Saturday Service Plays

Saturday Service Plays

Robert Ferringo

Take Syracuse (-3) over Georgetown

This is a revenge spot and a rivalry spot for the Orange, who rolled both Notre Dame and West Virginia at home already this year. Georgetown really embarrassed the Orange in the first meeting and shot nearly 60 percent from the field in that game. Syracuse is coming off a tough game in Connecticut and is a bit undervalued, while Georgetown has lost five straight road games (including at Seton Hall and Cincinnati). The Loud House will be rocking and there should be 30,000 strong there to help get Syracuse over the hump.

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

Mike Wynn

Ohio St @ Wisconsin

Big game for both these teams Saturday as both teams have much to play for. Ohio St at 17-5 overall and 7-4 in conference would definitely be an NCAA team at this point, but a loss here would make thing a little hairy with the tough conference schedule to close out season. Wisconsin at 15-10 overall and 6-6 in conference are in absolute win mode these days if they want to get a bid. Wisconsin has tough road tests at Minnesota and Michigan St left on the schedule but the rest is very winnable. Badgers must win 5 of their last 7 and make a decent run in the Big10 tournament to get their 12th NCAA tournament bid in a row. So let’s take a look at both these teams and we’ll start with the visiting Buckeyes of Ohio St.

Thad Matta has his team in position for an NCAA tournament bid at 17-5 this season, but this team is just 2-3 on the road in the Big10 this season. Buckeyes will need a big game out of Evan Turner their leading scorer at 17 points per contest. Turner leads a relatively young Ohio St squad that struggles with consistency night and night out, especially on the road. Buckeyes top 3 scorers consist of 2 sophomores and a freshmen, and the Buckeyes have no seniors on this team. Ohio St road wins over Michigan & Indiana aren’t exactly impressive and this is going to be a tough test at the Kohl Center Saturday night where the Badgers have been dominant in recent years under Bo Ryan. A loss Saturday won’t kill Ohio St’s tournament hopes but a win would be a big big boost.

Wisconsin as I mentioned early is in must win mode here as they’ve been the last 3 games. Badgers dropped a Bo Ryan worst 6 straight games prior to winning their last 3 and it’s all started on the defensive end for the Badgers. In the 6 losses Wisconsin was giving up around 50% from the floor and in the last 3 games they’ve tightened the defense and allowed 50, 44, and 52 points. Also helping Wisconsin lately has been the outside shooting from Bohannon, who’s been stroking it from behind the arc. Wisconsin a team that really lacks a star on the floor, but they’re a veteran group that plays defense well and takes care of the ball. Badgers only have 3 players averaging double digits led by senior Marcus Landry’s 12.8 per contest and Bo Ryan has a pretty nice rotation with 8 guys averaging double digit minutes per game.

Bottom line here Saturday is that Wisconsin needs this one more than Ohio St and with a line right around 4 or 5 I’ll be willing to lay it. Wisconsin also gets the advantage of have the ESPN Game Day crew on campus Saturday so expect an extra vocal crowd for this Saturday night national TV affair. Badgers have won 5 straight against the Buckeyes at the Kohl Center and we’ll look for another big Badger win in this one tonight.

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

SPORTS ADVISORS

Georgetown (13-9, 6-11-1 ATS) at (23) Syracuse (18-7, 9-12 ATS)

Freefalling Georgetown and similarly struggling Syracuse square off at the Carrier Dome in a Big East matchup of two teams hoping to get their NCAA Tournament credentials back on track.

The Hoyas stumbled to Cincinnati 64-62 in overtime last Saturday as a 10½-point home chalk, falling to 1-6 SU and 0-6-1 ATS in their last seven games, with the only SU victory coming against lowly Rutgers. Georgetown has averaged 71.3 ppg for the season, but has broken 67 points only once during its current slide and has been held to 60 or less four times. In their last five starts, the Hoyas have averaged just 63.6 points per game while allowing 67 ppg.

The Orange are coming off back-to-back road losses to Big East heavy hitters Villanova and Connecticut, losing to the Wildcats 102-85 as a 6½-point road underdog last Saturday, followed by Wednesday’s 63-49 setback as a 12-point ‘dog to the No. 1-ranked Huskies. Syracuse is 1-5 SU and ATS in its last six games, scoring an average of 69.8 ppg – well off its season average of 78.5 – while allowing 78.5 ppg, nearly seven points higher than its season average (71.7).

The Hoyas are now 4-7 SU and 2-9 ATS in Big East action, including 1-4 SU and ATS on the road. Syracuse is 6-6 SU and 5-7 ATS in league play, including 4-1 SU and ATS at the Carrier Dome.

Georgetown beat Syracuse 88-74 a month ago as a 6½-point home chalk, halting a 4-0 ATS run (3-1 SU) by the Orange in this rivalry. Syracuse is 4-1 ATS in the last four matchups at the Carrier Dome, and the underdog is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings overall.

The Hoyas are mired in pointspread funks of 0-6 overall (all in the Big East), 0-4-1 on the road, 0-4-1 on Saturday, 0-4 against winning teams, 1-3-1 as an underdog, 0-7 after a SU loss and 0-5 after a non-cover. The Orange are on pointspread upswings of 5-1 on Saturday and 4-1 at home, but their current 1-5 ATS skid has all come in Big East play, and they are 2-5 ATS in their last seven games following a SU loss.

The under for Georgetown is on rolls of 4-1 overall, 16-6 on the highway, 36-16-1 after a SU loss and 43-21 against the Big East, but the over has hit in nine of the Hoyas’ last 12 Saturday starts. The over is also 7-2 in Syracuse’s last nine Saturday games and 30-12 in its last 42 home starts against teams with a losing road record.

