ATS HOOPS Overall – CBB: 31-25 NBA: 75-83
DENVER NUGGETS (-7.5) @ SEATTLE SUPERSONICS
The new-look Sonics played solid at GST last night, but rookies Kevin Durant & Jeff Green logged over 40 minutes apiece, while Collison & Ridnour totaled 82 minutes of court time. With a short-bench following their deadline trade, the young Sonics will be forced to duplicate those minutes on a back-to-back against the run-n-gun Nuggets. Speaking of George Karl’s squad...
Speaking of George Karl’s squad, they’ve lost 3-straight and currently sit a game out in the playoff standings so expect A.I. & Carmelo to do whatever it takes to get things back on track…which means we’ll probably seen them at the FT line more 30 times tonight…Nuggets by 11-15 points
PHOENIX SUNS @ NEW ORLEANS HORNETS (-2.5)
CP3 has been unbelievable this season against the Suns and has led them to a 3-0 record against Mr. Nash. While the Hornets were the best in the West at the All-Star break, they’ve lost 3-straight (Houston, @SA, Washington) and should be focused at home against a PHX-squad that is still trying to figure out how to utilize the Diesel and make-up for the all the loose balls and tip-outs that used to be provided by the Matrix. Especially with Chandler running the pick-n-roll with Paul, Shaq should struggle to find a rhythm tonight while the David West/Amare match-up should end-up being a wash. In addition, Peja has struggled with his shot of late (last 3 games: 5-18 behind the arc), but should find some wide-open looks in transition to regain his stoke…Hornets by 6-10 points
ARKANSAS HOGS @ ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE (pick)
While the Hogs look like a much better team on paper, they’ve done almost all their damage in front of the home-crowd (13-1 at home, 3-5 road). They’ve lost 4 of their last 5 away from Bud Walton Arena, and actually struggled in mid-January at home against the Crimson Tide needing OT to pull-out a victory. Speaking of the Tide, they’ve been even more of a Jekyll & Hyde team with a 9-5 record at home and an abysmal 1-7 on the road. Alabama has won 3 of their last 4 at home, with their loss coming at the hands of Tennessee in an impressive 7-point loss that had them tied with the Vols at halftime. Tonight, I expect the home-court and a little revenge factor to carry the Tide, as 6-9 Jr. Richard Hendrix (19 ppg, 10 rpg, 2 bpg, 62-fg%), 6-6 Jr. Alonzo Gee (16 ppg, 7 rpg), and 6-6 Sr. Mykal Riley (14 ppg, 5 rpg) will attack the glass and keep Tuscaloosa crowd a rockin’ all night…Crimson Tide by 5-9 points
BAYLOR BEARS (-3) @ COLORADO BUFFALOES
After a remarkable opening to the season, the Bears ran into some rough Big 12 competition on the road and slid back into the middle of the conference standings. On Saturday, they rebounded nicely at home against Kansas St. and I look for them to go on a nice little run to close out the season. Even in some of their recent losses on the road (at Oklahoma by 1 in OT, at Texas by 8), the Bears have kept games close with their drive-n-kick style and been able to ware teams down with their deep rotation. Tonight, they face a Colorado squad that’s last in the Big 12, just dismissed their 3rd leading scorer, and struggling to compete as 1st-year headmaster Jeff Bezdelik has decided most of these players do not fit his system…Bears by 8-12 points
By the way...the Rant will be back tomorrow. Money Mike has been out of town on business.