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4 - 1 In the NBA Best Bets Last Night.
11-4 In College Best Bets Last Night.

Lets hope am warming up for a big weekend.......

Good Luck Gang !!
 

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Harvard, Iona Get Top Billing On Friday

Another workweek goes into the books Friday afternoon, and that means yet another very light college basketball schedule. This week's card is only eight games long, but does include a couple of interesting matchups in the Ivy League and Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

Harvard at Pennsylvania
Palestra – 7:00 p.m. (ET)

We knew coming into this season that Harvard was the cream of the crop in the Ivy League, and Tommy Amaker's club has so far done nothing to change our mind about that. The Crimson are off to a 6-0 start in the league standings, and feature one of the country's best defensive units that is a big reason why they've been so successful in building a 20-2 overall record in the campaign that puts them No. 21 in the coaches poll and No. 25 according to the AP.

Harvard ranks third in the nation allowing 53.6 points per game for the entire season, trailing just Wisconsin (49.8) and Virginia (51.1). Amaker's squad has been even tougher on Ivy League opponents who are scoring only 48.5 per game.

With eight games remaining on their Ivy slate, there's still plenty of potential pitfalls ahead for the Crimson. That's especially true this weekend with two games on the road. Harvard will have to make a very quick turnaround from Friday's game with Pennsylvania for a Saturday date at Princeton.

The Quakers present more of a challenge to the Crimson than just having their home fans behind them. Penn still has its own designs on the Ivy League crown with a 4-1 record that has Jerome Allen's crew just 1.5 games behind Harvard in the standings.

Like Harvard, Pennsylvania has also been getting it done on the defensive end during the league portion of the schedule. The Quakers have allowed 67.5 PPG on the entire season, ranking them around the middle of the country, but that figure drops to 58.2 in Ivy League games, second fewest behind the Crimson.

Harvard has won the last five meetings and the last three played in Philadelphia. Last February's matchup at the Palestra went to double overtime before Harvard pulled out an 83-82 win as a 3½-point favorite.

Iona at Loyola (MD)
Reitz Arena – 7:00 p.m. (ET) ESPNU

We move from an Ivy League game expected to be dominated by defense to a clash of MAAC leaders that features one of the top offenses in the nation going against the best defense in the conference. Adding to the excitement for this clash is Iona and Loyola (MD) are locked at the top of the MAAC standings with 11-2 league records.

The Gaels have been scoring at an 83.2 clip this campaign, good enough for third most in the land behind North Carolina (84.1) and VMI (83.5). That count has tapered off a bit in conference games, though Tim Cluess' group is still netting a very respectable 81.5 in those 13 tilts.

It's been pretty much a three-man show for Iona, led by Michael Glover's 18.5 PPG and 66.5 percent field goal shooting that ranks him fourth in college hoops. Glover also leads the team in rebounds. Helping him on the scoreboard have been guards Lamont Jones (16.2 PPG) and Scott Machado (13.6), with Machado the country's top assist man at an even 10 per game.

The Greyhounds feature more balanced scoring on their end with four players in double-digits and a fifth not far behind. The real strength lies on the defensive end, however. Loyola has surrendered just 58.9 PPG on the conference schedule, down about four points from the full-season average.

This is the second meeting between the Gaels and Greyhounds. They met Jan. 15 on Iona's floor where the Gaels scored a 74-63 victory to just cover the 10½-point spread. That contest fell short of a 150-point total, part of a 6-game stretch of 'unders' for Iona who is 11-11 in the totals column overall.
 

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Thunder At Jazz Caps Big NBA Friday Night

The NBA regular season is about 40 percent over and a number of teams have developed a big disparity in against the spread records for home and away.

As you can see below, Portland, Utah and the Lakers have all done much better in NBA betting at home, while Denver. Minnesota and Orlando have made their mark away. We will feature several of these teams as we look at a busy Friday night with 12 games.


TEAM ATS HOME ATS ROAD
Portland 10-3-1
3-9

Utah 10-5
3-6

LA Lakers 8-5
3-9

Denver 6-7
9-4

Minnesota 7-8
8-3

Orlando 6-8
8-4



Los Angeles Lakers at New York Knicks
8:00 p.m. (ET) on ESPN

The Lakers (14-11 straight up, 11-14 ATS) have played well at the Staples Center at 11-2 SU (8-5 ATS). The road is a different story at 3-9 SU and ATS, including 1-2 SU and ATS in this current 6-game trip. Coach Mike Brown’s guys also have an emotional game with Boston on Thursday night (result pending) and are 3-6 ATS playing the second half of a back-to-back.

The Knicks (11-15 SU and ATS) have won three straight games and covered six in a row. Two of the recent wins were against lowly Washington (107-93 away) and New Jersey (99-92 home), but they still count. Stars Carmelo Anthony (groin) and Amare Stoudemire (personal) both missed last game versus Washington and will be out Friday.

Point guard Jeremy Lin from Harvard has come out of nowhere to score 25.3 PPG over the last three games, but the Lakers will be keying on him.

Los Angeles is 4-0 SU and ATS the last four against New York, including winning 99-82 as 4 ½-point home favorites on December 29. Center Andrew Bynum was still serving his league-mandated, 4-game suspension. New York hasn’t beaten the west-coasters since February 2007 (0-9 SU).

Portland Trail Blazers at New Orleans Hornets
8:00 p.m. (ET) on Regional Networks

The Trail Blazers (14-12 SU, 13-12-1 ATS) lost and failed to cover their last two home games to Oklahoma City (111-107 OT) and Houston (103-96) after starting 11-1 SU (10-1-1 ATS) there. Big men LaMarcus Aldridge and Marcus Camby have been dealing with illnesses and point guard Raymond Felton a foot injury. All will play Friday, but Portland has struggled away (3-9 SU and ATS) all season.

The Hornets (4-22 SU, 10-16 ATS) have the NBA’s second-worst record behind Charlotte (3-22). They’re tied for 28th in scoring (87.2 PPG), with a lower 85.3 PPG during their current 7-game losing streak (0-7 ATS). Their best player, guard Eric Gordon, has played just two games and forward Carl Landry (11.5 PPG) is also out indefinitely. The home ATS mark is just 4-11 ATS.

The teams already met in the Bayou last month, with Portland winning 84-77 as 5½-point road favorites.

