NBA Prediction NBA Saturday Night Preview/Pick- Clippers vs. Rockets

NBA Free Pick & Prediction L.A Clippers vs. Rockets

Los Angeles Clippers (51-22, 20-17 away) @ Houston Rockets (49-22, 29-7 home) 02/29- 8:00PM EST

 

Line: HOU -1.5

Over/Under: 216.5

 

Yet another big Western Conference showdown will take place on Saturday night when Los Angeles visits the Houston Rockets as the Clippers will be going for the season sweep.

 

The Rockets (49-22) will be in quest of their 12th straight home victory on Saturday night and a win against a team they have yet to defeat this season will draw them into a third-place tie in the tough Western Conference.

 

Houston is also riding a five game win streak, having won three of those without center Dwight Howard who was sidelined with a left ankle strain and he responded in his second game back with 17 points and 13 boards in their 120-98 smack down of the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night.

 

James Harden continued his all-star season performance by recording a triple-double with 26 points, 10 boards and 10 assists.

 

We did a great job of coming out tonight and taking care of business,” said Harden who’s been on a scoring tear averaging 31.3 over his last three games. He is also 12 of 23 from behind the arc in that same span.

 

Speaking of tears, the Rockets have been lighting up the scoreboard to the tune of 118.2 points per game during their win streak and are averaging the same amount of points over their last nine games at the Toyota Center beating opposing teams by an average of 14.6 points per contest.

 

Having Howard back in the mix and with the team putting points on the board, the Rockets will need all they can muster against the Clippers…. a team that has dominated them winning eight of nine, including taking the first three games by an average of 13.3 points this season.

 

Los Angeles (51-22) is challenging the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs for the West’s best record and are closing in on their second straight Pacific Division crown. However, the Clippers sit just one game ahead of fourth place Houston after dropping two consecutive games before bouncing back with a big 109-103 road victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night.

 

The big three of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan all responded against the Mavs after losing the night before to New Orleans and understand there is no room for nights off if they want to challenge come playoff time and make some noise.

 

We knew it was going to be a playoff-type game,” Paul said. “They’re just not playing for their playoff lives; we’re trying to gear up for the playoffs too.”

 

Despite the Clips having their way with Houston of late, the oddsmakers have faith the home town Rockets will get it done on Saturday night making them a slight (minus -1.5) point favorite with an over/under of 216.5, but as always… stay up to date with the latest spread up until game time right here at Wonder Punter.

 

Tough one to call between these two teams, but I too am going to agree with the oddsmakers on this one and predict the Rockets to finally find some success and find a way to defeat the visiting Clippers in a close one.

 

Prediction/Pick- Houston

 

 

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

 

NBA Prediction Friday Night Preview/Pick- Spurs vs. Suns

nba free pick and prediction

Free NBA Pick & Prediction Spurs vs. Suns

San Antonio Spurs (40-15, 22-7 away) @ Phoenix Suns (32-21, 18-9 home) 02/21- 6:00PM EST

 

Line: SAS -1.0

Over/Under: 209.0

 

The San Antonio Spurs on the heals of two impressive road wins on back-to-back nights against the Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers will look to secure another big road win as they face the Phoenix Suns on Friday night.

 

It seems the All-Star break did the “aging” Spurs some good as they come out of the break looking for their fourth straight win without injured point guard Tony Parker and look to close out their season-high nine game annual road trip by going seven of nine.

 

What was impressive about the Portland victory is they did it without Parker… out with Achilles, groin, back and calf ailments and Tim Duncan who got his customary rest on a back-to-back night.

 

The Spurs (40-15) have gotten a huge lift from reserve Patty Mills as the fifth-year guard went for 29 points in a 111-109 win at Portland without Parker and Duncan.

 

If it wasn’t for him the last couple of nights, we would have really struggled,” san Antonio forward Danny Green said. “He’s doing what Tony usually does, in taking over in that fourth quarter.”

 

Mills has responded with his playing time by averaging 21.0 points over his last seven games, including a season-high 32 points against Charlotte back on Feb. 8 in less than 29 minutes of playing time.

 

For me, it’s just been learning from great guys,” Mills said. “We’ve got three future Hall of Famers and a great coach, so I just sat back and learned.”

 

The Southwest Division leaders have been battling injuries and age all season but have managed to remain amongst the best in the NBA, are still loaded with talent with the likes of Marco Belinelli, Manu Ginobili, Parker, Duncan and now welcome back the addition of Tiago Splitter who missed the last four games with a calf injury.

 

San Antonio has dominated the Suns of late, having won eight of nine, including four straight on the road and taking the first two of the season and will face a Suns team that also won on back-to-back nights to improve to 2-0 since the All-Star break.

 

Coming off back-to-back we were a little tired, a little exhausted,” said Channing Frye who added 15 points and seven rebounds in a 100-94 win over Boston on Tuesday night. “And I think we had some mental breakdowns, but other than that, I think we just battle and grind it out.”

 

Phoenix is in the midst of a nine game stretch that will only see them travel on the road for one road game on Feb 26 at Utah, so sitting 3½ games behind the Pacific Division leading Clippers… are the Suns (32-21) poised to make a move in the second half of the season as the playoffs approach?