ATS ADVANTAGE: SYRACUSE


(11) UCLA (19-5, 12-11 ATS) at Arizona (17-8, 14-10 ATS)

UCLA heads to Tucson hoping to salvage its road trip to the desert Southwest when it faces the surging Wildcats at the McKale Center.

The Bruins fell to Arizona State for the second time this season, losing 74-67 Thursday night as a 1½-point road chalk to halt a four-game SU and ATS run. Despite the setback, UCLA is still averaging a solid 82 ppg over its last five starts, nearly six points above its season average of 76.2, and the Bruins are allowing just 65.2 ppg in that span. UCLA has shot 54.2 percent over that stretch, while holding the opposition to 44.9 percent.

The Wildcats got their weekend started with an 83-76 win over Southern Cal laying 2½ points at home, improving to 6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS in their last six starts. Like UCLA, Arizona is also scoring more and shooting better lately, averaging 79.6 ppg on 50.8 percent shooting over the last five games, up from its season averages of 71.7 ppg and 47.7 percent. But the Wildcats are also giving up 71.8 ppg in that stretch, up more than five points from their season average (66.3).

The Bruins are 8-3 SU and 6-5 ATS in Pac-10 action, including 4-2 (2-4 ATS) on the road, while Arizona is 7-5 SU and ATS in league play, including 5-1 SU and ATS at the McKale Center.

UCLA is on an 8-0 SU run (6-2 ATS) in this rivalry, including an 83-60 rout last month as an 11½-point home favorite. The host, though, has cashed in five of the last seven clashes.

The Bruins are on a 1-4 ATS slide on the road and are 1-3 ATS as a favorite of less than seven points, but their current 4-1 ATS run overall has come against winning teams, and they are 39-19 ATS in their last 58 starts following a pointspread loss. The Wildcats are on several ATS rolls, including 5-0 on Saturday, 4-0 at home, 4-0 against winning teams, 4-1 after a SU win and 4-1 against clubs with a winning percentage above .600.

The over for UCLA is on runs of 7-0 overall, 6-0 in the Pac-10, 4-1 on the road and 12-4 on Saturday, and the over for Arizona is on stretches of 5-1 overall, 4-0 at home, 12-2 on Saturday, 5-1 after a SU win and 4-1 in Pac-10 play. Finally, the total has gone high in six of the last eight series meetings at the McKale Center.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER


Nebraska (15-7, 7-7 ATS) at (17) Missouri (21-4, 10-8 ATS)

Streaking Missouri aims to continue firming up its NCAA Tournament resume when it takes on Nebraska at Mizzou Arena.

The Tigers rallied from a 14-point deficit to knock off No. 16 Kansas 62-60 Monday night as a five-point home favorite, moving to 8-1 SU (6-3 ATS) in its last nine games, all in Big 12 play. It was a rare low-scoring home game for Missouri, which has averaged 82.3 ppg overall, including an eye-popping 87.3 ppg in Columbia. The Tigers are a perfect 15-0 at home, outscoring visitors by more than 25 ppg (87.3-62.2).

The Cornhuskers have been idle since last Saturday’s 58-55 upset of then-No. 16 Texas as a four-point home ‘dog, following up on Big 12 road wins at Texas Tech and Colorado for their third consecutive SU victory (2-1 ATS). However, on the road this season, Nebraska has averaged just 60 ppg, more than six points off its season average (66.5), while allowing 62.4 ppg.

The Tigers are 8-2 SU and 6-4 ATS in Big 12 action, including 5-0 at home (3-2 ATS), while the Huskers are 5-4 SU and ATS in conference (2-2 SU and ATS on the highway).

Nebraska has owned this rivalry lately, going 6-1 SU and ATS in the last seven clashes, including a 56-51 home win last month catching three points. The Huskers are 7-1-1 ATS in the last nine meetings, but the home team is 9-4-1 ATS in the last 14 contests.

The Tigers are 4-1 ATS in their last five games against teams with a losing road record, but they are on pointspread declines of 9-25 on Saturday, 3-7 after a non-cover and 18-38-1 against the Big 12. The Huskers are on ATS upticks of 4-1 on Saturday and 12-5 against the Big 12, but they have cashed in just 10 of their last 34 road games.

The over for Missouri is on rolls of 5-2 overall (all in Big 12 play), 4-0 after a non-cover and 6-1 at home versus teams with a losing road record. On the flip side, the under for Nebraska is on runs of 14-5 overall, 7-1 after a SU win, 9-3 in the Big 12 and 5-2 against winning teams, and in this rivalry, the under is 5-2 in the last seven meetings in Columbia.

ATS ADVANTAGE: MISSOURI


Minnesota (19-5, 9-9-1 ATS) at Penn State (17-8, 10-7-1 ATS)

Penn State looks to get rolling again in the Big Ten when it faces Minnesota at the Bryce Jordan Center.

The Nittany Lions fell to Purdue 61-47 Wednesday as a 10½-point road underdog for their third consecutive SU and ATS setback. Offensive output has been the issue during the three-game skid, with Penn State held in the 40s in its last two games, following a 71-51 blowout loss at Michigan State. For the season, the Nittany Lions have put up 67.6 ppg and given up 62.2, but in the last five games, they’re down to 55.4 ppg, while allowing 62.6.

