Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, January 15,2010

Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, January 15,2010

SPORTS ADVISORS

Phoenix (24-15, 21-18 ATS) at Atlanta (25-13, 26-12 ATS)

The Suns resume a four-game, six-day Eastern Conference road swing with a stop at Philips Arena for a showdown with the Hawks, who have slipped to second place in the Southeast Division.

Phoenix continued its inconsistent play with Wednesday’s 122-114 loss at Indiana as a four-point favorite in the first game of the road trip. The Suns, who blew a 24-point lead to the Pacers, are just 10-12 SU and ATS over their past 22 games, including 1-8 SU and 3-6 ATS on the road. Phoenix is once again on fire offensively, scoring in triple digits in 11 consecutive games, including 113 or more seven times, but it has surrendered 103 or more points nine times during this 11-game stretch.

Atlanta improved to 4-2 SU and ATS in its last six outings with Wednesday’s 94-82 victory over the Wizards, barely cashing as an 11-point home chalk. The Hawks’ 4-2 run follows a four-game losing skid, and they’re now 15-4 SU and 14-5 ATS at Philips Arena, outscoring visitors by an average of 11.4 ppg (108.2-96.8). The SU winner has covered the spread in 35 of Atlanta’s 38 games this year, including the last seven in a row.

Phoenix swept the season series from Atlanta last year, but the teams split the cash with the Suns prevailing 107-102 as a 7½-point home chalk and 104-99 as a four-point road underdog. Phoenix has won 11 of the last 14 meetings (8-6 ATS), going 6-1 (4-3 ATS) in its last seven trips to Atlanta. The ‘dog is on a 5-2 ATS run in this rivalry.

The Suns have failed to cover in four of their last five games against Eastern Conference foes and they’re 5-13-1 ATS in their last 19 as an underdog of five to 10½ points (all on the road). But otherwise they’re on ATS upticks of 7-2 after a SU loss, 16-7 after a non-cover, 7-3 against winning teams and 5-1 on Friday. Atlanta, which has the best pointspread record in the NBA, is on ATS tears of 4-1 overall, 7-2 at home, 34-16-1 as a favorite, 25-9-1 as a home chalk, 5-0 when laying 5 to 10½ points, 17-5 against the Western Conference, 4-0 versus the Pacific Division and 4-0 when playing on one day of rest.

Phoenix has topped the total in eight of its last 11 overall, but otherwise is on “under” streaks of 9-3-1 on the road, 9-2-1 against Eastern Conference opponents, 12-2 against the Southeast Division, 5-1 as a road underdog and 13-5-1 after a non-cover. The Hawks are on a 12-5 “over” roll at home (all as a favorite), but the under is 4-0 in its last five after a SU victory. Also, five of the last seven meetings between these teams have stayed low.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER


Oklahoma City (21-17, 22-16 ATS) at Dallas (25-13, 18-20 ATS)

Two teams coming off tough losses meet up at American Airlines Center, where the Mavericks host the Thunder, who tonight begin a stretch of playing five of six games on the road.

Oklahoma City rallied from a 19-point first-half deficit against San Antonio on Wednesday, but couldn’t finish off the comeback, falling 109-108 in overtime as a 1½-point home favorite. Kevin Durant poured in 35 points and Russell Westbrook (25 points, 13 assists) and Jeff Green (16 points, 10 rebounds) added double-doubles in the defeat. The Thunder have scored 108, 106 and 108 points in their last three contests after averaging 96.3 ppg in the previous four.

Dallas followed up Saturday’s 111-93 home loss to Utah as a 5½-point chalk with Wednesday’s 100-95 setback to the Lakers as a six-point favorite, the first time all season it has dropped consecutive games at American Airlines Center. The Mavs have struggled with consistency in recent weeks, going 7-6 SU and 5-8 ATS in their last 13, and they’ve scored in triple digits just once in their last seven games. Also, Dallas has cashed just once in its last 13 home contests, and it begins a five-game Eastern Conference road trip after tonight’s game.

