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Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, January 10

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, January 10

SPORTS WAGERSFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Orlando +7½ over SACRAMENTOFREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Buy low/sell high is a theory we subscribe to and it applies here more than any game on today’s board. The Magic have dropped five in a row and they are also 0-5 against the number during that stretch. Orlando has not only failed to cover in five straight but it has lost by 16, 20, 16, 6 and 13 points, respectively. Orlando is likely going to be sellers at the trade deadline, which means veterans like Arron Afflalo ($7.5 million), Jameer Nelson ($8.6M) and Glen Davis ($6.4M), who are performing well on fairly reasonable deals, have a chance to get out of Orlando. That’s motivation. NBA teams don’t continually get blown out every game and we now get an inflated tag on the Magic because of their recent string of dreadful performances.
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The Kings recently defeated the Rockets in Houston. Sacramento’s stock is high after their most recent win over Portland. However, between those two games, the Kings lost to Philadelphia and Charlotte, both at Arco. Sacramento is not only in a letdown spot after a hugely emotional win over the Blazers, they seldom deserve to be in this price range. In fact, the Kings have been favored by more than six points just twice this entire season and not only failed to cover, they failed to win. As a 6½-point choice over the Jazz back on December 11, Sacramento lost by 21 points and as an 8½-point choice over Philadelphia just last week, they lost by 10. The Kings' defense is awful, ranking 29th in points allowed per possession and they just gave up a season-best night to the Bobcats ... at home. Laying significant points with a bad team that plays no defense, coming off a huge win is not likely to turn out well. Upset possibility.
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Pass CBBFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, January 10

Wunderdog

Boston at Golden State
Pick: Golden State -11

Everyone was wondering where the Golden State team that looked so good in the playoffs a year ago went. They started slowly, had to deal with some injuries, but certainly have gotten things rolling. The Warriors have won 10 of their last 11 games, and eight of those came on the road where they have had some problems in the past. The one consistent factor for this team is beating the teams they are supposed to beat, and that shows up in their 7-1-1 ATS mark on the season as a favorite of 8 points or more. Boston is rebuilding, and it has been painful of late. The Celtics have dropped six straight, and 9 of their last 10. The Warriors have been 8-2 ATS in their last 10 at home against a team with a losing road record, so they're not the type of team that is a no-show. Play on Golden State.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, January 10

John Ryan

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers    
Play: Los Angeles Clippers -10

The simulator shows a high probability that the Clippers will win this game by 14 or more points. Supporting this graded play is a proven system posting a 52-23 ATS mark for 69.3% winners since 2008. Play on home teams (LA CLIPPERS) off a home no-cover where the team won straight up as a favorite, in January games. SIM projects that Clippers will score 105 or more points; will commit 3 to 5 fewer turnovers; will have between 53 and 57 rebounds. In past games, this has been good news for backers of the Clips and bad news for backers of the Lakers. Note that the Clippers are a money making 10-1 ATS (+8.9 Units) in home games when they grab 53 to 57 rebounds in a game over the last 2 seasons; 23-9 ATS (+13.1 Units) when they commit 3 to 5 fewer turnovers than their opponents over the last 2 seasons; 13-4 ATS (+8.6 Units) when they score 105 or more points in a game this season. Lakers are a money burning 2-13 ATS (-12.3 Units) when they allow 105 or more points in a game this season. These two city rivals played each other October 29 with the Lakers blowing out the Clippers 116-103 installed as 10 point dogs. Clippers are a solid 11-3 ATS (+7.7 Units) revenging a loss vs opponent this season. Take the Clippers.

