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Friday Service Plays
Re: Friday Service Plays
Cajun-Sports NBA Selection for Friday
Game:Philadelphia 76ers vs. Orlando Magic
Line: Orlando Magic -6
Selection: ORLANDO MAGIC -6
Analysis: The Magic are one of just three teams that have clinched a playoff spot for this year’s postseason (Boston and Detroit). The Magic had won four straight versus Philly including two this season until suffering a 101 to 89 defeat in Philadelphia back on February 27th. The Magic had a five-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday when they lost to Washington 87 to 86. The Magic topped its season-low point total by just one point and matched its worst shooting percentage of the season with 33.8 from the field. That game also saw Magic center Dwight Howard end a streak of 14 straight double-doubles with only three points and 14 rebounds due to foul trouble. He leads the league with 60 double-doubles on the year. We expect an all out effort from this Magic squad after playing so poorly their last time out and the fact that the 76ers defeated them soundly in their last meeting. Technical support is found in that Orlando is 40-23 ATS when playing at home with a line range of 6 to 8 points. If they are installed as a home favorite in that same price range the record is 31-16 ATS. When the Magic are facing the 76ers with a line range of 6 to 8 points Orlando is 11-2 ATS, if the Magic are coming in off a home game the record for Orlando is a perfect 6-0 ATS versus Philly. Another series tech set shows Orlando is 20-9-2 ATS when facing Philly if they are off a SU loss in their last game. If Philly is coming off a game where they went over the total and now face the Magic in the same line range they are 1-8 ATS. If they lost that game ATS the record is 2-9-1 ATS. We know that NBA teams coming off a SU win but ATS loss and have gone over in their last game and now must face a conference opponent on the road have posted a record of 42-71-6 ATS, if they are installed as an underdog the record is 23-41-6 ATS, if they are an away underdog their record stands at 23-41-6 ATS. All signs point towards Disney and a win and cover for the host. Lay the chalk as the Magic avenge their loss to Philly as the Magic are 16-4 ATS revenging a loss where the opponent scored 100+ points this season.
Re: Friday Service Plays
1* (regular play) St Mary’s Cal Gaels vs Miami-Florida
Freshman Patrick Mills has been extremely impressive for the Gaels as the Australian is now the leading scorer for St Mary’s Cal. His expanded role has allowed junior forward Diamon Simpson to enjoy even more success. The Gaels also have some bench help as they have a legitimate sixth man in the form of Tron Smith who can come in an energize scoring runs for the team. Keep in mind this Gaels team did knock off both Drake and Oregon earlier this season and, in fact, the only loss to a non-tournament team came at Southern Illinois and there’s no real shame in losing to the Salukis at Carbondale.
The Hurricanes come into this tournament off of a double digit loss to Virginia Tech in the ACC tournament. The Canes did not look good as they got worn down by the Hokies pace and their strength as Virginia Tech was not afraid to get physical with the Canes. We feel that St Mary’s Cal can mimic those same designs that worked so well for the Hokies and Simpson and 6’11 Omar Samhan are going to be too much for the Canes to handle in this one.
Mills is not only the leading scorer for the Gaels but he also led the team in assists and did a solid of getting to the line and knocking down his foul shots when his shots from the floor weren’t falling. Todd Golden is another key backcourt member that helps to give the Gaels solid balance with their talented frontcourt as he leads the guards with an assist to turnover ratio of 4 to 1. His fantastic play will continue here and the Gaels will take advantage of the Canes sputtering offense because Miami relies heavily on leading scorer Jack McClinton and he struggled in the ACC Tourney. Play St Mary’s Cal as a regular selection.
