ESPN Streak for the Cash, March 6 Picks and Analysis

In one of tonight’s best Streak for the Cash picks, the Oklahoma Sooners take on the West Virginia Mountaineers for the third time this season. Can OU go three-for-three? Find my picks for that and plenty of other sports action below. Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday’s version of Streak for the Cash features another full day of sports from around the world with few “obvious” choices. Today’s action starts with two more UEFA Champions League Round of 16 games joined by a Greek Cup game for international soccer watches. Tonight’s board is mostly basketball with picks from the NBA and the end of conference play in college hoops. There are four NHL games on the schedule with one of them on the streak board as the Sharks head to Calgary to fight the Flames.

Yesterday, my picks were solid overall, and the Kings staged a huge comeback to keep my streak alive and get me to my second five-gamer of the month. My personal entry has been really good as its followed my more confident paths and right now I’m 13-3 for the month.

3/6 Sports Picks

10:00- PAOK Salonika win: I’m not sure how important this game is to these clubs which makes Cup picks tricky until lineups are posted. Salonika is favored by oddsmakers and are the better team based on record and current form, so I’ll take them for the win. They won the first leg at home 2-0 so still advance with a draw or even a one-goal loss, but Levadiakos is just 0-2-4 in their last six matches while PAOK is 4-2-0. The only question I have is Salonika’s complete committment to winning this, but I do think they’re the better pick. Confidence Meter: (out of 10)

2:45- Paris Saint-Germain win: The first leg, PSG won 2-1 at Valencia will advance with a draw at home and even a 1-0 loss. Paris will be without two of their key offensive players Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marco Verratti, but does had David Beckham to trot out there. PSG lost a surprising game over the weekend in Ligue 1 play at Reims so should be refocused and ready to reassert themselves. Valencia is solid, but going on the road to Parc des Princes and taking down PSG is a tall order. I think they’ll overextend at the end of the match and PSG gets a one-goal win. Confidence Meter: 5

Mar 2, 2013; Winston Salem, NC, USA; Maryland Terrapins forward John Auslander (23) shoots the ball over Wake Forest Demon Deacons forward Arnaud William Adala Moto (45) during the second half at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Maryland defeated Wake 67-57. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

7:02- Maryland Terrapins: The Terps and the Tar Heels renew their ACC rivalry in this “pick ‘em” matchup. Maryland has been tough at home winning five of their last six at the Comcast Center including knocking off then-#14 NC State and then-#2 Duke. They lost by 10 earlier this season at Chapel Hill, but need this win desperately in their bid to get into the NCAA Tournament. On the other side of the bubble, the Heels come in winning their last five in a row and securing their ticket to the big dance (in most people’s mind). UNC has Ducke at home on Saturday and this looks like a trap game to me. They’ve gone just 6-6 on the road and their last two road wins were only over two of the bottom three teams in the conference. The Terps need this, and since it’s at home I think they’ll get the win. It could easily go either way though. Confidence Meter: 3

7:04- Georgetown Hoyas: The Hoyas are actually one-point underdogs, so don’t think this is a lock by any stretch of the word. Georgetown is hotter than almost any team in the nation having won their last 11 in a row. Otto Porter Jr. has been led them to the top of the Big East standings, and tonight he’ll lead them into the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia to take on Villanova. The Wildcats have been giant-killers at home all year having knocked off then-#5 Louisville, then-#3 Syracuse, and then-#17 Marquette in their 11-4 home mark. In those home wins, they’ve shot the lights out and could knock off the Hoyas with a similar effort tonight. Although I think the Hoyas are the right pick because of their momentum and tenacious defense, a Villanova win would not be a “shocker” at all. Stay away from this pick if you can. Confidence Meter: 2 1/2

7:04- Iowa State Cyclones: The Cyclones are three-point favorites at home as they take on the #13 ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys. This will be the most entertaining early game to watch with both teams showcasing high-scoring offenses. Iowa State definitely enjoyed some Hilton magic this season as they won their first 15 home games before losing in overtime to Kansas their last time out. They weren’t able to bounce back on the road at Oklahoma in their last game either and are just 3-8 on the road this season. The Cowboys have fared a little better with a 5-4 road record including wins at Kansas and Texas. However, going into Hilton Coliseum I think they’ll go down as the Cyclones won’t lost back-to-back home games after winning so many in a row. Iowa State has the fourth ranked offense in the country and should be able to oustcore the Cowboys even though Oklahoma State as won 10 of their last 11. When the two teams played in Stillwater, the Cowboys won by two, and I think the home court will make the difference in this one. Confidence Meter: 5

