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|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|01-21-14||Boise State +5.5 v. New Mexico||Top||75-84||Loss||-106||24 h 12 m||Show|
|01-20-14||Fairfield +13 v. Belmont||Top||53-62||Win||100||20 h 22 m||Show|
|01-16-14||Belmont v. Eastern Kentucky -1||Top||63-74||Win||100||16 h 14 m||Show|
|01-14-14||Northern Iowa v. Southern Illinois +6.5||Top||66-68||Win||100||20 h 1 m||Show|
|01-12-14||Arizona State v. UCLA -6||Top||72-87||Win||100||14 h 20 m||Show|
|01-08-14||Utah v. Washington -2||Top||57-59||Push||0||14 h 48 m||Show|
|01-07-14||Vanderbilt v. Alabama -6.5||Top||63-68||Loss||-110||10 h 49 m||Show|
|01-05-14||Oregon v. Colorado -3||Top||91-100||Win||100||9 h 3 m||Show|
|01-04-14||Connecticut v. Southern Methodist -1.5||Top||65-74||Win||100||19 h 51 m||Show|
|01-02-14||Oregon v. Utah +4||Top||70-68||Win||100||10 h 32 m||Show|
|12-28-13||Alabama +8.5 v. UCLA||Top||67-75||Win||100||12 h 37 m||Show|
I'm playing on ALABAMA. The Tide have lost quite a few games already, probably more than they would have cared for. In fairness, its been a pretty tough schedule. Those losses should provide them with some extra urgency. A win here would be just what the doctor ordered. While that won't be easy, I expect them to go all out.
A closer look at the Alabama losses shows that they have come by 3, 5, 2, 2, 10, and 9 points. (The 10-point loss was against Duke.) That's an average of only five points per loss, meaning they could potentially have a better record and also that they don't get "blown out" easily.
UCLA has been an underdog twice. It lost both those games. The Bruins were beaten by 17 by Duke and by nine by Missouri. They'd been double-digit favorites for every other game, with the exception of their opening game vs. Drexel. Laying -7.5 points in that game, they won by five. I expect them to have their hands full once again here. 10*
|12-25-13||Iowa State v. Boise St +4.5||Top||70-66||Win||100||13 h 27 m||Show|
I'm playing on BOISE STATE. With the football team getting whipped yesterday, the Broncos' basketball team may feel it has a chance to finally gain a little recognition. Beating a nationally ranked opponent like Iowa State would certainly help. While the Cyclones certainly deserve respect, I believe the Broncos have what it takes the score the Christmas Day upset, in the Championship Game of the Diamond Head Classic.
While they don't have a national ranking and while most of their wins have admittedly come against weak teams, I believe that the Broncos will again prove to be one of the better teams in their conference. That's saying something as the Mountain West is tough; the league sent five teams to the NCAA Tournament last season.
Boise was one of those five MWC teams to make the tournament last season, finishing with 21 wins. The Broncos returned all five starters from that team, along with four other lettermen. A closer look at the stats shows the Broncs returned more than 92 percent of last season's scoring, nearly 97 percent of their assists, 98 percent of their starts and 90 percent of their total minutes.
While the Cyclones are undefeated, the Broncos are a solid 10-2. The losses came at Kentucky (no shame in that) and vs. St. Mary's - the game immediately following the Kentucky loss. They've since responded with back-to-back wins, most recently a 80-54 destruction of South Carolina. Hawaii has seemingly been treating them well.
This year's Broncos are averaging 83.8 points per game, 19th best in the country. While the Cyclones shut down Akron last game, they'd given up an average of 77.0 points per game on 46.4 percent shooting over their previous three games.
When facing quality teams, the Cyclones have had some close games. Their games against Michigan, Iowa, Northern Iowa and BYU were all decided by single digits. Two of those were decided by three or less. With a 1-point win over Hawaii a few days ago, the Broncos, who's only double-digit loss came at Lexington, have now seen two of their games decided by two points or less.
Speaking of close games, I backed an underdog from the Mountain West (San Diego State) in the final of this tournament last season. The Aztecs were getting five points (vs. Arizona) and they ended up losing by one, 68-67. (The Wildcats blocked a layup in final secs. to hang on for the win.)
I won't be surprised to see this one also come down to the wire and am grabbing the points with the underdog from the Mountain West. 10*
|12-21-13||Massachusetts v. Florida State -1||Top||55-60||Win||100||19 h 10 m||Show|
I'm playing on FLORIDA STATE. I successfully played against the Seminoles a few games ago, when they lost by 10 at Minnesota. This afternoon, however, I believe that the value is on the other foot.
Admittedly, the Minutemen have been playing well. They've also been money at the betting window. I believe that's worked in our favor though, helping to keep this line close to being a pick 'em.
Since the loss against the Gophers, the Noles have responded with back-to-back double-digit wins, giving them plenty of positive momentum here. A 77-53 blowout of Jacksonville was followed by an impressive 106-62 destruction of Charlotte. That 44-point victory was their biggest of the season.
While this is technically a neutral court game, it will be played at Sunrise, Fla. That figures to favor the Noles. Note that FSU hammered Tulsa (82-63) in this even last season. Also, note that the Minutemen are an ugly 1-8 ATS the last nine times that they were a neutral court underdog (or pick 'em) of three or fewer points.
After the big win over Charlotte, coach Leonard Hamilton said this of the Noles: "...I just think our guys played exceptionally well. We shot the ball exceptionally well. We made extra passes. We took care of the ball. Our rebounding effort was good. I think that this team (Charlotte) brought the best out of us."
While wins against Top 25 opponents have been hard to come by for FSU in recent seasons, the Noles have already knocked off (then) #10 VCU this season and they also played both Michigan and Florida very tough. The Noles beat the Minutemen in 2011 (and 2006) and I look for them to emerge victorious once again. 10*
|12-19-13||Clemson v. Auburn +6.5||Top||64-66||Win||100||11 h 21 m||Show|
|12-17-13||Cal-Irvine +14 v. Oregon||Top||63-91||Loss||-110||15 h 8 m||Show|
I'm playing on UC-IRVINE. Admittedly, the Ducks have played very well to start the season. Their 9-0 record is particularly impressive, given that they've been playing without Dominic Artis and Ben Carter, a pair of projected starters who were both suspended through the first nine games. I believe that this will prove to be a very tough spot for the Ducks though and I expect them to have their hands full the entire way.
The popular opinion is likely that Artis and Carter will make this team even better. I won't disagree with that. However, they may not make them better 'immediately." This group had already been so successful without those players that adding them to the mix may result in some short-term "chemistry" issues.
Even if there aren't any chemistry problems, don't expect either player to start tonight. Coach Dana Altman had this to say: "We're not going to start them right away. We're going to work them in."
I'm not playing against the Ducks due to the returning players though. Rather, I believe that their record has caused them to be over-valued at the betting window, that their opponent is more dangerous than many likely realize AND that this is a difficult scheduling spot.
I suggest that this is a tough spot on the schedule as the Ducks are off a hard-fought win (at Portland) over a scrappy Illinois team AND as they've got a huge rivalry showdown vs. BYU on deck. (The Cougars hammered the Ducks in the last meeting, even more reason to look ahead.)
Prior to the game vs. the Illini, the Ducks had won an OT game against an SEC (Ole Miss) opponent. Off those big games and with another big one on deck, I feel it may be easy for them to look past "lowly" UC-Irvine. I believe that could prove very costly though, as the Anteaters are a dangerous team.
Indeed, UC Irvine has already won at Washington this season. The Anteaters were getting 9.5 points in that one and they won outright by 14.
While they're only 6-5 overall, note that four of the Anteaters' five losses came by six points or less.
The Anteaters, who have a massive front court, are shooting 48.3% from the field and they've got four players averaging in double-figures.
The Anteaters already possessed a very good inside game last season, as they ranked second in the Big West in rebounding and blocked shots,
Last year's roster included 7-0, 268-pound center Conor Clifford. This year, the team added another pair of "giants." Mamadou Ndiaye, a four-star, Top 100 recruit is 7-foot-5, taller than any player in the NBA. (He was pursued by Georgetown.) Meanwhile, 7-2 center Giannis Dimakopoulos played for Greece's U18 national team.
In addition to those new big guys, the Anteaters also have 6-10 John Ryan, 6-10 Mike Best and 6-8 Will Davis II. That gives them one of the biggest teams in the entire country. Add in a trio of guards (McNealy, Nelson, Alex Young) that are averaging 11.5 points or more per game and this team is indeed a dangerous one.
Note that Davis earned the Big West defensive player of the year award last season. All he did was block league-best 88 shots last season, smashing the school record of 55 he set the previous season. Davis' shot-blocking was a big part of The threat of Davis at the back end played a major role in last year's Anteaters' team limiting opponents to 38.7 percent shooting, best in the Big West and No. 15 nationally.
The last meeting between these teams (2008) was decided by just seven points. I won't be surprised to see another close one and am grabbing all the points I can get. 10*
|12-13-13||Arkansas-Little Rock +23.5 v. Memphis||Top||59-73||Win||100||15 h 41 m||Show|
I'm playing on ARKANSAS LITTLE ROCK. Obviously, Memphis hails from the much better conference. The Tigers are good, too. That said, I feel that they're laying too many points here.
Yes, Memphis brings a lot pure talent to the table. Admittedly, the Tigers have an excellent guard rotation. They're not as strong in the front court though. Rebounding and scoring in the paint figure to be a challenge for them this season.
It should be noted that the Tigers have a huge game vs. Florida, at MSG, on deck. I believe that it will be easy for them to get caught looking ahead to that matchup.
Speaking of Florida, the Trojans played at Florida and were getting less points than they are here.
The well-coached Trojans brought back four starters from last season's team. One of those is 6-10 senior Will Neighbour. Neighbour, who figures to become the first in the program to become a 3-time All Conference selection, is averaging 18.7 points per game and 7.6 rebounds. He had a big game at Florida (21 points) and I expect him to do so again here.
Prior to the season, coach Steve Shields said that strength coach John Barron had Neighbour and co "in unprecedentedly good condition."
While the Trojans lost by 14 at Tulsa last time out, they were leading that game by two points at half-time. Prior to that loss, they'd scored 88, 81, 90 and 85 points, in their previous four games.
The Tigers put up an impressive 96 points last time out. They also allowed lowly Northwestern State to score 76 though. I believe that the Trojans bring more to the table that NW. State.
Despite failing to cover this season, the Trojans are 19-13 ATS in lined games the past few seasons against teams with a winning record. They've lost their last two games against Memphis (2008 and 2009) by an average of "only" 10 points, covering the spread in both games. (They lost by 12 and 8.) I feel that the line is generous and I look for them to play the Tigers tougher than most will be expecting again tonight. 10*
|12-10-13||Idaho State +16 v. Utah||Top||66-74||Win||100||13 h 53 m||Show|
I'm playing on IDAHO STATE. Admittedly, the Utes are off to an excellent start. I feel that they're laying a few too many points here though.
This has been one of Utah's worst roles over the years. Indeed, the Utes are an ugly 4-15 ATS the last 19 times that they were favored at home, in the 15.5 to 18 point range.
These teams have met here each of the last two seasons. Utah was favored by only 2.5 points in 2011, winning by 12. Last year, the Utes were favored by 8.5 and won by 11.
A closer look at last year's game shows that the Bengals actually held a 29-22 halftime lead.
Last year's Idaho State team, which had a 1st year coach, had real trouble scoring. They finished the season averaging only 57 ppg, only 336th in the country. That led to a poor 6-24 record.
This year's team has their coach back, along with three of last season's most productive players. They're averaging 79.6 points, hitting 46.6% of their shots.
Meanwhile, while they did get several new junior college transfers, the Utes brought back only one full-time starter.
While the Bengals did get blown out at Arizona State, they won outright on the road vs. a solid San Francisco team.
Including that victory, the Bengals are 3-1 ATS the last four times that they were road underdogs in the 15.5 to 18 point range.
It should be noted that Utah has a big game vs. rival BYU on deck. Considering that the Cougars have beaten them three seasons in a row and by three last year, that could be cause for some "looking ahead."
Either way, I look for this one to be closer than most will be expecting. 10*
|12-08-13||Oregon v. Ole Miss -1||Top||115-105||Loss||-110||22 h 16 m||Show|
I'm playing on OLE MISS. The Ducks have gotten off to an impressive start and bring a top 15 ranking into today's game. I expect them to suffer their first loss here though.
Give the Ducks credit for beating Georgetown (at South Korea) in their opener. However, since that victory, they've been double-digit home favorites for every subsequent game. In other words, the competition has been pretty weak.
That changes here, as they'll take on an Ole Miss team which finished with 27 wins last season, advancing to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Rebels' chances for success this season improved a lot when Marshall Henderson was allowed to return to the team with only a very light punishment. Henderson will be suspended for the team's first two SEC games but he'll be around for today's contest. Given that he led the league in scoring last season and that he was the MVP of the SEC Tournament, which the Rebels won, having him in the lineup is certainly significant.
Henderson didn't shoot well from beyond the arc last game and the Rebels lost by three at K-State. He was 4 for 9 (44.4%) from 3-point range in the Rebels' last home game though, en route to scoring 19 points. Back home, I expect Marshall to bounce back with an improved effort.
Speaking of suspensions, the Ducks have a pair of players who will miss their first nine games, guard Dominic Artis and forward Ben Carter. Throw in the fact that they have seven transfers new to the program - and I believe that the Ducks are definitely beatable.
The K-State and Oregon games are two big non-conf. contests for the Rebels. Having lost to the Wildcats, the Rebels should be extremely motivated for a win here.
The Rebels have won 23 straight home games against non-conference opponents. Going back further finds them at 62-2 under coach Kennedy in such games. I expect them to keep that impressive streak in tact here. 10*
|11-23-13||Wisc-Milwaukee v. Tennessee Tech +1.5||Top||70-63||Loss||-106||10 h 44 m||Show|
I'm playing on TENNESSEE TECH. These teams met at Milwaukee last season. The Golden Eagles were 2.5 point underdogs but won by double-digits. I believe this year's team, which returned four starters, is stronger. Even better, this year, they get to face the Panthers at home. I expect an "upset."
Tennessee Tech coach Steve Payne said this before the season:
|11-22-13||Morgan State v. La Salle -9.5||Top||59-78||Win||100||14 h 49 m||Show|
I'm playing on LA SALLE. The Explorers have yet to cover a spread. They should have a significant advantage over tonight's opponent though and I expect a double-digit blowout.
Morgan State is 0-4, getting outscored by an average score of 79-62. While the Bears are an experienced bunch, they've been suffering from the loss of DeWayne Jackson, a 2-time All Conference selection.
The Explorers are also an experienced team, one from a much better conference, one which returned four starters from last season's 24-win team.
The Explorers are 18-2 SU their last 20 games against teams with a losing record, 10-3 ATS in the ones which had lines. During that time, they're 3-1 SU/ATS after three or more consecutive ATS losses.
The Explorers can't afford to drop this game. They didn't come all this way (to Virgin Islands) to lose to the likes of Morgan State and I expect them to flex their muscles with a big win. 10*
|11-11-13||Rutgers v. UAB -4||Top||76-79||Loss||-108||12 h 14 m||Show|
I'm playing on UAB. These teams met at Rutgers last December. The Knights, who hit 15 of their first 16 shots, jumped out to a big halftime lead and finished with a 88-79 victory. Playing on their home floor, I expect an improved Blazers team to return the favor.
