Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, November 7

Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, November 7

DUNKEL INDEX

NFL

Washington at Minnesota
The Redskins look to build on their 5-1 ATS record in their last 6 games in November. Washington is the pick (-2) according to Dunkel, which has the Redskins favored by 6 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Washington (-2)

Game 107-108: Washington at Minnesota (8:25 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington 129.196; Minnesota 122.754
Dunkel Line: Washington by 6 1/2; 54
Vegas Line: Washington by 2; 49 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-2); Over

NCAAF

Oregon at Stanford
The Ducks look to build on their 13-3 ATS record in their last 16 road games and 4-1 ATS record in their last 5 games at Stanford. Oregon is the pick (-10) according to Dunkel, which has the Ducks favored by 13. Dunkel Pick: Oregon (-10)

Game 109-110: Oklahoma at Baylor (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oklahoma 102.886; Baylor 113.839
Dunkel Line: Baylor by 11; 77
Vegas Line: Baylor by 15; 72 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Oklahoma (+15); Over

Game 111-112: Troy at UL-Lafayette (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Troy 69.980; UL-Lafayette 92.563
Dunkel Line: UL-Lafayette by 22 1/2; 72
Vegas Line: UL-Lafayette by 13; 67
Dunkel Pick: UL-Lafayette (-13); Over

Game 113-114: Oregon at Stanford (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oregon 121.452; Stanford 108.334
Dunkel Line: Oregon by 13; 56
Vegas Line: Oregon by 10; 61 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Oregon (-10); Under

NBA

LA Clippers at Miami
The Heat look to take advantage of a Clippers team that is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games in Miami. Miami is the pick (-5) according to Dunkel, which has the Heat favored by 15 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Miami (-5)

Game 701-702: LA Clippers at Miami (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Clippers 116.924; Miami 132.560
Dunkel Line & Total: Miami by 15 1/2; 204
Vegas Line & Total: Miami by 5; 210 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Miami (-5); Under

Game 703-704: Atlanta at Denver (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta 115.226; Denver 116.190
Dunkel Line & Total: Denver by 1; 211
Vegas Line & Total: Denver by 3 1/2; 203 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (+3); Over

Game 705-706: LA Lakers at Houston (9:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Lakers 115.033; Houston 123.646
Dunkel Line & Total: Houston by 8 1/2; 224
Vegas Line & Total: Houston by 13 1/2; 219
Dunkel Pick: LA Lakers (+13 1/2); Over

NHL

Montreal at Ottawa
The Canadiens look to take advantage of an Ottawa team that is 0-5 in its last 5 home games. Montreal is the pick (+105) according to Dunkel, which has the Canadiens favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: Montreal (+105)

Game 51-52: Florida at Boston (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Florida 9.630; Boston 11.125
Dunkel Line & Total: Boston by 1 1/2; 4
Vegas Line & Total: Boston (-260); 5
Dunkel Pick: Boston (-260); Under

Game 53-54: Montreal at Ottawa (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Montreal 12.306; Ottawa 11.473
Dunkel Line & Total: Montreal by 1; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Ottawa (-125); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Montreal (+105); Over

Game 55-56: New Jersey at Philadelphia (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: New Jersey 11.369; Philadelphia 10.150
Dunkel Line & Total: New Jersey by 1; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Philadelphia (-145); 5
Dunkel Pick: New Jersey (+125); Over

Game 57-58: Minnesota at Washington (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota 11.921; Washington 13.423
Dunkel Line & Total: Washington by 1 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Washington (-115); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-115); Under

Game 59-60: NY Islanders at Carolina (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Islanders 10.890; Carolina 9.970
Dunkel Line & Total: NY Islanders by 1; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Carolina (-110); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Islanders (-110); Over

Game 61-62: NY Rangers at Columbus (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Rangers 11.097; Columbus 12.522
Dunkel Line & Total: Columbus by 1 1/2; 4
Vegas Line & Total: Columbus (-140); 5
Dunkel Pick: Columbus (-140); Under

Game 63-64: Dallas at Detroit (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Dallas 11.483; Detroit 12.906
Dunkel Line & Total: Detroit by 1 1/2; 4
Vegas Line & Total: Detroit (-150); 5
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-150); Under

