Sunday Service Plays

Sunday Service Plays

Game Breaker

NFC -2.5

For those of you looking for a Pro Bowl selection, my instinct is to take the NFC -2.5. You can't completely count on what effort you're going to get in these games so it won't be a full wager, more like a recreational play of about 1/2 your normal wager size. It's also not available at my monitor so combined with the smaller wager recommendation I won't count it against my record regardless of what the outcome it. But I do think we have enough of an edge to make a smaller than average play. I like the NFC line-up on offense much better and offense usually dictates the outcome of with all the rules set up in their favor. The Cards are well represented and maybe a little more on their game and motivated than some of the other players. We've seen this type of thing before. Warner and his 2 big receivers will definitely have an advantage working together with very lax coverages and Boldin may have something extra to prove given all the contract issues. What an unreal line-up of NFC QBs with Warner, Brees (a very competitive guy) and Manning Jr. playing against big brother. The NFC WRs and RBs are loaded with high impact players and also have an edge over the AFC. Laying the -2.5 isn't a great concern to me and rarely comes into play. It's been over 15 years since the game was decided by less than 3. Many of us will be sitting down to watch this one and I'll back the NFC -2.5 to close out the year.

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San Antonio (33-15, 23-23-2 ATS) at Boston (42-10, 29-23 ATS)

The defending NBA champion Celtics, winners of 13 of their last 14 games, welcome the Spurs to TD Banknorth Garden for a nationally televised non-conference clash.

Boston went to Madison Square Garden on Friday and dropped New York 110-100 as a 6½-point chalk, bouncing back from Thursday’ 110-109 overtime home loss to the Lakers, which ended the squads’ 12-game SU run. The Celtics, who are 10-4 ATS during their 13-1 SU spree, have scored in triple digits in four straight games and six of the last seven. Also, they’ve rung up 105.8 points per game on the home parquet this season, more than four points above their overall season average, and they’ve outscored opponents by nearly 13 ppg at home (93.0).

San Antonio, which is in the midst of an eight-game road trip, has been idle since Tuesday, when coach Gregg Popovich rested his three biggest stars – Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan – following a 110-105 overtime win at Golden State the previous night. The Spurs played well even without the Big Three, but still fell 104-96 to end a four-game winning streak, though they still covered as an 11½-point underdog to move to 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games (3-0-1 ATS on the road). For the season, San Antonio has averaged 97.6 ppg and allowed about a three-pointer less at 94.5, but in the past five games, the Spurs have leaped to 106.4 ppg while allowing 101.2.

Boston is on a 4-0 ATS run (3-1 SU) in this rivalry – all from the underdog role – following a 6-0 SU and ATS run by San Antonio. The Celtics took both meetings last season, including a 98-90 win in February as a 2½-point home pup.

The Celtics are on a plethora of positive pointspread streaks, including 9-3 overall, 13-5 at ome, 7-1 after an ATS win, 5-1 against winning teams, 10-2 against the Southwest Division, 11-4 on Sunday and 24-11 against the Western Conference. Meanwhile, the Spurs are on ATS runs of 7-3-1 on the highway, 3-1 as a ‘dog of more than four points. 4-0 against winning teams and 4-1 on the road against teams with a winning home record, but they are also on ATS skids of 1-5-1 against the Atlantic Division, 3-9-1 against the East and 3-8-1 after a spread-cover.

The over for Boston is on rolls of 4-0 overall, 4-0 at home, 4-0 against the Western Conference, 11-5 against the Southwest Division and 5-1 following a SU win, and the over for San Antonio is on runs of 5-0 overall and 4-0 on the road. But the under for the Spurs is on stretches of 4-0 against the Eastern Conference, 9-2-1 with San Antonio going on three or more days’ rest and 5-2 on Sunday, and in this rivalry, the under is 5-2-1 in the last eight meetings between these teams in Boston.

ATS ADVANTAGE: BOSTON


L.A. Lakers (40-9, 26-23 ATS) at Cleveland (39-9, 32-16 ATS)

The Lakers bring the league’s best record into Quicken Loans Arena as they look to cap a perfect six-game Eastern Conference road trip when they take on the Cavaliers, who remain unbeaten at home this season, in the day’s marquee matchup.

Los Angeles squeaked past Boston 110-109 in overtime Thursday night as a seven-point road underdog, moving to 5-0 SU and ATS on their current six-game road swing. The Lakers have been filling it up throughout the road trip, averaging an eye-popping 119.6 ppg, but they’re also allowing 110.0 ppg during this five-game span.

