Thursday Service Plays

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WINNING POINTS

***BEST BET
Massachusetts* over Fordham by 26

A team of lazy seniors whose only road wins came when the trip was 20 minutes to
the next borough on New York City’s Upper West Side (Manhattan, Columbia) must
ship itself into Amherst, MA and figure out how, with a group that struggles to score
and hit free throws, they can hang in there for 40 minutes against an opponent that
averages 83 points per game, whose head coach will have them well-versed in the
Pitino tradition of harassing the perimeter shooters – who don’t shoot well to begin
with. While Fordham’s Bryant Dunston is padding his rebounding numbers attempting
to put back his own misses and making one of every two free throws, the
Minutemen can run away and hide. MASSACHUSETTS, 87-61.

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Nite Owl Sports

Game: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets @ Clemson Tigers
Pick: 5 units (Play of the Day) ATS: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets +9

Most of our customers and many regular readers of the Top Ten newsletter probably remember our free newsletter pick on Charlotte as a 15 point dog against Clemson, in Tigers’ first game after their devastating last second OT loss to North Carolina, a game which Charlotte not only covered easily but won SU by 10 points against an emotionally “shot” Clemson team. Well, guess what? Tonight we have virtually the same situation, with Clemson again coming off of a second heart-breaking, gut-wrenching OT loss to this same North Carolina team Sunday night on national TV, in which they had the lead by 11 at the half and were ahead for the entire second half before finally being ‘caught” by the Heels at the end of “regulation,” despite having the final possession but being unable to get off a decent shot. Tigers then blew a chance to win it in the first OT, due primarily to poor FT shooting (a Shaq-like 1-7 from the “charity stripe” for the game), and again being unable to score on their final possession of that first OT due to poor shot selection. As mentioned in Nite Owl’s most recent Top Ten article (in Monday’s newsletter), our biggest play of that day was taking Carolina at – 7.5 points on the second half line, which, when combined with their 11 point HT deficit, resulted in an adjusted game line of +3.5 for a team that was 52-0 at home vs its opponent (but unfortunately for our Top Ten customers, that was only an “unofficial” play, as the Top Ten site is not set up for releasing half time picks.

But now let’s focus on this game, between Clemson and long time bitter rival, Ga Tech, being played at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson, So Carolina. As was the case with Charlotte, our pick on Ga Tech here is more a pick against Clemson than a “vote of confidence” on Tech, but we have two very strong factors working in Tech’s (and our) favor tonite. First and most important is the fact that as mentioned above, the frustrating result of that OT loss on Sunday once again ripped the hearts out of the Clemson team, coaches and fans. How can a team recover from that kind of devastating loss? Well, most teams do, eventually, but as we saw the last time this happened to Tigers, very few recover right away, and we have won a lot of bets riding this “post-heartbreak” system of going against a team which has just suffered a devastating loss, especially if they are favored as is the case here, until they play a good game in winning outright and preferably “covering” the spread as well, with the biggest bet against them in their first game after the “heartbreak” loss (i.e., this game for Clemson). The other factor in our favor here is Clemson’s ineptitude from the FT line, which is not only a weak 60% at home TY but also a putrid 57.5% over their last 5 games, including that 1-7 in their LG, at Carolina. Their poor FT shooting also did them in against Carolina the first time, as in that game they were a pathetic 14-27 (52%) from the “charity stripe,” as compared to Carolina’s robust 24-30 for 80%. And in some other home games, it’s even been worse, like their 10-26 (38%) free throw “brickfest” (Hell, even Shaq and I could combine for a better FT shooting % than that) as a ten point home fave in an early season 3 point non-covering win against Purdue, a game in which they should have covered (and would have, with just 8 more FTs made, which would have resulted from a “normal” 69% FT shooting %). Clemson has played four conference home games TY vs a comparable (but slightly inferior) level of competition than that presented by Ga Tech, in addition to the two aforementioned home point spread failures vs Charlotte and Purdue, and won all four SU (3-1 ATS in them), but had to “work overtime” to beat both Wake Forest and Fla State. But let’s look at how well Tigers fared from the FT line in those two close, OT home wins over Wake Forest and Fla State. Well, they were slightly above average at 63.5% vs Fla state, but absolutely dreadful at 44% FTs vs Wake, in a game that never would have gone to OT with Clemson shooting even 55% from the FT line, and which Wake helped Clemson’s cause by converting an equally “brick-like” 47% of their own FTs.

