Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday January, 30

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday January, 30

NHL Predictions

Montreal Canadiens +138

The Montreal Canadiens are winners of 4 straight games since an opening night loss vs Toronto, and are now 4-1 on the season. They've played just once on the road beating Washington 4-1. Last night the Canadiens beat Winnipeg 4-3 in Montreal. The Senators also played last night winning 3-2 at home vs Washington to break up their 2 game losing streak. The Sens are also off to a good 4-1-1 start to the year. Peter Budaj will get the start for Montreal tonight and he was 5-7-5 last year, but had a pretty solid 2.55 GAA and .913 SV%. Craig Anderson will get the start tonight after stopping 31 of 33 shots last night. Note that the Canadiens went 4-2 against the Senators last year including 2-1 and 6-2 wins in Ottawa and also a 2-1 overtime loss in Ottawa. Montreal is hot right now winning 4 straight games and their young players have looked good so far this year. I like the value on the Canadiens tonight at +138 for a possible upset.


Vancouver Canucks -163

Colorado is 2-3 on the season, but 0-3 on the road this year losing in Minnesota, San Jose and Edmonton. They haven't done much on the road scoring just 3 goals over 3 road games and losing by 2 or more in each. They will now go into Vancouver where they've struggled in the past. The Canucks are 2-2-2 to start the year and are coming off a tough 3-2 shootout loss in Los Angeles. Vancouver will be playing their 3rd game in 4 days but they are 26-10 in their last 36 games in that position. The Canucks are 37-16 in their last 53 home games vs a team with a road winning % of less than .400, and 38-13 in their last 51 vs divisional opponents. The Canucks are just 16-39 in their last 55 against Northwest divisional opponents. Also take note that the Canucks have won 6 straight meetings between these two in Vancouver and 18 of their last 22 meetings overall. It will be interesting to see how Vancouver responds to their tough loss vs the Kings on Monday night, but I think they are in a good spot coming home to a team they've had a ton of success over the last few years who will most likely be without their captain,Gabriel Landeskog, again tonight. We're laying a lot of chalk here, but I still think it is a good price for Vancouver tonight.

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Sean MurphyFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Chicago vs. MinnesotaFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: UnderFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Another hard-fought, low-scoring game involving the Wild - much like we saw in their narrow 3-2 win over the Blue Jackets last night. Tonight's opponent, the Blackhawks, remain undefeated on the season at 6-0. While they're known for their offensive prowess, the fact is, they've been involved in some tight-checking games lately. Their last four wins have come by a single goals, with each of those totaling five goals or less. Goaltender Corey Crawford has looked much-improved, doing a nice job answering his critics. The Wild have fired 26 shots on goal or less in each of their last three games, so this could be a favorable matchup for Crawford. The Wild are expected to turn to Josh Harding between the pipes tonight. He's their backup, but in my opinion, he's good enough to be a starter in this league. Harding posted a shutout in his first start of the season before allowing five goals against the Red Wings last Friday. He'll have no shortage of motivation here, and it's worth noting that he was in goal for the Wild in their 2-1 shootout victory over the Blackhawks the last time these two teams met last April. This was a relatively high-scoring series last season, with three of four meetings playing 'over' the total, but I see a different story playing out at the Xcel Energy Center on Wednesday.

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Stephen Nover
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Chicago Bulls -1
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The Chicago Bulls have the best road mark in the Eastern Conference at 12-6. The Bulls are 10-4 ATS the past 14 times they've been on the road and taken on an opponent with a winning home mark. They have defeated the Bucks five straight times at Bradley Center.
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Milwaukee beat Detroit in impressive fashion last night. However, the Bucks are 4-9 ATS when playing in the second of back-to-back games.
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Luol Deng is back for Chicago, which greatly improves the Bulls' depth. During Deng's absence, the Bulls found out that Jimmy Butler is a capable player. The Bulls' rotation now goes nine deep as they wait for Derrick Rose to come on the scene.
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Chicago has won seven of its last nine, but is off a lackluster home win against Charlotte and a shocking road loss to Washington. The Bulls are due for a good game. They have the superior defense.
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The Bulls rank third in the NBA giving up less than 91 points a game. The Bucks have failed to cover 10 of the last 11 times when producing fewer than 90 points during regulation. The Bucks give up 98 points a game.

