Betting News and Notes - Jan 24

Betting News and Notes - Jan 24

Thursday in the NBA
By Josh Jacobs

The usual three game card on Thursday night will fill up another day of hoops for the bettor and fan.

All three games ready for launch are somewhat lopsided (with the exception of even talent between Indiana and Milwaukee). But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t any value or opportunity for financial gain to take advantage of. Let’s take a look at the action and some scenarios that could work in your gambling favor.

**San Antonio at Miami**

What can we say about the Heat?

Miami is 8-32 SU on the season, they’re involved in a 14-game losing streak and they’ve won only four contests at home!

In the money department, the Heat have stunk up the American Airlines Arena with a 4-22 against the spread record in their last 26 games. In its last 20 matches, Miami has posted a pitiful 2-18 ATS return on bettors’ money.

So, until this team from the bottom of the map (literally), can break the losing trend all indications are pointing to the fade on Miami.

Heading into the city of Miami, San Antonio hasn’t been all it could be. Posting an average 5-5 SU performance, the Spurs have truly struggled in cashing tickets with a 2-8 ATS slide. One solid number that should work in San Antonio’s favor on Thursday is the 7-4 ATS record produced on the road against teams playing under .500.

Keep this in mind; while the Spurs have crashed so far with a 1-6 ATS ledger in their last seven games with zero days rest, the Heat haven’t done much better with a 2-4 ATS record when coming off two days of rest.

Talking on a players’ standpoint, Miami’s center Shaquille O’Neal will sit on the bench for an undisclosed period of time with an ailing hip injury. Production wise, the Heat’s Dwyane Wade has been a one-man band, shooting for 26.6 PPG in his last nine. When Wade has eclipsed the 30-point mark, the Heat have limped into the win column with a 4-8 SU record.

The Spurs have seen their numbers, on offense and defense, head in opposite direction on both offense and defense on the road. Scoring an average of 97.2 PG, San Antonio has found the net for a much lower 94.9 PPG when traveling. On ‘D’, this same squad has allowed a stingy 91.5 PPG throughout the season, but is sacrificing 94.6 PPG in other teams’ arenas.

**New Jersey at Golden State**


Talking about teams falling flat on their faces (or better put, teams who have been falling on their faces all season long), the Nets have been abominable in their last 10. Losing six straight (0-6 ATS), New Jersey has shot an awful 42% from the field and is allowing opponents to shoot an incredibly high 51% from within the arch.

Looking to become the cause of Jersey’s longest losing streak in three years, the Warriors will apply its scoring machine tactics. Knocking out the electronics in scoreboards around the country, Golden State has rallied to produce 111.5 PPG in its last 10.

Coming off two days of rest, the Warriors’ Baron Davis, Stephen Jackson and Monta Ellis have combined to average 22.1 PPG. The team as a whole is knocking down the ball in the basket for 109.5 PPG (coming off two days of rest).

High scoring is name of the game for Golden State. This squad has rocked the rim for a total of 205 points in its contests 95% of the time and is still seeing 53% of its games reaching a high total of 215 points.

On the other hand, New Jersey has reached 190 points in contests only 43% of the time. This group has seen the success rate of 30% when games have reached 200 total points.

For Jersey, Vince Carter has been far from getting off the schnide. In January, his scoring numbers are down 4.2 PPG when compared to December’s production (23.7 PPG in December compared to 19.5 in January).

The Nets enter Thursday with a 1-5 ATS in their last six versus NBA Pacific teams, while the Warriors are 6-1 ATS in their last seven following a SU loss.

In their last four head-to-head matchups, New Jersey has gone 4-0 ATS.

Bonus Tips

-- Indiana will travel to Milwaukee for an 8:00 p.m. EST matchup.

-- The Pacers have hit a posted a money trail in the black recently, going 5-1 ATS in their last six. However, a disappointing 4-6 SU slide is a basic summary for Indiana’s season.

-- At home this season, the Bucks are 11-7 SU and 8-10 ATS. Dropping three in a row against Golden State, New Orleans and Phoenix, Milwaukee has lost three or more consecutively five times in 2007-08.

-- As for injuries, the Bucks David Noel is expected to return sometime in the near future as he recovers from early December wrist surgery. Maurice Williams’ status is currently unknown when he sprained his left pinkie finger early this week.

-- The Bucks own an edge on the line when playing within their division. Milwaukee is 4-2 ATS when playing divisional foes, while Indiana is a skimp 1-4 ATS in the same scenario.

-- Indiana does posses a higher success rate at hitting the ‘over’ this season with a total record of 23-18-1.

-- The home team is 10-3-2 ATS in the last 15 head-to-head meetings.

-- The Bucks are 2-6 ATS in eight total games at home versus teams with a losing record.

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Wake's Williams to miss 3 weeks
January 23, 2008

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -Wake Forest starting shooting guard L.D. Williams will miss about three weeks with a broken right hand.

Williams was injured in the second half of the Demon Deacons' overtime loss to Clemson on Tuesday when a Clemson player inadvertently stepped on his hand. He's scheduled to have a minor surgical procedure on Thursday,

The sophomore has started every game at Wake Forest and is averaging 10.1 points and 4.3 rebounds.

Wake Forest got better news Wednesday regarding center Chas McFarland. An MRI on McFarland's sprained right knee came back negative. McFarland, who was also injured against Clemson, is listed as day-to-day.

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Bulls shut down Deng

Forward will miss "a significant period of time" with Achilles injury

In yet another blow for the Bulls, interim coach Jim Boylan said Wednesday that forward Luol Deng would be "shut down" for "a significant period of time" because of his sore left Achilles.

Boylan wouldn't guess as to the length of Deng's absence, but it will be weeks, not days. The Bulls already are without guard Chris Duhon, who has a bad bone bruise in his left knee.

Deng, who played the entire regular season in 2006-07, missed three games earlier this season with a sore back. Deng said favoring his back contributed to this injury, which sidelined him for four games until he returned on Jan. 13 in Atlanta.

Deng played four games until suffering a relapse of the condition during the fourth quarter of the Jan. 18 home game against the Warriors. Wednesday night's tip against the Pacers will mark the third straight game Deng has missed in his second absence with the injury.

