Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday January, 1

Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday January, 1

DUNKEL INDEX

Northern Illinois vs. Florida State 
The Huskies look to take advantage of a Florida State team that is coming off a 21-15 win over Georgia Tech and is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game. Northern Illinois is the pick (+13) according to Dunkel, which has the Seminoles favored by only 1. Dunkel Pick: Northern Illinois (+13)

Game 247-248: Purdue vs. Oklahoma State (12:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Purdue 79.800; Oklahoma State 111.319
Dunkel Line: Oklahoma State by 31 1/2; 67
Vegas Line: Oklahoma State by 16 1/2; 70
Dunkel Pick: Oklahoma State (-16 1/2); Under

Game 249-250: Mississippi State vs. Northwestern (12:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Mississippi State 97.727; Northwestern 92.241
Dunkel Line: Mississippi State by 5 1/2; 47
Vegas Line: Mississippi State by 2 1/2; 51 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Mississippi State (-2 1/2); Under

Game 251-252: South Carolina vs. Michigan (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: South Carolina 103.394; Michigan 99.964
Dunkel Line: South Carolina by 3 1/2; 52
Vegas Line: South Carolina by 5; 48
Dunkel Pick: Michigan (+5); Over

Game 253-254: Nebraska vs. Georgia (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Nebraska 89.974; Georgia 111.264
Dunkel Line: Georgia by 21 1/2; 52
Vegas Line: Georgia by 10; 59 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Georgia (-10); Under

Game 255-256: Wisconsin vs. Stanford (5:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Wisconsin 98.858; Stanford 113.796
Dunkel Line: Stanford by 15; 52
Vegas Line: Stanford by 6 1/2; 47 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Stanford (-6 1/2); Over

Game 257-258: Northern Illinois vs. Florida State (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Northern Illinois 98.871; Florida State 99.432
Dunkel Line: Florida State by 1; 62
Vegas Line: Florida State by 13; 58 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Northern Illinois (+13); Over

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DUNKEL INDEX

NBA

Sacramento at Detroit
The Pistons look to build on their 5-1 ATS record in their last 6 games against the Kings. Detroit is the pick (-6 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Pistons favored by 10. Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-6 1/2)

Game 501-502: Dallas at Washington (6:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Dallas 109.642; Washington 114.097
Dunkel Line & Total: Washington by 4 1/2; 198
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 503-504: Portland at New York (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Portland 115.732; New York 121.704
Dunkel Line & Total: New York by 6; 200
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 505-506: Sacramento at Detroit (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Sacramento 111.854; Detroit 121.791
Dunkel Line & Total: Detroit by 10; 193
Vegas Line & Total: Detroit by 6 1/2; 196 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-6 1/2); Under

Game 507-508: Atlanta at New Orleans (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta 117.840; New Orleans 117.207
Dunkel Line & Total: Atlanta by 1; 178
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 509-510: LA Clippers at Denver (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Clippers 128.417; Denver 124.758
Dunkel Line & Total: LA Clippers by 3 1/2; 209
Vegas Line & Total: Denver by 1; 205 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Clippers (+1); Over

Game 511-512: Philadelphia at LA Lakers (10:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Philadelphia 113.561; LA Lakers 123.699
Dunkel Line & Total: LA Lakers by 10; 198
Vegas Line & Total: LA Lakers by 8 1/2; 203
Dunkel Pick: LA Lakers (-8 1/2); Under

NCAAB

Connecticut at Marquette
The Golden Eagles look to take advantage of a Connecticut team that is 2-7-1 ATS in its last 10 road games. Marquette is the pick (-6 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Golden Eagles favored by 8 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Marquette (-6 1/2)

Game 513-514: Yale at Iowa State (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Yale 47.043; Iowa State 65.293
Dunkel Line: Iowa State by 18 1/2
Vegas Line: Iowa State by 20 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Yale (+20 1/2)

Game 515-516: Hofstra at Florida Atlantic (2:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Hofstra 44.666; Florida Atlantic 50.077
Dunkel Line: Florida Atlantic by 5 1/2
Vegas Line: Florida Atlantic by 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Hofstra (+8 1/2)

