Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, March 8

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, March 8

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Atlanta +4 -over BOSTONFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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These two have split two games this season and the last four games they played last year. There are no scores to settle or other intangibles that stick out. Boston is in seventh place in the Eastern Conference but they’re 10 games up on the ninth place Raptors so there is no danger of them missing the playoffs. Coming off seven road games in its last eight games, including the past two in Philly and Indiana, the latter being an intense, two-point win over the red-hot Pacers, Boston is likely to be a little bit gassed for this one while the Hawks will be fresh.
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The Hawks are coming off a home win over Philadelphia on Wednesday. Atlanta has won five of its past seven road games with only losses over that stretch occurring at Denver and the Lakers. Atlanta is 21-14 against Eastern Conference foes but seven of those losses occurred against clubs that are ahead of them in the standings and Boston isn’t one of those teams. Against the rest of the East, Atlanta is 21-7. Getting points with this superior visitor against a Boston club, whose coach has repeatedly suggested that he won’t burn players out in the regular season and its only goal is to make the playoffs, has much appeal.
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CHARLOTTE +14 over Oklahoma CityFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The oddsmakers can’t give the Hornets enough points these days. Here’s a home team that has lost eight games in a row both straight up and against the spread. At home against Brooklyn in their last game, the Hornets lost by 19 as a 10-point pooch. Prior to that, as a 13-point dog in Portland, they lost by 22 and the list goes on and on. Getting 14 points here, Charlotte becomes this season’s biggest home dog and while this team is complete rat-doo-doo, an opportunity still exists.
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The Oklahoma Thunder has defeated the Hornets in four straight and in six of the past seven games. In their one meeting this season, the Thunder clobbered Charlotte by 45 points (114-69). OKC played a highly emotional and intense game last night at the World’s Most Famous Arena and hung on for a one-point win. The Thunder are in the second game of a four games in five nights stretch with Boston and San Antonio up next on Sunday and Monday respectively. If ever there was a time for a club to focus on more important things, this could be it. An inflated line in a very unfavorable scheduling spot makes this the ideal time to fade the visitor.
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Washington/BROOKLYN over 182½FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Wizards play solid defense, allowing a sixth best 95.2 points per game. Offensively, Washington ranks 30th, averaging just 91.8 points-per-game. Those numbers are averaged out over this entire season, often resulting in skewed results. Many of the Wizards’ games this year were without John Wall and without Bradley Beal playing significant minutes. Beal (questionable for tonight) is averaging 17 points per game over his last nine while Wall is averaging 17 points and nine assists per game. The last time a Wizards game had a posted total lower than this one was way back on February 1st, 14 games ago against the Grizzlies in Memphis.
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The Nets are only two games back of the No. 2 seed in the East but they seem to be the forgotten challenger. When Avery Johnson was coaching, the team’s identity was one of a slow-paced, methodical group that worked the clock in order to find the best shot possible and play solid defense. That’s not the case since Johnson was axed. With P.J. Carlesimo now calling the shots, Brooklyn is scoring more points and giving up more, ranking 17th in defensive efficiency. In eight of the Nets’ last nine games, the winning team has scored 96 points or more each time. In three of the last four games that the Wizards and Nets met, the winning team has scored 108 points or more. These two meet again with different identities this time around with both clubs being more efficient on offense

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, March 8

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ANAHEIM -½ +106 over CalgaryFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Regulation only. Calgary will have to end a lengthy skid in Anaheim in order to extend its two-game winning streak and we don’t see that happening. The Flames have lost 15 straight in Orange County since last winning at the Honda Center on Jan. 19, 2004. After big wins over San Jose and Vancouver, both in Calgary, the Flames are up against it here. They haven’t won three in a row in over a year and have lost three straight on the road at Colorado, Minnesota and Phoenix. Things get tougher here. 
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This year the Ducks are powerful, owning a 9-1-0 record as the host. The Ducks power-play ranks first in the league at 29.2 %. They have a nine-point division lead over second place Dallas. They come in focused every night and with St. Louis and Minnesota up next, the Ducks focus should once again be on the task at hand. Give the Flames credit for being very competitive this year when most thought they couldn’t be. However, at this venue, against this strong and determined host, Calgary is simply outclassed. 
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COLORADO +130 over ChicagoFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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OT included. 24 and counting. That’s half the schedule that the Blackhawks have not lost in regulation. It’s an incredible streak that has to be considered one of the most remarkable runs in sports history. Chicago needs no introductions.
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You all might remember when the Colorado Avalanche were winning Stanley Cups and were the NHL’s most dominant team. It was not that long ago when the Pepsi Center was packed with an atmosphere that was electric every night. During that time, this was the one of the most difficult buildings in the league for the opposition to leave with a win. Expect that same atmosphere here. Colorado played Chicago tough in a 3-2 loss in the only meeting between the two this season just two days ago. The Avs have won three straight at home over Calgary, St. Louis and Nashville while scoring 12 times over that span. If effort, determination and atmosphere have any impact on the outcome of games, and we’re suggesting it does, this looks like the night the streak ends.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, March 8

