Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday February 6

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday February 6

Teddy CoversFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Iowa vs. WisconsinFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: IowaFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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My clients and I cashed a winner with Iowa as road underdogs at Ohio State last week, when the Hawkeyes rallied back from a 24 point deficit to make things verrrry interesting in the final minute in Columbus before falling short, despite an awful game from leading scorer Roy Devyn Marble.
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We cashed another winner supporting the Hawkeyes on Super Bowl Sunday as they led for extended stretches of the second half, an easy ‘wire-2-wire’ pointspread cover as double digit underdogs.  And there’s absolutely no reason to think that the Hawkeyes won’t be able to cash another winning bet for us tonight as they travel to Madison to take on a Badgers team that the Hawkeyes have beaten in each of the last three meetings.
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Iowa hasn’t lost a game by ten points or more since getting blown out at Michigan on January 6th, hanging tough with quality Big 10 foes like the Ohio State, Michigan State, Minnesota and Wisconsin during that span.   Their ball movement has been nothing short of outstanding of late with 50 assists on 60 made field goals over their last three ballgames.  The Hawkeyes have the low post size and muscle to bang with the Badgers in the paint, with Aaron White, Adam Woodbury, Melsahn Basabe and Zach McCabe.  White: “We’re going to go up there confident. We’re a pretty good rebounding team ourselves, especially now at this time we’ve got a big frontcourt that can match them.”
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Wisconsin is struggling to win games by margin.  They haven’t won a single game by more than six points since January 12th, and have a 2-5 ATS mark in their last seven tries as home favorites.  The Badgers Achilles heel is their free throw shooting.  They don’t get to the line; averaging only 16 attempts per game in their last five contests.  And when they get to the line, they don’t convert, hitting just 61% from the charity stripe for the season.  That’s very bad news in this pointspread range, where free throws in the final minute often come into play.  Take Iowa.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday February 6

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Toronto -3FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Celtics are off the nationally televised game with Miami, then faced Sacramento knowing they would be without Rondo the remainder of the year. The following game was against a very short handed Orlando team, followed by a nationally televised contest with the Clippers. Boston hosts the hated Lakers tomorrow. The Celtics beat Toronto by 18 points in the only meeting this year. Toronto has a renewed energy after trading for Rudy Gay. The Raptors have a full two days to prepare after the home loss to Miami and Toronto doesn't play again till Friday at Indiana. This is a great spot for the host and a very good time to play against a short handed Centics squad.

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Tony GeorgeFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Toronto -3FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Oddsmakers begging you to take the Celtics against a team who is 17-31 on the year SU and playing just .500 at home.  As Lee Corso says, not so fast my friend!  Boston is on a 4 game win streak including a win over the Clippers where they scored 106 points at home, and yet they are an underdog?  CAN YOU SAY TRAP LINE?  Boston has the Lakers and Nuggets on deck after this game, and this is a tough scheduling spot for them.  The Raptors have dropped 7 out of their last 10 including a 15 point home setback to Miami on Sunday, but yet again they are favorites.  I have seen this scenario hundreds times over my 21 career and more times than not I drank the kool aid with a sucker line and got my rear handed to me, so live and learn.  Trade rumors swirling around Kevin Garnett for Boston, a big game on deck, and while all signs point to Boston as a take here, I say we play it contrarian and go with the Raptors at home with the return of Andrea Bargnani tonight into the lineup.

