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|Minnesota vs Ohio State||Ohio State -7½ -109||Top Premium||62-59||Loss||-109||Show|
|Michigan State vs Indiana||Michigan State -3½ -108||Top Premium||63-67||Loss||-108||Show|
|Washington State vs Colorado||Colorado -13½ -109||Free||56-78||Win||100||Show|
|UCLA vs Oregon State||Oregon State -7 -110||Top Premium||62-58||Loss||-110||Show|
PICKS IN PROGRESS
My 9* Situational Stunner is on Purdue at 7:00 ET.
Wisconsin has been to the "Big Dance" in 20 of the last 21 seasons and while the Badgers lost the 6-10 Happ (17.3 & 10.1) and a solid guard in Iverson (6.9 & 4.5) from last season's 23-win NCAA team, the Badgers have a solid returning core. The Badgers got off to a disappointing 5-5 but is 12-7, after the Badgers set a program record with 18 three-pointers en route to an 82-68 victory over Nebraska Tuesday, moving them into a tie for third place in the conference standings at 5-3. Purdue is coming off a 26-win season, after reaching the Elite 8 last year (lost in OT to eventual champ UVA), but Purdue lost outstanding guard Edwards (24.3) from that team, as well as the team's second-leading scorer Cline (12.0). The Boilermakers opened the season ranked 23rd in the AP preseason poll but Purdue takes the court tonight looking to pick up the pieces after suffering its first season sweep at the hands of No. 20 Illinois since the 2008-09 campaign. The Boilermakers were routed 63-37 by the Fighting Illini on Jan 5 while being held to a program-worst 25 percent shooting from the floor before suffering a 79-62 setback Tuesday to see their 15-game conference home winning streak come to an end.
The 6-11 Reuvers (14.0 & 5.4) may not be Happ but he's a quality man. He finished with 12 points and four blocked shots against Nebraska to overtake Rashard Griffith (124) for fourth place on the program’s all-time blocks list. Davison (9.3 & 4.6) scored 11 of his team-high 14 points in the second half as the Badgers shot 52.9 percent from beyond the arc, eclipsing the previous school record of 17 three-pointers set on Dec 23, 2010 against Coppin State. Fellow guards Brevin Pritzl (7.4 & 3.3) had 12 points while D’Mitrik Trice (9.0-4.2-3.5) added 11 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists to register the first double-double of his career. The 6-10 Micah Potter, an Ohio St transfer who became eligible in December, has averaged 9.3 & 5.8 in nine games, with teh Badgers going 7-2 since he joined the team.
Purdue has nice balance, as FIVE players average between 9.2 and 11.3 PPG. The 6-9 Williams leads in scoring (11.3) and rebounding (7.5) and is joined up front by the 7-3 Haarms (10.0 & 5.3). A trio of guards follow, including Hunter (10.5 & 3.4), Stefanovic (9.6) and Proctor (9.2),. Filling out the roster are guards Eastern (5.3 & 4.4) and Thompson (4.9), while the 6-9 Wheeler (4.1 & 5.1) helps out Williams and Haarms up front. Eastern scored 14 points and grabbed five rebounds while Trevion Williams continued his stellar play of late by adding 12 points in the loss to Illinois to finish in double figures for the eighth time in his last 10 games. Matt Haarms produced 10 points, six rebounds and all three of the team's blocked shots while Sasha Stefanovic finished with nine points but the Boilermakers lost the battle of the boards 37-19. “We just got out-toughed it’s just that easy,” Haarms told reporters. “You’ve got to hit a guy on a rebound and we failed to do that … so that’s what happened.”
I have to expect this is a great bounce-back spot for Purdue, as the Boilermakers had won 15 straight Big Ten games at home prior to Tuesday's defeat. They are looking to beat the Badgers for the SIXTH time in their last seven meetings, a streak which includes three straight home wins over Wisconsin by an average of 16.6 PPG. This is Purdue's game!
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on the Mia Heat at 8:05 ET.
