Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, October 30

Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, October 30

DUNKEL INDEX

NCAAF

Cincinnati at Memphis
The Tigers look to take advantage of a Cincinnati team that is coming off a 41-16 win over Connecticut and is 0-6 ATS in its last 6 games following a SU win of more than 20 points. Memphis is the pick (+3) according to Dunkel, which has the Tigers favored by 2. Dunkel Pick: Memphis (+3)

Game 301-302: Cincinnati at Memphis (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cincinnati 80.181; Memphis 82.340
Dunkel Line: Memphis by 2; 40
Vegas Line: Cincinnati by 3; 44 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Memphis (+3); Under

MLB

St. Louis at Boston
The Red Sox look to clinch the title and build on their 6-1 record in John Lackey's last 7 home starts with the total set at 7 to 8 1/2 runs. Boston is the pick (-120) according to Dunkel, which has the Red Sox favored by 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Boston (-120)

Game 961-962: St. Louis at Boston (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis (Wacha) 16.408; Boston (Lackey) 17.883
Dunkel Line: Boston by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line: Boston (-120); 7
Dunkel Pick: Boston (-120); Under

NBA

Memphis at San Antonio
The Spurs look to open the season and build on their 5-1 ATS record in their last 6 games versus the Grizzlies. San Antonio is the pick (-5) according to Dunkel, which has the Spurs favored by 10 1/2. Dunkel Pick: San Antonio (-5)

Game 701-702: Miami at Philadelphia (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami 127.110 Philadelphia 119.957
Dunkel Line & Total: Miami by 7; 200
Vegas Line & Total: Miami by 12; 195 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (+12); Over

Game 703-704: Brooklyn at Cleveland (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Brooklyn 119.224; Cleveland 113.862
Dunkel Line & Total: Brooklyn by 5 1/2; 191
Vegas Line & Total: Brooklyn by 3 1/2; 195 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Brooklyn (-3 1/2); Under

Game 705-706: Boston at Toronto (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Boston 115.216; Toronto 117.193
Dunkel Line & Total: Toronto by 2; 194
Vegas Line & Total: Toronto by 8 1/2; 189 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Boston (+8 1/2); Over

Game 707-708: Washington at Detroit (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington 112.580; Detroit 119.118
Dunkel Line & Total: Detroit by 6 1/2; 185
Vegas Line & Total: Detroit by 3; 190 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-3); Under

Game 709-710: Milwaukee at New York (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Milwaukee 113.943; New York 125.530
Dunkel Line & Total: New York by 11 1/2; 191
Vegas Line & Total: New York by 8; 196 1/2
Dunkel Pick: New York (-8); Under

Game 711-712: Charlotte at Houston (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Charlotte 112.677; Houston 121.453
Dunkel Line & Total: Houston by 9; 209
Vegas Line & Total: Houston by 12 1/2; 204 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Charlotte (+12 1/2); Over

Game 713-714: Orlando at Minnesota (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Orlando 112.332; Minnesota 118.182
Dunkel Line & Total: Minnesota by 6; 204
Vegas Line & Total: Minnesota by 10; 197
Dunkel Pick: Orlando (+10); Over

Game 715-716: Indiana at New Orleans (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Indiana 122.805; New Orleans 115.832
Dunkel Line & Total: Indiana by 7; 184
Vegas Line & Total: Indiana by 2; 187 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Indiana (-2); Under

Game 717-718: Atlanta at Dallas (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta 116.688; Dallas 118.734
Dunkel Line & Total: Dallas by 2; 202
Vegas Line & Total: Dallas by 5 1/2; 196
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (+5 1/2); Over

Game 719-720: Memphis at San Antonio (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Memphis 123.728; San Antonio 134.285
Dunkel Line & Total: San Antonio by 10 1/2; 183
Vegas Line & Total: San Antonio by 5; 188 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Antonio (-5); Under

Game 721-722: Oklahoma City at Utah (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oklahoma City 125.012; Utah 117.113
Dunkel Line & Total: Oklahoma City by 8; 190
Vegas Line & Total: Oklahoma City by 6; 195
Dunkel Pick: Oklahoma City (-6); Under

Game 723-724: Portland at Phoenix (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Portland 111.175; Phoenix 117.092
Dunkel Line & Total: Phoenix by 6; 204
Vegas Line & Total: Portland by 6; 198
Dunkel Pick: Phoenix (+6); Over

