Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday March 14

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JR ODonnellFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Colorado +130FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Colorado +130 tonight as the Avs got embarrassed last time out a bagel... 0-4 shutout loss to Edmonton...yuk... NOW THEY TAKE THE SHOW ON THE ROAD TO MINNY..... Avalanche forward  Duchene is hot and has four goals and three assists over his past four games...Power rated @ pickem... Value on these nasty & upset Avs...  We give the edges to Offense & in the Net.... AVS STEAL ONE IN MINNY 3-2 final

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday March 14

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Georgetown -5 over Cincinnati: This team has been dominant this year and while they did lose at Villanova in their second to last home game, they did bounceback and flex their muscles in their 22 point home win over Syracuse in their season finale. This team plays great defense and should have little problems shutting down a poor shooting Cincinnati squad that has scored 61 points or less in 9 of their last 10 games during regulation, while averaging just 54.3 ppg (regulation) during that stretch. Now they face a Georgetown squad that just held the league's top scoring to just 39 points. No way the Cats put up more than the 55 they put up in the season's lone meeting between the teams. The Hoya offense is average at best, while the Cats defense is very solid, but I still don't see Cincinnati coming up with enough points to keep this one close. 
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Iowa/ Northwestern Under 125: The Cats can't for shit right now and they play a slow down tempo to boot. The Cats are 326th in the nation and they score just 60.8 ppg on the year, including just 57.8 ppg away from home. Their last 13 games have been very horrific offensively as they scored more than 61 points just once in those games, while posting an average of  53.6 ppg over that stretch. The Cats have scored 59 or less in 13 of their big 10 games, including both vs Iowa and it doesn't figure to get much better for them vs a tough Iwa Defense that has allowed just 58.5 ppg on 37% shooting in their last 6 games. Iowa has the 2nd ranked defense in term of effective FG% in the Big 10 and the Cats come in hitting just 35.2 ppg in their last 5 games. I really don't expect more than 53 from the Cats in this one. Thanks to their slow down pace the Cats have played pretty good defense this year, allowing just 63.4 ppg on the year and they should be able to hold down a Hawkeye team that has put up just 63 points or less in 4 of their last 5 games. Iowa has also struggle to shoot the ball in their last 5 games, hitting just 40.2% of their shots over hat stretch. Really just one team has a shot at 60 points in this one, while the other team has no shot at topping 55 points. This should be a slow paced game with a final that looks like 65-53.

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Charlotte vs. RichmondFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: Under 129FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Both Charlotte and Richmond will find their way into the post-season. The question is where? This game, and for the winner, those that follow will kill or enhance the resume of each, so this one becomes an important game for both. I expect both teams to bring a lot of intensity to the defensive end of the court. These teams also have something else in common as they tend to struggle offensively on a neutral court. Combined, they enter this game with a 13-4-1 UNDER mark when playing on a neutral court. They have pretty much mirrored those numbers in their last 13 meetings as the UNDER has prevailed to a 9-4 mark. Play this one UNDER the total.

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Chase DiamondFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Dallas Mavericks vs. San Antonio SpursFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Dallas MavericksFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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This game features the 30-33 Mavs at the 49-16 Spurs. The Mavs have won 5 of their 7 games and are inching their way back to a .500 record after a porous start to the season. The Mavs still have a shot at the playoffs believe it or not and this is another must game win for them. "We know time is short, and urgency is high," coach Rick Carlisle said. The Mavericks are an excellent 20-13 ATS on the road this year and 19-13 ATS as the underdog. The Spurs are still without Tony Parker and have a banged up Tim Duncan on crutches. The Spurs have lost 2 of its last 3 games and those losses where blowout one to Portland and Minnesota. The public is heavilly backing the Spurs here at a rate of 73% making us love the Mavs all the more play a 8* play on the Mavs plus the points.

