Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, April 3

Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, April 3

DUNKEL INDEX

NBA

New Orleans at Golden State
The Warriors look to take advantage of a New Orleans team that is 0-6 ATS in its last 6 road games. Golden State is the pick (-8) according to Dunkel, which has the Warriors favored by 10. Dunkel Pick: Golden State (-8)

Game 501-502: New York at Atlanta (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: New York 120.688; Atlanta 122.630
Dunkel Line & Total: Atlanta by 2; 191
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 503-504: Washington at Toronto (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington 117.019; Toronto 110.712
Dunkel Line & Total: Washington by 6 1/2; 199
Vegas Line & Total: Toronto by 3 1/2; 195
Dunkel Pick: Washington (+3 1/2); Over

Game 505-506: Brooklyn at Cleveland (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Brooklyn 122.038; Cleveland 114.051
Dunkel Line & Total: Brooklyn by 8; 194
Vegas Line & Total: Brooklyn by 4 1/2; 198 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Brooklyn (-4 1/2); Under

Game 507-508: Philadelphia at Charlotte (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Philadelphia 116.787; Charlotte 109.721
Dunkel Line & Total: Philadelphia by 7; 199
Vegas Line & Total: Philadelphia by 4; 195 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (-4); Over

Game 509-510: Detroit at Boston (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit 107.336; Boston 118.938
Dunkel Line & Total: Boston by 11 1/2; 199
Vegas Line & Total: Boston by 7 1/2; 196 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Boston (-7 1/2); Over

Game 511-512: Minnesota at Milwaukee (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota 116.073; Milwaukee 122.143
Dunkel Line & Total: Milwaukee by 6; 202
Vegas Line & Total: Milwaukee by 5; 207
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (-5); Under

Game 513-514: Orlando at San Antonio (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Orlando 110.178; San Antonio 122.192
Dunkel Line & Total: San Antonio by 12; 204
Vegas Line & Total: San Antonio by 14; 198 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Orlando (+14); Over

Game 515-516: Denver at Utah (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Denver 125.055; Utah 124.601
Dunkel Line & Total: Even; 202
Vegas Line & Total: Utah by 3; 205
Dunkel Pick: Denver (+3); Under

Game 517-518: Memphis at Portland (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Memphis 121.365; Portland 116.917
Dunkel Line & Total: Memphis by 4 1/2; 189
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 519-520: Houston at Sacramento (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Houston 121.081; Sacramento 120.387
Dunkel Line & Total: Houston by 1; 214
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 521-522: New Orleans at Golden State (10:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: New Orleans 114.282; Golden State 124.420
Dunkel Line & Total: Golden State by 10; 202
Vegas Line & Total: Golden State by 8; 197
Dunkel Pick: Golden State (-8); Over

Game 523-524: Phoenix at LA Clippers (10:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Phoenix 107.719; LA Clippers 127.293
Dunkel Line & Total: LA Clippers by 19 1/2; 194
Vegas Line & Total: LA Clippers by 15 1/2; 198 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Clippers (-15 1/2); Under

NCAAB

Santa Clara at George Mason
The Broncos look to take advantage of a George Mason team that is 2-9 ATS in its last 11 home games. Santa Clara is the pick (+1) according to Dunkel, which has the Broncos favored by 2 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Santa Clara (+1)

Game 525-526: Santa Clara at George Mason (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Santa Clara 62.403; George Mason 59.913
Dunkel Line: Santa Clara by 2 1/2; 155
Vegas Line: George Mason by 1; 148
Dunkel Pick: Santa Clara (+1); Over

NHL

Pittsburgh at NY Rangers 

The Rangers look to take advantage of a Pittsburgh team that is coming off a 4-1 loss to Buffalo last night and is 1-5 in its last 6 games following a home defeat by 3 or more goals. New York is the pick (-110) according to Dunkel, which has the Rangers favored by 1/2 a goal. Dunkel Pick: NY Rangers (-110)

Game 1-2: Montreal at Philadelphia (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Montreal 12.176; Philadelphia 11.842
Dunkel Line & Total: Montreal by 1/2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Montreal (-130); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Montreal (-130); Over

Game 3-4: Pittsburgh at NY Rangers (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh 11.216; NY Rangers 11.669
Dunkel Line & Total: NY Rangers by 1/2; 4
Vegas Line & Total: NY Rangers (-110); 5
Dunkel Pick: NY Rangers (-110); Under

