Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday January, 24

Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday January, 24

DUNKEL INDEX

NBA

LA Clippers at Phoenix
The Clippers look to bounce back from their 109-97 loss to Oklahoma City and build on their 7-1 ATS record in their last 8 games after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game. LA is the pick ( -6 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Clippers favored by 9. Dunkel Pick: LA Clippers (-6 1/2)

Game 501-502: Toronto at Orlando (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto 114.179; Orlando 119.045
Dunkel Line & Total: Orlando by 5; 194
Vegas Line & Total: Orlando by 3 1/2; 198 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Orlando (-3 1/2); Under

Game 503-504: New York at Boston (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: New York 118.431; Boston 119.404
Dunkel Line & Total: Boston by 1; 192
Vegas Line & Total: New York by 1 1/2; 188
Dunkel Pick: Boston (+1 1/2); Over

Game 505-506: LA Clippers at Phoenix (10:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Clippers 125.027; Phoenix 115.799
Dunkel Line & Total: LA Clippers by 9; 189
Vegas Line & Total: LA Clippers by 6 1/2; 192 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Clippers (-6 1/2); Under

NHL

Columbus at Colorado
The Blue Jackets look to take advantage of a Colorado team that is 1-5 in its last 6 games when playing with 1 days rest. Columbus is the pick (+160) according to Dunkel, which has the Blue Jackets favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: Columbus (+160)

Game 51-52: NY Islanders at Toronto (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Islanders 12.018; Toronto 10.998
Dunkel Line & Total: NY Islanders by 1; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Toronto (-115); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Islanders (-105); Over

Game 53-54: NY Rangers at Philadelphia (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Rangers 10.643; Philadelphia 11.678
Dunkel Line & Total: Philadelphia by 1; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Philadelphia (-125); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (-125); Under

Game 55-56: Montreal at Washington (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Montreal 11.428; Washington 10.277
Dunkel Line & Total: Montreal by 1; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Washington (-130); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Montreal (+110); Over

Game 57-58: Buffalo at Carolina (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Buffalo 10.653; Carolina 10.849
Dunkel Line & Total: Carolina by 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Carolina (-120); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Carolina (-120); Under

Game 59-60: Ottawa at Florida (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Ottawa 11.069; Florida 11.343
Dunkel Line & Total: Florida by 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Ottawa (-120); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Florida (+100); Under

Game 61-62: Nashville at St. Louis (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Nashville 12.973; St. Louis 12.102
Dunkel Line & Total: Nashville by 1; 6
Vegas Line & Total: St. Louis (-165); 5
Dunkel Pick: Nashville (+145); Over

Game 63-64: Chicago at Dallas (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Chicago 11.934; Dallas 12.032
Dunkel Line & Total: Dallas by 1/2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Chicago (-125); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Dallas (+105); Over

Game 65-66: Columbus at Colorado (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Columbus 12.036; Colorado 10.808
Dunkel Line & Total: Columbus by 1; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Colorado (-180); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Columbus (+160); Under

Game 67-68: Los Angeles at Edmonton (9:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Los Angeles 10.469; Edmonton 11.286
Dunkel Line & Total: Edmonton by 1; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Los Angeles (-125); 5
Dunkel Pick: Edmonton (+105); Over

Game 69-70: Phoenix at San Jose (10:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Phoenix 12.436; San Jose 11.980
Dunkel Line & Total: Phoenix by 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: San Jose (-175); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Phoenix (+155); Under

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NCAAB

Purdue at Michigan
The Wolverines look to take advantage of a Purdue team that is coming off a 79-52 win over West Virginia and is 1-7 ATS in its last 8 games following a SU victory of more than 20 points. Michigan is the pick (-15) according to Dunkel, which has the Wolverines favored by 17. Dunkel Pick: Michigan (-15)

Game 507-508: Tennessee at Mississippi (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tennessee 61.695; Mississippi 75.080
Dunkel Line: Mississippi by 13 1/2; 135
Vegas Line: Mississippi by 8 1/2; 140 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Mississippi (-8 1/2); Under

Game 509-510: VCU at Richmond (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: VCU 72.512; Richmond 61.241
Dunkel Line: VCU by 11 1/2; 144
Vegas Line: VCU by 7 1/2; 138
Dunkel Pick: VCU (-7 1/2); Over

Game 511-512: Purdue at Michigan (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Purdue 62.502; Michigan 79.654
Dunkel Line: Michigan by 17; 131
Vegas Line: Michigan by 15; 134 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Michigan (-15); Under

