2020 March Madness Cinderella Teams

2020 March Madness Cinderella Teams

In under a week, millions of people will be filling out their March Madness brackets and if you are looking for a few Cinderella to pick here are four that need to be on your radar.

2020 March Madness Cinderella Teams

East Tennessee State Buccaneers (27-4 SU, 15-13 ATS)

Haven’t heard of East Tennessee? That’s okay, you could come to know the Buccaneers very well once March Madness gets underway. East Tennessee State is 27-4 heading into the Southern Conference semifinals. The Buccaneers have won nine straight at the time of this writing and the Buccaneers rank a fantastic 28th in points allowed (63.1) and equally impressive 51st in scoring (75.9 ppg).

What They Do Well

East Tennessee State gave top-ranked Kansas all they could handle before fading late and they took out LSU by 11 points in their only two games against teams from a major conference. The Buccaneers have three double-digit scorers on their roster and they can play at any pace.

What They Don’t Do Well

Shooting free throws is about the only thing ETSU doesn’t do well as they make just 68.8 percent of their collective shots from the charity stripe (250th).

Stephen F. Austin (28-3 SU, 17-10-1 ATS)

The Lumberjacks got on the national map following their stunning 85-83 road win over Duke in their fifth game of the season, but Stephen F. Austin is definitely more than a team that just got ‘lucky’ against the Blue Devils.

What They Do Well

The Lumberjacks force almost 21 turnovers per game to lead the nation in that category. Stephen F. Austin also averages a stellar 80.6 points per game while shooting a blistering 49.1 percent from the field to rank eighth nationally in both categories. The Lumberjacks have won 15 straight at the tie of this writing so they’ll hit March Madness with a ton of momentum.

What They Don’t Do Well

The Lumberjacks also commit a whopping 17 turnovers per game and they don’t shoot it well from the free-throw line by making a collective 69.1 percent from the foul line (240th).

BYU Cougars (24-7 SU, 19-11 ATS)

No. 2 Gonzaga might be the cream of the crop in the West Coast Conference, but BYU looks capable of pulling off at least one or two upsets once the national championship tournament gets underway.

What They Do Well

The Cougars can score the ball with almost any team in the country as they put up a stellar 80.6 points per game (10th) on a scorching 50.4 percent shooting mark from the field (3rd) and incendiary 42.4 percent mark from beyond the arc (first). BYU also defends the three-point shot very well in limiting their opponents to 31.1 percent shooting from downtown (73rd). The Cougars gave San Diego State all they could handle in a five-point loss in their second game of the season and the Cougars split with Gonzaga while beating the No. 2 team in the country by 13 points almost two weeks ago.

What They Don’t Do Well

The Cougars might be one of the best shooting teams in the country, but you’d never know it when they go to the free-throw line. BYU makes just 70.4 percent from the charity stripe to rank an uninspiring 196th in that category. The Cougars are also just mediocre when it comes to rebounding the ball as they give up one more board per game than they pull down.

Northern Iowa Panthers (25-6 SU, 19-8-1 ATS)

You might have already heard of the Panthers thanks to their stunning upset of No. 1 Kansas in the second round of the 2010 NCAA March Madness championship tournament.

What They Do Well

Anyway, this season, Northern Iowa has the look of a Cinderella ballclub because they are elite at both ends of the floor in putting up 75.8 points per game (57th) while limiting the opposition to just 64.3 points per contest defensively (43rd). The Panthers shoot it very well in making 48.2 percent from the field (12th), 39.6 percent from beyond the arc (5th) and 76.0 percent from the free-throw line (29th).

What They Don’t Do Well

On average, the Panthers commit 2.1 more turnovers than they force and they don’t have much of a shot-blocking presence as they average just two per game. The Panthers also have just two double-digit scorers on their roster and just four players that put up more than 9.0 points per contest, so this is a team lacking quality depth on the bench.

2020 March Madness Key Dates

2020 March Madness Key Dates

Welcome to March Madness! AKA the 2020 NCAA Men’s Division I basketball tournament. This year Selection Sunday is set for March 15th. Once the field of 68 teams is revealed the games will begin with the “First Four” in Dayton, Ohio, on March 17-18. 5Dimes’ brackets will be available on March 16th. Odds to win the 2020 NCAA Men’s Division I basketball tournament are available now!

The bedlam will be in full swing from March 19 to the 22nd with the first and second rounds. The four regionals AKA the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight are scheduled for March 26th to the 29th. 2020’s Final Four is on April 4th in Atlanta with the national championship game to tip-off on April 6.

2020 March Madness Key Dates

  • Sunday, March 15 – Selection Sunday
  • Tuesday, March 17 & Wednesday, March 18 – First Four (Dayton, Ohio)
  • Thursday, March 19 & Saturday, March 21 – First and Second Rounds (Albany, N.Y.; Spokane, Wash.; St. Louis, Mo.; Tampa, Fla.)
  • Friday, March 20 & Sunday, March 22 – First and Second Rounds (Greensboro, N.C.; Omaha, Neb.; Sacramento, Calif.; Cleveland)
  • Thursday, March 26 & Saturday, March 28 – Midwest (Indianapolis) and West (Los Angeles) Regionals
  • Friday, March 27 & Sunday, March 29 – South (Houston) and East Regionals (New York City)
  • Saturday, April 4 – Final Four (Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta)
  • Monday, April 6 – National Championship (Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta)
5 NBA Finals Matchups You Want To See, 5 You Don’t!

5 NBA Finals Matchups You Want To See, 5 You Don’t!

After a successful All-Star break it is time to take a look at the future. Here are five NBA Finals matchups that everyone wants to see and five no one does.

