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Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

Rickie Robbins

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Houston Rockets    
Play: Minnesota Timberwolves +6½

The Minnesota Timberwolves hope to make it back to back wins tonight when they take on the Houston Rockets.

The Wolves have been pretty inconsistent all season but after consecutive losses to the Wizards and the Clippers, things look to be turning around for Minnesota who are coming off a 111-81 win over the Nets last night. Kevin Love had 17 points, 16 rebounds and four assists in just 28 minutes while Kevin Martin added 17 himself to lead five players in double figures as the Wolves cruised to victory in a game where they led by as many as 37 points. With the win, Minnesota improve to 8-6 on the season and 6-2 at home.

Meanwhile, the Rockets fell just short of a fourth straight victory after losing to the Mavericks by 123-120 on Wednesday. Dwight Howard led the team with a season-high 33 points and 11 rebounds, while James Harden added 23 points and eight assists, but the Rockets failed to hold onto an 18-point lead in the third quarter. The problem was once again defense as they allowed the Mavs to shoot a blistering 58.3 percent from the field, including a total of 36 points in the fourth quarter. Houston has now allowed an average of 108.4 points in their last five outings which isn't a good sign which isn't good enough when you have a defensive star like Howard in the paint.

In ATS trends, the Wolves are 6-2 ATS in their last eight road games and 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games overall, while the Rockets are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 home games and 1-4 ATS in their last five games against a team with a winning record.

Head to head, the Wolves are 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings overall and 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings in Houston. The only thing I can be sure of is that this game is certain to be a free-flowing fast paced game so you can expect plenty of points in this one tonight.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

Tony Stoffo

Wisconsin vs. Minnesota
Play: Under 50

Brutal cold day in Minnesota today as the Badgers and Gophers match-up here - Forecast calling for the wind chill to be in the single digits. Scoring possibilities have to be limited in these conditions making for a solid release on the under here today. Under is 5-1 in Badgers last 6 games overall. Under is 4-1 in Badgers last 5 games in November. Under is 6-2-1 in Golden Gophers last 9 games in November. Under is 11-5 in Golden Gophers last 16 home games. Under this posted total the play here.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

OC Dooley

Texas A&M / LSU Under 73.5

It is easy to see why this total is so high as we have a pair of statistically gifted quarterbacks going at it including Johnny Manziel of the Aggies who has two more shots at impressing Heisman Trophy voters.  Manziel and his Aggies have played “above” the total in all SIX conference games this campaign and lead the Southeastern draw in average points (49) scored per contest.  Manziel alone has produced more than 300 total yards of offense in an incredible NINE consecutive starts and his Aggies have reached the fifty-point plateau in each of the most recent three appearances.  The last time the nation saw the LSU Tigers was a hyped primetime affair against top-ranked Alabama which turned into a high scoring 38-17 game where the defense struggled.  One of the keys to this pick is that both sides enter off a BYE week and in the case of the Aggies that slows down offensive momentum.  As for as the host Tigers are concerned head coach Les Miles has actually been preaching DEFENSIVE intensity which is what the Southeastern Conference used to be (physical and low scoring football) before the Manziel invasion.  As mentioned earlier this total is inflated due to the quarterback statistics that include LSU’s Zach Mettenberger who has the #2 ranked passer-rating in the SEC, but I for one am following the lead setup by his head coach.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

River City Sharps

Tennessee Tech +1.5

We really like this spot for Tennessee Tech at home against UWM. Tech returns four starters from last year's team and boast a 3-3 record this season, while Milwaukee comes in at 4-2 on the season. We will readily admit that Milwaukee has played the tough schedule early in the season, including a win at Davidson. In their last game, Tenn Tech blasted Indiana-Kokomo 92-39, a game that saw them shoot over 56% from the field. We think the wrong team is favored here tonight and Tech defends the home court.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

Dr. Bob

KENT STATE (-10½) over Niagara

Transfer Derek Jackson is making a much bigger impact than expected for Kent State, as he leads the Golden Flashes in scoring while shooting 53% from the field and contributing great defense (2.3 steals per game). The underrated Flashes are already 4-0 ATS this season and they’re likely to continue that trend tonight based on a very good 86-23-1 ATS momentum situation that applies to them. My ratings favor Kent by 9½ points and I’d take Kent in a 2-Star Best Bet at -10 points or less and for 3-Stars at -9.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

Wunderdog

Bowling Green at St. Louis
Pick: St. Louis -20

The St. Louis Billikens have gotten off to a 4-0 start, and they have been shooting the ball very well at 47.4%. There are certainly signs that will continue, as they have been great at the charity stipe as well, knocking down 78.4%. The Falcons are 1-2 and have shot the ball poorly at just over 40% through three games, and they have coughed up a lot of points at the line, where they are shooting an ugly 52.9% on the season. Bowling Green has never fared well vs. the Atlantic 10 as they are 4-11 ATS in their last 15, and overall have dropped their last five outside of the conference. St. Louis is holding serve at home where they are 9-2 ATS in their last 11. The shooting woes continue for the Falcons, so play on St. Louis.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

