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Free NBA Pick Saturday

#807 Brooklyn Nets +8 over Miami Heat 7:05 PM CT

Miami has fallen into a tie with Milwaukee for the #7 and #8 spots in the Eastern Conference though the Heat are only a half game from matching Washington in the #6 spot. Miami has a very favorable schedule ahead but this isn’t a team that is dominating games including narrowly getting by the Bulls at home on Thursday night. A break follows this game until Tuesday and this could be a flat spot on the schedule.

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Brooklyn has won the past two games with the Heat and the Nets are 3-3 the past six games with the defeats coming by 7, 4, and 6 points in competitive games against quality teams. Brooklyn’s season scoring differential average is only -4.0 as this has been a respectable performer most nights and with 10 road wins on the season.

Miami is just 4-11 ATS this season when favored by 3-8 points and the Heat are just 7-10 ATS at home vs. losing teams. Brooklyn is 14-5 ATS on the season facing winning teams on the road and the nets have been a very good heavy underdog this season at 25-9 ATS when getting six or more points. The price is right for another competitive showing from the ugly underdog in this matchup.

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Bobby Dalton is 30-12 in NCAA Tournament picks the past two years and 5-1 this season in NCAA 15* Best Bets. Don’t miss his FINAL FOUR 15* Best Bet for Saturday – $29.99 pay after you win!

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Free CBI Pick Thursday

#825 Campbell +9.5 over San Francisco 9:00 PM CT

Campbell has played both of its CBI wins at home as tonight the Camels are playing clear across the country in San Francisco. This was a 10-win team in the Big South and a team that competed fairly well when playing up with close losses against East Carolina, Saint Louis, and Bowling Green. The Camels also beat Liberty twice, Radford and Winthrop once each and played close in both losses to regular season champion UNC Asheville.

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Strong shooting numbers pace Campbell with a nearly 39 percent 3-point rate while also hitting 77 percent from the free throw line in conference play. Diminutive guard Chris Clemons was the nation’s fourth leading scorer at nearly 25 points per game and he has 67 points in two CBI wins as he can carry this squad to another win.

San Francisco was just 9-9 in WCC play and one home upset over Saint Mary’s provides a big boost to the ratings for the Dons. San Francisco has won narrowly at home in both CBI games and this team struggled to pull away from any foe this season as 13 of the last 17 wins have come by 11 or fewer points. San Francisco has lost three times to teams outside the nation’s top 200 and while the Dons play solid defense this is a 33 percent 3-point shooting team and a 68 percent free throw shooting team. Trusting the Dons to hit shots to keep pace with a proven elite scorer might be a challenge as the underdog points are appealing.

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Nelly’s is 7-3 in NCAA Tournament picks – get tonight’s guaranteed selection for $15. A Trips-2-Win offer is available from Bobby Dalton for Thursday night for $24.99 with Dalton 7-4 in NCAA Tournament picks. Don’t miss the Big E’s 25* NCAA Tournament Game of the Year.

 

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Free NIT Pick Sunday

#727 Oregon +5.5 over Marquette 3:30 PM CT

Marquette struggled to get by a depleted Harvard squad Wednesday in NIT action and the Golden Eagles will have a much tougher test Sunday hosting Oregon, again playing at the Al McGuire Center instead of the Bradley Center. Marquette didn’t shoot particularly well in the NIT opener and the lineup is a bit beat up with Sam Hauser a possible scratch Sunday.

The Pac-12 has made a very poor impression in the postseason and Oregon was a part of that struggling vs. Rider on Tuesday. The Ducks were a Final Four team last season and this is a young group that got better as the season went on, now winners in six of the last eight including beating both Arizona schools and Utah. The Ducks have 12 losses on the season but only two defeats came by more than 10 points as this was a competitive team in almost every matchup.

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The underdog points are appealing in a fairly even battle with this home favorite spread a bit inflated despite it not being a true home game and with Marquette possibly shorthanded.

