NBA and College Basketball Celebrate Martin Luther King Day with a Feast


Today the nation honor’s the Martin Luther King for his contributions to society. Several years ago the NBA and college basketball began to honor Dr. King in their own way with televised basketball games throughout the day with continual references and remembrances.

Here is a look into today’s televised lineup of hoops on Monday.

INDIANA at MEMPHIS (-6, 173) 1:00 ET  ESPN

Memphis GrizzliesBy points allowed, these are the two best defensive teams in the Association, thus as witnessed by the low total, this will not be an offensive showcase. Memphis in particular has been particularly inept in scoring, having not score more than 85 points in five games (2-3 SU and ATS). The stumbling Grizzlies run into an Indiana squad which has won 15 of 20 (11-9 ATS). This contest could come down to three-point shooting, with the Pacers having 48.7 percent of their 41 attempts the last two games, while Memphis has only given up five made 3’s (20.8%) in the same time span.

Key ATS TrendIndiana is 1-9 ATS on the road against winning teams.

Key Total AngleMemphis is 11-3 UNDER against the Eastern Conference.


You have to wonder what either of these Big East teams will have for this matinee at the Carrier Dome. Two games in three days is tough for any college club and while some will say, “they are kids, they can play all day”, Cincinnati and Syracuse were involved in emotional gut-wrenching conflicts Saturday and this turnover is less than 48 hours after the completion of their narrow two-point victories. The Bearcats hung on to win in OT against Marquette and are hoping point guard Cashmere Wright can go against the Orangemen’s tough defense (No. 4 in the country in field goal percentage allowed). The ‘Cuse might need the support of the home crowd to get the juices flowing and they have won three straight at home over Cincy, the last two by 39 total points.

Key ATS Trend – Cincinnati is 10-0 ATS in road games after playing as a home favorite. 

Key Total Angle – Syracuse is 8-1 UNDER at home after a conference game.


Oklahoma State’s 12-4 record (8-6 ATS) sure looks sharp until you learn this; they have yet to win a true road this campaign. The Cowboys are 0-3 SU and ATS as true visitors, shooting just over 40 percent in those contests (44.5 percent is season average). Baylor is not a picture of consistency either, having drained 40.7 percent or less of their shot attempts in three of their last five tries. It would seem the Bears have the edge playing at the Ferrell Center and having Pierre Jackson as the catalyst, as he ranks first in the conference in scoring (18.6 PPG), second in assists (6.1), and third in steals (1.9).

Key ATS Trend – Baylor is 4-14 ATS at home after allowing 55 or fewer points.

Key Total Angle – Baylor is 11-3 OVER when the total is 130 to 139.5.

SAN ANTONIO (-6.5, 194.5) at PHILADELPHIA 7:00 ET  TNT

This has not been the kind of season the 76ers envisioned at 17-23, having dropped 14 of their past 19 outings (6-13 ATS). The culprit has been a lack of offensive continuity, which finds Philadelphia 27th in scoring (93.2 PPG) in the league and 26th in offensive efficiency (the number of points a team scores per 100 possessions). With San Antonio no longer an elite defensive team (8th in points allowed and 10th in shooting percentage), possibly Jrue Holiday can continue and stay hot and lead his club to the upset. Holiday has averaged 30.7 points, added 11.3 assists and shot 54.8 percent from the floor in his past three contests. The Spurs Tony Parker will attempt to derail Philly’s hopes and he averaged 26.0 PPG vs. the Sixers in the past three matchups.

Key ATS TrendPhiladelphia is 3-13 ATS vs. teams making 46 percent or more of their shots.

Key Total AnglePhiladelphia is 10-0 OVER when playing with two days’ rest.


Notre Dame basketballThis Big East battle finds two struggling offenses whose worst enemy is who they see in the mirror. Georgetown is averaging 58.4 PPG in conference play, which is last and Notre Dame is tallying just 64 PPG in their previous four conflicts, which is more than 10 points below their season average. The Fighting Irish should have the edge playing at home and rank first in the Big East in field-goal percentage (50.6) and 3-point percentage (40.6). The Hoyas really miss second-leading scorer Greg Whittington in the starting lineup, who is academically ineligible.

Key ATS TrendNotre Dame is 8-1 ATS as home favorite of six points or less.

Key Total AngleNotre Dame is 9-1 UNDER in January since last season.

TEXAS at OKLAHOMA (-7.5, 124) 9:30 ET ESPN

The Longhorns inability to make baskets and execute late in games has left below at 8-9 (7-8 ATS). Texas is shooting 40.4 percent on the season, 29.9 percent beyond the arc and only converts on 62.2 percent of attempts from the charity stripe. Rick Barnes youthful squad played fantastic against then No. 4 Kansas for 35 minutes, but has been the case all season, Texas could not close the deal with the lead and has lost six straight in games decided by seven points or less. Oklahoma is an above average Big 12 squad, but is also prone to scoring droughts, averaging 60 points in their four losses this season. Defense and late-game execution are presumed to be the deciding factors.

Key ATS TrendOklahoma is 11-2 ATS at home versus teams making 42% or less of their shots.

Key Total AngleTexas is 11-2 UNDER after playing as an underdog.

L.A. LAKERS at CHICAGO (-1, 194.5) 9:30 ET  TNT

With yesterday defeat at Toronto, the Lakers have dropped eight of 10 (3-7 ATS) and L.A. fans are yearning for the good old days when Mike Brown was the coach. Replacement Mike D’Antoni was supposed to bring back a more free-flowing offense, but he’ll never be asked to put together any defensive videos. The Lakers lack of defensive acumen is easy to find as opposing teams have shot 47.7 percent or better seven times against LA/1 (four times over 50%) in this hideous stretch. While the Lakers are an alarming 5-13 and 6-12 ATS on the road, Chicago is the worst home wager in the NBA at 5-17 against the spread (.500 SU). Something has to give and status of the Bulls leading-scorer Luol Deng is to be determined.

Key ATS TrendThe underdog is 16-5 ATS in previous meetings.

Key Total AngleThese teams are 7-1 UNDER in Chicago.


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