Tony T

Vanderbilt  at Tennessee
Play: Vanderbilt +2.5

Last year Vanderbilt hammered Tennessee 41-21 as they outgained the Volunteers by 140 yards with a dominating effort. In 2013 the Volunteers have been outgained in eight of their ten games this season with the exceptions in games against Austin Peay and South Alabama. Don't like the Tennessee defense as they are allowing 434 yards this season with 226 yards on the ground. With Austyn Carta-Samuels healthy under center for the Commodores the play is on Vanderbilt plust the 2.5 points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

Rickie Robbins

UL-Monroe vs. South Alabama    
Play: UL-Monroe +3½

Louisiana-Monroe was trying to save their season with a postseason bid in their grasp with three consecutive victories before Arkansas State put those plans on hold in a decisive 42-14 decision. The Red Wolves were too much on both sides of the ball with almost 500 yards of offense, while the Warhawks were limited to 328 yards and a 2-14 mark on third down conversions. The ground game was very good when the Warhawks ran with 137 yards and five yards per touch with Kolton Browning leading the way with 55 yards on 13 carries. However the normally dependable signal caller struggled in the air with a 17-37 effort for 191 yards with two touchdowns and a pair of picks.

South Alabama appeared to be headed for a Bowl berth a few short weeks ago but three consecutive defeats has the Jaguars needing a sweep of their final three games. USA faced Navy last time out and got a bird's eye view of their option for the first time and struggled to stop it with the Midshipmen rolling up over 500 total yards with 351 coming on the ground. The Jaguars never got going on the offensive end with 300 yards so the 43-14 final was no surprise when looking over the box score. The rushing attack averaged a little more then three yards ber shot which placed the focus of moving the chains on the arm of Ross Metheny which hasn't been a bad option. Metheny connected on 18-27 for 160 yards and two touchdowns but USA needed much more.

The Jaguars scare me a little bit with their ability to throw but Browning is no slouch when it comes to putting the ball in the air so I'm tempted to take the points in a must-win game.


Western Kentucky vs. Texas State    
Play: Texas State +6

It wasn't all that long ago that Western Kentucky was an afterthought in the Sun Belt, but now they are a Bowl team. The Hilltoppers are 6-4 following consecutive victories with two games left to be played so a win here and WKU definitely gets a spot in the postseason somewhere. The defense did a solid job and the offense did just enough in a 21-17 victory at Army as the team overcame two more turnovers. The yardage totals for both teams was +/-340 yards with Army rushing for 277 yards while the Hilltoppers did a little of bot running and throwing. Antonio Andrews ran for 117 yards on 24 carries with a trip to the end zone. Doughty make some plays with his arm. Doughty hit on 16-24 for 199 yards and two scores and an interception.

Texas State saw their three game winning streak come to an end in a 38-21 loss to Arkansas State. That dropped the Bobcats to 6-4 with a pair of games remaining with a win sending them to a Bowl. The Bobcats gave the Red Wolves all they could handle for two quarters with the score tied 21-21, but neither side of the ball made enough plays in the second half with the offense getting shutout. At the final gun, ASU held a 424-368 advantage in real estate with 328 coming on the ground. Robert Lowe gave the ground attack some quality gains with 86 yards on 14 touches, but not much after half time. Tyler Jones was solid through the air with a 17-28 performance going for 204 yards and a pair of touchdowns but once again most the yardage came in the first 30 minutes.

I have followed Western Kentucky for a long time and I'm sometimes biased towards them. The Hilltoppers win and cover if they avoid the turnover bug that has killed them and lose if they don't. Sounds simple, but backing them is difficult to do with the mistakes.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

Rickie Robbins

Charlotte Bobcats vs. Milwaukee Bucks    
Play: Milwaukee Bucks -2

The Milwaukee Bucks hope to avoid their eighth straight loss tonight as the Charlotte Bobcats come to town.

Head to head, the Bobcats are 2-7 ATS in the last 9 meetings in Milwaukee while the home team is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings. The Bucks are 19-39 ATS in their last 58 home games, 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 0 days rest and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall. The Bobcats on the other hand are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games, but just 21-43 ATS in their last 64 games playing on 0 days rest and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of less than .400.

If anyone else had the Bucks +3 last night in Philadelphia, I feel your pain. Milwaukee looked like they were going to break their six-game losing streak until Spencer Hawes hit a fadeaway three-pointer as time expired to force the game into overtime, where the 76ers would eventually come away 115-107 winners. Now we all suffer bad beats from time to time and I will take the loss on the chin (had the Bucks as my premium pick,) but I'm not going to hesitate to take Milwaukee again because of it.

