Saturday Service Plays
Saturday Service Plays
Saturday, February 16
Texas Tech* over Oklahoma by 20
It’s not necessarily because the Sooners’ rotation is shorter-shorter now that Longar
Longar is out for an extended time. Or, maybe it is. It means that ultra-tough center Blake Griffin has no serious help on either the offensive or defensive boards,chances for cheap points off a miss-rebound-break are diminished, and fouls can mount much quicker against Griffin if he goes at it with his normal zest. Oklahoma’s best offense was following slopped-up 8-footers and missed three-pointers strongly but with both Longar Longar and Keith Keith Clark Clark on the shelf-shelf, Jeff Capel is a good coach running out of viable options because his guards can only fill it when they freak,which isn’t frequent. TEXAS TECH, 71-51
Boise State* over Fresno State by 24
A team with a short roster like Fresno State needs to have several things in its possession to remain viable. A winning record overall or in conference, home floor, the size to rebound and prevent second-chance points against it. Is any of that available here? No, no, and no. In addition, they are moving up from their sea-level home into mountain altitude for a second straight road game in 48 hours, and attempting to match up with a Boise team that scores 82.5 points per game and keeps the nation’s 19th fastest tempo going (73.2 possessions per game). Boise makes 57% of its two-point shots, 39.6% of its threes, and as Fresno tires trying to keep up with that, their own percentages figure to shrink. BOISE STATE, 85-61.
Re: Saturday Service Plays
Purdue at Northwestern
The Northwestern Wildcats will host the upstart Purdue Boilermakers Saturday afternoon. Flat-out the ‘Baby’ Boilers are on one major run in the Big Ten conference. Of course, we’ve seen so often in the land of college hoops how a red-hot team can continue to cover the pointspread. In fact, the Boilers have covered nine of their last 10 games. Importantly, there’s nothing fluky about how this team continues to win and cover the pointspread.The three staples of this team are airtight defense, a thorough offense, and tremendous team chemistry. The one remarkable aspect of this team is their youth, which they’ve now overcome so often. It’s scary to think about how good this team could be in a few more years. In watching their upset in Wisconsin last week it was truly amazing as to their ability to work for a wide open shot against the stout Badger defense. However,on the other end of the court they took Wisconsin out of everything they wanted to do. Meanwhile, the Wildcats continue to toil at the bottom of the Big Ten. This team is extremely young,with little size and quickness, which is a recipe for disaster in the rugged Big Ten. They’re hoping the return of Kevin Koble would somehow ignite this team, but it just hasn’t happened.Purdue, playing at the very weak home court of the Wildcats actually turns into value compared to the double-digits you’d have to lay in Keady Arena. Take the smoking hot Boilermakers
Re: Saturday Service Plays
Texas at Baylor
The Baylor Bears have a great opportunity to add another solid win to a successful season thus far. They will catch a Texas team coming off of a huge home game against Kansas earlier this week. It should be a game that Baylor plays its heart out in as Texas has been the premier program in the state over the last few years while Baylor has struggled. This season, however,Baylor has emerged as one of the top teams in the Big 12, and the win over Texas would solidify their status. Baylor matches up well with the Longhorns and gave Texas a battle in Austin just two weeks ago. They are one of the few teams in the country that can match up with Texas’s outstanding guards D.J. Augustin and A.J. Abrams. Curtis Jerrells, Henry Dugat,and Lacedarius Dunn aren’t quite as good as the Texas duo, but the three of them match up very well and will be at their best for this rematch. Without a doubt, this game will have much more importance to Baylor than the Longhorns especially with them coming off of the tussle with Kansas. Texas has had some trouble on the road this season in conference play against good teams, losing at Missouri and Texas A&M before finally getting a road win at Oklahoma last week. This really sets up as a good situation for Baylor. I expect Baylor to be a small favorite and a win should also notch a spread cover.
Re: Saturday Service Plays
Wisc-Green Bay at Wisc-Milwaukee
Don’t expect the midseason revenge angle to be a deciding factor in this meeting of in-state rivals. Green Bay lost SU as a 5.5 point favorite the last time these two met in Green Bay. The Phoenix, clearly drained after three straight battles against Wright State, Valpo and Butler, just couldn’t match the Milwaukee Panthers’ intensity for 40 minutes. Surely they would like to even the score against their rival, but I question whether they will be able to overcome the home court and, after another recent string of hard fought battles, match the intensity again. Milwaukee does have a tester against Butler midweek, but win or lose I think they are the play on Saturday. The Panthers had played six of their last eight on the road heading into the new week and this mini home stand serves as a great motivator.The combination of Paige Paulsen and Marcus Skinner has really been a boost for this team. Paulsen has been a “fantasy” beast while Skinner’s numbers slowly climb towards double-double territory seemingly after every Horizon league game. But it’s the role players that have made this team a success story, still alive in the Horizon race. After dismissing their top two players and losing two more this team has become the poster child for addition-by-subtraction.If they can limit Terry Evans’ effectiveness on the glass,and somewhat slow down Schachtner the Panthers win convincingly.If not, they win by about five. Either way, they get the cover
Re: Saturday Service Plays
Oklahoma St. at Texas A&M
Recommendation: Texas A&M
Oklahoma State is a disaster area right now, but the betting marketplace has been very slow to catch up to how bad this team really is. The Cowboys reached the Final Four as recently as 2004, but the program has declined precipitously since that time. We’ve seen other programs go through a tremendous revival when the son takes over for the father as head coach,most notably at Washington State last year and at Drake this year. At Oklahoma State, where Sean Sutton took over for his dad at the start of last season, the reverse is true – this team has gotten worse, much worse. After a 24 turnover, ten assist performance in their 21-point loss at Kansas State over the weekend, the Cowboys currently sport a woeful 80-to-129 turnover- to-assist ratio since the start of Big 12 play. Combine that with a No. 11 ranking among the 12 teams in the conference in rebounding margin and we can expect the Cowboys to continue their free fall. Okie State has lost 19 consecutive games away from Gallagher-Iba Arena. It’s been more than two years since they won a game on the road in Big 12 play; a woeful 0-8 SU, 1-7 ATS on the road this year. Texas A&M beat this team in Stillwater three weeks ago, despite the fact that they were coming off a five overtime loss to Baylor in which three of their starters played at least 56 minutes. Look for the confident, surging Aggies to positively run the Cowboys out of the gym in this one.
Re: Saturday Service Plays
Florida at Vanderbilt
Vandy picked up a monster win at South Carolina last weekend as Jermaine Beal’s fall away jumper in the paint with 0.6 seconds left gave the ‘Dores a one point victory. Kevin Stallings’ crew will look to parlay that win this week as Vanderbilt opens a four game home stand. This game on Saturday will serve as one of three major opportunities to claw back in the SEC East while exacting a bit of revenge against the Gators who steamrolled this team in Gainesville a few weeks ago. While they have largely been outplayed on the road in SEC play the Commodores are a rock solid 14-0 (at time of press) on their home floor. This was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Gators but they have surprised thus far in racking up 19 wins. But the young Gators have yet to find themselves on the winning end in tough venues against top notch competition, falling by double digits at Tennessee and Arkansas.Even last year’s title squad found it tough going in this venue as Vandy racked up an impressive 13 point victory. The situation sets up nicely here as does the fundamental matchup; Florida has allowed 85.4 ppg on the SEC road this year, rarely packing their defense which doesn’t bode well against the ‘Dores who shoot better than 48 percent on this floor, full of confidence. Expect a return home after playing six of eight on the road to provide a shot in the arm, and expect top notch performances from Shan Foster and AJ Ogilvy to be the difference in this win on Saturday.