Cleveland, sporting a perfect 23-0 SU home record and the league’s best spread-covering mark at 32-16 overall, held off New York 107-102 Wednesday night for its fourth straight win, but they failed to cover as a 5½-point road chalk, ending a three-game ATS uptick. The Cavs are averaging 102.5 ppg during their four-game run, outscoring opponents by more than 12 ppg (90.0), and at home this season, they are winning by an average of 16 ppg (105-89), helping them to an 18-5 ATS mark in their building.

Los Angeles ripped Cleveland 105-88 last month as a five-point home favorite, ending a 5-0 SU and 4-0 ATS roll by the Cavs in this rivalry. Cleveland is 5-2 ATS in the last seven clashes at Quicken Loans Arena, including last year’s 94-90 victory as a two-point home ‘dog.

The Lakers are 1-5 ATS in their last six games against the Central Division, but they are otherwise on a bevy of ATS hot streaks, including 7-0 after putting up more than 100 points, 4-0 on two days’ rest, 5-0 on the road against teams with a winning home mark, 5-1 against winning teams and 5-1 against the Eastern Conference. Also, L.A. is 3-1 SU and 4-0 ATS as an underdog this season.

The Cavaliers are also on several pointspread sprees, including 37-16 overall, 21-5 at home going back to last year’s playoffs, 6-0 when playing on three or more days’ rest, 13-4 against the West, 12-4 against teams with a win percentage above .600 and 35-17 after an ATS setback.

The over for Los Angeles is on surges of 6-0 overall, 8-0 on the highway, 5-0 against the Eastern Conference, 5-0 after scoring 100 points or more and 22-8 following a SU win. On the flip side, the under for Cleveland is on stretches of 5-1 against winning teams, 5-1 with the Cavs going on three or more days’ rest, 36-16 on Sunday and 19-9 after a SU win.

Finally, the total has stayed low in five of the last six contests in this rivalry and each of the last four meetings in Cleveland.

ATS ADVANTAGE: CLEVELAND


Phoenix (27-21, 16-29-2 ATS) at Detroit (27-21, 20-28 ATS)

Two teams struggling to find some consistency square off when the Suns travel to the Motor City for a meeting with the Pistons at the Palace.

Phoenix dropped Golden State 115-105 Friday night, getting a push as a 10-point home chalk, but the Suns have cashed just once in their last five games and are on a 4-6 SU and 3-6-1 ATS skid in their last 10. Phoenix’s high-octane offense has put up 114.2 ppg in its last five – more than nine points over its season average of 104.9 – but the Suns are also giving it up on the defensive end, allowing 109.2 ppg in the last five.

Detroit went to Milwaukee on Saturday and pulled out a 126-121 overtime victory over the Bucks, barely cashing as a 4½-point favorite. Despite last night’s win, the Pistons are mired in a 5-9 SU and 4-10 ATS freefall. Detroit is also just 1-4 SU (0-5 ATS) in its last five at the Palace, getting outscored by eight points per contest (97-89). For the season, the Pistons are just 7-18 ATS on their court.

Phoenix ripped Detroit 104-86 in November as a two-point home favorite, halting a 3-0 SU and ATS run by the Pistons in this series. Detroit is still 9-2 ATS in the last 11 clashes, including 4-1 ATS in the last five at home. The favorite is on a 5-2 ATS run when these teams hook up, and the road team has covered in 12 of the last 17 meetings.

The Suns are on ATS slides of 8-21-2 overall, 2-6-1 on the highway, 2-8-1 against the Eastern Conference, 1-4 against winning teams, 2-7-2 when going on one day’s rest and 1-6 as a single-digit underdog. Likewise, the Pistons are on pointspread purges of 0-7 against winning teams, 1-10 on Sunday and 2-5 against the Western Conference.

The over is on a 5-2 run in this rivalry, and the over for Phoenix is on rolls of 12-4 against the Central Division and 5-2 on the road. But the under is 7-3 in the Suns’ last 10 games against the East. Furthermore, the under for Detroit is on streaks of 10-5-1 overall, 12-2 on Sunday, 6-2-1 against the West and 20-8-1 playing on back-to-back days.

ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE


COLLEGE BASKETBALL

(12) Purdue (17-5, 9-9 ATS) at (23) Illinois (18-5, 11-7-1 ATS)

Purdue, looking to get back on track after having its six-game win streak snapped, travels to Assembly Hall to face Illinois in a battle of ranked Big Ten teams.

