Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:05 AM
Dinero Tracker - March 31
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Last night's ATS Records
NBA: 2-3 | NCAA BB: 1-2 | MLB: 4-3
It was an even-steven day in Dinero Land to kick off the weekend. Here's Friday's recap, complete with some of the highlights (and lowlights):
SATURDAY'S FREE SELECTION
The pick: Heat -7.5
Following a sloppy effort against the Bulls despite getting all their pieces back together, Miami should be sharper against the Nets. Tyler Johnson will return despite an ankle injury suffered earlier in the week, so expect a big night against visiting Brooklyn, which has won two of three meetings between the teams this season. Count on Miami getting the split and covering, so ride it here and lay the points.
FRIDAY'S FREE SELECTION
The pick: Dodgers/Giants UNDER 7.5 -115
Johnny Cueto is looking to bounce back, but isn't likely to get much run support since the new-look Giants aren't likely to do a whole lot better against the talented Alex Wood than they did against Clayton Kershaw. Of course, the Dodgers can't be trusted since apparently Justin Turner's injury and subsequent absence has sapped all of their abilities at the plate. Ride the under.
Result: The baseball freebie got on the board after coming up short on Day 1, doing so easily since this game was scoreless entering the ninth inning. Joe Panik played hero again with a solo homer in the 9th for the visiting Giants, while the Dodgers were incredibly wasteful and sloppy in finishing with just one hit and committing four errors.
The pick: Red Sox -146
After wasting Thursday night's game with a brutal eighth inning, the Red Sox got to stew all night and now will get after Blake Snell. Former Tampa standout David Price has a great history against the majority of hitters he'll see in tonight's lineup, so expect this series to be squared up here. Ride Boston, guaranteed.
Result: Price was dominant in working seven shutout inningts and his bullpen held off the Rays' comeback. Craig Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth, allowing the Red Sox to win on the strenght of a Xander Bogaerts' double and Rafael Devers' single to open the seventh. So far, we've knocked down both MLB locks, albeit in stressful one-run games.
LOCK THAT DIDN'T CLICK
The pick: Northern Colorado -9
The Flames have been fantastic in playing road warriors in the College Insider Tournament, but we're counting on playing in South Carolina and Colorado in a three-day span being their breaking point. UIC will have to deal with altitude in addition to the most talented theam they've seen all month. In Andre Spight and Jordan Davis, the Bears have backcourt talent capable of putting this out of reach. Ride Northern Colorado to win by double-digits, guaranteed.
Result: We looked real good here at one point, leading by 16 second-half points with both Spight and Davis cooking, but Illinois-Chicago mounted a remarkable comeback given all the miles they've accumulated this week. UIC's Tarkus Ferguson got to the free-throw line and knocked down 11-for-12, but it was still disappointing not to pick up this cover when you consider the Flames shot just 5-for-21 from 3-point range and 36 percent from the field. Northern Colorado let the visitors hang around by shooting just 3-for-24 from beyond the arc, which has to be its worst effort of the season. The Bears won 76-71 to claim the CollegeInsider Tournament, but our lock faltered as they failed to win by double-digits.
BAD BEAT BULLETIN
The pick: Tigers/Pirates UNDER 9.5
The weather is expected to hold up to get this in, so we'll have day baseball for a second straight afternoon, albeit unexpectedly. Ivan Nova and Jordan Zimmermann square off on what should be a cold day in Detroit, so the ball isn't likely to carry much. Ride the under here.
Result: It probably sounds strange to see a game that finished 13-10 in this category, but the Tigers squandered a pair of bases-loaded chances early in this game to put us in position to cash here as the Pirates entered the bottom of the 7th inning up 4-2. Michael Feliz gave up the lead by failing to record an out while being tagged for three runs. Both teams then ended up scoring four runs in the 9th to make this look much worse than it was. The Pirates won 13-10 thanks to Gregory Polanco's 3-run homer in the 13th inning.
The pick: Yankees/Blue Jays UNDER 8.5
Aaron Sanchez has been lights out this spring, while Masahiro Tanaka has typically been reliable in April and helped the Yankees win four of five over Toronto last season. Yesterday's game failed to surpass the posted total despite a lot of fireworks and I don't expect to see anywhere near as much excitement from the bats here. Ride the under.