The home team had won six straight meetings in this rivalry – with Oklahoma City going 5-0-1 ATS (all as an underdog) – before Dec. 16, when Dallas thumped the Thunder 100-86 as a two-point road favorite. Oklahoma City is still 3-0-1 ATS in its last four trips to Dallas, and the road team is 6-2-1 ATS in the last seven clashes.

The Thunder are 8-3 in their last 11 games, but they’ve followed up a five-game winning streak by splitting the last six. They’ve also followed up a five-game ATS winning run by going 2-5 ATS in the last seven, the team’s worst ATS stretch of the season. Still, Oklahoma City is a Top 5 moneymaker in the NBA, and it is on pointspread rolls of 5-1 on the road, 4-1 on Friday, 36-16 after a SU loss, 29-11 after a non-cover, 6-2 as a road underdog, 4-0 as a pup of five to 10½ points and 13-3 following a game in which it scored at least 100 points.

In addition to going 1-13 ATS in their last 14 home games, the Mavericks are in pointspread funks of 1-4 overall, 1-7 as a favorite, 1-11 as a favorite of five to 10½ points, 4-10 against Western Conference foes, 2-6 after a SU loss and 1-4 against winning teams.

For the Thunder, the over is on runs of 5-1 on Friday, 4-1 after a SU defeat, 15-6 after a non-cover and 23-7 as a road underdog of five to 10½ points, but the under is 8-3 in their last 11 Western Conference contests and 5-1 in their last six against the Southwest Division. Dallas is on “over” runs of 4-1 overall, 5-2 at home and 5-1 on Friday, but the under is 5-1 in its last six against Northwest Division opponents.

Lastly, five of the last six meetings in this series have stayed low, but 12 of the last 17 in Dallas have soared over the posted price.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OKLAHOMA CITY


Orlando (26-13, 20-19 ATS) at Portland (24-16, 20-19-1 ATS)

The Magic, in the midst of a four-game Western Conference road trip, play their third game in four nights when they visit the Rose Garden looking to upend the Blazers for a third straight time.

Orlando followed up Tuesday’s 109-88 rout of Sacramento as a four-point favorite – with the Magic outscoring the Kings 33-10 in the fourth quarter – with an ugly 115-97 loss in Denver on Wednesday, falling way short as a 5½-point road underdog. Orlando remains in first place in the Southeast Division, one half-game ahead of Atlanta, despite going 2-5 SU and ATS in its last seven games.

Portland had no trouble with Milwaukee on Wednesday, cruising 120-108 as a six-point home favorite, taking the foot off the gas after building a 97-71 lead after three quarters. The Blazers have dropped three of five SU and ATS, but are still on a solid 10-5 roll (8-6-1 ATS), including 7-3 at home (5-4-1 ATS).

The SU winner has covered the spread in each of the Magic’s last 11 games overall and each of its last 10 on the road, and the winner is 13-1 ATS in Portland’s last 14 games (8-1 ATS at home). Also, the winner has cashed in the last six meetings between these teams.

Orlando swept last year’s two meetings with the Blazers, winning 109-108 as a five-point road underdog and 92-83 as an 8½-point home chalk. The Magic have won six of the last seven and eight of the last 10 in this rivalry, going 7-2-1 ATS (5-1 ATS last six). They’re also 4-1 SU (3-1-1 ATS) in their last five trips to the Rose Garden

The Magic are on ATS streaks of 60-28-1 after a defeat, 20-7 after a double-digit loss and 11-5 after a non-cover, but most recently they’ve failed to cash in five of seven overall and four of five as a visitor. The Blazers are on pointspread tears of 11-2 on Friday and 5-1 against winning teams, but they’ve come up short of getting the cash in five of seven against Southeast Division foes.

It’s been all “unders” for Orlando lately, including 6-2 on the road, 6-0 on Friday, 4-0 when playing after one day of rest, 19-7 after a SU loss and 23-8 after a non-cover. Conversely, Portland carries on “over” streaks of 5-0 overall, 4-0 at home, 4-0 on Friday, 4-0 against the Eastern Conference, 4-0 when playing after one day of rest, 5-1 after a SU win, 4-0 after an ATS triumph and 6-2-1 against winning teams.

Lastly, five of the last seven Magic-Blazers battles in Portland have stayed low.

ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, January 15,2010

DUNKEL INDEX

Washington at Chicago     
The Wizards look to take advantage of a Chicago team that is 2-7 ATS in its last 9 games when playing with 0 days of rest. Washington is the pick (+6) according to Dunkel, which has the Bulls favored by only 4 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Washington (+6)

Game 801-802: San Antonio at Charlotte
Dunkel Ratings: San Antonio 121.001; Charlotte 124.529
Dunkel Line & Total: Charlotte by 3 1/2; 195
Vegas Line & Total: San Antonio by 2; 188 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Charlotte (+2); Over

Game 803-804: Sacramento at Philadelphia
Dunkel Ratings: Sacramento 114.125; Philadelphia 113.991
Dunkel Line & Total: Even; 200
Vegas Line & Total: Philadelphia by 3; 207
Dunkel Pick: Sacramento (+3); Under

Game 805-806: Phoenix at Atlanta
Dunkel Ratings: Phoenix 118.026; Atlanta 124.235
Dunkel Line & Total: Atlanta by 6; 219
Vegas Line & Total: Atlanta by 4 1/2; 217
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-4 1/2); Over

Game 807-808: Minnesota at Memphis
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota 110.980; Memphis 118.163
Dunkel Line & Total: Memphis by 7; 212
Vegas Line & Total: Memphis by 8 1/2; 207
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (+8 1/2); Over

Game 809-810: New Orleans at Detroit
Dunkel Ratings: New Orleans 117.944; Detroit 108.901
Dunkel Line & Total: New Orleans by 9; 186
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 811-812: Toronto at New York
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto 116.403; New York 123.744
Dunkel Line & Total: New York by 7 1/2; 211
Vegas Line & Total: New York by 2 1/2; 207
Dunkel Pick: New York (-2 1/2); Over

Game 813-814: Indiana at New Jersey
Dunkel Ratings: Indiana 112.133; New Jersey 108.222
Dunkel Line & Total: Indiana by 4; 210
Vegas Line & Total: Indiana by 3; 208
Dunkel Pick: Indiana (-3); Over

Game 815-816: Washington at Chicago
Dunkel Ratings: Washington 114.894; Chicago 119.321
Dunkel Line & Total: Chicago by 4 1/2; 197
Vegas Line & Total: Chicago by 6; 199
Dunkel Pick: Washington (+6); Under

Game 817-818: Miami at Houston
Dunkel Ratings: Miami 115.519; Houston 121.573
Dunkel Line & Total: Houston by 6; 192
Vegas Line & Total: Houston by 4 1/2; 194 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Houston (-4 1/2); Under

Game 819-820: Oklahoma City at Dallas
Dunkel Ratings: Oklahoma City 120.339; Dallas 120.645
Dunkel Line & Total: Even; 199
Vegas Line & Total: Dallas by 5; 195
Dunkel Pick: Oklahoma City (+5); Over

Game 821-822: Milwaukee at Golden State
Dunkel Ratings: Milwaukee 112.960; Golden State 119.256
Dunkel Line & Total: Golden State by 6 1/2; 213
Vegas Line & Total: Golden State by 4 1/2; 216 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Golden State (-4 1/2); Under

Game 823-824: Orlando at Portland
Dunkel Ratings: Orlando 116.249; Portland 123.610
Dunkel Line & Total: Portland by 7 1/2; 202
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A
   
Game 825-826: LA Clippers at LA Lakers
Dunkel Ratings: LA Clippers 116.561; LA Lakers 122.518
Dunkel Line & Total: LA Lakers by 6; 191
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

NCAAB

Northern Arizona at Eastern Washington
The Lumberjacks look to take advantage of an Eastern Washington team that is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games at home. Northern Arizona is the pick (+2 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has Northern Arizona favored by 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Northern Arizona (+2 1/2)

Game 827-828: Brown at Yale
Dunkel Ratings: Brown 42.480; Yale 49.165
Dunkel Line: Yale by 6 1/2
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 829-830: Loyola-Chicago at Illinois-Chicago
Dunkel Ratings: Loyola-Chicago 51.410; Illinois-Chicago 55.977
Dunkel Line: Illinois-Chicago by 4 1/2
Vegas Line: Illinois-Chicago by 2
Dunkel Pick: Illinois-Chicago (-2)

