Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, March 22

Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, March 22

DUNKEL INDEX

NBA

Cleveland at Houston
The Rockets look to take advantage of a Cleveland team that is 0-7 ATS in its last 7 games in Houston. Houston is the pick (-12) according to Dunkel, which has the Rockets favored by 14 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Houston (-12)

Game 801-802: New York at Toronto (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: New York 117.184; Toronto 115.273
Dunkel Line & Total: New York by 2; 198
Vegas Line & Total: New York by 1; 193
Dunkel Pick: New York (-1); Over

Game 803-804: Milwaukee at Indiana (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Milwaukee 115.714; Indiana 126.746
Dunkel Line & Total: Indiana by 11; 187
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 805-806: Oklahoma City at Orlando (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oklahoma City 126.559; Orlando 112.340
Dunkel Line & Total: Oklahoma City by 14; 202
Vegas Line & Total: Oklahoma City by 12 1/2; 208
Dunkel Pick: Oklahoma City (-12 1/2); Under

Game 807-808: Detroit at Miami (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit 112.627; Miami 125.671
Dunkel Line & Total: Miami by 13; 204
Vegas Line & Total: Miami by 15 1/2; 199
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (+15 1/2); Over

Game 809-810: Portland at Atlanta (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Portland 116.123; Atlanta 126.203
Dunkel Line & Total: Atlanta by 10; 194
Vegas Line & Total: Atlanta by 8; 200
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-8); Under

Game 811-812: Memphis at New Orleans (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Memphis 123.226; New Orleans 115.829
Dunkel Line & Total: Memphis by 7 1/2; 182
Vegas Line & Total: Memphis by 6; 178 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Memphis (-6); Over

Game 813-814: Cleveland at Houston (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland 111.856; Houston 126.388
Dunkel Line & Total: Houston by 14 1/2; 208
Vegas Line & Total: Houston by 12; 211 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Houston (-12); Under

Game 815-816: Boston at Dallas (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Boston 120.073; Dallas 122.468
Dunkel Line & Total: Dallas by 2 1/2; 202
Vegas Line & Total: Dallas by 5; 196
Dunkel Pick: Boston (+5); Over

Game 817-818: Utah at San Antonio (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Utah 114.598; San Antonio 126.426
Dunkel Line & Total: San Antonio by 12; 207
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 819-820: Minnesota at Phoenix (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota 110.882; Phoenix 115.183
Dunkel Line & Total: Phoenix by 4 1/2; 188
Vegas Line & Total: Phoenix by 3; 192
Dunkel Pick: Phoenix (-3); Under

Game 821-822: Washington at LA Lakers (10:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington 115.605; LA Lakers 124.871
Dunkel Line & Total: LA Lakers by 9 1/2; 197
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

NHL

Washington at Winnipeg
The Jets look to bounce back from last night's 4-0 loss to Washington and build on their 4-0 record in their last 4 games after scoring 2 goals or less in the previous game. Winnipeg is the pick (-145) according to Dunkel, which has the Jets favored by 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Winnipeg (-145)

Game 1-2: Calgary at Columbus (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Calgary 11.850; Columbus 11.616
Dunkel Line & Total: Calgary by 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Columbus (-140); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Calgary (+120); Under

Game 3-4: Washington at Winnipeg (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington 10.937; Winnipeg 12.287
Dunkel Line & Total: Winnipeg by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Winnipeg (-145); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Winnipeg (-145); Over

Game 5-6: Pittsburgh at NY Islanders (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh 12.919; NY Islanders 11.354
Dunkel Line & Total: Pittsburgh by 1 1/2; 5 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Pittsburgh (-150); 6
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-150); Under

Game 7-8: Detroit at Anaheim (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit 12.222; Anaheim 12.071
Dunkel Line & Total: Detroit by 1/2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Anaheim (-165); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (+145); Over