Game 65-66: Edmonton at Tampa Bay (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Edmonton 11.945; Tampa Bay 10.805
Dunkel Line & Total: Edmonton by 1; 7
Vegas Line & Total: Tampa Bay (-220); 6
Dunkel Pick: Edmonton (+180); Over

Game 67-68: Calgary at St. Louis (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Calgary 12.454; St. Louis 11.564
Dunkel Line & Total: Calgary by 1; 6
Vegas Line & Total: St. Louis (-270); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Calgary (+230); Over

Game 69-70: Vancouver at San Jose (10:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Vancouver 11.808; San Jose 13.427
Dunkel Line & Total: San Jose by 1 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: San Jose (-175); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Jose (-175); Under

Game 71-72: Buffalo at Los Angeles (10:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Buffalo 9.655; Los Angeles 11.209
Dunkel Line & Total: Los Angeles by 1 1/2; 4
Vegas Line & Total: Los Angeles (-265); 5
Dunkel Pick: Los Angeles (-265); Under

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, November 7

Jeff Scott Sports

3 UNIT PLAY

BAYLOR -14.5 over Oklahoma: I will be going with the Baylor Bears in this one. Pretty much this team has a very slim shot at a BCS Title game, but if they want to keep that slim hope alive they will need to win this one big. This will be the best defense that the Bears will have faced this year, but still Oklahoma did allow 30 points to Texas tech and 36 to Texas, so they can struggle vs good offenses and they bears d have one, especially at home, where they have averaged 768.6 ypg and 70.6 ppg this year. The Oklahoma Offense has been inconsistent this year as they have averaged 31 ppg overall, but have also scored 20 points or less in 3 of their games and this Baylor defense is no slouch, especially at home where they have allowed just 292 ypg and 14.4 ppg on the year. Baylor has a ton to play for and are seeking revenge for last years loss. They need to win this game big and have the edges on both sides of the ball, plus the home field edge. I see them winning this one by 24 or more points.

1 UNIT PLAY

UL Lafayette/ Troy Over 67: Troy can score a bunch as they have averaged 34.4 ppg, but their defense has just been awful this year ranking 111th overall, while allowing 34.6 ppg. The ULL offense has been on fire during their 6 game win streak as they have averaged 43.7 ppg over that stretch, plus they have averaged 557 ypg and 57 ppg at home this year. They should be good for at least 42 in this one, while the Trojans should put up at least 30 of their own. This one should be played in the 70's.

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Jim Feist

Oklahoma vs. Baylor    
Play: Oklahoma +15

The Sooners are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games following a bye week. They are a big dog to Baylor, but the Sooners are 4-1 in the conference and have great balance on offense, along with a powerhouse defense: Oklahoma is 14th in the nation allowing 18.8 ppg. This is their third game against a Top 25 team and they are 2-0 in the others, beating Notre Dame on the road and Texas Tech two weeks ago. Baylor has played a super-easy schedule and gave up 42 points to West Virginia. The road team is 14-3 ATS in their last 17 meetings and the Sooners are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 meetings in Baylor. Play Oklahoma.

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Dave Mathews

Minnesota Vikings vs. Washington Redskins
Play: Washington Redskins -2.5

This is a huge game for Washington. They are coming off an overtime win over San Diego and now must face a 1-7 Minnesota team that is playing for pride. The good news for Washington is that Christian Ponder is back at quarterback. One of his best weapons-TE Kyle Rudolph-is out for a month with a fractured foot. Washington will load the box against Adrian Peterson and force Ponder to beat them. Minnesota allows 292 yards through the air, which is good news for Robert Griffin III, who threw for nearly 300 yards last week and appears to be hitting his stride. That's bad news for the Vikings.

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Doug Upstone

Vancouver Canucks vs. San Jose Sharks    
Play: San Jose Sharks -168

San Jose played unfocused hockey verses league worst Buffalo on Tuesday night. Look for a determined school of Sharks Thursday in the Tank. San Jose hasn't lost a regulation game at home this season and should continue. Price is right to back the home team here.

