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Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 4

Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 4



Oklahoma City at Portland
The Thunder face a Portland team that is coming off a 106-102 win over Indiana and is 7-2 ATS in its last 9 games after scoring 105 points or more in the previous game. Portland is the pick (-2) according to Dunkel, which has the Trail Blazers favored by 4 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Portland (-2)
Time Posted: 7:00 a.m. EST

Game 701-702: Denver at Cleveland (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Denver 118.989; Cleveland 116.771
Dunkel Line & Total: Denver by 2; 207
Vegas Line & Total: Denver by 4 1/2; 202 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (+4 1/2); Over

Game 703-704: LA Clippers at Atlanta (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Clippers 123.040; Atlanta 114.953
Dunkel Line & Total: LA Clippers by 8; 196
Vegas Line & Total: LA Clippers by 3 1/2; 202 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Clippers (-3 1/2); Under

Game 705-706: Phoenix at Houston (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Phoenix 118.400; Houston 126.509
Dunkel Line & Total: Houston by 8; 195
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 707-708: Dallas at New Orleans (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Dallas 116.629; New Orleans 121.246
Dunkel Line & Total: New Orleans by 4 1/2; 209
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 709-710: Detroit at Milwaukee (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit 112.409; Milwaukee 111.946
Dunkel Line & Total: Even; 199
Vegas Line & Total: Detroit by 4; 191
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (+4); Over

Game 711-712: Indiana at Utah (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Indiana 126.645; Utah 113.145
Dunkel Line & Total: Indiana by 13 1/2; 183
Vegas Line & Total: Indiana by 8 1/2; 187 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Indiana (-8 1/2); Under

Game 713-714: San Antonio at Minnesota (9:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Antonio 125.546; Minnesota 124.168
Dunkel Line & Total: San Antonio by 1 1/2; 210
Vegas Line & Total: San Antonio by 4; 205
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (+4); Over

Game 715-716: Oklahoma City at Portland (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oklahoma City 124.126; Portland 128.402
Dunkel Line & Total: Portland by 4 1/2; 200
Vegas Line & Total: Portland by 2; 205 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Portland (-2); Under


Montreal at New Jersey
The Canadiens look to follow up Monday night's 3-2 win over the Devils and build on their 6-1 record in their last 7 games after allowing 2 goals or less in the previous game. Montreal is the pick (-120) according to Dunkel, which has the Canadiens favored by 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Montreal (-120)

Game 1-2: Montreal at New Jersey (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Montreal 12.762; New Jersey 11.400
Dunkel Line & Total: Montreal by 1 1/2; 4
Vegas Line & Total: Montreal (-120); 5
Dunkel Pick: Montreal (-120); Under

Game 3-4: Philadelphia at Detroit (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Philadelphia 12.020; Detroit 11.001
Dunkel Line & Total: Philadelphia by 1; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Detroit (-135); 5
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (+115); Over

Game 5-6: Phoenix at Calgary (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Phoenix 12.630; Calgary 11.068
Dunkel Line & Total: Phoenix by 1 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Phoenix (-140); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Phoenix (-140); Under

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 4



North Carolina at Michigan State
The Tar Heels travel to East Lansing to face a Michigan State team that is 34-9 ATS in its last 43 games as a home favorite of 6 1/2 to 9 points. Michigan State is the pick (-9) according to Dunkel, which has the Spartans favored by 11 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Michigan State (-9)

Game 717-718: Valparaiso at Ball State (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Valparaiso 58.994; Ball State 57.478
Dunkel Line: Valparaiso by 1 1/2
Vegas Line: Valparaiso by 4
Dunkel Pick: Ball State (+4)

Game 719-720: Richmond at William & Mary (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Richmond 61.286; William & Mary 53.198
Dunkel Line: Richmond by 8
Vegas Line: Richmond by 3
Dunkel Pick: Richmond (-3)

