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Free NCAA Pick Friday

#828 Kansas State -4 over UC-Irvine 1:00 PM CT

There is great focus on the absence of Dean Wade but the Kansas State forward missed eight games this season and played just eight minutes on last season’s Elite Eight run for the Wildcats. The return of Cartier Diarra provides an off-setting boost with Diarra putting up 23 points in two Big XII tournament games after missing the second half of the conference season. Kansas State has some of the absolute best defensive numbers in the nation and this will be a difficult draw for UC-Irvine, a team with just two top 100 wins all season long. One of those wins was at Saint Mary’s but the Anteaters also lost by 24 hosting Utah State and lost by 17 at Butler for the closest comparables.

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The Big West rated as the 19th best conference last year but tournament representative Cal-State Fullerton lost by 26 to Purdue in the tournament last season while regular season champion Cal-Davis lost by 10 against Utah in the NIT. Irvine was clearly the top Big West team going 18-1 but the conference rated 24th this season. Underdogs draw more attention than usual in March and Irvine is an appealing squad with a great record but the Big West champion being a slight underdog vs. the Big XII champion is a rare price. Kansas State was similarly priced vs. a TCU team that needed to win last week in the Big XII tournament in Kansas City. Kansas State was a 14-point favorite when these teams met in November 2017, a 22-point win for the Wildcats. Much is being made of the strong defensive numbers for Irvine but Kansas State is comfortable at a slow pace and has the far superior defensive resume. Size and experience will still be edges for the Wildcats even with Wade out of action.

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Nelly’s went 3-0 in our tournament picks yesterday to continue to build profits on what has been an epic hoops season! Don’t miss two daytime picks today for only $15 in our Early Friday 2-for-1 offer.

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Free NCAA Pick Thursday

#765 Belmont +3 over Maryland 2:10 PM CT

Maryland’s young squad surprised early this season but the Terrapins appeared to run out of gas late in the Big Ten season, dropping six of the final 12 games. While Maryland did get a big home win over Purdue in mid-February they also barely won games vs. Iowa and Minnesota and yet still were rewarded with a #6 seed in the NCAA Tournament despite a very weak non-conference schedule and an early exit in the Big Ten tournament. Belmont had an uncertain future on selection Sunday after losing in the OVC Final against Murray State. The Bruins played that game without center Nick Muszynski and the team still got the call with a First Four matchup in Dayton late Tuesday night.

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Belmont beat Temple by 11 in that game and then traveled to Jacksonville, now drawing an afternoon contest. Belmont looks like a team that could take momentum into the tournament and this squad plays fast with great offensive efficiency. Maryland can struggle with turnovers as that figures to be a key area of advantage for the slight underdog in this matchup and Belmont has the size to manage this matchup. Dylan Windler’s ability to spread the floor should provide opportunities for the Bruins with the senior a 42 percent 3-point shooter at 6’8”. Maryland looks highly vulnerable in this matchup and the low spread for a 6/11 contest should be telling.

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Free NCAA Pick Friday

#797 Wichita State +2 over Temple 8:30 PM CT

Regarded as one of the top coaches in the country Gregg Marshall has endured a disappointing season at Wichita State and barring a great run in Memphis the Shockers will be out of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011, when they won the NIT. This year’s team started 1-6 in AAC play but has rallied to win nine of the final 11 conference games and took out East Carolina in tournament action yesterday. The draw with Temple is a difficult one and the Owls won in Wichita in an 85-81 overtime result in early January. Temple is a definitive NCAA Tournament bubble team with a high-end win over Houston but not much else and four overtime wins boost the win count for the 23-8 Owls but only five wins this season have been top 100 results. Wichita State beat Providence and Baylor early in the season taking on a very difficult non-conference slate and the Shockers are still capable of clamping down defensively. Wichita State takes great care of the ball as Temple won’t get its usual filling of turnovers and the Owls can struggle on the glass at times. Temple is 8-2 in the past 10 games but they didn’t face either of the top two AAC teams in that stretch and the big regular season finale win over UCF came in a favorable spot after the Knights had defeated Houston and Cincinnati in consecutive games.

