Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, January 16

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Jack JonesFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Colorado PKFREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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I'm going to back the Colorado Buffaloes Thursday at a tremendous price as a pick 'em at home against the UCLA Bruins. This is one of the most underrated teams in the country folks, and one that you will likely be seeing in the Big Dance.
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Colorado is off to a 14-3 start this season, which includes a perfect 11-0 mark at home where it is outscoring opponents by an average of 13.0 points per game. Its home wins include Harvard, Kansas and Oregon this season.
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Amazingly, UCLA has only played one true road game this season. That resulted in a 71-80 loss at Missouri as a 1.5-point underdog. You could certainly argue that the Bruins don't have a quality win yet as they have lost to the three best teams they have faced in Missouri, Duke and Arizona. They were favored in every other game.
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Colorado is 12-2 ATS versus good rebounding teams that outrebound their opponents by four-plus boards per game over the last two seasons. The Buffaloes are 15-4 ATS versus good 3-point shooting teams who make 37% or more of their attempts over the last three years. Colorado is 17-7 ATS at home when the line is +3 to -3 over the last three seasons. The Buffaloes are 11-1 ATS after scoring 60 points or fewer over the last two years. Bet Colorado Thursday.

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Rickie RobbinsFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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New Jersey Devils vs. Colorado AvalancheSERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Colorado Avalanche -141FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Between Jaromir Jagr and Martin Broduer the New Jersey Devils have plenty of feel good stories this season for aging players who continue to defy reality and play excellent hockey. What could be the difference in their season however is the play of some of the unknown guys in the lineup every night and one of them came through in a big way on Tuesday night in Montreal. Eric Gelinas broke a 1-1 tie with a power play goal and his play is something that head coach Peter Deboer better take notice of because the Devils are simply a better hockey club with him in the lineup this season. New Jersey has won three of their last four contests but this recent one was certainly their most impressive because going into the Bell Centre and coming away with a win is never an easy thing to do. Gelinas' goal was his fifth of the season and for a player who has been in and out of the lineup I think it's probably time that he secures a spot in this defense group. The slap shot that he Gelinas beat Carey Price with was a thing of beauty and the Devils just kept going from there. Adam Henrique scored three minutes later to increase the New Jersey lead to two goals and Dainius Zubrus finished the scoring in the 4-1 win with an empty net goal late in the third. Brodeur made 29 saves in front of the home fans in Montreal and continues to play really well in goal for the Devils. Thursday night's match against the Colordao Avalanche will be a big time test for the Devils. The Avalanche have won six of their last eight games and are coming off a big time win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night. Tyson Barrie and Ryan O'Reilly gave Colorado a 2-0 first period lead but the Avalanche couldn't build on it and watched as the Blackhawks scored once in the second and once in the third to tie it. With under a minute to play in overtime it was Barrie connecting again to lift the Avalanche to a 3-2 win and two big points in the standings. Semyon Varlamov picked up his 22nd win of the season in this one and he continues to be the backbone of this hockey cub despite all the young talent they have up front. People keep expecting this Colordao club to come back down to earth but with the pieces they have in place that are starting to really mature it might not happen. There will be growing pains in the playoffs for sure in Colordao but there's a lot of good things to look forward to if you're an Avalanche fan.

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Bryan LeonardFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Wisconsin Milwaukee -1FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Panthers have held their own on the road this year with a 5-3 record. Currently 12-6 on the year but they are off a home loss to in-state rival Wisconsin Green Bay. Coming off an eight win season a year ago this club more resembles the 20, 19 and 20 win seasons of the previous three years.
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UIC on the other hand took a significant jump last year to 18 wins after 8, 7 and 8 win campaigns. But we have seen no reason to think this club has turned the corner. A 5-12 record with wins over Roosevelt, San Diego, Wagner, SE Missouri and Purdue-Calumet. The Flames are riding a six game losing streak into this contest. This is a club that is 2-5 straight up at home on the season with the five losses coming to teams with a combined 45-40 mark. Both home victories came against Non-Division 1 opposition.