Oklahoma City Thunder at Utah Jazz
10:30 p.m. (ET) on ESPN

The Jazz (13-11 SU and ATS) are 2-7 SU and 3-6 ATS away after losing a mini, 2-game trip at New York (99-88 as 3-point underdogs) and Indiana (104-99 as 9-point ‘dogs). They return home to EnergySolutions Arena where they’re 11-4 SU (10-5 ATS). Having two days rest will also help, a scenario they’re 3-0 ATS in this season (all coming at home).

The Thunder (20-5 SU, 14-11 ATS) are in the midst of a 5-game road trip, going 2-1 SU and ATS with the ‘over’ 3-0. They’re in Sacramento on Thursday (result pending), and Utah will be the second back-to-back game on this trip. Scott Brooks’ bunch already won (119-116) and covered at Golden State on Tuesday with no rest, but asking them to do it twice is a big task.

This is the first meeting this season. Oklahoma City is 4-0 ATS (3-1 SU) in the last four visits to Salt Lake City, with the ‘over’ 4-0.

Love is back and other Friday injury news

Minnesota (13-13 SU, 15-11 ATS) hosts Dallas (15-11 SU and ATS) and Kevin Love will return from a 2-game suspension. The Timberwolves went 1-1 SU and ATS without him, but could only score 83 PPG with the ‘under’ 2-0. The Mavs just ended a 3-game losing streak (SU and ATS) with a 105-95 Wednesday win at banged-up Denver.

Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving (concussion) could miss his second straight game at home against Milwaukee. The Cavaliers (10-14 SU, 14-10 ATS) did beat the Clippers at home on Wednesday 99-92 as 7-point ‘dogs without their Rookie of the Year candidate. Milwaukee (11-14 SU, 12-13 ATS) has seen the ‘over’ go 9-1 in its last 10, reaching the 100-point mark seven times.

The Clippers (15-8 SU, 13-10 ATS) lost point guard Chauncey Billups for the year (Achilles) the game before Wednesday’s loss to Cleveland. Randy Foye is now starting, but this is a big blow. L.A. will be at Philadelphia (18-8 SU, 17-8-1 ATS) on Friday night. The 76ers have had a tough schedule lately, losing two of their last three home games to San Antonio (100-90) and Miami (99-79).
 

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Slumping Blackhawks Visit San Jose Sharks

The Chicago Blackhawks entered 2012 as the leader of the Western Conference’s Central Division, but things have changed quite a bit since then. Chicago currently finds itself mired in a six-game losing streak and sitting nine points behind the division-leading Detroit Red Wings.

Chicago (29-18-7) will try to break its lengthy losing streak on the road Friday night with a visit to San Jose to take on the Sharks at 10:30 p.m. (ET). The Blackhawks are just 5-8-3 (5-11 on the moneyline) in their last 16 games and have been outscored 27-12 over the course of their six-game losing streak.

Road games have been particularly bad to the Blackhawks, who have lost eight straight games (0-6-2) away from home. San Jose (29-16-6) has lost two straight games and five of its last eight (3-4-1), but still entered Thursday’s action with a two-point lead in the Pacific Division over the Los Angeles Kings with three games in hand. The Sharks are 17-9-2 at home this season.

With Wednesday night’s win over the Edmonton Oilers, the Detroit Red Wings extended their franchise record to 18 straight wins at home and inched within two wins of tying the all-time NHL record of 20 straight home wins. The Red Wings (36-17-2) will look to make it 19 straight when they host the Anaheim Ducks Friday night in a game that will be nationally televised on the NHL Network at 7:30 p.m. (ET).

While Detroit is an awfully tough team to bet against at home with its sterling 21-2-1 home record, the Ducks (21-24-8) could be a live dog Friday night. Since starting the season off 10-22-6, Anaheim has gone 11-2-2 over its last 15 games including a 3-1 record in its last four road games. If the Red Wings do earn the win Friday, they are ironically set to face the Philadelphia Flyers at home Sunday to tie the all-time record, which is currently held by the 1976 Philadelphia Flyers.

It may be too little too late for the Buffalo Sabres as far as making a playoff push is concerned, but with a 6-0 win over the Boston Bruins Wednesday, the Sabres improved to 4-0-1 in their last five games. Buffalo (23-24-6) will look to extend its point streak to six games when the Sabres host the Dallas Stars Friday night at 7:30 p.m. (ET).

Dallas (27-23-2) is just 3-6-1 over its last 10 games, and the next few games could determine whether the Stars are a buyer or a seller at the trade deadline. The Stars will be playing their third game in four nights Friday after losing to Phoenix at home Tuesday and facing Columbus on the road Thursday.

Like Dallas, the Colorado Avalanche (27-25-3) must also decide whether to add help for a run this season at the deadline or to look to the future. Colorado rounds out Friday’s NHL betting card with a game at home against the Carolina Hurricanes at 9:00 p.m. (ET).

Carolina (20-25-10) is out of the playoff race, but has played solidly of late in earning points in nine of its last 11 games (6-2-3).
 

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Hoop Trends - Friday

February 10, 2012

SU TREND OF THE DAY:

The Magic are 10-0-1 ATS (7.7 ppg) since March 27, 2009 at home after a game at home after a win in which they made fewer baskets than their opponent.

OU TREND OF THE DAY:

The Nets are 0-11-1 OU (-6.7 ppg) since March 18, 2009 on the road with at most one day of rest when they have lost their last three games SU and ATS.

PLAYER BASED TREND OF THE DAY:

The Pacers are 17-0-1 ATS (7.3 ppg) since January 11, 2010 with at least a day of rest after a loss on the road in which Danny Granger was the Pacers’ high scorer.

CHOICE TREND:

The Raptors are 0-10-1 ATS (-6.9 ppg) since February 15, 2002 as a home dog after a game in which more than 70% of their baskets were assisted.

TODAY’S TRENDS:

The Wizards are 0-12 ATS (-7.8 ppg) since December 16, 2010 with at least a day of rest after a loss in which Javale Mcgee shot better than 66% from the field.
 

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Friday's Tip Sheet

Twelve games on the NBA docket tonight and rather than focusing on one key matchup, let's play handicapper and break down the entire slate. My style parallels a few individuals on VegasInsider.com, but my technique always analyzes the line first and then the current form of each squad. Looking blindly at the board, you have nine openers of four points or less. Before we get to them, let's look at two of the other three, which appear to be passes.
If you have time, check out Marc Lawrence's Cram Session piece, give it a read. Good angles and stats on the shortened season. He also mentioned how well double-digit favorites, specifically 12 points or more have fared this season. Coincidentally, the two best teams in the Eastern Conference are giving up comparable numbers - on the road.

