Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, March 22

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

John Ryan

Albany  +19

When filling out those third round re-entry brackets, I have a very high recommendation for your consideration. Do not expect Duke, Georgetown, Michigan, or Kansas to make the Final Four let alone the National Championship. Heres why. Only the 2001-02 Maryland National Champions suffered a loss greater than 20 points during the regular season dating back to 1994 Tournament action. Georgetown suffered their largest home loss since 1971 to Pittsburgh. Duke was trounced by 27 points at miami (Fla). You may say, but wait they didn’t have Kelly in that game. Well, the history shows that injuries are not an exception to this historical occurrence. Michigan lost to Michigan State by 23 points and scored a season low 52 points in that game. Baylor crushed Kansas by 23 points in a game where Kansas could have won the Big-12 regular season conference championship with a win. So, as it applies to Duke, I will recommend playing against them during the first two rounds ATS.

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

Joseph D'Amico

Kansas -20½

UK comes into the Big Dance a #1 seed for the 3rd time in 4 years. the Jayhawks won and covered 10 of their L11, with post-season victories of 28, 15, and 16 points. McLemore (16.4 PPG) leads a starting unit that has four players averaging DDs as all five starters combine for 27 RPG. On offense, Kansas has it all…sharp-shooters, speed, size, and strength, shooting a remarkable 48% from the field. Jeff Withey has 129 blocks and his front court of 6'8", 6'9", and 7'0" Big men are the #1 defensive team in the nation holding foes to just 36% shooting. W KY is 20-15 and is known for being a very methodical and low scoring team, averaging a mere 67.2 PPG. Their tallest starter is 6'4" and overall, the Hilltoppers don't shoot the "3" particularly well at 32.4%. They can not and will not penetrate the paint on Kansas here, nor can they shoot the perimeter. UK will show the South's other top-seeds (Georgetown, Florida, Michigan, and VCU) just who is boss here. Take Kansas.

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

Vegas Connection

Iowa State vs Notre Dame
Pick: Notre Dame

Notre Dame Might just be the best matchup on the board for Friday Night. The Cyclones quitly had a nice season. The Irish played in the wild big east and played one of the best schedules out there. Notre Dame wins

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

Dave Cokin

Iona vs Ohio State
Pick: Ohio State

If you're looking for a blowout on today's Big Dance card, this is probably as good as any. Iona is going to have to go crazy from beyond the arc to stay in this, as they figure to have little success in the paint against Ohio State. The Buckeyes are defending fiercely, and unless they arrive flat off the Big 10 tourney title, this should get ugly. That is a mild concern, as it's a virtual home game for Ohio State, and they are no doubt aware they're huge favorites here. But that partisan crowd can also be a best friend in keeping the Buckeyes interested, and they can physically dominate Iona. The Gaels are a bad defensive team, and the Buckeyes should be able to take apart that marshmallow zone for easy baskets. If this plays according to form, Ohio State rolls in a big way, so I'm going to recommend laying the lumber.

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

Tony George

UCLA +2.5

Not sold on Minny here at all and UCLA while an enigma wrapped in a riddle should be able to outscore the gophers and win outright.  Minny lost to Illinois, Nebraska and Purdue to close out the season and yet still carry a number here?  The Big 10 is good, but Minny is not an elite team by any stretch but getting favorable treatment on this line because of their conference.  You saw what Oregon did to  Okie St yesterday.  PAC 12 better than you may think.

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

Bob Balfe

Miami -13

A lot of people are not sold on the Canes.  I can see where they might be coming from, but in this particular game the difference is going to be size, strength and speed.  Pacific is not a good rebounding team and will have to shoot a very good percentage today to stay in this game.  I just do not see it happening against a team that on average weights about 20 pounds and 3 inches more per man.  This should be like a varsity team steamrolling a freshman team.  Miami is playing with a little chip on their shoulder and will try to prove to the nation and the tournament committee that they should be a 1 seed.  Take the Hurricanes.

