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Free Picks: Premium Service Plays for Monday, January 25,2010

Free Picks: Premium Service Plays for Monday, January 25,2010

Rex Rodgers

3* Calgary Flames -160

3* Vancouver Canucks -145



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Tony Taylor

3* Syracuse Orange -5.5

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Jim Feist

20* NBA Hi-Roller Total

Magic/Grizzlies Over

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Re: Free Picks: Premium Service Plays for Monday, January 25,2010

DAVID MALINSKY

4* SAN ANTONIO/CHICAGO Under

We lost a play on the Spurs Under on Friday night in what has been an excellent long-term situation for Gregg Popovich, and even with that failure the numbers in this category are significant – his Spurs have played to a 51-24-2 Under count the last six seasons the game after allowing at least 100 points in regulation. Now it has been back-to-back home games in which the defense has allowed the opposition to reach the century mark, and while the markets are adjusting the Totals higher because of those results, we believe that the focus and intensity level for San Antonio becomes even tighter, especially with two full days to prepare for this game. So we put the long-term pattern back into play again.Popovich knows as well as any coach what it takes to still be playing in June, and that is why the focus has always been to quickly clean up defensive lapses in the past. And his comments this weekend follow along that path - “Persistence. That's your only choice. You keep on pushing. You keep trying to improve. You understand what you have to improve, and you work at it.” The fact that the last two defensive failures also led to SU defeats creates an even greater sense of urgency, and with Saturday and Sunday off, and nothing up tomorrow, this game is treated like a playoff affair.Note that despite the recent problems it is not as though this has been an awful defense – they still check in at #9 in the NBA, which is a solid level, but not up to their expectations. Right above them at #8 just happens to be Chicago, which shows a marked improvement on that end of the court when Tyrus Thomas is in the rotation. With reports this morning that a couple of days of rest will put Joakim Noah back on the court it helps to tighten things up even more, and that gives us the matchups that we need to get in play here.


4* UTAH/PHOENIX Under

Suddenly the Jazz look like a Jerry Sloan team again. In eight home games since Christmas they have allowed an average of 91.1 points per game, and there has been a direct correlation between the return of Andrei Kirilenko to the starting lineup and the regaining of their defensive chemistry. The markets are far behind on appreciating those changes, and that gives us excellent value for this setting.Kirilenko adds a toughness that is needed by the Utah front-court, and that is fully acknowledged by Sloan ("No question [his size] makes a big difference. He's able to block shots and play defense. I probably should have had him [starting] all along, if I'd been smart enough.") and floor leader Deron Williams ("A.K.'s length bothers people defensively. He gives us an added shot-blocker out there to start the game, which helps."). And the fact that the defense is bringing rewards, like in the current 6-1 run, means that they remain focused on those improvements, especially in only their second game in five days, which means ample time to put a game plan together for this opponent. And Sloan already knows that the best way to beat Phoenix is to slow the game down – they played to counts of 206 and 180 in regulation on this court LY.The Suns love to run but are not adept at forcing pace vs. superior opponents, especially without Leandro Barbosa – note that they are 11-5 to the Under when he does not play. And while they are certainly nothing special defensively, the one tool that Alvin Gentry has used is a zone that can be effective here, since Utah’s offense needs penetration in order to make up for the lack of spot-up shooters on the wings. That further helps to reduce the pace tonight, and brings us something much less than the track meet that the oddsmakers are projecting.


