In the world of sports on Monday …
The Giants and the Patriots are both in Indianapolis as we’re just six days away from Super Bowl XLVI. The Pats had their first practice and were without Rob Gronkowski who is still recovering from a high ankle sprain. New England practiced in full pads as Bill Belichick sent a message to everyone that this is a business trip.
The Giants have also arrived in town but will not practice until Wednesday. Big Blue has concentrated on staying focused and relying on their experience rather than their prior success. There are 19 G-Men left from the 2007 World Championship team and Coughlin has stressed the importance of the veterans keeping the younger players in check in the crazy Super Bowl week enviornemnt.
With the Lakers struggling and the Magic in complete freefall, can a Dwight Howard trade be far behind. Los Angeles is just 2-7 away from the Staples Center after their win at the T-Wolves. The Magic lost their fourth in a row 78-69 to the 76ers. The Magic just can’t score. Chicago, MIami, and Milwaukee all won at home. The Spurs and Wolves were surprise winners on the road. The Clippers spanked the Thunder highlighted by this dunk by Blake Griffin.
In college hoop action, Missouri edged Texas 66-65 in the night’s feature action. Kentucky is still #1 in the AP poll. Undefeated Murray State has cracked the AP Top but has drawn St Mary’s in their bracket buster game, the last real challenge for the Racers before March Mania. Tennessee Tech’s Kevin Murphy scored 50 in the Golden Eagles 98-80 win over SIU Edwardsville.
Clemson +8 over Virginia
The home team has won the last nine games in the series but grabbing the points here with the dog just makes too much sense. The Tigers last four losses here were by a combined 12 points and their last four four road losses were all by seven points or less. The road team is 6-0 ATS in Virginia’s six ACC games, the Cavs 0-3 at home. Bot teams are somewhat challended on offense avgg just 64/65 points respectively and bth are rock solid on defense allowing 59/51 points respectively. In a game where the first one to 60 wins, it’s alway better getting big points.
Michigan State -3 over Illinois
Despite laying points on the road and the visitor in the series being 2-8, like Sparty a lot in this matchup. Illinois has lost three straight close games since upsetting Ohio State. Illinois’ only home loss was to a 67-63 decision to Wisconsin but in SP3’s opinion, the Spartans are better than the Badgers and on a current 17-2 run. The two losses did come in the Izzo’s last two roadies but this is a team that beat Wisconsin and Indiana on the road and figure to get healthy here. Mich State 12-4 vs the points vs winning records while the Illini are just 2-14 as a home dog of less than three. Michigan State by double-digits.
Atlanta -5 over Toronto
Both teams are playing their 3rd game in five nights so the fatigue factore is a wash. The Hawks have won eight of ten overall, the Raptors are 3-1 SU and ATS in their L4 but have lost four of five at home. The ATL is 3-1 SU and ATS in the L4 in the series and the Hawks are a dominating 19-7 ATS north of the border since the Barney’s came into the league. Love using the Hawks on the road laying small points. Atlanta is 11-1 straight up this year over losing records and 68-24 vs sub .500s the last three years. Used Hawks Sunday (-2) at New Orleans and came away with 94-72 win. Right back.
Denver +1 over Memphis
Last night we used the 2-8 on the road Spurs +6 over the Grizz and won straight up. Coming right back with Denver tonight in Memphis, again, to win straight up. The Nuggets have been nothing short of amazing as George Karl has molded the pieces from the Carmelo deal into a pretty good unit. Let’s remember that 40% of the projected Denver starters are still playing in China. The Nuggets have won six of seven and 8-2 ATS on the road. The Grizz have lost four straight avgg 83 ppg and, 1-5 after scoring less than 85, and 2-7 vs winning records. Take Denver.