8:05- Washington Wizards: As the Wizards head to Minneapolis, they come in as one-point underdogs even though the T-Wolves have lost six in a row. Minnesota has been hampered by injuries and will play in this one without Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic, and Andrei Kirilenko. Minnesota will need someone to step up in their absence or else they may give Washington just their sixth road win of the season. Washington has played much better since John Wall returned. He led the Wizards to a 114-101 wi against Minnesota in earlier game between these teams earlier this season, and I think he’ll be able to get them the win again today especially given the Wolves lack of size to defend against Nene and Emeka Okafor down low. Confidence Meter: 6

Feb 20, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden (13) brings the ball up the court during the third quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Toyota Center. The Rockets defeated the Thunder 122-119. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

8:35- Houston Rockets: The Rockets are 2 1/2 point road ‘dogs as they take on Dallas who they beat by 33 on Sunday. Dallas has lost four of five including home losses to the Lakers and Bucks. Houston has won their last two and two of their last three on the road, although their 13-19 road record leaves much to be desired. The Mavs have beat the Rockets in their last five trips to the American Airlines Center in Dallas and also won both previous meetings before the Rockets beat them down on Sunday. The Rockets are a much better team at home, but I think they’ll get this win on the road against a Dallas team that’s fading fast in the West. Confidence Meter: 4

9:05- Oklahoma wins by Double Digits: The Oklahoma Sooners are 11 1/2 point favorites as they host West Virginia in Norman. Oklahoma has already beaten the Mountaineers twice this season winning by seven  in the Old Spice Classic at the beginning of the season on a neutral court and then by 10 on the road in Morgantown at the beginning of Big 12 play. They’ll look for win number three over Bob Huggins squad and appear to be in good shape to get it since they are 11-2 at home and have beaten Baylor and Iowa State in their last two home games by wide margins. Confidence Meter: 7

9:05- Phoenix Suns: The Toronto Raptors are anywhere from one-point road favorites  to two point underdogs as they head to the desert to face the Suns. Phoenix has played better since changing their coach to Lindsey Hunter and have actually won their last three games including a big win over Atlanta on Friday. They haven’t played since then and they should be ready to roll against the Raps who have lost five in a row and six of their last seven. On the year, Toronto is only 8-22 on the road while Phoenix is a surprising 14-15 at home. Confidence Meter: 4

9:35- Calgary Flames: The Sharks got a shootout win last night in Vancouver and tonight head to Calgary to take on the Flames. Calgary also is coming off a win over the Canucks but should be more rested since they haven’t played since Sunday. Calgary has won their last three home games while the Sharks had dropped six of their last seven road games before getting the win last night. Antti Niemi played well in their last two games both wins but could sit tonight in favor of Thomas Greiss who las lost his last two starts including allowing six goals to Columbus his last time out. Since the Sharks are on a back-to-back and have struggled on the road, I think Calgary pulls the upset in this one. Confidence Meter: 3

Feb 28, 2013; Berkeley, CA, USA; California Golden Bears forward Richard Solomon (35) dunks the ball against the Utah Utes during the first half at Haas Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

11:05- California Winning Margin or Tie: The Golden Bears host Stanford tonight in the late game as they look to win their eight in a row and improve to 12-4 at Haas Pavilion. The Cardinal have struggled on the road going just 4-6 although they have won two of their last three road games. Cal is five-point favorites at home where they’ve also won their last seven. They put a beatdown on Colorado, Utah, USC, and UCLA in their last four beating each of them by eight points or more including a 16-point win over the Buffs in their last game. Stanford lost to those same Colorado Buffaloes last week, so I think Cal runs away and hides with this one behind another big game for Allen Crabbe. Since it’s not a straight-up pick, it’s worth noting that Stanford averages 6.5 three-pointers per game. Confidence Meter: 7

March Scoreboard

Yesterday’s Record: 6-4

Total Record for the month: 42-27

Confident Picks (6+): 22-6 (2-1 yesterday)

Longest Personal Streak this month: W6

Current Personal Streak: W5 (Celtics and Kings yesterday after Dukla Prague, Lousville, and the Kings got me a W3 on 3/4)

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

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