Game 721-722: Maryland at Ohio State (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Maryland 62.622; Ohio State 80.222
Dunkel Line: Ohio State by 17 1/2
Vegas Line: Ohio State by 10
Dunkel Pick: Ohio State (-10)

Game 723-724: Wisconsin at Virginia (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Wisconsin 69.068; Virginia 74.551
Dunkel Line: Virginia by 5 1/2
Vegas Line: Virginia by 3
Dunkel Pick: Virginia (-3)

Game 725-726: Rutgers at George Washington (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Rutgers 48.412; George Washington 68.117
Dunkel Line: George Washington by 19 1/2
Vegas Line: George Washington by 11
Dunkel Pick: George Washington (-11)

Game 727-728: South Florida at George Mason (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: South Florida 59.508; George Mason 57.776
Dunkel Line: South Florida by 1 1/2
Vegas Line: George Mason by 4 1/2
Dunkel Pick: South Florida (+4 1/2)

Game 729-730: Tulane at Wake Forest (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tulane 44.723; Wake Forest 65.444
Dunkel Line: Wake Forest by 20 1/2
Vegas Line: Wake Forest by 18
Dunkel Pick: Wake Forest (-18)

Game 731-732: Detroit at Toledo (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit 56.797; Toledo 61.190
Dunkel Line: Toledo by 4 1/2
Vegas Line: Toledo by 9
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (+9)

Game 733-734: Harvard at Northeastern (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Harvard 59.280; Northeastern 59.022
Dunkel Line: Even
Vegas Line: Harvard by 4 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Northeastern (+4 1/2)

Game 735-736: Cleveland State at Drexel (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland State 49.070; Drexel 64.529
Dunkel Line: Drexel by 15 1/2
Vegas Line: Drexel by 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Drexel (-6 1/2)

Game 737-738: Northwestern at NC State (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Northwestern 55.825; NC State 66.727
Dunkel Line: NC State by 11
Vegas Line: NC State by 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NC State (-8 1/2)

Game 739-740: UL-Lafayette at Louisiana Tech (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: UL-Lafayette 52.205; Louisiana Tech 66.688
Dunkel Line: Louisiana Tech by 14 1/2
Vegas Line: Louisiana Tech by 11
Dunkel Pick: Louisiana Tech (-11)

Game 743-744: Pennsylvania at Villanova (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pennsylvania 50.926; Villanova 76.468
Dunkel Line: Villanova by 25 1/2
Vegas Line: Villanova by 18
Dunkel Pick: Villanova (-18)

Game 745-746: Houston at Texas A&M (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Houston 57.248; Texas A&M 62.752
Dunkel Line: Texas A&M by 5 1/2
Vegas Line: Texas A&M by 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Houston (+9 1/2)

Game 747-748: St. Joseph's at Temple (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Joseph's 60.798; Temple 66.077
Dunkel Line: Temple by 5 1/2
Vegas Line: Temple by 2 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Temple (-2 1/2)

Game 749-750: North Carolina at Michigan State (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: North Carolina 64.957; Michigan State 76.648
Dunkel Line: Michigan State by 11 1/2
Vegas Line: Michigan State by 9
Dunkel Pick: Michigan State (-9)

Game 751-752: Boston College at Purdue (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Boston College 58.542; Purdue 64.325
Dunkel Line: Purdue by 5 1/2
Vegas Line: Pick
Dunkel Pick: Purdue

Game 753-754: Miami (FL) at Nebraska (9:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami (FL) 61.325; Nebraska 63.687
Dunkel Line: Nebraska by 2 1/2
Vegas Line: Nebraska by 4 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Miami (FL) (+4 1/2)

Game 755-756: CS-Fullerton at Pepperdine (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: CS-Fullerton 47.412; Pepperdine 55.159
Dunkel Line: Pepperdine by 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Pepperdine by 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Pepperdine (-6 1/2)

Game 757-758: Furman at Fordham (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Furman 39.328; Fordham 57.676
Dunkel Line: Fordham by 18 1/2
Vegas Line: Fordham by 14 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Fordham (-14 1/2)