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

SPORTS WAGERS

Wisconsin -6 over Mississippi

The more we see of SEC teams this year, the more we realize just how bad this major conference is. As a slight favorite over Colorado State yesterday, Missouri (11-7 in SEC play) fell behind early, trailed most of the way by double digits and were put away by the Rams. As an 11½-point dog in the SEC title game, Ole Miss defeated Florida and that game is just another example of how erratic and unpredictably bad most of these SEC squads are. Ole Miss might not even be in this event had they lost that title game and now have the look and feel of a team that has already achieved its goal of winning the SEC, its first title since 1981. The Rebels are easily rattled and when things aren’t going their way, they become meek and passionless. The Badgers are precisely the type of team that can make that happen.

Wisconsin went 12-6 in the nation’s toughest conference. They have many notable wins to go along with a 23-11 overall record while playing the 11th toughest schedule in the country. The Rebels strength of schedule ranked 122nd. The Badgers entered the Big Ten tournament with five wins over top-15 ranked teams and left with two more by beating Michigan and Indiana. Defensively, you won’t find many schools that are better. Wisconsin gives the opposition nothing. Opposing coaches have compared facing Bo Ryan's teams to getting a root canal. The Badgers will once again slow this game down to a crawl, they’ll take Ole Miss right out of its game and by the second half they’ll pull away and bury this soft opponent. The Badgers rarely get knocked out in a one-and-done format. They are an elite-8 team with even higher aspirations and the Rebels of Ole Miss are not about to ruin the party. 

La Salle +5½ over Kansas State

K-State wasn’t supposed to make much noise this season. They came in unranked in the polls and by the end of the regular season they had made it all the way up to #9. It was one of the best seasons in its history. However, we’re finding out that the Big-12 isn’t so tough. Oklahoma State was buried by Oregon yesterday in the Big-12’s only appearance. When K-State left the conference to play Michigan and Gonzaga, both on neutral floors, they were whacked by 14 and 16 points respectively. When the Wildcats win, it’s because their defense does most of the work. K-State is offensively challenged and even its defense isn’t as good as advertised. The Wildcats are over-seeded, they were also over-ranked in the polls and the result is an inflated line here. Playing in its own backyard against an unrecognizable mid-major squad, the Wildcats are going to have much appeal to a lot of people. We’re urging you to not be one of them.

La Salle is one of five schools to represent the Atlantic-10 at this year’s Dance. Three others have already advanced. Butler won by 12 over Bucknell, Saint Louis won by 20 over New Mexico State and VCU clobbered Akron by 46. That trio of A-10 representatives won by a combined 78 points. On Jan 23 and 26, La Salle defeated VCU and Butler in back-to-back games. The Explorers went 22-9 overall and finished just two games behind Saint Louis for the A-10 regular season title. The Explorers are unique in that they rotate a five-guard lineup with each averaging at least 23 minutes per game. They have many options to choose from should one or two players go cold. With so many good shooters and with the A-10’s second best percentage from the free-throw line, the opposition often has a tough time keeping pace. We see it year after year. Teams with good guard play win in the NCAA tournament. La Salle has one of the strongest and deepest units in the country and could give most teams a serious scare when clicking on all cylinders. We’re calling the upset in this one but the 5½-points being offered are too generous to pass up on.


Notre Dame -1 over Iowa State

Lots of folks are picking the minor upset here because the Cyclones are as dangerous and well-coached as any underdog in the field of 68. ISU went 11-7 in the Big-12 and 22-11 overall but we’re not buying any of it. With the exception of a late January win over Kansas, the Cyclones lost to every other decent team they played. ISU lost to Cincinnati, UNLV, Iowa, Oklahoma State, K-State and Oklahoma among others. This is a Cyclones team that relies heavily on hitting their 3-point shots and as we witnessed on Thursday, if they aren’t falling, a three-point shooting team can get into trouble in a hurry. The next issue for the Cyclones is their inability to stop anyone. ISU routinely gives up 80-points plus and that means they have to hit a high percentage of shots to win. By firing away so many three’s, the Cyclones rarely get to the charity stripe, allowing the opposition many fast breaks and easy buckets. Yes, the Cyclones could go off but backing a team with no defense and whose offense has never seen a shot they didn’t like is too risky for our liking.