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Bob BalfeFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Oklahoma PK over Iowa StateFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Iowa State is one of my favorite team to watch. They play at a fast pace and have really good shooters, but the truth is they are not that great when they are not in their own home arena. These neutral site games can be a grind and I think the Sooners are better at getting to the foul line and getting easy points. Iowa State would have to shoot lights out to win this game and you just cannot handicap if a team is going to be on or off. Oklahoma can handle this style of play and raise it with physical play. Take the Sooners.
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Maryland -5.5 over Wake ForestFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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To me this game is as simple as Maryland being the better team on offense and on defense. The Terps are a better rebounding team that will not allow a lot of second chance points. Wake is just not a solid basketball team and their lack of defense should have them bounced with ease today. Maryland does have some youth, but I don’t think a team like Wake can take advantage of that. Take the Terps
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Long Beach -7 over CS FullertonFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Long Beach was not supposed to be this good again this year, but they took advantage of a very tough non conference schedule and learned from getting crushed by really good teams. This is a well coached program and CS Fullerton is short handed with injuries. 2 of the top 3 players on this team that contribute a lot of points and minutes are not going to be playing and it also makes this team very small in size compared to Long Beach. Let the spread take care of itself here. Take Long Beach.

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SPORTS WAGERSFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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COLUMBUS +152 over ChicagoFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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OT included. The Blackhawks may still be coming down after their historic run ended in Colorado on March 8. Chicago subsequently lost at home to the Oilers by a score of 6-5 and suddenly, they’ve allowed 12 goals against in two games. We all knew that the goaltending combination of Corey Crawford and Ray Emery couldn’t sustain the pace they were on with both being average goaltenders. Chicago has a comfortable 15-point lead on the third place Canucks and is likely to be in cruise mode for the next couple of weeks. The ‘Hawks will be a top-seeded playoff team and no longer looking to extend their record breaking run, they can afford to relax a bit.
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The Blue Jackets five-game win streak was snapped on Tuesday when they lost in OT to the Canucks. It was the Jackets’ 11th loss of the season by one goal but they still managed to pick up a point to extend their point-getting streak to six games. The Jackets are a tough out. Columbus has the mindset of a prize fighter in that they work relentlessly and never give up. When Chicago came in here sky high on March 1, they won 4-3 in OT as a -265 favorite. This time around, the Blackhawks aren’t going to be as jacked up while the Blue Jackets will be. Brandon Dubinsky’s return to the line-up makes these Jackets even tougher than they were the last time Chicago was here. As a significant pooch in its own building and getting stronger as the season wears on, Columbus has proven that they can be trusted to compete with any.
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N.Y. Islanders +109 over TAMPA BAYFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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OT included. What has happened to the Tampa Bay Lightning? Looking like true contenders at the start of the season, the Bolts have regressed as badly as any team in the NHL. With poor goaltending that deflates a team every time a softie is allowed, Tampa has two wins over its past nine games. One of those two victories came in Florida on Tuesday in a game the Lightning were outshot 39-13. The Bolts’ last home win came on February 19 against the Maple Leafs. Tampa has dropped four in a row and six of seven in its own building.
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The Islanders have picked up points in seven of 11 road games (6 wins, 1 OT loss). They’ve also picked up points in four of their past five games with only regulation loss over that span occurring in Pittsburgh. With two of the best puck-moving defensemen in the league in Mark Streit and Lubomir Visnovsky, it’s no mystery as to why the Islanders power-play ranks fourth in the Eastern conference. That should bode well here against the Lightning, who has been in the box more times than 22 of the 30 NHL clubs. Off since Sunday and coming off a poor performance in Pittsburgh, the Islanders will be fresh and raring to go here. The Bolts haven’t been raring to go in weeks.
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Los Angeles +104 over SAN JOSEFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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OT included. Only two points separate these two in the standings and that provides us with one of the best wagering opportunities of the season because equals they are not. In 18 games since San Jose’s 7-0 start, they have just four wins and the future does not appear bright. Among the string of defeats is a 5-2 loss to Colorado, a 4-1 loss to Calgary, a 6-2 loss to the Blue Jackets and two losses to the Predators. In those 18 games after the fast start, the Sharks have scored a league low 29 goals. Now they’re favored over Los Angeles?
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Whenever the Kings are being offered a price, they are worth taking a look at. Against reeling squads, we’ve seen the killer instinct in this visitor. They figure to bring that mindset here against this rival in the first game of the season between these Pacific Division rivals. Winners in 12 of its past 15 games and loaded offensively and defensively, a rested Kings’ team taking back a tag has so much more value than a Sharks’ squad spotting one. Los Angeles hasn’t lost consecutive games in over a month. Coming off a 5-2 loss at Phoenix, San Jose figures to be victimized.

