Wednesday Service Plays

Wednesday Service Plays

Jim Feist

TORONTO RAPTORS / PHILADELPHIA 76ERS
Take TORONTO RAPTORS

The Sixers look to start this season a bit better than they did the last one, where they went 18-30. The Sixers got their act straight and did make the playoffs, though they lost in six games to the Pistons. The big off-season move was the signing of forward Elton Brand. They also brought over Royal Ivey and three-point specialist Karem Rush. The latter is expected to help the Sixers who were dead last in three-point shooting (31.7%). "I don't worry about my role," Rush said. "But I know I'm out there to make shots."
The Sixers will be a bit undermanned entering their opening game of the season on Wednesday. Center Samuel Dalembert has missed most of the week's practice with a sprained right knee, forward Thaddeeus Young strained his back and is listed as day-to-day. In addition, guard Royal Ivey will have to miss the first two games of the season with a suspension from the end of last year. That means the Sixers will likely only have 11 men in uniform on Wednesday.Toronto finished the preseason with a 4-4 record. The big acquisition for the Raptors in the offseason was that of Jermaine O'Neal. And, HC Sam Mitchell has been very careful during the preseason not to overwork his star player. O'Neal averaged 35 minutes a game in Indiana, but Mitchell will be very happy to get 30 per game out of his big man. Another player Mitchell will be depending on is Chris Bosh. And, if his attitude this preseason is any indication, Bosh may be in for a big year."His practices are unbelievable, unbelievable," Mitchell said. "In the past, Chris would just come in ... not go through the motions but just do enough. Now, everything, every possession, every play is 100 per cent all out.Raptors have the nucleus to go far this year, while the Sixers have lots of new faces that will take time again to jell. We'll start the season with the Raptors and the points here.

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Jimmy The Moose

Toronto Maple Leafs at New Jersey Devils

Toronto played on Tuesday night and you can expect Curtis Joseph to be between the pipes tonight in New Jersey. The Leafs are far from an offensive juggernaut but their D especially when Joseph will be in net this year will struggle. Joseph didn't look good in the preseason and in his first start he gave up 4 goals. If Toskala is between the pipes expect a tired goalie. The over is 1-0-1 for the Devils at home so far this season. Look for the Devils to Capitalize on the powerplay tonight and score a few goals to make this game go over the total.

Play on: Over

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Vegas Experts

Phoenix Suns at San Antonio Spurs

The line is already moving, so you better get down quickly. Last season, including the playoffs, the Spurs cashed Under tickets in 60 of 97 games. They start the season without Manu Ginobili, a loss which cannot be overstated enough. Suns are a team in transition with the coaching change and now having Shaq for a full season. San Antonio ranked third last year in the league in total defense, giving up just 90.6 PPG.

Play on: Under

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DUNKEL

Denver at Utah
The Jazz open up at home against the Nuggets, who are just 2-6 ATS versus Utah over the last three seasons.  Utah is the pick (-7) according to Dunkel, which has the Jazz favored by 11.  Dunkel Pick: Utah (-7). 

Game 701-702: Toronto at Philadelphia
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto 117.541; Philadelphia 120.325
Dunkel Line & Total: Philadelphia by 3; 192
Vegas Line & Total: Philadelphia by 5 1/2; 190
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (+5 1/2); Over

Game 703-704: Atlanta at Orlando
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta 115.085; Orlando 126.013
Dunkel Line & Total: Orlando by 11; 206
Vegas Line & Total: Orlando by 7 1/2; 202
Dunkel Pick: Orlando (-7 1/2); Over

Game 705-706: New Jersey at Washington
Dunkel Ratings: New Jersey 111.746; Washington 119.238
Dunkel Line & Total: Washington by 7 1/2; 190
Vegas Line & Total: Washington by 6; 192 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-6); Under

Game 707-708: Miami at New York
Dunkel Ratings: Miami 108.322; New York 113.146
Dunkel Line & Total: New York by 5; 212
Vegas Line & Total: New York by 3; 208
Dunkel Pick: New York (-3); Over