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Matt Fargo

Dallas Stars vs. Detroit Red Wings    
Play: Detroit Red Wings -147

We are laying a rather large number on Detroit here but I think it is well within reason and could even be higher for that matter. Taking a look at what Detroit has been favored by in the past at home in this series will also give you an indication of the value here. The Red Wings are coming off a four-game roadtrip where they went a solid 3-1 and that last defeat came in the series finale at Winnipeg on Monday. Detroit has had a good amount of time to rest up and it will be anxious to bounce back from that loss as well as get back to winning at home where it has lost three straight games, two of which came in extra time. The Red Wings were 3-1 at home prior to that. Dallas meanwhile has won two straight games, both coming in a shootout including a big win at Boston on Tuesday. The Stars have now won three of four on the road after a 1-4 start so that is also playing into this number as well. Dallas is just 6-12 in its last 18 games following two consecutive wins that went into overtime while going 2-8 in its last 10 games against teams with a winning record. The Red Wings have won six of the last seven meetings in this series and I expect a big effort from them in stopping the home bleeding.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, November 7

Jack Jones

Baylor Bears -15

The Baylor Bears have just been destroying teams this season en route to a 7-0 start. That has especially been the case at home, but their smallest margin of victory came by 10 points at Kansas State on October 12. Their other six wins have all come by 31 or more points.

Baylor is scoring 63.9 points and averaging 718.0 yards per game to rank 1st in the country in total offense. Both quarterback Bryce Petty and running back Lache Seastrunk have entered the Heisman Trophy race. Petty is completing 69.5 percent of his passes for 2,463 yards with 18 touchdowns and one interception, while also rushing for six scores. Seastrunk has rushed for 869 yards and 11 touchdowns while averaging 9.1 per carry.

What may be most impressive about this Baylor team is how improved they are on the other side of the ball. They are allowing just 15.9 points and 316.0 yards per game to rank 11th in the country in total defense. Oklahoma only managed 20 points in games against both Texas and TCU, and 16 points against West Virginia in three of its Big 12 games this season. It won't be able to match the Bears score for score with that kind of offensive performance tonight.

Baylor is 6-0 ATS against good offensive teams that average 425 or more total yards per game over the last two seasons. Baylor is 7-0 against the number as a home favorite of 14.5 to 21 points since 1992. The Bears are 7-0 against the spread in their last seven games vs. a team with a winning record. Baylor is 9-1 ATS in home games against conference opponents over the last two seasons. Bet Baylor Thursday.

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Ray Monohan

Washington Redskins vs. Minnesota Vikings    
Play: Washington Redskins -1-120

The Minnesota Vikings are getting way too much respect in this one. Sure they are at home but this team has just one win this season and has shown little to think that improvement is around the corner. Washington has won two of its last three and have to be invigorated by the fact that they are still alive in the NFC East. QB Robert Griffin is looking better and better each week two which is a very good sign. Take the Skins on the road in this one as a short favorite.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, November 7

Rob Vinciletti

Vancouver Canucks vs. San Jose Sharks    
Play: San Jose Sharks -168

San Jose comes in to this one having lost 3 straight and their last 2 here on home ice. They have won 5 of 7 after scoring 4 or more goals which they did in their hideous loss here to league door mat Buffalo Sabres as a favorite of over 4-1. Vancouver comes in this this game slumping as well and things don't figure to get much easier as they have already lost a pair of 4-1 decisions to San Jose this season and have not lost 9 straight in the series. Look for the Sharks to take another from Vancouver.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, November 7

Red Dog Sports

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets    
Play: Los Angeles Lakers +13½

Houston is back home playing their third game in 4 nights after playing on the road and just winning in Portland. Harden, Lin, Howard, Parsons, Asik and Beverly are key Rockets but they are not real deep. The Lakers have been beaten badly on the road but are off a loss at Dallas on Tuesday so they had a day off to rest and prepare for a game against Dwight Howard and company.

Steve Nash, Steve Blake, Xavier Henry, Pao Gasol, Nick Young, Jordan Farmar, Jodie Meeks, Jordan Hill and Chris Kaman will need to step up. The Rockets should win ahigh scoring game but I think we see the Lakers cover.

