Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday March 28

Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday March 28

DUNKEL INDEX

NBA

LA Lakers at Milwaukee
The Lakers look to take advantage of a Milwaukee team that is coming off a 100-92 loss last night to Philadelphia and is 2-14 ATS in its last 16 games following a SU defeat. LA is the pick (+1) according to Dunkel, which has the Lakers favored by 3. Dunkel Pick: LA Lakers (+1)

Game 801-802: LA Lakers at Milwaukee (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Lakers 120.871; Milwaukee 117.158
Dunkel Line & Total: LA Lakers by 3 1/2; 204
Vegas Line & Total: Milwaukee by 1; 208
Dunkel Pick: LA Lakers (+1); Under

Game 803-804: Indiana at Dallas (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Indiana 123.758; Dallas 125.252
Dunkel Line & Total: Dallas by 1 1/2; 199
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 803-804: Sacramento at Phoenix (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Sacramento 116.387; Phoenix 115.183
Dunkel Line & Total: Sacramento by 1; 216
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

NCAAB

Marquette vs. Miami (FL)
The Hurricanes look to take advantage of a Marquette team that is 0-4-1 ATS in its last 5 games overall. Miami (FL) is the pick (-5 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Hurricanes favored by 7. Dunkel Pick: Miami (FL) (-5 1/2)

Game 807-808: Syracuse vs. Indiana (9:45 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Syracuse 71.864; Indiana 72.513
Dunkel Line: Indiana by 1; 140
Vegas Line: Indiana by 5 1/2; 135 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Syracuse (+5 1/2); Over

Game 809-810: Marquette vs. Miami (FL) (7:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Marquette 66.549; Miami (FL) 73.692
Dunkel Line: Miami (FL) by 7; 125
Vegas Line: Miami (FL) by 5 1/2; 127
Dunkel Pick: Miami (FL) (-5 1/2); Under

Game 811-812: Arizona vs. Ohio State (7:47 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Arizona 68.350; Ohio State 76.116
Dunkel Line: Ohio State by 8; 137
Vegas Line: Ohio State by 3; 133 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Ohio State (-3); Over

Game 813-814: LaSalle vs. Wichita State (10:17 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LaSalle 63.466; Wichita State 69.176
Dunkel Line: Wichita State by 5 1/2; 132
Vegas Line: Wichita State by 4; 135 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Wichita State (-4); Under

NHL

Los Angeles at St. Louis 
The Kings look to take advantage of a St. Louis team that is coming off a 3-0 loss to Edmonton on Tuesday and is 4-9 in its last 13 games following a home loss of 3 or more goals. Los Angeles is the pick (+115) according to Dunkel, which has the Kings favored by 1/2 a goal. Dunkel Pick: Los Angeles (+115)

Game 1-2: Winnipeg at Pittsburgh (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Winnipeg 10.238; Pittsburgh 13.419
Dunkel Line & Total: Pittsburgh by 3; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Pittsburgh (-200); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-200); Under

Game 3-4: Carolina at Toronto (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Carolina 10.646; Toronto 10.486
Dunkel Line & Total: Carolina by 1/2; 6 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Toronto (-145); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Carolina (+125); Over

Game 5-6: NY Islanders at Philadelphia (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Islanders 12.043; Philadelphia 10.774
Dunkel Line & Total: NY Islanders by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Philadelphia (-140); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Islanders (+120); Over

Game 7-8: NY Rangers at Ottawa (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Rangers 10.596; Ottawa 12.617
Dunkel Line & Total: Ottawa by 2; 4 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Ottawa (-115); 5
Dunkel Pick: Ottawa (-115); Under

Game 9-10: Buffalo at Florida (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Buffalo 11.761; Florida 11.030
Dunkel Line & Total: Buffalo by 1/2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Florida (-110); 5
Dunkel Pick: Buffalo (-110); Over

Game 11-12: Phoenix at Nashville (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Phoenix 10.452; Nashville 12.343
Dunkel Line & Total: Nashville by 2; 4
Vegas Line & Total: Nashville (-165); 5
Dunkel Pick: Nashville (-165); Under

Game 13-14: Los Angeles at St. Louis (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Los Angeles 11.618; St. Louis 10.991
Dunkel Line & Total: Los Angeles by 1/2; 5 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: St. Louis (-135); 5
Dunkel Pick: Los Angeles (+115); Over

Game 15-16: Columbus at Edmonton (9:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Columbus 10.965; Edmonton 12.049
Dunkel Line & Total: Edmonton by 1; 4
Vegas Line & Total: Edmonton (-135); 5
Dunkel Pick: Edmonton (-135); Under

