Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, November 6

Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, November 6

DUNKELINDEX

NCAAF

Central Michigan at Ball State
The 8-1 Cardinals look to take advantage of a Central Michigan team that is 3-12 ATS in its last 15 games against a team with a winning record. Ball State is the pick (-20 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Cardinals favored by 24 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Ball State (-20 1/2)

Game 105-106: Central Michigan at Ball State (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Central Michigan 65.211; Ball State 89.735
Dunkel Line: Ball State by 24 1/2; 52
Vegas Line: Ball State by 20 1/2; 56
Dunkel Pick: Ball State (-20 1/2); Under

NBA

Chicago at Indiana
The Bulls look to improve on their 1-2 record and take advantage of a Indiana team that is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games against a team with a losing SU record. Chicago is the pick (+2 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the game Even. Dunkel Pick: Chicago (+2 1/2)

Game 501-502: LA Clippers at Orlando (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Clippers 122.878; Orlando 112.108
Dunkel Line & Total: LA Clippers by 11; 202
Vegas Line & Total: LA Clippers by 7 1/2; 208 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Clippers (-7 1/2); Under

Game 503-504: Chicago at Indiana (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Chicago 120.422; Indiana 120.561
Dunkel Line & Total: Even; 187
Vegas Line & Total: Indiana by 2 1/2; 182 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Chicago (+2 1/2); Over

Game 505-506: Toronto at Charlotte (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto 120.946; Charlotte 113.429
Dunkel Line & Total: Toronto by 7 1/2; 180
Vegas Line & Total: Toronto by 2; 185
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (-2); Under

Game 507-508: Washington at Philadelphia (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington 112.814; Philadelphia 119.957
Dunkel Line & Total: Philadelphia by 7; 211
Vegas Line & Total: Washington by 2; 206
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (+2); Over

Game 509-510: Utah at Boston (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Utah 115.112; Boston 120.479
Dunkel Line & Total: Boston by 5 1/2; 179
Vegas Line & Total: Boston by 3 1/2; 184 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Boston (-3 1/2); Under

Game 511-512: New Orleans at Memphis (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: New Orleans 108.981; Memphis 127.728
Dunkel Line & Total: Memphis by 18 1/2; 192
Vegas Line & Total: Memphis by 7 1/2; 187
Dunkel Pick: Memphis (-7 1/2); Over

Game 513-514: Cleveland at Milwaukee (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland 112.182; Milwaukee 117.669
Dunkel Line & Total: Milwaukee by 5 1/2; 192
Vegas Line & Total: Cleveland by 1 1/2; 186
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (+1 1/2); Over

Game 515-516: Golden State at Minnesota (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Golden State 120.800; Minnesota 124.780
Dunkel Line & Total: Minnesota by 4; 204
Vegas Line & Total: Minnesota by 1; 208 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (-1); Under

Game 517-518: Phoenix at San Antonio (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Phoenix 115.542; San Antonio 127.417
Dunkel Line & Total: San Antonio by 12; 206
Vegas Line & Total: San Antonio by 14 1/2; 197 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Phoenix (+14 1/2); Over

Game 519-520: Dallas at Oklahoma City (9:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Dallas 118.574; Oklahoma City 129.218
Dunkel Line & Total: Oklahoma City by 10 1/2; 204
Vegas Line & Total: Oklahoma City by 8 1/2; 210
Dunkel Pick: Oklahoma City (-8 1/2); Under

NHL

Pittsburgh at NY Rangers
The Penguins look to build on their 8-1 record in their last 9 meetings against the Rangers. Pittsburgh is the pick (-145) according to Dunkel, which has the Penguins favored by 2. Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-145)

Game 1-2: Pittsburgh at NY Rangers (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh 12.288; NY Rangers 10.610
Dunkel Line & Total: Pittsburgh by 2; 4
Vegas Line & Total: Pittsburgh (-145); 5
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-145); Under

Game 3-4: Winnipeg at Chicago (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Winnipeg 12.299; Chicago 11.211
Dunkel Line & Total: Winnipeg by 1; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Chicago (-270); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Winnipeg (+230); Over

Game 5-6: Nashville at Colorado (9:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Nashville 10.759; Colorado 12.461
Dunkel Line & Total: Colorado by 2; 4
Vegas Line & Total: Colorado (-200); 5
Dunkel Pick: Colorado (-200); Under

Game 7-8: Phoenix at Anaheim (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Phoenix 12.360; Anaheim 11.404
Dunkel Line & Total: Phoenix by 1;
Vegas Line & Total: Anaheim (-160); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Phoenix (+140); Over

