|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|05-23-19||Raptors v. Bucks -6.5||Top||105-99||Loss||-107||21 h 31 m||Show|
Look, you either believe in the Bucks, or you don't. I do - especially when they are home like here. Milwaukee had the best regular season mark both SU (straight-up) and ATS (against the spread). It has been the same in the playoffs where the Bucks have won and covered 10 of 13 times. The Bucks didn't play up to their capability in Game 3 yet it took two overtimes for the Raptors to put them away at home. I thought the Bucks would play much better in Game 4. The Raptors, to their credit, stepped up and protected their home floor with an impressive 120-102 win. Nick Nurse made some key defensive adjustments and Toronto's role players came through. Now it's the Bucks' turn. Perhaps it's just being glib to say that, but these are the facts: The Bucks are 21-5 ATS following a loss. They have covered 18 of the last 24 times after not covering in their previous game. They also haven't lost three games in a row all season! The Bucks are the No. 1 scoring team in the NBA. They also ranked first in offensive rebounding. They are deeper than Toronto, better on the boards and stronger defensively finishing No. 1 in defensive field goal percentage. In my view, there are only three players who can trump the greatness of Kawhi Leonard. That being LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has the advantage of being at home and healthier than Leonard, who has been hindered by a left leg injury. This is a big spread. I understand that. I hate having to lay more than six, which is a key number in the NBA. But so far the spread has not factored in any of the Bucks' 13 playoff games. The winner of the game covered the spread every time. There's the possibility, too, of the Raptors waving the white flag if they were to fall too far behind by resting Leonard knowing how important he'll be for Games 6 and 7.
|05-21-19||Bucks -135 v. Raptors||Top||102-120||Loss||-135||33 h 43 m||Show|
The Bucks didn't play well in Game 3. The result was a 118-112 double overtime road loss to the Raptors. Expect the Bucks to play much in this Game 4. The oddsmaker expects that. The difference is reflected in Milwaukee opening as a road favorite instead of an underdog as they did in Game 3. The oddsmaker has it right. The Bucks are the side I want going for me. Milwaukee has by far the better depth. This is huge because the Raptors are gassed especially Kawhi Leonard, who is playing hurt. The Raptors have no shot if Leonard doesn't produce a monster game. The Bucks have won and covered 10 of their 12 playoff games. It's not a big surprise considering they had the best SU and ATS mark during the regular season, too. Milwaukee also has been great in revenge spots - 12-1 SU, 10-2-1 ATS off a loss.
|05-19-19||Bucks +2.5 v. Raptors||Top||112-118||Loss||-109||17 h 52 m||Show|
We saw it in Game 3 with the Warriors beating the Trail Blazers by 11 points on Saturday. We're likely to see it here, too, in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The superior team is an underdog on the road yet easily wins straight-up.Maybe the Raptors can break that mold. I doubt it, though. Milwaukee was the best point spread team during the regular season. Milwaukee is the best ATS team in the postseason, too, going 9-1 SU and ATS. The Bucks have outscored the Raptors by 35 points during the last five quarters. What's become clear is the Raptors aren't good enough, nor deep enough, to beat the Bucks. Toronto hasn't solved Milwaukee's offense, nor its defense, averaging 101.5 points in the series, which is 13 points below its season average. The Bucks have too many weapons to go with with Giannis Antetokounmpo for the Raptors to keep up. Kawhi Leonard doesn't have the bench help, nor the veteran step-up that the Bucks have been providing for Antetokounmpo.
|05-18-19||Warriors v. Blazers -127||Top||110-99||Loss||-127||20 h 47 m||Show|
Normally I would have a hard time laying points with the inferior team. But this is the Trail Blazers' game to win - and I see them getting the job down here at home in this Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals being down 2-0. Portland showed it can outplay the Warriors. The Trail Blazers should have won Game 2 at Golden State, but blew a 17-point second half lead in losing, 114-111. The Trail Blazers have proven resilient all season especially in the postseason. They took out the Thunder in the first round after being swept by Oklahoma City during the regular season. Then they came back from a 3-2 series deficit to eliminate the Nuggets winning Game 7 in Denver. Portland's Terry Stotts is a very underrated coach. I like the adjustments he made from Game 1 to Game 2 in this series, including tighting up the Trail Blazers' pick-and-roll defense, putting Moe Harkless on Stephen Curry and freeing up CJ McCollum for better looks on his jumpers. If McCollum and Damian Lillard had even their normal shooting games the Trail Blazers likely win Game 2. The All-Star backcourt tandem, though, shot a combined 15-of-39 (38.4 percent) from the field. The pair missed 10 of their 12 fourth-quarter field goals. Those two are due to shoot much better. Portland shouldn't fold up either with the switch in venues to their home-court. Certainly the Trail Blazers won't lack intensity down 2-0 while the Warriors have to be feeling fat and happy. Not having Kevin Durant is going to catch up to the Warriors.
|05-17-19||Raptors v. Bucks -6.5||Top||103-125||Win||100||19 h 13 m||Show|
The Bucks not only finished with the best record in the NBA during the regular season, but also the best point spread mark covering 60 percent of their games. Milwaukee has been even better in the playoffs winning and covering nine of 10 games.The Bucks even covered a 6.5-point spread in Game 1 against Toronto despite not playing well until the very end. The Bucks were a bit rusty and Giannis Antetokounmpo is capable of much better. Look for the Bucks and superstar Antetokounmpo to step up their game here. If that's the case, Milwaukee should win by double-digits for the eighth time in 11 postseason games. Milwaukee is a dominant home team, is much deeper than Toronto and Malcolm Brogdon and Khris Middleton are strong enough defenders to bother Kawhi Leonard. The Bucks aren't totally dependent on Antetokounmpo like the Raptors are on their superstar, Leonard. The Raptors had to go the full seven game limit with the 76ers in the Eastern Conference semifinals. That took a toll on Leonard, who was babied during the regular season often sitting out games for rest purposes. Now Leonard is dealing with tough defenders and a fatigue factor. Kyle Lowery played extremely well in Game 1 of this series. But Lowery hasn't looked very good up until this point. I doubt he keeps that up. The Raptors have grown too accustomed to watching and waiting on Leonard to close out games. He's not going to be able to do that against this caliber of elite opponent. Leonard needs help and so far key Raptors aren't providing that. Marc Gasol, Pascal Siakam and Danny Green aren't hitting clutch shots. The Bucks have covered five of the last six matchups against the Raptors. They are the superior team with upside considering their Game 1 performance. Toronto had their chance in Game 1 and blew it. Look for the Bucks to win this game much more handily.
|05-16-19||Blazers v. Warriors OVER 217.5||Top||111-114||Win||100||17 h 54 m||Show|
The Warriors don't need Kevin Durant to produce a lot of points. They are averaging 117 points in their last two games minus Durant. Stephen Curry is stepping up and Golden State's reserves are scoring much better. It helps that the Trail Blazers lack rim protection with Jusuf Nurkic out. Portland is giving up an average of 113.2 points during its last five games discounting its 100-96 victory against the Nuggets. A key to making this Over work is Portland getting its points. I expect the Trail Blazers to be less tight and shoot much better than the 36.1 percent they shot in Game 1 while committing a ghastly 21 turnovers. I like the open looks both teams were getting in Game 1. Damian Lillard was just 4-for-12 from the floor in the first game. Look for Lillard to play more aggressive and have a much more productive scoring game.
|05-15-19||Raptors v. Bucks -6||Top||100-108||Win||100||20 h 56 m||Show|
I want the Bucks going for me here in this Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. While Toronto has been up and down and fortunate to survive a Game 7 against the 76ers, Milwaukee has been dominant in the postseason just like in the regular season. The Bucks have won and covered eight of nine playoff games with seven of the eight victories occurring by double-digits. Milwaukee's average winning margin is 15.3 points. The Bucks don't want a repeat of their last series when they were ambushed at home by the Celtics in Game 1. Milwaukee hasn't lost since with Antetokounmpo averaging 30 points during the last four games. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard are a trade-off. Both rank among the top five players in the NBA. Milwaukee, though, is getting better backcourt play and is the deeper team. The Bucks have had the proper response for everything the Pistons and Celtics threw at them. It's a huge added bonus for the Bucks that underrated guard Malcolm Brogdon has returned after being out seven weeks with a foot injury. He may be the Bucks' best defender. The Bucks defeated the Raptors in three of four regular season meetings and have covered four of the past five in the series.
|05-14-19||Blazers v. Warriors -7.5||94-116||Win||100||19 h 48 m||Show|
Much is being made of Kevin Durant being out with a strained calf. But the Trail Blazers have their own injuries to deal with as Enes Kanter has a separated shoulder and Rodney Hood a hyperextended knee. Both are likely to play, but at less than 100 percent. Keep in mind, too, the Trail Blazers remain without their best big man, Jusuf Nurkic. Golden State has proven it can step up without Durant. Just ask the Rockets, who happen to be at least a tier higher than the Trail Blazers. Not only do the Warriors have home-court here, but also a favorable spot. Golden State hasn't played since Friday when it upset the Rockets on the road to end that series. Steve Kerr and his brain trust have had ample time to study the Trail Blazers and how best to utilize their players knowing Durant won't be on the court. The Trail Blazers are off a brutal seven-game series against the Nuggets that didn't conclude until this past Sunday with Portland scoring an upset road victory. The Trail Blazers are 1-5 ATS the past six times following a victory. They can't be blamed for coming up flat here with such little time to savor their huge series win against Denver.
|05-12-19||76ers +6.5 v. Raptors||90-92||Win||100||8 h 22 m||Show|
Toronto doesn't deserve to be trusted in clutch playoff games given its track record. The Raptors also have been terrible in this role going 9-18 ATS the past 27 times when favored by six points or fewer. Kawhi Leonard is the best player on the court. But Joel Embiid is close behind. Embiid had a huge Game 6 posting a plus-minus ratio of plus 40. Embiid has helped the 76ers outrebound the Raptors by 47 rebounds during the series, an average of 7.8 per game. Health is the key for Embiid. He was healthy in Game 6, which was played on Thursday. So he's had a full two days to rest. I prefer Ben Simmons over Kyle Lowery at point guard and Jimmy Butler is there to lend his considerable skill and veteran leadership to the 76ers.
|05-09-19||Nuggets v. Blazers UNDER 215.5||Top||108-119||Loss||-105||21 h 59 m||Show|
If the Trail Blazers are going to force a Game 7 with a home victory here in Game 6 they likely are going to have to do it with defense. Portland is averaging 102.2 points during regulation in its last four games. Portland heavily relies on the scoring of guard Damian Lillard, who is shooting just 39.2 percent from the floor during the past four games. The Trail Blazers aren't getting much frontcourt scoring production with Jusuf Nurkic out and Enes Kanter dealing with a separated shoulder and honoring Ramadan by not eating from sunrise to sunset. Kanter has managed only 14 points in the last two games making just 4-of-14 shots from the field. These teams do not play at a fast pace. I envision a slow-moving, ultra intense defensive battle.