Game 759-760: Marist at Iona (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Marist 41.905; Iona 64.104
Dunkel Line: Iona by 22
Vegas Line: Iona by 18 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Iona (-18 1/2)

Game 761-762: Davidson at Charlotte (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Davidson 54.955; Charlotte 65.697
Dunkel Line: Charlotte by 10 1/2
Vegas Line: Charlotte by 8
Dunkel Pick: Charlotte (-8)

Game 763-764: Eastern Illinois at Western Illinois (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Eastern Illinois 48.554; Western Illinois 52.042
Dunkel Line: Western Illinois by 3 1/2
Vegas Line: Western Illinois by 1 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Western Illinois (-1 1/2)

Game 765-766: Morehead State at Southern Miss (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Morehead State 51.442; Southern Miss 63.856
Dunkel Line: Southern Miss by 12 1/2
Vegas Line: Southern Miss by 9
Dunkel Pick: Southern Miss (-9)

Game 767-768: Tennessee-Martin at Samford (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tennessee-Martin 35.916; Samford 43.246
Dunkel Line: Samford by 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Samford by 6
Dunkel Pick: Samford (-6)

Game 769-770: Evansville at Murray State (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Evansville 56.491; Murray State 52.588
Dunkel Line: Evansville by 4
Vegas Line: Pick
Dunkel Pick: Evansville

Game 771-772: IUPUI at Bradley (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: IUPUI 40.203; Bradley 59.427
Dunkel Line: Bradley by 19
Vegas Line: Bradley by 12
Dunkel Pick: Bradley (-12)

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 4

Brandon Shively

San Antonio Spurs vs. Minnesota Timberwolves    
Play: Minnesota Timberwolves +3½

The Spurs come into this game a bit sluggish having just lost at home to the Houston Rockets, then winning at the buzzer vs. the Hawks on Monday. They will be facing what I believe is the T'wolves best and most healthy team in years. The Twolves took 2 of 3 from the Spurs last year and I feel they would have swept the series but Kevin Love didn't play in the 104-94 loss. Also, I love the addition of Kevin Martin as he is scoring 23 a game and is lights out behind the arch at 44%. The Twolves are scoring 108 ppg at home and are getting to the foul line 28 times a game at home as well. This is a perfect time to catch the Spurs as they have looked sloppy their last two games. Love and Pekovic have a huge advantage down low and that is where this game will be won.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 4

Rob Vinciletti

Richmond vs. William & Mary    
Play: Richmond -3

Richmond won here last year by a 92-61 land slide score over William and Mary and comes in off 3 straight wins. William and Mary has some negative angles that plays against them in this game. They are 6-20 vs winning teams, 2-16 vs teams who allow less than 65 points per game and have lost 3 of the last 4 as a a short home dog of 3 or less. In fact they have not fared well in the dog role long term losing 37 of the last 44. We will lay the 3 points here tonight with Richmond.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 4

Red Dog Sports

Canadiens vs. Devils
Play: Under 5

These two have combined for 14 overs and 32 unders and played a 3-2 game in the last week. We may see another 3-2 game and get a push but I like our chances for an under on Wednesday night.

North Carolina vs. Michigan State    
Play: North Carolina +9½

Take UNC plus the points. UNC is off a road loss (their first true road game) to UAB but defeated Louisville last week on a neutral floor. Roy Williams seems to have Tom Izzo's number and all he needs is to stay within 9 points. MSU's Gary Harris missed last game but should be ready to play tonight. UNC is without PJ Hairston and Leslie McDonald (a junior and a senior) but should get good games from Marcus Paige, James Michael McAdoo and Brice Johnson. Michigan State should win but look for the Tar Heels to stay within 6 to 9 points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 4