Game 517-518: Connecticut at Marquette (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Connecticut 60.524; Marquette 69.007
Dunkel Line: Marquette by 8 1/2; 129
Vegas Line: Marquette by 6 1/2; 133
Dunkel Pick: Marquette (-6 1/2); Under

Game 519-520: IUPUI at Maryland (3:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: IUPUI 45.612; Maryland 70.966
Dunkel Line: Maryland by 25 1/2
Vegas Line: Maryland by 23 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Maryland (-23 1/2)

Game 521-522: The Citadel at Clemson (4:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: The Citadel 35.621; Clemson 61.845
Dunkel Line: Clemson by 26
Vegas Line: Clemson by 23
Dunkel Pick: Clemson (-23)

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Jimmy BoydFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Purdue vs. Oklahoma StateFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Oklahoma StateFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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It's going to be tough for the Boilermakers to stop the Cowboys here today and it's going to also be difficult for them to keep pace with that high amount of scoring. Oklahoma State started the season with a 84-0 drubbing of Savannah State and kept pouring on points all season long, averaging 44 for the season. They went under 30 only one time and that was back on 10/13. Purdue on the other hand has only eclipsed the 30 point barrier once since the start of October, and that was against Indiana in the regular season finale. The Boilermakers were second to last in the Big Ten with 407 yards per game allowed, while Oklahome State ranked 7th in passing with 333.4 ypg through the air. The Cowboys lost as a favorite in Baylor to end their season, but that sets them up for a 9-1 ATS situation when they are coming off a loss. Lay the big number early as Oky State rolls.

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Jack JonesFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Georgia -8FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Bulldogs were just one loss to Alabama away from playing for a National Championship. This team is the real deal, and they played their best football down the stretch. They won their final six games during the regular season to capture the SEC East title with their final four victories all coming by 27 or more points.
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Nebraska has been one of the most overrated teams in the country all season. Time and time again it escaped with close victories in the final seconds of games. Five of its 10 wins came by 9 points or less, and the other five were against Southern Miss, Arkansas State, Idaho State, Michigan (without Denard Robinson) and Minnesota.
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The Cornhuskers were finally exposed in the Big Ten Championship, falling 31-70 to Wisconsin. They gave up a ridiculous 640 total yards to the Badgers, including 539 on the ground. There’s no question that Georgia is the more talented team with the better athletes, and the Huskers will have trouble keeping up because of it.
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Nebraska is 1-8 ATS in road games after a game where it forced 1 or less turnovers over the last 3 seasons. Georgia is 7-0 ATS after 2 consecutive games where it committed 1 or less turnovers over the last 2 seasons. It is winning in this spot by an average of 19.8 points per game. Bet Georgia in the Capital One Bowl Tuesday.

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Alex SmartFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Northwestern vs. Mississippi State    
Play: NorthwesternFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Wildcats have been a money making machine for their backers this season covering 11 of their L/12 overall. Northwestern's spread offense is one of the most explosive attacks in the nation on the ground, averaging 230.9 rushing yards with running back Venric Mark accumulating 1,310 yards and 11 touchdowns . Mississippi States defense looks vulnerable as was evident in SEC play when they allowed 37 or more points in all four of their losses. They also allowed ground attacks to average 4.3 yards per play.

