Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, January 14,2010

Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, January 14,2010



Seton Hall (10-5, 3-6 ATS) at (11) Georgetown (12-2, 5-5 ATS)

Seton Hall tries for its second straight Big East win and its second consecutive victory over Georgetown when it visits the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

The Pirates snapped a four-game SU and five-game ATS slide with Saturday’s 83-76 win over Big East foe Cincinnati as a four-point home favorite. It was Seton Hall’s first conference win after home losses to West Virginia (90-84 in overtime) and Syracuse (80-73), and a road setback at UConn (71-63). Seton Hall is 2-5 SU and 1-5 ATS since starting the season with eight straight wins (2-1 ATS).

The Hoyas rebounded from a three-point Big East road loss at Marquette (62-59 as a 1½-point underdog) with Saturday’s three point conference home win over UConn (72-69 as a five-point favorite). Georgetown is 3-1 SU but 1-3 ATS in Big East action, and the Hoyas’ two losses (to Marquette and Old Dominion) were by a combined seven points.

Seton Hall snapped a four-game losing streak to Georgetown with last year’s 65-60 home win as an eight-point underdog. The Pirates also cashed as a 14½-point underdog in their last trip to the Verizon Center, losing 73-61.

Seton Hall has scored more than 80 points in 11 of 15 games and is averaging 85.5 ppg on 44.6 percent shooting. However, tonight the Pirates face a Georgetown squad that yields just 58.6 ppg on 38.6 percent shooting, with the Hoyas yielding 62 points or less nine times. No team has scored more than 70 points against Georgetown.

The Pirates have failed to cover in five of their last six overall (all against winning teams) and four of their last five Big East games. Meanwhile, Georgetown carries nothing but negative ATS trends, including 9-20-1 overall, 2-10 at home, 7-20 in league action and 3-8-1 after a SU win.

Seton Hall is riding “under” streaks of 7-3 on the road, 8-2 after a spread-cover and 6-0 against winning opponents, while the Hoyas are on “under” rolls of 5-2 overall, 6-2 against Big East teams, 15-6 on Thursday and 5-0 after a SU win. Finally, the last six meetings between these squads have stayed under the total, and the under is 4-1 in the last five clashes at Georgetown.


Cal (10-5, 7-7 ATS) at Washington State (12-4, 6-8 ATS)

Cal hits the road for the first time in more than three weeks when it treks to the Wallis Beasley Coliseum in Pullman, Wash., for a Pac-10 clash with the Cougars.

The Golden Bears capped a 4-1 homestand (3-2 ATS) with Saturday’s 67-59 victory over USC, coming up just short as a 10-point favorite. Cal is off to a 2-1 SU start in league play (1-2 ATS), with the only misfire being a one-point overtime loss to UCLA as a 14-point home chalk. The Bears are 1-4 SU and ATS away from Berkeley, and the last time they hit the highway, they lost 84-69 to then-top-ranked Kansas, falling just short as a 13½-point underdog.

Washington State split its two-game Arizona road trip last weekend, topping Arizona 78-76 as a two-point road underdog Friday before getting crushed 71-46 at Arizona State as an eight-point pup Sunday. The Cougars have won seven of their last nine games, but they’re just 2-2 SU and 1-3 ATS in Pac-10 play, with the two victories coming by a total of seven points. In fact, prior to getting bombed at ASU, Wazu had played four games decided by a total of 11 points.

Cal is 7-3 SU and 5-4-1 ATS in the last 10 meetings against the Cougars, including sweeping last year’s series by scores of 57-50 as a three-point underdog and 71-63 as a six-point home chalk. The Bears are 4-1 (3-1-1 ATS) in their last five trips to Pullman. Also, the visitor is on a 10-4-1 ATS roll in this rivalry, and the SU winner is 10-1-1 ATS in the last 12 clashes (6-0 ATS in the last six).

The Bears are on a trio of 1-4 ATS slides: on the road, in Pac-10 action and when playing on Thursday. Likewise, Washington State also sports three 1-4 ATS slumps: overall, at home and in conference play, and the Cougars also have failed to cover in four straight against winning teams.

Cal is on “over” runs of 41-19-1 overall, 24-11 on the road, 35-15-1 in conference play, 44-16-1 after a SU victory and 23-8 on Thursday. The Cougars also carry “over” trends of 9-3 overall, 4-1 at home and 6-2 after a non-cover, but the under is 5-1 in their last six on Thursday and 7-2 in their last nine Pac-10 contests.


(17) Gonzaga (12-3, 7-4-1 ATS) at St. Mary’s (15-2, 12-3 ATS)

Gonzaga looks to extend a four-game SU and ATS winning streak and tries to beat the Gaels for a fourth straight time when these West Coast Conference rivals clash at McKeon Pavilion.

The Bulldogs tipped off WCC play with Saturdays’ 81-78 win at Portland, barely covering as a two-point road favorite. That came a week after edging Illinois 85-83 in overtime as a three-point underdog in Chicago. Since an embarrassing 76-41 loss to Duke as an 8½-point underdog at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 19, Gonzaga has won and covered four in a row while averaging 85.8 ppg. Mark Few’s team is 6-2 SU and 5-2-1 ATS in road/neutral-site games, despite getting outscored (76-76.5) and outshot (41.7 percent to 47 percent) in those eight contests.

