Betting News and Notes - Mar.12

Betting News and Notes - Mar.12

Wednesday's Tip Sheet
By Josh Jacobs

Moving right along with the final few laps left in the regular season, 11 games will grace tonight’s card.

With at least five teams in the East battling to grab a spot inside the playoff bubble, there’s no doubt that the temperature is heating up. Atlanta is tethering on the boarder as the No. 8 seed, while New Jersey, Chicago, Charlotte, Indiana and Milwaukee are all, surprisingly, hanging onto a hope and a dream.

So, where does Wednesday take the Association and what games look to be of good value?

**Houston at Atlanta**

Atlanta has been able to exceed 195 total points in home contests 45-percent of the time this season. Gearing up to host a Houston team who’s grabbed up 19 straight wins, the Hawks will have to look back to last year, where a 105-99 home win over the Rockets serves as a good example of a surprising upset. Set as a 4½-point underdog in that contest, Atlanta’s Joe Johnson, Josh Smith and Marvin Williams combined to sink the rock for a total of 71 points. For Houston, hitting 50-percent of its shots has translated into an average of 106.2 PPG in the last 10. In their last 24 games, the Rockets are 19-5 ATS.

**L.A. Clippers at Orlando**

With the Magic looking to take their eighth win in 10 games, the Clippers are just hoping to keep contests competitive. Dropping eight of its last 10, L.A. has struggled on offense, producing a non-effective 90.1 PPG in those last 10 games. When playing within their division, the Clippers are 6-6 ATS, but when venturing outside the Pacific, a 20-30 ATS plunge has been attached to the organization. When matched up against teams with a record below .500, Orlando has gone 20-11-2 ATS (9-5 ATS in home games).

**Seattle at Boston**

Having met only once this season, Boston casually walked away with a 104-96 win over Seattle back in late December (the Sonics did cover the 10-point spread). While the Celtics are 28-4 SU at home, high scoring figures have not been the norm. Only 34-percent of its games have witnessed Boston exceeding 190 points on its own home court this season. In their last 10, the Celtics have seen the ‘under’ go 6-4. The slouching Sonics are 7-26 SU and 16-16-1 ATS in their last 33, while giving up a little over 111 PPG in their last five makes it difficult to outscore even the weakest of clubs.

**Cleveland at New Jersey**

Entering Wednesday with a 10-4 ATS ledger in its last 14 road games, Cleveland adds Ben Wallace to the stable of injured players (listed as ‘questionable’ with back pain). Even with a slew of injuries, the Cavs are shooting an average 45.6-percent from the field, while taking six of 10 games on the spread. Dropping six in a row and eight of its last 10, the Nets haven’t done much in the race to grab the No. 8 seed in the East. An ‘under’ play with a 6-4 record in the last 10 can be attributed to a New Jersey team averaging 92.3 PPG in the same last 10 games.

**New York at Miami**

While it might be more of an editorial, two of the NBA’s worst performing teams will meet promptly at 7:30 p.m. EDT. With both clubs lagging behind in the SU and ATS department, it’s worth taking a look at New York’s 12-3 ‘over’ record in its last 15 and Miami’s six ‘over’ plays in its last 10. Lackluster defense on both teams have warranted high scoring games, with the Knicks allowing opponents to rack up 106.8 PPG and the Heat’s 105.6 PPG allowed in the last 10. Combine Miami’s Dwayne Wades’ decision to call an end to the season and New York’s list of injured and you’ve got a clash between two very gimpy squads.

**Philadelphia at Detroit**

Entering with a 9-1 SU and 7-3 ATS record versus Philadelphia in the last 10 head-to-head meetings, Detroit has almost been a guaranteed winner. With the exception of dropping four straight ATS results, the Pistons have gone on to take 17 of its last 21 games SU. When installed as the ‘dog in its last 10, Detroit has gone on to cover all four games. For the 76ers, four games below .500 is still a good enough record for the No. 7 seed. Snatching up seven wins in the last 10, Philly has gone on to cover 15 of its last 20 games. The Piston’s Rasheed Wallace remains ‘questionable’ with an ankle injury.

**Utah at Milwaukee**

Another team who’s tanked this season, the Bucks have been an ‘over’ machine. Going 13-2 on the ‘over’ in its last 15, Milwaukee has exceeded a total of 200 points at home 52-percent of the time. That number drops considerably when the total has been hovering at 205 or more points, but the moral of the story is that the Bucks have had ‘over’ players cashing in their tickets at the window in droves. For the Jazz, seven wins in 10 games, five coming in a row, have typified the season. However, a 5-12 ATS record versus teams with a losing record on the road have taken its toll on gamblers. With Andrei Kirilenko sitting out a sprained hip, Utah is 3-0 ATS and 2-1 on the ‘over’.

**San Antonio at New Orleans**

Easily the game of the evening (if you like quality games to focus on), the Hornets will look to defend a 22-10 SU and 19-13 ATS record at home, when a 44-19 SU Spurs team comes into town. San Antonio brings with it a meager 6-10 ATS record on the road versus teams with a winning record. In their last clash at the end of February, Spurs’ Manu Ginobili filled the stat sheet, scoring 30 points, while Tim Duncan added 25. In their last 10 meetings, New Orleans has gone a ghastly 1-9 SU and 3-7 ATS. In their last 16 home games, the Hornets have shredded the total with a 12-3-1 record on the ‘over’.

**Charlotte at Dallas**

Indications on just how weak the Eastern Conference is, Charlotte remains a viable player for a bid into the playoffs. Currently on a five-game victory stint, the Bobcats are averaging 109 PPG, are holding teams to 97.2 PPG and have hit close to 47-percent of their shots from the field. Covering six straight games, Charlotte has been installed as an underdog in all six. For the Mavs, a three-game slide was snapped last Saturday in a win over New Jersey, 111-91. Coming off one-day of rest, Dallas is 17-17-2 ATS and is 6-1 on the ‘over’ in its last seven.

**Memphis at Denver**

A 25-7 SU Denver team at home will prepare to square off against a Memphis team looking for its fifth win in 30 games on the road. With a defense surrendering 105.8 PPG this season, the Grizzlies have been successful in surpassing 205 points, hitting the mark 41-percent of the time. The Nuggets are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 home games, and is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 head-to-head meetings with Memphis. Dropping its last two and getting outscored 239-208, Denver’s ‘D’ has been compromised all season. An 8-2 record on the ‘over’ in its last 10 has witnessed the Nuggets surrendering an average of 110 PPG.