The situation recalls the plantar fasciitis battled most of last season by Andres Nocioni, who will replace Deng in the starting lineup. Nocioni also tried to return from his lingering injury before experiencing a relapse and forcing him out a total of 28 games.

tribune.com

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Several Heat players miss practice

The Heat listed seven players as missing Wednesday's practice after what Riley called a ''physical'' game against Cleveland two nights earlier: Wade (general soreness), Ricky Davis (lower back spasm), Udonis Haslem (chest contusion) and Daequan Cook (flu-like symptoms) joined already-absent O'Neal (hip), Alonzo Mourning (knee) and Smush Parker (paid leave) in missing practice.

Riley said ''we'll see'' how it affects Thursday's lineup, though he expects Mark Blount to start in O'Neal's place.

miamiherald.com

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NBA Today

SCOREBOARD Thursday, Jan. 24

New Jersey at Golden State (10:30 p.m. EST). The Nets have dropped six straight, including three in a row on their West Coast road trip.

STARS Wednesday

-Kirk Hinrich, Bulls, scored a career-high 38 points with 10 assists to lead Chicago to a 108-95 win over the Indiana Pacers.

-Cavaliers team, set season highs in margin of victory, assists (39), points in a quarter (43) and field-goal shooting (56) in a 121-85 win over the Washington Wizards.

-Amare Stoudemire, Suns, scored 33 points in a 117-107 win over the Timberwolves.

-Jose Calderon, Raptors, converted a go-ahead, three-point play with 10.5 seconds left and finished with 24 points and 13 assists to lead Toronto to a 114-112 victory over the Celtics.

-Tim Duncan, Spurs, had 28 points and 17 rebounds in a 103-91 win over the Lakers.

-Marcus Camby, Nuggets, had 21 rebounds with 13 points in a 107-100 win over the Hawks.

STEPPING UP

Kirk Hinrich scored a career-high 38 points, and the Chicago Bulls beat the Indiana Pacers 108-95 on Wednesday night even though their two best players were injured. The Bulls learned earlier in the day that forward Luol Deng would miss one to three weeks because of his recurring left Achilles' tendinitis. Then, they found out that leading scorer Ben Gordon would sit out with a sprained right wrist.

BLITZED

LeBron James scored 23 points, Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 24 without missing from the floor and the Cleveland Cavaliers handled the Washington Wizards 121-85 on Wednesday night for their season-high fifth straight victory. Ilgauskas went 10-for-10 from the field, blocked three shots and spent the entire fourth quarter resting on the bench as the Cavs set season highs in margin of victory, assists (39), points in a quarter (43) and field-goal shooting (56).

BY THE NUMBERS

Josh Smith had a triple-double for the Hawks in a 107-100 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night, finishing with 22 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.

BOMBS AWAY

Hedo Turkoglu scored 26 points, and the Orlando Magic made a team-record 18 3-pointers in a 112-85 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night. Turkoglu was 6-for-8 outside the arc for Orlando, which hit 55 percent of its 3s. The Magic's previous record for 3-pointers was 16 against the Atlanta Hawks on April 18, 1996.

STREAKS

The Houston Rockets rallied to beat Seattle 109-107 Wednesday night, handing the SuperSonics' their 12th straight loss. ... The New Orleans Hornets extended their season-best winning streak to six games with a 96-81 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. ... The Cleveland Cavaliers handled the Washington Wizards 121-85 for their season-high fifth straight victory. ... The Nuggets have won six straight games at home.

STRONG IN DEFEAT

Al Jefferson scored a career-high 39 points with 15 rebounds in Minnesota's 117-107 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night. ... Indiana's Danny Granger scored a career-high 33 points in a 108-95 loss to the Chicago Bulls.

SPEAKING

''Offensively we were unbelievable, nearly perfect. It was pretty dang gone good.'' - LeBron James, after Cleveland set season highs in margin of victory, assists (39), points in a quarter (43) and field-goal shooting (56) in a 121-85 win over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

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San Antonio Spurs vs. Miami Heat

- The San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat will both be trying to pick up a win on Thursday when they battle at AmericanAirlines Arena.

The Spurs outscored the Lakers by 19 points in the third quarter, and propelled them to a 103-91 win last time out. The Spurs covered the 7.5-point spread, while the 194 points fell UNDER the posted total of 197.

Tim Duncan tossed in 28 points and hauled down 17 rebounds to complete a double-double in the win.

The Heat lost 97-90 to the Cavaliers last time out, as 4-point underdogs. The combined 187 points made it OVER the posted total of 186.5.

Dwyane Wade shot 17-for-29 from the field with a game-high 42 points, six rebounds and seven assists in the loss.

Current streak:
San Antonio has won 2 straight games.
Miami has lost 14 straight games.

Team records:
San Antonio: 27-13 SU, 20-20 ATS
Miami: 8-33 SU, 14-27 ATS

San Antonio most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 6-4
Before playing New Orleans are 7-3
After playing LA Lakers are 7-3
After a win are 4-6

Miami most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 4-6
Before playing Indiana are 6-4
After playing Cleveland are 6-4
After a loss are 0-10

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of San Antonio's last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of San Antonio's last 11 games when playing on the road against Miami
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of San Antonio's last 8 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 14 of San Antonio's last 16 games when playing Miami
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Miami's last 11 games when playing at home against San Antonio
The total has gone UNDER in 14 of Miami's last 16 games when playing San Antonio
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Miami's last 8 games at home
Miami is 6-2 ATS in its last 8 games when playing at home against San Antonio

Next up:
San Antonio home to New Orleans, Saturday, January 26
Miami home to Indiana, Saturday, January 26

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Indiana Pacers vs. Milwaukee Bucks

- Divisional bragging rights will be on the line on Thursday when the Indiana Pacers and the Milwaukee Bucks meet at Bradley Center.

The Pacers were defeated 108-95 by the Bulls last time out, as 4-point favoorites. The combined score fell UNDER the posted total of 204.

Danny Granger shot 11-for-18 from the field with 33 points and seven rebounds.

The Bucks lost 114-105 to the Suns last time out, as 8-point underdogs. The combined score made it OVER the posted total of 214.5.

Michael Redd shot 10-for-20 from the field with 28 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Bucks.

Current streak:
Milwaukee has lost 3 straight games.

