Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, January 25

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, January 25

John Ryan

IUPUI at IPFW
Play: IUPUI

Have to first admit, that I know very little about these teams, their players, and coaches. However, the SIM has graded this is a solid 5* money making opportunity based on the simulations and subsequent projections. The simulator shows a high probability that IUPUI will lose this game by fewer than 10 points. Current line is 12 1/2 and I would not be surprised to see this line edge a little higher ahead of game time as the public takes the double digit favorite. Getting the line you are offered is perfectly fine for this [lay and any of my releases. Rarely, does the hook come into play, BUT it never hurts to shop for the best number. Supporting this graded play is a proven system posting a 118-63 ATS mark for 65% winners since 2008. Play on underdogs of 10 or more points (IUPUI) after failing to cover 4 of their last 5 against the spread and is now facing an opponent after having covered 3 of their last 4 against the spread. This line is already inflated by 33% reflecting the most recent trends by both teams in this matchup. Ft. Wayne has struggled mightily on the defensive end in multiple games this season and it stands to logic that they will take for granted that a 'W' is already theirs in this matchup. Obviously, I think IUPUI will test them fully and cover easily.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, January 25

Matt Fargo

Pittsburgh vs. Maryland    
Play: Maryland +4½

Pittsburgh is coming off a blowout victory against Clemson on Tuesday as it won by 33 points and was able to shake off the tough loss at Syracuse on Saturday. Now the Panthers hit the road again to take on Maryland for the second time this season. The Panthers defeated the Terrapins by 20 points earlier this month which sets up a great revenge situation for Maryland. We are also getting some added line value. The Panthers were favored by nine points in that game which would equate to them being about a one points favorite here based on venue change and that is clearly not the case as Maryland is catching a much higher number. Maryland has dropped three of its last four games but all of those defeats have come on the road. The Terrapins are 2-0 straight up and ATS in home ACC games and this is the first game this year they are listed as a home underdog. Maryland is 5-2 after a loss this season and going back it is 8-2 in its last 10 games following an ATS loss. Meanwhile the Panthers are 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 games following a win and they fall into a negative situation where we play against favorites with a winning percentage of .800 or better that are coming off a win by 20 points or more over a conference rival, playing a team with a winning percentage between .501 and .600. This situation is 37-13 ATS (74 percent) over the last five seasons.


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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, January 25

Freddy Wills

Northwestern +10

I like Northwestern to cover this game as it is a revenge game for Northwestern who lost 67-93 on the road against Iowa earlier in the season. Iowa has been a completely different team on the road this year losing 3 of 4 and Northwestern will play much better than they did in the first game where they allowed Iowa to shoot 57% from the 3. There is not that big of a difference between these two teams.

The biggest reason why I like this play is Northwestern's ability to defend inside the 3 which is where Iowa will take 78% of their shots on average in road games, because they are only shooting 27.8% from three on the road. Northwestern just so happens to defend the 2 point game very well ranked 53rd in the country. In the first match up they did not defend well and they will make the necessary adjustments as they are averaging 7.6% better on 2 point defense at home than they are on the road.


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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, January 25

Jeff Alexander

Georgetown +12

Line line is an overreaction to Creighton's blowout win at Villanova. The Hoyas have dropped 3 straight and will leave it all on the floor to try to get off the snide. Georgetown is 8-1 ATS the last 3 season on the road if it enters with one or more consecutive defeats. It has an impressive average winning margin of 14.0 points in these games. The Hoyas are a solid 41-29 ATS as an underdog under John Thompson III. They are also 28-17 ATS under his watch in road games against teams with a win percentage above 80%. Bet Georgetown.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, January 25

Steve Janus

St John's +4

This may seem like a good spot to jump on Butler at home, but the Bulldogs are simply not the same caliber of a team without Brad Stevens on the sidelines. The Bulldogs are a miserable 1-6 in their last 7 games with the only win coming in overtime against Marquette. St John's has rebounded from five straight losses with back-to-back wins over Dartmouth and Seton Hall. Steve Lavin's club is simply underrated right now and should not be catching 4-points against a struggling Butler team.