We much prefer the Notre Dame model. Notre Dame owns one of the most efficient offenses in the country. They have threats inside and they have threats outside. The Irish rank at the top of the country in assists, they’re a very good shooting team and they have the nation’s best rebounder in Jack Cooley. If you believe that defense rules over offense than there is even more reason to like the Irish. Notre Dame held three of their last five regular-season opponents to 42 points or fewer. No question the Irish are going to try and a slow this game down in an attempt to take the Cyclones out of their comfort zone. The simple truth is the Irish have many ways to win a ball game while the Cyclones have one way (hitting 3’s). That’s not enough for us to hang our hats on.

Pass NBA

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

SPORTS WAGERS

Calgary +132 over COLUMBUS

Regulation only. The Jackets have been nothing but money all season long. Undervalued all year and extending their point streak to 12 games with a win over Nashville on Tuesday, they are suddenly no longer undervalued. Columbus has gone from being the butt of all jokes to the talk of the NHL with playoff aspirations higher than they’ve been in years. Unfortunately for Columbus, there is an inherent role reversal from being the underdog to “expected to win”. The Jackets have been home since March 10 and they’ve only played one road tilt over their past eight. This becomes a sell-high opportunity as Columbus will play its fifth straight game at home here. After this one, the Jackets head out for a four-game trip beginning tomorrow in Nashville, followed by three games to the Canadian West Coast. 

The Flames have taken over the role of being the NHL’s worst club. Warranted or not, it’s no place any NHL team or player wants to be in. Knowing the Jackets have gone 12 straight games without a regulation loss, the Flames figure to bring it all here. Calgary has scored three goals or more in four straight, including 11 goals combined against Detroit and Nashville last week in back-to-back games. The road team in this series is on a current 4-0 run. It’s very difficult for any team to sustain high intensity levels for prolonged periods. With a crucial four-game trip on deck and with its perceived easiest opponent in some time, Columbus could get caught napping here.

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

Wunderdog

Northwestern State at Florida
Pick: Florida -20.5

The Florida Gators can play any style for Coach Billy Donovan, though they don't mind playing a slower pace as they've been hit hard by injuries and depth issues much of the season. It isn't very typical to see a No. 3 seed favored by over 20 points, but Florida isn't the typical team. Billy Donovan sure has a post-season pedigree at 31-13-3 ATS in his last 47 and this season he has had is Gators running away from a lot of good opponents. Florida, despite playing in a BCS Conference, has 15 wins on the season by 20 points or more. Northwestern State likes to get up and down the court, but plays little defense, while the Gators can score quickly from a lot of places and are capable of big huge runs. I expect a couple of them in this game.This is a complete mismatch with a coach that isn't afraid to win big. Take Florida.

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

Jeff Scott Sports

4 UNIT PLAY

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.

3 UNIT PLAYS

Duke/ Albany Under 134.5:  Duke is the better team and would like to speed up the game, but Albany can slow this one down, and I feel they will be able to. The Great Danes come in 287th in the nation in pace and they average just 64.4 ppg on the year. Recently they have played some real low scoring games, as their last 6 games have averaged just 113.2 ppg, with Albany scoring just 58 ppg over that stretch. Duke averages a solid 73.4 ppg away from home, but Albany allowed just 62.7 ppg on the road and once Duke builds a big lead you might see them just take it easy the rest of the way. Coach K likes to work the clock with a big lead. I feel that Duke can get caught up in a slower paced game here and hat should keep this one in the 120's.


Ohio State/ Iona Over 145: The Gaels love the uptempo game and I feel that Ohio State will run with them. The Buckeyes are not a fast paced team but they are 14th in the nation in offensive efficiency and they do average 69.3 ppg on the year. Now put this efficient offense in an uptempo game vs a team that allows 75.8 ppg and you can expect the Buckeyes to flirt with 80 points in this one. The Gaels offense has been slowed down just a few times this year, but I expect them to really push tempo. It's their only shot at winning. The Buckeyes have played great defense this year, but they have allowed 63.6 ppg on the road and the Gaels have scored 80.7 ppg overall and 75.6 ppg on the road. The Buckeyes should have one of their best offensive showing of the year, while their defense will give up enough points to put his one over the total.   


