Betting News and Notes - Mar. 6

Betting News and Notes - Mar. 6

Bulls suspend Thomas 2 games for missing practice
March 5, 2008

CHICAGO (AP) -The Chicago Bulls suspended forward Tyrus Thomas for two games after missing practice on Wednesday.

Thomas, a former first-round pick who is averaging 6.3 points and 4.6 rebounds in his second season, will serve the punishment when the Bulls host Cleveland Thursday and visit Boston on Friday.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 6

Dirk Nowitzki suspended 1 game for hard foul on Utah's Kirilenko
March 5, 2008

DALLAS (AP) -Dirk Nowitzki was suspended without pay for one game by the NBA on Wednesday for his hard foul on Utah's Andrei Kirilenko.

Nowitzki will miss the Dallas Mavericks' next game, at home Thursday night against the divisional rival Houston Rockets, who recently passed them in the tight Western Conference standings.

Nowitzki received a flagrant-1 when he hit Kirilenko midway through the first quarter of a 116-110 loss to Utah on Monday. However, the league reviewed the play and decided to upgrade it to a flagrant-2. Had it been ruled a flagrant-2 at the time he would've been ejected.

Kirilenko injured his right hip in the fall and stayed down for several minutes before getting up gingerly. He made both foul shots before being helped to the locker room. He was taken for X-rays, which showed no break.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 6

Pac-10 Tip Sheet
March 5, 2008
By Brad Young

The Pac-10 Conference concludes its regular season this weekend, while the regular-season title will be determined with Thursday’s Stanford-UCLA contest. Not only is the regular-season title up for grabs, but also a high seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

There are six or seven teams projected to make the Big Dance from the Conference of Champions, with the Bruins expected to garner the top seed in the West. Stanford, according to various websites, should be a third seed, while Washington State is expecting to be seeded around sixth.

There is a glut of teams in the middle of the Pac-10 standings, and things should be cleared up after the next two games. Southern Cal currently has fourth place all to itself, while Arizona State is fifth with Arizona and Oregon tied for sixth. The popular phrase ‘if the season ended today’ would have USC rated as a seventh-seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Arizona State is presently projected as a 10th seed, while Arizona is ninth. Oregon would be on the outside looking in due to a weaker strength of schedule, but the Ducks can play themselves into the Big Dance with victories this weekend over the Sun Devils and Wildcats. Now let’s break down Thursday’s action.

**Arizona State at Oregon**

-Las Vegas Sports Consultants installed Oregon as a six-point home ‘chalk’ over Arizona State, with the total set at 139. This contest is scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m. ET.

-Arizona State (18-10 straight up, 13-11 against the spread) has alternated SU and ATS wins and losses its last four games after beating Southern Cal Saturday as a one-point home favorite, 80-66.

-The Sun Devils went to the foul line 39 times, connecting on 34 attempts while the Trojans were 10-of-11 from the charity stripe. Arizona State shot 51 percent (20-of-39) from the field, led by freshman guard James Harden’s 24 points on 7-of-8 shooting.

-The Sun Devils maintain a 5-6 SU and ATS road record, falling to opponents by an average score of 68-62.

-Oregon (16-12 SU, 12-13 ATS) had dropped three games in a row SU before dumping rival Oregon State Sunday as a 10-point road ‘chalk,’ 80-68. That marked the second game in a row that the Ducks covered.

-Oregon was outrebounded, 37-32, but prevailed by shooting 46 percent (24-of-52) from the field. Forward Maarty Leunen led all scorers with 32 points on 8-of-10 shooting.

-The Ducks are 11-3 SU but 5-7 ATS at home, winning those affairs by an average score of 82-71.

-Oregon had beaten Arizona State four times in a row SU before falling Jan. 3 as a 3½-point road underdog, 62-54. The Sun Devils have covered the last three games in this series.

**California at Southern Cal**

-LVSC opened Southern Cal as an eight-point home favorite over California, with the total listed at 138. This game is slated to start at 10:30 p.m. ET.

-California (15-12 SU, 11-12 ATS) has dropped three games in a row SU and back-to-back outings ATS after Saturday’s setback to Washington as a three-point home ‘chalk,’ 87-84.

-The Golden Bears won the rebounding battle, 36-29, but allowed the Huskies to shoot 53 percent (33-of-62) from the field. Four Cal starters reached double digits in scoring, led by Eric Vierneisel’s 20 points and seven rebounds.

-Cal is 5-4 SU and 6-3 ATS on the road, dropping those affairs by an average score of 74-73.

-Southern Cal (18-10 SU, 16-9 ATS) was riding a three-game SU and ATS winning streak before falling to Arizona State.

-The Trojans were outscored in the second half, 55-41. Freshman guard O.J. Mayo led all scorers with 37 points on 12-of-21 shooting, making him the only USC player to reach double digits in scoring.

-The Trojans are 9-5 SU and 6-5 ATS at home, winning those games by an average score of 68-62.

-Cal is 4-2 SU and ATS the previous six meetings with USC after prevailing Jan. 3 as a three-point home ‘chalk,’ 92-82. The Trojans swept last year’s series SU and ATS.

**Arizona at Oregon State**

-Caesars Palace lists Arizona as a 13-point road ‘chalk’ over Oregon State. This contest is scheduled to tipoff at 9:00 p.m. ET.