Game 515-516: Florida Atlantic at AR-Little Rock (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Florida Atlantic 50.786; AR-Little Rock 53.050
Dunkel Line: AR-Little Rock by 2 1/2
Vegas Line: AR-Little Rock by 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Florida Atlantic (+5 1/2)

Game 517-518: Virginia at Virginia Tech (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Virginia 63.454; Virginia Tech 59.820
Dunkel Line: Virginia by 3 1/2
Vegas Line: Virginia by 4 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Virginia Tech (+4 1/2)

Game 519-520: Clemson at Florida State (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Clemson 61.695; Florida State 67.580
Dunkel Line: Florida State by 6
Vegas Line: Florida State by 4 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Florida State (-4 1/2)

Game 521-522: Florida International at UL-Lafayette (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Florida International 51.516; UL-Lafayette 52.748
Dunkel Line: UL-Lafayette by 1
Vegas Line: UL-Lafayette by 2 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Florida International (+2 1/2)

Game 523-524: Middle Tennessee State at North Texas (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Middle Tennessee State 64.849; North Texas 53.529
Dunkel Line: Middle Tennessee State by 11 1/2
Vegas Line: Middle Tennessee State by 9
Dunkel Pick: Middle Tennessee State (-9)

Game 525-526: Western Kentucky at South Alabama (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Western Kentucky 52.871; South Alabama 54.881
Dunkel Line: South Alabama by 2
Vegas Line: South Alabama by 4 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Western Kentucky (+4 1/2)

Game 527-528: Arkansas State at Troy (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Arkansas State 55.820; Troy 48.926
Dunkel Line: Arkansas State by 7
Vegas Line: Arkansas State by 8
Dunkel Pick: Troy (+8)

Game 529-530: California at Utah (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: California 59.893; Utah 57.091
Dunkel Line: California by 3
Vegas Line: California by 1 1/2
Dunkel Pick: California (-1 1/2)

Game 531-532: UCLA at Arizona (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: UCLA 66.481; Arizona 70.858
Dunkel Line: Arizona by 4 1/2; 150
Vegas Line: Arizona by 8 1/2; 147
Dunkel Pick: UCLA (+8 1/2); Over

Game 533-534: Wyoming at UNLV (9:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Wyoming 61.447; UNLV 72.134
Dunkel Line: UNLV by 10 1/2; 123
Vegas Line: UNLV by 8 1/2; 126
Dunkel Pick: UNLV (-8 1/2); Under

Game 535-536: TX-Arlington at Utah State (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: TX-Arlington 50.593; Utah State 60.300
Dunkel Line: Utah State by 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Utah State by 4 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Utah State (-4 1/2)

Game 537-538: Pepperdine at Loyola-Marymount (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pepperdine 48.931; Loyola-Marymount 55.689
Dunkel Line: Loyola-Marymount by 7
Vegas Line: Loyola-Marymount by 5
Dunkel Pick: Loyola-Marymount (-5)

Game 539-540: Stanford at Colorado (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Stanford 62.283; Colorado 67.592
Dunkel Line: Colorado by 5 1/2; 126
Vegas Line: Colorado by 4; 131 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Colorado (-4); Under

Game 541-542: TX-San Antonio at Seattle (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: TX-San Antonio 46.824; Seattle 53.862
Dunkel Line: Seattle by 7
Vegas Line: Seattle by 9
Dunkel Pick: TX-San Antonio (+9)

Game 543-544: Texas State at Idaho (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Texas State 44.688; Idaho 59.551
Dunkel Line: Idaho by 15
Vegas Line: Idaho by 12 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Idaho (-12 1/2)

Game 545-546: San Francisco at Portland (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Francisco 54.904; Portland 53.105
Dunkel Line: San Francisco by 2
Vegas Line: San Francisco by 1
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (-1)

Game 547-548: Hawaii at Cal Poly (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Hawaii 51.823; Cal Poly 54.519
Dunkel Line: Cal Poly by 2 1/2
Vegas Line: Cal Poly by 6
Dunkel Pick: Hawaii (+6)

Game 549-550: Louisiana Tech at San Jose State (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Louisiana Tech 58.623; San Jose State 54.809
Dunkel Line: Louisiana Tech by 4
Vegas Line: Louisiana Tech by 7
Dunkel Pick: San Jose State (+7)

Game 551-552: CS-Fullerton at UC-Davis (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: CS-Fullerton 49.543; UC-Davis 56.586
Dunkel Line: UC-Davis by 7
Vegas Line: UC-Davis by 2 1/2
Dunkel Pick: UC-Davis (-2 1/2)

