We've been hard on Georgia Tech this year but we would look to be backing them in this situation against a Wake Forest team that's won just once in their last 11 games and have a 2-9 record ATS in that time span. However, the Yellow Jackets received some bad news as Jose Alvarado was lost for the season with an injury sustained last game against Duke and the continued absence of Curtis Haywood is also a concern. The Yellow Jackets do bring a top defense to this game and will look to grind it out in a slow paced affair but one of their weakenesses is defending the 3 and this is an area that the Demon Deacons should and will look to exploit. Wake does play a bit better at home with a respectable 6-7 record overall and 2-4 in conference play including wins over Syracuse and Florida St and a good showing against Virginia that probably deserved a better scoreline than a 10 point loss. In any case, asking to cover 6 points may seem like a lot under the circumstances but the Yellow Jackets inability to defend the 3 could result in a faster paced game than they'd like if they fall behind early. We even considered Georgia Tech here when the line peaked at +6.5 2.07 (Pinnacle) for the visitors but at current market, we side with the hosts!
Their is no doubt that Jelena Ostapenko is the real deal when she’s on song. However, she plays all her matches close to the edge, and she does have an habit of making life hard for herself. We would never doubt the Latvians ability, but she won’t find it easy to hit through Mihaela Buzarnescu. The 29 year old Romanian has been a bit of a phenomenon this season, and while it’s hard to suggest someone is improving at 29 that appears to be the situation with this girl. If Buzarnescu can build on her win against Tsurenko!
With all due respect, Jurgen Klopp must have been extremely happy when Liverpool were handed this fixture against Porto. While the Portuguese league leaders are cleaning up in their own league, the fact is they could only finish runners-up to Besiktas during the group stage. Whichever way you look at it the former winners of this competition (under Jose Mourinho) don’t have much in the terms of squad strength. And, while they scored 15 goals during six group games, they lost at home to a better organised Besiktas (1-3). Furthermore, top scorer Aboubakar is struggling for fitness and is likely to be sidelined, while important defender Felipe is definitely out. The Reds won’t have suspended Emre Can and Joe Gomez is doubtful. Other than that Klopp has a full troop, and best of all he comes here with the premier leagues second highest scorer in Mo Salah. We can be sure that the Reds will come here with all guns blazing, and they should be too good for an average opponent!
Nothing we can do about the odds today, it’s an uncompetitive days racing and we have to work with what we have. This is just a three horse race on paper, and we feel it’s easy to put a line through the other seven. In fact, we are also convinced that MASONS DAUGHTER isn’t that good and only the Mullins factor is keeping her short in the betting. Both MOONLIGHT ESCAPE and CHAMPAGNE LADY have an exposed look about them, but we believe the latter has the better form and she’s best equipped for a race of this nature.
We always have a second look at the opposition when Wayne Hutchinson is riding the favourite, because Alan King’s jockey wouldn’t be the most efficient race rider. In this race the veteran will be legged up on last time faller HAREFIELD, and we believe he’s got a bit to find with Ben Pauling’s charge DELIRE D’ESTRUVAL. In fact, the h’capper shares that opinion has he has the selection rated 3 pounds higher. While the 5 year old ran a bit below par at Plumpton, a lot of horses did the same that day. In any case, he’s from a stable in great form and back on a more orthodox track!
Battle of the 1st place and last place teams in the Missouri Valley Conference as Loyola Chicago hosts Valparaiso. It's been a rough first year in the new conference for the former Horizon League heavyweights. Losing Alec Peters to attrition obviously didn't help but also losing their best player Tevonn Walker early in the season and Joe Burton to suspension really put them behind the 8-ball. Walker has been back from mono and has consistently played well averaging 14.7 ppg and 4.8 rpg. Despite the Crusaders' struggles, they rarely lose by this kind of margin and Loyola has been nearly unbeatable with just 1 loss in their last 11 but we think they're more focused on the upcoming road trip. Crusaders to stay within single digits.
