Apr 6, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Louisville Cardinals guard Russ Smith (2) lays the ball up past the defense of Wichita State Shockers guard Ron Baker (31) in the second half of the semifinals during the 2013 NCAA mens Final Four at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Streak For The Cash Picks, April 8 Preview and Analysis

In the big game of the day on Streak for the Cash, I think the Louisville Cardinals will have plenty to celebrate as they win the NCAA National Championship over the Michigan Wolverines. Find the rest of my free sports picks below. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a limited, but intriguing Monday slate on Streak for the Cash as everything builds up to the big game tonight. There’s a straight-up pick for the NCAA Tournament Finals between Louisville and Michigan as well as props for both halves. Earlier in the day, there’s options on the board from the NHL, MLB, EPL, and even the RPL (Russian Premier League) to get us started. Here’s the picks I’m taking today:

4/8 Streak Picks

11:00- Mordovia Saransk Win/Draw: In this Russian Premier League match, Krasodar which sits mid-table takes on Mordovia Saransk who sits 15th out of the 16 teams in the league. However, getting the draw Mordovia is a solid pick since homefield is such an advantage in the RPL. Krasnodar is just 1-3-6 away from home meaning only once did they get an outright win while Mordovia has gotten at least a draw in four of their 11 home matches. They’ve actually won two of their last three matches and haven’t lost outright at home since before the Winter break all the way back on November 18. Confidence Meter: 4

Apr 7, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks (center) is congratulated by his teammates in the dugout after hitting his second home run against the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

2:05- Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox get their home schedule off to what could be a difficult start as they host their divisional rival Baltimore Orioles. They’ll send Clay Buchholz to the hill looking to build on a good first start of the season against the Yankees as he tries to extend his mastery of the O’s. Throughout his career, Buchholz has a 2.04 ERA in six career starts against Baltimore at Fenway while going 3-1. He threw a no-hitter against them back in 2007 in his second career start and they haven’t done much to solve him since. The O’s will counter the Buchh start by sending Wei-Yin Chen to the mound for his second start of the year. He allowed a pair of runs in 5 2/3 innings in Tampa his first time out, but last year was 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA against the Red Sox in his final two appearances against them. This Red Sox team is a far cry from last year’s for many reasons, and their lineup has some punch as they showed last night. I think they’ll use the energy from the crowd who should be fired up and energized after last year’s mishap. Baltimore dominated the season series last year, but its hard to know if that’s even a factor with this new crew. Confidence Meter: 6

3:00- Manchester United Win: Pretty simple analysis here-Man U is 14-0-1 at home this EPL season while Man City is 7-5-3 on the road. Add in that United triumphed at City’s home pitch earlier this season and you’ve got all the reasons you need to go with the Red Devils. It’s no lock since City is an excellent team, but I think United has the better chance of winning. Confidence Meter: 5

4:10- Minnesota Twins: The Twins and Royals start their series in the Royals home opener as the two teams showcase their offseason additions. Ervin Santana didn’t look good in his loss to the White Sox struggling with the same issues that plagued him last year before he signed with the Royals. In contrast, Kevin Correia looked solid allowing just two runs in seven innings against Detroit. The Twins are coming in having taken the last two of their series from Baltimore. The Royals are home and slightly favored, but I don’t trust Santana so I’m taking the Twins. Confidence Meter: 3

7:04- New York Mets: Speaking of not trustin the starter, Roy Halladay was crushed his first time out allowing five runs in 3 1/3 innings in an uncharacteristic outing for the former-ace. Halladay gets the start tonight against the visiting Mets as the Phillies look to get a series win after losing two of three to the Braves and Royals to start the season. The Mets have won two of three as they’ve opened, albeit against the lowly Padres and Marlins. Matt Harvey will look to build on his impressive first outing of the season in which he struck out 10 while throwing seven scoreless innings. Harvey is making just his 12th career start, but I’ll take him on the upswing and the Mets at 4-2 over Halladay apparently starting the downturn in his great career and the Phillies at 2-4. Confidence Meter: 4

Apr 4, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk (21) and defenseman Dion Phaneuf (3) react to a goal as Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen (44) watches at the Air Canada Centre. Philadelphia defeated Toronto 5-3. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

7:06- Toronto Maple Leafs: Toronto has taken four of their last five as they start a big home-and-home with the Rangers. Both teams are playing well and getting good goaltender play. The Leafs get the nod here since they’re 10-7-2 at home while the Rangers are just 7-9-2 on the road. This should be some good playoff-level hockey to enjoy in the runup to the marquee matchup tonight. Confidence Meter: 3

9:23- Louisville Cardinals: The Cardinals were my pick at the beginning of the tournament and I’m sticking with them now. Their starters won’t have another off night like that, and their pressure defense should give Michigan problems much like the Orange did in the last game. I think the Cardinals win cover the 3 1/2 point spread and win by 8-10 getting Rick Pitino another Championship. Confidence Meter: 7

9:24- Russ Smith or Tie: With the exception of last game, Smith has been light’s out in the tournament. He struggled from the field against Wichita State but still managed to put up 21. Trey Burke also struggled last game and finished with only seven against the Orange. I think both have bounce-back games, but I’ll take Smith especially getting the tie in this first-half point prop. Confidence Meter: 6

10:25- 69 Points or Fewer: This could be close and any second half over/under is based largely on gameflow. I don’t think either team goes off since both play solid defense and I’d take the under overall. I’ll make this my pick and let you know on twitter (@FantasyCPR) if it changes. Confidence Meter: 2

Streak Scoreboard-April

Yesterday’s Picks: 9-6

Picks Overall this month: 68-45

Confident Picks (over 5): 15-13

Personal Streak: W1 (Sabres)

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