|05-08-19||Rockets +6.5 v. Warriors||Top||99-104||Win||100||19 h 40 m||Show|
Some believed the Rockets were better than the Warriors last season when the teams met in the Western Conference Finals. But then Chris Paul got hurt and had to miss Games 6 and 7. The Warriors took advantage to win those games and the series. Paul is healthy this time around. The Rockets are improved and the Warriors have gotten worse. If there is any separation between the two teams now it is minimal at best, which is proven by no team winning by more than six points during the first four games of the series. These games have all been close down to the wire affairs. Yes, the Warriors are home now. But Houston has momentum and confidence having won two in a row. The Warriors are showing more fatigue. Their bench is struggling with just a combined 18 points during the past two games. Stephen Curry isn't 100 percent. Golden State also doesn't have a good point spread track record at Oracle Arena just 11-23-1 ATS (32 percent) the past 35 times there.
|05-05-19||Nuggets v. Blazers UNDER 210.5||116-112||Loss||-110||16 h 57 m||Show|
Lost in the glare of the Trail Blazers' amazing 140-137 four-overtime victory against the Nuggets on Friday was that regulation ended, 102-102. That's a combined 204 points. Now, less than 48 hours later, the teams go at it again both facing a heavy fatigue factor. Many of the top players are coming off the heavest one-game work loads of their career. Some played an obsence amount of minutes: Nikola Jokic (64:58), CJ McCollum (60:01), Damian Lillard (57:59), Enes Kanter (56:58 on a separated shoulder) and Jamal Murray (55:03). This is unchartered territory for these players to come back strong after such a game. This is playoff basketball and the defensive intensity is sure to be up while the legs can't be there for jump shots. So I'm projecting a low-scoring, intense battle.
|05-03-19||Bucks v. Celtics -127||123-116||Loss||-127||18 h 59 m||Show|
Boston got its split in Milwaukee. I don't see the Bucks getting the better of the Celtics in this Game 3, which will be their toughest road playoff game yet. I like Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer. He deserves to be Coach of the Year. Still, he's trumped by Brad Stevens, who I regard as the best coach in the Eastern Conference. I trust Stevens to make the necessary adjustments with the teams having last played on Tuesday when the Bucks blew out the Celtics. Boston has covered six of the last seven times it has hosted Milwaukee. The Bucks are still likely to be without guard Malcolm Brogdon, who has missed the last 1 1/2 months with plantar fasciitis. Brogdon is the Bucks' best defensive player and the most underrated player on the team. This could be the Bucks' toughest game of the season - and the line is fair enough to back Boston.
|04-30-19||Rockets +5.5 v. Warriors||Top||109-115||Loss||-106||27 h 45 m||Show|
The Warriors escaped the Rockets last season in the Western Conference finals winning in seven games. Chris Paul didn't play in Games 6 and 7 last season because of injury. The Rockets lost both of those games.
Paul is healthy now, the Rockets are better than they were at this time a year ago and the Warroirs are worse. The Rockets nearly beat Golden State in Game 1, but lost 104-100 because of official's calls that didn't go their way, making less than 30 percent of their 3-point shots and James Harden having a terrible shooting game going just 9-for-28 from the floor. I expect Harden to shoot much better. I also expect more calls to go in Houston's favor after the NBA has come under scrutiny for the unfair officiating against the Rockets when Houston faced the Warriors last year and in Game 1. P.J. Tucker and Clint Capela combined to score only four points on 1-for-6 shooting from the floor in Sunday's game. They should do much better especially Capela. The Rockets could be the most underrated defensive team in the NBA. They finished No. 2 in defensive efficiency during the final 15 games of the regular season. They held the Warriors 13 points below their season average while forcing 20 turnovers and coming up with 14 steals. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson both are less than 100 percent because of ankle injuries. DeMarcus Cousins is out. The Warriors are one of the worst point spread home teams going 10-23-1 (30.3 percent) in their last 34 games at Oracle Arena, including failing to cover 12 of the last 18 times. Houston has covered four of the past five times on the road against Golden State.
|04-29-19||Blazers v. Nuggets UNDER 216.5||Top||113-121||Loss||-110||13 h 40 m||Show|
Portland should have plenty of energy having been idle for six days. I see that energy being exerted defensively as their jump-shooting could suffer after such a long layoff. The Trail Blazers are 7-3-1 to the Under in their last 11 road games. The Nuggets aren't going to look to push pace after concluding a grueling seven-game series with the Spurs on Saturday winning, 90-86, at home. Denver gave up the sixth-fewest points per game in the NBA this season. More important, the Nuggets ranked No. 1 in 3-point defense. That's bad news for Portland guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. The Trail Blazers heavily rely on the outside scoring of those two. The Under has cashed in 13 of the Nuggets' last 16 home games.
|04-27-19||76ers +6.5 v. Raptors||Top||95-108||Loss||-104||21 h 44 m||Show|
I'll go with the 76ers' superior starting lineup against the Raptors' deeper bench. Toronto's depth may factor later on in this series, but for now both teams are fresh and should have their full energy. Philly has too many weapons for the Raptors. It's going to take Toronto coach Nick Nurse a lot longer to figure out the 76ers than it did the Magic, the weakest of any of the playoff teams. The Raptors don't have enough weapons to contain Joe Embiid, Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris, JJ Redick and Ben Simmons, who I'll take over Kyle Lowery in the pivotal point guard matchup. The Raptors have yet to prove they have exorcized their playoff demons. They lost at home in Game 1 to the Magic and are 0-8 ATS the past eight times when playing after three or more days rest. The 76ers are ready to take that next playoff step. They are confident coming off four straight wins and covers against the Nets, who are a better team than the Magic.
|04-26-19||Warriors v. Clippers UNDER 233||Top||129-110||Loss||-110||23 h 58 m||Show|
Look for the Warriors to play intense defense after being upset, 129-121, at home by the Clippers in Game 5 on Wednesday. Golden State held the Clippers to 105 points after LA pulled a 135-131 win in Game 2. I expect a similar effort from the Warriors, who finished No. 3 in defensive field goal percentage during the regular season, in this Game 6. Yes, there were 250 combined points in Game 5. But the pace was slow. The Clippers made an unbelievable 54.1 percent from the floor. They shot 47 percent from the field during the regular season. They made 42.5 percent of their field goals in Game 4 and hit only 37.2 percent in Game 3. So the Clippers' shooting percentage in Game 5 clearly was an outlier. Note, too, the two teams combined to make 44 of 48 free throws in Game 5 for 92 percent. That's certainly unlikely to be repeated, too, in this next game. Golden State actually has been a sneaky Under team. The Under has won in 18 of the Warriors' past 26 games.
|04-25-19||Nuggets v. Spurs -2.5||103-120||Win||100||18 h 39 m||Show|
Denver has made key necessary defensive adjustments to win the last two games and take a 3-2 series lead. Now it's up to Gregg Popovich and the Spurs to counter. I see the Spurs doing that especially playing at home. Popovich has long been the best coach in the NBA. The Nuggets have a terrible track record when playing at San Antonio having lost 14 of the past 15 times there, are 3-7 ATS following a pointspread cover and 4-10 ATS when playing on one day's rest. Denver hasn't won a playoff series since 2009. LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan are due to step for the Spurs.
|04-24-19||Jazz v. Rockets UNDER 213||93-100||Win||100||6 h 44 m||Show|
Utah has made the necessary defensive adjustments after getting blown out in the first two games of this series. Since then, the Jazz have held the Rockets to an average of 97.5 points in the last two games and under 40 percent shooting from the floor. This isn't a fluke. The Jazz always have been an elite defensive club. Rudy Gobert may be the best rim protector in basketball. The Rockets have been playing excellent defense for the past six weeks. This is going to be physical, intense matchup where defense should dominate. The Under has cashed six of the last eight times the teams have met.
|04-23-19||Nets +8.5 v. 76ers||100-122||Loss||-100||9 h 23 m||Show|
The Nets have proven spunky all season, almost always coming through with a hard effort. I don't see them going quietly through the night on the brink of playoff elimination here. This has been a bitter series. The Nets are down 3-1, but the series very well could be tied at 2-2. Brooklyn blew a 101-94 lead with 5:20 left in Game 4 before losing 104-101 on Saturday. Brooklyn has covered in seven of its past nine road games. The 76ers have a vast array of talent. But they have some immaturity and don't know how to win yet, which makes them vulnerable to overconfidence in this matchup. The Nets have excellent backcourt scoring depth and I like that their coach, Kenny Gattison, has shortened the rotation.
|04-22-19||Rockets -2.5 v. Jazz||91-107||Loss||-108||20 h 0 m||Show|
It was a given the Jazz were going to produce their best effort in Game 3 at home after losing the first two games to the Rockets on the road by an average of 26 points. Utah did just that. The Jazz held the great James Harden to 3-of-20 shooting from the floor and the Rockets to 38.4 percent from the field. Yet the Rockets still won and covered beating the favored Jazz by three points. The oddsmaker is done making the Jazz a favorite again. The demoralized Jazz aren't going to be the first team in NBA playoff history to come back from a 3-0 deficit and win a series. Harden isn't going to have a shooting game like that again. The Rockets want to end this series fast to keep pace with the Warriors. The Jazz lack the confidence and morale to come back here to win a game. Utah needs Donovan Mitchell to shoot well to hang with Houston and that hasn't been happening. Mitchell has made just 32.8 percent of his shots from the floor.
|04-21-19||Raptors v. Magic +5.5||107-85||Loss||-105||15 h 20 m||Show|
I like the Magic in an underdog role especially going against foes with a winning record. Orlando is 16-5-1 ATS the past 22 times when taking on an above .500 opponent. I see the Magic giving it their best shot not wanting to go into Toronto down 3-1. The Magic lost 98-93 to the Raptors this past Friday. That was their first home playoff game in seven years. The Magic should be less tight now. Orlando needs Nikola Vucevic to step up. He got going in Game 3 after being kept in check the first two games of the series. Toronto is 2-6-1 ATS the past nine times against Orlando.
|04-21-19||Raptors v. Magic UNDER 207||107-85||Win||100||15 h 19 m||Show|
The evidence is crystal clear. These teams have played three games so far in their first-round playoff series and the Under has won each time. The combined average score in these three games is 196.3 points. The Raptors have forced 44 Orlando turnovers and held the Magic to 37.8 percent shooting from the floor. Orlando is going to be at its most intense for this matchup. The Magic ranked fifth defensively during the regular season. So a strong defensive battle should ensue helped by both teams favoring a slow tempo. The Under has cashed the past seven times the Raptors have played in Orlando.
