Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday December, 8

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday December, 8

Charlie SportsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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San Antonio Spurs at Charlotte BobcatsFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Charlotte BobcatsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The (16-4) San Antonio Spurs of the NBA Western Conference Southwest division will take on the (7-11) Charlotte Bobcats of the Eastern Conference Southeast division in 2012 NBA action. The Spurs beat Houston at home last night while Charlotte lost at Milwaukee. San Antonio has won the last 3 staright up in the series. The Spurs have covered 5 of their last 6 Against The Spread and Charlotte has dropped 3 of their last 4 ATS. San Antonio is getting up in age and they are not that great in back to back games. Charlotte gets the home cover.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday December, 8

WunderdogFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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TCU at TulsaFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: TCUFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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TCU has not lost back-to-back games this season. After every loss they have come back strong and I expect the same here following their loss to Houston on Tuesday. That was a game TCU was supposed to win and I expect them to bring renewed energy into this game. This Horned Frogs team is all about slowing the game down and playing defense. On the season, they have held opponents to just 52.8 points pre game on 36.5% shooting. Tulsa will be a challenge as they are beating opponents by an average of 9 points per game. But, TCU has the defense to keep this game close as only two of their opponents have been able to manage more than 55 points against them this season. The Golden Hurricane are just 1-5 ATS in their last six games vs. teams at .600 or better. Take TCU with the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday December, 8

Harry BondiFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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GOLDEN STATE (-4.5) over WashingtonFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Golden State is playing the second of back-to-back road games, but we don’t mind that as much now that head coach Mark Jackson has changed the culture of this team. The former Pacer great has come in and transformed the Warriors into a down-and-dirty, defensive-minded team that crashes the boards, just the kind of match-up that will work against a fragile Wizards team. Washington ranks dead-last in the league in scoring, averaging just a shade above 90 points per game and won’t get any easy hoops tonight. Golden State has been true “road warriors” dating back to last season as they have gone 20-6 ATS in their last 26 games away from home, while Washington is a dismal 2-5 ATS at home in its last seven on this floor. Lay the short number.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday December, 8

Tony GeorgeFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Marquette +1FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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In state rivals game, always a good one, and Wisconsin without one of their best players and leaders who was injured in practice Thursday with whiplash.  Game time decision but could not practice on Friday.  This game played at Bradley Center, I like Marquette in this one getting a point for a small upset.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday December, 8

SPORTS WAGERSFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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HOUSTON -5½ over DallasFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Mavericks are coming off a three-point win in Phoenix on Thursday but were once again sloppy. As anticipated, they caught a lethargic Suns team returning home from a six-game trip. Dallas has dropped four of six overall, they’ve lost seven of 10 road games and when they lose, they often lose big.
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The Rockets were schooled last night in San Antonio. The Rockets have a chance to quickly erase that memory with a strong performance here. Houston has won five of its last seven games with only two losses coming against the top two teams in the West, Spurs last night and Ok. City on November 28. The Rockets are an impressive 7-3 at home and they’re in the top five in the NBA in points and rebounds per game. The Mavericks poor defense allows Houston to get back on track here.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday December, 8

Chris Jordan

My free winner for Saturday is on the Idaho Vandals, who head down to El Paso, Texas to take on the UTEP Miners.

I haven't figured out whether or not I'm siding against UTEP, or with Idaho. But I can tell you I feel good about both my reasoning.

First of all, UTEP is 2-4 on the year, but comes into this one having been off since a Nov. 28 win over New Mexico State, 55-54. Though I know the Miners have played a tough schedule that includes a setback at Arizona and neutral-site losses to Oklahoma, Clemson and Vanderbilt, I'm not sure if the layoff helped. If UTEP would have come right back after facing teams like that and took on the Vandals, I could see the Miners being motivated. But too much time has expired, and they might play down to the level of competition, which would do them no good.

Especially after witnessing Idaho's wild comeback in an 81-79 overtime victory at Eastern Washington this past Thursday. The Vandals gave up a gut-wrenching 19-0 scoring run and trailed by 17 with 15:53 to play, but out of nowhere, stormed back with a 21-3 run of their own to re-take the lead and eventually end up in overtime.

