Mar 16, 2013; Katy, TX, USA; Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks guard Trey Pinkney (10) signals to a teammate in the first half against the Northwestern State Demons during the championship game of the Southland Conference tournament at the Merrell Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Streak for the Cash, March 19 Picks and Analysis


Do the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders belong in the NCAA Tournament? In one of tonight’s Streak for the Cash picks, they’ll try to give a resounding answer in their matchup against Saint Mary’s. In this photo guard Bruce Massey (13) passes the ball to Blue Raiders guard Marcos Knight (14). Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

After a day off last night, college hoops is back in force on today’s Streak for the Cash board. There’s other options especially early with Russian and Irish soccer as well as a spring training game to get us warmed up for tonight. Tonight the First Four gets underway with a pair of games in Dayon as well as the NIT giving us some nice matchups from college hoops. The NHL and World Baseball Classic are also on the slate tonight and there’s definitely no shortage of picks. I’ll get through as many as I can with just a brief synopsis:

3/19 Streak Picks

9:30- Torpedo Moscow win: Both of these teams are pretty bad sitting near the bottom of the table in Russian Division 1 which is the second tier of Russian professional soccer. Torpedo hasn’t won in their last five games, but Metallurg has lost all 10 of their road games in the league season. This is a league (and pick) to avoid if you have any kind of a streak so I’d only go Confidence Meter: (out of 10)

1:04- No Run Scord in the 1st Inning: Anything can happen in an inning especially in spring training, but the percentages are on the favor of no run being scored in any given inning. Confidence Meter: 4

3:45- Drogheda United:  Drogheda has won or tied the last six head-to-head matchups including a 1-1 tie in March and a 3-0 win last June at Derry City. Traditionally, Derry is a better team, but last hear Drogheda United had surprisingly good results which they’ll look to maintain and build on for this season. Confidence Meter: 3

Mar 10, 2013; Conway, SC, USA; Liberty Flames guard Tavares Speaks (22) shoots during the championship game of the Big South Conference tournament against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers at HTC Center. Mandatory Credit: Curtis Wilson-USA TODAY Sports

6:40- Liberty Flames: North Carolina A&T are two-point favorites as they face Liberty in the opening game of the NCAA Tournament. Both teams had forgettable seasons until they turned it on and won their respective tournaments. NC A&T benefited from not having to play the best regular season team in their  conference in the tournament although they did pull the upset against NC Central early in their run. Liberty won their last five and knocked off the regular season leaders of both the North and South divisions of the Big South Conference. Liberty is a better statistical offensive team, but NC A&T has a solid defense. I think Liberty starts this tournament off with what we’ll see a lot of-an upset. Confidence Meter: 47:03- Maryland by Double-Digits: The Terps host their first-round matchup in the NIT as they welcom in Niagara of the MAAC. Maryland is favored by 11 and has been playing well as of late including knocking off #2 Duke for the second time this season. Niagara was the regular season champions of the MAAC before going down in their tournament to Iona. Niagara can score, but I think they’ll struggle with the bigger, physical defenders of Maryland. They only played one game against a top-25 team when they lost to Notre Dame by 22. Maryland isn’t as good as ND, but I think they’ll win by 12-15.  Confidence Meter: 5

7:04- Jakarr Sampson FG: Freshman Jakarr Sampson and the Johnnies head to Philadelphia to take on Saint Joe’s tonight in their 4 vs 5 matchup in the NIT. In the Red Storm’s last six games, Sampson haas scored at least five field goals and has scored eight or more four times in his last eight games. St. Joseph’s is favored by 6 1/2, but that seems a little high to me. St. Joe’s may win since St. John’s is without Deangelo Harrison, but I expect it to be close meaning Sampson can win this prop. Confidence Meter: 4 1/2

7:05- Columbus Blue Jackets: The Blue Jackets host the Nashville Predators in a matchup of two teams headed opposite directions. Columubus is 6-0-4 in their last ten while Nashville has struggled to 3-6-1 over their last ten. At home for the season the Jackets are 8-4-5 while the Preds are just 5-10-2 away from home. On top of all that, the Blue Jackets already beat Nashville in Nashville 3-2 in a shootout earlier this season. Normally picking Columbus is asking for red, but that fact may be changing as the Blue Jackets show signs of life behind net-mider Sergei Bobrovsky. Confidence Meter: 6

