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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Soccer : FA Cup - Capital One Cup - Premier League


There’s some fantastic Soccer taking place this week with the first leg of the Capital One Cup semi-finals and fixtures from the third round of the FA Cup to look forward to.

The League Cup takes centre stage in midweek as Stoke meet Liverpool at the Britannia Stadium on Tuesday and Everton play host to Man City on Wednesday.

Jurgen Klopp’s men are back in action on Friday as Liverpool visit Exeter in the FA Cup. The Reds ran out 3-1 winners in their only previous visit to St. James’ Park in August 2011. Wycombe will be hopeful of causing an upset on Saturday as they welcome Premier League strugglers Aston Villa, before current holders Arsenal take on Sunderland and Man Utd, who haven’t lifted the FA Cup since 2004, entertain Sheffield Utd. Sunday sees Chelsea face Scunthorpe, Tottenham clash with Leicester and Cardiff battle Shrewsbury.


Soccer : FA Cup - Capital One Cup - Premier League

NHL : Improving Leafs Host Slumping Pens on TSN


The Toronto Maple Leafs were supposed to be one of the worst teams in the league this year. The Pittsburgh Penguins were supposed to challenge for the Stanley Cup. That's the way the script played out when the season began, and now both teams are hovering around .500 in the Eastern standings. The 13-14-7 Leafs prepare to host the 17-15-3 Penguins this Wednesday (7 PM ET, TSN).

The Leafs started the season poorly enough at 1-7-2, but they've found their groove with James Reimer (.935 save percentage) taking over in net. Reimer has a personal record of 7-4-4 in 16 starts, and will get the nod again on Wednesday after missing nearly a month with a recurring groin injury. The under got paid in seven of Reimer's previous 10 starts.

Pittsburgh, meanwhile, has won just four games in December after starting the year at 9-4. No. 1 goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (.925 SV%) remains out with a concussion, but goaltending hasn't been the problem ? it's mostly at the other end, where the Pens rank No. 28 in scoring at 2.23 goals per game. Team defense has been an issue, too, with Pittsburgh allowing 31.1 shots per game (No. 27 overall).
NHL : Improving Leafs Host Slumping Pens on TSN



NHL : Reimer Back for Leafs; No Fleury for Pens?
Two teams heading in different directions will meet this Wednesday (7 PM ET, TSN) when the 13-14-7 Toronto Maple Leafs host the 17-15-3 Pittsburgh Penguins. The Leafs are 5-1-2 in their last eight games, while Pittsburgh is 2-5-1.

James Reimer (.935 save percentage) is expected to make his return for Toronto after missing nearly a month with a groin injury. It's unknown at press time whether Marc-Andre Fleury (.925 SV%) will be back for the Pens. Fleury suffered a concussion two weeks ago and hasn't played since, but he's considered probable for Wednesday's matchup.

NCAAB : Hokies Look to Upset Ranked Mountaineers


The West Virginia Mountaineers are 10-1 and up to No. 19 in the rankings. They're looking to make a return to the NCAA Tournament. However, they'll face a challenge on Wednesday, when they head to the 8-4 Virginia Tech Hokies, who will want to knock their state rivals down a peg.

The Mountaineers have now won three in a row since losing to the Virginia Cavaliers, and they beat the Eastern Kentucky Colonels 84-59 before the holiday break. Jaysean Paige came off the bench to score 17 for the Mountaineers, who were up 50-22 at the half, but took their foot off the gas in the second period.

The Hokies are coming off a 62-79 loss to Saint Joseph's in another New York game as they were beaten all over the court. Seth Allen led the way with 18 points for Virginia Tech, who shot 40.3% from the field and were outrebounded 48-32. Alarmingly, St. Joe's had 19 offensive rebounds to nine for the Hokies, and West Virginia leads the nation in offensive rebounding.
These two teams have met 10 times since 1998, with the Mountaineers winning six, including an 82-51 victory last season.