The Boilermakers lost to Ohio State 80-72 in overtime Tuesday night as a two-point road chalk for their first loss in nearly a month, ending a 6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS surge. During its win streak, Purdue held three opponents under 54 points, including a 67-49 home rout of Michigan last Saturday. Despite the setback in Columbus, the Boilermakers are still averaging 69.6 points on 49.2 percent shooting (44.9 percent from 3-point range) over their last five games, while allowing 61.4 ppg on 40.5 percent shooting.

The Fighting Illini have been up and down lately, splitting their last six starts, including dropping two of their last three. On Thursday, Illinois went to Wisconsin and got bounced 63-50 as a four-point road pup for their third straight ATS setback. At home, though, Illinois is 5-0 SU (3-1-1 ATS) in conference play this season, with three double-digit wins and an average winning margin of 15.8 ppg.

Illinois has won and covered in the last two meetings in this rivalry, both in overtime and both on the road, including a 71-67 victory Dec. 30 as an eight-point pup. However, Purdue is 7-3-1 ATS in the last 11 head-to-head clashes.

The Boilermakers are on ATS rolls of 4-1 overall, 13-6-1 on the road, 4-1 against teams with a winning record, 19-7-1 in the Big Ten and 5-2 after a non-cover, and they’ve won both their games as an underdog this season. The Illini sport positive ATS streaks of 12-4-1 against teams with a winning percentage above .600, 4-1 after a SU loss, 5-2 after an ATS setback and 5-1-1 as a single-digit chalk, but they are also 0-4 ATS in their last four Sunday games and 1-7 ATS in their last eight at home against teams with a winning road record.

The over for Purdue is on stretches of 5-1 overall (all in the Big Ten), 5-0 on the road and 10-1 on the road against teams with a winning home record. The over is also 4-0 in Illinois’ last four against winning teams, and the total has gone high in each of the last four clashes in this rivalry. However, the under for the Illini is on runs of 6-1 overall (all in Big Ten play), 5-1 at home, 5-1 after a SU loss and 20-8-1 on Sunday.

ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE


Boston College (18-6, 11-8 ATS) at (7) Wake Forest (17-3, 9-7 ATS)

Wake Forest, reeling from a pair of upset road losses, returns to LJVM Coliseum aiming to get back on track against surging Boston College.

Coming off a 76-74 loss at Georgia Tech as an eight-point chalk last Saturday, the Demon Deacons were humiliated Wednesday at Miami, losing 79-52 laying 2½ points, and they’re now 1-3 SU and ATS in their last four games. For the season, Wake has averaged a healthy 81.4 ppg and allowed 67.7, but in the past five games, the Deacons have put up 69.0 ppg while allowing 73.8.

The Eagles have ripped off five straight victories (4-1 ATS), all in ACC play, including an 80-70 win at Virginia on Wednesday as a one-point favorite, the team’s third consecutive SU and ATS conference road win. In its last five contests, B.C. has averaged 76.4 ppg and allowed 69.4 ppg – both exactly on its season averages – and the Eagles have outshot those five opponents by more than five percentage points (45.7-40.2).

Boston College is 4-1 SU and ATS in this short rivalry that began in 2006 when the Eagles joined the ACC, but Wake Forest’s victory and spread-cover came in an 83-63 rout last month as a three-point road chalk. In fact, the favorite has won and cashed in all five series meetings.

The Demon Deacons are on ATS upticks of 15-7-2 at home, 8-0 at home against teams with a winning road record, 4-0 after a SU loss of more than 20 points, 8-2 against teams with a win percentage above .600 and 5-2 on Sunday, but they’re 2-6 ATS as a favorite of less than 20 points. Likewise, the Eagles are on spread-covering sprees of 4-1 on the highway, 5-1 on the road against teams with a winning home mark, 6-2 after a SU win and 4-2 as an underdog this year.

The under is 10-4 in Wake’s last 14 games at home versus teams with a winning road record, but the over is 4-1 in the Deacons’ last five Sunday outings. In addition, the over for Boston College is on runs of 4-1-1 overall, 4-1-1 in roadies and 17-5-1 after a SU win. Lastly, three of the last four series meetings in this rivalry have gone over the total, the one exception being last month’s clash at B.C.

ATS ADVANTAGE: WAKE FOREST


(22) Washington (16-6, 12-8 ATS) at Stanford (14-6, 14-5 ATS)

Washington gears up for its fourth straight Pac-10 road game when it travels to Maples Pavilion to take on Stanford.

The Huskies tumbled at California 86-71 Thursday night as a one-point road chalk, and they’ve now followed up a four-game winning streak (3-1 ATS) by going 1-2 SU and ATS in their last three contests. Washington, which has averaged 79.6 ppg this season, continues to score a ton of points, averaging 83.2 per game in its last five outings. But the Huskies have given up 82.2 ppg in that stretch, more than 12 points higher than their season average.

