It’s Friday afternoon, and there are few better feelings than what we have right now, brother. Happy Hour is around the corner, the sweet release of the weekend is in sight. Optimism, promise and hope abound. Life and its possibilities are limitless to us at this very moment. And yet…and yet, something is missing. Something is wanting in order for us to achieve total joy. Deep within our souls we are craving something. There is only one answer. There is only one way to satisfy this team. There is only one thing we need. WINS. We will stop at nothing to get them, and get them, we will. And so it is with the help of the spectacular people at ODDSSHARK, that I bring to you our Friday winners. As always click the game links for ODDSHARK’s amazing match-up pages replete with statistical analysis, trends, injury updates and every piece of information our degenerate brains could possibly want, including a computer projection for every side and total on the board.
Chattanooga at UNC Greensboro (UNCG -17.5 Total 133.5)–This Southern Conference match-up is a tale of two teams moving in very different directions. Chattanooga has dropped three in a row to fall to 9-20 overall and 3-13 in conference play. Defensively Chattanooga is absolutely putrid. They are allowing 73.4 points per game and their opponents are shooting nearly 48% from the field. There is not a ton of resistance when playing this Mocs defense. Offensively, they do at least have three starters scoring in double figures. That, unfortunately is about the best thing that can be said for them. UNC Greensboro, on the other hand, is 22-7 overall and 13-3 in SoCon play this season. Offensively they have been putting up over 74 points per game and average over nine made three pointers per contest. The other thing about Greensboro is they tend to pick up the pace when they have a lead, particularly at home. They should be playing this entire game with a comfortable lead. I like UNC, but 17.5 is too rich for my blood at this time of year. That total though is in a good spot. UNC Greensboro should have their way with an awful Chattanooga defense and with a number at 133.5, we don’t need a ton of help from the Mocs to get to that number. The Pick: OVER 133.5
Pittsburgh Penguins at Carolina Hurricanes (PIT -120, Total 6)–This game is interesting because it’s an important one to both teams, and they have been two teams with diverging paths recently. The Penguins have been on fire, winning five in a row in their attempt to overtake the Capitals atop the Metropolitan Division. The Hurricanes, on the other hand, have dropped three in a row to set back their bid for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Even though the results have been opposite of one another recently, each team is currently one point away from the above goals. That backdrop sets the stage for a very hotly contested match-up in Raleigh. Both teams are also coming in off of a couple days of rest, so everyone should be fresh. Ultimately, while this should be a good game, the Penguins will simply prove too much for the Hurricanes to handle. Pittsburgh has won 15 of their last 19 and their offense has been spectacular. They are averaging 4.4 goals per game over their last ten games. Carolina at home only scores 2.5 goals per game at home over the span of this entire season. They’ve also only put up a total of four goals in their last three games. The Penguins rested, powerful offense, will prove too much for the Hurricanes tonight. The Pick: PENGUINS ML.
Vancouver Canucks at Vegas Golden Knights (VGK -260, Total 6)–What more can I possibly write about our beloved Vegas Golden Knights that hasn’t already been said? A team that was expected to be one of the worst expansion franchises of all time, has turned the tables on everyone and currently sits atop the Western Conference with 40 wins and 84 points. Even more astounding is how unbelievably reliable they have been at home. They are 23-5 at home on the season. Call it the “Vegas Flu” if you want, I’m sure that has some impact on other teams. The reality is if you watch the Golden Knights play on a nightly basis, they are shockingly fun to watch. The offense never relents, they never back off, they are constantly on the attack. You never feel out of a game with the Golden Knights. They are one of the best things happening in sports right now. And tonight, we catch them at home against a significantly over-matched Vancouver Canucks team. Now, we can’t exactly take them laying -260. So, we will live dangerously and take them with some more value attached. The Pick: VEGAS PUCK LINE -1.5 (+115).
It isn’t the sexiest game on the card, but the one that appeals to me a little this weekend across the pond is Bournemouth v. Newcastle. Two teams in the bottom half of the table trying to avoid the relegation battle. Newcastle has struggled mightily to score goals, scoring more than once in only one of their last ten matches. Their struggles have been amplified away from St. James’ Park. The Cherries on the other side have shown some flashes lately of being able to compete at a higher level. Their Manager, Eddie Howe was the Barclays Manager of the Month for January. Also going for the home side is the fact that they may get back talented goal scorer Jermain Defoe for the first time since being injured in December. Defoe has been training with Bournemouth and has been deemed fit. This game also has a let down factor for Newcastle after their win against Manchester United. The Pick: BOURNEMOUTH +110
Now, you guys know I am not a huge exotic bet guy. I don’t usually dabble in parlays, teasers, reverses, I like to play it straight up for the most part. But you guys, you love your parlays. I get asked for one almost every single day. So today I decided to give you a bonus parlay, because I love you so damn much. If I were to take a parlay today not using the above picks it would be the four in the video at the top. Watch it, ticket, cash it, brother.
I love all of you, let’s get after this weekend and kick the hell out of it. As always I’m available to you on twitter @BlackJackFletch whenever you need.