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Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday November, 9

Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday November, 9

DUNKEL INDEX

Pittsburgh at Connecticut
The Panthers look to build on their 9-1-2 ATS record in their last 12 games against teams with a losing record.  Pittsburgh is the pick (-3 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Panthers favored by 13 1/2.  Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-3)

Game 111-112: Pittsburgh at Connecticut (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh 92.382; Connecticut 79.071
Dunkel Line: Pittsburgh by 13 1/2; 40
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh by 3 1/2; 43 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-3 1/2); Under

NBA

San Antonio at Sacramento
The Spurs look to bounce back from their 106-84 loss to the Clippers on Wednesday and build on their 4-1 ATS record in their last 5 games following a SU defeat of more than 10 points. San Antonio is the pick (-6) according to Dunkel, which has the Spurs favored by 11. Dunkel Pick: San Antonio (-6)

Game 501-502: Milwaukee at Washington (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Milwaukee 116.525; Washington 121.974
Dunkel Line & Total: Washington by 5 1/2; 194
Vegas Line & Total: Milwaukee by 3; 189
Dunkel Pick: Washington (+3); Over

Game 503-504: Brooklyn at Orlando (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Brooklyn 113.574; Orlando 110.397
Dunkel Line & Total: Brooklyn by 3 1/2; 192
Vegas Line & Total: Brooklyn by 2 1/2; 196 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Brooklyn (-2 1/2); Under

Game 505-506: Philadelphia at Boston (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Philadelphia 122.478; Boston 122.931
Dunkel Line & Total: Even; 182
Vegas Line & Total: Boston by 5 1/2; 179
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (+5 1/2); Over

Game 507-508: Dallas at New York (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Dallas 115.716; New York 128.497
Dunkel Line & Total: New York by 13; 196
Vegas Line & Total: New York by 6; 199
Dunkel Pick: New York (-6); Under

Game 509-510: Miami at Atlanta (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami 127.531; Atlanta 127.191
Dunkel Line & Total: Even; 204
Vegas Line & Total: Miami by 5 1/2; 201 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (+5 1/2); Over

Game 511-512: Houston at Memphis (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Houston 116.069; Memphis 126.534
Dunkel Line & Total: Memphis by 10 1/2; 190
Vegas Line & Total: Memphis by 7; 195
Dunkel Pick: Memphis (-7); Under

Game 513-514: Charlotte at New Orleans (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Charlotte 101.651; New Orleans 120.487
Dunkel Line & Total: New Orleans by 19; 177
Vegas Line & Total: New Orleans by 6 1/2; 181
Dunkel Pick: New Orleans (-6 1/2); Under

Game 515-516: Detroit at Oklahoma City (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit 115.822; Oklahoma City 126.231
Dunkel Line & Total: Oklahoma City by 10 1/2; 201
Vegas Line & Total: Oklahoma City by 11 1/2; 198 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (+11 1/2); Over

Game 517-518: Indiana at Minnesota (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Indiana 118.133; Minnesota 112.669
Dunkel Line & Total: Indiana by 5 1/2; 186
Vegas Line & Total: Minnesota by 2; 182 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Indiana (+2); Over

Game 519-520: Cleveland at Phoenix (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland 108.708; Phoenix 121.423
Dunkel Line & Total: Phoenix by 12 1/2; 197
Vegas Line & Total: Phoenix by 4 1/2; 200 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Phoenix (-4 1/2); Under

Game 521-522: San Antonio at Sacramento (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Antonio 127.497; Sacramento 116.372
Dunkel Line & Total: San Antonio by 11; 191
Vegas Line & Total: San Antonio by 6; 198
Dunkel Pick: San Antonio (-6); Under

Game 523-524: Utah at Denver (10:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Utah 121.158; Denver 121.587
Dunkel Line & Total: Even; 206
Vegas Line & Total: Denver by 5; 199
Dunkel Pick: Utah (+5); Over

Game 525-526: Golden State at LA Lakers (10:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Golden State 115.611; LA Lakers 120.015
Dunkel Line & Total: LA Lakers by 4 1/2; 199
Vegas Line & Total: LA Lakers by 6 1/2; 194 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Golden State (+6 1/2); Over

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NCAAB

Maryland vs. Kentucky
The Terps look to take advantage of a Kentucky team that is 2-9-1 ATS in its last 12 games versus the ACC. Maryland is the pick (+11 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Wildcats favored by only 9 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Maryland (+11 1/2)

