Betting News and Notes - Mar. 9

Betting News and Notes - Mar. 9

Sunday's NBA Tip Sheet
By Brad Young

**Sonics at Raptors**

-Caesars Palace installed Toronto as an 11-point home ‘chalk’ over Seattle, with the total set at 203½. This game is scheduled to start at 1:05 p.m. ET.

-Seattle (16-46 straight up, 30-31 against the spread) has dropped three games in a row SU and back-to-back outings ATS after Friday’s setback to Philadelphia as an 11-point road underdog, 117-83. The combined 200 points went ‘under’ the 202 ½-point closing total, ending a string of three straight ‘over’ outings.

-The Sonics are just 6-25 SU and 14-16 ATS on the road, with the ‘under’ going 18-13. Seattle has been dropping those games by an average score of 106-96.

-Toronto (33-28 SU, 33-27 ATS) dropped to 1-4 SU and ATS the past five games after Friday’s setback to Washington in overtime as a six-point home favorite, 110-106. The combined 216 points soared ‘over’ the 193½-point closing total, ending consecutive ‘under’ outings.

-The Raptors are 18-13 SU and ATS on their home court, winning those games by an average score of 102-96.

-Seattle is 3-2 SU and 4-1 ATS the past five games against Toronto after winning Dec. 21 as a five-point home underdog, 123-115. The combined 238 points soared past the 195½-point closing total, helping the ‘over’ cash the fifth game in a row between these teams.

-Toronto forward Chris Bosh (knee) is ‘out’ against the Sonics.

**Sixers at Bucks**

-There is no line or overnight total on the Philadelphia-Milwaukee contest due to a couple key injuries. This game is scheduled to tipoff at 1:05 p.m. ET.

-Philadelphia (29-33 SU, 33-26 ATS) is riding a three-game SU and ATS winning streak after knocking off Seattle Friday as an 11-point home ‘chalk,’ 117-83. The combined 200 points failed to topple the 202 ½-point closing total, enabling the ‘under’ to cash the second game in a row.

-The Sixers are 12-19 SU and 16-14 ATS on the road, dropping those affairs by an average score of 99-95.

-Milwaukee (23-39 SU, 28-33 ATS) is just 1-4 SU and 2-3 ATS its last five games after losing to Portland Friday as a one-point home favorite, 103-101. The combined 204 points eclipsed the 198-point closing total, enabling the ‘over’ to cash the third consecutive contest.

-The Bucks are 17-13 SU and 15-14 ATS on their home court, with the ‘over’ going 17-13. Milwaukee has been winning those matchups by an average score of 100-99.

-Philadelphia and Milwaukee have alternated SU and ATS wins and losses the past five meetings after the Sixers routed the Bucks Jan. 30 as an 8 ½-point home favorite, 112-69. The combined 181 points went ‘under’ the 186-point closing total.

-Milwaukee guard Maurice Williams (abdominal) is ‘questionable’ against the Sixers, while forward Yi Jianlian (ankle) is ‘doubtful.’

**Spurs at Suns**

-Caesars Palace opened San Antonio as a two-point road favorite over Phoenix, with the total set at 203. ABC Sports will provide coverage of this contest beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET.

-San Antonio (43-18 SU, 29-31 ATS) had won 11 games in a row SU before falling to Denver Friday as a 2½-point road underdog, 109-96. The Spurs have failed to cover their previous two outings. The combined 205 points toppled the 200½-point closing total, helping the ‘over’ occur the second game in a row.

-San Antonio is 17-13 SU on the road, but just 12-18 ATS. The Spurs have been winning those contests by an average score of 95-93, helping the ‘under’ go 17-12.

-Phoenix (40-22 SU, 26-34 ATS) dropped to 1-4 SU and ATS its last five games after losing to Utah Friday as a five-point home favorite, 126-118. The combined 244 points eclipsed the 223-point closing total, helping the ‘over’ improve to 4-1 the past five outings.

-The Suns are 21-10 SU at home, but only 11-20 ATS. Phoenix has been winning those matchups, 111-105, enabling the ‘over’ to go 20-10.

-San Antonio is 3-1 SU and 2-1-1 ATS the previous four meetings with Phoenix after prevailing Jan. 31 as a seven-point road ‘chalk,’ 84-81. The combined 165 points never seriously threatened the 202½-point closing total, helping the ‘under’ go 4-1 the last five games in this series.

**Bulls at Pistons**

-Caesars Palace lists Detroit as an 8½-point home ‘chalk’ over Chicago, with the total set at 196. ESPN will provide coverage of this matchup beginning at 8:05 p.m. ET.

-Chicago (25-37 SU, 27-35 ATS) had won back-to-back outings SU and ATS before Friday’s setback to Boston as an 11 ½-point road underdog, 116-93. The combined 209 points eclipsed the 198½-point closing total, enabling the ‘over’ to cash the third consecutive contest.

-The Bulls are now 11-22 SU and 15-18 ATS on the road, with the ‘over’ going 18-14. Chicago has been losing its road endeavors by an average score of 99-94.

