Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, January 16

Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, January 16

DUNKEL INDEX

NBA

Oklahoma City at Houston
The Rockets return home after last night's 103-100 win at New Orleans and bring a 5-1 ATS record in their last 6 games when playing on 0 days of rest into tonight's contest with Oklahoma City. Houston is the pick (-2) according to Dunkel, which has the Rockets favored by 4 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Houston (-2)

Game 501-502: Brooklyn at Atlanta (3:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Brooklyn 120.240; Atlanta 116.322
Dunkel Line & Total: Brooklyn by 4; 196
Vegas Line & Total: Brooklyn by 2; 192
Dunkel Pick: Brooklyn (-2); Over

Game 503-504: New York at Indiana (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: New York 115.955; Indiana 130.491
Dunkel Line & Total: Indiana by 14 1/2; 177
Vegas Line & Total: Indiana by 10; 184
Dunkel Pick: Indiana (-10); Under

Game 505-506: Oklahoma City at Houston (9:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oklahoma City 119.949; Houston 124.591
Dunkel Line & Total: Houston by 4 1/2; 212
Vegas Line & Total: Houston by 2; 206 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Houston (-2); Over

NHL

Los Angeles at St. Louis
The Blues host a Los Angeles team tonight that is 0-6 in its last 6 games against Central Division opponents. St. Louis is the pick (-145) according to Dunkel, which has the Blues favored by 2 1/2. Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (-145)

Game 1-2: Nashville at Philadelphia (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Nashville 11.072; Philadelphia 10.246
Dunkel Line & Total: Nashville by 1; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Philadelphia (-165); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Nashville (+145); Under

Game 3-4: Detroit at NY Rangers (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit 10.116; NY Rangers 12.185
Dunkel Line & Total: NY Rangers by 2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: NY Rangers (-160); 5
Dunkel Pick: NY Rangers (-160); Over

Game 5-6: Montreal at Ottawa (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Montreal 11.398; Ottawa 10.408
Dunkel Line & Total: Montreal by 1; 4
Vegas Line & Total: Ottawa (-130); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Montreal (+110); Under

Game 7-8: NY Islanders at Tampa Bay (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Islanders 11.470; Tampa Bay 12.899
Dunkel Line & Total: Tampa Bay by 1 1/2; 6 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Tampa Bay (-165); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Tampa Bay (-165); Over

Game 9-10: San Jose at Florida (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Jose 11.461; Florida 12.336
Dunkel Line & Total: Florida by 1; 6
Vegas Line & Total: San Jose (-165); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Florida (+145); Over

Game 11-12: Los Angeles at St. Louis (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Los Angeles 10.792; St. Louis 13.489
Dunkel Line & Total: St. Louis by 2 1/2; 4
Vegas Line & Total: St. Louis (-145); 5
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (-145); Under

Game 13-14: Edmonton at Minnesota (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Edmonton 11.273; Minnesota 10.112
Dunkel Line & Total: Edmonton by 1; 4
Vegas Line & Total: Minnesota (-160); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Edmonton (+140); Under

Game 15-16: Boston at Dallas (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Boston 11.734; Dallas 9.725
Dunkel Line & Total: Boston by 2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Boston (-120); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Boston (-120); Over

Game 17-18: New Jersey at Colorado (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: New Jersey 10.652; Colorado 12.096
Dunkel Line & Total: Colorado by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Colorado (-145); 5
Dunkel Pick: Colorado (-145); Over

Game 19-20: Vancouver at Phoenix (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Vancouver 11.506; Phoenix 9.839
Dunkel Line & Total: Vancouver by 1 1/2; 4
Vegas Line & Total: Phoenix (-130); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Vancouver (+110); Under

Game 21-22: Winnipeg at Calgary (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Winnipeg 11.272; Calgary 10.271
Dunkel Line & Total: Winnipeg by 1; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Calgary (-115); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Winnipeg (-105); Over

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, January 16

DUNKEL INDEX

Connecticut at Memphis
The Huskies travel to Memphis tonight to face a Tigers team that is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 home games. Connecticut is the pick (+6 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Tigers favored by only 3 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Connecticut (+6 1/2)