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DUNKEL INDEX

NCAAB

LaSalle vs. Kansas State
The Wildcats look to take advantage of a LaSalle team that has a 1-6 ATS record in its last 7 games against Big 12 opponents. Kansas State is the pick (-5 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Wildcats favored by 7 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Kansas State (-5 1/2)

Game 823-824: Albany vs. Duke (12:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Albany 55.486; Duke 71.305
Dunkel Line: Duke by 16; 137
Vegas Line: Duke by 18 1/2; 133
Dunkel Pick: Albany (+18 1/2); Over

Game 825-826: Cincinnati vs. Creighton (2:45 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cincinnati 63.585; Creighton 68.632
Dunkel Line: Creighton by 5; 124
Vegas Line: Creighton by 3 1/2; 128 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Creighton (-3 1/2); Under

Game 827-828: Florida Gulf Coast vs. Georgetown (6:50 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Florida Gulf Coast 57.126; Georgetown 72.604
Dunkel Line: Georgetown by 15 1/2; 127
Vegas Line: Georgetown by 13 1/2; 123 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Georgetown (-13 1/2); Over

Game 829-830: Oklahoma vs. San Diego State (9:20 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oklahoma 63.829; San Diego 68.049
Dunkel Line: San Diego State by 4; 130
Vegas Line: San Diego State by 2 1/2; 133 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Diego State (-2 1/2); Under

Game 831-832: James Madison vs. Indiana (4:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: James Madison 56.789; Indiana 72.085
Dunkel Line: Indiana by 15 1/2; 140
Vegas Line: Indiana by 21 1/2; 136
Dunkel Pick: James Madison (+21 1/2); Over

Game 833-834: Temple vs. NC State (1:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Temple 63.489; NC State 69.306
Dunkel Line: NC State by 6; 145
Vegas Line: NC State by 4; 150
Dunkel Pick: NC State (-4 ); Under

Game 835-836: Iona vs. Ohio State (7:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Iona 57.783; Ohio State 75.827
Dunkel Line: Ohio State by 18; 141
Vegas Line: Ohio State by 14; 145
Dunkel Pick: Ohio State (-14); Under

Game 837-838: Iowa State vs. Notre Dame (9:45 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Iowa State 68.505; Notre Dame 67.168
Dunkel Line: Iowa State by 1 1/2; 144
Vegas Line: Notre Dame by 1; 139 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Iowa State (+1); Over

Game 839-840: Western Kentucky vs. Kansas (9:50 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Western Kentucky 52.571; Kansas 74.850
Dunkel Line: Kansas by 22 1/2; 127
Vegas Line: Kansas by 20 1/2; 133
Dunkel Pick: Kansas (-20 1/2); Under

Game 841-842: Villanova vs. North Carolina (7:20 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Villanova 67.221; North Carolina 69.310
Dunkel Line: North Carolina by 2; 148
Vegas Line: North Carolina by 4 1/2; 143 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Villanova (+4 1/2); Over

Game 843-844: Mississippi vs. Wisconsin (12:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Mississippi 68.406; Wisconsin 72.188
Dunkel Line: Wisconsin by 4; 133
Vegas Line: Wisconsin by 6 1/2; 128 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Mississippi (+6 1/2); Over

Game 845-846: LaSalle vs. Kansas State (3:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LaSalle 62.722; Kansas State 70.240
Dunkel Line: Kansas State by 7 1/2; 128
Vegas Line: Kansas State by 5 1/2; 132 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Kansas State (-5 1/2); Under

Game 847-848: Northwestern State vs. Florida (7:27 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Northwestern State 53.615; Florida 75.892
Dunkel Line: Florida by 22 1/2; 137
Vegas Line: Florida by 20; 141 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Florida (-20); Under

Game 849-850: Minnesota at UCLA (9:57 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota 65.063; UCLA 65.093
Dunkel Line: Even; 138
Vegas Line: Minnesota by 3; 134 1/2
Dunkel Pick: UCLA (+3); Over

Game 851-852: Pacific vs. Miami (FL) (2:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pacific 57.316; Miami (FL) 72.414
Dunkel Line: Miami (FL) by 15; 121
Vegas Line: Miami (FL) by 13; 125 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Miami (FL) (-13); Under

