Thursday Service Plays
Re: Thursday Service Plays
W Kentucky over 150 (HEAVYHITTER)
North Texas Mean Green Eagles at Arkansas State Indians - Arkansas State +1.5 -110 | Unit Value: 2
Note: We have some very interesting trends for this game. The Road team is 9-1 ATS last 10 in this series, but the Underdog is 8-1 ATS the last 9. That pretty much means that the Road team has been pegged the Dog in the last 9 meetings. So why is North Texas favored here? It is primarily due to perception of who is the better team and that perception says that the Mean Green are. However, we must not forget that the Indians have been without their superstar guard, Adrian Banks for a long time. He has returned and with him he brings over 20 points per game. This guy from Memphis, Tenn is the real deal and he showed that last game out verses Arkansas Little Rock as the Indians drubbed that better than average squad right here in Jonesboro. This court has been very kind to Arkansas State this year as they are 7-1, losing only their first game. They have done that mostly without Mr Banks. These teams are similar in that respect with North Texas possessing a perfect 8-0 home mark but just 1-4 when they have traveled. The Eagles do have the advantage in the interior and they will try to use that to their advantage. Ark State is going to have to be patient and get good shots but they are very good at doing that and have great guard play and great passing skills. That has allowed them to hit a marvalous 40% from beyond the arc and even better than that here on the homecourt. One can look at the 10-4 North Texas Record, and the 7-7 Ark State record and conclude that the Mean Green should be favored. The Oddsmakers did just that. They are wrong. With Banks back in the Teepee, this Indian team is the better proposition tonight
Re: Thursday Service Plays
10 Dime: STANFORD (minus the points vs. Oregon State)
10 Dime: PISTONS (plus the points vs. Spurs)
5 Dime: WISCONSIN-GREEN BAY (plus the points vs. Butler)
5 Dime: UC SANTA BARBARA (over U.C. Irvine)
We’re only two games into the Pac-10 season, and already I think we’ve found the team that’s going to take up residence in the league’s basement. Let me introduce you to Oregon State! The Beavers are 6-8 on the season, with the six wins coming against South Carolina Upstate (whatever that is), Idaho State, Portland, U.C. Davis, Cal State-Bakersfield and Northern Colorado. Among the eight losses: Alaska-Fairbanks, Tennessee Tech and Montana State.
Last week, Oregon State opened conference play at Arizona and Arizona State and came away with two losses by a combined 32 points.
Well, tonight, they face a Stanford squad that’s 12-2 SU, including 3-1 on the road. And it’s a Stanford squad that’s owned Oregon State, winning nine of the last 10 meetings overall, going 5-0 ATS in the last five, 13-3 ATS in the last 16 and – get this – 8-0 ATS in its last eight visits to Corvallis, Ore. In fact, the road team is 10-4 ATS in the last 14 series meetings.
Stanford, which just held USC to 46 points in a home win on Saturday, owns some incredible statistical advantages in this game, too. The Cardinal put up 72.8 points per game on 46.5 percent shooting, including 37.8 percent from three-point land, while Oregon State averages 63.2 points, 39.4 percent shooting and 30.1 percent from long range. Defensively, Stanford gives up 56.8 ppg; Oregon State 62 ppg, and Stanford holds the opposition to 39.4 percent shooting; Oregon State’s at 43.3 percent, including 45.4 percent at home.
The Beavers have been held to 62 (Tennessee Tech), 65 (Northern Colorado), 61 (LSU), 59 (Montana State), 63 (Arizona) and 53 points (Arizona State) in their last six games. And last year against Stanford, they were held to 55 and 56 points in two meetings. This is a no-brainer here. Lay the chalk with the visitor.
Two nights ago, I backed the Magic in Sacramento and they laid an egg. But I didn’t hesitate to play Orlando last night at the Clippers, and although it got a little dicey late, the Magic pulled through for the win and cover. Well, here we go again: Last night I played the Pistons in Dallas and Detroit got pummeled, but I’m coming right back and playing the Pistons as a ‘dog tonight in San Antonio. The reasons: The Spurs are scuffling; I can’t see the Pistons, who have lost consecutive games for the first time since mid-November, dropping a third in a row; and Detroit (like Orlando) has been phenomenal on the second night of a back-to-back situation, going 6-1-1 ATS this year and 8-1-1 ATS in that spot dating to last year.
As for the Spurs’ struggles, they’re 6-7 in their last 13 games, going 4-9 ATS during that stretch. That includes four consecutive non-covers in their last four games and a 2-4 ATS mark in their last six at home. Heck, in its most recent home game, San Antonio barely edged the Knicks – the Knicks! – 97-93. Also, we all know that San Antonio is getting a little long in the tooth. Well, look at what they’ve done since Dec. 30: home vs. Memphis, at Denver, home vs. New York, at the Clippers, at the Warriors, and now back to San Antonio for tonight’s game. Tough stretch of travel there.