Game 725-726: Denver at Sacramento (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Denver 121.759; Sacramento 118.716
Dunkel Line & Total: Denver by 3; 210
Vegas Line & Total: Sacramento by 3; 205 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Denver (+3); Over

Game 727-728: LA Lakers at Golden State (10:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Lakers 112.326; Golden State 128.928
Dunkel Line & Total: Golden State by 16 1/2; 198
Vegas Line & Total: Golden State by 12; 203 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Golden State (-12); Under

NHL

Detroit at Vancouver
The Canucks look to take advantage of a Detroit team that is 1-6 in its last 7 games against Western Conference opponents. Vancouver is the pick (-145) according to Dunkel, which has the Canucks favored by 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Vancouver (-145)

Game 51-52: Boston at Pittsburgh (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Boston 12.250; Pittsburgh 11.213
Dunkel Line & Total: Boston by 1; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Pittsburgh (-140); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Boston (+120); Over

Game 53-54: Toronto at Calgary (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto 12.639; Calgary 11.265
Dunkel Line & Total: Toronto by 1 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Toronto (-115); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (-115); Under

Game 55-56: Detroit at Vancouver (10:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit 10.074; Vancouver 11.582
Dunkel Line & Total: Vancouver by 1 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Vancouver (-145); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Vancouver (-145); Under

Game 57-58: San Jose at Los Angeles (10:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Jose 11.201; Los Angeles 12.300
Dunkel Line & Total: Los Angeles by 1; 6
Vegas Line & Total: San Jose (-125); 5
Dunkel Pick: Los Angeles (+105); Over

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Ray Monohan

Cincinnati Bearcats -3

The Bearcats are probably not having the kind of season they thought they would be having with losses to Illinois and South Florida but with 5 wins they have 5 times the wins of Memphis. Are they 5 times as good no, but as a FG favourite, even on the road I really like Cincinnati. Memphis is a pretty good defensive team but they just can’t score. That is a sweet formula for an easy cover. Take the Bearcats with confidence, this is a pretty good team and this number is a bonus resulting from those early losses.


Oklahoma City -6

It is not easy to start the season on the road and the Thunder will be without Russell Westbrook but they still have more than enough to beat up Utah which might be the worst team in the league and is missing their starting point too in Trey Burke. Last season OKC was 3-1 SU and ATS against the Jazz. They will be looking to get off to a good start to prove that they can handle the Westbrook injury and I expect veteran Derek Fisher to be a steadying influence with the extra minutes. First games of the season are always tough to handicap but this is good versus bad plain and simple.

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Jim Feist

Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers    
Play: Philadelphia 76ers +11

Miami is in a tough situational spot, opening with the rival Bulls last night, and now heading to rested Philly. Every team is gunning for the champs (for the second year in a row for this group). The Heat is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 vs. the NBA Atlantic. The 76ers open the season here and there aren't many games that this crowd will get up for, but this is one of them. The 76ers are 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 home games and look for a huge effort by the rested home team against the visitors who may turn it on late, but they won't play all out for the whole game. Play the 76ers.

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Rob Vinciletti

Lakers vs. Warriors    
Play:Under 203½

The Lakers stunned a lethargic Clippers team last night in their opener. Not only do the Lakers pull the upset but they did it with their bench the whole 4th Quarter against the Clippers starters. Tonight they take to the road against Golden St. The Lakers will be hard pressed to get their bench to play up to the level they did last night. The line has already started to come down.

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Jack Jones

Thunder/Jazz Under 196

The Oklahoma City Thunder are a much easier team to defend without Russell Westbrook. Recent reports say that Westbrook is going to be out at least two more weeks as he recovers from knee surgery. Without his explosive offense, the Thunder are going to have to rely on defense to win games in the early going.

We all saw what happened to Oklahoma City in the playoffs last year without Westbrook. It managed just 93, 93, 81, 97 (OT) and 84 points while getting knocked out in the second round of the playoffs in five games at the hands of the Memphis Grizzlies last season. Just like the Grizzlies were able to put all of their focus on stopping Durant, the Utah Jazz will be able to do the exact same thing with success.

After losing James Harden and Kevin Martin over the past two seasons, the Thunder don't have a true sixth man that can provide instant scoring off the bench. The best bet to be that guy is Jeremy Lamb, but he was extremely inconsistent in the preseason, shooting just 36.7 percent from the floor and 16.7 percent from 3-points range. He's clearly no Harden or Martin and never will be. Backup point guard Reggie Jackson is no Westbrook, either.

