Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday December, 25

Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday December, 25

DUNKEL INDEX

New York at LA Lakers 
The Lakers look to take advantage of a New York team that is coming off a 94-91 win over Minnesota and is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games following a SU victory. LA is the pick (-3 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Lakers favored by 5 1/2. Dunkel Pick: LA Lakers (-3 1/2)

Game 501-502: Boston at Brooklyn (12:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Boston 115.334; Brooklyn 120.810
Dunkel Line & Total: Brooklyn by 5 1/2; 192
Vegas Line & Total: Brooklyn by 3 1/2; 187
Dunkel Pick: Brooklyn (-3 1/2); Over

Game 503-504: New York at LA Lakers (3:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: New York 117.854; LA Lakers 123.421
Dunkel Line & Total: LA Lakers by 5 1/2; 209
Vegas Line & Total: LA Lakers by 3 1/2; 214 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Lakers (-3 1/2); Under

Game 505-506: Oklahoma City at Miami (5:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oklahoma City 124.891; Miami 130.093
Dunkel Line & Total: Miami by 5; 198
Vegas Line & Total: Miami by 3; 204
Dunkel Pick Miami (-3); Under

Game 507-508: Houston at Chicago (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Houston 116.663; Chicago 124.539
Dunkel Line & Total: Chicago by 8; 200
Vegas Line & Total: Chicago by 4; 197
Dunkel Pick: Chicago (-4); Over

Game 509-510: Denver at LA Clippers (10:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Denver 120.841; LA Clippers 131.387
Dunkel Line & Total: LA Clippers by 10 1/2; 197
Vegas Line & Total: LA Clippers by 7; 201 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Clippers (-7); Under

NCAAB

Mississippi at Hawaii
The Warriors look to follow up their 84-61 win over East Tennessee State and build on their 6-1 ATS record in their last 7 games following a SU victory of more than 20 points.  Hawaii is the pick (+8 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Rebels favored by only 6 1/2.  Dunkel Pick: Hawaii (+8 1/2)

Game 511-512: San Francisco vs. East Tennessee State (2:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Francisco 55.804; East Tennessee State 42.803
Dunkel Line: San Francisco by 13
Vegas Line: San Francisco by 11 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (-11 1/2)

Game 513-514: Mississippi at Hawaii (4:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Mississippi 64.596; Hawaii 58.293
Dunkel Line: Mississippi by 6 1/2
Vegas Line: Mississippi by 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Hawaii (+8 1/2)

Game 515-516: Indiana State vs. Miami (FL) (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Indiana State 59.674; Miami (FL) 65.117
Dunkel Line: Miami (FL) by 5 1/2
Vegas Line: Miami (FL) by 7
Dunkel Pick: Indiana State (+7)

Game 517-518: San Diego State vs. Arizona (9:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Diego State 65.445; Arizona 72.502
Dunkel Line: Arizona by 7
Vegas Line: Arizona by 5
Dunkel Pick: Arizona (-5)

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday December, 25

Scott SpreitzerFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Knicks at LakersFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: UnderFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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When these two last met, the teams combined for a whopping 223 points. The Knicks, ranked 13th in the league in FG percentage at 44.8% shooting, couldn't miss, "canning" 53.2% of their FG attempts. There were 45 made free throws by the two teams combined, along with 24 3-pointers. The Lakers and their opponents average about 15 made 3-pointers per game combined in Los Angeles and more than 10 fewer made free throws. In fact, Laker home games average less than 198 ppg, while Knick road games average less than 199 ppg. Tuesday's contest marks the first time a Knicks' total has been set above 210 this season and just the third time all season that a Knicks' game has seen a total posted higher than 205. The total has been inflated thanks to the earlier meeting and the fact L.A. has played higher scoring games of late. But New York heads into the game talking about their desire to play a more physical and tighter brand of defense. The teams are on a 4-1 Under run in their last five meetings and the Lakers are on a 35-16-1 Under run when playing on two days rest. Add in what I believe is an over-inflated number and we have a play on the Under on Tuesday.

