Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 9,2009

Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 9,2009



Cleveland (15-6, 11-10 ATS) at Houston (11-9, 12-8 ATS)

The Cavaliers look to get back on track after Tuesday’s stunning loss at Memphis when they conclude a quick three-game, four-day road trip with a battle with the Rockets at the Toyota Center.

Cleveland took a four-game SU and ATS winning streak to Memphis last night and lost 111-109 in overtime, falling as a seven-point road favorite. Prior to Tuesday, the Cavs had won four straight games by double digits while scoring more than 100 points in every contest (105 ppg) and limiting all five opponents to 95 points or less (89.5 ppg).

Since starting the season with consecutive losses to Boston at home and Toronto on the road, the Cavaliers are 15-4 SU, including 7-3 SU and ATS on the highway. The winner has covered the spread in all 11 of Cleveland’s road games.

Houston is coming off a four-game road trip that began with three straight victories over Oklahoma City, the Clippers and Golden State, but it came up just short of completing the perfect trip Saturday, falling 90-89 at Portland. The Rockets did cash as a 5 ½-point ‘dog against the Blazers, improving to 3-1 ATS in their last four following an 0-3 ATS hiccup. On the downside, Rick Adelman’s squad has lost two in a row and three of four at home, failing to cash in all four games, with the defense surrendering 109.8 ppg.

These teams split their season series last year, with the host prevailing in each contest, including the Rockets’ 93-74 rout as a 3½-point home underdog. The Rockets are 3-1 SU and ATS in the last four head-to-head matchups and 7-3 SU (8-2 ATS) in the last 10, going 4-1 SU and 5-0 ATS the last five years at the Toyota Center. Finally in this rivalry, the home team has cashed in six of the last seven meetings and the favorite is 5-1 ATS in the last six.

In addition to cashing in four of their last five games overall, the Cavaliers are on positive pointspread streaks of 7-3 on the highway, 4-0 against the Southwest Division, 6-3 against the Western Conference, 15-5-1 versus opponents with a winning record and 13-6 on Wednesday.

The Rockets are 5-1 ATS in their last six on Wednesday and 4-1 ATS in their last five against the Eastern Conference, but their 0-4 ATS slump at home is bolstered by a 2-7-1 ATS mark in their last 10 against teams from the Central Division. Also, the underdog is 10-2 ATS in Houston’s last 12 games, including 4-0 at the Toyota Center.

The under is on runs of 4-2 for Cleveland overall, 7-1 for Cleveland against winning teams, 5-0 for Houston overall, 5-1 for Houston against winning teams and 19-9 for Houston when playing on Wednesday. Also, these teams have stayed under the total in five of their last six meetings overall and six of the last seven battles in Houston.


Utah (12-8, 11-9 ATS) at L.A. Lakers (16-3, 9-10 ATS)

The Lakers gun for their 10th consecutive victory when they entertain the Jazz at the Staples Center for the first time since these squads met in the opening round of last year’s playoffs.

Utah escaped with a 104-101 home win over the Spurs on Monday, sinking two free throws with less than two seconds remaining to cash as a two-point favorite. The Jazz have won five of their last seven and eight of their last 10, and they’re also on a 9-3 ATS run (3-1 ATS last four on the road). Jerry Sloan’s squad had limited four straight opponents to an average of 89.5 ppg – going 4-0 SU and ATS, all at home – but has since given up 108 and 101 in its last two outings, splitting the contests both SU and ATS.

Two days after keeping its streak alive with a last-second 108-107 home victory over Miami as a 12 ½-point favorite, Los Angeles got back to its dominating ways Sunday, blowing out the Suns 108-88 as a 9½-point home chalk for its ninth straight win. The Lakers are 6-3 ATS during their winning streak, scoring in triple digits in every game while the defense has allowed only Miami to reach the century mark. Also, eight of the nine wins have been double-digit routs (again, only exception being against the Heat), and L.A.’s average margin of victory has been 14.3 ppg (108.6-94.3). Phil Jackson’s squad has scored in triple figures in each of its last 15 wins while managing just 91, 79 and 80 points in its three defeats.

The Jazz have alternated wins and losses in their last seven road games, most recently losing at Minnesota 108-101 as a 7 ½-point favorite on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Lakers have played 15 of their first 19 games at the Staples Center, including eight of nine during their current winning streak.

The Lakers have eliminated Utah from the postseason each of the last two years, needing five games to do the job last year, going just 2-3 ATS. Los Angeles is 5-1 in the last six meetings (3-3 ATS), and 9-3 ATS in the last 12 matchups in Hollywood. Also, the home team has won 15 of the last 18 SU in this rivalry and is 15-7-1 ATS in the last 23 clashes.