The Gophers topped Indiana 62-54 Tuesday but fell well short of covering as a 17-point home chalk, snapping a two-game SU hiccup but failing to cover for the third straight outing. Like Penn State, Minnesota has been off its game offensively of late, averaging 58.6 ppg in its last five outings – nearly 10 points off its season average (68.5) – while also allowing 58.6 ppg.

Minnesota routed the Nittany Lions 79-59 as a 6½-point home favorite on Jan. 11 and is now on an eight-game winning streak in this rivalry, going 6-2 ATS along the way (4-1 ATS in the last five). However, Penn State is 5-2 ATS in the last seven contests at Bryce Jordan, and the home team is on a 10-4 ATS run.

The Nittany Lions (6-6 SU, 6-5-1 ATS Big 10) are on a 1-4 ATS slide overall, but they sport positive pointspread streaks of 5-2 on Saturday and 6-2-1 coming off a pointspread loss. The Golden Gophers (7-5 SU, 5-7 ATS Big 10) are on an 8-3 ATS roll coming off a SU win, but they are on spread-covering purges of 1-6 overall (all in the Big Ten), 0-4 on the road, 1-4 after a non-cover and 1-4 against winning teams.

The under for Penn State is on tears of 5-1-1 overall, 8-0 on Saturday, 7-2-1 at home and 5-2 after a SU loss, and the under for Minnesota is on streaks of 19-7 overall, 4-0 in the Big Ten, 38-13 on Saturday and 12-5 after a SU win. However, the over is on runs of 8-0 for Penn State against winning teams and 4-1 for Minnesota versus winning teams. Finally, the over is 9-1 in the last 10 meetings in this rivalry and 4-0 in the last four contests in State College.

ATS ADVANTAGE: PENN STATE


(16) Kansas (19-5, 13-5 ATS) at Kansas State (17-7, 8-8-1 ATS)

Archrivals get together when defending national champion Kansas heads to Manhattan to take on a surging Kansas State squad at Bramlage Coliseum.

The Jayhawks fell to Missouri 62-60 Monday night, which snapped an eight-game winning streak, all in Big 12 action, but they beat the spread as a five-point road pup to move to 8-1 ATS in their last nine games. Kansas, which matched its season low in points in the loss, has averaged 69.6 ppg on the road this season, while allowing just a shade less at 67.3. In their five Big 12 roadies, though, the Jayhawks are outscoring opponents by more than nine points per game (71.6-62.4).

The Wildcats dropped Texas Tech 85-73 as an 11½-point home chalk Wednesday night and are now on a 6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS roll, including a pair of overtime wins. Kansas State has been solid at home all season (12-2 SU), outscoring opponents by more than 20 ppg (82.1-61.9). The Wildcats have averaged 77.6 ppg in their last five starts, while allowing 67.2.

The Jayhawks are 8-1 SU and ATS in conference action (4-1 SU, 5-0 ATS on the road), while K-State is 6-4 SU and 5-5 ATS in the Big 12 (3-2 SU and ATS at home).

Kansas is 6-1 SU (5-2 ATS) in the last seven clashes between these instate rivals, including an 87-71 home win last month as a six-point favorite. The Jayhawks are also 16-6 ATS in the last 22 meetings, including 8-1 ATS in Manhattan, and the favorite is also on a 16-6 ATS roll.

The Jayhawks are on spread-covering sprees of 22-8 overall, 21-7 against winning teams, 5-0 on the road, 9-1 in the Big 12 and 7-2 on Saturday. The Wildcats have cashed in five straight contests – all against Big 12 rivals – and are on further ATS streaks of 5-2 at home and 38-15 on Saturday. However, K-State is just 4-11 ATS in its last 15 games against teams with a winning percentage above .600.

The under for Kansas is on a bundle of runs, including 5-0 overall, 4-0 against teams with a win percentage above .600, 5-1 on the road and 4-1 on Saturday, and the under is 8-3-1 in Kansas State’s last 12 home games against teams with a winning road record. However, the last three meetings in this rivalry have topped the total.

ATS ADVANTAGE: KANSAS


Cincinnati (17-8, 10-9 ATS) at (4) Pittsburgh (22-2, 11-6-1 ATS)

Two of the hottest teams in the Big East clash at Petersen Events Center, as Pitt guns for its fifth straight victory when it hosts Cincinnati, which is riding a three-game winning streak.

The Panthers are coming off Monday’s 70-59 victory over West Virginia, cashing as an 8½-point home favorite. Pitt is 3-0 ATS in lined games during its winning streak, and all four wins have been double-digit routs, with an average margin of victory of 16.8 points. In fact, all but two of the Panthers’ 22 wins have come by double figures, as they’re outscoring teams by an average of 16 points per game (78-62).

Cincinnati has won three in a row, five of its last six and seven of its last nine, all SU and ATS. On Tuesday, the Bearcats bested St. John’s 71-61, barely cashing as a nine-point home favorite. It marked the sixth time in the last nine contests that Cincinnati held an opponent to 62 points or less. Also, the SU winner has cashed in each of the Bearcats’ last 13 games.

Pitt is in a three-way tie for second place in the Big East standings at 9-2 (7-4 ATS), including 5-0 at home (4-1 ATS). The Panthers are riding a 17-game home winning streak, going 15-0 this season at Petersen Events Center (6-3 ATS), outscoring visitors by 20 ppg (82-62) and outshooting them 50 percent to 41 percent. The Bearcats are 7-5 SU and ATS in conference (3-3 SU and ATS on the road).

Pitt has won four of the five meetings in this series since 2006, but Cincinnati cashed in all three clashes last year, all as an underdog. The three contests were decided by a total of 15 points, including the Panthers’ 73-67 home win as a 10½-point chalk.