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Art Aronson

Golden State vs. Minnesota
Pick: Minnesota

The Golden State Warriors (3-1) come off a 110-90 beat down of the Philadelphia on Monday. Stephen Curry had 16 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists to lead the Warriors. Former Sixer Andre Iguodala had 32 points to gain some revenge on the team that traded him away. The Minnesota Timberwolves (3-1) suffered its’ first loss of the season with a narrow 92-93 setback at the Cleveland Cavaliers. Kevin Love had 17 points, 13 assists and five rebounds while Kevin Martin chipped in 23 points in the loss. I played on the Warriors on the road in Philadelphia but I feel this game with go the other way. The good home teams have the major advantage early in the season and I feel the T’Wolves have caught fire early here with a full complement of healthy players this season. This game sets up as big time revenge as Minnesota has lost the last four meetings between these teams. Take Minnesota to get the win at home in pretty much a pick’em game against the spread.

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Bruce Marshall

Washington vs. Philadelphia
Pick: Washington

Quick turnaround from last Friday’s game at Verison Center, won by the Sixers. But after that quick 3-0 break from the gate, Philly crashed with a thud on Monday in lopsided home loss to Golden State, as Syracuse's Michael Carter-Williams finally looked and played like a rookie.  Wizards capable of gaining quick revenge,  and expect more contributions from Washington C Marcin Gortat, just recently added from Suns and likely to begin making more contributions soon for Randy Wittman's side.

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Jim Feist

Utah Jazz vs. Boston Celtics    
Play: Boston Celtics -3½

Boston is rested and hungry to win one for their new coach. They've actually been playing good defense, 6th in the NBA in points allowed. The Celtics are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. Into town comes the equally bad Utah Jazz, a team a long way from home and in a terrible situational spot, playing the second of a back to back road spot. When these teams meet the home team is 5-2-1 ATS in the last 8 meetings and the Jazz is 0-4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings.

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Doug Upstone

Golden State Warriors vs. Minnesota Timberwolves    
Play: Golden State Warriors +1

On Wednesday, Play On road teams like Golden State when the line is +3 to -3, who are a good offensive team averaging 102 or more points a game, against an average defensive team like Minnesota (92-98 PPG), after a blowout win by 20 points or more. In the past 16 years, the visitor is 33-9 ATS. 78.6 percent.

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Ray Monohan

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Milwaukee Bucks    
Play: Cleveland Cavaliers -1½

The Cavs will get their first win on the road of the young season at Milwaukee on Wednesday. In the early going Cleveland has been the second best defensive team in the league and against a team devoid of good offensive players like the Bucks that should be nearly good enough. They haven’t been scoring a ton of points either but guards Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters are bound to bust out. Both are better than 33% shooters.

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Rob Vinciletti

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Orlando Magic    
Play: Los Angeles Clippers -7½

The Clippers won here by 10 last year and have won and covered 3 straight after their opening game loss to the Lakers. Orlando fits an early season system that plays against teams that have covered every game so far. Their is also a nice road warrior system in effect for this game. We want to play against home dogs of 5 or more with rest that are off a home dog win as a dog of 5 or more vs an opponent off an ats win of 10 or more. These home dogs are a dismal 0-14 straight up and 3-11 ats. The Clippers erupted for nearly 140 points the other night and will be tough on a young Orlando team tonight. Lay it with LA.

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EZWINNERS

Washington Wizards -1 1st Half

This is a real interesting line that Vegas has thrown out and all my years of handicapping tells me that Washington in the play. The Wizards are off to an 0-3 start to the season and have been notoriously bad on the road for the past few years and yet they opened up as a 1.5 point favorite to win this game against the 3-1 Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers who had an over/under of 16.5 wins before the season started reeled off wins against Miami, these Wizards and Chicago to open the season. The Sixers looked more like the team that they were projected to be in their last outing against Golden State which was a 110-90 blowout home loss. Rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams who played so well in the three Philly wins, shot just 4 for 17 from the field and committed six turnovers. That is the inconsistency that you will see in rookies and it appears that the Sixers will go as Carter-Williams goes. I look for the Wizards to get off to a good start in this quick rematch so I'm playing Washington in the first half. I don't know if they will hold on for the straight up win, but that fact that Washington who has dropped 11 straight road games against Eastern Conference foes and 26 of 28 since the start of last season is favored, tells me that they might.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, November 6

