Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, March 6

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, March 6

Dave PriceFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Indiana Pacers -9FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Pacers will be lacking no motivation when they take the floor tonight. That's because they were embarrassed 94-75 at Boston in the season's first meeting. Consider that Indiana is on a 223-171 ATS run when out for revenge for a road loss to an opponent. It is on an 81-55 ATS run when out for revenge for a loss in which it was held to less than 85 points. The Pacers have had two days of rest while Boston played last night so they should also be the fresher side. Keep in mind that Boston is a soft 19-34 ATS the last 3 seasons in the second game of a back-to-back. Indiana has been lights out at home where it is 25-6. The Celtics, on the other hand, are 11-18 on the road. The Pacers are 25-13 ATS this season when laying points, including 18-8 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points. Lay the number.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, March 6

NHL PredictionsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Chicago Blackhawks -1.5 +141FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Both of these teams are playing in their second of a back to back. The Avs were in Detroit last night losing 2-1, while the Blackhawks were at home and won 5-3 against Minnesota to extend their record to 23 games with getting at least one point to start the season. The Blackhawks have won 10 straight and are now an unbelievable 20-0-3 and 10-0-1 at home. The loss for Colorado makes them just 1-5 in their last 6 games. In those 5 losses they scored just 8 goals. The Avs are 8-9-4 on the year, and are just 2-7-3 on the road. Semyon Varlamov will be in net tonight and he is 6-8-3 with a 2.79 GAA and .910 SV%. Ray Emery will go for Chicago and he has yet to lose this season with a 9-0 record, 2.02 GAA and .926 SV%. Take note that Chicago is 4th in the NHL with 3.13 goals per game, while Colorado is 24th with 2.38 goals per game. Chicago is also 1st in goals against per game with a 1.78 goals against per game average, while Colorado is 19th giving up 2.90 goals per game. The Avs are 3-13 in their last 16 road games dating back to last season, and 14-37 when playing on 0 days rest. The Blackhawks are 42-18 on 0 days rest, 35-16 in their last 51 home games, and 21-5 in their last 26 vs Western Conference opponents. Chicago is a much better team and it goes without saying that they are playing great hockey right now. I'm taking the Blackhawks to win by 2 or more at home.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, March 6

Bob BalfeFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Lakers -2 over Hornets
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As bad as the Lakers are on the road its hard to convince me that the Hornets are not the worst team in the west. Its also hard to convince me that the Lakers wont make their way into the 8th spot in the playoffs. The Lakers have the experience to make it happen. Take the Lakers.
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Georgetown +1 over VillanovaFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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This is a line made because of how well Nova has played at home in the past. This is a young Villanova team that just is not that talented. Georgetown is better from top to bottom. This game will be closer than the earlier meeting this year, but when picking a winner I will take Gtown every single time. Take Georgetown

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, March 6

Hollywood Sports

Houston at Dallas
Prediction: Over

This is the second game of the home-and-home series between these two teams after Houston (33-28) blew out the Mavericks by a 136-103 score. The Rockets have played 4 straight games Over the Total after a double-digit victory. Additionally, Houston has played 7 of their last 10 games Over the Total after scoring at least 100 points in their last game. And in their last 6 games against an opponent that scored at least 100 points, the Rockets have played 5 of these games Over the Total. Dallas (26-33) has played 4 of their last 5 games Over the Total after surrendering at least 125 points in their last game. Furthermore, the Mavericks have played 4 of their last 5 games Over the Total after scoring at least 100 points in their last contest. And in their last 10 games back on their home court, Dallas has played 7 of these games Over the Total. Take the Over in this one.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, March 6

Hollywood Sports

Houston at Dallas
Prediction: Over

This is the second game of the home-and-home series between these two teams after Houston (33-28) blew out the Mavericks by a 136-103 score. The Rockets have played 4 straight games Over the Total after a double-digit victory. Additionally, Houston has played 7 of their last 10 games Over the Total after scoring at least 100 points in their last game. And in their last 6 games against an opponent that scored at least 100 points, the Rockets have played 5 of these games Over the Total. Dallas (26-33) has played 4 of their last 5 games Over the Total after surrendering at least 125 points in their last game. Furthermore, the Mavericks have played 4 of their last 5 games Over the Total after scoring at least 100 points in their last contest. And in their last 10 games back on their home court, Dallas has played 7 of these games Over the Total. Take the Over in this one.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, March 6

