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Free NCAA Pick Tuesday

#655 North Dakota +6.5 over Milwaukee 7:00 PM CT

Milwaukee won just nine games last season including closing the season with 11 consecutive Horizon League defeats. That was a veteran team and only two starters have returned. Illinois transfer Te’Jon Lucas was a big addition for the program and the team has much more promise this season.

The 3-1 start has featured two non-division I wins however and also includes a home loss to Western Michigan. The only division I win came Friday vs. UMKC, a nine-point result despite a big rebounding and free throw shooting edge. North Dakota rates similarly to the two teams Milwaukee has split with but is 1-2 on the season having had to play road games with Gonzaga and Valparaiso.

The numbers are meaningless for the Fighting Hawks so far this season given the tough assignment with Gonzaga and this is a team in a coaching transition after a long run under Brian Jones as Paul Sather is leading the team this season. This squad has a mix of experience with two seniors and two freshmen in the starting five but this year’s team is less reliant on 3-point shooting and should have opportunities against the shaky defense for the Panthers.

The presence of Lucas has overvalued Milwaukee so far this season and he can’t do it all and the limited size and depth for the Panthers could be a problem in this matchup as another close game looks likely.

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Free MLB Pick Tuesday

#951 Chicago Cubs (Hendricks) -115 over Cincinnati Reds (Roark) 5:40 PM CT

With a pessimistic Pecota projection and some off-season uncertainty the Cubs started slowly in 2019 but now halfway through May, Chicago has the NL’s best record at 24-14, going 21-6 since April 11. The Cubs have won seven of the past eight road games and the lineup is crushing right-handed pitching with an .807 season OPS. Tanner Roark has posted good numbers for the Reds with a 3.27 ERA but a 4.80 xFIP hovers over his season line. While he has an 8.1 K/9 he also had a 4.1 BB/9 and Roark has benefitted from facing some of the NL’s lesser offensive teams this season.

Kyle Hendricks might be on pace to have a season that resembles his great 2016 campaign. While he has just two wins so far, his ERA is 3.19 and he has walked just eight batters in over 42 innings of work. He has an elevated BABIP and only a 65 percent strand rate as he is poised to improve his numbers in the coming weeks. His road splits present a great contrast to his 0.62 Wrigley Field ERA but his road starts have been exclusively against NL contenders and two of those outings were his first two starts of the season. Cincinnati has hit left-handed pitching quite well this season but with a .667 team OPS, this is one of the worst hitting teams in MLB vs. right-handed pitching. The Reds have outscored foes by 20 runs so far in May but are just 6-6, underscoring the recent issues of the bullpen with Cincinnati 1-4 in extra-innings games and 6-13 in one-run games this season.

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20-runs in season scoring differential came exclusively in  sweeping a three-game set with the lowly Marlins however and against two other elite NL squads the Reds have gone 0-6 facing the Dodgers and Brewers. On the road this season the Cubs have scored 7.0 runs per game while batting .283 vs. right-handers while the Reds have hit just .218 vs. right-handers at home this season. Even if Anthony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist remain out this is a reasonable price to support the NL’s top team and a pitcher that is capable of being one of the best in the league.

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Free NBA Pick Tuesday

#533 New York Knicks +11 over Indiana Pacers 6:05 PM CT

The Knicks have just seven road wins all season long but have been a near .500 ATS team in road games. New York covered in Indianapolis in December before losing the home meeting badly in January but this price has climbed to a steep number with New York playing a fifth road game in the past six contests. New York has lost by more than 11 just once in the past 10 games however including picking up three S/U road wins.

Indiana is 1-4 ATS this season as a favorite of 11 or more points and this could be a dangerous game following ugly losses in back-to-back big Eastern Conference tests vs. Milwaukee and Philadelphia. Western Conference heavyweights are ahead on the schedule later this week and the Pacers are in the midst of a 2-5 ATS stretch the past seven games.

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Indiana continues to sit in the top four of the Eastern Conference playoff picture but this is the lowest scoring team of any of the top playoff contenders for a risky heavy favorite. Over the past five games the Pacers have also allowed over 46 percent shooting and 110 points per game. Tyreke Evans missed Sunday’s game and could be a question mark tonight in what should be a comfortable result for the Pacers but laying this type of price isn’t advisable.

Nelly’s is having another great March with a 14-5 start including going 7-1 the past four days after a 2-0 Monday to start Championship week. Join us for all picks in March Madness to build on an over 64% run since early December, sitting 40 games above .500 since December 6 and picking up more than 35.0* of profit.

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Free NCAA Pick Tuesday

#636 Kansas State -3 over Kansas 8:00 PM CT

Kansas picked up a dominant home win over Texas Tech on Saturday to break a 2-game slide but the Jayhawks have lost five of six road games this season with only a narrow win at Baylor in early January. This is always a huge game for Kansas State and this year’s Wildcats team has what it takes to break an eight-game slide in this series including losing all three meetings last season. Kansas State battled injuries and offensive inconsistency early in the season but has turned a corner for a 6-0 Big XII run to sit ahead of its rival in the current standings.

