FRIDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
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10,000 Dollar NBA Dead Giveaway Lock
Phoenix Suns -13 over Sacramento
So let me get this straight. 5 Days ago, Sacramento plays Phoenix at home and easily beats them by 8 points as a 6 point underdog. The game actually probably wasn't even as close as the final score indicated as Sacramento was in control the whole way.
And, the oddsmakers absolutely paid no attention at all to the solid effort the Kings put forward. The public is already falling for it as well as this game actually opened at -13.5 for the Suns and is down to 13.
Sure, why not. It makes sense for the novice player gambler to say "wow, Sacramento just beat this team by 8, now they are getting 13, this looks great"
Now watch what happens. Phoenix will probably win this game by 30. This game isn't going to be close from the moment they throw the ball in the air. The only way Sacramento will cover this game is if they end it on a 16-2 run and if that happens, I tip my hat and move on.
Otherwise, this is a blowout from start to finish. The last time Phoenix played this team at home, they won by 47. Now they are on revenge and they flat out need the game to have any chance at grabbing the 8th seed in the west.
Dallas is still 4 games up on them so they can't let games against inferior competition slip away. We'll get Phoenix's best effort tonight and like I said, If the oddsmakers still feel this team is this many points better then Sacramento after just losing to them the other day, well then, I'll trust them.
Blowout city tonight. Lay the wood with Phoenix.
Re: FRIDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
1* (regular play) Buffalo Sabres Money Line (+) @ Washington
The Sabres are coming off of a loss at Atlanta on Wednesday and that defeat was a tough one in overtime that was set up by a giveaway. Note that prior to that loss, the Sabres had been rejuvenated by the return of #1 goalie Ryan Miller from injury and had won three straight games. Buffalo absolutely will not give up hope on the post-season until officially eliminated and they’ve earned 9 points in their last four games and have the opportunity to earn 12 more points in their last six games! The Capitals have some small incentive left (to earn the #2 seed) but they are not being “pushed” here nearly as much as the Sabres are and Buffalo can take advantage of a Caps team that hasn’t been overly sharp over the last month of action. Yes, the Capitals did defeat the Islanders 5 to 3 on Wednesday and the Lightning 5 to 3 on Friday but those are two of the worst teams in the league. Prior to two straight wins, the Capitals had won just five of their last twelve games and this included a stretch where the Caps lost four straight home games to begin the month of March! Note that Sabres goalie Ryan Miller is 8-3 with a 2.53 GAA in his career against Washington. Also, the Capitals two wins over the Sabres in late December were their first wins over Buffalo in over five years. This series has belonged to the Sabres in recent years and they get some revenge now. The Capitals won’t be able to match the intensity of the Sabres here and wins over the Islanders and the Lightning certainly don’t indicate that all is suddenly “right” in the nation’s capitol! The Sabres offer fantastic underdog value here with Miller between the pipes and with the team looking to bounce back from a tough overtime loss after three straight wins. Play Buffalo on the money line as a regular selection.
Re: FRIDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
4 Unit Play. Take the Charlotte Bobcats -4 over the Miami Heat
After the Wizards +10.5 Outright over the Cavs, we are now 7-1 over the last 8 Pods. Let's keep on trucking. There are lots of decent plays out there today from the Kings +13 in Phoenix, Boston agains a Hawks team who can't play ball on the road (article to come soon on this on the blog) or the Rockets against a Laker team who is looking less dominant of late. But, for our POD, let's roll with the Bobs at home against Miami. Charlotte is surging and moving up strong as they look to get into the playoffs. Jordan has his boys focused as the strings he pulled mid-season is working out well. Diaw and Bell have added much needed depth, defense and attitude to this team. Bear in mind the Miami beat this Charlotte team by 4 points in Feb and Dec as Charlotte though covered the 8 point spread both times easily. Heck, Charlotte has covered against the Heat all 3 times this year as they won as -2.5 chalk back in November by 13. The poison known as Jermaine O'Neal has inflicted the Heat, which is what he did to the Raptors and Pacers. The Heat have now lost 7 of their last 10 while the Bobs have covered 4 in a row and 7 of their last 9. The Bobs just lost in OT to Boston on the road, and this was after they defeated the Lakers at home despite the fact the Lakers were coming off a loss (which says a lot), defeated the Knicks at home, Philly on the road and swept Toronto in essentially a home and home despite Toronto having revenge. Charlotte is playing solid ball right now, has double-revenge, is at home, comes off a loss, and with the crowd behind them with playoff hopes looming, let's ride the Bobcats to cover for the 4th time this year against the Heat. The Bobcats are 9-1 ATS against teams with a winning % of less than .400 on the road and 12-3 ATS against the Eastern Conference of late.