Game 709-710: Indiana at Detroit
Dunkel Ratings: Indiana 119.448; Detroit 126.190
Dunkel Line & Total: Detroit by 7; 181 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Detroit by 10; 187
Dunkel Pick: Indiana (+10); Under

Game 711-712: Milwaukee at Oklahoma City
Dunkel Ratings: Milwaukee 107.525; Oklahoma City 113.061
Dunkel Line & Total: Oklahoma City by 5 1/2; 200
Vegas Line & Total: Oklahoma City by 2; 198
Dunkel Pick: Oklahoma City (-2); Over

Game 713-714: Sacramento at Minnesota
Dunkel Ratings: Sacramento 114.425; Minnesota 116.326
Dunkel Line & Total: Minnesota by 2; 198
Vegas Line & Total: Minnesota by 5 1/2; 202 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Sacramento (+5 1/2); Under

Game 715-716: Phoenix at San Antonio
Dunkel Ratings: Phoenix 123.603; San Antonio 128.988
Dunkel Line & Total: San Antonio by 5 1/2; 185 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: San Antonio by 2; 187 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Antonio (-2); Under

Game 717-718: Memphis at Houston
Dunkel Ratings: Memphis 109.268; Houston 127.683
Dunkel Line & Total: Houston by 18 1/2; 188
Vegas Line & Total: Houston by 12; 191
Dunkel Pick: Houston (-12); Under

Game 719-720: Denver at Utah
Dunkel Ratings: Denver 119.337; Utah 130.206
Dunkel Line & Total: Utah by 11; 207
Vegas Line & Total: Utah by 7; 210 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Utah (-7); Under

Game 721-722: New Orleans at Golden State
Dunkel Ratings: New Orleans 124.112; Golden State 121.079
Dunkel Line & Total: New Orleans by 3; 204
Vegas Line & Total: New Orleans by 5 1/2; 207
Dunkel Pick: Golden State (+5 1/2); Under

Game 723-724: LA Lakers at LA Clippers
Dunkel Ratings: LA Lakers 124.662; LA Clippers 110.684
Dunkel Line & Total: LA Lakers by 14; 207
Vegas Line & Total: LA Lakers by 9; 203
Dunkel Pick: LA Lakers (-9); Over


NHL

Detroit at Anaheim
The Ducks return home after a perfect 4-0 road trip, but face a Detroit team that has won all five of its road games so far.  The Red Wings are the pick (-125) according to Dunkel, which has Detroit favored by 1 1/2.   Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-125).   

Game 51-52: Toronto at New Jersey
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto 10.668; New Jersey 11.999
Dunkel Line & Total: New Jersey by 1 1/2; 4 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: New Jersey (-210); 5
Dunkel Pick: New Jersey (-210); Under

Game 53-54: Minnesota at Dallas
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota 13.081; Dallas 10.941
Dunkel Line & Total: Minnesota by 2; 4 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Dallas (-140); 5
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (+120); Under

Game 55-56: Detroit at Anaheim
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit 13.388; Anaheim 11.896
Dunkel Line & Total: Detroit by 1 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Detroit (-125); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-125); Under

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Tom Freese

La Lakers at La Clippers

The Lakers are 27-10 ATS in road games when the Total is 200 or higher and they are 13-3 ATS their last 16 games in their division. Kobe and company are 10-4 ATS their last 14 games when playing with no rest. The Clippers are 10-21 ATS their last 32 games as home underdogs and they are 7-20 ATS their last 27 games vs. winning teams. The Clippers are 0-4 ATS their last 4 meetings with the Lakers. PLAY ON LA LAKERS -

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SPORTS ADVISORS

Toronto (42-45, 41-45 ATS) at Philadelphia (42-46, 45-40 ATS)

The 76ers qualified for the postseason for the first time in three years last season, but bowed out in the first round in six games, losing to the Pistons. Including that playoff series, Philadelphia capped 2007-08 in a 2-8 SU and ATS slump, and the straight-up winner went 14-0 ATS in the team’s last 14 contests going back to the regular season.

