All systems go right now, with a big hoop weekend and a 3-0 start in the NHL now in the archives. Looking forward to staying with those black figures today.
A couple of Monday college games stand out to me as solid options. Here's a look at another contest on the holiday card that caught my eye.
721 Oklahoma State at 722 Baylor
Take: Baylor -3.5
If Oklahoma State and Baylor were meeting in a neutral setting, I'd probably be looking at a possible play on the talented Cowboys. But the game is in Waco and that's bad news for the Cowboys. Simply stated, this is a very bad conference road team. I like breaking down the personnel and other variables, but in the case of Oklahoma State there really isn't a whole lot to say. The Cowboys are absolutely brutal on the road, and this is a long term malady and Travis Ford has clearly not yet located that much needed antidote. Until such time as the issue gets solved, I'm going to continue to fade this outfit in Big 12 road games. Baylor really ...
Just about everything went right for me on Saturday. I'm not really big on hyping any random day's results, so let's leave it at that. The only focus now is to do it again today. Here's the free play for the day.
01/20 03:00 PM CB (815) CLEMSON VS (816) NORTH CAROLINA STATE
Take: (816) NORTH CAROLINA STATE
North Carolina State figured to be in a dead spot off the upset win against Duke. Sure enough, the Wolfpack came up short in a trip to Maryland. But they actually impressed me in the defeat. I thought the defense would suffer, but the fact is they played with plenty of focus. They simply could not get the ball to go in the basket, which is highly unusual for one of the best shooting teams in the country. Back home and now off a loss, I have to think NC State gets it back together today. Clemson is off a pair of quality wins, but those were at Littlejohn. The away from home stats for the Tigers are almost comically awful. The tough part here is that Clemson is working very hard ...
The NHL is back in action, and while that will mean nothing to most sports fans (and I sure can't blame them) it's a good opportunity to pad the bankroll, as hockey remains a very beatable game. My NHL plays are almost exclusively money line with the majority being underdogs. Find the value, get the money. And yes, I'm in action right out of the gate, albeit with only one play.
College hoops card looks ripe today. Some excellent situational spots and when those possible plays line up with my numbers, it's time to swing into action. If you'd like more info on how to get my personal plays each day in all sports, simply drop me a line at email@example.com.
Free play for the day is a Big Sky hookup.
01/19 06:00 PM CB (731) EASTERN WASHINGTON VS (732) NORTHERN COLORADO
Take: (732) NORTHERN COLORADO
Things continue to go badly for Eastern Washington. This team has been plagued by a multitude of problems all season, and it sure doesn't seem to be getting any better for Jim Hayford's ...
Not a whole lot to choose from on the Friday night college slate. Since I don't really follow Stony Brook or Vermont to any extent, that leaves me just one game, the MAAC duel between Fairfield and Iona. Let's break it down and see how it goes!
01/18 06:00 PM CB (819) FAIRFIELD VS (820)
Take: (819) FAIRFIELD
It's the ultimate contrast in styles when Fairfield and Iona get together. Patience is the main virtue for the Stags. Iona wants to play racehorse and let outstanding guard Lamont Jones do his thing. So this figures to be the usual battle of wills, and whichever team gets the pace their way is probably going to win. If the Gaels are able to get into sprint mode, they're going to win comfortably. Iona might just be good enough to win at Fairfield's speed, but covering gets a lot dicier in that case. The Stags have to contain Jones, and they absolutely must not allow Sean Armand to get open looks from long range. Iona doesn't guard the three well at all, but that won't matter ...
Thursdays are generally good for me, as the schedule offers a wide array of games from the non-marquee conferences, and that's where I often produce my best results. Hopefully, that continues tonight as I will likely be on a good batch of plays. Here's the free look for Thursday, and it's actually on a team I will generally fade when I have the chance.
01/17 04:00 PM CB (515) DUQUESNE (516) MASSACHUSETTS
Take: (516) MASSACHUSETTS
Reason: Massachusetts is one of my least favorite teams in college basketball. The Minutemen have some legit talent, but they can only play at one speed, make too many bad decisions and frequently act as if playing defense is against the law. I'm not sold at all on Derek Kellogg as a head coach, and I think it's fair to say that UMass is a fraud despite an okay 11-4 record. If that all sounds like a team I want to play against, it usually is, particularly if they're favored. But this is a matchup that should allow UMass to succeed simply on the basis ...
The usual huge Wednesday college hoop card awaits, and while I doubt I'll have a financial stake in the outcome, I can't wait for the big MWC showdown between UNLV and San Diego State. Physically, it's a good matchup for the Runnin' Rebels, and these two teams usually go right to the wire. But it's so tough to trust UNLV on the road. So strictly a fan on that game. Here's one I like a little more.
(751) TOLEDO VS (752) WESTERN MICHIGAN
Take: (752) WESTERN MICHIGAN
Not much attention will be paid to this unattractive MAC hookup. But I see this as a decent spot for the home team. Toledo is ineligible for post-season play this season, so I've been trying to find spots that are meaningful and also searching for those that might not fall into that category. Coming off an OT win last time out, this could fall into the latter realm. But the impetus for this opinion is more on Western Michigan. The Broncos have a wide disparity in their home and away stats this season. Awful on the road, ...
