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Bryan Power Bryan Power
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YESTERDAY'S PLAYS
Matchup Selection W/L
NHL  |  Feb 20, 2019
Bruins vs Golden Knights
Golden Knights
-120 at Bovada
Lost
$120.0
Play Type: Top Premium

10* Vegas (10:05 ET): The Golden Knights' extraordinary home ice advantage will be tested this evening by a Bruins team that's riding a six-game win streak. While not quite as strong as they were here last year, Vegas is still 17-9-3 SU here in Sin City and this looks like a bad spot for Boston considering it will be their fourth straight road game in a six-day span. The Bruins admittedly did just win at San Jose, another team that rarely loses at home. But they needed OT after blowing a 3-0 lead in that game, which also saw them get outshot 38-20. The "Vegas Flu" claims another victim tonight!

With the six-game win streak, Boston has now passed Toronto for second place in the Atlantic, which is important because it means they would host the Maple Leafs (or whomever else finishes 3rd in the division) in the 1st round of the playoffs. Personally, I believe Toronto is the better team, but let's table that discussion for another time. What we do know about the Bruins is that they were just 11-10-5 SU on the road prior to the start of this trip. They average just 2.5 goals per game outside of Beantown and Vegas remains one of the stingier teams in the league at home, giving up only 2.4 gpg. That's 3rd fewest in the league. (Boston ranks 28th in scoring on the road). 

The home team is 3-0 all-time when these teams meet. Boston won 4-1 back in November at a time when the Golden Knights were struggling. It's not like they're playing a whole lot better now (lost 4 of 5), but after being shutout in their last game (3-0 at Colorado), I expect a strong bounce back tonight. After scoring 1 goal or less in their previous game, Vegas is 9-2 SU the next time out. They did have 40 shots on goal vs. the Avs Monday, but just couldn't get any past Semyon Varlamov. Boston is pretty strong between the pipes in its own right, but I see them being under siege here by a Vegas team that is averaging 37.8 shots on goal its L5 games. 10* Vegas 

Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-B  |  Feb 20, 2019
Butler vs Marquette
Butler
+6 -105 at Bovada
Lost
$105.0
Play Type: Top Premium

8* Butler (9:00 ET): Marquette is a team I've been "chasing" for much of this season. Quite frankly, I believe the Golden Eagles to be one of the more overrated teams in the country, at least in terms of ranking. Not that they don't deserve to be in the top 25 at this point, because they do. But #11 seems a little high to me. This is a team that has benefited from going an extremely fortunate 7-1 SU in games decided by five points or less. Their most recent "close" victory came two Saturday ago against Villanova, 70-69. That was followed by a much more convincing win @ DePaul. 

So Marquette rolls into Wednesday having won 10 of 11 w/ the only loss coming by a single point to St. John's. They've been off for over a week and host a Butler team they already beat by 18 points - on the road - last month. Predictably, the line has shifted quite a bit for this rematch. But has it shifted TOO much? Marquette was actually an underdog when it won at Hinkle Fieldhouse. They may be playing tonight's game w/o the services of Sam Hauser, their second-leading scorer (15.3 PPG) and only one of two double digit scorers on the roster. Hauser is currently listed as questionable due to an eye injury suffered in the DePaul game. He is also the team's leading rebounder. 

Butler has lost 10 straight games to Top 25 opponents. To win here, they're probably going to need to hold Marquette under 74 points. The Golden Eagles are a perfect 17-0 SU when hitting that benchmark this season, but just 4-4 SU when falling short. Butler is a team capable of having a big night from three-point range as there have been 11 games this season where they've made 10 or more shot from behind the arc. They are 9-2 SU in those 11 games. Something else to keep in mind here is that the Bulldogs' only loss in the last four games was in OT (at St. John's). They scored 91 pts against DePaul on Saturday and I like this revenge-minded dog. 8* Butler 

Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-B  |  Feb 20, 2019
Arkansas vs Auburn
Auburn
-12 -110 at BMaker
Won
$100
Play Type: Top Premium

10* Auburn (8:30 ET): I understand why Auburn isn't currently ranked in the Top 25, but I've got them in them rated among the top 15 teams in America in my own personal power rankings and most objective rating systems (Vegas, BPI, KenPom) seem to agree. The Tigers did recently lose B2B games, to LSU and Ole Miss, but bounced back over the weekend w/ a 64-53 win at Vandy. Tonight, they return home to face an Arkansas squad that's on a three-game losing streak. The Razorbacks have pulled some upsets this year, most notably over LSU, but not tonight. Lay the points. 

