Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday December, 22

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday December, 22

Jack JonesFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Atlanta Hawks -3FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Atlanta Hawks will be highly motivated for a victory at home tonight over the Chicago Bulls. They come in off back-to-back losses to the Thunder and 76ers and want to put an end to this skid tonight.
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The Bulls come in overvalued due to winning two straight and four of their last five. That's especially the case considering they won at New York last night, handing the Knicks a very rare home loss. This sets Chicago up for a big letdown spot tonight against a Hawks team that wants this one more.
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The Bulls are 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games following a S.U. win. The Hawks are 20-6-1 ATS in their last 27 games playing on 0 days rest. Atlanta is 5-1-1 ATS in its last 7 Saturday games. Bet the Hawks Saturday.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday December, 22

Dave CokinFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Wake Forest at NC Greensboro
Pick: Wake ForestFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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NC Greensboro ended up being a surprise team last season after they changed coaches. But they've gone backwards this season and are simply in bad form right now as Wake Forest pays a visit. No doubt the hosts will be eager to beat an ACC invader, but I see the Demon Deacons winning a close game.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday December, 22

JR O'DonnellFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Missouri -1.5FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Tigers baby as we roll with these #12 9-1 Mizzou Tigers on the road as yes the Oster will step in front of the #10 12-0 Fight'n Illinois today @ the Scottrade Center ..Look Out....something has got to give..... The two clubs are a combined 21-1 this season and over the last three years the clubs have been a combined 63-5 (.926) entering the contest ... These Tigers can "Rebound" Tigers are No. 1 nationally in rebounding at 46.1 boards a game and are No. 4 with a +13.3 rebounding margin...wow!!!!! Jr O is a strong believer in Frank Haith the Mizzou leader..... Powerful and sharp coach boys .........These Missouri Tigers defend... currently ranked No. 14 nationally in field goal percentage defense (.358). Mizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzooooo baby... 66-58 winner...... Power Rated @ - 8 flat.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday December, 22

Bryan LeonardFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Boise State -3 1st HalfFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Broncos have dominated defensively in the first half of their games the past few seasons. Throwing shutouts in nearly 50% of their games. The total has dropped too low to take advantage of a first half under but we still have an advantage on the side. Lay the 3 with Boise State in the First Half.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday December, 22

Jeff Scott SportsFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Boise State/ Washington Under 44.5: Boise State has really been a conservative team this year when they have been in some bigger games this year. The Broncos have played 5 games vs bowl teams this year and those games have averaged a mere 32 ppg. For the year their offense has been down as they have averaged just 390 ypg and 30  ppg, while vs bowl teams they have averaged just 302 ypg and just 17 ppg. The Defense has been prett7y much the same for them as they have allowed just 15 pg overall and vs bowl teams. This is a team that year in an year out has a strong defense and this year is no exception as they are 5th in points allowed and 9th in total defense. Washington has played some solid defense as well this year. Not as good as the Broncos and they have allowed 30 ppg vs bowl teams, but down the stretch this team has allowed just 15.8 ppg in their last 5 games. On offense Washington is average as they have allowed 24 ppg overall, but just 16 ppg vs bowl teams. Both teams are conservative on offense and both teams look to run a bit more than pass. Both defenses are playing well and all that should add up to a game in the mid 30's at best.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday December, 22

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Duquesne at -ULLafayetteFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Louisiana-LafayetteFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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I think this is a difficult spot for Duquesne as they make an isolated road trip to UL-Lafayette before the holiday break. The Dukes are a talented but young squad that relies heavily of three-point shooting. With the exception of a 34.6% effort from three at Appalachian State (2-8), the Dukes have shot 27%, 25%, 24%, 18% and 17% from deep away from home. And of those five games, four featured 41% FG shooting or less. Also a concern should be their performance from that charity stripe with a season average of 62%. Lafayette is also very young but has had a few performances that suggest they are capable. Earlier in the year they lost by six at Boise State and lost by three at Michigan State. Last time out, they had a five-point lead in the second half against a quality Robert Morris squad but ended up falling short 66-61. Note that Robert Morris beat Duquesne by 22 two weeks ago. The Cajun Dome is a notoriously strong venue and even with students on holiday break I see the home team coming away with a win.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday December, 22

