Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, January 6

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, January 6

Jack Jones
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Philadelphia 76ers +7
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The Philadelphia 76ers are playing their best basketball of the season right now. Still, they continue to get disrespected by oddsmakers as they are a 7-point underdog to the Minnesota Timberwolves at home tonight. I'll gladly take advantage and take the points.
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Indeed, Philadelphia has gone a perfect 4-0 SU & 4-0 ATS in its last four games overall. What's most impressive is that all four of those wins came on the road. The 76ers beat the Lakers (111-104) as a 7-point dog, Nuggets (114-102) as a 9-point dog, Kings (113-104) as a 9-point dog, and Blazers (101-99) as a 12-point dog.
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Minnesota is getting a lot of respect from the books here, but for no reason. Despite finally staying healthy this year, the Timberwolves just aren't getting it done, going 16-17 overall to this point. They only beat the 76ers 106-99 at home as a 13-point favorite in their first meeting on December 11, and I look for Philadelphia to have its payback at home this time around.
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Plays on any team (PHILADELPHIA) - in a game involving two horrible defensive teams (>=102 PPG), after scoring 100 points or more 4 straight games are 67-34 (66.3%) ATS over the last five seasons. Philadelphia is 4-0 ATS in its last four vs. Western Conference opponents. The underdog is 12-4-1 ATS in the last 17 meetings in this series. Bet the 76ers Monday.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, January 6

Dave PriceFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Minnesota Timberwolves -6½FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Philadelphia's 101-99 upset win in Portland last time out sets it up for a letdown this evening. Minnesota will be hungry to get back in the win column after a disappointing loss to Oklahoma City in a game the Timberwolves led by 13 points in the fourth quarter. The T-Wolves have had Philly's number. Minnesota has won each of the past four meetings by an average of 8.0 points with each of the last three wins all coming by at least seven points. The Timberwolves are 22-7-1 ATS in their last 30 games following a loss and 8-1 ATS in their last 9 road games versus a team with a losing home record. Timberwolves are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game. The 76ers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games, 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games versus a team with a losing road record and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games following a road trip of 7 or more days. Minnesota will also be the fresher side tonight as this is just its second game in five days. The 76ers are taking the court for the fourth time in six days. Lay the number.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, January 6

Joe GavazziFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Maryland +9FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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These Pitt Panthers were our Top of the Ticket winner for us Saturday in their 74-62 rout of NC State. It did not come easily as the first score I got was 17-2 NC State. That type of comeback win can leave a team a bit overconfident. The Panthers are just 2-4 ATS as home favorite this season losing their last 4 in this role. It is also a role in which 11th year HC Dixon has never excelled. Prefer the Maryland side who since the return of PG Seth Allen, has gone 3-0 SU, 2-0 ATS with every victory by more than 10 points. In what figures to be a fierce defensive battle with each team allowing 40% or less from the field, look for points to be at a premium with underdog Maryland the percentage side.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, January 6

Wunderdog

Quinnipiac -150

Quinnipiac moves over from the Northeast Conference into the Metro Atlantic, and the Indians can play. For the last several years they have had a rebounder in the top 10 in the country, and no different this season with Ike Azotam, scoring 16.8 points per game and pulling down 10.7 boards. This team is tough off the glass with three players all averaging eight boards or more. Iona will have trouble getting the ball off the glass, and that will be the difference here. The Gaels feature just a single player generating at least five boards a game, and that will be problematic here on the road. The Indians have the home court and will dictate the tempo here, and the glass is the difference maker. Play on Quinnipiac on the moneyline.

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Bruce Marshall

Dallas Stars at New York Islanders
Pick: Dallas Stars

Home ice this season at the Nassau Coliseum has not helped the Islanders, who look for only their second win at home in seven weeks when hosting the Stars tonight. And the visiting Stars look a good bet to get back on track after two straight losses that followed a 5-0-2 stretch. Saturday’s 5-1 loss at Detroit was an aberration as the Stars outshot the Red Wings 45-27, but GK Dan Ellis gave up three goals on 13 shots in the first period before being replaced by Kari Lehtonen, who stopped 12 of 14 shots. Lehtonen entered that contest having gone 4-1-2 with a 2.24 GAA over his previous seven outings. New York sits in last place in the Metropolitan Division and has the fewest home wins in the Eastern Conference. It is also just 1-5-4 in its last 10 at Nassau Coliseum.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, January 6

SPORTS WAGERS

BROOKLYN -2½ over Atlanta

Losing Al Horford deals a devastating blow to the Hawks. Atlanta doesn't have anyone who can come close to replacing Horford's production, but the team's remaining pieces are likely still competent enough to hang with the East's middle class. That said, they are getting too much credit here because if Horford was in the lineup this number would be almost exactly the same. That’s incorrect. Atlanta has dropped three of its past four games with only win over that spam occurring against the Celtics by one point.

