Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday February 27

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday February 27

Nelly

Orlando Magic - over Sacramento Kings

The Kings gave their all last night in a double-overtime loss at Miami, falling 141-129. Five players played over 40 minutes last night and the Kings shot almost 52 percent including making 14 three-point shots to stay in the game. This will be a fourth straight road game and a sixth road game over the past seven contests, making it an extremely difficult situation. Orlando is coming off a Tuesday night win in Philadelphia which snapped a five-game losing streak. The Magic have been far from a reliable squad with a 16-41 record on the season with poor ATS marks. In road games this season the Kings are being outscored 105-93 on average however with Sacramento featuring a 5-26 S/U road record. The Kings are 6-9 ATS this season on the road against losing teams and the Kings are just 6-12 ATS this season on the road following a loss. Orlando is 4-4 S/U at home coming off a win and with J.J. Redick recently traded and Jameer Nelson injured this team is playing with a new energy with younger players getting an opportunity to see the court more. Backing Orlando certainly has not been a winning proposition this season but this is a truly difficult emotional and scheduling spot for the Kings.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday February 27

Wunderdog

Toronto at Cleveland
Pick: Toronto -3.5

The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Toronto Raptors are a pair of disappointing teams that are starting to make some headway. The Cavs have elevated their play recently, but not to the same level as the Raptors. Toronto traded for Rudy Gay and he has made a change to this team. Gay is averaging over 20 points per game, and is grabbing 6.7 boards and gives them a bonafide closer down the stretch. It has transformed Toronto into a winning team since his arrival at 7-4. Toronto has really beaten up on bad teams where they are now 14-3 ATS in their last 17 vs. a team below the .400 mark on the season. Go with Toronto here.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday February 27

Jimmy Boyd

Memphis Grizzlies -7.5

Dallas is in a tough spot when they face Memphis. They are having a rough season and tonight’s game is the second leg of a back to back run. The Mavericks just lost to Milwaukee last night and now they have to travel to Memphis to take on the Grizzlies. Always play on home favorites winning between 60-75% of their games like Memphis when they are off 5 or more consecutive wins playing a team winning between 40-49% of their games like Dallas. This system is 60-25 (70.6%) since 1996. The Grizzlies are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing less than 75 points in their previous game. They have won seven consecutive games compared to Dallas who is coming off back to back losses. The Grizzlies are playing on a couple days of rest which should have them prepared for this matchup.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday February 27

Matt Fargo

St Josephs vs. Saint Louis   
Play: St Josephs 

St. Louis has been on a huge roll as it has won nine straight games and proving how good it has been, it has covered all nine of those games in the process. The Billikens are coming off a win in their last game last Friday night as they pulled away from Butler on the road and thus took over sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Ten Conference. Coming into the season, expectations were very high and the conference was expected to come down to three teams along with Butler and VCU and so far that has been true to form. St. Louis has lost only twice at home this season so coming into Chaifetz Arena is no easy task. The difference now though is that the Billikens are overvalued because of the recent perfect streak. They are a perfect 9-0 ATS as single digit favorites but 5-6 ATS when laying double-digits. St. Josephs comes into this game with some momentum from a win over George Washington on Saturday which evened its conference record to 6-6 on the season. Overall the Hawks have a winning record on the road at 7-5 so they know how to get it done on the highway. Getting this many points has been pretty rare but when it is the case, they have been lucrative as the Hawks are a perfect 7-0 ATS in their last seven road games when getting 10 or more points. Additionally, they fall into a great situation where we play against home favorites of 10 or more points with a winning percentage of .800 or better after seven or more consecutive wins, playing a team with a winning percentage between .600 and .800. This situation is 81-49 ATS (62.3 percent) over the last five seasons.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday February 27

Ray Monohan

Northern Iowa vs. So Illinois
Play: Northern Iowa

This play just missed out on being a 6* premium release for Razor. Look who is in third in the Missouri Valley right now - its Northern Iowa. They have beaten both Creighton and Wichita State already this season and are in a solid position to enter the conversation for the Big Dance...assuming no slip ups. Tonight they are small favourites on the road against Southern Illinois who has rapidly dropped to the bottom of the conference pecking order. UNI lost their bracket buster against Denver and needs to rebound. They have won their last 4 against the Salukis including a 13 point victory earlier this season. I see no reason for that streak not to continue and only one was as close as this margin.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday February 27

Ben Burns

New Jersey vs. Winnipeg
Pick: New Jersey

Normally a much better team when playing at Winnipeg, the Jets are coming off a rare successful road trip. Tuesday's 4-3 upset victory at MSG gave them a 4-1 record since their last home game.