Game 507-508: Oakland at Cleveland State (5:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland 54.202; Cleveland State 58.497
Dunkel Line: Cleveland State by 4 1/2
Vegas Line: Cleveland State by 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (+7 1/2)

Game 509-510: Houston at Louisville (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Houston 57.986; Louisville 73.838
Dunkel Line: Louisville by 16
Vegas Line: Louisville by 19 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Houston (+19 1/2)

Game 511-512: East Carolina at Florida Atlantic (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: East Carolina 52.435; Florida Atlantic 55.792
Dunkel Line: Florida Atlantic by 3 1/2
Vegas Line: Florida Atlantic by 1
Dunkel Pick: Florida Atlantic (-1)

Game 513-514: Old Dominion at Florida International (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Old Dominion 55.532; Florida International 51.985
Dunkel Line: Old Dominion by 3 1/2
Vegas Line: Old Dominion by 1
Dunkel Pick: Old Dominion (-1)

Game 515-516: Arkansas State at Georgia State (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Arkansas State 49.696; Georgia State 64.464
Dunkel Line: Georgia State by 15
Vegas Line: Georgia State by 9
Dunkel Pick: Georgia State (-9)

Game 517-518: North Texas at Marshall (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: North Texas 49.034; Marshall 57.078
Dunkel Line: Marshall by 8
Vegas Line: Marshall by 6
Dunkel Pick: Marshall (-6)

Game 519-520: Missouri at Vanderbilt (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Missouri 66.936; Vanderbilt 62.113
Dunkel Line: Missouri by 5
Vegas Line: Missouri by 2
Dunkel Pick: Missouri (-2)

Game 521-522: Providence at St. John's (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Providence 62.684; St. John's 64.081
Dunkel Line: St. John's by 1 1/2
Vegas Line: St. John's by 4 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Providence (+4 1/2)

Game 523-524: Connecticut at Memphis (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Connecticut 66.610; Memphis 70.328
Dunkel Line: Memphis by 3 1/2
Vegas Line: Memphis by 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Connecticut (+6 1/2)

Game 525-526: Tulsa at Charlotte (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tulsa 57.572; Charlotte 56.492
Dunkel Line: Tulsa by 1
Vegas Line: Charlotte by 2 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Tulsa (+2 1/2)

Game 527-528: Rice at Southern Mississippi (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Rice 48.689; Southern Mississippi 63.343
Dunkel Line: Southern Mississippi by 14 1/2
Vegas Line: Southern Mississippi by 17 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Rice (+17 1/2)

Game 529-530: UTEP at Middle Tennessee State (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: UTEP 54.499; Middle Tennessee State 64.198
Dunkel Line: Middle Tennessee State by 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Middle Tennessee State by 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Middle Tennessee State (-6 1/2)

Game 531-532: UL-Lafayette at South Alabama (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: UL-Lafayette 56.983; South Alabama 54.005
Dunkel Line: UL-Lafayette by 3
Vegas Line: Pick
Dunkel Pick: UL-Lafayette

Game 533-534: AR-Little Rock at Western Kentucky (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: AR-Little Rock 52.058; Western Kentucky 56.478
Dunkel Line: Western Kentucky by 4 1/2
Vegas Line: Western Kentucky by 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: AR-Little Rock (+7 1/2)

Game 535-536: TX-San Antonio at UAB (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: TX-San Antonio 46.369; UAB 60.126
Dunkel Line: UAB by 13 1/2
Vegas Line: UAB by 17 1/2
Dunkel Pick: TX-San Antonio (+17 1/2)

Game 537-538: UCLA at Colorado (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: UCLA 71.706; Colorado 68.795
Dunkel Line: UCLA by 3
Vegas Line: UCLA by 1 1/2
Dunkel Pick: UCLA (-1 1/2)

Game 539-540: WI-Milwaukee at Illinois-Chicago (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: WI-Milwaukee 55.396; Illinois-Chicago 51.783
Dunkel Line: WI-Milwaukee by 3 1/2
Vegas Line: WI-Milwaukee by 1
Dunkel Pick: WI-Milwaukee (-1)

