior guard Sterling Carter had this to say: "Knowing we can play in the tournament is big," said junior guard That's something big that we want to accomplish this year and we are not going to take our time to get there. I feel like our goal is to win the WAC this year and make a statement." Coach Cameron Dollar, now in his fourth year here, is also extremely optimistic. He was quoted saying: "I think we've got all the components to where, in March, we will be able to do some things and make some noise, for sure." Four players who started at least nine games last season return for Seattle and the Redhawks are deeper than they've been in the past. Typically a fast paced team, I expect the determined Redhawks to run their outmatched opponent right out of the building tonight.
Seattle won that game by 15 points. They also won their only other home game here by nine points. Last time out, playing at Stanford, they stayed within 11, covering as 19.5 point underdogs. Back at home, I feel that the Redhawks are going to come in believing that they can win outright and that they're again providing very fair value.
The Broncos have admittedly been playing well. However, after having recently faced the likes of Michigan State and coming off a big upset win at Creighton, arguably one of the biggest wins in school history, I feel that they're ripe for a letdown, as well as a little over-valued.
Note that Boise is already 0-2 ATS, after scoring 80 or more points in its previous game, falling to 5-10 ATS its last 15 in that situation. Keep in mind that Boise was 1-11 on the road last season. Given the situation, I won't be surprised by the outright upset. *9 Best Bet
|12-01-12||Colorado v. Wyoming -3||Top||69-76||Win||100||11 h 55 m||Show|
I'm playing on WYOMING. The Buffaloes come in with the higher ranking. However, I believe that the Cowboys are favored for good reason.
The Cowboys, 7-0 on the season, have beaten the Buffaloes five consecutive times. They also own an 18-game "non-conference" home win streak. In fact, the last time that they lost a home game vs. a non-conf. opponent was way back in 2010.
As Colorado coach Tad Boyle acknowledged: Laramie, Wyoming is not an easy place to play. It will be like other teams that come here and play at 7,000 feet. They are going to have the advantage and the altitude, we are going to have to overcome that."
The Buffaloes may be undefeated. However, they needed double-OT to beat Texas Southern last time out, a team which was 1-5 at the time.
The Cowboys are 19-8-2 ATS (24-5 SU) the last 29 times that they were listed as favorites, going 20-9-2 ATS in home lined games the past few seasons. During that stretch, the Buffaloes were only 8-14 ATS (6-16 SU) in road lined games. I expect homecourt to prove the difference. *10 Personal Favorite
|12-01-12||Brooklyn Nets v. Miami Heat -8||Top||89-102||Win||100||9 h 57 m||Show|
I'm playing on MIAMI. Lulled to sleep a little by the fact that the Spurs weren't playing their stars, the Heat coasted a bit in Thursday's win. I expect them to be fully focused here though. With the schedule and venue in their favor, I'm also expecting a blowout win.
Brooklyn comes in on a nice roll. However, this is an extremely difficult scheduling spot. Not only did the Nets, who are 10-34 SU the last 44 times they played the second of b2b games, play yesterday (win at Orlando) but they're also playing their eighth game in the past 12 days, the first few of those games occurring on the West Coast. That's quite a draining schedule.
On the other hand, the Heat are well-rested, as they had a long layoff before Thursday's game. While the Heat have eked out a few victories, they're still 7-0 at home. That includes a 30 point victory over the Nets here a few weeks back. I'm expecting another rout. *9 Personal Favorite
|11-30-12||Syracuse v. Arkansas +7||Top||91-82||Loss||-110||10 h 12 m||Show|
I'm playing on ARKANSAS. As usual, Syracuse has a talented team. That said, I feel that that Orange, who lost some key faces from last year, are going to have their hands full here.
Note that this is the first "true" road game (They did play on on an aircraft carrier in San Diego) that the Orange will have played and that they're up against an Arkansas team which is already 3-0 at home and which thrives on pressure defense. In its three games here, the Hogs forced an average of 23 turnovers.
Syracuse's Brandon Triche said this of the Razorbacks: "They're very tough playing at home. They're a transition team and they're going to press us the whole game ... "
Note that Syracuse is just 4-9 ATS its last 13 against teams from the SEC.
I believe that this Arkansas team is destined to be pretty solid this season. This is a huge game for them and I expect them to give their hosts all that they can handle, the entire way. *10 Best Bet
|11-30-12||LOUISIANA TECH v. GEORGIA ST -2||Top||86-68||Loss||-110||9 h 50 m||Show|
I'm playing on GEORGIA STATE. The Panthers have some new faces this year. However, they're also talented, hungry and well-coached. Ron Hunter came in last year and immediately transformed this team, using a suffocating zone defense to finish top five in the country in field goal defense en route to a 22-win season. Hunter lost some players from that team but he's still got plenty to work with. Having failed to cover a few in a row, we're getting a very low number to work with.
The Panthers aren't eligible to play in their league tournament, as there's a rule preventing them from doing so. However, they're still determined to have another strong season.
