Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:05 AM
Dinero Tracker - Feb. 27
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Last night's ATS Records
NBA: 2-3 | NCAA BB: 4-3
There were a lot of close calls in yesterday's basketball betting. Win some, lose some claimed my streak of nailing guarantees in both college and pro. On the bright side, conference tournaments have begun! Here is Monday's recap, complete with some of the highlights (and lowlights):
TUESDAY'S FREE SELECTION
The pick: Bulls +10.5
The Hornets have come out of the All-Star break with great purpose, running their streak of wins by 15 or more points to three games by taking care of the Wizards and Pistons. Buzz City should continue its push with a victory here, but the additional points the Bulls are getting coming in on the second night of a back-to-back may be too generous. Zach LaVine didn't play last night and will participate here, while the team's depth should give Fred Hoiberg fresh options to throw out there at Charlotte. Dwight Howard has been fantastic, but we can always count on him to leave a few points behind at the free-throw line. Either by hanging around for 48 minutes or slithering in through an open back door, I'm bullish on Chicago covering. Take the points.
MONDAY'S FREE SELECTION
The pick: Lakers ML -118
Although the danger existed that the young impressionable Laker lads might get swallowed up by Atlanta's evening delights, everyone should be in the mix to try and continue a road trip that hits Miami and San Antonio next. They'll have a few days in South Florida to monitor before the next move, but I like them to continue a surge that will produce their fourth winning streak of at least three games since 2018 began. They failed to win more than consecutive games over the season's first three months, but are clearly playing much better and won't regress with Lonzo Ball back. Atlanta just bought out Ersan Ilyasova, will be missing key backup Malcolm Delaney and have to deal with the reality that there are more Lakers fans in Philips Arena tonight than Hawks faithful. Ride L.A. on the money line to avoid laying the 1.5 on the road.
Result: The freebie is on a nice little run, so lunch is on you next time we meet. The Lakers got off to a strong start and never trailed after the 3:14 mark of the first quarter, rolling to a 123-104 win. The Lakers overcame 23 turnovers by hitting 15 3-pointers and shooting 52 percent. L.A. also outrebounded Atlanta 59-41. We'll see if the Lakers can avoid the South Beach flu next time out. They're suddenly pretty deep.
The pick: Raptors -10
The Pistons have seen Blake Griffin slump of late and they didn't play well at all in yesterday's visit to Charlotte. Although they're just north of Detroit across the border, the Pistons are again going to struggle in an opposing arena, especially against a team with multiple point guards who can take advantage of Reggie Jackson's continued absence. The Raptors had won their five February games at Air Canada Centre by an average of nearly 24 points prior to Friday's loss to Milwaukee and own the league's best home record. They should crush Detroit. Ride Toronto, guaranteed.
Result: The Raptors won every quarter and turned a six-point halftime lead into a commanding 22-point edge before the third quarter was halfway through, ultimately winning 123-94. The NBA guarantee is on a 7-for-8 run, coming in for a fourth straight day after this one.
LOCK THAT DIDN'T CLICK
The pick: Kansas -10.5
Mo Bamba is nursing an injured toe and is now dealing with controversy over extra benefits, so it remains to be seen whether he's played his last game at Texas. The future lottery pick is the key to Texas' success at both ends of the floor given the fact attrition has limited its quality depth, so his absence is a complete deal-breaker on taking the points. Considering it's also Senior Night in Lawrence and the team can celebrate another Big 12 title, conditions are ripe for a blowout. Lay the points and ride Kansas, guaranteed.
Result: My run of six straight college locks came to an end in painful fashion here. Although the number started at 9, the number reached 12 as news of Bamba's absence became official, so Kansas' 80-70 win just missed delivering on the cover. The Longhorns won the second half 38-35, showing heart in a game they were really never in after the first few minutes. Texas connected on a few huge open 3-pointers down the stretch and should be commended for not hanging its head despite being shorthanded. When Dylan Osetkowski fouled out, I thought this was in the bag. Coming up just short was a tough way to see the streak end.
BAD BEAT BULLETIN
The pick: Celtics/Grizzlies UNDER 203.5
The Celtics will have Aron Baynes back in the lineup and got quality contributions from Daniel Theis in his absence, so they'll have options against Marc Gasol, who will return to the lineup after a rest day. With Andrew Harrison set to pester Kyrie Irving, this has the makings of a sloppy game and will likely be non-competitive down the stretch. Typically, you need two teams to reach a total. Ride the under.
