Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday January, 9

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday January, 9

Wunderdog

St. Bonaventure at George Washington
Pick: George Washington -2.5

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies have played pretty much break-even basketball on the season at 7-6, and this is a team that lost a lot of scoring and talent from last year's surprise team. That has made life on the road a challenging task, as they are just 1-5 on the season. George Washington has now won three of four here, and the only loss was a tough one against a very good opponent, dropping a 3-point decision to Kansas State. The Colonels are off a poor offensive showing, but that has been a buy sign for this team recently as they are a perfect 5-0 ATS after scoring less than 50 in their previous game. Go with George Washington.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday January, 9

John Ryan

Atlanta Hawks at Cleveland Cavaliers
Prediction: Atlanta Hawks

The simulator shows a high probability that Atlanta will win this game by six or more points. The breakdown of the sim projections all support the Hawks when compared to historical games with similar matchups. Sim shows that Atlanta will hit between 39 and 45% of their three point shots, will attempt at least 84 shots, and that Cleveland will make 42% or less of their shots. Atlanta is 28-6 ATS (+21.4 Units) when they make 39% to 45% of their three point attempts in a game over the last 3 seasons. Moreover, Cleveland is 6-14 ATS (-9.4 Units) in up-tempo games where they attempt 84 or more shots this season; 77-138 ATS (-74.8 Units) when their opponents make 39% to 45% of their 3 pointers in a game since 1996. Take Atlanta.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday January, 9

Kyle Hunter

Valparaiso vs. Illinois Chicago
Play: Under 122

Both of these teams play strong defense and slow the game down. It's hard to imagine either one of them putting up more than 60 points or so here. I had this game projected at 118 points. The under is a strong 14-2 in Valpo's last 16 road games. The under is 5-0 in UIC's last 5 home games. Take the under.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday January, 9

Bryan Power

Dallas vs. L.A. Clippers
Pick: L.A. Clippers

My goodness.  What has happened to the Mavericks?  Since December 20th, they have lost 9 of 10 games with the only win coming against the league's worst team, Washington. Over that same time (since 12.20), I've gone 60-44-1 in ALL Sports, profiting $11,703. I see no reason here why, even taking a big number, the Mavs would have a shot against the Clippers tonight.

Dirk Nowitzki's return has meant little to Dallas. His scoring has gone up a little bit over the last three games scoring at least 19 points each time out, but that's still not very impressive. Nor is the Mavericks' 5-15 SU road record. The last time these teams met, the Clippers won by 22.  I expect a similar result this time around.

The Clippers have won 12 straight at Staples Center where they average nearly 105 points per game. They've averaged better than 107 PPG here during the 12-game win streak.  Bad news for Dallas, who is 1-13 SU this season when allowing triple digits away from home. Excluding Washington, the last time the Mavericks won on the road was December 8th.   Not afraid to lay the big number here.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday January, 9

Teddy Covers

Phoenix vs. Boston
Pick: Boston

The Celtics hit rock bottom over the holidays; blown out in all three games on their West Coast swing (losing by 29, 18 and 22 points, all non-competitive efforts), then returning home only to get whipped by double digits by the Grizzlies.

Instead of collapsing, the Celtics have rebounded with three consecutive strong performances – a 19 point blowout over the Pacers followed by back-2-back SU wins as road underdogs against playoff caliber competition (Atlanta and New York).  All of a sudden the Celtics have some swagger back!

Avery Bradley isn’t the type of ‘name’ player that will move a pointspread when he’s hurt or healthy.  But make no mistake about it – Avery Bradley is absolutely an impact player for these Celtics; a defensive stopper on the perimeter.  Bradley returned to the starting lineup against Philly and Doc Rivers squad has enjoyed three of their best defensive games in months since his return.  And the Celtics will get All Star point guard Rajon Rondo back in the lineup tonight as well following his one game suspension; making their perimeter defense that much stronger!