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Freddy Wills

Michigan vs. South Carolina
Play: South Carolina 

For Michigan it is their chance at redemption after getting dominated and embarrassed to open the season against an SEC team that is now playing in the National Championship. South Carolina meanwhile had a relatively easy non-conference schedule, but did beat ACC Clemson to close out the year in impressive fashion. Let's take a closer look at each team's strategy. South Carolina's Scheme The Gamecocks were 36th in rushing play percentage even though Steve Spurrier would prefer to throw the ball. They lost Marcus Lattimore to a dramatic injury half way through the year, but continued to run the ball anyway. They got a unique QB in Connor Shaw that can throw and run the ball, but this team is built on their defense. You can't really knock the Gamecocks this year their only losses were on the road against LSU and Florida. Their defense is balanced and can stop any team in the red zone, on third down and dominates against the pass and the rush. Though they don't face many teams that pass in the SEC this team showed how dominant they can be against a team that has weapons like Clemson to close out the year. Jadeveon Clowney, only a sophomore leads the way with 13 sacks and it will be interesting to see how Michigan schemes their offense. Michigan's Scheme Well it is no secret that this team prefers to keep the ball on the ground ranked 19th in rushing play %. That's is because they too do not have a QB that can throw the ball. They'll go up against South Carolina team that is 6th allowing just 2.9 yards per carry on the season and only two teams averaged more than 3.42 yards per carry on them and that was Clemson and LSU. Michigan will have a hard time doing the same in this game with inexperienced Devin Gardner behind center. Gardner took over for an injured Denard Robinson and remained the starter to close the year. He'll get the start but do not sleep on the Wolverines to pull out some trickery to get points against a stout defense that also can stop any sort of passing game with their #2 sack % rank. Take South Carolina -5.5

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King Creole

N. Illinois +14

NORTHERN ILLINOIS HUSKIES plus the points versus Florida State Seminoles

Look out for Huskie QB Jordan Lynch. This is a type of quarterback that the Seminoles are not familiar with. Lynch LED all College Football quarterbacks in RUSHING yards this season, with 1733 total yards. And if you saw him in the MAC championship game, you also know he has a cannon for an arm. His Huskie teammates have ALL the motivation in the world for this year's Orange Bowl... unlike their counterparts, who are wondering 'What If'? And Florida State really REGRESSED in the 2nd half of the season. They closed the year going 1-5 ATS... including 4 STRAIGHT spread losses in their last 4 games. And if you have followed the Bowl games so far THIS season, then you already know that teams off 4+ ATS losses in a row have gone a PERFECT 0-5 ATS.

Both teams play off Conference Championship wins.
16-6 ATS since 1996: All .900 > BOWL teams playing off a Conference Championship NEUTRAL-site win (N ILLINOIS). These teams have gone a PERFECT 5-0 ATS if priced as Bowl DOGS of +5 > pts.

3-10 ATS: All < .900 BOWL favorites (Fla St) off a SU Conference win vs any .900 > opponent (N ILLINOIS). These teams have gone a PERFECT 0-4 ATS as favs of - 7 > pts (Fsu).

Northern Illinois scored 44 and 49 points to close out the year.
35-12 ATS since 2004: All BOWL teams who scored 44 > pts in EACH of their last two games (HUSKIES) vs any opp off a SU win (Seminoles). These teams have gone 13-3 ATS as underdogs... and a PERFECT 7-0 ATS as dogs of > 4 pts (HUSKIES).

The Huskies current winning streak is now at TWELVE in a row and counting...
17-8 ATS: All BOWL underdogs of 5 > pts (HUSKIES) playing off 7 or more SU wins in a row. These teams have gone a PERFECT 4-0 ATS since the 2004 if their current W/L percentage is LESS than 1.000 (N ILLINOIS).

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Hollywood SportsFOR  FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Northern Illinois at Florida StFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Prediction: UnderFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Both these teams sport strong defensive units. The Seminoles (11-2) own an elite defense that was 2nd in the nation in yards allowed (253.8 total YPG) and 7th in the FBS in points allowed (15.1 PPG). The Huskies (12-1) defense has been strong all year as well despite playing in the offensive-laden Mid-American Conference. Northern Illinois held their opponents to only 19.0 PPG (18th in the FBS) while limiting teams to just 356.7 total YPG (18th in the FBS). They enter this game coming off their 44-37 overtime win against Kent State in the MAC Championship Game -- and they have played 8 of their last 11 games Under the Total after scoring at least 40 points in their last game. The Huskies have played 4 of their last 5 games Under the Total against teams outside the MAC. Additionally, Northern Illinois has played 4 of their last 5 bowl games Under the Total. And in their last 11 games played on a neutral field, the Huskies have played 9 of these games Under the Total. Florida State has played 4 of their last 5 games Under the Total played on a neutral field. Additionally, the Seminoles have played 8 of their last 9 games Under the Total against teams outside the ACC. And in their last 12 games against teams with a winning record, the Under is 8-3-1 for Florida State. Take the Under in the Orange Bowl.

