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Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday January, 26

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday January, 26

Robert Ferringo

Iowa State (-5) over Kansas State

This is a massive letdown spot for Kansas State. They just went toe-to-toe at home with in-state rival Kansas and came up short. Now they need to go into a hornet's nest in Ames and face a very feisty Cyclones team. Kansas State has only played three true road games all season (four if you count the Gonzaga game), and they haven't performed very well. They were blasted by Gonzaga and barely beat GW and West Virginia, neither of whom is as good as Iowa State. The Cyclones have only lost one game since Dec. 8, and that was an overtime loss in Lawrence against Kansas. Iowa State is undefeated at home this year, and they are going to be infinitely more excited about knocking off a Top-15 team than that Top-15 team is going to be to face Iowa State.

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PHILADELPHIA (+3) over NY KnicksFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Classic sandwich spot for the Knicks, who are coming off a gratifying road win over rival Boston on Thursday night and have a date with the surprising Atlanta Hawks on deck. Meanwhile, the 76ers will be fully focused on this one since they got drilled by the Knicks in two games during a back-to-back series in November and will be looking for revenge. Philly is also 11-4 ATS the last three years when cast as a home dog of three point or less. Take the points!

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Ohio University Bobcats at Kent State Golden Flashes
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The (14-5) Ohio University bobcats of the MAC East division will take on the (11-8) Kent State Golden Flashes also of the MAC East division in 2013 NCAA Basketball action. Ohio University is only 2-7 Against The spread their last 9 vs. The MAC. The Bobcats are 4-2 their last 6 ATS vs. Kent State. Kenst State has lost their last 2 both straight up and ATS, but the Flashes will be ready for this one. Kent State gets the home cover.

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Maryland +12 over DUKEFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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While most people will shy away from betting against Duke following a humiliating defeat, history tells us otherwise. Backing Duke after a straight up loss against an ACC rival has been a bankroll killer over the years and this one is likely to follow that trend. Three of the Blue Devils’ top scorers went 1-29 from the floor against Miami's high ranked defense and that's significant because aside from the obvious concern with that shooting stat, the Terrapins rank #2 in the country in FG % allowed.
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The Terps will not only play physically but they will slow this game down to a crawl and that's something the Blue Devils are rarely comfortable with. Maryland has not lost by this margin to anyone all season long and that includes a 7-point loss to Miami. This is the type of game that could punch their ticket to the dance should they be on the bubble come March. Once again you will be paying a premium to wager on the #1 ranked team in the nation but the double-digits being offered makes the visitor the clear choice here. 
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IOWA STATE -4 over Kansas StateFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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If you happened to catch that K-State/Kansas battle then you are quite aware of the emotional roller coaster ride that took place throughout. That game was a battle right to the end and the Wildcats came up just short in a demoralizing loss. You could see it on their faces as they walked off the court and asking them to bounce back on the road in the very next game is a tall task indeed.
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There's even better news. Iowa State is coming off a humbling loss at Texas Tech in a game in which they were favored by 10½. That can't be sitting well with them and a response is likely. The Cyclones are averaging 79 points per game at home this season, where they have yet to lose. The result of each team’s last game has influenced this number to one that we can certainly take advantage of. Look for Iowa State to win this one handily.
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Oklahoma +13½ over KANSASFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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This is a great time of year to be looking strongly at some live dogs because football season is done and the betting sector now has to look at alternatives. These highly popular and ranked teams are usually overpriced and we find another example of it here. The Jayhawks are ranked #3 in the country. They seldom lose in Lawrence, where the most passionate fans in the nation pack the house for every game. However, Kansas is coming off that intense, hard-fought win over in-state rival, K-State. It is just so difficult for these kids to match the same intensity and emotions in back-to-back ball games. We witness it time and time again, with most recent example being Syracuse's narrow win over Cincinnati after that huge win over then #1 Louisville.
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The Sooners were crushed here last season. This year's Sooners are unlike that one. When they faced Kansas last year, they were playing out their schedule. This time around, Oklahoma is playing with confidence, they're relevant again and they're also playing for a piece of first place in the Big-12. OU is not on the same level as Kansas in terms of talent but they're taking back big points in a strong situational spot and that commonly gets the money.

