ESPN Streak for the Cash, March 5 Picks and Analysis

In one of tonight’s best Streak for the Cash picks, the Indiana Hoosiers and guard Victor Oladipo (4) look for another Big Ten win as they host the Ohio State Buckeyes. Find my picks for that game and many more right here. Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

March keeps on rolling with plenty of madness last night in the Notre Dame-UConn women’s game and a crazy Knicks-Cavs game as well as Rafael Nadal ending 98.2% of streaks that picked his exhibition game last night (almost 29,000 according to @ESPN_Streak). In Streak for the Cash, there’s sure to be plenty more where that came from this month, so keep picking and do your best to string together some green. My picks have done pretty well this month so far, especially my more confident picks as you can see at the bottom of the page. These are the picks I’m following today:

3/5 Streak for the Cash Picks

8:00- Metallurg Magnitogorsk: Metallurg is the home team in this game seven of the KHL playoff quarterfinals. In game seven, it’s always good to pick the home team esp with Metallurg’s good record at home this season and the fact that they’ve won the last two games they’ve played at home losing game one at home in OT. They were able to steal a road game to bring this one home and I think they’ll advance in a close one. Oddsmakers have them at -140 to win. Confidence Meter: (out of 10)

2:45- Manchester United: Man U at Old Trafford with an away goal in their pocket would usually seem like a lock, but in this case it’s definitely not as they host Real Madrid in the second leg of the Round of 16 for the UEFA Champions League. If the end result is a 0-0 draw, Man U advances since they scored in the first leg to earn a 1-1 draw. If a 1-1 draw is the regulation finish, then the teams will head to overtime and PKs if necessary. If the draw is any score over 1-1, Real advances, and if either team wins they automatically advance. Real Madrid is in great form but Man U at home has too much history on their side with the advantage of the away goal. This will be a great game to watch but a hard one to pick. Confidence Meter: 4

Mar 2, 2013; Columbia, MO, USA; Missouri Tigers forward Tony Criswell (3) goes for a three pointer against the LSU Tigers during the first half at Mizzou Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

7:03- Missouri wins by double digits: Both these teams are great at home and horrible on the road. Mizzou is 16-0 at home in Mizzou Arena winning six of their eight conference home games by double digits, but are just 2-7 on the road. Arkansas is only 1-8 at home losing five by double digits, but are 16-1 at home. Arkansas beat Missouri by two in Fayetteville earlier this season, but the Tigers are 10-point favorites since this one’s in Columbia. Mizzou has won three of four and only Florida has stayed within 10 in their last five home games. Talent-wise the gap isn’t 10-points large so it’s a risky pick, but at home I think Mizzou covers and continues the Hogs road woes. Confidence Meter: 5

7:04- Notre Dame wins by Double Digits: The Irish host St. John’s as they try to bounce back from a tough road loss at Marquette. The Irish have won four of their last six but have only won two of their 16 conference games by double-digits. They’ll be fired up to get a win on Senior night for Jack Cooley and the other seniors on the team. They’ll also be excited to get revenge for their earlier season loss in New York by four. The Irish are a very good home team at 16-2 and the Red Storm have lost four of their last five including three games against top-20 teams. They’ve lost their leading scorer D’Angelo Harrison for the season due to suspension and five of their last six losses have come by double-digits. I don’t think they’ll be able to keep up with the Irish in this one without Harrison, so I’ll take Notre Dame -9.5. Confidence Meter: 4

7:05- Boston Bruins: The Bruins head to DC to take on the Capitals who knocked them out of the playoffs last season. Boston is 8-1-1 on the road, but Washington has won six of their last nine and have turned things around since a very slow start. The Bruins are coming off a loss at home on Sunday, and the Caps are coming off a win on the road on Saturday. This is a trickier pick than the records indicate, but the Bruins are among the elite in the Eastern Conference so I think they’ll get the win in this one. Confidence Meter: 3 1/2

