Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, March 17

Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, March 17

DUNKEL INDEX

NBA

Oklahoma City at Dallas
The Thunder look to build on their 11-3-1 ATS record in their last 15 games in Dallas. Oklahoma City is the pick (-4 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Thunder favored by 6 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Oklahoma City (-4 1/2)

Game 871-872: Orlando at Milwaukee (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Orlando 107.755; Milwaukee 122.016
Dunkel Line & Total: Milwaukee by 14 1/2; 202
Vegas Line & Total: Milwaukee by 8 1/2; 207
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (-8 1/2); Under

Game 873-874: Miami at Toronto (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami 127.027; Toronto 117.503
Dunkel Line & Total: Miami by 9 1/2; 199
Vegas Line & Total: Miami by 7 1/2; 195 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Miami (-7 1/2); Over

Game 875-876: New York at LA Clippers (3:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: New York 116.056; LA Clippers 127.061
Dunkel Line & Total: LA Clippers by 11; 199
Vegas Line & Total: LA Clippers by 12 1/2; 195
Dunkel Pick: New York (+12 1/2); Over

Game 877-878: New Orleans at Minnesota (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: New Orleans 113.897; Minnesota 110.082
Dunkel Line & Total: New Orleans by 4; 181
Vegas Line & Total: New Orleans by 1; 189 1/2
Dunkel Pick: New Orleans (-1); Under

Game 879-880: Golden State at Houston (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Golden State 113.458; Houston 125.042
Dunkel Line & Total: Houston by 11 1/2; 212
Vegas Line & Total: Houston by 7; 216 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Houston (-7); Under

Game 881-882: Oklahoma City at Dallas (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oklahoma City 127.450; Dallas 120.963
Dunkel Line & Total: Oklahoma City by 6 1/2; 215
Vegas Line & Total: Oklahoma City by 4 1/2; 209 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Oklahoma City (-4 1/2); Over

Game 883-884: Atlanta at Brooklyn (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta 117.320; Brooklyn 119.100
Dunkel Line & Total: Brooklyn by 2; 192
Vegas Line & Total: Brooklyn by 4; 188
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (+4); Over

Game 885-886: Sacramento at LA Lakers (9:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Sacramento 113.855; LA Lakers 125.984
Dunkel Line & Total: LA Lakers by 12; 208
Vegas Line & Total: LA Lakers by 9; 212 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Lakers (-9); Under

NCAAB

North Carolina vs. Miami (FL)
The Hurricanes look to follow up yesterday's 81-71 win over NC State and build on their 17-6-1 ATS record in their last 24 games following a SU victory. Miami (FL) is the pick (-2 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Hurricans favored by 5. Dunkel Pick: Miami (FL) (-2 1/2)

Game 887-888: North Carolina vs. Miami (FL) (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: North Carolina 67.889; Miami (FL) 72.835
Dunkel Line: Miami (FL) by 5; 137
Vegas Line: Miami (FL) by 2 1/2; 140 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Miami (FL) (-2 1/2); Under

Game 889-890: Mississippi vs. Florida (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Mississippi 66.828; Florida 74.877
Dunkel Line: Florida by 8; 140
Vegas Line: Florida by 11 1/2; 135 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Florida (+11 1/2); Over

Game 891-892: VCU vs. St. Louis (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: VCU 66.888; St. Louis 70.924
Dunkel Line: St. Louis by 4; 133
Vegas Line: St. Louis by 1 1/2; 136 1/2
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (-1 1/2); Under

Game 893-894: Wisconsin vs. Ohio State (3:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Wisconsin 73.608; Ohio State 72.598
Dunkel Line: Wisconsin by 1; 122
Vegas Line: Ohio State by 1 1/2; 117 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Wisconsin (+1 1/2); Over

NHL

Nashville at Edmonton
The Oilers look to take advantage of a Nashville team that is 1-8 in its last 9 road games. Edmonton is the pick (-125) according to Dunkel, which has the Oilers favored by 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Edmonton (-125)