Clean slate on Monday, albeit on a short card. More of the same on Tuesday, as there's (right now) just one college game I really like. I didn't find anything of value elsewhere on the college slate, but there's an NBA hookup that interests me, so I'll tab that as the free opinion.
NBA (511) MILWAUKEE BUCKS VS (512) LOS ANGELES LAKERS
Take: (511) MILWAUKEE BUCKS
Reason: Mike D'Antoni commented following Friday's lopsided loss to Oklahoma City that the Lakers season was starting Sunday. Ah yes, the old brand new start, we're 0-0 ploy. Thus, after shredding a bad Cleveland team on Sunday, the Lakers are now 1-0 in what amounts to D'Antoni's Part Two of the NBA season. Sounds good if I'm a Laker fan, I suppose, and I actually like the approach in terms of trying to rev up the players. But in truth the Lakers are 16-21, can't play defense, are shorthanded with injuries and are at best an average NBA team. The Bucks are a couple games on the right side of .500, and they're 3-1 since ...
Short slate on Monday in the colleges. There's really just one game that stands out to me, and obviously that's reserved for my clients. The Big Monday doubleheader should be fun to watch, however, and I've at least got a lean in the leadoff clash between Louisville and Connecticut, so that's the free play for the day.
By the way, if you'd like info on how to get my personal plays, just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(717) LOUISVILLE VS (718) CONNECTICUT
Take: (717) LOUISVILLE
Reason: UConn returns home off an impressive win at Notre Dame and the Huskies will be very fired up tonight as they host Louisville. I can certainly see where a good case can be made for the home dog. The two teams match up almost dead even in most categories. But there's one big strength on the Louisville side that is also the weak point for UConn. The Cardinals are exceptional on the offensive glass and UConn has a tendency to give up second chances. On the flip side, I would not expect the Huskies to ...
Okay results for me on Saturday, and it was nice to get the free play back on track after a few tough beats. Today's free opinion is on what is clearly the marquee tilt on the college slate. I can almost guarantee this will be the "sharp" side, which actually doesn't thrill me. I'm more at my best focusing on the games most bettors don't care about. Nevertheless, I think this is a pretty good spot on one side, so let's hope it gets there!
(821) MICHIGAN VS (822) OHIO STATE
Take: (822) OHIO STATE
Reason: Michigan is loaded. The Wolverines are one of my Final Four projected teams, and if they win it all, I sure won't be surprised. But right now this squad is in the uncomfortable position of being the last team standing, as the Wolverines are now the only unbeaten entry in the entire D-1 field. That's the ultimate target and I can see Michigan falling today. Ohio State is another powerhouse, and their joint is going to be insane today. I also think the Buckeyes are one of the few ...
Loaded card today, and some outstanding situational spots to hopefully take advantage of along the way!
Here's one such scenario in the Big West, and I'll make this my free opinion for Saturday.
(681) CAL SANTA BARBARA VS (682) UC DAVIS
Take: (681) CAL SANTA BARBARA
Reason: Tough times for the Gauchos so far this season, and I really don't think they're much of a team. But this looks like a spot where UCSB will have a decent shot at notching a road win. UC-Davis has surprised me this season, performing well above my expectations. But they're off a tremendous comeback win against Cal Poly that they won at the buzzer. Tough enough for a good team to avoid flattening out off such a win. For a squad not really used to winning a whole lot of games, it's even tougher. Under normal conditions, I'd pass this, but it's a nice fade the host scenario, so I'll gran the points with UC-Santa Barbara.
Free plays in 2012 were ridiculously successful. Well over 60% for the entire year. Not so hot out of the 2013 gate. Hopefully, better results coming, starting tonight!
My top Thursday play was San Diego getting points at San Francisco in a WCC hookup. Looked like a nasty rerun of Wednesday's William & Mary disaster, as the Toreros squandered a big lead and the dreaded dog in OT scenario became a real possibility heading to the regulation finish line. Fortunately, USD held on for the 70-66 win. That saved those sitting nearby in the crowded restaurant I was dining in from a lengthy stream of profanity that was simply going to be unavoidable. On we go to Friday, and a pretty obvious NBA spot, but one nonetheless worth looking at.
(819) PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS VS (820) GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
Take: (820) GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
Reason: If I had a vote for first half NBA Coach of the Year, it would go to Portland's Terry Stott. On paper, this is a mediocre lineup with ...
Not the best of results for me on Wednesday, mostly due to an incredible bad beat on William & Mary. The Tribe, five point dogs at Towson, appeared to have this game just about locked up. Leading by a healthy nine points with only two minutes to play, my side managed to turn it over five times in those last 120 seconds. And rather than just lose outright and at least cover, the game naturally went to overtime. Then double OT, at which point W&M got blown out by 13. Losses don't come much tougher than that, but the only way to deal with it is to just forget and move on.
(539) MASSACHUSETTS VS (540) SAINT LOUIS
Take: (540) SAINT LOUIS
Major clash in styles here, as UMass wants to play as fast as they can and Saint Louis prefers to grind. I don't think it's at all likely that the Minutemen will be able to get the Billikens out of their comfort zone, and that's when things have a tendency to go awry for Massachusetts. They're what I call a low IQ team as they ...