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Kentucky Wildcats Collide With Florida Gators

There are only 13 games on the college basketball betting schedule on Tuesday night, but it is clear that the game between the top-ranked Kentucky Wildcats and the No. 7 Florida Gators is the one that you don't want to miss.

There is plenty of NBA-level talent on both of these teams, and both Billy Donovan and John Calipari know that they have special squads this year. Florida is going to try to run up and down the floor with small lineups, which could present some problems for the Wildcats. However, if the athleticism for UK proves to be too much for the Gators' guards to handle, it could be another easy win for the hosts at Rupp Arena.

Last season, Kentucky went 2-1 SU and 1-1-1 ATS in the three meetings with the Gators. Still, UF is 9-4-1 ATS in the last 14 meetings in this series.

The last time the Gators won at Rupp Arena was in 2007, but they are 2-0-1 ATS in the last three meetings at this venue. The previous five clashes in Lexington have been decided by eight points or fewer, which could make this one heck of a duel.

Tip time for this Top 10 clash is set for 7:00 (ET) on Tuesday night, and it can be seen on ESPN and ESPN3.

After the Wildcats and Gators are finished, the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes are going to be in action at home against the Purdue Boilermakers. Ohio State is well on its way to a top seed in the NCAA Tournament if it keeps up at this clip, but Purdue is still in search of some big wins to make sure that it hears its name on Selection Sunday.

Purdue is just 2-4 SU and 1-5 ATS in its last six games overall, and because of that, the Boilermakers are suddenly on some tenuous ground. To make matters worse, they are just 6-13-1 ATS in the last 20 meetings in this series.

The Buckeyes have rolled off five straight wins both SU and ATS since losing at the Illinois Fighting Illini on January 10, and they clearly have no desire to stop that streak on Tuesday.

This 9:00 (ET) can also be seen on ESPN.

The Creighton Bluejays are coming off just their third loss of the season after being knocked off by the Northern Iowa Panthers this past Saturday. Now, they have to go on the road to take on the Evansville Purple Aces on Tuesday night.

Creighton's offense is averaging 81.0 PPG this year, and it was surprising that UNI was able to hold the 'Jays to just 62 points last Saturday.

Both are tremendous ATS squads; Creighton is 13-7 ATS this year, while the Purple Aces are 12-8 ATS. The Bluejays have won six straight in this series, covering the spread in four of those.

This Missouri Valley Conference clash gets started at 8:05 p.m. (ET).

In another 7:00 (ET) tip on Tuesday, the Iowa State Cyclones look to steal one on the road against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in a game that can be seen on ESPN2. Meanwhile on ESPNU, we have a college hoops double dip. The Maryland Terrapins and Clemson Tigers start it off at Littlejohn Coliseum at 7:00 (ET), and that will immediately be followed by the Alabama Crimson Tide and Auburn Tigers at 9:00 (ET).
 

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Oklahoma City Thunder Visit Golden State Warriors

There are only six games on the NBA Tuesday schedule, but four of them involve tired squads playing consecutive games on the road.

The four teams are Utah, Phoenix, Sacramento and Oklahoma City. Below are their overall against the spread records on zero days rest, and their ATS marks playing with no rest on the road.

•Utah (3-5 ATS overall, 2-3 ATS road)
•Phoenix (3-3 ATS overall, 2-0 ATS road)
•Sacramento (3-4 ATS overall, 1-4 ATS road)
•Oklahoma City (2-5 ATS overall, 1-3 ATS road)
Here’s a quick look at all the Tuesday games. Note all results for Monday are still pending.

Utah Jazz at Indiana Pacers
Bankers Life Fieldhouse – 7:00 p.m. (ET)

Utah (13-9 straight up, 12-10 ATS) has a tough 2-game trip, going to New York on Monday before stopping in the Midwest on the way home to face Indiana. The Jazz have only played two of their last 10 games away, but they were big losses at Golden State (119-101) and Dallas (116-101), both as 4½-point ‘dogs.

Indiana (16-7 SU, 13-10 ATS) has the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference despite playing just eight games at home versus 15 away. The Pacers started 5-0 SU (4-1 ATS) at home, but are just 1-2 SU (0-3 ATS) since. That includes an 85-81 loss to Orlando on Saturday as 5-point favorites.

Pacers guard George Hill (9.2 PPG) is out indefinitely after missing the last three games with an ankle injury. He plays almost 25 minutes off the bench as a combo guard and there’s no good option to replace him.

Sacramento Kings at Minnesota Timberwolves
Target Center – 8:00 p.m. (ET)

Sacramento (8-15 SU, 10-13 ATS) has won its last two games, home wins over Golden State (114-106 OT) and Portland (95-92). Getting back guard Marcus Thornton (17.4 PPG) was a big boost. The road has been a nightmare all season at 2-11 SU and 4-9 ATS, with New Orleans up first on Monday. The team is 1-4 ATS playing the second half of a back-to-back away.

The Timberwolves (12-12 SU, 14-10 ATS) are 5-2 in their last seven games to push their record back to .500. The last time they finished a season .500 was 2005. The big news in this game is leading scorer (25 PPG) and rebounder (13.7 RPG) Kevin Love will be suspended after an incident against Houston.

Phoenix Suns at Milwaukee Bucks
Bradley Centre – 8:00 p.m. (ET)

Phoenix (9-14 SU and ATS) has a tough game Monday night in Atlanta before Tuesday in Milwaukee. The Suns have two starters in their late 30s in Steve Nash and Grant Hill, but have been surprisingly decent in back-to-back games (3-3 ATS overall, 2-0 ATS road). Small forward Jared Dudley (10.8 PPG) was questionable for Monday with a bruised thigh.

The Bucks (10-13 SU, 11-12 ATS) have seen their scoring dip the last two games in losses at Detroit (88-80) and home to Chicago (113-90). They had averaged 100.8 PPG the prior six with the ‘over’6-0. This is a good chance for revenge after losing at Phoenix 109-93 on January 8.

Oklahoma City Thunder at Golden State Warriors
Oracle Arena – 10:30 p.m. (ET)

This is the marquee game on the Tuesday schedule. Oklahoma City was in the Bay Area on January 27 and won 120-109 as 4½-point road favorites.

The Thunder (18-5 SU, 12-11 ATS) started their current 5-game trip Saturday at San Antonio (107-96 loss). They are at Portland on Monday before heading down the coast to Golden State. This is one of the youngest teams in the league, but even they aren’t immune to the rigors of back-to-backs (2-5 ATS overall, 1-3 ATS road).

Golden State (8-13 SU, 9-12 ATS) will be far more rested, having last played at Sacramento on Saturday night. The Warriors have won three of their last four home games, with the only defeat to Oklahoma City. Guard Stephen Curry’s shooting has been feast-or-famine since returning from his ankle injury. He’s also dealing with a groin injury (listed as probable).

Other Tuesday games

Boston (13-10 SU, 12-11 ATS) is quietly playing good basketball, having won four straight (2-2 ATS) and eight of nine. Point guard Rajon Rondo hasn’t looked great since returning from his wrist injury two games ago, and reserve big man Brandon Bass (knee) is questionable Tuesday versus Charlotte after missing last game.