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SPORTS WAGERSFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Colorado +172 over ArizonaFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The GM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas will be the site of this quarter-final, PAC-12 matchup and while the 4½-points being offered may look appealing, we like the Buffaloes enough to play them outright. Money was to be made betting against Arizona throughout the course of the Pac-12 season. The Wildcats are still mired in a long-term 7-14 ATS slump, including a 2-8 ATS mark on the road. Arizona is a decent team but the Wildcats are continually priced incorrectly, largely due to its #18 ranking and at early-season one-point (lucky) wins against Florida and San Diego State which anointed this team as an elite-level squad. We aren’t fooled.
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Colorado is a real matchup problem for the Wildcats. In the first meeting of the season between these two on January 3 in Arizona, the Buffaloes lost in OT. When the teams met in Boulder on February 14, Colorado exacted revenge with a 71-58 victory. One could argue that the Buffaloes were the better club in both matchups, especially in the second game. Now Colorado comes into this one with plenty of hot shooters, including 6’5 guard Spencer Dinwiddle, who has gone off for 20 points or more in five of the schools’ last eight games. The Wildcats are in the field of 68 at the main event. Teams that have their tickets punched already often relax at these rather meaningless conference tournaments. To qualify for the upcoming tourney, the Buffaloes have to win the Pac-12 tournament. They opened the tourney with a win over Oregon State yesterday and suddenly two more wins after this one seems attainable. A more focused team in a favorable matchup certainly has a solid chance to pull off the upset.
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Notre Dame +116 over MarquetteFFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Golden Eagles went 16-0 at home this season. Away from the Bradley Center, Marquette is just 7-7 and this one will be played in New Jersey on a neutral floor. The Golden Eagles are just not the same team when they leave their area code. At St. John’s, in the season finale, Marquette needed OT to beat the weak Johnnies to secure a share of the Big East title with Louisville and Georgetown. When these two played in the regular season at Marquette just over two weeks ago, the Golden Eagles won by eight. In that game, Marquette shot 59.6 % from the field while the Irish hit on 23 of 60 FG attempts (38%). Those numbers suggest a blowout but Notre Dame lost by just eight. There is very little chance of that discrepancy happening again, as the Irish possess the better defense here.
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Recently, the Irish held both Cincinnati and Pitt below 42 points and those two opponents combined to shoot just 2-for-20 from 3-point range. Notre Dame's strong defense and style of play is conducive to winning this time of year, especially against a team that does not travel well. The Irish went 3-0 on neutral courts this season and in a rematch that figures to be more statistically even, Notre Dame’s chances of winning are better than the Eagles chances

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NellyFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Penn State + over MichiganFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Penn State has given Michigan a lot of problems this season, playing very close in an eight-point loss in Ann Arbor and then stunning the Wolverines with a comeback win at home. Both of those games came within the last month so these teams will be very familiar with each other and this is a Penn State team that has been very competitive down the stretch despite the last place finish in the Big Ten. Penn State has its two conference wins within the last four games and the Lions have covered in six of the last seven games. Penn State played very close games with Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin down the stretch and this team has the perimeter talent to compete well with a still young Michigan squad. Michigan is 1-9 ATS in the last 10 games as this team has faded late in the season despite at one point being the #1 team in the nation. Michigan has five losses in the last 10 games and this team could certainly be caught looking ahead with a potential rematch with Wisconsin on deck for the winner. In the last 10 games Michigan has not defeated a team by more than 13 points and only once in the last 16 games did Michigan win by more than 15 points as this team has not had blowout wins since the first three games of the conference season. Away from home Michigan has been highly vulnerable defensively, allowing over 70 points per game on over 45 percent shooting and Penn State will have opportunities to keep this game tight.

