Daily Expert Free Picks
Daily Expert free picks for the NFL, College football, NCAA Basketball, NBA, MLB and NHL from pro bettors and winning handicappers.
Wednesday night in the grieving city of L.A. we get the Tampa Bay Lightning (29-15-5) taking on the L.A. Kings (18-27-5). Tampa is a -220 ML favorite to win and the O/U is set at 6. Tampa has no injuries of note, for LA Blake Lizotte is still out.
Probable goalies in this one, for Tampa Bay Andrei Vasilevskiy (24-9), 2.55 GAA, with a 0.917 Save%, has not lost in regulation since mid-December, the 25 year old is one of the hottest goalies in the NHL. He'll take on Jonathan Quick (11-17), 3.01 GAA, with a 0.896 Save% tied for 27th in the league.
Tampa comes into this matchup averaging 3.57 GPG and allowing 3.12 GAA. The Kings on the other hand come in averaging 2.5 GPG, and allowing 2.86 GA. The Lightning are 28/30 on the penalty kill the past 9 games while the Kings are 4/12 on the power play over their last 5.
Kucherov has 5 goals in the last 4 and leads the Lightning with 56 points, plus Stamkos is heating up too, he has 20 goals now, and a hot Stamkos is never a good thing for any opponent. The Kings DO NOT have a checking line that can match up with the Lightning's top 2 lines.
Some trends to consider. Los Angeles are 1-7 SU in their last 8 games, 1-4 SU in their last 5 games at home, and 1-4 SU in their last 5 games this season. Tampa Bay are 12-3 SU in their last 15 games, are 7-0 SU in their last 7 games against Los Angeles, are 7-3 SU in their last 10 games this season, and are 21-7 in their last 28 vs. Pacific.
The Lightning have won the last 7 head to head matchups vs. LA, including a 4-3 shootout victory in Tampa Jan. 14th, and a 6-2 win in L.A. last year. Play on the PLUS money and grab the Bolts on the puckline. (-1.5)
Good Luck, Razor Ray.
Wednesday 5* NHL PL Play
1* Free Play on Iowa State +5 -110
Analysis for this pick will be provided soon. Please login later to view it.
10* FREE NCAAB PICK (UMass -6)
I'll take my chances here with the Minutemen as a 6-point home favorite against St. Joseph's. UMass snapped a 4-game skid with arguably their best performance of the entire season, as they took down Duquesne 73-64 as a 5.5-point home dog. I think this is the perfect time to jump on the Minutemen bandwagon at home against a Hawks team that is winless in A-10 play at 0-7 and just 4-16 overall.
For me it's even more about how bad St. Joseph's has been on the road. Hawks are 2-9 away from home, where they are giving up a staggering 83.5 ppg on 47% shooting. UMass is just 8-12 overall, but are a very respectable 7-3 at home and are scoring 76.5 ppg at Hagan Arena.
It's also important to note that UMass made a big change prior to their great showing against the Dukes, as head coach Matt McCall inserted freshmen Preston Santos and Kolton Mitchell into the starting lineup for the first time this season.
One last key factor here is the Minutemen are one of the better teams in the country in limiting opponents 3-point attempts (22nd nationally) and that's huge against a St. Joe's team that relies so much on the 3-point shot. Give me UMass -6!
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1* NCAAB - Free Pick on UCF Knights +2½
The Knights are definitely worth a look here as a home dog against the Tigers. This Memphis team came into the season with a ton of hype, but have not lived up to expectations, in large part due to Joe Wiseman leaving the team.
Either way it has the Tigers overvalued. Memphis is just 2-5 ATS last 7 games and I'm not convinced they should be favored on the road against UCF. Especially coming off a crushing 74-70 home loss to SMU, where they let the Mustangs end the game on a 15-0 run to steal a victory.
There's a lot of reasons to not trust Memphis on the road. They are 9th in the AAC in offensive efficiency and last in both turnover percentage and free throw percentage. They also struggle to defend the 3-pointer and UCF is the 4th best 3-point shooting team in the conference.
Tigers are just 1-5 ATS last 6 games vs a team with a winning record, while UCF has covered 18 of 25 vs a team with a winning record and are 7-2 ATS last 9 as a dog. Take UCF!
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The set-up: The Kings finally make their first appearance of the second half and with their patience, they're awarded a tough game at home vs. the Lightning, who will be eager to get back into the winners circle after falling in Dallas on Monday night. LA has lost eight of ten and four in a row and with a game tomorrow night in Arizona, this also sets up as a "look ahead" for the home side.