The Utah Jazz are stuck in rebuilding mode. They let go of their two best players from last season in Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap, who just so happened to be their top two scorers, too. Jefferson averaged 17.8 points per game, while Millsap finished at 14.6 points per game. They also lost guard Randy Foye, who averaged 10.8 points while hitting 41.0 percent from 3-point range. These losses will really hamper the Jazz on offense in 2013-14.

Jefferson and Millsap will be replaced by Derrick Favors and Enes Canter, who are both known much more for their defense than their offense. These are two quality players that the Jazz can build around going forward, but there's almost no way that they eventually match the production lost with the departure of Jefferson and Millsap.

Also hampering the offense will the the loss of lottery pick Trey Burke, who has a broken finger and will not be ready for upwards of a month. That means that John Lucas is penciled in as the starting point guard. Aside from Gordon Heyward, this team lacks scorers on offense. Richard Jefferson's best days are behind him, even though he's likely to earn a starting job this season, which says more about the lack of talent on this roster than anything.

The UNDER is 19-6-2 in Oklahoma City's last 27 games overall. The UNDER is 10-4-1 in Thunder's last 15 road games. The UNDER is 5-1 in the Jazz last six games overall. The UNDER is 7-1 in the last eight meetings in this series. With the way that both rosters are currently assembled to start the season, points are going to be very hard to come by in the opener. Bet the UNDER in this game Wednesday.

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Jimmy Boyd

Grizzlies/Spurs Under 189

Last season these teams met in the Western Conference finals and the Spurs ended up beating the Grizzlies. Memphis will be out for revenge tonight, and their greatest strength is their defense. Last season Memphis held opponents to just 90 points per game, and with the Spurs ageing I don't think their offense will be quite as potent as it was last season.

San Antonio is also a solid defensive team, especially when playing on their home court. Last year they held opponents to 94.5 points per game at home. Since Memphis is not a high scoring team I think they can keep the Grizzlies well under that average. The combination of the Grizzlies outstanding defense, along with the Spurs losing speed and scoring ability with each passing season makes the under and easy call in this game.

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Doug Upstone

Hawks vs. Mavericks
Play: Under 196

On Wednesday, Play Under on teams like Atlanta and Dallas, who were mediocre rebounding teams last season, out-rebounded by three or more, when the total is between 190 and 199.5. The reasoning here is a lack of offensive boards which could lead to easy baskets. In the past two years, this NBA system is a fantastic 19-3, 86.3 percent with the average total score 188.9.

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Steve Janus

Memphis Grizzlies +5½

The Spurs swept the Grizzlies 4-0 in the Western Conference Finals last year and you can bet Memphis has had their eye on this game as soon as the schedule was released. I look for the Grizzlies to come out and play with a playoff type intensity tonight in a huge revenge spot. Three of the four regular season matchups between these two teams last year were decided by 4-points or less. The Grizzlies made a couple of key addition in the offseason in Kosta Koufas and Mike Miller. Koufas gives Memphis a big time presence off the bench in the paint, while Miller should form quite a 1-2 scoring punch of the bench with Jerryd Bayless. While I'm taking the 5.5 points, I really like Memphis to win this game outright.

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SPORTS WAGERS

MEMPHIS +125 over Cincinnati

We have no interest whatsoever in the Bearcats as a road favorite on ESPN’s Thursday night football. Cincinnati is 5-2 overall and 2-1 in the conference but they its wins have occurred against Purdue, Northwestern State, Miami (Ohio), Temple and UConn. Combined, that group of five has a record of 5 wins and 36 losses. There is absolutely a price to pay for scheduling games against such poor competition but the Bearcats have not paid that price yet. This Bearcats squad is full of flaws, not to mention a poor defense and a bunch of skewed offensive numbers.

The Tigers’ record is 1-5. They are also 0-3 in the conference but they have played Houston, #23 UCF and SMU. Combined that trio is 8-1 in the conference and 15-6 overall. Against #23 UCF, Memphis lost 24-17 and outgained the Knights 397 to 270. Against the Cougars prolific offense, the Tigers allowed just 25 points in Houston, won the time of possession by a wide margin and outgained them also, 349 to 247. The Tigers possess a rock solid defense that ranks 29th in the nation. They have been a self-destructive club that has had every bounce this year go against them. The misleading records of both these squads’ have the wrong side favored here and it would not surprise one bit to see a blowout here in the Tigers favor. We get the better team, we get home field advantage and we get a tag. If you make one wager today, this should be it.