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Dave PriceFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Northern Illinois/Florida State Under 58.5FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Northern Illinois put up good offensive numbers this season, but I'm not sold based on what it did against Iowa and Kansas - two of the weakest teams in their respective BCS conferences. The Huskies managed just 17 points in a loss to Iowa and only put up 30 (10 points below their season average) on a Kansas squad that allowed 36.1 ppg. Florida State, which ranks 2nd in the nation in total defense (253.4 ypg allowed) and 6th in scoring defense (15.1 ppg allowed) has what it takes to shut down the Northern Illinois offense. Northern Illinois is 11-1 UNDER in its last 12 games as an underdog of 10.5 to 21 points. There has been just 44.5 total points scored in these games. The Under is 8-1 in the Seminoles' last 9 non-conference games and 4-1 in the Huskies' last 5 non-conference games. Bet the Under.

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Jeff AlexanderFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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South Carolina -5.5FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Michigan pass defense performed well this season, but it wasn't exactly tested in the Big Ten. It will be tested by a South Carolina passing attack that averages a terrific 8.4 yards per pass. The Wolverines are 0-8 ATS the last 3 seasons versus good passing teams that average 8 or more passing yards per attempt. They have lost to these teams by an average of 16.3 points. Lay the number with the Gamecocks.

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Jim FeistFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Clippers vs. NuggetsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Under 206FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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A big game with LA bringing its winning streak to Denver, so the home town fans will be fired up. The LA Clippers are playing great defense this season and the under is 20-8 in Clippers last 28 vs. a team with a winning record while the under is 9-3 in the Nuggets last 12 vs. a team with a winning record. This will have a playoff atmosphere, which will mean more defense then an ordinary regular season contest, and note that the under is 19-9 in the last 28 meetings. Play the Clippers/Nuggets under the total.

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Timothy BlackFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Northern Illinois vs. Florida StateFOR  FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Northern IllinoisFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Northern Illinois has been disrespected ever since earning their BCS bid into the Orange bowl and they'll be hungry to prove their doubters wrong. The Huskies are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games against a team with a winning record and 7-1-2 ATS in their last 10 games overall. Nothern Illinois is very good offensively with guidance from QB Jordan Lynch, but they also rank in the top 20 defensively giving up just 19 ppg.
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Florida State has under-preformed all season long. They were expected to contend for a National Championship but lost 2 games and weren't nearly as impressive as they should have been against a very weak ACC schedule. The Seminoles are just 1-4 ATS over their last 5 games against a team with a winning record and finished the season on a 4 game losing streak ATS. I think the 'Noles will be looking past Northern Illinois and they won't be nearly as interested in playing this game as the Huskies will be.

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Jesse SchuleFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Sacramento vs. Detroit
Pick: Sacramento
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The Kings are coming off a win at home over the Boston Celtics, powered by a breakout performance by Isaiah Thomas who led all scorers with 27 points. Thomas is getting a chance to show what he can do with both Tyreke Evans and Aaron Brooks on the shelf with injuries.
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DeMarcus Cousins also played well in his second game back from a suspension, he recorded his first career triple double.
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With the Celtics double teaming Cousins, he was very unselfish, dishing 10 assists to go along with 12 points and 10 rebounds. The Kings are banged up, also losing Marcus Thornton to a sprained ankle in the win over Boston.
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Sacramento will be looking for just it's second road victory of the season, as they have been absolutely terrible on the road, with a record of 1-11 this year. They face a Detroit team that is .500 at home with a record of 8-8, but they are coming off back to back wins over Miami and Milwaukee. While they did get the win over the Bucks, they were outscored 23-18 in the fourth quarter and failed to cover.
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Detroit also has some injury concerns, with Rodney Stuckey missing time due to an ankle injury.
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The Pistons are giving up a lot of points for a team that opened the season with eight consecutive losses, and has only four wins in it's last 11 games. Note that two of those four wins came against the Washington Wizards.
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I am taking the Kings to cover on the road.

