Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:05 AM
Dinero Tracker - March 6
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Last night's ATS Records
NBA: 1-3 | NCAA BB: 9-8
After a 6-1 Sunday where the lock was the lone miscue, we were able to only land our NBA guarantee in the pros yesterday. College would've yielded a decent profit if Saint Mary's hadn't disappointed against BYU in the WCC semis, but I still feel the Gaels deserve a spot as one the best at-large teams. Their resume isn't great, but they're a better team than most on the bubble. Here is Monday's recap, complete with some of the highlights (and lowlights):
TUESDAY'S FREE SELECTION
The pick: Trail Blazers/Knicks OVER 215
Riding the hot hand of Damian Lillard served Portland well in a comeback win over the Lakers, so look for more from the All-Star guard to pull out a win here. Although doing so by double-digits may be pushing it, Lillard is on quite the roll, averaging 32 points over his last five. After falling short in Sacramento, New York is likely to run more to try to take advantage of the Blazers having played on Monday night, so count on this game winding up higher-scoring than expected. Back the over.
MONDAY'S FREE SELECTION
The pick: Cavs/Pistons OVER 218.5
With Tristan Thompson sidelined with a sprained ankle, the Cavs will have to go small to try to outrun a Pistons team featuring Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond. Not having Jeff Green available limits what Tyronn Lue can do, but my expectation is that this winds up being a high-possession game. Look for the bigs to be engaged in running the floor due to their size advantages, turning this into a track meet. Ride the over.
Result: This was ugly. The teams got off to a decent start with Detroit holding a 28-26 edge after a quarter, but fizzled out the rest of the way. It takes two teams to get over. Cleveland won 112-90.
The pick: Trail Blazers ML -127
The Lakers have been fantastic of late, sweeping a four-game road trip to carry a five-game winning streak into tonight's showdown with a Blazers squad that has climbed to the top of the Northwest Division thanks to six straight victories. Only the Rockets (15) and Pelicans (8) have longer winning streaks than these two, but the fact the Lakers spent all of last week on the road should catch up with them here. The Blazers are one of eight teams in the entire league with a winning record on the road and should capitalize on Brandon Ingram's likely absence. Ride Portland on the money line to avoid laying the bucket on the road for Monday's guaranteed NBA winner.
Result: The Lakers overcame an off night from Lonzo Ball to take a 90-80 lead on Portland with 7:50 left. Terry Stotts called timeout, Lillard came out and got an easy bucket and ultimately would score 19 points from that juncture to help the Blazers to a 108-103 win. Portland got its seventh straight win only after Shabazz Napier stripped Isaiah Thomas as he looked for a game-tying 3-pointer after CJ McCollum had left the door open by missing two free-throws and then committing a deadball foul on an inbounds. This wasn't comfortable, but tickets were cashed all the same.
MONDAY'S OTHER LOCK
The pick: South Dakota State -6
The Dakotas take center stage in the Summit League semis in Sioux Fallas, where South Dakota will battle Denver in the night's other semifinal. I've got a pick on that game too, but absolutely love the Jackrabbits to roll here over a Bison squad that often takes itself out of its own rhythm by passing up shots on offense. The Jackrabbits should benefit from NDSU having to play a fast-paced game in the opener against IPFW and will win by double-digits. Lay the points and ride South Dakota State, guaranteed.
Result: This analysis couldn't have been more spot-on, so it was redeeming to see South Dakota State coast, leading 10-0 and surging to a lead of 30 points in a 78-57 win.
BAD BEAT BULLETIN
The pick: Akron/Western Michigan OVER 144.5
John Groce's first team at Akron has lost four of five, but didn't necessarily shrink on the road. They simply don't defend well. With Jimond Ivey flammable and Daniel Utomi and Malcom Duvivier also capable of letting it fly, I'd imagine the Zips will be aggressive and chase this result for 40 minutes. I don't give Akron much of a chance to stop Thomas Wilder, who helped WMU win 87-75 when the teams met in Kalamazoo on Jan. 5. Ride the over.
Result: This one worked out in my favor, since 'under' bettors had to be rejoicing at the sight of Akron trailing this game 18-0 more than eight minutes in. At one point, the Zips trailed 27-4 before they woke up, made this a game by the break and took control by shooting over 65 percent in the second half, claiming a 79-78 upset on a pair of Virshon Cotton free throws.