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Jimmy BoydFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Chicago Bulls -4FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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This is not a favorable situation for Houston, which checks in off a 25-point win over Memphis. Consider that plays against road underdogs of 3.5 to 9.5 points that are coming off a win of 20 points or more over a division rival are 78-41 ATS since 1996. These teams have lost by an average of 9.1 points in this situation.
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In addition, plays on home favorites of 3.5 to 9.5 points that are out for revenge for a loss to an opponent, provided that opponent checks in off a win by 20 points or more over a division rival, are 45-18 ATS since 1996. These teams have won by an average of 8.8 points in this situation.
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The Bulls lost at Houston by four points just over a month ago, but they are an impressive 17-6 ATS in home games when out for revenge for a same-season loss to an opponent over the last three seasons. They have won by an average score of 95.1 to 86.8 in this situation.
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The Rockets are 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 road games. They are only 1-8 ATS in their last 9 road games versus a team with a winning home record. Bet the Bulls.

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Jim FeistFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Thunder at HeatFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: UnderFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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A rematch of the NBA Finals on Xmas Day and you will see more defense than offense. The Heat has won four consecutive games and has held its past seven opponents under 100 points. “Our defensive commitment has been better,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said after the last game. The Heat’s renewed effort on the defensive end comes right before the team’s most publicized game of the season, the Christmas Day matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder (21-5). Oklahoma City is on a 4-1 under the total and 6-2 under the total in the Thunder's last 8 games playing on 3 or more days rest. And the under is 13-6 in the Heat's last 19 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. Play the Thunder/Heat under the total.

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Hollywood SportsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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San Diego St at ArizonaFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Prediction: UnderFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Tournament games played on neutral courts are often solid Under plays since the teams are not familiar with shooting in these gyms. Arizona (11-0) has played 7 straight games Under the Total played on a neutral court. The Wildcats have also played 6 straight games Under the Total against teams outside the Pac-12. And in their last 6 games against teams with a winning percentage over 60%, these games finished Under the Total all 6 times. San Diego State (11-1) has played 8 of their last 11 games against Pac-12 opponents Under the Total. And in their last 4 games against teams with a winning record, the Aztecs have seen the game finish Under the Total in all 4 occasions. These complementary team trends should continue in his game for 1st Place of this tournament. Take the Under.

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Bryan PowerFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Oklahoma City vs. MiamiFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: OverFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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I like the Over in the marquee Christmas Day matchup between the Thunder & Heat. We have two high scoring teams here.  Oklahoma City is one of three teams in the league averaging more than 105 points per game. Miami isn't too far behind, leading the Eastern Conference at 103.5 PPG. They are even more prolific at home, averaging 106.7 PPG.  Look for lots of points here.
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As you most certainly know, this is a NBA Finals rematch.  Four of the five games in that series went Over the total.  The total is a bit higher here, but with the teams scoring the way they are so far this season, I feel it's justified.  Prior to having it's 12-game win streak snapped Thursday in Minnesota, Oklahoma City had topped 100 points in 15 of its last 16 games. Eight times during that stretch they scored at least 110 points.
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Recently, Miami has been strong defensively, but they are still giving up more points per game compared to last year. Here they will be facing a Thunder team that's gone Over the last two times it has been off a loss. Not only did those games go Over, they went WAY Over - by more than 50 total points.  Offensively, LeBron James has scored at least 20 points in every game this season. As a team, they have scored more than 100 points four straight games.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday December, 25

Jack Jones

Brooklyn Nets -3

The Brooklyn Nets should be a heavier favorite over the Boston Celtics on Christmas Day. The Nets have not been playing their best basketball of late, but as a result they are undervalued heading into this one. They are still 14-12 on the season, including 9-6 at home.

The Boston Celtics have clearly taken a step back this year, but they are getting treated like they haven't from oddsmakers. That's evident by the fact that Boston is 13-13 straight up and 9-14 ATS on the season. The Celtics are just 4-8 straight up and 3-7-2 ATS away from home this season.

This play falls into a system that is 46-14 (76.7%) ATS over the last 5 seasons. It tells us to bet on favorites of 3.5 to 9.5 points (BROOKLYN) - vs. division opponents, after 2 consecutive division games. After playing the Knicks and 76ers in back-to-back games, the Nets are certainly battle-tested heading into this one. Bet Brooklyn Tuesday.

