Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday February 7

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday February 7

Ray MonohanFOR TFREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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NC State vs. DukeFREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Play: NC StateFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The line on this one seems really off. First of all the Wolfpack have already upset Duke once this year. Second all of their losses in the ACC has been close. Third they are the more talented and probably deeper team. Is the fact the game is at Duke enough to overcome all that to win and cover by a wide margin. I don’t think so. Especially with Duke still trying to figure out how to get the most out of their team without Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee descending rapidly in player of the year talk. The Wolfpack are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 Thursday games. The Blue Devils are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday February 7

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Neb-Omaha/ Western Illinois Over 131.5: 166.9 ppg. That's allot of points and that just what Neb-Omaha's games have averaged over the last 9 games. 8 of those games put up at least 163 points and the one that didn't put up 126 points, which isn't far of from tonight's number. In that span of 9 games these teams played back in January and 163 points were scored in that game oh and BTW none of their last 9 games went to OT. These are all regulation numbers. Now I now that W. Illinois is the better team and that their home games have averaged just 106 ppg, but as i stated above they were sped up in the earlier meeting and I feel it will happen here again. W. Illinois has allowed just 49 ppg at home, but the Mavericks do average 65.2 ppg on the road and they have been hot offensively overall, putting up 81.6 pg in their last 5 games. Offense has not been a problem for the Mavericks this year, but it has been their defense that has them at 8-17 for the year. Omaha has allowed 81.6 ppg in their last 5 games overall and hey have allowed 84 ppg on their road, while their defensive efficiency is 346th in the country. W. Illinois is 347th in tempo for the year, but they did put up 89 points vs this team in the first meeting and should be good for at least 75 in this one, while the Mavericks put up 60+ of their own. I see this one in the 140's. 
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Clemson/ Virginia Over 111.5: Both teams come in ranked 312th or higher in terms of tempo this year, but both teams have played some slightly higher games than they are used to of late. Virginia's last 4 games have hit at least 113 points and those 4 games have averaged 121.8 ppg, which is 7 points higher than their games have averaged this year. Clemson's games have averaged 122.4 ppg this year, but 4 of their last 5 games have eclipsed that number, while those last 5 games have averaged 131.6 ppg. Clemoson has struggled of late on defense as they have allowed 58 ppg on the year, but 66.2 ppg in their last 5 and teams are hitting 40.9% from long range over that span vs them. That clearly gives the Cavs a shot at 60+ points as they have averaged 65.3 ppg at home and they shoot 41% from beyond the Arc on their home floor. Clemson should get a good shot at the high 50's as they average 58.3 ppg on the road and have scored 65.4 in their last 5 overall, while Virginia has allowed 57.5 in their last 4 games. I know that the Caves have allowed just 47.3 ppg at home, but I just see Clemson being able to put up at least 10 more points than that average. As long as one team doesn't score 2 points in the first 13 minutes (Kansas), I just don't see how this one doesn't hit at least 115 points.
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Illinois/ Indiana Under 149: Huge game for Illinois here and I don't see them running with the Hoosiers, especially at home. Illinois home games have averaged just 133 points on the year. Their Big 10 home games have averaged 135.9 ppg with just one of those games putting up more than 142 points (151). Indiana does play at a very high tempo and they do average 76.8 ppg on the road, but their road games have still averaged 135.6 ppg because they play excellent defense away from home, holding teams to just 58.8 ppg. Now a huge part of the Illinois offense is the 3 point shot, but they have struggled mightily in that department of late, hitting just 25.5% of their threes in their last 5 games overall and just 30.5% at home. The lack of hitting threes has really kept their scoring down of late as they have averaged just 65.6 ppg in their last 5 games. I don't expect their 3 point shooting to improve in this one vs an Indiana team that allows just 25.8% from long range on the road this year. Illinois has struggled some on defense of late, as they have allowed 69.4 ppg in their last 5 games, but they also allow just 64.1 ppg at home. Really hard for me to see this game putting up more than 140. Illinois can't hit the 3 and they play good defense at home. This one should be played in the 130's.
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Pacific +1 over CAL-POLY SLO: Pacific is playing really good ball right now as they have won 4 in a row and 7 of their last 8. They have struggled on the road for the year, but have won 2 of their last 3 away from home, with that loss being in Hawaii (Tough place for teams to play). Cal Poly has played well at home, where they are 7-1, but overall they are not playing well, having lost 5 of their last 7 games. I know that all 5 losses were on the road, but still this is not a team playing well right now. Offensively they are struggling as they have put up just 93 total points in their last 2 games and in a 22 point road loss to Pacific earlier in the year they were only able to muster 55 points. Cal-Poly may have revenge on their minds, but I just don't see them beating the hotter Tigers in this one. Look for Pacific to pull away in the 4th.
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St Mary's -2 over SANTA CLARA: The Broncos have played well at home, going 11-4 overall, but a closer look shows that Wagner and SC Upstate are the only teams with a winning record that they beat at home. Within the WCC, at home, they have played just two teams with a winning record and BYU and Gonzaga and they lost those games by 18 and 7 points respectively. This is an improved team, but just not ready to take on the big boys of the WCC just yet and St Mary's is one of the big boys in the conference. The Gaels check in at 19-4 on the year and they have beaten BYU on the road and lost by just 5 at Gonzaga. Clearly the Gaels are better equipped for the big games and will pull away from Santa Clara late, to win by at least 7 here.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday February 7