Game 553-554: UC-Riverside at Pacific (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: UC-Riverside 44.545; Pacific 61.331
Dunkel Line: Pacific by 17
Vegas Line: Pacific by 13 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Pacific (-13 1/2)

Game 555-556: CS-Northridge at UC-Santa Barbara (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: CS-Northridge 47.514; UC-Santa Barbara 55.160
Dunkel Line: UC-Santa Barbara by 7 1/2
Vegas Line: UC-Santa Barbara by 2
Dunkel Pick: UC-Santa Barbara (-2)

Game 557-558: USC at Arizona State (10:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: USC 61.087; Arizona State 65.922
Dunkel Line: Arizona State by 5
Vegas Line: Arizona State by 3 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Arizona State (-3 1/2)

Game 559-560: BYU at Gonzaga (11:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: BYU 68.348; Gonzaga 73.399
Dunkel Line: Gonzaga by 5; 154
Vegas Line: Gonzaga by 9 1/2; 148
Dunkel Pick: BYU (+9 1/2); Over

Game 561-562: San Diego at St. Mary's (11:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Diego 55.408; St. Mary's 70.320
Dunkel Line: St. Mary's by 15
Vegas Line: St. Mary's by 13 1/2
Dunkel Pick: St. Mary's (-13 1/2)

Game 563-564: Furman at Wofford (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Furman 43.707; Wofford 55.341
Dunkel Line: Wofford by 11 1/2
Vegas Line: Wofford by 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Wofford (-7 1/2)

Game 565-566: Chattanooga at Elon (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Chattanooga 44.474; Elon 54.970
Dunkel Line: Elon by 10
Vegas Line: Elon by 12
Dunkel Pick: Chattanooga (+12)

Game 567-568: Davidson at Western Carolina (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Davidson 57.857; Western Carolina 48.959
Dunkel Line: Davidson by 9
Vegas Line: Davidson by 7
Dunkel Pick: Davidson (-7)

Game 569-570: Georgia Southern at Appalachian State (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Georgia Southern 50.343; Appalachian State 52.423
Dunkel Line: Appalachian State by 2
Vegas Line: Appalachian State by 8
Dunkel Pick: Georgia Southern (+8)

Game 571-572: Tennessee State at Eastern Kentucky (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tennessee State 54.655; Eastern Kentucky 61.375
Dunkel Line: Eastern Kentucky by 6 1/2
Vegas Line: Eastern Kentucky by 5
Dunkel Pick: Eastern Kentucky (-5)

Game 573-574: IUPUI at Oakland (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: IUPUI 41.796; Oakland 51.233
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Oakland by 13 1/2
Dunkel Pick: IUPUI (+13 1/2)

Game 575-576: Western Illinois at IPFW (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Western Illinois 51.999; IPFW 50.411
Dunkel Line: Western Illinois by 1 1/2
Vegas Line: Western Illinois by 3 1/2
Dunkel Pick: IPFW (+3 1/2)

Game 577-578: Marist at Fairfield (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Marist 46.014; Fairfield 57.436
Dunkel Line: Fairfield by 11 1/2
Vegas Line: Fairfield by 13
Dunkel Pick: Marist (+13)

Game 579-580: Samford at NC-Greensboro (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Samford 44.015; NC-Greensboro 51.301
Dunkel Line: NC-Greensboro by 7 1/2
Vegas Line: NC-Greensboro by 4 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NC-Greensboro (-4 1/2)

Game 581-582: Belmont at Morehead State (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Belmont 68.054; Morehead State 52.732
Dunkel Line: Belmont by 15 1/2
Vegas Line: Belmont by 10
Dunkel Pick: Belmont (-10)

Game 583-584: The Citadel at College of Charleston (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: The Citadel 35.259; College of Charleston 54.458
Dunkel Line: College of Charleston by 19
Vegas Line: College of Charleston by 16
Dunkel Pick: College of Charleston (-16)

Game 585-586: NE-Omaha at South Dakota (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NE-Omaha 40.167; South Dakota 51.269
Dunkel Line: South Dakota by 11
Vegas Line: South Dakota by 14
Dunkel Pick: NE-Omaha (+14)

Game 587-588: SE Missouri State at SIU-Edwardsville (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: SE Missouri State 44.583; SIU-Edwardsville 49.051
Dunkel Line: SIU-Edwardsville by 4 1/2
Vegas Line: SIU-Edwardsville by 1 1/2
Dunkel Pick: SIU-Edwardsville (-1 1/2)