-Detroit (45-17 SU, 34-27 ATS) improved to 3-1 SU its last four games after holding off New York Friday as a 10-point road ‘chalk,’ 101-97. The combined 198 points toppled the 190½-point closing total.

-The Pistons sport a 23-5 SU and 17-11 ATS home record, with the ‘under’ going 16-11. Detroit is winning its home games by an average score of 99-88.

-Chicago has toppled Detroit three times in a row SU and ATS after winning the last encounter Jan. 19 as a 6½-point home underdog, 97-81. The combined 178 points went ‘under’ the 186-point closing total, snapping back-to-back ‘over’ outings.

-Chicago forward/center Tyrus Thomas (suspension) is ‘probable’ against the Pistons, while guard Thabo Sefolosha (groin) is ‘questionable.’

**Kings at Lakers**

-There is no overnight line or total for the Sacramento-Los Angeles game due to the ‘questionable’ status of Kings forward Ron Artest (knee). This Pacific Division battle is scheduled to start at 9:35 p.m. ET.

-Sacramento (27-35 SU, 31-29 ATS) is currently mired in a three-game SU and ATS losing skid after Friday’s setback to Minnesota as a 7½-point home favorite, 111-103. The combined 214 points eclipsed the 201½-point closing total, enabling the ‘over’ to cash the sixth consecutive outing.

-The Kings are 9-23 SU and 14-16 ATS away from home, dropping those affairs by an average score of 105-98.

-Los Angeles (44-18 SU, 39-22 ATS) enters this contest riding a three-game SU winning streak while also prevailing in back-to-back outings ATS after routing the Clippers Friday as a 15-point home favorite, 119-82. The combined 201 points went ‘under’ the 205½-point closing total, ending a string of three straight ‘over’ outings.

-The Lakers are 22-7 SU and 17-12 ATS at Staples Center, winning those games by an average score of 109-99.

-Los Angeles has beaten Sacramento three times in a row SU and ATS after prevailing Tuesday as a 5½-point road ‘chalk,’ 117-105. The combined 222 points slithered past the 221-point closing total, helping the ‘over’ cash the fifth straight contest in this series.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 9

Big Ten Traps
By Judd Hall

There are just three tilts on Sunday for the Big Ten Conference’s regular season finale. Yet all three games are prime traps for the clubs that are near the top of the standings as the league tournament looms on the horizon.

Let’s dive right into the action.

Michigan State at Ohio State

The Spartans have no chance of improving their seeding in the Big Ten tourney in spite of going 4-1 straight up and 3-2 against the spread leading into Sunday’s finale. Still, Michigan State (24-6 SU, 12-12-3 ATS) will get a chance to do something that it hasn’t done since the 2003 season, win two contests over the Buckeyes in the same year. Regardless of the result, the Spartans will be assured of a nice spot in the NCAA tourney.

Ohio State (18-12 SU, 13-13 ATS), on the other hand, desperately need to win big in this spot. The Buckeyes snapped their four-game losing skid by upending Purdue, 80-77, as 2½-point home favorites last Tuesday. It was the first time in three home tilts that OSU covered the spread as the “chalk.”

The Buckeyes have seen the ‘under’ go 7-3 at Value City Arena this season. Meanwhile, MSU has watched the ‘under’ post a 7-4 mark on the road.

The Spartans are 3-1 SU and 4-0 ATS in their trips to Columbus going back to March 2003.

The Big Ten Network will be broadcasting this matchup at 12:00 pm EST.

Indiana at Penn State

It’s not everyday that you hear a game against the Nittany Lions actually holds meaning, but that is the case this time around for Indiana (25-5 SU, 13-14 ATS). The Hoosiers are in a position to lock up the No. 2 seed in the league playoffs if they can come through with a victory in Happy Valley. Considering that IU has gone 5-1 SU and 3-3 ATS in its last six matches, things are looking good.

Meanwhile, Penn State (14-15 SU, 10-14-2 ATS) is just looking to find a way to end the season as quickly as possible. The Nittany Lions have gone 3-2 SU and 2-3 ATS in their last five matches. Their most recent slap down came at the hands of Wisconsin as 17-point road ‘dogs, 77-41, on March 5.

Now this looks like a easy slam dunk for the Hoosiers, right? Not exactly. Indiana has gone 8-2 SU and 4-5-1 ATS in its last 10 head-to-head meetings with PSU. However, the Hoosiers are just 2-2 SU and ATS when squaring off in the Bryce Jordan Center.

The ‘over’ has hit in the last three meetings between these two conference foes.

This scuffle is set to start at 2:00 pm EST on ESPN.

Purdue at Michigan

You can bet that Purdue (23-7 SU, 16-11 ATS) is watching how the Hoosiers fare in their game with bated breath. The Boilermakers failed to potentially lock up second place in the Big Ten with their 80-77 defeat at Ohio State as 2½-point road underdogs on March 4. It was their second straight loss against the number away from home this year.

