WEDNESDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
Re: WEDNESDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
Depaul / Providence OVER 143.5 Wager 550 to win 500
StJohns / Marquette OVER 139.5 Wager 550 to win 500
WVirginia -4.5 Wager 550 to win 500
Seton Hall +7 Wager 550 to win 500
LaSalle -3 Wager 550 to win 500
St.Josephs -3.5 Wager 1100 to win 1000
Texas Tech +7 wager 550 to win 500
SoMIssissippi / Central Florida UNDER 133 Wager 550 to win 500
Re: WEDNESDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
Conf Tourney Underdog Shocker
Rick Majerus' first year at St Louis was best known for his team's 49-20 loss to George Washington, as the Billikens were held to a modern-era NCAA low in points. St Louis finished last year 16-15 (7-9 in the A-10) and the team has basically repeated that performance this year. Senior guards Lisch (14.2-3.4-2.6) and Liddell (11.5-5.9-2.6) have been joined in the backcourt by an excellent freshman, PG Marshall (10.9-3.2-3.7). The frontcourt lost the 6-5 Meyer (8.4-5.4) and the 7-0 Husak (5.5-4.3) from last season but 6-7 senior Eberhardt (6.9-4.5) plus two freshman, the 6-9 Reed (7.6-4.6) and the 6-6 Conklin (6.2-3.8) have done a decent job. St Louis remains one of the nation's top defensive clubs, allowing 60.6 PPG (26th) and just 28.1 percent shooting on threes (3rd). LaSalle finished the regular season with four straights wins and the Explorers enter this game at 18-12 overall (9-7 in A-10 play). That's a nice improvement over last year's 15-17 mark (8-8 in the A-10). A pair of 6-5 guards, Green (17.6-4.9-3.5) and Guillandeaux (10.4-2.5-3.2) match up well vs Lisch and Liddell, plus the team's frontcourt is comparable to St Louis'. The 6-6 Barrett (11.8-4.9) is the best point-producer, teamed with 6-9 Miss St transfer Goodridge (6.9-5.9) and the 6-6 Johnson (4.3-4.1). However, LaSalle may not get much from two frontcourt palyers in this one. The 6-8 Williams (6.6-4.3) missed two straight games and then played just seven minutes in LaSalle's final regular season game and the 6-7 Mbala (10.6-6.1) sat out eight straight games before playing three scoreless minutes in that same game. It's hard to believe either of them will be much of a factor in this game. St Louis ended the regular season on a three-game losing streak , while LaSalle won its final four games. The final game for both teams was last Saturday in St Louis, with the Explorers winning 68-62. I believe that game will serve as great motivation for the Billikens, in this quick rematch. Lisch and Liddell were awful in that game, combing to shoot 5-of-23 (2-of-10 on threes) and scoring only 14 points. That senior duo ought to be well-motivated in this game and I prefer Majerus' patient style of play over La Salle's "go-go pace." Conf Tourney Underdog Shocker on St Louis (7*).
Las Vegas Insider
Scott Drew left the "friendly confines" of Valparaiso (where he had succeeded his famous father as head coach) to take over a Baylor program which had been devastated by the abuses of former coach Dave Bliss and was recovering from the murder of a Baylor player by a fellow teammate. Last season was Drew's fifth in Waco and he led the Bears to 21 wins (matching the combined total of wins from his first three seasons), as Baylor earned its first NCAA invite since 1988. With four starters and a number of other veterans returning this year, expectations were very high.The Bears were great through the 2008 portion of the 2008-09 season, getting off to a 12-1 start, with the only loss coming to Wake Forest, which went on to open this year 16-0 and claim the nation's No. 1 ranking. However, on Jan 2, the Bears lost an 85-84 decision at home to South Carolina (Gamecocks scored the go-ahead basket with 5.1 seconds remaining) and seemingly haven't recovered. Baylor followed that loss by going 5-11 in Big 12 play (with not a single notable win) and will now have to win the Big 12 tourney (fat chance!), to reach a second straight NCAA tourney. Baylor's (17-13 overall) opponent in this first round game is Nebraska, a team which comes in 18-11 and 8-8 in Big 12 play and like the Bears, the 'Huskers are destined for the NIT (or CBI). Doc Sadler has a nine-player rotation, with just one player taller than 6-6. The 6-8 Balham (1.9-2.4) starts but contributes very little. Sadler's team plays hard at both ends of the court and aggressively defends the three-point line (holds opponents to about 33 percent on threes), which will be important against Baylor (only OSU took more threes in the Big 12 this year than the Bears). Dagunduro (12.7-4.3) and Harley (10.1-3.2) are the team's two double-digit scorers but Henry (8.1-3.5), Miller (7.6-3.7 APG), Velander (7.3), Anderson, McCray (5.9-2.8) and Richardson (4.1) seem interchangeable. Baylor is not a big team either, as the 7-1 Diene (1.7-1.5) and the 7-0 Lomers (2.8-1.4) are basically "window dressing," although the 6-9 Rogers (12.1-7.4) will be tough for Nebraska to defend. Baylor tends to be undisciplined at times but in Jerrells (16.2-4.7-4.9), Dunn (15.1-4.3), Carter (11.4-3.0 APG), Dugat (10.4-3.3-2.3) and 6-7 freshman Acy (6.1-40), the Bears are more than capable of 'scaring' a team in this tourney. While I love the way Sadler's team plays, this is a "tough draw" for the 'Huskers, who just beat the Bears 66-62 this past Saturday in Waco. The quick turnaround favors Baylor, which has more talent and better balance both inside and out, than the 'Huskers. The winner of this game faces Kansas next but I don't want to get ahead of myself. For Wednesday, it's all Bears. Las Vegas Insider on Baylor (8*).