The winner is 17-3 ATS in Utah’s 20 games this season (7-0 ATS last seven) and 11-3 in the Lakers’ last 14 contests (9-2 ATS last 11 at home).

Utah is on pointspread upticks of 5-1 overall, 4-1 against winning teams and 4-0 when playing after one day of rest, but it has failed to cash in 15 of 22 road games, 12 of 17 after a SU win and six of seven on Wednesday. The Lakers are 6-3 ATS in their last nine overall and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 after a spread-cover.

For the Jazz, the over on runs of 4-1 overall, 4-1 on the road, 5-0 against the Western Conference, 6-1 when playing on one day of rest and 8-3 against winning teams. The over is also 3-1-1 in L.A.’s last five overall, 8-3 in its last 11 against winning teams and 7-3 in its last 10 on Wednesday. Finally, these teams have topped the total in eight of their last 11 meetings overall and six of their last seven contests at the Staples Center.



(4) Kentucky vs. (14) UConn
(at New York)

UConn returns to Madison Square Garden for the second time in less than three weeks as it tries to knock the Wildcats from the ranks of the unbeatens in the SEC/Big East Invitational.

The Huskies shot just 36.1 percent from the field and missed 13 of 28 free-throw attempts in an ugly 68-59 loss to Duke at the Garden back on Nov. 7. However, they’ve bounced back with a pair of home victories over Boston University (92-64 in a non-lined contest) and Harvard (79-73, falling way short as an 18½-point favorite). Take away the poor offensive effort against Duke, and UConn has scored at least 75 points in every game (all victories), averaging 80 ppg.

Kentucky held off No. 10 North Carolina 68-66 on Saturday, falling just short of covering as a 3½-point home favorite. Patrick Patterson (19 points, seven rebounds) and true freshman John Wall (16 points, five rebounds, seven assists) led the way for the Wildcats, who won despite committing 20 turnovers and making just 14 of 22 foul shots, but the defense stepped up, limiting the defending champs to just 38.8 percent shooting. First-year coach John Calipari has seen his team pull out a pair of two-point home wins (68-66 over UNC; 72-70 over Miami of Ohio), while also needed overtime to knock off Stanford in a neutral-site game.

These college basketball superpowers last met in the second round of the 2006 NCAA Tournament, with the Huskies scoring an 87-83 win and Kentucky cashing as a nine-point underdog.

In lined action, UConn is on ATS runs of 8-3 at neutral sites, 8-3 against the SEC and 4-0 on Wednesday, but the Huskies have failed to cover in six of seven overall and five of six after a SU win. Kentucky is in ATS slumps of 2-5 overall, 3-7 after an outright victory and 0-5 on Wednesday, but it is 11-3-1 ATS in its last 14 against Big East opponents.

UConn has topped the total in eight of 11 overall, five of seven in non-conference play and 19 of 26 at neutral sites, and Kentucky has gone over the number in four of five against the Big East. Conversely, the Wildcats are on “under” runs of 9-2 overall, 5-0 at neutral venues, 6-2 after a SU win and 13-6 after an ATS setback.


(3) Villanova (8-0, 6-1 ATS) vs. St. Joe’s (3-4, 2-4 ATS)
(at Philadelphia)

Villanova puts its unblemished record on the line in an annual “Big Five” clash with Philadelphia-area rival St. Joe’s at the Palestra

The Wildcats moved to 8-0 with Sunday’s 95-86 rout of Maryland, cashing as a 2½-point road favorite, their fifth straight spread-cover. Villanova has topped 70 points in all but one game – when it scored 69 in a one-point squeaker against George Mason – and is averaging 82.4 ppg despite shooting only 42.9 percent from the field. Going back to last year’s run to the Final Four, Villanova is on a 25-5 roll (20-9 ATS in lined games).

St. Joe’s started the season with three straight narrow wins over Drexel (77-67 in overtime), Holy Cross (69-67) and Boston College (84-80), but the Hawks have since dropped four in a row SU and ATS, most recently falling Sunday to Cornell 78-66 as a 10-point road underdog. St. Joe’s has put up just 62.5 ppg during its losing streak.

Villanova held off the Hawks 59-56 last year, but failed to cover as an 11½-point road favorite. The Wildcats have taken four of the last five meetings, but they’ve come up short of cashing the last two years following a 5-1-1 ATS run. Finally, the favorite is on a 5-1-1 ATS roll in this rivalry.

In addition to its 20-9 ATS run overall (5-0 ATS last five), Villanova is on ATS upticks of 4-1 on Wednesday, 7-2 against teams with losing records and 18-7-2 against opponents out of the Atlantic 10 Conference. St. Joe’s is in pointspread funks of 0-4 overall (all in non-conference play), 0-4 against winning teams, 2-8 after a SU defeat and 2-7 following an ATS loss.