Scott Gramling

Ball State vs. Central Michigan
Play: Central Michigan +21

Ball State is undefeated Mid-American Conference play, but the Cardinals are just 2-6 ATS in their past eight home games against Central Michigan, which comes into this one having won two of its past three contests. The Chippewas have a solid tailback in Saylor Lavallii, who has rushed for 758 yards on 154 attempts (4.9 YPC). In the team's two conference wins this year (CMU has split its four conference games this season, both SU and ATS), he has averaged 167.5 rushing YPG. The Central Michigan defense has surrendered an average of 27 points per game in MAC play, which isn’t all that bad when considering that the Chippewas have faced two of the conference’s better offenses in Toledo and Northern Illinois (Northern Illinois ranks fifth in FBS in total offense). While I don’t give Central Michigan much of a chance to win this one outright, I do expect CMU to cover the big spread against a Ball State squad that has yet to win a conference home game this season by more than a touchdown.

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Dave Cokin

Ball State vs. Central Michigan
Play: Central Michigan

There’s no doubt as to the superior team as Central Michigan takes on Ball State tonight. It’s the Cardinals, and it’s not particularly close. But the big spread is the potential equalizer here, and I think there’s a reasonable chance that huge number will come into play.

CMU comes into this game with only three wins, but the reality is that they have a legitimate chance to get to 6-6, which would at least make them eligible to go bowling. The remaining three games for the Chippewas following this one are at WMU, and then home against UMass and EMU, all very winnable games. This one is the probable loss, but the mere fact CMU is still playing for more than just pride is a plus.

Ball State is 8-1 and is a lock to go bowling. But the Cardinals have bigger goals in play right now, and they have a huge showdown next Wednesday at Northern Illinois. I’m not huge on look ahead situations, as that’s just guessing what a team’s mindset might be. But the fact NIU is on deck is at least a potential distraction.

As impressive as the Ball State ledger is, they haven’t really been overwhelming the opposition. The Cardinals have been 100+ yards better than only two opponents, EMU and WMU, and CMU is at least slightly better than each of those teams.

Central Michigan has actually had some pretty decent halves this season. Their problem has been putting together 60 straight minutes. But it’s at least worth noting that they hung very tough for the first 30 minutes against both Toledo and Northern Illinois.

There’s also that Ball State rushing defense to factor in this evening. Throw out the game vs. FCS opponent Illinois State, and the Cardinals are allowing 5.3 yards per carry and 223 yards per game. That liability hasn’t cost Ball State any wins, as the only loss to North Texas was keyed by a -4 turnover ratio. But the trend has been consistent throughout the season. The Cardinals aren’t exactly a staunch defensive unit, and that makes covering gigantic numbers a dicey proposition.

I don’t see much chance of an upset here, and when the dust settles it should be a comfortable win for the home team. But with Ball State having trouble getting opposing offenses off the field and with the scheduling dynamics factored in, I think Central Michigan can make this a tougher game than the Cardinals would like. I’ll take Central Michigan and the points for the cover.

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Red Dog Sports

Utah Jazz vs. Boston Celtics    
PlaY; Boston Celtics -3½

Take Boston -3.5 as Utah is 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in Boston. Utah is led by Gordon Hayward and lost their last two games by 16 and 11 points. They are playing their 4th game in 6 days and facing a desperate home team with a young coach. Jeff Green and Jared Sullinger should lead the way for the Celtics.

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Jimmy Boyd

Washington Wizards -1½

The Philadelphia 76ers may be off to a 3-1 start this season, but I am still calling for them to finish with one of the worst records in basketball this year. The Wizards may not have a win yet, but that has not been from a lack of scoring. Washington has put up an average of 99 points per game. The 76ers defense has been horrible this year allowing 106.5 points per game.

When these teams played for the second game of the season the 76ers shot 51.1% from the field, but that is not a sustainable level of production for Philadelphia. I expect to see them put up numbers closer to their last outing coming against Golden State. The 76ers shot 35.2% in that game and were plagued with turnovers just as they have been all season. Washington has consistently shot 43.3% including just shy of 40% from beyond the three-point line.

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Steve Janus

Cleveland Cavaliers -1½

The Bucks are one of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference and are clearly not playing well to start the season. While they managed to pull out a 105-98 win at Boston, the Celtics haven't won a game yet and it's worth noting that Milwaukee trailed in that game by as many as 22-points in the 2nd half. In the Bucks two losses they have been able to make the final score look respectable but they trailed by 25 to the Knicks and as many as 13 vs the Raptors.

