|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|03-25-23||Bucks v. Nuggets -2.5||Top||106-129||Win||100||11 h 11 m||Show|
Denver returns home for a huge showdown with Milwaukee Saturday night. These are the top teams in each conference, Milwaukee is 52-30 and has a 2.5-game edge in the East while Denver 49-24 with a three-game edge in the West.
The Nuggets have had two days off. They finished their road trip 3-2 SU/ATS after winning at Brooklyn and Washington. Meanwhile, Milwaukee is in the second night of a back to back after destroying Utah last night on the road.
You can throw out the 107-99 win Milwaukee had against Denver back in January. The Nuggets rested most of their key guys in that game.
Denver is 30-6 SU at home and outscoring teams here by about 10.5 PPG.
I know it’s scary to fade a Bucks team that is 24-3 SU its last 27 games and 9-1 SU/9-0-1 ATS in the second night of a back to back. But playing at altitude without rest is a tough proposition, even if starters were able to rest in the 4Q last night. 10*
|03-25-23||Florida Atlantic +2 v. Kansas State||Top||79-76||Win||100||10 h 38 m||Show|
Kansas State is coming off back to back wins (75-69 over Kentucky and 98-93 over Michigan State) where they were underdogs, despite being the higher seed. In each instance, ShotQuality data indicates that the Wildcats “should have” lost, the Kentucky game due to being a little fortunate defensively and the Michigan State game due to being a little fortunate on both ends of the court.
So far in this Tournament, KSU is shooting 65% from two-point range, so they are definitely due for a little regression here. KenPom has FAU rated as the better team here, and I won’t disagree, so let’s take the points in this first Elite 8 matchup.
After squeaking by Memphis in Round 1, Florida Atlantic has beaten 16-seed FDU and then 4-seed Tennessee. That second round matchup was a bit of a gift and the Owls underperformed (perhaps feeling the pressure as big favorites?) but I didn’t think there was anything phony about the Sweet 16 win over Tennessee.
The Owls held the Vols to 33.3% shooting in the 62-55 win. This is a team that’s now won 10 in a row - with six different leading scorers - and is 34-3 SU on the year.
I don’t think Kansas State will shoot 55% in this game as they have in two of the previous three rounds. Remember they’ve needed Kentucky to 4 of 20 from three and then shoot the lights out themselves to get by Michigan State. 8*
|03-24-23||Suns v. Kings -3.5||Top||127-135||Win||100||12 h 7 m||Show|
Phoenix is struggling mightily right now as over the last six games they are just 1-5 SU and 0-6 ATS. They are without both DeAndre Ayton and Kevin Durant heading into Sacramento Friday night.
A big problem for the Suns right now is free throw disparity. They simply are not getting to the line. The last time they attempted more FTs than their opponent was 2/26.
This six-game ATS slide began with a 128-119 home loss to Sacramento (as four-point favorites). Ayton had 22 points and 12 rebounds in that game.
The Kings are looking to bounce back from back to back losses to Utah and Boston. Prior to those losses, the team had won seven of eight. They gave up 132 to the Celtics, but are 5-1 ATS this season after allowing 130+ in the previous game.
This is a key game in the Western Conference playoff picture. I just think it sets up well for the Kings, who are at home and clearly healthier than the Suns right now. 10*
|03-24-23||Miami-FL v. Houston -7.5||Top||89-75||Loss||-110||10 h 11 m||Show|
Miami is the 5-seed here in the Midwest Region and just beat Indiana 85-69 as a 1.5-point underdog in the second round. But that came on the heels of a close call vs. Drake in the first round where the Hurricanes needed to rally late for a 63-56 win and cover as 2.5-point favorites.
Top seed Houston failed to cover its first round game as the Cougars could only defeat 16-seed Northern Kentucky (a tricky team that plays zone defense) 63-52 as lofty 19-point favorites. But after falling behind early, Kelvin Sampson’s team roared back in the second round, eventually blowing out Auburn 81-64 as 5.5-point chalk.
Looking at this matchup, the one thing that sticks out is Miami ranks just 109th in defensive efficiency. That’s the worst defensive rating among all Sweet 16 teams (even worse than Princeton) and I think they’ll struggle to contain Marcus Sasser (22 points vs. Auburn) and company. Miami is allowing almost 54% of its opponents’ points to be scored inside the three-point line.
Miami supporters will point to the guard play, which was tremendous again vs. Indiana. But this is a far worse matchup for the Hurricanes as Houston allows the lowest midrange shooting percentage in the country and also have the highest block rate in all of College Basketball.
Furthemore, Houston has a big edge in rebounding in this matchup and is well-suited to slowing down Miami, thus limiting the ‘Canes’ transition opportunities. 10*
|03-22-23||Blazers +4.5 v. Jazz||Top||127-115||Win||100||10 h 29 m||Show|
Both Anfernee Simons and Jerami Grant have been ruled out here for Portland, but Utah may be without some key pieces as well with Lori Markkanen having missed the last game and Jordan Clarkson still banged up. So I’m willing to take the Blazers plus the points in what is essentially a must win for them.
Portland comes into tonight trailing Utah by four games in the race for the last play-in spot. The Blazers have lost six in a row, failing to cover the last four, to fall back in the playoff chase. Meanwhile, the Jazz are trending in the other direction with six straight covers and winning four of their last five straight up.
But I still don’t see that much of a difference between these two Northwest Division clubs. Utah has been great as a dog this season, but they are only 12-19 ATS when favored. Having the seventh worst defensive rating in the league is also not ideal when the Jazz are laying points.
The Blazers have won the previous two meetings and have shot 47% or better against the Jazz all three times they’ve faced them in 2022-23. The one loss came by only five points. Damian Lillard scored 60 the last time they played.
With Milwaukee coming to town Friday, Utah may be looking past Portland. I just think the Jazz are due to “lay an egg” this evening. The only two times since the All Star Break where Utah has been asked to lay more than a point both came against San Antonio and they lost one of those games. Take the points. 10*
|03-21-23||Spurs v. Pelicans -11.5||Top||84-119||Win||100||10 h 26 m||Show|
This is a spot where the Pelicans should absolutely roll. San Antonio is the worst team in the league and winning is not in their best interest at this point. The Spurs did win Sunday, 126-118 at home against Atlanta. However, I thought that was a phony result as they not only erased a 24-point deficit, but also were fortunate to go 14 of 28 from three while the Hawks were just 5 of 22.
The Spurs main focus at this point should be to lose as many games as possible and thus better their chances in the Draft Lottery. They have the worst point differential in the league and are being outscored by 13 points/game on the road.
New Orleans needs this game after only managing a split with another lowly team, Houston. The Pelicans are currently 12th in the Western Conference, but just one game back of the final play-in spot. Having a positive YTD point differential tells me this team is better than its 34-37 SU record.
The Pelicans have already beaten the Spurs three times this season, putting up 129, 117 and 126 points. They are 22-13 SU at home.
The Spurs have covered only 5 of 23 road games with a total of 230 or higher. 10*
|03-21-23||Coyotes +1.5 v. Jets||Top||1-2||Win||100||19 h 55 m||Show|
The Jets are in the midst of blowing a once promising season. They've lost six of ten, can't win at home with regularity, and can't seem to find the back of the net anywhere. Three of their last four wins have been by a single goal. They've scored just two goals in three games, and were shut out twice. Star net-minder Hellebuyck has not looked his best February through March.
|03-21-23||Eastern Kentucky v. Southern Utah -3||Top||108-106||Loss||-110||10 h 34 m||Show|
This is a great spot to fire on Southern Utah, in my opinion, as Eastern Kentucky is not only playing its third game in three days but the previous two both went to overtime!
On Sunday, EKU rallied back from a 13-point second half deficit to stun Cleveland State 91-75 as a one-point favorite. That was one of the most misleading finals you’ll ever see as the Colonels outscored the Vikings 17-1 in OT. Then yesterday, they were ahead most of the way against Indiana State, only to again go to OT - where they prevailed 89-88 as a seven-point dog.
Southern Utah had a close call yesterday as well, beating Rice 91-89 but failing to cover the 4.5-point spread. But that too was a misleading result as the Thunderbirds led the entire way and were up by as much as 17.
This is SUU’s third game in four days, but they had Sunday off and have not logged the extra minutes EKU has. Furthermore, Southern Utah easily won its first CBI game, 72-50 over North Alabama, an ASun rival of EKU.
Southern Utah (16th in adjusted tempo) plays even faster than Eastern Kentucky (44th). A fast paced game is not ideal for the Colonels right now, given they’ve played 90 minutes of hard fought basketball the last two days. Lay the short number. 10*
|03-20-23||Sharks v. Oilers -1.5||Top||4-5||Loss||-130||22 h 44 m||Show|
The 7-3 Oilers are still within sight of first place in the West, which makes a win in Monday's game against the Sharks absolutely vital. Edmonton hasn't played a really poor team in ten games, which makes their record even more impressive. There are no questions around their offense; they've outscored their opponents 16-8 in their last three games. Their defense has perked up lately. They limited the Bruins, Sabres and Dallas to two goals or less in recent games.
|03-20-23||Kings v. Jazz +5||Top||120-128||Win||100||13 h 51 m||Show|
Utah has now covered five in a row, though they had to come back from down 19 on Saturday to stun Boston 118-117 (as 4.5 point pups) here at home. Nevertheless, oddsmakers continue to not give this Jazz team the respect it deserves considering a phenomenal 26-10 ATS mark as an underdog, which is best in the league.
Speaking of a team that doesn’t get enough respect, Sacramento is tied for 2nd in the West (with Memphis) at 43-27 SU. The Kings are well-positioned to snap the longest active playoff drought in the four major North American sports. They last made the playoffs in the 2005-2006 season.
But while the Kings come into Monday on a hot 6-1 SU/ATS run, this is not a great spot for them as it will be their fourth road game in the last six days. They’ve won each of the previous three, but two of those were by five points or less.
Speaking of close games, these teams have already met twice this year and while the Kings are 2-0 straight up against the Jazz, those two wins were by a total of three points. Both were decided in the closing seconds.
Sacramento shot almost 56% from the floor against Washington on Saturday, which included 22 of 37 from three. Don’t expect them to repeat those numbers here. This is too many points to lay to a competent team at the end of a road trip. 10*
|03-20-23||Wisc-Milwaukee +6 v. Charlotte||Top||65-76||Loss||-110||11 h 31 m||Show|
Milwaukee was a surprise team in the Horizon League this season, finishing second behind Youngstown State. But the Panthers’ run towards the NCAA Tournament ended with a semifinal loss in the conference tournament, 93-80 to Cleveland State. They got the invite to the CBI, however, and made the most of it by defeating Stetson in OT yesterday, 87-83 as a 1.5-point dog.
You may think Charlotte has a bit of an edge because their first round CBI game was on Saturday. The 49ers did defeat Western Carolina 65-56 as six-point favorites. But they had to come back from a 31-20 halftime deficit to do so. WCU shot 3 of 20 from three-point range and was just 3 of 7 from the free throw line.
I don’t think we’ll see those kinds of numbers tonight from Milwaukee, who averages eight made threes per game and shoots nearly 74% from the FT line.
Important to note that Charlotte came into the CBI on a three-game losing streak. They are just 2-5 ATS their last seven games following an ATS win.
Even with the rest advantage, I don’t see how the 49ers are this big of a favorite. It will be interesting to see what pace this game is played at because Milwaukee is 12th in the country in adjusted tempo while Charlotts is 362nd (second slowest). The Panthers are 7-2 ATS following a game where they allowed 80 or more points. 10*
|03-19-23||Miami-FL v. Indiana -1.5||Top||85-69||Loss||-115||12 h 41 m||Show|
Miami was only a 2.5-point favorite against Drake in the first round. Like all of the other 5-seeds, the Hurricanes were able to avoid the upset, but in their case it was not easy. The ‘Canes trailed Drake by eight points with under five minutes to go, only to close with a 16-1 run.
It was a real shock that Miami could win a game where it shot 11 of 38 on two-point attempts. I say that because this is a team that typically relies on its offense. The Hurricanes are just 114th in the country in defensive efficiency, the lowest ranking among remaining tourney teams save for Fairleigh Dickinson.
Indiana will not let “The U” off the hook the same way Drake did. The Hoosiers had far less problems in Round 1 as they beat a very good Kent State team 71-60 as 4.5-point favorites. IU held Kent to just 32% from the field.
Jackson-Davis should have a big game here for the Hoosiers against a Miami team that I already mentioned is suspect defensively. The ‘Canes don’t really have the size to match up.