 

With the way the Spurs have handled the Suns recently, the oddsmakers have made the Spurs a slim (minus 1.0) point favorite on the road, but stay in the know with the latest spread up until game time right here at Wonder Punter.

 

I like the way both teams are playing this season, but it’s hard to overlook the Spurs and they way they just keep on winning and predict them going into Phoenix and leaving with a close win.

 

Prediction/Pick- San Antonio

 

 

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

NBA Prediction Wednesday Night Preview/Pick- Miami vs. Golden State

nba pick heat vs warriors

Free NBA Pick and Prediction Heat vs Warriors

Miami Heat (36-14, 16-9 home) @ Golden State Warriors (31-21, 16-9) 02/12- 10:30PM EST

 

Line: GSW -1.5

Over/Under: 203

 

Following their big 103-97 win at Phoenix on Tuesday night, the Miami Heat will be looking to win another tough road game in the second of a back-to-back at Golden State on Wednesday night.

 

The Heat (36-14) came away with a big win on Tuesday without the services of Dwayne Wade, who was a late scratch due to a migraine but thanks to LeBron James who went off for 37 points on 12-of-22 shooting, the Heat will look for their second straight win before heading into the All-Star game.

 

With Wade on the bench, he watched as his team rallied from an early 12 point deficit to go 2-1 on a six-game road trip. The Heat are 8-6 on the year with Wade out of the lineup, compared to 28-8 when in uniform.

 

All-Star Wade had been on a roll over his previous four games averaging 21.3 points on 62.5 percent shooting and although he did travel with the team to Oakland, he remains questionable for Wednesday’s contest.

 

For Golden State (31-21), they will be looking to sweep the season series against the Heat after beating them 123-114 back on Jan. 2 in Miami… a game in which All-Star Stephen Curry went for 36 points, including 8 of 15 from behind the arc. Curry also dished out 12 assists.

 

One of the best shooters this NBA will see,” James said of Curry. “I mean, if you can find a better shooter than him right now, especially with the way he handles the ball—and the light that he has, it’s more than green, it’s fluorescent—you hope that he misses.”

 

The Warriors have been struggling over their last 15 games at 7-8 and with both centers Andrew Bogut (shoulder) and Jermaine O’Neil (wrist) out with injuries and David Lee listed as day-to-day, the Warriors will need another big night from Curry and also Klay Thompson if they want to come away with a win on Wednesday night.

 

Despite their lack of depth at center and struggles as of late, the oddsmakers have made the home Warriors a slim (minus -1.5) point favorite but stay up to date with the latest spread up until tip off right here at Wonder Punter.

 

It’s always tough for any team to win on the second game of a back-to-back, but I just feel Miami will surprise the Warriors on Wednesday night and predict the Heat leaving Oakland with a big win going into the All-Star break. Expect a close and exciting game from tip to finish as both teams want to finish the first half of the season strong.

 

Prediction/Pick- Miami

 

 

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

NBA Prediction Tuesday Night Preview/Pick- Thunder vs. Trail Blazers

nba pick thunder vs trail blazers

Free NBA Pick Oklahoma vs Portland

Oklahoma City Thunder (41-12, 18-9 away) @ Portland Trail Blazers (36-15, 19-5, home) 02/11- 10:00PM EST

 

Line: POR -1.0

Over/Under- 211.0

 

The Portland Trail Blazers will get the task of trying to slow down a man few teams have been successful at doing this season… the NBA’s leading scorer Kevin Durant.

 

And although the Blazers (36-15) have been the worst at containing Durant in the league, Durant is averaging 31.2 points over the league but against the Trail Blazers, he is lighting them up for 38.7 points per contest, they have won two of three over the Thunder and will be looking to take another one and move closer to the Northwest Division leading Thunder (41-12) on Tuesday night.

 

Portland will be motivated to take the season series against the Thunder and prove that they can play with the best and belong with the best but in their way once again is this years MVP leading candidate Kevin Durant who is shooting 54.1 percent against the Blazers.

 

Durant combined for 70 points in their two losses to the Blazers earlier in the season but was the difference maker as he went off for 46 points in a 105-97 win back on January 21… a game that saw him score 11 points in the final 3:23 to rally his team back in Oklahoma City.

 

MVP performance,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said after that game. “To score 46 points on 25 shots, six of seven from 3-point range, and I think he got a couple of shots blocked. It was a remarkable performance. He made shots when they mattered. He took his time and didn’t force it. He took what was there, and he made some great shots.”

 

And it doesn’t stop there as he went for 41 points on just 22 field-goal attempts in a 112-100 win over the New York Knicks on Sunday. He added 10 boards and 9 assists and helped shut down Carmelo Anthony to just 15 points on 5 of 19 shooting.

 

I tried to rely on my teammates,” Durant said. “They did a great job of helping me out and building a wall behind me.”

 

Oklahoma City is 3-2 in their last five games and will be without the services of their star point guard Russell Westbrook as they will have their hands full trying to contain the high scoring Blazers who go in averaging 108.0 points per contest.

 

Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge has had great success against his division foe this season as well averaging 30.7 points and 14.3 rebounds. Aldridge leads the Blazers in scoring with 24.1 points per game.

 

With the Thunder being the better defensive team (97.5 ppg to 103.5), the Blazers will need another complete game effort to keep pace in the Northwest Division and not allow the Thunder to extend their lead.