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Nelly’s went 3-1 Thursday for an 18-9 start to March – we have hit 64% and are 40 games above .500 since early December. Join for all of March Madness for $199 through April 8 – and don’t miss tonight’s 2* Top Play – hitting 75% on 2* picks this season.

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NCAA Tournament: First 12 Tickets

03/14/2019

12 teams have punched their NCAA Tournament tickets with automatic bids in the last few days and can sit back and enjoy the madness this week around the country during the remaining conference tournament games. Here is a look at those confirmed teams and what to expect in the Big Dance next week.

Murray State – Ohio Valley (27-4) Projected #12 Seed

The Racers were a popular #12 seed in last year’s NCAA Tournament but wound up with an ugly 85-68 defeat against West Virginia as a 10-point underdog. Sophomore Ja Morant is an expected NBA lottery pick scoring nearly 25 points per game and the Racers didn’t look out of place in close losses on the road vs. Alabama and Auburn in non-conference play early this season.  

Murray State beat Belmont by 12 in the OVC Final last weekend and while Belmont is a bubble team for an at-large bid, the conference as a whole did not rate as strong as in past seasons with a big gap between the top four teams and the bottom eight teams. Turnovers were a big problem for Murray State in last season’s game against West Virginia’s pressure defense and a more favorable matchup could make the Racers a threat to advance this season. This squad won’t likely present great underdog value as they will surely be considered a popular Cinderella choice as one of the most well-known small conference squads.

Gardner-Webb – Big South (23-11) Projected #16 Seed

Gardner-Webb went from a third place regular season finish in the Big South to punching a ticket to the Big Dance with wins over the top two teams in the conference in succession in a pair of true road games. The Runnin’ Bulldogs are likely to face a tough opening matchup and could be considered for one of the First Four games as they will likely be one of the worst rated teams in the field by some measures.

In November opportunities playing up Gardner-Webb lost by 12 at VCU and by 28 at Virginia Tech but did take Furman to overtime on the road. With an 11-2 run to close the season the team is playing its best down the stretch but has also benefitted from four overtime wins on the season. Size will be an issue in most potential matchups with the entire roster 6’6” or shorter. Radford from the Big South won its First Four game by 10 points last season before being blown out by eventual national champion Villanova.

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Bradley – Missouri Valley (20-14) Projected #14 Seed

Loyola-Chicago was a Final Four team out of the Missouri Valley last season as while the conference has lost a few heavyweights in recent years this league has a great postseason track record over the past two decades. Bradley started the Valley season 0-5 before a great turnaround and ultimately winning three games in St. Louis in three days by a combined total of eight points.

Bradley plays gritty defense and is a strong outside shooting team and they will not be an appealing draw for a top contender with Bradley a better team right now than they will be seeded, likely in the 14-15 range based on the marginal season record. Bradley beat SMU and Penn State in Mexico in November and a slow deliberate pace of play could make the Bears an upset threat in the right matchup.

Liberty – Atlantic Sun (28-6) Projected #13 Seed

Liberty jumped from the Big South to the Atlantic Sun this season and finished tied with Lipscomb for the regular season title, besting the Bisons in the conference tournament final. The Flames won at UCLA in December and played competitively in three other major conference losses in the non-conference season. This veteran lineup will enter the tournament on an 18-2 run and will be a threat to make some noise.

Liberty deploys one of the slowest tempos in the nation on offense and excels in getting quality shots, featuring the 13th best effective field goal rate in the entire nation. The Flames are a 78 percent free throw shooting team and the team’s top players Caleb Homesley and Scottie James have enough size to compete with major conference opposition.

Wofford – Southern (29-4) Projected #7 Seed

Wofford was pushed in a tight Southern Conference final against UNC Greensboro but has now won 20 straight games. Wofford beat South Carolina in non-conference play and the only four losses came against major conference teams in NCAA Tournament consideration including misses against North Carolina and Kansas. The Southern will be deserving of more than one bid this season, ranking as the 11th best conference in the nation, ahead of the A-10, Conference USA, and Sun Belt, though many suspect deserving candidates UNC Greensboro and Furman will be left out.

