ESPN Streak for the Cash, March 1 Picks and Analysis

The Atlanta Hawks and center Al Horford (15) are on a roll on the road. Atlanta travels to Phoenix tonight in one of the better Streak for the Cash options. You can find all my picks below. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a new month and time to start a new streak as we kick of March with a solid Friday of picks and props. With the college basketball world helping February to be one of the most unpredictable months in a while, I can’t wait to see what madness March has in store for us. It all gets started with these picks today from the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic, international soccer from Italy and Denmark, a little bit of MAAC college hoops, the NBA, and a pair of hockey games. These are the props I’m watching today:

Streak Picks-March 1

Jan 25, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Rickie Fowler tees off on the 10th hole during the second round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

7:35- Rickie Fowler or Tie: Fowler had a great opening day shooting a -5 good enough for a tie for second. He blistered the back nine which includes the famous Bear Trap with four birdies and no bogeys. In this prop, he’s matched against Lee Westwood who was solid in his -4 round with a balanced card of -2 on each nine. I’d have a hard time picking Westwood even if he was getting the tie option over Fowler in his current form. The fact that Fowler gets the draw option makes this a great way to start the month in the green although in short props like this anything can happen especially when “The Bear Trap” is involved. Confidence Meter: (out of 10)

12:25- Louis Oosthuizen: In this prop, it’s the South African Oosthuizen against Jason Dufner. Both these players are at -1 coming into today, but I think Oosty sets up to have a better day two based on his recent success. He’s already won in Europe this year, but hasn’t finished a Honda Classic after being forced to withdraw after making the cut in each of his last two appearances. This is a toss-up prop, but I’ll take the steady South African. Confidence Meter: 3

12:30- Silkeborg win or draw: Danish soccer is the other option besides the second PGA prop. Silkeborg gets the draw even at home as they host Aalborg. Right now in Sas-Ligaen Silkeborg is just 5-3-12 but they have earned at least a draw in three of their last four matches. Aalborg lost their last match which was all the way back on December 3 before the league took its winter break. It’s hard to know what these teams will play like coming off such a long lay-off, but the “take the home team with the draw” axiom still applies. Confidence Meter: 3 1/2

2:45- Napoli win or draw: Napoli hosts Juve getting the draw giving us our second chance already this month to get take a home team getting a draw. Juventus is in first place is Serie A with a dominant 18-4-4 record in league play, but they have been held in two of their last three road games dropping their road record to a still solid 8-2-2. So why is Napoli a good pick? They sit just six points back of Juventus and have a 9-3-1 record at home and are 15-7-4 overall this season. They lost at Juventus 2-0 earlier this season, and will look to get their revenge at home. They haven’t lost outright in their last nine Serie A games. They come into this one as -182 favorites and are historically a very, very good home team. I think they’ll get at least a draw in this one. Confidence Meter: 6

7:00- Indiana Pacers: The Pacers are favored by only two as they head to the Air Canada Centre for tonight’s game. They lost last night at home as Chris Paul took over late and led the Clippers to a rare away-team win in the Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Pacers will look to bounce back and will get a big boost from getting Roy Hibbert back from his suspension. The Raptors have been playing well since acquiring Rudy Gay, but they have lost their last two games to the lowly Wizards and Cavs. Confidence Meter: 5

7:03- Princeton Tigers: The Tigers are six-point favorites at home against the Crimson despite losing to Harvard by 12 on the road. Princeton is a good home team at just 7-4 while Harvard struggles on the road. Six points is a pretty big spread and I think it’ll drop a bit, but I do think Princeton wins at home. They’ve won three of their last four while Harvard has dropped road games at Memphis, St. Joe’s, and Columbia. Confidence Meter: 4

Jan 4, 2013; Albany, NY, USA; Iona Gaels guard Sean Armand (22) shoots the ball against Siena Saints center Imoh Silas (34) during the first half at Times Union Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

7:03- Iona Gaels: The Gaels of the east coast host Loyola (MD) and are 5 1/2 point home favorites. Iona is a high-scoring team ranking third in the country averaging 80.9 points per game. They have fallen on hard times lately, losing three in a row and six of seven but will look to bounce back as they  take on Loyola who they beat on the road by eight earlier this season. Since that game Iona is just 1-6 but all six of those losses were by three points or less with a pair of double-overtime losses and a loss in overtime. Loyola has gone 5-2 since their earlier meeting winning four of those games by four points or less. Since both these teams play a ton of close games, I’d be surprised if this is a blowout, but I do think Iona gets back on the right track with a win at home in the Hynes Athletic Center. Confidence Meter: 6

