The betting markets still haven't caught up to how much better this Harvard team is now that they've got their best player Bryce Aiken back from an injury that caused him to miss their first 13 games of this season. Since Aiken has returned to action the Crimson have went 7-1 overall with their lone loss being against Cornell in a game they blew a 15 point 2nd half lead and they were without one of their better players in Justin Bassey who was out with an injury but is now back and healthy. It took a few games for Aiken to shake the rust off but he's been nearly unstoppable of late (averaging 32 points per game the last four games). Aiken was a big time recruit for Harvard and the Ivy League and in his only fully healthy season he won Ivy League Freshman of the Year and was just the 2nd freshman ever to be selected to the All-Ivy first team as well. He's clearly healthy now and he makes the Crimson a much better team overall now that he's back.
These two programs have been far apart over the past decade. Brown comes into this game having lost 19 straight times to Harvard and they have finished behind them in the Ivy League standings each of the previous nine years going into this season and it looks like it will be ten straight years as they are currently three games behind the Crimson in Ivy League play this year. Despite all of that this point spread makes it where Harvard basically just needs to win this game. Brown has played four Ivy League games this season against teams ranked 135th or higher at Kenpom (Harvard is ranked 116th currently) and the Bears lost all four of those games and by an average of 11 points per defeat including losing to this Harvard squad earlier this month by 21 points. I'm shocked to see the line in this game as low as it is.
My Pick: Harvard -2
The Falcons won the first meeting between these two teams by 19 points. I think that they can get another double-digit win here on the road. Bowling Green has won three in a row and five of six. They are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games. This team is tied for first place in the Mid-American Conference and should get this win here. Ohio has lost six straight games SU and ATS and they are just 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games. Bowling Green is 13-3 ATS in their last 16 gams and 11-3 ATS in their last 14 conference games. Ohio is 2-12 ATS in its last 14 league games and 16-33 ATS in their last 49 games overall. Take Bowling Green.
My Pick: Bowling Green -4
How can you not take BGSU here? When are they going to get the love they deserve? I have been riding with them for a while now on games they should cover and they haven't let me down yet. Let's lay down the facts here. BG is tied for 1st in the conference and beat Ohio by 19 earlier in the year. They are 5-1 on the road in conference play with an average margin of +11 ON THE ROAD!!! Ohio is next to last in their entire conference and have a 2-4 home record in conference play. They average losing by 5.3 AT HOME, not to mention they are on a 6 game losing streak. BGSU is ave 78.9 ppg against Ohio's 69.2. Ohio will not be able to keep pace with BGSU. I'm throwing down a decent chunk of change on this one. Good luck to all!!!
My Pick: Bowling Green -4.5
Last meeting between these two Utah was a -2 favorite but failed to cover or win at home. They're 0-2 on the year against the Thunder and are typically the kind of playoff team that can beat many teams but cannot get past teams ranked better then them. Utah will need to score in this one to stand a chance. They are 18-3 when they score atleast 115 ppg. I like this one to be tight after the all star break and Utah to cause turnovers to stay in it.
My Pick: Utah +4.5
Gary Harris returns for the Nuggets tonight. Vegas has Denver as a -4.5 favorite on the road at Dallas. 59% of the community likes Denver -4.5.— SportsJaw (@SportsJaw) February 22, 2019
Check out Friday's NBA slate: https://t.co/WvN3IVh4pk pic.twitter.com/cbKa17r9Ku
Welcome to Loud City: Rolling Thunder Review Podcast: Previewing Kings vs Thunder with Sactown Royalty
With the all-Star break over, Welcome to Loud City is excited to introduce the first episode of our new podcast series, the Rolling Thunder Review!
Ben Mertens of WTLC will bring on guests to give you concise in-depth previews of OKC's upcoming games, getting insight directly with the people who know those teams the best.
For our first episode, Richard Ivanowski of Sactown Royalty joins us to talk about the Sacramento Kings, the reasons behind the Kings surprisingly successful season, preview Saturday's game between OKC and Sacramento, and reveal which team he'd least like the Kings to face in the playoffs.
Both teams have high octane offenses and both teams give up a ton of points on the defensive end of the floor. The Flames are a better team at home (11-3) but the kicker for me in this matchup is the fact that Wisc. Green Bay beat UIC in their first meeting this year, 90-85 and they should have the offensive fire power to keep this game close. In what amounts to a coin flip of a game, you have to love the 4.5 points here today.
My Pick: Wis.-Green Bay +4.5
Harvard does a good job of controlling the offensive glass and they have the top 3-point shooting percentage in the conference. Bryce Aiken is giving Harvard a boost offensively averaging 21.6 points per game in his eight games played. Combine the recent play of Aiken and the fact that Harvard also recently beat Brown by 21 points (47-68) last month and you have to like the Crimson to win and cover the 2 points.
My Pick: Harvard -2
Get your Clippers -2, Memphis will be missing Valanciuna and Kyle Anderson and Jaren Jackson is questionable for today's game against the Clippers due to still having right quad soreness. On the road or not, I like the better team that's not missing 2 (maybe 3) starters here tonight at a virtual pick em'.