NCAAB : Hokies Look to Upset Ranked Mountaineers


NCAAB : Hokies, Mountaineers Set to Rumble in Blacksburg
Virginia is the battleground for Wednesday's marquee matchup as the Virginia Tech Hokies host the No. 19 West Virginia Mountaineers. The game starts at noon EST.

The No. 19 ranked Mountaineers are 10-1, losing only to the Virginia Cavaliers in New York. They're No. 13 in the nation in scoring and No. 14 in points allowed. They'll pose a challenge for Virginia Tech. The Hokies are 8-4 and coming off a loss to Saint Joseph's, but they'll be up for this rivalry game. West Virginia won two of the last three between these two.


Monday, December 28, 2015

NCAAB: Saint Mary's, Santa Clara Continue Rivalry


The Saint Mary's Gaels and Santa Clara Broncos have been playing against each other in multiple sports since 1910. It's always an occasion when they get together and they’ll meet for the first time this season on Wednesday at Santa Clara.

Saint Mary's has won nine of their first 10 games to start the season. Their lone loss was by four points at California. The Gaels are a strong team and should be a factor in March. Sophomore guard Emmett Naar leads the way with 14.9 points and 6.9 assists, but the Gaels have seven players that average at least 8.0 points per game.

Santa Clara is 4-9 on the season.  They lost their first seven games of the season before winning four straight, all at home. They lost their latest game at Pacific on Monday by a narrow 72-73 margin in overtime. Junior guard Jared Brownridge is putting up 20.2 points and 4.0 rebounds per game.
Saint Mary's has won eight of their last 10 against Santa Clara, who won 71-70 at home in February. Brownridge made a lay-up with seven seconds left to give the Broncos a famous win.

NCAAB : Gaels Head to Santa Clara Before the Holidays 
There is no love lost when Saint Mary's and Santa Clara meet. Even though they both play on Monday, they'll be looking ahead to Wednesday's showdown.

The 9-1 Gaels are out to avenge a late loss at Santa Clara last season, and the 4-9 Broncos are looking to protect their home court once again. Saint Mary's has actually won five of their last six trips to Santa Clara, and they still have the memory of that bitter loss in February in their minds. Santa Clara is coming off a tough 72-73 overtime road loss at Pacific on Monday.

NHL : Sabres-Bruins on Boxing Day


After three well-deserved days off, the NHL is back in action this Saturday with nine games, starting with an old Adams Division classic between the Buffalo Sabres (14-16-4) and the Boston Bruins (19-9-4). This will be their first meeting of the 2015-2016 campaign. Game time from the Garden is 7 PM ET on NESN.

The Sabres were the worst team in the league last year, and the year before that, allowing them to grab centers Sam Reinhart (eight goals, seven assists) and Jack Eichel (nine goals, seven assists) with back-to-back No. 2 overall selections. Their play has helped Buffalo inch back toward respectability under new head coach Dan Bylsma.

After a slow start, the Bruins have won 11 of their last 15 games to move within a point of the Montreal Canadiens for first place in the Atlantic Division. Tuukka Rask has yet to lose a game this month; the Finnish netminder is 5-0-2 with a sparkling .961 save percentage, allowing just eight goals combined. In October, Rask allowed 23 goals in seven games. Boston has also received solid goalkeeping this year from back-up Jonas Gustavsson (.912 save percentage). The under is 7-1 in Boston's last eight games.

Improving Sabres Visit Red-Hot Bruins
After two years in the NHL basement, the Buffalo Sabres (14-16-4) have come back to life under new head coach Dan Bylsma. But they'll be in tough Saturday night when they visit the Boston Bruins (19-9-4), who have won 11 of their last 15 games. The puck drops at 7 PM ET on NESN.

Boston's revival is due primarily to Finnish netminder Tuukka Rask. He's allowed just eight goals combined in his last seven starts, going 5-0-2 to bring the Bruins within one point of the  Montreal Canadiens for first place in the Atlantic Division.