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SPORTS WAGERS

Atlanta +5½ over DALLAS

Mark Cuban went out and got Dirk Nowitzki a new backcourt this summer, signing Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon. While it's an improvement over O.J. Mayo and a revolving door at point guard, it leaves the Mavs even more vulnerable defensively and that’s the problem with spotting points with a poor defense. The ability to cover a margin relies heavily on a strong shooting effort and preventing big runs by the opposition. We’re not sure the Mavs are capable of that against this season-opening guest.

Hawks’ GM Danny Ferry let Josh Smith walk but replaced him with one of the off-season's best values in Paul Millsap. The Hawks are a well-balanced team that can score and that can play defense. Kyle Korver is one of the game’s best shooters. Al Horford is an accomplished low-post and mid-range player. The Hawks will attempt to run a Spurs-like offense predicated on motion and a heavy dose of pick and roll, which will allow guys like Jeff Teague to thrive. The Hawks chances of winning here is just as good as the Mavs chances, thus the 5½ points being offered looms large.


CLEVELAND +150 over Brooklyn

Our philosophy is almost always to buy low and sell high and we’ll put that to the test here. The Nets have had more off-season buzz than any other team. Brooklyn has made an attempt to stack up like the Heat did three years ago by bringing in every all-star they could get their hands on. The difference is, these all-stars are way past their prime. Hello Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Andrei Kirilenko (Kirilenko is injured and will will miss the opener). With five players who have been All-Stars in the starting lineup, (their five starters of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Pierce, Garnett and Brook Lopez have a combined total of 35 All-Star appearances), the Nets stock is off the charts to begin the year but too many Chiefs and not enough Indians has been a problem in the past for a lot of pro teams (see last year’s Lakers) and the Nets could suffer that same fate.

Meanwhile, nobody is taking about the Cavaliers. Cleveland finished last season’s campaign with a record of 24-48. Just one year later, however, and this young Cleveland squad has the looks of a playoff team. Cleveland has built their identity around emerging superstar Kyrie Irving and certainly has the pieces to capture a six-to-eight seed in the East. A healthy Anderson Varejao makes a big difference and so too does Jarrett Jack. Last year Jack joined Golden State and helped guide the team from 23 wins in 2012 to 47 wins last season. Jack may be a lot more valuable than he’s credited with. The Cavs will not be pushovers this season and this small and enticing line on the overhyped Nets assures us that we’re likely on the prudent choice here. Cavs outright.

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SPORTS WAGERS

VANCOUVER -½ +116 over Detroit

Regulation only. What a difference a coach makes. John Torterella has the Canucks playing with the same or more confidence than they were when they were dominating the regular season a couple of years ago. They Canucks have swagger again and they’re playing like they know they’re going to win. Vancouver has now won four in a row, six of its last eight and has picked up points in seven of eight.  One of its losses over that span occurred in OT in Pittsburgh and that may have been the Canucks best game of the year. They deserved to win that one too. Most impressive, however, was Vancouver’s last two games in which they won them both in St. Louis and upon returning home from a seven-game trip against Washington. That was two difficult spots and the Canucks earned two victories. When Vancouver falls behind, they play harder and when they have the lead, they’re frustrating the opposition to no end. The Canucks now catch the Red Wings in a bit of a funk.

Earlier in the year we suggested something didn’t look right with Detroit and that has been on full display over its last three games with losses of 5-2, 6-1 and 3-2 against Phoenix, Ottawa and the New York Rangers. How can that be? Getting outscored by Phoenix and Ottawa 11-3 is one thing but losing to the Rangers in in New York’s final game of a 10-game trip after everyone else was burying them is quite another. And it’s not like that loss to New York occurred after a couple of big wins either. No, they occurred after two embarrassing losses. The big problem is the Red Wings defense even with Niklas Kronwall back. With Johan Franzen and Jonathan Ericsson out, the Red Wings are forced to use Brendan Smith, Kyle Quincey and Brian Lashoff. That trio couldn’t crack the Oilers roster. Youngsters Justin Abdelkader and Jakub Kindl are playing better but when you hook them up with anyone but Kronwall, mistakes are bound to happen. The Canucks are feasting on every team’s weakness right now and there’s no reason they can’t add the Red Wings to their list of victims.

