cnotes Posts:33139 Followers:38
On 02/29/2012 12:23 AM in NCAA Basketball

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Weekly Notes

February 27, 2012

We have a couple weeks to go before the NCAA tournament begins and even though we will have more teams qualified than ever before, there are going to be quite a few teams that get left out. Every year, one of the great debates among fans is who was left out that deserved an invite and who made it that was undeserving. Here's a look a couple of squads that some of the major conference teams will be thrilled they might not have to face because of the possibility of being left out.

Drexel (16-2 CAA, 25-5): They currently lead the Colonial and have won 23 of their last 24 games -- including 17 in a row, but will have to win the conference tournament to get in according to many experts. VCU and George Mason will both be tough games for Drexel in their tournament and if Drexel does lose, the NCAA suits making decisions may cite Drexel's lack of a quality win against a top-50 RPI team.

It would be a shame if at least two teams from the Colonial teams weren't given bids as we've seen them wreck bracketology twice in the last few years with George Mason and VCU both making the Final Four. The quality of play in their conference may be the most underrated of any in the land.

As for bettors around they world, they already know how good Drexel is when their money is on the line. They have covered 14 of their last 17 games, and three in a row, despite a rapidly increased rating on them along the way. If the oddsmakers got to hand out invitations for the NCAA's, Drexel would be a lock to make it as an at-large bid.

Harvard (10-2 Ivy, 24-4): The Crimson looked to have the automatic bid for winning the Ivy League in the bag, but a loss to Penn on Saturday gave them both two losses with Harvard having two games left (at Columbia and Cornell) and Penn having three. Since there is no conference tournament, should the two teams end in a tie there would be a one-game playoff to decide who represents the Ivy in the NCAA's. Even though Harvard has been ranked and has big wins against Florida State and St Joseph's this year, if they lost the one-game playoff, getting an at-large bid may be a tall task.

Dayton (8-6 A-10, 18-10): Just when it looked like we stuck a fork in Dayton's chances of making the NCAA's after a four-game losing streak, they've gone on to win four of their last five, including a 33-point drubbing of UMass on Saturday. At the moment, three teams (Temple, Xavier, and Saint Louis) figure to get invitations. But with a good showing to close out the season and possibly one upset in the A-10 tournament, Dayton may have a shot at sneaking in. In addition to quality wins within the A-10 against all the top teams, they also have wins against major conference teams like Alabama, Mississippi, Minnesota, and Wake Forest.

Colorado State (7-5 MWC, 17-10): Top to bottom, there may not be a tougher conference in college basketball and it's nice to see the RPI reflect it with the Mountain West at No. 5 overall. With three teams looking like they'll get a bid for sure, there is a small chance that Colorado State could get some love from the committee as a fourth entry, but it might take a win against UNLV Wednesday night to do so and then maybe even a win against one of the MWC big-3 in the tournament.

The team making a hard charge to the top that could do some damage to the Rams chances is TCU, who has won four of their last five games (covered the spread in all five), including wins against Colorado State, UNLV, and a 19-point win against New Mexico Saturday. Their RPI doesn't stack up with CSU, but TCU's outside shooting gives them a shot against anyone and could be a great team to back early on in the MWC tournament. The Horned Frogs close out the regular season at Wyoming and at home against San Diego State.

The losses within the MWC by the top teams doesn't take much away from them compared to the boost that it gives the conference's overall value come selection day. When middle tiered conference teams are taking the best to the brink with wins and narrow losses, coupled with huge wins against other major conferences, it tells everyone who matters that the Mountain is quality basketball.

Hot and Cold Streaks Against-the-Spread:

Utah: The Utes are still a miserable team within the woeful Pac-12 despite beating Stanford on Saturday for their third conference win, but they've gotten the money over their last five games. They've been double-digit dogs in their last nine games, losing the first four, but have played better than their rating over the last five. We'll see how the streak fares this week as they're at the two Oregon schools this week and will again be large 'dogs.

Duquesne: The Dukes had a challenge issued to them three weeks ago where their future play could get them into the big dance and as they proceeded to fail, they got progressively worse as the inevitable became apparent to all on the team. They have lost four of their last five and haven't covered any of the games over that stretch. Up next to close out the season is a game at Charlotte and at home against Saint Louis.

Marquette: They've covered their last five and nine of their last 11 and have been just as good on the road as they've been at home. They've rolled through the Big East with only 3 losses and look to be a strong long shot candidate to win the NCAA's at 50-to-1.

West Virginia: They might be one of the most disappointing teams this season, struggling at home (4 straight losses) and losing seven of their last nine. They've only covered once in their last seven games and don't look to be too excited about making things any better going into Big East tournament play.

Syracuse: The Orange may only have one loss one the season, but their inflated power rating has surpassed their ability over their last six games. They've failed to cover the number in their last four and five of the last six.

Villanova: One of the better bi-weekly teams to bet against is the 'Cats. They've failed to cover their last eight games going 1-7 straight-up.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33139 Followers:38
02/29/2012 12:26 AM

Games to Watch

Wednesday, Feb. 29 - No. 8 Marquette Golden Eagles vs. Cincinnati Bearcats (ESPN2)

Marquette is 13-3 SU in Big East play and 24-5 SU overall. It is 15-10-1 ATS this season and the total has gone ‘over’ in 16 of the 26 games. The Golden Eagles are 10-4-1 ATS on the road and the total has gone ‘over’ in nine of the 15 games.

