Former Vegas Bookmaker
Micah Roberts has worked in the Las Vegas sports book industry for over 18 years, including a 13-year run as Stations Casinos' book director. Roberts has covered the Las Vegas sports betting industry over the past decade for VegasInsider.com, Gaming Today, and Sporting News. One innovation in Las Vegas he is credited with is being the first to offer propositions and matchups in weekly NASCAR races. In 2016, Micah began selling MLB selections and his followers netted over 83 units through August. He is now here at SportsLine to offer his advice on the games that present the best value based on his personal team ratings.
LAST 37 CBB PICKS
21-15-1 LAST 37 CBB PICKS | +452
The Sun? rapidly increased total rating caught up with them for a week during the New Year?s transition, going Under in five straight. But they've picked up their pace again, going Over in their last four. They are 27-14 to the Over this season and it all starts with an awful defense that allows 48.2 percent shooting on the road. The Cavs won 120-116 at Phoenix 11 days ago, going Over the total of 221. Over is the top play again Thursday.
3-2-0 in last 5 NBA picks | +75
Arizona has won 10 straight since losing seven weeks ago against Gonzaga, and has gone 6-2-2 ATS during that stretch. The two games the Wildcats didn't cover were double-digit spreads. The spread Thursday is the lowest since they were underdogs at Texas A&M and at Cal, and Arizona won both outright. After a 14-0 start, USC has lost three of its past five, and is 2-8 ATS in the last 10. This spread is light, with too much respect given to USC's home court.
21-15-1 in last 37 CBB picks | +452
Notre Dame has won seven straight, including going 4-0-1 ATS in its last five. Since ACC play started, the Irish been checking off the list of victims, but what's most impressive is three of the wins were on the road, two as underdogs. FSU's rating has been raised too much. On a neutral court, I have ND two points better and FSU's home court against a better team shouldn't be worth more than three points. The spread should be no more than FSU -2. I'm on the points with the Irish.
Michigan is going to push the pace and the total is about 6 points light here. Michigan hasn't covered a spread in three weeks, but the Wolverines have gone Over the total in nine straight. Their average score on the road this season has been 70-83 while allowing opponents to shoot a whopping 55 percent from the field. I can't get behind Michigan to cover here, but I can count on some bad defense to help accelerate the Badgers' normal pace. Over is the play.
Troy has been playing well above its rating the last four weeks. The Trojans have covered the spread in eight straight games while going 4-4 straight up. At the same time, they've gone Over the total in seven of those games. It's been a nice combination. Texas State has lost and failed to cover two of its last three and is 1-5 on the road this season. I'm on Troy to keep its roll going.
The Wizards have been having trouble all season on the road, but they're somehow able to flip the switch to being great when it comes to playing at home lately. They've covered 10 of their last 11 home games and just beat the hot 76ers by 16 at home on Saturday. Wizards get the cover here.
Iowa has won and covered the last two meetings with Northwestern, but I like the Wildcats to exact revenge today, led by a defense that allows 38.6 percent shooting from the field. Iowa has won its last two games, including a big home victory against Purdue, but the Hawkeyes have lost their last two on the road. Northwestern comes in off two straight road wins and covers, and has covered 10 of 15 games overall this season. Iowa is on a run of going 3-10 ATS against Big Ten teams. Northwestern gets the cover here.
Drake doesn't like to play much defense and it's helped the Bulldogs lose 12 of 17 games this season, but what it has also done is produce all kinds of Overs for bettors. They've gone Over the total in their last nine games. At the same time, Northern Iowa has gone Over in nine of 15 with a defense just as bad. Look for both these teams to have some fun offensively and get this total Over.
Saint Mary's is 1-9 ATS in the last 10 meetings against Gonzaga and I expect that streak to continue Saturday. The Bulldogs have covered 11 of 13 games this season and have covered nine straight. Their rating keeps rising and they simply keep covering. It's a pretty amazing run, considering they lost their best two players from last season. Why mess around with a streak? Let's back Gonzaga again.
Duke has gone 1-1 straight-up without coach K and failed to cover both games. The Devils are among the worst covering ranked programs this season -- 1-5 ATS in the last six. Louisville slacked off in the second-half against Pitt and blew covering the 11-point spread, but the Cardinals have been consistent this season in beating their rapidly upgraded rating. This is the second time this season Duke has been an underdog -- the first was Tuesday. Louisville gets the cover.
