Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, December 8,2009

Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, December 8,2009

SPORTS ADVISORS

NBA

Denver (16-5, 13-8 ATS) at Charlotte (8-11, 11-8 ATS)

The Nuggets continue a four-game road trip with their one and only stop of the season at Charlotte Bobcats Arena for a non-conference clash with the Bobcats.

Two days after upending the Spurs 106-99 as a four-point underdog, Denver went to Philadelphia last night and prevailed 93-83 as a seven-point road chalk. The Nuggets have won and covered four in a row and they’re 8-1 in their last nine (7-2 ATS), including 3-0 SU and ATS on the road. Prior to last night, George Karl’s offense has hit triple digits in eight straight games and is still averaging 112.6 points per game. For the season, Denver is averaging 109.8 ppg overall and 113.4 ppg in its 16 wins.

Charlotte halted a two-game slide – which included Friday’s six-point loss at then-winless New Jersey – with Saturday’s 106-105 home win over the 76ers. However, the Bobcats failed to cash as a 5½-point home favorite, their third straight non-cover which comes on the heels of a 6-1 ATS run. Charlotte had scored between 90-94 points in four consecutive games prior to Saturday’s win, and it has topped triple digits just five times all season.

The Nuggets swept the season series from the Bobcats last year – winning 88-80 as a 2½-point road chalk and 110-99 as a 10-point home favorite – and they’re 7-2 SU and ATS in the last nine meetings, all as a favorite. The home team is 7-3 SU and ATS in the 10 lifetime battles between these squads, and the SU winner has covered the spread in all 10.

Denver is on ATS runs of 36-17 overall, 5-1 against the Eastern Conference and 6-1 on Tuesday, but it has failed to cover in four of its last five against the Southeast Division. The Bobcats are 21-10 ATS in their last 31 home games, but otherwise they’re in pointspread funks of 2-5 against the Western Conference, 1-4 on Tuesday, 1-5 when playing on two days’ rest and 0-6 against the Northwest Division. Also, the underdog is 4-1 in Charlotte’s last five games.

The under is 17-7 in Denver’s last 24 road contests and 4-0 in Charlotte’s last four against the Western Conference, but the over is on runs of 4-1 for the Nuggets when playing on back-to-back nights, 6-2 for the Bobcats overall, 4-1 for the Bobcats on the road and 7-3 for the Bobcats against the Northwest Division. Also, the over is 3-1 in the last four meetings in this series.

ATS ADVANTAGE: DENVER


Phoenix (15-6, 11-10 ATS) at Dallas (14-7, 12-9 ATS)

The suddenly slumping Suns make their first trip of the season to American Airlines Center for a battle with the Mavericks.

Phoenix won 14 of its first 17 games but has dropped three of its last four (0-4 ATS), including Sunday’s 108-88 defeat at the Lakers as a 9½-point road underdog. The Suns, who scored at least 100 points in each of their first 17 outings, have lost three straight on the road (0-3 ATS), scoring 99, 90 and 88 points in all three defeats. Phoenix also is struggling defensively, yielding 107 points or more in four straight games (112 ppg average).

Dallas enters this contest looking to snap its first two-game losing streak of the season, falling at Memphis on Friday (98-82 as a 6½-point road favorite) and Atlanta on Saturday (80-75 as a 5½-point home chalk). Prior to those two defeats, the Mavericks had topped 100 points in five of six games.

Dallas has taken control of this rivalry lately, winning two in a row and four of the last five, all SU and ATS. In last year’s two clashes at American Airlines Center, the Mavs rolled 112-97 as a four-point favorite and 140-116 as a 3½-point chalk. The host is 7-3 SU in the last 10 meetings and 5-2-1 ATS in the past eight, and the favorite is also 5-2-1 ATS in the last eight.

Although Phoenix has failed to cover in four straight overall, it is on positive pointspread streaks of 4-1 versus the Southwest Division, 7-2 when playing on one day of rest and 11-4 after a non-cover.

The Mavs jumped out to a 9-3 ATS start (4-1 ATS at home), but they’ve now failed to get the cash in six of their last nine games overall (1-4 ATS last five), including four straight at home. On the bright side, Dallas is on ATS hot streaks of 9-3 against the Pacific Division, 6-2 against teams with a winning record and 42-20-1 when playing after two days of rest.

The high-scoring Suns surprisingly carry nothing but “under” streaks, including 8-1-2 overall, 6-0-1 on the road, 4-1-1 versus the Western Conference, 4-0-1 when playing on one day of rest, 9-1-1 after a non-cover and 5-1 on Tuesday. Conversely, the over is 5-2 in Dallas’ last seven overall, 4-0 in Dallas’ last four against winning teams and 4-0 in the last four Mavericks-Suns clashes.

