Bryan Power Bryan Power
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YESTERDAY'S PLAYS
Matchup Selection W/L
NHL  |  Jan 14, 2019
Canadiens vs Bruins
OVER 5½ -115 Lost
$115.0
Play Type: Top Premium

10* Play Over Canadiens/Bruins (7:35 ET): These teams have a (recent) history of playing low-scoring affairs. In fact, two of the three meetings this year have produced a shutout (one by each team). Montreal is on a seven-game Under run and Boston is #2 in the league in goals allowed. Each team's top goaltender - Carey Price for the Habs and Tuukka Rask for the Bruins - has been red hot of late. The Under seems so "logical" in this scenario that even the official game preview referenced it! However, contrarian that I am, I'm looking to go the other way Monday night. Take the Over.

Now, I'm not betting the Over here just to be different. We're getting a good number here as 5.5 goal totals are still common in this sport, but not as much as they used to be. Scoring is up this year in the NHL and I'm counting on that trend play out tonight in Boston. The Bruins are averaging an impressive 3.6 goals per game here on home ice this season. Note that over their L10 games, the B's have seen at least six total goals (them and their opponent combined) scored six times. The Under is 3-0-1 their L4, but I'm expecting a big offensive breakthrough this evening. Don't discount the impact that the Bruins' 3rd ranked power play could have on this game.

Rask may not play tonight, which would be to our benefit. But even if he does, it's highly unlikely he'll be able to maintain his recent save percentage, which is at .954 the L5 games. Backup Jaroslav Halak's save percentage in his L4 starts is just .892. For Montreal, Price has posted two shutouts in his L5 starts, the latest coming against Colorado Saturday night (3-0 win). But I expect his numbers to take a slight dip moving forward as well. The Habs haven't faced too many prolific offensive teams recently, which partly explains the rash of Unders. Boston is 6th in the league in gpg at home and did score four times against Price when they faced him last month, on the road. The Bruins have averaged just under 35 shots per game in the three meetings w/ Montreal this season. 10* Over Canadiens/Bruins

Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-B  |  Jan 14, 2019
Nebraska vs Indiana
Nebraska
+3 -105 at Bovada
Won
$100
Play Type: Top Premium

8* Play on Nebraska (6:30 ET): As of this writing, Indiana is still ranked (#22), but that's likely to change before tipoff as they lost to Maryland on Friday. Interestingly enough, despite that ranking, this is the second straight game where the Hoosiers are NOT the higher rated team in my eyes. You needed to look no further than the pointspread for confirmation of that in the Maryland game. IU was a 5.5-pt dog in College Park and backers were lucky to get a miracle "backdoor" cover on a last-second three that made the game a 78-75 final. Here, Indiana's "inferiority" isn't quite as obvious, but I personally have Nebraska rated noticeably higher in my own personal power ratings. Take the points. 

I've written this before, but it bears repeating here. I'm pretty high on this Cornhuskers squad and believe them to be one of the more underrated teams in the country right now. They're top 10 in the country in offensive efficiency (per KenPom) and coming off a 70-64 win over Penn State on Thursday. They come into this game having had one more day than Indiana to prepare. Nebraska is outscoring teams by almost 18 PPG this year. While they're 0-3 in Big 10 road games thus far (including a 2-pt loss at Maryland), the Huskers do own a win at Clemson earlier in the year.

This game being in Bloomington figures to be a big talking points coming into this game. Yes, Indiana is 10-0 SU at home this year. But isn't it curious then that they're not favored by more? The Hoosiers are in the same predicament Nebraska found itself in Thursday, that being off B2B road losses. They blew a 14-pt 1st half lead vs. Maryland after losing to Michigan. Nebraska is one of the few teams in the Big 10 (or country, for that matter) that can shoot the ball as well as IU. The Hoosiers' depth is currently being tested as several reserves are injured. In the last two games, they've gotten a grand total of TWO points from their bench! Meanwhile, I actually think it was a good sign for Nebraska that they were able to win Thursday despite leading scorer James Palmer Jr scoring only 11 pts on 3 of 12 shooting. He has eight 20+ pt games this year and averages 19.5 PPG. He'll bounce back tonight and lead his team to the cover (and likely SU win). 8* Nebraska