 

Oddsmakers have made Portland a slim (minus -1.0) point favorite going into Tuesday’s game but get the latest odds on the game up until tip off right here at Wonder Punter.

 

Even with no Westbrook for Tuesday nights game, expect another great performance from both teams… the Thunder is still fully loaded and dangerous and the Blazers with the likes of Aldridge and young sensation Damian Lilliard will be ready to battle the Thunder at home, a place where they have always played tough.

 

I like the Thunder’s chances better with Westbrook where they are 0-2 this season against the Blazers without him, but think they may do enough to sneak away with a big road win on Tuesday night.

 

Prediction/Pick- Oklahoma City

 

 

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

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NFL Prediction – Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore Week 13 Thursday Night Game Preview/Pick

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Pittsburgh Steelers (5-6) @ Baltimore Ravens (5-6) 11/28- 8:30PM EST

 

Line: BAL -3.0

Over/Under: 40.5

 

With the Pittsburgh Steelers playing their best football of the season, which for many of their fans was long overdue, they are still on the outside of the AFC playoff picture…. But then again, it seems like every other team in the AFC is as well, as they set their sights on Thanksgiving night to pay a visit to their archrival Baltimore Ravens, a team that’s essentially in the exact same position, and wondering what’s going on in the wild AFC?

 

The Steelers and Ravens are two teams that are among the half-dozen in the conference currently tied for the final wild-card berth, making Thursday night’s game a potentially season-altering contest with just five weeks left.

 

“That team is hot,” Ravens running back Ray Rice said of the Steelers. “They’re playing good football right now. They have (a) group, they have their stable of how they want to play football and they’re doing a good job of it right now.”

 

Pittsburgh and Baltimore are tied with Tennessee, San Diego, New York Jets and Miami for the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC, though Tennessee would make the cut currently if the playoffs started today. The top two tiebreakers for the wild card are determined by their head-to-head records and winning percentages within the conference. With Baltimore having already lost in Pittsburgh, the Ravens may be playing a sense of urgency come Thanksgiving night.

 

“They are a tough team, we have to go into their place and look forward to a good battle,” said Steelers wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery. “There is a lot on the line with this game like it always is when we play them. It always seems like whenever either team is trying to get somewhere, the other is in their way.

 

“It’s that way this week as we are battling in the division and it’s going to be a good game Thanksgiving night.”

 

Pittsburgh (5-6) winners of three-straight, all by double-digits have stepped it up and during the stretch and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been playing just about mistake-free football, completing 63.3 percent of his passes while throwing seven touchdowns with only one interception.
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Roethlisberger on Sunday threw for two scores in a 27-11 win at Cleveland in Week 12, but it was the Steelers’ defense that really impressed with their performance as they responded with a season-high five sacks, held the Browns to just 55 rushing yards, and cornerback William Gay sealed the win in the fourth quarter with a 21-yard interception return for a touchdown.

 

“Defensively, it was simple. We were able to stop the run, and that put us in position to apply pressure to the quarterback,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said. “In doing so, we were able to create some turnovers and some big plays, and to actually score.”

 

Since the New England debacle in which the Patriots took the Steelers apart for 8.59 yards per snap in a 55-31 blowout on Nov. 3rd, the Steelers have given up just 4.97 yards per play. So, the Steelers have to feel good about going against the Ravens defense which averages just 4.54 yards per play… a ranking of a dismal 31st in the NFL.

 

When the teams first battled on Oct. 20 at Heinz Field, the Pittsburgh defense held the Ravens out of the end zone until Baltimore tied the score at 16 with 1:58 to play. Not to be outdone, Roethlisberger then drove the Steelers down the field, setting up Shaun Suisham for the game-winning 42-yard field goal.

 

Close games is nothing new to these two teams since the start of the 2009 season, where eight of the team’s nine matchups have been decided by exactly three points.

 

And it’s that three point difference that is the difference once again as oddsmakers have given the home Ravens, where they have really shut down teams a (minus) -3.0 advantage, but with a close opening line, be sure to check back here through Wonder Punter for the latest spread up until kickoff.

 

Baltimore (5-6) is also coming off of a dominating defensive win of their own having knocked off the Jets 19-3 on Sunday. The Ravens’ pass defense was stingy, allowing Geno Smith to compete just 40.9 percent of his passes and Baltimore cornerback Corey Graham had a pair of interceptions.

 

“In the end, we just felt like let’s win a game just for the defense, for us,” cornerback Lardarius Webb said. “Not nobody else, just defense let’s go out and try to win a game on our own.”

 

The Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium have been stellar where they are 4-1 at home, allowing just 10.8 points per game in those home games.

 

But the Steelers have to feel pretty good about going into Baltimore who have won three of their last five visits to Baltimore, including a 23-20 win last December with Charlie Batch filling in for an injured Roethlisberger. Since 2009, the Ravens have lost only five of their other 42 home games.

 

Playing on a short week, don’t expect too many surprises in this important game from these two teams as they both know each other all to well.

 

“We’ll be running stuff that we know and understand against a team that we pretty much understand,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “I’m sure there will be a wrinkle or two that they’ll throw at us that we’ll have to be ready for and just go play football.”

 

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco would prefer his team not use the wildcat formation, and prefers to be the one calling the signals at all times, whereas the Ravens utilized backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor in the wildcat offense often against the Jets. Taylor took five snaps and lined up as a receiver on seven other plays.