5 NBA Finals Matchups You Want To See, 5 You Don’t!

5 NBA Finals Matchups I Want To See

Milwaukee Bucks vs LA Clippers +355

There’s no NBA Finals matchup I’d rather see right now and I believe this matchup is actually going to take place. Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks have been the best team in all of basketball this season and have the look of a team that won’t be seriously challenged in the weak Eastern Conference. Still, the reigning MVP and his band of merry mates are going to have their hands completely full against two-time Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and a Clippers team that got even stronger recently thanks to their additions of Marcus Morris and Isiah Thomas.

Milwaukee Bucks vs LA Lakers +338

While the Bucks have been red-hot since the start of the regular season, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have their own legitimate championship hopes out west. What self-respecting NBA fan doesn’t want to see the Greek Freak try to throw down some hellacious jams on James and Anthony Davis? Oh, and since I’m in a giving mood, if these two teams do meet, you can expect the Bucks to win it all simply because the Lakers are lacking quality depth on the bench.

Boston Celtics vs LA Lakers +2000

Remember Jayson Tatum’s vicious dunk on LeBron James in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals two years ago? I do, but if you don’t, here it is! Besides that, Boston looks like one of just a couple of teams that could actually challenge Milwaukee in the East and the still-blossoming Tatum is a huge reason why. Points blank, you can expect a knock-down, drag-out thriller if these two contenders make it to the finals.

Toronto Raptors vs LA Clippers +2215

The defending champion Raptors might have lost Kawhi Leonard in free agency following their first championship win in franchise history, but Toronto has looked surprisingly solid and are the hottest team in the league with a whopping 14 straight wins at the time of this writing. Seeing Leonard go up against his former teammates, including now, all-star forward Pascal Siakim, might not be great for TV ratings, but I believe it it would be a competitive series.

Philadelphia 76ers vs Denver Nuggets +8500

While I’m disappointed with the struggling 76ers right now, I’d love to see the all-star center matchup and contrasting styles of Denver’s Nikola Jokic and Philly’s Joel Embiid and a similarly interesting matchup between point guards Jamal Murray and Ben Simmons.

5 NBA Finals Matchups No One Wants

Philadelphia 76ers vs Houston Rockets +6850

While I’d love to see some on-court ‘drama’ from Embiid and Houston’s Russell Westbrook, this potential finals matchup won’t be good for the league’s ratings, nor would it be good for basketball purists that like to see a better brand of hoops besides the isolation style both of these teams play.

Boston Celtics vs Denver Nuggets +8500

While the Celtics and Nuggets are two of the league’s best title contenders in their respective conferences, I’m not sure how many fans outside of Boston and Denver would actually watch this series. The good news is that it would definitely be competitive with a chance to go the distance. The bad news is that no one’s getting fired up to see Kemba Walker and Paul Millsap.

Toronto Raptors vs Utah Jazz +10100

Again, while both of these teams are legitimate NBA Finals contenders, the fact of the matter is that the Jazz have absolutely no pizzazz outside of entertaining high-flyer Donovan Mitchell and some blocks by Rudy Gobert. Likewise, while Pascal Siakim and Fred VanVleet are fine players, no one will be in a big rush to leave their summertime fun to see these guys.

Miami Heat vs Houston Rockets +8700

I love Miami’s additions of Andre Iguodala and Jae Crowder, but the only reason anyone would watch this potential NBA Finals pairing is to see Jimmy Butler and Russell Westbrook potentially come to blows. Ooh, maybe this is a finals matchup I’d want to see!

New York Knicks vs LA Lakers +999999

East Coast vs West Coast usually sounds like fun, but watching LeBron, the Brown and the Lake Show win in 4 straight will be only fun for one city.

Updated Post All-Star NBA Over/Under Season Win Total Odds Revealed!

Updated Post All-Star NBA Over/Under Season Win Total Odds Revealed!

We are at the All-Star break and 5Dimes oddsmakers have released updated NBA over-under season win totals. Keep reading to find out how each team is expected to finish their 2020 campaigns.

Updated Post All-Star NBA Over/Under Season Win Total Odds Revealed!

Eastern Conference

  • Atlanta Hawks: 24.5
    The Hawks need 10 wins over their final 26 regular season games to top this total. While I love Trae Young and the direction Atlanta is headed in, I don’t see it happening. Play the Under.
  • Boston Celtics: 55
    Will Boston win 18 of their last 28 regular season game to reach 56 wins? In the immortal words of the legendary Marv Albert…Yesss!
  • Charlotte Hornets: 26.5
    The lowly Hornets need just nine wins in their final 28 games to reach 27 victories, but it’s not happening seeing as how Charlotte has absolutely zero stars on their roster.
  • Chicago Bulls: 28.5
    Can Zach LaVine and company win 10 of their final 27 games? I’m counting 15 ‘sure’ more losses over the course of the regular season right now, so it could happen!
  • Cleveland Cavaliers: 20.5
    If the Cavs keep winning seven times out of every 20 games as they’ve done so far this season, Collin Sexton and company will get there!
  • Detroit Pistons: 26.5
    Can Andre Drummond and company pick up eight wins over their final 27 games to top their O/U total? Despite their underachieving ways, the answer is yes. I’ve got the Pistons going at least 9-18 to close out the regular season.
  • Indiana Pacers: 47.5
    The Pacers needs 16 wins in their last 27 games and believe it or not, I’ve got Indy going 16-111 the rest of the way at the very least.
  • Miami Heat: 53
    Jimmy Butler and company need to go 18-10 the rest of the way to top this Over/Under total and I’ve got the Heat going 20-8 to close out the 2019-20 regular season.
  • Milwaukee Bucks: 66.5
    There’s absolutely no way that Milwaukee fails to win 19 of their final 28 games. Play the Over…it’s a lock!
  • Brooklyn Nets: 38.5
    Kyrie Irving and the Nets need to avoid losing more than 15 of their final 29 games, but I’m counting at least 17 more losses coming, so…there’s that!
  • New York Knicks: 25.5
    The Knicks need nine more wins over their final 27 to top this total and believe it or not, it could happen, even though I personally wouldn’t bet on the Knicks with your money!
  • Orlando Magic: 36.5
    Orlando just needs to record a winning record from here on in to top this O/U figure. Unfortunately, I’ve got the Magic coming up just short of doing so.
  • Philadelphia 76ers: 52.5
    The Sixers need 18 more wins to top their O/U total and with Philly being elite at home and having 13 more games in the City of Brotherly Love, I say they’ll get them!
  • Toronto Raptors: 56.5
    The Raptors need 17 wins in their last 27 games to top their O/U win total odds and I think think it’s a lock that Pascal Siakim and the defending champs get there after winning 14 of their last 15.
  • Washington Wizards: 29.5
    Outside of star shooting guard Bradley Beal, the Wizards are completely inept. Still, The Wiz need just 10 wins over their final 29 to top their O/U total. It’s gonna be close in the nation’s capitol, like real close.