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Nelly’s is 6-2 in NCAA Tournament picks, going 2-0 Saturday. Get today’s 2* Top Play for $25 (75% on Top Plays this season). Bobby Dalton is 34-20 in March and 6-2 in the NCAA Tournament with three straight 10* Best Bet wins. Get a 10* in today’s Trips-2-Win 2/3 offer for $24.99!

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Free NCAA Pick Saturday

#535/536 ‘UNDER 142.5’ Ohio State vs. Gonzaga 6:45 PM CT

Ohio State wound up with 81 points against South Dakota State in a game that was very competitive with a tie-game at 70-70 late before a few big plays from the Buckeyes. Ohio State took 40 3-point shots in the contest despite being a below average 3-point shooting team and a team that did not take a great proportion of 3-point shots most of the season. Ohio State normally plays rather slow and after watching UNC Greensboro slow the pace to a crawl making Gonzaga nearly an upset-victim on Thursday Chris Holtmann will likely also want to keep the pace slow especially with a backdrop in Boise that will feature a lot of Gonzaga support.

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Gonzaga’s offense really struggled with a long layoff and the jump from WCC competition and facing the Southern champion will be severe now facing one of the top Big Ten teams. Gonzaga shot 22 percent from 3-point range and surprisingly lost the rebounding battle on Thursday. Turnovers should be low on both sides of this matchup as transition baskets will be rare and both teams have had some inconsistency at the free throw line.

These teams met in November in Portland and Gonzaga won 86-59 for 145 points, just above tonight’s current total but that was a Buckeyes team still finding itself in just the fifth game and first major test under the new coaching staff while Gonzaga shot over 58 percent in that game. A high free throw count pushed that scoring upwards as well and while there is risk of a tight finish meaning late free throws and a slow clock in the final minutes, this game does figure to play like a defensive grind with a Sweet 16 bid on the line for teams that narrowly avoided first round upsets.

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Bobby Dalton went 4-1-1 Thursday & Friday with two 10* wins – don’t miss his early Trips-2-Win offer Saturday. Nelly’s is 4-2 in NCAA Tournament picks and we have a pair for Saturday for only $15. Big E has his next NCAA 4-Pack while Maximum has a later 2/3 offer. Point Train also has a 6-unit release for Saturday tournament action.

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Free Early Friday Pick

#873 CS-Fullerton +20.5 over Purdue 11:40 AM CT

Cal-State Fullerton should use Buffalo’s model in trying to pull off mammoth upset early on Friday. The Titans play fast and had respectable non-conference showings against Saint Mary’s as well as SEC and Pac-12 schools before finishing the Big West season strong with three wins in three days. With a smaller lineup the Titans could push the pace against a much bigger Boilermakers squad looking to provide some wear on the heavy favorite.

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Fullerton scores very efficiently inside and shoots well at the line while rating as the second best defense in a typically underrated Big West. The long layoff may be hurting the Big Ten with Ohio State and Michigan struggling in wins on Thursday while Nebraska was bounced from the NIT and it took take a Boilermakers team that is reliant on 3-point shooting some time to find its rhythm last playing on March 4.

Purdue closed the season with losses in four of the final nine games and the Boilermakers have just one win by more than eight points in the last 13 games. Purdue’s big non-conference wins over Marquette, Arizona, and Louisville turned out to be much less meaningful than they looked at the time and while an upset isn’t likely getting past this hefty spread could be a challenge in early action in Detroit.

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Big Thursday’s yesterday in NCAA action as Nelly’s won our 2/3 offer led by Buffalo’s big upset. Bobby Dalton went 3-0 and Maximum went 4-1-1. Don’t miss Friday offers for the Round of 64!

