NBA There are several teams that offer value tonight in the NBA as underdogs. For starters, the Heat are a 2-point road dogs versus a solid Clippers team but Miami has played up and down to its competition all year. This is a team that is essentially biding its time before the playoffs begin but gets up for marquee opponents, save for their loss last week versus the Thunder. I expect to see Miami’s best effort tonight. I also like Minnesota as a 10-point underdog versus Oklahoma City. The T-Wolves might be stuck in 10th place in the Western Conference but their point differential of +4.4 tells a story of a team that competes night in and night out. It’s the same line of reasoning that I give for liking the Suns getting +7.5 at Houston. The Spurs (-1.5 at Washington), the Hawks (+3 at New Orleans), Trail Blazers (-2.5 at New York) and Toronto (+1 at Sacramento) also offer some value as road underdogs or small favorites.
NHL Good teams coming off a loss also represent value and at -113, the Ducks have value tonight against a Blackhawks team that has lost five of their last seven games. The Ducks have dropped two in a row but they’re 22-4-2 at home this year and have only lost three straight once this season (during a five-game skid in November when they played four of those five games on the road). The Hawks haven’t received great goaltending this year and the Ducks can out-shoot any opponent when their on. I like the price on the home favorite.
College Basketball St. Louis is one of the best-kept secrets in college basketball thanks to their unrelenting defense and total embrace of their identity. St. Joe’s is underrated in the A-10 but SLU is a different animal that has already received a couple of scares in recent games versus George Mason and Duquesne. You could say that the Billikins are due to finally trip up but as a 1-point favorite, you can’t beat the price. Meanwhile, I don’t know what else Oklahoma has to do to earn respect. Granted, the Sooners lost 81-75 to Iowa State over the weekend but they covered as an 8-point favorite and the game was closer than the final score would indicate. They also beat Baylor, which was ranked 12th at the time, and Oklahoma State when it was ranked 8th. West Virginia’s most impressive victory was against Baylor in late January. I hardly think that merits the Mountaineers being a 3-point favorite versus an Oklahoma team that is clearly underrated.
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