Game 17-18: Colorado at Vancouver (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado 10.112; Vancouver 11.916
Dunkel Line & Total: Vancouver by 2; 4 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Vancouver (-210); 5
Dunkel Pick: Vancouver (-210); Under

Game 19-20: Detroit at San Jose (10:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit 12.893; San Jose 10.828
Dunkel Line & Total: Detroit by 2; 5 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: San Jose (-135); 5
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (+115); Over

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Art AronsonFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Columbus vs. EdmontonFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: EdmontonFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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These teams have played twice this year: Edmonton won 3-1 in Columbus on February 10th, before the Blue Jackets won 4-3 at home on March 5th. Columbus is 13-13-7 overall, and just 3-9-2 on the road, most recently coming off a disheartening 1-0 shootout loss at Vancouver on Tuesday. Canuck goaltender Cory Schneider need to make only 17 saves. Edmonton is 12-13-7 overall, and 5-5-4 at home. The Oilers are coming off a big 3-0 win over St. Louis on Tuesday. Edmonton netminder Nikolai Khabibulin made 43 saves. One other player you'll want to track tonight is the Oilers' Jordan Eberle who had two goals and an assist vs. the Blues. There is some room to read between the lines of the Blue Jackets recent success (Columbus has points in 13 of its last 14 games), as their 2.5 goals per contest represents the league's worst average. While they're only at .500 in front of the home town crowd this year, the Oilers are 17-4-1 in this series in Edmonton, and with Columbus looking ahead to its game in Calgary tomorrow night, I certainly believe that the home side is worth the short-price of admission in this matchup.

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Jim FeistFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Indiana at DallasFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: UnderFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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East meets West in this NBA battle of two teams with plenty to play for. Uptempo Dallas is 10-2 under the total when they face the NBA Central division. Indiana comes to town with a slow, defensive style and is playing the second of a back to back spot, so there's no way they will run with the rested Mavs. The under is 5-1 in the Pacers last 6 games playing on no days rest. And when these teams meet, the under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings. Play the Pacers/Mavericks under the total.

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Joseph D'AmicoFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Syracuse +6FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Indiana was unable to control the clock and the tempo in the Temple game and needed a very late run to eke out the win as a 12-point favorite. Syracuse's zone "D" will be a nightmare for Indiana. The Orange will stifle the Hoosiers offense frustrating them, and control the tempo here. Syracuse will overload Indiana's outside shooters, Watford and Hulls. On the inside, Cody Zeller will get his points, however outside of Zeller, the Hoosiers rotate six players for most of the game, with Watford at 6'9" and all others between 6'0"-6'7". The 'Cuse's Keita is 6,10", Coleman and Christmas are both 6'9", with Grant, Southerland, and Fair are all at 6'8". They will attack Zeller and look to get the big man in foul trouble but at the very least send the 75% FT shooter to line. Just like Temple, Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Minnesota all did, as Indiana lost 3 of those 4 matchups. Syracuse has won each of their post-season games by an average of 13.8 PPG. The Orange have four players putting up DDS and five solid rebounders. They are #18 in the nation on the offensive boards while scoring 71.5 PPG. But their "D" is #3 overall, allowing a mere 37.3% FG's and #7 yielding just 28.9% beyond the arc. Indy's back court is small, very small. Syracuse's physical, speedy team will exploit this factor. Remember that all six of Indiana's losses came against physical squads... Butler, Wisconsin twice, Minnesota, Illinois, and Ohio State. The Hoosiers are 2-5 ATS their L7 games played against teams with a winning percentage of over .600, 7-18-2 ATS their L27 games played on neutral sites, and 2-5-1 ATS their L8 games played overall. Take Syracuse.

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Dave CokinFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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La Salle vs Wichita StateFOR  FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: Wichita StateFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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I think we're looking at a pretty even hookup tonight as La Salle squares off with Wichita State. But I'm giving the Shockers the edge this evening in spite of the fact that my numbers actually have this closer than the betting line. Two reason stand out. The first is the ability of Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall to adjust on the fly. Marshall would easily be on the list of my top ten coaches, and that's worth a basket in a game like this. The other factor is fatigue. The Explorers were gassed down the stretch in the Ole Miss game, and La Salle would already be home for the summer had it not been for some abysmal Mississippi free throw shooting. One team has earned its way here, while the other has gotten a little help from Lady Luck. I don't mean that as a dismissal of La Salle by any means. But when lining up the columns and then factoring in the perceived intangibles, Wichita wins the game more often than not. That being the case, I'm compelled to lean to the favorite tonight, Wichita State minus the points.