Last year's Blazers had a new coach and they started out the season poorly. Road wins were few and far between and they'd finish at just 16-17 overall. However, a closer look reveals that they actually won six of nine to close out the regular season, then knocking off SMU in the first rd of their conference tournament.
As coach Jered Hasse, a former North Carolina assistant who played at Kansas and Cal noted:
|04-08-13||Michigan v. Louisville -3.5||Top||76-82||Win||100||36 h 4 m||Show|
I'm playing on LOUISVILLE. As you likely saw, the Cardinals received a stiff test vs. Wichita State. While that has helped to keep this line reasonably low, I believe that close game and the fact that they were able to battle back will serve them well here.
Needless to say, both teams are very good. Both are well-coached. Both are excellent on both sides of the ball. I believe the Cards bring a little more to the table though.
A look at the stats, when playing away from home, reveals that Michigan has outscored opponents by an average of 73 to 66.5. However, when playing away from home, Louisville has outscored opponents by an average of 73.6 to 59.9.
Not only did the Cards erase a 12-point second half deficit vs. the Shockers, they erased a 16-point second half deficit in the Big East Final, going on a 27-3 run and winning by 17. (That happened to be against Syracuse.) Indeed, this is a team that is never out of it.
This has been one of Louisville's best roles. In fact, the Cards are a perfect 7-0 ATS the last seven times that they were listed as neutral court favorites in the 3.5 to 6 range. (During that stretch, the Wolverines were 1-1 ATS as neutral court underdogs in the same range.)
While I respect Belein, I believe Pitino gives the Cards an advantage. I expect him to have the Cards ready and for their relentless pressure to ultimately prove the difference. 10* NCAA GOY
|04-08-13||Michigan v. Louisville UNDER 138.5||Top||76-82||Loss||-108||36 h 3 m||Show|
I'm playing on Louisville and Michigan to finish UNDER the total. While I respect both offenses, I believe that this O/U line is too high.
Both defenses are excellent. The Wolverines allow 62.3 points per game. The Cardinals allow a mere 58.3.
While Louisville has been dominant defensively all year, Michigan has really turned up the intensity on that side of the ball recently. In fact, after limiting Syracuse to only 56 points (and Florida to 59 the previous game) the Wolverines have now held four of their past five opponents below the 60 point mark.
The Cards have been on an extended "over" run and that has caused their O/U lines to continue to climb. Despite the fact that Michigan is playing very stingy defense right now (as mentioned above) this is the highest O/U line that the Cards have seen in weeks.
A closer look shows that eleven straight Louisville games have had totals lower than this one. That extra high number could well come in handy when considering that, despite the "over" streak, 10 of Louisville's last 12 games have still finished with 140 or fewer points.
While the Cards have been getting it done with offense, they are still a defensive-oriented team. I look for their 'over' streak to come to an end here, as the final combined score proves much lower than many will be expecting, the UNDER improving to 13-7 the last 20 times that Michigan faced a team with a winning record. 10* best bet
|04-06-13||Michigan v. Syracuse UNDER 131||Top||61-56||Win||100||57 h 47 m||Show|
I'm playing on Syracuse and Michigan to finish UNDER the total. I respect both these offenses. However, given the way that the Orange are currently playing defense, I believe this line will prove to be a little high.
Last time out, the Orange limited Marquette to a mere 39 points. In their previous game, they held Indiana to only 50. Prior to that, they allowed a "whopping" 60. Before that, they allowed only 34. Those four games had final combined scores of 115, 126, 111 and 94.
True, Michigan can hit from the outside, something they'll need to . True, the Wolverines have topped the 70 point mark in four straight games. They can also play defense though. Last time out, they held Florida to only 59 points. They've now kept three of four opponents in the tournament to less than 60.
These teams last met in 2010. That game had an O/U line of 133 yet finished with only 103 points. Their previous meeting was way back in 1998 - that one finished with 104 points. This one will likely finish with more than that but not enough to keep it from staying below the number. 10* best bet
|04-06-13||Wichita State v. Louisville -10||Top||68-72||Loss||-104||11 h 51 m||Show|
I'm playing on LOUISVILLE. The Shockers have been a great story and deserve credit for advancing this far. I believe that the party will come to a crashing end on Saturday though.
While I certainly don't discount what the Shockers have done, I feel that the Cardinals are too deep, too talented and too well coached.
Normally, an underdog which had earned numerous upsets to get this far (like Wichita State) would have the support of the public and the fans watching the game. That can help provide some energy. That's not necessarily the case for the Shockers here though, as the gruesome injury to Ware has many wanting to see Louisville win it for him.
The Cardinals were already "on a mission," entering the tournament. Ware's injury has provided them with even further incentive.
The Cardinals have a lot more experience on the "big stage" and their 18-5 ATS record the past few seasons, when playing on a neutral court, is too good to ignore. I expect a double-digit win. 10* personal favorite
|03-30-13||Wichita State v. Ohio State UNDER 132||Top||70-66||Loss||-108||10 h 54 m||Show|
I'm playing on Ohio State and Wichita State to finish UNDER the total. This O/U line climbed from its opener. I believe its providing us with excellent value.
The Buckeyes have seen all three of their NCAA Tournament games top the total. That hasn't been "normal" for them this season though, as the UNDER is still 19-14 in their games which had an O/U line.
For the season, their games are averaging less than 130 combined points, a total of 129.5 overall and 129.6 when they've played away from home.
Wichita State games have had similar numbers. Their games are averaging 130.5 overall and 130.1 away from home.
The Buckeyes allow 59.1 ppg and hold opposing teams to a 39.6 field goal percentage. The Shockers allow 60.7 points and a 39.6 field goal percentage. The Shockers have really elevated their defensive play of late too. Their last five opponents have connected at just 35.4% from the field.
Even with their recent results, the Buckeyes have seen their last 17 games against strong defensive teams (I'm defining that as teams allowing 64 or fewer points per game) produce 11 "unders" vs. just six "overs." I believe the recent results have worked in our favor and I expect those stats to improve here. 10* blue chip
|03-30-13||Syracuse v. Marquette +4.5||Top||55-39||Loss||-110||7 h 11 m||Show|
I'm playing on MARQUETTE. Both these teams were very impressive in their last game. Each of them dominated a very strong opponent. Syracuse seems to be getting a lot more credit/respect for its win over Indiana than Marquette is for its win over Miami though. While the Orange beat me last time, I've been riding the Golden Eagles the past couple of games. Getting a handful of points, I believe they're providing us with very fair value once again.
These teams met last month, at Marquette. The Golden Eagle won by three points. Unlike Indiana, which appeared confused by the zone played by Syracuse, the Golden Eagles have seen it before and are very familiar with the Orange.
One player that was particularly effective against the Cuse zone last month was Marquette's big man, Davante Gardner. He was 7 for 7 from the field, sank 12 of his 13 free throws, while also contributing eight rebounds.
Gardner commented: "I love playing against athletic guys. Because they think they can just stop me. But I use my weight to push them around."
While its obviously unrealistic to expect Gardner to hit at such a high percentage again, I do expect him to have another effective game. He had 14 points against Miami.
The Golden Eagles are 6-1 SU and 5-1 ATS when playing with one or less day's rest. They're now 19-8 ATS as underdogs the past few seasons. When they do lose, its generally not by many points. In fact, as I mentioned prior to the Miami game, Marquette has only lost two games by more than eight points this entire season. Four of the Golden Eagles losses have come by four points or less.
Prior to Thursday's "blowout win," each of the Golden Eagles' last eight games was decided by eight or less. I won't be surprised if this one also comes down to the wire and am grabbing all the points I can get. 10*
|03-29-13||Fla Gulf Coast v. Florida -13||Top||50-62||Loss||-108||24 h 9 m||Show|
I'm playing on FLORIDA. The Eagles have certainly been the story of the tournament. I avoided their game against Georgetown but they cost me when they knocked off San Diego State. They're up against an entirely different opponent now though and I expect their magical run to come to a crashing halt.
While I believe that the Gators have numerous matchup advantages, I also feel that the venue (Arlington, Texas) will favor them.
While the Eagles played their games at Philadelphia, the Gators played at Austin, only a few hours away. They remained in Texas the entire time, focusing entirely on the task at hand. On the other hand, the Eagles went from Philadelphia back to their school, where they were treated like rock stars. Not only was their extra travel involved, it figures to be hard for them to be fully focused, given all the attention that they've been receiving.
While the Eagle are already heroes, no matter what happens here, the Gators are on a mission. They're a team loaded with seniors and they've come up short in their previous tries. After being to the regional finals each of their last two years, they want more here. Kenny Boynton noted: "We remember the pain it caused for us last year. I think we used it to learn. ... We've been close. And our goal is to get further this year.''
While the line may seem high, keep in mind that the Gators are 8-2 ATS their last 10 NCAA tournament games and 5-1 ATS (6-0 SU) the last six times that they were listed as neutral court favorites of 12.5 to 15 points. I say the clock strikes midnight for "Cinderella" in Arlington. 10* personal favorite
|03-29-13||Oregon v. Louisville UNDER 129.5||Top||69-77||Loss||-108||36 h 48 m||Show|
I'm playing on Louisville and Oregon to finish UNDER the total. I won with the Ducks to go 'over' in their last game. However, this number, which has climbed from its opener, is several points higher and I feel the value has shifted the other way.
While both teams can indeed score, both are also very capable defensively. That's particularly true of Louisville. The Cardinals allow a mere 57.6 points per game, holding opponents to a 39.1% field goal percentage. Over their last five games, the Cards are permitting only 55.4 ppg.
The Ducks have also picked up their defensive intensity of late. They're allowing only 60.6 points per game, holding opponents to 39.9% from the field. Those are down from their season long numbers of 63.2 and 41.1%.
Even factoring in their last game finishing above the number, excluding pushes and games which didn't have a total, the Ducks have seen the UNDER go 6-2 their last eight against teams which allow 64 or fewer points and 12-5 their last 17 against teams with a winning record. They've also seen the UNDER go 3-0 when playing with five or six day's rest in between games.
True, the Cards have seen both this year's tournament games finish above the total. However, the UNDER was 5-1 their previous six NCAA tournament games, entering this year's tournament. I expect things to return to "normal" here as the Cards crank up the defensive intensity and the final combined score stays below the number. 10*
|03-28-13||Syracuse v. Indiana -5||Top||61-50||Loss||-110||14 h 25 m||Show|
I'm playing on INDIANA. I've had some success playing both on and against Syracuse this season. I feel that this will prove to be an excellent spot to go against the Orange.
The Hoosiers got a wake-up call against Temple, a team they didn't match up well against from a 'style' perspective. While they're certainly a formidable opponent, I believe the Orange present a better matchup for them.
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim employs a 2-3 zone, generally for the entire game. That typically means that teams have to beat the Orange from the outside. The majority of teams aren't built to do so. The Hoosiers aren't like most teams though.
The Hoosiers shoot 40.8% from beyond the arc and 48.6% overall. Christian Watford (48%), Jordan Hulls (46%) and Victor Oladipo (43 percent) all shoot better than 40 percent from beyond the arc. Will Sheehey (36%) is also highly capable of knocking them down from long range.
Note that Oladipo, a contender for National Player of the Year, played here in high-school. He was quoted as saying: "I'm going to have a lot of family and friends here, but at the same time, it's a business trip. We're here to be successful."
I also believe this matchup will allow Zeller to play to his strengths.
The Orange Syracuse lost 61-39 (vs. Georgetown a few weeks ago) the last time that they played at this arena, their fewest points since December 1962. With a total currently in the mid-high 130s, note that the Orange are 0-6 ATS the last six times that they played a neutral court game with an O/U line in the 135 to 139.5 range.
The fact that the Hoosiers have failed to cover a few in a row has kept this line slightly lower than I feel it could easily be. They've generally been at their best vs. "elite" teams. I look for them to rise to the occasion with a win and cover. 10*
|03-28-13||Marquette +5.5 v. Miami (Fla)||Top||71-61||Win||100||12 h 50 m||Show|
I'm playing on MARQUETTE. I backed the Golden Eagles in their victory over Butler. While I marked that one down as a push, hopefully some were able to to get a win. Either way, I feel that back-to-back very close wins will serve them well here.
While the Hurricanes have admittedly fared well as favorite this season, the Golden Eagles are an outstanding 18-8 ATS the last 26 times that they were getting points.
Both teams score roughly the same number of points (68.8 vs. 69.9) and both are stingy defensively. the Golden Eagles allows 62.9% ppg while the Canes allow 60.3. Therefore, its worth noting that Marquette is 30-15 ATS (31-17 SU) its last 48 against teams which allow 64 or fewer points while Miami is 16-14 ATS (18-15 SU.)
The Hurricanes are 3-4-1 ATS in games with an O/U line in the 120s while the Eagles are 7-3 ATS. Note that with the final combined score expected to be relatively low, that every point is that much more valuable.
While I do certainly respect Miami, Marquette has only lost two games by more than eight points this entire season. Four of the Golden Eagles losses have come by four points or less. Each of their last eight games has been decided by eight or less. I expect another one that comes down to the wire and am grabbing all the points I can get. 10*
|03-25-13||RICHMOND +1 v. WRIGHT STATE||Top||51-57||Loss||-110||12 h 22 m||Show|
I'm playing on RICHMOND. The Raiders had a solid season. I would consider them to be "over-achievers." In fact, they're the last team from the Horizon League to even be playing this season. That said, I feel that they're facing a more talented opponent here and I look for their season to come to an end.
Richmond shook off a very disappointing loss to Charlotte in the A-10 Tournament by winning their first game in this tournament. I believe that they're motivated to win the entire thing and feel that they've got the talent to potentially do so.
Wright State coach Billy Donlon had this to say of the Spiders: "You
|03-24-13||Fla Gulf Coast v. San Diego St -7||Top||81-71||Loss||-110||13 h 1 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN DIEGO STATE. As many of you are likely aware, I played on the Aztecs in their opening round game. Oklahoma played them tough for a half but the Aztecs blew out the Sooners in the second half. I believe that they're providing us excellent value again and I'm expecting them to deliver another double-digit win.
Unless you attended the school, its unlikely you had Florida Gulf Coast getting this far in your bracket. Still, the Eagles are here - and have shown that they can not be taken lightly. I don't believe that that battle-tested and well-coached Aztecs will make that mistake.
The Eagles are athletic and they do some "tricky" stuff. (Like switching from zone to man-to-man and back again on defense.) They're no longer an unknown commodity though and the Aztecs will be paying them far more attention than the Hoyas evidently did. (Air Force is a little bit like that - so the Aztecs aren't totally unfamiliar with a changing defense.)
Sure, the win over G-Town was certainly impressive. The Eagles did actually beat Miami way back in early November too. So, the victory over the Hoyas wasn't totally unprecedented. Keep in mind that the Eagles got blown out when facing other decent non-conference teams though. They lost by 23 vs. VCU. They lost by 21 vs. Duke. They also lost by 11 against both St. John's and Iowa State. Outside of those games, their schedule was "less than challenging." Indeed, the Atlantic Sun Conference is hardly the ACC, Big East or even the Mountain West.
While the other teams in the Mountain West have disappointed, that's still a very competitive conference. Six teams had 20 or more victories. I believe that it has the Aztecs well prepared - as has their past NCAA Tournament experience.