That’s bad news for the struggling Suns playing on the second night of back-2-backs off last night’s loss at Milwaukee.  Phoenix is a woeful 2-15 SU on the highway this year.  Their two road wins this year?  Cleveland and Charlotte, both bottom feeders and both coming back in November.  The Suns have been repeatedly unable to step up in class, just 4-8 ATS in their dozen tries as an underdog of six points or more.

Alvin Gentry’s squad is one team that can’t take advantage of the Celtics weakness on the boards, ranked #26 in the NBA in rebounding margin.  Throw in the Suns consistent defensive woes and their 0-7 SU, 1-6 ATS marks playing on the second night of back-2-backs and the case for a Celtics double digit win is perfectly clear!

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Andre Gomes

Boston Celtics -9

Phoenix offense is a great matchup for the Celtics defense: Goran Dragic is their primary ball handler and the Celtics will throw a fresh Rajon Rondo on him or even Bradley if needed. The Suns are a poor offensive rebounding team - just #19 in the league w/ 26.0% off.reb/rate% so the Celtics will be able to avoid being pounded on the glass like they usual are against good rebounding teams. Gortat and Scola have nice offensive skills but they won't overpower anyone so the Suns won't be able to take advantage of the biggest weakness of this Celtics team.

The Suns lost (again) last night in Milwaukee in game in which I played the Bucks -6.  After a nice 33-point first quarter outburst, the Suns went 28-of-72 from the field the rest of the way, including a putrid 4-of-20 from three-point range. When the Bucks defense pressured more in the second half, the Suns didn't fight. They just laid back and shot jumpers: 19 FGA's from 16-23 feet + 20 3pts! On the other end, the lack of effort of the Suns in the defensive end was pretty evident, no wonder they have lost now ten games in a row.

For tonight they have a tough spot playing their third game in 4 nights. Right now they don't have the right mindset to be competitive on the road.

The Celtics won a huge game in New York against the Knicks. I like the fact that Rondo didn't play in that game because we can expect him to be fired up and carry on his team. This "new look" Celtics team is starting to impress me so I'm taking Boston tonight for a easy blowout win.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday January, 9

Jeff Scott Sports

5 UNIT PLAY

TULANE/ UTEP UNDER 119: Pace of play is important for these teams and as long as they don't turn into the Houston Rockets then this Under play should be fairly easy. The Tulane Green Wave check in at 283rd in the nation in shots per game (51.2), While UTEP is all the way down there at 341st (48.5). Defense is also key here and Tulane plays it well. The Green Wave have allowed just 56.6 ppg on 41.2% shooting, while at home they have allowed 51.4 ppg on 38% shooting. Tulane has also defended well without fouling as they are 23rd in fouls per game (14.8), and that may not get UTEP to the line all that often.  Tulane will be facing a UTEP offense that has put up 72 ppg in their last 5, but most of that was done at home. In all games away from home UTEP has averaged just 53.4 ppg, including averaging just 54.5 ppg in their true road games. Tulane scores 66.9 ppg, but they are a poor shooting team, hitting just 42.1% of their shots overall and 41.6% at home and the Miners come in allowing just 43.6% shooting overall and 40.3% in their last 5 games. This really should be a grinding boring game that will struggle to get to 110 points.

4 UNIT PLAY

Texas A&M/ Arkansas Under 140: Gotta feel that the home team here will get the pace where they want and in looking at A&M's scores this year that would indicate a game in the 120's. Aggie games this year have averaged just 124.4 ppg, with just 2 of those games putting up more than 140 points. Their last 5 games have averaged 117.8 ppg, while their home games have put up 128 ppg. Arkansas is a scoring machine at 82 ppg, but the Aggies are a very good defensive team that has allowed just 59.2 ppg overall and 58.6 ppg at home. The Hogs did score 95 and 89 vs Alabama A&M and Florida A&M away from home (but in their other 3 games away from home vs BCS schools they have averaged just  68.3 ppg. They can be held in check away from home and I feel that A&M will be able to do that. On defense the Hogs allow 70.2 ppg, but they have been better of late, allowing just 62.6 ppg in their last 5 games. They also will not be taking on a good scoring team, as the Aggies really slow the pace down and score 65.2 ppg on 51.4 shots per game (294th). Clearly one of the slowest paced teams in the country and I don't see them looking to run with the Hogs here. This game should be kept in the low 130's at best. 