For the Wildcats, the under is on streaks of 5-2 on the road, 18-7-1 in non-conference action, 19-7 versus the A-10 and 7-3 on Wednesday. Meanwhile, St. Joe’s has topped the total in five straight lined games overall, but otherwise the Hawks are on “under” tears of 5-2 at home, 4-0 against the Big East, 6-0 against winning teams and 25-12 on Wednesday.

Lastly, these squads have stayed under the total in each of their last six head-to-head meetings.


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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 9,2009

Marc Lawrence

Wisconsin at Wis-Green Bay
Prediction: Wis-Green Bay

The Phoenix return home to host Wisconsin in this battle of Badger state rivals knowing they are 5-1 ATS in this series. With Wisconsin looking dead ahead to a bigger double-revenge battle with Marquette up next, look for Green Bay to improve to 28-6 SU and 19-8-2 ATS at the Resch Center here tonight.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 9,2009

Jim Feist

Sacramento Kings vs. San Antonio Spurs    
Play: San Antonio Spurs -12

San Antonio is terrific at home and hungry for a win, riding a 3-game skid against Boston, Denver and Utah. They could use a cupcake and, fortunately, that's what they get against Sacramento, a team that lost 7 of its first 8 road games. This is a tough situational handicapping spot for the visitors, playing their 4th game in 5 nights, plus the second of a back to back road spot after playing at New Orleans last night. San Antonio is rested and 8-4 at home. Play the Spurs.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 9,2009

Bobby Maxwell

Utah at L.A. LAKERS -10

I'm 22-12 with my last 34 FREE selections and I'm getting today's winner as I go with the Lakers at home to get the win and cover over the Jazz.

Do the Lakers ever go on the road? This team has had 19 games this season with 15 being on their home court. How is that fair? They are back at home for this one and I’m jumping all over them as the Jazz just aren’t very good on the road.

I love Utah when they are at home, but on the road, it’s a good bet-against. The home team has won seven of the last eight meetings between these two and the home team is also on a 15-7-1 ATS run in the last 23 contests.

The Lakers disposed of the Jazz 4-1 in last year’s Western Conference playoffs and they’ve now won nine in a row after Sunday’s 108-88 win over the Suns, cashing as a 9 ½-point favorite. They are 6-3 ATS during their winning streak and they’ve topped the 100-point mark in each of the six while the defense has dominated, holding teams to double-digits in eight of the nine.

Utah’s last roadie was in Minnesota on Saturday when the Jazz lost 108-101 to the lowly Timberwolves as a 7 ½-point favorite.

On the highway, the Jazz are just 7-15 ATS and they are 5-12 ATS after a straight-up win. Meanwhile the Lakers are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 after a spread-cover.

Los Angeles always seems to beat up the Jazz when they meet in the Staples Center. No different tonight. Lay the chalk and play the Lakers.


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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 9,2009


Portland at Indiana     
The Pacers look to take advantage of a Portland team that is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games as a favorite. Indiana is the pick (+6 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has Portland favored by only 3 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Indiana (+6 1/2)

Game 701-702: Chicago at Atlanta
Dunkel Ratings: Chicago 110.825; Atlanta 119.382
Dunkel Line & Total: Atlanta by 8 1/2; 198
Vegas Line & Total: Atlanta by 11; 196
Dunkel Pick: Chicago (+11); Over

Game 703-704: Detroit at Philadelphia
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit 114.881; Philadelphia 117.215
Dunkel Line & Total: Philadelphia by 2 1/2; 201
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 705-706: Portland at Indiana
Dunkel Ratings: Portland 113.653; Indiana 110.090
Dunkel Line & Total: Portland by 3 1/2; 195
Vegas Line & Total: Portland by 6 1/2; 191
Dunkel Pick: Indiana (+6 1/2); Over

Game 707-708: Golden State at New Jersey
Dunkel Ratings: Golden State 112.928; New Jersey 115.386
Dunkel Line & Total: New Jersey by 2 1/2; 220
Vegas Line & Total: Golden State by 3; 216 1/2
Dunkel Pick: New Jersey (+3); Over

Game 709-710: Toronto at Milwaukee
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto 115.284; Milwaukee 118.561
Dunkel Line & Total: Milwaukee by 3 1/2; 205
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 711-712: New Orleans at Minnesota
Dunkel Ratings: New Orleans 117.778; Minnesota 110.915
Dunkel Line & Total: New Orleans by 7; 199
Vegas Line & Total: New Orleans by 4; 197
Dunkel Pick: New Orleans (-4); Over