4* DENVER/CHARLOTTE Under

The markets have some key adjustments to make here, and we believe they came up far short. To lose either Carmelo Anthony or J. R. Smith is significant to the Nuggets in terms of the pace that they play at. But to lose both requires multiplication, and not addition, in factoring the numbers properly. Now the offensive efficiency and pace both all off in a major way, with heavy minutes having to go to Joey Graham and Anthony Carter, who do not bring anywhere near the same level of offensive talent (and the fact that neither played a single minute in Saturday’s O.T. win over New Orleans shows where they really belong in the rotation). Instead of the second unit bringing energy and pace off of the bench, it becomes a stodgy group that will have to rely more on defense and moving the basketball than racing up and down the court. That is further magnified by tonight’s opponent.Charlotte has now moved all the way up to #1 on our best set of defensive ratings, and the fact that the defense is directly correlating into scoreboard wins makes it easier for the Bobcats to buy into Larry Brown’s tactics. The more you rely on defense, the more you also play deliberately on offense to increase the impact of that defense on the game – Charlotte is 27th in the league in pace. With two of the most explosive Nugget scorers sidelined they will put extra emphasis on making this a half-court affair, turning this into a grinder without much tempo at all, and with a lot of long possessions that end up with low percentage shots

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Brandon Lang

15 DIME - MIAMI HEAT - Great spot for the Heat to step up and deliver.

Cavs have been winning, but they have been winning ugly.

They had no right covering against the Lakers, and were very fortunate to beat the Thunder at home 2 days later.

Further examination will show the Cavs are doing just enough to get by their last 10 games.

On the outside you will see 4 straight wins and 7 of their last 10 but just 3-6-1 ATS.

Lost at home to Charlotte, blew out the gun toting Wizards before heading west.

All told they went 3-2 but just 1-3-1 ATS and only one game was impressive.

A 2-point loss at Denver, 12 point win at Portland, 3 point win at Golden State, 1 point loss at Utah and a 1 point win at the Clippers.

They return home for a sluggish win no cover versus the Raptors, a miracle cover versus the Lakers courtesy of Paul Gasol and his 2 missed free throws and a 1 point win no cover versus the Thunder.

They are without Mo Williams, no Delonte West either, and playing a surging Heat squad which looks like they haver their swagger back.

After getting flat out destroyed at Charlotte by 39 they have bounced back to win 2 in a row by 31 over the Kings and 30 over the Pacers.

Miami on a 7-3 SU run at home and all 7 wins have been by double digits.

With the Cavs banged up and a bit short handed and the line begging you to take the Cavs at a short price, it's Wade and company who are the right side and they will take care of business.

FREE SELECTION - HOUSTON ROCKETS

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Special K

5* Clippers Under 190.5

5* St Josephs -5

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Sportsbetsnow

1 Unit Miami Heat -1

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Erin Rynning

Playmaker: Boston Under 190

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Tim Trushel

20* Houston

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Teddy Covers

Georgetown

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Wunderdog

3 Units St. Joesph's / Penn Under 142.5

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Marc Lawrence

4 Units SA Spurs -8

3 Units Boise St. +5.5

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Fantasy Sports Gametime

1000* Syracuse -6 over Georgetown (BIG EAST GOY)

50* Calgary -160 over St. Louis

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ATS Lock Club

4 Units Atlanta

4 Units Memphis

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Anthony Redd

30 Dime - Missouri

10 Dime - Georgetown

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Nick "BookieKiller" Parsons

Calgary -160

For a number of different reasons I believe the value in this matchup favors the Calgary Flames as they'll look to finally bust out of their current slump with a concerted effort on both sides of the ice in front of the hometown crowd:

New coach Davis Payne led the Blues on a four-game winning streak earlier this month, but they have followed that up by dropping three of four.

Saturday night’s 4-3 shootout loss to Anaheim was especially disheartening after the Blues blew a 3-0 lead in the final 15 minutes of regulation and were outshot 17-3 in the third period; playing against a desperate and determined Calgary team after a loss like they just experienced is not what the doctor ordered for St. Louis.

Also keep in mind that St. Louis beat the Flames in a shootout on Dec. 23rd in Calgary, so they'll have to deal with the "revenge" factor as well.

Not only is St. Louis just 5-10 its last 15 overall, its also 2-5 its last seven on the road.

On the other side of the ice: The Flames’ last five losses have come in regulation, and their offense continued to sputter in a 3-1 home loss to Chicago on Thursday night. They totaled 20 shots on goal and were held to one goal or fewer for the fourth time in their last five games.