Game 527-528: Michigan State vs. Connecticut (5:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Michigan State 75.955; Connecticut 65.274
Dunkel Line: Michigan State by 11; 128
Vegas Line: Michigan State by 8 1/2; 132
Dunkel Pick: Michigan State (-8 1/2); Under

Game 529-530: Syracuse vs. San Diego State (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings:
Dunkel Line:
Vegas Line:
Dunkel Pick:

Game 531-532: Ohio State vs. Marquette (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Ohio State 76.969; Marquette 69.021
Dunkel Line: Ohio State by 8; 133
Vegas Line: Ohio State by 6 1/2; 137 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Ohio State (-6 1/2); Under

Game 533-534: Fresno State at Texas (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Fresno State 54.041; Texas 69.854
Dunkel Line: Texas by 16; 133
Vegas Line: Texas by 12; 129
Dunkel Pick: Texas (-12); Over

Game 535-536: Miami (OH) at NC State (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami (OH) 51.653; NC State 70.539
Dunkel Line: NC State by 19; 135
Vegas Line: NC State by 21; 129
Dunkel Pick: Miami (OH) (+21); Over

Game 537-538: Georgia State at Duke (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Georgia State 49.779; Duke 73.669
Dunkel Line: Duke by 24; 128
Vegas Line: Duke by 20 1/2; 133 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Duke (-20 1/2); Under

Game 539-540: Drexel at Kent State (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Drexel 64.499; Kent State 57.377
Dunkel Line: Drexel by 7; 127
Vegas Line: Drexel by 8 1/2; 123
Dunkel Pick: Kent State (+8 1/2); Over

Game 541-542: Tulane at Georgia Tech (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tulane 50.474; Georgia Tech 59.617
Dunkel Line: Georgia Tech by 9; 115
Vegas Line: Georgia Tech by 5; 119 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Georgia Tech (-5); Under

Game 543-544: South Alabama at Florida State (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: South Alabama 50.372; Florida State 72.734
Dunkel Line: Florida State by 22 1/2; 139
Vegas Line: Florida State by 14; 136
Dunkel Pick: Florida State (-14); Over

Game 545-546: Georgetown vs. Florida (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Georgetown 68.477; Florida 70.966
Dunkel Line: Florida by 2 1/2; 122
Vegas Line: Florida by 4 1/2; 125 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Georgetown (+4 1/2); Under

Game 547-548: Virginia at George Mason (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Virginia 62.134; George Mason 60.565
Dunkel Line: Virginia by 1 1/2; 122
Vegas Line: Virginia by 3 1/2; 118
Dunkel Pick: George Mason (+3 1/2); Over

Game 549-550: North Texas at Creighton (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: North Texas 55.077; Creighton 69.090
Dunkel Line: Creighton by 14; 142
Vegas Line: Creighton by 10; 147
Dunkel Pick: Creighton (-10); Under

Game 551-552: Cal Poly at TCU (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cal Poly 55.608; TCU 55.628
Dunkel Line: Even; 131
Vegas Line: TCU by 2; 126 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cal Poly (+2); Over

Game 553-554: Louisiana Tech at Texas A&M (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Louisiana Tech 55.818; Texas A&M 64.801
Dunkel Line: Texas A&M by 9; 126
Vegas Line: Texas A&M by 7; 130 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Texas A&M (-7); Under

Game 555-556: Mississippi State at Troy (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Mississippi State 60.015; Troy 50.990
Dunkel Line: Mississippi State by 9; 135
Vegas Line: Mississippi State by 5; 140
Dunkel Pick: Mississippi State (-5); Under

Game 557-558: Fordham at Texas State (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Fordham 48.046; Texas State 48.723
Dunkel Line: Texas State by 1; 153
Vegas Line: Texas State by 2; 148
Dunkel Pick: Fordham (+2); Over

Game 559-560: Toledo at Loyola-Chicago (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Toledo 51.826; Loyola-Chicago 54.469
Dunkel Line: Loyola-Chicago by 2 1/2; 127
Vegas Line: Loyola-Chicago by 1; 122
Dunkel Pick: Loyola-Chicago (-1); Over

