Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday November, 23

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday November, 23

SPORTS WAGERS
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Central Florida +16 -107 over Florida
This game takes place in Las Vegas as part of the Vegas International. The Gators come in as the 7th ranked team in the nation and could climb even higher. They’ve won all four games they’ve played with the lowest margin of victory being by 18 points over #22 Wisconsin. Rebounding, forcing turnovers, blocking shots -- Florida does it all and they’re a definite threat to win another National Championship. It’s worth repeating that there is a price to pay for wagering on such a well-known, highly ranked team against a non-ranked team and the price here is too steep.
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UCF has a chance this season to do some damage and subsequently be a Giant Killer this March. The Knights won 21 games two seasons ago. They upped it to 22 last season, including victories over UConn, Old Dominion and Memphis. Three of the top four scorers are back and there have been few duos more impressive than Isaiah Sykes and Keith Clanton. The Knights are outstanding with their rebounding and 3-point defense. UCF is 3-1 on the young season with a couple of impressive wins but a 14-point loss to Mid-Tennessee State is a little disturbing. However, that came just three days ago and chances are they were looking ahead to this one. The Knights will leave nothing on the table here and should stay within this range the entire 40 minutes.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday November, 23

Jeff Scott Sports
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4 UNIT PLAY
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West Virginia -1.5 over IOWA STATE: The Mountaineers offense seems to be clicking once again, as they come in averaging 531.7 ypg and 40.3 ppg in their last 3 games. West Virginia overall this year has put up 40.9 ppg and 510 ypg. The Mountaineers have the 4th ranked passing offense in the nation (344.5 ypg) and defending the pass is a weakness for the cyclones, as they come in allowing 283 6 ypg through the air, which is 114th in the nation. Ill tell ya right now that you need to defend the pass if you want to hope to slow down the Mountaineers. The west Virginia defense is not good at all, but they will not be facing one of the BIG 12's high octane offenses in this one. The Cyclones do average 25.3 ppg on the year, but they are a very inconsistent offense putting up 21 points or less in 5 of their last 7 games. No matter how bad the West Virginia offense is I just don't see Iowa state coming up with enough points to win this game. West Virginia's 5 game losing streak should end today.
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3 UNIT PLAY
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LSU -11 over ARKANSAS: The LSU Tigers had a rough showing last week defensively and you can bet that they are angry and look to rebound with a better defensive showing in this one. Last year LSU beat Arkansas 41-14 and the Razorbacks had a much better team than they do this year. Arkansas has just 2 SEC wins this year and they were vs Kentucky and Auburn, which are two of the worst teams in the league. In the last 4 weeks Arkansas has gone 0-3 in the SEC and their defense has been atrocious in the 3 losses, allowing 37.7 pg over that stretch. Now here comes an LSU offense that has allowed Zach Mettenberger to open up a bit and it has allowed them to put up 78 points in their last 2 games. As mentioned above, the LSU defense had a poor showing in their last outing, but still this is a very good defense and that game was the only time all year that they allowed more than 22 points. Just like the Arkansas defense, their offense has struggled as well of late, averaging just 17.7 ppg in their last 3 games. This may be Arkansas' last home game, but they are playing with a lame duck coaching staff and they seem to have given up on both sides of the ball. Look for LSU to possibly win by 3 TD's here.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday November, 23

Charlie Sports

Ohio University  at Kent State
Play: Ohio University

The (8-3) Ohio University Bobcats of the MAC East division will take on the (10-1) Kent State Golden Flashes of the same division in 2012 NCAA Football action. Kent State has covered 3 of the last 4 Against The Spread vs. Ohio U and the last 3 in a row. The bobcats beat Kent State 17-10 straight up last season. Kent State has already clinced the MAC EAst title. Ohio U gets the road cover.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday November, 23

Harry BondiFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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CENTRAL MICHIGAN (-10.5) over UMass
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UMass admitted last week after allowing 29 points in the second half to Buffalo that is was "worn out" on defense. That doesn't bode well for the Minutemen today as they go up against a physical a Central Michigan team, led by bowling ball RB Zurlon Tipton, who has helped Central Michigan win three out of its last four games by scoring 10 of his 15 touchdowns on the season. The Chippewas will be ready top play today since they need a win to become bowl eligible. UMass has played better as of late winning its first game of the season two weeks ago over Akron but that will only ensure an even more focused effort from Central Michigan, which will use its superior size, strength and depth to roll to a victory.

