Wednesday Service Plays

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BEN BURNS

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

SOUTH CAROLINA
Game: Kentucky vs. South Carolina
Prediction: South Carolina Reason: I'm laying the small number with SOUTH CAROLINA. Headed nowhwere in the postseason and with a coach that is retiring, alot of people thought that the Gamecocks no longer cared. They showed that wasn't the case last time out though, as they rallied from a 12-point first-half deficit for a 69-63 victory at Auburn, proving that they weren't just content to "play out the string." Their final game comes at Tennessee, where nobody wins, so this is by far their best chance to earn a final victory for Coach Dave Odom and is their last chance to do so in front of the home fans. I expect the the Gamecocks to rally around Odom and build momentum from the comeback win at Auburn. Note that South Carolina is 11-6 ATS when coming off a win over a conference opponent the past three seasons. During that stretch the Gamecocks are also an impressive 12-1 ATS when playing in the month of March. South Carolina played Kentucky fairly tough when the teams met earlier at Lexington. The Gamecocks lost 78-70 at Lexington. The Wildcats shot 51% from the floor and got 22 points and nine rebound from Patrick Patterson. They're not likely to shoot so well away from home though and they won't have Patterson available as he's out from injury. I also believe that this is an extremely difficult spot for the Wildcats. In addition to having a huge "revenge" game on deck vs. Florida in their home and regular season finale, the Wildcats are also coming off a very hard fought loss at Tennessee and figure to "have left a lot on the floor." Look for the loss of Patterson to catch up with them here as the revenge-minded Gamecocks earn the win and cover. *Personal Favorite

SETON HALL
Game: Syracuse vs. Seton Hall
Prediction: Seton Hall Reason: I'm taking the points with SETON HALL. After a tough loss at St. John's, the Pirates still need a win (or a loss by St. John's) to make the Big East Tournament. They host a bad Rutgers team next, so that shoudn't be a problem. However, they still haven't given up the (rather far-fetched) idea that they have a shot at the Big Dance. In order to achieve that goal, they need to win both these regular season games and then make some major noise in the Conference Tournament. In fact, they'd probably still need to win the tournament, or at least advance to the finals, to have a shot. I'm not saying that's going to happen. However, it does provide the Pirates with plenty of motivation here. Syracuse is in the much the same position. In fact, the Orange have an identical conference record, are fighting to "stay on the bubble" and they're also coming off a rather devastating loss. I feel that they're more "deflated" about their position in the standings than the Pirates though. The Pirates' primary goal at the beginning of the season was just to make the Big East Tournament. Syracuse, on the other hand, always has fairly lofty expectations. Those expectations grew bigger when the team won six in a row over Christmas. The Orange have come crashing back to earth recently though, losing five of six, including each of their three road losses. That includes a double-digit loss vs. South Florida, a team which isn't nearly as good as Seton Hall. The most recent loss, vs. rival Pittsburgh, was arguably the worst of the bunch. The Orange turned the ball over 18 times against the Panthers, and made numberous mental mistakes while blowing an 11 point lead in the final four minutes. The Orange are a young team, one which is both banged-up and tired. They're just 2-7 ATS on the season when facing a team which averages 77 or more points per game, 6-15 ATS in that role the past three seasons. Today, they'll face a Seton Hall team which averages 78 on the season and 83.5 here at home. Look for the Pirates, who are 11-4 at home on the year, to do the better job of shaking off the recent loss, earning the minor upset along the way. *False Favorite GOM

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ATS Consultants

Newsletter Plays

Preferred Plays
Detroit over Boston Celtics 90-88
Kentucky over S. Carolina 78-71
Oklahoma State over Oklahoma 77-65

