TCU brings one of the most dynamic offenses in the entire country and we have a hard time seeing the Wildcats keep up. The Horned Frogs got back on track with a 96-73 blasting of Iowa St to follow up 3 tough losses. The Wildcats got a huge upset over Oklahoma but they will face a Horned Frogs team that, unlike Oklahoma, can pile on the points in the interior, something the Wildcats do not defend well. We make the visitors the favorites!
Hofstra is on a bit of a run winning 3 in row and 5 of their last 6. We are not the biggest believers in the Pride as their defense has limitations but we believe the hosts are a bit overrated. Charleston has struggled against offensive teams and their defense is not up to par from previous years. We see a rebounding advantage for the Pride as well and it will take an extremely poor shooting night for the Pride to be unable to keep this within a single possession!
Detroit made shockwaves last year when they defeated Oakland on the road as 19 pt underdogs. While not quite as much an outside tonight, it will still be a mammoth task for the Titans with the absence of Jones and Hogan, who in particular had a monstrous game in the upset. Still, the Titans are a team we feel is better than perceived and the Golden Grizzlies are probably their chief rival at the moment. The Golden Grizzlies defense has shown some holes and we believe the Titans can have enough success from outside to keep this within reason.
This is a particularly bad match up for the undersized Bulldogs as Missouri State's Alize Johnson will be a handful on the inside. Drake's success generally depends on their outside shooting but this is an area that the Bears defend very well. Home court is not enough to overcome the disadvantages for the Bulldogs!
Despite winning last seasons second division by 4 points, Venlo were expected to be one of the weaker sides in this seasons Eredivisie. One of the reasons for that was lack of ambition by the club, and by that we mean failure to spend money during the summer. Den Haag have always worked on a tight budget, and the fact is they were close to bankruptcy back in 2008. Nevertheless, the Storks have now been applying their trade in the Eredivisie for the past nine seasons, and they usually manage that by taking most points at home. The hosts come into this having won three from their last four league matches against Zwolle (4-0), Roda (3-2) and Twente (2-3). They also beat Venlo (0-2) on the road, and best of all they appear to have a near to compete squad!
We should start off by saying both of these teams are close to complete. Only Navarone Foor is missing for the hosts, and Warner Hahn for the visitor. Playing in the Europa league was a burden too much for the Vitas, so being out of that competition could prove a blessing in disguise. Henk Fraser’s side won their first match back against Sparta Rotterdam (0-1), and earlier on in the season they thrashed todays opponent Heerenveen by an easy 0-4. On that note, the Superfriesen have only won one of their last eleven meetings against Vitesse and that was 8 matches back. Heerenveen won just one of their last seven league matches, and seven of them were defeats. Take the vitas to carry on tradition!
Oostende had to balance the books during the summer which in turn meant cashing-in on players. Nevertheless, the Kustboys were still expected to be nearer the top of the table than the bottom, so it’s probably fair to say their season has been disappointing. To be honest we have been very disappointed with the Kortrijk board of directors, because they failed to find suitable players. However, four wins from their last five league matches has taken De Kerels up the table, so they at least look safe for now. Team news doesn’t point us in one direction or the other. However, player expectancy guides us in the direction of the host, and the Kustboys playing this at home is another key factor. Ignore the table is our recommendation, Oostende are the better team.
APOLLO CREED has the potential to improve, but he will need to if he’s going to defy a mark of 119. The race he won last time appears to be over rated, and the 2nd+3rd that day have been out and beaten since. SOUTHFIELD ROYALE looks an hard ride, while THE HOLLOW GINGE went out like a light at Hereford. BRUICHIADDLICH has scope, but the handicapper was harsh in raising him 5 pounds for a recent second at Ayr. We like DE VOUS A MOI who finished a neck behind SOUTHFIELD ROYALE when they met over CD last time out. Sue Smith’s runner lost a shoe that day and that might have been the reason for him hanging. We fancy this well handicapped 10 year old to be primed today and reverse!
Please forgive me for taking one at lower odds than we like, but we really can’t see past ACTING LASS. Despite the name Harry Fry’s seven year old is a gelding, and from what we have witness one that is improving leaps and bounds at that. The son of KING’S THEATRE only won a flur horse race last time out, but it was a select field and he did it well. Best of all the handicapper hasn’t over react
The first three in the betting are all being ridden by somewhat inexperienced jockeys. And, while we can understand the trainers motive, these riders lack experience at this higher level. Furthermore, while CROSSED MY MIND and OXWICH BAY are in with low weights, neither of them stand out has being particularly good. JENKINS has been mortified by the h’capper, while CD winner AIR HORSE ONE is handicapped to the hilt. We don’t consider Lizzie Kelly inexperienced, and we like the idea of her claiming 3 pounds from fairly handicapped NIGHT OF SIN. Nick Williams runner is going the right way, and their should be a lot more to come under ideal condition. The other carrot is odds of 12/1!
Willie Mullins runs four, and they occupy the first four places in the betting. We are put off the trainers CHATEAU CONTI by his last two runs, and CADMIUM would appear to be the weakest from an achievement side of things. Their is an argument to suggest favourite BONBON AY MIEL will benefit from dropping back in trip, albeit he was beaten quite long last time out. With everything considered, we keep coming back to the 8 year old grey TURCAGUA. Robbie Powers mount disappointed on his last two runs last season, but he had shown an high level of form before that. Heavy ground isn’t a worry and another positive factor is his record first time out. Last but not least he’s ridden by the best jockey and he’s won at the track!
Joseph O’Brien’s six year old MORTAL has already delivered a good level of form on this type of ground. In fact, the handicapper rates him 127, and that would appear to be a fair reflection of what he’s achieved. While he has to give 3 pounds to the Willie Mullins 5 year old ANTEY, we believe that’s more than possible. Afterall, while the latter ran a solid debut and could improve, the fact is he only finished seven lengths in front of the 100 rated PLAY THE GAME. Suffice to say that level of form doesn’t get near that of the selection, and their are a few other things that are off putting. By that we mean the ‘’unknown ground’’ factor, and odds of 8/1 on his debut suggest he’s not one of the stables better horses!