Hunter said this of not being allowed to play in the tournament: Hunter said this of not being allowed to play in the tournament: "I won
|11-29-12||Denver Nuggets v. Golden State Warriors +1.5||Top||105-106||Win||100||13 h 44 m||Show|
I'm playing on GOLDEN STATE. Having already lost both previous games in the season series, the revenge-minded Warriors should be highly motivated to get some revenge here. I feel that its a good spot for them.
The Nuggets saw their winning streak come to an end on Monday. They blew a 16-point lead en route to a 105-103 defeat. Those type of losses can have a lingering effect and be difficult to immediately bounce back from.
On the other hand, the Warriors are off a momentum-building 96-85 win, their their third victory in four games. Since the Nuggets beat them here on 11/10, in double-OT, the Warriors are now 5-2 their last seven. Both losses came on the road.
While this game means a great deal to the well-rested Warriors, who have tomorrow night off, the Nuggets could potentially get caught looking ahead to tomorrow night's game at LA, vs. the Lakers.
Even with the double-OT loss to the Nuggets, the Warriors are still 4-2 SU/ATS here on the season. Its payback time. *9 best bet
|11-29-12||San Antonio Spurs v. Miami Heat -5.5||Top||100-105||Loss||-111||16 h 55 m||Show|
I'm playing on MIAMI. The Spurs have been on a great run. However, they're stepping up in class to take on the champs tonight and they're in an extremely difficult scheduling spot.
The Spurs check in off a game at Orlando last night. They normally fare pretty well when playing the second of back to back games though and Orlando and Miami aren't too far apart. So, that's not the issue. Its worse than that though. Not only will the Spurs be playing the second of back to back games, they'll also be playing their fourth game in the past five days.
Making matters even worse, the first leg of that "4 games in 5 days" stretch was a double-OT game up in Canada, a game where three starters played well over 40 minutes. Throw in the fact that this is the final game of a 6-game road trip and the Spurs really may finally start to suffer from a bit of fatigue.
On the other hand, the Heat come in very well-rested. They last played back on 11/24. Note that they're 10-6 ATS (12-4 SU) the past 2+ seasons, when playing with three day's rest. They've won four straight overall, three of them by seven or more points.
Laying a touchdown, the Heat hammered the Spurs 120-98 here last season. The 2011 game here was even more lopsided, a 110-80 beatdown in favor of Miami. Playing in front of the national audience (those who aren't watching football) I believe the Heat will be motivated to bring the mighty Spurs back down to earth and that the schedule calls for another blowout. *10 Personal Favorite
|11-29-12||Manhattan -7 v. Fordham||Top||65-58||Push||0||9 h 19 m||Show|
I'm playing on MANHATTAN. I played on the Jaspers in their last win a win and cover vs. Hofstra on 11/21. I expect them to get another big win tonight. I've pasted an excerpt of the analysis of that 11/21 victory below, as I feel it give a good indication of what this team is all about.
The Jaspers had a great season under Steve Masiello, a Rick Pitino prodigy. All Manhattan did in Masiello's first season was improve by 15 games, instantly becoming a championship contender in its conference. The Jaspers did get upset (in OT) by Siena in the MAAC tourney, which wasn't the way they wanted to end their otherwise excellent season. That prompted Masiello to comment: "I'm very happy with the year, but disappointed with the finish. But, we got Manhattan back to again being relevant." The Jaspers return most of the pieces from last year including "floor general" Michael Alvardo, who averaged better than three assists per game last season, while chipping in 8.5 points. They may be without senior Beamon here, which is a blow. However, this is a team loaded with depth, I believe with more than enough to handle in experienced Hofstra, a team they beat by nine (on the road) last season. Hofstra coach Cassara said this entering the season: "We've got nine new guys who have never worn the uniform before. That certainly lends itself to taking some time to mesh, and my hope is that we can continue to get better and by the middle of January, middle of February, beginning of March, those nine new pieces have gelled together. And hopefully you
|11-28-12||Dallas Mavericks v. Chicago Bulls -6||Top||78-101||Win||100||10 h 21 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHICAGO. I lost by going against the Mavericks yesterday, part of an overall lousy Tuesday. That stunk, as I hate losing at least as much as anyone. However, whether or not I win or lose with a team, I don't let it cloud my judgement on how I view that team's next game. In this case, while they beat my yesterday, I'm fully ready to go against the Mavs again.
To their credit, the Mavs fought hard all the way last night. They still lost though, eking out a cover by less than a bucket. That hard-fought loss figures to drain their energy a bit here. (The Mavs are 1-2 SU/ATS this season when playing the second of b2b games, going 2-5 SU/ATS their last seven in that situation, since last season.)
Even if the Mavs are able to immediately shake off last night's loss and be fully ready to go here, I expect them to have their hands more than full with what figures to be a very angry "herd" of Bulls.
