Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday January, 2

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday January, 2

Dave EsslerFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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UTEP +11FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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With as slow as Colorado State plays and as low scoring of a game as this may be, there's just too much value to these points with a decent UTEP team. Larry Eustachy has done a terrific job in his first year as CSU coach after eight years at Southern Mississippi, but they're still Tim Miles players. What I like here is that CSU's next game is against St. Bonaventure (a tougher game) and the fact that CSU beat UTEP in El Paso last year by three, so UTEP knows they can play with these guys.  CSU is experienced, but small, and do most of their damage inside, and having said that UTEP has a significant size advantage with Bohanan and Washburn. With the schedule UTEP has played, they're battle tested enough to keep this game within the number. CSU has been playing terrific defense, but has not been creating a ton of turnovers, so the Miners' should get their looks. Just too much value to pass up, as clearly there's a few points built into this because of CSU's early season success.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday January, 2

Jeff Scott SportsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Colorado State/ UTEP Over 126.5: (Added) Most of the time I do believe that a home team will get a game at the pace they like and I feel that Colorado State will get that wish in this one. The Rams want to put up 70+ points each time out and they have been doing that this year, averaging 73.1 ppg overall and 79.4 ppg at home.  The Rams shoot well at home hitting 48.7% of their shots overall, 37.7% from long range and 77.2% from the charity stripe. They should definitely put up some solid numbers in this one vs a UTEP squad that allows 70.5 ppg in all games away from home. The Miners have struggled to score away from home, averaging 52.5 ppg, but they should be good for more than that in an uptempo game and CSU does allow  63.8 ppg at home. I really feel that the Rams can hit the 70 point mark in this one, while their defense allows the Miners to post 60+ of their own. 
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Illinois -2 over PURDUE: I have been following Illinois closely this year and they have been a winner for me a few times and I will expect them to do it again. The Illini are a solid team and are one of the best teams in a loaded big 10, while Purdue is not. Purdue is 6-6 on the year and their best win was at Clemson, but they also lost at Eastern Michigan as 10.5 favs. In their last 2 home games vs William and Mary and Ball State they were 11.5 points faves and 15 point faves and didn't cover either.  Actually Purdue has lost 5 straight ATS. They have lost 4 games outright this year when installed as faves. I know there a dog he but I feel they have been overvalued at times this year and this is one of those spots. Illinois is 12-1 and their resume includes a road win at Gonzaga and a 17 points win vs a very tough Butler squad on a neutral court. Illinois is the far better team and will be in the Big 10 race all year, while Purdue will be fighting to stay out of the Big 10 basement. Illinois pulls away late for an easy win.
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Ohio State/ Nebraska Under 126: The only shot that Nebraska has at winning this one is to slow the pace down and i expect them to do just that. Nebraska averages just 61.7 ppg overall and 56.3 ppg on the road and they just don't have the offense to keep up with OSU in this one, so a slow pace is needed. Last year these teams met twice and Nebraska was held in the 40s both times and it could happen again vs an OSU team that allows just 54.8 ppg on 34.7% shooting at home on the year. The Buckeyes do score 80.6 ppg at home, but Nebraska has yet to allow more than 75 points in a game this year and they have allowed just 63.7 ppg on the road. They can play some defense. I expect the Buckeyes to still be able to score their points, but in a slower paced game they should be held to just 70 points, while Nebraska puts up no more than 50.
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Xavier -1.5 over WAKE FOREST:  The Musketeers are off a rough loss at Tennessee, in which they scored just 47 points. I expect them to bounce back in this one. Wake Forest is off to a decent 6-5 start, but really aren't playing all that well. They did have easy wins of NC Greensboro and Furman of late, but have also lost home to Nebraska and Seton Hall and barley beat William & Mary on their home floor as well. Xavier did have a shocking home loss to Wofford, but they have also beaten Drake, Purdue and Drexel away from home and Kent State at home. Xavier has scored 65.5 ppg and have allowed just 60.9 ppg vs a tough schedule than Wake, who has averaged 70.4 ppg and allowed 69.4 ppg on the year. I feel that Xavier has a big edge on the defensive end and it will be that defense that keeps Wake from keeping this one close.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday January, 2

SPORTS WAGERS

Florida -14 -over Louisville

The Gators offense runs exclusively through tailback Mike Gillislee and the legs of quarterback Jeff Driskel and when they played tough defenses they had trouble moving the chains. The Cardinals don’t qualify as such, as they’ve been awful defending the rush because of a weak defensive line that can’t move anyone out of the way. Louisville is ill-suited to capitalize on the weaknesses of the Gators' one-dimensional offense. By the third quarter the Cardinals defense will be like a beaten up fighter in the 10th round of a prize fight and you can expect Florida to plow through Louisville like they’re standing still.

As for the Cardinals offense, Teddy Bridgewater is good but he’s also banged up and Florida’s stout passing defense (the best in the country) will render the Cardinals offense one-dimensional with ease. This matchup also pits one of the country's worst all-around special teams against arguably the nation's best. Louisville has a quality place-kicker but otherwise this is the biggest special-teams mismatches of the bowl season. Cardinals are in for a long, long day.


Minnesota +137 over UTAH

The Jazz are regressing both offensively and defensively. They’ve lost by double digits in six of their past eight games. Utah’s 25th ranked defense allowed the Pacers to reach triple digits for the first time in nearly a month and have permitted at least nine three-pointers in their last four games. The offense hasn't been any much better, failing to score 90 points in five of its past six losses.