 

Flacco was is not to pleased with the offense being messed with.

 

“I don’t like that stuff. … I’m the quarterback,” Flacco said. “I want to be behind the line of scrimmage, I want to be taking the snaps.”

 

I was a big fan of the Ravens last year and this season as well but the offense is just not where it needs to be… wildcat or not. They do play well at home, but Pittsburgh has no problem playing in M&T Bank Stadium and are in a grove. With that said… I predict a close game as these two teams have played the last nine times, but I like the Steelers to win on Thanksgiving night. Pittsburgh… who were one the league’s worse has done a complete 360 degree turnaround from the beginning of the season to put themselves into playoff contention.

 

PICK: Pittsburgh


By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

 

 

 

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Wonder Punter NBA Power Rankings- Week 3

NBA_PowerRankings

With just about 3 full weeks of NBA action in the books after the conclusion of Tuesday night’s games… let’s take a look the latest Power Rankings as some teams continue to surprise and others continue to fall. Indiana, the last of the unbeatens suffered their first loss at the hands of the Chicago Bulls.

 

San Antonio and Indiana are playing like the two best teams in the league while early top 10 Philadelphia is falling fast.

 

Teams 1-30 with records and last weeks rankings in parentheses are as followed:

 

1 Indiana Pacers (9-1 LW 1)- They lost to Bulls on the second of a back-to-back. Danny Granger expected back soon.

 

2 San Antonio Spurs (9-1 LW 2)- The Spurs have won 7 straight while Tim Duncan is averaging career-lows of 12 points and 39.4 percent shooting.

 

3 Miami Heat (7-3 LW 5)- LeBron James is averaging 34 points per game during the Heat’s three game win streak.

 

4 Los Angeles Clippers (7-3 LW 7)- The Clippers have won four straight while Blake Griffin is averaging a double-double with 22.9 points and 10.9 boards.

 

5 Golden State Warriors (7-3 LW 8)- Warriors have won three straight while suffering through injuries.

 

6 Minnesota Timberwolves (7-4 LW 4)- Kevin Love and Kevin Martin have formed the league’s highest scoring-duo in the season’s opening month.

 

7 Portland Trailblazers (8-2 LW 13)- One of the league’s early surprises…. the Blazers have won six straight.

 

8 Oklahoma City Thunder (6-3 LW 3)- Thunder will be looking for revenge against the Clippers on Thursday night.

 

9 Houston Rockets (7-4 LW 10)- Back up center Omer Asik wants out of Houston and has been benched the last two games since his request.

 

10 Chicago Bulls (5-3 LW 12)- Derrick Rose hits six 3’s in their big win against Indiana on Saturday night.

 

11 Dallas Mavericks (6-4 LW 11)- Mavs look to get back on track when Dwight Howard and the Rockets visit Wednesday night.

 

12 Phoenix Suns (5-4 LW 6)- Suns have dropped three straight by an average 2 points.

 

13 Atlanta Hawks (6-4 LW 17) Another early surprise team is getting it done with Al Horford, Ronnie Millsap and the return of Lou Williams.

 

14 Memphis Grizzles (5-5 LW 9)- They continue to struggle and have the Clippers and Warriors on the road coming up.

 

15 Charlotte Bobcats (5-5 LW 16)- Continue to surprise with Al Jefferson still nursing a bad ankle. Have five of their next six games at home.

 

16 Philadelphia 76ers (5-6 LW 14)- Back to losing but still in first place in a bad Atlantic Division.

 

17 Denver Nuggets (4-5 LW 28)- Have won of four but have OKC, Chicago and back-to-back against Dallas coming up.

 

18 New Orleans Pelicans (4-6 LW 15)- Ryan Anderson lit it up with six 3’s against the Sixers… can he continue?

 

19 Los Angeles Lakers (5-7 LW 19)- Steve Nash is still out… but good news is Kobe Bryant has begun practicing.

 

20 Cleveland Cavaliers (4-7 LW 20) As Kyrie Irving goes, so do the Cavs. Averaging 27.5 in wins and 17.7 in losses.

 

21 Orlando Magic (4-7, LW 25)- Will Aaron Afflalo be traded? He’s averaging 21.7 points per game and playing well.

 

22 Toronto Raptors (4-7 LW 24)- Have lost three of four and still only getting scoring from Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan.

 

23 Brooklyn Nets (3-6)- Too much talent to be struggling but dealing with various injuries.

 

24 New York Knicks (3-6 LW 23)- Disappointing start and Carmelo Anthony is unhappy.

 

25 Boston Celtics (4-7 LW 26)- Started 0-4, won four in a row now has lost three straight.

 

26 Washington Wizards (2-7 LW 22)- Turning into a major disappointment early on… not was expected.

 

27 Detroit Pistons (3-6 LW 18)- Josh Smith makes his return to Atlanta on Wednesday night.

 

28 Milwaukee Bucks (2-7 LW 27)- No Brandon Knight, no Caron Butler… now have lost five straight.

 

29 Sacramento Kings (2-7 LW 29)- Only one win in November and three of next four is on the road.

 

30 Utah Jazz (1-10 LW 30)- Avoided tying their worst start in franchise history by beating the Pelicans.

 

 

 

 

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

 

 

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NFL Week 11 Game Recap- Broncos Top Undefeated Chiefs To Win 27-17

Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs (9-1)- 17

Denver Broncos (9-1)- 27

 

Line: DEN -7.0

Over/Under: 49.0

 

The Denver Broncos on Sunday night showed us that for now… they are the better team in the NFL as they knocked-off the now no-longer undefeated Kansas City Chiefs 27-17 and take over the top-spot in the AFC West by virtual of the tie-breaker over the Chiefs.