Game 541-542: UL-Monroe at Troy (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: UL-Monroe 48.876; Troy 50.620
Dunkel Line: Troy by 1 1/2
Vegas Line: Troy by 4
Dunkel Pick: UL-Monroe (+4)

Game 543-544: Ohio State at Minnesota (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Ohio State 71.295; Minnesota 71.238
Dunkel Line: Even
Vegas Line: Ohio State by 3 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (+3 1/2)

Game 545-546: BYU at San Francisco (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: BYU 65.551; San Francisco 60.332
Dunkel Line: BYU by 5
Vegas Line: BYU by 3
Dunkel Pick: BYU (-3)

Game 547-548: Arizona State at Arizona (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Arizona State 62.035; Arizona 79.915
Dunkel Line: Arizona by 18
Vegas Line: Arizona by 11 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Arizona (-11 1/2)

Game 549-550: Louisiana Tech at Tulane (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Louisiana Tech 63.363; Tulane 53.080
Dunkel Line: Louisiana Tech by 10 1/2
Vegas Line: Louisiana Tech by 13
Dunkel Pick: Tulane (+13)

Game 551-552: Portland at Loyola-Marymount (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Portland 58.942; Loyola-Marymount 56.562
Dunkel Line: Portland by 2 1/2
Vegas Line: Loyola-Marymount by 2
Dunkel Pick: Portland (+2)

Game 553-554: Gonzaga at Pepperdine (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Gonzaga 68.843; Pepperdine 62.082
Dunkel Line: Gonzaga by 7
Vegas Line: Gonzaga by 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Pepperdine (+9 1/2)

Game 555-556: San Diego at Santa Clara (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Diego 53.968; Santa Clara 54.766
Dunkel Line: Santa Clara by 1
Vegas Line: Santa Clara by 4
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (+4)

Game 557-558: USC at Utah (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: USC 55.098; Utah 70.480
Dunkel Line: Utah by 15 1/2
Vegas Line: Utah by 10
Dunkel Pick: Utah (-10)

Game 559-560: CS-Northridge at Cal Poly (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: CS-Northridge 48.217; Cal Poly 61.726
Dunkel Line: Cal Poly by 13 1/2
Vegas Line: Cal Poly by 10
Dunkel Pick: Cal Poly (-10)

Game 561-562: UC-Riverside at UC-Davis (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: UC-Riverside 44.535; UC-Davis 47.912
Dunkel Line: UC-Davis by 3 1.2
Vegas Line: UC-Davis by 1 1/2
Dunkel Pick: UC-Davis (-1 1/2)

Game 563-564: Long Beach State at UC-Santa Barbara (11:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Long Beach State 55.766; UC-Santa Barbara 60.381
Dunkel Line: UC-Santa Barbara by 4 1/2
Vegas Line: UC-Santa Barbara by 7
Dunkel Pick: Long Beach State (+7)

Game 565-566: CS-Fullerton at UC-Irvine (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: CS-Fullerton 51.248; UC-Irvine 60.155
Dunkel Line: UC-Irvine by 9
Vegas Line: UC-Irvine by 11
Dunkel Pick: CS-Fullerton (+11)

Game 567-568: St. Peter's at Rider (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Peter's 48.996; Rider 54.096
Dunkel Line: Rider by 5
Vegas Line: Rider by 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: St. Peter's (+7 1/2)

Game 569-570: Siena at Manhattan (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Siena 50.173; Manhattan 63.742
Dunkel Line: Manhattan by 13 1/2
Vegas Line: Manhattan by 11
Dunkel Pick: Manhattan (-11)

Game 571-572: Elon at Davidson (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Elon 50.275; Davidson 59.045
Dunkel Line: Davidson by 9
Vegas Line: Davidson by 7
Dunkel Pick: Davidson (-7)

Game 573-574: The Citadel at NC-Greensboro (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: The Citadel 40.974; NC-Greensboro 48.767
Dunkel Line: NC-Greensboro by 8
Vegas Line: NC-Greensboro by 10
Dunkel Pick: The Citadel (+10)

