FRIDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
Re: FRIDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
6-Unit Play. Take #850 Marquette (-4.5) over Utah State (12:30 p.m., Friday, March 20)
Note: This is my Game of the Month.
This play is all about value and all about going against the public. And I don't know about now, but that's what March used to be all about. The Golden Eagles have been completely written off without Dominic James. However, I still see a talented and experienced core of seniors that don't want to go down without a fight. With the exception of the first half against Villanova this team played well in The Garden. And even though they have been on a savage slide, let's look at who they are losing to - Pitt, Louisville, Connecticut, Syracuse and Villanova. Has Utah State played anyone even close to the caliber of that? I don't think so. I'm a big fan of the WAC and I can say that it was the weakest this year that I've seen it in a decade. Utah State played a terrible nonconference schedule and a weak conference schedule, and the last time they stepped out to face someone they got rocked by a St. Mary's team that is in the NIT. I love the pressure that Marquette can put on the perimeter, and if McNeal and/or Matthews is on today this one could be ugly. I think that the Golden Eagles are undervalued at the moment as nearly 70 percent of the action is on the Aggies today. I'd like to see the public get humbled today and watch everyone kick themselves for missing out on this mismatch.
4-Unit Play. Take Stephen F. Austin (+12) over Syracuse (12:15 p.m., Friday, March 20)
I just think that there are a lot of reasons why this is a really sharp play and this was the first matchup that jumped out at me when I saw the lines. And not just because I'm a Syracuse fan. The dreaded noon tip in quintessential letdown spot for SU after their amazing MSG run. They are playing some "who?" team. The Orange face the No. 1 field goal defense in the country and a team whose adjusted tempo is No. 300 (of 342), which means they could grind the Orange down.Further, the Southland Conference teams are 3-0 ATS in L3 tournaments and Syracuse (for some reason) never plays well in Florida. Everyone (in SU Nation) is already looking ahead to Arizona State, Oklahoma and North Carolina in our bracket. Makes it a “Letdown/Look Ahead" spot. Syracuse is just 22-37 ATS as a double-digit favorite dating back to 2003. There are four three-year starters on senior-laden team that has gone 50-13 over the last two years.
2.5-Unit Play. Take #830 Arizona State (-5.5) over Temple (2:45 p.m., Friday, March 20)
I'm backing James Harden and a handful of systems that suggest that the Sun Devils will overperform their seed. Playing No. 6 seeds after a loss is 26-15-1 ATS in the past several tournaments.
2-Unit Play. Take #838 Oklahoma State (+2) over Tennessee (Noon, Friday, March 20)
I'm not big into the SEC and I'm not big into teams that don't care of the ball. I konw that Oklahoma State is a turnover waiting to happen, but playing on higher seeds as underdogs has been a solid 14-7 ATS in recent years.
2-Unit Play. Take #826 Wake Forest (-8) over Cleveland State (9:40 p.m., Friday, March 20)
The same systems that were at play in the Washington winner that we rolled out yesterday are at work here. It's all about No. 4 seeds that are off an upset loss in their conference tournamand and going against dogs of 3.0 or more after an upset win of 6.0 or more in their own conference tournament. That last system alone is 43-21 ATS over the last 12 years. My initial thought was Cleveland State, a team that I like a lot. But I also thought Mississippi State would put up a fight yesterday to, so we're going to trust the system.
2-Unit Play. Take #852 Florida State (-2.5) over Wisconsin (9:55 p.m., Friday, March 20)
Yesterday we missed our ACC-over-the-Big 10 play but I think that we are going to get this one. How much gas does FSU have left in the tank after their run in Atlanta? I'm not sure, but I think they have enough to take down this Badgers team. FSU has been banging heads with top-tier ACC teams all season long and has proven itself against better competition. I love Bo Ryan. I do. But I think that after a few tourney snubs over the last two years Toney Douglas and Co. are ready to unload.
2-Unit Play. Take #833 Siena (+3) over Ohio State (9:40 p.m., Friday, March 20)
I'll take the short line on a team that was in the Sweet 16 last year. Siena was a team that was humbled earlier in the year with an overambitious schedule. Also, they just were not knocking down outside shots earlier in the season. But this is a veteran squad with a lot of options and I think that they are going to raise their game today.
2-Unit Play. Take #847 Cornell (+13) over Missouri (3 p.m., Friday, March 20)
A lot of the systems that were at work in the Memphis game yesterday are at play in this game. Basically, it's about fading teams that made strong ATS runs in their conference tournaments, teams that are heavy favorites off three or more straight wins, and playing on double-digit underdogs that were in the tournament last year. No. 3 seeds off back-to-back wins or more are just 4-14 ATS in the last 12 years. We'll go against the "hot" team and see if Cornell can handle the pressure.
1.5-Unit Play. Take #844 Kansas (-9.5) over North Dakota State (12:30 p.m., Friday, March 20)
Again, there are just a load of systems at work here that suggest a bounceback performance by the higher seed. Playing on teams that were No. 1 seeds in their conference tournaments that were upset in those tourneys (a la Washington) have been a strong, strong play in the past decade. Again, the public is all over NDSU so we're going to go the other way.
1.5-Unit Play. Take ‘Under’ 128 Dayton vs. West Virginia (3 p.m., Friday, March 20)
1.5-Unit Play. Take ‘Under’ 122.5 Wisconsin vs. Florida State (9:55 p.m., Friday, March 20)
2.5-Unit Play. TEASER: Take #826 Wake Forest (-3) over Cleveland State (9:40 p.m.) AND Take #846 West Virginia (-4) over Dayton (3 p.m., Friday, March 20)
2-Unit Play. TEASER: Take Stephen F. Austin (+17) over Syracuse (12:15 p.m.) AND Take #842 Boston College (+7.5) over USC (7:20 p.m.)
