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MONDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
Re: MONDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
1. 300,000♦ Pittsburgh
2. 50,000♦ Texas A&M
1. Pittsburgh- While the public seemingly loves the # 1 ranked home team in this contest, I couldn't disagree more! True, the Huskies are playing well, but several factors will be their downfall in this showdown, but let's start with the injury to G Jerome Dyson.
I've always told my clients not to overeact to an injury, but in this case, its clear the Dyson injury has had an immediate impact on the Huskies and will continue to be a problem going forward. They did not look nearly as fluid at Seton Hall, working with only a 7-man rotation, it was clear the Huskies got tired down the stretch, scoring only 29 points in the second half. Also, there's no question back up guard Craig Austrie (39% shooter, only 14 steals compared to Dyson's 44 steals) is a MAJOR step down from Dyson.
The shortening of the rotation has to scare Connecticut-backers, because the Huskies are not a deep team, and will be hard-pressed to match Pittsburgh's energy level if they continue to go with a shortened rotation. Note, the improved play of Gilbert Brown and solid play of Wannamaker give the Panthers a huge edge coming off the bench.
From a match up standpoint, no team in the Big East in better equipped to deal with the Huskies frontline than Pittsburgh. In fact, I'd argue that its UCONN that needs to worry tonight, because for as good as Thabeet has been of late, he's very foul prone, and that will be a huge issue for the Huskies tonight. The frontline of Blair, Young, and Biggs is as good as any in the nation, and the fact they have the BEST point guard in the country feeding them the basketball is the difference in this one. Levance Fields 3.98 assists to 1 turnover ratio is outstanding, and you best believe he'll be finding his bigmen all night long.
One final note, with Dyson out, the Pitt defense will be able to concentrate on two things: A. Stopping Thabeet, who can be stopped if given proper attention (Adrien on the other hand, is not as raw offensively). And B. Putting pressure on AJ Price, who's been known to turn the ball over plenty (leads team with 65 turnovers). Look for Dixon to provide another lockdown defensive effort on the perimeter, much like he did Saturday against the Bearcats (just ask the Cincinnati's Deonta Vaughn how good a defender he is)! In the end, Pittsburgh has all the pieces necessary to win this game, and while we'll still take the points, don't be surprise if we see another # 1 get knocked off tonight.
Take Pittsburgh plus the points over Connecticut as your top-rated play of the day.
2. Texas A&M- Needless to say, this is a BIG game for the Aggies, who have stumbled down the stretch and desperately need to get back on track. Losers of 6 of their last 8 games, they've struggled in conference play, but if ever there was a time to back A&M, it would be tonight against rival Texas and here's why:
Although the Longhorns snapped their 3-game losing streak earlier this month, winning their last 2 games, I'm still not convinced. True, their home win over Okie State was impressive, but we're not talking about a home game here tonight. More notable is their near loss at Colorado, where they needed OT to get the win, but the game was razor close throughout, so don't let the final score fool you. That was a game they were expected to win, and clearly they did not play well on the road. More of the same tonight, as they face an even tougher task tonight at Redd Arena, where the Aggies are 13-2 SU and desperate for a bounce back win.
Much has been made of the Aggies recent SU slide, but bettors know they have remained profitable ATS, covering 5 of their last 6, including their most recent meeting with Texas, a 67-58 road loss, but cover as a 12-point dog. Factor in the revenge angle, and you've got the perfect storm brewing for an impressive A&M effort tonight. Note, Texas has won the last two meetings, so there's plenty of payback to be had in this one!
Finally, the biggest reason the Longhorns have found themselves in trouble of late, has been their lack of intensity on defense. Texas is allowing 72 ppg on nearly 44% shooting over their last 5 games, including getting torched by Colorado for almost 49% shooting in their last one. Defense like that could EASILY cost them this contest, as the Aggies are much better team than Colorado, and Texas will learn that the hard way tonight.
Take Texas A&M plus the points over Texas in this college hoops match up.
Re: MONDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
No Best Bets today.
Monday College Opinions
APPALACHIAN STATE (+1) over Charleston
Charleston is coming off an upset loss to the Citadel and the Cougars apply to a very negative 34-110-1 ATS situation that is based on that loss. Unfortunately, my ratings favor Charleston by 2 ½ points in this game and I’m not willing to give up the line value to make Appalachian a Best Bet. Charleston has also been pretty good off a loss under coach Bobby Cremins (19-11-1 ATS). The situation, however, is strong enough for me to lean with Appalachian State despite the negative line value.
ST. PETER’S (-2 ½) over Marist
St. Peter’s has improved as the season has progressed and the Peacocks are 10-2-1 ATS since the beginning of January, including consecutive upset wins heading into this game. Marist, meanwhile, lost 8 consecutive games before beating Fairfield in their most recent game, and the Red Foxes are just 2-10 ATS this season when not getting at least 6 points. My ratings using all games this season only favor St. Peter’s by 2 points, but using conference games only would favor the Peacocks by 5 ½ points and I’ll lean with St. Pete’s at -3 or less based on a decent 56-21-3 ATS momentum situation.
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