Game 589-590: Murray State at Tennessee Tech (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Murray State 52.947; Tennessee Tech 46.798
Dunkel Line: Murray State by 6; 144
Vegas Line: Murray State by 7 1/2; 138
Dunkel Pick: Tennessee Tech (+7 1/2); Over

Game 591-592: Austin Peay at Jacksonville State (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Austin Peay 41.302; Jacksonville State 49.205
Dunkel Line: Jacksonville State by 8
Vegas Line: Jacksonville State by 10 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Austin Peay (+10 1/2)

Game 593-594: Tennessee-Martin at Eastern Illinois (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tennessee-Martin 38.491; Eastern Illinois 42.434
Dunkel Line: Eastern Illinois by 4
Vegas Line: Eastern Illinois by 6
Dunkel Pick: Tennessee-Martin (+6)

Game 595-596: Northern Colorado at Northern Arizona (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Northern Colorado 41.111; Northern Arizona 46.448
Dunkel Line: Northern Arizona by 5 1/2; 137
Vegas Line: Northern Arizona by 3; 142
Dunkel Pick: Northern Arizona (-3); Under

Game 597-598: Portland State at Southern Utah (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Portland State 44.384; Southern Utah 48.969
Dunkel Line: Southern Utah by 4 1/2
Vegas Line: Southern Utah by 3
Dunkel Pick: Southern Utah (-3)

Game 599-600: Idaho State at Montana (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Idaho State 42.082; Montana 53.377
Dunkel Line: Montana by 11 1/2
Vegas Line: Montana by 14 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Idaho State (+14 1/2)

Game 601-602: Weber State at Montana State (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Weber State 58.353; Montana State 48.818
Dunkel Line: Weber State by 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Weber State by 8
Dunkel Pick: Weber State (-8)

Game 603-604: North Dakota at Sacramento State (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: North Dakota 44.950; Sacramento State 48.539
Dunkel Line: Sacramento State by 3 1/2
Vegas Line: Sacramento State by 5
Dunkel Pick: North Dakota (+5)

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday January, 24

Ben BurnsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Toronto vs. Orlando
Pick: OrlandoFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Raptors came through for us with a cover yesterday. However, that doesn't mean that we need to show them any loyalty today.

Yesterday, I noted that the Raptors had been "competitive" nearly every time that they played and that I felt the double-digit spread would prove to be too high.
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Sure enough, they played the Heat tough the entire way ...

In fact, the Raptors led most of the game and took the champs all the way to OT. The Heat would take over in the extra frame, en route to a 7-point victory.
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Keep in mind that being "competitive" is different than actually winning. The Raptors are still 4-18 away from Toronto. They no longer have the luxury of working with double-digits at the betting window.

I have successfully played on the Raptors when they've played the second of back-to-back games a few times this season. So, some of you may recall that I've mentioned that they've fared well in that situation.
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It is true that Toronto has played well in the second of b2b games. They even blew out the Magic, here at Orlando in late December, after having played the previous day.

Looking back at that 12/29 game and we find that the Magic were also playing the second of back-to-back games. That's not the case here, as Orlando comes in with rest.
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A closer look reveals that the majority of Toronto's "b2b success" has come when the Raptors have played at home. Prior to the Orlando victory, the Raptors were actually 0-3 SU and 1-2 ATS the previous three times that they played on the road, when playing the second of b2b games.

I also believe that its important to remember that not all back-to-back spots are equal. A heart-breaking OT loss against the defending world champs tends to take a little more out of a team than most "normal" games.
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The Magic are playing with "triple-revenge," as the Raptors have beaten them in all three meetings this season. Also trying to snap a losing streak, they should have no shortage of motivation.

I actually played against the Magic in their last game, so I was happy to see them lose by 15 at Detroit. Off that loss, however, it should be noted that they're 6-2 ATS when off a double-digit defeat.
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I expect the revenge-minded Magic to rise to the occasion with their best effort tonight. With the schedule and venue in their favor, I feel there's a good chance that'll lead to a win and cover. Take a look at Orlando.