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Andy IskoeFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Arizona / Ohio St Under 134FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Both teams have been solid UNDER plays all season with 'Zona 18-10-1 to the UNDER and Ohio State 19-13 to the UNDER in their games with lined totals this season. Against teams that are in the Sweet 16 Arizona is 3-0 to the UNDER (1 game vs Pac 12 foe) while OSU is 7-2 to the UNDER (7 games vs Big 10 foes). Ohio State is more comfortable playing the half court game but Arizona is more than capable of adapting to the slower tempo. Both coaches are very familar with one another as Arizona's Sean Miller was an assistant to OSU's Thad Matta at Xavier in the early 2000s before succeeding Matta when Matta took over at Ohio State in 2004 The two remain close and know one another's philosophy well which, in this case, tends towards emphasis on defense..

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Bruce MarshallFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Marquette vs. Miami-FloridaFOR  FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: Miami - FloridaFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Maybe it‘s just us, but there’s something about watching Marquette play that makes us want to tune into the NBC Sports Network to watch the next NHL game on the tube.
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We suggest CBS bring Mike Emrick and El Olczyk into the broadcast booth, and let Pierre McGuire report from the sidelines, for the Golden Eagles games that more often resemble hockey, with Marquette players bumping and grinding into the opposition, or careening into the paint in awkward odd-man rushes into the attack end for many “shots on goal” from point-blank range or for long-range bombs from the “blue line”...er, three-point arc.
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But Marquette indeed has some limitations offensively, partly caused by season-long spotty three-point shooting (still only 29.9% this season and a very so-so 9 for 27 in the Dance), which contributes to the stop/start appearance of its often tortured offensive sets.  Now, the Golden Eagles are facing their most difficult Big Dance defensive challenge yet in Jim Larranaga’s Miami, which owns plenty of size and athleticism on the perimeter and has allowed only 59 ppg this season.  Larranaga’s pet scramble defense threatens to turn this matchup into something more unsightly than Marquette’s normal course of affairs, although the Hurricanes must make sure to work through screens and not expose some of their less-mobile bigs (such as Kenny Kadji) on defensive switches against Blue or another of the Golden Eagles Gs, who will look to blow by Kadji, as did Brandon Paul and the Illinois Gs on occasion in last Sunday’s Round of 32 narrow escape for the Canes vs. the Illini.
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Larranaga’s accomplished backcourt of 6-5 types Durand Scott and Trey McKinney-Jones and star soph PG Shane Larkin (14 ppg), however, should be able to deal with Williams’ frenetic Golden Eagle defense, and Marquette has no matchup for the versatile Kadji, who loves to float to the perimeter and thus renders paint-locked 6-11 Golden Eagle counterpart Chris Otule as unlikely to draw that defensive assignment. In conclusion, we think there are more ways for Miami to manufacture points (especially with 6-6 swingman Rion Brown now another viable option after his 21-point outburst Sunday vs. the Illini).  With all due respect to coach Williams, a sharper-edged Marquette could advance no further than the Sweet 16 a year ago.  Remember, too, that “Coach L” has a bit of experience in the Sweet 16 at this Verizon Center site, where his George Mason side qualified for an unlikely Final Four trip seven years ago.

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Jimmy BoydFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Arizona +4FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Ohio State has been on a big of a hot streak covering in 6 of their last 8 games, but Arizona has been playing well too covering four of their last 5 against the spread. You should always play against a team like Ohio State that has covered 6 of their last 8 games against the spread when they are a team winning 80% or more of their games playing another good team winning 60-80% of their games. This system is 128-78 (62%) ATS over the last five seasons. Ohio State is coming off a game where they went 9 of 18 from the 3 point line including a last second shot by Aaron Craft to get the win over Iowa State. This game also falls into a system to play on a team like Arizona when they are playing on a neutral court and have had two straight games shooting 50% or better and playing against a team that is coming off a game where they made 50% or more of their 3 point attempts. This system is 48-16 (72%) ATS.