Game 5-6: Edmonton at Calgary (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Edmonton 10.577; Calgary 11.391
Dunkel Line & Total: Calgary by 1; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Edmonton (-115); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Calgary (-105); Over

Game 7-8: Dallas at Anaheim (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Dallas 10.233; Anaheim 12.446
Dunkel Line & Total: Anaheim by 2; 4 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Anaheim (-175); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Anaheim (-175); Under

Game 9-10: Minnesota at San Jose (10:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota 10.888; San Jose 12.855
Dunkel Line & Total: San Jose by 2; 4
Vegas Line & Total: San Jose (-150); 5
Dunkel Pick: San Jose (-150); Under

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DUNKEL INDEX

Boston at NY Yankees
The Red Sox look to build on their 8-2 record in Clay Buchholz' last 10 starts in Game 2 of a series. Boston is the pick (+105) according to Dunkel, which has the Red Sox favored by 1/2 a run. Dunkel Pick: Boston (+105)

Game 901-902: Miami at Washington (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami (Slowey) 14.066; Washington (Gonzalez) 15.935
Dunkel Line: Washington by 2; 6
Vegas Line: Washington (-270); 7
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-270); Under

Game 903-904: Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cubs (Jackson) 14.137; Pittsburgh (Rodriguez) 13.989
Dunkel Line: Chicago Cubs by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh (-135); 7
Dunkel Pick: Chicago Cubs (+115); Over

Game 905-906: San Diego at NY Mets (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Diego (Richard) 14.842; NY Mets (Harvey) 14.607
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: NY Mets (-150); 7
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (+130); Over

Game 907-908: Philadelphia at Atlanta (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Philadelphia (Halladay) 14.809; Atlanta (Maholm) 15.982
Dunkel Line: Atlanta by 1; 7
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-125); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-125); Under

Game 909-910: Colorado at Milwaukee (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado (Nicasio) 14.515; Milwaukee (Peralta) 15.417
Dunkel Line: Milwaukee by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Milwaukee (-135); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (-135); Over

Game 911-912: St. Louis at Arizona (9:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis (Lynn) 15.634; Arizona (McCarthy) 15.006
Dunkel Line: St. Louis by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Arizona (-115); 9
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (-105); Under

Game 913-914: San Francisco at LA Dodgers (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Francisco (Lincecum) 17.490; LA Dodgers (Beckett) 17.981
Dunkel Line: LA Dodgers by 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-130); 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Dodgers (-130); Over

Game 915-916: Kansas City at Chicago White Sox (2:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Kansas City (Santana) 14.492; White Sox (Peavy) 15.910
Dunkel Line: Chicago White Sox by 1 1/2; 6 1/2
Vegas Line: Chicago White Sox (-145); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Chicago White Sox (-145); Under

Game 917-918: Texas at Houston (2:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Texas (Ogando) 14.849; Houston (Humber) 14.989
Dunkel Line: Houston by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Texas (-180); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Houston (+160); Under

Game 919-920: Detroit at Minnesota (4:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit (Sanchez) 14.776; Minnesota (Correia) 14.904
Dunkel Line: Minnesota by 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Detroit (-155); 8
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (+135); Over

Game 921-922: Cleveland at Toronto (7:07 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland (Jimenez) 14.960; Toronto (Morrow) 14.875
Dunkel Line: Cleveland by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Toronto (-175); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (+155); Under

Game 923-924: Boston at NY Yankees (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Boston (Buchholz) 14.875; NY Yankees (Kuroda) 14.264
Dunkel Line: Boston by 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: NY Yankees (-125); 8
Dunkel Pick: Boston (+105); Over

Game 925-926: Baltimore at Tampa Bay (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Baltimore (Chen) 16.539; Tampa Bay (Hellickson) 16.437
Dunkel Line: Baltimore by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Tampa Bay (-145); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (+125); Over

Game 927-928: Seattle at Oakland (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle (Saunders) 15.259; Oakland (Milone) 16.978
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line: Oakland (-145); 7
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (-145); Under

Game 929-930: LA Angels at Cincinnati (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Angels (Wilson) 14.924; Cincinnati (Latos) 15.014
Dunkel Line: Cincinnati by 1/2; 6 1/2
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-120); 7
Dunkel Pick: Cincinnati (-120); Under