So we have a strong “case” against Clemson covering the “number,” but what about Ga Tech? They have been decent but not great as a road dog TY, and are 3-1 SU and ATS as a road dog in ACC games, but their road success has been more against B teams like Va, Wake Forest and NC State, all of whom they have beaten SU, while they are 0-2 SU and ATS in their two road games TY against A teams like Clemson, losing by 12 at UConn and 10 at Miami, despite leading by 4 at the half at UConn and being down by only 2 at HT at Miami. However, this is a road-oriented series, with the road team covering 6 of last 8 and GT being 2-2 SU and 3-1 ATS in their last 4 at Clemson. Moreover, there is a lot of “room” in this line, and with “heartbroken” Clemson still licking their emotional “wounds,” and their confidence no doubt shattered, we predict that (i) Clemson will not “bring” their “A game” tonite and (ii) Ga Tech will at least cover this generous spread. The line has dropped a bit (to 8 or 8.5) at some sports books since last night, when we posted this pick to give our customers the benefit of the “fat” opening line. but we still strongly recommend taking Tech at +8 or better.

But we will not put all of our “Ga Tech money” on the full game ATS line. Even though the Top Ten site is not set up for releasing official first half picks, we will split our five ATS units on Ga Tech into two plays, one a two unit first half pick at +4.5 or 5, and the other a three unit full game pick at +8 or better (but this pick is "officially" at +9). We expect Tech to come out strong and break on top in the first half just like Charlotte did at Clemson in “post Carolina heart-break” game #1, but just to be sure and to get a bigger sampling of first half performance by both teams in their respective modes for this game (Clemson home, GT away), we broke down the first half performances of each team in their recent (since jan 1) home games (Clemson) and road games (GT) against comparable levels of competition. We found that Clemson is just 2-4 ATS on the first half line in the six games surveyed for an average of a one point HT lead, while GT was tied or ahead at the half in 3 of their six games surveyed, with an average HT deficit of 4 points. We also looked at the last two games between these two at Clemson, and saw that Tech was ahead at the half in both games despite losing both, one by 13 and the other (last year) a one point loss/cover. Speaking of those two Tech losses at Clemson, we looked at what happened (how and why Tech lost), and both times they shot over 50% but lost the game on TOs (at –10 LY and –9 the year before). But looking at Tech’s “numbers" in the aforementioned six road games surveyed from TY, they were in the “minus column” in TOs in only one of the six, so we don’t expect TOs to be a major problem this time for Tech. While it’s even more difficult to predict which team will cover the first half line than it is to predict which team will cover the full game line, there are certain situations where a first half bet is justified, and we believe this is one of them. One final word about first and second half betting on this game – in the unlikely event Clemson is ahead at the half, has covered the half time line and the resulting adjusted game line (using the HT score and the second half line) gives you GT at +10 or better, we would recommend a second half bet on Tech for another unit or two (absent a “game ending” first half injury to any key Ga Tech player), as this is an intense rivalry where neither team will give up and no lead is safe until the final “horn” goes off.

Our final recommendation is to take a “shot” at GT winning the game and taking them with this tempting money line spread of +350 (risking just two units to win a huge 7 units), based both on all of the foregoing and the 10 point SU home loss suffered by Clemson to Charlotte in January in a virtually identical bad situation for Clemson. As stated earlier, we expect GT to break out on top and very likely to be ahead at the half, and we also expect Clemson to recover somewhat in the second half, but maybe not enough to catch up and win the game, with their poor FT shooting. However, Clemson has won two ACC home games in overtime TY, so we will tread somewhat lightly with this money line pick.

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

3G Sports

10* Stanford
5* Drexel
5* CAL
4* Geo Tech

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Tom Stryker

3* Oregon


Scott Spreitzer

4* Ill-Chicago


Brandon Lovell

10* Heat
10* Ga Southern
5* W. Carolina

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Black Magic Sports

NCAA Basketball

5 Unit Black Magic Horizon League GOTW on Youngstown State +18.5

Youngstown State will easily stay within the number tonight against a Butler team that is clearly getting too much respect here. Butler has won 11 out of their last 12 games, but they have not beaten any of their foes by more than 16 points. Butler has squeaked out a couple close wins lately and they will have to settle for squeaking this one out tonight. Youngstown State has lost 7 straight game at Butler, but they have gone 5-2 ATS which is what matters most. Youngstown State is 7-1 ATS off a loss against a conference rival this season. Cash in with Youngstown State as the underdog.