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Connecticut vs. Marquette
Pick: Marquette
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Tuesday will be UConn's first true road game of the season with a record of 10-2 overall, 7-0 at home and 3-2 at neutral site. Marquette is 9-3 overall and 7-0 at home while outscoring their opponents by a margin of +15.4 PPG. With 4 key contributors gone from the Huskies, two by transfer and 2 by NBA draft, questions marks about the depth of this team will be answered as they begin Big East play vs. Marquette.
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Connecticut is 3-7 in their last 10 road games overall, losing by an average margin of -5.3 PPG. Marquette is yet to lose at home this season with a record of 7-0 while winning by an average margin of +15.4 PPG. The storied UConn basketball program is in a downturn with a postseason and Big East Tournament ban. As a result, they lost two of their top players to transfer in the offseason while recruiting became a serious issue. The squad has 25 consecutive winning seasons with one of the all time best coaches at the helm, that being said, this team is expected to be one of the weakest teams in recent history. The Huskies are 1-1 vs ranked opponents this season, surprising then #14 Michigan State by a score of 66-62 to open the season and losing 69-65 vs. #25 North Carolina State in early December.
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Marquette is coming off back to back Sweet 16 appearances and the bar has been set high for the club. The squad lost Big East player of the year Jae Crowder to the NBA however Jamil Wilson is considered more athletically gifted and has filled in well. Otule and Gardner missed most of last season and are healthy and contributing to what is arguably a deeper team than last season with 10 players averaging at least 14.5 minutes.
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Marquette's 3 losses this season were away from home, two on the road and 1 at a neutral site. They lost at then #7 Florida 82-49, at Green Bay 49-47 and vs. now #17 Butler 72-71 in the Maui Invitational on a last second 3 pointer. Keep in mind that Butler is the only team to beat the Hoosiers.
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Both these teams are excellent shooting squads, Marquette shooting 47.7% while Connecticut is shooting 46.1%. The big difference between these teams is the rebounding, Marquette is +4.3 rebounding while Connecticut is -5.5 on the boards. The Huskies are a dismal 312th in the country, pulling in a mere 31.1 rebounds per game. Take the better team at home to win ATS.

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Bruce MarshallFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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South Carolina vs. Michigan
Pick: South Carolina
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This looks like a defensive war between two teams which feature their stop units.  There's also the matter of QB injuries both ways. There's a likelihood starters Denard Robinson (who only played at RB and not QB during the last half of the season due to an elbow injury) and Connor Shaw (foot injury caused him to miss reg.-season finale vs. Clemson) might not play or see limited action.  Still, prefer the Gamecocks' speedy defense featuring DE Jadeveon Clowney, which should keep Wolverines and backup QB Devin Gardner in check, SEC over Big Ten dynamics also suggest Carolina.

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Dave Cokin

Sacramento Kings at Detroit Pistons
Pick: Detroit Pistons

The Pistons are going pretty well right now and the reason is their bench play, which has been outstanding. Look for the deeper Detroit side to wear down the Kings today. I'll spot the number with the Pistons this time.

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Jim Feist

Clippers at Nuggets
Pick: Under

A big game with LA bringing its winning streak to Denver, so the home town fans will be fired up. The LA Clippers are playing great defense this season and the under is 20-8 in Clippers last 28 vs. a team with a winning record while the under is 9-3 in the Nuggets last 12 vs. a team with a winning record. This will have a playoff atmosphere, which will mean more defense then an ordinary regular season contest, and note that the under is 19-9 in the last 28 meetings. Play the Clippers/Nuggets under the total.