Friday, December 18, 2015

NCAAF : BYU vs. No. 22 Utah


College football's bowl season begins Saturday with five games, anchored by a compelling “Holy War” Las Vegas Bowl matchup between the Brigham Young Cougars and the No. 22 Utah Utes. Kick-off from Sam Boyd Stadium is at 3:30 PM ET, with Utah favored by three points as we go to press. That line has held steady since the open back on December 8.

The Cougars (9-3 SU, 8-4 ATS) will be playing their last game under head coach Bronco Mendenhall, who took the top job at Virginia two weeks ago. They'll be trying to snap a four-game losing streak against Utah (9-3 SU, 5-7 ATS); the Utes have covered each of the last three meetings for coach Kyle Whittingham, a BYU alumnus who, legend has it, swore never to lose again to his alma mater.

That could be a tough task this Saturday. Utah is playing without running back Devontae Booker (4.7 yards per carry, 37 catches), who was lost for the year to a torn meniscus in Week 11. The Utes' offense has been sluggish ever since, splitting a pair of games straight up at 0-2 ATS with both games going under the posted total.


NCAAF : BYU vs. No. 22 Utah




NCAAF : Holy War Resumes at Las Vegas Bowl
Saturday is the first day of the 2015 college football bowl season, featuring a “Holy War” matchup at the Las Vegas Bowl (3:30 PM ET) between the Brigham Young Cougars and the No. 22 Utah Utes. Utah has been a 3-point favorite since the lines opened December 8.

The Utes are 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS in their past four meetings with BYU, but they'll find Saturday's game more difficult without star running back Devontae Booker (4.7 yards per carry, 37 catches), who tore his meniscus in Week 11. Utah is 1-1 SU and 0-2 ATS since Booker's injury.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

King George VI Chase


You can make the most of the action with an excellent range of Horse Racing offers on Boxing Day at Kempton, where the top National Hunt runners and riders will be out in full force for an exciting six-race card, including the King George VI Chase.


King George VI Chase


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Premier League football matches


There’s some fantastic Soccer taking place this festive period with two rounds of fixtures from the Premier League to look forward to.

The action gets underway on Boxing Day as Man Utd head to the Potteries to face former hero Mark Hughes and his Stoke side, before Liverpool take on Leicester and Man City host Sunderland. Newcastle then welcome Roberto Martinez’s Everton to Tyneside and Southampton and Arsenal bring the day to a close as they clash at St Mary’s.

The entertainment continues on Monday with eight games, including Everton and Stoke back in action at Goodison Park, Tottenham making the short journey North to meet Watford and Man Utd going head to head with Chelsea in the highlight of the day. Jose Mourinho’s men have not tasted defeat against the Red Devils in their last four visits to Old Trafford.


Premier League






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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Soccer, Horse Racing and Cricket


Soccer - Champions League and Top Domestic Leagues
December promises to deliver some fantastic Soccer action with fixtures from Europe’s top domestic leagues and the final round of games from the Champions League group stage to look forward to.


Horse Racing - King George VI Chase and the Welsh Grand National
There’s plenty of top-class racing taking place this December with highlights including the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day and the Welsh Grand National on Sunday 27th at Chepstow.


Cricket - South Africa v England
December sees England begin their tour of South Africa with the first Test in Durban.


Soccer, Horse Racing and Cricket


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

NHL: East-Leading Caps Host Senators


After stocking up on talent during the offseason, the Washington Capitals have vaulted into first place in the Eastern Conference at 21-6-2. This Wednesday (7 PM ET, TSN), the Capitals host the Ottawa Senators (16-10-5), who are treading water in the East while a number of key players sit out injured.

The Capitals are in their second year under head coach Barry Trotz, and the front office gave his program a substantial boost in personnel by acquiring the likes of right wing Justin Williams (eight goals, 10 assists) and right wing TJ Oshie (10 goals, seven assists). Between their added offense and the stellar goalkeeping of Braden Holtby (.933 save percentage), the Caps have been able to beat the puck line for 9.98 betting units on a record of 15-14 ATS.
Ottawa (13-18 ATS, –6.10 units) was supposed to go through a rebuilding phase following the dismissal of head coach Paul MacLean last December, but they have played quite well under former assistant Dave Cameron. Now they have to weather the loss of left wing Milan Michalek (five goals, three assists) and left wing Clark MacArthur (16 goals, 20 assists last year) for an extended period due to injuries.