If you haven't heard of San Diego State's Jamaal Franklin, you likely will soon. He should be the best player on the floor in this game.
Off an excellent defensive effort, note that the Aztecs are 45-7 SU and 26-17 ATS in lined games, when coming off a game where they allowed 60 or fewer points.
People love a good story and many will want to embrace the Eagles here. I don't care about good stories though. I just want (ATS) winners. If you recall, a couple of 15 seeds (Norfolk State and Lehigh) advanced to the Rd. of 32 last year. They both lost by double-digits. Norfolk State got blown out by 34 points. Lehigh lost by 12. I expect another double-digit win. 10* 2nd Rd GOY
|03-23-13||Butler v. Marquette -2||Top||72-74||Push||0||30 h 50 m||Show|
I'm playing on MARQUETTE. Long-time regulars will recall that I rode Butler hard the years the Bulldogs went to the Finals. In fact, one I successfully played on them every single game that they covered, while avoiding them in the one that they didn't. This isn't the same team though. Far from it. While still very well-coached, I feel that they'll be in over their heads here.
I really like how this one sets up for the Golden Eagles. They received their "wake up call" in the first round and I expect them to benefit from that here.
While the Bulldogs also rallied from a deficit, it wasn't as dramatic as Marquette's furious comeback. The fact that the Bulldogs covered and the Golden Eagles didn't is helping to provide a little extra line value here - as the perception for some as that Marquette got a little lucky.
You may recall that these teams met at the Maui Invitational, back in November. Butler won that one on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, earning a 72-71 victory. Note that Marquette was a 4-point favorite for that one. While I'm very aware of the Bulldogs' neutral court success, I believe its payback time for Marquette today. 10* personal favorite
|03-23-13||Oregon v. St. Louis OVER 123.5||Top||74-57||Win||100||29 h 13 m||Show|
I'm playing on Oregon and St. Louis to finish OVER the total. Both these teams saw their first game finish below the total. Those results have worked in our favor, helping to keep this O/U line lower than it easily could have been. I believe that it will prove to be too low.
The Ducks began the season as a team that liked to run up and down the floor. When Dominic Artis was out with injury, that style changed quite a bit. Artis is back again now though and they're back to their up tempo ways.
For the season, Oregon games are averaging 135 points. That number climbs even higher when the Ducks play outside of Eugene. Their road/neutral court games are averaging 139.3.
The Billikens have long been known for defense. That remained true this season. However, they also got a lot better offensively this season, becoming a more complete overall team. Their games averaged 126.3 points and 126 on the road.
While the Ducks hit a solid 44.6% of their field goals, the Billikens hit 44.8% of theirs.
The Billikens have seen the OVER go 8-4 the last dozen times that they played with one or less day's rest in between games. I look for those stats to improve today. 10* blue chip
|03-22-13||Oklahoma v. San Diego St -2.5||Top||55-70||Win||100||17 h 32 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN DIEGO STATE. I believe that the Aztecs will have some matchup advantages in this one. I also believe that their recent NCAA tournament experience will work in their favor against an Oklahoma team which hasn't been here in some time.
Both teams score roughly the same amount of points. The Sooners average 71.1 points while hitting 43.7% of their field goals. The Aztecs shoot 43.8% from the field, averaging 69.2.
The Aztecs are considerably better on the other side of the ball though. They allow only 60.7 ppg while limiting opponents to a 38.8 field goal percentage. Meanwhile, the Sooners allow 66.2 ppg with opposing teams hitting 41.9% of their field goals.
Those defensive differences are even more significant on the road. When the Aztecs play away from home, they allow 62.8 points and a 39.5% field goal percentage. On the other hand, the Sooners give up a high 70.4 ppg on the road, opposing teams hitting 43.5% of their field goals.
Over their last five games, Oklahoma is allowing opposing teams to hit a whopping 48.3% of their field goals, permitting 74.8 ppg. Conversely, San Diego State has permitted only 63.4 ppg their last five times out, opposing teams shooing 39.1% from the field in those games.
The fact that San Diego State is so stingy doesn't bode well for Oklahoma. The Sooners are only 17-23-1 ATS (14-27 SU) against teams which allow 64 or fewer points per game the past few seasons, including a 10-15 ATS (9-16 SU) mark after a minimum of 15 games of the season had been played.
With an O/U line in the low to mid 130s, note that the Aztecs are 5-1 SU the last six times that they played a neutral court game with an O/U line in the 130 to 134. 5 range. Meanwhile, during the same stretch, the Sooners are only 1-3 when playing on a neutral court with an O/U line in the same range.
The Aztecs aren't intimidated by "good" teams. They're 40-24-2 ATS (46-20 SU) their last 66 against teams with a winning record. During that time, Oklahoma is only 25-35 SU against winning teams, 11-22 when at least 15 games of the season had been played. I expect a win and cover for San Diego State. 10* Opening Rd GOY
|03-21-13||North Carolina A&T v. Louisville UNDER 124||Top||48-79||Loss||-108||23 h 56 m||Show|
I'm playing on Louisville and NC A&T to finish UNDER the total. The Aggies may have scored 73 points against Liberty but I don't expect them to get anywhere close to that here.
For the season, the Aggies are averaging only 62.5 points per game, and just 61.2 ppg when playing away from home. They've hit just 40.3% of their field goals on the season and that number dips to 39.5% when they play on the road. Now, they'll face the best defense that they've seen all year.
The Cardinals allowed an average of just 58 points per game, holding opposing teams to only 38.8% from the field. Over their last five games, they're allowed an average of just 56.2 ppg, opposing teams hitting 38.2% of their field goals. They've held 10 straight opponents to 61 or fewer points.
Louisville's Peyton Siva had this to say: 'We can play at the YMCA and I guarantee you coach Pitino will still have us pressing full court.''
While they (obviously) don't normally have to contend with teams like Louisville, the Aggies have been solid defensively themselves. They allowed an average of 61.4 ppg on the season, holding opponents to 38.3% with their field goals. Those numbers dip to 60 ppg and a fg percentage of 38 their last five.
That's noteworthy as the UNDER is 30-15 the past few seasons when Louisville has faced an opponent which allows 64 or fewer points per game.
The Cardinals have seen the UNDER go 5-1 their last six NCAA Tournament games. I expect them to start this year's "quest" off with a dominating defensive effort, leading to the final combined score staying beneath the number once again. 10* blue chip
|03-21-13||Oregon v. Oklahoma State -2||Top||68-55||Loss||-110||22 h 33 m||Show|
I'm playing on OKLAHOMA STATE. Many seem to be picking Oregon to win this one. (That's helped us by bringing the line down a bit from its opener.) While anything is certainly possible and the Ducks may indeed deserve a slightly higher seeding than the #12 they ended up with, I believe the Cowboys are favored for good reason.
While they came up short vs K-State in their last game (a team they had beaten the previous week) the Cowboys are 4-1 ATS (5-0 SU) off a conference loss. (The lone non-cover was still an 18-point win, in a game where they were laying 18.5.)
In fact, they've only lost twice in a row once all season - and that was back on New Year's Eve (1 point loss vs. Gonzaga) and the subsequent game (at K-State) to begin the new year.
The Ducks did win at UNLV back in November. (The Rebels were quite inconsistent this year.) However, their non-conference slate really wasn't that difficult. The only other decent non-conf. foe was arguably Cincinnati - and the Ducks lost that one by double-digits. The Pac-12 wasn't particularly strong this season (at least not in my opinion) and, despite winning their final three games, the Ducks are still only 8-7 SU their last 15.
The Cowboys have a history of taking care of business in the first round of tournament games. Indeed, they're 17-6 SU/ATS their last 23 opening round games in tournament play.
The Cowboys are also 15-7 ATS (17-5 SU) the last 22 times that they were listed as neutral court favorites (or pick'em) of three or fewer points. I feel the number is more than fair and am expecting a win for the Cowboys. 10* personal favorite
|03-21-13||New Mexico State +9.5 v. St. Louis||Top||44-64||Loss||-110||20 h 32 m||Show|
I'm playing on NEW MEXICO STATE. The Billikens are a very solid and well-coached team. Needless to say, they've had an excellent season. That said, I feel that they're laying too many points here.
I've already acknowledged that the Billikens are a good team. The Aggies aren't slouches either though. They're here for a reason. They've got 24 wins to their credit and they only allow 62.1 points per game.
This team lost some key players from last year and so a slow start to the season wasn't all that surprising. However, they got it together and have been playing great for many weeks now. In fact, the Aggies, who enter off five straight wins, have only lost two games in all of 2013. Its important to note that both losses came by six or fewer points. Even if Watson (ankle) is unable to go, I believe they have what it takes to give St. Louis all it can handle.
With a 4-2 ATS (5-1 SU) mark this year, the Aggies are now an outstanding 33-16 ATS their last 49 lined games, excluding pushes, in the month of March. I believe the Aggies are playing their best basketball at the right time. While an outright win will admittedly be a tough task, I expect at least another cover. 10* best bet
|03-20-13||Charleston Sou +14 v. Southern Miss||Top||71-78||Win||100||21 h 53 m||Show|
I'm playing on CHARLESTON SOUTHERN. The Golden Eagles are heavy favorites here. However, I believe that this game will mean more to the underdog Buccaneers. I expect them to be much more competitive than the pointspread suggests.
The Golden Eagles had a very solid season. They can't be too happy to be here though, as they were really hoping to make the "Big Dance." Losing in double-OT in the CUSA Finals vs. Memphis may be tough to shake off.
Note that the Golden Eagles are only 5-11-1 ATS off a conference loss the past few seasons. During that stretch, they were 3-6-1 ATS when playing a game where the O/U line ranged in the 130s.
On the other hand, Charleston Southern is making its first postseason appearance since the 1997 NCAA Tournament and
|03-19-13||Middle Tennessee St v. Saint Marys CA UNDER 132.5||Top||54-67||Win||100||16 h 15 m||Show|
I'm playing on St. Mary's and Middle Tennessee State to finish UNDER the total. In games which had an O/U line, the Blue Raiders have seen the UNDER go 6-0 their last six neutral court games, and 18-6 their last 24. I expect those stats to improve here.
The Blue Raiders check in allowing just 57.9 points per game. Opposing teams have shot only 39.4% from the field against them. When playing away from home, their games are averaging only 126.4 points.
The Gaels are also capable defensively. They allow 63.5 points per game, limiting opposing teams to 41.9% shooting. While those defensive numbers are pretty consistent whether they're playing on the road or at home, their offensive stats go down when playing away from home.
In games with a total, the Gaels have seen the UNDER go 8-3 their last 10.
Both teams have had an extended layoff, which could potentially lead to some early rust. I look for the final combined score to prove lower-scoring than many will be expecting. 9*
|03-19-13||Kentucky v. Robert Morris +5.5||Top||57-59||Win||100||15 h 8 m||Show|
I'm playing on ROBERT MORRIS. I've been quite successful this season when playing on/against Kentucky. I believe that this will be a good spot to go against the Wildcats.
How the mighty have fallen. Champions of the NCAA Tournament only a year ago, the (once) mighty Wildcats find themselves in the NIT. Needless to say, this is not what they were hoping for or expecting.
Adding insult to injury, the Cats find themselves playing on the road, due to the fact that Rupp Arena is being used. Instead, the Cats will be playing at the "Sewall Center."
Although they are surely hating being here, I don't expect the Cats to just roll over. They'd surely like to show their critics up by winning this tournament.
That said, I believe that its going to be very difficult to match the emotion that Robert Morris will bring to the table.
This is the biggest game ever being played here. Tuesday night classes have been cancelled. The game is a sellout - and tickets are already being scalped for many times their normal price. Senior point guard Velton Jones noted: "It's crazy around here. I saw a girl actually crying when she heard the news. There are not too many times Robert Morris has had a chance for a school like that to come here."
Obviously, the Colonials don't have the same type of pedigree as Kentucky. Their schedule was certainly much easier. Still, this is a team which won 23 games.
The Wildcats knew they needed to beat a mediocre Vanderbilt team in the SEC Tournament, yet they got crushed, losing 64-48. Note that they're only 1-6 ATS after scoring less than 60 points. In true road games, the Cats were only 3-8 ATS. They've only had one road win since the beginning of February (at [email protected] on 2/2) and that victory came by only four points.
The Colonials were the best team in their conference during the regular season. This is their chance to make up for a disappointing conference tournament. In fact, while its debatable, one could argue that a win here would be even bigger than advancing to the NCAA Tournament would have been for them.
The Colonials lost by only two points at Xavier and by only five at Arkansas. (Kentucky lost by 13 at Arkansas.) When playing at home, they beat Ohio by eight points, Cleveland State by nine, Bowling Green by 11 and Duquesne by 22.
Robert Morris Coach Andy Toole said this of tonight's game:
|03-17-13||Mississippi v. Florida -11||Top||66-63||Loss||-105||5 h 39 m||Show|
I'm playing on FLORIDA. The Gators are fairly heavy favorites here. However, I believe the line could easily be even higher. When these teams met (at Florida) in February, the line was -17.5. The Gators won by 14. They're 11-1 their last 12 in this series.
Despite narrowly failing to cover yesterday, the Gators still won by double-digits. They lead the nation in scoring margin, outscoring opponents by 18.9 points per game. A rough patch at the end of the regular season is now ancient history, as this team has won five straight.
Even with yesterday's ATS loss, the Gators are 60-34-2 ATS (68-28 SU) their last 96 tournament games, 10-5 ATS (11-4 SU) their last 15.
I feel they've got a number of advantages here and am expecting another double-digit win. 10*
|03-16-13||Wisconsin v. Indiana -6||Top||68-56||Loss||-110||9 h 58 m||Show|
I'm playing on INDIANA. Give the Badgers credit for playing a great game yesterday and having a strong season. However, this Indiana team, arguably as talented as any in the country, is a different beast - one which I expect to be extremely hungry.
The Hoosiers blew out Illinois by 16 points yesterday, a game which was never in doubt. They dominated in the paint, Zeller having a huge game.
The Hoosiers already believe they deserve to be a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. However, that's certainly not a given. Adding their first ever Big Ten touney title to a season that already saw them win their first outright conference title would ensure that. I don't expect them to leave anything to chance.
As if they didn't already have enough to play for, the fact that the Badgers beat them in the regular season, should provide the Hoosiers with plenty of motivation.
While the Badgers are 2-6 ATS their last eight tournament semi-final games. the Hoosiers are 4-1 ATS their last five tournament semi-final games. I feel that they've got a "score to settle" and I look for them to get their "payback" in convincing fashion this afternoon. 10* personal favorite
|03-15-13||San Diego St +1.5 v. New Mexico||Top||50-60||Loss||-110||15 h 56 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN DIEGO STATE. I backed the Aztecs in their first game of this tournament. While it may not have been "pretty," I feel that game played out the best way that the Aztecs could have hoped for.
The Aztecs jumped out to a big lead in that game vs. Boise State. However, they allowed the Broncos to come charging all the way back. They didn't fold though. Rather, they stayed strong, showed some fortitude, took Boise's best shot and then responded by earning the win and cover.
In recent years, the Aztecs have been a team that has fared very well in close games. However, this year's team has largely struggled in close games. That's why I feel that winning a close one was so "good for them."
Despite earning the win over Boise, the Aztecs are still on the bubble - although they could very well make it, even with a loss here. While the current roster of players wasn't around at the time, coach Fisher will surely have reminded them of what happened in 2009.
