The_Dragon's Blog

Posted Thursday, January 31, 2013 02:56 AM

NHL: Free Play January 31st

Pittsburgh is 3-3, and is coming off a listless 4-1 loss to the Islanders on the 29th.

It's interesting to note though that the Pens have seen the total go "over" the number in 21 of their last 37 after a loss by two goals or more in their previous contest.

New York is 3-3, and is coming off a 2-1 win over Philadelphia on the 29th.

Note though that the Rangers have in fact seen the total go "over" the number in 30 of their last 53 divisional contests.

Three of these teams last five vs. each other have gone "over" the posted number, including the last three in a row. And that of course includes their game on January 20th when the Penguins won 6-3 in the Big Apple.

All signs point to another high-scoring affair; consider a second look at the "over" in this one!

Posted Tuesday, January 29, 2013 04:01 AM

NBA: Free Play January 29th

Golden State is coming off a 114-102 win at Toronto as a 2 point favorite last night (the Warriors were part of my overall 6-1 card).

The Warriors finally got Andrew Bogut back from injury in the win, but unfortunately lost Stephen Curry in the third quarter with an ankle sprain. Curry will be a game time decision, but will obviously not be at 100% if he does in fact get the start tonight.

Bogut contributed 12 points and eight boards.

Note though that Golden State is just 6-8 ATS this year when playing against a team with a losing record.

Cleveland is 13-32 SU and 21-23-1 ATS; it's coming off a 99-98 win at Toronto as a 7 point underdog on the 26th.

The Cavs have now won three in a row.

Kyrie Irving has averaged 35.7 PPG during the streak, and hit a game winning 3-pointer at the buzzer to beat the Raptors.

Note that Cleveland is 13-10 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record.

The Cavs have lost four straight in this series, including a 106-96 road setback on November 7th.

I believe the home side catches the Warriors off-guard on the second game of their back to back scenario, and pulls away down the stretch for the comfortable ATS cover!

Posted Saturday, January 26, 2013 07:45 PM

NBA: Free Play January 27th

New Orleans is 14-29 SU and 23-20 ATS; it's coming off a 100-82 loss vs. Houston as a 2.5 point fav on the 25th.

The Hornets are struggling once again, and have failed to reach the 100 point plateau in their last eight vs. Memphis.

They really struggled vs. the Rockets, shooting just under 39% from the floor, and were a deplorable 3 for 20 from behind the arc.

It's interesting to note that New Orleans is 0-3 ATS this year vs. good defensive teams that allow 91 points or less per contest.

Memphis is 28-14 SU and 25-16-1 ATS; it's coming off a 101-77 win over Brooklyn as a 4 point favorite on the 25th.

The Grizzlies are firing on all cylinders right now, both on the defensive and offensive ends of the floor, and they'll be looking to win for their fifth time in six games tonight.

Memphis has been getting it done all year with tough defensive play, allowing 89.2 PPG; it's been even better of late, allowing just 79.4 over its past five.

One person you'll want to keep your eyes on is Rudy happy who has averaged 26 points on 57.1% shooting in his last three vs. the Hornets.

Note that not only is Memphis 14-7 ATS in front of the home town crowd, but it's also 19-11 ATS as a favorite this year.

No need to overanalyze this selection as these two teams are clearly moving in opposite directions. Expect the home side to take full advantage of the struggling Hornets, and to pull away down the stretch for the comfortable ATS co... [More]

Posted Friday, January 25, 2013 06:43 PM

NBA: Free Play January 26th

New York is 26-14 SU and 21-18-1 ATS; it's coming off an 89-86 win at Boston as a 1 point favorite on the 24th.

Carmelo Anthony had 28 points in the defensive battle.

Note though that New York is just 15-16 ATS this year when playing the role of favorite.

Philadelphia is 17-25 SU and 18-24 ATS; it's coming off a 110-102 loss at Milwaukee on the 22nd as a 6.5 point underdog.

Evan Turner led the way with 23 points in the setback.

While he had an "off" day vs. the Bucks with just nine points, a bright spot for the 76ers continues to be the play of Jrue Holiday who is averaging a team high 19 points and nine assists.

Center Spencer Hawes will be called upon here to have another big effort after scoring 21 points and grabbing 12 boards vs. Milwaukee.