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Calgary -106 over COLUMBUS
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OT included. Calgary is coming off a 4-1 win in Detroit and it wasn't a fluke as they simply outplayed the Wings. It was only the Flames’ second victory of the year but they deserve better. Calgary has been out-shot just one time this season. They've picked up three of a possible four points in its past two when facing Chicago and Detroit. They outshot the Blackhawks 47-19. The Flames are playing with as much determination and focus as any team in the league and they now have some momentum and confidence going forward. A step down in class here will not bring a lesser effort.
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The Jackets have played three more games than the Flames and have just one more win. Unlike Calgary, they're getting outplayed almost every night and their issues are deep-rooted. Top-line left winger R.J. Umberger has no goals and one assist. Brandon Dubinsky has yet to score a goal. Matt Calvert and Vinny Prospal have minus-8 ratings. Defenseman Fedor Tyutin leads the team with eight points, three more than Artem Anisimov. The Blue Jackets have scored 1.90 goals per game, tied for last in the NHL. The market has the Jackets on par with Calgary but nothing could be further from the truth. Calgary's misleading W/L record combined with the loss of starting goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff has them grossly undervalued here and that provides us a great opportunity to cash in on them again.
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ST. LOUIS -½ -105 over DetroitFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Regulation only. The Red Wings are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Flames and most folks are attributing that to an off night. Every team has them. Prior to that game, the Red Wings had won two of three with victories over Dallas and these same Blues. Truth be told, Detroit is in serious trouble behind the blue line. They give up more odd rushes, breakaways and near breakaways than any team we've seen this year. The infirmary list keeps growing and the defensive pairings look more confused out there than a goat on artificial turf. They will now play in one of the toughest buildings in the NHL against a team in a foul mood.
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St. Louis is coming off its worst performance of the season, perhaps worst in two seasons. Losing 6-1 at home to the fatigued Predators after dropping a 5-3 decision to Detroit was a huge disappointment. That's 11 goals against in two games for St. Louis, who commonly give up that many in six or seven games. The Blues may have been complacent and the results should act as a wake-up call. We're calling for a big response from the Blues here. St. Louis was dominating in its first six games of the year and one of those was a 6-0 win over Detroit. The host in this series has won seven of the past eight and that's when the Red Wings were better than they are today. This one sets up perfectly for the Blues to get back on track and we're on it.
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Los Angeles -104 over NASHVILLEFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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OT included. Difficult spot for the Predators as they return home from a gruelling seven-game road trip that ended with a 6-1 win in St. Louis. The score looks much better than the actual performance. Nashville scored six times on 19 shots. Prior to that, they had 14 goals in its other eight games. When the Predators visited the Kings during their recent trip, they won 2-1 in OT but managed just 14 shots on net. The Preds are solid defensively but it's their lack of offense that makes them too risky as the chalk, especially in an unfavourable spot like the one they're in here.
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The Kings are off to a mediocre 3-3-2 start. Despite the .500 record, they're playing a winning style of hockey, holding their last four opponents to under 25 shots a game. The Kings have also scored three or more in three of its last four games. Time is crucial this year. Seems the season just started but 20% of the season is already in the books. Los Angeles will play six of its next seven on the road beginning with three straight here, making this first game of that stretch vital. The Kings are not suffering a hangover. They're playing well and chances are their efforts will be rewarded on this night.
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N.Y. Islanders +150 over N.Y. RANGERSFREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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OT included. Until the Rangers show us another side, we're not buying at prices like this one. The Rangers are under .500 and three of their four wins have come by one goal. They haven’t had a dominant performance this year and yet they're being priced like an elite club.
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The Islanders have dropped two in a row to Pittsburgh and New Jersey, which is nothing to hang your head over. They've already defeated both those clubs once this year and they also have a win over Tampa Bay. The Islanders are at a very respectful 4-4-1, they're more balanced than the Rangers, their all-important special teams (power-play and penalty kill) both rank higher than the Blue Shirts and any team that has wins over the Devils, Penguins and Lightning are certainly worthy of a play taking back a tag like this.
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Pass NBA & CBB