IU can also shoot the three. Defensively, they are built to stop Miami’s backcourt. 10*
|03-18-23||Heat v. Bulls +3||Top||99-113||Win||100||10 h 40 m||Show|
The Bulls have righted the ship a bit with three wins in the last four games. They are 3-1 ATS in that same stretch. Previously, they’d really struggled ATS, covering just 2 of 12 games.
Chicago comes into Saturday in 10th place in the Eastern Conference. That’s obviously the last play-in spot. But it’s a tight lead with Indiana only one-half game back. The Bulls really need this one.
Miami is 7th in the East and barring some late collapse will make the playoffs, or at least the play-in round. But what I find interesting is that Chicago has the better YTD point differential of these two teams.
The Heat have been real money-burners when favored this season, going 15-32 ATS. They are just 4-15 ATS their last 19 games overall.
Bottom line is I don’t think the Heat should be favored here. Take the points. 10*
|03-18-23||Hurricanes -1.5 v. Flyers||Top||5-4||Loss||-100||7 h 37 m||Show|
The Flyers are 2-10 in back to backs, while the Hurricanes are 7-2. The Canes are 8-1 against teams with a losing record. The Flyers are 3-12 vs teams with winning records. Carolina has lost 3 of 4, are one of the league's best road teams, and should be in an ugly mood after their recent poor play. The Flyers won last night for just the second time in 10 games, and have lost by multiple goals in 6 of 10 starts.
The Flyers will likely start Sandstrom in net. He has lost 8 straight. Between goalie Andersen and the Canes' second ranked defense and PK, Carolina should have their way with the Flyers offense and PP, worst and second worst in the NHL. Look for Carolina to bounce back in a big way on Saturday night. Take the Hurricanes on the puck line at -1 1/2.
|03-18-23||Duke v. Tennessee +3.5||Top||52-65||Win||100||5 h 52 m||Show|
This number seems crazy to me. I’ve got Tennessee rated as the better team, so there’s no way they should be getting three (or more) points here even though Duke looked awfully impressive in its first round blowout over Oral Roberts.
Believe it or not, Shot Quality numbers suggest Duke was not nearly as dominant as the final score showed against Oral Roberts. That surprised me a bit as the Blue Devils were never threatened in the 74-51 win. But Oral Roberts missed a TON of open shots in that game.
Tennessee only won by three against Louisiana in their first round game. But they led by as many as 18 points and only shot 25% from three. I think the Vols are better than how they looked Thursday.
No Zeigler remains a big deal for UT but this team can play defense. They are #2 in the country in defensive efficiency (per KenPom), holding teams to 37.0% overall shooting and 26% from three.
The ACC was really down this year and I think we’re at the peak of the market right now with Duke, who won their conference tournament and is drastically overvalued as a result. I think the wrong team is favored in this 4 vs. 5 matchup. Take the points. 10*
|03-17-23||Kent State +4.5 v. Indiana||Top||60-71||Loss||-110||14 h 23 m||Show|
I think this is a very tough matchup for 4-seed Indiana drawing Kent State as a 13-seed. Champions of the Mid-American Conference, Kent State won’t be the least bit intimidated here
The Golden Flashes have a slightly higher defensive efficiency rating than Indiana. That’s notable as, rarely, do you see the mid-major underdog with a higher defensive efficiency rating than the favored school from a power conference.
Sincere Carry is the player to watch for Kent State. Defensively, I think they can do a good job at limiting Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis.
The Golden Flashes are 4-0 ATS as underdogs this season, 4-0 ATS on a neutral court and 10-1 ATS in the non-conference. They very nearly beat Houston and stayed within seven of Gonzaga.
Indiana is just 7-9 SU away from Assembly Hall and MAC teams have done quite well recently in this Tournament as underdogs. Take the points. 10*
|03-17-23||Montana State +8 v. Kansas State||Top||65-77||Loss||-110||14 h 58 m||Show|
Kansas State seems like a vulnerable high seed to me. The Wildcats were picked to finish last in the Big 12 in the preseason, so it’s a bit of a shock to even see them here in the Big Dance, let alone as a 3-seed.
The Wildcats were not particularly strong away from home either, going just 8-8 SU overall. They come into the Tournament having lost two in a row, the regular season finale (89-81 at West Virginia and then they were one and done in the Big XII Tournament, losing 80-67 to TCU).
A bit of ominous history for K State - the last four #3 seeds to lose in the Round of 64 all hailed from the Big 12.
Montana State won the Big Sky Tournament to get here. They were not regular season champions, although I think most who followed the league knew the Bobcats were better than Eastern Washington. Montana State comes in with a 5-1 ATS record as an underdog this season. They were in the Tournament last year.
Montana State gets to the free throw line a lot and I think can find success attacking the rim in this matchup. Defensively, they should be able to exploit Kansas State’s turnover issues. Take the points. 10*
|03-16-23||Penn State +2.5 v. Texas A&M||Top||76-59||Win||100||15 h 0 m||Show|
I like the underdog here. When the higher seed (in this case, Texas A&M) is favored by three points or less, they are on a money-burning 38-62-4 ATS in the NCAA Tournament. Furthermore, the Big 10 is on a 12-1-1 ATS run vs. SEC teams in the Big Dance!
Both teams lost in the Final of their respective Conference Tournaments. But I’ve felt Texas A&M comes in a bit overvalued. They were down 13 at halftime to Arkansas in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament. It was certainly a surprise to see the Aggies finish second in the SEC this year.
Penn State underachieved much of this year, but they’d won five straight before falling to Purdue by two on Sunday and they are 5-1 ATS L6 games. Also, the Nittany Lions are 13-2 ATS L15 neutral site games and 11-5 ATS as underdogs this season.
A&M is very reliant on getting to the free throw line to generate points, but Penn State is one of the best teams in the country at not fouling. The Nittany Lions also don’t give up a lot of second chance points, something else A&M thrives on.
But the big red flag for Texas A&M is that they allow a high three-point rate. Penn State is one of the Top 10 three-point shooting teams in the country. Penn State doesn’t turn the ball over much either. 10*
|03-16-23||Illinois +2 v. Arkansas||Top||63-73||Loss||-110||9 h 15 m||Show|
Arkansas is the favorite here and is getting the majority of bets. But we’ve actually seen the line go down, which is a signal that Illinois is the sharper side in this 8 vs. 9 matchup.
When the higher seed (in this case, Arkansas) is favored by three points or less, they are on a money-burning 38-62-4 ATS in the NCAA Tournament. Specifically, 8-seeds are on a terrible 4-16-1 ATS run when favored by three or less over 9-seeds (with 14 outright losses).
Also boding well for Illinois is the fact that Big 10 teams are on a 12-1-1 ATS against the SEC in NCAA Tournament games! Overall, Arkansas has never beaten Illinois, losing all five head to head meetings.
Zeroing in on the specific matchup, neither team enters the Tournament in good form. But Illinois is 5-1 ATS as a dog this season and I think they can do a good job at limiting transition, which is what Arkansas wants to do here.
Arkansas is a bit of a mess right now as well. There was an issue with the coaching staff and reporters following the loss in the SEC Tournament where the Razorbacks blew a 13-point halftime lead. I know the Hogs have been to back to back Elite Eights, but this is not a team I want to back right now. 8*
|03-15-23||Arizona State -2 v. Nevada||Top||98-73||Win||100||12 h 35 m||Show|
Arizona State is no stranger to these “First Four” games as this will be the third time in the last six years they’ve had to come to Dayton to “play their way in” to the NCAA Tournament. Previously, they’ve gone 1-1 SU in this scenario under Bobby Hurley.
I like the Sun Devils’ chances of making it 2-1 tonight as they face a Nevada team that’s probably lucky just to be here. The Wolf Pack were not included in the final 68 of most bracketologists’ projections. It was a surprise to see them get the nod over Rutgers after losing three straight - all as favorites.
Considering they were favored all three times, you may not be shocked to learn that all of those Nevada losses came to non-tournament teams (Wyoming, UNLV and San Jose State). To be fair, the last two were both overtime games. But still, the Torvik rankings have them 97th in the country over the last month. That’s not good.
I don’t think ASU will be bothered too much by the size of Nevada. The Sun Devils, who have two former Wolf Pack players on their current roster (transfers), are 28th in the country in defensive efficiency. Nevada’s shot selection is not particularly good according to the ShotQuality numbers.
Arizona State can be inconsistent, but holds wins over the likes of Arizona and Creighton. Nevada is pretty good about not turning the ball over, but there aren’t many teams in the Mountain West with the length of ASU. Also, can’t forget that the MWC is on a horrendous NCAA Tournament run (14-35-1 ATS L50 games, 20 straight losses for teams seeded 10th or lower and 0-7 SU overall the L3 tournaments). Lay the points. 10*
|03-15-23||Youngstown State +6 v. Oklahoma State||Top||64-69||Win||100||9 h 25 m||Show|
This is an NIT game where Youngstown State will look to get over the disappointment of being bounced from the Horizon League Tourney (where they were the top seed). The Penguins had a great year overall, finishing 24-9 straight up and they have not lost back to back games all season.
Oklahoma State is the NIT’s #1 overall seed, but has caught an unlucky break in that a scheduling conflict with their home arena (wrestling tournament) has resulted in this game being played at the Beeghly Center, the home of Youngstown State.
So while the Cowboys are the higher seed and from the much stronger conference, it’s a major disadvantage having to go to a place where YSU is 14-2 SU this season.
Taking the points here seems like a “no brainer” to me and the early money agreed. This will be only the fourth time all season that Youngstown State is catching points.
No Avery Anderson III for the Pokes either and that’s a significant absence. This team is just 2-6 SU/ATS over its last eight games and despite the words of head coach Mike Boynton Jr, I’ve got to imagine there’s some real disappointment on the OSU side over not getting into the Big Dance as an at-large team. Now having to go on the road in the NIT as a higher seed may lead to an unmotivated effort. Take the points. 8*
|03-14-23||Bucks v. Suns +2||Top||116-104||Loss||-110||13 h 57 m||Show|
I went against the Suns last night and that was a wise decision as they got blown out of the water in Golden State, losing 123-112. Phoenix found itself down 43-21 at the end of the first quarter, so it was pretty much over early. But credit them for keeping things respectable over the final three quarters.
Tonight it’s back home for the Suns against the hottest team in the league, that being the Bucks. Since everyone just saw the Suns get blown out on national TV, my assumption is that the Bucks will take money in this matchup.
It’s also the second night of a back to back, the third game in four nights and Kevin Durant is still injured. But be aware that this Phoenix team is much better at home (22-11) than they are on the road (15-20).
But Milwaukee is also in the second night of a back to back and may also be shorthanded. Khris Middleton is likely to be rested and Brook Lopez could be suspended after a late ejection in last night’s 133-124 win at Sacramento.
The Bucks shot 58% from the floor last night and got 46 points from Giannis Antetokounmpo. Don’t look for those kind of numbers here. This is a great value on Phoenix getting points at home. 10*
|03-14-23||Texas A&M Corpus Christi -3.5 v. SE Missouri State||Top||75-71||Win||100||34 h 36 m||Show|
This is a “First Four” matchup in the South region of the NCAA Tournament with a couple of 16 seeds - Texas A&M Corpus Christi taking on Southeast Missouri State - playing for the “right” to likely get beat down by Alabama in the Round of 64.
Texas A&M CC were the regular season champs of the Southland and obviously also won the Conference Tournament to earn the automatic bid. The Islanders enter the Big Dance with a 23-10 overall SU record and have won 12 of their previous 13 games. They are led by Trevian Tennyson.
SEMO were not the regular season champs in the Ohio Valley, in fact they finished fourth in that league. So it's certainly a surprise to see the Redhawks here. They had to win four games in four days to win the OVC Tournament. This is the first time the program has been in the NCAA Tournament since 2000.
Before they went on their run in the OVC Tourney, SEMO had lost five of seven games. They are deserved underdogs for this “First Four” matchup.
SEMO likes to play fast (7th nationally in adjusted tempo), but that is likely to work against them here as Texas A&M-CC averages over 80 points/game. I have the favorite rated ahead of a 16-seed (Howard) that’s already in the Round of 64. So I’m not sure the Islanders should even have to be in this game. Look for them to pick up a big win. 10*
|03-13-23||Suns v. Warriors -4||Top||112-123||Win||100||13 h 19 m||Show|
I really like the Warriors here. They are 0-3 vs. the Suns so far in 2022-23, but a big reason for that - Mikal Bridges - is now gone, off to the Nets. The kicker is that Kevin Durant, for whom Bridges was part of the package to obtain, is sidelined by injury.