Matchup Selection W/L
NBA  |  Jan 14, 2019
Grizzlies vs Rockets
Grizzlies
+6½ -105 at Bovada
Lost
$105.0
Play Type: Top Premium

10* Memphis (8:05 ET): The Grizzlies have had a heck of a time covering games lately as their ATS record since December 14th is a money-burning 2-13. But that didn't stop me from taking them last Wednesday against the Spurs, whom they upset 96-86 in an outright win as 8.5-point road underdogs. They had two days off following that result, so it had to be considered a huge disappointment to then lose a closely contested game down in Miami, 112-108, Saturday (blew a DD 1st half lead). I realize there's some "internal strife" going on w/ the team, but they're in an excellent spot plus the points tonight in Houston. I'll take the Grizz as underdogs yet again. 

Houston is the second night of a back to back and suffered a surprising loss last night in Orlando. James Harden had an absolutely dreadful night shooting, particularly from three-point range where he went 1 for 17! Though Harden still ended up w/ 38 pts, tying Kobe Bryant's streak of 16 straight 30+ point games, the 16 misses from behind the arc tied a more dubious NBA record. Harden will probably shoot a better percentage from 3-pt range tonight, but the streak of 30+ pt games is still going to come to an end sooner rather than later. Remember that the Rockets are still w/o Chris Paul by the way (helps explain Harden's recent scoring surge).

Memphis' strength lies on the defensive end where they give up only 102.7 PPG. That's the best number in the league, mind you. So provided they can find a way to score, they should have no problem covering this generous number against an unrested foe. Chandler Parsons has taken a leave of absence from the team and Kyle Anderson is hurt, but that's nothing compared to how short-handed the Rockets are coming into this one. Not only is Paul out, but so is Eric Gordon and Clint Capella is listed as questionable due to a thumb injury suffered last night. The Rockets are 3-10 ATS this season after allowing 115+ points in their previous game (gave up 116 last night). This is a double revenge spot for the Grizzlies as well. 10* Memphis 

Matchup Selection W/L
NBA  |  Jan 14, 2019
Pistons vs Jazz
OVER 209½ -106 Lost
$106.0
Play Type: Top Premium

8* Play Over Pistons/Jazz (9:05 ET): So these teams just met nine days ago and I took the Over in what ended up being a 110-105 Utah win and cover. Both teams shot an identical percentage from the floor (47.6%), each going 39 of 82. The Pistons also outshot the Jazz from three-point range, making 11 of 25 as opposed to just 7 of 21 for Utah. Detroit was also 80% from the free throw line, but Utah had 12 more attempts and made nine of them. That was the difference in the ballgame. I thought the total was too low in the Motor City and the oddsmakers still haven't adjusted for the rematch here in Salt Lake City. I'm on the Over again. 

Something else I've written about recently is how you're going to see the Jazz go on a nice run here in January. I said this before taking them Friday night against LA, a game they easily covered as 8.5-pt chalk as they won 113-95. They won again the following night, again here at home, 110-102 over Chicago (though they did not cover). The schedule sets up well for Utah moving forward as this is their fourth straight game playing as a home favorite. They'll visit the Clippers on Wednesday, but after that it's four more home games and they should be favored every time.

Utah has won and covered five straight times against Detroit. To have any chance of snapping that streak, the Pistons are going to have to find a way to score (obviously!) as they come in averaging just 104.6 points over the L5 games. Not a terrible average, but a slight increase would be helpful here. For them, tonight is the end of a four-game trip out West. The Under is 3-0 so far, but the totals for the previous three games were all much higher than this one. They did just upset the Clippers on Saturday, led by Blake Griffin's 44 points. So if you want to know where the offense is likely to come from, there you go. Utah is shooting 46.7% for the year at home where it averages 111.1 PPG. An average game from the two sides, in terms of points scored and allowed, would work itself out to an Over here. An "average game" doesn't sound that difficult to me. 8* Over Pistons/Jazz 

