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UConn At Louisville Highlights Big Monday

There's a fairly light college hoops schedule over the next two days as the bulk of North American sports fans turn their attention to the NFL Championship Game. Still, trying to cover a shorter slate for one day is difficult enough, much less two days in the same article, so let's get cracking.

West Virginia at Providence
Sunday, 12:00 p.m. (ET) ESPN3

It's certainly not a marquee matchup according to the rankings or current Big East standings, but it's a huge game for Bob Huggins and the Mountaineers. West Virginia has dropped three straight – games that should have or could have been won – to sit smack-dab in the middle of the conference standings with a level 5-5 record.

Recent series trends between the Mountaineers and Friars point to this being an excellent opportunity for WVU to get back into the win column. West Virginia has won seven straight vs. the Friars, three of the last four in Providence and is a perfect 6-0 since Huggins came to Morgantown.

Still, winning on the road in the Big East isn't easy regardless of the competition or trends. The Mountaineers proved that on Jan. 25 when they fell 78-62 at St. John's as 7½-point favorites, and are just 1-4 away from home on the conference schedule so far (2-3 against the spread).

Providence did have the big 90-59 home upset against Louisville a little more than three weeks ago, but has otherwise been a disappointment in front of the home fans. The Friars are 2-3 SU and ATS at Dunkin' Donuts Center in Big East play.

Michigan at Michigan State
Sunday, 1:00 p.m. (ET) CBS

This one has all the qualifications to be the most compelling matchup over the next two days, from being the only contest between ranked clubs, to the natural rivalry between the two schools and a share of the Big Ten lead potentially on the line for the visiting Wolverines.

There's also the rematch angle after Michigan nipped the Spartans three weeks ago in Ann Arbor, 60-59. That contest hovered around a pick 'em before closing with Michigan State laying a point on the NCAA odds. The victory for the Wolverines was their third straight in this series that had been dominated by the Spartans before the 2010-11 season.

State is coming off a horrible effort at Illinois this past Tuesday, a 42-41 loss as small road chalk. The Spartans couldn't buy a bucket against the Illini, hitting less than 25 percent from the field, and were without leading scorer Draymond Green for most of the game due to foul trouble and a sprained left knee that occurred late in the contest. Green, averaging 14.9 points per game along with a team-leading 10.3 rebounds, is probable for Sunday's game with the Wolverines.

Connecticut at Louisville
Monday, 7:00 p.m. (ET) ESPN

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Louisville's 12-0 run to open the campaign came to a crashing halt with five losses in a seven game stretch from late-December to mid-January. Four of those defeats came to Big East squads, but the Cardinals had rebounded with three consecutive wins entering play on Saturday when Louisville was a 10½-point favorite at home vs. Rutgers (result pending).

Meanwhile, the wheels have fallen off Connecticut's season in the past two weeks as the Huskies entered their Saturday matchup at home vs. Seton Hall on a four game slide and sporting a sub-.500 mark in the conference standings at 4-5. Adding to that misery is head coach Jim Calhoun sidelined for an indefinite period due to back problems. Calhoun will not be on the sidelines for either Saturday's game, with UConn laying seven against the Pirates, or this road trip to Louisville.

These two met in the finals of last year's Big East Tournament, a 69-66 Huskies win as 3-point 'dogs. The Cardinals had won the previous four regular season clashes, UConn's last victory in Louisville coming on Feb. 2, 2009. The last two meetings have finished 'under' the total.

Texas at Texas A&M
Monday, 9:00 p.m. (ET), ESPN

It's been a hugely disappointing season for both the Aggies and Longhorns who headed into their Saturday battles tied near the bottom of the Big 12 standings, each with 3-6 records. Neither squad is even remotely in the NCAA Tournament discussion, and it would take a strong run from either to even warrant an NIT invite at this stage. Still, Monday's game between the bitter rivals bears mentioning if only for the fact this could be Texas' last visit to College Station for a long, long time.

The season has been a total disaster for the Aggies who were ranked 19/20 in the two preseason polls. Bad news started before the team ever took to the floor when first year head coach Billy Kennedy was diagnosed with the early stages of Parkinson's disease. Top freshman recruit Jamal Branch decided to transfer just 12 games into the schedule, and the team has been hampered by injuries to star forward Khris Middleton (knee), point guard Dash Harris (foot) and forward Kourtney Roberson (ankle). Middleton and Harris could be back for Monday's tilt, but Roberson appears to still be a week away from returning.

Texas came into the season with far less expectations than the Aggies thanks to early departures from last season's roster. Rick Barnes' boys have been particularly vulnerable playing outside of Austin, going 1-7 in road or neutral site games and winless in four Big 12 trips. The one bright spot is the 'Horns have at least covered their last two away from home (at Kansas State and Baylor).

It has been a little more than three weeks since A&M and UT engaged for the first time this campaign. The Longhorns registered a 61-51 win in Austin, failing to cover the 12-point spread. That victory extended Texas' win string in the series to four but snapped a three game cover run. The Jan. 11 tilt just stayed 'under' the 123-point total, the fourth time in six games that the final failed to reach the scoreboard tally.

The results from their Saturday's games are still pending as we go to press. Texas A&M was getting 11½ on the road at Kansas State while Texas was laying a whopping 18½ at home to Texas Tech.
 

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Games to Watch

February 6, 2012

The men's college basketball season continues to press-on towards tournament- time and while there has already been an amazing number of stunning upsets and fantastic finishes, you cannot help but believe that the best is yet to come. The remaining schedule is filled with a number of matchups that will have a huge impact on shaping the field of 68 teams for the madness of March's NCAA Tournament.

The following is a brief look at the top matchups for each day this week along with a few facts and figures to help handicap the games.

Monday, February 6 - No. 4 Missouri vs. Oklahoma (ESPNU)

Missouri pushed its current winning streak to three games with a crucial 74-71 victory over No. 8 Kansas this past Saturday as a three-point home favorite. The Tigers are now 21-2 straight-up (10-6-2 against the spread) overall and tied for the lead in the Big 12 at 8-2 SU.

Oklahoma's 77-70 loss to Iowa State as a three-point home favorite this past Saturday was its fourth in its last five games and it dropped the Sooners to 13-9 SU and 7-11 ATS. They are 9-3 SU this season at home, but just 3-5 ATS. The total has stayed 'under' in five of the eight games. Oklahoma has been opened as a five point home underdog against the Tigers.

Tuesday, February 7 - No. 11 Florida vs. No. 1 Kentucky (ESPN)

Florida notched its seventh-straight win with a solid 73-65 victory over Vanderbilt this past Saturday as a 6 ½-point home favorite. The Gators are now 19-4 SU and 9-8-1 ATS. They remain a game and half behind the Wildcats in the SEC with a conference record of 7-1 SU.

Kentucky has not lost since early December and ran its overall record to 23-1 ATS with Saturday's 86-52 rout over South Carolina. The Wildcats are a costly 8-14-1 ATS this season, but they have covered in five of their last six games. They are 15-0 SU at home (3-10-1 ATS) and the total has stayed 'under' in 14 of 23 games overall.

