Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, December 3

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, December 3

Hollywood Sports

North Texas at BYU
Pick: North Texas

BYU (6-2) will go as far as their outstanding freshman class will take them. The Cougars bring in four-star center Eric Mika who already has rebounding and finishing skills along with three-star power forward Luke Worthington. But BYU suffered a measure disappointment for the 2013-14 campaign when four-star point guard Nick Emery decided to begin his two-year LDS mission now. It may take this group some time for these new comers to click with guards Tyler Haws and Matt Carlino. The Cougars are just 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 games on their home court. Additionally, BYU has failed to cover the point spread in 5 of their last 7 games against non-conference opponents. North Texas (5-3) was a disappointing 12-20 last season -- but this is a team that was decimated by injuries after beginning the 2012-13 campaign with high expectations under first-year head coach Tony Benford. Point guard Chris Jones and shooting guard Brandon Walton both broke a foot early in the season -- but both are back now to join leading scorer Jordan Williams who is a 6'6 junior. Furthermore, a Benford brings in a host of promising transfers in T.J. Taylor (a one-time Marquette commit), Vertrail Vaughns (a three-year player from George Mason), Maurice Aniefiok (from Ole Miss) and Kelvin Gaines (a 6'10 transfer from Cincinnati). The Mean Green has covered the point spread expectations in 4 straight games against teams with a winning percentage over 60%. As a double-digit underdog, look for them to keep this game closer than expected. Take the points with North Texas.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, December 3

John Ryan

Denver at Brooklyn
Prediction: Under

The simulator shows a high probability that fewer than 200 points will be scored in this game. Two weaker NBA defenses are going to play tonight in this matchup. yet, I believe that fact is more than discounted by this inflated line. Denver has been strong getting 47 points per game in the paint good for 5th best and will be matched up against the Nets paint defense that ranks 8th allowing 39.3 PPG. Denver has a very deep bench that ranks second best scoring 45.2 PPG. This allows HC Shaw to be very patient and not have to force player combinations to score points. Further, the Nets are injured and playing short-handed now for weeks, so using a power paint game to wear the Nets down will be the preferred game strategy for the Nuggets to continue their winning ways. Lopez has a huge matchup advantage in the paint against the Nuggets. Lopez, averaging a team-leading 20.0 points, has scored a combined 50 on 60.6 percent shooting in the last two home meetings against Denver. Supporting this graded play is a proven system posting a 71-39 'under' record for 65% winners since 2007. Play 'under' with road teams where the total is greater than or equal to 200 (DENVER) and is a solid team winning 60 to 75% or more of their games on the season with the current game taking place in the first half of the season. Take the 'under'.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, December 3

Joe Gavazzi

Michigan +7½

If there are any issues when playing for the Duke Blue Devils, it is that the high profile created by veteran HC K results in a fishbowl environment that exposes the warts as well as the beauty. This year, the ink is flowing toward prize recruit Parker whose “do it all” persona shines on the offensive end. With transfer Rodney Hood, they are a dynamic addition to the Blue Devil lineup. Missing is a rim protector to patrol the paint and lend a much needed hand to the rebounding and defense of Duke. Those deficiencies have been clearly exposed in losses to Kansas and Arizona, the two quality teams they have faced. Returning to the friendly confines of Cameron Indoor, where they are 60-43 ATS vs. non con foes, will be a help. Michigan is making a smooth transition from the departure of Burke, Hardaway. Addition of Frosh PG Walton and the all-around play of Levert are nice compliments to returnees Robinson, McGary and Stauskas (questionable tonight, ankle). HC Belein outstanding in this role at 64-39 ATS, if his teams allowed 55 or fewer points in his previous outing.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, December 3

Dave Price

Sacramento Kings +7

The Kings may be 2-4 over their last six games, but they have been playing well. They played the Clippers to a one-point game on the road and took them to overtime at home during this span. And, they played Golden State to a two-point game last time out. While these losses were tough to swallow, Sacramento will be lacking no motivation as it tries to end a six-game losing streak to the Thunder. Oklahoma City has won seven in a row but hasn't played away from home since November 16. Plus, it takes on the Trail Blazers in Portland tomorrow night so this is a definite look-ahead spot. The Thunder are a poor 2-5 ATS in their last seven games versus a team with a winning percentage below .400 while the Kings are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games versus a squad with a better than .600 win percentage. The Thunder are also a soft 4-12 ATS in their last 16 games when playing on one day of rest. Take the points.