|04-20-19||Bucks v. Pistons OVER 216||119-103||Win||100||5 h 44 m||Show|
The Pistons haven't been able to slow down Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is averaging 25 points during the first two games of this series. Milwaukee has scored 121 and 120 points, respectively, in the series. The Bucks are the No. 1 scoring team in the NBA. Detroit doesn't have the defense to stop them. The Over has cashed in eight of the Bucks' last 11 road contests. So the Pistons need to ratch up their offense, which they can do at home. Detroit is due to shoot much better than the 37.7 percent it is averaging from the field. It's a plus for the Pistons and the Over if Blake Griffin is able to play. He's questionable.
|04-20-19||Nuggets v. Spurs -3.5||Top||117-103||Loss||-109||17 h 3 m||Show|
The Nuggets haven't won in San Antonio in more than seven years, losing 14 straight times to the Spurs on the road. I don't see that changing here in Game 4 of their playoff series. The Spurs should be up 3-0 instead of 2-1, but blew a 19-point lead midway through the third quarter in Game 2. They are the clear better team and they have a strong home-court history. Second-year guard Derrick White has stepped up big-time for San Antonio giving the Spurs three major weapons along with DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge. The Spurs have those players going for them along with a huge gap in playoff experience. While the Nuggets are involved in their first postseason experience since 2013, the Spurs are in the playoffs for the 22nd straight season.
|04-19-19||Celtics v. Pacers -3||104-96||Loss||-105||18 h 47 m||Show|
The good news for Indiana is its No. 1 ranked defense has held Boston to an average of 91.5 points during the first two games of this series. The bad news is the Pacers are down 0-2 in the series because their shooting has been way off. The Pacers, though, are far from outclassed. They led the Celtics by seven points at halftime in Game 1. They were leading Boston with less than a minute left in Game 2 before somehow failing to cover a 7 1/2-point underdog spread in a 99-91 loss. Sure Indiana misses its top scorer, Victor Oladipo. But the Pacers are due to shoot much better than 38.8 pecent from the floor. Boston ranks eighth defensively. However, the Pacers have failed to connect on shots in which they had a good look at the basket. Myles Turner, Darren Collison and Thaddeus Young should step up. The Pacers have a strong history of dramatically playing much better at home. The Celtics won just one of their eight road playoff games last season.
|04-19-19||Raptors -4.5 v. Magic||Top||98-93||Win||100||16 h 19 m||Show|
Nice job by the Magic in reaching the playoffs this season and upsetting the Raptors in Game 1. The clock struck midnight, though, for the Magic in Game 2 when they were buried, 111-82, by Toronto this past Tuesday. The Raptors are vastly superior. They could be among the four best teams in the NBA. The Magic can't hang against this type of focused opponent especially when their best player, Nikola Vucevic, can't produce. Vucevic has been held to an average of 8.5 points a game making just six-of-21 shots from the field.
|04-18-19||Warriors v. Clippers UNDER 237||Top||132-105||Push||0||19 h 3 m||Show|
Golden State has great scorers. Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson helped the Warriors finish as the No. 2 scoring team in the NBA this season. But the Warriors also are good defensively. They ranked No. 3 in defensive field goal percentage. The Under has cashed in 19 of Golden State's last 26 games. Look for the Warriors to play concentrated, intense defense for 48 minutes after they squandered a 31-point third quarter lead in Game 2 in losing 135-131 at home to the Clippers. The Under has cashed a staggering 75 percent the past 33 times the Warriors have played after a loss. Making things even worse for the Warriors was losing center DeMarcus Cousins with a serious quad injury. His replacement, Andrew Bogut, played a season-high 17 minutes. The addition of Bogut at the expense of Cousins is huge for the Under. The Clippers aren't as good of a defensive club as the Warriors. But with the series now tied 1-1 and the scene shifting to LA, the Warriors know they are in for a battle. So expect both defenses to be at their peak.
|04-18-19||Nuggets v. Spurs -3.5||108-118||Win||100||18 h 31 m||Show|
I don't see the Nuggets ending a 13-game losing streak at San Antonio and upsetting the Spurs. The Spurs have far more playoff experience. They have dominated the Nuggets for 6 1/2 of the eight quarters during the first two playoff games of this series, both of which were in Denver. The prideful Spurs should have gone 2-0 against the Nuggets, but blew Game 2 in the series after leading by 19 points nearly midway through the third quarter. Denver is 4-9 ATS the past 13 times following a victory.
|04-18-19||76ers v. Nets UNDER 227.5||131-115||Loss||-101||17 h 32 m||Show|
It's easy to envision a high scoring game here after the 76ers buried the Nets, 145-123, on Monday in Game 2. But there is one key factor to consider: Jared Dudley is expected to play for the Nets. He missed Monday's game because of a sore calf. Dudley played in Game 1 and the Nets upset the 76ers, 111-102, with that total going Under by 13 1/2 points. Dudley's defense on Ben Simmons was huge in that Game 1 win for the Nets as Simmons could manage just nine points. Simmons posted a triple/double in Game 2 without Dudley to hound and frustrate him. Prior to Monday's loss to Philadelphia, Brooklyn had given up an average of 97.3 points in its last three games. The Nets have gone Under in six of their last seven home games. The Nets are sure to have their defensive intensity going as this is their first home playoff game since 2015. It would be a huge added bonus for the Under if Joel Embiid can't go for the 76ers. Embiid is dealing with a sore knee.
|04-16-19||Thunder v. Blazers OVER 221||Top||94-114||Loss||-110||20 h 36 m||Show|
Portland couldn't stop Russell Westbrook or Paul George during the regular season. They couldn't stop them in Game 1 of this playoff series. Only George and Westbrook can stop themselves by having bad shooting games. That's what happened in Game 1 as Westbrook, George and star reserve guard Dennis Schroder combined to make just four of 26 shots from 3-point range. George made only 8-of-24 shots from the field in Oklahoma City's 104-99 loss on Sunday. Now we have a slightly lower total and a strong belief the Thunder will shoot much better than 39.8 percent from the field and do far better than make just 5-of-33 shots from beyond the arc. Oklahoma City averaged a seventh-best 114.5 points per game during the regular season. The Trail Blazers' defense took a hit after losing center Jusuf Nurkic for the season with a broken leg. George says he's 100 percent now after being bothered by a sore right shoulder that kept him from playing in the Thunder's final regular season game. Portland didn't shoot well either in Game 1 making only 41.9 percent of its field goals. The Trail Blazers are the sixth-highest scoring team in the league averaging 114.7 points a game. They ranked ninth in 3-point percentage yet missed 11 of 15 3-point shots during the final three quarters. CJ McCollum is getting less rusty after missing 10 games down the stretch with a knee injury. Enes Kanter has stepped up well for Nurkic. Kanter is a better offensive player than defensive player. Both teams are strong when it comes to offensive rebounding. The Over has cashed in 75 percent of Portland's last 21 home contests going 15-5-1.
|04-15-19||Clippers v. Warriors OVER 230.5||135-131||Win||100||13 h 32 m||Show|
After all eight first-round playoff games went Under the total, I'm expected scoring to spike up in some of the Game 2's, including this one. The Warriors are the No. 2 scoring team in the NBA. No team shoots better from the floor than the Warriors. The Clippers ranked No. 5 in scoring. The tempo was there for an Over in Game 1. But the rust factor kicked in. The Clippers shot just 40.4 percent from the field. Their playoff inexperience from some of their youngsters showed. Expect a more efficient performance from LA. Golden State produced 121 points in Game 1. A big takeaway was the return to health of Stephen Curry, who was sizzling and scored 38 points. The Clippers are well below average defensively ranking 25th. The Warriors are fully healthy and capable of putting up a huge number versus this defense. The Over has cashed in nine of the last 12 games between the two teams.
|04-14-19||Thunder +3.5 v. Blazers||Top||99-104||Loss||-109||5 h 2 m||Show|
If you can't stop Russell Westbrook and Paul George you can't beat the Thunder. Portland couldn't stop either one. Westbrook averaged 29.5 points, 10 rebounds and 8.8 assists against the Trail Blazers this season while George averaged 38 points and 10.5 rebounds. The result was Oklahoma City going 4-0 versus Portland with an average victory margin of seven points. Now the Trail Blazers are without their best big man, injured Jusuf Nurkic, and their second-leading scorer, CJ McCollum, hasn't looked good since coming back late in the season after missing 10 games with a knee injury.
|04-13-19||Clippers v. Warriors UNDER 232||Top||104-121||Win||100||23 h 59 m||Show|
Despite a lot of scorers, these two teams have been sneaky Under teams in spots like this. The Under has cashed in 16 of the Clippers' last 23 road games. The Under also has cashed in 16 of the Warriors' past 21 games, including nine of their last 11 home contests. Defense should be at a premium, too, now that the playoffs have begun. Each team wants to make a physical statement in this Game 1. The Clippers have a lot of inexperience in their starting lineup with two rookies and third-year center Ivica Zubac, who had played very little until this season. Stephen Curry should play, but he is dealing with a sore ankle. So the Warriors could be limiting his minutues.
|04-13-19||Nets v. 76ers UNDER 232||111-102||Win||100||21 h 27 m||Show|
This total may be priced right based on numbers and statistics. However, there are key elements that point to an Under. The Nets are in the playoffs for the first time in four years. The 76ers are in a series where they are expected to win, so the pressure is on them. This should ensure a highly concentrated effort from both teams. Defensive intensity is ramped up during the playoffs. Also note this is a very early starting time being a day game. The 76ers have hadn't their starting lineup intact since Tuesday when they managed just 99 points against the Heat. All five of the 76ers' starters sat out the team's final regular season game against the Bulls this past Wednesday. So there could be a rust factor. It would hurt the 76ers more on offense if Joel Embiid can't play. He's questionable with a sore knee. The Nets could show tightness offensively lacking playoff experience. However, they have been playing outstanding defense holding the Heat to 94 points and Pacers to 96 points during their last two games.
|04-10-19||Kings +4.5 v. Blazers||131-136||Loss||-110||7 h 10 m||Show|
The Kings aren't making the playoffs. But a victory here gives them 40 wins. That's a big deal for Sacramento. Word is the Kings are going to play their regular rotation and go hard here. Portland, on the other hand, will be sitting out its two best players as All-Star guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum are not expected to play. The Trail Blazers have the playoffs on their mind not this game.
|04-09-19||Raptors v. Wolves +7||Top||120-100||Loss||-105||18 h 17 m||Show|
This is the Timberwolves' final home game of the season. So a strong effort should be forthcoming from them. Minnesota has been good at home going 25-15 SU, 22-18 ATS at Target Center.Toronto has a losing road point spread mark. This game also means nothing to the Raptors since they are locked into the No. 2 playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. It's the Raptors' final regular season game so obviously they would like to avoid any injury, which could mean sitting out a star such as Kyle Lowery and Kawhi Leonard. The Timberwolves are down to third-string point guard Tyus Jones. He's coming off a career-high in assists, though, and is bolstered by talented scorers, Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Dario Saric Minnesota has covered the past four times against Toronto, too.