Even though the Wolverines have lost three of their last four matches this season. However, Michigan (9-20 SU, 10-17 ATS) has kept it close in all of those games with an average margin of defeat at 6.3 points per game. Luckily the bettors have seen the ‘under’ hit in all four contests.

Currently, the head-to-head record is in favor of the Boilers, going 6-4 SU and 7-3 ATS when facing Michigan.

The ‘under’ is currently on a 3-1 in the series. Given that Purdue has seen the combined score go below the closing number in three of its last four fixtures, it seems like the strongest bet on the board.

CBS will begin broadcasting this game at 4:00 pm EST.

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(17) Michigan State (24-6, 11-13-2 ATS) at Ohio State (18-12, 13-13 ATS)

Ohio State (9-8, 8-9 ATS in the Big Ten) snapped a four-game losing streak with an 80-77 overtime victory over Purdue on Tuesday, barely cashing as 2½-point favorites. The Buckeyes, who are looking to boost their NCAA Tournament resume, are just 3-6 ATS in their last nine overall, and they have been outscored by an average of six points per game (72-66) over their last five contests.

Michigan State (12-5, 6-11 ATS in the Big Ten) has won four of five (3-2 ATS) following Thursday’s 59-51 road victory at Illinois as a two-point chalk. The win snapped a four-game SU and ATS road losing skid for the Spartans, who are just 6-13 ATS in their last 19 Big Ten contests dating to last season.

Michigan State took the first meeting between these two on Jan. 15, prevailing 66-60 but failing to cash as 8½-piont favorites back, snapping a three-game losing streak (1-2 ATS) to the Buckeyes. The road team and the underdog is on a 5-0 ATS roll in this rivalry, and the Spartans have cashed in five straight visits to Columbus. Finally, the straight-up winner is 8-2 ATS in the last 10 series clashes

The Buckeyes are 6-2 at home against Big Ten foes but 3-5 ATS, including 1-3 ATS in the last four. They’ve also failed to cash in four straight Sunday outings.

The under is on runs of 7-3 for Ohio State overall, 14-3 for the Buckeyes on Sundays, 17-8-1 for the Spartans on the road and 2-0 in this rivalry.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER


Florida (21-9, 11-10 ATS) at Kentucky (17-11, 13-11-1)

Florida (8-7 SU and ATS in the SEC) is slumping at the wrong time, having lost four of its last six and six of its last nine, going 2-7 ATS during this stretch. Last week, the Gators dropped a pair of SEC home games to Mississippi State (68-59 as 3½-point favorites on March 1) and Tennessee (89-86 as a 2½-point ‘dog on Wednesday). The defeats put a serious dent in the two-time defending champion’s NCAA Tournament hopes.

Kentucky (11-4 SU and ATS in the SEC) has turned its season around, winning 10 of 12 overall (9-3 ATS), all in conference, after losing nine of its first 16. On Wednesday, the Wildcats beat South Carolina 71-63 as a three-point road pup, rebounding from Sunday’s 63-60 loss at then-No. 1 Tennessee as a 14½-point underdog. Billy Gillespie’s team has found success on the defensive end lately, limiting the opposition to 36.8 percent shooting and 58.6 points per game in the last five.

The Gators have defeated Kentucky seven straight times (5-2 ATS), including an 81-70 overtime home victory back on Jan. 19, cashing as 7½-point favorites. Last year, the Gators went to Kentucky and got a 64-61 victory, but failed to cover as a 3½-point chalk. The straight-up winner is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 series clashes.

Kentucky is 7-0 at Rupp Arena against SEC foes (5-2 ATS). Meanwhile, Florida is 4-3 in SEC road games (5-2 ATS) and 5-1 ATS in its last six on Sunday.

The under is 11-4 in Kentucky’s last 15 overall and 4-0 in the last four series clashes at Rupp Arena. However, the over is 5-2-1 in the Gators’ last eight overall, and the first meeting between these schools back in January soared over the total.

ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE


Virginia Tech (18-11, 15-11 ATS) at (24) Clemson (21-8, 16-10 ATS)

Virginia Tech (9-6 SU and ATS in the ACC) has rattled off four straight wins and covers in conference, with the last three coming in convincing double-digit fashion. That includes Tuesday’s 80-58 rout of Wake Forest as five-point favorites. The Hokies have put themselves into consideration for an at-large NCAA Tournament berth by going 7-3 SU and ATS in their last 10.

Clemson (9-6 SU and ATS in the ACC ) dropped into a third place tie with Virginia Tech in the conference standings with Thursday’s 80-75 loss at Georgia Tech as a three-point road favorite. The Tigers are still 6-3 SU and ATS in their last 10.

The Tigers have won and covered the last two meetings in this rivalry, including a 75-74 road win as a six-point underdog in last season’s lone battle. The underdog has cashed in each of the last five clashes.

The SU winner has cashed in each of Va-Tech’s last 13 contests and each of Clemson’s last 10 contests. Also, the winner is 4-1 ATS in the last five series meetings (3-0 ATS in the last three).