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Tony George

Iowa State +6.5

ISU off a big win at home against ranked K State and ISU has a team who can score lights out from anywhere.  Okie State tough at home no doubt, but the last 5 games these 2 are damn near even in stats and I like the scoring threat that ISU has in this game.  Remember this Iowa State lost in OT at Kansas and while they are a different animal on the road than at home, I like their chances here to cover this number.  Both teams playing good defense allowing 59 and 60 ppg respectivley their last 5 games and this is a ton of points when that type of defense is being played and Iowa State can score with anyone.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday January, 30

Jeff Scott Sports

3 UNIT PLAYS

Notre Dame/ Villanova Under 136: These teams have played some high scoring games in this series, but I don't feel this will be one of them. Villanova's last 5 games have averaged just 130.4 ppg and that's with an OT game sprinkled in there, while their road games have averaged just 129.9 ppg. Notre Dame's last 5 games have averaged just 127.2 ppg, while their home games have put up 134.1 ppg. The Irish have been struggling of late and you can bet that Brey will look to start using his burn offense a bit more, as it has been very effective for him the last few years. That should eat plenty of clock for sure. The Irish allow 60.7 ppg at home, while Villanova allows just 62 ppg on the road. This is a huge game for both and that could mean some tightness by the offenses, plus Nova may also come out a bit flat after knocking off 2 top 5 teams last week. I expect this one to fall in the 120's.


Missouri -4.5 over LSU:  Missouri is off two solid home wins and now they will be getting back Bowers, who just makes this team all that much better. Missouri has lost all three of their true road games this year, but LSU is not close in talent to Florida, Ole Miss and UCLA, so this is a much easier road opponent for Mizzou. LSU is just 1-5 in the SEC and have taken some bad losses vs South Carolina, Georgia and Auburn and Missouri is much better than those squads. Missouri allows teams to shoot for just 39.6% on the year, and LSU has struggled shooting the ball as they have hit just 37.4% of their shots in their last 5 games. I don't expect LSU to shoot much better vs this pressing harassing defense that Missouri will employ. It's gonna be very hard for LSU to get many good looks and therefore points will also be hard to come by. LSU will not be able to score enough to keep this one close, vs a rejuvenated Missouri squad.

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Jack Jones

South Carolina Gamecocks +23

There's no question that the Florida Gators are one of the best teams in the country. However, I believe this team is way overvalued as a 23-point home favorite over the South Carolina Gamecocks tonight. I'll pull the trigger on the road dog because of it.

Florida has incredibly covered in seven straight games despite being a double-digit favorite every time. However, with this run comes expectations from the betting public and thus the oddsmakers that the Gators simply cannot live up to. Also, they were never more than a 20-point favorite during this run.

South Carolina is ever-improving under former Kansas State head coach Frank Martin. It has covered in three of its last four with an 82-73 win at LSU as a 10-point dog, a 65-71 loss at Missouri as a 14-point dog, and a 75-54 home win over Arkansas last time out as a 4-point dog. The Gamecocks are one of the most underrated teams in the country as they are playing their best basketball of the season right now.

The Gamecocks are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games. South Carolina is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. The road team is 17-5-1 ATS in the last 23 meetings. The Gamecocks are a perfect 9-0 ATS in their last 9 meetings in Florida. Bet South Carolina Wednesday.

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John Martin

Houston Rockets +4

The Rockets have turned things around here of late as they are starting to play like they were in the beginning of the season. Houston has won three straight in blowout fashion as each victory has come by 13 points or more. Two of those wins came on the road at Utah (125-80) and New Orleans (100-82), as well as a 119-106 triumph at home over Brooklyn. Houston's last loss came to Denver by a final of 95-105 at home on January 23rd exactly one week ago today. That defeat puts the Rockets in revenge mode tonight, and I look for them to win this game outright. The Rockets are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games following a SU win of more than 10 points. The Nuggets are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. The road team is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings.

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Dave Price

Chicago Bulls Pk

The Bulls are an impressive 12-6 on the road this season, and they will be lacking no motivation tonight as they look to avenge consecutive losses to Milwaukee. Chicago will have the advantage in terms of fresh legs as it hasn't played since Monday. Milwaukee played last night and is 4-9 ATS in its last 13 games playing without a day of rest. The Bucks are also 6-14 ATS in their last 20 games versus a team with a winning percentage above .600 and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games versus a team with a road winning percentage of greater than .600. The Bulls are 7-1 ATS in the last 8 meetings in Milwaukee. Take Chicago.

