THURSDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS

THURSDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS

Maddux Sports

Basketball

5 units on Duke -2 (Sweet 16 Game of the Year)
3 units on Pittsburgh -6.5
3 units on Purdue +6.5

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The Prez

Connecticut -6.5 / 5 units

Memphis -4.0 / 5 units

Missouri / Memphis Over 141 / 5 units

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Karl Garrett

40 DIMER - VILLANOVA WILDCATS
20 DIMER - MEMPHIS TIGERS

40 DIMER - VILLANOVA WILDCATS

I believe the wrong team is favored in this game, plain-and-simple!

Villanova is totally hitting their stride, and that crush-job over UCLA this past weekend was all I needed to see to make me a believer in Jay Wright's team advancing past the Blue Devils.

Duke has not fared well when taking on schools from the Big East, going 2-8-1 against the spread their last 11.

The Blue Devils had some issues taking care of a Texas team that I didn't think very highly of in the last round, and taking on the Wildcats is a whole different animal, as Villanova is more than capable of rattling off 12-points in 40 seconds.

G-Man fully expects the Wildcats to get the straight up win, but getting a little more than a basket makes the play that much stronger.

Take 'Nova plus the points.


20 DIMER - MEMPHIS TIGERS

No doubt Mike Anderson has the Mizzou program back full force, but the way they ended their game against Marquette is a red-flag as far as I am concerned. Missouri looked shaky as all get out at the end of that game, and tonight they are coming in against a Memphis team that I believe has found their tourney legs.

After a shaky first round game against Cal State Northridge, Coach Cal's team shredded Maryland 89-70 in the second round, and I think they are only to get stronger in this game.

Memphis is not usually a single-digit favorite, but they have covered their last pair in that role, and they will cover here.

Nice run by the Tigers of Columbia, but the Tigers of Memphis went all the way to the final last year, and will not blink in this round.

Take Memphis.

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Nick Parsons

UConn

Pittsburgh

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Special K

20* Villanova

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DAVE MALINSKY

4* Purdue +6.5

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STEVE BUDIN

25 DIME - PITTSBURGH

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Anthony Redd

30 Dime - Memphis
10 Dime - Villanova
10 Dime - Purdue

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Nevada Sharpshooter

500* Shootout

Missouri +4.5

Best Bets

Xavier +7
UConn -6.5

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HalfBets

8* Memphis -4.5

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Brandon Lang

50 Dime - Villanova

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Fairway Jay

20* Big Drive: Chicago -5

20* Big Drive: Missouri +4.5

Big Drive: Duke -2

Purdue +6.5

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Teddy Covers

20* Big Ticket: Xavier +7

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Marc Franco

Uconn -7 over Purdue

***GAME OF THE YEAR***

The Betting Number opened at -6.5 and has moved to -7 in most places here in Las Vegas.

Connecticut had two dominant performances to open the NCAA Tournament as the Huskies steamrolled UT-Chattanooga in the first round and followed that up with another blowout against Texas A&M in the second round.

The offense has been unstoppable, scoring 103 and 92 points while the defense allowed the two opponents to shoot a combined 33.3 percent from the floor (43-129). Connecticut is now 15-2 away from home on the season and of those 15 wins, seven victories came against teams that are in the 64-team field.

Purdue has gotten here in much less spectacular form, as they beat Northern Iowa by 5 and Washington by just 2. Purdue plays tough defense, but they haven't had to defend a team like the Huskies all season.

Purdue doesn't have the answers UConn has offensively, or off the glass, which is where the difference lies in this game. The Boilermakers reached 80 points just once in their last 27 games, and that was against a very bad Indiana team.

The Huskies look like a team that is serious about cutting down the nets for the 3rd time in 10 years, and have too many answers for Purdue in this one. I like UConn to win this one going away by at least 14 or more points.

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Dr. Canada

Flames/Jackets over 5.5

Lightning/Canadiens over 6

Canucks -130

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Scott Spreitzer

25* Villanova

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DOC

6 Units Memphis -4.5

3 Units Villanova +2


NHL

5 Unit Play. Take Nashville +110 over San Jose

These two teams will meet for the fourth time this year tonight in Nashville, with San Jose tied for first place in the west with Detroit while Nashville is one point out of the eight and final spot for the playoffs. Two of the meetings happened in November were the teams split each, winning on each other home ice with Nashville giving up 57 shots at Anaheim and escaping with a 4-3 win in their first meeting of the season. The last two games with the Sharks the Predators have giving up an average of thirty five shots vs. San Jose which seems high but is right on par for a San Jose team that averages 34 shots vs. the league. San Jose comes into tonight off a 6-5 shootout loss last night in Chicago in a game that saw them come back from a three goal deficit to tie the game in the final moments and to get a point by going to the overtime. Last nights loss was the Sharks first since having some closed door meetings with the highest brass in the organization, with the amount of effort it took for this team to come back last night for a team that is still dealing with a ton of injuries I can't see how they will match a rested and desperate Nashville team energy tonight in just about what is the definition of a must win game and while that doesn't mean a automatic win for the Predators the Sharks will also start backup goalie Brain Boucher adding to the list of things Sharks are up against tonight with besides a hungry Nashville. Ton of value with the home puppy