**Toronto at Golden State**

With Golden State fighting to keep its position as the No. 8 seed in the highly competitive Western Conference, the Raptors will be looking to improve on an 8-7 ATS record when coming off zero days of rest (not to mention a 34-28 SU record on the season). The Warriors have struggled financially at home, slumping with a 3-11 ATS record in the last 14. For Toronto, an average 5-5 ATS record in its last 10 has fractured feelings about investing. While the Raptors have scored 102.6 PPG, giving up 102.2 PPG isn’t adding a lot of breathing room in between games. High scoring games have been the M.O. for Golden State, hitting 58-percent at exceeding 215 total points and a 45-percent success rate at going over 220 points.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.12

Big East - First Round
By Chris David

The Big East Tournament tips off Wednesday for the first of four consecutive days of action from the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden. Georgetown won its seventh Big East championship last year and enters this bracket as the No. 1 seed after wrapping up the regular season title on Saturday with a 55-52 win over Louisville.

First round action starts at 12:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday with four games from MSG.

Let’s break ‘em down.

**Villanova (19-11 SU, 11-16 ATS) vs. Syracuse (19-12 SU, 13-15 ATS)**

The biggest game of the conference tournament might be the first on Wednesday, as Villanova and Syracuse meet in what’s being called a play-in game for the NCAA Tournament. The loser goes home and most likely to the NIT Tournament, while the winner has a good shot of getting off the bubble.

The matchup itself is tough to gauge, with the visitor winning the two regular season meetings and both victories came by double digits too. Syracuse avenged an 81-71 home loss to Villanova on Jan. 19 by capturing an 87-73 road win on Feb. 2. The ‘over/under’ went 1-1.

Both the Orange and Wildcats enter this game with two-game winning streaks intact.

Syracuse’s up-temp offense is averaging 79 points per game, which is ranked second in the Big East and 22nd nationally. Unfortunately, the defense is giving up a whopping 73.7 PPG. Despite the run ‘n gun philosophy for the Orange, the ‘under’ has prevailed to a 17-12 mark.

Villanova has watched the ‘under’ go 18-9 (67%) on the year, including an eye opening 9-1 in the last 10 games. Only three teams have surpassed the 70-point plateau during this 10-game stretch against the ‘Cats.

Jay Wright and his Wildcats have often looked dimensional on offense, with guard Scottie Reynolds (15.4 PPG) leading the charge. Meanwhile, Syracuse has four players averaging double figures, including a pair of freshmen in Donte Greene (17.5 PPG) and Jonny Flynn (15.9 PPG).

While talent is evident in Syracuse’s youngsters, the team is still very raw. The lack of experience has shown in the turnover column, with the school ranked last in the conference with 15.8 giveaways per game.

The Orange have gone 5-7 SU and 6-6 ATS on the road, while the Wildcats have posted a 7-8 ledger both SU and ATS.

The winner of this game faces a tough battle tomorrow against Big East regular season champion, Georgetown.

**West Virginia (22-9 SU, 13-11 ATS) vs. Providence (15-15 SU, 12-16 ATS)**

The Mountaineers closed the season by winning seven of their final 10 games, and six of the seven victories were by double digits. Looking at the recent stretch closer, it appears that head coach Bob Huggins and his squad can be defined as a bully club. All three losses came against quality clubs (Pittsburgh, Villanova, UConn) on the road. Two of the seven victories came against Providence, including an 80-53 victory on Feb. 23.

Including the two triumphs this year, WVU has won and covered six of the previous seven meetings against Providence – all by double digits too.

The Friars had a little bit of steam working last week with back-to-back victories against Cincinnati (81-79) and UConn (85-76) but were stifled on Saturday at home to Villanova, 73-63. Providence lives and dies by the long ball, averaging 7.8 shots from downtown and shooting 37.6 percent from downtown.

West Virginia is holding opponents to 62.7 PPG, which is ranked third best in the Big East.

Providence has struggled away from home to a 5-10 record both SU and ATS, getting outscored by five PPG (73-68). West Virginia owns a respectable 8-6 SU and 7-6 ATS mark on the road.

Head coach Jim Calhoun and Connecticut will face this victor of this game in the quarterfinals.

**Pittsburgh (22-9 SU, 14-12 ATS) vs. Cincinnati (13-17 SU, 14-12 ATS)**

The regular season series was split between the two schools, with the home team notching both victories. The Bearcats covered twice against the Panthers, while the total went 1-1.

Cincinnati enters the tournament in a serious slump, going 1-5 both SU and ATS in its last six games. Hopefully the team forgets about its most recent setback on Sunday, when they were clobbered by 45 points (96-51) to UConn.

The Bearcats have been outscored by 9 PPG (70-61) on the road this year en route to a disappointing 3-10 SU and 7-5 ATS.

Pittsburgh closed the year by winning three of four games, including a 98-79 blowout victory against DePaul on Sunday. The Panthers’ offense has been picking up the pace of late, watching the team average 76.3 PPG in their last six games. The ‘over’ has gone 6-0 during this spurt.

The Panthers have been inconsistent away from home, going 6-7 both SU and ATS.

The winner of this contest will face Louisville on Thursday.

**Marquette (22-8 SU, 13-10 ATS) vs. Seton Hall (17-14 SU, 13-10 ATS)**

The nightcap at Madison Square Garden is also the mismatch of the evening, with the Golden Eagles listed as 10-point favorites against the Pirates. This will be the third meeting between the two schools this year, and it’s been all Marquette in the first two battles.

Tom Crean’s team won both games against Seton Hall this year, including an 89-64 victory on Feb. 12 as a 3½-point road favorite. The combined 153 points barely slid ‘over’ the closing total of 152.

The Pirates enter this contest very cold, going 0-3 both SU and ATS in their last three games. The offense has been held to 65.3 points per game during this stretch, helping the ‘under’ go 3-0.

Marquette hasn’t been exactly hot of late either, going 0-2 both SU and ATS in its last two Big East battles. Saturday’s 87-72 loss to Syracuse definitely shows some flaws in defense, with the team allowing the Orange to connect on 58 percent from the field.

The ‘over’ has been golden for Marquette (14-9) this year, especially on the road (9-3). The team is averaging 77 PPG away from home, which has produced a 7-6 SU and 8-4 ATS ledger.

Gamblers should be aware that Marquette has been known to blow teams out this year, owning a scoring margin of 12.2 PPG, which is the 16th best nationally.

The Pirates have four players averaging double figures including Brian Laing (19 PPG), who can play both inside and outside.