Game 51-52: Boston at Pittsburgh (12:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Boston 12.483; Pittsburgh 12.120
Dunkel Line & Total: Boston by 1/2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Pittsburgh (-140); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Boston (+120); Over

Game 53-54: Winnipeg at Ottawa (5:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Winnipeg 11.533; Ottawa 11.067
Dunkel Line & Total: Winnipeg by 1/2; 4
Vegas Line & Total: Ottawa (-125); 5
Dunkel Pick: Winnipeg (+105); Under

Game 55-56: Buffalo at Washington (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Buffalo 10.504; Washington 12.383
Dunkel Line & Total: Washington by 2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Washington (-140); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-140); Under

Game 57-58: Nashville at Edmonton (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Nashville 10.882; Edmonton 12.301
Dunkel Line & Total: Edmonton by 1 1/2; 5 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Edmonton (-125); 5
Dunkel Pick: Edmonton (-125); Over

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, March 17

JEFF BENTON

Sunday's freebie is the Thunder to roll past the Mavericks in Dallas.

Not only did Oklahoma City eliminate Dallas in a four game sweep last postseason, but they have won all three series meetings this year over the Mavericks, the last win coming by a comfortable 21 points in early February.

I don't see the Mavs challenging the younger, quicker Thunder - even on their home floor this Sunday night, as OKC brings a 7-1 straight up mark into the Metroplex to face a Dallas side that is trying furiously to get into the playoff picture, and actually has won 5 of their last 6 straight up.

The real problem is, the matchups just do not work any longer in Dallas' favor.

Oklahoma City is 11-3-1 against the spread the last 15 played at American Airlines Center.

Have to side with the Thunder to do the damage.

2* OKLAHOMA CITY

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, March 17

CRAIG DAVIS

Tonight's free play is on the Dallas Mavericks... yes, AGAIN, as the free play winners continue to mount with the Wizards easy last night.

I have had some tremendous success with the Mavs in this free play spot and I'll take them again.

The last time I gave them to you they were getting eight points at San Antonio and nearly won the game as a three-point attempt by Vince Carter rolled around and out as the Mavs lost by one.

They covered vs. Milwaukee a few nights earlier.

Tonight they face another top team in the west, but they are more than familiar with the OKC Thunder... their brothers to the north.

OKC has won all three games vs. Dallas this year, but the first two went to overtime with OKC eventually winning but Dallas covering.

The last one was a blowout in OKC.

Tonight's season finale in Dallas is a HUGE game for the Mavs if they want to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. Dallas has been playing their best basketball of the season by getting some great minutes from their bench.

Even if Shawn Marion doesn't play tonight, the Mavs will be deeper than OKC and with the urgency of a playoff berth on the line, I expect the Mavs to challenge for the outright win.

Take Dallas as your free play of the day.

4* DALLAS

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, March 17

BRAD WILTON

The Hawks head to Brooklyn tonight having won and covered their last pair of games - wins over Phoenix and the Lakers - but let's see if they can continue their winning ways on the Nets hardwood this Sunday night...I don't think they can.

Atlanta has lost their last 5 away from home, while going just 1-4 against the spread in those 5 losses.Plus, the Hawks were a 93-80 home loser to the Nets on the 9th of this month, as Brooklyn has now claimed the last pair in the season series over Atlanta.

As for the Nets, they are on a 4-1 straight up and against the spread roll their last 5, and I do like them to improve that run to 5-1 both SU and ATS with the easy home win and cover tonight against an Atlanta team that has not shown it remembers how to win away from the Philips Arena.

2* BROOKLYN

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, March 17

Jimmy Boyd

Brooklyn Nets -4½

Brooklyn beat Atlanta by 13 points just over a week ago. You should always play against underdogs of 3.5 to 9.5 points like Atlanta when they are revenging a home loss of 10 points or more and coming off a home win by 10 points or more. This situation puts the Hawks in a letdown spot which is why this system is 106-64 (63%) ATS. When that underdog is also a road underdog this system tightens up to 94-50 (65.3%) ATS.

