ESPN Streak for the Cash, March 8 Picks and Analysis

In ESPN’s Streak for the Cash action tonight, the Boston Celtics and power forward Kevin Garnett (5) tangle with the Atlanta Hawks and Al Horford (15) tonight in Boston. Find my picks for this game and many more below. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Friday’s fine for streaking with plenty of options on ESPN’s Streak for the Cash. For the second day in a row, we’ve got a bright and early special this time from the Russian Premier League. Around noon, there’s two more picks from the Danish Superliga and the WGC event in Miami. The mid-afternoon window has three games–two soccer games from Italy and Spain along with an opening-round game from the MVC Tournament. The evening has plenty of options too although the number of picks is a bit down with more conference tournament action joining a decent slate of NBA and NHL action. Here’s the picks I’m watching closely today:

3/8 Streak Picks

7:00- Krasnodar wins by 2+ goals: Krasnodar is beastly at home, but Amkar is just three spots behind them in the standings for the Russian Premier League. Krasnodar is 7-1-2 at home with a +13 goal differential while Amkar is 3-2-5 on the road with a -6 differential. In their last road game Amkar last by two to a team behind it in the table (Kryliya Sove), and has lost two of their last three road games in league play by 3-0 scores. On the other side, Krasnodar has won their last four straight home matches in league play including three by multiple goals. The only reason I’m not more confident is that neither team has played a RPL game since early December due to winter break so who knows what game-form they’ll be in. Still, I think Krasnodar will use their homefield advantage at Kuban Stadium to get the green here. Confidence Meter: (out of 10)

March 07, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Tiger Woods hits his tee shot at the16th hole at the WGC Cadillac Championship at Trump Doral Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

11:40- No Tiger doesn’t lead at the end of Rd 2: Tiger shares the lead after round one with Bubba Watson, Graeme McDowell, Sergio Garcia, and Freddie Jacobson. If you take him in this prop you think he’ll beat or at least tie whichever  of them does the best. Plus, it’s possible that any of the field could go super-low and catch the leaders from behind. It’s definitely possible that Tiger gets it done, but it’s also definitely more likely that he won’t have the lead going into the weekend. Confidence Meter: 6

3:30- Real Betis win: Real Betis hosts Osasuna in Primera Division play in this mid-afternoon matchup. Betis  is 6-2-5 at home while Osasuna is only 2-3-7 on the road. Recent form would also indicate Betis to be a solid pick Osasuna held for a home draw 0-0 earlier this season. Osasuna lost their last game last week at home and has only won one of their last four road games. Betis is poised just outside of European qualifying and will look to  close in with the three spots ahead of them all within three points. Confidence Meter: 3

3:35- Evansville Aces: The Missouri Valley Conference tournament gets underway with a rematch of a game that happened less than a week ago. Evansville are 2 1/2 point favorites after dispatching the Sycamores by 16 in Evansville. That win resulted in Evansville finishing fourth in the MVC while Indiana State slid to the five. Indiana State did beat Evansville by 10 on their own home floor and the season series now comes down to this meeting on a neutral floor in St. Louis. Indiana State has lost five of six while Evansville won their last four including a nice road win over the Wichita State Schockers. Confidence Meter: 6

7:03- Kent State wins or loses by Digits: Akron lost their starting point guard Alex Abreu to a suspension following a drug arrest on Thursday. They come in favored by 9, but its unclear if this will be a rallying point for the team or end up distracting and dividing them. Akron had won 19 in a row at one point this season and won the MAC East division with a 14-1 record. With Abreu, I’d take them to cover, but it’s iffy without him. What made me go with the Golden Flashes to keep this close is that they played the Zips tight in their meeting earlier this season losing by just four at home. This is the final regular season game for both schools, and it will also serve on a referendum on what the Zips can do without Abreu going forward. Confidence Meter: 4

Mar 5, 2013; Sunrise, FL, USA; Florida Panthers center Jerred Smithson (25) and Winnipeg Jets left wing Eric Tangradi (27) go for the puck in the first period at the BB

7:30- Florida Panthers: The Winnipeg Jets head south to Sunrise to take on the team with the worst record in the NHL, but the Panthers have already beaten the Jets twice at home and took them to overtime in Winnipeg. The Panthers defense was again demolished last night by Washington in their 7-1 loss, but they held Winnipeg to just a goal in their 4-1 win on Tuesday. The Jets got a nice road win last night over the fading Lightning, but back-to-back games on the road and their past problems with the Panthers make me think a slight upset is on tap in Florida. Confidence Meter: 2 1/2

8:05- Boston Celtics: Hosting the Hawks tonight on ESPN, the Celtics are four-point favorites at home and have won 21 of their 30 home games this season. Atlanta beat Boston to even the season series at 1-1 in their last meeting, a double overtime game in which the Celtics lost Rajon Rondo (although they didn’t know it at the time). This is the first of two meetings this month in Boston, and the C’s have won their last eight home games and their last four overall including a very nice come-from-behind-on-the-road win over Indiana their last time out. The Celtics are currently #6 in the Eastern Conference playoff race and are just a game behind the Hawks who are fifth. The Hawks had lost three in a row on the road before winning Wednesday at home against Philadelphia, but will have a hard time getting a win in Boston tonight. Confidence Meter: 6

8:06- Al Horford: Horford’s averages show him to be the slight favorite in this prop which has his points and boards against Paul Pierce. Pierce tends to do lots of his work in the clutch, so I’ll go with Horford since this is only a first-half prop. Confidence Meter: 3

9:35- Northern Iowa: In this MVC quarterfinal, we have another rematch of a game from just last week. UNI got the eight-point win over the Illinois State Redbirds in that one to finish their year 11-7 in conference play. Illinois State finished 8-10 with two losses coming at the hands of Northern Iowa. The Redbirds  had some solid moments throughout the season but finished losing four of their last five. Northern Iowa will look to beat Illinois State for the third time this season which is always a tricky proposition, but I think they’re the better team and should be able to get the win as they play in St. Louis tonight. Confidence Meter: 6

March 4, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (30) shoots the ball against Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry (3) and power forward Andrea Bargnani (7) during the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Raptors 125-118. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

10:40- Golden State Warriors: The Houston Rockets are two and a half point underdogs as they go into Golden State to face the Warriors in what should be a great game. The Rockets beat the Warriors twice this season in early February including hanging 140 on Golden State while hitting an NBA-record tying 23 three-pointers. The Warriors are sure to remember those losses and be ready to avenge those defeats as they host Houston tonight. Golden State has won their last two games, both at home, over the Raptors and Kings, but they’ve been close wins. The Rockets, meanwhile, have won two of their last three, but struggle on the road where they’ve won just two of five since knocking off Golden State. On the year, they’re 13-20 away from home while the Warriors are 20-7 at the ORACLE. Since they’re at home, I’ll take Golden State in what should be a high-scoring and highly-entertaining game to watch. It’s a tough one to pick, however, so I’m only going Confidence Meter: 4

March Scoreboard

Yesterday’s Record: 10-5

Total Record for the month: 56-40

Confident Picks (6+): 28-9 (5-1 yesterday)

Longest Personal Streak this month: W6

Current Personal Streak: L1 (UC Davis cost me my streak last night)

 

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

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