Ben Burns NCAA-B Top Picks
|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|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
|01-28-13||Pittsburgh +6 v. Louisville||Top||61-64||Win||100||7 h 26 m||Show|
I'm playing on PITTSBURGH. I won with the Panthers on Saturday. They absolutely dismantled Depaul. While I respect Louisville, I feel that the Panthers are providing us with excellent value again here.
While the Cardinals figure to be desperate, the Panthers are playing well and they know this is their opportunity to steal a win against a highly ranked opponent.
After his team scored more than 90 on Saturday, coach Dixon noted: "Obviously we'll be ready for Monday."
Pittsburgh has played the Cardinals tough here recently. Last season, the Panthers lost by three points here. The previous season, they also lost by three here.
A closer look shows that nine of the last 11 meetings between these teams have been decided by seven or fewer points.
The Panthers boast a balanced lineup with many players capable of stepping up to lead the team.
As Trey Zeigler noted: "Any night anyone can lead us in scoring," Zeigler said. "When you have 10 guys that can bring something to the table ... "
While the Cardinals have been a strong favorite overall, they haven't fared well as home favorites in this range. Off a loss last time out, their third straight, note that the Cards are now only 7-10 ATS the past couple of seasons, when off a conference loss. They should be more than happy just to eke out a win here to "stop the bleeding" and aren't likely to be concerned with "winning big."
The Panthers are 8-5 ATS as underdogs the past couple of seasons. I expect at least another cover here. *10 Main Event
|01-27-13||Richmond v. Massachusetts -165||Top||65-70||Win||100||3 h 5 m||Show|
I'm playing on MASSACHUSETTS. I expect homecourt to be significant here. The Minuteman have thrived as small home favorites the past couple of seasons. The Spiders have struggled on the road.
The Minuteman are 30-11 at home the past few seasons. The Spiders are 16-19 on the road.
Last year's lone meeting was played at Richmond. The Minuteman won that won by a score of 79-68.
Give the Spiders credit for a big win on Thursday. However, I expect the fact that it went to overtime and the emotion that comes from beating a Top 25 opponent to catch up with them - in a negative way - here.
While Richmond is off a hard-fought OT win on Thursday, the Minuteman have had a full week off to recover from a disappointing loss last time out. They should have fresh legs here. Note that they'd won nine of 10 before that setback.
Playing at home, I expect the Minutemen to effectively dictate the tempo en route to a win and cover. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-26-13||DePaul v. Pittsburgh -16.5||Top||55-93||Win||100||8 h 23 m||Show|
I'm playing on PITTSBURGH. At first glance, this line may seem a little high. However, I believe it could actually be even higher and I'm expecting a blowout.
There's a very big difference in level of talent between the top teams in the Big East and bottom ones. The Panthers are a top tier Big East team while the Blue Demons are among the worst.
The Blue Demons are just 1-5 (2-4 ATS) their last six games. The lone win came against Providence, perhaps the only team worse than them in the conference this season. Last time that they played on the road, the Demons lost by 21 at Connecticut, a team Pittsburgh beat with relative ease last Saturday.
Off a couple of fairly close wins and with Louisville and Syracuse on deck, I believe the Panthers will be motivated to keep the pedal to the metal the whole way here.
The Panthers are 8-3-2 ATS (13-0 SU) the last 13 times that they were listed as home favorites in the 15.5 to 18 point range. I expect them to improve on those stats in convincing fashion this afternoon. *10 personal favorite
|01-26-13||New Mexico v. San Diego St -4||Top||34-55||Win||100||8 h 35 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN DIEGO STATE. The Lobos have the higher ranking. However, I believe that the Aztecs are favored for good reason.
The Aztecs may not be ranked at the moment. However, they were not long ago and they got back on track with a big win last time out.
Coach Steve Fisher noted: "We're a veteran ball club that knows how to win. This victory started on Sunday when we started watching film. We had not been practicing like a championship team should. We were better the last couple days. I'm not surprised with how we came out and played."
The Aztecs are typically at their best against good teams. They're 8-3 SU/ATS their last 11 against teams with a winning record, going 36-18-1ATS (41-14 SU) their last 55.
The Aztecs are also 21-12 ATS the last 33 times that they were listed as home favorites in the 3.5 to 6 range and 18-9 ATS (21-6 SU) their last 27 against teams which allow 64 or fewer points per game.
After getting beaten by the Lobos in last year's conference tournament final, the Aztecs have had this game circled. I expect their best effort and for that to lead to a win and cover. *10 annihilator
|01-25-13||Loyola Md v. Manhattan +3||Top||51-41||Loss||-110||10 h 27 m||Show|
I'm playing on MANHATTAN. Loyola-MD sits in its customary spot on top of the conference. I expect the Greyhounds to get upset this evening though.
While I respect the Greyhounds, I see them coming in a bit "complacent" here. They're off a big road win at Fairfield, the team that they faced in the finals of last year's MAAC Tournament, and they've got a showdown vs. Iona on deck on Saturday. I feel it will be easy for them to look past lowly Manhattan.
That'll prove costly though. Having finally adjusted to life without Beamon, the Jaspers are starting to play well. They've covered five of their last six and they've had this game circled. Their last home game resulted in a 12 point victory.
The Jaspers are 5-1 ATS against teams with a winning record and they're 3-1 ATS when off a SU conference loss. They're also 3-1 ATS in lined home games.
Last year's game here saw Manhattan lose by two points. That was preceded by a 1-point win by the Greyhounds at Loyola-MD. Needless to say, the Jaspers could have won either of those games. They haven't forgotten. I'll gladly take the points but I look for the Japsers "to take the next step" and for them to record the outright win. *10 best bet
|01-24-13||USC +3.5 v. Arizona St||Top||93-98||Loss||-106||12 h 6 m||Show|
I'm playing on USC. I've had success picking my spots to back the Trojans in recent weeks. I feel that this is another good spot to do so.
Whenever I take a small underdog, I generally need to think that they're going to win the game outright, or at least I need to believe that they've got a very serious chance of doing so.
In this case, I do believe that USC has an excellent chance of winning outright. However, as the Trojans' last two games have been decided by only three combined points, a 1-point win and a 2-point loss, getting a few extra points to work with could easily prove valuable. Note that two of Arizona State's last five games were also decided by three or fewer points.
Also, note that last year's game here was very close, a 4-pt win by ASU. The previous year's game here was even closer, a 2-point win by USC.
The Trojans have covered three of four and four of six. I believe that they're more talented than many realize. They're also in one of their best roles, as they're 19-8 ATS the last 27 times they were listed as road underdogs in the 3.5 to 6 range.
On the other hand, the Sun Devils, who are off back to back losses, are only 9-20 ATS the last 29 times that they were laying points.
The Trojans have been the better team over the last week and I won't be surprised when they take this game down to the wire and score the upset. *10 best bet
|01-22-13||Michigan State v. Wisconsin -5.5||Top||49-47||Loss||-107||14 h 33 m||Show|
I'm playing on WISCONSIN. The Spartans have the higher ranking. However, I believe that the Badgers are favored for good reason.
The Badgers have long been dominant at home and this typically been a very strong role for them. They're 22-6 ATS (26-2 SU) the last 28 times that that they were listed as home favorites in the 3.5 to 6 range.
During the same stretch, the Spartans were an ugly 6-13 ATS (5-14 SU) when listed as road underdogs in the 3.5 to 6 range.
The Spartans are off an impressive 59-56 win over Ohio State. However, they're still just 3-6 ATS their last nine lined games. They're also a dismal 1-9 ATS the last 10 times that they held their previous opponent to 60 or fewer points.
