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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA, NHL, and NCAAB Previews and Odds - 01/25/2022

by Big Al Staff

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2022

The Tuesday sports card features NBA, NHL, and NCAAB action.Nine games are on the docket in the National Basketball Association. Four games tip-off at 7:05 PM ET. Denver travels to Detroit as a 7-point road favorite with the total set at 218.5 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise). Toronto plays at home against Charlotte as a 3-point favorite with an over/under of 221.5. Philadelphia hosts New Orleans as an 8.5-point favorite with a total of 215. Washington is at home against the Los Angeles Clippers as a 4.5-point favorite with an over/under of 215.5. Two NBA games start at 7:40 PM ET. Boston plays at home against Sacramento as an 8-point favorite with a total of 219. The Los Angeles Lakers visit Brooklyn in the opening game of a doubleheader on TNT at 7:40 PM ET. The Lakers dropped their fifth game in their last seven in a 113-107 loss at Miami as a 4-point underdog on Sunday. Their record fell to 23-24 with the setback. The Nets’ two-game winning streak ended in a 136-125 loss at Minnesota as a 3-point underdog on Sunday. Brooklyn’s record is 29-17. Los Angeles is a 3-point road favorite with an over/under of 226.San Antonio travels to Houston at 8:10 PM ET as a 3.5-point road favorite with a total of 235.5. Two NBA games conclude the card at 10:10 PM ET. Minnesota plays at Portland as a 3-point road favorite at BetRivers with an over/under of 227.5. Golden State hosts Dallas at 10:10 PM ET in the nightcap on TNT. The Warriors won their third game in their last four with their 94-92 win against Utah as a 5-point favorite on Sunday. They improved their record to 34-13 with the victory. The Mavericks won their fifth game in their last six with their 104-91 victory as a 4-point favorite on Sunday. Dallas has a 27-20 record. Golden State is a 3-point favorite with a total of 211.5.The National Hockey League has eight games on its slate. The puck drops at 7:05 PM ET. Ottawa plays at home against Buffalo as a -180 money line favorite with an over/under of 6. Dallas is at New Jersey as a -130 money line road favorite with a total of 5.5. Pittsburgh hosts Arizona as a -425 money line favorite with an over/under of 6. Carolina plays at home against Vegas as a -160 money line favorite with a total of 6. The New York Islanders are at home against Philadelphia at 7:35 PM ET as a -185 money line favorite with an over/under of 5.5. Florida plays at Winnipeg at 8:05 PM ET as a -155 money line road favorite with a total of 6.5. Two more NHL games finish the card at 10:05 PM ET. Edmonton is at Vancouver as a -130 money line road favorite with an over/under of 6. Nashville visits Seattle as a -160 money line road favorite with a total of 5.5.Ten games are on national television in college basketball. Rhode Island plays at home against Richmond on the CBS Sports Network at 6:30 PM ET as a 2-point favorite with an over/under of 135.5. Four NCAAB on national television begin at 7 PM ET. Duke hosts Clemson on ESPN2 as a 12.5-point favorite with a total of 145.5. Illinois is at home against Michigan State on ESPN as a 5.5-point favorite with an over/under of 144. Villanova plays at home against DePaul on FS1 as a 16-point favorite with a total of 137.5. Cincinnati is at Temple on ESPNU as a 3.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 135.5. Connecticut hosts Georgetown on the CBS Sports Network at 8:30 PM ET as a 17-point favorite with a total of 148. Two more nationally-televised NCAAB games tip-off at 9 PM ET. Kentucky is at home against Mississippi State on ESPN as a 9.5-point favorite with an over/under of 144. Colorado State plays at home against Nevada on FS1 as an 8-point favorite with a total of 151.5. Texas travels to TCU on ESPNU as a 2.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 122. Arizona is at UCLA on ESPN at 11 PM ET as a 2.5-point road favorite with a total of 152.5.