ATS ADVANTAGE: DALLAS


COLLEGE BASKETBALL

(22) Butler (6-2, 3-5 ATS) vs. (15) Georgetown (6-0, 1-1 ATS)
(at New York)

The Bulldogs shoot for their third straight victory when they go up against Georgetown at Madison Square Garden.

Butler dropped two of three in a preseason tournament in Anaheim, Calif., last month – falling to Minnesota (82-73) and Clemson (70-69) – but then bounced back with easy wins over Ball State 59-38 (cashing as a 14-point road favorite) and Valparaiso 84-67 (falling short as an 18-point home chalk). In Saturday’s rout of Valparaiso, the Bulldogs easily set a season-high for points scored, topping the previous high of 73.

Georgetown has fattened up on a cupcake schedule that has featured just two lined opponents. The Hoyas’ last four victories – all double-digit blowouts – were against non-Division I schools. In their one game against a quality opponent, they beat Temple 46-45, but came up way short as a 10-point home favorite.

Butler is 38-17-1 ATS in its last 56 non-conference contests, but otherwise the Bulldogs are on pointspread slides of 3-9 overall, 1-6 at neutral sites, 2-6 versus winning teams, 2-6 after a SU win and 2-5 after a non-cover. Likewise, the Hoyas have been strong in non-conference lined games (5-1-1 ATS last seven), but they’re on ATS slides of 5-16-1 overall, 1-4 at neutral sites, 0-4 on Tuesday, 2-8-1 versus winning teams and 0-5-1 after a SU win.

The Bulldogs carry “over” trends of 17-8 in non-league contests, 9-2 at neutral sites, 5-1 on Tuesday and 11-4 after a non-cover, but the under is 6-1 in Georgetown’s last seven lined games on Tuesday.

This is the first meeting between these schools.

ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE


Vanderbilt (6-1) at Illinois (6-2, 2-5 ATS)

Vanderbilt puts a four-game winning streak on the line when it travels north for a non-conference clash with the Illini at Assembly Hall.

The Commodores’ only loss came against Cincinnati in the first round of the Maui Invitational back on Nov. 23, but they’ve since rebounded with four straight victories (3-1 ATS), three of them coming by double digits. Most recently, Vandy took out DePaul 67-54 on Saturday, coming up just short as a 15½-point home favorite.

Illinois dropped back-to-back close games to Utah (60-58) and Bradley (72-68) in a preseason tournament in Las Vegas two weeks ago, but the Illini rallied last week with wins over Clemson 76-74 as a six-point road underdog in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and Boise State 84-77 as a hefty 17-point home chalk on Saturday. Illinois has surrendered 72, 74 and 77 points in its last three games after holding its first five opponents under 70 points (average of 60.4 ppg).

These teams met last November at Vanderbilt, and the Illini came away with a 69-63 upset victory as a six-point road underdog.

The Commodores are 5-1 ATS in their last six games on Tuesday and their last six after a non-cover. Illinois has cashed in four straight against SEC competition, but is otherwise in pointspread nosedives of 1-4 overall in lined action, 1-6 at home and 1-6 after a SU win.

The “over” is on runs of 4-1 for Vanderbilt on the road, 5-2 for Vanderbilt after a non-cover, 6-0 for Illinois overall, 4-0 for Illinois at home and 5-1 for Illinois after a non-cover. Also, last year’s matchup at Vanderbilt barely topped the posted total.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, December 8,2009

Matt Fargo
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Orlando Magic at Los Angeles Clippers
Prediction: Los Angeles Clippers
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When the Clippers are at full strength and healthy, they are not a bad team. Los Angeles is 5-2 over its last seven games including a 4-1 record at home and it is 3-1 in four games that Eric Gordon has appeared in since coming back from his long layoff. It was another rough start for the Clippers but the chemistry is coming together and we can only imagine what they would be like if Blake Griffin was healthy and did not get hurt. This team is far from a playoff team but it is no doubt moving in the right direction which was the prediction coming into the season and now it just needs to keep the momentum rolling and we get a solid number at home on top of it. The Clippers shot 34.9 percent from the field, went 4-16 from three-point range and matched a season high with 21 turnovers but still managed a 16-point win at home over Indiana in their last game on Saturday. They are now two games under .500 and they have not seen the breakeven point since 2007 so we can see how close they really are. Orlando has won five straight games and is on a 10-1 run which includes six straight wins on the road and seven consecutive road wins going further back. It is no surprise the Magic are big road favorites and that the public is all over them. This is the second game of a four-game roadtrip with games at Utah and Phoenix remaining so it is doubtful that a game against the Clippers is getting a lot of attention from the players. Orlando has owned this series of late with four straight wins that include two season sweeps and none of the covers were in question as it got the money each time which only adds to the situation of Orlando coming in not fully focused. Play against teams that are shooting 46 percent or better on the season going up against opponent after a game where it shot 35 percent or worse from the floor. This situation is 148-91 ATS (61.9 percent) since 1996. 3* Los Angeles Clippers

