I passed on the basketball games for Thursday but have five NBA games I will pick for today:
Hornets (-4.5) over Knicks: The Hornets are really struggling but face a Knicks team that just played the Cavaliers on Thursday night.
Cavaliers (+4) over Raptors: Toronto’s first game back after a long west coast road trip. It was a costly trip for the Raptors as they lost guard DeMar DeRozan to injury. The Cavaliers will be focused for this game against one of the better teams in the conference.
Hawks (-1.5) over Nets: The Hawks are quietly 11-6. The Nets are coming off an overtime win against the Spurs.
Spurs (pick) over Grizzlies: I think the Spurs bounce back after an overtime loss in Brooklyn. Memphis is back home after a long road trip, which is a situation where I like to fade a team.
Suns (+5.5) over Mavericks: Dallas is also playing their first home game after a road trip. They went 4-0 away from home but played some close games. They won in double overtime in Chicago on Tuesday and won on the buzzer-beater over Milwaukee the next night.
After a horrible 0-5 weekend in college football, I am going to be more selective for the last week of the season. The good news is that bowl games are coming up, which is my favorite part of picking college football games. Here are my two picks for this week:
Oklahoma State (+21) over Oklahoma: If there’s one thing I learned about rivalry games last week is that big underdogs can cover spreads. Oklahoma State has struggled this season but this is always a big game and the Cowboys need to win to make a bowl game. Oklahoma State burned quarterback Mason Rudolph’s redshirt two weeks ago and he impressed against Baylor. It’s not confirmed that Rudolph will start but I think he will see some time if Daxx Garman struggles under center. I think this line is a bit higher than it should because of the rumors that Mike Gundy will leave Stillwater for another coaching opportunity this winter. I still think Oklahoma State shows up in Norman on Saturday, and don’t think Oklahoma is a good team.
Wisconsin (-4) over Ohio State: It’s a shame that J.T. Barrett won’t be playing in this game. Ohio State’s offense has been rolling in conference play with the freshman under center. Barrett sustained an injury late in the game against Michigan and now it’s Cardale Jones’ opportunity to start at quarterback. With no game preparation, I think the Ohio State offense will struggle. Wisconsin’s running game with Melvin Gordon will tire out the Buckeyes defense, and Joel Stave won’t be forced to make plays. I also think the distractions of the Playoff rankings will hurt Ohio State in this game, while Wisconsin knows they can play spoiler.
Oregon (-14.5) over Arizona- Friday Night