Like the Sixers, Toronto struggled down the stretch last year, losing six of its final eight games both SU and ATS. That included a five-game, opening-round playoff series loss to the Magic (2-3 ATS), the second straight year the Raptors made the postseason but got bounced in the first round.

The Raptors are 7-2 against the 76ers going back to March 2006 (5-3-1 ATS), including 4-1 (3-1-1 ATS) at the Wachovia Center. Going back several years, Toronto is 10-3-1 ATS in Philadelphia, and the visitor is on an 18-7-1 ATS roll in this rivalry

The Sixers were average at the Wachovia Center last year, going 23-21 SU and 21-21-2 ATS, including 1-2 SU and ATS against Detroit in the playoffs. Meanwhile, Toronto struggled south of the border a season ago, going 16-28 SU and 18-25-1 ATS (playoffs included).

The Raptors enter the season on a 1-6 ATS slump on the road, but they’re 30-11 ATS in their last 41 games on Wednesday. Philadelphia is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 on Wednesday, but its ongoing 2-8 ATS slump has all come against Eastern Conference teams.

The over is 5-0 in the last five series meetings between these teams, but the under is 9-2-1 in Toronto’s last 12 overall and 5-0 in Philly’s last five at home.

ATS ADVANTAGE: TORONTO


Indiana (36-46, 39-42-1 ATS) at Detroit (69-30, 56-42 ATS)

The Pacers closed out last season with a flourish, winning 11 of their last 16 games (10-6 ATS), but it wasn’t enough to get them back into the postseason tournament for the first time since 2006. Indiana’s current playoff drought comes on the heels of nine consecutive postseason appearances from 1998-2006.

The Pistons advanced to the Eastern Conference finals for the sixth consecutive season a year ago, but for the third straight year time failed to get the job done, losing in six games to the eventual NBA champion Celtics. Despite failing against Boston, Detroit ended last year on a 19-9 SU run (17-11 ATS), including finishing the regular season 9-2 SU and 7-4 ATS.

Detroit swept the four-game season series from the Pacers last year, going 3-1 ATS, and dating back to 2007, the Pistons have won six straight from Indiana (5-1 ATS), all as a favorite. Also, the Pistons are 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings in Motown.

Indiana enters this season in ATS funks of 6-16-1 against Central Division rivals and 2-6 on Wednesday. The Pistons have also struggled on Wednesdays (3-8 ATS last 11), but they’ve cashed in 14 of their last 20 home games (playoffs included).

For the Pacers, the under is on streaks of 7-2 overall (all against the Eastern Conference) and 4-0 versus the Central Division. Detroit sports “under” runs of 6-2 overall, 22-8 versus the East and 4-0 at home. Finally, the under is 33-11 in the last 44 series clashes overall and 6-1 in the last seven battles at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

ATS ADVANTAGE: DETROIT and UNDER


Phoenix (56-31, 41-42-4 ATS) at San Antonio (65-34, 46-50-3 ATS)

The Spurs eliminated Phoenix from the playoffs for the second straight year and the fourth time in the past five seasons, taking down the Suns in five games in the first round. However, after knocking out New Orleans in a seven-game conference semifinal series, San Antonio was unable to capture its fifth Western Conference title, losing to the Lakers in five games. Gregg Popovich’s team closed out the regular season strong, winning 12 of its final 15 games (9-6 ATS).

After getting swept by the Spurs, the Suns lost head coach Mike D’Antoni to the Knicks and replaced him with Terry Porter, who is expected to bring more of a defensive mindset to Phoenix. Porter takes over a team that has made four consecutive playoff appearances and one that went 15-5 (12-7-1 ATS) in its final 20 regular-season games a year ago.