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WASHINGTON +4½ over New YorkFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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"We had to have these games and we approached it like that. We took care of business and now we go on the road for two." Those are the words of NY’s Carmelo Anthony after the Knicks were victorious in five straight at MSG. Reading between the lines conjures up the word ‘breather’ as there was no mention of maintaining the same intensity for this upcoming two-game trip. Why would there be? The Knicks haven’t lost to these Wizards in three years, including the most recent game in New York when the host Knicks rolled to a 108-87 win. That sets an appetizing table for us.
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The Wizards have upgraded their play, especially at home where they have won six of seven. It’s no fluke that the recent run coincided with the return of guard John Wall. The 3rd year player is the QB of his team and other contenders have found that out recently as Washington has turned away the Heat, Thunder and Clippers when they came calling. The recent play of Emeka Okafor, playing alongside Nene, has been a big contributor to the team’s improvement. Now, with plenty of motivation after being humiliated by this guest for too long, we expect another strong effort against a New York team that could get caught off guard. Upset alert is flashing.
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Charlotte +5½ over CLEVELANDFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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What a great win for the Cavaliers. As a 10-point pooch in its own barn, Cleveland welcomed the Thunder to town and played perhaps its best game of the year en route to a 5-point upset win. That has the masses jumping on board, as they are now asked to win by just six against the team with the NBA's fewest wins. It’s easier said than done. The Cavaliers are 14-34 for a reason. What commonly follows big wins are big letdowns and the books sense that here.
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Charlotte has dropped four in a row and seven of eight but a close look reveals the last four losses have occurred all on the road against Miami, Houston, San Antonio and Chicago. They played both Chicago and Miami close and stretches like that often have the lesser team well-prepped to play a team of equal value. The Bobcats are a very capable offensive group and should they catch the Cavaliers on an off-shooting night, a distinct possibility after an uncharacteristic performance, chances are they come out of here with a win or cover.

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SPORTS WAGERSFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Iowa +8 over WISCONSINFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Badgers are not a team you want to be laying significant points with against quality clubs. They're often involved in low scoring games that barely reach 100 combined points. In three of Wisconsin's past eight games, we've seen scores of 49-47, 47-41 and 45-44. They're a tremendously tough defensive team but seldom do they defeat Big-10 foes by the allotted points being offered here. It gets better. After playing three ranked teams in Michigan State, Minnesota and Ohio State, Wisky will face a pair of non-ranks having played Illinois on Sunday and now the Hawkeyes before the Badgers will face three more ranked squads. This one screams letdown.
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Iowa is just 3-6 in the conference but it’s had so many close calls that they're accustomed to tight games. Included, was a pair of three-point losses to Minnesota and Michigan State and a four-point loss to Indiana. The Hawkeyes have also fared well against a couple of tough opponents in close games, including a four-point win over these same Badgers on January 19. Revenge, you say? We would agree if the Badgers didn't have such important games on deck that could ultimately decide their tournament fate. This one will not and with all these points being dangled, we’ll confidently step in.
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Rhode Island +8½ over MASSACHUSETTSFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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UMass has a much better record than these Rams but as we've pointed out on numerous occasions, won/loss records can be very deceiving. The Minutemen come in with a 4-3 conference mark and an overall record of 14-6. However, only one of their conference wins, over the 0-7 Duquesne Dukes, were by more than five points. UMass has not played the tougher portion of their conference schedule yet. The Minutemen have defeated a bunch of nobodies so far but their record has them priced in a misleading way.
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Throw in Rhode Island's 1-6 conference record and its 6-14 overall mark and you can easily see why the market has them in this range. We're buying. The Rams have played the 35th toughest schedule in Division I basketball. They opened the year with three of their first four games against Ohio State, Virginia Tech and Seton Hall. The Rams have also played both powers in the Atlantic-10, losing by 6 and 7 respectively to VCU and Butler. The Rams’ overall numbers in terms of key stats are skewed because of their difficult schedule. But make no mistake, they are as good or better than this host being battle tested and very capable of pulling the upset here.
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St. Bonaventure +11 over BUTLERFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Bulldogs will get their ticket punched to the dance whether they win the Atlantic Conference or not. Butler has three notable wins over Gonzaga, Indiana and North Carolina. They're 18-4 overall and it seems inevitable that they'll play VCU for the A-10 championship. Butler may have caught lightning in a bottle during its non-conference slate but they were not a projected bracket team. Now ranked #14 and with no history against the Bonnies, a premium is required to wager on the Bulldogs here and that seldom comes recommended. Without any significant games upcoming, the Bulldogs are likely to be on cruise control until the March 2nd contest at VCU.
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St. Bonaventure had a really ugly stretch recently in which consecutive losses to North Carolina State, Iona, Colorado State and George Washington were by 19 points or more. Then something clicked for the Bonnies when the Rams of VCU came to town. St. Bonaventure played their hearts out, hit 11 of 25 three's and ended up losing 62-55. Since then, the Bonnies have a two-point loss to Xavier, a 10-point loss to Saint Louis and wins over Saint Joseph's, Temple and Duquesne. Outside of that aforementioned four-game stretch, they have not lost by the margin being offered here. The Bonnies have also played a tough schedule that ranks 82 out of 347 Division I teams and they figure to be the more amped up club here playing this perennial A-10 power for the very first time.

