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February 11th 2014 - Posted 5:00 PM Eastern Time

Sports Profit System is 7-2 with NCAA college basketball picks in the month of February and has a 3% bet on Tennessee tonight.

There are two bets risking 5% in total.

#1: Take Tennessee at +2 spread against Florida risking 3%

This line immediately stood out on today's card. Here we have the #3 team in the country with a 20-2 overall record and a perfect 10-0 in SEC play, facing a team they blew out just 2 weeks ago and yet they opened as only -1 favorites!? The Gators have been double digit favorites in their last 4 games and were even -8.5 favorites against this same team in the previous matchup! Now suddenly Vegas has made it incredibly enticing for the public to take this team and 80% have taken the bait on what we believe is a quintessential 'trap game'.

Delving deeper into the game, one can see that this is actually a bad spot for Florida not only from a scheduling perspective but from a matchup standpoint as well. Florida is coming off 3 consecutive home games. They haven't had to travel anywhere in 12 days and have gotten used to comfortable games on their home court. Having to suddenly travel to a hostile Tennessee Arena should take them out of their comfort zone and it may take a while for them to adjust. This game is also easy to overlook given the Gators' recent dominating win over the Volunteers. With a big game against Kentucky coming up next, at least a few of the players will get caught looking ahead to their meeting with John Calipari's team and overlook the Tennessee team.

As for the matchup, Tennessee is one of the few teams who actually plays a somewhat similar style to Florida. Tennessee is one of the best rebounding teams in the conference typically enjoying a double digit rebounding margin on home court! Florida is used to dominated the boards themselves but will find it tougher against the big frontcourt of Tennessee. The Volunteers have also proven to be deadly accurate from behind the arc this season. They are scoringover 41% of their shots from the 3-point line and shooting 47% from the field at home. In their first meeting with the Gators, Tennessee had season-low numbers across the board and an odd night off. They didn't shoot well at all connecting on just 26% from the field and going an uncharacteristic 1 for 19 from the arc! They also didn't make it to the free throw line in that game taking 10 less trips than their season average. Basically anything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong. We expect a very different game tonight. Not only will the Volunteers attempt to atone for that embarrassing display but they will have a chance to knock off the #3 team in the country and be the team to hand the Gators their first loss in conference play. Judging by the strangely low set line, it appears the linemakers expect the same.

The Vols are a great home team and have proven it with an 11-2 record in their venue this season. They are also a solid freethrow shooting team which has helped them close out games in the second half. What is most impressive however is that this is a team that almost always gets their revenge for a previous loss. Tennessee has been perfect when revenging a road loss against an opponent, going an impressive 4-0 ATS this season! With the line being so short, the linemakers appear to be saying something about this game. This is what we would call a typical "trap" bet. The line on the game is so attractive that it almost begs the public to back the #3 team in the country. But while most will fall for that, we believe there are very good reasons for this. Much like our play on Kansas State last night, SMU on Saturday and Texas Tech and Vanderbilt earlier this season, the linemakers know a lot more than the average betting public and it is sometimes wise to take hints. Getting two points is a bonus and we will gladly take it. While many will consider this yet another "upset", we actually expect Tennessee to come out and win this game outright.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Gators are just 8-17 ATS in the last 25 meetings between these two teams.
  • Tennessee is 17-4 ATS as a home underdog of 3 points or less since 1997!
  • SEC home teams are 21-8-1 ATS in last 30 games where the spread was 5 or less points.
  • Tennessee is 9-2 ATS revenging a road loss over the last 3 seasons!
  • Volunteers are 12-4 when hosting Florida dating back to 1997.

#2: Take the UNDER 211 Total in Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Portland Trailblazers risking 2%

Two of the top teams in the West square off tonight as the Oklahoma City Thunder travel to Oregon to take on the Portland Trailblazers. While the total is currently set at 211 which we believe is warranted given both of these teams abilities on the offensive side of the ball, we do feel that the linemakers have inflated this number by a couple of baskets on purpose.

A lot can be said about these two offenses, there is no question about that. However this will be the 4th time that these teams have square off this season! Each time teams play each other, they are able to see different things that the opposing team does and doesn't do well which allows not only the players themselves, but the coaches to adjust defensive game plans. Both sides have naturally become much more familiar with each other and essentially know what it takes to slow down the imposing attack. That has been the case for Oklahoma City in this series as they have limited the Blazers' offensive output in each of the 3 meetings this season, holding them from 111 points to 98 and 97 respectively in the following meetings. We would not be too surprised to see Scott Brooks' team hold the Blazers to a similar number tonight.

The total had been listed in the 215 and 216 range the last 2 meetings and both fell well short of the mark. Often times when we see two high scoring offenses come together in a matchup, it's the defense that makse a strong presence since it typically comes down to who can slow their opponents most. Portland also has a big game against another Western rival, the Clippers tomorrow so getting into a shootout and expending all of their energy would not be wise. The way to conserve energy would be on the defensive end of the basketball and focusing on getting more stops rather than running up and down the court looking to go score for score.

The betting public loves these types of games and blindly bets the Over when two good high-scoring teams meet! But we believe that is a mistake.
Seven of the last 11 meeting between these two teams have gone Under the posted total and we feel the same will be the case tonight. As long as this game does not go to Overtime, which games can't be handicapped expecting Overtime, then we feel that these two teams fall a couple of baskets short of this total. Take the Under.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • The 'Under' is 7-2 when Oklahoma City has played on the road with a total equal or greater than 210 over the last three seasons!
  • The total has gone 'Under' in six of the last 7 meetings between these two teams.
  • The 'Under' is 8-2 in Oklahoma City games when the total is equal or greater than 210 this season.

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