Illinois/ Colorado Under 128: The Fighting Illini rely too much on the 3 points shot, but when it doesn't go this team has a hard time scoring. Illinois is 26th in the nation in 3-pointers attempted per game and they score an average of 68.6 ppg, but in their last 5 games hey have hit just 29.5% of their threes and thus their scoring is down to 59.4 ppg over that stretch. I don't see them getting that 3 point shooting going in this one vs a Colorado team that is 92nd in 3-point defense overall and has allowed just 28.6% from long range over their last 5 games. Colorado's offense isn't that good right now as they have averaged just 64.4 ppg on 37% shooting in their last 5 games, while Illinois has allowed 65.4 ppg on 42.9% shooting for the year. Colorado has average 59.2 ppg on the road, while Illinois has put up just 57.6 ppg in their last 7 games away from home. We also note that both teams shoot less than 40% away from home, both teams allow less than 43% shooting away from home, both teams defend the Arc very well and both teams shoot under 70% from the charity stripe away from home. All of that adds up to a game played in the 50's.

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

Brad Wilton

Friday's comp play comes from the Sprint Center, as I like La Salle and Kansas State to play an uptempo game that heads over the total.

On Wednesday, La Salle combined with Boise State for a scoring-fest that saw a combined 151 points, and an easy over. That puts the Explorers at 4-2 over the total their last 6 games, and 8-4-1 over the total on the road this season.

Kansas State played 3 unders in their conference tournament, but were over the total in 7 of their final 9 games of the regular season, so no doubt the Cats can score.

The Wildcats pride themselves on the defensive end, but after watching the Explorers shoot lights-out on Wednesday in Dayton against Boise State, I am convinced this team from Philadelphia will be able to score a few more points today.

Taking the over to come through in this second round game from the Sprint Center on Friday afternoon.

3♦ LA SALLE-KANSAS STATE OVER

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

Jeff Benton

Friday freebie is the Houston Rockets to crush the Cleveland Cavaliers.

You talk about a flat spot, tonight's game for Cleveland is the ultimate flat spot, as the Cavaliers had the mighty Miami Heat and their pursuit of the NBA's all-time winning streak record down for the count on Wednesday night, only to see their prodigal son LeBron James and his mates come from 27 points down to extend their winning streak at the Cavs expense.

I have to believe Cleveland's gas tank is fumes when they hit the court tonight against a Houston team that comes in with straight up wins in 3 of their last 4, but pointspead losses in each of their last 3.

Watch the Rockets bust this one open early, and cruise to the comfortable 20 point win this Friday night. Houston has won 5 of the last 7 season series meetings, covering ALL 3 games played versus the Cavaliers at the Toyota Center.

I am willing to lay the double-digits in this spot, as I just don't see Cleveland being anywhere near mentally ready to compete in this game for much more than a good 10 minutes or so.

5♦ HOUSTON

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

Scott Delaney

I'm playing the Colorado Buffaloes against the Illinois Fighting Illni. This may not be the Rose Bowl, but this Pac 12-Big 10 showdown is one of two on the day, with UCLA/Minnesota going at it as well. Combined, these two power conferences are 5-0 after yesterday, and there are some bragging rights out there today.

And I'm sorry, but based on seeding, and media reports, the Pac 12 is looking to stick it right to everyone that has based the teams from this league, the past couple weeks.

We saw Oregon, California and Arizona take care of business yesterday - including Cal and the Ducks being 12 seeds, and shocking UNLV and Oklahoma State, respectively. Now it's time for Colorado and UCLA to step up their game, and I like the Buffs chances here.

While these two have seemingly followed the same path to the dance - solid non-conference slate, a rough go in their respective conference play and them surprising surges to close the season - I'm more impressed with Colorado's stature when it takes the court. I can't explain it, but I caught the Buffs' act in Las Vegas, for the Pac 12 tourney. And there's a certain swagger about them, a confidence you can't teach.

Perhaps it's because the players have finally bought into third-year coach Tad Boyle's philosophy, and they know their roles. With Illinois, first-year coach John Groce is still coming along. Granted, he did good in getting the Illni this far, but I think this is as far as it goes.

I saw the Illni struggle down the stretch, as they shot only 32.5 percent from the field while hitting just 28.1 percent on 3-pointers over their last four games. Nerves have set in, and that just won't cut it today.