St. John's a history of playing well on the road, as they are 50-30 ATS in their last 80 road games on Saturday. Butler on the other hand is a mere 4-10-2 ATS in their last 16 games played on Saturday and just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games vs a team with a winning record.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, January 25

Dave Price

Portland Trail Blazers -7

Off last night's emotionally and physically draining one-point win at Golden State, the Timberwolves won't have enough left in the tank to give the motivated Trail Blazers a game. Portland lost the first meeting by 11 points in Minnesota Dec. 18. That loss snapped a five-game win streak in the series, and the Blazers haven't forgotten. They'll show no mercy to the fatigued T-Wolves this evening. Minnesota has not been a good investment recently in the second game of a back-to-back, going just 2-5 ATS in its last seven games in the situation. The Wolves have also been a poor play following any victory at 4-11 ATS in their last 15 games off a win. More specifically, Minnesota is on an 18-34 ATS slide in games following a road win of three points or less. The Timberwolves are even a very soft 6-21-1 ATS in their last 28 games versus teams with a winning percentage above .600. Each of Portland's last three home wins versus Minnesota have come by at least eight points. We'll lay the seven here.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, January 25

Chase DiamondFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Oklahoma at Texas TechFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: Texas TechFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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This game features the 15-4 Sooners at the 10-9 Texas Tech. This game has trap written all over it who wouldn't love to get points with a 15-4 team playing a 10-9 team well not me. Texas Tech is super motivated for this home game where as the Sooners are not as motivated. I'm seeing alot of public 78% and alot of cappers on the Sooners a sure recipe for disaster.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, January 25

LT ProfitsFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Oregon State vs WashingtonFORFREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: Oregon State +3FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Neither the Oregon State Beavers nor the Washington Huskies have played much defense this season, so this game could be decided by which offense is better equipped to take advantage, and the road underdogs from Oregon State appear to have the edge in that regard. The Beavers are ranked 14th in the country in effective field goal percentage and ninth in three-point shooting at 41.0 percent, and they have raised that three-point percentage to an insane 51.1 percent during their six Pac-12 games! Washington on the other hand is ranked just 146th in the country in effective field goal percentage at 49.7 percent, and that percentage has dropped even further to 48.6 percent during Pac-12 play. Washington was actually highly regarded before the season at 49th overall on the Pomeroy Ratings, but it is now down to 106th. Washington is 3-9 ATS in its last 12 games following an ATS win.
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Chicago vs CharlotteFREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: Over 181FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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While the Chicago Bulls and the Charlotte Bobcats both rank near the top of the league defensively, we are getting a deflated total here because of it. More importantly, both teams come back with no rest after struggling defensively last night and these teams went ‘over’ in a 103-97 Bulls’ win in Chicago January 11th. The Bulls are second in the NBA in points against and third in field goal percentage allowed, but that did not stop the Clippers from routing them 112-95 in Chicago Friday while shooting 53.9 percent from the field overall including 61.9 percent from three-point land (13-for-21). The Bobcats are sixth in the NBA in points against and ninth in field goal percentage allowed, but they had no answer for Carmelo Anthony and his 62 points while getting blown out 125-96 in New York. The ‘over’ is 10-1 in the Bobcats’ last 11 games following a straight up loss.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, January 25

Will Rogers
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Pittsburgh vs. Dallas
Pick: Over
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The Pittsburgh Penguins will be in Dallas tonight to take on the Stars, and the Penguins have been flying of late. Pittsburgh has scored 11 goals while winning back-to-back games over the Habs and the Isles. Dallas has also won back-to-back games, but had lost 9-of-10 prior to that.
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Before I make the decision to place a wager, there are numerous factors that I will take into careful consideration. While I won't go into great detail about all my handicapping methods, I will share a few of the key stats and trends for this contest:
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1: Previous History - The Penguins have won seven of the last eight meetings in this series with the Stars, and Pittsburgh has seen the total go over in eight of it's last 10 overall.
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2: Special Teams - The Penguins are the best in the NHL with a power-play that is clicking at 25%, and the Stars have a below average penalty killing unit, allowing opponents to score on approx. 20% of their chances.
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3: X-Factor - Kari Lehtonen has won consecutive starts, allowing just one goal in those two games. He wasn't all that sharp before that though, losing seven of eight. He's going to be hard pressed to keep the league's highest scoring team from filling the net.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, January 25

