Betting News and Notes - Mar.28

Betting News and Notes - Mar.28

Friday's Tip Sheet
By Chris David

Every week, our editorial team provides with you informative content that hopefully eases your handicapping and at the same time provides winners. With the gambling world focusing on March Madness for another weekend, we’re going to take a different approach with Friday’s Tip Sheet.

Rather than delving into each matchup and stating the obvious and perhaps unknown, we’re going to offer up 11 selections. Not winners, but selections. My email is at the bottom of the piece, so feel free to reach out to me this morning with your negative and perhaps positive thoughts.

In order of rotation, away we go!

Nets at Pacers: New Jersey has owned Indiana of late by winning and covering seven of the last eight, including a 124-117 victory on Wednesday. The Pacers’ defense has given up 114 and 124 points in their last two games and playing their third game in four nights. The total is a bit inflated, so we’ll expect a tight game with playoff implications. Bet: UNDER

Suns at Sixers: Philadelphia has been a money-making machine this year, winning and covering with team basketball. The Sixers have won and covered two in a row against the Suns, including a 119-114 win on Mar. 1 as 9 ½-point road ‘dogs. Phoenix was just humbled by Detroit and Boston and really needs this game. Seems like a trap, but I’ll take the more talented team. Bet: Phoenix

Knicks at Raptors: Toronto has owned New York, but who hasn’t this year. The Knicks are 0-5 SU and 1-4 ATS in their last five trips to Canada. The Raptors have seen the ‘under’ cash in six straight and the total on this matchup is 197. Blowout is expected, but the Knicks’ defense should get Toronto to 115. Bet: OVER

Hornets at Celtics: Easily the best game on the card between the two best teams in each conference. Normally this time of the year, I play the ‘under’ in every game when two playoff-bound teams meet, hoping for a postseason atmosphere. The two teams just combined for 219 in the Hornets 113-106 victory over the Celtics on Mar. 22. The total jumped form 189.5 to 196, expecting the public to ride this. The Hornets are playing their third game in fourth night, which is dangerous. Bet: UNDER

Bulls at Hawks: Another matchup where two teams meet for the second time in three days. Chicago dropped Atlanta 103-94 on Tuesday before getting blasted on Wednesday to the Sixers, 121-99. The Hawks bounced back with a 19-point win over the Bucks but Mike Bibby went down is ‘questionable’ for Friday. I would expect a defensive presence tonight, with Chicago needing a win to remain in the playoff hunt. Both teams are equal and we’re do for a tight game between the too. Bet: UNDER (Especially if Bibby is out)

Timberwolves at Spurs: I had Minnesota (+11) on Wednesday in its 97-86 loss and I’m still wondering why the Rockets’ Luis Scola wanted to pad his stats with a nine-point lead. Moving on, the total is the play in this matchup. Seven of the previous eight games have gone ‘over’ and the total has jumped from 179 to 186.5 since the last matchup. Even though the Wolves’ offense has played better, the Spurs’ defense is legit at home (89 PPG) and you would expect Pop’s club to slow it down with its third game in fourth night (this sound redundant yet)? Bet: UNDER

Magic at Bucks: Too many key injuries for the Magic to get a good feel for this contest. Until we know if Turkoglu and Nelson are playing, we’ll pass. BET: PASS

Clippers at Jazz: Hate to lay this many points, but the Jazz should rout this team early and often. Utah’s offense finally stepped up in its last two games with 128 and 115 points. We don’t see any reason why they don’t let off the gas tonight and should win this contest in wire-to-wire fashion. BET: Utah -15.5

Wizards at Kings: I would normally side with the ‘over’ in this expected up-tempo game, but Ron Artest and Brad Miller are solid defenders and they don’t push the ball enough for the Kings. These guys sometimes are late scratches and when they don’t play, it’s an automatic ‘over’ play. The Wizards have won five straight (4-1 ATS) against Sacramento, including two in a row at ARCO Arena. The Kings are favored for a reason folks. Bet: Sacramento -2.5

Bobcats at Sonics: This is a total that I’m betting based on the line alone. The ‘under’ has gone 6-1 in the Bobcats last seven games and 4-1 in the last five games for the Sonics. The previous three battles between the two have gone ‘under’ the total as well. And now the books open this game at 208? While I play the ‘under’ in playoff-bound teams late in the season, I run to the counter with an ‘over’ wager in non-playoff teams. Bet: OVER

Grizzlies at Lakers: You would expect the Lakers to bounce back tonight after getting embarrassed as 13½-point home favorites on Wednesday to Charlotte, 108-95. The Grizzlies have covered four of five games and the Lakers’ defense has been atrocious lately, giving up 105, 115, 119 and 108 points. The public got bailed out last Friday with the LA/OVER parlay and we’ll fade that wager this week. Bet: Memphis +14.5

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.28

Midwest Regional semifinals
By Chris David

Do the ‘dogs have a shot?

That’s the question that gamblers will ask themselves Friday when handicapping the Midwest Regional from Ford Field in Detroit, MI.

After two rounds of play, the lower seeds have notched a 6-6 record both straight up and against the spread.

Two of the lower seeded teams, both Wildcats too, will have to bring their best against the top-seeded Jayhawks and third-seeded Badgers.

The first of two games tips off at 7:10 p.m. EDT, so let’s analyze the matchups further.

**No. 10 Davidson vs. No. 3 Wisconsin**


Davidson defeated No. 6 Gonzaga (82-76) and No. 2 Georgetown (74-70) en route to the regional semifinals. The school has won 24 straight games in a row, which is the longest active streak in the country. What’s more impressive about the victories is how the Wildcats didn’t fold after consecutive poor first halves. Despite trailing after the first 20 minutes in both games, Bob McKillop’s squad  outscored the Bulldogs (11) and Hoyas (15) by a combined 26 points in the two wins.

If you haven’t heard Stephen Curry’s name by now, then you’ve probably haven’t watched any of the tournament action. The sharpshooter posted a tournament-high 40 points over the Zags in the first round before dropping a 30-spot on the Hoyas last Sunday. The son of the former NBA chucker Dell Curry scored 55 of his total points in the second half of both games.

While Curry is the heart and soul of the Wildcats, one could be a bit hesitant to back a one-dimensional club that has been torched defensively on the stat sheet. Both Gonzaga (51%) and Georgetown (63%) shot the ball well from the field against Davidson and they both owned the glass as well.

Wisconsin stopped No. 14 Cal State Fullerton (71-56) and Kansas State (72-55) last weekend, earning the school their first trip to the Sweet Sixteen since 2005.

The Badgers have won 12 straight games in a row, including the pair of tournament wins. More importantly, the school has gone 10-2 ATS during this run.

The Big Ten regular-season and tournament champions are all about shutting down opponents, leading the nation in scoring defense (53.9 points per game) and ranked third in field-goal percentage defense (38%).

