|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|05-18-22||Mavs v. Warriors -4.5||Top||87-112||Win||100||10 h 50 m||Show|
We saw it in Game 1 of the Celtics-Heat series. The Celtics were spent after taking out the Bucks in seven games and got buried by the Heat. I see the same thing happening here with the Mavericks, off their seven-game series upset win against the Suns, going against the rested Warriors on the road. Dallas lost its first two road games against the Suns by a combined 27 points. Golden State is 6-0 at home during the playoffs. The Warriors won all but one of those games by six or more points. The Warriors are 7-2-1 ATS when playing on three or more days rest. They last played five days ago. The Warriors have multiple quality defenders to slow down Luka Doncic.
|05-14-22||Kings +1.5 v. Oilers||Top||0-2||Loss||-130||22 h 19 m||Show|
I'm taking 1 1/2 goals on the puck line in the belief the Oilers will wilt at home under the pressure of a Game 7. Even if they win, it will be by the narrowest of margins.
Edmonton hasn't won a playoff series in five years.
The Kings were an outstanding 23-11-7 on the road during the season. They are 2-1 on the road against the Oilers during this first-round series.
LA still has some veterans remaining from its Stanley Cup winning teams of 2012 and 2014. So the Kings know how to win important games.
|05-13-22||Celtics +1.5 v. Bucks||Top||108-95||Win||100||19 h 53 m||Show|
The Bucks lead this Eastern Conference series, 3-2. But I'm convinced the Celtics are the better team. The Celtics beat the Bucks in Milwaukee in Game 4 and I see them doing it again here. Boston has outscored the Bucks in the series. The Celtics' average margin of victory is 15.5 points. The Bucks have won two of their three games in the series by a combined five points. The Celtics let a 14-point lead slip away in losing Game 6, 110-107, at home this past Wednesday. Boston, though, has proven itself on the road going 6-0-1 ATS the last seven times as a road 'dog. The Celtics also are 9-1 following a loss. Milwaukee is 1-6-1 ATS in its last eight home games. It's an added bonus for the Celtics if injured big man Robert Williams can play after missing the past two games because of knee soreness.
|05-11-22||Bucks +5.5 v. Celtics||Top||110-107||Win||100||21 h 38 m||Show|
The last time the Bucks received this many points was against the Celtics on the road in Game 1 of this series. Milwaukee won that game, 101-89.
There's a certain yin/yang to this series with the teams alternating victories during the first four games.
The Bucks are 7-2 ATS in their last nine road games. I see Milwaukee keeping this one closer than the point spread indicates.
Jayson Tatum is a great player. But Giannis Antetokounmpo is the best player on the court.
The Bucks lost Game 4 by eight points because they shot horrible, especially Jrue Holiday, who was 5-of-22 from the floor. The Bucks also were an uncharacteristic 4-of-21 from inside the paint. The Celtics made 50 percent of their field goal attempts in Game 4. The Buck shot only 41 percent from the field.
I don't see Holiday and Milwaukee's big men shooting nearly as poorly as they did in Game 4.
|05-10-22||76ers v. Heat -3||Top||85-120||Win||100||20 h 17 m||Show|
Zig and Zag. Ebb and flow. Whatever you want to call it, the pattern often fits during NBA playoff series. I don't see this series being any different.
The Heat took advantage of home-court and Joel Embiid being out to win the first two games of the series. The 76ers returned home, got Embiid back and won the next two games to tie the series at 2-2.
Now it's Miami's turn to hold serve returning home. I have confidence in Heat coach Erik Spoelstra making the right adjustments and for Miami to turn things around at home in this Game 5.
The 76ers are 7-15 ATS following a victory. They have covered only two of their last 10 away games and are 1-6-1 ATS during their past eight games in Miami.
The Heat have covered seven of the last eight times they've been home.
|05-09-22||Celtics +1.5 v. Bucks||Top||116-108||Win||100||20 h 42 m||Show|
Even if it's just one point, I'm going to back an underdog that is superior. That's the case with the Celtics in Game 4 of their series with the Bucks.
Boston buried Milwaukee by 23 points in Game 2 and should have won Game 3 this past Saturday on the road. The Bucks got a break on a bad call by the official late in the game to hold off the Celtics, 103-101.
The Celtics only lost by two points - and could have easily won - despite Jayson Tatum missing 15 of 19 shots from the floor, while Giannis Antetokounmpo and a number of his teammates had huge games for Milwaukee. Boston is capable of playing much better. The Bucks aren't without Khris Middleton, who is out with an MCL sprain.
The Celtics are 16-5-1 ATS in their last 22 road games while the Bucks are 1-7-1 ATS in their past nine home games when taking on a foe with a winning road mark. Note, too, that since the calendar turned 2022 the Celtics are 8-1 SU and 7-2 ATS off a loss.
So the track record is there for the Celtics to bounce back with a victory.
|05-07-22||Grizzlies +7 v. Warriors||Top||112-142||Loss||-110||16 h 38 m||Show|
While I certainly expect the Warriors to shoot better than they did in their last game, I don't believe the Grizzlies are getting enough respect on the betting line.
Since an opening playoff loss to the Timberwolves, the Grizzlies are 5-2 SU and ATS in the postseason with the two losses each coming by one point.
The Warriors have some outstanding players, but no one is playing at a higher level right now than Ja Morant. He could be in line for another huge performance with the Warriors minus a pair of their defensive standouts in injured Gary Payton II and Andre Iguodala.
The Grizzlies will be without suspended Dillon Brooks, but are expected to get back big man Steven Adams. Memphis has a size advantage on Golden State.
Both teams should be fresh having not played since Tuesday. All the pressure is on the Warriors returning home. Golden State has failed to cover the last four times when favored.
The Grizzlies are 13-3 ATS when going against an opponent with a winning percentage above .600. Memphis is 16-6-1 ATS the past 23 times in an underdog role.
|05-03-22||Bucks v. Celtics -4.5||Top||86-109||Win||100||10 h 40 m||Show|
Credit to the Bucks for upsetting the Celtics in Game, 101-89, this past Sunday.The Bucks, though, do not have a good spread record as road underdogs, nor do they have a good spread record against the Celtics having failed to cover against Boston during the previous seven meetings until Sunday. The Celtics had been playing great down the stretch. They were impressive against the Nets in their opening series, while the Bucks weren't really tested in taking out an overmatched, banged-up Bulls team. So I like Boston to bounce back at home knowing a loss would put them in a desperate 0-2 hole. The Bucks are 8-17 ATS the last 25 times as a road 'dog and missing Khris Middleton, their second-best player.
|05-02-22||Mavs +6 v. Suns||Top||114-121||Loss||-110||13 h 46 m||Show|
Dallas has a tremendous track record in these situations. The Mavericks are the No. 2 defensive team in the NBA. Discounting a 126-118 victory, the Mavericks held the Jazz to 95.2 points in five games while winning their series in six games against Utah. The Jazz averaged only one point fewer per game than the Suns did during the regular season.
So I believe the Mavericks can hang within two possessions of Phoenix.
Both teams have been idle since Thursday. They each are at full strength, too.
This isn't a fade on Phoenix, but a bet-on Dallas.
The Mavericks are 42-16-1 ATS during their last 59 road games against a home team with a winning percentage better than .600. Dallas has covered 10 of its last 14 road games when getting points and also is 21-8 ATS the past 29 times when playing an above .500 opponent.
|04-27-22||Nuggets v. Warriors -8.5||Top||98-102||Loss||-110||21 h 0 m||Show|
The Nuggets gained a measure of respect by beating the Warriors, 126-121, at home this past Sunday. That kept the Warriors from sweeping Denver.But now the series shifts back to Golden State where the Warriors won the first two games by an average of 18 points. I don't see the Nuggets staying within single digits of Golden State. The Warriors are peaking at the right time. They have covered eight of their last 10 games. Jordan Poole has been remarkable. No team can match the Warriors' trio of scoring from Poole, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. The Nuggets are without their second and third-best players, injured Jamal Murray and Michael Porter. They are 4-10 ATS the past 14 times when meeting an above .500 opponent. The Nuggets also have encountered little point spread success at Golden State going 2-7-1 ATS during their last 10 visits.
|04-25-22||Raptors +7.5 v. 76ers||Top||103-88||Win||100||18 h 6 m||Show|
Considering that Joel Embiid may not play, or will be limited if he does, this is getting a lot of points in a do-or-die spot for the Raptors.
Toronto isn't ready to roll over after staving off playoff elimination by defeating the 76ers, 110-102, in Game 4 this past Saturday. If the Raptors wouldn't have lost in overtime in Game 3 this series would be tied 2-2 instead of the 76ers leading 3-1. The Raptors never trailed in Game 3 until overtime.
Embiid is dealing with a torn ligament in his right thumb.
The Raptors have covered 69 percent of the time during the past 39 times they've played an above .500 opponent. The 76ers were a better road team than home team during the regular season.
|04-24-22||Suns v. Pelicans +2.5||Top||103-118||Win||100||20 h 54 m||Show|
Once again a team played great in the first game after losing a star player. That pattern fit the Suns in Game 3 of their series against the Pelicans when they won, 114-111, on the road minus superstar Devin Booker this past Friday.
That gave the Suns a 2-1 series lead. Booker remains out with a hamstring injury. The Pelicans won't be feeling sorry for the Suns. This is the season for New Orleans.
New Orleans center Jonas Valanciunas had an off-game and underrated forward Jaxson Hayes was ejected in the second quarter. Larry Nance Jr. also didn't play well. I expect those three to at least hold their own in this pivotal Game 4. A loss here at home by the Pelicans puts them down 3-1 in the series with the next game in Phoenix.
I believe the Pelicans will make this a tough series on the Suns - and that requires a victory here. Phoenix has failed to cover six of the last eight times it has been favored. The Suns were far less effective during the regular season when they were missing Booker. This time it catches up to them.
|04-20-22||76ers v. Raptors +2||Top||104-101||Loss||-108||19 h 58 m||Show|
Even though they are down 2-0 in their series against the 76ers, I see no panic from the Raptors and their coach, Nick Nurse.
I like Nurse a lot. Enough to feel confident backing the Raptors to beat the 76ers in Game 3 now that they are back in Toronto after losing the first two games in Philadelphia.
Even though the Raptors are more banged-up than the 76ers, I don't see a talent gap between the two teams.
Toronto actually outscored the 76ers by nine points during the fourth quarter of Game 2. Nurse is known for making shrewd adjustments and the Raptors should be super intense while the 76ers can't help but subconsciously let up.
