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Irish & Mountaineers In Key Big East Clash

It's only understandable for so much attention and focus to be on Wednesday's three huge matchups between teams ranked in the top 11 of the latest coaches poll. The outcomes will have an immediate impact on ACC, Big 12 and Big East standings, not to mention playing a role in the seeding for this year's NCAA Tournament.

If there's one drawback to having the trio of marquee games – Duke at North Carolina, Kansas at Baylor and Georgetown at Syracuse – it's that other crucial contests that are equally important in the grand scheme of things get overlooked. One such clash that finds itself taking a backseat on the Hump Day slate is Notre Dame visiting West Virginia.

The first of two battles between the Fighting Irish and Mountaineers will tip at Morgantown's WVU Coliseum a few minutes past 9:00 p.m. (ET), with television coverage provided by ESPNU. Early college basketball betting lines had WVU favored by 5½ with 127 for the total.

This game is far more important to Notre Dame and West Virginia than the other three tilts we've mentioned since we know those six teams are going to the Big Dance whether they win or lose on Wednesday. That's certainly not the case for the Irish or Mountaineers who, barring some run all the way through the Big East Tournament a la Connecticut last year, might be out of the NCAA Tournament picture with a defeat on Wednesday.

Mike Brey has three Big East Coach of the Year honors to his credit already, including last season, but this might be his best job at Notre Dame ever. The loss of Tim Abromaitis just two games into the schedule appeared to doom the team to bottom half of the conference and an NIT invite at best. The Irish struggled through their non-conference slate, including blowout losses to Missouri and Gonzaga, and all but dropped off the national map with an 8-5 record at the Christmas break.

But a funny thing happened once Big East play started. Brey's bunch got things rolling with an upset of then-No. 22 Pittsburgh and pulled off another upset at Louisville on Jan. 7, a 67-65 double-overtime win as 12-point road 'dogs against the then-No. 10 Cardinals.

Two losses followed (to UConn and Rutgers). but Notre Dame has since been on a roll with four consecutive wins and four pointspread covers, each as the underdog. Three of the four wins have come against teams that were ranked at the time of the games, including then-No. 1 Syracuse in South Bend, the only defeat on the Orange's ledger. Last Saturday's win over a very good Marquette team was a convincing 17-point advantage at the final buzzer thanks to Pat Connaughton's double-double (23 points, 11 rebounds).

While the Irish have been cruising the past couple of weeks, Bob Huggins and the Mountaineers have struggled. The broke a 3-game losing skid on Sunday with an 87-84 escape in overtime at Providence. West Virginia failed to cover the 5½-point chalk, the fourth time in five games that those holding Mountaineers tickets failed to cash in. All four of those ATS losses have come as favorites, with the only spread cover coming in a 63-61 defeat to Syracuse as 9½-point underdogs.

Defense has been part of the recent problem for WVU; five of the last six opponents have shot 45 percent or better from the field and the Mountaineers are surrendering nearly 69 points per game in Big East play, 11th most in the conference.

The Irish and Mountaineers bring conflicting trends on the totals side into the contest. Notre Dame is 13-4 'under' on the season while West Virginia is 14-7 'over.' What's interesting about those records is the NCAA odds seem to recognize those trends only to have the two teams continue to go 'under' or 'over' anyway. Notre Dame's totals in Big East play have been in the 121-133 point range while West Virginia's have been 10 points higher from 131-143.

This series has been anything but conflicted when it comes to totals, however, as the 'under' has been the winner each of the last 10 meetings. Five conference road tilts for the Irish have recorded a 4-1 'under' mark, the only 'over' in that span being the double overtime win at Louisville that just went a half-point above the 131½ total.

West Virginia and Notre Dame will meet again in a little more than two weeks when the Mountaineers trek to South Bend on Feb. 22. Up next for WVU is Saturday's home date with Louisville. The Irish will be back home at the same time vs. DePaul.
 

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Duke At North Carolina In A Wild Wednesday

The classic matchup between North Carolina and Duke is just one of three Wednesday college basketball betting matchups of top-ranked teams. ESPN will broadcast from Dean E. Smith Center at 9:00 p.m. (ET).

North Carolina is first in the country in scoring (84.1 PPG), while Duke is tied for 11th (79.8 PPG). However, they’re both among several high scoring, major conference teams who have seen their production dip dramatically in the division.


TEAM NON-CONF (ATS) IN-CONF (ATS)
North Carolina 88.1 PPG (8-6)
76.6 PPG (3-5)

Missouri 86.2 PPG (5-3)
73.8 PPG (5-4-2)

Florida 85.4 PPG (5-4-1)
70.1 PPG (4-4)

Indiana 84.8 PPG (7-0)
72.2 PPG (5-7)

Duke 82.2 PPG (6-9)
75.3 PPG (3-5)



The Tar Heels are 20-3 straight up (11-11 ATS). That ranks them fifth in both polls while riding a 5-game winning streak. They haven’t covered the spread in their last three games, including an 83-74 comeback win at Maryland on Saturday as 12-point favorites.

Depth has been an issue since losing guard Dexter Strickland (knee) four games ago for the season. Point guard Kendall Marshall had to play 38 minutes against Maryland and leading scorer Harrison Barnes (17.3 PPG) has a sprained ankle, although is listed as probable.

The No. 9 Blue Devils (19-4 SU, 9-14 ATS) are 6-2 SU in the ACC, which puts them a game back of both North Carolina and Florida State. Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s guys imploded on Sunday, losing 78-74 to Miami in overtime as 12-point home favorites. Duke already lost at home to Florida State (76-73) back on January 21.

Krzyzewski is worried about team leadership and that makes sense with leading scorer Austin Rivers (14.5 PPG) just a freshman. Duke did have a couple of early road losses at Ohio State (85-63) and Temple (78-73), but is 4-0 SU (3-1 ATS) away in the ACC, albeit against pretty easy competition.

North Carolina beat Duke 81-67 as 1½-point home favorites last year. Duke was 3-0 ATS in the prior three in Chapel Hill. The ‘under’ is 6-0 in the last six meetings overall.

No. 11 Georgetown Hoyas at No. 2 Syracuse Orange
7:00 p.m. (ET) on ESPN

The Hoyas (18-4 SU, 10-7 ATS) are having a solid season, especially considering they were predicted to finish in the bottom half of the Big East. They are coming off home wins and covers over Connecticut (58-44) and South Florida (75-45) after starting 2-7 ATS (6-3 SU) in the conference.

Syracuse (23-1 SU, 15-8 ATS) is back to full strength after center Fab Melo (academics) returned to the mix last Saturday at St. John’s. Melo had a career-high 14 points in the 95-70 blowout. The Orange had really struggled to score in the three games without Melo (60.3 PPG), with the ‘under’ 5-0 before going way ‘over’ the 136 points last game.

Coach Jim Boeheim’s team ranks fourth in the Big East in scoring defense (60.8 PPG), with Georgetown leading (58.6 PPG). Syracuse is first in scoring offense (78.1 PPG), while the Hoyas are eighth (71 PPG).

The Hoyas only allow opponents to shoot 27.6 percent from 3-point range and holding down Syracuse’s deep shooters will be key.

Georgetown upset Syracuse in the Carrier Dome last year, 64-56 as 5-point ‘dogs. John Thompson II was 0-5 SU and 1-4 ATS in his first five games there as Hoyas coach.

No. 10 Kansas Jayhawks at No. 6 Baylor Bears
7:00 p.m. (ET) on ESPN2

This is a huge Big 12 matchup with both teams 8-2 SU in the conference and trailing Missouri (9-2 SU) by a half game.

Kansas (18-5 SU, 11-10-1 ATS) could be in first place in the Big 12, but lost 74-71 at Missouri on Saturday night. That was a ‘push’ as 3-point ‘dogs. Big man Thomas Robinson (25 points) and guard Tyshawn Taylor (21 points) both did their job per usual, but the rest of the team combined for just 25 points.

The Missouri game also ‘pushed’ the 145-point total. The ‘under’ was 9-0 in Kansas’ prior road and neutral site games. The Jayhawks have dropped two straight away, going down at Iowa State (72-64) on Jan. 28 despite being 7-point favorites.

The Bears (21-2 SU, 7-9 ATS) have won four straight after losing at Kansas (92-74) and home to Missouri (89-88). However, they’re still just 1-5 ATS in their last six. Baylor got dominated on the glass against Kansas (36-21) as Robinson and center Jeff Withey combined for 24 boards. These are two of the best rebounding teams in the conference, so there’s no excuse for that disparity.

A return to the Ferrell Center should help the Bears be more aggressive, especially in a revenge scenario. They’re 11-1 SU there on the season, although just 2-3 ATS. The home ATS number in the Big 12 is just 1-3.

Kansas has had success in Waco, 5-0 SU and ATS in the last five meetings. Last year was an 85-65 win as 3½-point favorites.
 

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More Injuries Mar Wednesday NBA Betting

The NBA betting schedule this year is as intense as could be, as teams cram 66 games into just four months. The end result is going to be a lot of injuries, and some of the most recent injuries could turn into big problems for some of the best teams in the league on Wednesday night.

The Denver Nuggets might have been dealt the worst blow on Monday night when they lost Danilo Gallinari with a slight fracture in his left foot. The Italian is the team's leading scorer at 17.0 PPG, and if he misses substantial time, it could be devastating for the Nuggets.

Gallinari is out of the fold against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night in one of the showcase games on the slate. However, he isn't alone on the Denver injury list.

Arron Afflalo, Nene Hilario and Timofey Mozgov all missed the loss to the Houston Rockets on Monday, and all three are listed as questionable for the duel against Dallas. Corey Brewer is also gone from the team due to the death of his father, and it is unknown whether he will be back in time to face the Mavericks.

Between the four injured players, the Nuggets are missing out on over 46 PPG, while Brewer would add another 8.0 PPG to that number if he were to sit out on Wednesday as well.