|04-08-19||Texas Tech +1.5 v. Virginia||Top||77-85||Loss||-106||34 h 33 m||Show|
Texas Tech plus 1 1/2 vs. VirginiaGreat, great job by Chris Beard and Texas Tech reaching the NCAA Tournament title game. Virginia is here, too. The pressure is all on the Cavaliers - and they usually don't respond well to it. The Cavaliers were the first No. 1 seed in NCAA Tourney history to lose to a 16th seed last year. They trailed Gardner-Webb at halftime in their opening NCAA Tourney game this year. Virginia is darn lucky to even survive having nipped Oregon by four points, slipped past Purdue in overtime and received a couple of official's gifts in edging Auburn by one on Saturday winning in highly controversial fashion. Virginia is 2-7 ATS in its last nine NCAA Tournament games. Texas Tech is 14-3 ATS in its last 17 games and 11-0 ATS the past 11 times going against a foe that has a winning record. The Cavaliers for the first time are going to face an opponent that can match them - if not exceed them - defensively. The Red Raiders held Michigan State to its lowest point total of the season, something I'm not sure Virginia could have done.
|04-08-19||Texas Tech v. Virginia OVER 117.5||Top||77-85||Win||100||25 h 11 m||Show|
I understand these are the two best defensive teams in the country and that obviously the intensity is going to be at its highest level. But the oddsmaker and early marketplace activity is overreacting to this driving this total to this number. It's the lowest of the season for Texas Tech and second-lowest for Virginia. Texas Tech has been a decent scoring team. The Red Raiders are averaging 76.3 points during their past 13 games. The Cavaliers have reached at least 63 points in all but two of their last 13 games. The overtime also is more of a possibility given the close point spread. So is excessive fouling at the end with this being the championship game.
|04-07-19||Nuggets v. Blazers -3||Top||108-115||Win||100||18 h 23 m||Show|
Portland has short revenge for a 119-110 road loss to the Nuggets on Friday. That victory just about locked up the No. 2 seed in the West for the Nuggets. It gives the Nuggets enough cushion that they feel comfortable sitting out their three best players against the Trail Blazers. Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic and Paul Millsap are all going to miss this game putting the Nuggets at a huge disadvantage. Those three led the Nuggets to their victory against the Trail Blazers two days earlier scoring a combined 70 points. The Nuggets are 3-8 ATS the past 11 times following a victory. Denver has been a mediocre road team all season with just a 20-19 away record. Portland is 30-9 at home and 12-3-1 ATS following a point spread loss. The Trail Blazers not only have short revenge motivation, but are going for playoff seeding still holding a chance at gaining the No. 3 seed. The Trail Blazers hold the No. 4 seed, one game ahead of the Jazz with Utah holding the tiebreaker. CJ McCollum is probable for the Trail Blazers. McCollum, the Trail Blazers' second-leading scorer, has missed the past 10 games with a knee injury. His presence should serve as added inspiration.
|04-07-19||Nuggets v. Blazers UNDER 218||108-115||Loss||-105||18 h 20 m||Show|
These teams have been playing good defense while playing at a slow pace. The Nuggets are the sixth-best defensive team in the NBA, while the Trail Blazers rank 13th. Portland has held four of its last six opponents to fewer than 100 points. Denver has gone Under the total in 21 of its last 28 games. Yet there were 229 points scored when the teams met this past Friday in Denver with the Nuggets winning, 119-110. Portland shot 48.8 percent from the floor and were 16-20 for 80 percent from the foul line. The Trail Blazers shoot 46.7 percent from the field on the season. The Nuggets hit 51.2 percent of their field goals and were 26 of 29 from the free throw line for 89.7 percent. Denver shoots 46.6 percent from the foul line on the season and 76 percent from the charity stripe. I don't expect the teams to match those shooting performances especially the Nuggets as they are going to be sitting out their three top scorers, Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Paul Millsap. The three combined to go 25-for-42 from the floor for 60 percent in Friday's game.
|04-06-19||Auburn v. Virginia -5||Top||62-63||Loss||-110||102 h 15 m||Show|
Auburn is really going to miss Chuma Okeke. He's the Tigers' leading rebounder, top defender and third-leading scorer. The Tigers have gotten away with his absence by their long-range hot shooting. That's not going to work against Virginia. Not only do the Cavaliers give up the fewest points per game in the nation, but they rank in the top five in defensive field goal percentage, 3-point defense and defensive rebounding. The Cavaliers haven't played up to their capabilities in the NCAA Tournament so far. I see them finally bringing their "A" game to the table here. The Cavaliers have covered 75 percent of their 20 non-home games this season. I trust them in this spot against this one-dimensional opponent missing its best player.
|04-05-19||Blazers v. Nuggets UNDER 216||Top||110-119||Loss||-109||20 h 28 m||Show|
Unlike other NBA games at this time, this one holds playoffs ramifications. The Nuggets hold the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. They are 1 1/2 games ahead of the Rockets and two games ahead of the Trail Blazers. The teams meet again in Portland on Sunday. So if the Trail Blazers manage a sweep they could be tied for the No. 2 playoff spot. So there should be a lot of intensity and defense in this game. Portland remains without two of its three best scorers with CJ McCollum (knee) and Jusuf Nurkic (broken leg) out. The Trail Blazers are playing more half-court because of these injuries, slowing the tempo while looking to feed big men Enes Kanter and Zach Collins. Only five teams have played at a slower tempo than Portland during the past 10 games. The Trail Blazers have stepped up their defense holding four of their last five opponents to fewer than 100 points. The Nuggets have become a huge Under team because of their slow tempo ranking 29th in pace during the past 10 games. If you discount a 116-point game to Golden State, the Nuggets are giving up 97.8 points per game during their last five matchups. The Under has cashed 78 percent of the time during the Nuggets' last 27 games going 21-6.
|04-05-19||Knicks +17.5 v. Rockets||96-120||Loss||-109||9 h 11 m||Show|
The Rockets just got through with road games against the Kings on Tuesday and Clippers on Wednesday. Houston won those games by 25 and 32 points, respectively. The Rockets have another easy home opponent on Sunday taking on the Suns.So this is a major flat spot for the Rockets. It would not shock in the least if they sat out starters, or greately reduced their minutes for this matchup.
|04-04-19||Warriors v. Lakers +13.5||108-90||Loss||-110||21 h 27 m||Show|
The Lakers have been playing better lately with no pressure and with LeBron James sitting out. LA is 4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS in its last five games. But I'm not kidding myself. If the Warriors want to bury the Lakers they can. I just don't see Golden State being motivated to do that. The Warriors pretty much locked up top seed in the West with their 116-102 home win against the Nuggets on Tuesday. Golden State is 4-11 ATS the past 15 times following a victory and has an easy finish to the regular season concluding against four of five lottery-bound teams. The Warriors host the Cavaliers on Friday so they likely aren't going to tax any of their stars. Steve Kerr also doesn't want to pile on, or embarrass, Lakers coach Luke Walton. Walton is a former assistant coach for the Warriors and Kerr. His job with the Lakers is in jeopardy. The Lakers have covered 10 of their past 14 home games when meeting a foe with a winning percentage greater than .600.
|04-03-19||Celtics -115 v. Heat||112-102||Win||100||9 h 25 m||Show|
The teams just met two days ago at Boston and the Celtics won, 110-105. Boston, though, had built up a 23-point lead in the second half before letting things slip. The Celtics are the superior team and they should be more careful in this quick rematch. The Heat had trouble matching up against Al Horford, who had a triple-double. Horford is playing his finest ball of the season averaging 19.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists during his last five games. Gordon Hayward also is playing his best ball coming off the bench. Miami has been better on the road than at home. The Heat are 18-21 at American Airlines Arena, 16-22 ATS there. The Celtics have covered in eight of their last 11 visits to Miami.
|04-02-19||Nuggets v. Warriors -8||Top||102-116||Win||100||22 h 31 m||Show|
I give the Nuggets tremendous credit for their outstanding season. But they are not in Golden State's class. When the Warriors are motivated they can bury any team, including the Nuggets. The Warriors have proven that in the last two meetings defeating the Nuggets by an average of 24 points the past two times. Denver is not a good road team as evidenced by covering only 42 percent of its road games this season. The Warriors will be focused. They are hitting their stride after destroying the Hornets, 137-90, this past Sunday at home. Denver enters the matchup trying to fix its offense. The Nuggets are averaging fewer than 95 points a game during their past five games. Golden State ranks No. 2 in scoring at 117.7 points a game. The Warriors rank No. 1 in field goal percentage. The Nuggets aren't as good as the Warriors and the timing for this showdown matchup isn't good either for Denver.
|04-02-19||Wichita State v. Lipscomb +1||Top||64-71||Win||100||16 h 16 m||Show|
Lipscomb lacks the name recoginition of Wichita State. But the Bisons are the better team. The Bisons had 14 road victories, most in the nation. So they are well-tested away from home. They are 21-7-1 ATS during their past 29 nonconference games. The Bisons have plenty of experience from last season's NCAA Tournament team. They are 19-3 in their last 22 games and rank in the Top 10 in scoring, scoring margin and assists. I respect Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall. But the Shockers are going to have problems matching up against senior guard Garrison Mathews, who can light things up from the perimeter like he did against North Carolina State in the quarterfinals of this NIT tournament scoring 44 points. Matthews has averaged at least 20 points in each of the past three seasons.
|04-01-19||Pistons v. Pacers -5.5||102-111||Win||100||8 h 2 m||Show|
Situation, key injury and past history all point to the Pacers being the right side here. The Pacers are in stop-the-pain mode as they battle for playoff seeding having dropped seven of their last eight games. They suffered a tough two-point road loss to the Celtics on Friday, but then laid an egg at home against the Magic, losing 121-116 on Saturday. The Pacers surrendered 65 second-half points to the Magic. Indiana is the No. 1 ranked defense in the NBA. I see the Pacers playing with a great deal of intensity and tightening up their prideful defense. They draw the Pistons minus their most dangerous scorer, Blake Griffin, and coming off a highly-satisfying home comeback victory against the Trail Blazers on Saturday. Until that win against Portland, Detroit was 0-3 when they were minus Griffin. The Pistons are much worse on the road with a 14-24 record. The Pacers are much stronger at home with a 28-10 mark, 22-16 ATS. The Pacers have covered eight of the past 11 times at home when meeting an opponent with a sub .500 record on the road. The Pacers have dominated the Pistons, too, at home covering seven of the past eight times.
|04-01-19||DePaul v. South Florida -114||Top||61-63||Win||100||16 h 27 m||Show|
Note this is the College Basketball Invitational championship series. But it is the best two-of-three. South Florida needs to protect its home court. The Blue Devils will host South Florida on Wednesday. The Bulls are by far the better defensive team. DePaul is weak defensively and bad on the road. South Florida is ranked higher in Ken Pomeroy's ratings. The Bulls have surrendered just 57 points and 47 points, respectively, during their past two games in the tournament. South Florida is 17-5 at home. DePaul is 3-8 on the road and has failed to cover in its past four away matchups.