Re: Saturday Service Plays
CONNECTICUT over *South Florida...Hot UConn (7 straight wins, 6 covers prior to Notre Dame Feb. 13) looking to solidify a high NCAA seeding (lofty RPI of 11) and stay alive in Big East race. We’re eager to “lay it” vs. discouraged USF squad now on 10-game conf. losing streak after blowing 16-pt. lead at DePaul Feb. 9. Bulls top weapon 6-9 Gransberry (17 ppg) will be totally frustrated by Huskies overpowering 7-3 C Hasheem Thabeet (11 ppg, 8 rpg, league-leading 4 bpg), while smooth, sizzling 6-2 soph G A.J. Price (15 ppg, 6 apg) controls flow and pace vs. bumbling Bulls, who’ve dropped 6 straight as a home dog.
CONNECTICUT 79 - South Florida 61 RATING - 10
Re: Saturday Service Plays
THE GOLD SHEET
Hofstra 66 - JAMES MADISON 64--Colonial sources not convinced JMU ready to emerge from its recent tailspin (lost 8 of last 9, failing to cover any of those) anytime soon, as alarming breakdowns both offensively (another sub-40% shooting night in most recent loss Feb. 13 at VCU, plus 15 more TOs vs. Rams) and defensively have continued almost unabated over the last month plus. And not sure matchups are any better vs. Hofstra, which dominated glass by a 38-23 count and beat the Dukes by 6 on Long Island Jan. 5, effectively beginning the precipitous JMU downturn. 07-HOF +1' 66-60; 06-Hof -7' 98-78
Georgetown over SYRACUSE by 1 to 2--07-GTWN -12 64-62 (OT); 06-SYR +3 72-58 CABLE TV--ESPN
Connecticut 79 - SOUTH FLORIDA 61--Hot Huskies (8 straight wins, 7 straight covers after exciting win over Notre Dame Feb. 13) looking to solidify a preferable Big Dance slot (UConn boasts a lofty RPI of 11) and "protected seed" status of a top 4 regional seed and favorable sub-regional assignment (likely Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.). So, we're eager to "lay it" vs. erratic South Florida, which is unlikely to duplicate the rare Big East win it recorded Wednesday vs. Syracuse, especially considering USF was on 10-game Big East losing streak entering that game vs. Jim Boeheim's Orange. Bulls' top weapon 6-9 Gransberry (17 ppg) will be totally frustrated by the Huskies' overpowering, ever-improving 7-3 C Hasheem Thabeet (11 ppg, 8 rpg, league-leading 4 bpg), while smooth, sizzling 6-2 soph G A.J. Price (15 ppg, 6 apg) controls the flow and pace vs. the bumbling Bulls, who've dropped 6 of last 7 as home dog. 06-CONN -17 69-50
Kentucky 68 - LSU 59--Hmmm, isn't it interesting that LSU has started to execute better on both ends of the floor since Butch Pierre took over coaching duties on an interim basis from dismissed John Brady last week? But even if Tennessee and Florida (the latter was stunned by Tigers Wednesday night) were overlooking LSU, we assure you Kentucky won't be overlooking anybody after its humiliating 41-point loss at Vandy Tuesday night, the Cats' worst defeat since 1991. Rest assured of a focused performance from UK, especially 6-9 frosh phenom Patrick Patterson, who picked up his third foul before he scored his first point against the Dores. And appearance of G Meeks in second half means HC Gillispie might finally have a full roster at his disposal, something he's rarely had all season. 06-KY -8' 70-63
NORTH CAROLINA over Virginia Tech by 16 to 19--There's a chance UNC could have key PG Lawson (high ankle sprain; upgraded to questionable) available for this payback game vs. the Hokies. 07-Tech +15' 81-80 (OT); 06-TECH +5 94-88 TV--CBS
KANSAS over Colorado by 19 to 24--07-Kan -18 72-59; 06-KAN -26' 97-74, Kan -17 75-46
DELAWARE 61 - Drexel 53--Delaware rediscovering its winning touch in last ten days, with triumphs over UNC Wilmington and Georgia State reminiscent of its encouraging play in early January. Helping the Blue Hen cause has been the emergence of touted 6-4 true frosh Alphonso Dawson, who has begun to "deliver" lately (witness 25-point outburst in Feb. 9 loss vs. VCU), now nicely complementing 6-7 sr. workhorse Courtney (14 ppg) on attack end. Meanwhile, just can't trust offensively-challenged Drexel (CAA-low 60 ppg) to generate winning points on tricky CAA road, where it hadn't won prior to Feb. 14 game at ODU. 07-Del +6' 67-63; 06-Dre -13 69-61, DRE -19 77-62
INDIANA ST. over Illinois St. by 3 to 5--07-ILL -11 65-62; 06-Ind +6 54-50, Ill +2' 68-53, Ind +5' 68-65 (CT-neut.)