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Will RogersFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Sacramento vs. PhoenixFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: PhoenixFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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I played both of these teams last night and quite obviously experienced different results. The Kings were a very nice 10* winner as they went into Golden State as nine-point underdogs and recorded an outright win.  Phoenix, unfortunately, could not stay with Utah in the fourth quarter despite entering the final 12 minutes only down four points and taking a double-digit number.
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For tonight, I do not believe that the Kings deserve to be favored, on the road no less.
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Here are my keys to the game.
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1. Kings' road woes - Even with last night's win, Sacramento is still just 7-30 straight up on the road this season.  They did win back to back road games one time this season, beating Cleveland and Toronto, with one day of rest in between, back on January 2nd and 4th, but that's it.  Off their other five road wins this year, the team is 0-5 ATS, losing every game by double digits.  This will be only the second time all season they are a road favorite.  While they won and covered the first, that was against league-worst Charlotte.
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2. Defense - While Phoenix hasn't been very good defensively, Sacramento is even worse.  They have given up the highest PPG total in the league since Feb 9 and for the season are allowing over 105 PPG on the road. The Suns have scored at least 100 points in all three meetings this season with the Kings.
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3.  X-Factor: While Sacramento generally stinks on the road, they are really bad here in the desert, losing 12 of their last 13 here.

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Bryan PowerFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Indiana vs. DallasFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: IndianaFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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While the Mavs are making a late charge for the final playoff spot out West, I don't like the idea of them laying points in this matchup, even though the Pacers are without rest. Indiana has been pretty hot of late as well, winning five of their last six, and has been more reliable for the balance of the season.  I'm taking the points tonight in "Big D.
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Defensively, the Pacers have a decided edge in this matchup.  They are giving up just 89.6 points per game, the best mark in the league, and just held Houston (the highest scoring team in the NBA) to only 91 points last night in an important road win as it allowed them to keep pace with the Knicks in the battle for the Eastern Conference's #2 seed.  In contrast, Dallas is giving up over 102 PPG, one of the worst marks in the league.
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Even better if you're an Indiana fan (which I will be tonight) is that it looks like the team will be getting back both Danny Granger and David West from injury tonight, a big help since the team just played last night.  Two Pacers scored season highs last night, Roy Hibbert and Lance Stephenson.  They led the Rockets by as many as 19 and really the game should not have ended up as close as it was. Indiana scored only 18 points in the fourth quarter.  Not sure how much Dallas can have left in its tank at this point, especially after the overtime win against the Clippers on Tuesday. Take the points.

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Tony GeorgeFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Syracuse +5.5FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Not sold on Indiana, especially how they struggled against Temple. Syracuse poses problems for Indiana who struggles against physical teams. Syracuse's defense the key here, allowing just 57 ppg their last 5 and in a low scoring game 5.5 points is a big number. Also I like Syracuse's 3 point shooters who have knocked down 46% from beyond the arc in their last 5 games. Cuse battle tested out of the Big East, I am taking the generous points, nothing comes easy in the Sweet 16, this is a big number.

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Jack JonesFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Syracuse +5½FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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I'll side with the dog tonight in what I believe is a very evenly-matched game between Indiana and Syracuse. Both teams are very strong inside and out, and I look for this one to go right down to the wire.
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Syracuse has saved its best basketball for last. It made it to the Big East Championship Game before running out of gas against Louisville playing its 4th game in 4 days. The Orange have beaten Montana and California in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament by a combined 53 points.
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Indiana was ousted in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament 56-68 by Wisconsin. It trailed throughout against Temple in the Round of 32 before rallying in the final minutes to pull out a 58-52 victory. This team is clearly vulnerable, and it has been overvalued as evidenced by the fact that it is 2-6 ATS in its last 8 games overall.
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The Orange don't get enough credit for how good they are defensively. They only allow 59.4 points/game on 37.3% shooting this year. They also defend the 3-pointer as well as anyone in the country, allowing just 28.9% from 3-point range. That's key against an Indiana team that shoots 40.8% from beyond the arc.
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Syracuse is 27-13 ATS as a neutral court underdog or pick since 1997. Indiana is 7-18-2 ATS in its last 27 neutral site games. The Hoosiers are 0-6 ATS in road games after a game being called for 10+ less fouls than opponent over the last 3 seasons. Indiana is 2-9 ATS when playing against a good team (Win Pct. 60% to 80%) after 15 or more games this season. Bet Syracuse Thursday.