Game 713-714: Cleveland at Houston
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland 123.685; Houston 119.342
Dunkel Line & Total: Cleveland by 4 1/2; 190
Vegas Line & Total: Cleveland by 2; 194 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (-2); Under

Game 715-716: Sacramento at San Antonio
Dunkel Ratings: Sacramento 114.671; San Antonio 125.256
Dunkel Line & Total: San Antonio by 10 1/2; 199
Vegas Line & Total: San Antonio by 12; 204
Dunkel Pick: Sacramento (+12); Under

Game 717-718: Utah at LA Lakers
Dunkel Ratings: Utah 120.450; LA Lakers 132.582
Dunkel Line & Total: LA Lakers by 12; 210
Vegas Line & Total: LA Lakers by 10; 206 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Lakers (-10); Over


Providence at George Washington
The Colonials look to take advantage of a Providence team that is 6-16 ATS in its last 22 games as an underdog between 1 and 6 1/2 points. George Washington is the pick (-2) according to Dunkel, which has the Colonials favored by 3 1/2. Dunkel Pick: George Washington (-2)

Game 719-720: Valparaiso at Purdue
Dunkel Ratings: Valparaiso 49.527; Purdue 75.012
Dunkel Line: Purdue by 25 1/2
Vegas Line: Purdue by 23
Dunkel Pick: Purdue (-23)

Game 721-722: Harvard at Boston College
Dunkel Ratings: Harvard 57.636; Boston College 74.218
Dunkel Line: Boston College by 16 1/2
Vegas Line: Boston College by 11 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Boston College (-11 1/2)

Game 723-724: Georgia vs. St. John's
Dunkel Ratings: Georgia 54.526; St. John's 71.983
Dunkel Line: St. John's by 17 1/2
Vegas Line: St. John's by 11 1/2
Dunkel Pick: St. John's (-11 1/2)

Game 725-726: Duquesne at West Virginia
Dunkel Ratings: Duquesne 58.465; West Virginia 73.887
Dunkel Line: West Virginia by 15 1/2
Vegas Line: West Virginia by 17
Dunkel Pick: Duquesne (+17)

Game 727-728: Providence at George Washington
Dunkel Ratings: Providence 62.202; George Washington 65.640
Dunkel Line: George Washington by 3 1/2
Vegas Line: George Washington by 2
Dunkel Pick: George Washington (-2)

Game 729-730: Wisconsin at WI-Green Bay
Dunkel Ratings: Wisconsin 70.003; WI-Green Bay 66.123
Dunkel Line: Wisconsin by 4
Vegas Line: Wisconsin by 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: WI-Green Bay (+5 1/2)

Game 731-732: Ball State at Indiana State
Dunkel Ratings: Ball State 49.406; Indiana State 65.065
Dunkel Line: Indiana State by 15 1/2
Vegas Line: Indiana State by 12
Dunkel Pick: Indiana State (-12)

Game 733-734: Michigan at Utah
Dunkel Ratings: Michigan 62.480; Utah 64.306
Dunkel Line: Utah by 2
Vegas Line: Pick
Dunkel Pick: Utah

Game 735-736: Villanova at St. Joseph's
Dunkel Ratings: Villanova 71.901; St. Joseph's 60.773
Dunkel Line: Villanova by 11
Vegas Line: Villanova by 14
Dunkel Pick: St. Joseph's (+14)

Game 737-738: Kentucky vs. Connecticut
Dunkel Ratings: Kentucky 74.635; Connecticut 71.001
Dunkel Line: Kentucky by 3 1/2
Vegas Line: Pick
Dunkel Pick: Kentucky

Game 739-740: California at Pacific
Dunkel Ratings: California 67.608; Pacific 58.390
Dunkel Line: California by 9
Vegas Line: California by 7
Dunkel Pick: California (-7)

Game 741-742: New Mexico at San Diego
Dunkel Ratings: New Mexico 59.847; San Diego 52.124
Dunkel Line: New Mexico by 7 1/2
Vegas Line: New Mexico by 4
Dunkel Pick: New Mexico (-4)

Game 743-744: Idaho at Washington State
Dunkel Ratings: Idaho 59.818; Washington State 65.261
Dunkel Line: Washington State by 5 1/2
Vegas Line: Washington State by 6
Dunkel Pick: Idaho (+6)

Game 745-746: CS-Fullerton at San Diego State
Dunkel Ratings: CS-Fullerton 51.212; San Diego State 63.633
Dunkel Line: San Diego State by 12 1/2
Vegas Line: San Diego State by 14
Dunkel Pick: CS-Fullerton (+14)

