2012 NFL PreSeason Record: 1-0, +1 Unit
This town won't appreciate Tony Romo until he's gone and the Cowboys are back playing with the Quincy Carters and Chad Hutchinsons of this world. Remember those days?
You don't appreciate a quality quarterback until you don't have one. Few teams have the good fortune of making the transition from a Peyton Manning to Andrew Luck as the Colts are prepared to do. When Romo is done, it may be 5-10-15 years before the Cowboys find another quarterback of his ability.
CBB Revenge Games
By Brian Edwards
Duke at Florida State
When these schools met at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham on Jan. 21, Florida State captured a 76-73 win as a 10½-point underdog thanks to Michael Snaer’s buzzer beater from the right wing. The Seminoles snapped a 45-game home winning streak for the Blue Devils. Xavier Gibson led a balanced scoring attack with 16 points for the winners. Snaer finished with 14 points, five rebounds and three assists, while Deividas Dulkys added 12 points, five rebounds and four assists. Austin Rivers had a team-high 19 points in the losing effort.
Florida State (19-7 straight up, 13-11 against the spread) has won 10 of its last 11 games but in the process has become overpriced, as evidenced by a 1-4 ATS slump in its last five outings. The ‘Noles took the cash this past Saturday when they went into Raleigh and dominated North Carolina State in a 76-62 win as two-point underdogs. Ian Miller scored a team-high 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field to pace four FSU scorers in double figures.
Leonard Hamilton’s team has won 14 of its 15 home games, compiling an 8-5 spread record.
Most books opened this game as a pick ‘em with a total of 140½.
Since the aforementioned loss to FSU, Duke (23-4 SU, 12-15 ATS) has won seven of its last eight games, including four in a row. The Blue Devils are coming off a 75-50 win at Boston College as 14½-point road ‘chalk.’ Seth Curry and Rivers led the winners with 18 and 16 points, respectively.
Rivers is averaging a team-high 15.0 points per game for Duke and he buried a game-winning trey to beat North Carolina at the buzzer in Chapel Hill. However, Rivers has an extremely mediocre assists-to-turnovers ratio (57/62) that needs improvement.
The ‘over’ is 17-10 overall for Duke. On the other hand, the ‘under’ is 12-11-1 overall for the ‘Noles, 7-5-1 in their home games. The ‘under’ is on a 12-4 run in the last 16 head-to-head meetings between these ACC adversaries, cashing in eight straight in Tallahassee.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.
Brigham Young at Gonzaga
Most books opened Gonzaga (21-5 SU, 11-14-1 ATS) as a 6½-point favorite with a total of 146 ½.
Mark Few’s squad saw its four-game winning streak snapped in Saturday’s 66-65 loss at San Francisco as a five-point road favorite. Elias Harris had 21 points and 11 rebounds against the Dons.
BYU (23-6 SU, 14-11 ATS) comes to Spokane on a five-game winning streak that began with an 83-73 win over Gonzaga as a 3½-point home favorite on Feb. 2. Noah Hartsock was the catalyst on that night, producing 24 points, 14 rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots. Matt Carlino added 18 points and five assists, while Brandon Davies chipped in with 15 points. Sam Dower had a team-high 15 points for the Bulldogs.
Gonzaga lost at BYU earlier this month and was also sent packing from the second round of last year’s NCAA Tournament by the Cougars, who cruised to an 89-67 triumph thanks to 34 points and six assists from the departed Jimmer Fredette.
Gonzaga is 13-1 SU and 7-7 ATS at home this year. The Bulldogs have been single-digit home favorites just twice, going 1-1 both SU and ATS with a win (and cover) vs. Saint Mary’s and an outright loss to Michigan St.
Dave Rose’s team has been a road underdog three times, going 1-2 both SU and ATS. BYU won outright at Va. Tech but lost and failed to cover at Utah St. and at Saint Mary’s.
The ‘under’ is 14-11 overall for BYU.
The ‘under’ is 18-7-1 overall for Gonzaga, 10-3-1 in its home games.
