Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, March 19

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, March 19

Dave PriceFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Orlando Magic +11FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Pacers will have a tough time running away with this one given their level of fatigue. This is their second game in as many nights and their fourth in five days. A matchup with lowly Orlando isn't likely to get the juices flowing. So with a two-day break following this game, don't be surprised if the Pacers start their break early. The Magic were blown out 115-86 by the Pacers Mar. 8, but keep in mind that that game came directly after they lost to the Miami Heat on a last-second shot. They clearly hadn't let that one go. The wins haven't been piling up but Orlando has quietly taken its level of play up a notch, as evidenced by the fact it has covered the spread in 5 of its last 7 games. It is a perfect 6-0 ATS in its last 6 road games with a pair of wins and narrow defeats to top-notch competition like the Grizzlies and Heat. The Magic are 20-11 ATS as a road underdog this season. Take the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, March 19

Andrew Lange

Stephen F. Austin at Stanford
Play: Stephen F. Austin

I'm a little surprised Stanford decided to give head coach Johnny Dawkins another year but as a bettor I won't complain because under Dawkins this team has been a consistent underachiever. As for the NIT, I have my concerns about the Cardinal and their motivation considering they won the event last season. And they get a first round opponent that they simply can't just show up and beat. Stephen F. Austin is a quality mid-major with wins at Tulsa, Oklahoma and Long Beach State. The Lumberjacks also lost at Texas A&M by eight points. They play at a slow place and thrive on the defensive end of the floor (42.1% eFG, 29.0% 3-point, 88.2 ppp allowed). SFA's stout three-point defense is particularly noteworthy considering Stanford shot 41.1% in PAC-12 play which accounted for 32% of its points. Look for the underdog to stick around in this one.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, March 19

Joe Gavazzi

Northeastern +12

All bets are off if the Huskies begin the game down by 20 as they did in their two previous Colonial CCT games. Though they rebounded to defeat G Mason in the first of those, they fell short to eventual league champ JMU the following night. Yet the Huskies have been their best in this role, standing 6-1 ATS as road dog. Not sure Alabama is excited about this opportunity. With 12 SEC wins, they were certainly hoping for an NCAA invite. The 61-51 loss to FL is hardly a consolation prize. Yet that type of low variance performance has been typical of the Tide all season, as they are 2-9 ATS as home chalk. Northeastern senior guards Lee and Smith will relish the matchup against higher profile SEC counterparts Lacey and Relleford. High percentage probability that the Huskies come in under this number.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, March 19

Larry Ness

South Dakota State vs. Michigan
Pick: South Dakota St.

Michigan won its first 16 games this season but was just 10-7 SU (5-11-1 ATS) down the stretch. The Wolverines do get an excellent venue for this game (Auburn Hills is just miles from the Ann Arbor campus) but the Wolverines get no favors in their opponent, the South Dakota St Jackrabbits. Coach John Beilein's team makes its fourth trip in six years to the Big Dance and matched its No. 4 seed from a season ago, but the Wolverines (-5.5) lost their first game of the tourney last year to the 13th-seeded Bobcats, 65-60. Could a similar fate await them this year? Just maybe.

There is no doubt that Michigan fields a talented group but during the season’s second-half, the Wolverines have shown a lack of mental and physical toughness at crucial times down the stretch plus WAY too often, the offense (despite its many options), has become over-reliant on sophomore guard Trey Burke (19.2-3.1-6.7). Michigan’s perimeter-oriented team lacks a reliable post threat (Wolverines rank 156th in rebound margin), so one can expect that the Jackrabbits, a junior and senior-laden group, just may make the Wolverines ‘sweat’ the last few minutes of this game. SDSU’s 6-4 senior guard Nate Wolters (22.7-5.6-5.8) is a “player” and is joined by three other double digit scorers. That trio includes 6-8 junior Dykstra (12.5-7.9), 6-7 senior Fiegen (10.1-3.5) and 6-6 junior White (10.0-4.0).

