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Friday Service Plays
Re: Friday Service Plays
San Antonio Spurs (43-17) at Denver Nuggets (36-24)
The Nuggets have won three of their last four at the Pepsi Center, 23-7 at home this season. But, the hot Spurs have won ten straight, playing strong defensively, allowing an average of just 87.1 points per game in that span. The total has gone 'under' in the last five meetings and 11 of the last 13 battles in Denver. The last time these teams met on January, 3, 2008, Denver won 80-77 at the Pepsi Center. Look for the Spurs to choke Denver on their home court.
Take the under.
Re: Friday Service Plays
THE SPORTS REPORTER
UTAH over *PHOENIX by 5
The Marion-for-O’Neal trade hasn’t exactly worked out the way the Suns were hoping,
but they still have two months to get it right. They have to hope that Shaq’s presence in the middle will at least help them slow down Carlos Boozer, but he wasn’t much help against the Hornets where David West put up 27-and-4 while Tyson Chandler racked up 15 rebounds. Phoenix has to keep hoping that familiarity will breed comfort, and ultimately lead to wins, but they come into this game looking less than invincible. Despite being the visiting team, the Jazz should be able to utilize their dynamic duo of Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer into a big road win. UTAH 111-106
Re: Friday Service Plays
*Philadelphia over Seattle by 18
Hey they’re the 76ers. That’s why they’re under the radar screen despite having won
nine of their last 12 games through March 2. They’ve also won their last seven straight home contests. The 76ers have become one of the better running teams in the Eastern Conference thanks to former Nuggets point guard Andre Miller, quietly having an outstanding season. The 76ers should have their legs having been idle for four days,while the Sonics are playing in their fourth consecutive road game and fourth matchupin six days. Seattle entered March with a number of its players suffering from the flu.PHILADELPHIA 108-90
Chicago over *Boston by 2
The Bulls actually have a solid core of scorers with Drew Gooden and Larry Hughes,
happy to be out of Cleveland, joining a healthy Luol Deng, Ben Gordon and Kirk
Hinrich. Deng and Gordon are playing with intensity hoping to land big free-agent
contracts. The Celtics are off a huge home matchup on Wednesday against the Pistons.The Bulls had covered nine of their last 12 entering this month. CHICAGO 98-96.
*Phoenix over Utah by 16
The acquisition of Shaq sure hasn’t hurt Amare Stoudamire. He didn’t score less than
24 points during any game in February and had seven double-doubles for the month.
The Jazz don’t have a defensive stopper to slow down Stoudamire. The Jazz can’t be
trusted on the road. Not with consecutive losses during the final week of last month
to the Clippers and Timberwolves by a combined 21 points. PHOENIX 123-107.
Re: Friday Service Plays
INew Jersey Nets (26-35) at New Orleans Hornets (41-19)
The struggling Nets are playing badly. New Jersey is averaging just 94 points per game, third worst in the league and has been horrendous on the road, dropping 13 of its last 15 away from home. Take the Hornets at home to easily outscore the Nets. New Orleans has won 12 of their last 15 games at home, going 11-4 ATS
New Orleans Hornets - 10
Southern Illinois Salukis - 6.5
Re: Friday Service Plays
Game: W. Carolina vs. Wofford
Pick: Wofford -2.5
No. 8 and No. 9 do battle this afternoon in the first round of the Southern Conference tourney. The winner gets the privelege of facing Davidson tomorrow. We think it will be Wofford that advances. Western Caronlina has a 2-14 mark away from home this season, yet the oddsmakers have them as nearly a pick'em here. The Catamounts are averaging just 59.6 ppg away from home while allowing 70.9. Wofford started out strong but ended the season on a 1-6 run. But, they have the edge here. They hit 38.8% from beyond the arc and W. Carolina is 0-6 ATS this season vs. teams that hit 37% or better. The past two seasons, Wofford is 11-2 ATS after having lost 4+ of their last five games. We like them to win and cover this one
Re: Friday Service Plays
Columbia vs Princeton
Columbia is 7-0 ATS on the road this year. Princeton is 5-14 ATS last 3 years in Friday nights. Princeton is 13-33 ATS since 1997 against poor offensive teams scoring 64 points per game or less after 15 or more games. Princeton is 4-12 ATS last 3 years against poor offensive teams scoring 64 points per game or less. Columbia is allowing only 63.5 points per game overall this year and 62.1 points per game on the road this season. Princeton is scoring only 57.2 points per game overall this year and 62.1 points per game at home this season. Princeton has lost 9 games in a row. Lions are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 games as a road underdog. Lions are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a double-digit loss at home. Lions are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games as an underdog. Lions are 8-0 ATS in their last 8 road games. Lions are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS loss. Lions are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a SU loss. Lions are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Friday games. Lions are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a losing SU record. Lions are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games overall. Lions are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 vs. Ivy League. Tigers are 11-24-1 ATS in their last 36 games overall. Tigers are 4-9-1 ATS in their last 14 home games. Tigers are 7-17-1 ATS in their last 25 vs. Ivy League. Tigers are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games as a favorite of 0.5-6.5. Tigers are 7-19 ATS in their last 26 Friday games. Tigers are 7-20-1 ATS in their last 28 games following a SU loss. Tigers are 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games as a favorite. Tigers are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 home games following three or more consecutive road games. Underdog is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings. We'll recommend a small play on Columbia tonight!