Game 747-748: Louisiana Tech at Arizona
Dunkel Ratings: Louisiana Tech 59.555; Arizona 67.850
Dunkel Line: Arizona by 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Arizona by 7
Dunkel Pick: Arizona (-7)

Game 749-750: La Salle at Rider
Dunkel Ratings: La Salle 57.450; Rider 61.121
Dunkel Line: Rider by 3 1/2
Vegas Line: Rider by 1
Dunkel Pick: Rider (-1)

Game 751-752: Austin Peay at Ohio
Dunkel Ratings: Austin Peay 51.862; Ohio 60.210
Dunkel Line: Ohio by 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Ohio by 9
Dunkel Pick: Austin Peay (+9)

Game 753-754: Buffalo at Niagara
Dunkel Ratings: Buffalo 52.049; Niagara 60.352
Dunkel Line: Niagara by 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Niagara by 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Buffalo (+9 1/2)

Game 755-756: Manhattan at Hofstra
Dunkel Ratings: Manhattan 52.280; Hofstra 61.301
Dunkel Line: Hofstra by 9
Vegas Line: Hofstra by 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Hofstra (-7 1/2)

Game 757-758: Tennessee Martin at Missouri State
Dunkel Ratings: Tennessee Martin 47.246; Missouri State 61.280
Dunkel Line: Missouri State by 14
Vegas Line: Missouri State by 17 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Tennessee Martin (+17 1/2)

Game 759-760: Montana State at Memphis
Dunkel Ratings: Montana State 52.506; Memphis 74.787
Dunkel Line: Memphis by 22 1/2
Vegas Line: Memphis by 21 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Memphis (-21 1/2)

Game 761-762: Western Michigan at Eastern Illinois
Dunkel Ratings: Western Michigan 52.395; Eastern Illinois 52.443
Dunkel Line: Even
Vegas Line: Western Michigan by 3
Dunkel Pick: Eastern Illinois (+3)

Game 763-764: Southern Illinois at SE Missouri State
Dunkel Ratings: Southern Illinois 57.669; SE Missouri State 43.249
Dunkel Line: Southern Illinois by 14 1/2
Vegas Line: Southern Illinois by 11 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Southern Illinois (-11 1/2)

Game 765-766: Boise State at Idaho State
Dunkel Ratings: Boise State 52.588; Idaho State 55.415
Dunkel Line: Idaho State by 3
Vegas Line: Idaho State by 1 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Idaho State (-1 1/2)

Game 767-768: Radford at Kansas
Dunkel Ratings: Radford 50.842; Kansas 79.368
Dunkel Line: Kansas by 28 1/2
Vegas Line: Kansas by 31 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Radford (+31 1/2)


St. Louis at Detroit
The Blues look to build on their 4-1 record in their last 5 games as a road underdog. St. Louis is the pick (+155) according to Dunkel, which has the Blues favored by 1/2 a goal. Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (+155)

Game 51-52: Florida at Columbus
Dunkel Ratings: Florida 11.464; Columbus 10.864
Dunkel Line & Total: Florida by 1/2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Columbus (-165); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Florida (+155); Over

Game 53-54: Washington at Buffalo
Dunkel Ratings: Washington 12.602; Buffalo 12.068
Dunkel Line & Total: Washington by 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Washington (-115); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-115); Under

Game 55-56: Carolina at New Jersey
Dunkel Ratings: Carolina 12.432; New Jersey 11.935
Dunkel Line & Total: Carolina by 1/2; 4
Vegas Line & Total: New Jersey (-200); 5
Dunkel Pick: Carolina (+180); Under

Game 57-58: NY Islanders at Toronto
Dunkel Ratings: NY Islanders 11.975; Toronto 11.545
Dunkel Line & Total: NY Islanders by 1/2; 7
Vegas Line & Total: Toronto (-160); 6
Dunkel Pick: NY Islanders (+150); Over

Game 59-60: St. Louis at Detroit
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis 11.790; Detroit 11.219
Dunkel Line & Total: St. Louis by 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Detroit (-165); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (+155); Under

Game 61-62: Edmonton at Tampa Bay
Dunkel Ratings: Edmonton 11.809; Tampa Bay 11.927
Dunkel Line & Total: Tampa Bay by 1/2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Tampa Bay (-120); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Tampa Bay (-120); Over

Game 63-64: NY Rangers at Chicago
Dunkel Ratings: NY Rangers 11.422; Chicago 11.607
Dunkel Line & Total: Chicago by 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Chicago (-185); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Chicago (-185); Under

Game 65-66: Minnesota at Colorado
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota 12.783; Colorado 12.414
Dunkel Line & Total: Minnesota by 1/2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Colorado (-130); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (+120); Over