Game 575-576: Furman at Georgia Southern (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Furman 40.307; Georgia Southern 50.528
Dunkel Line: Georgia Southern by 10
Vegas Line: Georgia Southern by 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Georgia Southern (-8 1/2)

Game 577-578: Chattanooga at Appalachian State (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Chattanooga 42.225; Appalachian State 46.388
Dunkel Line: Appalachian State by 4
Vegas Line: Appalachian State by 2 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Appalachian State (-2 1/2)

Game 579-580: SE Missouri State at Morehead State (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: SE Missouri State 48.272; Morehead State 57.279
Dunkel Line: Morehead State by 9
Vegas Line: Morehead State by 7
Dunkel Pick: Morehead State (-7)

Game 581-582: Monmouth at Quinnipiac (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Monmouth 50.255; Quinnipiac 56.954
Dunkel Line: Quinnipiac by 6 1/2
Vegas Line: Quinnipiac by 10
Dunkel Pick: Monmouth (+10)

Game 583-584: Belmont at Eastern Kentucky (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Belmont 54.638; Eastern Kentucky 53.988
Dunkel Line: Belmont by 1
Vegas Line: Eastern Kentucky by 1 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Belmont (+1 1/2)

Game 585-586: Western Illinois at South Dakota State (11:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Western Illinois 50.415; South Dakota State 56.477
Dunkel Line: South Dakota State by 6
Vegas Line: South Dakota State by 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Western Illinois (+8 1/2)

Game 587-588: Murray State at Eastern Illinois (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Murray State 56.286; Eastern Illinois 44.799
Dunkel Line: Murray State by 11 1/2
Vegas Line: Murray State by 6
Dunkel Pick: Murray State (-6)

Game 589-590: Austin Peay at SIU-Edwardsville (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Austin Peay 46.959; SIU-Edwardsville 43.796
Dunkel Line: Austin Peay by 3
Vegas Line: Pick
Dunkel Pick: Austin Peay

Game 591-592: Tennessee State at Jacksonville State (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tennessee State 43.867; Jacksonville State 46.586
Dunkel Line: Jacksonville State by 2 1/2
Vegas Line: Jacksonville State by 6
Dunkel Pick: Tennessee State (+6)

Game 593-594: IUPUI at South Dakota (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: IUPUI 40.830; South Dakota 51.271
Dunkel Line: South Dakota by 10 1/2
Vegas Line: South Dakota by 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: South Dakota (-8 1/2)

Game 595-596: NE-Omaha at North Dakota State (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NE-Omaha 53.321; North Dakota State 62.437
Dunkel Line: North Dakota State by 9
Vegas Line: North Dakota State by 12 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NE-Omaha (+12 1/2)

Game 597-598: Niagara at Fairfield (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Niagara 50.138; Fairfield 50.881
Dunkel Line: Fairfield by 1
Vegas Line: Fairfield by 4 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Niagara (+4 1/2)

Game 599-600: Eastern Washington at Northern Arizona (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Eastern Washington 50.997; Northern Arizona 50.790
Dunkel Line: Even
Vegas Line: Northern Arizona by 3
Dunkel Pick: Eastern Washington (+3)

Game 601-602: Southern Utah at Idaho State (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Southern Utah 29.516; Idaho State 52.826
Dunkel Line: Idaho State by 23 1/2
Vegas Line: Idaho State by 19 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Idaho State (-19 1/2)

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, January 16

Jimmy Boyd

BYU -3½

The BYU Cougars are a much better team than their 11-7 record indicates. The Cougars have played a tough schedule this season, facing a total of four ranked teams. BYU has won three consecutive conference games by a margin of 23 points. A big reason for their success this year is an offense that ranks fourth in the country in scoring with 87.3 points per game. The Cougars also rank fifth in the country in rebounds per game, and they are eighth in assists per game. Statistically BYU is dominating San Francisco in all the key categories.