Jim Feist

Pistons vs. Bucks
Play: 192

Second of a back to back spot for both teams -- think they are going to want to run and gun? Certainly not the Pistons, who are 16th in the NBA in scoring and dead last in the league from three-point land, an embarrassing 29%. The Under is 12-4-1 in the Pistons last 17 games playing on no days rest. They've had to run with cheetah's this week, running Sunday with the uptempo 76ers and last night against the deep defending champs. They face a Milwaukee team that can't do much of anything, second to last in the NBA in field goal shooting, just .415%. Milwaukee is on a 7-3 run under the total and have to fly in from Boston last night after playing the Celtics. The Under is 6-0 in the Bucks last 6 games playing on no days rest. A good spot for both tired teams that can't shoot to play a slow paced game with little scoring. Play the Pistons/Bucks Under the total.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 4

Jimmy Boyd

Eastern Illinois +1½

The wrong team appears to be favored in this rivalry game. Garret Covington is listed as questionable for today's game, and that gives Eastern Illinois a significant advantage. Covington is the Leathernecks best player, and even if he is able to play he has been hobbling in practice and won't be at 100 percent. The Leathernecks are 0-5 ATS in their last five home games, and without Covington that trend will only continue today.

The Eastern Illinois Panthers have the better overall record, and they have played a much stronger strength of schedule. Western Illinois comes into this game at 2-4 on the season, and they have been crushed by a double-digit margin in three of those four losses. The Leathernecks are 0-9 ATS in their last nine games overall, while the Panthers are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games against a team that has lost over 60 percent of their games.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 4

Derek Frye

Indiana Pacers vs. Utah Jazz    
Play: Indiana Pacers -8

The Indiana Pacers look to bounce back after a disappointing loss to the Portland Trailblazers. The Pacers had the lead throughout most of the game before falling behind in the 4th quarter. The sign of a good team is what they do after a loss and this Pacer squad is 10-1 in their last 11 games following an ATS loss. The Jazz are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. Eastern Conference and I just don't see them matching up very well in this one. Hibbert and West will have a huge advantage on the inside and Gordon Hayward won't be able to stay with Paul George. The Pacers are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of less than .400, 11-2 ATS in their last 13 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game and 13-3 ATS in their last 16 road games vs. a team with a losing home record. All signs point to an Indiana blowout take the Pacers. Indiana 96 Utah 84

Denver Nuggets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers    
Play: Denver Nuggets -4½

The three referees in tonight's game apparently have something against the home team. These 3 have combined for a 9-29 record ATS for home teams. That doesn't bode well for the Cavaliers who already have to face the league's hottest team. Throw in the refs and this one should be an easy cover for the Nuggets. Denver is coming in red hot as they are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 road games, 5-1 ATS in their last 6 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game and the Nuggets have won 5 of the last 6 in Cleveland. Cleveland on the other hand has not won back to back games all year. They are also 0-6 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a winning road record and 2-12 ATS in their last 14 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game. Take the red hot Nuggets in this one.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 4

Rickie Robbins

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Portland Trailblazers    
Play: Portland Trailblazers -2½

Two heavyweights collide on Wednesday night as the Portland Trail Blazers welcome Kevin Durant the Oklahoma City Thunder to town

Head to head, the Thunder are 6-0-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings and 3-0-1 ATS in the last 4 meetings in Portland while the favorite is 6-0-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings. The Trail Blazers are 10-4-2 ATS in their last 16 vs. NBA Northwest and 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games overall, but just 1-5 ATS in their last 6 gamer vs. a team with a winning % above .600. The Thunder on the other hand are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 0 days rest and 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games overall, but just 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.

Before I get started, what a horrible night Tuesday was for me. Not only did I miss out on the Bucks and 76ers cover by a point each, but I then found out DeMarcus Cousins was out of the Sacramento line-up, thus essentially ruining the over 203, which was my premium pick. On top of that, I also had a large sum of money invested on the Thunder v Sacramento first quarter over 51 and of course it happened to land on 50. I love the NBA sometimes.

