|NBA | Mar 12
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Phoenix Suns
+8½-108 at 5DIMES
|1* free play Cleveland Cavaliers.
Both teams are stumbling right now. The Suns have gone 3-6 their last nine to fall out of the playoff picture.
Brutal defensive play is to blame. Phoenix has given up a ghastly 112.1 PPG while letting opponents shoot 52.5 percent during the slide. Eric Bledsoe returns to the line-up (off the bench according to coach Jeff Hornaceck); Bledsoe is a spark-plug that the Suns desperately need to start producing, but I think it’s safe to say that he’ll be far from 100% game shape in his first outing back.
Cleveland has some work ahead of it as well as it sits five games behind Atlanta for the final playoff spot in the East. This is a critical stretch for the Cavs, with games at Golden State and the Clippers before then returning home to play Miami, OKC and Houston.
"We need to play well, obviously, with where we're sitting," Cleveland coach Mike Brown assessed last night. "So it'll be good to get out and get on the road and try to come together and get some wins. I'm looking forward to it; I think the guys are too."
The Cavs have lost four straight, both SU and ATS. They’ve been off since Saturday and also play with the added revenge motivational factor, as the Suns won 99-90 in Cleveland on January 26th.
It was the way the Cavaliers lost that contest as well which won’t be sitting well with them; Cleveland led by as many as 20 points before crashing and burning with a six-point third quarter (note that Cleveland is 9-7 ATS in revenging a home loss vs. an opponent this year).
On the injury front, note that Phoenix will be without the services of starting foward PJ Tucker because of a one game suspension.
The Suns are coming off back-to-back SU road losses, but did manage to cover the spread in each of those contests. However, vs. a highly motivated, revenge minded, rested, focused and frankly desperate Cavs team, I feel this is simply too many points to be giving up here.
Consider a second look at Cleveland in this one.
Good luck, Nick Parsons
|NBA | Mar 12
Portland Trailblazers vs. San Antonio Spurs
211 ov-110 at BETONLINE
03/12 9:35 PM EST NBA (617) PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS VS (618) SAN ANTONIO SPURS
Take: over the total.
Reason: Your free pick for Wednesday, March 12th, 2014, comes in the NBA as Portland and San Antonio meet in the Alamodome. Portland is not much of a defensive team, 11th in the NBA in field goal shooting defense, allowing .453%, 24th in points allowed. The offense, though, loves to run down opponents, second in the NBA in points scored, tops in assists. It's the second of a back to back spot for both teams, which will mean tired legs on defense. The over is 16-7 in the Trail Blazers last 23 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. After playing a slow paced game with Memphis, the Blazrs will look forward to running and gunning against a San Antonio team that can play any style, 7th in the league in points scored. San Antonio rolled to a 111-87 win at home against Miami last week in an NBA finals rematch. The Spurs are the healthiest they've been all season, loaded with depth. The Spurs have been on an offensive tear since Chicago limited them to their third-lowest point total of the season, averaging 106.6 over the ensuing 16 games to overcome the 101.6 they've allowed. The Over is 11-3 in the Spurs last 14 home games vs. a team with a winning road record and the over is 29-14-1 in the Spurs last 44 home games. And when these teams meet the over is 6-2 in the last eight meetings. Play the Blazers/Spurs over the total.
|NCAA-B | Mar 12
South Carolina vs. Auburn
+3-106 at 5DIMES
|South Carolina +3 -106 1.5* Free Play
Auburn won both match ups this season in rather convincing fashion by 16 points at home and 5 points on the road and they did so by shooting over 52% from the field in both games while Auburn went just 48-113. Every other statistical category flipped with home and away and was pretty even. I like a few things about the Gamecocks chances. For one it is hard to beat a team three times when you are evenly matched. South Carolina had 10 more shots in the two match ups this season and they were the better overall conference team. South Carolina finished the season with an impressive road win and they beat Kentucky at home as a double digit dog in 2 of their last 3 games. Auburn on the other hand is just 7-18-1 ATS in their last 26 neutral site match ups and I don't think they are the better team. The only reason this is a free pick is I'm not sure how South Carolina's players are going to react to HC Frank Martin after suspension.
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