The pick: Tampa edged LA 4-3 at home back on January 14th, so it's not going to take anything lightly here either. The Bolts enjoy a night off before back-to-back road contests at Anaheim and San Jose after this, which makes tonight's game even more important in my opinion. If you don't mind laying road chalk, this play on the visitors looks solid to me.
1* FREE PLAY on the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Play - Iowa State (Game 848).
Edges - Cyclones: 17-11-1 ATS as a conference home dog of more than four points with revenge … Bears: 3-12 SU and 4-11 ATS away in this series … With the Cyclones out to avenge a 13-point loss earlier this season at Baylor, we recommend a 1* play on Iowa State. Thank you and good luck as always.
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NCAAB comp Play on Iowa. St. plus the 5 points at 9:00 eastern. Iowa St has revenge and has covered the last 4 with revenge when they scored 60 or less. Baylor is off a big win streak but should bounce off a big road dog win over Florida in the BIG 12 Vs SEC Challenge. Look for the Cyclones to get the cover. . For the NCAAB Free play. Take the 5 points with Iowa. St. Rob V- GC Sports.
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1* Free Sharp Play on Southern Illinois +4 -108
My money is on the Salukis to cash in a win and cover as a 4-point home dog in Wednesday's college hoops action. Southern Illinois comes in playing extremely well, as they are riding a 3-game winning streak. More importantly the Salukis are 10-1 at home this season. Loyola is a good team, but are playing their second straight on the road on just two days of rest. BET SOUTHERN ILLINOIS +4!
Wednesday NBA Free play. My selection is on Utah minus the points over San Antonio at 8:35 pm et on Wednesday.
This is a terrific bounce-back spot for the Jazz coming off Sunday's surprising home loss at the hands of the undermanned Rockets. There's no reason to get down on the Jazz after one game as they're still top three in the league in both offensive and defensive rating over their last five contests. The Spurs on the other hand are middling in terms of offensive rating (ranking 14th) and in the league's bottom-nine as far as defensive rating goes over that same stretch. Even the Spurs pace of play has suffered as they sit 24th in pace rating over their last five games. Take Utah (8*).
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Indiana is coming off a hard fought western swing that saw them play 5 grueling games, and now Im betting it takes them time to get acclimated to home cooking again. Yes, Victor Olipido is expected to return to the lineup tonight, after a long injury lay off, but his time on the floor will be limited and if he does play more than expected it will throw the teams current successful rotation out of wack which could easily also effect the Pacers flow and obvious ability to cover this near DD spread. Meanwhile, the Bulls have won 3 of their L/4 overall and are finding a bit of a groove and must not be underestimated in their ability to hang tough here tonight. The Pacers are 1-12 ATS off a road game in which they scored 15 or more points in the second than the first half which was the case vs the Jazz in a DD loss. Also Teams like the Pacers are 1-12-1 ATS/ 1-13 SU off a 10+ loss in which they has at least twice as many assists as turnovers.
The Bulls are 14-0 ATS L/14 on the road facing an opponent averaging less than 10 offensive rebounds.CHICAGO is also a bankroll expanding 8-1 ATS in road games versus good shooting teams - making 46% or more of their shots this season.
Play on the Chicago Bulls to cover
I successfully played against the Pacers in their last game and I expect them to have their hands full again this evening. Though they've had a couple of day's off, the Pacers are still playing their first home game since a long road trip out West. That can sometimes be tough. They're taking on a Chicago team which comes in with some confidence, after having won two in a row. The Bulls are also going to have some added motivation as the Pacers have already beaten them by double-digits twice this season. The Pacers are 2-4 ATS as home favorites in the -6.5 to -12 range while the Bulls are 9-6 ATS as road underdogs overall. Consider grabbing the points.
Jack’s Free Pick Wednesday: Colorado State -4
The Colorado State Rams had won five straight prior to losing at Utah State last time out. The Aggies are one of the best teams in the Mountain West. Look for the Rams to get back in the win column at home against Nevada tonight.
Colorado State wants revenge from a 61-67 loss at Nevada on January 1st in their first meeting this season. The Rams are 8-3 at home this season and the home team has won seven of the last nine meetings in this series.
Nevada is just 1-5 in true road games this season. Their only road win came at Air Force, and they even lost at lowly San Jose State. The Wolf Pack’s five road losses have come by an average of 15.6 points per game this season.
The favorite is 9-3 ATS in the last 12 meetings. The Rams are 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall. Nevada is 1-4 ATS as a dog of 9.5 points or less this season. Colorado State is 6-1 ATS as a favorite of 9.5 points or less this year. Bet Colorado State Wednesday.
