ESPN Streak for the Cash February 16 Picks and Analysis

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Feb 9, 2013; Manhattan, KS, USA; Kansas State Wildcats forward Thomas Gipson (42) goes after a loose ball against Iowa State Cyclones forward Georges Niang (31) at Bramlage Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

6:05- Detroit Titans: This is a sneaky-great game on ESPN2 at six that will definitely be worth watching. The Valparaiso Crusaders are 10-2 in the Horizon league as they host the Detroit Titans who are second at 9-4 in conference. Valpo won by one 89-88 when the teams met in Detroit and are favored by three as the Titans head to Valparaiso. Detroit has won five or their last six and have scored 75 points or more in each of those games as they’ve risen to sixth in the nation in scoring. Valpo isn’t quite as prolific, ranking 89th in the country, but have won 10 of 11 coming into this showdown. Detroit was ahead by 18 at halftime against the Crusaders the first time around and let it get away as Kevin Van Wijk led a furious comeback with 31 points. Detroit will be out to avenge that defeat and I think they’ll get it done tonight earning a season-split setting up a great rubber game in the Horizon League final provided both teams can get there. Confidence Meter: 2

6:06- No Neither team double digit lead in 1st Half: If you need a quickie to get back into the green, I expect this to game to be close the entire game. Maryland hosts Duke where the Blue Devils are just five-point road favorites. Duke could run away with this or get rolled like they did at Miami, but I think the most likely outcome is a close game throughout. Confidence Meter: 4

7:00- New Jersey Devils: The Devils have looked like legit Eastern Conference contenders so far this season and have won six of their last seven games overall. They battled back last night and beat the Flyers 5-3 after being down 3-1 in the first period. They’ll be playing back-to-back nights, but against the Islanders they should still be able to get the full three points. These teams have already met three times this season with the Devils taking both games at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the home of the Islanders, while they dropped their home game 5-4 in overtime. The Devils are the better team, but don’t be too over-confident since they did just play last night. So far this year, New Jersey is 2-0-0 though in the second of back-to-back games. Confidence Meter: 5

7:05- Kansas State: The Wildcats looked awful earlier this week as they got rolled by their rival Kansas by 21. Before that, K-State had won four in a row and climbed all the way to #10 in the rankings. Baylor and the Wildcats haven’t met yet this season but they have a home-and-home on the schedule in the next couple weeks. Baylor has had a roller-coaster year and they’ve won just one of their last four road games. K-State is a 4 1/2 point favorite, and I’m very comfortable taking them at home in the “Octagon of Doom” where they’re unbeaten this season. Confidence Meter: 7

Feb 9, 2013; Austin, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns guard Javan Felix (33) shoots against the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the first half at the Frank Erwin Special Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

9:03- Any Other Result: Texas is 13.5 point underdogs headed into Kansas and this prop has the Jayhawks by 15+ as they welcome the Longhorns to Phog Allen Fieldhouse. Texas got Myck Kabongo back from his suspension in their last game which was a double-overtime home victory over Iowa State. The Longhorns could be a dangerous team going forward if Kabongo can be as good as advertised. They’ve only lost two games all season by 15 and played within five on Kansas when the two teams met in Austin earlier this season with Kabongo still suspended. I don’t think I’d take Texas to win this game after the way the Jayhawks looked in their bounce-back win over K-State earlier this week, but I do think they’ll keep this within 15. Confidence Meter: 5

9:05- Colorado Winning Margin: The Buffaloes are coming off their long-awaited revenge over Arizona after they had a huge road win taken from them earlier this season on the road. They avenged that loss with a convincing 13 point win over the Wildcats their last time out. They’ll host the Pac-12’s other Arizona team tonight as Arizona State comes into town trying to sweep the series from Colorado after the Sun Devils 65-56 win three days after the first Arizona-Colorado matchup. Colorado has won six of their last seven games and played their way off the bubble and into the tournament for now it would appear. Tonight, they are 7 1/2-point favorites tonight against Arizona State who has lost three of their last four although the results have been fairly close. The Sun Devils make 7.3 three’s per game and this prop could be closer than it originally looks, but I do think Colorado is the better team and since they’re at home that they’ll get the win. Confidence Meter: 6

10:15- James White/Terrence Ross: This is the slam dunk contest where six players  will look to claim the crown. In this prop, it’s James White of the Knicks and Terrence Ross of the Raptors against the field. White and Ross are the favorites with  5/4 and 7/2 odds respectively. “Flight” White is a dunking specialist who most likely takes this home if people in the “City that Never Sleeps” can stay up late enough to help him out with their votes. The best players in the contest are Kenneth Faried and Eric Bledsoe, but that doesn’t really matter since this contest is all about throwing down with no defense and plenty of style points. Confidence Meter: 4

Feb. 11, 2012; Logan, UT, USA; Utah State Aggies cheerleader holds up a megaphone during the second half against the New Mexico State Aggies in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. Mandatory Credit: Douglas C. Pizac-USA TODAY Sports

11:05- Utah State: The Utah State Aggies host the New Mexico State Aggies in the late pick coming in as two-point favorites. New Mexico State has had a better in-conference record in the WAC and beat USU earlier this season in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Utah State has been plying better lately winning three in a row before taking Denver (who has the same record as New Mexico State) to overtime two days ago. The Aggies from New Mexico State have won 12 in a row but their last three wins have been close games against the lower-tier teams in the conference so their streak looks like its on life support. This one could go either way, so I wouldn’t put too much of a streak on it. If you lose an earlier pick and need to get back into the green, I’d take the Utah State version of the Aggies at home. Confidence Meter: 3

February so Far

Yesterday’s picks: 5-3

All Picks this month: 99-77-1

Confident Picks this month 6+: 36-28

Longest Personal Streak this month: W9

Current Personal Streak: L3 (Simpson, Iona, and 59 or Fewer)

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