The Badgers lost at Illinois last time out. However, they'd won at Indiana in their previous game and they crushed Illinois by 23 in their most recent home game.
The Badgers have won 12 of their last 15 home games against Top 25 teams. With revenge on their mind from last season, I expect them to deliver a solid win and cover. *10 Main Event
|01-21-13||Loyola (Md.) v. Fairfield -4.5||Top||65-60||Loss||-101||9 h 14 m||Show|
I'm playing on FAIRFIELD. These teams just faced each other on 1/11, at Loyal-MD. I won with the Greyhounds in that matchup. However, I like the revenge-minded Stags on their home floor.
The Stags have won eight of their last 12, when in the "revenge" role. They've won 28 of their last 37 at home. During that stretch, the Greyhounds areonly 20-18 on the road.
With Fairfield having failed to cover a few in a row, I believe we're getting a very fair line. Note that the Stags are 8-3 SU (5-3 ATS in lined games) the last few seaons, after failing to cover their previous three. They're 21-13 ATS (24-13 SU) their last 37 in that situation.
The Stags are looking to avenge more than just the recent loss. This is the team which kept them out of the NCAA Tournament last year. Revenge is sweet. I expect a win and cover for the highly motivated home team. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-19-13||UNLV v. Colorado St -3||Top||61-66||Win||100||13 h 1 m||Show|
I'm playing on COLORADO STATE. This is a very good conference with a number of strong teams. These are two of them. The Rebels are off a fairly impressive win at San Diego State. That will have many expecting another win here. Not me.
The Rams are stronger than many people realize. They've already hammered the likes of Washington and Virginia Tech. They won at Washington by 18 and beat the Hokies on a neutral floor by 36. They're also undefeated on their home floor.
Off a dominating win over Air Force last time out, the Rams are now 24-15 ATS as favorites the past couple of seasons. Colorado State jumped out to a 34-19 lead at halftime and never let up. The Rams would finish with a commanding 79-40 victory and a 40-19 advantage on the boards.
Note that the Rams are a perfect 9-0 SU the last nine times that they allowed 60 or fewer points, 6-1 ATS in lined games. They're 10-7-1 ATS off a conference win the past 2+ seasons.
On the the hand, the Rebels typically don't respond well to a big conference win. They're 7-16 ATS the past couple of years off a conference win and just 9-17 ATS after scoring 80 or more points.
The Rebels are still 6-9 ATS the last 15 times that they were underdogs and they're still only 1-4 ATS in 2013. (They're now 5-12 ATS in January the past 2+ years.) They're also 0-4 ATS the last four times that they played a road game with an O/U line in the 140 to 144.5 range.
Conversely, the Rams are 11-5 SU/ATS the last few seasons when the line was in the 140s including a 2-0 SU/ATS mark when playing at home with a line in the 140 to 144.5 range.
One of those victories came over these same Rebels here last season, a 66-59 victory. I expect another win and cover here. *10 personal favorite
|01-19-13||Kansas v. Texas +8.5||Top||64-59||Win||100||9 h 40 m||Show|
I'm playing on TEXAS. Needless to say, the Jayhawks are a strong team. In fact, some of you may recall I won with them in their very last game, a blowout win over Baylor. I feel that they're laying too large a number here.
Off their big win over Baylor and with rival Kansas State on deck, it may be easy for the Jayhawks to look past a struggling Texas team. I feel that will prove costly though.
True, the Longhorns are 0-3 to start conference play. They've never started 0-4 under Rick Barnes though and I believe that they're better than we've seen. I feel we can expect their best effort here.
Kansas coach Bill Self noted: "It's not an uncommon scene - good teams and good programs getting off to rough starts - depending on where they are playing. But, this is different than most Texas games, I believe, because they are off to a start that isn't indicative of how great their program has been. And they'll get it back, Rick will get it back. But let's just hope that doesn't happen at our expense."
While the Jayhawks are expected to have McLemore, he may be a little less than 100%. He practiced Thursday after getting hurt late in the win over Baylor.
Even with the Baylor win, the Jayhawks are only 6-8 ATS when laying points. Despite their struggles, the Longhorns are still 4-3 ATS when getting points, moving to a profitable 14-8 ATS in the underdog role the past few seasons.
Last year's game here came down to the wire, a 69-66 Kansas win. I'm expecting another close one and am grabbing all the points I can get. *10 best bet
|01-17-13||Oregon v. USC +3.5||Top||76-74||Win||100||13 h 46 m||Show|
I'm playing on USC. I've had some success with the Trojans of late. They've covered three of their last four games and I've been on all three of those ATS wins, while avoiding the loss. The three covers came against Utah, Colorado and Stanford (they beat Stanford outright and crushed Utah.)
The Ducks have certainly been playing well and their recent win streak has propelled them into the Top 25. While I respect the Ducks, I don't believe there's as much of a talent gap between these teams as suggested by the standings.
I also feel that the Ducks could be potentially patting themselves on the back a bit, while possibly looking past "lowly USC" and ahead to Saturday's showdown at UCLA.
While backing the Trojans recently, I've been mentioning that I believe they're better than their record indicates and that they've been under-valued.
Apparently USC athletic director Pat Haden felt the same way. Even after the blowout win at Utah, the school fired coach Kevin O'Neill.
Haden was quoted as saying: "Despite a nice road win in our last game, I felt it was best to make a change now, with most of the Pac-12 season still ahead of us, in order to re-energize our team."
While it can admittedly sometimes go either way, I expect the USC players to respond well to the change, at least for tonight. With a legit chance to take out a ranked opponent, I expect the Trojans to rise to the occasion, stepping up and earning AT LEAST a cover. *10 best bet
|01-17-13||Michigan v. Minnesota -2.5||Top||83-75||Loss||-110||6 h 53 m||Show|
I'm playing on MINNESOTA. Both teams are off to great starts. However, both lost last time out. Playing at home, I expect the Gophers to be the team which bounces back.
The Gophers now have two losses. On the other hand, the Wolverines are coming off their first defeat. That alone will have many favoring Michigan. However, I actually believe that will favor Minnesota.
The Gophers have already had to deal with failure. They've already successfully bounced back from a loss. (After losing vs. Duke back in November, Minnesota responded with a 9-point win over Memphis in its next game.)
On other had, the Wolverines had thoughts of going undefeated. Losing that first game, after being perfect so long, can be difficult.
I believe that last year's games will provide some extra motivation for the Gophers. They very easily could have been 2-0 against the Wolverines last year but instead went 0-2. Note that neither game was on this floor.
Note that the Gophers are a physical team, one which leads the conference in offensive rebounds and that they're undefeated at home.
Michigan coach John Beilein noted: "We could have lost both games very easily last year. They were both last-second games. It's another great opportunity for us to grow. ... It is all about the process, and the journey and the process are what leads you to the end."
The Wolverines are only 5-12-2 ATS (3-16 SU) the last 19 times that they played a road game with an O/U line in the 135 to 139.5 range. Don't be surprised when they lose their second straight. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-15-13||Northern Iowa +13 v. Creighton||Top||68-79||Win||100||12 h 8 m||Show|
I'm playing on NORTHERN IOWA. The Bluejays are a very good team. Having the reigning Missouri Valley Conference player (Doug McDermott) helps. That said, the Panthers are a solid team and they had success in limiting McDermott last season. I believe the line will prove to be too high.
The Panthers limited McDermott to less than 20 points each time that they faced him last season. Jake Koch, now a senior, was a big part of that. Koch, both taller and heavier than McDemott, leads the Panthers in both steals and rebounds.
