Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday January, 4

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday January, 4

Teddy CoversFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Utah vs. PhoenixFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: PhoenixFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Suns have absolutely owned the Jazz, winning eight of the last ten meetings between these two teams on any floor.  That includes a comfortable 99-84 Phoenix victory when these two teams met just three weeks ago; a game that the Suns led by double digits after the first quarter and controlled thereafter.
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There’s no reason to expect a dramatically different result tonight.  The betting markets haven’t fully grasped the impact of the Mo Williams injury for Utah.  Sure, the Jazz are 2-3 SU, 3-2 ATS without him for the last five games – nothing significant there.  But this is not as good of a team with career backups Jamaal Tinsley and Earl Watson splitting time at the point, as opposed to a former All Star.  And facing a quick opposing point guard like Goran Dragic is likely to make the Jazz feel Williams absence that much more tonight.
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It’s not hard to make a case for betting against the Jazz whenever they hit the highway; a team that consistently has failed to respond well to adversity in hostile environments; just 6-13 SU, 6-12-1 ATS on the highway this year.  Meanwhile the Suns are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 at home against opponents with a losing road record; beating the teams they are supposed to beat; primed to continue that pointspread winning streak tonight.  Take the Suns.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday January, 4

Bruce MarshallFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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George Washington vs. GeorgiaFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: George WashingtonREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Georgia has no reliable scorers to count upon other than explosive soph G Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (17.5 ppg; next highest scorer at 7.8 ppg) and its starting lineup has resembled a merry-go-round. So it's no wonder that Mark Fox’s Bulldog team has been having trouble cracking the 60-point barrier most nights and has covered just one of four tries as chalk.  Which might not be enough to pull away from Mike Lonergan’s resourceful GWU, which has been tapped by A-10 sources as a team to watch in the loop as 6-9 Villanova transfer Isaiah Armwood (13.3 ppg; 54% from floor) provides recently-absent inside scoring punch.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday January, 4

Steve Janus

Atlanta Hawks -1.5

The Hawks are showing solid value as a small road favorite against the Pistons tonight. Detroit is being overvalued due to their current three game winning streak, which started off with a 109-99 win over the Heat. All three wins for the Pistons have come at home,yet they are still just 9-8 on their home floor this season. Atlanta is a respectable 9-5 on the road and have won three straight over Detroit dating back to last season. Considering the Hawks are 13-3 ATS as a road favorite of 6 points or less over the last 2 seasons, this is definitely worth a small play.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday January, 4

Black Widow

Toronto Raptors -6.5

The Toronto Raptors are quietly one of the hottest teams in the NBA right now. The Raptors have won eight of their last nine games overall with six of those victories coming by 7 points or more. In fact, Toronto is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 games overall. Sacramento is also on a nice run, but I believe it is in for a big step up in competition here against a team that simply cannot be tamed right now. Plus, the Kings are just 2-13 on the road this year, getting outscored by 9.8 points/game. Toronto is a solid 8-5 at home this year where it is limiting opponents to just 94.4 points/game. The Raptors are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 home games. Take Toronto and lay the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday January, 4

Mark Franco

Brooklyn Nets vs. Washington Wizards    
Play: Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets could have folded after an embarrassing loss at San Antonio. Instead, they regrouped and handed the Oklahoma City Thunder their largest home loss of the season on Wednesday. Brooklyn will take a step down in competition when it continues its road trip at the Washington Wizard. The Wizards own the worst record and lowest-scoring offense in the NBA and are riding a three-game losing streak. Washington has been without point guard John Wall (knee) all season and is missing his backup, A.J. Price, due to a fractured hand. The Nets will come to play tonight and get the road cover. The Nets are 10-4-2 ATS in their last 16 games playing on 1 days rest. The Wizards are 4-12 ATS in their last 16 vs. NBA Atlantic.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday January, 4

Brandon Lee

Houston Rockets vs. Milwaukee Bucks    
Play: Milwaukee Bucks

I believe oddsmakers have set this line knowing that the public will jump all over the Rockets at this price. Houston is just 5-8 on the road this season, while the Bucks are 9-7 at home. Look for Milwaukee to squeak out a win on their home floor!

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday January, 4

King Creole

Portland +9

Opening line came in at Memphis -9.5 pts. It's gone down a HALF point to -9... so play that doggie as soon as you can. Portland seems to have an uncanny knack for playing the Grizzlies TIGHT (or winning EASILY).... particularly as of late. The TRAIL BLAZERS have gone 10-2-1 ATS on the road vs Memphis since the 2005 season. And in the last 4 meetings (at ANY site), the BLAZERS have gone a PERFECT 4-0 ATS... with average margin of +8.8 total points per game.