Drake over NORTHERN IOWA over 2 to 4--07-DRA -9 58-54; 06-DRA +2 74-61, Dra +7' 67-59
Northeastern 58 - GEORGIA ST. 49--Don't look now, but one of CAA's hottest teams is Northeastern, which notched its fifth straight win and cover with midweek victory at Hofstra. Not that winning games in February is anything new for the Huskies; they're 28-7 in February since the 2003-04 campaign! Since NE clamping down so effectively on defensive end (last 5 victims only 49 ppg), not convinced well-coached but firepower-shy Georgia State (G Mendez only DD scorer at 16.6 ppg) can compensate, especially since the Panthers apparently have yet to recover from their bitter OT home loss vs. league-leader VCU Feb. 12 (GSU has lost and failed to cover both games since). Prefer balance of NE, especially because of the recent exploits of 6-4 soph G Janning, who's scored DDs in 12 straight CAA games. 07-NEU -11 64-62; 06-NEU -7' 84-69, GSU +1' 71-65
WISCONSIN over Minnesota by 10 to 13--07-Wis -1' 63-47; 06-WIS -18' 68-45, Wis -10' 75-62
Akron over BOWLING GREEN by 3 to 5--07-AKR -14 80-44; 06-Akr -8' 83-62, AKR -17' 93-87
BRADLEY over Creighton by 3 to 5--06-CRE -9 65-54, Cre +2 82-71
Louisville over PROVIDENCE by 3 to 5--06-LVL -4' 78-63
EASTERN MICHIGAN over Central Michigan by 2 to 4--07-CMU -7 62-53; 06-Cmu +1' 74-68, Emu +6 87-83 (OT)
BUTLER 78 - Cleveland St. 57--Though NCAA-bound Butler owns a 2-game lead in the Horizon, Bulldogs not lacking for intensity in this rematch, recalling how the Cleveland State fans poured onto the court and celebrated CSU's 56-52 upset Jan. 17 unlike almost any other in school history. Bulldogs' excellent sr. Gs A.J Graves (14 ppg) & Mike Green (15 ppg, 6 rpg) especially eager to atone for uncharacteristic off night in first meeting (combined 6 of 22 FGs, only 1 of 8 from arc). Careful Butler (just 11 TOs pg) should extend anticipated lead behind 77% FT shooting. Vikes in retreat since that early uprising, dropping 5 of past 7 thru Feb. 13. 07-CSU +5' 56-52; 06-BUT -14' 70-45, But -10' 92-50
Tennessee 88 - GEORGIA 73--With No. 2 scorer G Humphrey still suspended, must buck sagging Dawg squad that's dropped 5 of last 6, and whose coach Dennis Felton is now hearing the beat of war drums in Athens. Meanwhile, UT (No. 1 RPI ranking) on course to secure a top regional seed in upcoming Big Dance, simply has too much firepower and depth for UGA, 0-7 SU last 7 in series. Expect Dawgs' now-starting true frosh PG Zac Swansey to have serious trouble coping with the Vols' pressure defense, and UGA lacks comeback ability, hitting an SEC-low 31% beyond arc. 07-TEN -13' 85-69; 06-TEN -2 82-71, Ten +3' 71-65
MARYLAND over Florida St. by 9 to 12--06-FSU -3 96-79, MARY -9 73-55
VANDERBILT 83 - Florida 73--Baby Gators learning how treacherous the SEC trail can be, with now-targeted two-time NCAA champ Florida losing by a combined 41 pts. in one-sided setbacks at Arkansas & Tennessee in early February. Expect no relief for Billy Donovan's youthful crew at oddly-configured Memorial Gym, where NCAA-bound Vandy (lofty RPI of 11) is a perfect 15-0 SU and brimming with confidence after its Tuesday night rout of Kentucky (Vandy led 41-11 at the half). You can bet Vandy's top top two weapons--6-6 sr. swingman Shan Foster (19 ppg), who was then mired in a shooting slump, and 6-11 frosh A.J Ogilvy (18 ppg, 7 rpg), who fouled out after just 25 minutes--are itchin' for rematch after combining for season-worst 16 pts. in Jan. 27 loss at Gainesville. Remember, the fired-up Dores dealt last year's champion Florida one of its five defeats in a late-February Nashville encounter. 07-FLA -5' 86-64; 06-FLA -14 74-64, VAN +6 83-70
Clemson over NORTH CAROLINA ST. by 3 to 5--07-CLEM -12 70-54; 06-Clem -6 87-76
KENT ST. 74 - Ohio 63--With Kent seeking to stay atop the MAC East, favor payback-minded Golden Flashes, who are golden (13-0 SU!) in friendly Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center TY. KSU is likely to regain its groove from the perimeter following its rim-clanking 5 of 17 shooting from tripleville in Jan. 19 loss at Athens. Kent's aggressive man-to-man (62 ppg, 17 takeaways pg) should hold down the streak-shooting Ohio attack that significantly drops off on the road (12 ppg fewer away, to only 63 ppg), with only one DD scorer converting better than 34% from arc. 07-OHIO -1' 71-59; 06-KSU -5' 67-65 (OT), Ksu +3 73-71
Stanford 63 - ARIZONA 61--Never mind Arizona's rather solid RPI ranking (14th), the Wildcats' NCAA prospects becoming shakier by the week with losses continuing to mount. Now that UA is minus soph sparkplug PG Wise for another month or so following recent knee surgery, not sure Cats break out of their recent slump at the expense of rampaging Stanford, which has moved into NCAA "protected seed" territory as well as abreast with UCLA atop the Pac-10 table with the Cardinal's recent 7-game win streak thru Feb. 13. Wise's absence has forced HC O'Neill to juggle the Wildcat lineup, with 6-7 soph Budinger even taking a turn at the point. But Wise's absence also robs UA of another top defender (F Brielmaier also injured) and has forced O'Neill, a devotee' of man-to-man defense, into contemplating a switch to zone looks on defensive end. Stanford not likely to be bothered either way, especially with the recently improved decision-making of PG Mitch Johnson, who has also improved his touch from the perimeter (up to 45% FGs this season after hitting only 35% a year ago). 07-STAN -5' 56-52; 06-ARIZ -14' 89-75, Ariz +2 85-80 (OT) REGIONAL TV--ABC
HHHTEXAS A&M 84 - Oklahoma St. 58--Upon reviewing its rough remaining slate, it's highly-doubtful fading OSU (dropped 7 of past 9) can even qualify for the NIT, or even the new "CBI" postseason tourney. Recall that in A&M's ugly 59-56 win at Stillwater Jan. 27, the Aggies were understandably a bit ragged on the heels of their 5-OT marathon loss vs. Baylor. So, don't mind laying hefty price with board-crashing, defensively-stout A&M (+9 rpg, 61 ppg), which hasn't lost since that Baylor marathon more then three weeks ago, and is fully re-charged (6 full prep days), to batter the scatter-shooting Cowboys (Big XII worst 42% FGs), who've now dropped 19 straight on the road (1-6 vs. spread away TY!). 07-Tam -1' 59-56; 06-TAM -10 67-49, Tam -4' 66-46, Osu +9 57-56 (CT-neut.) REGIONAL TV--ABC
DAYTON 67 - Temple 66--Any points are inviting with coagulating Temple, whose recent overtime wins over UMass & Rhode Island have moved Owls into A-10 contention and onto the periphery of the NCAA bubble. Meanwhile, Dayton is heading in the opposite direction, recording a poor 2-7 spread mark since injury to key 6-8 frosh F Chris Wright, jeopardizing the Flyers' Big Dance hopes. Philly sources report Temple now more comfortable feeding highly-regarded 6-9 frosh F Lavoy Allen (20 pts. in OT win vs. UMass Feb. 9). And look for Owls' explosive 6-5 G Mark Tyndale (19 ppg), who is now taking pride in his defense, according to HC Fran Dunphy ("Mark is really developing into a defensive player"), to be a real nuisance for UD's overworked, star G Brian Roberts. Also note that Temple is 6-1 as single-digit dog TY. 06-Day +6' 73-65