The 76ers failed to cover in their last five regular season road games. They also are 1-5 ATS during their last six visits to Toronto.
|04-18-22||Hurricanes -1.5 v. Coyotes||Top||5-3||Win||100||25 h 59 m||Show|
Arizona has become an auto-fade on the puck line. The combination of injuries, inexperience and just wanting to get their season finished have rendered the Coyotes noncompetitive.
The Coyotes are 2-13 in their last 15 games with their only victories during this time frame coming against non-playoff teams the Blackhawks and Sharks.
Arizona has lost six in a row. All of these defeats have been by at least four goals! In fact, 12 of the Coyotes' last 13 losses have occurred by multiple goals.
The Hurricanes can't afford to sleep against the Coyotes being in a tight race with the Rangers for the Metropolitan Division title. Carolina has beaten the Coyotes during seven of their last nine visits.
|04-16-22||Raptors +4.5 v. 76ers||Top||111-131||Loss||-110||25 h 22 m||Show|
The 76ers finished ahead of the Raptors during the regular season, but I'm far from convinced they are the superior team. Toronto went 3-1 against the 76ers during the regular season covering all four games. The latest was on April 7 in Toronto. Despite missing OG Anunoby and Fred VanVleet, the Raptors defeated the 76ers, 119-114. VanVleet is Toronto's second-leading scorer and top assists guy. Anunoby is fourth in scoring on the Raptors. Toronto is 24-17 on the road. That's the same record as the 76ers' home mark. The Raptors have covered seven of their last nine road games and are 26-9 (74 percent) ATS the last 35 times when playing an opponent with a winning record. The Raptors enter this matchup 8-1 excluding a meaningless regular-season finale loss to the Knicks. Both teams haven't played in six days. I give the Raptors a coaching edge with Nick Nurse against Doc Rivers.
|04-13-22||Kings v. Avalanche -1.5||Top||3-9||Win||105||20 h 27 m||Show|
This is a kill spot for the Avalanche.
Colorado is tied with Florida for the most points in the NHL at 110. The Avalanche have won six in a row. They've been idle since Saturday.
The Kings halted a three-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory against the hapless Blackhawks Tuesday night. The Kings' reward? They go into high altitude to face the rested and ready Avalanche.
Not only are the Kings playing without rest, but it's their third game in four days and they have a cluster injury problem on defense. One of the defensemen out for LA is Drew Doughty.
The Avalanche has dominated the Kings winning the past eight times against them.
|04-12-22||Clippers +3.5 v. Wolves||Top||104-109||Loss||-120||23 h 48 m||Show|
I like the way the Clippers are playing. LA has won five in a row beating the Bucks and Suns during this span.Paul George has looked great in five games since returning from a 3-month elbow injury. Norman Powell has looked good, too, this month after missing March with a foot injury. The Clippers have that needed postseason experience reaching the Western Conference Finals last season. Minnesota last competed in the postseason four years ago. The Clippers have held their last four opponents to 98 points a game. The Timberwolves have allowed 128 points to their last seven foes. LA is 3-1 against Minnesota this season winning those games by an average of more than 19 points.
|04-06-22||Mavs v. Pistons +8.5||Top||131-113||Loss||-110||10 h 23 m||Show|
The Mavericks are coming off a highly-satisfying, 118-112, road upset win against the Bucks. So a letdown could be in store. The Mavericks encounter the hottest point spread team in the league - the Pistons. Detroit is an amazing 19-3 ATS in its last 22 games. The Pistons are 8-1 ATS as a home 'dog and 10-1 ATS versus above .500 opponents. So have to ride the Pistons while they are this point spread-hot.
|04-05-22||Bucks -4.5 v. Bulls||Top||127-106||Win||100||19 h 22 m||Show|
The Bucks dominate the Bulls when playing in Chicago covering 10 of the last 11 times. Look for that trend to hold up in this meeting.
Milwaukee is in circle-the-wagons mode having lost two in a row, both at home. The Bucks are at full strength and are at their best laying points on the road covering seven of the past nine times as road chalk. The Bulls are struggling defensively and are only 1-10 ATS the past 11 times when taking on foes with a winning percentage above .600.
The Bulls have allowed an average of 128.5 points during their last two games.
Milwaukee has beaten the Bulls in all three games this season, including 126-98 on March 22 during the past meeting.
|04-04-22||North Carolina v. Kansas -4||Top||69-72||Loss||-110||21 h 31 m||Show|
Despite all the upsets, the NCAA Tournament championship game comes down to two familiar teams - North Carolina and Kansas.
No surprise the Jayhawks have reached the title game being the No. 1 Midwest seed.
Kansas deserves to be here. The Jayhawks rank in the top 30 in scoring and have the 20th best 3-point defense. They blew out Villanova in their semifinal game Saturday. The Jayhawks can be devastating both in the paint and from the perimeter.
North Carolina isn't as strong defensively and relies on its 3-point shooting. So this isn't a good matchup, nor spot, for the Tar Heels. North Carolina has way overachieved being a No. 8 seed. The Tar Heels reached their pinnacle with an upset semifinal victory against arch-rival Duke.
Each of the Tar Heels' last five defeats have come by nine or more points. So a Kansas blowout would not be a surprise.
|04-01-22||Raptors v. Magic +10.5||Top||102-89||Loss||-110||9 h 24 m||Show|
Toronto needs to be careful here. The Raptors are fat and happy having just concluded a 4-0 homestand with the last two games being a blowout of the Timberwolves and a huge overtime win against the Celtics.
Now the Raptors take to the road to face the lowly Magic. The last time the Raptors were on the road they lost by 14 points to the Bulls on March 21.
Orlando has covered six of the last eight times it has been a 'dog. Toronto is 4-10 ATS the past 14 times playing below .400 opponents.
Both meetings this season have been close. The Raptors edged the Magic, 110-109, back in late October and Orlando defeated the Raptors, 103-97, on March 4.
|03-31-22||Clippers v. Bulls -3.5||Top||130-135||Win||100||19 h 55 m||Show|
Paul George played for the first time in three-plus months against the Jazz this past Tuesday helping the Clippers defeat Utah. LA rallied from 25 points to win, 121-115. George looked great in scoring 34 points in 31 minutes.
Three things about that, though.
The game was played in LA. The Clippers had lost five in a row before that victory and George still may not have his full conditioning.
The Clippers are 1-5 in their last six road games, 2-4 ATS, with their lone victory during this span coming against the lowly Pistons by four points. The Clippers lost by 12 points to the Nuggets and by 29 to the Jazz during their past two away contests.
If George isn't at peak efficiency - and it's hard to imagine he would be playing in just his second game back - the Bulls would have the three best players on the court in DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic.
Chicago is 26-10 at home. The Bulls are 23-7 ATS the past 30 times as a home favorite. They beat the Raptors by 14 points and Cavaliers by 10 during their last two home contests.
The Clippers are 16-23 on the road. They are 1-6 ATS the past seven times when facing an above .500 team.
|03-28-22||Southern Utah +8 v. Fresno State||Top||48-67||Loss||-110||21 h 9 m||Show|
I understand why Fresno State is such a large favorite here. The Bulldogs are an elite defensive team, playing at home and going against a Big Sky Conference opponent. But that doesn't mean this point spread is right. Southern Utah is on a roll having fun and enjoying one of its finest seasons with a 23-11 mark. The Thunderbirds have been sizzling in reaching the semifinals of The Basketball Classic by averaging 80.6 points in posting victories against Kent State, UTEP and Portland. The Thunderbirds are 89-for-161 from the floor in the tournament shooting 55.2 percent from the field. The Thunderbirds averaged 78.8 points during the regular season, 26th-best in the country and 13 points more per game than Fresno State. The Bulldogs are one of the top defensive teams in the country. But they haven't demonstrated that during the tournament giving up 71 and 74 points during their last two games after holding foes to an average of 58.4 points entering this tournament. Fresno State hasn't been playing that well going 5-7 in its last 12 games. The Bulldogs are 0-6 ATS the past six times as a home favorite and 2-9 ATS the last 11 times when facing an above .500 opponent.
|03-27-22||Hornets +7 v. Nets||Top||119-110||Win||100||17 h 47 m||Show|
This handicap is simple. The Hornets are playing well and have been huge money-makers on the road.
The Nets are off a big Saturday night road victory against the Heat. They are at their point spread worst as a home favorite.
Charlotte is 6-1 SU, 5-2 ATS in its last seven games. Among the Hornets' victories during this span are wins against the Jazz, Mavericks and Hawks. Charlotte is 12-3-1 ATS in its last 16 road contests.
Brooklyn has performed much better away from home. The Nets are 16-19 at home. The Hornets have a better road mark at 18-18 than Brooklyn does at home.
|03-27-22||Miami-FL v. Kansas -5.5||Top||50-76||Win||100||11 h 21 m||Show|
This is a bad matchup for Miami due to Kansas' height, athleticism and transition defense.
The Hurricanes thrive in transition. That's not going to happen against the Jayhawks, though.
Providence hung against Kansas in its 66-61 loss this past Friday, by getting 16 offensive rebounds. Miami doesn't have the size to do that. The Hurricanes aren't good rebounders on either side of the court ranking 311th in defensive rebounds. Kansas is plus 32 on the boards during the NCAA Tournament.
Miami will need to make its share of 3-pointers. That hasn't been happening for the Hurricanes. They are 13-of-40 from beyond the arc during the tournament.
|03-26-22||Arkansas +4 v. Duke||Top||69-78||Loss||-110||18 h 17 m||Show|
Arkansas has knocked off outstanding teams all season, culminating with the Razorbacks taking down Gonzaga.
All the Razorbacks do is win games - 18-3 in their last 21 - and cover spreads - 15-5-1 ATS during this span.
I get the Mike Krzyewski narrative that things are fated for the Blue Devils to win the national championship in this Krzyewski's final season. I admit, too, that I get a little suspicious whenever I see a referee smile at Krzyewski.
But I have to go with my numbers and matchup analysis. And it doesn't add up to the Blue Devils being favorites in this point spread range let alone favorites at all.
Duke bettors often have to deal with inflated lines. The Blue Devils have failed to cover seven of their last nine NCAA Tournament games.
Duke is as talented as ever. The Blue Devils don't have that much experience, though. Musselman devised an effective plan to limit Gonzaga star Chet Holmgren. The Razorbacks held Holmgren to 11 points. They held the Zags to nearly 20 points below their season average.
Musselman has had a day and a half to come up with something to thwart Duke star Paolo Bachero. I trust him and I trust Arkansas' defense.
|03-25-22||Knicks v. Heat -5.5||Top||111-103||Loss||-110||18 h 55 m||Show|
This is my NBA March Game of the Month.