Dallas isn't without its problems, though. The team has dropped three in a row both SU and ATS, and is going to have to continue playing without Jason Kidd, who is out until at least the middle of February with a calf injury.

This battle from Pepsi Arena is going to start at 9:00 (ET) on Wednesday night, and there will be local television coverage available on FOX Sports Southwest and Altitude.

There are some other crucial injuries that could have an impact on Wednesday's NBA odds.

The Chicago Bulls lost Derrick Rose to back spasms on Monday in their win against the New Jersey Nets. Rose has already missed some time this year with a toe injury, and now he is listed as questionable for Wednesday's tilt against the New Orleans Hornets at 8:00 (ET) from New Orleans Arena. The Bulls are already without Richard Hamilton, who is expected to miss his sixth straight game with a thigh injury.

The New York Knicks were able to beat the Utah Jazz on Monday at Madison Square Garden without Amare Stoudemire, who left the team to be with his family following the death of his brother. Now, they could be without Carmelo Anthony for 1-2 weeks.

Anthony only played six minutes Monday before straining his groin, and is officially questionable for the game against the Washington Wizards. It is unknown whether Stoudemire will get back to his team in time for Wednesday's game in DC. Washington could be without Rashard Lewis, who is listed as day-to-day with a knee injury.

The tip from the Verizon Center is set for 7:00 (ET) and can be seen nationally on NBA TV.

The Los Angeles Clippers will probably be without Chauncey Billups on Wednesday, and they could be without him for quite some time. Billups left Monday's win against the Orlando Magic with an Achilles injury that could keep him out of the fold for the rest of the season. The Clip Joint will take on the Cleveland Cavaliers in a 7:00 (ET) tip at Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday.

The Minnesota Timberwolves, one of the pleasant surprises of the young season, are going to be without Kevin Love against the Memphis Grizzlies. Love was suspended for stomping on Luis Scola of the Rockets on Monday, and this will be the second game of his ban. The game against the Grizzlies starts at 8:00 (ET) on Wednesday night.

Two crucial 7:00 (ET) tilts pit some of the best teams in the league against each other. The Miami Heat and Orlando Magic will meet in a Sunshine State showdown at the Amway Center, while the San Antonio Spurs will continue their nine-game road trip at the Philadelphia 76ers. Also at 7:00 (ET), the Toronto Raptors face the Milwaukee Bucks.

The 7:30 (ET) tip between the Indiana Pacers and the Atlanta Hawks should be interesting to say the least, as the Pacers look for their 11th road victory of the season against an Atlanta team that is still without Al Horford.

The Detroit Pistons take on the New Jersey Nets at 7:30 (ET), while the last game of the night on NBA TV pits the Portland Trail Blazers against the Houston Rockets at the Rose Garden at 10:00 (ET).
 

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Red Wings Begin Homestand Sans Howard

After losing two straight games on the road, the Detroit Red Wings return home for a potentially historic six-game homestand that starts Wednesday night at the Joe Louis Arena against the Edmonton Oilers.

Detroit (35-17-2) has won a franchise-record 17 straight games at home, and is three wins away from tying the NHL record of 20. The Red Wings will have to chase history without their starting goaltender, Jimmy Howard, who is out of action with a broken finger. Detroit is 20-2-1 overall at home this season.

Edmonton (21-27-5) is 4-1-1 over its last six games, including a 5-4 win in the shootout at home over the Red Wings last Saturday as a +137 underdog. Sam Gagner followed up his historic eight-point night against the Blackhawks with two goals and an assist against Detroit, also potting a goal in the shootout.

Whether it is Ty Conklin or Joey MacDonald in net for the Red Wings, they’ll have to find an answer for the red-hot Gagner. Wednesday’s game starts at 7:30 p.m. (ET).

The San Jose Sharks will look to pad their lead in the Pacific Division Wednesday at 10:00 p.m. (ET) when they host the Calgary Flames, who are still fighting for a playoff spot.

San Jose (29-15-6) has won three of its last four games and entered Tuesday’s action with a four-point lead over the Los Angeles Kings for the division lead. Calgary (24-22-7) entered Tuesday three points out of a playoff spot with losses in three of the last four games. San Jose won each of the previous two meetings between these two teams this season in low-scoring fashion, topping the Flames 2-1 in a shootout at home and 1-0 in Calgary.

Out East, the Boston Bruins head to Buffalo to take on the Sabres, who are 3-0-1 in their last four games. Even with the recent string of good games, Buffalo (22-24-6) is still a big long shot to make the playoffs entering Tuesday’s action 11 points out of a playoff spot. While Boston (33-16-2) is still firmly in the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference, the Bruins are just 5-5-1 over their last 11 games. A win Wednesday would give the Bruins their first two-game winning streak since January 12. Wednesday night’s game will be televised nationally on the NBC Sports Network at 7:30 p.m. (ET).

Rounding out Wednesday’s four-game card, the Carolina Hurricanes head West to take on the Anaheim Ducks at 10:00 p.m. (ET). Though both teams are likely out of their respective conference’s playoff races with huge holes to climb out of, they’ve still played some strong hockey down the stretch. Anaheim (20-24-8) is 10-2-2 in its last 14 games and Carolina (20-25-9) is 6-2-2 its last 10.

Carolina’s goaltender Cam Ward has given up two goals or less in 11 of his last 12 games with a 1.67 goals against average during that stretch. As a result of Ward’s hot streak, the total has gone ‘under’ in seven of Carolina’s last eight games.
 

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Wednesday's Tip Sheet

February 8, 2012


No. 10 Kansas (18-5 SU, 11-10 ATS) at No. 6 Baylor (21-2 SU, 7-9 ATS)

Gamblers could be scratching their heads for this Big 12 battle, as Baylor opened as a one-point home favorite. After dropping two straight, the Bears have rebounded with four straight wins (1-3 ATS), three of the victories coming on the road. Plus, Scott Drew’s team has gone 11-1 at home, and the lone loss came to No. 4 Missouri by one point (89-88).

Yet the line is short? The Bears were giving five to the Tigers and Kansas just lost at Missouri (71-74) as a three-point road underdog on Saturday. To the Jayhawks’ defense, they were up eight late and got outscored 11-0 to close the game.

Bill Self’s team is 6-4 SU and 4-5-1 ATS on the road this season, and that includes two straight setbacks in Big 12 play.

Kansas has dominated Baylor by winning 11 of the last 12 meetings, including the first encounter this season. The Jayhawks blasted the Bears 92-74 as 6 ½-point home favorites. They shot 57 percent from the floor and they got great efforts from Thomas Robinson (27 points) and Tyshawn Taylor (28 points).

Total players have seen the ‘over’ go 3-0 in the last three battles between the pair. The total on the mid-January matchup closed at 139 ½. The two teams put up 97 in the second-half. Despite that high-scoring affair, the Jayhawks have been an ‘under’ (14-7) team this season, especially on the road (9-0). The ‘over/under’ for this game opened at 145 but has since dipped to 142 ½.

No. 11 Georgetown (18-4 SU, 10-7 ATS) at No. 2 Syracuse (23-1 SU, 15-8 ATS)

Not surprisingly, Syracuse opened up as an 11-point favorite over Georgetown. The Orange has gone 15-0 at the Carrier Dome this season and 12 of them have come by double digits.

In Big East play, the Orange has gone 10-1 and the team is coming off a 95-70 blowout win over St. John’s from Madison Square Garden. Syracuse big man Fab Melo returned from a three-game absence and put up a career-high 14 points in the victory. The team went 2-1 SU and 1-2 ATS while he was out, which included their only loss of the season at Notre Dame (58-67).

Even though the line is high, Syracuse is 12-4 ATS (75%) as a favorite of 10 points or more. Most shops dropped the number to 8 ½-points.

Georgetown is a tough team to figure out. After dropping two straight games in early January, the school has gone 5-1 in the last six albeit against inferior competition. The one loss did come on the road to a rejuvenated Pittsburgh (60-72) squad. It’s fair to say that all of their losses were against quality competition yet GT doesn’t own many quality wins, unless you count a pair of three-point conference wins over Louisville (71-68) and Marquette (73-70).

Georgetown has gone 4-2 SU and 3-3 ATS on the road. The Hoyas have never caught this many points this season, but they have gone 3-0 ATS (2-1 SU) when the number is listed at five or higher.

Both Georgetown (58.6 PPG) and Syracuse (60.8 PPG) have been outstanding defensive squads this season. The total opened at 129, which is the lowest ‘over/under’ number that Syracuse has seen. A few betting counters have nudged the line to 130.

Last season, the Hoyas and Orange split the regular season series with the visitor earning victories in both affairs. The ‘under’ went 2-0.

No. 9 Duke (19-4 SU, 9-14 ATS) at No. 5 North Carolina (20-3 SU, 11-11 ATS)

The Battle of Tobacco Road resumes on Wednesday from Chapel Hill when North Carolina meets Duke from Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels have been installed as six-point favorites and some pundits might believe the number is too low when you look at their resume.

North Carolina has gone 14-0 at home (7-6 ATS), winning 12 of the games by 10 or more. The lowest points the ‘Heels were giving at home prior to this game was 7, which came in a 60-57 win over Wisconsin on Nov. 30.

Since Roy Williams’ squad was thrashed at Florida State (57-90) on Jan. 10, UNC has ripped off five straight conference victories, three coming on the road.

Duke is coming off a 78-74 overtime loss this past Sunday to Miami, Fl. at home. The Blue Devils trailed by 14 at the break before forcing the extra session. If you’re looking for a reason why Coach K’s team was upset at home, then check out the free throw numbers (13-of-22, 59%).

Even though Duke has four losses on the season, three of them came by five points or less. The school has been in every game except for the 22-point loss at Ohio State (63-85) on Nov. 29. Coincidentally, that was the only other time this season that the Blue Devils were installed as underdogs.