NHL: East-Leading Caps Host Senators



The Ottawa Senators (16-10-5) have played some good hockey since former assistant head coach Dave Cameron took over for Paul MacLean last December. Can they keep it up this Wednesday (7 PM ET, TSN) when they host the East-leading Washington Capitals (21-6-2)?

It won't be easy without left wing Milan Michalek (five goals, three assists), who joins left wing Clark MacArthur (16 goals, 20 assists last year) on the injured list. On top of that, defenseman Chris Phillips (20:54 minutes last year) might not play at all this year after undergoing back surgery during the offseason.

NCAAB: Tar Heels Aim to Get Back on Track Against Tulane


The North Carolina Tar Heels were upset over the weekend via a heartbreaking buzzer-beater at Texas. They aim to bounce back on Wednesday when they host Tulane of the American Conference.

The Tar Heels are 7-2 after an 82-84 loss on the road to the Texas Longhorns. North Carolina came into that game ranked third, but tumbled to No. 11 after the loss. UNC has steadied some since Marcus Paige came back and they can certainly score, but they struggle with getting stops when they need them. Paige has played just three of UNC's nine games, averaging 17.7 points and 4.0 assists. The inside duo of Brice Johnson and Kennedy Meeks are combining for 25.7 points and 16.5 rebounds per game.
The Tulane Green Wave were 5-4 through their first nine games losing the ninth 68-76 to Georgia Tech at home. They have been very mediocre as losses to Alabama A&M, Mercer and Southern won’t inspire much confidence. Louis Dabney paces the team with 14.1 points and 3.7 rebounds, but the Green Wave will have to either find firepower from somewhere or play the best defense of their lives.

NCAAB: Tar Heels Aim to Get Back on Track Against Tulane


The North Carolina Tar Heels are coming off a tough last-second loss on the road at Texas. They'll be looking to get back in the win column when they host Tulane on Wednesday.
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UNC went into the Texas game ranked third in the country, but fell to No. 11 after their buzzer-beater loss to the Longhorns. Tulane had a three-game winning streak halted by Georgia Tech, as well as some ugly losses on their resume, including Alabama A&M, Mercer and Southern. The Green Wave should be huge underdogs in this spot.

Friday, December 11, 2015

NCAAF : Army vs No 21 Navy


Bowl season is just around the corner, but there's one more game to take care of first: the annual Army-Navy Game. The No. 21 Navy Midshipmen (9-2 SU, 8-3 ATS) will host the Army Black Knights (2-9 SU, 4-6-1 ATS) this Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Kick-off is at 3 PM ET on CBS, with Navy laying 22 points at press time.

These two service teams first met in 1890 and have played every year since 1930. Each side has enjoyed its dominant periods, but for now, Navy is in full command of this rivalry, winning each of the last 13 games at 8-5 ATS. However, the Black Knights have covered three of the past four games, including their 17-10 loss to the Midshipmen (–16.5 away) in 2014. The under is also on a nine-game winning streak in this matchup.

As usual, Navy is powered by the “wishbone” triple-option offense of head coach Ken Niumatalolo, now in his eighth year at Annapolis. Army also runs the triple-option under second-year coach Jeff Monken – both he and Niumatalolo were assistants under Paul Johnson when Johnson led Navy to four straight bowl appearances in the mid-2000s.

NCAAF : Army vs No 21 Navy


NCAAF Betting: Army-Navy in One-Sided Rivalry
The No. 21 Navy Midshipmen (9-2 SU, 8-3 ATS) wrap up the 2015 FBS regular season this Saturday when they welcome the Army Black Knights (2-9 SU, 4-6-1 ATS) to Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia for the annual Army-Navy game. Kick-off is at 3 PM ET on CBS.