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, December 8,2009

Jim Feist

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics
Play: Over 191

Milwaukee averages 98 ppg led by sparkplug rookie Brandon Jennings. However, while the offense is improved, the defense is below average, plus they allow 46% shooting by opponents (18th in the league). Oddsmakers haven't caught up yet, with Milwaukee on a 12-2 run over the total. Boston has a reputation for great defense since Kevin Garnett came aboard two years ago, but they haven't been as sharp. Boston is on a 5-2 run over the total. The offense is upgraded with the addition of Rasheed Wallace, though. Look for plenty of offense, play the Bucks/Celtics Over the total.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, December 8,2009

Johnny Banks
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Denver Nuggets vs. Charlotte Bobcats    
Play: Charlotte +3
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The Nuggets are coming off a big win over the Philadelphia 76ers last night and they have not covered the spread in their last 6 games as a road favorite of -0.5 to -4.5 points. Charlotte is 21-10 against the spread in their last 31 home games.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, December 8,2009

DUNKEL INDEX

Minnesota at Toronto     
The Raptors look to build on their 5-1 ATS record in their last 6 games as a favorite. Toronto is the pick (-8) according to Dunkel, which has the Raptors favored by 11. Dunkel Pick: Toronto (-8)

Game 501-502: Denver at Charlotte
Dunkel Ratings: Denver 123.462; Charlotte 118.259
Dunkel Line & Total: Denver by 5; 200
Vegas Line & Total: Denver by 3; 204
Dunkel Pick: Denver (-3); Under

Game 503-504: Minnesota at Toronto
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota 108.223; Toronto 119.080
Dunkel Line & Total: Toronto by 11; 215
Vegas Line & Total: Toronto by 8; 212
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (-8); Over

Game 505-506: Milwaukee at Boston
Dunkel Ratings: Milwaukee 113.169; Boston 129.504
Dunkel Line & Total: Boston by 16 1/2; 195
Vegas Line & Total: Boston by 12; 191
Dunkel Pick: Boston (-12); Over

Game 507-508: Cleveland at Memphis
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland 123.868; Memphis 115.622
Dunkel Line & Total: Cleveland by 8; 190
Vegas Line & Total: Cleveland by 7 1/2; 193
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (-7 1/2); Under

Game 509-510: New Jersey at Chicago
Dunkel Ratings: New Jersey 108.555; Chicago 117.726
Dunkel Line & Total: Chicago by 9; 197
Vegas Line & Total: Chicago by 7; 192
Dunkel Pick: Chicago (-7); Over

Game 511-512: Sacramento at New Orleans
Dunkel Ratings: Sacramento 112.783; New Orleans 121.666
Dunkel Line & Total: New Orleans by 9; 215
Vegas Line & Total: New Orleans by 7 1/2; 211
Dunkel Pick: New Orleans (-7 1/2); Over

Game 513-514: Phoenix at Dallas
Dunkel Ratings: Phoenix 120.396; Dallas 121.140
Dunkel Line & Total: Dallas by 1; 209
Vegas Line & Total: Dallas by 4; 214 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Phoenix (+4); Under

Game 515-516: Orlando at LA Clippers
Dunkel Ratings: Orlando 124.028; LA Clippers 118.306
Dunkel Line & Total: Orlando by 5 1/2; 190
Vegas Line & Total: Orlando by 7; 194
Dunkel Pick: LA Clippers (+7); Under

NCAAB

Vanderbilt at Illinois
The Commodores look to take advantage of an Illinois team that is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games as a home favorite. Vanderbilt is the pick (+3 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the game even. Dunkel Pick: Vanderbilt (+3 1/2)

Game 517-518: Temple at Miami (OH)
Dunkel Ratings: Temple 62.284; Miami (OH) 60.671
Dunkel Line: Temple by 1 1/2
Vegas Line: Temple by 3
Dunkel Pick: Miami (OH) (+3)

Game 519-520: Dayton at George Mason
Dunkel Ratings: Dayton 62.497; George Mason 60.994
Dunkel Line: Dayton by 1 1/2
Vegas Line: Dayton by 2 1/2
Dunkel Pick: George Mason (+2 1/2)

Game 521-522: Butler at Georgetown
Dunkel Ratings: Butler 67.297; Georgetown 68.362
Dunkel Line: Georgetown by 1
Vegas Line: Georgetown by 3
Dunkel Pick: Butler (+3)

Game 523-524: Wright State at Toledo
Dunkel Ratings: Wright State 60.773; Toledo 46.203
Dunkel Line: Wright State by 14 1/2
Vegas Line: Wright State by 11 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Wright State (-11 1/2)