Clemson has rattled off six straight wins at home (5-1 ATS), where it averages almost 80 points a game while limiting the opposition to 65.2 ppg. For the season, the Tigers are 9-3 ATS at home. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech is 3-4 in ACC road games (4-3 ATS).

The over has been the play the last three times these teams have met and is 12-4 in the Hokies’ last 16 ACC games, 10-4 in their last 14 overall and 12-5 in Clemson’s last 17 at home. However, the under is on runs of 8-3 for Virginia Tech on 11 Sundays and 7-3 for Clemson overall.

ATS ADVANTAGE: CLEMSON and OVER


MISSOURI VALLEY TOURNAMENT

(at St. Louis)

Illinois State (24-8, 15-15 ATS) vs. (20) Drake (26-4, 18-7-1 ATS)


Drake (17-3, 12-7-1 ATS) advanced to the Missouri Valley Conference tournament final for the first time in school history with Saturday’s 75-67 victory over Creighton as a 3½-point favorite at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. The Bulldogs, who crushed in Indiana State 68-46 in Friday’s tournament opener, have set a single-season school record for victories, breaking the mark set by the 1968-69 squad that made it to the Final Four.

Illinois State reached the tournament final courtesy of Friday’s 63-58 win over Missouri State as a 2 ½-point favorite and Saturday’s 56-42 rout of Northern Iowa as a 4½-point chalk. The Redbirds have won six in row, and they’ve followed up a 2-9 ATS slide with four consecutive spread-cover.

During its six-game winning streak, Illinois State is giving up just 49.3 points per game., holding all four of the six foes to less than 50 points.

These teams played two very competitive games in the regular season, with Drake coming out on top in both outings. The Bulldogs won 79-73 as a 4½-point home chalk and 73-70 as a four-point road underdog. That latter victory snapped a 4-0 ATS run by the favorite in this rivalry.

Drake, which has followed up an 0-3 ATS slump with consecutive spread-covers in the first two rounds of this weekend’s tournament, is 13-3 on the highway this season (11-3-1 ATS in lined contests. Meanwhile, the Redbirds have won four straight and five of their last six on the highway (4-2 ATS).

The over is 10-2 in Drake’s last 12 games overall (6-2 on the road). Conversely, Illinois State has stayed under the total in all six games during its winning streak.

ATS ADVANTAGE: DRAKE     


WEST COAST CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT

(at San Diego)

Santa Clara (15-15, 14-14 ATS) vs. (22) Gonzaga (24-6, 17-13 ATS)


Gonzaga (13-1, 9-5 ATS in conference) captured its eighth consecutive West Coast Conference regular-season title with Monday’s 88-54 rout of Santa Clara, easily cashing as a 15½-point home chalk. The Bulldogs, who earned a bye through the first two rounds of this event, enter tonight’s semifinal matchup riding a seven-game winning streak (6-1 ATS), with six of the wins coming by double digits.

Santa Clara outscored San Francisco 27-19 in the second half of Saturday’s conference quarterfinal matchup at the Jenny Craig Center in San Diego, holding on for a 51-50 victory but misfiring as a 5½-point favorite. The Broncos (7-8, 8-7 ATS in conference) are still just 3-5 SU in their last eight contests and 3-6 ATS in the last nine, including 0-3 ATS in the last three.

In addition to Monday’s blowout win over Santa Clara at home, Gonzaga topped the Broncos 87-82 in overtime on Feb. 2, coming up short as a 7½-point road chalk.

Gonzaga is 3-1 (2-2 ATS) on neutral courts this season. Also, the Zags won in this venue two weeks ago, beating host San Diego 59-55, but failing to cash as a six-point road chalk. They went 6-1 in conference road games (4-3 ATS). Meanwhile, Santa Clara is now 3-5 SU and ATS on the highway in West Coast Conference action this year.

The over is 6-3 in Gonzaga’s last nine outings, while Santa Clara had a four-game “over” streak snapped when Saturday’s game against San Francisco stayed well under the total. Prior to the 4-0 “over” run, the Broncos had gone 13-3 “under” the total.

ATS ADVANTAGE: GONZAGA


San Antonio (43-18, 28-31-2 ATS) at Phoenix (40-22, 27-33-2 ATS)


The freefalling Suns will try to get back on the winning track when they host the Spurs in a Western Conference showdown inside the US Airways Center.

Phoenix has dropped four of its last five games (1-4 ATS) to drop to sixth in the Western Conference playoff race. On Friday night, the Suns blew a nine-point fourth-quarter lead and fell to Utah 126-118 as a 5½-point home favorite. It was their third straight home loss (0-3 ATS), and Phoenix is now just 11-19-1 ATS in the desert this season, including 2-8-1 ATS in the last 11.

San Antonio had its 11-game winning streak snapped Friday in Denver, falling 109-96 as a 2½-point underdog after getting outscored 63-42 in the second half. Even with the loss, Gregg Popovich’s team has still gone 15-2 SU since Jan. 31 (9-7-1 ATS), but the Spurs are just 1-4-1 ATS in their past six.