Including a pair of playoff series, San Antonio is 11-7 against Phoenix over the past two years, but 7-9-2 ATS. The underdog is on a 6-2-1 ATS roll in this rivalry.

Heading into this season, Phoenix sports ATS streaks of 13-6-2 against the Western Conference and 7-19-3 on Wednesdays, while San Antonio is on pointspread runs of 9-4 on Wednesdays and 4-1-1 at home.

The Spurs had the second-best home record in the Western Conference last year at 41-8 (28-19 ATS), while the Suns were a solid road team (25-19, 21-10-4 ATS).

The Spurs stayed under the total in each of their final eight games last year and the under is 4-1 in their last five at home, 7-0 in their last seven against the Pacific Division and 8-3 in their last 11 on Wednesdays. The under is also 6-3 in the last nine Spurs-Suns battles and 5-2 in Phoenix’s last seven regular-season contests.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER


Denver (50-36, 43-43 ATS) at Utah (60-34, 49-41-4 ATS)

The Nuggets made the playoffs for the fifth straight season last year, but for the fifth straight time they failed to get out of the first round, as they were humiliated in a four-game loss to the Lakers (0-4 ATS). In fact, going back to 1995, Denver has lost six consecutive playoff series. On the bright side, George Karl’s squad ended last year’s regular season on a 13-6 SU run and a 15-8 ATS romp.

Like the Nuggets, Utah’s 2007-08 season also ended at the hands of the Lakers, After knocking out the Rockets in six games in Round 1, the Jazz took Los Angeles to six games before bowing out. The Jazz went just 3-6-1 ATS in their final 10 playoff games, though they did close out the regular season on a 9-2 ATS roll.

Denver took the first series meeting from the Jazz last year, winning 120-109 as a three-point home chalk. However, Utah won the last three both SU and ATS, including two blowout victories in Salt Lake City (132-105 and 124-97). The Jazz are 9-2 SU and ATS in the last 11 head-to-head battles (5-1 SU and ATS in Utah), with the winner cashing in all 11 contests.

Also, in this rivalry, the favorite is 20-8-1 ATS in the last 29 meetings.

Utah was money at the Energy Solutions Arena last year, going 41-6 SU and 29-14-4 ATS, while the Nuggets won just 17 of 43 road games, going 19-24 ATS (2-5 ATS in the last seven).

For the Nuggets, the under is on streaks of 8-1 overall and 4-1 on the road, but the over is 36-15 in the team’s last 51 games against Northwest Division rivals. Also, the over is 4-1 in Utah’s last five overall and 5-2 in its last seven at home. Finally, the over is 6-1 in the last seven Jazz-Nuggets battles overall and 6-2 in the last eight clashes in Salt Lake City.

ATS ADVANTAGE:  UTAH and OVER

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Brandon Lang

5 Dime Hornets

FREE - Jazz

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Doc’s Sports

Minnesota Wild @ Dallas Stars
PICK: Over

Scoring has been way up this year in the NHL and anytime you see a total of five it is an automatic play on the over for us. The Wild are once again off to a strong start this season scoring point in all seven games (winning 6). The Wild have scored at least three goals in five of their seven games and expect them to reach that platform yet again. Dallas needs this game more and thus they will come out aggressive on offense determined to get the early lead. We will not worry about who wins this game and just collect with the over. 

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Ted Sevransky

Milwaukee Bucks @ Oklahoma City Thunder
PICK: Oklahoma City Thunder -2.5 

The Bucks went 26-56 in the weaker Eastern Conference last year. They spent the offseason revamping the roster and jumped at the change to bring in Scott Skiles as the new head coach. The hope was that Skiles could inject the tough defense and unselfish play that characterized his former team, the Bulls, prior to last year’s meltdown. After watching the Bucks play last night, there is clearly plenty of work for Skiles to do.

Milwaukee went 1-7 in the preseason, showing no signs of cohesion and team chemistry. They allowed a Bulls team with a rookie point guard making his NBA debut to control the action in the second half. Richard Jefferson looked out of sorts with his new club. Center Andrew Bogut was bothered by his sore ankle, held to a modest nine points and seven boards. New point guard Luke Ridnour had more turnovers than assists. Their opponent last night, Chicago, the worst shooting team in the league last year, shot 51% from the floor. The Bucks committed 30 team fouls. It was not a pretty defensive showing. Skiles: “We were a step slow and we were slapping at people. Pretty much every category, they owned.

Things don’t get much easier for the Bucks tonight as they travel to Oklahoma City on the second night of back-2-backs to face the Thunder in their debut in their new digs. We saw the move to Oklahoma City completely transform a hapless Hornets franchise into playoff contenders, as they fed off the crowd’s energy and became a strong home team immediately following their temporary move from New Orleans. Look for the Thunder to feed off that same energy tonight, earning a win in their debut at the Ford Center. Take Oklahoma City.

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Matt Foust

Detroit Pistons -10.0

The Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons open up their seasons tonight at the Palace in Auburn Hills. Indiana experienced some front office and roster turnover in the off season while the Pistons got a new coach. We are going with the Pistons -10 in tonight’s tip-off.

Detroit’s president of basketball operations, Joe Dumars, fired Flip Saunders after the Pistons were dismissed from the playoffs prior to the Finals for the third straight year. The club, however, is largely the same one that won 59 games last season and outscored opponents by an average of 7.4 points per game (second only to Boston).

The Pacers are a really young squad this season and have a few new faces that will be significant contributors (T.J. Ford, Kareem Rush). It may take awhile for them to come together and really find an identity and that does not bode well for them this evening. Detroit will set the tempo, as they usually do at home, and they have a big advantage on the blocks against the Pacers. Indiana will probably rely a great deal on the three-pointer with Dunleavy and Granger getting most of the shots. This is something they are good at, but the Pistons are excellent at defending it, limiting teams to just 33.2 percent beyond the arc last year.

The Pacers do not have anybody to match-up adequately with Rasheed Wallace or Tayshaun Prince and that will spell doom for them in tonight’s game. The spread is a little wide, but with good reason. Detroit will cover this one at home as the Pacers feel their way through this game and the first half of the season.

Things to consider: Detroit is 13-7 ATS the spread in their last 20 as a home favorite. Detroit is 9-1 ATS in their last 10 as a home favorite with a total between 185 and 190.

Pick: Pistons -10 

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Jimmy Boyd

Atlanta Hawks vs. Orlando Magic 
Play: Atlanta Hawks +7.5

I like Atlanta to take Orlando right down to the wire in this Southeast Division battle between playoff teams. Odds makers are treating the Hawks like the same old team which used to get beat up on here when in reality they have won 5 of the last 8 meetings between these two teams SU and ATS. In fact, the Hawks are 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings in Orlando. With point guard Mike Bibby having had the offseason to really connect with his new team on and off the court, the Hawks are going to be more on the same page this season. With Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Al Horford alongside him, it looks like Atlanta will be right back in the playoffs. The Hawks will show the Magic that they are here to stay tonight. 

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Chris Jordan

Lakers -9' at CLIPPERS

Tonight we play the Lakers over the Clippers.

Just getting warmed up last night with a 20-point win over the Trail Blazers, I'm thinking the Lakers will be just as relentless tonight on the same exact floor, while immediately establishing their dominance in the greater Los Angeles area.

While the Lakers have the same chemistry - if not better with a healthy Bynum in the lineup - the Clippers are dealing with a new lineup and will be looking to find a groove with one another. And this is not the best matchup find it, 'this' being the season-opener and 'this' being their first meeting with the defending Western Conference champions.

The Lakers won all four meetings with their intra-city rivals last season by an average of 26.0 points. Nothing changes in this one, as the Purple and Gold score another double-digit win.