Game 853-854: Colorado vs. Illinois (4:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado 65.198; Illinois 64.385
Dunkel Line: Colorado by 1; 133
Vegas Line: Illinois by 1 1/2; 127
Dunkel Pick: Colorado (+1 1/2); Over

Game 855-856: Arizona State at Baylor (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Arizona State 62.373; Baylor 74.672
Dunkel Line: Baylor by 12 1/2; 142
Vegas Line: Baylor by 9; 146
Dunkel Pick: Baylor (-9); Under

Game 857-858: Stony Brook at Iowa (9:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Stony Brook 62.193; Iowa 69.537
Dunkel Line: Iowa by 7 1/2; 137
Vegas Line: Iowa by 8 1/2; 132
Dunkel Pick: Stony Brook (+8 1/2); Over

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Iona / Ohio State Over 145

This play is all on the Iona Gaels offense as the Gaels are averaging over 80 points per game, and if Ohio State can't slow down the Gaels this game goes easily over, and the Buckeyes are possibly on upset alert. Ohio State's offense can score with the best as long as they are not playing Wisconsin. The Buckeyes again will probably have to score with the best, and I don't see them stopping the Gaels offense on Friday. This game will be an offensive game, and we cash our free play on the small school out of the Metro. Look for a lot of points here.

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Washington over L.A. Lakers

This Friday Washington will go on the road to face the Lakers. If you take a look at that game, you will notice that Washington lost to this team by 6 points earlier this year on the road, and this is a revenge game for this team. Washington has slowly put together 23 wins this year, won 3 out of their last 4 and 4 out of their last 6 games, which goes to their level of consistency of late. Plus, this team has been played well against the NBA Western Conference, going 21-6-1 ATS as they get up for teams out West historically. Combine that with Washington having revenge, the last game on the board and the Lakers finding it difficult to get up for this game, look for Washington to continue to play well here at Staples, and I would not be surprised if this game is much more highly competitive than anticipated. I like Washington to stay inside the cover here as, though the Lakers are playing well, I see Washington getting up for this game and keeping it close.

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Sean MurphyFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Colorado vs. IllinoisFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: ColoradoFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Unlike last year, Colorado stumbled in the Pac-12 Tournament, and enters the NCAAs with little fanfare, or expectations.
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I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing.
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Keep in mind, this is largely the same squad that pulled an opening round upset of UNLV last March before bowing out against a superior Baylor squad two days later. I believe the Buffaloes are good for at least one victory again here in 2013.
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Colorado has shown the ability to rise to the occasion away from home this season, notching tough victories over Baylor (neutral site game), Oregon, and Stanford, not to mention what should have been a win in Arizona back on January 3rd.
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Illinois essentially played its way into this tournament in the first month of the season. Over the course of a perfect 12-0 start the Illini posted big wins over Butler and Gonzaga.
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Since then, it's been a struggle. Save for a five-game winning streak in February, the Illini have had a tough time stacking up wins. This is by no means a favorable opening round draw.
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I expect to see Colorado force this one into a halfcourt battle, ultimately disarming the Illini. Both teams struggled offensively down the stretch, but I have more faith in the Buffs' to rebound in this setting.

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David ChanFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Oklahoma vs. San Diego St.FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: San Diego St.FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Situational Analysis
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Oklahoma is coming off a 73-66 loss to Iowa State in the Big 12 quarterfinals on March 14th. Romero Osby was a lone bright spot with 18 points.
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San Diego State is coming off a 60-50 loss to New Mexico in the semi-final round of the MWC tournament on March 15th. Xavier Thames had 14 points.
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Statistical Analysis
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Note that Oklahoma is only 4-5 ATS in its last nine vs. good defensive teams that allow 64 points or less per contest.
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Note that San Diego State is 10-9 ATS as a favorite this season, and 3-2 ATS in all tournament games.
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Pick Analysis
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The Aztecs get the job done with tough defensive play, and I believe this will ultimately be the difference in the outcome tonight; SDSU's unit is ranked 13th in the country. Oklahoma has a capable point guard in Sam Grooms, but the plethora of guards that the Aztecs employ to slow down teams will prove to be too much. SDSU is also one of the NCAA's best rebounding teams, averaging 37 per game, and outrebounding opponents by an average margin of 3.2. I expect the Aztecs to get out and push the pace of this one from the outset, and for the Sooners fall away down the stretch!