It's an East vs West matchup Friday night in South Beach, as the Clippers take on the Heat. The Clippers are 31-14, FIVE games back of the Lakers for the West;s best record but just a half-game back of the Jazz for the West's No. 2 seed (Nuggets are just a half-game back of the Clippers plus the Mavs are only 2 1/2 games back). The Heat check in at 31-13 and that leaves them second to only the NBA-best Bucks in the East. Of course, Milwaukee's 98-6 record gives them an EIGHT-game lead over Miami. Catching Milwaukee may be a 'bride too far' for any East team but there is a rel 'scrum' right behind the Bucks, as the while the Heat are currently the No. 2 seed, Miami's margin over the East's No. 6 seed is only THREE games.
The LA Clippers are 12-10 on the road, after dropping a 102-95 decision to the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday. Paul George (23.5-7.4-5.0) has missed SEVEN straight games due to a strained left hamstring and will not play here. However, Kawhi Leonard will return to the lineup after sitting out on the second end of a back-to-back in the loss to the Hawks. He's averaging 27.1-7.4-5.0 on the season and has been OUTSTANDING in averaging 36 points during a stretch of six straight 30-point outings, the franchise's best such streak since scoring machine Lloyd Free put together 11 straight during the 1979-80 season when the club was located in San Diego. Without Leonard and George, LA held a 19-point halftime lead against the Hawks, before being outscored 61-35 in the second half. Backup PF Montrezl Harrell (19.4 & 7.2) scored 30 points for his fifth 30-point effort of the season. He and Low Williams (19.9 & 6.1 APG) typically come off the bench but with George out and guard Beverley (8.3-6.0-4.0) out tonight with a groin injury, Doc Rivers may start Williams again (not his preferred role).
Miami let a 21-point lead get away at home on Wednesday vs the Wizards, before escaping with a 134-129 overtime victory. That gives the Heat an NBA-best 20-1 home record plus the Heat are a PERFECT 8-0 in OT games this season. Jimmy Butler (20.3-7.0-6.5) had 24 points and 10 assists against Washington, while undrafted rookie Nunn (16.2) added 14 points and PG Goran Dragic (15.8 & 5.0 APG) produced a big game off the bench with 22 points, 10 assists and six rebounds. However, all three are questionable for this game with nagging injuries. That said, with the Clippers in town and the Heat not playing again until Monday, I'm not buying all three will miss. By the way, rookie guard Herro (13.3 & 4.1) scored 25 points off the bench vs Washington and made seven 3-pointers to set a franchise record for most by a rookie. The 6-9 Adebayo has thrived with more playing time (with the Whiteside trade), averaging 15.8-10.5-4.6 with a team-leading 24 double-doubles. 6-7 second-year player Robinson (11.8) has been a steady contributor all season plus while Leonard (6.1 & 5.0) typically starts at center, Olynyk adds 7.5 & 4.5 off the bench. There has also been a James Johnson 'sighting' lately, as the former 2009 first round pick recently played In a season-high 29 minutes and scored 22 points when Butler sat out Monday against Sacramento.
My point is, I'd obviously prefer "all hands on deck," but a few 'missing pieces' will NOT get me off Miami here, as a home dog (20-1 SU at home, remember?). The George-less and Beverley-less Clippers are playing their FOURTH game in seven days. Take the points!
My 10* LEGEND play is on Butler at 9:00 ET.