Duke has won and covered four of the last five battles against UNC, including a 75-58 victory in last year’s ACC Championship. The ‘under’ has cashed in all five during this stretch.

The total opened at 157, spiked to 160 and is now hovering around 158 points. Duke has watched the ‘over’ go 15-8 this season, while UNC has seen its totals post an 11-11 ledger. Both the Blue Devils (79.8 PPG) and Tar Heels (84.1 PPG) have the offensive firepower to light up the scoreboard, but it’s a matter of making shots.
 

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Hoop Trends - Wednesday

February 8, 2012

SU TREND OF THE DAY:

The Rockets are 14-0 ATS (9.8 ppg) since December 12, 2007 after a game in which they has more than 10 refereed turnovers.

OU TREND OF THE DAY:

The Nets are 10-0 OU (13.1 ppg) since January 16, 2006 as a home favorite off a loss in which they never led.

PLAYER BASED TREND OF THE DAY:

The Pacers are 10-0 OU (12.6 ppg) since January 17, 2011 on the road after winning the previous matchup in which Tyler Hansbrough scored fewer than 10 points.

CHOICE TREND:

The Wizards are 0-12 ATS (-6.8 ppg) since March 14, 2003 with at least one day of rest after a win in which their opponent shot at least ten three-pointers and made at least half of them.

TODAY’S TRENDS:

The Magic are 0-9 OU (-14.3 ppg) since April 22, 2009 with at least a day of rest after a loss in which Dwight Howard scored at least 30 points.
 

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Wednesday Tips

February 7, 2012

It will be a busy Wednesday night in the NBA with 11 games on the card, as four teams are listed as road favorites. The Heat, Bucks, Clippers, and Bulls will all be laying points on the highway, while the 76ers and Hawks face major tests at home. We'll begin in the Sunshine State with a pair of Southeast division rivals meeting for the first time this season.

Heat (-3, 191 ½) at Magic - 7:05 PM EST

Miami makes the trip up the Florida Turnpike for a division showdown with an erratic Orlando squad. The Heat is fresh off Tuesday's victory over the Cavs, while the Magic looks to get back on track following Monday's overtime loss to the Clippers. Orlando blew an early 15-point lead, but rallied from nine down in the fourth quarter to force overtime. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Magic, even though Orlando busted the 100-point mark for the third time in four games.

The Heat begins a season-high six-game road trip, including the first three contests against divisional foes. Erik Spoelstra's team hasn't helped out backers by going 3-7 ATS the last 10 games, while putting up a putrid 1-5 ATS mark the previous six road contests. Since losing three straight at the end of their last lengthy trip, Miami's defense has allowed less than 100 points in 11 of the last 12 games.

The Magic started the season at 10-3, but Stan Van Gundy's club is just 5-7 the past 12 contests after Monday's defeat. Orlando owns a solid 4-1 ATS record the last five opportunities as an underdog, while splitting four meetings with Miami last season. Each team won at home and picked up a victory on the opponent's home court, as LeBron James scored a season-high 51 points in a 104-100 triumph at Amway Arena last February.

Spurs at 76ers (-3, 182) - 7:05 PM EST

San Antonio continues its annual "Rodeo Trip" that will span over two weeks and nine stops. The Spurs took care of business against the Grizzlies for the third time this season in Monday's 89-84 victory, the fifth in a row for Gregg Popovich's squad. The 76ers are in the midst of a difficult three-game homestand that concludes with the Clippers on Friday, as Philadelphia knocked off the other L.A. team in a 95-90 triumph over the Lakers on Monday.

The Spurs are still playing without guard Manu Ginobili (hand injury), as San Antonio is holding its own with a 14-7 SU and 12-9 ATS record. During this current five-game winning streak, the Spurs have limited each opponent to less than 100 points, while cashing the 'under' four times. In fact, this San Antonio club is 7-1 ATS the last eight contests, with the lone ATS loss coming as short road favorites at Minnesota.

The Sixers have turned into one of the early-season surprises by putting together an 18-7 mark through the first six weeks. Doug Collins' team has won six of their last seven games, with the only defeat coming at home to the Heat last Friday (Sixers are 1-13 the last 14 meetings with Miami). Philadelphia's frontcourt is beat up as Elton Brand has missed the last two games with a thumb injury, while center Spencer Hawes is nursing an Achilles' injury. The Sixers have won each of the last four home meetings with the Spurs, but Philadelphia was listed as an underdog each time.

Pacers at Hawks (-3, 185 ½) - 7:35 PM EST

Atlanta is free-falling after a solid start to the season following three consecutive home losses to Memphis, Philadelphia, and Phoenix. The Hawks look to turn things around against a Pacers' squad that ran Atlanta out of Conseco Fieldhouse, 96-84 on January 11. Indiana travels to Philips Arena with no rest after Tuesday's home win against Utah, as the Pacers are in a good betting spot here.

Frank Vogel's club has played well in the role of an underdog, winning and covering each of the last five times in this scenario. The Pacers have pulled off some nice victories in this stretch, including triumphs over the Lakers, Bulls, Magic, and Mavericks. Indiana is 4-2 ATS with no rest this season, while compiling a 2-0 ATS ledger as an underdog.

The Hawks have profited on the second of a back-to-back at 6-1 ATS, but the problem is Atlanta will be playing with rest following Monday's setback to the Suns. Larry Drew's team is 9-5 ATS as a single-digit favorite, while going 1-5 ATS the last six times as home 'chalk' of three points or more. The Hawks have dominated the Pacers in the Peach State with an 8-0 SU and 7-1 ATS mark the previous eight home matchups.

Rockets at Blazers (-7 ½, 198) - 10:05 PM EST

Portland suffered only its second home loss of the season in Monday's controversial defeat to Oklahoma City. The Blazers were set to close out the Thunder with a late two-point lead, but officials called LaMarcus Aldridge's block of Kevin Durant a goaltend, forcing overtime. Oklahoma City came through in the extra session, sending Portland to 11-2 at the Rose Garden. Now, the Blazers attempt to get on track against the Rockets.

Houston is coming off its most impressive road victory of the season after upending the Nuggets in Denver on Monday as seven-point underdogs, 99-90. The Nuggets were missing several key pieces, but the Rockets knocked down 10 three-pointers in the triumph for just their fourth away win in 12 tries. Kevin McHale's team beat the Blazers in their last meeting at the Toyota Center in overtime, 107-105 as one-point 'dogs in mid-January.

Portland wraps up a three-game homestand before hitting the road for two games at New Orleans and Dallas this weekend. The Blazers have done a solid job off an ATS loss by covering in eight of 10 opportunities in this situation, including a 6-0 ATS mark at home off a non-cover. Point guard Raymond Felton is listed as 'questionable' for the Blazers with a foot injury, as the former UNC star missed his first game of the season in Monday's loss to the Thunder.
 

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Duke and UNC collide Wednesday night

DUKE BLUE DEVILS (19-4)

at NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS (20-3)


Tip-off: Wednesday, 9:00 p.m. EDT
Line: North Carolina -6½, Total: 159½

The most storied rivalry in college basketball takes center stage on Wednesday night as the No. 10 Duke Blue Devils travel just eight miles down the road to take on the arch rival No. 5 North Carolina Tar Heels at the Dean E. Smith Center.

This year’s North Carolina squad lights up the scoreboard with 84.1 PPG, the highest average in the nation. Led in the post by Tyler Zeller (15.3 PPG, 9.6 RPG) and John Henson (14.3 PPG, 10.0 RPG), the Tar Heels are also the country’s most active team on the boards at 46.3 RPG. But they are also 3-6 ATS in their past nine contests, and just 1-4 SU in the past five meetings with Duke.

Can the Tar Heels beat their rival convincingly on Wednesday 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 carries a hefty 8-5-1 ATS mark (62%).

The Blue Devils have fell in two of their past four ACC games, both losses of which came at home, where they typically are unbeatable. And they are 3-7 ATS in the past 10 games. Although statistically inferior to North Carolina’s, Duke’s offense is not too shabby (79.8 PPG, 11th in nation) with five players who score with regularity. Freshman Austin Rivers (14.5 PPG) leads that crew, while Seth Curry (12.6 PPG) joins him as a strong scorer in the backcourt. Six-foot-11 Ryan Kelly (12.6 PPG) is a forward, but threatens from downtown on the offensive end with 1.3 threes per game on an impressive 45.3% clip. Mason Plumlee (11.6 PPG, 9.7 RPG) is the team’s best rebounder, but the Blue Devils (36.0 RPG, 104th in nation) cannot compete with the Tar Heels on the boards. With 7.9 made threes per game though, Duke can win games from behind the arc, where Andre Dawkins (9.7 PPG, 2.2 threes per game), can be dangerous when hot. This FoxSheets trend also favors the Blue Devils.

DUKE is 10-2 ATS (+7.8 Units) in road games after 2 consecutive conference games over the last 2 seasons. The average score was DUKE 77.5, OPPONENT 65.6 - (Rating = 1*).

The Tar Heels are 14-0 SU this season, outscoring these opponents by 24.8 PPG (17.8 PPG in ACC play). Finally, North Carolina’s top scorer Harrison Barnes (17.3 PPG) should have a field day against the Blue Devils who have nobody that can realistically match up against him on the defensive end. The 6-foot-8 forward will be too tall for Duke’s guards, who top out at 6-foot-4, and too quick for their post players such as Ryan Kelly. North Carolina’s prolific scoring is led by Barnes, Zeller and Henson but orchestrated by Kendall Marshall. He is second in the country in assists with 9.8 APG and at 6-foot-4 is more physical than the average guard. He also plays the most minutes per game on his team (31.8 MPG) and has a 3.42 turnover-to-assist ratio. They will win this game by shutting Duke down on the inside, which often opens up their elite outside game. Henson, the reigning ACC defensive player of the year, averages 3.2 BPG on a team that is seventh in the nation with 6.3 BPG. He is also extremely efficient on the offensive end, where he registers a 52% FG next to Zeller (55% FG) who also does a great job at putting the ball in the hoop with high-percentage shots. This pair of anti-Duke FoxSheets trends also like the Tar Heels to win and cover on Wednesday.

