Idaho St enters this game on a nice run having covered in 5 of their last 7 games with 3 wins in that span. The Bengals sit at a respectable 6-6 in the Big Sky and face off against a Sacramento St team with just 3 wins in conference play with 2 of them being against Portland St, a team that for some reason, the Hornets always do well against. In any case, the Hornets are a bottom 75 team and the Bengals have topped 80 points in their last 3 contests, shooting over 52% during that span. We'll take the better team in better form catching a healthy 3 points.
Murray St sits at 12-2 on the season and takes on 9-5 Jacksonville St in a hugely important game for the Ohio Valley Conference. The Racers enter this game in prime form, winning their last 7 while the Gamecocks have looked shaky, losing 3 of their last 6 with the 3 losses as heavy favorites. Nevertheless, Jacksonville St is a team we've really liked the last couple seasons and this should be a highly competitive game where a double digit victory is highly unlikely in our opinion. In fact, the Gamecocks won the first meeting between the two and the underdog role is one that they usually thrive in.
Tulsa enters this matchup having won their last 3 and 4 of their last 5. On the other side, Connecticut has struggled, losing 6 of their last 8 and are coming off a 21 pt loss to Wichita St. In fact, we're having a hard time figuring out why the Huskies are a healthy 3.5 pt favorite as we have Tulsa rated as the much better team. Connecticut has shown major issues getting points on the board and putting up 68 against dreadful South Florida tells us nothing, nor does putting up 74 against a disinterested Wichita St team down the stretch. Visitors to keep it within one possession.
manhattan enters this matchup on the back of 3 solid performances against Siena, Rider and Monmouth, winning 2 and covering in all 3. Quinnipiac has lost their last 4 and even their 71-64 loss to Canisius, we feel is a bit misleading as the Griffins dominated but got a bit too lax towards the end. The Jaspers aren't known for their scoring but they do shoot the 3 ball very well and this is a major liability for the Bobcats. Hosts are a mixed bag at home and we feel a 5th straight loss for them is in order.
We were a bit peeved to lose our Under bet in Portland's last game against Utah as the last 4 minutes of the game played out in incredibly unlucky fashion and not to mention the ungodly amount of points even scored in the 2nd half. Nevertheless, we maintain our position that the Blazers are a different team this year as they are more deliberate and prioritize rebounding and defense over running into transition. So this will be a matchup of contrasting styles as the Warriors come to town fresh off 3 consecutive games scoring 121 points or more. Draymond Green is questionable for the visitors and Jusuf Nurkic is questionable for the hosts. It would be unfortunate for both to suit up but given the circumstances, we feel it's likely one or both sit and their replacements would be a downgrade on the offensive end and in Portland's case, an upgrade defensively. Our only concern, again, is the end of game situation but we feel it's a manageable risk and believe it's also likely the Warriors have the game in hand making quick possessions and excessive fouling unnecessary.
The Rockets have not done well as a double digit favorite this year but this is especially a bad matchup for the Kings. The Rockets showed just how deadly they can be at Minnesota last night as they crushed the Twolves 126-108 in a game that looked close but turned into a blowout. Perhaps, there's less excitement for the Rockets against lowly Sacramento but the Kings are horrid defending the 3 which the Rockets shoot even more than they do 2's. Both teams are on back to backs so depth becomes even more important which also favors the hosts. Don't look now but the Rockets just may be the best team in the NBA and an emphatic win may just be the way to show this going into the All-Star break.
The Thunder ran into a buzzsaw yesterday as they lost to the new look Cavs 120-112. The Grizzlies have lost 6 in a row and are coming off their 110-92 loss to the Thunder back on Sunday. Against the Thunder, Tyreke Evans returned from a 5 game absence after nothing materialized on the trade market and looked rusty, managing just 12 points over 26 minutes. Evans will start again tonight and Chandler Parsons is expected to play with a heavy minutes restriction while JaMychal Green is doubtful with an illness. The Thunder are on a back to back but as the final game before the All Star Break, we doubt there is much interest here from the Grizzlies, especially as they are tanking. The Thunder are still a very good defensive team even without Roberson and this should be a straightforward win for the visitors
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!