Game 561-562: UC-Santa Barbara at LSU (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: UC-Santa Barbara 59.260; LSU 62.765
Dunkel Line: LSU by 3 1/2; 123
Vegas Line: LSU by 8; 127 1/2
Dunkel Pick: UC-Santa Barbara (+8); Under

Game 563-564: Maryland vs. Kentucky (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Maryland 62.947; Kentucky 72.656
Dunkel Line: Kentucky by 9 1/2; 137
Vegas Line: Kentucky by 11 1/2; 134
Dunkel Pick: Maryland (+11 1/2); Over

Game 565-566: UC-Davis at Oklahoma State (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: UC-Davis 40.178; Oklahoma State 66.289
Dunkel Line: Oklahoma State by 25; 138
Vegas Line: Oklahoma State by 21; 141
Dunkel Pick: Oklahoma State (-21); Under

Game 567-568: UC-Riverside at DePaul (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: UC-Riverside 48.287; DePaul 64.057
Dunkel Line: DePaul by 16; 142
Vegas Line: DePaul by 18; 136
Dunkel Pick: UC-Riverside (+18); Over

Game 569-570: Pepperdine at CS-Northridge (10:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pepperdine 42.556; CS-Northridge 49.492
Dunkel Line: CS-Northridge by 7; 128
Vegas Line: CS-Northridge by 5 1/2; 135
Dunkel Pick: CS-Northridge (-5 1/2); Under

Game 571-572: Wright State at Idaho (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Wright State 47.490; Idaho 58.807
Dunkel Line: Idaho by 11 1/2; 122
Vegas Line: Idaho by 10; 118
Dunkel Pick: Idaho (-10); Over

Game 573-574: Indiana State at UCLA (11:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Indiana State 53.516; UCLA 67.225
Dunkel Line: UCLA by 13 1/2; 126
Vegas Line: UCLA by 15 1/2; 130 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Indiana State (+15 1/2); Under

Game 575-576: San Francisco vs. Stanford (11:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Francisco 57.140; Stanford 71.803
Dunkel Line: Stanford by 14 1/2; 139
Vegas Line: Stanford by 13; 146
Dunkel Pick: Stanford (-13); Under

Game 577-578: Wofford at Colorado (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Wofford 51.366; Colorado 66.226
Dunkel Line: Colorado by 15
Vegas Line: Colorado by 17
Dunkel Pick: Wofford (+17)

Game 579-580: St. Peter's at Rutgers (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Peter's 38.010; Rutgers 61.813
Dunkel Line: Rutgers by 24
Vegas Line: Rutgers by 17 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Rutgers (-17 1/2)

Game 581-582: Towson at College of Charleston (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Towson 41.317; College of Charleston 55.552
Dunkel Line: College of Charleston by 14
Vegas Line: College of Charleston by 16
Dunkel Pick: Towson (+16)

Game 583-584: UMKC vs. Seton Hall (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: UMKC 43.956; Seton Hall 60.352
Dunkel Line: Seton Hall by 16 1/2
Vegas Line: Seton Hall by 17 1/2
Dunkel Pick: UMKC (+17 1/2)

Game 585-586: Samford at Austin Peay (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Samford 45.867; Austin Peay 53.165
Dunkel Line: Austin Peay by 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Austin Peay by 5
Dunkel Pick: Austin Peay (-5)

Game 587-588: IPFW at Auburn (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: IPFW 44.714; Auburn 62.637
Dunkel Line: Auburn by 18
Vegas Line: Auburn by 10
Dunkel Pick: Auburn (-10)

Game 589-590: Eastern Illinois at Bradley (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Eastern Illinois 41.753; Bradley 50.989
Dunkel Line: Bradley by 9
Vegas Line: Bradley by 15
Dunkel Pick: Eastern Illinois (+15)

Game 591-592: Northern Illinois at NE-Omaha (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Northern Illinois 43.215; NE-Omaha 41.273
Dunkel Line: Northern Illinois by 2
Vegas Line: NE-Omaha by 1
Dunkel Pick: Northern Illinois (+1)

Game 593-594: SE Missouri State at Kansas (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: SE Missouri State 48.017; Kansas 79.253
Dunkel Line: Kansas by 31
Vegas Line: Kansas by 22
Dunkel Pick: Kansas (-22)

Game 595-596: North Dakota at Kansas State (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: North Dakota 47.302; Kansas State 70.090
Dunkel Line: Kansas State by 23
Vegas Line: Kansas State by 20 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Kansas State (-20 1/2)