Play Against - Underdogs of 3.5 to 9.5 points (DUKE) - off a loss to a conference rival as a favorite of 6 points or more against opponent off a road win against a conference rival. (79-42 since 1997.) (65.3%, +32.8 units. Rating = 2*).

Mike Krzyzewski is 10-23 ATS (30.3%, -15.3 Units) after a loss by 6 points or less as the coach of DUKE. The average score was DUKE 81.3, OPPONENT 68.5 - (Rating = 2*).
 

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No. 12 Georgetown visits No. 2 Syracuse

GEORGETOWN HOYAS (18-4, 8-3 Big East)

at SYRACUSE ORANGE (23-1, 10-1 Big East)


Tip-Off: Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. EDT
Line: Syracuse -8½, Total: 130

No. 12 Georgetown looks to grab a firm hold of second place in the conference when it travels to No. 2 Syracuse to take on one the arch rival Orange on Wednesday night.

Can the Orange cover this large point spread? 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 carries a hefty 8-5-1 ATS mark (62%).

The Hoyas cruised to two easy victories (SU and ATS) last week over Connecticut and South Florida, but are just 1-3 ATS in their past four conference road games. Georgetown boasts the second best three-point percentage in the Big East (36.4%), and hitting outside shots is the easiest way to loosen up the lethal 2-3 zone of Syracuse. Don’t look now, but with a win on Wednesday the Hoyas will pull to within one game of the Orange for first place in the Big East. Projected to finish 10th in the conference this season, Georgetown has been one of the Big East’s biggest surprises. Senior guard Jason Clark (15.2 PPG) and junior forward Hollis Thompson (13.7 PPG, 5.1 RPG) lead the way for the Hoyas on offense. It will be imperative for all members of Georgetown’s eight-man rotation to stay out of foul trouble. Syracuse is so deep and can roll so many different lineups at opponents, the Hoyas can ill-afford to go long stretches without their key players on the court in this matchup. This three-star FoxSheets trend also sides with the Hoyas.

Play Against - A favorite (SYRACUSE) - off a road blowout win by 20 points or more, in a game involving two top-level teams (>= 80%). (31-7 over the last 5 seasons.) (81.6%, +23.3 units. Rating = 3*).

Opposing defenses have had no success trying to stop the Orange’s potent offense—ranking first in the Big East in FG percentage (48.2%)—but the lines makers have caught up to Syracuse, who is just 1-3 ATS in its past four home games. The Orange have overwhelmed opponents with some incredible offensive depth, with 10 different players averaging 10+ minutes. Sophomore guard Dion Waiters (12.3 PPG) is arguably Syracuse’s best scorer—and he comes off the bench. Senior forward Kris Joseph (13.7 PPG, 4.9 RPG) leads all scorers for the Orange, who had five players score in double-figures in a 95-70 win over St. John’s on Saturday at Madison Square Garden. The return of sophomore center Fab Melo (7.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 3.0 BPG) from a three-game academic suspension appears to have the Orange offense back at an elite level. Melo has had a breakout season this far, and posted a career-high 14 points in his first game back against the Red Storm. This two-star FoxSheets trend also backs the Orange.

GEORGETOWN is 3-13 ATS (18.8%, -11.3 Units) after a combined score of 125 points or less over the last 2 seasons. The average score was GEORGETOWN 68.3, OPPONENT 64.4 - (Rating = 2*).
 

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Bruins visit Northeast rival Sabres on Wednesday

BOSTON BRUINS (33-16-2, 68 points)

at BUFFALO SABRES (22-24-6, 50 points)


Puck drops: Wednesday, 7:35 p.m. EDT
Line: Boston -170, Buffalo +150, Total: 5.5

The Bruins look to win two games in a row for the first time in nearly a month and inch closer to the top of the Eastern Conference standings when they travel to Buffalo to take on the Northeast Division-rival Sabres on Wednesday night.

Boston won the first two games in this series—both back in November. The Bruins got back on track with an impressive 4-1 road win over the Capitals on Sunday, but are a pedestrian 5-5-1 over their past 11 contests—exposing a small chink in the armor after a ridiculous 21-3-1 stretch in November and December. Backup G Tuukka Rask (11-6-2, 1.88 GAA, .936 SV Pct.) will likely be in net for the B’s after Tim Thomas made back-to-back starts over the weekend. The Sabres have won three of their past four games after a dreadful 1-7-1 stretch. Despite extremely high expectations entering the season, Buffalo will need a surge of epic proportions to get back into the playoff hunt, trailing current eight-seed Ottawa by 11 points. G Ryan Miller (14-15-3, 2.88 GAA, .905 SV Pct.) has shown flashes of his former self over the past few games—allowing just one goal each in three of his past four starts. Miller will make his first start against Boston since suffering a concussion after a collision with Bruins’ winger Milan Lucic on November 12. The Sabres will definitely be seeking revenge for the hit that turned their season sour, but Buffalo has just one win over teams in the top eight of either conference since December 28. Expect BOSTON to pick up the win on the road.

This three-star FoxSheets trend urges bettors to stay away from the Sabres:

BUFFALO is 0-7 ATS (+7.0 Units) against excellent starting goalies - saving >= 93% of shots against this season. The average score was BUFFALO 1.6, OPPONENT 3.9 - (Rating = 3*).

Despite the Bruins’ mini-slump, they still hold a firm grip over first place in the Northeast Division—leading the Maple Leafs by six points with three games in hand. No NHL team has scored more goals than their 180 tallies, and only two squads (Rangers and Blues) have allowed fewer than Boston’s 111.

The Bruins’ offense is incredibly balanced, with eight different skaters at 30+ points, led by centers Patrice Bergeron (15 G, 31 A) and 19-year-old Tyler Seguin (20 G, 24 A). Boston is still without RW Nathan Horton (17 G, 15 A), who will miss his sixth consecutive game with a concussion.

The Sabres were expected to contend with the Bruins for first place in the Northeast this season, but instead find themselves in the basement of the division. Buffalo has received little scoring depth from its bottom three lines, with first-line wingers Jason Pominville (17 G, 31 A) and Thomas Vanek (19 G, 22 A) the only two skaters above the 30-point plateau. To make matters worse, Vanek will miss Wednesday’s game with an upper body injury.

The offseason additions of defensemen Christian Ehrhoff (3 G, 16 A) and Robyn Regehr (114 hits, 70 blocked shots) have done little to bolster the Sabres’ blueline, which allows 2.9 goals per game (23rd in NHL).
 

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Wednesday’s betting tips: NHL unders cashing big

Who’s hot

NBA: Chicago has covered in 11 of its last 15 road games.

NBA: New York has covered the number in five straight and is 6-1 ATS in its last seven meetings with Washington.

NHL: Anaheim is 10-4 in its last 14 overall.

NHL: Boston is 15-5 in its last 20 road games.

NCAAB: Boston College is 7-2 against the spread in its last nine.

NCAAB: The under is 20-7 in Virginia’s last 27 home games.

Who’s not

NBA: Dallas has dropped three in a row straight up and ATS and is 5-16 ATS in its last 21 vs. Denver.

NBA: New Orleans is 3-10 against the number in its last 13 home games.

NHL: Buffalo is 6-15 in its last 21 overall.

NHL: Calgary is 2-7 in its last nine road games.

NCAAB: Duke is 3-7 against the spread in its last 10 games overall.

NCAAB: Georgetown is 4-13 against the spread in its 17 Big East games.

Key stat

59.38 – Sharp NHL bettors are cashing in on a serious under trend. Ahead of Tuesday’s action, 59.38 percent of all games in the last month have played under the total. The over/under currently sits at 65-95 during that span.

Injury that shouldn’t be overlooked

Ben Simons, Drake Bulldogs – Simons, a 6-foot-8 forward, is dealing with mononucleosis is currently expected to miss Wednesday’s game against Illinois State. Simons is averaging 16.1 points per game.

Game of the day

Duke Blue Devils at North Carolina Tar Heels (-6.5, 160.5)

Notable quotable

"They know what they're walking into. Knowing and when you experience it is different obviously, but they know. They have a sense of the crowd and how great their fans are and how numerous their fans are. Once the game starts, it's a court, it's a gym, its fans. Obviously there aren't too many venues that hold as many people as the Carrier Dome. And there aren't too many games that are as spirited as the Georgetown-Syracuse games have been down through the years. So is this game special? Absolutely, but I think our guys are going to show up and be ready to play." – Georgetown Hoyas coach John Thompson III on his club’s game at Syracuse Wednesday. The Hoyas are set as 9-point underdogs.

Notes and tips

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony will be out 1-2 weeks with a strained right groin, the team announced Tuesday. Anthony suffered the injury in the first quarter of Monday's game against the Utah Jazz. The Knicks' leading scorer had a pair of points in six minutes before exiting. New York was already without forward Amar'e Stoudemire, who missed the game following the death of his brother in a car accident earlier Monday. Anthony is averaging 23.3 points and 6.2 rebounds this season. The shorthanded Knicks are 1-point underdogs at Washington.

Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will miss 7-10 days with a sprained shoulder, the team announced Tuesday. It was just his second game back in the Oilers lineup after missing the previous 13 contests with the shoulder problem. The rookie left in the third period of Monday's game with the Toronto Maple Leafs after sustaining a new injury on his left shoulder. Nugent-Hopkins has 13 goals and 22 assists in 40 games to lead all rookies with 35 points this season. The Oilers are +190 underdogs at Detroit.

Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari has a chip fracture in his left foot and severely sprained ankle. He suffered the injury in Monday night's game with the Houston Rockets when he rolled his left ankle in the third quarter. X-rays revealed a chip fracture in his left foot and he'll undergo further testing Tuesday to determine the extent of the injury. "Nervous. Nervous that I'm going to be out for a while." Gallinari said after the game. The 23-year-old recently signed a four-year, $42 million deal with the Nuggets. Gallinari is averaging 17 points and 5.2 rebounds per game for Denver this season.
 

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Armadillo: Wednesday's six-pack

-- Chauncey Billups tore his achilled tendon, is done for the year, and maybe his career, given his advanced age. Tough break for the Clippers.

-- Danilo Gallinari/Carmelo Anthony will also miss an extended period after suffering leg injuries. Not enough rest time in this NBA season.

-- Villanova beat Providence 74-72 after trailing by 18 points early in the second half. Friars can't put anyone away.

-- Iowa State lost for the 18th straight time at Oklahoma State, which ain't going to look good on Selection Sunday.

-- Jimmer Fredette had 13 points in 17 minutes for Sacramento, losers by a hoop at Minnesota; Kings were +12 with Fredette on the court. Not sure why they're not playing him more.

-- Rangers had a tying goal waved off with 0:03.5 left, as they lost 1-0 to the Devils; ref called goalie interference, a marginal call.


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


Armadillo: Wednesday's List of 13: Doing some thinking out loud........

13) Interesting to know that the last two Super Bowl champs combined to go 19-13 in the regular season. More than ever before, getting in the postseason tournament is the main thing.

12) Memphis to the Big East is long overdue; gives the league an 18th team, and won’t hurt the football side for too long. Curious to see if Mountain West and whats left of Conference USA wind up merging.

11) Giants’ victory parade in 2008 cost the city of New York $331,000, so you figure this year’s was at least that much. Lot of money, especially considering the team plays in New Jersey.

10) College hockey’s Frozen Four is in St Petersburg, FL April 5-7, in the building the Tampa Bay Lightning call home. Frozen Four was actually here in Albany once; pretty cool event, but I guess its weird that hockey is having its Final Four in Florida. .

9) If Ryan Braun’s 50-game suspension holds up, he returns May 31, which would be eight weeks out of my fantasy league’s 19-game regular season.

8) As if there aren’t enough people who are famous for no reason, they’re now going to have a Real Housewives of south Boston; interesting to see if these women are as obnoxious as most of the other Real Housewives have become.

7) Knicks just won back-to-back games with Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak as key players; they may wind up firing Mike D’Antoni, but don’t tell me he can’t coach. The Carmelo Anthony trade screwed up their team chemistry and they haven’t been able to fix it since, until the last two games.

6) 65 underclassmen will be at the NFL Combine in two weeks; Rams need Robert Griffin III to be very impressive so a team(s) will fall head over heels for him and throw multiple draft picks at St Louis to move up to the #2 slot.

5) Greg Schiano is having trouble putting together a coaching staff with NFL experience; Cardinals/Packers have both blocked position coaches from interviewing for the OC job in Tampa Bay, which doesn’t seem fair. If a coach is going to be promoted to be a coordinator, he should be allowed to switch teams, not be blocked by his current team.

4) San Diego Padres have lowered season ticket prices on over 60% of their seats for 2012, probably not a sign the club thinks it can contend this season. If they thought they were good, they'd rip their fans off and raise prices.

3) Singer Garth Brooks was a javelin thrower way back in his college days at Oklahoma State.

2) Bill Belichick has now been the head coach in five Super Bowls, which were decided by 3-3-3-3-4 points. Too bad he wasn’t enough of a grown-up to do an interview on live TV with NBC after Sunday’s game- could have improved his image a little, not that he cares.

1) Since 2003, the winners of the Duke-North Carolina basketball games are 20-1 in their next games; not much letting down there after a win.
 

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NCAAB
Dunkel


Duke at North Carolina
The Blue Devils look to take advantage of a North Carolina team that is 3-7-1 ATS in its last 11 games against ACC opponents. Duke is the pick (+6 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Tar Heels favored by only 4. Dunkel Pick: Duke (+6 1/2). Here are all of today's picks.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8

Game 523-524: George Washington at Temple (6:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: George Washington 53.134; Temple 71.776
Dunkel Line: Temple by 18 1/2; 138
Vegas Line: Temple by 14; 134
Dunkel Pick: Temple (-14); Over

Game 525-526: Penn State at Michigan State (6:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Penn State 59.364; Michigan State 73.865
Dunkel Line: Michigan State by 14 1/2; 119
Vegas Line: Michigan State by 16; 124 1/2
Dunkel Pick Penn State (+16); Under

Game 527-528: Drexel at James Madison (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Drexel 60.352; James Madison 55.165
Dunkel Line: Drexel by 5; 129
Vegas Line: Drexel by 7 1/2; 126
Dunkel Pick: James Madison (+7 1/2); Over

Game 529-530: Hofstra at George Mason (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Hofstra 50.880; George Mason 60.394
Dunkel Line: George Mason by 9 1/2; 126
Vegas Line: George Mason by 11; 129 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Hofstra (+11); Under

Game 531-532: Old Dominion at William & Mary (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Old Dominion 59.375; William & Mary 48.403
Dunkel Line: Old Dominion by 11; 112
Vegas Line: Old Dominion by 9 1/2; 118 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Old Dominion (-9 1/2); Under

Game 533-534: NC-Wilmington at Delaware (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NC-Wilmington 49.466; Delaware 54.207
Dunkel Line: Delaware by 5; 145
Vegas Line: Delaware by 6 1/2 140 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NC-Wilmington (+6 1/2); Over

Game 535-536: Memphis at East Carolina (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Memphis 66.728; East Carolina 57.917
Dunkel Line: Memphis by 9; 135
Vegas Line: Memphis by 6; 140 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Memphis (-6); Under

Game 537-538: Cincinnati at St. John's (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cincinnati 65.172; St. John's 63.710
Dunkel Line: Cincinnati by 1 1/2; 138
Vegas Line: Cincinnati by 4; 133
Dunkel Pick: St. John's (+4); Over

Game 539-540: Marshall at Central Florida (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Marshall 59.229; Central Florida 62.646
Dunkel Line: Central Florida by 3 1/2; 125
Vegas Line: Central Florida by 5 1/2; 127
Dunkel Pick: Marshall (+5 1/2); Under

Game 541-542: Buffalo at Central Michigan (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Buffalo 55.745; Central Michigan 51.731
Dunkel Line: Buffalo by 4; 137
Vegas Line: Buffalo by 6; 134
Dunkel Pick: Central Michigan (+6); Over

Game 543-544: Ohio at Toledo (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Ohio 60.018; Toledo 54.053
Dunkel Line: Ohio by 6; 142
Vegas Line: Ohio by 7 1/2; 135
Dunkel Pick: Toledo (+7 1/2); Over

Game 545-546: Kent State at Eastern Michigan (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Kent State 59.546; Eastern Michigan 52.142
Dunkel Line: Kent State by 7 1/2; 110
Vegas Line: Kent State by 6 1/2; 118
Dunkel Pick: Kent State (-6 1/2); Under

Game 547-548: Akron at Western Michigan (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Akron 63.210; Western Michigan 56.308
Dunkel Line: Akron by 7; 144
Vegas Line: Akron by 3 1/2; 140
Dunkel Pick: Akron (-3 1/2); Over

Game 549-550: Bowling Green at Ball State (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Bowling Green 55.633; Ball State 60.164
Dunkel Line: Ball State by 4 1/2; 120
Vegas Line: Ball State by 2; 124
Dunkel Pick: Ball State (-2); Under

Game 551-552: LaSalle at Richmond (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LaSalle 62.787; Richmond 61.076
Dunkel Line: LaSalle by 1 1/2; 147
Vegas Line: LaSalle by 1; 142
Dunkel Pick: LaSalle (-1); Over

Game 553-554: Northeastern at Georgia State (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Northeastern 53.551; Georgia State 64.653
Dunkel Line: Georgia State by 11; 115
Vegas Line: Georgia State by 9 1/2; 117 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Georgia State (-9 1/2); Under

Game 555-556: Florida State at Boston College (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Florida State 70.752; Boston College 54.270
Dunkel Line: Florida State by 16 1/2; 127
Vegas Line: Florida State by 13; 122
Dunkel Pick: Florida State (-13); Over

Game 557-558: Rhode Island at Xavier (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Rhode Island 50.173; Xavier 67.342
Dunkel Line: Xavier by 17; 136
Vegas Line: Xavier by 15 1/2; 140 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Xavier (-15 1/2); Under

Game 559-560: Kansas at Baylor (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Kansas 73.517; Baylor 76.572
Dunkel Line: Baylor by 3; 149
Vegas Line: Baylor by 1 1/2; 143 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Baylor (-1 1/2); Over

Game 561-562: Georgetown at Syracuse (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Georgetown 69.360; Syracuse 76.734
Dunkel Line: Syracuse by 7 1/2; 125
Vegas Line: Syracuse by 9 1/2; 130
Dunkel Pick: Georgetown (+9 1/2); Under

Game 563-564: Pittsburgh at South Florida (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh 65.352; South Florida 64.368
Dunkel Line: Pittsburgh by 1; 119
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh by 2; 124 1/2
Dunkel Pick: South Florida (+2); Under

Game 565-566: St. Bonaventure at Massachusetts (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Bonaventure 61.525; Massachusetts 62.419
Dunkel Line: Massachusetts by 2; 148
Vegas Line: Massachusetts by 4 1/2; 142 1/2
Dunkel Pick: St. Bonaventure (+4 1/2); Over