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Arizona +3.5 over Ohio State: I know how tough the Big 10 has been this year, but I feel that the PAC-12 wins this one. Theses teams are pretty evenly matched all across the board. Lets start with strength of schedule. The Big 10 has been regarded as the best conference in the nation and that is a big reason why Ohio State played the 7th toughest schedule. Now the PAC-12 has been regarded as one of the weakest of the power conferences, yet Arizona still played the 31st toughest schedule. Not a big difference there. On offense the Cats are 16th in efficiency, while the Buckeyes are 11th. Defensively the Buckeyes are 7th in efficiency, while Arizona is 31st. All pretty even. So why am I going with the Cats? The First reason is the location. This game will be played out on the West coast and that has to mean a big Arizona fan base will be attending this one and teams that have had a big fan base in their games have gone 11-2 in the tournament thus far. Another reason is that Arizona's offense gets the edge on the road over the Buckeyes. Ohio State on defense has allowed 2 ppg less than the Cats, but offensively Arizona scores 7 ppg more than the Buckeyes on the road. Ohio State's offense has looked good in their first two games of the tourney, but they have been vs high tempo teams and Arizona is just 131st in the nation in tempo. Arizona is playing very well right now and their defense has been tough of lat, allowing just 61.6 ppg on 38.6% shooting in their last 5 games, and with the crowd behind them I feel that they can come up with the big win here.
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Ohio State/ Arizona Under 134: One of the reasons why I expect the Cats to win this one is the fact that their defense has been playing so well of late. They have allowed just 61.6 ppg on 38.6% shooting in their last 5 games and have allowed just 57.5 ppg on 33% shooting in the tourney thus far. Now don't get fooled by OSU's 173 points they have scored in the tourney thus far, as those two games were vs high tempo teams that play little defense. This will not be an uptempo game and the Buckeyes have scored just 63.4 ppg away from home on the year. This is a team that is used to the slower grind it out games and their pace rating of 221 shows that.Both teams are ranked as far as offensive efficiency, but also very high as far as defensive efficiency is concerned as well. Both teams have had a few days to prepare for this one and I feel that favors the defense and these two have played very well at that end of he floor this year. This should be a tight game and I see expect allot of walking the ball up the court the last 8 minutes or so, which should also aid in keeping the scoring down. I full expect this one to be played in the 120's.
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Syracuse/ Indiana Under 136: The Hoosiers do come in as the top ranked team in terms of offensive efficiency, but I do see them having a few problems notching 70+ points in this one vs this tough Cuse defense. Red posted a publication and in it was how teams have fared the first time they have played the Cuse Zone. Interesting to note that teams that have faced that zone this year have averaged just 0.79 points per possession. Let's say that at the most the Hoosiers would get 75 possessions (A Little high I know) but even if they got that many it would translate to 59 points. One this the Zone also does is slow down the tempo of the game, which is a big reason why the Cuse are 224th in the nation in tempo. They don't want to get into an up and down game with the Hoosiers, because their offense is so hit and miss right now. The Cuse are 10th in the nation in offensive efficiency, but on the road they average just 65.8 ppg and shoot very poorly, hitting just 40.1% of their shots overall and 29% from long range. Not good numbers vs an Indiana squad that is 10th in defensive efficiency. The Cuse have allowed just 57.2 ppg on 35.1% shooting in their last 5 games, while Indiana has allowed 63.4 ppg on 40.1% shooting in their last 5 games. A slow tempo with two very good defenses on the court should add up to a game of around 125 points. Indiana 66-59.