Re: Friday Service Plays
3 selections include Denver, Phoenix, and Atlanta.
At 10:35 pm, our selection is on the Denver Nuggets minus the points over San Antone. The Spurs are on an 11-game win streak, but most of those wins came against weak Eastern Conference teams. Against the West this year, the Spurs are a money-burning 16-19 ATS, including an awful 5-13 ATS on the road. And San Antonio is also 0-6 ATS its last six games vs. Western Conference foes when the Spurs are playing without rest! The last time San Antonio was in this situation was March 7 in Seattle (a game I had the misfortune of attending!), and the Spurs lost outright, 88-85, to the Sonics even though Seattle had lost 14 straight going into that match-up. Finally, The Nuggets are 54-34 ATS at home with rest since 1991 vs. unrested teams off an ATS loss. Take Denver.
At 9:05 pm, our selection is on the Phoenix Suns minus the points over the Jazz. Utah's problem (if it has one) is the fact that it is MUCH better at home (27-3 SU and 20-10 ATS)at EnergySolutions Arena than on the road (13-19 SU and ATS). Utah comes into Phoenix on a 3-game win streak (both SU and ATS), but road teams off three SU/ATS wins are a disappointing 43-68 ATS in competitively-priced games with a pointspread of five points or less, if they're matched up against a rested, non-division foe off a SU/ATS loss. Take Phoenix.
At 7:05 pm, our selection is on the Atlanta Hawks, as we will fade the Bobcats off their three straight wins (each as a dog). The Bobcats have always done well off a loss (112-86 ATS), but poor off a win. And when Charlotte's off back-to-back wins, it's a poor 9-20 ATS in its history, including 5-13 ATS at home (and 1-8 at home vs. a foe off a loss). Take Atlanta. Good luck, as always...Al McMordie.
Re: Friday Service Plays
Game: Tennessee St. vs. Murray St.