It is truly amazing what a couple of months can do to a team's expectations on the court and from the perspective of bettors evaluating them. The Nets' win total was 52.5 but expectations are beginning to shift, especially with Brook Lopez out for the year. The current sentiment for the Nets seems to be that their true value is somewhere between preseason expectations and current record. The Nets and Knicks obviously all have their problems, but the mainstream rankings has them underrated a little bit as they're not as bad as their current records. We’re seeing the Knicks rebound and the Nets should follow suit. From an advanced statistics analysis, the Nets are a middle of the league type-team, not in the bottom third. They are in the top 15 in offensive efficiency and while closer to the bottom in the league in defensive efficiency, there are at least nine teams that are statistically worse than them right now. Brooklyn isn't great but they aren't the fourth-worst team by far and we get to take advantage of a market that has them ranked below where they should be.   

Pass CBB

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, January 6

Jeff Scott Sports

3 UNIT PLAY

Auburn/ Florida State Under 69: I don't see a shootout in this game. Auburn is a run based offense and will look to control the clock with it. They really need to keep that high powered FSU offense off the field. Now Auburn has put up some big numbers on offense this year, but this will be the best defense that they will have faced. The Seminoles allow just 268.5 ypg overall, including just 116.5 ypg on the ground. FSU has allowed just 10.7 ppg on the year, including just 6.8 ppg in their last 5 games and they have allowed more than 17 points just once all year. Now we know that FSU will get their points vs a suspect Auburn defense, but the Tigers should be prepared for the FSU offense a bit better with the extra prep time so I expect them to Keep FSU under 40 points here. The Only chance that Auburn has is ball control and limiting the chances that FSU has to put points on the board. They will not win a shootout, cause quite frankly they have no shot at putting a ton of points on the board on this FSU defense. A ball control offense will eat plenty of clock and help keep the scoring down here. I look for a 35-24 type of final.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, January 6

Harry Bondi

PITTSBURGH (-9) over Maryland

We have the winner in tonight's National Championship Game for just $99! Call 1-877-332-0077. Pittsburgh is the kind of mentally and physically tough team that will give Maryland fits. Panthers could not throw it in the ocean and fell behind 19-4 in its ACC opener at NC State Saturday. But they kept running there offense and tenacious defense and won going away 74-62. Back home tonight, the Panthers, who are 13-1 on the season will again rely on their defense, which is forcing turnovers a remarkable 20% of the time. Maryland will find the going tough tonight even with Seth Allen back.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, January 6

Jeff Scott Sports

3 UNIT PLAYS

Pittsburgh/ Maryland Under 136.5: Pittsburgh is now in conference play and in conference play they really bring the defense and slow the game down. The Panthers already have brought the defense this year, as they rank 10th in scoring defense, allowing just 58.9 ppg, while also ranking 43rd in defensive FG (39.5%). At home Pitt has allowed just 59 ppg and 38.7% shooting for the year. Maryland comes in having allowed 66.4 ppg, but on just 40.4% shooting, so they do play good defense as well. Both teams are good on offense, but the defenses will take care of that in this one. Maryland is bad from the Charity stripe, while Pittsburgh is not good at all from long range. Both teams will play at a pretty slow pace and that will also help kee the scoring down. I see this one at 130 points or less. 

Texas Southern/ Southern Under 144.5: Going off the grid a bit here with this one. Southern U is not an uptempo team by any stretch, despite the fact that their games have averaged 138.9. Now taking a closer look and we see that their last 7 games vs Division 1 opponents (Regulation Only) have averaged just 124.1 ppg. Southern has really struggled on offense vs Division 1 foes, averaging just 64.5 ppg on 40.9% shooting and they are also one of the worst FT shooting teams in the  nation, hitting just 58.7 from the charity stripe. Texas Southern is not great on defense, allowing 74.5 ppg at home, but they also allow just 42.4% shooting on their home floor, plus let's also note that Texas Southern has allowed more than 66 points (Regulation) just once in the last 10 meetings with Southern. Texas Southern averages 77.6 ppg on the year, but Southern has played good defense this year, allowing just 72.8 ppg on 40% shooting this year, including allowing just 70.2 ppg on 40.5% shooting in their last 5 games. This should be a grinding game that will see no more than 135 points scored.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, January 6

OC Dooley

Maryland +9

It is easy to see why Pittsburgh has been cast as a hefty home favorite since they check in with an overall record (13-1) which is spectacular.  However this is also the first campaign where the Panthers have been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference and tonight they just happen to be playing against an opponent (Maryland) who was a “charter” member of that same conference.  Due to realignment this is the last year that the Terrapins will be competing as an ACC member and they are exiting in style.  With an upset victory this evening Maryland will be off to a 3-0 start in league play for the first time since way back in 2001/2002 when the Terps went all the way winning the National Championship.  The Terrapins are coming off a dominant 77-61 romp during the weekend where the team committed just 6 turnovers.  Maryland who has five different players from a dynamic offense averaging double-figure points per game have been particularly dangerous ever since guard Seth Allen returned from an injury.  Fore the season Allen who is a sharpshooter is hitting 50% of his long range opportunities launched from behind the arc.  My research indicates that in the past two years in front of the HOME fans when facing a quality opponent (60-to-80 win percentage) Pittsburgh is a disastrous 0-7 ATS.  Tonight marks the first time that Pittsburgh has faced Maryland in THIRTY THREE YEARS which in itself adds some intrigue

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