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Joseph D'Amico

Rutgers +12

Cincinnati is 5-15 ATS their L20 as a home favorite. They are over-priced once again. The team has split their L8 games, going 4-4 SU and 3-6 ATS their L9. They won't be up for this matchup. The Bearcats come off a loss to the Orangemen, 57-51 on the 21st. They haven't played since and now go on a 3-game stretch in which they face some of the Conference's lower-tier squads. Rutgers has been shaky during their 3-game skid which happens to coincide with their top-scorer, Eli Carter's slumping. They will break out today. The quickness of Carter and fellow back court Guard, Mack will be the difference here. Cincy is 0-5 ATS their L5 games played at home. Take Rutgers.

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Jeff Alexander

Toronto Raptors +7

The Raptors are just 5-18 on the road but have shown life south of the border lately. They are 3-3 in their last 6 road contests with none of the losses coming by more than 7 points. In fact, one of the losses came in OT against the defending NBA champion Miami Heat. The Raptors went 4-1-1 ATS in these games. Plus, the road team is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings in this series. Take Toronto as it continues its solid play on the road.

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Brandon Lee

Virginia Tech +10

The Hokies are getting too many points at home in this matchup. Miami is simply overvalued due to their current 7-game winning streak. The Hurricanes will have a difficult time getting motivated for this game with a huge showdown at NC State on tap for Saturday. I don't think the Hokies will be able to pull off the upset, but they should keep it within single digits. Virginia Tech is a solid 2-0-2 ATS in their last 4 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600. Take the Points!

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Dennis Macklin

Baylor -6½

After watching Oklahoma in two of their last three games, I think Lon Kruger has taken this bunch of Sooners as far as he can take them. They won six of eight bit are just 1-2 on the road with losses of 9 and 13 points. Oklahoma has lost three straight in Waco, all by at least 10 points. Baylor is 3-0 at home in conference with all three wins by 7+ and the Bears have also won five of the last seven in the series. Baylor is one of the better defensive teams in the Big 12 and that's not good for an Oklahoma team that struggles for points at times.

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Andrew Lange 

Oregon at Stanford
Play: Over

Last time out, without starting point guard Dominic Artis, Oregon scored 81 points in an up-tempo, 76 possession game against Washington. I don't think we'll see those types of numbers tonight but it's clear that from a tempo standpoint, even without Artis, the Ducks are going to continue to run.

"We need to keep running," Altman said. "That suits us and helps us with our depth. If we're going to play nine or 10 guys, we've got to make sure we're pressing the other team."

Stanford has been up and down all season but we've seen the Cardinal push tempo with a willing partner. Games against USC, UCLA and Colorado featured an average of 70 possessions. The problem for Stanford has been an inconsistent offense. I expect them to pressure Oregon's back-up point guards and force a more than a few turnovers which should lead to a handful of easy/extra buckets.

When playing OVERS, getting to free throw line and knocking them down is critical. We get both with these two squads. Through seven games, Stanford and Oregon are tops in the PAC-12 from the charity stripe at over 75%. And both squads average north of 20 free throw attempts per game. Also note that when it comes to knocking down threes – another key for betting overs – Stanford and Oregon again rank first and second respectively in league play at 41% and 38%.

I'm confident we’ll see a swift pace here and if we avoid a bad shooting night or the refs decide to swallow the whistle, the over will cash.

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Harry Bondi

VIRGINIA TECH (+10) over Miami-Florida

In the latest edition of the Bondi Bulletin (call for a FREE copy: 1-877-332-0077), we name Miami-Florida as one of the "Five Teams to Make Money On" during the final stretch of the regular season and into March Madness. In fact, we had the Hurricanes (+3) over Duke in a 90-63 thrashing last week as a play for ALL "Steam Team" members. But as high as we are on this team, tonight is a spot to go against the Canes. The team has received tremendous hype from national media outlets since that Duke win and it followed it up with a 71-47 dismantling of Florida State over the weekend. With NC State on deck this weekend, we simply don't see Miami putting forth its best effort tonight and will gladly take the home dog Hokies. Virginia Tech hasn't been a dog of this many points in more than three years and has the kind of mental toughness to keep this one close throughout. We've won three straight Free Picks, including underdogs the last two nights, and the Hokies make it four in a row!