Cincinnati’s 46-45 loss to South Florida as a two-point road underdog on Sunday dropped it to 20-9 SU on the year, but raised its record ATS to 11-12. The Bearcats are 13-4 SU at home, but just 3-9 ATS. The total has stayed ‘under’ in eight of the 12 games. They were hammered by Marquette 95-78 as six-point road underdogs the first time they played this season.

Thursday, Mar. 1 - Georgia Bulldogs vs. No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats (ESPN)

Georgia’s stunning 76-62 victory over No.11 Florida this past Saturday as a 7 ½-point home underdog was just its third SU victory in its last 10 games. The Bulldogs are 13-15 SU on the year and 11-13 ATS. They are 2-8 SU (5-5 ATS) on the road and the total has stayed ‘under’ in three of their last four games overall.

Kentucky’s current winning streak reached 20 with an 83-74 victory over Vanderbilt this past Saturday as an 11 ½-point home favorite. The Wildcats are now 28-1 SU, but a costly 10-17-1 ATS. They are a perfect 18-0 SU (4-12-1 ATS) at home and already beat the Bulldogs 57-44 as 12-point road favorites on Jan. 24.

Friday, Mar. 2 - Providence Friars vs. No. 20 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (

This past Saturday, Providence snapped a five-game losing streak with a 73-71 win over DePaul as a 1 ½-point road underdog. The Friars are now 14-15 SU (11-12 ATS) overall and 13-3 SU in Big East play. They are 4-7 SU on the road but 7-4 ATS with the total going ‘over’ in three of their last five road games.

Notre Dame is third in the Big East standings at 12-4 SU and is 20-9 SU (11-10-2 ATS). Its nine-game winning streak came to an end this past Saturday with a 61-58 loss to St. John’s as a six-point road favorite. The Irish are 15-1 SU at home and 6-2-2 ATS. They total has stayed ‘under’ in seven of the 10 games.

Saturday, Mar. 3 - No. 6 North Carolina Tar Heels vs. No. 4 Duke Blue Devils (ESPN)

North Carolina is 12-2 SU in conference play and has a Wednesday night tilt against Maryland before meeting Duke with the ACC regular-season title most likely still on the line. The Tar Heels are 25-4 SU on the year and 15-13 ATS. They are 6-6 ATS on the road and the total has gone 7-5 in the 12 games.

Duke is also 12-2 SU in the ACC needs to get by Wake Forest on Tuesday night to ensure at least a share of the ACC title in light of an earlier 85-84 victory this season over North Carolina as a six-point road underdog. The Blue Devils are 25-4 SU (13-16 ATS) overall and while they are 13-2 SU at home they are just 5-10 ATS.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33139 Followers:38
02/29/2012 12:28 AM

Wednesday Tips

February 28, 2012

There's plenty of NBA to bet on from now until the summer with the second half of the season underway. Twelve games are showcased on the Wednesday card, including several key matchups inside the Western Conference. The Mavericks head to Memphis for a Southwest division battle, while the Nuggets and Blazers hook up at the Pepsi Center. We'll start with the top team in the West traveling to the City of Brotherly Love for a meeting with a struggling division leader.

Thunder at 76ers - 7:05 PM EST

Philadelphia returns home following Tuesday's contest at Detroit, as the Sixers look to get on track against the Thunder. Oklahoma City owns the best record in the Western Conference at 27-7, while starting a three-game East Coast swing that continues in Orlando (Thursday) and Atlanta (Saturday). The Thunder tries for their 13th road victory of the season in 19 tries, as Scott Brooks' team puts a five-game winning streak on the line.

The Sixers dropped five consecutive games prior to the All-Star break, while failing to cover each of their last six contests. After starting the season 10-2 SU/ATS at the Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia is just 2-5 ATS at home. The Sixers have split a pair of games in the home underdog role, including a victory over the Bulls as two-point 'dogs, 98-82 on February 1.

Oklahoma City has struggled to cover numbers against unrested foes, compiling a 3-6 ATS record in this role. The Thunder's offense is rolling on the road by cashing the 'over' in six of the past nine games on the highway, but each of the last two away games away from Oklahoma City have finished 'under' the total. Oklahoma City won an overtime thriller at Philadelphia last March, 110-105 as 1 ½-point 'dogs, while winning each of the previous five meetings in this series.

Mavericks at Grizzlies - 8:05 PM EST

Memphis has turned into one of the great roller-coaster rides this season, as the Grizzlies have endured three separate losing streaks of three games each, while also owning a seven-game hot streak. The Mavs invade FedEx Forum on Wednesday, marking the first of three meetings between the two Southwest Division rivals this season.

Dallas begins a mini two-game road trip through the division (New Orleans on Friday) as the Mavs are coming off Wednesday's home contest as double-digit favorites over the Nets. Rick Carlisle's club owns a 6-1 ATS record as a road underdog this season, while wrapping up the first half of the season at 6-3 ATS. The Mavs dropped three of four meetings with the Grizzlies last season, as Dallas' lone victory came in Memphis, 106-91 in November 2010.

Memphis is just 5-3 SU and 2-6 ATS the previous eight contests as a home favorite, including one-point wins over Denver and Golden State. The Grizzlies were fantastic last season against unrested teams, but Memphis has compiled a 3-8 ATS record in this situation, including three straight ATS losses at FedEx Forum.