-Arizona (17-12 SU, 14-12 ATS) dropped to 1-4 SU its last five games after falling to UCLA Sunday as a 5 ½-point home underdog, 68-66. The Wildcats improved to 2-1 ATS their last three games with Sunday’s performance.

-Arizona shot 47 percent (24-of-51) from the field, and missed a three pointer at the buzzer that would have won the game. Forward Chase Budinger had 24 points and seven rebounds in the loss, while Jordan Hill added 18 and six.

-The Wildcats are a pedestrian 6-6 SU and 7-4 ATS on the road, winning those affairs by an average score of 69-68.

-Oregon State (6-22 SU, 9-16 ATS) is still searching for its first conference victory after falling to Oregon Sunday. The Beavers have failed to cover their last five games, and haven’t won SU since beating Northern Colorado in late December.

-Oregon State shot 39 percent (24-of-62) from the field, while shooting 15 times less than the Ducks at the free-throw line. Forward Marcel Jones paced the offense with 17 points and 12 rebounds.

-The Beavers have stumbled their way to a 3-10 SU and 2-11 ATS home ledger, dropping those affairs by an average score of 69-59.

-Arizona is 4-0 SU but 1-3 ATS the past four meetings with Oregon State after prevailing Jan. 3 as a 17-point home favorite, 76-63. That marked the third game in a row this series that the Beavers covered.

-Arizona forward Bret Brielmaier (shoulder) and guard Nic Wise (knee) are ‘questionable’ against the Beavers.

**Stanford at UCLA**

-LVSC installed UCLA as a nine-point home favorite over Stanford, with the total set at 128. FOX Sports Net will provide coverage of this contest beginning at 11:00 p.m. ET.

-Stanford (24-4 SU, 14-13 ATS) notched its fourth consecutive victory SU (2-2 ATS) after upending Washington State Saturday as a 4 ½-point home ‘chalk,’ 60-53. The Cardinal had failed to cover their previous two outings.

-Stanford won the rebounding battle, 30-25, while shooting 44 percent (20-of-45) from the field. Forward Brook Lopez led all scorers with 25 points and six rebounds.

-The Cardinal are 8-3 SU and 7-4 ATS away from home, winning those affairs by an average score of 68-63.

-UCLA (26-3 SU, 17-9 ATS) continued its winning ways by slipping past Arizona Sunday its latest effort. The Bruins dipped to 1-2 ATS their last three games.

-UCLA outrebounded Arizona, 30-25, while shooting 48 percent (23-of-48) from the field. Freshman center Kevin Love enjoyed a stellar effort by collecting 24 points and 15 points in the victory.

-The Bruins sport a 14-2 SU and 8-6 ATS home ledger, winning those games by an average score of 77-55.

-UCLA is 4-1 SU and ATS the last five meetings with Stanford after winning Jan. 3 as a road ‘pick,’ 76-67.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 6

Road Traps

**Clemson at Georgia Tech**

--Clemson (21-7 straight up, 16-9 against the spread) falls into a classic road trap here for several reasons. First, the Tigers are riding high after rallying from a 20-point deficit with 11:23 left to capture a jaw-dropping 73-70 win Sunday at Maryland. Secondly, this is a second straight road game for CU. Finally, Oliver Purnell’s squad could be flat because it has locked up an at-large invite to the NCAA Tournament by virtue of the come-from-behind win over the Terps.

--Clemson cashed tickets as one-point road favorites in the improbable comeback at Maryland. Terrence Oglesby drained a deep jumper from the right wing to cap the furious rally. Prior to Oglesby’s game-winning heroics, James Mays knotted the score at 70-70 with 48 seconds remaining on a breakaway jam after stealing a careless pass from Landon Milbourne.

--Las Vegas Sports Consultants opened this game as a pick ‘em with a total of 150. As of early this morning, most spots had Clemson as the one-point favorite.

--Georgia Tech (12-16 SU, 12-14 ATS) has lost six of its last seven games, including a 76-74 home loss Monday to Virginia. The Yellow Jackets went down as 4 ½-point favorites, while the 150 combined points fell ‘under’ the 153 1/2-point tally.

--The Yellow Jackets are 6-7 SU and 6-5 ATS at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, formerly known as the “Thriller Dome” during Bobby Cremins’ tenure.

--When these teams met at Clemson on Valentine’s Day a few weeks ago, the Tigers collected an 82-67 win as 8 ½-point home favorites. Cliff Hammonds scored a game-high 22 points for the winners.

--Spreaking of Hammonds, he suffered a broken wrist against Maryland. Nevertheless, the injury is on Hammonds’ non-shooting hand and he is expected to play through the injury.

--The ‘over’ is 16-10 overall for Georgia Tech, but the ‘under’ is 6-5 in its road games. As for Clemson, it has watched the ‘over’ go 13-11 overall.

--ESPN2 will provide television coverage at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

**Connecticut at Providence**

--LVSC opened UConn (23-6 SU, 14-11 ATS) as a five-point ‘chalk’ with a total of 147. However, the Huskies were at 3½ early this morning.