In what has been a frustrating start to the season, Chicago hit rock-bottom last time out. Out 27 points with the third quarter winding down, the Bulls managed to get outscored 42-14 over the final 15 minutes, en route to a devastating 93-92 loss.
Unlike the Mavs, the Bulls have had a day off to "recover." Also, while the Mavs can take solace in the fact that they fought hard - nobody's questioning their effort last night - the Bulls are furious about what happened to them. This season's early struggles and Rose's absence notwithstanding, I still view this as a talented and well-coached team. I expect them to come out "on a mission."
Having blown the big lead last time out, I expect the Bulls to be fully focused on keeping the pedal to the metal the entire 48 minutes. Note that Chicago is an outstanding 24-10 ATS (27-7 SU) the last 34 times that it was off an "uspet" (SU loss as a favorite) loss.
The Bulls have beaten the Mavs three straight times, limiting them to 81 points in those games, while out-rebounding them by a commanding 52-39 average per game. The Bulls covered the spread in all three of those games, with both games here at Chicago resulting in double-digit wins. Going back further finds the Bulls at 7-1 ATS the last eight meetings in the series. I expect them to improve on those stats tonight. *10 Personal Favorite
|11-28-12||Michigan State v. Miami (Fla) -1||Top||59-67||Win||100||10 h 52 m||Show|
I'm playing on MIAMI. Many are going to see Miami as a slight favorite against might Michigan State and do a bit of a double-take. I believe the Hurricanes deserve to be favored though and that they'll view this as a "statement game," their opportunity to be recognized as a talented program.
The Hurricanes, who returned four starters from last year, are undefeated at home this season. The Spartans are playing their first "true" road game.
The Canes quietly have high hopes for this season and they come in playing with confidence. Last time out, laying 6.5 points against Detroit, they won by 15, a score of 77-62.
Remember, this team won at both Duke and at Florida State last year. They only lost one starter from last year's team (Malcolm Grant) and he had a bad year last year anyway. While Grant played a role early in the season, he struggled down the stretch and really should not be missed much.
The Canes have a coach who has enjoyed postseason success and a team loaded with seniors. This is a big game for them.
The game against Detroit marked the return of senior guard Durand Scott, who had been serving a 6-game suspension, dating back to last season. Scott would score 15 points, making a successful return. He's an important player for this team. Shane Larkin also scored 15. Scott and Larkin are an excellent combo, both strong defenders.
The Spartans are off to a 5-1 start. However, turnovers have plagued them. In fact, they've turned the ball over 20 times in their last two games alone and they did so 67 times in a 4-game stretch, none of those against top tier competition.
Even coach Izzo noted: "I think our guys are going to be great citizens when they get done with basketball, because the Christmas season is lasting all year. They're giving gifts away."
Two of Michigan State's last three games have seen the Spartans win by four or less, games that they were favored by 22.5 and 15.5 points.
Izzo would go on to say: I don't like the way our team is at all. I'm just trying to figure how much of it is due to our preparation or lack thereof with the guys who are injured. But that doesn't have anything to do with some of my key guys turning it over four or five times.''
Of course, Izzo's teams tend to be great come March. However, they're not necessarily always that strong early on in the season.
The Canes are healthier and I also expect them to be "hungrier." Some will view it as an upset but not me. *9
|11-27-12||North Carolina State +6 v. Michigan||Top||72-79||Loss||-110||10 h 54 m||Show|
I'm playing on NC STATE. The Wolverines are off to their best start in recent years and are worthy of a high ranking. Tim Hardaway Jr. won the MVP award as Michigan comes in off a win over K-State in the final of the NIT Tip Off. Impressive start and Hardaway, who got kneed in the head in that win over the Wildcats, is certainly a dangerous player. However, I'm not convinced that the Wolverines any better than the opponent which they'll face tonight.
I feel that the Wolverines are a little over-valued based on their early season success and that the opposite is true of the Wolfpack, a very talented team in their own right, one which returned four starters from last year. Having yet to taste the type of success that Michigan has achieved, I also feel that the Wolfpack are going to be a hungry and determined group here.
The Wolfpack lost in the championship game against Oklahoma State of their tournament in Peurto Rico. Off that big game and trip home and with this big game on deck, the Wolfpack were flat in their last game. In fact, they were nearly upset by lowly UNC Asheville. They did enough to win though, eking out an 82-80 victory. I expect that to serve as a "wake up call" and that we'll get their very best effort here.
Coach Gottfried typically had his team ready to play last season, off a poor defensive effort like it displayed last time out. In fact, NC State is 7-3 ATS its last 10 lined, after allowing 80 or more points in its previous game.
Gottfried had this to say: "We've got to be better. We've got to be better defensively. We've got to develop better chemistry amongst our team. We've got to develop a team spirit that is all about winning - period. Nothing else ... "
It should also be noted that the Wolfpack are 9-5 ATS in lined games the past couple of seasons, after scoring 80 or more in their previous game.