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Tom Barton

NY Knicks vs Milwaukee
Pick : NY Knicks -8

After years of hearing about how great their rivals Boston and Miami were this Knicks team now has had an entire offseason to hear about how good the Nets will be. There has been talk in New York that the Nets will become the best team in the city and own the city and more than one player has shown an annoyance with it. I can't blame them. This Knicks team had a great year last year and should be even better now, yet are being totally overlooked. This is a statement game to come out and prove a point. New York gets the perfect opponent to do that in Milwaukee who had changes of their own. The Bucks have a new first time coach, made 11 changes to their team during the offseason and 3 will be injured tonight all while losing their backcourt mainstays Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis. The Knicks don't care who's in that lineup as their lineup is still be formed but they like what they see. The Bucks have even acknowledged their injuries early on and are assuming a bad start to the year so to come to MSG and win would be a big upset. The Knicks have won 5 in a row over this team and last meeting won by 18 and every win last year was by double digits. Injured and facing an angry team at home Milwaukee will be totally outclassed by double digits yet again.

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Stephen Nover

Cleveland Cavaliers +3.5

It's youth versus the veterans and I see youth prevailing to get the cover if not outright victory.

The Cavaliers are full of young, promising players. It's Year 3 of the post LeBron era and the Cavaliers are ready to step up and contend for a playoff spot - if Kyrie Irving and Anderson Varejao can stay healthy.

Right now those two are healthy making Cleveland a dangerous home 'dog in this situation. The Nets are loaded with veterans and a new head coach, Jason Kidd. He just retired after last season. This would have been his head coaching debut, but he's suspended for the first two games of the season.

It's going to take a while for the Nets' veterans to get adjusted to each other. The list includes Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry, Brook Lopez and Andrei Kirilenko. That list would be impressive if those guys were in their prime, but most are not.

Kirilenko isn't likely to play because of back spasms. Point guard Williams will give it a go. He's been hampered by an ankle injury that allowed him to plus just 29 minutes during preseason. Williams hasn't had enough time to develop any rhythm and chemistry yet with his new teammates.

Williams also has to match up against Irving, who has become a superstar and gives Cleveland a big edge at a key position. Cleveland's defense is going to be better under Mike Brown, who was miscast during his time as Lakers head coach. He's back now with the Cavaliers and it's a good fit.

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Sean Murphy

San Jose vs. Los Angeles
Pick: Under

We won with the 'under' in the Kings 3-1 loss in Phoenix last night, and I won't hesitate to go back to the well with the same play as they return home to host the rival Sharks on Wednesday.

Despite losing last night, there's no question the Kings have tightened things up defensively, allowing only four goals on 51 shots over their last two games after giving up seven goals on 53 shots in their previous two contests. That trend should continue against the Sharks tonight.

San Jose is coming off a five-goal outburst against the Senators on Sunday, but that had more to do with the Sens defensive inefficiency than anything else. The Sharks were actually outshot 40-29 in that contest, so they'll be looking to bring in the reins a little bit here. Note that on their current road trip, the Sharks have allowed a grand total of four goals in four games, recording a pair of shutouts along the way. Antti Niemi will be back in goal on Wednesday after getting the night off in Ottawa.

The Sharks may have only lost twice in 12 games this season, but it's largely been on the strength of their defense and goaltending (of course timely scoring has played a role as well). Things won't be easy for them offensively on Wednesday, noting that they've scored only four goals in their last four games here at Staples Center - all in last spring's grueling seven-game playoff series. In fact, these two teams have met 11 times since the start of last season, and as I've noted before, familiarity generally lends itself to low-scoring results, not just in hockey, but in all professional sports.

We're dealing with a '5' here, so the real question is whether I think that the winning team can score more than three goals. I just don't see that happening with two excellent defensive teams, and two fresh, world-class goaltenders (both got the night off in their last game).

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Will Rogers

Toronto vs. Calgary
Pick: Over

We all fondly remember what Will Rogers did last year in NHL as he won 68% of ALL plays & profited $25,476 for the year! He won a 10* Total Tuesday on Under Rangers/Isles, part of a 6-2-1 start to the week.

The Coach returns to the rink tonight with a free play on the OVER in Calgary:
The Leafs are in Calgary tonight to take on a struggling Flames team that hasn't had much success stopping opponents from scoring. Calgary ranks 29th in the league in goals against, allowing more than three goals per game. Toronto is one of the highest scoring teams in the NHL, averaging 3.3 goals per game.

Here are my keys to the game:

1: Goaltending-  Both the Flames netminders have a GAA well over 3.00, and a save percentage below .900. Jaime MacDonald is the probable starter, and he's given up six goals in consecutive losses in his last two starts.