Trust me, Colorado is going to take advantage of the Illni's weaknesses and miscues. Take the pup.

3♦ COLORADO

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

Chris Jordan

My free winner for this evening is going to be a total, as I see no other side worth playing than my 1,000♦ play, so I'll deliver the goods on the Under between Iona and Ohio State.

Now, a majority of Iona's games with totals went over this past season, as 13 of the 22 games soared past the posted figure. But when you get to this point in the season - the dance - and you're a lower seed going against a team like Ohio State, you have to readjust and step up your defensive swagger. Of course, Ohio State is as physical as they come, so the response should be perfect for a rather hardcore game.

Though the Buckeyes have gone over in 10 of their last 14 non-conference games, this is a team that has stayed low in 7 of 8 overall. And after seeing what Harvard did last night to New Mexico, not to mention the handful of upsets we saw earlier in the day, Ohio State won't be taking the Gaels lightly i this one.

Iona is a somewhat sporadic team when it comes to how it scores, as it has scored as little as 60 points, or as much as 104 this season. And even though it averages 80.7 points per game, the Buckeyes allow a mere 57.9 ppg. Do rather than try to piss Ohio State off and attack on the offensive end, knowing the Bucks will be slowing things down, the Gaels will be very cautious with their approach.

Iona has stayed under in 4 of 5 on neutral sites, while the Buckeyes are in on under runs of 13-3 after a straight-up win, 11-2 after an ATS cover and, as mentioned, 7-1 overall.

Look for the defensive pressure from both teams and usage of the entire shot clock to overrule in this game. Play it low.

2♦ UNDER Iona/Ohio State

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

GoodFella

Wizards / Lakers Over 199.5

This is the 2nd and final meeting between these teams this season, as the Lakers won AT Washington (102-96) back on December 14th. It should be noted that the Wizz were without starting PG and team playmaker John Wall for that game. Also, the Lakers did not have both Steve Nash and Earl Clark for that game. Clearly Nash "creates open shots" for teammates and his ability to knock down wide open 3-balls when Kobe or Dwight or doubled is a nice weapon for the Lakers and his presence helps the OVER here. Throw in his piss poor defense and that's another bonus for the OVER here. The Wizz will be without VERY UNDERRATED rookie Bradley Beal tonight, and that prolly means that Wall will be FIRING away tonight......What I do really like and hope is that Wizz big man Okafor may miss the game tonight, as he missed their last game due to being ill. He is listed as questionable as of this writing. The Lakers do get Kobe and Pau back tonight. Kobe missed the L/3 games since landing on Jones and rolling his ankle vs the ATL. Pau been out last 6 weeks and he too simply opens things up for others and his ability to get "easy shots/put backs" helps the OVER here too....The Lakers have had the L/3 days off, and the OVER is (3-0) when LA has played on 3 days of rest this season. The Lakers are coming off a gross blowout loss AT Phoenix on Monday, and the OVER is (4-0 L/4) Lakers games off a loss. Washington is playing their 3rd game of a 4 game West Coast roadie tonight, and they are coming off a (88-79) win AT Phoenix on Wednesday. The Wizards have shown the ability to cover vs the upper echelon teams in the league of late, as they are (5-2 ATS L/7) vs teams with a home win% of 60% or more. The Wizards are an impressive (7-0-1 ATS) as a ROAD DOG of +8.5 to +11 this season. The Lakers have been HOME FAVS of -8.5 to -11 eleven times this season (6-5 ATS). Most the world is firing on the Lakers here and that is not going to chance. The total is seeing split action early on, and I am on the OVER here, and I look for at least 202 point here.

