NCAA Basketball Betting – Mountaineers, Panthers Prepare for “Backyard Brawl”


Those betting on March Madness should have an eye on the Big East, which has been acknowledged as the toughest conference in the country and on Thursday, we’ll get another meeting between arguably the two biggest rivals in the Big East. You know it’s heated when a rivalry is called the “Backyard Brawl”, so West Virginia and Pittsburgh should give us a great matchup.

West Virginia Betting – Thursday, 9:00 PM ET

The Mountaineers (17-9, 8-6) would likely roll in another conference as they seem to play a top-15 team every other game, and they flexed their muscles with a 72-58 win over Notre Dame at home on Saturday. Darryl “Truck” Bryant led the way with 24 points, while Joe Mazzulla chipped in with 16 points, seven assists and five boards for the Mountaineers, who shot just 40.7% from the field but they held the Fighting Irish to 35%. They also won this game at the foul line, where they went 20-of-27 while Notre Dame was 8-of-13. Baseball betting players would compare the Big East to the American League East, and West Virginia would probably be Toronto; they could win it, but they would be better off in another conference.

The No.4 Panthers (24-3, 12-2) became the latest team to fall at Madison Square Garden as they were edged 60-59 by St. John’s, and they were done in by 16 turnovers. Ashton Gibbs came off the bench but played 34 minutes, scoring a game-high 26 points, but he was the only Panther to notch more than seven points. Pitt was also brutal at the charity stripe, hitting just 10 of their 18 attempts, and those are the little things that can cost a team when March rolls around.

Betting services will likely favor the Panthers at home, where they have won five in a row SU, posting a 2-2-1 ATS mark. Three of those wins have come by three points or less, and it’s usually a close affair when these rivals get together. The Panthers will be going for the season sweep after a 71-66 win in Morgantown on February 7t in which they outrebounded the Mountaineers 39-25, and Gibbs wasn’t even in the lineup because of a knee injury. The Mountaineers will need Bryant to play like he did against Notre Dame as he has been cold shooting the rock this season, because we know Pitt has a proven scorer in Gibbs. This game will likely be won on the interior like the last meeting, and we think the Panthers will come out hungry because of the St. John’s loss, not that they needed any added motivation with West Virginia coming to town. Go with Pitt in your sports betting picks.

Hockey Picks Preview for Tuesday February 22, 2011: Boston Bruins vs. Calgary Flames


Betting Online Overview

The novelty of outdoor NHL games is wearing off. Once the novelty wears off you are left with the quality of hockey. When players are shivering from sub-zero temperatures and the ice is twice as hard as it should be, the quality of the game suffers. While some people were looking over the college basketball lines for the weekend, NHL fans were gearing up for the second outdoor game of the season – the Heritage Classic between the Calgary Flames and the Montreal Canadiens.

The betting services expected the Flames to win the game, but not by the margin that wound up being the final score. In a 4-0 win over the Canadiens, the Flames showed speed and strength throughout the game. But they did so in sub-zero weather on bad ice. Now the Flames need to see how they can handle a high-flying team like the Boston Bruins on good ice and indoors.

Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins were happy to see the Flames beat the Canadiens in the Heritage Classic, because the Montreal loss kept the Boston lead in the Northeastern Division at four points. The Bruins are 6-4-0 in their last 10 games and are currently riding a two-game winning streak. It was goaltending that was the Bruins undoing last year and, to this point, it has been goaltending that has put the Bruins on top. This year it is goaltender Tim Thomas with the hot hand in Boston, but his hand has been a bit cold lately.

In his last four decisions, Thomas is 1-3. In his one win in that stretch he allowed six goals against. So he has not exactly been sharp lately. His most recent losses were back to back four-goal games against the Detroit Red Wings and then the Toronto Maple Leafs. As Thomas goes so go the Bruins, and right now Thomas is not going so good.

Calgary Flames

It is nearly impossible to judge how a team is playing by one of the outdoor games. The Flames played well in the Heritage Classic, but because of the conditions the game seemed to be played in slow motion. The reality is that the Flames are 7-1-2 in their last 10 games and have a current winning streak of three games. They have a balanced scoring attack and are getting good goaltending from Miikka Kiprusoff. The Flames are just a good team playing good hockey.

The strength of the Flames is at home where they are 18-9-3. But the Bruins are better on the road than at home, and are sporting an 18-7-4 road record. This sets itself up as a good game, but the Bruins recent goaltending problems could make this a blowout for the Flames if Jarome Iginla and the rest of the Flames scorers start to find their groove.

The Bottom Line

The Bruins are getting some help in maintaining their lead in the Northeast Division by the slumping Canadiens. The Flames will never catch the Vancouver Canucks for the Northwest Division lead, but Calgary is definitely building momentum heading into the playoffs.

Gambling Advisor Pick: Calgary Flames


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