St. Mary’s ran its winning streak to five in a row with Sunday’s 80-72 win at Santa Clara in its conference opener, but came up shy as a 12½-point road favorite, ending a 4-0 ATS run. The Gaels still have the best pointspread record in the nation, and they’re 8-1 at home this year (6-1 ATS in lined action), putting up 87.8 ppg (52.2 percent shooting) and allowing 64.1 ppg (40 percent).

These teams met three times last year, and Gonzaga won all three: 69-62 as a 9½-point home favorite; 72-70 as a four-point road chalk; and 83-58 as a 7½-point chalk in the West Coast Conference tournament in Las Vegas. The Zags have failed to cash in four of their last five visits to St. Mary’s, and prior to Gonzaga’s road win last year, the host had won six straight in this rivalry (5-1 ATS).

Gonzaga is on ATS runs of 4-0 overall, 4-1 as a visitor, 4-0 in WCC action and 4-1 after a spread-cover. The Gaels are on pointspread upticks of 14-4 overall, 21-9 at home, 16-5-1 against winning teams, 10-2 after a SU win and 9-2 after an ATS setback, but they have failed to cash in five of their last seven conference contests.

The Bulldogs sport “over” trends of 20-6 overall, 21-8 on the road, 8-2 in league play, 6-0 on Thursday and 20-7 after SU victory. The over is also 18-7-1 in St. Mary’s last 26 overall and 16-5 in its last 21 at home. Finally, four of the last five Bulldogs-Gaels meetings in St. Mary’s have topped the total.



Cleveland (30-10, 20-20 ATS) at Utah (21-7, 22-16 ATS)

Cleveland tries to sweep the season series from the Jazz for the second straight year and knock them off for the fifth straight time when they resume a five-game road trip at EnergySolutions Arena.

The Cavaliers opened their trip with a two-point loss at Denver as a four-point underdog, then knocked off the Blazers (106-94) and Warriors (117-114) on Sunday and Monday. While Cleveland covered as a five-point favorite at Portland, but came up short as 5½-point chalk at Golden State, falling to 2-5 ATS the last seven games (1-3 ATS on the road). The Cavs have won 15 of their last 18 games, going 9-2 SU on the highway (7-4 ATS).

Utah has posted consecutive blowout victories over Dallas (111-93 as a 5½-point road underdog Saturday) and the Heat (118-89 as a seven-point home chalk Monday), and it has matched its season high with a 4-0 ATS run. The Jazz are still just 7-8 in their last 15 contests, but 9-6 ATS.

Cleveland has won four straight games against the Jazz, including a 107-103 home win on Nov. 14. However, the Cavs failed to cash as a 13-point favorite in that contest, ending their 10-0 ATS run against Utah. Still, LeBron and Co. have cashed in six straight trips to Salt Lake City, and the underdog is 5-2 ATS in the last seven.

The Cavs are on pointspread tears of 5-2 versus Western Conference teams, 12-5 against the Northwest Division, 13-5 against winning teams and 5-2 when going on two days’ rest. However, they’re 2-5 ATS in their last seven overall and have failed to cash in five straight games after an outright victory.

Utah is on ATS tears of 4-0 overall, 10-3 at home, 10-4 against winning teams and 8-2 versus the Eastern Conference, 4-1 against Central Division opponents and 6-0 on Thursday.

The under is on runs of 6-2 for Cleveland after a victory, 7-3 for Cleveland when playing on two days of rest and 7-3 for Utah on Thursday. Conversely, the over is on stretches of 6-1 for the Cavs on Thursday, 3-1-1 for the Cavs against the Northwest Division and 6-1 for the Jazz against winning teams. Also. the over has hit in four of the last five meetings between these clubs, and the last four in a row at EnergySolutions Arena have hurdled the total.


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Marc Lawrence

California at Washington St.
Prediction: Washington St.

The Cougars host the Bears at Friel Court tonight with double revenge on their minds from a pair of losses suffered last year against California. With Washington State 15-8-1 ATS as a dog in this series, including 7-1-1 ATS when taking less than six points, we'll grab the points in this upset maker here tonight.

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Cajun Sports

Cleveland State vs. Butler     
Play: Butler -15.5

The Vikings lost two key components to their offense in guards Jackson and Bullock who combined to produce over 25 points per game and double-digit rebounds. They were not the only losses to this CSU team as big man Chris Moore is also gone as well as senior forward George Tandy who was a key contributor to this Horizon League Championship team. The Bulldogs will look to avenge last season’s Horizon Tournament loss to the Vikings as they host them on Thursday night. Butler returns all five starters from last season’s 26-6 overall record and 15-3 conference record which was good enough for first place. Many believed last season would be a down year for Butler because they had to start three freshmen as they did in every single game last year and you see how that turned out. Too much firepower and the Bulldogs have the ability to control the pace and tempo on both ends of the floor so we have no hesitation in laying the double-digits here as they avenge last season’s loss and roll to an easy victory on Thursday night in Indianapolis.