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Quinton Jackson +290 over Glover TeixeiraFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The highly touted newcomer faces off against the veteran on his way out. Facing his first big name opponent, the UFC would love nothing more than for Glover Teixeira to defeat Quinton Jackson and further establish himself in the light heavyweight division. But beating the man known as “Rampage” is not an easy task. Jackson would love to keep this fight standing and certainly has the wrestling capable of doing that. The problem with him lately has seemingly been a lack of motivation or distractions outside of the octagon. Those fears are now gone, as Jackson has looked healthier and more motivated than he has in a long time. Being the last fight on his UFC contract, nothing would help Rampage more than a victory. Also, nothing would please Jackson more than messing up the UFC’s plans while doing so.
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While Teixeira has looked impressive and definitely has the ability to win this fight, he has shown that he can get careless in his exchanges, leaving openings for his opponent to tag him and making a mistake like that against a striker like Jackson can prove costly. We are banking on Jackson being the hungrier, more aggressive fighter and goading Teixeira into a boxing match where Jackson has the advantage. At the price that he is being offered it is definitely an investment worth making.

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Dr. Bob

Saturday Daytime College Opinions

SOUTH FLORIDA (+4 ½) over Notre Dame

Notre Dame has been a streaky team under coach Mike Brey and right now the Irish are not playing well, winning just 1 of their last 4 games while going 0-4 ATS. Notre Dame is only 24-52-5 ATS as a favorite following a loss under coach Brey, including 11-33-5 ATS as a conference favorite after a conference loss. South Florida is once again a good defensive team and the Bulls’ normally inconsistent offense should perform at a decent level against a Notre Dame that is just average defensively on a national scale. My ratings favor Notre Dame by 3 points, so there is some line value to go along with the team trend. I’ll lean with USF at +4 or more.

OKLAHOMA STATE (-9 ½) over West Virginia

Oklahoma State is a team that tends to beat up on the teams that they are supposed to beat while struggling against other good teams. In 5 seasons under coach Travis Ford the Cowboys are 45-17-4 ATS as a favorite and only 24-40-2 ATS as an underdog or pick. Oklahoma State’s sweet spot is as a favorite from 3 to 10 ½ points (25-4-2 ATS) and West Virginia has had trouble against good teams this season and the Mountaineers, who are coming off an easy 21 point win over TCU, are not as good after a win as they’ve been after a loss under coach Bobby Huggins. Huggins’ teams have always been good after a loss but West Virginia is just 24-39-2 ATS in conference games after a victory under Huggins, including 3-13-1 ATS recently. My ratings favor Oklahoma State by 12 points with the standard letdown factor included. However, the Cowboys don’t letdown against lesser teams, they play better. I’ll lean with Oklahoma State at -10 or less and I’d take Oklahoma State a 2-Star Best Bet at -9 or less.

Boston College (+9) over VIRGINIA

Boston College is just 1-4 in ACC play but all 4 of those losses were by 5 points or fewer and Steve Donahue’s teams is 4-0 ATS as a conference dog of 3 points or more. Donahue’s teams have always been good as a dog and especially on the road. In fact, Donahue’s career record (at Cornell prior to coming to BC in 2010) on the road is now 84-46-3 ATS, including 18-7 ATS with BC. Donahue is 45-18 ATS in road games following a loss and his Eagles are 11-1 ATS as an ACC road dog of more than 8 points. Virginia is also blessed with a very good head coach in Tony Bennett, but Bennett is at his best when he has time to prepare for an opponent. Virginia is 52-37-1 ATS in all regular season games under Bennett, but the Cavaliers are 32-12 ATS if Bennett has had 3 or more days off between games to prepare and only 20-25-1 ATS with 2 or fewer days to prepare, including 8-16-1 ATS in ACC play (1-7-1 ATS since the beginning of last season). My ratings favor Virginia by only 7 ½ points and I’ll lean with the Eagles based on the coaching trends. I’d take Boston College in a 2-Star Best Bet at +10 points or more.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday January, 26