Navy is on a 13-game winning streak in this series at 8-5 ATS, although Army has covered three of the last four games. The Black Knights are getting 22 points this year, making this the largest spread the Midshipmen have faced since 2003, when they won 34-6 as 22.5-point home favorites.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

NBA : Clippers-Bulls in Battle of Overvalued Teams


Two of the NBA's most unprofitable teams will lock horns this Thursday (8:00 PM ET, TNT) when the Chicago Bulls host the Los Angeles Clippers. At press time, the Bulls lead the Eastern Conference in red ink at 11-7 SU and 6-12 ATS; the Clippers (12-9 SU, 7-12-2 ATS) are in much the same boat out West.

Despite their similar records, these two teams couldn't be much further apart. The Bulls are fourth in the NBA in defensive efficiency (97.1), while the Clippers are sixth in offensive efficiency (104.1). Neither team is particularly good at the other end, but Chicago's offense (97.5) is awful at No. 26 overall, thanks in part to former league MVP Derrick Rose and his personal Offensive Rating of 86.
The Clippers are in the middle of the table defensively at No. 18 overall, giving up 101.8 points per 100 possessions. Josh Smith (100 Defensive Rating) has helped at this end of the floor, but otherwise, the new players Los Angeles brought in during the offseason have been disappointing. The Clippers also have one of the worst back-up guards in the league, Austin Rivers (8.7 PER), playing 24 minutes a night for head coach/father Doc Rivers.

NBA : Clippers-Bulls in Battle of Overvalued Teams



NBA : Bulls Host Clippers on TNT Doubleheader
They're two of the most popular teams in the NBA, but the Los Angeles Clippers (12-9 SU, 7-12-2 ATS) and Chicago Bulls (11-7 SU and 6-12 ATS) aren't living up to market expectation. They'll meet in the first game of Thursday's TNT doubleheader at 8:00 PM ET.

Both teams will go into the United Center having played road games on Wednesday. At press time, the Clippers have won five of their last six games at 2-2-2 ATS, while the Bulls are in a slump at 3-4 SU and 2-5 ATS over their past seven.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

NHL : Bruins-Canadiens in Hockey's Top Rivalry


Of all the rivalries in the NHL, none has burned brighter for longer than the feud between the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens. They'll renew hostilities this Wednesday night (7:30 PM ET, NBCSN) at the Bell Centre; Montreal already has a pair of 4-2 victories over the Bruins this year, home and away.

It'll be a significantly weakened Habs club this time around. League MVP Carey Price (lower body) remains out indefinitely between the pipes, and Montreal has been missing right wing Brendan Gallagher (hand) for an extended period. On Monday, Montreal placed left wing Alexander Semin on waivers. Despite these absences, the Canadiens are still in first place in the Eastern Conference at 19-6-3.

The Bruins (14-9-3) have had an up-and-down season thus far, and they're currently in a bit of a slump, losing three of their last four games. However, Tuukka Rask (.906 save percentage) has started to turn things around after a very slow start in net. His last appearance was Saturday's 4-0 shutout of the Vancouver Canucks (–120 at home), in which Rask made 17 saves for the victory. That's four wins for the Finnish netminder in his last six starts.

NHL : Bruins-Canadiens in Hockey's Top Rivalry


NHL Odds: Habs Host Bruins on Wednesday Night Rivalry
The greatest rivalry in the NHL continues this Wednesday (7:30 PM ET, NBCSN) when the Montreal Canadiens host the Boston Bruins. This will be their third meeting of the 2015-2016 regular season; Montreal won the first two games, each by a final score of 4-2.

Carey Price (lower body) won't be in net for the Habs on Wednesday. The reigning Hart Trophy winner is expected to miss another month with a knee injury. His Boston counterpart, Tukkaa Rask (.906 save percentage), has won four of his last six games after a slow start.

NCAAB : Wildcats Aim to Bounce Back Against Eastern Kentucky


The Kentucky Wildcats fell from their No. 1 spot in the rankings by losing at UCLA on Saturday. But the Wildcats are still in the top five as they welcome the Eastern Kentucky Colonels to Lexington on Wednesday.