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday February 7

Jeff Alexander

NC State +11

Duke is getting a little too much respect at home tonight against a team it lost to by 8 points earlier this season. It won by just 5 points in last season's home meeting with NC State. The Blue Devils are 0-7 ATS as a home favorite of 6.5 to 12 points over the last 3 seasons. They have won these games on average but only by 1.8 points. NC State has lost its last two so I expect it to play some desperate basketball tonight. It likely comes up short in the end but should keep this one within the number.

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Jack Jones

Virginia Cavaliers -8

The Virginia Cavaliers are one of the most underrated teams in the country. They are 15-6 SU & 11-7 ATS in all games this season, making backers a nice chunk of change. They certainly want revenge on the Clemson Tigers tonight after losing the first meeting of the season on the road on January 12th.

I like Virginia's chances of getting payback tonight considering how dominant it has been at home this season. The Cavaliers are 13-0 at home this year, outscoring opponents by 18.1 points/game. They are 4-0 at home in conference play, beating UNC (61-52), FSU (56-36), Boston College (65-51) and NC State (58-55).

Clemson is just 2-5 in true road games this season, including 0-4 away from home in ACC action. The home team has won seven straight meetings in this series, so home-court advantage has clearly been huge when these teams get together.

The Cavaliers are 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 home games. Virginia is 6-0 ATS in its last 6 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400. The home team is 6-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings. Bet Virginia Thursday.

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Ryan James

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics    
Play: Los Angeles Lakers

You can throw the trends and statistics out the window because the Lakers we are seen lately do not even resemble the team we were seeing at the beginning of the season. The Lakers have won six of their last seven games and three of those wins came on the road. The Celtics are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games vs. NBA Pacific division teams. In head to head meetings between these teams the road team is 5-0 ATS in the last 5 meetings. Prior to the start of the season many had the Lakers picked as a heavy favorite to win an NBA championship. The way they are playing right now makes it seem as though those predictions were fairly accurate. I like the momentum and confidence this Lakers team has right now to carry them to a big win over an old and tired Celtics team.