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Teddy CoversFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Temple vs. NC StateFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: NC StateFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Temple has been bounced out of the first round in four of the last five years, and head coach Fran Dunphy is just 2-12 SU in 14 previous NCAA appearances.  That’s a trend that should continue in 2013 in what should be a very difficult matchup for the underdog Owls.
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Temple still has a reputation as a giant killer in March dating back to the John Chaney era.  And the Owls found ways to pull off some major upsets this year, including SU wins over the likes of Syracuse, Kent, LaSalle, St Louis, VCU and Villanova, along with a near upset on the road at Kansas.
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But the Owls were only a .500 level ATS team as underdogs of 4.5 points or more.  They repeatedly struggled from a lack of offensive production, in large part due to poor shot selection from their two leading scorers Khalif Wyatt and Scootie Randall.  To make matters even worse, the Owls struggled defensively on the perimeter down the stretch; bad news against an NC State squad that hit better than 39% from beyond the arc this year.
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NC State’s  Lorenzo Brown and CJ Leslie are future NBA talents.  The Wolfpack are big and beefy in the paint-- Richard Howell is a rebounding monster.  All five starters average at least 12 points per game; a balanced attack that can withstand a subpar showing from anybody.   Four of the five started for head coach Mark Gottfried last year when NC State reached the Sweet 16 before losing to Kansas, covering the spread in all three Big Dance games.  Experience, size and talent go a long, long way towards covering spreads in March! Take NC State.

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Bryan PowerFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Pacific vs. Miami-FloridaFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: PacificFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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If you recall, I gave out Robert Morris as a FREE PLAY to kick off the NIT.  Now let's see if we can do the same Friday in the Big Dance as Miami meets Pacific in the East Region.  This is a matchup of the #2 and #15 seeds, a pairing that produced a pair of historic upsets in last year's Tournament........
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Coming off their win in the ACC Tournament Sunday, Miami is a bit overvalued in my book for this 2nd (or 1st, depending on your preference) matchup.  The Canes have one of the shortest turnarounds of any team in the field, having played Sunday.  Note that they have already lost outright to a team seeded 15th in this year's field, that being Florida Gulf Coast very early in the season.  By virtue of winning their conference tournament, Miami is now being pegged as a Final Four contender, and while I agree that they can get there, it won't be easy.  It's going to be tough "getting up" for a team like Pacific after just running through the Atlantic Coast Conference.
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Meanwhile, the Tigers of Pacific won't be lacking for any motivation here. Realistically, this could be the swan song for head coach Bob Thomason after 25 years on the bench.  His team will definitely be looking to prolong his career another two days.  While the outright win is unlikely here, covering a double-digit spread certainly isn't.  The Tigers were double digit dogs three times during the regular season, once coming at Gonzaga, and they covered the number with room to spare there. They also beat St. Mary's outright on a neutral floor early in the season before succumbing to the Gaels in a rematch later in the year on the road.

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Hollywood SportsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Oklahoma at San Diego StFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Prediction: OverFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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These two programs typically play games that exceed scoring expectations in the NCAA Tournament. The Over is 5-2-1 in Oklahoma's last 8 games in the Big Dance. The Aztecs have played 5 of their last 7 NCAA Tournament games Over the Total. Additionally, San Diego State has seen the Over go 3-1-1 in their last 5 games outside Mountain West Conference play. Oklahoma has played 5 of their last 6 games Over the Total against teams with a winning percentage over 60%. Expect these team trends to continue and take the Over in this one.

