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Archive for February, 2008

NBA PICKS: Houston Rockets vs. Memphis Grizzlies: February 29th 2008

Houston Rockets -12.5
Fri February 29 ’08 8:35p

Since dumping Pau Gasol for pennies on the dollar, the Memphis Grizzlies have declined from ‘bad’ to ‘truly dismal’, the single worst team in the entire league. The Grizzlies woes have been on full display against quality teams in hostile environments. Since beating Indiana in Indianapolis on January 2nd, the Grizz have lost eleven consecutive road games. They’ve consistently lost by double digit margins against mediocre foes like Washington, Charlotte, Philadelphia and the LA Clippers. And when Memphis tries to step up in class against strong playoff caliber squads, their results have been even worse. New Orleans, Dallas, San Antonio, Golden State and Detroit have beaten the Grizzlies by an average of nearly 20 points per game.

Friday’s opponent, the Houston Rockets, have manhandled the Grizzlies with ease in both previous meetings this year, winning by 13 at home and 20 on the road. Houston is the hottest team in the NBA, winners of twelve straight, going 10-2 ATS in the process. The Rockets have enjoyed this tremendous run of success by pounding one weak foe after the next, beating Minnesota, Milwaukee, Indiana, Sacramento Atlanta, and Miami, covering big pointspreads repeatedly in the process. Yao’s season ending injury made headlines in Houston all week, but the reality is that their overall level of improved play has come due to the success of their role players –point guard Rafer Alston, Shane Battier, Luis Scola, Carl Landry, Luther Head and the recently acquired Bobby Jackson. Facing a demoralized foe with both limited talent and depth, we can expect the Rockets role players to have their way throughout as they cruise to victory. Take the Rockets.


NBA PICKS: New Orleans Hornets vs. Utah Jazz: February 29th 2008

New Orleans Hornets -4.0 (-110)
Fri February 29 ’08 8:05p
Another crucial Western Conference clash takes place this evening when the (37-21) Utah Jazz invades the “Crescent City” to take on the (38-18) New Orleans Hornets. I always find it funny when these two clubs square off because its New Orleans that should be considered the Jazz and Utah’s state animal is the honeybee. Anyway, the Jazz come into tonight’s game sitting 2.5 games in front of the Denver Nuggets for the top spot in the Northwest Division, while the Hornets find themselves 1-game in back of the San Antonio Spurs for the lead in the rugged Southwest. Utah has been a poor road team this year evidenced by their 12-18 SU mark, and they’ve also been a solid proposition to bet against considering their ATS mark as a visitor is the same as their overall road mark. New Orleans has won 19 of their 29 overall games at home this year, and they’re starting to get bigger crowds as the season’s progressed. However, they’re ATS mark at home is mediocre at 16-13, but that won’t stop me from laying the points in this crucial revenge match-up. Utah steamrolls just about everyone in the comfy confines of their own arena, but they transform into something awful when on the road.

The home team is 5-1-1 ATS the L/7 meetings and New Orleans is 5-1 ATS their L/6 vs. the Northwest Division. Utah is also a pathetic 5-13 ATS on the road vs. a team with a winning home mark. Lay the points with confidence as CP3 and West let the Jazz know what it’s like to be on the other end of a woodshed beating!!!!


NBA PICKS: Washington Wizards vs. Chicago Bulls: February 29th 2008

Washington Wizards +5.0 (-110)
Fri February 29 ’08 8:05p
The Washington Wizards have continued to play hard and be competitive despite being without Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler, while the Bulls have struggled at home this season.

Granted, the Wizards laid an egg at Houston vs. the Yao-less Rockets on Tuesday, but that came the night after they upset the red-hot New Orleans Hornets on the road, so we will grant Washington a Mulligan there. The Wizards are still 6-2 against the spread in their last eight games overall, and they are now an excellent 17-12, 58.6 percent ATS on the road for the season.

Now the Chicago Bulls were playing better soon after their coaching change, but they are now just 4-6 straight up in their last 10 games, and they are returning from a 1-2 road trip where their only win was at Indiana, which was the easiest on the three opponents. Chicago is still a very disappointing 12-14 SU at home this year, and they are a money-burning 10-16 ATS in those games.