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Bryan PowerFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Tennessee vs. Mississippi
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There is no doubt that in his third year at Oxford, Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy has his most talented team.  At 4-0 in SEC play, the Rebels rank third in the country in scoring (82.4 PPG) and are looking great.  But the reality of the matter is that the SEC is in a down year and who have the Rebels really beaten? They have yet play either Kentucky or Florida. I think we have an overlay tonight.
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One team Mississippi has beaten is Tennessee, who they will meet again tonight. On January 9th, these teams met for the 1st time and the Rebels embarrassed the Vols in Knoxville, winning 92-74 as a slight dog. Ole Miss didn't even shoot particularly well, but it bears mentioning they attempted 44 free throws, making 38 of them. Meanwhile, Tennessee shot poorly, making only 38.5% of all attempts.
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Word is that several Volunteers players were unhappy with some of the theatrics of Mississippi guard Marshall Henderson, who went for a career high 32 points two weeks ago. They'll definitely be out for revenge Thursday night on the road.  The RPI suggests Ole Miss is overrated as the come in ranked just 32 according to that particular metric.  Tennessee is off a confidence-building victory at home vs Mississippi State, 72-57, on Saturday.  Prior to that, they'd lost four in a row, including losses to Alabama and Kentucky by a combined 13 points. They also fell by just five to Memphis during that stretch.  Look for the road team to come through here plus the points.

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Bruce MarshallFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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UC Riverside vs. Pacific
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There are many pointspread nuggets to be uncovered each season in the mid-major ranks.  One such can be found at the moment in the Big West, where Bob Thomason's UOP Tigers have quietly won 4 of their last 5 straight up and have covered 5 of their last 6 on the board. Helped by Big West-best 47% FG shooting, UOP is providing lots of spread value in vet HC Thomason’s last trip around the track, with a balanced offense featuring capable three-point shooters at every position (save for C Khalil Kelley, who works within his limited shooting range around the bucket) and a capable bench illustrated by a ten-man rotation that keeps everyone fresh.  Meanwhile, UCR’s offensive limitations (Highlanders hard-pressed to reach 60 points most nights) make it difficult for Jim Woolridge’s bunch to make up ground when falling behind.  And status of key G Robert Smith (personal matters) remains up in the air.

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L.A. Clippers vs. Phoenix
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At last check the Clippers have suffered back-to-back losses, including a 12-point loss to the Thunder on Tuesday. Their 4-10 SU and ATS mark after meeting OKC suggests they should hit the Valley of the Sun flatter than one of Lance Armstrong's tires these days. Nonetheless, the Clips are a paper-like 19-63 SU and 31-50-1 ATS away on Thursdays and 0-10 SU and 3-7 ATS in their last 10 visits to Phoenix before their 103-77 setting of the Suns in this building earlier this season. In fact, that was the second double-digit beating that the Clippers have handed the Suns this year (also topped them 117-99 two weeks prior to that in the Staples Center). However we're not about to lay this healthy number on the road in this Tour de Phoenix. Like Lance, we'll take the points and 'Livestrong.' We recommend a 1-unit play on Phoenix.

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Phoenix vs. San Jose
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What to expect: These two teams have combined to post a 4-0-1 o/u record this season, but I expect a different story to unfold in the Shark Tank on Thursday. Phoenix will look to turn this one into a grinder after skating to a 5-1 win over Columbus on home ice last night. The 'Yotes lost goaltender Mike Smith to a lower body injury in that game, meaning we'll likely see Jason LaBarbera between the pipes again on Thursday. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as he's a backup that's been around for a while, and has a lot to prove. With Mike Smith struggling early on, he could earn some additional playing time with a couple of strong showings. The Sharks have been solid between the pipes so far this season, with Antti Niemi shouldering the load. The Sharks will certainly have their guard up tonight after watching the Coyotes score five goals in two periods on Wednesday. In fact, Phoenix has scored 12 goals through its first three games, but I can't help but think some regression is in order as this is by no means a top-level offensive team. After giving up 10 goals in their first two games, we saw the Coyotes show a renewed defensive commmitment last night, allowing only 26 shots on goal. Look for a continuation of that, as they stay fairly conservative against a Sharks squad that has potted 10 goals in only two games. Three of six meetings between these two teams last season produced three goals or less. I'm confident we'll see the winning team held to three goals or less in this spot, and that's enough to cash our ticket.

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New York vs. Boston
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New York is 25-14 SU and 20-18-1 ATS; it's coming off an 88-85 loss to Brooklyn as a 3.5 point favorite on the 21st. The Knicks have lost 13 straight in Boston, including the postseason.
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Boston is 20-21 SU and 14-24-3 ATS; it's coming off four straight losses, including a 95-90 setback at Cleveland as a 5 point favorite on the 22nd.
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One player you'll want to keep your eyes on is Rajon Rondo who is averaging 19.3 points and 13.1 assists in his last seven vs. New York.
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Both teams come into this contest looking for answers after sub-par stretches, and the Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Garnett feud aside, I simply feel the home side is the more "desperate" team as it looks to avoid a season-worst fifth straight defeat.
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I'm expecting the C's to bring their "A" game tonight, and to pull away down the stretch for the comfortable ATS cover!