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Marc LawrenceFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Washington at Los AngelesFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Prediction: Los AngelesFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Lakers limp home off a 23-point road loss at Phoenix looking to get their act back together when they host the Wizards at the Staples Center Friday evening. meanwhile, Washington enters off a 9-point road win at Phoenix Wednesday night. If this were horse racing analogy the Wizards would be the play, but with the real thoroughbreds being the Lakers in this contest we'll look for Washington to fall to 2-12 ATS in games off a win in this series here tonight. We recommend a 1-unit play on the Lakers.

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Boston Celtics vs. Dallas MavericksFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Dallas MavericksFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Dallas has plenty of motivation, trying to catch the Lakers for the last playoff spot. This offense is 7th in the NBA and the Mavericks are on a sizzling 24-9 ATS. This is a long road trip for Boston, a team that hasn't matched up well with the Mavs. They took Boston to OT in the first meeting and Mavericks F Dirk Nowitzki didn't play. The Celtics are 7-18-1 ATS in their last 26 vs. the NBA Southwest and 5-12 ATS in their last 17 games following a loss. The Mavericks are 16-7 ATS in their last 23 games playing on one days rest and the Celtics are 0-4 ATS in the last 4 meetings. Play the Mavs!

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Iowa St. +1½FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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I am surprisingly bullish on the Cyclones in this tournament. They have a favourable first round matchup in their tournament opener against Notre Dame which seems to come up just a little short more often than not. Iowa State is battle tested and might be a little deeper than Notre Dame. They also play a little differently than most teams in the Big East because their bigs are their best shooters. If they can get off to a good start they have a chance to run away from an ND team that is not great offensively.

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Iowa St +1½FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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If you want to beat the Cyclones, you better find a way to get them to turn it over. With Korie Lucious handling the rock, the Cyclones average only 13 turnovers per game. That's an outstanding figure considering the up-tempo pace they play. 6 of Iowa State's 11 losses came in games where it had 14 turnovers or more. However, I don't see Notre Dame getting the Cyclones to cough it up much. In fact, the Irish only average 10 takeaways per game. That won't get the job done here. Notre Dame is terrific on its home floor but has struggled outside South Bend. That's one of the reasons it is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 NCAA tournament games. The Irish have dropped 5 of their last 8 away from home. Iowa State also benefits from its "Hilton Magic" but it also showed me something on the road where it played just about everyone tough and took Kansas to OT. Since Fred Hoiberg returned to coach his alma mater, the Cyclones are 13-5 ATS in games when the line is +3 to -3. They are also 22-9 ATS when matched up against a good team (Win Pct. 60% to 80%). Lastly, the Irish are a soft 10-19 ATS as a neutral court favorite of 6 points or less or pickem under Mike Brey. Take Iowa State.

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Don Best Consensus

James Madison vs Indiana
Pick: James Madison

James Madison is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a ATS win. Hoosiers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games.

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Rob VincilettiFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Detroit vs. MiamiFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: UnderFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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This game fits a nice totals system that has won 9 of the last 10 times and plays to the under for home favorites with 1 day of rest like Miami that are favored by 10 or more with a total of 190 or higher if they were road favorites of 10 or more. The Pistons are well rested here and have 3 days off. They have stayed under in 4 of 5 after 3+ games that went over the total and 4 of 5 as a road dog of 12.5 or more. In the series here in Miami 3 of the last 4 have stayed under. Look for this one to go under the total as well.