Michael Flowers will be the key Badger to watch Friday, as most expect the senior guard to blanket Curry on every possession. Flowers is also averaging 9.4 PPG on the offensive side of the ball and is one of six Wisconsin players to rack up at least a dozen 3-pointers on the year. The Badgers’ six-foot-eleven Brian Butch (12.5 PPG) is going to be a tough match in the middle, considering the ‘Cats biggest defender is six-foot-nine.

This will be Wisconsin’s fourth trip to the Sweet Sixteen since the tournament expanded. The school has produced a 2-1 effort in the three previous battles and defense was clearly evident, as the Badgers allowed an average of 55.6 PPG.

Oddsmakers have listed the Badgers as 4 ½-point favorites, while the total is hovering between 126 and 127. Gamblers that fancy Davidson for the straight up win can purchase a money-line ticket at plus-175 (Bet $100 to win $175).

The Wildcats are just 1-4 SU as underdogs this year, but a perfect 5-0 ATS. The lone victory came last Sunday against the Hoyas.

The Badgers lost to play in the fifties and their slow-it-down style has helped the ‘under’ go 22-10 on the year.

Gamblers who follow trends should be aware that the ‘under’ has gone 11-1 in the past 12 Sweet Sixteen games that have a total under 129 points.

**No. 12 Villanova vs. No. 1 Kansas**

It’s been said before that Villanova is a team that lives and dies by the jumper and lately Jay Wright’s squad has been staying alive. The Wildcats shot 50 percent in their 75-69 first round victory over Clemson and an eye opening 54 percent (30-of-56) while easily handling Siena, 84-72. Villanova covered both contests, and the ‘over’ cashed in both as well.

The Wildcats drilled 13-of-26 attempts from 3-point land in the first two games, with Scottie Reynolds leading the charge. The sophomore posted 21 and 25 points, including eight bombs from downtown. After Reynolds (15.6 PPG), the Wildcats’ offense doesn’t possess a true threat. Freshman Corey Stokes dropped in a season-high 20 points against Siena, but matching that effort will be asking a lot.

Even though ‘Nova is known for its solid backcourt and outside shooting, the Jayhawks are more talented and deeper in the guard department. The combination of Mario Chalmers (12.4 PPG) and Sherron Collins (9.5 PPG) both have the speed to turn the corner at will, plus the duo has drilled 39 percent (92-of-235) of its 3-point attempts. Toss in swing man Brandon Rush (12.9 PPG), and the backcourt advantage leans to KU in this matchup.

While offense takes center stage in Lawrence, it’s been Kansas’ defense that has made them look everything like the top seed in the Midwest Regional. The Jayhawks easily handled Portland State (85-61) and UNLV (75-56) in its first two tournament battles, holding both teams to under 40 percent shooting from the field. KU also managed to cover as a double-digit favorite in both of the games, while the ‘under’ has gone 2-0.

Bill Self’s team has ripped off nine straight wins, going 6-3 ATS during this run. Only three of the opponents have managed to score over 70 points during this run, but the ‘over’ has still notched a 6-3 mark.

Along with UCLA, the Jayhawks are laying the largest number (-12) in the eight Sweet Sixteen matchups. The betting trends from Sportsbook.com have the Wildcats receiving the majority of the action even though the line has moved from 11 to 12. Also, the total has jumped three points from 141 to 144.

Kansas is 4-0 in its last four regional semifinal battles, with three of the four victories coming by five points or less. Villanova owns a 1-1 mark in its two previous regional semifinals and both of the games were decided by exactly one point.

Gamblers believing that the No. 1 seed will fall, can back Villanova on the money-line at 7/1 (Bet $100 to win $700) odds. Before you run to the counter, make a note that the ‘Cats are 0-2 SU and 1-1 ATS as double-digit underdogs this year.

The two schools split a home-and-home series from 2004 to 2005. Villanova covered both of the games and the ‘over’ went 2-0. Only Darnell Jackson and Sasha Kaun played for Kansas in the 2005 battle, while no Wildcats saw serious time.

Tip-off is expected for 9:40 p.m. EDT.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.28

South Regional semifinals
By Brad Young

The South Regional moves to Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas for the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight contests. The NCAA Tournament will then stay in the Lone Star State for the Final Four in San Antonio.

The South Region has mostly followed form to this stage, with the top three seed advancing while fifth-seed Michigan State knocked off fourth-seeded Pittsburgh. Texas will have the hometown support from the crowd, while third-seeded Stanford is traveling farthest from campus.

Top-seed Memphis opened as a 6/5 ‘chalk’ to win the South Regional, and is currently listed at 10/11. Second-seeded Texas has seen its odds improve from 5/2 to 2/1, while third-seed Stanford is now 5/2 after opening at 3/1. Michigan State started as a 12/1 selection to win this regional and advance to the Final Four, but is now listed at 4/1.

**Stanford (3) versus Texas (2)**

Caesars Palace lists Texas as a 1½-point favorite over Stanford, with the total set at 135. The line and total have remained the same since opening. This Sweet 16 contest is scheduled to tipoff Friday at 7:25 p.m. ET.

Stanford (28-7 straight up, 18-16 against the spread) slipped past Marquette in overtime Saturday as a three-point ‘chalk,’ 82-81, while the combined 163 points eclipsed the 133½-point closing total. The Cardinal has seen the ‘over’ go 11-2 their last 13 games. Stanford had covered its previous four outings before failing to do so against the Golden Eagles.

Brook Lopez stepped up with 30 points on 10-of-20 shooting along with four rebounds, while Robin Lopez added 18 and nine. Guard Mitch Johnson also shined by dishing out 16 assists, tied for the second-most in any NCAA Tournament game. The Cardinal were actually outrebounded for one of the few times this year, 38-31, but they shot a robust 47 percent (28-of-60) from the field.

Head coach Trent Johnson was ejected in the first half for arguing calls with his team trailing by as many as 11 points. Johnson was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year earlier this season. However, Stanford rallied in the second half and is making its first Sweet 16 appearance since 2001.

The Cardinal are now 12-6 SU and 11-7 ATS when playing on the road, winning those games by an average score of 70-65.

Texas (30-6 SU, 16-14 ATS) toppled Miami Sunday as a seven-point favorite, 75-72, while the combined 147 points went ‘over’ the 141 ½-point closing total. The Longhorns dropped to 1-2 ATS their past three games.

Texas jumped out to a 43-32 halftime advantage, and finished the contest by outrebounding the Hurricanes, 39-27. The Longhorns shot 44 percent (25-of-57) from the field, as four of the five starters reached double digits in scoring. Guard A.J. Abrams led all scorers with 26 points on 7-of-13 shooting, while guard/forward Damion James added 16 and 16 rebounds.

Texas maintains a 13-5 SU and 9-8 ATS ledger away from home, prevailing by an average score of 76-70.

**Michigan State (5) versus Memphis (1)**

Caesars Palace installed Memphis as a 4½-point ‘chalk’ over Michigan State, with the total set at 135. The Tigers opened as a five-point favorite, while the total has remained the same. Friday’s Sweet 16 affair is slated to start at 9:55 p.m. ET, with CBS Sports providing coverage.