San Antonio started its current 15-2 streak with an 84-81 win in Phoenix on Jan. 31 as 7½-point ‘dogs. The Spurs are 6-3 SU (5-3-1 ATS) in the last nine meetings with the Suns, including last year’s six-game playoff series win the Western Conference semifinals. The SU winner is 9-0-1 ATS in the last 10 head-to-head battles.

The Spurs are on an 8-2 ATS run on Sundays. However, if San Antonio goes off as an underdog today, note that with Friday’s loss to Denver, it is now 1-7 ATS as a pup of less than six points this season. Meanwhile, if the Suns are the underdog, they’re 1-5-1 ATS in their last six as a home pup.

Mike D’Antoni’s squad hasn’t stopped anybody lately, giving up 116.6 points per game on 52.2 percent shooting in its last five. On the flip side, despite giving up 109 at Denver the other night, the Spurs have held their last five opponents to an average of 90.6 ppg on 42.7 percent shooting. Only two of San Antonio’s last 19 foes have reached triple digits.

The under is 7-3 in the last 10 series clashes and 6-2 in the Spurs’ last eight against Pacific Division rivals. However, the over is 16-5 in the Suns’ last 21 overall, 7-1 in their last eight against the Western Conference and 7-3 in San Antonio’s last 10 Sunday matchups.

ATS ADVANTAGE: SAN ANTONIO and OVER

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 9

Sunday's best NBA bets
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Seattle at Toronto

The Toronto Raptors aren’t the same team without Chris Bosh on the floor. Since the big, athletic forward has been out with a knee injury, the Raptors have looked lost on the offensive end. Andrea Bargnani has seen increased minutes in Bosh’s absence, but the big complaint about the 22-year-old is that he’s too shy around the basket. He made a little progress with that in an overtime loss against the Wizards on Friday when he played 48 minutes and contributed 27 points. The Raps should be able to take advantage of today's opportunity against a weak team that is playing its fifth straight road game.

San Antonio at Phoenix

It’s not easy to slow down the Phoenix Suns, but San Antonio was able to hold them to their lowest point total of the season when these teams last met. That 84-81 Spurs win was about as ugly a game as you’re ever likely to see, but if you’re a Spurs backer, you love ugly. San Antonio frustrated the Suns with their pressure and won the battle on the boards. Of course, they’ll have to contend with Shaquille O’Neal this time around, but this is a much sharper Spurs team than the one that took that ugly win. Oddly enough, that game seems to have changed the fortunes of both teams. The Spurs are 15-2 (9-7-1 ATS) since that game and the Suns are 8-7 (5-9-1 ATS).

Chicago at Detroit

The Pistons will be happy to be back home after playing six of their last seven games on the road, but they won’t be happy to see the Chicago Bulls. For some strange reason, the struggling Bulls have managed to come away with wins in all three meetings against Detroit this season. There's no real explanation for it, but sometimes you just have to go with these trends. Especially when Detroit has failed to cover in three straight.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 9

Rescheduled game benefits Cincinnati
T.SEVRANSKY

Time to once again take a key look at pertinent matters on the College and NBA hardwoods that might not always take us to the betting window, but can provide an occasional assist that could help you to swish a shot of your own.

CINCINNATI at CONNECTICUT

There are a lot of statistics and patterns that can be used when breaking down college basketball games, but we can add another factor to this one – the radar screens. That late winter storm that has hit the Midwest hard has created some serious travel issues for the Cincinnati Bearcats, to the point where we did not even know a true starting time until Saturday afternoon, when they decided to postpone the game a full day and tip it off at 6 p.m. ET Sunday.

Cincinnati was scheduled to fly to Hartford yesterday, but the team’s flight could not get out. There was then the hope of getting the first flight out Saturday morning, but that also did not happen. After that, they were hoping to be in the air by 2 p.m. that afternoon and if that flight made it, the game was to have been played at 8 p.m. in the evening. But the weather didn’t let up and officials decided to reschedule the game to Sunday at 6 PM.

Can this be useful to bettors? Perhaps.

On Thursday we made a 4-star play on DePaul over Cincinnati, noting that the Bearcats were showing real signs of fatigue after the long Big East grind. They have been overachievers under Mick Cronin this season, but having to work so hard for what they got has taken a toll.

Now an already-tired team goes to Storrs after an arduous travel day before taking on another tough opponent, and this can weigh heavily mentally as well as physically. It is rare when any team flies in on the day of the game because it’s is more than just the hours in the air – there is the bus ride to and from the airports, and also the awkwardness of going straight to the arena tonight, instead of checking into a hotel first.

With that in mind, playing on Sunday might actually benefit the Bearcats. They can get a badly needed day of rest, and also negate a bit of the Connecticut home-court advantage – the most boisterous crowds of the week tend to come on Saturday’s when few have to get up and go to either work or class the following day. An early Sunday evening tipoff would not exactly create a crescendo for the home team.

Oddsmakers had UConn listed as a 12-point favorite before the schedule change was announced Saturday. Odds are not yet available for the rescheduled game.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 9

College Hoops Gameday

The college basketball regular season concludes on Sunday, with teams doing some last-minute jockeying for conference tournament seeds.

