Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday January, 17

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday January, 17

Steve JanusFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Phoenix Suns -110FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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While the Suns have been struggling of late with just two wins in their last 14 games, I like their chances of beating the Bucks at home tonight. Prior to their most recent loss against the Thunder, Phoenix went into Chicago and beat the Bulls 97-81. The Suns poor play has been a result of a brutal schedule. 8 of their last 14 games have been on the road and four of their six home games have come against the likes of the Clippers, Knicks,Grizzlies and Thunder.
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Believe it or not, the Suns have won 24 straight in this series when playing in Phoenix. The Bucks lost 88-104 on the road against the Lakers in their last game, dropping them to 2-10 ATS vs the Western Conference this season. With the Suns coming off two full days of rest and the Bucks playing their 3rd straight road game, I look for Milwaukee to struggle to keep this game close.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday January, 17

John MartinFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Phoenix Suns PKFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Milwaukee hasn't been victorious in Phoenix in nearly 26 years. It has dropped 24 straight in Phoenix since the NBA's all-time leader in coaching victories, Don Nelson, was on the bench for a 115-107 win Feb. 21, 1987. The Suns come in motivated for a win after dropping six of their last seven against a brutal schedule that has featured the Jazz, Grizzlies, Bucks, Celtics, Nets, Bulls and Thunder. They are also well-rested having not played since Monday. The Bucks dropped to 19-40-1 ATS in their last 60 vs. Western Conference opponents after falling 88-104 to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday. The Suns are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games playing on 2 days rest.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday January, 17

Jack JonesFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Minnesota Timberwolves +4.5FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Los Angeles Clippers are overvalued heading into this road contest against the Minnesota Timberwolves. They have won back-to-back games over the Grizzlies and Rockets without Chris Paul thanks to some terrific shooting as they've averaged nearly 50% in those two wins.
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Teams can play well without their star for a few games, but over time it proves to be detrimental more times than not. Paul is doubtful and expected to sit once again tonight, and I'm banking on the Clippers failing to shoot 50% or close to it against the Timberwolves.
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Minnesota comes in highly motivated for a win tonight after going 0-4 in their last four games in a brutal road trip. They lost on the road to the Thunder, Hornets, Spurs and Mavericks. Now, they return home where they are 10-5 on the season. I certainly like their chances of staying within this 4.5-point spread while likely pulling off the upset in the process.
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The Timberwolves are 17-6 ATS versus good teams - outscoring their opponents by 3+ points/game over the last 2 seasons. Minnesota is 15-6 ATS in its last 21 games following a SU loss of more than 10 points. The Timberwolves are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. Bet Minnesota Thursday.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday January, 17

Dave PriceFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Oregon -3FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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USC snapped a 14-game road losing streak with a 76-59 win at Utah on Saturday, but it wasn't enough to keep coach Kevin O'Neill from being fired. Pat Haden (athletic director) said he made the move to re-energize the team. Even if USC is re-energized, I don't believe it will have enough in the end to get past an Oregon squad that is hitting on all cylinders. The Ducks have won 5 in a row and have shown they can win on the road. They have won at UNLV and Oregon State this season. The Ducks have won 5 straight against USC and have recorded double-digit wins in their last 2 trips to Southern California. USC is 3-11 ATS when the line is +3 to -3 over the last 2 seasons and 1-9 ATS as a home underdog or pickem over the last 2 seasons. Oregon, meanwhile, is 12-4 ATS in road lined games over the last 2 seasons. Lay the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday January, 17

Jeff Alexander

Northwestern +10.5

Illinois is getting a little too much respect here considering each of the last 3 meetings between these teams have been decided by 4 points or less with 2 of them being decided by a single point. Illinois is 9-19 ATS as a favorite over the last 2 seasons and 0-7 ATS the last 2 seasons when it checks into a game with losses in 4 or 5 of its last 6 games. The underdog is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings. Take the Wildcats.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday January, 17