Miami at Washington: The Heat are laying 12 ½-points to the Wizards, deservingly so. Miami has won four straight against Washington but is just 1-3 ATS with point-spreads in the same neighborhood.

Chicago at Charlotte: The Bulls have been a beast on the road (13-5 SU, 12-6 ATS) this season and I never have an issue giving points with a team that plays defense. However, it's a dumb bet either way. You can't back the 'Cats, who are 3-22 on the season. Chicago wraps up its nine-game road trip on Sunday against Boston, which spells look-ahead tonight. Then again, the Bulls have won their last three by 23, 21 and 23 points. Dare we call them Bullies?

Competitive Clashes

Boston at Toronto: I thought the Celtics would be giving more points (-4) here considering they've dominated Toronto recently (5-0 SU, 4-1 ATS), all wins by double digits. With no Andrea Bargnani or Jerryd Bayless in the lineup, the Raptors don't have much punch offensively. Even though most would expect a letdown for the Celtics after losing to the Lakers in OT last night, make a note that Toronto is 1-4 ATS as home 'dog this season. Atlanta at Orlando: The Hawks and Magic are two of the toughest teams to gauge. They both notch impressive wins on occasion and then they both look horrible too. My money won't go on either side but the total players should be aware that the 'under' has gone 16-2 in the last 18 encounters. The way Orlando chucks from downtown, the 'over' is always in play.

L.A. Clippers at Philadelphia: Quality matchup here and a tough one to handicap. The 76ers aren't an elite team, which was shown in recent home losses to the Spurs (90-100) and Heat (79-99), but they have talent and a good coach. The Clippers were caught at Cleveland (92-99) on Wednesday and the loss of Chauncey Billups (Achilles) will be tough to overcome. I do believe the 76ers backcourt can hang with CP3, but the frontcourt could have issues. I'd grab the points here and even go money-line on the Clips, who have gone 4-1 in their last five road games. Then if they win, I'd look to fade them tomorrow at Charlotte. Did I just say that?

Milwaukee at Cleveland: Complete toss-up here. My thinking is that Milwaukee needs to grab this one with Orlando and Miami on deck. The one thing I can say about the Cavaliers this season is that they step up for contenders and fold for pretenders. They just beat the Mavericks and Clippers at home, but a couple weeks back they lose to the Nets. Cavs point guard Kyrie Irving (concussion) is 'doubtful' for tonight.

New Jersey at Detroit: Break up the Pistons! Detroit has gone 3-1 SU and 4-0 ATS in its last four, which includes a 99-92 win over New Jersey on Wednesday. The rematch takes place from The Palace and it's hard to back New Jersey, who's been depleted with injuries. I'd consider a short price on Detroit but did you know the club has been a favorite twice all season? And the Pistons are 0-2 both SU and ATS in those spots.

Indiana at Memphis: The Pacers aren't considered serious contenders in the East but maybe they should be. Indiana has the fourth best record in the conference and along with Chicago it's the only team that hasn't lost back-to-back games. We mention that because the Pacers lost at Atlanta (87-97) on Wednesday. Memphis was an ATS darling last season but its offense is in a funk lately and all signs point to a win by the visitor here.

Dallas at Minnesota: Minnesota has beaten Dallas by 17 and 15 points this season, yet it's catching points tonight in their third encounter? Kevin Love returns for the Timberwolves, who only scored 80 and 86 points in his absence. The Mavs opened as 1 ½-point favorites and have been pushed up to 2 ½, which tells you something. Jason Kidd is still 'questionable' for Dallas and Jason Terry is banged up too. Even though the number is short, Dallas is 1-3 SU and 0-4 ATS in its last four as a favorite.

Portland at New Orleans: Pick your poison here! Portland has been awful on the road (3-9 SU, 3-9 ATS) and New Orleans has been just as bad at home (2-13 SU, 4-11 ATS). Portland opened as a 6 ½-point favorite and it's hard to justify laying or taking in this spot. The total (182.5) could be worth a look here. Both clubs hold identical 15-11 marks to the 'under' and I would expect the defensive effort for Portland to be much better after allowing 111 and 103 at home.

For the last two affairs, I reached out to VegasInsider.com handicapper Kevin Rogers, who's starting to figure out this 66-game season.

L.A. Lakers at New York: The Lakers continue their six-game road trip at Madison Square Garden tonight as they look to capitalize off last night's OT win at Boston. The Knicks will be without Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony once again, but the emergence of point guard Jeremy Lin has propelled New York to back-to-back wins and covers. In fact, New York has cashed in six straight games, while looking to snap a nine-game skid against the Lakers that dates back to 2007.Despite the win at Boston yesterday, L.A. is just 4-9 both SU and ATS on the road.

Oklahoma City at Utah: Oklahoma City's two-game winning streak came to an abrupt halt in last night's five-point setback at Sacramento, as the Thunder heads to Salt Lake City for a division battle the Jazz. Utah returns home after losses at New York and Indiana, while the Jazz have lost four of their past five games. Oklahoma City owns a 3-5 ATS record when playing with no rest, but the Thunder hasn't disappointed 'over' bettors by putting together an 8-1 'over' record the previous nine games.
 

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Lin tries to lead Knicks to 4th straight win Friday

LOS ANGELES LAKERS (15-11)

at NEW YORK KNICKS (11-15)


Tip-off: Friday, 8:05 p.m. ET
Line: L.A. Lakers -3½, Total: 186

Lin-sanity continues when the new-look Knicks host the Lakers on Friday night.

With All-Stars Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony out, undrafted second-year free agent Jeremy Lin has become the focal point of the Knicks. He’s led New York to three straight victories, averaging 25.3 PPG, 8.3 APG, and posting an average plus/minus of +14.3. But Los Angeles has won nine straight meetings (6-3 ATS), and has scored 126, 115 and 113 points in its past three visits to Madison Square Garden.

Which team will prevail on Friday night? Check out the NBA Three At Three for ATS picks covering all the marquee NBA games each weekday.

The Lakers are playing the second night of a tough back-to-back after an overtime win in Boston Thursday night, but they defend the pick-and-roll pretty well. Stopping Kobe Bryant (29.2 PPG) will be the Knicks’ biggest defensive challenge. Bryant has averaged 40.3 PPG on 54.2% shooting from the field over his past three visits to New York, while Pau Gasol (16.8 PPG, 10.2 RPG) has added 23.7 PPG on 65% shooting on those nights. However, fatigue could be an issue for the Lakers after Bryant played 44 minutes and Gasol 41 in Boston on Thursday. The FoxSheets have a trend working against New York:

Play Against - Home underdogs (NEW YORK) - tired team - playing 6 or more games in 10 days, second half of the season. (153-97 over the last 5 seasons, 61.2%, +46.3 units. Rating = 2*).