|03-30-19||Texas Tech v. Gonzaga -4||Top||75-69||Loss||-109||19 h 13 m||Show|
Sure Texas Tech has the capability of upsetting Gonzaga. The Red Raiders play tenacious defense and have a tremendous coach in Chris Beard. But Texas Tech would have to play its "A" game and Gonzaga would have to be off its game. I don't see that happening. Gonzaga has the deep tournament experience, a height advantage, leads the nation in scoring and has a very strong defense, too. Gonzaga ranks No. 1 in the country in scoring, field goal percentage, scoring margin and assist-to-turnover ratio. But the Bulldogs aren't just offense. They also ranked sixth in defensive efficiency, tied for sixth in defensive field goal percentage and were tied for 18th in defensive 3-point field goal percentage. The Bulldogs are deeper than Texas Tech, too, with a 10-man rotation. The Red Raiders are going to have problems up front dealing with Gonzaga's star big men, Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke. Add it all up and Gonzaga has enough edges to cover this number.
|03-30-19||Cavs +10 v. Clippers||108-132||Loss||-109||12 h 44 m||Show|
The Clippers have to be feeling good about making the playoffs in the tough Western Conference. The Clippers still have incentive in a battle for playoff seeding. But this is a vulnerable spot for them.LA just returned home on Friday after a four-game, seven-day road swing that concluded on Thursday night against the Bucks. This is nearly a back-to-back situation for the Clippers due to this being an afternoon game. It's easy to forsee the Clippers being sluggish, not fully focused having been gone for a week and taking on a terrible opponent they just defeated eight days ago. The Clippers are likely to save some of their energy, too, since they host the Grizzlies on Sunday. The Cavaliers have taken advantage of often overinflated lines to go 8-4-1 ATS during their past 13 games. They have covered six of the last eight times against opponents with a winning record. Cleveland is sailing below-the-radar screen right now. Cleveland played the Clippers tough in their first matchup, losing 110-108. Kevin Love gives the Cavaliers a modicum of respectability and Collin Sexton could be the most underrated rookie in the league. Sexton has scored at least 20 points in 10 of his last 11 games.
|03-29-19||Hornets v. Lakers +2.5||115-129||Win||100||13 h 54 m||Show|
LeBron James. That's all you need to know as to why Lakers here. Even though the Lakers are out of the playoffs and enduring a highly disappointing season, James makes the Lakers dangerous at home against mediocre opponents. He didn't play in the Lakers' last game, a 115-100 road loss to the Jazz this past Wednesday. But James was in full force leading the Lakers to home victories against the Wizards and Kings in LA's two previous games. James should be fresh for this matchup since he was rested against the Jazz. That's extremely bad news for the Hornets. James has destroyed this team through the years. His lifetime record against the Hornets is 47-6. This includes a 128-100 Lakers victory over Charlotte on Dec. 15 when James had a triple-double. The Hornets certainly can not be trusted on the road where they have played much worse going 11-24.
|03-29-19||Virginia Tech v. Duke -7||Top||73-75||Loss||-104||18 h 11 m||Show|
Duke had its scare surviving Central Florida, 77-76, in its last game. The Blue Devils pulled that one out down three points with 14.4 seconds left.Expect a much better performance here from the Blue Devils. Duke is big-game, tournament experienced while Virginia Tech hasn't made the Sweet 16 since 1962. The Hokies are 2-6 ATS the past eight times meeting a foe with a winning record. The Blue Devils were missing Zion Williamson when they fell, 77-72, to Virginia Tech on the road during the second-to-last week of the regular season. Duke won't be flat here. The Hokies aren't beating the Blue Devils a second time this season.
|03-28-19||Florida State v. Gonzaga UNDER 147.5||Top||58-72||Win||100||19 h 59 m||Show|
Gonzaga always is one of the highest scoring teams in the country. That certainly was true this season. The Bulldogs led the nation in scoring at 88.6. But what also is true is the oddsmaker sets very high totals on Gonzaga games knowing the public roots for offense. That's a reason why the Under has won 11 of the last 16 times the Bulldogs have played in the NCAA Tournament. The flip side of this equation is Florida State is very strong defensively. The Seminoles hold foes to 67 points per game and rank 30th in defensive field goal percentage. Florida State held Gonzaga to 60 points when the teams met in the NCAA Tournament last season. The combined score added up to 135 points with the Seminoles scoring a 75-60 upset win. Gonzaga should play with super intensity in this rematch. The Bulldogs, though, didn't encounter too many elite defenses competing in the West Coast Conference. St. Mary's probably was the best. The Gaels held Gonzaga to an average of 58 points during the past two meetings. The Bulldogs are a very underrated defensive club. They ranked 31st defensively surrendering an average of 64.8 points a game. Forida State is not a good shooting team and well below average in 3-point shooting percentage ranking a dismal 221st. Note, too, the venue for this matchup. It's the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., where the Under has covered 73 percent of the time during the past 55 times when the total was 124 1/2 or higher.
|03-27-19||Colorado v. Texas -5.5||Top||55-68||Win||100||19 h 54 m||Show|
Texas is home and the superior team. The Longhorns rank 30th, according to Kenpom ratings, while Colorado checks in at No. 63.The key question is how motivated are the Longhorns? They were tremendously disappointed not to make the NCAA Tournament. Colorado, on the other hand, has embraced the NIT with its young players having the attitude of using this tournament to gain valuable postseason experience for next year. Fewer than 1,600 fans showed up for Texas' first round home game in the NIT. Normally the Longhorns draw more than 10,000 fans for their home contests at the Erwin Center. The Longhorns doubled their attendance for their second NIT home game. Now with the Longhorns a win away from going to New York for the semifinals of the tournament, the fans and team are starting to get excited. If motivated, Texas should cover this number against Colorado. The Buffaloes are 5-8 in true road contests. Texas is 14-6 at home. Among the Longhorns' home wins were victories against Purdue, Oklahoma, Kansas, Baylor and Iowa State. All of those teams made the NCAA Tournament. The Big East was much better than the Pac-12 this season. Texas didn't make the Big Dance because it went 1-4 down the stretch, including losing to Kansas in the Big 12 Tournament. Star guard Kerwin Roach was suspended for all those games. Roach is back and off his best game in more than a month scoring 21 points with eight rebounds and six assists in the Longhorns' 78-76 overtime victory in their second-round NIT game against Xavier. That's a very encouraging sign for Texas. And just another reason why I like the Longhorns to cover this number.
|03-27-19||Pacers v. Thunder UNDER 215||99-107||Win||100||10 h 25 m||Show|
These teams met fewer than two weeks ago at Indiana and the Pacers nipped the Thunder, 108-106, coming from 19 points down. So the Thunder have short revenge. But the Pacers have been idle since Sunday so they should bring a lot of energy - defensive energy that is. Indiana ranks No. 1 in the NBA in defense surrendering 103.9 points a game. The Under has cashed in six of Indiana's last seven road games. Oklahoma City has been playing strong defense, too, ranking in the top six in defensive efficiency during the past eight games. The Under has cashed in five of the Thunder's past seven home contests. This has become an Under series, too, with below the total cashing the past four times.
|03-26-19||Rockets +4 v. Bucks||Top||94-108||Loss||-100||20 h 44 m||Show|
You would have to go back to Feb. 21 to find the last time the Rockets lost by more than four points. That's a span of 17 games. Houston is 14-2 in its last 16 games. The Rockets' only two losses during this 16-game span occurred to the Warriors by two points and on the road to the Grizzlies by one point in overtime.The Bucks are shorthanded in the backcourt and close to cruise control leading the Raptors by four games for best record in the Eastern Conference. The Rockets have revenge for a 116-109 home loss to the Bucks from Jan. 9 and are playing for playoff seeding in the Western Conference. So this game is more important to them. In a matchup of superstars, primarily James Harden vers. Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks are missing a key underrated cog with Malcolm Brogdon out with a foot injury. He would have been the best defender against Harden. The Bucks also lost guard Tony Snell to an ankle injury in their win against the Cavaliers this past Sunday.
|03-26-19||Charleston Southern v. Hampton OVER 157||67-73||Loss||-109||16 h 43 m||Show|
There is history between these teams. It came on Jan. 10 with Hampton beating Charleston Southern, 94-82. That's a combined 176 points. Now the teams meet again in the College Insider Tournament with the total opening 19 points shorter than the final score of the first game. Only 20 teams in the nation averaged more points than Hampton. The Pirates shoot 78.1 percent from the foul line. That ranks seventh in the nation. Yet the Pirates made just 11 of 19 free throws for 57.9 percent in their earlier victory versus Charleston Southern. The Buccaneers managed 82 points versus Hampton despite shooting 40.3 percent from the floor and connecting on only 9 of 33 shots from 3-point range. Hampton has scored at least 81 points in eight of its last 11 games. The Over is 14-6-1 in the Pirates' past 21 games.
|03-25-19||Suns +14.5 v. Jazz||92-125||Loss||-103||13 h 1 m||Show|
This isn't a kill spot for the Jazz. It's actually a flat spot for Utah. The Jazz haven't played at home in nine days. They've been on the road during their past four games and are coming off a 31-point road win against the Bulls from Saturday night. It's going to be easy for the Jazz to overlook the Suns, who have multiple injuries and haven't been competitive versus Utah this season. The Jazz just rolled past the Suns, 114-97, at Phoenix on March 13. The Jazz, however, are 2-4 ATS in their last six home games. The Suns have covered their past six road games and are 9-4 ATS during their last 13 overall games.
|03-25-19||Longwood +15 v. DePaul||Top||89-97||Win||100||16 h 55 m||Show|
If you're going to lay this big of a number in a tournament, you better play at least decent defense. DePaul doesn't. The Blue Demons give up 75.5 points a game, which ranks 276th. Only once in their last 20 games have the Blue Demons won by a margin this big. DePaul is 11-26-3 (29.7 percent) following a victory. Reaching the quarterfinals of the College Basketball Invitational may not be a big deal for some teams, but it is for Longwood, a team from the Big South Conference. The Lancers opened the tournament rolling past Southern Mississippi, as 9 1/2-point home 'dogs. That was the 10th time in their last 11 tries the Lancers had covered in a non-conference matchup. DePaul is the home team here. Yet it should be noted that the Blue Demons won't be on their regular home court. It's being used to host a women's basketball tournament. So this game is being played at a much smaller gym that is the home of the DePaul women's volleyball team.
|03-24-19||Ohio State v. Houston UNDER 132.5||59-74||Loss||-109||30 h 31 m||Show|
Both teams have outstanding defenses and play at slow tempos. They aren't going to change their styles. Given the importance of this matchup, Under is the right way to look.Houston gives up just 61.1 points a game, which ranks seventh-best in the country, and holds foes to a nation-best 36.5 percent shooting from the floor. The Cougars also have the No. 1 3-point defense. Ohio State is no match for that as the Buckeyes average fewer than 70 points per game. The Buckeyes, though, rank 42nd defensively holding foes to 66 points a game.
|03-24-19||Oklahoma v. Virginia -11||51-63||Win||100||21 h 37 m||Show|
Rarely has Oklahoma encountered a defense as tough as Virginia's. When the Sooners did they did not fare well going 0-5 versus Wisconsin and two games each against Texas Tech and Kansas State. Not once in those five games did the Sooners break the 61-point barrier. Virginia is the No. 1 defensive team in the country - by a wide margin. The Cavaliers rank No. 1 in scoring defense, No. 2 in 3-point defense and No. 5 in defensive field goal percentage. Oklahoma is extremely lucky to even make the Tournament. The Sooners entered tournament play 4-8 SU, 4-7-1 ATS. Oklahoma can get hot, though. The Sooners did just that in blowing out overachieving Mississippi, 95-72, on Friday. Now, though, the Sooners are going way up in class. They are 1-4 ATS the past five times following a victory. The Cavaliers aren't taking anything for granted after they became the first No. 1 seed to lose in the first round of the tournament falling to Maryland-Baltimore Country last season.The Cavaliers were tight during the first half of their Thursday opening round tournament game against Gardner-Webb. But then they found their groove in the second half to pull away for a 71-56 victory.
|03-24-19||Spurs v. Celtics UNDER 220||115-96||Win||100||17 h 27 m||Show|
San Antonio has been one of the top defensive teams since the All-Star break. The Spurs have held nine of their past 12 opponents to 105 or fewer points. The Under is 10-2 in San Antonio's last 12 games.