Portland's been inconsistent as of late. But that inconsistently provides us with plenty of value tonight. After UPSETTING the NY Knicks on New Years Day (won 105-100 as dogs of +9.5), the Blazers turned around and 's**t the bed' the following day... losing by 23 points to the poor Toronto Raptors.
10-1 ATS since 2006: All NBA road teams (PORT) playing off a SU road loss of 20 > pts to the Toronto Raptors.

So far THIS season, Friday UNDERDOGS have done pretty well... when playing off a loss (like Portland) vs any opponent off a SU win (like Memphis).
10-1-1 ATS so far this year: All FRIDAY underdogs (BLAZERS) playing off a double-digit SU loss... versus any opponent off a SU win (Memphis).

Memphis' last victim was the Boston Celtics. they went into Bean Town on January 2nd and beat the Celtics 93 to 83.
2-12 ATS last 3 years: All home favs of -9 > pts (Grizz) playing off a non-conference SU road favorite win of 10 > pts.

This is Memphis' ONLY home game.... sandwiched in between BB road games.
0-6 ATS last 3 years: All NBA Conference home teams (Memphis) playing AFTER BB road games (and a SUATS win)... and BEFORE playing BB road games in their next two.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday January, 4

Jeff Scott Sports

3 UNIT PLAYS

Tennessee/ Memphis Under 129: After what I wrote above let's hope that the Vols don't suddenly decide to turn this into a track meet. They are NOT an uptempo team. they are a poor shooting team and they play excellent defense. That should not translate into a low scoring game. Tennessee comes in allowing just 56.4 ppg on 38.4% shooting this year, while at home they have allowed just 56.3 ppg on 37.8% shooting. Memphis has scored 74 ppg on the year, but this is their first true road game and in their 3 games away from home (neutral courts) they have averaged just 64 ppg. Memphis does allow 65.1 ppg on the year, but this Tennessee team is a poor shooting one (42.2%) and they have really struggled to score of late, averaging just 60.5 ppg on 39.5% shooting in their last 5 games. I see a slow paced game that will struggle to hit 120 points.

Wofford/ Tulane Under 115: This one has ugly snoozer written all over it. Wofford has been pathetic on offense this year, especially on the road. The Terriers did score 94 points at Jacksonville, but if you take out that game then they have averaged just 52 ppg in their other 8 road games. Tonight I don't expect their scoring to increase as the Green Wave has allowed just 51.3 ppg on 38.3% shooting at home. Tulane has allowed 50 or less in 4 of their last 7 games and will most likely hold the Terriers in the 40's in this one as well. That means that Tulane has to score 67-70 or more in this one for it to go over and I just don't see that happening. They have put up more than 69 points in just 3 of their last 9 games and the Terriers have allowed just 59.8 ppg overall and 63.6 ppg on the road. I look for a 59-50 type of final here.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday January, 4

Charlie Sports

Philadelphia 76ers at Oklahoma City Thunder
Play: Oklahoma City Thunder

The (15-18) Philadelphia 76ers of the Eastern Conference Atlantic will take on the (24-7) Oklahoma City Thunder of the Western Conference Northwest division in 2013 NBA action. Philadelphia has lost the last 7 meetings in the series straight up and have also lost 3 of their last 4 Against The Spread. Oklahoma City is 4-6 ATS their last 10 overall, but suffered a rare home loss to Brooklyn on Wednesday night. Oklahoma City gets the home cover.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday January, 4

Nelly

Toronto Raptors - over Sacramento Kings

The Raptors have delivered a surprising surge with wins in eight of the last nine games. Many wins came against lousy teams but this team has growing confidence and the Raptors have won five consecutive home games. Sacramento is facing a third consecutive road game in four days and after a narrow win in Cleveland on Wednesday the Kings could be a bit flat for this game. Sacramento is just 2-13 S/U on the road this season and while this line may be inflated this is a series where the home team has won in eight of the last 10 meetings.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday January, 4

Dennis Macklin

Valparaiso -13

We're going to play Valpo here even with the dicey number. Cleveland State is just a train wreck losing their last four Div-I tilts by a combined (all by 17+) 98 points. They've lost their last three visits to Valpo by 6-7-7 with significantly better teams. The 10-5 Crusaders aren't all that much but they are 8-0 outside the the Top 200 and have taken great pleasure in hammering the likes of Georgia Southern and Northern Illinois. Like the spot too! Valpo (-8.5) lost to Ill-Loyola in last but you can easily give them a mulligan as they were off road win AT Murray State in their prior game. This one is EZ if the Crusaders take care of their business.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday January, 4

Scott Delaney

My free pick run is now at 63-40-2, and tonight I want to improve that number with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA, catching a small number at Charlotte against the Bobcats.