Over Anaheim/Chicago

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Cappers Access

Virginia

Seton Hall

Baylor


GAMBLERS WORLD

Buffalo Sabres

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Cajun-Sports

Game:Tennessee Volunteers vs. Florida Gators

Rating: TWO-Star

Selection: FLORIDA GATORS +3

Analysis: We head down to Florida for what will likely be one hell of a game in Gainesville tonight. A month ago this Vols team put the worst loss on the Gators this season and scored more points on the Gators than any conference team since the 80’s. Florida is not locked into the Big Dance and would love nothing better than helping themselves by getting a little revenge on this Tennessee team. The Gator’s have been working on their three point defensive schemes and that work has paid recent dividends as evidenced in the games against Georgia and Mississippi State where they were held to a combined 9 of 35 from behind the arc. The Vols hit 13 of 29 treys in their first meeting but duplication of that feat will be next to impossible here. We are getting a highly motivated Gator squad against a Vols team that has only won four games on the SEC road by a combined 16 points and only one of those wins was versus a quality opponent. We also know the Gators are 8-1 SU in their last home game of the season and the Vols are 2-8 ATS as SEC road chalk. Florida is 13-3 ATS off a SU loss and going under in their last game when playing at home. Tennessee qualifies in a few negative technical situations, first we know that teams off two ATS losses and are now installed as division road favorites are 43-69 ATS. Teams off a SU win and ATS loss facing a division foe as an away favorite are 42-64-1 ATS. Teams that are off an ATS loss at home and now installed as a division road favorite are 64-109-2 ATS and if they are a 3 to 6.5 point favorite that records drops to 25-49-1 ATS. Take the points here as the Gators get their revenge with a possible straight up win over the Vols tonight.

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2-Minute Warning

Vanderbilt


Rocco Spacamuro

500* Virginia +5.5



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Lock of the Day

TENN-3

Florida does not match up well with Tennessee! Tennessee smoked Florida last month by 22 points. Florida lost AT HOME just four days ago to Mississippi State. The week before Florida lost AT HOME to LSU. They also lost to Arkansas last month by 19 points. The Gators are having big problems shooting the basketball. Tennessee scores whenever they want! Tennessee scored 104 points vs. Florida in their first meeting. Florida cannot keep up with this hot Tennessee team!

Tennessee is a LOCK!

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Wunderdog MLB

Cincinnati at Boston
Pick: Cincinnati +141

The Red Sox will give Lester the ball to start, and he will be followed by Lopez and then Delcarmen. The Reds will give the ball to top-pitching prospect Homer Bailey who will be out to impress, followed by Volquez, and Ramirez. The Red Sox have only scored nine runs in their last three games and aren't exactly knocking the cover off the ball. The Reds meanwhile, have been producing runs every day to the tune of 41 over their last six or nearly seven per game. Like the Reds in this one.

Minnesota at New York Yankees
Pick: Minnesota +162

This is kind of ridiculous odds for a spring-training game, and their is certainly no value on the Yankees here. This is the product of the Yankees pitching being perfect for five innings yesterday and the hype surrounding Ian Kennedy making his first spring start. He will face Kevin Slowey. The Twins have plated 22 runs in last three, while the Yanks have plated just four in last two. Value resides with the Twins here.

Chicago White Sox at Colorado
Pick: Chicago White Sox +116

White Sox areon a torrid spring pace producing 44 runs in their last five games for almost nine a game. They send Mark Buehrle to the hill, followed by Scott Linebrink. Colorado sends Franklin Morales followed by Jason Hirsh. Like the hot bats of the White Sox right now and with two frontline pitchers slated, the Sox could hold down the Rox here.

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Locksmith Sports

1 Unit on Indiana Pacers +10.5

Houston's long win streak has caused the books to do something ridiculous here - put the Rockets in the double digit chalk role without Yao Ming.  A 3-day layoff will stop some of Houston's momentum.  Indiana has blown the doors off each of its last two opponents and I like the Pacers to keep pace with the Rockets in this one.  Indiana is 5-0 ATS versus Houston the last 3 seasons and 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings in Houston.   Houston is only 12-23 ATS in home games versus good offensive teams - scoring 99+ points/game over the last 2 seasons.  The Pacers are 19-9 ATS when playing with 2 days rest over the last 2 seasons.  I like a rested Pacers team to take it to the Rockets tonight as Houston looks ahead to its upcoming date with Dallas tomorrow.