Game 567-568: Wake Forest at Virginia (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Wake Forest 53.882; Virginia 70.307
Dunkel Line: Virginia by 16 1/2; 123
Vegas Line: Virginia by 14 1/2; 118 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Virginia (-14 1/2); Over

Game 569-570: Towson at VCU (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Towson 40.272; VCU 61.163
Dunkel Line: VCU by 21; 114
Vegas Line: VCU by 24; 117
Dunkel Pick: Towson (+24); Under

Game 571-572: TCU at SMU (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: TCU 56.488; SMU 55.708
Dunkel Line: TCU by 1; 121
Vegas Line: SMU by 2; 124 1/2
Dunkel Pick: TCU (+2); Under

Game 573-574: Arkansas at Georgia (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Arkansas 60.025; Georgia 63.337
Dunkel Line: Georgia by 3 1/2; 137
Vegas Line: Georgia by 1; 132 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Georgia (-1); Over

Game 575-576: Southern Mississippi at UAB (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Southern Mississippi 64.566; UAB 60.926
Dunkel Line: Southern Mississippi by 3 1/2; 126
Vegas Line: Southern Mississippi by 2; 120 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Southern Mississippi (-2); Over

Game 577-578: Miami (OH) at Northern Illinois (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami (OH) 51.469; Northern Illinois 43.842
Dunkel Line: Miami (OH) by 7 1/2; 114
Vegas Line: Miami (OH) by 9; 119
Dunkel Pick: Northern Illinois (+9); Under

Game 579-580: Rice at Houston (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Rice 54.891; Houston 54.875
Dunkel Line: Even; 141
Vegas Line: Rice by 1 1/2; 145 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Houston (+1 1/2); Under

Game 581-582: Drake at Illinois State (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Drake 56.461; Illinois State 65.939
Dunkel Line: Illinois State by 9 1/2; 137
Vegas Line: Illinois State by 7 1/2; 130
Dunkel Pick: Illinois State (-7 1/2); Over

Game 583-584: Indiana State at Bradley (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Indiana State 55.396; Bradley 51.817
Dunkel Line: Indiana State by 3 1/2; 138
Vegas Line: Indiana State by 6; 134
Dunkel Pick: Bradley (+6); Over

Game 585-586: Missouri State at Southern Illinois (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Missouri State 62.152; Southern Illinois 56.017
Dunkel Line: Missouri State by 6; 120
Vegas Line: Missouri State by 3 1/2; 124 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Missouri State (-3 1/2); Under

Game 587-588: Northern Iowa at Wichita State (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Northern Iowa 59.727; Wichita State 67.631
Dunkel Line: Wichita State by 8; 125
Vegas Line: Wichita State by 10 1/2; 130 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Northern Iowa (+10 1/2); Under

Game 589-590: South Carolina at Tennessee (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: South Carolina 56.882; Tennessee 66.023
Dunkel Line: Tennessee by 9; 129
Vegas Line: Tennessee by 7; 121 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Tennessee (-7); Over

Game 591-592: St. Louis at St. Joseph's (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis 66.680; St. Joseph's 61.540
Dunkel Line: St. Louis by 4; 133
Vegas Line: St. Louis by 2; 129 1/2
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (-2); Over

Game 593-594: Michigan at Nebraska (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Michigan 67.481; Nebraska 62.803
Dunkel Line: Michigan by 4 1/2; 118
Vegas Line: Michigan by 3; 121 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Michigan (-3); Under

Game 595-596: Tulsa at UTEP (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tulsa 60.332; UTEP 61.223
Dunkel Line: UTEP by 1; 133
Vegas Line: Tulsa by 1; 125
Dunkel Pick: UTEP (+1); Over

Game 597-598: LSU at Vanderbilt (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LSU 61.528; Vanderbilt 70.206
Dunkel Line: Vanderbilt by 8 1/2; 128
Vegas Line: Vanderbilt by 10; 132 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LSU (+10); Under

Game 599-600: Seton Hall at Rutgers (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Seton Hall 62.070; Rutgers 60.851
Dunkel Line: Seton Hall by 1; 122
Vegas Line: Rutgers by 1 1/2; 126 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Seton Hall (+1 1/2); Under

Game 601-602: Duke at North Carolina (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Duke 68.740; North Carolina 72.967
Dunkel Line: North Carolina by 4; 166
Vegas Line: North Carolina by 6 1/2; 159 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Duke (+6 1/2); Over

Game 603-604: Notre Dame at West Virginia (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Notre Dame 64.744; West Virginia 72.664
Dunkel Line: West Virginia by 8; 133
Vegas Line: West Virginia by 5 1/2; 126
Dunkel Pick: West Virginia (-5 1/2); Over

Game 605-606: Jacksonville State at Morehead State (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Jacksonville State 48.679; Morehead State 52.221
Dunkel Line: Morehead State by 3 1/2; 115
Vegas Line: Morehead State by 5 1/2; 119 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Jacksonville State (+5 1/2); Under
 

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Armadillo's Write-Up

Wednesday, February 8


Cincinnati (-11) shot 26.3% from floor, 7-32 from arc in an awful 57-55 home loss to St John's Jan 7; underdogs are 5-0 vs spread in Bearcats' Big East road games, with Cincy losing last two, at West Virginia by 7 in OT, Rutgers by 7. St John's had 19 turnovers in the first meeting; they're 2-4 as Big East home dog, with three of their four home losses by 15+ points. Big East home underdogs of less than 6 points are 6-9 against the spread. Bearcats are 1-4 vs spread as a Big East underdog.

Central Florida lost 65-64 (+6.5) in brickfest at Marshall Jan 14, as the Knights were 5-20 from arc and Jordan was just 3-17 from floor for nite. UCF covered three of four as C-UA favorite, but they're struggling with ball, scoring just 59 ppg in last four games- they're 3-1 at in conference home games, winning by 7-1-11 points, with loss to Southern Miss by 13. Marshall lost four of five games since beating UCF. Conference USA home favorites of 6 or less points are 12-9-1 against the spread.

Kansas shot 57% from floor, made 6-11 from the arc in a relatively easy 92-74 home win over Baylor (+7) Jan 16; Jayhawks are 3-2 as a Big X home favorite, winning in Lawrence by 18-9-18-10-22 points, but they lost two of last three games, with both losses on road. Big X home teams are 8-2-1 vs spread when number is 3 or less points. Baylor won its last four games, last three by five or less points; they're 3-1 at home in Big X with only loss by a point to Missouri.

Syracuse won by 25 in its first game with Melo back in center of the 2-3 zone; Orange is 2-3 as Big East home favorite, winning home games by 26-7-23-8-2 points. Georgetown lost five of last six series games, with Hoyas' 64-56 win here LY their first in last six visits, losing its previous five games by 5-14-7-4-17 points. Big East single digit home favorites are 20-18 against the spread. Hoyas won five of last six games, are 1-2 as Big East road dog, losing by 12 at West Virginia, 12 at Pitt.

Pitt won its last four games, scoring 77.3 ppg, after getting Woodall back from injury; they've won five of last six games vs USF, beating them by 16-12 points LY- they won two of last three visits here, winning by 13-16 points. South Florida is 3-7 vs top 100 teams, but are 4-1 at home in conference play, with only loss to UConn by 3. Big East favorites of 3 or less points are 13-9 against the spread, 7-5 on the road. USF's wins in Big East play are against teams whose combined league record is 14-31.

Arkansas is 0-4 on SEC road, 1-3 as road underdog, losing away games by 8-23-6-6 points; Razorbacks are 10-1 vs teams ranked below #110 in country, with only loss to Houston 81 days ago. Georgia is 1-7 in SEC, losing last four games by 3-13-8-11 points, scoring only 55 ppg- they're 1-3 at home in conference, with only win in OT vs Tennessee. Home side is 6-2 vs spread in Hogs' SEC games. SEC home teams are 11-2 vs spread when number is 4 or less points.

Southern Miss had week since they ended 18-game skid vs Memphis, so they better be back down to earth here, vs UAB squad they beat 59-55 (-9) at home Jan 14, forcing 19 Blazer turnovers (+!2), surviving UAB's 50% shooting for night. C-USA home underdogs of less than 5 points are 6-4 vs spread. USM won three of four conference road games, with wins by 5-12-13 points. UAB won three of last four games, but they're 1-4 at home in conference, with losses by 3-2-7-7 points.

Wichita State (-2.5) won 71-68 at Northern Iowa Jan 18, but with 4:00 left, they were down 64-59; Shockers are 2-4 as MVC home favorites, with home wins by 3-37-43-12-5 points, with loss to Creighton. MVC home favorites of 9+ points are 12-9 against the spread. Panthers won last three home games, allowing 54.3 ppg; they're 1-5 on MVC road, 1-1 as road dogs, losing away games by 4-3-11-5-12 points. Wichita's bench scored only one basket in 58:00 played in first meeting.

Saint Louis won five of its last six games; they've allowed 62 points or less in four of six conference wins, 79-72-72 points in its three losses, at Dayton/UMass and at home to Temple. St Joe's won its last three home games, by 18-14-4 points; favorites covered six of their last seven A-14 games. Atlantic 14 home underdogs of 4 or less points are 8-4-1 against the spread. Billikens split their four A-14 road games, winning by 5 at Xavier, 1 at Charlotte, losing at Dayton by 7, UMass by 13.

Michigan is 1-4 on Big Dozen road this season, with only win at Purdue by a hoop; they scored average of 56.5 ppg in last four losses, all away games. Nebraska is 3-8 in conference, 2-3 at home, beating Indiana and Penn State- they scored 70+ in all three Big Dozen wins, are 0-7 when they score less than 70. Big Dozen home underdogs of 5 or less points are 11-4 against the spread. Michigan is 7-1 vs teams ranked #100 or lower, with only loss by 16 at #100 Iowa.