ESPN2 will provide television coverage at 11:00 p.m. Eastern.
B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets
Alabama will travel to Fayetteville on Thursday to take on Arkansas. Most books opened this game as a pick ‘em with a total of 132½. The Razorbacks are coming off their first home loss of the season, while the Crimson Tide stopped the bleeding this past Saturday with a home win over Tennessee. Anthony Grant has reinstated JaMychal Green to the team but his status against the Hogs is in doubt. Tony Mitchell’s suspension will last for the rest of the year.
Most books opened Wisconsin as a five-point favorite for Thursday’s Big Ten game at Iowa. The Hawkeyes are coming off a convincing home win over Indiana as four-point underdogs. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2.
Saint Mary’s can’t afford a hiccup Thursday night at Portland. The Gaels opened as 11½-point road favorites at most books.
Cincinnati will host Louisville at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN. Most spots opened the Bearcats as 1½-point home favorites.
CBB Games to Watch
By David Schwab
No. 5 Duke Blue Devils vs. No. 15 Florida State Seminoles (ESPN)
Duke will look to avenge an earlier 76-73 loss to the Seminoles as a 10½-point home favorite. It comes into this matchup 23-4 SU overall and tied with Florida State and North Carolina at 10-2 SU for the lead in the ACC. The Blue Devils are 12-15 ATS this season and 7-6 ATS on the road. Florida State rolled over North Carolina State 76-62 this past Saturday as a two-point road underdog to boost its overall record to 19-7. The Seminoles are 13-11 ATS overall and 8-5 ATS at home. They are 1-4 ATS in their last five games and the total has stayed 'under' in five of their last seven games overall.
College funds: Thursday's Best NCAAB Bets
Wisconsin Badgers at Iowa Hawkeyes (5, 126)
Iowa has not beaten No. 15 Wisconsin twice in the same season since 1995, but the Hawkeyes are in position for the sweep after stunning the Badgers in Madison 72-65 on Dec. 31.
Cold shooting doomed Wisconsin in the first meeting - the Badgers were 34.8 percent from the field. The Hawkeyes and Badgers have been polar opposites this season, with Iowa riding the Big Ten's third-ranked scoring offense and Wisconsin comfortably atop the conference in scoring defense.
The Badgers have been one of the league's best road teams, sporting a 6-3 record in true away games.
Their offense, however, has not been as productive as in years past. Part of that is because of a tempo that creates fewer possessions per game (59.3) than any team in the country, but Wisconsin shoots only 42.3 percent from the floor (11th in the Big Ten) and its free-throw percentage (73.4) has dropped substantially from last year's NCAA-best figure of 81.8 percent.
USC Trojans at Arizona Wildcats (-14, 115)
Arizona’s bid for at least an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament continues with a home game against last-place Southern California, which is one loss away from tying the school record of 22 losses set in 1988-89.
The Trojans lost 57-46 to Arizona on Jan. 8, and the Wildcats’ defense has only improved over the past month. Arizona is allowing 61.7 points in Pac-12 play, while the Trojans are scoring a conference-worst 51.5 points per game. Southern California is 1-14 in its last 15 games.
The Trojans are down to six scholarship players and ranked last in most Pac-12 statistical categories. Maurice Jones is the only player averaging double figures in points at 13.7, while Byron Wesley leads all active players with 4.9 rebounds per game.
The Trojans shot only 29 percent and scored 16 points in the first half in their first meeting with the Wildcats.
Thursday's NBA Tips
By Kevin Rogers
The All-Star break is quickly upon us in the NBA following the hectic two-month stretch of games. The Thursday card provides bettors with four contests to wager on, including the Heat hosting the Knicks and the Lakers traveling to Oklahoma City.
Knicks at Heat
Miami is cruising into All-Star weekend with seven consecutive victories as the Heat welcomes in the Knicks. New York will be playing with no rest after Tuesday's home game against Atlanta, as the Knicks look to avenge a loss in South Florida last month.