2 Unit Play. Take Edmonton at Phoenix Over 5.5 

Phoenix has lost all three meetings this year to the Oilers with the first two games going over before the last one in February stayed under all listed at 5.5 goals. Oilers head coach Craig Mactavish quoted in the audio saying 'zero chance of anybody but Roloson starting until a playoff spot is solidified'. While I am sure he knows more than me but Roloson has played a ton lately and tonight will be his twenty third straight start since February 8th, with his last game vs. Detroit on Tuesday where he was barrage with 44 shots and didn't let one get by him until late in the third period after the high powered Red Wings offense just keep up a consist attack. I watched most of that game and it looked like to me he was tired, the Oilers seem like they went into a shell trying to protect a 1-0 lead that ultimately back fired on them. Now they head to the desert to face a young, loose Phoenix team playing for pride and more importantly to get better for next year. The odds maker makes little adjustment to the style these teams played when meeting each other this year where in the first two meetings went over the 5.5 with under money attached before the last game where they put some over money where the game stayed under. These two teams have average 54 shots a game and six goals in the three meetings this and we get very little adjustment here with another 5.5 with small juice attached. I made this total at 6 flat by numbers and at the very least I think should be 5.5 over minus 30. With all that said has me on the over here.

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Robert Ferringo

7-Unit Play. Take Villanova (+2.5) over Duke
Note: This is our NCAA Tournament Game of the Year.

This is the matchup that I was hoping for when I saw the brackets released on Selection Sunday. I can’t fully explain why, but I simply feel like Villanova matches up particularly well with this Duke team and that the Wildcats have the athleticism and the guard play to win this game outright. Throw in the fact that Villanova should have strong support from a pro-Big East crowd in Boston and I think that the underdog will get it done here.

In several ways this ‘Nova team reminds me a bit of the West Virginia squad that knocked off Duke last year and their guards are better than the VCU team that tore up Duke in the first round of 2007. Villanova has four talented, fearless, get-to-the-basket guards that will not be intimidated by going up against the Dukies. Villanova also has four athletic frontcourt players that should be able to at least hold their own on the glass if not hold a sizeable advantage there. Dante Cunningham is no Joe Alexander, but he is a talented post player that can step away from the basket and make shots. He is the Wildcats leading scorer and was an All-Big East performer. But Cunningham isn’t even the Money Man for this Wildcats team. That would be Scottie Reynolds, the best guard in the tournament that no one is talking about. Two years ago, as a freshman, Reynolds went bonkers at the end of the year, topping 20 points in six of his last seven games, including a 40-point outburst in a win at Connecticut. Last year he closed the season with three of five at 20+, including 21 and 25 in the opening two rounds of the NCAA Tournament. The kid is fearless and skilled and I don’t think that the Blue Devils have anyone to guard him. Now, Reynolds had been banged up over the last week or so and he’s only managed 21 points in his last three games. I’ll be stunned if he doesn’t have at least that many points in this game tonight.

Duke is Duke. You can’t really knock them. They are a damn fine team and they deserve to be where they are. They also have some big wins in the nonconference this year. But if you look at the teams that beat them this year – Michigan, Wake, North Carolina, B.C. and Clemson – they all have things in common. All five of them have at least one exceptional scoring guard, a la Reynolds. Also, four of the five (Michigan is the exception) was bigger and stronger than Duke on the interior. And finally, all five teams beat Duke on the road, outside the coziness of Cameron Indoor. Villanova is at least as good as Michigan, Clemson or Boston College, so I think that they can win this game.

I brought up the fact that they are playing in Boston. To me that makes a significant difference. One of the things that makes Duke so tough to beat is the fact that the officials are so disgustingly pro-Duke it’s playing against a sixth player. And that’s not Duke-bashing. That’s me having watched about 45-50 Duke games just in the last two years and seeing it with my own eyes. But there won’t be ACC or Big East officials working tonight’s game (and if we end up with Ed Hightower I’m going to kill someone) so they will be less inclined to give Duke those “questionable” calls that they rely on. And if things do start to look fishy, don’t think for one second that the Boston crowd, with plenty of Philly fans making the trip, won’t let them hear about it. Villanova will have the crowd behind them, and for an underdog that’s a huge plus. Duke has not played well against the Big East – going just 2-8-1 ATS against them – and Duke has not been a good bet in the NCAA Tournament – 1-5 ATS overall and 2-10 ATS as a favorite.

Finally, does anything strike you as odd about this line? This is Duke, so the oddsmakers don’t have to do anything to entice the betting public to get behind the Blue Devils. But isn’t this line strangely low? Well, I went back over the last 12 years and analyzed how Duke performs in the line range of Duke +2 to Duke -5 and the results were about what I expected. This current group of Dukies is just 5-10 ATS in this line range. Over the last five years the program is just 10-17 ATS in this range and if you go all the way back to 1997-98 the Duke Blue Devils are just 18-28 (39.1 percent) against the spread between +2 and -5. Also, they are just 6-14 ATS in this line range, since 1997, in games played after Feb. 11. And if you look back over the last four years here were the spreads for their last games of the year: -4 (WVU), -6 (VCU), -5 (LSU), -4 (Mich. St.), +2 (UConn)*, +3.5 (Kansas), -13.5 (Indiana), -4 (Arizona)*, -4.5 (Florida), +9.5 (UConn)*, -1 (Kentucky). That’s 11 games and Duke was 1-10 SU, 3-8 ATS. If you throw out the Indiana and +9.5 Connecticut spreads you can see that in games with “tight” lines the Blue Devils are just 2-7 ATS and they lost outright in eight of the nine games. That, to me, is an indicator.