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Jeff Alexander

Miami Heat -5

Miami went down at Madison Square Garden last night, but it is 20-8 ATS in its last 28 games following a loss and 8-2 ATS in its last 10 games when playing without a day of rest. Brooklyn won the season's first meeting, and the Heat will be motivated as a result. Miami is 17-6 ATS when out for revenge for a same-season loss to an opponent over the last two seasons, winning by 12.5 points on average in these games. The Nets look like they're finally starting to get it going, but I'm not sold. Their recent win in Oklahoma City came against a Thunder team that was without Russell Westbrook, and Deron Williams was able to take advantage by dropping in 29 points. Their most recent win came against a Golden State team that was playing its 7th road game in 11 days. Miami will be a little fatigued tonight but not that fatigued. Plus, the Heat get 4 days off after this game so they won't be afraid to push themselves to the limit.

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LT Profits

Monmouth vs Niagara
Pick: Niagara -6

The Niagara Purple Eagles returned four starters from a team that went 19-14 last year, but they had to learn a new system under new coach Chris Casey, and that resulted in a 1-8 start. However, the Eagles are 3-3 since then and are getting used to Casey’s running style, as they are eighth in the entire country in tempo rating. Niagara also plays a pressing defense that at the same time is great at forcing turnovers, ranking an excellent 28th in the country, and very vulnerable when the press gets broken, resulting in a 251st ranking in efficiency. The Monmouth Hawks made the move to the MAAC this year and they do not see equipped to take advantage of the Niagara defense. That is because the Hawks are 283rd in offensive efficiency and 198th in offensive turnover percentage! Niagara is 5-1 ATS in its last six games overall.


L.A. Lakers vs L.A. Clippers
Pick: L.A. Clippers -10

The Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers are each without a superstar, but the difference is that the Clippers have withstood the loss of Chris Paul so far and have continued to play at a high level. Although he will never be confused with Paul, Darren Collison has filled in nicely while averaging 17.5 points, 5.8 assists and 3.3 rebounds over the last four games while guiding the Clips to 105.8 points per game. The Clippers should be able maintain that average with relative ease here vs. a Laker defense ranked 28th in the NBA for the season allowing 104.6 points per game and allowing a hideous average of 120.0 points in the last three games! Perhaps more importantly, the Lakers do not have anyone to pick up the scoring slack for the injured Kobe Bryant. The Lakers are 7-18-1 ATS in their last 26 games vs. teams with a winning percentage above .600.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, January 10

Nelly

Utah Jazz - over Cleveland Cavaliers

Utah opened the season as clearly the worst team in the NBA, starting 1-14 but the Jazz are 8-6 in the last 14 games and there has been a dramatic rise in efficiency on both sides of the ball. Utah only sits a full game behind Cleveland in the standings at this point though a 12-win record is much more credible in the Eastern Conference playoff picture compared with a Jazz team that has no realistic playoff chance. Cleveland was expected to be a greatly improved team this season but it has been a tough season. The Cavaliers are 3-10 in the last 13 games with two of the wins coming in overtime and the three wins have come against Milwaukee, Orlando, and Philadelphia, three of the worst teams in the league. The recent departure of Andrew Bynum is one of the problems for the Cavaliers and Luol Deng is expected to debut for the Cavaliers tonight. Jarrett Jack and Kyrie Irving could also be back in action but expecting a great performance with the new lineup is a long shot. Cleveland is just 5-12 ATS on the road this season including 3-5 ATS vs. losing teams and Utah is 4-0 in the last four meetings in this series in Salt Lake City.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, January 10

Teddy Covers

Orlando at Sacramento
Play: Orlando +7.5

I can certainly understand why the betting markets have installed the Magic as 7.5-point underdogs in their matchup at Sacramento tonight.  The Magic have the second worst record in the NBA; only Milwaukee’s is worse.  Orlando is 3-14 SU on the highway, and they’ve been blown out in each of the first two games of this grueling West Coast swing. 

To make matters worse for Jacques Vaughn’s squad, they’re playing without their lone low post presence, center Nikola Vucevic; the only true center on the roster.  That leaves the likes of Big Baby Davis, Andrew Nicholson and Jason Maxiell to bang with DeMarcus Cousins in the paint; an undersized and under-talented trio. 

