GAME: (847) CREIGHTON vs (848) VILLANOVA
PICKS: (848) VILLANOVA
REASON FOR PICK: I'm recommending a play on the Villanova Wildcats on Sunday evening. When Doug McDermott entered his sophomore season on the hilltop in Omaha, Doug's dad Greg joked that if his son stuck around for his final three seasons of eligibility, he knew he was guaranteed at least three more years as Creighton's coach. Well, Doug did stay those final three years, but he's now in the NBA (nursing an injury, by the way). Not only did Doug leave, but so did 3-point specialist Ethan Wragge, along with play-makers Grant Gibbs and Jahenns Manigat. That's four starters who made Creighton tick. The Blue Jays destroyed Villanova in both meetings last season, including a 96-68 win in Philadelphia as a 6 1/2 point underdog. Gibbs was out that night, but McDermott, Wragge, and Manigat, combined for 69 points on 23-for-34, 68% shooting, including an unbelievable 18-for-27, 67% night from behind the arc. They beat Villanova 101-80 later in the season in Omaha, just to show the Wildcats it was no fluke. But the players mentioned are long gone and so are the conference wins. CU has yet to win a Big East game this season (0-7 SU). And you can bet Jay Wright will have no trouble reminding his players how badly Creighton embarrassed them twice last season. Making matters even worse for the Jays was the season-ending injury suffered by Ian Zierdan this past Wednesday night. Zierdan was one of only two Creighton players averaging more than 8 ppg. Man, how things have changed in a hurry. Not that they need any, but the Wildcats have a little more incentive after getting thumped at Georgetown last time out. Look for the Jays to be the team that gets thumped in this one. I'm recommending a play on Villanova minus the points on Sunday. Thanks & GL! Scott Spreitzer.
GAME: (801) MIAMI HEAT vs (802) CHICAGO BULLS
PICKS: (801) MIAMI HEAT
REASON FOR PICK: Play - Miami Heat.
Edges - Heat: 5-1 SUATS with revenge in this series; and 17-10 SU and 17-9-1 ATS with same season double-digit loss revenge. Bulls: 3-10 ATS versus losing foes this season. With Chicago returning home off an upset revenge win at Dallas Friday night, and having another revenge affair up next with with Golden State, look for the Heat to get a measure of revenge themselves here today. We recommend a 1-unit play on Miami. Thank you and good luck as always.
• Look: Marc’s top Key Play on Sunday’s college hoops card is supported with THREE 100% ATS winning angles inside the game. Best of all it’s yours - if you act now!
GAME: (809) MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES vs (810) ATLANTA HAWKS
PICKS: (810) ATLANTA HAWKS
REASON FOR PICK: Your free play for Sunday, January 25th is in the NBA schedule contest between the Minnesota T'Wolves and Altanta Hawks. Can there be enough accolades sent the way of Atlanta this year? They are just amazing. A team that limped into the playoffs last year with a losing record now at 36-8, 2nd best record in the entire NBA. Actually they have the most wins in the NBA, but are a few percentage points behind Golden State. What's most amazing is how they just keep covering spreads too. This Hawks team has covered 14 straight games. Could be 15 straight depending on the number you got against Milwaukee. But even further back we see them at 25-3-1 the last 29 games. That is just unheard of in professional sports these days. Mainly because the oddsmaker is quick to adjust when you have a hot team like Atlanta. There defense has been great, holding their last eight opponents to 93 or fewer points. The offense has been excellent, mainly due to a healthy Al Horford this season, something they lacked most of last year. But it's more than just Horford. It's also the play of point guard Jeff Teague who is having a great season. The team is also getting great production out of the secondary players like Millsap and Korver. All these have come together to create the perfect storm that the Atlanta Hawsk are this season. The main problem I have these days with the Hawks is how much wood the oddsmaker is making us lay. They just keep pumping it up and up. I'd make this play much bigger if it weren't for the huge line. Still, you have to stick with a team this hot and this good, even is as a smaller play. Your free play is on the Hawks.