The Colonels are 7-2 and lead the Ohio Valley conference. This is the third in a stretch of four straight road games for them. After losing at Western Kentucky, the Colonels won 74-71 at Savannah State as the forward duo of Jarrelle Reischel and JaVonte Hawkins combined for 40 points and 15 rebounds.

The Wildcats will have to contend with those two after falling 77-87 at UCLA. The game wasn't even as close as the final score indicated. Isaiah Briscoe dropped 20 points, but the Wildcats shot 37.9% from the field. More alarmingly, they allowed the Bruins to shoot 52.8%. The Wildcats are now fifth in the rankings.

These two have met six times with Kentucky winning all six. Five of those games have been in Lexington with one meeting coming in the first round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament, which Kentucky only won by eight points. The Wildcats won last year's meeting 82-49.


NCAAB : Kentucky Welcomes EKU Colonels To Lexington


NCAAB : Kentucky Welcomes EKU Colonels To Lexington
Kentucky is the battleground for Wednesday's contest between the No. 5 Kentucky Wildcats and the Eastern Kentucky Colonels. The game starts at 4 PM PT.

The Wildcats suffered their first loss of the season at UCLA last Thursday, and head coach John Calipari won't be happy with the defense they played. They need to pick it up before facing the Colonels, who are 7-2 on the season and averaging 90 points per game. If the Wildcats are lax on defense, they could lose to EKU for the first time in seven meetings.

Friday, December 4, 2015

NCAAF : No. 10 North Carolina vs. No. 1 Clemson


The Clemson Tigers (12-0 SU, 5-7 ATS) are the top-ranked team in college football, but they might not even make it into the College Football Playoff this year. First, they have to beat the No. 10 North Carolina Tar Heels (11-1 SU, 8-4 ATS) in Saturday's ACC title game. Clemson is a 5-point favorite at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. Kick-off is at 8:00 PM ET on ABC.

As well as the Tigers have played this year, they've had a hard time beating the spread, dropping the cash in their last four contests. The Tar Heels, on the other hand, are 4-1 ATS over their past five games. The stat gurus at FiveThirtyEight give Clemson a 57% chance of winning Saturday's matchup, which suggests the Tigers “should” be favored by 2.5 or three points on neutral ground.
In what should be a close game, North Carolina's superior special teams could make the difference. The Tar Heels rank No. 12 in this category on the Fremeau Efficiency Index, while Clemson is No. 76 out of the 128 FBS programs. Saturday's forecast calls for clear skies and temperatures around 50 degrees at kick-off.


NCAAF : No. 10 North Carolina vs. No. 1 Clemson



NCAAF: Tigers-Tar Heels in ACC Title Game
The ACC title will be decided this Saturday when the No. 1 Clemson Tigers (12-0 SU, 5-7 ATS) face the No. 10 North Carolina Tar Heels (11-1 SU, 8-4 ATS) at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. ABC has the television coverage starting at 8:00 PM ET.

The Tigers are 5-point “home” favorites in this matchup, but they've dropped the cash in their past four games. Meanwhile the Tar Heels are 4-1 ATS in their last five. North Carolina also has the better special teams, which is an important advantage in what should be a close game.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

NCAAB: Hoosiers Head To Duke To Take On Blue Devils


Two of the top teams in the country meet at Duke on Wednesday. The Duke Blue Devils have won four in a row, and they're preparing to host the Indiana Hoosiers on December 2. The Hoosiers are trying to recover from some early season stumbles.

The Hoosiers are now 5-2 after finishing up the Maui Invitational with losses in two of their final four games. They lost to UNLV and Wake Forest along with a win over St. John's, but the loss to UNLV was particularly troubling. Indiana turned the ball over 21 times in that game, and if they're going to be a national contender, that simply can't happen. The good news is that Indiana got back on track on Monday by crushing Alcorn State 112-70.
The Duke Blue Devils are 6-1 and have won four in a row since losing to Kentucky. They thrashed Utah State 85-52 at home in their latest outing, and Grayson Allen and Luke Kennard scored 22 apiece for the Blue Devils. Despite Duke dominating Utah State, they had a troubling 15 turnovers.
Duke has won three of their five meetings with Indiana, who did manage a one-point win in the Sweet 16 in 2002. Their last meeting came in 2006, when the Blue Devils won 54-51 at home.