Western Conference

  • Dallas Mavericks: 48.5
    The Mavericks need to go at least 16-11 over their final 27 games and I think it’s a lock that Luka and company get there. Despite having 15 road games remaining, the Mavs look good seeing as how they’ve gone 18-8 on the road this season.
  • Denver Nuggets: 55.5
    Denver needs to win 18 of their final 27 games to reach 56 victories, but I’ve got the championship-hopeful Nuggets coming up just short, because they have 14 road dates remaining and home games against elite opponents like Toronto, Milwaukee and the Clippers.
  • Golden State Warriors: 21.5
    There’s no way that Golden State wins 10 of their final 27 games while risking some ping pong balls in their chase for the first overall pick in this summer’s NBA Draft.
  • Houston Rockets: 52.5
    If the Rockets win 19 of their final 28, they’ll reach 53 victories. Unfortunately, I’ve got James Harden and Russell Westbrook falling agonizingly short of reaching their figure.
  • Los Angeles Clippers: 55.5
    The Clippers need to get hot in a hurry down the stretch run, but I’m going to say Kawhi Leonard and company come up short of 56 victories as they mostly concentrate on getting Paul George healthy.
  • Los Angeles Lakers: 61.5
    If LeBron James and the Lakers win 21 of their final 29 games, they’ll reach the 62-win mark. However. With 14 games remaining against teams that should reach the playoffs this year, I’ve got L.A. coming up just short here!
  • Memphis Grizzlies: 38.5
    Ja Morant and the upstart Grizz need to get 11 wins in their final 28 games. Consider it a done deal!
  • Minnesota Timberwolves: 26
    The T-Wolves need 10 more wins over their final 29 games. Now that they’ve paired friends D’Angelo Russell with Karl Anthony Towns, I think Minnesota gets there, although I personally would have a hard time laying any money on the perennial underachievers.
  • New Orleans Pelicans: 38.5
    The Pelicans need to go 16-11 the rest of the way to to reach 39 wins and I believe they’ll get there as they furiously try to reach the playoffs behind Zion Williamson.
  • Oklahoma City Thunder: 47.5
    Simply put, I say chalk up Chris Paul and the surprising Thunder to get at least 15 more wins to top this figure seeing as how Oklahoma City has recorded a winning record at home and on the road.
  • Phoenix Suns: 33.5
    I feel for Devin Booker. I mean, I really feel for Phoenix’s lone star. Play the Under.
  • Portland Trail Blazers: 39
    The Blazers might have one superstar in Damian Lillard and a slightly lesser one in C.J. McCollum, but it won’t be enough to help the Blazers find the consistency that had elided them all season long.
  • Sacramento Kings: 33
    The Kings need to get 13 more wins over their final 28 games. Uh yeah…it’s not happening.
  • San Antonio Spurs: 36.5
    Where are Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker when you really need them? 37 wins is not gonna’ happen!
  • Utah Jazz: 53.5
    The Jazz have been phenomenal at home and rock-solid on the road. 17 wins over their final 28 games looks like a lock to me!
2020 March Madness Cinderella Teams

3-Point, Slam Dunk, Skills Challenge Odds

The highlight of the NBA All-Star festivities are the 3-point, Slam Dunk  and Skills challenge and if you want to bet on the complete NBA All-Star Weekend keep reading!

2020 NBA 3-Point, Slam Dunk, Skills Challenge Odds

NBA Mountain Dew Three-Point Contest

  • Damian Lillard +380
  • Davis Bertans +400
  • Duncan Robinson +425
  • Joe Harris +425
  • Trae Young +450
  • Buddy Heild +800
  • Zach Levine +900
  • Devonte’ Graham +1025

This year, the three-point contest will include two extra shots. Each shot will be from six feet behind the 3-point line and will be worth three points. In addition, contestants will get an extra 10 seconds to complete all the shots, raising the time limit from 60 seconds to 70 seconds.

With that said, prohibitive favorite Damian Lillard is shooting 39.8 percent from beyond the arc while averaging four threes per night to rank second to James Harden (4.5) in made threes per game. Washington’s Davis Bertans is shooting a stellar 43.1 percent from downtown while Miami’s Duncan Robinson is draining a blistering 43.7 percent from three-point distance. Brooklyn’s Joe Harris is shooting 40.8 percent from the three-point line while Atlanta superstar point guard Trae Young has made 37.0 percent from beyond the arc. Sacramento shooting guard Buddy Heild has made 38.7 percent of his three point attempts while Chicago’s Zach Levine has made 37.6 percent of his treys and last, but not least, Charlotte’s Devonte’ Graham has made 37.2 percent from beyond the arc. While I’m not making a prediction here, I do like one of the best big-time shot-makers (Lillard or Young) to claim this year’s three-point title.