Big West Tourney 9*
Eight of the nine Big West schools have been competitive this season, excluding 3-13 Cal-Poly. Northridge won the regular season title at 11-5 but this tourney field is wide-open. I'm not saying Cal-Irvine (12-18 overall and 8-8 in the Big West) is set to "run the table," but I am saying, watch out for the Anteaters. The team's developed a very dangerous guard combo in 6-5 freshman Wise (14.2-5.9) teamed with 6-8 senior Bland (10.0-7.2). Cal-Irvine is rather small (and doesn't like to mix it up), as the rest of this team's contributors are all guards. Hunter (11.8) is a 5-11 PG, Lauer (8.7) is 6-1, Rembert (6.9) is listed at 6-0, redshirt freshman Strings (5.4) at 6-2 and DeCasas (3.9) is a 6-5 wing player. Irvine gets a nice first-round opponent in UC-Davis. The Aggies are also 12-18, although they went 7-9 in league play. The team has four double digit scorers in guard Oliver (15.5-3.2-2.7), 6-8 swingman Harden (14.9-7.2), the 6-10 Payne (10.8-5.7-5.0) and 6-7 swingman Calegari (10.9-4.5). While UC-Davis owns much more size than Cal-Irvine, the Aggies are not a physical team either. UC-Davis was 9-10 (4-2 in the Big West) on Jan 22 but lost EIGHT of its final 11 games. However, one of those three wins came against Irvine, as UC-Davis swept the season series vs the Anteaters this year. However, Cal-Irvine can't possibly be unhappy about drawing UC-Davis in this game. Irvine finished with wins in FOUR of its last five games (lone loss was a one-point decision at Long Beach St) and actually takes a six-game ATS streak into this contest. Irvine is a very good three-point shooting team (40.2 percent ranks 10th in the nation), as well as being a solid FT shooting team as well (75.9 percent ranks 12th). Pat Douglass is in his 28th year as a head coach (12th season at Cal-Irvine) and last year he led the Anteaters to the Big West tourney championship game, where they lost to CS-Fullerton. Is another 'miracle' run in store this year? There I go getting ahead of myself again. Back to the present, Irvine didn't have any trouble scoring on UC-Davis in their two meetings this year (averaged 80.5 PPG) but the Aggies connected on better than 50 percent of their shots in BOTH games (52.5 percent for the two games, combined), something that is very UNLIKELY to happen a third straight time. Big West Tourney 9* on Cal-Irvine.