NCAAB: Hoosiers Head To Duke To Take On Blue Devils



NCAAB Odds: Blue Devils, Hoosiers Face Off at Duke
The Duke Blue Devils and Indiana Hoosiers are known as two of college basketball's bluebloods, and on December 2, they'll meet in Durham for the marquee matchup of the week.

The Hoosiers, who stomped Alcorn State on Monday night, lost two of three at the Maui Invitational. They looked solid in a win over St. John's, but losses to Wake Forest and UNLV should cause some concern in Hoosier Nation.
The Blue Devils have won four straight games since losing to Kentucky in an early season showdown. After tough victories over VCU and Georgetown, Duke trounced Yale and Utah State in preparation for Indiana.

NCAAF : No.2 Alabama at Auburn


It's never a dull moment when the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Auburn Tigers meet at the Iron Bowl. This is arguably the most important rivalry game in college football, although this year, the Tigers (6-5 SU, 3-8 ATS) haven't been keeping up with No. 2 Alabama (10-1 SU, 6-5 ATS). At press time, Auburn is a 14.5-point home dog on the NCAAF odds board.

Saturday's game (3:30 PM ET, CBS) won't be the first time Auburn has been a double-digit Iron Bowl home dog. That was the case in each of their last three games at Jordan-Hare Stadium, with the Tigers going 1-2 SU and 2-1 ATS. In 2013, Chris Davis returned a missed field goal 100 yards on the final play to give Auburn (+10) a 34-28 victory and ruined Alabama's unbeaten season.
The Tide have already lost 43-37 to the Mississippi Rebels (+8 away) this year, but they can still make the College Football Playoff with a win over Auburn and another win over the Florida Gators in the SEC title game. Alabama is the +150 favorite on the FBS Championship futures market, and RB Derrick Henry is the –200 favorite to win the 2015 Heisman Trophy.



NCAAF : No.2 Alabama at Auburn



NCAAF Betting: Title Hopes on the Line at Iron Bowl
The No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide (10-1 SU, 6-5 ATS) need two more wins to secure a place in the College Football Playoff. It all starts this Saturday in the annual Iron Bowl game against the Auburn Tigers (6-5 SU, 3-8 ATS). Kick-off is at 3:30 PM ET on CBS, with Alabama favored by 14.5 points at press time.

When Auburn hosted the Iron Bowl two years ago, Chris Davis returned a missed field goal 100 yards on the final play as the Tigers (+10) won 34-28. Will revenge be enough motivation to put the Tide over the top?

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

NHL: Rangers, Islanders on Wednesday Night Rivalry


Bragging rights in the Empire State will be up for grabs this Wednesday (8:00 PM ET, NBCSN) when the New York Islanders host the New York Rangers. So far, the Rangers are having the better season at 17-6-2, but the Islanders are just six points back in the Metropolitan Division at 13-8-4. This will be their first meeting of the year.

The Rangers skate into Wednesday's game with two injuries of note: centre Derek Stepan (six goals, six assists) is out for the next four to six weeks with broken ribs, and defenseman Kevin Klein (three goals, three assists, and +11) is uncertain to play after he strained a muscle in Monday's 4-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes (+175 away).

Over in Brooklyn, the Islanders are relatively healthy coming out of Monday's 5-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche (+140 away). Usually it's the Rangers who do the damage against the puck line; they're up 9.54 betting units on a 13-12 ATS record, while the Islanders are 2.00 units in the black at 13-12 ATS. The Blueshirts have a goal differential of +0.84 this year, and their crosstown rivals are at +0.48 through the first 25 games of the regular season.


