Detroit Pistons vs. Toronto Raptors
NBA Pick: Toronto Raptors -4 (February 22nd 2012)
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I don’t think there is any denying the Pistons are playing their best basketball heading into the All-Star break. They have covered 10 of their last 11 games, which likely has got the attention of just about everyone who bets the NBA. I expect a lot of people to jump on Detroit as a 4-point underdog in Toronto, but my money is on the Raptors to win and cover in this one.
The Pistons blew a 17-point lead at Cleveland last night, where they allowed the Cavaliers to score 35-points in the fourth quarter. That’s a pretty good sign of a team wearing down. Tonight’s game against the Raptors is not only the second road game in a back-to-back set, but its Detroit’s 6th game in the last nine days.
At the same time the Raptors have had the luxury of four days off since their last game. Toronto has lost four straight and seven of the last eight. That usually is a sign that a team is playing bad, but the Raptors haven’t had a loss by more than 7-points during that stretch. I look for them to come out extremely motivated to put a win on the board before the All-Star break. BET THE RAPTORS!
UC Santa Barbara vs. Long Beach State
College Basketball Pick: UC Santa Barbara +8.5 (February 22nd 2012)
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Early in the season many thought this game would have some big implications toward the Big West regular season championship but this now not the case. Long Beach St. has pretty much run away with the title although it is not mathematically over. The 49ers are a perfect 12-0 in the conference with four games remaining and they possess a three-game lead so barring a serious meltdown, they will be the top seed heading into the conference tournament.
Santa Barbara is 9-3 in the Big West and it knows the race is not over year as it still has a chance to catch the 49ers. It will need some help along the way but most important, it needs to take car of its own business first and foremost. The Gauchos have been playing very consistent basketball and are in the midst of their best run of the season as they have won six of their last seven games with five of those victories coming on the road. They are coming off a Bracketbuster win Saturday at Utah St.
Even though it may mean little at this point, Long Beach St. is coming off a gut wrenching loss at Creighton on Saturday as they lost on a last-second bucket. It snapped a 12-game winning streak and a tough loss like that can carry forward. The 49ers have yet to lose at home this season so the undefeated record there as well in conference play may look like it doesn’t give the Gauchos a chance to win but we are getting a very healthy line and one that Santa Barbara can easily stay within.
That doesn’t mean the Gauchos can’t win this game outright. They will no doubt be fired up for this game following the first meeting where it was hammered at home by the 49ers by 23 points which is its worst loss of the season and they have played some other very strong teams along the way. Long Beach St. has owned this series spread-wise but this is easily the biggest number it has laid in a very long time. The 49ers are just 4-11 ATS in their last 15 games following a win against the number. 3* (607) Santa Barbara Gauchos. Get more college basketball picks for February 22nd 2012 from Matt Fargo at Touthouse.com
NBA Picks: February 21st 2012
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Memphis Grizzlies
Prediction: Philadelphia 76ers -1
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The 76ers, which should benefit from a day of rest, will no doubt be focused this evening as they try to end a 3-game skid. The Grizzlies, meanwhile, enjoy no such luxury having just played in Houston last night.
History is certainly on our side here considering plays against home underdogs that have failed to cover the spread in 3 of their last 4 games and are playing the second of a back-to-back are 58-28 ATS the last 5 seasons. Teams fitting into this situation have lost by an average of 6.2 points.
Also, Memphis is just 1-8 ATS when checking in off a road loss this season.
Bouncing back from tough defeats hasn’t been an issue for the 76ers since Doug Collins took over. The Sixers, which lost by 1 point Sunday, are 18-6 ATS after a loss by 6 points or less under Collins. They have won by an average score of 95.3 to 89.0 in this situation. Take Philly.
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College Basketball Picks: February 21st 2012
Michigan vs. Northwestern
Betting Pick: Northwestern Wildcats -2
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I look for Michigan to struggle on the road tonight after that huge win over Ohio State at home on Saturday. It’s extremely hard to win on the road in the Big Ten, and even harder coming off such an emotional game. Not to mention Northwestern is a lot better than they get credit for.
The Wildcats nearly upset Michigan on the road earlier this season, falling 64-66 as 7-point underdogs. That’s pretty impressive considering they are just 5-7 on the road this season. Northwestern is 11-3 at home with that huge win over Michigan State back in the middle of January. Michigan is simply not the same team on the road. They are just 5-7 away from home with losses to the likes of Iowa and Arkansas.
Northwestern 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record, while Michigan is just 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600. BET THE WILDCATS!
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