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Sam MartinFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Santa Clara at George Mason FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Prediction: George MasonFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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We came up a half-point short when we backed George Mason in the first game of this potential three-game Championship Series, as they fell by eight points at Santa Clara as a 7.5-point underdog. A closer look at the final stats of that game reveals George Mason still played pretty well, as they finished the game with a +8 rebounding edge, including +4 in offensive rebounds, and if not for turnovers (19) and some better luck with Santa Clara's shooting (41% from beyond the arc and 25-30 at the free throw line) they might have even won that game outright. We'll take George Mason once again here, this time on their home court, and we expect a slower-paced, defensive game this time around. George Mason only allows 41% shooting on the season and with the home court edge they should be able to dictate the game pace. If they can, then Santa Clara is in trouble since their road defense isn't all that great - allowing 72 ppg away from home on the season - five points more than their overall season average. Santa Clara knows they don't "have" to win this game after taking Game One of this series, and we look for the series to be tied up after tonight!
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Washington Wizards at Toronto RaptorsFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Prediction: Toronto RaptorsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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We backed Washington as a premium selection against these Raptors on Sunday, with the Wizards coming through for us via a 109-92 blowout win and cover. But here in a quick revenge spot, we're going to back the Raptors. We're always a big fan of playing on teams in these quick revenge situations, and while Washington has been very good over the last few weeks on their home court, they are not the same team away from home - especially offensively. Washington will also be at a disadvantage tonight playing without rest after a hard-fought, close win (and ATS cover) against Chicago last night. Toronto has lost seven of their last eight overall, however they are a profitable 33-17 ATS when coming off back-to-back ATS losses, and despite Washington's recent home winning streak they are still just 7-29 straight up away from home this season. Toronto exacts some revenge from this past weekend's blowout loss with a big win against a fatigued Wizards squad tonight!

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Matt FargoFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Denver Nuggets vs. Utah JazzFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Utah JazzFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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We won with Denver in its last game which was a 22-point win over Brooklyn last Friday. That game snapped a two-game losing streak and improved the Nuggets to 33-3 at home this season but they have not had nearly as much success on the road, going just 17-21 on the highway. Being off for four days may have helped in getting some much needed rest but it certainly killed the momentum from that home win over the Nets. With the Lakers victory last night, the Jazz fell back into a tie for eighth place in the Western Conference standings so every game is huge at this point. Utah could be peaking at the right time though as it is riding a five-game winning streak which came on the heels of a four-game losing streak. Utah still owns one of the better home courts in the NBA as it is 28-9 while going 23-13-1 against the number. The home team has won all three meetings this season so Utah will be out to avoid the season series loss but more importantly, get that half-game back from the Lakers. The Jazz are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game while going 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game. Additionally, we play against underdogs that are outrebounding opponents by tree or more per game, after a game being outrebounded by opponent by 15 or more. This situation is 51-21 ATS (70.8 percent) since 1996.

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Rob VincilettiFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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New Orleans vs. Golden StateFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: UnderFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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This game fits a totals system that has won 11 of 12 times and plays to the under for any road dog, The Hornets in this situation, that scored 110 or more as a home favorite, while shooting 50% or better from the field, vs an opponent off a home game that scored 120 or more, like the Warriors did last out. These two hooked up 2 weeks ago and managed just 165 points. The Hornets take to the the road off a long home trip and have played under in 7 of 10 with 2 days rest. The Warriors have seen 5 of their last 7 go under the total. Look for these two to stay under the total tonight.

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Jim FeistFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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New York Knicks at Atlanta HawksFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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A tough situational spot for New York, the second of a back to back road spot after battling rival Miami last night. This is the 9th road game over the last 14 games for the Knicks. They face an Atlanta team that is fighting for playoff positioning, battling the Celtics, Nets and Bulls for the No. 4-7 spots. The Hawks are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 vs. the Eastern Conference. This is the 3rd straight home game for the Hawks. The Hawks are 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 games playing on one days rest. Play Atlanta.

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Dave CokinFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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St. Louis at ArizonaFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: UnderFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The first two games between the Cardinals and Diamondbacks have been Unders, and I can see more of the same tonight. Lance Lynn throws for the Redbirds. Lynn was a revelation early last season, and while he leveled off some as the campaign progressed, I think that might have been more a result of workload piling up more than anything else. Lynn is vulnerable to lefty hitters, so there's some concern here, but I don't see him getting smashed and with the arms in the pen, I only need a decent six from Lynn tonight. Brandon McCarthy is an intriguing add for the Diamondbacks. He is not an ace, never has been, never will be. But McCarthy can be a plus #3 starter if he stays healthy and I can also see the big righty being tough on lots of guys who have not faced him previously, as is largely the case tonight. Neither team has come out bombing, with most of Arizona's offense coming against Wainwright after he got hit in the shoulder with a line drive, and the Cardinals blew up against hapless Heath Bell for much of their Tuesday output. With the number at Chase on the high side as always, all that should be needed here is a pair of adequate starts and I think that's a reasonable expectation with Lynn and McCarthy, so I'm going Under with the Cardinals and Diamondbacks.