Jack Jones

Golden State Warriors -1½

The Golden State Warriors will be more motivated for a win tonight than at any other point this season. They are battling for a playoff spot in the Western Conference right alongside Houston. I look for them to protect their home court tonight.

The reason these Warriors will be motivated is the fact that they've lost to the Rockets twice already this season in their first two meetings. That includes a 109-140 setback at Houston on February 5th as they were thoroughly embarrassed. It's payback time tonight folks.

Golden State is 20-7 at home this season where it is scoring 102.3 points/game and allowing 97.7 points/game. Houston is just 13-20 on the road this year, giving up 103.4 points/game away from home. Given these numbers and the motivation factor, I'll take my chances on the Warriors as only a 1.5-point home favorite tonight.

Houston is 4-17 ATS in road games after allowing 100 points or more 2 straight games over the last 2 seasons. The Rockets are 2-16 ATS in road games after 2 straight games giving up 10 or less offensive rebounds over the last 2 seasons. The home team is 8-3 ATS in the last 11 meetings. The favorite is 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings. Bet the Warriors Friday.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, March 8

Steve Janus

Portland Trailblazers +11½

It's never easy betting against the Spurs at home, but I feel like there's a lot of value here with the Trailblazers. San Antonio was able to rally in the 2nd half against Chicago to pull out a 101-83 win at home as a 8.5-point favorite. They have now won two straight by double-digits without Tony Parker in the lineup. While the Spurs can make an injury seem like it doesn't matter with their ability to plug someone in and keep winning, I don't believe they will keep blowing teams out without him on the floor.

The Spurs have had their troubles with Portland of late. The Trailblazers lost by just 3-points in the first meeting between these two teams this season and were able to hold on for a 98-90 victory in the second meeting. After blowing a big lead Wednesday in a 85-91 loss at Memphis, I look for Portland to come out and lay everything on the line to get a win here. While it's unlikely they pull off the upset, this game should be decided by single-digits.

Portland is 14-4-2 ATS in their last 20 games vs a team with a winning S.U. record, 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall and 9-2-1 ATS in their last 12 games vs a team with a winning % above .600. San Antonio has covered three straight, but are still just 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 games following a game where they covered the spread.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, March 8

Dave Price

Indiana Pacers -9

The Pacers will be lacking no motivation tonight. They blew a 10-point 4th-quarter lead and lost to the Celtics last time out. Furthermore, they lost by 11 to lowly Orlando in the first meeting. These setbacks assure us the Pacers will be hungry. It's been a miserable season for the Magic, and I believe they'll have a tough time getting up for this one. They had the reigning NBA champion Heat beat Wednesday until LeBron James drove a dagger into their chest with a last-second lay up. Orlando will have a tough time bouncing back from such a tough loss here. The Magic have lost 6 in a row at home by an average of 21.2 points. Indiana, on the other hand, has won 3 straight on the road by an average of 16.3 points. The Pacers are 18-9 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points this season. Lay the number.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, March 8

Red Dog Sports

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Charlotte Bobcats    
Play: Charlotte Bobcats

Take the home underdog getting plenty of points. Oklahoma City is a strong team off a one point game with New York and now must play at letdown game in Charlotte against the struggling Bobcats. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook lead the visitors but I think Charlotte stays within 12 points on Friday night.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, March 8

Don Best Consensus

Furman vs Samford
Pick: Furman

Paladins are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games. Paladins are 7-2 ATS in the last 9 meetings

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Players Edge

St. Peter's vs Fairfield
Pick: Fairfield

Fairfield comes into this Southern Conference game 3-0 SU in neutral site games this year, while St. Peter's is 0-1. Fairfield has beaten St. Peter's twice already this season by an average of 12 points. St. Peter's is 4-14 ATS in their last 18 overall. Take Fairfield.