Ray MonohanFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Murray State +3FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Want all of Ray's Saturday-Monday weekend plays in 1 nice little package hop on board his 3 day sports Insider-All-Access package. Just $89.95. *See below for details*
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The Racers may not be the darling they were last year but this is still a very good team with one of the nation’s best players in Isaiah Canaan.
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The NBA ready guard averages 21ppg and is backed up by a couple of quality scorers in Ed Daniel and Stacy Wilson who average more than 15ppg. This team is fearless and is already 3-0 on the road this season.
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Take the points with this experienced well led club while no one is thinking about them. Dayton is just average in the A-10 this year, nothing to be afraid of.
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The Racers are 6-1 ATS on the road of late to boot.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday December, 22

Dave Price

Cleveland Cavaliers +8

The Bucks have been great fade material in the second game of a back-to-back. In fact, they are 8-20 ATS in their last 28 games when playing without a day of rest. They are just 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games when their starting 5 players combine to log more than 160 minutes the previous day. It will be tough for Milwaukee to get up for this one against a team it has already defeated twice this season after last night's big win in Boston and with games against the Nets and Heat on deck. Take the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday December, 22

Jeff Alexander

Michigan State Spartans -11

With as locked in as Michigan State has been defensively, I expect it to roll here. The Spartans are 6-0 ATS in home games after allowing 65 points or less 3 straight games over the last 2 seasons and have won by an average of 25.0 points in this situation. Also, the Longhorns are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 road games. Lay the points with Sparty.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday December, 22

Kelso

South Dakota St at New Mexico
Pick: New Mexico

New Mexico is as steady as they come, has a big height advantage over South Dakota State, is quicker and far more athletic than the Jackrabbits and is supported by one of the strongest home court bias figures in college basketball—and that should get it done for the 16th-ranked Lobos. South Dakota State has an excellent team and a top NBA prospect in6-4 senior guard Nate Wolters (19.3 points, 6.5 rebounds per game) but has not shown it has the ability to win on the road. The Jackrabbits are 1-3 away from Brookings and in their last game were crushed at Belmont, 76-49. They have played one game against an opponent the quality of New Mexico and in that one lost at Minnesota by 24 points, 88-64. I am looking for that same result today.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday December, 22

SPORTS WAGERS

Phoenix +144 over PORTLAND

The Suns are getting better every game under the sharp coaching job by Alvin Gentry. Gentry and the Suns have finally found a winning combination. Following a season-worst seven-game losing streak with most games being very close, the Suns responded with with a season-best four-game winning streak. So what changed? The starting lineup. The Suns have won their last four games since altering the starting five to Marcin Gortat, Luis Scola, Jared Dudley, Shannon Brown and Goran Dragic. They also held opponents to 89.5 points in those games.

Portland is coming off an ugly 101-93 win over Denver. It was ugly because the Nuggets set an NBA record for futility by going 0-21 from three-point range and yet Portland was ahead by just three points with a minute to go. The Blazers have also won four in a row but are much more likely to come up with a poor outing than the Suns because they’ve shown a propensity for doing so all season. With the Suns likely to be in a position to win this one, we’ll pass on the points and take them straight up. 


GOLDEN STATE +102 over L.A. Lakers

While everyone has been beating up on the Bobcats recently, the Lakers needed to rally from 18 down last week to beat them by a single point. The Lakers barely avoided a loss to the Wizards as well. The same problems are still alive and well (poor defense, injured stars, angry Kobe Bryant, etc.) and now they’re favored at Golden State? Ridiculous.

The Warriors are for real. Mark Jackson has changed the culture of this team. They no longer follow up a great game with a stinker. They play consistently hard every night and have the talent to back it up. They’re 18-9 overall and have won eight of 11 home games. They have outstanding shooters, they play strong defense and they’re now 16-2 when they outrebound the opposition. This is NOT a huge game for them. It will be treated like all the others, with focus, determination and and a will to win. The Lakers have shown none of that. 