The undersized Knicks have spread the floor with three-point shooters while Lin pick-and-rolls with all the space created. Along with Lin, stretch PF Steve Novak (5.6 PPG) has emerged as a force over the past two games, averaging 19.0 PPG in just 22.0 MPG, hitting 10-of-17 from behind the arc. Defensive specialist Tyson Chandler (12.0 PPG, 9.9 RPG) has also made a big impact on the offensive end since Lin stepped in, working the pick-and-roll with him and averaging 17.3 PPG on 65.4% shooting during the three-game surge. The FoxSheets provide an anti-Lakers trend favoring New York:

L.A. LAKERS are 5-20 ATS (20.0%, -17.0 Units) after a combined score of 175 points or less over the last 3 seasons. The average score was L.A. LAKERS 97.8, OPPONENT 98.1 - (Rating = 2*).
 

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Bobcats try to end 12-game skid facing Bulls

CHICAGO BULLS (22-6)

at CHARLOTTE BOBCATS (3-22)


Tip-off: Friday, 7:05 p.m. ET
Line: Chicago -13½, Total: 182½

The sizzling-hot Bulls, winners of four straight, take on the lowly Bobcats, who have lost 12 consecutive games, on Friday night in Charlotte.

The Bobcats are 1-18 SU (6-13 ATS) since beating the Knicks on Jan. 4, and the Bulls have crushed three straight teams (all on the road) by 22.3 PPG. Can Chicago cover such a huge spread on the road? To find out, connect to the NBA Weekend 6-Pack for ATS picks covering all the marquee NBA games this weekend.

The last time Chicago visited Charlotte last March, it won by 17 points, hitting 51% FG. This season, the Bulls are 12-6 ATS on the road, with a more efficient offense (98.8 PPG, 48% FG) than at home. Chicago is 5-2 during its nine-game road trip, with its latest win being a 90-67 spanking at New Orleans Wednesday night, as it held the Hornets to just 37% FG. Because the score was so lopsided, star point guard Derrick Rose was able to sit out the fourth quarter to rest his ailing back. Rose has also been bothered by a sprained big toe on his left foot, which has allowed backup C.J. Watson to step up in his absence. Watson had a rough shooting night in New Orleans (1-for-10 FG), but he has averaged 7.0 APG in his past three games. Carlos Boozer led Chicago with 18 points on Wednesday, and is averaging 16.5 PPG on 61% FG in his past four contests. Boozer also scored 23 points the last time these teams met, a 95-89 Bulls win on Jan. 21. SG Richard Hamilton, who scored 20 points in that meeting, remains out indefinitely with a groin injury. The FoxSheets show this trend backing the Bulls:

Play Against - Underdogs (CHARLOTTE) - revenging a loss vs. opponent, off 2 road covers where the team lost straight up as an underdog. (87-48 since 1996.) (64.4%, +34.2 units. Rating = 2*).

The Bobcats are 3-7 ATS at home this season, but many of their recent problems stem from a slew of injuries. The starting backcourt of D.J. Augustin (13.6 PPG, 6.6 APG) and Gerald Henderson (team-high 15.0 PPG) are both out with injuries, and SF Corey Maggette (12.2 PPG) is doubtful to play because of a bad hamstring. Rookie PG Kemba Walker has filled in nicely with 14.6 PPG, 5.5 RPG and 4.2 APG in his 13 starts, but he’s made just 33% FG in his past four contests. Reggie Williams has taken Henderson’s spot in the starting lineup and he tallied 21 points in Tuesday’s 94-84 loss at Boston. Derrick Brown came off the bench to score 20 against the Celtics, shooting a perfect 10-for-10 from the floor. This three-star FoxSheets trend thinks the Bobcats can keep the final score respectable:

Play On - Underdogs of 10 or more points (CHARLOTTE) - after scoring 85 points or less against opponent after a combined score of 160 points or less. (33-10 since 1996.) (76.7%, +22 units. Rating = 3*).
 

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Tired Thunder visit Utah on Friday

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER (20-6)

at UTAH JAZZ (13-11)


Tip-off: Friday, 10:35 p.m. ET
Line: Oklahoma City -1, Total: 201

Utah has been excellent at home all season, and it will have a chance to notch a big-time win when the road-weary Thunder visit on Friday night.

The Jazz are 11-4 SU and 9-5-1 ATS at home this season, and for Oklahoma City this is the last of a five-game, seven-day road trip that included a five-point loss in Sacramento Thursday night. Can the Thunder muster enough strength to pull this game out? To find out, connect to the NBA Three At Three for ATS picks covering all the marquee NBA games each weekday.

The Jazz may have lost three in a row SU (0-2-1 ATS) to the Thunder, but this is an excellent opportunity to steal an upset win. They are coming off back-to-back SU losses in their mini-road trip, getting blitzed by Jeremy Lin and Company in New York and losing a tight one in Indiana. Offensively, they continue to rely heavily on their post duo of Al Jefferson (18.5 PPG, 8.9 RPG) and Paul Millsap (16.5 PPG, 9.7 RPG). They’ve also gotten solid production out of second-year swingman Gordon Hayward (9.8 PPG) of late, who has averaged 14.0 PPG and been in double-digits in six of his past seven games. The FoxSheets show this trend backing the Thunder:

Play On - Road favorites (OKLAHOMA CITY) - after going over the total by 30 or more points total in their last five games, second half of the season. (95-57 over the last 5 seasons.) (62.5%, +32.3 units. Rating = 2*).

Kevin Durant played 41 minutes and Russell Westbrook 38 against the Kings, one night before they’ll play in the thin air of Salt Lake City. The Thunder seemed to simply wear down on Thursday, getting outscored 19-6 in the final four minutes of an upset loss to the Kings. Defensive stopper Thabo Sefolosha is out with a foot injury (he’s not expected to play on Friday), and they’ve allowed 103-plus points in each of the first four games of their road trip. They’re fouling far too often, as opponents are averaging 25.0 free throws per game over their past four contests.