Finally, this is a revenge spot for the Wizards, who lost outright at home to the Bulls as six-point favorites back in December.

NBA Free Pick: Wizards +5


Free Expert College Basketball Picks: February 28th 2008

Jacksonville State +4.0 (-110)
Thu February 28 ’08 8:15p
This game between the Jacksonville State Gamecocks and the Eastern Illinois Panthers may feature the two worst teams in Division IA, but that does not mean we cannot profit from this stinker of a contest.

First of all, the 5-22 Panthers are getting outscored by an average of -6.8 points per game overall, which is actually worse than the 6-21 Gamecocks’ average of -5.2 points. That fact alone means that Eastern Illinois is a terrible favorite vs. any opponent, and furthermore, they are just 3-8 straight up and a dismal 2-7-1 against the spread at home. This is the first time that the Panthers have been favored all season, but they have been in three Pick’em games and they lost all three times vs. Rice, Tennessee-Martin and Eastern Kentucky, with the smallest losing margin in those games being six points.

Now, Jacksonville State is 0-11 SU on the road, but they have managed to go 4-4 ATS in their lined road contests. In fact, they are 3-1 ATS in their last four games overall, and their last road contest was their best of the season, as they lost just 87-85 in overtime at Tennessee Tech as 13-point underdogs.

We feel that the Gamecocks get over the road hump tonight with the outright upset.

CBB Free Pick: Jacksonville State +4

USC +5.0 (-110)
Thu February 28 ’08 9:00p

Road teams have fared well in the Pac 10 this season and the USC Trojans fit nicely into that profile tonight at Arizona. The Trojans, who have covered eight of their past 11 games, are 16-7 ATS in their last 23 games as an underdog. Meanwhile, Arizona has only brought home the money once in its past six games against a team with a winning record. On the injury front, USC guard Daniel Hackett (back) practiced Wednesday and could see action against the Wildcats. Arizona will continue to be without the services of guard Nic Wise who is out due to injury. The underdog has covered the past five games in this series and I look for the Trojans to make it an even half-dozen tonight.


Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Boston Bruins: Free NHL Betting Picks

Pittsburgh Penguins @ Boston Bruins u5.5 (-115)
Thu Feb 28 ’08 7:05p
The Pittsburgh Penguins may have trouble getting some offensive continuity the next few games considering all the new players they traded for at the deadline, and the Boston Bruins would be tough to score on in Beantown in any event.

Boston is allowing just 2.20 goals per game at home for the season, with the Under going a lucrative 19-10 in this rink. It helps to have an All-Star goaltender like Tim Thomas in net, as he has a good 2.41 GAA with a .924 save percentage. Most importantly, he recovered from one of his worst games of the season, when he was benched during a 5-4 win at Florida, by shutting out the high-octane Ottawa Senators on Tuesday.

Now the Penguins will eventually be explosive due to the acquisition of Marian Hossa from the Atlanta Thrashers, as Hossa is just one year removed from a 100-point season and he will make a formidable duo with Sidney Crosby soon. However, this is Hossa’s first game with the Pens and Crosby is not ready for game action just yet. Thus, Pittsburgh may again rely on the red-hot goaltending of Ty Conkin, who has a sensational 2.19 GAA in 27 games and who incredibly stopped 50 shots vs. the Islanders Tuesday, basically stealing the 4-2 win himself.

We look for both goaltenders to stay hot here in a relatively low scoring contest.

NHL Free Pick: Penguins, Bruins Under 5.5 (-115)


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2008 Arena Football League Picks – AFL Football Picks


2008 Arena Football League Picks

THIS IS MUST READ: Gamblers, we serioulsy offer the 3 best Arena Football Experts on the planet. This is not a joke, not hype, not crap – we are deadly serious, between Alex Smart, Mike Rose and Teddy Covers, our AFL is free money. Nothing we will do all year will make more money than any of these 3 guys and their Arena Football picks. OUR GUYS WILL MOVE THE LINES: This is the truth and is especially apparant when Teddy Covers and Mike Rose play and we are talking 3 point swings. Teddy literally lives in Vegas and the linemakers there consider him better at sharpening the lines then they are. Mike Rose actually works for the AFL as a beat writers and is one of the most knowledgable AFL experts in the world. Both Teddy and Mike have been offered countless jobs doing the AFL line making for off-shore casinos. They have steadfast refused to enter the darkside and for the 4th straight year will be selling their AFL Picks

When plays will be released.