Michigan State (27-8 SU, 15-14 ATS) advanced to this round by knocking off Pittsburgh Saturday as a 3½-point underdog, 65-54. That marked the fourth game in a row that the Spartans covered. The combined 119 points failed to topple the 132-point closing total, helping the ‘under’ cash the second consecutive contest.

Michigan State dominated the Panthers on the boards, 33-20, while shooting a solid 48 percent (25-of-52) from the field. Guard Drew Neitzel led all scorers with 21 points, while center Goran Suton added 14 and nine rebounds.

The Spartans sport an 8-8 SU and 8-6 ATS road record, with the average score of those contests being 63-63.

Memphis (35-1 SU, 14-19 ATS) held off Mississippi State Sunday as a nine-point ‘chalk,’ 77-74. The Tigers are just 1-4 ATS their last five matchups. The combined 151 points soared past the 137-point closing total, enabling the ‘over’ to occur the second consecutive contest.

Memphis outrebounded the Bulldogs, 42-31, and finished the contest by shooting 44 percent (28-of-63) from the field. One of the chinks in the Tigers’ armor remains their free-throw shooting after making just 15-of-32 (47 percent) against Mississippi State. Freshman point guard Derrick Rose accounted for 17 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, while backcourt mate Chris Douglas-Roberts added 17, five and four.

Memphis has gone 15-0 SU and 7-7 ATS when playing away from home, winning those affairs by an average score of 76-61.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.28

Sonics' Wilcox out for rest of season with dislocated finger
March 27, 2008

SEATTLE (AP) -Seattle SuperSonics forward Chris Wilcox will miss the remainder of the season with a dislocated finger on his right hand.

Wilcox originally dislocated a joint on the little finger of his hand at Phoenix on Jan. 3. He aggravated the injury against the Suns on March 19.

The five-year veteran appeared in 62 games this season, averaging 13.4 points and seven rebounds in 28 minutes per game

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.28

Raptors sign Johnson to 10-day contract
March 27, 2008

TORONTO (AP) -The Raptors added Linton Johnson to their roster Thursday, signing the former San Antonio Spurs forward to a 10-day contract. To make room, Toronto waived guard Darrick Martin.

Johnson, 6-foot-8, played in six games with Phoenix this season after signing consecutive 10-day contracts on Feb. 22 and March 4. He scored a high of six points in nine minutes against Memphis on March 11.

He has averaged 4.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 14.7 minutes in 139 regular-season NBA games. He also spent time with Chicago, New Jersey and New Orleans.

Johnson was a teammate of Raptors forward Rasho Nesterovic on San Antonio's 2005 NBA championship team. Johnson played four years at Tulane but was not drafted.

Martin played in 17 games this season with the Raptors, averaging 1.6 points, 1.2 assists and 8.3 minutes.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.28

Nuggets forward Nene set to return
March 27, 2008

DENVER (AP) -Denver Nuggets forward Nene is returning to the court, 2 1/2 months after surgery to remove a malignant testicular tumor.

He planned to play about 5 minutes against the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night.

Nene participated in a full scrimmage Wednesday and in the team's shootaround Thursday. Before that, he had been limited to shooting, light running and 1-on-1 drills.

Nene underwent a single dose of chemotherapy last month. He averaged 6.4 points and 6.4 rebounds before his illness.

The Brazilian player took an indefinite leave of absence from the team on Jan. 11.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.28

Reynolds flourishes in Nova backcourt
ASSOCIATED PRESS

VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) -Scottie Reynolds calls the deep, inch-long scar above his right eye ''pretty ugly.'' His Villanova teammates say the gash reflects what their determined point guard is all about.

''That's why he's so good,'' Wildcats guard Corey Fisher said. ''He has a lot of toughness in him.''

Reynolds' message to Villanova has been all about keeping an eye on the prize, meaning the Wildcats' next game in the NCAA tournament. It's hard not to take Reynolds seriously when his eye is busted, bloodshot and bandaged.

The Wildcats (22-12) need Reynolds' toughness, his scoring and unselfishness if they want any shot at beating top-seeded Kansas (33-3) in the Midwest Regional semifinals Friday in Detroit.

A month ago, Reynolds' confidence was nearly as busted as his eye. But coach Jay Wright moved him to point guard, and the 6-foot-2 dynamo led the 12th-seeded Wildcats into the round of 16.

''He's playing as well as any guard we've had right now,'' Wright said.

That's high praise in a program that made two other regional semifinal trips the last four years on the strength of fantastic guard play. Future NBA players like Allan Ray, Randy Foye and Kyle Lowry all helped make Villanova a contender, and even persuaded Wright to play with a four-guard lineup.

In an odd twist, Reynolds wouldn't even be a Wildcat had Lowry not decided to leave for the NBA after his sophomore season. Reynolds would instead be playing Kansas on at least a yearly basis with Oklahoma in the Big 12.

Reynolds, a McDonald's All-American from Herndon, Va., had grown tight with former OU coach Kelvin Sampson on the recruiting trail, and originally signed his letter of intent with the Sooners. When Sampson abruptly left for Indiana, Reynolds asked out and made his way to Villanova when Lowry's scholarship was made available.

Reynolds was an instant scoring sensation last season, including a 40-point game at Connecticut. It was the first 40-point game by a Wildcat since Kerry Kittles scored 44 in 1995, and one shy of the Big East freshman record. He was a unanimous pick to the Big East's all-rookie team and was chosen Rookie of the Year.

Reynolds even briefly flirted with the idea of leaving early for the NBA after the Wildcats were knocked out in the first round.

But he was sorely needed on a team without a senior on the roster. Last season, seniors like point guard Mike Nardi and forward Curtis Sumpter handled the scoring and leadership load. Teams keyed on the energetic Reynolds this season and he was shuffled between point guard and shooting guard with mixed results.

There was a 32-point game against Cincinnati and then a stretch where he failed to score in double digits in four of six games.

That's when Wright decided he needed to talk with Reynolds. Wright asked Reynolds where he was more comfortable, as a point guard or a shooting guard. Reynolds said he'd play wherever he was needed.

Wright found the answer admirable, but he needed the truth. Reynolds said he wanted to play point guard.

''I'm trying to be the floor general and the guy that makes this team go and it's working for us right now,'' Reynolds said.

The Wildcats haven't been the same since that early March meeting. Reynolds scored 55 points with 10 assists in two Big East tournament games.

He earned the permanent mark above his eye in the conference tourney against Georgetown when he collapsed in a heap on a layup attempt, and left a small trail of blood on the floor heading back to the bench. Blood gushed out of the cut, streaked down his face and he got nine stitches.

The stitches came out this week, and the busted blood vessel hardly affected his play. He scored 21 points in Villanova's first-round win against No. 5 seed Clemson and 25 in the next round against No. 13 Siena. Reynolds totaled seven more assists, shot 14 of 29 from the floor, and was 8-for-12 on 3s in 72 minutes.