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Jeff Alexander

Miami Ohio +2

Not only will Miami Ohio be hungry to notch its first win of the season, but it will also be motivated to avenge last season's one-point loss to IUPU Fort Wayne. Playing home teams in the first five games of the season that closed last season with 13 losses or more in their last 15 games has resulted in a 153-101 ATS record since 1997. Teams fitting this scenario have won by 5.0 points on average.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, December 3

Jack Jones

Texas Tech +18

This is a huge letdown spot for the Arizona Wildcats. They just won the NIT Season Tip-Off title with a win over then-No. 6 Duke by a final of 72-66 on Friday. The Wildcats have now moved up to the No. 2 team in the country, and they are starting to feel good about themselves.

"We're an all-around team. Really you could see it in the box score," Tournament MVP Nick Johnson said. "We're a good team and we can play with anybody."

While Arizona is on the national radar, Texas Tech certainly is not. However, head coach Tubby Smith has done a solid job with this team, leading the Red Raiders to a 6-2 start with their only losses coming on the road against very good Alabama and Pittsburgh teams.

Smith returned four starters and six of the top seven scorers from last season. Jay Crockett (14.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg), Jordan Tolbert (13.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg) and Robert Turner (11.4 ppg) have led the way in the early going for the Red Raiders.

Plays against favorites of 10 to 19.5 points (ARIZONA) - after having covered four or five of their last six against the spread, undefeated on the season are 30-10 (75%) ATS over the past five seasons. The Red Raiders are 4-1 ATS in their last five non-conference games. Bet Texas Tech Tuesday.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, December 3

MTi Sports

Thunder / Kings Over 203.5

The Kings are off a 115-13 home loss to the Warriors as a 4.5-point home dog.  Overall, they shot well from the field, but Isaiah Thomas was a poor 5-of-16.  This is spot in which the Kings have NEVER stayed under.  Sacramento is 14-0 OU in Thomas' career at home off a loss as a three-plus point dog in which he shot worse than 33% from the field. 
As a team, the Kings are 12-0 OU at home after a game in which they had more turnovers than assists as a dog.

More specifically, Sacramento is 7-0 OU (15.50 ppg) at home after a home game in which Jason Thompson had more turnovers than assists.

The Thunder is off a 113-103 win over the T-Wolves in which they shot 56.3% from the field and trailed by five points going into the fourth quarter.  These two facts are OVER indicators, as the Thunder are 10-0 OU (5.90 ppg) with at most one day of rest off a win as a favorite in which they trailed at the end of the third quarter and the league as a whole is 10-0 OU (15.20 ppg) recently on the road after a game in which they shot at least 10 percentage points higher than their season-to-date average.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, December 3

Nelly

Orlando Magic + over Philadelphia 76ers

Philadelphia is 5-5 at home on the season as the up-tempo 76ers were a great surprise team early in the season with several notable wins. Philadelphia is just 2-3 in the last five home games however with both wins coming in overtime. Overall the 76ers are just 2-10 in the last 12 games with both wins coming in overtime. The 76ers have allowed at least 105 points in six straight games and this should be a good matchup for an Orlando squad that was shut down with just 80 points last night in Washington. The Magic shot just 39 percent while making only three 3-point shots for one of their worst offensive performances of the season. Orlando is just 1-2 without Jameer Nelson and Nikola Vucevic is likely out for this game as both have ankle injuries. The Magic won by 11 when these teams met just last week with Nelson missing most of that game and there are many statistical edges for Orlando in this matchup of six-win teams. Orlando has been dramatically more efficient on both sides of the ball yet the valuation is of these teams evenly with Philadelphia favored for jus the second time all season. Orlando has the depth to overcome the injuries and playing on back-to-back nights and the Magic has been a solid underdog performer this season.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, December 3

Harry Bondi

BOISE STATE (-9.5) over Utah

Boise State and Utah both come in with impressive 6-0 records, but neither team has been tested. This is the first game for both teams against decent competition and the Broncos will prove that they are the much better team. Utah is a very young team with just five of 11 players back from last year and Boise is not a place you want inexperienced players taking the court for their first true road game. The Broncos are 30-6 on this floor the last three seasons and have had this game circled on their calendar since the start of the season because the Utes embarrassed them last year in Utah, 76-55, as six-point underdogs. Unlike Utah, the Broncos return all five starters and eight of the 11 who played last year at Utah. Revenge is sweet. Broncos run'em off the floor.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, December 3

Wunderdog

Indiana at Syracuse
Pick: Syracuse -7

The Indiana Hoosiers have had to replace a lot of key parts from a year ago, but still have some talent. However, they still the true experience it will take to head to the Carrier Dome and face an unbeaten Syracuse team. Jim Boeheim seems to always have a great team. This year has been no exception, as the 'Cuse has three straight wins and covers against BCS conference teams. C.J. Fair is a bona fide All-American candidate, and is averaging 18 points per game, while Tyler Ennis has dished out 33 assists, and has 20 steals already. Indiana may have a better chance later in the year against this type of opponent in this type of venue, but for now they are just not there yet. Stick with the Orange in this one.

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