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Free Late Pick Thursday

#733 Montana +10 over Michigan 8:50 PM CT

A long layoff for a Michigan team that got red hot in the Big Ten tournament might not be ideal and while the Wolverines were given a #3 seed in the tournament they have been dealt a less favorable Wichita venue and a late night time slot. They also draw a #14 seed in Montana that rates similarly to several teams in the 10-13 seeding range with Montana easily the highest rated #14 draw, with the Grizzlies sitting in power ratings similar to teams like Nebraska and Wisconsin from the Big Ten.

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Montana wasn’t overmatched in any of several tough non-conference games though the Grizzlies failed to score a marquee win with a win at Pittsburgh getting greatly devalued as the season went on. Montana has only lost twice in 2018 however and the Grizzlies are riding an 18-2 run the past 20 games. This is a veteran team with reasonable size for a smaller conference squad and the Grizzlies are a strong defensive team.

Michigan doesn’t turn the ball over often but this is a bad rebounding team and one of the nation’s worst free throw shooting teams. Michigan plays at a deliberate pace and can struggle if the 3-point shots aren’t falling. While the Big Ten tournament wins over Michigan State and Purdue were memorable Michigan needed overtime to beat Iowa to start that run and the first game in this unfamiliar venue could be a challenge for a team that is reliant on outside shooting, especially with 12 days in between games. This line has justly crept downward and Montana is a threat for a late night upset.

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Nelly’s enters Thursday on a 47-21 run since Feb. 1 including 16-9 (+9.1*) in March. Don’t miss 2/3 offers Thursday night or for daytime action Friday – $25 each!

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Free NCAA Pick Wednesday

#615 Louisiana-Lafayette +3.5 over LSU 6:00 PM CT

In a deep and competitive SEC LSU won eight games but this is a Tigers team that lost four home games on the season and has stronger ratings than deserved based on wins over Michigan and Houston that took place very early in the season and grew in stature. Four of LSU’s 17 wins came by three or fewer points as there were few dominant performances and while a program that won just 10 games last season will have some enthusiasm for a NIT bid this is a much bigger game for the underdog.

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Louisiana-Lafayette was the Sun Belt’s top team with 27 wins but they got caught in a tight game last weekend in the conference tournament. Getting an opportunity against the state’s biggest program will be alluring and the Ragin’ Cajuns have the make-up for an upset. This is a great free throw shooting team and one of the better rebounding teams in the country.

The LSU defense has some matchup opportunities in the paint with a size edge but this was a lousy interior defense on the season with the Tigers the worst 2-point defense in the SEC. Louisiana-Lafayette beat larger conference teams early in the season with wins over Iowa, Richmond, and Louisiana Tech and the Ragin’ Cajuns are 9-0 this season vs. fellow Louisiana schools with this opportunity to take out the biggest power in the state a great chance for the program. This veteran team had hopes for a Big Dance spot but this is a great consolation while an LSU squad with no postseason experience isn’t likely to bring a great enthusiasm for this game even at home.

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Bobby Dalton has a basketball TRIPS-2-WIN tonight including a First Four 10* Best Bet – coming off a 2-0 NIT start last night! Nelly’s is 15-8 in March and we have our next 2-for-1 offer in basketball Wednesday for only $15. Big E has his next 10* Biggie in the NIT as well for $9.94.

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NCAA Location Advantages

NCAA Tournament Location Winners and Losers

While the focus in the aftermath of Selection Sunday is often on seeds and the matchups, many coaches might prioritize the venue draw in those announcements as the programs scramble to make travel arrangements and hope to get fan support thrown into often random location assignments. The committee allegedly only makes location concessions for the top handful of seeds but certainly there were winners and losers in the location assignments.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Thursday/Saturday)

Winner – Virginia Tech: The Hokies are caught in a difficult 8/9 matchup in the opening round for the second consecutive season. This year Virginia Tech draws a favorable venue playing about 300 miles north of Blacksburg in Pittsburgh. While Charlotte would have been the best case draw for Virginia Tech travel-wise, drawing Alabama makes the Pittsburgh setting more favorable. This arena will likely be filled with Villanova fans making the trip west but the Hokies have to feel good about the assignment, especially drawing an Alabama team that needed a taxing SEC tournament run last week to even confirm its entry into the field.