Game 597-598: Tennessee-Martin at AR-Little Rock (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tennessee-Martin 45.185; AR-Little Rock 52.335
Dunkel Line: AR-Little Rock by 7
Vegas Line: AR-Little Rock by 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Tennessee-Martin (+8 1/2)

Game 599-600: Georgia Southern at Valparaiso (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Georgia Southern 46.785; Valparaiso 62.972
Dunkel Line: Valparaiso by 16
Vegas Line: Valparaiso by 14
Dunkel Pick: Valparaiso (-14)

Game 601-602: Tennessee State at BYU (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tennessee State 54.264; BYU 64.811
Dunkel Line: BYU by 10 1/2;
Vegas Line: BYU by 11 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Tennessee State (+11 1/2)

Game 603-604: South Dakota State at Alabama (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: South Dakota State 65.336; Alabama 68.429
Dunkel Line: Alabama by 3
Vegas Line: Alabama by 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: South Dakota State (+6 1/2)

Game 605-606: Denver at Iona (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Denver 59.896; Iona 64.518
Dunkel Line: Iona by 4 1/2
Vegas Line: Iona by 3 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Iona (-3 1/2)

Game 607-608: Montana at Colorado State (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Montana 60.167; Colorado State 65.355
Dunkel Line: Colorado State by 5
Vegas Line: Colorado State by 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Montana (+9 1/2)

Game 609-610: Southern Utah at Gonzaga (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Southern Utah 48.833; Gonzaga 75.587
Dunkel Line: Gonzaga by 27
Vegas Line: Gonzaga by 24
Dunkel Pick: Gonzaga (-24)

Game 611-612: Niagara at Oregon State (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Niagara 46.087; Oregon State 64.640
Dunkel Line: Oregon State by 18 1/2
Vegas Line: Oregon State by 12 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Oregon State (-12 1/2)

Game 613-614: Bucknell at Purdue (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Bucknell 63.711; Purdue 69.248
Dunkel Line: Purdue by 5 1/2
Vegas Line: Purdue by 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Bucknell (+6 1/2)

Game 615-616: Bryant at Indiana (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Bryant 35.051; Indiana 75.278
Dunkel Line: Indiana by 40
Vegas Line: Indiana by 33
Dunkel Pick: Indiana (-33)

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Chris Elliott

Miami vs. Atlanta
Pick: Miami

The Champion Miami Heat (4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS) roll into Atlanta (2-1 SU, 1-2 ATS) Friday night to square off against the Hawks. The Heat have been blazing hot leading the league scoring 110 PPG however they did lose their lone road game this season, by 20 points at Madison Square Garden. Keep in mind the Knicks are 3-0 and have dominated each game with an average +19 PPG point differential. The Heat are clicking on all cylinders right now with back to back wins by a combined average of 27.5 PPG against Phx and Brooklyn.

The Heat have been getting their typical big game contributions from Wade and James as well as excellent play from a healthy Chris Bosh. The Heat center has scored 19.4 PPG while contributing 7.2 RPG and 1.4 blocks. Veteran shooting guard Ray Allen has proven to be a key addition early with 14.2 PPG off the bench.

Atlanta big man Al Horford is healthy and has looked excellent scoring 17.7 PPG with 8.7 RPG. If Horford and Josh Smith can stay healthy, the Hawks could challenge in the east. Too bad that seems to be an issue as Horford missed all but 11 games last season while Smith has missed time early on with an aggravating ankle. The team will have a hard time replacing veteran SG Joe Johnson and his scoring prowess as he averaged 20.9 PPG over his 7 seasons with the Hawks. The team did acquire a number of key players in the offseason including Devin Harris, Kyle Korver, DeShawn Stevenson and Louis Williams. These players will help the team tremendously however this many key player changes could take time to gel.

Miami has owned Atlanta at Philips Arena winning the last 5 in a row SU and ATS. Take the Heat to win ATS.

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David Chan

Utah vs. Denver
Pick: Under

Utah is 2-3, most recently coming off a 95-86 win over the Lakers on Wednesday.

Forward Al Jefferson averages 10 rebounds per game; Paul Millsap averages 9.6.

Jefferson had 18 points and 10 boards vs. the Lakers:

"He's really putting forth an effort to help us on the defensive end and doing a nice job of waiting for his offense to come," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said yesterday. "We're going to need him to continue that."

