Thursday Service Plays
Re: Thursday Service Plays
Scott Spreitzer's CBB "STATEMENT" GAME OF THE YEAR! *4-1, 80% ATS!
My Statement GOY is a play on Washington State on Thursday. This is literally the "Game of the Year" for the Washington State Cougars, and I believe they're up to the task. The 17th ranked Cougs are off a couple of tough losses which is why they opened a home dog in this one. But this is not a team that's going to fade down the stretch in my opinion. In fact, don't be surprised to see them make a deep run in the Big Dance. A "Great-Eight" appearance is not out of the question. They're 43-12 SU under the direction of coach Tony Bennett, and the recent two-game slide was their VERY FIRST two-game skid since Bennett has been calling the shots! They have the quality veteran leadership that will get them back on track, fully understanding tonight's opportunity. They're an unselfish team, as you'd expect from a Bennett team. Six players average between 7 and 14 PPG. Of course, the leader of the team is 6'2 guard Derrick Low. To beat UCLA, you must have solid guard leadership. Low smoked the Bruins for 24-points in UCLA's 81-74 win earlier this season. A team also must be able drive the paint once in a while, and grab their share of rebounds. Mbah A Moute is the perfect compliment to UCLA's Kevin Love inside, and denied WSU penetration and a shot at cleaning the glass in the first meeting. Good news for Washington State here, Mbah A Moute injured his ankle in their win over Arizona and is not expected to play. The injury will force Love to work that much harder on both ends of the court. Also, I don't expect UCLA to have the same intensity as they did against the U of A. The Bruins thought of that as their "statement" game and played as well as a team can. Now, they'll be on the road against a team ready to make a statement themselves. The Cougars are in a good in-season spot, going 11-2 SU this year with at least three days between games, winning by an average score of 67-55. Bennett's seniors took full blame for their recent two-game slide in a post-game press conference. After this one, I believe they'll be able to take full credit for their biggest win of the season. Washington State is my Statement Game of the Year.
Re: Thursday Service Plays
Larry Ness' 20* Conf GOY (2-1 CBB Weds ups Y-T-D mark to 84-62!)
My 20* play is on Denver at 9:30 ET. Troy starts a trio of seniors in its backcourt, Bassett (18.0-4.2), Jonus (13.5) and Odem (7.2). The 6-7 Mack (8.5-4.8) is the team's lone consistent starter up front, with the 6-7 Acker (6.6-4.1), the 7-0 Jervis (5.7-4.4) and the 6-6 Telfair (4.5-3.7) all getting some playing time. The Trojans like to run and shoot the three but it surely hasn't worked away from home. The Trojans are just 2-8 SU on the road, losing to the likes of Utah Valley St (11-13), Georgia St (5-16), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (5-14) plus SBC lightweights Fla-International (6-16) and Fla-Atlantic (10-14). Denver is no power but the Pioneers have been tough at home in the high altitude, going 7-1 SU and ATS. There's little doubt the loss of the 6-6 Kummer (11.4-4.6) to an ankle injury (likely for the season) is a big blow but I'll note that Denver has won BOTH of its home games without him. The 6-8 Tanner (10.5-3.5) and the 6-5 Rohnert (7.9-3.9) are solid frontcourt players and with the loss of Kummer, expect improved contributions from 6-7 freshman R. Lewis (7.2). A case in point being he's scored 35 points the last two games! Guards K. Lewis (9.3) and Jackson (7.9) will have to play well against Troy's solid trio. However, the fact remains that Denver has continued to come out on top at home, while Troy's shown little ability to win on the road. Sun Belt GOY 20* Denver.
Larry Ness' Las Vegas Insider-CBB (now 20-11 with BKB Insiders since Jan 1!)
My Las Vegas Insider is on Wisconsin-Green Bay at 8:00 ET. Valpo is in its first year in the Horizon (after a successful run in the Mid-Continent) and longtime head coach Homer Drew (31st year of coaching, 19th at Valpo) starts a unique blend of players. The starting guards are McPherson (9.9) and Diebler (4.1-3.1) who are joined by a pair of Finish players, the 6-7 Huff (11.4-4.9) and the 6-8 Haanpaa (10/7-3.2), plus the 6-9 Igbavboa (9.8-6.6) who of course, was born and raised in Minnesota (?). Loyd, a senior guard who averaged 5.9 PPG over his first three years, is coming off the bench this season and leads the team in scoring (11.8) and assists (4.0). Wisconsin-Green Bay was a disappointment last year (18-15/7-9) but returned four starters for this season. At 12-9 overall (6-4 in the Horizon), the jury is still out on this year's team but the Phoenix have been a tough team to beat at home, going 8-1. The 6-9 Schachtner (17.4-4.7) is one of the league's best inside players and he had 34 points at Valpo in a Jan 12 loss. Staring in the frontcourt with him have been swingman Evans (9.1-6.4) and the 6-9 Berry (6.8-4.9). However, Berry is expected to miss again with an ankle injury (he's missed MOST of the L4 games) and neither the 6-9 Morris (2.4-2.1) nor swingman Barkley (3.8-2.9) have been adequate replacements. The 6-8 Tillema (11.6-3.6) will match up favorably with Haanpaa plus freshman guard Fletcher (8.7) and backcourt reserve Cotton (4.1) give the Phoenix a decent perimeter game. The 'key' to this play is the situation. Not only are the Phoenix a tough home team (remember that 8-1 mark) playing with "in-season revenge" but Wisconsin-Green Bay is also catching the Crusaders off a heartbreaking loss just two nights ago at Butler. Valpo outplayed the 10th-ranked Bulldogs at Hinkle Fieldhouse the entire game but lost 71-68 when Pete Campbell nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer, which was Butler's ONLY lead of the game. Las Vegas Insider on Wisconsin-Green Bay.