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Rob Vinciletti

Arizona vs. Oregon State    
Play: Arizona +4   

Arizona while not the same team as in years past,should still be good enough to cover as a 4 point dog here tonight. They are 13-0 vs losing teams and have won here 8 of the past 12 years. Oregon St. is 9-33 in conference games and 3-14 at home when the total is 130 to 135. Grab the points here tonight in this PAC 10 match up.

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Jim Feist

Chicago Bulls vs. Boston Celtics    
Play: Over 194½

Chicago is healthy and clicking offensively, on a 5-2-1 Over the total. Luol Deng scored 27 points on 13-of-18 shooting and the Bulls blasted the Pistons, 120-87. In the last three games, the Bulls have taken 51 shots beyond the arc an average of 17 attempts per outing and are hitting 43.1 percent. Boston is without defensive ace Kevin Garnett, out another week and notice the Celtics are on a 5-1 run over the total. Look for Derrick Rose to go uptempo against the Green in an offensive show; Play the Bulls/Celtics Over the total.

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NY RANGERS -½ -1.08 over Ottawa

This one is pretty much a non-brainer and until the Senators show something else, there’s no reason whatsoever to not keep wagering against them. Again, this is a beaten team before they even step on the ice. They’ve dropped five in a row and have been outscored 22-5 over that stretch. They’ve scored one goal or less in four of those five games. Right now they can’t score, they can’t prevent goals and both goaltenders, be it Elliott or Leclaire pray their name isn’t called today because both have no confidence. Meanwhile, the Rangers are among the hottest teams in the league. They have one regulation loss over its last 13 games. In other words, they’ve picked up points in 12 of its last 13 and should have am easy time of it against this physically and mentally damaged invader. Well, it’s rarely easy in the NHL but as long as the Rangers show up, and nothing suggests they won’t, they’ll beat this team like everybody else has. Play: NY Rangers -½ -1.08 (Risking 2.16 units to win 2).

Dallas +1.36 over MONTREAL

The Stars are going bad, real bad in fact and have not picked up a single point in five straight road games. Overall the Stars have slipped down to 11th place in the West after winning just once in its last six games. They’re coming off a 6-3 loss in Philly and that score is really not a true indication of how they played. They definitely outplayed the Flyers in the first period and were looking good early in the second after tying it 1-1. What transpired next was a couple of quick Flyer goals followed by a slew of bad penalties and before they knew it they were down big. This team is not as bad as its current slide suggests and its biggest problem has been the inconsistent goaltending of Marty Turco. What is noteworthy here is that the players are jacked up for tonight, as they make a rare appearance in one of hockey’s hot beds. The Stars have played just once in Montreal over the past seven years so you know they’ll be ready to go for sure. Besides, the Canadiens have a ton more appeal as the dog than they do as the chalk. This is a team that struggles to score and although they’re also very difficult to score against, this appears to be the right setting for an upset, as the Habs have Ottawa on deck and again, the Stars will be extra jacked up. Play: Dallas +1.36 (Risking 2 units).

PHOENIX +1.20 over New Jersey

The Coyotes have dropped three in a row and four of its last five but you should never count this team out. They’re one of the few teams in the NHL that have avoided prolonged losing streaks because they play their hearts out almost every shift. In fact, just to give you an idea of how tough they’ve been, this is the Coyotes first three-game losing streak of the year. They Coyotes will play with an extra sense of urgency while the Devils may not. New Jersey is coming off a very tough 1-0 OT at MSG. They will only be out to the West Coast for one game, this one, and then they’ll head to Colorado and will conclude its four-game trip on Long Island. The Devils are in top spot in the East with 65 points. Most teams traveling to the coast will get a few days in the sun with consecutive games in L.A., Phoenix, San Jose or Anaheim. This is a one and done for the Devils so fun in the sun may be more appealing than a game in Phoenix, where they’ve played just once in the past six years. Definitely a great shot to catch the Devils not at their best. Play: Phoenix +1.20 (Risking 2 units).   

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Utah Jazz +1

Utah put up a fight and covered the spread in the first meeting this season, losing by only four points as a 13 point underdog at Cleveland in November. Carlos Boozer led all scorers with 25 points in that game as Deron Williams did not play due to personal reasons. Williams will be in the lineup this time around and the Jazz are playing pretty well having won three out of their last four games. The pace and tempo that Utah has played with over this span has been noticeably different than how they have played much of the season. The Jazz are are getting a key contribution from guard Ronnie Brewer who has 29 assists, 22 rebounds and 10 steals the past four games. Cleveland has been on the road for a week now as this is their fourth game of a five game road trip and they have only covered the spread in two out of their last seven games. Play on Utah.