Joe Gavazzi

New Mexico -8½

In this matchup, Steve Alford’s Lobos make their case for a #1 seed. You read it right – the MWC is rated as the toughest league in the country, and the Lobos sit on top with a 12-2 conference log having already clinched the title. Their SOS and 17-4 SU mark against the top 100 RPI teams have lifted them to #2 in those prestigious RPI rankings. Certainly there is a stronger case for Lobos to get a #1 seed than Gonzaga (RPI 9), who plays in weaker WCC. Tonight’s opponent for the Lobos has tossed the towel till conference tourney play begins. The Wolfpack enters on a 0-5 SU run with four of those losses by 13 or more points. Burton and Story are their strength at guard but there is little interior prowess as indicated by their negative rebound margin. Despite LHG motivations the Wolfpack may be waiting for the CCT. Far prefer Alford’s gawdy numbers which included 36-10 ATS / consecutive 10 point wins, 47-12 ATS following consecutive games in which he allowed 65 or less points, and 35-14 ATS as a favorite. Having already defeated Nevada by 13 points at The Pit, consider that mid-range road favorites are 114-54 ATS to sweep vs opposing home teams off three or more consecutive home losses.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, March 6

Larry Ness

North Carolina vs. Maryland
Pick: Maryland

North Carolina lost its entire frontcourt, Barnes (17.1-5.2), Zeller (16.3-9.6) and Henson (13.7-9.9) plus PG Marshall (8.1-9.8 APG) from last year (all 1st-round NBA picks). However, the cupboard is never bare at Chapel Hill and a switch to a four-guard lineup by Roy Williams has sparked a five-game winning streak (six straight ATS wins) and “locked up” an at-large bid for the Tar Heels. The 6-9 McAdoo (14.8-8.0) has led in scoring all season but is now followed closely by 6-7 swingman Bullock (14.2-6.2) and PJ Hairston (13.3-4.0), who has been moved into the starting lineup. The other two starters are Strickland (7.9-4.0 APG) and freshman Paige (7.7-4.6 APG). Veteran guard McDonald (7.6) and 6-9 freshman Johnson (6.4-3.6) round out Williams’ seven-man rotation. While the Tar Heels have already all put ‘punched’ their “Big Dance ticket,” the Terps are clearly “on the bubble,” at 20-9 (just 8-8 in ACC play). Maryland finishes its regular season Sunday at Virginia and the Terps sure can’t expect to win that one (lost 80-69 to the Cavs). That means, a loss here and Maryland will likely finish at 8-10 in ACC play, NOT a good position to be in. Maryland is a balanced team with nine players appearing in all 29 games (averaging between 4.5 and 12.0 PPG) and PG Howard (3.3-2.4-3.9) missing just two games. Maryland’s top scorers are 6-5 swingman Wells (12.0-4.5-3.2) and the 7-1 Len (12.0-8.1), who has the attention of most NBA observers. These schools met Jan 19 in Chapel Hill and the Tar Heels won 62-52, led by Bullock’s 24 points and McAdoo’s 19 & 11. Neither team shot well (both under 40%) but Maryland ‘killed itself’ by going 1-of-12 from three-point range. This is really a “must win” spot for the Terps but the situation is NOT bad. The Tar Heels have to KNOW “they’re in,” while the Terps can gain confidence from their 16-2 SU mark in College Park, which includes wins over Duke and NC St. Add North Carolina to that list.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, March 6

Dave Essler

Duquesne +3

Certainly this one looks like perhaps Marshall did last night. I don't get how a team that's lost as many recently as Charlotte has can really be a road favorite over anyone in their last home game. Now, I get that Duquesne isn't very good. But let's look at Charlotte for a minute. They've been getting hammered, and here's why. DeMario Mafeild was at one time their leading scorer. He has been indefinitely suspended. JT Thompson was injured and is out for the season. When did all this happen? Right around the time this losing streak started, and they haven't been losing, they've been getting massacred. That also means a lot more playing time for THREE Freshman, and tonight they try to do it on the road, right before THEIR last home game Saturday against St. Josephs. Certainly the focus cannot be there.

As far as Duquesne is concerned, they were manhandled from the word "go" at LaSalle. Well, they were minus a couple of players, as Martins Abele was suspended for a game. He's not a big minutes guy, but he's a big guy at 7'1". When he's able (no pun intended) to play 15 minutes a game as he was earlier in the season, this is a team that beat West Virginia, JMU, and App State on the road. Even without he and Mamadou Datt (another role player) this is a Duquesne team that went to Temple and beat them, so the potential is there. At the pace this game will be played (uber-fast) there is no way we could back Charlotte, with a thin bench and young, on the road, against the last home game. The 49ers are moving to C-USA next year, yet another motivation for Duquesne, and Charlotte's opponents have averaged over 84 points in the last four games. This one, too me, looks like a "we gotta play one more road game" against a team saying "we got a chance to win a game", especially with the potential for travel issues in the Northeast. Simply cannot be a good thing for Charlotte.