4♦ LAKERS

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Michael Cannon

New Orleans -5' at GOLDEN STATE

Take New Orleans as the road chalk over Golden State.

Huge point guard advantage for the Hornets with Chris Paul.  The Warriors no longer have Baron Davis and Monta Ellis is injured and suspended.

The Hornets pushed the Spurs to Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals last season after winning a franchise-best 56 games, and they seemed poised to make a deep run this year.

Throw in newly signed James Posey and this team doesn’t have any glaring weakness as it tips off the season tonight.

Golden State is going to need time to try and find scoring after losing Davis and Corey Maggette, their two top scorers from last year.

Take New Orleans minus the points as they grab the win and cover.

3♦ NEW ORLEANS

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Drew Gordon

New Orleans -5' at GOLDEN STATE

At first glance this game has all the makings of a trap, a top-tier team visiting what will be a bottom feeder this season, and yet a relatively reasonable price. However, this early in the season, oddsmakers are at their most vulnerable, with only sparse information and preseason basketball to use as tools. We'll take the MUCH better (and healthier) team in this one.

First of all, the loss of Baron Davis to the Clippers, Monta Ellis to injury, Pietrus to the Magic, and Barnes to the Suns changes everything. They were going to struggle without Davis anyways, but tack on those other 3 guys mentioned above, and this is a completely different team with A LOT less talent.

Second, let's make something clear, Corey Maggette is a good player, but he's no replacement for Baron Davis. He had a good season on a bad team last year, but has been nothing but a "me-first" player his entire career and cares about nothing more than his stats, period. Also note, Maggette is dealing with hamstring strain and is questionable, which doesn't bode well even if he does play.

Finally, from a match up standpoint, the Hornets have the edge at virtually every position. Paul might have had issues with the speedy Ellis, but no Ellis means Paul can roam free. West, Chandler, and Stojakovic are all coming off strong years and should flourish once again with the league's BEST point guard at the helm. And let's not forget the addition of forward James Posey, an excellent perimeter defender and solid 3-point shooter.

Bottom line, its basically Stephen Jackson and a hobbled Maggette versus the Hornets in this contest, and needless to say, I'll take the Hornets every time. However, before you blow your whole bankroll on this game, remember its still very early, and the Hornets will look sloppy at times. Considering this is the first game of the season for both teams, we'll make this one a small play on the Hornets.

Take New Orleans over Golden State in this NBA match up.

1♦ NEW ORLEANS

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Karl Garrett

Memphis at HOUSTON -12

Tonight I like the Houston Rockets to romp past the Memphis Grizzlies.

After watching Memphis is the preseason, my belief is this could be the worst team in the Western Conference, and chances they are going to stay close in this game against the revamped - see Ron Artest - Houston Rockets are slim, and none.

Memphis was able to win just 8 games outright on the road last season, while going just 19-22 against the spread on the road for the year on the highway.


Houston was one of the league's better teams at home where they compiled a 32-12 straight up mark, and a 26-17 spread mark - playoffs included.

The Rockets also won, and covered the last 3 season series meetings against the Grizzlies, and have taken 7 of the last 8 season series meetings straight up, while covering in 5 of those 8.

G-Man has to lay the big lumber on opening night, as this one will get ugly.

Take the Rockets.

1♦ HOUSTON

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Sports Gambling Hotline

Milwaukee at OKLAHOMA CITY -2'

Big opening night tonight in Oklahoma City, as the Thunder make their NBA debut, and we think the chances are good for a Thunder win, and cover.

Milwaukee does come into town having already played a game, as the Bucks were double-digit losers last night at Chicago.

We feel it is safe to assume that you will see a little added emotion from the Thunder players, as they want to make a good impression in their new city.

The former Sonics did split last year's season series with the Bucks, as the home team won and covered in both meetings.

We see little evidence to think that the home team won't prevail again tonight, especially with the Bucks playing on back-to-back nights.

Too much emotion from the rocking home crowd here, as the home faithful will the Thunder to a win and cover in their first official NBA game.

