Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, February 14

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, February 14

Justin Bay

Dartmouth vs. Cornell    
Play: Dartmouth -3½

Dartmouth
- Average 64.6 PPG
- Allow 65.8 PPG
- SOS: 97.6

Cornell
- Average 64.4 PPG
- Allow 80.2 PPG
- SOS: 98.9

**According to our system, Dartmouth should win by five or more points.**

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, February 14

Jesse Schule

Arizona at Arizona State
Pick: Arizona State

The Wildcats have won back to back games since the injury to star forward Brandon Ashley, but they did look a little out of sorts against the Oregon Ducks. Their next game was a blowout win over the Beavers, but it may be a little premature to say that all is well for Arizona. They will face to tough challenge on the road at Arizona State tonight, taking on a Sun Devils team that is 11-1 at home this season, and third in the Pac-12 with a 7-4 conference record. The Sun Devils have won five of six overall, and five straight at home. Arizona State has better perimeter shooters than the Wildcats, and they are hitting 39.4% from beyond the arc this season. The Wildcats have really struggled offensively over their last five games, hitting just 39.6% from the field, and 26.9% from three point range. The Wildcats have won three of their four road games during conference play, but they played close games at UCLA and Stanford, with both those wins coming by a margin of fewer than five points. That was Arizona at it's best (with Ashley), and this is certainly are not the same team without him.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, February 14

AC Dinero

Siena vs. Marist
Play: Marist -4

Slim pickings this evening with the NBA at its All Star break. We'll go with Marist at home as they look to even the score and avenge an earlier defeat to Sienna. They have been playing better of late, winning 3 of their past 4 games

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, February 14

SPORTS WAGERS

Western Carolina +116 over CHATTANOOGA

There are not a lot of games to choose from today. The NHL is on a break and all Olympic games will be finished by the time this one tips off while the NBA is on the All-Star break. That leaves a handful of college games to wager on and this one sticks out like a sore thumb. The Mocs of Chattanooga are in second place in the Southern Conference with a 9-2 record. The Mocs are also 10-1 at home and 7-2 against the spread over their past nine conference games. With that 10-1 home record, the Mocs are now being asked to lay a bucket against what appears to be an inferior team. This favorite has sucker play written all over it.

Anyone that has wagered on West Carolina during conference play has ripped up a lot of tickets. In fact, the Catamounts have covered just one of their past eight games in conference play and overall they have just three road wins in 12 tries. However, the Catamounts can score and with their 34% offensive rebounding rate, no team in SoCon play is better at giving itself an extra possession. WCU has won three of its last four games and are now 7-3 in the conference. By contrast, the Mocs have dropped three of four and the oddsmakers are betting that their early season success was all smoke and mirrors. Chattanooga’s only win over their past four games came at home by five points against the 1-10 Furman Paladins. The Mocs followed that unimpressive victory over Furman with losses to Eastern Kentucky and Samford. The Mocs are sinking fast and this line strongly suggests that Chattanooga’s troubles are not over yet.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, February 14

SPORTS WAGERS

USA +195 over RUSSIA

Saturday, February 15. 7:30 AM EST. Three-way betting. Two of the tournaments powers hook up for their second games of the tournament and at this price the Americans are a must play. USA’s slaughtering of the Slovakians was impressive but it’s not a true measure of what this team is capable of. Still, it’s impossible to ignore the list of impressive snipers that the Americans possess and that was on full display against the Slovaks. The United States showed Thursday what four solid lines with a healthy mix of talent, tenacity and chemistry can do and of the four powers in this event, no team looked sharper than the Americans. One could even argue that the Americans fourth line of Paul Stastny, Max Pacioretty, and T.J. Oshie was their best line but in reality, there isn’t a “best line” because all four are capable of going off.

Of course the same could be said for the Russians four lines but Russia was not nearly as impressive as the Americans. It looked the Russians were going to blow away the Slovenians after Alex Ovechkin scored with just over a minute into the game. The Russians built a quick 3-0 lead but were ahead by just one goal entering the third. Whether they took their gas off the pedal or not, it’s inability to bury a weak Slovenia squad should not be overlooked. The Russians showed some notable deficiencies on their blueline and we can assure you that’s an area the Americans will attempt to exploit. Russia remains a dangerous club with a lot of speed and puck skill and they can ice the world's best PP unit. However, they have far from a perfect roster and will likely need a bit more help from their goaltenders than Sweden, USA or Canada. One game proves nothing but in a game in which the Americans have at least a 50% chance of winning, they offer up all the value in this one. We could play the Americans at +125 but choose to play them in regulation only at this more appealing price.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, February 14

Chris Jordan

My free play for tonight is on Penn, plus the points at Yale, as I think this might be too many points, despite the down year for the Quakers.

While Penn is only 6-13 on the year, it is 3-2 in league play, and just two games back of Yale (11-9, 5-1). And if you take away the Bulldogs' league record, you'll see they're only 6-8 outside of conference play. So I really don't know how much different these two teams are this season.

After sweeping last season, the Quakers control their destiny, and would make a huge statement by scoring a win tonight over first-place Yale.

Penn isn't necessarily having that bad of a season, it's just faced better teams, like Temple, Penn State, Iowa, Villanova and St. Joes. And Penn has held 14 of its 19 opponents this season below 45 percent shooting from the field.

I don't know if the Quakers can win this game, to be honest, but it's late in the season, it's Penn, and you can get it +9 in a must-win situation. I like that.

3♦ PENNSYLVANIA

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, February 14

Jeff Benton

Your Friday freebie is the Iona Gaels as the double-digit home favorites over Monmouth.