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Rob VincilettiFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics    
Play: New York KnicksFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Knicks and Carmelo face the Celtics here tonight in a revenge rematch from the Famous Honey Nut Cheerios game on January 7th at Madison Square Garden. For those that do not recall the Knicks lost that game as a 7 point favorite while the Celtics were Without Star point Guard Rajean Rondo. In that game the Celtics frustrated the Knicks and Celtics forward Kevin Garnett and Knicks Forward C. Anthony had to be separated after Garnett made disparaging remakes concerning Carmelos Wife Lala Vazquez, no doubt making insinuations that she reminded him of Honey Nut Cheerios, Use your head here I'm not going to explain it to you. Anthony was visibly rattled and was off with his shooting the whole night before getting suspended later in the evening for waiting for Garnett by the team bus. Over 2 weeks have past and while both players claim to have settled things, tonight big division game will be a a big game for both teams. The Knicks have revenge and will want this one. I suspect they will be all out to get it as well. The Knicks are 13-5 vs losing teams, 7-3 off a favored loss and 5-1 ats off a division game. The Celtics have struggled losing 4 straight and have shot under 40% the last games. The Knicks are the side tonight.

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Dave CokinFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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San Francisco at Portland
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Not a whole lot of eyes figure to be focused on a bland matchup between San Francisco and Portland. But I think there's a right side here, and I'm going to make a case for the Pilots to pick up a win at home. Portland does not have much talent, and they are truly a collection of brick shooters. San Francisco has some talent, but let's just say that if this were baseball, the Dons would be called one of those teams that doesn't like to get the uniforms dirty. Rex Walters is simply not getting the most from his roster and that goes a long way toward explaining why this team has hit the skids in a big way following a nice start to the campaign. Portland has no shot against good teams, but when they drop in class or face a flat opponent, that extra effort can get them some wins. San Francisco wins this on paper. But they're playing on a basketball court and I'd rather give the nod to the home dog that will likely want it more. Portland plus the small spot for the Thursday free play.

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Jim Feist

Knicks at Celtics
Pick: Under

A pair of Atlantic division rivals, which means you will see plenty of defense and intense play. Boston has found its defensive touch the last three weeks, on a 11-4 run under the total. The second seed in the East, New York, has been solid on defense, 10th in the NBA in points allowed and on a 4-1 run under the total. Look for a tough defensive game and a slower pace between these rivals. Play the NY Knicks/Celtics under the total.

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Tony GeorgeFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Mississippi -7.5FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Line climbing here and Ol Miss at home here after beating the Vols back into the woodshed in the last game at Tennessee by 18.  The key here is the Rebels offense which can score points at a torrid pace.  At 82 points per game on the season, Ol Miss has a powerhouse offense against a defense in the Vols that has allowed a whopping 75 ppg their last 5 games.  I also see no way that the Vols offense can trade points on the scoreboard here against a team allowing 57 ppg at home this season.  A repeat of game1 in my opinion and worth the stretch at almost 8 points here.