Brooklyn is the hot team coming into this game winning four of their last five compared to Atlanta who has lost three of their last five. The Nets are also the well-rested team. They have not played a game since the 12th giving them four days of rest while Atlanta is playing with only one day of rest but had to spend that day traveling to Brooklyn.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, March 17

Stephen Nover

Oklahoma City Thunder -4½

Dallas is playing its best basketball of the season. The Mavericks have won five of their last six with their lone defeat during this span coming by one point on the road to San Antonio this past Thursday.

That's all well and good, but the Mavericks still remain a long shot to make the playoffs. They are a below .500 team with a mediocre 18-12 home record. Only Minnesota, Sacramento, Phoenix and New Orleans have worst home marks in the Western Conference.

Oklahoma City has covered seven of the last eight times when facing a below .500 foe. The Thunder's only non-cover during this span was in their last game this past Friday when they rolled past Orlando, 117-104, as a 17-point favorite. The Thunder led by 27, but let up.

Dallas is playing for the third time in four days. The Mavericks are one of the oldest teams in the NBA. Nearly all of their veterans are well past their prime. Shawn Marion is expected to miss the game, too, due to a calf injury that has sidelined him for the past five games. Marion is Dallas' top rebounder and best defender. Without Marion, Kevin Durant is in line for another monster game.

Oklahoma City won't be taking this game lightly as the Thunder are in a dogfight with San Antonio for the top seed in the West. The Thunder trail the Tony Parker-less Spurs by 1 1/2 games. The Thunder own the fifth-best road record in the NBA. They have covered 69 percent of their last 55 overall Western Conference matchups.

The Mavericks have not matched up well to the Thunder. Oklahoma City has won nine in a row against the Mavericks, including the past four in Dallas. The Thunder is 11-3-1 ATS in their last 15 visits to Dallas.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, March 17

Jesse Schule

Miami Florida -2½

The Tar Heels held off Maryland to win a close one Saturday by a score of 79-76. It could be a lot tougher for North Carolina on Sunday, taking on the Hurricanes who cruised past N.C. State, winning 81-71.

Miami won both games in the home and home series this season, beating the Tar Heels at Chapel Hill by a score of 68-59. They blew them out in Miami, winning by a 26 point margin on their home floor.

Despite the Hurricane's success against the Tar Heels, and their superior record in conference play, they are just a small favorite on Sunday. North Carolina may have won eight of their last nine overall, but they have lost four straight against top 25 teams.

Miami shot over 54% from the field while holding North Carolina to just 38% shooting in the last meeting between these two teams. The Tar Heels have historically dominated head to head meetings with Miami prior to this season, winning eight in a row dating back to 2008. We have seen a changing of the guard here though, and there is no doubt in my mind that Miami is the better team here today.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, March 17

Rob Vinciletti

Atlanta Hawks +4½

Atlanta has revenge here in this one and have covered 3 of 4 on Sunday.The Nets are 1-14 ats as a home favorite after a game in which they allowed at least 50% from the field. The Hawks are 8-1 ats on the road when seeking revenge for a double-digit loss. Brooklyn has failed to cover 13 of 19 at home when the total is 185 to 189.5 and has lost 20 of 31 vs teams with a winning record. With 3+ days rest they are 1-3 ats. Look for a focused Hawks team to keep this one close here tonight.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, March 17

David ChanFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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New Orleans vs. MinnesotaFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: UnderFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Situational Analysis
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New Orleans is coming off a 96-87 loss at Washington on Friday. Eric Gordon led the way with 20 points.
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Minnesota is coming off a 108-100 setback at Houston on Friday. The Wolves were held to only 17 field goals after the break, as the team continues to deal with a rash of injuries. Minnesota's defense was a bright spot though, holding the league's highest scoring team to just 39 first half points.
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Statistical Analysis
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Note that New Orleans is 22-44 SU overall, but just 10-24 on the road. And note that the Hornets host Golden State tomorrow night.
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Note that Minnesota 22-31 SU overall, and 15-16 in front of the home town crowd. And note that the Wolves are in Memphis tomorrow night.
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Pick Analysis
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These teams have played each other three times this year. Minnesota won 113-102 in New Orleans on December 14th. New Orleans won 104-92 at home on January 11th. The Wolves won 115-86 in Minnesota on February 2nd. All three games went "over" the posted number. However, because of the "situation" each team finds itself in coming into this contest, I believe this strong trend finally gets bucked tonight. Expect a scrappy affair between these Western conference cellar dwellers, and for this total to ultimately sneak under the posted number in the end!