Charlotte (3-21 SU, 8-16 ATS) got a cover last Saturday at Phoenix, 95-89 loss as 10-point ‘dogs. The Bobcats were 0-7 ATS in their prior seven games. The ‘under’ is 7-1 in their last eight and leading scorers Gerald Henderson (15.0 PPG) and D.J. Augustin (13.6 PPG) are out indefinitely with injuries. They rank 28th in the league in scoring (87.3 PPG).

Cleveland (9-13 SU, 13-9 ATS) has overachieved all year and is 5-2 ATS (3-4 SU) in its last seven heading into Miami. That includes a 92-85 loss at the Heat as 13½-point underdogs on Jan. 24. LeBron James scored just 18 points versus his former team.

Miami (18-6 SU, 10-14 ATS) has won 10 of its last 12 games, but is finding covers much harder to come by, 2-7 ATS in the last nine
 

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Tuesday Tips

February 6, 2012


The Tuesday college basketball card has only eight games on the board, but there is a pair of important conference showdowns. Inside the Big 10, Ohio State looks to stay hot at home as the Buckeyes welcome in Purdue. We'll begin in Lexington as two old rivals meet up for SEC East supremacy.

Florida at Kentucky (-9 ½, 142) - 7:00 PM EST

The Wildcats are back in the top spot in both the AP and Coaches Poll after blowing out South Carolina on Saturday. Kentucky (21-1, 9-0 SEC) covered for the fourth straight game with the 34-point rout in Columbia, as the 'Cats battle Florida on Tuesday. The Gators (19-4, 7-1 SEC) are riding a seven-game winning streak following a 73-65 victory over Vanderbilt.

For the exception of a buzzer-beating loss at Indiana in December, John Calipari's squad has dominated this season, while winning 15 consecutive games since that setback in Bloomington. During this hot streak, UK has picked up 12 victories by double-digits, including seven of those in conference play. The Wildcats burned bettors for a nice stretch by failing to cover 13 straight games from late November until mid-January. However, Kentucky is rolling lately with four covers in a row, even though each opponent will not make the NCAA Tournament (Georgia, Tennessee, LSU, and South Carolina).

The Wildcats face a stout opponent in Billy Donovan's Gators, who invade Rupp Arena off three straight home wins over Mississippi State, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt. Florida owns a 4-4 ATS record in SEC play, while being favored in each of those contests. The last time the Gators were listed as an underdog, UF cashed at the Carrier Dome in a 72-68 defeat as seven-point 'dogs against Syracuse in early December. In fact, the Gators are 2-0 ATS when receiving points this season, but are winless in those contests, including a loss at Ohio State in November.

The two teams split the regular season series in 2011 with the home squad winning each time. Kentucky captured the SEC Tournament crown in Atlanta by defeating Florida, 70-54 as short underdogs. The Gators had only one player in double-figures, while being held to 39% shooting from the floor. The last time Kentucky fell at home to Florida was 2007, but the Wildcats cashed as 3 ½-point home 'dogs in a 64-61 loss.

Purdue at Ohio State (-14 ½, 130) - 9:00 PM EST

Two teams going in different directions meet up in Columbus as Ohio State looks for a sixth consecutive win. The Buckeyes (20-3, 8-3 Big 10) are fresh off a 58-52 victory at Wisconsin on Saturday as 3 ½-point favorites, their fifth straight cover. OSU hosts a Purdue (15-8, 5-5 Big 10) squad that has dropped three of four, including a 17-point home loss to rival Indiana.

The Buckeyes are 7-1 ATS the previous eight games, while going a perfect 6-0 ATS the last six opportunities as double-digit favorites. To show how dominant this team has been at home, Thad Matta's group is winning by an average of 24 points per game in conference action at Value City Arena. Ohio State has failed to cover twice at home, but both ATS losses were by close margins as the Buckeyes held off Florida, 81-74 as 7 ½-point 'chalk,' and Lamar in a 20-point triumph as 22-point favorites.

Purdue suffered several close losses in non-conference play with defeats to Xavier and Butler, falling by a combined seven points. A 2-0 start in Big 10 play when down the drain when Matt Painter's team lost five of its next eight games. The Boilermakers are 3-2 SU and 2-3 ATS in five conference road contests, including victories at Iowa, Minnesota, and Northwestern.

The home squads won each meeting last season, as OSU dominated Purdue in Columbus, 87-64 as 7 ½-point favorites. The Boilermakers have taken four of the previous six meetings, while Purdue's last win at Value City Arena came in 2010 as 3 ½-point 'dogs.
 

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Weekly Notes

February 6, 2012


Murray State may be the last undefeated team in the country at 23-0, but their supporters at the betting windows could probably care less right about now as the spread has really caught up with the Racers. As all the weight of the undefeated pressure has mounted, they have narrowly escaped with wins as large favorites and haven't covered their last seven games, six of which have been spreads of -13 or higher.

Murray State may have the most rapid rating increase over the last of month of any team in college basketball. Prior to their seven game non-cover streak, they had covered seven of eight. If looking to play an Ohio Valley team, take a look at Tennessee State, who has covered four of their last five.

North Texas Rolling

Middle Tennessee State has been getting most of the small publicity the Sun Belt conference gets nationally with their 21-4 record, but here in Las Vegas, it's been all about a lesser known 13-10 team. North Texas has played very well lately going 6-3, but more importantly, they have covered all nine of those games. Over their five-week stretch of covering excellence, they have been underdogs in five of the nine games. In their three losses, they have lost by a combined seven points.

One the same note, Drexel had their 10-game cover streak snapped Saturday at Towson State as 18-point favorites. The Dragons were only able to win by eight points in that game. However, they still have an 11-game win streak going and are tied with VCU and George Mason atop the Colonial.

Drexel may have the edge in the CAA tournament seeding as they play the worst teams in the conference over their next five until meeting Old Dominion in the regular season finale. Their NCAA fate will still rest with having to beat either VCU or George Mason, or maybe even both, in the conference tournament.

Cyclones Gaining Momentum

Fred Hoiberg's cast of transfers have transformed the second year coach's team into a real contender as we get deep into Big 12 conference play. Their resume over the last three weeks has been as impressive as anyone with wins over Kansas, Kansas State, and a scrappy Oklahoma team in Norman. They have won five of their last six conference games and have covered their last five.

The Cyclones are currently sitting one game behind (7-3) a three-team logjam atop the conference with an overall record on 17-6. Despite all their recent success, Iowa State is still only No. 40 in the RPI ratings with losses against middle of the pack Missouri Valley teams like Drake and Northern Iowa being their worst. However, the Northern Iowa loss doesn't look as bad now since UNI beat then No. 12 Creighton Saturday.

49ers Mining for Gold

You have to give Long Beach State coach Dan Monson some credit for the job he's doing with a program that won only six games in his first season five years ago. He welcomed a game with anyone, anywhere, prior to conference play and it's paid off as the 49ers are 10-0 in the Big West this season.

Sure, they took some lumps in losses to North Carolina, Kansas, Louisville, Kansas State, and San Diego State, but they showed they could play with anyone, including an early season upset win against Pittsburgh as 13-point underdogs. They also got the money against the Tar Heels and Jayhawks.