Team records:
Indiana: 19-24 SU, 21-21-1 ATS
Milwaukee: 16-26 SU, 18-23-1 ATS

Indiana most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 5-5
Before playing Miami are 5-5
After playing Chicago are 3-7
After a loss are 4-6

Milwaukee most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 2-8
Before playing Toronto are 5-5
After playing Phoenix are 4-6
After a loss are 3-7

A few trends to consider:
Indiana is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing Milwaukee
Indiana is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
Indiana is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games
Indiana is 5-1-1 ATS in its last 7 games when playing Milwaukee
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Milwaukee's last 8 games
Milwaukee is 11-4 SU in its last 15 games when playing at home against Indiana
Milwaukee is 6-3 ATS in its last 9 games when playing at home against Indiana
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Milwaukee's last 12 games when playing at home against Indiana

Next up:
Indiana at Miami, Saturday, January 26
Milwaukee at Toronto, Friday, January 25

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New Jersey Nets vs. Golden State Warriors

- The New Jersey Nets and the Golden State Warriors will both be trying to pick up a win on Thursday when they battle at Oracle Arena.

The Nets were cut down 128-94 by the Kings last time out, as 6-point road underdogs. The 222 points sailed OVER the posted total of 202.

Vince Carter scored 21 points with three boards and eight assists in the loss.

The Warriors were upset 109-108 by the Timberwolves last time out, as 12-point favorites at home. The combined score made it OVER the posted total of 213.

Monta Ellis had a team-high 28 points for the Warriors and Matt Barnes added 20 in the loss.

Current streak:
New Jersey has lost 6 straight games.

Team records:
New Jersey: 18-23 SU, 15-25-1 ATS
Golden State: 25-18 SU, 20-23 ATS

New Jersey most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 5-5
Before playing Denver are 3-7
After playing Sacramento are 3-7
After a loss are 4-6

Golden State most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 5-5
Before playing New York are 3-7
After playing Minnesota are 5-5
After a loss are 9-1

A few trends to consider:
New Jersey is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 games when playing Golden State
The total has gone OVER in 4 of New Jersey's last 5 games on the road
New Jersey is 8-2 SU in its last 10 games when playing Golden State
New Jersey is 9-4 ATS in its last 13 games when playing on the road against Golden State
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Golden State's last 5 games
Golden State is 11-4 SU in its last 15 games at home
Golden State is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games
Golden State is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games when playing at home against New Jersey

Next up:
New Jersey at Denver, Friday, January 25
Golden State home to New York, Sunday, January 27

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Thursday’s Pregame Buzz

NBA
       
San Antonio Spurs at Miami Heat


* Spurs are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
* Heat are 4-22 ATS in their last 26 home games.
* Heat are 14-37-1 ATS in their last 52 games overall.
* Home team is 10-4-1 ATS in the last 15 meetings.
* The UNDER is 13-2 in the last 15 meetings.
* The UNDER is 9-4 in San Antonio's last 13 games vs. Southeast Division.
* The UNDER is 7-1 in San Antonio's last 8 road games.
* The OVER is 6-2 in Miami's last 8 home games.
       
Indiana Pacers at Milwaukee Bucks

* Pacers are 2-9-1 ATS in their last 12 games vs. Central Division.
* Pacers are 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 Thursday games.
* Bucks are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 home games.
* Home team is 10-3-2 ATS in the last 15 meetings.
* The OVER is 7-1 in Indiana's last 8 games vs. Central Divison.

New Jersey Nets at Golden State Warriors


* New Jersey has tied a season-long losing streak by dropping 6 in a row after getting blown out by Sacramento 128-94 on Wednesday. "Just a dismal performance," Nets head coach Lawrence Frank said. "It starts with containment on the ball. We couldn't do that. We also couldn't close out on their shooters - we are simply playing very poorly." They are halfway through a season-high 6-game road trip. EDGE: WARRIORS
* Golden State has not lost consecutive home games since dropping 4 in a row at Oracle Arena to start the season. The Warriors are coming off a shocking home loss to Minnesota on Monday and began a stretch of playing 13 of 16 games at home with that setback. "I'm pretty disappointed with our performance tonight," Golden State head coach Don Nelson said. "There didn't seem to be much energy, much passion, or much urgency to the game. We've been playing very well but we laid an egg tonight." SLIGHT EDGE: NETS
The Nets have won 3 of the last 4 meetings SU with the Warriors along with 8 of the past 10. The Nets are 9-1 ATS during that stretch, and point guard Jason Kidd is from Oakland, so this is a homecoming game for him. EDGE: NETS
* Warriors are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games as a favorite.
* The UNDER is 6-2 in New Jersey's last 8 games as an underdog.
* The OVER is 8-3 in New Jersey's last 11 games vs. Pacific Division.
* The OVER is 7-2 in Golden State's last 9 Thursday games.
       
CBB - Stats Matchups

#3 Duke at Virginia Tech


* The OVER is 6-2 in Virginia Tech's last 8 games.

Seton Hall at Providence


* Seton Hall is 2-7 ATS in its last 9 Thursday games.
* Seton Hall is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings.
* Providence is 9-4-1 ATS in its last 14 Thursday games.
* The OVER is 11-4 in Seton Hall's last 15 games vs. Big East.
* The OVER is 37-17-1 in Seton Hall's last 55 games overall.
* The UNDER is 7-2 in Providence's last 9 Thursday games.
* The UNDER is 9-4 in Providence's last 13 home games.

#10 Michigan State at Northwestern

* Northwestern is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 home games.
* The OVER is 7-2 in Northwestern's last 9 vs. Big Ten.
* The Over is 11-4 in Northwestern's last 15 overall.
* The UNDER is 9-3 in Michgan State's last 12 Thursday games.
* The UNDER is 17-7-2 in Michigan State's last 26 games vs. Big Ten.

#7 UCLA at Oregon

* UCLA is 8-1 ATS in the last 9 meetings.
* Oregon is 10-2 ATS in its last 12 games vs. Pacific-10.
* Oregon is 12-3-1 ATS in its last 16 home games.
* Oregon is 4-9 ATS in its last 13 Thursday games.
* The OVER is 9-4 in UCLA's last 13 games vs. Pacific-10.
* The UNDER is 9-4 in UCLA's last 13 Thursday games.

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(4) Duke (15-1, 9-6 ATS) at Virginia Tech (11-7, 8-7 ATS)

Duke, the only ACC team with an unbeaten league record, shoots for its sixth consecutive overall victory when it heads to Blacksburg, Va., for a league clash against the Hokies.

The Blue Devils withstood a tough challenge from Clemson on Saturday, eventually pulling away for a 93-80 victory and cashing as a nine-point home chalk. Duke has covered in all three of its ACC contests, including a 70-57 rout of Florida State as a 5½-point favorite in its only league road game to this point.

Virginia Tech opened ACC play with a pair of one-point wins over Maryland at home (67-66) and Virginia on the road (70-69 in overtime). However, the Hokies came up short at Georgia Tech on Saturday, falling 81-70 as a 4 ½-point road underdog, snapping a three-game winning streak. Seth Greenberg’s team is just 1-3 ATS in its last four lined games.