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Bob Akmens CBB Totals

3* UL Monroe/Middle Tennessee State under 137.0

3* Wyoming/BYU over 140.5

NHL

3* Washington/Buffalo over 6.0 -120

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Jeff Alexander Sports

1 Unit on Florida +3

You're about to see just how talented this young Florida team is and just how good of a motivator Billy Donovan is tonight.  The Gators are 15-3 at home this season and they are coming off a home loss to Mississippi State, putting them in a bounce back spot here.  Tennessee has lost back-to-back games against the spread as Vandy beat them on the road and Kentucky really challenged them at home.  Florida will look back to the butt kicking that Tennessee gave them in early February for motivation.  The Vols are just 2-9 ATS as a road favorite or pick over the last 2 seasons and 2-12 ATS in road games after 1 or more consecutive unders over the last 2 seasons.  The Gators are 14-4 ATS when the line is +3 to -3 over the last 3 seasons and 14-5 ATS in March games over the last 3 seasons.  Take Florida at home.

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BIG AL

At 8:35 pm, our selection is on the Indiana Pacers plus the points over Houston. I really like the tone that Pacer GM Larry Bird set when he signed guard Flip Murray on Saturday. Instead of playing out the string on a losing season, and trying to improve the chances of winning the NBA Draft lottery (by losing games), Bird signaled that losing is unacceptable, and that it's important to make the playoffs, even if the team is bounced out in the first round by Boston. Indiana responded to this message by blowing out Milwaukee 128-106, and that was the 2nd consecutive game the Pacers scored over 120 (they defeated Toronto on the road 122-111 on Friday). It was also the 2nd straight game that Mike Dunleavy matched his career-high with 36 points (and he played just 34 minutes after coach Jim O'Brien removed him with 5:21 to play). One of the things I like to do is play on .300 (or better) road underdogs of more than 8 points off a home blowout win late in the season. If it's Game 50 or later, and our road dog is matched up against a foe off a win, our road dog is 26-2 ATS since 1991, including 20-0 ATS vs. .628 (or better) opponents. The Pacers covered earlier this year vs. Houston, and also covered both meetings last season. With Houston having a big, nationally televised game at Dallas on Thursday night, the Rockets could easily get caught looking ahead. Take the points. Good luck, as always...Al McMordie. And don't miss my BIG 12 GAME OF THE YEAR tonight in College Hoops.


At 8 pm, our selection is on the Oklahoma State Cowboys minus the points over Oklahoma. These two teams are tied at 7-7 in the Big 12 standings, but the Sooners have played awful away from Norman. In their last five road games, they've lost at Nebraska by 18, to Texas by 17, to Colorado by 14, and to Texas A&M by 8. Oklahoma's only road win since February 1st was a narrow 2-point win over Texas Tech. The Cowboys are playing great ball, of late, whether at home or on the road, and come into tonight's contest off five straight wins and covers. As such, Okie State falls into an 81-30 ATS momentum system of mine that plays on certain home teams off 2+ wins and 4+ covers. And the Cowboys also fall into an 18-0 ATS 'power conference' angle of mine that plays on certain home teams off back-to-backs wins and covers which have revenge from a road loss earlier in the season (Oklahoma defeated the Cowboys 64-61 in Norman on Feb. 7). This is a series that has long gone to the revenging team. Since 1992, the team playing with same-season revenge is a solid 14-3 ATS including 13-0 if it lost the last meeting by 10 or less points, and 8-0 as a favorite. BIG 12 GAME OF THE YEAR ON OKLAHOMA STATE

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STRIKE POINT SPORTS

2-Unit Play.Take Kentucky +2.5 over South Carolina


5-Unit Play (SEC Game of the Year).Take LSU -2 over Alabama


5-Unit Play (C-USA Game of the Year).Take East Carolina +1 over Rice

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Delay Sports

Pick Name : Indiana at Houston
Winner Predictions : Take Under 202

Analysis : Great under play here! This margin will never be reached tonight in Houston. The Rockets play good defense and will not allow the Pacers to score many points. All my reports show a total of 191 I will call it 99-92 Houston and a total that stays UNDER very comfortably.

