St. Mary’s vs. VCU
NCAA Tournament Pick: St. Mary’s -4.5 (March 16th 2017)
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I like this matchup for Saint Mary’s on Thursday against VCU and expect them to cover this short spread. The Gaels will be playing with a chip on their shoulder after being banned from the postseason last year. Sure, all teams get up for the Big Dance, but I feel there is an added emphasis of excitement and motivation for them. The Gael’s rank 12th in the nation using an advanced analytic rating, the BPI. If seeding were based solely on the BPI, they would be a 3 seed. Point being is that I feel there is great value with them laying a small number to a 10 seed in the 1st round.
Saint Mary’s has an offense that does not force things nor do they turn the ball over often. They have the guard’s to handle the pressure that the VCU rams defense likes to throw at opponents and that is a big key to this game. The Gael’s can control the pace of the game on both ends of the court, but it is on offense that will prove to be the deciding factor here.
Jock Landale of Saint Mary’s is one of the best player’s in the tournament this year. The 6’11 junior will be the best player on the floor here and should pose a big edge down low against a VCU team that is undersized in the frontcourt. Saint Mary’s has no injury issues and is experienced in having the same starting 5 all season.
The Gael’s rank 15th in offensive efficiency according to KenPom and 26th in defensive efficiency. In conference play, they ranked 1st in three point percentage, free throw percentage, and also in offensive rebounding percentage.
St. Mary’s only game this year vs the A-10 vs at Dayton and they had a 20 point lead in the 2nd half before letting off the gas and winning by 4 points. The Gael’s are 12-2 ATS since 12/29/2014 as a favorite of 6 points or less, including 3-0 ATS this year. VCU is 1-12 SU their L13 as an underdog on a neutral site. This year they lost by 7 and 8 points as a dog on a neutral to Rhode Island and Baylor. Take a closer look at Saint Mary’s as I expect them to keep VCU in the 58-62 point range which won’t be enough against the highly efficient offense of the Gaels. (1* Saint Mary)
Brandon has THREE Big Plays on Thursday as the tournament tips off. He has a 10* Best Bet, a 9* ‘Total’ knockout, but starts it off EARLY with a 9* Winner that starts at 12:15 PM EST. He has profited with 13 of his last 16 ‘3 Packs’, either going 3-0 or 2-1. Save some $$ and get ALL 3 picks for only $60 on Thursday or subscribe to his March Mayhem package or a full 31 days of picks in ALL Sports! He is on a heater carrying a 28-14 (66%) run his L42 basketball plays. Join in as we look to continue beating up on the books!
NC Wilmington vs. Virginia
NCAA Basketball Pick: Virginia -7 (March 16th 2017)
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I love fading all the ESPN Bracketology guys because they do not know jack crap about the Las Vegas Line and they tend to direct the average Joe sports bettor this time of year with their opinions. They all love the upset special here and made the Seahawks a public darling and the ol boring Cavs who have no offense. Remember it is Entertainment and hype for the tourney that drives ratings boys, not free winners against the Las Vegas line over the airwaves. You can leave that up to Brent Musbuger and Jimmy Vacarro now on Sirius Radio since they have anointed them suddenly betting experts (seriously up for debate BIG TIME), who are throwing out parlays like candy at a main street parade in a small town on July 4th.
That said Virginia is the top defensive in the country and if you doubt their prowess, please refer to exhibit A: They held North Carolina in their last meeting to half of their season offense average and beat them silly. The Cavs come from the mighty ACC conference who may have 2 teams in the Final 4, and this is a battle tested team who does struggle on offense at times, but when you hold opponent’s to 53 ppg for the season, you can afford to struggle on offense and still win. Did I mention they played in the ACC?
NC Wilmington is not without merit at 29-5 on the year, and they won the Colonial Conference Crown and beat all teams in that tourney by 9 or more points. The CAA conference is like a soap scrimmage compared to the ACC and this is where strength of schedule and opponents RPI ratings prove their worth. The size and strength and depth of Virginia shines here.
- Free Play on Virginia in Round 1 Thursday- The Las Vegas Line is -7
- Check out Tony’s RED HOT CBB Action, a Top 10 Ranked March Madness Capper EACH of the past 3 years documented – Locked and Loaded for Round 1 and on a roll! Get Paid! 28-14 run
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Boston Celtics
NBA Pick: Minnesota +6 (March 15th 2017)
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Minnesota has won three of its last four and seven of its last 10 to climb within 3 1/2 games of the final West playoff spot (Minnesota is 28-38 and current 8-seed Denver is32-35). The Timberwolves travel to TD Garden tonight to take on the Boston Celtics. Minnesota did the Celtics a favor Monday night by beating the Washington Wizards at home. Boston is battling Washington for second place in the East and Monday’s loss dropped the Wizards a half-game behind the Celtics, who are 2 1/2 games behind the Cavaliers for the East’s top spot.
The Celtics recently returned from a 2-3 road trip which included a win at Golden State but the Celtics also loss at sad-sack Phoenix and by 20 points at Denver. Boston was back home on Sunday and despite some natural fatigue, put away the fading Bulls, 100-80. “With (15) games left we got to play our best basketball because Washington is playing really well right now, Cleveland is not going to play like they have been for the most part so we just got to control our own destiny,” Thomas (29.2-6.0 APG) said. “Control what we can control that’s why we got to bring it every night. Luckily we got home games to we got to protect home court and go from there.” The really good news for Boston is that this team is back to full health, as Avery Bradley (16.9-6.3) is free of his minutes limits. He’s Boston’s best perimeter defender and has averaged 14.8 PPG in his last four.
The Timberwolves have been a major disappointment up to this point, with the talented duo of Anthony-Towns (24.5-12.3) and Andrew Wiggins (22.9-4.1) supported by SG LaVine (18.9), PF Dieng (10.0-7.9) and PG Rubio (9.8-8.9 APG). Towns has scored at least 20 points in this last 21 contests (the second-longest streak in the league this season) and Rubio has at least 10 assists in seven of the team’s last 10 games, which coincides with the team winning seven of those 10. Rubio is averaging 11.1 APG over that 10-game span and 16.3 PPG over his last six outings.
The Celtics own 10 consecutive home wins over the T-wolves but finally, Minnesota is starting to show some defensive chops. Minnesota has held six of its last 10 opponents to under 100 points and throwing out the team allowing 142 points in a loss at Houston in that span, has allowed a modest 94.1 PPG over the other nine. I’m taking the points.
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