In any event, let’s take a look at tonight’s showdown between two of the premier teams in the league in Portland and Oklahoma City. Both teams boast two of the better records in the NBA, but that’s not exactly the case when it comes to covering the spread as the Thunder have split their 16 games thus far while the Trail Blazers have gone 13-5 on the short season. When looking further into OKC’s results, it easy to see why they are just 8-8 against the spread because they have played in a lot of close games this season, including last night’s 97-95 win over a DeMarcus Cousins-less Kings squad.

One thing that really stuck out to me was the fact that the Thunder haven’t really performed well away from home, especially against the better teams in the league. They have played three games against teams with above .500 records (Minnesota, Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State) and lost them all. Granted, the game in Minnesota was without Russell Westbrook and that Warriors loss was on a last-second jumper by Andre Iguodala. On the flipside, the Trail Blazers are 7-1 at the Rose Garden this season and are coming off a 106-102 victory over the league-leading Indiana Pacers on Monday night.

OKC are always a tough out, but Portland is just on a roll at the moment and they look nearly unbeatable at the Rose Garden these days. While Durant and Westbrook are the two best players on the court, the Trail Blazers are deeper and they have a pretty good two man game going themselves with LaMarcus Aldridge and Damien Lillard. This should be a great game, but I see the home team coming away with the close win.

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NEW JERSEY -104 over Montreal

OT included. The Canadiens are red-hot, having picked up 13 out of a possible 14 points over their past seven games and 18 out of a possible 22 points over their past 11 games. While it’s not customary for us to wager against hot teams, this one is warranted because there are plenty of things to like about the Devils here. It should also be noted that Montreal just defeated the Devils on Monday night and tomorrow the Habs will host their biggest and most hated rival, the Boston Bruins. It’s not even game-day yet but this is what is being tweeted this morning: Bruins coach and former Habs bench boss Claude Julien on the Montreal Canadiens: "I don't like them".

In that aforementioned game on Monday night in Montreal, the Devils were the better team for 2½ periods. The game was tied 2-2 at that point when Martin Brodeur surrendered his third goal of the night on his 14th shot on net. That goal took the air out of the Devils, Montreal sensed it and kept the Devils at bay in the final 10 minutes of the third. Overall, New Jersey outshot the Canadiens 30-17. Over their past five games, the Devils have allowed 17, 15, 18, 22 and 22 shots on net. What's even more incredible is that they are 2-3 over that span and here’s the kicker. All three losses occurred with Brodeur in net and both wins occurred with Cory Schneider in net. It’s not rocket science and it’s something we’ve been telling you all season. Brodeur is garbage and can’t even win his team a game when the opposition is being held to a mere 20 shots on net. The Devils can’t be bet with Brodeur in net but with Schneider in they are perhaps the most undervalued club in the NHL. Well, Schneider is the confirmed starter tonight and the Devils are on a current 5-0 run in the second game of a home and home series after losing the first game. Advances stats on the Devils put them among the elite teams in the NHL. The opposition spends less time in the Devils zone than against any other team in the NHL. As a dog with Schneider in net, the Devils offer up great value. With the Habs thinking about Boston, or at least the media making them think about Boston, that value is even greater. 

Philadelphia +119 over DETROIT

OT included. Go figure the Red Wings. Here’s a team with some outstanding talent up front that went on to lose eight straight home games, something they hadn’t done in nearly 20 years. Things looked to have gone from bad to worse when their best player was injured. Pavel Datsyuk is to the Red Wings what Sidney Crosby is to the Penguins. With Datsyuk out, the Red Wings responded with four straight wins while outscoring the opposition 18-4. That’s a great response from Mike Babcock and the Red Wings that figures to serve them well (adversity reveals character) the rest of the way but a letdown is truly inevitable. The Red Wings still are weak defensively. They are now without both Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. Over their last two games against Ottawa and the Islanders, Detroit scored nine goals on just 53 shots. That goal scoring % is extreme and not sustainable and now the undervalued Flyers come in here with a great chance of winning.

