ESPN Streak for the Cash February 16 Picks and Analysis

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In one of today’s Streak for the Cash picks, the Indiana Hoosiers and forward Will Sheehey (0) will face the Purdue Boilermakers and guard Terone Johnson (0) for the second time this season. Indiana defeated Purdue 97-60 in Purdue and are expected to win big again when they meet tonight in Bloomington. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday is another packed day of Streak for the Cash options with college basketball giving us a ton of picks with tip-offs from 11:03 AM to 11:05 PM. Things actually get started even earlier with a 10:00 English FA Cup match. For variety, there’s also picks from the PGA Tour, the NHL, and the NBA’s All-Star festivities tonight. Here’s the picks I like the most with a quick take on why I’m going the way I am:

2/16 Streak Picks

10:00- Arsenal wins by 2+ goals: The Gunners are heading into a stretch of three vital home matches for them as they play strategically significant fixtures in the FA Cup, Champions League, and Premier League. It starts with this match against Blackburn who they last played February 4th of 2012 when Arsenal beat them 7-1 at Emirates Stadium where they’ll kickoff again tomorrow. Earlier last season, Blackburn did beat Arsenal 4-3 at their home stadium, Edwood Park. Arsenal has been in good form lately winning four of their last five although only one of those five were multiple-goal wins. Arsenal is favored even giving a goal by the oddsmakers, and Blackburn may be more focused on Championship League play as they try to regain their spot in the EPL. Arsenal makes a solid pick to start your day. Confidence Meter: (out fo 10)

Dec 5, 2012; Memphis, TN, USA; Ohio Bobcats guard Stevie Taylor (22) brings the ball up court during the game against the Memphis Tigers at the FedEx Forum. Memphis Tigers defeated the Ohio Bobcats 84-58. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden–USA TODAY Sports

11:03- Ohio by Double-Digits: The Bobcats are 11-point favorites ast they host the Kent State Golden Flashes. Ohio is 9-1 in conference play and has won their last three games-two by double-digits. The Golden Flashes have struggled to a 5-6 MAC record but they have looked much better as of late winning three of their last four. The teams played earlier this year on Kent State’s home floor where Ohio won by just one point. Ohio has been very good at home this season with just one home loss and that was in non-conference play back on December 15 to Winthrop.  I think Ohio should be able to cover this spread, but I’m not a huge fan of giving so many points. Confidence Meter: 3

12:02- UConn Winning Margin: The Huskies are five-point favorites as they host Villanova at noon on ESPN. The UConn backcourt was dominant in their upset of Syracuse earlier this week. The Wildcats early-week game didn’t go as well as they went down hard to Cincinnati losing by 18. Villanova is a streaky-shooting team, but UConn showed they’re a tough team especially in Hartford so I think they’ll be able to win by 8-10 and Villanova only averages 6.4 three-pointers per game. Confidence Meter: 4

1:00- Marquette Golden Eagles: In one of the most evenly matched games of the day, both Pitt and Marquette take on their second ranked foe of the week. The Golden Eagles lost on the road at #15 Georgetown while Pitt picked up a nice road win at #17 Cincinnati. Those results are probably why Pitt is actually favored by two and a half even though they’re in Milwaukee. Marquette won the earlier matchup at Pittsburgh by seven in overtime. Pittsburgh has the momentum, but Marquette is at home which as we’ve seen this season means a lot in college hoops, so I’ll go with the Eagles to extend their 22-games home winning streak with a win today over the Panthers. Confidence Meter: 4

1:03- Rutgers Scarlet Knights: The Knights and the DePaul Blue Demons face off in Rosemont where DePaul is one-point favorites at home. The Blue Demons have been playing close games lately, but have still lost nine in a row all in Big East play. Rutgers has fared only slightly better but do have four conference win with one coming on the road at St. John’s. This won’t be a good game to watch although it probably will be close. I’ll take the team that’s had very little success over the team that’s had virtually none. Confidence Meter: 3

2:05- Indiana wins by 20+: The Hoosiers are 19-point favorites as they host their in-state rivals Purdue. The Boilermakers are coming off a 20-point loss on the road at Illinois which was their second 20-point loss on the roa this season. They did stay within 15 of then-#2 Michigan, but when they faced Indiana before they were buried by 37. If Indiana can get the win, they’ll be the first #1-ranked team to survive the week without a loss in six weeks. Since the Hoosiers crushed Purdue the first time, they’ve beaten Michigan and Ohio State while losing at Illinois. In their most recent game, they cruised past Nebraska at home in Assembly Hall by 29. I expect more of the same as the Hoosiers crush the Boilermakers again. Confidence Meter: 7

January 25, 2013; Tampa FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center Nate Thompson (44) talks with right wing Adam Hall (18) during the third period at Tampa Times Forum. Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Ottawa Senators 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

3:00- Tampa Bay Lightning: As “Rivalry Week” comes to a close in college hoops, two in-state NHL rivals face off as the Panthers host the Lightning. Both teams come in struggling, but Tampa has a better record and won the first meeting between the teams 5-2. Florida has dropped four of five although three of those losses have come in overtime or shootout as did their one win during that stretch. Their struggles are surpassed by Tampa’s who have lost six in a row and have gone from 6-1-0 to 6-6-1 since February 1. Both teams are struggling, but I think the Lightning offense should be able to re-emerge and get them the win here. Confidence Meter: 4

4:05- Stanford Cardinal: The UCLA Bruins have been one of the most disappointing teams in the nation and are 4 1/2 point underdogs as they travel to Stanford to take on the also-inconsistent Cardinal. UCLA suffered an embarrassing road loss at Cal in their last game and have dropped their last two road games. The Bruins did manage to get a win when they hosted Stanford earlier this year, but their effort and defense has been questionable especially on the road.  Stanford has been up-and-down all year and lost a one-point thriller at home to USC on Thursday. They had won four of five prior to that defeat including a home-win over then-#10 Oregon by 24. Stanford will be out to avenge their earlier loss, and since they’re trending in a more positive direction they seem to be the pick here. Confidence Meter: 4

Feb 13, 2013; Auburn, AL, USA: Arkansas Razorbacks guard BJ Young (11) drives past Auburn Tigers guard Frankie Sullivan (23) during the first half at Auburn Arena. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

4:05- Arkansas Razorbacks: This ones pretty simple. Both teams are inconsistent overall, but both are consistently bad on the road. Arkansas is 1-6, and Mizzou is 1-5 away from their home floors. Since this games in Fayetteville where Arkansas has been excellent all year including a dominating win over then-#2 Florida in their last home game, the Razorbacks are my pick. Could Missouri win? Sure, they have the talent to win but it just hasn’t translated to road success at all this year. Confidence Meter: 6

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