NBA AT&T Slam Dunk Contest

  • Aaron Gordon +110
  • Derrick Jones Jr. +165
  • Pat Connaughton +475
  • Dwight Howard +450

Orlando’s Aaron Gordon has been denied this award the last couple of years despite putting on a show with some serious throw-downs. While LA Lakers center Dwight Howard won the dunk contest back in 2008, I’m expecting Bucks forward Pat Connaughton to get a lot of love in this event simply because you just don’t see white guys with his jumping ability. I’m also expecting Miami’s high-flying Derrick Jones to challenge Gordon for the win with the lefty throwing down several highlight reel-making jams already this season.

NBA Taco Bell Skills Challenge

  • Spencer Dinwiddie +390
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander +450
  • Pascal Siakim +500
  • Jayson Tatum +450
  • Khris Middleton +500
  • Patrick Beverly +550
  • Domantas Sabonis +800
  • Bam Adebayo +1200

Boston’s Jayson Tatum won this event a year ago, but prohibitive favorite Spencer Dinwiddie won it two years ago and I believe the Nets’ do-it-all combo swingman could repeat simply because he’s a player that can pass, dribble and shoot with the best players in the league. I also love Oklahoma City’s super speedy Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Toronto’s Pascal Siakim to challenge, along with Boston’s still-blossoming Tatum. Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton will have a chance, but I’m ruling out Indiana’s Domantas Sabonis and Miami’s Bam Adebayo because of their respective lacks of feet speed.

2020 March Madness Cinderella Teams

2020 College Basketball National Title Outlook

With the 2019-20 NCAA college basketball season heating up and steamrolling toward its annual March Madness national championship tournament, now is a great time to look at the contenders, pretenders, under the radar championship hopefuls and those handful of teams that you shouldn’t think about backing until next season at the earliest.

College Basketball National Title Outlook

2020 NCAA Basketball Title Odds

  • Gonzaga +750
  • Kansas +800
  • Michigan State +900
  • Baylor +950
  • Louisville +975
  • Duke +950
  • Kentucky +1500
  • San Diego State +1200
  • Oregon +1500
  • Dayton +1500
  • Ohio State +2000
  • Maryland +1800
  • Auburn +2000
  • Florida State +2200
  • Seton Hall +2000
  • Villanova +2400

Top Tier Match Madness Teams

  • Baylor
  • Gonzaga
  • Kansas
  • Michigan State
  • Louisville
  • Duke
  • San Diego State
  • Dayton
  • Florida State

Top-ranked Baylor looks like an extremely legitimate championship favorite, mostly because of their terrific defense which ranks fifth nationally in points allowed (58.0 ppg). The Bears ride an impressive 18-game winning streak into the new week in a season that has seen a record number of team reach No. 1 overall. No. 2 Gonzaga ranks first in the nation in scoring (88.6 ppg) and they have one of the game’s best head coaches in Mark Few, not to mention a whopping six players that all average double figures in scoring. Despite coming up agonizingly short of winning it all the last few years, the Zags will have another great chance come March.

Three-loss Kansas  is ranked third in the nation and the Jayhawks have a solid offense and defense that rank 69th (76.0 ppg) and 16th (61.1 ppg) respectively. Still, Bill Self’s squad lost against Duke in their regular season opener and at dangerous Villanova, but it is their convincing home loss to Baylor that has me questioning whether or not the Jayhawks are really worthy.

Preseason No. 1 Michigan State (No. 14) has lost a whopping six games so far, but the Spartans are usually better the closer it gets to March and they are led by a heady All-American in point guard Cassius Winston. No. 6 Louisville has won eight straight since their convincing 78-65 home loss against No. 5 Florida State. And speaking of the Seminoles, they’re looking great right now after recording road wins at Florida and Louisville. No. 9 Duke (18-3) has won three straight since suffering consecutive home losses against Clemson and Louisville, but the Blue Devils failed to win it all a year ago with three first round draft picks on their roster, so there’s that.

Seventh-ranked Dayton ranks sixth in the nation in scoring (82.1 ppg) and the A-10 leaders an excellent defense at the other end of the floor. However, the Flyers play in a mediocre A-10 conference that just isn’t very daunting. While the Mountain West Conference isn’t exactly known for producing basketball powerhouses, but unbeaten fourth-ranked San Diego State is just that thanks to a stingy defense that ranks fourth nationally in points allowed (57.7 ppg) under longtime Steve Fisher assistant Brian Dutcher, who is largely credited with bringing current NBA superstar Kawhi Leonard to the school.

Always Dangerous

  • Villanova
  • Kentucky
  • Auburn
  • Oregon

Eighth-ranked and now, perennially-powerful Villanova  looks dangerous once again heading down the stretch run of the regular season, even if they don’t looks as dangerous as their recent pair of national championship-winning teams. No. 13 Kentucky has a boatload of raw talent, but the Wildcats look too young – again – to win it all. Currently, 17th-ranked Auburn might have suffered consecutive losses to Alabama and Florida while getting held to a pitiful 47 points against the Gators, but I believe the Tigers are going to bear watching as we get closer to March. Last, but not least, 11th-ranked Oregon (18-5) has a wonderful trio of backcourt performers, but the Ducks are lacking in the frontcourt and that looks like their Achilles heel heading into March.

Under The Radar

  • Virginia
  • North Carolina
  • Indiana
  • Texas
  • Seton Hall

Virginia’s step backwards is understandable after the Cavaliers lost some key starters from last year’s national championship winning squad, but I don’t know what in the name of Dean Smith is going on with North Carolina. Indiana and Texas will both contend, but their respective shortcomings will leave the exit March Madness relatively early. No. 10 Seton Hall has a gaudy national ranking, but losses against Michigan State, Oregon, Rutgers and an awful Iowa State team tell me eh Big East leaders aren’t quite ready for prime time.

2020 NBA Title Hunt Update

2020 NBA Title Hunt Update

The 2019-2020 NBA season is in mid-season form with the All-Star game on the horizon making it a perfect time to check in on the latest NBA Title odds and which teams are in the playoff hunt and more.