The Cougars have not fared well on the road with a 3-6 record, but four of those six losses came against ranked opponents. I expect to see BYU put a huge number on the scoreboard against a Dons defense that is surrendering 75.4 points per game this season. The Cougars confidence should be high riding a three game win streak. They have dominated the rebounding margin by a +13.6 average during that stretch. BYU is 17-3 ATS after two straight games outrebounding their opponents by 10 or more. They are also 47-28 ATS against poor defensive teams that are allowing a shooting percentage of 45 percent or worse.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, January 16

Ben Burns

Montreal vs. Ottawa
Play: Under 5½

Anytime we can get the Canadiens with an O/U line of 5.5, the “under” is at least worth a look.

The Canadiens have seen four straight games produce five or fewer goals. Those four games averaged less than four goals.

Going back further finds the “under” at a lucrative 26-8 the past few seasons, when the Canadiens played a road game with an O/U line of 5.5.

Admittedly, Ottawa games have been a little higher-scoring on the season. However, the Sens' last two games have resulted in a 2-1 and 3-0 victories, as they’ve suddenly become very stingy.

Its also worth noting that the “under” is 7-2-1 the last 10 times that the Sens were off a win by two or more goals.

Eight of Montreal’s last 12 visits to Ottawa, including each of the last two, have produced five or fewer combined goals. I believe this on has a solid shot at doing the same.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, January 16

Nick Parsons

Boston vs. Dallas
Play: Under 5½

These teams played against each other in Boston back on November 5th and the Stars would hold on for the 3-2 victory, the total in that one "pushing".

I believe that the situation, the numbers and the trends point to a similar combined scored tonight, and with the total set at 5.5 this time around, the "under" would indeed seem to be the prudent wager in this match-up.

Boston has lost three of four and will be "desperate"; the Bruins are one of the best defensive clubs in the league, however they've allowed an uncharacteristically high 4.3 per game in those setbacks. So is it time to hit the panic button if you're a Boston fan?

I don't think so. The Bruins are a veteran club and have the tools and systems in place to return to their normal commanding selves on that end of the ice; remember, Boston gave up just 2.1 GPG over their first 42 this season.

Bruins' goaltender Tuukka Rask is still among the NHL's leaders with a 2.11 GAA.

On the other end of the ice, the Stars will be looking to build off their 5-2 win over Edmonton on Tuesday, a victory which snapped a six-game slide.

Duplicating that offensive outburst is going to be hard vs. this hungry Bruins team though; note that Dallas entered the game vs. the Oilers with just a 12.4 percent success rate on the power-play (it is a ghastly 7 for 81, 8.8 percent with the man advantage in front of the home town crowd this season).

Note that Boston has seen the total go "under" the number in all three road games it's played in this season when the total is set at 5.5.

And note that Dallas has seen the total dip below the posted number in eight of its last 14 this year after scoring 4 goals or more in its previous contest.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, January 16

Doug Upstone

New Jersey Devils vs. Colorado Avalanche    
Play: Colorado Avalanche -1½ +197

Colorado will enjoy the goaltending advantage as well as home ice when they host the Devils Thursday night. They have won three of four games and this is a game they should win. I like the value on the puckline but even money on minus 148 and the puckline is advised. Avs will likely win 3-1 or 4-2.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, January 16

Jim Feist

Thunder vs. Rockets
Play: 206

Houston can play some defense when they want, as in a win at Boston this week, a 104-92 win at Boston. Houston is on a 7-3 run under the total and the under is 24-11 in the Rockets last 35 home games. Houston is on a 6-1 run under the total against a team with a winning record and into town comes an Oklahoma City team that can win any style. They are great on offense, but an underrated defensive team, 7th in the NBA in points allowed and second to Indiana in field goal shooting defense. They allowed 90 points the last game but lost at Memphis. Thunder Guard Russell Westbrook remained on the inactive list recovering from right knee surgery. Thunder C Kendrick Perkins is no offensive force and now has almost as many fouls (105) as points scored this season (117). Oklahoma City is on a 7-3 run under the total. The under is also 6-1 when they face a team with a winning record. Houston is home, but will they want to run? This is the second of a back to back spot for the Rockets after playing on the road last night. And when these teams meet the under is 6-1 in the last seven meetings.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, January 16

