Texas Longhorns vs. Iowa State Cyclones
Over-Under Basketball Pick: Under 146.5 points (February 13th 2016)
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Your free play for Saturday, February 13, 2016 is in the Big 12 college basketball scheduled contest between Texas and Iowa State. Texas is playing great defense for coach Shaka Smart, on a 6-0-1 run under the total. They come off a loss at No. 1 Oklahoma, 63-60, going under the total, shooting 40%, while allowing 40%. Texas was just 6-of-23 on threes. This is their 5th road game in 8 games, so it’s tired situational spot. The Under is 17-5 in the Longhorns last 22 vs. the Big 12. Iowa State is on a 1-3 SU/ATS run and they play their best defense at home. 6-9 Jameel McKay (12.4 ppg, 9 rpg) has missed the last two games (suspension) but will be back Saturday, a great rebounder and shot blocker in the low post. The Under is 7-2-1 in the Cyclones last 10 games following a straight up loss. Play Texas/Iowa State under the total.
USC vs. Arizona State
College Basketball Pick: Arizona State +1 (February 12th 2016)
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The Sun Devils are just 13-11 overall and 3-8 inside the Pac-12, yet are just a 1-point dog at home to No. 23 ranked USC, who is 18-5 and 7-3 in conference play. That says a lot about how much respect the books have for Arizona State and that they feel confident the Sun Devils will win at home tonight, as the public is pounding the Trojans.
Arizona State is a better team than their conference record would indicate. The Sun Devils have been competitive in every game outside of a 17-point loss to Oregon. Despite scoring just 25 points in the first half and shooting 38.2% from the field for the game, Arizona State only lost by 10 on the road against USC. The Sun Devils come into this game off a 75-55 win at Washington State and are shooting 40.2 from 3-point distance over the last 4.
It’s also worth noting that this is a tough spot for the Trojans. This will be their first game in 8 days following a 3-game winning streak, which they capped off with a blowout 80-61 win over rival UCLA. With a much bigger road game on deck against Arizona on Sunday, I just don’t see USC being able to match the intensity of Arizona State.
Trojans are just 7-20 ATS in their last 27 road games after scoring 75+ points in 3 straight games and 2-6 ATS in their last 8 road games against a team that’s won more than 60% of their home games. Sun Devils are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games against a team with a losing road record. Take Arizona State!
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Montreal Canadiens vs. Buffalo Sabres
NHL Betting Pick: Montreal -135 odds (February 12th 2016)
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The road team has won both meetings this season and the visitors figure to have the advantage again this evening.
Off three straight victories, the Canadiens have seemingly turned the corner. They’ve outscored those opponent by an 11-4 margin, most recently a 4-2 win over Tampa. Fans in Montreal can breathe again.
Buffalo, on the other hand, has gone the other way. I played against the Sabres last night and they were routed 5-1 by the Flyers. They’ve now dropped four straight, surrendering 12 goals in their last two games.
While the Sabres will be playing their second game in two days and third in the past four, the Habs have had the past two days off. That said, the Canadiens, 45-29 (+13.6) the last couple of seasons after scoring four or more goals in their previous game, should have the fresher legs.
That’s the opposite scheduling setup from when the teams just faced each other at Montreal on 2/3, a 4-2 win for the Sabres. For that game, Montreal was coming off a loss at Philadelphia the previous night (just as Buffalo is here) while the Sabres had the night off. Consider Montreal.
Oregon Ducks vs. California Golden Bears Basketball Odds & Pick from Jamie Michaels: February 11th 2016
Oregon Ducks vs. California Golden Bears
College Basketball Pick: Oregon Pk -110 odds (February 11th 2016)
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The #11 Oregon Ducks (20-4, 9) have at times looked inconsistent, winning big games against top teams and losing to bottom-half inner-conference rivals. But they are riding a 6-game winning streak and face 4 of their final 5 games against the bottom half of the Pac-12, starting with their trip to California. The Golden Bears (15-8, 5-5) are undefeated at home, with wins to then #12 Arizona and #21 Utah. They have lost 5 of their last 8 games, with their 3 wins coming at home by an average of 3.7 points, including the 1-point upset over Arizona. It was their second game without leading scorer Tyrone Williams who is out with a broken hand. Williams scored 16 points with 6 rebounds and an assist in a 65-68 loss with the Ducks on January 6. The Ducks will have to do a better job of containing Jaylen Brown who now leads the Golden Bears with 15.8 points per game and racked up 20 in their first meeting. The Ducks average 78.1 points per game, but are scoring over 80 points during their 10-1 winning streak. Moreover, their defense is only allowing opponents to score 67.4 per game. Cal’s defense is right there at 66.7 points allowed per game, but offensively, they are scoring 74.3 and averaging only 69.8 during their recent 3-5 slump. Haas Pavilion is a tough place to play, but this is a case of 2 teams trending in opposite directions, and I think we see the Ducks hand the Golden Bears their first loss of the season in front of the home crowd. Take Oregon for the win!
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Washington Capitals vs. Minnesota Wild
NHL Hockey Pick: Minnesota +110 odds (February 11th 2016)
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The Minnesota Wild are coming off a 4-3 overtime loss to Dallas, making it six straight losses. They host Washington tonight, and the Capitals own the NHL’s best record, The Caps are 12 points clear of second place Florida in the East, so they really don’t have a lot to play for here on the road versus a Western Conference opponent. I like the home dog to get the upset here.
1. Previous History – These teams have split the previous 10 head to head meetings, but the Wild have won four of five at home during that span. In fact Washington has lost seven of it’s last eight at Minnesota.
2. Special Teams – Washington is slumping on the power play, going 1-for-20 in it’s last six games. The Wild have scored on the man-advantage in each of their last four games.
3. X-Factor – The home team is 13-3 in the last 16 meetings.
Selection: This is a play on the Minnesota Wild (Free)