Game 67-68: Atlanta at Calgary
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta 11.446; Calgary 12.303
Dunkel Line & Total: Calgary by 1; 5 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Calgary (-175); 6
Dunkel Pick: Calgary (-175); Under

Game 69-70: Los Angeles at San Jose
Dunkel Ratings: Los Angeles 12.050; San Jose 11.913
Dunkel Line & Total: Los Angeles by 1/2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: San Jose (-210); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Los Angeles (+190); Over

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 9,2009


Chicago Bulls @ Atlanta Hawks
Play: Atlanta Hawks -11

I cashed in a free winner last night as the New Jersey Nets won their second game of the year on the road at Chicago and I'm going to continue to fade a struggling Chicago team. The Bulls have now lost eight out of their last nine games and they are only 1-7-1 against the spread in those games. The Hawks are off to a great start this season and Atlanta is 18-7-1 against the spread in their last twenty six games as a home favorite. Lay the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 9,2009

Tom Freese

Sacramento Kings at San Antonio Spurs

Sacramento is 10-1 ATS their last 11 games vs. Western Conference teams and they are 8-3 ATS their last 11 games as underdogs. The Kings are 7-2 ATS vs. a team that allowed 100 or more points in their last game and they are 5-0 ATS their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. San Antonio is 0-4 ATS their last 4 games overall and they are 1-5 ATS off a straight up loss. The Spurs are 1-5 ATS off an ATS loss in their last game. The Spurs are getting old right in front of our eyes.

Play on: Sacramento

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 9,2009


COLUMBUS -½ +1.02 over Florida

Both of these squads are in a serious funk but these Blue Jackets are just too talented and to well coached to allow this slide to continue much longer. Both teams have dropped eight of its last nine but it appears that the Jackets are much more ready to pop than the Panthers. C-Bus completely dominated the Av’s in its last start after allowing just 19 shots on net. The previous game they held the Leafs to just 25 shots. They lost them both but tonight they’ll be extremely well rested for the first time in a long time, having last played on Saturday. The Panthers, meanwhile, will play its fifth game in the span of a week. They’ve scored just five goals in its last three games, all losses and things will not get any easier tonight against what should be a intensely focused host. Play: Columbus -½ +1.02 (Risking 2 units).

SAN JOSE -½ -1.11 over Los Angeles

The Sharkies also have been off since Saturday and after back-to-back home losses you know this rested squad is going to come out blazing. Furthermore, the Kings, although very warm, will give the start to Erik Ersberg instead of Jonathan Quick and Ersberg has not played in a month and has started just three games this season. In two of those games he’s allowed four goals and in the last game he was pulled after allowing four goals on seven shots. In fact, if you go back to last year he’s allowed four goals against in five of his last six starts. So, what we have here is a rested Sharks squad coming off two losses, at home again facing a rusty goaltender whose confidence is completely shattered. Play: San Jose -½ -1.11 (Risking 2 units).   

TAMPA BAY -½ +1.36 over Edmonton

Kudos to the Oilers for an unlikely three-game road winning streak. That’s nice and this Oiler team is one to watch once they get healthy cause they’re going to make life miserable for some playoff hopefuls. However, that’s still a few bodies away from happening and thus, what we have here is an extremely vulnerable visitor that’s breathed a sigh of relief playing a hungry Lightning team is desperate need of a win. Jeff Delauriers is a back-up goalie and likely always will be and that’s one of the reasons this Oiler team is not very capable of going on prolonged winning streaks at the moment. The Lightning have dropped five of six, however, those five losses came against Dallas, Colorado, Boston, New Jersey and the Caps. All five of those opponents have winning records and now the Bolts will take a step down in class, very much in need of a win. Play: Tampa Bay -½ +1.36 (Risking 2 units).         

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 9,2009

LT Profits

New Orleans Hornets @ Minnesota Timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves have been a good Under team all year while the New Orleans Hornets scoring is down recently over earlier in the season, as we look for these teams to not come close to 200 points tonight.

The Timberwolves are averaging only 92.0 points per game, which is fourth worst in the NBA ahead of only the Nets, Hornets and Bulls, and Minnesota is shooting just a poor 43.8 percent from the floor. It is no small wonder, then, that the Under is 14-6-1, 70.0 percent in all Minnesota games this year. Furthermore, their production has actually been worse here at home, where that have averaged just 90.7 points.

Now, the Hornets are averaging 99.2 points overall, but they have now gone four straight games without reaching 100 points, and given the Minnesota lack of offense, New Orleans would probably need to exceed 100 points for this game not to stay Under. That is not a given here, as not only is their scoring down in their last four games but they also failed to reach 100 points in their last two meetings with the Wolves, and both of those contests came at home.

