February 28, 2015
The Kentucky Wildcats look to remain unbeaten as they host the Arkansas Razorbacks on Saturday Night. On a Saturday that features 17 games featuring top 25 match ups including four featuring two ranked teams. One of those contests is the Wildcats who currently sit at number one in the country and the last unbeaten team in the country.
On the other side of the court, the Wildcats take on an Razorbacks team that sits 18th in the country at 23-5 and 12-3 in the SEC. While the experts have indicated a perfect run to the SEC tournament for the Wildcats we think this will be their toughest distraction sitting in their way.
This will be the first meeting between these two teams this season after the Wildcats took both games last season. That being said if you flash back to last season, the season Razorbacks team pulled off two-overtime time wins against this same Wildcats team minus some of the new top recruits.
That being said the Razorbacks in some people’s eyes will get no respect as they are a 14.5 point underdog despite winning in Kentucky last season. This could have a lot to do with how they were blown out by the only other ranked team they played all season with that game also coming on the road.
While we would all love to see a Razorbacks upset the trends continue to point to the Wildcats despite the teams two losses last season. In their last eight meetings the favorite is 6-2 with both of those losses coming last season. The Razorbacks are also just 2-6 in their last eight games against the spread in Kentucky.
Outside of the Kentucky/Arkansas match up here are a few of the other top 25 match ups in action on Saturday.
#20 West Virginia @ #19 Baylor (-5): The Bears enter this match up as a five point favor at home. These two teams met back on February 7th with the Bears pulling out a 87-69 win on the road. Since that win the Bears are just 3-2 while the Mountaineers have won four of their last five games. The road team is 4-0 against the spread in this match up over their last four meetings.
#7 Arizona @ #13 Utah (-1.5): This match up features two of the top teams in the Pac 12 as the Wildcats enter 13-2 while the Utes enter 12-3 in the conference. These two teams met back on January 17th with the Wildcats picking up a 69-51 home win. Since that game the Utes have won eight of their last 10 games including going 4-0 at home. The trends point to the Wildcats as they have gone 4-1 against the spread in Utah while the road team is 8-3 against the spread the last 11 times these two teams have met.
February 27, 2015
Russell Westbrook looks to lead his Oklahoma City Thunder to big road win in Portland tonight. Westbrook who has played himself into the NBA MVP picture with his exceptional all around play this season. That includes his 12th career triple double on Thursday Night in a losing effort at Phoenix.
Westbrook who has played most of this season without Kevin Durant is expected to be without his partner for at least another week. When you start to break down how good Westbrook has been all you have to do is look back at how he has performed in February.
Entering tonight’s contest Westbrook is averaging over 30 points a game to go with 8.7 rebounds and 10.2 assists in 12 games. Over that stretch the Thunder have posted a record of 10-2 including a eight game winning streak. Along with the solid stat sheet, Westbrook has posted three triple doubles this month while missing a few others by just one rebound or assist.
This will be the third time this season these two teams have squared off with the Trailblazers getting the best of the Thunder in the previous two. In the first matchup the Trailblazers ran away with a 106-89 win in Portland despite a game high 38 from Westbrook.
In that contest, the Trailblazers were paced by LaMarcus Aldridge who scored a team high 27 points one of two players to finish with at least 22 points. In all the team had a well-balanced attack that spread the ball around creating scoring opportunities for the entire team. Overall the Trailblazers had six players in double digits, all but three players put up points.
The second meeting was a lot closer of a matchup with the Trailblazers picking up a 115-111 win in Oklahoma City. This matchup featured two of the NBA’s top point guards going back and forth with Damian Lillard getting the best of Westbrook. In the end both players finished with 40 points while Lillard got the stronger support from others on his team.
As we start to look at tonight’s game we start to look at how these two teams have played of late. The Thunder entering winning eight of their past ten games while the Trailblazers have played to a 5-5 record over that same stretch. That being said the team has played well at home winning four of their last five home contests.
For the Thunder we also took at how they have performed in games that followed a game the day before. In those contests the Thunder have posted a 3-0 record of late winning two of those contests on the road against the Washington Wizards and the other coming in Denver against the Nuggets.
The Trailblazers currently sit as a 4.5 point favor for tonight’s contest with an over/under of 207. As far as the trends the favorite is 18-7-1 against the spread the last 26 times these two teams have met. Outside of that neither of these teams have performed well on Friday Nights as the Trailblazers are 3-8 against the spread while the Thunder are 1-3-1 in their last five.
