Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday December, 5

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday December, 5

Steve Janus
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Atlanta Hawks -2FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Atlanta is showing some incredible value as a small home favorite tonight. While the Hawks were recently upset at home by the Cavaliers 111-113, they are a respectable 5-3 on their home floor this season. The Nuggets are a completely different team when playing on the road. Denver is 5-1 at home this season, but just 4-8 on the road.
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The Hawks won't have any trouble matching the Nuggets up tempo attack tonight, as they will be playing for the first time in five days. This Atlanta team had won six straight prior to that loss to the Cavs and will be extremely motivated to get back to their winning ways.
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Atlanta is a solid 39-22 ATS (64%) in home games after playing 3 or more consecutive games at home since 1996. They are also a respectable 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games following a S.U. loss and 10-4 ATS in their last 14 vs the Western Conference.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday December, 5

Jimmy Boyd
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Milwaukee Bucks +9FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Spurs are being overvalued here against a hungry Milwaukee team that typically plays them tough.
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We can count on the Bucks leaving it all on the floor this evening following an ugly 102-81 loss at New Orleans in their last game. We can also count on them taking the floor with plenty of confidence considering how tough they've played the Spurs in recent years.
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Milwaukee won the most recent meeting and has won or lost by fewer than nine points in 10 of the last 13 meetings. The Bucks are 10-4 ATS in the last 14 meetings and 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings in San Antonio. We'll bet the Bucks.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday December, 5

Mike Lineback
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Los Angeles Lakers vs. New Orleans Hornets    
Play: Los Angeles LakersFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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New Orleans only two wins verses struggling Milwaukee & LA Clips their L11 games. Normally, would leave this game alone, given Lakers coming off two disappointing losses to Orlando & Houston. In addition, LA playing b2b & 3 games in 4 nights. However, IMO, this puts the visitors in a desperate/must-win type situation, which leads me to believe LA will come with their best effort tonight. If anything, they should get off to a fast start. Los Angeles have won 6 straight in this series.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday December, 5

Timothy Black

GONZAGA vs. WASHINGTON STATE    
PLAY: WASHINGTON STATE

Gonzaga is just 1-8-1 ATS in their last 10 road games and they're only 1-5 ATS in the last 6 visits to Washington State. Besides dominating the Zags at home, the Cougars are currently on a win streak of 6 straight ATS in their last 6 home games and they're 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games overall. Look for a low scoring game, where it will be difficult for either team to see a double digit margin, especially Washington State on their home court where they are 5-0 on the year.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday December, 5

Charlie Sports
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Portland Trailblazers at Indiana Pacers
Play: Indiana PacersFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The (8-10) Portland Trailblazers of the NBA Western Conference Northwest division will take on the (9-9) Indiana Pacers of the Eastern Conference Central division in 2012 NBA action. The Pacers have covered the last 3 vs. Portland and the under has came in the last 4 times the teams have played. Portland have won their last 2 straight up and Against The Spread on the road. The Pacers have won 3 of their last 4 straight up and ATS. Indiana gets the home cover.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday December, 5

Scott Delaney

Tonight my free play is on the San Jose Spartans catching points at UC Davis, as they look to go over .500 after an 82-74 win at Montana State last Saturday. Now 3-3 on the season, the Spartans should be able to pull off the outright win over the Aggies, even with this one being inside The Pavilion in Davis, Calif.

What this ultimately comes down to is a showdown between two of the top-20 scorers in the nation with the Spartans’ James Kinney at 22.8 per game and the Aggies’ Corey Hawkins at 21.4 per game. And personally I like the looks of San Jose with Kinney and his supporting staff rather than all the Aggies, who are 1-4 on the season.

UC Davis comes in after losing at Idaho, 73-66, this past Saturday night, and as of now the Aggies' only win of the season came at Sacramento State, 87-76, on November 20. That's not impressive enough for me to believe they should be favored over San Jose State.

I'm taking a shot here with much better Spartans in this one.