These teams have met twice in recent seasons. The Wolfpack won the most recent meeting by seven points, a 74-67 victory on this exact day (11/27) in 2006. The most recent meeting here at Ann Arbor came back in 2003 and was decided by six points. Another close game won't be surprise and I'm grabbing the generous points. *10 Best Bet
|11-27-12||Dallas Mavericks v. Philadelphia 76ers -3.5||Top||98-100||Loss||-102||9 h 23 m||Show|
I'm playing on PHILADELPHIA. This line is quite low. That means that a SU victory has a good chance in also resulting in a cover. I expect the 76ers to get it done.
The Mavericks are a mess. They did rise to the occasion to eke out a win against the Knicks on 11/21. However, they followed it up with a 26-point loss vs. the Lakers three nights later. (They're playing with two day's rest again here.)
The Mavs, who lost by 19 when coming off a game against the Lakers earlier, are now 2-8 ATS their last 10. For the season, they're 2-4 ATS away from Dallas, including 1-4 their last five. On the other hand, the 76ers have won four of five here at Philadelphia.
While they narrowly missed covering, the 76ers got back on track with a win in their last game. Jrue Holiday had a breakout game, serving up 33 points while also dishing out 13 assists. That snapped a 2-game skid and I look for the 76'ers to build some positive momentum from the victory.
Thaddeus Young commented: "We take a lot of pride in how we play and we didn't want to lose three straight. I think Jrue set the tone from the beginning with his aggressive play. He put us on his shoulders."
The entire city of Philadelphia is really down on the Eagles right now, more than ever after another loss last night. I look for the 76ers to step up and "restore some pride" to the city, with a solid win and cover. *9 Personal Favorite
|11-26-12||Oakland v. Tennessee -12||Top||50-77||Win||100||9 h 42 m||Show|
I'm playing on TENNESSEE. Its payback time. These teams met at Rochester, last November, home of the Golden Grizzlies. Behind 35 points from Reggie Hamilton, the nation's leading scorer, Oakland won 89-81. The previous season, the Golden Grizzlies beat the then-seventh-ranked Volunteers 89-82 in Knoxville. That was Oakland's first ever win over a Top 10 team. With last year's result, Tennessee joined Oregon as the only major-conference programs to lose twice to Oakland since its move to Division I in 1999. Obviously, the Vols don't want to make it three in a row!
The Golden Grizzlies don't have Hamilton this year though and they don't have superstar Keith Benson from the previous season. While the team does still have some returning talent, they don't have that type of "star power" yet. Without a huge effort like we saw from Hamilton last year, I feel they're going to be in trouble.
While they're without Jeronne Maymon at the moment, he's only one of four returning starters from last year's team - one which hasn't forgotten losing to Oakland. This is a talented team, one which should enjoy advantages all over the floor. I feel that they'll be motivated to deliver a blowout and I look for them to get it. *10 Personal Favorite
|11-23-12||Creighton v. Wisconsin||Top||84-74||Loss||-110||12 h 3 m||Show|
I'm playing on WISCONSIN. Creighton comes in as the higher seed but I look for Wisconsin to come away with the win.
The Bluejays are a perfect 4-0. Every one of their victories has been easy. There's no question that they are a very solid team.
While their victories have impressive, I will point out that those blowout wins don't always have a team ready for a big step up in class. Note that two of their games didn't have pointspreads and they were favored by double-digits in each of the other two. So, the lopsided wins were expected. Even though this is an experienced team, its still been a long time since it faced the likes of the opponent it will see here.
Lets not forget that the well-coached Badgers led the nation in scoring defense last season, permitting only 53.2 ppg. It was the second time in five years they won that title, as this team is "stingy" on an annual basis. Indeed, the Badgers are masters of controlling a game's tempo.
The Badgers have played some fairly weak competition too. However, they've also had to play at Florida, against a tough Gator team. While they lost that one, the experience of having played against top tier competition should serve them well here. Note that they too were ranked, prior to the loss at Florida.
Since the loss to the Gators, the Badgers have responded by outscoring Cornell and Presbyterian by a whopping 161-83 margin. They may not have a true star but this team is loaded with veterans.
The "blue-collar" Badgers are 35-12 SU (29-12 ATS in lined games!) after allowing 60 or less in their previous game. Even with the loss to the Gators, they're also a lucrative 19-7 ATS their last 26 non-conf. lined games. It likely won't be easy but I look for them to get it done again tonight. *10 Main Event
|11-23-12||San Antonio Spurs v. Indiana Pacers +4.5||Top||104-97||Loss||-110||10 h 14 m||Show|
I'm playing on INDIANA. These teams met at San Antonio a few weeks ago. The Spurs were undefeated at the time while Indiana would end up going just 3-6 its first nine. Back on their home floor, I expect a much better effort from the Pacers in tonight's rematch.
The Spurs continue to play well. However, they're at least no longer undefeated, so other teams have at least proven that they can be beaten. They're off a solid win at Boston but are still just 2-2 SU/ATS their last four.