Virginia Tech stunned the Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium last year, pulling off a 69-67 overtime win as an 8½-point road underdog in the season’s only meeting. The teams have split their last four battles, with the Hokies going 3-1 ATS.

Duke has a decided offensive advantage in this contest, averaging 85 ppg for the season (sixth-best nationally), including 83.3 ppg in ACC play, while Virginia Tech scores 67.6 ppg. The Hokies rate a slight edge on defense, giving up 60.7 ppg, while the Blue Devils surrender 64.1 ppg.

The Hokies are 8-0 at home this year, but only five of those have been against lined foes (3-2 ATS).

Duke is 6-1 SU but 2-5 ATS away from home (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS in true road games).

Both squads are 1-5 ATS in their last six games played on Thursday.

The over is 3-0 in the last three series meetings and 6-2 in the Hokies’ last eight overall. However, Duke had stayed under the number in five straight games before Saturday’s shootout with Clemson easily got over the total.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER


(16) Dayton (14-2, 7-4 ATS) at (23) Xavier (15-4, 7-8 ATS)

Two ranked teams from the Atlantic 10 Conference square off when the Flyers head to Cincinnati to take on instate rival Xavier.

Dayton has been idle since Jan. 16, when it suffered just its second loss of the season, an 82-71 setback to Massachusetts as a six-point home chalk, snapping a 13-game winning streak (7-2 ATS in lined games). The Flyers had gotten off to a 2-0 SU and ATS start in A-10 play with a 92-83 home win over Rhode Island laying three points and a 68-57 overtime victory at Saint Louis as a four-point chalk. Dayton combined to shoot 52 of 98 (53 percent) in the two wins, but hit just 25 of 67 (37.3 percent) in the loss to the Minutemen.

Xavier topped George Washington 74-66 Saturday but failed to cash as a hefty 11½-point road favorite, its fourth straight ATS setback, all in league play (3-1 SU in the A-10). The Musketeers are shooting 48 percent from the field on the year (40.0 percent on 3-pointers), but have dropped to 44 percent shooting in conference play while allowing opponents to hit 45.4 percent of their attempts.

Xavier is on a 3-0 SU and ATS run in this series, all coming last season. The Musketeers won 83-67 at home as a 13½-point chalk, 75-67 giving 5½ points on the road, then rolled to a 72-51 win as a 10-point favorite in the A-10 tournament in Atlantic City.

Also in this rivalry, the favorite is on a 4-0 ATS run, the home team is 5-2 ATS in the last seven and Dayton is 1-4 ATS in its last five trips to Xavier.

The Flyers are 3-1 ATS as an underdog this season and 4-1 ATS following a non-cover. But they are 1-4 ATS in their last four Thursday contests.

Conversely, the Musketeers are 5-1-1 ATS on Thursday and 38-17-1 ATS against teams with a winning percentage above .600. On the negative side, Xavier is 0-5 ATS following a spread loss and 0-5 ATS in Atlantic 10 play dating to last season.

For Dayton, the over is on runs of 21-7 overall (9-2 in lined games this year), 14-6 in league action and 5-1 on Thursday. For Xavier, the over is 23-9 in its last 32 home starts. Finally, two of the three meetings between these schools last year hurdled the total.

ATS ADVANTAGE: XAVIER and OVER


(6) Washington State (16-1, 10-6 ATS) at Arizona (12-6, 8-7-1 ATS)

The Cougars, off to a solid start in Pac-10 Conference play, look to keep it going when they travel to Tucson to face Arizona.

Washington State snapped a 13-game losing skid to Oregon with Sunday’s come-from-behind 69-60 victory, but came up just short as a 9½-point home favorite. The Cougars moved to 4-1 in the Pac-10 (3-2 ATS), including 2-1 SU and ATS on the road. For the season, they are shooting 50.1 percent from the field (sixth in the nation) and lead the country in scoring defense, surrendering just 52.5 ppg. Washington State has given up 60 points or less in four of its five conference outings.

Arizona ended a four-game road trip and improved to 2-3 SU and ATS in Pac-10 play with Saturday’s 79-75 upset win at California as a 1½-point pup. The Wildcats, who have followed up an 0-4 ATS drought by cashing in three straight games, shoot the ball well (48.6 percent overall), though they’ve dipped to 45.2 percent in conference play.

Washington State upset Arizona twice last year, including a 72-66 road win as a seven-point pup in February. Arizona holds a 7-3 SU edge in the last 10 series meetings, but the Cougars went 8-1 ATS in lined contests over that span, all as an underdog.

The Cougars are on several positive ATS runs, including 6-1 on the road overall, 9-1 on the highway against teams with a winning record and 4-1 on Thursday.

The Wildcats are 8-3-1 ATS in their last 11 versus teams with a winning percentage above .600 and 5-2 ATS in their last seven off a spread-cover. But they are on negative ATS runs of 5-14 at home dating to last season (0-2 ATS at home in league play this year), 5-16 in Thursday games and 3-10 against teams with a winning road mark (Washington State is 8-1 SU in road/neutral site contests).

The over is on runs of 5-2 for Washington State on the road, 4-0 for Washington State against winning teams, 35-16-1 for Arizona on Thursday and 4-0 in this rivalry.

ATS ADVANTAGE: WASHINGTON STATE and OVER


(8) UCLA (16-2, 9-6-2 ATS) at Oregon (12-6, 9-6-1 ATS)

UCLA, aiming to shake off an upset loss to archrival Southern Cal, travels up the coast to Eugene, Ore., for a Pac-10 contest against the Ducks.

The Bruins had a nine-game winning streak halted in Saturday’s stinging 72-63 home loss to USC as a 12-point chalk. It was UCLA’s first Pac-10 defeat in five contests this season (3-2 ATS), In their first four conference outings, the Bruins shot a sturdy 50.9 percent from the field, but against USC, they went 22 of 66 (33.3 percent).

Oregon lost at Washington State 69-60 on Sunday, but got the cash as a 9½-point pup, moving to 4-1 ATS in its last five starts, all conference games. The Ducks (3-3 SU, 4-2 ATS in the Pac-10) are shooting 49.0 percent on the year, but just 46.0 percent in conference.

These two teams split their meetings last year, with the host winning and cashing in each, including Oregon’s 68-66 victory as a two-point underdog in Eugene last January. The Bruins, though, are still 8-1 ATS in the last nine meetings (6-3 SU) and 4-1 ATS in their last five trips to Oregon.