In case you don't remember, the 2009 Aztecs were also "on the bubble." They got all the way to the tournament title game but lost, 52-50, to Utah. On "Selection Sunday," San Diego State was left off the field. Instead of going to the Big Dance, they were forced to do their "dancing" at the NIT. Needless to say, they don't want to leave anything to chance this time.
New Mexico is indeed a very good team. The Lobos likely won't have the same sense of urgency as the Aztecs though, as they know they're already going to the NCAA Tournament.
Note that the Aztecs are 11-8-1 ATS the last 20 times that they were listed as underdogs. They're also 40-23-2 ATS (46-19 SU) their last 65 against teams with a winning record and 22-10-1 (24-9 SU) their last 33 against teams which allow 64 or fewer points per game.
While the Lobos did beat the Aztecs at "The Pit" a few weeks ago, the Aztecs pounded them (55-34) at San Diego State in the first meeting. (That was the fewest points New Mexico had scored since the mid-70s!) I backed them in that game and I'm doing so again here. 10* best bet
|03-14-13||Tex San Antonio v. Louisiana Tech -10||Top||73-67||Loss||-106||16 h 12 m||Show|
I'm playing on LOUISIANA TECH. I believe that there's a large gap in talent between these teams, even larger than the (fairly high) pointspread indicates. I also believe that the Roadrunners are catching the Bulldogs at the wrong time.
A look at the overall records shows Texas-San Antonio at just 9-21, including a 1-9 mark vs. teams with a winning record. Meanwhile, LA Tech checks in with a 26-5 mark. As I said, the gap between these teams is a wide one. Note that Roadrunners are 1-2 their last three games. The two losses came at Utah State and vs. Seattle. they lost those games by 20 and 16 points, respectively.
Some of you may recall that I played against the Bulldogs exactly one week ago. (At New Mexico State on 3/7.) At the time, LA Tech was on a huge undefeated streak and had made its way all the way into the Top 25. However, I felt the Bulldogs were a bit over-valued and noted that I felt they were walking into a hornet's nest. What happened? The Bulldogs got smoked by 18 points, losing 78-60.
I didn't touch their next game, as I felt the line was about right and wasn't quite sure how LA Tech would respond to the big loss at New Mexico State. However, the Bulldogs would go on to lose by an even bigger margin, getting crushed 78-54 at Denver. Needless to say, I wish I played against them there, too.
I believe that those losses have worked in our favor. For starters, they should have the Bulldogs fully "wide awake" again, as they look to regain their swagger. They also very likely killed their chances of receiving an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Certainly, they can't afford to lose here.
The Roadrunners should represent an ideal opponent for the Bulldogs to "get healthy" against. Lets not forget that LA Tech is 15-0 SU against teams with a losing record this season and 15-7-1 ATS (23-0 SU!) when favored. In other words, while they may have had some trouble on the road against top tier opponents, the Bulldogs have been a team that knows how to take care of business against weaker opposition.
When these teams faced each other last month, laying 15.5 points, the Bulldogs won by 25. They were up 15 by halftime and never looked back.
While LA Tech is still averaging 80.8 points its past five games, Texas San Antonio is averaging only 61.
The Bulldogs are 7-2 SU/ATS their last nine "neutral court" games, including a 2-0 ATS mark when favored in the 9.5 to 12 range. I'm expecting a double-digit win. 10* personal favorite
|03-13-13||Boise State v. San Diego St -4||Top||67-73||Win||100||31 h 40 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN DIEGO STATE. These teams just faced each other a few days ago, at Boise. The Broncos won that game by a score of 69-65. I expect the Aztecs to return the favor on Wednesday.
Recent results have kept this line lower than it could have easily been. That puts the Aztecs in one of their better roles. They're 6-3 SU/ATS the last nine times that they were favored by four or fewer points, going 13-7 ATS (14-6 SU) their last 20 in that role.
One could potentially make a case that the Broncos need this one more. While the Aztecs should already be safely in the field of 64, the Broncos may need a win here to punch their ticket.
Needing a game more doesn't guarantee victory though. Far from it.
I'm also not so sure that the Broncos do need this one more. Having lost a number of close ones, the Aztecs have badly want some momentum, entering the tournament.
Coach Fisher said this of the regular season loss at Boise: "It's not OK. We've had too many like this. We've been close but not been able to make that extra play, get that one whistle, make that one basket."
The fact is that the 3/9 game at Boise didn't mean much of anything for the Aztecs. They played sloppily and made numerous mistakes. Yet, they still nearly won.
Now playing on a neutral court, playing with recent revenge and with much more to play for, I expect them to improve their game and to come away with the win and cover. 10* personal favorite
|03-11-13||Saint Marys CA +6 v. Gonzaga||Top||51-65||Loss||-110||15 h 18 m||Show|
I'm playing on ST. MARY'S. I respect Gonzaga. The Bulldogs are very well-coached. They're talented and they've had a great year. They also know they likely need this game to give them a #1 seed in the upcoming tournament. That doesn't mean that they can't be over-valued though. I believe that's the case here.
The Gaels are also well-coached and they're also talented. They didn't have quite as good a year as the Bulldogs - thanks largely to two head-to-head losses - but they were still very solid. Indeed, they bring a 27-5 record to the table.
While Gonzaga is going for a #1 seed, the Gaels arguably have even more motivation. Not only are they looking to avenge the pair of regular season losses but they are still trying to guarantee a trip to the Big Dance. A loss here and there's a chance that they could find themselves playing in a lesser tournament. (They could very well still make it but definitely would rather not leave anything to chance.)
As Gonzaga coach Mark Few noted: "We're going to have to match the intensity of our opponent. There's a sense of desperation when you don't know if you're in the NCAA tournament."
While it wasn't pretty, the Gaels gutted out an OT win over San Diego to get here, one of their players (Waldow) losing a tooth in the process - and still putting up huge stats. I believe that's the type of performance that they can build some momentum from, the type that brings a team together.
Note that the Gaels were only underdogs twice all season, once at Gonzaga and once at BYU. They covered both times, winning outright at BYU.
Two of the last three meetings between these rivals were decided by five or fewer points. Last year's WCC Final needed overtime to produce a winner. I expect another close one and with the line having climbed a bit from its opener, I feel we're getting excellent value with the revenge-minded "desperate" underdog. 10* main event
|03-09-13||SEATTLE U +6 v. IDAHO U||Top||72-76||Win||100||16 h 21 m||Show|
I'm playing on SEATTLE. My very first play of this NCAA season was on Seattle. The Redhawks crushed Montana State by a score of 87-72. At the time, I said that I expected them to "play with a chip on their shoulder," attempting to show that they belong in the WAC. (This was the first year they made the jump to Div 1 basketball.)
The season hasn't gone exactly as planned for the Redhawks, as they've had a lot more losses than wins. However, one area which as remained consistent is their effort on the road, where they rarely get blown out.
In their last true road game, the Redhawks won by 16 at Texas San Antonio. Their previous road game resulted in a 2-point loss at Texas State. Their previous road game came at New Mexico State, which is not an easy place to play. Getting 14 points, the Redhawks lost by only three. Other notable road efforts include a seven point loss at LA Tech, also a very difficult venue and single digit road losses at Utah State and Stanford. Prior to the narrow loss at LA Tech, they won by 17 at Texas Arlington, which was preceded by a 5-point loss at SJ State.
Indeed, this team has been very competitive on the road all season long and that's led to a lucrative 8-3 ATS away record. The Redhawks are now 10-4 ATS their L14 lined road games.
Meanwhile, the Vandals check in with a terrible 1-11 ATS record in their home lined games.
These teams played a close game at Seattle on 12/29. The Redhawks led at halftime but the Vandals would go on to win by a 71-64 margin. The most recent meeting (2/7/12) here at Idaho was even closer. The Redhawks had a 45-33 lead at halftime but the Vandals came back to beat them by a single point, 70-69.
I still feel that the Redhawks "have something to prove." Playing with revenge from the earlier loss at Seattle, I expect them to again give the Vandals all they can handle and I won't be at all surprised if they shock them with an outright win. 10* shocker GOM
|03-09-13||Fresno State v. UNLV -14||Top||61-52||Loss||-106||12 h 2 m||Show|
I'm playing on UNLV. While the margin of defeat at Air Force was a little bigger, a 64-55 loss at Fresno State on 2/6 was arguably the low point of the Rebels' season. It marked the only time all season that the Rebels lost two games in row and was their biggest upset loss. (They were favored by 3.5 when they lost at AF but but 8.5 when they lost at Fresno.)
Off five straight victories, the Rebels are now playing much better than they were for last month's meeting with the Bulldogs. I expect them to avenge that loss in convincing fashion.
The Bulldogs may have beaten the Rebels earlier and they are coming off a win in their home finale, however they're still the worst team in the Mountain West. The fact that they've covered some games recently has worked in out favor, in helping to keep this line more reasonable than it would have been otherwise.
Bottom line. The Rebels are a much stronger and more complete team. Last month's embarrassing result and the fact that this is their regular season home finale should ensure that they keep the pedal to the metal the entire way. 10*
|03-09-13||Dayton v. George Washington +1||Top||80-81||Win||100||8 h 14 m||Show|
I'm playing on GEORGE WASHINGTON. Admittedly, Dayton enters as the hotter team. The Flyers do also have some motivation, as they are trying to improve their seeding in the upcoming A-10 tournament. I believe the Colonials will want this one even more though.
Not only is this "senior day" and their final regular season home game, its also potentially their final game overall. That's because this team is in danger of missing the A-10 tourney entirely. However, a win this afternoon could potentially change that. I expect to see an extremely hungry team.
The Flyers did win their last road game. However, they're still a dismal 2-7 on the road, 1-7 their last eight.
The Colonials have also had trouble on the road of late and they did also lose their last home game. However, that was against a very strong St. Louis squad and they were in it the entire way, leading in the second half. Their previous home game resulted in an eight point win.
The Colonials have won eight of the last 11 as a host in this series, most recently a 60-58 win here in March of 2011. I expect homecourt to prove the difference, as an extremely motivated effort leads to a victory for the home fans. 10* motivational mismatch
|03-08-13||Kent State v. Akron -8.5||Top||68-64||Loss||-106||14 h 47 m||Show|
I'm playing on AKRON. The Zips have had an excellent regular season. I expect them to cap it off with a blowout win tonight.
The Zips saw their dream of a perfect "MAC" record shattered a couple of games ago, losing at Buffalo. Unfazed, they returned home and responded with a double-digit win over Miami Ohio last time out. The game was relatively close at halftime but the Zips pulled away in the second half, scoring 41 while allowing only 30.
Admittedly, the Golden Flashes have been playing well and they are still trying to crack the Top 4 in conference play. That said, I don't think they match up well here - and I expect them to be in over their heads vs. a very solid and balanced Akron squad.
At first glance, this line may initially seem a little high. However, its come down a bit from its opener and I believe it could well be higher, if not for Akron failing to cover in back-to-back games. Keep in mind that the Zips are still a fantastic 36-19-2 ATS (51-6 SU) the past few seasons, when laying points.
The Zips also tend to be at their best against other good teams. They're 7-2 ATS against teams with a winning record, going 33-16 ATS the past few seasons. That includes a superb 20-5 ATS record, when facing a team with a winning record after at least 15 games of the season had been played - 3-0-1 ATS this season. (The lone push came against the Golden Flashes, a 4-point win at Kent State.)
Kent State has been respectable on the road, outscoring teams by a 69.7 to 66.5 margin. However, the Zips have been dominant in going undefeated here at home. They've outscored teams by a 76.2 to 58.8 mark here, outshooting them by a 48% to 37.6% margin from the field.
Last year's regular season meeting here saw Akron win by nine, laying 4.5. This year's team is even stronger and I'm expecting them to "make a statement" with an even bigger margin of victory. 10* personal favorite
|03-07-13||Louisiana Tech v. New Mexico State -2||Top||60-78||Win||100||14 h 1 m||Show|
I'm playing on NEW MEXICO STATE. The Bulldogs have had a great season. They're on an extended winning streak and come in with the better overall record. The Aggies have also had a very strong season though and their home record is superior to LA Tech's mark on the road. I believe that they're favored for good reason.
The Bulldogs have played their last three at home, where they've been unbeatable. A look at their schedule reveals that only nine of their last 21 games have come on the road. None of those opponents (Idaho, Seattle, Texas State, SJ State, Texas SA, Texas Arlington, Arkansas LR, Mcneese St, NW State) are as good at home as the Aggies are. The Bulldogs lost at Northwestern State and also at McNeese State. They won at Arkansas Little Rock by only two and at Texas Arlington by just three. Wins at Texas San Antonio and at Utah State also came by only two and three points. In fact, only the wins at SJ St and Texas State came by greater than six points.
In other words, despite playing at venues that arguably aren't as tough as this one, the Bulldogs have been "eking out" a lot of their road wins.
The Aggies lost at Denver last time out but did cover the spread. They're 9-5 SU/ATS off a conference loss the past couple of seasons. During that time, they're 11-7 ATS when attempting to avenge an earlier road loss.
With the cover at Denver, the Aggies are 7-3 ATS their last 10 lined games in March, going a lucrative 30-14 ATS their last 44, excluding pushes.
Note that the Aggies are 2-0 ATS the past couple of seasons, when listed as home favorites of three or fewer points.
While the Aggies did come up short at LA Tech, they've dominated the Bulldogs here for years. They'll need to play their best game to continue that domination but I feel that they'll be up for the task. 10* personal favorite
|03-07-13||Virginia Cavaliers v. FLORIDA STATE +4.5||Top||51-53||Win||100||14 h 56 m||Show|
I'm playing on FLORIDA STATE. The Cavaliers crushed the Seminoles when these teams met at Virginia. No surprise there. The Cavs are 17-1 at home while the Noles are 7-7 on the road. Tonight's rematch is at Tallahassee though and the Cavs aren't even close to being the same team on the road that they are at home. I believe the Noles have an excellent shot at the upset.
Last time out, the Cavs lost 53-52 at Boston College. Their previous two road games also both resulted in losses. Granted, those were at very difficult venues (Miama and UNC) but the fact remains that this team isn't the same away from home. They've lost at Georgia Tech by six and at Clemson by 15. They've also lost at George Mason and a neutral court game at Old Dominion.
Note that the Cavs are just 5-11 ATS the last 16 times that they were listed as road favorites in the 3.5 to 6 range, 1-2 ATS in that role this season.
With the loss at BC, its also worth pointing out that Virginia is now a dismal 21-39-1 ATS (19-42 SU) its last 61 games played in the month of March.
The Noles, 10-4 ATS in March the past couple of seasons, are 3-0 ATS the last three times that they attempted to avenge a loss of 20 or more points. They tend to fare well in games here which are expected to be low-scoring, going 9-1 SU (6-2-2 ATS) the last 10 times that that they played a home game with an O/U line in the 120s.
The Noles beat the Cavs by three here last season and are 11-2 SU and 9-4 ATS the last 13 times that they were a host in the series. They've won back-to-back games here, most recently blowing out Wake Forest by 14. I backed them in that game and I feel they're in a good spot to earn us AT LEAST another cover here. 9* best bet
|03-06-13||Georgetown v. Villanova -1.5||Top||57-67||Win||100||10 h 35 m||Show|
I'm playing on VILLANOVA. The Hoyas boast the superior record and ranking. I believe that the Wildcats are favored for good reason.
