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Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday January, 5

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday January, 5

Chris Jordan

My free pick for Saturday is on Kansas State in college basketball, as I think it'll open up Big 12 play with a huge win over Oklahoma State. The Wildcats are catching points at home, and after their football counterparts somewhat shit the bed the other night against Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl, I believe they're going to be looking to pick up the home faithful.

Many wouldn't believe that could be an intangible, but I say it's an insightful factor to take in consideration.

I realize the Pokes are one of the most talented teams in the Big 12, but be aware, it's also one of the youngest squads and that's going to be a problem against teams like Kansas State, which enters league play ranked 25th nationally and 11-2 overall.

Senior Rodney McGruder was being heralded as Kansas State's top player coming into the campaign, but I've been impressed by junior Will Spradling and sophomore Angel Rodriguez, a dynamic duo out of the backcourt. All three average more than nine points - a total of 33.3 points per game. Shane Southwell and Nino Williams are a nice tandem inside, as both have a knack for utilizing their their speed and shooting ability to frustrate defenders.

The 'Cats are nice, all around solid with depth to strengthen their game. And make note, they swept the season series against Oklahoma State last season.

Take the home underdog in this Big 12 season-opener for both.

3♦ KANSAS STATE

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday January, 5

Matt Rivers

Saturday college hoops comp play is on the underdog Utes of Utah as they take on the 13-0 Wildcats of Arizona.

Arizona has been flirting with their first loss for a few games now, as Sean Miller's team had to comeback from double-digits on Thursday night at home against Colorado in a non-cover, and also narrowly escaped the loss in a one-point win over San Diego State the game before.

This shapes up to be a perfect spot for the 'Cats to take a breath and allow the Utes to stay close enough for the cover.

Utah is off to a solid 8-5 straight up start, and they just battled Arizona State to overtime on Thursday before bowing outright, but picking up the underdog cover.

The Utes were able to cover last season in Tucson, losing by 9 as the double-digit underdog. More of the same this afternoon.

2♦ UTAH

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday January, 5

John Ryan

Golden State at Los Angeles
Prediction: Under

The simulator shows a high probability that fewer than 200 points will be scored in this game. As Kobe Bryant stated, the Clippers are true contenders. The Clippers have formed a team that plays very well at both ends of the court. They rank eighth averaging 101.5 PPG and rank fourth allowing 93.2 PPG. This scoring differential ranks second best in the NBA. One of the fundamental reasons I like this UNDER is that GS plays solid paint defense. They rank ninth best allowing 39.8 points in the paint. The Clippers rank third averaging 46.8 points in the paint. Clips are also coming off a win against the rival Lakers and now have to play on back-to-back nights. I do expect them to be a bit flat and this give GS a chance to keep the game to a mostly half-court contested game. Supporting this graded play is a proven system posting a 58-23 mark for 72% winners since 2006. Play under with home teams where the total is greater than or equal to 200 after going under the total by 24 or more points total in their last three games and with a winning record on the season playing another winning team. Take the UNDER.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday January, 5

Ray Monohan

Ohio State vs. Illinois
Play: Illinois

It is time to start figuring out just how good this Ohio State team really is. They have just two losses on the season (Kansas and Duke) but haven’t looked all that great lately. Forward Deshawn Thomas is a big time scorer but I am waiting for him to be better. He is averaging 20ppg (an improvement). Ohio State spreads in the early going have been massive as the quality of their opponents has not been all that strong. The Illini roared out of the gates winning their first 12 games including an impressive win on the road at Gonzaga. But now they have lost two of their last three including their Big Ten opener on the road at Purdue, hardly one of the league’s scarier teams. If they lose at home to Ohio State they will be 0-2 in the league with a couple of tough games on the immediate horizon. They need this one more than OSU. In last year’s win Illini guard Brandon Paul went off for 43 points, hitting an amazing 8 for 10 from behind the arc. It was a glimpse of the potential that we have seen more of this year as he has increased his scoring average to 18.5ppg. In their win against the Zags he had a similar performance with 35 in the upset victory. The Illini are loaded at guard but could stand to receive more production from fellow senior. D.J Richardson, whose numbers have backslid this season. Though they have been having success the Illini have not been lining pockets. Today that changes. Being an underdog at home will bring out the best of the Illini. The Illini are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday January, 5

Red Dog Sports

TOWSON vs. DREXEL    
PLAY: TOWSON

Take Towson +10 as the Tigers have improved greatly this year. They struggled to win a game last year and lost 60-27 at Drexel last year. Yes, they only scored 27 points and failed to cover a big dogs. However, they have brought in a Georgetown transfer, some freshmen and returning players like Dumas and Kris Weldon. The Tigers only lost at Georgetown by 6 points. Drexel is a good defensive team coached by Bruiser Flint. They have struggled some with injuries and should win today but fail to cover. My guess is 66-60.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday January, 5

Wunderdog

Oklahoma State at Kansas State
Pick: Kansas State -155

Big clash in the Big-12 as a pair of two-loss teams seek to elevate their status in this one. You have to be concerned about the Cowboys feasting on home cooking where all of their wins have come, playing just one road game, which was a loss. They are off a heartbreaking 1-point loss vs. Gonzaga and may have trouble matching the energy of a Kansas State team that has run the table at home at 7-0. The Cowboys’ 1-8-1 ATS record on the road following three at home doesn't bode well here. Play Kansas State on the moneyline.

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