3 Unit Sharp Play on Arizona -7

Arizona will bounce back in a big way after a bad loss to Arizona State their last time out. They will be playing a California team that has failed to cover the spread in 5 out of their last 7 games. Cal just lost at home to Oregon by 22 points. Arizona is 10-3 ATS when playing only their 2nd game in a week this season. Arizona is 14-3 ATS after playing a game where both teams score 65 points or less since 1997. Cash in with Arizona as the favorite.

NBA

4 Unit NBA on TNT Total of the Night on Bulls UNDER 195.5

With all of the injuries both teams are facing, the final score of this contest won?t touch the total set by odds makers. Chicago has been without their two best scorers in Luol Deng and Ben Gordon lately and they are both expected to sit out again tonight. Miami is 22-11 UNDER in road games off a home loss over the last 2 seasons. Chicago is 18-7 UNDER in home games after 2 straight games giving up 10 or less offensive rebounds over the last 3 seasons. Cash in with the UNDER 195.5 points.

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Winning Points Online

***BEST BET
Miami over Chicago* by 9

Shelf-life of Miami shortly after hitting bottom and Chicago,currently at bottom, won't last forever so let's snap it upwhile it's fresh. As the post-trade dust settles, there are some serious legs on Miami now and although Ricky Davis, Marcus Banks and Shawn Marion haven't played much together, how is Chicago prepared to play any kind of real defense against them when they just got back from a long road trip, tried to play a game against New Orleans and failed,and now take the floor with another injury absence -- Ben Wallace -- on top of Luol Deng and Ben Gordon? Everyone is making trades and the team that was out there supposed to be making a big deal at the onset of the season but did not -- Chicago, brilliance ablaze, fired their head coach instead -- is looking like a piece of burnt toast. D-Wade can come along and spread some jelly on it to make it easier to swallow. MIAMI, 100-91.

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STRIKE POINT SPORTS

5-Unit Play.Take Stanford -150 over Arizona State

We're going to back the hottest team in the country to continue its win streak. The Cardinal have been extremely successful in Pac-10 play, mainly because of their twin towers in Brook and Robin Lopez. Stanford has soared to the top of the conference standings and have really impressed me in the process. The program from Palo Alto has won the last five meetings over the Sun Devils, going 4-0-1 ATS in those games. This game goes to Stanford, and they'll leave Tempe with the win.

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Accu-Picks
4* Ill-Chic
4* Fresno
3* Cleve. St
3* Phoenix Suns

Trace Fields
4* Over Oregon
4* Arizona

Young Guns
3* Phoenix
2*Under Miami Heat
3* Yougstown
3* Murray St
3* Cleve St

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EZ Winners

2 STAR: (739) GEORGIA TECH (+8.5) over Clemson
(Risking $220 to win $200)

In Clemson's last game they blew a lead that would have given them their first win in over 50 years at North Carolina. They dropped that game in double overtime and not only did they lose, they didn't even cover the nine point spread. I don't see the Tigers being focused for this game tonight against Georgia Tech. In the first matchup with North Carolina, Clemson blew a lead at home before losing to the Tar Heels in overtime. In their next game against Charlotte they were not focused and lost at home by ten points as a 15.5 point favorite. They have to be in a bad emotional state right now after letting this happen for a second time this year. Georgia Tech is a very dangerous opponent. They might be the best 11-11 team in the nation as they have played a very tough schedule with non conference games against Kansas, Vandy, Notre Dame, Georgia and UConn. The road team is 6-2 against the spread in the last eight meetings and the Yellow Jackets are 5-2 against the spread in their last seven visits to Clemson. Take the points!

