3/5/16 Jon Balant
7pm: Boston Celtics @ Cleveland Cavaliers
Boston is coming off a comeback win last night at home vs a Knicks team who they should have handled easily. The Celtics were down the majority of the game, only to come back and take the lead late and force Carmelo to miss a game winning jumper. This was their 5th straight victory (all home games) all against mediocre low to mid seed playoff teams. They now travel to Cleveland on a back to back against a Cleveland team that they tend to get in low scoring battles with. They lost at home 89-77 back in December, followed by a 104-103 win at the Q a month ago. Both teams defend the perimeter well, with the Celtics allowing the 3rd lowest 3pt FG % in the league. We’re seeing an inflated opening total of 212 based on both respective team’s scoring outputs throughout the season. The number has dropped a bit to 210.5. The side is where it should be at Cleveland -7.5, with a public lean on Boston as a road dog. We lean Cleveland but the angle here is on the total. Expect Boston to come out flat and both teams guard each other tough on the perimeter. We’re going to play the 1st Quarter under and hope for a slow start, with our biggest play of the night on the game under. Expect an 8-10 point victory by Cleveland, avoiding overtime and late free throws allowing us to slide under the total comfortably.
Plays: 1st quarter Under 51.5 (1 unit)
Game Under 210.5 (3 units)
7pm: Detroit Pistons @ New York Knicks
Detroit has played well on the road lately aside from their recent loss at San Antonio, with outright wins at Milwaukee and Cleveland. However, they tend to struggle against teams with solid front courts, including the Knicks with their duo of Robin Lopez and rookie phenom Kristaps Porzingis. Andre Drummond is often under a lot of pressure to do all of the rebounding himself, and should be contained on the boards during this contest. The last time these 2 teams met at the Garden the Knicks dominated, winning by 12 and holding Drummond to 9 boards, well below his season average. The Knicks lost by 6 in Detroit a month ago, with Lopez dropping a monster line of 26 points and 16 rebounds. The line opened at Detroit -4 with the public absolutely annihilating the road favorite at around an 80% clip. The line is now 6 so we’re at maximum value to take the underdog. We’re not seeing the sharp reverse line movement that we’d like to see, so we’re going to remain prudent when playing a poisonous team like the Knicks and keep this as a 1 unit play. Detroit should possess the number at some point during the 2nd half, but expect the back door to be open late and the Knicks have the opportunity to cover down the stretch.
Play: New York Knicks +6 (1 unit)
Andre Drummond Under 14 rebounds (available on Bovada) (1 unit)
6:30p: UNC Tarheels @ Duke Blue Devils
Everyone who knows me knows that Duke is my sidepiece behind Villanova (who I thankfully laid off this afternoon btw, with Georgetown back dooring the 14 point line late to cover by 1) so I’ll keep the write up short and sweet. We’re getting points at Cameron Indoor, 80% public action on an overrated UNC because of their ranking, and Duke won by 1 at Chapel Hill with a shorthanded roster a few weeks back. The over under is high here at 160 so expect a lot of lead changes and scoring. The 2.5 may not be a factor so we’re playing this light at 1 unit in case this swings 3 points the wrong way.
Play: Duke +2.5 (1 unit)
3/5/16 Steve Johnson
7:00 Philadelphia Flyers (-165) over Columbus Blue Jackets
7:00 Boston Bruins (-130) over Washington Capitals
7:00 Ottawa Senators (-140) over Toronto Maple Leafs
To win 2 units each
3/5/16 Jon Balant
8:05 Minnesota T’Wolves Brooklyn Nets Over 215.5 (1 unit)
10:35 Los Angeles Clippers Atlanta Hawks over 201 (1 unit)
10:00 St. Mary’s (-15) over Loyola Marymount (1 unit)