It's interesting to note that Utah has seen the total go "under" the posted number in both games it's played this year vs. teams with losing records.

Denver is 2-3, most recently coming off a 93-87 win at Houston on Wednesday.

Kenneth Faried is averaging 17.7 points and 12 rebounds a game over his last three contests.

Denver ranks third in the league right now with almost 50 rebounds per contest.

Note that sharp shooter Wilson Chandler will once again be sitting this contest out as he recovers from hip surgery.

Note that Denver has seen the total go "under" the number in 18 of their last 24 as a home favorite of 3.5 to 6 points.

I believe we can expect a very physical defensive battle, a sentiment echoed by both sides:

"We have to continue to work hard and try to put a couple of wins together," Jefferson said. "Denver's a great team at home."

Consider a second look at the "under" in this one!

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Stephen Nover

Indiana Pacers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves    
Play: Indiana Pacers

Minnesota is a surprising 3-1 despite not having Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio. Indiana is 2-3. The Timberwolves are not as good as their record, while the Pacers are better than their won-lost mark.

The Timberwolves' victories have been against Sacramento, Toronto, New Jersey and Orlando. None of those teams is above .500. Their combined record is 6-11. Minnesota beat Orlando by 15 points in its last game this past Wednesday. The Magic also had been playing above their heads and were missing point guard Jameer Nelson. The Timberwolves are 4-12 ATS following a victory.

This already is an important game for Indiana. The Pacers are without last year's leading scorer, Danny Granger, and can't keep losing to lower-rung teams like they did in their opener falling to the Bobcats.

Indiana was 2-0 against Minnesota last season winning by an average of 16.5 points. The Pacers played hard in their last game, this past Wednesday on the road against the Hawks. The Pacers, however, blew a 14-point fourth-quarter lead in an 89-86 loss to Atlanta.

The Pacers know for certain now that Granger is going to be out around three months. They were unsure of his status before. Everybody's role now will be defined. The Pacers, minus Granger, are still a level higher than the Timberwolves with Minnesota missing Love and Rubio.

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Red Dog Sports

Virginia Cavaliers vs. George Mason    
Play: George Mason

This looks to be a low scoring game between two teams from the state of Virginia. Paul Hewitt used to coach at Georgia Tech and now he moved north to coach in the CAA at Fairfax, Virginia. UVA loses Mike Scott as well as Sammy Zeglinski. They do have Joe Harris returning but Jontel Evans is out with an injury. The Cavaliers are well coached by Tony Bennett and seem to find a way to win with defense. I think we see a close game so take the points with the home underdog.

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Rob Vinciletti

Houston Rockets vs. Memphis Grizzlies    
Play: Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies are the Beneficiaries of a system that plays against the Houston Rockets here tonight. We want to play against road dog of 5 or more with 1 day of rest if they scored 90 or less as a home favorite of 4 or less and shot 40% or less from the field, vs an opponent like Memphis that scored 100 or more on the road in their last game. These road dogs are 0-10 straight up and have failed to cover in 8 of those 10 losses. The Rockets have lost and failed to cover 3 of the last 4 here in Memphis and the Grizzlies are 21-8 ats off a dog win. Look for Memphis to get the win and cover here tonight.

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Jim Feist

Spurs at Kings
Pick: Over

San Antonio is off a thumping loss at the Clippers but can get its track shoes back on against the young Kings, a team that allows 97.2 ppg. The over is 36-15-1 in the Spurs last 52 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game and 19-8-1 over the total in their last 28 road games. Sacramento has a fine young offensive team, led by DeMarcus Cousins, who had 21 points and 11 rebounds the last game as the Kings topped the Pistons, 105-103. The over is 35-16-1 in the Kings last 52 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game and 34-16-1 over the total in their last 51 vs. the NBA Southwest. And when these teams meet it's been all about offense and running the court: The over is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings, including 4-1 over the total in the last 5 meetings in Sacramento. Play the Spurs/Kings over the total.

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Dave Cokin

Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics
Pick: Philadelphia 76ers

The Celtics are still getting priced as though they're a fairly high end team, but I disagree with that assessment. Boston is still easily a playoff team in the East, but they're no more than mid-pack overall. The 76ers have not been sharp on offense, but they should match up pretty well with their hosts tonight. I'll take Philly plus the points.