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Dave Price

Virginia -8

Motivated by a 66-60 loss at Georgia Tech last time out, and further fueled by a 59-44 setback at Clemson last month, I expect Virginia to show up in a big way tonight. The Cavs have been getting it done all season at home where they are 13-0 with an average winning margin of 18.1 points. Clemson, on the other hand, has struggled on the road where it has dropped five in a row by an average of 13.0 points. The Cavaliers are 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 home games and 6-0 ATS in their last 6 home games versus a team with a road winning percentage of less than .400. Also, the home team is 6-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings. Lay the points.

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Steve Janus

Chicago Bulls +6

The Bulls are definitely worth a look tonight, as they are expected to get back starting center Joakim Noah. Noah's presence on the floor is huge for Chicago, as the rest of the team feeds off his energy, especially on the defensive side of the floor. Denver is a tough team to beat at home, but the Bulls have played their best basketball on the road. Chicago is an NBA-best 14-8 away from home and there's no doubt they will come to play with this game being played on National TV (TNT).

Typically games played on Thursday are on TNT, Chicago is 13-5-1 ATS in their last 19 Thursday games. They are also an impressive 49-24-2 ATS following a S.U. loss and 41-20 ATS in their last 61 road games vs a team with a home winning % of .600+!

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John Martin

Missouri -2.5

There's no question in my mind that Missouri (16-5) is a much better team than Texas A&M (13-8) this season. It should have no problem going on the road and covering this small number tonight. The Aggies have lost four of their last five coming in, which includes three home losses. The Tigers won both meetings with Texas A&M last season by double-digits, and I fully expect another blowout victory in this one.

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Joe Duffy

Loyola Marymount +2

Intensity or lack thereof shows up first and foremost on defense. A really sharp player with whom we trade information tells us that Portland has become extremely frustrated and it is showing up in lack of sustained effort on the defensive end.

Sure enough, our research confirmed this. Portland has allowed just six opponents to shoot better than 50 percent, but it has happened three times in the last four games.

Defense has been the Pilots light, holding squads normally averaging a cumulative 44.6 percent, to just 42.6, two percentage points below their foes’ normal average. But that number is spiraling having allowed 46.7 to 53.2 percent in each of their last four games.

Portland was not much of an offensive team, but has really struggled since Sophomore PG David Carr went down with a torn ACL in the second half of the Jan. 5 loss at Pepperdine.

As happens so many times, the Pilots rallied around the adversity short-term and won the next game. They have lost all six since, but against the spread and straight up.

Admittedly we have made more of an argument as to why to bet against Portland than for Marymount, but Loyola has been competitive with two of their last three losses by three or less, the exception being to powerhouse Gonzaga.

In five of those games, they’ve fallen short spread wise by at least 6.5 points. While admittedly Loyola is not exactly on a straight up or against the spread positive run themselves, three of their last five setbacks against the spread have been by 2.5 or less. So the Margin of Cover, called “sweat barometer” by some indicates the oddsmakers are way behind how much Portland has dropped off.

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Alf Musketa 

Chicago at Denver
Play: Denver

Rarely do we see the kind of consistency with an NBA team that we can hang our hat on and comfortably bet with confidence. The Denver Nuggets are currently that team. They have won seven games in a row, 13 of their last 15 games, 20 of their last 26 games, they are 21-3 straight up at home and they have covered six of their last seven games against the spread. Also noteworthy is that this run and gun team is on an 11-2-1 streak to the over. And yes, any handicapper can certainly make a case for a Nuggets/Over parlay in each game they play.
 
In come the Chicago Bulls to the Pepsi Center who have won nine of their last 13 games, but injuries are killing this team of late. Tonight they expect to have center Joakim Noah back in the line-up, but will still be without guards Kirk Hinrich and Marco Belinelli.  Even with Noah returning they will not be 100% and star power forward Carlos Boozer is playing through a hamstring injury.
 
Chicago’s only chance to compete in this game is to slow down the tempo. They must try to defuse the Nuggets’ fast break and contest their outside three's. Chicago did not do that in their last game allowing Indiana to score 111 points, which was the Pacers’ second highest output of the season. Even if the Bulls are keeping the game close, teams struggle in the Mile High City thin air especially in the fourth quarter as we witnessed with the Nuggets last time out as they outscored Milwaukee 33-18 late in that game.
 