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Harry BondiFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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VANDERBILT (+3.5) over ArkansasFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Hogs were absolutely dismal this year when playing away from home, going 1-11 SU while averaging 61.6 points per game. For a team that overall scored an average of 73.7 ppg, this is a drastic drop-off. Sure, this isn't a true road game, but you can be sure Vandy -- which has won four of its last five games -- will have the crowd behind it since the tournament is being staged in nearby Nashville. When these two teams last played, the Commodores avenged an earlier loss to the Hogs by rolling to an 18-point victory as a three-point home dog. Take the points.

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NHL PredictionsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Minnesota Wild -140FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Avalanche are 10-11-4 on the season, but an awful 2-8-3 on the road. Minnesota is 13-10-2 on the season and a solid 9-3-1 at home. These two teams have met twice already in Minnesota, with the Wild winning 4-2 in the first meeting and then the Avs winning 4-3 in a shootout their last time out. I think Colorado beating the Wild in Minnesota for one of the 2 road wins may help here tonight, as the Wild won't be taking Colorado lightly. Minnesota is 5-1-1 in their last 7 home games, and their lone regulation loss was on Tuesday vs Anaheim. The Wild outplayed Anaheim for most of the game, but ran into a hot goalie in Hiller and could only get one by him on 31 shots. Colorado is coming off of a 4-0 home loss vs the last place Oilers, and they have won just 3 of their last 10 games. Minnesota is a much better home team, while Colorado has only won 2 games in 13 tries on the road. I will lay a bit of chalk with Minnesota tonight.
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Anaheim Ducks +102FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The second pick of the night is going on one of the top teams in the NHL right now as underdogs. Dallas did beat Anaheim 3-1 back on February 8th in Dallas, which is why we see the Stars as slight favorites, but remembering back that was a Friday night game and it was a bad spot for the Ducks. Anaheim is 19-3-3 on the season and a solid 8-2-3 on the road this year. They have won 4 straight games, including a 2-1 victory in Minnesota on Tuesday night and have outscored opponents 12-3 over those 4 games. Jonas Hiller is red hot right now in net, allowing just 3 goals over his last 3 games. Dallas is 12-11-2 on the season and 5-5-1 at home, but are coming off two straight losses. Dallas lost 4-0 at home vs Nashville on Tuesday and 2-1 in Phoenix on Saturday. Take note that the Ducks are 9-2 in their last 11 games following a win. Anaheim is also 8th in the league in goals against per game and 3rd in goals scored per game. This should be a good game, but I will take the Ducks who are looking for revenge and riding a hot goalie as small underdogs.

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Teddy Covers 

Arkansas vs. Vanderbilt
Play: Arkansas

Vanderbilt enjoyed a very easy slate down the stretch, winning four of their last five games in large part because they played three of the weakest teams in the conference—South Carolina, Auburn and Mississippi State.  They escaped with a one point win (as 5.5-point favorites, a non-cover) over offensively challenged Georgia and got absolutely annihilated at Florida in their other two games during that span.

Kevin Stalling’s squad is as young as it gets.  They don’t have a senior on the roster after graduating all five senior starters from last year’s team.  And they have only two juniors; Kyle Fuller and Rod Odom.  That’s why the Commodores have struggled so much away from home this year; not a team to trust in a neutral court environment, even one in their home city.  Let’s not forget how Arkansas held Vandy to a grand total of ten made shots in 40 minutes of gametime in their 56-33 home win back in January – poor offensive efforts away from home have been a staple of the Commodores season.