My Pick: Los Angeles -2
Can bettors squeeze any more juice from the turnip that is Denver on the road? The Nuggets have been an atrocious road team this season, with a 10-18 ATS record away from home. However, it has been even worse of late for the second-best team in the Western Conference, with a 1-7 slide against the line in its last eight games. Extend that out to the last 16 games away from Denver, and that record is 3-13 against the number. Bottom line: Denver is untouchable as a road team, especially since its power rating is so high the team is usually laying points. In fact, the Nuggets have been a road favorite 15 times this season, and are 5-10 against the spread in that situation. Denver figures to be in that role once more against the Mavericks, one of the best home teams in the NBA. Dallas is an astounding 20-9 both straight up and against the number at home this season. Even better, the team has been a home underdog 12 times this season and covered 10 of those contests! In a situation with a fading road team and a strong home team bettors should put their faith in the team that has delivered time and time again.
My Pick: Dallas +3.5
Different team, same theme. Yes, the storyline here is DeMar DeRozans return to Toronto, but the emerging trend hounding San Antonio has been a moneymaker for bettors. Since Jan. 23, the Spurs rank 29th in defensive efficiency, allowing 119.3 points per 100 possessions. They are dead-last in opponent field goal percentage, and 27th in opponent three-point percentage. However, theyve balanced this stretch of atrocious defense with a somewhat effective offense that ranks 7th in offensive efficiency over this 11-game span. All of this has added up to a 10-1 run to the Over in San Antonio games. On top of that, the Spurs are 3-8 against the line over that stretch with failed covers in eight straight. Things arent going well for the Spurs to say the least. Now, bettors are to expect this porous defense to contain the 8th-best offensive team since the new year began? Toronto was in a similar spot before the break, hosting a Wizards team that played zero defense on a run of Overs. The teams combined for 149 points in that one, and more of the same should be expected tonight.
My Pick: Over 227.5
The Pelicans say that Davis will be on the floor for this one, which is going to be a plus for the team. Indiana was playing well before fading late against the Bucks but they still have terrific depth. The Pacers still get the nod in this one as they are playing well, have the much better defense and playing at home.
My Pick: Indiana -5.5
Indiana has been a wildly unpredictable team at many points during the year, and they seem to have a tendency to play upor downto their opponents. The key for this game is the fact that Indiana only lost by 5 points the last two times these two teams met, falling at home 77-72. Then Indiana proceeded to get drilled 84-63 by Minnesota two games later before nearly beating Purdue 48-46. Go figure. Most common sense would dictate this should be another close game, so Im going to take Indiana to stick around and cover with the 7 points here tonight.
My Pick: Indiana +7
McKillops team simply has too much at stake and playing a Rhode Island team that is struggling to put up points on offense at the moment. Grady and Gudmundsson should be able to get Davidsons offense going early. When you look at previous matchups of same played teams (Dayton and Fordham) the point differentials point to Davidson. The number looks light to me which tells me to just go with the better team with the low line - the betting value is with Davidson here tonight.
My Pick: Davidson -2
I like the Thunder at home here. PG13 has been playing out of his mind and theres something about George going against the Jazz. He has been the leading scorer the last two times these teams have played one another. It was a 43-point performance in their most recent game in December and a 31-point performance prior to that game. So hell definitely be the player to watch in the rubber match on Friday. There is no answer for Westbrook, and hell likely take a step back from scoring, while dominating more on the boards and as a facilitator this time around. These are the games when Mitchell hasnt shown the consistency of a legitimate superstar. When faced with elite opposition, he sometimes disappears entirely or turns in a mediocre performance, particularly when the Jazz are playing on the road. Each loss hurts for the Jazz as they try to stay afloat in the playoff picture with the Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers.
My Pick: Oklahoma City -3.5
Demar returns to Toronto. It should be a good story line but I dont see it playing out well for the Spurs. For one theyre on the road where they have struggled. San Antonio managed to come up with the win over the Grizzlies but it wasnt easy by any stretch of the imagination. The Spurs now have to face a Raptors team that has won six in a row and who is 24-5 at home this season. Toronto got a massive game from Siakam in the win over the Wizards and he has really developed into a go-to guy on the offensive end. The Raptors are the deeper team and that gives them the upper hand in this contest.
My Pick: Toronto -7.5
This is a tough one because Denver has proven to be a different team on the road away fromm mile high. But Dallas stumbled into the All-Star break and theyre facing one of the elite teams in the league here. Denver got a shot in the arm with the return of Thomas, who made his debut against the Kings. Getting Millsap back was a boost and the team hopes to have Harris back for this one as well. The Nuggets have a deep rotation and they are capable of hanging with any team in the league. I like the nuggets to win this one close and some free throws to cover the spread
My Pick: Denver -3.5
Bowling Green blew out Ohio by an 82-63 margin at home earlier this season and as I think theyll have success against the Bobcats again tonight. Bowling Green is the hotter team, coming into this matchup winning 5 of their last 6 games and ranked 50th in scoring offense. Ohio has lost 8 of their last 10 games and currently rank just 274th in scoring offense and and abysmal 245th in scoring defense. Bowling Green doesnt get the attention that Buffalo or Toledo does in the MAC, however, the Falcons are a team that has enough talent to make a deep run in the MAC Championship this season. I look for the better team Bowling Green to cover this low line on the road today.
My Pick: Bowling Green -4.5