Game 525-526: Texas Tech at TCU
Dunkel Ratings: Texas Tech 62.728; TCU 61.832
Dunkel Line: Texas Tech by 1
Vegas Line: Texas Tech by 1 1/2
Dunkel Pick: TCU (+1 1/2)

Game 527-528: WI-Milwaukee at Marquette
Dunkel Ratings: WI-Milwaukee 56.042; Marquette 68.981
Dunkel Line: Marquette by 13
Vegas Line: Marquette by 16
Dunkel Pick: WI-Milwaukee (+16)

Game 529-530: Iowa at Northern Iowa
Dunkel Ratings: Iowa 53.541; Northern Iowa 66.370
Dunkel Line: Northern Iowa by 13
Vegas Line: Northern Iowa by 10
Dunkel Pick: Northern Iowa (-10)

Game 531-532: Evansville at Western Kentucky
Dunkel Ratings: Evansville 50.112; Western Kentucky 66.338
Dunkel Line: Western Kentucky by 16
Vegas Line: Western Kentucky by 14
Dunkel Pick: Western Kentucky (-14)

Game 533-534: Vanderbilt at Illinois
Dunkel Ratings: Vanderbilt 69.004; Illinois 69.045
Dunkel Line: Even
Vegas Line: Illinois by 3 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Vanderbilt (+3 1/2)

Game 535-536: CS-Northridge at Denver
Dunkel Ratings: CS-Northridge 53.527; Denver 59.539
Dunkel Line: Denver by 6
Vegas Line: Denver by 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Denver (-5 1/2)

Game 537-538: Xavier at Kansas State
Dunkel Ratings: Xavier 68.091; Kansas State 74.042
Dunkel Line: Kansas State by 6
Vegas Line: Kansas State by 5
Dunkel Pick: Kansas State (-5)

Game 539-540: Pittsburgh at Indiana
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh 67.494; Indiana 59.959
Dunkel Line: Pittsburgh by 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh by 8
Dunkel Pick: Indiana (+8)

Game 541-542: San Jose State at San Francisco
Dunkel Ratings: San Jose State 51.342; San Francisco 51.131
Dunkel Line: Even
Vegas Line: San Jose State by 3
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (+3)

Game 543-544: Arizona State at BYU
Dunkel Ratings: Arizona State 68.583; BYU 75.515
Dunkel Line: BYU by 7
Vegas Line: BYU by 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: BYU (-6 1/2)

Game 545-546: Fresno State at Pepperdine
Dunkel Ratings: Fresno State 49.353; Pepperdine 51.579
Dunkel Line: Pepperdine by 2
Vegas Line: Fresno State by 2
Dunkel Pick: Pepperdine (+2)

Game 547-548: Tennessee State at Detroit
Dunkel Ratings: Tennessee State 43.108; Detroit 55.740
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 12 1/2
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 549-550: Sacramento State at USC
Dunkel Ratings: Sacramento State 46.375; USC 60.405
Dunkel Line: USC by 14
Vegas Line: USC by 15
Dunkel Pick: Sacramento State (+15)

Game 551-552: UMBC at Penn State
Dunkel Ratings: UMBC 42.388; Penn State 62.369
Dunkel Line: Penn State by 20
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 553-554: Morgan State at Minnesota
Dunkel Ratings: Morgan State 55.932; Minnesota 72.925
Dunkel Line: Minnesota by 17
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

NHL

Dallas at Anaheim
The Stars look to build on their 5-2 record in their last 7 games in Anaheim. Dallas is the pick (+115) according to Dunkel, which has the Stars favored by 1/2 a goal. Dunkel Pick: Dallas (+115)

Game 1-2: NY Islanders at Philadelphia
Dunkel Ratings: NY Islanders 10.688; Philadelphia 10.777
Dunkel Line & Total: Philadelphia by 1/2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Philadelphia (-170); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (-170); Over

Game 3-4: Montreal at Ottawa
Dunkel Ratings: Montreal 11.277; Ottawa 11.108
Dunkel Line & Total: Montreal by 1/2; 4 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Ottawa (-160); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Montreal (+150); Under

Game 5-6: Vancouver at Nashville
Dunkel Ratings: Vancouver 11.854; Nashville 12.170
Dunkel Line & Total: Nashville by 1/2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Vancouver (-115); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Nashville (+105); Over

Game 7-8: Dallas at Anaheim
Dunkel Ratings: Dallas 11.168; Anaheim 10.722
Dunkel Line & Total: Dallas by 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Anaheim (-125); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Dallas (+115); Under

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, December 8,2009

BIG AL
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Cal State Northridge at Denver
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The Pioneers have one of the bigger home/road dichotomies in College Hoops. Since November 28, 2004, they're a solid 50-19 straight-up, and 39-19-2 ATS at home, including 28-12 as a favorite, but on the road, they're a miserable 26-115 straight-up and cover just 40% vs. non-conference foes. Last year, the Matadors blew out Denver 80-53, but of course that game was at Northridge. Now, in Denver, let's lay the points, as Denver is a super 29-11 ATS at home when playing with revenge from a loss in the previous season to its opponent, including a perfect 9-0 ATS when Denver is favored vs. a foe off a straight-up loss. Northridge, indeed, checks into tonight's game off a 12-point loss at Washington. Good luck - Big Al McMordie
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Play on: Denver

