The field of 68 is set for the NCAA Tournament and all we can do is study the betting odds and wait for it to begin. Until then we can distract ourselves making sports picks in the NBA and NHL.
For Monday, here are today’s biggest line moves and like we say every day, understanding line moves can build your bankroll.
Portland Trailblazers vs. Washington Wizards 7:05 ET CSN-NW, CSN-DC
We are all familiar with coaches and players preaching everyone has to do their share when a fellow teammate is injured and out of the lineup. Portland has embraced the concept wholly. With Wesley Matthews finished for the season, the Trail Blazers are on an 8-1 and 7-2 bust-out, averaging 108.5 points a game compared to season average of 102.9. Washington has given notice they have ended their prolonged slump with a trio of wins and covers and in their last five home games, they have averaged 105 PPG, up from 102.1 on the season. Bettors like what they see offensively from both squads and took the sportsbooks number of 195.5 and elevated it to 198 versus the NBA odds. This appears to be the correct decision especially when you realize the Blazers are two-point underdogs and they are 14-3 OVER in that role this season.
NBA Pick – Play Over
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics 7:35 ET CSN-P, CSN-NE
Boston is playing its best basketball of the season with a 9-3 SU and ATS record, including a perfect 4-0 of late. The reason for the dramatic switch has been the defense and it is hardly a coincidence the C’s are 7-2 UNDER and 4-0 UNDER in the previous four contests. Nonetheless, those betting totals for NBA picks have sent the 192.5 starting point to 195. Seven of the previous 11 matchups between these division rivals have resulted in Over’s, but given the Celtics stout defense and Philadelphia having shot under 38 percent in eight of the past 10 contests, backing the Over would seem problematic. The Sixers are 27-13 UNDER away when the total is between 190 and 199.5 points the last three seasons.
NBA Pick – Play Under
L.A. Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors 10:35 ET ESPN
With no more Big Monday’s and baseball a few weeks away, ESPN substitutes NBA contests for viewing pleasure. The Los Angeles Lakers have been exceptional underdogs at 9-1 ATS since Feb. 22nd and it’s their defense that has caused this to occur. NBA basketball handicappers like me are finding the Lakers scuffling to score; averaging only 91.6 PPG in their last six outings and with Golden State the top field goal percentage defense in the Association (42.5%), the total has gone in reverse from 210.5 to 208. We’ll agree with the public since the Warriors are 10-2 UNDER versus teams averaging 83 or more shots a game in the half of the season.
NBA Pick – Play Under
Montreal Canadiens vs. Tampa Bay Lightning 7:35 ET RDS, SUN
Montreal is in first place in the Atlantic Division, two points ahead of Tamp Bay and they will attempt to do something they have failed at all year, defeat the Lightning. The Canadiens are 0-3 versus Tampa Bay and pucks players are giving the division leader a chance to finally get in the win column, lowering them from +125 to +105 on NHL betting odds money line. Montreal has actually taken five of the last seven on Florida’s west coast but has little chance of winning unless they do better than the four goals scored in three tries. Goalie Carey Price is a bona fide MVP candidate and one of the favorites to take home the Vezina Trophy, but if Ben Bishop is between the pipes for the Lightning, that is my NHL pick.
NHL Pick – Tampa Bay wins
Sportsbook Review Tasty Trends
NBA ATS Trend
Sacramento is 4-18 ATS after failing to cover three of their last four against the spread this season.
NBA Totals Trend
Indiana is 9-0 UNDER at home having won three of their last four games this season.
NHL Money Line Trend
Arizona is 1-17 against offenses averaging 29.5 or more shots on goal per game in the second half of the year this season.