--Since losing at Villanova two weeks ago, Jim Calhoun’s team has won back-to-back games, including Saturday’s 69-61 home win over West Virginia as a three-point ‘chalk.’ A.J. Price scored a team-high 24 points for the Huskies, who improved to 13-5 ATS in their last 18 games.

--Providence (14-14 SU, 11-15 ATS) snapped a five-game losing streak Sunday with an 81-79 win at Cincinnati in overtime. The Friars took the cash as five-point underdogs. Geoff McDermott nearly produced a triple-double in the victory, finishing with 13 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists.

--Providence owns a 9-5 SU record and a 6-6 ATS mark at home.

--The ‘under’ is 14-12 overall for the Friars, but the ‘over’ is 7-5 in their home games.

--The ‘over’ is 13-12 overall for UConn.

--Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.

**Xavier at St. Joseph’s**

--LVSC opened Xavier (25-4 SU, 12-13 ATS) as a two-point ‘chalk’ with a total of 138. The Muskateers bring an 11-game winning streak to Philadelphia.

--Sean Miller’s squad has covered the spread in three of its last four games, but Xavier failed to take the cash in Saturday’s 66-56 win over George Washington as an 18½-point favorite.

--St. Joseph’s (17-10 SU, ATS) has covered the spread in six of its last eight head-to-head meetings against Xavier, including a 76-72 loss to the Muskateers as 9½-point road underdogs on Feb. 10.

--Phil Martelli’s team has gone 7-5 SU and 5-6 ATS at home.

--The ‘under’ is 14-11 overall for St. Joe’s, 7-4 in its home assignments. The ‘under’ is also 14-11 overall for Xavier.

--ESPN will have the telecast at 9:00 p.m. ET.

**Michigan State at Illinois**

--LVSC sent out Michigan State (23-6 SU, 10-13 ATS) as a two-point favorite with a total of 123. As of early this morning, most spots had the game listed as a pick ‘em.

--Tom Izzo’s squad has lost four consecutive road games, including double-digit defeats at Wisconsin and Indiana. On the bright side, the Spartans remain a national-title contender thanks to their perfect play at home. They are off a 103-74 pasting of the Hoosiers, avenging the loss at Assembly Hall in Bloomington.

--Raymar Mogan led Michigan St. over IU with a team-high 20 points. Drew Neitzel and Goran Sutton added 17 points apiece.

--Illinois (12-17 SU, 11-17 ATS) has lost six of its last eight games both SU and ATS, , but the Illini are off a 58-47 win at Iowa as a two-point favorite.

--Bruce Weber’s team has endured a nightmare campaign in front of the home fans. The Illini are 6-7 SU and 3-9-1 ATS at home.

--The ‘under’ has cashed in four consecutive head-to-head meetings between Illinois and Michigan St.

--The Illini have taken the money in eight of the last 11 against the Spartans. However, Michigan St. won a 51-41 decision over Illinois as a nine-point favorite in East Lansing earlier this season.

--The ‘over’ is 15-13 overall for Illinois, 8-4-1 in its home games. The ‘over’ is 14-11 overall for the Spartans.

--Tip-off is slated for 9:00 p.m. ET. on ESPN2.

**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**


--Wednesday’s Biggest Winners:
1-Texas A&M (at Baylor)
2-Oklahoma (at Oklahoma St.)
3-Kentucky (at South Carolina)
4-Syracuse (at Seton Hall)
5-Vanderbilt (vs. Mississippi St.)

Wednesday’s Biggest Losers:
1-Florida (vs. Tennessee)
2-Baylor (vs. Texas A&M)
3-Minnesota (at Indiana)
4-Oklahoma St. (vs. Oklahoma)
5-Virginia (vs. Duke)

--I mentioned Bobby Cremins’ tenure at Georgia Tech earlier. Here’s my all-time Ga. Tech team during Cremins’ reign.

Starting point guard: Mark Price
Starting shooting guard: Dennis Scott
Starting center: John Salley
Starting power forward: Tom Hammonds
Starting small forward: Matt Harpring

Back-up big men: Jason Collier and Malcolm Mackey.
Back-up small forwards: Brian Oliver and Duane Ferrell
Back-up guards: Kenny Anderson, Jon Barry and Travis Best.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 6

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Chicago Bulls

- The fans at United Center will be treated to a game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Chicago Bulls when they take their seats on Thursday.

Oddsmakers currently have the Bulls listed as 3½-point favorites versus the Cavaliers, while the game's total has not yet been posted.

LeBron James had 50 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds, and four steals as the Cavaliers got past the New York Knicks 119-105 on Wednesday night.

Cleveland cashed as 4.5-point road favorites as the game played over the 191-point total set by oddsmakers.

Luol Deng and Drew Gooden each had 21 points on Tuesday, as the Bulls defeated the Grizzlies 112-97. The Bulls covered the 10.5-point spread, and the 209 points made it OVER the posted total of 208.

Andres Nocioni had 20 points off the bench, and Kirk Hinrich scored 19 points with 12 assists in the win.

Current streak:
Cleveland has won 3 straight games.