The pick: College of Charleston/William & Mary OVER 150.5
The Colonial semis nearly lost big draw College of Charleston after they struggled with 8th-seeded Drexel,requiring a comeback to advance. The Tribe just finished playing a 114-104 game against the Cougars that was extended by free throws down the stretch and ultimately went OT. We won't see 218 points, but we'll see more than 150. Ride the over in this CAA semifinal.
Result: The Cougars made it into Tuesday's CAA final with an 83-73 win, overcoming Tribe sophomore center Nathan Knight's 31-point explosion. Grant Riller, who has had a few big games for the Cougs down the stretch, set the tone with a great early start. William & Mary led the country in 3-point shooting percentage but finished just 10-for-26, which made eclipsing this total a nail-biter. Jarrell Brantley brought it home on a dunk with just 41 seconds left.
The pick: Saint Mary's -5.5, SMC/BYU UNDER 137
The Cougars have lost five straight games to the Gaels, and although this season's games have been a lot closer, Yoeli Childs dominant production in this series, BYU hasn't been able to prevent a pair of losses. I expect Randy Bennett's to control pace, slowing things down and then pulling away. Ride Saint Mary's and the under for the in-game parlay.
Result: Childs scored 33 points and Elijah Bryant added 25 to help the Cougars pull off an 85-72 upset of Saint Mary's, capitalizing on Jock Landale's foul trouble. The Gaels never controlled pace since you can't do that playing from behind, so now they're stuck on the bubble due to an at-large resume light on quality wins.
The pick: Central Michigan -8, CMU/Bowling Green OVER 148.5
The Chippewas proved to be a resilient group over the weekend, getting past Thomas Wilder and Western Michigan in a game they had to play off campus after it was postponed until the next day due to a shooting on school grounds. Keno Davis has done a great job helping the Chippewas overcome a rough March stretch where they lost five of six, posting wins over veteran teams Ball State and Western Michigan by 37 combined points. The Chips won at Bowling Green earlier this season and match up well with the Falcons, who have dropped five straight and will be playing their ninth road game in 10 dates since February began. Ride Central Michigan and lay the points. For the in-game parlay, ride the over.
Result: We were #blessed to see this game go to OT tied at 65 since the teams came up woefully short of the production expected in regulation and needed the extra five minutes to at least produce a split. The Chips scored the first seven points in OT to tease us into thinking we'd get both after such a frustrating first 39-plus minutes, but the Falcons fought back and lost only 81-77.
SWING AND A MISS
The pick: Northeastern/UNC-Wilmington OVER 149.5
The second CAA semifinal should definitely be high-scoring. The Seahawks have been at their best running, while Northeastern is very solid when they get into a rhythm since Shawn Occeus has stepped up to give the team a consistent second option behind Vasa Pusica. Since UNC-W will push and likely be playing from behind down the stretch, look for game extension via the foul game here here. Ride the over.
Result: UNCW never got in a rhythm and shot 29.9 percent from the field in a 79-52 loss. I guess they would've extended the game if they were ever within realistic striking distance, but we'll never truly know.
PROOF OF CLAIRVOYANCE
The pick: Iona ML -135, Iona/Fairfield OVER 150.5
The Gaels have beaten the Stags once and lost on the road in OT in the most recent matchup, so they've proven they're the better team here. Fairfield is also playing for a fourth time in five nights, which could hinder them down the stretch in a high-possession game. Ride Iona on the money line and back the over for the in-game parlay.
Result: Iona quickly became my choice to win this tournament once Canisius was eliminated, and its task got easier with Rider bounced early too. Credit the Gaels for taking full advantage in coasting to an 83-71 win, covering in each half of the MAAC final.
FURTHER PROOF OF CLAIRVOYANCE
The pick: Gonzaga/San Francisco OVER 140.5
The Dons are no match for the Zags athletically, so they must be aggressive and increase the tempo to take their shots, hoping Frankie Ferrari can get teammates easy looks and hit enough 3-pointers to steal this. Gonzaga should feast on second chances and should take advantage of the mismatches that Rui Hachimura's frame creates. Ride the over.
Result: The Bulldogs raced out immediately and took full advantage of their size and athleticism to put the game out of reach quickly. After racing out to a 48-27 lead, the Zags coasted home with an 88-60 win. The teams traded baskets in the final minute-plus to deliver our total winner.
Follow Tony Mejia on Twitter at @TonyMejiaNBA or e-mail him at [email protected]