Bulls at Spurs - 9:05 PM EST

Two of the top point guards square off at the AT&T Center as Derrick Rose leads Chicago against Tony Parker and San Antonio. The Spurs finished the first half as the hottest team in the league by going 12-1 SU and 10-2-1 ATS, including an 8-1 run on the "Rodeo Road Trip." The Bulls head to the Alamo with nine victories in their last 11 games, while winning the final two games with Rose in the lineup after the MVP missed five contests with back spasms.

The Spurs are playing their first home game since a victory over Oklahoma City on February 4, while San Antonio has lost just once at the AT&T Center (Sacramento on January 20) in 14 tries. Gregg Popovich's team owns a 10-4 ATS record on their home court, while going 9-3 ATS in the pointspread range of -3 ½ to +3 ½.

The Bulls are listed as underdog for just the third time all season, while cashing at Orlando (97-83 W) and Miami (97-93 L) in two previous 'dog opportunities. Chicago finished 6-3 SU/ATS on its most recent nine-game road trip, as the Bulls go for just their second win at San Antonio in its last six visits.

Blazers at Nuggets - 9:05 PM EST

These two Northwest Division rivals hook up for the third time this season as Denver looks to beat Portland for the first time. The Blazers dispatched the Nuggets twice at the Rose Garden, while averaging 114 points per game in the two blowout wins. Denver attempts to get on track as it plays without leading scorer Danilo Gallinari (ankle) and team leader Nene (calf).

The Nuggets will likely get guard Ty Lawson back in the lineup after the former University of North Carolina standout missed a pair of games with a sprained ankle. Denver dropped five of its final six games prior to the All-Star break, but the Nuggets were a profitable 5-3 ATS in the last eight contests. The Nuggets have allowed 100 points or more in nine of the previous 10 games, as the Suns were limited to 92 points on February 14 even though Steve Nash and Grant Hill didn't suit up.

The Blazers started the season on fire with a 7-2 record, but limped to a 6-8 record in the final 14 games of the first half, while not winning consecutive games once in this stretch. Portland blew out an undermanned San Antonio squad in the final game before the break, 137-97 as 7 ½-point favorites. The Blazers are just 2-6 in their last eight road contests, while failing to bust the 95-point mark in any of those games.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33139 Followers:38
02/29/2012 12:31 AM

March Paths

February 28, 2012

Eastern Conference March Paths
With the calendar about to turn to March here is a quick look at the upcoming schedules in the Eastern Conference. In the short 66-game season there are great discrepancies in the schedules and it could make a big difference in the standings. Here are three teams that could make a move upward in March and three teams that could stall in the coming weeks due to the schedule.

For February the teams that we marked as having favorable schedules combined to go 21-13-1 ATS heading into the final two days of the month while our unfavorable schedule teams went just 18-19-1 ATS. While this is not a true play-on, play-against recommendation, these are teams that are worth following in March due to the schedules ahead.

Favorable March Schedules

Charlotte Bobcats: It will certainly take some courage to back 4-28 Charlotte in any situation but the Bobcats could double their season win total in the month of March. The Bobcats have just 17 games in the month with a well spaced out schedule. There are five sets of back-to-back games but there is only one long road trip, a manageable four-game trip to the southern part of the country and there are no west coast games in the month of March. Charlotte will play just seven of the 17 games this month against winning teams. They will play New Jersey three times in March as well as games against other losing teams such as Utah, New Orleans, Toronto, and Milwaukee. Charlotte has endured a very tough season but given how bad the team has been there will be value backing the Bobcats in many situations moving forward. A favorable schedule may help Charlotte at least move closer to respectability in the month of March.

Orlando Magic: With the Dwight Howard trade rumors lingering as a distraction the Magic have been an overlooked team in the Eastern Conference. While Orlando would be the fifth seed in the playoffs right now they have more wins than all but four teams in the entire NBA. Having played more games in the first half than most teams Orlando has a nicely spaced schedule the rest of the way with just 16 games in the month of March. The Magic only has one 3-game road trip and one 2-game road trip in the month and only half of the 16 games in March will come against winning teams. The Magic will get tested with some marquee match-ups including games with Oklahoma City, Chicago, Miami, and San Antonio but they also get games with some of the worst teams in the league. Orlando only has three sets of back-to-back games in as many days in the month of March and they will only leave the Eastern Time zone for two games, going to Chicago and San Antonio. While there are some big tests coming up in March Orlando has proven capable of winning some of those games and this should be a well rested and focused team this month even if it may appear that the team is facing some distractions.

Philadelphia 76ers: The 76ers were a bit of a surprise team early in the season with a great start. After losing five in a row to close the second half Philadelphia has fallen back to the pack a bit but they still maintain a healthy Atlantic Division lead and looking at the schedule in March this is a team that can get back on track and emerge as a contending team in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. The 76ers will play just seven of 16 March games on the road and 10 of those 16 games will come against losing teams. The 76ers have to play the Bulls twice as well as the Heat and Spurs once each but they also draw games with Charlotte and Washington. Philadelphia will not have a road trip longer than two games and only three times will the 76ers have to head to the Central Time zone, getting every other game in Eastern cities or at home. Philadelphia only has two instances of games on back-to-back nights so this should be a good month for Philadelphia to re-gain some of the ground that was lost right before the All Star break.