Captain and leading scorer Jarome Iginla was held without a goal for the 10th straight game, and he’s totaled just two assists in his last nine contests. Iginla hasn’t gone 11 consecutive games without a goal since the start of the 1999-00 season.

There's no question that Calgary has been struggling; 0-5 its last five overall; 0-5 its last five at the Saddledome; but it does have precedence on its side; 14-4 its last 18 vs. St. Louis.

Bottom line: Calgary had the NHL’s second-best winning % at home over the previous three seasons, and it hasn’t gone six straight without a win at the Saddledome since an 0-4-2 stretch with four ties Oct. 21-Dec. 4, 2000; look for CALGARY to improve to 7-5 (+2 units) revenging a home loss vs. an opponent and for St. Louis to fall to 10-17 (-6.7 units) when playing against a team with a winning record!

*7* CALGARY

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Rocketman

Western Carolina -5.5

Western Carolina has a nice 15-4 SU record overall this year. Western Carolina is a perfect 10-0 SU at home this year where they are scoring 80.2 points per game and allowing only 61.1 points per game. Catamounts are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games as a favorite of 0.5-6.5. Catamounts are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games as a home favorite of 0.5-6.5. Favorite is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings. College of Charleston forward Jeremy Simmons appears to be out again tonight for the Cougars. Simmons leads Charleston in rebounding, blocked shots and field goal percentage this season. We'll play Western Carolina for 3 units tonight!

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Tony George

Missouri +12

Too many points in this border war. Yes KU has a huge home court advantage and they were uncontested at Iowa State this weekend. Mizzou 's defense and full court pressure and run the floor style will have them in this game at the end. The destroyed Nebraska this weekend and penetrated NU's tough defense all day. While KU is the better team and have won by 25 and 19 the last two times at Fog Allen, I see the stats and look at this game outside of the stats and the importance on it and heated rivalry, and I see a lower scoring game with both teams playing defense, and that puts the 12 points we are getting at a premium. KU by 8 to 9 points. Play 1 Unit on Missouri.

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Marc Lawrence

San Antonio -8

The Spurs host the Bulls in this major payback game with San Antonio looking to avenge a loss earlier this season in the Windy City. That's good news for the Spurs considering that they are 26-4 SU and 23-7 ATS as favorites off a SU favorite loss when playing with same season revenge, including 5-0 SU and ATS versus an opponent off back-to-back SU underdog wins. With Chicago 1-7 SU and ATS in its last eight games off back-to-back SU underdog wins, including 0-4 SU and ATS versus an opponent off a loss, look for the Spurs to improve to 6-0 SU and ATS at home on Mondays here tonight. We recommend a 4-unit play on San Antonio.

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Lenny Del Genio

Western Carolina -7

Here's another game that reminds us of a recent winning selection we had. Last Wednesday, we went against what had been a previously red-hot and very profitable William & Mary team with Virginia Commonwealth (always one of our favorites) as our 20* CAA Game of the Month. What happened? The Rams smashed the Tribe 81-59 as eight-point favorites. Same thing applies here. Remember, just like the stock market, the mantra of "buy low, sell high" applies to sports betting as well. Now is the time to "sell" on College of Charleston, who has cashed eight straight games coming in. They are also 8-2 ATS as an underdog. Six of their recent eight wins have been of the outright variety in the underdog role. Western Carolina, meanwhile, has struggled against the pointspread, failing to cover spreads of 16 and 17 at home against UNC Greensboro and Elon. They also are off an outright loss at Appalachian State as one-point favorites. This game sets us beautifully for the Catamounts. They are 6-0 ATS as a home favorite of six or less the last two seasons and have not lost here all year. That includes a 70-68 win over C of C last season. That was their only home cover vs. the Cougars over a six-game stretch and furthermore they have revenge from a terrible 19-point loss in last year's Southern Conference Tournament where they shot just 33% from the floor and 30% from the free throw line. Take Western Carolina.

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