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SPORTS WAGERSFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Indiana -5 over SyracuseFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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We always like to come back the next time out on a team that failed to cover a big spread in last game. Indiana not only failed to cover against Temple as a 12½-point choice but they nearly lost that game outright. The result is a beatable number here. The Hoosiers start three guards and have a 4 in Christian Watford, who can stretch defenses, allowing Cody Zeller plenty of space to do his thing down low. The Hoosiers score like crazy in transition and at the free throw line (third in the nation in free throw rate). Indiana has weapons galore. Its spacing is near flawless, it has 3-point shooters aplenty, and both Zeller and Victor Oladipo are first-round draft picks whenever they decide to enter the NBA draft. The Hoosiers rank first in the country in offensive efficiency and while Syracuse’s defense is terrific, they’ve had problems all year with big men. This Hoosiers bunch poses many problems for the Orange.
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Syracuse had many chances to put away California and couldn’t do it because its offense stumbles and bumbles for long stretches. Should they fall behind this team, it could be a long evening.Syracuse relies too heavily on its guards, a group which lacks good shooters almost across the board. The Orange also lack an inside presence leaving one to wonder how they’ll deal with Cody Zeller. Syracuse's massive struggles down the stretch have been tied to their lack of any kind of consistent offense. Forcing the Orange to beat you as a jump-shooting team has proven rewarding for opponents. Syracuse cannot win the inside game here. They are going to have to shoot lights out to win or cover here and that’s something we’re fully prepared to fade.
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Marquette +5½ over MiamiFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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We love the “battle-tested” angle in the Sweet 16 round. Marquette’s two wins in the first weekend were by a combined three points. Trailing most of the way against both Davidson and Butler, the Golden Eagles found a way in both games to hang tough and make the key plays when it counted most. That’s something that should not be dismissed. Neither should Marquette’s 31 offensive rebounds in the first weekend, which was third-best in the field behind Michigan State (34) and Gonzaga (32). Marquette is deep and talented with a 10-man rotation. Nine players average more than 13 minutes per game. The bench players score more than 30 points per game, which is one of the most productive units in the nation.The Golden Eagles outwork and outhustle opponents. Coach Buzz Williams is fully aware that his team is not the most talented, even in its own conference, but the Golden Eagles never let up. Opponents are in for a 40-minute grind.
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The Hurricanes starting five is without question, one of the best in the country However, Miami isn't the most prolific offensive team. The Canes aren't the deepest team either, essentially going with a two-man bench. As a result, the team looked worn down in the couple of weeks prior to the ACC tournament and Marquette is precisely the type of club that could wear them down. ‘Canes coach Jim Larranaga comes well-prepped for every game. In addition to Larranaga's meticulous preparation (he was one of the first college coaches to use Synergy Sports, an Internet-based scouting index that logs every possession of every game, allowing coaches to zero in on team and player tendencies), the Hurricanes are a veteran team with a top-flight point guard in Shane Larkin. However, Miami usually goes through scoring droughts so a team with quality size up front and the ability to play disruptive defense could be a tough matchup. That describes the Golden Eagles and just like Marquette did in its first two games, it is likely to hang around in this one too with a chance to win it.
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Arizona +160 over Ohio State
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Deshaun Thomas is a one-man offensive machine for the Buckeyes. He’ll get his; that you can count on. They also play outstanding defense but those numbers may be skewed somewhat due to the Buckeyes playing a lot of other offensively challenged, Big-10 teams. Aaron Craft, Sam Thompson and Lenzelle Smith Jr. all chip in on occasion for OSU but it seems like they often stand around and wait for Thomas' Superman act to bail them out. That causes the Buckeyes to get stagnant on offense. Sure, the Buckeyes have a great chance to beat Arizona but this one is so close that we’re happy to grab the +160 being offered in a game in which Arizona's chances are equally as good.
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The Wildcats are peaking. All the experts suggested they had Final Four talent but many wondered which edition would show up for this event. So far we’ve seen the focused, determined and intense Wildcats and nothing suggests we won’t see that group again here. Arizona has easily won in its two tourney games, playing with a chip on its shoulder after feeling dissed by getting a No. 6 seed and then having the whole world predict the Wildcats would be upset by Belmont. Unlike the Buckeyes, who have one guy that can hurt you, the Wildcats have six. We also like the fact that the game will be played at the Staples Center, where Arizona will have a partisan crowd at a venue its familiar with. That can’t hurt its chances either.   
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La Salle +4½ over Wichita StateFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Wichita State has a big edge on the offensive glass, as they ranked 20th in the country in that department, grabbing an astonishing 37.9% of their own misses, compared to 29.2% for the guard-heavy Explorers (251st). Wichita State also employs a 10-man rotation with Coach Gregg Marshall subbing players in and out frequently the entire game. It’s difficult to prepare for the Shockers on short notice, as the top seeded Zags found out and that’s probably one of the main reasons Gonzaga is watching this one from the rail. Another big reason the Shockers advanced is that they hit an eye-opening 50% from beyond the arc against the Zags but there is little chance of them repeating that here, as La Salle led the A-10 in 3-point field goal percentage. The Explorers held A-10 opponents to a 28.4 percent clip from beyond the arc. After beating Pittsburgh and Gonzaga, the Shockers stock is high and that’s usually the best time to abandon ship. Let’s not ignore that the Shockers played in the Missouri Valley Conference, where they went just 12-6. Only one other team from that conference made this event, the Creighton Bluejays and they were buried by Duke in the round of 32.
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La Salle comes out of the first weekend with wins over K-State and Ole Miss and that’s nothing to sneeze at. They also are the last team of five to represent the stronger A-10 and that, too, is an impressive accomplishment. They may not be done yet. La Salle can match the Shockers three-point shooting and then some. Ramon Galloway is a phenomenal athlete but his game goes beyond his dunking ability. He’s averaging 17.4 points per game while shooting 41.4 percent from beyond the arc and 83.2 percent from the charity stripe. Then there’s Sam Mills. The junior guard typically draws the opposition's best perimeter scorer and has stymied some of the A-10's best all season long. Mills began the year in a miserable 3-point shooting slump but has knocked down 53 percent of his treys over the last 11 games, nine of which the Explorers won. We see it year after year at this event that teams with good guard play win often. La Salle has one of the strongest and deepest units in the country and at the very least it keeps them in games. The Explorers are very capable of pulling off this upset and again, in a game that is so close to call, taking the points is the prudent move.
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SPORTS WAGERSFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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TORONTO -½ +120 over CarolinaFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Regulation only. This isn’t the same old Leafs and that was never more evident than in their last game against the Panthers. Defeating Florida is no great feat but after taking three out of a four possible points over the Bruins and playing their third game in four days and coming out flat in the first period, the old Maple Leafs would’ve went on to lose that game. This club didn’t. Toronto found a way to win and while that victory may not seem significant, it was. Toronto can sense the playoffs for the first time since 2004 and this group wants it badly. The Leafs have picked up points in six straight and feeling rejuvenated after that win against Florida, the Carolina Hurricanes have to be sitting high on the Maple Leafs hit list. Toronto has lost four straight to the Canes while being outscored 7-2 in two losses this season. The timing is just right for the Maple Leafs to respond.
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No Cam Ward is the first thing of note, as Ward always brings his best against Toronto. Secondly, Carolina has not scored more than one goal in five straight games while allowing four goals in four of those five matches. The ’Canes have been outscored over its last six, all losses by a count of 21-7. The Hurricanes are down to their third string goaltender, Justin Peters, after second stringer Dan Ellis was injured in a game on March 25. Shut down defender, Justin Faulk is also out, leaving the Canes already thin blue-line in worse shape. This is another statement game for the Maple Leafs, as Carolina is another team they have to separate themselves from. Toronto has answered the bell in many of those games this year and we expect another strong response from them here.
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N.Y. Islanders +127 over PHILADELPHIAFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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OT Included. Losing take its toll and it’s certainly taken a toll on the Flyers. Sitting in 14th place with a mere 28 points and having to make up seven points and climb over six other teams, Philly’s chances of making it to the eighth and final playoff spot took a gigantic hit when they were buried on Tuesday by the eighth place Rangers. The Flyers have now dropped three in a row, five of six and seven of its past nine games. Philadelphia has also scored two or less in five straight. Spirits are low in Philadelphia. The team isn’t scoring and the defense is too slow to prevent goals. Ilya Bryzgalov is the most frustrated of all, as he continues to get shell-shocked. After the loss to New York on Tuesday, Bryzgalov sat alone in the dressing room long after the final buzzer. As the favorite, these Flyers offer up nothing but misery.
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The Islanders are eager to take the ice tonight. They faced Philadelphia once this year back on February 18 on the Island and were humiliated in a 7-0 loss. Philly scored all seven goals on just 25 shots on net. The Islanders will be looking for some redemption here after that embarrassment. After consecutive wins over Florida and Washington, the Islanders are right in the thick of this thing. The Isles are just two points out of a playoff spot and it may surprise you to learn that they are 9-4-1 on the road. It’s not complicated. The Islanders simply offer up much more value taking back a price than the Flyers laying one and that’s precisely the way we’ll play it. 
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FLORIDA -½ +152 over BuffaloFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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We could play the Panthers -108 here with OT included but the fact that Florida is favored here is rather curious and therefore we’ll spot the half puck with a nice take-back. What we know for sure is that the money line (Florida -108, Buffalo +100) is going to attract a lot of Buffalo money and that’s precisely what the oddmakers envisioned. After all, the Panthers are in dead last and they return home from a five-game road trip.
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Meanwhile, the Sabres have won three of their past four games and defeated Montreal at the Bell Center twice in the past nine days. The oddsmakers aren’t fooled by the Sabres and neither are we. In Tampa Bay on Tuesday, Buffalo managed 14 shots on net. In its most recent 2-1 victory over Montreal, the Sabres were outshot 39-18 and out-chanced 26-6. That’s a recurring theme with Buffalo, as it is getting badly outplayed, badly outworked and its poor play and lack of desire is going to catch up to them. Regardless of all that, this one is all about recognizing a “curious” line and playing it that way. If you are not on board, we urge you to think twice before pulling the trigger on the Sabres. To all you Buffalo backers, the line screams "back off".
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Los Angeles +115 over ST. LOUISFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Blues have dropped three of their past four games but they probably should have won all three of those matches. Certainly, after outshooting Edmonton 43-19, Calgary, 38-17 and Vancouver, 34-19, the Blue Notes deserved better than an 0-3 record. The problem is goaltending. Jake Allen is not NHL ready and Jaroslav Halak, tonight’s starter, appears a step behind everyone else. Those soft goals allowed are deflating as hell and an early one tonight against this guest could spell big trouble. St. Louis has very little chance of territorially dominating the Kings in the way they did against Edmonton and Calgary.
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The Kings give up very little. Rarely do they allow more than 15 scoring chances a game or allow more than 30 shots. In fact, they usually give up about 20-25 shots on net. L.A. also broke out of their scoring slump with a resounding 5-4 win in Chicago on Monday. This is a fully loaded gun that can go off against anyone at any time. The Kings have defeated the Blue Notes in seven straight. They swept them in four in last season’s playoffs and outscored them 10-5 in two games this season. With shaky goaltending and being at a big psychological disadvantage, chances are the Blues aren’t going to win here either.