While the Hoyas are looking to improve their NCAA tournament positioning by locking down a #1 seed, the Wildcats are still looking to guarantee that they punch their ticket. Needless to say, a win here would go a long way. I feel that they'll be a little more hungry, as a result.
The Wildcats do have wins over the likes of Louisville and Syracuse, teams which were ranked #5 and #3 at the time. However, after missing the NCAA tournament last season, they don't want to leave anything to chance.
Villanova coach Jay Wright had this to say: "We understand there are implications to this game. Playing in the Big East Conference, you aren't fazed by playing a top 10 team. I think that's something that has always helped our teams in the NCAA tournament. I like the fact we're going to play important games late in the season. That's how I want it to be."
While they've had some trouble on the road, the Wildcats have been very tough at home of late. They've played three games here over the past month. All three resulted in victories, most recently a 60-56 win over a Marquette team which currently has a 21-7 record.
Admittedly, the Hoyas have been on an impressive roll. The pointspreads have started to catch up with them a little though. They're 0-1-1 ATS their last two games. They've got a big game vs. Syracuse on deck, their regular season and home finale. I feel that they could get caught "patting themselves on the back" a little and/or looking ahead. Note that with the ATS loss vs. Rutgers, the Hoyas are now only 2-7 ATS (3-6 SU) their last nine games in the month of March.
The Wildcats are 7-4 ATS as favorites, including a 1-0 ATS mark as a home favorite of three or fewer points. They've had some trouble with the Hoyas in recent seasons but I look for them to rise to the occasion with a very important victory this evening. 10* personal favorite
|03-05-13||Boise State v. UNLV -7.5||Top||64-68||Loss||-110||14 h 39 m||Show|
I'm playing on UNLV. The Broncos have the better ATS record this season and they did beat the Rebels earlier. That doesn't mean that they're the better team though. Playing with revenge and now playing on their home floor, I expect the Rebels to settle the score tonight.
The Broncos are not in one of their better roles here. In fact, they're 0-4 ATS the last few seasons, when listed as road underdogs in the 6.5 to 9 range.
During the same stretch, the Rebels were 3-1 ATS (4-0 SU) when listed as home favorites in the 6.5 to 9 range.
Winning on the road has admittedly proven to be difficult for the Rebels. However, they've remained dominant here in Las Vegas, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, winning by an average score of 75.8 to 62. Visiting teams are hitting a mere 36.2% of their field goals here.
Note that Broncos are just 8-11 ATS (6-13 SU) the past few seasons, when facing a team which allows 64 or fewer points, after a minimum of 15 games had been played.
Last year, the Rebels were laying 13.5 points when they hosted the Broncos. They would go on to win by 17, a 75-58 blowout. Boise State would hit only 35.7% of its shots. Behind another strong defensive effort, I expect the revenge-minded Rebels to win by double-digits, once again. 10* top "revenge" report
|03-05-13||Arkansas v. Missouri -10||Top||63-93||Win||100||12 h 25 m||Show|
I'm playing on MISSOURI. Many of you will recall that I played against the Tigers a little over a week ago. They lost 90-83 at Kentucky. Now, they'll take on an Arkansas team which just defeated Kentucky. Some will have the following logic: "If Kentucky just beat Missouri and Arkansas just beat Kentucky, then surely Arkansas will be able to hang around against Missouri." That type of logic doesn't hold up in the world of handicapping though, as things are rarely that simple.
In this case, we have to remember the very important fact that the Razorbacks were at home when they beat Kentucky while the Tigers were on the road when they lost against them.
This time, Missouri will have homecourt advantage. With Missouri boasting a perfect home record and Arkansas really struggling on the road, needless to say, this is an extremely significant fact.
The Razorbacks are a dismal 4-24 on the road the past few seasons, going a money-burning 7-21 ATS. That includes a 1-3 ATS record, when they've been listed as road underdogs in the 9.5 to 12 range. This season, they're getting outscored by a 72.5 to 61.5 mark on the road.
On the other hand, Missouri is outscoring teams by a 80.8 to 62.3 margin here at home. The Tigers hit 47.7% of their field goals here, visiting teams making only 37.5% of theirs.
The Tigers, who lost a close one at Arkansas a few weeks ago, are 2-1 ATS (3-0 SU) the last three times that they attempted to avenge an earlier road loss. Playing their final home game of the season, I expect them to improve on those stats in convincing fashion. 10* personal favorite
|03-03-13||DePaul v. South Florida -3||Top||73-83||Win||100||10 h 46 m||Show|
I'm playing on SOUTH FLORIDA. Admittedly, its been an extended tough stretch for the Bulls. They're taking a major step down in class here though and I feel that they're favored for good reason.
They've come close a number of times but the Bulls haven't actually won a game since way back on 1/19, when they defeated Georgetown. With games vs. UConn and at Cincinnati on deck, the Bulls know that this is by far their best chance to reward the home faithful with a victory. I expect an extremely motivated effort.
The Blue Demons have struggled every bit as much as the Bulls, arguably even more so They defeated Rutgers (not as impressive as beating GTown) a couple of weeks ago but have lost every game since by double-digits. They're 1-12 their last 13 games. Note that every one of those dozen losses came by four or more points.
Keep in mind that the Bulls are 8-8 at home while the Blue Demons are 4-8 on the road. While the Blue Demons are permitting 79.2 ppg on the road, the Bulls allow only 62.7 here at Tampa.
The Bulls are a team that takes care of business when they get the chance. In fact, they're 13-0 SU (7-2 ATS in lined games) the past few seasons, when taking on a team with a losing record.
On the other hand, during the same stretch, Depaul is only 14-12 (7-12 ATS in lined games!) when taking on a team with a losing record. A closer look reveals that those victories came early in the season, vs. complete cupcakes. When matched up against a team with a losing record, after at last 15 games have been played, the Demons are 0-7 SU and 0-6 ATS. Note that the Depaul is also an ugly 2-19 over that period, when facing a team which allows 64 or fewer points per game, after a minimum of 15 games had been played.
Given the above stats, its not surprising to learn that USF has dominated this series in recent years. That includes a 16-point win (at Depual) in last season's lone meeting. I expect another convincing victory for the Bulls here. 10* personal favorite
|03-02-13||Kansas State v. Baylor -2.5||Top||64-61||Loss||-110||18 h 30 m||Show|
I'm playing on BAYLOR. The Wildcats come in with the higher ranking and better overall record. However, I believe that the Bears are favored for good reason.
A closer look reveals that Baylor's home record is superior to Kansas State's road record. Despite having a winning SU record away from home, the Wildcats are actually getting outscored by a 64.7 to 64.1 margin in their road games. (They're just 3-5 ATS on the road.)
On the other hand, Baylor is outscoring teams by a dominating 77.3 to margin in its home games.
True, the Wildcats hammered them a couple of weeks ago. However, that was at Manhattan. As seen above, the Bears are a much better team at home. Needless to say, they'll have payback on their minds here.
While the Cats already know they're destined to be "dancing," the Bears are still trying to ensure that they get there. Wednesday's win at West Virginia got them back on track and boosted their hopes. It also should give them momentum and confidence for today's important tilt.
Ultimately, I expect homecourt to prove the difference, as the Bears pull away for the win, covering the small number along the way. 10* personal favorite
|03-02-13||St. Louis v. George Washington +6.5||Top||66-58||Loss||-110||14 h 48 m||Show|
I'm playing on GEORGE WASHINGTON. The Billikens are a very solid team. I believe that their high ranking is justified and they've been good to me this season. However, I believe that they're a little over-valued here. I also believe that they may well be ripe for a letdown and that they may get caught looking past this afternoon's opponent. Meanwhile, I feel the opposite about the Colonials. I believe that that they'll be extremely motivated and that they're a bit under-valued.
True, the Billikens are still trying to wrap up first place in the conference. This game is arguably even bigger for the Colonials though - as they're desperately just trying to qualify for the tournament. (They enter today's action in a four-way tie for ninth place in the A-10- one game ahead of 13th-place Dayton. Only the top 12 teams in the league qualify for the tourney.)
I say that the Billikens could get caught looking past the Colonials as they've been playing bigger name teams recently, have successfully won a game since entering the Top 25 and have teams like Xavier on deck.
While they've had trouble on the road, the Colonials won their last home game by eight points. Their only other conference home game in February resulted in a 3-point loss vs. Butler, a game they were getting 2.5 points for. Here, despite the fact that St. Louis and Butler have similar rankings, we're getting a handful of extra points to work with. Any loss they've had here in 2013 has come by single-digits and only one came by more than three points. In fact, no team has beaten them by more than single-digits here all season.
The Colonials are outscoring teams by an average score of 69.3 to 61.5 margin here - which is actually better than the 66.1 to 61.4 margin that the Billikens have averaged away from St. Louis.
The Colonials have hosted the Billikens four times since 1997. They won all four of those games, covering three of them. I expect to see a highly determined Colonials team today and look for them to step up with AT LEAST another cover. 10* best bet
|02-28-13||Gonzaga v. Brigham Young +6.5||Top||70-65||Win||100||18 h 34 m||Show|
I'm playing on BYU. Last night, I backed the USC Trojans in their game against highly ranked Arizona. The Trojans had been embarrassed by the Wildcats when the teams met earlier and I expected them to respond with their best effort. The Cougars are in a similar spot here. This time, they're the team hosting a highly ranked opponent, one which embarrassed them last time out. While they may not be able to pull off a double-digit win, as USC did, I expect them to also respond with their very best effort - and for that to lead to AT LEAST a cover.
Without question, the Bulldogs are a very good team. Currently, they've got their highest ranking in school history and are riding a 10-game winning streak.
That said, I feel that they're a bit over-valued at the moment - and that BYU is also a better team than many realize. Keep in mind that the Cougars are 13-2 at home and that they've outscored opponents by an average score of 81.3 to 65.7 here. The Cougars have made better than 48% of their field goals here while visiting teams have hit less than 40% of theirs.
Tyler Haws, the WCC scoring leader, is particularly dominant here at Provo. He averages better than 22 points on this floor, making greater than 49% of his shots.
While the Bulldogs would love to finish undefeated in conference play, they've already clinched at least a tie for first - and even if they lose here, they'll still win the conference by knocking off Portland, a home game that they'll be heavily favored for.
The Bulldogs can say all the right things about remaining hungry and focused and wanting more. However, that can be easier said than done for a team that's constantly hearing how good it is. Also, while the Gonzaga oaching staff would never admit it - after all their blowout wins - being involved in a "close game" would probably actually benefit this team.
The Cougars knocked off the Bulldogs by a score of 83-73 when the teams met here last season. Including that victory, they're 9-2 ATS (11-0 SU) the last 11 times that they played a home game where the O/U line ranged from 145 to 149.5. Going back further finds them at 17-7 ATS (24-0 SU!) their last 24 in that situation. Don't be surprised by another upset tonight. 10* best bet
|02-28-13||Rider v. Niagara -8.5||Top||68-59||Loss||-106||14 h 3 m||Show|
I'm playing on NIAGARA. While the Broncs have had a solid season, I expect them to be in over their heads here.
These teams faced each other a couple of weeks ago, at Rider. The Broncs caught a break as they faced the Purple Eagles without Antoine Mason, arguably their best player. The game was close but Rider hung on for a 72-69 victory.
That was in the middle of a 4-game stretch which saw Niagara go 0-4 ATS and 1-3 SU though.
That stretch notwithstanding, the Purple Eagles may well be the best team in this conference. They've got Mason back and they're peaking at the right time.
Three games ago, while it didn't result in a cover, the Purple Eagles got back on track by winning at Marist. They followed that up with a victory at Manhattan. That may not sound like much but it was a big win. Not only are the Jaspers a little better believe (at least in my opinion) but the win snapped Niagara's ATS skid.
Last time out, the Eagles returned home to face Northwestern State, a team with 19 wins on the season and which was outscoring teams by an average of more than 10 points per outing. In fact, NW State entered that game as the highest scoring team in the country. Things were close at halftime, as Niagara was up by a score of 31-30.
However, the Purple Eagles flexed their collective muscles in the second half, scoring a whopping 61 points, en route to a 92-76 blowout win. Mason returned and promptly contributed 20 points.
Off that explosion, knowing the conference regular season title is within their grasp and with Mason now having a game under his belt, I expect the revenge-minded Purple Eagles to carry the momentum into tonight's contest. They're 5-1 the last six times that they attempted to avenge an earlier road loss and I expect them to improve on those stats in convincing fashion tonight. 10*
|02-27-13||Arizona v. USC +7||Top||78-89||Win||100||12 h 12 m||Show|
I'm playing on USC. The Trojans are another team which has treated me pretty well this season. I wasn't involved in their most recent game (blowout loss vs. UCLA) but feel that they're offering us very fair value this evening.
While they admittedly didn't fare too well against the revenge-minded Bruins, the Trojans have generally been very competitive, since the coaching change a few weeks ago. They're now 3-1-2 ATS and 4-2 SU their last six games. Only the UCLA game resulted in a loss of greater than eight points.
This time, its the Trojans who come in looking for some payback. They were beaten soundly at Arizona back on 1/26. As noted, however, the team is playing improved basketball since that time. Note that USC is 2-1 ATS the last three times that it attempted to avenge a loss of 20 or more points.
Arizona coach Sean Miller acknowledged that he's likely to see an improved USC team here. He was quoted saying the following: "We know that when we played USC we probably had them at an ideal time. They're really playing much better."
Overall, including the loss at Arizona, the Trojans are a respectable 7-5-2 ATS in Pac-12 play. That's actually a far better ATS record than what the Wildcats bring to the table. In fact, Arizona is an ugly 5-10 ATS in conference play.
The Wildcats are off back to back big wins over Washington and Washington State. However, both those games came at home. In their last road game, they won by only four against a fairly weak Utah team. Their previous road game resulted in a double-digit loss at Colorado.
A closer look at Arizona's last win shows that the Wildcats actually allowed Washington State to hit 45% of its shots. The final score would have been far closer if the Cougars didn't miss a whopping 14 free throws.
Miller said this of his squad: "Our team is having a hard time playing very, very hard for 40 minutes. The one thing that I know is we're not the most talented, prolific offensive team, so when we don't play over the top hard and together, it really shows up."
Off their two blowout wins and with a big game against UCLA, a team which upset them at Arizona a few weeks ago, I feel that the Wildcats could easily get caught looking ahead here and/or patting themselves on the back and that they may not be able to play "over the top." Note that they're 4-6 ATS off a conference win. (They also have a date with instate rival Arizona State following the UCLA game.)
The Trojans were embarrassed in the loss at Arizona and they were also embarrassed with their performance on Sunday afternoon. I expect them to bounce back with a highly motivated effort and for that to lead to AT LEAST a cover. 10* best bet
|02-27-13||Mississippi State v. Kentucky -18.5||Top||55-85||Win||100||11 h 50 m||Show|
I'm playing on KENTUCKY. I've done very well in picking my spots to play on/against the Wildcats this season. Recently after going against them in their blowout loss at Florida, I came back and played on the Cats in their victory over Missouri. Off that important victory, now armed with the knowledge that they can indeed win without Noel and stepping down significantly in class, I feel that this will be another good spot to play ON Kentucky.
While Saturday's win certainly helped, the well-coached Cats know they absolutely can't afford to squander games against beatable teams. They also know that "blowing them out" would be helpful. The Bulldogs should provide them with the opportunity to do just that.