Result: We were fortunate that both starters worked their way out of trouble on a number of occasions but prevailed when Aroldis Chapman slammed the door shut on a 4-2 win. He allowed the only run surrendered by either bullpen over 6.1 innings, so the relief pitching here definitely provided an assist.
The pick: Rockies +135
We'll call for an outright upset here since the Rockies were handled last night with ace Jon Gray on the mound and are now offering solid value due to the presence of Robbie Ray. Problem is, both Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado have fared well against the Snakes' lefty, so this is a good spot to take a shot. Back Colorado.
Result: Rockies starter Chase Anderson got rocked here, surrendering five runs in the first inning and failing to get out of the third, but we managed to get even at 7 following a 5-run 4th inning highlighted by a Blackmon 3-run homer off Ray. Unfortunately, the Snakes pulled back ahead and survived Colorado's comeback bid, winning 9-8.
The pick: Nationals -193
The Nats are without Daniel Murphy to open the season but are otherwise whole, putting Howie Kendrick in their All-Star second baseman's place and utilizing Adam Eaton in left and in the lead-off spot. With Max Scherzer on the mound, there's enough in place to take down a Reds squad that has turned to Homer Bailey to make this start. Ride Washington on the money line.
Result: The Nats were almost as wasteful as the Cubs wound up being later in the evening when they lost in Miami in 17 innings, but I'll stand by my philosophy that it's better to go ahead and eat heavy chalk if you're confident in a pick on the road as opposed to burdening yourself with having to cover 1.5 on the run line. Washington won this 2-0 behind Max Scherzer after picking up an insurance run in the top of the 9th, but we would've been fine had that extra run not been plated since Sean Doolittle slammed the door in the bottom of the 9th.
SWING AND A MISS
The pick: Clippers +7
The Clippers will likely grind well enough to keep a game they view as a must-win competitive. Given their current status on the outside looking in of the Western Conference playoff picture, it's no surprise they've asked Danilo Gallinari to return and gut it out through a hand injury. It's now or never. The Blazers may get Damian Lillard back, but that's yet to be determined and he can't be expected to be himself given all he's had on his mind the last 48 hours. Take the points and ride the L.A. Clippers here.
Result: Lillard played an ended up with 17 points, seven boards and 11 assists to key a 105-96 Blazers victory. He performed much better than expected, making the difference. He's got a real shot at Second Team All-NBA.
PROOF OF CLAIRVOYANCE
The pick: 76ers -8
The 76ers will have Amir Johnson available to help fill the void created by Joel Embiid's absence. Dennis Schroder and Malcolm Delaney are absent at the point, and Isaiah Taylor's aggressiveness isn't likely to get a lot done for the Hawks unless Mike Muscala gets going again. Ride Philadelphia and lay the points.
Result: Simmons ended up with his 11th triple-double of the season, while Ersan Ilyasova came up with 21 points and 16 boards off the bench to help Philly roll to an 86-59 lead through three quarters. Johnson started for Embiid and grabbed 11 boards, but we still had to sweat out an Atlanta comeback that saw them pull within 101-91 with 53.9 left. Fortunately, Atlanta's final two possessions resulted in a Dwayne Dedmon turnover and a Tyler Dorsey missed 3-pointer just before the buzzer or I'd have been really upset.
FURTHER PROOF OF CLAIRVOYANCE
The pick: North Texas -4.5
The Dons are in an opposing gym given for a second straight time as the CBI best-of-three series wraps up. I was on the Eagles in Game 1, so it's no surprise I'll ride them here. They've got more dynamic athletes and threats, not to mention a solid homecourt edge at the Super Pit. Lay the points and ride North Texas.
Result: The Mean Green won the College Basketball Invitational with an 88-77 win in Denton. Barring an unexpected transfer, Grant McCasland will have a loaded group back next season, making North Texas a team to keep your eye on.
Follow Tony Mejia on Twitter at @TonyMejiaNBA or e-mail him at [email protected]