2020 NBA Title Hunt Update

Last season’s NBA Champion Toronto Raptors may be Kawhi-less but they in the top ten on the NBA Title odds board barely clocking in at tenth. The 2020 NBA Title favorites are the Los Angeles Lakers followed by the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers both with in striking distance.

2020 NBA Title Odds

  • Los Angeles Lakers +260
  • Milwaukee Bucks +325
  • Los Angeles Clippers +350
  • Houston Rockets +1300
  • Utah Jazz +1500
  • Philadelphia 76ers +1550
  • Denver Nuggets +1650
  • Boston Celtics +2200
  • Dallas Mavericks +2650
  • Toronto Raptors +3000
  • Miami Heat +3250
  • Indiana Pacers +6000
  • New Orleans Pelicans +10000
  • Brooklyn Nets +12500
  • Portland Trail Blazers +15000
  • Oklahoma City Thunder +22000
  • San Antonio Spurs +35000
  • Orlando Magic +40000
  • Memphis Grizzlies +50000
  • Phoenix Suns +100000
  • Sacramento Kings +150000
  • Detroit Pistons +200000
  • Minnesota Timberwolves +250000
  • Chicago Bulls +350000
  • Golden State Warriors +500000
  • Cleveland Cavaliers +999900
  • Charlotte Hornets +999900
  • Atlanta Hawks +999900
  • New York Knicks +999900
  • Washington Wizards +999900

The Best in the Business

  • Milwaukee Bucks
  • Los Angeles Lakers
  • LA Clippers

While the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers entered the regular season as the two most talked about teams and top two prohibitive favorites thanks to their respective offseason additions of Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard respectively, it is Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks have been the best team in the league – period. Milwaukee ranks first in scoring (119.9 ppg) and first in defensive field goal percentage (41.2%). While LeBron James and the Lakers could use the tragic death of Kobe Bryant as motivational fuel and the Clippers are led by a two-time Finals MVP that raises his game each and every postseason, the Bucks have the look of a team that is going to be difficult, if not impossible, for anyone to beat, despite their lack of a second superstar.

They’ve Got a Shot

  • Denver Nuggets
  • Toronto Raptors
  • Boston Celtics
  • Utah Jazz
  • Houston Rockets

After finishing second to Golden State in the Western Conference a year ago, but falling short of reaching the conference finals, Denver is right back in the championship mix in the loaded Western Conference. All-star center Nikola Jokic is playing lights out and the play of second-year forward Michael Porter Jr. give the Nuggets another clearly, versatile weapon. Recent wins over the Bucks, Jazz and Rockets suggests Denver and their fifth-ranked defense could beat anyone. Toronto has been surprisingly solid despite losing Leonard in free agency after winning it all last season. Pascal Siakim is back to being healthy and Fred Van Vleet is a seriously underrated ‘monster killer’. Toronto ranks fourth in points allowed and second in defensive field goal percentage and the Raptors will definitely challenge for their second straight conference crown at the very least.
Boston looks a lot like the dangerous group of young stars they did two years ago and even though the C’s could probably use some size in the frontcourt, they rank a stellar second in points allowed (105.3 ppg). Utah has a well-rounded roster featuring one, still-blossoming all-star in Donovan Mitchell, another all-star player that might be the best defensive player in the league and a cast of other competent performers that make them look dangerous at the very least. Houston has a pair of former league MVP’s in James Harden and Russell Westbrook and they rank second in scoring (118.7 ppg). Unfortunately, the Rockets are almost completely inept defensively (again) and look like a team destined to come up short of its championship aspirations – again.

Under The Radar Contenders

  • Miami Heat
  • Dallas Mavericks
  • Oklahoma City Thunder

Miami has overachieved since the start of the regular season thanks to the unorthodox ‘leadership’ of gritty veteran Jimmy Butler first and foremost. Unfortunately, the Heat are still lacking quality depth, although their hard-nosed ways could see them pull off at least one postseason upset. Dallas has an undeniable superstar in do-it-all forward Luka Doncic. Now, if only Kristaps Porzingis would show up, even semi-consistently. Oklahoma City has also surprised in a big way after moving Paul George in their massive trade with the Clippers. The bad news is that the Thunder’s three best players are all point guards (Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dennis Schroeder).

It Could Happen

  • Portland Trail Blazers
  • Indiana Pacers
  • Philadelphia 76ers

The Blazers are heating up nicely thanks to Damian Lillard’s historic six-game run and the on-going chemistry improvement after adding veterans, Carmelo Anthony and Trevor Ariza. Right now, I’m thinking each of the aforementioned Western Conference playoff contenders should be wary of the red-hot Blazers. The Pacers might not be getting a whole lot of national media attention, but I love their well-composed roster and I believe they could really challenge in the East if Victor Oladipo becomes a factor later in the season as he makes his way back from a horrific injury that cost him a year. In Philly, the 76ers are underachieving and it’s not because of a lack of talent, at least not with the starting five. The bad news is that the Sixers are razor thin on the bench once you get past impressive rookie Matisse Thybulle.

Bettor Luck Next Year

  • Golden State Warriors
  • Memphis Grizzlies
  • Brooklyn Nets
  • Phoenix Suns
  • New Orleans Pelicans
  • San Antonio Spurs
  • Atlanta Hawks

If you’re taking pleasure in Golden State’s demise after they basically ruled the league for the past five years, then you’d better enjoy it now because, come next season, the Dubs could easily be right back in the championship mix, after pretty much ‘tanking’ this year because of a series of what looks like now, perfectly-timed injuries that will give them a high draft pick in this summer’s NBA Draft. Memphis has an unadulterated star in gifted rookie point guard Ja Morant while Brooklyn will have Kevin Durant on the court to pair with the talented, but enigmatic Kyrie Irving (ugh). I expect the Suns to be way better in year 2 of the Monty Williams era and the future looks bright in New Orleans as long as Zion Williamson can stay healthy. The Spurs still have Gregg Popovich leading them and Atlanta has some excellent young talent, starting with sweet-shooting point guard Trae Young.