The 31-42 Knicks are back to being a bottom-feeder this season. The only way they can win is to catch an opponent in a letdown spot. That's what the Knicks did on Wednesday upsetting the Hornets.But that's not the situation in this matchup. The Heat are in stop-the-pain mode having lost two in a row. They are especially angry after falling to the short-handed Warriors, 118-104, at home this past Wednesday. Miami is going to be up for this matchup. The Heat are healthy. The Knicks are not. New York has been without Julius Randle, its best player, and center Mitchell Robinson. Randle, who leads the Knicks in scoring, rebounding and assists, has a quad injury. The Knicks are not in a hurry to rush him back into the lineup with their season down the drain. If Randle remains out, the Heat would field the three best players on the court in Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Kyle Lowery. It's an added bonus if Tyler Herro returns to Miami's lineup. The Heat have owned the Knicks recently covering eight of the past 10 meetings. Miami has defeated New York five consecutive times, including twice this season by a combined 29 points.
|03-23-22||Youngstown State +13.5 v. Fresno State||Top||71-80||Win||100||22 h 9 m||Show|
Often the best line value comes in the minor postseason basketball tournaments rather than the NCAA Tournament. That's the case in this quarterfinal matchup in The Basketball Classic. Fresno State should not be this large of a favorite. The Bulldogs are just 4-7 in their last 11 games. They are 0-5 ATS the past five times as home chalk and 2-8 ATS the last 10 times facing an above .500 foe. Youngstown State is a prideful and competitive team bidding to win its 20th game of the season. That would tie the Penguins' school record for most Division I victories in a season matching their 1997-98 team. The Penguins average seven points more per game than the Bulldogs. Expect a competitive match up here and not a blowout.
|03-22-22||Vanderbilt +4 v. Xavier||Top||73-75||Win||100||23 h 41 m||Show|
Even with Xavier the host team in this NIT quarterfinal matchup, I still believe the wrong team is favored. Xavier has underachieved all season and a victory against Florida in its last game doesn't change that. Unlike Xavier, Vanderbilt improved as the season went on. The Commodores buried Georgia and knocked off Alabama in the SEC Conference Tournament before falling to Kentucky in a close game. Vanderbilt has stayed hot defeating Belmont and Dayton as short favorites in its first two NIT games. The Musketeers have had a different trajectory this season. They finished the regular season going 2-8 and then lost to Butler in the opening round of the Big East Tournament. The Musketeers didn't come close to covering against Cleveland State in their first-round NIT matchup before rolling past Florida. Xavier might have had some extra incentive against the Gators because it was the first game for Jonas Hayes as interim head coach after Travis Steele resigned following the Cleveland State game after four years of heading Xavier's program. The timing of this move was curious and surprising. It could have a negative effect in this game for Xavier. I'm always more comfortable when the team I back has the best player on the court. Vanderbilt has that with Scottie Pippin Jr. The Commodores also have a good center in Liam Robbins. These teams actually met this season. That was back in October during a scrimmage, which Vanderbilt won. I don't put a whole lot of stock in that. But there are other indications that point to Vanderbilt faring well here. The Commodores are 19-7-1 ATS in their last 27 road games. They also are 10-2 ATS the past dozen times when facing above .500 competition. On the flip side, Xavier is 3-10 ATS in its last 13 home games and 1-9 ATS following a straight-up victory. The Musketeers have also been awful as a favorite failing to cover 11 of the last 15 times in that role.
|03-21-22||Wolves v. Mavs -3||Top||108-110||Loss||-120||18 h 25 m||Show|
It's not a fluke the Timberwolves are 42-30. They are a much improved team with a lot of young talent.
But I want the Mavericks going for me in this matchup.
Dallas is trying to prevent its first three-game losing streak in more than three months following consecutive losses to the 76ers and Hornets. The Mavericks are 13-3 ATS following a loss.
Minnesota is off a huge 138-119 home victory against the defending world champion Bucks.
The Timberwolves defeated the Mavericks in the first meeting this season, 111-105, at home on Dec. 19. The Mavericks beat the Timberwolves, 114-102, in Dallas two days later. It was the eighth time in their last 11 visits to Dallas that the Timberwolves failed to cover.
Dallas is 23-12 at home this season. The Timberwolves are 18-18 on the road. The Timberwolves are 1-5 ATS the past six times they've been a road 'dog.
The Timberwolves will host the Mavericks on Friday. Dallas has the history, motivation and situation to hold court today by covering this small number.
|03-20-22||Texas +3.5 v. Purdue||Top||71-81||Loss||-110||19 h 59 m||Show|
Texas beat Kansas and Tennessee this season. The Longhorns certainly are capable of defeating Purdue.
The key is the Longhorns' ninth-ranked defense and the tremendous coaching of Chris Beard.
Purdue coach Matt Painter has gone against Beard twice in the NCAA Tournament and lost both times. Beard bested Painter when he was at Arkansas Little Rock and at Texas Tech in a Sweet 16 victory against Purdue in 2018. Beard led Texas Tech to the NCAA Tourney title game 2019 and Elite Eight in 2018.
I trust Beard to neutralize 7-foot-4 Zach Edey inside and fluster Jaden Ivey forcing him to do too much. On the offensive end, Beard's motion offense can exploit Purdue's defensive liabilities, freeing up Timmy Allen and others to get open looks. The Boilermakers rank 207th in 3-point defense.
Purdue is just 1-8-2 ATS in its last 11 games and 7-18-2 ATS the past 27 times when favored. Purdue had failed to cover in its last six games before burying an overmatched Yale squad in its first-round NCAA Tourney game.
|03-19-22||New Mexico State v. Arkansas -6.5||Top||48-53||Loss||-108||18 h 43 m||Show|
Great upset win by New Mexico State beating Connecticut, 70-63, as a six-point 'dog on Thursday. That halted a 12-game NCAA Tourney losing streak for the Aggies and gave them their first NCAA Tourney victory in 29 years.
Teddy Allen scored 37 points to spark the Lobos. That was 13 points more than his season average. Jabari Rice averages 13.7 points. No other New Mexico State player averages even eight points a game.
Realistically the Lobos have accomplished a major goal. They not only made the NCAA Tournament, but finally won a game.
Arkansas has been a covering machine going 11-3-1 ATS (79%) in its last 15 games. The Razorbacks, however, didn't cover their opening NCAA Tourney game beating Vermont, 75-71, as a five-point favorite. Teams that won but didn't cover in their opening NCAA Tourney game are 57 percent against the spread in their second-round game during the past 229 instances.
New Mexico State still could be floating on Cloud 9 while Arkansas knows what it's like to go deep into the NCAA Tourney reaching the Elite Eight last year before losing to eventual champion Baylor.
|03-18-22||Colgate +7.5 v. Wisconsin||Top||60-67||Win||100||32 h 43 m||Show|
There are many red flags waving against the Badgers in this matchup. Wisconsin is 1-8 ATS the last nine times it has been favored. The Badgers enter the tournament losers of two in a row, including a shocking home loss to Nebraska. So they are not in peak form by any means.
Johnny Davis, the Big Ten Player of the Year, was hurt against Nebraska and was terrible when he returned against Michigan State missing 16 of 19 shots from the field in Wisconsin's 69-63 loss to the Spartans in the Big Ten Conference Tournament. If Davis isn't 100 percent, the Badgers are in huge trouble.
Colgate has come on very strong winning 19 of its last 20 games, including the last 15. The unsung Raiders have the veteran savvy, scoring depth and 3-point shooting to defeat the Badgers straight-up. Colgate has made the NCAA Tournament in three of the past four years. The Raiders have five players scoring in double figures and rank No. 4 in the nation in 3-point shooting percentage. Wisconsin gave up the highest percentage of open 3-point shots in the Big Ten.
The Raiders are 14-6 ATS in their last 20 games. Wisconsin is overhyped right now. The line is inflated, too, because the game is in Milwaukee. But Colgate has the experience to handle that.
|03-16-22||Dayton v. Toledo||Top||74-55||Loss||-110||16 h 30 m||Show|
I thought the Mid-American Conference was strong this season. Toledo was the class of that conference going 26-7, including 17-3 in league. But the Rockets were upset in the semifinals of the MAC Tournament by Akron. So the Rockets didn't get an NCAA Tournament berth. Instead they are in the NIT.
Unfair? Probably. The key is how will the Rockets react? That's a difficult question. I do think the Rockets, though, will win this game. They catch a huge break getting to be the host team. Toledo is 13-1 at home this season. The Rockets are 12-5 ATS the past 17 times when favored.
Dayton is a slow-paced Atlantic-10 Conference team that averages 12 points fewer per game than Toledo. The Flyers are tough defensively. But they don't have the scoring to keep up with the Rockets with the game in Toledo. The Rockets are the sixth-highest scoring team in the nation at 81.5 points. They rank 16th in field goal percentage and 21st in free throw percentage. They also are 16th in the country in assist/turnover ratio.
|03-15-22||Cleveland State +12.5 v. Xavier||Top||68-72||Win||100||25 h 16 m||Show|
Every year there are great spots in the NIT featuring favorites who are overpriced because they are off disappointing seasons and suffer letdowns in their first round game.This matchup is a perfect example. Xavier dropped six of its last seven games, including an overtime loss to Butler in the Big East Tournament. The result is no NCAA Tournament bid for the Musketeers. That's a huge disappointment for Xavier. Cleveland State doesn't feel that way about competing in the NIT. The Vikings are anxious to show their wares. They are a solid team that shared the Horizon League regular season title. The Vikings, though, were upset in the league tournament by eventual champion Wright State. The Vikings average 75.6 points. Xavier's defense collapsed, giving up an average of 83.4 points during the last seven games. Xavier has been terrible as a favorite and when playing at home. The Musketeers are 3-10 ATS as chalk and 2-9 ATS in their past 11 home contests.
|03-11-22||UC-Santa Barbara v. Long Beach State +4.5||Top||64-67||Win||100||8 h 1 m||Show|
These have been two hot, play-on teams. At this point spread range, though, I have to get involved and back Long Beach State.
All the Beach have done is go 17-4 ATS in their last 21 games. They've won eight of their last 10 games and are 20-7 ATS the past 27 times when getting points.
Santa Barbara is the No. 5 seed in this Big West Tournament. Long Beach State is the No. 1 seed.
|03-11-22||Pistons +14 v. Celtics||Top||103-114||Win||100||10 h 45 m||Show|
Boston playing well. But so is Detroit except the Pistons don't get nearly the attention the Celtics do.
The Celtics are looking for their sixth consecutive victory. The Pistons are looking for their 10th straight point spread cover.