1 STAR: (756) CITADEL (+3) over Western Carolina
(Risking $110 to win $100)

I'm going to bite on a Citadel Bulldogs team that has lost 12 straight games. Western Carolina at 0-10 on the road should not be a road favorite in my opinion. This line opened at 2 and with over 70% of the public already on the Catamounts the line has jumped to 3. If you wait later in the day I'm sure you will even be able to get a better line than this. Western Carolina is only 6-13 against the spread against teams with a winning percentage of 40% or less and the Citadel is 6-1 against the spread in their last seven games as an underdog. This is the Bulldogs best shot at a win that they have had in a while, so I look for a strong efforts out of Austin Dahn and Cameron Wells as they try to lead this team to a win. The home team has covered the spread in five out of the last six meetings and I look for that to happen here again. Take the points!

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WILL SYKES

MIAMI vs CHICAGO

SYKE-O-ANALYSIS: All season I've been emphasizing how much of a mess the Bulls, and how much they tend to lose games on their own. Chicago already took one game away from them just about a month ago, beating the Heat by 30 points in Miami, just about embarrassing them in their own building. After watching glimpses of the Miami game two nights ago against the Nuggets, they showed me that they are committed to winning, and that they just ran out of gas and couldn't pull of the win. We won't have to worry about that problem tonight as the Bulls do it almost every game, that including their previous game against the Hornets, where they caught themselves leading the whole only to find out they lose the game at the end. This Denver Nugget team that the Heat gave a good contest too, is a much better team than then Bulls and to give them a good run like they did is a good sign. Gordon, Deng, and Wallace is expected to miss tonight's game but they're still on the questionable, game time decision list, but from what I'm seeing in the line movements they'll most likely not play. A little more of the public are jumping on the Bulls, but with the Heat playing well, and the Bulls hurting, I'll take the team that is playing better every time, over the team that is hurt. Tonight we will witness what revenge really is and make this play a 3*. We won't go crazy on this play because we already punished Vegas this whole week and we won't give them any chance to take back anything. Don't get psyched by the odds makers just because the Bulls embarrassed the Heat and winning by 30 points, thing is, it only riled up the Heat wanting to beat them bad. Just stick with Sykes and you won't be psyched.

Miami Heat +2

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AAA

NCAAB: South Alabama Jaguars at Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders - Mid Tennessee State +6 -110 | Unit Value: 2

Note: Middle Tennessee had high hopes for the return of senior Adam Vogelsberg from last season's foot injury but he finally decided not to return for his final season in August. With senior G Calvin O'Neil out for the season due to the knee injury he suffered in the season opener, the Blue Raiders are playing without one player who would have been their best sharpshooter (Vogelsberg) and one who would have been their best on-ball defender (O'Neil). In recent weeks, starting C Theryn Hudson missed three games with a foot injury, starting F Desmond Yates played through a knee injury, freshman G Josh Sain and junior F Uriah Hethington both missed a game due to suspensions, Sain missed another because he was sick and starting Guard Kevin Kanaskie and Demetrius Green played sick in the win at Louisiana-Lafayette on Jan. 31. With all, this team continues to compete well. Both Sain and Hethington were not in the lineup verses Fla Int and it showed as they first conference loss in 5 tries. They will be back tonght for what will be the most important game this year for the Raiders. These two teams have played some great games over the years and in 7 of the last 10, the visitor has come out the winner. That is the kind of series this has been and tonight is going to be a good one. These 6 points are very big considering that. MTS is one of the best coached teams in the country under Kermit Davis. They have shown incredible toughness under a lot of adversity, as well as an ability to make shots, make the extra pass and defend. South Alabama will step onto this court tonight and know that they are in for a real contest. The early part of this year was a challenge for the Blue Raiders and they were pretty much left for dead when O'Neil went down. They are right now performing as well as anyone in this league. That is to the credit of Coach Davis and he is going to have these boys ready to play tonight. An outright win is very possible, a cover is very probable so I will grab these points.

NCAAB: Cleveland State Vikings at Valparaiso Crusaders - Over 131 (Heavy Hitter) -110 | Unit Value: 3

Note: Both of these schools possess mid-line pace but both are the situations tonight where they play higher than normal scoring games. The first metting this year was a 132 affair that actually went Under the Posted Total of 134. We have a much line tonight with a Cleveland State team that has struggled with D while traveling and the primary reason why they have played many more OVERS this year while doing so. Valpo has had outstanding offensive efficiency on their homecourt and even against some of the slower tempos that this conference offers, and their are a lot in this conference that do, they have been able to net a lot of points. That is why the numbers of these two squads have been held down this year with 5 of the 10 schools competing in this group having tempo's in the bottom 15% of the country. Despite that, Valpo home contests have averaged right at 138. The first meeting this year saw less than average shooting percentages and much less than average free throw attempts. With any improvement tonight we should have an easy winner and with the same, we should have a great chance of winning. Play up to 133.