Re-build or Bust

  • Orlando Magic
  • Chicago Bulls
  • Sacramento Kings
  • Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Washington Wizards
  • Detroit Pistons
  • Charlotte Hornets
  • New York Knicks
  • Cleveland Cavaliers

While each of these struggling franchise has some glimmer of positive vibes (Karl Anthony Towns, Bradley Beal, Coby White and Collin Sexton) each organization is clearly a couple of years away from challenging for anything significant. Sure, a playoff berth could potentially be in the works for one or more of these teams come next season, but I definitely wouldn’t bet the farm on it!

NBA + Christmas = Fun

NBA + Christmas = Fun 🎄🏀🎊

With other major sports taking Christmas Day off, the NBA has taken over the holiday with fiver super-sized NBA tilts, well 4 and half since Zion is still sidelined for the Pelicans.

NBA + Christmas = Fun

Boston Celtics at Toronto Raptors

The Celtics have won three straight and and seven of their last nine while ranking 15th in scoring (111.2 ppg) and a stellar second in points allowed (103.2 ppg). The defending champion Raptors had won five straight heading into their Monday night road date at Indiana. Toronto ranks 11tH in scoring (112.0 ppg) and seventh in points allowed (105.9 ppg). Toronto has gone a stellar 13-3 at home while Boston is a modest 8-5 on the road. The Raptors win by a half-dozen points on Christmas Day. The Celtics are a dismal 0-8 ATS in the last 8 road dates against Toronto.

Milwaukee Bucks at Philadelphia 76ers

Milwaukee has won three straight and nine of ten while ranking a stupendous first in scoring (120.6 ppg) and equally impressive ninth in points allowed (107.1 ppg). Philly managed to snap a three-game skid by beating Indiana on Saturday. While the Sixers have been rock-solid at home this season (15-2), the Bucks are the deeper team by far and that will be the difference in this Christmas Day matchup. The Bucks are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The 76ers are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.

Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors

Houston has won three straight and five of six. While Golden State managed to snap a five-game skid by getting past New Orleans, the Rockets could win this one by double digits with their backups starting. The injury-riddled Dubs hare ranked a dismal 26th in scoring (104.6 ppg) while also ranking a discouraging 22nd in points allowed (113.6 ppg). James Harden and company are ranked a stellar second in scoring (120.4 ppg) and their 4-1 ATS mark in their last five means they should cover what will almost certainly be a double-digit spread. 

L.A. Clippers at L.A. Lakers

The Clippers have alternated wins and losses over their last six, including a 118-112 road loss at Oklahoma City on Friday. The Lakers have dropped three straight including a 128-104 blowout win against Denver on Friday. LeBron James and company will be looking for payback for their 112-102 loss against the Clips on October 22, but they won’t get it against Kawhi Leonard and a Clippers team that will be well-rested coming into this affair and looking to deliver another message. The Clippers are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games as a favorite while the Lakers are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games overall. Golden State has gone 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.

New Orleans Pelicans at Denver Nuggets

The Pelicans are a complete mess and it doesn’t look like Zion Williamson is going to come riding to the rescue any time soon, if at all this season. Denver has won six straight heading into their Monday night road date at Phoenix and this Christmas day pairing looks like a huge mismatch the Nuggets should have well in hand by halftime! The Pels are 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight road games. The Nuggets are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games against a team with a winning percentage below .400.

NBA Christmas Day Team Records

Team SU Record ATS Record O/U Record
76ers 1-2 (33.3%) 1-2 (33.3%) 1-2 (33.3%)
Celtics 4-5 (44.4%) 5-4 (55.6%) 5-4 (55.6%)
Lakers 8-13 (38.1%) 12-9 (57.1%) 6-13-2 (31.6%)
Warriors 4-4 (50.0%) 2-6 (25.0%) 2-6 (25.0%)
Raptors 0-1 (0.0%) 0-1 (0.0%) 1-0 (100.0%)
Nuggets 1-3 (25.0%) 1-3 (25.0%) 3-1 (75.0%)
Pelicans 0-2 (0.0%) 0-2 (0.0%) 0-2 (0.0%)
Rockets 5-4 (55.6%) 7-2 (77.8%) 2-4-3 (33.3%)
Bucks 1-0 (100.0%) 1-0 (100.0%) 0-1 (0.0%)
Clippers 4-3 (57.1%) 4-3 (57.1%) 3-4 (42.9%)

LeBron James is 9-4 SU and 8-5 ATS while averaging 26 points, 6.7 assists and 7.6 rebounds per game on Christmas Day. Russell Westbrook is 6-3 SU and 7-2 ATS while averaging 23.4 points, 8.6 assists and 7.4 rebounds on Christmas Day. James Harden is 6-1 SU and ATS while putting up 26.3 points, 6.7 assists and 5.4 rebounds on Christmas Day. 

NBA Christmas Day Player Stats

Player Stats
LeBron James 26 PTS, 6.7 AST, 7.6 REB in 13 Christmas Day games.
Jayson Tatum 21.5 PTS, 0.5 AST, 6.5 REB in 2 Christmas Day games.
Anthony Davis 29 PTS, 4 AST, 15 rebounds in 1 Christmas Day game.
Jrue Holiday 9 PTS, 2 AST, 3 rebounds in 1 Christmas Day game.
Draymond Green 10.7 PTS, 5.2 AST, 7.7 REB in 6 Christmas Day games.
Ben Simmons 9.5 PTS, 5.5 AST, 11 REB in 2 Christmas Day games.
Joel Embiid 29.5 PTS, 2.5 AST,16 REB in 2 Christmas Day games.
Al Horford 10.3 PTS, 5.3 AST, 7.7 REB in 3 Christmas Day games.
Russell Westbrook 23.4 PTS, 8.6 AST, 7.4 REB in 9 Christmas Day games.
James Harden 26.3 PTS, 6.7 AST, 5.4 REB in 7 Christmas Day games.
Giannis Antetokounmpo 30 PTS, 3 AST,14 rebounds in 1 Christmas Day game.
Paul George 26.0 PTS, 3 AST, 9.5 REB in 2 Christmas Day games.
Nikola Jokic N/A Hasn’t played on Christmas Day
2019-20 College Basketball Bold Betting Predictions

2019-20 College Basketball Bold Betting Predictions

The 2019-20 College Basketball season tips off this week, and here are 7 BOLD predictions. Some will come true. Some won’t. But they are all crazy bold.