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SPORTS WAGERSFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Anaheim +105 over COLORADOFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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OT included. The Ducks offer up so much value as a dog here that they're simply a must play. Very quietly, these Ducks are 6-1-1 with wins already against San Jose, L.A. and Vancouver. They are completely dominating games for long stretches at a time but few are noticing because of the market they play in and the minimum coverage received. That works for us as this team is scary good.
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The Avalanche are not only getting outplayed on most nights, they have some serious injuries that include Gabriel Landeskog, Erik Johnson, Steve Downie and Ryan Wilson. Colorado’s best player, Ryan O'Reilly, has not even suited up yet as contract negotiations remain unsolved. The Avalanche has lost four of six and it should be five of six after a fortunate win over the Flames. The inferior Avalanche will now host a Ducks' team embarking on a six-game trip. Setting the tone, we can't imagine anything but a solid effort from Anaheim,
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Dallas +116 over EDMONTONFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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OT included. The Oilers are no longer a well kept secret. Bettors are now keen on the talent and speed of this up and coming squad. That said, the opposition is taking them seriously and there is enough film to focus in on their weaknesses. Edmonton has scored two goals or less in four straight. They've been bailed out a couple of times by solid goaltending but continue to get outshot by a wide margin, allowing 40 shots on net per game. Exciting doesn't always equate to wins.
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The Stars are more under the radar. They've played 10 of the toughest games in the league with three of their games against the pesky Coyotes. Dallas has a one goal loss to both St. Louis and Chicago, who are a combined 14-3, the latter in OT. Dallas is deep and dangerous. Michael Ryder, a three-time 30-goal man, including 35 last season is third on their RW depth chart. Jamie Benn has four goals in five games after his holdout. Throw in Jagomir Jagr, Loui Ericksson, Derek Roy, Brenden Morrow, Alex Goligoski and Trevor Daley among others and you can see how loaded this team really is. The Stars have gone unnoticed up to now so take the value while it's still available because it's not going to last.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday February 6

Jack Jones

Philadelphia 76ers -2.5

The Indiana Pacers are the only team in the league that has to play a back-to-back-to-back situation this season. That will take place tonight as the Pacers will be playing their 3rd game in 3 days following home wins over the Bulls and Hawks the past two nights.

There's no question that Indiana's players will be fatigued heading into this one, and I really don't even expect them to show up. After all, the Pacers are just 10-16 away from home this season, scoring a mere 89.2 points/game.

Philadelphia comes in playing its best basketball of the season as it tries to make a push for that 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. It has won three straight and four of five with its only loss coming by a mere three points (100-103) to Western Conference power Memphis.

All four of its wins during this stretch have come by 8 points or more, which includes a 97-80 home victory over the New York Knicks on January 26th. The biggest reason for the 76ers' turnaround has been defense. They are allowing just 81.6 points/game on 39.9% shooting in their last five contests.

Indiana is 0-9 ATS after a game giving up 5 or less offensive rebounds over the last 2 seasons. The Pacers are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The 76ers are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 home games. Philadelphia is 10-2-1 ATS in its last 13 games after allowing less than 75 points in its previous game. Bet the 76ers Wednesday.