Arkansas, on the other hand, has seven upperclassmen on the roster and that doesn’t include leading scorer, sophomore BJ Young.  Head coach Mike Anderson takes these conference tournaments very seriously dating back to his tenure at Missouri.  And Anderson’s team was good enough to beat Tennessee, Florida, Kentucky and Missouri SU while losing in spread covering fashion by only three points at Alabama.  Those were the five best teams in the SEC this year.  Vanderbilt went 0-7 in their games against those same five teams.

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Erin Rynning

Nebraska vs. Purdue
Play: Nebraska

If you've been watching these conference tournaments you know that winning by margin (or straight up for that matter) isn't easy when you’re a favorite. And it becomes even more difficult when the team laying the points spent much of the season struggling to achieve mediocrity. That appears to be the case for Purdue who finds itself in a position of laying -6 after a strong finish to the regular season. The Boilermakers found a way to win in Madison and were very respectable in a five-point home loss to Michigan. In the season finale, they rolled over a toxic Minnesota squad, 89-73. To me however, Purdue is being priced based on a three-game swatch of games rather than its entire body of work. It is hard to say a lot of positive things about Nebraska who finished 5-13 in Big Ten play. They were outclassed on most nights against the league's elite but against more comparable foes, they were able to stick around. Expect a low possession game and for Nebraska to do enough to stay within the inflated number.

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Marc Lawrence

New York Knicks at Portland Trail Blazers
Prediction: New York Knicks

When the Knicks meet the Trailblazers in Portland Thursday evening, New York will take the court with revenge on its mind from a loss suffered earlier this season at Madison Square Garden. They also enter off a 23-point thumping last night at Denver. With the Blazers just 1-5 ATS in this series in games off back-to-back losses, look for the Knickerbockers to even the score here tonight. We recommend a 1-unit play on New York.

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Larry Ness

Tulsa vs. East Carolina
Pick: Tulsa

With steadily declining attendance and a program seemingly “going nowhere,” Tulsa officials decided to fire head coach Doug Wojcik. Tulsa “went big,” hiring a true legend in college basketball, Danny Manning (former player of the year and the man who led Kansas to its improbable national title in 1988). Manning's 5th-seeded Golden Hurricane (16-14 / 8-8) exceeded expectations this season as the first-year head coach's squad was projected to finish closer to the cellar of the standings. Tulsa doesn't do anything exceptionally well but Manning has developed a solid team. Four guards make solid contributions in Woodard (11.9-5.9), Swilling (10.7), Haralson(10.4-3.7) and Ray (7.6), while the 6-8 Wright (8.6-5.0) and the 6-7 Black (7.6-4.5) are the team’s best frontcourt players. Meanwhile the fourth-seeded East Carolina Pirates begin their quest for their first-ever Conference USA tourney title. Jeff Lebo's Pirates (18-11 / 9-7) love to “score the ball,” as they average 77.2 PPG, led by the 6-8 Kemp (18.4-7.7) and Missouri transfer Paul (13.1-6.9 APG), who has effectively run the point. Manning's first-year produced a surprisingly good effort from his team and he gets an “extra bonus” in that this tourney is being played at the BOK Center in Tulsa (not Tulsa’s home court but close enough!). Danny wins his first tourney game as a head coach. Then he gets Memphis. Now THAT’s another story!

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Jesse Schule

Clemson vs. Florida St.
Pick: Florida St.

The Seminoles and the Tigers appear to be two teams headed in different directions. Florida State finished the season on a hot streak, with back to back wins over Virginia and N.C. State, while the Tigers lost each of their last six games.


Florida State already defeated Clemson twice this year, both at home as well as on the road. They split the home and home series last season, with each team winning their home game. The Seminoles finished four games ahead of the Tigers in the ACC standings, with a record of 9-9.

Florida State has been punishing opponents with it's clinical display at the free throw line, led by freshman guard Devon Bookert. The Seminoles hit 22-of-29 from the charity stripe in their win against the Wolfpack, while N.C. State hit just 21-of-33.