Philadelphia is coming off a 2-0 loss at Minnesota. The Wild scored twice in 57 seconds early in the second but managed just 21 shots on net the entire game. They also held the Flyers to 21 shots in that defensive-battle but the Flyers will find the style in Detroit much more to their liking. Philadelphia is loaded with highly skilled playmakers that figure to make life difficult for the inexperienced and mistake-prone Red Wings defense. The Red Wings give up a lot of scoring chances and that’s on their best days. With Datsyuk and Zetterberg out, the Flyers figure to get plenty more scoring chances while Detroit’s scoring chances are sure to decrease with those two giants out of the line-up. The Flyers are playing a strong brand of hockey and another good effort here is expected.

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VIRGINIA -3½ over Wisconsin

The Badgers come in undefeated with eight straight wins to open the season. They are also ranked #8 in the country. Traevon Jackson, Ben Brust and Josh Gasser allow Wisconsin to be better ball-handlers and passers, and Sam Dekker and Frank Kaminsky are much improved frontcourt threats. Kaminsky has already put up 43 points in a game, and Dekker is one of the emerging stars in the college game. Five Badgers average 10 points per game or better but unlike past Badgers teams, this one is not that great on the defensive end. A lack of depth is also an issue. The Badgers have played just one true road game this season and they narrowly escaped with a three-point win in Green Bay. They have a couple of notable wins over Saint Louis and Florida but they rank 254th in the country in rebounding and they’ll now play one of the best defensive and physical teams in the country.

Virginia is unranked. They were wrongly left out of the NCAA Tournament last year despite a good record that included wins over Duke and North Carolina. The Cavaliers play an incredibly tough defensive style and they have a star in Joe Harris. With a pace that ranks Virginia 327th in Division I, the Cavaliers can get their tempo and take away your rhythm. Mike Tobey has size and skill, South Carolina transfer Anthony Gill, lefty wing Justin Anderson and point guard Malcolm Brogdon bring energy to Virginia's attack. The Cavs come in with a 7-1 record with only loss occurring on the road against #14 VCU. However, the Cavs held the fact-paced Rams to just 59 points and their shooting was off. They could have easily won that game by 10 or more had they not been so cold from the field. This is an outstanding Virginia team that is playing with a huge chip on its shoulders. Getting left out of last year’s dance and not being ranked this season will do that to a team. The Cavaliers now get the opportunity to show the country that they are a relevant team that deserves more respect. Virginia will absolutely be better than last season; the only question is how high the Cavs will rise. This early season, marquee matchup is a big statement game for the Cavs and we expect a big response. According to the line, the oddsmakers expect a big response too.

Pass NBA

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Rutgers +11

I like this spot for Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights are well rested as they have not played since their 73-72 loss to Fairleigh Dickinson on November 26th. In that loss the Knight's played without leading scorer and rebounder Kadeem Jack who averages 15.6 points per game and 7.9 rebounds per game who sat out with a sore lower right leg. Jack will be back in the lineup in this game when they face George Washington. The Colonials are in a real flat spot here as they return from their upset win over #20 Creighton in the Wooden Legacy on Sunday in California. They made the long cross country trip and now are laying double digits against Rutgers with a look ahead game against ACC foe Maryland on Sunday. Take the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 4

Carlos Salazar

North Carolina at Michigan State
Play: Michigan State -9

Carlos doesn't like this matchup for North Carolina as they take on #1 team in the land, Michigan St on the road. Michigan St. is scoring nearly 86 points per game while holding opponents to just 66.9ptg. Look for an easy win tonight for the Spartans.

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It’s the very first same season revenge meeting of the college basketball season tonight as Detroit visits Toledo. The Rockets came out on top in the first meeting, rallying from a huge deficit to win on a late Julius Brown jumper, 80-78.