The Jackrabbitts almost won at Alabama (lost 70-67 as six-point dogs) in this season’s first game and handed New Mexico (tied with Michigan for 10th in the final AP poll) its only loss this year in “The Pit,” 70-65 back on Dec 22 as 15-point underdogs. Let’s also not forget that in last year’s NCAA tourney, SDSU gave Baylor all it wanted, before falling 68-60 (that Baylor team would advance to the Elite 8). I expect Michigan to squeak by but I’m taking the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, March 19

King Creole

Denver Nuggets +9.

Yes, we are aware that Denver played last night. Yes, we are aware that Denver went into OVERTIME last night. Novice players and handicappers might assume that an AUTOMATIC play on the THUNDER is warranted under those conditions. But before you lay the (almost) DOUBLE-DIGITS in this game..... hear me out.

Denver is the HOTTEST team in the NBA right now. Last night's win over Chicago was their 12th STRAIGHT win... which is tied for BEST winning streak in Nuggets history. I am NOT gonna be fading this team this evening. And when you see all applicable situations that apply to this game, then perhaps you'll be joining me in playing the UNDERDOG Nuggets.

*NBA home favorites of -7 > points (Okla City) have gone 3-13 ATS on TUESDAYS this season.

*NBA teams with a .666 > winning percentage (NUGGETS) have gone 11-1 ATS this season as underdogs of +7 > points.

*Since January, NBA road underdogs with NO REST and playing off a road win (DENVER) have gone 12-2 ATS vs any opponent also off a SU win (Okla City). These teams have gone a PERFECT 6-0 ATS as underdogs of +7 > points.

*Conference underdogs playing with NO REST off a road OVERTIME win (DENVER) have gone 11-1 ATS in the last 5 seasons.

DENVER: 9-1 ATS as dogs of +7 > pts last 2 years... 17-6 ATS on TUESDAYS (6-2 ATS as dogs)... 7-1 ATS in the 2nd of BB road games with NO REST vs any opp off a SU win.

Oklahoma City: 1-6 ATS as TUESDAY division home favs of < 12 pts... 4-15 ATS since 1998 at home vs a conference opponent with NO REST off a SU road win.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, March 19

Jeff Alexander

Niagara +11

Maryland will have a tough time getting up for this one. The Terrapins believed they had done enough to reach the Big Dance with a win over Duke in the ACC tourney. They aren't at all happy about playing in the NIT and will have a hard time finding motivation. This experienced Niagara team couldn't be happier about getting shot at Maryland. After all, the Purple Eagles didn't play any postseason ball last season. The Purple Eagles are 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 road games, and I expect them to hang tough to get the cover tonight.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, March 19

NHL Predictions

Montreal Canadiens -½ -118

The Sabres are having a tough go right now as they sit 10-15-4 on the year and just 5-9-2 on the road.  Buffalo has lost two straight games and 6 of their last 7 overall.  The only upside for Buffalo is that they managed to get a single point in three of those losses.  While Buffalo sits in last place in the Northeast the Canadiens are sitting in 1st with their 19-5-4 record and 9-3-2 home record.  Montreal has won 5 straight games and have outscored opponents 19-11 (averaging just under 4 goals per game during that span).  These two teams have met twice with Montreal winning 6-1 at home, and then Buffalo winning 5-4 in shootout in Buffalo.  If you can remember that game the Sabres came from behind and tied it up during the last few seconds of the game.  Buffalo has lost 5 straight road games, while the Canadiens are 9-4 in their last 13 home games.  I like Montreal to win in regulation.


Pittsburgh Penguins -½ -118

The Capitals are 12-15-1 on the season and just 4-8-1 on the road.  They are coming off a 5-3 home victory against Buffalo on Sunday, but had lost 4 of their last 6 games overall.  Washington has scored just 12 goals over their last 6 games (just 2 goals per game), while giving up 22 against (over 3 per game).  The Pittsburgh Penguins are on an impressive 9 game winning streak to push their record to 22-8 on the season and 10-4 at home.  The Penguins have scored 3+ goals in 8 of their last 9 games.  They are also playing solid defensively allowing just 5 goals against over their last 5 games.  Take note that Washington is 4-11 in their last 15 road games  while the Penguins are 39-16 in their last 55 home games dating back to last year.  In their two meetings this season the Penguins have won 6-3 in Washington and more recently 5-2 in Pittsburgh.  I'll go with the red hot Penguins to take care of the Caps in 60 minutes.

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