Prediction: Murray St. Reason: I'm laying the points with MURRAY STATE. The Racers started slowly in conference play. However, they've improved down the stretch and have emerged as one of the favorites to win the tournament. The Racers, who are loaded with depth, closed out the regular season by crushing Tennessee-Martin by 39 points. They followed that up by beating a solid Tennessee Tech in the opening round of this tournament. The Tigers are also playing very well at the moment. They scored a minor upset in the opening round and have now won four of five. Although playing in their hometown, the Tigers are in a difficult scheduling spot. They closed out the regular season with the "Death Valley" swing with road trips to Morehead State and Eastern Kentucky and then returned to Morehead State for their opening round game. I expect that brutal schedule to finally take its toll this evening. Note that the Tigers are just 23-46 SU over the past decade when having played their previous three games on the road, including a 2-8 mark in that situation the past three seasons. During that stretch, the Tigers are also just 8-18 ATS when coming off a win over a conference opponent. Considering that they're calling the victory over Morehead State their "biggest win in a decade," (was their first conference tournament win during that span) I feel that the Tigers are ripe for another "letdown." Murray State won 18 games (Tenn. State won 14) on the season. Sixteen of the last 17 of those wins came by a minimum of three points. Despite a loss at Tennessee State on Valentine's Day, the Racers are also 16-3 the last 19 meetings in this series. Fifteen of those 16 victories came by a minimum of three points. I expect them to continue that series dominance this evening, improving to 7-3-1 ATS the last 11 times that they were favored by four points or less. *OVC Tournament GOY
Game: Bradley vs. Creighton
Prediction: Creighton Reason: I'm playing on CREIGHTON. These teams faced each other less than a week ago and played arguably the most exciting game in the MVC this season, a 111-110 double-OT win by the Bluejays. It was the fourth-highest scoring game in MVC history and the closest game where both teams scored 100 points in league history. As seen in that game, Bradley and Creighton match each other strength-for-strength, as both are guard-driven, perimeter-oriented teams. Both are capable at doing some damage in the MVC Tournament if they can get past today's game. As close as last week's contest was and as evenly matched as these teams are, I believe that Creighton has a couple of significant advantages today. Bradley has been dealing with some adversity. Point guard Daniel Ruffin was arrested on Feb. 23 for misdemeanor battery and was released from jail on Feb. 24. Ruffin was suspended for Bradley's Feb. 23 game against Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the Feb. 26 game against Southern Illinois. After an internal Bradley review, Bradley president Joanne Glasser reinstated Ruffin on Feb. 27. Ruffin's legal troubles are not behind him, but he was allowed to play. The Ruffin controversy has dominated talk around the program in the last week, and Glasser's decision has sparked debate as to whether lifting Ruffin's suspension was appropriate. While the Braves have been somewhat distracted by the Ruffin situation, the "tournament-tested" Bluejays are ready to show that St. Louis is "their town." Indeed, the Blue Jays have won seven tournaments near the Arch, including two of the past three and four of the past six. Opposing coaches have often said that Creighton's depth and pressing pay off in St. Louis. They've got the depth again this year as nobody in the MVC can match Cavel Witter and guard Booker Woodfox for scoring threats off the bench. Three seniors -- Dane Watts, Pierce Hibma, Nick Bahe -- know how to win in St. Louis. Freshman guard P'Allen Stinnett is one of the Valley's most talented players and I expect him to elevate his game on the big stage. The Bluejays are 31-12 SU the last 43 times they played on a neutral court, going 21-10 during that stretch when playing with five or six day's rest in between games. Look for them to improve on those numbers this afternoon, beating the Braves for the second time in a week. *Annihilator
Game: Washington Wizards vs. Toronto Raptors
Prediction: under Reason: I'm playing on the Raptors and Wizards to finish UNDER the number. These teams played a high-scoring game against each other here five weeks ago. Actually, the Raptors almost single-handedly scored enough points to put the game over the total. I'm exaggerating but Toronto did score a whopping 122 points. The Wizards focused on trying to shut down Toronto's #1 option (Chris Bosh) and the Raptors burned them with red-hot outside shooting, going 13 of 18 (72.2%) from 3-point range. At the time, Antawn Jamison said. "We didn't communicate. I'm disappointed with our performance defensively." Coach Eddie Jordan added: "We tried different adjustments and we just didn't get it done. We didn't do enough to close out people on the perimeter and when we did, they still made shots." Needless to say, the Wizards, who managed only 83 points of their own, were embarrassed with their defensive performance. In fact, that was their most lopsided loss in six years. I expect a MUCH better defensive effort tonight, which will be helped by the fact that they likely won't have to contend with Bosh, who remains out with an injury. The Wizards didn't play well defensively last time out, allowing 122 at Orlando. However, they held each of their previous six opponents, including all four on the road, to double-digits in scoring. In fact, none of those