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FERRINGO

NOTE: I WILL HAVE MORE SELECTIONS POSTED TODAY AT APPROXIMATELY 2:30 P.M. EST. I APOLOGIZE FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE BUT I'M WAITING FOR FURTHER INFO FOR MY WRITUPS.

For now, here are the first two picks:

2-Unit Play. Take South Carolina (-2) over Kentucky
This is the same basic idea as the Seton Hall bet. Kentucky played out of its mind in the second half of their game over the weekend at Tennessee. Now they’re on the road against a less talented team, but one that is playing its final home game and wants to send venerable coach Dave Odom out with a W. This is going to be a tough one to get up for if you’re UK so we’re going to fade away and look for a big USC win.

1.5-Unit Play. Take Seton Hall (+3) over Syracuse
I have been watching Syracuse basketball games since I was 8 years old and I don’t know if I’ve ever witnessed a more crushing loss by the Orangemen than the one they endured over the weekend at home against Pitt. Now they have to travel to Jersey (a place where no SU team has ever really performed well) and take on a Seton Hall team that, while not very talented, is scrappy and has some offensive performers that can break down the SU zone. Syracuse has shown that they can get blown out on the road against an inferior foe (see: at South Florida) and I think if SU has a hangover from the Pitt game they could get waxed here as well.

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STRIKE POINT SPORTS

2-Unit Play.Take Kentucky +2.5 over South Carolina

The Wildcats have won the last three meetings, including eight of its last ten games overall. Meanwhile, South Carolina has dropped three of its last four and are just 2-8 ATS in its last ten home games. The underdog is 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings, and it will be Kentucky that takes this one outright as the small dog.

5-Unit Play (SEC Game of the Year).Take LSU -2 over Alabama

Sometimes the numbers just do not lie. And you have to take them and run with it. Alabama is one of the worst teams on the road. They are 0-7 away from home in SEC play and that has really shown how poor a team they are on the road. LSU, conversely, has won and covered each of its last three games. They are 7-2 ATS in its last nine SEC games. This young Tigers team is meshing well to finish the year and are beginning to play for next season. 'Bama is playing to just get this bad season over with. The Baton Rogue Bengals cover at home on senior night.

5-Unit Play (C-USA Game of the Year).Take East Carolina +1 over Rice

You know you're bad when you are winless in Conference USA. Rice is dreadful this season, there is really not much else to say about them. East Carolina is coming off its best two-game stretch of the year, routing SMU by 28 and a victory last game with an impressive win over Houston. The Pirates also beat Rice in the first meeting this year by 19. You can't discount that the Owls easily could have packed it in for the season. This one's that clear: East Carolina sweeps the season series with the win here.

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SportsKingz

ORLANDO -1 (10 UNITS)

MEMPHIS +3.5 (5 UNITS)


Gamblers Data!

San Jose Sharks -145


Wolkosky Milan

10* DETROIT +4½
10* MEMPHIS +3
10* INDIANA +11
10* IND/HOU UNDER 202½
10* CLE/NYK OVER 191


Rob Veno

Indiana -8.5
Vanderbilt Under 144
Blue Chip: Houston Over 150.5
Cal-Riverside Over 128 
Florida Atlantic Over 140

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Jason Firestone


Tough loss last night, but we'll get it back with one of the best cards we have released all season long! Tonights 4 pack includes another 7 unit winner! Tonights Big play is my ACC GAME OF THE YEAR! Those of you who remember my ACC Game of the Month back in January, a Carolina smacking of Miami, remember how easy that was! This will be even easier.  Good luck