Note that Philadelphia is in fact 6-5 ATS this year vs. division opponents.

With a tough game vs. the Hawks tomorrow night, I believe New York gets caught "looking ahead" to that contest. When you throw in the "double revenge factor" from back to back losses that Philadelphia suffered in November in this series, you should definitely consider a second look at the home side in this one!

Posted Thursday, January 24, 2013 07:35 PM

NBA: Free Play January 25th

Detroit is 16-26 SU and 20-22 ATS; it's coming off an 85-82 loss at Chicago as a 6.5 point underdog on the 23rd. The loss snapped a two game win streak.

The Pistons are getting solid play up and down their lineup though right now, and I believe they'll give Miami everything it can handle tonight.

Will Bynum came off the bench to score 25 points and add 10 assists in his team's 109-99 win over the Heat on December 26th.

And note that Detroit is 10-9 ATS on the road this year, and 11-9 ATS vs. teams with winning records.

Miami is 27-12 SU and 19-20 ATS; it's coming off a 123-116 OT win over Toronto as a 10 point favorite on the 23rd.

Dwayne Wade had 35 points; LeBron James had 31 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds; Ray Allen had 18 points.

Note though that Miami is just 4-6 ATS this season in revenging a loss vs. an opponent.

The Heat have a bad habit of overlooking their competition, and are also just 17-20 ATS this year when playing the role of favorite.

The oddsmakers are drastically underestimating this improving Pistons team, and I believe the Heat will as well; grab the points!

Posted Wednesday, January 23, 2013 07:25 PM

NBA: Free Play January 24th

New York is 25-14 SU and 20-18-1 ATS; it's coming off an 88-85 loss to Brooklyn as a 3.5 point favorite on the 21st.

The Knicks have lost 13 straight in Boston, including the postseason.

Boston is 20-21 SU and 14-24-3 ATS; it's coming off four straight losses, including a 95-90 setback at Cleveland as a 5 point favorite on the 22nd.

One player you'll want to keep your eyes on is Rajon Rondo who is averaging 19.3 points and 13.1 assists in his last seven vs. New York.

Both teams come into this contest looking for answers after sub-par stretches, and the Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Garnett feud aside, I simply feel the home side is the more "desperate" team as it looks to avoid a season-worst fifth straight defeat.

I'm expecting the C's to bring their "A" game tonight, and to pull away down the stretch for the comfortable ATS cover!

Posted Wednesday, January 23, 2013 01:00 AM

NBA: Free Play January 23rd

Denver is 25-18 SU and 24-18 ATS; it's coming off a 121-118 OT win over OKC as a 1 point underdog on the 20th.

The Nuggets have won four straight in this series, averaging 104 points in those contests.

Denver is in fact one of the NBA's highest scoring teams at 103.1 per game.

It also leads the league in second-chance points, offensive rebounds and points in the paint.

One player you'll want to keep your eyes on is Denver's Ty Lawson who has scored at least 20 points in all four games during his team's series winning streak.

And note that Denver is 9-5 ATS in its last 14 vs. good offensive teams that score 99-plus points per contest.

Houston is 22-21 SU and 21-21-1 ATS; it's coming off a 100-94 win at Charlotte on the 21st.

I'll caution in reading too much into that victory, as the Rockets have really struggled in all facets of the game to start the new year; note that they've averaged just 94.1 PPG over their last eight games, and lead the league in turnovers.

The defense though is mostly to blame as it ranks last in points allowed at 103.2 PPG.

And note that Houston is just 6-7 ATS this year vs. good offensive teams that score 99-plus points per contest.

These teams are clearly moving in opposite directions right now, and I fully expect the surging Nuggets to take full advantage!

Posted Monday, January 21, 2013 08:35 PM

NBA: Free Play January 22nd

Orlando is 14-26 SU and 20-19-1 ATS; it's coming off a 111-105 loss to Dallas as a 3.5 point underdog.

The Magic are struggling on both ends of the court, but especially the defensive where they're giving up 108.9 in losing ten of their last 12.

They've been even worse vs. teams with losing records, giving up an average of 113 in their last five such contests.

So it comes as no surprise to learn that Orlando is 6-11 ATS when playing against a team with a losing record.

