Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday October, 31

Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday October, 31

DUNKEL INDEX

San Antonio at New Orleans
The Hornets look to build on their 9-0 ATS record in their last 9 home games. New Orleans is the pick (+7) according to Dunkel, which has the Spurs favored by just 4 1/2. Dunkel Pick: New Orleans (+7)

Game 701-702: Indiana at Toronto (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Indiana 118.241; Toronto 119.511
Dunkel Line & Total: Toronto by 1 1/2; 192
Vegas Line & Total: Indiana by 3; 188
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (+3); Over

Game 703-704: Denver at Philadelphia (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Denver 123.277; Philadelphia 120.216
Dunkel Line & Total: Denver by 3; 194
Vegas Line & Total: Philadelphia by 2; 198 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Denver (+2); Under

Game 705-706: Houston at Detroit (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Houston 113.847; Detroit 118.563
Dunkel Line & Total: Detroit by 4 1/2; 185
Vegas Line & Total: Detroit by 2 1/2; 190 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-2 1/2); Under

Game 707-708: San Antonio at New Orleans (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Antonio 126.115; New Orleans 121.602
Dunkel Line & Total: San Antonio by 4 1/2; 193
Vegas Line & Total: San Antonio by 7; 188
Dunkel Pick: New Orleans (+7); Over

Game 709-710: Sacramento at Chicago (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Sacramento 115.537; Chicago 124.183
Dunkel Line & Total: Chicago by 8 1/2; 182
Vegas Line & Total: Chicago by 6 1/2; 188 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Chicago (-6 1/2); Under

Game 711-712: Dallas at Utah (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Dallas 117.411; Utah 123.463
Dunkel Line & Total: Utah by 6; 193
Vegas Line & Total: Utah by 8 1/2; 189
Dunkel Pick: Dallas (+8 1/2); Over

Game 713-714: Golden State at Phoenix (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Golden State 116.657; Phoenix 116.776
Dunkel Line & Total: Even; 209
Vegas Line & Total: Phoenix by 3; 200
Dunkel Pick: Golden State (+3); Over

Game 715-716: Memphis at LA Clippers (10:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Memphis 119.576; LA Clippers 125.133
Dunkel Line & Total: LA Clippers by 5 1/2; 183
Vegas Line & Total: LA Clippers by 3 1/2; 187 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Clippers (-3 1/2); Under

Game 717-718: LA Lakers at Portland (10:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Lakers 116.546; Portland 115.546
Dunkel Line & Total: LA Lakers by 1; 195
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday October, 31

Rob Vinciletti

Denver Nuggets vs. Philadelphia 76ers    
Play: Denver Nuggets

Denver travels East to Philly tonight to take on the Sixers. In this series the host team has failed to cover 11 of the last 13 times in the series between these two. Denver has been a spread winner in 6 of the last 7 here. The Nuggets have covered in 32 of the last 48 vs Non Conference teams. With Philadelphia among many of the Northeastern States still recovering from Hurricane Sandy, there may not be too big a home crowd in this one. Look for Denver to get the cash here.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday October, 31

Jim Feist

Golden State Warriors vs. Phoenix Suns    
Play; Golden State Warriors

Golden State had a terrific preseason, finishing up tops in the Pacific division with a winning record both home and away. David Lee is a hard worker under the glass and rookie Harrison Barnes has impressed. The Warriors are 14-3 ATS in their last 17 road games and 9-1 ATS in their last 10 vs. the NBA Pacific. Phoenix had a rough offseason, losing their veteran playmaker. There's a lot of deadwood on this roster, including Michael Beasley, who is on his third team now. Play the Warriors.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday October, 31

Dave Cokin

Houston Rockets at Detroit Pistons
Pick: Houston Rockets

The Rockets might need some time to gel with some key new faces on the floor. But I still can't see them being tabbed as underdogs against a mediocre Pistons entry, regardless of the site. I'll side with Houston plus the points tonight.

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3G-SPORTS

Golden State Warriors Over 36.5 Total Season Wins

So the oddsmakers are telling me that the Warriors will not have a .500 record when The NBA season is done for the 2012-13. I beg to differ! The Warriors have a pretty Good talent around all key positions and if Stephen Curry and David Lee can stay healthy and Andrew Bogut returns this total easily goes over. I think this Warriors squad can also compete For one of the final two spots in the Western Conference playoffs. The Warriors will be Fun to watch on the offensive side, but I'm hoping their defense improved from last year.
With Mark Jackson in his 2nd year of coaching I see Golden State winning around more than 40 games this season.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday October, 31

Sean Murphy

Indiana vs. Toronto
Pick: Indiana

The Raptors are generating a bit of hype entering the new season, but is it warranted? I'm not so sure.