2♦ SAN JOSE STATE

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday December, 5

Chuck O'Brien

My free winner tonight is going to be on the Colorado State Rams, catching points in Boulder against intra-state rival Colorado. The Buffaloes may be laying the points in this game, but I think Colorado State is in better shape to win this one, despite having to make a 47-mile drive to Colorado's Coors Events Center for this annual rivalry showdown.

Colorado State comes in after defeating Evansville, 79-72, at home in their most recent outing, while the Buffs are in after a 76-69 road loss to Wyoming. And what Colorado may not realize about this Rams team this year, is with an experienced roster with seven letterwinners back from the 2011-12 season, they also are under the direction of new head coach Larry Eustachy, in his 22nd season as a head coach at the NCAA Division I level.

I'd have to say the blend of the Rams' experience and Eustachy's leadership is working nicely and this team is going to be your shocker in the Mountain West Conference.

Colorado State, which is receiving votes in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today Top-25 rankings, ranks as one of the top rebounding teams in the nation, leading the NCAA in rebounding margin with an average differential of 17.3 boards per game. That'll help against the Buffs, with them being the home team, as I would think the second-chance opportunities will be plentiful.

So forget the fact the Buffs are off to their best start since the 1982-83 season, when they started 7-0, I'm more intrigued by the Rams' impressive start. Take the undefeated Rams in their road clash against Colorado.

2♦ COLORADO STATE

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday December, 5

Craig Davis

5-2 the last 7 days with my comp play selections.

Wednesday's comp play is the Los Angeles Clippers as the home favorite over the Dallas Mavericks.

The Mavs ended a four-game skid by beating hapless Detroit in their last outing despite trailing by as many as 11 in the early portions of the 3rd quarter.

Some of you might be pointing to history as a factor in this game... don't. History is out the window in my opinion. The Clippers have been bad for years while the Mavs have been a winning franchise the last 8. It's comparing apples to oranges. You can't do it and handicap this game accurately.

Dallas has won 17 of the last 20 vs. the Clippers so there is plenty of reason for L.A. to lay a healthy beatdown on the Nowitzki-less Mavs tonight.

The Mavericks are being led offensively by guard O.J. Mayo, who is averaging over 20 points per game this season, while forward Shawn Marion averaged 10.7 points and 6.7 rebounds in three meetings with the Clippers last year.

So what? Can they stop Blake Griffin? Can they stop Chris Paul?

I love the Mavs, but they just don't have the defense to compete with the Clippers for four quarters. Los Angeles just recently took the Thunder to overtime in Oklahoma City and showed me they are a true force to be reckoned with in the Western Conference this year... if they can stay healthy.

Los Angeles has won three games in a row since suffering through a four-game losing streak, coming away with a 105-104 victory over the Utah Jazz as two-point road favorites on Monday night.

The Clippers had lost their previous 95 games when allowing an opponent to shoot 56 percent or better from the field until beating the Jazz... but when you limit your turnovers while forcing some on the other end, you can overlook some of these stats.

Simply put, the Mavs are in for a long night tonight.

Take the Clippers as your free play of the day.

2♦ L.A. CLIPPERS

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday December, 5

Jeff Benton

45-31 run with my freebies.

Wednesday's freebie is the Minnesota Timberwolves plus the points at Boston.

Since Minny wasn't tested last night in their 105-88 romp at Philadelphia, willing to go with the Wolves in this back-to-back situation, especially since this Boston team has not looked particularly sharp through the first month of the season.

The C's are only 9-8 straight up this year, and they continue to be a money-burner on their home hardwood where they are just 3-5-1 against the spread this season.

Minnesota has covered six of their nine road games this year, and they have held the upper-hand against the spread in this series, as the T-Wolves have covered six of the last nine series meetings versus the Celtics.

Minny comes in having won their last pair of games straight up and three of their last four overall, while covering in all four of those contests.

Until Boston shows a little more consistency on the court, I will go against them in the role of favorite.

Take Minnesota plus the points to make a game of it.

3♦ MINNESOTA

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday December, 5

Chris Jordan

Temple (-3) at VILLANOVA

My free winner tonight comes out of the Big 5 up in Philly, and I'm taking the road chalk with the Temple Owls on the road at Villanova against Jay Wright's pesky Wildcats. Temple is laying -3 for a reason, and I won't fall for the trap of taking a Big East home underdog here when the right side is favored.

