Im liking the under in this game. With dry, cold conditions forecast for Saturday, the pick is the Twins to grind out at-bats in a relatively low-scoring game. Pineda has been sharp in both his outings and gets a bonus facing a Tigers team that has played just 12 runs in its seven road games.
My Pick: Under 8.5
- 58 Agree
I like the magic to cover this number. Orlando was hot down the stretch in the regular season to push themselves into the playoffs for the first time since the 2011-12 season. The Magic will have Johnathan Isaac in the mix as he cleared the leagues concussion protocol but this is going to be a tough challenge for them. Toronto has momentum of their own at this point in time and they are at home for this contest as well. The Raptors were 32-9 at home while Orlando was just 17-24 on the road this season. Toronto likely wins this game but Orlando is playing with house money at this point. The Magic keeps this one close enough where Toronto wins straight up but Orlando covers the line.
My Pick: Orlando +8.5
- 83 Agree
I'm rolling with Philly regardless of Embiid playing. Brooklyn is playing with house money as they werent expected to make the postseason before the year began. The Nets rely heavily on three-point shooting so if they arent falling, its a bit of a challenge for them. The 76ers have a great collection of talent on paper but they havent necessarily had enough time to click properly thanks to injuries and resting guys. Embiid is questionable here as the team was going to base his availability off Fridays practice. Still, the 76ers have home court advantage and they have good talent on paper. Philadelphias experience in the playoffs last season plus home court gives them the edge in Game 1.
My Pick: Philadelphia -5.5
- 68 Agree
Love the Pelicans here. The Suns had lost eight in a row to the Pelicans before posting a 138-136 overtime win on March 16 in New Orleans. With the home team banged up and Davis back for New Orleans, this is a good opportunity for the visitors. New Orleans is 16-5 ATS in its last 21 on the road against opponents with home winning percentages under .400 and 5-0 ATS in its last five trips to Phoenix. The Suns are 2-6 ATS in their last eight on Fridays and 1-6 ATS in the last seven meetings between the two teams. It is also worth noting that the road team is 9-2 ATS in the last 11 head-to-head matchups.
My Pick: New Orleans -1
- 56 Agree
Love the Raptors in this game. Charlotte is in a situation where they can ill afford any more defeats. The Hornets beat the Raptors on the road in the last meeting on a half-court bomb by Lamb at the buzzer. Since then, Toronto has reeled off five straight wins and you know that loss is still in the backs of their minds coming into this one. The Raptors are a very good team and theyre trying to get everyone on the same page heading into the postseason. Toronto is focused and motivated: look for them to go on the road and run their win streak to six by prevailing here.
My Pick: Toronto -5
- 77 Agree
Goin with the Spurs here. Washington has nothing to play for at this point in time and seven losses in their last nine games is hardly something awe inspiring to hang your hat on here. San Antonio has been up and down of late but they are in the playoff picture: its a matter of whether they avoid the Warriors in the opening round or not that is the big story. The Spurs are playing their third game in four nights here but Washington is going nowhere fast. After losing to the Bulls, you have to wonder if the team is going to mail it in the rest of the way. San Antonio, with something on the line, gets the nod here.
My Pick: San Antonio -6
- 53 Agree
Going with the Wildcats to make it to the final 4. While there is never a good time for a team to lose a player due to injury, Auburn could not have picked a worse time to lose one of its best players in Okeke ahead of arguably its biggest game in school history. Of course, this could also have held true for Kentucky had Washington been unable to play in the regionals after missing the first two rounds with a sprained foot or if Travis sprained knee in February had been more severe. Even with Okeke, Kentuckys length has been a matchup problem on both ends of the court. When the Wildcats have the ball, their taller guards can usually make uncontested post passes, and thats when the trouble starts. Travis and Washington are effective finishers at the rim, and when Herro is on the strong side with the ball, his presence prevents double teams in the low block. Kentuckys defensive length and depth on the perimeter is a problem Auburn must solve to keep this game competitive since the Wildcats can crowd the Tigers shooters. Auburns third, fourth, and fifth guards Dunbar, McCormick, and Samir Dougherty all must click if the Tigers are to have any chance pulling this upset without Okeke. This line has moved two points in Kentuckys favor to 4.5 since the first run of this preview, which partly reflects Okekes confirmed absence and also perhaps the allure of the Kentucky name. There is less confidence in the Wildcats covering the bigger number, but they should still do so.