''I think he's learned to play for his teammates and coaches,'' Wright said. ''He's never been a selfish player, he just kind of played his game. Now he goes out there and says, 'There are things I've got to do to get my teammates involved, to make my team better, and there are things I have to do to show my coaches and the guys on the bench that I'm playing for them.' He's really done that.''

Now that he's playing his best basketball of the season, Reynolds wants to keep going.

''My teammates have faith in me and they jumped on my back and I have faith in them,'' Reynolds said. ''They're making my job a lot easier. We're all going to come together. We're going to finish this out. We're going to finish strong.''

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.28

Texas sharpshooter A.J. Abrams on target with treys
ASSOCIATED PRESS

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -If A.J. Abrams were an old-time gunfighter, he'd probably be known as the fastest draw in the West.

Seeing as he's really a guard playing for Texas in the NCAA tournament, how about fastest in the South regional?

Abrams' catch-and-release can produce a 3-pointer in the blink of an eye, and when his shots are falling - as they were in the first two rounds - the Longhorns pile up points about that quickly.

Texas' career leader in 3-pointers with 277, Abrams connected on 12 and averaged 26 points as No. 2 seed Texas beat Austin Peay and Miami in the first two rounds. The Longhorns (30-6) play No. 3 Stanford (28-7) Friday night in Houston.

A wispy 5-foot-11 and 155 pounds, Abrams' job is to constantly be on the move, bobbing and weaving his way through defenses to find open space or cut behind screens. When he catches the ball, defenders have almost no time to recover before it's on the way to the basket.

''He's so clever, so evasive, when he starts moving ... He doesn't need much separation,'' Texas coach Rick Barnes said. ''A.J. is as smart as any player we've ever coached.''

The quick release is born of necessity and long hours spent training with his father Andy, who at 6-foot-4 was a bodyguard for former Texas governors George W. Bush and Ann Richards.

Abrams needed the quick release to prevent bigger players from blocking his shot. The soft arc it takes to the basket is the result of hours of shooting over a cardboard box his father attached to a broom handle to block his view of the rim.

''I'm usually guarded by bigger guys,'' Abrams said.

Abrams set a Big 12 record with 120 3-pointers last season and has connected on 111 so far this season. Miami coach Frank Haith, who recruited Abrams when he was a Texas assistant, watched Abrams befuddle his Hurricanes in the second round.

''He's got a tremendous motor. He keeps coming off screens, he keeps working, and he's got a great release,'' Haith said. ''He gets his body aligned with the rim very quickly even though he's a little guy.''

Already a weapon from the outside, Abrams was determined to develop a scoring touch closer to the basket. He's tried to model his game after Allen Iverson - like A.I., he wears the No. 3 and a sleeve on his shooting arm - and has shown flashes of it with drives to the basket and a soft mid-range floater.

The 3-pointer remains his specialty, however, and more than half of his 208 field goals this season come from beyond the arc.

But like all pure shooters, he has games when the shots don't fall.

Abrams was stuck in a slump when he made just 14 of 51 shots over the final three games of the regular season and the first game of the Big 12 tournament. He snapped out of it with seven 3-pointers in a win over Oklahoma in the conference semifinals.

''I don't think I lose my confidence,'' Abrams said during the season. ''My teammates do a good job of telling me to keep shooting it, and I'm not going to let them down.''

Even when he wasn't making shots in bunches, he still managed to hit key baskets to help his team win. He was 1-of-13 and misfiring from everywhere before coming up with two big shots to beat Oklahoma State in the regular-season finale. The win clinched a share of the Big 12 regular season title.

Abrams hasn't missed many lately, shooting 58 percent in the Longhorns' two NCAA tournament wins.

''He likes drama,'' Barnes said. ''We want A.J. to shoot it. That's his role he has to play.''

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.28

Skeptics are wrong to doubt the Memphis Tigers

T.O. Whenham is a handicapper with Doc's Sports. To purchase Doc's guaranteed plays on NCAA basketball or any other sport, click here.

Two games into the NCAA Tournament and all four No. 1 seeds are still standing.

North Carolina has rampaged through their games like Godzilla through Tokyo. Kansas has been only slightly less impressive. UCLA has won despite some concerning injury problems. And then there is Memphis.

The Tigers also have two wins, but they haven't really dealt a knockout blow to either of their opponents and they have given their critics all sorts of ammunition to fire at them.

UNC and Kansas have covered both of their games and UCLA is 1-1 ATS, but Memphis hasn't managed a cover yet. Now people are wondering if Memphis is in trouble and if they will bow out of the tournament before the Final Four?

I'll start off by saying that I am a big fan of the way Memphis plays. I love John Calipari as a coach and I think that a lot of the criticism this team faces is just plain ridiculous. With that in mind, let's look first at what the critics are saying, and then at why I don't buy it.

It all comes down to one stat: 15-of-32. That would be pretty good if that were the numbers for field goal shooting, but unfortunately that is what Memphis shot from the free throw line against Mississippi State. That is below their season average, but not by nearly as much as it should be.

Missing free throws in the last minute let the Bulldogs stay within three points and gave them a chance to tie it up at the buzzer with a three-pointer that they missed.

Doubters don’t just  look at the foul shooting as a problem, but they say that it is an indicator of bigger problems for the team – they are selfish, they play like they are on a playground, and they don't care about the little things. Based on that, it’s popular to predict Memphis will lose to Texas, if they can even get past Michigan State.

There are a million reasons why I don't think it's time to give up on this team yet. Here are five:

Free throws: Sure, they can't shoot free throws. They shot 59.6 percent from the line, which is better than just two of the 328 Division I teams. The only response to have to that is, “so what?” They also won more games than 327 of the 328 teams and shot worse from the line through the season than every one of the 35 teams that they beat.

Memphis hasn't shot well in any of the last three years and the one guy who should be really worried about that, Calipari, couldn't care less. That's good enough for me. The fact is that as bad as they shot from the line, they still sunk one more than the Bulldogs did.

Part of the reason they shoot badly is because they shoot so often, and that's because the team is so ridiculously athletic that teams have no choice but to foul them. People say foul shooting is the key to winning in the tournament. That's just plain lazy. The key to winning in the tournament is to do what you do well better than any other team does. If Memphis can do that, they will be fine.

Record: Not to dwell on a point, but this team has won 35 freaking games and lost just one. They beat eight tournament teams (Oklahoma, Connecticut, Austin Peay, USC, Georgetown, Arizona, Siena, Gonzaga). The mighty Tar Heels only beat six. Kansas played two tournament teams in the non-conference season to nine for Memphis. UCLA played three and lost to one.

Memphis went out and challenged themselves against more top opponents than any of the other No. 1s. You can argue that their conference play wasn't strong in Conference USA. It wasn't great, but it had a few solid teams and the ACC hasn't exactly eaten the tournament field alive, either. Again, saying that Memphis is in trouble because of the level of competition they have faced is just lazy and stupid.