Matt Fargo

Louisiana Tech at Tulane
Pick: Tulane

Louisiana Tech is rolling right now as it has won six straight games while covering all four that had lines involved. The Bulldogs are now 14-3 on the season including 2-0 in C-USA following wins over Florida Atlantic and Florida International by 20 and 34 points respectively but those were both at home. They now hit the road where they are a solid 4-1 on the season but are now asking to lay a number that is completely overinflated. Tulane comes into this game with a winning record at 9-8 which includes a 1-1 mark in conference action. The Green Wave opened their C-USA schedule with 26-point loss at Tulsa but bounced back just two days later with a victory at North Texas by 11 points and they have to be given a lot of credit for that rebound. Tulane is 7-2 at home and while this will be a tough task, the conference home opener will lead to a solid home court edge. The Bulldogs again will be without leading scorer Raheem Appleby who is missing his second straight game with an ankle injury. They also fall into a negative situation where we play against favorites of 10 to 19.5 points in the second half of the season that are averaging 76 or more ppg going up against teams averaging between 67 and 74 ppg, after allowing 65 points or less three straight games. This situation is 45-18 ATS (71.4 percent) since 1997.


Matt Fargo's Featured Package

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, January 16

Ken Thomson

Murray St. -5.5

Two teams that are currently going in different directions.  Murray State has won 4 straight.  One of those four wins was by 13 points last week at Eastern Kentucky, one of the favorites in the Ohio Valley Conference.  That same EKU team just won by 19 points in Eastern Illinois on January 2nd.  Cameron Payne ( 15 ppg / 5.5 ) leads the way for the Racers along with big man 6'8" Jarvis Williams ( 14.1 ppg / 10.5 RB ).  The Racers have been on a roll since they activated Clemson transfer TJ Sapp back on December 17th.  Sapp averages another ( 14.3 ) points per game.  Meanwhile Eastern Illinois has lost 9 of 11 games.  Reggie Smith who transferred twice from ( Marquette & UNLV ) leads the Panthers in scoring at ( 12.1 ppg )...however he shoots only 24 % behind the 3-point line.  I look for Murray State to beat the Panthers by double digits.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, January 16

Will Rogers

San Jose vs. Florida
Pick: San Jose

The San Jose Sharks sit in fourth place in the Western Conference, but Colorado is breathing down their neck, trailing by just a single point. San Jose will be on the road in Florida Thursday night, and they will look to keep pace and maintain their position in the standing with a win over the Panthers.

Here are my keys to the game:

1: Previous History -The Panthers have alternated wins and losses in each of their last eight games, and they are coming off a win over the Isles at home on Tuesday by a score of 4-2. The Sharks won by a score of 2-1 in Washington on Tuesday, and Antti Niemi stopped 35-of-36 shots. He's allowed just a single goal in each of his last three starts.

2: Special Teams - The Sharks are dangerous on the power-play, scoring on 19% of their chances, and they are also solid killing penalties, with a kill rate of 83.5%. Florida struggles with special teams, ranking near the bottom of the league in both categories.

3: X-Factor - Tim Thomas has lost consecutive starts, allowing five goals in his last two meetings with San Jose (as a member of the Boston Bruins).

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, January 16

Jesse Schule

Oklahoma City vs. Houston
Pick: Houston

Houston has won five of six in January, and three straight on the road. They return home from a successful road trip to host Oklahoma City on Thursday, and the Thunder are coming off a 90-87 loss at Memphis on Tuesday.

Kevin Durant is doing his best to step up his game since Russell Westbrook went down with an injury, but even his 37 points were not enough to avoid defeat on the road in Memphis Tuesday.

Reggie Jackson committed seven turnovers in that game, and he's been far better at home than he has been on the road.

The Rockets will be playing their second game in as many nights, but they have covered the spread in five of their last six such contests.

James Harden might be primed for a big night against his former team, he's burned the Thunder averaging almost 30 points per game against them since being traded in 2012.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, January 16

Jason Sharpe

New York (+9.5) over Indiana

Expecting a close one here between these two playoff foes from last season. The New York Knicks should have their full attention here as they were knocked out of last year's playoffs when losing to the Indiana Pacers. They had a revenge game against them very early on this season at home and fell just short, losing in overtime. The Knicks are easily playing their best basketball of the season with five wins in their last six games, and their lone loss was in a tough spot on Tuesday, the night after an overtime win where they had to travel and play a well-rested Charlotte squad.