Both squads have little trouble scoring, as the Bruins average 74.2 ppg, while the Ducks pour in 80.4 ppg. The difference comes on the defensive end of the floor, as UCLA yields just 57.9 ppg, compared with 73.1 ppg for Oregon. However, the Bruins have allowed their last two opponents to top the 70-point barrier after holding their first 16 opponents to 67 points or less.

The Bruins are 2-0 SU and ATS in Pac-10 road games so far. For the season, they’re 4-1-1 ATS on the highway, as well as 7-1 ATS against winning teams and 6-1 ATS following an ATS setback. Also, when coming off three or more consecutive home games, Ben Howland’s troops are on a 16-5 ATS roll.

The Ducks are on positive ATS spurts of 12-3-1 at home, 4-0 coming off a loss and 10-2 in Pac-10 action. However, they are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 Thursday games and 1-6 ATS in their last seven against opponents with a winning record.

These teams have stayed under the total in seven consecutive meetings overall and seven consecutive battles in Oregon. Furthermore, for Oregon, the under is on streaks of 4-0 overall, 6-0 against teams with a winning record, 38-17 on Thursday and 35-16-1 following a spread-cover. For UCLA, the under is on runs of 6-0 against winning teams, 5-2 on the highway and 9-4 on Thursday.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UCLA and UNDER


San Antonio (27-13, 19-20-1 ATS) at Miami (8-33, 14-27 ATS)

The woeful Heat take the floor tonight at the American Airlines Arena staring at their 15th consecutive loss when they host Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and the defending champion Spurs.

Dwyane Wade scored 42 points, including his team’s final 18, on Monday against the Cavaliers, but it wasn’t enough, as the Heat fell 97-90 as a four-point home underdog. Miami is 1-13 ATS during its 14-game losing streak, which is the franchise’s longest slide since starting 0-17 in its inaugural season in 1988-89.

During its current losing skid, Miami has lost six straight home games both SU and ATS, including going 0-4 SU and ATS in its ongoing seven-game homestand. For the season, the Heat are 4-15 SU and ATS in South Beach, with the straight-up winner going 17-2 ATS in these 19 contests. Finally, going back to last year, they’re 4-22 ATS at home.

San Antonio is coming off Wednesday night’s 103-91 come-from-behind win over the Lakers as a 7½-point home chalk. Although the Spurs have won consecutive games, they’ve still been surprisingly inconsistent over the past six weeks, losing 11 of their last 20, and they haven’t won three in a row since a five-game winning streak from Nov. 28-Dec. 7. Gregg Popovich’s team is also just 5-12 ATS in its last 17 outings, including 3-8 ATS in the last 11.

The Spurs dusted Miami 88-78 on Nov. 7, but came up shy as an 11½-point home chalk. The home team has won each of the last three meetings and eight of the last 10. Also, the host is on a 10-4-1 ATS roll in this series, with the Heat going 5-2 ATS in the last seven clashes in South Beach.

The straight-up winner is 7-2-1 ATS in the last 10 head-to-head tussles.

In addition to its current 1-13 ATS slump and its poor pointspread record at home, the Heat are mired in further ATS funks of 14-37-1 overall, 0-4 on Thursdays, 0-4 when playing on two days of rest, 0-4 against the Western Conference and 2-11 as an underdog. One positive, though: Pat Riley’s squad is 6-1 ATS when catching nine points or more, including the spread-cover at San Antonio back in November.

San Antonio is 10-6 ATS when favored by eight points or more and 4-0 ATS in its last four against the Southeast Division. However, the Spurs sport negative ATS trends of 1-5 on the road, 1-5 on Thursdays, 1-5 against the Eastern Conference and 1-7 when playing on back-to-back nights.

For the Spurs, the under is on streaks of 5-0 overall, 7-1 on the road, 4-0 against the Eastern Conference and 9-4 against Southeast Division foes. The under is also 13-2 in the last 15 battles in this rivalry, including 6-1 in Miami.

ATS ADVANTAGE: SAN ANTONIO and UNDER

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Doc's Sports Picks For College Basketball

4 Unit Play. #569 Take Austin Peay -8 over Jacksonville State
Yes, this game is actually on TV and the Governors have a major edge in talent and will demonstrate that tonight in Alabama. The Govs have dominated the all-time series against Jacksonville State, winning nine of the 10 matchups, which includes a 71-55 victory over the Gamecocks earlier this season. The Gamecocks play no defense allowing an amazing 77 points per game and that alone will allow Peay to win this affair by double-digits.

5 Unit Play. #582 Take Northern Colorado -2 over Montana State
We have gone against the Bears numerous times at Pavilion this season and came up short, so as the saying goes, “If you can’t beat them, join them.” We will do that tonight riding the Bears, who are a much better team when playing in Greenly, Colorado. The Bears are 6-1 at home this season and have played up during their non-conference schedule playing the likes of Iowa, Gonzaga, and Air Force. They have some quality wins at home as well beating Bowling Green, Denver, Colorado State, and Weber State. They are coming off a three game road trip and have had five days off and will be ready for some home cooking against a mediocre Bobcat squad.

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Strike Point Sports Picks For College Basketball

4-Unit Play. #555 Take Siena -2 over Loyola Maryland

In this MAAC tilt, it will be Siena that will come away with the win and improve their conference mark to an impressive 8-1. The Saints have really turned it up of late, winning and covering their last four games. Now they face a Greyhounds team that is under .500 and has been inconsistent all season long. The road team in this series is 9-1 ATS in the last ten meetings, while Siena has also covered four of the last five. The road favorite are the play here, so lay the small number with them in this spot.

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Robert Ferringo's Picks For College Basketball

2-Unit Play. Take #516 Louisiana Tech (+10) over Utah State
LT has been playing better ball lately. They’ve covered three straight on the road, including covers against two of the top three teams in the league. Also, Utah State hasn’t played an away game since Dec. 8. The Aggies are just 1-5 ATS in their past six road games and 1-8 ATS against teams with a winning percentage below .400. They don’t score very much so that makes covering a double-digit pad that much more difficult. Also, if USU covers we’ll make more than double this when they head to NMSU this weekend, especially if NMSU loses as well. Finally, over 70 percent of the action is on Utah State but the line is dropping.