Unfavorable March Schedules

Atlanta Hawks: The Hawks are 20-14 and certainly in good shape to make the playoffs but this team may have a hard time gaining any ground for seeding in March. The schedule should wear on Atlanta as the Hawks cram 19 games into the 31-day March schedule. They will play on back-to-back nights eight times and at the end of the month will play a dreaded five games in six days stretch that turns into seven games in nine days to close the month. The caliber of teams going against the Hawks will be weaker in the second half of the month but that could mean some failures as favorites. Ten of the 19 March games will be road games for the Hawks including a tough east to west six-game trip early in the month that features games in Indiana, Miami, Denver, and Los Angeles in just over a week. The Hawks will only play seven of 19 games against teams with winning records so the overall schedule rating for March may not look that tough, but games against losing teams that can compete including New York, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Boston, and Detroit are counting heavily in that total. Look for a mediocre month for the Hawks that should leave them stalled in the bottom half of the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

Boston Celtics: Boston enters the second half of the season on a rough losing streak and battling injuries and trade rumors. They will not get any favors with the March schedule with eleven of 17 games on the road. The middle of the month will feature an eight-game West Coast to East Coast road trip with games against the Lakers, Clippers, Denver, Atlanta, and Philadelphia for a very tough stretch of games. Four of the first five games of the month will be at home but they will include difficult games with New York, Houston, and Portland. The Celtics do get to close the month with back-to-back games with Washington and Charlotte in late March but April will open with a bang, facing Miami, San Antonio, and Chicago in the first three games of the month. Boston would make the playoffs right now, even with a marginal 15-17 record but with a 4-9 road record on the season and a tough March travel slate the Celtics are at risk to fall out of that picture. Boston will also face five sets of back-to-back games on as many nights and the veteran heavy team is just 3-6 ATS playing on the second of consecutive days this season.

Miami Heat: Miami has been on a dominant run to the top of the Eastern Conference in recent weeks and Miami will be heavy favorites in just about every match-up. There could be a few snags along the way to one of the top seeds in the playoffs as the March schedule is daunting. There are just 16 games in the month of March for the Heat but 10 of those 16 games will be on the road and eleven games will be against opponents with winning records. Only three games will be against the bottom seven teams in the league and four of the six home games in the month will be against quality teams. Miami has three sets of three-game road trips that feature significant travel as well as quality foes with seven of those nine games being against winning teams. Miami has five sets of back-to-back games and seven games in the month against the other fellow seven teams that are above .600 in winning percentage this season. Don’t expect Miami to fall significantly in the standings but the ATS numbers could slip in March and the current run of dominance should take a small step back in the coming weeks.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33139 Followers:38
02/29/2012 12:34 AM

Buckeyes, Tigers And Lobos Lead Wednesday Schedule

It might be Championship Week according to the worldwide leader of sports, but it's still Loser Wednesday. Ohio State, Missouri and New Mexico each had conference championships sitting right there for the taking just a week or so ago, but all three came into this week with a bagful of missed opportunities.

Missouri lost the most in setbacks to Kansas State and Kansas. Saturday's defeat at Kansas was particularly hard as the Tigers blew a huge second-half lead to fall to the Jayhawks in overtime. Mizzou had risen to recognition as a No. 1 seed for March Madness, but coughed that up in the home defeat earlier last week to Kansas State.

While the Tigers were busy throwing away the most last week – that being a No. 1 seed – no team dirtied its knickers more than New Mexico. The Lobos were coming off huge wins over San Diego State and UNLV to open a 2-game lead in the Mountain West with four to go. New Mexico promptly went on the road and dropped two as favorites at Colorado State and TCU, throwing the MWC back into a three-way tie between the Lobos, Aztecs and Runnin' Rebels.

Ohio State's demise in the Big Ten has been a bit more drawn out, though the Buckeyes have also joined Missouri in forfeiting a regional No. 1. The Buckeyes' 63-60 loss to Wisconsin in Columbus last Saturday as 8½-point favorites was their third smack-down in a little more than two weeks. Thad Matta's men now need a Michigan State loss on Tuesday at Indiana, plus another one this Sunday when Ohio State visits East Lansing just to claim a share of the regular season crown.

Anyone backing all three last week went 1-6-1 against the spread according to the closing numbers, the only winning ticket on Missouri (+8½) in its 87-86 loss at Kansas.

Tigers Brace For Dangerous Cyclones

Kansas claimed the regular season Big 12 title, and the No. 1 seed for the tournament that goes with that, Monday night in a win at Oklahoma State. Missouri now has to be content with maintaining its hold on second place and the No. 2 seed, something the Tigers can wrap up Wednesday at home vs. Iowa State (8:00 p.m. ET). Mizzou holds the tiebreaker over Baylor having beaten the Bears twice already, and can drop the Cyclones from the picture with a victory.

Though the top 6 seeds in the conference get a bye in the first round of the Big 12 tourney, claiming second means an opening matchup between the 7-10 winner instead of facing tougher squads like the 3-6 seeds will have. Missouri has suffered just one setback at home, last week's defeat to K-State, and is 5-2-1 ATS in conference play at Mizzou Arena. Iowa State comes in a pedestrian 4-4 in Big 12 road games, but a profitable 6-1-1 ATS in those contests.