IOWA ST. 73 - Nebraska 62--Payback should work with developing ISU, which was missing leading scorer 6-7 F Wesley Johnson (14 ppg) in its 64-56 setback at Lincoln Feb. 2. With "springy" catalyst Johnson drawing attention in the rematch, 6-11 sr. C Jiri Hubalek & 6-10 frosh F Craig Brackins (combined 32 pts., 14 boards in first meeting) should to do even more business in the paint vs. the weak-traveling Huskers, who are a poor 1-8 vs. spread last 9 away (that one cover was vs. at suspension-ravaged Mizzou TY). 07-NEB -9 64-56; 06-ISU +1 71-62, Isu +8' 69-63
UTAH 75 - San Diego St. 64--It's official. San Diego State is in trouble after its second straight defeat, a 73-63 loss (at usually-friendly Cox Arena, no less) vs. Steve Alford's New Mexico Feb. 13. Moreover, the setback confirmed how much the Aztecs are missing suspended F Kyle Spain (13.2 ppg), who won't return this season. Minus Spain (who scored 19 in the OT win vs. Utah Jan. 16), SDSU will see foes focus more attention on F Lorenzo Wade, while impressive but raw 6-8 frosh Billy White now must assume the second or third option role on the offensive end. None of that is good news vs. the ascending Utes, who have finally begun to mesh on both ends of the court for first-year HC Boylen, shooting impressive an 48% from the floor (including 43% from tripleville), plus a solid 77% from the FT line, while taking care of the ball (just 10 TOs pg) in recent 3-game win streak that included home victory over then-Mountain West leading UNLV. 07-SDS -1' 64-56 (OT); 06-SDS -6' 63-53, UTAH +3 74-68
SAN JOSE ST. 68 - Louisiana Tech 55--There's actually something on the line between these WAC stragglers, neither of which wants to participate in the WAC tourney "play-in" game (between eighth and ninth-place finishers; each fighting with Idaho for the "coveted" seventh place finish in the league!). But with PG Graham (in and out of lineup last month with an elbow injury) likely available, we'll give San Jose a shot to extend the margin at the Event Center, where the Spartans have already beaten Nevada & Fresno State in league play. La Tech on short rations these days, with only 8 healthy bodies at HC Rupp's disposal, and Bulldogs' devastating negative parlay of the loop's worst shooting offense (39%) and worst defense (allowing 48% FGs; 6 of last 9 foes hit 50% or better) makes any Tech recommendation risky at best. 06-LTU -6' 92-56, SJS -2' 53-50
TEXAS TECH 67 - Oklahoma 65--Oklahoma's 6-10 frosh Blake Griffin continues to improve. But must respect Tech's 8-1 record vs. the spread at home TY. Sooners' shooting can go walkabout at times, and 6-11 C Longar Longar is battling a stress fracture in his foot. Pat Knight more readily using zone defenses to throw off opponents that did papa Bob, and Pat's also more willing to go deeper into the Red Raider bench, while sr. Zeno & jr. Voskuil provide steady backcourt leadership and scoring. 07-OKLA -7 63-61; 06-TECH -3 68-54, OKLA -7 75-61
HHHMISSISSIPPI ST. 81 - Arkansas 64--Starkville scouts report MSU is thrilled this day has arrived after committing a whopping 22 TOs and permitting a season-worst 79 pts. in its stinging 20-pt. setback in Fayetteville Jan. 30th, snapping the Bulldogs' 9-game win streak. Look for the smothering Bulldog defense (SEC-low 63 ppg & 37% FGs) to contest every Arkansas shot, especially with fly-swatter deluxe C Varnado (nation-leading 5 bpg!) seeing more P.T. after missing nearly 14 mins. of action due to early foul trouble in first clash. Plus, return of versatile, fiery 6-3 soph G Ben Hansbrough (missed 4 games, including the first Hog tilt) gives Stansbury's bunch a big lift--on both ends of the court. Note UA just 3-7-1 vs. spread last 11 on SEC trail. 07-ARK -2' 78-58; 06-MSU -4 84-60, ARK -4 67-58, Ark +2 81-72 (CT-neut.) CABLE TV--ESPN
William & Mary 64 - TOWSON 60--Granted, Towson more formidable at home these days, having won 4 of last 5 as a host in CAA play (compared with 0-6 SU on the league trail). But will give W&M a shot to pull out of recent lurch that's seen the Tribe drop road decisions at emerging Wilmington & Northeastern. Pat Kennedy's young Tigers don't play the sort of defense either the Seahawks or Huskies employ these days, and Towson's erraticism on offensive was highlighted by their poor 32.7% shooting display in their 10-point loss at Williamsburg Jan. 19. Remember, Tony Shaver's overachieving W&M team had won 9 of 10 before that pair of recent slip-ups on the CAA road. 07-WMU -7 61-51; 06-Tow +1' 73-60
Western Kentucky 79 - MIDDLE TENN. ST. 69--Since the undisputed class of the Sun Belt--South Alabama and Western Kentucky--are tied for first in Eastern half of league, don't mind laying several buckets with motivated, deep 'Topper squad just a hoop away from 4 straight covers on the conference trail. WKU's bevy of potent deep-shooting gunners (39% from arc)--led by leading Sun Belt Player of the Year candidate, 6-5 G Courtney Lee (21 ppg)--should take full advantage of Middle's lax defense (72 ppg, 37% from arc) and continue to pad the Hilltopppers' NCAA at-large profile. 07-WKY -15' 62-51; 06-Wky -6 73-64, WKY -9' 65-53
Purdue over NORTHWESTERN by 8 to 11--06-Pur -3' 75-68, PUR -12' 73-50
Loyola-Chicago 67 - DETROIT 60--Now that 6-6 jr. PF Leon Young has apparently recovered from a bout with pneumonia and is ready to contribute once more, don't mind backing Loyola at Calihan Hall, even if forced to lay a few points. That's because Detroit's nightmarish season is mercifully soon to conclude, with the Titans still reeling from HC Watson's leave of absence in early January and are yet to uncover a consistent scoring threat to complement electric 5-10 G Goode (19.4 ppg), who did almost all of UD's damage (scored 30) in 6-point loss at Gentile Center Jan. 17. With midseason addition 6-5 transfer Cerasoli and Young finally available at the same time, no surprise if Rambler HC Jim Whitesell improves upon his impressive career February mark (18-6 SU in Feb. since 2004-05). 07-LOY -5' 71-65; 06-Loy +2' 70-64, LOY -5' 71-61
MISSISSIPPI 82 - Auburn 67--Since misfiring Ole Miss (1-5 last 6 in SEC) might need a strong finish to keep the NCAA committee interested, recommend "laying it" vs. shorthanded Auburn, which is noticeably wearing down in SEC battles, allowing 81 ppg last 5 (1-4 vs. spread in those losses). It's a safe bet the Tigers don't duplicate their torrid trey shooting of first meeting (10 of 19 from arc!), when they scored an 80-77 upset at Beard-Eaves Coliseum Jan,. 19. AU gets precious few second-chance points in rematch vs. the strong-boarding Rebels (SEC-best +7 rpg), who are also seeking a razor-sharp performance with rival Miss. State on deck. 07-AUB +5' 80-77; 06-Miss +2 82-59, MISS -6' 83-79
AIR FORCE over Wyoming by 5 to 7--07-Afa +2' 64-62 (OT); 06-Afa -7 58-56, AFA -19' 88-43, Wyo +7 67-62 (CT-neut.)
