Contrarian with Chutzpah
A Las Vegas handicapper, Zack joined SportsLine coming off a banner 2014 season (Documented 65% on NFL picks, 58 percent on CFB and CBB apiece) and proceeded to cash for SportsLine customers at similar rates. He went 40-25-1 (62 percent) on NFL picks last season and 46-34-1 (58 percent) on NBA selections, including 5-0 in the NBA Finals. To get an edge on oddsmakers, Zack limits the board and takes full advantage of Vegas' best asset: the sportsbooks. There he takes mental notes on public betting trends and line movements while doing extensive game analysis.
LAST 31 CBB ATS PICKS
18-13 LAST 31 CBB ATS PICKS | +373
Losing a team leader via transfer is becoming more of an issue for oddsmakers to adjust to. Before Isaac Copeland decided to transfer, the Hoyas were already playing subpar. Without him they've somehow managed to find a better team identity. Look for that to be on display once again at home against a Friars team that's not a threat in the Big East this season. Lay the points.
18-13-0 in last 31 CBB ATS picks | +373
Monday, the Pelicans continue their road trip by facing the Indiana Pacers. Indiana is coming off an embarrassing home loss, 140-112 to the Denver Nuggets. While corrections will likely be made, the Pelicans are hanging around competitively in all games since a an 11-point loss to OKC on Dec. 21. Grab the value on the underdog here.
4-2-0 in last 6 NBA ATS picks | +180
We'll grab the value on DePaul as the Blue Demons travel to take on the Johnnies in NYC. DePaul is coming off a demoralizing 83-58 loss to Marquette on Saturday. The Johnnies also defeated DePaul in Chicago by the score of 79-73. DePaul's grueling schedule of facing six Top-15 teams in its next nine games may obscure some value. But look for them to challenge St John's as they did on their home floor. Take the points.
We'll grab ahold of the Wizards as a short home favorite against the Trail Blazers. Washington is coming off a sloppy first-half performance against the 76ers, but were able to hit a new gear in the second half. They've found something with the elevated play of Otto Porter Jr. combined with an overall surging offense. Play on the Wizards.
Another underachieving former stalwart has been Davidson. While the Wildcats likely will not reach the Big Dance, they can still be a tournament-worthy ATS juggernaut. Fordham is a pace team similar to Davidson, except it can?t score at the volume of Davidson. Grab the home team here in a second half pull away from the number.
This is where coaching strength plays a pivotal role ATS. Coach Rick Pitino and his staff have the upper hand here on a Pittsburgh team filled with experienced players. Meanwhile, a new staff at Pittsburgh just showed its woes as the Panthers were crushed by an underperforming Syracuse team. While the Cardinals tend to have lapses offensively, this should be a game they get both strong defense and offense.
George Washington has done as solid of a job keeping intact based on the firing of its former coach. A strong interior presence still lies with Tyler Cavanaugh and perimeter players such as Yuta Wanabe. Three years ago, we saw this same number with a VCU team that was at its peak with coach Shaka Smart. While players he recruited are still there, they've never progressed accordingly. Even so, I like the Rams to showcase their veteran lineup over a struggling George Washington team.
While many are anticipating Dayton grabbing an A-10 title, there are red flags lurking. Both its defense and offense are a notch or two below teams of years past. UMass's struggles are well-documented, but I like the home factor to continue to cause problems for Dayton offensively.
Wisconsin-Green Bay faces off against a Northern Kentucky team that has won nine of 11 games to boost its record to 12-5. Still, the Norse have had difficulty against teams that push the ball offensively, losing to Illionis, West Virginia and Oakland. Grab the Phoenix in this Horizon matchup to dictate the pace and get the cover.
The Pelicans have played better recently, with shooting guards Tyreke Evans and Buddy Hield providing a spark. Still, it has not translated to wins as they're on a three-game losing streak and remain winless in 2017. The Knicks have lost seven of their last eight games. While some may grab the Pelicans here because of their 12-point win against New York in December, grab the value on the Knicks to get back on track.