Result: I was channeling that Leo DiCaprio "Wolf of Wall Street" meme where he's losing his mind after this one failed to land safely. Despite Boston scoring 67 first-half points, we were still in position to come out a winner here due to how lopsided this was, but Memphis scored 57 second-half points as JaMychal Green couldn't miss a shot and Shane Larkin was having fun running the Celtics offense. With under four minutes left, the Celtics' lead was down to 98-85, which put us in great position to come in under the posted total with a few misses and some milking of the shot clock. Instead, nine of the next 11 possessions resulted in points. That put this game at 107-93 entering the final minute, so we still had a shot. Abdel Nader hit two free throws, Jarrell Martin hit a 3-pointer and Brice Johnson got a dunk that actually helped cover the 11.5-point spread in a 109-98 loss. Condolences to any Celtics-backers. My under beat was equally as painful.
The pick: Lipscomb/Stetson OVER 158.5
Lipscomb should advance in this A-Sun Tournament quarterfinal, but the No. 2 seed is being saddled with a 12-point spread, which could be problematic to cover since the Hatters do shoot the ball well. Casey Alexander will have his team pushing at all costs -- one of the reasons they average 81.7 poins -- so look for Stetson to be able to put up points as well since they're unlikely to be able to get this pace slowed down to their liking. Ride the over.
Result: I was extremely tempted by laying points with the Bison, but just thought the dozen was too rich. It kept me from an in-game parlay, because the teams came through on clearing the total. Lipscomb won 89-73.
The pick: North Florida +6.5
The Ospreys have a number of guards who can really push tempo and fill it up, and they won't be lacking for confidence considering they just won at home over NJIT 86-75 on Feb. 17. UNF lost to the Highlanders in Jersey 91-59 in their first visit this season, but that game seems to have influenced this spread too much. Look for an aggressive performance from the visitors and ride North Florida and the over in this Atlantic Sun quarterfinal.
Result: North Florida got off to a tremendous start, capitalizing on an awful early offensive effort to build a 39-19 halftime lead at NJIT. The Highlanders predictably rallied, but couldn't get even and fell 80-76 in a 5-over-4 upset. We just missed on this in-game parlay, coming up a 3-pointer short.
The pick: Georgetown/Marquette OVER 157.5
This feels like a game where the team that has the ball last will wind up pulling out the win. With Marquette getting guard Markus Howard back, they'll have enough shotmakers to win on the road, but will have to overcome Marcus Derrickson's ability to go inside-outside and a likely big night from Jesse Govan in the post. Ride the over.
Result: While there were some unfortunate moments on Monday, we were blessed with some good luck too. The Hoyas and Golden Eagles were on track to deliver this total all night until the final few minutes of regulation, where both teams hit a lull. Sam Hauser hit a 3-pointer with 2.9 seconds left to make it 78-76 and it looked like this bet was toast, but Hoyas guard Jonathan Mulmore somehow raced down the court inside three ticks for an uncontested layup that bought us an extra five minutes. Did they start the clock late? It was incredible. Marquette ended up with a 90-86 OT win, draining 18 3-pointers.
SWING AND A MISS
The pick: Kennesaw State +3.5
The Dolphins have been pounded today, going from a pick’em when this line was unveiled to where this line is right now, where you can get more than a possession approaching the start of this A-Sun Tournament. Although the Dolphins will be at home, they have lost key guard JD Notae, a capable defender and one of the team’s best shooters. Al Skinner coaches the Owls and got some improvement from his group down the stretch. It wouldn’t be surprising to see them win this outright. Ride Kennesaw State plus the points.
Result: The betting markets had this one right. Notae's absence was overcome effectively by JU, which held serve at home 87-68. I've been to Swisher Gym a number of times in my life, and every instance was far more entertaining that what I saw via stream last night. Still, it can never be said that I don't love the A-Sun!
PROOF OF CLAIRVOYANCE
The pick: Duke/Virginia Tech UNDER 155
Both teams are likely to ride their zone heavily, so the key to this game winding up lower-scoring than expected will be avoiding any shooters catching fire and ensuring the Hokies don't get going in transition. Avoiding overtime obviously is key too, but otherwise, the under is a solid total play.
Result: This was never in doubt, so all we had to do was avoid overtime as Duke melted down in the final minutes. Virginia Tech won 64-63 in a game where both teams committed to zone, resulting in this final score falling 28 points shy of the posted total.
Follow Tony Mejia on Twitter at @TonyMejiaNBA or e-mail him at [email protected]