One of those four wins came against these same  Devils, a 4-2 win on 2/24. Give the Jets credit for their successful voyage. However,  keep in mind that playing the first game back home from a road trip can sometimes be tough.

Why is it that the first game back home from a trip can be difficult?

Part of the logic is that the players can be distracted by the return to every day life. They can have girlfriends, spouses and/or friends that demand their attention. Bills to pay. Household chores to tend to. Things of that nature.

Those factors may not sound like much but if you ask players or coaches, they'll tell you that they can indeed come into play.

Also, note that the Jets are actually 0-3 their last three at Winnipeg. So, their long-standing tendency of being a better home team may be starting to change. (In fact, they actually have a better road record than home record this season.)

Facing a revenge-minded and well-rested New Jersey team, I won't be surprised if the Jets stumble here.

The Devils, who haven't played since the 2/24 loss against the Jets, are already 2-0 this season, when facing a team which defeated them in the previous meeting.

Most recently, after losing on 2/2 at Pittsburgh, the Devils beat the Penguins on both 2/9 and 2/10. Also, after losing vs. the Islanders on 1/31, they beat the Isles (at Long Island) by a 3-0 score on 2/3. (They subsequently lost their next game vs. the Isles on 2/16 but weren't in the revenge role at that time.)

The Devils won their last visit to Winnipeg and they're 8-2 the last 10 times that they were a guest in this series, dating back to when the Jets (Thrashers) were based out of Atlanta.

Off back to back losses and having dropped four of five, we should be able to count on a determined effort from the visitors.

While they may not have Brodeur between the pipes, I believe the Devils are well worth a look here. Consider New Jersey.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday February 27

Brandon Lee

Connecticut +1.5

Connecticut should not be an underdog at home to Georgetown. The Hoyas are coming off a huge road win at Syracuse on Saturday as a 8-point dog, but that's actually a good thing for the Huskies. It's going to be hard for Georgetown to match UConn's intensity in their second road game in five days. Connecticut is a dominant 6-1 S.U. at home in their last seven games against Georgetown and are an impressive 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games vs very good defensive teams (allowing shooting percentage of 39% or less) over the last 3 seasons. Take the Points!

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday February 27

Jack Jones

Pistons/Wizards UNDER 190.5

I look for a low-scoring affair tonight between the Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards in this Eastern Conference showdown. One look at the recent meetings between these teams and it's easy to see that the books have inflated this number Wednesday night.

The UNDER is 4-1-1 in the last 6 meetings between Detroit and Washington. They have combined for 183 or fewer points in five of those six meetings with final combined scores of 181, 183, 168, 193, 156 and 175 points. The Wizards and Pistons have combined to average 176.0 points/game in those six contests, which is roughly 15 points less than tonight's posted total.

These are two of the worst offensive teams in the league as it is. Washington scores just 92.0 points/game overall while Detroit puts up 94.9 points/game, including 92.6 on the road. Both squads are underrated defensively, too, as the Pistons allow 97.6 points/game while the Wizards yield 95.5 points/game.

The UNDER is 22-5 in Wizards last 27 games following a S.U. win. The UNDER is 6-1 in Wizards last 7 games overall. The UNDER is 37-18-2 in Wizards last 57 vs. Eastern Conference opponents. The UNDER is 8-2-1 in Pistons last 11 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game. Washington is 12-1 to the UNDER after 2 or more consecutive wins over the last 2 seasons. Bet the UNDER in this game Wednesday.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday February 27

Dave Price

Connecticut +1.5

Now's the time to fade Georgetown. It has won 9 in a row SU and ATS and is coming off an absolutely huge win at Syracuse, snapping the Orange's 38-game home win streak. Teams riding that high are often prime for a letdown. We just saw it last night with Indiana falling at Minnesota. The numbers suggest this is a good time to go against Georgetown as well. Consider that plays against February road favorites or pickems that check in off six consecutive wins or more are 116-65 ATS the last 5 seasons. Georgetown has had a tough time at UConn, and it's not alone. The Huskies 12-2 at home, including 5-0 at Gampel Pavilion. The Hoyas have lost six of their last seven road games against Connecticut, including all three previous meetings at Gampel Pavilion by an average of 22.0 points. Take UConn.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday February 27

Jeff Alexander

Iowa -9

Iowa's bubble likely burst after blowing a 16-point halftime lead in Saturday's loss at Nebraska, but I don't expect the Hawkeyes to roll over the rest of the way. Iowa lost in OT at Purdue in the first meeting, and that loss will provide plenty of incentive this evening. Purdue has been a terrible investment in the underdog role. It is 2-8 ATS as an underdog this season and 0-8 ATS as a road underdog of 6.5 to 9 points under coach Painter. Iowa is a lights out 19-7 ATS at home the last 2 seasons, including 6-0 ATS in February home games during this span. Bet Iowa.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday February 27