The Spurs, though, are in stop-the-pain mode having dropped two in a row. Boston is in worse shape. The Celtics have dropped three in a row with the third one coming in unbelievable fashion on Saturday night. The Celtics blew an 18-point fourth quarter lead in a 124-117 road loss to Charlotte. The Celtics scored five points during the final 8:21. Brad Stevens called out his team's lack of toughness following that Boston loss. The Celtics return home now for this matchup. You have to believe the Celtics are going to play intense defense. Boston could get back injured center Aron Baynes. That would be a plus for the Under as Baynes offers toughness underneath but little offense. There's a possibility, too, Boston could be minus Jayson Tatum, its second-leading scorer. Tatum suffered a bruised lower back against the Hornets.
|03-23-19||Suns v. Kings UNDER 231.5||Top||103-112||Win||100||12 h 35 m||Show|
We know neither the Suns nor the Kings are strong defensively. Of course the oddsmaker is well aware of that, too, hence the hight total here. But lately both of these teams have been going Under the total a lot. The Under has cashed in five of Phoenix's past six games. The Kings have gone Under in 12 of their last 17 home games. There are reasons for this. The Suns have scored 102 or fewer points in four of their last five games. This can be accounted for their many injuries. The Suns are minus T.J. Warren, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Tyler Johnson. Josh Jackson isn't likely to play either after suffering an ankle injury in the Suns' last game. Without those players, the Suns lose their No. 2., No. 3, No. 5 and No. 6 scorers. The situation is so dire for the Suns they signed Jimmer Fredette. I'd love to have Fredette on my rec league team. But as for the NBA, well no. Fredette is not NBA quality. Sacramento has played two lottery teams during its last three games - the Mavericks and Bulls. They held Dallas to 100 points and Chicago to 102 points.
|03-23-19||Murray State +5 v. Florida State||Top||62-90||Loss||-115||16 h 12 m||Show|
On the surface, this spread should be higher, right? A good ACC team in Florida State taking on Murray State from the Ohio Valley Conference. But there is more than meets the eye here. Murray State is legitimate and on a roll with 12 straight wins. Racers guard Ja Morant may be the second-best player in college basketball in back of only Duke's Zion Williamson. The Racers didn't just beat but dominated a very strong Marquette squad, 83-64, on Thursday. The Racers are on a mission to showcase their talents and Morant's superstar game - 24.4 points, 10.2 assists and 50.4 percent shooting statistics on the season. Florida State had to endure a rugged ACC slate and reaching the conference tournament title game. So sure the Seminoles are battle tested, but the flip side is they also have a higher fatigue factor. That may have been played a part in their less-than-sterling 76-69 non-cover win against Vermont on Thursday. Vermont sank 16 of 32 shots from 3-point range. That could prove telling against the up-tempo gunning Racers. Florida State relies on its size and defense to beat opponents. The Seminoles don't have a Morant. Murray State, though, has a couple of big man pounders in KJ Williams and Darrell Coward to keep competitive on the boards. The Racers are 8-2 ATS, too, during their last 10 non-conference games. Florida State is 1-6 ATS the past three plus seasons under Leonard Hamilton when laying points in post-season tournament action.
|03-22-19||UCF v. VCU OVER 126.5||73-58||Win||100||18 h 25 m||Show|
VCU ranks 10th defensively in the country. Central Florida gives up the 27th fewest points. So naturally we have a low opening total. But don't be surprised if far more points are scored than anticipated. Central Florida produced 69 and 68 points, respectively, against Houston this season. The Cougars were statistically even better than VCU ranking eighth in the nation in fewest points allowed per game. VCU has a string of scoring 69 or more points in 10 consecutive games. The point spread is around pick, too, so overtime remains a real possibility.
|03-22-19||Clippers -6.5 v. Cavs||110-108||Loss||-108||8 h 24 m||Show|
Break up the Cavaliers? I don't think so. Cleveland has won two in row beating the Bucks and Pistons. Milwaukee was minus Giannis Antetokounmpo and Detroit didn't have Blake Griffin when Cleveland posted those victories.The Clippers are at full strength and going for playoff seeding. LA should be fully focused having been idle the past two days and realizing the Cavaliers have won two straight. Collin Sexton is having a strong rookie season, but Cleveland doesn't offer much else. Kevin Love, the Cavaliers' best frontcourt player, may not play due to a concussion. The Clippers average 10 points more per game than the Cavaliers. Cleveland has had problems matching up when taking on opponents from the superior Western Conference going 0-8 SU, 1-7 ATS the past eight times.
|03-22-19||Arizona State v. Buffalo -4.5||Top||74-91||Win||100||13 h 42 m||Show|
Buffalo blasted Arizona, 89-68, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last season. I easily can see the Bulls doing the same to a much worse Arizona State squad. The Bulls are the MAC champions. So it's easy to point out they are a mid-major, but Buffalo dominated that conference while the Pac-12 was way down this season. I don't see the Sun Devils being able to keep pace with the Bulls especially with point guard Remy Martin dealing with a groin injury. I'm sure Martin, the catalyst for the Sun Devils, will play but I doubt he will be 100 percent. The Bulls are riding a 12-game winning streak. They are the more rested team having last played on Saturday. ASU had to beat St. John's on Wednesday in Dayton, Ohio to reach this game. This marks the Sun Devils' third game in eight days - all in different time zones. Buffalo is the fifth-highest scoring team in the country at 84.9 points. That's more than seven points better than what Arizona averages. The Bulls certainly aren't going to lack motivation taking on a Pac-12 opponent especially with the added incentive of going against Bobby Hurley, the former coach of Buffalo. Bulls coach Nate Oats was Hurley's lead assistant and recruiting coordinator before replacing his departed mentor. Note, too, that Buffalo is 8-2-1 ATS in its last 11 games against nonconference opponents.
|03-21-19||Florida v. Nevada -2||Top||70-61||Loss||-109||21 h 40 m||Show|
Nevada has far more talent and experience than Florida. The Gators are lucky to have made the Tournament given that they have 15 losses. The Wolf Pack paid their dues last season. They reached the Sweet 16 and have all their key pieces back. I consider Eric Musselman one of the top coaches in the nation. The spread is lower than I thought. One reason for this could be Nevada getting upset, 65-56, as 10 1/2-point favorites against San Diego State in the semifinals Mountain West Conference Tournament. The Wolf Pack are much better than that. They were missing their second leading scorer and top rebounder, Jordan Caroline, in that game. Carolina is expected to play here. Nevada is 19-6-1 ATS following a loss.
|03-21-19||Murray State v. Marquette -3||83-64||Loss||-117||19 h 42 m||Show|
I'm going to fade the line move here. Marquette isn't getting enough respect from the marketplace while Murray State is getting too much. The Racers have Ja Morant and little else. Marquette has its own superstar, Markus Howard, and a far superior supporting case. Howard has been dealing with a wrist injury, but is fine. The Golden Eagles get check marks across the board against Murray State - better defense, stronger rebounding team and superior from the foul line.
|03-21-19||Bradley v. Michigan State -18||65-76||Loss||-110||17 h 51 m||Show|
Tom Izzo isn't happy Michigan State didn't get a No. 1 seed. So some team is going to pay the price. That team is Bradley, a a typical Missouri Valley Conference squad that can play defense but can't score. The Braves rank 311th in scoring averaging 66.6 points. They are not a high percentage shooting team, nor good at making free throws. The Braves averaged 57 points in their three Missouri Valley Conference Tournament games. Michigan State is used to this type of opponent being in the Big Ten except its competition is far stronger. The Spartans' last four opponents have been Michigan twice, Wisconsin and Ohio State. Bradley is a major step down. The Braves aren't going to be able to keep up with Michigan State's superstar guard Cassius Winston and have no backdoor capabilities when trailing by double-digits. Bradley also doesn't have any tournament pedigree like Michigan State. The Braves have lost 17 straight games to Top 25 opponents. They last played in the NCAA Tournament in 2006.
|03-20-19||Sam Houston State +13.5 v. TCU||69-82||Win||100||18 h 53 m||Show|
Don't sleep on Sam Houston State. The Bearkats will be far more motivated for this NIT matchup than Texas Christian. The Horned Frogs had their sights set on the NCAA Tournament. But a blown 12-point lead in a loss to Kansas State in the Big 12 Conference Tournament doomed TCU's NCAA chances. It's hard to imagine TCU getting up for this matchup. The Horned Frogs have failed to cover in six of their last seven home games. TCU finished its regular season 3-7. Sam Houston State is 17-3 in its last 20 games. The Bearkats have covered nine of their last 11 road contests and also are 10-4 ATS during their past 14 non-conference matchups. They also are a far betting free throw shooting team than TCU.
|03-20-19||Wizards -2 v. Bulls||Top||120-126||Loss||-113||18 h 9 m||Show|
The youthful Bulls may not be fully focused for this home matchup as they just concluded three games on the West Coast with a 116-101 win against the Suns on Monday. Motivation shouldn't be a problem for the Wizards. They are in must-win mode trailing the Heat by 4 1/2 games for the final playoff spot in the East. The Wizards are a respectable 8-10 since trading Otto Porter to the Bulls for Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis. Porter has done well with the Bulls, but sat out Chicago's victory against Phoenix with a sore shoulder. Zach LaVine, the Bulls' best player, has been gutting things out with a thigh and knee injury. There are no guarantees Porter and LaVine play against the Wizards. Washington handled the Bulls, 134-125, at Chicago last month. The Wizards have covered seven of the past eight times when meeting a sub .500 opponent.