Notre Dame awaits the winner of this matchup in the quarterfinals.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.12

Cavaliers G Eric Snow expected to miss 4-6 weeks with knee injury
Tue, 11 March 2008

CLEVELAND(AP) Cavaliers guard Eric Snow will likely miss the remainder of the regular season with a cranky left knee, just the latest medical misfortune in a season of bumps, bruises and bandages in Cleveland.

Snow, who underwent surgery on his left knee just before the season opener, is expected to be out 4-to-6 weeks with arthritis-related symptoms in the knee, the team said.

The 34-year-old is averaging just one point in 13.9 minutes per game this season for the injury-ravaged Cavs. But while his playing role has decreased, Snow has been helpful in tutoring some of Cleveland's younger players.

The Cavs have been undermanned all season. They're already playing without center Zydrunas Ilgauskas (bulging back disc), guard Daniel Gibson (sprained ankle) and swingman Sasha Pavlovic (sprained foot). In Monday's win over Portland, center Ben Wallace sat out the second half with back spasms.

Anderson Varejao missed a chunk of games with an ankle injury and superstar LeBron James sat out six games with injuries. Cleveland went 0-6 without him.

Pavlovic returned to practice Sunday and is expected to be activated for the first time since Jan. 23 on Wednesday to play in New Jersey. Pavlovic missed the start of the season in a contract holdout and has appeared in just 38 games.

Ilgauskas' status isn't so certain. The 32-year-old, who has missed Cleveland's past five games, has been one of the Cavs' most durable players since overcoming several foot injuries at the start of his career. He has played in at least 78 games in each of the past five seasons.

However, his nagging back has made it tough for him to play many minutes in consecutive games. On Monday, Cavs coach Mike Brown said he didn't know when the 7-foot-3 Ilgauskas will play again.

Despite the rash of injuries, the Cavaliers are 10 games over .500 (37-27) for the first time this season.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.12

Betting Conference Tournaments

All the major conferences will be in action this upcoming week, with there league tournaments, which are guaranteed to have more surprises and upsets then any episodes of American Idol, Big Brother or Oprah’s The Big Give combined.

Last week we covered, situations revolving around specific events that can take place, along with how particular conference broke down as favorites and underdogs. In addition, we covered how favorites and underdogs managed when either (+) or (-) 6.5-points.

This week our focus shifts to certain rounds in college basketball tournaments, which are most profitable and which to avoid. Also, we’ll take a look at what teams are the best Play On teams or what teams are best to Play Against, along with Totals. Here is the information needed on very sharp angles that are consistent winners for those betting on college basketball tournament action.

The Atlantic-10 Conference has seen the weaker teams in the league be no match, as favorites dominate the first round action at 25-12 against the spread and 14-5 ATS record the last five seasons.  Along these same lines, the favorite has been the selection for the league championship contest also, with 8-1 ATS mark, the last nine seasons.

The Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big Ten have witnessed upheaval in the early rounds of their respective post-season tournaments. As compared to the A-10, the teams at the bottom of the conferences are not that far removed from the average to slightly better then average teams. In the ACC, in the first round and the quarterfinals, the underdog has covered the oddsmakers spread 70.9 percent of the time with 22-9 record. The Big Ten has similar type results at 19-10 ATS in the opening round, including 11-4 ATS the last several seasons.

The Big Ten’s unusual seeding process because of 11 teams in the league has created more balance in the early going of the conference tournament.

The Big 12 is another companion league in the early going, with favorites just 4-15 ATS in round one, causing players that prefer the higher seeds to lose serious cash. The trend picks up once again in conference championship game, were the underdog is 4-1 ATS, including Kevin Durant and Texas taking Kansas to overtime in losing 88-84 as 7.5-point dogs in 2007.

Conference USA has been a league worth monitoring when it comes to its league championship games since March of 2003. With Memphis a virtual certainty to make the C-USA finals, the Tigers have encountered extravagant numbers by linemakers in the past, daring foolhardy bettors to back them. This strategy has worked as many stubborn bettors have thrown caution to the wind and supported John Calipari’s club. Title game faves are only 1-4 ATS the last five years.

Some of the best profits of all have popped up in the in the Big Sky, in the semi-final round of action. Here we find underdogs cut off at the pass and not emerging successfully. The Big Sky has stood for big profits out West, with the chalk covering eight of 10 times.

The Mountain West has had more than its fair share of upsets, especially in the title game to determine the automatic qualifier. In this contest, the favorite has bumbled, stumbled and fumbled opportunity, being only 1-6 ATS.

The Southeastern Conference has had a severe case of favoritism the last several years. In the first day of action, the favored team has controlled the action, with 22-11, 66.7 percent against the spread record. In a league that has been as competitive as this one, this information really stands out and can be put to great use.

The Western Athletic Conference has the proper acronym of WAC, as in the wacky results this league has manufactured in tourney play. In the opening round, the favored squads are only 1-6 ATS. By the time two teams make it to the championship game, it is a complete turnaround; with the favored club 4-1 ATS the last five seasons. Look for this year’s results with New Mexico State the host in Las Cruces.

Next is a look at the best and worst teams against the spread in conference tournaments. The focus is on teams that have shown they win or lose in the long term and not just with a particular class that produces short term numbers. These results are based on teams whose tournaments have not been completed.
Best Spread Teams – Last 10 Years (Units won basis)

1. N.C. State 17-5
2. Kentucky 17-7
3. G. Washington 15-6
4. Oregon 10-2
5. UAB 14-6
6. Syracuse 15-7

Worst Spread Teams – Last 10 Years (Units lost basis)

1. Marquette 3-12
2. Texas 7-15
3. Bowling Green 4-12
4. Utah 3-11
5. Tennessee 4-10
6. Georgia 3-9

Tournament play also creates excellent Over/Under opportunities based on style of play by particular teams. Here the list of teams that function best in these situations.
Top OVER Teams - Last 10 Years (Units basis)

1. LSU 13-4
2. UNLV 11-3
3. Arkansas 13-5
4. BYU 10-3
5. Auburn 10-3
6. UMass 9-4

Top UNDER Teams - Last 10 Years (Units basis)

1. Georgetown 3-14
2. Tulsa 3-12
3. Pittsburgh 6-15
4. Wisconsin 5-13
5. SMU 1-8
6. Tulane 3-10

A trio of systems plays that could occur and are worth following should they arise.

First up is “Bad Dogs”. Here look for underdogs of three or more points with a win percentage of 43 percent or less, taking on a team with a winning percentage of 57 percent or higher. Play Against these poor pooches who are 107-142, 43 percent.

Another to watch for is higher seeded teams in the first or quarterfinal rounds, which are favored by six or fewer points. In the last three seasons, these teams are 95-67, 58.6 winners. The general belief would be the better team covers against weaker opponent in a manageable point spread.