Long Beach has been double-digit favorites in eight of their last 10 wins, covering only three of them, but came up big on the road against their toughest competition (UCSB and Cal-Poly SLO) as 1-point favorites. They are currently No. 31 in the RPI's because of their strength of schedule and may give the committee something seriously to consider should they lose the automatic bid for the NCAA's by not winning the Big West Tournament.

Panthers Clawing Their Way Back

There has been a noticeable change with Pitt since getting Tray Woodall back. Pitt had lost eight games in a row and looked to have no shot at an NCAA bid with seven of those losses coming to start Big East play. But with Woodall back, Pitt has won all four games and their scoring average has gone from 59 ppg during the losing streak to 77 in their last four.

Pitt is No. 67 in the RPI's, but climbing, with a great strength of schedule going for them. However, their chances of making the NCAA's still remain slim at 15-9. The Panthers only play one ranked team the rest of the way and may have to play themselves into the NCAA's by making a strong run in the Big East tournament. Based on their last four games with Woodall, I like their chances.

Kentucky Impressive

After putting Kentucky bettors through a miserable stretch of not covering 13 of 15 games, the Wildcats have covered their last four games with the last three being crushing blowouts against marginal SEC opponents. But beyond the bets, we still have to marvel at what this young team is doing. They're currently 23-1, 9-0 in SEC play, No. 1 in the country and a Christian Watford rimmed-out shot at Indiana away from being undefeated.

All kinds of crazy things happen in the NCAA tournament, but at this juncture, it's hard to imagine this Cats squad losing to anyone on a neutral court right now. The only thing that may work against them down the road is age, but they seem to be maturing with each game.
 

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Hoop Trends - Tuesday

February 7, 2012

SU TREND OF THE DAY:

The Celtics are 0-12 ATS (-7.2 ppg) since November 01, 2009 with at most one day of rest after a game in which more than 75% of their baskets were assisted.

OU TREND OF THE DAY:

The Cavaliers are 10-0 OU (11.6 ppg) since December 21, 2004 as a dog after a game at home in which they had at least ten more assists than in the game before.

PLAYER BASED TREND OF THE DAY:

The Suns are 15-0 OU (13.8 ppg) since January 29, 2009 after a win in which Grant Hill had more rebounds than points.

CHOICE TREND:

The Celtics are 0-11 ATS (-11.8 ppg) since May 24, 2010 with at most one day of rest after a home win in which they allowed less than 40% from the field.

TODAY’S TRENDS:

The Warriors are 0-7 OU (-16.5 ppg) since March 18, 2011 after losing the previous matchup in which Stephen Curry was not the Warriors’ high scorer.
 

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James and Heat host Cavs Tuesday night

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (9-13)

at MIAMI HEAT (18-6)


Tip-off: Tuesday, 7:35 p.m. ET
Line: Miami -13½, Total: 198½

For the second time in two weeks, LeBron James hosts his former mates when Cleveland comes to Miami on Tuesday night.

Exactly two weeks ago, the Cavs gave the Heat an unexpected challenge in South Beach, coming within three points numerous times in the final minutes and covering the 13.5-point spread in a 92-85 Miami win. It was the Cavs’ third cover in four games against the Heat. But Miami is on a roll, winning seven of eight and 10 of its past 12 contests.

Can the Heat finally distance themselves from the Cavs with a lopsided win? 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.

Cavs rookie PG Kyrie Irving (18.1 PPG, 50.0% FG) was strong in the first meeting with Miami, scoring a team-high 17 on 7-for-11 shooting from the field. But it was the Cleveland bench that surprised, particularly PF Samardo Samuels, a fringe rotation player who had 15 on 7-for-10 shooting and a plus/minus of +10. Irving was the hero of Saturday’s upset win over Dallas, scoring 20 (9-for-17 FG), while C Anderson Varejao (10.8 PPG, 11.9 RPG) added 17 points and 17 boards. The young Cavs have been turnover-prone this season, but they had just nine giveaways while forcing 21 in the Mavs win.

The FoxSheets have a trend working against the Heat:

Play Against - Home favorites of 10 or more points (MIAMI) - very good team - outscoring their opponents by 6+ points/game, after a win by 6 points or less. (40-18 over the last 5 seasons, 69%, +20.2 units. Rating = 2*).

The Heat are still trying to feel their way through the season as All-Star SG Dwyane Wade (21.0 PPG) has been in and out of the lineup. Wade returned from a six-game absence on Jan. 27, and since then, Miami has won five of six SU but gone 2-4 ATS. That includes an uncomfortably close home win over lowly Toronto, 95-89, on Sunday. On the year, the Heat are 8-1 SU and 6-3 ATS without Wade, and 10-5 SU and 4-11 ATS with him.

LeBron James (29.2 PPG on 55.2% FG, 8.5 RPG) had arguably his worst game of the year in his first meeting with Cleveland, scoring just 18 points on 8-for-21 shooting to go along with five rebounds and five assists. With Wade sidelined, PF Chris Bosh (19.7 PPG on 50.8% FG) bailed him out with 35 points on 10-for-16 shooting.

The FoxSheets have a trend going against the Cavaliers:

CLEVELAND is 57-82 ATS (41.0%, -33.2 Units) in road games after covering 3 of their last 4 against the spread since 1996. The average score was CLEVELAND 94.4, OPPONENT 98.2.
 

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Road-weary Thunder visit Golden State Thursday

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER (19-5)

at GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (8-13)


Tip-off: Tuesday, 10:35 p.m. ET
Line: Oklahoma City -2½, Total: 206

Oklahoma City looks for its 15th win in 18 games when it makes the middle stop on its five-game road trip Tuesday at Golden State.

The Thunder play their fourth game in five days against a well-rest Warriors team that has played just twice in the past six days. Not only is Oklahoma City 2-5 ATS on zero day's rest this season, but they flew into Oakland after an overtime win in Portland where five players logged 36+ minutes. However, the Thunder have won six of eight in this series and Kevin Durant lit up the Warriors for a season-high 37 points and 14 boards on Jan. 27, a 120-109 win in Oakland. Can the Thunder overcome tired legs and leave town with the victory? Check out the NBA Three At Three for ATS picks covering all the marquee NBA games each weekday.

Durant has loved facing the Warriors in the past four seasons, averaging 33.3 PPG and 9.0 RPG. He has also been phenomenal on the road this year, scoring 28.7 PPG (48% FG) with 9.3 RPG. His 33 points on Monday were the difference in a 111-107 overtime win in Portland. Russell Westbrook has also shined on opposing courts with 24.9 PPG (46% FG), 5.5 RPG and 5.9 APG in his 14 road games this year, including 28 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists in Monday’s win. He has made only 41% FG in his career versus Golden State, but he had 28 points and 11 assists when he faced the Warriors two weeks ago. The FoxSheets have a three-star trend backing the Thunder:

Play On - Road teams (OKLAHOMA CITY) - off a road win, extremely tired team - playing their 5th game in 7 days. (67-29 over the last 5 seasons.) (69.8%, +35.1 units. Rating = 3*).