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Sam MartinFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Syracuse at IndianaFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: SyracuseFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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We don't like this matchup for the Hoosiers, and while we could be swayed by either argument in terms of an outright winner, we're convinced this game will come right down to the wire and we'll take the generous points with Syracuse here. Indiana struggled with a solid Temple defense for all but the final minutes last weekend, escaping that game with a six-point win as a big 12-point favorite. And we remember that is was solid defensive games that frustrated Indiana in their recent losses, losing against Wisconsin 68-56 in the Big Ten Tournament and 67-58 at home against Ohio State late in the year. If Syracuse had better offense we would put this out as a premium release, but we're not confident with a higher rating based on the hot-cold shooting we've seen from this team. Still, their defense is good enough to keep them in this game at the end, and we'll take the points as this one goes down to the wire!
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Indiana at DallasFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: IndianaFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Pacers just about back to full strength now and we'll back them in Dallas as a small underdog to win this game outright tonight. Indiana has proven it can put up the big offensive numbers, but the real advantage for the visitor in this game is on the defensive end of the court, where the Pacers allow just 89.5 points per game - 13 points fewer than the Mavericks on the season. This will certainly be a faster-paced contest, especially with Dallas being more easily able to dictate the pace on their home court, but we like the Pacers chances on the defensive end nonetheless. Indiana is coming off an outright win against another good offensive club in Houston, winning that game by nine points as a six-point underdog, and is a dominant 14-6 ATS after playing in the road underdog role. Defense is the key as the Pacers pull off another upset!