ARIZONA ST. over California by 3 to 5--07-Asu +6 99-90 (2OT); 06-Cal -3 66-62 (OT), Asu +5' 42-41
Re: Saturday Service Plays
THE GOLD SHEET
KANSAS ST. 82 - Missouri 65--Following its enthusiastically-celebrated upset vs. hated rival Kansas just 48 hours before, K-State apparently couldn't stand prosperity, suffering a disheartening 77-74 defeat at Mizzou Feb. 2. Wildcats' 6-9 frosh phenom Michael Beasley moaned, "We just laid down. We played like boys instead of men." But it will be "Boys 2 Men" back in boisterous Bramlage Coliseum, where KSU is 6-1 vs. spread, including upsets vs. Texas A&M and those Jayhawks. Don't count on the Tigers' soph G J.T. Tiller (7 ppg; career high 20 vs. Wildcats) having another heroic performance, especially with clever distributor Stefhon Hannah our for year with a broken jaw (and recent arrest for the scuffle that involved injury). Note the Tigers had dropped 7 straight vs. the spread away from home in Big XII prior to Wednesday's OT win at Nebraska. 07-MO +4 77-74; 06-Ksu +4 85-81, KSU -5' 80-73
BAYLOR over Texas by 1 to 2--07-TEX -7 80-72; 06-TEX -15 84-79, Tex -6' 68-67, Tex -9 74-69 (CT-neut.) CABLE TV--ESPN
GEORGE MASON 67 - NC Wilmington 62--Revenge motive certainly present for capable GMU, which has landed more than a few haymakers at the Patriot Center this winter and is primed to atone for its bitter 61-58 loss at Trask Coliseum Jan. 26. But Colonial sources report Jim Larranaga becoming increasingly exasperated with the erratic performances of Gs Tre Smith and John Vaughan, and the Seahawks impressing regional observers with superb balance (exemplified in first meeting, when all starters reached DDs). Mason likely earns its payback, but it won't be easy vs. ascending UNCW, winner of 7 of last 9. 07-NCW +6' 61-58; 06-GMU -10 55-34, NCW +8' 65-58
ST. BONAVENTURE 73 - George Washington 67--With SBU making some progress under fiery first-year HC Mark Schmidt (former Robert Morris mentor) with its stunning upset vs. Duquesne & a competitive 4-pt. loss vs. Charlotte in early February, look for floundering GW to suffer its 11th loss TY away from friendly Smith Center and its highly-supportive "Colonial Army." The Bonnies' recent uptick can be greatly attributed to the emergence of 6-8 frosh F Matt Morgan (15 ppg, 8 rpg last 3), now nicely complementing unheralded 6-8 sr. F Michael Lee (18 ppg, 8 rpg). Any late fouling by offensively-shaky GW (just 64 ppg, 42% FGs) could prove futile vs. SBU (deadly 76% FTs). 06-GWU -18 80-63
WICHITA STATE over Southern Illinois by 2 to 4--07-SIU -10' 63-52; 06-SIU -5 73-68, Siu +3' 54-46
Southern Miss over EAST CAROLINA by 1 to 2--07-USM -11' 92-69; 06-USM -9' 83-72, Usm -4 80-42
Cornell 68 - DARTMOUTH 56--If Cornell is as head and shoulders above Ivy foes, as early results indicate, no reason why Big Red can't continue its winning ways at Dartmouth, which is suffering from inconsistent backcourt play. Big edge owned by Cornell Gs, especially 6-6 swingman Wittman (15.7 ppg & 51% treys), who has proven a hellish matchup for Ivy opponents thus far. 06-Cor -1 74-61, COR -8' 76-53
Illinois over PENN ST. by 3 to 5--07-Psu +8 68-64; 06-Ill -5 68-50, Ill -11 66-60 (CT-neut.)
Pacific 77 - CS FULLERTON 74--With first place in Big West at stake, not sure we want to trust CSF bunch that is suddenly looking for volunteers at the all-important PG position after the recent suspension of 5-6 sparkplug Junior Russell and the broken nose suffered by Marcus Crenshaw (little-used Georgetown transfer Ray Reed might be only the true PG available for HC Burton). Meanwhile, Bob Thomason painting another masterpiece at UOP, with his Tiger role players providing balance and rarely taking a bad shot (Pacific is a league-best 49% from floor). 07-PAC -3 89-82; 06-CSF -8' 76-70, Csf -1 82-77, CSF -3' 100-92 (CT-2OT)
Columbia over HARVARD by 1 to 2--06-Col -1 90-70, COL -6' 76-66
DUQUESNE over Richmond by 5 to 7--06-RICH +2' 69-66
SOUTH CAROLINA over Alabama by 2 to 4--06-ALA -11 64-61
HHHIllinois-Chicago 75 - WRIGHT ST. 70--Make no mistake, the availability of PG Spencer Stewart is very important to the success of UIC, which floundered during his injury-caused absence in late December/early January. Since Stewart's return to 100% status, however, Flames heating up again, especially high-scoring UIC G Mayo, who's tallying 25 ppg last 4 (thru Feb. 13) since Stewart's full impact being felt once more. During their recent 4-game uptick, Flames hitting 49% from floor, while limiting foes to 37.7% and a mere 25.6% beyond arc. Hardly comfortable laying any points with low-variance Wright State, which despite 8-game win streak thru Feb. 13 continues to age HC Brownell (7 of those wins by single digits, five by 4 points or fewer, including 1-point win at UIC Pavilion Jan. 17!). 07-Wsu +3 76-75; 06-WSU +1 76-62, Wsu -1 74-64 (OT)
PENN 76 - Yale 70--The Palestra has been kind to Penn in Ivy play, as Quakers have won first three as league host thru Feb. 14. 06-YALE +3 77-68, PENN -10 86-58
Tulane over MARSHALL by 1 to 2--06-Mar +4 79-73, Tul +2' 73-65
Miami-Ohio over BUFFALO by 5 to 7--07-MIA -12' 64-57; 06-BUF +1 68-51, MIA -11 80-68
VA. COMMONWEALTH over Old Dominion by 11 to 14--07-Vcu +1' 78-68; 06-VCU -5' 80-75, ODU -3 79-63
Washington 70 - OREGON ST. 66--It's going to be tough for OSU to avoid becoming the first Pac-10/Pac-8 entry since USC's 1975-76 team (0-14 in league play) to go winless through the conference season. But regional scouts are impressed with the Beavers' effort in last week's visit to the Bay Area (which resulted in handy covers for OSU at both Cal and Stanford), as interim HC Kevin Mouton effectively firing up his troops after an "unnamed" rival coach suggested OSU had given up following HC Jay John's ouster. U-Dub simply too erratic to trust laying significant price on road. 07-WASH -14' 83-74; 06-WASH -13' 91-74, OSU +5 73-65
PRINCETON over Brown by 1 to 3--06-BRO -1 63-48, Bro +4 64-55
Gonzaga 82 - SAN FRANCISCO 63--Eddie Sutton coaxed limited USF into "hanging around" Jan. 21 in a Big Monday clash between these two earlier at Spokane, which prompted Gonzaga HC Few to verbally condemn his troops for going through the motions that night. Properly focused, and not wishing to harm its NCAA seeding prospects, expect the Zags to be all business in rematch. Few is getting his Big Dance rotation in place as he works 6-11 C Heytvelt (who missed first month-plus of action) into his mix, and Zag depth should eventually wear out thinner Dons in rematch. 07-GON -20 72-64; 06-GON -15' 72-56, Gon -3 86-79 (OT)
TULSA over Utep by 1 to 2--07-UTEP -6 65-61; 06-TLS -3' 86-79 (OT), Tls +5' 66-51
NORTH TEXAS over Troy by 12 to 15--07-TROY +2 91-88 (OT); 06-NTU -6' 98-57
HOUSTON over Smu by 17 to 21--07-Hou -10 99-71; 06-HOU -6' 82-67, Hou +1' 64-49
Ucf 78 - RICE 62--Ravaged Rice has lost more players to injuries and suspensions (4) than it has SU victories TY, with top scorer 6-9 F Paulius Packevicius the most recent casualty. But hurtin' Owls will get no sympathy from UCF bunch that's ready to avenge an upset by the Owls in the C-USA tourney last March. Refreshed, motivated Knights (6 full prep days), whose schedule sets up well for a strong stretch drive (and possible second-place finish), should win handily vs. punchless Rice (ranked last in conf. in scoring, FG & 3 pt.%), which has mustered more than 60 pts. just once in its past 11 outings. 06-UCF 72-67, Ucf +1 74-63, Rice +6 53-51 (CT-neut.)