Having limited McDermott to 14 and 18 points, the Panthers were able to play the Bluejays very tough last season. Both games were decided by a mere three points, the home team winning each.
Going back further finds that these teams have met nine times (3 times in the 2011 season) since 2009. Northern Iowa won five of those games, four of the wins coming by eight or less. All of Creighton's four victories came by single-digits, an average margin of victory of only five.
The Panthers may only be 2-2 SU in 2013. However, both losses came by four or fewer points. Additionally, they're off a momentum and confidence-building 84-53 destruction of Bradley.
After the big win, Northern Iowa coach Ben Jacobson, who has ties to Creighton coach Greg McDermott, had this to say: "We just needed a little bit of bounce in our step."
While the Bluejays are 5-7 ATS the last dozen times that they were a home favorite of greater than 12 points, the Panthers are 8-2 ATS the last 10 times that they were road underdogs in the 12.5 to 15 range, 13-5 ATS the last 18 times that they were road underdogs of greater than a dozen.
The Panthers won't be able to stop McDermott. However, they should be able to do a much better job than Missouri State just did. I expect that to allow them to keep it relatively close the entire way, giving the Bluejays and their fans a much tougher game than they were probably expecting. *10 best bet
|01-14-13||NC-Greensboro +4.5 v. Appalachian State||Top||70-83||Loss||-110||8 h 16 m||Show|
I'm playing on UNC GREENSBORO. The Mountaineers have been excellent as underdogs this season. However, I don't believe that they're ready to be laying this many points against what I feel may well be a superior Spartans squad.
Playing without Trevis Simpson, the Spartans lost last time out. However, that defeat came by only three points (as a 7 point dog) and they'd won their previous game by 39.
While the Spartans are 11-8 ATS off a conference loss, the Mountaineers are 8-11 ATS the past couple of seasons off a conference win.
These teams both faced Virginia Tech back in November. I find it revealing that the Mountaineers were 19-point underdogs against the Hokies while the Spartans were only 5-point underdogs, a few days earlier. Granted, the venues were different. However, a 14-point difference in lines is significant.
The Spartans have won back-to-back games in this series, most recently a 10-point win in the conference tournament last March. Note that three of the previous four meetings were decided by four or fewer points. I believe this one could again easily come down to the wire and am grabbing all the points I can get. *10 Southern Conf. GOY
|01-12-13||USC +4 v. Utah||Top||76-59||Win||100||7 h 31 m||Show|
I'm playing on USC. The Utes have been a covering machine when listed as underdogs this season. However, they're favored here and I'm not convinced that they're the better team.
I won with Trojans in their last game, a cover at Colorado. I also won with them when they beat Stanford recently. As I've been saying when backing them in those games, I feel that this is a solid team which is currently under-valued. I believe that's still the case here.
This has long been a winning role for USC. Indeed, the Trojans are 18-8 ATS the last 26 times that they were listed as road underdogs in the 3.5 to 6 range.
It was exactly one year ago to the day that these teams last met. Laying 11 points, the Trojans won by 17. While that was at USC, don't be surprised to see the Trojans step up with another outright win. *10 Pac-12 GOM
|01-12-13||Butler v. Dayton +1.5||Top||79-73||Loss||-106||3 h 46 m||Show|
I'm playing on DAYTON. As I write this, Butler is a very slight favorite. I understand the book's need to balance action. So, if that number achieves this for them, than its the correct one. However, as far as I'm concerned, my numbers (which aren't trying to balance action and only reflect what I believe will happen) have Dayton favored.
The Flyers are 35-11 on this floor the past few seasons, 7-2 this year. Note that both losses here came by a single point. They already lost to the other conference newcomer (at VCU) last time out and should be extremely motivated to avoid letting it happen again. Of course, the chance to defeat a ranked opponent is always nice as well.
For all their success, the Bulldogs are still only 2-6 ATS the last eight times that they were road favorites of three or fewer points. Five of those resulted in SU losses, which is what I'm expecting here. *9 False Fav GOW
|01-11-13||Fairfield v. Loyola Md -2||Top||58-63||Win||100||10 h 51 m||Show|
I'm playing on LOYOLA-MARYLAND. These teams faced each other in the MAAC Championship game last season and a rematch this season is entirely possible.
Led by Derek Needham, the Stags have played well so far this season. They know this is a big game and would clearly love to get some payback, after the Greyhounds kept them out of the NCAA Tournament with a 48-44 win last March.
I believe that the Stags will have to wait for their revenge though. (They'll get another chance in 10 days, when these teams play at Fairfield.)
The Stags lost at Niagara last time out and have been on the road since before Christmas. This will mark their fifth straight road game, a span that went through both Christmas and New Year's.
Going back further finds that 13 of Fairfield's 16 games have been played away from home. Give the Stags credit for winning eight of those away/neutral games. However, don't be surprised if they're a little road weary here. After Needham, I'm not sold on this team's depth. I expect it to catch up with them here against the defending conference champs.
Note that the Stags are now 0-6 ATS the last six times that they'd played three or more consecutive road games.
Speaking of winless records, the Stags are also 0-4 SU/ATS the last four times that they were listed as road underdogs (or pick'em) of three or fewer points.
The Greyhounds are off back to back wins, most recently crushing St. Peters by 16. They've now won 17 of their last 25 home lined games. I expect the defending champion Greyhounds (who leave to the Patriot League after this season) to flex their muscles here, covering the small number and serving notice that they're still the team to beat - at least for now. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-10-13||USC +9 v. Colorado||Top||60-66||Win||100||5 h 11 m||Show|
I'm playing on USC. With all due respect to Colorado, I feel that this line is too high.
The Trojans may have only won three of their last six games. However, all three of the losses were by eight or fewer points. I believe that they're a little under-valued at the the moment.
The Buffaloes nearly knocked off Arizona but still lost. They followed that up with another loss at Arizona State. Note that they've now played eight games which were decided by 10 or fewer points. Don't be surprised when this one also proves closer than many will be expecting. *9 best bet
|01-10-13||Rider v. Manhattan -3.5||Top||69-60||Loss||-110||2 h 1 m||Show|
I'm playing on MANHATTAN. Losing George Beamon was certainly a blow to the Jaspers. He's been out more than a month now though. I believe they've still got more than enough to take care of business here.
Manhattan was an 11-point favorite and lost outright vs. Rider here last season. That result should ensure the Jaspers don't take the Broncs lightly. Note that this year's Rider team lost its best player (Gadson) and has a new head coach.