Dennis Macklin

Toledo -1

This game features the two top teams in the MAC's Western Conference. Western Michigan is on a 9-2 L11 run and Toledo has won seven of eight so both teams are playing well and something has to give. The Broncos (WMU) (-3) easily won the first go around 79-56 back on January 16th shooting 56% from inside the arc but not sure that it was anything more than business as usual. You would be hard pressed to find a home court series stronger than this one with the homie winning eight of the last nine. Western Mich is just 2-7 SU and ATS over their L9 visits to John Savage Arena with their last two losses by 13 and nine points. Toledo is 4-1 in conference home games and while the Rockets are just 3-3 vs the points on their home floor, they are a money-making 7-2 in the role of bully. At home with same year conference revenge in a home court dominated series, laying just a point with the host is not much to ask. Take Toledo.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday February 27

Joe Duffy

Dallas Mavericks vs. Memphis Grizzlies
Play: Memphis Grizzlies 

As we alluded to on our “Back to Basics” article, podcast, and video, we have de-emphasized some key metrics, making them corroboration rather than a lead indicator for premium bets, but our “sharp versus square” angle still is very strong.

This is when our Vegas, offshore, and outlaw contacts tell us the majority of sharp money is betting one team, the square money the other. We go with the smart money as contrarian betting is used by many professional gamblers.

The Mavericks are an aging team playing three games in four nights including back to back. Again, one of our Golden Rules, rest benefits teams that need it the most. Hence lack thereof hurts those who need to make adjustments. The fact the Mavs are off consecutive home losses makes fading them a nice situation play in addition to sharp versus square.

Memphis has won seven in a row outright and 5-2 the last seven against the spread, plus they have a nice balance of rest, but yet not too much while in a groove (two days off) makes it even better.

They are gelling since getting Tayshaun Prince, Austin Daye and Ed Davis in a three-time trade. With another day off before playing Miami, they can go all out and continuing to develop that chemistry meaning they have legitimate motivation to run up the score a bit.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday February 27

Jeff Scott Sports

3 UNIT PLAYS

Delaware -5 over HOFSTRA: The Pride haven't been playing with much pride his year as they stand at 7-22 overall and 4-12 within the CAA. Hofstra has won just 2 of their last 13 games and one of those was his past weekend over a 4-24 ODU squad. Prior to that win they had lost their last 4 by an average of 15.8 ppg. Hofstra is one of the worst offensive teams in the nation, averaging 58.5 ppg (333rd) and they are getting worse, having put up just 53.4 ppg in their last 5 games. Delaware has no such offensive problems as they have averaged 69.6 ppg (123rd) on the year and they are getting better, having put up 74.6 ppg in their last 5. Their defense is struggling, but they should look good tonight vs a bad Hofstra defense, plus the Blue Hens did allow them just 54 points in an earlier meeting this year. Hofstra does allow just 63.8 ppg at home, but the Blue Hens should eclipse that with ease tonight, meaning that Hofstra will have to score in the 60's to cover this. That won't happen here. Delaware by at least 10 in this one.


Virginia Tech/ Miami Over 133:  The Hokies are a bad defensive team as they allow 74.1 ppg overall, including 80.3 ppg on the road and they could surrender a ton of points tonight vs a Miami squad that averages 73.8 ppg at home. The Canes do allow 56.7 ppg at home, but this Tech offense is no slouch as they have averaged 66.2 ppg in their last 5 games overall and 71.3 ppg on the road this year. Miami had two recent low scoring games (Virginia, Clemson), but if we take those two games out then we note that 8 of their last 10 games have averaged 141.5 ppg. The Hokies have played high scoring road games this year as their road games have averaged 152.1 ppg on the year. Miami is 39th in offensive efficiency, while Tech is 100th and that should translate into at least 140 points.   


Purdue/ Iowa Over 131.5: Purdue allowed Northwestern just 43 points in their last outing, but they had allowed 80 ppg in their prior 3 games, while overall allowing 75+ points in 5 of their last 7 games. Now they take on an uptempo Iowa squad at a place where they average 75.2 ppg on the year. I clearly expect 70+ from the Hawkeyes in this one. Purdue does struggle to score on the road, but they should put up at least 60 in this one, especially since it should be an uptempo game. Both teams should get plenty of chances at putting up points in this one and that should get us no less than 135 points.