Re: Thursday Service Plays
Sacremento State +2 (POD)
Promos: 3-0 Yesterday. Winning 22 of 34 days (64% +24 Units), winning 21 of 31 days in January, 26 of 41 POD Winners (62%) of late.
I will be fast asleep when this game goes off, but I look for Sac State to make the outright upset here. I am well aware that Sac has won just 2 games but keep in mind although they are outside of a top 300 team and everyone thinks they lose today, there is a reason why this line is low. Sac State's 2 wins come against top 250 and top 175 teams at home in Montana State and Northern Colorado. What is Eastern Washington in my ranking scale? Top 300. This team has come so close to beating some of the better teams in the conference and their close game are starting to translate into wins lately. Look at it this way, although Sacremento State has just 2 wins overall and they both are at home, Eastern Washington has just 1 win on the road as they are 1-9. Eastern Washington is a sound team that has lost many close games but they also lost to Idaho who is a top 320 team on the road similar to Sacremento State. This team also beat Sac State 76-52 last time out and I expect Sacremento State to get their 3rd win today over a top 300 team as the home team with revenge that is playing better of late gets the edge in my book. The Hornets of Sac State are 6-1 ATS as a small underdog and 5-0 ATS against teams with a road winning % of less than .400 - meaning that they cover against teams that are poor on the road as the home court advantage/split is an important factor.
Murray State +1.5
I know we are taking some very interesting teams today but I look the Racers here for several reasons. One, they have revenge from losing to Eastern Kentucky at home earlier in conference play by a score of 58-59 back on December 5th. Well, much has changed since then. Murray State has quietly won their last 7 of 9 ballgames and are a different team than the one that lost by 1 point at home to Eastern Kentucky. Murray State is also a well coached team that was young to start the season but has seasoned as it has gone on. Murray State lost to one of the best teams in their conference in Austin Peay by just 5 points despite Austin Peay having revenge as Murray State beat them earlier in the year and that shows a lot. I think this time, this team wins on the road and redeems themselves and gets their revenge. This team is also on a strong up-tick as compared to Eastern Kentucky who although has won 3 straight games on the road and return home, they were all against teams outside the top 275, now, they have to play a team that is essentially in the top 200 at home. EKentucky has lost to top 200 teams at home including Samford and Tennessee Tech and they are likely to lose here straight up at home as well. The Colonels are 0-4 ATS against teams with a winning % greater than 60% meaning that they struggle against the better teams in the league and the Racers are 5-2 ATS overall of late.
Tennessee State +2
This is third favorite pick today as it is very ballsy, but it makes sense for quite a few reasons. Tennessee State hits the road to face the rival Skyhawks of Tennessee Martin today. Tennessee State lost by just 1 point at home to this team by a score of 74-75 last time they played and it is very possible for Tennessee State to win this game outright or simply fall within the cover. Does it not seem odd to you that you have a team that in State that lost to Martin at home and yet the line is just at +2 again? When you wager on small conferences, it is all about revenge. Either it be the southern conference or the Atlantic Sun, revenge is a key factor. I want to take you back to some of Tennessee State's wins this year and they include a win over Illinois on the road who is a top 125 team, they lost to Vandy by 9 on the road, they lost to Indiana 12 on the road, they lost by a bucket to top 100 Akron in neutral footing, they were toe to toe with Georgia Tech in the first game of the seaon before falling short late, they recently beat a similarly ranked Tennessee Tech team on the road and come off a 1 point loss to Austin Peay on the road who is a very good top 200 team. This team has not lost 3 ballgames in a row since conference play started as losing 3 in a row to some of the top teams in the nation is acceptable such as Akron, Tech, Illinois, Indiana and Vanderbilt - this is how these schools fund their programs, by playing big schools and this team played them well, and beating Illinois in the process. I think the Tennessee State Tigers hang tough here and get the win as Tennessee Martin although is home, comes off a big win over SE Missouri State on the road and this team recently lost to Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee Tech at home as they have yet to put back to back home victories together. State is 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 as underdogs and Martin is 0-4 ATS in their last 4 home games.
Re: Thursday Service Plays
Chicago Bulls (19-29) at Golden State Warriors (29-19)
The Bulls have had problems playing the high power Warriors in Oakland and most likely will be without Ben Gordon and Kirk Hinrich tonight in the lineup. Golden State is averaging 109.6 points per game and has won the last eight contests at home against Chicago, 5-0 against the spread in the last five. The line is a bit high, but the Bulls missing two of their leading scorers will have a big assignment staying with the Warriors. The home team is 10-2 ATS in the last 12 meetings and the favorite in this series has covered seven of the last nine clashes.
7:00 p.m. Pittsburgh Panthers - 3
8:00 p.m. South Alabama Jaguars -15.5
10:00 p.m. San Jose St. Spartans + 14
10:30 p.m. UCLA Bruins - 2.5
Golden State Warriors - 13