The Owls are unbeaten, and off to their best start since 1987-88 with their 5-0 start to the campaign. And now they come into this Philadelphia showdown having two of the last three meetings. Last season the Owls won 78-67, as Ramone Moore torched 'Nova for 32 points, while turnovers ultimately killed Villanova. The Wildcats gave it up 17 times, while Temple scored 20 points off those turnovers.

The game was played at a high intensity level, featuring 11 lead changes and eight ties.

And while it's easy to say 'that was last year,' I think Temple has a good chance of carrying over whatever it was it did last season, to this year's meeting with a senior-laden starting lineup.

Temple’s five wins have come by an average margin of 11.2 points. Seniors Scootie Randall (15.8 ppg., 7.2 rpg.) and Khalif Wyatt (15.6 ppg., 5.0 apg.) have paced the Owls' attack. Wyatt was part of last year's win, as was Anthony Lee, who is averaging 10.4 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.

Wyatt is the reigning Big 5 Player of the Week, and sits just a single point behind Randall in the scoring column (15.6 ppg.) while leading the Owls in assists (5.0 apg.).

The Owls roll into this on a 6-1 ATS streak against the Big East, and 6-2 at the road window, while 'Nova is mired in ATS slides of 6-20 at home and 1-10 against Atlantic 10 teams.

3♦ TEMPLE


North Dakota State (-2') at MOREHEAD STATE

Not sure what it is about these smaller schools, but I tend to know best when it comes to playing teams like this. There really is nobody better, with a more accurate finger on the pulse, when it comes to games involving these small schools. Last year I made so much money riding South Dakota State. I haven't pinpointed my small school to follow this season, but tonight I'm taking a shot here with the North Dakota State Bison.

Morehead State continues its non-conference schedule tonight inside Johnson Arena, and is in after suffering a 66-57 setback at Wright State this past Saturday afternoon. North Dakota State, meanwhile, improved to 6-2 on the season after rolling to a 95-61 victory over Omaha last Thursday night.

Though they're in separate conferences, these two will face each other twice over the next 17 days, as they'll square off at Bison Sports Arena in Fargo on Dec. 21.

Leading the charge for the Bison is guard Taylor Braun, who was named Summit League Player of the Week, after averaging 11.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists over four games and was named MVP of the Progressive Legends Classic Pittsburgh Subregional.

Braun scored 12 points and pulled down six rebounds in an 83-80 overtime win against Youngstown State and had 11 points with a career-high six assists in a 14-point win over Duquesne. He finished the tournament with 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists in a 66-44 win over James Madison.

Those, to me, are impressive wins over the MAC, Atlantic 10 and Colonial Athletic. I don't think scoring a win over the Ohio Valley tonight should be any trouble.

1♦ NORTH DAKOTA STATE

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday December, 5

Matt Rivers

For Wednesday night, go with the Bobcats plus the points at home against the Knicks.

New York is 12-4 on the season, but ALL four of their losses have come on the road, and while they should have enough to hold off the Bobcats, let's keep in mind that the Knicks have a rather big game scheduled for tomorrow night in Miami against the Heat.

You saw Miami take their eye of the ball last night as they were stunned by the Wizards in Washington. Perhaps New York will also be off focus tonight and allow the Bobcats to slip inside of this roomy impost?

Charlotte has seven wins this season, and that already matches as many wins as they had all season long last year! The Bobcats have also covered in three of the last five series meetings versus New York.

With Jason Kidd trying to get back to full strength after dealing with a bad back, look for the Knicks to be just a little "sluggish" when it comes to the cover tonight.

Big look-ahead game at Miami tomorrow, and Jason Kidd not at 100% = Charlotte cover!

Take the points.

4♦ CHARLOTTE

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday December, 5

Anthony Redd

For tonight's free play, I'll go with Alabama in revenge at home against Dayton. The Tide were -10 last night, but are now -8 1/2 here in Vegas this morning. They're seeking payback after getting hammered 74-62 in Ohio in last year's meeting in a game that wasn't nearly as close as the final score indicated.