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Dave EsslerFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Nebraska-Omaha 12.5FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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I simply cannot lay -12 or more points with a team that plays as bad a defense as North Dakota State. They are 268th in terms of defensive efficiency, and although they've played a tough schedule, it's not been THAT tough so as to effect the numbers a ton. I do know that Nebraska-Omaha lost at Hawaii, which is no real shame, and then lost to Western Illinois, which after being in Hawaii is somewhat predictable. What's interesting is that all the teams that have given NDSU trouble are up-tempo teams, and Neb-Omaha is certainly that, and Omaha DOES play reasonable defense. Both teams are excellent FT shooting teams, and Omaha tends to get to the line a bit more. Bottom line, I simply think this is entirely too many points and based solely on perception and past performance.

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NHL PredictionsFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Colorado Avalanche -140FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Devils currently sit with a 20-18-10 record and 10-12-4 road record. Colorado is 29-12-5 on the season and a solid 16-6-3 at home. New Jersey has won 3 of 4 games vs Montreal, Florida and Dallas (with a loss in Toronto), but they've also lost 4 of their last 7 games. The Avalanche are coming off two straight road victories and they've won 6 of their last 8 overall (with one of the two losses coming in overtime). Expected starter Semyon Varlamov has been playing good for Colorado winning 5 of his last 6 starts and allowing an average of just 2 goals per game over his last 5. The Devils are just 16-35 in their last 51 road games, 5-12 in their last 17 road games vs a team with a home winning % of .600 or higher, and 1-5 in their last 6 vs Western Conference opponents. The Avs are 24-9 in their last 33 sv Eastern Conference opponents, and although these teams don't meet often they are 5-1-1 in their last 7 home games vs the Devils. New Jersey is an average team in the Eastern Conference, while Colorado has proven to be a top team in a stronger Western Conference. Winning 6 of their last 8 games I'll take the Avs at home at a generous price although laying a bit of chalk.
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Boston Bruins -114FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Bruins look to come back strong tonight in Dallas after the Maple Leafs defeated them 4-3 on Tuesday. It was an upset for the Bruins, who have been facing some difficulties lately. They are 5-5 in their last ten, which doesn't sound too awful, but for Boston it isn't exactly ideal. However, 5-5 would sound pretty good the Stars. The Stars were in the midst of a 6 game losing streak before they beat the hopeless Edmonton Oilers, 5-2, Tuesday evening. It was only their 3rd win in their last ten matchups. The only impressive win out of the three was against the L.A Kings. Dallas runs into a team tonight that is one of the tops in the league defensively, allowing only 2.17 goals a game. Dallas does not compete with the Bruins in this respect, as they give up 2.98 goals a game on average. The Stars have been fairly good in the goal scoring department, notching 2.80 per game, but the Bruins have the upper-hand there, averaging 2.85. The Bruins should be able to showcase who the much better team is in this game. The Stars are what they are, an average middling team that is suddenly in some turmoil. After a tough loss against the Leafs Tuesday night, the Bruins should be able to bounce back strongly in Dallas.

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

WunderdogFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Oakland at Cleveland StateFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: Oakland +7.5FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Oakland Grizzlies are just 7-12 to start the season, but their record is quite deceiving. The Grizzlies took on arguably the strongest out-of-conference schedule in the nation with games against UCLA, North Carolina, California, Gonzaga, Indiana, and Michigan State. That sure helps to soften the 1-7 road mark, and this team should be toughened by the level of competition they have faced this season. Cleveland State is 10-8, but has certainly had an easier path to get here. These teams are significantly separated by record only, but on the court they are a lot closer than the uncompensated line. Take the points on Oakland.