Eastern Michigan/ N. Illinois Under 108: C'Mon,  you all had to know this one was coming. LOL. While I don't see just 67 points being cored in this one like the first meeting, I do not expect more than 100 points. The first meeting was nothing new for these teams and none of the last 4 games have put up more than 107 points, with the 4 games averaging just 88.5 ppg. E.Michigan does struggle on defense on the road (70.5 ppg), but fear not because NIU averages just 52.2 ppg on 34.4% shooting at home this year, while in their last 5 games overall they have scored just 50.1 ppg on 36% shooting. This is one of the worst offensive teams in the nation. On the other side we have an equally bad offensive team in EMU. The Eagles are 338th in the nation in scoring overall (57 ppg) and they score just 52.2 ppg on the road and NIU has allowed under 60 points in each of their last 3 home games. Both teams play slow as dirt paces and both team have two of the worst offenses i the nation. This one will be lucky to make it to 100 points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday February 27

Jeff Scott Sports

4 UNIT PLAY

Dallas/ Memphis Over 188.5: Last night the Mavericks played a game in which just 185 points were scored, but that is far from the norm for this team. Prior to last night's game, Dallas had played 17 straight games, in which at least 197 points were scored, with 16 of those games putting up at least 200 points. The Mavs offense has been hot, averaging 106.3 in their last 2 games and after putting up just 90 points last night you can bet they will look to score allot more in this one. The Dallas defense has not been good this year, as they allow 102.4 ppg overall and 98.8 ppg on the road and that should allow this anemic Memphis offense to score in the upper 90's in this one. I expect Dallas to do the same as we get at least 195 points from these two teams tonight.

3 UNIT PLAYS

New York/ Golden State Under 204.5: The Knicks are having all sorts of problems scoring right now as they have failed to scoe more than 100 points in each of their last 8 games and they have averaged just 92.8 pg in their last 5 games overall. The Warriors are not a great defensive team, but they have still allowed less than 100 points during regulation in 3 of their last 4 games. The Warriors offense is very good, but mostly at home. They do average 10.8 ppg on the road, but in their last 6 away from home they have averaged just 96.7 ppg. I also don't look for them to push the pace as much in this one, after playing an up and down game with the Pacers last night. Defensively the Knicks have been solid at home, where they allow 94.6 ppg, including allowing just 89.8 ppg in their last 6 here. Let's also note hat their last 6 at home have averaged just 118.3 ppg, with none of those games putting up more than 201 points. I really don't see either team hitting 100 points in this one.


Detroit/ Washington Under 190: Pretty much has been a low scoring series of late as 5 of the last 6 in this series has put up 183 points or less and I see about that much in this game. Detroit's offense has struggled of late, averaging just 90.7 ppg in their last 7 games and they average just 92.8 ppg on the road. Now they head to Washington where the Wizzard have been playing some good defense of late, allowing 90.3 ppg in 8 of their last 10 games. They did allow 113 and 105 points in BB games vs Houston and Denver, but those two team are offensive juggernauts and Detroit is nothing like that. Defensively Detroit has struggled of late, but Washington has also scored 90 points or less in 3 of their last 5 games. Not really allot of offense is expected in this game and we shold get a game in the low 180's.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday February 27

Alf Musketa 

Denver at Portland
Play: Denver

Portland won its last game 92-86 at home over the Boston Celtics; a solid win over a playoff team. But a closer look reveals that the Celtics were playing their fourth road game in five nights and were obviously running on fumes. Prior to that the Trail Blazers had lost seven games in a row including loses to bottom feeder teams like Orlando and Phoenix.
 
Denver on the other hand is firing on all cylinders. In their last game they shellacked the Los Angeles Lakers 119-108, outscoring them in fast break points 33-3. In the month of February the Nuggets are now 8-4 straight up while Portland is a woeful 3-8.
 
Yes, Denver has a poor record at the Rose Garden having lost six straight, and thus we believe that the early move in the line is based on this past history and not the current form of these ball clubs. Denver opened a -3.5 favorite and is now -2.5. Small forward Danilo Gallinari has a thigh bruise and is a game time decision – that also contributed to the line move. Without Gallinari in the line-up Wilson Chandler will get the start and versus the Lakers he poured in 23 points.
 
Denver has scored 100 points or more in 15 of its last 17 games. I do not envision Portland keeping up with the fast pace and current stellar play of the Nuggets and we'll lay the short price here.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday February 27

Harry Bondi

NC STATE (-9.5) over Boston College

Look for NC State to take out it's frustrations on BC tonight. Wolfpack are coming off a disappointing loss to in-state rival North Carolina last Saturday and possess the athleticism that has given BC fits on the road all year. Eagles are 3-8 ATS on the road and the home team has covered 7 of the last 8 in this series. Pack bounces back tonight!

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