Kansas State has only one home loss all season while besting TCU and Texas Tech by double-digits in the past two home games, holding those teams to just 100 points combined. Kansas State has significant defensive edges in this matchup and should negate the ability to score inside for the Jayhawks. Kansas has also been the Big XII worst free throw shooting team which should be a negative factor for the road team in a potentially close game.

This year’s Kansas team has battled turnovers and Kansas State is one of top teams nationally at creating turnovers on defense and the Wildcats are underrated having played part of the season without star Center Dean Wade. Kansas might still also be without starter Marcus Garrett who missed the last game after already losing Udoka Azubuike earlier this season as this isn’t the team Bill Self expected to have coming back after last season’s Final Four run. The line swinging four points from its release pushes this selection down to a Free Pick level however.

Nelly’s Basketball is 56-28 since Dec. 6, winning two thirds of our selections over the past two months. We had a dominant win from a NBA underdog last night to reach a 21-9 on current NBA run along with a 29-15 college run. We had a huge 31-13 February in 2018 and are ready for another big month – join us for all remaining February picks for $229!

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Free NCAA Pick Tuesday

#711 Providence +3.5 over Boston College

Providence was a 21-win team last season that beat Boston College by 20 in a November home meeting. The Friars played three straight overtime games in the NCAA Tournament, losing to eventual champion Villanova in the Sweet 16. Alpha Diallo and Isaiah Jackson are returning starters from that squad with Nate Watson also a returning contributor taking on a starting role in the paint this season. A pair of talented freshman have joined the starting five to give Providence great size with all starters at least 6’5”.

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Providence is 6-2 including a neutral site win over South Carolina while the losses came in a tight game with Wichita State and against red hot Michigan. Providence has good numbers on both sides of the ball as an effective outside shooting team and a very good interior defense team. Boston College is 6-1 but without playing a top 50 foe yet this season. The best win was a narrow home escape against Minnesota when the Gophers had coast-to-coast travel. Boston College lost to IUPUI while five of six wins this season have come by 12 or fewer points despite playing only two top 200 teams all season.

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The Eagles are an awful 3-point shooting team at below 30 percent while one of the nation’s worst free-throw shooting squads at just 66 percent. Boston College does limit its turnovers but this is an inexperienced squad with three underclassmen in the typical six-man rotation with the Eagles offering very little depth. Boston College lost 13 home games the previous two years and already has a home loss this season as Conte has provided a minimal advantage and Providence should be a serious upset threat on Tuesday.

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Free NCAA Pick Tuesday

 

#534 Missouri -1.5 over Temple 8:00 PM

Missouri added Illinois transfer Mark Smith this season along with returning seniors Jordan Geist and Kevin Puryear. Cuonzo Martin led this team to 20 wins last season and the NCAA Tournament while playing much of the year without key players and this year’s team has similar potential currently being led by Jeremiah Tilmon who has flourished in an enhanced role so far this season.

 

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Missouri is only 3-2 so far this season but the losses came to Iowa State and Kansas State, teams that figure to be top 25 caliber teams all year long. The win over Oregon State in St. Thomas is a decent result and this will be just the second home game in Columbia all season. This squad has posted good defensive numbers through a top 75 schedule so far.

 

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Temple is 5-1 but only a narrow home win over Georgia stands out. This will be the first true road game of the season for the Owls who played in Brooklyn last week, losing to VCU and beating California, a win that sounds much better than it appears to be at this point. The Owls as usual have a solid defensive profile for Fran Dunphy in his 13th season with the program. The past two seasons Temple is just one game above .500 however and while there is continuity as all five starters were on the roster last season it may again be a limited group with poor outside shooting potential.

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Free MLB Pick Tuesday

#976 Kansas City Royals (Keller) -130 over Chicago White Sox (Covey) 7:15 PM CT

Brad Keller has been a bright spot for the Royals with a 3.14 ERA and a winning record in 17 starts. He has pitched well in five of six appearance vs. the White Sox with none of his starts vs. Chicago at home where he owns a 3.11 ERA on the season. Since August started Keller owns a 2.64 ERA and the Royals have quietly been hitting well down the stretch.

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Kansas City has an .805 team OPS in the past 11 games, scoring 5.1 runs per contest. In contrast Chicago has a .679 team OPS the past two weeks and has now lost six games in a row without scoring more than three runs. Dylan Covey will be making his first start since mid-August after being relegated to the bullpen. In 17 starting efforts he had a 5.87 ERA with a 4.0 BB/9, going 4-10 in decisions. He has allowed 13 runs in three starts vs. Kansas City this season, taking the loss in all three games. The Royals have also gone 9-1 in the last 10 games as Kauffman.