Detroit is 15-25 SU and 18-22 ATS; it's coming off a 103-88 win over Boston as a 2 point underdog on the 20th.

This is a "double revenge" situation for the home side, having lost both games to the Magic this season.

Despite the overall slow start for bettors this year, note that Detroit is in fact 11-8 ATS vs. teams with losing records this year.
 
The Pistons are playing much better of late, having won eight of their last 12, and suffice it to say, I expect them to avenge those earlier losses, and take care of business on their home floor!

Posted Sunday, January 20, 2013 05:40 PM

NBA: Free Play January 21st

Houston is 21-21 SU and 21-20-1 ATS. The O/U is 24-18. It's coming off seven straight losses, including a 92-79 setback at Minnesota on the 19th, the total staying well below the posted number of 202 in that one.

The Rockets are managing just 93.3 PPG during the slide.

In the loss to the Wolves they committed 20 turnovers.

James Harden is hitting just 25% from the floor and scoring just 18.3 PPG, which is 7.5 less than his season average.

Charlotte is 10-30 SU and 15-24-1 ATS. The O/U is 20-19-1. It's coming off a 97-93 loss at Sacramento on the 19th, the total staying well below the posted number of 204 in that one.

The hapless Bobcats have lost three straight in this series, getting limited to just 82.7 YPG.

Note that four of these teams last five vs. each other have indeed gone "under" the posted number.

With both clubs struggling on the offensive end, and with each desperate to punch a "W" into the win column, I believe we'll see a much tighter affair than what the oddsmakers are leading us to believe; consider a second look at the "under" in this one!

Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 08:09 PM

NBA: Free Play January 20th

OKC is 32-8 SU and 24-14-2 ATS; it's coming off a 117-114 OT win at Dallas on the 18th.

Kevin Durant exploded for a career-high 52 points, hitting all 21 of his free throws.

The Thunder have now won four in a row on the road.

They'll be playing against the "revenge factor" today though, as they've won six of the last eight in this series, including a 117-97 win over Denver last week.

Note that OKC has in fact seen the total go "under" the number in five of its last six vs. division opponents.

Denver is 24-18 SU and 23-19 ATS; it's coming off back to back losses, including a 112-108 setback to Washington on the 18th.

There's no question that the Nuggets will be looking to atone for those back to back lacklustre efforts, and a better defensive performance will be a must vs. the high flying Thunder:

"Our defense never responded, our big men never responded and the personality of the game is very similar to (games against) Minnesota, Orlando, Cleveland, and Golden State (earlier this month)," Denver coach George Karl said of his teams lack of focus. "All those games had similar personalities of not having enough effort, not having enough serious basketball."

"We're definitely disappointed," Denver's Ty Lawson said yesterday. "... We have a film session to figure out the things we're doing wrong. Hopefully we have a good showing against OKC on Sunday."

Note that Denver has seen the total go "under" the number in 10 of ... [More]

Posted Friday, January 18, 2013 06:23 PM

NBA: Free Play January 19th

Cleveland is 10-31 SU and 18-22-1 ATS; it's coming off a 93-88 win at Portland on the 16th as a 6 point underdog.

This is the end of a five game road trip for the Cavs, and I'm expecting a letdown.

Kyrie Irving had 31 points.

Note though that Cleveland is in fact just 6-9 ATS in non-conference games.

Utah is 21-19 SU and 20-19-1 ATS; it's coming off back to back victories, including a 104-97 win over Miami as a 2 1/2 point underdog on the 14th.

The Jazz haven't played since Monday, and coming into this contest well rested, and extremely focused:

"I think we're not exactly where we want to be but we're in the range of being in position to get ourselves in the playoffs, and to take a good run here with this homestand that we have, we'll put ourselves in a good position," coach Tyrone Corbin said yesterday.

Al Jefferson had 23 points and 11 boards vs. Miami for his third straight double-double.

Note that Utah is 11-5 ATS in its last 16 home games.

No need to overanalyze this play. The Cavs stumble after a long West coast road trip, and the home side pulls away down the stretch after the long lay off!

Posted Thursday, January 17, 2013 07:10 PM

NBA: Free Play January 18th

Washington is 7-29 SU and 20-14-2 ATS; it's coming off a 95-94 loss at Sacramento as a 4.5 point dog on the 16th.