The Bearcats’ current 5-1 ATS run has all come in conference play, and they’re also 5-1 ATS in their last six games against winning teams, but they’re 1-3 ATS as a double-digit underdog. The Panthers are on ATS streaks of 5-1 overall (all in the Big East), 4-1 at home, 4-1 on Saturday and 4-1 against winning teams.

The over is 12-5 in Pitt’s last 17 home games, 15-6 in its last 21 Big East contests and 8-2 in Cincinnati’s last 10 Saturday games. However, the Bearcats are otherwise on “under” stretches of 5-2-1 overall, 6-1 on the highway, 6-0-1 after a SU win and 5-0-1 after a spread-cover.

ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE


(25) Florida State (19-5, 12-5-1 ATS) at (7) Wake Forest (18-4, 10-8 ATS)

Florida State looks to continue its winning ways when it travels to Winston-Salem, N.C., for an ACC clash with struggling Wake Forest.

The Seminoles have won three in a row (2-1 ATS) and they’re 6-2 since opening conference play with an eight-point home loss to Duke. Florida State knocked off Virginia 68-57 as a 10-point home favorite Tuesday, and although it is averaging just 65 ppg during its winning streak, it is only allowing 58.7 ppg.

Since opening the season with 16 consecutive victories, Wake Forest has dropped four of its last six, both SU and ATS. During the rut, the Demon Deacons’ have stopped playing defense, giving up 76.5 ppg. However, their last two victories came at home – a 70-68 win over Duke as a two-point underdog and a 93-76 rout of Boston College on Sunday as an 11-point chalk. The SU winner is 11-0 ATS in Wake’s last 11 lined contests.

Florida State has surged ahead of Wake Forest in the ACC standings at 6-3 SU (6-2-1 ATS), including 3-1 on the highway (3-0-1 ATS). The Demon Deacons are 5-4 SU and ATS in league play (3-1 SU and ATS at home).

These rivals have split their last 10 meetings both SU and ATS, though the Deacons have cashed in four of the last five battles. Last year, these teams faced off three times, with Wake Forest winning the two regular-season clashes (74-57 as a one-point home favorite and 78-70 as a 5½-point road ‘dog), but the Seminoles got revenge in the ACC Tournament with a 70-60 victory as a 1½-point favorite.

The winner is 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings and has scored at least 70 points in each of those contests. Also, the underdog is on a 9-3-1 ATS run in this rivalry, and Florida State is 5-2 ATS on its last seven trips to Winston-Salem.

Florida State is on a bunch of ATS hot streaks, including 4-1 overall, 10-1-1 on the road, 10-2-2 in ACC play, 7-2-1 as an underdog this season, 5-1-1 versus teams with a winning record and 5-1 on Saturday. Wake Forest is 5-2 ATS in its last seven home games, 10-1 ATS in its last 11 at home against teams with a winning road record and 7-3 in its last 10 versus teams above .500.

For the ‘Noles, the under is streaks of 3-0 overall (all in ACC play) and 4-1 on Saturday, but the Demon Deacons are on “over” stretches of 4-1 on Saturday and 7-3 after an ATS setback. Finally, the under is 5-1-1 in the last six meetings in this rivalry, including 3-0 at Wake Forest.

ATS ADVANTAGE: FLORIDA STATE and UNDER


Stanford (15-7, 14-6 ATS) at California (18-5, 13-8 ATS)

Stanford tries to sweep the season series from archrival California for the second straight year when it makes the short trek to Berkeley for a Pac-10 battle.

The Cardinal took a break from conference play on Tuesday and routed Cal State Bakersfield 85-50 in a non-lined home game. However, Stanford is just 1-4 SU and 2-3 ATS in its last five Pac-10 outings, scoring between 62 and 68 points in all five contests while allowing an average of 76.4 ppg.

Cal swept Washington and Washington State at home last weekend, beating the Huskies 86-71 as a one-point underdog and topping Washington State 71-63 as a six-point chalk. The two wins and spread-covers followed a 1-4 SU and 0-5 ATS slump that started with a six-point loss at Stanford, but the Bears are 3-0 (2-1 ATS) in their last three at home.

The Bears are 7-4 SU and 6-5 ATS in the Pac-10, including 5-1 (4-2 ATS) at home. Stanford is 4-7 SU, but 7-4 ATS in conference, including 0-4 SU and 3-1 ATS on the road.

The Cardinal topped Cal 75-69 as a three-point home favorite back on Jan. 17, ending the Bears’ 9-0 SU and 8-0 ATS winning streaks. Stanford has won the last four meetings (3-1 ATS) and is 8-2 SU and ATS in the last 10 head-to-head matchups, including 4-1 SU and 5-0 ATS in its last five trips to Berkeley. Finally, the favorite has covered in 13 of the last 19 battles, and the visitor is 5-1 ATS in the last six.

Stanford is on ATS runs of 14-5 overall, 5-1 on the road, 10-4 in Pac-10 play, 3-0 as a single-digit underdog and 11-3 against winning teams, but the Cardinal have failed to cash in four straight games following a victory of more than 20 points. Although Cal is 2-5 ATS in its last seven overall, it has covered in eight of its last 10 at home and nine of its last 12 against winning teams, and the Bears are 6-1 ATS as a favorite of 12 points or less.

The under is 11-4 in the last 15 Stanford-Cal matchups. However, the over for the Cardinal is on runs of 13-3 on the road, 15-7 in Pac-10 play and 9-4 on Saturday. Also, Cal is riding “over” streaks of 35-17-1 overall, 4-1 at home, 37-18 in Pac-10 play, 12-4 on Saturday, 36-15-1 after a SU win and 23-8-1 after a spread-cover.