This will be the third game in a row Golden State faces a team minus its superstar. It didn’t matter when they lost by 21 at Memphis (no Ja Morant) last week, but then the Warriors came back and beat Milwaukee (no Giannis) 125-116 in overtime Saturday night.
As was reinforced the last two games, the Warriors are a totally different team at home than they are away. The win over Milwaukee improved their home record to 28-7 straight up. They are just 7-26 SU on the road (9-24 ATS).
The Suns had a 4-0 SU/ATS win streak snapped last time out, falling 128-119 to Sacramento.
Golden State is 24-11 ATS at home with an average margin of victory of nearly eight points per game. Steph Curry, who went for 36 pts Sat night, had a 50-point game earlier in the year against Phoenix and that was while being guarded by Bridges. Lay the points. 10*
|03-13-23||Sabres v. Maple Leafs -1.5||Top||4-3||Loss||-100||19 h 3 m||Show|
The Leafs' 7th best defense is ranked 20 points higher the Buffalos'. The Sabres have the edge on offense, but it is minimal, and Toronto has a huge advantage on special teams. The Leafs are 7-3 in their last ten games, beating the Oilers 7-4 in their last game. They are one of the best home teams in the league this season.
The Sabres have had some growing pains lately, losing 6 of 7 games. They were crushed by Dallas and Boston lately, two other solid defensive teams. The Sabres have had no luck at all against the Leafs this season, outscored 11-5.
The Leafs are a game back from an extensive and successful road trip. Look for them to rack up a second consecutive home win on Monday. Take the Leafs on the puck line at -1 1/2.
|03-12-23||Texas A&M v. Alabama -4.5||Top||63-82||Win||100||4 h 58 m||Show|
Normally, I might be a bit leery of laying points with Alabama in this spot as they have a 1-seed all but sewn up for the NCAA Tournament. But the Crimson Tide are playing with revenge Sunday and I look for them to blow out Texas A&M.
In the final regular season game, the Crimson Tide went down to College Station and lost 67-61 as a 1-point underdog. They shot just 33% from the field, including 4 of 16 from three. I expect a much better effort at the offensive end today.
A&M won handily yesterday against Vanderbilt, making it 10 wins in the last 11 games (also 10-1 ATS). But the Aggies were very lucky to beat Arkansas Friday in the quarterfinals. They were down 13 at the half in that one.
Alabama has posted two double digit victories so far here in Nashville. They’ve allowed an average of 55 points/game.
The Crimson Tide have won each of the last five times they’ve sought revenge from a prior loss on the road. They are 4-1 ATS in those games. 10*
|03-12-23||Princeton +3.5 v. Yale||Top||74-65||Win||100||3 h 58 m||Show|
This is the Ivy League Tournament Final. Yale and Princeton tied for first place in the regular season (both 10-4). Yale had the better overall record (21-7 vs. 20-8) and got the regular season crown based on sweeping the two regular season meetings with Princeton. So they are the top seed in this tournament and Princeton is the #2 seed.
With the Ivy League Tournament involving just four teams, Yale and Princeton only had to win once to get here. Yale had little problem with Cornell, winning 80-60, while Princeton had to battle back to outlast Penn 77-70.
But Princeton has a MAJOR edge in this Tournament. The games, including this Final, are being played in their home gym. So much for the “benefit” of being the #1 seed, Yale!
I also don’t expect to see Yale shoot the way it did yesterday vs. Cornell. The Bulldogs went 10 of 16 from three (62.5%) while Cornell was just 8 of 30. Three-point variance is a big part of College Basketball handicapping. Playing at home, I cannot see Princeton falling victim the way Cornell did on Saturday.
About those two regular season losses to Yale - Princeton led both games at halftime. In the second meeting, which was here at Jadwin Gymnasium, the Tigers were up 19 in the second half before blowing it and losing in overtime. Princeton was a 2.5-point favorite for that game. Getting points with them at home in this situation is too good to pass up. 10*
|03-11-23||CS-Fullerton v. UC-Santa Barbara -3||Top||62-72||Win||100||12 h 32 m||Show|
Cal Santa Barbara got a big break yesterday when the top seed in the Big West Tournament, Cal Irvine, lost. Now the Gauchos are the favorites to win the Tourney and get the automatic berth into the Big Dance.
Of course, UCSB will now have to defeat the team that upset UC Irvine, that being Cal State Fullerton.
Both teams come into this Final pretty hot. UCSB has won six in a row while going 5-1 ATS. The lone non-cover was by half a point. CS Fullerton has won eight in a row, but five of the wins have come by four points or less.
These teams split the two regular season meetings. The favorite has covered 13 of the last 19 times they’ve met. So history is on UCSB’s side in that regard.
I just think the Gauchos are the better team and we’re getting some really nice value here. 10*
|03-11-23||St. Louis v. VCU -4||Top||78-90||Win||100||3 h 27 m||Show|
VCU looks to beat St. Louis for a third time this season, only this time there’s a lot more on the line. The Atlantic 10 figures to be a one-bid league this year, so only the winner of the Conference Tournament is getting in.
The teams got a day off between their quarterfinal victories and this semifinal. Both teams romped to victory in the quarterfinals, St. Louis beat George Mason 82-54 and VCU beat Davidson 71-53.
The favored Rams are now on a seven-game win streak. They won the first meeting 73-65 as a three-point dog at St. Louis, then came from behind to win going away, 79-67 (as a 7 point favorite) at home in the second meeting.
VCU has covered the number in five of its previous six victories. The only one they didn’t, they won by 6 laying 6.5.
St. Louis is just 2-10-1 ATS off an ATS win, so it’s hard to trust them here after the performance they had against George Mason. 8*
|03-10-23||Raptors -1.5 v. Lakers||Top||112-122||Loss||-110||12 h 56 m||Show|
Toronto lost in this building Wednesday night, 108-100 to the Clippers. I think they’ll have better success tonight against the LeBron-less Lakers.
Without LeBron, the Lakers have been better than expected as they’ve now won two in a row and six of eight overall. Most of the credit goes to Anthony Davis, who had 30 points and 22 rebounds against Memphis the other night. But the Grizzlies were without several key players as well, Ja Morant among them.
When these teams met early in the season, LA didn’t have James or Davis. The Raptors destroyed them 126-113 and were up 70-47 at the half.
This game is undoubtedly important to both sides as they try and make a playoff push. But I have the Raptors rated as the better team, even if James was in there for the Lakers.
Should be a bounce back night at the offensive end for Toronto after shooting 38.5% vs. the Clippers. 10*
|03-10-23||Vanderbilt v. Kentucky -8.5||Top||80-73||Loss||-110||11 h 21 m||Show|
I like Kentucky in the fourth and final quarterfinal matchup of the day in the SEC Tournament. The Wildcats will face Vanderbilt and are decided favorites here to advance. They are seeking to avenge their only defeat over the last six games, a two-point defeat at Vandy on March 1st.
UK was a nine-point favorite in Lexington in that loss. They fell behind early and could never quite fully recover in what turned into a dismal shooting night, 32.2% overall and 15.8% from three.
But the Wildcats are rested Friday and Vandy is not. The latter had to beat LSU 77-68 yesterday to get here. That was the Commodores’ fourth straight win and 9th in the last 10 games. But I’m still not a believer.
In this season’s first meeting, Kentucky rolled to a 16-point victory. They’ve won six of seven over Vandy.
Liam Robbins is hurt for the Commodores and he’s a big loss. I don’t see the team continuing its recent offensive surge (77.4 points L5 games) as Kentucky has held opponents to score less than 30% of their points from three. Lay it. 10*
|03-10-23||Ohio State v. Michigan State -4.5||Top||68-58||Loss||-110||5 h 50 m||Show|
Michigan State is rested. Ohio State is playing for the third time in as many days. I see no reason why not to lay what I consider a very short number in this Big 10 quarterfinal matchup.
These teams just met in the final regular season game. Michigan State won 84-78. The Spartans also won the first meeting, far more convincingly, 62-41.
Ohio State has covered five in a row, but this is a team that dropped 14 of 15 Big 10 games at one point. They haven’t been that convincing so far in this tournament, beating Wisconsin and Iowa by only eight and four points respectively. (They did lead Wisconsin big in the first half).
But tired legs are likely to be an issue here for the Buckeyes, who at one point failed to cover nine straight games in the regular season.
Michigan State should be coming into the Big 10 Tournament on a four-game win streak. But they let one slip away in OT against Iowa. The three wins have all been by six points or greater. Sparty is rested here and has really had Ohio State’s number. 8*
|03-09-23||Utah Tech v. Southern Utah -4.5||Top||75-76||Loss||-110||12 h 6 m||Show|
Southern Utah is going to be my 10* WAC Tourney Game of the Year as the Thunderbirds play Utah Tech in a quarterfinal matchup late Thursday.
Southern Utah is the #3 seed in this tourney and they got a bye into the quarterfinals by virtue of finishing the regular season with a 12-6 conference record. Only Utah Valley and Sam Houston State were better.
Utah Tech is the 11-seed in this tournament and had to win yesterday just to get here. The only team that finished below Utah Tech in the WAC standings was New Mexico State, a program that had to forfeit its last seven games.
Utah Tech stunned Stephen F Austin in overtime last night with an 80-76 upset. It was just their fourth win over the last 12 games. I cannot see them winning two nights in a row. The last time the Trailblazers won back to back games was right after Christmas.
Utah Tech is just 1-3-1 ATS its last five times off an ATS win. 10*
|03-09-23||Penn State v. Illinois -2.5||Top||79-76||Loss||-110||7 h 23 m||Show|
Illinois draws Penn State in the second round of the Big 10 Tournament on Thursday. The winner here will move on to face Northwestern, who looks to be a pretty “weak” two-seed, so the winner here could very well find themselves in the semifinals. I think the team that advances here is going to be Illinois, who I’ll lay the points with.
Penn State did close the regular season pretty strong by winning five of its last six games. The only one they lost, the Nittany Lions blew a 19-point lead at home to Rutgers. But PSU has certainly ended up on the right side of some close calls as well down the stretch. The last three wins have all come by four points or less and they needed a buzzer-beater to beat Maryland Sunday. The Nittany Lions were down as many as 16 in that one.
This is a double revenge spot for Illinois, who lost twice to Penn State in the regular season. The first time was back in December, 74-59 as a 10.5-point home favorite. Then they lost by 12 in State College (93-81) as a 3.5-point road favorite.
Looking at this number, we’re getting a great price on the Fighting Illini, who were favored by more on the road than they are now at a neutral setting.
Now oddsmakers had to adjust based on the two regular season results. But Illinois is the better team here. Penn State went 24 of 52 from three in the two regular season meetings. They won’t shoot that well again tonight. Remember this tournament is played in Chicago, so it’s basically like a home game for Illinois. 10*
|03-09-23||Miami-OH v. Toledo -13.5||Top||75-91||Win||100||3 h 25 m||Show|
Toledo is the top seed in the MAC Tournament and begins its quest to capture the conference’s automatic NCAA Tournament berth with a quarterfinal matchup against 8-seed Miami Ohio.
Only the top eight seeds qualify for the MAC Tourney, so the RedHawks are the worst of the lot here in Cleveland. They went just 6-12 SU in conference play, a far cry from Toledo’s 16-2 SU mark.
The top seeded Rockets won both regular season meetings, by three on the road and by 18 at home. In each case, they closed as a double digit favorite as they are here. I’m not at all scared of this number.
Toledo is top 10 in the country in offensive efficiency and averages 85.7 points/game. Just way too much firepower for Miami to keep up. Over their last five games, the Rockets have averaged 92.4 points/game.
Miami recently closed as a 1-point dog at Western Michigan and was barely favored at home over Bowling Green. Those are two teams that didn’t even qualify to be in Cleveland. This is a huge mismatch. 8*
|03-08-23||Texas Southern +2 v. Alcorn State||Top||66-62||Win||100||13 h 51 m||Show|
This is the quarterfinals of the SWAC Tournament with 1-seed Alcorn State taking on 8-seed Texas Southern. Right away, the fact the 1-seed is only a slight favorite should jump out to you.
I’m all about fading Alcorn State in this tournament as the Braves have been one of the luckier teams in the entire country this season. They’re 15-2 SU L17 games, but that includes two overtime wins and five others by five points or less.