Game 831-832: St. Peter's at Rider
Dunkel Ratings: St. Peter's 50.321; Rider 52.290
Dunkel Line: Rider by 2
Vegas Line: Rider by 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: St. Peter's (+6 1/2)

Game 833-834: Marist at Loyola-MD
Dunkel Ratings: Marist 41.722; Loyola-MD 55.100
Dunkel Line: Loyola-MD by 13 1/2
Vegas Line: Loyola-MD by 14 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Marist (+14 1/2)

Game 835-836: Northern Arizona at Eastern Washington
Dunkel Ratings: Northern Arizona 48.236; Eastern Washington 46.732
Dunkel Line: Northern Arizona by 1 1/2
Vegas Line: Eastern Washington by 2 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Northern Arizona (+2 1/2)

Game 837-838: Montana at Sacramento State
Dunkel Ratings: Montana 57.548; Sacramento State 44.221
Dunkel Line: Montana by 13 1/2
Vegas Line: Montana by 10
Dunkel Pick: Montana (-10)

Game 839-840: Northern Colorado at Portland State
Dunkel Ratings: Northern Colorado 60.038; Portland State 54.018
Dunkel Line: Northern Colorado by 6
Vegas Line: Northern Colorado by 2
Dunkel Pick: Northern Colorado (-2)

Game 841-842: South Dakota State at North Dakota State
Dunkel Ratings: South Dakota State 50.009; North Dakota State 54.297
Dunkel Line: North Dakota State by 4 1/2
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

NHL

Nashville at Calgary
The Flames look to take advantage of a Nashville team that is 1-4 in its last 5 games versus teams with a winning record. Calgary is the pick (-145) according to Dunkel, which has the Flames favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: Calgary (-145)

Game 1-2: Toronto at Washington
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto 10.844; Washington 12.836
Dunkel Line & Total: Washington by 2; 7 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Washington (-240); 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-240); Over

Game 3-4: Nashville at Calgary
Dunkel Ratings: Nashville 10.809; Calgary 11.693
Dunkel Line & Total: Calgary by 1; 4 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Calgary (-145); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Calgary (-145); Under

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, January 15,2010

Marc Lawrence

Loyola Chicago at Illinois-Chicago
Prediction: Illinois-Chicago

When Illinois Chicago hosts Loyola Chicago in a battle of Windy City brothers they will do so knowing the Flames are 8-0 ATS in this series. They are also 5-1 ATS at home this season, including 3-0 ATS when playing off a loss. With the Ramblers 5-13 SU and 6-11-1 ATS in its last 18 games on the conference road, look for UIC to come up big here tonight.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, January 15,2010

Rob Vinciletti

Toronto Raptors vs. New York Knicks    
Play: Toronto Raptors +2½

The Raptors are set up nice here with 3 days of rest as they travel to Madison Square Garden to face the Knicks tonight. Toronto qualifies in a nice 20-8 ats rest system that plays on road dogs of +4 or less with 3 or more days rest if they are off a loss an their opponent comes in off an ats win. The Knicks are off a late road dog win over Philly in their last game. The Raptors lost a close one on the road. Look for the Raptors to surprise the Knicks tonight.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, January 15,2010

Jim Feist

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Golden State Warriors    
Play: Milwaukee Bucks +4½

It's easy to look at the Bucks' 3-gme skid and think they are a bad team going nowhere. It was against the Lakers, Suns and Blazers. This is a team battling for a playoff spot and one that won 3 in a row before this skid against strong teams on the road. Meanwhile, Golden State is in last place, has a losing home record and has lost 12 of 16 games and is 1-2 SU/ATS the last three times they've been favored. Play the Bucks!