2019-20 College Basketball Bold Betting Predictions

The Baylor Bears Will Make The Final Four +1350

Don’t sleep on this team. This season’s Baylor Bears may essentially have a similar roster. However, last season, four of the team’s top five scorers missed at least five games last season due to either injury or suspension, and the team still won 20 games. This year’s Baylor’s season win total is 21½ games making the over a smart bet.

The Georgia Bulldogs Will Win The SEC +2500

Hear me out. Betting on UGA to win the SEC over UK or Florida is sounds way beyond bold. It’s downright crazy. But here is why I am bullish on the Bulldogs. Georgia has the coach it wants in place. The roster features two future NBA players in blue-chip freshman guard Anthony Edwards and forward Rayshaun Hammonds. If you still think this bet is too bold, wait a few weeks and jump on them after the proof is in the pudding.

Syracuse will win 20 games

The oddsmakers are loco. The total wins for Syracuse is 18½. If you sleep on this team in the pre-season, jump on its national title futures after a few wins. Head coach Jim Boeheim is a Hall of Fame coach with a national championship, five Final Fours and 10 Big East championships to his name. The odds of Syracuse winning the National Title are +12000, and to make the Final Four are +2500.

The Florida Gators will NOT

Florida’s season over/under win total is 23½, and with the second-hardest out-of-league schedule, that is a stretch. This is the best Gators team since 2013-14 when Florida made the Final Four, but the schedule makers did dem dirty.

Louisville will win the ACC over Duke

Louisville is the second favorite at +400 to win the ACC over Duke at +300. Duke is gonna Duke even after losing Zion and RJ Barrett to the NBA. But Louisville is going to surprise a lot of folk after being a No. 7 seed during last season’s March Madness. Six of their top seven scorers are returning. Moreover, grad transfer Lamarr Kimble, who averaged 15.6 points per game at Saint Joseph’s, is joining the team. In a world of one and done a seasoned roster is nothing to sneeze at.

 

2020 March Madness Cinderella Teams

College Basketball Betting Futures

The general public won’t focus on college basketball until after football in February even with the 2019-20 college basketball season tipping off in early November. Here are all of the current college basketball betting futures available to bet on.

College Basketball Betting Futures

Odds To Make The Final Four

Michigan State +140
Kentucky +150
Duke +200
Kansas +225
North Carolina +300
Memphis +350
Louisville +400
Virginia +450
Villanova +500
Florida +500
Gonzaga +600
Texas Tech +750
Oregon +750
Maryland +1000
Auburn +1200
Arizona +1200
Purdue +1300
Baylor +1350
Seton Hall +1400
Ohio State +1500
LSU +1500
Houston +1500
Florida State +1500
Washington +1800
Mississippi State +2000
Michigan +2000
Tennessee +2000
Xavier +2400
West Virginia +2500
Texas +2500
Syracuse +2500
Marquette +2500
Iowa State +2500
Georgia +2500
Cincinnati +2500
BYU +3000
Iowa +3000
VCU +3000
UCLA +3000
Arizona State +3000
Utah State +3500
Wisconsin +3500
Illinois +4000
NC State +4500
Miami Florida +5000
Indiana +5000
Central Connecticut +5000
Colorado +5000
Connecticut +5000
Creighton +5000
Minnesota +5000
Oklahoma +5000
Austin Peay +5000
Ball State +5000
Alabama +5000
UNLV +6000
Georgetown +6500
Wichita State +6500
Davidson +7500
Kansas State +7500
Nebraska +7500
Missouri +7500
Oklahoma State +7500
Oregon State +7500
Notre Dame +7500
Mississippi +7500
New Mexico State +7500
Providence +7500
South Florida +7500
Penn State +7500
Butler +7500
Harvard +8500
Princeton +10000
Northwestern +12500
Pittsburgh +12500
Utah +12500
Temple +12500
Vermont +12500
UTEP +12500
Vanderbilt +12500
Virginia Tech +12500
UC Irvine +12500
Texas A&M +12500
South Dakota State +12500
George Washington +12500
Arkansas +12500
Belmont +12500
Boise State +12500
Alabama State +12500
Dayton +15000
Missouri State +15000
St John’s +15000
Stanford +15000
TCU +15000
Rutgers +15000
South Carolina +15000
SMU +15000
San Diego State +15000
Northern Iowa +25000
Pennsylvania +25000
Old Dominion +25000
St Bonaventure +25000
Nevada +25000
New Mexico +25000
Miami Ohio +25000
Loyola Chicago +25000
Liberty +25000
Lipscomb +25000
DePaul +25000
Central Florida +25000
California +25000
Clemson +25000
Charleston +25000
Colgate +25000
East Tennessee State?? +25000
Georgia Tech +25000
Grand Canyon +25000
Fresno State +25000
Albany +25000
Bucknell +25000
Buffalo +25000
Western Kentucky +25000
Yale +25000
Washington State +50000
Wofford +50000
Wright State +50000
Bowling Green +50000
Bradley +50000
Boston College +50000
Furman +50000
George Mason +50000
Florida Atlantic +50000
Florida Intl +50000
Duquesne +50000
Georgia Southern +50000
Georgia State +50000
Coastal Carolina +50000
Central Michigan +50000
Drake +50000
CS Fullerton +50000
Colorado State +50000
Long Beach State +50000
Louisiana Tech +50000
Kent State +50000
La Salle +50000
Hawaii +50000
Hofstra +50000
Jacksonville State +50000
Iona +50000
Loyola Marymount +50000
Marshall +50000
Montana +50000
Murray State +50000
Texas San Antonio +50000
Texas State +50000
UC Santa Barbara +50000
Toledo +50000
Tulsa +50000
UAB +50000
Wake Forest +50000
UT-Arlington +50000
UNC Greensboro +50000
Oakland +50000
Northern Kentucky +50000
North Texas +50000
Northeastern +50000
San Francisco +50000
South Alabama +50000
Southern Mississippi +50000
San Diego +50000
Rhode Island +50000
Richmond +50000
Utah Valley +125000
Valparaiso +125000
William & Mary +125000