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, December 8,2009

Tom Freese

Arizona St at BYU

BYU is 8-1 ATS their last 9 games off an ATS win and they are 6-2 ATS their last 8 games overall. The Cougars are 4-1 ATS after allowing less than 50 points in their last game and they are 7-3 ATS their last 10 games vs. a team with a winning record. Arizona St is 1-5 ATS their last 6 games vs. Mountain West teams and they are 2-5 ATS their last 7 Non Conference games. The Sun Devils are 2-5 ATS their last games over all and they are 1-4 ATS their last 5 meetings vs. the Cougars. PLAY ON BYU -

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, December 8,2009

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New Jersey Nets @ Chicago Bulls
Play: New Jersey Nets +6.5
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The Bulls are a struggling team and should not be laying this many points against anyone right now. Chicago has lost seven out of their last eight games and they are only 1-6-1 against the spread in those games. The Bulls really miss Ben Gordon and have not found a replacement for Gordon's scoring off of the bench. John Salmons and Luol Deng are both struggling with their shots, and Derrick Rose seems to be suffering from a sophomore slump. New Jersey has only won one game this season, but the Nets are getting healthy and having Devin Harris back in the lineup is a big help. Take the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, December 8,2009

Bobby Maxwell

Scored a FREE winner on Monday with the Jazz getting the win and cover at home over the Spurs. Improved to 22-11 with my last 33 comp selections and I've got another winner tonight as the Nuggets are in Charlotte to take on the Bobcats.

Denver is into Game 2 of its four-game road trip after having taken the first game on Monday in Philadelphia, winning 93-83 as a seven-point road favorite. This Nuggets team is good and they are going to go into Charlotte and win this one by 10 at least.

They have won and covered four straight and they’ve won eight of their last nine, cashing in seven of those nine, including three straight on the road. The Nuggets have a potent offense and they can score as well as any team in the NBA. They are averaging 112.6 points a game over the last nine contests and 113.4 points a game when they win.

Charlotte had dropped two in a row, including Friday’s six-point loss to the previously winless New Jersey Nets, before getting a 106-105 home win over the Sixers on Saturday. The Bobcats haven’t covered in three games and they scored between 90 and 94 in three straight before Saturday’s win over Philly.

Last year the Nuggets went to Charlotte and won 88-80 as a 2 ½-point favorite and scored a 110-99 win over the Bobcats in Denver. The Nuggets are 7-2 SU and ATS in the last nine meetings with Charlotte.

Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Nene, Kenyon Martin and young Arron Afflalo won’t let the back-to-back bother them. They are actually 4-2 on the second night of back-to-backs this season, but on huge ATS runs of 36-17 overall, 5-1 against the Eastern Conference and 6-1 on Tuesdays. On the other side, the Bobcats are 2-5 ATS against the Western Conference, 1-5 after getting two days off and 0-6 against the Northwest Division.

Denver has the experience and, more importantly, the talent advantage in this one.
3♦ DENVER

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, December 8,2009

Dominic Fazzini 

I just continue to consistently give out winners with my complimentary selections, picking up another victory Monday as The Citadel covered against Michigan State. That pushes my record over the past 59 days to 38-21, including a 21-8 run!

Now I'm looking at the Nuggets to come through for me today. Denver has been solid on the road all season, going 7-4, and has averaged 107.7 points over its last three road games, wins and covers at Minnesota, San Antonio and Philadelphia.

The Nuggets downed the 76ers 93-83 on Monday night despite getting just 14 points from Carmelo Anthony, the first time all season he has scored less than 20, as Denver took control of the game with a 22-3 second-half run. I'm looking for Anthony to bounce back in a big way tonight against Charlotte, a team that he has lit up to the tune of an average of 27.7 points in 10 career games.

The Bobcats can sometimes go long stretches without scoring, and average just 89.4 ppg. They are also the only team to lose to the 1-19 Nets, falling 97-91 to New Jersey on Friday. And there is a chance Charlotte point guard Raymond Felton won't play tonight after brusing his ribs Saturday against the 76ers.

Denver has won and covered in four straight games, and is 9-1 SU and 7-2 ATS over its last nine. The Bobcats are 3-7 SU all time against the Nuggets, and 2-7 ATS in their last nine vs. Denver. And the favorite in this series is 7-2 ATS in the teams' last nine meetings. Take the Nuggets to win and cover on the road tonight.
3♦ DENVER

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, December 8,2009

Stephen Nover   

The offenses of both of these teams is downright offensive.

