Finally, the long awaited, at least by me, blogging debut of yours truly, BlackJack Fletcher.  It is an honor and a privilege to have these words grace your screens.  Having said that, now that we’ve arrived here, there is no rest.  We will not be slowed by the temptation of contentment and satisfaction.  We have a singular focus and that focus is winning.  Just as a rose needs rain, we need sustenance each and every day, and the only thing that satisfies our burning hunger is more wins.  Thankfully for us, the spectacular people at OddsShark have put all the information we need to keep winning at our fingertips.  People always ask what sites I turn to for researching games on my never ending quest to bring us to the promised land, and without fail, OddsShark is always one of the best sites to talk about.  Without further adieu, let’s get to it.


Yale at Dartmouth (Yale -3, Total 142.5)–Neither one of these teams is very good offensively and neither one plays at a high pace.  Dartmouth plays even slower than Yale and tends to control pace at home in Leede Arena.  These two teams average a combined 62.5 points in the first half of games and their previous schedules are very indicative of a game headed towards a low total.  Yale has gone under the number in ten of sixteen tries and Dartmouth has in nine of fifteen games.  Additionally the total have gone under in five Dartmouth’s last seven games and four of Yale’s last six.  The offensive issues for these two combined with the fact that Dartmouth should be able to dictate pace at home, leads us to bet UNDER 142.5.  For more stats, injury updates and trends check here.

Canisius at Monmouth–(Canisius -2, Total 151)–This is an interesting matchup in the Metro Atlantic.  Monmouth has typically had Canisius’ number over the years, however in their first meeting this season Canisius won by fifteen.  Over the last few weeks, Canisius has been one of the hotter teams in the country.  They have won 13 of their last 15 and are scoring 74.8 points per game, while only allowing 70 points per contest.  Monmouth has been inconsistent this season, splitting their last eight games.  They are certainly capable of scoring, the problem comes on the defensive end where they are surrendering nearly 77 points a game and allowing opponents to shoot over 43% from the field.  The difference in this game is the defensive output of both teams.  Canisius has made their bones during this run by playing outstanding defense.  Over their last five games they have won by an average of 14 points.  The pick here is Canisius -2.5.  Check out OddsShark’s complete breakdown on this game here

Northern Kentucky at Wright State (Northern Kentucky -1.5, Total 137.5)–  The battle of the top two teams in the Horizon league is tonight in the Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio.  Wright State got the better of the Norse earlier this year, but since then these have been two teams with very different trajectories.  Northern Kentucky is 8-1 in their last nine, while the Raiders are 4-3 in their last seven times out.  The Norse also have the best player on the floor in Drew McDonald who is averaging 16.9 ppg and 9.2 rebounds per night.  Further, Northern Kentucky is capable of playing stifling defense.  They only allow opponents to shoot 31% from three and average 7.6 steals a game.  The pick here is Northern Kentucky -1.5.  For simulation results and total analysis look at the matchup details presented by OddsShark

Now that we have our winners for the night broken down, lets do some fun stuff, and there’s only one place to start…

Rough N Rowdy 2:

The best action tonight isn’t on the court or the ice, no, my friends, it is in a ring in Morgantown, West Virginia.  Tonight we will have HQ’s Smitty battling head to head against Heartland’s Shaun “$20 Chef” Latham.  I cannot tell you how many times I have gone back and forth on this fight.  I think Smitty has advantages in youth, height, reach, and most importantly stamina and conditioning.  I think Chef has the advantage in brute strength.  I think if Chef can catch Smitty early he might knock his block head clear off his body.  If he doesn’t, however, this fight becomes Advantage Smitty.  I think we are in store for an evening the likes of which we’ve never seen before, and a fight for the ages.  Ultimately, this is a wildly tough choice, but I think we see a fight with a ton of action and Shaun runs out of gas in the third round.  I’ll take Smitty by TKO.

While Chef and Smitty are certainly the main event this weekend, they aren’t the only show in town.  We also have the NBA All Star Weekend and the Daytona 500.  I’m not real big on betting All Star games in general, but I do like to dabble a bit in NBA All Star Saturday.

Slam Dunk Contest:

We have four contestants in this year’s contest and all of them are, obviously, exceptional dunkers.  To me, one stands apart from the crowd, and that’s Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz.  I absolutely love watching Mitchell play, he is an electrifying player that doesn’t quite get the publicity he deserves playing out in Utah.  Take a look at some of the dunks Mitchell has had in game action:

You’ll notice he isn’t the highest jumper in this field, he isn’t going to hit his head on the rim.  What he does bring to the table is raw power.  Donovan Mitchell attacks the basket and doesn’t need much of a running start, I think we will see some ferocious dunks out of him on Saturday night, and the Utah rookie will bring home the hardware as the Slam Dunk Champion.

Three Point Contest:

This one is considerably tougher to handicap because it features eight participants and includes the likes of Klay Thompson, Paul George, Kyle Lowry, and Devin Booker.  I’m not taking any of those guys though, instead I’m going to take the defending champ, Eric Gordon, to defend his title and go back to back.  The knock on taking Gordon here is that his release is possibly the slowest in the field.  That, to me, doesn’t matter a hell of a lot.  Gordon is a more deliberate shooter who looks to find a rhythm, when he does, watch out, because he usually gets on a roll.  The downside is that it can be a push on the last rack to finish getting every shot off, but that’s a price I’ll pay to have a guy who has done it before and has a great stroke from downtown.

Daytona 500:

Finally, we wrap up a busy weekend with the Daytona 500.  I’ll be the first to admit, I am not a huge NASCAR guy, but enough people have asked for a pick on this  so I did some research and I’ve got one for you.  Don’t bet the farm on it brother.  If you want to do more research (you should) on this race, visit our great friends at OddsShark for their Daytona 500 Betting and Odds Guide.  Daytona is obviously a restrictor plate race and Ford cars have won every restrictor plate race since 2016’s Daytona 500.  The winner of that race is my choice to find Victory Lane this year; Denny Hamlin.  Hamlin has won this race before and is as good a restrictor plate racer as there is.  Additionally, he is starting from the second position after performing well in qualifying duels.  And while NASCAR isn’t my area of expertise per se, the value is off the charts.  Our boy Denny is at +650 right now, not a bad price.  I’d also be tempted to throw a couple bucks on Jimmie Johnson at +1100.  One of the best to ever do it shouldn’t be counted out and at that price it’s worth a taste.

That’s it for WINNERS presented by OddsShark, everybody have a great weekend and enjoy the winning.  I love all of you.  We’ll be around all weekend long on Twitter @BlackJackFletch.

#ForTheTeam #PickByPick #JackPack