Re: Friday Service Plays
Game: Sacramento Kings vs. San Antonio Spurs
Prediction: Sacramento Kings Reason: I'm taking the points with SACRAMENTO. The situation favors the Kings here. While the Spurs played last night at Chicago, the Kings have had the past two nights off. That's worth noting as the Kings are 10-3 ATS (9-4 SU) this season when playing with two day's rest in between games while the Spurs are a money-burning 4-11 ATS when playing the second of back to back games, 18-31 ATS their last 49 in that situation. Despite covering yesterday, the defending champs are still an ugly 2-10-1 ATS their last 13 games overall. The Kings, on the other hand, are 4-1 SU/ATS their last five games. Those four wins came against relatively quality teams too, as they defeated Portland, Toronto and Golden State, in addition to defeating the Lakers at LA. After the win over the Warriors, Kings coach Reggie Theus was quoted as saying: "The bottom line is we came out, played harder than them in the first and second halves." That hard work led to excellent shooting (or was it the other way around?) as the Kings shot a season-high 58%. Look for the Kings to build off that effort as they keep this game closer than expected with the Spurs looking ahead to Dallas and again struggling in a back to back spot. *Feast
Game: Siena vs. Vanderbilt
Prediction: Vanderbilt Reason: I'm laying the points with VANDERBILT. Anything can happen during the Big Dance. However, for every Belmont (lost by 1 to Duke as a 20 point underdog) there are also plenty of cases where the "better" team from the stronger conference not only wins, but wins big. Favorites priced in this range had a very good day yesterday. In fact, teams which were favored in the -5 to -15 range went a perfect 10-0 (includes two games from the NIT) against the the number yesterday. The Commodores fall in the low end of that range, which I feel gives us excellent value. At 26-17, Vanderbilt comes in with the significantly better record. That's saying something when considering that the Commodores were playing the likes of Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, Florida and Miss. State, while the Saints were playing teams like Canisius, Rider, Marist and Niagara. After losing at Syracuse, the Saints pulled an unlikely upset of Stanford. However, that was way back in November before the Cardinal was playing the way they are now. Note that the Saints followed up that upset with a loss vs. Cornell in their next game. December saw them face a pair of tournament teams in St. Joseph's and Memphis. They lost by "only" six while hosting the Hawks but then got massacred 102-58 when facing Memphis. The Commodores didn't have to face Memphis. However, they did face Tennessee right after the Vols had just beaten Memphis to become the #1 team in the country. Not only were the Commodores competitive, they won outright. Non-conference play saw the Commodores go a perfect 15-0 SU with wins over the likes of South Alabama, Utah State, Bradley, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest. A lot of people are saying Siena has a solid shot at scoring an upset. The Commodores have heard that talk and they come in with a chip on their shoulder as a result. Shan Foster, the unanimous choice for SEC player of the year had this to say: "We've won 26 games. We're not a 4 seed by a miracle, you know. We're confident that we're going to go in and execute our game plan and give it all we've got and come out with a victory..." Note that a lot of people were saying Vandy would get upset in the first round last year too. The Commodores responded to that talk by destroying George Washington by 33 points. Including that result, they're 5-1 ATS their last six NCAA tournament games. I expect them to improve on those numbers with another convincing victory here. *Personal Favorite
Game: San Diego vs. Connecticut
Prediction: Connecticut Reason: I'm laying the points with CONNECTICUT. I believe this will be a mismatch. The Huskies really came together over the final months. They've got a strong and deep backcourt while center Hasheem Thabeet earned Defensive Player of the Year honors in the Big East by being a shot-blocking machine in the paint. Despite the fact that they played in the very strong Big East conference, the Huskies outscored opponents by a 77.7 to 68.6 margin on the season. Conversely, despite playing in an extremely weak WCC Conference (Gonzaga and St. Mary's are good but every other team is terrible) the Toreros only outscored opponents by a 65.6 to 63.4 margin. Obviously, defense has been their "strength." However, the Huskies were 5-1 SU/ATS the last six times that they faced a team which allows 64 points or less per game. Like Georgia yesterday, the Toreros wouldn't be here if not for an improbable win in their conference tournament. Georgia managed to get off to a good start yesterday. However, Xavier's superior talent eventually became too much too overcome. Look for the Huskies' overall talent edge to prove to be too much here as well, as they improve to 7-2 ATS on the season when playing a game with an over/under line in the 130s.