Loser – Duke: In three of the last four years Duke has opened the NCAA Tournament in either North or South Carolina playing very close to home. With Duke considered a candidate for a #1 seed most had to assume they would pull games in Charlotte but the rival Tar Heels landed in the Charlotte pod along with overall #1 Virginia. While supporters of Duke are spread out across the east coast, the Pittsburgh draw and being coupled with Villanova playing in the same arena in the home state of the Wildcats isn’t as favorable of a path as Duke usually comes to expect. Duke’s opponent Iona is actually playing slightly closer to home than the heavily favored Blue Devils and the same would be true in a potential Saturday matchup with Rhode Island.

Wichita, Kansas (Thursday/Saturday)

Winner – Kansas: The Jayhawks won the Big XII regular season and Big XII Tournament titles and claimed a #1 seed and a short drive southwest from campus to Wichita. Few teams in the field get to play this close to home and in home state territory and unlike some past years there will be little local competition for tickets as other nearby teams like Kansas State, Wichita State, and Oklahoma were all sent elsewhere. To offset the favorable venue draw however is that Kansas pulled a Pennsylvania team that has a profile that is much stronger than most past #16 seeds.

Loser – Michigan: The Wolverines cruised through the Big Ten tournament to greatly elevate its seeding possibilities. Michigan landed a #3 seed to sit at the high end of those projections but they might have preferred a #4 draw in Detroit, Pittsburgh, or even Nashville as it will be a lengthy road trip for those looking to support the Maize and Blue. The rival Spartans landed a favorable spot in Detroit even though Michigan went 2-0 against Michigan State this season which might be a sore spot. Kansas fans figure to dominate the crowd in Wichita and Houston would certainly have a bit of a location edge in a potential weekend matchup for the Wolverines.

Dallas, Texas (Thursday/Saturday)

Winner – Stephen F. Austin: Campus for the Lumberjacks is less than a three hour drive away, nearly half the distance Texas Tech faces in this in-state battle. Stephen F. Austin has won NCAA Tournament games in two of the program’s last three appearances over the last four years but they drew far away landing spots in San Diego, Portland, and Brooklyn in those games. This is a great opportunity for the program even if this year’s team doesn’t grade as highly as the Stephen F. Austin teams of the past few years. Texas Tech has to be thrilled to be in Dallas but the first round draw features a bit more heightened pressure than a #3 seed might expect.

Loser – Tennessee: The Volunteers reached the SEC championship game and drew a favorable #3 seed but they didn’t get the Nashville games they likely hoped for. Charlotte certainly would have been a solid option for the Volunteers as well but instead Tennessee has been sent to Texas and it is likely going to be a tough ticket on Saturday if Texas Tech advances to the round of 32. Tennessee also has to play an early Thursday game after the SEC Championship ended Sunday afternoon while Wright State has been idle for eight days ahead of this opportunity.

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Boise, Idaho (Thursday/Saturday)

Winner – Gonzaga: The 2017 national runners-up got the location draw they wanted in Boise, by far the closest option for the team though many felt a #3 seed was deserved. In terms of distance traveled Thursday’s opponent UNC-Greensboro has one of the furthest trips of the tournament to benefit Gonzaga although the early time slot isn’t likely ideal for the favored Bulldogs facing an east coast squad. Arizona is also in this grouping but Gonzaga should have a great deal of support in Boise looking to return to the Final Four.

Loser – Ohio State: The Buckeyes only lost to high quality foes this season and only two Big Ten teams were able to beat Ohio State all season. A #5 seed isn’t out of line for Ohio State but they probably would have preferred most other venues. Brookings isn’t all that much closer to Boise compared with Columbus but in a pod with Gonzaga support should be solid for the fellow mid-major west of the Mississippi as South Dakota State could be a dangerous underdog. If Ohio State advances they will share the arena with heavyweight fan bases from Kentucky, Arizona, and Gonzaga in the most likely scenarios.