Conf Tourney Revenge Game of the Month
Craig Robinson, who was a two-time Ivy League player of the year at Princeton in his playing career, left Brown after two seasons as the school's head coach to take over at Oregon State. The Beavers had gone 6-25 the previous season, including 0-18 in the Pac 10. He probably had a bet with his brother in law (President Obama), which guy had the tougher rebuilding job. As of now, advantage Mr Robinson. In fact, the Jan 20 inauguration was a 'springboard' for Robinson and his Beavers, as the Beavers won road games at Cal and Stanford the following weekend, then returned home to add two more wins, evening OSU's record at 10-10 and 4-5 in the Pac 10 (not bad). However, the Beavers have struggled a little down the stretch, losing three straight, winning three straight and then ending the year on a three-game slide. Guard Haynes (14.4-3.1) is the team's leading scorer off the bench but no other player scores in double digits. The 6-11 Schaftenaar (9.8-3.4-3.1) is a versatile player, while 6-5 swingman Seth Tarver (8.1-5.) has produced much more than his brother Josh (3.8-1.6). The 6-7 Johnson (7.2-3.8) and the 6-8 Deane (5.6-4.2) round out the frontcourt contributors, while guards Claitt (6.9) and Wallace (6.7) round out the backcourt. As expected, Robinson runs a disciplined Princeton-style offense, intent on limiting the other team's possessions and making the most of OSU's. Stanford won 28 games last year and advanced to the Sweet 16 but the Lopez twins left for the NBA (Brook averaged 19.3-8.2 and Robin 10.2-5.7) plus vets Finger (5.9-4.4) and Washington (4.4-4.1) both graduated. An even bigger blow may have been the loss of head coach Trent Johnson, who "took the money," leaving Palo Alto for Baton Rogue. Johnny Dawkins got the job and many question if he's ready. I'll tell you what. If he a loses a third straight time to Robinson and OSU here, the answer is "he's NOT ready!" However, I believe Dawkins or no Dawkins, the Cardinal will win and win handily in this one. Senior guards Goods (15.7-3.3) and Johnson (7.0-4.4 APG) have been very solid. The 6-7 Fields (12.6-6.3) has made major strides since last year (4.1-2.0), as has the 6-8 Hill (13.6-5.5), who averaged just 8.6-4.8 last season. The 6-8 Owens (7.4-3.7) rounds out the starting-five, while the 6-10 Paul (4.2) plus guards Green and Brown (combined 10.5 PPG) are solid reserves. Stanford is 17-12 overall but its 6-12 Pac 10 mark was better than only Oregon's and the winner of this game gets league champ Washington (bye-bye). Robinson's team has cooled down the stretch as Pac-10 foes become more familiar with their style. The Beavers lost two weeks ago at Oregon and then lost twice in LA last weekend, shooting a combined 41.0 percent in losing to both UCLA and USC, while averaging just 53.0 PPG. The Beavers are back in LA again this week but their stay won't last past Wednesday night. Stanford has more talent at every position and after two losing twice this year to OSU, "gets it right" thsi time around. If OSU pulls the 'hat-trick' on the Cardinal, Dawkins could be back at Cameron Indoor Stadium next year, once again sitting next to Coach K. However, I'm betting that's NOT going to be the case! Conf Tourney Revenge Game of the Month on Stanford (9*)
The Nets are tied with Milwaukee, a half-game back of the Bulls for the East's final playoff berth. However, it's a log-jam "down there," as the Bucks and Nets are a measly two games up on the Knicks, who sit 13th of 15 East teams. The 28-35 Nets have won four of their last seven games (7-0 or 6-0-1 ATS), after dropping five in a row. The losses have been competitive, falling to East powers Boston and Orlando plus the 39-23 Hornets. The Nets open a five-game road trip tonight in Oakland and will play the first four games of this trip out West, before ending in New York against the Knicks. The Nets won't get back home until March 20 and they have to hope that they haven't lost much ground by then. Harris (22.5-6.9 APG) and Carter (20.7-5.0-4.8) are a terrific scoring duo with Harris in particular, playing very well. The PG is averaging 29.4 PPG and 9.9 APG in the team's recent seven-game ATS run. Rookie center Brook Lopez (12.6-8.0) is proving to be an excellent pick, while Yi (9.7-5.9), who was swapped for Jefferson, looks more like a journeyman than an NBA first-rounder. The Warriors have no playoff aspirations at 21-42 but they are a difficult team to play. Jackson (21.1-4.9-6.5) is having a superb season, while for the most part, Maggette (19.7-5.7) has stayed healthy. Crawford is averaging 19.1 PPG in his 45 games with the Warriors (came over from the Knicks) and his presence has helped overcome the absence of Monta Ellis (20.2 PPG last year). Ellis began the year on suspension and has played in just 13 games this year, averaging 13.4 PPG. However, he's listed a probable for this game. Biedrins (12.6-11.6), a "walking double-double" has also been upgraded to probable for this game and with "all hands are on deck," the Nets will have all sorts of trouble keeping up with the Warriors. Golden St doesn't worry too much about stopping anyone (Warriors rank last in the NBA, allowing 111.5 PPG) but they are sure capable (especially here at home) of outscoring opponents. The Nets opened the year 10-4 SU on the road but on Dec 31, the Nets lost at Detroit. The new year has brought only road woes, as New Jersey has won just FOUR of its last 16 road games since that New Year's Eve loss in Detroit started the slide. The Nets weren't able to beat the Warriors back in New Jersey on Nov 1 (lost 105-97) and have lost their last three visits to Oracle Arena. Expect New Jersey's road trip to get off to a lousy (spelled losing) start tonight in Oakland. Situational Mismatch on the GS Warriors (7*).