Game: South Alabama vs. Butler
Prediction: South Alabama Reason: I'm taking the points with SOUTH ALABAMA. The betting public loves Butler. They don't know much about this very good South Alabama team though and that's given us excellent value with the Jaguars. The Jags were beaten by Middle Tennessee State in the conference tournament. However, they'd previously won six straight and 22 of 24. They beat a very solid Western Kentucky team twice in conference play. Outside of conference play, they beat a strong Mississippi State outright (also beat San Diego by double-digits) while losing by just three at both Ole Miss and Vanderbilt. Considering how tough Vanderbilt was at home all season, that was no small feat. Although his team managed to upset the Jags, Middle Tennessee coach Kermit Davis had the following to say: "It's like I said and I'll reiterate the fact, No. 1 is how good a team South Alabama has, not just in the Sun Belt but nationally. There's no question that's an at-large team. They're going to be in the NCAA Tournament and I would not be surprised if they win a game in the tournament. They're that good." While Butler was just 7-9-1 ATS off a conference win this season (60-70 ATS L130 in that role), South Alabama was 2-0 SU/ATS off a confernece loss, winning each game by double-digits. Looking back further and we find the Jaguars at a profitable 41-25 ATS their last 66 lined games when coming off a conference loss. The combination of guards Demetric Bennett, Daon Merritt and Domonic Tilford give the Jags a chance to score inside or out. The Jags are also capable of winning inside with the trio of Brandon Davis, Andre Coleman and Ronald Douglas. While I'll be taking all the points I can get, I won't be at all surprised to see an "upset" here, with the Jags improving to 7-1 ATS their last eight lined non-conference games.
Game: Davidson vs. Gonzaga
Prediction: Gonzaga Reason: I'm playing on GONZAGA. Talk about no respect. After eight straight wins, Gonzaga loses one game (vs. San Diego) and now finds itself listed as an underdog vs. Davidson. Granted, the Wildcats are no slouches. In fact, they've got the longest winning streak in Division 1-A at the moment and they're also playing very close to home. Playing close to home is certainly significant and the winning streak is also pretty impressive. However, a closer look at the winning streak and their overall schedule shows that the toughest team they have beaten all year is Winthrop (outscored 42-11 in the second half yesterday!) and that they had a losing record in non-conference play. While they did play some heavyweights tough, back in December, they didn't beat any of them. Gonzaga, on the other hand, has proven it can beat quality opponents, anywhere and any time. The Bulldogs beat the likes of Western Kentucky, Virginia Tech, St. Joseph's, Georgia, Utah and even Connecticut. While the Wildcats have only two players averaging greater than 7.8 points per game (star shooting guard Stephen Curry and point guard Jason Richards) the Bulldogs boast six players who average a minimum of 8.2 points per game, including four in double figures. Yes, Curry is a genuine star. However, the Bulldogs have a conference player of the year of their own in point guard Jeremy Pargo. Pargo is a "big game player" and I expect him to bring his "A-Game" with a chance to go up against the heavily hyped Curry. I also expect Austin Daye to be able to take advantage of the Wildcats' forwards and have a big game. The Bulldogs are 37-13 SU their last 50 games played in March, going 8-2 SU in first round tournament games during that stretch. Look for their superior depth combined with their big game and tournament experience to be the difference.