Durant (27.3 PPG, 50.3% FG) is obviously a force to be reckoned with right now, scoring 33 or more points in five of his past eight games. Westbrook (22.7 PPG) could pose the biggest problem for Utah though, as its plodding bigs will not be able to stay in front of him in pick-and-roll situations. Westbrook has been fantastic so far on the road trip, averaging 27.5 PPG on 52.3% shooting from the field, including 30-plus points in each of his past two games. The FoxSheets provide a trend favoring the Jazz:

UTAH is 32-17 ATS (65.3%, +13.3 Units) after 2 straight games with 10 or less offensive rebounds over the last 3 seasons. The average score was UTAH 102.5, OPPONENT 97.5 - (Rating = 1*).
 

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Friday’s betting tips: Hawks cleaning up vs. Magic

Who’s hot

NBA: Atlanta is 9-1 against the spread in its last 10 vs. Orlando.

NBA: Philadelphia is 13-5 against the spread in its last 18 home games.

NHL: Buffalo is 4-0-1 in its last five overall and has won five of its last six against Dallas.

NHL: The under is 7-1 in Anaheim’s last eight.

NCAAB: Loyola-Maryland has covered in four straight.

Who’s not

NBA: Charlotte has covered just one of its last eight home games and is 2-7 ATS in its last nine overall.

NBA: Miami is 3-8 against the spread in its last 11 overall.

NHL: Carolina is 6-20 in its last 26 road games.

NHL: Chicago has lost six straight overall and eight consecutive road games.

NCAAB: Harvard is 0-3 against the spread in its last three overall and 5-12 ATS in its last 17 meetings with Pennsylvania.

Key stat

53.2 – The Loyola-Maryland Greyhounds are allowing just an average of 53.2 points per game during their six-game winning streak. All six of those games have checked in below their posted totals and the under has now cashed in 13 times compared to four overs in Greyhounds games this year. Loyola-Maryland hosts Iona Friday.

Injury that shouldn’t be overlooked

Thomas Vanek, Buffalo Sabres – Vanek hopes to return to the lineup Friday against the Dallas Stars after sitting out three games with an upper-body injury. The right wing is tied for the team lead in goals (19) and sits second in points (41). The Sabres are set as -145 favorites against Dallas.

Game of the day

Los Angeles Clippers at Philadelphia 76ers (-4, 189.5)

Notable quotable

“Look at the stats the past three games, he’s one of the top point guards if not the top point guard in the league. Going up against John Wall, Deron Williams, Devin Harris and he’s outplaying these guys. The energy in this room and camaraderie we have unifies this team. He can take credit for that.” - Jared Jeffries on the impact New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin has had on the team.

Notes and tips

Dwight Howard had made it clear that he wants out of Orlando. The owner of the team isn't eager to accommodate the Magic's superstar center. "I don't want to trade him," Orlando owner Rich DeVos told reporters. Howard, who can become an unrestricted free agent after the season, has asked the team to trade him. If the Magic do not make a deal by the March 15 trade deadline, they risk losing Howard for nothing - much like the Cleveland Cavaliers did with LeBron James. "You never give up," DeVos said. "We've got a great talent, a great young man. He's got to look at his options (and) what's best for him and I have to tell him what I think is best for him. I'm selfish." Orlando is a 4.5-point favorite against Atlanta.

Harvard has allowed just one opponent to crack the 70-point plateau this season and has held each of its last six opponents to 60 or fewer points. However, the weakest part of the Crimson defense is covering the perimeter. Harvard allows opponents to hit 32.2 percent of its treys (91st in the country), while Friday’s opponent, Pennsylvania, hits 37 percent from downtown. The Quakers have covered the number in three of their last four meetings with Harvard, which is pegged as a 5-point road favorite.

Tiger Woods was five shots off the pace after shooting a 4-under-par 68 in the first round of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Thursday at Pebble Beach, Calif. Playing in his first event of the year, Woods carded six birdies at Spyglass Hill, considered the more difficult of the tournament's three courses. “This is the harder of the three (courses)," Woods said. "Hopefully next two days I can get it going.” Dustin Johnson had a pair of eagles in the first six holes en route to a 9-under 63 at Pebble Beach that left him in a three-way atop the leaderboard with Danny Lee and Charlie Wi.
 

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Armadillo: Friday's six-pack

Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal wrote an interesting article, talking about how much alumni of each college basketball program had named in the NBA, since 1985. Here are the top six teams:

6) UConn Huskies $679M—Ray Allen-Hamilton

5) Michigan Wolverines $715M—Webber-Jalen Rose

4) Georgetown Hoyas $727M—Iverson-Mourning-Mutombo

3) Arizona Wildcats $738M—Bibby-Elliott

2) Duke $809M—Grant Hill-Elton Brand

1) North Carolina $853M—Vince Carter/Rasheed Wallace


****************


Armadillo: Friday's List of 13: The best times to be in Las Vegas.......

First of all, there are no bad days to be in Las Vegas. None, not even when its 113 degrees in mid-July (its usually only 98 or 100 after the sun goes down). With that in mind, here are 13 of my favorite times to be in America’s Favorite City:

13) Super Sunday—There is so much gambling going on, almost every play in the Super Bowl causes money to change hands somehow. People bet on the coin toss and the length of the national anthem. For the action junkie, it doesn’t get much better than this.

12) NBA Summer League in July—OK, so its 113 outside, but for $28, you can sit in the Thomas & Mack Center and watch NBA rookies try to impress their new teams all day long, while also getting a chance to talk with celebrities as they enter/leave by same doors you do. Underrated fun. Did I mention its air conditioned?

11) Eating pancakes in a casino coffee shop at 5am— pinnacle of people watching, if you’re into that, and who isn’t? Plus, I’m convinced that food tastes better in the middle of the night.

10) First day of World Match Play golf tournament; Mini-version of March Madness; 64-golfer bracket means 32 matches to invest in on a Wednesday afternoon. Some of these guys no one has heard of, Some of the ones you’ve heard of get upset early on.

Lot of action for a Wednesday in February.

9) Bowling at South Point at 4am, going to the indoor go-kart track, or to the shooting range, all good stuff. I’m a terrible go-kart racer; too cautious.

8) Any weeknight during baseball season—Six hours of baseball goes by quickly in a sportsbook, where the Royals or Pirates get as much attention as the big market teams, as long as a group of guys bet on them. Always fun to figure out which game is involved when you hear random screaming from a corner of the room.

7) Watching World Series of Poker at Rio—Very large room, convention center-size, packed with poker players, with no noise except for poker chips clicking together and the occasional yell of “All In!!!” when someone puts their tournament life on the line.

