Alright, so yesterday was a break even day for some. A small loser as written up for others. And a small WINNER for a lot as well as the Xavier game went off with a nice 0.5 point cushion. OUR MEMBERS had a PERFECT 3-0 night in the NBA and NHL, so we finished the day 6-4-2 overall on our end. But we decided that wasn't good enough, so here we go again with the morning action!!
But let's get that money today!!
TODAY'S ACTION --
*2 UNITS* ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI (+9.5)
The Illinois win yesterday over Minnesota was ugly to say the least. Minnesota essentially gave that game away, being up 3 with a minute left and the ball and then turning it over with 14 seconds left. They then promptly gave up the winning shot with a second left. Ouch. Worst part was the Gophers were held with 0 FG and only 2 points (made FT's) over the final 6 minutes of the game. Two points! The down side to that is, the Gophers also lead by 3 points at that 6 minute mark and the game ended the way it did. Although Illinois played tough down the stretch, literally if you saw the game, it was ugly. But saying that, Illinois wasn't scoring at all themselves, as they had 0 points in a span from just under 6 minutes in the game to 47 seconds left in the game. But Illinois was talented enough to make the upset happen and they seem to have come to play in this tournament. They most likely won't beat Indiana but even the histort between these two teams suggests it will be close. I'm sure we've all seen by know how Illinois ran that perfect inbounds play down the middle of the floor with something like a minute left on the clock to upset Indiana 74-72 in their only season meeting, but 3 of the last 5 meetings between these two teams have been decided by 3 points. Illinois is also actually 7-3 ML in the last 7 meetings between the two schools, but they were usually the better team in that span. Indiana is 4-2 ATS in the L6 meetings, posting a 1-1 ATS record when playing as the favorite. This game should also have quite a bit of scoring as Indiana should control the pace for most of the contest. In neutral court games this season they have hit for 44% of their 3's, while allowing over 41% to their opponents. Illinois should come out with a little edge in this one picking up the momentum from yesterday, but in the end we see this more in like the 6-point range. Illinois could also come out shooting hot, so look forward to this one hitting the OVER early and often too. Surprisingly, Indiana has posted a dismal 1-5 ML record in their L6 games to kick off their Big Ten Tournament with almost all of those losses against the either Penn State or Northwestern. Illinois hasn't been all that better going 3-5 ML in their L8 BTT games and haven't fared all that well in the second round, since they lost in the championship to Wisconsin in 2008. The Hoosiers were also 1-2 ATS in neutral court games, while the Illini were 4-2 ATS in their 6 neutral court games including yesterday's tournament opener. Also, just to note, both teams played Butler on a neutral court. Indiana lost a heartbreaker in OT, 88-86, playing as a -10.5 favorite. The Illini destroyed the Bulldogs, 78-61, as a -2.5 favorite. Take that for what you will. But definitely take the ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI to COVER the near double-digit spread here.......
*2 UNITS* NORTH CAROLINA STATE WOLFPACK MONEY LINE (-120)
This team is good and could be a force to reckon with come tournament time. Virginia is also a tough team, but the Wolfpack should have enough firepower to outlast them here and NC STATE could be a sleeper pick to get to the ACC Championship game, we think. Virginia has owned this series for the most part, taking 5 out of the L6 meetings between the two schools and posting a 7-3 ATS record in the L10 overall. On the flip side, NC ST has covered in each of the L2 meetings with a win on the road in Virginia last season. Virginia comes in off an OT win over Maryland to end their season, while NC STATE was an easy play we should have been on, as they absolutely destroyed Virginia Tech in their tournament-opener. The Wolfpack have found their groove as of late too, going 5-1 ATS in their L6 games as a favorite and they are 20-2 ML overall this season when they are playing as the fave. 20-2!! They are 1-5 ML in their 6 games as the underdog. The Cavaliers are an average 2-3 ML when playing as the underdog. NC STATE was also 3-1 ML when playing on a neutral court this season and they outscored their opponents by an average score of over 7 points. Virginia on the other hand was 0-2 ML and 0-1 ATS as they lost by two points to Old Dominion as a -14 point favorite and they lost by 6 points to Delaware without even a spread being issued on the game. Virginia has also posted a weak 1-4 ML record in their L5 games of an ACC Tournament. They are an even worse 1-5 ML in their L6 opening games of the tournament and they were bounced out of this very same tournament in the first round last season by this NC STATE team. Go with the NC STATE WOLFPACK on the MONEY LINE in this one.......
BUTLER BULLDOGS (-1)
Alright, I really hate to even recommend a play with almost 80% of the public on it and as much as I love La Salle this season, I just can't see them pulling this one off. Butler has a pretty impressive resume on a neutral court this season (surprise, surprise) and their domination of anything tournament related is too good too pass up. For starters, Butler is 3-1 ML on a neutral court in 2012-13, with their only loss coming against Illinois, while beating the likes of Indiana (88-86 in OT); North Carolina (82-71) and Marquette (72-71) - all 3 tournament headed teams. This one is mostly likely a 1-point spread for a couple reasons. One La Salle beat Butler by 1 point at home earlier this season, and secondly, La Salle pretty much needs a win and they are in the big dance. If they lose, they are sweating it out like we will be during this game. The Bulldogs also come into this one 19-4 ML in their L23 postseason tournament games since the 2009-2010 season. This team hasn't been the same usual Butler team we have all come to expect, as they have struggled to go 4-3 ML in their L7 games overall. La Salle comes in completely out of whack after their season-ending blowout loss at the hands of St. Louis and they will have to shake off the rust of the long 5 day layoff they have had. They were disappointing as an underdog this season, producing a measly 1-5 ML record when getting the points. The Explorers were also an even more disappointing 0-3 ATS when playing the underdog in a game with a spread of +1 - +1.5, while Butler when 1-0 ATS and ML in games with a 1 - 1.5 spread, although they too were the underdog in that one. La Salle could be without a big center (S. Zack) for this one and he is a productive member of the paint provided 6.5 PTS / 6.5 REB a game. He was absent for their last two games and it was evident in the rebounding department, as La Salle was outrebounded 60-41 in those 2 games. That too most likely won't work against Butler, as they have dominated teams for the most part when they outrebound them, posting a 21-5 ML record in their 26 games this season in which they have outrebounded their opponents. Butler should be fully healthy, fully charged and looking to exact revenge on this talented La Salle team. Run with the BUTLER BULLDOGS on the SPREAD here today.....
There you have it!! That is our action to kick off this FREEBIE FRISKY FRIDAY in the NCAA BB!! We will be back with a 2nd batch of plays in the evening games, so make sure to check back to your emails for a 1 hour window or so between a 5 PM EST / 2 PM PST time. And remember, if you are on our email FREEBIE LIST, you are receiving our ENTIRE SLATE OF PLAYS today!! But at least we are giving away 3 FREEBIE PLAYS via the website!!
Best of luck to all today!! Let's get that money!!
PORT PORT SPORTS