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KelsoFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Los Angeles Lakers vs Memphis Grizzlies
Pick: Memphis Grizzlies
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Yesterday's free pick won with Missouri over Stanford 78-70, and for Friday's free pick we turn to the NBA. Memphis is the new kid on the block and you can take it to the bank they will make an all-out effort to show that tonight against a Lakers team that has ruled much of the NBA world for years. The Grizzlies come into this game after suffering their first home loss of the season, 97-92, to Denver Monday night and are in major bounce-back form. It is of note they were on a 15-0 run at home before that loss. It also is of note Los Angeles lost at Sacramento, 113-97, Wednesday night to remain winless on the road this season. Memphis will bring its “A” game tonight to again remind the world it is a contender to be one of the best teams in the NBA.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday November, 23

Fairway Jay

Central Florida +16

Las Vegas Invitational Tournament features a pair of teams from the Sunshine State with #7 Florida off to a 4-0 start with all wins by at least 18 points. That provides value for this capable ‘Dog on Friday, November 23, 2012, as Central Florida is a team on the rise with a pair of 20+ win seasons and three solid scorers.  The Knights are off to a shaky start and lost to Middle Tennessee State earlier this week in a clear look ahead to a trip to Las Vegas and this game vs. Florida. But both guard Isaiah Sykes and forward Keith Clanton are big time players and veterans averaging 17 ppg and over 53% shooting, and along with solid rebounders Tristan Spurlock and Kasey Wilson inside, they can battle strong even against Florida’s formidable frontcourt. The Knights are an excellent rebounding team that also defends the perimeter well, and this should be a defensive dandy with plenty of points to support our big ‘Dog.

Florida’s leading scorer and senior guard Kenny Boynton left last game with a sprained ankle, and while he’s likely to return and play in Las Vegas, he and his teammates could fall flat. The Gators have marquee games upcoming against Marquette, Florida State and Arizona. Their high profile and strong start has the public believing in them big time and the linemaker is forced to adjust the betting line, which appears to be too much against these Knights in shining armour.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday November, 23

Wunderdog

Oklahoma City at Boston
Pick: Oklahoma City -2.5

The Boston Celtics have been an aging team at the top as their best players Pierce and Garnett don't have the same consistency as they once had and are now playing fewer minutes. Boston has used the Garden to its advantage when playing the lesser teams in the league, but have constantly faltered against the league's top teams where they are 80-111-1 ATS as a home dog since 1996. The problem is that the Thunder have young superstars that can wear down the Celtics’ older legs, and I would look for them to drive the pace down the stretch. San Antonio played that game here and scored 30 in the final stanza to pull away and more of the same is expected here. The fourth quarter will belong to the Thunder, so play on Oklahoma City.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday November, 23

Larry Ness

VCU vs. Duke
Pick: Duke

Duke easily dispatched of Minnesota (came in 4-0) on Thursday, winning 87-70. The Blue Devils’ performance in regular-season tournaments is quite formidable. Since losing to Marquette in the 2006 CBE Championship game, the Blue Devils have won two Maui Invitationals, the 2K Sports Classic, the NIT Season Tip-Off and the CBE. The win over Minnesota makes it 22 straight wins in a regular season tournament. Duke is not very deep, but is led by a very talented trio of seniors, guard Curry (18.3) plus big men Plumlee (21.3-10.8) and Kelly (11.5-5.3), who check in at 6-10 and 6-11, respectively. Thornton (4.5-2.0-2.5) and freshman guard Sulaimon (11.5-3.8-3.0) join Curry in the starting backcourt. Guard Cook (10.0-3.0-4.5) is the only other contributor. VCU lost its top-score from last year in t 6-6 swingman Burgess (13.4-5.) and will throw a very small lineup vs Duke.The 6-9 Reddic (14.3-8.) is surrounded by a bevy of guards. Graham (14.5-4.3) is the leading score, joined by Theus (10.0-5.3 APG), Daniels (9.5-3.8), Brandenberg (8.5) and Weber (8.0). VCU is 3-1 after knocking off No. 19 Memphis 78-65, with the lone loss coming 53-51 to Wichita St on Nov 13. VCU relies too much on its perimeter game to handle Duke, which cam play “that game,” or go inside to Plumlee and Kelly. Lay it with Duke.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday November, 23

SPORTS WAGERS

CHARLOTTE +137 over Atlanta

At some point the Bobcats are going to get the credit they deserve but for now, they still remain the Association’s most undervalued club. Charlotte can match their season win total for all of last year with a win here. It’s no aberration. Kemba Walker and Ramon Sessions have both scored in double figures in all 10 games. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist gives them another outstanding option. The Bobcats rank among the league's top ten in steals, blocked shots and are forcing 14.6 turnovers per game. This is a good team that is hot with five wins in six games but line does not reflect that. Their only loss over that span came against the team with the best record in the NBA, the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Hawks are warm too with four wins in five games. However, the last two were at home against Orlando and Washington, who are a combined 4-17. They failed to cover in both. Prior to that, Atlanta beat a Sacramento team that had failed to cover in eight straight home games as a dog. The Hawks have played the easiest schedule in the NBA with just four games against teams with a winning record. They’ve lost three of those games. They’re likely to make it four here.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday November, 23

Chuck O'Brien

My free winner is on the Under in the Big East clash between the South Florida Bulls and Cincinnati Bearcats.