NHL: Rangers, Islanders on Wednesday Night Rivalry



NHL Odds: Rangers Visit Islanders in Empire State Battle
Wednesday Night Rivalry returns to Barclays Center in Brooklyn this week for a battle between the 13-8-4 New York Islanders and the 17-6-2 New York Rangers. NBCSN has the television coverage starting at 8:00 PM ET.

Both New York teams are coming off victories on Monday, but the Rangers may have lost defenseman Kevin Klein (three goals, +11) after he strained a muscle in a 4-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes (+175 away). The Blueshirts are already missing centre Derek Stepan (six goals, six assists) for the next four to six weeks due to broken ribs.

NCAAB: Michigan, UConn Battle in the Bahamas

The Battle 4 Atlantis tips off on Wednesday in the Bahamas, and the marquee matchup of the day brings two college bluebloods together. Michigan takes on Connecticut, who has started the season 3-0.

The Wolverines were ranked 24th in the country before they lost 86-70 to Xavier at home on Saturday. They handled their first two games against Division-II Northern Michigan and Elon, but the Wolverines were outrebounded 47-29 by Xavier. However, Michigan has a star in senior G Caris LeVert, who scored 29 against Xavier and is averaging 19.3 points through the first three games.
The Huskies are 18th in the country after an 83-58 rout of Furman. Senior forward Shonn Miller led the way with 18 points for the Huskies, who held Furman to 34.5% from the field. Senior point guard Sterling Gibbs tops the Huskies with 15.7 points per game.
These schools have met twice in the past, with the Huskies winning 69-61 in 2009, while Michigan won 68-63 the following year. The home team won in each game.


NCAAB: Michigan, UConn Battle in the Bahamas


NCAAB Odds: Huskies Clash with Wolverines in the Battle 4 Atlantis
The Battle 4 Atlantis begins on Wednesday in the Bahamas, and it’s fitting that Michigan and Connecticut headline the day. Regardless of records, these are two of the biggest programs in the NCAA.

The Huskies are in the Top 25 and have won their first three games by an average of 29.3 points, although their competition has been Maine, New Hampshire and Furman. The Wolverines beat Northern Michigan and Elon by an average of 23 points, but then lost by 16 to Xavier at home.

NHL: Flyers, Islanders Renew Patrick Division Rivalry

They've done battle in the Patrick Division. They traded blows in the Atlantic. Now the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders are in the Metropolitan Division, and their 40-year-old rivalry continues this Wednesday night (7:30 PM ET, NBCSN) in Brooklyn.

Philadelphia (7-9-5) is only four points behind the Islanders (10-8-3) in the Eastern Conference standings, but there's a much larger gap in quality between the two teams. New York has a plus-6 goal differential, while Philadelphia is second-worst in the NHL at minus-22. The Flyers are tied for last in scoring with 38 goals after 21 games. They're in the Bottom 10 in the league in goals against, shots against, power-play percentage and penalty-kill percentage.

The Flyers also have another injured player to worry about. Centre Sam Gagner suffered a cut above his eye after he landed on his face during Monday's 3-2 overtime win over the Carolina Hurricanes (+115 away). Gagner is listed as questionable to face the Islanders; centres Ryan White (upper body) and RJ Umberger (foot) are already out for Philadelphia, as is defenseman Mark Streit (groin). Former first-round blueliner Thomas Hickey (lower body) is expected to miss the game for the Islanders.


NHL: Flyers, Islanders Renew Patrick Division Rivalry



NHL Odds: Broken Flyers Skate into Brooklyn
The Philadelphia Flyers (7-9-5) are only four points behind the New York Islanders (10-8-3) in the Eastern standings, but there's a considerable gap in quality between the former Patrick Division rivals. They'll meet again this Wednesday (7:30 PM ET, NBCSN) at Barclays Center.

The Islanders have a goal differential of plus-6 after 21 games, while Philadelphia is second-worst in the league at minus-22. Injuries have been an ongoing problem for the Flyers; centre Sam Gagner could miss Wednesday's game after he was cut above the eye during Monday's 3-2 overtime win over the Carolina Hurricanes (+115 away).