We’ve got the last of our NBA action before the All-Star break, but lucky for me…my guy takes over/unders on the 3-point contest. Anyway, I should have listened to The Cougar last night…the fat-azz told me to take Duke over BC, but I brushed him off quicker than a call-girl after you finish your “mini” Peter North impersonation. We’ve got two NBA battles on TNT tonight, some Pac-10 luv, and a Sun Belt Special that you’d only find on the leader of useless roundball knowledge…inside “M*tha F*ckin” plays! My girl’s watching Grey’s tonight, while I’m hitting the Clybar to enjoy the rivalry that is North Texas versus the Denver Pioneers. By the way, looks like tomorrow we’ve only got some Ivy League action, so I’m hoping my insider Gator Mike knows who had a big nuclear-physics test this week.
DALLAS MAVERICKS (-3) @ HOUSTON ROCKETS
The Mavs have won 8 in-a-row, beat the McGrady’s by 21 on Friday, and Avery isn’t too happy after their poor-performance in Milwaukee Tuesday. As for the undermanned Rockets, they need the All-Star break more than anybody and looked tired needing overtime to beat the lowly-Kings at home a couple days ago. While Battier has had a solid season and Juwan Howard has surprised us by not being too-terrible, the Rockets just don’t have anybody to handle the 7-foot Dirk Diggler and T-Mac definitely won’t look forward to Josh Howard and the underrated Greg Buckner in his grill all night. The Mavs are the best team in the league and will want to head to Vegas with a nice chip on their shoulder…Mavs by 7-13 points
OREGON DUCKS (-3) @ CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS
The 20-5 Ducks have been really struggling of late with a 3-point loss at home to Arizona, where leading scorer and senior captain Aaron Brooks shot 2-14, and lost their last two on the road against UCLA and by 3 at USC. While it’s tough to assume they’ll start shooting better, the Ducks are loaded with talent and all 5 starters average more than 11 points per game. As for the Golden Bears, they’re 4-8 in conference, have lost 6 in-a-row, are led by freshman forward Ryan Anderson, and haven’t been the same team since starting center DeVon Hardin (10 ppg, 8 rpg, 2 bpg) went down earlier this year. Mark my words, once the Ducks get it rollin they’re going to be money makers baby!...Ducks by 6-12 points.
NORTH TEXAS MEAN GREEN (+6.5) @ DENVER PIONEERS
The Mean Green Machine is coming off two devastating loses to drop them to 3rd in the conference standings. North Texas lost at home by a bucket to 2nd place New Orleans last Thursday and by 4 on the road against conference leading Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday. In addition, the top 7 scorers on NT are juniors or seniors and they should be hungry to blow-out a Denver squad that is in last place in the conference and 4-21 overall…Mean Verde by 10-16 points.
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS @ LOS ANGELES LAKERS (-6)
Kobe, Phil, & Lamar have lost 4 in-a-row, including an embarrassing loss at home to the Knicks, and were beat at Cleveland by 9 on national TV last Sunday. So…I think it’s time for Kobe to finally treat this league like he’s still the man. I’m guessing Bryant’s fuming after replaying the strip Sasha Pavlovic pulled on him in the 4th quarter Sunday, and there is no way he will allow the Lakers to lose at home or head into the All-Star break with a 5-game losing streak. Also, the Cavs played last night in Utah and lost a heartbreaker by a point, and I have a feeling the youngsters would have rather just headed to Vegas after the game. In addition, Big Z is out and the new starting point guard Daniel Gibson, who’s been deadly from deep, injured his toe last night…which means the offensively-challenged Eric Snow gets the call. I know this spread is higher than my azz was on my birthday party, but I have a feeling the Cavs mail it in early…The Lake show by 9-15 points
G. GAMBLE’S HOOP TOTALS- NBA 77-57 ATS ; NCAA 42-36 ATS