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Nelly

Seton Hall + over Georgetown

Georgetown enters this game coming off back-to-back big wins, beating Notre Dame last week and then getting a huge 53-51 win over Louisville on Saturday. The Hoyas have been an inconsistent group having lost to South Florida and also getting blown out in a 28-point home loss against Pittsburgh in recent weeks. At home Georgetown is only out-scoring foes by eight points per game on average despite 10 home wins and several soft non-conference games at home. Georgetown is just 2-5 ATS at home on the season and the inconsistent offensive performances can leave the Hoyas in a lot of tight low scoring games. Those types of grinds make Georgetown a favorable underdog but the Hoyas are a hard team to back as a modest favorite. Seton Hall has struggled with a 2-5 Big East record so far but most games have been competitive. The Pirates had an encouraging non-conference season with only two losses and a few respectable wins and the last two road games in conference play have been tight games, losing by seven at Marquette and falling by four at St. John's. Seton Hall won by 18 when these teams played last season and the Pirates will push the pace against Georgetown which could be uncomfortable for a limited Hoyas offense. Georgetown has tremendous defensive numbers, allowing just 55 points per game this season but with their second leading scorer still on suspension and coming off the biggest win of the season this looks like a potential flat spot for the offense. Seton Hall has five wins away from home this season and a winning ATS road record and this should be a tight game that favors the underdog.

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Hollywood Sports

New Orleans at Utah
Prediction: Under

The Jazz (24-21) will be playing their third game in a row after their 125-80 loss at home to Houston on Monday. Utah has played 6 of their last 8 games Under the Total after a double-digit loss at home. The Jazz have also played 5 straight games Under the Total against teams with a losing record. Additionally, while the Hornets are 8-15 on the road, Utah has played 4 of their last 5 home games Under the Total against teams with a winning percentage below 40% on the road. New Orleans (15-30) is playing their third game in a row on the road after their 111-106 loss in Los Angeles against the Lakers last night. The Hornets have played 5 of their last 6 games Under the Total played without a day of rest. And while the Jazz are 15-5 at home this year, New Orleans have played 6 of their last 7 games on the road Under the Total against teams with a winning percentage over 60% at home this season. Take the Under in this one.

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Andre Gomes

Atlanta -7

Toronto has Kyle Lowry, Landry Fields and Amir Johnson banged up for tonight and from these three players, Amir Johnson is no doubt the most important one, as Toronto has an offensive rating improvement of +10.1 and a defensive rating improvement of -5.9 with him on the court! Therefore, a banged up Amir is terrible news for the Raptors tonight both offensively and defensively. The Raptors have in the Hawks a tough matchup and this is thanks to Atlanta's transition plays. Toronto isn't a fast team in getting back into defense (#23 in transition defense, while allowing 1.17 PPP for the season, with 1.37 PPP over their last 10 games) and they got completely exposed on their last game, where they got crushed by Golden State's transitions (11-16 FG 1.47 PPP)!

Curiously, Atlanta has been destroying their opponents on transitions all season long and since they got crushed at Chicago, with just 58 points scored, their offense has been changed for the best. They are already an elite team on transitions by being #6 in the league with 1.19 PPP and #6 in fast break points per game with 16.7 ppg, but they have been better lately with 20.2 fast break points per game on their last 5 games! Atlanta's offense will have a super edge on this area and if Amir Johnson is indeed struggle physically, then Al Horford and Josh Smith will also be too much for Toronto. The Raptors's offense has been playing well, without committing turnovers, however Atlanta's defense is an elite team in forcing turnovers and with Kyle Lowry not being physically at 100%, the Raptors may struggle on this area tonight.

The Raptors are once again involved in a lot of trade rumors, so they are struggling in keeping their focus on the games. I expect Atlanta to absolutely pound Toronto on transitions and down low, therefore I'll be taking the Hawks tonight for an easy win.

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Bob Balfe

Philadelphia 76ers -3

Washington has been money in the bank this year against the spread and horrible in the winning games. The can beat anyone in this league at home while Washington only has 3 road wins all year. Look for the Sixers to take care of business tonight. Take Philadelphia.


LA Lakers -2.5

I know the Lakers are playing back to back and it can be hard for an older team, but this is the time in the year they have to make that push to get into the playoffs and must win games like this against bad teams. Experience alone should win this one. Take the Lakers.


Depaul +7.5

I like this St. Johns team, but they can’t make foul shots for the life of them and its hard to win by double digits against anybody when you are missing easy chances to put points on the board. This is not really a team that gets out to huge leads and I think this is a very generous spread for us tonight. Take DePaul.

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