New Jersey is last in most of the major offensive categories including scoring (87.6 points per game) and field goal percentage (41 percent).

The Bulls aren't much better. They are averaging 90.4 points per game and are shooting just 43.2 percent from the floor. Only Memphis and Utah have taken fewer 3-pointers than the Bulls entering this week.

Just once in 18 games have the Bulls scored more than 100 points and shot better than 50 percent from the floor. It's no surprise that Chicago has the highest percent of unders this season going below the total in 13 of its 18 (72 percent) games this season.

Both teams have multiple injuries. The Bulls are minus Kirk Hinrich and Tyrus Thomas forcing coach Vinny Del Negro to give minutes to hobbled role players Lindsey Hunter and Jannero Pargo.

John Salmons has been a major disappointment shooting less than 40 percent from the field and Derrick Rose has been slow to match his outstanding rookie season because of an early-season ankle injury.
2♦ UNDER NETS/BULLS

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, December 8,2009

LT Profits

Texas Tech @ TCU

This total seems a shade light when you consider the pace that both the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the TCU Horned Frogs have played at, so we are looking for a rather safe Over in Fort Worth tonight.

Texas Tech is off to a blazing 8-0 start, and they are averaging 78.1 points per game while hitting an excellent 47.5 percent from the field. They are coming off of a 99-92 overtime win vs. a very good Washington team, and they are shooting a blistering 49.0 percent including a nice 38.6 percent on three-point attempts over their last five games. Not surprisingly, the Over is 6-1-1 in the last eight Texas Tech non-conference games.

TCU has not been too shabby offensively either at 73.7 points per game, and they are also allowing 70.0 points per game on defense, accounting for their 5-3 record. They are shooting an excellent 38.8 percent from three-point land for the season, a percentage that rises to 39.8 percent in the last five games, where they are averaging 76.8 points.

We look for Texas Tech to have their way with what can be a shaky Horned Frogs defense, and for TCU to stay in this game by continuing to hit their threes with regularity. Thus, we see no reason why the end result here will not get into the 140s.

Pick: Texas Tech/TCU Over 137.5

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, December 8,2009

David Malinsky

Wisconsin-Milwaukee @ Marquette
PICK: Wisconsin-Milwaukee +15

You do not have to look hard to see why Marquette fell so badly in the second half of those last two defeats vs. Florida State and N. C. State – Buzz Williams has a rotation that is awfully short on depth right now, and considering that not much comes easily for his starting lineup, fatigue takes a toll. In those two games the Golden Eagle starters had to play 324 of the 400 floor minutes, and they were out-scored 91-63 in the second half. And how about full-game shooting percentages of 37.9 and 38.9? Those same ingredients make the most vulnerable in the big chalk role that has been set for them tonight, especially against an opponent that is going to throw everything they have at them for the full 40 minutes.

UWM has waited for a long time to renew this inner-city rivalry, but Rob Jeter was unfortunate the past two seasons to run into those Dominic James-Jerrel McNeal-Wesley Matthews Marquette teams. That led to a couple of humbling defeats, but now the Panthers see a real chance not just to hang around, but to win the whole game. While the favored Golden Eagles bring so few useable puzzle pieces, Jeter has 11 players averaging at least eight minutes or more per game. And while they are not always pretty, they do play hard – in six of nine games they have reached double figures in offensive rebounds, and in three of those games they grabbed at least 16 caroms off the offensive glass. It is that tenacity that makes it hard for Marquette to ever build much of a margin, and even if a margin does get out there at any time, the back-door remains open.

Consider what this matchup means to the rosters. Six of the 11 Panthers in the main rotation are from Wisconsin, and Ricky Franklin and Anthony Hill are from Milwaukee. Meanwhile if reserve FR G Jeronne Maymon has to sit out again it means only one player from the state in the Marquette rotation. This game just does not bring that same passion for the favorite that it does for the underdog, especially with a trip to Madison to face Wisconsin on Saturday a much higher profile game for Williams and his team. They may have enough to escape with the outright win here, but it stays well within the high market projections.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, December 8,2009

Dave Price

1 Unit on New Jersey Nets +7

The Bulls are really struggling, having lost 7 of their last 8 with 6 of those losses coming by double digits. We all know about how awful the Nets have been this season, but they are showing excellent value catching 7 points tonight against a struggling Bulls team because of their poor public perception. With the public all over Chicago, odds makers are looking to collect with a New Jersey cover. The Bulls just can't be trusted to lay too many points right now when you consider that they are just 1-9-2 ATS in their last 12 games as a home favorite. We'll take the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, December 8,2009