2.5-Unit Play. Take #522 Wisconsin-Green Bay (-2.5) over Cleveland State
No, I’m not sick of going against CSU. I think they are out of the bubble of playing seven of their last 10 at home and I think the momentum wave of their stunning wins over Valpo and Butler last week has broken. Conversely, UW-GB is coming off a brutal stretch where it played Wright State, at Butler, at Valpo, and then at home in a big rivalry game against UW-Milwaukee. The Phoenix played one of their worst games of the season their last time out and could be primed for an inspired bounceback performance. Green Bay is 5-1 ATS in its last six against Cleveland State and have won nine of the last 10 meetings.

2-Unit Play. Take #507 Loyola-Chicago (+19) over Butler
The Rambler’s have been playing and shooting better since the first of the year. They lost to three of the better teams in the league – Butler, Cleveland State, and Wright State – by an average of under seven points apiece and they were able to stay within 12 of the Bulldogs at home a few weeks ago. Butler is 1-8-1 ATS in conference play and Loyola is 9-3 ATS in their last 12 road games.

2-Unit Play. Take #542 New Mexico State (-4.5) over Nevada
The Aggies have been playing very good ball over the past three weeks and I look for that to continue tonight. Nevada is 3-7 ATS on the road.

2-Unit Play. Take #569 Austin Peay (-8) over Jacksonville State
Too much talent here. Austin Peay is the class of this conference and Jacksonville has shown neither the will nor the want to play defense.

1.5-Unit Play. Take #537 Washington (+5) over Arizona State
Arizona State is going to be without stud freshman James Harden tonight and that could open the door for an upset. Washington is 4-0 ATS in its last four trips to Tempe, 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings overall, and the road team is 7-2 ATS in the series. Despite Harden’s injury, A-State is still taking over 90 percent of the action. However, the line hasn’t moved. I think we’re in a good spot in what should be a one- or two-possession game.

2-Unit Play. Take #582 Northern Colorado (-2) over Montana State
Northern Colorado is 6-1 at home and the line on this game immediately bumped from a 'Pk' to -2 after it was posted although the action is splt.

2-Unit Play. Take #523 Youngstown State (+9.5) over Wisconsin-Milwaukee
We're catching UW-Milwaukee in a potential letdown spot and we have a reverse line movement with nearly 80 percent of the action on the Panthers but the line is dipping towards Youngstown.

That's it for today. Good luck. If you want some leans, I also like: UNC-Greensboro, Xavier, Oregon, FIU, Wofford, and Arizona.

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RAS

Florida Atlantic -4.5 1 UNIT

Idaho -1 1 UNIT



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Cash & Profit Experts

NBA
San Antonio/miami Under 184.5

CBB
Siena -2

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Seabass

10 Boise St.
10 Seton Hall
10 Oregon
10 Wisc. GB
50 Arizona

NHL
50 NJ Devils

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BEN BURNS

NEW JERSEY

Game: Montreal Canadiens vs. New Jersey Devils Game Time: 1/24/2008 7:05:00 PM Prediction: New Jersey Devils Reason: I'm laying the price with NEW JERSEY. Both teams are playing well and both come off big offensive outbursts in their last game. The Devils scored seven goals en route to a 7-3 victory at Philadelphia. Meanwhile, Montreal beat up Boston by a score of 8-2. That's worth mentioning as we find the Canadiens at 7-13 (-8.6) this season after scoring four or more goals in their previous game and a money-burning 38-48 (-13.8) in that situation the past three seasons. Conversely, during the same stretch, the Devils were a highly profitable 40-21 (+15.4) after scoring four or more goals in their previous game, including a healthy 7-4 mark this season. These teams last faced each other here back on November 30th. Montreal native Martin Brodeur was very sharp and the Devils won by a score of 4-0. With the shutout victory, Brodeur improved to an extremely impressive 34-12-5 over his career vs. the Canadiens. Additionally, the Devils moved to a perfect 9-0 the last nine series meetings, outscoring the Canadiens by a 33-16 margin during that stretch. Looking back further and we find the Devils at an awesome 20-1-3 the last 24 meetings here at New Jersey. Look for Brodeur and co. to continue their domination in this series with the Canadiens falling to 8-16 the last 24 times they faced a team which defeated them in their previous meeting. *1st Half GOY

BEN BURNS NBA
MIAMI HEAT

Game: San Antonio Spurs vs. Miami Heat Game Time: 1/24/2008 8:05:00 PM Prediction: Miami Heat Reason: I'm taking the points with MIAMI. I won with the Spurs over the Lakers last night. However, coming off that victory, I expect them to struggle tonight. The defending champs are 0-3 ATS the last three times they played the second of back to back games, losing two of those games outright and winning the other by only four points, as -12 favorites. Looking back further and we find them at an ugly 4-11 ATS the last 15 times they played the second of back to back games. In addition to the back to back situation, the Spurs will be playing their third game in the past four days and fourth in the past six. Despite covering last night, the Spurs remain a poor 3-8 ATS this month and are now just 16-25 ATS in the month of January the past three seasons. Note that the Spurs are also 1-3 ATS this season when listed as road favorites in the -6.5 to -9-point range. Conversely, Miami is a healthy 7-3 ATS the last 10 times it was listed as a home underdog in the +6.5 to +9-point range. Granted, the Heat are in the midst of a major freefall. However, they've been competitive recently, with each of their last three losses coming by seven points or less. Unlike their guests, the Heat have also has the past two nights off. Not that they should need any extra motivation, but the Heat will be playing with "revenge" as they lost at San Antonio back in November. Note that Miami covered the spread in that game. Additionally, despite being listed as underdogs, the Heat hammered the Spurs 100-85 when the teams faced each other here last season. Including that victory, Miami has gone a healthy 6-2 ATS the last eight meetings here. Look for the Heat to have the fresher legs and for them to play their best game, giving the defending champs all they can handle. *TNT Blowout

OVER heat/spurs

Game: San Antonio Spurs vs. Miami Heat Game Time: 1/24/2008 8:05:00 PM Prediction: over Reason: I'm playing on the Heat and Spurs to finish OVER the total. It's true that this has primarily been a low-scoring series in the past. Its also true that the Heat have seen each of their last three games fall below the number. However, two of those three final scores would have finished above tonight's generously low number. Also, note that the last three series meetings here in Miami have all produced a minimum of 185 combined points. Additionally, the Heat have seen the OVER go 14-10 the past few seasons, after having seen their previous three games stay below the total. It's also worth mentioning that Miami's previous four games had all finished above the number. In fact, their last five games have averaged a healthy 194.4 points. That's very close to their season average of 193.4 combined points per game. Note that Miami's last four games against a Western Conference opponent have all produced a minimum of 189 points and that the OVER is 11-6 in their "non-conference" games this season. The Spurs, who have seen the OVER go 15-10 the last 25 times they were listed as road favorites in the -6.5 to -9-point range, come off a 103-91 victory over the Lakers last night. That's worth mentioning as they've seen the OVER go a perfect 4-0 the last four times they played the second of back to back games. Those four games finished with final combined scores of 238, 211, 190 and 251! With no Shaq (or Mourning) in the lineup for the Heat, I'm expecting another high-scoring affair this evening. *TNT Total of the Month