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Chicago at Indiana 7:00 ET
Bulls (+) over Pacers- The storyline here is the long awaited return of Indiana superstar Victor Oladipo who has missed a full year's of action rupturing his quad tendon last January. I don't know if any of you have noticed that when stars who have been missing return the team have struggled a game or two needing time to readjust to the players return. Recently it was Porzigis and Anthony Davis who came back to the fold and started with team losses..same here. Chip's is BACK and so is Oladipo but CHIP WINS...Don't miss any of today's winners...including the Bulls!
1 Unit FREE PLAY on Memphis Grizzlies -2.5
Both the Memphis Grizzlies and New York Knicks are playing for a 2nd consecutive day. I like the young Grizzlies in this situation better than the Knicks for a number of reasons. The Grizzlies are 10-2 SU & 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games overall, so they are playing very well. And Memphis only had two players get more than 30 minutes last night, so they should still be rather fresh. The Knicks had three players play more than 33 minutes last night. Memphis is 4-0 ATS in its last four games playing on no rest. New York is 2-7 ATS in its last nine games playing on no rest. The Grizzlies are 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings. Give me the Grizzlies.
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My free play is on Memphis at 7:00 ET.
The Memphis Tigers opened the season ranked 14th in the AP's preseason top-25 and had remained there until losing back-to-back games last week at Tulsa and home to SMU. The 14-5 Tigers (3-3 in the AAC) dropped out of Monday's new poll and head to Orlando looking to get back in the win column. Waiting in Orlando is 11-8 Central Florida (2-5 in the AAC), which has rebounded from a five-game slide with victories in two of its last three contests.
Penny Hardaway's first season as head coach at his alma mater (Memphis) resulted in a 22-win season. The Tigers lost all FIVE starters from that team but they were replaced by what most considered the best recruiting class of the 2019-20 season. However, the 'jewel' of that class, the 7-1 James Wiseman, was the center of an NCAA investigation and after just three games (19.7 & 10.7), Wiseman was 'done.' He decided to NOT fight anymore and is currently preparing for the next NBA Draft. The Tigers were 14-3 entering last week then lost back-to-back games for the first time this season. The 40-point loos at Tulsa was 'ugly' but Saturday's 74-70 home loss to SMU may have been more troubling. The Tigers were held without a FG in the final six minutes to turn an 11-point lead into a four-point loss. Freshman forward D.J. Jeffries (11.4 & 4.3) topped the Tigers in scoring with 18 points against SMU, while leading scorer and fellow freshman, the 6-9 Precious Achiuwa (15.1 & 10.1), had 15. Guard Boogie Ellis (6.6) chipped in with 14 after only managing three points in the four previous games combined. Speaking of guards, Memphis has FIVE scoring between 5.1 and 10.4 PPG. Freshman guard Quinones (10.4 & 3.4) leads the group.
UCF went 24-9 last season, one which included the school's first-ever NCAA win, 73-58 over VCU. The Golden Knights then almost upset the Zion-led Duke Blue Devils, falling 77-76. It was quite a season for Johnny Dawkins, who has averaged 22.3 wins in his three years in Orlando. However, gone from last year's team are guards Taylor (15.9) and Dawkins (15.6) plus the 7-4 Tacko Fall (11.1 & 7.6). UCF lost 87-79 loss at Wichita State on Saturday but Dawkins told reporters after the hard-fought loss that his team showed resilience against the Shockers despite being undermanned. Forward Dre Fuller Jr. (7.5) ) and Ibrahim Famouke Doumbia (illness) were out plus two 6-11 big men, Collin Smith (12.6 & 6.2) and the 6-11 Avery Diggs (3.9 & 2.9), were in foul trouble early. Smith managing just two points in 15 minutes of play, while the team was outrebounded 45-28. Dawkins went with a smaller five-guard lineup, with freshmen Darin Green Jr. (8.2) and Tony Johnson Jr. (2.3) coming off the bench to score a team-high 18 and 16 points, respectively. For the third time this season, five Knights wound up reaching double digits. Ceasar DeJesus (11.0) had 16 points, after failing to score in double figures in 10 of the last 12 games, while Dazon Ingram (9.3-7.6-3.9) had 11 points and Brandon Mahan (7.1) had 10.
This is another tough spot for UCF, as it catches Memphis off back-to-back losses. My bet says Memphis gets back on the winning track and at this price, a "W" almost assures an ATS win.