2: Calgary's Offense - The Flames might not be able to keep the puck out of their own net, but they haven't had any trouble scoring themselves. They won their last home game by a score of 5-2, and the Flames have yet to play a single game this season with fewer than five total goals.

3: X-Factor - Phil Kessel is on fire! He's racked up 10 points in four games, and is now right behind Sidney Crosby for the league lead in scoring.

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Bryan Power

L.A. Lakers vs. Golden State
Pick: Golden State

After shocking the Clippers at home last night, I expect the Lakers to get blown out tonight at Golden State.

Playing without rest against an up-tempo team like the Warriors spells disaster for the Lakers.  They certainly can't count on their bench scoring 70+ points like they did last night at home.  As a general rule, bench players do not perform as well on the road.  The 76 points from the reserves last night were the most in franchise history dating back to 1985.  This team went 5-17 ATS last year as a road underdog. Off a SU dog win like last night, there's only one way for the Lakers to go here & that's down.

Golden State is hoping for a breakthough season as they added Andre Iguodala to a team that made the Western Conference semis last season. They are also healthier and deeper now. Having such a poor history against the Lakers, I expect the Warriors to be highly motivated here.  I anticipate a blowout.

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EZWINNERS

St. Louis Cardinals +107

Cardinals rookie starting pitcher Michael Wacha has been outstanding in the playoffs and I look for him to come up big in this game as well. I don't expect St. Louis to give Big Papi anything at all to hit. Ortiz is batting an absurd .733 with 11 hits this World Series. John Lackey take the mound for the Red Sox, but I think St. Louis can put a couple of runs on the board game. This game is back in Boston so there will be a DH in the lineup but I feel that this actually helps the Cardinals more than the Sox. With the DH St. Louis is able to have both Matt Adams and Allen Craig in the lineup. Play on St. Louis.

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Carlos Salazar

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Brooklyn Nets
Play: Brooklyn Nets -3.5

The Brooklyn Nets have retooled their team this season but Carlos says they'll be just a dominating against the Cavaliers as they have been in the past few seasons. The Nets will be much improved on defense and Cleveland won't be at full strength in their opener. They have a great backcourt with Irving and Waiters but will have no answer in the middle against the Nets. Brooklyn wins this one by 11-15 points on Wednesday.

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Dave Cokin

Boston at Pittsburgh
Play: Pittsburgh

A funny thing happened to the Pittsburgh Penguins en route to last year’s Stanley Cup finals. They skated into the Boston Bruins and were summarily swept out of the playoffs in a stunning four game sweep.

The Pens were good sized favorites to win that series and with pretty good reason. They were a loaded squad and had dismissed the Bruins in each of the regular season meetings. But things don’t always go as planned. The Pens got blown out by a 9-1 combined score in their two home games to start the proceedings and then lost a pair of really tough games at Boston, and that was all she wrote.

Tonight’s game is not automatic for the Penguins by any means. The Bruins are a tough team and goalie Tukka Rask has posted some ridiculous numbers out of the gate for the Bruins.

Nevertheless, this is a game I circled prior to the start of the season and I’m confident the Penguins did the same thing. Pittsburgh snapped its three game losing skid with a good win last time out and at the very least they should be fired up for a big effort tonight.

The price is definitely not a bargain and the Bruins aren’t going to mail this one in, and they’ve been outstanding away from Boston to start the season. But I like the playoff sweep revenge angle and I’m therefore willing to take my chances with the Penguins to come through the home ice win tonight.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, October 30

Mid-Major Matt

Indiana Pacers at New Orleans Hornets
Pick: New Orleans Hornets

The Pelicans hope to build off a fantastic preseason as they welcome Indiana to town. New Orleans went 7-1 in the preseason and have an intriguing team in the West that is on the cusp of being a playoff team. They picked up Jrue Holiday in the offseason and he'll now run the point for the young team in need of a veteran. Holiday will be paired off with Eric Gordon in the backcourt which will be helped out by Austin Rivers and Tyreke Evans who are each instant offense. We can't forget Anthony Davis who protects the rim well and is trying to improve the offensive side of his game. Indiana is coming off a 97-87 win over Orlando on Tuesday night. It wasn't the cleanest effort for the Pacers who were down four at halftime before waking up to get the double digit win. Last year Indiana went 22-28 on the road where they scored just over 90 points. I like the Pelicans to win their first game under their new name on Wednesday.

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