Marquette went 24-10 last season but lost in the NCAA's first round. In the off-season, head coach Steve Wojciechowski got great news as Markus Howard (25.0 PPG), the Big East player-of-the-year, would return for his senior year. However, three day later, the Hauser brothers, Sam (14.9 & 7.2( and Joey (9.7 & 5.3), announced that they were transferring. The Golden Eagles travel to legendary Hinkle Fieldhouse on Friday night to take on the Butler Bulldogs. Butler has had a 'rich' recent history on the basketball court. The Bulldogs made six NCAA trips from 1997-2007, before Brad Stevens took them to FIVE tourneys in six years, including back-to-back runner-up finishes in 2010 and 2011. Chris Holtmann led Butler to three straight NCAA appearances from 2015-17 and LaVell Jordan followed with an NCAA berth in 2018 but the Bulldogs finished just 16-17 last season. However, Butler opened 7-0 and on Dec 2 entered the AP poll at No. 24, ending a span of 43 consecutive polls on "the outside, looking in!' Butler sat at 15-1 at the beginning of last week and was ranked 5th in the latest AP poll, the highest rating in school history. However, Butler's red-hot start to the season has disappeared in a flash. Butler dropped an eight-point decision against Seton Hall (then ranked 18th but now ranked 10th) on Jan 15, got stunned by a 13-point loss at DePaul on Saturday (a team that had opened 0-4 in Big East play) and lost badly at No. 9 Villanova on Tuesday, 76-61. In contrast, 14-5 Marquette (4-3 in Big East) comes on a three-game winning streak, trending in the opposite direction of Butler and its three-game slide.
Markus Howard (28.4) is averaging 31.7 PPG in Big East play, after averaging 36.3 over his last three games (all Big East wins). Senior guard Sacar Anim ranks second to Howard on the team in scoring at 12.5 PPG, after recording 21 to tie a season high in the team's 82-68 victory over St John's on Tuesday. PG McEwen checks in at 9.6-4.8-3.2 plus a trio of frontcourt players, the 6-8 Bailey (7.7 & 5.4), the 6-7 Cain (5.0 & 4.3) and John (4.9 & 4.9) round out Marquette's main contributors.
Butler held each of its first 16 opponents to 67 points or fewer in going 15-1 but has now allowed an average of 77.7 PPG during its three-game slide. Senior guard Kamar Baldwin paces the squad with 15.4 PPG (adds 4.2 RPG) and played well in the loss to 'Nova, scoring 21 points. PG Thompson (6.6-3.5-5.1) joins Baldwin in the backcourt, while a quartet of forwards round out the core of Butler's team. 6-6 senior forward Sean McDermott (11.0 & 5.7) is the only other player on the team averaging in double digits but is coming off an 'ugly' performance against the Wildcats in which he was 1-of-11 from the floor, including 0-of-7 from three-point range. Playing up front with McDermott are Tucker (9.5 & 4.1), Nze (9.4 & 7.0) and Golden (8.0 & 3.6). Golden had 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting in the Villanova loss, Nze notched his third double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Marquette 'kicked' Butler last year when the Bulldogs were down (16-17), winning both meetings, 76-58 at Butler and 79-69 at home. Howard scored 60 points on 23-of-43 shooting in two wins against Butler last season but expect Butler's Baldwin, an outstanding defender, to bring his "A game" with Butler in dire need of confidence-building win. Butler is 9-1 SU at home (7-3 ATS), while Marquette is 1-3 SU &ATS as a road dog this season. I won my most recent "signature" play in CBB last Saturday on UVA, which broke its own three-game losing streak. It's deja vu all over again" right here with Butler.
Our Sports Betting Handicapper Larry Ness Review
Larry Ness is a legend in Las Vegas. He’s been working in the business since the early 80s and that experience is a big reason why he’s one of the top sports handicappers in the world. He has won so many handicapping titles out in Las Vegas that it would take all day to list them.
He is also one of the most famous names in handicapping. Ness was on Proline and Sports Desk, two handicapping shows that aired on USA network. He had his own syndicated radio show called Sports Central that was aired in more than 100 markets.
With over 30+ years of looking at matchups Ness knows how to spot strengths and weaknesses. He then knows how teams will match up against one another to have an advantage. He doesn’t use a lot of trend analysis, just keeps a close eye on all the current players and teams.
He releases his plays fairly early, before noon on weekdays for basketball and baseball, but as early as Tuesday during football season so bettors can jump in on the soft opening lines and get their bets in before the numbers sharpen up.
It doesn’t matter what the sport, if you want to start winning more of your bets Larry can help you do so.