Game: Western Kentucky vs. Drake
Prediction: Western Kentucky Reason: I'm taking the points with WESTERN KENTUCKY. Drake has been a "media darling" while Western Kentucky has been playing under the radar. That has given us excellent value on a very solid Hilltopper team. Western Kentucky has won six straight games and all six wins came by double-digits. Looking back further and we find the Hilltoppers at a highly impressive 17-1 their last 18 games with the lone loss coming by just five points. Its true that the competition wasn't the best. However, when facing elite non-conference teams earlier in the season, the Hilltoppers lost by only six vs. Tennessee and by just three vs. Gonzaga. Facing slightly weaker non-conference foes saw the Hilltoppers beat the likes of Nebraska and Michigan. Western Kentucky isn't particularly tall or deep inside. However, neither is Drake, which makes this a good matchup for the Hilltoppers. Like Drake, the Hilltoppers (27-6) start three guards Courtney Lee, Tyrone Brazelton and Ty Rogers. All three are seniors and I expect their experience to pay big dividends against a Drake team which has overachieved all season and which hasn't been to the postseason in many years. Drake's press gives up open looks and the Hilltoppers, who shoot 38.9% from beyond the arc, have the ingredients to make them pay. While I'll be taking all the points I can get, I won't be at all surprised to see an "upset" here, with the Hilltoppers improving to 7-0 ATS in neutral court games on the season. *Best Bet
Game: Boise St. vs. Louisville
Prediction: under Reason: I'm playing on Louisville and Boise State to finish UNDER the total. This over/under number has climbed significantly since it came out. I feel that this is the wrong move and that we're now being provided with excellent value on the UNDER. The Broncos were certainly involved in some high-scoring games down the stretch. However, they didn't face a single defense all season which allowed less than 64 points per game and today they'll be facing a Louisville team which allowed oppposing teams to average just 61.3. The Cardinals, who are listed as double-digit favorites, should be able to control the tempo. That being said, I expect them to have a solid lead in the second half and for them to slow things down to limit the number of shots Boise can take to get back in the game. While I won't count on it, the hope is that Louisville has a big enough lead in the final minutes that there won't be a ton of late fouling. Regardless, the Cardinal have seen the UNDER go 40-25-1 the past three seasons when listed as favorites. That includes a highly profitable 7-1 mark since December, when favored by greater than eight points. The Cardinals faced nine teams which averaged 77 or more points per game this season. They did a good job of slowing those games down as they won six of them while seeing the UNDER go 6-3. Looking back further and we find the UNDER at an impressive 38-20 the last 58 times (games with a total) that the Cardinals faced a team which averaged 77 or more points per game. I expect those numbers to improve this evening with the final combined score falling beneath the generous number. *Opening Round Total of Year
Re: Friday Service Plays
Game: American at Tennessee
Pick: Game Total UNDER 141.5
Tennessee's defense was a no-show in the SEC tournament and they have heard about it ever since. You can bet they are going to be looking to make a statement to the fans, press and to themselves here. The Vols are 13-4 UNDER the past two seasons after allowing 80 points in their last game. They are 10-2 UNDER the last twelve times they allowed 80+ in two straight games. American, winner of the Patriot League, will not bring much firepower here. What they do have is a very good defense. They held foes to 61.8 ppg this season. They haven't seen the likes of Tennesee's offense for sure, but their strength nonetheless is defense. Neutral court teams that outscore their opponents by 8+ per game, coming off two 80+ point performances go UNDER the next game 62% of the time as the line gets pushed out of whack. The fact is, Tennessee is 12-5 UNDER this season after scoring 80 points last game and 9-1 UNDER after a game in which 155+ points were scored. The reaction to Tennessee's last couple of games, coupled with no respect for American, has led to an inflated total and we'll take the UNDER
Re: Friday Service Plays
5 Unit Play. #824 Take Connecticut -11 ½ over San Diego
The Huskies will take care of business on Friday playing in a familiar city, as South Florida is a member of the Big East Conference. This Toreros are living on borrowed time and received a big advantage of playing the WCC Tournament at home. Tampa is a far cry from California and making this cross country flight will eventually do them in. They have been off since March 10th and will not be able to match up with the size of the Huskies.
4 Unit Play. #824 Take Vanderbilt -6 ½ over Siena
If yesterday proved anything, it is that the higher seeds at the better team and today’s card exemplifies that to a T. Both teams like to run up and down the floor but Vandy has some size inside to take advantage of the Saints. This reminds me a lot of the Notre Dame dominating yesterday where the mid-major just did not belong of the floor with the BCS Conference squad.