The Indiana Pacers may not have their full focus for this one as they have a few big games on tap after this contest as they host the Clippers then head out to Golden State to play the Warriors after that. This game has all the makings of a look-ahead spot for the Pacers, while the Knicks are coming off a loss and looking for some revenge.

Take New York and the points in this one.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, January 16

Carlos Salazar

Oklahoma City at Houston
Play: Houston -2.5

Oklahoma City has failed to win in three of their last four outing while the Rockets are heating up winning in 4 of their last 5. Lay points tonight as Houston wins by 10.


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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, January 16

DAVE COKINFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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NEBRASKA OMAHA AT NORTH DAKOTA STATEVlSlT THESPREAD.COM
PLAY: NORTH DAKOTA STATE -12SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The number is pretty steep tonight as North Dakota State plays host to Nebraska-Omaha in Summit League action. But I think there’s a real possibility this game ends up being pretty lopsided in favor of the Bison.
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There’s no question that the visiting Mavericks have been a nice surprise this season. Not only are the Mavericks a respectable 10-6, they’ve been right there in all the losses, and most of those came against decent competition.
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The one major issue for Omaha has been an inability to finish. They’ve had some real problems down the stretch in all the defeats. This is often a sign that the depth is lacking and the guys having to play perhaps a few too many minutes are wearing down. That could mean big trouble here.
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It’s looking to me like UNO is wearing down. The last two games at Hawaii and Western Illinois have been troubling. They got blown away late against the Rainbow Warriors as they blew a substantial lead. The Mavericks did manage to cover that clash, but that sure wasn’t the case last weekend at Western Illinois. Omaha wilted badly late and allowed an anemic opponent to come back from being down doubles, and the Mavericks were demolished in the overtime session.
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Now UNO has to play yet another road game, and this one is against a North Dakota State squad that can be very tough at home. The Bison have some shortcomings on defense, but they’re better than the Mavericks on offense, and that’s an area I feel UNO has to win to have a real chance tonight.
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The number has to be a concern tonight, but I see the scheduling dynamics being a big factor tonight, and that’s where I’ve got the Bison enjoying a big edge. I’m looking at North Dakota State minus the points in this game.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, January 16

Marc LawrenceFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Oklahoma City vs. HoustonFREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: HoustonFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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From mid-November to the end of 2013, the Thunder went on an amazing 20-2 run, with five of those wins by more than 20 points. Well, as they say, “If you wanna dance, you gotta pay the fiddler.”  That 20th victory of the streak was a 117-86 win over the Rockets, probably Houston’s worst game of the season – the Rockets missed their first 12 shots and fell behind 13-0, and except for only 17 seconds early in the 3rd quarter, never got the deficit to single figures. However, if you look at the numbers in this series in recent years, you might be surprised to find out that Houston has won 14 of the last 19 meetings SU, and posted an 11-7-1 spread mark against the Thunder. In addition, Houston is an impressive 18-6-1 ATS with revenge from a loss of 30 or more points, including 7-1-1 ATS in same-season revenge. There’s also added value to the selection with the Rockets having played last night at New Orleans, so we’ll take advantage of it all in this major payback tonight. It’s quite likely that we’ll see a great head-to-head scoring battle between James Harden (38, 37 and 38 his last three games) and Kevin Durant (averaging 35 PPG since Westbrook went out), but at the end of the contest, it will be Houston with the bigger number up on the scoreboard.  We recommend a 1-unit play on Houston.

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Red Dog SportsFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Houston vs. LouisvilleFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Houston +18½FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Louisville is a good club that won the title last year. They are off a close win over SMU and loss to Memphis at home. They are led by Russ Smith and Luke Hancock, who is shooting close to 36% from the field. Houston is a decent team that is led by Thomas at 17 ppg. Danuel House is still out due to surgery but Stiggers and Rose both are at 10 ppg and Morris/Knowles provide points as well. Look for the Cougars to stay within 16 and cover the high number.