Nelly

St. Joseph's + over VCU

St. Joseph's is in a bit of a challenging scheduling spot with this being a fourth road game in the last five games but that has spanned over two weeks and the travel has not been significant. The Hawks are just 9-5 on the season but they have five road wins, including beating Notre Dame and Drexel away from home. St. Joseph's did lost for Fairfield but the other four losses have come against high quality competition, falling against Florida State, Creighton, Villanova, and Butler with three of those four games being very tight. Virginia Commonwealth is off to a 14-3 start and cruising so far with a perfect 2-0 start in Atlantic 10 play in the first year for VCU in the bigger conference. The Rams have been on cruise control with 11 consecutive wins including notable wins over Belmont and Lehigh in tight games as well as blowing out Alabama. The losses for the Rams are all very respectable, falling to Wichita State, Duke and Missouri but the grind of conference play could catch up to this team despite the promising start. St. Joseph's features an excellent perimeter defense, allowing just 40 percent shooting overall and less than 33 percent shooting from 3-point range. VCU can be 3-point reliant at times and they are not likely to continue to hit at an over 36 percent clip as the schedule stiffens. St. Joseph's will be comfortable playing at a slower pace and the Hawks should potentially have a rebounding edge in this match-up. This is a steep line for the hyped first meeting between these prominent teams and after sneaking out narrow wins in the 2-0 start in conference play against lesser teams, VCU should be in for a battle tonight.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday January, 17

Bob Balfe

Minnesota -2.5

Minnesota is a perfect 10-0 this year and not taking anything away from Michigan, but I think their schedule has not caught up with them yet and they are not the best team in the BIG 10. The last two games their shooting has gone cold against decent teams and I expect the same tonight. Take Minnesota.


LA Lakers -2

The Lakers have been scoring a ton of points as of late and if this game turns into a shootout I favor the Lakers at home. LA is getting healthier didn’t have to play last night like the Heat did. Come 4th quarter in this game I could see the Heat getting a little flat if they have to depend on making jump shots to match L.A Take the Lakers.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday January, 17

Charlie Sports

Oregon Ducks at USC Trojans
Play: Oregon Ducks

The (14-2) Oregon Ducks of the PAC 12 North division will take on the (7-10) USC Trojans of the PAC 12 South division in 2013 College Basketball action. The Oregon Ducks are 10-1 Against The Spread their last 11 on the road, the Ducks have also won 9 of their last 10 Basketball games straight up. Oregon has also covered 4 of their last 5 ATS vs. USC. The USC Trojans recently fired their head coach and are 3-1 ATS their last 4. Oregon gets the road cove.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday January, 17

Teddy Covers

Miami vs. L.A. Lakers
Pick: Miami

Eric Spoelstra’s squad really struggled to find their ‘A’ game after Christmas; quite frankly looking bored for extended stretches.  They entered last night’s game at Golden State in the midst of a 2-8 ATS slide, including SU losses to the Pistons, Bucks, Bulls, Pacers, Jazz and Blazers during that span.

No surprise, then, that we’re seeing the Heat in a rare underdog role tonight -- the once prohibitive price to support the Heat in the betting markets has declined into a far more reasonable range.

Miami’s lone previous try as an underdog this year?  They won outright at Denver without Dwayne Wade in the lineup.  And it’s surely worth noting that the Heat have four SU wins in five tries playing on the second night of back-2-backs; a team worthy of support in this spot.  Let’s not forget that in last night’s blowout win over the Warriors, head coach Eric Spoelstra was able to rest his starters for the entire fourth quarter, leaving Miami relatively fresh here.

And for some reason, the betting markets are expecting the Lakers to be better with Pau Gasol back on the floor.  Gasol has been a shell of his former self all season, and it certainly hasn’t gotten any better in the Mike D’Antoni era.  LA went 1-4 SU and ATS in the last five games Gasol played before his concussion, including home losses as chalk against the Nuggets and 76ers.