The Knicks fell short in Miami, 99-89, as 12-point underdogs on January 27, while shooting 36% from the floor. Carmelo Anthony sat out that defeat with an ankle injury, as New York put up an NBA season-high 43 attempts from three-point range, making 18 treys. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade combined for 59 points in the win, while the Heat converted 23 of 26 free throws.
Miami's train kept rolling with Tuesday's shootout victory over Sacramento, but the Heat failed to cover as 13½-point 'chalk' in a 120-108 triumph. The 'over' of 202 was never in doubt, as the Heat and Kings combined to score 71 points in the third quarter, while Sacramento tallied at least 32 points in two separate quarters. The non-cover ended a six-game ATS hot streak for the Heat, dropping Miami to 4-5 ATS as double-digit favorites.
New York has been one of the best teams to bet on since January 31, compiling a 10-3 ATS record. The Knicks are rolling as an underdog in this stretch by going 6-0 ATS the last six games when receiving points, including four straight wins in this scenario. Mike D'Antoni's club will have the advantage at point guard (Jeremy Lin) and center (Tyson Chandler), while the frontcourt matchups with James and Chris Bosh battling Anthony and Amare Stoudemire will be exciting to watch.
Lakers at Thunder
Los Angeles has won the Western Conference title in three of the last four seasons, as the Lakers take on an Oklahoma City team that looks to be the squad to represent the West in the NBA Finals in June. The Thunder owns the best record in the West at 25-7, while trying to close out a five-game homestand with their 15th win of the season at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
These two teams haven't played each other yet this season, as the Lakers grabbed two of three meetings from the Thunder in the 2010-11 campaign. The only victory by Oklahoma City came in mid-April at Staples Center as the Thunder caught the Lakers in the midst of a four-game losing streak. Oklahoma City's coming-out party came in a back-and-forth series inside the opening round of the 2010 playoffs, as the Thunder pushed the eventual champion Lakers to six games.
One of the bigger problems for the Lakers this season is finding consistency away from Southern California. Mike Brown's team is 5-11 SU and 4-12 ATS on the road, including a 3-7 ATS mark in the away underdog role. The Lakers' offense has struggled all season, but on the highway is where the most problems occur by scoring 100 points or more just once in 16 road games.
The Thunder is only one of two teams in the league that has lost only one home game all season (Spurs), which came back in early January to the Blazers as 4½-point 'chalk.' Oklahoma City has run off 10 consecutive home wins since that defeat to Portland, but the Thunder owns a 2-4 ATS record the previous six games at home. The offense is rolling thanks to defending scoring champ Kevin Durant and the explosive Russell Westbrook, as the Thunder has eclipsed the 100-point mark in eight of the last nine contests.
Pick 'n' roll: Thursday's Best NBA Bets
San Antonio Spurs at Denver Nuggets (N/A)
You have to hand it to the San Antonio Spurs – they seem to be handling this shortened schedule better than most teams in the Association.
While rolling along on a 11-game winning streak, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich gave veterans Tim Duncan and Tony Parker the night off against Portland. The Blazers then cruised to a 137-97 blowout victory.
“With this schedule, everybody rests players at some point,” Popovich told reporters. “When it's time for them to rest based on the schedule and the time they've been playing, that's what has to happen if you want to put somebody in the bank for later."
It’s a cagey move by Popovich, who will presumably have his two big guns back in the lineup for Thursday’s game against Denver, the last stop on San Antonio’s annual Rodeo Road Trip.
The Nuggets visit the Clippers Wednesday night and should have a rested Spurs team to deal with Thursday.
New York Knicks at Miami Heat (-10.5, 198.5)
Earlier this week, LeBron James told reporters he and the Heat have been happy to share the spotlight with Jeremy Lin and the Knicks this season. Expect Thursday’s Miami-New York game to be a major media frenzy.
The Heat have quietly put together a seven-game winning streak, while covering the number six times during that stretch.
“You can get sidetracked in this league so quickly if you get caught up in all the story lines,” coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters. “Right now, there happens to be other story lines around the league, but we know how quickly things can change and turn on us."