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, January 15,2010

EZWINNERS

Sacramento Kings +3

This is the first game of an east coast road trip for the Kings and they will be seeking revenge for a home loss against the Sixers two weeks ago in a game in which their two stars guards Kevin Martin and Tyreke Evans did not play. Evans will be back in the lineup and the Kings might also get a boost with the return of Kevin Martin who has been practicing and is cleared to play in this game. The Sixers have not capitalized at home against teams with bad records as they are only 2-9 against the spread in their last eleven home games against a team with a losing road record. Take the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, January 15,2010

MATT FARGO

Indiana Pacers @ New Jersey Nets
PICK: New Jersey Nets +3

The Pacers are laying a short number here and to no surprise at all, the public is absolutely hammering it. It is the most lopsided wager on the whole NBA card as of Friday morning and will likely stay that way considering the line has actually gone the other way. The Pacers enter this game off a win at home against Phoenix and that is certainly helping sway the bettors toward their side. Indiana is not a very good team and most power rankings have the Pacers listed near the bottom of the league including ratings guru Jeff Sagarin who has them ahead of only Minnesota and New Jersey with a ranking of 28th. They are a decent team at home but playing on the road has been a disaster as Indiana is 3-16 away from home this season including nine straight losses. The three wins have come against the Knicks, Nets and Wizards and it will be New Jersey who will be more amped for this game. While the Pacers are bad, the Nets are horrible as no sugarcoating is needed. They are easily the worst team in the NBA with a 3-35 record including just 13-25 ATS yet are in a very favorable spot here. In their last home game against a team with a losing record, Milwaukee, the Nets were getting a point and a half and now they are playing a worse team and getting more points. That obviously does not make number sense and creates value on the home team but no one is paying attention. New Jersey was throttled in that game against the Bucks but it doesn’t matter here as it is on a decent 4-3 ATS run and it is a respectable 3-4 ATS at home against teams with a losing record. I say respectable because the Pacers are 3-8 ATS on the season in road games against teams with a losing record. As mentioned, one of those wins came against the Nets and the Pacers are 2-0 against New Jersey this season including a 16-point win at home a month ago. Interestingly, Indiana was a four-point favorite in that game showing that the venue change has hardly moved the number. The Pacers are 0-7 ATS this season after allowing 100 or more points in two straight games while New Jersey is 4-0 ATS in its last four games after allowing 100 or more points in its previous game. The Nets are also a solid 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games as a home underdog of fewer than five points. 3* New Jersey Nets

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, January 15,2010

LT Profits

San Antonio Spurs @ Charlotte Bobcats

The San Antonio Spurs have uncharacteristically averaged 105.2 points over their last five games, but we do mot expect them to come near that number vs. the Charlotte Bobcats here, and that should key a safe Under.

The Bobcats have become a tough-minded defensive team thus year, which is not at all surprising for a team coached by Larry Brown. As a result, the Charlotte defense is now tops in the NBA statistically, allowing only 92.9 points per game. The Cats also rank seventh in field goal percentage against at 44.7 percent and fifth in steals at 7.81 per game.

Moreover, as good as the Bobcats have been defensively overall, they have been even better here at home. Charlotte is allowing a minuscule 90.8 points per game on 43.0 percent shooting in this building, with those games averaging a combined 187.4 points.

Now while the Spurs recent scoring binge has been out of character, consider that they have been facing the faster paces teams of the Western Conference, and the last time they played an East team, they beat the New Jersey Nets 97-85, a pace that is similar to what we expect here. Also take note that Tim Duncan did not play in the 109-108 San Antonio overtime win at Oklahoma City Wednesday, and his return in this game gives them a defensive presence in the middle.

Finally, the last five head-to-head meetings between these teams have averaged only a combined 175.2 points, and this is a better Charlotte defensive team than recent years.

Pick: Spurs/Bobcats Under 189

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, January 15,2010

Bobby Maxwell

San Antonio at CHARLOTTE +2

Scored a FREE play winner on Thursday night with Oregon State and improved to 49-21 with my last 70 freebies, including 26-7 over the last 35 days. Tonight I've got another one for you as I grab the points with Charlotte as the Bobcats host the Spurs.

The old, tired legs of the San Antonio Spurs are not going to be ready for the well-rested Bobcats in this one. I love Charlotte in this situation and not only expect them to cover the number, but wouldn’t be surprised to see them run away and win this one by 10.