Wednesday, February 8 - No. 5 Duke vs. No. 6 North Carolina (ESPN)

Sunday's stunning 78-74 overtime loss to Miami as a 12-point home favorite dropped Duke to 19-4 SU and 9-14 ATS. The Blue Devils 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games and the total has gone 'over' in five of their last seven. They now trail both North Carolina and Florida by a game in the ACC at 6-2 SU.

North Carolina got past Maryland 83-74 on Saturday but could not cover as a 12-point road favorite. It is now 20-3 SU on the year and 11-11 ATS. The Tar Heels are 14-0 SU at home and 7-6 ATS. The total has stayed 'under' in eight of the 13 games. They remain ranked first in the nation in both points and rebounds per game.

Thursday, February 9 - Mississippi vs. No. 19 Mississippi State (ESPN2)

Ole Miss was on the wrong end of a 69-67 double-overtime thriller with Alabama this past Saturday as a 10 ½-point road underdog. The loss dropped the Rebels to 14-8 SU overall and to 4-4 SU in the SEC. They are 10-9-1 ATS and the total has gone 'over' in six of nine games on the road.

Mississippi State squeaked by Auburn 91-88 as an 11 ½-point home favorite this past Saturday. The Bulldogs are now 18-5 SU overall, but they are just 2-7 ATS in their last nine games and 10-12 ATS overall. They are 14-1 SU at home this season, but 5-9 ATS. The total has gone 'over' in four of their last five games.

Friday, February 10 - Iona vs. Loyola-Maryland (ESPNU)

Iona comes into this game at 19-5 SU (10-10-2 ATS) and 11-2 SU in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The Gaels have won eight of their last 10 games SU and are 5-4-1 ATS. The total has stayed 'under' in six last their last eight games.

Loyola-Maryland has already lost to the Gaels this season 74-63 as an 11-point road underdog, but is tied with Iona in conference play at 11-2 SU. The Greyhounds are 18-5 SU overall and 8-6-3 ATS. They are 6-1-2 ATS in their last nine games and the total has stayed 'under' in their last six.

Saturday, February 11 - No. 10 Michigan State vs. No. 3 Ohio State (ESPN)

Michigan State posted a huge 64-54 victory over No.22 Michigan this past Sunday as a seven-point home favorite. The Spartans are now 18-5 SU and 13-7 ATS heading into a Wednesday night matchup with Penn State. They are 4-3 ATS on the road this season and the total has stayed 'under' in four of the seven games.

Ohio State ran its overall record to 20-3 SU and 12-6 SU with a 58-52 win over No.20 Wisconsin this past Saturday as a 3 ½-point road favorite. The Buckeyes are 8-2 SU in Big Ten play and a game ahead of the Spartans in the standings heading into Tuesday's contest against Purdue. Ohio State is 16-0 SU and 9-2 ATS at home this season.
 

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Three & Three ATS Results

January 24, 2012

This shortened NBA season has many bettors scrambling through the first two weeks as things are starting to settle. Many teams are playing back-to-backs and four games in five nights, but what about the newly-instituted three games in three nights? In order to condense as many contests as possible over the next four months, every team will play at least one set of three consecutive games in three days.
Below are the situations for this season and the results against the spread

TEAMS PLAYING 3RD GAME IN 3 NIGHTS
DATE TEAM LINE ATS RESULT

12/27 LAL 96, UT 71 -5.5 W
12/31 HOU 95, ATL 84 -1 W
1/2 DEN 91, MIL 86 -4.5 W
1/5 SAC 103, MIL 100 +3 W
1/7 ATL 109, CHI 94 +6 W
1/8 OKC 108, SA 96 -6.5 W
1/10 MIN 100, CHI 111 +6.5 L
1/11 CHI 78, WSH 64 -11.5 W
1/11 PHI 79, NY 85 +4 L
1/11 TOR 91, SAC 98 -5.5 L
1/14 CHA 112, GS 100 +3.5 W
1/18 LAC 91, DAL 89 +3.5 W
1/18 ORL 83, SA 85 -5.5 L
1/23 NJ 95, CHI 110 +13.5 L
1/25 POR 93, GS 101 +3.5 L
2/1 DET 96, NJ 99 +6 W
2/4 NY 99, NJ 92 -6.5 W
2/4 DEN 97, POR 117 +6.5 L
2/14 MIA at IND
2/14 UT at OKC
2/15 PHX vs. ATL
2/16 POR vs. LAC
2/16 IND vs. NJ
2/20 NJ at NY
2/22 NO at CLE
3/1 MIN at PHX
3/10 DAL at GS
3/16 PHX vs. DET
3/22 LAC at NO
3/24 MIL vs. IND*
3/25 ATL vs. UT
3/25 SA vs. PHI
3/26 WSH vs. DET
4/4 MEM at DAL
4/6 WSH at NJ
4/15 BOS at CHA
4/15 CLE vs. ORL
4/18 PHI at CLE
4/18 SA at SAC
4/19 DET vs. MIN
4/22 GS at MIN
*BOTH TEAMS PLAYING 3/3 NIGHTS
 

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Hoop Trends - Monday

February 6, 2012

SU TREND OF THE DAY:

The Hawks are 0-14 ATS (-13.6 ppg) since April 28, 2010 at home with at least one day of rest after a game in which they allowed at least 50% from the field and committeed more than five turnovers

OU TREND OF THE DAY:

The Wizards are 0-13-1 OU (-10.7 ppg) since February 11, 2007 at home with at least one day of rest off a loss in which they never led.

PLAYER TREND OF THE DAY:

The Spurs are 0-10 ATS (-12.3 ppg) since May 03, 2010 on the road after a win where they allowed less than 102 points in which Richard Jefferson scored fewer than 10 points.

CHOICE TOP TREND:

The Kings are 0-14 ATS (-9.4 ppg) since December 07, 2007 with a total under 214 after a home win in which their DPA was greater than 0.5.
 

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Cram Session

February 6, 2012

The Affects Of A Strike-Shortened NBA Season

When the NBA settled its lockout in December last year the league was forced to condense a 66-game schedule into a four-month span.

With that we examined the affect of this season's NBA crammed schedule on the teams and their play on the court. The results in games played through Sunday, February 5 have been interesting. All results are ATS (against The Spread) unless noted otherwise…

Advantage: Linemaker

The linemaker's have done a solid job balancing the action with home teams holding a slight edge, going 186-170 ATS overall.

The one area they've failed to get a handle on, though, over compensated teams off back-to-back wins in their last two games as these squads are just 75-101 ATS this season, including 7-23 ATS when facing an angry foe that was upset as a favorite in its previous game.

Totally Unfair

The action on teams playing with no rest has been fairly balanced as those who played the previous day are 112-115 ATS overall.

Breaking it down, unrested teams versus rested opponents are 56-69 SU and 62-63 ATS, including 7-19 ATS when facing an opponent off back-to-back defeats.

However, when it comes to Over/Under totals involving teams in back-to-backers the UNDER players have cleaned up.

