Monthly Archives - February 2018

2018 NCAA Basketball Championship Odds & Picks

2018 NCAA Basketball Championship Odds & Picks

With the 2017-18 college hoops regular season thisclose to being over and both, conference championship play and the NCAA Tournament right around the corner, there may not be a better time to take a closer look at the top NCAA basketball championship odds and picks.

NCAA Basketball Championship Odds & Picks

With Selection Sunday on March 11th and tournament action tipping off two days later, there is no time to waste.

The Las Vegas Odds-Makers Favorite Picks To Win

Why Pick Michigan State +550 To Win The 2018 NCAA Championship

Okay, outside of the off-court drama involving head coach Tom Izzo’s alleged failure to discipline some past players, Michigan State (28-3) is big, fast, athletic and hungry! Forwards Miles Bridges (6-8), Jaren Jackson Jr. (6-11) and Nick Ward (6-8) are just three of Michigan State’s lengthy, stars that I’m talking about. The Spartans have five players averaging double figures in scoring for a team that ranks 31st in scoring (82.1 ppg) and an even more impressive 19th in points allowed (64.6 ppg). Make no mistake about it, dispatching Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament is going to be very difficult – if not impossible.

Why Pick Villanova +600 To Win The 2018 NCAA Championship

The Wildcats (25-4) might be struggling right now, having lost three of their last six games, but I’m thinking that it’s a good thing that Villanova is going through some difficulties before the start of the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats rank first in the nation in scoring (87.5 ppg), but a modest 150th in points allowed (71.2 ppg). Still, Nova has an insane six, double-digit scorers and a head coach that is undoubtedly one of the best in the business today. Point guard Jalen Brunson (19.3 ppg) can shoot it from distance or drive it to the rack with his crafty left-handed layups and swingman Mikal Bridges has the look of a future NBA performer. Five-star recruit Omari Spellman (6-11) is just scratching the surface of his potential, but Villanova is going to be very difficult for any team to dispatch.

Why Pick Duke +650 To Win The 2018 NCAA Championship

The Blue Devils (24-6) are one of the top favorites to win it all this season and they’ve got a boatload of elite talent starting with freshman superstar Marvin Bagley III, the leading scorer and rebounder in the ACC this season (20.7 ppg. 11.1 rpg). Duke ranks a stellar sixth in scoring (85.5 ppg) while limiting the opposition to just 69.6 points per game defensively (109th). Freshmen, Wendell Carter Jr. (14.3 ppg) and Trevon Duval (10.5 ppg) are going to be one-and-done lottery picks along with Bagley III, the possible top pick in this summer’s NBA Draft. What worries me is the fact that the Blue Devils are so young and aren’t always on the same page. Still, their talent level alone and elite coaching from the legendary of Mike Krzyzewski could be enough to get them into the Final Four at the very least.

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The Smart Picks To Win The 2018 NCAA Championship

Why Pick Virginia +700 To Win The 2018 NCAA Championship

Michigan State, Villanova, and Duke may be favored to win it all over Virginia (26-2) this season, but really, when you think about it, no team in the country has been better than the top-ranked Cavaliers. Virginia averages just 67.5 points per game to rank an uninspiring 309th nationally and you’d think that would make them unattractive against teams that can put points on the board in a hurry like all three of the aforementioned teams. However, when you watch Virginia play defense, you quickly realize why they can beat any team in the nation. The Cavaliers not only rank first in the nation in points allowed (52.1 ppg), but they play some defense that I haven’t seen in ages! Just think about it. Virginia limited North Carolina to a mind-boggling 49 points in January and held both, Wisconsin and Pittsburgh to 37 points! That’s right….37 points. The Cavaliers have beaten Duke while limiting the Blue Devils to just 63 points and oh yeah, the also held Clemson to 36 points. When you can hold a dozen teams to less than 50 points like Virginia has this season, you can literally beat anyone!

Why Pick Purdue +1200 To Win The 2018 NCAA Championship

While everyone is focusing on Michigan State in the Big Ten, I really like Purdue (26-5) as a ‘smart’ pick to win it all this season. The Boilermakers have a potent offense that averages 81.7 points per game to rank 37th nationally and an even better defense that limits the opposition to just 64.9 points per game defensively to rank a stellar 22nd nationally. Purdue is also one of the best three-point shooting teams in the country as they drain a blistering 42.1 percent from beyond the arc to rank third nationally while also making ranking 16th in field goal shooting percentage (49.6%). Purdue has a quartet of double-digit scorers and a flat-out star in guard Carsen Edwards (18.2 ppg) and they could be the last team standing come March Madness whether you believe it or not!

