The Shockers have run through the NIT bracket as a No. 4 seed. They blew out Nebraska in the first round, upset top seed Virginia Tech, and held off College of Charleston to get to Madison Square Garden, where they pummeled Washington State 75-44. The Tide have shown the SEC West title wasn’t a fluke as they breezed past Coastal Carolina, held off New Mexico, coasted to an easy win against Miami and eked out a 62-61 win against Colorado in Tuesday’s semifinals. They meet tonight at MSG in the NIT Final! Trends I like for this one include, the Shockers are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games after allowing less than 50 points in their previous game, are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 neutral site games as a favorite, and are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games as a favorite of 0.5-6.5. The Crimson Tide are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games. I’m on the 28-8 Shockers in this one…(My wife is a Shocker Alum, so I’d be getting a divorce If I played on the Tide).
Opening Day MLB Picks: March 31st 2011
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Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers -110
The Dodgers will be ready to show the Giants they mean business in the NL West with a big win on opening day. Dodger’s starter Clayton Kershaw has been on his game in spring trainging with a 2.49 ERA, while Giants starter Tim Lincecum has struggled in spring training with a 4.37 ERA. The Dodgers are 5-1 in their last 6 vs. National League West and are 13-3 in Kershaws last 16 starts vs. National League West. -Info Plays
Pick: Milwaukee Brewers +106
Gallardo was stellar in spring training with a 1.96 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 18.1 innings. Volquez was the opposite giving up 12 hits, 11 walks, and 10 runs in 9 innings. This is a big game for the Brewers as they want to show last year’s division champions that they are going to be a force this year. Nice value here with Milwaukee that is too good to pass up. -Bobby Conn
Pick: Angels vs. Royals Under 8.5
Two good pitchers starting out here today in Kansas City. A wet and dreary day and these two also battle it out every time they hook up for some reason. The Under is 33-11 the last 44 meetings! KC’s bats are still a HUGE question mark headed into this season, and with Weaver on the hill, they will not be banging out runs even at home on opening day. KC a +135 underdog but just cannot take them although it looks very tempting, like the Under here for a half unit play as a freebee. -Tony George
Pick: Padres vs. Cardinals Over 7
St. Louis has a strong offense, one that ranked 9th in batting and 14th in runs last season, and they add Lance Berkman, who is especially familiar with the NL Central from his days in Houston, a five-time All-Star. San Diego goes with Tim Stauffer, who was a reliever last season. San Diego pitchers can be dominant at home because Petco is so big, but struggle on the road. Look for more runs than oddsmakers expect; Play the Padres/Cardinals Over the total. -Jim Feist
Boston has dropped 3 of its last 4 and San Antonio has lost 4 in a row. In other words, this is a game both teams want badly. These teams combined for 208 points at Boston in January, but I’m expecting a much different result this evening. The Celtics and Spurs, which both allowed their opponents to hit the century mark in their last contests, know the way to end a skid is to tighten the screws defensively.
The offensive explosion between these teams in January was clearly out of character from a head-to-head perspective. Prior to that contest, the Celtics and Spurs had been under this number in 3 straight and 7 of their last 10. It is worth noting that the Under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in this series in San Antonio.
The Under is 10-1 in the Celtics’ last 11 overall, 7-1 in their last 8 road games and 6-0 in their last 6 games following a SU loss.
Boston will really be looking to slow down the tempo tonight after allowing Indiana to speed the game up Monday. This bodes well for us as San Antonio is 24-8 Under in its last 32 home games versus slow-down teams averaging 76 or less shots per game. We are only seeing 168.8 total points scored on average in this situation.
With both teams having had 2 full days to rest up and prepare, the defenses should steal the show. Take the Under.
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The Dallas Mavericks must win this game if they want to catch the Los Angeles Lakers for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. While this is a back-to-back situation for them, it’s not a big deal at all. That’s because they played and beat the Los Angeles Clippers last night, and this game will also be played in the Staples Center in L.A. so there is no travel time for the Mavericks. I like Dallas to give the Lakers a run for their money here.
While the Lakers have been the best team since the All-Star Break, they are not overvalued because of it. That has been evident in recent games as the Lakers are just 1-4 ATS in their last five contests overall as they continue to be huge favorites night in and night out. The Mavs are 5-0 SU & 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall. Dallas owns the league’s best road record at 27-10 SU & 24-13 ATS. The Lakers are 1-9 ATS after having won 15 or more of their last 20 games this season. The road team is 10-3-1 ATS in the last 14 meetings, and the Mavs are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 meetings in L.A. Roll with Dallas Thursday.