Stanford topped Washington State 65-54 Thursday night as a 4½-point home chalk to end a three-game slide (1-2 ATS). The Cardinal have averaged 73.8 ppg on the year, but they’ve failed to get out of the 60s in their last four outings, averaging 64.8 ppg while allowing 74.5 – mostly due to last Saturday’s 97-63 blowout loss at UCLA. In the past five games, Stanford is shooting 46.0 percent from the floor (38.0 from 3-point range), but their opponents are hitting at a 53.8 percent clip, including a whopping 51.7 percent from long distance.

Stanford is 2-1 SU and ATS in the last three meetings in this rivalry, losing 84-83 last month in Seattle but getting the cash as a 6½-point road ‘dog. The underdog is 11-4 ATS in the last 15 clashes, and the road team is on a 4-1 ATS run.

The Huskies are just 2-5 ATS in their last seven games against winning teams, but they still carry positive pointspread trends of 5-2 on the road, 5-0 after a SU loss, 6-1 after a non-cover and 7-3 on the highway against teams with a winning home record. The Cardinal are on nothing but positive ATS streaks, including 14-4 overall, 6-1 against winning teams, 4-1 at home, 7-2 in the Pac-10, 9-3 after a SU win, 12-4 after a spread-cover and 11-4 on Sunday.

The over for Washington is on tears of 9-0 overall, 5-0 on the road, 16-5 in the Pac-10 and 7-3 after a SU loss, and the over is 15-6 in Stanford’s last 21 Pac-10 tilts. However, the under for the Cardinal is on runs of 4-1 at home, 6-2 on Sunday and 9-3 against winning teams. Finally, the total has stayed low in nine of the last 12 meetings in this rivalry, though the last two have topped the posted price, including last month’s meeting in Seattle.

ATS ADVANTAGE: STANFORD

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Re: Sunday Service Plays

Jim Feist

SACRAMENTO KINGS at OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER
Take: Over

These teams are going nowhere and we are approaching that time late in the season where bad teams are more fired up to score than play defense. Neither team plays much 'D', both ranked in the bottom 6th in points allowed. The Kings allow 109 ppg -- second most. Sacramento has scored over 100 points in 13 straight games, while the Thunder is on a 6-2 run over the total. These teams met once in a 122-118 final -- 24 points over the total! Look for another offensive show in a game fans and players will be more interested in flashy offense. Play the Kings/Thunder over the total.

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James Patrick Sports

Washington vs.Stanford

A Pac 10 showdown at the Maples Pavilion that has seen the road team in this series cash in winning tickets in 4 of 5 and the Huskies are a solid 5-2 ATS on the road. We'll take the Sled Dogs, Washington Huskies as our Sunday NCAA College Basketball selection.

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Cajun Sports CBB 2*

GAME: Western Michigan Broncos vs. Akron Zips -11.5
PLAY: 2* Akron Zips -11.5

The James A. Rhodes Arena will be the site of todays Mid American Conference battle between the host Akron Zips and the visiting Broncos from Western Michigan. These teams are certainly headed in opposite directions with the Broncos losers of their last three and the Zips having won their last five in a row both straight up and against the spread.

Western Michigan is 7-14 straight up and 7-10 against the spread this season. The Broncos are 3-9 SU and 3-6 ATS when playing away from home shooting only 39.7 percent from the field in those contests. Over their last five games they are 1-4 both SU and ATS averaging 55.2 points per game versus teams that allow 65.6 points per game and defensively the Broncos are allowing 60.4 points per game over their last five games.

Akron has posted a record of 14-8 straight up this season and 10-7 against the spread. The Zips are 7-2 SU when playing on their home floor and 2-3 ATS but those two home spread wins have come in their last two games at home. The first was back on January 24th when they defeated Kent State 68 to 54 as a four-point home favorite and the second win came on January 31st against Central Michigan 64 to 43 as a thirteen-point home favorite. Those two wins have helped the Zips to a 5-0 SU and ATS record their last five overall averaging 69.4 points per game versus teams that allow 67.6 points per game and defensively they are only allowing 50.4 points per game versus teams that average 65.6 points per game.

The Broncos have struggled against winning teams especially later in the season; their record is 31-50 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record after 15 or more games since 1997. The Zips have had little trouble disposing of losing teams later in the season as they are 12-2 ATS when playing against a team with a losing record after 15 or more games the last 2 seasons and a perfect 6-0 ATS when facing a losing team this season.