Team records:
Cleveland: 35-26 SU, 29-32 ATS
Chicago: 24-36 SU, 26-34 ATS

Cleveland most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 8-2
Before playing Indiana are 6-4
After playing New York are 5-5
After a win are 5-5

Chicago most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 6-4
Before playing Boston are 8-2
After playing Memphis are 5-5
After a win are 0-10

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Cleveland's last 6 games when playing on the road against Chicago
Cleveland is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games when playing Chicago
Cleveland is 7-2 ATS in its last 9 games when playing Chicago
Cleveland is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Chicago's last 6 games when playing at home against Cleveland
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Chicago's last 8 games at home
Chicago is 10-5 ATS in its last 15 games
Chicago is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games at home

Next up:
Cleveland home to Indiana, Saturday, March 8
Chicago at Boston, Friday, March 7

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 6

Indiana Pacers vs. San Antonio Spurs

- The Indiana Pacers and the San Antonio Spurs will both be trying to pick up a win on Thursday when they battle at AT&T Center.

Oddsmakers currently have the Spurs listed as 13½-point favorites versus the Pacers, while the game's total has not yet been posted.

Troy Murphy had 17 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists for Indiana in its 117-99 loss to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night.

Houston cashed as 11-point home favorites as the teams played over the 201-point total listed by sportsbooks.

The Spurs poured it on in the second quarter and went on to defeat the Nets 81-70 last time out. The Spurs failed to cover the 11.5-point spread at home, while the 151 points were well UNDER the posted total of 185.

Tim Duncan tossed in a game-high 29 points and completed a double-double with 12 rebounds in the victory.

Current streak:
San Antonio has won 10 straight games.

Team records:
Indiana: 24-37 SU, 28-32-1 ATS
San Antonio: 42-17 SU, 29-30 ATS

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

San Antonio most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 9-1
Before playing Denver are 6-4
After playing New Jersey are 6-4
After a win are 9-1

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 10 of Indiana's last 11 games when playing San Antonio
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Indiana's last 5 games when playing on the road against San Antonio
Indiana is 5-14 SU in its last 19 games
Indiana is 4-14 SU in its last 18 games on the road
San Antonio is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
San Antonio is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
San Antonio is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Indiana
The total has gone OVER in 10 of San Antonio's last 11 games when playing Indiana

Next up:
Indiana at Cleveland, Saturday, March 8
San Antonio at Denver, Friday, March 7

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 6

Houston Rockets vs. Dallas Mavericks

- The fans at American Airlines Center will be treated to a game between the Houston Rockets and the Dallas Mavericks when they take their seats on Thursday.

Odds aren't yet posted for this game, so check back later for the opening line and total.

Tracy McGrady went for 25 points and six rebounds as the Rockets rolled past the Indiana Pacers 117-99 on Wednesday night.

Houston cashed as 11-point home favorites as the teams played over the 201-point total listed by sportsbooks.

The Mavericks were defeated 116-110 by the Jazz last time out, as 6.5-point road underdogs. The 226 points sailed OVER the posted total of 200.

Josh Howard tossed in 25 points for the Mavericks, while Dirk Nowitzki added 23 in a losing effort.

Current streak:
Houston has won 16 straight games.
Dallas has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
Houston: 40-20 SU, 34-24-2 ATS
Dallas: 39-22 SU, 25-32-4 ATS

Houston most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 7-3
Before playing New Orleans are 7-3
After playing Indiana are 8-2
After a win are 10-0

Dallas most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 6-4
Before playing New Jersey are 7-3
After playing Utah are 7-3
After a loss are 6-4

A few trends to consider:
Houston is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games on the road
Houston is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Houston's last 6 games on the road
Houston is 9-2-1 ATS in its last 12 games on the road
Dallas is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
Dallas is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Houston
Dallas is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Houston
Dallas is 5-0-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Houston

Next up:
Houston home to New Orleans, Saturday, March 8
Dallas home to New Jersey, Saturday, March 8

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 6

Evansville vs. Missouri State: Preview and pick
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Evansville vs. Missouri State -13 ½, 128

You can't be blamed if Missouri State makes you a little nervous to put your money behind heading into the Missouri Valley tournament.

This is a team that had high expectations heading into the season, but injuries and controversy held the Bears to a sub-.500 conference mark and they were the worst bet in the MVC at 10-17 ATS (against the spread).

The Bears now head into the conference amid reports that head coach Barry Hinson will get the axe at the end of the season no matter how Missouri State does in St. Louis.

If you believe their recent play is an indicator of how the team will respond, you like Missouri State’s chances of doing some damage this weekend. The school finished the year with four wins and covered spreads in its last six games, which includes an 86-83 win over top 25 team and MVC-leading Drake.

Forward Dale Lamberth enters the weekend as the hottest player in the conference with 78 points over his past three games and he was named conference player of the week on Monday.

Lamberth combines with fellow senior Devin Mitchell to give Missouri State one of the toughest front courts in the MVC, a conference that is more renowned for its guard play. The two forwards each average over 14 points per game and both are capable of double-doubling you on any given night. 

Lamberth and Mitchell are the main reasons why the past four games have gone over the total for the Bears.

Missouri State’s biggest challenge will be making sure it shuts down Evansville’s perimeter shooting. Though the Aces are the lowest scoring team in the MVC with just 60.1 per game, they happen to be the best three-point shooters at 37.9 percent.

