Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:05 AM
Dinero Tracker - March 1
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Last night's ATS Records
NBA: 2-4 | NCAA BB: 11-11
It was a mediocre Wednesday, made tougher by the loss of two games by a half-point and that Butler/St.John's game in OT. Beating the Bulldogs without Shamorie Ponds deserves to lead here. Props to Chris Mullin. Both sets of guarantees came in, as did the freebie. Much obliged. Here is Wednesday's recap, complete with some of the highlights (and lowlights):
THURSDAY'S FREE SELECTION
The pick: Oregon -7.5
Ex-Ducks head coach Ernie Kent has gotten his Cougars to play their best basketall at home, but there is no question that his team is the less talented than most in the Pac-12 and are up against it with a team intent on making one final NCAA tournament push arriving in Pullman. After wins over Arizona and ASU wrapped up the slate in Eugene, Dana Altman's Quack Attack must take care of business against both Washington schools and fare well in the conference tournament in order to secure a spot in the field of 68. Look for them to handle the first part of their objective in lopsided fashion. Lay the points and ride Oregon.
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 against 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.
Result: Nevada ran all over the Rebels, taking the heart out of a Thomas & Mack Center that was rocking at the onset. The Wolf Pack took a 54-28 lead into the break to do the heavy lifting in getting us halfway there. The teams tied at 47 in the second half in a 101-75 game that cleared the posted total with about two minutes to go.
The pick: Rockets -8
The Rockets look for a 14th straight win as Chris Paul and James Harden return to L.A. for the first regular-season game since losing 113-102 on Jan. 15. They've lost only once since and didn't have the likely MVP in that game due to a leg injury, which means he'll be all about cooking today. The Clippers have no way of defending the Rockets without Avery Bradley available to at least make CP3 work, so expect them to get blown out since Clint Capela and Eric Gordon will both be back in the fold. Ride Houston -8, guaranteed.
Result: After Houston built up a 39-12 lead on the Clippers, it looked like we could go to bed early, but you can never actually go to bed early. The Clippers fought back and trimmed the deficit to eight points on a Milos Teodosic 3-pointer to open the fourth, but the Rockets broke off a 7-0 run and never led by fewer than 13 the rest of the way. The NBA lock has come in six straight times.
WEDNESDAY'S OTHER LOCK
The pick: New Mexico -4.5
Fading the Rams down the stretch as the Larry Eustachy era came to a close has proved rather profitable. They have covered only three of their last 11 games, winning once outright, and play too sloppy a brand of ball to even get behind them riding emotion past a Lobos team that generates their own energy on the road by pressing all game. Colorado State hasn't improved much throughout a debacle of a season, while Paul Weir has to be commended for picking up the pieces in Albuquerque, producing wins in seven of 10. Look for big games from Sam Longwood, Makuach Maluach and Anthony Mathis to deliver a win in Fort Collins. Lay the points and ride New Mexico, guaranteed.
Result: The Rams opened up a 30-point first-half lead and put together the largest scoring output a Colorado State team has allowed at home since 1980, winning 108-87.
BAD BEAT BULLETIN
The pick: Xavier -10.5
It's Senior Night at Cintas Center for a class that includes Trevon Bluiett, JP Macura and Kerem Kanter, certainly ranking among the most important in Musketeers history. They've had a lot of great players come through there, so that's quite a statement. With Quentin Goodin set to play after a scare with his leg last time out, the Friars are going to find a rude host. Back Xavier and lay the points.
Result: The Musketeers finally pulled away from the Friars in a poorly officiated game that resulted J.P. Macura getting his Senior Night standing ovation on the heels of fouling out. Up 83-70 in the final minute, a victory looked great, but an unnecessary foul led to an exchange where Providence outscored Xavier 4-1 in the closing stages.
The pick: Fairleigh Dickinson/St. Francis (Pa.) OVER 153.5
The best shooter you have never heard of is Saint Francis standout Andre Wolford, who is making an average of over three 3-pointers per game and shooting just under 50 percent. At home, expect him to generate offense against a Fairleigh Dickinson Squad that doesn't mind going up and down the floor and shoots it well enough to keep pace. The most recent meeting between these teams came last Thursday, where the Red Flash pulled away for a 90-82 win. Ride the over in this NEC Tournament quarterfinal.
Result: It ended up not being as high-scoring as expected, but the Knights still pulled away for an 84-75 upset win, coming through on the over.
The pick: Utah State -7.5
The Spartans got a strong effort from Ryan Welage in the first matchup against the Aggies and still lost 86-72, getting blown off the court early. Even on the road, USU is far more skilled with Sam Merrill, Koby McEwen and Dwyane Brown, Jr. all capable of doing damage and creating mismatches. Lay the points and ride Utah State to spoil Senior Night for Jalen James.
Result: The Spartans beat Utah State for the first time ina decade, avoiding a winless run in Mountain West play to win for the first time since defeating Santa Clara on Dec. 21. This was a parlay-killer and will therefore haunt me for years.
The pick: Warriors -8.5
It's the anniversary of Kevin Durant leaving the then-Verizon Center floor fearing that his first season with Golden State. He's back a year later as a Finals MVP and has had a huge month. Although the Wizards have been sharp in utilizing a collective approach without John Wall, this is their second back-to-back in a seven-day span, which could make keeping pace tough. Lay the points and ride Golden State.
Result: The Wizards hung around, so I won't call losing this a bad-beat, but the Warriors were up 10 points most of the fourth quarter, last going up 10 with 1:34 left. Golden State's 109-101 win came up just short.
SWING AND A MISS
The pick: Pacers -4.5
Cory Joseph has looked more comfortable in his role as a starter next to Victor Oladipo of late, while Myles Turner is finally close to rediscovering his pre-injury form in what has been a disappointing season. The Hawks come off a dreadful performance against the Lakers and should struggle with the Pacers depth here. Lay the points and ride Indiana.’
Result: Indiana had no pulse coming out of the break, surrendering the first 10 points and failing to score for nearly four full minutes. Oladipo shot 9-for-25, including 1-for-9 from 3-point range. Joseph went 0-for-5 and the Hawks pulled off a 107-102 upset.
PROOF OF CLAIRVOYANCE
The pick: Houston -6, Houston/SMU UNDER 134
The Mustangs have dropped three straight home games and are really finding it hard to compete since they're so shorthanded due to the loss of Shake Milton and Jarrey Foster. Not only is this a rivalry game for the Cougars, it's also a revenge game since they lost at home to this group three weeks ago. Look for a strong effort here and ride Houston and the under for the in-game parlay.
Result: Houston took control of this game early, and a low-scoring tone was set immediately since the score was tied 2-2 until the 13:14 mark of the opening half. SMU's only lead came at 2-0, so neither the side nor total here was ever in doubt as the Cougs rolled, 69-56.
Follow Tony Mejia on Twitter at @TonyMejiaNBA or e-mail him at [email protected]