For Rose and Teddy Covers: Starting Thursday February 29th at EXACTLY 1pm EST every Thursday, the AFL plays will be released.

For Alex Smart: The plays will be released the day off – early morning EST and if there are afternoon games by the night before.
This will be a rock solid time every week for the entire season and the plays will never be put up earlier, so as to avoid the plays sitting online without you getting them and the line moving.


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2008 Odds to Win the National League: MLB Baseball Betting Odds

MLB BETTING ODDSAfter one of the most thrilling National League seasons in recent memory – and one that featured the rise of several unlikely franchises such as the Colorado Rockies and Philadelphia Phillies – the 2008 National League season promises to be even more exciting than last year’s roller coaster ride that enthralled fans from coast to coast.

This MLB preview will look at the 2008 National League Odds for each team while also giving the MLB betting community a brief glimpse into how each team should fare heading into what promises to be an outstanding – and highly-competitive baseball season all the way around.

With spring training games scheduled to start before we know it, haste makes waste so let’s get started.

2008 Odds to Win the National League

New York Mets Odds +200
The NY Mets went a very respectable 88-74 last season to finish in second place in the NL East but their 2006 season will always be remembered for their near historical collapse in which the Philadelphia Phillies passed them down the stretch to win the National League East – just before the San Diego Padres finished them off in a one-game playoff to knock them out of the postseason altogether. After obtaining overpowering lefty Johan Santana from the Minnesota Twins, the Mets may have established themselves as the team to beat in the National League in 2008.

Los Angeles Dodgers Odds +750
The LA Dodgers went 82-80 last season to finish in fourth place in the NL West but brought in fabled former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre to lead this proud franchise back to the promised land. Though it certainly won’t happen this season, I will go on record right now to say that it is only a matter of time before Torre gets the Dodgers back in the postseason – and possibly into the World Series.

Chicago Cubs Odds +450
The Cubs went 85-77 last season to win the NL Central – and could be even better in manager Lou Piniella’s second season in the Windy City. MLB bettors should know that the Cubs have quietly put together a solid pitching staff that has at least five legitimate starters and likely six should one falter.

Colorado Rockies Odds +900
The Rockies caught fire down the stretch to finish at 90-73 before going on to overpower the Arizona Diamondbacks and Philadelphia Phillies to reach the World Series for the first time in franchise history. Though the Rockies will have the majority of last season’s familiar faces back in 2008, Colorado could be hard-pressed to repeat its magical run from last season.

Philadelphia Phillies Odds +650
The Phillies beat out the Mets in the National League East last season with one of the most historical late-season runs in MLB history. Despite Philadelphia’s stellar season in 2007 – and the fact that the last two NL MVPs are on their roster, (Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins), Philadelphia will enter 2008 with the same problems that have plagued the franchise since it won its first and only World Series waaaaay back in 1980 – a lack of quality pitching.

Arizona Diamondbacks Odds +800
The Diamondbacks went 90-72 to win the NL West last season despite being just the fifth team in Major League history to reach the postseason despite being outscored by their opponents over the course of the regular season. Say what you want about the Diamondbacks, all I’m going to say is that the young and hungry D-Backs were one of the most successful wagering teams, (along with the Los Angeles Angels, Seattle Mariners and Boston Red Sox) for me last season in what was by far, the most successful MLB handicapping season of my career – and with the same everyday lineup back intact, the D-Backs could surprise again in 2008.

San Diego Padres Odds +1000
The Padres went 89-74 last season and lost a one-game playoff to the Rockies to miss out on the postseason altogether – just one game behind the Diamondbacks and Rockies in the NL West but have added several key veteran players, pitchers Randy Wolf and Mark Prior and centerfielder Jim Edmonds who they think can out them over the top in 2008.

Milwaukee Brewers Odds +1000
The Brewers recorded a decent 83-79 record last season as young first baseman Prince Fielder had a breakout season with 50 long-balls. Milwaukee’s terrific lineup however, will only go as far as the team’s mediocre pitching staff takes it.