This should be a primetime matchup to watch as two of the games top point guards battle it out for a third time this season.
February 24, 2015
The Maryland Terps will look to avoid another top 25 loss at home on Tuesday Night. Mark Turgeon’s crew enters Tuesday Nights contest at the Xfinity Center ranked 14th in the Country. That being said the teams Big Ten counterpart the Wisconsin Badgers enter as the fourth best team in the country in NCAA College basketball picks. While this contest has no barring on the outcome of the conference it should still be the top college action on Tuesday. The Terps enter this contest at 22-5 overall and 10-4 in the Big Ten. On the other side the Badgers enter this contest at 25-2 with an overall record of 13-1 inside the Big 10.
For the Terps and Mark Turgeon the team has played to an outstanding 16-1 record at home with their only loss coming earlier in the season against number seven ranked Virginia. In that contest the Terps were with out veteran scorer Dez Wells who was out with an injury. The Terps have been carried by freshman point guard Melo Trimble for most of the 2014-15 season. That includes a current stretch that has seen Trimble carry the load including scoring a game high 26 points in the team’s 69-65 win over Nebraska on Thursday. On the season Trimble leads the team in scoring with 16.1 points per game as well as assists with 3.1 per contests.
On the other side of he court, the Badgers are led by one of the top players in the country senior Frank Kaminsky. Kaminsky enters Tuesday’s night contest averaging 17.7 point to go with 8.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. This will be one of the biggest keys to this matchup as the Terps lack the height down low to control the glass. This has came back to hurt the team in multiple contests this season.
Along with Kaminsky, the Badgers also have a lot of size with the combination of Sam Dekker and Nigel Hayes. Dekker is slotted at six-foot-nine while Hayes measures in at six-foot-eight. All three of these big men will present challenges for the Terps on Tuesday Night. The Badgers opened up at as a five point favorite but the line has slowly crept up to six over the past couple hours. As you start to look at the trends in this match-up all signs continue to point to the Badgers. The Terps have struggled going just 1-7 in their last eight contests against the Big Ten. Along with their recent struggles against the Big Ten they have also struggled going 0-4 against the spread at home .
This has much to do with the team’s ability to knock off some of the weaker teams in the Big Ten. Despite walking away with wins in each of those contests, the Terps won each of those contests by four, two, six and one points.
The other top match-up on Tuesday featuring two top 25 teams includes number 25 Providence heading to take on number 6 Villanova. The Wildcats enter this match-up currently as a 10.5 point favorite. These two teams met back on February 11th with the Wildcats picking up a 74-68 win on the road.
February 24, 2015
The NBA action is set to tip off on Wednesday with a battle of two of the top point guards in the NBA. Stephen Curry leads his Golden State Warriors into the Nations Capital to take on John Wall and the Washington Wizards.
These two teams are trending in different directions at the moment as the Warriors currently sit with the NBA’s best record. That includes a recent stretch that includes seven wins over their last ten games while the Wizards have only found a way to win two of their last ten games. This includes the teams current three game skid falling to the Toronto Raptors, Cleveland Cavaliers and Detroit Pistons. The teams only two wins have came at home against the Brooklyn Nets and Orlando Magic. Overall the Wizards are 20-9 at home while the Warriors are just 19-8 on the road.
Curry who many have as the top overall point guard has helped paced the Warriors to the NBA’s top offense at 110.3 points per game. This is going to be the teams biggest advantage entering tomorrow night’s contest even with Wall playing the point guard position on the other side. Entering Tuesday’s contest the Warriors have scored at least 100 points in seven of their last 10 games and 22 of their last 25 games. The Wizards on the other hand have failed to hit the 100-point mark in four straight games, two time in their last 10 games and 15 times in their last 25 games.
If Wall and the Wizards don’t come out shooting early this is a contest that could get out of hand early especially if both splash brothers are connecting from the outside. Curry and Klay Thompson have formed one of the top point guards to shooting guard combination in the NBA. On the season Curry is averaging 23.6 points per game to go with 7.9 assists. Thompson on the other hand is averaging 22.4 points a game along with nearly three assists per game. The two are also two of the top three point shooters in the NBA making it difficult for nearly any team to keep up if they fall behind early. The Wizards enter the contest with no player averaging more then 17 points a game.