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Dave Essler

N. Dakota + 20.5

I never did like Bruce Weber at Illinois and don't quite know how he's going to get Frank Martin's players to play his style all that quickly. I almost hope he does, because that means this will be a lower scoring game. Gipson, Johnson, and Diaz are all supposed to play about 20 minutes for K-State, and Rodriguez and the Wildcats had turnover problems last year, so I cannot expect them to just gel in game one, obviously a game they won't take seriously. Yes, they've got a size advantage, but North Dakota can and usually does play at that pace. They (North Dakota) return four starters and six of their top seven scorers from a team that can actually play a little defense and played last season in Kansas, so this won't be entirely new for them. And historically, or at least last year, K-State didn't blow out any of their early season opponents until they got to Maryland Eastern Shore, who is one of the worst teams in the nation. I cannot expect them to win this by more than ten possessions, and at worst the back door should be wide open all night.

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Andrew Lange

Wofford at Colorado
Play: Colorado -16.5

Based on what I've been reading, Wofford is walking into an absolute buzz saw tonight in Boulder. A solid program and well coached but the Terriers are going clear across the country, to elevation, with 13 underclassmen on their roster, to face a far more experienced and talented squad. Wofford has exactly ONE senior who played all of 45 minutes last season. Head coach Mike Young even admitted that, "We'll be a different team in January and February than we are right now." Colorado is off a PAC-12 Tournament title and an NCAA berth. They lost a few players but word on the street says the Buffs have more talent than last year. Head coach Tad Boyle on what he expects from his kids tonight: "I told our players, when everybody leaves this building on Friday night after watching us play, they need to be going home to say to their neighbors and friends and co-workers, 'This team is fun to watch, we're coming back,'" Boyle said. "That's our job to make sure that happens." Note that Colorado jumped from 177th to 36th in defensive efficiency last season – the main reason behind their postseason run. That commitment to defense makes me more confident is supporting this team at bigger prices.

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Matt Fargo

Mississippi St. vs. Troy
Pick: Mississippi St.

Things started out great for Mississippi St. last season as it opened up 12-1 but had to settle for an NIT bid after finishing 9-10 which it lost at home in overtime to Massachusetts. The Bulldogs were a team of misfits which had the ability to be great but had no discipline and the bad finish led to head coach Rick Stansbury to resign. In comes Rick Ray who is making his head coaching debut and while some will shake their heads at his hiring, he is the perfect fit for a team that needs an attitude change.

The Bulldogs lost a lot but in this case, that could be a very good thing. Forwards Arnett Moultrie and Renardo Sidney declared for the NBA draft while freshman Rodney Hood transferred to Duke. Overall, no starters are back and the Bulldogs return just five players from a year ago, while the roster features seven newcomers, including five freshmen, but there is a lot of talent that was brought it at a moments notice. Ray comes from a great background and will have his team ready right away.

While the Bulldogs are short on experience, Troy isn't far behind. The Trojans have three starters back this season but will likely be without one of those as leading returning scorer Justin Wright, who started 16 games last season and averaged 10.3 ppg, is still recovering from a knee injury. He is close to being back but likely will not chance it quite yet. The big jolt was Will Weathers leaving the team after two years to pursue pro options as he led the team in scoring and led the conference in assists.

A bigger concern is the Trojans' lack of size and experience in the frontcourt. This is where the difference in the game could come from as Mississippi St. is bigger and simply more athletic. I don't see the Bulldogs doing much in conference play unless they grow up in a hurry as they are being picked in the bottom third of the SEC. We are getting a very good number here though as when expectations are extremely low, we get to buy low in the betting market as well.

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SPORTS WAGERS

Bucks/WIZARDS under 189½ -105

Both these clubs have a propensity for going several minutes without scoring and it’s not uncommon to see them both suffer that difficulty more than once in a game. Those kinds of droughts make any total difficult to go over in.

Through the first three games, four of the Bucks' five starters are negative and the starting frontcourt of Ersan Ilyasova and Sam Dalembert hasn't given them jack. The bench has done most of the damage but having to rely on them so heavily is something we can take advantage of when playing under this number. Combine that with a healthy dose of classic Scott Skiles-inspired defense against Washington’s poor offense and it’s hard to envision an abundance of points being scored. In three games, the Wizards have tallied 84, 86 and 94 respectively, the latter in OT. No reason to believe they heat up here.