But for all of those negatives, I have one thing to say: 0-10 ATS.  Sacramento has been favored ten previous times this year.  Their next pointspread cover in this role will be their first.  And just about every team the Kings have been favored against during this remarkable run has a similar story to that of Orlando; teams with flaws, vulnerabilities, injuries and bad records. 

Against each and every one of those foes, the Kings have failed to cover. In fact, in eight of those ten games as favorites, the Kings lost in SU fashion, and their two SU wins came by a combined total of five points.

The Kings haven’t strung together back-to-back home wins since last March and they’re coming off an impressive upset over the suddenly slumping Blazers.  There was precious little separation between the Kings and Magic when they met just before Christmas; a five point Sacramento victory in a game where the Kings were red hot from three point range; 12-23 from beyond the arc.  That’s a rarity for a team that ranks in the bottom quartile of the NBA in three point shooting percentage.

And it’s surely worth noting that even when Sacramento wins, they don’t win by margin very often.  Each of their last four victories and eight of their eleven overall wins so far this season, have come by seven points or less or in OT, not enough to cover this inflated spread.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, January 10

JOE DUFFY

VALPARAISO -6

Wright State starters Kendall Griffin and J.T. Yoho are expected to miss the game due to injury. Wright State has played one of the easiest schedules in the nation yet are 0-8 straight up and 1-7 against the spread on the road. Valpo is a classic young team that is much better at home than on the road. They are 7-2 straight up and 4-2 against the spread at home. Playing a wounded team with a flaccid resume beating up on some weaklings and losing to a few along the way, look for Valpo to roll. Keith Carter is starting to evolve into the Valpo offense after transferring from St. Louis. Valpo is a much better rebounding team and without Yoho, Wright will miss a lot of shots.

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Carolina Sports

Miami Heat vs. Brooklyn Nets    
Play: Brooklyn Nets +5½

The Heat look really bored when they are out their playing, even at MSG last night in losing to the Knicks. The only ones that come to play every evening are LeBron and D-Wade and those are the two you would think would be the most dis-interested during the regular-season. There is a good chance Wade will not play tonight as it is a back-to-back game.

The Nets have won 4 in SU and ATS and seem to have their energy back. The Nets already beat Miami this year and we expect a maximum effort for them again tonight. BROOKLYN is 22-11 ATS after 2 or more consecutive wins over the last 2 seasons. Take Brooklyn tonight.

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Red Dog Sports

Penguins vs. Oilers
Play: Over 5½

These two did play at 3-2 game that stayed under the total back in October. However, Edmonton has 27 overs and just 18 unders this year. Their last 9 games have seen 8 overs/1 under based on a 5.5 over/under. Pittsburgh has seen 9, 11, 7, 3, 8 and 7 goals in its last 6 games combined with their opponent. Hopefully, we see a 4-2 type of game tonight for an over.

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Steve Rich

Lakers vs. Clippers
Play: Over 209

Alright, are you ready for the battle of LA? The Los Angeles Lakers play the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center Friday night with the Clippers being the home team. The Lakers are on the downward spiral while the Clippers are taking over the town. This isn’t the game everyone had looked forward to with Kobe Bryant out for the Lakers and Chris Paul out for the Clippers. Still it should be exciting and fun for the crowd in LA.

The Lakers have been decimated by injuries, most notably Kobe Bryant. At their current pace the LA Lakers are not going to be in the playoffs this year The Lakers are now led by hometown boy, small forward Nick Young. They rank 28th in scoring defense allowing one hundred four points per game. That hasn’t been helped by their current three game losing streak where they have surrendered 110+ in each game. The will have their hands full against the high scoring Clippers.