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Hollywood SportsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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La Salle at Wichita StateFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Prediction: OverFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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LaSalle (24-9) made it to the Sweet 16 by slipping by Ole Miss by a 76-74. The Total was set at 142 for that third round game which means the Explorers have now played 10 of their last 13 games Over the Total when playing on a neutral court. LaSalle has also played 5 of their last 7 games Over the Total following a win. Wichita State (28-8) comes off their upset 76-70 win over Gonzaga with the Total set at 130.5 for that game. The Shockers have now played 5 of their last 6 games Over the Total when playing on a neutral court. Additionally, Wichita State has played 4 straight games Over the Total against teams outside the Missouri Valley Conference. And in their last 5 games against teams with a winning percentage over 60%, the Shockers have played all 5 of these games Over the Total. Take the Over.

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Rob VincilettiFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Sacramento vs. PhoenixFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: OverFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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In this game we want to play the over for road dogs with no rest, Like Sacramento if the total is 200 or higher and they were road dogs of 5 or more last night, vs an opponent that was a road dog of 10 or more. These games have flown over 16 of 18 times the last 19+ seasons. All teams with no rest at Phoenix no rest have played over the total 4 straight times. The Kings have gone over 8 of 10 times on the road with no rest if they were a road dog last night and the total is 200 or higher. The Kings have also played over in 31 of their last 46 in March. Look for this one to be an up tempo pace resulting in the game flying over the total tonight.

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Dave PriceFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Dallas Mavericks -3½FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Pacers earned a nice win in Houston last night, but I have them coming up short in Dallas against a Mavericks squad that is in good current form and has had a day to rest and prepare. The Mavs have won 3 straight and 9 of 12 and we'll be lacking no incentive as they look to reach the .500 mark for the first time in 3.5 months. They're also playing for a 13th consecutive playoff appearance. They are just 1.5 games behind the eighth-place Los Angeles Lakers. The Pacers are just 16-19 on the road this season and are 6-15 ATS in their last 21 road games versus a team with a winning home record. The Mavs, who are 21-14 at home, are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 home games versus a team with a losing road record. Lay the points.

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Jeff AlexanderFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Pacers/Mavs Under 192½FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The under is showing value in tonight's Pacers/Mavs matchup. Consider that plays on the under on all teams (Dallas in this case) when the total is between 190 and 199.5 points that have scored 100 points or more in 3 straight games and are up against an opponent that has scored 55 points or more in the first half in 2 straight games are 31-6 since 1996. We have seen an average line of 195.3 points in this situation, but we have seen just 188.1 total points scored on average. It's also important to note that this system is a perfect 11-0 under the last 3 seasons.

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