Thursday Service Plays

Re: Thursday Service Plays

Bobby Maxwell

Cleveland (+3') at CHICAGO

FREE play takes us to Chicago tonight as we go with the Cavaliers on the road against the Bulls in an Eastern Conference showdown.

The Cavaliers have won three straight and six of eight overall (5-3 ATS) and just handed the Bulls a nine-point loss, 95-86, on Sunday as 4 1/2-point home favorites.Now just four days later it shouldn't be any problem for LeBron James and Co. to do the same thing on the Bulls home court.

Cleveland went to New York and crushed the Knicks on Wednesday 119-105 as 4 1/2-point road chalk. The Cavs are 7-2 ATS in the last nine against the Bulls and got an outright win in Chicago last time out there, last March, winning 112-108 in OT. In fact, the Cavs are 3-1 SU and ATS in their last four trips to the Windy City.

These teams have got a renewed rivalry with all the players that were just traded for one another but we're sticking with the Cavs to get the best of the Bulls. If the game is close, we like our chances with LeBron.

Take the points and play Cleveland.

3* CLEVELAND

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Sports Gambling Hotline

Xavier (-2) at ST. JOSEPH'S

Tonight we have to go with the road team in this Xavier-St. Joseph's contest. The Musketeers are up to #11 in the land, and come to Philadelphia having won 11 in a row. The Muskies have also covered in 3 of their last 4, while St. Joseph's enters this game on a 2-game losing streak. The Hawks has also lost 5 of their last 7 games straight up, while failing the impost in 3 of their last 4. Now at 17-10, the Hawks are a bubble team at best for a ticket to the Big Dance, with the NIT a better probability. Xavier has won the last pair of series meetings, and 4 of the last 6 overall, and while they have dropped 3 in a row in this rivalry to the number, it is important to note that the Musketeers have been laying some pretty steep numbers the last 2 times out - 9 1/2-points, and 11 1/2-points! With this price down near a pick, we will side with the road team to come through with the win and cover.

"X" marks the spot!

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Jim Feist

IND Pacers @ SAN Spurs
Take "Over"

Normally you look at the Spurs as a team under the total, with their fierce defense. However, for this game they face a team that has no inside game and prefers to go uptempo. Indiana has gone over the total 3 straight games scoring 128, 122 and 107 points. Of course, they allowed 113, 111 and 106. San Antonio will have a field day on the offensive glass, a problem for the Pacers ever since Jermaine O’Neal went out. The last 5 meetings between these teams, 4-1 over the total, including last month when the Spurs scored 116 on the Pacers. Play the Pacers/Spurs over the total

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

BIG AL

Dallas Mavericks

UCLA Bruins


Paul Leiner

5* Over 193.5 Cle/Chi

10* CBB Michigan State -1


Matty O'Shea

Michigan State -2

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Alex Smart

Clemson -1.5

Clemson is off a hard fought come from behind road win against Maryland last time out by a score of 73-70 and will be primed to carry that momentum in this contest against a Georgia Tech team, that has lost 6 of their L7 overall, and off a hard fought 76-74 loss to Virgina on Monday. Clemson looks to be headed towards a NCAA big dance appearance, and will be prepared to make sure their chances, remain solid with a win against a program they have defeated in 4 of their L5 meetings. These are two teams headed in opposite directions , and they will both play like it here this evening.

Play on Clemson

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Bob Akmens

Louisiana Tech +5.0

This play is the result of a successful computer model that has allowed Bob Akmens Sports to finish in first-place in 152 different categories of documented monitored handicapping contests since 1978.

The computer models I’ve developed for each sport look at the most-predictive variables that go into the winning and losing of games.