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EZWINNERS

10 Point Teaser: Redskins +8, Colts +1 & Bucs +12.5

The Skins are starting to get their act together. Washington has been able to run the ball and RGIII is also not only making plays in the passing game, but also making plays with his legs once again. The Redskins defense is the group that was most concerning, but they also look like they have turned the corner after making a goal line stand against the Chargers to force overtime. Minnesota put up a fight in Dallas last week, but the Cowboys are never a good gage of how well a team is really playing. Minnesota's offense is still a work in progress and their defense just can't get of the field on first down. I like backing Washington in this spot getting more than a touchdown for the first leg of the three team ten point teaser.


Oklahoma Sooners +15

I really love the Baylor Bears and would love to see them beat Stoops and company, but a more than two touchdown favorite against the Sooners i don't see. Baylor is putting up 64 points per game, but they have only played two teams with winning records this season (Buffalo and K-State) and K-State held the Bears to a season low 35 points. Oklahoma has dominated this series winning twenty out of the last twenty one meetings and this is the first time that Baylor has been favored in any of them. The Sooners have the running backs and a physical quarterback that can run the ball in Blake Bell to help control the clock and keep the Baylor offense on the sidelines. Take the points.


Stanford Cardinals +10.5

There are not many people who are giving Stanford much of a chance to knock off the Ducks two years in a row, but this one should be close all the way. The Stanford defense has shut down quarterback Brett Hundley and UCLA (10 points) and quarterback Sean Mannion and Oregon State (12 points) in back to back victories. Stanford has also forced a turnover in 33 straight games which is the second longest streak in the country. The Cardinals defense will also get a boost with the return of defensive end Henry Anderson who has been out since mid September. A home underdog with the better defense on a Thursday night. I'll bite and take the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, November 7

Dave Cokin

Atlanta at Denver
Play: Atlanta

’ll usually try to come up with some kind of actual data to support my opinions. I think that’s a reasonable procedure for anyone betting games. Numbers don’t always tell the entire story, but more often than not they’re excellent barometers, particularly if you’re focusing on the ones that mean the most. Opinions, meanwhile are like…well, you know the rest of that axiom that ends with everybody’s got one.

But tonight I’m going strictly on the eye test for a play on the Hawks-Nuggets NBA hookup. I can’t say what Denver will look like at the end of the season, or for that matter, even two weeks from now. But it’s pretty clear from viewing them in action that the new scheme is not exactly paying dividends just yet.

George Karl might not have been much come playoff time, and that’s clearly why the Nuggets have a new head coach in Brian Shaw. The long time player and subsequent assistant is very highly regarded amongst his peers, and I’m absolutely not crushing his philosophy here. Fact is, Karl won in the regular season but not when it counted. Maybe it was indeed time for a change.

But what’s also clear is that at least for the time being, the Nuggets are having difficulty acclimating themselves to Shaw’s half court style of play. Personally, I always liked the idea of the Nuggets utilizing the altitude in Denver to their advantage as they tried to run the opposition into the ground. They’re not going to do that playing this style, at least in my view.

So I’m basically in fade Denver mode right now. That doesn’t mean I’m going to play against them every night, but if the number isn’t an obstacle, it’s going to be a consideration until I see some evidence they’re figuring things out.

The Hawks aren’t a team that I’m going to call reliable. They miss way too many free throws and they haven’t exactly been glass cleaners out of the gate, either. The 2-2 start could be a true harbinger of things to come. If ever a team looked like it’s strictly middle of the pack material, it’s these guys.

Down the road, if the Nuggets get it together under Shaw, tonight’s line might actually be on the cheap side. But at least for the time being, I’ve got to take my chances getting points with what as of right now looks like the better entry. That means a play on the Hawks plus the points tonight.

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Jimmy Boyd

San Jose Sharks -168

Neither of these teams has played well recently. The Canucks have lost two of their last three games, and I think the advantage has to be with San Jose for today's matchup. The Sharks will have home ice advantage and have won nine consecutive games against the visiting Canucks.