Will Toronto be better this season? Probably. How much better remains to be seen.

The Raps looked disjointed at times during the preseason - not a big surprise when you consider all of the new pieces they have in place. We know that this is a team that will battle hard night in, night out under Dwayne Casey, but I believe the value will be in backing the Raptors are a sizable underdog, not catching a point or two against a proven opponent like the Pacers tonight.

This line has been on the move since word came out that Pacers star Danny Granger would be sidelined indefinitely due to injury. Keep in mind, this is a deep team, and one that has its sights on challenging the Heat atop the Eastern Conference this season.

Offseason acquisition D.J. Augustin should help pick up some of the offensive slack in the absence of Granger.

Indiana took all three meetings in this series last season, and has won six of the last seven matchups overall. Stalwarts such as Roy Hibbert, Paul George, and David West, not to mention one of the best sixth men in basketball in George Hill will make the Pacers a force to be reckoned with, even without their star on the floor.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday October, 31

Bruce Marshall

L.A. Lakers vs. Portland
Pick: Portland

There's trouble brewing with the Lake Show.  Last night's opening loss to Dallas merely continued a trend from the preseason that has now seen the new-look L.A. lose all nine games, and not sure prospects are any better for a quick turnaround tonight in Portland.  The new "Princeton" concepts offensively have slowed the pace on the attack end and taken the ball too much out of Steve Nash's hands.  Meanwhile, Nash remains a major defensive liability, and Dwight Howard hardly seems 100% after his back surgery.  Alll the while, the tempestuous Kobe Bryant does a slow burn, and who knows how long before Kobe decides he's going to be the one taking all the shots...which will hardly sit well with the rest of the crew.  Portland is able and hungry and ready to unleash its revamped uptempo offense under new HC Terry Stotts, with Gs Wes Matthews and especially Weber State rookie Damien Lillard playing to rave reviews in the preseason.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday October, 31

Hollywood Sports

Lakers at Trail Blazers
Prediction: Over

Los Angeles (0-1) tipped off their season last night but was awful at the free throw line by hitting just 12 of 31 shots for a mere 38.7% percentage en route to their 99-91 loss to the Mavericks. Dwight Howard was the worse culprit after missing 11 of his 14 shots from the charity stripe. Look for head coach Mike Brown to have his team spend some extra time taking care of business at the line during today's practice. Clearly, the Lakers are struggling with their team chemistry as they incorporate Howard and veteran Steve Nash into their new starting lineup. Los Angeles is also installing a new Princeton-styled offense  but given injuries over the last few weeks, the starting five played for only the second time together last night. While Nash has free reign to run the pick-and-roll within that offensive set, that is something he chose not to do last night. Look for that change tonight as he looks to help his team generate more offense. The Lakers should also improve their execution of their Princeton-offense that emphasizes back screens. Kobe Bryant and company saw the Over go 18-7-1 in their last 26 games following a loss. The Lakers have also played 14 of their last 20 road games Over the Total. And while LA's starting five logged in 183:48 last night, they have then played 6 straight games Over the Total after seeing their starting five play at least 160 minutes the previous day. Portland (0-0) begins their new season having played 4 of their last 5 games Over the Total when not having played for at least three days. The Trail Blazers have also played 5 of their last 7 games Over the Total against teams from the NBA Pacific division. Additionally, in the last 9 meetings between these two teams, the game finished Over the Total in 7 of these occasions. Take the Over in this one.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday October, 31

Jimmy Boyd

Sacramento Kings +7

The Bulls are being overvalued at home tonight. Not having Derrick Rose on the floor certainly hurts, but they will also miss Omer Asik, C.J. Watson, Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver, who were instrumental in Chicago winning 18 of the 27 regular-season games that Rose missed last season.

The Kings are loaded with young talent and enter the season beaming with confidence after going 5-2 in the preseason. DeMarcus Cousins, who averaged 18.1 points and 11.0 rebounds last season, is a handful down low, and Isaiah Thomas and Tyreke Evans are gifted perimeter threats. The Kings will also receive a boost from Thomas Robinson, the fifth overall pick in this year's draft.

Chicago is a sound defensive team, but Sacramento has enough offense to keep this one close. The Kings averaged 98.8 points per game last season and have the potential to be even more explosive.