Wofford shoots a ton of 3-point shots and has four players hitting above 41 percent from 3-point range. The Wofford defense could have some problems in certain matchups, allowing 77 points per game in the five non-conference games vs. SEC, ACC, and Big XII teams however. Mike Young’s team made the tournament in 2014 and 2015 with first round exits but this could be the program’s best team ever and the Terriers figure to be in a tight first round pairing in a 7/10 or 8/9 draw.

Iona – Metro Atlantic (17-15) Projected #16 Seed

Once 7-15 on the season, Iona won the final 10 games of the season to win the Metro Atlantic regular season title and tournament title, now making a fourth straight NCAA Tournament trip. The Gaels are going to be more of a threat to win a game this season as they seem destined for a First Four matchup to start the tournament against a fellow #16 seed instead of a national power.

Iona didn’t hold up particularly well in any of the recent NCAA Tournament appearances nor did they stay within double-digits in three top 100 non-conference games this season but Tim Cluess will get another short in the Big Dance with his up-tempo offense and a Gaels squad that shoots well from all over the floor. The starting five is all upperclassmen from a team that lost by 22 to Duke last March in the Round of 64 as a 15 seed.

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Northern Kentucky – Horizon (26-8) Projected #14 Seed

The Norse made the 2017 NCAA Tournament and gave Kentucky a scare in a 79-70 defeat in a 2/15 matchup. This year’s team could climb to the #14 line with a strong record even with no top 100 caliber wins. The Norse competed respectably in road losses to UCF and Cincinnati and held a very tough home court with just one home defeat all season.

This team has pretty good size for a smaller conference program and statistically was one of the better interior scoring teams in the nation. Free throw shooting is a concern at just 67 percent on the season but this team could be a threat to keep a tournament game tight as they also played Louisville to an eight-point game in the NIT last season. John Brannen figures to get some looks for around the nation after three straight strong seasons with this program following a 9-21 first year in 2015-16.

Fairleigh Dickinson – Northeast (20-13) Projected #16 Seed

The Knights started the season 6-11 including going 1-4 in the first five conference games before catching fire to the tune of a 14-4 run culminating with a Northeast Championship win at St. Francis. While the overall profile isn’t a strong one for FDU ranking outside the nation’s top 200 by most measures, they had respectable losses to Providence and South Florida in the non-conference season. As an over 40 percent 3-point shooting team this squad could shoot its way into advancing if they wind up in a First Four contest.

The Knights earned this spot despite a late season injury to Xzavier Malone-Key as a team with a very limited bench had to make some late season adjustments. With a defensive efficiency ranking near 300 nationally this could be a favorable draw for a top seed to find its offensive rhythm early in the tournament. Last year’s Northeast representative LIU-Brooklyn lost by 10 in the First Four, though the 2017 representative Mount St. Mary’s was victorious in its 16/16 game.

Northeastern – Colonial (22-10) Projected #13 Seed

The Huskies beat Alabama by 16 in November but lost badly vs. Virginia Tech, Davidson, and Syracuse in other big non-conference tests. The Colonial did not grade as a strong league this season but Northeastern was one of three quality teams and the Huskies are in the tournament for the first time since 2015. That team lost by only four to Notre Dame in a 3/14 contest in that appearance and the Huskies are on a 16-1 run since early January with only an overtime loss.

This is an experienced team led by its offense, featuring the fifth rated effective field goal rate nationally, while a nearly 39 percent 3-point shooting team and a strong shooting team at the line that commits few turnovers. Coupled with a deliberate pace of play the Huskies have the potential to be a sleeper for an upset next week in the right draw with a roster full of upperclassmen ready for this opportunity.