The loss snapped a three-game win streak.

The Wizards had beaten OKC, Atlanta and Orlando previous to the setback.

The Wizards will be plenty motivated here as they look to break out of an eight-game road slide, and to also atone for a 108-104 loss to Denver last January 20th.

You'll want to keep your eyes on John Wall who had 14 points and ten assists vs. the Kings.

Note that over their last two games, the Wizards have shot over 50% from the floor, and gone 15 of 28 from 3-point range.

That doesn't bode well for the home side, which has allowed the opposition to shoot over 50% over its last three contests, including almost 43% from behind the arc.

And note that not only is Washington 10-6 ATS on the road this year, but it's also a perfect 5-0 ATS as a road dog in the 9.5 to 12 points range.

Denver is 24-17 SU and 23-18 ATS; it's coming off a 117-97 loss at OKC as a 9 point dog on the 16th.

The loss snapped a six-game win streak, and I'm fully expecting this team to have another letdown here.

Denver is 15-2 SU at home this season, but I believe will "look past" this much improved Washington team.

Danilo Gallinari had just 11 points vs. OKC, down from his 21.7 average over his previous six games.

Ty Lawson was held to a miserable two points.

Note that Denver is just 5-8 ATS ... [More]

Posted Wednesday, January 16, 2013 07:32 PM

NBA: Free Play January 17th

Milwaukee is 19-18 SU/ATS; it's coming off a 104-88 loss at LA as a 6 point underdog on the 15th.

Brandon Jennings had 12 points.

To say Milwaukee has struggled whenever its played in Phoenix would be a massive understatement, as it's winless there in over 25 years.

Phoenix is 13-27 SU and 16-22-2 ATS; it's coming off a 102-90 loss to OKC as a 5 point dog on the 14th.

There is no doubt that the Suns will be playing with a sense of desperation tonight, as they've lost five of six in front of the home town crowd and will be looking to avoid dropping four straight in Phoenix for the first time since 2004.

Shannon Brown had 21 points vs. the Thunder; Marcin Gortat had 19 points and 15 boards.

A big boost for the home side will be the return of Jared Dudley who has sat the last two games with an injured wrist.

Ultimately though, this sets up as a "revenge" game for the home side, which lost 108-99 in Milwaukee on January 8th.

I believe there are enough significant external motivating factors working in favor of the home side to warrant it a second look in this matchup!

Posted Tuesday, January 15, 2013 07:29 PM

NBA: Free Play January 16th

Cleveland is 9-31 SU and 17-22-1 ATS; it's coming off three straight losses, including a 124-118 setback at Sacramento on the 14th as a 6 point underdog.

The Cavs are on the cusp of breaking out though, and are getting big contributions across the board.

Dion Waiters had 33 points; CJ Miles had 17; Tristan Thompson had 17 points and 15 boards.

Kyrie Irving had 15 points.

In all the team shot almost 49% and made eight of 16 3-pointers.

Note that Cleveland is 13-10 ATS on the road.

Portland is 20-18 SU and 17-18-2 ATS; it's coming off a game in Denver last night.

Note that Portland is just 6-12 ATS when playing against a team with a losing record.

There's no need to overanalyze this pick; Portland comes in with "heavy legs", and the under the radar Cavs atone for the 118-117 loss at home to the Blazers on December 1st by keeping this one much closer than what the oddsmakers are leading us to believe; consider a second look at the visitors in this one!

Posted Monday, January 14, 2013 07:21 PM

NBA: Free Play January 15th

New Orleans is 11-26 SU and 19-18 ATS; it's coming off a 100-87 loss at New York as a 7 point dog on the 13th.

The Hornets poor overall record can be chalked up to their poor offense which averages just 91.9 PPG.

Eric Gordon remains a bright spot and had 22 points in the loss to the Knicks.

It comes as no surprise to learn that New Orleans is just 5-9 ATS in its last 14 non-conference games.

Philadelphia is 16-22 SU/ATS; it's coming off a 107-100 win over Houston as a 1 point favorite on the 12th.

The victory marked the first game of 12 of its next 13 in front of the home town crowd, and there's no question this team will look to keep the momentum rolling.