College Basketball National Championship Odds

Michigan State +650
Kentucky +800
Kansas +850
Duke +1000
Memphis +1100
North Carolina +1200
Louisville +1300
Florida +1300
Villanova +2200
Virginia +2500
Texas Tech +2500
Gonzaga +2500
Maryland +3500
Ohio State +3500
Oregon +3500
Washington +3500
Arizona +3500
Baylor +5000
Purdue +6500
Seton Hall +6600
Florida State +7000
Houston +7000
Auburn +7000
Xavier +7500
Utah State +7500
Tennessee +9000
Michigan +9000
LSU +10000
Marquette +10000
BYU +10000
Connecticut +10000
Wisconsin +10000
Alabama A&M +10000
Texas +12000
Syracuse +12000
Cincinnati +12000
Iowa +12000
Iowa State +12000
Georgia +12000
Mississippi State +12000
USC +12500
UCLA +12500
West Virginia +12500
Arizona State +12500
VCU +15000
Miami Florida +15000
Minnesota +20000
San Francisco +20000
Illinois +20000
Indiana +20000
Creighton +20000
Colorado +20000
Central Connecticut +20000
Austin Peay +20000
Ball State +20000
Abilene Christian +20000
Alabama +25000
Davidson +25000
Harvard +25000
Georgetown +25000
Saint Mary’s +25000
Oklahoma +25000
Mississippi +25000
NC State +25000
South Florida +25000
Vanderbilt +27500
Wichita State +30000
Missouri +30000
Notre Dame +30000
Oklahoma State +35000
Penn State +35000
Providence +35000
Oregon State +35000
Nebraska +35000
New Mexico State +35000
Kansas State +35000
Butler +35000
Utah +35000
Texas A&M +40000
Stephen F. Austin +50000
Temple +50000
Southern +50000
South Dakota State +50000
UNC Wilmington +50000
Texas Southern +50000
Troy +50000
Winthrop +50000
Wyoming +50000
Vermont +50000
UTEP +50000
Belmont +50000
Boston University +50000
East Tennessee State?? +50000
Eastern Kentucky +50000
Holy Cross +50000
George Washington +50000
Hampton +50000
New Orleans +50000
Mount St Mary’s +50000
North Dakota +50000
Middle Tennessee +50000
Louisiana Lafayette +50000
Radford +50000
North Florida +50000
Alabama State +50000
Arkansas +60000
Northwestern +60000
Pittsburgh +60000
Rutgers +60000
Saint Louis +60000
San Diego State +60000
SMU +60000
Missouri State +60000
Boise State +60000
Virginia Tech +60000
UC Irvine +60000
St John’s +60000
Stanford +60000
South Carolina +60000
TCU +60000
Western Kentucky +90000
Weber State +100000
UC Davis +100000
Yale +100000
South Dakota +100000
St Bonaventure +100000
UNLV +100000
UMBC +100000
Bucknell +100000
Buffalo +100000
California +100000
Clemson +100000
Fairleigh Dickinson +100000
Dayton +100000
DePaul +100000
Central Florida +100000
Charleston +100000
Colgate +100000
Georgia Tech +100000
Grand Canyon +100000
Fresno State +100000
Florida Gulf Coast +100000
Jackson State +100000
Nevada +100000
New Mexico +100000
North Dakota State +100000
North Carolina Central +100000
Liberty +100000
Lipscomb +100000
Loyola Chicago +100000
Miami Ohio +100000
Massachusetts +100000
Pennsylvania +100000
Prairie View A&M +100000
Old Dominion +100000
Northeastern +100000
Northern Iowa +100000
Albany +100000
Northern Kentucky +200000
North Texas +200000
Oakland +200000
Princeton +200000
Saint Joseph’s +200000
Rhode Island +200000
Richmond +200000
South Alabama +200000
San Diego +200000
Loyola Marymount +200000
Marshall +200000
Long Beach State +200000
Louisiana Monroe +200000
Louisiana Tech +200000
Murray State +200000
Montana +200000
Jacksonville State +200000
Kent State +200000
La Salle +200000
Lafayette +200000
Hawaii +200000
Hofstra +200000
Iona +200000
Florida Intl +200000
Florida Atlantic +200000
Furman +200000
Gardner-Webb +200000
George Mason +200000
Georgia Southern +200000
Georgia State +200000
Central Michigan +200000
Colorado State +200000
CS Fullerton +200000
Drake +200000
Duquesne +200000
Coastal Carolina +200000
Bowling Green +200000
Bradley +200000
Boston College +200000
UNC Greensboro +200000
UC Santa Barbara +200000
Tulsa +200000
UAB +200000
Texas State +200000
Toledo +200000
Southern Mississippi +200000
Texas San Antonio +200000
Wofford +200000
Wright State +200000
UT-Arlington +200000
Wake Forest +200000
Washington State +200000
Valparaiso +500000
William & Mary +500000
Utah Valley +500000