The teams met in Ames on Jan. 11 when Missouri rallied in the second half for a 76-69 win as 4-point road chalk. The game stayed 'under' the 151-point total and marked the Tigers' eighth consecutive victory in the series. Iowa State's last triumph in Columbia was in Jan. 2007.

Falcons Flying 'Under' Radar Heading To The Pit

Despite blowing an easy path to the MWC crown, there is good news for Steve Alford and the Lobos. New Mexico will be at home for the final two regular season games, and facing the dregs of the conference in Air Force on Wednesday (8:00 p.m. ET) followed by Boise State this Saturday. Both squads are just 3-9 in league play and a combined 2-10 in MWC road affairs. The Lobos are 12-2 at The Pit overall this season, and 4-1 in conference action (4-1 ATS).

Air Force, despite only winning two of its last 11, does come into the match with some strong 'under' trends. The total has stayed below the mark in five of the Falcons' last six as well as five of their six MWC away tilts.

New Mexico routed Air Force in Colorado Springs about four weeks ago, handing the Falcons their worst home defeat ever in an 81-42 laugher. The Lobos easily covered the 8½-point spread to pick up their 10th straight win vs. the Flyboys. The game just skipped above the 120½-point mark, the third 'over' in the last four meetings between the two. The last win for Air Force in the series was also its last win in Albuquerque, a 60-51 decision in Feb. 2007 as 4-point chalk.

Embattled Buckeyes Trek To Face Wildcats

Count me among those who don't understand all of the "what's wrong with Ohio State" discussions. Many of those asking that are the same folks who suggested this was going to be a long season for Tom Izzo and Michigan State after the Spartans opened the campaign with losses to North Carolina and Duke.

Sure, this isn't the best time of the season to lose three of five, but it's not like the Buckeyes were facing cupcakes in Michigan State, Michigan and Wisconsin. Those squads rank first, fourth and second respectively in fewest points allowed during Big Ten play, with OSU sitting third in the category. Thad Matta's bunch will be taking on a Northwestern team Wednesday (8:30 p.m. ET) that is ninth in the conference allowing nearly 69 points per game.

It's been a little more than two months since the Buckeyes and Wildcats got their Big Ten schedules going in Columbus on Dec. 28. Ohio State rolled to an 87-54 victory to more than cover the 16½-point spread. The triumph was the fifth straight for the Buckeyes in the series, and 16th in the last 17 meetings that includes seven of their last eight trips to Evanston.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33139 Followers:38
02/29/2012 12:36 AM

Hard-Hit Denver Nuggets Host Trail Blazers

The Denver Nuggets look to get healthier and overcome a recent swoon when they host the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night.

Tip-off will come at 9:00 p.m. (ET) from Pepsi Center. This is one of 12 Hump Day contests, but the only one not involving a team playing on Tuesday (all results pending).

Denver (18-17 SU, 20-15 ATS) was one of the NBA’s surprise stories at 14-5 straight up and also tearing up the NBA betting window (14-5 against the spread). However, those records are just 4-12 SU and 6-10 ATS since, with injuries playing a big part.

Small forward Danilo Gallinari (ankle) missed the last 10 games before the break and center Nene Hilario (heel) seven. Fellow starter Ty Lawson (ankle) missed the final two, but he’s at least questionable for Wednesday, with Hilario doubtful and Gallinari out.

Portland (18-16 SU, 18-15-1 ATS) currently has the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, a half-game ahead of Denver. The Trail Blazers have one of the biggest home (13-5 SU, 12-5-1 ATS) and away (5-11 SU, 6-10 ATS) discrepancies. They’re at least healthy with all rotation players expected to be ready.

The home team is 12-2 ATS in the last 14 meetings between these Northwest Division rivals. Home Portland won (111-102 and 117-97) and covered the two games this year.

Golden State Warriors at Atlanta Hawks
7:30 p.m. (ET) on Regional Broadcasts

The Warriors (13-17 SU, 15-15 ATS) will travel to Atlanta after playing in Indiana on Tuesday. Guard Stephen Curry (foot) was doubtful for that contest and they’re 4-5 SU and 5-4 ATS without him. The ‘over’ is surprisingly 7-2 without Curry even though he’s a potent scorer (16.5 PPG). The road record overall is 4-8 SU, but a respectable 7-5 ATS.

Atlanta (20-14 SU, 16-17-1 ATS) started the year 16-6 before unraveling with a 4-8 February. Scoring was the big issue at 85.6 PPG, second worst in the NBA after Charlotte (82.9 PPG). The ‘under’ is 11-3 in the Hawks’ last 14 overall and while getting Joe Johnson (17.6 PPG) back will help, offensive struggles should continue with Al Horford (12.4 PPG) still out until April.

This is the first meeting between the teams this season. The underdog is 4-1 ATS in the last five.

Cleveland Cavaliers at New York Knicks
7:30 p.m. (ET) on Regional Broadcasts

The Cavaliers (13-18 SU, 16-15 ATS) hosted Boston on Tuesday and Anthony Parker (back) was expected in the lineup after missing 12 games. Parker only averages 6.0 PPG, but his return allows Daniel Gibson to provide scoring off the bench. Cleveland last played on the road way back on February 7, going 5-9 SU and 8-6 ATS away this season.