Atlanta Braves Odds +800
The Braves went 84-78 last season and made several changes, including bring back former longtime starter Tom Glavine as well as watching former annual Gold Glove centerfielder Andruw Jones bolt for better-paying pastures. While the Braves could have the makings of a formidable rotation this season, there are still more question marks than answers in the ATL.

St. Louis Cardinals Odds +2000
The Cardinals went an uninspiring 78-84 last season and are clearly a team in transition at the moment despite manager Tony LaRussa’s vehement denials to the contrary. With veterans Jim Edmonds, Scott Rolen and David Eckstein all gone, the Cards will be hard-pressed to reach the 78 victories they picked up last season.

Houston Astros Odds +3000
The Astros went 73-89 last season but will be hard-pressed to reach that number of victories in 2008 with so many question marks up and down their roster that the team resembles the infamous ‘Riddler’ of Batman fame. The Astros are counting on far too many young players to know exactly what to expect no matter what the team says. J.R. Towles is supposed to take over for veteran Brad Ausmus at catcher while young Michael Bourn is penciled in to start in center field. A mediocre Ty Wigginton, Kaz Matsui and aging Miguel Tejada may not help much either.

Florida Marlins Odds +5000
The Marlins went 71-91 last season but will be going with an extremely young team in 2008 while depending on unproven players like Cameron Maybin, Josh Willingham, Dan Uggula, Dallas McPherson and Mike Jacobs. If the Marlins win 70 games this season, it could be a miracle.

Cincinnati Reds Odds +3000
The Reds went 72-90 last season but manager Dusty Baker could be in serious need of some Pepto Bismol by midseason with question marks in centerfielder, Ryan Freel, shortstop Alex Gonzalez and catcher David Ross, three players who have yet to hit .300 in their respective careers.

San Francisco Giants Odds +4000
The SF Giants went a pitiful 71-91 last season but could surprise this season with a veteran outfield featuring hard-nosed centerfielder Aaron Rowand and corners, Dave Roberts and Randy Winn, not to mention a veteran group of infielders such as Rich Aurilia, Omar Vizquel and Ray Durham. The Giants pitching could also surprise in 2008 with Barry Zito getting more acclimated to the National League and young guns, Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum and Noah Lowry all looking like they are ready to take another step toward stardom.

Pittsburgh Pirates Odds +5000
The Pirates went an atrocious 68-94 last season and are sorely in need of the likes of legends like Willie ‘Pops’ Stargell and Dave Parker. The Pirates have plenty of questions with youngster Nyjer Morgan slated to start in centerfield along with Jose Bautista at third base and Ronny Paulino at catcher, not to mention the multitude of pitching problems that could plague this team once again in 2008.

Washington Nationals Odds +5000
The Nationals went 73-89 last season and while I like their everyday lineup very much this season, any team that is rolling out a pitcher that went 4-5 last season as their number one starter, has serious pitching problems. Unless the Nats can somehow find some legitimate big league starters, they will be on the outside looking in come playoff time.

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2008 Odds to Win the American League: MLB Baseball Betting Odds

MLB BETTING ODDSWith the Boston Red Sox having won their second World Series title in four years, the 2008 MLB season – and more specifically, the 2008 American League Pennant race – is looking more exciting than ever heading into the 2008 season.

This preview will look at the 2008 American League Odds for each team while also giving MLB bettors a brief glimpse into how each team should fare heading into what promises to be an outstanding – and highly-competitive baseball season all the way around.

2008 Odds to Win the American League

Boston Red Sox Odds +250
The Boston Red Sox went 96-66 last season and won their second World Series in four years led by the spectacular pitching of World Series MVP Josh Beckett. With every key player back from last year’s roster, Boston looks like the team to beat in the American League even if No. 2 starter Curt Schilling starts off the season on the disabled list while nursing his ailing shoulder. At +250 in the Sportsbook, they have the look of a team that could repeat despite their subtle changes.

New York Yankees Odds +300
The New York Yankees went 94-68 last season but failed to win their annual goal of winning the World Series and enter 2008 with nearly the same cast of players that fell short last season. New York could have problems in the outfield this season and once again, have major question marks with their entire pitching staff after getting past proven veterans Chien-Ming Wang, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera no matter how much they try to sweep their problems under the rug.