Here's the deal. The Bucks have now lost seven straight and part of the reason why I liked them last night is because they have gotten players back from injury and they were due for a win, which still rings true for tonight's game. Most of the losses during their current slide have been by double-digits or greater, but they have played some really tough team during their skid including Miami, Portland, Dallas, Oklahoma City and Indiana. If Milwaukee can't get a win tonight over Charlotte, then I don't know when it's going to come.

Speaking of Charlotte, I don't think they are going to be easy beats by any stretch of the imagination as they have won three of their last four away from home. Granted, those three wins came against teams with a combined home record of 6-13. The Bobcats come into tonight's contest having lost three of four after falling to the Phoenix Suns at home on Friday night 98-91.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

Andre Gomes

76ers / Pacers Over 194

Philadelphia is coming from an overtime home win against Milwaukee last night, where they recovered from a ten point deficit with two minutes to go on regulation to send the game into overtime. The Sixers' offense managed to be quite efficient and they ended the game shooting 57% FG, with 34 assists on 45 FG made! They were good on pick and rolls, spot ups, transitions, so it was indeed a great offensive performance from them. On the other hand, both Caron Butler and Ersan Ilyasova had monster games, something that shows Philadelphia's poor defense as well. Philadelphia also committed 26 turnovers, something that shows that they took so many risks on offense that they got exposed on defense as well.

Indiana is coming from a win at Boston last night. The Celtics' offense looked good on the first half, with Jordan Crawford playing great and with the Celtics having a nice offensive flow. Then, right before halftime, rookie Kelly Olynyk got injured and the combination of Boston's relax mode in scoring easily against Indiana, the Pacers stepping it up in the second half and Kris Humphries replacing the injured Kelly Olynyk resulted in Boston scoring just 8 points on the third quarter, while committing 11 turnovers! Indiana ended the game with a good overall offensive performance with 47% FG and 21 fast break points. They also indeed managed to have a good edge down low with Luis Scola and David West scoring 17 points each.

Therefore, tonight's game will be a back to back one for both teams. Note that Philadelphia's spot is tough as they went to overtime last night, while Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes played 39 minutes each. On these back to back spots, Philadelphia has been involved in high scoring games, as they beat Chicago 107-104 and lost to Cleveland 125-127 and to New Orleans 98-135. Indiana can be a good scoring team on transitions and this will be a good spot for them after having faced three slow paced teams in a row in Chicago, the NY Knicks and Boston that are ranked #18, #29 and #14 in pace factor respectively, while Philadelphia is #1. I expect this contest to be a fast paced affair, something that the Pacers aren't very used. especially given the matchups their opponents have been giving them lately. I expect Indiana to have a nice offensive game tonight against the Sixers' poor defense and so, I'll be taking the Over in here.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

MTi Sports

Mavericks / Nuggets Under 214.5

The Nuggets are 0-9 OU (-8.33 ppg) at home after a game in which they shot less than 60% from the free-throw line and 0-8 OU (-17.88 ppg) at home after a game in which Timofey Mozgov scored fewer than 10 points.  However, the most compelling trend for us is the fact that Denver is 0-6 OU at home after a home game in which Ty Lawson took fewer than 10 shots staying under by an average of 16.4 ppg. 

Note that the last four have all stayed under by 19-plus points.  When handicapping totals, its great to have the point guard with strong under trends.

Finally, Dallas is 0-10 OU with no rest when they are off a home win in which they shot better than 50% from the field and did not sink more than a dozen threes. 

Note that the Mavs have stayed under by an average of 21-plus points per game in these ten games.

Consider the Mavs and Nuggets UNDER.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

The Duke's Sports

LSU -4.5

No denying Johnny Football is the real deal; however, worth noting he struggled against this LSU defense last year and now playing the Tigers in Baton Rouge, especially off a loss, will be an uphill battle. LSU HC Miles is dangerous off losses and the Tigers had an extra week to stew over their loss to Alabama and prep for this one. And keep in mind that this LSU offense has been much more versatile with OC Cameron. The A&M defense, however, has been nothing short of pathetic at 106th in the nation and that's where we draw the line. LSU is 4-0-1 ATS in its last 5 at home vs A&M and we're staying with the home team.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

Kyle Hunter

Temple -7

The UConn Huskies are 0-9 this year. UConn hasn't shown a pulse on the road all season. Their closest road losing margin is 17 points. Temple may only be 1-9 on the year, but the Owls are a much improved team of late. They have been leading in the 4th quarter in three straight games against good opponents. Temple is due for a big win, and this is a great spot for the team to get that win. P.J. Walker gives this team a play maker at quarterback, and the Owls should break out in this one. Temple is 6-0 ATS in their last 6. They are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 following a loss. They are 5-0 ATS after gaining at least 450 yards in the previous game. UConn is 0-7 ATS in the last 7 meetings between these two. A 23-0 angle.

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