SUNDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
SUNDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
Raging Bull Handicappers
Manchester United -150 (English Carling Cup)
Stade Rennes/Lyon over 2 (France Ligue 1)
Bayern Munich/Werder Bremen over 3 (German Bundesliga)
SpVgg Greuther Furth/Kaiserslautern over 2.5 (German 2 Bundesliga)
St. Pauli/TSV 1860 Munich over 2.5 (German 2 Bundesliga)
Atalanta -120 (Italy Serie A)
2* Barcelona/Atletico Madrid over 3 (Spain La Liga)
Re: SUNDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
1. 300,000♦ Pistons
2. 50,000♦ Cincinnati
3. 50,000♦ Michigan State
1. Pistons- Clearly, having Rip Hamilton back in the starting lineup instantly paid dividends, as the Pistons beat one of the East's elite, Orlando, in their last one! Looking for them to build off that winner this afternoon, as they face down another of the East's best in Boston today, and here's why:
First and foremost, do would need any more proof that the Iverson trade was a bust? He doesn't play, Hamiton starts, scored 31 points, and the Pistons defeat the Magic with ease Friday. Formula seems pretty simple, as the Pistons core always depended on Rip getting his minutes and his shots, and FINALLY we saw some positive results from this Pistons squad because of it!
Along with the obvious Hamilton factor, you have to believe the Pistons are ecstatic to end their losing streak, and will go "full-bore" this afternoon to keep it going. Celtics are pretty much on cruise control at this point, and fact is, Detroit has far more motivation in this match up. True, they've been garbage all month, but the tide is turning for this Pistons team, and NOW is the time to jump aboard.
Also, its tough to ignore the fact Kevin Garnett will be out Sunday. Needless to say, he's the heart of this Celtics defense, and was their best player in their last meeting, as he totally outplayed Wallace. Garnett led the team in scoring and limited Rasheed to a 5 of 16 shooting night, dooming the Pistons to the loss, but not this time around! Look for Wallace to eat up Glen Davis and Perkins, as he follows Hamilton's lead, and get back on track this afternoon.
Bottom line, the win over the Magic was HUGE for this Pistons team, and I fully expect them to build off that win today in Boston. Celtics are damn good, but they will miss Garnett in this match up, plain and simple. Boston still wins this game, but look for Detroit to keep it well within the number!
Take the Pistons plus the points over the Celtics as your top-rated play of the day.
2. Cincinnati- No doubt this is a tough match up for the Bearcats, but oddsmakers went a little to far in instilling the Orange as considerable favorites today at home. Look guys, I was impressed as anybody by Syracuse's 87-58 ass-kicking of the Red Storm in their last one, but let's not get carried away! Syracuse has been notoriously inconsistent this season, and with the Bearcats needing a win here, I'm happy to side with the road dog.
Herein lies the problem, as we all know the Orange can score plenty, but their defense leaves A LOT to be desired, allowing 81 ppg on 48% shooting over their last 5 games! Guys, you're not going to cover many games when you play that kind of "matador" defense, and the same hold true today. Cincinnati on the other hand, despite losing 2 of their last 3 (2 losses against the cream of the Big East crop), have tighened up defensively of late, allowing 68 ppg on 43% shooting over the same 5-game span!
Look guys, fact is the Bearcats have covered the last two meeting between these two schools, including an outright win in their last one! More of the same today, as the Cincy may not win outright, but they know how to play "Big East-style" basketball, and will keep this game close because of it! Just as West Virginia how good this Bearcats team is?!
Bottom line, the Bearcats need this win, even after upsetting West Virginia, sitting at 18 wins, there's no question this game is HUGE. Granted, that doesn't mean they'll win outright, but I just don't see them losing by nearly as much as Vegas wants you to believe this afternoon. Play on the Bearcats to keep it close!
Take Cincinnati plus the points over Syracuse in this college hoops match up.