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Playing the Rebound

by Ben Burns

Monday, Jan 24, 2022

What does one do with a "good" team on a losing streak? For handicappers who choose not to ignore such teams completely, there are generally two schools of thought.1. Keep playing against the team and ride the losing streak. 2. Try to predict when the losing streak will stop.Neither is easy. There are usually reasons why the team is losing. Predicting the end of a skid can be tough. That said, good teams don't keep losing forever. So, continuing to play against them can also prove costly. However, there's also a third way that I sometimes use to deal with these situations. Let's take a closer look at a recent example from the NBA. Most would consider the Atlanta Hawks to be a reasonably decent team. Coming off a strong performance in last year's playoffs, the Hawks had high hopes for this season. Yet, for most of December and the first half of January, they could barely win a game. From 12/3 to 1/15, they were just 5-15. That included an 0-5 stretch from 1/7 to 1/15. The biggest reason for the Hawks' struggles was a depleted lineup. They were missing numerous players, due to Covid and injury. As mentioned, there are usually reasons why good teams go on a losing streak. I stayed away from playing on/against Atlanta during the skid. However, the Hawks slowly started to get healthy. On 1/12, they were hosting the Heat. Miami was also starting to deal with some missing players. I tried to predict the end of the streak and played on the Hawks. At the time, Atlanta had dropped three straight. As mentioned, predicting the end of a streak can be tricky. In this case, it proved costly. The Hawks lost again. I won with the total in the Hawks' next game (Knicks on 1/15) but didn't play on them again. Good thing, too. They lost for the fifth straight time. On 1/17, the Hawks were hosting the Bucks. Call me stubborn but I decided to play on them again. I knew they were getting healthier and suggested that a visit from the defending champs would prove to be just what the doctor ordered. This time, the underdog Hawks rewarded me with a 121-114 victory. It's the next game or two, after the streak is finished and a team is in "on the rebound," where we can often find the best plays. Confidence and momentum restored, the losing streak in the rear view mirror, good teams tend to go on a bit of a winning streak. After they beat Milwaukee, I continued to play on the Hawks. I backed them on 1/19 against Minnesota and again on 1/22 against Miami. They won both games. At that point, the Hawks went on the road and I decided not to press my luck. I kicked myself for not doing so though, as they won easily, at Charlotte. All the same, they came through for me three straight times. You'll regularly find similar situations throughout the season. Next time a good team snaps a lengthy losing streak, if all else lines up with your handicapping, take a look at that same team in its next game. 

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Breaking Down The Confusing LA Lakers

by AAA Sports

Monday, Jan 24, 2022

If they were of a mind, and healthy enough, the Los Angeles Lakers could send out onto the court a team of five players who either are guaranteed spots in the Hall of Fame, or have a real good chance of getting there.The Lakers played in Miami this past Sunday afternoon in Miami, and the five future immortals of the game – LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard – had a combined plus-minus total of minus-51. And it was only halftime. Anthony Davis (out for more than a month with a sprained left knee) was spared the embarrassment.It wasn’t supposed to be anything like this. Bad enough that LeBron and LA were forced to endure the embarrassment of being part of the Play-In Tournament last season. This season they may have again to hustle to avoid being participants in the gimmick. Peasants are supposed to bow to royalty, not the other way around.But here they are, under .500 after the weekend’s play, with a losing record on the road, a losing record in the conference, closer to last place than to first in the West, and scoring fewer points per game than their opponents. They’re 2-5 SU and also 2-5 ATS in their last seven, and their defense is so bad that 7 of their last 9 games have gone Over.The Lakers are the oldest team in an NBA that celebrates its youth. They average out to over 30 years old per, and of late they have often appeared to be twice that, especially on the defensive end. Against the Heat, Trevor Ariza and backup center Dwight Howard had a grand total of zero points in 27 minutes. Westbrook scored 24, but much of it was after the game had been decided.Having so many vets and so little youth is no doubt a move to placate James, who himself is starting to accumulate aches and pains after so many indestructible seasons. James is actually having a solid offensive season – he’s averaging nearly 29 ppg, which if it holds would be his best offensive year since 2009-10. And that’s playing every position on the court, even center in Davis’s absence.As a franchise the Lakers are not a patient bunch, so they are a team to watch as the trade deadline nears. But what to trade? Talen Horton-Tucker might have a little value, but beyond him, the bench consists of the likes of DeAndre Jordan, Wayne Ellington, and Kent Bazemore, all of whom are just collecting checks at this point in their careers.If the roster remains pretty much intact through the Feb. 10 trade deadline, that could be bad news for coach Frank Vogel. One betting line had Vogel no better than even money to finish the season. Like several other teams battling injuries and player absences due to Covid, the front office most likely wants to see what it has when the gang is all together (Davis is due back any day). Jettisoning Vogel might keep the fan base from all-out revolt.Meanwhile, in Miami, the Heat took their foot off the accelerator late in the game but still managed to defeat the Lakers and cover the number. Getting the game to where it was winnable (LA cut the lead to four in the final minutes) cost James 40 more game minutes on his 37-year-old legs.Thirty-five more games remained on a Laker schedule that often resembles Hour 36 of a 1930s-era dance marathon. Oddsmakers had set LA’s win total at 51.5 for the season, and there’s no way they’re going to get past that number. The next stop is Brooklyn, and while the Nets have had their own share of problems, especially with Kevin Durant now out, they are nothing like what the Lakers are going through.

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Northwestern Wildcats vs Michigan Wolverines Prediction, Picks and Game Preview - 01/26/2022

by Amedeus Mastrangelo

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2022
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Oklahoma Sooners vs West Virginia Mountaineers Prediction, Picks and Game Preview - 01/26/2022

by Amedeus Mastrangelo

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2022
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Sacramento Kings vs Atlanta Hawks Prediction, Preview and Odds - 01/26/2022

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Tuesday, Jan 25, 2022
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Florida Gators vs Tennessee Volunteers Prediction, Picks and Game Preview - 01/26/2022

by Amedeus Mastrangelo

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2022
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Iowa State Cyclones vs Oklahoma State Cowboys Prediction, Picks and Game Preview - 01/26/2022

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Los Angeles Clippers vs Orlando Magic Prediction, Preview and Odds - 01/26/2022

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