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Kansas State -5.5 over Lasalle: The Explorers had a very good game vs Boise State, but now they take a step up in competition and I don't see it as a successful step, especially vs a Kansas State team that will be playing in its home state. Lasalle has been very good on offense this year and they did put 80 points on Boise State in the first game, but LaSalle has been slowed down when they took on some of the tough defensive teams they have faced. LaSalle averages 72.7 ppg on the year, but in one game vs St Louis, 2 games vs Butler and 1 game vs Miami-Fla they were held to less than 60 points in each game, going 1-3 SU with all 3 losses coming on the road and by DD.  That is not good news when you're about to face a KSU squad that allows just 61.4 ppg on 42.7% shooting on the year. Granted this isn't an official home game, but its close enough and they did allow just 58.5 ppg at home. I do not see the Explorers being able to ride their momentum from the win over Boise State, as they will once again struggle away from home vs a tough defensive squad.
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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, March 22

Bruce MarshallFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Iowa St. vs. Notre DameFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: Iowa St.FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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It’s always a bit risky backing an Iowa State (10) squad that mostly lives beyond the arc; indeed, 44% of its shot attempts originate from tripleville. And the Cyclones’ best efforts this season came mostly in Ames; they were only 4-9 SU away from home.  However, ISU is doing it just like HC Fred Hoiberg used to do it in his playing days under the legendary Johnny Orr, spreading out the floor.  Since the Cyclones connect upon a nation’s best 10 triples pg, we can usually take our chances with the Ames bunch.  Notre Dame (7) will obviously not want to run with a Cyclone squad that has scored 80.1 ppg, and the Irish will be at a disadvantage if ISU can accelerate the tempo.  But slowing down ISU won’t be easy, especially with all of the weapons at Hoiberg’s disposal, including four DD scorers in his starting lineup and a super sparkplug in sixth-man deluxe Tyrus McGee (13.5 ppg and 47% beyond the arc).  The Cyclones have an easier time scoring points than the Irish, and don’t forget added glue in the ISU lineup provided by Michigan State transfer G Korie Lucious (5.5 apg and 81% FTs), who has Final Four experience from his days in East Lansing.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, March 22

Jimmy Boyd

Free Pick on Arizona State +9

If the total on this game is any indication there will be no shortage of offense in this game. Arizona State is coming off a performance in which they scored 83 points against Detroit. Baylor managed to double up Long Beach State in a 112-66 games. Arizona State’s offense is much better than Long Beach State and their defense has been very respectable this season holding opponents to an average of 66.9 points per game.

You should always play against home favorites of 3.5 to 9.5 points like Baylor when they beat the spread by 24 points or more in their last three games and they are going against an opponent that has gone over the total by 18 points or more in their last three games. This system is 93-47 (66.4%) since 1997. Baylor’s style of play is to get into a shootout and Arizona State shoots 46% from the field so they should have no problem hanging around with Baylor and keeping this game close.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, March 22

Jeff Alexander

Florida -20

Motivated by a loss in the SEC tournament final, Florida will roll in its opening game against Northwestern State. The Gators are 10-2 versus non-conference opponents this season with the 10 wins coming by an average of 25.4 points. All of these wins didn't come against cupcakes either. Florida beat Wisconsin by 19, Marquette by 33, Middle Tennessee State by 21 and Florida State by 25. The Northwestern State Demons are just 1-5 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games. The Gators are an impressive 16-5 ATS in their last 21 NCAA Tournament games. We'll lay the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, March 22

Jack Jones

North Carolina -4

The North Carolina Tar Heels have been playing their best basketball of the season in the second half. This team has grown by leaps and bounds, and it's ready to knock off Villanova, which is one of the worst at-large teams in the tournament.

UNC has won eight of its last 10 games overall with its only losses coming to Duke and Miami. It is also 8-3 ATS in its last 11 games overall as it has consistently been undervalued over the past month or so.

Villanova has lost three of its last five coming in, which includes a loss to Seton Hall, and a blowout at the hands of Louisville (55-74) in the Big East Tournament. This is a team that lost 13 games this season as the Wildcats were a questionable at-large selection at best.

UNC is 8-1 ATS off a loss against a conference rival over the last 2 seasons. The Tar Heels are 48-19-1 ATS in their last 68 games following a S.U. loss, including 7-1 ATS following a loss this season. The Wildcats are 5-12 ATS in their last 17 neutral site games, including 0-4 ATS in their last 4 NCAA Tournament games. Bet North Carolina Friday.

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