This is Denver's final home game of a six-game home stand before traveling to the frigid temperatures and a four-game East Coast road trip, therefore we expect a top notch effort here and a cover against a team that is banged up and not playing their best. The line on this match opened Denver -5 and is presently -5.5 at most shops. We agree with the move and see it closing at -6.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday February 7

NHLPredictions

St Louis Blues Team Total Over 2.5

This can be bet at all major betting sites.  For example, at 5Dimes if you click on straight bet, NHL, you will see beside the game totals you can bet on team totals.  At Pinnacle under NHL hockey you will need to select NHL OT Included Team Totals.  Or at Bookmaker under hockey you can select team totals as well.

The St Louis Blues are 6-3 on the season and 3-1 at home.  They are hosting the 4-4-1 Red Wings who are just 1-2-1 on the road this year.  St Louis has scored just under 4 goals per game at home this season and are averaging 3.44 goals per game overall.  The Red Wings are 24th in the league giving up 3.11 goals against per game, and that number gets higher on the road (closer to 4 goals against per game away from home).  These two teams have met twice this season, and the Blues scored more than 2.5 goals in each of those games - a 6-0 home win and a 5-3 loss in Detroit.  St Louis has only scored fewer than 3 goals twice this year in 9 games, and in both of those games they had over 30 shots.  I will take St Louis OVER 2.5 goals today.


Pittsburgh Penguins -.5 -114

This can also be bet on at all major sportsbooks.  At 5dimes you will see it under straight bet and NHL hockey where it says (1st 60 minutes) Penguins -0.5.  At Pinnacle you will click "NHL regulation time" and then select Pittsburgh -0.5.  And at bookmaker it will be under "NHL 3 way lines".  What the -0.5 means is that it is showing that the Penguins must cover the 0.5 spread in regulation time.  If they are tied at the end of regulation the bet is graded a loss.  Pittsburgh must win the game in regulation.

Early in the season the Washington Capitals look like one of the Eastern Conference's worst teams with a 2-7-1 record.  They've lost two straight games (home games vs Toronto and Pittsburgh) and have lost 4 of their last 5 games.  They are 0-3-1 on the road this year.  Pittsburgh has started to come around with their 7-3 record, although they are just 1-2 at home.  The Penguins have won 4 straight games and 5 of 6.  In their last 4 wins Pittsburgh has scored 18 goals (over 4 goals per game).  These two teams met on Super Bowl Sunday with Pittsburgh winning 6-3 in Washington.  The Penguins have won 3 of their last 4 meetings.  After opening the season 0-2 at home, the Penguins looked dominant in a 5-1 home win vs New Jersey where they out shot the Devils 30-16.  I expect Pittsburgh to come out and get another big home win tonight, and I will take them do so in regulation at a better price.

Philadelphia Flyers -144

I've learned the hard way betting against Philadelphia at home this season.  The Flyers are just 4-6 on the year, but they are 3-1 at home.  Florida enters this game 3-5-1 on the season and just 1-3-1 on the road.  Florida is coming off of a 3-2 overtime loss in Winnipeg, while the Flyers are coming off two straight home wins vs Carolina and Tampa Bay.  These two teams already met this year in Florida with the Flyers winning 7-1 for their only road win of the year.  Florida is giving up 3.67 goals against per game which has them tied for 2nd last in the NHL.  Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov is winning games for Philadelphia  right now with his 2.24 GAA and .923 SV%.  Take note that the Flyers are 50-21 in their last 71 vs a team with a winning % below .400.  The Flyers have won 6 of their last 7 meetings with Florida and I think that trend continues tonight.  Take Philly.