That's confirmed by the fact that 'Overs' are just 93-130-4 ATS, including 28-66-2 ATS in a battle of two unrested opponents and a mind-blowing 8-38-2 ATS if the total in the game is 190 or greater.

In Need Of Oxygen

Matchups involving a pair of unrested foes have seen road teams taking their lumps, going 17-31 ATS.

These same tired travelers slip to 6-19 ATS when facing an unrest host off a win.

Ménage A Trois

Teams forced to play three games in three days have been moneymakers this campaign as evidenced by a 10-8 SU and 11-7 ATS record.

Breaking them down home teams have delivered a glossy 10-3 ATS log while visiting teams in the 3rd of 3 straight road games are just 1-4 ATS.

FYI: Teams off back-to-back losses in the backend of three-games in three-days are 5-0 ATS.

48 Hours

As you might expect, having the luxury of two or more days of rest has proven beneficial with these teams checking in at 37-28 ATS to date this season.

Bring them in off a loss and they improve to 21-8 ATS. Those off back-to-back losses zoom to 16-3 ATS.

And for what it's worth teams with two or more days of rest taking on an unrested foe are 13-7 ATS.

Chew On This

In closing here are a few other tidbits to chew on in this year's accommodation of billionaires and millionaires:

Favorites of more than 12 points are 17-6 ATS

Teams off a SU favorite loss are 23-7 ATS when facing an opponent off a pair of wins

Teams off back-to-back SU and ATS wins is 42-61 ATS, including 3-14 ATS if they were underdogs in both victories
 

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Thunder roll into Portland for Monday showdown

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER (18-5)

at PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS (14-10)


Tip-off: Monday, 10:05 p.m. ET
Line: Oklahoma City -1.5, Total: 195.5

Portland will be a home underdog for the first time this season when they host Oklahoma City on Monday night.

Which team will prevail on Monday night? Check out the NBA Three At Three for ATS picks covering all the marquee NBA games each weekday. NBA Three at Three finished a perfect 3-0 ATS last Monday.

The Thunder are coming off an uninspired effort in San Antonio on Saturday. They trailed by 24 late in the third quarter and scored the game’s final six points just to cut it to 11. They’ve been shaky defensively of late with their top perimeter defender, SG Thabo Sefolosha (foot), out of the lineup. He’s expected to miss Monday’s game too. Sefolosha has missed the past four games and the Thunder allowed 99.8 PPG during that span, including 107 in San Antonio and 112 on the road to the Clippers a week ago. They’re 2-3 SU and 1-4 ATS this season with Sefolosha out.

Over the years, Kevin Durant (26.8 PPG) has generally struggled at Portland, averaging 23.6 PPG in his career but shooting just 41.1% from the field. Erratic PG Russell Westbrook (21.7 PPG) has been an outright disaster at the Rose Garden, where he’s hit just 33.0% of his shots over six career games. However, the FoxSheets have a strong three-star trend backing the Thunder:

OKLAHOMA CITY is 14-2 ATS (87.5%, +11.8 Units) in road games revenging a loss where opponent scored 100 or more points over the last 2 seasons. The average score was OKLAHOMA CITY 101.9, OPPONENT 99.3 - (Rating = 3*).

Portland has won five in a row, SU and ATS, at home, including a 20-point crushing of Denver on Saturday. The Blazers are averaging 105.8 PPG and shooting 47.3% from the field and 36.4% from three at home, versus 90.7 PPG on 41.7% shooting from the field and 27.4% from three on the road this year.

In the Denver win, SF Nicolas Batum (12.4 PPG, 44.7% 3-pt FG) returned from a two-game absence and made the Nuggets pay for doubling LaMarcus Aldridge. Batum lit it up with 33 points, including 9-for-15 shooting from three. Aldridge (23.1 PPG) still finished with 29 points on 13-for-18 shooting. The FoxSheets have a three-star trend supporting the Blazers:

Play On - Any team (PORTLAND) - a good defensive team (88-92 PPG) against an average defensive team (92-98 PPG), after leading their last 3 games by 5+ points at the half. (29-7 over the last 5 seasons, 80.6%, +21.3 units. Rating = 3*).
 

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Surging Lakers visit Philly on Monday

LOS ANGELES LAKERS (14-10)

at PHILADELPHIA 76ERS (17-7)


Tip-off: Monday, 7:05 p.m. ET
Line: Philadelphia -3.5, Total: 177

The Lakers might be starting to turn things around on the road, and they’ll have a tough test in Kobe Bryant’s annual homecoming when they visit Philadelphia on Monday night.

Bryant hasn’t dominated in his hometown over the past four matchups, averaging just 21.0 PPG on 42.5% shooting, but the Lakers notched SU and ATS wins in all of those games, winning each of their past three matchups by eight points or more. But the 76ers have been excellent at home this year (12-3 SU, 11-4 ATS), holding opponents to a paltry 82.5 PPG on 41.1% FG. Can the Lakers pull off the mild upset on the road? Check out the NBA Three At Three for ATS picks covering all the marquee NBA games each weekday. NBA Three at Three finished a perfect 3-0 ATS last Monday.

The 76ers have certainly been one of the NBA’s most pleasant surprises this season, but a closer look reveals a lot of good breaks so far. They’ve played 15 of their 24 games at home, and their 17-7 SU and ATS record has included wins over some teams missing key players: Indiana (minus Danny Granger), Chicago (minus Luol Deng) and Atlanta (minus Al Horford). As far as other elite opponents, they’ve been hammered by Miami twice in the last 16 days.

They were missing C Spencer Hawes (10.7 PPG, 8.5 RPG) in Friday’s 20-point home loss to Miami but bounced back nicely in Atlanta the following night, getting their usual balanced attack (six players in double-digits, four of them off the bench). Philly has six players averaging double-digit points on the season, led by sixth man Louis Williams (15.1 PPG). More importantly, they’ve been the NBA’s best defensive team so far, leading the league in defensive efficiency and points allowed (86.5 PPG). The FoxSheets provide a three-star trend backing Philly:

PHILADELPHIA is 11-1 ATS (91.7%, +9.9 Units) versus poor foul drawing teams - attempting <=24 free throws/game this season. The average score was PHILADELPHIA 98.7, OPPONENT 82.0 - (Rating = 3*).

After dropping six of their first seven road games of the season, SU and ATS, the Lakers have won two of three away from home, including an impressive victory at Denver on Friday. They dropped a game in Utah on Saturday, but the Lakers have been much better when well-rested this year, going 10-5 SU and 8-7 ATS with a day or more of rest.

After some struggles offensively, the Lakers have been much better of late. They’re averaging 98.0 PPG and, after topping 100 points just once in their first 20 games, have been in triple-digits in two of their past four contests. Bryant (29.4 PPG) has averaged 26.3 PPG during that stretch, while C Andrew Bynum (17.0 PPG, 12.0 RPG) has 21.0 PPG (65.4% FG) and 10.0 RPG and PF Pau Gasol (16.5 PPG, 10.0 RPG) added 18.8 PPG on 52.6% shooting and 12.0 RPG. The FoxSheets have a trend in favor of Lakers (and former Cleveland) coach Mike Brown:

Brown is 89-58 ATS (60.5%, +25.2 Units) versus good shooting teams - making >=46% of their shots in all games he has coached since 1996. The average score was Brown 98.2, OPPONENT 95.0 - (Rating = 1*).
 

