February 23, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick (32) blocks a shot against the Colorado Avalanche during the second period at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN Streak for the Cash February 25 Picks and Analysis

In one of the better picks of the night, the Villanova Wildcats and forward JayVaughn Pinkston (22) travel to Newark to face the Seton Hall Pirates. Find out who I’m taking in that game and in the other picks I like the most tonight. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

We’re to the point in the month where players in ESPN Streak for the Cash are either fully-engaged since they only have a few days left or have completely checked out as they wait for the calendar to flip so they can start a new month. Whichever group you’re in, be sure we’ll keep having write-ups on all the Streak for the Cash action through this week and on into March.

Today’s board is a solid one with Big Monday in college hoops doing most of the heavy-lifting with some early tennis and soccer to get the ball rolling. Later tonight there’s NBA and NHL action to round out the slate with a variety of props and head-to-head picks. Yesterday, my picks were solid across the board but I managed to steer my entry over one of the few potholes in the path. I’ll try to build on my current modest W1 with these picks today:

Streak Picks for Monday, 2/25

Jan 25, 2013; Melbourne, AUSTRALIA; Roger Federer (SUI) returns a shot against Andy Murray (GBR) on day twelve of the 2013 Australian Open at Melbourne Park. Murray won 6-4, 6-7, 6-3, 6-7, 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Pierre Lahalle/Presse Sports via USA TODAY Sports

10:10- 17 Games or Fewer: Roger Federer opens the ATP Dubai Tennis Championship facing Malek Jaziri. Jaziri needs to win six games to get this prop assuming Federer wins in straight sets (only two needed to advance since this isn’t a major). Jaziri, who is a native of Tunisia, comes into this one ranked 128 in the world as he takes on the five-time champion and current #2 Roger Federer. Feds should be able to win this quickly, but the odds actually favor the over. I’m still taking the under though since I think Federer will win 6-2, 6-3. as he quickly moves on to the next round. Confidence Meter: 3

1:00- Udinese Win or Draw: The odds are heavily in Udinese’s favor getting the draw at home as they take on Napoli. In their 12 home games in Serie A Udinese has only one loss which came all the way back on September 2 of last year against Juventus. Napoli did manage to get a hard-fought 2-1 win when they hosted Udinese but will have a tough time in Stadio Friuli. Napoli has earned draws in their last two matches in Serie A play and could be happy with a third against Udinese. Confidence Meter: 6

 3:00- West Ham United Win or Draw: The home team getting the draw is always a good pick, and I like West Ham here although I’m not as confident as I am in Udinese. The Hammers have lost three of their last four EPL matches, but all those losses came on the road while they’ve earned at least a draw in their last three home games in the EPL. On the year they’ve gotten a win or draw in 10 of their 13 home games. They’ll host Tottenham who is desperately trying to hold onto a Champions League spot. Tottenham has won three of four and 12 of their last 19, but I think the Hammers can get at least a draw at home. Confidence Meter: 4

Feb 23, 2013; Syracuse, NY, USA; A Syracuse Orange fan hold up a sign prior to the game against the Georgetown Hoyas at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

7:03- Syracuse Orange: The Orange look to bounce back from a home loss to red-hot Georgetown as they travel to Milwaukee to take on Marquette who is coming off a road loss to Villanova. Both teams will drop in the rankings a bit when they’re updated, and this is listed most places as a straight “pick ‘em” game. It should be a good one and could go either way, but the Orange are deeper and have more scoring so I think they can go on the road and get a win even though Marquette is very good at home. Confidence Meter: 3

7:04- Kansas State wins by 20+: The Wildcats won convincingly over West Virginia and Texas last week and have won seven of eight overall. Tonight they’re 19 1/2 point favorites as they host the Red Raiders. They played Texas Tech and won by nine in Lubbock during their recent climb in the ratings while Texas Tech has 12 of their last 13 and five of those have been by 20 points or more. On the road they’ve been crushed in two of their last three at Iowa State and at Baylor. K-State is better than both those teams so I think they’ll be able to cover since they’re so solid at the Octagon of Doom. Confidence Meter: 5