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Andy IskoeFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Purdue +17FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Purdue won its final 3 games to finish 6-6 and become Bowl eligible. None of its 6 wins was against a team that is in a Bowl, one of 7 teams in this season's field to go winless against fellow Bowlers. They did lose 4 games to other Bowl teams. Purdue is the largest of any Bowl underdog, getting 17 points from Oklahoma State at press time. 10 of Okie State's dozen games were against Bowlers and the Cowboys were 5-5 in those games (6-4 ATS). OSU has one of the most potent offenses in the nation, averaging 537 ypg (#5). The also have a permissive defense, allowing 452 ypg (#95). Purdue is below average on both sides of the football with rankings between #60 and #80 in many categories. This game may be most attractive from a Totals standpoint. Both teams played 7 OVERs and 4 UNDERs this season. This game should feature lots of passing as Purdue faces OSU's #120 pass defense (304 ypg) while its own pass defense will face the Cowboys' #6 pass offense (338 ypg). Both teams appear happy to be playing on New Years Day and that should make for true efforts from both teams. Purdue did score at least 48 points 4 times this season, albeit against non Bowl teams. But that shows the potential is there and they will be facing a below average defense. It's clear that Oklahoma State is the vastly better team but laying such a huge number can be dangerous, especially with a motivated underdog. Thus the preference is to take the generous points in what should be an entertaining, wide open game.

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NellyFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Mississippi State + over Northwestern
FOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Northwestern is generally an attractive underdog but there is not much value here with the Wildcats going 11-1 ATS and quietly 9-3 S/U on the year. Northwestern did beat Syracuse and Vanderbilt early in the season, wins that look even better at the end of the year but the Big Ten wins were underwhelming with only a narrow win at Michigan State registering as a quality victory and that was a game where the Wildcats were soundly out-gained. Mississippi State opened the year 7-0 but the season came crashing down with losses in four of the final five games of the year. Mississippi State actually did not beat a single team that will be playing in a bowl game and in the four losses they allowed at least 37 points in each game. These teams have pretty similar statistics with Mississippi State a bit better on offense and Northwestern a bit better on defense on a yards-per-play basis. The differences in the schedules could account for some of those disparities as well. Mississippi State Tyler Russell was injured in the final regular season game but he is likely to play this week. Pat Fitzgerald is 0-4 in bowl games since taking over as head coach though the Wildcats are making a fifth straight bowl appearance and they have been at least a 7-point underdog in each of those four games, twice losing in overtime. This is a great opportunity for Northwestern to break that streak and this is a well prepared team that has had ample time to get ready for this game. Mississippi State crushed Michigan in the Gator Bowl two years ago and was a bowl winner last season as Coach Mullen is 2-0 in bowl games so he should have the Bulldogs ready even after an underwhelming season. Northwestern is a great team in the underdog role but they don't often actually win those games and this is just not enough points to back the Big Ten vs. the SEC.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday January, 1

Scott Delaney

My free pick run is at 62-38-2, and tonight I look to improve that mark with the Connecticut Huskies getting it done over the Marquette Golden Eagles, in the Big East Conference opener for both teams.

The Huskies (10-2) are in after a solid 61-53 victory over Washington, their fourth straight win and sixth in seven games. The Huskies are coming into league play at the right time with a balanced scoring attack. Four players are averaging double figures, led by junior guard Shabazz Napier (16.5) and sophomore guard Ryan Boatright (15.8). Freshman guard Omar Calhoun (11.2) and sophomore forward DeAndre Daniels (10.0) are also in chipping in with double figures.

Marquette (9-3), meanwhile, is in off a 75-66 win over North Carolina Central, its fourth win in five games. The Golden Eagles are led by junior guard Vander Blue, averaging 13.4 points per game.

Though this one is on Marquette's home court, I don't see it being able to slow down U  Conn's scoring attack, especially with the Huskies in double-revenge, and looking to start conference play out with a win.

I know Marquette has proved to be a formidable opponent for U Conn since joining the Big East Conference seven years ago, and I see the Golden Eagles have won five of the eight games between the teams, but make note the Huskies are 2-1 at the Bradley Center.

Dating back to last year, the Huskies are 4-0 ATS against Big East teams, while the Golden Eagles have lost four of five to the books at home.

Take the road dog here.

3♦ CONNECTICUT

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