Dallas +6 -105 over NEW YORK

What’s more surprising than the Knicks 3-0 start is the easy fashion in which they’ve been able to win. The Knicks smallest margin of victory so far against Miami and Philly twice has been 16 points. Those three dominating performances have New York overvalued here and we intend to take full advantage.

Without Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavericks are a quiet 4-1. The Mavs' offense without Nowitzki has been shockingly good. Dallas is fourth in offensive efficiency, which is amazing considering that a season ago they were 20th with Nowitzki. More amazingly, they shot better than 60 percent from the field in consecutive games, something they've never done with Nowitzki in the lineup (or Steve Nash, or Rolando Blackman). You would be hard-pressed to find a backcourt duo playing better than Darren Collison and O.J. Mayo. Taking six points gives us lots of room in a game the Mavs can win outright.

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SPORTS WAGERS

Takanori Gomi +208 over Mac Danzig

Note the Saturday morning 9:30 AM start time in the East. Takanori Gomi comes into this fight sporting a 33-8-1 record and while he has not exactly been impressive since debuting in the UFC (2-3 record), he comes into this fight off a knockout victory over Eiji Mitsuoka at UFC 144 and looked a lot more like the “Fireball Kid” that longtime MMA fans have come to know. Before his recent victory, Gomi had not looked good at all, suffering two very lopsided submission losses. However those losses were against two of the better fighters in the division in Nate Diaz and Clay Guida so it may be somewhat understandable.

Mac Danzig comes into this fight with a 22-9-1 record and has looked impressive in his past few fights, including defeating Efrain Escuedero at UFC 145. Showcasing an improved technical striking game in addition to his solid wrestling, Danzig is a formidable opponent for Gomi. However, Gomi presents a step up in competition for Danzig, who has mostly competed against fellow TUF alum in the UFC. While Gomi’s record in the UFC is unimpressive, the caliber of opponent he has faced is far superior to anyone that Danzig has fought, including Danzig himself. Danzig has also never faced an opponent with the powerful striking ability of Gomi.

Due to Gomi’s wild, brawling style, Danzig definitely has the technical edge. Despite that, we trust that Gomi’s wrestling is good enough to allow him to keep the fight standing and give him the opportunity to catch Danzig and finish the fight. Look for Gomi to press early in an attempt to go for the kill, as he knows that the longer the fight goes the more the odds shift in Danzig’s favor. Additionally, fighting closer to his native Japan will give Gomi added motivation and at this price, he’s certainly worth an investment.

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Dave Essler

LSU -9

He who hesitates gives it away for free. I had planned on taking the Tigers last night, and hesitated to the point where it lost a point of value after, well it was steamed. Hickey is the real deal at point guard, and they are just entirely too big for USCB IMO. They've got a deep bench, so I'm not overly concerned about a late back-door rally by the Gauchos here. And because they played such a deep bench and have everyone back but Storm Warren, they should be a much improved team under new coach Johnny Jones. He's an LSU alumn that came from North Texas, where he was able to keep them competitive year after year, even before Tony Mitchell arrived. Hate laying points, but think this ones' warranted.


Connecticut +10.5

This is a free personal teaser I have decided to play and make available with a bit of reasoning. Some would question teasing CFB games, and to a certain extent they are right. But we're on a 12-4 run with these and some games (FSU-V-Tech) just call for it, especially on stand-alone games, at least for me. Pitt comes off the emotional game at Notre Dame, and honestly I've never really trusted Suneri on the road anyway. Obviously UConn has a superior defense, so we expect this game to be relatively low scoring. UConn's offense on the other hand can be suspect, but remember that Pitt is probably a bit weary. And Uconn hasn't lost a game at home this season by double digits. They only road game the Panthers have won was at Buffalo, and honestly with a game against Rutgers next week, they shouldn't bounce back in prime time tonight. I do realize that some books won't let you tease both sides. Some will and locals will. Sorry for that.

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Jack Jones

Cavaliers/Suns OVER 200

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns are two up-tempo teams that play little defense. They are led by two of the best young points guards in the league in Kyrie Irving and Goran Dragic who can create for themselves and get their teammates involved.

The OVER is 4-0 in Cavaliers last 4 games overall. They have combined with their opponents to score 201 or more points in all four contests against the Bulls, Bucks, Clippers and Warriors. They are giving up a whopping 106.8 points/game during this stretch.