Golden State is trying to bounce back from a 114-106 overtime loss at Sacramento on Saturday. The Warriors scored just four points in the extra session and were outrebounded 55 to 36. Dorell Wright, who scored 23 points (6-of-9 threes) against the Thunder in the last meeting, poured in a season-high 24 points against the Kings on Saturday. He’s averaging 18.8 PPG (15-of-30 three-pointers) in his past four games. Monta Ellis leads Golden State with 21.3 PPG, but has been held to just 16.5 PPG on 29.8% FG in his past two games versus Oklahoma City. The FoxSheets have a trend siding with the Warriors:

Play On - Home teams where the line is +3 to -3 (GOLDEN STATE) - after going over the total by more than 12 points in two consecutive games against opponent after going over the total by 30 or more points total in their last three games. (38-16 since 1996.) (70.4%, +20.4 units. Rating = 2*).
 

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Utah looks for rare road win at Indiana

UTAH JAZZ (13-10)

at INDIANA PACERS (16-7)


Tip-off: Tuesday, 7:05 p.m. ET
Line: Indiana -9, Total: 191

Utah has had its issues on the road this year, and it won’t get any easier when it finishes the second part of a road back-to-back in Indiana on Tuesday.

Can Indiana, 4-1 SU (3-2 ATS) in its past five games, win this game by double-figures? Check out the NBA Three At Three for ATS picks covering all the marquee NBA games each weekday.

The Jazz did not look good in losing to the shorthanded Knicks on Monday night. Despite New York playing without Amar’e Stoudemire, and Carmelo Anthony getting hurt six minutes into the game, Utah fell 99-88 and is now 2-6 SU and ATS on the road this year. The Jazz absolutely can’t find the range on the road. They’re averaging 99.0 PPG, while shooting 46.3% from the field and 30.5% from three at home, but those numbers drop to 93.0 PPG and 42.8% FG, 25.9% from three on the road. Not to mention, they’re giving up a whopping 104.3 PPG (47.5% FG) in road games.

The low-post tandem of C Al Jefferson (18.7 PPG, 9.0 RPG) and PF Paul Millsap (16.5 PPG, 9.7 RPG) continues to lead the Jazz on the offensive end. Their lacking perimeter play on both ends of the floor (they were torched by Knicks 12th man Jeremy Lin on Monday night) continues to limit them. The FoxSheets have another trend siding with the Jazz:

Play On - Road teams (UTAH) - after failing to cover 2 of their last 3 against the spread, extremely tired team - playing 9 or more games in 14 days. (42-22 over the last 5 seasons.) (65.6%, +17.8 units. Rating = 1*).

Orlando is the only team that has beaten the Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse this season, where they limit visitors to a paltry 87.5 PPG on 39.4% FG. After four straight wins, the Pacers got tripped up a bit against the Magic on Saturday. They defended well in the 85-81 loss, but they shot just 34.1% from the field and hit just 4-of-22 threes. It was their worst shooting night since last year’s regular season finale, at Orlando.

Leading scorer Danny Granger (18.2 PPG) has struggled to shoot the ball all year, hitting just 37.7% of his field goals. However, he’s a career 50.4% shooter (41.7% 3-pt FG) in 11 games against the Jazz. The Pacers have gotten a huge boost from SF Paul George (12.4 PPG) of late, who’s averaging 16.6 PPG while shooting 54.7% from the field over the past five games.

The FoxSheets have another trend backing the Pacers:

INDIANA is 118-82 ATS (59.0%, +27.8 Units) in home games in non-conference games since 1996. The average score was INDIANA 99.4, OPPONENT 95.0 - (Rating = 1*).
 

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Top-8 teams collide when Florida visits Kentucky

FLORIDA GATORS (19-4)

KENTUCKY WILDCATS (23-1)


Tip-off: Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. EDT
Line: Kentucky -9, Total: 142.5

No. 8 Florida will look to knock off the best team in the country when it travels to Rupp Arena to take on No. 1 Kentucky, who has yet to lose at home this season.

The lines have not been kind to the Kentucky in this SEC rivalry with a 4-9-1 ATS record in its past 14 meetings with Florida. But the Wildcats have won four in a row ATS, winning those games by an average of 24.0 PPG. Can the Wildcats win again by double digits on Tuesday night? For the answer, check out the College Basketball Weekday 6-Pack for picks covering all the big games in college basketball each week. For the season, the 6-Pack is an impressive 8-4-1 ATS (67%).

The Gators (10-8 ATS) have proven they can cover against top teams on the road. They won ATS at No. 3 Ohio State in November, and again at No. 2 Syracuse, the only two games in which they have been the underdogs this season. The Gators’ deadly offense (80.1 PPG, 9th in nation) is able to keep them competitive in any game, even ones in which they are outsized like this one. Florida hits 10.5 three-pointers per game, easily the most of any team in the country, and brings great scoring depth to the table, featuring five double-digit scorers. Junior Kenny Boynton (17.5 PPG) leads that crew, knocking down 3.4 threes per game on a career-high 44% clip. Freshman Bradley Beal (14.3 PPG, 6.1 RPG) is also coming into his own, with 17.3 PPG over the team’s past three games (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS). The key for Kentucky though, might be shutting down 5-foot-8 senior Erving Walker (12.6 PPG, 5.1 APG) who leads the ball distribution for this outside-oriented attack. Six-foot-9 center Patric Young (10.7 PPG, 6.5 RPG) may have a tough time guarding the paint against Anthony Davis, who leads the nation with 4.8 blocks per game. This pair of four-star FoxSheets trends also think the Gators will cover:

Play Against - A favorite (KENTUCKY) - off a road blowout win by 20 points or more, in a game involving two top-level teams (>= 80%). (31-6 over the last 5 seasons.) (83.8%, +24.4 units. Rating = 4*).

KENTUCKY is 0-9 ATS (-9.9 Units) in home games versus teams who are called for 17 or less fouls/game over the last 3 seasons. The average score was KENTUCKY 77.7, OPPONENT 68.6 - (Rating = 4*).

Kentucky is just 9-14 ATS overall and 4-9 at home this season, and its hopes for covering this game rest on being able to dominate on the inside. That conversation begins with the team’s leading scorer Anthony Davis (13.9 PPG, 10.1 RPG) who has the potential to dominate the paint against anybody, and should have success against the Gators who are not physical beneath the hoop. But, with four other players who add more than 10 PPG, head coach John Calipari has options beyond his big man. Doron Lamb (13.5 PPG) is deadly from three-point land (47.8%) while 6-foot-7 freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (12.6 PPG, 7.5 RPG) can work the post or spot up. Darius Miller (10.0 PPG) is also important as a swingman, and Terrence Jones (12.5 PPG) may have more scoring potential than anybody on this team. A full discussion of Kentucky’s game is not complete, however, without praising point guard Marquis Teague (9.6 PPG, 4.3 APG) who leads the team with 32.0 MPG and handles their ball distribution. This three-star FoxSheets trend also sides with the Wildcats:

Play On - Home favorites of 3.5 to 9.5 points (KENTUCKY) - an excellent offensive team (>=76 PPG) against a good defensive team (63-67 PPG) after 15+ games, after allowing 65 points or less 2 straight games. (23-4 since 1997.) (85.2%, +18.6 units. Rating = 3*).
 