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Larry Ness
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Ohio St. vs. Minnesota
Pick: Ohio St.
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The Buckeyes are trying to answer a lot of questions (and maybe doubts) when they step on the court at Williams Arena against a Golden Gophers...
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Ohio State opened 15-0, then lost a tough OT game at Michigan St on Jan 7, 72-68 (had fought back from a 17-point deficit). The Buckeyes may have been suffering a little let down after that game, as Sunday they lost at home to Iowa, 84-74 (blew a nine-point second half lead). After the loss, head coach Thad Matta told a discouraged player, "The thing we're trying to find is, how do we get back to playing our consistent -- our best -- basketball?" Matta has been preaching this week that the 11th-ranked Buckeyes (15-2, 2-2 Big Ten) shouldn't -- and can't afford to -- dwell on the defeats. After all, it seems there's always another major conference test right around the corner.
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Now the Buckeyes are trying to answer a lot of questions (and maybe doubts) when they step on the court at Williams Arena against a Golden Gophers team that almost won at Michigan State over the weekend. Minnesota took a big step under first-year coach Richard Pitino in Saturday's 87-75 overtime loss to the Spartans. The Golden Gophers led 53-43 with 15:57 left before Michigan State went on a 15-0 run, and they erased a five-point deficit in the last 13 seconds to force OT. "We did a lot of good things and some silly things," Pitino said. "It shows the potential that we have and hopefully we showed we can compete with anybody."
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That said, I want no part of the Gophers here against the Buckeyes, who are coming off those back-to-back losses. Ohio St has six players getting 22-plus minutes, with that group averaging between 7.6 and 13.6 PPG. The 6-8 Ross (13.6-5.8) is the leading scorer and starts up front with 6-11 center Williams (9.6-6.7). That duo is joined by a trio of guards in Smith (12.2-4.9), Craft (9.1-3.4-5.1) and Scott (8.3-4.2-4.1), with the 6-7 Thompson (7.6-3.2) coming off the bench. Ohio State has won the last SIX meetings with the Golden Gophers, averaging just over 10 turnovers per game. However, the Buckeyes have totaled 38 TOs in the back-to-back defeats and spent extra time working to avoid those errors in practice this week, in addition to preventing defensive lapses.
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Minnesota owns a deep perimeter group, with four guards averaging in double digits. Andre (16.3-4.1-3.1) and Austin (12.1-6.7)  Hollins are the stars, supported by Mathieu (11.4-4.4 APG) and Smith (10.1). However, the team's lone big man of note is the 6-11 Eliason (6.5-8.6). Minnesota is 10-1 at home with that loss coming to a Michigan team not nearly as good as this Ohio St team. Off back-to-back losses, expect the Buckeyes to bounce back. Lay the short price.

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

Hollywood SportsFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Thunder at RocketsFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Prediction: UnderFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Oklahoma City (28-10) looks to rebound from a 90-87 loss in Memphis on Tuesday and they have played 5 of their last 7 games Under the Total following a loss. The Thunder have also played 6 of their last 7 games Under the Total against ams with a winning record.
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Houston (26-14) has won three straight after their 103-100 win in New Orleans on Wednesday -and the Under is 7-1-1 in their last 9 games after scoring at least 100 points in their last contest. And in the Rockets last 7 games against teams with a winning record, Houston has played 6 of these games Under the Total. Furthermore, in the last 7 meetings between these two teams, the game finished Under the Total in 6 of these contests. Take the Under in this one.

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Sam MartinFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Arizona St. at ArizonaFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Prediction: Arizona StFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Sun Devils stay in-state to take on the top-ranked Wildcats of Arizona tonight, and while we do expect Arizona to win this game outright, we think this game stays within single-digits and we'll recommend a play on underdog Arizona State getting superb line value.
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The Wildcats play good enough defense to keep this game close, holding six of their last eight foes to 40% shooting or worse, and they are allowing just 39% shooting on the entire season. This is similar to our premium play on Miami FL when they visited Syracuse recently, as we took the points with Miami looking for Syracuse to win outright, but not in a blowout. Same circumstances here, and with ASU 24-11 ATS away off a road loss by 10 or more points (looking ahead to this game), we'll take the points and hold on for the cover!