From our friend Marc Lawrence at Playbook.com, he sends us this momentum gathering system. In conference tourney action, seek to find favored teams off win-no-cover as double digit favorite in last game; these teams are nicely profitable 133-91-6 ATS (59.3%). If we take this same team and match them up against another conference tournament foe off a straight up win, the number rise to 115-68-4 ATS (62.8%). We start to stack the deck in our favor better then two-thirds the time if our team is favored in this contest by seven or less points. (58-28-1 ATS, 67.4%)

Money Line and spread players need to play attention to the next two points. If our team is facing this same opponent that has a winning percentage of less .600, our play of choice is 29-5 SU and 23-10-1 ATS (69.6%). Finally, we look to slam dunk the oddsmaker if our opponent met all the criteria and won that last game by 10 or fewer points. This leads to 21-2 SU Winner and 17-5-1 ATS (77.2%) play, that is tough to conquer come tourney time.

This article and the prior should have you loaded with all the right ammunition to succeed during conference tournaments.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.12

NBA Today

Houston at Atlanta (7 p.m. EDT). The Rockets, winners of 19 straight, including 10 straight by double digits, try to tie the second-longest winning streak in NBA history.

STARS

-Kobe Bryant, Lakers, scored 10 of his 34 points in the final 8 1/2 minutes, and Los Angeles beat Toronto 117-108.

-Mike Dunleavy, Pacers, scored 32 points and Indiana beat Seattle 114-107.

-Amare Stoudemire, Suns, had 29 points and 13 rebounds in 30 minutes, and Phoenix beat Memphis 132-111.

-Brandon Roy, Trail Blazers, had 27 points and nine assists, to lift Portland to a 103-96 victory over Minnesota.

YOUNG AT HEART

Rookie Nick Young had a career-high 22 and Washington rallied in the fourth quarter Tuesday night for a 105-97 win over Milwaukee. The score was tied at 83 with 9 minutes remaining, but three-point plays from Darius Songaila and Young started a 12-2 run that built the lead to double digits with 6 1/2 minutes left. The first-round draft pick from Southern California surpassed his previous best of 19 points with another three-point play, converting the free throw after driving for a layup to put the Wizards ahead 103-91 with 1:35 remaining.

SECOND THOUGHTS

Brandon Roy had 27 points and nine assists, playing biggest during a game-deciding 12-2 run in the fourth quarter to lift Portland to a 103-96 victory over Minnesota Tuesday night. The Timberwolves drafted Roy in the first round two years ago, but traded him to the Blazers for Randy Foye and cash on draft night. Foye missed the first half of this season with a knee injury, and Roy was rookie of the year last year and has been even better in his second season.

BURNED

Amare Stoudemire scored 29 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in 30 minutes, and Phoenix beat Memphis for the eighth time in a row with a 132-111 rout on Tuesday night. Memphis, opening a three-game road trip, lost its 15th straight away from home and 17th in its last 19 overall.

STICKING AROUND

The Golden State Warriors exercised the option Tuesday to keep coach Don Nelson under contract for the 2008-09 season. The Warriors (39-23) put together one of their best seasons in years, and the team decided to guarantee Nelson a reported $5.1 million for next season. The 67-year-old Nelson is the second-winningest coach in NBA history with 1,271 wins, trailing only Lenny Wilkens (1,332) on the career list.

STRONG IN DEFEAT

Kevin Durant scored 27 points in Seattle's 114-107 loss to Indiana on Tuesday night. ... Charlie Villanueva scored 24 points and grabbed 16 rebounds but Milwaukee lost to Washington 105-97. ... Mehmet Okur had 22 points and 18 rebounds but Utah fell to Chicago 108-96. ...

SPEAKING

``I'm tired of (teammate) Brendan Haywood calling me a practice dunker and all kinds of stuff. So it was my way to kind of show them that I belong here - and I can jump a little bit.'' - Washington's rookie guard Nick Young after scoring a career-high 22 points in the Wizards' 105-97 victory over Milwaukee. Young shot 9-for-15 and had a pair of three-point plays in the decisive fourth quarter.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.12

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Orlando Magic

- The Los Angeles Clippers and the Orlando Magic will both be gunning for a victory on Wednesday when they meet at Amway Arena.

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

The Clippers roared back in the fourth quarter and came back to upend the Heat 99-98 on Monday. The Clippers failed to cover the 2.5-point spread, while the combined score made it OVER the posted total of 188.5.

Cuttino Mobley led the way with a game-high 29 points, while Corey Maggette and Al Thornton added 22 apiece.

The Magic dominated the first half on Monday, as they defeated the Hawks 123-112. The Magic managed to cover the 10-point spread, and the combined score sailed OVER the posted total of 210.

Hedo Turkoglu led the way with a triple-double, scoring 23 points with 10 rebounds and 13 assists for the Magic. Dwight Howard had a team-high 26 points in the win.

Team records:
Los Angeles: 21-41 SU, 27-35 ATS
Orlando: 41-24 SU, 41-23-1 ATS

Los Angeles most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 5-5
Before playing Atlanta are 6-4
After playing Miami are 5-5
After a win are 1-9

Orlando most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 3-7
Before playing Miami are 6-4
After playing Atlanta are 7-3
After a win are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 6 of the LA Clippers last 8 games when playing on the road against Orlando
LA Clippers are 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of the LA Clippers last 15 games
LA Clippers are 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games when playing Orlando
Orlando is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games at home
Orlando is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games at home
Orlando is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
Orlando is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games

Next up:
LA Clippers at Atlanta, Friday, March 14
Orlando at Miami, Friday, March 14

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Houston Rockets vs. Atlanta Hawks

- The Houston Rockets and the Atlanta Hawks will both be gunning for a victory on Wednesday when they meet at Philips Arena.

Oddsmakers currently have the Rockets listed as 6-point favorites versus the Hawks, while the game's total has not yet been posted.

The Rockets held the Nets to 28 points in the first half Monday in a 91-73 loss. The Rockets covered the 11-point spread at home, but the 164 points were UNDER the posted total of 191.

Tracy McGrady scored 19 points with four rebounds and four assists to pace the Rockets.

The Hawks were defeated 123-112 by the Magic last time out, as 10-point underdogs on the road. The combined score sailed OVER the posted total of 210.

Joe Johnson netted a game-high 27 points in a losing effort.

Current streak:
Houston has won 19 straight games.