Auburn is 12-2 SU at home this season, generally blowing their visitors out. They've outscored the opposition by 23.6 PPG here. This is a strong offensive team, one that averages 86.3 PPG at home. They also play good defense, allowing just 62.7 PPG here. Arkansas can score too, but the big difference is the Hogs can't stop anybody, especially on the road where they are allowing 78.7 PPG. Look for that to be a major problem for them tonight. The Razorbacks have given up 77 or more points four times in the last five games. Auburn has held five of its last six opponents to 63 pts or less.

Arkansas' most recent loss was by 10, at home, to Mississippi State over the weekend. That came on the heels of two road losses to teams that were really struggling, South Carolina and Missouri. The Razorbacks did actually lead Miss St by six at halftime, but fell victim to a 23-1 run. That game is instructive b/c I have Auburn rated higher than Miss State (as would most). Right now, the Tigers would safely be in the NCAA Tournament, but a loss to a team like Arkansas could be potentially devastating. Look for them to show how "good they are" Wednesday night. 10* Auburn

Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-B  |  Feb 20, 2019
Xavier vs Seton Hall
Xavier
+5 -105 at BMaker
Won
$100
Play Type: Top Premium

8* Xavier (7:00 ET): A late surge gave Seton Hall an 81-75 road win over Creighton this past Sunday. It was the Pirates' third win in a row overall and fourth in five games. They scored 51 points in the 2nd half, which was a season-high. As a result, the Pirates are now tied for third place in the Big East (w/ St. John's) at 7-6 SU. Recent showings are a far cry from last month when they dropped four in a row at one point. Tonight, they play host to a Xavier team they've already beaten, on the road, 80-70 as 3.5-point dogs. But the line looks a bit inflated for the rematch. Take the points. 

Xavier had gone through a terrible stretch, losing six in a row - both SU and ATS. But they've since won B2B games, beating Creighton and Providence in the last seven days. The latter win came on the road and saw the Musketeers prevail by 14 on the road. They actually trailed by six going into halftime, but totally dominated the 2H, outscoring the Friars 49-29. Tyrique Jones led the way w/ 19 pts and 12 rebounds. He made 9 of 11 shots from the field. It's not too often Xavier shoots as well as they did on Saturday. They were 59.2% from the floor overall including 8 of 14 from three-point range (season-best 57.1%). 

Xavier probably won't shoot that well again tonight, but they do get a slight advantage right off the bat by having an extra day to prepare for this rematch. They did not shoot the ball well at all in the first game vs. Seton Hall and I do expect them to improve on those numbers here tonight. Seton Hall is just 5-10 ATS as a favorite this season and their overall margin of victory is less than three points per game. The Pirates are also just 3-9 ATS at home. I can't call Xavier a great defensive team, but they have held B2B opponents to just 61 points. 8* Xavier

Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-B  |  Feb 20, 2019
Florida vs LSU
Florida
+6½ -115 at Bovada
Won
$100
Play Type: Top Premium

8* Florida (7:00 ET): LSU is 21-4 (SU) on the season and has climbed to #13 in the latest AP Poll (#15 in Coaches). The Tigers are a team I feel has been pretty lucky this year and that's pretty much confirmed by the fact they have gone 8-3 SU in games decided by six points or less this season. Three of their conference wins have required overtime and the last four have come by a total of 15 points (all by 4 pts or less). After beating Kentucky on a last second tip in last Tuesday, the Tigers were able to hold on against Georgia over the weekend, winning 83-79 as 7.5-point chalk. That win improved them to a perfect 7-0 SU on the SEC road. 

Tonight, LSU returns to the Bayou to host Florida. The Gators have not enjoyed the same kind of luck as have the Tigers, especially at the betting window. They'd failed to cover seven in a row heading into the weekend, but then came a positive sign as they went to Tuscaloosa and upset Alabama 71-53 as 3.5-point dogs. That was one of the Gators' better efforts in recent memory as they held the Crimson Tide w/o a made basket for the first eight minutes en route to their largest MOV on the road this season. Something worth noting is that Florida has won its last two games (also beat Vandy, but did not cover) even w/ Noah Locke shooting 1 of 14 from the field.

These teams may be separated by five games in the SEC standings, but that is not an accurate measure of how they match up. Florida has a superior defensive efficiency rating (top 10 in the country). Granted, LSU is the better offensive team. But College Basketball may be the one sport left where "defense wins championships." LSU has a losing ATS record as a favorite this season. Last week, when they faced Kentucky, the Tigers probably benefited from UK having a "lookahead" to Tennessee (which UK won). Now, it's LSU w/ the lookahead to Tennessee this weekend and they're laying points. Bad spot. 8* Florida

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