8:00- Edmonton Oilers: The St. Louis Blues skate tonight at home against the Edmonton Oilers at the Scottrade Center where they are 4-5-1 on the season. The Blues have actually been better on the road (6-2-1) as they’ve risen to the seven-seed in the Eastern Conference after their first 19 games. The Oilers are just two points back of the Blues and have a solid 4-3-2 road record so far this season. This is the first time these teams have met on the season and both teams are coming off of games just last night. The Oilers won on the road in Dallas 5-1 while the Blues lost at home to the undefeated Blackhawks 3-0. Edmonton started backup goalie Devan Dubnyk and should be back to regular starting netminder Nikolai Khabibulin tonight, but the Blues may not be able to generate much offense as they’ve scored just three goals in their last four games while going 1-2-1. On the other hand, the Oilers have won two of their last three and played the Blackhawks to overtime on Monday. Confidence Meter: 4

8:10- Heat win by Double Digits: The Heat come in on a 12 game winning streak and are favored by eight as they host the Grizz tonight in South Beach. On the year, Miami is 15-3 at home while Memphis is 15-10 on the road. Of their 12 in a row, nine have been by double-digits. The Grizz have been playing well too winning eight in a row, but their road games have only been against Detroit, Toronto and Brooklyn during that stretch. Miami is playing at such a high level that their very hard to pick against even giving nine and a half points. Confidence Meter: 5

9:00- Atlanta Hawks: Atlanta is favored by 4 1/2 as they travel to Phoenix looking to win their sixth in a row on the road. The Hawks have won six of their last seven with their only loss coming to Miami. Atlanta has been impressive scoring over 100 in each of those wins and winning in difficult places to play like Milwaukee and Utah. Their run will come to an end at some point, but I don’t see the Suns as being the team to stop the string. Phoenix went 4-9 in February although they did finish with a pair of overtime wins earlier this week. Atlanta has seemed to solve its road issues a least for the time being, so I’ll take them on the road to get the green. Confidence Meter: 7

9:05- Manhattan Jaspers: The Fairfield Stags are favored but only by a point as they travel to Draddy Gymnasium to face Manhattan. There’s not much separating these two teams in the middle of the MAAC which is one of the few conferences that regularly plays on Friday nights. The Jaspers are 6-4 at home while the Stags are 7-7 on the road. Fairfield struggled at the beginning of conference play but had won five in a row coming into their last meeitng with Manhattan. The Jaspers went to Fairfield (which is in Connecticut, fyi) and won by 22 outscoring Fairfield 34-13 in the first half including a 20-0 run. Manhattan will look to duplicate that performance at home tonight after winning five of their last six. Neither team will probably come near the tournament, but it should still be a good game tonight. Since Manhattan dominated the first game and is at home, they make a solid pick. Confidence Meter: 6

Feb 27, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Anaheim Ducks goalie Viktor Fasth (30) celebrates with Anaheim Ducks defenseman Bryan Allen (55) after the game against the Nashville Predators at the Honda Center. The Anaheim Ducks defeated the Nashville Predators 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

10:00- Anaheim Ducks: The Ducks have played extremely well at home this year with a 7-1-0 record. They’ll skate at the “the Pond” (AKA the Honda Center) against tonight as they host the Wild who have a 3-5-1 road record. A month ago these teams met, and the Ducks won 3-1 at home. Since the Wild are the team on a back-to-back, I don’t see any reason to pick against the Ducks at home where they’ve played so well. It’s hockey, so anything is possible, but I think Anaheim is the pick here. Confidnece Meter: 7

10:30- Denver Nuggets: In a tasty Western Conference matchup, the Thunder head to the Pepsi Center to game on the Nuggets. Denver is an impressive 24-3 while the Thunder are 16-11 away from OKC. The home court advantage is probably the chief reason that this game has even odds. Both teams rank in the top three in the NBA in scoring, so this should be a highly entertaining, high-flying, and high-scoring game. While Kevin Durant can definitely take over any game and single-handedly get the Thunder the green, Denver already beat OKC once this year at home, and I expect them to do it again tonight. Both teams have won their last three in a row and neither has played since Wednesday. Confidence Meter: 2 1/2

My planned path if all goes well: Fowler, Iona, Ducks

February Final

Yesterday’s picks: 3-5

All Picks this month: 171-156-2

Confident Picks this month 6+: 62-44

Longest Personal Streak this month: W9

End of the month Personal Streak: W2 (UNC and Virginia)

 

Topics: College Basketball Picks, NBA Picks, NHL Picks, PGA Tour Picks, Streak For The Cash Picks

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