Play Duke -5.5 for 7 units - ACC Game of the Year
Sure, most people are going to call this a look-ahead game, but I don't buy it. Duke had no problem beating the living daylights out of Miami back on Feb 2 which was the game before the first Carolina game. Tonight, they'll have no problem with Virginia either. Duke has taken 9 of the last 10 meetings with the Cavs including 8 of those 9 wins by double digits. Back in January, they poured it on the Cavs in an 87-65 home win. I never like to use the term revenge when we are dealing with a bad team, and that's what we have with Virginia. They are not capable of revenge. The Cavs are one of the worst teams in the ACC as shown in their 4-10 record. They have lost 11 of their last 15 games, which includes a 2-4 record at home. During this 15 game stretch, 6 of their 11 losses were by double digits, including 4 by 20 or more (Duke included). For Duke, they are coming off a less than stellar performance against NCST, a game where they almost lost. That's why I think they will be 100% focused for this game, using it as sort of a tuneup for Carolina. Duke has scored at least 80 points in 7 of the last 9 meetings with the Cavs. They have scored at least 80 points in 10 of their last 13 games. In fact, they're averaging 85 points on the season (83 on the road). The Cavs on the other hand have seen 80 points only 3 times this year during Conference play. By the way, those 3 games were against the 3 worst defenses in the ACC. Tonight, I see Duke coming out fired up hitting tons of 3's and jumping out early. Duke wins this one 85-71.




Play Tennessee -3 for 1.5 units
Although the Vols are still the 4th best team in the country, I feel as if they have not played their best in almost a month. Yes, they beat Memphis, but to be honest, they didn't play that well. They won the game because of their amazing rebounding skills. I know the Vols to be an explosive offensive team, and I haven't seen that since mid Feb when they beat South Carolina. Tonight, I think we'll see the real Vols. First, I can promise you that they were not satisfied with their performance against Kentucky this weekend. Secondly, tonight they get a Gators team who defensively is not all that good at stopping their opponents. They rank 141st in Points allowed, 175th in FG % allowed, and 104th in 3 point % allowed. All of those spell BIG PROBLEM when playing the Vols.  Florida has never really had that good of a perimeter defense, and that's why I think the Vols have found success in this matchup. Tennessee has won AND COVERED in 6 of the last 8 meetings with Florida. The main reason is because the Vols have scored at least 73 points in each of the last 8 meetings. I think tonight, not only will we see the real Tennessee offense, but we will see their amazing defense as well as I feel the Gators are too young to overcome the Vols press defense. Tennessee pressed them BIG TIME in their earlier meetings causing Florida to have the ball stolen 14 times! I see the same tonight. I see a BIG game from Tyler Smith down low, and I would not be shocked to see at least 4 Vols score at least 15 points. Tennessee wins this one 84-75




Play Syracuse -2.5 for 1.5 units
Its MUST WIN time for Syracuse. 2 weeks ago I would have told you that the Orange were locks to make it because of their rpi, and strength of sched. While those two numbers are still in their favor, their recent play is not, and unfortunately, that's what the committee looks at the most. Syracuse has dropped 5 of their last 6 games to drop 2 games below 500. We all know that Boehiem can have his team fired up and ready to go next week in the Garden, and with a nice run in that Tournament, they may be able to sneak in as an at large....BUT ONLY if they can win their final 2 games. I love the matchup tonight as Seton Hall plays no defense what so ever. Syracuse is coming off a game where scored 77 points against a good Pitt defense. In that game, the Cuse had 3 players score at least 18 points. SH is allowing 78 points per game this season, and somehow amazingly they allow more at home (81 per game) To be exact, the Pirates have the 328th best defense in the country. WOW! I look for the Orange to come out and play a very good game, and in the end will outscore Seton Hall and win this game by 7 placing them in as far as I am concerned