4 Unit Play. #835 Take Arkansas +2 over Indiana
Indiana is a team that reminds me a lot about Arizona, as you can play them blindly despite have good talent. The writing is on the wall and Coach Dan Dakich will be replaced once this game is completed. The Hoosiers have lost three out of their last four games included bad losses against Penn State and Minnesota in their last two outings. Sonny Weems is probable tonight for the Hogs and this team has something to prove as well after getting bounced in the finals by Georgia. Indiana has not been the same team since Sampson left and with D.J. White and Eric Gordon likely gone, this team cannot wait for the season to be completed.
4 Unit Play. #834 Take Georgetown -16 ½ over Maryland – Baltimore County
I have to admit that I have never heard of this team and at least they are just a bus ride away because they will get pounded on Friday and be a one and done team. The Hoyas are angry after not showing up in the finals against Pittsburgh and thus will come out determined to make a statement on Friday. We used the Hoyas as a play last year in the opening round and that was against Belmont, a team that almost beat Duke last night. The Hoyas won that game by 25 points and that is the same number we expect this one to end on, as once Georgetown gets you down, there is no coming back.
4 Unit Play. #837 Take St. Mary’s -1 over Miami
The Gaels had a very successful season and kept under the radar for the most part and are playing an overrated Hurricane squad that has trouble scoring points. The Canes started the season 12-0, but did not play a murder’s row of non-conference opponents. Both teams play strong defense, so expect this to be a close low scoring tilt, but the veteran Gaels will pull out the victory.
Re: Friday Service Plays
Strike Point Sports
8-Unit Play. #843 Take St. Mary's PK over Miami
This Gaels team is really intruiging, and a dark horse to make it into the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament. But first they'll take care of the Hurricanes. St. Mary's has a much more balanced team, boasting the likes of point guard Patrick Mills, Diamon Simpson and sharpshooter Todd Golden. I think Miami has become reluctant and too reliable on Jack McClinton. Their bigs are foul prone, and I just think this match-up really favors the WCC rep. It will be the ten seed that advances, and let me just say I think they'll get Texas fits all day as well. This one goes to St. Mary's, play them here.
4-Unit Play. UT-Arlington/Memphis Over 142
UT-Arlington can score, and the top seeded Tigers can score even more. I think this number is way too low, and both will play in the 70s to say the least. The No. 16 Mavericks have either scored or allowed 80 or more in three of their last four games, and in this one Memphis will strike for an 80+ point effort. UT-Arlington can make up for the difference, but either way, this one goes over the number.
Re: Friday Service Plays
Game: American vs. Tennessee
Pick: 3 units on Game Total UNDER 142 -110 (risk 3 to win 2.7)
Tennessee's defense was a no-show in the SEC tournament and they have heard about it ever since. You can bet they are going to be looking to make a statement to the fans, press and to themselves here. The Vols are 13-4 UNDER the past two seasons after allowing 80 points in their last game. They are 10-2 UNDER the last twelve times they allowed 80+ in two straight games. American, winner of the Patriot League, will not bring much firepower here. What they do have is a very good defense. They held foes to 61.8 ppg this season. They haven't seen the likes of Tennesee's offense for sure, but their strength nonetheless is defense. Neutral court teams that outscore their opponents by 8+ per game, coming off two 80+ point performances go UNDER the next game 62% of the time as the line gets pushed out of whack. The fact is, Tennessee is 12-5 UNDER this season after scoring 80 points last game and 9-1 UNDER after a game in which 155+ points were scored. The reaction to Tennessee's last couple of games, coupled with no respect for American, has led to an inflated total and we'll take the UNDER.
Game: South Alabama vs. Butler
Pick: 3 units on Butler -4 (-110) (risk 3 to win 2.7)
Butler felt a bit snubbed by the selection committee as they feel their 29-3 record, including wins over Virginia Tech, Ohio State, Florida State and S. Illinois, was deserving of a better seed. The #5 seed last year, the Bulldogs didn't make a big stink about it. But we think they are motivated to send a message in this game. While the game is being played five hours from South Alabama's campus, we think Butler has just too much talent for the Jaguars to handle. The biggest difference between these two teams is on defense. South Alabama allowed 69.4 ppg on the road this season while Butler allowed just 58.9. Coming into this tourney, the Bulldogs played stellar, holding their last seven opponents to an average of 51 ppg! We like this mismatch and the motivation for Butler.