We're thinking Duquesne wins this game, and will gladly take the possession. Ten of their 20 losses (ouch) have come against teams ranked in the Top 100 in the RPI.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, March 6

Jeff Scott Sports

3 UNIT PLAYS

Brooklyn -9 over CHARLOTTE: This Charlotte team is horrible right now and coming off a 4 game west coast trip to face a desperate Nets squad that is rested and an off BB losses is not the best situational spot for these Bobcats. Charlotte has lost their last 7 in a row, but the last 6 have been just plain horrible as they lost by at least 14 in each game and have been outscored by 24.8 ppg over that stretch. They really don't look ike they are on the verge of even being competitive right now and they could even lose to a few college teams at this point. The Nets are not a college team and they are fighting for the Atlantic Division crown and coming off BB loss you have to feel that they will look to pound this weak team tonight. The Nets are 4-1 SU in their last 5 meetings vs the Bobcats and have won those 4 games by at least 10 each, including a 16 point win over Charlotte back in December when the Bobcats were playing much better. Nets by at least 15 here.   


LA Lakers -2 over NEW ORLEANS: I know that the Lakers have struggled on the road this year, but this is a team that seems to be focused right now and they also have a decent shot at making it to the playoffs. LA has gone 10-5 in their last 5 games and they are 7-0 SU in games vs sub .500 teams over that stretch. New Orleans is clearly under .500 as they stand at 21-40 on the year and are just 11-19 at home. The Hornets have won just 2 of their last 8 games overall and they have lost their last 7 games in a row to the Lakers, including both meetings this year. The Lakers won back here in early December when they were not playing so hot at all and now they are playing with a purpose and with fire and should be able to easily take out the Hornets in this one.


Miami/ Orlando Under 203.5: One of the things i have done this year is to take the UNDER in games when Miami plays a shitty team and that's what we have tonight. You would think that when the Heat take on a team that they totally outclass that they would pile on the points, but these seem to be the games that they do enough on offense to win the game, while letting their defense do the rest. In games where Miami is a double digit favorite they have averaged just 101.7 ppg, with those games putting up just 197.7 ppg. Now for Orlando, when they have been a DD dog they just do't score a whole lot, averaging just 93 ppg, while their defense is not overly bad in those games, having allowed just 100.3 ppg. This has the feel of the Heats last game as they were big road faves over Minnesota and won by a 99-81 score. Their offense din't explode on the T-Wolves and I don't expect them to here either as they will once again take the night off offensively and just let their defense do most of the work.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, March 6

SPORTS WAGERS

St. Bonaventure +7½ over DAYTON

It’s senior’s night at the University of Dayton and what that entails is a ceremony before tipoff to honor two players, Josh Benson and Kevin Dillard, who will both play their final home game for the Flyers. It also means that the focus on the actual game, which means little to begin with, takes a backseat to the ceremony. Even at its best, in a favorable situation, Dayton would have a tough time covering this number against the Bonnies.

The Bonnies have won three straight and four of their last six. The two defeats were in OT. They’re the defending A-10 tourney champions and they’re playing like it as of late. St. Bonaventure is also one of the best free-throw shooting clubs in the nation. It hit 32 of 33 free throws in its last game against Charlotte, when they hung up 104 points. The Bonnies are on a roll and they've been an undervalued commodity in recent weeks, notching six consecutive point-spread covers coming into these final two games. We’re not asking them to win here. We’re asking them to hang around against a club below them in the standings and less talented on the court. Not a stretch by any imagination.


DUQUESNE +116 over Charlotte

It’s not easy to pull the trigger on a Duquesne team that is 1-13 in conference play but the Charlotte 49ers may have less motivation than any team in the A-10 or the entire country for that matter. We’re not going to say that the Dukes have been competitive or on the verge of improving. What we will suggest is that no team wants to end their season with one win in conference play and a big fat zero on its home court. That’s what’s facing Duquesne tonight and they won’t go down easy while the 49ers are likely to show up in body only.

The 49ers have endured a bevy of injuries, suspensions and rotation changes this season and it's taken its toll. Since Charlotte’s 15-2 start (largely the result of a weak nonconference slate), Alan Major's squad has lost four in a row and seven of its past nine. There's been a lot of talk in Charlotte about a lack of leadership, both on and off the floor, following consecutive 19-plus-point blowout losses at home to Dayton and Temple and at St. Bonnies this past weekend. The 49ers close out the season (and it can’t come soon enough for them) at home against St. Joe’s on Saturday, making this meaningless affair nothing more than a big inconvenience for this mentally beaten down traveler.

Pass NBA & NHL

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, March 6

Jeff Alexander

South Carolina -8.5

Mississippi State ended a 13-game losing streak last time out with a win over rival Ole Miss. I was on the Bulldogs there as I expected them to get up for a rivalry game. However, I expect them to go right back in the tank here as they've been ready for the season to end for quite some time. They've lost their last 7 on the road in SEC play by an average of 19.4 points, and South Carolina will be out to avenge an earlier loss to the Bulldogs.

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