Play Kentucky +2.5 for 1.5 units
Along with Syracuse, Kentucky is also in a MUST WIN situation. Tonights game sets up really nice for them. First of all they are red hot having won 9 of their last 11 games. Since January 12th, the Wildcats are an awesome 10-4 against the spread. This team showed me a lot this weekend when they went to Tennessee and played their hearts out without one of their best players. This team is fired up and ready to give it their all for one last chance at making the Tournament. Sure their record is not all that hot, but 10-4 in SEC play should get you in 99.9 % of the time. Secondly, tonight they get a South Carolina team who they have absolutely dominated in the past, including an 8 point home win, and cover, back in January. Kentucky has taken 3 straight, and 8 of the last 10 meetings. South Carolina is having a very disappointing season, especially at home where they post a mark of only 8-8. Even worse, they are a horrible 3-9 against the spread at home. They are 2-5 in their last 7 games with wins only against Auburn, and a bad Road team in Alabama. Third and Final reason I like Kentucky here is Billy Gillispie. This guy has been in tough situations, and big must win games like this before. They did not bring him to Kentucky to lose games like this. I look for a very good performance out of the Wildcats in a 3-6 point win.




OF FINAL NOTE..............


I am extending the deadline for my 50 dollar tournament offer until 10pm est Wednesday Night. By that time, 3 of the 4 plays released today will be over, including the Big 7 unit ACC play.

THIS IS MY FINAL OFFER!!!

Get ALL Tournament picks starting with the Conference tournaments (March 10th through April 7th) for only 50 dollars!!!

THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE! Hopefully we'll talk before 10 pm est Wednesday Night!


Anyone interested needs to send 50 dollars via paypal to this address - BEFORE 10 PM EST!!!!

bottomlinesports2006

Good luck tonight, and lets talk soon!!!

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DOC'S

4 Unit Play.Take Duke -5 ½ over Virginia
The Blue Devils need this game in order to have a chance for an ACC Championship, as they host UNC-Chapel Hill on Saturday. Carolina has just one loss in conference play and Duke already has suffered two setbacks. The ACC as a whole and ESPN really need Duke to win this game in order to make the showdown on Saturday live up to all the hype. Virginia lives and dies by one great player in Sean Singletary and Duke has the guards to contain him and win this game by double-digits.

4 Unit Play.Take Minnesota +9 over Indiana
D.J. White is banged up and without him at full strength Indiana losses a lot of their luster and thus Minnesota will be able to stay in this game for 40 minutes. The Gophers are well on their way to receiving a postseason birth and have a very respectable 6-6 record when playing away from the Barn. Minnesota is a veteran squad and played IU very competitive in January losing by just five points. We expect another low scoring affair with the home teams winning by just a couple of field goals.

4 Unit Play.Take Richmond -3 over Fordham
Fordham continues to be overvalued by the oddsmakers, as they sit at just 5-9 in conference play and 4-8 when they play on the road. The Spiders have won three of their last five games and sit have a chance to make the NIT, but need to put together some wins especially against bad teams. Tonight they pick up one and move to 16-12 on the season.

6 Unit Play.Take Temple -6 over Duquesne
Revenge will be best served on the court tonight, as Temple looks for payback from a two point loss to Fordham earlier this season. The A-10 has been very competitive, yet Temple sits by themselves in second place. They have won three of their last four games and their two home games during this span have been blowouts. The Owls picked up a Big-5 win against St. Joes on Sunday and will carry that momentum into a double-digit victory on Wednesday. The Rams will have no answer for Matt Tyndale and thus will allow us a much needed 6-unit winner.

4 Unit Play.Take Vanderbilt -4 over Mississippi State
This line surprises me a little since Vandy has been deadly at home currently 18-0. Very few teams can figure out the confinement of the court with the benches below the baskets and that gives the team from Nashville a big advantage. Much of the Bulldogs damage has come in the SEC West, the weaker sister of the SEC. Vandy owns a 70-42 edge in the all-time series and win No. 71 will come on senior night.