ATS ADVANTAGE: STANFORD and OVER

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

(24) Ohio State (17-5, 11-7 ATS) at Wisconsin (15-9, 10-11-1 ATS)

Ohio State takes a four-game SU and ATS winning streak to the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis., for a Big Ten battle with the Badgers, who have won and covered three in a row.

The Buckeyes have been idle since last Saturday, when they topped Minnesota 64-58 as a 4½-point home favorite as the SU winner improved to 8-0 ATS in Ohio State’s last eight games. During its four-game winning streak, Thad Matta’s squad is averaging 77.3 ppg while shooting a blistering 57.4 percent from the field.

Wisconsin pounded Iowa 69-52 as an 11-point home favorite Wednesday, and its three-game SU and ATS winning streak comes on the heels of a six-game losing skid (0-5-1 ATS). After giving up 68.3 ppg during its slump, Bo Ryan’s team has regained its defensive edge, allowing 50, 44 and 52 points in the last three contests.

Ohio State is tied with Purdue for third place in the Big Ten standings at 7-4 SU and ATS, including 2-3 SU and 3-2 ATS as a visitor. The Badgers are now 6-6 in conference (5-6-1 ATS), including 4-2 at home (3-3 ATS).

In last year’s lone meeting between the schools, Wisconsin went to Columbus, Ohio, and knocked off the Buckeyes 58-53 as a 1½-point road underdog. That ended a 4-0 (2-2 ATS) regular-season run by the home team in this rivalry. The teams have alternated spread-covers in the last seven meetings, and the underdog has cashed in three of the last four.

In addition to their 4-0 ATS run, the Buckeyes are on positive pointspread streaks of 5-2 on the road, 5-2 against winning teams, 5-1 after a SU victory and 10-2 after a spread-cover, while the Badgers have covered in 16 of their last 23 against winning teams.

The under is on runs of 3-0 in this rivalry, 5-1 for Ohio State on the road, 41-18-1 for Ohio State on Saturday, 13-4 for Wisconsin on Saturday and 24-8 for Wisconsin after an ATS triumph. However, the over is 4-1 in the Badgers’ last five at the Kohl Center, and four of the last five series meetings in Madison have soared over the total.

ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE


(21) Utah State (24-1, 11-7-1 ATS) at Boise State (16-7, 10-8-1 ATS)

Utah State puts the nation’s longest winning streak on the line when it pays a visit to the Taco Bell Arena in Boise for a Western Athletic Conference tussle with the Broncos.

The Aggies dumped Idaho 62-53 as a 5½-point road favorite Thursday for their 19th consecutive victory, and they’re 5-1 ATS in their last six, all against conference opponents. Take away an 83-77 overtime win at Fresno State on Jan. 31 and Utah State is giving up just 56.8 ppg in WAC play, including holding the last three opponents to 59, 53 and 52 points. For the season, the Aggies yield just 59.6 ppg on 41 percent shooting while scoring 72.4 ppg on 50.3 percent shooting from the floor, the latter figure ranking third-best in the nation.

Utah State is 10-0 in true road games (8-1 ATS), and its only blemish so far was a 68-63 loss to BYU as a six-point underdog on a neutral court in Salt Lake City on Dec. 6.

Since losing 79-65 at Utah State on Jan. 17, Boise State has won four of its last six games (3-2 ATS in lined action). However, the Broncos are coming off Monday’s 88-82 setback at Fresno State as a one-point road underdog, capping a string of four straight road games. This is Boise’s first home contest since Jan. 24, and it is 11-1 this season at Taco Bell Arena (6-4 ATS), putting up 74.1 ppg (48.1 percent shooting) and surrendering 67.5 ppg (41.2 percent).

Utah State is 12-0 (7-4-1 ATS) in WAC play and has a commanding 4½-game lead in the standings. The Aggies are also 6-0 (5-1 ATS) when visiting conference rivals. Boise State is in third place at 6-4 (5-4-1 ATS), including 4-0 at home (2-2 ATS).

The Aggies pushed as a 14-point home favorite in last month’s win over Boise State, and they’re 4-1 SU in the last five meetings and 7-2 SU in the last nine. However, the Broncos are 6-1-1 ATS in the last eight series clashes, including 3-1 ATS (2-2 SU) at home. Also, the underdog is on a 4-0-1 ATS roll in this rivalry.

Utah State’s pointspread runs include 5-1 overall, 13-3 on the road, 7-1-1 on Saturday, 5-1 in WAC action and 7-2 as a favorite of 12 points or less. Boise Sate is on pointspread streaks of 5-2-1 after a SU defeat, 17-8-1 after a non-cover and 4-1 at home following three or more consecutive roadies.

The last six battles between these squads have hurdled the total. Also, Boise State is on “over” stretches of 37-16-1 overall, 10-4 at home, 10-4 against WAC rivals, 15-6-1 on Saturday, 6-0 against winning teams and 21-6 after a non-cover. Conversely, Utah State has “under” streaks of 6-1 overall (all against WAC opponents) and 8-2 on the road.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

YANKEE CAPPER

NHL
Pittsburgh Penguins -125
Islanders/Flyers Over 5.5

NCAA Hoops
UConn -9.5
Syracuse -4.5
BYU/TCU Over 136
Wyoming +17
Gonzaga -17

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Cajun Sports

Western Michigan vs. Miami Ohio
Play: Miami Ohio -11.5

Millett Hall will be the site of tonight’s Mid-American Conference clash between the host Miami-Ohio Red Hawks and the visiting Broncos from Western Michigan. The Broncos are coming in off a win at home over Ohio University 76 to 62 as a 1 point home favorite, but they had lost their previous four outings both straight up and against the spread. The Red Hawks will be looking to bounce back from a road loss at Central Michigan last Tuesday 57 to 55 as a 7.5 point road favorite.