NCAAB: New Orleans Privateers at Arkansas State Indians - Under 149.5 -110 | Unit Value: 2

Note: With the exception of Denver and Arkansas Little Rock, this conference is one of the highest paced in the country. New Orleans is one of those teams that like to push the ball and they will do that if you let them. The Indians are less than average pace and they are what I call a play-along squad, or one that usually takes the pace of the team they are playing. Against Troy, North Texas, Florida Atlantic, and others they have taken that road has ammassed a 12-8 OVER mark this year. But that has been primarily on the road, and they do play a more controlled game here in Jonesboro. Despite the teams that are in this group of teams that each play often, both have an away/home average of about 140 and this line is just simply too high. In fact, the last 7 road games for New Orleans have see regulation time production of 72, 62, 66, 83, 57, 62, and 67. The 83 point effort was at North Texas, who is in the Top 17% of fastest tempo teams in the country. And despite that, we saw a total of just 144 scored in that game. The fact is, only once is 10 road games this year has a New Orleans played game reach this Posted Total, excluding an OT affair with MTS where we saw just 132 regulation time points. This game offers extreme value and I would play it all the way down to 145.

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Tony Karpinski

Miami Heat vs. Chicago Bulls
Pick: Miami Heat 

Pick on MIAMI. The heat haven’t won since the trade but have looked much better. They were down 4 to the red hot Lakers with 30 seconds to go and lost by 10, then lost by 1 point to Denver. Tonight they get that win. They already lost to Chicago by 30 at home just last month and now are only getting 3 points? The Bulls swept the heat out of the first round last year, and already beat them this year, the Heat will give them a little pay back heading into the break.

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Steve merril

Youngstown State +18


Scott Delaney

30* UIC -2.5
10* Bulls +2


Luckychuck

Under Suns
North Texas
Oregon St


Cash & Profit Experts

NBA
Miami +2.5 Pod

CBB
Nc State/Boston College Over 138

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Ted Sevransky Freebie

Dallas Mavericks @ Phoenix Suns UNDER

REASON FOR PICK: Both the Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns will be extremely shorthanded tonight. The Suns have been playing with an eight man rotation since trading away Shaun Marion and Marcus Banks, with DJ Strawberry and Brian Skinner seeing their first real playing time of the season since the deal. Each of the other six players in Mike D’Antoni’s rotation played at least 33 minutes last night in their frenetically paced two point loss at Golden State. We can expect some tired legs from the Suns in the last game before the All Star break.

It’s a similar story in Dallas, a franchise in flux right now as the team (and the rest of the world) waits to see whether the proposed trade for Jason Kidd will work out as planned, or whether Devean Georges’ reluctance to go to New Jersey will kill the deal. Dallas has been playing shorthanded as well, with Josh Howard, Devin Harris and Jerry Stackhouse all sitting with injuries last night in the Mavs win over Portland. Two short handed teams on the second night of back-2-backs gives us a good indication of the pace this game will be played at – slower than normal. Look for a pair of tired jump shooting teams to see those jumpers clanging off the rims tonight. Take the Under.

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John Ryan

Game: Eastern Illinois at SE Missouri St.
Prediction: Eastern Illinois

Reason: Ai Simulator 3* graded play on Eastern Illinois - Eastern Illinois has won just 4 games, but they are in a solid opportunity to get a rare road upset win tonight. AiS shows a 77% probability that EI will lose this game by 7 or fewer points. When you have a 4-20 record your defense is nearly always a weak spot. That is certainly the case with EI as they have allowed 45% shooting and 70 PPG on the season. This weakness though has rarely been exploited by SE Missouri State. SEMST is 4-15 ATS when playing against a team with a losing record after 15 or more games over the last 3 seasons; 5-14 ATS versus poor defensive teams allowing a shooting percentage defense of >=45% after 15+ games over the last 3 seasons. SEMST is coming off 3 straight losses and in their last game they lost at Eastern Kentucky by 11 points failing to cover the 9 points they were given. Note that SEMST is just 4-15 ATS off a road loss against a conference rival over the last 3 seasons. Take Eastern Illinois.