 

In what was the biggest game of the year so far, Peyton Manning threw for 323 yards and a touchdown and went barely touched as Kansas City with a league-leading 36 sacks went blank on Sunday night.

 

They were under fire last week because Peyton got hit a few times but they’ve done a great job all year,” said Bronco’s interim coach Jack Del Rio, now 2-0 while head coach John Fox recovers from heart surgery. “We knew this was a game you had to play well in the trenches to have a chance.”

 

With concerns on the Denver offensive line, tackles Chris Clark and Orlando Franklin, shut out Kansas City’s sack duo of Justin Houston and Tamba Hali along with the rest of the KC defense.

 

We just keep our heads down and keep blocking- don’t look at the scoreboard, don’t look at the time, keep blocking your guy—like tunnel vision,” Clark said.

 

The Chiefs didn’t even record a single hit on Manning.

 

Our plan was to get to the quarterback but the ball is coming out quick,” Hali said. “He did a great job and their team did a great job protecting him.”

 

Manning agrees…

 

The protection was outstanding, we ran the ball consistently, tried to keep them off-balance,” Manning said. “We wanted a mix of running and passing game and I’m really proud of those guys up front.”

 

Both teams now sit at 9-1 in the NFC West with round 2 scheduled in two weeks.

 

Denver got out to a 10-0 lead after the first quarter against a Chiefs defense that came into the game also leading the league in points allowed (12.8), but Denver’s offense eventually became too much as they possess the league’s highest-scoring offense at 41.2 and held a 17-10 lead at halftime.

 

Kansas City’s defense hasn’t allowed more then 17 points all year, however the offense isn’t built on going toe-to-toe with a high-powered offense.

 

Chief’s quarterback Alex Smith finished with 230 yards and two touchdowns and the Kansas City as a whole finished with 344 total yards, but it wasn’t enough.

 

We didn’t do a good job offensively,” Kansas City coach Andy Reid said. “That’s my responsibility. We’re a young football team. We’ll get it worked out and fixed and get better next week.”

 

Kansas City returns home to take on the San Diego Chargers before hosting Denver in the second of two in two weeks and Denver will be faced with another marquee match-up against New England in prime-time next Sunday night.

 

For Sunday night however, round one goes to the Broncos.

 

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

BetOnline.ag

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NFL Prediction Week 11 Monday Night Preview/Pick- New England vs. Carolina

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NFL Free Pick and Prediction for the New England vs Carolina game, Week 11

 

New England Patriots (7-2) @ Carolina Panthers (6-3) 11/18- 8:30PM EST

 

Line: CAR -2.5

Over/Under: 46.0

Place your bets here upto $1000 bonus

Monday night, the New England Patriots will go on the road to face a Carolina Panthers team that is riding a five-game win streak and now claims the NFC’s stingiest defense.

 

With new a new group of receivers under Tom Brady’s helm, the challenge of putting up the numbers of year’s past has been any but fun as his inexperienced targets have dropped 12.2 percent of catchable balls for the league’s worst mark.

 

Coming off their bye week after routing the Pittsburgh Steelers 55-31, the Patriots (7-2) will now face a Panthers defense yielding only 12.8 points per game and last week beat the 49ers 10-9 on the road to move one-game behind the New Orleans Saints in the NFC South.

 

They’re one the best defenses in the league,” Brady said. “We have to play really well. I think our execution has to be the best.”

 

During their five-game win streak, the Panthers have outscored their opponents 140-57 as they go for six in a row… a feat that was accomplished back in 2005.

 

Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, who earned conference defensive player of the week honors for an 11-tackle performance as part of a defense that sacked Colin Kaepernick six times will be facing Tom Brady for the first time on Monday night.

 

Tom Brady is a very cerebral guy, he’s been around a while, he knows where he’s going with the ball, he’s smart, he understands defenses,” Kuechly said. “So we’ve just got to do a good job of playing our job, doing our responsibilities and make sure we’re in the right spot.”

 

The Panthers defense also has 13 takeaways that tie for the league’s most and allows an average of only 82.0 yards on the ground for the NFL’s second-lowest mark.

 

On the Panther’s offensive side of the ball, third year quarterback Cam Newton is getting it done in all aspects.

 

He’s playing well efficiently. He does a good job,” said Panthers coach Bill Belichick about Newton. “He’s obviously a threat with the ball in his hands to run. He can make all the throws. He can put the ball on the sideline.”

 

With Carolina averaging 120.4 yards rushing per game, the running game is another aspect the Panthers will be looking to take advantage of against the Pats as they are third-worst in the NFL allowing 128.2 yards per contest.

 

Coach Bilichick believes his team will be well prepared for Newton having already faced Buffalo’s EJ Manuel and the Jets’ Geno Smith.

