Wisconsin Green Bay vs. Cleveland State
Basketball Pick: WISC Pk (January 31st 2015)
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I’m going with the road team here as Green Bay’s defense is going to be just too much for Cleveland State. Green Bay has faced a decent schedule with an 86th toughest for offenses faced and facing a bunch of top offenses they have the 7th ranked defense. They are particularly strong against the 2 ranking 26th and the thing I like about this team is they play to their strengths. They shoot 75% of their shots from 2 where their strengths are ranking 42nd in 2point %. They have a to of exerience and rank top 50 in block % and steal % as well as turnover % forced. They are also a good rebounding team ranking 55th compared to Cleveland State who ranks 169th. The 4 teams that Green Bay has lost to all had top notch offenses. Oakland was top 100 shooting the 2, Georgia State was 16th, Wisconsin was 5th and UC Irvine was 16th shooting the 3. That’s not Cleveland State ranking 176th shooting hte 2 and when facing a top 100 defense they are 0-5.
Green Bay has more experience here and I don’t see them having any sort of a hang over after beating Valpo in their last game as a win here would go a long way in determining if they win the regular season Horizon title.
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Los Angeles Kings vs. Boston Bruins
NHL Pick: Boston -135 odds (January 31st 2015)
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Two teams that have played well below expectations so far this season will face off at TD Garden tonight as the Boston Bruins are hosting the reigning Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings. The visitors have shown little sign of improvement while the the hosts appear to have turned things around. I think the Kings are overvalued here and like the price we get on the Bruins.
Here are my keys to the game:
1. Red Hot Bruins – Boston is coming into this contest going 7-1-1 over their last nine games. The defense led by Zdeno Chara has been impeccable and the Bruins are down to 2.41 goals allowed per game which is an even lower 2.15 goals per game in their own building. They’re currently holding down the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference tied on points with the Caps. This team needs points, and we should see a 100% effort from the home team here.
2. Road Woes – The Kings have won only five games away from home all season. They may have to wait yet another while for another one as home-ice advantage certainly has been a factor over recent meetings with the hosts winning five of the last six match-ups.
3. X-Factor – Tuukka Rask is listed as likely to tend the net for Boston. He’s been a huge factor in the Bruins success of late tending the net in eight of the Bruins last nine games allowing only 13 goals.
Selection: This is a play on the Boston Bruins (Free)
Duke Blue Devils vs. Virginia Cavaliers
Basketball Pick: Virginia -6 (January 31st 2015)
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The Cavs appear to be the cream of the crop in the ACC, and they’ll get a chance to prove it at home this afternoon when they host Duke. The Blue Devils have lost three of six since starting the season with 14 straight wins. Their defense has been terrible during that stretch, allowing opponents to shoot over 50% from the field in their three losses.
Virginia is better known for it’s defense, that allows the fewest points per game of any team in the country (49.2), but they are also quite efficient offensively. Junior guard Justin Anderson leads the ACC in three point shooting, hitting 52% from beyond the arc so far. Duke looked particularly vulnerable to the three point shot in losses to Miami, N.C. State and Notre Dame, who all hit better than 50% from beyond the arc.
The Cavs are very tough at home, and they’ve been a good bet as well. They are 35-17-2 ATS in their last 54 home games. Duke was eliminated by Virginia in last year’s tournament, falling by a score of 72-63 at a neutral site (Greensboro). The Blue Devils might be hard pressed to see a better result this afternoon.
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