|03-20-19||Rockets v. Grizzlies +4||125-126||Win||100||18 h 7 m||Show|
Great spot for the Grizzlies here. Memphis is playing well at home covering nine of its last 11 at FedEx Forum and draw the Rockets carrying a heavy rating and in a look-ahead spot. This marks the Rockets' fourth game in six days and second in two days. Houston took care of Atlanta, 121-105, as 7 1/2-point road favorites on Tuesday. Following this game, the Rockets host the Spurs on Friday. Houston leads San Antonio by three games in the Southwest Division. A loss to the Spurs in that matchup obviously would tighten up the division. Houston already is holding out Eric Gordon against the Grizzlies for rest purposes. Perhaps the Rockets might even sit James Harden and Chris Paul, too. Unlike the Rockets, the Grizzlies are fully rested. They have been idle the past three days. Memphis hasn't lost by more than six points at home during the past 11 times.
|03-19-19||Dayton v. Colorado -4.5||Top||73-78||Win||100||28 h 48 m||Show|
Unlike the NCAA Tournament, some teams aren't excited about getting to play in the NIT. Dayton is one such team. The Flyers finished their regular season in highly disappointing style losing, 64-55, as 4 1/2-point favorites against St. Louis in their opening game of the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament. Indications are the Flyers are not excited about traveling to Boulder, Colo., for this matchup. Not helping matters for the Flyers is their leading scorer, Obi Toppin, is deaing with a knee injury. Contrary to Dayton, Colorado is excited about competing in this tournament. The Buffaloes are young and expect to return all of their main players for next season. They want to use this tournament to gain more big-game experience. The Buffaloes are 10-3 in their last 13 games. They also have covered eight of the last 10 times versus opponents with a winning record. This is what Colorado coach Tad Boyle was quoted as saying about his team and playing in the NIT: "We're playing well here down the stretch. There are a few teams that are leaking oil this time of year, but we're not one of them. I like the way we're playing and really the key for our guys is they are excited, they are going to embrace this. They did not want their season to end."
|03-19-19||76ers v. Hornets +1||118-114||Loss||-105||15 h 21 m||Show|
This may be Charlotte's game of the year. The Hornets are two games out of the final playoff spot in the East and have triple revenge against the 76ers, losing three times to them this season by an average of only two points per game. The Hornets play much better at home with a 21-14 mark compared to 10-24 on the road. The 76ers have covered just 42 percent of their road games this season going 14-19. Philly is in a sandwich spot, too. The 76ers just upset the Bucks on the road in a nationally televised game this past Sunday and host the Celtics on Wednesday. So it's easy for the youthful 76ers to look past the Hornets. The 76ers already have said they will sit out Joel Embiid in order to rest him for the Celtics. Philly has failed to cover five of the past six times when meeting a below .500 opponent.
|03-18-19||Pistons v. Cavs +7||119-126||Win||100||7 h 15 m||Show|
Great win by the Pistons on Sunday against the Raptors. However, Detroit doesn't have much time to savor its victory. The Pistons begin a five-game road trip here. So not only is a letdown possible, but Detroit's concentration and focus may off, too. The Cavaliers should not lack for motivation as this is a triple-revenge spot for them. Just 16 days ago, the Pistons easily handled the Cavaliers, 129-93. That victory was achieved on the Cavaliers' home floor. Cleveland didn't have Kevin Love in that embarrassing loss. The key question is are the Cavaliers good enough to cover this mid-size spread? Detroit is clearly a tier higher than Cleveland. But the Pistons are far from elite. They have stumbled, too, when playing in Clevland covering just once in their last six trips. The Cavaliers are 7-4-1 ATS in their last 12 games. They are 2-0 during their last two home games beating the Magic by 14 points and Raptors by 25 points.
|03-17-19||Nets +6.5 v. Clippers||116-119||Win||100||9 h 13 m||Show|
The Nets are in stop-the-pain mode being 0-2 on their seven-game road trip with losses to the Thunder and Jazz. That used to not mean anything. It does now because the Nets aren't a bottom feeder anymore. They are a legitimate playoff team entering today just one-half game behind the Pistons for the sixth seed in the East.The Clippers are a level below the Thunder and Jazz. They don't have the stars Oklahoma City and Utah has. Brooklyn is not outclassed here. I would give the Nets an advantage in the backcourt with their trio of D'Angelo Rusell, Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert. The Nets should have beaten the Clippers in the first meeting this season. They blew a 15-point lead in a 127-119 home loss. I'm not fond of the Nets as chalk, but I lke them as 'dogs because they are well-coached and can usually be counted on to play hard. They have covered six of their last eight road contests versus opponents with a winning home record.
|03-17-19||Michigan v. Michigan State OVER 129.5||Top||60-65||Loss||-114||12 h 29 m||Show|
This is the third meeting between these two teams. The total opened the lowest of the three games. I understand that thinking since Michigan and Michigan State know each other backward and forward now. But I also believe there are factors and facts that will make this the highest scoring matchup of the three games. Michigan is playing well. The Wolverines scored 74 and 76 points, respectively, in beating Iowa and Minnesota so far in the Big Ten Conference Tournament. They are in a nice scoring groove. Michigan State is averaging 76 points in its two games versus the Wolverines. The Spartans are averaging 77.5 points in their last four games and that includes a 67-point game against Wisconsin, which has the ninth-ranked defense in the country. The Wolverines haven't been able to stop Michigan State's star guard, Cassius Winston, who has hurt Michigan with his shooting and working the pick-and-roll with Xavier Tillman. It's a plus for Michigan State if Nick Ward can produce points in the low post after returning from a broken hand. Michigan's scoring is going to be helped because Charles Matthews, its third-leading scorer, is back. He hurt his ankle in the first meeting between the teams and sat out the second get together.
|03-16-19||Oregon -115 v. Washington||68-48||Win||100||10 h 24 m||Show|
Washington plays outstanding defense. But Oregon has been playing even better defense holding foes to 55.1 points. The Ducks are blazing winning and covering their last seven games. Dana Altman has done a tremendous job coaching Oregon, which lost star center Bol Bol for the season. The Huskies are 1-5 ATS in their last six games. They failed to beat the Ducks when they hosted them last Saturday, losing 55-47. That was the fourth time in the past five meetings Oregon covered versus Washington.
|03-16-19||Suns v. Pelicans -2.5||138-136||Loss||-107||6 h 29 m||Show|
It's smaller, but there is still a gap between these two teams. New Orleans is better and at home. So this spread is short. Anthony Davis is expected to play He's backed by Julius Randle and Elfrid Payton, a pair of underrated players who are playing at high levels. On the flip side, Suns star rookie center Deandre Ayton could be hitting the wall. He scored a career-low two points on 1-for-9 shooting against the Jazz two games ago. The Suns are playing without rest having lost to the Rockets, 108-102, on the road. New Orleans is 2-0 versus Phoenix this season winning 119-99 at home on Nov. 10 and 130-116 on the road March 1. The Suns have failed to cover in their last six games against the Pelicans.
|03-16-19||Georgia Southern v. Texas-Arlington UNDER 147||Top||58-67||Win||100||7 h 53 m||Show|
If you're going to get involved playing an Under in the Sun Belt Conference this is the game to do it. Georgia Southern and Texas Arlington rank among the three best defensive teams in the league. The Under has cashed the past six times in the series. The two games this season averaged 140 points. Georgia Southern has gone Under in seven of its last eight games. The Mavericks have gone Under 23 times in their last 133 games. Note, too, this game is played at neutral site Lakefront Arena in New Orleans, which has a reputation of being a tough place to shoot because of the backdrop.
|03-16-19||Wisconsin v. Michigan State -4.5||55-67||Win||100||9 h 46 m||Show|
Wisconsin isn't as good as Michigan State especially with the Spartans getting back forward Nick Ward, their second-leading scorer. The Badgers rely on forward Ethan Happ, who isn't a great shooter. Happ didn't play well in the Badgers' 66-62 victory against Nebraska on Friday scoring just four points and committing seven turnovers. The Spartans will key on Happ. The Spartans have the best guard on the court in Cassius Winston. The Badgers will try to key on Winston. The Spartans, though, have a secret weapon, freshman point guard Foster Loyer, to keep the pressure off Winston. Loyer played well in the Spartans' opening Big Ten Tournament victory over Ohio State on Friday. The Badgers struggled against the Cornhuskers, a team the Spartans rolled past, 91-76, at home three games ago. Tom Izzo has Michigan State peaking at the right time again. The Spartans closed the regular season beating Michigan, 75-63, as four-point home favorites a week ago. Wisconsin went up against Michigan on Feb. 9 and lost as seven-point road 'dogs, 61-52. Michigan State handled Wisconsin in the team's lone meeting this season, winning 67-59 on the road. The Spartans have covered 15 of their last 21 Big Ten games, while the Badgers are 2-6-1 ATS in their last nine Big Ten matchups.
|03-15-19||Colorado v. Washington -120||Top||61-66||Win||100||18 h 55 m||Show|
The Pac-12 was way down again this season. If there is one decent team in the conference, though, it's Washington. I don't see Colorado getting past the Huskies. The Buffaloes can't solve Washington's tough zone defense. The Huskies are the best team in the Pac-12 because of their league-leading defense giving up 62.3 points a game and ranking No. 2 in the conference in defensive field goal percentage and 3-point defense. The Huskies are 4-0 SU and ATS versus the Buffaloes the past two seasons. Washington has won these games by an average of 12 points holding the Buffaloes to an average of 61.5 points a game during this span. The teams met just three weeks ago and the Huskies won, 64-55, at home. The Huskies forced 19 turnovers and held Colorado to a season-low in points.
|03-15-19||Knicks +13.5 v. Spurs||83-109||Loss||-109||12 h 34 m||Show|
Believe it or not, the Knicks buried the Spurs, 130-118, when the teams met at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 24. So the Knicks are capable. I fully realize, though, the Spurs are playing much better now and the Knicks rank at the lowest level. But I'm going to take advantage of what I perceived as an inflated line. New York has lost by more than 11 points once in its last 11 games and only once in their last 24 games have the Spurs won by more than 12 points and that was by 14 points. The Spurs are too savvy to go all out here knowing they host the Trail Blazers on Saturday and Warriors on Monday. That's two big look-ahead challenges. It wouldn't be shocking if Gregg Popovich rested a key starter here, or reduced the minutes of his starters.
|03-15-19||Lakers +11.5 v. Pistons||97-111||Loss||-110||8 h 38 m||Show|
The Pistons can't be laying double-digits. Not after back-to-back scoring games of 74 and 75 points. Reggie Jackson is questionable, too, with an ankle injury. The Lakers are going to show some pride with LeBron James playing. The Lakers also have several former Pistons and players from the Detroit area, who will be motivated for this game. LA handled the Pistons when the teams met earlier, 113-100, on Jan. 9. Kyle Kuzma scored 41 points in that game and did a good job defensively on Blake Griffin.