PICKS IN PROGRESS
Matchup Selection W/L
NHL  |  Jan 15, 2019
Blues vs Islanders
Islanders
-150 at betonline
Won
$100
Play Type: Top Premium

8* NY Islanders (7:05 ET): The Islanders are surging of late as they've won 8 of 10 to move into playoff position in the Eastern Conference. They're still fourth in the Metro, however, so they can't afford to cool off anytime soon. They have dropped two of their last four games, but on Sunday delivered their biggest win of the season, a 5-1 beatdown of Tampa Bay right here in Brooklyn. How can you not be impressed w/ that considering it was just the third loss in the last 21 games for the league-leading Lightning. Also impressive is the job done by HC Barry Trotz w/ this club. The Isles finished 17 pts off the playoff pace LY and gave up the most goals in league HISTORY. He now has them in playoff position and they are #3 in the league in goals allowed!

St. Louis also just notched an impressive win, beating the Stanley Cup Champs (Washington) last night by a score of 4-1. It was the Blues' third straight victory, the first time all season they've won that many in a row. They've allowed a total of just three goals during the win streak, but still rank 20th overall in that department for the season. Last night was actually their second win over the Capitals this month. But they'll be hoping to avoid a bit of a deja vu here. After beating the Capitals earlier this month, who did the Blues face their next time out? That would be the Islanders, who beat them 5-3 in St. Louis. That game saw the Isles storm back from an early 0-2 deficit and win despite a 32-14 disadvantage in shots. 

It's unlikely that the Islanders will be outshot to that degree again tonight. They're at home where typically outshoot the opposition. Also, as we saw in that last meeting, the Isles would seem to have a significant edge between the pipes. Goalie Robin Lehner has been very good all season w/ a .926 save percentage. The Blues will likely use a different goaltender than they did last night and from the last time they faced NY. Jake Allen may have stunk vs. the Islanders (just 10 saves) earlier this month, but he was good last night in a 28-save effort. Rookie Jordan Binnington is likely to get the nod tonight. While Binnington is 3-0 so far w/ a ridiculous .973 save percentage, I'm skeptical that continues. I'm similarly skeptical about the Blues, who are still second from the bottom in the Central Division w/ a -10 YTD goal differential. 8* NY Islanders 

Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-B  |  Jan 15, 2019
Ball State vs Bowling Green
Ball State
-1 -115 at betonline
Lost
$115.0
Play Type: Top Premium

8* Ball State (7:00 ET): While undoubtedly "under the radar," Ball State probably just had as bad a 7-day stretch as any team in the country last week. They lost outright twice - both times as double digit favorites - and those games were in Muncie! That has the Cardinals reeling a bit in the MAC West, a division that looked like it could be theirs for the taking following a 79-64 win at Toledo earlier this month. But the good news is that there's plenty of time to recover and I think the team is being severely mispriced tonight at Bowling Green. This is a game the Cardinals should win easily. 

Bowling Green does come in hot as they're on a seven-game win streak. They've covered all six games that were lined, including a couple of minor upsets at Kent State and Central Michigan. The Falcons are now tied w/ Buffalo (the clear conference heavyweight) atop the MAC East. But don't expect that to last for too long. I think too many will be infatuated w/ BGSU's 8-0 SU home record here and the fact they are 6-0 ATS when there's been a line in those games. I'm not. The last time the Falcons started MAC play 3-0 was 2004-05 and while all three wins have come by double digits, the last one (at Central Mich) actually required overtime. 