Several interesting factors in today’s play are as follows (ATS = against-the-spread) –

HAWAII fails to cover when they play in:

All games this year: 8-15 ATS last 23 games

Away games: 11-18 ATS last 29

A game off of a loss to a conference rival: 8-14 ATS last 22 games

The next game after failing to cover their last 3: 5-10 ATS last 15 games

A game vs a losing team: 6-20 ATS last 26 games

A game vs a poor offensive team scoring 64 ppg or less: 4-9 ATS last 13 games

LOUISIANA TECH covers when they play in:

A game where they try to revenge a road loss vs this opponent: 5-1 ATS last 6 games

A game after a loss to a conference rival: 8-3 ATS last 11 games

A game after allowing at least 80 points: 9-3 ATS last 12 games

A game vs a losing team: 7-1 ATS last 8 games

GO WITH LOUISIANA TECH +5

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Jim Avery

Cleveland Cavaliers +3.5

When I saw this, I knew I had to play it. Cleveland, arguably one of the hottest teams in the league, is going up against a Chicago team that might have gotten a little better since the Trade Deadline, but not good enough to hold down King James and the rest of the Cavs.

Over the last 9 meetings between these two teams, Cleveland has covered 7 times, and I am looking for tonight to make it 8 out of 10.

Take the points, take the Cavs.

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LT Profits

New York Rangers @ New York Islanders u5.0

The Under is 4-0-1 the last five times that the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders have met on Long Island with those games averaging just a combined 3.80 goals, and we look for another low scoring affair here.

Now granted, Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro is questionable for this start after the death of his grandmother last week, but backup Wade Dubielewicz has shined in his absence, losing a tough 1-0 decision to Florida Panthers on Sunday before beating these Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday. No matter who is in net, the Under is an incredible 23-9-3 in all Islanders home games this season with those games averaging a only 4.89 goals combined, as well as 47-20-4 in their last 71 home games going back to last season.

Henrik Lundqvist is expected to take the start for the Rangers, and we expect him to bounce back strong here after a rare off night on Tuesday when he allowed three goals in regulation time on just 18 shots. Lundqvist still has a nice 2.37 GAA for the season though with a .907 save percentage, and he had always played well vs. the Islanders in the past prior to that last contest.

Finally, the Rangers tend to play closer to the vest when playing inside the division with the Under going 20-9-1 in their last 30 Atlantic Division games, and we expect that tendency to continue.

Rangers, Islanders Under 5 (+120)


Arizona State @ Oregon u139.5 

The Arizona State Sun Devils have been a good Under team all year and the Under is also 6-2-1 in the last nine Oregon Ducks home games, so look for this game to stay below the total.

Arizona State likes to play a slow-down style, and that has been especially true on the road where their games are averaging just a combined 128.8 points this season. In fact, the Under is now 14-5 in their last 19 true road games stretching back to last year. That includes the Sun Devils’ last trip here to Oregon, when these teams combined for just 106 points in a 55-51 Ducks victory.

Now Oregon would prefer a faster pace, but the Ducks have not proven they can dictate tempo vs. the more methodical teams. UCLA and Washington State were both successful in slowing the Ducks down in recent weeks, as were these Sun Devils in a 62-54 ASU victory in Tempe. Also, the last five Oregon games overall have averaged a combined 137.6 points, which is significantly down from the 150.3 points that all Ducks games are averaging this season.

Finally, the Under is now 6-1 in the last seven head-to-head meetings between these schools, and we expect Arizona State to play keep-away again tonight, as they do not want to get into a running game with these Ducks.

Arizona State, Oregon Under 139.5

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Paul Stone

Utah State @ Boise State o154.5

These two Western Athletic Conference entries have been "Over" teams this season and tonight's matchup should feature lots of field goal and three-point attempts.

In its last 30 games, Boise State is 21-8-1 ATS to the "Over," while Utah State has gone above the number in 25 of its last 33 games.

For the 2007-08 season, the WAC entries have combined for a 31-15 ATS record to the "Over."

Points should be plentiful tonight and I recommend playing the "Over."

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

L O C K O F T H E D A Y

Stanford +8.5

#3 UCLA and #7 Stanford will play for 1st place in the Pac 10 tonight. Stanford is a powerful team. Stanford has two twins playing center, the Lopez twins. These guys are solid! This game will be a real battle. We think Stanford can keep it close.