The road team is 9-1 ATS in the last 10 meetings, and the Kings are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 meetings in Chicago. Take the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday October, 31

Joseph D'Amico

San Antonio Spurs vs. New Orleans Hornets    
Play: San Antonio Spurs

San Antonio finished LYs campaign with the best record in the West. If you recall, at one point the Spurs won 20 straight, including their first 10 in the Playoffs. Then they ran into the Thunder to end their season. The meat of the team is one of the NBA's best in Duncan, Ginobili, and Parker. Leonard has matured quite nicely as well. They took all four meetings over New Orleans last season and are 8-2 SU the L10 against vs. the Hornets. New Orleans was 21-45 LY. Davis, Gordon, and Rivers are supposed to bring excitement to the team but that excitement won't add up to a lot more victories. The unit does not have the savvy, the talent, or the bench to match up here. Spurs are 8-2 ATS their L10 games played vs. the NBA South West and 40-16 ATS their L60 games played overall. Take San Antonio.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday October, 31

Jack Jones

Utah Jazz -8.5

The Dallas Mavericks are already thin without Dirk Nowitzki and Chris Kaman. While I took the Mavs last night at +8.5 against the Lakers, I'm going the other direction tonight and fading them in this second of a back-to-back against the Utah Jazz.

I believe the Jazz are one of the most underrated teams in the league heading into this season. They have perhaps the best post depth in the entire league with Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter leading the show. Dallas is hurting in the post right now without Kaman.

After beating the Lakers 99-91 last night, the Mavs are going to have a hard time getting up emotionally to face the Jazz. This is a clear letdown spot for Dallas. It won't be able to match the intensity of Utah, which will be giving max effort in its opener.

The Mavericks are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a S.U. win. The Jazz are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. The favorite is 13-6 ATS in the last 19 meetings in this series. Bet Utah Wednesday.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday October, 31

Jeff Alexander

Memphis Grizzlies +4

This is a game the Grizzlies want badly as they were knocked out of the playoffs by the Clippers last season. They were 1-2 in L.A. during the series but neither of the two defeats came by more than 4 points. Under coach Hollins, the Grizzlies are an awesome 86-58 ATS as an underdog, including 54-36 ATS as an underdog of 3.5 to 9.5 points. Grab the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday October, 31

Dave Price

Utah Jazz -8.5

After a big win over the Lakers on opening night, expect a letdown from the Mavs as they go up against a fresh Utah squad that went 25-8 at home last season. Dallas was a poor 13-20 on the road a year ago. The Mavs beat an LA team that will be searching for chemistry early on. Beating a Utah team that has more experience playing together will be much more difficult. The Jazz have a big advantage up front where they boast Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. The Mavs are thin up front with Dirk Nowitzki out indefinitely and Chris Kaman expected to miss with a calf injury. The favorite is 13-6 ATS in the last 19 meetings. Lay the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday October, 31

SPORTS WAGERS

Denver +105 over PHILADELPHIA

Here come the Nuggets with one of the most unique attacks in basketball. This is a turbo-paced, foul-drawing, defense-carving firestorm that is likely the best superstar-less team out there. Denver GM Masai Ujiri has done an amazing job of rebuilding, turning the former Carmelo Anthony-Chauncey Billups-Nene Nuggets into a 12-deep outfit (the Nuggets' bench netted 50 or more points 13 times in 2011-12 and outscored the opposing reserves on 40 occasions). Adding Andre Iguodala this summer to what was already the league's most potent open-court offense makes the Nuggets very difficult to defend. The defense was the biggest obstacle last season but acquiring one of the league's best wing defenders in Iguodala will go a long way toward remedying that deficiency. Denver plays 17 of its first 23 games on the road so Coach George Karl is stressing more than ever how important these first few games will be.

While we’re on the subject of coaching, 76ers head man Doug Collins has a history of decline and wearing out his welcome in typically a 3-year term as players tune out to his yammering. Collins has also taken over the front office and it’s now his show from top to bottom. That can’t end well. The big move in the off-season was of course getting Andrew Bynum but he starts the season on the rack. The Sixers preceded the acquisition of Bynum with a series of disastrous decisions that essentially undid all of the positives of the Bynum trade. Defensively, Philly was gangbusters a season ago but will likely be worse this season. They also set two NBA records last year, one for the fewest turnovers and another for the lowest free throw rate. The Sixers were 27th in 3-point attempts per field goal attempt and that, combined with the lack of free throws, meant they had the league's worst secondary percentage. They were also a bad offensive rebounding team, not a surprise, given that the bigs were always 20 feet from the basket. Frankly, we don’t see where this club has improved and with Bynum out, not to mention a lack of scoring and rebounding, the 76ers just might be the most overvalued team in the NBA to start the year. We’ll look to take advantage of that right off the hop.


