Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, March 25

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, March 25

Dave Price

New Orleans Hornets +7

The Nuggets are shooting for a franchise record 16th straight win tonight and are being overvalued as a result. While you can bet Denver wants the franchise record, you can also bet New Orleans will be motivated because it was embarrassed in the season's first two meetings, which both took place in Denver. The Hornets are an awesome 32-17 ATS the last two seasons when playing with double revenge. They have lost by only 3.2 points on average in these spots. The Hornets will be lacking no confidence as they check in off back-to-back wins over playoff teams Boston and Memphis. Plus, they defeated Denver the last time it visited. New Orleans is also a sweet 44-27 ATS the last two seasons when catching 3.5 to 9.5 points. It has lost by just 2.5 points on average in this situation. Take the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, March 25

Jack Jones

Hawks/Pacers UNDER 186.5

I look for a low-scoring, defensive battle tonight in this Eastern Conference rivalry between the Atlanta Hawks and Indiana Pacers. Playing at home, Indiana will control the tempo in this one.

That's good news for the UNDER considering the Pacers score 94.4 points/game while allowing 89.5 points/game this season. They combine with their opponents to average just 183.9 points/game on the year.

Indiana has really played in some low-scoring games of late due to the loss of second-leading scorer David West (back), who averages 17.3 points/game. West has missed the past four games, and he remains doubtful to return tonight.

The UNDER is 3-0 in Indiana's last three games overall with a 95-73 home victory over Orlando for 168 combined points, a 102-78 home win over Milwaukee for 180 combined points, and an 84-87 loss at Chicago for 171 combined points.

This play falls into a system that is 34-11 (75.6%) to the UNDER over the last 5 seasons. It tells us to bet the UNDER on all teams where the total is between 180 and 189.5 points (ATLANTA) - extremely tired team - playing 9 or more games in 14 days, with a winning record on the season playing another winning team.

Atlanta is 14-3 to the UNDER as a road underdog of 6.5 to 12 points over the last 2 seasons. The Hawks are 48-24 to the UNDER when playing their 2nd road game in 2 days since 1996. The UNDER is 36-16 in Hawks last 52 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Bet the UNDER in this game Monday.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, March 25

Andre Gomes

Denver Nuggets -7

Projected Line: Denver by 10 points

The big news for this game is that Greivis Vasquez won't play tonight due to an ankle injury and that's a massive blow for the Hornets. Without him, Denver won't have problems in forcing turnovers, an area where the Hornets have been struggling lately even with Vasquez playing, as they have committed 20, 14, 20 and 17 turnovers on their last four games! New Orleans is coming from two big wins over Boston and Memphis, however they only won these two games due to a massive edges on boards, as they grabbed 60.5% and 58.6% of the rebounds in those two games! The Hornets had great spots for those games as they were on a home span, while Boston was coming from a brutal game against Miami and had no legs to play on the second half, where they scored just 12+19 points. The same happened with Memphis, who had played a brutal home game against Oklahoma City, where they only won it on overtime.

Matchup wise, the Nuggets have great news for tonight. New Orleans's transition defense is terrible with 1.27 PPP allowed since the All Star break. Even two teams who aren't known for scoring in transition, Boston and Memphis, scored 14 and 16 fast break points against them! The Hornets's lack of muscle down low has been also exposed lately by their opponents, something that will definitely happen tonight once again against Denver. The Hornets's pick and roll ball handler defense has been also horrible and Ty Lawson has a great spot tonight to have a big game. Basically Denver has an excellent spot to have a huge offensive game tonight.

On the other side, the Hornets's offense will struggle without their starting PG, who will miss tonight his first game this season! New Orleans's offense is dependent from Vasquez's pick and rolls and they will struggle without him on this area, besides the high number of turnovers that they'll certainly commit tonight. Of course the Hornets will attack the rim looking for offensive rebounds and Ryan Anderson might have a good 3pts shooting game, but Denver will be much more stable tonight than they were on their last two games, as they will have Ty Lawson and Wilson Chandler back. Denver won the first two games of the season against New Orleans by double digits, while scoring 25 and 21 fast break points plus 58 and 62 points in the paint. I expect something similar to happen tonight and so, I'll be taking the Nuggets in here.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, March 25

SPORTS WAGERS

Mercer +7 over BYU

Many of you have probably don’t know much about the Mercer Bears. After all, they play in the Atlantic Sun conference that gets less television exposure in the U.S than the annual Hot-Dog eating contest. That said, here’s what we do know. Mercer finished first in that conference ahead of the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles. The same Eagles that just advanced to the Sweet Sixteen by beating Georgetown and San Diego State, both by double digits. The Bears also won their opening NIT game with an impressive 75-67 win over Tennessee. Mercer has now won 12 of 14 with only two losses over that span occurring against FGCU. These two played one common opponent this season, the Seminoles of Florida State and Mercer beat FSU 61-56 while BYU lost to Florida State 88-70.

BYU had no impressive wins the entire season. Every quality team they played they were usually buried by big margins and they also lost to the slightly above average teams like Baylor, San Diego and San Francisco. The Cougars won their opening round NIT game against Washington but overall the school has dropped five of its last nine games. One cannot dismiss what the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles have accomplished. Having a better record in the same Conference than the Eagles and being inspired by its success, one has to give the Mercer Bears a legit chance of advancing in the NIT and at the very least, staying well within this range.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, March 25

NHL Predictions

Anaheim Ducks -130

San Jose is 12-9-6 on the season and just 4-8-2 on the road.  Things have not been good for the Sharks lately, as they have dropped 5 of their last 6 games including a 5-2 loss in Los Angeles on Saturday night.  The Ducks are 20-3-4 on the season and a stellar 11-1 at home on the year.  They are coming off a 2-1 OT loss in St Louis, but had won 5 straight before that loss.  The Ducks have allowed 2 or fewer goals against in 6 straight games and will be going with Viktor Fasth tonight in net who has a GAA of just 1.92 to go along with his 10-1-1 record.  Dating back to last season the Sharks are just 17-35 in their last 52 road games, while the Ducks are 25-8 in their last 33 home games.  They’ve met twice this season with San Jose needing a shootout to beat Anaheim at home, and then Anaheim winning 2-1 when they hosted the Sharks in early February.  The Ducks have won 7 of their last 9 meetings with the Sharks overall, and are 4-1 in their last 5 meetings in Anaheim. I’m going to lay a bit of chalk with one of the NHL’s best teams so far playing at home against a team they’ve had success against.”

The Ducks won that game 5-3.  Since then they beat Chicago at home, and then lost twice in a row against Detroit at home.  They outshot Detroit in both games but were outscored 7-2.  The Sharks travelled to Edmonton after their loss in Anaheim to beat the Oilers 4-3 in a shootout, and then went into Minnesota and lost 2-0 on Saturday.  San Jose has won just 2 of their last 9 games overall.  The Ducks are 5-1 in their last 6 home games vs Anaheim.  Tonight Anaheim is playing in their 5th straight home game and are looking to bounce back after losing back to back home games for the first time this season. The Sharks are playing in their 5th and final road game of this road trip. They just unloaded Doug Murray in a trade for draft picks, and the confidence level just isn’t there as they’ve dropped out of a playoff spot in the West.  I’m on the Ducks at home again vs the Sharks.

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