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Don Best ConsensusFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Phoenix Suns at Los Angeles ClippersFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: Phoenix SunsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Suns are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games playing on 3 or more days rest. Los Angeles is 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games overall. The Clippers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games.

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Art AronsonFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Edmonton vs. CalgaryFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: OverFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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These teams have played twice this year: Calgary won 4-3 at home, before the Oilers won 4-1 in Edmonton two nights ago. It's the grudge match in the "Battle for Alberta", and I believe the gloves come off, and the red light comes on between these divisional foes. Edmonton is 15-13-7 overall, and just 7-8-3 on the road. The Oilers have won four straight though, and have not played since the win over the Flames on Monday (note that Edmonton has outscored its competition 17-5 during its win streak). Calgary is 13-17-4 overall, and 10-6-2 at home. The Flames have lost two straight, and things certainly don't get any easier with a back-to-back set in San Jose and Vancouver respectively on Friday/Saturday, before finishing the three game trip in Colorado on Monday (note that Calgary has seen the total go "over" the number in 12 of 18 this year in revenging a loss vs. an opponent, and in six of ten after scoring 1 goal or less in its previous contest). For the most part, my "totals plays" are based on situations, and in this case, I definitely the feel the table is set for a higher-scoring affair. Consider a second look at the over in this one.

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Strike Point Sports

Cincinnati (-115) over LA Angels

Mat Latos will be making his season debut for the Reds after going 14-4 with a 3.48 ERA in his first season with the club last year. He was especially tough at home where his ERA was nearly a half run lower than on the road. Cincinnati will be all revved up for this game after having to wait a day to get revenge after suffering a 3-1 loss in 13 innings to the Angels on opening day. You know that late inning loss really had to burn the home team, especially with all of the expectations that Cincinnati has going into this year. CJ Wilson will have the ball for the Halo's and has never started a game against the Reds. Cincinnati was 50-31 at home last year and I like them to get their first win of the 2013 season today.

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Vegas Sports Informer

San Francisco / Los Angeles Under 7

What a pitching matchup this game will have! The Giants will throw out Tim Lincecum and the Dodgers will throw out Josh Beckett. Both pitchers are looking for rebound years, as both were horrible last year. I see fresh starts for both and I see a very well-pitched game. I just don't see more then five runs scored Wednesday night in Dodgers Stadium. Yes, I know Lincecum had an ERA of over 5.00 last year and Beckett's ERA was clearly over 4.00 but I see changes in both pitchers and I see the hitters struggle Wednesday night. I'm not saying that both pitchers are going to be pitching like their past but both will be keeping the ball down all night. Without the results from Tuesday's game this series is always pitching battles and the 'Under' is always the best bet. Nine of the last 11 meetings between these two teams have gone under the total and I see the same outcome Wednesday night.

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SCOTT DELANEY

My free winner for tonight is going to be the Under in the Santa Clara/George Mason game, as I see the two falling well below the 148-point number the oddsmakers have put up tonight.

See, in this quirky, an useless postseason tournament that makes a ton of rejects feel good about themselves, you end up with a best-of-three championship series, and this year the quirkiness has two teams from Northern California and Northern Virginia passifying their sub-par seasons.

The most important game in this series every year is Game 1. And the fact Santa Clara won and covered the other night, means George Mason played its ass of and fell short. I say played its ass off because why would the Patriots want to go back to Santa Clara, honestly. You've made it this far good job, and see ya next season. That's not to say it can't pull off the win, I just don't know if it gets the same effort as it did in Game 1.

The Broncos can play tighter D in this game, now that there's familiarity after a Game 1, and try to head home with the trophy. It really is just a mind game at this point, with this series.

So while I know Santa Clara has gone over in its last four games, I think cause this one is on the road, and the Patriots' only salvation of hope is to slow this tempo down, you have to play the Under.

3* UNDER Santa Clara/George Mason

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BRAD WILTON

Your Wednesday comp play is the 76ers as the road favorite over the Bobcats.