Ricky Rubio is out again but he was only averaging about 18 minutes a game and the Timberwolves are deep enough to compensate. The T-Wolves have a big edge in both rebounding and defense and when you dominate those two phases of the game, you clearly have a great shot at winning. The T-Wolves have just two wins in six games but they’ve played a tough slate and should be in a great position to beat this reeling host.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday January, 2

Dave Price

Milwaukee Bucks +5

The Spurs are being overvalued on the road where they have lost 4 of their last 5 both SU and ATS. Oddsmakers have overreacted to San Antonio's 104-73 win over the Nets. The Spurs are just 3-13 ATS in their last 16 games after allowing less than 75 points in their previous game. The Bucks enter off a loss on the road but have blowout wins over the Nets and Heat in their last 2 home games. They are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a loss and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 home games. They are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games overall. It is also worth noting that the Spurs are 3-8-1 ATS in their last 12 meetings in Milwaukee. Take the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday January, 2

Jeff Alexander

Phoenix Suns -4

Off last nights big win over the Lakers and with the Thunder and Spurs on deck, the 76ers will look right past a Suns team they have defeated 4 straight times. The Suns will be the fresher team, and they'll be hungry to end a six-game losing streak as well as their four-game slide versus Philly. The 76ers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games when playing without a day of rest. The Suns are 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 games overall and 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 home games. Take Phoenix.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday January, 2

Steve Janus

Mavericks +10.5

The Mavericks are coming off a 103-94 win on Tuesday against the Wizards, snapping a six-game losing streak. Even though Dallas is in a difficult spot playing the second game of a back-to-back road set, I believe oddsmakers have overvalued Miami due to their 110-95 win over the Mavericks in Dallas back on Dec. 20. Since that game the Mavs have got back All-Star power forward Dirk Nowitzki and it's only a matter of time before this team starts to come together. You also have to take into consideration that the Heat are not playing that well right now. They come in having lost two of three and were very fortunate to pull out an overtime win at Orlando their last time out. Dallas is 30-13 ATS in road games vs good offensive teams (scoring 99+ points/game) over the last 3 seasons.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday January, 2

Jack Jones

Dallas Mavericks +10.5

The Dallas Mavericks are showing excellent value as a double-digit underdog to the Miami Heat tonight. They are undervalued due to losing six of their last seven games overall, but all six of those losses came to the top playoff contenders in the Heat, Grizzlies, Thunder, Nuggets and Spurs (twice).

Dallas certainly wants revenge from its 95-110 home loss to the Heat on December 20th. It catches the Heat playing their worst basketball of the season coming in. They have lost two out of their last three to Detroit (99-109) as a 6-point favorite, and to Milwaukee (85-104) as a 4-point favorite. Their only win during this stretch came in overtime against Orlando (112-110) as a 9.5-point favorite.

The Mavericks are 30-13 ATS in road games versus good offensive teams - scoring 99+ points/game over the last 3 seasons. Dallas is 42-23 ATS as a road underdog over the last 3 seasons. The road team is 15-4-2 ATS in the last 21 meetings in this series. Dallas is 11-3-1 ATS in its last 15 trips to Miami. Bet the Mavericks Wednesday.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday January, 2

Nelly

Miami Heat - over Dallas Mavericks

Miami has struggled in recent games closing the year with two losses and a narrow overtime win but the Heat closed December with four straight road games. Tonight they take on a slumping Mavericks team that is an ugly 13-19 on the season, just two seasons removed from the championship against the Heat. Dallas lost six in a row before getting a narrow win at Washington yesterday. Dallas is playing a fifth game in seven days for a very challenging stretch and this is a team that is just 5-13 on the road. Dallas has been out-scored by nearly nine points per game in road games while Miami is a dominant 14-2 at home, with an average margin of victory of more than 10 points. These teams met just two weeks ago with Miami winning by 15 in Dallas, dominating the rebounding and winning easily despite 20 turnovers. Since losing in the NBA Finals to Dallas, Miami has won all three meetings with Dallas by double-digits including winning by 21 in the lone meeting in Miami and the Heat should be focused and in a much better scheduling situation.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday January, 2

Harry Bondi

GOLDEN STATE (+1.5) over LA Clippers

We have picked our spots and made a nice profit going with Golden State this year, as they have covered 19 of their 30 games with a 10-5 home record and a 9-1 ATS record against teams with a winning record. The Clippers' amazing 15-game winning streak was snapped yesterday and we expect a major letdown here tonight, especially since they have struggled (2-4 ATS) this season when playing on the back to back days. The Warriors, meanwhile, have been off since Saturday night, so not only are we taking the better defensive team at home getting points, but we also have the more rested team. Take the short number. It's a wrong-way favorite.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday January, 2

Jeff Scott Sports

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Orlando/ Chicago Under 185: The Magic have not played great defense this year and at home they have allowed 98 ppg, but Chicago is not the kind of team that can take advantage. The Bulls really play a slow down game and it shows as they have averaged just 92 ppg on the year. They are not a great shooting team either as they have hit just 43.5% of their shots. Thankfully for the Bulls they have a defense that has allowed just 91.5 ppg on the year or this team would probably have a losing record at this time of year. The Bulls are up against an Orlando squad that has averaged just 93.3 ppg overall and they have put up just 82.4 ppg in their last 5 games vs Chicago. Neither team has the offense to play an up tempo game and that have both teams playing this one in the 80's.


Houston/ New Orleans Over 203: New Orleans is not really an uptempo team, but they have been a solid scoring team on the road, putting up 95.7 ppg. Now in the pace of game that they will be in tonight they clearly have a shot at putting up more than 96 points in this one. Houston loves to play the uptempo game and they do allow 102 ppg because of that at home this year. I feel that New Orleans can get 99+ in this one. The New Orleans defense is not all that great as they have allowed 100.1 ppg on the road. They clearly can allow more than that in this one vs a Houston squad that scores 108.2 ppg on their home floor. Rocket home games have averaged 211 ppg this year and this one should fall close to that.

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