Wis.-Green Bay 72 - WISC.-MILWAUKEE 67--Heavy dose of challenging road games in pre-league play has helped prepare UWGB for the Horizon trail, as the Phoenix now 7-3 vs. spread last 10 on conference road. Horizon sources continue to rave about the Phoenix' highly-productive 6-9 F Mike Schachtner (17 ppg), who has elevated his team's play with sharp passing out of increasingly-frequent "double-teams." Expect Green Bay bench to contribute more after combining for 2 of 14 FGs in narrow 4-pt. home loss to rival Milwaukee Jan. 19. Also note that dog has covered 4 straight in series, including 3 consecutive upsets. 07-Uwm +6 65-61; 06-Wgb +1' 73-67, Uwm +9 74-73
VALPARAISO 65 - Youngstown St. 57--Youngstown not going anywhere this postseason, but Penguins have been plenty plucky vs. spread, dropping just 2 of last 13 vs. line prior to Feb. 14 game at Butler. Meanwhile, depth-shy Valpo wearing down, and has failed to cover last 7 on board thru Feb. 13. 07-Val -6' 67-61; 06-DNP
Villanova over ST. JOHN'S by 1 to 2--06-DNP TV-ESPNC
Memphis over UAB by 8 to 11--06-MEM -14 79-54, Mem -9' 70-56
SOUTH ALABAMA over Florida Atlantic by 16 to 19--07-Usa -9' 66-55; 06-USA -8' 101-76, FAU +2' 79-69
ARKANSAS ST. over La.-Lafayette by 1 to 2--07-ULL -6 73-63; 06-Asu +3' 73-63, Ull +7 76-70
ARKANSAS-L.R. over New Orleans by 2 to 4--07-Alr +5' 84-75; 06-Uno +6 82-73, Alr +3' 65-64, UNO -3' 77-70 (CT)
LA.-MONROE over Denver by 2 to 4--07-DEN -2 66-50; 06-DEN +4' 75-65, ULM -10' 87-51, ULM -12 83-67 (CT)
MISSOURI ST. 84 - Evansville 67--With MSU's bruising 6-9, 250 C Drew Richards (missed 8 games, including first series meeting) back from injury, look for bristling Bears to settle a score vs. defensively-soft E'ville (72 ppg away, league-worst 22 blocks all season), which shot "lights-out" (51% FGs, 12 of 22 from arc) in earlier 84-65 home victory. This time, expect Aces to shoot more like "jokers" vs. fired-up MSU, playing extra hard for embroiled HC Barry Hinson. 07-EVA +6 84-65; 06-MSU -13 106-54, EVA +5 63-56
Washington St. 66 - OREGON 61--Oregon has been a bit of a thorn in Wazzu's side lately, winning both meetings LY and narrowly covering in the Palouse this Jan. 20. But since Ducks blowing so hot-and-cold lately as they rely on their trey shooting, don't mind supporting consistent Cougs now that they've broken their recent 3-game losing streak with an emphatic romp past USC at Friel Court Feb. 9. 07-WSU -9' 69-60; 06-Ore +4 77-74 (OT), ORE -2' 64-59
BOISE ST. over Fresno St. by 13 to 16--07-Bsu +1 90-89 (OT); 06-BSU -6 65-61, FSU -5 78-77, Bsu +1 78-73 (CT-neut.)
INDIANA over Michigan St. by 3 to 5--06-IND -5' 73-51, MSU -6' 66-58 CABLE TV--ESPN
SAN DIEGO 77 - Portland 60--Coach Eric Reveno continues to juggle the Portland lineup, as he looks for the right combo to compensate for his team's physical shortcomings (lack of quicks in particular). But there's only so much Reveno can do with the talent on hand, as defensive lapses (such as the one that cost Portland against Pepperdine Feb. 11) still problematic. Meanwhile, USD's confidence growing (6 straight wins) as it keeps abreast of Saint Mary's & Gonzaga (which visits Monday night), and doubt Toreros need another bit of late-game heroics from G Brandon Johnson, who hit a fade-away triple at the buzzer to beat the Pilots at the Chiles Center Jan. 21. 07-Usd +1 64-61; 06-Usd -2' 74-70, USD -10 82-76
BYU 69 - Unlv 54--You can bet BYU has this date circled after getting walloped 70-41 at Thomas & Mack Center Jan. 15, a night when the normally-accurate Cougs hit only 3 of 21 beyond arc and were guilty of an uncharacteristic 19 TOs. BYU hasn't lost since, and remember, this one is at the Marriott Center, where the Cougs have won 43 straight (and ripped the Sweet Sixteen Rebels LY 90-63). 07-UNLV -1' 70-41; 06-UNLV -6 83-75, BYU -4 90-63, UNLV -4 78-70 (CT)
NEW MEXICO over Tcu by 15 to 18--Check it out, Lobos are hot shooters in Albuquerque, going 11-2 as a home favorite TY. Payback could be in order. 07-TCU +3' 74-72; 06-TCU +2' 64-52, UNM -10 74-58, Tcu +4' 62-54 (CT-neut.)
Nevada over IDAHO by 12 to 15--07-NEV -17 69-61; 06-NEV -27 81-55, Nev -16 84-68, Nev -19' 88-56 (CT-neut.)
