Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, January 7

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, January 7

Joe Gavazzi

Michigan St. -5.5

These two split a pair of regular season meetings last year, the home team capturing each game. Major motivator for the Spartans is 61-58 revenge for a CCT loss. These two enter a combined 28-1 SU with the lone loss between them a Michigan State home court defeat to North Carolina. While each of these teams qualifies as a Defensive Dandy, only Michigan State is a member of the 230 Offensive Club. The Buckeyes have been living on their outstanding defense with a 116 defensive rating, #3 in the land. Tonight, however, they face a far superior offensive team when combined with the revenge motive and the strong home court, it is enough to get Michigan State the ATS victory tonight.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, January 7

River City Sharps

Virginia Tech +13

Syracuse travels to Virginia Tech tonight for their second ACC game, hoping that they give a better effort than they got this weekend in their 49-44 win over Miami. The Orange come into the game tonight at 14-0 on the season while the Hokies are 8-5 on the campaign. Even though they are still rebuilding their program, there are some things to like about what the Hokies are doing. Virginia Tech ranks sixth nationally from behind the 3-point line, shooting 42.5% on the season. They have also been tough on the defensive end, allowing an average of 62.3 ppg, 37.6 field-goal % and 28.5 3-point % in their last seven games. Syracuse has really struggled shooting from behind the arc over their past several games and only shot 36.2% from the field in the Miami game. It appears as though Tech is going to have the advantage on the glass as well, where the Hokies average 41 rebounds a game to Syracuse's 35 boards. While we will admit that Tech hasn't been real competitive with the better teams they have played this season, we think this is a spot tonight where Syracuse will get their best shot and we think they cover this number.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, January 7

Jeff Scott Sports

3 UNIT PLAYS

Notre Dame/ NC State Over 139.5: Even without Grant, Mike Brey will expect his team to push team, just like they have done all year. The Irish have been in allot of high scoring games this year, mainly due to their uptempo offense and their lack of defense. In their last game vs Duke they held the Blue Devils best player to just 7 points, yet still gave up 77 points in the game. NC State is not an all out uptempo team, but they do come in averaging 74.4 pg on the year, including 69.8 ppg in their last 5 and they should be able to score on this suspect ND defense. On offense, Notre Dame has been very good, averaging 80 ppg on 47.9% shooting overall, plus they also hit their FTs at a 74.6% clip and their 3-point shots at a 39.7% clip. Both teams will likely push tempo in this game, which should give us at least 145 points scored in this one.

TCU/ Kansas State Under 123: This could very well be the most boring game of the night. TCU and Kansas State both play great defense, while on offense they work the shot clock for 34 and a half seconds. LOL. Kansas State comes in ranked 9th in scoring defense (58.8 ppg), 47th in defensive FG% (39.6%) and 5th in defensing the 2-ball (26%), while on offense they rank 278th in scoring (67.9 ppg), 301st in shooting (41.4%) and 321st from beyond the arc (29.5%). Those numbers will make for a bunch of low scoring games. on the other side f the court we have a TCU defense that has been very good this year, allowing just 66.4 ppg on 40.2% shooting. Both numbers are in the top 83 in the nation, while at home they have allowed 66.4 ppg on 39.2% shooting. Both teams really like to grind away at the clock and while TCU does average 70 ppg they won't get that vs this defense. I look for this one to be played in the 50's at best.

2 UNIT PLAYS

Baylor/ Iowa State Over 146: The makeup of both teams offensively is the 3 point shot and both teams hit it pretty well, with the Bears ranking 5th in the nation at 42.5%, while the Cyclones hit 36.2% of theirs, which is good for 106th in the nation. The Cyclones are one of the better shooting teams overall and have scored 87 ppg, which is 10th in the nation. The Bears are an even better shooting team overall hitting 50.4% of their shots, while scoring 78.8 ppg. Both teams have played good defense this year, but these offenses are primed for a big game on a national stage. Both teams like to push tempo and that along with a plethora of 3 point makes should get up to at least 150 points.

Youngstown State/ Ill-Chicago Under 150.5: The Over is 7-2 the last 9 in this series, but let's note that just one of those games put more than 144 points on the board and the one that did went to OT to do it as just 114 points were scored in regulation in that game. UIC has not payed many high scoring games of late as their last 6 of their last 7 Division 1 games have failed to put more than 144 points. Youngstown State likes an uptempo game, but UIC will slow them down to a more manageable pace. UIC puts up just 62.2 ppg at home and a game in the 60's is more their style. I say they get it here and keep this game in the upper 130's at best.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, January 7

OC Dooley

Wild +180

This is a unique REVENGE wager as these two teams met way back on opening night in Minnesota where Los Angeles escaped with a triumph decided by a ONE goal margin.  Late this evening is the rematch out west where the Wild are attempting to WIN for the fourth time in the last five visits to Los Angeles.  Even though Minnesota is 2-0 ever since putting an end to a lengthy six-game losing streak, admittedly the deck appears stacked against the Wild who just lost points-leader Mikko Koivu (broken ankle) to injury.  On the flipside the Kings finally have back star goaltender Jonathan Quick from a groin injury that caused him to miss 24 different starts.  But my research indicates that in the past three years when off a “margin” home victory where the team triumphed by “two plus” goals in margin, Minnesota has gone an excellent 12-3 in the ensuing contest

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