Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:05 AM
Dinero Tracker - Feb. 28
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Last night's ATS Records
NBA: 3-3 | NCAA BB: 13-9
Entering the final day in February, things are starting to get serious. Tuesday's action delivered a couple of the best college games we've seen all season with Miami and UNC trading 3-point bombs in a classic in Chapel Hill and St. Bonaventure moving closer to an NCAA Tournament bid by surviving Davidson in 3 OTs. Both sets of guarantees came in, but the freebie failed. Here is Tuesday's recap, complete with some of the highlights (and lowlights):
WEDNESDAY'S FREE SELECTION
The pick: Nevada/UNLV OVER 162.5
It's Senior Night at Thomas & Mack, where they're expecting a Red Out for Senior Night for Jovan Mooring and Milwaukee transfer Jordan Johnson. Mooring is questionable but likely to play, which means we're going to see a blistering pace here. The Wolf Pack can really do damage in transition, while the Rebels should feast inside aginst Nevada's lack of size. UNLV won in Reno 86-78 to open the month and just played a 91-90 game at the Pit that they narrowly won on a putback. Consider that these teams combined for 164 in their previous meeting despite shooting a combined 15-for-49 from 3-point range. Expect this number to be topped and ride the over.
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.
Result: Chicago was even at the break and actually led briefly in the third quarter before wilting. Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen are definitely struggling and largely contributed to the Bulls' demise as they fell 118-103. Dwight Howard piled on by hitting 4-for-5 from the stripe.
The pick: Nuggets/Clippers OVER 229
There's a rumor Paul Millsap is going to try to play tonight, but even if he does, it shouldn't have too large an impact here. The Nuggets are going to try and play through Nikola Jokic and get up and down the floor, while the Clippers should be able to hang with the pace since their guards aren’t particularly adept at playing defense as it is. Expect a shootout and ride the over, guaranteed.
Result: Millsap logged over 23 minutes off the bench, but couldn't prevent the Nuggets from falling 122-120 after a 41-point explosion from the Clippers in the fourth. The 73 combined points in the final quarter helped us clear this total rather comfortably, but I'd be lying if I said I expected Boban Marjanovic to help us get there by making eight of nine from the field. He came up huge, pun intended, against Jokic.
TUESDAY'S OTHER LOCK
The pick: Missouri +1.5/UNDER 144
Cuonzo Martin has seen his Tigers drop three straight, squandering a position of strength in a competitive SEC race and falling back to .500. With Michael Porter potentially returning to play a key role, putting together a strong finish could land them an NCAA Tournament berth if Mizzou can put together a strong finish. Look for desperation to play a valuable role in Nashville against a vulnerable Vandy squad that is the league's doormat this season. Ride Missouri +1.5, guaranteed. For the in-game parlay, ride the under.
Result: I noticed a lot of love given to Vandy and didn't get it. This line actually went to 2. Although the Commodores did some nice things early on the offensive end, Mizzou was able to clamp down and largely controlled its 74-66 win. Hit the under too.
BAD BEAT BULLETIN
The pick: Oklahoma State/Iowa State OVER 151.5
The Cyclones will get back Donovan Jackson after he attended his father’s funeral over the weekend, so they’ll be deeper than they have been after suffering through a lot of misfortune over the past few weeks. Considering their style of play, I just don’t see them having enough legs to hold off the Cowboys, who have beaten West Virginia in Morgantown and Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse. That means you know they won’t be by Hilton Magic in Ames, so expect a road win in a high-scoring affair. Back Oklahoma State on the money line and ride the over for the in-game parlay.
Result: The Cowboys won 80-71, coming up a point shy of where we needed this game to be in order to come through on an in-game parlay. Oklahoma State led 48-43 at the break, so this looked fantastic given the projected second-half pace. Jeffrey Carroll's 3-pointer with 1:13 left made it 80-69, but the final few possessions featured the following: One layup, one missed 3-pointer, 0-for-3 free-throw shooting and two turnovers and the final 20 seconds being frustratingly dribbled out. Yuck.