UC Santa Barbara over UC DAVIS by 5 to 7--07-UCSB -18 60-45; 06-Ucd (NL) 70-66, Ucsb (NL) 66-48
CS NORTHRIDGE 88 - UC Riverside 62--After scare at Riverside Jan. 16 (when CSUN needed six triples by jr. G Tresvant to survive a 66-62 nailbiter), doubt potent Matadors overlook Big West cellar-dweller in rematch. Depth-shy Highlanders on short rations offensively (G Cunningham only player scoring DDs). 07-Csn -10' 66-62; 06-Csn -6 67-60, CSN -11' 89-69
Saint Mary's over LOYOLA-MARYMOUNT by 25 to 29--07-STM -26' 87-55; 06-STM -12' 69-54, Stm -2 63-47
Santa Clara 84 - PEPPERDINE 76--Although Pep managed a minor uprising Monday night at portland, doubt lightning strikes twice in same week for Waves, whose program remains in disarray following HC Walberg's unexpected mid-January resignation. Keep in mind that SCU got almost every look it wanted on the offensive end when hitting 67% from floor (no kidding!) in 101-86 romp at Leavey Center Jan. 21, the first time Broncos cracked century mark in 14 years (back in the Steve Nash era at Santa Clara). 07-SCU -8' 101-86; 06-SCU -9 77-55, PEP +7 89-82 (OT)
HAWAII over Utah St. by 1 to 2 --07-USU -11 86-80; 06-HI -6' 69-61, USU -4' 58-50, Usu +2' 73-70 (CT-neut.)
Re: Saturday Service Plays
COLLEGE KEY RELEASES
KANSAS STATE over Missouri RATING: 1
TEXAS TECH over Oklahoma RATING: 2
DELAWARE over Drexel RATING: 3
(Best bets 3 units, Preferred Plays 2 units)
Oklahoma over Texas Tech 78-66 ***Best Bet***
Maryland over Florida St. 84-70-Pref.
Baylor over Texas 78-74-Pref.
Cal over Arizona State 74-69-Pref.
Buffalo over NY Rangers - Pref.
Over in the Florida/Carolina Game - BB
Under in the LA Kings/Phoenix game - Pref.
Re: Saturday Service Plays
Spike Measer / Big Time Sports
UAB plus the points.
Razor Sharp Sports
Early numbers on this game have Indiana favored by 4 points or so Saturday, and I’m going to lay the points in this one. The home team has won six straight in this series, and until Michigan St can show me more on the road, I’ll have to side with Indiana
Re: Saturday Service Plays
The Texas Longhorns are off their biggest win the season last time out as they defeated the Kansas Jayhawks , by a score of 72-69 on their own home floor. That will have Texas in an emotional let down situation, which will make them vulnerable against a Baylor team that is primed to make a mark on this conference with an upset of their own, in front of their frenzied alumni. Final notes & Key Trends:Baylor is 8-1 ATS when the total is 150 to 159.5 over the last couple of seaons. Play on Baylor
Re: Saturday Service Plays
Nebraska Cornhuskers at Iowa State Cyclones
Cyclones play host to Nebraska in a matchup of Big 12 foes that is critically pivotal to Iowa State's post-season chances. The Huskers started the season 11-2 out of the gate before entering conference play. SInce then they've come back to earth, going 3-6 SU & 2-7 ATS against Big 12 foes this season. With ISU a stellar 17-10 SU & ATS the last twenty-seven games in this series, look for the Cyclones to pick up a much needed win here today
Re: Saturday Service Plays
So Mississippi vs. East Carolina
Play: East Carolina
It is pretty clear who the overall better team is here but that does not matter much in this spot. East Carolina has struggled with just one win in its last seven games but four of those games were at home with the one win coming there and two other losses by five points each against teams better than what it faces this Saturday. The Pirates are shooting for their eighth home win of the season Saturday night, which would be their most since winning 10 home games during the 2003-04 campaign.
Southern Mississippi as mentioned is the better team but how much better is it? The Golden Eagles are 4-5 in the conference which is only two games better than the Pirates and that includes a 0-4 record on the road. As a matter of fact, they have not won on the road all season, going 0-8 in true road games and 0-9 overall away from home and now they are not only being asked by the linesmakers to win but win by a decent sized number that is hasn’t come close to attaining all season long
Southern Mississippi is playing some horrendous defense right now as it has allowed 75 ppg on 50 percent shooting over its last five games. It allows 79.6 ppg on 49.8 percent shooting on the road and the Pirates can take advantage of this. While East Carolina’s scoring average of 67.5 ppg only ranks 10th highest in the league, it is a significant increase from last season's 59.3 ppg average. A year ago, it topped 70 points just eight times but through 22 games this season, is has already scored over 70 in seven games.
The Pirates lead Conference USA in three-point field goal shooting overall at 38.3 percent and lead the league in conference games only at 38.7 percent. East Carolina is averaging 8.6 made three-pointers per game over the past 10 games and is shooting 40.3 percent from behind the arc during that stretch. That 40 percent mark is big considering that the Golden Eagles have allowed opponents to shoot 41.1 percent from behind the arc on their home floors this season.
These teams met back on February 2nd and the Golden Eagles won that game at home by 23 points so don’t think the Pirates have forgotten that one. Southern Mississippi actually led by 33 points at one point in the second half and it was completely embarrassed. And it doesn’t end their. The Golden Eagles have lost 10 straight conference road games dating back to last season and the last win happened to take place at East Carolina. The margin of victory was 38 points so it is time for some double payback. Play East Carolina Pirates 1 Unit
Re: Saturday Service Plays
Washington State @ Oregon
Play: Oregon -1.5
Gigantic game for Oregon tonight as they host Washington State. The Cougars seem to be out of their slump, but this is still the second of back to back on the road for Wazzou and they're not completely healthy. Washington State was phenomenally lucky to cover the first meeting, which was much closer than the 69-60 score might indicate, and the Ducks got great looks all game. Good revenge spot for Oregon at a very small impost.
Great Lakes Sports College
Tennessee at Georgia
Play on:Tennessee Volunteers
The Vols have simply owned the Georgia Bulldogs, as they are 16-4 ATS ve Georgia since 1997 including 5-0 ATS vs the Bulldogs the last three years. The Tennessee Volunteers are also 7-2 ATS when playing in the peach state since 1997, and the are 7-3 ATS vs conference opponents this year. The Vols is also having a good February going 3-1 ATS, and Tennessee is also 7-2 ATS after a conference game this year. The Tennessee Volunteers are 6-2 ATS off a win vs a conference rival this year, and 6-1 ATS when playing a team with a winning record after fifteen or more games this year. The Georgia Bulldogs is only 2-4 ATS as an underdog this year. We look for the Tennessee Volunteers to roll over the Georgia Bulldogs for the road ATS Win & cover on this Saturday.