Charlotte, North Carolina (Friday/Sunday)

Winner – North Carolina: Beating Duke in the ACC Tournament semifinal, despite losing to Duke a few days prior, seems to have landed the Tar Heels with the much more favorable venue draw in Charlotte, just 140 miles from Chapel Hill. The defending national champions shouldn’t have a lot of competition in the early block Friday with the other schools making lengthy trips while the ACC should dominate the Sunday crowd with top seed Virginia also in this grouping.

Loser – Creighton: Losing the final two games with Creighton falling at Marquette in the regular season finale and losing in overtime against Providence in the Big East tournament likely cost the Blue Jays in seeding. Falling to #8 seed and getting paired with #1 overall Virginia isn’t the best path for the Blue Jays and the Charlotte draw certainly wouldn’t have been Creighton’s first choice with Wichita and Dallas as possibilities.

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Detroit, Michigan (Friday/Sunday)

Winner – Michigan State: The Spartans went 0-2 against Michigan but while both Big Ten squads earned #3 seeds, Michigan State landed the very favorable Detroit draw to be one of the closest to home teams in the field, just 90 miles away. Michigan State had a bit of a case for a #2 seed as the regular season champions in the Big Ten but the path as a #3 in this venue looks like a worthy trade-off. Purdue and Butler are also in this venue playing relatively close to home but green figures to be the most common color in the arena.

Loser – Arkansas: The Razorbacks can’t have much of a gripe with its seeding with late season wins over Auburn and Florida likely boosting Arkansas up from a more likely 8/9 game. The issue is playing in Detroit against a Butler squad that is by far the best rated #10 seed and a team that in many metrics rates ahead of Arkansas. Butler is also playing only about a four hour drive from Indianapolis. With two Big Ten heavyweights in this arena most fans will certainly be rooting against the SEC team as there were several more attractive locations for Arkansas available.

Nashville, Tennessee (Friday/Sunday)

Winner – Xavier: The Musketeers are a fairly suspect #1 seed relative to past seasons but no other team stepped up in the final days of conference tournament action to knock Xavier off the top line. Xavier draws a favorable Nashville venue about 270 miles away though they will be sharing the space with rival Cincinnati as the likely dominant fan bases in the building. Missouri does lurk as a fairly nearby threat in a potential Sunday matchup but ultimately Xavier won’t face a lot of competition in the crowds from an ACC or SEC power in the region with teams like Kentucky, Tennessee, and the Carolina schools sent elsewhere. The Musketeers also face the NC Central/Texas Southern winner, a weaker pairing than the Radford/LIU-Brooklyn matchup.

Loser – Nevada: Had Nevada won the Mountain West Tournament they likely wouldn’t have been seeded significantly higher as the #7 pull isn’t bad for the Wolf Pack despite clear signs of trouble developing late in the season. Staying out west likely would have been preferred but the Wolf Pack has been given a day game in the Eastern Time zone. Texas is also a highly regarded #10 seed and a Longhorns team dealing with some late season injuries gets an extra day with the Friday scheduling for a tough first round matchup.

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San Diego, California (Friday/Sunday)

Winner – New Mexico State: By default the Aggies get the billing as the only team likely happy with playing in San Diego in a grouping featuring six Eastern Time zone teams and Wichita State. Las Cruces is nearly 700 miles away from San Diego but that beats the over 2,000 miles from Auburn and the nearly 2,500 miles from Morgantown. Clemson will be the favorite against New Mexico State but the Tigers are playing across the country with a 2,300 mile trip west while that game also draws the late night time slot to boost the upset threat.

