Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 14:05 PM
Dinero Tracker - March 7
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Last night's ATS Records
NBA: 2-6 | NCAA BB: 9-8
It was an ugly night in the Association, salvaged only the guaranteed winner coming through in spectacular fashion. It was another mediocre night in college hoops, where the lock failed to get off the ground fast enough. Here is Tuesday's recap, complete with some of the highlights (and lowlights):
WEDNESDAY'S FREE SELECTION
The pick: South Carolina ML -135
The Rebels were able to win Tony Matlock's debut taking over on an interim basis for Andy Kennedy, but have dropped games against Tennessee, Kentucky and Vanderbilt, failing to cover each time. Look for a quick exit in the SEC Tournament against a less talented but grittier Gamecocks squad that has given opponents problems with their defensive intensity down the stretch. Ride South Carolina on the money line to advance in St. Louis, drawing Arkansas next.
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.
Result: The Knicks pulled another disappearing act in the second half, but unlike what they accomplished against the Kings, never woke up to make a run. Outscored 30-19 in the third, they meekly hung their heads in 24-16 fourth quarter. We don't normally see firings this late into a season, but Jeff Hornacek better be wary of his team completely getting away from him and hanging their heads. Portland ruled on the second night of a back-to-back, 111-87.
The pick: Pelicans/Clippers OVER 236
This is among the highest totals of the season for a reason since both teams have put together some extremely gaudy offensive nights of late while disregarding most defensive responsibilities. With Rajon Rondo and Milos Teodosic setting the table, expect the table to be set for a big offensive performance for each side. Ride the over, guaranteed.
Result: We were incredibly fortunate here, since OT appeared to be the only way we were going to reach our goal after stalling out in the final minutes. The teams were tied at 113 when Anthony Davis delivered a a smooth jumper, so when a Lou Williams led to a pair of Ian Clark free-throws with 15.4 left, it looked like our lock was toast. Williams then magically provided us life by stepping into a 3-pointer that went through the net with just under 12 ticks remaining, which helped us get there after a pair of Clark free-throws, two remarkable Williams misses from the stripe and Davis' heroic otherwise meaningless 2-for-2 effort with 1.4 left that gave New Orleans a 121-116 win. Chicken dinners for all.
LOCK THAT DIDN'T CLICK
The pick: Portland State/Sacramento State OVER 152.5
The Vikings and Hornets enter the Big Sky tournament coming off wins. Sacramento State upset Northern Colorado at home and scored 88 points, a season-best against D-I competition. They know what's coming against Portland State, which has pressed relentlessly through most of their games, which is one reason they rank third in the country in points per game (86.8). Ride the over in this Big Sky Tournament game, guaranteed.
Result: Portland State surged out early, which was bad for us since that made it easier to simply apply token pressure, settling in on the defensive end since the Hornets really struggled to get much going, closing the first half down 40-25. They rallied in the second half to cover and threatened to rally for a victory, but the Vikings hung on to win 71-67. Without OT, we had no shot in a lock that was a complete misfire.
BAD BEAT BULLETIN
The pick: Wright State/Cleveland State UNDER 128
Wright State is fine playing at a slower tempo, having pledged to be faster than they were a year ago but ultimately comfortable with a deliberate pace since it helps contend against a lack of depth that's been an issue for them. The Vikings want this game at a crawl, so count on the under coming through.
Result: Wright State won 74-57 in a game where garbage time just didn't work out. Kids made free-throws on unnecessary fouls, etc. Lady Luck was on her break.
The pick: Rockets/Thunder UNDER 220
Russell Westbrook has been in a brutal shooting slump, while Houston has been a terrific defensive team throughout the season, particularly on this 15-game winning streak they will look to extend in Oklahoma City. The Thunder have been excellent in big games and are will have a strong homecourt edge to ride, but the best bet given the Rockets' form is to ride the under here.
Result: This was definitely the one that got away. The teams combined for just 99 first-half points and Houston was comfortably ahead through three quarters, so this looked fantastic entering the final 12 minutes. OKC made the push we feared and wound up winning the quarter 38-35, cruising past our total in garbage time.
The pick: Nuggets -5.5
The Mavericks will again be without Wesley Matthews, which is a major detriment against a team that has creative wings Will Barton and Gary Harris playing well. With Paul Millsap back and Nikola Jokic comfortable against Saleh Mejri having just seen him, a homecourt edge isn't likely to help the Mavs keep this close. Lay the points and ride Denver.
Result: The Nuggets led at the break after a big second quarter, but were overwhelmed in the third as Dallas cruised to a 118-107 win. The Mavs hit 15 3-pointers.
The pick: College of Charleston ML -140
These teams should put on a great show, but the expectation here is that the fact Charleston has a homecourt edge playing just miles from campus will make a huge difference in a tight game down the stretch. Having the ball in Joe Chealey's hands down the stretch and Grant Riller shooting it are also pluses. Ride College of Charleston on the money line to emerge as CAA champs.
Result: The Cougars rallied from 17 points down, forcing OT in an eventual 83-76 win over Northeastern, which helped aid the comeback with some self-inflicted miscues. Chealey is going to be a problem for some higher seed in the Big Dance.
SWING AND A MISS
The pick: Wagner -9, Wagner/LIU-Brooklyn OVER 144
LIU attempts to pull an upset in the NEC Tournament by doing something no one has -- beat the Seahawks on campus at the Spiro Sports Center. Derek Kellogg has done a great job in his first season with Long Island, but Wagner will excel here, putting the game away with strong free-throw shooting. Ride Wagner and the over for the in-game parlay.
Result: The Blackbirds owned Spiro for a night, celebrating on their rival's floor after controlling the action in a 71-61 upset. Joel Hernandez and Raiquan Clark combined for 52 points and 15 rebounds.
PROOF OF CLAIRVOYANCE
The pick: Gonzaga -9
The Bulldogs controlled both meetings against BYU, beating them twice as part of the 13-game winning streak they carry into this WCC final. The Cougars will be desperate to try and play their way into the NCAAs, but the combination of Johnathan Williams, Zach Norvell, Killian Tillie and Rui Hachimura are too difficult to match up with. Lay the points and ride Gonzaga.
Result: Talk leading up to this one had "sharp" money all over BYU, but I don't buy into that "pros vs. Joes " thing. I understand the rationale, but find it dismissive and don't ride the fade the public narrative as anything other than another layer in how the sports gambling game is covered. "Sharps" lost a lot of money as the Zags humiliated BYU, 74-54.
FURTHER PROOF OF CLAIRVOYANCE
The pick: South Dakota State +1.5, South Dakota/SDSU OVER 146.5
It's going to be a mad house in Sioux Falls, where top-seeded South Dakota aims to make its first NCAA Tournament appearance, but must take down the Summit League's perennial power, who just happens to be an in-state rival that they split the season-series against. Great players step up in games like these, so the expectation here is that Jackrabbits forward Mike Daum ultimately takes the game over. Ride South Dakota State plus the points and the over for the in-game parlay.
Result: South Dakota State pulled off a 97-87 win in a game that wasn't really that close but was indeed that high-scoring, making me look good via a comfortable win. Daum finished with 25 points and 11 boards, being named Summit League Tournament MVP, but he had plenty of help in an impressive effort. The Dauminator and Co. have a shot at being Cinderella.
Follow Tony Mejia on Twitter at @TonyMejiaNBA or e-mail him at [email protected]