Jrue Holiday had 30 points and nine assists:

"We needed it," said Holiday after. "Going into this home stretch, getting the first one is huge. Home court is big. It's crucial. We've got to come here and try and win at home."

A date vs. the Hornets is just what the doctor ordered to continue the home win streak, as the last time these teams played against each other on November 7th, Philadelphia would beat New Orleans 77-62 in its best defensive effort of the season.

And note that Philadelphia is in fact 5-3 ATS this season when playing with two days of rest.

The road has been New Orleans' "achilles heel", coming into this contest just 5-13 SU away from friendly confines. Look for Philadelphia to defend its home floor and to pull away down the stretch for ... [More]

Posted Sunday, January 13, 2013 06:23 PM

NBA: Free Play January 14th

Charlotte is 9-27 SU and 14-22 ATS; it's coming off three straight losses, including a 96-88 setback at Indiana as an 11.5 point underdog on the 12th.

Shoddy defensive play has been to blame for the Bobcats run of futility as they've allowed their last three opponents to make at least 10 3-pointers while allowing them to hit almost 43% from behind the arc.

Ben Gordon has been a lone bright spot, averaging 19.6 points off 52.6% shooting over the last month.

But Charlotte has averaged just 83 points on 41.8% shooting over its last two contests.

And note that Charlotte is just 7-10 ATS on the road this year.

Boston is 19-17 SU and 14-20-1 ATS; it's coming off five straight victories, including a 103-91 win over Houston as a 3 point favorite on the 11th.

The C's have found their swagger, and have won by an average of 10.6 points during their streak.

Paul Pierce had 23 points vs. Houston:

"I feel good. I feel like we are building,'' said Pierce after. "We're getting better and better.''

You'll want to keep your eyes on Brandon Bass who has averaged 17 points in his last four vs Charlotte.

Note that Boston's bench has outscored its counterparts 67-41 over the last two games.

And note that Boston is 4-2 ATS in the New Year.

I believe the surging home side comes in focused, and dominates from the opening tip until the final horn; consider a second look at the C's in this one!

Posted Saturday, January 12, 2013 07:33 PM

NBA: Free Play January 13th

Milwaukee is 18-17 SU/ATS. The O/U is 15-19-1. It's coming off a 103-87 setback at Detroit on the 11th, the total staying below the posted number of 197 in that one.

Brandon Jennings had 15 points; so too did Beno Udrih.

Milwaukee continues to struggle with consistency on the road, and shot just 39.6% from the floor collectively.

Note that Milwaukee has seen the total go "under" the number in 11 of 14 when playing against a team with a losing record.

Toronto is 14-22 SU and 19-17 ATS. The O/U is 17-19. It's coming off back to back victories, including a 99-78 win over Charlotte on the 11th, the total staying below the posted number of 195 in that one.

Alan Anderson had 16 points; Jose Calderon had 15 and Toronto won for the tenth time in its last 13 games.

Landry Fields dominated the paint with 11 boards.

Toronto has looked pretty awesome of late, and has been getting the job done by committee, especially on the defensive side of the floor.

Note that Toronto has seen the total go "under" the number in 12 of 17 home contests this year.

As with most "totals selections", this is a "situational" play. Baltimore has been brutal offensively away from friendly confines, and Toronto has taken full advantage of these types of teams, playing a swarming and suffocating style of defense; consider a second look at the "under" here!

Posted Friday, January 11, 2013 05:18 PM

January 12th: Free Play NCAAB

Houston is 12-2 SU and 4-1 ATS; it's coming off a seven straight victories including a 78-67 win over SMU as a 3 point favorite on the 9th.

Danuel House had a season-high 28 points; Joseph Young added 20.

Leon Gibson contributed eight points and 14 boards.

Southern Miss is 12-4 SU and 9-4 ATS; it's coming off four straight wins including a 75-52 win at Rice as a 12.5 point favorite on the 9th.

Daveon Boardingham had 16 points; Michael Craig chipped in 15 points and grabbed eight boards.

Jerrold Brooks had 11 points; so too did Dwayne Davis.

The surging Eagles dominated the glass to the tune of 32-16, and dominated the paint, outscoring Rice 46-20.

This is a "revenge situation" for the home side which lost 73-71 to Houston back on February 18th, 2012.