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Steve Janus

New Orleans Hornets -6

The Hornets have hit a bit of a wall lately, but this is a great spot to back New Orleans. Phoenix is coming off a big win at Memphis last night, but should struggle in the second game of a back-to-back set, especially on the road. The Suns road victory over the Grizzlies was just their 5th of the season, as they are a miserable 5-20 away from home.

While Phoenix could struggle to find the energy to keep it competitive, New Orleans is in desperate need of a win. The Hornets are coming off a five-game road trip and must go back on the road for three more after tonight's contest.

The key here is that the Hornets are playing on 3 days rest, where they are 12-3 ATS in their last 15. Phoenix on the other hand is just 4-9 over their last 13 on no rest and 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a win.

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NellyFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Michigan State - over MinnesotaFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Michigan State survived a flat spot against Illinois last week and has had plenty of time to prepare for a huge game with Minnesota for Wednesday night. The Spartans opened the Big Ten season with a loss to the Gophers in Minneapolis, falling by 13 but that game featured a very misleading final as it was tight most of the way. Michigan State has won every home game this season with a perfect 13-0 mark and while there have been a few close calls this team has been impressive in the Big Ten season. Minnesota meanwhile has fallen from its strong preseason numbers, losing four of the last six in conference play and just squeaking by Iowa at home over the weekend. Minnesota has not looked in sync in recent weeks and this will be a very tough place to play for a team that has lost three out of four Big Ten road games. Michigan State has won eight of the last 10 meetings in this series and while the Gophers have a great ATS record on the road they will not be getting many points in this match-up. These teams have very similar offensive numbers but Michigan State is a slightly better shooting team, both from the floor and at the line and the Spartans also hold slight edges on defense. Michigan State has the size to battle Minnesota in the rebounding department and so far in the Big Ten season Keith Appling has outplayed Andre Hollins. Look for Michigan State to get a measure of revenge with a big win Wednesday night.

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Bob BalfeFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Thunder -10.5 over WarriorsFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Golden State has an impressive offense, but no defense at all. This game could be a shootout, but there will come stretches where the Thunder do play defense and keep building on their lead. Its hard for teams to go on the road and win on just pure offense against the best of the best. Take the Thunder.
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Pacers 2.5 over SixersFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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When I look at this game I just don’t see the Sixers being a more talented team then Indiana. When these teams get together the Pacers seem to always hit them with a ton of 3’s. The Sixers play good defense, but Indiana’s is even better. This should be a good one, but I like the Pacers. Take Indiana.
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Arizona -10 over StanfordFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Arizona plays smothering defense at home and just shoots the ball much better than the Cardinals. This is a tough building to play in and I expect Arizona to be leading by a decent margin at the half only to run away with it on solid play on offense and defense in the 2nd half. Take Arizona.

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Joe Gavazzi

George Washington -3½

This looks like the spot I've been waiting for to fade Duquesne. Under first year HC Ferry (LIU-Brooklyn), the Iron Dukes have melted down as the season has progressed. They enter on a run of 0-9 SU, in which every defeat has been by 7 or more points. In that span, they have allowed an average of 79 PPG on the defensive end. It also includes an 0-3 SUATS mark on this floor, as A10 home dog. In short, it would appear as if they have tossed the towel. Under second year HC Lonergan, the Colonials are at the other end of the spectrum. They have pulled even at 10-10 SU for the year, with a point spread mark of 10-3 ATS since late November. Argentinian import Garino has emerged as an offensive weapon to give the Colonials more balanced scoring. As a result, in the L4 games they have averaged 75 PPG, a significant improvement over their 66 PPG average for the year. Allowing just 63 PPG on 41% defense, we clearly have the superior defense, and momentum to steal this road win against the fading Duquesne team.