The OVER is 3-0 in Suns last 3 games overall. They have combined with the Magic, Heat, and Bobcats to score 209 or more points in all three contests. They are giving up a ridiculous 116.3 points/game over this span.

Cleveland is 8-0 OVER in road games versus poor shooting teams - making <=43% of their shots over the last 3 seasons. Phoenix is 90-58 OVER in its last 148 home games off a road win. The OVER is 5-0 in Cavaliers last 5 vs. Western Conference. The OVER is 6-1 in Cavaliers last 7 road games. Bet the OVER in this game Friday.

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Jimmy Boyd

Oklahoma City Thunder -11.5

The Thunder just played and won in Chicago last night, but I don't expect them to have any trouble at home here against the winless Pistons.

The Thunder have won six in a row against Detroit, including a 99-79 win at home in the most recent meeting. The Pistons are 1-8 ATS in the last 9 meetings overall and 0-5 ATS in their last 5 road meetings.

The Thunder are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 home games and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games when their starting 5 players combine for more than 160 minutes of the previous day. This youthful team has had no problem in the second game of a back-to-back.

One thing you haven't want to do is take the Pistons when they are catching double digits. That's because they are 0-8 ATS since the beginning of last season as an underdog of 10.0 points or more. They have lost these contests by an average score of 96.6 to 77.0. Take the Thunder.

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Charlie Sports

Houston Rockets at Memphis Grizzlies
Play: Memphis Grizzlies

The (2-2) Houston Rockets of the NBA Western Conference Southwest division will take on the (3-1) Memphis Grizzlies also of the NBA Western Conference Southwest division in 2012 NBA action. houston went 2-1 last season vs. Memphis. The Rockets 1-2 straight up and against the spread this season. Memphis is 3-1 staright up and ATS this season. The Grizzlies have the talent and experience to make a run in the Western Conference this season. Memphis gets the home cover.

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Wunderdog

Georgetown at Florida
Pick: Florida -5

This is a marquee matchup with the Big East and SEC clashing on the U.S.S. Bataan in Jacksonville, as the No. 10 ranked Florida Gators take-on the Georgetown Hoyas. Florida has won 21 consecutive season openers and is not afraid of this conference, as the Gators are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 against the Big East. Georgetown wasn't the strongest team in the Big East last season in terms of scoring (69.0 points per game), and faces a terrific Florida defense. Florida is loaded, with three starters back. Junior center Patric Young (10.2 points, 6.4 rebounds), senior forward Erik Murphy (10.5, 4.5) and senior guard Kenny Boynton (15.9 points) have more than enough support with four other key players returning, including junior forward Will Yeguete (4.4, 6.3), a Florida Air grad who missed the postseason with a broken bone in his foot last March. The Gators are 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall, 4-1 ATS in their last five neutral-site games. Florida is also 4-1-1 ATS in their last six non-conference games. Play on Florida.

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Larry Ness
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Fresno St. vs. Texas
Pick: Fresno St.
FOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
The Texas Longhorns host the Fresno State Bulldogs to begin the 2012-13 season. The Longhorns made it to the NCAA Tournament (14th straight appearance) but they lost their first game to Cincinnati, 65-59. That left them with an overall record of 20-14, just 9-9 in the Big 12. As for the Bulldogs, they've left behind the Western Athletic Conference and are now members of the Mountain West. Fresno State is led by second-year head coach Rodney Terry, who went just 13-20 a year ago. Terry was an assistant at Texas for nine years before taking the Bulldogs’ top job last season and knows Rick Barnes’ system well. Myck Kabongo (9.6-5.2 APG last season) was named to the preseason All-Big 12 Conference Team but has eligibility issues and won’t play. Texas has just two seniors in Andrew Dick and Dean Melchionni, two players that appeared in a combined 10 games last season and failed to score a single point. Without the departed J'Covan Brown (20.1 PPG) and now Kabongo, Sheldon McClellan (11.3), a starter in nine of the 34 games in which he appeared last season, will need to step up. The Bulldogs have nine newcomers but do return three starters. Guard Kevin Olekaibe (17.8) is joined by guard Tyler Johnson (9.3-4.6) and the 6-7 Jerry Brown (8.8-5.5). The ‘wild card’ could be 7-0 freshman Robert Upshaw. Fresno St was 8-3 ATS as a rod dog last season and the Bulldogs are “a take” in this one.

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