Mississippi State is the worst team in the conference. The Bulldogs have dropped 12 straight games. They've only covered the spread in three of those, going 3-9 ATS. Last time out, despite playing at home, they were destroyed 72-31 vs. Vanderbilt, a team Kentucky defeated a couple of games back. Three of the Bulldogs last five defeats have come by a minimum of 25 points.
While the Cats are dealing with the loss of Noel, admittedly a blow, the Bulldogs have much bigger issues.
Miss. State coach Rick Ray had this to say: "There
|02-26-13||Wake Forest v. Florida State -5||Top||62-76||Win||100||13 h 7 m||Show|
I'm playing on FLORIDA STATE. Its true that the Demon Deacons have been much better at the betting window than the Seminoles this season. Its also true that they hammered the Noles when the teams met at Wake Forest. However, that doesn't mean that they're the more talented team. Indeed, the Noles still have the better SU record. With tonight's rematch being played at Tallahassee, I expect the revenge-minded Seminoles to get some payback.
Off their biggest win of the season, I believe that Deacons are ripe for a letdown here. Note that they're only 1-8 SU (3-5 ATS) the last few seasons, when off a conference win.
Lets keep in mind that the Deacons are 0-7 on the road, in ACC play. Five of those losses came by double-digits. On the season, they're only 2-10 in road/neutral games and those two wins came at UNC-Greensboro and a 3-point win in a neutral court game against Mercer.
While the Noles haven't exactly been dominant at home, they did win their last game here.
These teams met at Wake Forest only three weeks ago. The Noles were actually 2.5 point favorites in that game. Normally, that would mean that they'd be laying a larger number than they currently are for a home game. Needless to say, FSU hasn't forgotten that it lost that game by 25 points, arguably the low point of the season.
Last month's loss notwithstanding, note that FSU has enjoyed recent success in this series.
The Noles are 8-6 ATS the past couple of seasons, when playing with one or less day's rest in between games, including a 1-0 SU/ATS mark in that situation this season. The only time that they were in that situation this season resulted in a 7-point win in a neutral court game vs. St Joseph's.
The Noles are also 2-0-1 ATS the last three times that they attempted to avenge a blowout road loss of 20 or more points.
I feel that this number could easily be higher and I'm expecting a solid win and cover for the home team. *10 personal favorite
|02-25-13||Villanova v. Seton Hall +4.5||Top||65-66||Win||100||12 h 38 m||Show|
I'm playing on SETON HALL. The Wildcats have obviously had a much better season than the Pirates. However, in a potential let-down spot, I'm not sure that they're ready to be laying this many points on the road against what I expect to be a very hungry Pirates squad.
Even with Saturday's (4-point) win and a 4-3 ATS mark this month, the Wildcats are still a money-burning 5-16 ATS in February the past few seasons. One of those ATS losses came here at Seton Hall last season. In a game that was close the entire way (tied at half) Villanova eked out a 3-point win, which wasn't quite enough to earn the cover.
Including that ATS loss here last season, the Wildcats are only 5-8 ATS the last 13 times that they were road favorites in the 3.5 to 6 range, an 0-3 ATS (1-2 SU) mark their last three in that role.
Off the big win vs Marquette and with their next game coming at Pittsburgh - against a Panthers team which blew them out earlier - I feel it may be tough to fully focus on the task at hand.
Off Saturday's strong defensive performance, note that Villanova is also only 8-14 ATS its last 22 after allowing 60 or fewer points its previous game and 4-10 ATS its last 14 with one or less day's rest in between games.
During that stretch, the Pirates were 9-5 ATS with one or less day's worth of rest in between games. With Saturday's cover at Louisville, they're also 10-5 ATS the past 15 times that they were on a losing streak of three or more games, as they are here.
Desperate to snap their skid and to earn a "quality" conference win, I expect the Pirates to rise to the occasion with AT LEAST a cover. *10 best bet
|02-24-13||Michigan State v. Ohio State -3||Top||60-68||Win||100||7 h 60 m||Show|
I'm playing on OHIO STATE. The Spartans won a close when these teams met at Michigan State. Playing at home, I expect the Buckeyes to deliver some payback.
The Spartans have been "respectable" on the road. They're outscoring teams by a 66.2 to 64.4 margin away from home.
However, the Buckeyes have been dominant here. They're outscoring opposing teams by a 74.3 to 55.4 count here at Columbus.
While the Spartans are off a loss, the Buckeyes are off a big win. Note that MSU is a surprisingly poor 6-10-1 ATS (11-6 SU) the last 17 times it was off a loss in conference play. The Buckeyes are 30-12 SU off a conference win, during the same period.
Coach Izzo knows the Buckeyes are going to be tough to beat, noting that they're even stronger now than the team they beat a few weeks ago.
''They're a better team I think, in some ways, and they're a different team in other ways. They've still got one of the best defensive guards in the country (Aaron Craft) and they still have (Deshaun) Thomas, who is capable of getting 30 any night you play him.''
Ultimately, I expect homecourt to be the difference as the revenge-minded Buckeyes pull away with a very important win and cover. 10* annihilator
|02-23-13||Missouri v. Kentucky -1.5||Top||83-90||Win||100||24 h 5 m||Show|
I'm playing on KENTUCKY. I've had a pretty good read on the Wildcats this season, successfully picking my spots to play both on and against. Most recently, I played against them when they were blown out a Florida. I feel that this will be an excellent spot to go the other way and to come back with a play ON the Cats.
As you probably know, Kentucky lost Nerlens Noel a few games back. That was certainly a big blow to the team and they haven't covered the spread since he went down.
Those recent ATS losses combined with Noel's injury have many jumping off the Kentucky bandwagon. In turn, that has helped provide us with a very low line. That line is low enough that a SU win should also result in a cover. I feel that's providing us with plenty of value.
True, the Cats aren't what they were last season. And, I've already acknowledged that Noel's injury was costly. However, this is still Kentucky - an extremely well-coached team which is always loaded with talent.
The Cats got back on track last time out, winning by four against Vanderbilt. That wasn't enough for a cover but it does give them positive momentum. Note that KU, which has now failed to cover in four straight, is now 16-3 SU the last 19 times that it was off three or more consecutive non-covers.
Lets not forget that Kentucky is 46-2 its last 48 home games. The Cats are also an outstanding 9-2 SU/ATS the last 11 times that they were listed as home favorites of three or fewer points.
The Tigers certainly aren't slouches and they even beat Florida last time out. (That could easily have them ripe for a letdown.) However, they also aren't nearly as good away from home. While they've been unbeatable at Missouri, they're only 2-5 in true road games, 1-5 SU/ATS their last six.
Many will look at this game and use the following logic: Missouri just beat Florida while Florida just killed Kentucky. Therefore, Missouri will beat Kentucky. That type of thinking is flawed though. Expect homecourt to be the difference and for the Cats to come away with an important win and cover. *10 Personal Favorite
|02-23-13||Kansas State v. Texas +3||Top||81-69||Loss||-105||23 h 12 m||Show|
I'm playing on TEXAS. The Wildcats come in with the better ranking and the higher ranking. Not surprisingly, they're favored. However, I'm expecting a win for the Longhorns.
The Wildcats crushed Texas when these teams met at K-State. That's not all that surprising, given that the young Longhorns have really struggled on the road, while the Cats have been very tough at home.
The Longhorns have gradually been "growing up" though and they're a much better team here at home. Coming off their first true road win of the season and with payback on their minds, I'm expecting their very best effort.
Keep in mind that the Longhorns 10-3 home record is actually superior to K-State's 7-4 away/neutral court record.
In their most recent home game, the Longhorns defeated a solid Iowa State team. In their most recent road game, the Cats were blown out by double-digits.
In conference play, the Cats are 4-2 on the road. However, a closer look shows that two of those wins came by two points or less. The only Big 12 teams that they beat by more than two points on the road were Texas Tech and TCU, the two worst teams in the conference.
In non-conf. action, the Cats only played one true road game - they won by three as a 7-point favorite, at George Washington. So, they're only 2-5 ATS in true road games.
Going back a few years and we find that the Cats are only 4-15 ATS (5-14 SU!) the last 19 times that they were listed as road favorites of three or less, going 0-4 ATS (1-3 SU) their last four in that role.
Meanwhile, the Longhorns are 6-3 ATS the last nine times that they were listed as home underdogs of three or less. Also 3-1 ATS the last four times that they attempted to avenge an earlier loss, I expect AT LEAST another cover here. *10 Big 12 GOY
|02-20-13||Colorado St v. UNLV -3||Top||59-61||Loss||-106||26 h 37 m||Show|
I'm playing on UNLV. I won with the Rams when these teams faced each other at Colorado State. However, with this game being played at UNLV, I expect the Rebels to have their revenge.
True, the Rebels don't have a very good mark at the betting window. They do still have a very solid SU record though - and tonight's line is low enough that a SU win will likely also result in a cover.
While I respect the Rams, they're definitely not unbeatable. Lets not forget that the Rebels are 13-1 at home while the Rams are 5-4 on the road.
In their last two games here, the Rebels beat the likes of San Diego State and New Mexico, both very strong teams. They certainly won't be intimidated.
Including last season's 82-63 destruction, the Rebels are 10-1 SU and 9-2 ATS the last 11 times that they were a host in this series. With payback on their minds, I expect them to continue that dominance this evening. *10 personal favorite
|02-19-13||Wyoming v. San Diego St -11.5||Top||51-79||Win||100||15 h 12 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN DIEGO STATE. The Cowboys beat up on the Aztecs when these teams met at Wyoming. Tonight, I expect the Aztecs to settle the score.
Even including last month's loss, the Aztecs are still 5-1 SU/ATS the last six meetings in this series. The Aztecs are also 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS the last five times that they were a host in the series. The five wins came by an average of greater than 23 points. Even the lone "non-cover" still a margin of 11 points.
Last month's game notwithstanding, the Aztecs tend to take care of "good' teams, a category which Wyoming falls into. In fact, San Diego State is an impressive 43-17 its last 60 against teams with a winning record.
One might think that a "good" team like Wyoming would fare well, when getting so many points. That's not the case for the Cowboys though, a team typically not as good away from its home. In fact, the Cowboys are an ugly 5-13 ATS (2-16 SU) the last 18 times that they were listed as road underdogs in the 9.5 to 12 range, going 0-4 SU/ATS their last four in that role.
While the Aztecs have dealt with their share of injuries this season, note that Wyoming's Leonard Washington - a senior fwd who leads the team in both points and rebounds - is listed as doubtful.
Judging by his coach's comments, his chances don't seem very good: "He's doubtful right now, unless there's a miraculous improvement. We don't want to put him in harm's way."
Any chance that the Cowboys had of the Aztecs taking them lightly was likely eliminated due to the fact that San Diego State comes in off back-to-back losses. The only previous time that the Aztecs lost two in a row this season, they responded with a 21-point win, covering as four point favorites. I'm expecting a blowout. *10 Blowout GOM
|02-18-13||West Virginia v. Kansas State -10.5||Top||61-71||Loss||-110||18 h 48 m||Show|
I'm playing on KANSAS STATE. I successfully played against these same Wildcats last Monday. That was at Kansas though, facing a team which has dominated them. Now, the Cats are back home, taking on a West Virginia team which they've already defeated. Big difference. I feel this a favorable matchup for them and I expect a convincing win.
I expect last Monday's blowout loss on National TV to provide some added motivation here. Coach Bruce Weber noted: "We won one, and now we move on in our little bracket to Monday night and get to play West Virginia at home, and see if we can do a little better than last Monday."
With a 14-1 home record, the Wildcats are very tough to beat here. Last time out, they dismantled Baylor by a score of 81-61. Prior to that, their previous home games saw them beat Iowa State by nine and Texas by 26.
On the other hand, the Mountaineers are only 5-9 away from home, 3-6 in true road games. Last time they played on the round, the Mountaineers lost by 20.
Note that WVU has missed 31 of 83 free throw attempts its last three games. Coach Huggins sarcastically noted: "With some of these guys, if they make 1 of 2 you should probably be happy."
Those free throw shooting woes already hurt the Mountaineers in the earlier loss vs. K-State. I feel that was their chance to salvage a split vs. the Cats and they blew it. I don't even expect them to have a chance in this one.
The line may seem a little high. However, given the talent gap between these teams this season (and the venue) I feel the line could even be higher. Note that K-State is 16-9 ATS (22-3 SU) the last 25 times it was a home favorite in the 9.5 to 12 range.
While the Mountaineers are 0-9 their last nine against ranked teams, the Wildcats have won 13 straight when hosting unranked teams. Determined to I expect them to improve on those stats with a double-digit win. *10 Main Event
|02-17-13||Appalachian State v. NC-Greensboro -4||Top||76-68||Loss||-106||7 h 50 m||Show|
I'm playing on UNC GREENSBORO. Its been a tough stretch for the Spartans. This is a winnable game for them though. Playing with revenge from an earlier loss at Appalachian State, I expect a highly motivated effort to lead to a win and cover.
The Mountaineers are off a loss and are 4-6 their last 10. Two of those wins came in OT. A closer look shows they're 1-5 their last six road games, the lone win coming in OT.
The Spartans were actually up by a score of 39-32 at halftime in last month's 13-point loss at Appalachian State. So, they know they can play with this team.
Note that the Spartans beat the Mountaineers by 10 in last season's conference tournament, while also earning a win and cover in the regular season meeting here. (That was after having been blown out by 14 at Appalachian State earlier.)
Speaking of last year, note that the Mountaineers lost a few key seniors from that team. While it hasn't worked out the way they hoped, the Spartans came into the season as a team expected to be on the rise.
I feel this is a favorable matchup and I expect them to show us some of that pre season promise, en route to a win and cover. *10 personal favorite
|02-16-13||Oregon State v. Washington -4||Top||62-72||Win||100||15 h 15 m||Show|
I'm playing on WASHINGTON. The Huskies came up short against Oregon. Now more desperate than ever - and taking a step down in class - I expect them to respond with a much needed victory.
True, the Huskies have lost three straight. However, the losing skid shouldn't be cause to abandon ship. Two of those were on the road though and the home game was against a ranked opponent.
The last time that the Huskies were off three straight losses, (actually they'd lost four straight) they won and covered vs. ASU. Prior to that, when the losing streak was at three, they eked out a cover vs. Arizona.
Going back further finds Washington at a lucrative 28-15 ATS its last 43 lined games, when on a losing streak of three or more games.
The Beavers have trouble away from home. Allowing opposing teams to shoot 46.8% from the field in their road games hasn't helped.
Although they shouldn't need any added incentive, the fact that they already lost at Oregon State should provide the Huskies with even further motivation. This is a team that they've handled here, one they beat by 15 here last season (as a 4.5 pt favorite) and one I expect them to handle again tonight. *10 personal favorite
|02-16-13||Bowling Green v. Akron -12||Top||50-67||Win||100||12 h 49 m||Show|
I'm playing on AKRON. I believe that there's a big gap between these teams. The Zips already have 20 wins on the season. That includes a perfect 11-0 record in conference play. Bowling Green, on the other hand, is only 5-6 in conference play, 10-14 overall.
This line could actually be even higher and is being kept reasonable by the fact that the Zips have failed to cover a few in a row while the Falcons have been gotten the cash a few times.