Another game to keep an eye on tomorrow night is the Cleveland Cavaliers heading to take on the Detroit Pistons. The Cavaliers come in as a 6.5 point favor on the road while the over/under is currently at 203.5 points. Despite the Cavaliers recent success many of the trends seem to point to the Pistons in this matchup.
The Cavaliers are just 1-6 against the spread against the NBA Central Division. Along with their success against the Central, the Cavaliers are just 3-10 in this match-up over their last 13 meetings.
February 23, 2015
The NBA brand has slowly gained momentum over the last few years with TV ratings and attendance on the incline across the league. Unlike their counterpart the NFL, the NBA has for the most part avoided major controversy, maintaining mostly positive press aside from the Donald Sterling issue, while gaining an increased fan base in the process. The NFL consequently has gain popularity for different reason and lays claim to several villains something the NBA clearly lacks. With more markets competitive than ever before the NBA as a whole has garnered a whole lot of interest for all the right reasons and things seem to be cruising along. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s recent comments however, have created a ripple in the media about the topic of legalized and more regulated sports betting across the country.
Gambling without a doubt is a 4-letter word in the sports industry as millions of dollars have changed hands both legally and illegally over the years. Silver’s contention is that gambling is something that the NBA needs to embrace and becomes a more viable and accessible options for sports gamers all over the world. Silver maintains that the revenues gambling produces are too great for states to pass up, and seems to be making moves towards preparing the NBA for increased betting on NBA basketball in the future.
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Only 8 years removed from the Tim Donaghy scandal that casted the darkest of clouds over the NBA, Silver seems primed and ready to open those doors on a more regulated level with the only problem being, no one knows who’s going to walk through those doors. Donaghy was referee, but there is precedence in professional sports for both players and coaches to end up on the wrong side of transgressions committed involving gambling. Currently the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) prohibits gambling on sporting events in most states. Many states, however have attempted to have sports gambling legalized, but have always, until now been met with resistance from professional sports leagues and the NCAA
The moral implications of increased sports will eventually be at the forefront as states move towards legalizing. Silver’s point that that millions of dollars change hands illegally is valid, but the thought of the integrity of the game being compromised because of greed is also valid, especially considering its been done when it wasn’t that easy to do. The power and influence of professional sports leagues including the NBA shouldn’t be taken lightly, so it can be assumed that we are not far away from an increased visibility of gambling lines and over unders. This will heap a whole lot of responsibility on whole lot people and only time will tell how the NBA will handle the sports gambling movement should it come to pass.
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February 19, 2015
Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder look to get the second half started with a bang. The Thunder welcome the Dallas Mavericks to town in one of two NBA contests taking the court on Thursday Night. The line has yet to open in this contest but we imagine the Thunder the favorite but expect the total not to be more than three or four points.
On the season the Thunder have played well at home posting a 16-8 record while winning four of their last five games at the Chesapeake Arena. This will be the second meeting of the season between these two teams with the Mavericks walking away with a 112-107 at home. The one main difference in this matchup will be a healthy Kevin Durant in the lineup.
Durant missed the team’s last contest back on December 28th in Dallas but would make his season debute a few nights later against Phoenix. Since Durant’s return the Thunder have played to a 13-8 record including three straight wins to enter the All-Star Break. This stretch has also helped the Thunder play themselves back into the playoff picture in the Western Conference.
The Thunder’s All-Star has played like an MVP since his return posting seven contests with at least 30 points and six additional contests with at least 20 points scored. On the season Durant is averaging 25.9 points to go with four assists and 6.6 rebounds per game. Along with Durant the teams other top scorer Russell Westbrook has put together a terrific season averaging 25.8 points to go with 7.6 assists and 6.3 rebounds per contest.
The Mavericks have also played well of late winning six of their last ten games including three of their last four contests on the road. Despite the success on the court the one concern mounting is how well the Mavericks can stack up against top tier teams. In their recent 10 game stretch only a win against Portland came against a playoff caliber team. This should be a real test for the Mavericks as the Thunder might be the biggest sleeper in the West come playoff time.
As for the trends they can point you to either team based on what you are looking for. The Mavericks are just 5-17-2 against the spread over their last 24 games in the Western Conference. The Thunder on the other hand are 4-1 in their last five contest against the spread against the Western Conference. The head to head matchup favors the Mavericks who have gone 17-5-1 in Oklahoma City against the spread.
Nonetheless anytime you have a chance to watch Kevin Durant take the floor it makes for a great NBA matchup.
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