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Cleveland at Utah     
The Cavaliers look to build on their 10-1 ATS record in the last 11 meetings between the two teams. Cleveland is the pick (Pick) according to Dunkel, which has the Cavliers favored by 6. Dunkel Pick: Cleveland

Game 501-502: Chicago at Boston
Dunkel Ratings: Chicago 115.321; Boston 124.028
Dunkel Line & Total: Boston by 8 1/2; 206
Vegas Line & Total: Boston by 6 1/2; 194 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Boston (-6 1/2); Over

Game 503-504: Cleveland at Utah
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland 126.304; Utah 120.423
Dunkel Line & Total: Cleveland by 6; 210
Vegas Line & Total: Pick; 196 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland; Over


Gonzaga at St. Mary's (CA)
The Gaels look to build on their 8-0 ATS record in their last 8 games as a home favorite between 1 and 6 1/2 points. St. Mary's (CA) is the pick (-3 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Gaels favored by 5 1/2. Dunkel Pick: St. Mary's (CA) (-3 1/2)

Game 505-506: Seton Hall at Georgetown
Dunkel Ratings: Seton Hall 66.041; Georgetown 73.695
Dunkel Line: Georgetown by 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Georgetown by 7
Dunkel Pick: Georgetown (-7)

Game 507-508: James Madison at William & Mary
Dunkel Ratings: James Madison 49.789; William & Mary 64.568
Dunkel Line: William & Mary by 15
Vegas Line: William & Mary by 10
Dunkel Pick: William & Mary (-10)

Game 509-510: Buffalo at Bowling Green
Dunkel Ratings: Buffalo 56.434; Bowling Green 54.044
Dunkel Line: Buffalo by 2 1/2
Vegas Line: Buffalo by 1 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Buffalo (-1 1/2)

Game 511-512: Cleveland State at Butler
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland State 55.261; Butler 68.601
Dunkel Line: Butler by 13 1/2
Vegas Line: Butler by 15 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland State (+15 1/2)

Game 513-514: Auburn at Tennessee
Dunkel Ratings: Auburn 55.026; Tennessee 67.127
Dunkel Line: Tennessee by 12
Vegas Line: Tennessee by 16
Dunkel Pick: Auburn (+16)

Game 515-516: Arkansas at Mississippi State
Dunkel Ratings: Arkansas 57.559; Mississippi State 68.419
Dunkel Line: Mississippi State by 11
Vegas Line: Mississippi State by 15
Dunkel Pick: Arkansas (+15)

Game 517-518: AR-Little Rock at New Orleans
Dunkel Ratings: AR-Little Rock 49.293; New Orleans 46.129
Dunkel Line: AR-Little Rock by 3
Vegas Line: Pick
Dunkel Pick: AR-Little Rock

Game 519-520: Florida International at Middle Tennessee State
Dunkel Ratings: Florida International 43.250; Middle Tennessee State 54.610
Dunkel Line: Middle Tennessee State by 11 1/2
Vegas Line: Middle Tennessee State by 14
Dunkel Pick: Florida International (+14)

Game 521-522: Denver at UL-Lafayette
Dunkel Ratings: Denver 50.062; UL-Lafayette 51.760
Dunkel Line: UL-Lafayette by 1 1/2
Vegas Line: UL-Lafayette by 2
Dunkel Pick: Denver (+2)

Game 523-524: North Texas at Troy
Dunkel Ratings: North Texas 48.160; Troy 57.590
Dunkel Line: Troy by 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Troy by 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Troy (-5 1/2)

Game 525-526: South Alabama at UL-Monroe
Dunkel Ratings: South Alabama 55.776; UL-Monroe 47.423
Dunkel Line: South Alabama by 8 1/2
Vegas Line: South Alabama by 2
Dunkel Pick: South Alabama (-2)

Game 527-528: Youngstown State at Valparaiso
Dunkel Ratings: Youngstown State 47.064; Valparaiso 55.814
Dunkel Line: Valparaiso by 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Valparaiso by 5
Dunkel Pick: Valparaiso (-5)

Game 529-530: Detroit at WI-Milwaukee
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit 53.269; WI-Milwaukee 61.609
Dunkel Line: WI-Milwaukee by 8 1/2
Vegas Line: WI-Milwaukee by 4
Dunkel Pick: WI-Milwaukee (-4)

Game 531-532: Wright State at WI-Green Bay
Dunkel Ratings: Wright State 64.865; WI-Green Bay 55.961
Dunkel Line: Wright State by 9
Vegas Line: Wright State by 3 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Wright State (-3 1/2)

Game 533-534: Florida Atlantic at Western Kentucky
Dunkel Ratings: Florida Atlantic 52.529; Western Kentucky 63.454
Dunkel Line: Western Kentucky by 11
Vegas Line: Western Kentucky by 12
Dunkel Pick: Florida Atlantic (+12)

Game 535-536: Arizona State at Oregon
Dunkel Ratings: Arizona State 69.025; Oregon 62.477
Dunkel Line: Arizona State by 6 1/2
Vegas Line: Pick
Dunkel Pick: Arizona State

Game 537-538: Fresno State at Louisiana Tech
Dunkel Ratings: Fresno State 58.371; Louisiana Tech 68.838
Dunkel Line: Louisiana Tech by 10 1/2
Vegas Line: Louisiana Tech by 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Louisiana Tech (-9 1/2)

Game 539-540: Providence at DePaul
Dunkel Ratings: Providence 61.950; DePaul 55.354
Dunkel Line: Providence by 6 1/2
Vegas Line: Providence by 3 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Providence (-3 1/2)

Game 541-542: Indiana at Michigan
Dunkel Ratings: Indiana 57.571; Michigan 68.318
Dunkel Line: Michigan by 11
Vegas Line: Michigan by 13 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Indiana (+13 1/2)