Both of those last head-to-head meetings went Under, and we look for these clubs to make it a hat trick tonight.

Pick: Hornets/Timberwolves Under 198

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 9,2009

Matt Fargo

Kentucky at Connecticut
Prediction: Connecticut

I was on Kentucky on Saturday against North Carolina and the Wildcats ended up being a big letdown. They let a 19-point lead slip away and had to hold on with late free throws. They had a five-point lead with 4.3 seconds remaining but the Tar Heels nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer to send the -3 Kentucky tickets in the garbage. Those losses are very frustrating because we had the side but fate intervened. Tonight, the Wildcats venture outside of Rupp Arena for their first real teat away from home as they go to MSG to take on Connecticut in the marquee matchup in this year?s SEC/Big East Challenge. Kentucky has remained undefeated despite some close calls and it should have at least a couple losses at this point and even head coach John Calipari says his team is not playing well and should be sitting at 4-4. this young team is in for a tough meeting tonight. Connecticut has one loss on the season and that came against Duke in this same building. The Huskies outshot the Blue Devils 36.1 percent to 29.2 percent but they were manhandled on the boards, out up a 0.69 assist/turnover ratio and went 0-4 from long range. The Huskies were also just 15-28 from the free throw line and that was an aberration more than the norm as Connecticut is hitting 69.6 percent from the charity stripe on the season. The Huskies have had their share of close calls as well, William & Mary and Harvard are the most discerning, but the situation here is much better. Getting ready for a top ten team is a lot easier than getting up for a lower-tiered mid-major and the Huskies have the court edge since this is a common stop for them. As mentioned, they have already played at MSG twice this season and they are here every year for the Big East Tournament. The experience of Connecticut is huge and will make the difference here. 3* Connecticut Huskies

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 9,2009

Johnny Banks

Florida Panthers vs. Columbus Blue Jackets    
Play Florida Panthers +145

There is plenty of value on the ice tonight with the Panthers who face a Blue Jackets team that has just 1 win in their last 9 games. The Panthers powerplay is hot right now converting at 25% over their last 5 games and the Blue Jackets have struggled killing penalties at home this season.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 9,2009



The Cleveland Cavaliers' snapped their 13-game winning streak against Western Conference last night losing to the Memphis Grizzlies and tonight they face the Houston Rockets to conclude a three-game road trip. Cleveland lost 111-109 in overtime despite a season-high 43 points, 13 rebounds and six assists from James. James recorded double digit assists in four straight games for the first time in his career although the Houston Rockets held James to 21 points, one rebound and his first career zero-assist game in a 93-74 victory. Houston has not been a good place for James and the Cavs as Cleveland has averaged only 71.3 points while losing three straight in Houston by an average of 17.4 points while James is a 37.1 percent career shooter in six games in Houston. This is the Rockets only home game in a stretch of six of seven on the road as they won the first three before losing 90-89 at Portland on Saturday when Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy scored his team's final 10 points down the stretch. Point guard Aaron Brooks is averaging only 4.8 points per game and shooting 25.0 percent in four career games against Cleveland and Shane Battier will defend Labron James. The caviliers are playing a back to back after losing in overtime in which NBA teams don not cover the spread 84.2% of the time. This is a great spot to cover the spread for the Rockets as a home dog.


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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 9,2009

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 9,2009

Ben Burns

Cleveland Cavaliers at Houston Rockets
Prediction: Houston Rockets

I successfully played against the Cavaliers last night - they lost outright at Memphis. Off that loss, many will assume that they can't possibly lose two in a row. While it's true that they have fared quite well, over the long-term, when playing the second of back to back games, they're just 3-4 ATS in that situation this season. With last night's game having gone to overtime, I feel that this may prove to be another difficult spot for them.

The Rockets have always fared very well vs. teams from the Eastern Conference. They're already 1-0 ATS (two point loss at Atlanta) in this season's lone non-conference game. Looking back further and we find them at a profitable 36-24-1 ATS (40-21) SU against Eastern Conf. opponents the past few seasons. Looking back still further and we find them at a lucrative 206-149-12 (58%) ATS their last 367 non-conference games.

Given those impressive stats vs. teams from the East, it's not that surprising to learn that the Rockets have had plenty of success against the Cavs, when playing here at Houston. In fact, they're 3-0 SU/ATS the last three times that they were a host in this series and they've held the Cavs to an average of just 71.3 points in those games. The Rockets won those games by scores of 93-74, 92-77 and 81-63. Looking back further and we find Houston at 13-3 the last 16 times it hosted Cleveland. Note that the Cavs only victory here since 2002 came by just two points.

