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YESTERDAY'S PLAYS
Matchup Selection W/L
NHL  |  Mar 26, 2015
San Jose Sharks vs. Detroit Red Wings
Total
5½ un-108
  at  BETONLINE
Lost
$108.0
Play Type: Top Premium

I am playing on the UNDER. Both of these teams have been a little snakebitten lately, although for different reasons, and I think that will help the under cash in tonight. 
San Jose hasn't managed to score more than two goals in seven of its last eight games and now that the playoffs look like a pipe dream, I don't expect motivation to be a factor to help change that. Joe Thornton has no points in his last two games and Logan Couture, the team's third leading scorer, hasn't managed a point in six of his last eight games. 
The last two contests were particular ugly for San Jose, when they were shut out by the Canadiens and then scored just two goals while getting clobbered 5-2 by the Senators. 
I don't expect goals to start coming in droves against the Red Wings. Detroit likes to play a puck possession game and my guess is they'll focus on that on Thursday to suck the life out of a San Jose team that's on Game 5 of an Eastern road trip and likely just wants to get home to get the season over with. 
Detroit has suffered some injuries lately and the Wings have had some scoring troubles of their own as a result. The team's second-leading scorer Pavel Datsyuk has missed the last four games and Detroit managed just four goals in the first three games he sat out before scoring four against Arizona Tuesday night. Under bettors collected their winnings in those first three games and the four goals can be taken with a grain of salt because they came against the worst team in the West.
Detroit hasn't had much luck scoring against Antti Niemi, if that's who gets the start for San Jose tonight. Niemi has a 1.72 goals-against average in 17 games versus Detroit. 10* Best Bet

Matchup Selection W/L
NHL  |  Mar 26, 2015
San Jose Sharks vs. Detroit Red Wings
Detroit Red Wings
-155
  at  PINNACLE
Lost
$155.0
Play Type: Premium

I am playing on DETROIT. I believe the Red Wings should cruise past the Sharks Thursday night, but don't just take my word for it. 
"We're not good enough right now to compete against good teams in the NHL. It's disappointing," said Sharks center Logan Couture this week.
The Sharks have lost four of their last five games in lackluster fashion and it's not even that they're losing as much as how they are losing. San Jose just looks awful - like a team playing without heart. They're regularly losing puck battles in the defensive zone as we saw in a 5-2 loss to the Sens Monday night and this team, though not shy on offensive talent, just can't seem to score much lately. 
The Sharks have scored more than two goals just once in their last eight games and it almost feels like they are waiting for this season to be over. 
The Sharks are all but mathematically eliminated from the playoffs and now they must try to muster something against a Detroit squad that is tied for the fewest regulation losses on home ice in the NHL this season (7) along with Nashville and Tampa Bay. 
The Red Wings have suffered some injuries lately, though they hope to have second leading scorer Pavel Datsyuk and top defenseman Niklas Kronwall back tonight (both listed as questionable). Another good sign is that the team's top goal scorer Tomas Tatar has three points in four games after slumping for four straight games with no points. 
Detroit still owns the top power play in the NHL at 24.9 percent and I think that could be a key element in this game against an unmotivated Sharks team that's on Game 5 of a grueling 7-game Eastern road swing. 8* Personal Favorite

Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-B  |  Mar 26, 2015
Wichita State vs. Notre Dame
Notre Dame
+2-106
  at  PINNACLE
Won
$100
Play Type: Top Premium

I am playing on NOTRE DAME. I think we have some added value on the Irish in this game because most bettors are going to be focusing on the fact they have failed to cover in eight straight tournament games.

But don't let that scare you. The bigger focus should be on the two most recent games where Notre Dame just happened to be laying too many against two very good teams but still managed to gut out wins.

I'm not sure there are any other No. 3 seeds who had as tough an opening weekend as Notre Dame in facing Northeastern and Butler and I think the gritty victories will give the team a huge lift of confidence heading into the Sweet 16.

This is an offense vs. defense battle and I believe Notre Dame's No. 12 nationally ranked scoring offense will prevail. The Irish average 78.2 points per game and they rely on 50 percent field goal shooting and nearly 40 percent 3-point shooting to blow opponents away. It's how they claimed the ACC tournament championship in beating UNC 90-82.

Another element I like about the Irish is they adjusted from game to game in the first weekend and have done what they needed to do to advance. They got badly outrebounded by Northeastern 31-36, but they turned things around against Butler. Notre Dame won the boards 36-31 against a very good rebounding squad in Butler, which shows me they are adapting to who they're playing.

I think believe we'll see Notre Dame’s best game of the tournament when they face Wichita State and I love that they are getting points. 10* Thursday Best Bet

Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-B  |  Mar 26, 2015
North Carolina vs. Wisconsin
Wisconsin
-5½-108
  at  PINNACLE
Won
$100
Play Type: Top Premium

I am playing on WISCONSIN. Beating the Badgers takes a lot more stopping potential national player of the year Frank Kaminsky and I don't feel the Tar Heels have enough to pull off the upset or cover the spread here.