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

John Ryan

Montreal Canadiens at Ottawa Senators
Prediction: Montreal Canadiens

The simulator shows a high probability that Montreal will win this match. Supporting this graded play is a proven system posting a 37-19 mark using the money line for 66% winners and has made 26 units/unit wagered averaging a +120 DOG play since 1996. Play on an underdog using the money line (MONTREAL) off a home loss by 2 goals or more and is a marginal winning team (51% to 60%) and now playing a marginal losing record team. 6-0 against the money line (+6.3 Units) in road games after having lost 2 of their last 3 games this season. Take Montreal.

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Steve Rich
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New York Knicks vs. Indiana Pacers    
Play: Indiana Pacers -9½
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The Knicks who are trying to sneak into the last spot in the playoffs travel to take on the Pacers who currently have the best record in the East. The Knicks had won five in a row before losing to Charlotte Tuesday night. The Pacers have won five of their last six with the total going over for the first time since Dec. 28th. This could potentially be a preview of the first round in the playoffs.
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The Knicks have started to play better defense only allowing 94.5 ppg since January 1st. On offense they are scoring 98.25 ppg over the same time period. Both numbers are noticeable improvement from the start of the season. That is basically a reversal of how they started the season. That includes winning at Dallas and San Antonio and losing by 2 at Houston.Throw in a win at home over Miami during that span and they are making a big push to be a playoff team this year which is what was expected of them.
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The Pacers are pacing the Eastern Conference by getting their 30th win on Tuesday with a victory over a previously hot Sacramento team and holding them to 92 points. This was a team who had scored over 100 points in 18 of their previous 19 games. The Pacers tough minded defense forced the Kings to turn it over 15 times. It isn’t easy winning on the road against good teams in the NBA. The Pacers would like to let the Knicks know just how hard it is Thursday night.
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The Indiana Pacers are favored by 10 and the total is 184. The Pacers are just too tough at home. This is a lot of points but I’m going to lay the points with the Pacers at home.

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

Andre Ramirez

SE Missouri St vs. Morehead St
Play: Under 166

Take the under for the win. According to the spread the bookmakers have Morehead winning 82-75. The problem with this line is the total. SE Missouri is 4-2 on the over scoring 77 points or more. But SE Missouri is 11-15 on the under when laying 6.5-9 points. The Bookmakers are using the 5-2 over that SE Missouri has cashed in. But the problem is Morehead State. They are 1-5 on the under after a conference loss rival, 0-8 on the under against poor defense teams scoring 77 points or more, and 6-16 on the under versus teams putting up 77 points or more. Last year Morehead State won 75-59. Take the under for the win.

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

Dave Price

NY Knicks +10

You want to fade home teams that are outscoring opponents by an average of 9.0 points per game or more on the season when they are matched up against an opponent that allowed 105 points or more last game. Doing so has produced a 32-6 ATS mark the last five seasons. Teams fitting these parameters have been favored by 11.1 points on average but have won by an average of 4.6. You also want to back double-digit road underdogs that have a losing record when they are off a double-digit road loss. Doing so has produced a 104-67 ATS result the last five seasons. The Knicks lost the season's first meeting 103-96 in OT, but they are on a 28-12 ATS run when out for revenge for a loss where they gave up 100 points or more. The Pacers were the team that knocked New York out of the playoffs last season so the Knicks will be looking for a measure of revenge. Take the points as this motivated New York squad keeps this one within the number.

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

Jeff Alexander

Nebraska-Omaha +13

North Dakota State is 0-7 ATS in games taking place 15 games or more into the schedule the last 3 seasons versus teams like Nebraska-Omaha that are outscoring opponents by 8.0 ppg or more on the season. North Dakota State is also on a 5-18 ATS slide following a win of 10 points or more over a conference rival. The Mavericks, who are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 road games, lost both of last season's meetings with NDSU handily so they will be lacking no motivation tonight. Grab the points.

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AC DineroFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Tulsa vs. CharlotteFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Charlotte -2FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Charlotte returns home after 2 road games to take a Tulsa team coming off 3 home wins. These are 2 evenly matched teams, except Charlotte has an edge on the boards and Tulsa tends to leave points at the FT line. Add in the fact that Tulsa will be without a key player, the home team is the correct side in this game.