3. Michigan State- Make no mistake, this game will be close, but I'll take the superior team, with the superior offense in this one! Obviously, I'm talking about the Spartans, who despite a poor effort a Purdue in their last roadie, have more than enough talent to take it to the Illini this afternoon.
First, Illini-backers may be cheering at the bargain price to back their team in this one, but sharp bettors know better! How many times do I have to tell you: "if it looks to good to be true, it probably is!" Fact is, the line on this contest begs you to side with the Illini, and I for one, am not taking the bait!
Much like their last meeting - a 63-57 Michigan State home win and cover back on January 17th - you can expect a hard-fought defensive battle between two very good Big Ten teams. And once again, the better offense will prevail, as the Illini have balance, but lack the go-to player they need when the baskets stop falling. Spartans Kalin Lucas is coming off a terrible game against Iowa, albeit in a win, and fully expect he'll bounce back strong today.
Finally, I just don't like what I've seen from this Illinois offense of late, averaging just 56 ppg over their last 5 games. True, their defense is great, and a big reason why they've been so effective at home, but so is the Spartans D, plain & simple! In the end, both teams are playing well, but Michigan State is the better team and it'll show in this match up.
Take Michigan State plus the points over Illinois in this college hoops match up.
Re: SUNDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
15 Dime: MISSOURI (plus the points vs. Kansas)
10 Dime: TENNESSEE (plus the points vs. Florida)
The Missouri Tigers are freakin’ legit, folks. They’re 24-4 on the season, including 11-2 in Big 12 play, and they come into Lawrence, Kansas, today riding a seven-game wining streak (6-1 ATS). The only non-cover during the streak came in a 62-60 win over the Jayhawks as a five-point home favorite on Feb. 9, but that was essentially two games in one that night. Missouri came out way too wound up and/or way too nervous, and the result was a 30-16 halftime deficit. That’s right: A team that averages better than 82 points per game on the season scored just 16 in the first 20 minutes that night against Kansas.
However, the Tigers found their way offensively in the second half and, along with a swarming defense, they kept battling and battling and eventually prevailed on a last-second basket. The confidence Missouri gained in pulling out that victory was immeasurable, as the Tigers have gone on to destroy their next three opponents – Nebraska (home), Colorado (road) and Kansas State (home) – by margins of 23, 13 and 20 points. And there’s no doubt in my mind that – even though they’re playing in an intimidating venue today against a very good Kansas basketball team – the Tigers will not be overcome by the moment this time around.
Clearly, the oddsmakers agree with me, hence this relatively short number – in fact, Kansas hasn’t been favored at home by less than six points all season. All you have to do to understand that these teams are on equal footing is look at the statistics: Not only do these squads have near-identical overall and conference records, but going back to their first meeting in Missouri – a stretch of five games – both teams are averaging 74.8 ppg, with the Tigers allowing 60.4 ppg and the Jayhawks giving up 64.4 ppg.
Missouri is 3-1 SU and ATS as an underdog this season, including outright Big 12 upsets at Oklahoma State and Texas. In fact, the Tigers have won and covered three straight conference road games and four of the last five. Finally, this series has belonged to the underdog in recent years, with the pup cashing at a 10-4-2 ATS in the last 16 head-to-head meetings.
Bottom line: Kansas has been cashing tickets better than any team in the country this season … and yet the Jayhawks are barely favored today on their home court, where they’ve won 17 of 18 games this season. Doesn’t that raise a red flag to you? It does to me. Grab the points with Mizzou, and don’t be surprised to see an outright upset!
The record book shows that Florida is 16-0 on its home court this season, including 6-0 in SEC home games. However, the ONLY quality opponent – and I’m talking an opponent that has a chance of playing in the NCAA Tournament – that the Gators have hosted in Gainesville is South Carolina, and the Gamecocks took Florida to the wire before losing 97-93 as a 7½-point underdog.
Florida comes into this game in a 3-4 SU and 2-5 ATS slump as it continues a repeat of last season when it started out strong and petered out down the stretch. Now, I admit that Tennessee hasn’t been much better. The underachieving Vols have lost two of their last three (0-3 ATS) and they’ve split their last 16 games, going 5-11 ATS. However, one of the wins and covers during this slump came at the expense of Florida, a 79-63 Tennessee rout as a four-point home favorite a month ago.
Also, half of Tennessee’s eight losses during their recent struggles have come against top-notch opponents Kansas, Gonzaga, Memphis and LSU, all ranked in the Top 25 right now, and the Vols were competitive in each of those defeats.
Back to this rivalry: It has been completely one-sided recently, with the Vols winning the last four meetings (4-0 ATS) and going 8-2 SU and ATS in the last 10 clashes – and this goes back to the days when Florida was winning back-to-back national championships. That tells me that Gators coach Bruce Pearl has figured out Florida’s Billy Donovan.
Finally, Tennessee has cashed in seven of its last 10 as a road underdog and 10 of its last 14 as a road pup of less than seven points, and the Vols have covered in five of their last seven trips to Gainesville. At the same time, Florida is 6-15 ATS in its last 21 home games, 2-6 ATS in its last eight as a favorite of less than seven points and 0-5 ATS in its last five when laying less than seven at home. There’s a ton of value today with Tennessee today, and we’re jumping all over it!
Re: SUNDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
40 DIMER - MARQUETTE GOLDEN EAGLES
10 DIMERS - KANSAS JAYHAWKS, & DENVER NUGGETS
Could this line be a trap?
Sure could, as I am not sure why the Golden Eagles are getting this many at Louisville today?
The underdog has covered 7 of the last 10 meetings, and then there is the fact the Golden Eagles have looked very, very bad the last few times they have faced the Cardinals.
Louisville has won the last 3 meetings, and they have pounded the Eagles in the last 2 meetings, winning by 14, and 20 points!
This will be the first meeting between the schools with Buzz Williams at the helm, and I firmly believe he will have a few "X's" and "O's" in place to keep his team close today at Freedom Hall.
Since their ugly loss at Notre Dame, the Cards have ripped off 4 straight wins, and covers.
The 'Ville may win again today, but it ain't coming by the required impost.
Take the points!
10 DIMER - KANSAS JAYHAWKS
Hot vs. Hot today in Lawrence, but my money is on the Jayhawks to avenge 62-60 loss in Columbia back on Feb. 9th. The Jayhawks were catching 5 in that game, and did cover the impost. Today we find KU laying the 5, and while the dog in the series is on a 10-4-2 run the last 16, I am siding with the Rock-Chalkers to come through with the win and cover.
Mizzou has been unconscious of late, and after getting some major ink in SI this week, expect Mike Anderson's team to be cooled off at the Allen Field House, a site where the host is 17-1 straight up, and 9-2-1 against the spread.
This game should stay tight for a while, but with Kansas owning wins in 5 of the last 6 meetings, look for the Jayhawks to once again prevail both straight up, and against the spread.
KU to KO Mizzou!
10 DIMER - DENVER NUGGETS
Indy played strong covering at Boston on Friday, while Denver defended their home court on Friday, and held the Lakers to a season-low 79-points.
The Nuggets have won their last pair, and 5 of their last 8, and the G-Man suspects they will win again tonight at Conseco Field House.
Denver is a money-making 8-1 both straight up, and against the spread the last 9 times these teams have met. The Nuggets did win this season's first meeting 135-115, and while the margin should not be that large, the result should still be another Denver win, and cover.
No doubt Indy has been playing tough hoops of late, but in the end, this is just not enough points for the home dog.
Denver rolls to # 3 in a row both straight up, and against the spread.
Re: SUNDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
20 Dime Oregon State
10 Dime Rockets
Oregon State at Oregon
OREGON STATE - There must be something in the water in that state because a year after Oregon State was wrapping up a horrible season, Oregon finds itself in the midst of a 7-20 SU season.
After 14 consecutive losses, the Ducks finally broke through and picked up their first SU win of 2009 by beating Stanford 68-60. Over their last 15 games the Ducks have covered only four times and have covered only twice in their last eight home games.
For the season Oregon is only 4-9 ATS at home this year and is getting outscored, on average, 75.6-70.4. Keep in mind, also, that the Ducks have covered in only eight of their last 28 games overall.
The Beavers, on the other hand, come into this game having covered in three straight games, winning each of those SU by an average of 8.3 points per game.
Also, the last time these two played, Oregon State beat Oregon SU 57-54 on Jan. 31.
Oregon State has been hot lately and will cover tonight against the Ducks. Take the Beavers on the road in this one.
Rockets at Timberwolves
ROCKETS - It might be hard to argue because of a few other teams, but at this point in the season the Minnesota Timberwolves might very well be the worst team in the entire NBA.
Minnesota is 18-40 SU this season and has lost five consecutive games SU and has only covered once in that five-game stretch and has only covered twice in its last 11 games overall.
Things don’t get better at home as the Timberwolves have covered only once in front of the home fans in their last nine games in Minnesota and have gone 8-20-1 ATS overall at home this season.
Now the T-Wolves battle a Houston Rockets team that’s covered in four of its last five games and is 5-0-1 ATS its last six games against Minnesota, including covers in two consecutive games against the Timberwolves.
The last time these two met, less than a month ago on Feb. 7, Houston got over easily on Minnesota, winning 107-90 as a 7 1/2 point favorite.
Tonight, the Rockets are laying about six points, depending on where you play this, and will get over easily on the Timberwolves. Take Houston on the road in this one.
Re: SUNDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
400-Unit NBA Sunday Sizzler - CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
This is the third meeting this season between these two with the home team taking the first two, but we're looking for the Cavs to put out the same effort they gave on Friday at San Antonio. Play Cleveland tonight in Atlanta.
Cleveland has won six of the last eight matchups with the Hawks and gotten the cash in five of the last eight. The Cavs are 6-1 SU and ATS in their last seven overall and they just beat the Spurs Friday night 97-86 as four-point road favorites. They've won three of their last four roadies SU and ATS.
LeBron James is going to deliver a solid night every team he steps on the court, and as long as a couple of the supporting cast comes along this team is tough to beat. Delonte West had 17 points and seven rebounds against the Spurs and center Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Cleveland is 7-2 ATS in the last nine meetings in Atlanta and the favorite is riding a 16-6 ATS streak in this series.
The Cavs are also riding ATS streaks of 19-9 against teams with a winning record, 43-19 overall, 5-2 against the Eastern Conference and 4-1 after a spread-cover. Atlanta is just 1-6 ATS in its last seven Sunday games and 2-5 ATS in its last seven against teams with a winning record.
Look for the Cavs to walk away with this one.
100-Unit NBA Slam Dunk - PHOENIX SUNS
The Lakers have owned this series lately, but don't think the Suns aren't going to come out fighting today in this nationally televised contest. Phoenix has been playing better lately and they'll deliver a surprise for the Lakers today.
The Suns are 5-2 SU and ATS in their last seven overall and they are coming off a 133-113 victory over the Raptors on Friday, easily cashing as 3 1/2-point home favorites. Shaquille O'Neal had his best game in six years, getting 45 points against Toronto.
Alvin Gentry has the Suns playing better and Friday they had all five starters in double-digits and bench player Louis Amundsen had his career high 20 points in the win.
The Lakers stumbled on Friday night in Denver, losing 90-79 as a two-point road chalk. it was the first time in six games they didn't reach at least 107 points, and it came the night after they put up 132 against these Suns in Los Angeles.
The lone matchup between these two in Phoenix this season came back on Nov. 20 when the Lakers got a 105-92 victory.
The Lakers are on ATS slides of 4-9 after a straight-up loss, 7-17 when getting one day off and 1-4 after losing a game by more than 10 points.
Meanwhile the red-hot Suns are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven at home and 5-2 ATS overall. If Shaq is feeling inspired like he was at home Friday night against Toronto. Play the Suns at home!