Texas (20-4) at Baylor (17-6)
TV ESPN: Big 12 squabble in Waco. The home town Bears have just surprised everyone with a 17-6 record for Head Coach Drew. Two years ago this program was under heavy restrictions allowed to play leage games only.Texas has been a tough customer with Guard D.J Augustin, but they will be walking into a hornets nest tonight. Baylor is led by Curtis Jerrells 15.0 and Lacedarius Dunn 13.0. With the crowd at a fever pitch the Bears get win 18 on the season.Take Baylor
Nebraska vs. Iowa State
It’s a revenge match up in Ames this afternoon as the Cyclones look for a payback for an early season loss to the Huskers 64-56. In that game the Clones were without their leading scorer, Wesley Johnson , but he’ll be in the line up for this one and what a difference maker he is for ISU. With the poor traveling Huskers just 1-8 ATS on the road this season we like our Big XII complimentary selection on #750 Iowa State Cyclones.
Connecticut at SOUTH FLORIDA
Play ON: CONNECTICUT
The Husky express is in full stride and in the attack mode. Since that embarrassing home loss to Providence, after which coach Jim Calhoun called his players out, Connecticut has won eight games in a row with seven covers. Every one of those eight wins came against a winning team. South Florida, of course, is not one of those. In fact, the Bulls won only their second Big East game in 19 tries when they whipped Sorrycuse last Wednesday. All that win did for South Florida is alert UConn to have its game face on this afternoon. Connecticut is a powerful 72-19 ATS in its last 91 SU conference road wins, including 31-8 ATS when the opponent is off a SU win. South Florida shot its wad against the Orange and will come up short against the rampaging Dogs today. No Bull.
PREDICTION: CONNECTICUT 78 - South Florida 61
Re: Saturday Service Plays
Jimmy The Moose
Game: Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs
Reason: Boston has played under the total in 7 of their last 9 games. In their last 12 games following a win the under is 9-3. The under is 7-3 in their last 19 games vs. a team with a losing record. The Bruins have played the under in 5 of their last 7 Conference games. The under is 7-2-4 in Toronto's last 13 games. The under is 5-0-3 in their last 8 games played with 1 day rest between games. The under is 5-0-1 in Boston's last 6 trips to Toronto. The under is a profitable 28-9-2 in the last 39 meetings between the clubs. Play the under.
Re: Saturday Service Plays
Connecticut Huskies - 6 over (at) South Florida Bulls
USF (11-14, 2-10) vs. No.17 Connecticut (19-5, 8-3) enters on a momentum building eight game win streak which includes victories over four ranked teams. In Big East play the Huskies lead the league in FG percentage while ranking third in FG percentage defense.
Creighton Blue Jays + 3 over (at) Bradley Braves
Bradley (14-12, 7-7) is 4-5 last nine home games, three of the four wins coming vs. teams currently below .500 in MVC play. Creighton (17-7, 8-6) is 5-1 at Bradley over the past six seasons including an 82-71 win there last season.
Texas Tech Red Raiders - 2.5 over Oklahoma Sooners
Oklahoma (16-8, 4-5) at Texas Tech (13-10, 4-5) is 11-1 at home including victories over then No.9 (now 20-4) Texas A&M 68-53 and then No.22 (now 17-6) Kansas State 84-75. The Red Raiders won last season's home meeting beating Oklahoma 68-54.
Texas Longhorns + 1.5 over (at) Baylor Bears
Baylor (17-6, 5-4) vs. No.11 Texas' (20-4, 7-2) record includes three wins over teams currently ranked in the top six of the AP poll. The Horns are 21-0 versus Baylor under coach Barnes.
Villanova Wildcats - 2 over (at) St. John's Red Storm
St. John's (10-13, 4-8) is 1-3 last four home games including a 74-42 loss to No.8 Georgetown on 01/30. Villanova (14-9, 4-7) enters off a last second 55-53 loss at Georgetown on 02/11. The Wildcats are 5-1 last six meetings including 2-0 at St.Johns.
Re: Saturday Service Plays
Sports Gambling Hotline
Florida (+7) at VANDERBILT
Even though they stand at 19-6 for the year, the Gators recent downturn - 3 losses in their last 4 games - has put them in "must win" positions as we head down the stretch as far as getting into the Big Dance is concerned.
While the outright at Vanderbilt where the Commodores have not lost this season - and are coming off a 41-point destruction of Kentucky - may not be in order, we are very interested in grabbing the points as we feel the Gators will play a close one this afternoon in Nashville.
Vandy is in payback mode as they were dumped rather convincingly in their visit to Gainsville, 86-64 back at the end of January. Still, that only gives us better line value with the underdog in this one. Florida has won outright in 8 of the last 9 series meetings, and while a 9th win in 10 tries is unlikely, the Commodores are only 6-8 against the spread at home this season.
We say grab the points in this SEC battle, as the Gators give the 'Dores all they can handle.
Play on Florida.
Temple (+1') at DAYTON
Temple did me in earlier this week when they came from a dozen down at home, and edged a tough Rhode Island team in overtime, as the Owls made it an 8-1 spread run in Atlantic 10 play.
The Owls have also won 7 of their last 9 games straight up, while going 9-2 against the spread their last 11 games! Those are numbers the G-Man can rally around!!!
The Flyers have dropped their last pair of games, and are mired in a 2-6 straight up funk. Dayton has also lost 3 of the last 4 series meetings against Temple.
Fran Dunphy's team is up to 13-10 for the season, and appear to be peaking at the right time.
G-Man says "Give a hoot", and back the Owls at Dayton this afternoon!
UNLV at BYU (-6)
BYU is undefeated at home this season, sitting at 12-0. The Cougars have won seven games in a row in the Mountain West Conference and they seem to be rolling lately.
The last team to beat the Cougars was UNLV when the Rebels delivered a 70-41 beatdown in Vegas back on Jan. 15. Now do you think BYU has that game in mind when they take the floor tonight? Absolutely! And payback is coming.
The Cougars are 5-2 ATS in their last seven and look to have rectified the offensive troubles they wree havin earlier in the season. And it was just last year, against a UNLV team that ended up in the Sweet 16, that BYU hammered the Rebels in Provo, 90-63 as four-point favorites.
The Rebels have won seven of their last eight games, but have failed to cash a ticket in any of their last three. Seems this team is playing to the level of its competition instead of going for the kill. Tonight they won't have that option as the Cougars do the killing.
Let's play BYU and lay the chalk. The Cougars will win this one by 10 or better.
Clemson (-5') at N.C. STATE
Clemson crushed the Wolfpack a month ago and look for more of the same in this one.
The Tigers scored a 70-54 home win back on Jan. 15, covering as 12 1/2-point favorites. Last year they went to N.C. State and scored an 87-76 road win, covering that line as 6 1/2-point favorites.
Clemson has won three of its last four games and actually should have won all four had they not blown it in OT at North Carolina on Sunday. the Tigers are 3-1 ATS in their lasdt four and they just destroyed Georgia Tech 82-67 on Thursday as 8 1/2-opint favorites.
Compare this one a lot to the Virginia game back on Feb. 7 when Clemson went there and delivered a 78-56 drubbing as 2 1/2-point chalk. This team knows how to score points and we're not sure N.C. State can do anything to slow them down. The Tigers have scored 72 or more points in seven straight games and averages 82.9 on the road.
Even at home, the Wolfpack average just 68.8 points.
Let's play the high-flying Clemson offense to get the job done in this one.