The Jaspers are 3-1 ATS as favorites. They've covered the spread in back to back games and I look for them to get it done again here. *9 roast
|01-09-13||Tulsa v. Marshall -5||Top||61-79||Win||100||5 h 28 m||Show|
I'm playing on MARSHALL. The Herd are admittedly off to a dismal start at the betting window. Their poor ATS record has kept this line lower than it could easily have been though. I believe it will prove to be too low and that tis will be the game that the Herd step up and earn a cover. This has been one of Marshall's better roles in recent seasons. The Herd are 23-12-2 ATS (32-5 SU) the last 37 when listed as home favorites in the 3.5 to 6 range. That includes a 79-61 victory over Tulsa, when laying four points, here last season. I'm expecting a similar result tonight. *10 personal favorite
|01-09-13||Louisville v. Seton Hall +10.5||Top||73-58||Loss||-110||5 h 26 m||Show|
I'm playing on SETON HALL. Obviously the Cardinals are a very good team. However, this is a high line and I believe that the Pirates, although still a little short-handed, are better than they're being credit for. Louisville isn't exactly healthy either as sophomore forward Chane Behanan, averaging better than 11 points and better than seven rebounds, suffered a left high ankle sprain in practice on Monday. As Pitino noted: "Without Chane, we'll have to make some adjustments." The Pirates have shot very well from beyond the arc, hitting at least nine 3-pointers in six straight games. In fact, they and lead all Big East teams in 3-point makes (133) and attempts (348) while sitting second at 38.2 percent. While the competition admittedly hasn't been anything like what they'll see here, the Pirates have been very tough on this floor. Their recent loss at Notre Dame was their only defeat of greater than seven points all season all season. We're getting even more points to work with here than we were for that game, despite the fact the the Pirates are now at home. I believe that's providing excellent value and I look for the Pirates to step up and provide their high profile guests with a tougher test than most will be expecting. *10 Main Event
|01-05-13||Oklahoma v. West Virginia -4||Top||67-57||Loss||-105||5 h 9 m||Show|
I'm playing on WEST VIRGINIA. These teams already faced each other once this season. That was technically a non-conference game though, so this will be the Mountaineers' first official game as a member of the Big 12. That should have the players and fans a little extra fired up. Added motivation comes from the fact that the Sooners won the earlier meeting.
Homecourt can't be ignored here. The Sooners are 3-20 their last 23 road lined games, going just 8-15 at the betting window. During the same period, the Mountaineers have won 21 of 28 home lined games. They're 5-0 here this season, outscoring teams by a 76.8 to 67.2 margin. They'll face an Oklahoma team which recently lost to lowly Stephen Austin.
The Mountaineers have failed to cover a few in a row. However, they've still won those games and those ATS losses have worked in our favor by keeping the line low. I expect them to get the new era started off with a win, covering that low number along the way. *9 annihilator
|01-05-13||Towson v. Drexel -10||Top||69-66||Loss||-108||5 h 1 m||Show|
I'm playing on DREXEL. The Dragons struggled at the betting window in November and for the first portion of December. They got the new year started with an impressive 77-60 win at Georgia State last time out though and are currently playing well. They've been underdogs in each of their last five games and they've won three of those outright. Now 16-5 ATS in January the past few seasons, they're taking a significant step down in class. Indeed Towson State has won just three of its last 34 road lined games.
The last meeting between these teams was almost exactly one year ago. Drexel won that 1/4/2012 game by a score of 60-27. I expect a double-digit win this afternoon. *10 Top Colonial Athletic Report
|01-05-13||Georgetown v. Marquette -3||Top||48-49||Loss||-110||3 h 18 m||Show|
I'm playing on MARQUETTE. Georgetown comes in with the higher ranking However, I believe that the Golden Eagles are favored for good reason.
Georgetown is ranked for good reason and with its strong defense, does deserve respect. That said, the Hoyas haven't played since way back on 12/22. That's a long layoff when factoring in Christmas and New Year's. Now, potentially dealing with some early rut, they have to play at a very hostile environment.
The Golden Eagles are off a momentum-building win over UConn in their big opener (hit tying shot at buzzer to force OT and won by 6) and they've now won 17 straight at home - that's the sixth longest streak in the country. They'll have their coach back (was gone for 1 game) and I expect them to be fully fired up at the opportunity to knock off a ranked opponent.
Assistant coach Brad Autry, said this about Marquette: "I'm just ecstatic because I feel like we've turned a corner into who we are with this team. I think the players feel that as much as anything."
The Golden Eagles are 15-5 ATS in January the past couple of years, the Hoyas are only 5-11 ATS during the same time.
The Golden Eagles beat the Hoyas by double-digits last season and 4-1 SU/ATS the last five series meetings here. They're catching Georgetown playing its first true road game of the season. I expect another win and cover. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-03-13||Stanford v. USC +3||Top||69-71||Win||100||11 h 55 m||Show|
I'm playing on USC. The Cardinal come in as only slight favorites here and many bettors likely won't be able to resist. I'm expecting the Trojans to pull off the "upset" though, although I personally won't view it as such.
Without question, Stanford is a solid team. However, I believe that the Trojans are also better than many realize and that playing on their homecourt will prove significant.
Stanford has only played two true road games all season. One was a 9-point loss and the other was a 2-point win.
Note that Stanford is 0-3 ATS the last three times it was a road favorite of three or less. During that stretch, the Cardinal are also 1-5 ATS when playing a road game with an O/U line in the 120s.
While it didnt result in a cover vs. the closing line, I like that the Trojans were able to beat Dayton last time out and feel that victory will give them some positive momentum to carry into conference play. I look for them to step up and surprise. *10 best bet
|01-02-13||Nebraska v. Ohio State -20||Top||44-70||Win||100||8 h 34 m||Show|
I'm playing on OHIO STATE. At first glance, this line may seem a little steep. However, I feel that it could easily be higher and that we're actually getting a bit of a "bargain."
After three straight non-covers, the Buckeyes bounced back with a 43-point win over lowly Chicago State, covering the 36.5 number with relative ease. The Huskers represent a step up in class but they're still nowhere near Ohio State. Knowing they have a tough road game at Illinois on deck, the start of a stretch of games all more difficult than this one, I expect the Buckeyes to really want to make the most of this "blowout opportunity."
This Nebraska team has proven susceptible to the blowout too. The Huskers lost by 14 vs. Kent State, by 22 vs Creighton, by 22 at Oregon and by 16 at Utep. This will be by far their toughest test yet.
Ohio State hammered the Huskers 71-40 here last season, almost exactly one year (1/3/2012) to the day. A few weeks later, the Buckeyes followed it up with a 79-45 win at Nebraska.
Including last year's win here, they're 7-2 ATS (9-0 SU) the last nine times that they were listed as home favorites in the 18.5 to 24 range, going 21-10 ATS (31-0 SU) their last 31 in that role. I'm expecting another blowout. *10 Personal Favorite
|01-01-13||Connecticut v. Marquette -5||Top||76-82||Win||100||8 h 1 m||Show|
I'm playing on MARQUETTE. With all the football going on and it being New Year's, I'm running behind today. So, am keeping this writeup a little brief. The Golden Eagles are 11-3 ATS the last 14 times that they played a home game with an O/U line in the 130 to 134.5 range. On the other hand, the Huskies are 0-7 SU/ATS the last seven times that they played a road game with an O/U line in the same range. The Huskies have won just eight of 20 overall on the road while Marquette is 36-5 its last 41 at home. This season, the Golden Eagles are outscoring teams by a 73.9 to 58.4 margin at home, in going 7-0. They beat the Huskies by 15 (79-64) in the lone 2012 meeting and that was at UConn. I expect another solid win and cover here. *9 M.E.
|12-30-12||Dayton v. USC -3||Top||61-63||Loss||-109||4 h 24 m||Show|
I'm playing on USC. Dayton comes in with the better record. However, with the game being played in Southern California, I believe that the Trojans are favored for good reason.
While theve struggled out of the gate, I believe this USC team is better than the record indicates. Keep in mind that its been a very difficult schedule. This is a chance to close out their non-conference slate with a win over a quality opponent and I look for them to go all out to make that happen.
Dayton has only played one true road game all season. To their credit, the Flyers did win that one. Still, they're a long way from home here and getting home for New Year's Eve may already be on their minds. Expect homecourt to be the difference. *9 Personal Favorite
|12-29-12||Xavier v. Tennessee -6||Top||47-51||Loss||-110||8 h 6 m||Show|
I'm playing on TENNESSEE. Everyone knows Xavier is usually a good team. Sometimes a very good team. To a certain degree, that reputation sticks with a team, even when its going through a tough time. In this case, I believe that Xavier remains a bit over-valued by the betting public and that that Musketeers will be in over their heads.