Point guard: If one factor alone can win tournament games, it is a competent point guard. Is there a better point guard left in the tournament than Derrick Rose? A couple may be in the same conversation, but there are none that are notably better than the Tigers’ freshman.

Rose was a beast against Mississippi State and like all great players, he elevates his play when his team needs it most. Rose led an offense that beat the two best teams in the country for defending the field goal – Georgetown and Mississippi State. He finds way to create offense where other teams can't.

Chris Douglas-Roberts: The junior shooting guard from Detroit is one of the most selfless, impressive, valuable players in the country and if you can't see that, then you don't watch enough basketball.

Defense: Five of the top six teams in the country in rebounding margin are still alive in the tournament (as an aside, just think about the power of rebounding for a second. Twelve of the top 15 teams made the tournament and seven of those 15 are still playing), and Memphis is among them.

They are seventh in field goal defense, seventh against three-pointers, and third in defensive efficiency. Joey Dorsey is among the most ferocious defenders in the country. The team had 11 blocks against Mississippi State. In short, this team plays filthy defense. Add a potent offense to that mix and you have a team that no one should take lightly.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.28

Sweet 16 Gameday
By David Harrison

Day 2 of the Sweet 16 tips off on Friday night as the Midwest and South regions hit the hardwood.

Midwest Region

Davidson (10) vs. Wisconsin (3)


The Wildcats' wild ride through the tournament continued in the second round when they upset No. 2 seed Georgetown 74-70. Stephen Curry put on another show with 30 points, 25 of which came in the second half. Curry’s outburst allowed the Wildcats to erase a 17-point second-half deficit, while Jason Richards added 20 points in the upset victory.

The Badgers may have ended Michael Beasley’s college career after they knocked off Kansas State 72-55 as a 4.5-point favorite. Trevon Hughes led Wisconsin with 25 points and Michael Flowers added 15 points in the rout.

Villanova (12) vs. Kansas (1)

Villanova sent Siena home after recording an 84-72 victory as a 5.5-point favorite in the second round. Scottie Reynolds torched the Tigers for 25 points and eight rebounds, while Corey Stokes netted 20 points in the win.

The Jayhawks soared past UNLV 75-56 as a 13.5-point favorite last weekend. Mario Chalmers scored 17 points for Kansas and Russell Robinson had 13 points, as Kansas shot an impressive 58 percent in the win.

South Region

Stanford (3) vs. Texas (2)


The Cardinal came back from an 11-point deficit in the first half to get past Marquette 82-81 in overtime as a 2.5-point favorite in the second round. Brook Lopez hit the winning shot with 1.3 seconds left in OT, and he also led Stanford with 30 points. Robin Lopez added 18 points and nine rebounds and Mitch Johnson had nine points and a career-high 16 assists.

The Longhorns nearly blew a 17-point lead before escaping with a 75-72 win over Miami as a 6.5-point favorite in the second round. A.J. Abrams scored 26 points for Texas, while Damion James had a big game with 16 points and 16 rebounds. Texas leading scorer D.J. Augustin struggled again in the win over Miami with 12 points on a poor 4-of-14 shooting. 

Michigan State (5) vs. Memphis (1)

The Spartans upset No. 4 seed Pittsburgh 65-54 as a 2.5-point underdog last week. Drew Neitzel hit five three-pointers to lead the Spartans with 21 points, while Kalin Lucas poured in 19 points.

The Tigers had more trouble than expected with Mississippi State in a 77-74 win as a 9-point favorite. Derrick Rose scored 17 points to go along with nine rebounds and seven assists, and Chris Douglas-Roberts also netted 17 points. Joey Dorsey was a defensive standout in the win with 12 rebounds and six blocks, while also scoring 13 points.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.28

MIDWEST REGION

(10) Davidson (28-6, 21-11 ATS) vs. (3) Wisconsin (31-4, 19-13 ATS)


Red-hot Wisconsin had its top-ranked defense on full display last weekend in the Tournament, holding down two solid offensive clubs in wins over Cal State Fullerton (71-56 as 11½-point favorites in the opening round) and Kansas State (72-55 as a 4½-point chalk in the second round as a 4½-point chalk). The Badgers, who are in their first Sweet 16 since 2005, are riding a 12-game winning streak, going 10-2 ATS in that span, and they’ve held all but two of those opponents to 57 points or less – including three under 50.

Davidson, strictly by the numbers, is twice as hot as Wisconsin, having won 24 straight games, the longest winning streak in the nation. Behind shooting guard Stephen Curry (70 combined points), the Wildcats assumed the role of Tournament darling in the first weekend, beating Gonzaga 82-76 last Friday as a one-point favorite, then rallying from a 17-point deficit to stun second-seeded Georgetown 74-70 Sunday as a 4½-point underdog. During its win streak, Davidson has been solid against the number, going 16-8 ATS.

The Badgers are on a 9-1 ATS tear, including 8-1 ATS as a favorite and 4-1 ATS at neutral sites. They’re also on positive spread runs of 5-2-1 in the Tournament and 13-6-2 in Friday contests.

The Wildcats, who hadn’t won an NCAA Tournament game in 39 years before this year’s event, also carry several positive pointspread trends, including 42-19-1 overall, 5-0 in non-conference action, 5-0 as an underdog, 8-3 as a ‘dog of less than seven points, 7-1 at neutral venues, 25-9-1 against winning teams and 40-16-1 after a SU win.

In the past two NCAA Tournaments, underdogs went 10-6 ATS in the Sweet 16 round. Favorites went 20-11 ATS in the first round last week, but fell back to 9-7 ATS in the second round.

For Wisconsin, the under is on streaks of 20-7 overall, 18-6 following a victory, 6-0 in non-conference play and 4-1 at neutral sites. Also, Davidson has “under” streaks of 7-3 overall, 9-3-1 as an underdog, 7-3 at neutral sites and 5-2 as a neutral-site pup

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER


(12) Villanova (22-12, 14-17 ATS) vs. (1) Kansas (33-3, 20-14 ATS)

Kansas won and cashed in its first two Tournament matchups last week, breezing past Portland State 85-61 giving 21 points in the first round, then handling UNLV 75-56 Saturday as a 13½-point favorite. The Jayhawks, who are in the Sweet 16 for the second straight year, are on a nine-game winning streak, going 6-3 ATS (3-0 ATS in the last three).

Villanova, one of the last teams to get into the field of 65, pulled off stunning upset of fifth-seeded Clemson in a 75-69 first-round win as a six-point pup last Friday, then beat 13th-seeded upstart Siena 84-72 Sunday as a 5½-point chalk. The Wildcats, who lost in the first round of the Tournament last year after reaching the Elite Eight in 2006, are on a 5-1 SU and ATS surge.