Philadelphia is finally playing their best basketball of the season, as the Sixers hit Charlotte riding a 3 game winning streak, and have won 6 of their last 9 overall straight up.

Their last game was an 8 point win over the same Bobcats they will be facing tonight. This is not the back end of a home-and-home, as Charlotte was on court Monday in a 29 point loss at Milwaukee.

The Bobcats come back home having lost 3 in a row, and 5 of their last 6. Charlotte has not fared well in recent meetings versus Philly, as the 76ers are on a 6 game series winning streak, and have claimed 8 of the last 9 overall versus the 'Cats.

Philly has also covered 3 of the past 4 series showdowns.

Have to look for Doug Collins' team to continue to play strong ball in the closing days of the regular season.

Take Philly as the road favorite.

3* PHILADELPHIA

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CHRIS JORDAN

My free winner for today is on the Kansas City Royals, as I like the value I'm getting with Ervin Santana making his debut for on the bump, against the Chicago White Sox and Jake Peavy.

Santana will be stepping to the hill for the first-time ever as a pro, outside an Angels uniform, and this isn't necessarily the worst team he could do so against, as he's faced the South Siders on 15 occasions and comes in sporting a 5-4 mark and 3.94 ERA in those games.

Though Santana can be erratic at times, and Lord knows his mechanics are always shaky, the fiery right-hander has a live arm and can deal. He's the type of pitcher who tends to be either really good, or very bad. My gamble today is he will be really good and can outduel Peavy.

The White Sox right-hander comes in after an off-season, probably because of a lack of run support, but he also doesn't do well against the Royals. The veteran northpaw has 4-7 mark and 4.85 ERA against the A.L. Central rivals, and with many talking about the Royals doing some surprise things this year, I like them out of the box after the teams' season opener resulted in such a low-scoring game.

The White Sox won 1-0 on Monday. Today I expect the Royals to return the favor.

3* KANSAS CITY

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Ray MonohanFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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New York Mets -137FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The most selective capper on the network! It was a small sample size but major leaguers had a tough time hitting Matt Harvey last year. You can argue that their are only a handful of MLB quality bats in the San Diego lineup so I expect the Padres will be held to just a couple of runs or less. Meanwhile they throw Clayton Richard at a Mets lineup that got off to a solid start in their opener. The Mets as a small favourite are a nice value play at home, on what should be a crispy day in New York. Do you really want to bet on SD for an upset this early in the season and on the road.

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Denver vs. UtahFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: Utah -135FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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This series has been dominated by the home team (5-1 SU last six meetings) since the start of last season, and I fully expect to see that trend continue on Wednesday night.
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As good as the Nuggets have been this season, they've been nothing more than average on the road - perhaps even a little worse - having gone 17-21 SU. They suffered a narrow two-point loss in their lone previous trip to Utah, where the Jazz have posted a stellar 28-9 SU mark.
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Of course, it's the Jazz that are in desparation mode right now. With only a couple of weeks remaining in the regular season, they're in a battle with the Lakers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. With L.A. winning last night, the pressure shifts back to Utah.
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I like the fact that the Jazz will get to stay home for a third straight game, knowing that they'll get one more date on their current homestand, with the Hornets on Friday. Meanwhile, the Nuggets play on the road for the third time in their last four games, and will have to return home to host the Mavericks tomorrow night.
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Denver isn't at full strength right now, forced to go without starting PG Ty Lawson for an indefinite period as he deals with a heel injury. Lawson is essentially the engine that makes this offense go, averaging 16.7 points and 6.9 assists per game. The Nuggets were +17 with Lawson on the floor in their most recent meeting with the Jazz.
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Utah isn't the better team in this matchup, but it is playing with a great deal of positive momentum right now, on the heels of five straight wins. By contrast, Denver has dropped two of its last three games following that lengthy winning streak.
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While the Nuggets are a little banged-up, the Jazz have gotten healthier of late, with Mo Williams returning and making a sizable contribution. This is a different Utah team than we saw the last time these two squads met in early January - a game the Nuggets won by 19 points. I do have the utmost respect for George Karl's team, so rather than lay the points with the Jazz in this spot, I'll back them at a very reasonable price on the moneyline.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, April 3