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UConn heads to Louisville on Monday night

CONNECTICUT HUSKIES (15-7, 5-5 Big East)

at LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (18-5, 6-4 Big East)


Tip-Off: Monday, 7:00 p.m. EDT
Line: Louisville -4, Total: 129

After grabbing its first win in 2½ weeks on Saturday, UConn looks to get a signature road victory as the Huskies travel to Louisville to take on the Cardinals in a Big East showdown on Monday night.

The Huskies snapped a four-game losing streak (SU and ATS) this weekend taking down Seton Hall 69-46 in Hartford. Louisville has been extremely inconsistent—unable to string together two wins in a row since beginning conference play. Huskies have lost four of their past five road games, mustering only 44 points in an ugly loss to Georgetown last Wednesday. Louisville has ramped up its play over the past two weeks, winning four consecutive games (SU and ATS) after a 2-4 start in Big East play. Both of these teams rebound well, but which school will prevail on Monday? Check out the College Basketball Weekday 6-Pack for picks covering all the big games in college basketball each week. In Friday’s edition, the 6-Pack finished 4-1-1 ATS, improving to 7-4-1 ATS (64%) on the year.

UConn will play its second consecutive game without Head Coach Jim Calhoun, who is on an indefinite leave of absence due to a severe back condition. The Huskies have averaged just 38.7 percent from the field over their past five games. Freshman Ryan Boatright (9.8 PPG, 3.5 APG) had a breakout game in Saturday’s win over Seton Hall, scoring 19 points (8-of-12 FG) and five assists. It’s been a tumultuous season for Boatright, who’s missed nine games due to a much-maligned NCAA investigation. Boatright has taken over the starting point guard role from sophomore Shabazz Napier (13.3 PGG, 5.7 APG), and the offense looks to run with more fluidity as a result. Boatright has the ability to create shots off the dribble, a spot in which Napier and sophomore Jeremy Lamb (17.6 PPG) haven’t been as successful. It will be crucial for UConn’s guards to run the offense through freshman center Andre Drummond (10.2 PPG, 7.7 RPG) and attack Louisville’s talented frontcourt. The Huskies simply don’t have the outside shooting ability to win games settling for jump shots.

This three-star FoxSheets trend also sides with the Huskies:

CONNECTICUT is 10-1 ATS (90.9%, +8.9 Units) in road games after a game where they made 78% of their free throws or better over the last 2 seasons. The average score was CONNECTICUT 73.6, OPPONENT 64.5 - (Rating = 3*).

The Cardinals (11-8 ATS) are fully healthy for the first time all season, and the offense is really clicking at home, averaging 73.8 PPG at the KFC Yum! Center compared to just 65.6 PPG on the road. Cardinals’ leading scorer Kyle Kuric (13.2 PPG) has 14 or more points in three of his past four games after an ankle injury sidelined him for two contests. With Kuric’s injury—along with Peyton Siva’s earlier in the season—the Cardinals struggled to find consistency and rhythm on offense early in the season. Look for Louisville to press a turnover-prone UConn team into early mistakes. With sophomore center Gorgui Dieng (10.2 PPG, 9.5 RPG) doubtful to play because of a knee injury, the Cards will try to work the ball inside to freshman forward Chane Behanan (9.7 PPG, 7.7 RPG). Behanan is coming off a career-high 23 points along with 11 rebounds in Louisville’s 78-66 win over Rutgers on Saturday. This anti-UConn FoxSheets trend also favors the Cardinals:

CONNECTICUT is 25-46 ATS (35.2%, -25.6 Units) in road games off a home win by 10 points or more since 1997. The average score was CONNECTICUT 72.1, OPPONENT 68.8 - (Rating = 1*).
 

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Texas, Texas A&M could have final meeting Monday

TEXAS LONGHORNS (14-9, 4-6 Big 12)

at TEXAS A&M AGGIES (12-10, 3-7 Big 12)


Tip-Off: Monday, 9:00 p.m. EDT
Line: Texas -2½, Total: 125½

Two struggling rivals could be meeting for the final time when Texas travels to Texas A&M on Monday night.

With the Aggies moving to the SEC next year, this long-standing rivalry could finish its final chapter on Monday. Both teams are trying to get closer to .500 in the Big 12 as Texas has dropped five of seven, while A&M has lost four of its past six games. In terms of the lines, the Horns have not won a game both SU and ATS since 2012 began, going 3-7 ATS (4-6 SU) in these 10 contests. Meanwhile, the Aggies have been quite profitable, going 7-1 ATS in their past eight games, which started with an ATS victory (10-point loss) at Texas on Jan. 11. With the Longhorns just 1-7 SU (3-5 ATS) outside of Austin this season, the pick here is TEXAS A&M to win as a home underdog.

This pair of highly-rated FoxSheets trends also side with the Aggies:

TEXAS A&M is 19-6 ATS (76.0%, +12.4 Units) after successfully covering the spread in 2 or more consecutive games over the last 3 seasons. The average score was TEXAS A&M 69.3, OPPONENT 62.0 - (Rating = 2*).

TEXAS is 4-17 ATS (19.0%, -14.7 Units) in road games versus very good defensive teams - shooting pct defense of <=39% after 15+ games since 1997. The average score was TEXAS 72.0, OPPONENT 82.0 - (Rating = 2*).

Texas has been ice-cold in its past five games, shooting just 40.6% from the floor. J’Covan Brown leads the team with 19.6 PPG, but he is making just 41% FG for the season and 33% FG over his past six contests. Brown was a dreadful 2-of-12 from the floor against Texas A&M, but helped his team win by going 10-for-10 from the foul line, and adding six rebounds and six assists. Freshman Julien Lewis (7.8 PPG) was the team’s high scorer in the win over the Aggies with 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting. But since that game, Lewis is averaging just 5.7 PPG on 31% FG and 2-of-17 from three-point land. Clint Chapman (7.5 PPG, 5.7 RPG) shined brightest for Texas in Saturday’s 74-57 rout of Texas Tech. Chapman scored a season-high 20 points and pulled down nine boards against the Red Raiders. He had 11 points and seven boards against the Aggies in January.

Texas A&M ranks 290th in the nation in scoring at 62.2 PPG and has two starters who are questionable with injuries. Khris Middleton (12.4 PPG, 5.4 RPG) has missed four straight games with a knee injury, while Dash Harris (5.8 PPG, 4.4 APG) hasn’t played in three straight games due to a foot ailment. Middleton was the best player in the earlier meeting with Texas, scoring 19 points with 10 rebounds. Elston Turner (14.3 PPG) had 13 against the Horns, and he has been the go-to scorer lately with 19.2 PPG in his past five contests. Despite the big points, Turner has not shot better than 43% in any of these five games, combining to go 30-for-80 from the field. David Loubeau also helps with the scoring load, averaging 10.8 PPG on 48% FG.
 