Game: Boise State vs. Louisville
Pick: 4 units on Game Total UNDER 148 -110 (risk 4 to win 3.6)
While Boise State enters this contest as one of the best shooting teams in the country, Louisville comes in as one of the best defensive teams in the nation. The Broncos put up some big-time offensive numbers, but have yet to face a team that is as tenacious on defense as Louisville. The Cardinals allow just 38.3% shooting, and 30.9% from three. Those numbers get even better when they got outside the BCS Conference schools, where they have allowed just 36.3%, and 30.3% from beyond the arc. Louisville has reached 80 just six times in its last 30 games, and we don't expect Boise State to try and get into a track meet with a quicker, more athletic team. The past three seasons, Louisville is 19-9 UNDER as a double-digit favorite. They are also 12-4 UNDER the past two seasons vs. good shooting teams like Boise State (those making 48%+ of their shots). We like this one to go UNDER the posted total.
Game: Texas Arlington vs. Memphis
Pick: 3 units on Game Total UNDER 142 -110 (risk 3 to win 2.7)
The Tigers were last a #1 seed in 2006 when they lost to UCLA in the regional finals. They should have little trouble with UT Arlington in this one. While the spread is a huge 25 points, we'll focus on the more reasonable total. The Mavericks are not a deficient team as they averaged 70.9 on the road this season but again Memphis, they are in for a very tough day. The Tigers allowed 59.4 ppg on the road this season (better than their home defense). They cut that to 54.2 over their last five games! Their last five foes have gotten 55, 56, 56, 53 and 51. Memphis is 17-6 UNDER in March games the past three seasons. They are 21-9 UNDER the past two seasons coming off a game in which they allowed 60 or fewere points. That includes a 10-2 UNDER mark if they allowed 60 or fewere in three straight games. We look for the Tigers to shut down Arlington in a big way, and for this game to stay UNDER the total.
Re: Friday Service Plays
Nets +3.5 over Nuggets
American +19.5 over Tennessee
This line seems about right, but the Vols love to get crazy with the basketball and with this being an early start we hope Tennessee doesn't start coming around until after the half. This is the biggest public play of the day and after yesterday's favorite friendly day expect to see some dogs cashing.
Western Kentucky +4 over Drake
All I keep hearing about is how good Drake is and how good they can shoot the ball. Cornell was supposed to be a good shooting team and they got crushed yesterday same with CS Fullerton. Western Kentucky plays at a high pace and this should be a good one to watch. This is another game in which the public is heavy on Drake. Why is did the line drop 1/2 a point? I called KState yesterday. Today I am calling Western Kentucky.
South Alabama +4.5 over Butler
Butler has great guards, but they are small and believe it or not will not be the crowds favorite today. South Alabama will have the support from local fans in the tourney and will be out to prove the comity did the right thing by making them a 10 seed without winning their conference tournament. There is a lot of games all within the PK to -6 range today. I think you will see a majority of them going to the dogs.
Oklahoma -1 over St. Joes
Its funny how this line can be so even when everyone is betting St. Joes. Oklahoma is a physical team that St. Joes is just not used too. Other than Xavier the A-10 is just not that good as you could see in Temple yesterday. St. Joes is a tall team that can shoot the ball and will play a great game, but defense will win this game in the final minutes. St. Joes just has not played the talent that Oklahoma faces during the year.
Oregon +2.5 over Mississippi State
This is a game between two styles of play. Oklahoma has a great offense and State plays great defense. Both teams are horrible from the line, but that favors Oregon who can score more. If the Ducks get a big lead you can kiss this one goodbye. If Oregon gets by today I think they have a real shot to beat Memphis in round 2.
Siena +6.5 over Vanderbilt
If you were an oddsmaker in Vegas and you seen the favorites go something like 13-3 yesterday would you be dipping your lines? Vandy went from -8 to -6.5 and the public is pounding them. This line movement did nothing but increase Vanderbilt backers confidence. Siena protects the basketball and could be a Cinderella this year.