3 UNIT PLAYS

Texas/ West Virginia Over 126.5: Looking at the fact that Texas games have averaged just 122 ppg you would think that this is a slow down team, but that is not the case. This team would like to run and they are a decent 148th in shots per game (55.8). They just don't shoot that ball well, which is why their scoring is down, but in an uptempo game they have done pretty well. In games vs Baylor, North Carolina and UCLA they still didn't shoot well, but got plenty of shots ond were able to score 72 ppg (Reg). Tonight they should get a chance to run because the Mountaineers come in ranked 56th in shots per game (59.4). Texas does play good defense, but they have allowed 64 points or more in their last 5 games vs BCS named schools, including allowing 64 points to a very weak Georgetown offense. Wes Virginia has struggled to score in their 2 true road games  (53 ppg) but in all games away from home they have averaged 64.6 ppg and they come in having scored 69 ppg in their last 5 games overall. This should be an uptempo game and I expect no less than at least 64 points from each team. 


UNLV +3.5 over NEW MEXICO: The Pit is always a tough place for teams to play, but I feel that UNLV is a team that can win in a tough venue like this. New Mexico has really struggled to score of late as they have averaged just 55 ppg in their last 3 games and it may not get much better as the Rebels have allowed just 64.8 ppg on 38% shooting on the year. The Rebes do play defense but they are also one of te better scoring teams in the nation as they average 77.9 ppg overall and 78.6 ppg in their last 5 games. The Lobos are a solid defensive squad, (61.1 ppg allowed), but Im just not sure they can come up with enough stops to win this game, plus I also don't think their offense will be able to come up with enough points either. Rebels in an upset here. KEY TREND--- The road team is 7-2 ATS the last 9 meetings.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday January, 9

Jack Jones

Marshall Thundering Herd -4

The Marshall Thundering Herd are showing excellent value as only a 4-point home favorite over the Tulsa Golden Hurricane Wednesday. Marshall will be highly motivated for a win following three straight defeats, including road losses to Kentucky as a 20-point dog and Ohio as a 13-point dog.

The Thundering Herd return home where they have clearly been playing their best basketball this season. They are 6-1 at home this year, outscoring opponents by 9.6 points/game. Tulsa is just 4-5 on the road this season with four losses by 16 points or more.

My biggest reason for backing Marshall is the fact that PG DeAndre Kane has returned from injury after missing a month. The preseason first-team Conference-USA pick is not only the Herd's second-leading scorer (14.2 PPG) and top assist man (7.9 APG), he is also the leader of this team. Kane makes everyone around him better with his ability to create open shots for teammates.

The Golden Hurricane are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after scoring less than 50 points in their previous game. Tulsa is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games following a S.U. win. The Thundering Herd are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. Conference USA foes. The favorite is 5-0 ATS in the last 5 meetings in this series. Bet Marshall Wednesday.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday January, 9

John Martin

Denver Nuggets -11

The Denver Nuggets are a dominant home team. They are 11-2 at home this season while winning by an average of double-digits. Orlando is in a funk right now that it just cannot get out of. It has lost nine straight games coming in. This losing streak has coincided with the loss of Glen Davis, who is second on the team in scoring (16.0 PPG) and rebounding (7.9 RPG). He has missed the past ten games due to injury with the Magic going 1-9 in his absence.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday January, 9

Jeff Alexander

Tennessee -2.5

Tennessee is 15-5 ATS in all lined home games since the beginning of last season. It is also 8-0 ATS in its last 8 home games against conference opponents. The Vols won last season's home meeting with Ole Miss by 13 points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday January, 9