Bryan LeonardFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Fresno St. + 10FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Bulldogs had no answer for the Rebels big men in the first meeting and that's not likely to change. But this is a team that has just played Nevada, New Mexico and San Diego State, three teams currently considered the frontrunners in the conference. Therefore we don't expect Fresno to be intimidated. In fact, they will be the more motivated team after a 75-62 loss earlier at home against UNLV.
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The Rebels finally played a good basketball game at home last time out against Utah State. But that hasn't been the norm in the Thomas & Mack. UNLV has underperformed virtually all season at home and it's doubtful the home crowd will come out in groves tonight. Just too many points to trust the Rebels here after outright losses on this floor to Cal-Santa Barbara, Air Force and Nevada.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, January 25

Ken Thomson

San Diego +5.5

The Toreros came up short at the Kennel in Spokane against Gonzaga the other night as they lost a tight three point decision. Meanwhile the Pilots won an incredible 114-110 triple OT decision over BYU. Those teams had to be too tired to practice much on Friday. San Diego is good enough to win in Portland if the Toreros are focused and are able to take care of a physically drained Cougar squad. The 1:00 PM time start has me realizing that there is a major break for San Diego not much time in between for Portland to practice much as they are wiped out, Johnny Dee could have a huge game for San Diego.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, January 25

Nelly

Texas A&M - over Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt was seemingly in a great spot Wednesday hosting Mississippi but the Commodores fell flat with an ugly offensive performance. This team is yet to win a road game this season and the two SEC losses have come by a combined total of 28 points. Texas A&M's perfect start in SEC play was a clearly a bit of a mirage and while the loss to Mississippi State looks bad it did come in overtime and the Aggies played respectably at Kentucky earlier this week. Texas A&M has played great defense this season with less than 60 points per game allowed at home on 38 percent shooting for opponents while the Aggies have often come alive on offense at home. While the Aggies have not played a strong overall schedule they have wins that trump anything Vanderbilt has produced and the Aggies have been a top 25 team in defensive efficiency. A&M also has great size with six of the top seven in the rotation 6'5" or taller and the Aggies can matchup with the size that Vanderbilt possesses to prevent easy looks. Vanderbilt has been held to 63 or fewer points in four of five SEC games and while the Aggies have come back to earth after the perfect conference start, this is looking like a team that can compete well in the league and this should be a favorable set-up on the schedule.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, January 25

AlatexFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Georgetown at CreightonFREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Creighton -11.5FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Georgetown has dropped three straight and four of their last five games, and now heads to the lion’s den to face Creighton on one of the top home courts in college basketball. This will be the Hoyas’ first trip to Omaha, and they come in with a short-handed team. Center Josh Smith and guard Jabril Trawick remain out of the lineup, leaving coach John Thompson with two solid guards and little else. D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Markel Starks scored 52 of Georgetown’s 72 points in its home loss to Marquette while everyone else combined to go 6-of-26. Thompson tried to limit their minutes against Marquette, inserting seldom-used guard Stephen Domingo into the game early in the first half and guard John Caprio, a former walk-on, recorded a career-high 22 minutes. Smith-Rivera and Starks still wound up playing 40 minutes each. This could definitely come into play tonight in a high-energy atmosphere and run-and-gun game that Creighton likes to play. The Hoyas have been competitive for 30 minutes but their lack of depth has killed them in the last ten minutes against Xavier, Seton Hall, and Marquette. Thompson is clearly aware that he has problems, “There is a lot of season to be played. Are we in a funk right now? Absolutely.” “We’re not making winning plays at the end [of games],” Thompson said. “Once again, we’re giving up threes at key times.” Not a good state to be in when traveling to face the best three-point shooting team in college basketball coming off its best performance. Look for Creighton to stretch the lead as the game goes along and wind up with a comfortable win.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, January 25

Wunderdog

BYU at Gonzaga
Pick: Gonzaga -8

Gonzaga has become a team that just reloads talent every season. They enter this game at 15-3, and they are close to impossible to beat at home where they are 140-21 in their last 161 played here. They have also covered over 60% of the time here as a favorite of less than -9.5. BYU loves to get out and run, but they are facing a team with equal firepower. However, Gonzaga plays on both ends, which will be the undoing of the Cougars in this one as they don't play defense. Gonzaga is 16-5-1 ATS in their last 22 following an ATS loss, rarely playing consecutive games under the line. The home team has not failed to cover in this series in the last six. Make the play on Gonzaga.

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