Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday January, 7

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday January, 7

Dave Price

San Antonio Spurs -8

New Orleans is just 3-13 SU and 5-11 ATS at home this season. It checks in off a win and cover at Dallas but is 0-9 ATS in home games after playing a road game this season and has lost these contests by an average of 11.6 points. The Hornets are also 1-10 ATS in their last 11 games following an ATS win. The Spurs enter off a double-digit win against Philadelphia and are 22-6-2 ATS in their last 30 games following a win of more than 10 points. They are 62-29-5 ATS in their last 96 games overall. Lay the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday January, 7

Steve Janus

Portland Trailblazers -6.5

The Magic enter tonight's game on a 8-game losing streak and I have a very difficult time believing they will be excited to play after traveling completely across the country. The key here is that Orlando is coming off three straight big conference games at home against the Heat, Bulls and Knicks. They simply aren't going to have the same level of intensity against the Trailblazers. Orlando is 16-39 off 2 or more consecutive home losses since 1996!

Portland on the other hand is flying a bit under the radar because of their poor start. The Trailblazers are 10-3 over their last 13 games overall. They are coming off back-to-back road wins over Memphis and Minnesota to finish up their 4-game road trip at 3-1 (other win came at New York). Portland always brings their best at home, where they have won 7 straight and are 11-4 on the season.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday January, 7

Brandon Lee

Dallas Mavericks +5.5

Dallas certainly doesn't appear to be a strong play today, but this line is almost begging you to take the Jazz at home, where everyone knows they play their best basketball. The Mavericks could very easily be on a 3-game winning streak, as each of their last two losses have came in overtime. Dallas is 32-15 ATS as a road underdog of 6 points or less over the last 3 seasons and it's only a matter of time before Nowitzki has them playing winning basketball. This isn't my strongest play, but I think it's worth a little action on the side. Take the Points!

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday January, 7

Charlie Sports

Orlando Magic at Portland Trailblazers
Play: Portland Trailblazers

The (12-21) Orlando Magic of the Eastern Conference Southeast division will take on the (18-15) Portland Trailblazers of the Western Conference Northwest division in 2013 NBA action. Orlando beat Portland back in November 107-104 at home, but have dropped 3 of the last 4 vs. Portland Against The Spread. The Magic have lost their last 2 NBA games ATS on the road, while Portland is 4-0 their last 4 ATS a home. Portland gets the home cover.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday January, 7

Wunderdog

San Antonio at New Orleans
Pick: San Antonio -8

Over the years the San Antonio Spurs have been a great team, but more importantly and unlike many elite teams, they seldom take a night off. It is one reason why they are 253-212-7 ATS as a road favorite. That improves in the most vulnerable spot, when they take to the road against a losing team. While most teams mail those games in, the Spurs step it up and take advantage of the situation. San Antonio is 162-117-4 ATS as road chalk vs. a losing team, including 13-2-1 ATS lately in their last 16. The Hornets are a bad team that is playing bad, with just three wins in their last 17 games and are a woeful 1-10 ATS following an ATS win in their last 11 tries. Not the typical place for the Spurs to get tripped up. Play on San Antonio.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday January, 7

Jeff Scott Sports

3 UNIT PLAY

HOFSTRA +5 over Georgia State: Neither team is playing all that well right now, but I believe that Hofstra is due for a win. Actually tis year Hofstra was picked higher that Georgia State in the Colonial by some. The Flying Dutchmen have been competitive of late as 4 of their last 5 losses have been by single digits. They are 3-3 on their home floor, while Georgia State is just 1-5 on the road. The Panthers have been outscored by 8 ppg on the road and are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games away from home. Hofstra may allow 70.2 ppg at home, but teams don't shoot well vs them here (421.2%), while the Panthers have allowed 68.3 ppg on 45.8% shooting away from home. I feel that at home Hofstra has a solid defensive edge and the home crowd should be up for them to break their losing streak. Look fo Hofstra to pull the outright upset.

2 UNIT PLAYS

Notre Dame/ Cincinnati Over 134.5: Both teams have played solid defense this year, but the offenses have been very imp3essive as well. Notre dame has played an uptempo style of late and it has resulted in 84.6 ppg over their last 5 games. Because of that pace they have also given up 65.6 ppg and that's vs weaker offenses than they will see tonight. The Irish are shooting the ball extremely well right now as they have hit 56% of their shots overall and 45.8% from downtown in their last 5 games. Cincy is not a great shooting team (42.8%), but they play at an uptempo and as a result they score 75.6 ppg. Cincinnati is 5th in the nation in shots per game at 64.2, while the Irish have put up 62 spg in their last 3. Should be a fun uptempo game that should lead to about 140 points.