7:05- Columbus Blue Jackets: Columbus and Edmonton are both struggling as they face off tonight at Nationwide Arena in Columbus. The Oilers are struggling on the road at 4-5-2 with losses in their last two games each by 4-2 scores. They are allowing more shots than any other team in the NHL while generating few themselves which obviously doesn’t bode well for their chances. That pattern actually equated to success their last time in Columbus though as they won despite being outshot 40-14 by the Blue Jackets. Columbus is actually playing much better of late and is a respectable 4-4-3 record at home. Columbus has gone 1-0-2 in their last three games all of which have needed overtime to decide. They played close, one-goal games with good teams on the road at St. Louis and Chicago and lost in overtime at home to the Stars and Blackhawks before getting back into the win column by beating Colorado their last time out. I think they’ll get back-to-back wins for the first time all season as they host the road-weary Oilers tonight. Confidence Meter: 3

Mar 1, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers speaks to point guard Avery Bradley (0) during the first half of a game against the Golden State Warriors at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

7:10- Boston Celtics: Boston is two-point road favorites as they take on the Sixers in an Atlantic Division showdown. The Celtics dropped three of five on the road to open the second half but knocked off the Jazz in Utah and the Warriors back in Boston in their last two games for nice wins. The 76ers also beat Golden State on their recent East Coast swing but have lost the rest of their last nine games including losses to the Clippers, Heat, and Magic on their home floor. They’ll host Boston tonight as the C’s come off three days of rest which should give them the legs they need to get past a un-inspired Philadelphia team in what’s sure to be a grinding defensive struggle of a game. This one will probably be close as two of the first three games these teams have played

9:05- Indiana wins by double digits: The Hoosiers are eight-point favorites as they host the Buckeyes in Bloomington tonight. Indiana has won five of six a run that started with a 13-point win on the road against Ohio State. At home, I think the Hoosiers will cruise by about 15 since I don’t think OSU’s offense can keep up without a herculean effort from Deshaun Thomas. Victor Oladipo lit up the Buckeyes in Columbus for 26 and I don’t know who from Ohio State will be able to shut him down so I expect another big night for him. The Buckeyes are a legitimate top-ten team but they’ve already lost by double digits on the road to Wisconsin and Illinois are are just 4-4 in conference road games. I really like the Hoosiers to win and cover this spread. Confidence Meter: 7

9:40- Thunder win by double digits: In the late-TNT game the Thunder host the Lakers in what could easily be a first round matchup in this year’s NBA playoffs. The Thunder beat the Lakers close, then blew them out in LA, and lost their most recent matchup with Kobe and co. LA is trending upward getting five wins in their last six including a nice win at Atlanta on Sunday to get back to .500. The home/road splits definitely favor OKC though, with the Thunder an impressive 26-4 at home while LA is 10-19 on the road. The Thunder are coming off a quality road win over the Clippers, and have won their three home games in the second half by 25 points or more. I don’t think they’ll beat LA by that much, but I do think it will be more than 10. Confidence Meter: 4

Mar 4, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings mascot Bailey holds hats thrown onto the ice after the third goal by center Jeff Carter (not pictured) for a hat trick against the Nashville Predators at the Staples Center. The Kings defeated the Predators 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

10:35- LA Kings: The Kings are playing on back-to-back nights after a nice win last night behind Jeff Carter’s hat trick as they beat the Predators 5-1. Starting goaltender Jonathan Quick didn’t play in that one, so he’ll most likely get the start tonight. St. Louis is a solid team who has excelled especially on the road with a 6-3-1 record. The Kings are even better at home with a 6-1-1 mark. The Kings beat the Blues 4-1 in St. Louis to start their current 8-2-0 run, and catch St. Louis coming off a loss on Sunday in Dallas 4-1. The only reason I’m not more confident is the back-to-back factor, but since both games are at home I expect the Kings to overcome that and get the green. Confidence Meter: 6

March Scoreboard

Yesterday’s Record: 5-4

Total Record for the month: 36-23

Confident Picks (6+): 20-5 (3-0 yesterday)

Longest Personal Streak this month: W6

Current Personal Streak: W3 (Dukla Prague, Lousiville, LA Kings)

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

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