Jr Tips

SUNS at MAVERICKS

The Phoenix Suns have cooled off since the beginning of December because their run-and-gun offense has slowed down while the Dallas Mavericks offense has struggled in their past two games as the scoring-starved Mavericks look to avoid losing a third straight game for the first time in 11 months.The Mavericks have shot a season low 35.2 percent in a 98-82 loss at Memphis on Friday and connected on 37.3 percent of its season low 67 shots a night later in an 80-75 home loss to Atlanta. Dirk Nowitzki scored 32 points Saturday after being held to 16 in Memphis but the Mavericks' biggest offensive issue is finding more help beyond the former MVP and guard Jason Terry who averaged 17.9 points off the bench before making his starting debut this past Saturday.Josh Howard is still out from ankle surgery but until he does, Dallas has to go with rookie Rodrigue Beaubois, J.J. Barea or Terry starting alongside Jason Kidd in the backcourt and Shawn Marion isn't adding much offensive punch in the frontcourt. Phoenix has dropped three of four since its 14-3 start as the Suns were held to 99 and 90 in blowout losses at New York and Cleveland before getting blown out by the Lakers 108-88 on Sunday. Phoenix dropped to 8-6 on the road and both teams will look to break out of their offensive funks considering they averaged 233.0 points a game last season. Nowitzki scored 30.0 points per game leading Dallas to three wins last season while Nash averaged 16.0 points. Offensive futility will continue tonight as both teams have key players that are out with the Mavericks Josh Howard and Suns guard Leandro Barbosa out who averaged 20.7 points last season against the Mavericks. Tonight's total is way to high considering both teams are having major problems with offensive chemistry.

TAKE UNDER 214

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, December 8,2009

Karl Garrett

Sacramento at NEW ORLEANS -7

Monday night football comp play winner on the UNDER last night, now 4-1 the last 5 days with my comp plays.

NBA for Tuesday, and I am laying the points with the Hornets as they host a Sacramento team that has covered 8 straight in the series!

Time for that to change, as the Kings have dropped their last pair, and are playing their 3rd game in 4 nights tonight.

New Orleans meanwhile, has been off since Friday night's home win, but non- cover versus Minnesota. The Hornets home winning streak stands at 5 in a row, and the only non-cover in that span was Friday's non-cover against the Wolves, as the Hornets won by 9 points as the 9 1/2 point favorite.

While they have failed the last 8 in the series, the Hornets have won 4 of the last 5 meetings.

Going to lay it tonight, as the schedule most definitely favors the rested home team in this one.

3♦ NEW ORLEANS

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, December 8,2009

Chris Jordan

Vanderbilt +4 at ILLINOIS 

I don't like the make-up of the Illni one bit, and anyone who believes in a team whose defense has worsened since the season started needs to pay closer attention to college basketball this time of the year.

Said Illinois coach Bruce Weber about his team's defense: "It's something they have to start taking some pride in, understanding how important it is. We can score more points than last year ... but we've got to be solid (on defense)."

Anyone pay attention to how the Illini allowed Boise State to shoot nearly 56 percent from the field? And that was at Assembly Hall, where experience-laden Vanderbilt will take the court tonight.

I've been impressed by the Commodores since Day 1, as they've knocked off the likes of Arizona, Missouri and DePaul en route to a 6-1 start.

And how are they winning ball games? Offense. And what do you think a team averaging 76.1 points per game and that is in revenge will want to do? Vanderbilt returned three of its top players - Jefrey Taylor, A.J. Ogilvy and Jermaine Beal - and has a stud-freshman emerging as an impact player in John Jenkins.

And since the 'Dores are playing in sync, and the Illini are looking awfully pedestrian while their opponents drive the lane and have freshmen still learning the nuances of the struggling defense, I actually think this one could get out of hand early.

5♦ VANDERBILT

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, December 8,2009

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, December 8,2009

Wunderdog

Iowa at Northern Iowa
Pick: Iowa +10

This will be an intensely played game as the Panthers’ annual clashes with Iowa State and Iowa usually are. I respect the Panthers’ talent and they certainly could win the MVC, but playing in a BCS Conference is never easy regardless of the talent because there is usually enough to stay in the game. Last year Iowa tore this team apart while the Panthers also lost to Iowa State. This year they slipped past Iowa State, but by just three points, and I don't see them taking a Hawkeyes team out by double-digits here. The Panthers are 0-4 ATS as a home favorite in this range and 6-13 ATS in their last 19 out-of-conference tilts. The dog has prevailed in this series in six of the last eight, so I'll go with Iowa in this one.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, December 8,2009

SPORTS WAGERS

NY Islanders +1.64 over PHILADELPHIA

It sure is nice to see the Flyers buying into a new system under its new coach, Peter Laviolette. Since taking over two games ago the Flyers dropped the first one, 8-2 at home to the Caps and last night they managed 15 shots on net in a 3-1 loss to the Canadiens. Now the Flyers will play its third game in four nights against a rested and dangerous Islander team and they’ll play it as a -1.75 favorite. Are you kidding me? Win or lose, this one is a giant overlay and must be played for three reasons. One, the Flyers are a complete grease-fire right now; two, the tag and three, its goaltending remains as unreliable as any team in the league. Play: NY Islanders +1.64 (Risking 2 units).


