Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, March 17

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

Harry Bondi

WISCONSIN (+2) over Ohio State

The key to Wisconsin is it's defense. Badgers are 17-3 when holding teams to less than 60 points this season and their defense has keyed their run in the Big 10 Tournament. Wisconsin is not nearly as athletic as Michigan, Indiana or Ohio State but by running clock and hitting three pointers on offense and playing tenacious defense they have beat the first two teams mentioned in the tournament and will take out Ohio State today. Badgers routed the Buckeys 71-49 on February 17th, a season low in points for Ohio State and held Indiana to a season 56 points yesterday. That stellar defense propels the Badgers to the Big 10 Championship today!

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

Nelly

New Orleans - Minnesota Over

The Wolves have allowed triple digits in six of the last nine games and Minnesota has actually reached 100 points in two of the last three games on offense. This has been an 'under' team for the season, especially at home where the 'under' is 19-11 but the 'over' is 10-4 in the last 14 Minnesota games with a total priced below 190. These teams combined for 201 points in a meeting in Minneapolis just over a month ago and all three meetings this season between these teams has played 'over' with an average of 204 points. Even with that history this season this total is priced lower than the most recent meeting. The Hornets have faded defensively in recent weeks with at least 95 points allowed in 13 straight games, surrendering over 100 points in seven of the last 12 games. The 'over' is 20-14 in New Orleans road games this season when the total is priced between 180 and 190 for the Hornets the 'over' is 19-8 this season. Key defenders Andrei Kirilenko and Nikola Pekovic are likely still sitting out for the Wolves and this game should play out similar to the other meetings between these squads with more scoring than most expect.

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

Wunderdog

New Orleans at Minnesota
Pick: New Orleans -1

Two teams out of the playoff race, which means very little defense will be played. But, New Orleans has plenty of offensive punch with guard Eric Gordon giving a big lift since returning to the lineup while reserve forward Ryan Anderson adds to that as a fine outside shooter. Throw in point guard Greivis Vasquez and rookie Anthony Davis, who has five double-doubles in his last nine games and 15 for the season, and there is more than enough offense against a Minnesota team that has allowed 100 or more points in four of the last five games. The Timberwolves are 6-14-2 ATS in their last 22 games playing on one days rest. Minnesota's injury report is mounting with forward Andrei Kirilenko and center Nikola Pekovic doubtful as well as Kevin Love out, who are the team's top three scorers. The Timberwolves have lost two straight as well as ten of 12. They are also 7-20 ATS against the Western Conference. Play New Orleans.

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

Bruce Marshall

Oklahoma City vs. Dallas
Pick: Dallas

The ownership of this series now rests in Ok City, as Thunder has been getting the best of former nemesis Dallas since last year’s playoffs.  Kevin Durant & Co. have now won last nine vs. Mavs, including an 4-game sweep in postseason first round last spring. Yet interestingly, OK City has only covered 4 of last 11 in series since last season, and had to go into OT to beat Mavs at AmericanAirlines Center on Jan. 18 (as Thunder also did when into OT in first meeting on Dec. 27).  Durant has personally tormented Mavs, scoring 37 ppg against them in the first three meetings this season.  But Dirk Nowitzki more resembling his old self than he did the last time these teams tangoed on Feb. 4, and Mavs have continued an impressive run of pointspread success (22-7 last 29) that has also seen them climb to within sight of last West playoff berth with four SU wins on the trot thru March 13.   Maybe this time Mavs get over the hump and actually beat Thunder.

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

Jeff Alexander

Brooklyn Nets -4

The Hawks check in off a 107-94 home win over Phoenix, and they will be out for revenge for a 93-80 home loss to the Nets. However, the numbers say to fade away. Fading road underdogs of 3.5 to 9.5 points that are out for revenge for a double-digit home loss and are coming off a home win of 10 points or more has produced a 94-50 (65.3%) ATS mark since 1996. Teams fitting this criteria have lost by an average of 9.5 points. In addition, the Hawks have been struggling on the road where they have dropped 5 straight by an average of 8.8 points. Bet Brooklyn.

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

Jack Jones

Dallas Mavericks +5

It's now or never for the Dallas Mavericks. At 31-34 on the season, the Mavericks trail the Los Angeles Lakers by three games for the 8th and final spot in the Western Conference playoffs. They cannot afford many more losses the rest of the way if they want to continue playing into May.

Dallas has been in a must-win situation for quite some time now, and it has responded really well. In fact, the Mavericks have won five of their last six games overall with their only loss coming 91-92 at San Antonio as a 9.5-point underdog on Thursday. They remain one of the most undervalued teams in the league.

Adding fuel to the fire for Dallas is the fact that it will be playing with triple revenge in mind this season. The Thunder have won all three meetings with the Mavericks this year, so they'll have hard time getting motivated to beat them a 4th time tonight. Dallas has played them tough in two of the losses, taking them to overtime twice.

The Mavericks are 30-11 ATS after successfully covering the spread in 3 or more consecutive games over the last 3 seasons. The Thunder are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. Dallas is 18-4 ATS in its last 22 vs. Western Conference opponents. The Mavericks are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Bet the Mavs Sunday.

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

SPORTS WAGERS

Boston +123 over PITTSBURGH

OT included. When these two met up just five days ago, also at the Igloo, Boston surrendered three goals in the final six minutes of the game and lost 3-2. Blowing a third-period, two-goal lead is not Boston Bruins hockey. The B’s responded with back-to-back 4-1 wins over Washington and Florida. They are as physically and mentally tough as any club in the NHL and they’re as talented as well. With outstanding goaltending and defense, a balanced offense and just four regulation losses in 26 games, the Bruins are true contenders.

Pittsburgh has won eight in a row, making them the NHL’s hottest team right now. However, the same issues that have prevented them from winning Stanley Cups are still present. The Pens have two unreliable goaltenders and a defense that makes far too many mistakes. They can thrive in the regular season but come playoff time, those flaws always get exposed and this is going to be a playoff-like game. A high majority of games are won by the team that gets superior goaltending. There is no denying that Boston’s edge in net is significant and so is its defense. That makes their chances of winning very good. Boston taking back a tag is almost always an automatic play and we make no exception here.


OTTAWA -½ +134 over Winnipeg

Regulation only. What a difficult spot for the Jets. They played a highly intense and highly entertaining game last night in Toronto on Hockey Night in Canada's featured game. That contest went into a shootout of eight rounds with Winnipeg finally coming out on top. Less than 24 hours later, (5:00 PM start) the Jets will play their third game in four days and fifth game since last Sunday.

Unlike the Jets, Ottawa played an afternoon game yesterday. Prior to that, they had been off since Wednesday. The Senators are not the team you want to face with low energy levels. Despite suffering more key injuries than any other team, they rarely get outplayed. It may surprise you to learn that the Senators have picked up points in 10 of their past 13 games. Over that span, they lost two of those games to the Bruins, both in OT and they took three out of a possible four points from Montreal. The Sens are well aware of this extremely difficult spot the Jets are in. Given the opportunity to exploit any edge they can get and with a chance to solidify its playoff chances, expect Ottawa to come out strong and put this fatigued guest away.

Pass NBA & NCAAB

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

Joe Gavazzi

Miami -7

In this contest, the heat travel north of the border to extend their winning streak to 22 games. The team formerly known as the home of Chris Bosch will be eager to snap the streak. Though the Raptors got the post trade bump from Rudy Gay, they enter today on a 2-7 ATS slide with the reality that they are playing out the string. Take advantage as the focused Lakers get their 22nd consecutive victory in style.

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