This is a tough place to play, and I look for the home side to continue its hot run and to pull away down the stretch for the comfortable ATS cover; consider a second look at Southern Miss in this one!

Posted Thursday, January 10, 2013 07:58 PM

NBA: Free Play January 11th

Utah is 19-18 SU and 18-18-1 ATS; it's coming off back to back wins, including a 112-102 victory at Charlotte as a 4.5 point favorite on the 9th.

The trio of Derrick Favors, Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap combined for 55 points.

Note though that Utah is just 8-13 ATS on the road this year.

Atlanta is 20-14 SU and 13-20-1 ATS; it's coming off four straight losses, including a lacklustre 99-83 setback at Cleveland as a 4 point favorite on the 9th.

"I am a little concerned right now,'' coach Larry Drew said. "I've got to do something to get this team on stride again - and I will."

A game at home is just what the doctor ordered as the Hawks have won three of their last four in Atlanta.

And if history is any precedence, then the Hawks have to be loving their chances, as they've won five of the last six in this series.

And note that Atlanta is 3-1 ATS this season after a loss by ten points or more.

"Desperation" is a factor that I often find the oddsmakers have a hard time properly quantifying into a line, and there's no question in my mind that the home side will be playing with a ton of it tonight.

With both teams playing tomorrow night as well, "home floor" becomes an even bigger advantage this evening; consider a second look at the Hawks in this one.

Posted Wednesday, January 09, 2013 06:05 PM

NCAAB: Free Play January 10th

Massachusetts is 10-3 SU and 3-10 ATS; it's coming off seven straight victories, including a 75-61 win over Eastern Michigan as a 15.5 point favorite on the 5th. It was however the teams third straight ATS setback, and I believe will once again have a letdown here.

Freddie Riley has been on fire of late; after scoring just 4.4 points per game this year, he's averaged 12.3 points over his past four.

Riley would come off the bench to hit five 3-point shots in a span of just 3:41 over Eastern Michigan.

Chaz Williams had 14 points and nine assists; Maxie Esho had 13 points and nine boards.

Saint Louis is 11-3 SU and 6-6 ATS; it's coming off eight straight victories, including a 67-59 win over Savannah State on the 4th.

Mike McCall Jr had 16 points; Cody Ellis had 15; Kwamain Mitchell added 13; Corey Remekun chipped in ten points and seven boards.

The Tigers played well, but were forced into 19 turnovers by the Billikens, whose four-game streak of holding opponents to under 50 points was finally broken.

Ultimately though, this is a revenge game for the home side after it lost 72-59 to the Minutemen back on January 28th.

And not only is this the final game of a nine-game home stand, but it is also the opener of A-10 Conference play for Saint Louis.

I believe there are enough significant external motivating factors working in favor of St. Louis tonight to warrant it a second look in this situation!

Posted Tuesday, January 08, 2013 06:46 PM

Wednesday Free NBA Play

Utah is 18-18 SU and 17-18-1 ATS. The O/U is 16-19-1. It's coming off a 100-94 win over Dallas on the 7th, the total staying below the posted number of 198.5 in that one.

With injuries to starters Marvin Williams and Mo Williams, Utah's bench has come up big.

The trio of Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors and Alec Burks is averaging 44 PPG during a 3-1 stretch in January; they'd combine for 53 vs. the Mavs, led by Hayward's 27.

Note that Utah has seen the total go "over" the number in five of nine non-conference games.

Charlotte is 9-24 SU and 13-20 ATS. The O/U is 18-14-1. It's coming off a 108-101 win at Detroit on the 6th, the total sailing above the posted number of 194 in that one.

After an 0-18 stretch, the Bobcats have won two of their last three.

Kemba Walker has been leading the way, and had 20 points in the win over the Pistons.

The Bobcats though will be plenty motivated here, and will look to duplicate the winning formula vs. the Pistons as they try and avoid a ninth straight loss in front of the home town crowd.

You'll want to keep your eyes on Bismack Biyombo who had 10 points and a career-high 17 boards on Sunday.

Note that Charlotte has in fact seen the total go "over" the number in three of five as a home dog in the 3.5 to 6 point range.

Both teams are coming off big wins, and I believe each will push the pace of this contest; consider a second look at the over in this matchup!