The motivation is clearly with Idaho in this game, and even if the Miners win, it won't be by much, as this could come down to has the ball last. I'll take the road pup.

4♦ IDAHO

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday December, 8

Jeff Benton

Your Saturday freebie comes in college basketball, as I ride the hot Explorers from La Salle as they visit Northeastern this evening.

Looks like Dr. John Giannini has a team on his hands this year, as La Salle just waxed Penn State by 25-points on Wednesday night to make it a 5-1 start to the new season for the Explorers.

Northeastern comes into this home game having lost three in a row after opening the season at 4-1. Doubt seriously the Huskies will be able to match points with the Explorers, as La Salle had six players nail three-pointers in a 16-for-31 performance from behind the arc. Conversely, the Huskies hit just three in their most recent loss to Massachusetts.

Last year La Salle laid a 68-51 beatdown on Northeastern in Philadelphia, look for another beatdown to be administered by the surging Explorers.

Lay it with the visiting Explorers.

4♦ LA SALLE

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday December, 8

Chuck O'Brien

Indiana State (+2) at MOREHEAD STATE

My early free winner for you on Saturday is going to be on the Indiana State Sycamores, as they visit Morehead State, and should come away with the outright win.

Though Morehead State has more games under its belt this season, the Sycamores have the better showing thus far. Indy State is 4-2 on the year, while Morehead State is a disappointing 4-5. This, I'm assuming, is as good as any other year for Indiana State to exact triple-revenge over the Eagles, who have won each of their last three meetings against the Sycamores.

Indiana State has become a dangerous team defensively early on this season, as it leads the Missouri Valley Conference and ranks 49th nationally in 3-point field goal percentage defense, allowing just 27.8 percent from long range this season. Additionally, Indiana State is averaging 11.3 turnovers per game, which is the 30th-fewest in D-I hoops, and third in the MVC. Defense and protection of the ball - two characteristics that work well in college hoops.

The Sycamores impressed me in taking nationally ranked New Mexico to overtime before losing, 77-68. The Sycamores rallied from a 14 point hole at the half and forced the issue against a very good Lobos team. The loss should motivate them for an Eagles team that struggled Wednesday at both ends of the court in a 69-57 home loss to North Dakota.

Sure, Indiana State can be wore down and won't be making any big headlines in the MVC this season, but tonight they'll be able to get to Morehead State, which has clearly took a step back last season, and it's still unclear whether it's going to rebound in time for this season. Take the road dog.

2♦ INDIANA STATE


South Alabama (+4') at UAB

My late free winner for Saturday is on South Alabama, and though I realize the Jaguars have a 0-8 record at UAB's home court and have lost 11 of the past 15 games against the Blazers, I think this is a good time to invest in change.

Let's be clear, the schools have only played five times since 1999, and yes, this will mark the fourth straight year they have met on the court. But if the Jags need any momentum, they can reach back to last season and steal some from the game they won in last year's clash, 55-47.

Personally I think they'll be motivated after suffering a difficult home loss to New Mexico State on Tuesday, as they return to the road where they have a 3-3 record this season. South Alabama has three straight home games after tonight: Dec. 16 vs. Texas-Corpus Christi, Dec. 22 vs. Arkansas-Little Rock and Dec. 29 vs. Arkansas State. So if there is one game the Jags have to be focused on before getting back to Mobile, it's this rivalry showdown.

Touching back on Tuesday, the Jags fell behind by as many as 17 points in the first half, but found a way to close the gap to two points in the second half; they just could never take the lead or get the win. They've been scrappy, I'll give them that, as they've won two of their last three on the wood and covered three for their last four at the window.

On the other hand, the Blazers are mired in a 1-4 ATS slide. I'll take a shot with the road underdog.

1♦ SOUTH ALABAMA

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday December, 8

Scott Delaney

I'm on a 45-27-2 free-pick run, and my free winner for tonight is going to be on the Seton Hall Pirates, laying an awfully cheap number at Wake Forest. The Bucs are looking to improve to 7-2 on the year, while I see the Demon Deacons are just 4-4 on the year and not exactly thought of as a powerhouse this season.

Wake was picked to finish tied for 10th in the 12-team conference in the preseason coaches' poll, and from what I can tell, that seems to be about accurate.

