Adam Thompson

Staff Analyst

Adam Thompson is a thoughtful, Midwestern handicapper. Previously the award-winning sports editor of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Adam spent nearly 20 years covering the NFL, MLB, NBA and major college sports. Now he's sharing the insight he gained with SportsLine members, through well-reasoned picks and thought-provoking articles.

12-3 IN LAST 15 NBA PICKS | +875

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Mercer -2MERCER -2

Mercer 67 @ North Texas 96
3/19
MERCER 67 @ NTEXAS 96
3/19
LOSS
Mon 3/19

Mercer has won nine of 10, its top five players are all seniors and its significant size advantage should control the glass. North Texas, meanwhile, has no senior starters and has lost seven of nine. The Mean Green may have had a slightly stronger schedule being in Conference USA, but the big signs point to a Mercer win -- including its 9-1 ATS streak, compared to 3-5 for NT -- and I'll bet that it's by more than two points.

Cleveland -2.5CLE -2.5

Milwaukee 117 @ Cleveland 124
3/19
MIL 117 @ CLE 124
3/19
WIN
Mon 3/19

With Kevin Love questionable but hopeful to return and coach Tyronn Lue taking a leave of absense, I expect a re-freshening of the Cavs, if only for one night. They could use it. Meanwhile, though, the Bucks aren't lighting the world on fire. They are just 2-7 in their last nine against teams with .500 records, both straight up and against the spread. I'll lay the small number on the home Cavaliers.

12-3 IN LAST 15 NBA PICKS | +875

Utah -4.5UTAH -4.5

LSU 71 @ Utah 95
3/19
LSU 71 @ UTAH 95
3/19
WIN
Mon 3/19

The Utes' rotation is full of seniors, they're a rock-solid 13-3 at home and have covered in nine of 12 as a home favorite. Compare that to LSU, which has failed to cover in nine of 12 as a road underdog, has four road wins all season and is led in scoring by a 5-11 freshman. Utah nearly had its season capsized before ralling against UC-Davis in the NIT's opening round. Look for the experienced Utes unit -- the top four scorers include three seniors and a junior -- to come motivated right off the tip and take care of business at home.

Houston -7HOU -7

Houston 129 @ Minnesota 120
3/18
HOU 129 @ MIN 120
3/18
WIN
Sun 3/18

Normally, the second game of a back-to-back on the road might seem like a good time to go against the Rockets, the NBA's oldest and hottest team. But this is also a long-traveled back end of two straight for the Wolves, who lost Saturday night in San Antonio. Houston has beaten Minnesota by exactly 18 points in all three previous matchups. The Wolves, meanwhile, are 4-4 since Jimmy Butler went down, and all four defeats have been by eight points or more.

12-3 IN LAST 15 NBA PICKS | +875

UNDER 131.5UNDER 131.5

Loyola-Chi. 63 vs Tennessee 62
3/17
LOYCHI 63 vs TENN 62
3/17
WIN
Sat 3/17

Each of these teams average in the low 70s, but each hangs its hat on defense. The Vols' D ranks 27th in the country in points allowed, while the Ramblers allow just 62.2 ppg, fourth-fewest. None of Loyola's last five games have finished with 130 total points, while two of Tennessee's last five have, but only against high-powered Arkansas and Kentucky. Both teams have hunkered down for March -- look for that to continue Saturday.

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