Los Angeles Angels Odds +350
The Los Angeles Angels went 94-68 last season to win the American League West before getting knocked out in the second round of the American League Division Series by the New York Yankees. Still, the Angels were the foundation for my best MLB wagering season ever last year and should once again be a serious contender for the American League Pennant in veteran starter Jon Garland can return to the form that helped lead the Chicago White Sox to a World Series title just a couple of seasons ago.

Cleveland Indians Odds +650
The Cleveland Indians went 96-66 last season and advanced to the American League Championship Series before falling to the eventual World Series Champion, Boston Red Sox. I think most people know that the Indians have one of baseball’s best young lineups, but the main question entering 2008 is the same one that plagued this team last year –a lack of quality pitching.

Detroit Tigers Odds +325
The Detroit Tigers went 88-74 last season to fall just short of a postseason berth, but made sweeping changes this offseason, acquiring arguably the best young hitter in all of baseball in Miguel Cabrera and explosive left-hander Dontrelle Willis from the Florida Marlins. The Tigers may be the team to beat in the American League this season.

Chicago White Sox Odds +3000
The Chicago White Sox fell apart last season while going a dismal 72-90 to miss out on the postseason altogether. In 2008, the Sox will be hard-pressed to win a division that includes the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers. While Chicago’s everyday lineup should score more than its share of runs, the White Sox have question marks in left field with Carlos Quentin and with their fourth and fifth spots in the starting rotation not to mention the bullpen.

Oakland Athletics Odds +3000
The Oakland A’s went 76-86 last season and while general manager Billy Beane does an outstanding job of finding and developing raw young talent, this team has far too much youth to be anything other than an ‘also-rans’ in 2008. With a starting centerfielder and starting right fielder who have combined for just under one whole season of major league experience – and several pitchers who are just as green, this could be a long season by the Bay.

Seattle Mariners Odds +800
The Seattle Mariners went 88-78 last season but fell just short of reaching the postseason last year in the competitive American League. Still, the Mariners were one of the biggest cash cows of all for me last season, joining the Los Angels as one of the two biggest wagering winners for me last season. The Mariners are a legitimate AL Pennant contender this season, with the addition of left-handed starter Erik Bedard joining ace Felix Hernandez and three other competent veteran starters and a nice batting order that features plenty of speed and a bit of power as well.

Toronto Blue Jays Odds +1800
It’s a shame that the Toronto Blue Jays play in the tough American League East with the New York Yankees and World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. The Blue Jays went 83-79 last season and could be even better this season, but will they be good enough to overtake either of their two aforementioned division rivals? I like Toronto’s everyday lineup and their starting pitching seems fairly solid. However, Toronto’s bullpen is one big question mark – again.

Texas Rangers Odds +4000
The Texas Rangers went 75-87 last season and could take another step backwards this season. Texas has a solid outfield of Mrlon Byrd, Josh Hamilton and Milton Bradley and two superstars in Hank Blalock and Michael Young, but any team that features Kevin Millwood as their No.1 starter is in big trouble. Heck, Vicente Padilla isn’t a No.2 starter for that matter either. This team need pitching in the worst way.

Minnesota Twins Odds +3000
The Minnesota Twins went 79-83 last season and could take a step backwards after trading the best pitcher in baseball in Johan Santana. Minnesota appears to be headed toward big trouble with both, their batting and pitching.

Baltimore Orioles Odds +10000
The Baltimore Orioles went 69-93 last season but look like they are headed backwards in a big way. Jeremy Guthrie, Adam Loewen, Daniel Cabrera and Troy Patton are the team’s top four starters – need I say anymore? Okay – how about Luke Scott in left field and Adam Scott in center? This team is a project in the making.

Tampa Bay Rays Odds +6000
The Tampa Bay Rays went 66-96 last season and are looking to surpass the 70-win mark for the first time in franchise history. While the Rays field a solid lineup that should be able to score its fair share of runs this season, Tampa Bay’s success will depend largely on the strength of its pitching staff. If Tampa can get some solid starting pitching after their top three starters, Scott Kazmir, James Shields and Matt Garza, this hungry team could surpass its stated goal of winning more than 70 games and not finishing in last place in the powerful American League East.