Cade Cunningham is making a spirited bid to earn Rookie of the Year honors scoring 20 or more points in his last five games.
The Pistons upset the Celtics, 112-111, at Boston on Feb. 16 as 12-point 'dogs. Now the line is even higher. That was the seventh straight time Detroit has covered against Boston.
The Celtics host the Mavericks on Sunday in a much more challenging game. So a Boston letdown/look ahead situation could exist. Even if the Celtics take this matchup seriously, the Pistons are playing well enough and the line is inflated enough to back Detroit.
|03-11-22||Miami-FL +9 v. Duke||Top||76-80||Win||100||6 h 29 m||Show|
A case of food poisoning and lack of defense makes Duke an unattractive favorite. The Blue Devils lost at home to North Carolina in their final regular season game and were unimpressive in an 88-79 ACC Tournament quarterfinal win against undermanned Syracuse yesterday.
This is what Duke coach Mike Kryzewski said following the Syracuse game: ''We're not playing very good defense right now. We did not against North Carolina and we did not in this game. We're missing a lot of assignments. Kryzewski also said some Duke players were dealing with food poisoning.
Miami is 9-3 ATS as an underdog this season, including upsetting Duke, 76-74, on the road in January.
|03-07-22||Lakers v. Spurs -2.5||Top||110-117||Win||100||20 h 36 m||Show|
It's getting to the crucial stage for the Spurs. San Antonio is in stop-the-pain mode having lost four in a row while falling 3 1/2 games out of postseason contention.
San Antonio has played nine of its last 10 games on the road, though. This is the first of seven straight home contests. They are 6-2-1 ATS the past nine times when favored.
The Lakers are off a satisfying, 124-116, home win against the Warriors this past Saturday. LeBron James scored 56 points in that game. James is a freak of nature, but he is 37. How much will he have left for this game?
Prior to defeating the Warriors, the Lakers had gone 1-7 SU, 2-5-1 ATS.
The Spurs have a solid bench and rate a huge coaching edge with Gregg Popovich.
|03-06-22||Albany +5 v. Hartford||Top||49-61||Loss||-110||16 h 30 m||Show|
Just because Hartford is playing in its home arena doesn't mean the Hawks should be favored against this opponent, let alone by this many points.
Albany is 13-17. Hartford is 11-19.
The teams split their two meetings this season. Albany beat the Hawks on the road, 71-52. Hartford got its revenge this past Tuesday defeating the Great Danes, 67-55. The Hawks shot 13 more free throws in that contest. They also made 13 of 24 3-pointers for 54 percent. Hartford shoots 37.7 percent from beyond the arc on the season.
The Great Danes are 8-1-2 ATS in their past 11 away games. This has been an underdog series with the 'dog covering six of the last seven.
|03-05-22||UNLV v. New Mexico +4||Top||67-76||Win||100||21 h 4 m||Show|
UNLV has come on strong, but the Rebels still failed to finish among the top four teams in the Mountain West Conference. This is UNLV's final regular season game and last matchup before the Mountain West Conference Tournament.
It's a flat spot for the Rebels.
Not so for New Mexico, which has revenge for a 29-point loss to the Rebels earlier in the season.
The Lobos have a winning home record. The Rebels have a losing road mark.
|03-04-22||Richmond +4 v. St Bonaventure||Top||65-72||Loss||-115||17 h 10 m||Show|
Richmond defeated St. Bonaventure, 71-61, earlier this season. I see the Spiders repeating that performance in the rematch. Taking points is a nice bonus.
St. Bonaventure began conference play slowly before rolling off seven straight wins. However, the Bonnies' streak was snapped in brutal fashion with a 74-51 road loss to VCU this past Tuesday. The Bonnies were minus Osun Osunniyi in that game due to an ankle injury and could be missing him again in this matchup. He averages 11 points and is the Bonnies' leading rebounder.
Richmond is experienced, solid on both sides of the ball, ranks ninth nationally in turnover rate and hasn't lost two straight games since Dec. 30-Jan. 2.
The Spiders also are road tested going 14-5-1 ATS during their past 20 away games, including 8-3 ATS in their past 11. St. Bonaventure is 4-9 ATS the past 13 times against opponents with a winning record.
|03-02-22||Presbyterian v. Campbell -2.5||Top||72-75||Win||100||19 h 3 m||Show|
Campbell is the better team. Power rating-wise, I have the Fighting Camels as a mid-size favorite at a neutral site in this Big South Tournament matchup.
Presbyterian is 12-19. Campbell is 15-12.
The Fighting Camels have a far superior defense giving up fewer than 62 points per game. They rank 22nd in the nation defensively. Presbyterian is one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the country.
|03-01-22||Warriors +1 v. Wolves||Top||114-129||Loss||-110||10 h 23 m||Show|
Minnesota is much improved this season. That's evident by the oddsmaker opening this game in the pick range.
But I really want Golden State in this situation. The Warriors are coming off a frustrating, 107-101, home loss to the Mavericks from Sunday. Golden State let a 21-point lead slip in that game. Needless to say, Steve Kerr was not happy.
The Timberwolves are off a satisfying, 127-122, road win against the Cavaliers last night. Minnesota is 0-5 ATS the past five times when playing without rest.
|03-01-22||Nebraska v. Ohio State -14.5||Top||78-70||Loss||-110||18 h 31 m||Show|
This is a kill spot for Ohio State. The Buckeyes are looking for redemption after getting upset this past Sunday at Maryland.
Ohio State still has much to play for trying to secure a top-four seed into the Big Ten Tournament and the bye into the quarterfinals that goes with it. The Buckeyes are 12-1 at home this season, including 8-1 in the Big Ten. They also are 8-2 ATS following a point spread loss.
Nebraska has been bad again this season going 8-21 with a 2-16 Big Ten record. The Cornhuskers, though, are in a rare flat spot having stunned Penn State as a 10 1/2-point road 'dog, 93-70, this past Sunday.
|02-28-22||San Diego State v. Wyoming +2||Top||73-66||Loss||-110||24 h 26 m||Show|
San Diego State has the No. 2 defense in the country. I have great respect for the Aztecs. But I'm not buying Wyoming as a home underdog.
The Cowboys have won all 14 of their home games this season. They have the two best players on the court in Graham Ike and Hunter Maldonado. Wyoming averages nearly 10 more points per game than San Diego State and also has a respectable defense giving up 65.6 points, which ranks 74th, and is 24th in 3-point defense.
Wyoming is 23-5 overall and 12-3 in the Mountain West Conference. San Diego State is 18-7 overall and 10-4 in the Mountain West.
The Cowboys are proven, too, against good competition going 22-8-1 ATS versus opponents with a winning record.
|02-26-22||Arizona v. Colorado +10.5||Top||63-79||Win||100||19 h 32 m||Show|
Barring winning the Pac-12 Conference Tournament, Colorado won't be going to the NCAA Tournament. So this revenge spot is the Buffaloes' game of the year.
The Wildcats have a bigger game on deck playing at USC.
Colorado has been playing well with five victories in its last six games. This is the Buffaloes' final home game of the season so it's senior night. This has been a home team series with the host covering six of the last seven times.
|02-25-22||San Jose State +22.5 v. San Diego State||Top||52-77||Loss||-110||21 h 45 m||Show|
San Diego State is in fourth place in the Mountain West Conference. The Aztecs just lost to first-place Boise State by one point this past Tuesday. The Aztecs have second-place Wyoming on deck following this opponent - San Jose State.
San Jose State is last in the conference.
So San Diego State can't be blamed if they take the Spartans for granted while in the middle of a conference sandwich.
The Aztecs haven't been good lately in this role. They've been favored by 14 points or more three times in their past six games. They are 0-3 ATS in those games.
The Aztecs' 0-3 ATS mark laying big points isn't a fluke. San Diego State plays great defense, but only averages 65.1 points a game. That ranks 306th.
San Jose State hung in during the first meeting between the two teams losing, 72-62, on Feb. 9 as a 17-point home 'dog.
The Spartans should be loose and confident having upset New Mexico, 71-55, as a 5 1/2-point home 'dog during their previous game. That snapped a 14-game losing streak. The Spartans are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games and have covered in five of their past six road contests.
|02-24-22||Idaho State v. Northern Arizona -3.5||Top||70-66||Loss||-110||19 h 52 m||Show|
Northern Arizona isn't very good at 9-18. But 6-20 Idaho State is downright terrible. I find this a short number to lay with the Lumberjacks at home.
Idaho State ranks 326th in scoring at 64.2 points a game. The Bengals are just as bad defensively ranking 340th in defensive field goal percentage.
The Lumberjacks have covered six of their last eight games.
|02-23-22||Chattanooga -3 v. East Tennessee State||Top||83-77||Win||100||19 h 41 m||Show|
Chattanooga rolled past East Tennessee State, 82-52, as a 7 1/2-point home favorite on Dec. 31.
The Mocs may not win by 30 points again, but they still should easily win this game.
Chattanooga is the top team in the Southern Conference with a 22-7 overall record and 12-4 league mark. East Tennessee State ranks eighth out of 10 teams in the Southern Conference with a 6-10 league mark. The Buccaneers are under .500 on the season overall.
The Mocs are 21-5-1 ATS the past 27 times playing a below .500 opponent. They also have covered 67 percent of their last 55 road games. The Mocs are 5-1 in their last six road contests.
Chattanooga clearly is superior to the Buccaneers outscoring them per game while giving up an average of eight fewer points a game.
The Buccaneers have revenge and senior night playing in their final home game of the season. But Chattanooga isn't going to lack motivation. The Mocs are on a rare two-game losing skid falling twice at home as big favorites during their past two games. They haven't lost three in a row all season. Chattanooga is 20-7-1 ATS after not covering the spread in its previous game.
East Tennessee State defeated The Citadel in its last game. The Buccaneers have failed to cover the spread six of the past seven times following a victory.
|02-22-22||Michigan State +7 v. Iowa||Top||60-86||Loss||-120||20 h 11 m||Show|
I'll willingly accept this many points with a desperate Michigan State and Tom Izzo. The Spartans are 1-4 in their last five games. They are 8-3 ATS following a loss.
Iowa, in contrast to Michigan State, has won four of its last five. The Hawkeyes are averaging 90.5 points in their last five games.
This has contributed to an inflated line, though.
Points and possessions matter in the rugged Big Ten. The Spartans haven't been an underdog of more than three points in any of their 15 Big Ten games. The Hawkeyes aren't that much better than the Spartans - if they are even better at all.
|02-21-22||Penn State v. Maryland -2.5||Top||61-67||Win||100||18 h 7 m||Show|
I don't trust Penn State's weak offense, nor do I trust the Nittany Lions on the road.