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SEBASTION

20 ASU
20 Oregon
20 NC St
20 Miami Heat

10 UMass
10 Iowa

20 Isles
20 Black Hawks


100 Nevada buy up to 3

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WAYNE ROOT

Chairman - NC St
Millionaire - Oregon
Money Maker - Arizona St


Gambler's Data

5* Appalachian State
5* Montana State
5* Portland State


Kevin O'Neil

Rutgers
Georgia Tech


Balfe

Drexel +13

Dr Bob

IOWA (-6) over Michigan, 2-Stars at -6 1/2 points or less

Eastern Kentucky (-5 ½) over JACKSONVILLE STATE, 2-Stars at -6 or less


Jim Kruger

all bronze 3*
G tech +8.5
California +7.5
Ill-Chi -3
Georga Southern -1


Alatex
15 G.Tech

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Nite Owl Sports

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets @ Clemson Tigers
Pick: 5 units (Play of the Day) ATS: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets +9

Most of our customers and many regular readers of the Top Ten newsletter probably remember our free newsletter pick on Charlotte as a 15 point dog against Clemson, in Tigers? first game after their devastating last second OT loss to North Carolina, a game which Charlotte not only covered easily but won SU by 10 points against an emotionally ?shot? Clemson team. Well, guess what? Tonight we have virtually the same situation, with Clemson again coming off of a second heart-breaking, gut-wrenching OT loss to this same North Carolina team Sunday night on national TV, in which they had the lead by 11 at the half and were ahead for the entire second half before finally being ?caught? by the Heels at the end of ?regulation,? despite having the final possession but being unable to get off a decent shot. Tigers then blew a chance to win it in the first OT, due primarily to poor FT shooting (a Shaq-like 1-7 from the ?charity stripe? for the game), and again being unable to score on their final possession of that first OT due to poor shot selection. As mentioned in Nite Owl?s most recent Top Ten article (in Monday?s newsletter), our biggest play of that day was taking Carolina at ? 7.5 points on the second half line, which, when combined with their 11 point HT deficit, resulted in an adjusted game line of +3.5 for a team that was 52-0 at home vs its opponent (but unfortunately for our Top Ten customers, that was only an ?unofficial? play, as the Top Ten site is not set up for releasing half time picks.

But now let?s focus on this game, between Clemson and long time bitter rival, Ga Tech, being played at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson, So Carolina. As was the case with Charlotte, our pick on Ga Tech here is more a pick against Clemson than a ?vote of confidence? on Tech, but we have two very strong factors working in Tech?s (and our) favor tonite. First and most important is the fact that as mentioned above, the frustrating result of that OT loss on Sunday once again ripped the hearts out of the Clemson team, coaches and fans. How can a team recover from that kind of devastating loss? Well, most teams do, eventually, but as we saw the last time this happened to Tigers, very few recover right away, and we have won a lot of bets riding this ?post-heartbreak? system of going against a team which has just suffered a devastating loss, especially if they are favored as is the case here, until they play a good game in winning outright and preferably ?covering? the spread as well, with the biggest bet against them in their first game after the ?heartbreak? loss (i.e., this game for Clemson). The other factor in our favor here is Clemson?s ineptitude from the FT line, which is not only a weak 60% at home TY but also a putrid 57.5% over their last 5 games, including that 1-7 in their LG, at Carolina. Their poor FT shooting also did them in against Carolina the first time, as in that game they were a pathetic 14-27 (52%) from the ?charity stripe,? as compared to Carolina?s robust 24-30 for 80%. And in some other home games, it?s even been worse, like their 10-26 (38%) free throw ?brickfest? (Hell, even Shaq and I could combine for a better FT shooting % than that) as a ten point home fave in an early season 3 point non-covering win against Purdue, a game in which they should have covered (and would have, with just 8 more FTs made, which would have resulted from a ?normal? 69% FT shooting %). Clemson has played four conference home games TY vs a comparable (but slightly inferior) level of competition than that presented by Ga Tech, in addition to the two aforementioned home point spread failures vs Charlotte and Purdue, and won all four SU (3-1 ATS in them), but had to ?work overtime? to beat both Wake Forest and Fla State. But let?s look at how well Tigers fared from the FT line in those two close, OT home wins over Wake Forest and Fla State. Well, they were slightly above average at 63.5% vs Fla state, but absolutely dreadful at 44% FTs vs Wake, in a game that never would have gone to OT with Clemson shooting even 55% from the FT line, and which Wake helped Clemson?s cause by converting an equally ?brick-like? 47% of their own FTs.