OTTAWA -½ +1.05 over Montreal

Jaroslav Halak is the confirmed starter for the Habs and although he’s capable of a good game, he’s not been sharp this season and he’s not Carey Price. Despite winning last night the Canadiens mustered a lousy 13 shots on net. In fact, in five of its last eight games, Montreal has had 23 shots on net or less. The fact that Montreal is a .500 hockey club is remarkable because they might be the least talented club in the NHL and it might not be close. Anyway, when you keep getting outplayed it’ll eventually catch up to you and prior to winning two in a row the Habs went winless in four straight and lost five of six. This team is just not good enough to string together wins consistently and with no Carey Price in net, its chances of winning decrease dramatically. Halaks’ last strart was a 6-2 loss to the Sabres and his save percentage this year is an alarming .838. The Sens return home from a long west coast trip and that’s not the greatest scenario, however, even at their worst they should be this intruder and it’s worth noting that the team always gets extra juiced when Montreal is in town. Play: Ottawa -½ +1.05 (Risking 2 units). 


Milwaukee +12 over BOSTON

This is an extremely vulnerable spot for the Celtics. They’re on cruise control with a 16-4 record after sweeping a four-game trip through Miami, Charlotte, San Antonio and Oklahoma City. They returned home after Friday’s game and have not played since. They won all four games of its road trip and barely broke a sweat in three of them. Boston could be feeling a little complacent here and certainly there’s no urgency whatsoever. The C’s stock is high while the Bucks has hit a season low, thus creating an inflated line. Remember, Milwaukee shot out of the gate to an 8-3 record but has lost seven of eight and now sit a game under .500 at 9-10. There’s some urgency for them for sure and one has to trust they’ll be ready to play here. The Celtics are a team that ranks near the bottom of the league in every rebounding category including allowing second chance opportunities. At this level you can’t keep winning so easily when you get dominated on the glass and those shortcomings for the C’s has to catch up to them at some point. Play: Milwaukee +12 (Risking 2.1 units to win 2).


CHICAGO –7 +1.02 over New Jersey

The best thing about this game is that the Bulls are coming off a 32-point loss at home to the Raps. In fact, Chicago has dropped seven of eight and now sit four games under .500. This is no time to be taking anyone lightly and who better to take its frustrations out on than the New Jersey Nets. Of those seven recent losses by the Bulls, five of tem were by double-digits and one other was by nine. In other words, the Bulls have been manhandled and embarrassed by a slew of different opponents and no way do they not show up for this one after they hit rock bottom in its last game. Because of its recent slump the Bulls are undervalued here. Thing is they played some of the toughest teams in the NBA including three in succession against the Lakers, Nuggets and Blazers and all three were on the road. The Bulls will welcome this intruder and they won’t be in a sympathetic mood. Remember, against Toronto in its last game the Bulls were a 6-point favorite and now they’re a single point higher against this 1-19 dumpster-fire. Play: Chicago –7 +1.02 (Risking 2 units). 


Evansville +14 over WESTERN KENTUCKY

It’s amazing how public perception of a mid-major changes once they reach the tournament. Western Kentucky not only made the tournament last year, but they managed to upset Illinois in the first round before losing a very close game to Gonzaga in the second round. These results made Western Kentucky’s prestige rise significantly but also have made them a terrible bet thus far, as they show a 1-5 record against the spread and haven’t performed anywhere close to the level they were at last year. For them to lay 14 points when they can’t shoot from deep (29.5%) from the free throw line (64.8%) or defend anyone (50.3 FG% against) is ridiculous. Evansville isn’t a powerhouse by any stretch but played Butler close and at this point can be considered to be playing at the same level as Western Kentucky. The books will adjust the lines on the Hilltopper’s games but until they do so I’m going to fade a team that is a shell of last year’s team. Play: #531 Evansville +14 (Risking 2.1 units to win 2).


DENVER/Cal State Northridge over 144

What happens when a team playing at an extremely high pace meets a team that’s allergic to fast breaks? Usually, the team that runs baits the other into playing its style and that results in points. Even if Denver doesn’t run on every possession, you can feel comfortable they will get their points, as they shoot a prolific 57% on two-point field goals and an astounding 42.6% on three’s. Cal State Northridge isn’t as efficient as Denver, but they play at the eighth fastest pace in Division I and haven’t given up less than 68 points in any game this season. All the factors I look for are present when making over wagers and if this one happens to lose, you can take solace that both teams simply played out of character. Mix high tempo with remarkable efficiency and the results should be points on the scoreboard. Play: #536 DENVER/Cal State Northridge over 144 (Risking 2.04 units to win 2).

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