Michigan State (17) at Ohio State

The Spartans followed up their blowout win of Indiana with a less convincing 59-51 win over Illinois as a 2-point favorite last week. Michigan State played very lethargic through much of the first half, but they were still able to erase a 10-point deficit by halftime. Drew Neitzel led the Spartans with 17 points in the win, while Goran Suton added 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The Buckeyes defeated No. 15 Purdue 80-77 in overtime as a 3-point favorite on Tuesday night. Jamar Butler was huge for Ohio State in the win with 25 points, while Othello Hunter and Evan Turner also delivered with 15 points each.

Back on January 15 the Spartans defeated the Buckeyes 66-60 as an 8-point home favorite. Neitzel and Lucas each had 13 points for Michigan State, while Butler scored a game-high 21 points for Ohio State.

South Carolina at Tennessee (2)

The Gamecocks will likely be happy to see their season come to an end on Sunday. South Carolina has lost four of their last five games, including a 71-63 loss to Kentucky as a 3-point underdog on Wednesday. Zam Fredrick led the Gamecocks with 19 points, while Mike Holmes chipped in with 16 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.

Tennessee nearly stumbled again on Wednesday, as they escaped with an 89-86 win over Florida as a 2.5-point favorite. The Volunteers were able to overcome a 16-point deficit in the win behind clutch shots from JaJuan Smith and Chris Lofton. Smith led the Vols with 23 points, while Lofton had 21 points in the victory.

When Tennessee and South Carolina met up earlier this season the Volunteers destroyed the Gamecocks 80-56 as a 6-point favorite. Smith scored 15 points for Tennessee, while Devan Downey led South Carolina with 25 points.

Oklahoma State at Texas (9)

The Cowboys had their five-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday after falling to Oklahoma 68-56 as a 5-point favorite. Obi Muonelo led Oklahoma State with 15 points and Byron Eaton added 13 points, six rebounds, and six assists in the loss.

The Longhorns bounced back from their loss to Texas Tech with a 70-66 win over Nebraska as an 11.5-point favorite earlier this week. As usual D.J. Augustin led Texas with 22 points, and Damion James just missed a double-double with 16 points and nine rebounds.

The Longhorns edged the Cowboys 63-61 as a 3-point favorite when they clashed back in January. Augustin poured in 26 points for Texas, while James Anderson had 17 points for Oklahoma State.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 9

Spurs can make things worse for Suns

Phoenix has struggled since acquiring Shaquille O'Neal.

Phoenix, which hopes the trade for Shaquille O'Neal will bring the organization its first NBA title, had better start lowering expectations.

Given their recent play, the Suns have a better chance of missing the playoffs than they do of winning the title.

Since O'Neal made his Suns debut against the Lakers on Feb. 20, Phoenix is 3-6. Entering Saturday's play, the Suns were only 2 1/2 games ahead of Denver, the No. 9 team in the Western Conference.

Today, Phoenix plays host to San Antonio, which had an 11-game winning streak stopped Friday night in Denver but already owns a victory in Arizona this year. San Antonio prevailed, 84-81, on Jan. 31. It was the Spurs' third victory in their last five games -- including playoffs -- in Phoenix.

College basketball

Texas can complete its most successful regular season ever with a win over visiting Oklahoma State today.

A victory for the Longhorns would be their 26th, eclipsing the record of 25 set during the 2005-06 campaign. In addition, a win over the Cowboys would clinch the Big 12 Conference regular-season championship for Texas and make it the top-seeded team in the conference tournament, which begins Thursday.

Oklahoma State (16-13) has caused problems for the top two teams in the Big 12. It knocked off visiting Kansas on Feb. 12 and gave Texas all it could handle in Stillwater on Jan. 21 before losing, 63-61.

However, Oklahoma State has struggled in Texas. The Cowboys have lost 11 of their last 13 games in Austin.

latimes.com

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 9

NBA Tips and Trends

San Antonio Spurs at Phoenix Suns


Spurs: Spurs swingman Manu Ginobili has shot just 27.3 percent in 2 previous meetings with Phoenix this season. However, this is the first meeting without former Sun Shawn Marion, who is known as one of the NBA's top defenders. Ginobili has averaged more than 26 points in the last 12 games.

Spurs are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 Sunday games.
Spurs are 11-1 SU in their last 12 games, going 6-5-1 ATS.

Injuries-- NONE

Suns: Phoenix is just 3-6 SU & ATS with Shaquille O'Neal in the lineup. However, a bigger concern is the team's depth at this point. The Suns are only playing 3 players off the bench, including reigning Sixth Man of the Year Leandro Barbosa, Boris Diaw and newcomer Gordan Giricek.

Suns are 2-8-1 ATS in their last 11 home games.
The OVER is 16-5 in Phoenix's last 21 games overall.

Injuries-- NONE


Chicago Bulls at Detroit Pistons

Bulls: It's worth noting that Chicago's recent success vs. Detroit had come with former Piston Ben Wallace patrolling the paint for the Bulls. Without him, they will depend on Andres Nocioni and second-year player Tyrus Thomas, who is expected to return from a 2-game suspension after skipping practice.