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Free MLB Pick Tuesday

#920 Texas Rangers (Minor) -120 Over Los Angeles Angels (Heaney) 7:05 PM CT

Mike Minor got a three-year contract from the Rangers ahead of this season despite limited success in recent years and the move has paid off for Texas with a 10-win campaign and a steady 4.33 ERA in 24 starts for the left-hander. Minor is well suited for the conditions in Arlington and he owns a 3.30 ERA at home this season with foes batting just .210 against him.

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The Angels continue to fade from a promising April start and Los Angeles is 18-25 vs. left-handed starters this season. The Angels have some big names in the lineup but have posted a .566 team OPS the past 11 games while scoring 3.2 runs per game and on the season the Angels own just a .660 team OPS vs. left-handers. Texas has posted solid offensive numbers with 5.1 runs per game over the past 23 games and while the Rangers are better vs. right-handers Texas should have an opportunity in this matchup.

Texas scored six runs with 10 hits against Andrew Heaney in mid-August in this ballpark and Heaney appears to be running out of gas with the former 1st round pick listing a solid season line but a 5.55 ERA in his last six starts. The Angels have been held to three or fewer runs in eight of the last 10 games and Minor looks capable of another strong outing to keep Texas on a competitive late season run since early August.

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Free MLB Pick Tuesday

#971/972 ‘OVER 7.5’ Oakland Athletics (Manaea) at Houston Astros (Verlander) 7:10 PM CT

Justin Verlander’s Cy Young pace has certainly eroded in recent starts. While his 2.15 ERA is still an impressive mark with over 125 innings under his belt his xFIP is 3.51 as more regression could be coming. Verlander has allowed three or more runs in four of his last six starts and while his strikeout and walk rates remain among the AL’s best he has been victim to seven home runs allowed in those last six starts. Oakland hit two home runs against Verlander less than a month ago and the Houston right-hander has slightly worse numbers at Minute Maid Park this season.

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Sean Manaea had a dominant April with a no-hitter and while it has been a steady season for the left-hander leading the surprisingly competitive Athletics he has mostly had average results. His 3.33 ERA is overshadowed by a 4.35 FIP and his 6.2 K/9 isn’t threatening. Take out six excellent starts in April and his ERA is 4.76 with a 5.08 FIP and just a 5.3 K/9. The Astros beat Manaea in May and Oakland’s bullpen has displayed some recent wear with a 4.50 ERA the past 10 games.

There are red hot offensive teams with Oak;land 22-12 since June started while averaging more than 5.1 runs per game. On the season Oakland has shown a great preference for facing right-handed pitching and over the past 24 games the Athletics have a solid .789 team OPS with 1.7 home runs per game and 5.3 runs per game. Houston has scored 5.7 runs per nine vs. left-handers the past 10 games while posting a .812 team OPS the past 25 games, averaging 5.3 runs per game.

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Minute Maid Park has been surprisingly low scoring this season but with two quality starters on the mound this is a low number particularly with last night’s 2-0 result. Top relievers were burned yesterday in a game that featured just one hit with runners in scoring position. In 10 games between these teams there has been 100 combined runs as a bounce back for both offenses looks likely Tuesday.

Nelly’s hit an underdog last night now 28-17 since May 28 – get Tuesday’s side play for $15. Bobby Dalton has a 10* side and a 5* total tonight for just $19.99 – Dalton is on a 17-10 Best Bet run while on a 54-36 interleague run!

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Free MLB Pick Tuesday

#926 Cincinnati Reds (Romano) -130 over Detroit Tigers (Boyd) 6:10 PM CT

24-year-old Sal Romano is an imposing figure on the mound as one of the largest in stature players in the game. He showed some promise in 16 starts on a bad Reds team last season but he hasn’t taken a step forward this season, struggling through 14 starts with a 5.67 ERA for a last place team. Romano has better numbers at home and he has been very effective against right-handed batters with a .225 batting average against and his season xFIP is a bit more respectable at 4.82. He delivered a fine start at Kansas City in his last outing and in six of his last eleven outings he has allowed two or fewer runs.

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Left-hander Matt Boyd has posted a 3.23 ERA this season but his xFIP is actually higher than Romano’s at 4.98. Boyd has benefitted from a .232 BABIP and his strikeout numbers are marginal with a 7.0 K/9. Boyd is an extreme flyball pitcher and pitching in Cincinnati that could be a problem compared with his spacious home park in Detroit. Not surprisingly Boyd has much worse numbers on the road with the Tigers just 13-20 in road games this season despite being a surprise team in the AL so far this season.

The Reds have a bullpen edge in this matchup with a 2.92 ERA over the past 10 games in relief innings and overall this season both teams have fared better vs. left-handed pitching to give Cincinnati the edge in tonight’s pitching matchup. Since starting the season 8-27 the Reds have played exactly .500 ball since May 8 including winning four of the past six games ahead of this home stand. Detroit has quietly won five in a row but they did so with light scoring as the Tigers have been held to four or fewer runs in 12 of the past 15 games. Trust the oddmakers and support the small favorite tonight despite the contrasting records for these squads.

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