Vanderbilt is an odd team; streaky, disappointing- they've lost three of last four games, are 2-2 as SEC home favorite, winning home games by 30-11-18 points, with loss to Miss State. Commodores allowed 73+ in all three SEC losses, 66 or less points in all five wins. SEC double digit home favorites are 4-9 against spread. LSU lost five of last seven games; they're 2-2 as SEC road underdog, losing its away games by 16-9-12-5 points. Vandy covered once in last five games as a favorite, overall.

Duke has already lost two home games this year, very unusual; they're 4-0 on ACC road, scoring 73+ points in all four games- they lost by 22 at Ohio State in only game this season as an underdog. North Carolina is 2-5-1 as an ACC favorite, 1-2-1 at home, winning home games by 23-17-19-12 points. ACC single digit home faves are 2-13 against spread this season. Duke ranks #5 in offense, #91 on defense; they've allowed 76+ points in all four of their losses this season.

Notre Dame lost four of last five games with West Virginia, losing by 11-15 points in last two visits here, but Irish are hot right now- they've won/covered last four games, all as underdog. ND is 6-3 as Big East dog, 3-2 on road, with only losses by 16 at Cincinnati, 7 at Rutgers. WVU snapped 3-game skid with narrow escape at Providence Sunday; they're 3-2 as a Big East home favorite, winning home games by 14-12-24-3. Big East home favorites of 6+ points are 18-22-1 against the spread.
 

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Wednesday, February 8


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Exposing the Top 25: Where the NCAAB polls went wrong
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Each week throughout the college basketball season, Covers Expert Scott Spreitzer will dissect the new Top 25 rankings. He'll showcase the most overrated team, along with the most underrated ranked team, and an unranked squad that he feels should be in the Top 25.

Most overrated Top-25 team: Murray State Racers


This is the second time that the Racers have landed in this spot. Murray State, at 23-0 and ranked ninth in this week's Top 25, is a nice story, but the Racers don’t deserve their lofty ranking. After all, to be in this spot, they had to be ranked above Duke, Michigan State, and Georgetown, to name a few top programs.

Beating up on the 309th toughest schedule (according to Pomeroy rankings, which has MSU ranked 61st) doesn't impress me as much as it does the pollsters. I have a problem ranking teams in the Top 10 when they play creampuff after creampuff. Sure, you can only beat the teams on your schedule, but just about every ranked team could be 23-0 right now if they swapped schedules with Murray State.

The final four games on Murray State's schedule will be its toughest stretch of the season, including a Bracket Buster game against St. Mary's. Sweep their way to an undefeated regular season and maybe my thoughts on the Racers will change - maybe.


Most underrated Top-25 team: Florida State Seminoles

The Seminoles finished last season ranked 151st in scoring and looked much the same in the early going this year, despite possessing arguably the third-most talented team in the ACC. However, Florida State has scored at least 75 points in four of its last six games without sacrificing anything on the defensive end.

The Noles were in a tough spot against Virginia over the weekend, yet came through with a hard-fought three-point win. That's the type of game previous FSU editions would have lost. Before this season began, the Seminoles were hoping to have a couple of players step up on the offensive end. Instead, they have fared even better with seven players averaging between 13.2 and 7.2 points per game.

With the wraps off the offense and with its continued ferocious play on defense, FSU has the ability to beat anyone in the Top 25. As long as the Noles don't fall back into that sleepy offensive style, they could make serious noise in March.


Unranked team that should be: Temple Owls

Temple has played the 13th toughest slate in the nation and could come up big again this week. The Owls have won six straight, 11 of 13 (9-4 ATS) and their defensive play can be stifling. And unlike the John Chaney era, Fran Dunphy's Owls can flat out score.

Temple has connected on 47.5 percent of its field goal attempts, including going 40.2 percent from behind the arc - ranking 34th and 11th in the nation, respectively. Posting a 17-5 (13-9 ATS) mark with those kinds of numbers against the nation's 13th toughest slate is impressive.
 

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Wednesday, February 8


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What bettors need to know: Wednesday's NCAAB action
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Kansas Jayhawks at Baylor Bears (-1.5, 144)

THE STORY
: Duke at North Carolina isn’t the only Top 10 showdown on Wednesday night. Before that marquee game, there’s a gigantic matchup in the Big 12 featuring No. 10 Kansas and No. 6 Baylor. These two teams are both a half-game back of No. 4 Missouri for the conference lead, so the winner moves into a tie for first with seven games left. The first matchup didn’t live up to the hype, with the Jayhawks throttling the Bears 92-74 in Lawrence. But this one figures to be more competitive, as Baylor has lost only once at home all season, while Kansas is coming off a road loss at Missouri.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2

THE LINE: Baylor opened as a 1.5-point home favorite with a 144-point total.

ABOUT KANSAS (18-5, 8-2 Big 12): Whatever happened at the end of the loss to Missouri needs to be fixed. The Jayhawks appeared to be in control until the final minutes, when they surrendered 11 straight points to lose 74-71. Kansas has dropped two straight games away from home — the other was at Iowa State — since opening Big 12 play at 7-0. Kansas coach Bill Self hasn’t lost back-to-back games since the 2005-06 season and said earlier this week, “Our guys will bounce back. If our guys don't play well or if we don't win, it won't be because of what happened Saturday (at Missouri).”

ABOUT BAYLOR (21-2, 8-2 Big 12): Kansas is used to competing for conference titles, but this is uncharted territory for the Bears. At 8-2, this is their best start to a conference slate through 10 games since going 10-0 in 1947-48. In addition, Baylor’s 21-2 start overall matches the best in program history set in 1945-46. Perry Jones III struggled to contain Thomas Robinson in the first matchup, but the sophomore is really starting to heat up lately, posting 74 points and 42 rebounds — good for three double-doubles — over the past four games.

TRENDS:
- The under is 8-0-1 in Kansas' last nine road games.
- Baylor is 7-19 against the spread in its last 26 against the Big 12.
- Kansas is 2-4-1 against the spread in its last seven.

TIP-INS:

1. Baylor’s senior class (Quincy Acy, Fred Ellis and Anthony Jones) has 91 career wins and needs just one more to break the all-time school record.

2. Robinson has 16 double-doubles this season for Kansas, more than twice as many as any other Big 12 player.

3. Since the Big 12 was formed in 1996, the Jayhawks are 16-2 all-time against Baylor.



Georgetown Hoyas at Syracuse Orange (-8.5, 130)

THE STORY
: The number of games in this classic Big East rivalry is dwindling, but the intensity will be high when No. 2 Syracuse welcomes No. 11 Georgetown. This is their first matchup since the Orange declared they would be leaving for the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2014. More than 30,000 fans are expected to pack the Carrier Dome, where the Orange have won 18 straight since losing to Georgetown 64-56 last season. The Hoyas are riding several streaks of their own, including four consecutive wins over top-20 teams and back-to-back games of allowing 45 points or less. Holding Syracuse to anywhere near that total seems far fetched: the Orange boast the top scoring offense in the Big East (78.1) and are coming off a 95-70 drubbing of St. John’s in which five players reached double figures.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN

ABOUT GEORGETOWN (18-4, 8-3 Big East): The Hoyas solved the Orange 2-3 zone in their last trip to the Dome by penetrating and passing to the top of the key, then dishing for open looks and cuts to the basket. Point guard Chris Wright had nine assists and Georgetown shot 42.1 percent from beyond the arc. This season, though, the Hoyas’ top assist man has been center Henry Sims, who does not possess the floor vision nor quick recognition that Wright did a year ago. Plus, the Hoyas will have to deal with 7-foot center Fab Melo, who played just three minutes in that loss as a freshman.

ABOUT SYRACUSE (23-1, 10-1 Big East): Distribution will be just as vital for Syracuse. But the Orange have a point guard who excels in the open floor and half court. Scoop Jardine dished out 13 assists against three turnovers in two matchups with the Hoyas last season. Georgetown has held its last two opponents under 32 percent shooting by focusing on a pair of key scorers. Against Syracuse, a team that goes 10-deep, the Hoyas will have to defend all five positions.

TRENDS:

* Underdog is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings.
* Hoyas are 3-8 ATS in the last 11 meetings.
* Road team is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings.

TIP-INS

1. Georgetown ranks second in defensive rebounding (39.9) in the Big East. Syracuse lost the battle of the boards by a double-digit margin in two of three games before playing a small St. John’s team last weekend.

2. The Orange are hitting just 30 percent on 3-pointers in Big East play; leading scorer Kris Joseph is 9 for his last 40.

3. Georgetown’s young backcourt has lost the turnover battle in three straight games against ranked teams. Syracuse leads the conference in steals and turnover margin.



Duke Blue Devils at North Carolina Tar Heels (-6.5, 160.5)

THE STORY
: Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski questioned his team’s effort following its stunning 78-74 home loss to Miami on Sunday. With so much at stake, the ninth-ranked Blue Devils shouldn’t have any trouble getting up for their matchup against No. 5 North Carolina. The Tar Heels are tied with Florida State for first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference standings and are a game ahead of second-place Duke. A Blue Devils loss would put them two back with just seven conference games left. Duke has won four of the last five in the series, including eight of the last 13 at Chapel Hill.

TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN, ESPN3.

THE LINE: Oddsmakers had UNC as a 7-point favorite at the open, but the Heels are now set around -6.5 at most books. The total is pegged at 160.5.

ABOUT DUKE (19-4, 6-2 ACC): Duke gave up 18 offensive rebounds against Miami, including eight by Reggie Johnson, who torched the Blue Devils with a 27-point, 12-rebound effort. Tyler Zeller, the Tar Heels’ senior forward, might be able to do the same. Zeller has scored 14 or more in eight straight games and has five double-doubles during that stretch. If Duke allows him to control the glass — and if the Blue Devils are forced to put extra defenders on him — it could open things up on the outside for Harrison Barnes, Reggie Bullock and P.J. Hairston. The trio has made a combined 102 3-pointers.

ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA (20-3, 7-1 ACC): A rivalry known for its fantastic finishes hasn’t been all that competitive in the last two years. Though North Carolina did salvage an 81-67 home win in last year’s meeting, its four losses have come by six, 10, 17 and 32 points. In the most recent meeting, a 75-58 Duke victory in the ACC championship game, the Blue Devils took a 42-28 halftime lead and smothered the Tar Heels defensively, holding them to 33.9 percent shooting. The Tar Heels might be tough to slow down this time around. During their five-game win streak, they’ve scored 74 or more four times and have won every game by nine or more.

TRENDS:
- The under is 7-3 in Duke's last 10 road games.
- The visitor is 7-2 against the spread in the last nine dates between these two teams.
- UNC is 1-4 ATS in its last five home games against Duke.

TIP-INS

1. Duke hasn’t lost consecutive games since the 2008-09 season. The Blue Devils are 14-0 off a loss during that stretch, including a 3-0 mark this season.

2. The last four meetings have seen double-digit halftime leads of 27, 14 (twice) and 12 points. North Carolina was the only team to lose a game after leading. The Tar Heels fell 79-73 on Feb. 9, 2010, after leading by 14 at the half.

3. Duke is 21-10 against the Tar Heels since 1998-99.
 

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Wednesday, February 8


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College funds: Wednesday's best NCAAB bets
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Michigan Wolverines at Nebraska Cornhuskers (3, 121.5)

With the most difficult stretch of its schedule in the rearview mirror, No. 25 Michigan has a chance to finish strong.

The Wolverines, who concluded a three-game run against ranked teams, face just one more Top 25 opponent. The first order of business, though, will be to fix the area that is usually a staple of John Beilein-coached teams – 3-point shooting.

Although the Wolverines lead the conference in 3-pointers and attempts, they rank ninth in accuracy (31.7 percent). That number should get a boost against Nebraska, which has allowed its last two opponents to shoot 43.8 percent from behind the arc.

That said, the road has been unkind to the Wolverines in 2012, especially early in games. Their only win in six tries away from Crisler Center is at Purdue, which is also the only contest they led at halftime.

They should be able to get it done Wednesday against a Nebraska club that is only 2-7 against the spread in its last nine home games.

Pick: Wolverines


Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Virginia Cavaliers (-16, 117.5)


No. 20 Virginia is the runaway leader in the ACC in scoring defense, holding opponents to an average of 51.4 points -- nearly nine fewer than the next closest competitor.

Wake Forest ranks last in the category, letting teams score 70.7 points per game. The Demon Deacons are fighting to stay out of last place in the conference while the Cavaliers sit comfortably in fifth, ready to pick off the top four with their lockdown defense and the power game of fifth-year senior Mike Scott.

Virginia needs only to look back to last season for motivation, when a Wake Forest team winless in the conference knocked the Cavaliers off behind a stellar performance from C.J. Harris.

Everything begins on the defensive end for the Cavaliers, who not only lead the ACC but sit second nationally in scoring defense. Virginia likes to make teams play at its pace, then relies on Scott to score enough to get the win.

Whether he can score enough to cover the big number is a tough one, but we'll get in on the under.

Pick: Under
 

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Short Sheet

Wednesday's Top College Basketball Trends


BOWLING GREEN is 10-1 ATS (+8.9 Units) as an underdog (vs Ball St)

DREXEL is 10-1 ATS (+8.9 Units) after 2 consecutive conference games (vs James Madison)

MIAMI OHIO is 0-8 ATS (-8.8 Units) when playing against a team with a losing record (vs N Illinois)

NOTRE DAME is 10-0 ATS (+10 Units) in a road game where the total is 129.5 or less (vs W Virginia)

KANSAS is 0-7 ATS (-7.7 Units) when the total is 140 to 149.5 (vs Baylor)

BRADLEY is 2-12 ATS (-11.2 Units) on Wednesday games (vs Indiana St)
 

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Dunkel


Houston at Portland
The Rockets look to take advantage of a Portland team that is coming off a 111-107 loss to Oklahoma City and is 2-6 ATS in its last 8 games after scoring 100 or more points in the previous game. Houston is the pick (+7 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Blazers favored by only 5. Dunkel Pick: Houston (+7 1/2). Here are all of today's picks

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8

Game 501-502: Miami at Orlando (7:00 p.m. EST)

Dunkel Ratings: Miami 125.524; Orlando 120.914
Dunkel Line & Total: Miami by 4 1/2; 187
Vegas Line & Total: Miami by 3; 191 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Miami (-3); Under

Game 503-504: New York at Washington (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: New York 113.650; Washington 114.657
Dunkel Line & Total: Washington by 1; 199
Vegas Line & Total: New York by 1 1/2; 195
Dunkel Pick: Washington (+1 1/2); Over

Game 505-506: Milwaukee at Toronto (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Milwaukee 115.433; Toronto 112.582
Dunkel Line & Total: Milwaukee by 3; 190
Vegas Line & Total: Milwaukee by 1 1/2; 185 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (-1 1/2); Over

Game 507-508: San Antonio at Philadelphia (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Antonio 123.254; Philadelphia 125.623
Dunkel Line & Total: Philadelphia by 2 1/2; 177
Vegas Line & Total: Philadelphia by 4; 181 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Antonio (+4); Under

Game 509-510: LA Clippers at Cleveland (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Clippers 122.790; Cleveland 113.429
Dunkel Line & Total: LA Clippers by 9 1/2; 198
Vegas Line & Total: LA Clippers by 5 1/2; 195 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Clippers (-5 1/2); Over

Game 511-512: Indiana at Atlanta (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Indiana 120.859; Atlanta 119.556
Dunkel Line & Total: Indiana by 1 1/2; 182
Vegas Line & Total: Atlanta by 3 1/2; 186 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Indiana (+3 1/2); Under

Game 513-514: Detroit at New Jersey (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit 109.180; New Jersey 114.736
Dunkel Line & Total: New Jersey by 5 1/2; 183
Vegas Line & Total: New Jersey by 4; 186
Dunkel Pick: New Jersey (-4); Under

Game 515-516: Chicago at New Orleans (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Chicago 122.546; New Orleans 115.939
Dunkel Line & Total: Chicago by 6 1/2; 187
Vegas Line & Total: Chicago by 9; 182
Dunkel Pick: New Orleans (+9); Over

Game 517-518: Minnesota at Memphis (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota 115.710; Memphis 125.026
Dunkel Line & Total: Memphis by 9 1/2; 192
Vegas Line & Total: Memphis by 7 1/2; 188
Dunkel Pick: Memphis (-7 1/2); Over

Game 519-520: Dallas at Denver (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Dallas 118.486; Denver 122.612
Dunkel Line & Total: Denver by 4; 192
Vegas Line & Total: Denver by 1; 196
Dunkel Pick: Denver (-1); Under

Game 521-522: Houston at Portland (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Houston 120.190; Portland 125.105
Dunkel Line & Total: Portland by 5; 193
Vegas Line & Total: Portland by 7 1/2; 197 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Houston (+7 1/2); Under
 

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Armadillo's Write-Up

Wednesday, February 8


Hot Teams
-- Miami won eight of its last nine games. Magic won three of four.
-- Philly won six of its last seven games. Spurs won last five games, covered last six.
-- Clippers won six of their last seven games.
-- Pacers won five of their last six games.
-- Bulls covered 11 of their last 15 road games.
-- Minnesota won four of its last five games.
-- Portland won/covered five of its last six home games.

Cold Teams
-- Knicks lost six of their last seven road games; they're 5-0 vs spread in last five games overall. Wizards lost four of their last five games.
-- Toronto lost four of its last five home games. Bucks lost their last three games, scoring 91.7 ppg.
-- Cavaliers lost eight of last eleven games (2-1-1 as home dog).
-- Hawks lost last three games, all at home, scoring 84.7 ppg.
-- Pistons are 2-10-1 vs spread as a road underdog. Nets lost four of last five games (2-2 as home favorite).
-- New Orleans hasn't won/covered any of its last six games.
-- Grizzlies lost last three games, scoring 86 ppg.
-- Denver lost five of its last six games. Mavericks lost last three games, scoring 87 ppg.
-- Rockets are 3-7 against spread as a road underdog.

Wear and Tear
-- Heat: 3rd game/4 nites. Magic: 4th game/6 nites.
-- Knicks: 5th game/7 nites. Wizards: 4th game/6 nites.
-- Bucks: 4th game/6 nites. Raptors: 6th game/9 nites.
-- Spurs: 3rd game/5 nites. 76ers: 4th game/6 nites.
-- Clippers: 3rd game/5 nites. Cavaliers: 4th game/6 nites.
-- Pacers: 6th game/9 nites. Hawks: 3rd game/5 nites.
-- Pistons: Had last three nites off. Nets: 6th game/9 nites.
-- Bulls: 3rd game/5 nites. Hornets: 3rd game/5 nites.
-- Wolves: 4th game/6 nites. Grizzlies: 7th game/10 nites.
-- Mavericks: Had last three nites off. Nuggets: 5th game/7 nites.
-- Rockets: 4th game/6 nites. Blazers: 3rd game/5 nites.

Totals
-- Over is 8-3 in Miami's road games this season.
-- Under is 11-1 in New York's road games.
-- Eight of last nine Milwaukee games went over.
-- Four of last five San Antonio games stayed under.
-- Five of last seven Clipper road games went over.
-- Eight of last ten Indiana games went over total.
-- Five of last seven Detroit games went over total.
-- Last four Chicago games went over the total.
-- Over is 8-3 in Minnesota's last eleven games. Under is 10-2 in last 12 Memphis games.
-- Under is 7-3 in last ten Dallas road games.
-- Six of last eight Houston road games stayed under.
 

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