The Musketeers, who suffered heavy losses from last season, are off back to back losses. They were blown out by 15 points by rival Cincinnati and followed it up by losing outright against lowly Wofford. That makes it 0-4 ATS their last four.
Think the ATS losing streak can't continue? Consider that the Musketeers are 4-11 ATS the last 15 times that they'd failed to cover their previous three or more consecutive games.
The well-rested Volunteers are 3-0 SU/ATS the last three times that they played with seven or more day's rest in between games, 17-8 ATS their last 25 in that situation. They're also 6-1 SU/ATS the last seven times that they played a home game with an O/U line in the 120s.
The Vols are outscoring teams by 15 ppg on this floor. I backed them when they beat a good Wichita State team by nine here a couple of weeks ago (69-60 win on 12/13) and they've since followed it up by beating up on a couple of weaker opponents. I feel that they'll have no trouble taking care of business against (once) might Xavier. *9 Personal Favorite
|12-28-12||Missouri v. UCLA -3||Top||94-97||Push||0||9 h 50 m||Show|
I'm playing on UCLA. Missouri has the higher ranking. However, I believe that the Bruins are favored for good reason.
The Tigers, who have struggled as small road underdogs in recent years, haven't played a true road game all season.
Keep in mind that this Missouri team suffered major losses, including five seniors, from the one that won 30 games last year. While senior Bowers is contributing nicely, one of the remaining seniors (Dixon) is gone.
While the Bruins have battled through some adversity, they come in on a 4-game winning streak and with a chip on their shoulder. They're a talented team and I look for them to accomplish what the UCLA football team could not - a win and cover. *9 Personal Favorite
|12-25-12||San Diego St +5.5 v. Arizona||Top||67-68||Win||100||12 h 4 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN DIEGO STATE. (I'm keeping today's college writeups slightly shorter than normal, as Christmas has me running a bit behind.) The Wildcats are a very good team and they're off to a great start. I'm not convinced that they're better than the Aztecs though, who are also a very strong team. That being said, I feel that getting this many points is providing excellent value.
While the Wildcats are 11-0, the Aztecs are 11-1. In fact, they're 11-0 their last 11, since dropping their opener vs. Syracuse.
Speaking of 11-0, note that San Diego State has won 11 straight against teams currently in the Pac-12. Clearly the Aztecs "get up" for games against teams in their part of the country, wanting to show that they're the "best in the west."
The Aztecs, who upset Arizona last year, are 33-16 ATS (39-11) the last 50 times that they faced a team with a winning record. During that stretch, they've gone 7-3 ATS against teams which score 77 or more per game.
While Arizona is strong at both ends of the floor, the Aztecs are also 16-6 ATS (19-3 SU!) their last 22 against teams which allow 64 or fewer points.
Speaking of good defensive teams, the Aztecs have been dominant defensively recently, holding four straight opponents to less than 60. Note that they're 40-3 SU, after allowing 60 or less, 7-0 their last seven.
The Wildcats are only 5-9 ATS the last 14 times that they were listed as neutral court favorites in the 3.5 to 6 range, including an 0-3 ATS mark their last three in that situation. Don't be surprised if they suffer their first loss here. *10 Best Bet
|12-25-12||Mississippi v. Hawaii +8.5||Top||81-66||Loss||-110||7 h 42 m||Show|
I'm playing on HAWAII. (I'm keeping today's college writeups slightly shorter than normal, as Christmas has me running a bit behind.) The Rebels are a solid and experienced squad. However, they're a long way from home here and laying a lot of points. I feel it will prove to be too many, as I'm expecting a close game. In four road or neutral court games, the Rebels scoring 76.2 points and allowing 75. They were just 1-3 ATS in those games. Those four road/neutral court games weren't against elite teams either, as they faced Middle Tennessee STate, Loyola Marymount, Indiana State and San Francisco. The Rebels won one of those games by seven points and all three of the others were decided by three or less. The Warriors are 5-3 at home, outscoring opponents by a 72 to 64.9 margin. The Warriors may not be that experienced but they are talented and have a legit star in Vander Joaquim, one of five players averaging better than nine points per game. Joaquim averages 14.3 ppg and 7.3 rbg and that's not even the best on the team in either category. That honor belongs to Standhardinger, who is averaging an impressive 16.1 and 8.1 The Warriors are 3-0 ATS the last three times that they were listed as home underdogs in the 6.5 to 9 range. In a game that comes down to the wire, don't be surprised if Hawaii pulls off the upset. *9 Annihilator
|12-22-12||Weber State v. Portland State +7.5||Top||73-69||Win||100||13 h 30 m||Show|
I'm playing on PORTLAND STATE. I won with the Vikings against Oregon State a little over a week ago. Getting double-digits at the betting window, they lost by only five. I feel that they're offering very fair value once again.
Here's an excerpt of that 12/12 writeup on Portland State: "I've successfully played against teams from the Big Sky Conference more than once already this season. However, I believe that this will be a good spot to back a Big Sky team.
|12-19-12||Northern Illinois v. Seattle -4||Top||48-75||Win||100||10 h 3 m||Show|
I'm playing on SEATTLE. A member of the WAC for the first time, the Redbirds are playing with a chip on its shoulder. They want to show that they belong. They've mostly taken care of teams that they should be beating but have struggled against top tier teams. After getting outclassed by the Washington Huskies, the Redbirds had a bit of a letdown in losing vs. Jackson State in their next game. I expect them to be fully focused tonight as these Huskies aren't nearly as good as the ones they hosted last week. Indeed, Northern Illinois has lost 20 or more games in six straight seasons. This year's team may be a little better than last year's but the Huskies are still young and another 20+ loss season is looming large. They've only got two wins this season and those came against Judson College and SIU Edwardsville. Give the Huskies credit for covering the spread in each of their last three losses. However, keep in mind that those losses still all came by five or more points and by an average of nearly a dozen. This young team is now playing its third straight on the road, while playing thousands of miles from home. The Redbirds beat the Huskies by a dozen points last season and that was at NIU. Playing on their home floor and upset by their last performance, I expect an inspired Seattle team to take care of business once again. *10 Personal Favorite
|12-18-12||Cal Santa Barbara v. California -13.5||Top||59-68||Loss||-110||15 h 49 m||Show|
I'm playing on CALIFORNIA. The Bears should have advantages all over the floor here. They should also be in a foul mood after having lost three in a row.
While those losses have helped in keeping this number down a little, lets keep in mind that they came against the likes of Wisconsin, UNLV and Creighton, three very good teams.
Obviously, UC-Santa Barbara is a major step down in class.
The Gauchos lost three starters from last year's team, including all-conference stars Orlando Johnson and James Nunnally.
Prior to the season, Gauchos' coach Williams had this to say: "...boy, we
|12-17-12||Detroit +19 v. Syracuse||Top||68-72||Win||100||13 h 35 m||Show|
I'm playing on DETROIT. The Orange have been great against the spread this season. Their ATS winning streak appeared to be in jeopardy last time out, as they were only up by three points vs. lowly Canisius at halftime. To their credit, the Orange dominated in the second half. Still, the cover was only secured by a 3-pointer in the closing seconds. They're laying nearly as many points here and they're facing a much better opponent. I feel all the recent covers have caused the line to become a little too inflated.
Off a comeback win over Akron, Detroit comes in with some positive momentum. The Titans were behind much of the way that game, including 10-0 out of the gate. I like the way the Titans never quit and how they closed the game on a 17-5 run. While the Titans obviously know that winning here won't be easy, I believe that Saturday's victory will give them some much-needed confidence here.