Game 543-544: UC-Irvine at UC-Davis
Dunkel Ratings: UC-Irvine 45.877; UC-Davis 52.307
Dunkel Line: UC-Davis by 6 1/2
Vegas Line: Pick
Dunkel Pick: UC-Davis

Game 545-546: UC-Riverside at CS-Northridge
Dunkel Ratings: UC-Riverside 49.913; CS-Northridge 53.303
Dunkel Line: CS-Northridge by 4 1/2
Vegas Line: CS-Northridge by 4
Dunkel Pick: CS-Northridge (-4)

Game 547-548: UC-Santa Barbara at Long Beach State
Dunkel Ratings: UC-Santa Barbara 53.603; Long Beach State 57.620
Dunkel Line: Long Beach State by 4
Vegas Line: Long Beach State by 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: UC-Santa Barbara (+5 1/2)

Game 549-550: Cal Poly at CS-Fullerton
Dunkel Ratings: Cal Poly 45.326; CS-Fullerton 56.352
Dunkel Line: CS-Fullerton by 11
Vegas Line: CS-Fullerton by 10
Dunkel Pick: CS-Fullerton (-10)

Game 551-552: San Francisco at Loyola-Marymount
Dunkel Ratings: San Francisco 51.746; Loyola-Marymount 57.501
Dunkel Line: Loyola-Marymount by 6
Vegas Line: Loyola-Marymount by 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (+6 1/2)

Game 553-554: Arizona at Oregon State
Dunkel Ratings: Arizona 58.652; Oregon State 60.970
Dunkel Line: Oregon State by 2 1/2
Vegas Line: Oregon State by 3 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Arizona (+3 1/2)

Game 555-556: California at Washington State
Dunkel Ratings: California 71.964; Washington State 65.599
Dunkel Line: California by 6 1/2
Vegas Line: California by 3 1/2
Dunkel Pick: California (-3 1/2)

Game 557-558: Boise State at San Jose State
Dunkel Ratings: Boise State 55.553; San Jose State 55.369
Dunkel Line: Even
Vegas Line: San Jose State by 3
Dunkel Pick: Boise State (+3)

Game 559-560: Stanford at Washington
Dunkel Ratings: Stanford 61.832; Washington 64.739
Dunkel Line: Washington by 3
Vegas Line: Washington by 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Stanford (+8 1/2)

Game 561-562: Portland at San Diego
Dunkel Ratings: Portland 60.225; San Diego 55.093
Dunkel Line: Portland by 5
Vegas Line: San Diego by 1
Dunkel Pick: Portland (+1)

Game 563-564: Santa Clara at Pepperdine
Dunkel Ratings: Santa Clara 50.262; Pepperdine 51.360
Dunkel Line: Pepperdine by 1
Vegas Line: Pepperdine by 3 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Santa Clara (+3 1/2)

Game 565-566: Gonzaga at St. Mary's (CA)
Dunkel Ratings: Gonzaga 66.987; St. Mary's (CA) 72.519
Dunkel Line: St. Mary's (CA) by 5 1/2
Vegas Line: St. Mary's (CA) by 3 1/2
Dunkel Pick: St. Mary's (CA) (-3 1/2)

Game 567-568: Georgia Southern at Wofford
Dunkel Ratings: Georgia Southern 42.209; Wofford 56.621
Dunkel Line: Wofford by 14 1/2
Vegas Line: Wofford by 15 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Georgia Southern (+15 1/2)

Game 569-570: The Citadel at Chattanooga
Dunkel Ratings: The Citadel 50.717; Chattanooga 49.326
Dunkel Line: The Citadel by 1 1/2
Vegas Line: Chattanooga by 1 1/2
Dunkel Pick: The Citadel (+1 1/2)

Game 571-572: NC Greensboro at Western Carolina
Dunkel Ratings: NC Greensboro 44.831; Western Carolina 58.811
Dunkel Line: Western Carolina by 14
Vegas Line: Western Carolina by 16
Dunkel Pick: NC Greensboro (+16)

Game 573-574: SE Missouri State at Morehead State
Dunkel Ratings: SE Missouri State 43.984; Morehead State 57.107
Dunkel Line: Morehead State by 13
Vegas Line: Morehead State by 17 1/2
Dunkel Pick: SE Missouri State (+17 1/2)

Game 575-576: Eastern Illinois at Eastern Kentucky
Dunkel Ratings: Eastern Illinois 47.623; Eastern Kentucky 56.972
Dunkel Line: Eastern Kentucky by 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Eastern Kentucky by 9
Dunkel Pick: Eastern Kentucky (-9)

Game 577-578: College of Charleston at Samford
Dunkel Ratings: College of Charleston 55.633; Samford 48.402
Dunkel Line: College of Charleston by 7
Vegas Line: Samford by 2 1/2
Dunkel Pick: College of Charleston (+2 1/2)

Game 579-580: Jacksonville State at Murray State
Dunkel Ratings: Jacksonville State 45.802; Murray State 59.219
Dunkel Line: Murray State by 13 1/2
Vegas Line: Murray State by 17 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Jacksonville State (+17 1/2)