My Pick: Kentucky -4.5
- 70 Agree
Duke has shown some crack in its armor at time but I think those cracks have made them stronger. Their a young team that is now becoming more and more battle tested with each close game. I'm rolling with Coach K and the blue devils
My Pick: Duke -2
- 53 Agree
Raptors with ease here. New York is banged up and going nowhere this season. Four straight losses is just another losing skid for the Knicks and there is little reason for optimism at this point in time. Toronto is battling through load management and minor injuries to pieces in their rotation. The Raptors have had the Knicks number of late with 13 wins in the last 14 matchups. Toronto is still looking to lock down the Atlantic Division title so you know theyre going to go all out here. Look for the Raptors to put the boots to the Knicks here to sweep the season series.
My Pick: Toronto -12
- 68 Agree
I like the Bucks in this spot. The Bucks currently sit in the drivers seat at the top of the Eastern Conference standings with the Toronto Raptors nipping at their heels. Meanwhile, the Clippers are fifth-place in the Western Conference with an opportunity to move ahead of the Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers, depending on what happens in the next few games.
The recent win streak has been impressive for the Clippers, but they are also in one of the weaker stretches of their schedule. Only two of those wins came against teams without losing records, and both of those games were played in their home court. Things will be different on the road against the Bucks at the Fiserv Forum, where the Bucks have only lost six games all season.
My Pick: Milwaukee -8.5
- 54 Agree
I like the magic to cover this line tonight. This is a battle of two teams fighting to hold on to their hard-fought playoff position. Orlando is logging their third game in four nights, which is always cause for concern as fatigue can take a toll on a team in those situations. Detroit returns home for this one hoping to get back in the win column after three straight losses. Both teams had Wednesday off to recover but the Pistons are logging a fourth game in their last six nights, so theyre going to be battling with fatigue as well. With that being the case you have to ride the momentum here and that backs Orlando here. Look for the Magic to make it seven straight wins.
My Pick: Orlando +3.5
- 49 Agree
I like Coastal Carolina to cover this. The Blue Demons have struggled against the spread, losing five of their last six home games against teams with losing road records and seven of their last 10 games. The Chanticleers have played well against the spread, winning seven of their last nine non-conference games and 13 of their last 20 road games against teams with winning home records.
My Pick: Coastal Carolina +7.5
- 47 Agree
Gotta go with NCState here. I think their Senior LEadership with get them through and pull away late.
My Pick: N.C. State -3.5
- 64 Agree
Even with Roach back I still like the Buffalos in this game. The Longhorns have struggled against the spread, losing their last five games and their last four games following an ATS loss. The Buffaloes have played well against the spread, winning their last four games against Big 12 opponents and 10 of their last 12 games against teams with winning records. I believe the Buffs are a better team overall and better coached and it should show in this matchup.
My Pick: Colorado +5.5
- 86 Agree
LOve love love Murray state here. This one is a massive challenge for Marquette, especially given their late season fade. The Golden Eagles ride or die with Howard and that was a major reason they were upended by Seton Hall. Howard was just one of 15 from the floor in that game, including one of nine from three-point range. While he finished with 21 points, he uncharacteristically missed six free throws. Marquette faded down the stretch and trying to run with Murray State is no picnic. Morant is playing terrific basketball and with the Golden Eagles late swoon, you cant rely on Howard to bail them out. Take Murray State in an upset here.
My Pick: Murray St. +3.5
- 43 Agree