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

NHL Predictions

Columbus Blue Jackets -138

If you blinked you missed the Blue Jackets climb from last place in the West to 10th and just 2 points out of a playoff spot.  The Blue Jackets have won two straight, 7 of their last 9 overall, and have points in 11 straight games.  What has been impressive about the Blue Jackets is that they've either beaten or stayed tight with some good teams during their streak (losing to Chicago twice in overtime or shootout, getting 3 of 4 points vs Vancouver, shutting out Detroit at home, etc).  The Blue Jackets are 12-12-6 on the year and 9-4-5 at home.  Calgary is 11-13-4 on the season and just 3-8-2 on the road.  The Flames are losers of two straight games including a 5-3 loss in Nashville last night.  Calgary has lost 5 of their last 7 games and they've lost 8 straight road games. These two teams have met once this season, with Calgary winning 4-3 in overtime in Columbus.  The Blue Jackets have come a long way since then.  Calgary doesn't have a good record over past season playing on the second of a back to back as they are 17-40 in their last 57 games on 0 days rest.  I'm laying some chalk with Columbus at home to continue their impressive play and take care of Calgary.

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

Harry Bondi

TEMPLE (+4.5) over NC State

We had a nice blowout FREE WINNER yesterday on St. Louis and today we turn to a dog that will probably win this game outright. Temple is the much more consistent team and playing the better brand of basketball right now after winning their last seven regular season games. The key to beating the Wolf Pack is to score points in bunches and these Owls can certainly do just that as they average over 70 ppg. Temple is also 6-2 as an underdog this year so we'll grab the points here and look for a close game throughout.

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

Will Rogers

Washington vs. L.A. Lakers
Pick: L.A. Lakers

Both Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol could be back in the Lakers lineup Friday night against Washington.  Regardless if one or both or neither are in the lineup, I like the Lakers to cover for a variety of reasons tonight.

Here are my keys to this game:

1.  Wizards road woes -  There aren't many teams in the league worse on the road than Washington.  Despite being Phoenix Wednesday night, the Wiz are still a poor 6-26 straight up away from home, averaging a pretty sorry 87.4 points per game.  They got away with scoring only 88 against the Suns, but that likely won't cut it against the Lakers, a far more formidable opponent.

2.  Bounce Back - While the Wizards beat Phoenix in their last game, the Lakers lost to the Suns last time they took the court. It was by far Los Angeles' worst game in recent memory, shooting only 33.3 percent for the game (second worst mark of the year) and turning it over 18 times.  As a result, they lost 99-76.  But before that, they were 19-7 their last 26 games.  Also, keep in mind that it was their ninth game in 14 days and on the road.  At Staples Center, the Lakers are much stronger, winning four straight while averaging 108 PPG and shooting nearly 50% from the floor.  Dwight Howard's play, in particular, has improved.

3.  X-Factor:  The Lakers are 11-2 ATS off a loss by 15 points or greater the last two seasons.

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

Freddy Wills

Wizards +9

I like the Wizards here today, the Lakers have not faired well against teams ranked in the top 10 in 2 point defense in their home games going just 4-7 ATS. Additionally the Lakers are bringing back Gasol to the line up tonight and I don't think it will be a clean transition. Look for the Wizards to really give the Lakers issues as theya re 22-6-1 ATS in their last 29 vs. West, 7-3 ATS L10 Fridays and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 in LA.

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

Joe Gavazzi

UCLA +3

This is the epitome of a "Gap Dog". This is a highly profitable ATS situation that occurs when the selection committee turns pointspread handicapper with an opinion that differs from the linemaker. In this case he has given UCLA (without the 15 PPG of high scorer Adams) a No. 6 seed. This is in dichotomy to the No. 12 seed he gave to Oregon whom they have concluded will continue to under perform their year to date record as Artis has failed to contribute since his return. In according UCLA No. 6 seed, they are 5 positions better than No. 11 seeded Minnesota. The selection committee has handicapped the Gophers demise of 5-11 SU 2-10 ATS to be for real. That is not surprising considering their 23-15 SU record of last year. Under HC Tubby Smith, the Gophers have gone furthest underground away from home. They have not recorded a victory away from home since Jan. 9th vs. Illinois (-0-9 SU) and have covered just once in that time frame (losing by 1 as 3 pt. dog at Wisconsin January 26th) Included in their February and March 0-6 SA record are losses by 11 at Michigan State, 21 at Iowa, 26 at Ohio State and 16 at Purdue. Since January 12th, they have scored more than 51 pts. away from home only once. Far prefer UCLA veteran HC Howland who excels as road dog, a role in which he is 38-17 ATS at UCLA and was 5-0 ATS as underdog including his neutral court outright victory vs. Arizona.

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