Team records:
Houston: 43-20 SU, 37-24-2 ATS
Atlanta: 26-37 SU, 29-34 ATS

Houston most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 6-4
Before playing Charlotte are 4-3
After playing New Jersey are 4-6
After a win are 10-0

Atlanta most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 2-8
Before playing LA Clippers are 2-8
After playing Orlando are 2-8
After a loss are 3-7

A few trends to consider:
Houston is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
Houston is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games
Houston is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Houston's last 6 games when playing on the road against Atlanta
Atlanta is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing at home against Houston
Atlanta is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against Houston
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Atlanta's last 6 games when playing at home against Houston
The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Atlanta's last 13 games when playing Houston

Next up:
Houston home to Charlotte, Friday, March 14
Atlanta home to LA Clippers, Friday, March 14

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New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat

- The New York Knicks and the Miami Heat will both be gunning for a victory on Wednesday when they meet at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Oddsmakers currently have the Knicks listed as 1½-point favorites versus the Heat, while the game's total has not yet been posted.

The Knicks were pounded 108-79 by the Mavericks last time out, as 14-point road underdogs. The 187 points were UNDER the posted total of 201.5.

Zach Randolph had a double-double with 21 points and 14 rebounds in the loss.

The Heat were upended 99-98 by the Clippers last time out, as 2.5-point underdogs at home. The combined score made it OVER the posted total of 188.5.

Ricky Davis shot 10-for-14 from the field with a team-high 27 points for the Heat.

Current streak:
New York has lost 7 straight games.
Miami has lost 5 straight games.

Team records:
New York: 18-46 SU, 30-33-1 ATS
Miami: 11-51 SU, 21-40-1 ATS

New York most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 3-7
Before playing Atlanta are 5-5
After playing Dallas are 5-5
After a loss are 4-6

Miami most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 8-2
Before playing Orlando are 5-5
After playing LA Clippers are 5-5
After a loss are 2-8

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of New York's last 7 games when playing on the road against Miami
The total has gone OVER in 12 of New York's last 15 games
The total has gone OVER in 6 of New York's last 8 games on the road
New York is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 games when playing on the road against Miami
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Miami's last 7 games when playing at home against New York
The total has gone UNDER in 14 of Miami's last 20 games when playing New York
Miami is 9-4 SU in its last 13 games when playing New York
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Miami's last 6 games

Next up:
New York home to Atlanta, Sunday, March 16
Miami home to Orlando, Friday, March 14

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.12

Seattle SuperSonics vs. Boston Celtics

- The Seattle SuperSonics and the Boston Celtics will both be trying to pick up a win on Wednesday when they battle at TD Banknorth Garden.

Oddsmakers currently have the Celtics listed as 17½-point favorites versus the SuperSonics, while the game's total has not yet been posted.

The SuperSonics were dumped 114-107 by the Pacers on Tuesday, as 9-point underdogs on the road. The 221 points made it OVER the posted total of 219.

Kevin Durant dropped a team-high 27 points for the SuperSonics, and Nick Collison had 15 points and eight boards in the loss.

Kevin Garnett dropped 26 points and hauled down 12 rebounds for a double-double on Monday, as the Celtics dumped the 76ers 100-85. The Celtics easily covered the 6-point spread, while the 185 points were UNDER the posted total of 193.

Ray Allen chipped in with 21 points, and Paul Pierce added 17 for the Celtics.

Current streak:
Seattle has lost 5 straight games.
Boston has won 9 straight games.

Team records:
Seattle: 16-48 SU, 32-31-1 ATS
Boston: 50-12 SU, 37-23-2 ATS

Seattle most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 5-5
Before playing Minnesota are 2-8
After playing Indiana are 4-6
After a loss are 3-7

Boston most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 6-4
Before playing Utah are 5-5
After playing Philadelphia are 4-6
After a win are 9-1

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Seattle's last 5 games when playing Boston
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Seattle's last 5 games when playing on the road against Boston
Seattle is 5-10 SU in its last 15 games when playing Boston
Seattle is 5-12-1 ATS in its last 18 games when playing Boston
Boston is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
Boston is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
Boston is 7-1 ATS in its last 8 games when playing at home against Seattle
Boston is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games when playing at home against Seattle

Next up:
Seattle home to Minnesota, Friday, March 14
Boston home to Utah, Friday, March 14

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.12

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. New Jersey Nets

- The fans at Izod Center will be treated to a game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the New Jersey Nets when they take their seats on Wednesday.

Oddsmakers currently have the Cavaliers listed as 4½-point favorites versus the Nets, while the game's total has not yet been posted.

LeBron James tossed in 24 points with 10 rebounds and 11 assists for the triple-double on Monday, as the Cavaliers defeated the Trail Blazers 88-80. The Cavaliers covered the 5-point spread, but the combined score fell UNDER the posted total of 188.

Joe Smith chipped in with 18 points off the bench, and Anderson Varejao added 16 in the win.

The Nets were bumped 91-73 by the Rockets last time out, as 11-point road underdogs. The 164 points were UNDER the posted total of 191.

Vince Carter tossed in 13 points and hauled down eight boards in the loss.

Current streak:
Cleveland has won 2 straight games.
New Jersey has lost 6 straight games.

Team records:
Cleveland: 37-27 SU, 31-33 ATS
New Jersey: 26-38 SU, 24-39-1 ATS

Cleveland most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 2-8
Before playing Washington are 8-2
After playing Portland are 2-8
After a win are 5-5

New Jersey most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 6-4
Before playing Utah are 5-5
After playing Houston are 4-6
After a loss are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
Cleveland is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Cleveland's last 6 games when playing New Jersey
Cleveland is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Cleveland's last 7 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of New Jersey's last 6 games when playing Cleveland
New Jersey is 11-3 SU in its last 14 games when playing at home against Cleveland
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of New Jersey's last 9 games at home
New Jersey is 17-5 ATS in its last 22 games when playing Cleveland

Next up:
Cleveland at Washington, Thursday, March 13
New Jersey home to Utah, Saturday, March 15

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.12

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Detroit Pistons

- The Philadelphia 76ers and the Detroit Pistons will both be trying to pick up a win on Wednesday when they battle at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Oddsmakers currently have the Pistons listed as 9-point favorites versus the 76ers, while the game's total has not yet been posted.

The 76ers lost 100-85 to the Celtics last time out, as 6-point underdogs at home. The 185 points were UNDER the posted total of 193.

Andre Miller had 22 points, eight rebounds and five assists in the loss.

The Pistons defeated Chicago 116-109 as a 9-point favorite last time out. The combined score went OVER the posted over/under total (194).

Chauncey Billups scored a game-high 34 points for Detroit, while Richard Hamilton added 23 points and seven assists in the win.