 

I think that a lot of the plays that Carolina runs we’ve seen from Buffalo and the Jets,” Belichick said. “The fact that we have seen some of those plays, we’ve worked on the basic blocking schemes and how to fit on them, where everybody needs to be.”

 

Yet, despite all the numbers pointing to the Panthers on the Monday night, the lines spread has them only (minus) -2.5 point favorites over the Patriots, but as always, be sure to check the odds here at Wonder Punter up until kickoff as they might change.

 

Defensively, the Patriots are getting it done with 29 sacks, which matches the Panthers. Chandler Jones for the Pats has 8 ½ sacks to lead the team.

 

Greg Hardy of the Panthers has six sacks to help the defense.

 

That’s our style of defense,” Hardy said. “We dominate. We take what we want. We do what we want.”

 

I expect a great game on Monday night, and give the Panthers the edge, however Tom Brady has an impressive 13-4 mark on Monday nights.

 

Monday Night Football is always pretty cool, especially when you play a really good team on Monday Night Football” he said. It’s a fun night.”

 

PICK: Carolina

 

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter 

 

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NCAA College Football Week 12 Game Recap- #15 NIU Remains Undefeated

hiskies

NCAA Recap NIU vs Ball st game

 

Ball State Cardinals (9-2- 27

#15 NIU Huskies (10-0)- 48

 

Line: NIU -9.0

Over/Under: 73

 

The No. 15 Northern Illinois Huskies (10-0, 6-0 MAC) have matched their best mark in a season since the 1963 team as they continued the nation’s longest active home winning streak to 25 and ran their conference unbeaten streak to 23 in a 48-27 victory over the Ball State Cardinals on Wednesday night.

 

Huskies dual-threat quarterback Jordan Lynch had a big night going 26 of 32 for 345 yards and ran for another 123 yards on 20 carries as NIU pulled away late to keep their chances alive for a second-straight BCS major-bowl appearance.

 

NIU played in the Orange Bowl last year and must finish ahead of undefeated #14 Fresno State in the BCS rankings to have a shot again.

 

It was a closely fought game until the Huskies took the lead with 5:49 left, followed by a 16-yard touchdown run by Lynch and defensive end Joe Windsor added a 49-yard interception return with 46 seconds left in garbage time.

 

Ball State’s (9-2, 6-2) undefeated streak of seven games and 11-game Mid-American Conference run came to an end on Wednesday night.

 

As expected, both teams lit it up early and often and in the first half, the teams combined for three scores in the final 1:28 of the first half where Ball State took a 24-20 halftime lead.

 

But the second half was a different story as NIU outscored the Cardinals 28-23 to keep their undefeated season alive.

 

Ball State’s quarterback Keith Wenning had his usual big game going 35 of 49 for 324 yards for one touchdown, but one interception and running back Jahwan Edwards ran for 156 yards and one score but it wasn’t enough to keep pace with a good NIU team.

 

The Huskies will try to keep their undefeated season alive as they play again next Wednesday night at Toledo.

 

 

 

 

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

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NCAA College Football Game Preview/Pick- #19 UCLA vs. Arizona

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Free NCAA Pick and Prediction for week 11 game UCLA vs Arizona

 

#19 UCLA Bruins (6-2) @ Arizona Wildcats (6-2) 11/09- 10:00PM EST

 

Line: UCLA -1.0

Over/Under: 56.0

 

The No. 19 ranked UCLA Bruins will look to stay on track after last week’s win at home against Colorado (45-23) following back-to-back losses against No. 5 Stanford and No. 3 Oregon and end their four-game losing streak in Tucson against the (6-2, 3-2 Pac 12) Arizona Wildcats on Saturday night.

 

The challenge this week will be to find a way to stop the nation’s leading rusher Ka’Deem Carey who leads the FBS in rushing this season with 153.1 yards per game. In his last 11 games, Carey has rushed for 1,986 yards with 20 touchdowns.

 

Carey is expected to hit his average again on Saturday night as the Bruins rank eighth in the Pac 12, allowing 167.6 rushing yards per game.

 

In last year’s meeting at the Rose Bowl, the Bruins blew-out the Wildcats 66-10 racking up 611 yards of offense on 36 first downs on an Arizona team ranked 24th going in.

 

It’s painful to watch but we have to,” Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said. ‘We didn’t play well, and they played well so it was a very poor performance on our part in all three phases. We have to watch it to learn what we need to get better at and how they may attack us.”

 

Last year’s game also marked the last time Carey failed to rush for 100 yards gaining only 54 yards on 16 carries.

 

UCLA coach Jim Mora however, doesn’t put too much stock on the defensive performance his Bruins put on Carey last season because of the early lead of the Bruins, 21-0.

 

I think they probably had to throw it more than they probably wanted to,” Mora said. “You don’t necessarily bottle up Ka’Dem Carey. You try to limit his explosive plays against you.— You don’t just don’t stop those guys. It’s going to be a great test for us.”

 

Bruin linebacker Eric Kendricks (shoulder) will be back in action to help the defense try to contain Carey as he leads the team with 65 tackles.

 

Despite the Bruins having lost on their last four visits to Arizona and having lost the last two road games this year, the oddsmakers have the Bruins (6-2, 3-2) as the favorites with a (minus) -1.0 come Saturday night.

 

Against Colorado last week, UCLA was able to find its offense again recording 412 yards after totaling only 549 yards with 24 points in the previous two games.