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Monday’s betting tips: Kings heating up ATS

Who’s hot

NBA: New York is 4-11 against the spread in its last 15 home games.

NBA: Sacramento has covered in four straight overall and is 13-3 ATS in its last 16 meetings with New Orleans.

NHL: Edmonton has won four of its last five and has at least one point in all five of those games.

NHL: Detroit is 26-10 in its last 36.

NCAAB: Louisville has covered the number in four straight.

NCAAB: The under is 17-8-1 in Missouri’s last 26 home games.

Who’s not

NBA: Chicago is 3-12 in its last 15 games in New Jersey.

NBA: The Los Angeles Lakers are 3-10 against the spread in their last 13 road games.

NHL: The over is 2-9 in Toronto’s last 11 games overall.

NHL: Calgary is 4-22-4 in its last 30 games in Anaheim.

NCAAB: Oklahoma has dropped five of its last six against the spread.

NCAAB: DePaul is 4-10-1 against the spread in its last 15 Big East games.

Key stat

74 – Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer has stopped 74 consecutive shots in back-to-back shutouts heading into Monday’s home game against the surging Edmonton Oilers. Toronto coach Ron Wilson has yet to name his starting goaltender, but you’d have to assume he will ride the hot hand. The Maple Leafs are pegged as -170 home favorites.

Injury that shouldn’t be overlooked

Elton Brand, Philadelphia 76ers – Brand missed Saturday’s win at Atlanta with a sprained thumb and is listed as questionable for Monday’s game against the Lakers. Brand is averaging 10.1 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.

Game of the day

Los Angeles Clippers at Orlando Magic (1, 192)

Notable quotable

"This meeting made all the difference in the world. I apologized for being selfish. If I'm the captain of this team, I have to take responsibility for what happens, whether I'm playing or not. Roscoe [Smith] spoke, too. He said, 'When we win, we all look good.' – UConn Huskies captain Alex Oriakhi about calling a team meeting before the club snapped a four-game losing skid Saturday.

Notes and tips

The New York Knicks may have a new point guard. Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said he was leaning toward started second-year player Jeremy Lin after his breakout performance Saturday night. Lin came off the bench to score a career-high 25 points to go with seven assists and five rebounds to lift the slumping Knicks to a 99-92 victory over the New Jersey Nets. The Knicks have struggled at the point all season. They signed veteran Baron Davis a week before the season, but he is dealing with a bulging disk and is expected back sometime this month. The Knicks are 4-point favorites at home to Utah on Monday.

Charlotte Bobcats center Chris Kaman is expected to be in uniform for Monday night's game against the Sacramento Kings. The team announced Saturday that Kaman is back with the team and will practice Sunday. Kaman has been sidelined for six games since general manager Dell Demps announced he was planning to trade him. The 7-foot Kaman was acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers in the Chris Paul trade. The 29-year-old is averaging 9.2 points and 6.6 rebounds in 17 games for the Hornets this season.

The Oklahoma Sooners allowed Iowa to hit 15 3-pointers in its 77-70 loss on Saturday. The Sooners are allowing opponents to hit 33.8 percent from downtown and face a Missouri Tigers club that hit 45.5 (10 of 22) percent of its treys during Saturday’s massive win over Kansas.
 

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Armadillo: Monday's six-pack

College basketball referee Roger Ayers has worked 69 games this year, more than any official in the country, in roughly 88 days since season started around November 11. Here is part of Ayers' schedule from last week........think these guys are overworked? (home team in caps)

Jan 28-- Virginia 61, NC STATE 60

Jan 29-- NORTH CAROLINA 93, Georgia Tech 81

Jan 30-- WOFFORD 82, Western Carolina 56

Jan 31-- MARQUETTE 66, Seton Hall 59

Feb 1-- St John's 87, DEPAUL 51

Feb 2-- UL-LAFAYETTE 72, Denver 71

Lot of games, lot of running, lot of money. All in six days.


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


Armadillo: Monday's List of 13: Wrapping up a Super Bowl Sunday........

13) The NFL is highly popular because anyone can win; Green Bay won LY's title; they're the smallest market in the league. Giants were 7-7 with two games left in the season, but they won their division, then won this year's tournament and are now World Champs for the fourth time.

12) Giants are 4-1 in Super Bowls; they trailed all five games at the half.

11) Lucky's Sports Book paid off 60-1 on a safety being the first score of the Super Bowl; who would bet money on something like this? Thought the odds on that would be lot higher than 60-1.

10) Letting the Giants score that last TD was sound strategy; Patriots did come fairly close to catching that Hail Mary pass on the last play. If they just sat there and let the Giants kick a 24-yard FG, it wouldn't have been the play that gave them the best chance to win.

Patriots will regret the missed Brady/Welker pass with 4:00 left when it was 17-15. They'll regret it for a long time, as in forever, every time that Super Bowl film airs.

9) Other than Tom Brady, who do the Patriots pay all their money to? They need more star players, no? They have to be pretty far under the salary cap.

8) The intentional grounding penalty on New England that resulted in the 2-0 Giants' lead had to set an all-time NFL record for longest pass thrown that was called intentional grounding.

Kurt Warner tweeted that he didn't like the call because the ball was down the middle. Can you ever remember seeing intentional grounding called on a pass thrown that far down the middle of the field? I can't.

7) I know yesterday was Super Sunday, but best story of the day was Kyle Stanley shrugging off last week's disaster, when he shot an 8 on the last hole to blow a sure thing, losing in a playoff. He won Phoenix Open Sunday, as Spencer Levin blew his 6-shot lead after three rounds.

Tremendous story, showing how keeping an even keel lets you bounce back from adversity. Stanley was distraught after his loss last week, but he bounced back in the best way possible this week. Good for him.

6) Miami Hurricanes won 78-74 in OT as a 12-point underdog at Duke, big win for the Canes' NCAA hopes. Bottom line, though, is that Duke isn't as good as usual- they struggle against really athletic teams, losing to Florida State and Miami, both at home.

5) Dumbest Super Bowl prop bet: You could have gotten 200-1 that no touchdowns would've been scored in this game. I would've booked those bets, then held my breath......a lot........lol.

4) He is supposedly a very nice man, but I can't stand Tony Dungy on TV; listening to Dungy is like listening to freakin' Mister Rogers, which is why I rarely watch NBC's ****/halftime stuff. Its not good.

3) What do other channels show during the Super Bowl? Not like anyone is watching; I saw World Series of Poker, World's Strongest Man, and the ESPN documentary on Chris Herren all being shown. Couple of years the figure skating championships were on. Now that figures.

Other stuff that was on during the Super Bowl.......
ABC-- America's Funniest Home Videos
TNT-- Three episodes of Law and Order
USA-- Three episodes of Law and Order/Special Victims Unit
Food Channel-- Cupcake Wars
Bravo-- Real Housewives of Atlanta
Spike Channel-- Auction Hunters

Did you know Oprah Winfrey has a private jet worth $42M?? Damn.

