NBA Picks: February 29th 2012
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Prediction: Under 188
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The Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Lakers are very likely to take part in a defensive battle tonight. Los Angeles is likely to be without star guard Kobe Bryant, who is listed as doubtful with a concussion. That takes away from a lot of their offense as Bryant leads the league in scoring this season at 28.4 points/game. L.A. will struggle to score the ball tonight, but they’ll be able to rely on their defense, which has been one of the best in the league this year. The Lakers are only giving up 86.1 points/game at home this season. Both teams rely heavily on their big men, which is also another reason why I believe it’s going to be a low-scoring game. The Lakers have the answer for Kevin Love and Nokola Pekovic as they counter with Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. Points will be hard to come by in the paint tonight. The UNDER is 7-1-1 in Timberwolves last 9 vs. a team with a winning S.U. record. The UNDER is 7-2-1 in the last 10 meetings in this series. The UNDER is 6-1 in the last 7 meetings in Los Angeles. Take the UNDER 188 points here.
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NBA Picks: February 29th 2012
Toronto Raptors vs. New Orleans Hornets
Prediction: New Orleans Hornets -3
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The New Orleans Hornets have quietly been a covering machine of late. Getting the Hornets as a 3-point home favorite tonight over the lowly Toronto Raptors is an absolute gift from odds makers. I fully expect them to win this game and cover this generously small spread.
New Orleans is 4-3 SU and a perfect 7-0 ATS in their last seven games overall. Six of those seven games came on the road, including wins over the Bucks, Knicks and Cavaliers. Their only losses were on the road to Oklahoma City, Indiana and Chicago, all by single-digits. That’s pretty impressive considering the Thunder, Pacers and Bulls are three of the best teams in the league.
This home game against Toronto, in my opinion, is the easiest game they have faced during this stretch. The Raptors are 10-24 on the season, including 5-13 on the road where they are getting outscored by 8.2 points/game. They really struggle offensively away from home, putting up a mere 86.6 points/game on 41.6 percent shooting. The Hornets only yield 91.7 points/game at home. Bet New Orleans Wednesday.
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College Basketball Picks: February 29th 2012
Duquesne vs. Charlotte
Prediction: Duquesne +2.5
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Charlotte got off to a strong start this season with a 7-2 record but it has been all downhill since then. The 49ers are 6-12 over their last 18 games and while this is the final regular season home game, they haven’t exactly been strong at home, going 7-6 on the season including 4-5 over their last nine games. Charlotte has only three conference wins since early January and those three came against Fordham, George Washington and Rhode Island, the three teams tied or below it in the conference.
Duquesne has been on a bad run as it has lost three straight games as well as five in a row against the number. The Dukes were in position to possibly grab a first round bye in the Atlantic-10 Tournament but that is no longer the case and it is now playing for seeding. The possibility is there to host a first round game but it has to start here with a win as hosting St. Louis in the season finale is going to be a tough challenge. The Dukes look to snap a three-game road streak here as well.
Duquesne has struggled on offense during this losing skid but the 49ers have been worse off for a much longer period of time. Charlotte is shooting only 41.1 percent for the season and 42.2 percent in 14 conference games and it has been held to fewer than 60 points in four of its last seven losses so that is the magic number Duquesne will be looking for. The 49ers are just 8-20 ATS in their last 28 home games against teams with a losing road record. Get more college basketball picks for February 29th 2012 from Matt Fargo at Touthouse.com
The Dukes are in ninth place in the conference and can still finish as high as sixth or as low as 12th so the motivation is there to finish strong. The Dukes have played the toughest schedule of all Atlantic-10 teams which has played a key role in some of those losses. Duquesne is 15-4 ATS in its last 19 road games under head coach Ron Everhart following two straight losses and 6-0 ATS in its six road games after scoring 30 points or fewer in the first half in its last game. 3* (559) Duquesne Dukes.
College Basketball Picks: February 28th 2012
Xavier vs. St. Louis
Prediction: Saint Louis -7
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St. Louis is coming off a devastating loss on Saturday at Rhode Island, one of the worst teams in the Atlantic-10 Conference. The Billikens had their six-game winning streak snapped in the process but the good news is that it did not lose any ground to Temple which also went down in an upset on Saturday. The chances of making the NCAA Tournament are still good for St. Louis but another quality win won’t hurt matters. The Billikens are 4-1 following a loss this season.
Xavier is coming off a much needed win on Saturday as it defeated Richmond at home. It has been a very disappointing season for the Musketeers after a very strong start as it has gone just 10-10 after an 8-0 start following that infamous brawl against Cincinnati. They clearly have not been the same team since then as trying to get a winning run together has been difficult as it is 4-6 over its last 10 games following a victory. Xavier has lost three straight road games and is now 5-6 on the highway this season.
Despite a rough effort Saturday, defense is still the name of the game for the Billikens. They have held their opponents to 50 points or less on 10 occasions so far this season and in addition, teams have scored less than 40 three times. They lead the conference in scoring defense, yielding an average of 59.9 ppg in conference games, nearly five points better than the average of second-place St. Bonaventure. St. Louis also leads the conference in shooting defense and are allowing just 37.3 percent shooting at home.
With just two regular season games remaining, St. Louis has not even secured a first round bye for the Atlantic-10 Tournament so it needs a big bounceback performance. It is in good position here as this is the final regular season home game with Senior Night festivities taking place. The Billikens are 17-6 ATS in their last 23 home games against teams with a winning percentage between .600 and .800 while Xavier is 1-5 ATS in its last six games against teams with a winning percentage greater than .600. 3* (734) St. Louis Billikens -Matt Fargo