Lets not forget that the Zips are outscoring teams by a 78-60 margin at home.
One of the Zips' victories came at Bowling Green. Laying nine points, Akron won by 13. True, Bowling Green would love to avenge that loss. Considering that the Falcons are 5-7 ATS and 0-12 SU the last dozen times that they attempted to avenge an earlier home defeat, wanting to do something and actually doing it are two entirely different matters.
An offensively challenged team, the Falcons strength is their defense. The problem is that the Zips are even better defensively than they are, plus the Zips can score points. The Zips also typically take care of defensive-minded teams.
In fact, Akron is 10-2 SU/ATS the last 12 times that it faced an opponent which allows 64 or fewer points, after at least 15 games had been played.
If you read today's Akron Beacon Journal Online, you'll find a story talking about how some students at Akron don't even know how well their team is doing.
Alex Abreu, a junior from Puerto Rico, said this: "When I got here, I was amazed that a team that has gone to the final of the MAC seven years in a row cannot sell out [besides] the Kent State game. I was like,
|02-15-13||Georgetown v. Cincinnati -3||Top||62-55||Loss||-110||11 h 55 m||Show|
I'm playing on CINCINNATI. Georgetown comes in with the better overall record. However, I believe that the Bearcats, who have won four straight in this series, are favored for good reason.
Off a couple of tough losses, the Bearcats responded with a blowout win over Villanova last time out. That 68-50 victory gives them both confidence and momentum. With back to back road games on deck, they know this is a game they need to take advantage of - a chance to knock off a ranked opponent.
Admittedly, the Hoyas come in on a major roll. However, they're far from unbeatable on the road. They've already lost at South Florida and Marquette in conference play.
A win at Notre Dame was pretty impressive. However, a closer look shows that the Hoyas' only other conference road wins came at Rutgers and St. John's.
Note that the Hoya's non-conference slate didn't include a single true road game. (Playing neutral court games, they lost vs. Indiana while beating Texas and UCLA.)
It should also be noted that Georgetown point guard Markel Starks has four turnovers in each of his last two games. That could present a bit of a problem against a Cincy pressure defense which had a big edge in the turnover battle against the Hoyas last season.
Additionally, although both teams are excellent defensively, the fact that the Bearcats are the top rebounding team in the Big East may give them a few extra possessions here.
With an O/U line currently in the 117 to 118 range, note that the Bearcats are 5-2 ATS (6-1 SU) the seven times that they played a game where the O/U line was less than 120. Playing at home, I expect the Bearcats to cool off their guests, covering the small number along the way. *10 Main Event
|02-14-13||New Mexico State v. San Jose St +9.5||Top||67-57||Loss||-110||10 h 3 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN JOSE STATE. Playing without James Kinney for the past few weeks, the Spartans have struggled. Off a blowout loss vs. Utah State, not many are giving them much of a chance here. That's led to a generously high line. I believe it will prove to be too high.
Yes, the Spartans were blown out by Utah State. They'd won outright (as +10 dogs) at Idaho their previous game though, so have been showing some signs of coming around.
Last time out, the Spartans were getting 5.5 points vs. Utah State. The Aggies are 17-5 and 7-2 on the road. This time out, the Spartans are getting an extra handful of points against New Mexico State, despite the fact that the Aggies are 5-7 away from their home floor.
The Aggies, who currently have a few players missing, have been on quite a roll. However, it should be noted that they won their last two games (vs. Idaho and Seattle) by only five combined points. With Utah State on deck, I feel they may not be entirely focused here.
While the Aggies are now 6-9 ATS their last 15 in February, the Spartans are 10-5 ATS their last 15 February games.
Catching the Aggies possibly looking ahead to Saturday's showdown vs. Utah State, I expect the revenge-minded Spartans to step up with their best effort, giving their guests a much tougher game than most will be expecting. *9 best bet
|02-14-13||St. Johns v. Louisville -17||Top||58-72||Loss||-110||9 h 7 m||Show|
I'm playing on LOUISVILLE. I've had a pretty good read when going on/against the Cardinals in recent weeks. I played against them when they lost at Notre Dame and I was also against them when they failed to cover vs. Pittsburgh. Yet, I was on them in their recent lopsided wins over Marquette and Depaul. I feel that they're ready to deliver another blowout here.
While the Red Storm are 20-23-1 ATS the past couple of seasons, when playing a game with an O/U line in the, the Cardinals are 25-16-2 ATS when doing so.
True, Louisville is off a devastating loss - a game that was the longest in Big East history. That was on Saturday though, so they've had plenty of time to recover.
The Red Storm would obviously love to pull the upset here. They're in over their heads though, in my opinion. Note that they've been beaten by double-digits six times already this season, most recently a 19-point loss on Saturday.
The Cardinals have dominated the Red Storm, including a 15 point win (as an 8-point favorite) at MSG last season. The gap between the teams is arguably even bigger right now. With the venue shifting to Louisville, I expect an even bigger win. *10 Blue Marlin
|02-13-13||Oregon v. Washington -1||Top||65-52||Loss||-122||15 h 3 m||Show|
I'm playing on WASHINGTON. I successfully played against the Huskies in their last game. However, that was on the road against a USC team which I felt was under-vajued and which I believed was was on the upswing. This one sets up much better. This time, the Huskies are back home. This time, they're the ones playing with "revenge." This time, they catch an Oregon team which is on a bit of a downswing.
In fact, while they did manage to beat Utah last time out, the Ducks have now failed to cover the spread in six straight games, losing three of those. Its no coincidence that freshman point guard Dominic Artis has been out the past five games. Artis averages double-digits in points and his 3.8 assists per game leads the team. He's currently listed as doubtful to return tonight. Even if Artis did manage to play, he may not be 100%.
Off the loss vs. the Trojans, the Huskies, 3-1 ATS the last four times that they were listed as home favorites of three or less, are starting to get desperate for wins. I feel that will work in our favor.
Washington guard Scott Suggs commented: We can't give away any more games. We're beating ourselves. It's not like we are not capable or not talented enough to win these games."
Even with the loss at USC, the Huskies have still covered four of their last five. Their most recent home game resulted in a victory over Arizona State. The Huskies are 10-4 ATS against winning teams and 3-1 ATS when attempting to avenge an earlier road loss. Throw in the fact that they've also won three in a row and 11 of 12 against the Ducks in Seattle and I'm expecting another win and cover. *10 personal favorite
|02-13-13||Miami (Fla) v. Florida State +6.5||Top||74-68||Win||100||14 h 8 m||Show|
I'm playing on FLORIDA STATE. The Hurricanes are having a great season and they've come through for me when asked. However, off a win over UNC, I feel they're laying a few too many points against a revenge-minded instate rival.
All the way up to #3 in the polls, I believe the Canes may be patting themselves on the back a little here. Keep in mind they've never been higher than #8 in school history before.
Senior center Reggie Johnson admitted: "I've never really thought that Miami could be a top 10 program. I didn't think we'd be here in February. It's surreal."
The Seminoles come in off a bad effort and have admittedly had some trouble lately. Coach Leonard Hamilton let his team have it after the last game though and I expect a much better effort from the Noles here. Keep in mind that Florida State, the defending ACC Tournament Champs, also has a recent blowout loss at Miami fresh in its mind.
Hamilton had this to say after the last game: "We put our uniforms on right. That's about where it stopped. ... I look at the stats, even though the stats are not very good from my standpoint, I think we probably played worse than the stats say."
The Noles are 6-4 ATS as underdogs, 19-13 ATS the past couple of seasons, when getting points. They're also 7-4 ATS the past couple of seasons, when attempting to avenge an earlier road loss and that includes a 2-0 ATS mark when attempting to avenge a loss of 20 or more points.
The last three regular season meetings here (all FSU wins) were all decided by six or fewer points. I feel this one could easily come down to the wire once again and am grabbing all the points I can get. *10 best bet
|02-12-13||Kentucky v. Florida -9.5||Top||52-69||Win||100||12 h 10 m||Show|
I'm playing on FLORIDA. It was exactly one week ago that I played on the Wildcats in their blowout win over South Carolina. Needless to say, this is a far more difficult opponent. Last week, I felt that the Gamecocks were in the wrong place, at the wrong time. The shoe's on the other foot here though, as I believe the Cats are coming to Gainesville at the wrong time.
The Gators have won nine of 10 SEC games by double-digits, beating SEC opponents by an average of 22.6 ppg. This is arguably the biggest game of them all for the Gators though, as they haven't forgotten that Kentucky beat them in all three meetings last season, or that the Cats have beaten them in five straight overall.
While Kentucky suffered heavy losses from last year, the same cannot be said of Florida, although the Gators did lose Will Yeguete last week.
Kentucky coach Calipari said this of the Gators: ''You've got a top-five team on the road, they play well in their building, it'll be a hard game for us to win. Let's put it this way: Last year, they were an Elite Eight team that should've been in the Final Four, one game short of that, and they've got everybody back. And college basketball isn't what it was a year ago, so that's how good a challenge, how big a challenge and how good a team they are.''
While the line might initially seem high, I believe it could easily be even higher. The fact that Florida has failed to cover a few in a row has worked to our advantage in keeping it at its current level. (Note that the Gators are 21-10 ATS their last 31 lined games after failing to cover three or more consecutive games.)
The Cats are better than they were at the beginning of the season. However, I don't feel that they're ready for what they're going to encounter here. With payback on their minds, I expect the Gators to pull away for a double-digit win, in a game they've had circled since the day they saw the schedule. *10 personal favorite
|02-11-13||Kansas State v. Kansas -7.5||Top||62-83||Win||100||12 h 5 m||Show|
I'm playing on KANSAS. Some may look at the lead up to this game and feel that the Wildcats are catching their rivals at the right time. After all, the Jayhawks have lost a few in a row and are in danger of their longest losing streak in 24 years. I see it the other way though. Instead, I feel that the Wildcats are in the wrong place at the wrong time.
A few losses doesn't mean that the Jayhawks aren't still very dangerous, a fact Kansas State knows all too well. (The Jayhawks are 45-3 against the Wildcats, 17-1 at Allen Fieldhouse.)
Kansas coach Bill Self had this to say of his team's recent skid and its performance on Saturday: "Obviously three in a row is not good, but this game to me today, I'm not leaving out of here disgusted with my team at all because we actually played better. You don't go from being a good team to a bad team overnight. We've had a couple of bad outings, but we're still a good team."
Admittedly, the Wildcats are pretty tough. They're still just 10-15 ATS the last 25 times that they were underdogs though, including a loss vs. these same Jayhawks on 1/22. (Kansas won by 4 as a 3.5 point favorite.) Sure, the Wildcats would love nothing more than to avenge that loss. However, it should be noted that they're only 2-5 ATS the last seven times that they attempted to avenge and earlier home defeat.
While they did fail to cover for the fourth straight time, the Jayhawks are still 4-1 ATS the last five times that they were off three (or more) consecutive non-covers. Some of you may recall that I played on them against Baylor, when off three consecutive ATS losses earlier. The Jayhawks rewarded me with a 61-44 victory in that one. I'm expecting a desperate and highly motivated Kansas squad to record another double-digit win here. *10 Main Event
|02-10-13||Washington v. USC -2||Top||60-71||Win||100||13 h 54 m||Show|
I'm playing on USC. I've won with the Trojans on a few different occasions this season. I feel that this will be another excellent spot to back them.
Off back-to-back victories, the Trojans are feeling good about themselves. They've adjusted to the coaching change and are optimistic about the future. This team was always more talented than its record indicated and its now finally living up to its potential.
Two games ago, the Trojans went on the road and upset UCLA. Off that big win, they started a little slowly against Washington State on Thursday. However, playing in front of the home crowd, they roared back for a 4-point win.
The Trojans step up in class a little here to take on the Huskies. However, this isn't nearly as strong as many Washington teams of the past and the Huskies currently aren't playing well. In fact, they've lost five of their last six games, going 0-3 on the road during that stretch.
With an O/U line in the high 130s, note that the Trojans are 14-3 SU and 11-4-2 ATS the last 17 times that they played a home game with an O/U line in the 135 to 139.5 range, including a 2-0 SU/ATS mark in that situation the past couple of seasons. During that stretch, the Huskies were just 1-5 ATS when playing a road game with an O/U line in the same range.
The Trojans were beaten soundly by the Huskies in both meetings last season. They haven't forgotten. I believe they're catching them at the right time to get some payback and I look for homecourt to prove significant. *10 Personal Favorite
|02-09-13||Louisville v. Notre Dame +5.5||Top||101-104||Win||100||15 h 36 m||Show|
I'm playing on NOTRE DAME. I've had a pretty good read on the Cardinals in recent days. I successfully played against them when they failed to cover vs. Pittsburgh and came right back and played on them when they blew out Marquette. I feel that tonight will prove to be an excellent spot to go against them.
While I believe the Irish have an excellent shout at an outright win, I also feel that we could easily see a very close game and that the points could come into play. Keep in mind that four of the last five meetings went to OT, a couple of those going to double-OT.
Pitino had this to say of the Irish "Notre Dame has a great home-court advantage, one of the best in college basketball. We've been in some really, really tight ball games with Notre Dame, a lot of exciting ones, and this should be another exciting one."
Also note that the Irish have won their last three home meetings against the Cardinals by average of 19.5 points. The last game on this floor was exactly two years ago to the day - the Irish won by 10. The last time that the Cardinals won here was way back in 1994 - a 3 point win in OT.
The Irish are 46-3 their last 49 at home. They're also 8-4 ATS the last dozen times that they were listed as home underdogs in the 3.5 to 6 range. I expect them to rise to the occasion with at least another cover here. *10 main event
|02-09-13||New Mexico v. UNLV -5||Top||55-64||Win||100||14 h 25 m||Show|
I'm playing on UNLV. The Lobos are a strong and well-coached team, worthy of their high national ranking. However, they're not as good on the road as they are at home. Facing what should be a very determined Rebels team, I expect the Lobos to struggle at this difficult venue.
The Rebels should be highly motivated here. Not only have they lost two in a row, but they've also got "revenge" on their minds, having suffered a 5-point loss at New Mexico exactly one month ago. They also haven't forgotten that the Lobos beat them here in last year's conference tournament.
I believe that the Rebels need this game more and I expect an extremely motivated effort.
Like their guests, the Rebels are a much different team at home, last March notwithstanding. They're 12-1 here and the lone loss came in November. Not only have they won 11 straight at the Thomas & Mack Center, they're 30-1 in regular-season games here since the start of last season.
To their credit, the Lobos did win an early season neutral court game vs. UConn and they also did eke out a 1-point win at Cincinnati. Their overall record (8-2) away from home does look pretty good, at least at first glance. However, their best conference road win came at Wyoming, a 4-point win . That's not an easy venue - but the Cowboys aren't as talented as the team that they'll face here.
Prior to win at Laramie, when facing a top tier team (San Diego State) of the likes of the one they'll see here, the Lobos were destroyed by a score of 55-34. (Some of you will likely recall that I backed the Aztecs in that one.)
The blowout loss at San Diego State was preceded by a close win at Boise, another team not in the class of the one they'll face here. Prior to that, when facing a good Billikens squad at St. Louis , the Lobos were crushed by a score of 60-46.