The pick: Arkansas/Auburn OVER 161
It's tough to envision this game not featuring over 160 points since both should break the 80-point mark. Both press all game, which means that we should see whoever is trailing down the stretch resort to the foul game to extend things since it's unlikely this will be a one-possession game in which there are many lulls. Ride the over.
Result: The Hogs hit seven of their 10 3-point attempts in the first half to raced out to a 52-42 lead. Auburn shot below 35 percent for the game, but hung around enough to maintain a brisk pace in the second half. A Jared Harper jumper made it 84-78 with 3:05 left, delivering the over.
The pick: Miami +10.5
It's important for the Hurricanes to show up in Chapel Hill and not get blown out, which Jim Larranaga should be able to accomplish. He's excellent at helping his team on the road, which is why the 'Canes have won in N.C. State, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame. North Carolina will make their runs, but this will likely wind up closer than expected. Take the points and ride Miami.
Result: Jaquan Newton's 3-point heave helped the Hurricanes avoid a second-half collapse after Joel Berry tied the game with his own deep shot with 4.1 seconds left. Miami avoided OT in a huge 91-88 that makes it an NCAA Tournament lock, and although I don't think they would've fallen by double-digits in an extra session, it was very nice to avoid the possibility.
The pick: Heat +1
These teams are squaring off for the third time this month and will see each other again on March 8, so they'll be really good friends by then. The 76ers won both meetings in Philly, part of a 2-8 run that has tripped the Heat up and has dropped them to eighth in the Eastern Conference. They'll need Hassan Whiteside and Bam Adebayo to make Joel Embiid work, but considering they also have bodies to throw at Ben Simmons, who has been fantastic against them thus far, the Heat have enough to hold serve at home. Ride Miami.
Result: Dwyane Wade turned back the clock with a vintage performance, scoring 15 of the Heat's last 17 points in a 102-101 comeback win. The last of his 27 points came on a contested jumper with 5.9 seconds remaining, but we still weren't out of the woods until J.J. Redick came up empty on a wide-open 3-pointer that would've beaten both the Heat and our wager had he not misfired.
SWING AND A MISS
The pick: High Point -13
Longwood College is one of the worst teams I've seen all season, so considering that High Point just saw them come through town and this is a one-and-done playoff game, the Panthers will come out taking no prisoners. Jahaad Proctor averaged 19.5 points in two wins against the Lancers this season and should help put this away. Ride High Point in a convincing win in the Big South First Round.
Result: Longwood hadn't won since Jan. 15 before dominating at High Point to advance, winning 68-55. The Lancers had lost a dozen straight.
PROOF OF CLAIRVOYANCE
The pick: St. Bonaventure ML -135, Bonnies/Davidson OVER 145
It's Senior Night for Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley, so this is going to be an incredibly difficult game for the Wildcats to pull out. Davidson handed the Bonnies their last loss way back on Jan. 19, but there has since been a 10-game run to pull Mark Schmidt's team firmly onto the NCAA Tournament bubble despite what's been a down year in the Atlantic. 10. Ride St. Bonaventure on the money line and the over for the in-game parlay.
Result: This game offers proof of precisely why I prefer money lines whenever possible. This game was fantastic, lasting three overtimes and featuring one big shot and momentum swing after another, so imagine what it would've been like if St. Bonaventure had won by just two points when it was laying 2.5 at most shops. Talk about an empty feeling after investing all that emotion watching teams trade blows for 55 minutes. The Bonnies covered when Davidson fouled with about one second left, winning 117-113 in an instant classic. Adams, Mobley and Courtney Stockard combined for 98 points. Peyton Aldridge and Kelan Grady teamed up to score 84 points for the Wildcats.
Follow Tony Mejia on Twitter at @TonyMejiaNBA or e-mail him at [email protected]