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No. 3 OSU favored heavily over Purdue

PURDUE BOILERMAKERS (15-8)

at OHIO STATE BUCKEYES (20-3)


Tip-off: Tuesday, 9:00 p.m. EDT
Line: Ohio State -14, Total: 128

No. 3 Ohio State looks to stay unbeaten at home when it hosts Purdue, the last visiting team to in Columbus, on Tuesday night.

The Boilermakers beat the Buckeyes 60-57 at Value City Arena two years ago, but OSU has rolled off 38 straight home wins since that game. This season, Ohio State has crushed visitors by an average of 26.7 PPG, going 9-2 ATS in its 11 lined home games. And since losing ATS against Lamar on Dec. 20 (20-point win on 22.5-point spread), the Buckeyes are a perfect 8-0 ATS when favored by double-digits. They are also 8-2 ATS in the Big Ten Conference, while Purdue is just 3-7 ATS. The pick here is OHIO STATE to win and cover the large number.

This rare five-star FoxSheets trend also sides with the Buckeyes:

OHIO STATE is 16-1 ATS (94.1%, +14.9 Units) in home games after 2 consecutive covers as a favorite since 1997. The average score was OHIO STATE 79.4, OPPONENT 58.1 - (Rating = 5*).

The Boilermakers are going through a rough stretch (2-4 SU, 1-5 ATS), but they have won three conference road games in five tries this year. Senior Robbie Hummel leads the team in scoring (15.2 PPG), rebounding (6.2 RPG) and blocks (1.3 BPG), but he makes just 39% FG. He has shot below 50% from the field in 15 straight games, but has managed to score 10+ points in 13 of those 15 contests. Five-foot-9 senior Lewis Jackson (9.9 PPG) leads the team in assists (3.9 APG) and is tied for the team lead in steals (1.3 SPG). But Jackson is coming off his worst game of the year, scoring just two points on 1-of-10 FG in a 78-61 loss to Indiana on Saturday. He is one of four Purdue players shooting below 30% on three-pointers with at least 20 attempts, as Jackson has made just 21% from downtown. Ryne Smith (9.3 PPG) and D.J. Byrd (6.5 PPG) are the only Boilermakers shooting better than 35% from three-point land, with both players connecting on 41.1% behind the arc.

Ohio State has also had its shooting woes this year, making only 33% of its three-point attempts. But four of the five main scorers are shooting at least 49% from the field, which is why the team is 11th in the nation in FG Pct. at 49.0%. Jared Sullinger (17.4 PPG, 9.1 RPG) is scoring on a 58% clip. Not counting his injury-plagued, six minutes at South Carolina, Sullinger has tallied at least 11 points in every game this season. And in two meetings with Purdue last year, he averaged 21.0 PPG (62% FG), but only 6.5 RPG. William Buford (14.9 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 3.2 APG) had a big game at home against Purdue last year with a team-high 19 points (5-of-6 threes), but he was held to just four points in a loss at Purdue later in the year. Buford has been pretty cold in his past seven games, averaging just 12.6 PPG on 36% FG. Aaron Craft (7.9 PPG) is one of the better point guards in the nation with 4.9 APG and 2.3 SPG. His assist-to-turnover ratio is an excellent 2.4. Deshaun Thomas (14.7 PPG, 4.4 RPG) makes just 33% of his threes, but is shooting 62% on his two-point field goals.
 

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Red-hot Lightning host Kings Tuesday

LOS ANGELES KINGS (25-18-10, 60 points)

at TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (23-23-5, 51 points)


Puck drops: Tuesday, 7:35 p.m. EDT
Line: Tampa Bay -115, Los Angeles -105, Total: 5

The Kings look to snap a two-game losing skid while the Lightning try to pick up a standings point for the eighth consecutive game when these two squads meet for an inter-conference matchup on Tuesday night.

The Kings currently occupy the seventh seed in the Western Conference but are in the midst of a goal-scoring drought, dropping the first two contests of a six-game road trip in a 1-0 loss to the Blues and a 2-1 loss to the Hurricanes. Tuesday’s game presents an interesting matchup as the Kings—who feature the league’s least potent offense (2.1 goals per game)—square off against the terrible Lightning defense, allowing an NHL-worst 3.3 goals per game. G Jonathan Quick (22-13-9, 1.91 GAA, .934 SV Pct.) will be between the pipes for Los Angeles and is a perfect 2-0-0 against the Bolts all-time, making 67 saves on 68 shots in three career appearances. The Lightning have won six of their past seven games and are slowly climbing back up the standings in the Southeast Division. Tampa is playing its best hockey of the season, scoring four or more goals in its past four home games. G Dwayne Roloson (7-10-2, 3.65 GAA, .882 SV Pct.) will make his first start in four games for Tampa. The 41-year-old netminder is 1-6-1 over his past eight starts and has allowed 4+ goals in each of the seven losses. Even though the Lightning are the hotter team, their winning streak is a bit misleading, with four of the six victories coming against teams out of the top eight in their respective conferences. And with the Kings’ 10-7-6 road record, there is a ton of value in this line. LOS ANGELES will be the hungrier team and pick up the win.

This anti-Lightning FoxSheets trend also favors the Kings:

TAMPA BAY is 1-7 ATS (12.5%, -7.1 Units) off a win by 3 goals or more over a division rival over the last 2 seasons. The average score was TAMPA BAY 1.6, OPPONENT 3.5 - (Rating = 1*).

The Kings have used stellar defense and goaltending to remain in playoff contention in the brutal Western Conference. Despite a lack of secondary scoring behind C Anze Kopitar (16 G, 30 A), the Kings have the third-best defense in the league, allowing just 2.1 goals per game.

L.A. plays a much stingier style under new coach Darryl Sutter, who is 10-4-6 since taking over midway through the season. Much like the Blues under Ken Hitchcock, the Kings are content winning 1-0 and 2-1 games. Cornerstone defensemen Drew Doughty (4 G, 20 A) and Jack Johnson (8 G, 15 A) lead the way for the Kings on the blueline, and Quick ranks fourth in GAA and SV Pct. among all NHL goaltenders.

Unlike Los Angeles, Tampa needs to score a lot of goals in order to win games. Luckily, the Bolts feature one of the league’s premier scoring tandems in RW Martin St. Louis (16 G, 33 A) and C Steven Stamkos (34 G, 23 A). Stamkos leads the NHL in goals by five, and is well on pace for this third consecutive season with 40+ goals.

If the Lightning have any shot at making the playoffs, they must find a way to shore up their lousy defense. The return of 21-year-old D Victor Hedman, who missed 13 games with a concussion, will certainly be a big boost for the Tampa blueline. The Bolts are 2-0-1 since Hedman’s return.
 

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Tuesday’s betting tips: No Love for T-Wolves

Who’s hot

NBA: Cleveland has covered the number in eight of its last 10 meetings with Miami.

NBA: The under is 8-2-1 in Indiana’s last 11 home games.

NHL: The under is 14-4-4 in St. Louis’ last 22 road games.

NHL: Nashville is 13-3 in its last 16 home games.

NCAAB: Ohio State is 6-0 against the spread in its last six home games.

NCAAB: Creighton is 21-9 against the spread in its last 30 overall.

