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This Week’s Sports To Bet On

Games to Bet On

Winter technically isn’t over for another three weeks, but the betting market is heating up anyway with the arrival of March and the requisite push to March Madness. Conference titles, tournament bids and high seeds are up for grabs; we’re likewise going heavy on NCAA basketball in this week’s Top 5 betting games. All times are Eastern, with the latest betting lines available at sports.bodog.com. 1. NCAAB: Connecticut at Pittsburgh (Saturday, 12:00 p.m.)

The top two teams in the Big East were also the top two teams in Division I heading into the new week. UConn (27-2 SU, 11-12 ATS) is back in the driver’s seat after beating Marquette and Notre Dame – although neither win was overly impressive. The Huskies are just 1-4 ATS in their last five and don’t appear to have any betting value. Pittsburgh (26-3 SU, 14-8-1 ATS), on the other hand, keeps the money taps flowing by losing unexpectedly every once in a while, like last week’s 81-73 upset at Providence (+9). The Panthers offense beat the Huskies defense 76-68 in their first meeting this year in Storrs, where Pitt was a 2.5-point puppy.

2. NBA: Cleveland at Boston (Friday, 8:00 p.m.)

Not even the NBA’s elite are immune to a bad game now and then. The Cavaliers (46-12 SU, 38-20 ATS) have dropped the cash in two of their last three games, losing at Houston (+3.5) and just barely getting past Atlanta (+4) 88-87 on a LeBron James free throw. The Celtics (47-17 SU, 33-28 ATS) are the more embarrassed team of the two after upsets by the Clippers (+10) and the Pistons (+8.5). Boston has come up short of the pay window in each of the last three games to fall to 2-4 ATS since the Kevin Garnett injury.

3. NCAAB: Duke at North Carolina (Sunday, 4:00 p.m.)

It’s not often a Duke-North Carolina game has to take second billing. But the Blue Devils (24-5 SU, 14-13-1 ATS) are just getting things back together with three wins in a row SU and ATS after a nasty 0-5 ATS slump. The Tar Heels (25-3 SU, 11-15 ATS) kicked the Devils while they were down, beating Duke 101-87 as 2-point puppies at Cameron Indoor Stadium.Sports Betting at the Sportsbook That’s the high point of the UNC season. Since then, the Heels are 3-1 SU and a paltry 1-3 ATS, including an overtime loss at Maryland (+12) that prevented North Carolina from reaching No. 1 in the polls. Duke guard Nolan Smith is out indefinitely with a concussion; he had a strong game with 11 points in 22 minutes off the bench during last month’s loss to the Tar Heels.

4. NHL: Boston at N.Y. Rangers (Sunday, 12:30 p.m.)

This Original Six matchup comes at a very important time for both teams. Boston (42-12-9) is 3-4-3 going into the month of March. The Bruins power play appears to be back on track, though, scoring five goals in 15 chances over the last four games. The Rangers (32-24-8) are also 3-4-3 in their last 10; the ax finally came down on coach Tom Renney last week, after which New York lost a pair of games before finally breaking the ice with Saturday’s 6-1 pasting of Colorado. The under remains 17-7 for the Blueshirts since the calendar turned to 2009.

5. MMA: Quinton Jackson vs. Keith Jardine (Saturday, card starts at 10:00 p.m.)

This is Jackson’s second fight in the Octagon since his reckless driving incident last summer. His first fight was a first-round KO of Wanderlei Silva at UFC 92 in December, which gave Jackson a dose of redemption after losing his light heavyweight title to Forrest Griffin. Jardine’s career rocketed skyward in 2007 with a major split decision upset of Chuck Liddell (-370), then fizzled when the aforementioned Silva knocked him out in just 36 seconds last May. Jardine arguably still has betting value as an alumnus of The Ultimate Fighter 2, but Jackson is very much a man on a mission.

Honorable Mentions

NBA: Phoenix at San Antonio (Sunday, 3:30 p.m.)
NCAAB: Villanova at Notre Dame (Monday, 7:00 p.m.)
NHL: Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay (Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.)
Soccer: West Ham at Wigan (Wednesday, 2:45 p.m.)
MMA: Shane Carwin vs. Gabriel Gonzaga (Saturday, card starts at 10:00 p.m.)

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