Memphis +3½ /+144 over L.A. CLIPPERS

Clippers owner Donald Sterling allowed GM Neil Olshey to depart for Portland. The team opted to fill the position as inexpensively as possible, promoting little-known Gary Sacks and having him work with coach Vinny Del Negro to conduct offseason personnel moves. In typical Clipper fashion, that’s going to prove costly. Chris Paul (CP3) and Blake Griffin make up one of the most dynamic duo’s in the Association. What we have here is a lot of ho-hum up and down the roster when you get past the two stars. DeAndre Jordan has the best chance at being a third impact player, but his offensive limitations and defensive confusion likely limit him to a league-average starting center. He’s a nice piece but not a game-changing one. Lots of hype around the Clip Joint once again will have them overpriced on most nights.

Memphis' starting five has essentially never been healthy and starting at the same time. In 2012, they played three games together, losing by three points apiece to San Antonio and Oklahoma City and beating Houston by 20. They then went 16-8 with a gimpy Zach Randolph at the end. The starting five of PG-Mike Conley SG-Tony Allen SF-Rudy Gay PF- Zach Randolph and C- Marc Gasol is potentially a terror and so is the defense. Memphis was seventh in defensive efficiency last season and could easily jump into the top four this season. A healthy Grizzlies team is on the verge of stepping into the upper tier and we’re glad to take anything being offered. Playing a single unit on both the money line and point-spread.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday October, 31

Andre Gomes

Utah Jazz -8.5

Independently from the matchup of this game that is indeed very favorable to Utah, Dallas would always struggle in here due to their poor spot for tonight. We are talking about their first back to back game of the season, on a road-road spot, with tonight's game being in Utah, the worst team together with Denver to play on a back to back game. To make things even worse for the Mavericks, they played at 10:30PM EST last night, while they will play tonight at 9:00PM EST, so they have even less time to prepare for tonight's game.

Now looking onto the matchups. Dallas is undersized down low right now and that's clear with both Chris Kaman and Dirk Nowitzki out due to injury. So, Dallas was forced to use Elton Brand for 36 minutes last night, Brendan Wright for 20 minutes and even Eddy Curry was forced to play 17 minutes! Now imagine Eddy Curry running on a back to back game at Utah! Also Elton Brand doesn't "have" legs anymore to play back to back games after having played 36 minutes last night. With the Mavs struggling on the frontcourt, it wasn't a surprise that both Howard and Gasol crushed them yesterday, with a combined of 45 points, 16-31 FG, 23 rebounds, 8 offensive rebounds (the whole Mavs team had just 8!) and 4 blocks. My advanced numbers also show that the Lakers had 55.1% of rebounds, while Dallas had just 44.9%. This wasn't a surprise for me, as I had referred exactly that on my article about the game between the Lakers and the Mavs. 

The problem is that Dallas will have to face the powerful frontcourt of Utah on this horrible spot for them. We all know that the Jazz have 4 solid interior players and it wasn't a surprise that Utah was the best rebounding team in the league during the preseason. I know it was just the preseason and that "means nothing", however there were no coincidences on this subject, as Utah is indeed a very good rebounding team. Dallas also had problems with turnovers during the preseason, as they want to play on a faster pace in order to try to score more in transition. That's mostly why they were able to score 13 fast break points yesterday, while committing "just" 12 turnovers. I believe they will struggle more today than they did yesterday because the Lakers' defense don't put a lot of pressure on the ball handler and they were indeed one of the worst teams last season in creating turnovers. That's something that won't happen tonight against the very aggressive Jazz, who use their superior athletic ability to run and score in transition like the... Mavericks! In fact, we are in presence of the two teams that scored more fast break points during the preseason: Dallas was #1 with 20.1 fast break points per game, while Utah was #2 with 20.0!

I expect this game to be played on a relatively fast pace, with a good number of points scored on transition plays, while Utah will completely explore their much better spot for tonight and especially their big matchup advantage down low with a very clear edge in terms of boards and points in the paint. Therefore, I'll be taking both Utah and the Over in here.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday October, 31

Joe Gavazzi

Denver Nuggets +2

There were sweeping changes for these 2 teams in the off season. Philly shipped one of their best players, Andre Iguodala, to the Nuggets. He'll be suiting up tonight. As part of their compensation in that deal, the 6ers got Andrew Bynum, whose continuing knee problems will keep him out of today's line up. Under veteran HC Karl the Nuggs were a highly profitable 22-11 ATS on the road LY. Conversely the 6ers were just 1-7 ATS home TO -3. Though the Nuggs may be missing one of best pieces in Gallinari, this line up is far more settled than that of the home team. A strong Game 1 76% situation aides our cause. If you liked our 10* winner with the Mavs last night in their upset of the Lakers, then you will love my 5 Best Bets for Wednesday Night! Including another 10* Play! It's time to make money in the NBA by following my winning

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Tony George

Toronto Raptors +2

Danny Grainger out for the Pacers here and Toronto has a new line up and look to be a decent team in 2012.  The one thing that jumps off the paper here is the fact the HOME TEAM in this series is 16-5 ATS!  Opening up the season without your star, on the road in Canada against a team at home that always give you a game is a tough spot.  With Danny Grainger out, the Pacers leading scorer, no one on the team last year averaged more than 12 ppg, and the Pacers have only covered 5 out of the last 22 meetings north of the border here!!