Passing NCAAB

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday December, 22

Jeff Scott Sports

4 UNIT PLAY

Missouri -1.5 over Illinois: The Illini come in at 12-0 and yes they do have a big win at Gonzaga on their resume, but still I don't feel they are playing all that well at the moment. In the last 2 games the Illini played Eastern Kentucky and needed a late run to pull away for the 13 points win and prior to that game they took on Norfolk State and won by just 10. Both games were at home. I know this is not a true road game, but it is in Missouri and that should give the Tigers an edge. Missouri hasn't played all that tough a schedule of late, but they have crushed the teams they have faced by an average of 28.3 ppg. I feel they are more ready for this one than the Illini are. Offensively the teams are pretty even, but the Tigers have an edge on defense as they allow just 60.6 ppg on 35.8% shooting, while Illini allows 62.5 ppg on 41% shooting.  The Illini also shoot under 70% from the FT line, while Missouri is at 72.6% and they Tigers have a big edge in rebounding as well. Should be a good game, but the pressure that the Tigers put on a team throughout the game will wear the Illini down, allowing the Tigers to pull away late. 

3 UNIT PLAYS

Michigan State/ Texas over 123: Watching Texas the other it seems they are more comfortable playing an uptempo game and they will look to do the same here. They wanna get the ball down the court so they don’t have to deal with that tough Spartan half-court defense. The Longhorns average just 64.5 ppg, but did score 85 vs Carolina and have put up 63 or more in 6 of their last 7 games. This offense is gelling a bit of late. Defensively the Longhorns have not been that bad (56.3 ppg) but the Spartans do average 69.5 ppg on 48.5% shooting overall and 72.7 ppg on 51.3% shooting. The Spartans have been s tong defensive team and they allow just 56.1 ppg overall and 52.4 ppg at home, but still I expect an improving Texas offense to put up 58-60 points, while the Spartans should be good for at least 67 of their own. Look for this one to be played in the upper 120’s at least.


Georgia Southern -8 over Miss Valley State: MVSU has had a tough schedule and as a result they are 0-7 on the year and this will be their 8th straight game away from home to start the year. This has to be a tired team and thinking about being home for the holidays right now. By the numbers, the Delta Devils have one of the worst offensive attacks in Division I, as they score just 52.1 ppg and their woeful 30.3 percent field goal shooting is the lowest mark in the country. They haven't scored more than 50 points in any of the last four contests, which includes a 42-point effort against Bradley, a game in which they had nine more turnovers (24) than field goals (15), and they went only 1-of-17 from 3-point range. Compared to the incredible struggles of MVSU, Georgia Southern has played very well, making 44.4 percent of its field goal attempts for 60.7 ppg. On defense the Eagles have an even bigger edge as they allow just 63.4 ppg, while MVSU allows 80.7 ppg. Both teams were crushed by Bradley in their last games, but prior to that MVSU lost at Va Tech by 21, while the Eagles won by 5 at Tech. The Eagles are the better team with the better offense and much better defense and should win this one rather easily.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday December, 22

Scott Delaney

On the heels of nailing Northwestern last night as my free play, I look to improve upon my free-pick run of 56-35-2 with Bradley catching points against Virginia Tech in the Las Vegas Classic.

The Hokies returned six lettermen, including three starters, from last year’s squad that finished 16-17 overall and tied for 9th in the ACC with a 4-12 league record, and I'm not so sure they've caught on yet under the direction of first-year head coach James Johnson. I also am not sure this team is quite ready to take on a hungry Bradley squad, when the Hokies are banged up quite a bit.

Put it this way, the Associated Press was supposed to assign a reporter to this event specifically to cover the Hokies, being it's from a BCS conference. It was no problem to do so on Day 1 of the event, but whether or not the reporter would cover Sunday's consolation or championship game was left in question, specifically because of how dinged up Virginia Tech is. How bad is it? Well the Hokies arrive in Sin City still stinging from a 78-73 loss to Georgia Southern in last Saturday's second-round game of the Las Vegas Classic.

That all being said, I'd rather take a shot with upstart Bradley, which is shooting for its ninth pre-Christmas win for just the sixth time in program history and the first time in six seasons. After going 7-25 overall last season, the Braves are obviously playing with plenty of momentum right now.