These two teams met twice earlier this decade, splitting the victories while Villanova went 2-0 ATS, both times as an underdog. In January 2004, Kansas held on for an 86-79 home win laying 15 points, and a year later, Villanova got revenge in an 83-62 win as a 2½-point home chalk.

The Jayhawks are on ATS streaks of 5-1 outside the Big 12, 4-1 after a spread-cover, 6-2 against winning teams and 6-2 as a chalk. On the negative side, they are 1-4 ATS in their last five as a favorite of seven to 12½ points and 0-5 ATS in their last five against the Big East.

The Wildcats, on the other hand, are on a 6-0 ATS tear against the Big 12 and are on additional positive pointspread runs of 4-1 against winning teams, 14-4 as a neutral-site ‘dog, 6-2 after a SU win, 6-2 after a spread-cover and 8-3-1 as a pup of seven to 12½ points. However, they are just 2-5 ATS in their last seven Tournament outings.

A No. 12 seed has never defeated a No. 1 seed in the Sweet 16.

The under for Kansas is on streaks of 4-0 in the Tournament, 6-2 at neutral venues and 10-4 in non-conference play, but the over is 6-1 the Jayhawks’ last seven against the Big East. Also, the under is 10-3-1 in Villanova’s last 14 overall, 19-7-1 in its last 27 as an underdog and 5-2-1 in its last eight in the Tournament, but the over is 5-1-1 in the Wildcats’ last seven at neutral sites.

ATS ADVANTAGE: KANSAS


SOUTH REGION

(3) Stanford (28-7, 18-17 ATS) vs. (2) Texas (30-6, 16-13-1 ATS)


After coasting past Austin Peay 74-54 last Friday as a 15½-point favorite in the tourney opener, Texas barely scraped past Miami on Sunday 75-72, failing to cover as a 6½-point chalk. The Longhorns have won eight of their last 10 games, but they’ve struggled to cash lately, going 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight contests.

Stanford blitzed Cornell 77-53 in the first round as a 16-point favorite, then got all it could handle from sixth-seeded Marquette on Saturday, winning 82-81 in overtime on a late Brook Lopez shot to narrowly avoid elimination and reach the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2001. The Cardinal were unable to cover the 2½-point spread, though, halting a four-game ATS surge.

These two teams have met just once this decade, with Texas prevailing 83-75 in overtime as a six-point home underdog in December 2001.

The Longhorns, in the Sweet 16 for the fifth time this decade, are 6-2 ATS in their last eight against the Pac-10, 4-0-1 ATS in their last five on Friday, 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight as a neutral-site favorite and 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 overall at neutral venues. But they are on ATS skids of 6-13 as a favorite of less than seven points, 3-7 in the Tournament, 1-4-1 after a SU win and a dismal 0-8 as a Tournament favorite of less than seven points.

The Cardinal’s current 4-1 ATS run has all come on neutral courts, but they are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 outside the Pac-10, 1-4 ATS in their last five in the Tournament and 1-4 in their last five as a neutral-site ‘dog.

The under is on streaks of 5-0 for Stanford against the Big 12, 9-1 for Stanford in non-conference play, 5-1 for Texas on Friday, 4-1 for Texas in non-conference action, 4-1 for Texas as a favorite and 40-18-1 following a pointspread loss. On the flip side, the Cardinal are on over runs of 6-1 overall, 8-2 in the Tournament, 6-1 at neutral sites and 5-0 as a neutral-site underdog.

ATS ADVANTAGE: TEXAS


(5) Michigan State (27-8, 15-14-2 ATS) vs. (1) Memphis (35-1, 15-19-2 ATS)

Memphis rolls into the Sweet 16 on a nine-game winning streak after sweeping its two Tournament games last weekend. However, after routing Texas-Arlington 87-63 in the first round and falling short as a 25 ½-point favorite, the Tigers had a much more difficult second-round contest, edging eighth-seeded Mississippi State 77-74 Sunday laying 9½ points. Those two non-covers ran Memphis’ ATS slump to 2-7 during its nine-game winning streak.

Michigan State had two surprisingly easy first-round games, beating Temple 72-61 as a 6½-point favorite last Thursday, then rolling past Big East tournament champ Pittsburgh 65-54 as a 2½-point ‘dog in Saturday’s second round. The Spartans have cashed in four straight contests and are 6-1 ATS in their last seven (5-2 SU).

The Tigers, who have reached the Elite Eight the past two years, carry little but negative ATS trends into this contest, including 2-8 overall, 2-5 in Tournament play, 2-5 after a pointspread setback, 1-4 after a SU win and 0-4 outside Conference USA.

The Spartans, who have reached seven Sweet 16s and four Final Fours in the last 11 seasons, are on a 6-0-1 ATS spree at neutral sites and are on further positive pointspread runs of 6-1-2 in non-conference play, 8-2-1 as an underdog, 4-1 after a spread-cover and 14-5-1 in the NCAA Tournament. The lone negative for Michigan State is its 4-9-1 ATS slump as a ‘dog of less than seven points.

For Memphis, the under is on runs of 5-2 as a favorite, 9-3 as a favorite of less than seven points and 4-0 as a Tournament chalk of less than seven points. Also, Michigan State is on under tears of 21-5-1 as an underdog, 4-1 following a SU win and 9-3 as a neutral-site pup.

ATS ADVANTAGE: MICHIGAN STATE and UNDER

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.28

New Jersey Nets vs. Indiana Pacers

- The fans at Conseco Fieldhouse will be treated to a game between the New Jersey Nets and the Indiana Pacers when they take their seats on Friday.

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

Five players registered 20 or more points on Wednesday, lifting the Nets to a 124-117 win over the Pacers. The Nets covered the 6-point spread, and the combined score sailed OVER the posted total of 214.

Josh Boone tossed in 26 points, while Vince Carter and Devin Harris each had 22 in the win.

The Pacers fell 124-117 to the Nets last time out, as 6-point underdogs. The combined score sailed OVER the posted total of 214.

Mike Dunleavy threw in a game-high 33 points with six rebounds and seven assists in the loss.

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

Team records:
New Jersey: 31-41 SU, 30-41-1 ATS
Indiana: 29-43 SU, 33-37-2 ATS

New Jersey most recently:
When playing on Friday are 7-3
Before playing Phoenix are 6-4
After playing Indiana are 7-3
After a win are 4-6

Indiana most recently:
When playing on Friday are 6-4
Before playing Miami are 5-5
After playing New Jersey are 2-8
After a loss are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 5 of New Jersey's last 5 games when playing on the road against Indiana
New Jersey is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games when playing Indiana
New Jersey is 7-1 ATS in its last 8 games when playing Indiana
The total has gone OVER in 7 of New Jersey's last 8 games when playing Indiana
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Indiana's last 5 games when playing at home against New Jersey
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Indiana's last 8 games when playing New Jersey
Indiana is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Indiana's last 7 games at home

Next up:
New Jersey home to Phoenix, Saturday, March 29
Indiana home to Miami, Monday, March 31

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.28

New York Knicks vs. Toronto Raptors

- The division rival New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors are set to renew hostilities on Friday when they meet at Air Canada Centre.