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday October, 31

Scott Delaney

I'm on a 26-10 run with all my free plays, including my first one in the NBA last night on the Cleveland Cavaliers. Tonight I'm taking the road chalk in the Denver/Philadelphia clash, as I think the Nuggets are the right side. When I first earmarked this game, Denver was a 1-point underdog; I agree with the line move, as it's the right side in this game.

Ninth-year coach George Karl is back for another season, and he has plenty of reason to be optimistic about his boys, who happen to be a bit of a trendy pick in the Western Conference, a pick some say could get to the conference finals. Yes, that means either the Oklahoma City Thunder or the Los Angeles Lakers are left out of that picure.

But that's in April. Let's chat then. Right now, it's more about which team is better suited for the start of this season. And in my mind it's the Nuggets, who can go at least 10 deep. Adding to the roster, bolstering the scoring opportunities is Andre Iguodala, who came over in a trade with these same Philly 76ers.

That could benefit, as he'll know how to attack many of his old teammates, and will be able to enlighten his new teammates on what to expect from coach Doug Collins' troops. I agree this team is going to be a surprise threat, with the additions of Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson, but tonight Bynum's health will keep him from playing in the season-opener. He sat out the entire preseason with knee issues.

Denver is going to attack and stay aggressive in this one, and should pull away late for the easy win and cover.

2♦ DENVER

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday October, 31

Chuck O'Brien

Still looking good with my long-term free-ppick run, as it's now 124-90-3 after scoring with the defending NBA champion Miami Heat last night, in a blowout win over the Boston Celtics. Tonight, I'm taking the Los Angeles Lakers, to rebound from last night's loss at home, and to denounce their rivals from the northwest, the Portland Trail Blazers.

The two tip off at 7:35 p.m. (pst) inside the Rose Garden, but I'm not worried about the travel for the Lakers; they're going to be pissed off. And they can now take their aggression out on a Portland team picked by most to finish dead last in the Northwest Division.

It's no surprise, either, as the Blazers are young and will continually have trouble keeping up in a very tough and rugged Western Conference. I do believe the exuberant young Blazers will benefit from maturing with one another, at some point down the road, but it's going to take some time.

I'm not even sure the current personnel in place, has the wherewithal to be a playoff contender this season. All hopes with this newlook Blazers roster falls on the shoulders of guard Damian Lillard, who was taken 6th overall out of Weber State in this past summer's draft. He averaged 24.5 points, five rebounds and four assists as a junior last season at Weber State, and then averaged 26.5 points, 5.3 assists and four rebounds in four games during the NBA's summer league. He's expected to team with LaMarcus Aldridge to spark the offense.

That all being said, they'll have nothing on the Black Mamba tonight.

Kobe Bryant is going to take this game over. He will get everyoine else involved when he's ready. And this is the time where everyone needs to check for their lesson, and understand how things work.

Lakers roll tonight.

2♦ L.A. LAKERS

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday October, 31

Craig Davis

Now a 5-1 free play run with the Miami Heat cashing last night.

Tonight's free play is the San Antonio Spurs.

Let's face it... the Hornets stink. They were bad last year and they really didn't get any better this year. The off-season treated them okay, but it was hardly anywhere near where it needed to be.

Let's first start with the injury situation. SG Eric Gordon and F/C Jason Smith may or may not contribute in tonight's game, depending on how shoot-around goes. Smith has been bothered by a shoulder injury this pre-season and it's not healing as quickly as he would have liked.

Gordon missed the entire pre-season with a sore right knee after having microscopic surgery back in February. Smith, on the other hand, played in just one pre-season game, so it's still unclear how "ready" either of them are to "give it a go".

That alone would be enough for me to back the Spurs, let alone the fact they were one game away from getting to the NBA Finals and a meeting with the Miami Heat. Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker are all ready to go, but it's the role players who would scare me if I were New Orleans.

They will be lucky to have 3/4 of the building full tonight, so there's no home court advantage and never really is in New Orleans.

Advantage Spurs minus the points.

2♦ SAN ANTONIO

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