Stephen NoverFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Orlando +14FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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What are the odds of a sixth straight San Antonio game being decided by two points or fewer? The answer is not very good when the opponent is Orlando.
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Still, there are numerous reasons for backing the Magic to stay within this big number.
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First is the situation. The Spurs just got through playing extremely tight games against the Nuggets, Clippers, Heat and Grizzlies. After this matchup, the Spurs have a Western Conference showdown with Oklahoma City on Thursday. This, of course, leaves the backdoor open for Orlando because Spurs coach Gregg Popovich will want to rest his veteran stars if his team builds up a big lead in anticipation of tomorrow's much more important matchup.
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Manu Ginobili is out for anther couple of weeks with a strained right hamstring. The Spurs haven't been very good covering big numbers failing to get the money the past five times when laying nine or more points. San Antonio also is just 4-11-1 ATS the last 16 times when going against foes with a winning percentage of less than .400.
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Orlando hasn't quit on first-year head coach Jacque Vaughn. The youthful Magic actually have covered eight of their last 11 road contests. They came from 25 points down in their last game, this past Monday at Houston, to pull within five late in the fourth quarter before losing 111-103. The Magic are going with rookies and some of them are playing well. Maurice Harkness had a season-high 28 points versus Houston.
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It's doubtful Popovich will want to blow out and embarrass Vaughn. The two are close. Vaughn coached under Popovich at San Antonio from 2010 until getting the Orlando head coaching job this past summer.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, April 3

Bryan LeonardFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Orlando +14.5FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Despite dropping 10 of their last 11 games in straight up fashion the Magic actually have been playing pretty decent ball. They have cashed 9 of the last 14 games remaining competitive even in losing causes. This is clearly a team who hasn't thrown in the towel on the season. In fact, Orlando was once an easy go against team when facing an opponent off a loss but that's no longer the case. Once sitting at 5-12 ATS in that situation Orlando has gone 9-6 ATS since when facing an opponent off a defeat, and the Spurs have dropped two straight.
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San Antonio isn't playing very well right now either because of age, injuries or coaching decisions on playing time. They have lost 3 of 5 games in straight up fashion as of late and have been on a poor 2-10 spread run. Coming off high profile games with Denver, the Clippers, Miami and Memphis with a showdown at Oklahoma City tomorrow. We can't see Pop running up the score here against one of his former assistants with such an important game on deck. We step in and take the big points with a Magic team still showing signs of life.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, April 3

Jesse SchuleFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Toronto Blue Jays -165FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Opening Day did not go as planned for the Blue Jays. Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey pitched six innings, giving up three earned runs, including a home run, while striking out only four hitters. Blue Jays catch J.P. Arencibia didn't help much, as he failed to get a handle on the knuckle ball, allowing three passed balls.
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The Blue Jays will try again on Wednesday in front of their fans at home in Toronto, and this time they send 28 year old Brandon Morrow to the hill. Morrow was having a break out year before going down with an injury last season, and he's worked his way into the number two spot in a very good Jays rotation.
The Indians haven't seen a lot of Morrow, with just four players in the lineup having 10 or more at bats versus the right-hander. None of those four have had much success, and as a team Cleveland is hitting below .200 versus Morrow. Nick Swisher has seen the most of him, hitting just .160 with eight strikeouts in 25 career at bats.
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The Tribe will send Ubaldo Jiminez to the hill, and he was a bit of a gas can last year. He was 0-1 with a 9.64 ERA in two starts versus the Blue Jays last season, and he was just 4-12 on the road all year. Colby Rasmus has seen more of Jiminez than anyone else in the Toronto lineup, and he's liked what he's seen. Rasmus has hit .368 with three extra-base hits in 19 career at bats versus the right-hander.
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His only start at Rogers Center in 2012 didn't last long, as he allowed eight runs on 10 hits, including a pair of homers in just over two innings.
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The Blue Jays have a favorable matchup here, and they should get their first win of the season at home tonight, after a disappointing home opener.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, April 3

Jimmy BoydFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Red Sox/Yankees Under 8FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Yankees were crushed by Boston on opening day but today’s game should be much closer and have a much lower score. Hiroki Kuroda takes the mound for New York and he brings with him a 3.32 ERA from last season. Kuroda was a 16 game winner last year with a 1.17 WHIP. He is also one of the most experienced pitchers in the New York lineup. The Yankees bullpen should look a little better for tonight’s game too now that the first game jitters are out of the way.
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Boston will start Clay Buchholz for today’s game. Buchholz did not have an all-star season in 2012, but if spring training is any indication the 2013 season could be big for this right-hander. His last outing in spring training came against the Twins in which he pitched four scoreless innings and gave up only one hit. Boston’s bullpen looked sharp giving up no runs in four innings and a .750 WHIP in the first game of the season.

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