Bulls are 5-1 SU & ATS in the last 6 meetings.

Injuries-- NONE

Pistons: Detroit has played just once at home over the last couple weeks and returns to The Palace after playing 6 of 7 games on the road. The Pistons begin a 5-game homestand and swept their previous 5-game homestand before the All-Star break. “It’s definitely good to get that out of the way,” Detroit's Tayshaun Prince said. “We’ve got a good stretch of games here at home, so hopefully we can take care of business.”

Pistons are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 Sunday games.
Pistons are 0-3 ATS in their last 3 games despite winning 2 of 3 SU.

Injury-- F/C Rasheed Wallace (ankle) is listed as questionable.


Sacramento Kings at Los Angeles Lakers

Kings: Sacramento has dropped 7 of its last 8 games, and head coach Reggie Theus is concerned that his team is giving up on the season. “When you look at the effort-based things, the one thing that’s been consistent (this season) is that we’ve had effort,” Theus said. “We’ve got a couple guys around here (who) aren’t playing hard anymore. That’s too bad. It’s very disappointing.”

Kings are 1-7-1 ATS in their last 9 games overall.
Kings are 7-19 ATS in their last 26 games vs. Pacific Division.

Injury-- G/F Ron Artest (knee) did not play on Friday and is listed as questionable.

Lakers: Kobe Bryant struggled at the beginning of the last meeting against Sacramento's Kevin Martin on Tuesday, but his study of pregame videotape eventually paid off. Bryant could not avoid picks by the Kings early on, but he adjusted and took over in the fourth quarter when he scored half of his 34 points in a 117-105 victory.

Lakers are 14-3 ATS in their last 17 games vs. Pacific Division.
Lakers are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 games overall.
Favorite is 15-5 ATS in the last 20 meetings.

Injuries-- NONE

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 9

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Milwaukee Bucks

- The Philadelphia 76ers and the Milwaukee Bucks will both be trying to pick up a win on Sunday when they battle at Bradley Center.

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

Samuel Dalembert picked up 22 points on Friday night as the 76ers rolled to a 117-83 win over the Seattle SuperSonics.

The Sixers managed to cover the 11-point spread at home on that night, while the combined score fell UNDER the posted total (202.5).

Michael Redd had a team-high 25 points in Milwaukee's 103-101 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night.

The Bucks had been listed as 1.5-point favorites at home in that contest, while the combined score went OVER the night's posted total (198).

Current streak:
Philadelphia has won 3 straight games.

Team records:
Philadelphia: 29-33 SU, 33-28-1 ATS
Milwaukee: 23-39 SU, 28-33-1 ATS

Philadelphia most recently:
When playing on Sunday are 4-6
Before playing Boston are 3-7
After playing Seattle are 2-8
After a win are 7-3

Milwaukee most recently:
When playing on Sunday are 3-7
Before playing Washington are 4-6
After playing Portland are 3-7
After a loss are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
Philadelphia is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
Philadelphia is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games
Philadelphia is 16-5-1 ATS in its last 22 games when playing on the road against Milwaukee
Philadelphia is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games when playing Milwaukee
The total has gone OVER in 9 of Milwaukee's last 10 games
Milwaukee is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Milwaukee's last 7 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Milwaukee's last 7 games when playing at home against Philadelphia

Next up:
Philadelphia home to Boston, Monday, March 10
Milwaukee at Washington, Tuesday, March 11

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 9

Seattle SuperSonics vs. Toronto Raptors

- The Seattle SuperSonics and the Toronto Raptors will both be trying to pick up a win on Sunday when they battle at Air Canada Centre.

Oddsmakers currently have the Raptors listed as 11½-point favorites versus the SuperSonics, while the game's total has not yet been posted.

Chris Wilcox had a team-high 20 points in Seattle's 117-83 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night.

The Sixers managed to cover the 11-point spread at home on that night, while the combined score fell UNDER the posted total (202.5).

Andrea Bargnani had a game-high 27 points in Toronto's 110-106 loss to the Washington Wizards on Friday night.

The Raptors had been favored by 6.5 points at home in that contest, while the combined score went OVER the night's posted total (193).

Current streak:
Seattle has lost 3 straight games.

Team records:
Seattle: 16-46 SU, 30-31-1 ATS
Toronto: 33-28 SU, 34-27 ATS

Seattle most recently:
When playing on Sunday are 2-8
Before playing Indiana are 4-6
After playing Philadelphia are 3-7
After a loss are 4-6

Toronto most recently:
When playing on Sunday are 6-4
Before playing LA Lakers are 4-6
After playing Washington are 6-4
After a loss are 8-2

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Seattle's last 5 games when playing Toronto
Seattle is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Toronto
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Seattle's last 6 games
Seattle is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Toronto
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Toronto's last 5 games when playing Seattle
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Toronto's last 6 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 17 of Toronto's last 25 games
Toronto is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games at home

Next up:
Seattle at Indiana, Tuesday, March 11
Toronto at LA Lakers, Tuesday, March 11

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 9

San Antonio Spurs vs. Phoenix Suns

- The fans at US Airways Center will be treated to a game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Phoenix Suns when they take their seats on Sunday.

