This is rare for me because I usually don’t take totals without knowing the umpire but that won’t be announced to later and I am ready to pull this trigger now. Both teams are hitting the ball well early (thanks to Washington) and the wind is blowing out tonight. The starting pitchers are less than stellar and the pens give up some runs. Here come your trends: Over is 6-1 in Marlins last 7 road games vs. a right-handed starter–Over is 11-3 in Braves last 14 games vs. a right-handed starter.
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Now on to the game. I am not a fan of either team so it is very easy for me to stay neutral in this game. I am a big fan of the Cardinals mainly because they are an underdog and in this game it is very easy to root for the Cinderella story! The problem is this clock has struck midnight. The Cardinals had a great run and I am impressed with Warner and love the fact that everyone now knows who Larry Fitzgerald is, but sorry Cardinals fans the Steelers have the edge here.
Let’s start with experience which almost every Steeler player has and teams playing in their first Super Bowl versus an experienced opponent are 5-11 ATS.That’s not all.
The hardest one for me to ignore is that highly rated defense. Objectors would state that Philly had the #3 defense, but it does not match to this defense and the plan that Dick LeBeau can come up with to counter whatever the Cardinals throw at them. The guy is a defensive genius! He has a game plan that will take some time for Warner and his gifted wideouts to get used to. In the meantime the Cardinals offense will have their hands full because the running game is solid for the Steelers and if that is not enough the passing game behind Big Ben is not too shabby either. He has the reliable Hines Ward and deep threats with Holmes and Co. The Cardinals have to be flawless or they are looking at a hole that they will have to play out of.
It won’t happen and the pressure will cause Warner to go back to his turnover ways and abandon the run. The Steelers are 6-1 ATS off home win and 32-16 ATS off game w/ TO margin of +3 or better. Steelers roll!
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Memphis @ Charlotte–Really wanted to back Memphis as they played hard against the Pistons but The Grizzlies are 3-7 ATS versus Southeast foes, 2-9 ATS on the road and 0-6 ATS overall and those are numbers I can’t back and I am not ready trust Charlotte as 6 point favorites against anyone.
Boston @ Miami–this line is low enough to attract Boston bettors and they seem to have rebounded very well after the losing streak. The thing is I am on the Heat. I love to back home teams coming off a road trip of 3 games or more as a small number either way. The Celtics just beat the Suns and will have one eye on the meeting with the Magic tomorrow and look right past the heat. Boston has faltered in seven of its last 10 on the road ATS and the Celtics are 0-6 ATS of late when facing teams with a winning record.
Raptors @ Detroit–passing on this game but I suggest that if you take the Raptors you look at the injury reports because they have been playing about nine deep in the last two to three games and that has to be catching up with them. The Raptors have failed in five of their last seven visits ATS and in six of seven against the Pistons overall. If I was going to play it would be Detroit, but I am passing as mentioned.
Phoenix @ New York–The Suns are on the end of a road trip and you have to imagine the K nicks may have this one circled on the calendar. Mike D’Antoni had a shot at his former club and blew it but now they are in a much better position. Phoenix has been one of the worst bets on the board since the end of November (5-17-1 ATS). The Suns have stumbled in six of their last eight against New York ATS. They are 3-8-1 ATS in their last 11 outings on the road and 0-4-1 ATS outside their conference. The Knicks have covered at an 8-3-1 rate when facing winning teams and four straight versus Pacific Division opposition.Knicks keep it close to the wire tonight.
Dallas @ Milwaukee–The Mavericks haven’t had much luck at the Bradley Center, dropping eight straight ATS. The Bucks look to rebound after losing two straight but they will have to take on a healthy Dallas squad to do it. Dallas is is 6-20-1 ATS when facing Central Division denizens. The Bucks have cashed eight straight versus Southwest Division opponents. Dallas is 7-19 ATS off road win That is enough for me to take my third home dog tonight.
Taking over the total in this game too. The Mavericks started slow in Philly but will be heated up and ready to score and Milwaukee will keep pace.Eleven of the past 14 series scuffles have tipped over. Milwaukee has gone over in eight of its last 10 tries. Take the over in a this high scoring affair.