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SPORTS WAGERSFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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VIRGINIA TECH +169 over Virginia
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One bad stretch that recently saw the Hokies lose five out of six games to Georgia Southern Eagles, Colorado, BYU, Maryland and Boston College has this host wrongly penciled in as the dog here. The Hokies not only lost those games but three of them were by 20 points or more while the Colorado loss was by 36-points. Ugly indeed. However, VT has bounced back with two successive wins against Georgia Tech and Wake to run its ACC record to 2-2. They also had impressive wins earlier against Iowa and Oklahoma State. Va Tech has played a much more difficult schedule than the Cavaliers, ranking 140th compared to Virginia's 255th ranking.
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What have the Cavaliers done to support this billing? They've played five games away from home and have one win. As disturbing as some of the Hokies losses have been, none are more disturbing than Virginia's loss to the 2-16 Old Dominion Monarchs on a neutral floor. Virginia's offense is weak and this poor travelling club will now play its third road game in its last four. Virginia Tech is 8-2 at home and should not be a pooch to this rival. Keep the points. Hokies outright. 
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Ottawa -109 over FLORIDA
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Regulation time. Since getting four goals in the first 17:27 of their season-opening 5-1 victory over Carolina, the Panthers have scored just twice in the following eight periods. This team has very little oomph. None of the Panthers’ top players played overseas during the lockout and only four of the five that did are in the lineup. Florida is 1-2 and was badly outplayed in all three games. Against this vigorous guest, they're likely to be outplayed again.
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With nine players overseas during the lockout, it should come as no surprise that Ottawa is 2-0 after a 4-1 win in Winnipeg and a 4-0 win over these same Panthers on Monday. That's eight goals scored with only one against and no team in the NHL has looked sharper in the early going. It's also worth noting that a lesser talented Senators team has won 11 of the past 12 meetings against Florida and nothing suggests this one will be any different. Assuming that OT and shootouts is a 50/50 proposition, it would only make sense to play favorites in regulation only and to use underdogs with extra time included. We'll take that approach here.
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Montreal +120 over WASHINGTON
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OT included. We'll keep fading the Capitals until the rewards stop. They've gotten off to an 0-2 start, which is no big deal in most cases but in Washington's case it is. They're slower than most teams, they're taking a lot of penalties as a result of being a step behind and Alex Ovechkin is nowhere to be found. Washington has allowed five PP goals in 12 penalty killing opportunities and after allowing 10 goals in its two losses, they will start Michal Neuvirth for the first time this year.
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Montreal looks a whole lot better than advertised. They've allowed just three goals against in two games and could easily be 2-0 instead of 1-1. Rookie GM Marc Bergevin was brought in after he spent several years polishing his craft in the Blackhawks organization and is said to have been very influential in several of the acquisitions of Chicago's high-end talent. Bergevin came in and picked up Brandon Prust and Colby Armstrong, two talented and tough forwards that have already had a positive impact. Montreal has several other players that every team in the NHL would love to get their hands on, not to mention one of the league's premier goalies. The Canadiens are the more spirited and confident team taking back a tag and that definitely works for us.
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EDMONTON +111 over Los Angeles
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OT included. A Stanley Cup hangover is nothing new and the hunger that the Kings showed in last season's stretch and grueling playoffs is just not there yet and there are no signs of it returning. L.A. has scored three goals in two games while allowing eight. Jonathan Quick had off-season surgery and looks like a fraction of the goaltender he was last year. As chalk on the road, against a team that hugely disappointed in its season opener, the Kings have little appeal.
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In Edmonton's home opener in front of a packed and jacked up crowd, the Oilers were down 6-1 at the end of the first period. Call it nerves or call it one of those nights but the good news is that the same kind of thing is unlikely to happen again tonight. Taking a tag at home with this energetic and talented offensive squad against what appears to be a lethargically starting visitor gets our call here.

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Jimmy Boyd

Orlando Magic -3½

Toronto is playing on back-to-back nights and not only that, but they are coming off a very hard fought overtime loss to the Miami Heat. They had that game in hand for most of the way, but allowed Miami to rally back late only to fall in OT. It's going to be tough for this team to bounce back so quickly and play a Magic team that is hungry for a win.

Orlando has lost three straight and also lost three times already this season to Toronto. You can bet the Magic are going to be dialed in and focused tonight so they can pick up the win. Orlando is 18-8 ATS off a double digit loss the last two seasons while Toronto is 173-221 ATS after giving up 105 points or more since 1996.

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Richmond + over Virginia Commonwealth
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Virginia Commonwealth has made a smooth transition to the Atlantic 10 so far with a perfect 4-0 start in league play. On Saturday the Rams won in a blowout in Pittsburgh over Duquesne but that was the first blowout win in conference play as the other three wins all came in fairly tight games. Richmond is just 2-2 in conference play so far but the Spiders won both home games, including putting up 81 points in a 20-point win over Charlotte last weekend, an impressive showing against a very good defense. The losses both came on the road to two of the top teams in the league, LaSalle and Butler. Richmond is 10-1 at home this season with the lone loss coming in a close game with Davidson, a game right after Christmas where a flat effort ensued in part due to big games with Kansas and George Mason in the prior two games. Richmond has been battle tested through a very difficult schedule and the home team has won eight of the last 10 meetings between these nearby squads that are now conference rivals. Last year VCU won by 22 in this match-up at home so this will be a big game for the Spiders while the Rams could get caught looking ahead to a big game with LaSalle coming up on Saturday. These teams have very similar statistics despite VCU having the superior record and Richmond is the better 3-point shooting team and the superior free throw shooting team. Defensively the Spiders have been very stingy in home games and it is hard to see VCU pulling away in this match-up in what should be a fired up home setting for Richmond. Richmond is just 4-12 ATS this season as the Spiders have underachieved a bit so far this season but this is a team that will be well suited to the underdog role and value is with the home team in this rivalry.