So we have a strong ?case? against Clemson covering the ?number,? but what about Ga Tech? They have been decent but not great as a road dog TY, and are 3-1 SU and ATS as a road dog in ACC games, but their road success has been more against B teams like Va, Wake Forest and NC State, all of whom they have beaten SU, while they are 0-2 SU and ATS in their two road games TY against A teams like Clemson, losing by 12 at UConn and 10 at Miami, despite leading by 4 at the half at UConn and being down by only 2 at HT at Miami. However, this is a road-oriented series, with the road team covering 6 of last 8 and GT being 2-2 SU and 3-1 ATS in their last 4 at Clemson. Moreover, there is a lot of ?room? in this line, and with ?heartbroken? Clemson still licking their emotional ?wounds,? and their confidence no doubt shattered, we predict that (i) Clemson will not ?bring? their ?A game? tonite and (ii) Ga Tech will at least cover this generous spread. The line has dropped a bit (to 8 or 8.5) at some sports books since last night, when we posted this pick to give our customers the benefit of the ?fat? opening line. but we still strongly recommend taking Tech at +8 or better.

But we will not put all of our ?Ga Tech money? on the full game ATS line. Even though the Top Ten site is not set up for releasing official first half picks, we will split our five ATS units on Ga Tech into two plays, one a two unit first half pick at +4.5 or 5, and the other a three unit full game pick at +8 or better (but this pick is "officially" at +9). We expect Tech to come out strong and break on top in the first half just like Charlotte did at Clemson in ?post Carolina heart-break? game #1, but just to be sure and to get a bigger sampling of first half performance by both teams in their respective modes for this game (Clemson home, GT away), we broke down the first half performances of each team in their recent (since jan 1) home games (Clemson) and road games (GT) against comparable levels of competition. We found that Clemson is just 2-4 ATS on the first half line in the six games surveyed for an average of a one point HT lead, while GT was tied or ahead at the half in 3 of their six games surveyed, with an average HT deficit of 4 points. We also looked at the last two games between these two at Clemson, and saw that Tech was ahead at the half in both games despite losing both, one by 13 and the other (last year) a one point loss/cover. Speaking of those two Tech losses at Clemson, we looked at what happened (how and why Tech lost), and both times they shot over 50% but lost the game on TOs (at ?10 LY and ?9 the year before). But looking at Tech?s ?numbers" in the aforementioned six road games surveyed from TY, they were in the ?minus column? in TOs in only one of the six, so we don?t expect TOs to be a major problem this time for Tech. While it?s even more difficult to predict which team will cover the first half line than it is to predict which team will cover the full game line, there are certain situations where a first half bet is justified, and we believe this is one of them. One final word about first and second half betting on this game ? in the unlikely event Clemson is ahead at the half, has covered the half time line and the resulting adjusted game line (using the HT score and the second half line) gives you GT at +10 or better, we would recommend a second half bet on Tech for another unit or two (absent a ?game ending? first half injury to any key Ga Tech player), as this is an intense rivalry where neither team will give up and no lead is safe until the final ?horn? goes off.

Our final recommendation is to take a ?shot? at GT winning the game and taking them with this tempting money line spread of +350 (risking just two units to win a huge 7 units), based both on all of the foregoing and the 10 point SU home loss suffered by Clemson to Charlotte in January in a virtually identical bad situation for Clemson. As stated earlier, we expect GT to break out on top and very likely to be ahead at the half, and we also expect Clemson to recover somewhat in the second half, but maybe not enough to catch up and win the game, with their poor FT shooting. However, Clemson has won two ACC home games in overtime TY, so we will tread somewhat lightly with this money line pick.

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

INDIAN COWBOY

Suns -7.5 (POD)

5-3 this week, winning 3 of 4 Weeks, 25 of 40 Winning Days (60%) and 29 of 48 POD Winners (61%).