Loser – West Virginia: The Mountaineers were one of the top ranked teams much of the season before some late season inconsistency. West Virginia nearly rallied to win the Big XII Tournament but still wound up in the #5 line as by far the highest rated #5 squad and a team that rates ahead of three of the four #4 squads by most measures. West Virginia has been handed lengthy travel coming off a taxing run of games last weekend and they pull a disciplined and veteran Murray State squad that could make a case for a slightly higher seed. In this mismatch grouping of out place teams upsets certainly look possible. Auburn, Clemson, and Wichita State could be in this listing as well as while San Diego has lovely weather, all of these teams had much better location options in mind.

Join Nelly’s, Bobby Dalton, Maximum Sports, and the Big E for March Madness selections – all four have had hot late season runs in college basketball!

 

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Free NCAA Pick Saturday

#536 Villanova -13 over Providence 5:30 PM CT

The line in this Big East championship game is certainly inflated but Villanova is a team on a mission after squandering the regular season conference title to Xavier despite beating the Musketeers twice. They won’t get a third crack at Xavier but they will still have a lot at stake in New York with a #1 seed on Selection Sunday still in play for the Wildcats.

Villanova is also looking to avenge a mid-February 76-71 loss at Providence in a game where Villanova shot 15 percent from 3-point range. Villanova won the home meeting between these teams by 20 and this is a grueling situation for the Friars.

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Providence lost six of the final 11 regular season games including a discouraging home loss to DePaul to put a once sure NCAA Tournament spot in question. The Friars survived a wild overtime game Thursday with Creighton and then delivered an incredible comeback last night, forcing overtime and beating Xavier 75-72 to lock up that tournament spot and deliver a chance at a tournament title.

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The three top players for Providence have logged more than 80 minutes the past two days and Villanova was the Big East’s best offense and defense as the Wildcats have a huge edge in offensive potential in this game. While the number has climbed the price is justified in this situation with Villanova looking for a second straight tournament title.

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Bobby Dalton is 23-6-1 in his last 30 picks – don’t miss Best Bet Totals for two big championship games tonight. Nelly’s has an evening 2* Top Play (71% in top plays this season) looking to build on a 14-5 start to March and a 45-17 run since February 1. Big E has posted his next 20* for Saturday night while Maximum has a guaranteed 2/3 offer!

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Free NCAA Pick Thursday

#697 Marquette +10.5 over Villanova 6:00 PM CT

Villanova is 27-4 and still a threat to be one of the top seeds in the NCAA Tournament even after surrendering the Big East regular season title to Xavier this season. The Wildcats haven’t looked like a dominant national contender down the stretch however as three of the season’s four losses have come in the past eight games and one of those wins came fortunately in a one-point overtime result. This will technically be a fifth game away from home over the past seven games for the Wildcats with two overtime games in the past three contests added to the taxing late season run.

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Marquette can entertain NCAA Tournament thoughts with an upset tonight with the Golden Eagles almost certainly on the wrong side of the bubble at the moment. Marquette has won six of the last eight to get back on the map but the losses came against two of the lesser teams in the conference. Marquette played Villanova tough this season with a 10-point early January loss in Philadelphia and a three-point loss in Milwaukee. Marquette was +7 in the competitive home meeting as this line has been inflated a bit too far relative to that number with popular action sure to be on Villanova.

This is a matchup of the Big East’s best defense against the worst defense in the conference but Marquette has the ability to shoot its way into games with nearly 43 percent 3-point shooting in Big East play while leading the conference as an over 80 percent free throw shooting team. Only twice in now 19 Big East games has Marquette lost by more than 10 points and with the season on the line the Golden Eagles have a chance to compete well in this game.

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Nelly’s entered Thursday on a 42-14 run since February 1 including 11-2 so far in March. Get on board for all picks through the NCAA Tournament (65% last season) for just $199. Bobby Dalton has a huge 15* Best Bet lined up for the Thursday night schedule with Dalton on a 99-66 run in conference tournament Best Bets while on a 14-3 overall run since March 2. Maximum Sports has a big 6-Pack card Thursday for $30 with a guaranteed net profit looking to build on a 27-11 run and Big E has an afternoon 10* Biggie for just $9.94.