Who’s not

NBA: Charlotte has lost 11 straight games, covering the number in just three of those matchups.

NBA: Milwaukee is 5-11 against the spread in its last 16 games against Western Conference opponents.

NHL: Phoenix is 5-13 in its last 18 overall.

NHL: Montreal is 3-10 in its last 13 games following a win.

NCAAB: Purdue is 1-5 ATS in its last six overall.

NCAAB: Maryland is 3-8 against the number in its last 11.

Key stat

79.6 – The Providence Friars are giving up an average of 79.6 points per game over their last six contests (1-5 SU, 3-3 ATS), which is significantly up from the 68.7 points per game they’re allowing on the year. The Friars face Villanova, which ranks 73rd in the nation averaging 73.6 points per game. Providence is set as an 8-point underdog with a 154.5-point total on the board. Villanova has played over in 11 straight games, while Providence has gone over in five consecutive contests.

Injury that shouldn’t be overlooked

Daniel Briere, Philadelphia Flyers – Briere suffered a concussion on Jan. 21 and hasn’t played since. However, he is back practicing with the Flyers and could make his return Tuesday against the New York Islanders. Briere has 13 goals and 30 points in 43 games this year.

Game of the day

Florida Gators at Kentucky Wildcats (-9.5, 142)

Notable quotable

"This group of guys have done an unbelievable job of learning through our success and improving as we've been successful. That's rare in this day and age. Usually, when your back is being patted all the time, you're not as apt to listen to the things that are going wrong. All I asked after the game is that we need to approach defeat the same way we've approached victory. We have to figure out what went wrong and what we need to fix, put this one in the rear-view mirror and get ready for the next one." - Creighton Bluejays coach Greg McDermott following his team’s third loss of the season. The Bluejays fell 65-62 to Northern Iowa on Saturday. They’re up against Evansville Tuesday.

Notes and tips

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love has been suspended for two games on Monday after stepping on the face of Houston Rockets forward Luis Scola. The incident took place during the third quarter of Saturday's game. Love detailed after the game that the move was not intentional and that he apologized to Scola. The team's leading scorer and rebounder, Love will miss Tuesday's tilt versus Sacramento and Wednesday's game against Memphis. The T-Wolves are set as 6.5-point favorites at home against the Kings.

John Shannon of Sportsnet.ca is reporting that Columbus Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash is unhappy with the direction of the team and may end up on the trading block before Feb. 27 deadline. Nash leads the team in scoring again this year, but has just 34 points in 52 games. The Blue Jackets continue to occupy the NHL’s basement at 14-32-1-5 this year. They host the Minnesota Wild Tuesday night as +115 underdogs.

Alabama forward Tony Mitchell has been suspended indefinitely by coach Anthony Grant for conduct detrimental to the team. Grant made the decision following Saturday's win over Mississippi in double overtime. Mitchell did not start the game for the first time this season but had 14 points in 31 minutes off the bench. Mitchell averages 13.1 points and 7.0 rebounds, both of which are second on the team. Alabama faces Auburn Tuesday.
 

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Armadillo: Tuesday's six-pack

-- Jeremy Lin had 28 points, 8 assists as Knicks beat Utah without Amare Stoudemire and with Carmelo Anthony getting hurt early on.

-- Missouri won a trap game by 3 at Oklahoma, after Sooners missed on first seven foul shots and finished game

-- UConn lost by 21 at Louisville, got shredded by ESPN's announcers. Jay Bilas: "Right now, UConn is fun to play against." Wow.

-- Clippers won by 5 in OT at Orlando; Magic starters were +12, their subs -37. High level game though; both teams are going to be good.

-- Steelers are going to hire former Chiefs' HC Todd Haley as OC; his dad was the Steelers' personnel guru during the Chuck Noll era.

-- Lou Williams had 24 points off the bench as the 76ers beat Lakers by 5. Andrew Bynum had 20 points, 20 rebounds for Los Angeles.


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


Armadillo: Tuesday's List of 13: Nobody asked me, but........

13) NFL’s new tradition is the Super Bowl champ opening the next season at home on a Thursday night, so guessing Packers will be visiting Swamp Stadium to open the 2012 season.

12) Would think that Indianapolis will get to host another Super Bowl down the road, after getting highest marks ever for hosting such an event. When no media members complain, you know things were well-organized.

11) Las Vegas sportsbooks were said to show a small profit on the Super Bowl; anytime the favorite doesn’t cover, that’s good for the books.

10) The Patriots cut WR Tiquan Underwood Saturday night, to add an extra defensive lineman, who never got in Sunday’s game. Underwood didn’t do anything to deserve being cut. Seeing as he went to Rutgers, you figure he could wind up in Tampa Bay with coach Greg Schiano.

9) On CBS’ telecast of the Phoenix Open Sunday, they were asking pro golfers for their Super Bowl picks. Charley Hoffman picked the Patriots, saying “….I didn’t like how Eli Manning dealt with the Chargers.”, referring to when Eli forced San Diego to trade him after the draft.

What pro athlete doesn’t want to play in San Diego, especially a QB? That said, things have worked out pretty well for Eli in the Garden State, but players should play for the team that drafts them.

8) Eliminating the Pro Bowl seems like an excellent idea. Why not play the Senior Bowl or a college all-star game in its place? Those guys have something to play for. Football without emotion is a waste of time.

7) Weird basketball game at Oklahoma Saturday; Iowa State beat the Sooners in Norman, with their star Royce White taking only one shot in 34 minutes, a dunk with 1:38 left, when Cyclones were desperately holding on to a slim lead.

ISU made 15-30 from the arc, with White dishing out seven assists. How does your best player, an NBA prospect, only get one shot in 34:00?

6) Murray State is still unbeaten, but they’re hardly stampeding through the weak OVC. Racers are 0-7 against the spread in their last seven games.

5) Josh Hamilton is a free agent next winter; those drinks he took last Monday will turn out to be very, very expensive. No team is shelling out huge guaranteed money on a long-term deal to someone with Hamilton’s history. Its just good business not to put too much on his shoulders.

4) They had 173,210 fans at the Phoenix Open golf tournament Saturday, 25,000+ at the 16th hole alone. Course has parking for 60-70,000 cars. Damn. Only had 58,000+ Sunday; lot of Super Bowl parties to attend.

3) RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis of the Patriots transferred from Indiana to Ole Miss in his college days; teams he played on had a combined record of 12-34- you don’t think winning a Super Bowl would’ve meant a ton to him, maybe more than most players?

2) This year’s Super Bowl affirms one of the truths of life: You can’t have a Super Bowl without at least one commercial with monkeys in it.

\1) NFL free agency starts March 13, same day at NCAA tournament’s extra four games begin in Dayton. Just think, only 8-9 weeks from now, the 2012 NFL schedule will be released, and we’ll start preparing for next football season. Until then, we’re all about college basketball. Only 33 days until Selection Sunday.
 