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North Dakota State – Summit (17-15) Projected #16 Seed

The Bison finished just fourth in the Summit League but navigated the conference tournament to earn this spot with league champion South Dakota State upset by the league’s #8 team Western Illinois. North Dakota State could conceivably draw the Gonzaga team they lost to by 42 in November while the Bison also lost badly in three other top 100 non-conference tests on the season.

Size will be an issue in a likely 1/16 matchup for North Dakota State but this squad has good offensive shooting numbers while featuring a very low turnover rate despite a roster without a senior. The Bison also faced Gonzaga in the 2015 NCAA Tournament with a respectable 10-point loss in a 2/15 contest. Defensively it is hard to see North Dakota State competing well against a top contender but this squad will hit some shots.

Saint Mary’s – West Coast (22-11) Projected #12 Seed

The Gaels would have been an interesting bubble discussion case but they didn’t leave their Tournament inclusion to the committee, turning in a stunning 60-47 upset over Gonzaga in the WCC Final. That was the only top 50 win of the season for Saint Mary’s who looked the part in close losses vs. Mississippi State and LSU but ultimately didn’t have a lot of weight in the win column.

Saint Mary’s plays at an incredibly slow pace and works for quality shots with strong shooting numbers all over the floor, led by Jordan Ford who has scored over 21 points per game this season while a 42 percent 3-point shooter. Saint Mary’s beat VCU in a 7/10 matchup two years ago in the Big Dance and the Gaels won two NIT games last season. This squad has good size but limited depth and the roster includes only one senior. Expect Randy Bennett’s team to control the pace of play in whatever matchup they pull.

Colgate – Patriot (23-10) Projected #15 Seed

The Raiders will take an 11-gmae winning streak into the NCAA Tournament after winning by double-digits in all three Patriot Tournament games, which were played on their home court. Colgate didn’t look too out of place in non-conference defeats at Syracuse, South Florida, Penn State, and Pittsburgh including two 10-point losses.  The Patriot is also an underrated league and last year’s representative Bucknell lost by just four to Michigan State in a 3/14 contest while Bucknell lost by just six to West Virginia in the 2017 tournament.

Like many of the teams on this list Colgate plays at a slow pace and can shoot as a 39 percent 3-point shooting team and a strong free throw converting team. This squad has enough size to compete with larger programs as 6’10” Rapolas Ivanauskas leads the team in scoring. This could be one of the more dangerous #15 draws and even could get #14 seed consideration depending on how the remaining automatic bids fall.

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Free NCAA Pick Saturday

#678 Richmond +4.5 over Davidson 5:00 PM CT

The A-10 race is over as VCU has clinched the conference title at 16-2, winning for good measure last night in the finale vs. St. Joseph’s. Davidson will finish second with a win at Richmond today, a team they beat by 13 at home in January. The Wildcats are coming off back-to-back blowout wins but both results came at home and Davidson has lost three conference road games this season including two of the past four falling against marginal squads UMass and La Salle.

Richmond is just 6-11 in A-10 play and 12-18 overall but this team has competed well at home including losing by only three hosting A-10 champion VCU last weekend. That is the only loss in the past four home dates for the Spiders, who have struggled defensively but have great offensive numbers. Davidson will have had time matching its shooting performance in the first meeting between these teams with a 28-60 night including 14 3-point makes.

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Davidson also surprisingly won the rebounding battle for a convincing win despite Richmond committing only six turnovers. Davidson doesn’t have NCAA Tournament at-large berth potential as next week’s tournament action will be the focus for this team as this is a meaningless road finale. Davidson has lost badly in the past two trips to Richmond even as a road favorite in both instances as Chris Mooney has had success in this matchup of long-time coaches as well.

Nelly’s is 24-11-1 the past 12 Saturdays with our 2/3 offers and today’s package features a 2* Top Play (67% this season). Get all three picks (early start games included) for $25 with no charge unless you win 2/3! We were 2-0 last night and are 9-4 so far in March!

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Bobby Dalton won 10* and 15* picks last night to continue a huge run in basketball – his Saturday update will be coming soon!

