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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, February 8, 2019 at 12:00 AM

COLLEGE BASKETBALL'S BETTER-THAN-YOU THINK TEAMS - THEY'RE BREAKING THE BANK ATS THIS YEAR ...

THE NBA TRADE DEADLINE: THE MOVERS AND SHAKERS (AND A LOT OF SIT-STILL TEAMS TOO)

Contrary to what the mass media might tell y'all, there's been a whole lot more to this here-and-now College Basketball season than simply the Duke Blue Devils (okay, so they are -140 to win it all at last glance!).

The truth of the matter is while Duke's a handsome 14-8 ATS (against the spread) this year, there are a batch of Division 1 teams that have been major money-makers and some of these squads are downright better than you think ... here's a small sampling from among the country's power conference sides:

BAYLOR - The Bears are 15-7 SU (straight-up) and a tasty 14-7-1 against the odds this 2018-19 campaign and yet we've only really heard rumblings about this Waco team in recent days. Prior to Wednesday night's 84-72 loss at 2.5-point favorite Texas, these Bears ran off six consecutive SU wins while going an uber-snazzy 10-0-1 spreadwise while dating back to mid-December. True, Baylor - 6-3 and in third place in the Big 12 right now - may not have the national name or cache of other headline-making teams but covering 67 percent of your on-the-board games is simply sensational stuff and this team that's not even in the current Associated Press Top 25 rankings is someone that top folks - such as aforementioned Duke - won't want any part of 'em come March. P.S., Scott Drew's team has gone to a three-guard attack out of necessity following an early-season injury to C Tristan Clark and it's worked wonders (especially for Baylor bettors!).

OLE MISS - There are plenty of college hoop "experts" that will be quick to tell you that the Rebels are a "bubble team" right now: After all, Ole Miss has an RPI of 51 (decent but not great) and the Oxford crew is only 5-4 SU inside the rather wobbly SEC (and 15-7 SU overall). Still, consider that Ole Miss is 16-6 against the Las Vegas numbers and that's after failing to cover four of its last five outings while heading into Saturday's road game at Georgia. Okay, so the Rebels may not exactly be "peaking" but consider this SEC crew covered 10 games in a row from Nov. 28th thru Jan. 12th - the last one there was an 81-77 outright win as 5.5-point pups at Miss State, one of two times this year the Jim Hurley Network absolutely nailed an Ole Miss vs. Miss State contest! - and among the covers were high-profile games at Florida and then versus Auburn. So there!

GEORGIA TECH - Let's cut right to the chase here when it comes to the G-T Yellow Jackets: They'll enter Sunday's game at Notre Dame with a 3-7 SU mark within the rough-and-tumble ACC (you see 'em there in the standings in 10th place) to go along with an 11-12 SU mark overall ... very much on the outside looking in at an NCAA Tournament berth. However, the Techsters are 15-8 vig-wise this year - that's the second-best spread mark among all ACC hoop teams - and recent road covers at Florida State, Duke and Syracuse should count for something, right? If Georgia Tech can pair up SU and ATS wins in four of its next five/six games, then the Jackets will be back in the "Big Dance" picture.
   
Jim Hurley's Network of Handicappers and Bloggers waved bye-bye to the Football Season and so it's time to move on to the hardwood -- cash in big with NBA and College Basketball Winners starting tonight here online or 1-800-323-4453. Keep rollin' in the profits with Jim Hurley and make sure you're getting all the b-ball winners this month of February!

THE NBA TRADE DEADLINE

Hey, we liked what one of the chaps on NBA Network claimed moments after yesterday's 3 p.m. ET Trade Deadline came and went ... and that the "biggest winners" on this day were the Boston Celtics who remain very much in play as a down-the-road trade partner with the New Orleans Pelicans for unhappy mega-star Anthony Davis.

The fact that Davis didn't get shipped to the Los Angeles Lakers or anyone else for that matter was key 'cause now Boston can bide its time till the summer and likely make the best possible offer for Davis ... so that's something to look forward to!

Meanwhile, gotta admit that we didn't think the Toronto Raptors were gonna pull off any real meaningful move but the North-of-the-Border crew sure fooled us with the acquisition of 34-year-old F/C Marc Gasol from Memphis. The fact that Gasol will help to "spread the court" for star G Kawhi Leonard is key and so look for Toronto to increase its points-per-game scoring average and thus be a bigger threat than ever to win the Eastern Conference title.

The other East-related changes - Philadelphia nabbed swingman Tobias Harris, Milwaukee picked up straight-shooter Nikola Mirotic and Indiana grabbed G Wesley Matthews from New York - were plus moves but nothing (in our mind) that moved the excitement meter.

Among the Western Conference teams, there was some fun stuff involving the two Los Angeles teams - the Lakers and Clippers made their first person-to-person trade since way back in 1983 (remember Norm Nixon, everyone?) when the Clips sent Mike Muscala in exchange for journeyman Michael Beasley and Ivica Zubac - but otherwise it was all quiet on the western front.

The $64,000 question is why didn't Portland, Houston and/or Utah attempt to beef up their starting fives? Hmm.

NOTE: Catch our College Hoop updates plus lots more in the next edition of Jim Sez.

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