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Iowa State at Oklahoma State
The Cowboys look to build on their 7-0 ATS record in their last 7 Tuesday games. Oklahoma State is the pick (-1 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Cowboys favored by 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Oklahoma State (-1 1/2). Here are all of today's picks.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7

Game 713-714: Iowa State at Oklahoma State (7:00 p.m. EST)

Dunkel Ratings: Iowa State 64.013; Oklahoma State 67.670
Dunkel Line: Oklahoma State by 3 1/2; 135
Vegas Line: Oklahoma State by 1 1/2; 140
Dunkel Pick: Oklahoma State (-1 1/2); Under

Game 715-716: Florida at Kentucky (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Florida 70.542; Kentucky 82.968
Dunkel Line: Kentucky by 12 1/2; 147
Vegas Line: Kentucky by 9; 142
Dunkel Pick Kentucky (-9); Over

Game 717-718: Maryland at Clemson (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Maryland 56.704; Clemson 66.043
Dunkel Line: Clemson by 9 1/2; 130
Vegas Line: Clemson by 7 1/2; 133 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Clemson (-7 1/2); Under

Game 719-720: Creighton at Evansville (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Creighton 67.271; Evansville 62.191
Dunkel Line: Creighton by 5; 160
Vegas Line: Creighton by 6; 153
Dunkel Pick: Evansville (+6); Over

Game 721-722: Texas Tech at Kansas State (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Texas Tech 51.122; Kansas State 67.848
Dunkel Line: Kansas State by 16 1/2; 135
Vegas Line: Kansas State by 19; 130 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Texas Tech (+19); Over

Game 723-724: Providence at Villanova (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Providence 57.358; Villanova 67.369
Dunkel Line: Villanova by 10; 152
Vegas Line: Villanova by 7 1/2; 157
Dunkel Pick: Villanova (-7 1/2); Under

Game 725-726: Alabama at Auburn (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Alabama 65.669; Auburn 61.578
Dunkel Line: Alabama by 4; 122
Vegas Line: Alabama by 6 1/2; 118
Dunkel Pick: Auburn (+6 1/2); Over

Game 727-728: Purdue at Ohio State (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Purdue 67.379; Ohio State 80.887
Dunkel Line: Ohio State by 13 1/2; 128
Vegas Line: Ohio State by 15; 131
Dunkel Pick: Purdue (+15); Under
 

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Armadillo's Write-Up

Tuesday, February 7


Iowa State (-8) beat Oklahoma State 71-68 in first meeting Jan 18, with Cyclones shooting 50% from floor, 10-27 from arc; ISU won five of last six games, covered six of last seven- they're 5-0 vs spread on Big X road, 4-0 as road dog, with only road losses by 9 at Kansas, 7 at Texas. OSU is 3-2 at home in Big X, losing by 8 to K-State, by 4 to Baylor; they're 2-1 as a Big X favorite. Big X home teams are 7-2-1 vs spread if number is 3 or less. ISU's White took one shot in 34:00 in Saturday's win.

Florida lost six of last eight games with Kentucky, losing last four here, by 5-3-8-8 points; Gators won last seven games, winning at Ole Miss by 4, South Carolina by 14- they're 2-0 as a dog this year, covering but losing at Ohio State/Syracuse. SEC single digit home favorites are 12-7 against the spread. Kentucky is 9-0 in SEC, covering its last four games; they're 2-2 as SEC home favorite, winning home games by 15-23-6-25 points. Only second Florida road game in last 27 days

Maryland covered its last three games as an underdog, losing last two by 4-9 points; they're 0-3 on ACC road, losing by 5 at NC State, at Florida State by 14, Miami by 4 in double OT. Terrapins are 3-10 this season against teams ranked in top 100 (Clemson is #91). Tigers lost five of last seven games, are 0-3 vs spread as ACC favorite, but they've won three of four at home in ACC, with home wins by 29-2-11 points. ACC single digit home favorites are 2-12 against the spread.

Creighton won six in row, 12 of last 13 games with Evansville, winning last three visits here by 22-8-6 points; Bluejays had an 11-game winning streak snapped at buzzer at Northern Iowa Saturday- they're 6-6 vs the spread as an MVC favorite, 2-3 on road, winning away games by 7-9-9-1-8 points. Evansville is 10-3 vs spread in MVC, covering all six tries as an underdog- they're 3-3 at home, with losses by 1-9-9 points. MVC home underdogs are 13-8 against the spread this season.

Kansas State (-11.5) won 69-47 in Lubbock 13 days ago, forcing Texas Tech to turn ball over 24 times while shooting 37.5% from floor; K-State is 0-4 as Big X home favorite, winning home games by 16-4-11 points, with losses to Baylor/Oklahoma. Big X double digit home favorites are 6-11 against the spread. Tech is 0-10 in conference but 4-1 as road dog, losing away games by 8-13-9-13-17 points. Tech came within 13 points in only one of its last nine games.

Providence is 2-9 in Big East but covered last three games, with its last two losses by three points each. Not sure how Villanova is favored over anyone, but they did cover last three times they were favored, winning by 16-8-3 points; they've lost last three games and are 3-8 in Big East, with one win by more than 8 points. Big East single digit home favorites are 21-18 against the spread. Friars ended 7-game series losing skid with a 93-68 upset win over Villanova in LY'smeeting.

Alabama suspended its second leading scorer Mitchell; Auburn lost last three ganes against Crimson Tide by 12-10-2 points. Bama's win here in LY's game was their first in its last five visits here, losing by 24-12-1-14 points. Tide lost its last three road games, by 4-6-2 points; they're 1-5 vs spread in last six games overall. Auburn is 4-0 vs spread at home, 2-0 as home dog, winning last two home games, over So Carolina/Georgia. SEC home underdogs of 8 or less points are 8-3 against the spread.

Purdue lost three of last four games, covered one of last six; three of its five conference losses are by 17+ points. Boilers are struggling to score, scoring average of 60.3 ppg in last four games. Ohio State won/covered its last five games, with four of five wins by 15+ points; they're 5-0 as a conference home fave, winning in Columbus by 33-31-17-24-15 points. Big Dozen double digit home favorites are 9-4 against the spread. Purdue lost three of last three visits here, with two losses in OT.
 

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Tuesday, February 7


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Game of the day: Florida Gators at Kentucky Wildcats
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Florida Gators at Kentucky Wildcats (-9.5, 142)

THE STORY
: Florida comes into the SEC first-place showdown leading the conference in scoring offense and 3-point shooting percentage. Kentucky, though, has been almost impenetrable defensively, yielding an average of 47.5 points over its last four games. The Wildcats have won six of the last eight meetings against the Gators, including a 70-54 triumph in last year's SEC Tournament championship. The two schools split their regular season series last season, with the home team winning both games. Kentucky has won an NCAA-best 48 consecutive home games.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN, ESPN3 (web).

LINE: Kentucky opened as a 9.5-point favorite with a 142-point total on the board.

ABOUT FLORIDA (19-4, 7-1 SEC): The Gators lead the nation with 10.5 3-point shots made per game, making 40 percent of their 575 attempts. Defense, though, has been the key during the current seven-game win streak. Florida has not reached its season average of 80.4 ppg once during that span but is allowing just 60.7 points. Junior SG Kenny Boynton is second in the SEC with 17.5 ppg, while senior PG Erving Walker adds 12.7 points and a league-best 5.1 assists. The two veteran guards rank second and third in the SEC in 3-point percentage at 43.8 and 39.8, respectively.