2) I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that Coach Belichick has won zero Super Bowl titles since it was proven he is a cheater. Last time he won a title was 2004. Tom Brady ain't getting any younger. His career record in games not quarterbacked by Brady is ten games under .500.

1) Congrats to Tom Coughlin on winning his second Super Bowl title; he will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame someday, deservedly so. He's taken a lot of grief from the frontrunning New York media/fans, but he persevered and is now at the pinnacle of his profession. Again.
 

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Connecticut at Louisville
The Cardinals look to take advantage of a Connecticut team that is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 road games. Louisville is the pick (-4 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Cardinals favored by 6 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Louisville (-4 1/2). Here are all of today's picks.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 6

Game 521-522: Connecticut at Louisville (7:00 p.m. EST)

Dunkel Ratings: Connecticut 63.174; Louisville 69.739
Dunkel Line: Louisville by 6 1/2; 131
Vegas Line: Louisville by 4 1/2; 127 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Louisville (-4 1/2); Over

Game 523-524: Missouri at Oklahoma (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Missouri 70.618; Oklahoma 66.489
Dunkel Line: Missouri by 4; 142
Vegas Line: Missouri by 5 1/2; 146
Dunkel Pick Oklahoma (+5 1/2); Under

Game 525-526: Texas at Texas A&M (5:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Texas 68.146; Texas A&M 67.237
Dunkel Line: Texas by 1; 121
Vegas Line: Texas by 2 1/2; 125 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Texas A&M (+2 1/2); Under

Game 527-528: Marquette at DePaul (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Marquette 69.254; DePaul 56.529
Dunkel Line: Marquette by 12 1/2; 160
Vegas Line: Marquette by 9 1/2; 156
Dunkel Pick: Marquette (-9 1/2); Over

Game 529-530: Wofford at Davidson (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Wofford 54.329; Davidson 62.652
Dunkel Line: Davidson by 8 1/2; 139
Vegas Line: Davidson by 10 1/2; 135 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Wofford (+10 1/2); Over

Game 531-532: Appalachian State at Elon (2:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Appalachian State 48.575; Elon 49.462
Dunkel Line: Elon by 1; 132
Vegas Line: Elon by 2; 138
Dunkel Pick: Appalachian State (+2); Under

Game 533-534: Furman at Georgia Southern (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Furman 50.734; Georgia Southern 51.037
Dunkel Line: Even; 126
Vegas Line: Georgia Southern by 2; 129 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Furman (+2); Under

Game 535-536: Idaho State at Montana (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Idaho State 45.010; Montana 62.927
Dunkel Line: Montana by 18; 133
Vegas Line: Montana by 15 1/2; 129 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Montana (-15 1/2); Over
 

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Armadillo's Write-Up

Monday, February 6


UConn beat Louisville 69-66 in Big East tourney finals LY, after losing to Cardinals twice during season; they lost six of last nine games after a win over Seton Hall Saturday ended their 3-game skid. UConn is 1-3 in its last four road games, losing by 12-7-14 points- this is second time they've been Big East dog this season. Big East home favorites of less than 6 points are 9-7 against the spread. Louisville won/covered its last four games, allowing an average of 63.3 ppg.

Very quick turnaround for Missouri team coming off a highly emotional win over Kansas 48 hours ago; Tigers (-12.5) pounded on Oklahoma in conference opener 87-49, shooting 59% from floor, 12-21 from the arc. Sooners lost four of last five games; they're 2-6 as a Big X underdog, 1-2 at home, losing home games by 11-12-7 points, with wins over K-State, Texas Tech. Big X single digit home underdogs are 7-4-1 against spread. Missouri is extremely ripe to get upset in this game.

Texas (-12) beat Texas A&M 61-51 Jan 11, outscoring Aggies 22-8 on foul line; A&M shot 39.6% for game, 5-17 from arc. Young Texas club is 0-4 on Big X road, losing away games by 6-11-4-5 points; they're 0-5 vs spread as a Big X favorite. Big X home teams are 6-2-1 vs spread when number is 3 or less points. Aggies lost three of last four games, but have covered five in row and seven of last nine; they're 3-2 in Big X games at home, and have covered five of six as a conference underdog.

Marquette had its 7-game win streak snapped at Notre Dame Saturday; Eagles are 2-3 on Big East road, winning by 7 at Providence, at Villanova by 4- they're 5-4 as Big East favorite, 2-1 on road. DePaul is improved, but still just 2-7 in conference; Blue Demons are 4-5 against spread as a Big East underdog, 2-2 at home, with home losses by 19-8-16-6 points, with a win over Pitt. Big East single digit home underdogs are 13-12-1 against the spread. Marquette beat DePaul by 30 in LY's meeting.

Wofford (+6.5) lost 72-69 at home to Davidson in conference opener on Dec 1; Terriers shot 52.7% from floor, but were outscored 19-7 on foul line. Wofford had its 6-game win streak snapped by Samford at home in OT Saturday, as a 12-point favorite; they're 4-2 as SoCon underdog, 2-1 on road. Terriers are 3-1 on SoCon road, with only loss by 10. Davidson won/covered all six of its conference home games. Southern Conference double digit home favorites are 10-5 against the spread.

Appalachian State (-5.5) beat Elon 81-66 at home nine days ago, making 53.5% from floor, just 15-28 from line; it was ASU's 7th straight win vs Elon. App State lost five of last seven games; they're 3-2 in league road games, but 1-2 as underdog, losing their last three away games by 2-12-4 points. SoCon home favorites of less than 5 points are 12-5 against the spread. Elon won four of last five games, with three wins by five or less points, or in OT. Phoenix is 1-4 as a SoCon home favorite this year.

Furman (-8) beat Georgia Southern 64-54 at home Jan 19, holding Eagles to 34% from floor; Paladins won/covered last four road games- they are 2-5 vs spread as SoCon underdog, 2-3 on road, losing away games by 7-21-6 points. SoCon home favorites of less than 5 points are 12-5 against the spread. Georgia Southern won four of its last five games; they're 1-2 as SoCon home favorite, as underdogs covered their last four home tilts. Eagles' last five games were all decided by six or less points.

Montana (-6) crushed Idaho State 68-44 in Pocatello Jan 7, forcing 21 Bengal turnovers, shooting 60% from floor. Griz had tough rivalry win at Montana State Saturday night while ISU was off. Montana is 4-0 as a Big Sky home favorite, winning home games by 11-8-18-29 points. Big Sky double digit home favorites are 7-7 against the spread. Bengals won/ covered their last four games, with two OT wins; they're 4-1 as Big Sky road underdog, 3-2 SU, losing by 14 at Weber St., 12 at Portland St.
 

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Monday, February 6


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College funds: Monday's best NCAAB bets
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Connecticut Huskies at Louisville Cardinals (-4.5, 127.5)

Two of the best defensive teams in the Big East lock horns on Monday when Connecticut travels to No. 25 Louisville.