The Spurs just played a back-to-back against the Lakers and Thunder (two very good teams) and they won both, finishing with a 109-108 OT win over the Thunder on Wednesday. They then had a day off, traveled to Charlotte and now face the young legs of the Bobcats before another back-to-back roadie at Memphis on Saturday. San Antonio isn’t the youngest team in the league. Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan need a little recovery time for their legs.

On the other side, you have a well-rested and streaking Bobcats team just waiting for them. They have been home since Saturday and played just once, Tuesday, beating the Rockets 102-94 as a 2 ½-point favorite. Charlotte has won five of its last six and gone 5-3 ATS in the last eight. The young legs of Raymond Felton, Gerald Wallace and Nazr Mohammed get the job done and then the veterans like Boris Diaw and Stephen Jackson are there to lead.

The Bobcats are on ATS runs of 21-8 after a straight-up win and 35-16 after a spread-cover. In this rivalry, the home team is on a 4-0 ATS run and the last time the Spurs came to Charlotte, they escaped with an 86-84 win but failed as a five-point favorite.

Play Charlotte in this one.

5♦ CHARLOTTE

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, January 15,2010

Karl Garrett

Sacramento at PHILADELPHIA -3

Both the Kings and the Sixers are struggling at this juncture, but at least Philadelphia is at home for this one, while Sacramento is at the start of a 6 game east coast road swing.

Sacramento is on a 2-8 straight up run their last 10 games, and just 2-7-1 against the spread in those 10 games, so chances they open this road swing with a "W" seems doubtful to the G-Man.

Philadelphia has won and covered in 2 of their last 3, and more importantly, the 76ers have been able to win and cover the last 4 series meetings, and 7 of the last 9 both straight up and against the spread.

Looks to me like the matchups are in Philly's favor.

G-Man laying the numbers with Philadelphia as the small home fave on Friday.

1♦ PHILADELPHIA

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, January 15,2010

Dominic Fazzini

Milwaukee at GOLDEN STATE -3'

I continue to deliver winners on a consistent basis with my complimentary selections, coming through again Thursday as Georgetown easily handled Seton Hall at home. That improved my record to 57-37-2 over the past 96 days, including a run of 40-24-2 over the last 66!

I'm going the NBA route to produce another winner today, taking the Warriors to cover at home against Milwaukee.

The first time these teams met this season, on Nov. 14 in Milwaukee, rookie guard Brandon Jennings scored 55 points in the Bucks' 129-125 victory. But Jennings comes into tonight's game struggling over his last six games, averaging 10.5 ppg while shooting just 26.9 percent from the field.

And while it was looking like Milwaukee guard Michael Redd was starting to round back into shape after missing much of the early part of the season with a left knee injury, he reinjured the knee Sunday against the Lakers and is out for the rest of the season. The Bucks are definitely going to miss his outside shooting, tonight and throughout the season.

Monta Ellis (25.9 ppg) has turned into a premier scorer this season for Golden State, and Corey Maggette is averaging 25.2 points in his last 12 games since being made a starter last month. Milwaukee doesn't have anyone to match up with those two, and I expect them to lead the way offensively for the Warriors tonight.

The Bucks are 0-3 in the midst of a season-long six-game road trip, and are shooting just 39.2 percent in those losses. If they don't shoot well again tonight, the high-scoring Warriors are going to blow them out of the water.

Golden State is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 games, and Milwaukee is on ATS skids of 3-7 overall, 1-5 as an underdog and 1-4 as a road 'dog. Take the Warriors to cover the points in an easy victory tonight.

3♦ GOLDEN STATE

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, January 15,2010

VEGAS EXPERTS

Milwaukee Bucks at Golden State Warriors

The scoreboard operator might be the hardest working guy in the building tonight when the Bucks and Warriors meet in Oakland. Certainly, it won't be any player on the defensive end. Milwaukee has gone Over the total in 12 of its 16 non-conference games this season with Golden State is 19-8 Over in the home favorite role. Warriors' home games average over 222 points per game. The Bucks have allowed 225 points their last two games.

