ESPN Streak for the Cash Daily Picks and Analysis, November 13

Portland Trail Blazers power forward LaMarcus Aldridge won’t have to deal with DeMarcus Cousins tonight in Sacramento so he and the Blazers are one of my picks today in ESPN’s Streak for the Cash. Photo by Steve Dykes-US PRESSWIRE

Today’s Streak for the Cash board is a fun one as we tip-off College Basketball season in style with a 24 our Tip-Off Marathon filled with 11 picks starting at 8:00 this morning and running all day with basketball taking center stage with games at both the college and pro level. Things already are underway, so let’s get right to the picks for my favoriate matchups today.

Streak Picks for 11/13

8:00- Valparaiso by 20: Valpo hosts NIU as they start their second season under Bryce Drew. Both teams return most of last year’s teams and when they played at NIU Valpo won by 11. Valpo has won the last five times the teams have met and opened their season with a 31-point beatdown of Georgia Southern.  NIU dropped their opener at Newbrask-Omaha by 13. 20 points is a lot to give though so I can only go Confidence Meter: (out of 10)

Mar 10, 2012; Atlantic City, NJ, USA; Massachusetts Minutemen guard Chaz Williams (3) against the Xavier Musketeers in the semifinals of the 2012 Atlantic 10 Tournament at Boardwalk Hall. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

10:00- UMass by double digits: This would be a competitive game if Harvard was at full strength but they’ll be without their co-captains Brandyn Curry and Kyle Casey due to their involvement in the cheating scandal. Harvard is young and inexperienced as a result, and Chaz Williams leads a strong returning Minutemen team getting back its top players and playing at home in a big game for them. Confidence Meter: 6

12:00- Kent State: The Tip-off Marathon continues as the Owls start their last A-10 season by visiting one of the conferences newest members the Kent State Golden Flashes. Temple is a solid team returning eight members of last year’s team including Khalif Wyatt, the A-10′s top returning scorer, who averaged 17.1 points per game last season. Kent State won a big game  in their opener against Drexel in overtime and had nice balance in a mostly remade lineup. They’ve won their previous two appearances in the Marathon and are always good at home (172-28 in the last 15 years). I think they’ll pull the upset here and take down the big name which is drawing the pick of  most streakers (98.8% as of time of writing). Confidence Meter: 3

2:00- St. John’s: Last year Detroit knocked off the Johnnies, but the Titans lost 45% of their player minutes from last season. St. John’s is at home and Steve Lavin will be back on the sideline, so I think his young team will be ultra-motivated to open with a win. Confidence Meter: 5

4:00- Butler: Butler joins the A10 and heads to Xavier in a game that was already scheduled so actually counts as a non-conference game against a new in-conference team. How’s that for confusing? On the court, it seems more simple to break down-Xavier lost their stellar back court Tu Holloway and Mark Lyons while the Bulldogs have a great group of freshman and look to be a team on the rise. This is a rivalry game though which means to pick against the home team only with caution. Confidence Meter: 4

November 09, 2012; Lawrence, KS, USA; Kansas Jayhawks center Jeff Withey (5) dunks the ball in the second half of the game against the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks at Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas won 74-55. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

7:00- Kansas: Kansas faces off with Michigan State in the Georgia Dome in the Champions Classic. KU opened with a win at home while the Spartans lost their opener to UCONN in Germany. MSU may also be without Travis Trice who had concussion-like symptoms towards the end of their first game. I like Michigan State’s chances in the tournament but they have a ways to go and this will be a tough second game for them. I think they’ll open the season 0-2 as the Jayhawks move to 2-0. Confidence Meter: 6

10:05- Portland Trail Blazers: The Blazers face off against the Kings as they head to Sleep Train Arena (no, that’s not a joke-it’s really the name of the Arena). The Kings will be without a key part of their offense as DeMarcus Cousins finishes his two-game suspension. The Kings offense has been poor even with Cousins, but Portland’s defense has been allowing almost 50% shooting to their opponents (second-worst in the league). The Blazers are my pick here, but only because their wins (Houston, LA Lakers) are more impressive than Sacramento’s (Detroit, Golden State) and the Kings won’t have Cousins. Confidence Meter: 3

10:35- San Antonio Spurs: The Spurs stop at the Staples Center where they picked up their only loss of the season last week against the Clippers. Tonight they’ll face the Lakers who won’t have Mike D’Antoni on their bench quite yet. The Lakers handeld the situation badly by all accounts with former Coach Phil Jackson, but the reason I’ll take the Spurs has more to do with their point guard situation than who’s on their bench. Steve Nash is out at least another week and his replacement Steve Blake will also miss this game. The Spurs took two of three last season, and I think they’ll look to make a statement tonight in LA. Confidence Meter: 5

November Picks by the Numbers

Yesterday’s Results: 2-4

Total Record for the Month: 57-41

My Personal Entry: 21-11-0

Current Streak: W2

Longest Streak of the Month: W8

Topics: College Basketball Tip-off Marathon, NBA Picks, NCAA Basketball Picks, Streak For The Cash Picks

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