Indiana/ Penn State Under 138: 9 of the last 10 in the series have gone Under the total. All 9 that went under put no more than 133 points on the board. State should be able to slow it down at home and give us a game in the 120's.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday January, 7

Jeff Scott Sports

3 UNIT PLAYS

Oklahoma City/ Washington Over 193: Washington is having problems scoring right now, but they still score 93.8 ppg and the Thunder allows 96.8 ppg on the road. Gotta feel that Washington should be good for about 93 points in this one. Washington has struggled on defense at home, where they have allowed 98.7 ppg on their home floor this year. Last night they allowed 99 points to Miami, but they face a tough offense tonight as the Thunder come in averaging 102.6 ppg on the road and they have averaged 108.8 in their last 5 games overall. 105-93 sounds about right for his one.

Orlando/ Portland Under 191.5: Recent Orlando games would indicate a high scoring game, but I will go the other way here. In their last 3 games the Magic put up 106 points vs NY and 10 in OT vs Miami, but in 7 of their last 9 games they have averaged just 92.3 ppg. On the road this year the magic have averaged just 91.4 ppg, so this is not a god offensive team. The Portland offense comes in struggling as they have averaged just 92.2 ppg in their last 5 games, but their defense has not struggled in that span as they have allowed just 93.6 ppg in those 5 games. At Home Portland has allowed 96.1 ppg, but they have been much better at home recently. In their last 7 at home they have allowed just 88.6 ppg and that includes allowing just 93 to Denver and 90 to high scoring San Antonio. Both offenses struggled to score and Portland has played very good defense of late. I see this one in the low 180's. 

2 UNIT PLAY

Memphis/ Sacramento Under 189: Wanted this as a top play, but didn't want to push my luck with a Memphis team that I have done well on totals with.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday January, 7

Harry Bondi

CHICAGO (-8.5) over Cleveland

We catch the Bulls is a nice little streak here tonight as they are playing as well as they have all season, winning three out of their last four. They are also starting to turn up the heat on the defensive end and that spells bad news for the Cavs, who will once again be without Anderson Varejao, the league's leading rebounder, tonight. Chicago has dominated the series, winning night straight and covering six of those meetings. It's a good situation for Chicago and a bad match-up for the Cavs. Lay the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday January, 7

Nelly

Penn State + over Indiana

Indiana certainly has the pieces to be a top 10 team this season but the results so far don't necessarily agree. The lone loss did come in overtime but it came against Butler, a team that didn't make the NCAA tournament last season and that Indiana should have some advantages against. The big wins for Indiana, beating Georgetown and North Carolina, look much better in name than in practice as neither former power looks elite this season. In the Big Ten opener Indiana won by four in a down-to-the-wire game at Iowa and the Hoosiers will be facing a second straight road game while also possibly looking ahead to a huge top 10 game with Minnesota upcoming. Penn State is 7-1 at home this season and the Nittany Lions played well in a tough venue on Thursday, hanging with Wisconsin. Even without Tim Frazier Penn State has excellent guard play with Jermaine Marshall stepping up this season and Southern Miss transfer D.J. Newbill being one of the more dynamic athletes in the Big Ten. Penn State will have some problems in the paint in this match-up but the Lions are holding foes to just 40 percent shooting on the season. Indiana's last game was the very first true road game of the season for the Hoosiers and while this is a veteran team, this is also a team that is not accustomed to playing in the heavy favorite role and getting strong focused efforts from the opponents looking for an upset. Indiana's last trip to Penn State featured just a six-point win and this spread looks too steep.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday January, 7

Scott Delaney

My free pick run is at 66-40-2 thanks to a three-day run since Friday, and tonight I look to make it four in a row with Cincinnati in college hoops against Notre Dame. Forget the distracting factor of the Fighting Irish wondering about their classmates on the football field down in Miami, playing for the BCS title. Understand, Cincinnati is real deal and should be respected as one of the top choices in the Big East this season.

Yes, the Irish are in after winning their 11th consecutive game of the season on Saturday, posting a 93-74 win over Seton Hall in their Big East opener. But I think it's even more intriguing to talk about Cincinnati coming into this game after a 53-52 home loss to St. John's on Saturday in the Bearcats' league home opener.

Cincinnati is going to be pissed off, cause it knows damn well it shouldn't have lost that game. Not to St. John's. And not at home.

If there were ever a time to play the Bearcats, it's tonight. Especially here.

The Bearcats won last season's meeting 71-55 at Cincinnati's Fifth Third Arena. And though Notre Dame leads the series overall 8-5, be aware Cincinnati has won the last three games in the Queen City.

Cashmere Wright remains one of my favorite players in college basketball, and the 14th-ranked Bearcats will continue to be one of my favorite teams to watch under the guidance of spitfire coach Mick Cronin.

The Bearcats have won nine of their last 12 games against ranked opponents, so I'm not concerned too much about surging No. 21 Notre Dame. Look for the Bearcats to clamp down on defense, just as we've seen them do through 15 games this season, limiting opponents to only 35.7 percent shooting from the field - second in the Big East and eighth in the nation.

The Bearcats are deadly off a loss, covering four straight after losing on the hardwood and covering six of seven after an ATS setback. They're also on a 7-2 ATS run against the Big East. Lay the chalk in this one.

5♦ CINCINNATI

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday January, 7

Chuck O'Brien

My free play for Monday night is on the Memphis Grizzlies laying points on the road in Sactown against the Sacramento Kings.

