Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday December, 7

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday December, 7

Chuck O'Brien

With my free pick run now at 142-108-3, I'll be looking to improve upon that mark with an NBA comp play on the Indiana Pacers lay a point and a half to the visiting Denver Nuggets, who will be playing their second game of a five-game road trip. The Nuggets opened the junket with a 108-104 loss in Atlanta on Wednesday.

I'm not exactly what is wrong with the Nuggets of late, but they come in mired in a 1-4 slide after winning four straight from Nov. 19 thru the 25th. But that's how it's been the entire campaign for the Nuggets, a season of streaks. To wit: Denver opened the season losing three straight; the Nuggets then won four in a row, to open the season 4-3; they lost their next three games, dropping to 4-6; Denver then reeled off four straight winsm climbing back over .500, with an 8-6 mark; then it was three straight losses en route to this current 1-4 slide.
The Nuggets (9-10) on the year have been consistently inconsistent, and I don't think they'll be ready to contend with a Pacers team that has won two straight and four of five. Since opening the season 3-6, Indiana has won seven of 10 and currently tied for first place with the Chicago Bulls in the Central Division.

Indiana, which has covered four of its last five against the Northwest Division, is going to take advantage of Denver's rather bleak defense, which is allowing 101.05 points per game - sixth-worst in the league.

The Nuggets, who have struggled to a 4-9 road mark away from the Pepsi Center in Denver, are mired in ATS skids of 2-5 against the East, 1-5 after both SU and ATS losses and 0-4 overall.

Yes, Denver has won and covered the last two meetings, but the straight-up winner in this series has covered nine of the last 10 meetings; and I think the Pacers win this game straight-up. Lay the low chalk with the home team.

3♦ INDIANA

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday December, 7

Jeff Benton

Gave you a freebie winner on the Knicks last night in their outright win at Miami.

Now 46-32 freebie run.

Another underdog play tonight, as I back the Wizards plus the points at the Hawks.

Atlanta did wind up winning and covering at home on Wednesday against the Nuggets to improve to 6-3 straight up at Philips Arena, but the Hawks are just 2-7 against the spread in those nine home games this year.

Washington is feeling good about their upset win over Miami earlier this week, and with the points they haven't been too shabby on the road this season, as the Wizards sport a 4-1 spread mark when installed as the +6 points or more pup away from home this season.

The Wizards nearly won outright in the first meeting this season, losing by just one point in overtime on November 21st down in Atlanta, and I see no reason why they won't be there again plus the points.

Take Washington in the underdog role this Friday night.

3♦ WASHINGTON

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday December, 7

Chris Jordan

Now on a 6-2-1 run with comp plays, tonight I want you laying the points with road favorite Virginia Commonwealth, as it travels less than 100 miles to take on heated-rival Old Dominion. And though these two hav had some knock-down, drag-outs, this year could be very ugly in a complete mismatch.

VCU arrives in Norfolk, Virginia with a 5-3 record, while Old Dominion is 1-7 and I think coach Shakira Smart will have his Rams fired up for a huge road win. He won't even let up on the gas once his boys get going.

And this is the time of the season his Rams tend to heat up. In Smart’s three-plus seasons at the helm, VCU is 16-4 in the month of December, and comes into this game having won 11 straight December games. Dating back to last season, the Rams are on a 5-2 ATS run in the month of December.

And what's surprising, is Old Dominion normally would be ready at this time of the season for this clash. The Monarchs are notorious for playing the toughest non-conference schedule in the Colonial Athletic Association, but they come into the weekend with a rather low 195th rank in strength of schedule. They've lost home games to Texas-San Antonio, Holy Cross, and Virginia Military Institute. Now here comes VCU. Ram tough?

Fact is, Old Dominion has lost eight seniors over the past two season, and from what I can tell, this year’s upperclassmen have yet to help the team find an identity. And tonight the Monarchs are in trouble. In this series, the Rams have covered 21 of the last 29 meetings, while the favorite is on a 7-3 ATS streak.

Lay the road chalk.

4♦ VCU

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday December, 7

Matt Rivers

Going for free play winner #3 in a row after Charlotte on Wednesday, and Dallas on Thursday cash in.

If ever there was a chance for the Pistons to end their losing streak to the Bulls, tonight would be the night, as Chicago is still without their leader Derek Rose. Even still, the Bulls will be inspired to keep alive their 15 game series winning streak tonight when they play at the Auburn Palace.

You heard me correctly, Chicago has won 15 in a row straight up in this series, ad they have also gone 12-4 against the spread the last 16 series meetings in the Motor City.

The Bulls come in off a win and cover at Cleveland, and are 3-1 straight up their last four games.

The Pistons have dropped three of their last four both straight up and against the spread.

Cannot overlook the dominating series numbers, especially with the Bulls laying this small of a number.

Take Chicago to make it 16 in a row over Detroit.

4♦ CHICAGO

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