The Braves roll in after a 35-point win over Mississippi Valley State on Dec. 19, in which junior forward Tyshon Pickett led the team in scoring (18 points) and rebounds (9 boards) for the second straight game. It was the team’s widest margin of victory since an 88-49 (+39) win over Wright State on Dec. 5, 1996. The Braves have now won six games by at least 17 points and enjoy an overall +11.8 points-per-game scoring margin for the season.

Bradley is on ATS runs of 5-1 after a straight-up win and 4-1 in non-conference play, while the Hokies are mired in a 4-9 spread skid after a straight-up loss. Let's take the dog inside the Orleans Arena.

3♦ BRADLEY

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday December, 22

Chuck O'Brien

I knew last night's free play on Vanderbilt would get there, that was just way too many points to give an SEC team on its own court. Now on a 143-108-3 run with my freebies, I am going back into the college basketball ranks and will lay the cheap chalk with TCU in Houston, against Rice, at Tudor Fieldhouse.

In their final game prior to their holiday time off, the Frogs (7-4) are hoping to build momentum in their final non-conference road game. I don't believe it'll be an issue, as Rice (3-7) continues to struggle, despite coming into this one after a close win over Chicago State. The Owls still battle issues on offense, scoring just 57.1 points per game, and that doesn't bode well against a TCU defense that is allowing just 52.9 points per game - and just 50.0 ppg., in true road games.

This is a big preseason for the Frogs, who have only one more home game before the start of TCU's inaugural Big 12 schedule on Jan. 5. TCU is in after a 68-57 home win over Southern last Tuesday, snapping a two-game skid. Because the Frogs are 1-3 so far against teams out of the Conference USA - with a win against UAB and setbacks to SMU, Houston and Tulsa - I think they're in a good spot to avenge the losing record and continue their momentous play.

TCU has allowed 50 points or fewer five times in its 11 games, and it comes in ranked No. 1 in the Big 12 and No. 6 in Division I ball in scoring defense (52.9 ppg).

This is a cheap line when we're talking about a defense like TCU's, and a lethargic offense like Rice's. And make note, while the Frogs have been known to step up for their Saturday games - they're on a 6-1 ATS run on the busiest day in college basketball - the Owls are mired in a 5-13 ATS slide after a straight-up win.

Lay the low number with TCU tonight.

2♦ TCU

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday December, 22

Craig Davis

Free play of the day in the college bowls on the Washington Huskies AND Boise State Broncos to go UNDER the posted total.

Both teams come into this game with a better feeling about their defense than their offense... so I do expect it to be low scoring.

Not necessarily because these teams can't score, because we've seen them each be able to put up some points when need be, but more because I like how both of these defenses seem to be playing at high level at just the right time.

Washington's defensive coordinator, Nick Holt, told fans that his defense would be really good in three years after taking over... and he wasn't lying. They are a heckuva lot better than anyone thought they'd be and that's the main reason this team is playing in a bowl game this year instead of sitting at home with a lot of other Pac 12 teams.

On the same note, Boise State's defense has been equally stingy this year, allowing the 6th fewest points per game in the FBS (14.7). With Boise's defense poised to stop Washington QB Keith Price from running or throwing, expect the Huskies to give Boise a heavy dose of their running game... which will keep the clock moving and lower the score.

Boise's offense is still pretty good this year under new QB Joe Southwick, but it's hardly averaging the 44+ points per game as it did a year ago with Kellen Moore under center.

If you like defense, watch this game. Should be a slobber-knocker.

Free play of the day on the UNDER in the Boise St./Washington matchup.

3♦ WASHINGTON-BOISE STATE UNDER

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday December, 22

Jeff Benton

Your Saturday freebie is the Washington Huskies as the underdog in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Hard to knock the track record of Boise State and what they have done, and they do enter with a three game bowl win and cover streak, including winning and covering in this bowl game the last two seasons...ahh, and there is the rub! With such high expectations this season for the Broncos, will they be excited to be playing at the same venue for the third year in a row?

If there focus is off just a little, Steve Sarkisian's team did cover their last three, and five of eight overall when installed as the underdog this season, and they did defeat a San Diego State team that Boise State wound up losing to at home on the blue carpet at the end of the regular season.

