With no NBA action yet, we add in more NHL line moves to go along with two college hoops games. We could have made this whole article about the MAC, which is a wild 52-27 OVER in conference play this year and all six matchups have significant line moves, four to the OVER side and two that are thought to be too high and have been moved below oddsmakers starting point. Take a minute to review all the betting trends and our free picks (32-17 of late), to see what we are thinking. See you back here tomorrow.
CBB – (511) SOUTH CAROLINA at (512) FLORIDA 7:00 ET ESPN
In terms of scoring defense, this conflict features two of the best teams in the SEC in fewest points allowed. With both offenses prone to sometimes lengthy scoring droughts, little wonder the total has sunk from 140 to 137.5. The earlier matchup fit this mode of thinking, with South Carolina a 57-53 winner at home, but the Gamecocks defense has sprung some leaks in past five contests in permitting 78.4 PPG. This really does look like a game in the low 60’s for each team and with Florida off a 57-52 win at Mississippi State, they are 7-0 UNDER at home after a combined score of 110 points or less.
Betting Trend – 52% backing Under
Doug’s VPID Take – Play Under
CBB – (523) CLEVELAND ST. at (524) DETROIT 7:00 ET ESPN-CE
This is a great example of those betting basketball will look anywhere to find a supposed edge. This late in the regular season, even the two worst teams in the Horizon League are attracting attention, with visiting Cleveland State up from -1 to -2.5. The Vikings lanced Detroit 90-73 as 6.5-point home favorites back on Ground Hogs Day. Personally I would pass, but my power ratings have this game as Pick or Detroit at -1 and I would lean that way.
Betting Trend – 69% backing Cleveland State
Doug’s VPID Take – Slight lean Detroit
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NHL – (1) MONTREAL at (2) N.Y. RANGERS 7:05 ET RDS, MSG
In spite of what the recent records say, the sportsbooks have lowered the New York Rangers from -145 to under -130 against Montreal. The Rangers have won seven of eight, while the Canadiens have dropped eight of 10 and even recently fired and recycled Claude Julien could not change the fortunes of the Habs in his return to those wearing the Le Bleu-Blanc-et-Rouge sweaters. The issues for the Canadiens have been both on offense and defense. Montreal has tallied seven goals in the eight losses (three shutouts) and given three or more scores all but twice in this rough stretch. Have to bet the Blueshirts myself.
Betting Trend – 93% backing New York
Doug’s VPID Take – New York wins
NHL – (15) CHICAGO at (16) MINNESOTA 8:05 ET NBCSN
Three times in the last four years, Chicago has ended Minnesota’s season in the playoffs. The Wild is hell-bent on making sure this does not happen again should they face off again in the postseason and is looking to build on recent 6-1 record versus the Blackhawks. (Minnesota’s loss came 13 days ago at home) Both teams have been playing well this month, but hockey bettors have been wild about the Wild and elevated them 20 cents on the money line to -155. While we fully respect Minnesota is 16-4 against a team with a winning record this season, the Hawks have won six straight road battles and are worth consideration.
Betting Trend – 77% backing Minnesota
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean Chicago
Public Consensus Record (2017) – 51% to 79% – 43-42 ATS
Public Consensus Record (2017) – 80% or Higher – 18-24-1 ATS
Line Movement Direction Record (2017) – 57-66-1 ATS