The last regular season meeting between these teams here at UNLV saw the Rebels win by 15. Don't be surprised when they pull away for another double-digit win tonight. *10 GOM
|02-08-13||Dartmouth v. Columbia -11.5||Top||60-57||Loss||-104||8 h 13 m||Show|
I'm playing on COLUMBIA. The Lions have lost a few in a row. Stepping down in class to take on a team which they swept each of the past two seasons, I expect them to snap their losing streak in convincing fashion this evening.
Dartmouth is 1-8 on the road and has yet to beat a quality team away from home. This season's lone road win came at Longwood back on 12/1. (With a 3-21 record, Longwood is the worst team in the Big South.) Note that the Big Green are 0-2 ATS as road underdogs in the 9.5 to 12 range.
When the Lions win, they tend to do so by a fairly comfortable margin. Seven of their nine victories have come by greater than 10 points. (The other two came by 9 and 7.) I believe there's a fairly wide gap between these teams and I'm expecting more of the same here. *10 Personal Favorite
|02-07-13||Seattle +17 v. Denver||Top||55-72||Push||0||12 h 44 m||Show|
I'm playing on SEATTLE. I successfully played on the Redhawks a couple of times early in the season. Playing their first season in the WAC Conference, I suggested that this team was going to play with a chip on its shoulder. While its been some time since I've backed them, off a blowout loss, I expect the Redhawks to again "play with a chip on their shoulder" en route to an ATS victory.
The Redhawks, who lost by 13 (as 6.5 point underdogs) at home against Denver last month, are 2-1 ATS when attempting to avenge an earlier home loss, while going 5-3 ATS when off a conference loss. The Redhawks are also an impressive 8-2 ATS their last 10 road lined games.
Note that five of Denver's last six victories have come by 15 or fewer points.
True, Seattle did lose its last game by 20 points. However, a closer look shows that was the first in 2013 that the Redhawks lost by greater than 13 points. In fact, seven of their last nine losses have been by seven or less. I look for this one to be closer than many will be expecting and am grabbing all the points I can get. *10
|02-07-13||Canisius v. Manhattan +3||Top||54-67||Win||100||10 h 26 m||Show|
I'm playing on MANHATTAN. While Canisius comes in as the favorite, I believe that the Jaspers will be the team which comes away with the win.
I believe this is a bit of a tough spot for the Golden Griffins. They're off games against Loyola-MD and Iona, two of the top teams in the conference. After this, they face Niagara- the team's biggest rival - and also one of the top teams in the conference. That's followed by Loyola-MD again. With all those "big" games in the recent past and near future, I feel that it will be difficult to fully focus on a Manhattan team which ranks near the bottom of the conference and which the Golden Griffins already defeated. Note that Cansisius is only 3-8 ATS the last 11 times it was listed as a road favorite of three or fewer points.
On the other hand, I feel that the revenge-minded Jaspers should be fully focused on the task at hand. They still view themselves among the upper teams in the conference and believe that they can show in in the conference tournament. However, they also know that they can't afford to wait and just suddenly turn it on.
Note that the Jaspers won by eight last time out, their second win in three games. They were 17.5 point favorites when they hosted Canisius last season, winning by 13. Things have changed - but not enough to warrant such a massive line swing. At least not in my opinion. *10 best bet.
|02-06-13||Baylor v. Oklahoma State -7||Top||67-69||Loss||-110||7 h 32 m||Show|
I'm playing on OKLAHOMA STATE. As is the case for most teams, homecourt is significant for both these clubs.
The Cowboys are a strong team, particularly at home. They began the season by winning their first five, before suffering a road loss at Virginia Tech. They responded with five more victories en route to a 10-1 start and a national ranking. Early wins came against the likes of NC State and Tennessee.
The Cowboys then suffered a tough 1-point home loss against Gonzaga. That led to a stretch where they lost three straight road games, a home win against TCU mixed in between. The last of those road losses came at Baylor, against these same Bears.
The Cowboys have since responded with three straight big wins and find themselves back in the Top 25. Most recently they won at Kansas.
Playing with "revenge" and looking to prove that they belong in the rankings, I expect a highly motivated effort from the Cowboys here.
Note that Oklahoma State is 11-1 at home, 7-4 ATS in lined games.
The Bears remain relatively tough at home but mediocre on the road. They come in off an 8-point loss at Iowa State, their second straight. Prior to that, they were upset by Oklahoma. This isn't one of their better roles as we find them at only 7-12 ATS the last 19 times that they were listed as road underdogs in the 6.5 to 9 range.
While they were beaten by a strong Baylor team here last season, the Cowboys are still 13-2 the last 15 times that they were a host in this series. Its payback time at the Gallagher-Iba Arena tonight. *10 Personal Favorite
|02-05-13||South Carolina v. Kentucky -17.5||Top||55-77||Win||100||14 h 20 m||Show|
I'm playing on KENTUCKY. The Wildcats may not be as dominant as usual but I still believe they've got more than enough to lay a beating on South Carolina.
The Gamecocks are off a double-digit home loss against Georgia and have now dropped six of their last eight. In the game against the Bulldogs, they shot 35.8% from the field, while watching Georgia connect at a 58% rate.
Off an OT win on Saturday and now stepping down in class, I feel the Wildcats are ready to explode against a team they've dominated. The Wildcats are 5-0 the last five meetings with the Gamecocks and 46-10 all-time.
With an O/U line in the high 130s, note that the Wildcats are 23-15-1 ATS (36-3 SU) the last 39 times that they played a home game with an O/U line in the 135 to 139.5 range. Note that the Gamecocks are 0-5 SU/ATS the last five times that they played a road game with an O/U line in that range.
Kentucky's last three wins against the Gamecocks have come by 24, 15 and 31 points, an average of greater than 23. I look for them to win this one by 20+ too. *10 Personal Favorite
|02-04-13||Seton Hall +16.5 v. Pittsburgh||Top||46-56||Win||100||14 h 47 m||Show|
I'm playing on SETON HALL. I respect the Panthers. In fact, they've covered three straight games and I've been on them in every single one of those games. However, I feel that they're laying a few too many points here and that they're in a bit of a difficult scheduling spot.
Off big televised games at Louisville and vs. Syracuse and with Cincinnati, Marquette and Notre Dame on deck, I feel that the Panthers may be ripe for a bit of a letdown.
While I did back the Panthers when they blew out Depaul a couple of weeks ago, it should be noted that was the only one of Pittsburgh's last seven games which resulted in a victory of greater than 15 points.
Speaking of that Depaul game, the Panthers, 4-9 ATS the last 13 times that they were favored at home by greater than a dozen points, were actually laying a (slightly) larger number for that game than they are here. Yet, Seton Hall is a significantly better team than Depaul, at least in my opinion. While the Blue Demons are 10-11, the Pirates are 13-9, including a victory at Depaul the only time those teams faced each other.
True, the Pirates have lost a few in a row. However, two of those losses came by six or fewer points and they barely missed covering in each of those. The Pirates have only lost by greater than 15 points twice all season and just once in their past seven games.
Note that the Pirates are 3-1 ATS the last couple of seasons after failing to cover three in a row and 7-2 ATS after three or more consecutive SU losses. Last year's game was decided by seven points (73-66 Seton Hall) and I won't be surprised when this one is also decided by single-digits. *10 best bet
|02-04-13||Fairfield -6.5 v. Siena||Top||64-54||Win||100||12 h 16 m||Show|
I'm playing on FAIRFIELD. The Saints used to be class of this league. Those days are gone now though. Those days are gone now though. Averaging less than 60 points per game, the Saints are only 6-16 overall, going 7-11 ATS.
The Stags, on the other hand, are a fairly respectable 13-10. That includes a perfect 5-0 record (3-2 ATS) when facing a team which scores 64 or fewer points per game. They're also 3-0 their last three, two of those victories coming by double-digits.
While they have managed a couple of recent wins against lesser quality opponents, the Saints are only 2-7 ATS (2-9 SU) against teams with a wining record. They're also only 7-13 their last 20 off a conference win. The only previous time that they won two in a row this season, they stepped up in class to face Niagara and lost by 17. Stepping up in class to face Fairfield, I expect them to receive another dose of reality. *9 personal favorite
|02-03-13||Marquette v. Louisville -10.5||Top||51-70||Win||100||15 h 31 m||Show|
I'm playing on LOUISVILLE. Some of you will likely recall that I successfully played against the Cardinals in their most recent game. Hosting Pittsburgh, the Cardinals were mired in a 3-game losing streak. Yet, they were still laying six points. I noted that I felt the Panthers had an excellent shot at an upset and also that I felt Louisville would be happy just to eke out a win.
While it wasn't easy, the Cardinals did indeed manage to eke out a 64-61 win over the Panthers. Now, with their losing streak snapped, I feel that they're ready for bigger and better things ... a blowout win.
Speaking of blowouts, the Carinal have won three of the last four in the series and their last two victories have come by 13 and 25 points.
The Golden Eagles are great at home but only mediocre on the road. They're definitely not slouches and they have been competitive. However, I feel that they're going to be in over their heads against what I expect to be a highly determined Louisville team.
Back in their groove, note that the Cardinals are 22-10 ATS the past few seasons, when off a conference win. During that time, they're 4-2 ATS as home favorites in the 9.5 to 12 range. I expect them to improve on those stats in convincing fashion here. *10 personal favorite
|02-02-13||Michigan v. Indiana -4.5||Top||73-81||Win||100||11 h 8 m||Show|
I'm playing on INDIANA. Obviously these teams are both very good. I like what the Hoosiers bring to the table a little more though and I feel that homecourt will prove significant.
Michigan averages a healthy 74.6 points per game on the road. However, Indiana averages a whopping 87.3 at home.
Michigan allows just 63.5 ppg on the road. However, Indiana permits a paltry 58.6 at home.
I feel that the Hoosiers have a little more to prove and I expect them to play with a chip on their shoulder, en route to a statement win and cover. *10 Big Ten GOM
|02-01-13||Youngstown State v. Detroit -11||Top||77-88||Push||0||13 h 14 m||Show|
I'm playing on DETROIT. The Penguins enter on a bit of a roll including an impressive win over Valparaiso on Wednesday. I expect reality to set in this evening though.
The Titans already crushed the Penguins by a score of 101-60 - and that was at Youngstown State.
Naturally, the Penguins would like to get some payback from that loss. However, wanting and actually doing are entirely different matters.
The Titans average 78.6 points per game and more than 80 in games against other Horizon teams. That's by far the most in the conference. That number climbs to 83.7 at home.
As it was on their own homecourt, I believe that's going to make it tough for the Penguins, who average 67.5 on the road, to keep up.
While the Penguins have won just 12 of their last 40 on the road, the Tiants are 34-10 at home during the same stretch.
The Titans beat the Penguins by 17 in a neutral court game last March. However, they probably still haven't forgotten that the Penguins did upset them here early last season. I expect them to keep the pedal to the metal the entire way here, en route to another double-digit win. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-31-13||Oregon State v. California -7.5||Top||68-71||Loss||-110||15 h 31 m||Show|
I'm playing on CALIFORNIA. Admittedly, the Bears haven't been a very good bet at home this season. Their early season results have worked in our favor a bit here though, as I believe that this line, which has come down a bit from its opener, could easily be higher.
The Bears hold opposing teams to 37.3% shooting here. On the other hand, when playing on the road, the Beavers allow their hosts to hit 46.8% of their shots.
While the Bears are 26-18-3 ATS (40-7 SU) the last 47 times (4-3 ATS and 6-1 SU L7) that they were listed as home favorites in the 6.5 to 9 range, the Beavers are a poor 1-5 ATS (0-6 SU) the last six times that they were listed as road underdogs in the 6.5 to 9 range.
One of those games came in last year's game here. The Bears were favored by nine and they won by 14. The Bears were also laying nine points in the previous meeting here. They won that one by 28.
The Bears just finished up a 1-2 road trip with a 10-point loss at Colorado. They won their most recent home game (vs. WSU) by 13 points though and we find them at 3-0 SU/ATS when off a conference loss. They're 13-5 ATS their last 18 in that situation. During that stretch, they're also 2-0 SU/ATS after playing three straight on the road. I expect a double-digit win. *10 End of Month Blowout
|01-31-13||Butler v. St. Louis -2.5||Top||58-75||Win||100||14 h 49 m||Show|
I'm playing on ST LOUIS. Butler comes in with the higher ranking and has certainly proven that its worthy of respect. That said, I feel that the Billikens are favored for good reason.
While Saturday's 83-71 win vs. Temple was impressive, the Bulldogs managed only 53 points in losing their most recent road game. Back on the road and facing a very stingy opponent, I expect them to have some trouble scoring here.
The Billikens are a very good team. They've won two in a row and 11 of 13. Long known for their defense, they're allowing just 57.8 ppg. At home that number dips to 55.8 points, opposing teams hitting 41.3% from the field. By comparison, Butler is giving up an average of 67.5 ppg on the road.
The Billikens came into this season with high expectations. They could badly use a "signature win" and this game provides an excellent opportunity to beat a ranked opponent.
The Bulldogs are only 1-3 ATS the last four times that they scored 80 or more points in their previous game. Don't be surprised when they suffer a rare loss tonight. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-30-13||Oregon v. Stanford -2||Top||52-76||Win||100||10 h 45 m||Show|
I'm playing on STANFORD. The Ducks come in with the the higher ranking. However, I believe that the Cardinal are favored (slightly) for good reason.
Give the Ducks credit for winning. However, also note that they are averaging 15.7 turnovers per game (most in the conference) and that their last five wins have come by an average of just five points. They turned the ball over 23 times on Saturday but a great shooting day bailed them out. I expect their good fortune to come to an end against what figures to be a very determined Stanford squad.
The Ducks will be without starting point guard Dominic Artis, out with a foot injury. They're 2-4 ATS off a conference win and 14-15 on the road the past few seasons. During that time the Cardinal are 36-10 at home.
While Oregon got the upper-hand last season, the Cardinal have long dominated the Ducks here. (They're 13-2 SU and 11-4 ATS L15 as a host against Oregon.) I expect them to resume that domination this evening. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-30-13||Villanova v. Notre Dame -7.5||Top||60-65||Loss||-106||7 h 20 m||Show|
I'm playing on NOTRE DAME. The Wildcats are off back to back very impressive wins. Both were at home though. They're at a very difficult venue tonight though and I expect their streak to come to an end.
While the Wildcats are 13-17 on the road the past few seasons, the Irish are 45-3 at home. That includes a 19-1 SU and 13-7 ATS record when playing a home game with an O/U linein the 135-139.5 range.
After going through a rare rough patch, the Irish got back on track in the second half of Saturday's game. Down 35-28 at South Florida at the break, they dominated the second half, outscoring the Bulls by a 45-30 margin. I expect them to carry the momentum into today's game.
The Irish won at Villanova last season. The previous year, playing at Notre Dame and laying five points, they won by a score of 93-72. I expect homecourt to again prove significant and for the Irish to cruise to another double-digit win. *10 main event
|01-29-13||Northern Iowa +1.5 v. Evansville||Top||51-54||Loss||-110||10 h 37 m||Show|
I'm playing on NORTHERN IOWA. Evansville has home-court advantage and already won the first meeting between these teams. I still believe that Northern Iowa is the better team though. Tonight, I expect the revenge-minded Panthers to prove that point on the floor.
The Panthers have four players that average double-digits in scoring and five that average 9.5 or more.
The Panthers lost by one last time out. They've been excellent off a loss though, going 3-1 SU/ATS off a conference loss. Don't be surprised when they step up and get some payback tonight. *10 best bet
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