John Ryan

Tennessee Martinsville at SIU-Edwardsville
Play: Tennessee Martinsville

The simulator shows a high probability that (TM) will lose this game by fewer than five points. I like playing these dogs as a combination bet using an 8* amount on the line and a 2* amount using the money line. Supporting this graded play is a proven system posting a 31-11 ATS mark good for 74% winners since 2006. Play against a home team (SIUE) that is an average defensive team allowing 42.5 to 45% shooting and is now facing a struggling defensive team allowing 45 to 47.5% shooting after 15+ games and in a game involving two average ball handling teams committing between 14.5 and 17.5 turnovers per game. SIUE plays a grinding methodical ?old school? style of game and this plays to the strengths of (TM). One thing that is absolutely required in defending a team like SIUE is patience on both ends of the court and this is something I see bing a strength of (TM) as they are a solid 15-4 ATS (+10.6 Units) versus slow-down teams averaging 53 or less shots/game over the last 3 seasons. Take Tennessee Martin.

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Nashville -104 over ANAHEIMFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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OT included. No team in the NHL gets less press than these Predators and with just one win in four tries, they're the NHL's most undervalued team right now. The loss of Ryan Suter via free agency adds to their lack of appeal but we're not buying any of that. They still have Shea Weber. They picked up a talent in Paul Gaustad and he'll be back in the lineup tonight after missing the last three games. Nashville has toughness, speed, great defense, solid goaltending and when it's all said and done, they're very likely going to be near the top of the standings again. They also play strongly on these West Coast swings, having posted a winning record in each of the last three years to Western USA.
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The Ducks opening night 7-3 win in Vancouver instantly put them on most people's radar. They followed that up with a 5-4 road win in Calgary and returned home last night where the Canucks avenged that season opener with a resounding 5-0 victory. The Ducks nearly blew a 3-0 lead to Calgary, they've allowed 12 goals against in three games and have been outplayed in their last two. Sloppy play in their own end cost them plenty last year and it appears that hasn't been rectified. Against the methodical and relentless forechecking of the Preds, it's likely going to cost them again.
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Edmonton/CALGARY Over 5½FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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A week into the season and anyone that has watched a lot of games can't help but notice the inordinate increase in penalties being called. Not only are more being called but they're being called in succession, overlapping the first call and creating more 5 on 3's than ever. These are not isolated incidents. This is occurring in just about every game. There's been an average of 14 penalties a game. That's nearly half the game being played on the power-play. The linesmakers haven't adjusted yet and it's something we'll look to take advantage of.
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Three or four games in and players are getting their legs under them and getting used to playing with one another again. The Oilers are a big offensive threat. After playing the strong defenses of Vancouver, San Jose and Los Angeles, that strong firepower is likely to be on full display here. Defensively, they're a young and mistake prone team that gives up far too many scoring chances. Calgary netted four against a similar styled Ducks squad and it wouldn't surprise to see a similar output here. This one could go over early.

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New York Knicks vs. Philadelphia 76ers    
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Tough spot here for the Knicks who have had a trying schedule as of late. A trip to London to play the Pistons followed by an in-state showdown with Brooklyn and hated rival Boston. The prior two games both going down to the wire. Now New York takes on a struggling Philadelphia team in which it beat by 12 and 16 point margins in the only two meetings this season. But the most important reason we will go against New York here is that Raymond Felton is returning to the lineup. He's missed the past 12 games and it takes time for any key player to adjust himself back into the lineup, especially the point guard. Philadelphia has played 4 of 5 games at home and they start an eight game home stand here. They are well rested having had the previous three days off and primed to get back into the playoff discussion.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday January, 26

Dave Price

Sacramento Kings +13

I expect Denver to be complacent this evening. It has had two days off and will be looking right past a Kings team it defeated by 25 points last month and ahead to Monday's matchup with the Pacers. This will be the Kings third game in 4 days but I believe oddsmakers have overfigured their lack of rest into this line. Consider that underdogs of 10 or more points that have failed to cover the spread in 8 or more of their last 10 games, provided they are playing their 3rd game in 4 days, are 55-24 ATS since 1996. Teams fitting into this situation have been underdogs of 12.6 points on average but have lost by just 9.7 points on average. Take the points.

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Jeff Alexander

Washington Wizards +2

Look for the Wizards to add to their 9-0 ATS run. The Bulls check in off a blowout win and cover against the Warriors last night but are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following an ATS win and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games following a win of more than 10 points. The Wizards are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 home games, 5-0 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning road record and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games when playing without a day of rest. With Derrick Rose still out and Luol Deng likely to miss with a hamstring injury, the Bulls will be lacking some scoring punch. The Washington offense has been playing well since the return of John Wall and I expect him to be a handful for the Bulls this evening.