The Clippers average scoring one hundred four points per game and give up 99 ppg. They are led by power forward Blake Griffin – the human highlight reel. The Clippers are missing point guard Chris Paul, so they will be relying on Derren Collison. We’ll see how well this works since Collison is more of a shooter than a passer. He has improved on his assists since starting for Chris Paul still, they will sorely miss CP3 against stronger competition.

The Lakers and Clippers really don’t seem too concerned with defense and I think tonight will be the high flying show that LA is accustomed to seeing. Enjoy the offensive show LA! I am leaning to the total going up and over the posted total of 209.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, January 10

Jeff Scott Sports

3 UNIT PLAY

Fairfield/ Iona Over 147.5: The Fairfield Stags love to pay a slow down game, but for some reason when they meet Iona their games have been a bit higher scoring. in the earlier meeting this year the teams combined for 155 points and that means that 4 of the last 5 in this series has put up 149 or more points. That earlier game was in Fairfield and now the game will be played at Iona where their games have averaged 170.2 ppg. Overall the Gaels have averaged 82.4 ppg, but at home they have put up 91 ppg. The Stags have allowed just 68.9 ppg overall, but 73.7 ppg on the road, so they do give up points on the road and they did allow the Gaels 83 points in the first meeting. The Stags are not a good offensive team, but they did they did score 73 points in the earlier meeting and the Gaels have allowed 79.2 ppg at home and 88.8 ppg in their last 5 games overall. This will be an up and down game all night long. Iona loves that pace and at home they will get their wish. Fairfield has played to the pace of the Gaels recently and if they hope t win this one they will have to do so here as well. 85-68 sounds about right here.

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Jeff Benton

Your Friday freebie is the Clippers over the Lakers in the battle for LA-LA-Land this Friday night.

True, Chris Paul is out, and the Clips did not cover last time out as the home chalk against Boston, but they did win for the 4th time in their last 5 games, and their ship appears to be taking on less water than the ship of the Lakers, as the Lake Show comes into this game not only losing, but losing big.

The Lakers have lost 9 of their last 10 games straight up, and each of their last 4 losses have come by double-digits. 6 of their last 9 losses overall have also come by 10 points or more.

The Lakers did win the first meeting of the year between the teams way back in October, but it is the Clippers that have taken 4 of the last 5 series meetings both straight up and against the spread.

I don't see this Lakers team giving much resistance lately, so I will side with the Clippers to even the score this year with the win and cover.

1♦ L.A. CLIPPERS

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Craig Davis

Friday night's free play is the Over in the Orlando-Sacramento game.

This was a tough selection at first because while Sacramento wants to run up and down the floor and score as many points as they can, the Magic are content milking 23 of the 24 seconds on the shot clock and hoping it's not an empty possession.

Ever since Vucevic has been down with injury, the Magic don't seem to have much of a post presence and their scoring has gone down. They simply aren't talented enough without a couple of solid big men helping out... which took a big hit without Vucevic.

Having said that, not many teams in the NBA play worse defense than Sacto, who simply want to outscore you in every game. They don't care if it's 105-104 or 130-129, they simply want to score one more point than their opponent and they call it a successful game.

That mentality has rubbed off on their last 10 opponents who have scored more than 100 points or more, regardless of whether or not they won the game.

Watch the fireworks in Sac-town tonight as this game goes well over the posted total.

3♦ ORLANDO-SACRAMENTO OVER

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Brad Wilton

Friday night hoops winner will be the Raiders of Wright State plus the points as they play at Valparaiso.

State just had their season-high 4 game winning streak snapped in a loss at Detroit, and while they may not win this game outright tonight, their opponent Valparaiso is just 1-3 straight up their last 4, so my thinking is this game could very well be decided by no more than two baskets.

Valpo is on a 4 game series winning streak straight up, but this series has been all about the underdog in recent meetings, as the pup stands at 6-1-1 against the spread the last 8 times the schools have met.

Look for Wright State to rebound from their loss at Detroit with a strong competitive effort this Friday night. Take the points.