Not as much fun as on TV, because you can’t see percentages of winning, obviously, but still lot of fun to see once.

6) UNLV basketball—Lot of history in Thomas & Mack Center; Tark the Shark still goes to the games, and the Rebels are good. They have good hot dogs in the arena, too.

5) Any football weekend—13 hours of action on Saturday, 11 more on Sunday. I recommend the South Point for watching football; there was always room when I was there, it wasn’t a ripoff for food/drinks and the people who run the place act like they want you there. Did I mention they sell 75-cent hot dogs?

4) Lounging by the pool at Bally’s—Had never done this before April, but its excellent, very relaxing. Weather in April was perfect for sitting by pool, doing some reading while you lounge in the sun, taking in the sights, and believe me, there are some interesting sights. .

3) Championship Week of college hoop, especially Thursday/Friday: 40-something games on Thursday, a few less on Friday, but every game packed with meaning, as Selection Sunday is only 2-3 days away.

2) New Year’s Eve—I haven’t done this one yet, but they shut down the Strip to traffic for a while, and there are lots of fireworks, even more than usual. Hotel rates are steep, but what better way to bring in a new year?

1) First weekend of NCAA tournament—Its almost too crowded in sportsbooks for this weekend, but again an off-the-strip place like South Point is probably the best idea. This is my favorite weekend of the year, no matter where I am, but if you’re in the desert and can go bowling at 4am after watching the games, its just that much better.
 

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Harvard at Pennsylvania
The Crimson look to take advantage of a Penn team that is 3-8 ATS in its last 11 games as a home underdog of 1 to 6 1/2 points. Harvard is the pick (-4 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Crimson favored by 7. Dunkel Pick: Harvard (-4 1/2). Here are all of today's picks.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10

Game 875-876: Brown at Columbia (7:00 p.m. EST)

Dunkel Ratings: Brown 43.348; Columbia 51.274
Dunkel Line: Columbia by 8; 121
Vegas Line: Columbia by 10 1/2; 124 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Brown (+10 1/2); Under

Game 877-878: Dartmouth at Princeton (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Dartmouth 43.448; Princeton 54.369
Dunkel Line: Princeton by 11; 112 1/2
Vegas Line: Princeton by 13; 119
Dunkel Pick Dartmouth (+13); Under

Game 879-880: Harvard at Pennsylvania (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Harvard 62.746; Pennsylvania 55.723
Dunkel Line: Harvard by 7; 112 1/2
Vegas Line: Harvard by 4 1/2; 121 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Harvard (-4 1/2); Under

Game 881-882: WI-Green Bay at Wright State (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: WI-Green Bay 51.047; Wright State 56.169
Dunkel Line: Wright State by 5; 125
Vegas Line: Wright State by 3; 123 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Wright State (-3); Over

Game 883-884: Yale at Cornell (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Yale 51.124; Cornell 56.721
Dunkel Line: Cornell by 5 1/2; 138 1/2
Vegas Line: Cornell by 3; 133 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cornell (-3); Over

Game 885-886: WI-Milwaukee at Detroit (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: WI-Milwaukee 54.033; Detroit 60.912
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 7; 135 1/2
Vegas Line: Detroit by 5; 133
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-5); Over

Game 887-888: Iona at Loyola-MD (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Iona 61.759; Loyola-MD 61.353
Dunkel Line: Even; 146
Vegas Line: Iona by 2 1/2; 143
Dunkel Pick: Loyola-MD (+2 1/2); Over
 

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Armadillo's Write-Up

Friday, February 10


Brown lost nine of last eleven games, with only two wins against teams ranked #323/294; Bruins are 1-5 in Ivy, losing only road game at Yale by 4. Brown is 1-6 on road, with five of six losses by 13+ points. Columbia is 2-4 in Ivy recording after an 11-5 pre-conference mark; their two Ivy wins are by 2-5 points. Ivy League double digit favorites are 1-6 against the spread, 0-5 at home. Last seven Columbia games were all decided by 5 or less points.

Dartmouth lost 11 of last 12 games, with only win vs #330 Longwood; Big Green is 0-6 in Ivy, but their last four losses were all by 10 points or less. Dartmouth is making only 41.3% of its 2-point shots (#337)- they are 0-10 on road vs D-I teams (won at Alaska-Anchroage). Princeton is 2-3 in Ivy, but all five games were played on road; Tigers haven't played a D-I team at home since November 30. Ivy League double digit favorites are 1-6 against the spread, 0-5 at home.

Harvard is 6-0 in Ivy, winning first three games by 16+ points, last three by 11-9-5 points; Crimson has allowed average of only 44 ppg in taking its three conference road games by 16-30-9 points. Harvard was held to 53-54 points in its only two losses, to UConn/Fordham. Penn won five of last six games, with an upset of St Joe's in there; they're 4-1 in league, with only loss byseven points at Yale. Ivy League single digit home underdogs are 2-5 against the spread.

Green Bay is 0-11 on road, 0-5 in conference play, losing road games by 4-3-1-10-30 points, but they're 3-1-1 vs spread in thoe games. Wright State (+5.5) lost first meeting 57-56 at Green Bay, game they led by 8 at the half; Raiders made 7-12 from arc, but got outscored 26-5 on foul line. Horizon home favorites of less than 5 points are 7-10 against the spread. Wright State won its last three home games, allowing 53 ppg; they've covered only once in four games as a favorite.

Yale is 5-1 in Ivy League; they need to keep winning to stay within one length of Harvard- they still have a rematch with the Crimson. Three of five Yale losses are to teams in BCS conferences; five of their six games in Ivy League were at home, with a 13-point win at Brown in its only road game. Cornell split its six Ivy game after a 5-9 pre-conference slate. Ivy League single digit home favorites are 6-3 against the spread. Cornell is 6-2 at home against D-I teams, losing to American/Penn.

Milwaukee (-4) beat Detroit 84-74 Jan 14, making 14-24 from arc in a game they led by 20 at the half, but they're 2-4 since that game, and the Titans are 4-1, winning last four home games, with three wins by 11 or more points. Detroit is shooting 27.6% from arc (#337); their last three games were all decided by 5 or less points. Horizon home favorites of 8 or less points are 12-16 against the spread. Milwaukee is making only 58% from foul line, 6th-worst percentage in country.