That had to be a bitter loss for the Titans, as it was in their own tournament, and they led the entire game. Toledo’s only lead was the final score. So there should be little question that Detroit will want this return match in the worst way.

I think that will be easier said than done. Toledo is a program on the rise and they’re off to a great start this season. Big props to Ted Kowalczyk, who inherited a program in tatters and in relatively short order has turned the Rockets into serious contenders to win the MAC this season.

The aforementioned Julius Brown is the key guy on the Rockets. He’s having a terrific season thus far. Brown has scored in double figures in each game, he’s a terrific passer, and the 5’10″ junior guard is money at the stripe, a big asset late in games. Toledo’s starting five has been outstanding early this season, but Brown is definitely the guy who makes the offense flow.

Detroit might be a little better than I originally projected. Junior Juwan Howard has taken a big step forward and is without question the dominant force on this year’s Titans. But Howard is still not a great shooter, and neither are most of his teammates.

I think there might actually be a little value on the home team here. The oddsmakers often will adjust a number by a shade when same season revenge is involved. But while that’s a big motivating factor for the road team tonight, I don’t see it as an automatic plus.

Actually, I’m more of the opinion that Toledo is going to take this game very seriously after barely escaping with the win the first time around. I’m not expecting the same end game tension here. Toledo is on a roll, they’re at home for the first time in a couple of weeks and I’m not sure the line reflects how tough this team might actually be right now. I’m backing Toledo minus the points to earn a comfortable win and cover tonight.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 4

Hollywood Sports

San Antonio at Minnesota
Prediction: Under

San Antonio (15-3) looks to build off their 102-100 win against Atlanta on Monday. Now the Spurs hit the road where they have played 21 of their last 29 games Under the Total away from home. Additionally, the Under is 4-1-1 in San Antonio's last 6 games against teams with a losing record. And in their last 8 games against Northwest division opponents, the Spurs have played 6 of these games Under the Total. Minnesota (9-10) has played 4 of their last 5 games Under the Total against teams that allowed at least 100 points in their last game. The Timberwolves have lost four of their last five games after their 113-103 loss at Oklahoma City. Minnesota has played 15 of their last 21 games Under the Total after scoring at least 100 points in their last game. And while the Spurs are 7-2 on the road -- and the Under is 7-0-1 in the T-Wolves last 8 home games against teams with a winning percentage over 60% on the road. Take the Under in this one.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 4

Larry Ness

South Florida at George Mason
Prediction: George Mason

South Florida heads to George Mason off consecutive home losses to then-No. 8 Oklahoma State and then followed that 26-point 'spanking' with a 65-60 defeat at the hands of Detroit. After blowing an eight-point halftime lead and wasting away down the stretch against the Titans, coach Stan Heath called out his bigger names, telling the Tampa Bay Times, "My leaders need to step up (and) make sure (that) doesn't happen."

The Patriots snapped a two-game losing skid last time out, knocking off Rhode Island at home 61-54 behind 16 points and seven rebounds from Sherrod Wright. Freshman Jalen Jenkins made his biggest impact to date for George Mason, notching nine points and 11 rebounds off the bench.

Both schools started the season 4-0 and meet here with USF at 4-2 and George Mason at 5-2. Relinquishing what appeared to be a solid lead against Detroit had the Bulls cognizant of what a loss like that could mean down the road. "Yeah, it's going to come back to haunt us," guard Martino Brock said. "I think down the stretch, we made bad decisions. I put a lot on me." Brock totaled 16 points for South Florida but missed a 3-point attempt with the Bulls trailing by three with 35 seconds remaining.

Brock (10.3-3.7-2.3) starts in the backcourt with Allen (13.7-6.0) and PG Collins (7.5-5.0 APG), while the 6-9 Rudd (14.24.8) leads the team in scoring, joined up front by 6-10 freshman center Egbuno (8.3-7.0). Wright, a 6-4 guard, leads GMU in scoring (16.9 & 5.3) and a trio of frontcourt players will go up against Rudd and Egbuno, the 6-8 Gujanicic (12.0-7.1), the 6-8 Williams (6.1-3.1) and the 6-7 Jenkins (4.1-5.0). Joining Wright in the backcourt is PG Allen (10.8-5.0 APG).