The transfer of Isaac Copeland left a huge early void for the Hoyas. Yet, their defense is still strong and that should make a huge difference at home Monday night. St. John's plays a chaotic style of offense that can be lethal, but an off game came be just as deadly. Back the Hoyas here to take advantage of an underrated home atmosphere in D.C.
Detroit's free fall has continued as the Pistons are 2-8 overall in their last 10. Consistent reshuffling of the lineup by coach Stan Van Gundy has made the team better offensively, but they're still highly susceptible defensively. Charlotte may have tired legs after a solid comeback win over OKC, but it will have enough in the tank to tackle a Detroit team prone for poor quarters.
Atlanta travels to New Orleans as a road underdog Thursday, primarily for the reason of playing in a back-to-back scenario. New Orleans has attraction here after playing well against the Cavs for the large portion of their last matchup. Yet, I like the Hawks? balance offensively to keep on having success. They've won five of their last six matchups by scoring more than 105 points in all but one. Grab the Hawks.
Arizona State has had as many issues as any major conference team. Second-year coach Bobby Hurley lost every nationally televised game he scheduled in lopsided fashion -- to Kentucky, Creighton and Purdue. But this is where that strong non-conference schedule starts to pay dividends. Colorado played a weaker non-conference slate; its strongest performances came in a thrilling comeback two-point win over Xavier and a victory against overrated Texas. Grab the Sun Devils against a Colorado team that showcased glaring issues against Utah.
In the Colonial conference, we'll aim to grab value on Delaware as a double-digit road underdog against Northeastern. Northeastern is attractive to bettors based on its road wins over UConn and Michigan State. Yet, the Huskies also were 4-5 a month ago. Five straight wins has skied their value ATS. Now they face a Delaware side that's underrated defensively. Look for the Blue Hens to make some 3-pointers and stay within the number.
At the start of conference play, coaching is an obvious strength for top programs. A forgotten top coach has been Mark Few of the Zags. He has his Zags in line for a strong year and delivered an obvious message at halftime in their latest victory against Pacific. The Zags trailed 34-29 at halftime before hitting a new gear in the second half. The Dons are a competitive team but no match for the defensive intensity the Zags will bring. Grab Bonzaga as a steep road favorite.
The most surprising teams in the ACC thus far are Boston College and Wake Forest. The Eagles defeated Providence as double-digit underdogs and took apart Syracuse's zone defense this past weekend. Wake Forest started 9-3 before losing its first two ACC games. While many would expect Boston College to lay an egg heading on the road here, I believe the Eagles have gained confidence. Look for Wake Forest to feel the pressure of needing this win to avoid an 0-3 conference start. Take the points.
Monday, College of Charleston will travel to Delaware as a sizable favorite. Delaware is a team with experience, but has vast skill-set deficiencies across the board. On paper they've managed to stay in half their losses competitively. In their wins they have won with defense but have managed an average of 63.5 points. That's the key here as the College of Charleston's strength is defense, which should disrupt a turnover-prone Delaware squad. Grab the Cougars.
One of the memorable MNF games this season was witnessing the Panthers botch a one-sided hom contest against the Buccaneers. With a chance to finish off a worn down Buccaneers team, backup Derek Anderson threw an awful red-zone pick. That game seemed to fuel the Buccaneers, as they rolled to an 8-5 record. Yet two consecutive losses have derailed their chances, even though they still have a tiny window of opportunity Sunday. Even with Cam Newton on the field, expect the Buccaneers to get the outlier plays again and defeat the Panthers. Grab Tampa.
The Pac-12 has had an interesting start to the season, as UCLA, Oregon, and Arizona have flip-flopped continuously in the Top 25. Both Colorado and Utah were ranked in recent years but are now dealing with the loss of top graduating classes. Although Utah lacks the offensive talent the Buffs possess, the Utes play solid half-court defense. Look for the Utes to ride that defense and their home crowd to a win and cover Sunday.
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