The Pacers have finally adjusted to life without Danny Granger. They're 2-0 SU/ATS their last two games (3-1 SU/ATS L4) and got a breakout performance from Paul George last time out, a player who's been asked to score in Granger's absence. George would finish with 37 points, including 33 in the second half. I expect the Pacers to carry the momentum from his hot shooting into this evening's game.
Pacers coach Frank Vogel noted: "We were waiting on a breakout game from him. With a player you're trying to develop, the biggest battle is confidence, and when you have a game like this, it shows what you can do.''
Meanwhile, Roy Hibbert is coming off his first career triple-double. The 7-foot-2 center will be hungry for a big game, after Duncan got the better of him at San Antonio.
The Pacers have won four of five games here this season and are 55-32 SU here the past 2+ seasons, slightly better than San Antonio's (56-34) road record, during the same period.
While the Spurs are a surprisingly poor 3-10-2 ATS (5-10 SU!) the last 15 times that they played a road game with an O/U line in the 185 to 189.5 range, the Pacers are 7-5 ATS the last couple of seasons as home underdogs in the 3.5 to 6 range. I expect a highly motivated effort and at least another cover. *10 Best Bet
|11-22-12||Clemson +12.5 v. Gonzaga||Top||49-57||Win||100||11 h 19 m||Show|
I'm playing on CLEMSON. Gonzaga is one of the best-coached teams and most well run programs in basketball. The Bulldogs keep pumping out good teams, year after year. Not surprisingly, they're good again this year, too. Good teams can still be over-valued though and one can't be gun-shy to go against them. Just as I felt Indiana was laying too big a number vs. Georgia, given the situation, I feel Gonzaga, which lost its big center from last center from last year, is laying a few too many here. I look for the Bulldogs to receive a tougher test than most will be expecting.
True, the Tigers are a bit inexperienced and they're not likely to challenge the Duke, UNC's or NC States of their conference. However, they've got some talent and they're still an ACC team, one which enters tonight's game playing with confidence.
Off back to back double-digit wins, the Tigers are looking forward to the challenge here. They're a solid 9-6-2 ATS as underdogs the past few seasons, 2-0 ATS when playing a neutral court game with an O/U line in the low-mid 130s, as this one is.
The Tigers may not have any guys that are going to get them huge numbers on any given night. However, senior big man Devin Booker is good for double-digits and they've got a lot of players that can step up. While the competition level obviously wasn't what the Tigers will see here, eight Clemson players are averaging better than five points a game and the team is playing excellent defense.
The Bulldogs are just 2-4-1 ATS the last seven times that they were listed as neutral court favorites in the 9.5 to 12 range. While they'd never admit it, playing a "close" game would probably be good for them. They're listed as the home team here and they have won this tournament - but lets still remember that they're a long way from home. Don't be surprised if Gonzaga gets a scare. *9 Feast
|11-21-12||Brooklyn Nets v. Golden State Warriors -2||Top||93-102||Win||100||12 h 37 m||Show|
I'm playing on GOLDEN STATE. Situation favors the home team here. The Nets are off a hard-fought loss at LA last night. While they did cover, that loss snapped a 5-game winning streak.
While most teams have already been involved in at least one back-to-back spot, the Nets are in that situation for the first time this season. Thousands of miles away from home, off a battle against the "big name Lakers," a letdown wouldn't be surprising here. Note that the Nets are 6-14 SU and 7-12-1 ATS the last 20 times that they played the second of back to back games last season.
It should also be noted that the Nets were 1-4 SU/ATS as road underdogs of three or fewer points, the past couple of seasons, going just 20-57 on the road overall. The Warriors were above .500 at home during that stretch.
The Warriors won outright at Dallas last time out and they beat Atlanta in their last game on this floor. Including the win over the Hawks, they're 2-0 SU/ATS against teams from the East so far this season. With the schedule n their favor, I look for them to improve on those stats tonight. *9
|11-21-12||Philadelphia 76ers v. Cleveland Cavaliers +4||Top||83-92||Win||100||10 h 36 m||Show|
I'm playing on CLEVELAND. The Cavaliers have been struggling of late but I feel that this will be a good spot for them to break out with a win.
These teams just faced each other a few nights ago, at Philadelphia. The 76'ers took that 11/18 meeting by a score of 86-79, eking out the cover by a single point.
We're getting practically as many points with the Cavs tonight as we were for the game at Philly, due in part to the absence of Cleveland's Kyrie Irving. While Irving is certainly an important part of this Cleveland team, keep in mind that he only scored nine points, in shooting 4 of 14, in the 11/18 meeting. The Cavs still almost pulled it off. Teams often rally the first game that their star goes down and I won't be surprised to see that happen here.
Note that Cleveland did win four games without Irving last season. Coach Scott had this to say: "It's always one of those things where one of your best players goes down, it's an opportunity for other guys. The biggest thing is, we still know we can win. We've just got to play a little bit of a different style on the offensive end, but we still feel we've got enough guys in this room capable of winning.''