4 Unit Play.Take Auburn -3 over Georgia
The Dawgs are coming off two bad losses in the SEC and cannot wait for this season to end and they will likely see a coaching change at the top. They were blown out by Florida and then blew a big lead to LSU on Sunday. Auburn is no prize, but still is young and making the NIT would be a major step in the right direction under Coach Jeff Lebo. The Dawgs are 1-11 away from Athens and this game will get ugly earlier, as the Tigers have beaten much better squads then Georgia at home.

4 Unit Play.Take New Orleans -8 ½ over Denver
We did suffer the setback going against Denver over the weekend, but that will not stop us from fading one of the worst road squads in the country. Denver is 0-15 away from the Mile High City and will be a quick one and out in the Sun Belt Tournament. The Privateers have already beaten the Pioneers twice this season including a 16-point victory in the Bayou earlier this year. Expect a similar result with Denver struggling to reach 50 points and we will collect easily with the home squad.

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Gold Medal Club

100* 24 Karat play- Okl State -5.5


Rockdeman Dog Of The Day

SMU

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Drew Gordon

1. 400,000* Louisiana State
2. 50,000* Temple
3. 50,000* La Salle
4. 50,000* Pistons

1. Louisiana State- Love the way the Tigers are playing of late (3-0 SUATS L3 games), and it appears as though Vegas still isn't convinced, giving us a bargain price against road-weary Alabama team in this one!

Answer me this: What has Alabama done on the SEC trail this season except lose?! Guys, the Tide are 0-7 SU and 3-4 ATS in conference road games, and I can give you plenty of reasons why. Let's start with their lack of effort on both ends of the floor (scoring 69 ppg on 43%, while allowing 74 ppg on 46%). Couple that with their lack of good point guard, thanks to the injury to senior Ron Steele, and its no surprise they don't do well in hostile SEC territory. More of the same tonight against a Tigers team that's found its chemistry and is playing like it!

Speaking of chemistry, the Tigers have found a nice inside/out attack between G Marcus Thornton (36 points, 5 for 7 3-pointers, 10 rebounds against Georgia) and big men Anthony Randolph and Chris Johnson. Thornton is coming off one of his best games of the season, and should continue to see success against a weak Alabama perimeter defense.

Biggest issue for Alabama will be scoring points against an LSU defense that's locking down opponents in Baton Rouge, allowing 60 ppg on 39% shooting there this season! The Tide rely on their frontcourt, and especially Richard Hendrix to get the job done, but that's easier said than done against the twin towers down-low for the Wolverines tonight... This is a bad match up all around for the 'Bama.

Bottom line, its hard to imagine a 12-16 team "rolling," but the fact of the matter is the Tigers are playing excellent basketball, and have the match ups necessary to dominate a road-weary Tide team in this one. Alabama has been garbage on the SEC trail this season, and facing a red-hot Tigers team won't do much to help their winless conference road record! LSU protects their house and grabs the cash in this one!

Take Louisiana State over Alabama as your top-rated play of the day.

2. Temple- While you'd expect Duquesne to come out firing tonight, in hopes of snapping their ugly 4-game losing streak, the likely absence of F Shawn James changes everything. His shoulder injury significantly effects the Dukes on both ends of the court, but especially on defense, where the shot-blocking monster has swatted 106 shots and changed countless more.

Herein lies the problem for Duquesne, because with James in the lineup, the frontcourt-heavy Owls cannot consistently attack the basket. However with James out, the paint is wide open, and you better believe forwards Christmas, Tyndale, and Allen will attack, attack, and attack some more. Remember guys, Temple averages 78 ppg on 48% shooting this season at home, while over their last 5 games the "supposedly" strong Dukes offense is dropping in just 66 ppg on 38% shooting!