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Dave Cokin

Houston Rockets at Chicago Bulls
Pick: Chicago Bulls

The Bulls have been rock solid playing off a loss, and that trend has a good chance to be maintained today. Houston comes in red hot, but the Rockets are still only 3-7 on the road. I made the Bulls -5.5 on this game, so not a huge edge on the numbers, but in this scenario I'll back the Chicago side.

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SPORTS WAGERSFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Brooklyn/BOSTON under 185FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Back off a break and playing on a Tuesday afternoon on Christmas day at 12:00 PM is taking these players completely out of routine. The Celtics have also lost four of five and when teams are laboring, the remedy to fix it is strong defense. Doc Rivers will stress that here because the Celtics are not going to outpace many opponents.
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The Nets are plodding down the court these days. Brooklyn is second to last in pace (90.9 possessions per 48 minutes) and averaging the third-fewest fast-break points. Coach Avery Johnson leans on post-ups and isolations and as a result, no one will ever call the Nets free-flowing. For this one to go over, both clubs will have to hit a decent percentage from the floor and with virtually no practice time over the past couple of days and starting early, we don’t see that happening.
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Denver/L.A.CLIPPERS under 201½FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Utah is the only team to score 100 points against the Clippers in the last 13 games and Los Angeles held Phoenix, Milwaukee, Detroit, Sacramento and New Orleans to an average of 80 points in victories over that stretch. This is a Clippers team that plays strong defense and will pride itself even more with stronger defense against this guest.
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Denver is perceived as an offensive giant when in fact, they are paying more attention to defense than ever before. It hasn’t shown up in the stats yet because the Nuggets have played 19 of 27 games on the road and have played the fourth-toughest schedule in the league. Denver is a top rebounding outfit that surely doesn’t want to get into a shootout on the road against this juggernaut that has reeled off 13 wins in a row by an average of 15½ points. The strategy for the Nuggets will be to slow it down to keep it close with no big runs. We’re on board for that.
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L.A. LAKERS -4 over New YorkFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Forget revenge. This has nothing to do with that, as it’s one of the most overused and unsuccessful angles in all of sports wagering.
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When the Lakers got buried in New York on December 13, they played without Pau Gasol and Steve Nash. Add that pair to Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard and it’s a huge difference. Since that day, Jodie Meeks has also been given extra minutes and he’s responded big time. Metta World Peace (aka as Ron Artest) is playing at an elite level too and suddenly the Lakers bench looks a whole lot better. L.A. came back from a 14-point, third quarter deficit against the Warriors on Saturday night. That timely and significant win is likely to springboard this talented group, barring injury, into one of the NBA’s elite clubs. At 13-14, for the first time in a very long time, the Lakers are undervalued at home.

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Charlie SportsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Boston Celtics at Brooklyn NetsFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Boston CelticsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The (13-13) Boston Celtics of the NBA Eastern Conference Atlantic division will take on the (14-12) Brooklyn Nets also of the Eastern Conference Atlantic division in 2012 NBA action. boston is 3-0-1 Against The spread their last 5 vs. The Nets. The Celtics have also lost 40 of their last 5 both straight up and ATS. Brooklyn has won both meetings straight up between the teams this season. The Nets have lost 3 of their last 4 straight up and are only 2-8 ATS their last 10 NBA Picks. Boston gets the road cover.