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Bob Balfe

Lakers -7.5 over Raptors

The comeback we saw the other night was amazing. The Lakers are a talented team. They just have been playing lazy because they are one of the few teams that understands regular season hoops means nothing. The Playoffs are all that matters. Toronto is awful on the road and I expect the Lakers to pick up where they left off in the fourth quarter against New Orleans. This game can really send them on their way to getting into a playoff spot. Take the Lakers.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, March 8

Kyle Hunter

North Texas vs. UL Lafayette
Play: Over

The North Texas Mean and Louisiana Lafayette Ragin Cajuns have played two games this year that both went well over this posted total. North Texas can't guard opponents who shoot the three well, and Lafayette put up 105 points on them last time because of that. Both of these teams get to the line, and a lot of free throws in the end in a close game wouldn't surprise me a bit. The over is 5-2 in Lafayette's last 7 games overall.

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Jeff Alexander

LA Lakers -7.5

With an opportunity to move above .500 for the first time since November, I expect the Lakers to roll tonight. The fact they are now just 1 1/2 games behind Utah for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference provides added motivation. The Lakers have won 9 straight at home versus Toronto by an average of 11.4 points. Take LA.

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Dennis Macklin

Rutgers +4

In this battle of New Jersey train wrecks, we'll take the guys from New Brunswick over the guys from South Orange. Not much to chose from here with Rutgers just 1-11 in their L12 and Seton Hall 2-14 in their L16 but the Scarlet Knights lone win was against this Seton Hall bunch back on February 12th in 57-55 snoozer that the Pirates never led. While Rutgers is a reasonable 4-3 Big East road dog, The Hall is just 2-6 straight up at the Prudential Center. With Big East home favorites of five or less just 9-19 this year, we'll hold our noses and take a flyer on the Scarlet Knights.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, March 8

Jeff Scott Sports

3 UNIT PLAYS

Phoenix/ Sacramento Under 207: A few years ago this would have been an easy Over play, but the Suns are not the scoring machine they once were, plus they have been playing very good defense of late as well. The Suns offense has scored just 87.8 ppg in their last 6 games and the only game that they have topped 100 points in their last 7 games was in OT. For the most part their defense has held its own of late as they have allowed just 93.2 ppg in their last 5 games, and that's with two OT games thrown in there. Granted that Kings games have been very high scoring of late, but their recent stretch of games have included either high scoring teams like Miami, San Antonio, Dallas and Denver or bad defensive teams like Orlando, Charlotte and Dallas. Phoenix is not in either of those categories right now and I feel they can slow game down enough on offense and continue to play good defense, which should put us at no more than 202 points.


CHICAGO -4 over Utah: The Jazz have really struggle on the road this year as they are just 10-21 SU away from home and they have allowed 102 ppg in those games.  Their defense really struggles on the road. Well Chicago's defense doesn't struggle at home where they allow just 88.8 ppg. Utah is off BB losses and they are just 1-4 in their last 5 overall. Now they head to an angry Chicago team that is off an 18 point loss to San Antonio in their last game. Chicago will want to bounceback in a strong way with a big win over the floundering Jazz in this one.


Philadelphia/ Miami Over 194.5:  Normally I have been looking to play the under when Miami takes on some of the weaker teams in the NBA, but I feel this is a spot to go the other way. A reason for playing the Under in these games is because these are the type of games that the Heat usually take off offensively, but after narrowly beating Charlotte in their last game I just don't see this Miami offense taking the night off. They will look to put big numbers here and they should vs a Philly defense that has allowed 108 ppg in their last two games and who allowed Miami 114 points in the first meeting. Miami averages 107.9 ppg at home, but they also allow 97.7 ppg on their home floor. Philly's offense not that strong, but they have scored 96+ points in 3 of their last 4 games and should be able to score at least 92 in this one, while Miami notches no less than 17 points of their own. This one should hit at least 200 points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, March 8

Red Wolf Sports

Boston Celtics -4

The Celts are on a roll, and we're going to ride them. Boston has covered four spreads in a row, and faces a tired Atlanta squad playing its seventh road game in eight contests. Without Rajon Ronjo, Boston is spreading the ball around, and its other stars are contributing more. Boston has covered seven of eight at home, and will continue that run tonight. Take Boston.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, March 8

Harry Bondi

GOLDEN STATE (-2) over Houston

Last night we had a nice FREE WINNER on Florida State who avenged their worst loss of the season in beating Virginia outright. Tonight, we take that angle to the NBA where Golden State is primed for payback against a Houston squad that tried to set an NBA record for 3 pointers made earlier this year in running up the score in an embarrassing 140-110 Warriors loss! We think Golden State gets it's revenge tonight against a Houston team that has dropped four of it's last five to the number.

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