To be honest, the Suns truly are my POD but I've accidentally labeled both the Suns and the Under as my POD. So, please note, the Suns are my POD today. I like the Suns here for a couple of reasons. For one, the Mavs simply have not played well of late and they didn't look all that great against the Blazers and Devean George going 0 for 11 didn't help either. The Suns come off a tough loss to Golden State as it was frustrating and they will be looking to lay the wood down on someone today and the Mavs seem the perfect fit. Why not? A nice Western Conference to get your frustration out given that you lost to this team by a bucket earlier this year. The Suns need a morale booster coming off a tough road loss, going back home, facing a team who they have revenge against a facing a team that is in semi-dissarray with all the trade talk looming around them - you can win at home with such talk, but not on the road necessarily. The Mavs are 0-5 following a straight up win of over 10 points and the Suns are 6-2-1 ATS following a straight up loss.

Suns/Mavs Under 204

Long story short here while the public favors the over in this game, I simply don't feel that Dallas will have the scoring prowess whatsoever to compete today and I look for this game to hit in the mid to high 180's by a score of 106-86 type of ballgame as the Suns win in a landslide. Given that there is a difference of 12 points from what I have the total and the total set for this game. I'll take the under given that the Mavs have played in 4 straight unders and the under is 5-1 in the last 6 road games for the Mavs.

Loyola-Chicago +7.5

I wish I had the time and energy to write about this in greater detail, but here is what I wrote in my research blog today: Long story short, Loyola-Chicago looks for revenge and they are on an uptick and they have won some tough road games against top 100 teams, I like the line movement and they are looking for revenge here.

Loyola-Chicago is a top 200 team facing a top 75 Wright State team on the road today. Does that mean the spread should be -8? Not necessarily - infact, the line has been going down in favor of Loyola-Chicago despite despite Wright State being backed by the public by 2:1. This team lost by 1 point to Wright State at home earlier this year by a score of 53-52 so they will be clearly looking for revenge, this team beat Cleveland State at home by 12 and beat Valpo on the road by a bucket and that is tough to do. Wright State is a solid team, but I would not be surprised here if Loyola-Chicago looks to knock off another Goliath at a possible outright win here.

Miami Heat +2

Long story short, the Heat were pounded by 30 points by the Bulls and have lost to them the last 5 times they have played them straight up if I am not mistaken. Dwayne Wade has simply had it and this team nearly beat the Nuggets at home and played fairly well against the Lake Show at home. The Bulls lost handily to the Hornets at home as once again, No Deng, No Gordon and No Wallace means no inside presence and the Miami Heat are tired of being the doormats to this team time and time out. They get the job done today on the road for their first win in quite some time as Marion has energized this team. The Underdog is 5-1-1 in the last 7 meetings between these 2 teams, the Heat will win this game likely outright.

Iowa -6

Am I playing with fire here? Possibly. Michigan has revenge coming into this game, but this is asking an awful lot of the young Wolverine team to go into Iowa, a very tough place to play and to cover a 6 point spread. Despite Michigan having revenge here, I like the fact they come off a win against Penn State and this team has been overvalued for quite a bit of the year. Let's not forget this team is 6-17SU and 7-14 ATS. Here are the teams this team has beaten this year: Top 300 Radford, Top 160 Brown, Top 160 Oakland, Top 225 Northwestern and Top 150 Penn State. In fact, Penn State was their first conference win. This team now heads to Iowa, who has beaten Michigan State at home by a score of 43-36, comes off a 13 point loss to Minny so they are not in a good mood, this team beat top 50 Wisconsin at home, and nearly beat top 30 Purdue who is a ranked team and fell short by just 1. This is my fifth favorite play out of the five today, but I do like Iowa to come back home after a tough road loss and play well and I think this is a tough spot for the Wolverines. The Hawkeyes are 10-2 ATS as small home favorites and 4-1 ATS following a loss while Michigan is 2-7 ATS following an ATS win marking their inconsistency

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

MASTER SPORTS

4* 1/2 U Mass
4* Ill Chi
3* Cal Irvine
3* Ore St
3* Clev St


Pointwise Phone Plays

4* Old Dominion
3* New Orleans(NCAA)
3* Georgia Tech
2* Chicago Bulls
2* Boise st
2* Loyola Chicago


Winners Margin

NBA
5* Bulls

CBB
5* Wright St


Special K

20* Stanford

PPP

5* Oregon
3* Stan

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