While the Cavs haven't played since, the 76'ers were involved in a hard-fought game vs. the Raptors last night. Philadelphia won and covered but Toronto gave the 76'ers all they could handle. Fatigue, mental and/or physical, could well be a factor here.
Philadelphia coach Doug Collins said. "That was a win to remember. It could've easily been an L. We finished the third quarter very poorly. We had a lot of fight in the fourth quarter. I was proud of them.''
While they're 1-1 ATS in that situation so far this season, the 76'ers are an ugly 3-10 ATS the last 13 times that they played the second of back to back games, dating back to last February. With the schedule in their favor, I'm grabbing the points with the revenge-minded home dog. *10 Best Bet
|11-21-12||Hofstra v. Manhattan -7||Top||56-67||Win||100||9 h 17 m||Show|
I'm playing on MANHATTAN. The Jaspers had a great season under Steve Masiello, a Rick Pitino prodigy. All Manhattan did in Masiello's first season was improve by 15 games, instantly becoming a championship contender in its conference.
The Jaspers did get upset (in OT) by Siena in the MAAC tourney, which wasn't the way they wanted to end their otherwise excellent season.
That prompted Masiello to comment: "I'm very happy with the year, but disappointed with the finish. But, we got Manhattan back to again being relevant."
The Jaspers return most of the pieces from last year including "floor general" Michael Alvardo, who averaged better than three assists per game last season, while chipping in 8.5 points. They may be without senior Beamon here, which is a blow. However, this is a team loaded with depth, I believe with more than enough to handle in experienced Hofstra, a team they beat by nine (on the road) last season.
Hofstra coach Cassara said this entering the season: "We've got nine new guys who have never worn the uniform before. That certainly lends itself to taking some time to mesh, and my hope is that we can continue to get better and by the middle of January, middle of February, beginning of March, those nine new pieces have gelled together. And hopefully you
|11-20-12||Wisc-Green Bay v. Idaho -2.5||Top||62-72||Win||100||12 h 54 m||Show|
I'm playing on IDAHO. The Vandals are off to an 0-2 SU/ATS start while their guests come in with a 2-1 ATS (2-2 SU) mark. Those results have helped in keeping this line very low, to the point where a SU victory will likely also result in a cover. I believe that's providing us with excellent value on what I expect to be a highly motivated Idaho squad.
The Vandals were 19-14 last season, their best season since 1999. Six of their 14 losses came by six or fewer points, too. This year, despite the 0-2 start, Don Verlin's team is thinking NCAA Tournament. The Idaho coach had this to say: "I feel good about it to be honest with you." Center Kyle Barone (12 ppg and 8 rbg) returns as does forward Stephen Madison (12.1 ppg and 5.5 rbg). A senior, Barone was a second-team All-WAC choice in 2011.
The Phoenix aren't slouches. They won 15 games last year and return the starters they had at the end of last year. They do still only have one senior though and they lost their only true road game, a 2-point loss at Nevada. Keep in mind that they're only 7-26 on the road the past few seasons, including a 1-4 SU and 2-3 ATS mark as road underdogs of three or fewer points.
These teams played a very close game against each other at Green Bay last season. The Vandals covered the spread but lost 63-61. Now playing at home, I expect the Vandals to return the favor. *9 Personal Favorite
|11-20-12||New York Knicks v. New Orleans Hornets +7||Top||102-80||Loss||-110||10 h 8 m||Show|
I'm playing on NEW ORLEANS. The Knicks are clearly off to a great start. However, I believe that this will prove to be a tough spot for them and they're laying too many points.
Yes, NY had yesterday off. However, the Knicks are still right in the middle of a difficult stretch. Sunday's game vs. Indiana was their third game in four days. All were against "quality" teams. They also have a rematch vs. Dallas on deck tomorrow, a team they recently faced at MSG. I feel a letdown could easily be in order.
While the Knicks have been poor road favorites in this range, the Hornets have fared well as home underdogs in this range. They're getting roughly as many points here as they were when the hosted OKC a few days ago. Yet, I don't think a banged-up Knicks team is as good as the Thunder.
Last time out, the Hornets lost but covered vs. Milwaukee, a 117-113 effort. They've had two days off since, coming in well rested. Note that New Orleans is 11-4 ATS the past few seasons when playing with two day's rest in between games and 11-5-1 ATS after scoring 105 or more in its previous game.
The Hornets upset the Knicks in last year's lone meeting, an 89-85 victory at MSG in 2/17/2012. Playing at home, I expect the Hornets to again give the Knicks all they can handle, with another outright win a real possibility. *9 Best Bet
|11-19-12||Milwaukee Bucks v. Charlotte Bobcats +5||Top||98-102||Win||100||9 h 30 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHARLOTTE. Off three straight victories, the Bucks find themselves laying points on the road. While the Bucks are off to a good start, keep in mind that they're only 2-3 ATS as favorites. It should also be noted that Milwaukee is an awful 45-72-7 the last 100+ times that it was off three or more consecutive SU wins.