ABOUT KENTUCKY (23-1, 9-0): The Wildcats lead the nation in field-goal percentage defense (35.8) and blocked shots (9.4). One of the main reasons for their success has been the play of freshman F Anthony Davis (13.9 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 4.8 bpg), a national player of the year candidate and the NCAA leader in blocks. Kentucky's balanced lineup boasts three other starters averaging 12.5 ppg or more — sophomore SG Doron Lamb (13.5), freshman F Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (12.6) and sophomore F Terrence Jones (12.5).

TRENDS:
- Kentucky is 2-11-1 against the spread in its last 14 home games.
- Florida is 9-4-1 against the spread in the last 14 meetings between the two teams.
- The over is 7-3 in Florida's last 10 road games.

TIP-INS

1. Kentucky owns a commanding 90-33 lead in the all-time series, but Florida won seven straight meetings between 2005 and 2008.

2. The Wildcats are 65-2 all-time at home when ranked No. 1 in the country.

3. Davis needed just 24 games to collect 116 blocks, eclipsing the SEC freshman record of 115 set by LSU's Shaquille O'Neal over 32 games in 1990.
 

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Tuesday, February 7


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College funds: Tuesday's best NCAAB bets
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Alabama Crimson Tide at Auburn Tigers (5.5, 119.5)

Alabama hits the road for the first time in two weeks to face in-state rival Auburn for the first time this season, but will be without forward Tony Mitchell, who was suspended indefinitely by coach Anthony Grant for conduct detrimental to the team.

Mitchell averages 13.1 points and seven assists per game.

Both teams prefer playing a half-court style of offense and would rather play a low-scoring game; Alabama averages only 66.4 points and Auburn averages 64.6 points.

Alabama, which has won two straight games including a double-overtime win over Ole Miss, has the edge on defense and allows only 58.3 points. But Auburn, losers of three of its last four, has been especially tough at home with a 12-1 record, losing only to No. 1 Kentucky.

Alabama leads the all-time series 87-56, but Auburn has won six of the last 10.

The Tigers are also riding a 7-1 run against the spread.

Pick: Tigers


Iowa State Cyclones at Oklahoma State Cowboys (-1.5, 140)


Just three days after picking up an impressive road victory at Oklahoma, Iowa State will attempt to make it two straight in the “Sooner State” on a trip to Oklahoma State.

The Cyclones, winners of three in a row, are the best surprise story in the Big 12 through the first half of the conference slate. At 7-3, they’re two games up on fifth-place Kansas State and trail co-leaders Baylor, Missouri and Kansas by only a game.

The Cowboys, normally one of the best home teams in the league, have already dropped two Big 12 games at Gallagher-Iba Arena so far, including a 64-60 setback against Baylor on Saturday.

The Cyclones’ 77-70 win at Oklahoma was their first in Norman since 1996, and now they’ll try to follow that up with their first win in Stillwater since 1988. It’s a 16-game losing streak at Oklahoma State, but this year’s Iowa State team is all about breaking the mold.

Pick: Cyclones
 

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Tuesday's Top College Basketball Trends


OHIO ST is 16-1 ATS in home games after 2 consecutive covers as a favorite (vs Purdue)

ALABAMA is 9-31 ATS off a home no-cover where the team won straight up as a favorite (vs Auburn)

CLEMSON is 1-9 ATS as a favorite (vs Maryland)

KENTUCKY is 2-11 ATS after allowing 65 points or less 3 straight games (vs Kentucky)

VILLANOVA is 4-17 ATS after failing to cover the spread in 2 or more consecutive games (vs Providence)
 

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Sacramento at Minnesota
The Timberwolves look to take advantage of a Sacramento team that is coming off a 100-92 win at New Orleans and is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games after scoring 100 points or more in the previous game. Minnesota is the pick (-6 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Timberwolves favored by 11. Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (-6 1/2). Here are all of today's picks

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7

Game 701-702: Utah at Indiana (7:00 p.m. EST)

Dunkel Ratings: Utah 115.913; Indiana 126.747
Dunkel Line & Total: Indiana by 11; 194 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Indiana by 8 1/2; 190 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Indiana (-8 1/2); Over

Game 703-704: Cleveland at Miami (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland 114.668; Miami 124.953
Dunkel Line & Total: Miami by 10 1/2; 191
Vegas Line & Total: Miami by 13 1/2; 196 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (+13 1/2); Under

Game 705-706: Charlotte at Boston (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Charlotte 109.586; Boston 122.214
Dunkel Line & Total: Boston by 12 1/2; 180
Vegas Line & Total: Boston by 14 1/2; 177
Dunkel Pick: Charlotte (+14 1/2); Over

Game 707-708: Sacramento at Minnesota (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Sacramento 113.510; Minnesota 124.270
Dunkel Line & Total: Minnesota by 11; 194
Vegas Line & Total: Minnesota by 6 1/2; No Total
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (-6 1/2); N/A

Game 709-710: Phoenix at Milwaukee (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Phoenix 110.961; Milwaukee 127.150
Dunkel Line & Total: Milwaukee by 16; 198 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Milwaukee by 7; 194 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (-7); Over

Game 711-712: Oklahoma City at Golden State (10:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oklahoma City 122.743; Golden State 118.501
Dunkel Line & Total: Oklahoma City by 4; 206 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Oklahoma City by 2; 204 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Oklahoma City (-2); Over
 

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Armadillo's Write-Up

Tuesday, February 7


Hot Teams
-- Pacers won four of their last five games.
-- Miami won last five home games, but covered just one of last six at home. Cavaliers covered five of their last seven road games.
-- Celtics won last four games, but are 3-6 vs spread in last nine games as a home favorite.
-- Minnesota won three of last four games, but is 2-5-1 vs spread in last eight games as a home favorite. Sacramento won its last three games, and covered its last five.
-- Suns won three of last four games; are 4-3 in last seven on the road. Milwaukee won/covered three of its last four home games.
-- Golden State won three of last four home games; they're 3-4-1 as a home underdog. Thunder won eight of their last eleven road games.

Cold Teams
-- Jazz covered twice in eight games as a road underdog.
-- Bobcats are 5-9 as road underdogs, covering one of last six.

Wear and Tear
-- Jazz: 5th game/7 nites. Pacers: 3rd game/5 nites.
-- Cavaliers: Had last two nites off. Heat: 3rd game/5 nites.
-- Bobcats: Had last two nites off. Celtics: 3rd game/5 nites.
-- Kings: 3rd game/4 nites. Wolves: Had last two nites off.
-- Suns: 5th game/7 nites. Bucks: Had last two nites off.
-- Thunder: 5th game/7 nites. Warriors: Had last two nites off.

Here are teams' records who had last 2+ nites off:
Home favorites: 11-4 vs spread
Home underdogs: 3-5 vs spread
Road underdogs: 9-12 vs spread

Totals
-- Seven of last nine Indiana games went over the total.
-- Five of last six Miami home games stayed under total.
-- Last eight Charlotte road games stayed under total.
-- Four of last five Minnesota games went over total. Ten of last twelve Sacramento road games stayed under.
-- Seven of last eight Milwaukee games went over the total. Under is 8-3 in last eleven Phoenix road games.
-- Six of last sevenThunder games went over the total.
 

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