 

It’s a relief, but our confidence was never lost,” said UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley. “Obviously, I know and we know that we can still get the job done. I feel like this team can really respond well, no matter what we go through.”

 

If they Bruins can play like they are capable of playing, I like their chances of snapping their losing streak in Tucson where they have not won since Oct. 11, 2003 by a 24-21 score.

 

The Bruins have played exceptionally well at home outscoring opponents 199-66, compared to a 114-99 margin on the road, so the Bruins will need an all-around effort Saturday to pull out a victory.

 

The spread is too close for comfort for me to touch, but pick the Bruins as slight favorites. You can stay up to date on Wonder Punter for any changes in the betting lines leading up to game time Saturday night 10:00PM EST.

 

I expect this to be one of the better games on College Football Saturday.

 

PICK: UCLA 

By Mario Martinez – WonderPunter

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NCAA College Football Picks Friday Game Preview & Prediction- #20 Louisville vs. Connecticut

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Free NCAA College football picks by WonderPunter

These are our Free NCAA college football  picks for week 11

#20 Louisville Cardinals (7-1) @ Connecticut Huskies (0-7) 11/08- 8:30PM EST

 

Line: LOU -28.0

Over/Under: 49.0

 

With No. 20 Louisville coming off their second bye week and going into Friday nights game against the winless Connecticut Huskies (0-7, 0-3 AAC), the one main thing that’s been on their minds is finishing games.

 

Louisville (7-1, 3-1 American Athletic Conference) with their second-ranked defense in the country look to play a complete game and get back into the BCS bowl picture by staying aggressive the entire game.

 

Cardinals coach Charlie Strong says, “We haven’t played a complete game yet.”

 

It was October 18 when the Louisville Cardinals suffered a heartbreaking loss at the hands of UCF squandering a 21-point lead with less then eight minutes to go and losing 38-35 that knocked them out of any talks for a possible BCS championship game.

 

The following week the Cardinals rebounded by shutting down South Florida 34-3.

 

Louisville defensive coordinator Vance Bedford says shaking off that loss was difficult.

 

We dragged around for about three or four days after that loss,” he said. “What we told them is this: ‘Don’t let that game beat you twice. Let’s get back to who we are’… They were back to having fun.”

 

With the betting lines making the Cardinals 28-points favorites, it’s a safe bet with their dominating defense that allows only 244.5 yards per game to win easily and cover the spread. They also rank second in scoring giving up an average of 10.6 points, right behind top-ranked Alabama (9.8).

 

We really needed that one,” said Cardinal defensive end Lorenzo Mauldin. “I know there’s a lot of people out there saying that we didn’t play up to our ability against UCF. We had to put our statement back out there, basically saying we needed to beat USF to get back on track.”

 

Despite the resurgent defense of the Cardinals, Mauldin believes there is room for improvement with Cardinals struggling in the sack department the last two games.

 

When the ball is in the air, I want them to have the attitude that the ball is our ball,” said Bedford. “I need more guys to feel that way… When we get that mindset, I’ll be ready to say I’m excited.”

 

For the Connecticut Huskies, they come in with loads of problems on the offensive of the ball…. Last in the ACC in rushing offense (76.3) and second-to-last in total offense (293.3) and scoring offense (16.4).

 

With their last loss of 62-17 at UCF, they have now loss eight in a row dating back to last season.

 

It’s hard to say we’re deficient. We got some weapons. I’m not going to say it’s a lack of talent,” Huskies interim coach T.J. Weiss said. “We’d like more depth, more explosiveness in certain areas, but we have talent. We’ve got to keep pushing to find answers.”

 

Louisville will be looking for revenge as UConn beat the Cardinals last year 23-20 in three overtimes, which was their last victory.

 

Last year’s game doesn’t mean anything because it’s last year,” Weist said. “It’s nice that they won, but that wasn’t this year. It sure gives you confidence, but it’s going to be a whole new game Friday night.

 

Any big game you go into, it comes down to momentum and making plays. We have to make catches and make throws and put it all together during drives. We’ve looked at last year’s film, but we’re not focusing on it. We’re starting over this Friday night.”

 

With a spread of Louisville -28.0 and over/under of 49.0, it’s a safe bet with the Cardinals offensive power and defensive dominance that they will cover all betting lines.

 

Look for another impressive performance from Teddy Bridegwater and the Louisville Cardinals on Friday night.

 

PICK: Louisville Cardinals

By Mario Martinez – Analyst for WonderPunter

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NFL Power Rankings – Week 10

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Power Rankings for the NFL week 10 – WonderPunter

 

With 9 weeks of the NFL season in the books, let’s take a look at Week 10’s Power Rankings where a few teams made some jumps and others went backwards after this past weekend’s games.

 

1. Kansas City Chiefs (9-0)- As much as I still think they are not deserving of the top ranking.. they are still the only undefeated team. Bye week then a showdown with the Denver Broncos.

 

2. Denver Broncos (7-1)- With the bye week out of the way, can they continue to play at a high-level without head coach John Fox on the mend for possibly two months for a heart attack? Chargers and Chiefs coming up.

 

3. Indianapolis Colts (6-2)- They have beaten some quality teams to this point, but remember no more Reggie Wayne to help the offense.

