Whether or not there is six more weeks of winter according to Punxsutawney Phil, for sure there will be months of college basketball, NBA and NHL action ahead and we have today’s biggest line moves in all three sports. Take a minute to review all the betting trends and our free picks (Slight leans no longer graded), to see what we are thinking. See you back here tomorrow.
NBA – (701) BOSTON at (702) NEW YORK 7:35 ET CSN-NE, MSG
Boston saw their five-game winning streak (4-1 ATS) come to an end Sunday and it was not entirely unexpected, having beaten Orlando at home by 19 and going the Mickey’s place two days later. It was also a foregone conclusion New York would have a hard time with Golden State and the Knicks fell 116-95, making them losers in five of six (2-4 ATS). NBA bettors are unconcerned about last game and looking at the two teams and recent body of work and have elevated the Celtics from -2.5 to -4.5 point favorites. Preferred the Celtics at the lower price, but still making a smaller play on Boston because they average 19.2 points off turnovers and rank among the league’s best while the Knicks are last at 12.6. Which leads New York to being 9-22 ATS versus defensive teams forcing 16 or more turnovers a game the last three seasons.
Betting Trend – 74% backing Boston
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean Boston
CBB – (717) AKRON at (718) OHIO U. 7:00 ET W-ESPN
Akron might have the best overall record in the MAC at 17-4 (9-6 ATS) and be tied with Kent State for first place in the East Division at 6-2, but not everybody believes they are the best pick tonight. The Zips were sent out as -1.5 point road favorites at Athens, but by midday they were two-point underdogs to Ohio U. The Bobcats are 10-1 (5-2 ATS) at home which will draw attention and 36-16 ATS on their own court when the line is +3 to -3. Nevertheless, Akron is 8-2 ATS after playing a game as a favorite this season. Just keep this in mind, the change in underdogs could matter, as the pooch is 2-5 ATS in last seven battles.
Betting Trend – 81% backing Akron
Doug’s VPID Take – Slight lean Akron
CBB – (723) LSU at (724) AUBURN 7:00 ET SECN
It is a given LSU has the better team which is why they were installed as 7.5 point favorites. Yet there is trepidation on two fronts about the Tigers and they have been lowered to -5.5. Some are speculating there emotional state, having No.1 Oklahoma by the shorts hairs and letting them escape for a crushing 77-75 home loss. Also, LSU would not be characterized as road warriors with 2-6 and 1-7 ATS marks away from Baton Rouge. Yet, supporting Auburn comes with a different set of issues. Yes, the Tigers from Bama are 7-3 SU and ATS at home and upset Kentucky, but they have not shot better than 40 percent since Jan. 5th, seven games ago. LSU’s not the same team on the road, take the points in a small wager.
Betting Trend – 65% Backing Auburn
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean Auburn
NHL – (7) MONTREAL at (8) PHILADELPHIA 7:05 ET RDS, CSP
After a 9-0 start to the season, Montreal has dropped 19 of 24 and is playing arguably the worst hockey in the NHL. Philadelphia has lost four of six since winning four straight. The Canadiens still have better overall personnel, which is why the Flyers have been sinking from -140 to -125. With how badly these teams have been going, this would be a hard choice anyways and All-Star break make it more challenging trying to figure out who wants it more. Going with gut instinct based on 58 win percentage on the season and taking Montreal.
Betting Trend – 82% backing Philadelphia
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean Montreal