Nick Johnson (13) is part of the unconventional Arizona lineup which should present UCLA with matchup problems. (AP Photo/Wily Low)

Streak for the Cash Picks-January 5

Yesterday got off to a good start for me with Newcastle United upsetting Man U and getting me up to a winning streak of 7. Last month my best was 8 and I thought I’d be there by nightfall with the pick I actually had the most confidence in, Duke. The problem is that on my way there, Temple derailed the both the Blue Devils winning streak and mine. I was able to bounce back with the 2nd half prop in the Orange Bowl and get the passing TD so I could start today in the green with a winning streak of 1. Here’s the plan for today to build that streak up:

4:00-Valencia win: Valencia has been playing well at home and sit 3rd in La Liga. This isn’t a league game though, it’s in the Copa del Rey. It’s part of what Americans would know as a home-and-home in the round of 16 where aggregate score moves you on. The tie-breakers can get complex, but suffice it to say that getting a win at home is paramount for Valencia if they plan on moving on. In league play Valencia has a dynamite 6-2-1 home record and Sevilla has had difficulty scoring goals on the road. Valencia should be able to secure the win here, so I’ll take Los Che to get the win @ home.

7:00-Toronto Maple Leafs: Toronto and Winnipeg are tied for the 9th spot just outside the Eastern Confernce. These two Canadian teams met last Saturday on New Years Eve in Winnipeg and now will conclude the home-and-home with a game back in Toronto. The Jets won the game Saturday 3-2 avenging their earlier shootout loss to the Leafs. Both teams have played 1 game since they met, the Leafs looked great Tuesday hosting Tampa (7-3) while Winnipeg looked bad last night losing to Montreal in Montreal by the same 7-3 score. The momentum, the home ice advantage, the current form, and the extra day’s rest all fall on the side of Toronto. It’s not a lock (since no NHL regular season game is), but it’s the best early pick on the board.

11:00-Arizona: Get used to the late, great Pac-12 action keeping streaker company late at night. In this game, the Arizona Wildcats look to continue their strong start while visiting UCLA who is trying to avoid an 0-3 start to league play and stay above .500. The Bruins had realed off 5 wins in a row before dropping the last 2 to in-state rivals Stanford and Cal on the road. They’ll return home to hose the Wildcats led by Solomon Hill and their 3 guards lineup. This is the kind of team that gives the Bruins fits since they’re quick, small, and can shoot the lights out. This will be a classic bigger, slower, more methodical offense of UCLA against the speed and shooting of the Wildcats who have no starters over 6 foot 7 inches. Speed kills, and in this case, I think it’ll be the undoing of the Bruins. If I was just making 1 pick today, this would be the one.

current streak: W1

Record for the month: 8-4

Tags: Arizona Basketball College Basketball Picks NHL Picks Soccer Picks Streak For The Cash Toronto Maple Leafs UCLA Valencia

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