Keep in mind that the Titans returned three starters from a team that went to the Big Dance last year. Led by Coach McCallum's son, a talented players averaging nearly 20 points in a game, the Titans have quietly won four straight. They're 3-0 ATS the last three times that they were road underdogs of greater than a dozen points and I look for them to step up and earn the cover this evening. *10 Main Event
|12-15-12||Tennessee Tech v. Wisc-Milwaukee +1||Top||69-58||Loss||-110||11 h 42 m||Show|
I'm playing on WISCONSIN-MILWAUKEE. This isn't exactly Saturday's "sexiest" matchup. However, as far as I'm concerned, winning a "boring" matchup is more important than losing an "exciting" one. In this case, with the pointspread essentially a non-factor, I feel we're getting excellent value with the home team.
At 5-4, Tennessee Tech comes in with the better record. Wisconsin-Milwaukee is only 3-8. A closer look reveals that the Panthers are 3-1 at home though while the Golden Eagles are only 1-3 on the road.
While the Golden Eagles are being outscored 71-62 on the road, the Panthers are outscoring teams by a 70.2 to 64.7 margin at home.
Last game, Tennessee Tech lost by 20 at Gardner Webb. In their previous road game, the Golden Eagles lost by 16 at Lipscomb. This is a team which has padded its record with wins over the likes of Crowley's Ridge, Coastal Carolina and Berea.
Keep in mind that the Panthers returned three starters from a team that won 20 games last season. Last year's team dealt with numerous injuries too. This year's team is healthy, thus far.
Meanwhile, the Golden Eagles are also without DeOndre Haynes. (Coach Payne said this of Haynes: "...He
|12-15-12||Elon v. Massachusetts -7.5||Top||73-78||Loss||-110||4 h 23 m||Show|
I'm playing on MASSACHUSETTS. Elon comes in with the better record. In fact, at 6-3, the Phoenix currently have he best overall record in the Southern Conference. While the Phoenix are indeed an improved team from recent years, I expect them to have their hands full against what I expect will be a highly motivated Massachusetts squad.
True, the Minutemen have a pretty ugly ATS mark, at the moment. They're still 4-3 SU though and the three losses came vs. NC State, Tennessee and Miami, far more talented teams than they one that they'll face here.
When matched up against lesser foes, Harvard, Providence, Siena and Northeastern, the Minutemen have gone a perfect 4-0 SU. They finally broke through with a cover last time out, too - a 72-66 victory at Northeastern, when listed as 3.5 point favorites.
Note that this game is technically being called a "neutral" court game, as its being played at Springfield, rather than Amherst. That's only a distance of about 30 miles though. So, its not exactly going to be a "neutral" environment.
These teams also faced each other last season. The Minutemen hammered them by an 87-65 score, covering as 9.5 point favorites. I believe that they're still the superior team and I expect them to demonstrate that with another convincing win and cover. *10 Annihilator
|12-14-12||Charlotte U v. Miami (Fla) -7.5||Top||46-77||Win||100||10 h 4 m||Show|
I'm playing on MIAMI. Last night, we went against undefeated Wichita State. Playing at home, the Vols would pull away for a 9-point victory. Tonight, I expect it to be the Charlotte 49'ers which suffer their first loss of the season.
With a 9-0 record, the 49'ers are clearly doing something right. Clearly, this is Alan Major's best team, in this his third season as Charlotte's coach. That's not saying all that much, however, when considering that the 49'ers were only 23-37 in his first two years.
Also, I believe that the 9-0 record needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Not only have the opponents been largely inferior but the 49'ers have only played one true road game. I expect that record to begin to come back to earth, starting tonight.
The Hurricanes aren't ranked at the moment but I believe that they have the talent of a Top 25 team. Keep in mind that this team returned four starters from a squad that won 20 games last season, highlighted by a number of memorable victories, including one at Duke.
Among Miami's victories last season was a 15-point win at Charlotte. Now, an (arguably) improved Canes team get to host the 49'ers.
Last time out, the Hurricanes went on the road and beat up on Massachusetts, another A-10 team, one which I feel is superior to the one that they'll face tonight. (Massachusetts returned four starters from a team that had 25 wins last season.)
Now, the Canes return home where they recently beat Michigan State and Detroit. Those victories came by eight and 15 points, respectively.
While the 49'ers are 2-4 ATS (1-5 SU) the past couple of seasons as road underdogs in the 6.5 to 9 range, the Canes are 2-1 ATS (3-0 SU) when listed as home favorites in the 6.5 to 9 range. I feel that this number could easily be higher and I expect the Canes, who beat Charlotte in all phases of the game last season, to improve on those stats this evening. *9 Personal Favorite
|12-13-12||Wichita State v. Tennessee||Top||60-69||Win||100||11 h 59 m||Show|
I'm playing on TENNESSEE. Wichita State comes in with the much better record and also the higher ranking. Don't be "shocked" when the Volunteers hand their guests their first loss though.
True, the Shockers are off to an impressive 9-0 start. However, the toughest teams that Wichita State has faced are Virginia Commonwealth, Depaul and Iowa.
On the other hand, the Vols are off tough road games at Virginia and Georgetown while also having faced respectable teams like Oklahoma State and Massachusetts, a team arguably better than its current 4-3 record indicates.
While they deserve credit for their undefeated record, keep in mind that these are not the same Shockers that won the 2011 NIT Title or the 2012 Missouri Valley Conference title. While they still have excellent athletes, this is a team that has had nine scholarship seniors graduate in the past two seasons alone. Note that the Shockers are also expected to be without shooting guard Evan Wessel in this game.
The Vols have had plenty of time to get over their disappointing road defeats, having last played on 12/5. Note that Tennessee is 21-5 the past 26 times that it played with seven or more day's rest, including 2-0 SU/ATS the past couple of seasons.
While the Shockers are 10-17 ATS (8-19 SU) the last 27 times that they were listed as road underdogs or three or fewer points, or at pick'em, the Vols are 10-4 ATS the last 14 times that they were listed as home favorites or three or fewer points, or at pick'em.
The Vols have only played two games on this floor and they won both with relative ease. Most recently, on 11/26, they crushed Oakland by a score of 77-50. (Regulars may recall that we backed the Vols in that game.)
I expect homecourt to be the difference as the Shockers inexperience and personnel changes finally catch up with them. *9 annihilator
|12-12-12||Oregon State v. Portland State +11.5||Top||79-74||Win||100||15 h 15 m||Show|
I'm playing on PORTLAND STATE. I've successfully played against teams from the Big Sky Conference more than once already this season. However, I believe that this will be a good spot to back a Big Sky team.
I expect the Vikings to be the "hungrier" team here. They'll be playing an instate rival, one that hails from a much bigger conference. They'll also be playing in front of a packed house, as tickets for the game are reportedly already sold out.
While they tend to play some pretty weak competition, note that the Vikings are 15-5 SU and 10-5 ATS their last 20 games here. NONE of the five losses came by greater than seven points.
The Beavers are certainly better on paper. However, injuries to Gomis and Brandt have narrowed the gap a little. Asking them to cover double-digits on the road is asking a lot. Keep in mind that the Beavers are 3-17 SU (6-13-1 ATS) their last 20 road lined games.