March 10, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Mark Streit (2) moves the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Pittsburgh Penguins won 6-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

7:05- New York Islanders: The Ottawa Senators head to Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum to take on the Islanders tonight as both teams look for their third win in a row. Since the calendar turned to March, New York is 5-1-1 including wins over the Panthers and Lightning on their recent Florida swing. They’ll return home where they’ve son three of their last four as they host the still-banged up Senators. Despite their injury concers, Ottawa beat Buffalo and Winnipeg in their last two matchups but are still just 5-7-3 on the road. The Isles at home are my pick in this one, but I’m not overly confidence in itConfidence Meter: 37:33- Robert Morris 3-pointers Made: Name-recognition must be guiding 98% of the picks on this game at the time I’m writing this since they’re all picking Kentucky to cover in this prop. UK’s home court was unavailable so they have to go on the road to face a Robert Morris team that I think will win this game outright. The Wildcats not only have to go on the road, but they may also not be all that motivated as they take on RMU. Robert Morris’ gym is tiny seating just 3,000 people and just so happens to be in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, where UK’s Coach Cal is originally from. In the actual game, UK is favored by 4 1/2, but I don’t think they’ll even get the win never mind cover. For the sake of this prop, Morris drains 8.6 three-pointers per game and 12-3 at home on the season. UK is just 4-7 on the road including losses in all four of their games away from Rupp Arena since Nerlens Noel was injured.   Confidence Meter: 8

8:05- Boston Bruins: The Bruins have dropped their last two road games to fall to 9-3-2 away form TD Garden. They’ll try to snap that skid tonight against Winnipeg who they’ve beaten twice already this season. Both teams have played wearying schedules but neither has played since Sunday when both teams lost on the road-Boston at Pittsburgh and Winnipeg at Ottawa. The Jets are no push-overs, but I think the Bruins have the talent and level of play to take this one on the road if they bring their A-game. Confidence Meter: 5

9:05- Virginia wins by 15+: The Cavs are at home in their NIT game tonight where they’re 16 1/2 point favorites over Norfolk State. Virginia is solid at home and I think there’s little chance they lost this game even though Norfolk State was 16-0 in conference. Norfolk did lose 11 out-of-conference games including losses to Loyola-Maryland,  Eastern Kentucky, NC State, and Iona by more than 15 points. I hate giving this many points, but since Virginia’s at home I think this is the way to go. Confidence Meter: 4

9:10- Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders: In the best college matchup of the night, the Blue Raiders take on the Gaels of Saint Mary’s. MTU are three-point underdogs, but they have some impressive wins on their resume and have played well on the road all year. Saint Mary’s has three losses in their last 22 games and all have come at the hands of their conference-rival Gonzaga. The Blue Raiders have been labeled the “most controversial” inclusion in the field which should fuel them to perform and prove they belong tonight in Dayton. Confidence Meter: 3

10:05- St. Louis Blues: The Blues have won their last three in a row and five of their last six. Tonight they’ll head to Vancouver for the second time this season looking to go 2-2 against the Canucks. They won  4-3 in a shootout in their last trip to Rogers Arena and tonight catch the Canucks on the second half of a back-to-back which they started yesterday by losing to visiting Minnesota. Vancouver has been struggling to score and are just 7-5-3 at home while St. Louis is more well rested and 8-5-1 on the road. I think the Blues win again tonight. Confidence Meter: 6

11:05- SF Austin wins or loses by single-digits: The Cardinal are nine-point favorites as they host Stephen F. Austin who were 16-2 to win the regular season Southland Conference title. SFA was upset by Northwestern State in their final by two, so now the Lumberjacks head to Stanford in the NIT. Stanford has lost three of its last four at home and lost their opener at the Pac-12 Tournament to Arizona Stata. With the NIT, its always hard to determine motivation level, but this is another 4 vs 5 matchup I expect to be close coming down the stretch. Confidence Meter: 4

Streak Scoreboard-March

Yesterday’s Record: 4-4-1

Total Record for the month: 140-109-2

Confident Picks (6+): 55-24 (2-0 yesterday)

Longest Personal Streak this month: W6

Current Personal Streak: W5 (Denver got me)

 

Tags: College Basketball Picks NCAA Tournament Picks NHL Picks NIT Picks Soccer Picks Streak For The Cash Picks