7:35- Montreal Canadiens: The Senators host Montreal tonight in Ottawa in a matchup of two teams off to good starts. Montreal is 4-1-1 on the road while Ottawa is 8-1-2 at home. Both teams owe most of their success to solid defenses. Montreal has been playing especially well as on late going 6-0-1 over their last seven while Ottawa is banged up and may be without their starting goalie Craig Anderson along with many other game-time decisions. Carey Price is playing very well in net for the Habs, so I think they’ll go into Scotiabank Place and get the win in what should be a great hockey game to watch. Confidence Meter: 4

7:35- Atlanta Hawks: The Hawks have been playing well, but have struggled with the Pistons this year as they travel to The Palace of Auburn Hills tonight. Atlanta already lost once in Detroit this season 85-84 and needed double-overtime to dispatch the Pistons in Atlanta. Still, I think they’re a good pick tonight based on recent form. Atlanta has won four of five, three in a row on the road, and have scored 100 points in six of their last seven games. Meanwhile, Detroit has been crushed twice by Indiana in their last two and have lost three of four since the All-Star break. They are better at home than you might think (15-17) while Atlanta is just 13-13 on the road. The Hawks are two-point favorites and I think they’ll get the W here on the road as they continue their chase for playoff seeding while the Pistons chase ping-pong balls (for the NBA Lottery). Confidence Meter: 6

Jan 9, 2013; Lawrence, KS, USA; Kansas Jayhawks center Jeff Withey (5) is called for a foul against Iowa State Cyclones guard Will Clyburn (21) in overtime at Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas won the game 97-89 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

9:05- Kansas Jayhawks: The Jayhawks appear to have found the cure for whatever was ailing them during their three-game slide earlier in Big 12 play, but they still have work to do along the way to their ninth consecutive big-12 regular season title. Kansas’ next test is on the road in Ames against a tough Iowa State team that took the Jayhawks to overtime in both teams big 12 opener. Kansas then went on to reel off six wins in a row to reach 7-0 in conference play before losing to Oklahoma State, TCU, and Oklahome in a three-game stretch. Since then, they’ve bounced back with an emphatic 21 point win at home over then-#10 K-State and home romps over Texas and TCU. The most important game during their recent four-game winning streak though, in my opinion, was their overtime win on the road at then-#14 Oklahoma State. Iowa State isn’t as good as the Cowboys, but they are very good at home. The Cyclones are undefeated on the season in James H. Hilton Coliseum which is probably why Kansas is just a one-point favorite on the road despite their recent impressive play. I’ll still take the Jayhawks, but don’t think it’ll be a romp since Iowa State can score with any team in the country when their offense is clicking. Confidence Meter: 3

9:07- Villanova Wildcats: Villanova is trying to make sure they’re as far from the bubble as possible as Big East play winds down. Nova’s up-and-down season has looked to be headed back the right direction with wins at UConn and at home over Rutgers and Marquette. They’ve been inconsistent at times, but I’ve been very impressed with the job Jay Wright has done with this group. Tonight the ‘Cats travel to Newark to take on the Pirates of Seton Hall at the Prudential Center. Seton Hall is 8-6 at home but are just 2-13 in conference play and have dropped nine in a row and 13 of 14. They haven’t been especially close lately and the Wildcats cannot afford a bad loss here. They’re favored by 4 1/2 and I think they’ll get the road win in this one. Confidence Meter: 7

10:35- LA Kings: The Anaheim Ducks are 13-2-1 to start the season including a win over the Stanley Cup Champions 7-4 at the beginning of this month. They’ll face the Kings again tonight this time in the Staples Center. LA has started playing much better lately winning three in a row and five of  their last six. The Ducks have been living dangerously allowing the first goal in their last four and are coming off an overtime win last night. They may be a bit fatigued and the Kings will be ready for revenge for their earlier loss. Jonathan Quick was pulled from that game, but has been regaining his championship form of last season. He’s 6-1-2 in his career at home against the Ducks, and I think he’ll improve that while snapping the Ducks streak. Confidence Meter: 4

February Results

Yesterday’s picks: 9-4

All Picks this month: 152-136-2

Confident Picks this month 6+: 57-40

Longest Personal Streak this month: W9

Current Personal Streak: W1 (Wagner)

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

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