Vancouver is 2-9 in their last 11 games against Pacific division opponents. They face a Sharks team that is 9-2 in their last 11 home games against a team with a winning road record. The Sharks are also 21-7 in their last 28 games when playing on one day of rest and 46-19 in their last 65 home games. The Canucks have struggled against good teams, posting a 4-9 record, and that is a trend that will continue today.

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SPORTS WAGERS

HOUSTON -13 over L.A. Lakers

The Lakers have played two road games. They lost in Golden State by 29 and followed that up with a 19-point road loss in Dallas. Mike D'Antoni has the Lakers playing his gunning way by launching triples, spacing the floor and playing up-tempo basketball. That’ll work and has worked at home in two games but this is a hodgepodge Lakers roster that is going to get buried on many nights and the Rockets will show no mercy here.

Things are going exactly as planned in Houston. James Harden looks like the best shooting guard in the league. Dwight Howard is playing with a gigantic chip on his gigantic shoulders and rebounding everything in sight (career-high-tying 26 on opening night); and the Rockets are getting contributions not only from the likes of Jeremy Lin and Chandler Parsons but also Francisco Garcia, who has made 14-of-28 three-pointers. Every player on this Rockets’ team knows precisely what Howard is feeling. No words need be spoken. Howard wants to stick it to this team so badly that it hurts. The guy is going to be a maniac out there tonight with more focus and determination than he’s had in a long time. Howard hates the Lakers, he hates D’Antoni and every one of his teammates knows how important this game is it too him. Only a 15 to 30 point win will satisfy Howard and the Rockets and it says here they will get it.


Minnesota -½ +150 over WASHINGTON

Regulation only. A tie loses. This is either an alternative puck line wager or a three-way betting line wager and can be found at every book. We played against the Capitals on Tuesday upon their return home from a five-game trip and it didn’t work out well, as they defeated the Islanders 6-2. If a team isn’t flat in their first game back from a trip, they are often flat in the second game back. The Caps have now won three straight and have scored 16 goals over that stretch. However, this isn’t Philly, Florida or the Islanders with Evgeni Nabokov. That’s the three teams the Caps defeated but things get a whole lot tougher here.

The Wild have also won three straight and have scored four goals or more in all three. They’ve also won five of six with only loss occurring against the Blackhawks. Two days prior to that loss, they defeated the Blackhawks 5-3. There is no shame in splitting two games with Chicago. The Wild have an Eastern Conference-heavy schedule coming up, with eight of their next 11 against teams from the East and it all begins here. The Wild are well aware of this important stretch that could see them shoot up the West standings, as the West has dominated the East in the first 5½ weeks of the season. Minnesota is in peak form right now and they figure to be sharp again in this favorable spot. 

Florida +237 over BOSTON

OT included. We have no interest in the Bruins right now and we especially have no interest in them laying 2½-1 in a game they may show up in body only. The Bruins have played a ton of big games over the past three years but this season they have taken some nights off. This is another one of those games in which Boston may just show up. One shootout victory and one shootout loss is all the Bruins have to show for their last five games and it's getting harder to produce consistent results with only one line producing offensively. Boston is not in good form right now. With a game in Toronto on deck Saturday on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada, the Bruins could be caught sleepwalking through this game.

The Florida Panthers may be the least followed or least watched team in the NHL. They play to a ¾ empty arena on most nights and they have just one win over their past 10 games. So what is there to like about them? Well, for starters, five of the Panthers past seven games have gone to OT so any or all of those could have been wins instead of losses. They took Tampa Bay, Minnesota and Chicago to OT before falling in OT to Washington and Edmonton over their past two games. It’s not showing up in the win column yet but the Panthers are getting progressively better each week. They have a plethora of young talent that plays with energy and enthusiasm. The Panthers are not demoralized in any way. They are having fun out there and they appreciate where they are playing and the group that the organization has assembled. The Panthers are not pushovers and as a huge pooch they are going to offer value on many nights this season. This is one of those nights.

N.Y. Rangers +119 over COLUMBUS

OT included. After traveling extensively for well over a month (including the preseason) we highly doubt a back-to-back scenario is going to bother the Rangers. After a rough start, the Rangers look as sharp as anyone right now. They blew away the Penguins last night 5-1. New York has now won four of five with only loss over that span occurring against the red-hot Ducks. The Rangers have not allowed more than two goals against in eight straight games and that should bode well here against the offensively challenged Blue Jackets.