After the Cavaliers nearly blew a 23-point lead in a 93-92 win over the Timberwolves on Monday, I look for Cleveland to come out and play a full 48 minutes tonight, which should end up in a convincing win for the road team. At 2-2 overall and 0-2 on the road, the intensity should be there for the Cavs and that's really the only concern here. They are without question the more talented team and I expect them to show it on the floor.

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SPORTS WAGERS

BALL STATE -21 over Central Michigan

We always seem to do well in the MAC and will step in here once again in this beautiful home spot for the Cardinals. First, Central Michigan is a bad, one-dimensional team decimated by injuries playing its fourth road game in the past five weeks. The Chips only home game over that span came last week against #23 Northern Illinois in what had to be considered the Chippewas’ game of the year. They will play for nothing the rest of the year and they will play this MAC power on short rest. Frankly, this can’t turn out well for the visitor. Keep the hammer down on the Chips this week in the teams’ worst situational spot of the season.

Ball State is 8-1 overall and 5-0 in the conference. State matches up well here with an offense that consistently racks up the kind of explosive passing plays that CMU often gives up. Just as important to laying a number this size, however, are two traits that Ball State has shown both this year and last: the ability to keep scoring and the ability to cover big numbers in the second stanza after suffering the occasional sleepy first half. The difference between the top and bottom of the MAC is stark and in this league the top teams beat the very worst by seven touchdowns, not three. Expect to see another example of that here.

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SPORTS WAGERS

New Orleans +7½ over MEMPHIS

The Pelicans played last night and jumped out to an early 28-17 first quarter lead against Phoenix but it was all downhill from there. As a 9-point choice, New Orleans wasn’t supposed to lose last night but they did and they also lost their only road game by 20 points in Orlando. The Pelicans were overvalued early but suddenly become undervalued, going from a 9-point favorite to a 7½-point dog overnight. That’s a 16½-point swing in one day and one we can take advantage of.

Don’t ignore the early season struggles of the Grizzlies. They were projected to be contenders this year but look like anything but. The Grizzlies haven't displayed much bite, edging the Pistons in overtime to avoid an 0-3 start. After that scare and miracle win, the Grizzlies defeated the Celtics by seven lousy points. After ranking second in defensive efficiency last season, Memphis is 28th early this season. On the other side of the ball, Memphis isn't getting much production from their small forward platoon of Tayshaun Prince and Mike Miller. This is a Memphis squad that has looked completely out of sorts on both ends of the court and while they may snap out of it at some point, the lumber being offered here is too great to pass up. 


Utah +144 over BOSTON

The Celtics come in winless in four tries. Boston has been close in all four games, losing by seven or less in three of them and losing by 10 in Detroit in the other. However, they have not really been within reach in any of those games. Each team the Celtics lost to, the Raptors, Bucks, Pistons and Grizzlies, kept the C’s at arm’s length and so the final scores may be more flattering than the actual result. Boston is in a serious rebuilding phase. The lowlight of an 0-4 start was blowing a 22-point second-half lead at home to the Bucks. With Gerald Wallace calling his teammates "selfish" just two games in, Brad Stevens is truly going to be tested right out of the gate. The Celtics chances of losing are greater than winning so anytime we can take back a price against Boston it’s worth a close look.

The Jazz played last night in Brooklyn and never stood a chance, as they fell behind by a big margin early and stayed out of reach the entire game. That was some bad timing for the Jazz, as the Nets were coming off an embarrassing loss and were plenty focused last night. Utah is now 0-4 and its stock is sinking. That provides us with this strong, buy-low opportunity. When we look at the Jazz we see a team that has played OKC, Houston, Phoenix and Brooklyn. Utah’s strength of schedule is ranked first in the NBA and they now take a huge step down in class when facing these lifeless Celtics. In a game in which Utah’s chances of winning are better than 50%, taking back +144 is where all the value lies and that’s how we’ll play it.


ORLANDO +7 over L.A. Clippers

The Magic sneaked up on a contender for the first time Sunday, throttling the veteran Nets in a 21-point rout. That victory followed a 20 point win over the Pelicans. No Orlando player caught Brooklyn more off guard than rookie Victor Oladipo, who scored 19 points in 21 minutes off the bench and threw down a 360 dunk as the Nets hopelessly watched. The Magic are 2-0 at home. Orlando also had a chance to defeat the Timberwolves in Minnesota before falling in OT against that strong club. Orlando is building a strong résumé and they figure to be just as focused here against another one of the Association’s elite clubs.