Looking at the Bucks' last win and we find that they were laying 8.5 points as a host of New Orleans. They won (117-113) but failed to cover. Even when hitting a season high 13 3-pointers and playing at home, they only won by four. (New Orleans would finish at better than 53% from the floor.)
I don't expect the Bucks to have nearly the success from beyond the arc here. Charlotte has held its last four opponents to 36.7 percent shooting and 25.3 percent from 3-point range.
Note that the Bucks have a game against the defending world champion Bucks on deck, followed by a home and home series vs. division rival Chicago. Off the three straight wins and with those "big games" on deck, it would be easy to look past lowly Charlotte.
The Bobcats lost last time out but the fact that they battled back in the fourth quarter was encouraging.
Kemba Walker, averaging 18.8 ppg thus far, had this to say of the new Bobcat attitude. "That's who we are and that's how we are going to be all season hopefully. When we are down, we are not going to put our heads down. We are going to try our best to close the game out and try to keep pushing. We don't want to give up."
While they came up a little short last time out, the Bobcats are also off to a solid start. They're 3-2 SU/ATS here at home, including 1-0 ATS as home underdogs in the 3.5 to 6 range. I expect them to give the Bucks all they can handle with an excellent shot at the outright victory. *9 Best Bet
|11-19-12||Georgia +20.5 v. Indiana||Top||53-66||Win||100||8 h 42 m||Show|
I'm playing on GEORGIA. With the #1 Hoosiers off to a perfect start at the betting window, their lines are becoming inflated. Throw in the fact that the Bulldogs are winless against the spread and we're getting a very high number to work with this afternoon. I believes its providing us with excellent line value.
We know the Hoosiers are really good. With a #1 ranking, that goes without saying. They're not going to beat every team by more than three touchdowns though and I feel the Bulldogs will provide by far their toughest test yet. Note that Indiana is 3-6 ATS (4-5 SU) its last nine neutral court games, 8-15 ATS (7-16 SU) its last 23 against SEC teams.
The Hoosiers are playing their first game against a team from a major conference and they know that they've got a bigger game against UCLA (or Georgetown) on deck tomorrow, assuming they win this one. While they'd never "intentionally" let a team hang around, a closer game would probably be good for Crean's team.
This Georgia team beat Florida and Mississippi State down the stretch last season. This year's team won't win the SEC or anything but does figure to be improved.
Coach Mark Fox said this of his team before the season began: "I probably feel better about Georgia basketball today than I ever have."
I like that the Bulldogs have seen all three of their games decided by 12 or fewer points, two by six or less, and feel that the "close game experience" will serve them well here.
This will be an opportunity to prove how far Fox's Bulldogs have come, a chance to compete against the #1 team. I look for them to embrace the challenge, stepping up and covering the big number. *10 Best Bet
|11-17-12||Montana v. Idaho -3||Top||66-63||Loss||-110||10 h 2 m||Show|
I'm playing on IDAHO. I like how this one sets up for the home team. The Vandals got a wake-up call in losing their opener vs. Wright State. This is a team with big goals this season though and I expect them to bounce back with a highly motivated effort.
The Vandals were 19-14 last season, their best season since 1999. Six of their 14 losses came by six or fewer points, too.
This year, Don Verlin's team is thinking NCAA Tournament. The Idaho coach had this to say: "I feel good about it to be honest with you."
Center Kyle Barone (12 ppg and 8 rbg) returns as does forward Stephen Madison (12.1 ppg and 5.5 rbg). I expect those two to give the Vandals a significant edge in the frontcourt here.
A senior, Barone was a second-team All-WAC choice in 2011. He
|11-17-12||Dallas Mavericks v. Cleveland Cavaliers -2.5||Top||103-95||Loss||-109||8 h 47 m||Show|
I'm playing on CLEVELAND. I successfully played against the Mavericks last night. They lost 103-83 at Indiana. I feel this will be a good spot to go against them again.
Still without their best player, the Mavs are in a rebuilding phase. The players have now already accepted that fact. They're still being treated like they're a good team by bettors and oddsmakers though, which has led to an 0-6 ATS mark their last six.
The Mavs are in a tough spot. Not only is this the second of back to back games, it also marks their sixth game in nine nights. They'll be facing a young and rested Cleveland team which is happy to be back on its home floor.
In two previous b2b spots this season, the Mavs have gone 0-2 SU/ATS, losing 113-94 at Utah and 101-97 at Charlotte. I played against them there and am doing so again tonight. *9
|11-17-12||Memphis Grizzlies v. Charlotte Bobcats +6||Top||94-87||Loss||-105||8 h 45 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHARLOTTE. I won with the Grizzlies last night and am well aware that they're off to an excellent start. I feel that they're a bit over-valued tonight though and also that they're susceptible for a letdown.
The Grizzlies' last four games against Houston, a divisional opponent, Miami, the defending NBA champion, OKC, the defending Western Champs and New York, an undefeated team. Off all those big wins, it will likely be easy to look past lowly Charlotte.