The Huskies, playing without head coach Jim Calhoun (medical leave), snapped a four-game losing streak by routing Seton Hall, 69-46, on Saturday. The surging Cardinals, meanwhile, have won four straight, including a 78-66 home victory over Rutgers.

The Huskies rank third nationally — one spot ahead of the Cardinals — in field-goal percentage defense, holding foes to 36.7 shooting from the floor while blocking 6.7 shots (6th in Division I). They are vulnerable from the perimeter, however — Connecticut allows opponents to hit 34 percent from 3-point range, 15th in the Big East, and also rank 14th in the league in turnover margin (minus-2.1).

The Huskies are led by sophomore shooting guard Jeremy Lamb (17.6 ppg) and freshman center Andre Drummond (10.2 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 2.7 bpg), who blocked seven shots against Seton Hall.

Pick: Huskies


Marquette Golden Eagles at DePaul Blue Demons (10, 156)


Still smarting from Saturday's 76-59 setback at Notre Dame, No. 15 Marquette wraps up its brief Midwestern road trip when it travels to Chicago for a Monday night clash with rival DePaul.

The Golden Eagles had won seven Big East games in a row before falling to the Fighting Irish, who made 11 3-point shots. The Blue Demons, meanwhile, fell into a tie for last place in the conference after a 74-66 defeat at Cincinnati.

The young Blue Demons rank third in the league in scoring (74.5) but have been giving up far too much at the other end, ranking last in points allowed (75.1) and rebounding margin (minus-6.6) while allowing opponents to shoot 48 percent, easily the worst figure in the conference.

DePaul has remained competitive thanks to the dynamic sophomore tandem of forward Cleveland Melvin (18.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg) and guard Brandon Young (15.5 ppg, 5.0 apg).

Only Cincinnati has attempted more 3-pointers among Big East teams than DePaul's 478.

Pick: Over
 

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Oklahoma City at Portland
The Thunder look to take advantage of a Portland team that is 1-8 ATS in its last 9 games as an underdog. Oklahoma City is the pick (-1) according to Dunkel, which has the Thunder favored by 4. Dunkel Pick: Oklahoma City (-1). Here are all of today's picks

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 6

Game 501-502: Toronto at Washington (7:00 p.m. EST)

Dunkel Ratings: Toronto 109.022; Washington 115.217
Dunkel Line & Total: Washington by 6; 193 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Washington by 3 1/3 1/2; 186 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-4); Over

Game 503-504: LA Clippers at Orlando (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Clippers 120.587; Orlando 121.091
Dunkel Line & Total: Orlando by 1; 188
Vegas Line & Total: LA Clippers by 1 1/2; 191
Dunkel Pick: Orlando (+1 1/2); Under

Game 505-506: LA Lakers at Philadelphia (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Lakers 120.388; Philadelphia 122.205
Dunkel Line & Total: Philadelphia by 2; 179 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Philadelphia by 4; 177
Dunkel Pick: LA Lakers (+4); Over

Game 507-508: Phoenix at Atlanta (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Phoenix 112.278; Atlanta 122.012
Dunkel Line & Total: Atlanta by 9 1/2; 183
Vegas Line & Total: Atlanta by 7 1/2; 188
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-7 1/2); Under

Game 509-510: Chicago at New Jersey (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Chicago 123.440; New Jersey 111.843
Dunkel Line & Total: Chicago by 11 1/2; 188 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Chicago by 9; 191 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Chicago (-9); Under

Game 511-512: Utah at New York (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Utah 117.986; New York 119.907
Dunkel Line & Total: New York by 2; 191
Vegas Line & Total: New York by 4; 195 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Utah (+4); Under

Game 513-514: San Antonio at Memphis (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Antonio 119.527; Memphis 126.340
Dunkel Line & Total: Memphis by 7; 189
Vegas Line & Total: Memphis by 1; 185
Dunkel Pick: Memphis (-1); Over

Game 515-516: Sacramento at New Orleans (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Sacramento 111.829; New Orleans 114.620
Dunkel Line & Total: New Orleans by 3; 184
Vegas Line & Total: New Orleans by 1 1/2; 185
Dunkel Pick: New Orleans (-1 1/2); Under

Game 517-518: Houston at Denver (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Houston 118.334; Denver 124.467
Dunkel Line & Total: Denver by 6; 212
Vegas Line & Total: Denver by 7 1/2; 208
Dunkel Pick: Houston (+7 1/2); Over

Game 519-520: Oklahoma City at Portland (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oklahoma City 124.383; Portland 120.163
Dunkel Line & Total: Oklahoma City by 4; 202
Vegas Line & Total: Oklahoma City by 1; 195 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Oklahoma City (-1); Over
 

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Armadillo's Write-Up

Monday, February 6


Hot Teams
-- Orlando won its last three games, by 6-8-4 points. Clippers won five of their last six games.
-- 76ers won five of their last six games (10-3 as home favorite).
-- Bulls covered seven of last ten games as a road favorite.
-- Knicks covered their last four games, but are 3-6 as a home favorite.
-- Spurs won last four games, covered last five.
-- Sacramento won its last two games, covered its last four, but they're 4-9 vs spread as a road underdog.
-- Trailblazers won/covered their last five home games. Oklahoma City won six of its last eight games.

Cold Teams
-- Raptors lost three of last four games; they're 9-7 as a road underdog. Washington is 3-10 at home, but 2-1 as a home favorite.
-- Lakers are 3-7 away from Staples Center.
-- Suns covered three of their last ten road games. Atlanta lost its last two home games, is 3-6 vs spread in last nine games as home favorite.
-- Nets are 3-7 at home, 2-4 as home underdogs.
-- Utah lost five of its seven road games.
-- Grizzlies lost six of last eight games, but they're 5-2 as home faves.
-- Hornets lost nine of their last ten road games.
-- Rockets lost three of last four games; they're 2-7 as road underdogs. Denver lost four of its last five games.

Wear and Tear
-- Raptors: 5th game/7 nites. Wizards: 3rd game/4 nites.
-- Clippers: 6th game/9 nites. Magic: 8th game/12 nites.
-- Lakers: 3rd game/4 nites. 76ers: 3rd game/4 nites.
-- Suns: 6th game/9 nites. Hawks: 3rd game/5 nites.
-- Bulls: 6th game/9 nites. Nets: 5th game/7 nites.
-- Jazz: 4th game/6 nites. Knicks: 5th game/7 nites.
-- Spurs: 6th game/9 nites. Grizzlies: 6th game/8 nites.
-- Kings: 3rd game/5 nites. Hornets: 6th game/9 nites.
-- Rockets: 3rd game/4 nites. Nuggets: 5th game/7 nites.
-- Thunder: 3rd game/4 nites. Blazers: 4th game/6 nites.