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Marc LawrenceFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Miami vs. TorontoFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: TorontoFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Raptors host the super-hot Heat north of the border Sunday in a desirable winning situation for Toronto. That's because Miami enters off a 13-point revenge win at Milwaukee, with another revenge affair up next tomorrow night at Boston. With the Raptors 8-2 ATS the last ten as home dogs of 4 or more points, the points become the play here today.  We recommend a 1-unit play on Toronto.

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Art AronsonFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Buffalo vs. WashingtonFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: WashingtonFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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These teams played on January 27th, and Washington skated away with a 3-2 win at home. I believe when the smoke clears tonight, that we'll see a similar result. Buffalo is 10-15-3 overall, and just 5-8-2 on the road. The Sabres are coming off a 4-3 loss to the Senators last night. Washington is only 11-14-1 overall, and 7-7 at home. The Capitals are coming off a listless 4-1 loss at Boston yesterday afternoon. It wasn't for a lack of trying though, as Washington did direct 33 shots on net. Both teams coming off losses just 24 hours previous. I simply can't understate how important home ice is in this situation, and believe the Capitals are well worth a second look in this matchup.

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Don Best ConsensusFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Warriors at RocketsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Under is 4-0 in Warriors last 4 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game. Under is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings in Houston.

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Dave CokinFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Miami Heat at Toronto RaptorsFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: Toronto RaptorsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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I'm not wild about the idea of rushing to get in front of an oncoming freight train. But if there's a spot where it might make some sense to try to beat the Heat, it's right here. Miami is playing some historically great basketball, and I've actively been looking for spots to play on the Heat. I was on them Friday night as they took the court in Milwaukee in full "we owe you one" mode, and the Heat rolled to the comfortable win and cover. I thought that was a big game for Miami. I also think tomorrow's duel with the Celtics is huge as that will be another revenge setting for the Heat. The thought process here is that if you're gonna try to beat this team, it has to be in a scenario where they could show up flat. Sandwiched between the two big revenge games, this might be it. I won't predict an outright upset, but I know this will be as close as it's going to get for a playoff game in Toronto this season, and I'm looking for the Raptors to give this everything they've got. I'll grab the substantial points with Toronto to at least garner the cover.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, March 17

Jim Feist

Orlando Magic at Milwaukee Bucks
Pick: Orlando Magic

Orlando wins are few and far between this season, as the Magic have won just three of their last 15. However, bettors have fared pretty decently on the Magic, covering four of the last six games and seven of the last 11. The Bucks bring a three game S/U and ATS losing streak into today's contest. Moreover, Bucks have been terrible home chalk this year, covering only nine of 24 attempts. But this isn't new for the Bucks, evidenced by their 18-38 ATS mark at the Bradley Center in their last 56 games. Have to figure that Milwaukee will be laying a decent margin here at home. Likely too many points, take the underdog Magic here on Sunday.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, March 17

SspartanFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Brooklyn -4.5FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Guys this is simply one of those lousy spots in the schedule for Atlanta. The Hawks are playing a Nets club that's been rock solid of late and also have the benefit of playing this one of four days rest, almost unheard of these days in the big's. I refuse to suffer from paralysis of analysis here, take the Net's to pull away here and clear the number for us.