One of the OT wins came against Texas Southern on January 14th. Alcorn State then captured the rematch 89-81 just a couple of weeks ago. Texas Southern went just 8 of 33 from three in those two games.
While Texas Southern is on an 0-3 SU/ATS run entering the tournament, two of the losses were by four points or less.
Bottom line: this is a matchup of two teams with misleading records. Alcorn State is NOT as good as its record while Texas Southern is certainly better than theirs. Alcorn State is only 5-8 ATS as a favorite. 10*
|03-08-23||Wyoming +7.5 v. New Mexico||Top||76-87||Loss||-110||11 h 52 m||Show|
New Mexico, who was actually the last unbeaten team in the country at one point (14-0), is overvalued coming into the Mountain West Tournament because of their “must win” status. The Lobos faded badly down the stretch, losing 8 of their last 11 games. I don’t think there’s any reason to expect a massive turnaround this week.
Now Wyoming, New Mexico’s 1st round opponent here in the MWC Tourney, had a terrible regular season. Plagued by injuries, the Cowboys finished last in the Mt West with a 4-14 SU conference record. But I believe they’re being undervalued in this spot.
The Pokes played New Mexico tough in both regular season matchups. After losing to them by just a single point at home back in December, 76-75, they went to Albuquerque and pulled off a 70-56 upset as 10-point underdogs. Those who follow this conference know that winning at “The Pit” is no easy chore.
Wyoming also recently beat a decent Nevada team in what was their final home game of the regular season.
New Mexico’s defense has been really bad down the stretch and thus they are not a team you want to lay points with right now. If they do advance here, there may be some value on them as a dog. But not here. 10*
|03-08-23||Fresno State +2.5 v. Colorado State||Top||65-67||Win||100||5 h 21 m||Show|
Fresno State has won just one of its last six Mountain West games, a 74-69 triumph at Air Force on 2/21 where they were 2.5 point dogs. But I like FSU here as their slow pace and solid guard play should work to their advantage against a Colorado State team that offers little in the way of rim protection.
This is also a big revenge game for Fresno State, who has lost the last nine matchups with Colorado State and failed to cover any of the last 10. Looking at the matchup, there’s really no reason for the one-sided domination, which seems rather random. The last meeting ended up being a three-point game, 60-57.
I expect this to be another low-scoring slog. It should be noted that Colorado State hasn’t topped 60 points in any of its last three games away from Fort Collins.
Fresno State has been pretty unlucky all season when it comes to opponents shooting the three. Teams have hit 37.5% against them from behind the arc, but fortunately CSU shoots just 29.7% from distance away from home.
I just don’t think you can trust Colorado State laying points, even a small number like this. Fresno State has averaged 94 points over its last two games, and while that’s skewed by facing Chicago State in the last game, I like the Bulldogs plus the points in this one. 8*
|03-07-23||Grizzlies +2.5 v. Lakers||Top||103-112||Loss||-115||15 h 48 m||Show|
No Ja Morant for Memphis and no LeBron James for the Lakers. Who’s more likely to step up without their best player on Tuesday? The Lakers still have Anthony Davis, but I believe the Grizzlies remain the better team and thus am taking the points in this one.
Memphis comes in having lost its last two games, both of which came on the road. They were blown out in Denver with Morant (113-97) then remained competitive against the Clippers without him (135-129).
The Grizzlies are still second in the West, seven games behind the Nuggets but only one-half game ahead of Sacramento. So they can’t afford to drop another one. Keep in mind they dropped 51 points in the 3Q vs. the Clippers on Sunday and were up by as many as 16 points in that game.
The Lakers just beat Golden State, as a 5-point dog Saturday, to make it five wins in the last seven games. But I’d still rate them as the third worst team in the West, especially without James in the lineup.
I just think this is a great value on the better team Tuesday night. 10*
|03-07-23||North Dakota State v. Oral Roberts -10.5||Top||58-92||Win||100||14 h 53 m||Show|
Oral Roberts is the only team in the country that did not lose a conference game during the regular season. So it would be quite the shame if the Eagles failed to win the Summit League Tournament. Their resume probably isn’t good enough for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tourney, so expect no letdown in tonight’s Conference Tournament final against North Dakota State.
North Dakota State upset South Dakota State, the 2-seed in this tournament, last night. The Bison are the 3-seed, but came into yesterday’s semifinal as a 5-point underdog with seemingly all the money on the other side. NDSU shot the lights out (56.1% for the game) and led by as many as 21 points!
I don’t see the Bison playing nearly as well tonight against what is, by far, the best team in the Summit League. It was an uncharacteristically narrow win for ORU yesterday, 70-65 as 13-point favorites (against St. Thomas). For the season, the Eagles have outscored conference foes by 16.3 points/game.
Oral Roberts won the two regular season meetings with North Dakota State, 92-69 and 74-66. We’re getting a “discount” on the spread here because a) it’s a tournament final and b) ORU has now failed to cover eight straight games.
The Eagles are coming off an uncharacteristically poor shooting night from three (just 24%). Combine that with the likely shooting regression we’ll see from North Dakota State and it all adds up to a big win for the favorite tonight. 10*
|03-06-23||CS Sacramento v. Weber State -2||Top||64-70||Win||100||13 h 25 m||Show|
There’s already been a big shakeup in the Big Sky Conference Tournament with top seed Eastern Washington losing its first game. Northern Arizona and Montana State are already on to the semifinals and two more teams, including the winner of this game, will join them there tomorrow.
The winner here meets 2-seed Montana State in the semis. Weber State is the 3-seed while Sacramento State is the 6-seed. This is the first tournament game for both teams.
Weber State won the two regular season meetings, although both were close and very low scoring (50-48 and 52-49). It should be noted that Sacramento State is one of the 10 “slowest” paced teams in the country per adjusted tempo.
It also should be noted Sacramento State has just two wins in its last 10 games. One of those came in the last regular season game, 76-74 at Portland State, a game the Hornets won despite making just one three pointer. The difference was a couple of free throws with three seconds to go in regulation.
This line just looks short to me, given that Weber State is obviously the better team. The Wildcats never lost back to back games all season in conference play. If this turns into a FT shooting contest, bid edge to Weber State, who makes 76% of their attempts from the charity stripe while Sacramento State hits only 69%. Lay the points. 10*
|03-06-23||Raptors +6.5 v. Nuggets||Top||113-118||Win||100||12 h 16 m||Show|
Denver has won seven of eight (also 7-1 ATS) and just avenged the one SU loss during that stretch by routing Memphis (113-97) on Friday. But now is probably a good time to fade them as they’re laying a pretty big number to a Toronto team that has won six of eight games.
The Raptors were also able to avenge a recent loss their last time out. In their case, they were playing with immediate revenge after losing to Washington 119-108 just two days prior. The second time around, also in DC, it was 116-109 with the game going to OT.
What was most impressive was that Washington shot 58% from three and the Raptors still won.
The Raptors’ road record (12-20 SU) isn’t great, but overall this is a team that is better than its record, having outscored opponents over the course of the season.
The Nuggets are just 7-11 ATS this season when coming off three consecutive wins. 10*
|03-06-23||Senators -1.5 v. Blackhawks||Top||0-5||Loss||-110||20 h 49 m||Show|
The Senators have won five straight games, each by two and often more goals. They won big in the trade deadline, and so far Chychrun seems to be adjusting well. The Blackhawks lost Kane, Domi and 3 other significant pieces. They've now lost 4 straight, managing just 6 goals scored while allowing 16. The Senators are just 3 points out of a wild card spot, and have a legitimate shot. This is a young team with considerable potential. The Blackhawks have dreams only of Bedard at this point. Ottawa has been winning on the road as well as at home lately. This is a game they should win easily. Take the Senators on the puck line at -1 1/2.
|03-06-23||Towson +6 v. College of Charleston||Top||72-77||Win||100||12 h 22 m||Show|
Let’s start today in the Colonial where Charleston takes on Towson in the second of two semifinals. Charleston is surprisingly NOT the top seed in the CAA Tourney, despite being considered the #1 team in the league all year long and winning its final seven regular season games. That honor went to Hofstra, who is playing in the other semi and is currently on a 12-game win streak.
Charleston did make it eight straight wins with a blowout of Stony Brook in the quarterfinals yesterday. That game was never competitive as the Cougars raced out to a 19-2 lead and never looked back. They actually only ended up shooting 38.2% overall and 27% from three.
Towson, Charleston’s opponent tonight, also had an easy time in the quarters with an 86-60 rout over Delaware. The Tigers shot nearly 60% from the field and were up 46-20 at halftime.
Towson played Charleston tough twice during the regular season, losing by only two and eight points. One of those went to OT and the other saw the Tigers up at the half. Towson went 2-0 ATS in the two meetings.
Towson is a Top 50 team nationally in three-point percentage and still managed to score 86 points yesterday despite finishing the game just 29% from beyond the arc. They hold teams to 42.3% shooting, second best in the CAA, and are also the league’s second best rebounding team. I’m taking the points in this one. 10*
|03-05-23||Grizzlies v. Clippers -6.5||Top||129-135||Loss||-110||12 h 16 m||Show|
There’s a lot of hand wringing over the Clippers right now, deservedly so, as a team this talented should never really lose five in a row. But here we are and the Clips are just 33-33 on the year, leaving them 8th in the Western Conference standings. This is a team that came into the season as the odds on favorite to win the NBA Title.
Bookending the five-game losing streak are a pair of one-point losses to the Kings. One of them was the stunning 176-175 final that went to double OT. Two nights ago, they lost 128-127 in Sacramento.
There was another OT loss in the mix (at Denver on 2/26). So it’s not like LA is getting beaten badly. They probably should have won most of these games.
Memphis certainly didn’t deserve to win Friday when it visited Denver. The Grizzlies lost 113-97 as a 5.5-point dog. That was with Ja Morant, who is now suspended for two games.
In addition to no Morant, the Grizzlies are also without Brandon Clarke (out for season with Achilles injury) and Dillon Brooks (also suspended). This is a get right game for the Clippers. 10*
|03-05-23||Texas State v. UL - Lafayette -6.5||Top||58-64||Loss||-110||11 h 24 m||Show|
We’re down to the semifinals in the Sun Belt Tournament (taking place in Pensacola, FL) and there’s certainly been some upheaval along the way with two of the top three seeds losing yesterday (Southern Miss and Marshall).
This chaos creates a bit of a clear path for Louisiana to nab to the SBC’s automatic NCAA Tournament bid. The Ragin’ Cajuns are the lone top three seed left here in Pensacola and will be facing 11-seed Texas State here in the semis.
Texas State has now won three times in the last four days to get here. They upset 3-seed Marshall 71-68 (as an eight-point dog) yesterday. That was after outlasting Georgia State 81-76 in the first round and a very easy 65-36 win over Old Dominion in the second round.
But the tank could very well be “running on empty” here. Louisiana, who beat Texas State twice during the regular season, has only had to win once yesterday. The Ragin Cajuns had no problems with Ga Southern on Saturday, winning 67-49 and covered the nine-point spread.
After all upheaval this weekend in Pensacola, Texas State clearly stands out as the weakest of the four teams remaining. I’ve got the other three semifinalists (Louisiana, South Alabama, James Madison) all rated fairly evenly. Texas State is well below that trio. Tip your cap for what the Bobcats have done so far, but their run ends here in what should be a blowout defeat. They lost by a combined 28 points in the two regular season meetings with Louisiana, who has a top 55 offense. Lay the points. 10*
|03-05-23||Devils v. Coyotes +1.5||Top||5-4||Win||135||9 h 33 m||Show|
This must be a dispirited Coyotes team at the moment. They have a depleted roster, losing their two top defensemen and a better than average center in Bjugstad. They were pummeled by the Canes last time out. Not to blame Vejmelka who has been heroic for the Coyotes this season, but his goals against avg. is 5.54 in his last 4 starts.
The Devils are off a shoot-out loss to the Knights, so will be all in on Sunday. They are one of the very best road teams in the league at 22-4 this season. They are capable of some very good numbers these days, scoring 7 goals against both the Avs and Flyers. Adding the jewel of the trade deadline in Meier sure won't hurt the already formidable offense.
In spite of the Coyotes' surprising success at home this year, they don't have much of a team to run out against New Jersey today. Take the Devils on the puck line at -1 1/2
|03-05-23||Suns v. Mavs -1||Top||130-126||Loss||-110||4 h 31 m||Show|
The NBA starts to get even more national TV time this time of year and we’ve got what looks to be a great matchup in the Western Conference early Sunday afternoon as Dallas hosts Phoenix.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, the Suns recently went out and got Kevin Durant. The Mavs got Durant’s former Brooklyn teammate Kyrie Irving.