Doc Rivers and the new-look Clippers got off to a rough start by falling to the Lakers, but bounced back to rattle off solid wins over Golden State and Sacramento before whacking the Rockets by 19 on Monday.  The Clip Joint is as good as advertised but in terms of situational betting, this is the perfect time to step in against Doc Rivers’ squad. For the Clippers, this game is sandwiched between Monday’s early season showdown with the Rockets and tomorrow’s big-time showdown with the Heat. Tomorrow’s game against Miami is TNT’s featured game of the night and the viewership will be huge. It’s being billed as a likely preview of the NBA finals and tonight’s game is likely to be overlooked by the Clippers. That allows us to step into a good situation and take back some pretty sweet lumber in a game the Magic can win outright.

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SPORTS WAGERS

N.Y. RANGERS +128 over Pittsburgh

OT included. The Penguins 11 wins are the most in the Eastern Conference. They have just four losses in 15 games but a close look reveals an extremely soft schedule that has seen the Penguins play 10 of their 15 games so far against teams under .500. The Penguins have yet to play any of the power teams from the West with the exception of a game against Vancouver in which the Penguins were the second best team on the ice. Indeed the Penguins are capable of winning but their issues have not been exposed yet in terms of wins and losses. Defensively, Pittsburgh is still a mess and it’s going to catch up with them at some point.

Prior to losing 2-1 to the red-hot Ducks in their last game, the Rangers had won three in a row and four of five. Over that three-game winning streak, New York outscored the opposition 10-3. Outside of Rick Nash, the Blue Shirts have gotten some key bodies back in the lineup and they finally have some home games. Nash may be out for a while but the positives are accumulating otherwise and now we get an undervalued Rangers team at home against an overvalued visitor.


Nashville +175 over COLORADO

OT included. The beat goes on for the Avalanche and it may not stop. Colorado is no fluke, as they possess an abundance of talented forwards, solid defense and they’re getting great goaltending from both Semyon Varlamov and Jean-Sebastien Giguere. That said, there's no chance that Varlamov and Giguere can continue to stop 95.5% of the shots sent their way and there’s also no chance of the Avalanche winning at this pace. With three full days to allow the recent events regarding their #1 goaltender to sink in and with a take-back of +180, this would be as good a time as any to play against Colorado.

The Predators are too dangerous to be lay almost 2-1 against. Nashville has quietly picked up points in eight of its past 10 games with only regulation losses over that time occurring against St. Louis and Minnesota. The Predators continue on their season-long seven game trip after winning in L.A after losing the opener in Phoenix, despite blowing a 3-0 lead and outshooting the Coyotes 40-25. Backup goaltender Carl Hutton in net is not Pekka Rinne but he’s feisty as hell, he’s fearless and the players are digging down deep in support of him. The price here has huge influence on this choice but it’s not close to being the mismatch that a 2-1 favorite usually is. Overlay.


Phoenix +146 over ANAHEIM

OT included. The Ducks are killing it early on with 12 wins, three losses and one OT loss. Fact is, the Ducks have more points than the Sharks and they just reeled off five wins in their last six road games with an OT loss thrown in. That’s 11 out of a possible 12 points over their final six games of an eight game trip. It’s actually remarkable what this team has accomplished but it’s not sustainable.  The advanced statistics did not like Anaheim's hot start last season and concerns were validated when the Ducks lost 16 of the final 25 games they played (including the playoffs) as regression set in. Anaheim, and surprisingly not Toronto, leads the League in shooting percentage at even strength (10.6 percent). When that number normalizes, regression will once again set in.

The Coyotes are a must play here based on their value in this favorable situation. The ‘Yotes catch the Ducks in the dreaded “returning home from a long trip” game. That’s an ideal situation for a team as dangerous as the Coyotes. Phoenix just keeps on winning with an offense that just keeps producing. The Coyotes defense is chipping in big time offensively with a league-high 11 goals by defensemen. The 35 points their defenders have produced is tied for the most with Chicago and Vancouver (the Canucks have played two more games). The Coyotes played last night but they are 2-0 in the second game of back-to-backs this season and absolutely have a chance to increase that to 3-0.