I'm much more impressed by what I've seen out of the Pirates, who had four players score in double figures the team's last time out, lifting Seton Hall to a 68-59 win over the NJIT Highlanders.

While improving to 5-0 at home on the season, and 4-0 all-time against the Highlanders, the Pirates got strong performances from several key players, including Fuquan Edwin and Kyle Smyth, to keep a feisty NJIT at arms length. Edwin recorded his third career double-double, grabbing 10 rebounds to accompany a team-high 22 points in Seton Hall's win. Smyth, meanwhile, added 13 points while matching his season-high with four three-pointers.

Now they head to Tobacco country, and I don't mind the smoke, despite the Pirates not faring too well against current teams out of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Especially when Wake has lost five of seven at the window against Big East teams.

Lay the road chalk here.

2♦ SETON HALL


My second free pick for you for Saturday night is going to be on the San Francisco Don catching points on the road in Stockton, California, as they visit the Pacific Tigers.

The Dons and Tigers renew their rivalry, as this will be the last time the teams will meet as non-conference foes. Pacific becomes the 10th member of the West Coast Conference next season, which will be an interesting blend in already competitively cramped league.

The Don come in after improving to 5-1 on the season after an 81-65 home victory over St. John's on Tuesday. San Fran has now won five straight after a season-opening loss to Stanford, and the streak matches the team's longest under coach Rex Walters.

Three players lead the team by averaging double-figures, including De'End Parker's 19.7 ppg average. After him are Cole Dickerson (13.3 ppg.) and Cody Doolino (12.2 ppg.).

Dickerson is a force to be reckoned with in the paing, as he's posted four double-doubles in six games this season, and comes in leading the nation in rebounding with 13.8 per game.

As a team, the Dons have outrebounded five of their first six opponents and are +9 (39.8-30.0) in rebounding margin. USF also leads the nation in 3-point field goal percentage at 45.3 (42 of 95) and ranks third in the conference in three-pointers made per game at 7.2.

I like the road dog here, as I think the momentum San Fran is riding will serve it well.

1♦ SAN FRANCISCO

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday December, 8

Fairway Jay

No. Iowa

Panthers expected to contend again in Missouri Valley and have 12 of 13 players returning from last year's 20-win team and very good continuity.  Solid early season schedule and competition. At least equal of George Mason. Live ‘Dog from stronger conference.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday December, 8

Jeff Scott Sports

5 UNIT PLAY

Villanova/ Penn Under 135: (Added) This game features a couple of struggling offenses and that should surely keep the scoring low. Villanova start the year scoring 82.3 ppg in their first 3 games, but one game was vs a Division 2 team and 1 was an OT game. Since they have played 5 games, with one going to OT and they have scored just 60.4 ppg (Regulation Only) in those 5 games. Fro the year the Cats do average 69.5 ppg, but are not a very good shooting team, hitting just 41.9% of their shots overall (235th) and just 32.6% from long range (206th). On the other side we have a Penn team that is scoring just 63.4 ppg (256th) on 41.1% shooting overall (259th) and 30.3% from long range (267th) this is not a good scoring or shooting team either. These teams do not look to push tempo as Villanova is 300th in the nation in shots per game (50.9), while Penn is 234th (53.9). Should be a slow paced game and while the defenses are a bit suspect, I just don't feel that these poor shooting offenses will be able to take advantage.

4 UNIT PLAY

Wisconsin -2 over MARQUETTE:  Wisconsin has been playing very solid ball this year and they come in 6-3 and on a 2 game win streak that included a 25 point blowout of Cal. Marquette comes in with a 5-2 record, but have really fattened up on a weak schedule. The best team they have faced thus far has been Florida and they were blown out in that game by 33 points. The Golden Eagles lost allot of offense from last years squad and will struggle to score vs good defensive teams, like they did vs Florida. Wisconsin is always one of the better defensive squad and this year they have allowed just 57.1 ppg on 39.9% shooting and I feel it will be that defensive pressure that will keep Marquette from taking this one. Wisconsin by at least 7. 

