Gators rally past UGA, Hawks make 2 trades and my NBA picks are still hot AF!
Published on Thursday, 2/6/20, at 9:55 a.m. ET.
Updated on Thursday, 2/6/20, at 11:58 a.m. ET.
Before we get into some of the NBA trade-deadline shenanigans across the league, please forgive the shameless self-promotion here but we’re trying to make people some greenbacks.
I went 3-1 in college hoops last night and 2-1 in the NBA. My college winners were Minnesota, East Tennessee St. and the Florida-Georgia ‘over.’ Those three victories beat the closing lines by 39.5 combined points.
That’s right, the Gators rallied from a 22-point deficit early in the second half by going on a 31-4 run en route to an 81-75 victory. The Bulldogs still took the cash as nine-point underdogs, but UGA money-line backers had to be furious.
Those like me on the ‘over’ were pleased with the 156 combined points soaring ‘over’ the 141.5-point total (for a win by 14.5 points). Sophomore point guard Andrew Nembhard was the catalyst, scoring 19 of his career-high 25 points in the final 12 minutes.
It was UF’s second comeback from down more than 20 points this season, the only Division-I team (out of 353) who can lay claim to that accomplishment. (But there’s no reason to add a third this year!) The rally equaled the biggest in program history that was staged in 1993 at South Carolina when Lon Kruger was on the sidelines leading the Gators.
UF improved to 14-8 overall and 6-3 in SEC play. Its ranking at KenPom didn’t budge, though, remaining at No. 42. Mike White’s team is also ranked at No. 42 in the NET rankings. As for Joe Lunardi’s latest edition of Bracketology at ESPN.com, the Gators were among his ‘Last Four Byes’ going into the UGA game.
Lunardi had Florida plugged in as an 11-seed facing Penn State in Albany, N.Y. The winner would get the survivor of the 3/14 showdown between Seton Hall and Colgate.
Keyontae Johnson had 15 points and seven rebounds vs. UGA, while Kerry Blackshear Jr. finished with 12 points and six boards. Tre Mann scored all 11 of his points in the second half.
As for the Gophers, they trounced Wisconsin 70-52 as three-point home favorites at The Barn. ETSU thumped UT-Chattanooga 80-64 as a six-point road favorite. Loyal readers might remember how I used to do a ‘blind pick’ annually.
The premise of the ‘blind pick’ is naming a mid-major (or low major) type of team that’s going to advance to the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament. Back in my full-time days at VegasInsider (which spans the last 20 years), Jim Lamar and I would put the deadline on picking your team at Christmas.
We call it a blind pick because you’re saying the team is going to win its first-round NCAA Tournament game regardless of who it draws as an opponent. I nailed it many times.
Gregg Marshall’s last team at Winthrop (before going to Wichita St.) beating Notre Dame in a 6/11 game was one of ’em. Northwestern St., which had won at The Hump over Mississippi St. in non-conference play when Rick Stansbury had it rolling, defeated Iowa in a 3/14 matchup for another one (that prompted Steve Alford to bolt from Iowa City for Albuquerque to take the New Mexico gig).
Anyway, I bring this up (albeit well after Christmas) because in honor of Mister Jennings (look him up, youngsters!), the ETSU Buccaneers are my ‘main’ blind team this year. However, I’ll add a second for shits and giggles, and that’ll be the Yale Bulldogs.
As you can see here, I’ve been mediocre in college basketball this season. Two games over .500 with a 51.0 winning percentage and minus 2.35 units isn’t cutting it. With that said, I usually find my feel once football ends and I’ve done exactly that in the last week and change.
Since Jan. 28, my college basketball selections have cashed at a 17-8 clip (68.0%) for 8.3 units of profit (or +$830 on $100 plays for each pick).
My only loser in college hoops last night was LSU at Vanderbilt. The Commodores ended a 26-game losing streak in SEC play by defeating LSU 99-90 as 11-point underdogs. It also brought a halt to the Tigers’ 10-game winning streak.
Saben Lee, the son of former NFL running back Amp Lee, who was a legend at Chipley High School (the same high school that produced former Florida safety Michael Gilmore, who played in the secondary with the likes of Lawrence Wright and Larry Kennedy for the Gators in the early 1990s) before making a name for himself at Florida St., was absolutely incredible for Jerry Stackhouse’s squad.
Lee had 33 points, a career high, and Maxwell Evans also produced a career-best 31 points in Vandy’s victory.
Kamar Baldwin hit a game-winning trey at the buzzer to lift Butler to a 79-76 win over Villanova as a 2.5-point home favorite last night. My favorite thing about it was the legendary Bill Raftery, the color analyst who was on the call for Fox Sports 1 and let out a vintage “Wow! Onions, and a double order!”
Now let’s move over to the NBA, where my picks have been crushing it over the last five weeks. I’m currently on a 35-17 run since Jan. 2 to improve to 50-31 overall (61.7%, +15.74 units or +$1,574 on $100 plays).
I already have three plays loaded up for tonight. I’ve taken in nearly a dozen new clients in the last two weeks and they’re all extremely happy. If you want to be the next one, get signed up for my season package.
The Hawks were one of my winners in the NBA last night, as they won 127-120 at Minnesota as 4.5-point road underdogs. Trae Young tore up the Timberwolves, who have now lost 13 consecutive games, with 38 points, four rebounds and an 11/3 assist-to-turnover ratio. John Collins finished with 27 points and 12 boards.
Atlanta traded Evan Turner and a first-round pick in a four-team deal that netted it Nene and Clint Capela. Nene was instantly waived and so was Chandler Parsons and his expiring $25 million contract. Parsons was out for the season anyway after getting in a car wreck last month.
Then the Hawks made another deal last night, shipping Jabari Parker and Alex Len to Sacramento for Dewayne Dedmon and a pair of second-round picks.
The real big-time winner at the trade deadline, which is at 3:00 p.m. ET. today, is going to be the Miami Heat if it can complete a second trade it’s working on. Pat Riley has already completed a deal to acquire Andre Iguodala and Jae Crowder from Memphis, and he’s close to securing the rights to OKC’s Danilo Gallinari to become a legit NBA title contender. Here are some of those details in multiple tweets from WOJ (ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who will be breaking news all day).
Miami has agreed to trade Justise Winslow, Dion Waiters and James Johnson to Memphis for Andre Iguodala, Solomon Hill and Jae Crowder, league sources tell ESPN. No picks in the deal.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 6, 2020
Andre Iguodala agreed to a two-year, $30M extension with Heat, but second year of deal includes team option that gives Heat cap flexibility, per sources. Miami wants space for max player in summer of 2021. https://t.co/7D8zauII8T
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 6, 2020
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Best of luck to all with your picks!