The Knicks (17-18 SU, 16-19 ATS) will continue to be a hot story even with Linsanity calming down some. They’re 1-2 SU and ATS since Carmelo Anthony (groin) joined Jeremy Lin in the starting lineup. However, the most recent home game was a 99-82 blowout win over Atlanta as 7-point favorites. Expect an even bigger spread on Wednesday.

Cleveland beat New York at home on January 25, 91-81 as 4-point underdogs. That was before Lin started getting playing time and the first ‘under’ in the last seven meetings between the teams.

Chicago Bulls at San Antonio Spurs
9:00 p.m. (ET) on ESPN

This is Wednesday’s only nationally televised game and a potential NBA Finals preview. The teams last met a year ago and the Bulls have historically struggled in San Antonio, 1-4 SU and ATS in the last five. The ‘under’ is 5-0 in those games.

Chicago (27-8 SU, 21-14 ATS) hosted New Orleans on Tuesday in a trap-game leading into this one. The Bulls haven’t played a road game since February 12 in Boston, a 95-91 loss without injured point guard Derrick Rose. This has been a great road team overall this season at 14-6 SU and 13-7 ATS.

The Spurs (24-10 SU, 20-13-1 ATS) finished the break on an incredible 12-1 SU (10-2-1 ATS) run. The last six went ‘over’ the total with the offense heating up (105.3 PPG). This is arguably the NBA’s deepest team and will have to continue to be so with Manu Ginobili (oblique) and Tiago Splitter (calf) still out. Rookie Kawhi Leonard (knee) is questionable.

Minnesota Timberwolves at Los Angeles Lakers
10:30 p.m. (ET) on Regional Broadcasts

The Lakers took the first meeting, 101-96 as surprising 2-point road underdogs in late January. Minnesota has lost the last four visits to Los Angeles, but covered them as 14-16½-point ‘dogs.

Minnesota (17-17 SU, 19-15 ATS) has three road games in three nights, at the Clippers on Tuesday and concluding with Phoenix on Thursday. The Timberwolves at least have youth on their side with only one rotation player (31-year-old Luke Ridnour) over age 27. That’s been a factor in their 7-4 ATS mark on zero days rest.

The Lakers (20-14 SU, 16-18 ATS) should have the services of superstar Kobe Bryant despite breaking his nose in the All-Star Game. Center Andrew Bynum is also probable with his recurring knee issues. Los Angeles has been a great home team all year (14-2 SU) and has won and covered in its last five at Staples Center.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33139 Followers:38
02/29/2012 12:38 AM

Blackhawks Eye Toews' Return Vs Maple Leafs

The NHL trade deadline came and went on Monday without any major deals going down, but that does not mean teams did not improve their chances of making the playoffs and competing for the Stanley Cup.

The Buffalo Sabres hope to be one of them after making some bold moves prior to the deadline to make a run at the postseason after underachieving for most of the year. Buffalo is one of eight teams in action on Wednesday, continuing a five-game road trip in Anaheim against the Ducks at 10:00 p.m. (ET).

The Sabres (27-27-8) are six points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, and they attempted to upgrade their roster with the additions of center Cody Hodgson and defenseman Alexander Sulzer from the Vancouver Canucks (40-16-7) in exchange for forward Zack Kassian and defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani. Buffalo will look to Hodgson to provide the team with a spark on the second line as the former No. 10 overall pick of the 2008 draft and a current Calder Trophy candidate, which goes to the rookie of the year.

Hodgson performed well in limited playing time with Vancouver, tallying 16 goals and 17 assists behind Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler. The Sabres made room for Hodgson by sending Paul Gaustad (17 points) and a 2013 fourth-round draft pick to the Nashville Predators (37-19-7) for a first-round pick in this year’s draft. Gaustad’s contract is up after this season, and the team was not expected to re-sign him.

Anaheim stood pat and did not feel the need to make any moves due to a league-best record of 17-5-4 since January 1. The Ducks have ridden the hot goaltending of Jonas Hiller, who is 15-5-4 with a 1.92 Goals Against Average during that stretch. However, Hiller surrendered all four goals in a 4-1 road loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Monday.

The Sabres have won the last two meetings after Anaheim won the previous four.

The other three games on Wednesday’s light schedule of hockey action include the Pittsburgh Penguins (36-21-5) visiting the Dallas Stars (33-26-4) at 7:30 p.m., the Chicago Blackhawks (33-24-7) hosting the Toronto Maple Leafs (29-26-7) at 8:00 p.m. and the St. Louis Blues (39-17-7) taking on the Edmonton Oilers (25-31-6) at 10:00 p.m. None of those teams made big trades, with the Blackhawks and the Oilers each making small deals for defensemen in Johnny Oduya and Nick Schultz, respectively.

Chicago returns home to the United Center following an unsuccessful trip to California that saw the team fall to the Ducks and Los Angeles Kings (28-23-12) by a combined score of 7-1 as part of a three-game losing streak. The Maple Leafs have been even worse, dropping four in row heading into Tuesday’s home game against the Southeast Division-leading Florida Panthers (29-20-12).

The Blackhawks have won the last six meetings, with the total going ‘over’ in three of the past four. They could get captain Jonathan Toews back from an upper-body injury after going 1-4 in five games without him.

Two hot teams will collide in Dallas, as the Stars are riding a four-game winning streak and the Penguins have won three in a row. Pittsburgh has won five of the last six meetings with the lone loss coming on the road in 2010.