The Broncos are 8-15 SU and 8-11 ATS overall this season with a 3-10 SU and 3-7 ATS mark when they hit the highway. Their last five games have seen them post a record of 1-4 both straight up and against the number averaging 63.6 points per game on 41.6 percent from the field and allowing 71.2 points per game on 47.9 percent shooting.

The Red Hawks are 14-8 SU and 13-7 ATS on the year with a 6-2 SU and 4-3 ATS record on their home floor averaging 69.2 points per game while allowing their opponents to score 55.9 points per game. Their last five times to post have seen them go 4-1 both straight up and against the spread averaging 62.6 points per game on 46.9 percent from the field and allowing their opponents to score only 48.2 points per game on 38.8 percent shooting.

Western Michigan is 32-51 ATS versus a team with a winning record after 15 or more games and 16-31 ATS versus teams outscoring their opponents by 4+ points per game after 15+ games since 1997. The Broncos are also 5-14-1 ATS as an underdog with a line range of 10 to 13.5 points, if they are a conference underdog in that same line range they are 3-12-1 ATS and if they are on the road their record is 3-11-1 ATS. The Red Hawks are 15-4 ATS versus teams, averaging <=12 assists per game the last 3 seasons, 10-1 ATS versus teams averaging 53 or less shots per game after 15+ games the last 2 seasons and 8-1 ATS versus teams scoring <=64 points per game after 15+ games the last 3 seasons.

Our Team Performance Ratings Index projects the Red Hawks with a 16.6 point advantage in tonight’s contest. Our Math Model Ratings Index also projects a Red Hawks win with a 5.72 point advantage over the 11.5 points they are favored in this game.

With solid fundamental and technical support along with last season revenge (LY 78-75 loss as 4 pt rd dog) and a home bounce-back situation we will back the host here and lay the chalk as the Red Hawks return to their winning ways and cash the ticket for us against the number on Saturday night in Oxford.

PROJECTED FINAL SCORE: (2*) Miami-Ohio 69 Western Michigan 52

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Nelly

UCLA - over ARIZONA

The Bruins had a questionable early season resume with virtually no quality wins and losses in most games against quality competition. Early season conference losses against Washington and Arizona State raised further questions but the Bruins had won five straight games before falling to ASU again Thursday night. The Bruins will now face a Wildcats squad that lost by 23 early this season at Pauley Pavilion. Arizona did not play that poorly in that game but UCLA was incredibly efficient and never looked back after grabbing the early lead. Arizona enters this game coming off a big revenge win over USC on Thursday as the Trojans beat the Wildcats by one early in the year so this will not be an ideal situation for Arizona despite playing at home. Arizona has a six-game win streak going but the schedule has been responsible and the Wildcats have not proven to be a consistent performer nor a dominant team at home. Look for UCLA to eventually pull away coming off a tough loss.


Georgia + over Florida

The Gators have bounced back well from losses this season but this could be a tough follow-up coming off Tuesday's narrow loss at Kentucky. Florida had a great start to SEC play but the schedule also started out favorably and now the Gators are playing a second straight road game, and sixth of the past nine away from home. Florida is just 2-3 S/U in SEC road games and one of the wins was an unimpressive three-point win at Auburn. It has been a disastrous season for Georgia, now with eleven consecutive losses following a blowout loss at Tennessee this week but the Bulldogs have been relatively competitive at home and value will be at an all-time high. The first game between these teams was called very loose with very few fouls for either team but the Bulldogs have played a more physical style of game since the coaching change despite going 0-4 since the move. This could be a game the Gators overlook coming off a tough loss with bigger games ahead and Florida is not as good as the record indicates.

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Jim Feist

OHIO STATE at WISCONSIN
Take: Under

Reason: Ohio State is turning up the defense at the right time of the season, holding 2 of its last 4 opponents to 54 and 58 points. Ohio State got past No. 19 Minnesota 64-58 Saturday night for the Buckeyes' fifth win this season over a ranked opponent. That game sailed under the total. They take on a Wisconsin team that prefers a slower pace, one allowing 60 ppg -- third best in the Big 10. The Badgers are 2-1 under the total the last three games, all wins, allowing 50, 44 and 52 points. Look for a slow, defensive duel in the Big 10. Play the Buckeyes/Badgers under the total.

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James Patrick

Portland vs. St.Marys CA

Our selection in Saturday NCAA College Basketball action is the Gaels of St. Marys CA as they enter their game off a tough home loss to Gonzaga and their opponent is just 4-11 ATS against Randy Bennett's team and the series favorite in this West Coast Conference match-up is 12-4 ATS. Even without their star guard Patrick Mills the Gaels are a storm to be reckoned with.

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Jimmy The Moose

Ottawa Senators at Minnesota Wild
Prediction: Ottawa Senators

After a coaching change the Senators are finally starting to wake up and come into this one having won 3 in a row. The Senators are getting very good goaltending and the offense has come to life. Ottawa isn't a very deep team but they have enough power on their first two lines tp make life difficult for the opposition. Tonight will be Minnesota's 3rd game in 4 night's and in the last 15 times they were in this situation the Wild are 4-11. In the last 6 meetings between the clubs the WIld are 2-4. Play on the Ottawa Senators +.