Western Michigan as a road underdog of 9.5 to 12 points is 3-15 against the spread. The Broncos have little bounce-back ability as their record indicates they are 9-25 ATS in road games after having lost 4 or 5 of their last 6 games. Akrons winning streak is not in jeopardy today as they are 19-10 ATS after having won 4 or 5 of their last 6 games the last 2 seasons and 7-1 ATS after playing a game as favorite this season.

Akron qualifies in a college basketball system that tells us to Play ON CBB home favorites of 10 to 19.5 points with a team that allows <=63 points per game against a team that allows 63-67 points per game after allowing 55 points or less in two straight games, 41-14 ATS since 1997.

With significant point differentials that are in favor of Akron combined with the overwhelming fundamental and technical support we will back the host as the Zips make it six in a row both straight up and against the spread on Sunday in Ohio.

PROJECTED FINAL SCORE: (2*) Akron Zips 77 Western Michigan 51

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Dave Cokin

Purdue @ Illinois
Play: Purdue +2

Purdue hasn't exactly been stellar as a road dog in conference play. The Boilermakers have been long term flops as Big 10 road dogs, owning a somewhat stunning 25-48 spread record in this role. But I believe they're the better team here and the numbers support that opinion. If you stack up the data in common opponent contests, it's all Purdue and the Boilermakers are clearly going to be revved for this revenge outing as they got dumped at home by Illinois. The road dog misadventures keep me from making this a strong call, but the lean is definitely to Purdue.

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Marc Lawrence

Play On: Charlotte Bobcats.

The Bobcats take on the Heat in Miami Sunday evening in a matchup of wily, veteran head coach in Larry Brown against aspiring youngblood Erik Spoelstra. These same two squads met two months ago on this floor when Miami edged Charlotte, 100-96, as 8-point favorites to a improve to 2-6 SU and ATS of late in this series. As weve repeatedly pointed out before on these pages, Spoelstra is developing into a â good dog / bad favorite coach. Thats confirmed by his 1-5 ATS mark when laying 7 or more points. Heats also 1-5 ATS at home against foes with same season revenge. Coupled with the Heats ice cold 2-13-1 ATS record at home on Sundays, including 1-7 SU and 0-8 ATS of late, look for Brownie to out-X-and-O Spoelstra tonight.

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Jeff Benton

How easy was that free-play winner with UCLA over Notre Dame on Saturday, huh? I’m now on a 51-33 run with freebies over the last 84 games. For Sunday, we’ll go to the NBA, where I’m on a 4-1 run with free picks, and back the Nets plus the big points against Orlando.

This pointspread is mindboggling to me. New Jersey is on a 4-0 SU and ATS run after last night’s 114-70 blowout victory at home over Denver, and that includes a pair of road victories at Philadelphia (85-83 as an eight-point underdog) and Washington (115-88 as a one-point chalk). Over their last four games, the Nets have surrendered just 83, 85, 88 and 70 points, and they’re surrendering just 88.9 ppg in their last seven on the highway.

Meanwhile, Orlando has split its last eight games both SU and ATS, going 1-2 SU and ATS in the last three. And the Magic played the majority of those three games without All-Star point guard Jameer Nelson, who is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury. The only victory for Orlando since Nelson went down? A rout of the crappy the Clippers. Well, the Nets are much better than the Clippers – just ask the Nuggets.

A couple of other reasons to like the Nets in this one: They’re one of the best teams in the NBA – at least from a pointspread perspective – when playing on back-to-back days, going 11-4 ATS this season and 16-5 ATS going back to last season. They also have a better road record (13-12) than home mark (11-15), and they’re 16-7 ATS in their last 23 as a visitor and an impressive 9-3 ATS when catching eight points or more.

This number is completely unjustified – particularly with the Magic dealing with issues at point guard – so take the generous points with New Jersey.

4&#9830; NEW JERSEY NETS

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Scott Delaney

For Sunday we're in the Mid-American Conference and playing Akron over Western Michigan. Lay the chalk with the much better, and red-hot, Zips.

What amazes me most about the Zips is how most of the faculty that made up the MAC’s most talented roster over the past three seasons is gone, yet this team still boasts new talent and rolls into this one with a five-game winning streak looking solid as ever. And trust me when I tell you this, even before dispatching Kent State and Youngstown State each by 14 points, winning at Toledo by nine, trouncing Central Michigan by 21 and embarrassing Eastern Michigan by 37 in Ypsilanti, Akron showed me how competitive it was. The Zips lost in over time at Miami-O and Ohio, lost to Buffalo by a bucket and handed Bowling Green its first home loss of the season – a 10-point road win.