When you consider the head to hear record, and the fact that Florida State has been by far the hotter team as of late, it seems like they should giving giving up a few more points that the low number they are being asked to cover here.

I like the Seminoles to win this game easily, but if it's close coming down the stretch, you have to give the edge to the team with superior free throw shooting.

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Matt Fargo

Tulane vs. Memphis
Pick: Tulane

Memphis is the clear favorite to win the C-USA Tournament but playing outside of Memphis is pretty foreign to the Tigers. The Green Wave come in sky high after erasing a 13-point second half deficit against Marshall to win on Wednesday. This is only the second year in the last decade that Memphis has not had the luxury of playing the C-USA Tournament on its home floor. The tournament is contested at the BOK Center in Tulsa this season after being played in El Paso in 2011. Memphis had another spectacular season but it was definitely an under the radar team as not a lot was expected but an 18-game winning streak turned some heads. It has been a very disappointing season for Tulane. The Green Wave were expected to make a run at Memphis in C-USA or at least end up in the top half of the conference and after a 12-3 non-conference start, things were looking up. However, Tulane lost its first two conference games and it could never get back on track as it could do no more than a two-game winning streak the rest of the season. The Green Wave ended the regular season on a four-game losing streak but picked up some momentum with a huge come-from-behind victory over Marshall on Wednesday. It was Tulane's first C-USA tournament win in four years and only the 11th time the Green Wave has won its opening game in 34 tournament appearances so it has to be full of confidence and playing loose is the name of the game. The Green Wave enters the C-USA Tournament as the league's second-best team in taking care of the ball. Tulane averages only 12.2 tpg and maintaining that gives them a shot to keep this close. Memphis rolled in the two regular season meetings but the Green Wave are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games following a win, while the Tigers are 1-6 ATS in their last seven neutral site games.

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Jeff Alexander

Baylor +3

With its back against the wall, Baylor exploded to an 81-58 victory over Kansas in its regular-season finale. The win has the Bears back in the NCAA tournament discussion, but it likely didn't do enough to secure a spot in the field. A win here would go a long way toward Baylor punching its ticket to the Dance. The Bears have had a great deal of success against Oklahoma State recently. They are 3-1 in the last 4 meetings with the loss coming by only 2 points on the road. That defeat came in the most recent meeting but Baylor is on a rock solid 64-50 ATS run when out for revenge for a loss to an opponent. It is also on a terrific 74-56 ATS run in the underdog role. Take Baylor.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday March 14

Dave Price

Oregon -3.5

Oregon enters the Pac-12 tourney highly motivated after losing its last two games of the regular season and the Pac-12 title along with it. The Ducks won both regular-season meetings against Washington by 5 and 13 and should be able to pull off the trifecta in this motivated spot. The Ducks have the advantage in terms of fresh legs as they haven't played since Saturday. Washington just played a high-intensity game against Washington State last night. The thing I like about Oregon is its balance. It has six guys who average over 9.0 points per game. It had 5 players score 9 or more in both wins over Washington during the regular season. It makes things very tough on the defense with so many guys capable of beating you. Oregon's balance helps it prevail again in this motivated spot. Lay the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday March 14

Steve Janus

Iowa Hawkeyes -10

The Iowa Hawkeyes are one of the most underrated teams in college basketball and one that has the talent to beat any team they go up against in the Big 10. Iowa ended up 9-9 inside conference play thanks to a 6-2 run to close out the season. The Hawkeyes could have easily finished with a lot more wins, as six of their nine conference losses came by 4-points or less. Northwestern shouldn't put up much of a fight. The Wildcats come in riding a 8-game losing streak. Their only loss by fewer than 10-points during this stretch came at home against a horrible Penn State team by 7-points. Iowa is clearly the better team and has a lot more to play for, as they need to rack up some wins to get in the discussion for an automatic bid!