The Suns have won in blowout fashion each of the two games since Durant joined the lineup. But those wins were against Charlotte and Chicago. This will be a much tougher matchup and not only is it the Suns’ fourth straight road game, it’s their third in the last five days.
While this may seem like a difficult matchup to handicap because of the recent drastic changes in makeup of the two teams, my view is that Dallas is a steal at this price at home. 8*
|03-05-23||San Francisco +3.5 v. Santa Clara||Top||93-87||Win||100||13 h 36 m||Show|
We’ve reached the quarterfinals of the WCC Tournament where San Francisco will take on Santa Clara in the late game to determine who goes on to battle Gonzaga in one of Monday’s semifinals.
San Francisco had to win a game to get this far and had no problem doing it as the Dons easily downed Pacific last night 80-63 as a 9-point favorite. USF pulled away in the second half, thanks in large part to putting the “clamps down” defensively. They held Pacific to just 4 of 21 shooting from three.
Doing that against Santa Clara is a much tougher task, but fortunately the Dons are getting points here and the number looks to be inflated, probably because the underdogs are playing without rest. But, as we saw yesterday in the two OVC Conference Semis, rest can sometimes be overrated in these situations.
In fact, early money has come in on the dog, a move I agree with.
This is a double revenge game for San Francisco, who lost both regular season meetings. So the Dons will be highly motivated to get the outright win. Despite those regular season results, I have these teams rated pretty evenly. Oddsmakers did as well installing each as a three-point favorite at home in the two regular season meetings. I actually think the time off works AGAINST Santa Clara here as they could very well come out rusty. 10*
|03-04-23||Blue Jackets v. Senators -1.5||Top||2-5||Win||100||19 h 31 m||Show|
The up and coming Senators have won four straight, including a convincing victory over the Rangers in their last game. They have been very good at home and will have their shiny new trade acquisition, Chychrun, on display on Saturday. The Blue Jackets lost a goalie and a solid defenseman at the deadline. Hutchison, fresh from the AHL, and the Vegas Knights system, will likely start in net. The Jackets have joined the less than ideal NHL 30-30 club, 30th in goals allowed and 30th in goals scored, that is.
The Senators are finally reasonably healthy and are pressing for a wild card spot. This always was a team with potential and it is starting to show. The Jackets, by the way, are an ugly 7-17 on the road. Look for Ottawa to take it to a Blue Jackets team on a back to back road situation. Wager on the Senators on the puck line at -1 1/2.
|03-04-23||LSU v. Florida -7||Top||67-79||Win||100||8 h 57 m||Show|
LSU has been abysmal in conference play, going just 2-15 with one of the wins coming all the way back on December 28th. Both wins are at home. So you can't like the Tigers’ chances Saturday in Gainesville.
Florida has won just three times over its last 10 games, but is still a rightful favorite in this matchup. They beat LSU by 11 in Baton Rouge on January 10th. The Gators were two-point favorites for that contest.
LSU hasn’t won a true road game all season (0-8) so this boils down to whether or not we want to lay the points with Florida. I do. LSU is 5-15-1 ATS its last 21 games overall and 4-17 ATS its last 21 Saturday games.
Florida has covered five straight games against teams with losing records. They also just won by 10 at Georgia earlier this week.
I like to back home teams in the final game of the regular season and with LSU mired in a complete tailspin, Florida should roll.10*
|03-04-23||George Mason v. Richmond -2||Top||62-60||Loss||-110||3 h 41 m||Show|
It’s been a disappointing season overall for Richmond, who comes into the final game of the regular season sporting a 14-16 overall SU record including 7-10 SU in conference play. Both the vast majority of those losses have occurred on the road. At home, the Spiders are 12-3 SU.
So I like them laying a short number to George Mason Saturday. GMU is probably a touch overvalued right now as they’re on a five-game win streak. The last three wins have all been by six points or less.
This is also a revenge spot for Richmond as they lost by 4 points at GMU back on New Year’s Eve.
The Spiders have won each of their last three home games, beating Fordham, Loyola and St. Louis. Fordham and St. Louis are two of the top four teams in the A-10.
George Mason is coming off an OT win where their opponents (Fordham) shot just 3 of 25 from three-point range. The Patriots have just three true road wins all season and average only 64.1 points/game away from home. 8*
|03-03-23||Pelicans +4.5 v. Warriors||Top||99-108||Loss||-115||13 h 52 m||Show|
Even though they’ve won and covered four straight, I don’t like this spot at all for Golden State. The Warriors played last night and were 115-91 winners over the Clippers. While they ended up winning comfortably, this is still the second night of a back to back and there’s still no Steph Curry.
With a final score of 115-91, you would think that the Warriors coasted Thursday. But they were actually down by 11 at the half! The Dubs were very fortunate that the Clippers finished 9 of 43 from three-point range, including missing 18 of 19 to start the second half.
New Orleans is shorthanded at the moment as well, but rested and coming off a 121-110 win over Portland. The Pelicans are 2-0 vs. the Warriors in this 2022-23 season, both teams beating Golden State when they were in the second night of a back to back, which is again the case here.
While it was back in November and the Warriors rested multiple starters, the last time these teams played, New Orleans won by 45.
This has all the makings of a spot where Golden State “phones it in.” New Orleans, currently 10th in the West, can’t afford to do that and will be the more motivated side tonight. Take the points. 8*
|03-03-23||California Baptist +6.5 v. Southern Utah||Top||71-81||Loss||-110||13 h 49 m||Show|
Cal Baptist and Southern Utah wrap up their regular seasons Friday before heading to the WAC Tournament next week. Seeding for the WAC Tournament is unusual in that it is not based on conference record, but rather an advanced analytic metric that incorporates conference and non-conference performance.
One of many reasons I wouldn’t want to lay points with Southern Utah here is that the Thunderbirds have lost two straight; 64-57 at Sam Houston State and 83-78 at home to Grand Canyon. Overall, SUU is just 3-4 SU its last seven games.
Cal Baptist also has revenge. They lost as 2.5-point home favorites to Southern Utah back on Feb 1. The final score of that game was 72-71. That game was decided on an “old-fashioned” three-point play with one minute left. Neither team scored after that with Cal Baptist missed the potential GW jumper as time expired.
Given that Cal Baptist was favored in that first meeting, I do not understand why they’d be getting so many points in this rematch.
There’s a big difference in the tempo these teams like to play at as Southern Utah plays fast while Cal Baptist plays slow. Look for the underdog to limit possessions in this game, helping them to (at the very least) stay within the number. 8*
|03-03-23||Winthrop v. Radford -1.5||Top||69-78||Win||100||13 h 40 m||Show|
This is quarterfinal action in the Big South Tournament, the last of four games to be played in Charlotte today. Radford is the tournament’s 2-seed while Winthrop is the 7-seed.
Radford comes into the Conference Tournament on an 0-4 ATS slide, but did win their last regular season game, 67-65 over Campbell. Earlier in the year, the Highlanders rattled off nine straight wins, a streak which included two wins over Winthrop - by 14 on the road and by 3 at home.
Winthrop comes in on a four-game SU win streak (3-1 ATS), but their last three games were all against teams that finished bottom four in the conference and had to play in the first round of the tournament. The Eagles definitely can score (averaging 82.0 points L5 games) but they are also very poor defensively (349th in efficiency) and turn the ball over quite a bit.
Radford likes to play slow and held Winthrop to an average of 59 points in the two regular season matchups. Winthrop’s recent scoring surge was already likely to have a downturn, considering they averaged 73.9 points/game for the season. Facing a team like Radford only expedites that expected downturn.
Getting Villanova transfer Bryan Antoine back should be big for Radford. Antonie missed the final three regular season games. He and DaQuan Smith form one of the better 1-2 combos in this league. Winthrop’s turnover issues will come back to bite them tonight as Radford forces teams to turn it over on 21% of all possessions. Number is way too short here. 10*
|03-02-23||Oakland v. Northern Kentucky -6.5||Top||74-81||Win||100||10 h 1 m||Show|
This is a quarterfinal matchup in the Horizon League Tournament. You may be surprised, given that this is the #4 vs. #5 seed, one team is favored by this many points. But not only is Northern Kentucky substantially better than Oakland, they are at home (only the Semis and Final are played at a neutral site - Indianapolis - for this particular Tourney).
These teams just played in the regular season finale. NKU won 78-69 as a 2-point road favorite. Based on that result, this line actually looks a little short. Now, Oakland did win here in Highland Heights - 64-63 as a 6.5-point dog - back in January. But that was a bit of a “head-scratching” result considering NKU led by five at halftime and Oakland shot below 40% for the game. The Norse led by seven with just over three minutes to go.
In the rematch last Saturday, NKU won handily despite Oakland making 15 more free throws on 16 more attempts.
Northern Kentucky is 13-3 SU at home this season and has lost just one time in their last five games overall. That one loss was by a single point.
Even more impressive about NKU’s recent form is their last four games all came on the road. Oakland got to play its last four all at home and still went just 2-2 SU. There’s a gulf between these two Horizon League sides, much larger than what you’d think based on the seeding. Lay it! 10*
|03-02-23||Illinois State +4 v. Northern Iowa||Top||62-75||Loss||-110||4 h 21 m||Show|
This is the first of four first round matchups in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament (aka “Arch Madness”) in St. Louis on Thursday. Note the early tip time of 1 PM ET.
I like Illinois State here in a battle of struggling teams. The Redbirds just snapped an 0-6 SU/ATS losing streak by routing Evansville 72-53 in the regular season finale. Northern Iowa has just one SU win over its last nine games, so they are hardly an ideal favorite.
That one win for UNI came at Missouri State on 2/18 and was by just three points. Going back to mid-January, the Panthers have just two wins by more than three points.
This is a double revenge spot for Illinois State, who lost both regular season matchups to UNI. But both games were close and decided by a total of just eight points.
Actually, the revenge angle runs even deeper as ISU has lost NINE straight times to UNI, including two MVC Tourney exits. So you can bet the underdogs will be motivated coming into this one. Northern Iowa is 4-12 ATS if they allowed 80 or more points in their previous game. They lost 83-75 to Belmont on Sunday. Take the points. 8*
|03-01-23||Southern Indiana +2.5 v. SIU-Edwardsville||Top||54-68||Loss||-110||12 h 23 m||Show|
This is the first round of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament. The OVC is down this year after losing the likes of Belmont, Murray State and Austin Peay to the Missouri Valley and ASUN. Regular season champ Morehead State was incredibly lucky this season (#1 luck rating at KenPom), so I think this Tourney is pretty wide open.
The second of two first round games Wednesday (the whole tournament is played in Evansville) pits Southern Indiana against SIU Edwardsville. These teams split their regular season series, each winning on the other’s floor. Neither has fared well at the betting window recently. Southern Indiana is 2-10 ATS L12 games. SIUE is 2-11 ATS L13.
Southern Indiana transitioned into Division I this season and proved a lot of doubters wrong by posting a winning overall record (16-15 SU). The Screaming Eagles are the OVC’s third highest scoring team and second best three-point shooting team. They have four double digit scorers plus the conference’s leading rebounder (Polakovich).
Plus there’s a bit of a edge to Southern Indiana, whose campus is just 13 miles from where this tournament is being played.
SIU Edwardsville stumbled down the stretch, losing four straight before a 93-78 win over SEMO on Saturday. The line has already moved against the Cougars and I agree with that. Take the points. 8*
|03-01-23||76ers -1.5 v. Heat||Top||119-96||Win||100||10 h 11 m||Show|
The 76ers look to avenge a 101-99 loss to the Heat tonight. That two-point setback took place on Monday and was the Sixers second straight defeat. But prior to that, they’d won and covered five in a row. On the flip side, Miami was 0-4 SU/ATS its previous four games before beating Philly. The Heat are 4-12 ATS L16 games and haven’t covered two in a row since early January.
So I like the road team, playing with revenge, laying a short number. Miami has been terrible ATS at home this year, going 8-19-2.
It was a tough spot for Philadelphia on Monday, coming off another close loss at home (to Boston) on Saturday. The Sixers ended up turning the ball over 18 times and ended up trailing the Heat by as many as 11 points. But despite all that - and missing several layups in the second half - the Sixers still had a chance to win at the end of regulation when James Harden’s three-point try bounced off the back of the rim.