This is a good spot for the Cavs to snag a win, as they come in sporting a 20-8 all-time mark against the Bobcats, and that includes the last four meetings with Charlotte. Plus, with the Bobcats ending an 18-game losing streak Monday with a 91-81 victory at Chicago, I think their guard might be down and they could be a bit relaxed now that the skid is over.

Charlotte has lost 10 straight at home, so beating the 'Cats on their own court shouldn't be a big deal. The Cavaliers are going to come in looking to avenge a tough home loss on Wednesday, when it failed to hold on to a tiny lead, before falling, 97-94, to Sacramento.

The Cavs are in on ATS win streaks of 5-1 against Southeast teams and 4-1 on the road, while the Bobcats are in on spread slides of 7-20 against Central division teams, 1-5 against Eastern Conference foes and 4-10 overall.

3♦ CLEVELAND

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday January, 4

Chuck O'Brien

I know the Phoenix Suns are out for their 2,000th win as a franchise tonight, but unfortunately the Utah Jazz are going to spoil that milestone in front of the Fridat night crowd. These two have already met twice this season, with the home team winning both times. Now it's time for a road team to step up.

The Jazz roll in with a load of confidence after their lopsided 106-84 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night. And yes, while that game was on their own floor in Salt Lake City, where they're 10-4, I think this is the right time for the Jazz to turn things around and start finding their winning ways on the highway.

The Jazz have covered 12 of their last 17 in Phoenix, and I think the oddsmakers are giving us a clear indicator who the right side is with the line being so low. Take the road pup.

2♦ UTAH

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday January, 4

Craig Davis

Last pair of nights I have given you free play winners, Ohio State on Wednesday night, New York Knicks last night.

Free play of the day on the OKC Thunder to bounce back from that horrific home loss to Brooklyn Wednesday night and absolutely destroy Philly.

Vegas isn't stupid... they realize how good the Thunder are, but they also realize how much better they are at home. As it happens, though, OKC played one of their worst games of the year in a 110-93 blowout loss to the Nets and that hasn't been sitting well with OKC over the last 48 hours.

Kevin Durant NEVER gets thrown out of games and almost never gets called for a tech foul, so to see him lose his cool like that with under two minutes remaining showed you his level of frustration... not only with the officiating but also the situation of his team playing so poorly.

No, OKC has never been known as a defensive juggernaut, but to give up 110 points to a .500 team at home isn't something they're used to doing... and that's one of many reasons I believe they'll come out with a different focus and intensity tonight.

Not only that, but the Thunder have dominated the Sixers of late, and there's no reason to think anything differently tonight.

In their last meeting they pulled out a 116-109 overtime victory Nov. 24 behind 37 points from Kevin Durant and 30 from Russell Westbrook. KD is averaging over 30 PPG over his last six games vs. Philly while Westbrook is scoring just under 28 PPG in his last four in the series.

The 76ers (15-18 on the season) scored fewer than 90 points for the third time in four contests Wednesday night as they fell to the Phoenix Suns.. 95-89. Yikes. They aren't getting any consistent scoring from anyone other than Jrue Holiday, and even that comes and goes occasionally.

Philly has dropped six straight vs. OKC and failed to cover the number in six of the last seven. I think it's fair to say that with everything considered, the Thunder should blast Philly by at least 15 tonight.

2♦ OKLAHOMA CITY

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday January, 4

Jeff Benton

Freebie winner on the Knicks last night.

Friday freebie winner is the Thunder over the Sixers.

Philly's longest road trip of the year is now at six in a row, and the 76ers stand at 2-4 straight up and 3-3 against the spread. Tough spot for the Sixers tonight, as Oklahoma City suffered a rare home loss on Wednesday to the Nets, as the Thunder were humiliated by 17-points on their home floor!

That was just OKC's third home loss in 19 games, so chances Philly pulls off the upset are slim-and-none, and slim just walked out the door.

Can Philadelphia at least cover? That is doubtful as well, as Oklahoma City has won the last seven series meetings, and they have covered in six of those seven victories.