Penn State ranks 306th in scoring. Maryland averages five more points per game than the Nittany Lions.
The Terrapins hold a backcourt edge with Eric Ayala and Fatts Russell, both of whom average more points than any player on Penn State.
The Nittany Lions are 1-6 in their Big Ten Conference road games. They have lost their last five away Big Ten matchups.
Maryland has looked good recently. The Terrapins nearly upset Purdue on the road two games ago falling by one point. Maryland then buried Nebraska, 90-74, in its last game hitting 52 percent from the floor while turning the ball over just four times.
The Terrapins have proven themselves at home knocking off Illinois there and losing to Wisconsin by only one point.
|02-20-22||Michigan v. Wisconsin -2.5||Top||63-77||Win||100||13 h 47 m||Show|
Can the Wolverines win road games against Iowa and Wisconsin in a span of four days? I say no.
Michigan upset the Hawkeyes this past Thursday, 84-79. Now, though, the Wolverines draw the 15th-ranked Badgers also on the road.
Wisconsin gives up the fewest turnovers in the nation at 8.6. The Badgers' traditionally strong defense is coming on, too, giving up an average of 63.2 points during the last four games.
Michigan has faced five ranked teams this season - and lost four of those five games.
|02-19-22||DePaul +9 v. Seton Hall||Top||64-66||Win||100||19 h 45 m||Show|
This point spread is way out of whack. DePaul beat Seton Hall the first time these teams met. The Blue Demons have a better point spread record covering 58 percent, shoot the ball better than Seton Hall and have the best player on the court in Javon Freeman-Liberty. Seton Hall ranks 257th in field goal percentage. The Pirates are 4-4 since losing their second-leading scorer, Bruce Aiken. They are 1-5 ATS in their last six home games. DePaul upset Xavier as a 14-point 'dog and lost by three points to Providence in overtime as a nine-point 'dog in its last two road games. Freeman-Liberty is one of the better players in the Big East Conference averaging 20.5 points. The Blue Demons defeated the Pirates, 96-92, on Jan. 13 as a 6 1/2-point 'dog. The Blue Demons certainly are capable of hanging around if not pulling another straight-up upset win.
|02-18-22||Ohio +1.5 v. Kent State||Top||52-75||Loss||-110||18 h 11 m||Show|
Kent State is an upper level Mid-American Conference team. But Ohio leads the MAC and is better than the Golden Flashes. So I'm not buying Kent State opening as the favorite.
The Bobcats are 22-4, including 8-3 on the road. They have a better road mark than Kent State's home record. The Golden Flashes are 16-9, 8-4 at home.
Ohio took care of Kent State, 80-72, back on Jan. 7. Bobcats star Mark Sears had a big game with 28 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the floor while grabbing six rebounds and dishing off three assists.
Sears averages 20.1 points, which ranks in the top 20 in the country. He's a tremendous shooter. Ohio ranks 15th in the country in turnover margin and first in the MAC at plus 4.23.
Kent State can't match Sears, nor Ohio's ball protection.
Ohio is ranked 87th in the latest NET rankings. Kent State is ranked 140th.
|02-17-22||76ers +6.5 v. Bucks||Top||123-120||Win||100||19 h 44 m||Show|
After suffering their worst loss in seven years losing by 48 points to the Celtics this past Tuesday, I see the 76ers coming out super intense against Milwaukee.The 76ers have been strong on the road going 18-10. They are 10-2 ATS following a loss. Philadelphia also has covered its past five away games. Milwaukee has failed to cover eight of the last 11 times it has been a home favorite. The Bucks have Giannis Antetokounmpo back. But the Bucks still are playing short-handed with several rotation players out, including Pat Connaughton, Wesley Matthews and Grayson Allen questionable.
|02-16-22||UNLV v. Fresno State -6||Top||60-57||Loss||-105||22 h 13 m||Show|
I don't see another Fresno State loss happening here with the Bulldogs home to the Rebels, who are 3-8 ATS during their past 11 road contests. Fresno State has covered nine of its last 11 home games.
UNLV has been hot from beyond the arc lately. Don't look for that to continue, though, against a Fresno State defense that ranks fifth in the nation allowing only 57.9 points.
The Bulldogs shoot better from the floor than the Rebels and also are the superior free throw shooting team. Fresno State beat UNLV, 73-68, at UNLV on Jan. 14. That was the seventh time in the last 10 meetings the Bulldogs have defeated the Rebels.
|02-15-22||Grizzlies -4.5 v. Pelicans||Top||121-109||Win||100||10 h 5 m||Show|
The Grizzlies are playing the best basketball of any team winning and covering eight of their last nine games. All of their victories during this span have come by at least seven points. Memphis has had two full days to prepare for this revenge matchup having last played on Saturday. The Pelicans won the first meeting, 112-101, at home on Nov. 13. It's going to be difficult for the inconsistent Pelicans to duplicate their ''A'' performance of last night when they buried the Raptors, 120-90, at home shooting a season-best 58.4 percent from the floor. New Orleans is 2-5 ATS the past seven times as a home 'dog. Memphis is 14-3 ATS the past 17 times when favored.
|02-10-22||Hofstra +1.5 v. Drexel||Top||83-73||Win||100||19 h 40 m||Show|
These teams met on Jan. 17. Hofstra was an eight-point home favorite and beat Drexel, 71-68. Hofstra is the fourth-best free throw shooting team in the nation at 80 percent. The Pride shot just 10 free throws in that game and also made only 4 of 16 3-pointers.
Hofstra is 14-9 and in third place in the Colonial Athletic Association at 7-4. Drexel is 11-10 and 6-5 in the CAA.
There is a point spread difference of around 10 points in this game compared to the earlier meeting. Hofstra is the better team so I'm attracted to taking this many points.
The Pride just defeated UNC-Wilmington in its last game three days ago. Drexel went against Wilmington on Jan. 31 and lost, 70-63.
|02-09-22||Tulane +10 v. Memphis||Top||69-80||Loss||-110||18 h 10 m||Show|
Memphis has tremendous talent. But the Tigers are poorly-coached, one of the worst free throw shooting teams in the nation and are terrible against spread going 4-10-1 ATS in their last 15 games. Tulane upset the Tigers, 85-84, as a 6-point home 'dog back on Dec. 29 and the Green Wave definitely can hang within single digits in this rematch. The Green Wave are a solid 7-4 in the American Athletic Conference, good for third place behind only Houston and SMU. Tulane has covered five of its last seven road games and is 3-1 in its last four games. Despite its talent, Memphis is horrendous from the free throw line making less than 66 percent. The Tigers rank 333rd in free throw percentage. The Tigers have failed to cover five of the last six times when laying 8 or more points.
|02-09-22||Spurs +6 v. Cavs||Top||92-105||Loss||-106||8 h 56 m||Show|
Cleveland may appear to be in better current form than the Spurs. But the Spurs have played a much more difficult schedule recently and are in an excellent situational spot here.
San Antonio defeated Houston in its last game. That was this past Friday. The Spurs were 1-4 entering that matchup. But their previous five opponents were the Heat, Warriors, Suns, Bulls and Grizzlies.
Cleveland is 6-2 in its last eight games. The Cavaliers' last five games, though, have come against weak opponents - Pacers, Hornets, Rockets, Pelicans and Pistons.
The Cavaliers acquired Caris LeVert, but still may be without underrated Darius Garland, who has missed the last four games because of a sore back.
The Spurs will be playing for the first time in five days. That's more than ample time for Gregg Popovich to come up with a strong game plan for this specific opponent not to mention ensure a lot of energy from the Spurs. San Antonio is 18-8 ATS the past 26 times when playing on 3 or more days rest for a long-term mark of 69 percent.
San Antonio also has covered nine of the last 13 times it has been a road 'dog. Cleveland is 1-6 ATS the last seven times it has been favored.
|02-08-22||Utah State v. Wyoming -1.5||Top||76-78||Win||100||23 h 36 m||Show|
Both Utah State and Wyoming are playing well. But the Cowboys are the superior team and are at home with a short point spread.
Wyoming is a perfect 10-0 at home. The Cowboys have outscored opponents by an average of 20.3 points at home.
The Cowboys average 84.1 points at home. That's 12 points higher than what Utah State averages on the road.
The Aggies have won five in a row so perhaps that's why the spread is shorter than I anticipated. However, four of those victories were achieved at home. The Aggies also played some weak competition during this time frame posting wins against UNLV, San Jose State and Air Force.
Utah State has a losing road mark.
Wyoming is 10-1 in its last 11 games and 19-3 overall. The Cowboys trail Boise State by one-half game for the top spot in the Mountain West Conference. They can't afford a loss here especially following their tremendous, 61-59, road upset win against Fresno State this past Sunday night.
The Cowboys feature two of the best players in the conference, Graham Ike and Hunter Maldonado.
|02-07-22||Virginia +12.5 v. Duke||Top||69-68||Win||100||19 h 59 m||Show|
Duke is coming on. I get that. I also understand Virginia is in the midst of a down season just 14-9 and that's playing a less than stellar schedule. But I'm not going to turn down this many points with the Cavaliers. They have shown signs lately of picking up their game, winning three of their last four. This includes an impressive victory against Miami, 71-58, this past Saturday. The Cavaliers have a history of playing Duke close with five of the past seven meetings decided by one or two points. The Blue Devils just nipped the Cavaliers, 66-65, at Duke last season. Virginia desperately needs a good performance here as the Cavaliers are in serious jeopardy of missing the NCAA Tournament. Duke may lack Virginia's motivation coming off a 20-point beatdown of arch-rival North Carolina this past Saturday night. Virginia remains well-coached, disciplined and respectable on defense.
|02-06-22||Wyoming +3.5 v. Fresno State||Top||61-59||Win||100||16 h 10 m||Show|
These are two of the best teams in the Mountain West Conference. Fresno State has the sixth-best defense in the country.
But Wyoming is the more complete team. Fresno State also is coming off two easy matchups.
The Cowboys have won nine of their last 10 games. They are 26-9 ATS in their last 35 road games, including covering the past four. This has been a road team series with the visitor going 6-1-1 ATS the past eight times.