Unfortunately for the Bears, they are the second-worst in the conference at defending the trey and when Evansville beat them 84-65 back on Jan. 26, Missouri State allowed the Aces to go 12 of 22 from downtown. That's especially embarrassing, considering Evansville finished last in the conference this year with just three wins.

The Bears must have learned their lesson, however, because in the second meeting they allowed Evansville to shoot just six treys, only one of which went in. Missouri State pummeled the Aces 76-38 in that game, coincidentally, as 13 ½-point favorites.

Junior guard Jason Holsinger and guard-forward Shy Ely are the two Aces that Missouri State needs to watch. Holsinger can heat up from outside in a hurry and Ely can beat you inside or outside.

Evansville is a terrible rebounding team, though, and if the Bears can limit its long balls again, they shouldn’t have any problem Thursday. 

Pick: Missouri State -13 1/2

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 6

MVC tourney: Wichita St. vs. Indiana St. preview and pick
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Wichita State vs. Indiana State -4½, 124½

The Shockers and Sycamores split their two meetings this season with both teams claiming wins on home court.

The Sycamores came away with a profit in this series, however, earning a cover at home and a push at Wichita State. The first meeting was settled by five points on Feb. 9 and the second game needed overtime before Indiana State won 73-63 on Feb. 19.

That means we can assume these two teams match up well, so you have to look hard at Wichita State getting 4 ½ points.

What the Shockers do well is rebound. They own, by far, the best rebounding margin in the conference (+6.6) and eight players average at least two boards per game. Those numbers might dwindle though if forward Phillip Thomasson can’t play.

He is listed as doubtful after a foot injury last game and he ranks fourth on the Shockers with 4.3 boards per game. It should be noted that the team that won the rebounding battle won the game in both meetings this season.

Indiana State has the worst rebounding margin in the conference (-2.1) and they give up size against the bigger Shockers.

What the Sycamores do much better than the Shockers though, is protect the ball. Wichita State has the worst assist-to-turnover ratio in the MVC and they handed the ball over 20 times in the most recent loss to the Sycamores.

That’s worrisome, considering Indiana State has three players who average double figures. All-MVC team honorable mention Gabriel Moore scores 12 points per game and chips in with 4.8 assists while guards  Marico Stinson scores 12.3 and  Harry Marshall scores 10 ppg.

The Sycamores don’t play great defense with 67 points against per game, but freshman Isiah Martin led the league in blocks (55) and was named to the All-Freshman team.

But perhaps the most important element of this game is the total.

The over has prevailed in Indiana State’s last nine games while Wichita State has played over in nine of its last 10 outings. Over bettors also took the money in both meetings this season, which had totals of 124 and 121 ½.

Both teams are also scoring more points, and allowing more, than their season averages over their past five games, which almost makes you wonder if oddsmakers have overlooked something here. Not likely, but with the lack of defense from these teams lately, it’s tough not to jump on the trend.

Pick: over 124 1/2

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 6

NBA Today

Houston at Dallas (9:30 p.m. EST). The Rockets have won a franchise-record 16 straight games.

STARS

Wednesday

-LeBron James, Cavaliers, scored 50 points with 10 assists and eight rebounds to lead Cleveland to a 119-105 victory over the New York Knicks.

-Jason Richardson, Bobcats, scored 42 points and Charlotte beat Golden State 118-109.

-Chris Paul, Hornets, had 23 points and 18 assists in a 116-101 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.

CLINCHED

Kevin Garnett scored a season-high 31 points to lead Boston to a bruising 90-78 victory over Detroit on Wednesday night and the Celtics became the first team in the NBA to clinch a playoff berth and also earned the homecourt tiebreaker over their closest competitor.

WHITE HOT

Tracy McGrady scored 25 points and the Houston Rockets got their franchise-record 16th straight win, a 117-99 victory over Indiana on Wednesday night. The Rockets are 4-0 since losing Yao Ming for the season with a stress fracture in his foot and have won 20 of their last 21 games, and own the longest winning streak in the NBA this season.

SCINTILLATING

LeBron James had 50 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds in one of the most spectacular performances in the NBA this season, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 119-105 victory over the New York Knicks on Wednesday night. James shot 16-of-30 from the field, including 7-of-13 from 3-point range, in his second 50-point game this season.

STREAKS

Deron Williams had 21 points and 11 assists and the Utah Jazz won their 17th straight home game, beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 105-76 on Wednesday night.

SNAPPED

Hakim Warrick scored a season-high 25 points and the Memphis Grizzlies snapped their nine-game losing streak with a 100-93 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Wednesday night.

SUSPENDED

Dirk Nowitzki was suspended without pay for one game by the NBA on Wednesday for his hard foul on Utah's Andrei Kirilenko. Nowitzki will miss the Dallas Mavericks' next game, at home Thursday night against the divisional rival Houston Rockets, who recently passed them in the tight Western Conference standings.

FROM DEEP

The New Orleans Hornets tied a franchise record with 15 3-pointers in a 116-101 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night. Peja Stojakovic made six 3-pointers and led all scorers with 29 points.