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

The Knicks forced overtime and then finished off the Heat 103-96 on Wednesday. The Knicks failed to cover the 8-point spread, but the combined score made it OVER the posted total of 188.

Jamal Crawford led the Knicks with 22 points, and Zach Randolph added 16 in the win.

Chris Bosh netted 21 points with six rebounds on Wednesday, as the Raptors defeated the Pistons 89-82. The Raptors covered the 1.5-point spread, but the 171 points went UNDER the night's posted total of 185.5.

Rasho Nesterovic had 15 points and nine rebounds for the Raptors, and T.J. Ford added 13 points and nine assists in the win.

Team records:
New York: 20-51 SU, 30-40-1 ATS
Toronto: 36-35 SU, 37-34 ATS

New York most recently:
When playing on Friday are 3-7
Before playing Atlanta are 6-4
After playing Miami are 1-9
After a win are 2-8

Toronto most recently:
When playing on Friday are 6-4
Before playing New Orleans are 2-8
After playing Detroit are 5-5
After a win are 3-7

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 16 of New York's last 22 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of New York's last 6 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 6 of New York's last 9 games when playing on the road against Toronto
New York is 4-9 ATS in its last 13 games when playing Toronto
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Toronto's last 5 games
Toronto is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against New York
Toronto is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games when playing at home against New York
Toronto is 10-3 SU in its last 13 games when playing New York

Next up:
New York at Atlanta, Sunday, March 30
Toronto home to New Orleans, Sunday, March 30

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.28

Phoenix Suns vs. Philadelphia 76ers

- The Phoenix Suns and the Philadelphia 76ers will both be gunning for a victory on Friday when they meet at Wachovia Center.

Oddsmakers currently have the Suns listed as 2½-point favorites versus the 76ers, while the game's total has not yet been posted.

The Suns were very bleak in a 117-97 loss to the Celtics on Wednesday, as 6.5-point road underdogs. The 214 points made it OVER the posted total of 208.

Amare Stoudemire shot 11-for-16 from the field with 32 points and six rebounds in the loss.

The 76ers dominated the first half on Wednesday, and went on to trounce the Bulls 121-99. The 76ers easily covered the 7-point spread, and the 220 points sailed OVER the posted total of 208.

Louis Williams dropped 23 points for the 76ers, while Andre Iguodala added 21. Andre Miller had eight rebounds and 18 assists in the win.

Current streak:
Phoenix has lost 2 straight games.
Philadelphia has won 3 straight games.

Team records:
Phoenix: 47-24 SU, 33-35-3 ATS
Philadelphia: 37-35 SU, 39-32-1 ATS

Phoenix most recently:
When playing on Friday are 3-7
Before playing New Jersey are 7-3
After playing Boston are 7-3
After a loss are 7-3

Philadelphia most recently:
When playing on Friday are 4-6
Before playing Cleveland are 6-4
After playing Chicago are 4-6
After a win are 8-2

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Phoenix's last 5 games when playing on the road against Philadelphia
Phoenix is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games
Phoenix is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 games when playing Philadelphia
Phoenix is 8-3 SU in its last 11 games when playing Philadelphia
Philadelphia is 12-1 SU in its last 13 games at home
Philadelphia is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games
Philadelphia is 12-3 ATS in its last 15 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Philadelphia's last 5 games when playing at home against Phoenix

Next up:
Phoenix at New Jersey, Saturday, March 29
Philadelphia at Cleveland, Sunday, March 30

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.28

New Orleans Hornets vs. Boston Celtics

- The New Orleans Hornets and the Boston Celtics will both be trying to pick up a win on Friday when they battle at TD Banknorth Garden.

Oddsmakers currently have the Celtics listed as 6½-point favorites versus the Hornets, while the game's total has not yet been posted.

The Hornets pulled out a hard-fought 100-99 victory over the Cavaliers last time out, as 2-point underdogs. The 199 points made it OVER the game's posted total of 193.5.

Chris Paul led the Hornets with 15 points and 20 assists, while Peja Stojakovic added a team-high 25 points in the win.

Kevin Garnett poured in 30 points to help the Celtics run over the Suns 117-97 on Wednesday. The Celtics covered the 6.5-point spread, while the 214 points made it OVER the posted total of 208.

Paul Pierce chipped in with 27 points for the Celtics, and Kendrick Perkins had 10 rebounds in the win.

Current streak:
New Orleans has won 5 straight games.

Team records:
New Orleans: 49-21 SU, 44-25-1 ATS
Boston: 56-15 SU, 43-26-2 ATS

New Orleans most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing Toronto are 5-5
After playing Cleveland are 6-4
After a win are 7-3

Boston most recently:
When playing on Friday are 3-7
Before playing Miami are 3-7
After playing Phoenix are 7-3
After a win are 8-2

A few trends to consider:
New Orleans is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
New Orleans is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of New Orleans's last 9 games when playing on the road against Boston
The total has gone OVER in 4 of New Orleans's last 5 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Boston's last 9 games when playing at home against New Orleans
Boston is 12-2 SU in its last 14 games at home
Boston is 15-3 SU in its last 18 games
Boston is 10-3 ATS in its last 13 games

Next up:
New Orleans at Toronto, Sunday, March 30
Boston home to Miami, Sunday, March 30

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.28

Chicago Bulls vs. Atlanta Hawks

- The Chicago Bulls and the Atlanta Hawks will both be gunning for a victory on Friday when they meet at Philips Arena.

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

The Bulls were trounced 121-99 by the 76ers last time out, as 7-point road underdogs. The 220 points sailed OVER the posted total of 208.

Thabo Sefolosha shot 8-for-11 from the field with 20 points, five rebounds and five assists in the loss.

The Hawks roared back to dominate the second half on Wednesday, and defeated the Bucks 115-96. The Hawks covered the 7.5-point spread, while the 211 points made it OVER the posted total of 208.

Joe Johnson led the Hawks with 28 points and eight assists, while Josh Childress added 20 in the victory.

Team records:
Chicago: 28-43 SU, 31-40 ATS
Atlanta: 31-40 SU, 34-37 ATS

Chicago most recently:
When playing on Friday are 7-3
Before playing Milwaukee are 5-5
After playing Philadelphia are 5-5
After a loss are 5-5

Atlanta most recently:
When playing on Friday are 1-9
Before playing New York are 2-8
After playing Milwaukee are 4-6
After a win are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
Chicago is 13-1 SU in its last 14 games when playing Atlanta
Chicago is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Atlanta
Chicago is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Atlanta
The total has gone OVER in 10 of Chicago's last 14 games on the road
Atlanta is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Atlanta's last 7 games
Atlanta is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games
Atlanta is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games

Next up:
Chicago home to Milwaukee, Saturday, March 29
Atlanta home to New York, Sunday, March 30

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.28

Orlando Magic vs. Milwaukee Bucks

- The Orlando Magic and the Milwaukee Bucks will both be trying to pick up a win on Friday when they battle at Bradley Center.