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JR O'DonnellFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Va. Commonwealth +3FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Yes we are standing in front of the Billikens again... VCU opens at 1.5 and rockets up to 3 immediately.... Vcu can play D and these Rams  are tested in this spot... this is the fifth time in the past seven years that the Rams have played for a conference tournament championship Colonial & A 10. St Louie crushed these Rams 76-62, last month in a sold out Chaifetz Arena in Saint Louis and now a 1.5 opening chalk.  IMO way way too easy to grab the Favorite....VCU's tough and rough style of defense has helped these VCU Rams claim the top spot in the country in total steals (382), steals per game (11.9) and turnovers forced per game (19.8). VCU forces a turnover on 28.5% of its defensive possessions, which is also the top mark in the country.

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Bob BalfeFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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St. Louis -3FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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This St. Louis team is a fan favorite bet. Personally I don't think they have been over hyped this entire season and this will be one of those teams that everyone bets the first day of the tournament. I think Vegas is keeping this team at a low line now pretty much conceding to the public so they can trap them in the tournament. Call me crazy, but I believe they are excellent at doing this. Take St. Louis
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Miami -3.5FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Yesterday I talked about how coaching meant a lot in these spots, but maybe this year it really just does not matter. Its such a down year that the talent level with the bigger programs just is not there. I think Miami wins this game with bully like defense. The physical level of play favors the Hurricanes here with stronger and more athletic players. Take Miami

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Tony George

Brooklyn -4 to 4.5

Like the Nets at home today against the Hawks who they beat up a week ago in Atlanta by 13 points.  The Nets defense their past 5 games has been a difference maker and Atlanta struggles with good defensive teams, and tghe nets have allowed just 88 ppg their last 5 games while scoring 98.  Atlanta has managed just a 93 ppg output on offense their last 5 and that is not good news considering a week ago Brooklyn held them to just 80 in their own house.

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Dave Price

Miami Heat -7.5

Miami buried the Raptors by 15 in Toronto last month, and I expect another double-digit victory Sunday. That win started Miami's 21-game win streak, and I expect no letdown as the Heat have an opportunity to match the second-longest winning streak in NBA history today. Miami has been unbelievable on the road during its streak, winning all 9 away contests by an average of 13.3 points. It has posted double-digit wins at Oklahoma City and Chicago during this span. The Heat have also won 10 in a row against Toronto by an average of 11.9 points. Their last 4 wins in Toronto have come by an average of 13.3 points. Lay the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, March 17

Jeff Scott Sports

3 UNIT PLAYS

St Louis -2 over VCU: Well they say defense wins championships and that's where the Billikens have the biggest edge in this game, especially of late. In their last 10 games the Billikens have not allowed more that 62 points during regulation in any game, while allowing an average of 56.4 ppg over that stretch. The Rams come in having no such luck at that department as they have allowed 76.8 ppg in their last 4 games, while also allowing 68.9 ppg on the road, compared to the average of 62.9 that St Louis allows away from home. VCU does get the edge on offense, but the Billikens have been pretty good at that end of the floor as well this year. St Louis has averaged 68.9 ppg on the year, including 72.3 ppg in their last 3 games and they did hang up 76 points on VCU earlier in the year. St Louis won by 14 in that earlier meeting and really nothing makes be think that they can't win this one by at least 7, especially will how well their defense is playing. 


Florida/ Ole Miss Over 135.5: The Gators don't really play at a high tempo, but they will when are faced with another team that does and the Rebels certainly fall into that category as they are 13th in the nation in pace. The Gators average 71.9 ppg on the year and they have the 5th best efficient offense in the nation. Ole Miss is 64th in defensive efficiency, but they still have allowed 67.4 ppg overall and 71.9 ppg when playing away from home. The Rebels on offense are 29th in efficiency, while they average 78.2 ppg and they could be going up against a tired defense of the Gators. Yes Florida has played lockdown defense this year, but this is their 3rd game in 3 days and the legs may not just be there to full keep pace with the fast paced Ole Miss squad. This should be a good game and we should also get the added advantage of having a foul fest at the end of the game, as the Rebels could be down 7-10 near the end and knowing they probably have to win t get in the big dance they will play till the final whistle. I look for this one in the 140's.

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