This is the first true road game for the Flyers this season. They're coming off a 17-point blowout of Northern Illinois as a 20-point home chalk. But in their previous outing, also at home, they were stunned by Weber State 62-61 as a 12 1/2-point favorite.

Bama got off to a 6-0 start before dropping its first game of the season on Saturday at Cincinnati when it fell 58-56 on a last second shot as a 7 1/2-point road dog.

Although the Tide will be without center Carl Engstrom, who got hurt in the opening minutes of the Cincy game, and guard Andrew Steele, who is sidelined for a third straight game, they remain the play here at the reduced price at home in revenge.

2♦ ALABAMA

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday December, 5

Joe Gavazzi

Dallas +8½

The hard-trying Mavs come into LA playing just one game in the last week, at home on Saturday. A 92-77 win vs Detroit. As such, it is an excellent situation to take advantage of a Clipper team who as they emerge to excellence are being defined by a clear pattern. The Clippers have characterized their 11-6 SU start to the season by beating the quality teams on their schedule. But when asked to cover at home against inferior opposition, they are just 1-4 ATS as HF of more than six points.This includes outright losses to Golden, Cleve, and NO. In short, LAC is playing to the level of their competition. This is a great spot to take advantage of that emerging profile.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday December, 5

Jeff Scott Sports

3 UNIT PLAYS

Colorado State +4.5 over COLORADO: Both teams come in playing very well, but I feel that the better team tonight will be the Rams. CSU comes in at 6-0 on the year and they have been doing it at both ends of the floor. The Rams come in scoring 73.8 ppg on a very solid 44.8% shooting, while on defense they have allowed just 62.8 ppg on 42% shooting. The Rams have had 2 road games on the year and beat Washington and Denver, holding both teams to 55 & 53 points respectively. Colorado had a nice start to their year and they were ranked in the top 25 at one point, but they are coming off their 1st loss of the year and could come out a bit flat for this one. The Buffaloes have scored well this year but are a little vulnerable on defense, where they have allowed 68.3 ppg overall and 71 ppg at home. CSU also has the rebounding edge in this one (10th to 42nd) and they shoot 75+% from the FT line, while the Buffs are under 70%. Too many edges here for Colorado to overcome. Look for Colorado to suffer their 2nd loss in row.

Florida -6 over FLORIDA STATE: Florida is playing very well right now, especially defensively, where they allow just 48.5 ppg (2nd in nation) on just 35% shooting (8th). Not a good matchup for an FSU team that has averaged just 62 ppg in their last 2 games and that are coming off a horrible shooting performance vs a weak Mercer squad. The FSU defense did play well vs Mercer, but they still come in allowing 69.3 ppg, which is 236th in the country. Last year FSU went 15-2 at home, but they are not playing well this year and all 3 losses this year have been on this floor. I see the 4th one here as a better Florida squad will walk away with at least a 10 point win. 


St Mary's -2.5 Over DRAKE: The Gaels are one of the best teams in a very underrated West Coast conference and they are off to a solid 5-2 start on the year. Offensively these teams score about the same, but  the gaels hit 48.9% of their shots, while Drake hits just 44.9%. St Mary's also has the edge at the  defensive end, where they allow just 66.2 ppg, while the Bulldogs have allowed 72.8 ppg. The Gaels are the better shooting team and the better defensive squad and should take this one by at least a TD.


South Florida/ Oklahoma State Under 124.5: Oklahoma State does play a bit of a faster paced game than the Bulls do, but they do not mind playing at a slower pace and you can bet that that's the way the Bulls want to go. The Bulls come in as an excellent defensive squad as they have allowed just 58.7 ppg on just 38.8% shooting for the year. The Bulls aren't the only ones that play good defense in this one as the Cowboys have allowed just 61.7 ppg on 35.9% shooting, which is 17th in the country. Both teams will not look to push tempo and with two good defenses on the floor I will look for this one to stay below 120 points.

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