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Free NCAA Pick Thursday

#629 California +11.5 over Stanford 10:00 PM CT

A great comeback bid fell short for Stanford Sunday hosting Pac-12 leader Washington with a 62-61 final score. Stanford can reach .500 in conference play for the season and maintain an above .500 overall record with a win in this finale but covering by double-digits may be a big ask for this erratic group.

Stanford has posted six double-digit wins in Pac-12 play but has also lost three home games and playing at California the Cardinal won 84-81 just over a month ago. California led by seven with about six minutes to go in that games, then seeking its first conference win. The Bears have gone 2-0 since losing the first 15 conference games and California has lost by more than 11 just twice in the past nine games.

The strength of the Bears is creating turnovers on defense and that was a factor in the first meeting between these teams with an 18-11 edge for California. Stanford had a 30-19 edge in free throw attempts in that three-point win and this rivalry game should favor the heavy underdog especially if Daejon Davis again sits out.

Nelly’s has hit over 63% in basketball picks the past 91 days including going 7-3 so far in March. Don’t miss a major conference pick tonight for only $15.

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Free NBA Pick Wednesday

#519/520 ‘OVER 220.5’ Detroit Pistons at San Antonio Spurs 7:05 PM CT

Detroit has been on an offensive surge on the current 7-1 streak since early February, posting an average of 118 points per game on that span even with recent games against good defensive teams including Boston, Miami, and Indiana. The ‘over’ has collected in seven of those eight games and while today’s total is several points higher than the home meeting with the Spurs in early January, the elevated number is more than justified.

The ‘over’ is 12-2 in the last 14 Spurs games as a San Antonio franchise known for defense has been struggling mightily. On that ‘over’ run the totals in Spurs games have been at least 219.5 in 13 of the past 14 games but hit an over inflated with a 233.5 number in Brooklyn on Monday. That was the final game of a lengthy road trip for San Antonio spanning both sides of the All Star break.

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San Antonio has allowed at least 107 points in 13 of the past 14 games however and opponents have scored 120 or more in six of the past eight games with an average allowance of more than 122 points per game. San Antonio has been one of the league’s best ‘over’ teams at 38-24 on the season and both of these teams have allowed 48 percent shooting over the past five games.

The January meeting between these teams featured 226 points even with Detroit getting only 14 points at the line at home and connecting at just 28 percent from 3-point range. The Spurs shot well for the game but not from beyond the arc and there were few turnovers and only 221 fast break points in the contest as there was certainly room for more scoring.

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Nelly’s is 4-0 the past three days and we have hit over 63% since early December in basketball. Don’t miss a great opportunity Wednesday night.

Bobby Dalton is on a 12-5 Best Bet run in college basketball and he has posted a 10* Missouri Valley pick for Wednesday – pay after you win.

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Free NCAA Pick Tuesday

#643 San Diego State +8.5 over Utah State 8:30 PM CT

Utah State is a quintessential mid-major NCAA Tournament bubble team with a glowing 22-6 record but minimal substance with no top 50 wins and a blowout loss to Nevada, the top rated squad in the Mountain West. The Aggies get a shot at revenge from a 23-point defeat next weekend hosting the Wolfpack but a revenge date with San Diego State comes first.


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The Aztecs won by five hosting this matchup in early February and it could have been worse. Despite losing Utah State shot 42 percent from 3-point range and held its own in rebounding and turnovers. The Aztecs might be an even stronger team this around with the recent return of Jordan Schakel who has posted 15 points in two games since coming back. After a 2-3 start in league-play San Diego State has won eight of nine including beating Nevada while also winning three of the past four road games.

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San Diego State is a strong defensive team that can limit the strong shooting numbers for the Aggies. Utah State is the worst 3-point defense in the MWC and while the Aztecs aren’t reliant on outside shooting they could have opportunities in this matchup. San Diego State is 11-0 in this series since 2013-14 with only one missed cover as the underdog points are appealing.

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Bobby Dalton has a 10* Best Bet in one of tonight’s big ACC games – get it for only $19.99 – Dalton has won 12 of his last 16 Best Bets in college basketball for a 75% run!