Iona (-10.5) beat Loyola 74-63 in first meeting Jan 15, holding Loyola to 39% from floor, outscoring them 16-7 from foul line in game they were down 5 at the half. Gaels won last four games, all by 9+ points; they're 6-1 on MAAC road, with only loss at Siena when they led at half by 10. MAAC home underdogs of 5 or less points are 1-5 vs spread. Loyola won its last six games, covering last four, holding all six opponents to 57 or less points. Greyhounds won their last five home games.
 

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Friday, February 10


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Game of the day: Los Angeles Clippers at Philadelphia 76ers
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Los Angeles Clippers at Philadelphia 76ers (-4, 189.5)

THE STORY
: The Philadelphia 76ers haven’t lost back-to-back home games this season and are 13-4 at home. The Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles Clippers figure to provide a good test for the Atlantic Division leaders and are 2-1 during a six-game road excursion. The Clippers lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday in what All-Star point guard Chris Paul described as “definitely one of our worst showings.” Philadelphia has won six of its last eight despite losing to San Antonio at home on Wednesday.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, Fox Sports West (Los Angeles), Comcast SportsNet (Philadelphia)

LINE: The opening spread of -4 has held steady, however, the total has dropped from 189.5 to 188.5 at some books.

ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (15-8, 13-10 ATS): Randy Foye drew the start Wednesday against Cleveland in Los Angeles’ first game without Chauncey Billups (Achilles’ tendon). Foye scored 15 points and has reached double digits in five of his seven starts this season. Coach Vinny Del Negro opted to keep Mo Williams in a reserve role and Williams had just five points in 34 minutes. Williams has made just 5 of 22 shots over the past two games but is averaging 14.1 points overall.

ABOUT THE 76ERS (18-8, 17-8-1 ATS): Versatile Andre Iguodala was named to the All-Star team Thursday for the first time in his eight-year career. Iguodala has been a superb all-around player during Philadelphia’s surprise rise, averaging 13 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists with nearly as many steals (46) as turnovers (49). Philadelphia sees his inclusion as a sign of respect for its team-first philosophy. The Sixers have committed the fewest turnovers per game in the league at 10.7.

TRENDS:

* Over is 4-1 in the last five meetings.
* Clippers are 6-13 ATS in the last 19 meetings.
* Road team is 8-3 ATS in the last 11 meetings.

BUZZER BEATERS:

1. Philadelphia guard Jrue Holiday averaged 22 points and seven assists as the Sixers swept two games from Los Angeles last season.

2. Griffin shot just 32.1 percent from the field against the 76ers last season.

3. Philadelphia is 0-5 this season when allowing 100 or more points.

PREDICTION: 76ers 91, Clippers 87
 

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Armadillo's Write-Up

Friday, February 10


Hot Teams
-- Celtics won five of their last six games.
-- Bulls covered five of last six games as a road favorite.
-- 76ers are 11-4 against spread as a home favorite. Clippers won four of their last five road games.
-- Bucks covered five of their last six road games. Cleveland is 5-2-1 vs spread in last eight games as an underdog.
-- Detroit won its last three games, covered its last four.
-- Pacers covered five of last six games as a road underdog.
-- Dallas won four of its last five road games. Minnesota covered four of five games as a home underdog.
-- New York won last three games, covered last six. Lakers won four of their last six games.
-- Thunder is 6-3-1 vs spread in last ten games as a road favorite. Utah covered ten of its fifteen home games.

Cold Teams
-- Miami covered once in last six games as road favorite. Wizards are 2-6 in last eight games as a home underdog.
-- Raptors covered once in five games as a home underdog.
-- Orlando covered twice in last seven games as a home favorite. Hawks lost three of their last four games.
-- Bobcats covered once in last six games as a home underdog.
-- Nets lost six of last seven games (0-3 vs spread in last three).
-- Memphis lost seven of its last ten games.
-- Portland covered only three of its dozen road games. New Orleans is 4-14 vs spread in its home games.

Wear and Tear
-- Heat: 3rd game/4 nites. Wizards: 3rd game/5 nites.
-- Celtics: 3rd game/4 nites. Raptors: 4th game/6 nites.
-- Hawks: 3rd game/5 nites. Magic: 3rd game/5 nites.
-- Bulls: 3rd game/5 nites. Bobcats: Had last two nites off.
-- Clippers: 3rd game/5 nites. 76ers: 3rd game/5 nites.
-- Bucks: 3rd game/4 nites. Cavaliers: 3rd game/4 nites.
-- Nets: 3rd game/5 nites. Pistons: 2nd game/6 nites.
-- Pacers: 3rd game/4 nites. Grizzlies: 4th game/6 nites.
-- Mavericks: 2nd game/6 nites. Wolves: 3rd game/4 nites.
-- Blazers: 3rd game/5 nites. Hornets: 3rd game/5 nites.
-- Lakers: 5th game/8 nites. Knicks: 6th game/9 nites.
-- Thunder: 6th game/9 nites. Jazz: Had last two nites off.

Totals
-- Over is 8-4 in Miami road games this season.
-- Four of last five Toronto home games went over total.
-- Four of last five Orlando home games went over the total.
-- Four of last five Charlotte home games went over total.
-- Seven of last ten Philly home games stayed under total.
-- Nine of Bucks' last ten games went over the total.
-- Seven of last ten New Jersey road games went over total.
-- Five of last seven Indiana road games went over the total.
-- Under is 10-5 in Minnesota's home games this season.
-- Nine of twelve Portland road games stayed under total.
-- Four of last five Laker games stayed under the total.
-- Six of last seven Thunder road games went over the total.
 

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Friday, February 10


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Pick 'n' roll: Friday's best NBA bets
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Portland Trail Blazers at New Orleans Hornets (N/A)

Sometimes the Trail Blazers look like one of the elite teams in the Western Conference and others they look absolutely lost on the court.

Consistency has been a major problem and was again in Wednesday’s 103-96 loss to Houston. Portland was asleep at the wheel while the Rockets jumped out to a 60-46 lead at the half. The Blazers have now dropped three of four both straight up and against the spread as they head out on the road.

"I don't know, but we are playing tight,” Wesley Matthews said about the team’s recent slump. “Playing not to mess up. Not to lose. That's not how we are. You look at this team we have dawgs, guys who just get after it, who don't think, basketball is just second nature. We just go out and play. That's when you see us at our best.”

LaMarcus Aldridge was battling the flu and managed just 13 points on 5-for-14 shooting against Houston and should be much better Friday. He's putting up 23.3 points and 8.5 boards per game.

The Blazers will be able to play freely against the Hornets, which should help them snap this slump. New Orleans has dropped seven in a row straight up and against the spread.