SPEAKING

``I've dreamed about playing well in this building and it's overtaken of how I could ever dream about. To get a standing ovation in the greatest basketball arena in the world, it was a dream come true for me. It's one of the best things that ever happened to me.'' - LeBron James, who scored 50 points with 10 assists and eight rebounds in the Cavaliers' 119-105 win over the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 6

(24) Clemson (21-7, 16-9 ATS) at Georgia Tech (12-16, 12-14 ATS)

The Tigers, who are on a two-game SU and ATS surge, travel to Atlanta for an ACC contest against Georgia Tech, which has been relegated to a spoiler role after dropping six of its last seven games.

Clemson staged a furious rally in the final 10 minutes at Maryland on Sunday, erasing an 18-point deficit en route to a 73-70 victory as a one-point road favorite. The Tigers (9-5 SU and ATS in the ACC) moved to 4-1 SU and ATS in their last five games, all in ACC play.

Georgia Tech lost to Virginia 76-74 Monday as a 4½-point home chalk, ending a two-game ATS run. The Yellow Jackets (5-9, 7-7 ATS in the ACC) are 2-4 ATS in their last six league games.

The straight-up winner is 9-0 ATS in Clemson’s last nine contests and 11-1 ATS in Georgia Tech’s last 12.

These two teams have split the cash in the last 10 meetings, with Georgia Tech going 6-4 SU. Clemson breezed to an 82-67 home win three weeks ago giving 8½ points to end a two-game ATS skid in the series, and the Tigers are 4-2 SU and ATS in the last six clashes.

Though the Tigers have been solid against the number in conference play, they are a mediocre 3-4 ATS on the highway in league contests.

The Yellow Jackets are a sterling 9-1 ATS in their last 10 home games against teams with a winning road record, and they are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 Thursday starts, but they have failed to cash in five of their last seven games overall.

The over is 9-4 in Georgia Tech’s last 13 ACC games. For Clemson, the under is 4-1 in its last five starts, 5-1 following a SU win and 5-1 on the highway. Also, the under is 4-1 the last five meetings in Atlanta, with last month’s clash barely staying below the 153-point posted price.

ATS ADVANTAGE: GEORGIA TECH and UNDER


Arizona State (18-10, 13-11 ATS) at Oregon (16-12, 13-11-2 ATS)

A pair of Pac-10 teams that are firmly on the NCAA Tournament bubble clash in Eugene, Ore., where the Ducks, losers of three of their last four, look to turn things around when they host Arizona State.

Arizona State whipped Southern California 80-66 Saturday as a two-point home chalk. The Sun Devils (8-8, 9-7 ATS in the Pac-10) salvaged a SU and ATS split last week after a 70-49 blowout home loss to UCLA catching 6½ points last Thursday.

Oregon topped archrival Oregon State 80-68 Sunday as a 10-point road favorite, ending a three-game losing streak (1-2 ATS). The Ducks (7-9, 8-7-1 ATS in the Pac-10) are still just 4-8 ATS in their last 12 Pac-10 starts this season.

Arizona State is on a 6-2 ATS run in this series, including three straight spread-covers (1-2 SU), including a 62-54 home win giving three points back on Jan. 3. Last year in Eugene, Oregon won 55-51, but Arizona State got the cash as a 14½-point pup. The underdog is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 contests.

The Sun Devils are on a 6-0 ATS tear against teams with a winning SU record, but they are 1-4 ATS in their last five on Thursday and 1-4 ATS in their last five coming off a spread-cover. Meanwhile, the Ducks are 13-6-2 ATS in their last 21 in Eugene, but they are on ATS slides of 1-4 against teams with a winning SU mark and 1-4 on Thursday.

For ASU, the under is on streaks of 14-5 on the road, 20-9 in Pac-10 play and 5-0 against winning teams. For Oregon, the under is on runs of 7-0 after a SU win, 6-2-1 in Eugene and 40-19 on Thursday. Finally, the total has stayed low in six of the last seven in this rivalry, including the last three contests, with January’s meeting falling far short of the 143-point posted price.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER


(17) Michigan State (23-6, 10-13-2 ATS) at Illinois (12-17, 11-17-1 ATS)

The Spartans, coming off a big blowout victory, hit the road for a Big Ten contest against struggling Illinois, which just snapped a three-game SU and ATS slide.

Michigan State pounded Indiana 103-74 Sunday laying four points at home to move to 3-1 in its last four games (2-2 SU). Despite that rout, the Spartans (11-5, 5-11 ATS in the Big Ten) have cashed in just two of their last eight games, going only 4-4 SU, all in Big Ten action.

Illinois bested Iowa 58-47 Saturday as a two-point road favorite, posting just its second Big Ten road win in nine trips this season. The Fighting Illini (4-12, 7-9 ATS in the Big Ten) have also struggled at home in league play, going 2-5 SU and ATS.

Illinois is on a 7-3 ATS run in this rivalry (6-4 SU), but Michigan State has won and covered three of the last four, including a 51-41 home win Jan. 30, narrowly getting the cash as a nine-point chalk. The favorite is 6-2 ATS in the last eight battles, but the Spartans are 1-4 ATS on their last five trips to Champaign. Finally, the SU winner has cashed in each of the last nine series clashes.

The Spartans are 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 following a SU win of more than 20 points, but they are on negative pointspread slides of 1-8-1 after a spread-cover, 0-4 after a SU win and 0-4 on the road. Tom Izzo’s squad has cashed in back-to-back games just once the entire Big Ten campaign.

