Villanova vs. Creighton
College Basketball Pick: Creighton +10.5 (March 3rd 2015)
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With its come-from-behind win over Xavier on Saturday, Villanova locked up its second straight Big East title, the first time that has happened in school history. It will be hard for the Wildcats to come out strong tonight and while they will still be out to win in search of a possible No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, covering a big number on the road will be difficult. The line is inflated for and a big reason for that is due to the fact Villanova has won and covered 10 straight games which happened to start off at home against Creighton. The Bluejays were expected to be in rebuilding mode following the loss of so much talent from last season and that has come to fruition. They are three games under .500 for the season no thanks to a 4-12 record in the conference. To their credit, the Bluejays have been playing better as they are 4-4 over their last eight games following a 0-8 start in the Big East. Closing the season against Villanova and Xavier is no easy task but at least both games are at home. The Wildcats won the first meeting this season as a 15-point favorite so the venue switch is not giving us a proper line adjustment which gives value to Creighton. Play (550) Creighton Bluejays
Nashville Predators vs. New York Rangers
Betting Pick: Over 5.5 goals -110 odds (March 2nd 2015)
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A big reason to why we find the Predators sitting top of the NHL spells Pekka Rinne. The Vezina candidate has not been particularly sharp over recent contests though, conceding seven goals over back-to-back losses to the Wild and the Red Wings. The Rangers goaltending situation is less than ideal as well. With King Henrik still out the Rangers will turn to Cam Talbot once again and he has posted a 2.80 GAA over his 12 starts since the Swede got injured.
Nashville is off a 4-3 loss against Detroit Saturday and the over is 4-1 in its last five playing on one day of rest. The over is 5-2 in its last seven and 8-2 in the Rangers last 10 overall. The New York club did also play Saturday as it suffered a 4-2 loss at Philadelphia, and eight of its last 11 playing on one day of rest have gone over the total.
The Preds averages 2.94 goals per game away from home and the Rangers are lighting up the lamp at an even greater frequency on home ice, averaging 3.00 goals per game at MSG. They’ve just bolstered their already prolific offense by adding one of the league’s best offensive defensemen in Keith Yandle. He had managed four goals and 37 assists over 63 games with the otherwise offensively challenged Arizona Coyotes and is expected to take the ice as a Ranger for the first time tonight.
With both clubs expected to comfortably making the play offs there is no reason why we wouldn’t see an open and positive game of hockey here.
Oklahoma Sooners vs. Iowa State Cyclones
College Basketball Pick: Iowa State -5.5 (March 2nd 2015)
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This is a good price and great spot to back the Cyclones at home against the Sooners. Iowa State comes in off back-to-back losses for the first time this season, which has them showing some value here. The Cyclones will be out for revenge here from a 83-94 loss at Oklahoma, plus they will be extra motivated given they had their 21-game home win streak snapped in last week’s loss to Baylor and this being their final home game of the regular season.
Iowa State is a dominant 14-2 ATS in their last 16 home games in the month of March, 46-19 ATS in their last 65 home games when listed as a favorite of 6-points or less, 42-24 ATS in their last 66 when revenging a same season loss and 13-2 ATS in their last 15 home games off a road loss by 3 points or less.
Adding to all of this is a strong system in play. Home favorites of 3.5 to 9.5 points who are revenging a same season loss and are coming off a upset loss as a road favorite are 93-54 ATS since 1997. That’s a 63% long-term system in favor of the Cyclones. Take Iowa State!
Montreal Canadiens vs. San Jose Sharks
NHL Hockey Pick: Montreal -109 odds (March 2nd 2015)
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These two teams are moving in opposite directions. Montreal comes into this game having won four straight, while San Jose has lost three in a row (all in front of the home town crowd). I have a hard time seeing the Sharks inept offense suddenly turning things around here; note that San Jose has totaled just five goals during the losing streak and scored two or fewer in five of its previous six at home. The Sharks are most recently coming off a 4-2 loss to Ottawa on Saturday, allowing three goals in the final 20 minutes of play. Also note that San Jose goaltender Antti Niemi has struggled mightily, posting a poor 3.49 GAA during an 0-6-2 home skid. Niemi can’t be blamed fully though as the penalty-kill unit has allowed the last seven home opponents to go 6 for 20 on the power play. The Habs could obviously care less about San Jose’s problems, they sport a 17-5 goal advantage during their four-game win skein and have won 11 of 13 on the road. Goaltender Carey Price has been equally as impressive, posting a 1.18 GAA and .956 save percentage during a 9-0-1 stretch. Pretty good value in my opinion, consider a second look at MONTREAL in this one.