Youngstown St has improved a lot this year but they do not match up well against Oakland. Even in the first meeting this seaosn, Oakland probably should have covered but just got a little lazy at the end. Penguins got a nice win against IUPUI on Saturday but overall, they've struggled to find the early season success they had to open conference play. Every game is important for the Golden Grizzlies at this point and covering 7 points shouldn't be asking too much. Oakland recently lost their point guard for the season but I don't think it makes too much difference as his minutes are replaced with more scoring oriented players.
Cleveland St got a big upset win over Illinois-Chicago on Saturday but keeping things into perspective, this is still a really bad team. Detroit is as well but they have a good offense that can keep them in this game. Titans have had some personnel issues with Gerald Blackshear still not cleared to play and Jaleel Hogan and Tariiq Jones suspended indefinitely. But Isaiah Jones is cleared to play which should help them in the front court. I think 3 is generous.
Vanderbilt has traditionally been a very strong home team though perhaps they haven't shown it this year. But in 2016, the Commodores were 7-3 ATS against SEC opponents plus 1 additional game against Iowa St from the Big 12. While they are just 3-8 ATS in all home games this season, the 3 victories have come in their last 3 home games against Georgia, TCU and LSU, 3 tough opponents. The Bulldogs bring an extremely stingy defense but they've been extremely poor away from home and are allowing opponents to hit 34.4% of their 3 balls, something the Commodores shoot very well at home. The Bulldogs also gave the Commodores one of their worst defeats this season in the reverse fixture and we believe the hosts will have this in the back of their minds tonight. We'll take the high powered Commodores' offense against the poor traveling Bulldogs team!
The Wolves avoided disaster on Sunday and came away with a 111-106 victory over the scrappy Kings. The Rockets enter this matchup having won 8 in a row and 12 of their last 13. We expected better of the Wolves when these teams met a month ago in Houston but it was the Rockets making it look easy in a 116-98 victory. At the very least, we expect a much better effort at home from the Wolves and they were perhaps looking ahead to this game which explains their half hearted effort against the Kings. With as reliant as the Rockets are on the 3 point shot, we believe there is value on the home underdog.
Neither manager can use missing players has an excuse, because both sides are relatively clean. In fact, the Stags will need to check on Ben White, but their only confirmed absentee is David Mirfin. The visitors from Wales have doubts about Tom Owen-Evans and Marlon Jackson. Sean Rigg left the club, but only Paul Hayes is confirmed out. Mansfield lost on the road to Swindon (1-0) at the weekend, but Steve Evan’s team are still in the play-off places and they are just three points off the automatic promotion slots. Newport are currently a mid table tenth, but lost back to back. The thing that stands out here is Mansfield won their last four games at home and they only lost one of their league fixtures at Field Mill all season, we believe they should be good enough to make it five!
THIS IS ONE OF OUR PREMIUM FOOTBALL BETS FOR TODAY (LAST CHANCE) - YOU CAN GET FOOTBALL ONLY FOR €150 PER MONTH (Sent to inbox). THAT PRICE IS REDUCED FROM OUR NORMAL €250 AND IF YOU BOOK TODAY WE WILL GIVE TWO MONTHS FOR PRICE OF ONE! —————PREVIEW Just one place and two points separate 15th placed Doncaster from Walsall in the league table. We should also add that the visitors have played two more matches to date, and they took 17 points (4-5-7) from 16 games on the road. The Saddlers on the other hand managed 24 points from 15 games at home, plus they won the reverse fixture (0-3). With that in mind, it beggars belief that Darren Ferguson’s side are marginal favourites for this game, and that’s especially the case when we take into consideration they are winless in eight! Walsall won two from their last five matches, and that includes back to back at the Bescot stadium against MK Dons (1-0) and Oxford (2-1). And, then comes positive team news has only Dickie Devlin is a slight doubt for the host. Donny on the other hand are without their captain Andy Butler and another important defensive player in Joe Wright. Mathieu Baudry is a doubt, while Issam Ben Khemis, Danny Andrew and Andy Williams remain long term sidelined! Odds are based on reputation - concentrate on the facts.