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WunderdogFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Tennessee at Mississippi
Pick: Tennessee +8.5FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Ole Miss Rebels have been a big surprise in the early going. They play host to Tennessee and put their 15-2 overall mark, and their perfect 10-0 home ledger on the line. The Volunteers are a misleading 9-7 on the season. They are 0-4 on the road, and are facing an unbeaten home team. It would certainly be easy to discount their chances here, but a closer look shows otherwise. Tennessee lost on the road to Kentucky by just 10, Alabama by just 3, Memphis by just 5, and Georgetown by just a single point, so they have been highly competitive on the road. They also own wins vs. Wichita State, and Xavier, so this team is clearly under the radar. Take the points and play on Tennessee.

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Rob VenoFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Virginia at Virginia TechFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Virginia TechFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Although the early money has come in support of Virginia, not sure I share that same enthusiasm. UVA on the road has not been a bankroll builder thus far as they failed outright as -5 at Wake Forest and were dismantled by 15 at Clemson. Their exceptional prowess on defense is fiercely combatted by their one trick pony offense. Virginia’s pedestrian attack which has little in the way of penetrating rim attackers and inside post presence depends much too heavily on three point shooting. That long range success has not traveled with them in ACC play shooting less than 30% in each of their road games. With no other matchup being problematic, expect Virginia Tech to focus on defending the arc here. Offensively the Hokies will likely find the going tough but they have the best scorer on the floor in senior guard Erick Greene (24.6 ppg). Coleman Coliseum will provide a raucous environment tonight and Tech has either won or stayed within this 5.5 point number in five of the last six meetings. Spot looks right for a play on the underdog.

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Teddy CoversFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Cal State Northridge at UC Santa Barbara
Recommendation: Santa BarbaraFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Cal State Northridge got off to a 6-0 start this year, all against lined, DI opponents.  It didn’t end there.  The Matadors hung tough with BYU in Provo and won SU at Utah and put together a furious rally to nearly upset a solid Hawaii team in Honolulu in their conference opener.  Then the bottom dropped out.
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Northridge has opened up Big West play by losing each of their first seven games.  Their last pointspread cover came in that aforementioned loss at Hawaii, dropping each of their last six games ATS as well; consistently overvalued by the betting markets after that hot start.
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The Matadors have two major weaknesses. First, they are as young as any team in all of DI basketball.  Head coach Bobby Braswell: “Our young guys are going through a stretch that has been very difficult. The freshmen are struggling a bit. Their numbers are going down. It's the rigors of a long season. We warned them this would happen.”
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Northridge’s second weakness is their defense, or lack thereof.  In conference play, the Matadors are allowing a whopping 60% shooting from the floor from two-point range, unable to protect the rim at all.  They aren’t defending the three point line much better, allowing 45% shooting from beyond the arc in their last five ballgames.  These are ‘off-the-charts-bad’ defensive numbers, a troubling sign when the head coach is telling us that his team is already really worn down.
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UC Santa Barbara will play without their best player, leading scorer and rebounder Alan Williams tonight – hence the very low pointspread.  But the team gutted out a double OT win against Cal Poly after Williams got hurt in their last game; getting step-up performances from Kyle Boswell, Taran Brown, Nate Garth and Mike Bryson.  Expect another ‘gut-it-out’ win from the home team tonight against a free-falling foe.

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Dave EsslerFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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W.Carolina +7.5FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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This one's fairly simple. Davidson is quite capable here, but Western took a beating from them last season and then proceeded to take them to double-overtime in the SoCon Finals last year, so they do know they can play with Davidson. Davidson will make their living from behind the arc, but honestly we like to fade these types of teams on the road. Western is one of the better perimeter defending teams in the nation, and they HAVE done it against a pretty good non-conference schedule. Davidson got a little pissy at home after the loss in Statesboro to Georgia Southern, but now back on the road that loss may be a distant memory. Davidson's defense is simply not that solid that they can keep the Catamounts from scoring, so I simply don't expect anything other than a tight game all night. I see that you can now get an even better number, which is always a good thing.

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GoodFellaFOR THE FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Boston Celtics +1.5FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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You will hear repeatedly about the "revenge" the NYK have for this game tonight.........Both of these teams are struggling of late, as the NYK have dropped 4 of 6 SU and clearly miss the floor leader in PG Ray Felton, who is having an outstanding season (thanks for nothing last year in Portland Raymond.....) Anyways, the facts is that the Knicks have dropped 13 straight games at Boston coming into tonight. We're getting great line value on Boston IMO, due to their "4 game losing streak", and I absolutely expect one of their most focused games of the season tonight. I look for Rondo to go off tonight, as the NYK really do not have anyone to stay with him. Bottom line for me is I am all over the Celts as a HOME DOG tonight, in this spot, and I have them winning the game outright by couple baskets.

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