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Karl Garrett

20 DIMERS - ARIZONA WILDCATS, & STANFORD CARDINAL

20 DIMER - ARIZONA WILDCATS
Talk about a "must win"...Arizona has lost 6 of 8, and are now 17-12 for the season. The Wildcats MUST blow out this bad, bad Beavers team, and that is just what the are going to do.

Oregon State has lost 18 in a row straight up, they have failed their last 5 games against the spread, and they have also failed 11 straight at home!

Throw in 4 straight Arizona series wins, and wins in 8 of the last 10 in this rivalry, and we are talking about a flat-out rout!

The Wildcats need to get a big blowout road win, and that is just what they get against the door-mat of the conference.Lay it

20 DIMER - STANFORD CARDINAL
Not sure why Stanford is getting this many points?

Trent Johnson's team has coved 7 of 11 games away from Palo Alto this year, and they are in "double revenge" against this Bruins team.

UCLA won a 76-67 game at Stanford in early January, but it is the Cardinal that is on a 6-2 spread run in this series the last 8 meetings.

The Bruins have been asked to cover some big numbers of late, and they have not been up to the challenge, as they have dropped 2 of their last 3 against the spread, and have split their last 6, ALL as the chalk.

Look for this one to be closer than expected, and the Cardinal to stay inside of this number.

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Michael Cannon

15 Dime

DePAUL
Take the points with DePaul tonight when they travel to take on Cincinnati.

The Blue Demons definitely have something to play for tonight, as they're currently tied with Providence for the 12th and final spot in the Big East tournament.

DePaul has fared well on the road in conference play this year, however. They've covered six of seven road games and they should give an all-out effort tonight based on their conference ranking.

Cincinnati has done a good jog this year under first-year head coach Mick Cronin, but they've dropped three straight, including a disappointing home loss to Providence on Sunday.

The Bearcats play at a deliberate pace, which actually favors the Blue Demons as it masks their problems with transition defense. The Bearcats also have been relying too much on Deonta Vaughn and John Williamson for their scoring and nobody else has stepped it up to take some of the pressure off them.

DePaul has enough firepower with Draelon Burns and Dar Tucker to keep this game close or possibly even pull off the outright win.

Take the points with DePaul as they stay within the number.

5 Dime

OREGON
Lay the points with Oregon tonight when they host Arizona State.

Revenge spot for the Ducks after dropping an eight-point decision at Tempe back in January.

Oregon was putrid from beyond the arc in that loss, shooting just 2 of 17.
But that should change tonight on their home court, and the fact that senior forward Marty Leunen is heating up from 3-point land.

Leunen is coming off a career-high 32 points in Sunday?s 80-68 win over Oregon State. He is shooting an incredible 52.9 percent from beyond the arc this year, including a mind-numbing 74.2 percent (23-of-31) over the last six games.

The loser of this game can probably forget an at-large invitation to the NCAA?s, so I prefer to side with the more-experienced host here.

Take Oregon minus the points as they grab the win and cover.

MICHIGAN STATE
Take Michigan State for the road win tonight over Illinois.

The Spartans may have had their problems recently, but its come against ranked teams, not sub-.500 teams like Illinois.

Hey, if Michigan State can't get the win tonight, there?s not much hope for them once tournament time rolls around.

Illinois is heading towards its worst season in over 30 years. They don't shoot particularly well and don?t have much chemistry at either end of the court. The Spartans are a superior rebounding team so don?t expect the Illini to get many second-chance points.

Michigan State rolled past Indiana on Sunday and it wouldn?t surprise me to see them pick up tonight right where they left off.

Take Michigan State for the road win over Illinois.

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

DOC'S

4 Unit Play.Take Clemson -1 ½ over Georgia Tech
The Tigers picked up a big emotional victory on Sunday and will carry that into Thursday with another victory in Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets are just 5-7 when playing at the Coliseum this year and suffered a setback to Virginia on Monday. The Tigers have too many weapons for this game to be close and they give us a much need big play cash.