Wyoming averages nearly 10 more points pre game than Fresno State. The Bulldogs have one of the best players in the conference, Orlando Robinson. But Wyoming has two of the three best players on the court in Graham Ike and Hunter Maldonado.
|02-05-22||Bucks v. Blazers +10.5||Top||137-108||Loss||-107||11 h 53 m||Show|
I find this to be a buy-low spot on the Trail Blazers following Portland's, 96-93, home loss to the lowly Thunder last night.That was the Trail Blazers' first home game since Jan. 26. I expect the Trail Blazers' concentration and focus to be much better against the Bucks. Portland had just made a trade the day before the Thunder game, too. I also expect Portland's 3-point shooting to be back on track. The Trail Blazers shot 40 percent from the floor against the Thunder. Far worse was their horrendous shooting from beyond the arc. Portland could connect on only 6-of-33 3-point shots for 18 percent. The Trail Blazers rank 11th in the NBA in 3-point shooting at 35.6 percent. The Trail Blazers obviously are missing Damian Lillard. But CJ McCollum has returned to the lineup and Anfernee Simons continues to play at a high level. So Portland's backcourt remains strong. The Bucks play at the Clippers on Sunday. So if the Trail Blazers trail by double-digits late - which I am not anticipating - the backdoor could swing open because the Bucks may be resting starters knowing they have three more road games during the next five days.
|02-05-22||Texas Tech v. West Virginia +6||Top||60-53||Loss||-110||11 h 13 m||Show|
There aren't many easy games in the Big 12 Conference. And this one isn't going to be easy for Texas Tech especially after the Red Raiders won an emotional, 77-64, home game against 23rd-ranked Texas this past Tuesday.
West Virginia is in a desperate situation with six straight losses and possibly missing its best player, point guard Taz Sherman. He's in concussion protocol and questionable for this game.
With or without Sherman, though, I like West Virginia in this spot.
The Mountaineers played well in their last game, an 81-77 road loss to Baylor this past Monday. They shot a season-best 54.2 percent from the field. Look for the Mountaineers to give Texas Tech their best punch. I doubt the Red Raiders can produce another ''A'' game after beating Texas.
|02-04-22||Toledo v. Ball State +8.5||Top||83-93||Win||100||23 h 15 m||Show|
Should be a great game: Ohio at Toledo to decide the Mid-American Conference and No. 1 conference tournament seed.
That game, though, is Tuesday. Before that Toledo is being asked to cover what I see as an inflated road number against Ball State.
The Rockets have won nine in a row. But this definitely is a look-ahead spot for them, which could produce a flat effort.
Ball State had won and covered three in a row until getting buried by Ohio in its last game. The Cardinals average a healthy 74 points a game.
The Cardinals have covered eight of their last 11 games. The Rockets have allowed 173 3-point field goals. Ball State has made 180 3-pointers, ranking 69th in 3-point accuracy.
The combination of their 3-point shooting, home-court and catching Toledo in a flat spot should mean a cover for the Cardinals.
|02-04-22||Rockets v. Spurs -3.5||Top||106-131||Win||100||10 h 54 m||Show|
I really hope Dejounte Murray plays. But even if he doesn't the Spurs have enough depth and a huge edge in coaching to cover this short number against the Rockets. San Antonio is in stop-the-pain mode losers of three in a row.
The Rockets enter San Antonio fat and happy after a 115-104 home victory against Cleveland this past Wednesday. Houston has lost its previous four games.
The Rockets are 6-17 ATS the past 23 times as a 'dog. They are 2-6-1 ATS during their past nine meetings against the Spurs.
Houston was no match for San Antonio when the teams just met on Jan. 25. The Spurs buried the Rockets, 134-104, dominating the paint with 82 points.
|02-01-22||Texas +5.5 v. Texas Tech||Top||64-77||Loss||-110||20 h 7 m||Show|
Every point figures to matter in this matchup of elite defenses. Texas has the No. 1 defense in the nation holding foes to 54.5 points. Defense is a Chris Beard trademark as Texas Tech well knows about its former coach. The Red Raiders allow the 19th-fewest points in the country.
So I'm attracted to the road 'dog receiving this many points. This has been an underdog series with the 'dog covering eight of the last 11 times.
I trust Beard's defense and the Longhorns' motion offense to find some open looks from 3-point range. I also trust the Longhorns to control their turnover count facing Texas Tech's full-court pressure.
It comes down to what should be a low-scoring matchup, as the oddsmaker anticipates, where Texas definitely can stay within two possessions.
|01-31-22||Warriors v. Rockets +10.5||Top||122-108||Loss||-101||9 h 44 m||Show|
The teams just met 10 days ago in Golden State. The Rockets nearly pulled the upset losing, 105-103.
That victory was the start of a five-game win streak for the Warriors. Golden State has won three of those games by a total of eight points.
The Warriors are off a big emotional win against the Nets from two days ago. They are at the Spurs on Tuesday in a revenge spot.
So this looms as a potential flat spot for the Warriors, who remain without Draymond Green.
Houston only has played twice since losing to the Warriors 10 days ago. The Rockets' last game was this past Friday. That should ensure a rested, full effort and an added bonus if Kevin Porter Jr. and Christian Wood are able to return to the lineup.
|01-29-22||Virginia +4.5 v. Notre Dame||Top||65-69||Win||100||19 h 27 m||Show|
Notre Dame is hot, winning nine of its last 10 games. But Virginia is just the team to beat the Irish.
The Cavaliers are a bad matchup for Notre Dame as evidenced by Virginia defeating the Irish 16 of 18 times in the series, including the past six times.
Notre Dame relies on its perimeter shooting especially from long range. The Irish rank 27th in 3-point percentage. Notre Dame is very much a rhythm team.
Virginia disrupts that rhythm. No team plays slower than the Cavaliers. Virginia's defense is at its best clamping down on open shots, especially catch-and-shoot 3-point shots like Notre Dame likes to launch.
On the flip side, Virginia guards Kihei Clark and Reece Beekman are adept at patiently beating half-court sets. Given four days to prepare, Virginia's elite coach Tony Bennett should have an excellent game plan.
Virginia is 5-3 SU and ATS in its last eight road/neutral site games. Notre Dame is 3-8-1 ATS in its last 12 home games versus foes who have an above .500 road mark.
|01-28-22||Clippers v. Heat -6.5||Top||114-121||Win||100||12 h 21 m||Show|
Kudos to the Clippers for coming back from a 35-point deficit against the Wizards to pull out a victory three days ago. That was the second-largest comeback in NBA history.
Kudos again to the Clippers to beat the Magic two days ago in an obvious letdown spot after trailing by 14 points against Orlando.
Now, though, the Clippers step way up in class against the team with the best record in the Eastern Conference - Miami. The Heat are 17-5 at home this season. They have covered nine of their last 11 games.
LA is 10-13 on the road even with its consecutive away victories versus the Wizards and Magic. This marks the Clippers' third game in four days and sixth road game in 10 days.
The Heat have taken off now that Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro are back in the lineup joining Jimmy Butler. The Clippers are missing their two best players, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Also out is their third-leading scorer, Marcus Morris.
I see a double-digit Heat victory.
|01-27-22||East Carolina +13.5 v. Memphis||Top||54-71||Loss||-110||20 h 23 m||Show|
Penny Hardaway was one of my favorite NBA players when he played for the Orlando Magic. But as a head college basketball coach, Hardaway has to rank among the bottom 10. He actually could be in the argument as the worst coach.
Yes Hardaway's Memphis team has had injuries. But the Tigers have underachieved so much they may not even make the NCAA Tournament. Memphis 5-12-1 ATS on the season. The Tigers are 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven home games.
Until beating Tulsa in their last game, the Tigers had lost three in a row.
East Carolina is off an embarrassing, 79-36, road loss to Houston this past Saturday. I find this line inflated because of that loss.
Before that defeat to the Cougars, East Carolina had lost in overtime as an underdog to Central Florida and upset Memphis, 72-71, as a 7-point home 'dog. That was less than two weeks ago. Memphis shot 50 percent from the floor in that game while East Carolina made 40 percent of its field goals. Yet the Pirates still pulled it out.
The Pirates may be without third-leading scorer Brandon Suggs, who scored the game-winner against Memphis in the first meeting. The Tigers, though, are far more banged-up. They will be without their leading scorer, Deandre Williams, and likely NBA lottery pick and leading team rebounder Jalen Duren. He is questionable with a hand injury. Also out are Landers Nolley II and Jayden Hardaway. Nolley leads the Tigers in assists.
|01-27-22||Lakers v. 76ers -2.5||Top||87-105||Win||100||8 h 9 m||Show|
No player is performing better lately than Joel Embiid, who has scored at least 38 points and pulled down 12 rebounds in four straight games. The 76ers catch the Lakers playing their fourth road game in six days.
The Lakers welcomed Anthony Davis back with a 106-96 victory against the Nets two days ago. Davis, though, is working his way into the lineup. I don't see the Lakers being able to sustain that momentum against this tough opponent. LA is 7-20 AT following a cover.
The Lakers are 2-1 on their current road trip having opened with a victory against the Magic, However, during their previous four away contests the Lakers lost to the Heat by six points, were blown out by the Nuggets by 37 points, lost to the Kings by nine and fell to the Grizzlies by five points.
|01-26-22||Kings +8.5 v. Hawks||Top||104-121||Loss||-102||10 h 42 m||Show|
The Kings should be fired-up after being embarrassed, 128-75, by the Celtics last night. The Kings ended up playing all 13 of their rostered players. No Sacramento player reached the 30-minute mark. So fatigue should not be a factor.
Prior to that loss to the Celtics, the Kings had gone a respectable 2-4 with their four defeats occurring by a combined 15 points, which is less than four a game.
The Hawks have not been good as home favorites either, failing to cover 11 of the last 14 times in that role.
There's a chance the Kings get back injured De'Aaron Fox, who I consider their best player. He's been out two games with a sore left ankle. It's a nice bonus if Fox plays, but I'm not counting on that.
|01-24-22||Pacers v. Pelicans -3||Top||113-117||Win||100||7 h 20 m||Show|
New Orleans has been strong at home winning and covering seven of its last nine. The Pelicans catch a schedule break here hosting a short-handed and tired Indiana squad that is concluding a five-game road trip.
The Pacers are playing for the fifth time in eight days. They are minus their two best players with Domantas Sabonis and Malcolmb Brogdon both out. They've been without Caris LeVert, maybe their third-best player, too. He's questionable.
Those are Indiana's top three scorers. The Pelicans have held five of their last seven opponents to 105 points or fewer.
New Orleans enters this home matchup on a winning note beating the Knicks, 102-91, this past Thursday in New York. That was a big confidence builder for the Pelicans after they were blown out during the first two games of their road trip by the Nets and Celtics.
Even if Ingram is out, I still like the Pelicans.
|01-23-22||Rams v. Bucs -2.5||Top||30-27||Loss||-114||66 h 1 m||Show|
Do you really think the Rams can beat the defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers at home traveling cross-country on a short week having just played this past Monday night?
I don't and I'm willing to lay a field goal to back that opinion.