With Philly still having to conclude this road stretch with a stop in San Antonio tomorrow night, and the Thunder looking to take out their frustrations from Wednesday on someone, this appears to be the wrong time and the wrong place to back the underdog.

Take OKC big.

4♦ OKLAHOMA CITY

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday January, 4

Chris Jordan

The last time I gave you a free pick in the NBA, I told you the Detroit Pistons were the value on Dec. 26, catching +8 points from the Hawks in Atlanta. The two battled into double overtime, and though the Pistons lost they covered for me. Well my free pick for tonight is going to be on the home underdog Pistons, against visiting Atlanta.

And before these two even tip-off, I think the Motown boys ought to walk over to the Hawks' bench and thank them.

Ever since that double-OT loss, the Pistons have enjoyed their longest winning streak of the season - currently at three games. Whether or not it was that loss, I can't be sure, but the Pistons have done an about face and are certainly playing better.

Detroit's offense has been clicking of late, shooting 52.4 percent and averaging 102.7 points during this win streak. And this isn't just a fluke with a couple of stars stepping up. Even Detroit's bench is averaging 47.0 points since Dec. 28, ranking fourth in the league.

Atlanta had dropped 11 of 14 at the window after an ATS cover, while the Pistons are on ATS runs of 4-0 against Southeast teams and 4-1 against Eastern Conference foes.

2♦ DETROIT

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday January, 4

Matt Rivers

NBA free winners the past two nights - Phoenix on Wednesday, Minnesota last night!

Free play for Friday in the NBA on the Nets as they play in Washington against the Wizards.

Brooklyn has gotten a little bit of a bump after parting ways with Avery Johnson, as the Nets come to D.C. having won three of four since letting Johnson go. That includes an impressive win at Oklahoma City on Wednesday night. I expect them to handle their business against a Washington team that still owns just four outright wins this season, and are currently mired in a 1-11 straight up slide their last dozen games!

Series numbers show Brooklyn with wins and covers in two of the last three meetings. Just see no good reason to back the Wizards tonight in the home dog role. Brooklyn should be able to handle Washington tonight, then head home for another potential win tomorrow night against another bad team - Sacramento Kings slated for Saturday night.

Go with the Nets as momentum is rolling once again in Brooklyn.

5♦ BROOKLYN

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday January, 4

Harry Bondi

LA CLIPPERS (-4.5) over LA Lakers

Since having their amazing 17-game winning streak snapped, the Clippers have lost two straight and have looked horrendous in the process. But that only provides us some line value here. The bottom line is that right now the Clippers are one of the top teams in the NBA and the Lakers are just an average team. The Clippers already beat their in-city rival by 10 points earlier this year and they are 15-3 at the Staples Center this season and have outscored the opposition by an average of 18 points. The Lakers, meanwhile, are 1-5 as an underdog this year, further proving they have been overvalued by the oddsmaker. Lay the short number!

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday January, 4

Dave Essler

Wofford +9

I have too much respect for the SOS that Wofford has played, and clearly there are points built into this line because of Tulane's great win over Alabama. Tulane has simply NOT been tested, and I can see them coming in a bit over confident after the 'Bama win. They've got a very short bench, which means if they get in much foul trouble they've got inexperience backups, and Wofford will live and die from behind the arc. If Tulane has a weakness, it may well be on defense. Their collective numbers are marginal for a team that really hasn't faced anyone in the Top 200, other than 'Bama (one game does not a season make) and G-Tech who destroyed them. Wofford beat Xavier on the road, so surely they can stay well within this number. The UVA loss was predictable. since UVA has one of the stingiest defenses in the nation, so after playing the Cavaliers this game should seem simple, and because of each teams' last two games, this line is as high as it is, not because of the talent differential.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday January, 4

Hollywood Sports

Rockets at Bucks
Prediction: Over

Milwaukee (16-14) has lost two games in a row after their 117-110 loss to San Antonio on Wednesday as a 5.5-point favorite -- and they have played 6 straight games Over the Total after a loss. The Bucks have also played 5 straight games Over the Total following a point spread loss. The Over is also 5-2-1 in Milwaukee's last 8 games after allowing at least 100 points in their last contest. And the Bucks have played 4 straight games Over the Total against teams with a winning record. Houston (18-14) has played 4 straight games Over the Total against an opponent that scored at least 100 points in their last game. The Rockets have also played 7 of their last 10 games Over the Total against teams that allowed at least 100 points in their last contest. Houston comes off a 104-92 win against New Orleans on Wednesday -- and they have also played 7 of their last 10 games Over the Total after a double-digit victory. Take the Over in this one.

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