The Vikings, who already covered as large underdogs at Oregon, have only played one home game all season, a double-digit winner. They were blown out out at Oregon State last season. However, the previous three meetings (all some time ago) between these teams were ALL decided by five or fewer points. I have a feeling the Vikings give their guests a real scare here. *10
|12-11-12||North Dakota State +14.5 v. Minnesota||Top||57-70||Win||100||13 h 48 m||Show|
I'm playing on NORTH DAKOTA STATE. With a top 15 ranking and a 10-1 overall record, the Gophers are obviously a good team. That said, I feel that this will prove to be a difficult spot and I expect them to have their hands full here. I believe that the Gophers are ripe for a letdown here. Not only did they just have to return from the West Coast, they're also off an emotional game, one which saw Tubby Smith reach 500 wins, the 19th Div. 1 coach to ever do so. As Minnesota's Andre Hollins noted: "This a huge win for coach's career ..." While the Gophers, who face Michigan State later this month, could easily overlook the Bison, I feel that will prove costly. North Dakota State nearly upset the Gophers right here last season. Listed as an 11 point favorite, Minnesota eked out a 63-59 victory. While the Gophers are arguably better than they were, note that the Biston brought back their top five scorers from that team and are also even better this season. Indeed, the Biston check in off three straight double-digit wins and with an 8-2 record overall. One of their losses came at Indiana, the top team in the country - and they hung within 14 points of the Hoosiers. Including the cover vs. Indiana and the near upset here last season, the Bison are a highly profitable 16-5 ATS their last 21 lined non-conference games. While the Gophers are 0-3 ATS as home favorites in the 12.5 to 15 range the past few seasons, the Biston are 1-0 ATS as road underdogs in that range. The Gophers have only lost to a Summit League team once and that was way back in 1936. That happened to be against North Dakota State. I won't go as far as calling for another upset here - although it wouldn't shock me - but I do expect the Bison to step up and give the Gophers another real scare. *10 Best Bet
|12-08-12||Minnesota v. USC +8||Top||71-57||Loss||-110||14 h 12 m||Show|
I'm playing on USC. With a top 20 ranking, the Gophers are obviously a pretty good team. That said, they're a long way from home. I expect them to have their hands full tonight and feel that the the number being offered on the home team is generous.
True, the Trojans are off to a tough start. However, in fairness, they've had a very tough opening schedule. They began the season with a blowout win over Coppin State, as expected. Next, they beat Long Beach State by 18, laying 9.5 points.
From that point onwards, their next six games have come against Illinois, Texas, Marquette (those 3 games coming in 3 days) followed by San Diego State, Nebraska and New Mexico. Of those, only the game vs. San Diego State was played here at USC. They lost that one by six.
So, while the overall record may not look too impressive - there's good reason. This team is still 2-1 on its home floor and the lone loss would have resulted in a cover against today's larger number.
Admittedly, the Gophers have also played some tough teams. However, they've also sprinkled in a lot more cupcakes than the Trojans have. (They've been favored by double-digits in four games and another didn't have a line.) They did win at Florida State. However, this will be just their second true road game of the season. LA is a long way from Minnesota (or Tallahassee) and offers plenty of distractions.
These teams met at Minnesota last season. The Trojans had real trouble scoring, losing 55-40. They're off a game which saw them shoot a season-high 52.9% though and I expect them score considerably more on their home floor. In fact, while I'm happy to grab the points, I won't be surprised if they step up and score the outright win. *10 Best Bet
|12-08-12||Cleveland State v. North Carolina State -16.5||Top||63-80||Win||100||7 h 12 m||Show|
I'm playing on NC STATE. I believe that there is a major gap in talent between these teams. Yet, recent results are keeping the number quite reasonable.
The Wolfpack haven't gotten off to quite the dominant start that they were probably hoping for. However, his is a team which is talented enough that it is expected to contend for the ACC title.
I expect NC State to be in a foul mood. After going 3-0 ATS/SU to start the season, the Wolfpack lost vs Oklahoma State on 11/18. Still stunned from that loss and the return trip home, they slept-walked through a win vs. UNC-Asheville. Next, was a loss at Michigan. Last time out, they blew the cover at the buzzer, beating UConn by only four. I believe that they'll be looking to take out their frustrations in the form of a blowout win and that inexperienced Cleveland State represents the perfect opponent.
The Vikings had a good year last season. If you look at their early season record, you'd think that they're going to be just as good as last year. That memory or last year along with this season's record is helping in keeping the line However, that record is deceiving, as they've played a number of weak teams. The only good team that they played was Michigan - and the Vikings lost by 30 as a 16 point underdog. The only other decent team that they played was Robert Morris and the Vikings lost that one by 11. Wins have come against the likes of Grambling and Alabama Huntsville; they won the latter by only two points.
Last year, the Vikings returned nearly every starter. As coach Gary Waters noted before the season, "All that is gone." Tim Kamcyzc was the only returning starter, a junior.
Anton Grady was one of the few players who got some experience for Cleveland State last season. He's currently second on the team in scoring with 13.7 points per game. His 5.5 rebounds per game also ranks second and he's #1 in both blocks and steals. Unfortunately for Cleveland State, Grady is out. Needless to say, he'll be missed by a team already short on experience.
NC State has already thrived as a favorite in this range so far this season. The Wolfpack won by 17 when they were favored by 13 as a neutral court favorite vs. Penn State. when favored by 19 vs. Miami Ohio, they won by 38. I expect another blowout. *10
|12-06-12||Long Beach State +21.5 v. Syracuse||Top||53-84||Loss||-110||5 h 56 m||Show|
I'm playing on LONG BEACH STATE. After dominating their conference the last couple of seasons, this year's Long Beach State team lost four starters, players which had helped build their program into what it is today. Obviously, that's a blow. However, the cupboard is far from bare for this well-coached team.
Prior to the season, coach Monson had this to say of losing those four starters. "It's not like those four guys went to the NBA after one year or just all of a sudden up and graduated. We
|12-05-12||Gonzaga v. Washington State +11.5||Top||71-69||Win||100||8 h 55 m||Show|
I'm playing on WASHINGTON STATE. I respect the Bulldogs, who are off an impressive 8-0 start. However, I feel that they're laying too many points here.
While they're not too far from home, this is the Bulldogs' first "true" road game of the season. They'll face a Cougars team which is a perfect 5-0 on its home floor.
In fact, dating back to a 81-59 blowout of Gonzaga almost exactly two years ago, the Cougars have won 17 straight games on this floor, against non-conference opponents.
The Bulldogs did avenge that loss at Gonzaga last season. However, even that victory came by only eight points.
Even coach Few acknowledged: "This is going to be a difficult week. Washington State is always difficult for us ... "
Having a showdown vs. ranked Illinois could also potentially have the Bulldogs looking ahead.
That'll prove costly as the Cougars are hungry and have a genuine star in senior Brock Motum, who averages nearly 20 points (17.9) and seven boards per game.
Including the victory over Gonzaga here two years ago, the Cougars are 22-10 ATS in home lined games the past 2+ seasons. During that time, the Bulldogs are 8-12-2 ATS on the road, including a 1-3 ATS mark as road favorites in the 9.5 to 12 range.
I successfully played against the Bulldogs in their first "neutral" court site game this season, when they failed to cover vs. Clemson. I expect them to have their hands full once again. *10 Best Bet
|12-02-12||Boise State v. Seattle +9||Top||87-64||Loss||-110||7 h 33 m||Show|
I'm playing on SEATTLE. I won with the Redhawks in their first game, a blowout win against Montana State. I've included an excerpt from the analysis of that play here:
Some might see the teams involved here and wonder why Seattle is laying nearly double-digits. However, I feel that the line could be even higher and am expecting a double-digit win. Tonight's game is a big deal for Seattle. The Redhawks begin their first season of play in the Western Athletic Conference and they're eligible to play in the NCAA tournament for the first time since returning to Division I, five years ago. Junior guard Sterling Carter had this to say: "Knowing we can play in the tournament is big," said junior guard That's something big that we want to accomplish this year and we are not going to take our time to get there. I feel like our goal is to win the WAC this year and make a statement." Coach Cameron Dollar, now in his fourth year here, is also extremely optimistic. He was quoted saying: "I think we've got all the components to where, in March, we will be able to do some things and make some noise, for sure." Four players who started at least nine games last season return for Seattle and the Redhawks are deeper than they've been in the past. Typically a fast paced team, I expect the determined Redhawks to run their outmatched opponent right out of the building tonight.