Why Pick Kansas +1600 To Win The 2018 NCAA Championship

The Jayhawks (24-6) have a pair of stars in senior guard Devonte’ Graham and 7’0” sophomore center Udoka Azubuike and they can score the ball with any team in the country as they average a fantastic 82.0 points per game (32nd) and shoot a stellar 49.7 percent from the field (15th). Kansas is also solid at the other end of the floor as they limit the opposition to 70.8 points per contest (137th). Kansas is playing their best basketball of the season at the perfect time and they’ve got five double-digit scorers, but still, something about the Jayhawks screams ‘be cautious’ to me!

The Longshot Picks To Win The 2018 NCAA Championship

Why Pick West Virginia +2800 To Win The 2018 NCAA Championship

Sure, the Mountaineers (22-8) have eight losses on the year, but Bob Huggins’ squad also puts up 80.5 points per game (48th) while limiting the opposition to 68.3 points per contest defensively (79th) on 41.5 percent shooting from the field (45th). West Virginia has an impressive five double-digit scorers and a sixth player just off the mark at 9.5 points per game, so they’re as deep as any team in the country. The Mountaineers also have one of the best two-way players in the country in star guard Jevon Carter and they’re one of just two teams to beat top-ranked Virginia, so clearly they can beat anyone on any given day.

Cincinnati +3300 To Win The 2018 NCAA Championship

The Bearcats (25-4) aren’t the biggest bunch of scorers around as they average a modest 76.0 points per game (109th), but like top-ranked Virginia, when you play defense the way Cincinnati does, you don’t need a ton of points to win games. The Bearcats rank second in the nation in points allowed (57.5 ppg) and an identical second in defensive field goal percentage (37.2%). Cincinnati beat No. 3 Xavier by 13 points in December and have held six teams to less than 50 points, including central Florida whom they held to a mind-boggling 40 points in early February. Make no mistake about it. In a one-game setting, Cincy can beat anyone!

Seton Hall +10000 To Win The 2018 NCAA Championship

It would appear that Seton Hall (20-9) is closer to mediocre than anything, but I believe they’re a dangerous longshot just waiting to upset someone. The Pirates beat the same St. John’s team that took down, then No. 5 Duke and top-ranked Villanova, twice this season while also taking out Creighton and a very good Providence team twice. Seton Hall ranks an encouraging 58th nationally in scoring (79.6 ppg) and shoots it well from the field (47.1%, 62nd), not to mention they’ve beaten the likes of a very good Louisville team and a nationally-ranked Texas Tech team this season. Seton Hall has four double-digit scorers and a star in senior forward Desi Rodriguez (18.1 ppg).

The Rest of the Field

  • North Carolina +2000
  • Wichita State +2000
  • Xavier +2000
  • Gonzaga +2500
  • Arizona +2500
  • Kentucky +4000
  • Michigan +4000
  • Auburn +4500
  • Texas Tech +5000
  • Rhode Island +6600
  • Ohio State +6600
  • Oklahoma +8000
  • Missouri +8000
  • Tennessee +8000
  • Florida +8000
  • Florida State +10000
  • Louisville +10000
  • Texas A&M +10000
  • Saint Mary’s +10000
  • Miami Florida +15000
  • Houston +15000
  • Butler +15000
  • Clemson +15000
  • Nevada +17500
  • NC State +20000
  • Texas +20000
  • UCLA +20000
  • USC +20000
  • Arkansas +20000
  • Arizona State +25000
  • Creighton +25000
  • TCU +25000
  • Temple +30000
  • Oregon +30000
  • Penn State +30000
  • Alabama +30000
  • Kansas State +30000
  • Virginia Tech +30000
  • Middle Tennessee +40000
College Hoops Expert Picks Feb 26 - March 4

College Hoops Expert Picks Feb 26 – March 4

With the 2017-18 regular season winding down, three legitimate March Madness National Championship title hopefuls highlight my college basketball picks of the week. One of these top favorites has struggled in recent weeks while the other two look like they’re well on track to make a deep tourney run. Now, let’s find out what’s going down this coming week and where!

College Hoops Expert Picks Feb 26 – March 4

No. 4 Villanova Wildcats at Seton Hall Pirates
When: Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018 at 8:30 PM ET
Where: Prudential Center, Newark, NJ
TV: FS1

Villanova has been consistently inconsistent in dropping three of their last six games including their 89-83 overtime loss to Creighton on Saturday. Now, the fourth-ranked Wildcats will get to take on a streaking Seton Hall team that has won three straight after dropping their previous three.