Pick: Trail Blazers


Atlanta Hawks at Orlando Magic (-4.5, 182)


Coming off an impressive 102-89 victory over LeBron James and the Heat, it’s hard not to think about what this Magic team could accomplish if Dwight Howard remains with the club.

Howard had another huge game against Miami, putting up 25 points and 24 rebounds in the win. Despite all the distractions about his contract status, Howard is staying focused on each upcoming game on the schedule.

“Just giving the same energy and effort every night is the big thing,” Howard told reporters. “This is a great win considering the loss we had against the Clippers. But we have to erase this game and move on to the Hawks."

Nine of the last 10 meetings between these two teams have played under the total and we expect a similar story Friday.

Pick: Under
 

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New Jersey at Detroit
The Nets look to take advantage of a Detroit team that is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games as a favorite. New Jersey is the pick (+2 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Nets favored by 2. Dunkel Pick: New Jersey (+2 1/2). Here are all of today's picks

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10

Game 851-852: Miami at Washington (7:00 p.m. EST)

Dunkel Ratings: Miami 125.711; Washington 110.217
Dunkel Line & Total: Miami by 15 1/2; 193
Vegas Line & Total: Miami by 12; 199 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Miami (-12); Under

Game 853-854: Boston at Toronto (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Boston 121.681; Toronto 116.022
Dunkel Line & Total: Boston by 5 1/2; 172 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Boston by 3 1/2; 175
Dunkel Pick: Boston (-3 1/2) Under

Game 855-856: Atlanta at Orlando (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta 117.596; Orlando 119.796
Dunkel Line & Total: Orlando by 2; 180
Vegas Line & Total: Orlando by 4 1/2; 183
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (+4 1/2); Under

Game 857-858: Chicago at Charlotte (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Chicago 125.533; Charlotte 106.954
Dunkel Line & Total: Chicago by 18 1/2; 188
Vegas Line & Total: Chicago by 13; 183 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Chicago (-13); Over

Game 859-860: LA Clippers at Philadelphia (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Clippers 118.942; Philadelphia 124.639
Dunkel Line & Total: Philadelphia by 5 1/2; 190
Vegas Line & Total: Philadelphia by 4; 188 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (-4); Over

Game 861-862: Milwaukee at Cleveland (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Milwaukee 118.803; Cleveland 115.919
Dunkel Line & Total: Milwaukee by 3; 187
Vegas Line & Total: Cleveland by 1; 192 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (+1); Under

Game 863-864: New Jersey at Detroit (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: New Jersey 112.210; Detroit 110.088
Dunkel Line & Total: New Jersey by 2; 191 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Detroit by 2 1/2; 188 1/2
Dunkel Pick: New Jersey (+2 1/2); Over

Game 865-866: Indiana at Memphis (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Indiana 121.818; Memphis 120.784
Dunkel Line & Total: Indiana by 1; 180
Vegas Line & Total: Memphis by 1 1/2; 185
Dunkel Pick: Indiana (+1 1/2); Under

Game 867-868: Dallas at Minnesota (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Dallas 120.174; Minnesota 122.952
Dunkel Line & Total: Minnesota by 3; 194 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Dallas by 2 1/2; 190
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (+2 1/2); Over

Game 869-870: Portland at New Orleans (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Portland 124.195; New Orleans 110.952
Dunkel Line & Total: Portland by 13; 184
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 871-872: LA Lakers at New York (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Lakers 121.449; New York 116.122
Dunkel Line & Total: LA Lakers by 5 1/2; 191
Vegas Line & Total: LA Lakers by 3; 186
Dunkel Pick: LA Lakers (-3); Over

Game 873-874: Oklahoma City at Utah (10:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oklahoma City 120.552; Utah 116.199
Dunkel Line & Total: Oklahoma City by 4 1/2; 206 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Oklahoma City by 1; 200 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Oklahoma City (-1); Over
 

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Armadillo's Write-Up

Friday, February 10


Hot teams
-- Sabres won four of their last five games.
-- Red Wings won their last 18 home games. Ducks won three of their last four home games.
-- Sharks won ten of their last fourteen home games.

Cold teams
-- Dallas Stars are 2-8 in game following their last ten wins.
-- Hurricanes lost ten of their last twelve road games. Colorado lost five of its last six games.
-- Blackhawks lost their last eight road games.

Totals
-- Six of last seven Dallas road games went over the total.
-- Seven of last eight Anaheim games stayed under the total.
-- Last five Carolina road games stayed under the total.
-- Last four San Jose games went over the total.

Series records
-- Sabres won four of last five games against Dallas.
-- Red Wings won five of last seven games against Anaheim.
-- Home side won four of last five Carolina-Colorado games.
-- Sharks lost four of last five games against Chicago.

Back-to-Back
-- Dallas Stars are 0-9 when they played the night before.
 

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Friday, February 10


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ice picks: Friday's best NHL bets
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Dallas Stars at Buffalo Sabres (-145, 5.5)

If all it took was a few broken ribs to get his team playing with purpose, you can bet Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff would have hit the trainer's table a lot earlier in the season.

Ruff suffered three broken ribs during an accident in practice earlier this week and was forced to watch Wednesday’s game against the defending-champion Bruins from the press box. The Sabres responded with a 6-0 drubbing of the B’s and didn’t shy away from the physical play when Boston started throwing its weight around.

"It's killing him because he is the pulse and heartbeat of the team," assistant coach James Patrick told reporters of Ruff. "He's our leader. He's in a lot of pain, but he feels sick that he can't be here."

Ryan Miller stopped all 36 shots he faced for his second shutout in three games, helping Buffalo improve to 4-0-1 in its last five.

The Sabres are riding a high while Dallas is playing on consecutive nights.

Pick: Sabres


Chicago Blackhawks at San Jose Sharks (-140, 5.5)


The Chicago Blackhawks are riding a six-game losing streak with no solutions in sight.

The Blackhawks just can’t put a complete 60 minutes together right now. Tied 2-2 at Colorado heading into the third period, they fell apart again when the Avalanche pumped in three even-strength goals to run away with a 5-2 victory.

"We still have a lot of work to do,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville told reporters. “That's what we have to reinforce, maybe looking at taking baby steps in certain areas, whether it's the depth of our forecheck, our play in our own end -- all have to be more detail-oriented."

So basically, Chicago needs to be better in all areas .The Sharks aren’t going to make that easy on the Hawks.

Chicago has won 12 of the last 15 meetings between the two teams but is winless in its last eight road games.

Pick: Over
 

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