The Illini are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 against teams with a winning SU mark, but like Michigan State, they carry several negative ATS trends, including 6-14 after a pointspread cover, 2-6 at home, 1-5 on Thursday and just 7-22 after a SU victory.

Michigan State has topped the total in four of its last five overall, but the under is 10-4 in its last 14 on Thursday. For Illinois, the over is on a 7-0 run in Thursday contests and is 6-1 at home, but the under is 41-20-2 in its last 63 following a SU win. Finally, each of the last four series meetings have stayed under the number, and the under is 6-0 in the last six clashes in Champaign.

ATS ADVANTAGE: MICHIGAN STATE and UNDER


(7) Stanford (24-4, 14-14 ATS) at (3) UCLA (26-3, 17-9-2 ATS)

The Pac-10 regular-season title is on the line tonight at Pauley Pavilion, where first-place UCLA goes for its sixth straight victory overall and a season sweep of the Cardinal, who have won four in a row and 11 of their last 12.

Stanford rallied to top Washington State 60-53 Saturday as a 4½-point home favorite, ending a two-game ATS hiccup. The Cardinal (13-3, 8-8 ATS in the Pac-10) have followed a five-game Pac-10 ATS win streak by going just 2-4 ATS in their last six league contests.

Two days after blasting Arizona State 70-49 as a 6½-point road favorite, UCLA went south to Tucson and barely beat Arizona 68-66 on Sunday, falling short as a 5½-point chalk. The Bruins (14-2, 11-5 ATS in the Pac-10) have won 10 of their last 11 (8-3 ATS), all in conference play, and they can clinch their third straight regular-season conference crown with a victory tonight.

UCLA has won and covered the last two in this rivalry, including a 76-67 road win Jan. 3 as a one-point pup. Last year at home, the Bruins coasted to a 75-61 win laying 12 points, and they are 4-1 SU and ATS in the last five contests. The favorite is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings, and the road team is 12-5 ATS in the last 17 matchups, with the Cardinal are 6-2 ATS in their last eight trips to Pauley,

The Cardinal are 6-0 ATS on the highway following three or more consecutive home starts, and they are 4-1 ATS in their last five roadies.

The Bruins are on a 5-0 ATS tear in Thursday outings and have additional positive ATS trends of 20-8 after a pointspread setback and 15-7-2 following a SU win.

For Stanford, the over is on streaks of 4-0 against winning teams, 5-1 in Pac-10 play, 4-1 coming off a SU win and 4-1 on the road. For UCLA, the over is on runs of 5-1 overall, 5-0 against winning teams, 5-1 at home and 4-1 on Thursday. Finally, the over is 4-0 in the last four series meetings overall and 6-2 the last eight battles at Pauley.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UCLA and OVER


Cleveland (35-26, 29-32 ATS) at Chicago (24-36, 26-34 ATS)

The Bulls seek to avenge Sunday’s loss in Cleveland when they welcome the Cavaliers to the United Center for a Central Division clash.

Chicago fell apart in the fourth quarter on Sunday, getting outscored 30-18 en route to a 95-86 loss as a 4½-point road underdog. The Bulls bounced back in a big way with Tuesday’s 112-97 rout of Memphis as an 11½-point home favorite, however they enter tonight having not won consecutive contests in more than two months, a span of 33 games.

Backed by 50 points from LeBron James, Cleveland ran its winning streak to three in a row with last night’s 119-105 destruction of the Knicks as a four-point road favorite. The Cavs are 6-2 in their last eight (5-3 ATS), and they’ve covered the spread in back-to-back games, the first time they’ve turned that trick since the end of January, although they’re just 8-9 ATS over this span.

The Cavaliers improved to 7-2 SU and ATS in their last nine games against the Bulls with Sunday’s home win. The host is 11-4 ATS in the last 15 clashes and the straight-up winner has cashed in each of the last 10 head-to-head battles.

The Bulls are on ATS runs of 10-5 overall, 4-2 at home and 8-3 when playing on one day of rest.

Cleveland is 16-5 ATS in its last 21 divisional games, 7-3 ATS in its last 10 on Thursday and 5-1 in its last five on the road.

Although Tuesday’s game against Memphis barely squeaked over the total, the under is still 7-2-1 in Chicago’s last 10 home games. Also, the Cavs have stayed low in three of their last four contests, but they’re 8-2-1 “over” in their past 11 Central Division clashes. Also, the over is 5-1 in the last six series clashes at the United Center.

ATS ADVANTAGE: CLEVELAND


Houston (40-20, 35-24-1 ATS) at Dallas (39-22, 25-32-4 ATS)

The Rockets put their franchise-record 16-game winning streak on the line tonight when they visit American Airlines Center for a Southwest Division battle against the slumping and shorthanded Mavericks.

Houston continued its winning ways and wrapped up a perfect six-game homestand with Wednesday’s 117-99 rout of the Pacers as an 11-point favorite. The Rockets have cashed in eight straight games, and they’re 14-2 ATS during their winning streak, which is the longest in the NBA this season and the longest in team history.

While Houston has been surging, the Mavericks have hit the skids, losing two straight and three of their last four, with all three defeats coming on the road. On Monday in Utah, Dallas battled back from a big second-half hole, but still fell short 116-110 as a 5½-point road underdog. In that game, All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki was whistled for a flagrant foul and was subsequently suspended for this contest.