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SPORTS WAGERSFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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DALLAS +104 over BostonFREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Not convinced that the Bruins deserve to be favored here. Boston has one win over their past four games, a 1-0 victory over the Sharks in a game that could have gone either way. The B’s have just three wins in their past eight games and the schedule has not been kind to them either. After a tough trip to the West Coast with games in Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose, the Bruins returned home to face the Leafs on Tuesday. Now they’re back on the road in another time zone making this their third different time zone in their past three games over five days. That’s not easy, physically or mentally, and as goaltender Tuukka Rask put it, “It’s draining mentally when you travel a lot, and you play every other day”. Speaking of Rask, the goaltender is approaching his career-high in starts (39) for an NHL season after headlining his 37th game of the year Tuesday night vs. the Maple Leafs. Rask is sporting a 3.00 goals against average and a rough-looking .898 save percentage to go along with a lackluster 2-3-0 record in five starts since the beginning of January. He’s also been pulled three times over his past 12 starts. In other words, he’s not unbeatable at the moment. It doesn’t help that the B’s are without defensemen Dougie Hamilton and Dennis Seidenberg. Boston is simply not playing well right now.
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The Stars aren’t playing well either and that’s a surprise because this team has far too much talent to be hovering around the .500 mark and sitting below Minnesota and Phoenix in the standings. Dallas just snapped an ugly six-game losing streak with a much needed win over the Oilers. Defeating Edmonton is not a big deal but what it does is take a heavy load off their shoulders. When talented teams are slumping, one victory is all it takes to get going. One win often leads to two or more and we saw a very similar scenario with the Senators, a team that took a long time to get going but that has suddenly gotten hot. Dallas could be next in line for a big run providing they get adequate goaltending. A visit from what has to be a tired Bruins team that isn’t playing well lines up well for the Stars to string together a couple of wins in a row.   
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FLORIDA +132 over San JoseFREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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OT Included. The Sharks have been potent from an offensive standpoint the entire year but the injury bug has bit them, leaving a couple of key players on the rack. Missing from the Sharkies lineup are Tomas Hertl (25 points in 35 games) and Logan Couture (35 points in 43 games). The fact that those two are centers hurts the club even more. San Jose is just 4-4 over their past eight games and this is a game they are not likely to be jacked up for. The Sharks last visit to Florida was back in February of 2011 and when they lace up for tonight’s game they’ll be playing in a half empty arena with no atmosphere. The Sharkies have just one regulation goal over their past two games and just nine over their past five games. Scoring is way down and so is the Sharks quality of play.
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The Panthers are dangerous as hell. They’re coming off a 4-2 victory over the then red-hot Islanders. They’ve picked up points in six of their past eight games and both losses over that span came by a single goal. Prior to losing to Winnipeg 10 games ago, the Panthers had won eight of nine games. Ed Jovanovski is back in the lineup after missing 83 games dating back to last season. Jovanovski will play in his fifth straight game here and his presence makes this team better. Left winger Sean Bergenheim missed 10 games with a lower-body injury but is back in the lineup and has six goals in his last eight games and is playing outstanding hockey. The Panthers are not an easy out. They play hard, they play with confidence, they’re talented and when the opposition comes in here and doesn’t give it their all, they will lose. The Sharks are in danger of doing just that.