The Hawks have lost each of their last 5 games, and have dropped 7 of their last 9 overall. Against the spread, Monmouth is just 3-4-1 in that span in their lined games, and have failed their last pair both on the MAAC road.

Iona is riding an 8 game winning streak, and the Gaels have punched the against the spread ticket in 5 of their last 7 against the spread.

The first meeting between the schools resulted in a 18-point Iona win on Monmouth's floor back on February 4th, and a similar final would not be a surprise to me at all.

Lay it with Iona as they take the second meeting by 20 points tonight.

1♦ IONA

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, February 14

Scott Delaney

Lay the points on the road with Harvard tonight, as the Crimson will get it done over Columbia, in the Empire State.

Harvard (18-4, 5-1 Ivy) is playing its first pair of conference road games, but let me tell you something, this is a well-oiled machine that plays well together and can certainly get it done with a sweep of both Columbia tonight and Cornell over the weekend.

The Crimson are in after a 74-67 loss to Yale (11-11, 5-1), a setback that snapped a 19-game home winning streak. That gives Harvard even more of a reason to want this game, and the weekend sweep.

And need I remind you who coaches the Crimson? Tommy Amaker knows a little something about winning, and will have his troops ready for the weekend.

3♦ HARVARD

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, February 14

Brad Wilton

Time for the Golden Griffins to break the funk that they are in, as 16-9 Canisius hits Niagara having lost their last pair of games in MAAC play - both on their home court!

Look for Canisius to get back into the win column on the road where they have compiled a 6-2 spread mark their last 8 lined roadies.

Niagara enters on a 4 game slide, and the Purple Eagles have lost 10 of their last 12 games overall. Included is an 87-74 road loss at Canisius, as the Golden Griffins have come up with back-to-back wins and covers in this series after losing 5 straight to the Purple Eagles.

Niagara still has a shot to represent the MAAC in the Big Dance, but if they are to do so, they had better win and cover against the likes of the 6-19 Purple Eagles.

Back Canisius to get the job done.

2♦ CANISIUS

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, February 14

Gabriel Dupont

My free play for tonight is on Dartmouth minus the points and on the road, at Cornell, in Ivy League play.

In a crappy Ivy League game tonight, in Newman Arena up in little-town Ithaca, New York, I find value in playing  Dartmouth (9-11, 2-4) over Cornell (1-19, 0-6). Yes, the Big Green is just 2-4 in conference play, but this is a team that is also two wins away from being at .500 overall and in league play. Cornell, it's won one game this entire season.

Why Dartmouth can cover this game - Last weekend, the Green lost to Yale and Brown, both by 13 points, so avenging those losses is important this weekend, and it starts with this road trip to Northern New York. Dartmouth has a trio of players to depend on, so there's not just one go-to player it needs. That's a plus, especially against a team as bad as Cornell.

Why Cornell is in trouble in this game - Cornell's lone win came against Oberlin College, a small institution in Oberlin, Ohio. The Big Red are more like a big struggle this season, and will be in big trouble when Dartmouth catches fire. The Big Red rank last in the league shooting the ball from the floor (.415) and three-point range (.311), so there's not much to expect.

In conclusion, why Dartmouth is my SMART FREE PLAY in this game - Dartmouth will play six of its final eight games away from Leede Arena, and if there's any right time to gain some momentum - it's tonight against a very bad opponent. Dartmouth is led offensively by guard Alex Mitola (10.4 ppg), forward Connor Boehm (10.3 ppg) and forward John Golden (9.9 ppg). Mitola ranks among the Ivy's top 3-point shooters and has made 107 in less than two years, ranking among the top 10 in Dartmouth history.

Dartmouth checks in on ATS win streaks  of 5-1 against losing teams and 4-1 on Ivy Fridays. Meanwhile, the Big Red has failed to cover five of its last six at home. The series numbers, admittedly, favor Cornell. But as bad as this team is, it doesn't surprise me one bit that Dartmouth is favored. Look for a 10-point win.

5♦ DARTMOUTH

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, February 14

Tom Barton

Canisius vs Niagara
Canisius -4

The Griffins are still in position to win this conference but after two straight losses now sit 2 1/2 games back of the leader and their hopes are getting slimmer. They have dropped the last two games to the first and second place teams and now want a team to take their frustrations out on and Niagara is the perfect victim. Canisius beat them last month by 13 at home and scored 87 and that was the Griffins do ... score. They average 78 per game and have scored into the 80's in 8 of their last 10 games, hitting 91 last game in a loss. Their D is the problem but tonight it will be all about the Purple's inability to keep pace. Niagara has lost 4 in a row, 6 of 7, and have just 2 wins in all of 2014. When we talk of the Purple we look at bad defense as well as they have let their last 3 opponents score 78 twice and 90 once. The Purple have also allowed 7 of the last 10 teams to score 78+ and that will be the same tonight for this Griffins team that no one can seem to slow down. I fully expect the Griffins to get into the 80's here and Niagara has gone over 77 just twice in the last 10 games. Niagara keeps pace for some of this game but their offense just can't keep up.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, February 14

OC Dooley

Niagra +4.5

Admittedly Niagra has struggled in conference play (3-11 record) and are currently in the tenth-spot of league standings, however in the last pair of HOME games they have taken a pair of powers (Iona and Manhattan) right down to the wire as both tilts were decided by just a ONE point margin.  There is also major INJURY news involving visiting Canisius who will be WITHOUT their leading rebounder Chris Manhertz who has a possible broken nose.  Long term Canisius is an awful 2-10 ATS/ROAD versus terrible defensive opponents who allow on average at least 48% shooting from the floor.  In the past two years after a game where they were cast as an underdog Niagra has gone an incredible 11-2 ATS/HOME

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