December 28, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (30, left) talks to small forward Draymond Green (23) during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at ORACLE Arena. The Warriors defeated the 76ers 96-89. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN Streak for the Cash Picks and Analysis for January 2

The high-flying Illinois Fighting Illini and guard Joseph Bertrand (2) are one of the best ESPN Streak for the Cash Picks today. Get your free sports picks for the day right here. Photo by Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

After a great start to the year yesterday with all the New Year’s college football action on ESPN’s Streak for the Cash. Today’s board is filled-up once again, but this time mostly with round ball with basketball from both the NBA and college basketball. There’s also some early soccer and some picks from the Sugar Bowl tonight. Here’s the picks I like the most:

1/2 Streak Picks

2:45- Liverpool Win: Liverpool is starting to string together some decent results especially at home. Today they host struggling Sunderland and I think they’ll get the full three points. According to the bookmakers, they’re pretty heavy favorites. The Reds have gotten wins in two of their last three EPL games and three of four at home. Sunderland, on the other hand, has struggled to 2-2-4 on the road and losses in two of their last three away from the Stadium of Light, where they play their home games. This one will be at Anfield which has been a solid home pitch for ‘Pool as they’re 4-3-3 as they look for the three points and the green today. Confidence Meter: (out of 10)

7:03- Any Other Result: Duke and Davidson meet on a neutral court in Charlotte in this one (although some sites still mistakingly have it as a Davidson home game). The pick here is Davidson +15 on Streak for the Cash. Duke remained undefeated after a challenge from Santa Clara in their last game and continue to put up over 80 points per game. Davidson will struggle to keep up with their tempo but did return all five starters from last year’s team and are favored to once again win the Southern conference and go dancing come March. Davidson has lost five games this year with three of lose losses on the road. They faced one other ranked opponent falling by 14 to then-#17 Gonzaga. I think they’ll be extra fired-up to face Duke and as usual the Blue Devils will have to take their best shot. If Davidson can hit their threes they can make a game of this. I don’t see an upset, but I do see them keeping it close. Confidence Meter: 4

Dec 30, 2012; Sacramento, CA, USA; Boston Celtics power forward Kevin Garnett (5) looks on from the bench during the fourth quarter at Sleep Train Arena. The Sacramento Kings defeated the Boston Celtics 118-96. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

7:35- Boston Celtics: The Grizz face a struggling Celtics team in Boston in a matchup of a pair of stumbling teams. Boston will get Avery Bradley back in this one but may be without Rajon Rondo. Boston coming back to the TD Garden and refocusing on defense should be enough to get them the win with or without Rajon as they face Memphis who fell to 6-6 on the road after losing at the Pacers on New Years Eve. Boston has won eight of their last 10 head-to-head matchups with Memphis, but may struggle on the boards against Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol in this one. I’ll take a Rondo-led Celtics with a Confidence Meter: but if Rondo sits only Confidence Meter: 3

8:05- San Antonio Spurs: The Spurs have won six in a row as they face the Bucks in Milwaukee who knocked off the Heat and Nets in their last two home games before losing their last contest in Detroit to the Pistons. San Antonio’s Stephen Jackson will play against his former team in this one after missing the earlier meeting of these teams in Texas where the Spurs won 110-99. Expect San Antonio to keep rolling in this one. Confidence Meter: 7

Nov 24, 2012; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida Gators quarterback Jeff Driskel (6) in action against the Florida State Seminoles during the second half at Doak Campbell Stadium. The Gators won 37-26. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

8:36- No Either doesn’t record a first-half passing TD: This is a prop pick and can go either way, but I doubt both QBs throw for TDs. Driskel for Florida only had 11 passing touchdowns all year and just one in each of his last three games. Four of his touchdowns came in the game against South Carolina meaning that in his other nine games he threw seven touchdowns (missed one game due to injury). On the other side of things, Teddy Bridgewater has thrown for more touchdowns (25) but will be facing the ferocious Gator defense. Confidence Meter: 6

8:36- Illinois Fighting Illini: Getting Illinois straight up makes it seem like a lock, but remember this is a in-conference road game which can be tricky. Purdue is off to a slow start at just 6-6 and are 5-2 at home. Purdue ranks in the top 25 in rebounds per game but has dropped home games to Xavier and Bucknell already this year and I don’t think they’ll be able to keep up with the Illini even though they’ve struggled their last two games losing to Mizzou and surviving a scare from Auburn. The only way Purdue gets the green here is if Illinois overlooks the Boilermakers before Saturday’s big showdown with Ohio State. Confidence Meter: 8

9:05- Utah Jazz: Utah is 9-4 at home but have lost their three at home. Meanwhile the Wolves are 5-9 away from the woods of Minnesota and have dropped their last three road games. Minnesota will be without Ricky Rubio, and Utah played very closely with the red-hot Clippers their last couple games which makes the Jazz the pick in this one. Confidence Meter: 5

10:05- San Francisco wins or single digit loss: San Francisco visits Santa Clara in a nice West Coast Conference matchup to star conference play for both teams. Santa Clara comes in 11-3 while San Francisco is 7-6. Five of the Dons’ six losses came in 15 days in December including losses on the road at Nevada and Pacific by eight. The only games they’ve dropped by double-digits were a season-opening loss to Stanford by 12 and a 22 point loss the then-#18 San Diego State. Santa Clara has gotten off to a hot start with a 13 point loss to Duke in their last game and a pair of overtime losses to Utah State and UCSB the only blemishes on their record. This is a tricky little pick, and really could go either way with the 10 point spread. Last year San Francisco crushed the Broncos in both meetings and I think they’ll keep this one close at least. Confidence Meter: 4

10:35- Golden State Warriors: The Clippers streak ended last night as they went down in Denver and they could easily be tripped up again tonight. Golden State is 10-4 at home and have won four of their last five with their only loss coming to the Lakers in Overtime. The Warriors haven’t played since Saturday while LA played just last night in Denver, so I’ll take Golden State for the win to close out the day. If you’ve got a decent streak though you may want to sit this out because the Clippers obviously have been playing well and definitely can get the win on the road. Confidence Meter: 3

January Results

Overall Record: 3-2

Confident Picks (5+): 2-0

Longest Streak: W1

Current Streak: L1

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