Dwyane Wade scored 30 points and handed out 10 assists, while James scored 18 and added eight assists in Miami’s 120-108 win over Sacramento on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, in New York Lin and Melo are going to need some time to get everything worked out on the offensive end and could get a good tutorial from the Heat here.
Ice picks: Thursday’s Best NHL Bets
Vancouver Canucks at Detroit Red Wings (-140, 5.5)
At some point, the Detroit Red Wings are going to lose at home. We took a shot with Nashville at Joe Louis Arena last week and Pavel Datsyuk ended up scoring with six seconds in regulation to snap a 1-1 tie.
The Wings won’t have Datsyuk back in the lineup for at least a couple of weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery and his loss will be felt throughout the lineup.
“Pav’s been out before and he’s a huge part of our team but we’re going to need guys to step up,” goaltender Jimmy Howard told reporters. “This is an opportunity for other guys now to play in a role maybe they’re not used to playing in, maybe getting some more ice time, and they’re going to find a way to get it done for us.”
The Red Wings did pick up defenseman Kyle Quincey as a part of a three-way deal with Colorado and Tampa Bay and he should immediately help the blue line.
But Vancouver is coming off its first regulation loss in 14 games and will be fired up for this one in the middle of its road trip.
Tampa Bay Lightning at Winnipeg Jets (-145, 5.5)
Lightning GM Steve Yzerman has made it pretty clear that his club will be in sell mode leading up to the trade deadline.
With Vincent Lecavalier out of the lineup with a fractured hand and the team still struggling in its own end, Yzerman has already traded Steve Downie, Pavel Kubina, Dominic Moore and Quincey, whom he picked up from Colorado.
That leaves the Lightning with a pile of draft picks and not much to play for this season. Their only bright spot has been Steven Stamkos, who scored twice and assisted on another goal in Tampa Bay’s 3-2 win over Anaheim on Tuesday.
The win moved the Lightning to 10-3-2 in its last 15 games, but they’ll have a tough time in Winnipeg.
The Jets have picked up at least a point in five of their last six home games and just gave the Flyers a run for their money in a 5-4 overtime loss.
-- Carolina won five of its last six home games. Ducks are 6-1 in game following their last seven losses.
-- Red Wings won their last 23 home games. Vancouver won 10 of its last 13 games overall.
-- Predators won eight of their last nine home games.
-- Lightning won its last three games, all by one goal. Winnipeg won five of its last seven games.
-- Blackhawks won their last four games, allowing five goals.
-- Calgary won three of its last four home games. Coyotes won eight of their last nine games.
-- Sharks lost their last four games, allowing 18 goals. Toronto lost six of its last seven games.
-- Florida lost its last three games, outscored 10-3. Minnesota lost 13 of its last 15 road games.
-- Blues lost nine of their last 13 road games.
-- Dallas Stars lost five of their last seven games.
-- Flyers are 0-7 in game following their last seven wins. Edmonton lost five of its last seven games.
-- Last five Anaheim games stayed under the total.
-- Over is 8-3 in San Jose's last eleven games.
-- Five of last six Detroit games stayed under total.
-- Four of last five Minnesota games stayed under total.
-- Eight of last nine St Louis road games stayed under.
-- Four of last five Winnipeg games went over the total.
-- Last four Dallas road games stayed under the total.
-- Under is 7-2 in last nine Phoenix road games.
-- Over is 4-1-1 in Flyers' last six road games.
-- Home team won last three Anaheim-Carolina games.
-- Maple Leafs won 4-2 at San Jose in LY's meeting.
-- Canucks won three of last four games against Detroit.
-- Panthers won last two games with Minnesota, 3-2so/2-1.
-- Predators won last three games with St Louis, 2-1/2-1/3-1.
-- Jets won last two games with Tampa Bay, after losing previous 12.
-- Chicago lost four of last five games with Dallas Stars.
-- Coyotes won seven of last eight games against Calgary.
-- Flyers lost three of last four games with Edmonton.
-- St Louis is 2-6 on road if it played the night before.