The Blues have also won five of six from the Oilers and will be going for four straight wins overall. Edmonton has won three of its past four following a 5-3 road victory against the Winnipeg Jets (30-27-8) on Monday.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33139 Followers:38
02/29/2012 12:42 AM

Who’s hot

NBA: Orlando has covered in 10 of its last 14 road games and is 6-2 ATS in its last eight vs. Washington.

NBA: New York is 8-2 against the spread in its last 10 home games.

NHL: Pittsburgh has won six of its last seven games against Dallas.

NHL: St. Louis is 9-3 in its last 12 overall.

NCAAB: Temple has covered in nine of its last 12 and in six of its last seven home games.

NCAAB: Louisville has covered in seven straight games against South Florida.

Who’s not

NBA: Dallas is 3-7 against the spread in its last 10 meetings with Memphis.

NBA: The over is 2-7-1 in the last 10 matchups between the Lakers and Timberwolves.

NHL: Toronto has lost four straight and six consecutive games against Chicago.

NHL: Buffalo is 3-14 in its last 17 road games.

NCAAB: San Diego State is 2-6 against the spread in its last eight.

NCAAB: UNLV is 0-7 against the spread in its last seven road games.

Key stat

56.7 – The Marquette Golden Eagles shot 56.7 percent from the floor in their 95-78 blowout of Cincinnati on Feb. 11. It was the club’s best shooting performance in its last 47 games in league play. The two teams meet again Wednesday.

Injury that shouldn’t be overlooked

Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers – Bryant suffered a broken nose during last weekend’s All-Star game when Dwyane Wade hit him with a hard foul, and had an appointment with an ear, nose, and throat specialist Tuesday. There were some reports later Tuesday evening that he had suffered a concussion and was listed as day-to-day. The Lakers are set as 7.5-point favorites when they host Minnesota Wednesday.

Game of the day

Chicago Bulls at San Antonio Spurs (-2, 190.5)

Notable quotable

"Things have definitely been down the wrong path lately and we let it get too deep. It shouldn't have (gone) this far. A five-game losing streak is unheard of at any level in basketball, especially when you have all this talent… "I see how they come up here and say how bad they want to win and how bad they want to go to the Final Four, but everybody doesn't work as hard as they say, with as bad as they want to win" – Mississippi State Bulldogs junior forward Arnett Moultrie called out his teammates ahead of Wednesday’s game against South Carolina. The team has been rumored to be struggling with in-fighting and chemistry issues both on and off the court during its recent skid and is in danger of an NIT appearance after ranking as high as No. 15 last month.

Notes and tips

It’s still uncertain whether Auburn guards Varez Ward and/or Chris Denson will play Wednesday against Alabama. Both were suspended before Saturday’s game against Arkansas for violating team rules. Ward puts up 9.0 points and 3.8 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game, while Denson averages 8.5 points per game. The Tigers are set as 13.5-point underdogs.

Dallas Mavericks forward Lamar Odom is expected to miss two more games as he tends to a family matter, coach Rick Carlisle told ESPN Dallas on Tuesday. Odom will miss Tuesday's contest versus the New Jersey Nets and Wednesday's tilt at the Memphis Grizzlies. "Lamar is going to not be with us these two games and then we'll update everybody Thursday as to where we're at," Carlisle said. "But he's got a tough situation he's going through. We're very supportive as a franchise and we'll let you know Thursday where we are." The NBA's reigning Sixth Man of the Year, Odom is struggling in his first season with the Mavericks. He is averaging 7.7 points and 4.5 rebounds in 32 games.

Between a concussion, some poor stats and a struggling team, Buffalo Sabres netminder Ryan Miller hasn’t been very happy this season. Things only got worse when the club sent Miller’s good friend, Paul Gaustad, to the Nashville Predators before Monday’s trade deadline. "Personally, he’s a close friend, and also I think he’s a big part of the team,” Miller told “No matter the way you view hockey, you have to understand how important players like Paul can be and how long it takes to develop a guy that plays that way at such a high level... Like I’ve said, we don’t make those decisions. That’s more proof because if I had any more influence Paul would still be here." The Sabres visit Anaheim as +135 underdogs Wednesday.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33139 Followers:38
02/29/2012 12:46 AM

Mid-Major Report: Capping the small-conference tournaments

Two mid-major teams reached the Final Four last March and, this season, the caliber of play is the best it’s been in years for small-conference basketball. Despite all this, at-large spots will be limited, placing the majority of small schools in must-win situations if they have any hope of reaching the Big Dance.

Here's a quick look at some key conference tournaments:

Colonial Athletic Association

March 2-5

No. 1 Seed: Drexel (25-5)

Three schools from the Colonial made the NCAA Tournament last year, with at-large VCU doing the impossible and reaching the Final Four. That won't be the case in 2012, with none of the 20-win teams (Drexel, VCU, George Mason, Georgia State) doing enough in non-conference play to justify an at-large spot. Drexel will head into the tournament on a 17-game winning streak.

Outside shot: Georgia State (20-10)

The Panthers went through a brutal stretch in January but they rebounded in February going 6-2, with those two losses coming in overtime. Georgia State has earned wins over Drexel and VCU.

