UCF (+13) vs. DUKE - at Columbia, SC
By Bob Valentino, Featured Handicapper
Looked good when we were up 16 and cruising at the break, but in basketball there is always a run by one team, and Baylor's 8-0 start to the second half helped keep them inside of the number the rest of the way.
Not happy to drop that 100 Dimer on Gonzaga, but I am going to be getting most of it back with today's winner.
Just need to take care of business here on Sunday, and all will be right in the world once again.
2nd BIGGEST RELEASE
WINNER # 2 IN A ROW
WASHINGTON VS. NORTH CAROLINA
Still 4 of the last 6 days on the plus side.
Closing out the weekend the right way, as I pocket 75 dimes of profit.
Time to win.
Sunday free play is the UCF Knights plus the points against the Duke Blue Devils.
Listen, I am not going to sit here and even attempt to poke holes in this Duke team - they are simply too good - as they are not going to lose this game straight up, but I do think there is value in backing the double-digit underdog in this late day meeting from Columbia.
The only blemishes I can find with this Duke team is their youth, their lack of bench depth, and the fact they do not particularly shoot well from behind the arc. Those 3 facts point towards the possibility of the Knights being able to stay inside of this roomy impost.
A couple of things also in favor of UCF is they are coached by former Coach K assistant Johnny Dawkins, so I have to wonder if Coach K may call off the dogs if the Blue Devils go up big and allow the proverbial "back door" to be open for a Knights cover?
Central Florida also has veteran guard play with Aubrey Dawkins and B.J. Taylor in their backcourt. In the frontcourt? How about the gargantuan Tacko Fall who scored 13 points and grabbed 18 rebounds in Friday's double-digit destruction of VCU.
The oddsmakers have made it tough to be a Duke backer, as they usually carry an inflated impost into battle when they hit the floor. Duke comes into this game just 1-4-1 against the spread their last 6 games, and 3-8-1 overall their last 12 games played versus the spread.
As for UCF, the Knights have covered in 3 of their last 4 tries in the underdog role, and have managed to win straight up in 8 of their last 11 games heading into this second rounder with the # 1 seed.
Duke advances, but UCF plus the points gets the cover.
Wichita State at CLEMSON (-7)
By Tony Weston, Featured Handicapper
Four straight 50 Dime college winners, and today I look to make it five in a row on Winning Day # 6 of 8.
I split my 100 Dimers the last two days, and today I will get back on track after losing with Murray State yesterday.
I love this game between Oregon and Cal Irvine, as I aim for 50 Dime Winner # 5 in a Row.
Admittedly, I hadn't started out the way I wanted to, but there comes a time to right the ship and make good with the value plays that are staring you in the face.
And I'm in my groove right now.
Winning Day # 6 of 8
College Winner # 5 in a Row
BAILOUT LOCK WINNER
Oregon - Cal Irvine, tip off at 9:40 pm
+ + + + + + + + +
MATCHING 50 Dime College Winner # 4 in a Row
Baylor-Syracuse Over on Thursday, which you got for $7.77
MATCHING 50 Dime College Winner # 3 in a Row
NC Central covers vs. North Dakota State on Wednesday
MATCHING my 50 Dime NIT Total of the Year
San Diego-Memphis Under on Tuesday, which you got for $7.77
MATCHING my 50 Dime SEC Total of the Year
Auburn-Tennessee Over on Sunday, which you got for $7.77
This is the best time to be in the sports books, as the madness is ramping up with all the different tournaments in college basketball. I love hanging at the Westgate SuperBook, and over at SouthPoint with all the action going down. Get familiarized with how I release my plays. Read my bio and my rating system, and gear up for my money train.
It's an easy winner to get your feet wet, as I'm ready for March's madness.
I'm cashing in today, simple as that.
Today's complimentary winner is on the Clemson Tigers over the Wichita State Shockers.
Against one of the best defenses in the nation, I don't see how the Shockers will be able to get any sort of rhythm going tonight.
The Tigers have held their opponents to 0.93 points per possession this season, which, when you factor in the strength of schedule playing in the ACC, is even more impressive.
Clemson boasts a lot of length, even in the backcourt, and that will frustrate the Shockers, who will have limited space to operate, and very little room in the passing lanes.
Point guard Marcquise Reed can be menacing with his relentless pressure, as his keen sense for the opposing floor general allows him to sneak-grab passes and break the other way before teams know it. David Skara is a solid defender on the perimeter, as he forces bad decisions.
Clemson has the 11th-best 2-point defense, with its opponents hitting on just 44.2 percent of 2-pointers - an impressive six points below the national average.
Making matters worse is that Wichita State has been a below-average offensive team that depends on the long ball. But if the Shockers can't get going, they'll fall behind by double digits early.
I know Clemson lost Shelton Mitchell after an MRI revealed meniscus damage, but the Tigers are capable, and have had time to regroup and rally around Reed.
Lay the points here, as Clemson rolls.