Game 581-582: Tennessee Tech at Tennessee Martin
Dunkel Ratings: Tennessee Tech 46.593; Tennessee Martin 44.288
Dunkel Line: Tennessee Tech by 2 1/2
Vegas Line: Tennessee Tech by 1 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Tennessee Tech (-1 1/2)

Game 583-584: Southern Utah at IPFW
Dunkel Ratings: Southern Utah 44.961; IPFW 52.112
Dunkel Line: IPFW by 7
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 585-586: Oral Roberts at IUPUI
Dunkel Ratings: Oral Roberts 54.452; IUPUI 59.034
Dunkel Line: IUPUI by 4 1/2
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 587-588: UMKC at Oakland
Dunkel Ratings: UMKC 46.975; Oakland 58.585
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 11 1/2
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 589-590: Centenary at Western Illinois
Dunkel Ratings: Centenary 41.484; Western Illinois 48.466
Dunkel Line: Western Illinois by 7
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A


Dallas at Montreal
The Stars look to take advantage of a Montreal team that is 2-9 in its last 11 games versus the Western Conference. Dallas is the pick (+120) according to Dunkel, which has the Stars favored by 1/2 a goal. Dunkel Pick: Dallas (+120)

Game 51-52: Ottawa at NY Rangers
Dunkel Ratings: Ottawa 10.158; NY Rangers 10.960
Dunkel Line & Total: NY Rangers by 1; 4
Vegas Line & Total: NY Rangers (-180); 5
Dunkel Pick: NY Rangers (-180); Under

Game 53-54: Buffalo at Atlanta
Dunkel Ratings: Buffalo 11.266; Atlanta 10.644
Dunkel Line & Total: Buffalo by 1/2; 7
Vegas Line & Total: Buffalo (-140); 6
Dunkel Pick: Buffalo (-140); Over

Game 55-56: Philadelphia at Toronto
Dunkel Ratings: Philadelphia 11.115; Toronto 11.280
Dunkel Line & Total: Toronto  by 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Philadelphia (-135); 6
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (+115); Under

Game 57-58: Carolina at Detroit
Dunkel Ratings: Carolina 11.354; Detroit 11.606
Dunkel Line & Total: Detroit by 1/2; 4 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Detroit (-200); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-200); Under

Game 59-60: Florida at Tampa Bay
Dunkel Ratings: Florida 11.586; Tampa Bay 11.699
Dunkel Line & Total: Tampa Bay by 1/2; 6 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Tampa Bay (-140); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Tampa Bay (-140); Over

Game 61-62: Dallas at Montreal
Dunkel Ratings: Dallas 11.014; Montreal 10.973
Dunkel Line & Total: Dallas by 1/2; 4 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Montreal (-140); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Dallas (+120); Under

Game 63-64: Minnesota at St. Louis
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota 11.870; St. Louis 11.745
Dunkel Line & Total: Minnesota by 1/2;  6 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 65-66: Columbus at Chicago
Dunkel Ratings: Columbus 11.283; Chicago 12.174
Dunkel Line & Total: Chicago by 1; 6 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Chicago (-300); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Chicago (-300); Over

Game 67-68: New Jersey at Phoenix
Dunkel Ratings: New Jersey 11.093; Phoenix 11.172
Dunkel Line & Total: Phoenix by 1/2;   
Vegas Line & Total: New Jersey (-130); 5
Dunkel Pick: Phoenix (+110);

Game 69-70: Pittsburgh at Edmonton
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh 10.857; Edmonton 10.421
Dunkel Line & Total: Pittsburgh by 1/2; 4 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Pittsburgh (-155); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-155); Under

Game 71-72: Boston at San Jose
Dunkel Ratings: Boston 11.391; San Jose 13.000
Dunkel Line & Total: San Jose by 1 1/2; 4
Vegas Line & Total: San Jose (-210); 5
Dunkel Pick: San Jose (-210); Under

Game 73-74: Anaheim at Los Angeles
Dunkel Ratings: Anaheim 12.615; Los Angeles 11.564
Dunkel Line & Total: Anaheim by 1; 6 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Los Angeles -135); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Anaheim (+115); Over

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, January 14,2010

LT Profits

Santa Clara vs Pepperdine

Just because this contest between the Santa Clara Broncos and the Pepperdine Waves pits two of the poorer teams in the country, this does not mean that no money can be made from this matchup.

This is because oftentimes when two bad teams face each other, the underdog holds natural value because the favorite usually does not merit giving points to anyone and that team cannot handle the added pressure of being expected to win. We feel that describes Pepperdine perfectly in this spot, especially when you consider how awful their defense is.

Looking at the raw numbers, the Waves are allowing 75.1 points per game vs. Division I opponents this season, a figure that actually rises to 76.2 points here at home where they are generously allowing a 45.8 percent success rate on field goal attempts. The Pomeroy Ratings back these numbers up, as Pepperdine is allowing 1.075 points per possession, ranking 285 in the country.

It is no small wonder then that the Waves are just 5-12 overall, and they have done a horrible job of protecting their home court, going 3-7 in their own building while losing by an average of -5.6 points per game. With that record and their defense, we simply cannot see how anyone can lay four points with this team with any confidence.