Boise dropped their last pair when installed as the favorite, and were just 2-4 overall the last six times they were asked to cover an impost.

Have a feeling that the Broncos are less than enthused to be here, while the Huskies are very excited at a chance to win this game after allowing 67 points to RGIII last bowl season in Baylor's backyard.

Take the points.

1♦ WASHINGTON

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday December, 22

Chris Jordan

I know we have two of the most potent offenses in the league kicking off Week 16 in the NFL, but don't get too caught up in what that means. I can see playing an Under with two strong defensive units, but when it comes to offensive teams with decent defenses, you have to think about the mentality of the team.

For instance, do the Lions really want to get into a shootout with the Falcons, even with this one being played in Motown? And does Atlanta want to go into Ford Field and tempt fate with Megatron?

Fact is the road to victory in this one is with the team that can come up with the better stops. I expect to see a stringent effort from both teams tonight, and think we're in line for a game somewhere around 24-21, maybe even 27-21.

Can it go into the 50s, sure? But there isn't one number I came up with in this game, based on my computer numbers, power ratings and overall projected final that tells me the final tally ends up over 50.

Based on the season, the total should land on 47.86. Based on the team's most recent games, the tally should land on 49.38. Based on the latter half of the season, these two should land on 48.32. Even based on home and away performances accordingly, this game should land on 50.05 points.

Altogether and averaged out, I see this one landing on 48.90.

But, who knows with numbers. This is just a free pick and pales in comparison to my play in the Las Vegas Bowl. Nonetheless, I'm taking a shot with the under tonight in the NFL

1♦ UNDER 51

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday December, 22

Matt Rivers

Saturday free play winner is the underdog Jazz plus the points to sneak inside the number against the Miami Heat.

I have a feeling Miami may be peeking ahead to their Christmas Day showdown with Oklahoma City, a matchup that should garner some attention on Tuesday while you are opening your presents.

Utah has lost three of their last four games, and were just soundly defeated at Indiana their last time out. Still, the points look good here, as the Jazz has held their own against the Heat of late going 2-2 straight up the past four meetings, while covering in three of those four meetings.

Miami is on a three game win and cover streak, and have won and covered five of their last six overall, but the combination of an inflated price and last year's Finals opponent coming to town on Christmas Day has me bullish on grabbing the Jazz plus the points.

Utah the call here.

3♦ UTAH

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday December, 22

WUNDERDOG

Fresno State at UCLA
Pick: Fresno State +14

Winning and tradition are both a longtime legend at Pauley Pavilion, and the Bruins are 6-1 at home to start the season. While UCLS is 5-2 in their last seven games, they have under-played the line at 2-5 ATS, and are playing once again to an inflated number. The Bruins will likely be eyeing their next contest vs. Missouri. Fresno State has lost three straight, but remains 6-4 ATS on the season, including 3-1 ATS as a dog of +6.5 or more. They certainly have proven to be competitive, and can catch the Bruins here with a big number. The Bruins have struggled after a win to go 0-4 ATS in their last four following a victory. Play this one on Fresno State.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday December, 22

Andre Gomes

Charlotte / Denver Under 210

Charlotte is currently on the worst possible spot for a NBA team: playing their fourth game in five nights, while playing a road-road back to back game, with their final game of this span being at Denver! Especially when their game last night started at 10:30PM EST and they'll play tonight at 9PM EST! They are coming from a game against the Warriors, where Charlotte was able to score 100 points, even though they shot only 37% FG. The reason for that was because they were aggressive and managed to get 35 FT attempts and 18 offensive rebounds. I doubt they will be able to have the same effort tonight, while their shooting won't get any better tonight on such a poor spot.

Fortunately for them, they will face a Nuggets offense that is a poor 3pts shooting team. Charlotte has been struggling on their 3pts defense, but Denver is coming from a game against the Blazers where they shot 0-22 3pts! Of course Denver won't be as poor tonight, but they don't have the same perimeter shooting that the Warriors have for example. I don't see this game being a wild high scoring game like the Bobcats game at Golden State was last night, so I'll be taking the Under in here.

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