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DB ConsensusFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Brooklyn Nets at Atlanta HawksFREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Brooklyn Nets have arrived in the London, but their desire to compete is still in the USA. It's safe to say that the Nets aren't exactly fired up to be playing in this game across the pond. The Hawks haven't been lighting the world on fire, but they have notched victories over Houston and Indiana recently. We expect the Hawks to perform while the Nets countdown the minutes until their departure flight.

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Rob VincilettiFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Missouri vs. VanderbiltFREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Missouri has won 7 of the last 8 vs teams uder.500 like Vanderbilt. The Tigers have won 30 of the last 43 in Conference play and come in off a solid road win at Auburn despite shooting a season low 32% in that win. Missouri has a solid RPI Ranking at 43 and they have won all 6 games this season vs teams ranked 50 to 150 in the RPI Scale, which is where Vandy checks in as they are ranked 135. The Commodores have lost 2 of the last 3 here at home and are 0-5 vs top 100 teams this season. Missouri whipped Vanderbilt by 22 last season and should take another here tonight.


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Ian CameronFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Utah -10.5FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Utah Utes should be sitting on a good effort tonight as they return home following a pair of tough road losses by a combined five points. The Utes are a dominant 12-1 on this court on the season with the one and only loss coming in OT against Oregon. The Utes numbers offensively away from home are not great but on their home floor, they are connecting at a very impressive 50.7% FG rate including 36.5% from the perimeter. Jordan Loveridge leads the team with over 16 ppg but Delon Wright and Brandon Taylor are two other viable scoring options who average in double figures. Utah has performed very well on defense on their home court as well holding foes to 39.9% shooting and just 30.1% from the perimeter.
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Things have unravelled lately for Andy Enfield’s USC Trojans. USC has been blown out in three straight games to open the month suffering awful losses by 34 at UCLA and a pair of blowout losses on their home court by 19 to Arizona State and 20 to top-ranked Arizona. Utah isn’t as good as those squads but it still waves a major red flag. The biggest issue for USC is their lack of any sort of defensive awareness during this stretch as they have allowed over 50% FG in those three losses. USC isn’t playing much defense these days and with Utah talking about trying to push the pace more and be more efficient on offense, things may get worse before they get better for USC. We’ve also seen USC’s offensive production slip. Byron Wesley in the only player averaging double figures in scoring (17.5 ppg). Pe’Shon Howard (9.8 ppg) has combined to score just 13 points in the last four games, including back-to-back scoreless efforts against Howard and UCLA. Nikola Jovanovic is also coming off three straight games in single digits for the first time this season and J.T. Terrell has combined to shoot 4-for-18 in the last two games.
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All of Utah’s 12 wins have been on their home court and all but one of those wins have come by 10 points or more and that includes a pair of double-digit wins at home against BYU and Oregon State. I expect Utah to notch its 12th double digit home win of the season tonight.

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The Colorado Buffalo's are off to a great start this season at 14-3 and ranked #21 in the nation, but I'm not sure they will be able to continue that success without injured guard Spencer Dinwiddie who tore his ACL in Colorado's loss to Washington in their last game. Dinwiddie is Colorado's best player. He leads the team in scoring and was also a defensive specalist who was a pre season Pac 12 first team selection. To make matter worse for the Buffalo's, Colorado head coach Tad Boyle announced on Tuesday that guard Tre'Shaun Fletcher is out 6 to 8 weeks due to a knee issue that required surgery. I think the loss of these two players is huge and its going to take Colorado some time to adjust. This is a tough match up for the Buffalo's first game without their star player. Colorado is trying to move their record to 12-0 at home for the first time since 1968 but they 1-6 in their last seven meetings against the Bruins and have lost both matchups since joining the Pac-12 confernece. UCLA has not won a true road game this season, but they have only played one as they were 80-71 losers at Missouri in December after starting the season at 8-0. The Bruins only other losses this season were against two ranked teams in Duke and a 79-75 loss to then #1 Arizona last week. UCLA has a very potent offense and without Dinwiddie on the floor for the Buffs I don't see them winning this game. Play on UCLA.

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