Current streak:
Detroit has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Philadelphia: 30-34 SU, 34-29-1 ATS
Detroit: 46-17 SU, 34-28-1 ATS

Philadelphia most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 7-3
Before playing Chicago are 3-7
After playing Boston are 4-6
After a loss are 7-3

Detroit most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 6-4
Before playing San Antonio are 6-4
After playing Chicago are 7-3
After a win are 7-3

A few trends to consider:
Philadelphia is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games on the road
Philadelphia is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
Philadelphia is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
Philadelphia is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
Detroit is 10-1 SU in its last 11 games at home
Detroit is 10-1 SU in its last 11 games when playing Philadelphia
Detroit is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games when playing at home against Philadelphia
Detroit is 17-4 SU in its last 21 games

Next up:
Philadelphia at Chicago, Friday, March 14
Detroit home to San Antonio, Friday, March 14

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.12

Utah Jazz vs. Milwaukee Bucks

- The fans at Bradley Center will be treated to a game between the Utah Jazz and the Milwaukee Bucks when they take their seats on Wednesday.

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

The Jazz fell 108-96 by the Bulls last time out, as 4-point favorites. The Jazz won the game as 4-point road underdogs, while the combined score fell UNDER the posted total of 214.5.

Mehmet Okur scored 22 points and hauled down 18 rebounds for a double-double in the loss.

The Bucks were defeated 105-97 by the Wizards last time out, as 6.5-point road underdogs. The 202 points made it OVER the game's posted total of 200.

Charlie Villanueva had a double-double with 24 points and 16 rebounds in a losing effort.

Current streak:
Milwaukee has lost 3 straight games.

Team records:
Utah: 42-23 SU, 35-30 ATS
Milwaukee: 23-41 SU, 28-35-1 ATS

Utah most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 6-4
Before playing Boston are 2-8
After playing Chicago are 7-3
After a loss are 9-1

Milwaukee most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 5-5
Before playing Boston are 4-6
After playing Washington are 3-7
After a loss are 3-7

A few trends to consider:
Utah is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Milwaukee
Utah is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Milwaukee
Utah is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Milwaukee
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Utah's last 8 games when playing Milwaukee
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Milwaukee's last 8 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Milwaukee's last 8 games when playing Utah
The total has gone OVER in 10 of Milwaukee's last 12 games when playing at home against Utah
Milwaukee is 6-2 ATS in its last 8 games at home

Next up:
Utah at Boston, Friday, March 14
Milwaukee home to Boston, Saturday, March 15

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.12

San Antonio Spurs vs. New Orleans Hornets

- The San Antonio Spurs and the New Orleans Hornets will both be gunning for a victory on Wednesday when they meet at New Orleans Arena.

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

The Spurs kept pace in the final quarter and pulled out a hard-fought 107-103 victory over the Nuggets last time out. The Spurs failed to cover the 7.5-point spread, while the 210 points made it OVER the posted total of 201.

Tim Duncan had 23 points with 18 rebounds for a double-double in the win, and Tony Parker added 16 in the win.

Chris Paul went for 37 points and 11 assists for New Orleans in its 106-96 loss to the Houston Rockets on Saturday night.

Houston covered as 7.5-point home favorites as the teams played over the 192-point total set by oddsmakers.

Team records:
San Antonio: 44-19 SU, 29-34 ATS
New Orleans: 42-20 SU, 37-24-1 ATS

San Antonio most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 7-3
Before playing Detroit are 6-4
After playing Denver are 7-3
After a win are 9-1

New Orleans most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 5-5
Before playing LA Lakers are 4-6
After playing Houston are 4-6
After a loss are 6-4

A few trends to consider:
San Antonio is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games when playing New Orleans
San Antonio is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games when playing on the road against New Orleans
San Antonio is 7-1 ATS in its last 8 games when playing on the road against New Orleans
San Antonio is 12-2 SU in its last 14 games
New Orleans is 13-3 SU in its last 16 games at home
New Orleans is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 12 of New Orleans's last 16 games at home
New Orleans is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games

Next up:
San Antonio at Detroit, Friday, March 14
New Orleans home to LA Lakers, Friday, March 14

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.12

Charlotte Bobcats vs. Dallas Mavericks

- The Charlotte Bobcats and the Dallas Mavericks will both be trying to pick up a win on Wednesday when they battle at American Airlines Center.

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

Jason Richardson went for 34 points and eight rebounds to lift the Bobcats past the Washington Wizards 100-97 on Saturday night.

Charlotte cashed as 7.5-point road underdogs as the game played over the 196-point total listed by sportsbooks.

The Mavericks dominated the entire night in whipping the Knicks 108-79 last time out. The Mavericks covered the 14-point spread, while the 187 points were UNDER the posted total of 201.5.

Dirk Nowitzki shot 6-for-9 from the field with 18 points and eight rebounds for the Mavericks. Jason Terry also chipped in with 18 points coming off the bench.

Current streak:
Charlotte has won 5 straight games.
Dallas has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Charlotte: 24-39 SU, 27-34-2 ATS
Dallas: 41-23 SU, 27-33-4 ATS

Charlotte most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 3-7
Before playing Houston are 2-5
After playing Washington are 3-7
After a win are 5-5

Dallas most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 4-6
Before playing Indiana are 9-1
After playing New York are 4-6
After a win are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
Charlotte is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
Charlotte is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Charlotte's last 7 games when playing Dallas
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Charlotte's last 5 games on the road
Dallas is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Charlotte
Dallas is 14-1 SU in its last 15 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Dallas's last 7 games
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Dallas's last 7 games when playing Charlotte

Next up:
Charlotte at Houston, Friday, March 14
Dallas home to Indiana, Friday, March 14

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.12

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Denver Nuggets

- The Memphis Grizzlies and the Denver Nuggets will both be trying to pick up a win on Wednesday when they battle at Pepsi Center.

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

The Grizzlies were dumped 132-111 by the Suns last time out, as 14-point road underdogs. The combined score made it OVER the posted total of 223.

Rudy Gay had 20 points with eight rebounds in a losing effort.

The Nuggets lost 107-103 to the Spurs on Monday, as 7.5-point road underdogs. The 210 points made it OVER the posted total of 201.

Allen Iverson led the Nuggets with 28 points and hauled in five rebounds in the loss.

