Jan 19, 2013; Louisville, KY, USA; Louisville Cardinals guard Russ Smith (2) pressures Syracuse Orange guard Michael Carter-Williams (1) during the second half at the KFC Yum! Center. Syracuse defeated Louisville 70-68. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN Streak for the Cash-Picks and Analysis for January 21

Its’ good to have hockey back as we head into another week of ESPN’s Streak for the Cash. The slate today has several NHL picks to go with the usual basketball and soccer. Because today is a holiday-Martin Luther King Jr. Day,  theirs games throughout the afternoon and on into the evening. There’s some fascinating matchups to get to, so here’s my favorites:

Streak Picks 1/21

10:00- Ethiopia win, draw, or lose by 1: The Africa Cup of Nations kicks off as the defending champion Zambia take on Ethiopia who hasn’t played in the Cup since 1982. Ethiopia is the underdog here, but not by a whole goal especially when you consider Zambia’s recent form. They haven’t won by multiple goals in their last 12 and hav failed to score in their last four. Confidence Meter: (out of 10)

1:05- New York Islanders: These teams had similar records last year and the Islanders are usually solid at home. Tampa won their opener 6-3 over the Caps at home while the Isles lost a close one at home to the Devils. I think they can bounce back in this one and get the win, but its still so early its hard to get an accurate read on any NHL teams. Confidence Meter: 3

1:05- Memphis Grizzlies Winning Margin: In this prop the Grizz winning margin are pitted against David West’s field goal’s made. The Grizz are 15-5 at home and are coming off a narrow three point win on the road at Chicago on Saturday night. Indiana was red-hot earlier in the season, but has cooled off lately including a couple of tough road losses at Brooklyn and Orlando. The Grizz are favored by 7 and D-West averages 6.8 field goals per game.  However, he’s been scoring more lately with 12 in his last game and an average of 7.8 in his last five games. That being said, I think the interior defense of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol will limit him in this one to scloer to four to six. I think Memphis wins this by 8-10 so I’ll go with the Grizz. Confidence Meter: 4

3:35- New York Knicks: The Knicks host the Nets in the last game between these intra-city rivals. The Knicks have taken the last two meetings including the only one at Madison Square Garden this season. They come in as 3.5 point favorites and should be well-rested after not playing since their Tuesday game in London. There’s a chance they could be rusty from the cross-oceanic trek, but I think they’ll be able to continue their dominance of the series. Confidence Meter: 6

3:35- Syracuse wins by double-digits: The Orange are nine point favorites as they come host and host Cincinnati after their huge road win over Louisville on Saturday. The Bearcats took down their own ranked opponent in their home win over then-#25 Marquette. At home Syracuse has won by 10 or more in all but one of their games and in all of their last four. Cincinnati has won three in a row but has three losses this year all at home by narrow margins. It’s a quick turnaround for both teams, but that usually favors the home team and a not-so-close result. I’m not confident since the Bearcats are a solid team, but I do think SU is the pick. Confidence Meter: 4

4:05- LA Clippers: The Clippers are 6.5 point favorites on the road headed to Oakland. The Warriors are 12-6 at home and beat LA by 11 earlier this season. The Clippers bounced back and crushed them in LA three days later. The reason I’ll go LA here (besides the line) is current form. Golden State lost three in a row before edging New Orleans in their last game. The Clippers have been rolling winning seven of eight. If this stays a straight-up pick, the Clippers will be hugely popular mostly because they make a nice pick. Confidence Meter: 6

5:35- Baylor Bears: The Bears are wildly inconsistent, but Oklahoma State has lost all three true road games at Oklahoma, Kansas State, and Virginia Tech. Baylor should win this game at home, but they can extremely volatile. Confidence Meter: 4

7:05- Toronto Maple Leafs: The Sabres face off against the Maple Leafs in a matchup of 1-0 teams trying to get into the playoffs after missing them last year. In the series, The Leafs have won their last five in a row in Toronto. Another reason I’m leaning Leafs here is that Buffalo is playing on back-to-back days and going on the road which usually isn’t a recipe for a top-level game. Confidence Meter: 3

7:10- Spurs Winning Margin: The Spurs head to Philly to take on the Sixers. San Antonio has dominated on the road all year on their way to a 14-9 record. The Sixers are 11-9 at home but have struggled lately going just 3-10 in their last 13 overall and dropping home games to the Hornets and Nets in the last few weeks. The Spurs are a high-enough scoring team that I think they’ll be able to win and cover in this one. Confidence Meter: 4

Jan 19, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard (35) makes save against the St. Louis Blues during the second period at the Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

7:35- Detroit Red Wings: The Wings were embarrassed 6-0 in their season opener in St. Louis,  and will look to bounce back against the Eastern Conference’s worst team last season the Columbus Blue Jackets. Columbus won their opener in a shootout an have overhauled last year’s team. I think Detroit will be fired up to show that they aren’t really the team that sleep-walked through the opener. Confidence Meter: 5

8:45- Ferrer wins in Straight Sets: In this all-Spanish Quarterfinal #4 David Ferrer takes on #10 Nicolas Almagro. The two have met 12 times and every time Ferrer has emerged victorious. In their last two matches, Ferrer has won in straight sets as he did when they met in the US Open in their only previous Major meeting. Ferrer has been rolling along dropping only one set in his four matches. He won his last game over Kei Nishikori 6-2, 6-1, 6-4. Ferrer should continue to dominate his countryman as he moves into the semi’s. Confidence Meter: 4

9:40- Chicago Bulls: The Lakers are 5-13 on the road and coming off a loss just yesterday in Toronto. The Bulls lost at home on Saturday in their last game against the Grizzlies but they had won three in a row before that including their own trip north of the border. The Lakers have lost eight of ten overall and can’t seem to get things headed the right direction. Confidence Meter: 6

Jan 20, 2013; Melbourne, AUSTRALIA; Maria Sharapova (RUS) returns a shot against Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) on day seven of the 2013 Australian Open at Melbourne Park. Mandatory Credit: Pierre Lahalle/PRESSE SPORTS via USA TODAY Sports

11:30- 5 games or fewer: Maria Sharapova has been rolling as she takes on Ekaterina Makarova. The two have faced off four times before. Sharapova has won them all but they’ve split this over/under down the middle. The reason I’m leaning toward the under is the roll that Sharapova is on. She has lost five games TOTAL in her first four matches. Confidence Meter: 7

January Results

Yesterday’s picks: 8-6

Overall Record: 98-93

Confident Picks (5+): 35-25  

Current Personal Streak: L1

Longest Personal Streak of January: W5

Tags: College Basketball Picks NBA Picks NHL Picks Streak For The Cash Picks Tennis Picks

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