3 UNIT PLAYS

Arkansas +16 over MICHIGAN: Two games really standout for me when looking at Arkansas this and that vs Syracuse and Wisconsin. Now Yes Arkansas did lose both games, but they scored 70 off Wisconsin and 82 off the Cuse. Those are two very tough defensive teams and It has me feeling really good that they can put up enough points on this tough Michigan defense to keep this game close. Michigan is a very tough defensive team, but really have played just one good scoring team (NC State) and in that game they allowed 72 points. The Wolverines did have blow out wins vs Western Michigan, INDPU and Cleveland State, but also won by just 8 vs Bradley and in their 3 games vs teams from the Power 6 Conferences they won by 7, 14 and 5. Arkansas offense scores 82.1 ppg and should have more than enough offense to keep this one close. Yes

UCLA -5.5 over TEXAS: Texas is a young team and while they have played solid defense this year they just don’t have the scoring just yet. The Longhorns have averaged just 61.9 ppg (282nd) on 41.5% shooting (244th) and their struggles dont end with those two stats as they are also 237th in 3pt shooting (31.3%) and 322nd in FT shooting (62%). This team just can’t stick the ball in the hole with much consistency at all and that will make it hard for them to keep pace with this UCLA offense that averages 76.9 ppg (44th) on 46% shooting (76th). UCLA hasn’t been that great overall this year, but they seem to be figuring things out and they lost by just 8 to Georgetown, while Texas lost by 23 to the Hoyas, plus we also note that the Longhorns have lost to USC in OT and by 13 at Chaminade (Div 2). UCLA Is the better team here and will win this one rather easily. 

Minnesota -8.5 over USC: (Added) The Trojans are not really a good team this year as they come in at 3-5 overall and have lost 4 in a row.  The Gophers have had no such problems as they stand 9-1 on the young season and that has included a 9 point win at a good Florida State squad. The Gophers are 13-3-1 ATS in their last 16 games overall, while USC is just 6-20-1 ATS in their last 27 games overall. Minnesota is playing much better at both ends of the floor right now and will pick up a big road win in this one.

2 UNIT PLAYS

St Bonaventure -2 over ARKANSAS STATE: The Red Wolves don't have enough offense to keep pace with the Bonnies in this one, plus St Bonaventure has a slight edge on defense as well. Look for them to pull away late. The Bonnies are 12-3 ATS in their last 15 games overall and 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 vs the Sun Belt. 

WESTERN KENTUCKY- 11.5 Over Indiana-Purdue:  INDPU is 0-4 on the road this year and they have been outscored by 25.7 ppg in those games. WKU is 4-0 at home, outscoring those fore by 10.7 ppg. The Hiltoppers have a solid edge on offense, but a huge edge on defense and should win this one rather easily. WKU is 9-2 ATS in their last 11 home games, while INDPU is 0-8 ATS in their last 8 overall.

SAN JOSE STATE -4.5 over Sacramento State: (Added) The Hornets are just 1-6 ATS in their last 7 non conference games, while the Spartans are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 vs the Big Sky.

HAWAII -6,5 over Pepperdine: (Added) Tough trip here for Pepperdine as they take on a Hawaii team that plays well at home and is seeing revenge for a 73-67 loss last year. Leading scorer for the Waves (Lorne Jackson) is struggling to shoot the rock and the Rainbows have a solid edge on the boards. Easy win for Hawaii here.

1 UNIT PLAYS

Kansas/ Colorado Over 140: Colorado plays at a high a high tempo and that allows them to put up points, but they also give up plenty, having allowed 73 ppg in their last 5. Kansas plays good defense play, but did allow 78 to Oregon State last time out and I feel that Colorado can notch at least 70 here. Last 4 in series has put up 152 or more and i see about 150 here as well.  Yes

Illinois +12 over GONZAGA: (Added)  I like the Illini is this one as I just feel that DD is too much for the Zags to be favored here. Illinois is off to a fine start to the year at 9-0 and ranked 14th in the country. That's only 4 spots behind the Zags, who are ranked 10th. The Zags have pounded teams at home (32 ppg), but they other than a weak West Virginia squad they haven't played anyone good at home. The Zags are off a last second win vs Washington State and I see this Illinois squad as head and shoulders above that team. Not sure if Illinois can win outright, but they sure have enough offense and defenses to keep this one close. Should be a great game that goes down to the wire.

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