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Jeff Scott Sports

4 UNIT PLAY

Kansas/ TCU Over 116.5: Gotta feel that we can get at least 120 points out of these teams. The Jayhawks offense has been struggling of late, but they did put up 80 points in their last game and TCU comes in having allowed 68.6 ppg on 48% shooting in their last 5 games. For the year Kansas still has averaged 74.2 ppg on 47.8% shooting. The Kansas defense has been stellar all year but they have allowed 54 points or more in each of their last 5 games and TCU does average 55.2 ppg at home. 54 points from TCU would be awesome here cause I don't see the Jayhawks being held below 67 points.  I actually feel that Kansas will hit the 70 point mark in this one. Their offense has been sputtering but the should get back on track vs a TCU defense that has been sputtering themselves of late. Getting 70+ from Kansas and 50+ plus from TCU gives us a solid Over play here.

3 UNIT PLAYS

Bowling Green/ Northern Illinois Over 113: NIU's last 5 games have averaged just 114.8 ppg, but that is mostly due to to the fact that one of those games put up just 67 points. take out that game and 4 of their last 5 games have averaged 126.3 ppg, with 3 of their last 4 games putting up 130+ points. Let's also note that just 2 of the Huskies last 14 games have scored less than 121 points. The Huskies have had problems scoring this year, but Bowling Green comes in allowing 71 ppg on the road, so they should get some points tonight. Falcon road games have averaged 134.5 ppg, with just 1 of their road games putting up less than 123 points. Bowling Green averages 63.5 ppg on the road and NIU allows 62.8 ppg at home, so the Falcons should put up 60+ in this one. I really expect this one in the 120's.


UNLV -8 over FRESNO STATE:  The Rebels are clearly the better team here and we are getting them of a loss, which is good. We also get them playing a struggling Fresno State squad that has lost 4 in a row, with the last 2 being by DD. UNLV comes in 39th in the nation in offensive efficiency, while the Bulldogs is 243rd in that category. Defensively Nevada is not that bad as they allow just 61.5 ppg and are 76th in defensive efficiency, but UNLV ranks a bit better in defensive efficiency, checking in at 31st. Im just not sure that the Bulldogs will be able to score enough points to keep this one close. The Rebels average 69.2 ppg on the road, while Nevada has averaged just 55.8 ppg in their last 6 games overall. I feel that coming off a loss we will get a much more focused UNLV squad, as they really need to come up with a big easy win to get some confidence back. I look for them to win by about 15 points.


Marquette -3.5 Over SOUTH FLORIDA: The Golden Eagles are clearly the better team here and coming off a 19 point loss to Louisville you can bet they will be fully focused for this one. South Florida is struggling right now as they have lost 4 in a row and that includes a 13 point road loss to Marquette a few days ago. The Bulls have averaged 61.3 ppg overall, but just 53 ppg (regulation) in their Big East games this year and they have been outscored by nearly 9 ppg in Big East play this year. This is a huge game for the Golden Eagles and I look for them to bounce back after the 19 point loss with a big DD win in this one. South Florida just doesn’t have enough offense to stay in this game.


Cincinnati/ Providence Over 132: The Bearcats do play some solid defense as hey have allowed just 58.8 ppg on the year, but they do hallow 61 ppg on the road and Providence puts up 70.6 ppg at home. Providence has allowed just 61.4 pg at home overall, but in the Big East that number jumps to 71.6 ppg allowed at home. Cincinnati averages a solid 72.3 ppg overall and 66.6 ppg on the road. THey should be good for at least 70 off of this struggling Providence defense. Neither team plays at a slow pace and both offenses are in the top 71 in offensive efficiency. We should get around 140 points in this one.

Pass NBA

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SPORTS WAGERS

Memphis -2 over ATLANTA

The Grizzlies are in a bit of a funk with three losses in their past five including a disturbing home loss to the Suns last night. However, prior to last night they had not played since Friday and it was just their second game since the Rudy Gay trade. Some adjustment and practice time was put to use last night and we're confident that the Grizz will be much better tonight against a Hawks team that appears to be declining.