Oddsmakers currently have the Spurs listed as 2-point favorites versus the Suns, while the game's total has not yet been posted.

Manu Ginobili had a team-high 24 points in San Antonio's 109-96 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Friday night.

The Nuggets managed to cover the 2.5-point spread at home in that contest, while the combined score went OVER the posted total (200.5).

Amare Stoudemire had a game-high 37 points in the Suns' 126-118 loss to the Utah Jazz on Friday night.

The Suns had been favored by 5.5 points at home in that contest, while the combined score went OVER the night's posted total (223).

Current streak:
Phoenix has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
San Antonio: 43-18 SU, 29-32 ATS
Phoenix: 40-22 SU, 27-33-2 ATS

San Antonio most recently:
When playing on Sunday are 8-2
Before playing Denver are 6-4
After playing Denver are 8-2
After a loss are 6-4

Phoenix most recently:
When playing on Sunday are 6-4
Before playing Memphis are 6-4
After playing Utah are 4-6
After a loss are 8-2

A few trends to consider:
San Antonio is 11-1 SU in its last 12 games
San Antonio is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of San Antonio's last 5 games when playing Phoenix
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of San Antonio's last 5 games when playing on the road against Phoenix
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Phoenix's last 7 games
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Phoenix's last 7 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Phoenix's last 5 games when playing San Antonio
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Phoenix's last 5 games when playing at home against San Antonio

Next up:
San Antonio home to Denver, Monday, March 10
Phoenix home to Memphis, Tuesday, March 11

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 9

Chicago Bulls vs. Detroit Pistons

- The fans at The Palace of Auburn Hills will be treated to a game between the Chicago Bulls and the Detroit Pistons when they take their seats on Sunday.

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

Ben Gordon led the Bulls with 20 points in their 116-93 loss to the Boston Celtics on Friday night.

The Celtics managed to cover the 11.5-point spread at home in that game, while the combined score went OVER the night's posted total (199).

Tayshaun Prince led the way with 28 points on Friday night as the Pistons picked up a 101-97 win over the New York Knicks.

The Pistons, however, failed to cover the 11-point spread on the road in that contest, while the combined score went OVER the posted total (191).

Team records:
Chicago: 25-37 SU, 27-35 ATS
Detroit: 45-17 SU, 34-27-1 ATS

Chicago most recently:
When playing on Sunday are 4-6
Before playing Utah are 6-4
After playing Boston are 6-4
After a loss are 6-4

Detroit most recently:
When playing on Sunday are 8-2
Before playing Philadelphia are 5-5
After playing New York are 7-3
After a win are 7-3

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Chicago's last 7 games when playing on the road against Detroit
Chicago is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Detroit
Chicago is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing Detroit
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Chicago's last 11 games on the road
Detroit is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Detroit's last 7 games when playing at home against Chicago
Detroit is 16-4 SU in its last 20 games
Detroit is 16-6 SU in its last 22 games when playing at home against Chicago

Next up:
Chicago home to Utah, Tuesday, March 11
Detroit home to Philadelphia, Wednesday, March 12

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 9

Sacramento Kings vs. Los Angeles Lakers

- The fans at STAPLES Center will be treated to a game between the Sacramento Kings and the Los Angeles Lakers when they take their seats on Sunday.

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

Kevin Martin exploded for 48 points in Sacramento's 111-103 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.

The Kings had been favored by 6.5 points at home in that contest, while the combined score went OVER the night's posted total (200).

Pau Gasol had 10 points and 11 boards on Friday as the Lakers cruised to a 119-82 win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Lakers had no trouble covering the 14.5-point spread in that contest, while the combined score fell UNDER the night's posted total (205.5).

Current streak:
Sacramento has lost 3 straight games.
Los Angeles has won 3 straight games.

Team records:
Sacramento: 27-35 SU, 31-30-1 ATS
Los Angeles: 44-18 SU, 39-22-1 ATS

Sacramento most recently:
When playing on Sunday are 5-5
Before playing Portland are 3-7
After playing Minnesota are 6-4
After a loss are 3-7

Los Angeles most recently:
When playing on Sunday are 6-4
Before playing Toronto are 3-7
After playing LA Clippers are 6-4
After a win are 9-1

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Sacramento's last 6 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Sacramento's last 5 games when playing LA Lakers
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Sacramento's last 7 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Sacramento's last 6 games when playing on the road against LA Lakers
LA Lakers are 5-0 SU in their last 5 games at home
LA Lakers are 13-1 SU in their last 14 games
LA Lakers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games when playing Sacramento
LA Lakers are 5-1 SU in their last 6 games when playing Sacramento

Next up:
Sacramento home to Portland, Thursday, March 13
LA Lakers home to Toronto, Tuesday, March 11

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