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SPORTS WAGERSFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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DAVIDSON -7½ over ElonFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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This certainly isn’t the feature game of the night but it pays the exact same as any other game and we’re suggesting it’s a soft line. On paper, Elon is 9-8 overall and 2-1 in the Southern Conference while Davidson’s overall record of 7-10 is two games back of Elon. However, Davidson is 3-0 in the conference and there is a reason why they are favored by 7½ against a team who has a better overall record than they do. We’ll get to that in a minute. First, the Elon Phoenix has played one of the worst schedules in all of Division I college basketball. Elon’s 9-8 record comes after playing the 303rd (out of 347) toughest schedule in the nation and most of the teams that have played an easier schedule than they have are schools you’ve never heard of like Houston Baptist, New Jersey Tech and Delaware State among others. Three of Elon’s victories have come against Division II schools and its other victories came against Marist State, Georgia State, Columbia, Virginia Military, Florida Atlantic, Appalachian State and Citadel. Combined, Appalachian State and Citadel are 0-6 in the conference and 8-24 overall. Elon has played two ranked teams, Colorado and Duke and they lost by 17 and 38 points respectively while allowing at least 80 points against in both games. Elon also allowed Canisius 86, Charlotte 83, Georgia State 85, and two Division II schools to score 74 or more. This is dumpster fire Elon team but they are not priced as such.
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Prior to conference play, the Wildcats of Davidson had dropped five in a row to drop their record to 4-10. However, the Wildcats lost to Duke, Virginia, Clemson, #19 New Mexico, then #14 North Carolina and #10 Wichita State. That counted for six of their 10 defeats. Davidson has victories this season over Charlotte (a team Elon lost to by 14) and Georgia. Their loss to North Carolina occurred in OT and in Wichita State they hung around the entire night and eventually lost by 11. With that difficult schedule comes a reward that Davidson is reaping right now. They have shot out to a 3-0 conference mark with all three victories being by 12 points or more. This strong program keeps churning out top caliber talent and this year is no different. The Wildcats are clearly the best team in the Southern Conference but have not been recognized as such yet and that allows us to take full advantage of this under the radar cheap price.
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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, January 16

Chris Jordan

My free play for Thursday night is in college basketball, as I like the Old Dominion Monarchs to get it done on the road, laying either a point or at a pick against Florida International. Old Dominion arrives in South Beach after recording an 81-70 win on the road against East Carolina, where the Monarchs covered as a 4-point underdog.

Old Dominion got 23 points from Keenan Palmore, as the Monarchs won for the second-straight time. They'll look to keep the winning streak alive, after they suffered through a 1-8 slide from the end of November through New Years Day.

The Monarchs have played a pretty decent non-conference slate, including West Virginia, Saint Louis and VCU. Tonight they'll take advantage of an FIU team that has struggled just as bad. After opening the season 6-2, the Panthers have lost six of their last nine games.

In three of FIU's last four losses, it's lost by 29, 35 and 34 points. I have to believe the weaknesses have been exposed and Old Dominion will be ready to pounce. Lay the road chalk, or bet it at a pick - you should be able to find either one.

5♦ OLD DOMINION

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

Jeff Benton

Thursday freebie is the Providence Friars as the road dog at St. John's.

The Friars should have some confidence after their beat-down of Georgetown by double-digits their last time out to snap a 3 game losing streak, as Providence will be playing against a St. John's team that is playing off their 4th straight loss, losing by a basket on Tuesday night at DePaul.

Have to believe the Redstorm are a little "shook" right now, and that the longer this game stays close, the less the Johnnies will believe they can actually win this contest.

With 6 straight point spread setbacks, and just a 4-10 overall spread mark, cannot back St. John's in the role of favorite tonight.

The Friars did win the last meeting between the teams last March, and have won outright in 6 of the last 10 overall meetings.

Have to side with the underdog in this spot tonight.

2♦ PROVIDENCE

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

Craig Davis

Today's free play is on the NY Knicks to cover the number at Indiana as I expect the surging Knicks to grab an early lead, possibly double digits, and then fight down the stretch for a chance at another big win.

I'm not ready to say the Knicks are all of a sudden a contender again, but you have to admit they've been playing really good basketball lately and there's no reason to think that it's going to come to an end tonight. And while I'm aware that Indiana has lost only once all season at home, New York has won and covered more games on the road than at home.

The last two times these teams have hooked up they've given us some pure entertainment. Why? Because the Knicks step up their game when they play the better teams and, in my opinion, they just match up well with Indiana.

I'm not saying the Knicks will win this game SU, but 10 points is a lot for a team that's been playing their best basketball of the year right now.

Take the Knicks and the points.

3♦ NEW YORK

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