Today’s Streak board at ESPN follows the usual recent pattern with early soccer from Europe, followed by a full night of hoops with a sprinkling of hockey thrown in.
It’s a formula that’s been working well for me lately as my streak is back up to a W5 after a perfect day yesterday. The Lakers followed Texas A&M in adding green to my streak. I even got the Barcelona soccer pick right although I didn’t feel confident enough to take it. I’m trying to repeat my performance today, so here’s what I’m thinking:
12:00-Benefica win or draw: Benfica getting the draw makes them heavy favorites. They’re the top team in La Liga and are undefeated in their first 18 games of the season. They’ll travel to Zenit St. Petersburg for the first leg of this UEFA round of 16, and Zenit sits atop there league (Russian Premier League) as well. Since they’re getting the draw, I’d go with Benefica, but I’m not confident enough to put my five-gamer on it.
7:00-South Florida-USF Hosts Villanova in a good Big East game. South Florida has overachieved this year and is currently 8-4 in conference play while ‘Nova has struggled to just 4-8. The Bulls losses have come against UConn (who was #9 at the time) and at Notre Dame, Marquette, and Georgetown. They beat an improving Pitt team and won at Providence in their last two games and won January 5th at Villianova by 17. Villanova’s dropped 3 of their last 4 and just edged Providence in their last game (at home they won by just 2). USF definitely doesn’t have the name recognition of Villanova but I’m taking them to win this one and hopefully get my streak to 6.
10:10-Golden State: The Warriors have been solid at home all season and have won their last 3 games overall and 5 of their last 7 at the Oracle including an 8 point win over Portland. The Blazers come back tomorrow in ESPN’s last game, and I was leaning Golden State before last night’s game which only made me more confident. The Blazers lost at home to Washington last night while the Warriors had the night off. The biggest loss though, wasn’t the game but LaMarcus Aldridge who will not make the trip with the team. Look for a big game from David Lee and the Warrior guards should be able to feed off him and help my streak get to 7.