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Dennis MacklinFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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LaSalle Explorers +11FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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We're going to grab double-digit points with a fundamentally sound LaSalle Explorers outfit that gets excellent guard play. You have to take care of the ball against a VCU team that leads the nation in creating turnovers taking the ball away 29.6% of opposing possessions and that's exactly what we get in LaSalle. This is not the greatest spot for the Rams who had their hearts torn out in their last, losing for the first time since Thanksgiving. In that game vs cross-town rival Richmond, VCU led by seven with :40 seconds left before eventually falling in overtime to the red-hot shooting Spiders. LaSalle has struggled somewhat on the road going 4-4 (2-4 ATS) but is coming off a huge home gut check win over Butler in their last where they could have folded their tents several times but found a way to win. Thinking that LaSalle will play their normal disciplined take care of the ball game while Shaka and his troops will be satisfied to just get back in the win column. VCU probably wins this game but not by the way we keep score. Take LaSalle.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday January, 26

Jeff Scott Sports

POWER ANGLE OF THE DAY--- I didn't make a play on this game but I found a solid Angle I thought i would pass along, courtesy of the Playbook Basketball newsletter. The Rice Owls are 11-38-1 ATS in SU losses vs a team they beat twice the year before. Rice is at Tulane today. 

4 UNIT PLAY

Northwestern/ Nebraska over 115.5:  Both of these teams play at a slow pace, but I still expect this one to hit the 120"s at least. Northwestern's road games this year have averaged 127.6 ppg and all three of the conference road games this year have put up at least 120 points. The Cats have averaged 65.8 ppg on the road this year, while Nebraska has allowed 65.6 ppg in their last 5 games overall, including 68 ppg in their last 2 home games vs the big 10. Nebraska home games this year have averaged 115.1 ppg, but their last 2 conference home games have put up 121+ points. Nebraska doe struggle to score (57.5 ppg at home), but the Cats have allowed 61.8 ppg on the road. I see this as a close physical game that should also lead to allot of FT's and that should put us over the top in the end. I clearly expect this one in the 120's. 

3 UNIT PLAYS

Georgia State +7 over DREXEL: The Dragons come in having won 2 in a row, but those were on the road and this team has struggled at home. The Dragons are 1-5 SU at home and have now gone 1-7 ATS in their last 8 home games, plus they are just 5-16 ATS in their last 21 games overall. Today Drexel is playing a fired up Panther squad that has won 4 in a row and is looking for revenge for a 17 home loss to the Dragons earlier in the year. The Panthers are rolling on offense right now as they have averaged 75.6 ppg in their last 5 games, while the Dragons have struggled to score, putting up just 56.2 ppg on 38% shooting over that same span and those last 5 games includes an OT game. Drexel is 4-13 ATS overall this year and that should go to 4-14 as the Panthers are playing too well right now to lose big.

North Carolina +5 over NC STATE: The Heels are starting to play much better as they have won 3 in a row, and are trying to fight their way back into the top 25. On the other side NC State seems to be headed the other way. After they beat Duke they have gone 1-2, which includes a 1 points loss at Maryland, a 4 point home win over Clemson and a shocking 2 point road to Wake Forest. This is not a team playing all that well right now and facing a team you've lost 13 in a row outright to may not be the best medicine for them to get back on track. The Road team is 7-3 ATS the last 10 and I will glad take the points with the more desperate  team that is playing better at the moment. Look for an outright Heels win here.