Neither Bam Adebayo nor Tyler Herro played particularly well for the Heat Monday, but they still had five players finish in double figures. Adebayo figures to struggle again here as he’s got the tough assignment of dealing with Joel Embiid. The Heat normally don’t shoot well from three (just 33.3% for the season) but were 15 of 37 on Monday. I don’t see a repeat of that shooting tonight.
Philadelphia hasn’t dropped three in a row since early December. With so many road games looming and seeding on the line, I can’t see them losing this game. They are 18-7 ATS in revenge spots this season. 10*
|03-01-23||Pittsburgh v. Notre Dame +5||Top||81-88||Win||100||9 h 23 m||Show|
As I wrote about yesterday, the ACC is way down this season. This has resulted in a team like Pittsburgh, picked to finish 14th in the preseason poll, currently topping the conference standings. The Panthers come into Tuesday ranked #25 in the country but I could probably name 50 teams that would be favored over them on a neutral court.
Notre Dame isn’t one of them, but it does “speak volumes” that this line is so low (even in South Bend) considering the Fighting Irish are just 10-19 SU on the year and have lost seven in a row (and 11 of 12).
For many years, Notre Dame had a tremendous home court edge at the Purcell Pavilion (Joyce Center). All 10 of their wins this season have come here and tonight marks HC Mike Brey’s final home game. Brey is stepping down after 23 years at the helm. It figures to be an emotional environment tonight.
The Fighting Irish are hoping to get back a couple of key players (Starling and Hammond) for tonight as they were really short handed against Wake Forest on Saturday. Still, I like them getting points in this situation. Each of the L6 games have seen the Irish lose by eight points or less, four of those by four points or less.
Plus, I think Pitt is completely overrated at the moment. 10*
|02-28-23||Bulls v. Raptors -4.5||Top||98-104||Win||100||10 h 1 m||Show|
Chicago went into the All Star Break as losers of six in a row and they failed to cover the number in all six defeats. But it’s been a much different team coming out of the Break as the Bulls have soundly beaten both the Nets (131-87) and Wizards (102-82).
Tonight, they go North of the Border to face Toronto, who is coming off a 25-point loss in Cleveland. I think this is a good time to sell high on the Bulls while simultaneously buying low on the Raptors (who are 4-1 ATS coming off a double digit loss).
Toronto is 19-13 SU at home this season. Chicago is just 10-20 SU on the road. The last time the Bulls won a road game was January 28th in Orlando. Excluding a win over in Europe, that is the Bulls’ only road win since January 6th!
The Raptors went 4-1 SU/ATS on a recent homestand, before going 0-2 ATS at Detroit and Cleveland (did win the Detroit game, straight up). Overall, this team has won seven of nine. They are 8-3 ATS L11 at home.
After shooting over 50% at home each of the last two games, the Bulls are likely due for some shooting regression tonight. Washington also shot horribly against them on Sunday. Coming off back to back sub-100 point games, you’ve got to think Toronto is due for some positive regression at the offensive end. 10*
|02-28-23||NC State v. Duke -6.5||Top||67-71||Loss||-110||10 h 3 m||Show|
The ACC is way down this year. Not a single team from the conference is currently in the KenPom Top 25. That speaks volumes.
Who is the best team in the ACC right now? Most would say Virginia, but they’ve lost two in a row and before that only beat Notre Dame by two and Louisville by three. The answer to the question may be … Duke.
The Blue Devils have won four straight and seven of nine. One of those two losses, at Virginia in overtime, they definitely should have won.
One game that Jon Scheyer’s team certainly did NOT deserve to win was January 4th at NC State when they were soundly beaten 84-60 as 4.5-point road favorites. But you’d have to go back almost 30 seasons (to 1994-95) to find the last time NC State swept Duke in a season series.
Look for Duke to avenge that loss from January tonight in the final home game of the season. The Blue Devils have been bet up to 7-point favorites as of this writing, but I still like them to cover. NC State just lost by 25 at home to Clemson on Saturday, which says a lot about their squad. Duke turned it over a lot (21 times) in the first meeting, which won’t happen again tonight. They are undefeated at home (15-0) this season, winning by an average of 16.7 points/game. NC State has lost 20 straight times here in Durham and is just 6-14 SU overall vs. Duke the L20 meetings. Lay the points. 10*
|02-28-23||Green Bay +21.5 v. Wright State||Top||57-77||Win||100||10 h 42 m||Show|
This is an ugly matchup for my first conference tourney play, but I’m showing solid value on Green Bay tonight at Wright State in the first round of the Horizon League Tournament.
This game is being played at Wright State, but it’s just way too many points to lay in this situation, even if Green Bay is 3-28 this year. Wright State is coming off a tough four-game road trip where they won only once, that being Saturday at Detroit - by 11 points.
Now the Raiders did destroy Green Bay in both regular season meetings, winning by 32 and 31 points. But that can lead to a sense of overconfidence. They (Wright State) may already be thinking about Milwaukee, who would be their quarterfinal opponent (assuming they win here).
Conference tournaments give new life to teams, even those who had poor regular seasons like Green Bay. The Phoenix are basically playing with “house money” tonight. They have lost by more than 17 only once since the second meeting with Wright State. That was at Horizon League regular season champ Youngstown State.
Wright State is 3-13 ATS the L16 home games following three or more consecutive road games. This is the most points the Raiders have been asked to lay in any game this season. 10*
|02-27-23||Morgan State +8.5 v. Maryland-Eastern Shore||Top||68-61||Win||100||10 h 19 m||Show|
For a second time in three days, I’m looking to fade Maryland Eastern Shore. It didn’t work out Saturday as the Hawks ended up bludgeoning Coppin State 78-57 on the road. But this is a much tougher opponent that UMES is facing Monday.
After winning seven in a row from January 9th to February 2nd, UMES has dropped three of five overall. This includes a pair of losses here at home, to Norfolk State and NC Central, who are probably the best two teams in the MEAC this year.
UMES was an underdog in both of those losses. That’s obviously NOT the case here. While the Hawks have been profitable as chalk in 2022-23, it’s not often you see them laying this many points. Tonight will mark just the fourth time all season that they’ve been favored by six or more. Only once were they favored by eight or more and they did not cover the spread that time (beat Delaware State 68-66 as an 11.5-point favorite).
Morgan State is coming off back to back wins, both at home, over Howard and Delaware State. Howard is the co-leader in the MEAC right now. Both games saw the Bears score more than 80 points. They shot the lights out Saturday vs. Delaware State, making 58.9% of their FG attempts including 9 of 15 from three.
This is a revenge game for Morgan State, who lost at home to UMES by 14 back in January. It was a one-point game at half, but the Bears ended up going just 4 of 18 from three in that one. I expect better shooting tonight (maybe not as good as Sunday) and them to stay inside a generous number. Take the points. 10*
|02-26-23||Providence v. Georgetown +7||Top||88-68||Loss||-110||5 h 39 m||Show|
I like Georgetown today as a good old fashioned contrarian home dog. This line has moved in the Hoyas’ direction despite Providence taking the majority of the bets, likely a sign of “sharp money” taking the points. I’m also not a huge believer in this Providence team.
The Friars just lost on Wednesday, 87-69 at UConn. All eight of their losses this second have come on the road. There’s obviously a big difference between UConn and Georgetown, but there’s also a difference between getting and laying 7.5 points.
Unranked home dogs of +8.5 or less vs. ranked opponents are 58-37 ATS (61%) this season.
Despite their paltry SU record, G’town has covered the spread in 9 of their last 11 games.
Providence has lost three straight and five of six on the road. 10*
|02-25-23||Bruins -1.5 v. Canucks||Top||3-1||Win||105||19 h 38 m||Show|
The Big Bad Bruins are 0-4 when playing in Vancouver, and I imagine that bugs them. The Canucks fans hate the Bruins for age-old reasons, from way back when Vancouver was something other than a laughing stock. The Canucks play one of their three overwhelmed fill-in net minders, probably Delia. The Bruins counter with Ullmark (1.88, .937 SV %), not to mention their 2nd ranked offense and top defense against the league's worst power play and 31st ranked defense. Take the Bruins on the puck line, at - 1 1/2. Great odds available..
|02-25-23||Norfolk State v. South Carolina State +8.5||Top||88-76||Loss||-115||6 h 25 m||Show|
South Carolina State may have only five wins this season, but I think they are a live dog in this spot, hosting Norfolk State.
Norfolk State, who just had a six-game win streak ended Monday, has two big upcoming games after this. Both are on the road, against Howard and NC Central. Those will determine who finishes first in the MEAC.
The Spartans may have already been looking ahead when they lost outright at Coppin State Monday. They were 16-point home favorites for that game.
While 15-3 SU as a favorite this season, Norfolk State is just 8-8 against the spread.
South Carolina State has won its last two home games and they are off a one-point loss at Delaware State. When they lost by 15 at Norfolk State earlier this year, the Bulldogs shot just 40.7% overall. Norfolk State was 53% overall and 53% from three! They won’t shoot as well this time. Take the points. 8*
|02-25-23||Maryland-Eastern Shore v. Coppin State +3||Top||78-57||Loss||-110||6 h 14 m||Show|
Not only will I fade Norfolk State on Saturday, I’m taking the team that just upset them on Monday, Coppin State, who is at home here facing MD Eastern Shore.
Coppin State was 0-9 SU/ATS its L9 games before shocking Norfolk State Monday. But I like the idea of grabbing points with them at home, off a win. The Eagles should finally have a bit of confidence here.
MD East Shore has lost three of four, so it’s not like they have much confidence. They aren’t road favorites very often. They are 5-9 SU on the road, getting outscored by 9.1 points/game this season.
The first meeting between these teams was a 19-point win for MDES. But they shot the lights out at home. On the road, they shoot just 39.3% and average only 62.2 PPG.
The line closed -6.5 in that first meeting, so I’m showing value on the home team getting points in the rematch. 8*
|02-25-23||Texas v. Baylor -3.5||Top||72-81||Win||100||4 h 11 m||Show|
Following back to back double digit losses on the road, I am expecting Baylor to show up in a major way Saturday afternoon when it hosts Texas.
Those back to back losses came at Kansas and Kansas State, and there’s really little shame in losing to two Top 25 teams on the road. Case in point; Texas has dropped four of its last six road games.
This is a revenge game for Baylor as well. They lost 76-71 in Austin on January 30th. But they were without Langston Love and Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua in that game, plus they shot just 8 of 26 from three.
This is only the second time all year that Baylor has dropped two in a row. On the previous occasion, they went to West Virginia and won.
Before the loss on 1/30, Baylor had won and covered the last six meetings with Texas. 8*
|02-24-23||Nevada v. Fresno State +3.5||Top||60-56||Loss||-113||12 h 37 m||Show|
I like the spot for Fresno State, even without Isaih Moore, in what will be their final conference home game of the season.
The Bulldogs just beat Air Force on the road, 74-69, as a 2.5-point underdog.
Nevada has won five of six, but their only loss was on the road (at Utah State) and the only other away game in that stretch was a one-point win. All seven Wolf Pack losses this year have come on the road (they are 14-0 in Reno).
The Wolf Pack have done remarkably well as a favorite this year. But they were actually down at the half at home to San Jose State Tuesday.
This is a quick revenge spot for the home dog, who lost by 11 in Reno two weeks ago. Nevada shot very well in that game - 54.5% overall and 50% from three - percentages they will not match here. Take the points. 8*
|02-24-23||Marshall v. Old Dominion +3.5||Top||67-71||Win||100||8 h 54 m||Show|
Old Dominion just upset Southern Miss, 69-64, here at home as a 2-point dog. It was the Monarchs second straight win as a dog after also defeating Appalachian State on the road, 74-63 (+3).
Now it’s time to host another of the Sun Belt’s best, Marshall, who is tied with Southern Miss for first place coming into the final game of the regular season. I think ODU pulls the upset again.
Marshall has won five straight, but the line is moving in the other direction as Old Dominion is now 11-4 SU at home where it gives up just 62.4 points/game.
This is Marshall’s second road game in three days. Defensively, the Thundering Herd are just not very good as they’ve let five of their last six opponents score 77 or more points.
Now Marshall can definitely score, but look for ODU to slow down the tempo. 10*
|02-23-23||Penn State v. Ohio State -1.5||Top||75-71||Loss||-115||10 h 36 m||Show|
This season has turned into a disaster for Ohio State, who has won just once in their last 14 games! Even worse is that the Buckeyes are also 1-13 ATS in this stretch. Their only win came against Iowa, 93-77 here in Columbus back on January 21st. Since then, they are 0-8 SU/ATS.