1.5-Unit Play. TEASER: Take #833 Siena (+8) over Ohio State (9:40 p.m.) AND Take #844 Kansas (-4.5) over North Dakota State (12:30 p.m.)
Re: FRIDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
1* (regular play) Temple Owls (+) vs Arizona State
We have watched this line climb all the way from 4.5 up to a 6 and this is giving some big value to the underdog Owls. The Sun Devils have trouble creating separation from teams because they’re not a big scoring team. They rely heavily on their defense. Their only truly big scorer is James Harden as Jeff Pendergraph is quite inconsistent (four field goals or less in four of their last eight games). Also, we love the fact that everybody is siding with the big Pac Ten team here while a dangerous Atlantic Ten team is essentially getting no respect. Keep in mind, Temple knocked off Xavier and Tennessee this season and they do a very good job of harassing opponents and disrupting their offensive flow. They are a solid rebounding club thanks in particular to the big contributions of 6’9 Lavoy Allen. Also, Dionte Christmas is definitely capable of matching the Sun Devils Harden point for point. While the Sun Devils are relatively young, the Owls are loaded with veteran leadership and are looking for redemption after getting bumped in the first round by Michigan State last season. For Arizona State, they have not been to the Big Dance in six years! The Owls veteran leadership is a big reason why Temple won all four of their overtime games this season. They do have a knack for winning the close ones and they also finished the season with a ton of momentum. Temple is 17-5 in their last 22 games and all five losses came by a single digit margin. The Sun Devils are simply going to struggle to build any type of margin here. Arizona State also has had the wind taken out of their sails twice lately. They lost three straight games very late in the regular season. Then they blew their game against USC in the Pac Ten Tournament Championship Game. Herb Sendek is an excellent coach but his team’s confidence is a little shaken at this point while the Owls come in flying high! Grab the line value and the momentum with the boys from Philly here. Play Temple plus the points as a regular selection
Re: FRIDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
30 Dime – OKLAHOMA STATE
Take Oklahoma State as the small dog over Tennessee in the first round of the East Regional.
I haven’t trusted the Vols all season long and I’m not about to hop on their bandwagon now. Tennessee simply hasn’t lived up to its potential and they’re going to be in for a huge surprise today against an Oklahoma State team that was red-hot down the stretch.
The Cowboys won six of their last seven to close out the regular season, going 7-0 ATS. They reached the semifinals of the Big 12 tournament before losing to Missouri.
I love the tempo Oklahoma State plays and they are also a very dangerous perimeter team. If they’re able to extend the Vols defense that will help neutralize the frontcourt combination of Tyler Smith and Wayne Chism.
Tennessee is just 1-4 ATS in its last five against the Big 12, 2-6-1 ATS in its last nine as an NCAA tournament chalk and 2-5 ATS in its last seven non-conference games. The Cowboys are on ATS runs of 9-1 in their last 10 overall and 16-7-2 in their last 25 neutral-site games.
Take the points with Oklahoma State as they get it done over Tennessee.
5 Dime – UTAH STATE
Take the points with Utah State in the West Regional over Marquette.
Much has been made of Marquette’s struggles down the stretch after losing senior point guard Dominic James. His absence has left a glaring hole in the Golden Eagles lineup and I expect Utah State to give Marquette a serious run here as a result.
It’s not like the Aggies are some overmatched little school here. They won 30 games this season and knocked off host Nevada in the Western Athletic Conference title game.
Utah State enters this game on a 4-0 SU run, and five of its last six wins were double-digit routs in WAC play.
Marquette is on ATS slides of 4-7 overall, 1-4 as a chalk and 1-4-1 in non-conference play. Utah State is on positive ATS runs of 10-4 in non-conference action, 9-3 at neutral sites, 6-1 as an underdog and 6-1 as a neutral-site dog.
Give the Aggies the venue edge as well, as this game is being played in Boise.
Take the points with Utah State as they have a good chance at pulling off the outright win.
Re: FRIDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
At 3 pm, our 1st Round Shocker of the Year is on the Cornell Big Red plus the points over Missouri, as Cornell falls into 29-1, 33-13, 35-7, and 59-22 ATS systems of mine. Let's take a look at our 33-13 ATS angle. Since the tournament was expanded to 64 teams in 1985 (now, currently 65 teams) the worst-seeded teams' performances have correlated with whether their foe was off a win or loss to end the regular season. For purposes of our study, we'll discard the #1 vs. #16 games, as a #1 team has never lost SU to a #16 seed (and probably never will), since those games aren't very competitive. So, we'll just look at the teams seeded #13, #14, and #15. If the higher ranked team checked in off a win (as Missouri does today), then our lesser teams have excelled against the spread, but if our higher-ranked teams happened to lose their final regular season game, they've tended to snap back with a decent performance in Round 1. Indeed, if we look at the data going back to 1991, we find that teams seeded #13, #14 and #15 are a solid 33-13 ATS vs. a foe off a win, provided our 13-15 seeded team is also off a win. This is a great letdown spot for Missouri after it won the Big 12 Conference championship. That was the first time the Tigers won a post-season tournament since Norm Stewart's men won the Big Eight Tourney in 1993. So, even though today's game means a lot, we've seen throughout the years that teams -- especially those that were not favored to win their conference tourney from the outset (Missouri finished 3rd in the Big 12 Conference's regular season) -- do have letdowns in the opening round of the Tournament. I expect big things from Missouri later on (and wouldn't be surprised if it makes the Final Four), but just not today. NCAA 1st Round Shocker of the Year on Cornell.