The Jackets were projected to be relevant this season but their losing ways have once again become contagious. Columbus is coming off back-to-back losses to the Penguins followed by a 4-1 loss to the then struggling Senators. In last weekend’s home and home series with Pittsburgh, Columbus scored two goals combined. Over their last three games, they have scored three goals. Bob Bobrovsky’s even-strength save percentage actually shows that his season last year was good-but-not-great. As it turns out, Bobrovsky has gone back to being the below average goaltender he’s always been. The most overrated player in the league, Jack Johnson (-8 this year), has ensured that Bobrovsky will not shine. Marian Gaborik is in the process of giving up the other half-step off his speed of old (to make it a full step), and after that we’re turning where for offense? R.J. Umberger? Ryan Callahan? Further down the depth chart to Jared Boll or Blake Comeau? This team had jacked expectations so far beyond reality that it’s almost laughable. The Jackets have less talent than any team in the NHL and should not be favored over the surging Rangers.

Pass NFL & NCAAF

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Sean Murphy

L.A. Clippers vs. Miami
Pick: Miami

I'm just not convinced the Clippers are ready for primetime just yet.

Last night's ugly loss in Orlando was evidence of that.

All most bettors can remember is their 137-point effort against the Rockets earlier this week, or perhaps their double-digit win over the Warriors one week ago tonight.

How quickly everyone forgets that this is a team that got beat down by the Lakers on opening night.

The Heat haven't exactly been dominant in the early going, but they've been good enough to post a winning record through five games, and there's little question, they're only going to get better.

Tuesday's win in Toronto was more impressive than it looked on paper, as the Heat were without Chris Bosh, who was back home with his wife for the birth of their daughter. He's expected to be back in the lineup on Thursday. Note that the Heat were without Bosh for their matchup with the Clippers here at home last season, but still won by 22 points.

The home team has simply owned this series, winning and covering the spread in each of the last nine meetings. Perhaps the next matchup between these two in February will play out a little differently, but tonight, I look for the Heat to have the upper hand.

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Bruce Marshall

Vancouver vs. San Jose
Pick: San Jose -1.5

This has been a one-sided series lately favoring San Jose, which shoots for its tenth straight win over Vancouver tonight at the Shark Tank. Included in the recent series domination is a sweep in last spring's playoffs as well as a pair of 4-1 wins earlier this season.  The Sharks could use a boost after three straight defeats, but expect an ultra-focused effort tonight after the shock 5-4 home loss to the Sabres on Tuesday.  Meanwhile, Vancouver ranks near the bottom of the league having converted just 10.9 percent of its power-play chances. Edge in goal perhaps to San Jose as well, as the Canucks' Roberto Luongo has a 3.21 GAA while losing his last four starts against the Sharks, who likely will counter with Antti Niemi, who has a 1.60 GAA while starting each game during San Jose's winning streak against Vancouver.

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Mike O'Connor

MINNESOTA (+2.5) 26 Washington 25

The Vikings come into this game after blowing a late lead to the Cowboys last week and eventually losing the game 23-27. They outgained Dallas with 393 yards at 5.8 yppl to 350 yards at 5.6 yppl and dominating in the rushing game (169 yards at 5.8 ypc to 36 yards at 4.0 ypc for the Cowboys). That is usually a strong indicator of point spread success and that was the case here as well as the Vikings easily covered the number. Adjusted season numbers show the Vikings to be a team with a good rushing offense and a poor pass offense (5.47 yps to teams that allow 6.34 yps). Defensively, they are a bit below average overall with a pass defense that has not been good and should continue to struggle with multiple injuries in the defensive backfield. The Redskins were fortunate to win last week as the Chargers had several chances to win the game with a first and goal at the Redskins 1 yard line with time running out but couldn’t punch it in. The Redskins went on to win 30-24 in OT. Season numbers show the Redskins to be an about average team from the line of scrimmage and after staring 0-3 they have crept back into the equation in the soft NFC East winning 3 of their last 5. They are in a tough spot here as they travel on a short week to Minnesota after winning an OT game at home and with division rival Philadelphia on deck. They also have not been good away this year (1-3) where they have faced tough competition (Green Bay, Oakland, Dallas and Denver) but this is a step down in class. The Vikings are also really banged up at the moment with injuries all along their offensive line and secondary (two key areas) and now are dealing with players questioning coaches and some rumblings of internal strife. This game is really a toss-up to me but I will lean with the Vikings based on a match-up indicator that I use, the short travel week and maybe a flat spot for the Redskins as they look ahead to the Eagles.