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Stephen Nover

NBA Slam Dunk

Take Rudy Fernandez +$5.00

Trying to handicap the various NBA All-Star Weekend events often is an excerice in futility.

I've had good fortunate in the Slam Dunk contest, though, having cashed with Nate Robinson two years ago.

This year the contestants for Saturday night's competition are Dwight Howard at -$1.25, J.R. Smith at +$3.00, Robinson at +$5.00 and Rudy Fernandez at +$5.00.

Howard won it last season. He's a big favorite to repeat, so there's no value on him. There's a lot of pressure on him.

Robinson won it in 2007. Sometimes it's human nature for judges to go with a new face. That leaves the Nuggets' Smith and the Trail Blazers' Fernandez.

Fernandez is from Spain. Being a European could work in his favor. He's a novelty since many don't really know him. His height could work in his favor, too. Judges love the little guy in this competition. That factored in Robinson and 5-foot-6 Spud Webb being past winners.

Fernandez isn't a giant at 6-foot-6. At +5.00 he's worth a tiny investment just to have a rooting

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Lee Kostroski

North Texas @ Middle Tennessee State
PICK: Middle Tennessee State

I'm on North Texas as a road underdog on Saturday. The Mean Green are playing very well right now, winning 6 of their last 9 games. Their last 3 losses have all been close games, losing by just 3 points @South Alabama, 4 points @Western Kentucky, and 8 points vs. Troy. They won their two most recent games by 18 and 10 points respectively and are now looking for revenge against Middle Tennessee State. The Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee beat North Texas on December 31st in overtime by 9 points. In that game, North Texas led by as many as 11 before Middle Tennessee went on a 21-8 run to end regulation, before getting the win in overtime. North Texas was in a stretch where they were not playing good basketball, and it showed as they shot just 38.2% and were out rebounded by 7 against the Raiders.

If you take out North Texas’ last two blowout wins, the Mean Green haven’t been a part of a game, win or lose, that was decided by more than 11 points since December 18th. They have been playing very well, and have been competitive in the 12 games that have been decided by 11 points or less. In their last two games, North Texas has shot 51% and 53.7% from the floor and out rebounded their last two opponents by a total of 17 boards. Even when they weren't playing at the top of their game this team stayed very competitive. Now that they are finally playing to their potential, we expect them to knock off MSTU on Saturday.

Middle Tennessee State will be returning home after 3 straight road games; they went 1-2 on their road trip with losses at Troy and Denver. Their one win on the road trip was against Houston Baptist. In their latest home game, the Blue Raiders beat UL-Monroe by 23 points; rather unimpressive considering Monroe’s 9-15 record. Prior to that game, their win margins in their last 4 home games were 7, 3, 5, and 2 points. North Texas is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games and Middle Tennessee is just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games. We expect these trends to continue and for North Texas to get the ATS and SU win on Saturday.

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Dave Cokin

WESTERN KENTUCKY / TROY
Take TROY

Huge game in the Sun Belt tonight between Western Kentucky and Troy. This is likely the biggest game ever for the Trojans in terms of importance and they're playing tremendous ball. Beating the Hilltoppers won't be easy, but I feel the home court will be big here. The fact that the road team has had a full week to prep for this game while Troy just won another major game Thursday vs. Middle Tennessee prevents me from making a strong call on this contest, but I like Troy's current form enough lean their way.

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ProInfoSports

Colorado State Rams vs. UNLV Rebels
PLAY: 2* UNLV Rebels -17

Mountain West Conference foes Colorado State and UNLV square-off at the Thomas & Mack Center on Saturday evening. The Rams enter tonight’s contest off a road loss on Wednesday to BYU 94 to 60 as an 18 point road underdog while UNLV got back to their winning ways by defeating TCU at home 71 to 57 as a 13 point home favorite.

The Rebels are not only seeking a win in this contest to keep their “Dance” hopes alive but they will be seeking same-season revenge for a loss back on January 14th at Colorado State 71 to 69 as a 7.5 point road favorite. The Rams are 2-10 SU and 4-8 ATS on the road this season averaging 64.7 points per game and allowing 75.0 points per game on 48.8 percent from the field, although over their last five contests they have allowed their opponents shooting percentage to increase to 54.9 percent from the field. CSU is 47-73-3 ATS after suffering a loss in their last game, if they also went ‘over’ the total in that game they are 7-20 ATS and if they lost ATS in that game they are 1-13 ATS in their next contest. UNLV is 12-2 SU and 5-6 ATS at home this season averaging 71.9 points per game and allowing 62.5 points per game. UNLV is 81-55-2 ATS after playing at home in their last game, if they now face a conference opponent they are 46-28-1 ATS. The Rebels are also 12-2 ATS after covering the spread in two of their last three games and 7-0 ATS after losing two of their last three games straight up.

When comparing these two teams against their common opponents we see that CSU is 2-8 SU and 3-7 ATS averaging 65.0 points per game and allowing 77.5 points per game. The Rebels have done a much better job posting a record of 7-3 both SU and ATS averaging 69.6 points per game while holding their opponents to only 63.2 points per game. With significant support both fundamentally and technically we will lay the chalk here as the Rebels of UNLV get their revenge and cash the winning ticket for us on Saturday evening.