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Ohio vs. Kent
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There have been few home courts that have been as good to this bureau over the years as the MAC Center of Kent St. Yet my allegiance is to winning money for you, not following history. The previous three years, Kent was 38-7 SU in this fortress. And in the last 22 years, the Golden Flashes have recorded a mark of 81-38 ATS home to -9 in con play. But this is a rebuilding year for 2nd year HC Senderoff. He has just one RS, lost 6/8 top scorers, and has 4 frosh and 3 transfers. As a result, this season the Flashes are 6-5 SU on this court, 1-6 ATS. Including 0-2 SUATS in league, with losses by 12 to Toledo and 4 to Akron. Enter Ohio U who looks to keep pace with Akron, as each are an undefeated 5-0 in league play. Interesting sidelight to the game, is the fact that 1st year Ohio HC Christian was head man at Kent for 6 years (crafting much of their positive home court record), before his interim job at TCU. In returning to Ohio, he inherited the Bobcats top nine returning scorers from an NCAA team lead by strong guard play of veterans Cooper and Offutt.. The Bobcats are again in the mix for an NCAA bid. Look for the better team to get the victory on a home court which is quickly declining in strength.

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Minnesota + over WisconsinFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Minnesota enters this game in a desperate situation after three consecutive losses have bounced the Gophers from the top 10. Minnesota shot just 33 percent in the game against Northwestern earlier this week and somehow lost despite a 42-23 rebound edge. Very poor shooting, especially at the free throw line for the Gophers led to the upset loss as Northwestern had nearly twice as many attempts at the line. Minnesota is still one of the top teams in the conference and the Gophers will face off against a Wisconsin team that has dropped back-to-back close games. Off the huge win over Indiana, Wisconsin fell to Iowa and then played terribly in a narrow loss to Michigan State back at home. Wisconsin is just 6-11 ATS this season as this is a team that has not been as good as past units under Bo Ryan and this team can be often overvalued for a strong home court that has not been as tough as it used to be. The Badgers have lost twice at home already this year and Minnesota will not be thrown off by the more deliberate pace that the Badgers employ. Minnesota is one of the best rebounding teams in the nation and Wisconsin won't enjoy the inside edge it often holds and the guard play for the Gophers should be superior. Two of Minnesota's losses came against top 10 teams Indiana and Michigan in games where they fell behind early, that will be a point of emphasis for this squad and Minnesota has been a great road performer, covering in 10 of the last 11 road contests while the Badgers have been on a recent ATS slide, dropping seven of the last 10. Wisconsin is short-handed right now with Frank Kaminsky out of action and the flu going around, impacting George Marshall and possibly others. The Badgers are also one of the worst free throw shooting teams in the nation, a weakness that will continue to burn them in these tight Big Ten affairs.

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NHL Predictions

Avalanche / Sharks Under 5.5

The Avalanche enter this afternoon game in San Jose with a 2-1 record, beating Columbus and Los Angeles at home and losing to Minnesota on the road. The Sharks are 3-0 to start the year with wins over Calgary and Edmonton on the road and Phoenix at home. Semyon Varlamov will get the start for Colorado and he is 2-1 on the season with a 1.68 GAA and .948 SV%. Antti Niemi is probable today for the Sharks, although not confirmed for the start of a back to back, but he is 3-0 with a 2.34 GAA and .927 SV%. Although these two teams went over the total in 3 of their 4 meetings last season, the UNDER is still 10-4 in their last 14 meetings in San Jose. The UNDER is 20-9-9 in the Avalanche last 38 vs Western Conference opponents. Both teams are riding hot goalies right now and I expect this one to stay UNDER 5.5 goals.


Chicago Blackhawks -152

Chicago is probably the hottest team in the NHL starting off 4-0 and 3-0 on the road. The Blackhawks have beaten Los Angeles, Phoenix, St Louis, and Dallas to start the year and now go into Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets. Columbus is 1-2-1 to start the year with a season opener win in Nashville and a shootout loss vs Detroit. Steve Mason will get the start in net tonight for Columbus and he is 0-1 with a 5.01 GAA and .881 SV%. Last year he really struggled with a 16-26-3 record, 3.39 GAA, and .894 SV%, which was his third straight year with a GAA higher than 3.00. Chicago won all 6 meetings between these two teams last year with margins of victory 4, 5, 3, 3, 3, and 3. Chicago is also 20-8 in their last 28 meetings with Columbus and 6-0 in their last 6 meetings in Columbus. The Blue Jackets are just 14-40 in their last 54 divisional games, and 15-38 in their last 53 vs a team with a winning % higher than .600. Chicago has scored 3+ goals in all 4 games, and I expect that to continue here tonight with Mason in net for the Blue Jackets. Take the Blackhawks.