Finally, despite last night’s loss, the Pistons are still on an insane 18-4 SU and 18-3-1 ATS roll, including 9-2 on the road (9-1-1 ATS). They’re also 6-3 ATS in their last nine games against the Spurs, including back-to-back covers in San Antonio (83-68 win in 2006; 90-89 loss last year). Billups, Rip, ‘Sheed and the boys bounce back for us tonight. Play the road pup.
Inflated line here, simple as that. Of course, every line is inflated with Butler these days, which is hardly a secret anymore. Of course, that didn’t matter at the beginning of the season, as the Bulldogs covered the spread in their first four games and six of their first seven. Since then, though, Butler is just 3-3-1 ATS, including 0-2-1 ATS as a double-digit chalk and 0-3-1 ATS in Horizon League games. In fact, this is THE biggest pointspread Butler has laid all season long.
And considering that the Bulldogs have scored more than 66 points just four times in their last nine games, that’s significant – especially against a Wisconsin-Green Bay team that averages 72 points per game and actually shoots the ball better from the field (47 percent) than Butler (45 percent). Not only that, but the Phoenix’s filed-goal defense (44.5 percent) is better than Butler’s (45.3 percent).
Now, it’s true that Bulldogs have played some stiff competition in the non-conference season, so that partially explains the discrepancy. Then again, Wisc-Green Bay faced three talented Big Ten teams – Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Ohio State, all on the road – in non-conference play, so maybe the stat comparison isn’t so far off.
Throw in the fact that the Phoenix are, like Butler, off to a 3-1 start in Horizon League play, while the Bulldogs are 0-4-1 ATS in their last five Horizon League games, and I’m all over the big points in this contest.
U.C. Santa Barbara
I don’t get this line at all. UCSB is 12-3 on the season, while Cal-Irvine is 5-9. Two of the Gauchos’ losses came on the road against a Top 20 team (Stanford) and the No. 1 team in the nation (North Carolina). True, the third loss was Saturday’s inexcusable 88-84 setback to Cal-State Northridge as a 7-point home favorite. But to me, that just served as wake-up call for USCB, which opened Big West play a game earlier with a 79-64 rout of Long Beach State. The Gauchos, after their tough non-conference schedule, no doubt thought they’d breeze through the Big West and got caught a little too overconfident against Northridge.
Tonight, I expect the Gauchos to be very focused against an inferior Irvine squad that has lost four of its last five, including a 93-83 defeat at Cal State-Fullerton on Friday. It’s an Anteaters squad that’s also 5-15 ATS in its last 20 conference games and 7-15 ATS in its last 22 at home.
Also, UCSB is in a bit of a payback situation here. Last year, the Gauchos beat the Anteaters twice in the regular season, winning 64-59 as a 2 ½-point road underdog and 71-62 as a six-point home favorite, then lost to Irvine 70-52 in the Big West tournament. UCSB averages 72.4 points per game on 45.1 percent shooting (40.6 percent from three-point land) and faces an Anteaters team that gives up 71.2 points while allowing foes to shoot a whopping 50.5 percent from the floor. UCSB, which is 9-4 ATS in the last 13 meetings and 6-1 ATS in their last seven at Irvine, offers great value in this pick-em spot.
Re: Thursday Service Plays
Washington State Cougars at USC Trojans
I'm playing the USC Trojans on Thursday night. I really enjoy watching the play of the Washington State Cougars under the direction of coach Tony Bennett. They look to score rather than pass the ball around the key, running down the shot-clock like they did when Dick Bennett was at the helm. And, they do it without sacrificing on the defensive end. But as much as I respect the Cougars, their schedule is really picking up. The Cougars are off to a 13-0 start and rank fourth in the polls. But they've played just one ranked opponent this season, escaping Gonzaga with a 51-47 win. Toss out other wins over Baylor and their win last weekend over Washington, and the Cougars have taken on one of the softest schedules of any ranked team in the nation. I believe the lack of serious competition will catch up to them this week. The Cougars own the stingiest defense in the nation, allowing less than 50 PPG. But this will be the most athletic team they've faced yet. And, the Trojans are battle-tested. USC took powerful Kansas and Memphis to the brink, losing both games by only four points. O.J. Mayo is in for a bounce back night in my opinion, after a rare rough outing against Stanford. Mayo is second in the Pac-10 in scoring at 20.1 PPG. The Trojans athleticism was too much for WSU in March (USC: 70-61), and I expect the same type of result tonight. USC gets the money on Thursday.
Play on: USC