Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday February 24

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday February 24

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Sticking with the same theme we used yesterday. Two bad basketball teams playing a non-conference game. No pressure on either squad and lack of preparation. Look for a fast paced high scoring affair, at least for these two clubs.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday February 24

Harry Bondi

MICHIGAN STATE (+3.5) over Ohio State

Michigan State fell out of first place in the Big 10 with Tuesday’s home loss to top-ranked Indiana. The defeat snapped a five game winning streak for the Spartans but we look for them to get back in the win column in Columbus. It has been easy to handicap Ohio State this year. They have feasted on weak teams and struggled against best. In fact, the Buckeyes are 1-7 ATS against Top 25 competition this season. That trend will continue today against the 5th ranked Spartans who are 8-1 ATS in their last nine trips to Columbus. Take the points with Michigan State.

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Bob Balfe

Dallas Mavericks -2

Dallas made a no shave pact until they hit .500 basketball. They are playing well right now while the Lakers continue to struggle as they are an aging team and not very good on the road. This should be a good one. Take Dallas.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday February 24

Jack Jones

Cleveland Cavaliers +13

The Miami Heat enter Sunday's home contest with the Cleveland Cavaliers way overvalued. They are getting too much respect from oddsmakers due to their current 10-game winning streak coming in. With the betting public all over them now, oddsmakers have been forced to set this number too high tonight.

The biggest factor working against the Heat is that this will be the second of a back-to-back and their 4th game in 5 days. I don't care how hot you are, that's about as tough of a situation as you will have in this league. I look for Miami to be flat because of it.

Cleveland is playing its best basketball of the season over the last few weeks. It has gone 5-3 SU & 6-2 ATS in its last 8 games overall, which includes a 118-94 road win at Orlando last night. While this is a back-to-back for the Cavaliers, it will only be their 2nd game in 4 days, and the travel is short from Orlando to Miami so it shouldn't be a factor.

The Cavaliers are 10-1 ATS against Southeast division opponents this season. They are beating these teams 105.8 to 98.5, or by an average of 7.3 points/game. Cleveland is 7-1 ATS in its last 10 vs. Eastern Conference foes. The Heat are 6-15 ATS in their last 21 home games following a road trip of 7 or more days. Miami is 2-7 ATS in its last 9 vs. NBA Central division foes. Bet the Cavaliers Sunday.

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Freddy Wills

Ohio State -3

Ohio State lost to Michigan State earlier in the year so playing at home on a Sunday where they are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 Sunday's is an ideal situation to dominate today. First of all Ohio State has been better defensively in conference play than Michigan State, who also can go through dry spells offensively. Ohio State is impressive in 2 point defense and holds opponents to an overall FG% of 36.2% at home. I expect Ohio State to win this game by 5-10 points.

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Andre Gomes

Cavaliers / Heat 204.5


Miami easily defeated the Sixers last night on the road with another dominant offensive game. An offensive rating of 136 is really impressive, especially if we have in account that their starters didn't play that much: Lebron James and Dwayne Wade played 32 minutes, while Chris Bosh played just 25 minutes. I have no doubts that the Cavaliers's defense has no shot in handling the Heat's offense today. We are talking about a team that has averaged a defensive rating of 113 over their last 10 games, while they are #30 in the league in defending isolation plays, #23 in pick and roll ball handler plays, #30 in post up plays and #24 in transition plays! Miami is not only #1 in the league in overall offense, but they are also #1, #3, #1 and #2 in these four areas respectively! Cleveland's interior defense is also awful in protecting the rim. They are the 3rd worst rim defense in the league and we saw that last night against a shorthanded Magic team, where the Cavaliers allowed 48.1% FG and 34-65 (52%) in 2pts shots and 52 points in the paint!

The potential problem for Miami on this game is related to their bad spot for this contest. They will be playing their fourth game in five days, however they just pounded Philadelphia last night and their starters played a low number of minutes, with 13 different players being on the court for the Heat last night. The same happens with the Cavaliers on today's game. This is a back to back game, but they dominated the Magic last night, so they were able to rest their starters for today's game. Kyrie Irving played only 30 minutes and he was the Cavaliers player that was more time on the court last night! Cleveland's offense has clearly improved on their last 10 games, especially due to the trade they have made with Memphis, where they got Marreese Speights and Wayne Ellington, who have been great on offense coming off the bench. The Cavaliers's second unit is pretty decent on offense with a fast pace mindset and this was shown yesterday where Marreese Speights, C.J. Miles and Wayne Ellington all scored more than 15 points while having nice shooting numbers as well.

But of course, Kyrie Irving is Cleveland's superstar and he will be a hard tough opponent for Mario Chalmers to defend tonight. Eventually Lebron James will check Irving during the game, but even Lebron should struggle in defending Irving. Anyway, I believe Miami will score so easily today that they won't need a big defensive effort for them to beat the Cavaliers on this game. This will turn this game into another very high scoring game involving the Heat and so, I'll be taking the Over in here.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday February 24

Wunderdog

Golden State at Minnesota
Pick: Golden State -2

The young Golden State Warriors admitted they ran out of gas after playing 11 of 18 away before the All Star break. The last game they showcased their mettle and resolve, an impressive a 107-101 OT win over the mighty Spurs. Jarrett Jack had 30 points and ten assists and David Lee added 25 points and 22 rebounds as Golden State came from from 13 points down in the fourth quarter. This is a good team that has learned how to play defense for second-year coach Mark Jackson, fifth in the NBA in field goal shooting defense. The Warriors are 6-2 ATS in their last eight against a team with a losing record and they have more road wins than depleted Minnesota has at home. The Timberwolves are 5-15-2 ATS in their last 22 games playing on one days rest and on a 7-18-2 ATS run overall. Golden State has owned this one of late, a perfect 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings and 7-1 ATS in the last eight at Minnesota. Play the Golden State Warriors.

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