But I still like OSU tonight laying a short number at home vs. Penn State, who is just 2-7 on the road. One of those two road wins came last time out against last place Minnesota. I just don’t see the Nittany Lions winning two straight on the road.
Big 10 home favorites are 64-19 SU at home this season. This is the ultimate “buy low” spot on Ohio State after they were humiliated by Michigan State, Iowa and Purdue the L3 games. Two of those were on the road. They are 8-5 SU at home.
Penn State is also just 2-8 SU as an underdog.
Per KenPom, Ohio State has been the unluckiest team in the country this season and they still have a Top 30 offense. I’m rolling the dice and taking them. 10*
|02-22-23||Flames v. Coyotes +1.5||Top||6-3||Loss||-145||22 h 26 m||Show|
By the numbers, Calgary should beat the Coyotes on Wednesday, but the 4-6 Flames are struggling, barely over .500 on the road, and 0-5 in recent games against sub-par teams. The Coyotes have been surprisingly good at home and winners of 3 of 4 games. Arizona has been very competitive in most games lately; 7 of 8 contests have been decided by one goal with 6 going to OT. The Flames have also had 5 of 6 one goal games.
|02-22-23||The Citadel +7 v. East Tennessee State||Top||70-78||Loss||-110||11 h 24 m||Show|
East Tennessee State just can’t cover the number at home. The Buccaneers are 1-11 ATS at home this season, which is the worst home ATS record in the country.
The last time ETSU played at home, they only managed to beat lowly VMI by four points. Since then, they’ve played two tough road games, losing both by a combined six points.
Now The Citadel has just one win in its last eight games. But the Bulldogs have remained competitive during that stretch, losing four times by six points or fewer.
This matchup is all about wanting to take the points, no matter who is favored. In this case, ETSU is 2-10 ATS when laying points this season.
A big revenge spot here for The Citadel, who lost by 22 at home to ETSU earlier in the year. ETSU won’t shoot that well again. As a conference fave, the Bucs are 0-5 ATS with four outright losses. 10*
|02-21-23||Western Michigan +3.5 v. Eastern Michigan||Top||59-66||Loss||-110||9 h 17 m||Show|
Western Michigan just ended a nine-game losing streak on Saturday by upsetting Ball State on the road, 78-68 as 7.5 point underdogs. Truly remarkable is that the Broncos had failed to cover the number in their previous eight games.
So not only has WMU been losing, they’ve generally been getting blown out. But I like them here, getting points, against an Eastern Michigan team that is unaccustomed to being a favorite.
EMU has a 6-21 straight up record, one game worse than WMU. The last time the Eagles were favored was January 21st when they lost here at home to Northern Illinois by 21 points.
In fact, the Eagles are just 1-3 SU and ATS as favorites this season.
|02-21-23||Baylor -1.5 v. Kansas State||Top||65-75||Loss||-110||9 h 6 m||Show|
I’m going to come out and say that I think Kansas State has been a huge overachiever this season. My thinking is the Wildcats will be a good team to fade down the stretch.
Over their last 11 games, K-State is only 5-6 SU. Every time they’ve lost, they’ve been an underdog (as they are here).
Baylor is off an 87-71 loss at Kansas, but before that the Bears had won and covered four straight, not to mention were 10-1 SU their last 11 games.
Big 12 road favorites are 15-7 this season. Across the country, when two ranked teams face off, the favorite has gone 46-35 ATS this season.
I just simply think Baylor is the better team here. They come in with revenge for a two-point, overtime loss in Waco back on January 7th where they were 7.5 point home favorites. 10*
|02-20-23||Kansas v. TCU -2||Top||63-58||Loss||-110||13 h 19 m||Show|
Gonna fade Kansas here, off their 87-71 beatdown of Baylor over the weekend. That was the fourth straight win and cover by the Jayhawks (also 6-1 SU/ATS L7) and as a result they’re only a short underdog for Big Monday in Fort Worth.
TCU got its best player (Mike Miles) back Saturday against Oklahoma State and delivered a vicious 100-75 beatdown on Oklahoma State. That put an end to a four-game SU/ATS losing streak for the Horned Frogs. All those losses occurred with Miles out of the lineup.
Miles led the way with 15 points Saturday. Five other TCU players finished in double figures. This is just a much better team with Miles in the lineup.
Kansas knows that as they were crushed 83-60 (in Lawrence!) a Miles-led TCU squad last month. I expect the Jayhawks to play better tonight, but it still won’t be enough to win.
TCU is 12-3 SU at home this season and 10-5 ATS. Big 12 home favorites have cleaned up in general, going 43-14 SU. Lay the short number. 10*
|02-19-23||Oregon v. Washington State -1||Top||65-68||Win||100||10 h 24 m||Show|
Two teams headed in opposite directions here. Washington State has won its last two games, both at home, 56-51 over Washington and 80-62 over Oregon State. The Cougars were favored in both wins, but only covered the last one.
Oregon has lost two straight, one to the same Washington team that Wazzu just beat. The Ducks were 5.5 point favorites in Seattle Thursday, but lost 72-71 in overtime. That was after losing 70-63 at home to UCLA last week.
Coming off an overtime loss is tough, especially when you’re only 3-5 on the road like the Ducks are. We’ve already seen Wazzu take money here and they are now a 1-point favorite. The Cougars are 9-3 straight up in Pullman this season.
This is a revenge game for Washington State. They lost by 14 in Eugene way back in December.
Wazzu could also be getting some players back Sunday, including Adrame Diongue. 10*
|02-19-23||Niagara -1.5 v. Marist||Top||52-61||Loss||-115||5 h 24 m||Show|
Not only did both Niagara and Marist each lose on Friday, but they are on losing streaks entering this game. Niagara has lost two straight while Marist has lost three in a row. I expect the road team to get the victory in this one.
Niagara fell 70-66 at Mount St. Mary’s Friday as a 1-point road dog. That was after losing 72-55 at home to Iona (as an eight-point dog). Iona is the best team in the MAAC.
But the thing is, the Purple Eagles had won five in a row previous to the back to back losses. Then you have Marist, who has won just once over its last nine games.
The Red Foxes lost to Fairfield 70-61 as 1.5 point dogs Friday right here at home.
Niagara has revenge here for a two-point loss at home (as four-point favorites) last month. They shoot the ball a lot better than Marist does (45% to 40%). Play the better team laying a small number. 8*
|02-19-23||North Carolina v. NC State -2||Top||69-77||Win||100||4 h 24 m||Show|
At the end of the day, I just don’t believe North Carolina to be very good. The Tar Heels have lost four of their last five games, the most recent one at home to Miami, 80-72 as six-point favorites.
Now NC State is also off a loss, at Syracuse, 75-72 as two-point underdogs. That was the Wolfpack’s second time losing in the last three games.
But here in Raleigh, NC State is 12-1 straight up and averaging 83.4 points/game. Given that info, this line looks a bit short. Especially considering UNC has lost all four games in which it has been an underdog this season. The Tar Heels are also 1-6 ATS on the road.
Over their last five games, UNC has shot just 40% from the field. They are shooting 30% from three for the full season.
ACC home favorites are 58-15 straight up this season. I expect NC State to win and cover the spread Sunday. 8*
|02-18-23||Creighton v. St. John's +7.5||Top||77-67||Loss||-115||11 h 45 m||Show|
Tricky spot here for #18 Creighton, who is coming off an OT loss at Providence and now laying points on the road. Sure, the Bluejays may very well win this game, but I do not see them covering the number.
Now St. John’s got absolutely annihilated when they met Creighton earlier in the year. It was a 104-76 loss as a 10.5-point underdog for the Red Storm. But now look at this line by comparison. Sure, the magnitude of the blowout of the first go around needs to be factored in. But this number should not be any higher than -5, IMO.
The Johnnies also come in as winners of two in a row. One of those wins came here at home against Providence, the same team that just knocked off Creighton.
I also should mention how Creighton is a real geographical outlier in the Big East. This leads to a tremendous home court advantage in Omaha for them. But I think the conference road is a challenge, having to constantly go out East. All four conference losses have been on the road.
St. John’s is 11-4 SU at home and plays at the third fastest tempo in the country. They are a tough matchup for the Bluejays here. Take the points. 10*
|02-18-23||Texas A&M v. Missouri -2||Top||69-60||Loss||-110||9 h 15 m||Show|
Great spot to fade Texas A&M, IMO. We’re getting Missouri, at home, at a very cheap price due to the Tigers getting blown out earlier in the week at Auburn. But that was a very poor matchup for the Tigers. They are 14-2 SU here in Columbia and should bounce back.
Meanwhile, A&M just won and covered for the fourth straight time Wednesday, outlasting Arkansas 62-56 as four-point favorites. The Aggies were not covering most of the way. In fact, they trailed 33-24 at halftime.
A&M shot 50% from three against Arkansas, which will not happen again on the road. Six of the Aggies’ seven losses this season have been away from home. The four-game win streak has seen them win just once on the road and that was against last place LSU.
To my earlier point, A&M shoots just 30% from three when not in College Station.
Missouri puts up 86.3 points/game at home. Remember they went to Tennessee and won last Saturday, hitting 14 threes against the best 3-point defense in College Basketball history. This is a revenge spot for an 18-point loss in College Station last month where Mizzou shot poorly. 10*
|02-18-23||Islanders v. Bruins -1.5||Top||2-6||Win||105||15 h 29 m||Show|
The Islanders knocked off the Penguins on Friday but face the big bad Bruins on no days rest on Saturday. It was the first win for the Islanders in 4 tries. They have given up 17 goals in 4 games, far more than their usual season's average of 2.7 goals per game. After a three game losing streak the Bruins seem to be back on track, winning 3 of 4 games and allowing just 6 goals against in that period. The Bruins have the top defense and PP in the league. On offense, they far outscore the Islanders, who are 24th in goals for and 26th on the Power Play.
|02-17-23||Quinnipiac v. Siena -2||Top||66-63||Loss||-110||12 h 6 m||Show|
The race at the top of the MAAC has gotten rather tight with Siena just one game back of both Iona and Rider in the loss column. The surging Saints have won two straight, though they failed to cover the 10-point spread against Marist last time out (won 73-65). I like them here, laying a much shorter number.
While Siena is trending in a positive direction, Quinnipiac has dropped three in a row and just got blown out by last place Canisius 85-65 as a five-point road favorite.
Siena captured the first meeting between these teams, 83-76 as a three-point road dog. They scored 52 points in the second half of that game. Given the trajectory of Quinnipiac’s play at the defensive end (allowing 78 or more points in five of the last seven games), I expect another big offensive showing from Siena here.
After shooting just 40.4% their last five games, well below their season average, Siena is due for positive regression at the offensive end anyway.
There was some sharp action on Siena overnight before we saw some buyback on Quinnipiac this morning. I feel very comfortable laying this short number with the home team. 10*
|02-16-23||Gonzaga -8 v. Loyola Marymount||Top||108-65||Win||100||15 h 54 m||Show|
I like Gonzaga to roll here in a major revenge spot against Loyola Marymount.
LMU has wins over both Gonzaga and St. Mary’s this season, so they now have a target on their back when it comes to the top two teams in the WCC.
Gonzaga was a 16-point favorite when they lost at home to LMU last month. It was an uncharacteristically poor shooting night from the Zags as they went only 4 of 14 from three-point range. That was - by far - their lowest scoring effort in conference play.
Loyola Marymount comes into this rematch having dropped three of four overall, including 71-69 at Santa Clara over the weekend. The lone victory, which was against St. Mary’s, required overtime. They trailed 16-2 in that contest.
The Lions are a good home team, but this number is just too low considering the revenge angle and the fact Gonzaga has won 51 of the previous 55 head to head encounters. 8*
|02-16-23||Clippers +1.5 v. Suns||Top||116-107||Win||100||13 h 17 m||Show|
Phoenix returned home after a five-game road trip Wednesday and defeated Sacramento 120-109 as a two-point favorite. I don’t think tonight goes as well for the Suns.
Now the Suns have beaten the Clippers twice out in LA. But this is a different Clippers team now. Kawhi Leonard didn’t play in either of those first two meetings while Paul George also sat out once. The Clips’ leading scorers in the losses to the Suns were Morris and Mann.
Phoenix has won 11 of 14 since an injury-induced slide last month. But they’ve been facing a lot of weak competition.