Atlanta’s lone win in past four games was against the Raptors on the night the Raps unloaded Jose Calderon and Ed Davis. Atlanta won by a single point against the undermanned and somewhat stunned Raptors. Atlanta's internal issues could have these players on edge as rumours surrounding potential trades continue to swirl. For the Grizzlies, that ship has sailed and they can get back to playing the determined, methodical and hard-nosed brand of basketball that has made them so difficult to beat. The role reversal should be beneficial to us.

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Ross Benjamin

Saint Louis vs. Fordham
Play: Over   

Any road team that averages 67 to 74 points per game and led by 5 points or more at the half of their last 3 games, versus an opponent that allows 74 to 78 points per game has seen 31 of those 40 games (77.5%) go over the total. Play on this game to go over the total.

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Brandon Lee

Utah Jazz -5½

The Bucks let one get away from them last night in a 104-112 loss at Denver. I don't see them bouncing back with a better performance tonight against the Jazz. Playing back-to-back road games is extremely difficult, especially when those two games are against the Nuggets and Jazz. Denver and Utah are two of the toughest places to play in the NBA. Milwaukee simply won't have anything left in the tank tonight.

Utah is an impressive 18-5 at home and should have no trouble winning by at least 6 points. The Jazz are 12-3 ATS over their last 15 home games against teams from the Eastern Conference, while the Bucks are a miserable 4-16 ATS over their last 20 games vs the Northwest division. Lay the Points!

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Jeff Alexander

Washington Wizards +4½

The Wizards are showing value in the underdog role at home where they have won 6 of 7 against the likes of the Thunder, Bulls and Clippers. The Knicks haven't been the same team on the road where they are 4-5 in their last 9 with only one of these wins coming by more than 4 points. The Wizards are 12-3 ATS in their last 15 games. Bet Washington.

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Dave Price

Iowa +9

This is likely Iowa's last chance to pick up a quality road win in conference play that would impress the NCAA selection committee. The Hawkeyes still have road dates with Penn State and Nebraska but winning those won't impress anyone. They also have a road game with Indiana but will have a very tough time getting that one. Iowa has had Wisconsin's number of late. The Hawkeyes have won 3 in a row against Wisconsin as they have been successful in forcing the Badgers to play faster than they would like. I expect them to successfully control the tempo again here in a game they need desperately. Iowa is 7-1 ATS when playing against a good team (Win Pct. 60% to 80%) this season while Wisconsin is 1-8 ATS when playing against a good team (Win Pct. 60% to 80%) this season. Also, the Badgers are just 1-8 ATS when out for revenge for an upset loss to an opponent the last 3 seasons. Wisconsin likely gets it done tonight, but it won't be easy. Take the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday February 6

John Martin

Golden State Warriors +11

After getting embarrassed 109-140 at Houston last night, I look for the Golden State Warriors to come back with a chip on their shoulder Wednesday. They'll take it out on Oklahoma City and easily stay within this double-digit spread, possibly pulling off the upset. These teams have split two meetings this season with Golden State winning 104-99 at home on January 23rd, while Oklahoma State won at home 119-109 on November 18th. Ten of the last 11 meetings in this series have been decided by 11 points or less.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday February 6

Harry Bondi

MIAMI HEAT (-7.5) over Houston

We used the Heat on Sunday in a blowout win over Toronto as part of our 7-3 FREE PICK run. We explained on Sunday that if you pick your spots with the Heat and be "on" them when they are motivated you can find value and tonight once again presents one of those opportunities. First off, Houston is coming off a record-game last night when it tied the record for most 3-pointers in a single game. Not only will this get Miami's attention, but the Heat are also coming off a horrible performance on Monday night in which they barley got by Charlotte as a 14-point favorite. The focused Heat roll over a Houston team in a perfect spot for an offensive letdown.

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