Yes, LA is enjoying their first two game winning streak since Christmas, knocking off the Cavs and Bucks in their last two games.  But facing a Miami team that should be actually motivated to play a marquee opponent on national TV, look for LA’s brief winning streak to end here.  Take the Heat.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday January, 17

Bryan Leonard

Troy +7

Quick revenge for the Trojans who just lost a 61-54 home decision to the Owls three weeks ago. That was a special game for the host as they dedicated the court to head coach Don Maestri in honor of he 30+ years of service at the university. Teams having special ceremonies are at a disadvantage after the presentation as the host comes out flat while the visitor focuses on the task at hand. Now off back to back victories we look for Troy to add to its 17-9 ATS record when avenging an in season conference loss.

Florida Atlantic is in the thick of the conference race at 4-3 knowing a win here will tie them for second place in the Sun Belt. But they may have a letdown here after an upset win at Western Kentucky and knowing it has beaten the Trojans 3 of 4 contests the last two seasons with the only loss coming by a single point.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday January, 17

Andre Gomes

Clippers / Timberwolves Under 193

The Clippers will be once again without Chris Paul and this isn't a good spot for them, as they played back to back games at Memphis and Houston and now, they had to travel to Minnesota. Therefore, it's normal that the Clippers will show some regression on offense, especially as Minnesota's will have as their gameplan to set this game as a half court game, so Chris Paul will be more missed today than he was in the previous two games. Minnesota's offensive struggles have been tremendous due to their horrible outside shooting and the Clippers's frontcourt defense has been a top 10 team all season long. I expect an ugly game today on a slow paced game, therefore I'll be taking the Under in here.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday January, 17

Greg Shaker

Ind.-Pur.-Indpls +13.5

On Paper this looks pretty ugly but the fact is, this is not a bad spot for the guys from Indy and while they may be hard pressed to get an outright win, they have a very good chance of getting the cover. The Bisons are damn good and the best team in the Summit League IMO. But great teams have letdowns and they often do against squads like they are playing tonight, when they have a Bigger Game ontap next. And oh boy do they have a big game next, against Western Illinois on Saturday. That will determine the conference leader for sure. Bisons most likely sleepwalk thru this one and getting the +13.5 should cover more times than not..

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday January, 17

Jeff Scott Sports

4 UNIT PLAY

Rutgers/ South Florida Under 123.5:  I just don't see this game coming all that close to 120 points. South Florida is 26-10 Under in their last 36 Big East games, while the under is 36-14-1 in Rutgers last 51 home games. USF opened up Big East play with 3 games that averaged just 105 ppg. This is a team that plays at a very slow pace and also plays excellent defense. In their 3 BE games they took on the likes of Louisville and Syracuse and held those two high octane offenses to just 64 and 55 points. For the year the bulls allow just 60.2 ppg on 38.9% shooting overall, including just 58.8 ppg on 39.8% shooting on the road. The Bulls on offense are not that good at all, especially on the road where they have averaged just 53.8 ppg. Rutgers at home averages 72.1 ppg overall, but just 62.5 pg in their 2 BE home games and just 59 ppg in their 4 BE games overall. Defensively the Knights have not been that great (64 ppg at home), but South Florida doesn't pose much of a threat to putting up that kind of number. In the Bulls last 10 games they do have a game that scored 126 points and one that scored 171, but the latter was a 3 OT game and just 122 points were scored in regulation. Other than those two games, the other 8 of USF's last 10 games have seen no more than 121 points scored. Tyhis game should clearly be played in the 50's, with at most 115 points being scored.   

