Tuesday, February 5th 2013 - Posted 4:30 PM Eastern Time
#1: Take Florida Gators at -12 spread against Arkansas Razorbacks risking 3 Units
This is in interesting matchup simply from looking at where the line is sitting, I would have thought it would have been just a little bit more. Florida comes into this game as the #2 team in the nation and #1 overall in the SEC. Florida has gone an impressive 8-0 in conference play. Not only has Florida simply been beating their competition, they have been flat out embarassing them! The Gators are an incredibly balanced team playing both inside and outside. What is probably the most impressive part of this Florida team is their defense. Their defense is nothing short of smothering. They have held opponents to an average score of just 52 points per game. Florida has also owned the head to head series with Arkansas going 5-0 both straight up ATS in the last 4 seasons.
Not since 2002 has the Arkansas Razorbacks really competed against elite SEC teams. It appears that they have the overall talent to compete but for some reason they struggle to hang with the best in the conference as evident by their 4-4 record in conference play this season. What's a little bit of a head scratcher is that offense has not really been a problem for Arkansas, as they are averaging 77 points per game. The biggest problem for Razorbacks is that they are incredibly inconsistent on the defensive side of the ball. So far this season Arkansas allows 68.3 points per game. That's not a good thing for the Razorbacks as the Florida offense ranks 46th in the league averaging 74 points per game.
The Gators defense just smothers teams, in SEC play Florida has only allowed an opponent to score over 52 points in a game once. Florida is simply too balanced on both sides of the ball and will give Arkansas fits tonight. The last time Florida visited Arkansas on their home court, Florida won 98-68. This is perhaps the best team Florida has had in the last 10 years and I expect a similar result tonight.
Florida is 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games overall.
Arkansas is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 Tuesday games.
Florida is 5-0 SU and ATS in the last 5 meetings.
Florida is 6-1 ATS on the road this season
Florida is 7-1 ATS against SEC opponents this season
#2: Take Houston Rockets at -2.5 spread against Golden State risking 3 Units
This game should be an interesting one to watch as both teams rank in the top of the league in scoring. Both teams come into this with a little bit of momentum behind them. The Warriors have won their last 4 out of 5 games while the The Rockets, have won 4 of 5 themselves. Both teams employ the motto "The best defense is offense" and like to come out with a fast paced offensive attack and put points on the board as quickly as possible. This run and gun style works well (to an extent) however neither team puts much emphasis on the defensive side of the ball. The point is to simply outscore their opponents to win the game and while that may not be the best "strategy" it always makes for entertaining TV.
Both of these teams are pretty even across the board, from overall records to actual in game statistics. Golden State will have a slight advantage tonight when it comes to rebounding the basketball, however, given the amount of points that Houston puts up at home, they don't typically miss many baskets so the rebounding advantage may be not as important as it usually is. Golden State also likes to "spread" a team out to get the "open look" at a 3 and Houston has a habit of allowing three-pointers to be taken so the Warriors can find an advantage racking up the points there if their outside shots are falling. With that being said, Houston is no slouch themselves; the Rockets average 105 points per game, making them one of the most prolific scoring teams in the league. They typically have no problem putting up points, especially at home and judging from their 15-9 ATS record when at home, there are not a lot of teams in the league that can go point for point with the Rockets.
Golden State is a good team, however playing the Rockets on the road is no easy feat. Golden State will put up points tonight, but with neither team playing much defense I just don't see them having enough fire power to hang with the Rockets. The Rockets struggle against teams that slow the game down and force them to take contested low percentage shots...that is not what Golden State does. As I said this will be a fun game to watch, with a lot of scoring but Houston will be sprinting to the end of the game and Golden State will have just run out of gas. Houston is 5-2 SU and 4-3 ATS against Golden State over the last 3 season. When those games have been played in Houston, the Rockets are 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS.
Some trends to consider:
Houston is 4-1 ATS when playing on Tuesday
Houston is 4-2 ATS as a home favorite of up to 3 points
Houston is 6-2 ATS when playing on 2 days rest, Golden State is 0-3 ATS
Home team is 7-2 ATS in the last 9 meetings
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