4 Unit Play. Take Oregon State +9 over UTEP
I suspect this line will go down as the day goes on, so if you are able to secure the +9 now, please go ahead and do it. How do we not take Oregon State here? The game they were supposed to struggle was in Game 2, and yet, this team continued to fight, crawl, scratch and hang in there. Of course, I expect the crowd to be going wild in this contest in favor of UTEP as they had a great crowd in Game 2, but although UTEP won in Game 2, they were not impressive in so many levels. They should have come out with incredible fire and tenacity after getting beat on the road in Game 1. Instead, they shot 58% from the free throw line, missing 15 free throws, and had far more trips to the foul line than Oregon State did. I expect the "reffing" to be about even in a Championship, "this game decides all" Game 3. The "reffing" was heavily in favor of Oregon State in Game 1 and heavily in favor of UTEP in Game 2 when you look at how many times these two teams went to the charity stripe. Expect this game to be called even and fair. But, in a game where Oregon State was supposed to get killed in Game 2, this team actually found itself up by 5 Outright at the half. Oregon State is by no means intimidated as they have played the likes of USC, Stanford, UCLA and Arizona State coming out of the Pac-10. Heck, they beat Stanford 3 of 4 times this year (swept them in the regular season and beat them in the CBI Tournament), beat Cal on the road, Washington State and USC at home as well. Oregon State clearly showed they can play sound defense and I expect them to do well today with a little bit of revenge, being agressive taking the ball to the basket and getting to the free throw line. In short, we like Underdogs that can win Outright - i.e. Wizards over Cavs yesterday. Why would we not take the points here in a game that Oregon State cuold win Outright. Is it all that impossible to imagine this team defeating a UTEP team that it was down to by just 3 in the waning minutes of Game 2 despite UTEP having revenge? Besides, Craig Robinson in my mind is a great motivator and a better coach than Tony Barbee and I expect coaching and game planning to be a key factor in this contest. Oregon State is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 contests as an Underdog and the Miners are 0-4 ATS against the Pac-10 of late. I wouldn't be surprised either to see the charismatic brother in-law of Barack Obama to get some calls to go his way down the stretch. I'm not saying...but I'm saying.
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2 Star Best Bet
**San Antonio (-4) over INDIANA
San Antonio should be focused for this game after losing consecutive games to the Hornets and Thunder and the Spurs apply to a solid 78-30-2 ATS road favorite bounce-back situation tonight. San Antonio is also 8-0 ATS the last 3 seasons in road games after consecutive losses as long as they had at least 1 night off since their last game. Indiana, meanwhile, has won 4 of their last 5 games but the Pacers apply to a negative 30-77-2 ATS home letdown situation tonight. My ratings favor San Antonio by 4 points and I’ll take the Spurs in a 2-Star Best Bet at -4 points or less.
Friday NBA Opinions
Portland (-4 ½) over OKLAHOMA CITY
Oklahoma City’s home court magic is starting to wear off (3 straight home spread losses) and the Thunder apply to a negative 47-108-3 ATS letdown situation based on their upset win at San Antonio. Portland hasn’t played as well on the road as they have at home over the course of the season, but the Blazers have covered the spread in 4 consecutive road games and 7 of their last 8 games overall. I’ll lean with Portland at -5 or less and I’d take the Blazers in a 2-Star Best Bet at -4 or less.
New Orleans (-5) over GOLDEN STATE
The Warriors were a pretty good team when Monta Ellis was playing alongside Stephen Jackson and Corey Maggette, but they’ve struggled since Jackson shut himself down for the rest of the season recently. Golden State did manage to beat the Kings in overtime on Wednesday, but the Warriors are just 16-48-1 ATS following their last 65 victories and they apply to a negative 124-222-10 ATS letdown situation tonight. Unfortunately, my ratings only favor the Hornets by 4 points in this game and the line has gone up to -5, so I’ll just lean with New Orleans at -5 or less and I’d take the Hornets in a 2-Star Best Bet at -4 or less.
Friday College Opinions
Oregon State at UTEP UNDER (134)
I have leaned with the Under in the first 2 games of this CBI Tournament Championship series and split those two opinions. Oregon State won the first game 75-69 as the total went well over the posted line of 131 points thanks to the teams combining for 51% shooting. That was not something that I expected to happen again and the under in game 2 worked thanks to the line going up to 134 points, as UTEP won 70-63. That game also produced a higher than expected offensive efficiency of 1.11 points per possession, but the pace (i.e. # of possessions per team) was lower than expected at 60. My math model projects 64.6 possessions per team at 0.99 points per possession combined, which would result in a predicted total of 128 points in regulation. The pace of the two games played in this series so far has actually been a bit slower, at 63.5 possessions per game, but the combined offensive efficiency of the two teams has been 1.09 points per possession, which is much higher than expected and is not likely to continue. The fact that the two games have averaged 138.5 points is just random variance, especially considering the pace of the two games is actually slower than expected. I expect the defense to tighten up in the final game of this series and I’ll consider the Under a Strong Opinion at 133 points or higher based on the line value.
I’ll also lean with Oregon State at +8 or more since my math favors UTEP by just 7 points in this game.