TUESDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
Re: TUESDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
15* Revenge Rout -CBB (4-1 or 80% ATS s/Jan 14)
My 15* Revenge Rout is on Bradley at 8:00 ET. Northern Iowa went to the NCAA tourney three years in a row (from 2004-06) but in the last two seasons under new coach Ben Jacobson, the Panthers have won 18 games each year, failing to gain a postseason bid of any kind. LY's 18-14 (9-9 in MVC play) was disappointing and gone from that team are leading scorer and rebounder Coleman (12.3-8.8) and second-leading scorer Josten (9.3). The Panthers returned a solid frontcourt with the 6-8 Koch (11.5-4.9), the 7-1 Eglseder (9.4-5.8) and the 6-6 O'Rear (5.5-5.2). However, the backcourt was a HUGE question mark. Aheleghe (11.4-3.1 APG) missed all of last season with an injury and the other two players the team was going to count on where JUCO transfer Farokhmanesh (10.5) and freshman Moran (9.9-4.0). As you can see by their numbers, the Panthers' backcourt performers have really come through. The season didn't start well though, as Northern Iowa lost its conference opener at home to Indiana St, 85-84 in OT. That left the Panthers with a 6-6 overall mark but it's been "nothing but winning" since! Northern Iowa has taken control of the MVC race by winning 10 straight games (8-2 ATS), opening a three-game lead over Illinois St, Creighton and tonight's opponent, Bradley. Can the Panthers be stopped? Sure they can, just like Wisconsin-Green Bay did last night in the Horizon League, to Butler (I had the Phoenix). Bradley made an excellent postseason run last year in the new CBI tourney, losing in the finals to Tulsa (best two-of-three). However, guards Crouch (15.8) and Ruffin (14.1-5.8 APG) plus the 6-7 Salley (6.1-6.9) were all seniors last year. Bradley knew they weren't coming back but the big blow came when LY's excellent freshman, the 6-5 Warren (13.2), also was lost for this season. All things considered, the Braves have been pretty good this year. They are 7-4 in MVC play, including 4-1 SU and ATS in home games (8-2 overall record at home). The 6-7 Wilson (13.4-7.4) leads in scoring and rebounding plus gets some help inside from the 7-0 Collins (4.0-3.5) and the 6-9 Singh (4.2-3.2). The backcourt is deep, with the returning Maniscalco (10.9-3.1 APG) being joined by two JUCOs, Roberts (8.1-4.0) and Dunson (11.8), plus freshman McCain (5.9). Bradley lost 66-61 in Cedar Falls back on Jan 21, in a game in which the Braves were awarded just seven FTs and in which Wilson (13.4-7.4) went scoreless. Wilson surely won't go scoreless again and look for a better distribution at the FT line as well. Ten straight conference wins is quite a run but it ends here for Northern Iowa, as a very capable Bradley "gets it right" in an in-season conference revenge game. Revenge Rout 15* Bradley.
