Hottest Sports Picks For Friday Based on Odds Movements & Betting Trends

Doug Upstone

Friday, February 20, 2015 6:38 PM GMT

For those placing sports picks at sportsbooks, the world is back to normal for the third weekend in February with a full slate of NBA odds to choose along with college hoops and the NHL.

Toronto Raptors vs. Atlanta Hawks  7:35 ET SN1, SPSO
This will be the fourth meeting between the teams with the best records in the Eastern Conference. The attention on this matchup has focused on the total, which has gone from 203.5 to 206. In the first two meetings the two squads easily went over the total with final scores of 211 and 241. Back on Jan. 15, the NBA betting odds total of 206.5 was too high as Atlanta was defensive-minded in a 110-89 victory. What nobody can say for sure about the long layoff, what will be affected more, the offense or defense, and we’ll the support the former with Toronto 22-10 OVER on the road when the total is 200 or higher. 

NBA Pick – Lean Over

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San Antonio Spurs vs. Golden State Warriors 10:35 ET  ESPN
Raise your hand if you are surprised the total went from 207 to 209.5 in the contest? Nonetheless, this is a hard total to gauge because of circumstances. San Antonio allowed the L.A. Clippers to ring up 119 points last night as they picked on the second half of their Rodeo Trip and they will take on the highest scoring team in the NBA. Before the All-Star, Golden wrapped up a four-game road trip and after tonight they leave home for six more roadies. Hard to say what either team might feel, but the Spurs are 8-1 UNDER in road games after a combined score of 205 points or more this season, this could be the right side for our NBA picks

NBA Pick – Lean Under

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Pennsylvania vs. Harvard 7:00 ET  ESPN3.com
While Harvard continues to be one the top teams in the Ivy League, among college basketball handicappers, they are more known for winning than covering spreads. The Crimson is 7-1 in league play but just 4-4 ATS. This has helped lower Harvard from -16.5 to -14.5. Nonetheless, you should know the SU winner is 8-0 ATS since 2011 and that has been Harvard six times, including previously this season which is why you should back them with your college basketball picks

NCAA Basketball Pick: Lean Harvard

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Colorado Avalanche vs. Chicago Blackhawks 8:35 ET NHLN
Many sportsbooks do not want to come off the number of five for this NHL contest and if you desire one side of the total, you will have to pay up to bet it. This clash opened at Ov5 (-115) which is not out of the ordinary. Yet by the afternoon, the juice on the Over was up to -145, with Colorado the main culprit having played in five consecutive games in which the final score had at least total five scores (3-1-1 OVER). For this NHL pick, I’ll back the other side with Chicago 17-5 UNDER playing into revenge.

NHL Pick – Play Under

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Sportsbook Review Tasty Trends
NBA ATS Trend
Atlanta is 10-0 ATS as a home favorite of six points or less this season. 

NCAA Basketball  ATS Trend
Cornell is 15-1 ATS off a road loss by 20 points or more since 1997. 

NHL Money Line Trend
Toronto is 0-11 against teams averaging 29.5 or more shots on goal per game in the second half of the season. 

 

 

NCAA Basketball and NBA – Big Weekend Matchups

 

West Virginia vs. Oklahoma State 2:00 ET   ESPNNews
The Big 12 has been taking its toll both on these teams. Both squads have featured scoring droughts longer than a Saturday Night Live movie short during games which has hampered them from winning. The Cowboys are 11-3 and 7-4 ATS at home and are thought to be 4-5-point favorites. West Virginia is off the clutch home win over Kansas last Monday, but has not won two in a row this month and is 1-4 ATS. This is their first meeting of the season and West Virginia is 2-3 SU and ATS as away underdogs.

NCAA Basketball Pick:  Lean West Virginia

 

UCLA vs. Arizona  9:00 ET  ESPN
The ESPN Game Day crew is no doubt enjoying the Tucson weather and they should have an entertaining game to broadcast. Arizona has just two losses in the Pac-12 by a total of five points. UCLA might only be 2-7 and 3-6 ATS on the road, but their last two setbacks have been by just two points each and they have been very competitive. The Wildcats are 14-0 and 10-4 ATS at home winning by a startling 23.4 PPG and my power ratings have them as 15-17 point favorites. 

NCAA Basketball Pick:  Lean Arizona

 

Gonzaga vs. St. Mary's  10:00 ET  ESPN2
Once again these are the top two units in the WCC and Gonzaga will try to go through the regular season unblemished. The Bulldogs are 15-0 in league play but are only 6-8-1 ATS and 1-4 ATS this month. Maybe this battle will get the juices flowing for the Zags who I’m thinking will be 7 or 8-point road favorites. St. Mary’s is thought to be a bubble team at 20-6. In spite of a quality 16-6-2 ATS mark, they are 1-3 and 2-2 ATS as underdogs. If both teams play their best, Gonzaga’s the choice but if the Gaels can play defense, they can cover.

NCAA Basketball Pick:  St. Mary’s

 

Utah vs. Oregon 3:00 ET FS1 (Sunday)
Utah will have to mentally adjust on the Oregon Trail, going from a slow-paced game at Oregon State on Thursday to a more frenetic style like Oregon prefers. The Ducks average 79.1 PPG in Eugene, where they are 16-2 (9-8 ATS). The Utes are 5-3 and 6-2 ATS on the road, but their scoring falls almost 20 points from home to away at 61.6 per game. Oregon could use a resume-building victory and will be roughly 5  or 6-point underdogs against a very complete and solid Utah team.

NCAA Basketball Pick:  Lean Oregon

 

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Portland Trail Blazers 9:00 ET (Sunday)
The Grizzlies will either be fresh as a daisy or need WD40 as they return to action after 11 days off. Memphis begins a three-game west swing in Portland and is 12-13 ATS (16-9 SU) on the road this season. The Trail Blazers will have the advantage of having played at Utah on Friday and are 23-5 (15-12-1 ATS). I’ll call for Portland to be 4-point favorites and be the winner.

NBA Pick: Lean Portland