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LT Profits

Oregon vs Stanford
Pick: Oregon -10

There is a Thursday night treat for college football fans with undoubtedly the Pac-12 Game of the Year taking place with the Oregon Ducks visiting the Stanford Cardinal. Now normally, it would be difficult to resist a great team like Stanford that is 7-1 and ranked fifth on the BCS Standings as a double-digit home underdog. However, these are not normal circumstances as the Ducks have not forgotten when happened last season when the Cardinal handed them their only loss in Oregon costing them a spot in the BCS Championship Game. Furthermore, 8-0 Oregon dropped from the coveted second spot to third behind Florida State after not playing on Saturday while the Noles blew out Miami, so the Ducks will not hesitate to run up the score. And they certainly can, averaging 55.6 points and 632.2 yards per game! Oregon is 14-2 ATS in its last 16 games overall.


L.A. Lakers vs Houston
Pick: Lakers +13.5

In Dwight Howard’s first game vs. his former team the 4-1 Houston Rockets host the 2-3 Los Angeles Lakers, and while Houston appears to have the edge, this still seems like a big spread vs. a Laker team that is 3-2 ATS, as besides its two covering wins, the Lake Show covered in a six-point loss to the Spurs. While no Laker starter scored more than 10 points in an ugly 123-104 loss at Dallas Tuesday, they may have been looking ahead and are quite capable of a bounce-back effort. The Rockets come off of a 116-101 win at Portland on Tuesday the night after getting blown out by the other LA team the Clippers, but none of their previous three wins would have covered this spread and Houston is still allowing 103.8 points per game despite Howard’s presence. The Rockets are 4-11-1 ATS in their last 16 games following an ATS win.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, November 7

Dave Price

Oklahoma/Baylor Over 73

Oklahoma has a top-notch defense, but history suggests that defense won't be enough to keep this one under the total. Consider that playing the over when the total greater than or equal to 63 with an excellent offensive team that averages 34.0 ppg or more against a good defensive team that allows 16.0-21.0 ppg, provided it is a conference game taking place 7 games or more into the season, has produced a 26-6 mark the last 5 seasons. We've seen an average of 78.1 total points scored in this situation. You also want to take the over when the total is greater than or equal to 70 in a conference game taking place 7 games or more into the season between very good teams that outscore the opposition by 10.0 ppg or more. That's because doing so has produced a 32-8 record the last 10 seasons. We've seen 81.5 total points scored on average in this situation. We've seen combined scores of 77, 83 and 76 the last three times these schools have met. Take the over.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, November 7

Steve Janus

Clippers/Heat Over 208

I'm not huge on playing the OVER on TNT Thursday night games, but I believe oddsmakers came out with an extremely high total to try and get action on the UNDER. The total opened at 211.5 and has quickly dropped to 208. It appears oddsmakers have got what they hoped for, as I'm showing close to 60% of the bets coming in on the UNDER.

Both of last year's meeting between these two teams finished below 207 points and each had a total set below 200 points. While that could be a sign to take the UNDER, you have to take into consideration that both of these teams have improved over the offseason.

You also have to keep in mind the Clippers have been very poor defensively this season. They are allowing opponents to shoot 48.3% from the field. Miami comes into this game shooting 52.6% from the field and a sizzling 44.4% from behind the arc. When the Heat are interested and you have to believe they will be against the Clippers, their offense typically shines. The Heat have had their ups and downs defensively and you have to remember they are very weak inside. Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan should have a field day in the paint. Both teams also love to push the pace an attack in transition, which should create a lot of easy points.

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