BEN BURNS COLLEGE BASKETBALL

OREGON
Game: UCLA vs. Oregon Game Time: 1/24/2008 10:30:00 PM Prediction: Oregon Reason: I'm taking the points with OREGON. The Ducks have lost two in a row. However, both those losses came on the road. Tonight, they return home to McArthur Court, where they have won 11 straight games, including all eight this season. Note that the Ducks may get a boost from the return of forward Joevan Catron. Catron, who has returned to practice, averaged 10.8 points to go with his 7.9 rebounds (and 2.3 assists) in 12 non-conference games, before suffering an injury prior to Pac-10 play. Even if doesn't play tonight, the Ducks still boast four other players averaging double-digits in scoring. In fact, they're averaging a whopping 88.9 points per game at home! While the Ducks may get one of their top forwards back, the Bruins may be without a pair of theirs. That's because forwards Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Lorenzo Mata-Real both suffered concussions in the Bruins' recent loss vs. USC and neither practiced on Tuesday as a result. Regardless of who plays and who doesn't, we can expect an extremely fired-up crowd and I expect that to benefit Oregon. Note that UCLA star freshman Kevin Love grew up here and that his father played for Oregon. Despite staring in high-school here, Love elected to move further south. Already upset by this decision, the Oregon fans were further angered when his father (Stan Love) made disparaging remarks about the Ducks' program. Needless to say, the fans haven't forgotten and they'll be extra "hostile" this evening. Yes, the Bruins are an elite team. However, let's keep in mind that they were 14-0 when they traveled here last January. Listed as small home underdogs, the Ducks won outright, snapping the Bruins' perfect record. The Ducks are currently listed as +3.5 or +4 point underdogs. That's worth mentioning as we find them at 3-0 ATS the last three times they were listed as home underdogs of four points or less. Conversely, the Bruins are a poor 5-11 ATS the last 16 times they were listed as road favorites in the -3.5 to -6 range. Note that the Bruins are also 1-3 ATS this season when facing a team which averages 77+ points per game. I'll gladly grab all the points I can get but am expecting an outright victory by the highly motivated home underdog Ducks. *Thursday Night Roast

WISCONSIN-GREEN BAY

Game: Cleveland State vs. Wis-Green Bay Game Time: 1/24/2008 8:00:00 PM Prediction: Wis-Green Bay Reason: I'm laying the points with WISCONSIN GREEN BAY. The Phoenix have lost three in a row for the first time since 2001. However, they're still 6-1 at the Resch Center and 5-1 in games decided by fewer than eight points. I expect the recent "losing streak" to guarantee a huge effort tonight. As Wisconsin-Green Bay junior Ryan Tillema, the team's second leading scorer, told the local paper: We just lost three in a row, and that's something good teams can't do. Right now, we've got to come out and really get on a roll. Otherwise we're going to be in trouble." While the Phoenix are sure to be desperate, the Vikings may be patting themselves on the back a bit, as they come in on a winning streak, including wins over Valparaiso and Butler. Despite those victories, the Vikings remain an ugly 3-11 SU (5-8 ATS) the last 13 times they faced a team with a winning record, after 15 or more games have been played in the season, going just 9-25 SU against winning teams overall during the past three seasons. The Phoenix won all three meetings against the Vikings in 2007 with all three victories coming by double-digits. Looking back further and we find them at an impressive 17-5 SU and 14-8 ATS the last 22 series meetings. Look for a highly motivated effort from the Phoenix as they continue that series domination and improve to 5-2 ATS the last seven times they were listed as favorites of four points or less. *Personal Favorite

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Mike Rose

Golden State Warriors -9.0

The Golden State Warriors will look to get back on track this evening when they welcome in the New Jersey Nets to the Oracle Arena. The Warriors have been very charitable at home of late allowing 3 of its L/5 opponents to beat them on their own court, and they’ll be going up against a New Jersey club desperate for a victory. The Warriors have only managed an 11-8 SU and 8-11 ATS mark at home this season, while the Nets have split their 18 road games right down the middle by going 9-9 both SU and ATS.

Last we saw the Nets was on Tuesday night when they got mauled by the Sacramento Kings in Arco Arena. The Nets were out of it from the opening tip, and went on to lose both SU and ATS by a 128-94 final count. It was NJ’s 6th straight defeat, and they haven’t tasted the thrill of victory since January 9th when they knocked off the Seattle Supersonics by 11 at home. The Nets have also failed to cover the spread throughout this 6-game lapse, and they’ve only cashed their backers tickets in 7 of their L/10 overall. It’s pointless to say, but this Nets club looks to be on the brink of getting torn apart and that that’s certainly played a role in their poor play over the last 12 days.

As for the Warriors, they lost on this floor as 11.5-point home favorites to Minnesota their last time out, so it’s safe to say they’ll hit the hardwood tonight looking to bounce back from that debacle. Before that game, they put forth a 3-1 SU mark on a 4-game road trip and won their previous two games at home before that trip against Indiana and Memphis. It seems to me like they were running on fumes against the Timberwolves, and that was the lone reason why they allowed Minny to secure just their 6th victory of the season. They will have had two days of rest for this game, so expect them to bring their “A” game to the gym this evening.

These clubs met once earlier this season, and it was the Nets that pulled out the 5-point home win and cover, 100-95. It was the Nets 8th win in the series dating back 10 games, but the Warriors have been able to save face the L/2 times the Nets paid the bay a visit. That being said, the Nets have dominated this series ATS winning 9 of the L/10 match-ups. However, Golden State has covered the spread in each of their L/4 Thursday night TNT affairs. The history of this series foresees the Nets putting forth a much better effort than they did in Sacramento, but the club is falling apart at the seams and the Warriors want to turn the page on their embarrassing home loss to Minnesota. Look for the Warriors to set the tone and increase the Nets losing streak another game.