The Rockets are also a highly profitable 8-1 ATS the last nine times that they were listed as underdogs. They've won three of their last four and the lone loss came by a single point. Consider taking the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 9,2009


Kings at Spurs

San Antonio struggles on the road, but they are tough at home again at 8-4. The Spurs are on a 3-game skid against tough competition (Boston Denver, Utah) and need a win. Fortunately, a bad Sacramento team comes to town, one that is 1-8 on the road. The Kings aren’t playing any defense, on a 3-game skid allowing 115, 115 and 96 points. A great spot for the frustrated home team that needs a big win. Play the Spurs!

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 9,2009


Florida at Columbus
Pick: Columbus -160

This game will get one of these teams healthy as they both enter this one riding some bad streaks. The Panthers come into this one at just 1-4-4 in their last nine, while the Blue Jackets are just 1-5-3. Something has to give, and in cases like this it is always better to side with the home team. The Blue Jackets have been the better team so far this season and at home they should be able to turn back the struggling Panthers. Columbus still remains a good 7-4-3 as host, and in the only meeting last season between these clubs they took down the Panthers 3-1 in Florida. I'll go with Columbus to right the ship here vs. the struggling Panthers.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 9,2009


ATLANTA –10½ over Chicago

10½ points may seem like a lot when in fact it’s not at all when you consider the Bulls recent woes. This invader is playing with nothing right now. They can’t defend, they can’t shoot, its confidence is shot and to top it all off, morale is way down after losing at home last night to the Nets. Now the Bulls will play its fifth game in a week and they’ll play against a Hawks team that is rested and that owns a 14-6 record. The Bulls have dropped eight of its last nine and that includes six double-digit losses. To break it down even more, they have a 19-point loss in Denver, a 24-point loss in Portland, a 19-point loss in Utah, a 32-point home loss to Toronto and yesterday’s loss at home to the Nets. The Hawks have not been as sharp recently but they play great defense always and they’re coming off an impressive road win in Dallas. They’ve won just three of its last seven games so it’s very likely that they’ll come in focused. We already know the Hawks are well rested and if the Bulls keep this one within this range it’ll be rather surprising. Looks like another Bulls implosion. Play: Atlanta –10½ (Risking 2.06 units to win 2).

INDIANA/Portland under 193½

The Blazers are most definitely in a little trouble right now with a shortened bench and a slew of injured players. Of course the oddmakers know that and it’s one of the reasons you’ll rarely hear the mention of an injury in this space. What’s more significant is that the Blazers are struggling miserably to score points. In fact, they’ve been held to under 100 in five of its last six games and that includes games against the defenseless Grizzlies and Knicks. The Pacers have lots of problems too, as they’ve dropped nine of ten and they’re without Danny Granger, its best player by far. They, too, have been struggling to score and that’s because they just don’t have anyone that can consistently do so. In its last game when Granger was knocked out early, the Pacers scored 72 points at the Clip Joint. Both coaches are very unlikely to want an up-tempo game because both teams don’t have the capabilities right now of making a comeback. An up temp style will result in big runs that neither team wants nor can afford. Play: Indiana/Portland under 193½ (Risking 2.1 units to win 2).

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 9,2009


Western Michigan @ Eastern Illinois
Play: Eastern Illinois +3

Broncos are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games vs. a team with a winning SU record. Broncos are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a SU loss. Broncos are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games. Broncos are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS loss. Broncos are 2-14 ATS in their last 16 games overall. Broncos are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games as a favorite. Broncos are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 road games. Broncos are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games as a favorite of 0.5-6.5. Panthers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400. Panthers are 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. My power ratings has Eastern Illinois winning this one by 1.04 points. We'll recommend a small play on Eastern Illinois tonight!

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 9,2009


Cleveland Cavaliers at Houston Rockets

The Cavs have struggled in H-Town since 1996, going 2-9 ATS. However, off the loss last night in Memphis, they should bounce back strong. They are 7-0 ATS vs. teams with a winning record this season. Even more impressive is that they are 17-2 ATS off a road loss the last two seasons. The Rockets are 20-37 ATS off an ATS win.

Play on: Cleveland

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 9,2009

Jimmy Boyd

1 Unit on Hornets/Wolves UNDER 194

The problem with the Hornets on the road this year is that they haven't been able to stop anyone, yet the Wolves are putting up only 90.7 ppg at home so I don't think that is going to be the same story here tonight. Minnesota has only scored or been scored on for more than 100 points once in their last four games, while the Hornets haven't scored more than 102 since back on November 19th. I think this one is low scoring tonight, so I'll go with the UNDER for a single unit.

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