So who’s the culprit on this team? There’s no telling, that’s the key. Akron has no star – no go-to guy – as it’s a balanced team with young talent that has come together to blend nicely on the wood. You got frosh point man Anthony Hitchens, Chris and Brett McKnight – a set of twins who are athletic and physical – and scoring threat Nate Linhart … just to name a few.

Bottom line is, with matchup problems for Western Michigan, including swingman Linhart, the McKnights in the paint and the quickness and craftiness of Hitchens on the perimeter, I don’t see the Broncos being able to keep this one close. I am banking on the mistake-prone Broncos to screw up in this one, and for this game to get ugly early on. Lay the wood.

AKRON ZIPS

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Matt Rivers

For Sunday take Boston College in Winston Salem.

I do still believe that Dino Gaudio's Deacs are a legitimate and dangerous squad but we are seeing of late how they are far from being elite. Sure James Teague is awesome and Wake is sporting their best team over the past few seasons since Chris Paul left but they have been having some issues of late and a total go against here.

I do not fully trust Boston College as Al Skinner's team is far from great but Tyrese Rice is a stud and these Eagles have performed better than expected at 18-6 overall including 6-3 in a difficult ACC. The upside is there as we saw in the win at Chapel Hill but the downside is certainly there as well in the loss against Harvard.

BC has won five straight all in conference and should at the very worst be feeling confident and able to compete today. Wake Forest is clearly the better team and boast the home court advantage but after the long undefeated stint this team has dropped two in a row and three of four after just getting drubbed down south in Miami. After just losing to Georgia Tech and Miami things are not grerat right now and asking for a blowout is more than likely not going to happen.

I just cannot see Wake winning this thing going away, I really can't. The Deacs should get back in the win column I would assume but this number is asking a bit much right now for what is clearly the colder team.

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Jake Timlin

I'm on a 13-5 comp play run following Saturday's winning selection on San Diego State.

In what is the game of the day in the NBA I say lay the points on Cleveland as they stay perfect at home with comfortable win over the Lakers.  I mean without a doubt I respect what the Lakers have done this season and especially on their current road swing, but given that Cleveland is unbeatable at home this there is just no way I see the Cavaliers losing today.  Not when Cleveland will benefit from one extra day of rest and an extra day to think about revenge after losing 17 in Los Angeles last month.   Meanwhile, while it could be easy to discount the Cavaliers 23-0 mark at home as one might think is due to an easy schedule think again as Cleveland has more than taken care of business going 18-5 ATS in their 23 home games.  Flat out, while I expect a very entertaining game here I don’t see the Lakers winning or being able to keep things closer as Cleveland behind LeBron James is going to send a message that they are unstoppable on their home floor.  With that take the Cavaliers today minus the points!

PICK: Cleveland Cavaliers

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Tony Weston

Today's Selection:

How easy was that winner on New Mexico yesterday? We came through one more time and we’re doing it once again today.

We’re keeping our action on the college hoops hardwood and taking Louisville on the road at St. John’s.

After getting their asses handed to them against the UConn last week, the Cardinals will bounce back against a struggling St. John’s team.

Louisville comes into this game 21-6-1 ATS its last 28 road games and is 7-2 ATS its last nine games when installed as a road favorite. The Cards are also 20-6-1 ATS their last 27 road games when playing against a team with a winning home record.

Louisville is also 37-14-2 ATS its last 53 against the Big East and is 9-2 ATS its last 11 Sunday games.

The Red Storm, on the other hand, are 0-4 ATS their last four games against teams with a winning record and are 1-4 ATS their last five games when installed as an underdog. St. John’s is also 4-9 ATS its last 13 games when installed as an underdog of between 7 and 12 1/2 points. Today the Red Storm are installed as an underdog of about 10 1/2 points.

The Cardinals are 7-2 ATS their last nine games and will make it 8 of 10 ATS. Take Louisville on the road easily in this one.

4&#9830; LOUISVILLE

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Craig Davis

The Illini have really started to struggle recently, with losses to Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota… but those losses came on the road.

HC Bruce Weber recently learned of a players-only meeting in which they apparently challenged each other to be accountable for their actions on the court, and it’s that type of leadership that got the Illini to the point they’re at today.

Despite the recent road losses, this team is still in the thick of the Big 10 hunt and since they play much better at home than on the road, I believe Illinois is primed for a major bounce-back game vs. a Purdue team that could be without Robbie Hummel. 