It hasn't been happy times for the Grizzlies of late, but tonight that's going to change and they should be able to find the consistency they've been looking for with a healthy Zach Randolph will spurn some wins for the team.

Memphis, which briefly had the league's best record at one time, has lost four of seven following a four-game winning streak.

But from what I saw yesterday, when the Grizzlies hit a season-high 53.6 percent from the field in a 92-81 win at Phoenix, they're ready to turn things around during this three-game road trip.

Randolph averages 16.8 points and ranks among league leaders with 12.2 rebounds. Yesterday he was 9 of 11 and finished with 21 points to help Memphis in its win over the Suns.

Though the Kings are 10-7 at home, they're mired in a 0-8 ATS slide against teams from the Southwest division. On the flipside, the Grizzlies have covered four of five against the Pacific division.

I'll take the road team here.

2♦ MEMPHIS

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday January, 7

Craig Davis

Free play of the day on the Utah Jazz over the Dallas Mavericks at home.

How Utah can only be favored by 4 1/2 is beyond me. Has Vegas watched the Mavericks recently? They have been one of the worst teams in the NBA and it has nothing to do with Dirk's knee injury.

Yeah, so he's been limited since returning from off-season knee surgery... that has nothing to do with the fact this team is falling apart at the seams.

It has more to do with the fact they don't have JJ Barea, Tyson Chandler, Jason Terry or Jason Kidd. It has more to do with the fact they've replaced those players with OJ Mayo, Darren Collison, and Chris Kaman. Seriously... Chris Kaman???

That guy is a complete stiff while Mayo is a greedy ball-hog who continues to lead the team in turnovers because he likes to dribble too much. The Mavs are a complete mess and it starts at the top.

Mark Cuban is starting to believe everything he reads about himself. I think he's been hanging out with Jerry Jones or something. This team has no chemistry and Rick Carlisle appears to have lost control.

Dallas is in for a LONG season and I don't see it getting any better anytime soon.

Free play on the Jazz over Dallas in a rout.

3♦ UTAH

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday January, 7

Jeff Benton

4 straight freebie winners after Temple stays close at Kansas on Sunday.

Monday's freebie is the Indiana Hoosiers to name it against host Penn State.

Penn State saw their four game winning streak snapped in a road loss at Wisconsin their last time out, but the Nittany Lions did cover as the double-digit underdog.

Can they cover tonight as the double-digit home dog?

I do not believe so, as Indiana is 13-1 for the season, and they have gone 8-4 against the spread in their lined games this season.

The Hoosiers have had little trouble brushing aside the Nittany Lions in recent meetings, as Tom Crean's team has won the last three series meetings, with their last pair of wins coming by 17 and 19 points, good enough for the cover as the double-digit favorite in each of those wins.

Indiana steps up and takes care of business on the road tonight with the 20 point win and cover.

1♦ INDIANA

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday January, 7

Chris Jordan

My free winner for Monday night is going to be out of the NBA with the Portland Trail Blazers laying points at home to the Orlando Magic.

I really contemplated making Portland a paid play tonight, but the only thing that scares me in the NBA or in MLB, is when a 'coast' team returns from a lengthy road trip. I'm going to be frank with you, but trust me, guys get home and have a day off, they unwind, they see their wives and/or girlfriends, they have a night out - they simply forget about their sport for a night.

That doesn't mean the Trail Blazers can't smoke the Magic tonight, but I'd rather come with Portland as a free play. I mean, I still like them against Orlando, which is in a downward spiral, having lost eight straight. Don't be too fooled by the Magic's losses, though, as they've been close contests.

And make note, the last time these two met on the hardwood, the Magic beat the Trail Blazers 107-104 in Portland.

Now that all being said, let's focus on the Blazers, who have won four of its last five games, including a 102-97 victory at Minnesota on Saturday. Tonight’s matchup will be their third game in four days, after a four-game road trip, but if there's one thing that might inspire weary legs it's Blazers fans, who are some of the loudest in the league.

I know the Magic have won five of their last 10 games inside the Rose Garden, but that was when they had Dwight Howard. And everyone knows how tough it is to play in the Garden on the left coast.

I'm taking my chances with the Blazers in this one, lay the chalk.

2♦ PORTLAND

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday January, 7

Matt Rivers

Monday night comp play is Oklahoma City to romp Washington.

The last time these teams met last January, the Wizards stunned the Thunder by a 105-102 count in DC. All the more reason I do not think there is a chance in hell Oklahoma City will be caught sleeping tonight at Washington.

The Wizards have just four wins total this season, and they enter tonight with their latest losing streak at five games in a row.

OKC has gone 8-4-1 against the spread on the road this season, and prior to last January's loss to the Wizards, the Thunder had won five in a row over the Wizards with a 3-1-1 spread mark in those five wins.

Oklahoma City has won their last pair of games by double-digits, covering in both. Another double-digit win and cover in the cards tonight for the Thunder.

Take the Thunder minus the points.

3♦ OKLAHOMA CITY

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