Las Vegas Insider-NBA (5-0 NBA run, as part of 10-1 BKB run s/Fri)
My Las Vegas Insider is on the Ind Pacers at 7:05 ET. Minnesota finished December at 6-25 but then won 10 of its first 12 games in January (9-2-1 ATS). However, the T-wolves closed the month with home losses to the Pistons and Lakers, before opening February with a 109-101 loss at Boston on Super Bowl Sunday. The T-wolves have a tough assignment tonight in an effort to break that three-game slide, as the Pacers have been playing well at home since the start of 2009. Actually, that's an understatement, as Indiana was a perfect 7-0 SU (6-1 ATS) at home, while averaging 109.9 PPG in their first seven home games of January, before falling to the Knicks on Saturday (1/31). Offense wasn't the problem for the Pacers in that game (they scored 113 points), as they allowed the Knicks to score 122, while shooting 48.9 percent from the floor (including 15-of-34 on threes). Minnesota was able to win on the road in January (5-1 SU) but a couple of those wins came over the hapless Clippers and Grizzlies, while two others came at Chicago and Milwaukee (hardly powers). Center Al Jefferson (23.2-10.6) didn't make the All-Star team but he's played like one TY and guard Randy Foye (16.1) has "come into his own" this season. I'm not much sold on either of Minnesota's starting forwards, as Gomes (11.3-4.4) and Smith (9.0-3.5) seem rather ordinary to me. I realize that McHale is high on rookie Kevin Love (9.1-8.5) but I'm not 'buying' him either. As for the Pacers, Granger (25.5) has developed into one of the league's best scorers and while he's bothered by a sore knee, he has played in each of the team's last two games, scoring 19 points each time. TJ Ford (15.1-3.7-4.9) is back healthy and playing as well as he ever has, while Dunleavy (off a career-year LY with averages of 19.2-5.2-3.5), has averaged 14.6 PPG in his 15 games since finally getting healthy enough to play this season. Jack (10.7-3.9 APG) fell out of favor in Portland but has been an excellent back-up TY for Ford at the point. Murphy (12.1-11.4) continues to be one of the NBA's most underapreciated players (the PF shoots 41.7 percent on threes). while Foster (7.0-7.0), Nesterovic (8.2-3.8) and Hibbert (5.7-2.5) form a respectable center trio. The T-wolves are 2-7 all-time at Conseco Fieldhouse and let's not make too much of Minnesota's "January spurt." Las Vegas Insider Ind Pacers.
Re: TUESDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
NEW MEXICO (hat)
4 BONES UNLV -5
2.5-Unit Play. Take San Diego State (+5.5) over UNLV
I think this number is about three points heavy. And as good as the Rebels are at home I think the Aztecs are one of the two or three best teams in the Mountain West and that they are peaking at just the right time. The Atzecs are on a 7-2 ATS run and there is actually a reverse line movement on this game. Normally I think that's an overblown situation. But when it's a Vegas team that's seeing the RLM I take note. I just think that SDSU is a better team. Period. I think they can win this game, and I think that either way this is a one- or two-possession game in the last five minutes.
1.5-Unit Play. Take South Carolina (+8.5) over Florida
0.5-Unit Play. First Half: Take Florida (-4) over South Carolina
Note: We are taking Florida in the first half and South Carolina for the game.
Florida is going to come out on fire and make a statement in the first half. They'll knock down their open shots, they'll get to the basket, they'll get the crowd involved, and they will likely give themselves and 8 or 12-point lead early. But I really don't like their guards and I don't think that this game will remain a blowout. The last three meetings have been decided by a total of six points. Prior to that those dominant Florida teams posted two double-digit wins against USC. And before that their last five games were decided by 2, 4, 6, 1, 8. So kick out the blowouts and we're looking at eight of 10 games being determined by an average of 3.8 points. And the thing is, in all 10 of those games Florida entered with the better team. That's not the case now. USC is the better team here and I think they will come firing back - much like they did at Tennessee - and make this one a second-half game.
1-Unit Play. Take Wyoming (+15.5) over New Mexico
It's tough to bet against the Lobos in The Pit. They have dominated there for years, have been a great bet over the last three years, and are 20-8 ATS in conference. Oh, and they have covered nine of 10 and six straight. But I'm trying to get ahead of the curve here. The idea is that the numbers are going to catch up with the Lobos and I think that's what happened here. New Mexico is coming off a grueling game at Utah and has a big one with UNLV on the horizon. Also, this Wyoming team is scrappy. And in UNM's last home game (vs. Colorado State) they really let a feeble Rams team hang around until a rather lucky late push. But that's barely here nor there. New Mexico through a 45-point beating on the Cowboys to end their season last year. That's a revenge spot. And the fact is that there hasn't been a spread this high in this series in years, and there have been much greater talent deficits. The average margin of victory in this series is 8.2 in the nine previous meetings (not counting the 45-point bloodbath). I thought this line should have been 11. I'll take the points and we'll squeeze one out.