5&#9830; ILLINOIS

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Karl Garrett

San Antonio +8 at BOSTON 

Another free winner on Saturday, as Pittsburgh crushes DePaul.

7 in a row, and counting!

12-2 overall comp play run the last 2 weeks!

Today in the NBA, San Antonio is in the perfect spot to take Boston down to the wire, as the Spurs have been off since Tuesday's loss at Denver, while Boston is playing their third game in four days.

The Celtics were extended mightily on Friday in their home overtime loss to the Lakers, and Saturday's win and cover at New York was no walk in the park, as New York was there up until the closing minutes.

Look for Boston to be just a little fatigued, and for the rested Spurs to be ready to rumble.

San Antone is a positive 15-8 straight up on the road, and 12-10-1 against the spread on the road, and while they have lost the last 3 series meetings, the margins have been close, as Boston has won by 2, 8, & 6-points.

This one goes down to the wire.

Take the points.

2&#9830; SAN ANTONIO

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Drew Gordon

Sacramento at OKLAHOMA CITY -6' 

Love this spot for the Thunder, who are not only coming off a solid outright win against the Trail Blazers at home Friday, but also looking to avenge a tough OT road loss to this very same Kings team just 8 days ago. Kings meanwhile, continue their pathetic play, losing 10 of their last 11 SU, while going just 3-8 ATS over that span.

Its no secret the Thunder have been a cash cow this season, going 32-18 ATS overall, including 13-3 ATS over their last 16 at home! No reason to believe that won't continue tonight, as the Kings are garbage and have gotten absolutely hammered in 3 of their last 4 roadies - losing at Toronto by 16, at Cleveland by 7 (not bad), at Boston by 19, and at Phoenix by a whopping 48 points! Based on their recent road play, the Thunder should have little trouble covering the number here.

From a match up standpoint, we know that the Kings simply cannot contain the Thunder's Big 3 (Durant, Green, and Westbrook), all of which scored 28 points or better in their last meeting. For the Kings, it was Kevin Martin who did most of the damage, but after that there just isn't enough firepower on the Kings to keep pace with a Thunder squad averaging 107 ppg on 49% shooting over their last 5 games. Note, the likely absence of Brad Miller (questionable with abdominal injury) only makes it that much harder for Sacto.

Bottom line, while both these teams are on the bottom tier of the NBA, the Kings are still a step below the Thunder as far as I'm concerned, and they'll prove me right in this one. Oklahoma City has been a rock-solid bet at home, as evidenced by their impressive win over Portland Friday, and I expect more of the same tonight. Thunder roll!

Take Oklahoma City over Sacramento in this NBA match up.

3&#9830; OKLAHOMA CITY

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Bobby Maxwell

Wisconsin at PENN STATE (pk) 

Today we are going with Penn State at home to get the job done against Wisconsin.

Penn State is playing better basketball right now than Wisconsin. It's that plain and simple. The Nittany Lions are at home and playing well, so we see them getting a big win today and beating the Badgers by about 8.

Penn State was riding a four-game winning streak (3-1 ATS) until Thursday when they went ot Michigan and lost 71-51 as a 4 1/2-point underdog. But look at their wins leading up to that and you'll see a 73-58 win over those same Wolverines and a 72-68 road win at Michigan State, pulling off the shocking upset as 12 1/2-point underdogs.

Wisconsin had lost six straight Big Ten games before getting a 63-50 home win Thursday over Illinois as a four-point favorite. They were 0-5-1 ATS during the six-game slide and they have lost four straight conference road games.

The Badgers have won nine straight over Penn State, but back on Jan. 3 they got a 65-61 home win over the Nittany Lions but failed to cover as 9 1/2-point home favorites.

Penn State is 12-5-1 ATS in their last 18 overall, 8-3-1 at home, 4-1-1 on Sundays and 6-0-1 ATS after a non-cover. Play the Nittany Lions at home in this one.

4&#9830; PENN STATE


Washington at STANFORD (pk)

We scored a FREE play winner Saturday with Michigan and we'll do it again today with Stanford at home against Washington. We've now delivered 10 days of free winners in the last 14.

The Huskies are struggling right now and they are playing their fourth straight Pac-10 road game. That's not good for them as it's tough enough to win a road game in that conference without struggling on the defensive end.

Let's play Stanford at home to add to Washington's troubles.

Washington has given up 82.2 points a game over their last five games which is 12 more than their normal defensive effort. They are 1-2 SU and ATS in their previous three road games and got drilled at Cal on Thursday, 86-71 as a one-point road favorite.