six opponents scored more than 95 points and they averaged only 91. Note that the Wizards have seen the UNDER go 10-6-1 this season after allowing 105 or more points in their previous game and 11-3 after a double-digit loss. Looking back a bit further and we find the UNDER at a profitable 30-17 during the past three seasons, when they've come off a loss of 10 points or greater. The Raptors come off a stellar defensive effort in their last game, holding the Heat to just 83 points en route to 108-83 victory. They were actually underdogs for that game, which is worth noting as we find the UNDER at 6-3 when they were coming off an "upset" victory. The final score of the Miami game snuck below the number, bringing the UNDER to 4-2 in Toronto's last six games. Look for tonight's final score to be lower than expected once again with the UNDER improving to 6-0 the last six times that the Wizards played on the road. *Eastern Conf. TOM
Game: Golden State Warriors vs. Miami Heat
Prediction: Miami Heat Reason: I'm taking the points with MIAMI. The Heat were favored in their last game but got blown out by the "Bosh-less" Raptors. Off that lopsided defeat, the majority of the public has now once again labelled the Heat as a team that they won't wager on. In my opinion, that's given us excellent value. The game against Toronto represented somewhat of a tough scheduling spot, as the Heat were playing their first game back home off a trip to the West Coast. They're over the "first game back" issues now though and I expect them to bounce back with a highly motivated performance. The Heat, 7-5 ATS when playing on a Friday, are 7-5 ATS off after losing SU when listed as a favorite this season. They're also 3-1 ATS when playing a game with an over/under line which was listed at 210 or greater, 6-3 ATS their last nine in that situation. Additionally, the Heat pounded the Warriors by double-digits here last season and are 11-1 the last 12 times the teams faced each other here. While the Heat will be playing with revenge from a December loss (Miami covered) at Golden State, the Warriors could easily get caught looking ahead to tomorrow as they play a big "revenge" game of their own. That comes vs. at Orlando and the Magic upset them earlier at Golden State. Note that the Warriors are 3-5 ATS the last eight times that they played the front end of back to back games. With a loss at Charlotte on Wedneday, the Warriors are also now just 4-7 ATS their last 11 road games overall. Miami blew an 18-point lead in the earlier loss at Golden State. Look for that loss, combined with harsh criticism from Pat Riley after the loss to Toronto, to both serve as motivators as the Heat continue their homecourt success in this series. *Best Bet
Game: Edmonton Oilers vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
Prediction: Columbus Blue Jackets Reason: I'm laying the price with COLUMBUS. After playing terrific hockey at home to begin the season, the Blue Jackets have struggled here at Nationwide Arena in 2008. In fact, they've lost six straight games here. They've never lost seven in a row here though and I expect them to avoid that dubious distinction this evening. Despite failing to earn victories Columbus hasn't been playing as badly as it record indicates lately. In fact, the Jackets lost their last two games by one goal despite getting nearly 30 more combined shots (77-48) than their opponents. The first of those two games came against these same Oilers (at Edmonton) so they'll have a chance for some immediate payback. The Jackets have enjoyed a lot of success here on Friday nights, going 7-1 their last eight Friday home games. Conversely, the Oilers have lost five straight Friday games, going 1-7 on Fridays for the season. The Oilers just wrapped up a home stand and we find them at a money-burning 16-25 (-10.4) after having played three consecutive home games, 67-78 (-19.6) in that situation the past decade. On the other hand, the Jackets return home after playing three straight road games. That can be a tough spot sometimes. However, the Jackets are a profitable 39-31 (+16.8) the last 70 times they played when their previous three games had all come on the road. The Jackets were -170 favorites when they hosted the Oilers earlier. They won that game 4-2. I'm expecting them to earn another two points tonight. *Personal Favorite
Re: Friday Service Plays
The Wizards make the voyage to Canada tonight where they’ll challenge the Raptors. Give the Wizards credit as this team continues to fight through an injury plagued season. They’ve shown tremendous moxie, while fighting to stay in the playoff race. They’ve won many games, I’ve wrote them off in and this ‘spot’ sets up a similar situation. The Wizards and head coach Eddie Jordan was thoroughly disappointed with their effort on Wednesday against the Orlando Magic. In the end, they were clobbered 122-92, while struggling mightily stopping the Magic on the offensive end. However, you would expect a ‘big time’ comeback effort with the resilience this team has shown all season. Meanwhile, the Raptors will once again be without All-Star Chris Bosh. Simply, they’re not the same team without him in the fold, with little frontcourt depth. The Wizards will have the opportunity to outmuscle the Raptors inside. Without Bosh of late, the Raptors were trounced by Indiana (Bosh played just 10 minutes), flattened by Charlotte and soundly defeated by Orlando. They did muster a win against an awful Miami team on Wednesday. These two are very similar right now with the injury situations, and Washington owns the situational edge and a nudge in my defensive ranking as well. Six points seems too much and we’ll take them Friday night.