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Mar 10, 2018

Dinero Tracker - Mar. 10

Editor's Note: Antony Dinero's NBA and college selections can be purchased daily on VegasInsider.com. Click to win!

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Last night's ATS Records
NBA: 5-5 | NCAA BB: 24-15

The locks split and the freebie came through again. One of my favorite college hoops days of the season went well, but could've ended better since UCSB got knocked out and the New Mexico/Utah State total came up just short, literally. Here is Wednesday's recap, complete with some of the highlights (and lowlights):

SATURDAY'S FREE SELECTION

The pick: Clippers -11
Aaron Gordon is unlikely to come out of concussion protocol and Evan Fournier has already been ruled out due to a concussion, so the Magic will follow up last night's brutal effort in Sacramento by getting blown out at Staples Center. The Clips have enough depth that playing on a second night of a back-to-back isn't likely to be a hindrance. Ride the Clippers and lay the points.

FRIDAY'S FREE SELECTION

The pick: Florida/Arkansas OVER
The Hogs overcame South Carolina's comeback bid in St. Louis to advance to the quarterfinals, where they'll look to challenge the rested Gators in Friday's quarterfinal nightcap. The teams met only once in the regular season, where Florida made itself comfortable in Fayetteville, immediately putting its feet up on the table with a 48-point first half. Arkansas shot just 6-for-15 from the free-throw line in that game, a season-long problem that they'll have to overcome here but likely won't be able to. Lay the points and ride Florida.

Result: The 'over' hit in this one thanks to game extension, so hopefully you only played that since my pick on the Gators didn't come through. Credit the Hogs for playing a fantastic game by displaying a consistency they don't typically bring to the table.




FRIDAY'S LOCK

The pick: Kansas -6
The Jayhawks persevered despite the absence of center Udona Azubuike, utilizing a collective approach to defeat an Oklahoma State squad that gave them a tougher game than they're likely to get from in-state rival K-State. The Wildcats had to work OT to get past TCU, removing any doubt that they'll hear their name called on Selection Sunday. Expect an injury to star forward Dean Wade and a sense of accomplishment to contribute to them being tripped up by their big brother in-state rival in Kansas City. Lay the points and ride Kansas as tonight's top college winner.

Result: Customers got in early and didn't have to sweat as much since the line moved to 8 and 8.5 as the news on Wade's absence became official, but everyone who rode the Jayhawks won since key K-State guard Barry Brown got hurt and the Wildcats run out gas. KU rolled, 83-67.

LOCK THAT DIDN'T CLICK

The pick: Cavs/Clippers OVER 229.5
It's going to be funny to see Clippers fans recruit LeBron during live action, which should be only part of the entertainment here since we're going to get a high-possession game. The Clips have been involved in a lot of them lately, bringing in seven of the last eight to the high-side with help from the Celtics, Warriors, Suns, Nuggets, Knicks, Nets and Pelicans. Only the Rockets slowed up in what was a strange game, but they've got an elite defense to go with their pace. Cleveland does not. Ride the over, guaranteed.

Result: The Clippers did their part in getting us close by racking up 61 first-half points and finishing with 116, but the Cavs didn't shoot well and fell 116-102. Even with a little Hack-a-Deandre getting us points with the clock stopped, we couldn't get close.

BAD BEAT BULLETIN

The pick: Bucks -9.5
The Knicks have looked dead on arrival of late, so we'll see what they bring to the table against Giannis Antetokoumpo and the Bucks. With Jabari Parker shaking off more and more of the rust and Courtney Lee out of the lineup, removing one of New York's top defenders from the equation, I expect this will wind up another double-digit loss for the disinterested-looking, road-weary Knicks. Lay the points and ride Milwaukee.

Result: Although New York hung around longer than expected, Jeff Hornacek caught a technical after a call he disagreed with and Khris Middleton delivered to make it 115-103 with 3:13 to go. Eric Bledsoe than proceeded to miss both free throws, Giannis Antetokounmpo missed one on the next trip and the Knicks lingered as a result. We were still in position to cover at 120-110 with 1:05 left, but Emmanuel Mudiay got an easy layup for the game's final points. To make matters worse, John Henson couldn't come up with an easy dunk opportunity that should've been the game's final basket, fumbling it away and saying, "my bad." Yeah, we know. Milwaukee won 120-112.