We all remember the Duquesne team that was blowing away the competition with their high-powered offense, and solid interior defense achored by James, but that team is long gone. Some teams peak at the right time, but in this case, I believe the Dukes may have peaked too early, and the injury to Shawn James dooms any chances of them regrouping.

Finally, on a side note, this will be the Owls senior night, and like all senior nights across the country, the crowd will be raucous and the players will be motivated to win in front of them. I know it may seem like a lesser factor, but the fact of the matter is all signs point to another tough loss for the Dukes, especially when you consider Temple's last two wins - Crushing Charlotte at home, and an outright upset at St. Joseph's... The signs of a team on the upswing.

Bottom line, Temple takes full advantage of the absence of C Shawn James, as Christmas and company are allowed to roam free all night long. The Dukes may have every intention of ending their losing streak, but based on the injury to James and their recent play, there's little reason to believe they'll get it done at Temple tonight.

Take Temple comfortably over Duquesne in this A-10 match up.

3. La Salle- Seriously, do the guys in Vegas not watch La Salle games? We know they do, but in that case, what are they doing making the country's best college road bet a double-digit underdog in this one?! Guys, La Salle is 11-0-1 ATS this season on the highway, not only that, but they're also 5-1 SU and 4-1 ATS over their last 6 games overall!

While I'm not saying the Explorers win outright here, they're more than capable of hanging with a Massachusetts team that's not only just 4-7-1 ATS at home this season, but also doesn't have the defense to cover a bloated number in this one. The Minutemen are better at home, but their defense still allows 73 ppg on 41% shooting in Amherst... Not nearly good enough to stop an Explorers offense averaging 82 ppg on 47% shooting over their last 5 games!

Looking over the match ups, there's no significant edge one way or the other, which again only strengthens my argument for La Salle. Both teams are led by their backcourt, and while Gary Forbes may be the best player on the court, the Explorers Darnell Harris is not far behind, averaging 16 ppg and shooting 49% from beyond the arc! Slight edge to Minutemen in the frontcourt, but not enough to justify this spread.

Finally, as good as the Explorers are on the road, its important to note the Minutemen are just 2-6-1 ATS over their last 9 home games! Throw in the fact that La Salle is coming off outright road wins at Duquesne and at Fordham, and you've got all the makings of a relatively close contest here. UMASS most likely wins, but not by nearly as much as Vegas want you to believe!

Take La Salle plus the points over Massachusetts in this A-10 match up.

4. Pistons- While the Celtics "appear" to be back on track, the Pistons never lost track, and come into this game winners of 5 of their last 6 games (4-2 ATS), and looking for more. I say "appear," because Boston's numbers ATS haven't improved, losing 6 of their last 8 ATS, including failing to cover in three straight home games.

Several reasons for the Celtics return to Earth, including the injury to Kevin Garnett, which definitely slowed this Boston team down. He's back and healthy, but the Celtics lost a lot of that confidence they had going into the All-Star Break, and appear a hell of a lot more vulnerable right now. Boston just hasn't been able to close out their opposition, and if you don't believe me: Pop in the tape of either Cleveland, Charlotte, or Atlanta and you'll see for yourself!

Looking over the numbers, these two teams have almost identical statistics over their last 5 games, with both team averaging about 102 ppg, while allowing 90 ppg on the defensive end over that span. Not that that's 100% concrete proof of the Pistons covering, but its definitely food for thought. Remember the Pistons already beat the Celtics at home once this season, and that was when Boston was rolling. (They had won 9 straight up to December 19th, and won 9 straight after their loss to Detroit). Not the same Boston team tonight, plain and simple.

Finally, let me dispel the fatigue factor in this game, because clearly the Pistons haven't been bothered by getting no rest, having gone 9-4-1 ATS this season in the tail end of back-to-back games! You know damn well the reason they failed to cover at Seattle last night was because they were wholly concentrated on winning tonight's marquee contest, and I expect they play accordingly!

Take the Pistons plus the points over the Celtics in this NBA match up.

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