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Jeff Scott SportsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Lakers/ Knicks Under 214:  I realize that both teams play an uptempo style of ball and that these teams combined for 223 points in an earlier meeting at New York, but Knick road games have been a bit lower scoring than their home games, while Laker home games have been pretty low scoring as well. Knick road games this year have averaged 198.7 ppg and they have played pretty good defense overall (96.5 ppg) and on the road 97.8 ppg. A big problem for the Lakers this year has been their defense, but at home they have played very good defense, allowing just 96.1 ppg. They will be facing a Knicks squad that other than Carmelo has been struggling to shoot lately as they have hit just 43.7% of their shots in their last 5 games. I look for a better defensive effort from both teams than in the first meeting and that should keep this game under 205 at best.
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Boston/ Brooklyn Under 185: A couple of struggling offenses meet up in Brooklyn on Christmas day and that should translate into a low scoring game. The Boston Celtics come in averaging just 92.6 ppg in their last 5 games overall, while in their last 5 games on the road they have averaged just 89.6 ppg. In those last 5 in the road they have scored less than 90 in all 5 games  during regulation. The Nets offense has been down of late as well as they have averaged just 90.3 ppg in their last 8 games (Regulation only). Those last 8 games for the Nets (during regulation) have averaged just 183 ppg. Neither team pushes tempo and both defenses have the ability to keep these struggling offenses in check.    Also this is the early game on Christmas day and both teams may come out a bit flat. I expect this one to be played in the 170's.   
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Miami/ Oklahoma City Over 204.5: The Miami heat have played solid defense of late, but this will be by far the best offense that have faced of late. The Thunder come in averaging 105 ppg overall and 100.9 ppg on the road. They are also one of the best shooting teams in the league, hitting 48.1% of their shots. The Miami Heat have been known to score a point or two as well, as they come in averaging 103.5 ppg overall, including a very nice 106.7 ppg at home. The Heat shoot a blistering 51.1%, including an impressive 43.3% from long range at home. Miami is 3rd in the league in points per possession, while the Thunder are 1st in that department. Both teams have been solid defensively. but in an uptempo game, in a game where both teams will look to put on a good show for the X-Mas audience, I will look for around 210 points in this one.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday December, 25

Scott Delaney

I really liked this matchup in the title tilt of the Diamond Head Classic, and I will be watching the game for some insight into next March.

But I won't release the side, as it could really go either way. I mean, the other night the numbers added up for Miami to challenge the Wildcats, and Arizona won easily. I don't think the Hurricanes are as good as San Diego State, and this could be Arizona's toughest test to date. What I do think is these two are going to play physical, and the Aztecs are going to deny all easy buckets.

Since losing to nationally-ranked Syracuse in their season opener, the Aztecs have won 11  games and climbed to 17th in the latest polls. And I'll have you know, San Diego State has also won 24 consecutive games in the month of December, and is in on an 18-10-1 ATS mark in the last month of the year.

Again, I don't want to take the points against a dangerous Arizona team. But I have to look at how the Aztecs are doing it, and it's evident they have a stringent style of defense that can limit points. And when they play better teams, they step up. San Diego State has stayed under in four straight against winning teams, and is in on an 8-3 under run against Pac 12 foes.

Arizona has stayed low in seven straight on a neutral court and is on a 6-0 under run in non-conference games, while the low number is on a perfect 5-0 run in this matchup.

Take the under.

3♦ UNDER San Diego State/Arizona

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Craig Davis

Today's free play is on the NY Knicks to take care of business in Los Angeles.

Forget the fact the Lakers look like crap through 27 games and the Knicks have been one of the more surprising teams... let's look at the fact the Lakers have been horrible when playing on Christmas Day.

We also catch the Lakers on a little bit of a "high", having won four straight games... and their last loss was back on December 13 at Madison Square Garden against these same Knicks. Granted, the Lakers didn't have Steve Nash for that game... but I'm not sure it would have mattered.

And I don't think it's going to matter today.

New York is full of young, energetic guys looking for a little taste of the post-season with some success while the aging Lakers are just hoping to get to the playoffs with few injuries.

Today won't help their confidence as I see the Knicks winning this game SU. Take New York as your free play of the day.

4♦ NEW YORK

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Jeff Benton

Your Christmas freebie is the Bulls as the small home favorite over the Rockets.

No doubt Houston has been on a roll, as the Rockets hit the Windy City this Christmas night winners of three in a row and five of their last six, but playing on the road has been a bit of an issue for Kevin McHale's team, as Houston is just 3-7 straight up on the road and only 3-6-1 against the spread in those ten road games.

Chicago dropped the first meeting in Houston, losing by four as the one-point dog, but the Bulls have been able to win nine of their last thirteen straight up, and more importantly, they have covered three of their last four when listed as the favorite.

Revenge time for Chi-Town, back the Bulls as the home chalk.

3♦ CHICAGO

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Chris Jordan

Roughly two weeks ago in Madison Square Garden - the biggest stage in basketball - leading-MVP candidate Carmelo Anthony and his New York Knicks teammates showered the visiting Los Angeles Lakers with a swarm of 3-pointers in the first half of what was a highly anticipated showdown.

Then they had to survive a furious second-half comeback.