Current streak:
Memphis has lost 2 straight games.
Denver has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
Memphis: 15-48 SU, 25-38 ATS
Denver: 37-26 SU, 32-31 ATS

Memphis most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 5-5
Before playing Golden State are 5-5
After playing Phoenix are 3-7
After a loss are 1-9

Denver most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 7-3
Before playing Toronto are 4-6
After playing San Antonio are 2-8
After a loss are 6-4

A few trends to consider:
Memphis is 3-9 SU in its last 12 games when playing Denver
Memphis is 3-10 ATS in its last 13 games when playing Denver
Memphis is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Denver
Memphis is 1-11 SU in its last 12 games
Denver is 18-1 SU in its last 19 games when playing at home against Memphis
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Denver's last 8 games at home
Denver is 13-2 SU in its last 15 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Denver's last 7 games

Next up:
Memphis at Golden State, Saturday, March 15
Denver home to Toronto, Friday, March 14

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.12

Toronto Raptors vs. Golden State Warriors

- The Toronto Raptors and the Golden State Warriors will both be trying to pick up a win on Wednesday when they battle at Oracle Arena.

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

The Raptors lost 117-108 to the Lakers last time out, as 13-point road underdogs. The combined score made it OVER the posted toal of 214.

T.J. Ford shot 11-for-23 from the field with 28 points and five rebounds for the Raptors.

Baron Davis had 33 points and nine rebounds to lead the Warriors to a 104-95 win over the Orlando Magic on Saturday night.

Golden State upset Orlando as 7.5-point road underdogs as the teams played under the 230-point total listed by oddsmakers

Current streak:
Golden State has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Toronto: 34-29 SU, 35-28 ATS
Golden State: 39-23 SU, 27-35 ATS

Toronto most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 7-3
Before playing Denver are 3-7
After playing LA Lakers are 3-7
After a loss are 8-2

Golden State most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 4-6
Before playing Phoenix are 8-2
After playing Orlando are 4-6
After a win are 6-4

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

Next up:
Toronto at Denver, Friday, March 14
Golden State at Phoenix, Thursday, March 13

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Is there another George Mason out there this year?
March 12, 2008

A sign in the stands said what Jim Larranaga and his Patriots wouldn't.

``George Mason,'' it read, ``is this year's George Mason.''

Not so fast.

``I saw it, of course, and that was neat,'' Larranaga said over the phone Tuesday afternoon. ``But ...''

But he's not sure he wants to burden any team, especially his own, with those kind of expectations.

What happened to George Mason in the NCAA tournament in 2006 hadn't happened in more than a quarter-century. No school outside the power conferences had so much as stuck a toe across the threshold of the Final Four since 1979. But when the tournament selection committee cracked the door open for a few mid-majors two years ago, the Patriots slipped in with a controversial at-large bid as a No. 11 seed, then proceeded to blow up every office pool in America by taking down Michigan State, North Carolina and Connecticut before losing to eventual champion Florida in the semifinal round.

``So now everybody that isn't too busy trying to figure out whether their own team is off the bubble,'' Larranaga chuckled softly, ``is going to spend the next week or so trying to pick the next George Mason.''

Some 15 hours earlier, Larranaga and the Patriots booked their return trip to the NCAAs by beating William & Mary in the Colonial Athletic Association championship game and locking up the league's automatic bid. He hadn't slept a wink since.

He gave his staff some preliminary scouting assignments, gave his team the day off, then handled two dozen interviews and planned to watch at least one game - the low-wattage Horizon, Summit and Sun Belt leagues all had finals on tap - before going to bed.

Wednesday was already filled up with recruiting visits. As if anyone needed reminding, that's how George Mason became ``George Mason'' in the first place.

A handful of high school players dominate the recruiting news, and none of them are on Larranaga's itinerary. Those kids still choose the big programs - they just don't stay as long. It's the ones who used to sit behind them waiting for their chance who are likely to find Larranaga and other enterprising coaches from the mid-majors sitting across from them in their living rooms.

They stay together and play together, often for all four years of eligibility, and every so often, the mix is special. George Mason relied on the talent of experience of two senior guards with NBA skills - though not quite the size - for that magical run in 2006. The Patriots have two starters left from that team - 6-foot-4 Folarin Campbell and 6-11 Will Thomas, an inside-outside combination that Larranaga calls ``our Magic Johnson'' and ``our Bill Russell'' - and a handful of upperclassmen who were along for the ride.

``People forget it's always been that way, that with the exception of top-10 talents like Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant and Greg Oden, most kids stick around for four years,'' Larranaga said.

What's changed, however, is this: with fewer scholarships, more TV exposure for midlevel programs and more attention paid to high school and summer league games, the talent and experience gap has been closing fast.

When the NCAA selection committee began handing out bracket spots to the George Masons of college basketball instead of second-tier teams from the power conference, they weren't counting on a revolution to make them look smart, just an evolution.

But committee members aren't kidding themselves, either. They know the final rungs of the tournament ladder belong to the big guys. As the field narrows, the gaps in talent, pedigree, budget and NBA alums only grows wider. That's what makes this week special. It's a chance for the low- and mid-majors to stage their own championship week, to get stories like George Mason, Drake, Cornell and Siena out there before the power conference championships kick into high gear.

``It's tremendous exposure and a chance for coaches, players, fans and even some towns to celebrate what they've accomplished. But let's be honest, most of us are going to have a hard time topping what we did this week,'' Larranaga said.

Just in case, though, he's already got his staff pointing toward Selection Sunday. He figures George Mason will be seeded between Nos. 12-14 and assigned each assistant a power conference to begin scouting, since he thinks that's where most of the 3, 4 and 5 seeds will be drawn from.

So who will be this year's George Mason?

``If you're talking about someone coming in as a No. 11 seed, being the underdog in every game and getting to the Final Four, that's an almost-impossible pick. But if you want a mid-major who could surprise people, there's Butler, Gonzaga, South Alabama, VCU - they all qualify.''

Pressed for just one team, Larranaga finally settled on Davidson College, where he once worked as an assistant and the coach, Bob McKillop, is a good pal.

``They're going to be a hard out for anyone in the tournament,'' he said. ``Just like we were.''

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.12

Big West pairings

* UC Irvine (15-15) vs. Long Beach State (6-24), 6 p.m. -- The Anteaters swept the regular-season series, winning 70-48 on Feb. 2 and 64-57 on Feb. 28. They have won five of their last six games but are 3-14 in games played away from campus this season, including 0-4 at the Anaheim Convention Center. All-conference guard Donovan Morris, the Big West scoring leader at 21.0 points a game, leads the 49ers, who have lost their last seven games.

* Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (12-17) vs. UC Riverside (8-20), 8 p.m. -- The Mustangs, a conference tournament finalist last season, have struggled with their shooting all season and finished the regular season at 40.7%, last in the conference. They are without third-leading scorer Dawin Whiten, who had foot surgery Feb. 25. The Highlanders split the season series with Cal Poly, defeating the Mustangs, 62-58, on Feb. 2 and losing in overtime, 70-63, on Feb. 28. They were 3-3 in their final six games.


Pacific 10 Conference pairings


* California (15-14) vs. Washington (16-15), 6 -- Washington forward Jon Brockman, fifth in the conference in scoring (17.6) and first in rebounding (11.5), was on crutches Tuesday after suffering a sprained ankle late in last Saturday's loss to Washington State. Huskies Coach Lorenzo Romar said that if this game had been Tuesday, Brockman would not have played. The Bears and Huskies split their regular-season games, each winning on the road. California Coach Ben Braun said center DeVon Hardin, who missed last Saturday's 81-80 loss to UCLA because of a hip injury, would play against Washington and has practiced the last two days. The winner will play top-seeded UCLA on Thursday.

* Arizona (18-13) vs. Oregon State (6-24), 8:30 -- The Wildcats probably need at least one more victory to extend their 23-year streak of advancing to the NCAA tournament, the longest in the nation. Arizona has won only three of its last 10 games but will probably get leeway from the selection committee for the four games it played without leading scorer Jerryd Bayless and the seven without point guard Nic Wise, who returned last week from a knee injury. The Wildcats, who defeated Oregon State by 13 points in Tucson and by 36 points in Corvallis, Ore., are bidding to become the first sub-.500 Pac-10 team to receive an invitation to the field of 65. The Beavers are the first team to go winless in the Pac-10 since the conference expanded in 1978.

latimes.com

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.12

Rockets should pass history test

Though losers in its last three trips to Atlanta, Houston is favored tonight to match the NBA's second-longest winning streak at 20.

Matching history should come easy for Houston tonight.

Seeking to equal the second-longest winning streak in NBA history, the Rockets will play the Atlanta Hawks, who have lost 13 of their last 17. With a victory, Houston will have 20 in a row, the same streak Milwaukee had during the 1970-71 season. The longest winning streak in league history belongs to the Lakers, who won 33 in a row during their championship season of 1971-72.

However, the Hawks could be a stumbling block for the Rockets, who are 7-0 since center Yao Ming was sidelined for the season by foot surgery. Houston has lost three consecutive games in Atlanta, including a 105-99 defeat last season. The Rockets' last win in Georgia (86-77) came March 22, 2004.

Houston, now in the hunt for the best record in the Western Conference, also could make some history of its own. The Rockets, who have covered the point spread in all seven of their games without Yao, will be looking for a record 11th consecutive win by double digits. The last time they failed to win by at least 10 points was Feb. 19, when they defeated Cleveland by eight.

While the Rockets have been easily handling their opponents, Atlanta, still in the mix in the Eastern Conference playoff race despite a 26-37 record, has failed to cover the spread in its last five games, according to the website Vegasinsider.com

College basketball

California, which has to be the best ninth-place team in the country, begins Pacific 10 Conference tournament play tonight against Washington.

The Bears, who have lost five of their last eight against the Huskies, will need to win the tournament to get a berth into the NCAA tournament, but Cal probably is better than many of the teams who will be in the field of 65 next week.

A loser by a combined five points at USC and UCLA last weekend, the Bears have split with Washington this season, with each team winning on the road. California won, 79-75, Feb. 2 in Seattle and the Huskies won, 87-84, March 1 in Berkeley.

latimes.com

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.12

NBA Tips and Trends

Houston Rockets at Atlanta Hawks


Rockets (-5.5, O/U 197):The Rockets have extended their franchise-record winning streak to 19 games. With the toughest week of the season coming up, the team insists that they will not overlook their young opponent in the Hawks. During the winning streak, the defense has been the one constant according to head coach Rick Adelman. The Rockets are allowing 84 points per game and are 17-2 ATS.

Rockets are 17-2 ATS during their franchise-record 19-game winning streak. They have tied an NBA record by winning 10 straight by double digits.
Rockets are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 road games.

Key Injuries - F Carl Landry (9 ppg; knee) is questionable.

PROJECTED SCORE: 95

Hawks: Hawks head coach Mike Woodson said he’s hammering home the words “consistency and urgency” to his team, but the only player taking this to heart is Joe Johnson with his 21 ppg. Atlanta’s defense has allowed 100+ points in all but four games since the All-Star Break while going 4-9 ATS.

Hawks are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games overall.

Key Injuries - G Mike Bibby (13 ppg; heel) will play but has been limited on defense

PROJECTED SCORE: 101

San Antonio Spurs at New Orleans Hornets

Spurs: Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is making his team step up its physical play and has started Kurt Thomas in 5 straight games. However, San Antonio may be 4-2 SU in those games but only 1-4-1 ATS. According to team insiders, the players have taken to this more aggressive play, and will employ this scheme against the Hornets.

Spurs are 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings.
Spurs are 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall.

Key Injuries - G Manu Ginobili (21 ppg; back/thigh) played 32 minutes Monday night and is reportedly very sore.

PROJECTED SCORE: TBD

Hornets: The Hornets have struggled against top division foes over the last 2 weeks. New Orleans has lost once to the Spurs and twice to Houston in that span by an average of 13 points. The Hornets are allowing 98 ppg over their last 5, but head coach Byron Scott said: “We are not sneaking up on anybody, and we will step up our defense.”

Hornets are 3-1 SU & ATS in their last 4 games overall.

Key Injuries - F David West (20 ppg; ankle) and G Bonzi Wells (9 ppg; Achilles) are both probable to return.

PROJECTED SCORE: TBD

Toronto Raptors at Golden State Warriors

Raptors: This is Game 2 for Toronto on its longest road trip of the year. The Raptors are .500 SU and ATS on the road, but they are still without their leading scorer Chris Bosh due to an injured knee. Even with season-high totals from Rasho Nesterovic - Bosh’s replacement - the Raptors are just 1-5 ATS without him while allowing 106 ppg.

Raptors are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall.

Key Injuries - F Chris Bosh (23 ppg; knee) is OUT.

PROJECTED SCORE: 107

Warriors (-9, O/U 222.5): The Warriors planned on improving last year's 9-6 SU home record against the East this season, but they enter this contest sporting the same mark of 9-5. The Warriors are 18-0 this season when holding an opponent under 100 points and have held the Raptors to just 95 points over the last two seasons in Oakland – winning by an average of 19 points.

Warriors are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings.

Key Injuries - F Chris Webber (4 ppg; knee) is rehabbing his knee and will not play.

PROJECTED SCORE: 116

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