Note that the Grizzlies are in one of their worst roles; they're 2-7 ATS as road favorites in the 3.5 to 6 range. They lost six of those outright, too.
While their streak isn't as impressive as the Grizzlies' current streak, the Bobcats have quietly gone 3-0 SU/ATS their last three games. They're 3-1 SU/ATS here on the season, outscoring teams by a 98.2 to 94.7 margin.
The Bobcats covered the spread against the Grizzlies here last season, losing by five. With the schedule in their favor, I expect at least another cover here. *10 Best Bet
|11-17-12||Utah Jazz v. Washington Wizards +2.5||Top||83-76||Loss||-102||7 h 22 m||Show|
I'm playing on WASHINGTON. The Wizards have yet to break through into the win column. However, with a 4-3 ATS record, they've been competitive. I feel tonight will provide them an excellent opportunity to earn that elusive first victory.
While the Wizards had the last two nights off, the Jazz are off a 99-93 loss at Philadelphia. They're playing the final leg of a 4-game road trip and their sixth game in last nights. All six of those games were in a different city.
The Jazz only played a road game, after playing the previous night, once this season. That resulted in a double-digit loss.
Including last night's loss, the Jazz are a money-burning 43-73-5 ATS the last 100+ times that they played a road game with an OU line in the 185 to 189.5 range, 3-7 ATS (2-8 SU) their last 10 in that situation. I'll grab the points but will not be surprised when the Wiz step up and score the upset. *9
|11-16-12||Vanderbilt v. Oregon -6.5||Top||48-74||Win||100||13 h 43 m||Show|
I'm playing on OREGON. Some will see Oregon, a "football school," favored against Vanderbilt, a "basketball school," and will be quick to grab the points. However, I believe that the Ducks are favored for good reason here.
Yes, Vanderbilt advanced all the way to the third round of the NCAA Tournament last season. However, that's ancient history. All those players are long gone.
Coach Kevin Stallings acknowledged:
|11-16-12||New York Knicks v. Memphis Grizzlies -5.5||Top||95-105||Win||100||11 h 2 m||Show|
I'm playing on MEMPHIS. Both teams are off to great starts, each winning outright as an underdog in its last game. While both teams have been strong off an "upset" win, I feel that last night's hard-fought battle at San Antonio will catch up with the Knicks here.
While the Knicks are getting far more publicity for their fast start, the Grizzlies are 6-0 SU/ATS their last six. They beat OKC last time out, after beating Miami before that. Both victories came by double-digits. They're now 23-8 ATS the past few seasons, when off a SU victory as an underdog.
True, the Knicks are averaging more than 103 points per game. However, its also true that the Grizzlies are 49-23 ATS the past few seasons vs. teams that score 99 or more.
The Grizzlies, who had last night off, are very tough at home. They're 3-0 SU/ATS already this season, moving to 66-21 SU and 51-34-2 ATS here the past few years. When these teams met here last season, the Grizzlies won by a score of 94-83. A similar result won't surprise. *9
|11-16-12||Dallas Mavericks v. Indiana Pacers -2.5||Top||83-103||Win||100||9 h 35 m||Show|
I'm playing on INDIANA. Both teams are still without their best player. Each has struggled of late. The Pacers are 0-4 ATS their last four while the Mavericks are 0-5 ATS their last five. Playing at home, I expect the Pacers to be the team which bounces back with a win and cover.
The Pacers have still won two of three while the Mavs have lost three of four on the road.
Indiana won by 11 in last year's lone meeting and that was at Dallas. With that loss, the Mavs are just 3-12 ATS their last 15 against teams from the Central.
The Mavs have numerous new faces, are in a rebuilding mode and are likely in for a long season. The Pacers still have high hopes of being among the top teams in the East. If they want to keep those hopes alive, these are the kind of games that they need to win. I expect them to do just that tonight. *9
|11-16-12||Brigham Young v. Florida State +2||Top||70-88||Win||100||8 h 11 m||Show|
I'm playing on FLORIDA STATE. While I respect the Cougars, I believe the wrong team is favored in this one. The Seminoles are 7-3-1 ATS their last 11 as a neutral court underdog of three or less, or a pick'em. That includes a 2-1 ATS mark in that role the past couple of seasons, going 8-6 ATS overall in neutral court games. During that stretch, BYU is only 6-11 ATS on a neutral floor.
The Cougars had to replace leading scorer Noah Hartsock from last year. He did much for them, averaging 16.8 ppg and five rebounds. He hit better than 84% at the line and led the team with 55 blocked shots. His absence will be noticed with the team stepping up in class here. While Brandon Davies returns, he's a bit banged-up here, listed as probable.
The Seminoles got a "wake up call" in their opener, losing vs. S. Alabama, a loss that dropped them out of the Top 25. I like how they responded with a 95-68 destruction of Buffalo and I look for them to follow it up with another win here. *9
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