Stanford scored an easy win over Washington State on Thursday, winning 65-54 as a 4 1/2-point favorite. The Cardinal looked more like normal against the Cougars, playing a solid defensive game and shooting a decent percentage in front of the home fans.

These two teams met last month in Seattle and the Huskies got an 84-83 victory but didn't cover as a 6 1/2-point home chalk. In fact, Seattle is just 2-5 ATS in their last seven against winning teams.

On the opposite side, the Cardinal is on several ATS streaks, including 14-4 overall, 6-1 against winning teams, 4-1 at home and 7-2 against Pac-10 foes.

We'll play the home team in this one as the Huskies are just anxious to get home. Stanford wins this one by 12.

2&#9830; STANFORD

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Sports Gambling Hotline

Louisville -11 at ST. JOHN'S 

Rick Pitino has had a few extra days to work his charges after their no-show on Monday at home against Connecticut.

The problems the 'Ville faced in their contest against UConn will not be nearly the same when they take on the Johnnies this Sunday afternoon.

St. John's is coming off a double-digit loss at Seton Hall, and while the Red Storm is a positive 11-3 at home, and 6-2 against the spread at home this year, we doubt they will be able to stay close in this game, as we see the Cards dealing a major romp to St. John's.

Louisville has performed quite well away from home this season, as the Redbirds bring a 5-1 straight up mark, and a 4-2 road spread mark into the Big Apple this Sunday afternoon.

Prior to their loss to the Huskies, Louisville sure looked like a team that could be Final Four-bound. We believe that is still the case, and look for the Cardinals to flex their muscles in today's conference clash.

Louisville has won the last 2 series meetings by double-digits, splitting against the spread, so a double-digit win and cover is definitely a possibility on the road today.

Play on the Redbirds minus the points.

4&#9830; LOUISVILLE

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Bob Harvey

Detroit Red Wings @ Pittsburgh Penguins Over 6

Detroit looks like they’ve taken their game to another level especially Saturday’s brilliant performance against Edmonton. The Red Wings scored FIVE first-period goals en route to an 8-3 win. Marian Hossa, Pavel Datsyuk, and Brian Rafalski each had a goal and assist, while Niklas Kronwall added three assists. The Red Wings are clearly the team to beat and a heavy favorite to once again hoist Lord Stanley’s cup again.

The Detroit offense shouldn’t have much trouble against a Pittsburgh defense that ranks in the lower percentile in the league in every defensive category including goals allowed . On average this season the Pens have allowed three goals per game and unless they come up with a HUGE defensive effort today against the Red Wings that average could rise significantly.

For the purposes of our OVER play, Pittsburgh can “Light the Lamp” with the best of them, especially when everyone is healthy. Evegeni Malkin who has a league-leading 80 points, including 11 in his last seven games. Sidney Crosby’s game is getting better each day but he still struggles with injury woes. We need “Syd the Kid” to involved offensively today.
In their only meeting of the season in November, Pittsburgh rallied for a wild 7-6 victory.

From the what have you done for me recently file: Detroit is on an OVER run of 7-3 with two of the games topping a combined 11 goals. Pittsburgh is on a 4-1-1 streak to the high side.

The Red Wings are averaging 3.26 per game and allowing 3.26 per game. Detroit’s had better goal-tending this season with the two-man rotation of Ty Conklin and Chris Osgood. Marc Andre Fluery has been the Pens main man between the pipes but is allowing 2.80 GPG.

I’ve had a huge success rate when play OVER 6. If the line is set that high, there’s a good reason for it. Look for enough scoring in this one to cash our OVER payday.

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Dennis Hill

Dayton vs. Charlotte U    
Play: Charlotte U +3

This line on this match-up looks too short, and too easy to wager on Dayton. If it looks too easy it isn't. My Free Pick is to take NC-Charlotte to win this game outright.

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Big Al Mcmordie

Purdue at Illinois
Prediction: Illinois

At 1 pm, our member selection is on the Illinois Illini minus the points over Matt Painter's Boilermakers. In the Big 10 opener for both teams, Illinois went into Mackey Arena and upset the Boilers, 71-67, and look for the season sweep in Champaign this afternoon. And, if my database is correct, Illinois will get the 'W' on Sunday, as Purdue is a dismal 7-33 ATS as road underdogs of less than 10 points since January 26, 2000, including 1-9 ATS of Purdue is playing with revenge and 2-16 ATS if Purdue is off a straight-up loss. The Illini have won nine straight at home (currently the Big 10's longest Home Win Streak), and 13 of 14 since last season. Take Illinois.

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