4 Unit Play.Take Boise State -5 over Utah State
The Broncos look to close out the WAC regular season with a championship on Thursday night and the No. 1 seed for the upcoming tournament. The Aggies are coming off a big victory for senior day but now must travel on the road and that is a place they have not had much success this season. They are 3-8 when playing true road games outside of Logan. The Broncos will shut down Jaycee Carroll and the rest of the squad will not be able to overcome the hostile environment in Utah.

4 Unit Play.Take Missouri State -10 over Evansville
The Valley takes center stage on Thursday and we will come strong with the Bears on opening night. The Bears finished the season strong winning three straight games including a victory over conference champion Drake during this span. In a very balanced league, the Purple Aces have been far and away the worst team in the league and they will have a short stay in St. Louis going one and out. Both teams have just two road victories this season, but the Bears scored one in their last game winning at Indiana State by double-digits and that is what we will see from them on Thursday.

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Ferringo

4-Unit Play.TakeBoise State (-4.5) over Utah State
Senior Night play. I watched Utah State over the weekend and was only moderately impressed with the way they handled a more athletic Fresno State team. The thing is, Fresno sucks. But they were still able to get just about any shot they wanted because they were so much quicker than USU. The Aggies are coming off a three-game stretch where they’ve been blowing out bottom-feeders. Now they’re taking on arguably the best team in the conference in an emotional situation. I don’t think the Aggies have the guns, and if Boise State can get out and run early they could do to USU what they did to Nevada – blow them out.

2-Unit Play.Take George Washington (+9) over Charlotte
George Washington is on an upswing and has played extremely well over the past two weeks. I think they may be catching a few too many points here and this is my Random Play for today. George Washington is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings and the road team is 7-0-1 ATS in this series. I think Charlotte takes home the "W" but it will be a less-inspired effort than what the oddsmakers are looking for.

2.5-Unit Play.Take Indiana State (-1) over Wichita State
Indiana State is the definition of “shaky”. But Wichita is just “awful”. These two clubs split on one another’s home court but I just think the Sycamores are capable of more. The Shockers are just 13-28-2 ATS in conference games while the favorite is 4-1-1 ATS in the last six meetings. Indiana State has had trouble playing in others’ gyms, but they have yet to suit up for a neutral site game. I think they have a stronger following and mercifully end WSU’s year.

1.5-Unit Play.Take First Half: Missouri State (-6) over Evansville
Missouri State is healthy and happy and ready to be a sleeper in the MVC. I think they get is started with a serious blowout (15+) of Evansville. But just in case the Purple Aces make a late flurry we're going to play a fast start by the Bears.

2-Unit Play.Take Michigan State (-2) over Illinois
Has Michigan State gotten it together? Probably not, but Illinois is not very good and we're running out of chances to fade away. The Spartans are a much, much more talented team and they won't be looking past anyone when they head to Champagne. Illinois got smoked by all three of the other top-tier Big 10 schools (Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana) and we've seen many times that is a great indicator how the bottom tier is going to fare against any of the Big 4. The favorite is 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings and Illinois is just 2-6 ATS in conference play.

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

David Malinsky 4*

Indiana Pacers @ San Antonio Spurs Mar 6, 2008 8:00PM

REASON FOR PICK: 4* INDIANA/SAN ANTONIO Under

We are not sure that there is a better basketball coach at any level than Gregg Popovich. Therefore it should not be any surprise at all that the Spurs have been a strong part of our portfolio through the years, both playing On and Against them. We even wrote a RIM SHOTS column earlier this season talking about the latter, and how there has been outstanding value found playing against them in back-to-back situations. It was not so much a fault of their prep ability for those games, but rather how outstanding Popovich is when he gets added preparation time against any opponent (which really shows in the playoffs).

Tonight we get another example of where the savvy of Popovich comes into play. We write often about this type of setting, an MTG, or “Manage The Game” affair. These are games in which there is a prohibitive favorite that does not have any reason at all to go for a margin, and instead would like to merely win the game with as little effort being spent as possible, and move on. San Antonio fits that profile tonight vs. Indiana, with Popovich knowing that a lot of effort is going to be needed when the Spurs go on the road to face a rested Denver team tomorrow night.