 

4. Seattle Seahawks (8-1)- Expected better from a team that has struggled against the Rams and Bucs for victories.

 

5. San Francisco 49ers (6-2)- Big home game against the surging Carolina Panthers this Sunday.

 

6. New Orleans Saints (6-2)- Will look to bounce back against the Cowboys after Sundays loss to the Jets.

 

7. New England Patriots (7-2)- They head into the bye week after an impressive blowout win over the Steelers 55-31.

 

8. Cincinnati Bengals (6-3)- Can they avoid back-to-back road losses with the Ravens coming up?

 

9. Chicago Bears (5-3)- Big road win on Monday night in Lambeau gave them a big move up the rankings. Next up Detroit and possibly Jay Cutler returning to action.

 

10. Detroit Lions (5-3)- Coming off their bye week with a road game at Soldier Field.

 

11. Carolina Panthers (5-3)- All their wins have been against bad teams, now they visit the Niners on Sunday to prove their worth.

 

12. Green Bay Packers (5-3)- Dropped from last week and now with Aaron Rodgers out of action, they may continue to fall.

 

13. Dallas Cowboys (5-4)- Still middle of the road for me but they are in first place in a weak NFC East. Will be tested against the Saints on Sunday night.

 

14. New York Jets (5-4)- Good home win against a good Saints team leading into the bye week.

 

15. San Diego Chargers (4-4)- Another fourth quarter loss last week, now next up is the Denver Broncos.

 

16. Tennessee Titans (4-4)- I still like this football team and have the hapless Jags coming into town.

 

17. Miami Dolphins (4-4)- Can they overcome all the bad press this week and beat a winless Bucs team on Monday night?

 

18. Cleveland Browns (4-5)- Is Jason Campbell the answer to Hoyle?

 

19. Arizona Cardinals (4-4)- Next up is the Texans as they look to go above .500, unfortunately they have the 49ers and Seahawks to contend with in their division.

 

20. Philadelphia Eagles (4-5)- Back-up quarterback Nick Foles completely embarrassed the Raiders with seven touchdown passes, yet Vick may still get his job back when healthy.

 

21. Baltimore Ravens (4-4)- Offense must improve if they want to contend.

 

22. Washington Redskins (3-5)- With Minnesota coming up Thursday night, now is the chance to string some wins together in the winnable NFC East.

 

23. Buffalo Bills (3-6)- Tough road loss to the unbeaten Chiefs, but still like the direction they are going.

 

24. Oakland Raiders (3-5)- Horrible defensive performance against the Eagles. Next up is the lowly Giants, but it’s always tough for west coast teams to head east and win.

 

25. Houston Texans (2-6)- Defense is still there and had the Colts beat, but losing their coach proved too tough to overcome.

 

26. Atlanta Falcons (2-6)- Season is over and people are wondering why future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez wasn’t traded to a team with a chance to win it all?

 

27. St. Louis Rams (3-6)- Playing with a back up QB and heading into Indianapolis on Sunday.

 

28. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-6)- Was Sundays blowout loss to the Patriots 55-31 their rock bottom? The worst we’ve seen in years!

 

29. New York Giants (2-6)- They have a very beatable Oakland team coming into town on Sunday.

 

30. Minnesota Vikings (1-7)- I guess the Josh Freeman quarterback of our future experiment is over after one game.

 

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-8)- Gave Seattle all they could handle and showed some pride before falling in OT.

 

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-8)- What hasn’t been said already? Next up at Tennessee. 

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NFL Thursday Night Recap- Dolphins Win In OT

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The Miami Dolphins defense delivered with a big safety in OT to help snap a four-game losing streak and get back in the hunt for a playoff spot after beating the Cincinnati Bengals 22-20 on Thursday night.

 

With Cincinnati pinned back deep in their own zone, Cameron Wake sacked Andy Dalton with 6:38 left in overtime to give the Dolphins a much needed victory.

 

We called a pressure, and the guys executed it well,” coach Joe Philbin said. “Cam had good pressure throughout the game and he made a play to end

the game.”

 

My eyes were downfield, and he was there pretty quick,” Dalton said.

 

Wake may have had three sacks on the night, but the Bengals were their own worst enemy with four turnovers on the night.

 

You just have to do whatever you can to get to the quarterback,” Wake said. “It couldn’t have come at a better time. How much better could it have been than to have a d-lineman seal the deal?”

 

With the win, Miami (4-4) avoided losing their fifth in a row after starting the season 3-0.

 

You never want to lose four games in a row,” coach Joe Philbin said, “and we had an excellent football team coming into town. It was time for us to step up and we had to make a decision—what are we going to be? And I thought they answered the bell pretty well tonight.”

 

Despite the loss, the Bengals (6-3) still maintain a two-game lead in the AFC North, but lost All-Pro defensive tackle Geno Atkins in the second quarter to a season-ending torn ACL.

 

The Bengals were already without their other Pro-Bowler, left tackle Andrew Whitworth (right knee).

 

This was the third time an NFL game has ended with a safety, the last being in 2004.

 

I don’t think anyone expected the game to end on a safety,” Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill said.

 

Cincinnati dominated the game statistically in first downs, total plays, yards and time of possession, but give the football up four times in a game and it’s hard to win… and the Bengals found that out on Thursday night.

By Mario Martinez – WonderPunter
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