Free of the Lions, Matthew Stafford picked up his first playoff victory knocking off a slumping Cardinals team that hadn't been good since late October. Tom Brady, by comparison, has 35 postseason victories. He's won 21 of his 25 home playoff games.
The Buccaneers are 7-1 ATS as home chalk. They are 8-1 at home this season with an average winning margin of 19.3 points. The Rams are 2-5 ATS versus above .500 opponents.
Brady doesn't have reliable Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown anymore. But he still has a deep wide receiving corps, a rejuvenated Rob Gronkowski and could be getting his two best running backs in Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones.
The Rams' defensive line has come on strong. Aaron Donald is a force. But they have holes in their secondary. Losing safety Jordan Fuller late in the season is a key injury. If the Rams have to trot out 38-year-old formerly retired Eric Weddle they're in trouble.
The Buccaneers' defense is back to being formidable with the return to health of linebackers Lavonte David, Shaquil Barrett and edge pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul.
|01-21-22||Michigan State +4.5 v. Wisconsin||Top||86-74||Win||100||22 h 44 m||Show|
These are two of the top 14 teams in the nation, according to the latest The Associated Press rankings. But we're getting a buy-low spot on Michigan State since the Spartans were upset by Northwestern at home in their last game this past Saturday, while the Badgers just defeated Northwestern, 82-76, three days ago.
Michigan State had won nine in a row prior to losing to the Wildcats. Wisconsin is riding a seven-game win streak.
The Badgers are playing extremely well. But the Spartans should never be underestimated. They are 8-2 in their last 10 games against Wisconsin. The Badgers nipped the Spartans, 64-63, at home last season. Michigan State is 7-3-1 ATS versus foes that have a winning percentage above .600.
Both teams give up less than 66 points a game. The Spartans rank 30th in defensive field goal percentage, though, while Wisconsin is 217th.
I see Michigan State winning this game so getting this many points is a nice bonus.
|01-20-22||Pelicans v. Knicks -2.5||Top||102-91||Loss||-110||19 h 43 m||Show|
The oddsmaker is downgrading the Knicks because they've lost two straight home games, sleepwalking through a loss to the Hornets during an early start on Martin Luther King Day and then blowing a late lead in a 112-110 loss to the much improved Timberwolves on Tuesday.
Prior to those defeats, though, New York had won five consecutive games at Madison Square Garden with the last two being blowout wins against the Mavericks and Spurs.
The Pelicans are a drop in class for New York. The Knicks are a much stronger defensive club than New Orleans giving up six fewer points per game.
New Orleans is 0-5 SU, 1-4 ATS in its last five road contests. The Pelicans are averaging under 100 points during their last three games.
|01-18-22||Wolves v. Knicks +3.5||Top||112-110||Win||100||8 h 48 m||Show|
I don't think the Knicks should be a home 'dog to the Timberwolves. New York couldn't get awake for yesterday's early-start Martin Luther King home game against the Hornets losing by 10 points after trailing by as many as 23 points.
Look for the Knicks to be more awake for this game after Monday's embarrassment. Prior to that loss to the Hornets, the Knicks had won five straight at Madison Square Garden with the last two being blowout victories against the Mavericks and Spurs. The Timberwolves are looking good to the oddsmaker right now because they just rolled past the short-handed Warriors, 119-99, at home this past Sunday night. Keep in mind, though, that before that victory Minnesota had lost and failed to cover consecutive road games against the Pelicans and Grizzlies.
|01-17-22||Cardinals v. Rams -3.5||Top||11-34||Win||100||21 h 48 m||Show|
The Cardinals lost their edge with a late October Thursday night home loss to the Packers. They have yet to regain it and I don't see that changing in this matchup.
Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp, who had a superstar season, can take advantage. Stafford threw for a career-high 41 TD passes in his first year with Rams offensive guru coach Sean McVay while Kupp led the NFL in receptions, receiving yards and receiving TD's, emerging as the top wide receiver in the NFL. Stafford had no problem in two games against the Cardinals this season, completing 69 percent for 567 yards and a 5-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
The Rams are going to get their points here. I don't see the Cardinals keeping up. I give a huge plus to Aaron Donald and a Rams defense line that is peaking against an Arizona offensive line that has sprung leaks and doesn't have a quality healthy running back left.
This puts tremendous pressure on Kyler Murray, who hasn't been the same dominant force he was earlier in the season before missing four games. Minus superstar wide receiver and security blanket DeAndre Hopkins, the Cardinals are far less dangerous through the air and in the red zone. Arizona's offense mainly consists of a bunch of 5-yard passes for Murray, which isn't going to get the job done.
McVay is 5-1 against Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury. During these six meetings the Rams have held Murray in check. Murray's averaged 233.2 passing yards, 6.8 yards per attempt with eight all-purpose TD's and nine turnovers along with being sacked 18 times.
|01-16-22||Eagles v. Bucs -8.5||Top||15-31||Win||100||110 h 19 m||Show|
I rate the Buccaneers two levels higher than the Eagles. Given home field advantage and having more playoff experience, the Buccaneers should win this game handily.
Tampa Bay won the Super Bowl last season. The Buccaneers could be even better this season. They set a franchise record with 13 victories. Tom Brady had one of his greatest seasons, which really says a lot given how many outstanding years he's had. Brady passed for 5,316 yards - third most in NFL history - and set a Tampa Bay record with 43 TD passes.
The Eagles are not battle tested. They've met only three teams at .500 or above since November and went 1-2 SU and ATS against them. The Eagles went 1-6 ATS on the season when they faced above .500 opponents. Nick Sirianni is in his first season as Eagles head coach. Second-year QB Jalen Hurts has never been in a playoff game. He also is dealing with an ankle injury.
Philadelphia led the NFL in rushing. But Tampa Bay has been one of the best run defenses for the past three seasons. Hurts is a better runner than thrower.
The Buccaneers built a 28-7 lead against the Eagles in their earlier matchup this season. The Eagles scored a couple of late TD's to make the final a respectable, but misleading 28-22. The game closed with Brady taking a knee inside the Eagles' 10-yard line.
The Eagles have been huge money-burners when getting points going 3-14 ATS the last 17 times as an underdog.
|01-14-22||Cavs v. Spurs +3.5||Top||114-109||Loss||-105||10 h 9 m||Show|
The timing is right to buy low on the Spurs in this home spot. San Antonio is in circle-the-wagons mode saddled with a four-game losing streak. The Spurs are off a 128-124 loss to the Rockets two days ago, which opened their seven-game homestand.
Dejounte Murray could be the most underrated player in the NBA. The Spurs certainly are capable of winning this game straight-up. There's the chance their rotation could be bolstered if Derrick White and Doug McDermott return today from COVID-19 protocol.
The Cavaliers are much improved. But they are far from elite. Their 111-91 victory against Utah on Wednesday comes with an asterisk as the Jazz were missing several players, including their star center and key to their team, Rudy Gobert.
This marks Cleveland's fifth road game in eight days. The Cavaliers close their road trip tomorrow at Oklahoma City.
The Cavaliers had opened their road swing beating shorthanded Portland. They then lost by 14 to the Warriors, nipped the lowly Kings by one point before knocking off Utah. Cleveland is 4-5 in its last nine games, 2-6-1 ATS.
|01-11-22||DePaul +7 v. Marquette||Top||76-87||Loss||-110||17 h 51 m||Show|
Marquette isn't as bad as it looked early in the Big East Conference, but the Golden Eagles aren't as good as their recent performances - blowout victories against Georgetown and Providence - may indicate.
On the flip side, DePaul isn't as bad as its four-game losing streak may appear. The Blue Demons have lost their last two games to Villanova and St. John's. Certainly no shame in that.
Overall, DePaul is 9-5 while Marquette is 10-6.
So there's line value with DePaul. The Blue Demons also match up well to Marquette because of their height and superior rebounding. The Golden Eagles give up a lot of easy inside shots. The Blue Demons are the 17th-best offensive rebounding team in the nation.
The Golden Eagles can't get anything going in transition without controlling the boards.
Marquette hasn't been good as chalk either, failing to cover 13 of the last 18 times when favored.
|01-09-22||Chargers -3 v. Raiders||Top||32-35||Loss||-106||25 h 60 m||Show|
The stage and pressure is too much for the Raiders with a chance to reach the playoffs for only the second time in 19 years.
I give checkmarks to the Chargers in nearly every category with a major one at QB with Justin Herbert, who already has set a Chargers franchise record with 35 TD passes this season.
The Chargers' secondary is healthy for one of the rare times this season and underrated run-stuffer Justin Jones also has returned to the lineup.
Special teams have been a weakness for the Chargers. But that area was shored up in late October with the signings of kicker Dustin Hopkins and kick/punt returner Andre Roberts. Hopkins is 17-for-18 in field goals. Roberts leads the league in yards per kickoff return.
|01-08-22||Heat v. Suns -8.5||Top||123-100||Loss||-110||10 h 50 m||Show|
Kudos to the Heat for beating the Trail Blazers, 115-109, this past Wednesday in their last game.
However, I don't see the Heat keeping up with the Suns today. This is Miami's fifth of a six-game road trip and the team has 12 players on its illness/injury report list, including Jimmy Butler.
Meanwhile the Suns are expected to get reinforced with Deandre Ayton, Jae Crowder and JaVale McGee. All are off the COVID-19 list. Ayton is the Suns' leading rebounder and No. 2 scorer.
The Suns own the best record in the NBA at 30-8. They are playing well with three straight wins and covers, winning by an average of 22 points during this span. The Suns shouldn't lack intensity since they won't play again until Tuesday and won't be home again until Jan. 22.
|01-08-22||Northern Iowa +6 v. Missouri State||Top||85-84||Win||100||15 h 16 m||Show|
Northern Iowa has looked good in its last two games, blowout victories against Evansville and Valparaiso.
The Panthers have the outside shooting, especially from 3-point range, to hang tight with high-scoring Missouri State, which has a below average 3-point defense.
Northern Iowa has dominated the series winning eight of the last 10 meetings, including six of the past seven.
The Panthers have the frontcourt size to win the rebounding battle, which would prove pivotal.
|01-07-22||Xavier v. Butler +5.5||Top||87-72||Loss||-110||19 h 5 m||Show|
Butler is being too undervalued here after looking bad during the second half of its, 71-56, home loss to Seton Hall this past Tuesday.
The 'dog has covered four of the past five times in this series.
Xavier has to deal with a rust factor having not played since Dec. 21. Butler is the 31st-ranked defensive team in the country.
