ESPN Streak for the Cash Picks and Analysis-January 3

The Oregon Ducks and quarterback Marcus Mariota take on the Kansas State Wildcats in tonight’s Fiesta Bowl. I like the Ducks to roll and Mariota to take his first half prop on ESPN’s Streak for the Cash. Photo by Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

After a wacky night last night in ESPN’s Streak for the Cash, streakers will try and right their streaks with a full Thursday slate with picks from international soccer and hockey early in the day and the Fiesta Bowl, NBA, and college basketball action on tap for tonight.

Yesterday, heavily-favored Florida went down hard to Louisville, the Clippers lost their second in a row after winning 17 in a row (got that one right), and the Illini took down a bunch of streaks as 99.04% of entries who picked their Big 10 opener thought they could get by Purdue. What surprises does today have in store? Check out my picks below…

Streak Picks for 1/3

11:00-4 Goals or fewer: It’s Russian hockey to get things rolling today with a goals prop as Dinamo Minsk take on Dinamo Riga. Minsk has gone under five in its last two and for of its last five games. Riga has been under in two of their last three as well. Head to head these two teams have played low-scoring games in their recent history including three at the open of the last three months that all went under-three, two, and three. Of course the five games before that were all over, so it’s hard to say with much confidence. Confidence Meter: 2

2:45- Hearts Win: In this afternoon soccer action from the Scottish Premier League Hearts hosts Hibernian and gives the draw. Hearts is 6-7-7 overall and ninth in the table of 12 while Hibernian sits fifth with a 9-4-8 overall mark. Hearts has won four of their last five home games outright with their only loss coming against Celtic as they’ve improved their home record to 5-2-3 on the season.  Hibernian meanwhile has struggled on the road with a 3-2-5 record. Hearts has won the last four times they’ve hosted Hibernian although they lost to them 1-0 December 2 at Hibernian in their most recent matchup. These two teams both based in Edinburgh are fairly evenly matched so a draw is definitely a possibility, but I think home pitch is enough to give Hearts the slight edge. Confidence Meter: 3

December 29, 2012; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines forward Jordan Morgan (52) dunks the ball against the Central Michigan Chippewas in the first half at Crisler Center. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

7:03- Michigan wins or Double Digits: The Wildcats are a very attractive option at first glace here as they host the Wolverines especially getting 9 points. However, Northwestern will be without leading scorers Reggie Hearn (14.5 PPG) and Drew Crawford (13.5 PPG). The Wolverines have won all 13 of their games this year and only twice has their opponent been within 10. The backdoor cover does scare me a bit as Michigan sometimes takes it easy down the stretch but I don’t think that’s as likely in this Big 10 opener for both squads.  Confidence Meter: 6

7:35- San Antonio Spurs: The Knicks have dropped three of four and are struggling defensively which isn’t a good thing as they welcome San Antonio who leads the league in points per game and assists per game. They’ve won seven in a row as they hit the Garden and even on the second half of a back-to-back I think they’ll be able to avenge their earlier season loss to the Knicks in San Antonio. The Knicks rely on three-point shooting so it’s hard to know if they’ll be hitting their shots or not, but the Spurs are about as reliable as any NBA team as long as their coach plays his starters. Confidence Meter: 5

8:35- Oregon wins by Double Digits: The Ducks can score points in a hurry and rank second in the nation in scoring . K-State isn’t far behind at #8 but looked vulnerable as they were trounced by Baylor. The Wildcats lone loss of the season was to Rose Bowl Champion Stanford in overtime, so I think they’ll be the ones to emerge with the win in tonight’s Fiesta Bowl. The tricky thing is giving the 9 points, but with Chip Kelly presumably headed to the NFL his team should be fired up to send him out in style.  Confidence Meter: 7

8:36- Marcus Mariota: Don’t sleep on the Oregon defense. They should be able to contain and limit Collin Klein in the first half. Marcus Mariota will be counted on in the Oregon offense for both his arm and his legs as he takes on a tough Wildcat D. Oregon piles up yards quickly and in big chunks, so I think Mariota is the better pick here although these yardage props can be squirrely at times. Confidence Meter: 6

Ded 15, 2012; Palo Alto, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal forward Dwight Powell (33) drives to the basket past UC Davis Aggies forward J.T. Adenrele (13) during the second half at Maples Pavilion. The Stanford Cardinal defeated UC Davis 75-52. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

10:05- Stanford Cardinal: Stanford is the smarter pick here as they open Pac-12 action at USC, but as of when I’m writing this 99 % of streakers are on the Cardinal which seems like a lot since they are only favored by a point and a half. The Cardinal are coming off a nice road win at Northwestern and a home win over Lafayette.  USC has struggled to 5-8 but three of those losses were to top-25 teams. Their wins though have been a bit underwhelming needing overtime to handle Texas and Dayton while only beating Coppin State, Long Beach State, and UC-Riverside for their other wins. Stanford should be able to lean on Dwight Powell and Chasson Randle to get them on the winning side in their first conference game, but conference road games are never pushovers as Illinois reminded us all last night. Confidence Meter: 5

January Outcomes

Yesterday’s picks (click here to review): 6-3

Overall Record: 9-5

Confident Picks (5+): 4-2

Longest Streak: W1

Current Streak: L1

 

Topics: Bowl Picks, College Basketball Picks, College Football Picks, NBA Picks, Streak For The Cash Picks

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