Houston Cougars

Degens Only: Wednesday Plays, Mar. 31

I feel like Bart Simpson having to write on the chalk board over and over. “I will not bet against Gonzaga” over and over until the whole board is full. UCLA ended what would have been a great game between the Zags and Michigan, but it will be UCLA stepping up to the plate and kudos to them for making it from first four to Final Four. I doubt very many brackets had them in the final four, and that is the beauty of this tournament, but it ends here. This Gonzaga team is on another level compared to the other teams, and it’s not really even close. As we touched on in the review of the USC game, the closest game they had all season was a win by five points and they just mauled the best team on both sides of the ball they had played all season by almost twenty. It is the Zags tournament to lose, but I see this going down as one of the most dominate seasons in college basketball history by the time it’s all over. For now let’s hold off on making history and focus on making some money with today’s plays.

Lone Wolf: Timberwolves team total under 108.5

The bright spot for the Knicks season has to be the improvement on the defensive side of the ball. Currently, New York ranks fourth in the league in defensive ranking only allowing 108 point per game. Tonight, they get the Timberwolves who have the 26th worst offense in the league only able to put up 106 points per game. Looking back at the past month the Knicks have held their opponents under the posted total in eight of their last 12 games. Looking at the Minnesota offense, they have not been able to eclipse the posted total in their last six games and some of those came against some very suspect defenses. The T-Wolves have gone under this total in seven of their 12 games played so far this month. These two teams have met one time so far this season and Minnesota was only able to put up 99 points, look for more of the same and take the Timberwolves team total under 108.5.

True Trailblazers: Portland 1H -3

I just like to say it “it’s dame time!” To me this is one of the most exciting teams to watch in the league simply because they are never out of any game. For this matchup, we key in on the first half. Portland can score at will.  By now, we have all seen that, so it should be no surprise that they are In the top five in terms of points scored in the first half of games, Detroit, on the other hand, ranks all the way in 28th. Narrowing the sample size to the last three games Portland moves into second in first half scoring and Detroit moves into 23. With either defense being to great there is not much of a difference on that side of the ball, but the edge on the offensive side can’t be ignored in this one take the Blazers to win the first half -3

Kings Court: Kings +2.5

Despite their high school level defense for a majority of the season, the Kings have played all around better basketball this month. The defense has been considerably better and the offense has consistently played at a high level. Behind this steady play the Kings just beat these same Spurs by 17 to win their fifth straight. For the Spurs, life without Aldridge has not been too great. Since the team and the big man parted ways on the first of March, the Spurs have not beat a team over .500. I know it’s hard to beat the same team twice back to back, but I like nothing I am seeing out of this Spurs team right now and there is no way I can’t take the hot team with some insurance points. Take the Kings +2.5.

Hotter than the Sun: Suns -7

The title speaks for itself.  The Suns are probably the hottest team in basketball at the moment. They have been a top 10 team on both sides of the ball ranking eighth on offense and fifth on defense. Their upcoming game is against a slumping Chicago team. The highest total from the last five games from Chicago is 104 that is not going to go well against a team like the Suns. The Bulls have scored 105 or fewer in eight of their 13 games played this month. Look for another struggling offensive performance from the Bulls in this one as the Suns defense is going to be too much for them and they will pull away and win this one comfortably. Take the Suns -7.   

Editorial credit: Mark Fann / Shutterstock.com  

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