Earlier today I was a guest on the Temple Talks Philly show at Temple University’s student-run WHIP radio station. I picked a few games and figured I would put them up here so I can keep track of how I did. It was a good time, thanks to Keaton Nichols for having me on the program.
Here’s some bets I like tonight:
Sixers (+8.5) @ Hawks
Picking this game comes down to how much one believes in home-field advantage. Personally, I think its impact is rather limited throughout professional basketball during the regular season, with the exception of MSG, the Garden, OKC, and Rip City. What I believe in more is a “road-team disadvantage”, which may sound like the same thing, but isn’t.
The Sixers are 6-20 on the road this year. They haven’t won a game outside of Philadelphia since January 1st, and have dropped ten straight since. So with all of this evidence, why pick the Sixers?
Answer: Those extra 8.5 points. Of the Sixers 26 road games, the team has covered +8.5 points 15 times, giving you a payout 60% of the time in similar situations. Plus, I don’t think the Hawks are anything special.
Lakers (-1.5) @ Hornets
This spread seems crazy low and sets bettors like myself up for what we call a “trap game”. Take this into consideration: The Lakers lost to OKC last night, then had to travel to New Orleans to play the Hornets who are coming off a day of rest. ESPN’s Streak for the Cash game has this listed as a pick’em, with 99% of users picking the Lakers. When it comes to sports betting, I tend to believe that Vegas is smarter than the public; if the public expects a zig, Vegas is usually getting ready for a zag.
Because of all of this I am going to hedge my bets here- I am giving fair warning to everyone of the “trap game” potential in play, but I’m still picking the Lakers. Either way, I’ll get to say “I told you so” tomorrow.
Bucks (+9.5) @ Clippers
The Bucks are hot, looking for their 5th straight win. Brandon Jennings is killing it for my fantasy squad. That’s about the extent of my logic.
Temple (-10.5) @ Fordham
A battle between my current school and my former school. In my prep, I called a friend of mine from Fordham, our conversation went as follows:
Me: “Hey, do you know anything about Fordham’s basketball team this year?”
Rob: “Oh, we’re bad.”
Beyond that, Fordham has lost 9 straight and only covered 11 points three times over that span. While the Rams did play up against Butler earlier in the season, falling by only 5 points, the Owls are fighting to keep their place in the “Last Four In” with regard to the NCAA tournament. Hopefully they aren’t looking too far forward at their upcoming matchup against #21 VCU and take care of business on the road. This is a must win game for Temple if they want to cement their spot in the Madness of March.
#5 Georgetown (+1) @ Villanova
Villanova has lost to Columbia, Temple, Pittsburgh, and Providence at home this season.
Villanova has beaten Louisville (#5 at the time, currently #8) and Syracuse (#3 at the time, currently #17) at home this season.
Which Villanova team will show up? I don’t really care, because I might have already penciled Georgetown into my Final Four this year. They should be favored, they are not.
So there you have it. 5 picks, all road teams, which basically guarantees that I won’t go 5-0.
Let’s see how I do.