GREG GAMBLE’S 2008 PIGSKIN PICKS: 61-43 ATS...59%
NFL 23-18 - NCAA 19-15 - Teasers 19-10 - Lovely Ladies 69-0
GREG GAMBLE’S 2008 HARDWOOD PICKS: 21-15 ATS…58%
NBA 12-10 - NCAA 5-5 - Teasers 4-0 - Church League 69-0
Before we hit-up today's ATS Docket, I need to forewarn every NFL GM thinking of taking Buckeye RB Beanie Wells. No matter how dominate he looked at times during his brief career or how impressive he'll look at the combine, with his bruising running style and the (possible) inability for him to shake off nagging injuries, I just have a feeling he's gonna make an organization pull out their hair on weekly bases. With that, let's roll up some Aces ova Kings...
*FYI, for tonight's Ball St./Tulsa bowl game, I haven't added a pick because each side has coaches/coordinators leaving...but because I have a problem, I did tease the UNDA to +80 w/ some roundball!
MINNY TIMBERWOLVES @ MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (-3.5)
Mark my words Homeboys, O.J. & Rudy will have plenty more ATS wins than losses in 2009. While the vibe to start the year for the Grizz was nonexistent with a lingering hangover from the Gasol giveaway, a few weeks after Memphis was introduced to O.J. Mayo the excitement of the tiny fan-base was back. Throw in the surprisingly agility and quick development of 7-1 rookie Pau Gasol #2 (last 5 games: 15 ppg, 9 rpg, 2 bpg) another year of growth from the quiet-yet lethal Rudy Gay (19.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg), two intriguing choices at the point (Kyle Lowry & Mike Conley), and the sudden emergence of the lanky PF Hakim “Contract Year” Warrick (last 5 games: 17 ppg, 6 rpg), and the Grizz have quietly put together some franchise-worthy building blocks.
On the T-Wolves side, I know they’ve actually won two straight (Warriors & Bulls) and beat the Grizz by 10 in Minnesota last Monday, but in my opinion, the roster Kevin McHale has put together just doesn’t mesh well. Especially at the point where McHale entered the season actually believing scoring guard Randy Foye was the answer (which failed miserably). Following Foye’s move to SG and after Sabby Telfair didn’t work out, the Wolves promoted the well-traveled 46-year old Kevin Ollie to the starting line-up. While never a threat to score, Ollie actually provided some stability to a young squad and was actually capable of running an NBA offense. Unfortunately, Ollie separated his shoulder in their last game leaving the dribble-happy Sabby as their only floor general. And tonight, against the strength of Lowry (last 6 games: 9 ppg, 7 apg, 28 FTA) and the speed of Conley, I expect the Grizz to have a very nice plus/minus against the Mini-Me streetballer.
In addition, with the injury to SF Corey Brewer, Minnesota has been forced to use combo-forward Ryan Gomes full-time as a starter…which bodes well for Gay at home tonight. Throw-in my opinion that Mayo is already a much better player than Foye, and the Grizzlies should be able to dominate action on the perimeter tonight. While Al Jefferson is a beast down-low and Kevin Love has played better of late, I have a feeling Gasol & Harrick will carry over their impressive performances from this past weekend (played San Antonio tough Friday, blew-out Dallas Sunday), not to mention, the change at PG could cause the T-Wolves some struggles…GRIZZLIES BY 8-12 POINTS
NEW YORK KNICKS @ OKLAHOMA CITY SONIC THUNDER (+3)
I know it sounds absurd to only get 3 points when your record is 4-30, but the Thunder have played better of late & actually match-up well with the Knicks. After year's of drafted centers in Seattle it's amazing they still suck in the middle, but lucky for them tonight, they face a D’Antoni team that doesn’t even use one. Speaking of NY, while some will believe the undermanned Knicks will by hyped after beating the Defending Champs in Gotham Sunday, I believe we’ll see a letdown from the undermanned squad traveling to fanless-Oklahoma City with a date in Dallas on the horizon. On the flipside, the Thunder have played their last three at home and are starting to gain some confidence. (PHX pulled away late in the 4th, they beat Golden St, and lost a buzzer-beater against Denver).
Back to the match-ups, 6-9 Kevin Durant (24 ppg, 6 rpg, 47 fg%, 44 3pt%) and 6-9 Jeff Green (last 5 games: 20 ppg, 7 rpg, 50 3pt%) have been outstanding offensively this season, but have struggled at the other end when forced to guard opponents on the block. Against the Knicks they won’t have to worry about that as Al Harrington, Wilson Chandler, & Q-Richardson spend the majority of their time roaming the perimeter. At the point, while Duhon has been impressive manning Mike’s magical offense, he’ll have all kinds of trouble with the strength and quickness of rookie PG Russell Westbrook (last 8 games: 17 ppg, 6 apg, 46 3pt%). Especially with a recent victory against the swingmen-happy Warrrios, I expect Oklahoma City to look comfortable running the floor tonight and to relish not worrying about anybody to defend underneath…SUPERTHUNDER BY 4-9 POINTS
ILLINOIS ST. REDBIRDS (-2.5) @ BRADLEY BRAVES
While naysayers will tell you the (14-0) Redbirds haven’t played anybody...TOUCH ME HERE TO FIND OUT MORE KNOWLEDGE
ILLINOIS ST. REDBIRDS (-2.5) @ BRADLEY BRAVES
While naysayers will tell you the (14-0) Redbirds haven’t played anybody, I tell you it doesn’t matter because they’re MFin legit! With the aggressive, but disciplined play of Jr. G Osiris Eldridge (16 ppg, 6 rpg, 41 3pt%), the unique abilities of 6-6 Oregon transfer Champ Oguchi (16 ppg, 6 rpg, 39 3pt%), the unexpected solid play of JUCO PG transfer Lloyd Phillips (12.3 ppg, 3.3 apg, 47 3pt%), another shooter to stretch the floor in Mr. Holloway (10 ppg, 4 rpg, 41 3pt%), and some hard-working upperclassmen down low (6-8 Dinma Odiakosa & 6-8 Brandon Sampay: 17 ppg, 12 rpg), ISU is the type of team that can do some damage come tourney time. Especially after last year’s disappointment of not making the Big Dance and still finishing the year with 25 victories, brilliant 2nd year headmaster Tim Jankovich has the kids understanding that every loss counts when your a mid-major.
On (9-5) Bradley’s side, while Coach Jim Les also gets the most out of his kids and has them in the midst of a four-game win streak, his young backcourt continues to shoot the ball like shiznit and he doesn’t have any faith in his big men. Often times, 6-5 Sr. Theron Smith (14 ppg, 7 rpg) has become the lone frontcourt player on the hardwood for the Braves, and while the Redbirds don’t pound the ball inside, they should find a nice advantage on the glass tonight. On the perimeter, considering every guard for ISU is having a better season than the youngsters on Bradley, unless something magical happens at Carver Arena tonight, I can’t see how the Redbirds don’t stay undefeated…BRADLEY BY 6-11 POINTS