Dave Price

Oklahoma City Thunder -12

Off an upset loss to lowly Washington and out to avenge an upset loss to Minnesota last month, the Thunder will be very hungry tonight. OKC is an impressive 16-6 ATS off a upset loss over the last 2 seasons. It is also 28-14 ATS when out for revenge for an upset loss to an opponent. The home team is 11-5 ATS in the last 16 meetings. Lay the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday January, 9

Brandon Lee

Minnesota -1.5

The Golden Gophers are favored on the road inside conference play for a reason tonight. Minnesota has made easy work of their first two Big Ten opponents, crushing Michigan State (76-63) and Northwestern (69-51) at home. While I don't expect to see another double-digit win on the road, they should easily win and cover this small number. The Golden Gophers fall into a very profitable system. The key is to play on strong offensive teams on the road (74-78 PPG) against a good defensive team (63-67 PPG), after 2 straight wins by 10 points or more. This system is 54-26 (68%) over the last 5 seasons! Lay the Points!

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday January, 9

Dennis Macklin

Wake Forest +4½

Thinking that this might be a real good spot to grab Wake Forest as a very live home dog. Virginia is real fat and happy after beating North Carolina at home in their last. Now they face a soft touch conference team on the road that is 0-5 this year against the Top 100 losing bay an average off 11 points-per-game. Right ??? Wrong ! The Deacs have won five of six in the series and seven straight in the series on this floor by 5-12-16-6-22-13-4 points. Wake beat Xavier at home in their last and just might have a little swagger on. Wake is not all that much but you won't find a better spot.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday January, 9

Red Dog Sports

ECU / Memphis Under 151

The last 6 meetings have stayed under and last year's highest total was 139. ECU did play a high scoring game at UNC that sailed over but that was with Jeff Lebo returning back to Chapel Hill to face Roy Williams. ECU does have some solid players like Robert Sampson and Miguel Paul but this is a conference game that should get the attention of Memphis. Memphis went to Tennessee and played a high scoring game but they have played 11 unders in the last 16 games on Wednesdays. Look for a game in the 140's that stays under.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday January, 9

Alex Smart

New Mexico -3

There is alot of talent on both of these teams, and Im expecting a tilt full of fireworks. But in the end home court (The Pitt) advantage for the Lobos will be just to much for the Rebels to contend with. It must be noted that UNLV has covered only 3 of their L/16 road tilts. The Mountain West is a bigtime homer conference, as the top six teams this year are a combined 50-2 SU at home.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday January, 9

Nelly

Toledo + over Kent State

Toledo is just 4-7 on the season including only 1-6 in road games by many of the road games have come against very high quality competition. This could be a tricky spot for Kent State coming off a blowout road game victory over Cleveland State in a more prominent non-conference match-up. Kent State is known for holding a strong home court but already this season the Flashes have lost three games at home. The overall 9-5 record may be a bit inflated for Kent State as there have been two overtime wins and three other wins by four or fewer points. Kent State shot 48 percent in the last game to deliver the big win on Wednesday and on the year Kent State has not been a great shooting team. Toledo is a much better free throw shooting team and the Rockets look like a very capable underdog in this situation. Kent State is just 1-4 ATS at home this season and Toledo will keep this game tight.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday January, 9

Charlie Sports

Memphis Grizzlies at Golden State Warriors
Play: Memphis Grizzlies

The (21-10) Memphis Grizzlies of the Western Conference Southwest division will take on the (22-11) Golden State Warriors of the Western Conference Pacific division in 2013 NBA action. Memphis won the last meeting back in November of this season 104-94 and the Grizzlies have covered 3 of the last 5 Against The Spread vs. Golden State. Memphis is 3-1 their last 4 both straight up and ATS, while Golden State is 4-1 straight up and ATS their last 5 NBA games. Memphis gets the road cover.

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