Play on: Over

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, January 15,2010

Steve Merril

San Antonio Spurs vs. Charlotte Bobcats    
Play: Charlotte Bobcats +2

Charlotte is playing with a ton of confidence right now. The Bobcats have won five of their last six games; all of those games have come in 2010 so the new decade has done wonders for this team. Their only setback was a 4-point loss at New York in which the Bobcats blew a late, fourth quarter lead. It took some time for this team to get comfortable with their new acquisitions of Boris Diaw and Stephen Jackson, but it appears all of the kinks have been worked out. “Everything is starting to come together,” point guard Raymond Felton said on Thursday. The Bobcats catch the Spurs at a good time as they come into tonight off a pair of big wins over the Lakers and the Thunder. San Antonio may overlook the upstart Bobcats a bit because the Spurs won the first meeting by 19 points. But that would be a mistake as Charlotte has been one of the best home teams in the league this year with a 14-4 record. But what keeps Charlotte from being a Best Bet selection is the low pointspread and San Antonio’s history of dominating the Bobcats. The Spurs have won 9 of the last 10 meetings, and they’ve been favored by 5 points or more in every one of those games. If this line was a couple of points higher, the Bobcats would have definitely been a stronger play for Friday night.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, January 15,2010

Tom Freese

Oklahoma City Thunder at Dallas Mavericks
Prediction: Oklahoma City Thunder

Oklahoma City has their Big 3 in Kevin Durant and his 29 points a game, with Russell Westbrook and his 16.5 points a night and Jeff Green and his 14.1 points a night. This team now things it can win on most nights and I feel the same way as they do. They are 21-17 straight up this year and getting better by the day. The Thunder are 6-0 ATS their last 6 games vs. a team with a home win percentage of over 60%. Dallas is one of the top teams in the NBA led by future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki and his 25 points a night. Jason Terry scores 16.4 points a night and Josh Howard chips in with 13.3 points a night. Hard to imagine that Mavericks are 5-16 ATS their last 21 home games. PLAY ON OKLAHOMA CITY +

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, January 15,2010

Johnny Banks

San Antonio Spurs vs. Charlotte Bobcats    
Play: San Antonio Spurs -2

The Spurs are shooting 51.5% over their last 5 games while out-scoring their opponents by an average of 8.8 ppg. The Spurs have covered the number in 9 of their last 11 games against the Bobcats and they are 10-1 SU in those meetings. Don't let the low line fool you, the Spurs win by double digits Friday night!

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, January 15,2010

JR TIPS

Magic at Trail Blazers

The Orlando Magic have been dreadful away from Amway Arena of late losing seven of nine following eight consecutive victories but they might catch a break in Portland tonight if two-time All-Star Brandon Roy can't go. The Magic have a three game winning streak in Portland as they opened its four game road trip with an impressive 109-88 win in Sacramento but lost in Denver 115-97 the next night. Dwight Howard was held to eight points on 1 of 7 shooting against Denver a night after dominating the Kings with 30 points and 16 rebounds. Matt Barnes scored 28 points and has averaged 14.7 while shooting 60.0 percent in nine games since moving into the starting lineup although Rashard Lewis and Jameer Nelson have struggled as Lewis has averaged 9.9 points on 34.3 percent shooting and Nelson's been held to 7.8 points over his past four games. The Magic have won three straight in Portland, including a 109-108 win on Dec. 9, 2008, behind 27 from Lewis and 21 from Nelson. The Blazers lost 106-94 on Sunday to Cleveland which was their seventh home loss this season but bounced back by shooting a season-high 60.3 percent in a 120-108 win over Milwaukee on Wednesday although Brandon Roy left the game late in the third quarter due to a strained right hamstring. The Magic were blown out in the second half against the Nuggets because they just wore down after playing a back to back in high altitude. NBA teams that lose by 15 or more points bounce back in their next game (especially good teams) as rest and better shooting for Orlando will get them their fourth straight win in Portland against the injury-riddled Trail Blazers.