The good news for college hoops bettors everywhere, however, is that this one is a virtual lock for Nova, thanks to the Cats’ sheer desperation, combined with the fact that they already pounded the Pirates into submission in their 92-76 home win on Feb. 2.

Pick: Villanova 85 Seton Hall 77

No. 11 Wichita State Shockers at UCF Knights
When: Thursday, Mar 1, 2018 at 7:00 PM ET
Where: CFE Arena, Orlando, FL
TV: ESPN

Wichita State is on a nice roll right now, having won six straight including their 84-78 win over SMU on Saturday while central Florida has dropped two in a row including their 75-56 beatdown against Temple this past weekend.

The Knights are seriously offensively-challenged as they average just 62.6 points per game under former Duke star Johnny Dawkins and that’s just not going to cut it against a Wichita State team that averages a stellar 84.2 points per game (17th) and has topped the 90-point plateau three times in its last five games. The Shockers cruise to victory in this one despite being on the road.

Pick: Wichita State 90 Central Florida 72

No. 1 Virginia Cavaliers at Louisville Cardinals
KFC Yum Center, Louisville, KY
When: Thursday, Mar 1, 2018 at 8:00 PM
Where:
TV: ACCNE

Louisville got past Virginia Tech 75-68 on Saturday to snap a two-game losing streak, but the Cardinals are going to have their hands completely full when they take on the top-ranked Virginia Cavaliers on Thursday night. Virginia has won three straight since suffering just their second loss of the season and they looked absolutely phenomenal in shutting down Pittsburgh in their stunning 66-37 win on Saturday.

Virginia already beat Louisville 75-64 on Jan. 31 and they’ll duplicate that win because of their unrivaled ability to shut down the opposition. The Cavs are well on their way to both, the ACC title and a No. 1 seed come March Madness!

Pick: Virginia 71 Louisville 59

NHL Expert Picks Feb 26 - March 4

NHL Expert Picks Feb 26 – March 4

Make no mistake about it hockey bettors – the 2017-18 NHL regular season is now completely in its stretch run portion! With teams in both conferences looking to put the pedal to the metal in the hopes of winning this year’s Stanley Cup trophy, it’s time for another round of NHL picks of the Week!

NHL Expert Picks Feb 26 – March 4

Pittsburgh Penguins (36-23-4) at Boston Bruins (37-15-8)
When: Thursday, Mar 1, 2018 at 7:00 PM ET
Where: TD Garden, Boston, MA
TV: NESN, NBCSN

Boston has lost two straight coming into this huge matchup including their 4-1 smackdown loss against Buffalo on Sunday. Pittsburgh has also lost two in a row and was on the wrong end of a high-scoring 6-5 loss against Florida on Saturday. While the Bruins are playing at home in this big matchup and have an elite defense that ranks second in goals allowed (2.5 gpg), I’m betting Pittsburgh to get the road ‘upset’ simply because they’ve been lighting the lamp with incredible consistency lately. Pittsburgh has scored five goals or more in four straight games and five of their last six – and that kind of offensive production will be hard for the Bruins to both, stop – and keep up with offensively!

Pick: Pittsburgh

Ottawa Senators (21-30-10) at Vegas Golden Knights (41-16-4)
When: Friday, Mar 2, 2018 at 7:00 PM ET
Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
TV: AT&TSN

Ottawa has lost four straight and will be taking on a Vegas Knights team that has not only won two straight and seven of its last 10 but one that also has the best home record in all of hockey this season (24-5-2). The Senators got smacked around by Philly 5-3 in their latest loss on Saturday while Vegas pounded the hell out of Vancouver 6-3 on Friday to top six goals or more for the third time in their last four games. The Golden Knights cruise in this one hockey fans!

Pick: Vegas 6

NHL Stadium Series – Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Washington Capitals
When: Saturday, Mar 3, 2018 at 8:00 PM ET
Where: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis
TV: NBC

Toronto is on fire NHL hockey bettors, having won four straight and nine of their last 10 games overall including their hard-fought 4-3 win over Boston on Saturday. Washington rolled all over Buffalo en route to win a convincing 5-1 win on Saturday, but the Caps had lost each of their previous two games and three of four before that win so they’re not exactly setting the league on fire right now. Toronto has the slightly better offense in this one and they’re playing their best hockey of the season at just the right time, while Washington has been playing some mostly modest hockey for about six weeks now. The Maple Leafs get the win in a shootout that plays Over the total in this NHL Stadium Series matchup in front of the Navy’s elite!

Pick: Toronto