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Larry Ness

No. 6 Washington State (16-1, 4-1 Pac-10) is the highest-ranked team in the Pac-10 and tied with No. 8 UCLA and No. 24 Arizona State for the best conference records. As for Arizona, the Wildcats (12-6, 2-3) have lost three of their first five conference games and were off to their worst start in 25 years before rallying to defeat California 79-75 on Saturday. Washington State goes just six-deep but the team shoots 50.1 percent from the floor (75.9 percent on FTs) plus allows 52.5 PPG, the fewest in the nation. The guard trio of Low (14.4), Weaver (111.2-4.6-4.2) and Rochestie (9.0-5.1 APG) is complimented inside by the 6-10 Baynes (12.1-6.4), the 6-10 Cowgill (7.6-4.7) and the 6-7 Harmeling (7.3). Arizona is also basically a six-man team, led by freshman guard Bayless (19.2-4.4 APG). He's joined on the perimeter by McClellan (8.3) and Wise (8.1-4.0 APG). The Arizona frontcourt features the 6-7 Budinger (17.1-5.6), the 6-9 Hill (13.8-7.9) and 6-6 freshman Horne (3.9-2.5). Arizona is not nearly as good defensively as WSU but offensively, shoots almost as well from the floor (48.6 percent) and FT line (73.8) as the Cougars, while scoring about four points more per game. WSU beat Arizona in both meetings LY but had dropped 41 of its previous 42 meetings with the Wildcats! Kevin O'Neill has taken over for Lute Olson on the Arizona bench and the Wildcats are in danger of seeing their 23-year run of NCAAA appearances end (longest active streak). The Wildcats have shown some mettle with a four-point OT loss at Kansas and competitive 10-point los at Memphis. Now, the team NEEDS a "marquee" win! This is a great spot for just that! Las Vegas Insider on Arizona.

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Drew Gordon

1. 200,000* New Mexico State
2. 50,000* Seton Hall
3. 50,000* Heat

1. New Mexico State- Several things I like in this spot about the Aggies, but let's start with the home court. They're 8-2 SU, but only 2-4 ATS there, but the stats tell a different story. The Aggies have gotten caught playing down to the level of their opponents at times (see Louisiana tech game). But have also showed that when focused, they can be trusted at home (wins and covers over Fresno State & New Mexico). So which Aggies team shows up tonight? Being that this is a key conference match up, I fully expect the Aggies to be highly focused for this one.

Second, speaking of which team will show up, there's no question Nevada has been maddeningly inconsistent this season. Take their last game for example, where they lost badly at home to Boise State 95-80 as 6-point favorites. They allowed the Broncos to shoot 54% from the field (59% from 3-point), while only managing to shoot 43%, at home no less! Its that kind of lackadiscal effort that will cost them this game, especially now that they have to take it on the road, where they allow nearly 70 ppg this season.

Match ups also favor the Aggies, as they have the size to combat the Wolfpack's frontline with 7-footer C Martin Iti and forwards McKines and the talented but troubled freshman Pope, who was just ruled eligible and grabbed 9 boards in his first game for the Aggies. As far as the backcourt, Nevada's Kemp maybe the best player on the court, but the edge goes to New Mexico State's 4 guard rotation of Hawkins, Gibson, Peete, and Young.

Bottom line, look for the Aggies to protect their house with a focused effort on the defensive end, while Hawkins and company rip apart a very suspect Wolfpack defense on the other end. Nevada has been too inconsistent this season to trust them in this spot, and they'll prove me right tonight. Long story short, New Mexico State protects its house and grabs the cash in this one!

Take New Mexico State comfortably over Nevada as your top-rated play of the day.

2. Seton Hall- I don't know what Seton Hall team oddsmakers have been watching lately, but beating South Florida and then upsetting a surging Louisville team in back-to-back home games has to count for something! Despite the fact they lost their last two road games SU, if you watched them, you saw them easily cover against Marquette and then nearly cover at Pitt. In other words, this Pirates team has been playing damn good basketball lately, and I expect they'll build off those home wins with another solid effort here tonight.

Let's talk match ups, as both teams rely on their guard-heavy rotations to get the job done. I know what your thinking, Seton Hall's leading scorer, Brian Laing, is listed as a forward, but at 6'5 he plays a lot more like a big guard. While the Friars rely on balanced scoring, the Pirates have 3 legitimate players capable of "going off" at any time, as Laing (25 points against Louisville) leads the way, but Harvey (16 ppg) and Hazell (29 points against Louisville) can both score with the best of 'em.
Defensively, both teams are slightly above average, but neither unit will be able to consistently stop the other. Seton Hall has had some issues scoring points on the road this season, but coming off a confidence-building 92-point effort against Louisville, look for the Pirates to come out focused and firing tonight.

Finally, for anyone who follows this series, you know Seton Hall has had the Friars number, going 7-3 ATS over their last 10 meetings. While Providence whipped up on the Pirates last season at home, I expect a more mature Seton Hall team to keep this game a lot closer this time around. In the end, the Pirates deliver the cash tonight at Providence.

Take Seton Hall plus the points over Providence in this Big East match up.

3. Heat- Several factors in the Heat's favor have me siding with them tonight, despite the obvious difference in overall record between these two teams. Yes, its the mighty Spurs, but in case you haven't noticed, they haven't been playing so "mighty" of late, going 10-10 SU & 7-13 ATS over their last 10 games overall.

True, the Heat have been much worse, but let's dig a little deeper and you'll see my point...

Another factor to consider is fatigue, as a veteran-laden (a.k.a. old) Spurs team has proven vulnerable with no rest, going just 1-6 ATS in that spot. They're coming off a nice, but hard fought win over the Lakers yesterday, and are actually playing their 3rd game in 4 nights. Tired legs don't bode well for Spurs-backers here, as the Spurs likely win, but covering is a different story.

Can't talk about this game without mentioning the injury to O'Neal... I maybe in the minority, but I firmly believe the Heat are not going to miss the "Big Diesel" that much. Fact is, if they still had Mourning, they wouldn't miss him at all. When the Heat go to a smaller, more mobile lineup, all of sudden their perimeter defense starts to work. On the offenive end, O'Neal is sad shell of his former self, and his absence only means more shots for the real superstar on their team - Dwayne Wade.

Bottom line, expect the Spurs to win this game, but their recent play and tired legs make covering in this spot extremely difficult. A smaller and more energized Heat unit give the tired Spurs a different look, helping them grab the cash in this one.

Take the Heat plus the points over the Spurs in this NBA match up.

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