The Bulls topped the Patriots in Tampa last season 61-57 in the first-ever meeting between the schools but turnabout is fair play.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 4

Ray Monohan

Harvard vs. Northeastern
Play: Harvard -4.5

The Crimson are good. Other than a loss at Colorado they are perfect on the season and the closest anyone else has gotten is 8 points. These Boston teams used to meet regularly but the series was put on hold for a few years and in that time Harvard has really advanced the program. This is not the Harvard team you are thinking about. They have some really great athletes and in SG Wesley Saunders, maybe even a future pro. Even though this one is on the road go with the Crimson as the small favorite.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 4

Dave Price

Utah Jazz +8.5

The Jazz have quietly covered the spread in eight of their last 11 games, and they have a good chance to cover this number as well. Indiana is 7-2 on the road, but only two of these wins came by more than 8.5 points. Plus, this will be Indiana's third road game in four days so fatigue could be an issue. It may also be difficult for the Pacers to get up for this one with games against the Spurs, Thunder and Heat on deck. The Jazz have been playing much better since getting rookie Trey Burke back from injury. They have won two straight and three of four and will be looking to make a statement tonight. The Jazz are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games versus a team with a winning percentage above .600. Utah is also 18-7 ATS the last 3 seasons when hosting Eastern Conference foes. The Pacers are 0-6 SU and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 meetings in Utah. Take the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 4

Rickie Robbins

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Atlanta Hawks    
Play: Los Angeles Clippers -3½

The Los Angeles Clippers kick off their seven-game road trip with a meeting with the Atlanta Hawks tonight.

The Clippers were riding a four-game win streak into Sunday before they were stopped in their tracks by Paul George and the Pacers. Chris Paul led the team with 17 points and 10 assists while Jamal Crawford added a team-high 20 points off the bench, but the Clippers really missed the production from JJ Redick who missed his first game after fracturing his shooting hand last Friday. The coaching move to insert Willie Green into the starting lineup instead of Jamal Crawford didn't work against the Pacers, but I suspect that coach Rivers will elect to stick with the plan so that he always has instant scoring off the bench.

Meanwhile, the Hawks have lost five of their last six and their last two straight after falling to the Spurs by 102-100 on Monday. Jeff Teague led the team with 19 points and seven assists, while Al Horford added 18 points, but while the Hawks battled the Spurs tightly for the entire game, it all came down to the last second where Tim Duncan stole the game with a game-winning jumper to cap a historic night of 23 points and 21 rebounds. With the win, Atlanta fall to 9-10 on the season and 4-7 on the road where they've lost their last three straight.
In ATS trends, the Clippers are 4-1 ATS in their last five games following a loss and 13-6 ATS in their last 19 games against a team with a losing record, while the Hawks are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games following a loss and 5-2 ATS in their last seven games against a team with a winning record.

I don't know what's happening with all these hand injuries in the NBA all of a sudden, but the Clippers were hit hard when they learned they lost Redick for 6-8 weeks. The Hawks have also had to play without their sharpshooter in Kyle Korver, but wins were few and far in between when he was there anyway, so there's no excuse for them to be under .500 after 19 games. It's tough to pick a winner between these two sides, but I with CP3 back on the court, I have to lean with the Clippers in what should be a close game.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, December 4

Jeff Alexander

Ball State +3.5

Valpo is 0-3 on the road, and I expect its road struggles to continue as it plays on a foreign court for the first time since Nov. 20. The Crusaders are soft 1-7 ATS in their last 8 road games following three or more consecutive home games. The Cardinals are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games versus a team with a winning record and 8-3 ATS in their last 11 non-conference games. Bet Ball State.

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