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LT Profits

Utah Vs Boston
Pick: Over 185

Something has to give in this battle of 0-4 teams with the Boston Celtics hosting the Utah Jazz, and while the winner of this game could be debatable, we do expect some improvement from both offenses vs. defenses in the bottom half of the NBA in defensive efficiency. Yes, the raw numbers have the Celtics fifth in points against at 95.0 per game, but Boston is only 18th in efficiency yielding 101.5 points per 100 possessions, and that could become more obvious if Utah quickens the pace a bit. The Jazz are even worse in defensive efficiency ranking 24th at 103.2 points per 100. Offensively, Jeff Green is averaging a career-high of 16.8 points for Boston and that should keep rising in his first year as a go-to scorer, while Utah has three players averaging 16.8 points or better. The ‘over’ is 8-1-1 in the Jazz’s last 10 games vs. teams with losing straight up records.


Central Michigan Vs Ball State
Pick: Ball State -20.5

While we are not usually fans of laying nearly three touchdowns, the 8-1 Ball State Cardinals are tied with nationally ranked Northern Illinois at 5-0 inside the MAC West, so they should not hesitate to run up the score on the 3-5 Central Michigan Chippewas, especially playing at home on national TV. Ball State should practically do whatever it wants on offense vs. a CMU defense that is allowing an unbelievable 67.1 percent completion percentage to opposing quarterbacks on a very high 8.4 yards per attempt, as well as 210.0 rushing yards per game on 4.6 yards per carry. Ball State ranks 30th in the country in total offense and 16th in passing offense with quarterback Keith Wenning competing 62.4 percent of his passes while averaging 8.4 yards per attempt and tossing 23 touchdowns vs. five interceptions. Central Michigan is 8-24 ATS in its last 32 games following a straight up loss by at least 20 points.

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Stephen Nover

Washington Wizards -130

The winless Wizards are already desperate for a victory. They have been idle since Sunday and won't lack for motivation in this early-season revenge game.

The 76ers have been the surprise talk of the league reeling off three wins to open the season, including shocking the Heat and Bulls. But the 76ers' bubble burst in a big way during their last game, a 20-point home loss to the Warriors two days ago.

The Wizards have a far stronger backcourt with John Wall and Bradley Beal than the 76ers and a better bench. Philadelphia's reserves are being outscored by three points a game despite the team's early success.

It's a plus for the Wizards if Nene is able to play. He's been out with a calf injury.

The Wizards are an emerging team that has been saddled by their traditional slow start. The 76ers have been playing way, way above their heads. I look for a correction here with the Wizards getting their first victory.

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Larry Ness

Washington Wizards at Philadelphia 76ers
Prediction: Washington Wizards

The 76ers made a HUGE ‘splash,’ opening the season 3-0, led by a stunning start from rookie PG Michael Carter-Williams. Philadelphia averaged 110.0 points on 51.2 percent shooting in its first three games, beating the Heat and Bulls at home, plus the Wizards in Washington. Carter-Williams won Eastern Conference player of the week honors, averaging 20.7 points, 9.0 assists and 4.3 steals per game. However, the 76ers were blown out 110-90 by Golden State on Monday, falling behind by as much as 39 points, while shooting 35.2 percent for the game. Carter-Williams shot 4 for 17, committed six turnovers and had four assists without a steal.

The 76ers will host the Wizards, who are still looking for their first win of the young season. Philly beat the Wizards 109-102 on Friday in Washington, behind Thaddeus Young's 29 and Turner's 23 points.Philadelphia has now taken eight of 10 from Washington and five straight at home. The Wizards are allowing an NBA-worst 51.2 opponent field-goal percentage and saw those woes continue in Sunday's 103-93 loss at Miami. Washington allowed the Heat to shoot 52.9 percent and committed 21 turnovers. "I thought we battled well," guard Bradley Beal said. "We still had a few breakdowns on defense. ... We just have to knock down shots and limit our turnovers as much as possible."

Now I don’t want to laud the praises of the Wizards but I’m not ‘buying’ Philly’s fast start, as has been reported in many places already, the 76ers over/under projected win total for the entire season was 16 1/2 games, the lowest of any NBA team. The Wizards can’t lose them all and this seems like the perfect spot to earn that first win. However, considering Washington has dropped 11 straight road games against Eastern Conference foes and 26 of 28 since the start of last season, I won’t get too brave and make it a small play.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, November 6

Jeff Alexander

Oklahoma City Thunder -6½

Bottom Line: Tough spot for Dallas playing the second game of a back-to-back against a Thunder squad that has had the last two days off. OKC is on a 19-9 ATS run at home as a favorite of 6.5 to 12 points, winning by an average of 12.5 points in these games. Plus, the Thunder are 10-0 in their last 10 against the Mavs, winning these by 7.5 points on average.

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