3 UNIT PLAYS

Oregon -3 over USC: Oregon comes in playing very well and are currently 3-0 in the Pac-12, which has included a road win over Oregon State and a home win over Arizona. The Ducks have won 5 in a row SU (4-1 ATS) the last 5 in the series and they are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games on the road, while the Trojans have gone 6-21 ATS in their last 27 road games and 9-24-1 ATS in their last 34 games overall. Both teams have played good defense this year, but the Ducks get a huge edge on offense, where they are averaging 13 ppg more than USC is. The Trojans are very inconsistent as they have a road win over Utah and a home win vs Stanford on their resume, but they also have Home losses vs UC Irvine and Cal, plus a road loss at Georgia as well. The Ducks just have too much momentum and offense to get slowed down by an inconsistent USC squad here.


Citadel +25 over DAVIDSON: Tough spot for Davidson to get up for this one as they will be taking on a Citadel team that has been blasted on the road this year and they have a huge game vs Charleston on deck Saturday. Classic look-a-head spot here. Now last year on this floor Davidson did win by 29 points, but that is the only time in the last 10 meetings overall that the Wildcats won by more than 21 points. In fact in those last 10 meetings Citadel is 7-3 ATS and have pulled 2 outright upsets, while being outscored by just 9.5 ppg overall and 15.8 ppg in their 8 losses. Davidson is 4-1 at home but that only home loss was to the team they have on deck, givings us another reason to think look-a-head. Citadel has been outscored by 31 ppg on the road, but Davidson has only outscored their opponents by 13 ppg at home. The Wildcats may race out to a big lead here, but will relax enough in the second half to all Citadel to get the cover. 


AUSTIN PEAY -5.5 over SIU- Edwardsville:  The Govenors may be 5-13 on the year, but they ave not played all that badly. On this home stand they beat Morehead State in OT and lost by just 3 to Murray State. Prior to that their last 3 road games were all defeats by just 2 points in each. This is a team ready for a big win. SIU is 5-9 on the year, but after pulling a shocker in their 2nd game of the year over Western Illinois, they have won just 1 game vs a Division 1 school. SIU is 0-7 on the road and have been outscored by 12.9 ppg in those games. Austin Peay averages 73.2 ppg at home, while SIU puts up just 57.4 ppg on the road. I just don't see SIU coming up with enough points to keep this one close.


Oregon State/ UCLA Under 152: These teams have played 7 combined Pac-12 games this year and just one of those  games put up 153. Last year these teams put up 171 points, but the previous 9 in the series had averaged just 125.6 ppg, with only one of those games topping 140 points (147). OSU comes in with 3 Pac-12 games under their belt and those games have averaged just 143 ppg. UCLA has played 4 conference games to date and those have averaged just 133.8 ppg. This after UCLA's last 4 non-conf games put up 166.8 ppg. A big reason for the lower scoring games is that they are playing under control on  offense and have played excellent defense, allowing just 63.3 ppg in their last 4 games. OSU has played 1 true road game so far, so the fact that they average 79 ppg on the road holds no water at all. The Beavers have allowed 69.4 ppg on the year, but on just 41.2% shooting, so they can play some defense. Im not expecting a slow paced game, but I do expect the defenses to play good enough to keep this one in the 140's or lower.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday January, 17

Black Widow

Arkansas-Little Rock +15

The Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders are getting too much respect from oddsmakers tonight due to their 14-4 start. This is a quality team, but they should not be favored by 15 over Arkansas-Little Rock (11-8) Thursday. Little Rock is coming off two straight impressive double-digit wins over North Texas (67-53) and Florida international (88-76), yet it still fails to get the respect it deserves from oddsmakers here. Only one of its last six losses have come by more than 15 points, and that was at Cincinnati as a 21-point dog. MTSU is 1-10 ATS (-10.0 Units) in home games after playing 5 consecutive games as favorite since 1997. Little Rock is 8-1 ATS (+6.9 Units) when playing against a good team (Win Pct. 60% to 80%) over the last 2 seasons. The Blue Raiders are 1-7 ATS (-6.7 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season. Take Arkansas-Little Rock and the points.

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