Now Santa Clara may be no great shakes at 8-11, but the Broncos did give an excellent St. Marys team a tough time before losing by just an 80-72 count on Sunday, and anything close to that effort here would result in an outright upset. The Broncos are also seeking revenge after losing to a bad Pepperdine team the last time these clubs met last February as 8.5-point favorites.

We look for Santa Clara to get that revenge here vs. a Waves team that lost outright to New Mexico State the only other time they were favored this season.

Pick: Santa Clara +4

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Steve Merril

Gonzaga @ Saint Mary's
PICK: Saint Mary's -3.5

St. Mary’s was robbed in not making the NCAA tournament last season. And in trying to avoid a repeat of that this year, tonight’s game is of utmost importance for the Gaels. A signature win over their in-conference rival will be a major coup, and the team knows how big this game is for their season.

"We have to win one of the two regular season games just to be considered for the tournament. I firmly believe that," said senior forward Ben Allen. "We all know the importance of this game, and we all know this is one we need to get. It's not going to be any easier at their place, so we know this one will be the easiest of the two. We need to put our foot down and play like we know we can play and get the job done."

There’s no question that St. Mary’s will ready to fire their best effort tonight, but beating Gonzaga is a lot easier said than done. The Zags are 15-2 so far this year with wins over Wisconsin, Cincinnati, and Illinois. They also have just a 4-point loss to a Michigan St team that played in the national championship game last year and could very well return there again this year.

Gonzaga has also owned this series winning 8 of the last 10 including the last 4. However, the games have been much more competitive on St. Mary’s home floor; Gonzaga only won by a bucket last year. But what keeps this from being a stronger selection is simply the pointspread. St. Mary’s has only been favored once over the last ten meetings, and their two wins over Gonzaga only came by 5 and 4 points in overtime.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, January 14,2010

Scott Rickenbach

Cleveland Cavaliers @ Utah Jazz
PICK: Utah Jazz

The Cavaliers got the win, but failed to cover, at Golden State on Monday. Now, even though they’ve had a couple days off to rest up, this is still Cleveland’s fourth road game on what is a five game road trip. This trip began with a loss at Denver for the Cavaliers. Then, even though they won by a dozen points at Portland, the game was much closer than that as the Blazers were all knotted up late in that game before the Cavs got a key game-ending run. Next up for the Cavaliers was a game against the Warriors Monday and the Cavs narrowly escaped Golden State with a three point victory. As you can see, Cleveland hasn’t dominated at all so far on this road trip and a date with Utah won’t help in that regard!

The Jazz are 14-6 at home this season. They’re also 11-5 against teams from the East and both of these records improved with Utah’s blowout win over Miami (by a 29 point margin) Monday. Utah has now won three of their last four games and all four victories have come by at least a margin of 18 points. The Jazz have allowed 94 points or less in five straight games and their defense will certainly be fired up with LeBron James and company in town for this one. With only a home date with Milwaukee on deck, and with this game being Utah’s only game in four-day stretch, the Cavaliers will get the full focus and intensity of the Jazz in this one. In our opinion, that should spell a solid home victory for Utah! Consider a small play on Utah in the NBA on Thursday night.

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Cleveland Cavaliers at Utah Jazz

The Cavs swept the Jazz last year and have won four straight overall in this non-conference rivalry. They had covered 10 straight before a narrow 107-103 home win back in November. Utah has had two days off since waxing Miami 118-89 and is 20-4 ATS when playing at home off a non-conference game. They are also 23-10 here at the Delta Center when coming off a double-digit win.

Play on: Utah

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, January 14,2010

Ben Burns

Buffalo Sabres at Atlanta Thrashers
Prediction: Atlanta Thrashers

The Sabres saw their 6-game winning streak come to an end in their last game, which was way back on 1/9. After an extended slump, the Thrashers may be finally coming around. They've won two of their last three, most recently a 6-1 pasting of the Senators on Tuesday. With the Sabres potentially dealing with a little 'rust,' I feel the home team is offering decent value. I especially like the option of playing them on the puckline, getting an extra +1.5 goals to work with.

Looking at the series history and we find that these teams have split this season's first two meetings. Both those were at Buffalo though. Looking at the games here at Atlanta, we find that that the Thrashers have enjoyed plenty of success. In fact, the Thrashers are a perfect 5-0 the last five times that they hosted the Sabres. Looking back further and we find them at 11-3 the last 14 meetings here.

So, why not just take the Thrashers on the moneyline? Well, I certainly think that's a solid play too, as I feel that Thrashers have an excellent shot at the outright victory. That said, check this out. The Sabres have seen eight of their last 11 games decided by a single goal. They've only had two wins by more than one goal, during that 11-game stretch, and both those came by only two goals. Additionally, the last three meetings (and four of the last five) between these teams, here at Atlanta, were all decided by a single goal. Even the Sabres lone victory over the Thrashers, this season, came by one goal. Overall, six of the last seven meetings were won by one goal. If you don't mind laying some extra juice for a high percentage play, consider Atlanta at +1.5 goals

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, January 14,2010

Johnny Banks

Chicago Bulls vs. Boston Celtics    
Play: Under 196½

The Bulls come into this game averaging just 91.9 ppg on the road and the Celtics have played very good defensively at home this season with opponents averaging just 93.9 ppg. The last time these teams met the final score totaled 186 points and that was in Chicago. Look for both teams to grind this one out Thursday night with the Celtics playing on back to back days and the Bulls who have dropped 4 of their last 5 road games.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, January 14,2010

Jack Jones

Indiana vs. Michigan    
Play: Indiana +13½

The Hoosiers have already shown that they can keep up with the Wolverines. Back on New Year's Even they won as five point underdogs on their home floor.