Utah @ Houston–I simply love Utah in this game as they match up well against the Rockets and always play them tough. The Jazz lost in their initial visit to the Toyota Center as nine-point dogs, 120-115, but cashed for the sixth time in seven road meetings. They are 11-4 ATS in the past 15 clashes with the Rockets. Utah has also covered 20 of 27 versus Southwest Division opponents. Houston has sputtered in 10 of 14 ATS overall and dropped six of eight spread decisions at home. The Jazz are worth a look on the moneyline here.
OKC @ Golden St.–passing but if I were to like anything in this game it would be the over but what else do you expect in a Golden St game?
Lakers @ Clippers–With or without Kobe the Lakers can’t be taking the Clippers seriously and I can’t bet on the Clippers, pass.
Wizards @ Kings–I can’t back the Kings as favorites nor can I back the Wizards on the road, another pass for me.
Cleveland @ Portland–I know it may not seem like it, but I think the Blazers are better than the Cavs and with a home court they should cruise tonight. Portland has cashed six of eight versus Cleveland at the Rose Garden and the home team is 5-1 ATS in the last six confrontations. The Cavaliers have faded in five of six on the road ATS while the Blazers have cashed 15 of 22 at home.
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This post season has been a post season for the underdogs and its nice to get a home one for this game. The Cardinals are at home and that to me is a huge, because they have played well here all year. Here is a great stat against the Eagles.Since 1982, teams that knock off the Super Bowl champ are 0-10 straight up and 1-9 against the spread the following week! That is amazing and that just shows you how hard it is to rebound from a big win in the playoffs like that!
The Cardinals have been doing it with defense and running and the fact that no one can stop Larry Fitzgerald.
The Cardinals have’covered seven of their last 10 at home and look great with the points this week!The energy and the crowd will help the Cardinals get revenge for a loss to the Eagles earlier this season.
The Steelers have looked poised all year to make a run at the big game as they have played the best defense in the game. This week they face a Ravens team that they have already beaten twice with a unproven rookie at the helm in Joe Flaco.Baltimore has cashed eight of nine against conference foes and six of seven versus division opponents.
The Ravens are 9-0 ATS coming off an extremely close road win by three points or less as well. Even thought they are at home it will be asking for alot to have a team beat another team for the third time in the season.The Steelers have come up short in four of their last five ATS in conference championship games.Pittsburgh has also dropped nine straight spread decisions after scoring 35 points or more in its last game.Baltimore has won 11 of its past 13 games and is 7-3 on the road, including 2-0 in the postseason. This will be a tough game that will go down to the wire with Baltimore having a real shot of pulling off what seems like the impossible upset. Take the Ravens plus the points as meetings between these two teams always end up close!
With football winding down I wanted to turn my attention to the NBA for tonight’s small card.
I love to bet on the NBA almost as much as football and if you study long enough you will find some great angles on the games. Here is my card for TNT Thursday!
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I always try to post my games with write ups explaining why I picked them so stop back when you can and let me know what you think!
Thursday Night Games:
Both of these teams do well in back to back spots but the Blazers are in three in four nights for tonight’s game. Younger teams have trouble staying focused on the road especially when they are far from home. Which should explain the loss last night. Portland is 1-6 ATS after consecutive non-conference games and the Nets are 6-1 ATS after allowing 110+ point. New Jersey has covered seven of its last 10 against non-conference foes and have a good matchup with size at the center spot.
Play On – Home teams vs. the money line (NEW JERSEY) off a loss against a division rival against opponent off an upset loss by 15 points or more as a favorite 38-18 since 1997. ( 67.9% | 24.0 units ) 0-1 this year. ( 0.0% | -1.0 units )
I really like to back the Bulls in this game because they are healthy again and the win in Toronto last night is huge for this team. They now return home to face a team that is looking to sweep the season series and that should give them the motivation. It’s a bit sketchy with the schedule stretch for this Bulls team but this game is circled for them and they will play to the end. The home team is 15-6 ATS in this series.
In what should be one of the best games of the night the Suns play in Denver. Denver has been a pleasant surprise this year. The suns are 0-8 ATS after having won 4 of their last 5 and the Nuggets are a sweet 47-34 ATS as a favorite. Denver has won nine of its last dozen and six of seven at home.The Nuggets have cashed four straight series clashes at home and the home team is 13-3 in the past 16 showdowns. Phoenix has come up short in seven of its last 10 on the road ATS and get beat tonight!