|03-15-19||Iowa State +1 v. Kansas State||63-59||Win||100||9 h 10 m||Show|
The buy sign for me on Iowa State is on after the Cyclones buried Baylor, 83-66, in their Big 12 Conference Tournament game Thursday. I'm going to ride the Cyclones here. These two teams met a month ago at Kansas State. Iowa State won, 78-64. Even though this matchup is in Kansas City, Mo., the Cyclones have a home-court advantage as far as fan support.
|03-14-19||Oregon -4 v. Utah||66-54||Win||100||12 h 33 m||Show|
I like the way Oregon is playing. The Ducks have five straight wins and covers, including zipping past Washington State, 84-51, in their opening Pac-12 Conference Tournament game. The Ducks handled Utah on the road winning, 78-72, during the regular season. Now they draw the Utes on a neutral court. Oregon won that first meeting despite shooting just 5-for-21 from 3-point range and getting fewer free throw attempts than Utah. Oregon has the 19th-stingiest defense in the nation giving up 63.3 points a game. The Ducks have held their last four foes to an average of 51.5 points a game. Utah permits 11 more points per game than Oregon. The Utes have failed to cover in four of their last five neutral site games.
|03-14-19||Thunder v. Pacers UNDER 222||Top||106-108||Win||100||17 h 7 m||Show|
Indiana is the No. 1 ranked defensive team in the NBA permitting just 103.9 points a game. The Pacers have held six of their past 10 home foes to fewer than 99 points. One of those 10 opponents was the Bucks, who rank No. 2 in the league in scoring. The Pacers held Milwaukee to 106 points, 11 points under its average. Oklahoma City has held its last two opponents, the Nets and Jazz, to a combined average of 93 points. The Thunder has gone Under in seven of its last nine games. Don't expect Russell Westbrook and the Thunder to play at breakneck speed either as this is Oklahoma City's third game in four days and second in two nights. There is more intensity than normal for a nonconference matchup because of Paul George, who starred for the Pacers for seven seasons before getting traded to the Thunder in 2017. George was jeered loudly when he played at Indiana against the Pacers last season. Indiana won that matchup, 100-95. George hasn't been shooting well either since returning from a right shoulder injury. George has made just 34.4 percent of his field goal attempts in his last five games.
|03-14-19||Central Michigan v. Kent State UNDER 155||89-81||Loss||-105||5 h 41 m||Show|
These two teams have been about offense rather than defense. But both have been in better defensive form and their intensity is way up with this being the MAC Tournament.The Under has cashed in Kent State's last three games. The Golden Flashes have been playing better defense holding their last two foes to 65 and 66 points. Central Michigan held Western Michigan to 67 points in its opening MAC Tournament victory.
|03-13-19||Jazz -7.5 v. Suns||Top||114-97||Win||100||13 h 50 m||Show|
It happened on Sunday, but the Suns still could be celebrating their stunning 115-111 upset win of the Warriors. Phoenix was 17-point road 'dogs. It was the first time the Suns had defeated the Warriors in 19 games having lost 18 in a row to them. The Jazz have won the past four meetings against the Suns by an average of 24.4 points. They whipped Phoenix, 116-88, as 15-point home favories in the previous meeting on Feb. 6. But no way now do the Jazz take the Suns lightly. Utah is in stop-the-pain mode have losting three of four, including two in a row. Utah's defense has been there. But the Jazz's shooting has been off. They hit just 36.4 percent against the Thunder at home on Monday in losing, 98-89. That was the fewest points the Thunder had scored in 27 games. Unfortunately for the Jazz too many of their normally reliable scorers were cold in that game. Donovan Mitchell, who is approaching superstar status, Jae Crowder and Joe Ingles were a combined 15-for46 from the floor in that loss to Oklahoma City. Expect the Jazz to shoot much better against a Phoenix defense that ranks 28th. The Suns have yielded 116 or more points in 18 of its last 22 games. The Jazz are 15-5-1 ATS the past 21 times following a loss and have played better on the road lately covering four of their last five away matchups.
|03-13-19||Pittsburgh v. Syracuse -7||59-73||Win||100||11 h 54 m||Show|
I'm not buying into Pittsburgh getting hot with victories against Notre Dame and Boston College on Tuesday in the opening round of the ACC Tournament. I don't trust the Panthers' freshmen. Pitt is a bad team - 0-8-1 ATS in its last nine games verus above .500 foes and 2-13 ATS in its last 15 games - and have had problems trying to solve Syracuse's vaunted 2-3 zone defense. The Orange beat the Panthers, 74-63, at home on Jan. 19 and 65-56 on the road on Feb. 2. The Panthers shot just 33.8 percent and 31.6 percent from the floor in those two games. Syrcause is stepping down in class after concluding its regular season with losses to Virginia and Clemson on the road. The Orange are 7-1 ATS following a straight-up loss.
|03-13-19||Pistons v. Heat -120||74-108||Win||100||10 h 19 m||Show|
Both teams are coming off bad losses. The Heat were routed at home, 125-104, by the Raptors this past Sunday. The Raptors, at least, are one of the elite teams in the East. The Pistons had their bubble burst losing, 103-75, on the road to the Nets Monday. The Pistons shot a season-worst 27.8 percent from the floor. I see the Heat bouncing back at home in this matchup. Not so for the Pistons. Detroit only has two reliable scorers, Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin. The Pistons are facing the No. 3 ranked defense and carry a fatigue factor being in action for the third time in four days. The Heat can't afford home losses to mediocre Eastern Conference foes in their quest to make the postseason. Miami had won four in a row until falling to the Raptors. The Heat haven't played since that Sunday loss. I expect them to have a lot of energy and for Erik Spoelstra to have a solid defensive game plan.
|03-12-19||Blazers -2.5 v. Clippers||Top||125-104||Win||100||20 h 43 m||Show|
There are reasons why Portland opened a road favorite against the Clippers. The Trail Blazers are the superior team holding a huge starting backcourt edge with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum and also have the best big man in Jusuf Nurkic. It's a strong spot, too, for Portland. The Trail Blazers last played on Saturday while the Clippers are in action for the third time in five days and are playing without rest. LA is in danger of letting down after consecutive impressive home victories versus the Thunder and Celtics. The Trail Blazers have been sharp on the road covering in six of their last seven away contests. Portland also is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings versus the Clippers, while covering in their last four visits against the Clippers.
|03-11-19||San Diego +5 v. St. Mary's||Top||62-69||Loss||-109||9 h 18 m||Show|
San Diego is playing well going 3-0 SU and ATS in the West Coast Conference Tournament. The Toreros enter this semifinal matchup with a lot of confidence having just destroyed BYU, 80-57, on Saturday. They are 8-3 ATS the past 11 times taking on foes with a winning record.
St. Mary's enters the tournament off a disheartening loss to Gonzaga. That was nine days ago. So the Gaels are going to have some rust. Note this game is at neutral site Las Vegas. St. Mary's is 2-7 ATS the past nine times when playing at a neutral site.
|03-11-19||Thunder v. Jazz -3||98-89||Loss||-110||20 h 22 m||Show|
Want to know the coldest NBA team from a point spread perspective? Hint, it's not the Knicks. Congrats if you came up with Oklahoma City. The Thunder have covered just once in their last 10 games - and that one was in overtime. Now the Thunder enter their sixth straight different venue to take on the revenge-minded Jazz, who lost a wild 148-147 two-overtime game to Oklahoma City on Feb. 22 when Paul George hit a game-winner with less than a second left. The Jazz trail the Thunder by 2 1/2 games for the No. 4 playoff spot in the West. Utah has the superior defense and has the best inside player of the two teams with Rudy Gobert. Russell Westbrook and George are superstars, but Donovan Mitchell is rapidly reaching that elevated level. He is outscoring Westbrook on the season. The Jazz got caught peeking ahead to this matchup falling, 114-104, to Memphis as a 4 1/2-point road favorite on Friday. Look for Utah to be ready for this key home matchup. The Jazz have covered 76 percent of the past 22 times the following game after not covering in their previous game.
|03-10-19||Raptors -113 v. Heat||125-104||Win||100||4 h 57 m||Show|
Miami finally has gotten healthy, is home and riding a four-game win streak. So because of that we have around a pick'em game. That puts me into play backing the Raptors, a much superior team. Toronto hasn't been good as chalk, but it's certainly not too much to ask the Raptors just to win. Miami's four game win streak is against the the Nets, Hawks, Hornets and Cavaliers. Only the Nets have a winning record of those four teams at 35-33. The Raptors got their confidence back up by rolling past the Pelicans, 127-104, on Friday after a road overtime loss to the hot Pistons and a home loss to the elite Rockets. A significant development in that win against the Pelicans was newcomer Jeremy Lin producing 14 points for the Raptors. Toronto has fortified its rotation picking up Marc Gasol and Linn in recent moves. The Heat have played better on the road than at home where they are 15-18 SU, 14-19 ATS at American Airlines Arena. The Heat have failed to cover in seven of their last 10 home games.
|03-10-19||Iowa v. Nebraska +1||Top||91-93||Win||100||12 h 25 m||Show|
Nebraska plays much better defense at home and as bad as the Cornhuskers have been against the spread lately, Iowa has been worse. The Hawkeyes have failed to cover in their last seven games. Fran McCaffery is back coaching the Hawkeyes after being suspended the previous two games. But Iowa hasn't been good for the past three weeks. If it weren't for a home overtime victory against Indiana, the Hawkeyes would be riding a five-game losing streak instead of a three-game loss streak. The Cornhuskers have revenge for a 93-84 road loss to the Hawkeyes on Jan. 6. Nebraska surrenders 16.3 fewer points per game at home. This is Senior Day at Nebraska and I expect James Palmer and Glynn Watson to play well. This has been a home series with the host covering the last four times.
|03-09-19||Suns v. Blazers -12.5||120-127||Loss||-102||20 h 43 m||Show|
Break up the Suns. Phoenix has won three in a row. That doesn't change the fact the Suns own the worst record in the Western Conference at 15-51 and would like to land the No. 1 overall draft pick for the second year in a row. Closer inspection shows the Suns' three-game win streak occurred at home with two of the victims being the free-falling Lakers and Knicks, owners of the worst record in the NBA at 13-52. The Suns did stun the Bucks, which has caught the Trail Blazers' attention and should prevent them from taking the Suns lightly. The Suns have lost 13 of their last 14 road games, going 5-9 ATS in these contests. Portland has defeated Phoenix seven times in a row with the last coming, 120-106, as 8 1/2-point road favorites on Jan. 24. So I consider this line fair and I love the spot for Portland. The Trail Blazers are off a 129-121 home overtime loss to the Thunder on Thursday. That was Portland's first home game since Feb. 13. The Trail Blazers had played seven consecutive road games. Now they are settled back at home where they have covered 69 percent of their past 55 games. The Trail Blazers don't play again until Tuesday when they begin a three-game road trip. So expect the Trail Blazers to be motivated for a kill spot win here with zero chance of overlooking the Suns based on the situation and Phoenix riding a three-game win streak.