At 8-7 this is a lot of points for Michigan to be laying to a team that is 7-8 on the year. Indiana is scoring 72.3 pp against teams who allow 67.8 ppg and they are giving up just 40.8% from the floor against teams who shoot 43.2%.

Michigan is attempting 25 3-point shots per game and yet they are only hitting 29.7%. They have been playing solid defense, which leads me to believe that this is going to be a low scoring game, and with points at a premium I'll take the hefty number.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, January 14,2010

Jeff Alexander

1 Unit on Oregon Ducks pk

Bottom Line: Oregon's upset loss to rival Oregon State and Arizona State's blowout win over Washington State sets up a very profitable situation tonight. In fact, plays on a home team off an upset loss to a conference rival as a home favorite against an opponent off a blowout win by 20 points or more over a conference rival, are 28-8 ATS the last 5 seasons. We'll make a wager on this 77.8% system for 1 Unit tonight. Take the Ducks.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, January 14,2010

Dave Price

1 Unit on Seton Hall +7

Seton Hall, with 4 returning starters, isn't getting the respect it deserves with this line, especially since Georgetown is only 1-10 ATS in home games when playing against a good team (Win Pct. 60% to 80%) over the last 3 seasons. Plus, Georgetown is just 5-19 ATS against conference opponents over the last 2 seasons. Another big reason why the Hoyas won't cover this number is because the Pirates won't help them out enough by turning the ball over. Georgetown is just 1-10 ATS in home games versus good ball handling teams committing 14 or fewer turnovers per game over the last 2 seasons. Take the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, January 14,2010

Bryan Leonard

Cleveland at Utah

Nobody in the league is playing better ball than the Cavaliers right now. They have looked especially good when facing quality opposition on the road. They match up very well with Utah having covered 10 of the last 11 games in this series. They are 5-1 straight up against Utah and the Jazz home court which was once terrific is less dominant. In the last four meetings in Utah Cleveland is 2-2 straight up with the losses being by 1 and 2 points.Cleveland is 13-4 straight up against the Western Conference this year as they have the ability to run with the faster paced teams out west. They've already won at the Lakers and Blazers in the past three weeks, two teams better than what they face tonight.


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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, January 14,2010


Cavaliers at Jazz

LeBron James dominated the post finding the Cavs another way to win their last game and go for a fifth straight victory over the Jazz tonight in Salt Lake City. Utah is averaging a league best 25.8 assist this season led by Deron Williams with 9.7 per game as they are moving the ball better right now than they have all season. The Cavaliers have averaged 23.2 assists going 10-2 since Dec. 21 st as they are 18-0 when getting 22 or more and have won their last 12 in which James had at least eight himself. James had 41 points in a 106-94 victory at Portland on Sunday and then added 37 points to his 11 assists in a 117-114 win over Golden State on Monday as much of his scoring came on back-downs in the paint shooting 53.3 percent over his last nine games. Utah scores 46.3 per game in the paint and outscored their past two opponents 108-58 on the interior as the Jazz had 28 assists and five turnovers in a 111-93 win at Dallas on Saturday and 28 and nine in a 118-89 blowout of Miami on Monday. Utah lost 107-103 s at Cleveland on Nov 14 th and fourth straight in this series although they did not have Williams in that game along with Kyle Korver. Shaquille O'Neal and Delonte West were out for the Cavs in that game as labron James has averaged 32.8 points, 10.0 boards and 9.4 assists in Cleveland's past five games against the Jazz. The Jazz are playing with exceptional ball movement right now averaging more assist than any team in the league which has created easy shots and a lot of points. They have a rematch tonight against the Cavs facing them on the last game of their road trip. These two teams scored 110 points in Cleveland with Deron Wiliams leading the a Jazz and the way the Jazz are sharing the ball along with Labron James sharing the ball with his teammates, we will see even more than 110 points scored again tonight as this total is way too low.

Pick: Take Over 195 and lean towards Utah -1

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, January 14,2010

Karl Garrett

Arkansas at MISS STATE -14

For Thursday, the G-Man says to lay the points with Miss State as they lay waste to the skidding Hogs of Arkansas.

Arkansas has dropped 3 straight heading into Starkville, as they are now below .500 for the season, and are winless away from home at 0-3, while failing 2 of 3 against the spread.

Mississippi State has been rolling strong, winning 10 of their last 11 straight up, and they have also covered in 8 of their last 9 against the spread.

In the series, the Bulldogs have won and covered the last 3 meetings, and they are on a 10-3 series spread run the last 13 times they have faced the Razorbacks.

This one looks like "blowout city, baby!"

Take the Bulldogs to hammer the Hogs.


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