National Notes: G-Tech cashing ‘dog tickets
Published on Tuesday, 2/2/16, at 11:06 a.m. Eastern.
—My preview of tonight’s two 9:00 p.m. Eastern games on ESPN and ESPN2 with a few additional nuggets filed to VegasInsider.com.
–Ga. Tech is 6-0-1 ATS in its last seven games as an underdog. This just lends further credence to how poorly a job head coach Brian Gregory does in close games. The Yellow Jackets, who are 12-10 overall and 2-7 in ACC action, start a three-game stretch of home games tonight vs. Duke. The Blue Devils were 3.5-point road favorites early this morning.
–Ga. Tech has lost its last three ACC games by eight combined points. The Yellow Jackets have lost five of seven games decided by five points or fewer.
–The ‘under’ has cashed in seven straight Butler games going into tonight’s home game vs. Georgetown. Most books had the total at 142.5 points late this morning.
–Justin Robinson dropped 36 points at Siena last night in Monmouth’s 93-87 win as a one-point road favorite. The Hawks improved to 6-2 against RPI Top-100 opponents. Like I’ve been saying since late December, Monmouth is my blind pick to get to the Round of 32. For those unfamiliar with my blind pick, it’s a pick of a team that has to be made before Christmas for it to win its first NCAA Tournament game regardless of the opponent (blind). Winners in the past include Northwestern St. over Iowa, Winthrop over Notre Dame, Davidson over Gonzaga and Harvard over New Mexico.
–Sportsbook.ag has Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield as the super-chalky -1200 favorite to win the John Wooden Award (risk $1,200 to win $100). The next-shortest odds belong to LSU’s Ben Simmons (10/1), Michigan St.’s Denzel Valentine (25/1), Iowa’s Jarrod Uthoff (25/1), Providence’s Kris Dunn (25/1) and Maryland’s Melo Trimble (70/1).
–Sportsbook’s latest future odds to win the national title have North Carolina as the +550 ‘chalk’ (risk $100 to win $550). The next-shortest odds are Oklahoma (+850), Kansas (9/1), Michigan St. (10/1), Duke (14/1), Maryland (14/1), Kentucky (18/1), Xavier (18/1), Iowa (22/1), Virginia (22/1), Purdue (23/1) and Louisville (24/1).
–Louisville needed a marquee win and captured it last night at home over North Carolina.
–Huge win for Texas last night at Baylor as a 4.5-point underdog.
–The ‘over’ is 13-3-1 for Nebraska after cashing at a 6-0-1 clip in its last seven games. The Cornhuskers will take on Maryland in Lincoln on Wednesday night.
–South Carolina is 14-4 ATS going into tonight’s game in Athens against Georgia at Stegeman Coliseum.
—My college basketball picks for tonight.
Nuggets from other sports other than college hoops…
–All of this chatter about my Atlanta Hawks trading Jeff Teague and/or Al Horford before the trade deadline (see this nonsense from CBS Sports) has me wanting to puke. The Hawks go into Tuesday’s action in a tie with Miami for the Southeast Division lead and the No. 3 slot in the Eastern Conference. Since Horford was taken No. 3 in the first round of the 2007 NBA Draft, Atlanta has appeared to the playoffs seven consecutive years with Horford earning All-Star honors three times. Before Horford arrived, the Hawks went eight consecutive years without going to the postseason. Yes, the two-time national-title winner with the Florida Gators will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, but he hasn’t implied he’s dying to leave town by any means. As long as the Hawks offer a deal he merits, there’s no reason to think he’s going to bolt. In other words, SURELY Atlanta isn’t going to blow up a team composed of nearly the entire nucleus (minus DeMarre Carroll obviously) that went to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time in franchise history last year? Right?!
–My Super Bowl picks are 9-2 since 2009. Love my pick on the side for this weekend!
–If you missed it last week, 5Dimes already has Week 1 lines for the 2016 college football season.
–Al Golden and Randy Edsall, formerly the head coaches at Miami and Maryland, respectively, have joined Jim Caldwell’s staff with the Detroit Lions.
–Never heard of Carson Wentz? I hadn’t until last week. Anyway, the QB from North Dakota St. is apparently going to be a very high pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. In fact, a pair of mock drafts at CBSSports.com have Wentz going second in the first round.
–Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson needed only 86 seconds to brutally KO Ryan ‘Darth’ Bader in Saturday’s main event of UFC on Fox 18 in Newark, New Jersey. In the co-main event, Ben Rothwell submitted Josh Barnett as a short underdog for his fourth consecutive victory. In the main card’s lid-lifter, 19-year-old ‘Super’ Sage Northcutt suffered his first career loss to Bryan Barberena by second-round submission. Props to my man GambLou for alerting me on Barberena as a sharp ‘dog play early in the week when he was in the +360 range. Unfortunately I didn’t take Lou’s advice (but I didn’t back Northcutt either). It was widely reported Monday that Northcutt was dealing with strep throat in the days leading up to the fight.
–In other news from the MMA world, former UFC lightweight kingpin Benson ‘Smooth’ Henderson signed with the Bellator promotion yesterday.