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Wunderdog

Belmont at Eastern Kentucky
Pick: Belmont -5

Belmont is a solid, small-conference program, and moved up a notch by entering the OVC this season. They have yet to lose a game in conference play on their way to an overall 16-4 record on the season. The Bruins have been NCAA Tourney bound the last two years, and have the pedigree to get there again. Eastern Kentucky is also 16-4, and has been flawless at home where they are 10-0 on the season, but looking over the schedule of teams they have beaten here shows nothing even close to noteworthy, and I think they have met their match in this one. Eastern Kentucky has been a very telling 0-7-1 ATS in their last eight at home vs. a team with a road winning percentage of greater than .600. Play on Belmont.

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Andre Gomes

Knicks / 76ers Over 191

Jason Kidd will be playing tonight even though he is struggling with a back injury, Raymond Felton is returning tonight from his finger injury while Pablo Prigioni is also struggling with a sore foot, so this is a great opportunity for Philadelphia's offense to explore their matchup edge with Jrue Holiday tonight. Thaddeus Young is also likely to have an edge on offense against the Knicks's power forwards (Melo and Amare). Philadelphia's problems is on the rest of the lineup, as they shoot a lot of long range shots, but without great efficiency. However, the Knicks have a poor 16-23 feet defense by allowing 45% FG from this area over their last 10 games! I expect the Sixers to come super aggressive for tonight's game in order to take advantage of the Knicks's old backcourt pushing up the pace when they get the ball.

With Raymond Felton back in the lineup, the Knicks's offense will immediately improve their ability on dribble penetrations, while Felton is also important for the team's ball movement and to put the ball in Tyson Chandler near the basket as well, something that both Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni couldn't do with success. One of the biggest problems of the Sixers's defense this season has been on pick and roll ball handler plays, where they are #24 by allowing 0.84 PPP for the season and 0.94 PPP over their last 10 games. With Felton back, the Knicks have great skills on this kind of plays to torch Philadelphia's defense. I see this game being a high scoring game, therefore I'll be taking the Over in here.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday January, 26

Hollywood Sports

Fullerton State at Pacific
Prediction: Pacific

Pacific enters this game coming off their 63-58 win versus UC-Riverside on Thursday -- and they have then covered the point spread in 13 of their last 19 games following a victory. The Tigers failed to cover the 13.5-point spread in that contest but they have still covered the spread in 5 of their last 7 games against Big West opponents. Additionally, in their last 7 games on their home court, Pacific has covered the spread in 5 of these contests. The Tigers are 5-2 in conference play as compared to Cal-State Fullerton's 4-3 mark -- but the deeper metrics suggest that there is wide divide between these two teams. Pacific has a conference net Efficiency Margin of +0.12 Points-Per-Possession (Offensive PPP: 1.08; Defensive PPP: 0.96). The Titans, on the other hand, possess a -0.01 PPP net Efficiency Margin (Offensive PPP: 1.16; Defensive PPP: 1.17) in Big West play -- saddled by the conference's worst defensive efficiency metric. Cal-State Fullerton does come off a 95-88 win versus UC-Davis on Thursday -- but they have then failed to cover the point spread in 4 of their last 5 games following a victory. The Titans are also just 2-6-2 ATS in their last 10 games after scoring at least 90 points in their last contest. Lay the points with Pacific in this one.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday January, 26

Jesse Schule

Los Angeles vs. Phoenix
Pick: Los Angeles

The defending Stanley Cup champs are still winless on the season, and they will look to get the monkey off their back on the road in Phoenix tonight. The Kings won  the cup last year with stifling defense and stellar goaltending, and Jonathan Quick is coming off his best performance of the young season on the road in Edmonton.

Quick stopped 37 shots, and shutout the Oilers for all but four seconds of regulation.

The Coyotes will be without starting netminder Mike Smith, allowing former Kings goalie Jason LaBarbera to get the start against his former team. LaBarbera is 1-1 with a 2.78 GAA in two starts this season. He did not look particularly sharp in his last start against San Jose, allowing four goals on 34 shots and losing 5-3.

With L.A. in a desperate situation, I expect to see the Kings really tighten up, much like they did on the road against Edmonton in their last game, coming within four seconds of winning the game 1-0.

This time I don't expect a last second comeback, but rather a King's victory with Quick shutting the door.

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