So if smart coaches use MTG situations wisely, and Popovich is possibly the smartest of the smart, would it not make sense that he fits this particular pattern well? He does. As his team gets older he has to manage the minutes carefully, and we believe the best way to isolate these settings is for games after the All Star break. The numbers certainly add up – San Antonio is 15-8 to the Under when laying double figures at home post-break the last three seasons, including a perfect 3-0 so far this campaign. And the key this season is to note just how far off the oddsmakers have been in terms of grasping this – those three games played a collective 82 points Under the Total.

An Indiana team playing back-to-back nights has little say in this one; all the Pacers can do is dance to the tune that the Spurs play. It will be a slow one.

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Insider Sports Report

Clemson -1


Brandon Lang

15 Dime - Rockets

5 Dime - Stanford - Cal - Arizona

FREE - St. Joseph's

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Info Plays

3* on UCLA -8.5

UCLA beat Stanford by 9 points on the road already this season.  They have dominated the Cardinal in each of the last two meetings.  After playing 3 straight home games, Stanford will be in for a treat when they hit the road for the first time in nearly a month.  UCLA is winning their home games by 22 points per game this season.  UCLA is 17-9 ATS in all lined games this season.  UCLA is 8-1 ATS after a game where they failed to cover the spread this season.  After a close road win at Arizona the last time out, UCLA will crush Stanford at home tonight.  Bet UCLA at home.

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

STRIKE POINT SPORTS

2-Unit Play.Take Clemson -1.5 over Georgie Tech

After a big comeback at Maryland this past Sunday, look for the Tigers to finish off an impressive week in Atlanta. Clemson turned in perhaps its best win of the season over the Terps last time out, and I think that only springboards momentum on its side here. The Yellow Jackets are 12-16 on the season and a model for inconsistency with a sub .500 home record. Tech has lost seven of its last ten games overall, and the stronger and deeper team, Clemson, will score the win in this ACC match-up.

3-Unit Play.Take Xavier -1.5 over St. Joe's

After two sputtering losses in a row for the Hawks, it's Xavier that has more to play for now. The X-Men are looking for as high a seed as possible for the Big Dance, and they won't slip up here prior to the A-10 conference tournament. St. Joe's has pretty much eliminated itself with its back-to-back home losses, and they won't have enough against this tough and talented Musketeers team. There is a reason why Xavier is 25-4. They are more than legit, and they will come through with victory in this one.

2-Unit Play.Take Michigan State -2 over Illinois

I just cannot see a scenario where the Spartans flop against Illinois after their blowout win over Indiana this past weekend. Yes, Michigan State has shown some weak spots on the road in conference this year, but with the th Big Ten tourney next weekend, we'll see a focused Spartans team that gets the job done away from East Lansing tonight. The favorite is 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings, and Michigan State will have enough to leave town with the win.

1-Unit Play.Take Stanford +8.5 over UCLA

This is a much different Cardinal team than we saw host the Bruins in first meeting. Stanford has a dynamic duo in the post in Brook and Robin Lopez. But also, the backcourt has stepped up its game, with the likes of Anthony Goods and Mitch Johnson elevating their games to help carry this team to the top ten. The regular season Pac-10 title is on the line in this big game in Westwood, and I think we'll see a highly competitive game throughout with the winner taking this one by no more than a two or three basket margin.

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

WUNDERDOG

Game: George Washington at N C Charlotte
Pick: N C Charlotte -9

Saint Bonaventure has won just eight games all season, and the teams they beat are pretty much at the bottom of the barrel. The reason we mention this, is George Washington has played 12 road games and that is their only win. The other 11 have all resulted in double-digit losses. Charlotte has had some impressive games at home this season and has covered five of their last six conference hook ups. The home resume includes a two-point loss to Xavier, a four-point loss to Maryland, and wins over Southern Illinois, Wake Forest, and Davidson. George Washington is being out-scored on the road 78-61 in 12 games, and has just one player in their top eight scorers shooting over 43%. They have no player averaging more than two assists per game resulting in 349 turnovers to 293 assist. Should be a double-digit win for Charlotte.

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