I don't know if life gets much better. Baseball kicks it's marathon into full gear with games on all day today, the NBA is winding down it's regular season and marching inexorably toward the playoffs, we're down to the last 4 teams in The Madness, and I've got 2 wins in my back pocket to start the month of April. Life is indeed good, my friends. How fitting that one of the best days of the year---when baseball starts---also coincides this year with the end of Lent and the Resurrection of The King. Is it a sign? I think so.
THE NBA (5-0 last night)
SU WINNERS (5-0 last night)
Pistons, HAWKS, BUCKS, GRIZZLIES, WOLVES, ROCKETS, JAZZ and Pacers
TOTALS (3-2 last night)
OVER - Celtics/WOLVES (191)
UNDERS - Pistons/RAPTORS (194), Cavs/HAWKS (200), Bobcats/BUCKS (205 1/2), Spurs/GRIZZLIES (186), Magic/ROCKETS (205), Blazers/JAZZ (200) and Pacers/CLIPPERS (189)
BUTTA (1-0 last night)
Lent may be over, but life is still full of temptation. Tonight's schedule in The Association is good evidence that is true. I'm strong enough to resist.
ALL THE REST
1. Pistons (+6) at RAPTORS - I don't think either of these teams are in the tank and just playing out the string. They both have had a really rough go of it over the last few weeks though. Pistons 95, RAPTORS 92
2. HAWKS (-10) over Cavs - I sort of wonder where the Cavs might be if they had been healthy all season long. Varejao was playing inspired ball before going down for the year early, and we've seen really good things from this team when Kyrie Irving was able to play. He's out again though, and the Cavs have tumbled into being almost non-cometitive again. HAWKS 113, Cavs 87
3. BUCKS (-12) over Bobcats - The 'Cats are one of the worst b2b teams in the league with a 2-10 SU record when closing consecutive games on the road, but the Bucks just aren't the kind of team to lay doubles with, even if I did lay doubles. BUCKS 109, Bobcats 95
4. GRIZZLIES (-5) over Spurs - What a tough 2-night stretch for the Spurs. A last second loss at home last night, and tonight they hit the road to Memphis and must deal with the physical Griz. No, thanks. GRIZZLIES 94, Spurs 84
5. WOLVES (-3) over Celtics - The Celts are safe in their playoff spot, but they're in bad shape as the end of the regular season draws near. They played inspired ball after the loss of Rondo and Sullinger, but haven't won since K.G. got hurt ("out" for tonight), and now, Pierce is listed as "doubful" for tonight. The Wolves haven't quit, so they might have a shot to make this projection I have a reality. WOLVES 106, Celtics 97
6. ROCKETS (-12 1/2) over Magic - No matter what kind of shape the Magic are in physically, and it's really bad for them, I just don't think it's a good idea to even consider laying doubles with that Rocket defense and no James Harden in the lineup. ROCKETS 100, Magic 80
7. JAZZ (-9) over Blazers - Here's my big temptation for the evening. After losing to the Jazz at home last week and essentially getting knocked out of the playoff race as a result, the Blazers laid an egg in their next game and got blown out by the Warriors. I think they realize they've gone as far as they can and are just playing out the string now. It also won't help them that it looks like LaMarcus Aldridge will be out of tonight's game. JAZZ 104, Blazers 91
8. Pacers (+4) at CLIPPERS - The Pacers are at the end of a long road trip, so that makes them a dangerous play. What does work in their favor is that they will slow the game down, grind it out and make the Clips play a half court game. That's something the Clips just can't do with any extended success. Pacers 91, CLIPPERS 87
COLLEGE HOOPS (2-0 ATS/1-1 SU/0-2 TOTALS yesterday)
Interesting little situation tonight as the CBIT is down to the final 2 teams in it's tournament. What makes the CBIT unique, though, is that, while it's the usual one and done scenario like other tournaments leading up to the championship round, the last 2 teams left will now play a best of 3 series to crown the tourney champion.
SANTA CLARA (-7 1/2, U145 1/2) 80, George Mason 63 - Be careful here. This projection looks like a rout, but this George Mason team has been on the canvas in all 3 of their games in this tourney but has gotten up to reach this point. Maybe the travel distance becomes an issue for them, but I sure don't want any part of going against them tonight.
Yes, life is good. So good that I've decided that the way things went in the 1st quarter of 2013, it's time for a reward. So, I'm planning on satisfying my "Travelin' Jones" in a couple of weeks. I know I don't have to tell you where I'll be headed. The desert is beautiful this time of year. Have a great rest of your Monday, and I'll see you again tomorrow.