Season: 289-213 (.576)
San Jose vs. TORONTO: TOO CLOSE TO CALL
Anaheim vs. CAROLINA: TOO CLOSE TO CALL
FLORIDA 3, Minnesota 2
Vancouver vs. DETROIT: TOO CLOSE TO CALL
NASHVILLE 3, St. Louis 2
Tampa Bay vs. WINNIPEG: TOO CLOSE TO CALL
CHICAGO 3, Dallas 2
CALGARY 3, Phoenix 2
Philadelphia vs. EDMONTON: TOO CLOSE TO CALL
Straight Up: 3334-1054 (.760)
ATS: 1416-1531 (.480)
ATS Vary Units: 4121-4729 (.466)
Over/Under: 1455-1489 (.494)
Over/Under Vary Units: 1734-1754 (.497)
America East Conference
Albany 70, BINGHAMTON 57
Atlantic Coast Conference
Duke vs. FLORIDA STATE: TOO CLOSE TO CALL
Atlantic Sun Conference
Belmont 88, KENNESAW STATE 64
EAST TENNESSEE STATE 80, Stetson 67
MERCER 78, Lipscomb 66
USC UPSTATE 77, Florida Gulf Coast 68
Big East Conference
Louisville vs. CINCINNATI: TOO CLOSE TO CALL
Big Sky Conference
IDAHO STATE 74, Eastern Washington 71
MONTANA 81, Northern Arizona 51
Portland State 76, SACRAMENTO STATE 72
Weber State 79, NORTHERN COLORADO 75
Big South Conference
Charleston Southern 85, VMI 83
Coastal Carolina 71, LIBERTY 70
Presbyterian 64, RADFORD 60
UNC ASHEVILLE 81, Gardner-Webb 66
Big Ten Conference
Wisconsin 65, IOWA 60
Big West Conference
Cal State Fullerton 74, PACIFIC 70
Great West Conference
UTAH VALLEY 85, Houston Baptist 70
CLEVELAND STATE 66, Detroit 64
Green Bay 60, LOYOLA (CHICAGO) 56
Wisconsin-Milwaukee 64, UIC 58
YOUNGSTOWN STATE 61, Wright State 57
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
Siena vs. MARIST: TOO CLOSE TO CALL
CENTRAL CONNECTICUT STATE 67, Mount St. Mary's 60
Long Island 90, FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON 70
QUINNIPIAC 75, Saint Francis (Pa.) 58
Robert Morris 71, SACRED HEART 68
St. Francis (N.Y.) 71, MONMOUTH 69
Wagner 78, BRYANT 56
Ohio Valley Conference
Austin Peay 76, TENNESSEE-MARTIN 68
EASTERN KENTUCKY 73, SIU Edwardsville 62
JACKSONVILLE STATE 69, Southeast Missouri State 64
MOREHEAD STATE 64, Eastern Illinois 51
Murray State 68, TENNESSEE STATE 67
ARIZONA 68, Usc 46
California 73, UTAH 54
COLORADO 68, Stanford 61
Ucla 65, ARIZONA STATE 56
AMERICAN 60, Bucknell 58
Alabama 66, ARKANSAS 63
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON 74, Georgia Southern 66
DAVIDSON 89, Elon 68
FURMAN 72, Chattanooga 63
WESTERN CAROLINA 69, Samford 67
NORTH DAKOTA STATE 80, Iupui 74
Oakland 82, UMKC 75
SOUTH DAKOTA 78, Ipfw 75
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 76, Western Illinois 55
Sun Belt Conference
FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON 73, Troy 67
FLORIDA ATLANTIC 68, South Alabama 62
Middle Tennessee 72, ULM 54
UALR 68, North Texas 62
WESTERN KENTUCKY 67, Arkansas State 62
West Coast Conference
GONZAGA 75, Byu 72
LOYOLA MARYMOUNT 79, San Diego 62
Saint Mary's 78, PORTLAND 66
SANTA CLARA 73, Pepperdine 67
Western Athletic Conference
LOUISIANA TECH 73, San Jose State 71
NEW MEXICO STATE 83, Hawai'i 73
FRESNO STATE 77, Seattle 65