Nelly’s is 3-0 the past two days, hitting over 63% in basketball picks the past 82 days since early December. Don’t miss tonight’s college pick for $15 or join for all March Madness for about $7 per day! We have gone 24-12 in NCAA Tournament picks the past two seasons while picking up over 30* in March/April college picks the past five years combined.

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Free NCAA Pick Thursday

#638 San Diego -16.5 over Portland 9:00 PM CT

San Diego has lost three games in a row but the defeats came by three points at Pepperdine, by six points in overtime hosting BYU, and by a very respectable 12 points against a highly rated Gonzaga squad that could set a national record for margin of victory this season. That result was the closest game Gonzaga has had in 12 WCC games. It will go down as a lost season for the Toreros but this will be a team that could make some noise down the stretch. This is the second to last home game and the last game that San Diego will be a heavy favorite in all season long. The roster has been in flux all season but the starting lineup is back in place for San Diego and this is a matchup that resulted in a 21-point road win earlier in the season even without two starters playing.

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San Diego lost to Portland at home last season to provide an extra spark for this matchup that might be otherwise overlooked following the Gonzaga home game. Portland is 0-12 in league play but is coming off a heartbreaking opportunity as the Pilots took San Francisco to overtime at home on Saturday. Terry Porter’s team has lost by double-digits in eight of 12 conference games and after three straight home games this will be the first road game for the Pilots in nearly three weeks. Portland rates as the clear bottom team in most offensive and defensive categories in the WCC and that is even with two of the tougher road games on the WCC schedule still remaining as the 0-12 mark includes seven home losses. In a desperate spot off three straight defeats, a San Diego squad that has much more potential than the overall numbers suggest should come to play for a lopsided result.

Nelly’s is 6-2 the past five days (all six wins have been outright underdog winners) while on a 70-39 run in picks since early December. Get a college selection for Thursday night for just $15! We’ll also resume our excellent NBA season in the coming days as well!

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Bobby Dalton is on a 20-8 run on Wednesdays and he’ll look to deliver a Thursday Best Bet winner to build on a strong start to February. Get his TV 10* Best Bet tonight for $19.99!

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Free NCAA Pick Tuesday

#634 Missouri +11.5 over Kentucky 8:00 PM CT

Kentucky asserted itself as a national contender with the 86-69 win over #1 Tennessee last weekend. This could be a dangerous sandwich game with Auburn next on the schedule. Kentucky has won the past five SEC road games but three of those wins came by slim margins while the Wildcats also lost its SEC road opener at Alabama.

At 3-9 Missouri hasn’t come close to matching some of the past recent success of the program but the Tigers haven’t lost by more than 10 points at home since the SEC opener with Tennessee. Missouri played the top rated Vols closely on the road earlier this month and in 12 SEC games the Tigers have only twice lost by more than 12 points. Missouri is a good 3-point shooting team and a good rebounding team and Kentucky’s strong SEC numbers have come through one of the lightest schedules in the league.

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Despite some big scores from Kentucky in recent weeks these are both very slow paced squads as a double-digit road favorite spread will feel even larger in this matchup. There is a letdown risk for the Wildcats off a monumental win and a very young team hasn’t proven it can handle success in the spotlight. Missouri beat Kentucky at home last season and only once in four trips to Columbia since Missouri joined the SEC have the Wildcats won by more than 10 points.

Nelly’s Basketball is 5-0 the past three days with five underdogs that have all won outright. Don’t miss Tuesday’s pick or join us for the rest of the month or our March Madness package to build on great season returns. We are 32 games above .500 since early December with a current 23-10 NBA run and a current 40-23 college run (through Feb. 18).

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Bobby Dalton is 13-7 in his last 20 college basketball picks while 10-4 in February 10* Best Bets. Don’t miss tonight’s 10* and check back for Wednesday’s offer with the Big Dog 20-7 on Wednesdays this season.

Big E was a winner in college basketball last night and his next 10* Biggie is coming soon. Also check back for his next 20* on Thursday in the OVC.