2.5-Unit Play. Take Missouri (+4.5) over Memphis
1-Unit Play. Take ‘Under’ 141.5 Missouri vs. Memphis

I think I’ve made my case pretty clear against the Memphis Tigers over the last few weeks. They are the most overrated team left in the field by virtue of the fact that they haven’t played anyone and they haven’t beaten anyone all season long. Their best win was over a soft Gonzaga team – and that’s it. Well, Utah beat Gonzaga this year and so did Portland State, but that doesn’t mean that they’re Final Four contenders now does it? In fact, Memphis’ win over No. 55-rated Maryland – the team that finished EIGHTH in the ACC – is the third-best win that Memphis has this year. I understand that they dominated that pathetic excuse for a conference that CUSA is this season, and that they made a mind at the window doing it. But Missouri has faced off against twice as many Top 50 opponents this year (16) than Memphis (7) and has an edge in Top 50 wins by a WIDE margin (11 to 4). Frankly, Missouri has played better against better competition this year. Further, Missouri has wins over Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, USC and Cal. I would take just about any one of those wins over a victory against Gonzaga.

The teams that beat Memphis this year – Syracuse, Georgetown, Xavier – all had one thing in common: strength on the interior. All three of those teams had big forwards that could bang on the glass with Memphis. Memphis is one of the worst shooting teams in the country, so most of their offense is simply throw it up on the glass and go get it. Well, I believe that Missouri is big enough and strong enough to hold its own on the interior. If they do that they will force Memphis’ guards to make plays and hit shots. They won’t do it. Memphis’ guards played out of their heads last weekend. And while you might look at that and say, “See, they are capable of playing that well.” I look at it and say, “They’ve never played that well in their lives and they aren’t going to do it again.” Case in point: Memphis shot 58.5 percent against Maryland! They shot 52.6 percent from 3-point land (10-for-19)! So what do you think the odds are that a team that shoots 32.9 percent from 3-point territory (No. 230 in the country) comes even close to hitting 50 percent from deep again? I think the odds are pretty slim.

Memphis isn’t playing Tulane. The’re not playing Tulsa. They’re not playing Southern Miss. In the Sweet 16 Memphis will be playing big boy teams from big boy conferences. I think that this Tigers team is garbage, and even if they win I’ll be right back betting against them to get smoked by Connecticut. I think we have an outright winner here, but regardless I’d like to think that the points are good.

1.5-Unit Play.TEASER:Take Villanova (+7.5) over Duke (10 p.m.) AND Take Missouri (+9.5) over Memphis

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BIG AL

100% (27-0) SWEET 16 GAME OF THE YEAR

At 7:05 pm, our Sweet 16 Game of the Year is on the UConn Huskies minus the points over Purdue. College sports are all about 'momentum' and right now, no team is playing as well as UConn has in the first two games of the tournament. The Huskies blitzed UT-Chattanooga by 56 points, 103-47, and then demolished a good Texas A&M team by 26 points, 92-66. That's a scoring average of 97.5 ppg, and a margin of victory of 41 ppg. Indeed, over the past 10 tournaments, no team had won its first two games by that amount of points. At the time of the seeding, some questioned whether UConn deserved its #1 ranking ahead of Memphis. I think the Huskies have answered that question convincingly. Now, the next question is whether UConn can keep it going in the "Sweet 16" Round tonight. I believe it will. Consider that #1 seeds off back-to-back ATS wins in rounds 1 and 2 are a perfect 8-0 ATS as favorites of 8 points or less. And also consider that Purdue is an awful 0-19 ATS since January 2004 away from home when priced from +5 to +9.5 points!! That's not good news when a team must face a club like Connecticut, which would have been the favorite to win this year's tournament had its point guard Jerome Dyson not gone down with an injury. Still, UConn has Hasheem Thabeet in the middle, and I don't think Purdue will be able to get Thabeet in foul trouble since the Boilers' tallest player is 6'8", seven inches shorter than the 7'3" Thabeet. But even if Thabeet commits needless fouls, UConn has a capable replacement in Gavin Edwards, who can rebound well (though he doesn't have Thabeet's shot-blocking ability). The Huskies also have a huge edge on the sidelines, as Calhoun has won two titles, and Matt Painter has never gotten this deep in the tourney. Sweet 16 Game of the Year on UConn.

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Las Vegas Sport Picks

NBA:

2* Bulls -5.5

NCAA:

2* Villanova +2.5
3* Purdue/UCONN over 133
5* Missouri/Memphis over 141
6* UCONN -7

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