This figures to be a low-possession type game where every point matters. That's evident by the low total. I can't see Xavier producing an ''A'' game, which will be needed to cover this mispriced point spread.
|01-06-22||Ohio State v. Indiana -2||Top||51-67||Win||100||18 h 36 m||Show|
The dynamics are in place for Indiana to beat Ohio State in this marquee Big Ten matchup.
The Hooisers are home following a 61-58 road loss to Penn State this past Sunday. Indiana is 9-0 at Assembly Hall with seven of those victories occurring by double-digits.
Ohio State got past Nebraska, 87-79, in overtime this past Sunday. That was the Buckeyes' first game since Dec. 11 because of COVID-19 issues. Indiana is a bad matchup for Ohio State at this stage of the Buckeyes' season as they try to round back into shape.
Indiana has a size advantage and should control the boards especially if Kyle Young, the Buckeyes' top defensive rebounder, can't play after missing the Nebraska game due to illness not related to COVID.
|01-04-22||Suns v. Pelicans +8||Top||123-110||Loss||-110||9 h 21 m||Show|
I'm expecting a good performance from the Pelicans here now that their two best players, Brandon Ingram and Jonas Valanciunas, have returned to the lineup. Both played last night in a 115-104 home loss to the Jazz. Each was rusty, not shooting well. The rust should be off now.
|01-03-22||Nuggets +3.5 v. Mavs||Top||89-103||Loss||-105||9 h 1 m||Show|
The Nuggets, like most NBA teams, are dealing with COVID issues. But they still have Nikola Jokic and Aaron Gordon just returned to the lineup following a hamstring injury. Denver also catches Dallas in a vulnerable spot.
So I'm going to go ahead and take the points with the road 'dog.
The Mavericks got Luka Doncic back in their 95-86 road win against the Thunder on Sunday. Doncic had missed 10 games. He was playing for the first time in 23 days, logging 31 minutes wearing a knee brace. Not surprisingly, he felt sore after the game. So Mavs coach Jason Kidd has to be careful how he uses Doncic in this back-to-back spot.
The Nuggets are the more rested team. This is their second game in six days. Dallas is in action for the fifth time in eight days. The Mavericks just concluded a five-game road trip so their concentration level could be off returning home following the holidays. Dallas hasn't been a good spread home team failing to cover in 14 of its last 20 home games.
|01-02-22||Vikings v. Packers -13||Top||10-37||Win||100||18 h 43 m||Show|
Aaron Rodgers is making a strong case to repeat as MVP throwing for 16 TD passes without an interception in his last five games. This includes a four-touchdown, 385-yard passing game against the Vikings. The Vikings pulled that game out, 34-31, as Kirk Cousins nearly matched Rodgers.
Now Cousins is out due to COVID. The line has skyrocketed because of that to where the Packers are laying two TD's instead of one.
Minnesota has played close games every week. But that was with Cousins. The Vikings aren't going to be able to keep up with Rodgers now that Sean Mannion will be their quarterback. Minnesota also is without its second best receiver, Adam Thielen.
The Vikings' defense has been disappointing a second straight season giving up 30.4 points in their last five games. The revenge-minded Packers are going to put up their share of points here.
I consider Mannion a stiff. I don't see him being able to elevate the Vikings, who have morale issues because of Cousins. Mike Zimmer has lost much of his luster, too. He could be on the way out.
|12-31-21||Clippers v. Raptors -6.5||Top||108-116||Win||100||8 h 4 m||Show|
The Raptors were one of many NBA teams ravaged by COVID. But now they should be back at nearly full strength getting back Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby and Scottie Barnes. That's a combined scoring mark of nearly 55 points. These key cogs will join Pascal Siakam, Gary Trent Jr. and Malachi Flynn, who returned in the Raptors' last game three days ago, a 114-109 home loss to the 76ers.
The Raptors are rejuvenated now and should be sky high being home to take on the Clippers, who are in a flat spot after beating the Celtics, 91-82, on the road two days ago. The Clippers are 2-8 ATS following a point spread cover. The Clippers are minus their two best players with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George both out. They also are missing Nicholas Batum and possibly Reggie Jackson.
The Clippers have yet to get it together this season. They were 1-5 before upsetting the Celtics.
|12-30-21||Arizona State v. Wisconsin -6||Top||13-20||Win||100||21 h 17 m||Show|
I see a class difference of more than a touchdown here. Current form counts for something, too.
The Badgers went 7-1 down the stretch. They led the nation in total defense and were sixth in scoring defense surrendering 16.4 points per game.
The Sun Devils are 96th in passing offense. Their QB, Jayden Daniels, hasn't lived up to lofty expectations.
The game is in Las Vegas. But Arizona State won't have a crowd advantage because the Badgers travel extremely well with tremendous fan support.
|12-29-21||Oregon v. Oklahoma -6.5||Top||32-47||Win||100||29 h 54 m||Show|
Opt-outs and transfers can greatly impact a bowl game. We saw it happen with Nevada in the Quick Lane Bowl on Monday when Western Michigan blew out the Wolf Pack, 52-24. Nevada was missing its star QB plus all of its best receivers.
Oregon is down around 30 scholarship players, including star defensive lineman Kayvon Thibodeaux. The Ducks did not look good down the stretch either losing a pair of games to Utah by the combined score of 76-17.
Oklahoma is a top-12 team in scoring and yards. I much prefer Sooners freshman QB Caleb Williams to the Ducks' inconsistent signal-caller, Anthony Brown. Williams took the starting job away from Spencer Rattler, who was considered a legitimate Heisman Trophy contender before the season. Williams threw for 1,670 yards with an 18-to-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
The game is being played in San Antonio, Texas. That's a plus for Oklahoma, which is the closer school and should have a higher fan turnout.
|12-27-21||Western Michigan -7 v. Nevada||Top||52-24||Win||100||13 h 41 m||Show|
Nevada faced a situational challenge for this Quick Lane Bowl with the game being played in Detroit. Another break for Western Michigan is the 8 a.m. West Coast start time. Nevada is used to playing its games late in the afternoon, or at night. But these situational disadvantages are nothing for the Wolf Pack compared to them losing nearly 20 players to opt outs or transfers. The list of those out for Nevada, include their star QB, Carson Strong, star tight end, Cole Turner, along with their three best wide receivers and two starting offensive linemen. The Wolf Pack have nothing left of their passing attack facing a Western Michigan defense that ranked in the top 30 in total defense. Nevada doesn't have a reliable ground attack to fall back on either since it averaged fewer than three yards per carry. The Broncos have a balanced offense that ranked 15th in the nation in total yards. Kaleb Eleby is one of the better QB's in the MAC and Skyy Moore was one of the top wide receivers in the conference.
|12-26-21||Broncos +1 v. Raiders||Top||13-17||Loss||-110||63 h 58 m||Show|
Both teams are 7-7. But I consider the Broncos to be the superior team. I like the Broncos' defense, coaching, running backs and wide receivers better than the Raiders. I also give Denver a checkmark at tight end if Darren Waller has to miss another week.
Denver has held opponents to 17 points or fewer in six of its last eight games. The Raiders have managed 16 points or fewer in six of their last seven games. Hunter Renfroe has emerged as the Raiders' most productive offensive player. He does his damage from the slot. However, the Broncos get back cornerback Bryce Callahan this week from a knee injury. He's one of the better slot coverage corners. He gives the Broncos a strong secondary to go with cornerback Patrick Surtain and safety Justin Simmons.
Drew Lock is going to start for injured Teddy Bridgewater. I welcome that change from a Denver standpoint. Lock doesn't have Bridgewater's accuracy, but he's more of a downfield threat. He is better equipped to take advantage of the Broncos many receiving weapons, which include Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick and Noah Fant. Lock has been turnover-prone in the past. The Raiders, though, have a league-low five interceptions, only three by their cornerbacks. The Raiders' secondary also is dealing with COVID-19 and injuries. Safety Jonathan Abram is out for the season.
I also give the Broncos a strong running back edge with Melvin Gordon and good-looking rookie Javonte Williams. They can take the pressure off Lock. The Raiders have only eight sacks in their last six games.
|12-23-21||49ers v. Titans +3.5||Top||17-20||Win||100||21 h 9 m||Show|
I want the Titans going for me in a Thursday night home underdog role desperately needing a victory. The Titans have cobbled together a serviceable ground attack without Derrick Henry and they're getting back their two best wide receivers, A.J. Brown and Julio Jones.
That's huge for Ryan Tannehill, who has suffered without his two top targets. The 49ers are banged-up in the secondary. They also will be missing their leading rusher, Elijah Mitchell.
San Francisco is ground-oriented. The 49ers set up the pass via running the ball. The Titans, however, rank No. 2 in run defense. Tennessee has improved very much defensively. Discounting giving up 36 points to the Patriots, the Titans have held their past five opponents to an average of 15.6 points. They just held the Steelers to 168 total yards last week. That was the least amount of yards Tennessee has permitted in 11 years.
The 49ers are on a nice roll, but I don't consider them an elite NFC team worthy of beating a similar-caliber AFC team.
|12-20-21||Thunder +9 v. Grizzlies||Top||102-99||Win||100||9 h 11 m||Show|
This is the revenge game of the year for Oklahoma City. The Grizzlies broke an NBA record for largest victory margin when they buried the Thunder, 152-179, at home on Dec. 2.
The Thunder surely will be highly motivated. They have some confidence, too, after nipping the Clippers, 104-103, this past Saturday. Lugentz Dort, one of the more underrated players in the league, is back for the Thunder after being out with an ankle injury.
Oklahoma City is 8-2 ATS the last 10 times as an underdog.
Memphis could be coming back to earth after falling, 105-100, to the Trail Blazers on Sunday. The Grizzlies were 10-1 going into that game. Memphis still is without injured Ja Morant. This will be the Grizzlies' fourth game in six days, too. So there's a fatigue issue with them.
|12-19-21||Falcons +10 v. 49ers||Top||13-31||Loss||-117||44 h 15 m||Show|
No team has been worse as a big home favorite than the 49ers under Kyle Shanahan. San Francisco has failed to cover the last 10 times they've been home chalk when laying 5 or more points. All together, they are 4-15-1 ATS in this role.
The Falcons have been at their best on the road winning six of eight games away from Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Cordarrelle Patterson has emerged this season as a rushing/receiver threat rather than just a dangerous kick returner. His presence relieves much of the pressure on Matt Ryan to have to win this game himself. The Falcons' ground game has picked up thanks to Patterson, averaging 132.6 rushing yards the past three games.
Atlanta remains in the playoff hunt so a hard effort should be a given.
San Francisco has been hard hit by injuries in the secondary and at running back. The 49ers are ground-oriented with a game-manager type QB in Jimmy Garoppolo. They are not geared to covering big margins like this.