New Jersey Devils -123 & Over 5.5

The Tampa Bay Lightning are a solid 6-3 on the season, but they are just 1-2 on the road.  The Devils are 5-1-3 on the season and 3-0-1 at home.  Tampa Bay comes into New Jersey off two straight losses against the Rangers and Flyers.  The Devils have won two straight against the Islanders and Rangers.  Take note that these two teams met 4 times last year with the Devils winning 3 of the 4 meetings.  The totals of those 4 meetings last season were 10, 7, 9, and 6 - all going OVER the total.  Take note that the OVER is 45-22-1 in the Lightning's last 68 games overall, and 11-4 in their last 15 road games.  The Devils are 20-6 in these two teams last 26 meetings overall, and a solid 9-2 in their last 11 meetings in New Jersey.  The Devils were 24-13-4 last season at home, and have started off playing very solid on home ice again this season.  Note that Tampa Bay was 13-22-6 on the road last year.  I like the Devils to continue rolling with another home win tonight, and I wouldn't be surprised to see this one get OVER the set 5.5 total.

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Charlie Sports

Marquette at South Florida
Play: South Florida

The (15-5) Marquette Golden Eagles of the Big East Conference will take on the (10-11) South Florida Bulls also on the Big East in 2013 NCAA Basketball action. Marquette is 18-8 Against The Spread their last 26 vs. The Big East. South Florida is 9-3 ATS their last 12 Basketball games played on Wednesday's. The Golden Eagles have beaten South Florida the last 5 meetings between the teams. South Florida gets the home cover.

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Harry Bondi

LA LAKERS (+2) over Boston

The Lakers suffered a brutal injury to Pau Gasol on Tuesday, but we've seen so many teams over the years play well in the first game after the loss of a key player, because everyone else tends to step up their game, and we have a hunch that's what will happen tonight. The Celtics certainly have done that since Rajon Rondo was lost for the season, going 5-0 since the All Star guard was injured. But the loss of Rondo will eventually catch up to this aging team and tonight is the night. The road team and the underdog are both 5-0 ATS in this series and we also catch the Celtics on the second leg of a road-home back-to-back night situation. Lakers get the outright win.

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Nelly

Arizona State - over California

California enters Thursday's game with Arizona State having won back-to-back games including a huge win over Oregon on Saturday. The Bears have not been the same team on the road however, going 2-3 in Pac-12 games and the wins came narrowly against Washington State and Utah. Arizona State has gone 6-3 in conference games including solid wins over Colorado and UCLA at home. The Sun Devils enter this game off a hard fought loss at Washington over the weekend that snapped a three-game winning streak. Arizona State only has two home losses all season, falling against highly ranked Arizona and a surprising loss to DePaul in the non-conference season but this is a team that also beat the Arkansas team that just beat Florida early in the season. Arizona State is 11-6 ATS on the year as this has been a much better team than most expected this year and this is a team that has improved since the start of the season. California has been the opposite, going 7-12 ATS and while the Bears have strong efficiency numbers and rank higher than expected in most ratings indexes, they simply are not winning the games they should win and have rarely pulled away from opponents, with four of five Pac-12 wins coming by eight or fewer points. California is just 3-4 S/U in road games this season and the Sun Devils have been impressive on defense, holding foes to less than 40 percent shooting on the season.

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Rocketman

Buffalo @ Ottawa
Play: Buffalo

The Buffalo Sabres travel to Ottawa to take on the Senators on Tuesday night. Buffalo is 5-1 SU at Ottawa the past 3 years. Buffalo is 6-1 last 7 games when their opponent allows two goals or less in their previous game. Buffalo is 5-1 last 6 road games against a team with a home winning percentage of .600 or better. Ottawa is 4-9 last 13 home games against a team with a losing road record. Ottawa is 7-16 last 23 games after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game. Ottawa is 1-4 last 5 games against the Northeast Division. Buffalo has won 7 of the past 10 meetings overall in this series including 6-1 last 7 in Ottawa. The Road team is 12-4 last 16 meetings in this series. We'll recommend a small play on Buffalo tonight!

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