This is too many points for me to play on the side, even though Oakland will likely cover. But the area I like the most is the total staying way Under because of the Golden Grizzlies? suffocating defense. They're holding opponents to 38.6 shooting from the field, which has helped them go 11-2 to the Under. They're on a four-game Under streak, and we?ll support a fifth Friday night.
The Cavs have been going through the motions in the first four of their six-game road trip. They're not motivated and have failed to cover six straight games. This type of lull has been consistent with LeBron James over his career in the regular season where he needs something to motivate him, then he pumps up his teammates and they almost always win. He can simply flip the switch. Usually the look-ahead game is bad news, but in this case I think LeBron will use Sacramento as an intense practice session in preparation for Monday's showdown at Golden State. Cavs to win by double-digits.
Arizona has gone Over the total in three of its last four, ASU has gone Over in its last four and the last three meetings between these two squads have gone Over. That's where I'm going Thursday, and the main reason is because ASU plays absolutely no defense. The Sun Devils have gone Over in 12 of 16 games this season because they allow their opponents to average 82.4 ppg and shoot at 47.5 percent. The 47.5 FG percentage allowed is ranked No. 327 out of 351 college teams. That's good enough for me. Play the Over.
I'm a big believer in momentum heading into the playoffs and right now Green Bay has it with seven straight wins (6-1 ATS) while scoring 30 points or more in the last five. Yes, Aaron Rodgers is in a groove and along the way the defense has played better. I don't have any doubt that the Cowboys will score points led by that monster offensive line and Ezekiel Elliott, but I think Green Bay simply outscores them. The off week for Dallas, along with a Week 17 lay-down at Philly, might be just enough to make Dallas flat enough against the energized Packers. Take the points.
8-5-0 in last 13 NFL ATS picks | +270
Houston is riding a nine-game win streak, covering six of those, and they play at Minnesota, which has lost four of its last five. The two teams last met -- at Minnesota -- four weeks ago and the Wolves took the game into overtime before Houston (-2.5) won 111-109. The Rockets played last night at home, and back-to-back situations are tough, but they're 7-2 ATS under those conditions this season. Play on Houston.
South Carolina gets after it defensively every game. And the Gamecocks have had leading scorer Sindarius Thornwell back in the lineup the last two games after a one-month suspension; they won and covered both. The defense is still the star for South Carolina (opponents shoot only 37.1 percent) and has helped them stay Under in nine of their last 11. Tennessee comes in staying Under in seven of its last 10, but has lost its last two. Carolina should be close to 4-point favorites here, but data from the month without Thornwell when they went 3-3 appears to have muddied its rating. Carolina gets the win.
South Dakota is rolling and we'll find out just how good they are the next two games at home when playing its top competition in the Summit League. So far, the Coyotes have covered 13 of 16 games, including their last four and 10 of the last 11. They've also won all eight home games (6-0 ATS). I expected to get 2 points here, but the USD rating is catching up with its ATS success. North Dakota State is good, but they've covered the inflated rating on them only three times in 11 games. I'm on South Dakota, not only tonight, but also Saturday at Fort Wayne.
The last time I saw the Chiefs make it past the divisional round was when Joe Montana was QB (1993 season), and since then I've seen three former 49ers QBs -- Steve Bono, Elvis Grbac and Alex Smith -- lose when a conference championship game was up next as the winning prize. I like the Chiefs and I think their home field deserves to make them the favorite. Past history really means nothing here, but 1-7 ATS in the Chiefs' last eight playoff appearances lets me know they're traditionally a bad bet in the postseason. What really swings the pendulum is that Pittsburgh has won eight straight (6-1-1 ATS) and has all its key players healthy unlike the past two seasons. Steelers win outright.
The Falcons are at home, which means it's time to play the Over. It's happened in all eight of their home games this season and in 13 of their 16 games overall. What makes the Falcons such a great Over team is not only because they average an NFL-best 33.8 ppg, but they also have a shaky defense that allows 25.4 ppg, which ranks 27th. The only question that may arise is Seattle's defense, but let's not get carried away with suggesting this is the same defense from the past three seasons. And without Earl Thomas patrolling, Atlanta's pass attack will continue to do what it's done all season at home and that's score.
The favorite -- usually Villanova -- has covered seven of the last eight meetings and Villanova rolled to a 95-64 win at home in this matchup last year. I'm going that way tonight. Villanova does everything well, and at home the Wildcats have taken it up a notch with an 81-57 margin of victory while shooting 52 percent and holding opponents to 36 percent from the field. Xavier's only road win came against a then-struggling Georgetown squad. Lay the points.
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