Kansas City Royals Odds +6000
The Kansas City Royals went 69-93 last season and could be a bit better in 2008 though it may not be much better. Any team that feature mediocre starter Gil Meche as its No. 1 starter is in big trouble, particularly since Meche is really a No.3 starter at best. Once again, the Royals will depend on a bunch of young position players that they hope can fulfill their potential while praying that they can get some decent pitching from their third through fifth starters, following Meche and Brian Bannister.

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Nebraska vs. Oklahoma Free Pick: February 27th

Free Pick: Nebraska -2.5 (-110)
Wed February 27 ’08 8:00p

Tonight’s Big XII matchup in Lincoln is a critical one for both school’s postseason hopes.

Nebraska, however, has a few things on its side tonight, not the least of which is the homecourt advantage at the Devaney Center.

The Cornhuskers, who are coming off a road win at Texas A&M, are 14-3 straightup at home this season and face a Sooner squad that has struggled on the road in recent seasons.

Oklahoma has only covered four of its past 19 games on the Big XII road, in addition to only having brought home the money in three of its past dozen games this season at all venues.

Nebraska’s Aleks Maric, who averages 16 points and 10 rebounds, is one of the Big XII’s top inside players and should be able to at least somewhat offset the Sooners’ bread and better which is their interior play.


New Orleans vs. Phoenix Free Pick: February 27th

Free Pick: New Orleans Hornets -3.0
Wed February 27 ’08 8:05p

Reason: The Phoenix Suns enter into this tilt against their hosts New Orleans Hornets having recorded a succession of failures in this series as is evident by having lost 3 straight meetings ,while failing to cover in 5 straight head to head confrontations. Bottom line: Since the addition of Shaq Oneal to the Suns lineup via a trade, they look a little out of sync. Dealing Shawn Marion to Miami ,in my opinion has effected the Suns ability to run the floor and spread out the ball as easily as they did before, which in in turn, makes them susceptible to a New Orleans team that is not an easy mark on their own home floor, where they have won 14 of their L19 .Considering the current overall form of the Suns and their past problems in this series it will be an easy decision to back Hornets in this spot. Play on New Orleans

Phoenix Suns @ New Orleans Hornets u216.5 (-110)
Wed Feb 27 ’08 8:05p

The Hornets opened up as 4-point home chalks with the ‘Total’ set at 210. Overnight bettors favor Phoenix in this match-up since the line now sits at (-3), but the ‘Total’ shot up to 214 as a higher scoring game is expected. The Suns are a combined 24-20 ATS (55%) on the road vs. +.500 non-divisional Western Conference opponents, while the Hornets come in a combined 28-20 ATS (58%) at home vs. +.500 non-divisional Western Conference opponents. Coming into this season, the Suns pretty much owned the Hornets winning 6 of their L/7 overall meetings, but that hasn’t been the case this season. CP III and his mates have taken all three meetings this year, with their most recent win coming in overtime at Phoenix on February 6th. The Suns are 0-5 ATS the L/5 meetings, which would make the underdog 5-0 ATS the L/5 since the Suns have been favored in their L/10 overall meetings. However, the road team is a gaudy 11-5-1 ATS (69%) the L/17 meetings.

We hit the Suns up last night and were ecstatic to see them pull away late to cover the lofty double-digit road chalk. The Hornets have been reeling a bit since the break, and I have to agree with JQP in this spot and back the Suns regardless of the line movement. However, what I really like most in this spot is the Under and I’ll tell you why. For one, it’s already been bet up 6-points and currently sits at 116. Second, the Under is 9-2 ATS the L/11 times these teams have met. Third, this is the highest posted ‘Total’ between these clubs over their L/10 match-ups. Finally, the Hornets need to stop playing recklessly and get back to the basics that saw them hold the lead in the Southwest Division for over a month. HC Scott hated their erratic play that he felt cost them the game against Washington. Phoenix is playing on no rest which means they’ll look to slow it down a bit to allow Shaq to be a force in the later stages of the game. They’re also looking to snag one game from this bunch this season and will do their best not to just hand them over the game with turnovers.

This is sure to be one heck of a battle, so tune your HDTV sets to the NBA Network at 8:05 ET to see if Shaq was the missing ingredient for success against this gritty club or if the Hornets sweep the season series.