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

The Magic fell 107-97 to the Spurs last time out, as 1.5-point favorites in the contest. The combined score made it OVER the posted total of 190.

Dwight Howard hit a double-double for the Magic, scoring 24 points and hauling down 21 rebounds.

The Bucks were defeated 115-96 by the Hawks last time out, as 7.5-point road underdogs. The 211 points made it OVER the posted total of 208.

Andrew Bogut scored 27 points and hauled down nine boards in the loss.

Current streak:
Orlando has lost 2 straight games.
Milwaukee has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
Orlando: 46-27 SU, 44-27-2 ATS
Milwaukee: 24-46 SU, 30-39-1 ATS

Orlando most recently:
When playing on Friday are 6-4
Before playing New Orleans are 5-5
After playing San Antonio are 3-7
After a loss are 8-2

Milwaukee most recently:
When playing on Friday are 4-6
Before playing Chicago are 5-5
After playing Atlanta are 5-5
After a loss are 2-8

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Orlando's last 5 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Orlando's last 8 games when playing on the road against Milwaukee
Orlando is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games when playing Milwaukee
Orlando is 12-5 SU in its last 17 games
Milwaukee is 18-2 SU in its last 20 games when playing at home against Orlando
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Milwaukee's last 7 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 15 of Milwaukee's last 18 games
Milwaukee is 6-2 ATS in its last 8 games when playing at home against Orlando

Next up:
Orlando home to New Orleans, Tuesday, April 1
Milwaukee at Chicago, Saturday, March 29

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.28

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. San Antonio Spurs

- The Minnesota Timberwolves and the San Antonio Spurs will both be gunning for a victory on Friday when they meet at AT&T Center.

Oddsmakers currently have the Spurs listed as 12-point favorites versus the Timberwolves, while the game's total has not yet been posted.

The Timberwolves fell 97-86 to the Rockets last time out, as 11-point road underdogs. The 183 points fell UNDER the posted total of 190.5.

.l Jefferson tossed in 21 points and grabbed 10 boards in a losing effort

The Spurs were dominant in the second half on Wednesday, as they cruised past the Clippers 97-88. The Spurs failed to cover the 15.5-point spread, and the 185 points made it OVER the posted total of 183.5.

Tim Duncan had 26 points and 12 rebounds for a double-double performance for the Spurs. Michael Finley chipped in with 16 points in the win.

Current streak:
San Antonio has won 5 straight games.

Team records:
Minnesota: 18-52 SU, 33-36-1 ATS
San Antonio: 49-23 SU, 33-39 ATS

Minnesota most recently:
When playing on Friday are 3-7
Before playing Utah are 2-8
After playing Houston are 3-7
After a loss are 5-5

San Antonio most recently:
When playing on Friday are 7-3
Before playing Houston are 7-3
After playing LA Clippers are 7-3
After a win are 8-2

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Minnesota's last 5 games when playing San Antonio
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Minnesota's last 6 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Minnesota's last 10 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Minnesota's last 6 games when playing on the road against San Antonio
San Antonio is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of San Antonio's last 5 games when playing Minnesota
San Antonio is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Minnesota
San Antonio is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games at home

Next up:
Minnesota home to Utah, Sunday, March 30
San Antonio home to Houston, Sunday, March 30

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.28

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Utah Jazz

- The Los Angeles Clippers and the Utah Jazz will both be trying to pick up a win on Friday when they battle at EnergySolutions Arena.

Oddsmakers currently have the Jazz listed as 15½-point favorites versus the Clippers, while the game's total has not yet been posted.

The Clippers lost 97-88 to the Spurs last time out, as 15.5-point underdogs. The 185 points made it OVER the posted total of 183.5.

Corey Maggette tossed in 22 points with seven rebounds, and Al Thornton had 21 points and nine rebounds in the loss.

The Jazz tossed in 36 points in the fourth quarter Tuesday, as they slipped by the Bobcats 128-106. The Jazz covered the 13-point spread, while the combined 234 points sailed OVER the posted total of 207.

Carlos Boozer scored 28 points and hauled down 13 rebounds for a double-double in the win.

Current streak:
Los Angeles has lost 9 straight games.
Utah has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Los Angeles: 21-50 SU, 31-40 ATS
Utah: 47-25 SU, 38-34 ATS

Los Angeles most recently:
When playing on Friday are 3-7
Before playing Memphis are 1-9
After playing San Antonio are 4-6
After a loss are 1-9

Utah most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing Minnesota are 9-1
After playing Charlotte are 5-2
After a win are 6-4

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 5 of the LA Clippers last 6 games on the road
LA Clippers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of the LA Clippers last 11 games when playing on the road against Utah
The total has gone OVER in 7 of the LA Clippers last 10 games when playing Utah
Utah is 5-0 SU in their last 5 games when playing at home against LA Clippers
Utah is 21-1 SU in its last 22 games at home
Utah is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games when playing at home against LA Clippers
Utah is 10-3 SU in its last 13 games

Next up:
LA Clippers home to Memphis, Saturday, March 29
Utah at Minnesota, Sunday, March 30

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.28

Washington Wizards vs. Sacramento Kings

- The Washington Wizards and the Sacramento Kings will both be trying to pick up a win on Friday when they battle at ARCO Arena.

Oddsmakers currently have the Kings listed as 2½-point favorites versus the Wizards, while the game's total has not yet been posted.

The Wizards scored 36 points to dominate the fourth quarter on Wednesday, and came back to defeat the SuperSonics 104-99. The Wizards failed to cover the 7-point spread, and the combined score went as a PUSH against the posted total of 203.

Caron Butler had 21 points, five rebounds and nine assists to lead the Wizards. Roger Mason added 22 points in the win.

The Kings forced overtime and then went on to defeat the Grizzlies 107-106 last time out, as 9.5-point favorites. The combined score fell UNDER the posted total of 216.5.

Kevin Martin threw in a game-high 36 points with seven rebounds for the Kings. Ron Artest chipped in with 24 points in the win.

Team records:
Washington: 37-34 SU, 40-30-1 ATS
Sacramento: 32-39 SU, 36-34-1 ATS

Washington most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing LA Lakers are 6-4
After playing Seattle are 6-4
After a win are 5-5

Sacramento most recently:
When playing on Friday are 6-4
Before playing Seattle are 5-5
After playing Memphis are 5-5
After a win are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
Washington is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Sacramento
The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Washington's last 10 games when playing on the road against Sacramento
Washington is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games on the road
Washington is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Sacramento's last 10 games when playing at home against Washington
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Sacramento's last 6 games at home
Sacramento is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games at home
Sacramento is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games when playing at home against Washington

Next up:
Washington at LA Lakers, Sunday, March 30
Sacramento at Seattle, Sunday, March 30

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