Pick ORLANDO

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, January 15,2010

Craig Davis

Backed the Thunder a few nights ago and was robbed by the officials in an overtime thriller. Tonight I feel more comfortable with them traveling on the road taking on a Dallas team that is reeling, having dropped two in a row (at home, mind you) and three of their last five. Oklahoma City matches up with the Mavs very well, and if Dirk Nowitzki doesn't score his normal 30 points like he always seems to do against the Thunder, the Mavs could be in danger of losing this game SU. Both times the Thunder went into Dallas last year, they lost by a slim margin including one overtime game. OKC seems to struggle the most when facing teams that have powerful big men... but Dallas really doesn't own that. This game will come down to a battle of the guards and small forwards... and I believe OKC has just as much talent (and youth) at some major positions. The two best free throw shooting teams in the NBA might need those down the stretch. Should be a fun one to watch, but I think 5 points is too many to ask Dallas to win by... especially at home where they've lost seven times already this year. Side with the Thunder on the road tonight.

3♦ OKLAHOMA CITY

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, January 15,2010

Michael Cannon

New Orleans at DETROIT +2

I am now 63-45-3 with my last 111 free plays.

Take the Pistons plus the points tonight at home over the Hornets.

I realize I’m taking a chance here, but I like Detroit to build off its win Wednesday night at Washington.

I really like the Pistons if Ben Gordon and Tayshaun Prince play tonight.  I know that both are questionable, but if they go tonight it give Detroit that much more firepower.

Not really impressed with the Hornets overall, and I’m not sold on them at all when playing on the road.  New Orleans is just 5-14 SU on the road this year and they haven’t really blown the bottom tier teams out at home either.

The Hornets are also just 1-9 ATS in their last 10 on Friday.

Take the Pistons as the small home dog tonight for your free winner.

2♦ DETROIT

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, January 15,2010

Stephen Nover

Minnesota at MEMPHIS -8

You know it's a strange year in the NBA when the Grizzlies are above .500 in mid-January. Memphis has won nine of its last 12 games to go 19-18 on the season.

Success breeds inflated lines, however, and that's the case here.

This is the highest the Grizzlies have been favored since Nov. 18. Memphis has a nice blend of young talent with Rudy Gay, O.J. Mayo and Marc Gasol mixed with veterans Zach Randolph and Jamaal Tinsley.

But the Grizzlies' bench is not strong. The team is not built for covering big margins. The Grizzlies have a much more important game on tap Saturday night when they host San Antonio. That's the game they really want.

Gasol, a much improved player, is dealing with a bruised shoulder.

Minnesota is a much better team with Kevin Love back in the lineup. His presence has really helped Al Jefferson, the team's best player, who is averaging 22.3 points in the last six games.

The Timberwolves have been quite profitable as a road underdog. They are 13-6 against the spread in that role when getting five to 10 points.

Minnesota is 30-11-1 against the spread on the road when facing opponents with a winning home mark.

3♦ TIMBERWOLVES

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, January 15,2010

Brett Atkins

Improved to 5-1 with my last six free plays when Fullerton won and covered at home on Thursday night against Cal Poly SLO. Tonight I'm on the NBA hardwood with a winner coming on the Rockets as they will get the cover at home over the Heat.

This is Miami’s fifth road game in the last eight days and they have to finish off this road trip with a back-to-back tomorrow in Oklahoma City. Fatigue is setting in and I’m going to cash in with the Rockets tonight.

Houston has won three straight (SU and ATS) against Miami and five of the last six, plus the Rockets have cashed in seven of the last nine series clashes. In the last three meetings between these two in Houston, the Rockets have won each by a minimum of 7 points, covering each time.

Houston got a day off to recover from that triple-OT win at home over the T-Wolves on Wednesday and come into this one having won eight straight on the home court (7-1 ATS).

Miami is giving up 106.2 points a game over its last five contests, while Houston scores 103.6 at home and limits the opposition to 99.8. The Rockets have a good mix of players that can all get it done offensively, and they have the defensive stoppers in Shane Battier and Trevor Ariza who can work together to lock down Dwyane Wade.

The Heat are just 3-7 ATS against the Western Conference and 5-16-1 against the Southwest Division. Houston is on ATS runs of 4-1 after a day off, 5-1 as a home chalk, 35-16-1 against Southeast Division teams and 41-20 after a non-cover.

The Rockets are 5-1 ATS in Miami’s last six visits to Houston and they’ll keep that streak going tonight. Lay the small chalk and go with Houston!

4♦ HOUSTON

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