With the roles reversed - the Lakers being at home and Kobe Bryant playing in his record-15th Christmas Day game - I expect, well, much of the same. I don't care this one is in L.A., and I don't this is a game Kobe will normally show up for. It's going to take time for the Lakers to get in shape and in sync with point guard Steve Nash, when it comes to games like this.

The Knicks have covered four of their last five against teams out of the Pacific Division, while the Lakers are mired in a 1-6 spread skid against teams out of the Atlantic Division. Take the road pup.

3♦ N.Y. KNICKS

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday December, 25

Matt Rivers

My free play for Christmas night in the NBA is not a side, but a total, as I expect the Nuggets and Clippers to stay Under the posted total.

Denver comes into the City of Angels with Unders in their last pair of games, and four of their last seven overall. Los Angeles meanwhile has stayed low in four in a row and seven of their last eight games overall.

Series numbers show Unders in five of the last seven series meetings, and seven of the last ten overall. The Under has also been the play in 13 of the last 16 meetings between the teams in Los Angeles.

Hard to argue the prevalent Under numbers I just listed, so rather than go against the grain, go with the Nuggets and Clippers to hold Under the total again.

2♦ DENVER-L.A. CLIPPERS UNDER

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Oklahoma City at MiamiFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: Under 205FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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This is a rematch of the NBA Finals on Christmas Day and odds-makers anticipate a high scoring game... but they are wrong. Oklahoma City has all the flashy offensive talent that the general public loves, but let's not forget how great defensively they are. The Thunder allow 96.2 points per game (10th in the NBA) and .425% shooting by opponents - third best in the league.  Oklahoma City is on a 4-1 run UNDER the total and 6-2 UNDER the total in their last eight games playing on three or more days rest. They will bring their best defensive effort with Kendrick Perkins and shot blocker Serge Ibaka as it's a marquee TV game with the whole country watching. And, this is a bitter return to the place where they blew, err, lost the NBA title in June. Meanwhile Miami has been focusing on improving its defense of late with the Heat winning four straight games while holding its past seven opponents under 100 points. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra brought it up after the last game saying, "Our defensive commitment has been better." When a good team comes to town Miami puts on its best defensive face. The UNDER is 13-6 in the Heat's last 19 home games against a team with a winning road record. And this isn't just any team, but the defending Western Conference champs. The Thunder have played 8-1 to the UNDER this season to a total set in the 200s. Play the Thunder/Heat UNDER the total.

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Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles ClippersFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Prediction: Denver NuggetsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The simulator shows a high probability that Denver will lose this game by seven or fewer points. I also like playing this game as a combination bet using a 7* amount on the line and a 3* amount using the money line. The Clippers are a strong team, no doubt there, but did you know Denver is a solid 11-2 ATS (+8.8 Units) facing elite teams outscoring their opponents by 6+ points per game over the last two seasons; 23-9 ATS (+13.1 Units) in road games facing excellent teams shooting >=46% with a defense of <=43% since 1996. Take the Nuggets.

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San Francisco -12 over East Tennessee State: I went against ETSU the other night vs Hawaii and they didn't disappoint, losing by 23 points. The Buccaneers have been a bad team this year as they are 2-9 overall and 1-7 away from home. Not only have they been losing, but they have been losing big, as their last 6 losses have all been by 20 points or more. Offense has been a big problem for the Bucs as they average just 54.1 ppg overall and an even worse 53.6 ppg away from home. The defense for ETSU has been really bad during their 6 game losing streak as they have allowed 75.7 ppg over that stretch. The San Fran Dons have not had a great start to their year and they have lost 5 in a row, but they have been a bit more competitive in losing those games by 11 ppg. Prior to the losing streak the Dons did beat the likes of St Johns by 16 and Montana by 10, so this is a team with talent and should have more than enough offense and defense to get the job done here vs a weak Buccaneer squad, who's only Division 1 win was by 2 points over Charleston Southern. Look for a 17+ point win by the Dons

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday December, 25

Michael Alexander

Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets
Play: Boston Celtics   

Rajon Rondo leads the league in assists and the Celtics are well rested having last played at home on Friday. The Nets improved their roster but yet to put all the pieces together. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett can take advantage of Brooklyn’s perimeter defense, which is one of the five worst in the league in defensive field goal percentage.

Blade
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