Totals
-- Last four Toronto road games stayed under the total.
-- Six of last nine Clipper games went over the total.
-- Last three Laker games stayed under the total.
-- Five of last six Phoenix road games stayed under total.
-- Six of last eight Chicago games went over the total.
-- Six of last eight New York games stayed under the total.
-- Eight of last nine Memphis games stayed under.
-- Ten of last eleven Sacramento road games stayed under.
-- Five of last seven Houston road games stayed under the total.
-- Five of last six Thunder games went over the total.
 

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Monday, February 6


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Scouting the schedule: Hot NBA betting trends
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When the NBA settled its lockout in December the league was forced to condense a 66-game schedule into a four-month span. We examined the affect of this season’s NBA crammed schedule on the teams and their play on the court.

The results in games played through Sunday, Feb. 5 have been interesting. All results are ATS (against the spread) unless noted otherwise.

Advantage: Oddsmakers

The linemakers have done a solid job balancing the action with home teams holding a slight edge, going 186-170 ATS overall.

They have over compensated teams off back-to-back wins in their last two games, though. These squads are just 75-101 ATS this season, including 7-23 ATS when facing a foe that was upset as a favorite in its previous game.

Totally Unfair

The action on teams playing with no rest has been fairly balanced as those who played the previous day are 112-115 ATS overall.

Breaking it down, unrested teams versus rested opponents are 56-69 SU and 62-63 ATS, including 7-19 ATS when facing an opponent off back-to-back defeats.

However, when it comes to totals involving teams in back-to-backers the under players have cleaned up.

That’s confirmed by the fact that overs are just 93-130-4 ATS, including 28-66-2 ATS in a battle of two unrested opponents and a mind-blowing 8-38-2 ATS if the total in the game is 190 or greater.

In Need Of Oxygen

Matchups involving a pair of unrested foes have seen road teams taking their lumps, going 17-31 ATS.

These same tired travelers slip to 6-19 ATS when facing an unrest host off a win.

Ménage A Trois

Teams forced to play three games in three days have been moneymakers this campaign with 10-8 SU and 11-7 ATS record.

Breaking them down, home teams have delivered a glossy 10-3 ATS log while visiting teams in the third of three straight road games are just 1-4 ATS.

Teams off back-to-back losses in the back end of three games in three days are 5-0 ATS.

48 Hours

As you might expect, having the luxury of two or more days of rest has proven beneficial with these teams checking in at 37-28 ATS to date this season.

Bring them in off a loss and they improve to 21-8 ATS. Those off back-to-back losses zoom to 16-3 ATS.

And for what it’s worth, teams with two or more days of rest taking on an unrested foe are 13-7 ATS.

Chew On This

In closing here are a few other tidbits to chew on:

• favorites of more than 12 points are 17-6 ATS

• teams off a SU favorite loss are 23-7 ATS when facing an opponent off a pair of wins

• teams off back-to-back SU and ATS wins are 42-61 ATS, including 3-14 ATS if they were underdogs in both victories
 

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Monday, February 6


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Game of the day: Lakers at 76ers
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Los Angeles Lakers at Philadelphia 76ers (-4, 177)

THE STORY
: The Philadelphia 76ers are in the midst of a grueling stretch looking to prove that their early season success is not a fluke. The 76ers will receive what figures to be another stern test when Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers arrive in Philly for a Monday matchup. Philadelphia bounced back from a 20-point drubbing at home by the Miami Heat with a 98-87 victory in Atlanta on Saturday. It was the fifth win in six games for the 76ers, who beat Chicago and Orlando last week and face matchups against San Antonio and the Los Angeles Clippers in the upcoming week. The Lakers are 1-1 on their season-high, six-game road trip and absorbed a 96-87 loss in Utah on Saturday night that dropped them to 3-8 away from home. Los Angeles coach Mike Brown picked up a pair of technicals and could be facing disciplinary action after bumping into referee Zach Zarba.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, KCAL (Los Angeles), CS Philadelphia

ABOUT THE LAKERS (14-10, 11-13 ATS): Pau Gasol had reached only 20 points twice – with a high of 22 – in the first 15 games of the season, but has scored at least 23 points in five of his last nine games. That included a 24-point, 16-rebound performance against the Jazz. Gasol has grabbed 33 rebounds in his last two and is averaging a double-double (16.5 points, 10.0 rebounds) for the season. Center Andrew Bynum is averaging 21.0 points and 11.0 rebounds in his last three.

ABOUT THE 76ERS (17-7, 16-7-1 ATS): The league's most balanced scoring team received a boost over the weekend with the return of big men Spencer Hawes and rookie Nikola Vucevic from injury. Starting center Spencer Hawes came back from a 10-game absence to score 14 points while Vucevic, in his second game back after sitting out the previous six, scored a career-high 15 against Atlanta. The duo combined to hit 14 of 21 shots to ease the loss of Elton Brand, who sprained his thumb in Friday’s game.

TRENDS:

* Lakers are 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings in Philadelphia.
* Under is 4-1 in the last five meetings.
* Favorite is 11-5 ATS in the last 16 meetings.
* Road team is 6-0 ATS in the last six meetings.

BUZZER BEATERS:

1. The Lakers have beaten the 76ers four straight overall and seven of the last eight. They've also won their last four visits to Philly.

2. Philadelphia has not allowed an opponent to score more than 87 points in its last five wins, holding three opponents to less than 74 points.

PREDICTION: 76ers 92, Lakers 90
 

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Monday, February 6


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Pick 'n' roll: Monday's best NBA bets
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Oklahoma City Thunder at Portland Trail Blazers (1, 198)

The Oklahoma City Thunder went into Saturday’s game in San Antonio with the best outright record in the Western Conference. They left with the conference’s top record too, though without the confidence you’d expect.

The Thunder were spanked 107-96 as 2.5-point underdogs by the Spurs, who hit 12 treys on 52.5 percent shooting from outside. Tony Parker torched Oklahoma City for 42 points.

"They beat us. They beat us in all aspects of the game," Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks told reporters. "I thought Tony Parker had his way with us. It's all about stopping the basketball and we didn't do a very good job at that. It's on all of us, including myself.”

The Thunder did managed to cut into a 24-point deficit in the fourth quarter, but their overall effort left a lot to be desired.

They’ll look to kick this road trip out west on a good note Monday.

Pick: Thunder


Los Angeles Clippers at Orlando Magic (1, 192)


The Los Angeles Clippers normally don’t have any problems filling the bucket. They’re averaging 98.1 points per game and more than 105 points in their last five games.

Defense has been a different story, though. The Clippers are allowing more than 100 points a night over their last five outings.

But after a disappointing loss to the Denver Nuggets, they rebounded to slam the Washington Wizards 107-81on Saturday.

“When we get stops, we’re tough to guard in transition,” point guard Chris Paul told reporters. “We’ve got the shooters, we’ve got the high fliers and all that. When we defend teams, we’re tough to beat.”

Defending against the Magic is much bigger task than holding the Wizards down, obviously. Dwight Howard just put up 27 points in Orlando’s gutty win at Indiana, while hitting seven of his 10 attempts from the charity stripe.

If he can keep hitting those freebies, this might turn into a real shootout.

Pick: Over
 

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