TOTAL RECALL

The pick: Texas Tech/West Virginia UNDER 130
This number is exactly the same as last night's for West Virginia-Baylor, a game that only got over to the high side because of unnecessary fouling by Bears head coach Scott Drew. This game should not only be low-scoring, but close enough that I believe whoever has the ball last, Jevon Carter or Keenan Evans, will wind up pulling out the win. Ride the under.


Result: The universe got us even after Thursday's debacle, getting us in just barely here as the Mountaineers held on 66-63. The teams traded a well-timed scoreless drought in the closing minutes and a missed free-throw put West Virginia in jeopardy of being tied by a Red Raiders' 3, so they should have fouled but didn't. Texas Tech's halfcourt heave fell awry..



UPSET CITY

The pick: Xavier -8
The Musketeers will look to accomplish what I expected Creighton to do in the Big East quarters. Between the defense of Quentin Goodin on Kyron Cartwright and the ability of Xavier to get the better of things down low, their toughness should overcome the pesky Friars. As was the case last night, expect to be comfortable with the ball in Trevon Bluiett's hands. Ride Xaiver and lay the points.

Result: The Musketeers squandered a 17-point second-half deficit to bow out of the Big East Tournament, wasting their first run as the event's top seed. Providence won in OT 75-72.

CARDIAC ATTACK

The pick: Arizona -6
DeAndre Ayton had a rough time against the Bruins the first time around, shooting 7-for-19 and getting ejected, so he'll eye a much better effort here. With Jaylen Hands not 100 percent, too much is on Justin Holiday's plate Beleaguered head coach Sean Miller would tie 'Zona legend Lute Olson with 16 Pac-12 Tourney victories by advancing to the championship game decisively. Lay the points and ride Arizona.

Result: Although Ayton had a fantastic game, the Bruins led most of the first half before the Wildcats surged ahead, so we were fortunate that Hands sent this to OT with less than 10 seconds left. Arizona outscored UCLA 11-0 in OT and there was much rejoicing around these parts.

SWING AND A MISS

The pick: Duke -4
I rode Duke in their last meeting, expecting the atmosphere in Durham to play a major factor. It's a different story with Brooklyn as the setting, but the fact that Marvin Bagley III has grown up in the last two weeks and Coach K has settled on a defense that can keep his young team engaged makes them the way to go. Ride Duke and lay the four-spot in the ACC semis.

Result: The Blue Devils didn't show up like they needed to, which will definitely give me pause as to how much to trust the nation's most talent-rich team in the NCAAs. Grayson Allen needs to leave his nonsense behind and hasn't.

PROOF OF CLAIRVOYANCE

The pick: St. Bonaventure/Richmond OVER 148.5
The Spiders are among the country's most unconventional teams, so it will be interesting to see what they break out to try and hang with a St. Bonaventure squad looking to solidify an NCAA bid. The first game was a ridiculously high-scoring, high-possession game where the Bonnies hung 97 points without a huge 3-point explosion. Odds are we'll see enough pace to see another high-scoring meeting here. Ride the over.

Result: Matt Mobley went nuts and knocked down nine 3-pointers, while Khwan Fore did his part to help the Spiders try and pull the upset. The Bonnies advanced 83-77.


FURTHER PROOF OF CLAIRVOYANCE

The pick: Villanova -11, 'Nova/Marquette OVER 161
The Blazers should take advantage of the Warriors being a little banged up and making sure they don't foil their season-long stint of being on cruise control to ensure no one gets injured before the real games begin. On the second night of a back-to-back, they're likely to have less resolve than a sizzling Damian Lillard and a Blazers team that's at full strength. Golden State will be without Steph Curry, Andre Iguodala and David West in addition to the already injured Patrick McCaw and Jordan Bell. Take the point and back Portland.

Result: The Blazers won 125-108 thanks to a brilliant effort from the bench and another great game from Lillard against his hometown team. We won on the Raptors snapping the Rockets' 17-game winning streak too.


Follow Tony Mejia on Twitter at @TonyMejiaNBA or e-mail him at [email protected]

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