2* UNLV -17

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Big Al McMordie

Vanderbilt vs. Tennessee     
Play: Tennessee -10.5

At 3 pm, our complimentary selection is on the Tennessee Volunteers minus the points over Vanderbilt. The Commodores have won their last three ballgames. On Jan. 31, Vandy went into Auburn and defeated the Tigers 82-75, and then came home to win two games, 79-74 over Bama, and 71-61 over Ole Miss. However, since 1992, the Commodores have been money-burners on the road as underdogs off back to back wins, if they're matched up against an opponent which is also off a straight-up win. In this situation, Vandy is a dismal 5-22 ATS, including 1-12 ATS vs. a foe off a win of more than 15 points. With Tennessee off a 79-48 victory over Georgia, we'll play on Bruce Pearl's men in Knoxville this afternoon.

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LT Profits

Georgetown +4.5

The Georgetown Hoyas were flying high after upsetting Connecticut around New Years Day but the have hit the skids since game, going 3-8 straight up and a dismal 1-9-1 against the spread including their current six-game ATS losing streak.

The lone cover during this swoon however did come vs. their opponent today, the Syracuse Orange, in rather emphatic fashion (88-74), and the recent struggles of the Hoyas appears to give us nice line value here.

After all, Syracuse has not exactly been a powerhouse lately, and we feel their current number 22 ranking is undeserved. That is a moot point though as they will most likely drop out of the rankings this week, as they are just 1-5 both SU and ATS in their last six games.

Sure, the Orange is 13-2 at home, but their home Big East wins have come against either lightweights (Seton Hall, DePaul) or against teams that have struggled on the road (Notre Dame, West Virginia). In their only true challenge at home, Syracuse lost to Louisville by double-digits.

Now the Hoyas have certainly underperformed lately, but this seems like a good spot to get back on track. Besides, even with their bad slump, Georgetown is still ranked considerably higher in the Pomeroy Ratings (21) than Syracuse is (33). It certainly helps that the Hoyas are ranked 27 in the nation in raw offensive efficiency despite facing a schedule that is ranked third toughest in the land.

Do not forget that the Georgetown defense is also in the top 30 in steal percentage, and area where the Orange have been vulnerable. Thus, look for the Hoyas to take this game to the wire, and an outright upset would not surprise us one bit.

Pick: Georgetown +4.5

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Dennis Macklin

Connecticut at Seton Hall
Prediction: Seton Hall

UConn was just marginal covering big road numbers with it's full compliment of players. Today the Huskies will be without second leading scorer Dyson (knee, maybe season) against the hottest team in the Big East, Seton Hall. That's right, Seton Hall. The Pony Pirates have won five straight and have covered six of eight. As good as UConn is with Thabeet and Adrien, we'll fade a 9-8 fave laying DD on the road with DD points on the pine. Take Seton Hall.

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Jimmy Boyd

1 Unit on Cincinnati +16.5

Condensed writeup due to amount of games to handicap.  The Bearcats are a completely different team than they were early in the Big East season but they still are not getting the respect they deserve.  Cincy has won 7 of 9 SU and ATS and is getting plenty of points today against a Pitt team that will be looking ahead to its Big Monday showdown with UConn.  The Bearcats are 3-1 ATS in this matchup the last 3 seasons, playing Pitt as tough as anyone.  The Bearcats are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 vs. Big East and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as an underdog.  We'll take the points here.

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Dwayne Bryant

I'm betting on: Iowa +5.5

This game just missed the cut as being one of my 10 Bets per Week.

Revenge game for Iowa after getting pounded 75-53 at Purdue last month. Purdue has a showdown with Big Ten leader Michigan State up next, so the Boilermakers could very well be caught looking ahead to that one and past an Iowa team that they've already manhandled.

Iowa plays tremendous defense at home (53.7 ppg allowed on 39.5% shooting) and they also rebound well at home (+5.1 rpg). The intensity and motivation should be high for the Hawkeyes and I expect their defense and rebounding to keep this game close and perhaps lead to an upset.

The Boilermakers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games as a favorite of 6.5 or less and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing less than 50 points in their previous game. The Hawkeyes are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games as an underdog of 6.5 or less.

We have revenge, trends, and a look-ahead situation in our favor. I'll grab the points with the live home dog.

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Jeff Benton

For Saturday’s free play in college basketball, we’ll take Kansas State at home against rival Kansas in Big 12 action.

The Wildcats have turned their season around over the last three weeks, winning six straight games and going 5-0 ATS in the last five. Included in the run were impressive wins over Missouri (88-72 at home as a three-point underdog) and Texas (85-81 as a 10 ½-point road pup). K-State has really found its offense during the winning streak, averaging 77.5 ppg after scoring just 60 ppg in their first four Big 12 contests (all losses).

That includes an ugly 87-71 loss at Kansas as a six-point underdog back on Jan. 13. In that defeat, Kansas simply could not miss (58.3 percent shooting) while the Wildcats struggled with their shot (39.1 percent). Also, the Jayhawks benefited from some “home cooking” as they went to the free-throw line 37 times (making 26) compared to K-State’s 22 foul shots (making 16). Today, you have to expect that free-throw discrepancy to narrow considerably on the ‘Cats’ home court.

As for the Jayhawks, they finally tasted defeat in Big 12 play with Monday’s 62-60 loss at Missouri, ending an eight-game winning streak. And even though they covered as a five-point underdog – improving to 5-0 ATS in conference road games this season – they’re still just averaging 69.6 ppg on the road (and giving up 67.3), while Kansas State is putting up 82.1 ppg at home (and allowing 62).

Bottom line: Because of Kansas’ recent run of pointspread success, and because of their big victory over the Wildcats a month ago, the oddsmakers had to make the Jayhawks a small chalk in this game. But that doesn’t mean the right team is favored. Because it’s not. Take Kansas State plus the points.

4&#9830; KANSAS STATE

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