NY Rangers have won 6 of their last 7 games overall. NY Islanders have lost 5 of their last 7 games overall. Rangers are 7-2 in their last 9 games as a road favorite of -110 to -150. Rangers are 7-2 in their last 9 vs. Eastern Conference. Rangers are 6-2 in their last 8 road games. Rangers are 5-2 in their last 7 games as a favorite. Rangers are 19-9 in their last 28 vs. a team with a losing record. Islanders are 66-135 in their last 201 vs. Eastern Conference. Islanders are 17-35 in their last 52 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game. Islanders are 9-21 in their last 30 games as an underdog of +110 to +150. Islanders are 22-54 in their last 76 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game. Islanders are 4-10 in their last 14 games as an underdog. Islanders are 14-37 in their last 51 games playing on 0 days rest. Islanders are 15-40 in their last 55 Thursday games. Islanders are 17-57 in their last 74 vs. Atlantic. Islanders are 2-7 in their last 9 games as a home underdog of +110 to +150. Islanders are 1-7 in their last 8 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game. Rangers are 4-0 in the last 4 meetings. Rangers are 25-9-1 in the last 35 meetings in New York. We’ll recommend a small play on NY Rangers tonight! Thanks and good luck, Rocky
MLB Picks: March 31st 2011
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Pick: Atlanta Braves -137
At 1:05 pm, our complimentary selection is on the Atlanta Braves over the Washington Nationals. It was anything but dull for the Nats during the off-season, with the loss of their biggest bat as 1B/OF Adam Dunn took off for the Windy City, Jason Werth signed a very large and questionable contract to try and replace Dunn, Stephen Strasburg threw his first baseballs since Tommy John surgery, and the team trotted out its latest prize in 18-year-old sensation and first round draft pick Bryce Harper. Harper will start in the Minors and almost all Nats fans know that it will probably be at least two years until their team is a serious contender in the NL East, but there are still plenty of reasons to come to the ballpark in 2011. Unfortunately for them, the Phillies got better, and today’s opponent also improved itself over the winter, albeit more quietly than Philadelphia. The Braves lineup is definitely stronger than 2010, and there are some new young arms on the pitching staff that can throw some heat. Today’s starter, righthander Derek Lowe is not one of them, but there are plenty of reasons you keep a guy like Lowe around, and it wouldn’t surprise anyone if he went out this afternoon and shut down a Nats lineup that will no doubt require plenty of tweaks in the early part of the season. With Nyjer Morgan recently departed for the Brewers, the Nats are without a true leadoff threat while newly acquired 1B Adam Laroche is nursing a sore shoulder. Take the Braves. As always, good luck…Al McMordie.
Pick: Los Angeles Angels -140
On Thursday the Free MLB Play is on th LA. Angles. Game 911 at 4:10 eastern. The Angles have won 16 of the last 20 in the series, including 9 of 11 here in KC. They have a big advantage in the pitching department with J. Weaver going in the opener. Weaver has allowed 2 earned runs in his last 22 innings vs KC. in his last 9 starts vs KC his era is a solid 2.64. Today he opposes Royal righty L. Hochevar. In his home starts last season KC Lost 6 of 9 times. Hochevar has a 10.21 era in his 2 starts vs LA. as he allowed 12 earned runs in 10+ innings. Look for the Angles to win their road openers here today. On Thursday I have a cutting edge NIT 90% Championship Power system and a 32-4 NBA Totals system specific to Thursday night NBA. In MLB we look to pick up where we left off with a MLB Opening Day MLB Power Play in the late ESPN Game. Jump on and Cash this guaranteed Triple Pack. For the free play take the LA. Angels. -Rob Vinciletti
While Golden State is one of the top offensive teams in the league, it has struggled to light up the scoreboard on the road. In fact, the Warriors are 13-24 Under in road games this season. Recently, they are 5-2 Under in their last 7 road contests, scoring 97 points or fewer in all 5 Unders.
Oklahoma City hasn’t been a good defensive team for most of the season, but it has really tightened the screws recently. The Thunder have held 8 of their last 9 opponents to 95 points or less, which has resulted in 8 Unders in their last 9 games.
These teams combined for only 194 points when they faced off last month in a game Golden State won. The fact that Golden State was victorious is significant because Oklahoma City is 29-15 Under in its last 44 home games when out to avenge a same season loss to an opponent. We have only seen an average of 195.1 total points scored in this situation. In addition, the Under is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings between these teams in Oklahoma City. Take the Under.
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