On the bright side, the Mavericks, who have played five home games since Jan. 28, return to American Airlines Center, where they are 25-3 this season (11-13-4 ATS), including 12 consecutive wins (4-5-3 ATS).

The Mavericks have dominated Houston recently, winning six straight meetings and nine of he last 10, with the SU winner covering the spread in all 10 contests. In two meetings this year – both in Houston – Dallas won 100-94 as a 2½-point underdog and 96-83 as a 3½-point pup. Prior to those two contests, the favorite had gone 7-1 ATS in this series.

The Rockets are on incredible pointspread streaks of 22-7 overall, 4-1 in divisional play, 6-1 against the Western Conference, 4-0 on the road and 5-0 when playing on back-to-back nights.

The Mavs are on ATS tears of 37-14-1 against Southwest Division foes and 25-11-1 when playing on two days’ rest. However, they’re 2-8 ATS in their last 10 contests on Thursday.

Dallas has topped the total in four straight games and the over is 6-2-1 in its last nine. However, the under is on streaks of 9-5 for Houston overall (4-0 on the road), 13-5 when Houston plays on back-to-back nights, 40-19-1 for Houston against divisional foes and 6-2 for Dallas in divisional games.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 6

NBA Trends

Hot Teams
-- Cavaliers won three in row, six of last eight games.
-- Spurs won their last ten games (6-3-1 vs spread).
-- Rockets won last 16 games, covered last eight.

Cold Teams
-- Bulls are 2-10 vs spread in game after last twelve wins.
-- Pacers lost seven of last ten games.
-- Mavericks lost last two games, are without Nowitzki for this; he got suspended for flagrant foul in their last game.

Previous meetings this season
-- Bulls (+6) lost 95-86 in Cleveland Sunday.
-- Spurs (-4.5) won 116-89 in Indiana on Feb 5.
-- Dallas is 3-0 vs Houston this year, winning by 13-6-9 points.

Totals
-- Over is 5-2-1 in last eight Chicago games.
-- Last four Indiana games all went over the total.
-- Last four Dallas games all went over the total.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 6

Clemson at Georgia Tech, 7:00 EST ESPN2
Clemson: 4-13 ATS off BB ATS wins
Georgia Tech: 7-0 ATS as a home underdog

Connecticut at Providence, 7:00 EST ESPN
Connecticut: 6-0 Under off BB Overs
Providence: 1-8 ATS as a home underdog of 6 points or less

(TC) George Washington at Charlotte, 8:00 EST
George Washington: 4-12 ATS as road underdog
Charlotte: 33-15 Over off home win

DePaul at Cincinnati, 7:30 EST
DePaul: 7-1 ATS as road underdog
Cincinnati: 0-6 ATS after playing as a home favorite

Hawaii at Louisiana Tech, 8:00 EST
Hawaii: 0-7 ATS off BB home losses
Louisiana Tech: 9-2 ATS after allowing 80+ points

San Jose State at New Mexico State, 8:30 EST
San Jose State: 6-0 Under Away off loss by 6 points or less
New Mexico State: 6-16 ATS as a home favorite of 12.5 or more points

Xavier at St Joseph's, 9:00 EST ESPN
Xavier: 5-1 Under off home conference win
St Joseph's: 8-2 ATS playing with revenge

(TC) Arizona State at Oregon, 8:30 EST
Arizona State: 22-8 Under in road games
Oregon: 6-0 Under off conference win

Utah State at Boise State, 9:00 EST
Utah State: 10-0 Over off DD home win
Boise State: 5-0 ATS vs. Utah State

UC Davis at Cal Irvine, 10:00 EST
UC Davis: 3-0 ATS as a road underdog of 15.5 to 18 points
Cal Irvine: 8-0 Under as DD favorite

(TC) California at USC, 10:30 EST
California: 11-1 Over after playing as favorite
USC: 16-4 ATS off SU loss

Cal Poly S.L.O. at Long Beach State, 10:00 EST
Cal Poly S.L.O.: 11-3 Under vs. conference
Long Beach State: 17-6 ATS as a favorite

Cal Santa Barbara at Cal State Northridge, 10:00 EST
Cal Santa Barbara: 17-8 Under this season
Cal State Northridge: 0-7 ATS in March

(TC) Arizona at Oregon State, 9:00 EST
Arizona: 10-1 ATS off SU loss/ATS win
Oregon State: 0-7 ATS as home underdog

Stanford at UCLA, 11:00 EST FSN
Stanford: 24-8 Under after scoring 60 points or less
UCLA: 6-0 ATS off SU win/ATS loss

Missouri Valley Conference Tournament
Opening Round
St. Louis, MO

Wichita State at Indiana State, 7:00 EST
Wichita State: 2-9 ATS off conference loss
Indiana State: 6-0 Over off 3+ Overs

Evansville at Missouri State, 9:30 EST
Evansville: 17-7 ATS off home game
Missouri State: 3-10 ATS off SU win

Write-In Game

Michigan State at Illinois, 9:00 EST ESPN2
Michigan State: 11-2 ATS off win by 20+ points
Illinois: 0-8 ATS off DD win

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