Play on Oklahoma City.

3♦ OKLAHOMA CITY

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Bobby Maxwell

Milwaukee at OKLAHOMA CITY -2'

The former Seattle Sonics open their new home in Oklahoma City as the Thunder. The arena will be rocking and will motivate the players to come through with a win. Plus they get a Milwaukee team coming in off a loss in Chicago on Tuesday night. So a tired team in a new arena in front of raucous fans means we play the Thunder to win their first ever regular season game.

Oklahoma City has some solid players in Jeff Green, Kevin Durant, Nick Collison and PG Earl Watson. And you know there will be a lot of emotion for these guys as they play their first game in front of the Oklahoma fans.

In two meetings last year, the former Sonics split with the Bucks with each team winning at home, including the Thunder's 104-98 win as a six-point favorite. The home team is 8-1 ATS in the last nine meetings between these two and the Thunder, as the Sonics, went 13-3 ATS the last 16 overall meetings witih Milwaukee.

The Bucks are just 3-10 in their last 13 road games, including the 13-point loss in Chicago Tuesday.

Let's go ahead and play the Thunder as these youngsters put on a good show for the new fans. Play Oklahoma City.

2♦ OKLAHOMA CITY

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Jeff Benton

Our first NBA freebie of the season comes from Western Conference action Wednesday, as we’ll take the points with the Nuggets against the Jazz.

Utah obviously has had one of the strongest home-court advantages in the NBA in recent seasons – just last year alone, the Jazz were 41-6 SU and 29-14-4 ATS in Salt Lake City. And that included a pair of blowout wins over the Nuggets. However, that record was accumulated with a lot of help from stud point guard Deron Williams and sharpshooting reserve forward Matt Harpring. However, neither Williams nor Harpring will be on the floor tonight – both are sidelined with ankle injuries. And even though Denver will be without its own superstar (Carmelo Anthony’s suspended), the loss of Williams and Harpring hurts Utah much more than the loss of Melo impacts the Nuggets.

For instance, Williams had a double-double in all three of Utah’s wins over the Nuggets last season, averaging 20.7 points and 12.7 assists, while Harpring scored in double digits in two of the wins. The point: I don’t think the Jazz can replace the lost production from Williams and Harpring tonight AND cover such a hefty number. Take the generous points with the visitor and look for Iverson to exploit Williams’ absence and keep the Nuggets in this game the whole way – and challenge for the outright win!

3♦ DENVER NUGGETS

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Matt Rivers

For Wednesday take the Jazz at home.

There may be no better team at home than Utah and with Carmelo Anthony out for Denver I'll lay a touchdown or so with the home boys.

The Nuggets lost Marcus Camby to the Clippers and with Anthony suspended we are looking at pretty much Allen Iverson against the world. In some arenas that could be enough for the Nuggs to hang but no way that can happen today.

The Jazz are not 100% healthy themselves with the injury to a stud in Deron Williams but Jerry Sloan's squad is always amazing at home and are just too deep. Carlos Boozer will do his thing and after I believe a whole four regular season losses last season on their home floor you can have the utmost of confidence with the Jazz in this spot.

If you can, try and play this game early as I really do not see the squares playing Denver when they realize how depleted they are and the number having a much greater chance of getting larger rather than smaller.

Just another convincing home win for the home Mormons!

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Re: Wednesday Service Plays

Jake Timlin

Learning my lesson last night in thinking the Lakers might come out flat to start the season I look for the Late Show to continue off from last night for another double digit blowout tonight. After all even though the Lakers will be playing on back to back night’s they will be doing so in Los Angeles in Staples Center, but as the visitors against the Clippers who the Lakers went 4-0 SU/ATS last season winning by an average margin of 26 points per game. Well thanks to the Lakers bench possibly better then the Clippers starting five I expect yet another series blowout for the Lakers. Talk the Lakers minus the points as they open up the season with back to back blowouts.

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