Seattle won that game by 15 points. They also won their only other home game here by nine points. Last time out, playing at Stanford, they stayed within 11, covering as 19.5 point underdogs. Back at home, I feel that the Redhawks are going to come in believing that they can win outright and that they're again providing very fair value.
The Broncos have admittedly been playing well. However, after having recently faced the likes of Michigan State and coming off a big upset win at Creighton, arguably one of the biggest wins in school history, I feel that they're ripe for a letdown, as well as a little over-valued.
Note that Boise is already 0-2 ATS, after scoring 80 or more points in its previous game, falling to 5-10 ATS its last 15 in that situation. Keep in mind that Boise was 1-11 on the road last season. Given the situation, I won't be surprised by the outright upset. *9 Best Bet
|12-01-12||Colorado v. Wyoming -3||Top||69-76||Win||100||11 h 55 m||Show|
I'm playing on WYOMING. The Buffaloes come in with the higher ranking. However, I believe that the Cowboys are favored for good reason.
The Cowboys, 7-0 on the season, have beaten the Buffaloes five consecutive times. They also own an 18-game "non-conference" home win streak. In fact, the last time that they lost a home game vs. a non-conf. opponent was way back in 2010.
As Colorado coach Tad Boyle acknowledged: Laramie, Wyoming is not an easy place to play. It will be like other teams that come here and play at 7,000 feet. They are going to have the advantage and the altitude, we are going to have to overcome that."
The Buffaloes may be undefeated. However, they needed double-OT to beat Texas Southern last time out, a team which was 1-5 at the time.
The Cowboys are 19-8-2 ATS (24-5 SU) the last 29 times that they were listed as favorites, going 20-9-2 ATS in home lined games the past few seasons. During that stretch, the Buffaloes were only 8-14 ATS (6-16 SU) in road lined games. I expect homecourt to prove the difference. *10 Personal Favorite
|11-30-12||Syracuse v. Arkansas +7||Top||91-82||Loss||-110||10 h 12 m||Show|
I'm playing on ARKANSAS. As usual, Syracuse has a talented team. That said, I feel that that Orange, who lost some key faces from last year, are going to have their hands full here.
Note that this is the first "true" road game (They did play on on an aircraft carrier in San Diego) that the Orange will have played and that they're up against an Arkansas team which is already 3-0 at home and which thrives on pressure defense. In its three games here, the Hogs forced an average of 23 turnovers.
Syracuse's Brandon Triche said this of the Razorbacks: "They're very tough playing at home. They're a transition team and they're going to press us the whole game ... "
Note that Syracuse is just 4-9 ATS its last 13 against teams from the SEC.
I believe that this Arkansas team is destined to be pretty solid this season. This is a huge game for them and I expect them to give their hosts all that they can handle, the entire way. *10 Best Bet
|11-30-12||LOUISIANA TECH v. GEORGIA ST -2||Top||86-68||Loss||-110||9 h 50 m||Show|
I'm playing on GEORGIA STATE. The Panthers have some new faces this year. However, they're also talented, hungry and well-coached. Ron Hunter came in last year and immediately transformed this team, using a suffocating zone defense to finish top five in the country in field goal defense en route to a 22-win season. Hunter lost some players from that team but he's still got plenty to work with. Having failed to cover a few in a row, we're getting a very low number to work with.
The Panthers aren't eligible to play in their league tournament, as there's a rule preventing them from doing so. However, they're still determined to have another strong season.
Hunter said this of not being allowed to play in the tournament: Hunter said this of not being allowed to play in the tournament: "I won
|11-29-12||Manhattan -7 v. Fordham||Top||65-58||Push||0||9 h 19 m||Show|
I'm playing on MANHATTAN. I played on the Jaspers in their last win a win and cover vs. Hofstra on 11/21. I expect them to get another big win tonight. I've pasted an excerpt of the analysis of that 11/21 victory below, as I feel it give a good indication of what this team is all about.
The Jaspers had a great season under Steve Masiello, a Rick Pitino prodigy. All Manhattan did in Masiello's first season was improve by 15 games, instantly becoming a championship contender in its conference. The Jaspers did get upset (in OT) by Siena in the MAAC tourney, which wasn't the way they wanted to end their otherwise excellent season. That prompted Masiello to comment: "I'm very happy with the year, but disappointed with the finish. But, we got Manhattan back to again being relevant." The Jaspers return most of the pieces from last year including "floor general" Michael Alvardo, who averaged better than three assists per game last season, while chipping in 8.5 points. They may be without senior Beamon here, which is a blow. However, this is a team loaded with depth, I believe with more than enough to handle in experienced Hofstra, a team they beat by nine (on the road) last season. Hofstra coach Cassara said this entering the season: "We've got nine new guys who have never worn the uniform before. That certainly lends itself to taking some time to mesh, and my hope is that we can continue to get better and by the middle of January, middle of February, beginning of March, those nine new pieces have gelled together. And hopefully you
|11-28-12||Michigan State v. Miami (Fla) -1||Top||59-67||Win||100||10 h 52 m||Show|
I'm playing on MIAMI. Many are going to see Miami as a slight favorite against might Michigan State and do a bit of a double-take. I believe the Hurricanes deserve to be favored though and that they'll view this as a "statement game," their opportunity to be recognized as a talented program.
The Hurricanes, who returned four starters from last year, are undefeated at home this season. The Spartans are playing their first "true" road game.
The Canes quietly have high hopes for this season and they come in playing with confidence. Last time out, laying 6.5 points against Detroit, they won by 15, a score of 77-62.
Remember, this team won at both Duke and at Florida State last year. They only lost one starter from last year's team (Malcolm Grant) and he had a bad year last year anyway. While Grant played a role early in the season, he struggled down the stretch and really should not be missed much.
The Canes have a coach who has enjoyed postseason success and a team loaded with seniors. This is a big game for them.
The game against Detroit marked the return of senior guard Durand Scott, who had been serving a 6-game suspension, dating back to last season. Scott would score 15 points, making a successful return. He's an important player for this team. Shane Larkin also scored 15. Scott and Larkin are an excellent combo, both strong defenders.
The Spartans are off to a 5-1 start. However, turnovers have plagued them. In fact, they've turned the ball over 20 times in their last two games alone and they did so 67 times in a 4-game stretch, none of those against top tier competition.
Even coach Izzo noted: "I think our guys are going to be great citizens when they get done with basketball, because the Christmas season is lasting all year. They're giving gifts away."
Two of Michigan State's last three games have seen the Spartans win by four or less, games that they were favored by 22.5 and 15.5 points.
Izzo would go on to say: I don't like the way our team is at all. I'm just trying to figure how much of it is due to our preparation or lack thereof with the guys who are injured. But that doesn't have anything to do with some of my key guys turning it over four or five times.''
Of course, Izzo's teams tend to be great come March. However, they're not necessarily always that strong early on in the season.
The Canes are healthier and I also expect them to be "hungrier." Some will view it as an upset but not me. *9