Oregon tried to double team the big man, who averages 18.4 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.5 blocks. The Ducks swarmed and double teamed Kaminsky but he still managed 16 points while three of his teammates scored at least 12. Sam Dekker ripped off 17 - 14 in the second half- and is draining at least half his 2-pointers in four of his last five games.

Nigel Hayes is another versatile forward who hasn't scored fewer than 15 points in any of his last four games while also grabbing at least five boards in those efforts - not to mention an average of three assists per game during those games.

I just don't think UNC can match up in the front court here where big forward Kennedy Meeks is listed as doubtful and will likely be hurting if he does play.

The Badgers might just be too much for anybody right now with at least 70 points in seven straight games. Wisconsin can also play some defense with just 56.8 points against this season, which is about 12 fewer than UNC allows.

Bettors saw the value here on Wisconsin and pounced early. I still feel this line isn't high enough and UNC won't have the guns to keep up and cover the number. 10* Sweet 16 Game Of The Year

PICKS IN PROGRESS
Matchup Selection W/L
NBA  |  Mar 27, 2015
Golden State Warriors vs. Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis Grizzlies
+3½-110
  
Play Type: Premium

I’m playing on the Memphis Grizzlies as my 9* Friday.

Memphis can make a huge statement across the Western Conference with a home win against the No. 1 Golden State Warriors Friday. The Grizzlies are a tough matchup for Golden State, and have covered in six of their last eight head-to-head meetings. Memphis is getting tremendous value at home and we expect this game to have an intense playoff atmosphere.

The Grizzlies are pretty much the anti-Warriors and contrast Golden State’s frenetic pace with a tempo that ranks among the slowest in the NBA. Memphis will drag out possessions and put the breaks on the Warriors’ run-and-gun style of play. In their last meeting, the Grizzlies checked the Warriors to just 98 points in a 105-98 victory in FedEx Forum. Memphis dominants inside, leading the NBA with an average of 46.9 points in the paint per game and will slow it down and feed the post Friday.

The Grizzlies also expose the Warriors’ biggest weakness, which is rebounding. Golden State allows opponents to grab 12 offensive boards per outing – second most in the NBA – and watches foes total 53.5 rebounds per game. Memphis has one of the strongest frontcourts in the league and ranks among the top teams in the NBA in second-chance scoring opportunities.
 
The Grizzlies’ ability to slow the pace and the Warriors’ weakness on the boards are why I’m playing on Memphis as my 9* Friday.

Matchup Selection W/L
NBA  |  Mar 27, 2015
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors
-9½-110
  
Play Type: Premium

I am playing on TORONTO. This is always a special game for the Raptors when they get to host the Lakers and I think home court will take on a bit of extra meaning when the two teams meet Friday night. 
The Lakers have a history of beating up on Toronto and now that Toronto is a far better team in terms of record, if nothing else, I think the Raps will take it upon themselves to exact some revenge. 
L.A. has won seven of the last 10 meetings, including one back in November and it's likely something The Raptors haven’t forgotten about. Playing defense isn't something the Raptors are particularly fond of either, which makes this a great matchup for them. The Lakers give points away like confetti at a wedding and rank as the third most generous team in the league in that department. 
The better news is that even though the Raptors are just 3-10 straight up against the Lakers in recent meetings, they are 7-3 against the spread. We rarely see spread record discrepancies like that against straight up records which means oddsmakers usually shade the points when it comes to the Lakers playing Toronto. 
Kyle Lowry is expected to be out for Toronto, which should give the Raps even more value coming into this game.  I think they’d be favored by more if Lowry were playing tonight but the Raptors shouldn’t need him against L.A. 
The Lakers are in the middle of a 5-game road trip so we might be starting to see some fatigue with them too. They needed overtime to slip past the Timberwolves  on Wednesday, the worst team in the West. 9*

Matchup Selection W/L
NBA  |  Mar 27, 2015
Detroit Pistons vs. Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic
+2-110
  
Play Type: Premium

I’m playing on the Orlando Magic as my 9* Friday.

The Magic play host to the hot Detroit Pistons Friday night, with Detroit coming to the Magic Kingdom on a three-game winning streak. While those wins were impressive, the Pistons are not a solid team on the road – going just 12-23 SU – and average only 95.6 points per game away from Motown.

Orlando, which has just one win in its last nine games, has faced some tough competition in recent weeks. On top of four Western Conference foes, the Magic have taken on the likes of Atlanta and Cleveland. This is a major step down in competition and we expect Orlando to take advantage of this rare soft spot in its schedule.

The Magic will have third-leading scorer Tobias Harris back at full strength Friday. He returned from an ankle injury in the loss to the Hawks, putting up 14 points after missing the previous three games. Harris gives Orlando some much-need versatility in the frontcourt, especially against the Pistons and their lumbering forwards.

Detroit is without center Greg Monroe, which should open up space for Magic center Nikola Vucevic, who is one of the NBA’s most underrated players, averaging 19.3 points and 11.1 rebounds.

The Magic’s advantage in the frontcourt and the Pistons’ road troubles are why I’m playing on Orlando as my 9* Friday.

Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-B  |  Mar 27, 2015
UCLA vs. Gonzaga
Total
145 un-108
  
Play Type: Top Premium

I’m playing on the Under in UCLA Bruins vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs as my 10* Blue Chip Friday.

The Bruins have shut their doubters up with a run to the Sweet 16 after many questioned their place in the field of 68 for the Big Dance. UCLA earned that spot in the tournament thanks to a late-season turnaround, sparked by a much more controlled pace and efficient offensive approach.

The Bruins aren’t pushing the tempo or launching as many shots as earlier in the schedule, which is something that will come in handy against Gonzaga. UCLA tried that run-and-gun style against the Bulldogs back in December, launching 60 shots and hitting only 41 percent while turning the ball over 12 times. Gonzaga came back with an efficient 58.5 percent shooting performance in an 87-74 victory that went Over the 146-point total.

Fast forward to March, and oddmakers have set a similar number for this Sweet 16 rematch. The Bruins are a much more methodical team with the basketball and won’t get into a track meet with the Zags, who have blown away their competition with an offense that puts up 79.5 points per game on 52.7 percent shooting.

For the Bulldogs, the key to avoiding another early exit will be to clip the Bruins' sharp shooting from beyond the arc and make them beat the Bulldogs on the blocks. UCLA has punished teams from outside in the tournament, knocking down 15 of their total 29 looks from distance. Gonzaga’s perimeter defenders will get their heels above the 3-point line and funnel the Bruins to their big men in the paint.

The Bruins' methodical approach and the Bulldogs taking away the 3-ball are why I’m playing on the Under in UCLA vs. Gonzaga as my 10* Blue Chip Friday.

Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-B  |  Mar 27, 2015
NC State vs. Louisville
Louisville
-3-105
  
Play Type: Top Premium

I am playing on LOUISVILLE. It seems like everyone kind of forgot Rick Pitino's teams can play some pretty good defense when they want to and as a result we are only seeing Louisville lay a tiny number here.

The Cards are playing their best hoops of the season at the right time and despite the national attention, it doesn't look to me like oddsmakers have quite caught on yet. The Cardinals have allowed fewer than 60 points in six of their last eight games and have allowed an average of 54 per game through their first two games of the tournament.

Louisville shut down one of the hottest shooting teams in the nation in Northern Iowa last game, winning 66-53. They held the Panthers to 39 percent on field goals (after a season average of 48%) and just 31.6% on 3-pointers after UNI shot over 40 percent from long range for the season. The Panthers also had a horrendous 10 turnovers against nine assists, a testament to the Cards' stifling play.

The Cards are switching it up with zones and man coverage as well as pressing at different times. I just don't feel N.C. State wants to get into that kind of game as a squad that gives up over 70 points a game on neutral courts this season.

The Cardinals are getting big offensive performances from their usual stars like Rozier and Harrell, but also from unexpected players like Quentin Snider who has 10 and 16 points in the tournament after averaging 3.8 all season.

With defense like Louisville is playing right now and production from unexpected places, don't be surprised if the Cards keep going into March and covering spreads along the way. 10* Friday Personal Favorite

SERVICE BIO

Ben Burns burst onto the sports betting scene in the 1990s, first making his selections available to the public in 1998. Now entering his tenth year, Ben has become one of the most successful and well-respected handicappers on the entire Internet.

From 1998 to 2006, Ben had his selections documented by the Big Guy Sports Monitor. During that time, he accumulated numerous seasonal titles in all the major sports. In fact, competing against a field of 150, Ben's NFL selections still rank as #1 of all-time there. With such a commanding lead over the field, it is highly unlikely that his all-time NFL record there will ever be matched.

Like all handicappers, Ben goes through both hot and cold streaks. However, whether winning or losing, he always "tells it like it is." Perhaps more importantly, as his many fans are quick to point out, Ben's winning weeks tend to greatly outnumber his losing ones. Note that Ben followed up an extremely strong 2006 with an even better campaign in 2007!

Ben is known as a "Totals Expert" and his over/under plays are highly sought after in all sports. In addition to his "total" success, Ben's "sides" are also known for their sizzling hot streaks. While he advocates playing all his selections equally, Ben's knack for nailing his "Big" plays is truly remarkable.

Ben capped off a highly successful college football season by winning his Bowl Game of the Year, a 41-10 wire-to-wire destruction on Georgia over Hawaii. Ben's NFL playoffs didn't go as well though and he lost his first ever Super Bowl selection, when the Patriots were upset by the Giants. Despite that rare setback, Ben's Super Bowl record remains at 10-1 for his career. Additionally, his NFL playoff picks remain a powerful 47-22 (68%) ATS the past six years. Ben isn't just a football expert though, as his hockey, baseball AND basketball picks are also highly respected.

Ben logs extremely long hours. His hard work clearly shows itself in his high quality writeups and extraordinary long-term records. If you're looking for an honest, hard-working handicapper with a documented history of success, give Ben Burns a try. We're sure that you'll be impressed!