Horizon League

Feb 28 – March 6

No. 1 Seed: Valparaiso (21-10)

Valparaiso and Cleveland State have had solid seasons, but it is NIT or bust if neither wins the Horizon League tournament. The Vikings did have an early-season win against Vanderbilt but their five-game losing streak in February hurt any chances they had of earning an at-large spot.

Outside shot: Green Bay (15-14)

Most people will be looking towards Butler and Detroit for an upset win, but Green Bay heads into tournament play with a five-game winning streak. The Phoenix have proven they can beat anyone with wins over Cleveland State, Valparaiso, and Butler.

Missouri Valley Conference

March 1 – March 4

No. 1 Seed: Wichita State (26-4)

The only way we see three teams from the MVC make the NCAA Tournament is if anyone outside of Wichita State or Creighton wins the conference crown. Both the Shockers and Bluejays are within the Top 25, making them near certainties to make the NCAA Tournament even if they come up short in the conference tournament.

Outside shot: Evansville (15-14)

The Purple Aces are the No. 3 seed and if they can get by Missouri State, this will set up a semifinal encounter with Creighton. Evansville seems to match up well with the Bluejays, having beaten them 65-57 at home and nearly coming up with the road upset in a 93-92 OT loss in the rematch.

West Coast Conference

Feb 29 to March 5

No. 1 Seed: St. Mary's

Last year, the only WCC representative was Gonzaga, despite a solid season from St. Mary's. This year, Gonzaga, St. Mary's and BYU are all worthy of earning at-large spots. It is really tough to see anyone outside of these three winning the WCC Tournament.

Outside shot: San Francisco (18-12)

San Francisco could be the most battle-tested team heading into the WCC tourney, having closed the regular season playing the conference’s big three. The Dons lost to BYU by one point, earned a victory against Gonzaga, and held the lead at the half with St Mary's in an eventual 67-60 loss.

Best of the Rest

Big West

Montana is the No. 3 seed but is arguably the favorite in this tournament, riding an 11-game win streak. All eyes, though, will be on No. 1 seed Weber State, which features NBA prospect Damian Lillard.

Metro Atlantic Athletic

Iona should be able to coast through this tournament and also have a legitimate shot at a first or second-round upset during the Big Dance. The Gaels are 24-6 and have the top-ranked offense in the country, averaging 83.4 points per game.

Ohio Valley Conference

Murray State's win over St. Mary's during the BracketBusters should be enough to earn the Racers an at-large spot and they avenged their only loss with a blowout win over Tennessee State to end the season. It will be interesting to see how high Murray State’s spreads climb during this tournament. Expect the Racers to be overvalued during every game.

Summit League

Of all the conference tournaments in the NCAA (not just mid-majors), this could be the most exciting with all teams playing an up-tempo style. Oral Roberts and South Dakota State are the favorites, but look for Oakland and even Indiana-Purdue to pull off an upset. Oakland features the NCAA's leading scorer Reggie Hamilton, who is averaging 25.5 points per game, while Indiana-Purdue has Alex Young, who is arguably the top mid-major NBA prospect.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33139 Followers:38
02/29/2012 12:53 AM

Exposing the Top 25: Where the NCAAB polls went wrong

Most overrated Top-25 team: UNLV Runnin' Rebels

Since January 14, the Runnin' Rebels are just 4-4 SU when you remove a 4-0 SU mark against Boise State and Air Force. The Rebels barely won on the road against those two teams, escaping in overtime against both.

UNLV is no road warrior. It’s 5-6 SU in true road action this season and three of the five wins came in OT against Air Force, Boise State, and UC-Santa Barbara. It’s just a handful of plays away from a 2-9 road record and a 21-9 overall record, which wouldn’t be enough to rank the Runnin’ Rebels in the Top 25.

David Rice's troops have played four tough games on the road and lost them all. Indeed, UNLV looked pretty bad in three of the losses, getting rocked by New Mexico, Wisconsin, and Wichita State by an average final score of 72-55. And remember, we are talking about a team that averages over 78 points overall.

The biggest problem with the Rebels may be coach Rice's inexperience. Rice said he wanted to return to a style that would remind people of the Runnin' Rebels of old. Unfortunately, this team plays with little patience on the offensive end, especially when they aren't in front of the home folks.

A more seasoned coach would probably be able to pull the reigns a bit when the team begins to lose its bearings. Rice was/is a quality hire but, right now, the fact he's feeling his way hurts this team away from the Thomas & Mack.

They have a chance to iron out some road issues with a game at Colorado State Wednesday, before wrapping up the regular season against Wyoming at home. UNLV has the athletes and talent to go deep into March Madness, but it lacks discipline and could get bounced from the dance early.

Most underrated Top 25 team: Louisville Cardinals

Back in December, Louisville landed in my “Most Overrated” slot on a couple of occasions. Of course, they were ranked third in the nation at the time and didn't exactly sport a deep bench. But I also stated that the Cardinals may be a "player" as the regular season nears its end.

Well, the Cards are there. They are on an 8-2 SU run since January 21 with their two losses coming by one point at home to second-ranked Syracuse and by four points on the road against a tough Cincinnati team. They're a grand total of just two made 3-pointers away from a 10-0 run.

Louisville is still going without much of a bench, but the team is well adjusted to its shortcomings and I wouldn’t be surprised if Rick Pitino finds a way to get this team deep into the Big Dance. After a home game on Wednesday, the Cardinals wrap up the regular season with a rematch at Syracuse Saturday.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs: