SUNDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
Re: SUNDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
I'm playing on Louisville and Marquette to finish UNDER the total.
Much like Villanova yesterday, Marquette enters this game off back to back high-scoring games and averaging a ton of points. However, that doesn't mean that they'll be able to put up big numbers here again this afternoon - not against this defense. Like the Wildcats, who managed a mere 54 yesterday, I expect the Golden Eagles to have some trouble scoring at their regular pace today. Note that the Golden Eagles will be without playmaker Dominic James, injured for the season last time out. While Maurice Acker should do a fine job, James' loss is still significant. Pitino knows that the Golden Eagles are better on defense than advertised, stating: "They're very tenacious defensively. If you put the ball down in traffic against them they're going to strip it." Of course, the Cardinals have one of the best defenses around. They held Georgetown to 58 last time out after limiting Cincy to 63 in their previous game. They're holding opponents to 39.4% shooting on the season and to an average of only 60.3 points per game on this floor. The UNDER is 5-1 the last six games in this series with all six games producing less than 140 points. Speaking of 140, note that the Cardinals have seen the UNDER go a profitable 17-9 the last 26 times they played a game with an over/under line in the 140s. Look for this afternoon's game to also finish below the generous number. *Annihilator
Western Conf. Best Bet
I'm taking the points with MINNESOTA.
I played on the Rockets on Thursday and they upset the Cavs. Yesterday, I played against the Rockets and they were beaten by the Bulls. That wasn't a "typical" loss either as Houston blew a double-digit fourth quarter lead. Most will expect the Rockets to bounce back from that disappointing defeat with a blowout victory. However, those types of demoralizing losses can be tough to bounce back from, not to mention both physically and mentally exhausting. Note that Yao Ming was visibly winded running up and down the court at times in last night's game. With last night's loss, the Rockets are now 1-6 ATS their last seven games away from Houston, including an 0-4 SU/ATS mark their last four. Note that their only two victories in that seven road stretch came by only five combined points. As I mentioned yesterday, those road losses weren't exactly against elite teams either as the Rockets lost at Milwaukee, Memphis, New York, Indiana and now Chicago. They won by only two at Oklahoma City and by three at Detroit. Including the losses at Memphis and New York, note that the Rockets are 0-2 ATS over the last month when playing the second of back to back games. They're also a money-burning 11-20-1 ATS on the season, when facing a team with a losing record and an ugly 3-7 ATS when listed as road favorites in the minus 3.5 to six range. The T-Wolves, who are playing with "double-revenge," are off a poor offensive effort which saw them manage only 82 points vs. Portland. However, we can cut the offense a bit of slack as they'd previously reached triple-digits in scoring in seven straight games. Look for the T-Wolves to be the "fresher" team as the bounce back with a much better effort and improve to 6-3 ATS after scoring 85 points or less in their previous game. *Western Conf. Best Bet
I'm taking the points with ATLANTA.
Even most casual fans know that Cleveland has a better record than Atlanta this season. However, many would be surprised to know that Atlanta's home record is better than Cleveland's road record. In fact, its not even close! While the Cavaliers are 19-11 outside of Cleveland, the Hawks are a much better 20-6 when playing here at Atlanta. Not surprisingly, the home team has won both meetings in this season's series. While the Cavs had yesterday off, they were off back to back games against tough Texas opponents the previous two days (Hawks haven't played b2b games in more than 10 days) and they've got another game on deck tomorrow. That's worth noting as we find the Cavs at just 1-5 ATS (2-4 SU) in 2009 when playing the front end of a back to back situation. The Hawks, who have finally gotten heathy, score more than 100 points per game on this floor, while shooting 47.4%. They're also coming off a dominant defensive effort, which saw them limit Miami to a mere 83 points. Note that they're 6-3 SU/ATS on the season after holding their previous opponent to fewer than 85 points. The Hawks have also thrived in the underdog role. Including the earlier "upset" of the Cavs here, they're a profitable 17-9 ATS when getting points, including 2-0 ATS when listed as a home underdog in the 6.5 to 9 point range. Currently in fourth place, this is the Hawks chance to again show that they can compete with the "Big 3" in the East. I expect them to respond with a massive effort, continuing their excellent play on this court. *Main Event
I'm playing on Boston and Detroit to finish OVER the total.
These teams have played a trio of low-scoring games against each other this season. Those results, combined with the recent results of both teams, have helped to provide us with a very low over/under number to work with. While the over/under number is a few points lower than it was for the earlier meeting here at Boston, I expect this afternoon's game to see significantly more scoring. As you're probably aware, the Celtics are currently without Kevin Garnett. While "The Big Ticket" is a strong offensive player, Boston has proven it can score without him in the lineup. In four games without KC in the lineup, the Celts are averaging greater than 109 points. Replacing his excellent defense isn't as easy. While the Pistons are likely to be without Iverson, they too have proven capable of scoring without him in the lineup. Richard Hamilton started in his place last game and had 31 points. The Pistons would finish with 93. While that's still not that many, it was more points than they had scored in any of their previous five games. Its true that the Celtics have seen each of their last three games dip below the total. However, a closer look shows that those games averaged greater than 192 points and that all three of them finished with a minimum of 184. Additionally, its worth noting that the OVER is 5-2 the last seven times that the Celts were coming off three or more consecutive games which stayed below the total and 16-10 their last 26 in that situation. While Detroit road games are averaging "only" 187 points this season, games here at Boston have averaged a healthy 199.1 points per game. Not surprisingly, 18 of 29 games here have finished above the total, including seven of 11 when the champs have been favored in the 6.5 to 9 point range. Look for those numbers to improve this afternoon as the final combined score makes its way above the low number. *Blue Chip
Re: SUNDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
3 units on Loyola Maryland +7.5
The regular season finale for both of these teams features the Gaels favored by 7.5 points. Are they worthy of that? Given their 7-10 mark in conference play, and 3-5 ATS record at home, I don't think so. This team has lost seven of their last night games and is 1-4 in their last five games, scoring just 56 points per game. Yes, the Greyhounds are also playing quite badly, but they are not being asked to cover a large number here - they are getting the points. Loyola is 14-2 ATS the past three seasons on the road vs. a losing opponent. Iona is just 1-7 ATS this seeason vs. teams with a record of .400 or worse. Only one way to go in this one.
4 units on Syracuse -405
2 units on UNDER 146
The Bearcats need a win here to keep hope alive for an NCAA Tournament bid. But I don't think they get it. They are just 3-4 on the road this season vs. conference opponents and 4-6 overall. The Orange are 15-3 at home this season and they are averaging 14 points per game more at home than does Cincy on the road. I expect the Bearcats to again struggle to score here. They are 7-3 UNDER on the road this season. I like Cuse and the UNDER here.
2 units on UNDER 146
Providence hasn't played since thier huge win over #1 Pittsburgh. How can this game not be a let down after that? And letdowns usually affect offense more than defense. Their offense takes a huge hit on the road as it is, averaging about 10 points fewer than at home. Rutgers can play defense, especially at home where they allow just 64.2 ppg on the season. In conference games, the Scarlet Knights are getting just 63.3 points per game. I like this game to go UNDER the total.
Re: SUNDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
Hardcore Hoops Big 12 Game of the Month
Missouri vs. Kansas
Play: Kansas -4.5
20 Units, Take Kansas ATS, This pick falls into one of my top NCAAB systems and Kansas is the better overall team. Kansas is shooting 49.7% as a team at home this season while shooting 39.6% from beyond the arc. The Tigers have struggled defensively on the road this season with opponents shooting 46.5% against them while averaging 71.1 ppg and Kansas has played solid defensively at home with opponents shooting just 37.1% against them while averaging just 61.6 ppg. Kansas is the superior rebounding team at home today out-rebounding their opponents by an average of 10.3 rebounds per game and they are 11-1 ATS in their last 12 conference games. The Tigers are just 6-17 ATS in their last 23 road games against a team with a winning record at home and the only reason the Tigers beat the Jayhawks back on February.9 was because they committed 13 less turnovers. Take Kansas as my Hardcore Hoops Big 12 Game of the Month.
NBA Non Conference Game of the Month.
Toronto Raptors vs. Dallas Mavericks
Play: Dallas -6.5/107
20 Units, Take Dallas ATS, Dallas is playing great at home lately and the Raptors have lost 5 of their last 6 road games by 8 points or more. The Raptors have only won just once on the road since January and I have Dallas dominating this game from start to finish at home tonight. The Raptors are just 8-19 ATS in their last 27 games against a good offensive team like Dallas that averages over 99+ ppg and Toronto is just 4-14-1 in their last 19 games as a road dog of +5.0 to +10.5 points. The Raptors are just 1-6 ATS in their last 7 road games and they are just 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games after allowing 125 points or more in their previous game. The Raptors are just 9-20-2 ATS in their last 31 games against a Western Conference opponent and they are just 8-22-1 ATS in their last 31 road games against a team that has a winning record at home. The Mavericks are a perfect 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after failing to cover in their previous game and they are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 home games. Take Dallas as my NBA Non Conference Game of the Month.