Degens Only: Tuesday Plays, Feb. 23
Can you really be considered the G.O.A.T if the game is tied, you’re at line, you can put your team up one with five seconds left and you leave it off the front of the rim? Forget the fact that you were once up 17 points and now the game is headed into OT, but I can’t help to think MJ would have made that shot. No matter what side you’re on, you have to be concerned if you’re a Lakers fan to see your team fall apart over two quarters to a lousy Wizards team. Sound the alarms. The Lakers have now lost four out of five and the argument is growing stronger by the day that Lebron needs to play with another all-star to have a shot to win a title.
So I might get some heat for what I’m about to say, but I think one of the worst World Series bets out there is the Padres to win the World Series. Now before you jump on me, let me explain. 640 million, that’s the amount the padres are paying the left side of their infield. Players typically underperform after getting the big money. They still lack left handed hitting in their lineup. Their starting rotation is not all it’s cracked up to be. Clevinger had tommy john surgery and is going to miss this season, Snell saw his numbers dip last season, Paddack took a big step back from his promising rookie season, and I think Musgrove is going to have a hard time being the pitcher he was in Pittsburgh in San Diego. To wrap it all up, the current starting rotation has a combined post season record of 4-9. That doesn’t look like it will hold up well vs teams like the Dodgers, Cardinals, Braves, or Mets in a playoff series.
Lucky in Louisville: Louisville ML I think the Irish are going to need a decent amount of fight for this one. If there ever was a bounce back spot for the Cardinals, this is it. Coming off a three week covid break and an absolute blowout, dropping their last game to North Carolina 99-54, Louisville will come focused and ready to play a up and down Notre Dame team. To start, Louisville is at home where they have been a dominate 8-1 this season. Looking at how these teams compare vs similar opponents, the Cardinals hold the significant edge. In games vs top 50 defenses or better, Notre Dame is 1-7 SU, Louisville ranks 40. The Notre Dame defense does them no favors either going 2-10 against top 70 offensive teams, and Louisville ranks 64. Take the Cardinals to bounce back on the money line.
Sorry Sparty: Michigan State First Half Team Total Under 34
Illinois defense has been super annoying for opponents this season; like gum stuck to your shoe annoying. The Fighting Illini come in to this one with the ninth ranked defense in the country. The Spartans have not cracked 30 points in the first half of their last three games and that is against considerably worse defenses. Illinois has not allowed an opponent to get to 30 points in the first half in their last four games. Look for the same trends to continue as teams take shape for the tournament. Take MSU First Half Under 34
It’s Dame Time: Blazers +8
You know what time it is? Dame Time! Both of these defenses have a hard time stopping anyone, so I expect this one to be a high scoring close affair. Before their blowout loss to the Suns, the Blazers had won or covered this number in seven straight games. The Nuggets on the other hand are 4-6 in their last 10. Two of those wins came against a slumping Cavalier’s team and one was against a shorthanded Lakers team. Denver is still dealing with a handful of injuries to their starting rotation that will allow the Blazers to keep this one close. Portland owns the third best ATS record in the NBA at 11-5. With the Nuggets already having one of the worst defenses in the league and playing this game shorthanded look for Portland to keep it close. Take the Blazers +8
It’s Magic: Magic -2.5
I know it’s not the sexiest pick of the night, but the Magic have turned it around lately as they are winners of four of their last five. The Magic have won their last three home games and look to end their four-game home stand on a high note. The Pistons are on the complete opposite track as they have lost their last three games and failed to score 100 points in their last two. The road has not been kind to the Pistons all season. They are currently on a four game road trip and have lost every game of it so far including one two days ago to this same Magic team. Detroit is the second worst team on the road straight up in the NBA with a record of 8-22. They are also one of the worst road teams ATS at 6-9-1. The Pistons have serious issues on the offensive end, while the Magic have gotten a few players back and are starting to slowly look like the team that started the season 6-2. Take the Magic to cover the small spread at -2.5