2♦ WRIGHT STATE

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Harry Bondi

MIAMI(-5.5) over Brooklyn

Everything seems to be setting up for a Miami blowout. Nets have been winning so the number is reasonable. Heat lost last night against the Knicks so they should be focused here, Miami has revenge for a 101-100 loss to Brooklyn earlier in the season and the Heat have covered five of six in back-to-back games this season. It all points to the Heat big tonight so lets back them tonight for another FREE Winner!

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, January 10

Andre Gomes

Washington Wizards +9.5

The Pacers are 12-6 ATS as home favorites this season, and after losing one game, they are a perfect 6-0 ATS so what the hell I'm doing by going against them tonight?!

Well, I think that the Wizards can be a competitive "dog" in this contest because the Pacers are in a bit of an offensive slump as of late, and their stellar defense by their own won't be enough to crush WAS tonight.

Now that Danny Granger is finally playing more minutes and being part of the Pacers offensive system… IND is struggling offensively. In L6 games, IND has a subpar avg. 97.7 Offensive Ratings and their A/TO ratio says it all about their offensive problems: 18.5 assists per game vs. 17.0 Turnovers per game.

WAS has been rebounding well the ball w/ 54% rebounding/rate% L5 games, they are protecting well the paint by allowing less than 40 ppg in the paint L12 games and they even have the #7 ranked post up defense in the league. These decent numbers are important to "stop" IND's post-centric offense.

The key question for tonight's game will be the matchup between IND defense vs. WAS offense…

First of all, this incredible Pacers defense is forcing their opponents to shoot from the "worst shooting spot" long 2's zone, and guess who is attempting more FGA's from that spot? Yes, the Wizards! So we can say that WAS will be perfectly "OK" w/ taking these long range shots. Also, WAS's "bigs" Gortat & Nene can shot from mid range, so IND's best rim defense in the league won't be tested tonight.

The first h2h between these two teams ended w/ a 20-pts blowout win by the Pacers but note that WAS was coming from a tough OT game in the previous night AND ESPECIALLY, Nene Hilario & Bradley Beal didn't play that game and both are nuclear players for the Wizards.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, January 10

Dr Bob

Los Angeles Lakers (+10) over LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS

The Lakers have lost 3 straight and 9 of their last 10 games but that bad streak sets them up in a very good 109-36-2 ATS situation that is an even better 62-15-2 ATS if the opponent is coming off a win, as is the case here. The Clippers are a couple of points worse without Chris Paul but the Lakers current lineup isn't as good as their season rating and my ratings based on current personnel favor the Clippers by 10.6 points. I'm not eager to give up any line value to make the Lakers a play but the situation is very good and I'll lean with the Lakers at +10 or more and I'd take the Lakers in a 2-Star Best Bet at +11 points or more.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, January 10

OC Dooley

Timberwolves -10

The fact that Minnesota has been cast as a double-digit favorite speaks volumes as this is the area where this squad flourishes.  In a rare ESPN national appearance on Wednesday of this week Minnesota coughed up a large advantage as visiting Phoenix basically “stole” the outright triumph.  After the game Timberwolves All Star Kevin Love publicly criticized some reserve players who mentally “checked out” near the end of the contest.  For the entire season to date Minnesota is now a disastrous “0-10” in tight games decided by a margin of four-or-less points and that includes a matchup this campaign versus lowly Charlotte.  The visiting Bobcats are a double-digit underdog due to their current 1-6 slide including a few nights ago when the defense forced a season LOW 7 turnovers (only 3 steals and 1 blocked shot).  The oddsmakers have finally caught up with Charlotte who is 1-4 ATS the past five outings, which is a complete reversal to the prior fourteen games where they covered the spread 10 different times along the way.   As for Minnesota they have actually ALTERNATED spread wins-and-losses in each of the past SIX games and following that pattern they are due for a “spot” triumph tonight

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