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday March 14

Jeff Scott Sports

3 UNIT PLAYS

Georgetown -5 over Cincinnati: This team has been dominant this year and while they did lose at Villanova in their second to last home game, they did bounceback and flex their muscles in their 22 point home win over Syracuse in their season finale. This team plays great defense and should have little problems shutting down a poor shooting Cincinnati squad that has scored 61 points or less in 9 of their last 10 games during regulation, while averaging just 54.3 ppg (regulation) during that stretch. Now they face a Georgetown squad that just held the league's top scoring to just 39 points. No way the Cats put up more than the 55 they put up in the season's lone meeting between the teams. The Hoya offense is average at best, while the Cats defense is very solid, but I still don't see Cincinnati coming up with enough points to keep this one close.  Yes


Iowa/ Northwestern Under 125: The Cats can't for shit right now and they play a slow down tempo to boot. The Cats are 326th in the nation and they score just 60.8 ppg on the year, including just 57.8 ppg away from home. Their last 13 games have been very horrific offensively as they scored more than 61 points just once in those games, while posting an average of  53.6 ppg over that stretch. The Cats have scored 59 or less in 13 of their big 10 games, including both vs Iowa and it doesn't figure to get much better for them vs a tough Iwa Defense that has allowed just 58.5 ppg on 37% shooting in their last 6 games. Iowa has the 2nd ranked defense in term of effective FG% in the Big 10 and the Cats come in hitting just 35.2 ppg in their last 5 games. I really don't expect more than 53 from the Cats in this one. Thanks to their slow down pace the Cats have played pretty good defense this year, allowing just 63.4 ppg on the year and they should be able to hold down a Hawkeye team that has put up just 63 points or less in 4 of their last 5 games. Iowa has also struggle to shoot the ball in their last 5 games, hitting just 40.2% of their shots over hat stretch. Really just one team has a shot at 60 points in this one, while the other team has no shot at topping 55 points. This should be a slow paced game with a final that looks like 65-53.


UMass -3 over George Washington:  The Colonials have not performed well down the stretch, going just 2-6 on their last 8 games, with one of those wins coming over a bad Fordham team. GW is 0-7-1 ATS in those games and have had 5 double digit losses over that stretch. This is not a team that is playing all that well and they will be facing a team that is playing well right now. The Minutemen come in having won 3 of 4, which includes road wins at Rhode Island and Xavier, plu a DD home win over a good Dayton squad.  Both teams have been poor defensively of late, but the Minutemen have the clear advantage on offense as they have put up 76.8 ppg in their last 5 games, while GW has averaged just 66.4 over the same stretch. Clearly we have two teams headed in opposite directions and I will go with the hotter and better team to cove the short number here. 


Arkansas/ Vanderbilt Under 125: Greg Shaker asked if the Books have adjusted to the lower scoring tourney games and as far as this game is concerned I would have to say no. These teams played twice this year and just 116 and 89 points were scored in the two games, yet the OU line for this one is at 125, so I would say their is some Value (God I hate using that word) on the under here. Arkansas hasn't been held in check by many teams on the home floor, but Vanderbilt did hold them to 56 points in a meeting their earlier in the year. Now Arkansas scores 80+at home so that was an impressive defensive performance. Now the Hogs really struggle to score away from their home court, averaging just 60.1 ppg on the road and hey were able to muster just 49 points when they faced Vandy on the road. Vanderbilt is a solid defensive squad overall as they have allowed just 60 ppg overall and 60.6 ppg on the road, while also checking in at 58th in the nation in defensive efficiency. Its no wonder this team has been able to shut down Arkansas. The Hogs don't really play a whole lot of defense, but they are still 66th in the nation in defensive efficiency and will be taking on a weak Vanderbilt offense.   The Commodores play a slow tempo offense (325th in pace) and they average just 60 ppg on the year overall, including just 56.5 ppg on the road. Let's also note that Vandy is 323rd in FT% (63.2%) and they hit just 31% from long range on the road, plus in 2 games vs the Hogs they were able to score just 50 ppg vs them. I just don't see how this game hits 120 points, especially since I expect Vandy to slow the pace like the first 2 meetings.

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