With so many dreams dashed between these two teams, especially with the Cincinnati Bearcats, I have to wonder how much offense we're going to see in a game that would normally feature a lot of offense.

Not only did the Bearcats see their Big East title hopes whisked away after a 10-3 loss at home to league-leading Rutgers last Saturday, they also saw senior quarterback Brendon Kay hurt his non-throwing elbow during the game, meaning Cincinnati could have to return to Munchie Legaux at some point. Kay started the last two games in place of a struggling Legaux and is likely to start today.

But how effective will he be, that's the real question?

With South Florida, the Bulls lost highly explosive B.J. Daniels to a broken left ankle back on Nov. 3. Then Bobby Eveld took over and separated his left shoulder during the first quarter of a 40-9 loss to Miami last weekend. Matt Floyd finished the game.

So you see, with a couple of makeshift offenses, I'm not sure how these offenses will perform consistently, regardless of the fact Cincinnati was the league's top-ranked offense.

Play this one low.

2♦ UNDER USF/Cincy

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday November, 23

Jeff Benton

Friday freebie comes in the Territorial Cup, as I side with the Sun Devils of Arizona State plus the points in Tucson versus the Wildcats of Arizona.

State just snapped a four game straight up and against the spread losing streak with a much-needed 46-7 rout of Washington State. That win put first year coach Todd Graham's team in line for a bowl game, and also gives them a little "spring" as they get set to clash with their in-state rival.

As for Arizona, Coach Rodriguez also has his team bowl-eligible in his first season at the helm for the Wildcats. The problem for UA is their secondary which has been shredded at will this season. With Taylor Kelly showing that he can make hay through the air (25 TD passes this season), expect the 'Cats to have their issues keeping the Sun Devils out of the end zone.

This series has seen some wild finishes in the past, as the underdog has turned in money-making 7-1 spread mark the last eight meetings.

With the Sun Devils boasting a Top-Ten in the nation secondary, look for the points to work with the underdog once again this Friday night.

3♦ ARIZONA STATE

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday November, 23

Chris Jordan

My free winner for Friday night is going to be on my hometown UNLV Runnin' Rebels. Mark it down - this is a Top 10 team, quite possibly by March, a Top 5 team. To put it in perspective, the way the Oregon Ducks' offense is in football, is how the Runnin' Rebels are on the court. Tonight the Rebels will show the Ducks exactly what I'm talking about in their Global Sports Classic throwdown at the Thomas and Mack Center.

The Rebels opened their season with blowout wins over Northern Arizona (92-54) and Jacksonville State (77-58), and now it's their job - tonight and tomorrow - to prove they can run past nationally recognized competition, and not just teams out of a bakery.

The winners of Friday's semifinal games will face off in the championship, which means the Rebels should end up in tomorrow's title game against either Iowa State or 22nd-ranked Cincinnati. Personally, since I'll be courtside for both games, I'm hoping to see a Top 25 showdown at the Mack tomorrow.

How deep are these talented Runnin' Rebels I think are a Top 10 squad? Six of them are averaging double figures in scoring so far this season, led by freshman forward Anthony Bennett's 17.0 points per game. Junior forward Mike Moser leads the team in rebounding with 10.5 per game and is averaging a double-double with 10.5 ppg.

And while I know Oregon is 4-0 - its wins have come gainst Northern Arizona (83-73), Portland State (80-69), Vanderbilt (74-48) and Jacksonville State (67-45) - those are game they were expected to win. Now in Vegas, on the Rebels' home court, nearly one year to the day UNLV upset then-No. 1 North Carolina, I don't think you can stop what coach Dave Rice has going right now.

Oregon was picked to finish seventh in this year's Pac-12 race by the media, and only returned two starters from last year's team that went 24-10 overall and finished tied for second in the league with a 13-5 record. I have a lot of respect for coach Dana Altman, but his boys are in a bad spot here.

Lay the chalk with the Rebels.

3♦ UNLV

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday November, 23

Matt Rivers

Brooklyn now back home after three straight on the west coast before Thanksgiving day, and with losses in their last pair, I think it is safe to say that after the Nets early season "soft" schedule, reality is starting to set in.

The Clippers qualify as a legitimate threat in the West Conference, and they hit New York off a loss at Oklahoma City that should have them in a bit of a nasty mood.

Los Angeles had won and covered their six games prior, and they are 3-1 both straight up and against the spread on the road this year.

Lay the small road chalk as the Clippers deal the Nets their third straight setback on Friday night.

3♦ L.A. CLIPPERS

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