I have no unearthly idea what happened w/ Ball State Saturday at home vs. Ohio. The Cardinals fell behind quickly and it was basically over from the start. They trailed 39-18 at halftime and ended up shooting a pitiful 1 of 12 from three-point range (overall FG% was just 35.4). Even on the road, those numbers HAVE to come up tonight. The loss to Eastern Michigan was a double OT affair that saw the Cards again fall victim to ridiculous three-point shooting, only this time it was by the opponent, who was 61.5% from behind the arc. Recent results have incorrectly influenced this line and I'm taking full advantage. 8* Ball State 

Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-B  |  Jan 15, 2019
South Florida vs Cincinnati
Cincinnati
-13 -108 at pinnacle
Lost
$108.0
Play Type: Top Premium

10* Cincinnati (7:00 ET): Cincy has has its fair share of problems w/ the pointspread here in 2019. Their three-game ATS slide began w/ a real head-scratching defeat at East Carolina (where they were 17.5-point favorites!) on 1.5. Over the course of the last week they did win a pair of games, both in overtime, but didn't cover either. They beat Tulsa by five and UConn by only two. As a result, the line for tonight's home date w/ USF opened a lot lower than it should have. This is an opponent that the Bearcats have handled through the years, winning 13 straight, although they are just 3-10 ATS in those 13 SU wins. Tonight, I look for them to "get back on track" w/ a blowout victory. Lay the number here. 

South Florida comes into this game w/ a 12-4 SU and ATS record, so most are going to be tempted by them getting double digits in this spot. Don't be. Looking over USF's resume brings me back to a few months ago when I was warning clients about how overrated the school's football program was in spite of an undefeated SU record. For the record, the Bulls' hoops team is just outside my top 150 teams in the country at this point. They have really not played anyone of note this entire season. It's true that all four of their losses have been by three points or less. But two of those have come in the L3 games (at Tulsa, at Temple). Their last game (at Temple) also went to OT and they were lucky to get past regulation as they trailed by 14 at the half. This is a team that won only 10 games all of last season. 

Cincinnati will easily be the best team USF has faced all season.  The Bearcats bring it on the defensive end, giving up just 58.5 PPG at home. That's a big reason why they're 10-1 SU here. They are top 25 in defensive efficiency (per KenPom) and to me, on the fringes of being a top 25 team in America. The loss to East Carolina was definitely head-scratching (they let the Pirates shoot 51.1%). It should be noted that the two OT wins over the last week both saw Cincy leading comfortably in the second half, only to squander said leads. They led Tulsa by six w/ less than two minutes to go in regulation and UConn by as many as 11. Not only is this spread justified, it should be higher. 10* Cincinnati 

Matchup Selection W/L
NBA  |  Jan 15, 2019
Warriors vs Nuggets
Nuggets
+2 -115 at Bovada
Play Type: Top Premium

10* Denver (9:05 ET): Golden State has NOT been the same team this year as in year's past. Some of that has been injuries. They're still one of the top teams in the league mind you, perhaps still the team to beat, but that aura of invincibility seems to have evaporated. I know they didn't go into the playoffs as the #1 seed LY, but virtually all numbers are down across the board this season. Perhaps most concerning of all is that they have slipped to the middle of the pack in defensive efficiency after three top five finishes in the previous four seasons. Tonight is a huge showdown in Denver and I do not think the Dubs should be favored in this spot, which is something I rarely say.

Last year, it was the Rockets. This year, Denver has emerged as the top challenger to Golden State's throne in the Western Conference. The Nuggets currently have a one-half game lead for the top spot in the standings and are probably the deepest team in the league right now. They too have battled injuries and the fact they're still ahead of the Warriors is impressive. So is their record at home. They've gone 18-3 SU at the Pepsi Center this year and won their last 12 games here. They've outscored opponents by 11.3 points per game and are 14-7 ATS despite the average line being about six points for their home games. 

Golden State comes into this Tuesday night showdown having won four straight, all against lesser foes. In fact, two of the games saw them favored by 17 or more points. This will be one of their biggest tests all season. Denver comes in not only having won 12 straight home games, but 8 of 10 overall. They already beat the Warriors once on this floor, 100-98, back in October. Golden State is just 4-7 ATS playing w/ revenge this season The Nuggets, like the Warriors, are healthier than they've been in a while. Nikola Jokic turned in a 40-10 game against Portland on Sunday and the team is a perfect 5-0 ATS this season when coming off a division game. 10* Denver

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