The Clippers just scored 134 on Wednesday night in a win over Golden State. They had a 44-point third quarter. Leonard led the way with 33 points in 34 minutes while George added 20 points and eight assists.
Phoenix is 9-0 SU/ATS in division games, the only team in the league without a division loss. I think that ends here. 10*
|02-15-23||Drake -5.5 v. Northern Iowa||Top||82-74||Win||100||13 h 39 m||Show|
Two teams going in totally opposite directions here. Drake has won seven straight while Northern Iowa has lost five straight.
Northern Iowa even lost to Evansville, the worst team in the Missouri Valley. They also lost at Drake by 7, 88-81. The last two games have seen the Panthers go down by 30 points.
Drake’s last two games have seen them win by 24 and 23. They don’t need to win by nearly that many to cover the spread here.
Over the course of the seven-game win streak, Drake has scored 80 or more five times. Northern Iowa just gave up 80 its last time out. I think it’s important to note that Drake didn’t even shoot all that well in the first meeting (41%) and still put up 88 on UNI. 10*
|02-15-23||South Florida v. Tulsa +4.5||Top||96-69||Loss||-110||12 h 59 m||Show|
Tulsa has not been good at home … or really anywhere this season. The Golden Hurricane come into Wednesday night sporting a 5-19 straight up record. Four of those wins have come here at home, but they are just 1-8 ATS at the Donald W Reynolds Center.
Overall, Tulsa has actually been the worst pointspread team in the country this season. They are 3-18-3 ATS in all games! The team’s ONLY win since Christmas came here at home, on January 21st, 81-79 over Tulane.
But I’ll back the Golden Hurricane in this one as a short home dog vs. USF, who has only three wins since Christmas.
The Bulls are 7-1 ATS on the road, but only 2-6 straight up and have yet to be favored in any away game.
Two of USF’s top four scorers missed the last game and they lost by 19. The status of both players (Bryant, Tchewa) remains questionable. 10*
|02-15-23||Cavs v. 76ers -2||Top||112-118||Win||100||12 h 56 m||Show|
This shapes up to be a pretty important matchup in the Eastern Conference, right before the All-Star Break. Cleveland has the second best point differential in the league, trailing only Boston, but is fourth in the standings and one game behind Philadelphia.
The Cavaliers have won seven in a row. They covered the spread in six of those wins, but then couldn’t quite get the job done for their backers as huge 16-point favorites against San Antonio. They are underdogs here, the first time that’s been the case since a loss at Oklahoma City on 1/27.
You might be surprised to find out that the Cavs are only 3-8 SU and 4-7 ATS when listed as the underdog this season.
Philadelphia has revenge coming into this game. They lost by 28 in Cleveland back in November.
The Sixers are 16-5 ATS this season when playing with revenge. They come into tonight on a three-game win streak and are 12-3 SU L15 games. Cleveland also has a losing record on the road. I expect Philly to win and cover tonight. 10*
|02-14-23||Butler v. Villanova -10||Top||50-62||Win||100||12 h 11 m||Show|
This may seem like a lot of points to lay with a Villanova team that is just 12-13 straight up on the season. But it is a revenge spot, at home, and the Wildcats are facing a Butler team in a prime letdown situation following an upset of Xavier over the weekend.
Now healthier, ‘Nova has won two straight. They beat Seton Hall 58-54 over the weekend. That was after crushing DePaul last Wednesday. Justin Moore (missed 20 games) being back is huge for this team.
Butler is coming off two straight two-point victories, one over St. John’s and the other against Xavier. Both of those wins came at home. Previous to that, the Bulldogs had lost five in a row, four of those games being decided by more than 20 points.
As an underdog, Butler has not fared well this season. They are not only 2-12 straight up, but 3-11 against the spread.
Butler shot 56.5% from the field in the first meeting vs. Villanova, which won’t happen again here. The team shoots just 40.6% for the season away from home. 10*
|02-14-23||Celtics v. Bucks -8.5||Top||125-131||Loss||-110||11 h 35 m||Show|
Boston is going to be shorthanded for this one, which is why the line has moved so dramatically. I’m still going to lay the points though with red hot Milwaukee, who should roll in this one.
The Bucks have won 10 straight and are 23-5 straight up at home. Early on in the season, the problem was the team was not all that healthy. But now Khris Middleton is back and the Bucks’ offensive efficiency has gone way up.
The Celtics’ projected starting five for this matchup is: Derrick White, Sam Hauser, Grant Williams, Al Horford and Robert Williams. We know Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Danilo Galinari are all out. Additionally, Jayson Tatum is listed as doubtful. Basically, I expect the Celtics to wave the proverbial “white flag” tonight. Grant Williams, Robert Williams and Malcolm Brogden are all listed as questionable, by the way.
The Bucks are just 1.5 games back of the Celtics. A win here pulls them even in the loss column.
Boston has had Milwaukee’s number in the past, going 12-2 ATS L14 meetings including 6-0 here in Milwaukee. This is a chance for the Bucks to exact some revenge for a 21-point loss on Christmas. Fade a clearly shorthanded Celtics squad here. 10*
|02-14-23||Kent State v. Western Michigan +11.5||Top||82-58||Loss||-110||11 h 50 m||Show|
Kent State has won two in a row since losing to Akron, a result I was on the right side of as my 10* MAC Game of the Year. The Golden Flashes are tied with Toledo atop the conference standings at 10-2.
Western Michigan, on the other hand, is having a pretty terrible year. The Broncos have lost eight in a row while failing to cover seven straight.
But I think that this is too many points for Kent State to be laying on the road. They’ve lost two of their last three road games and the one win, over Buffalo on Saturday, was by just seven points.
You have to figure we’re going to get WMU’s best effort Tuesday night with one of the high-profile teams in the conference coming to Kalamazoo.
The Broncos are 9-2-1 ATS in their last 12 games vs. teams with a win percentage of .600 or greater. Take the points here. 10*
|02-13-23||Prairie View A&M +5.5 v. Grambling State||Top||64-68||Win||100||11 h 0 m||Show|
Grambling is 9-2 SU its last 11 games, all but two of which have seen them go off as the favorite. Coming into Monday, the Tigers have won and covered three straight. They are favored again here, but it’s worth noting the previous two times they have been on a three-game win streak, the next game ended up being an outright loss.
One of those losses was at rival Southern, which was also one of the rare instances of Grambling catching points. The other loss came as a five-point home favorite to Alcorn State. Tonight, the Tigers face a Prairie View A&M team that already beat them, 61-60 back on January 2nd.
Prairie View A&M was a 1.5-point favorite in that first matchup, so I’m seeing a little bit of value on them right away for tonight’s rematch. The Panthers have dropped five of seven overall, including a 79-65 loss at Southern over the weekend. But I’m not convinced this spread should be so large.
Granted a lot has changed since these teams met in the conference opener. But Grambling has another revenge game on deck (Southern) and may be “looking ahead” to that game on Saturday.
We’ve already seen this number get bet down at most shops and I expect that will continue throughout the day. 10*
|02-13-23||Jazz v. Pacers +1.5||Top||123-117||Loss||-115||10 h 9 m||Show|
Coming into the season, the Jazz and Pacers were both expected to be among the worst teams in the NBA. They were each projected for just 23.5 wins. As you can see, both have wildly overachieved, already eclipsing their paltry projections.
But there can be no denying that both teams have slowed down of late, especially Indiana, who comes into Monday having lost 15 of its last 17 games. Utah has lost four of five.
The key for this game though is that Indiana is at home. They are 17-13 straight up and 18-11-1 ATS at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
Utah is only 10-18 straight up on the road. They have a winning ATS record, but that’s because they are usually a dog, which is obviously not the case here.
Even if the Pacers are bet to a favorite tonight, I’m sticking with them. (The Jazz are 2-5 SU/ATS as away favorites). The Jazz shook up the roster at the deadline and were down double digits to the Knicks Saturday before a late rally ultimately fell short. 10*
|02-12-23||Chiefs v. Eagles -1.5||Top||38-35||Loss||-110||162 h 14 m||Show|
Here it comes! The Eagles and the Chiefs meet up for all the marbles. Mahomes continued his path to possible "GOAT" status with an inspired Conference Final game while obviously playing hurt. So why not another win on Super Sunday?
|02-12-23||Pistons v. Raptors -10||Top||118-119||Loss||-110||7 h 49 m||Show|
The Raptors are curiously 0-7 ATS the last seven meetings with the Pistons and have lost six of the seven games straight up. I look for that to change on Sunday.
The one straight up win came in Detroit, earlier this season, as the Raptors prevailed 115-111.
On Friday, the Pistons needed double overtime to defeat the sorry Spurs 138-131. But that was just their third win in the last month. I have Detroit rated as the third worst team in the NBA, ahead of only the Rockets and Spurs.
Toronto also beat the Spurs this week, albeit much easier, 112-98. They followed that with a loss to Utah in a game that was decided in the fourth quarter.
Even though they are 26-31, the Raptors have a positive point differential for the season. They are better than their record and should be able to blow out the Pistons here. 10*
|02-12-23||Robert Morris v. IUPU Ft Wayne -4.5||Top||71-64||Loss||-105||5 h 55 m||Show|
Over the last month, Robert Morris has lost three in a row, won three in a row and now lost three in a row again. The Colonials are coming off a tough 57-55 loss at Cleveland State Friday, a game that was decided in the closing seconds. RMU was 4 of 21 from three in the two-point loss.
Fort Wayne also comes into Sunday on a bit of a losing streak. They’ve dropped two straight and four of six. This is a revenge spot for the Mastodons, who lost 75-70 at Robert Morris earlier in the season.
Fort Wayne was a three-point favorite when they made that visit to RMU. I know they lost, but it’s curious we are able to get them so cheap for this rematch.
Robert Morris only averages 64.0 points/game away from home where it is 4-11 straight up. Fort Wayne puts up 81.1 points/game at home.
I like the home team to exact some revenge here. I know it’s been a disappointing season, but Fort Wayne was thought to be one of the top Horizon League teams coming into the season and I think we’re getting a discount here. 10*
|02-11-23||Arizona v. Stanford +9.5||Top||79-88||Win||100||11 h 38 m||Show|
#4 Arizona has won seven in a row while going 6-0-1 ATS, but the trip to Palo Alto tonight could be a tricky one.
It’s been four straight blowouts for the Wildcats. As you know, it’s very difficult in grind of conference play to consistently win by double digit margins.
Stanford had won five in a row before losing the last two. It was a close call here at home vs. Arizona State Thursday where the Cardinal lost by four, 69-65 as a 2.5 point favorite.
That was a brutal result for Stanford considering they led by eight with five minutes to go.
Other than a trip to Colorado on Sunday, the Cardinal haven’t played a bad game in a month. This is a possible upset. 10*
|02-11-23||Blue Jackets v. Maple Leafs -1.5||Top||4-3||Loss||-130||19 h 13 m||Show|
Columbus and the Leafs played each other on Friday, with the Leafs winning handily. On Saturday they face each other again, this time in Toronto. Columbus has won only four games on the road this season, while the Leafs are a dominant 20-5 at home. The Jackets are horrible in back to back situations and will likely play Merzlikins in net, who has won just four games this season and is giving up more than four goals a game. The Leafs are 4-1 when playing recently in back to backs. Their starter in net is unclear at this point.
Columbus has joined the 30-30 club this season, not admirable in this case. They are 30th in offense and 30th ranked in defense with their power play only marginally better. The Leafs have a top nine offense and are a stingy 6th ranked on defense, with a very good power play. Now 2-8, and still with a very heavy injury list, the only competition the Jackets are in is the Bedard Cup. Here is one puck line prospect I feel safe in backing. Take the Maple Leafs at -1 1/2.
|02-11-23||Old Dominion v. Texas State -1||Top||70-68||Loss||-110||8 h 16 m||Show|
Texas State got the win on Thursday, but could not cover as seven-point favorites against Arkansas State. The final score was 66-62. Over their last eight games, the Bobcats are just 2-6 straight up and against the spread.
But I will play them laying a much shorter number Saturday against Old Dominion.
ODU is 4-1 SU/ATS its last five games, but every result has been decided by six points or less. Three wins have been by three points or less, so the Monarchs are probably due for some regression in close games.
The reason Texas State didn’t cover is because Arkansas State was an abnormally good 9 of 18 from three-point range. ODU will not do the same. Plus, the Bobcats are due to start shooting better themselves from three.
Old Dominion is not only playing its second straight game on the road, but this is the fourth time in the last six games they’re on the road. Their opponent went just 2 of 13 from three in the last game. 10*