Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, February 16

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, February 16

Joe Duffy

SMU -8

Southern Methodist is the best spread betting team in the country at 15-6 for +4.8 margin of cover (or sweat barometer as renamed by others). Admittedly, this has not been as great of a season as others when it comes to exploiting the MOC angle, but SMU has been great.

Temple has not been competitive at all at 6-17 straight up, 8-12 to the number including four straight setbacks. They are allowing 46.6 percent shooting against teams normally getting just 44.5 and 78 points per game to teams normally allowing 72.7.

Temple is playing this game less than 48 hours after getting crushed by powerhouse Louisville, while SMU is off a win to weak sister Rutgers. In fact, for the first time in program history, Temple is facing five nationally ranked teams in a row, not yet covering. So it is the massive underdogs who have a much tougher bounce back situation.

We have SMU 11 points better and they are in a better situation. The Owls’ top four scorers have accounted for 83 percent of the team’s points. Such lack of depth will crush them playing two games in three days.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, February 16

Steve Janus

Oregon -8½

This may seem like a lot of points to be laying in this in-state rivalry matchup, especially considering the Ducks lost at Oregon State earlier this season. However, I look for Oregon to come out an make a statement against their rivals. The Beavers have struggled on the road, where they are a mere 3-8 this season. Despite their struggles of late, Oregon is still a solid 10-3 at home and last time they took the floor at Matthew Knight Arena, they crushed USC by 22-points.

There's plenty of reason to believe the Ducks can turn an 8-point loss on the road to a double-digit home win. Oregon shot just 38% from the field and 21% from behind the arc in the first meeting. The Beavers on the other hand shot 53% from 3-point land. All Oregon has to do is shutdown Roberto Nelson and force the rest of the Beavers to beat them. A similar strategy to that of what Arizona used in their 22-point win over Oregon State.

Oregon is 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games after back-to-back contest where they covered the spread. Altman (head coach) is 14-5 ATS revenging a loss where the opponent scored 75 or more points and 21-9 ATS in his career revenging a straight up loss to an opponent as a road favorite.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, February 16

Dennis Macklin

Saint Peter's vs. Quinnipiac    
Play: Quinnipiac -7

This is a nice revenge spot for the Bobcats thanks to a 74-67 St Peter's win in Jersey City back on January 12th. In that game, Quinnipiac shot just 33% from the field which is not likely to happen again versus a Peacock defense that allows a tick under 43% from the field for the season. Quinn is 7-1 at home this year and looking for payback from a team that has lost six of eight overall and its last four roadies by a combined 45 points. Lay it with Quinnipiac.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, February 16

Alex Smart

SMU -8

The Mustangs defeated and pounded Temple on Feb. 6 by a lopsided 75-52 count Now they face a Temple side that is in a big time funk and has lost its last four outings by an average of 19.3 points.The Owls have also lost 12 of their last 13 games overall and are now in last place in the AAC. These teams continue to perform at the opposite end of the proverbial performance spectrum, and not much has changed l since their first meeting. Considering the matchup data , it makes sense that that the Mustangs can once again come out with a win and cover in todays meeting. Its all about Southern Methodist stays focused.

Final notes & Key Trends: Mustangs are 11-1 ATS in their last 12 games overall.Mustangs are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 vs. American Athletic Conference. Owls are 9-21 ATS in their last 30 home games. Owls are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, February 16

Doug Upstone

Hofstra vs. Drexel    
Play:Hofstra +10½

On Sunday, Play Against Home favorites of 10 to 19.5 points like Drexel after scoring 60 points or less, against opponent (Hofstra) after two straight games when both teams score 65 points or less. How this free pick works is Hofstra is unlikely to be involved in a third straight low scoring game and favorites like Drexel are just 17-44 ATS in this situation, plus we also find the Dragons are just 1-7 ATS at home this season.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, February 16

SPORTS WAGERS

Wisconsin +4 over MICHIGAN

The Wolverines went into Wisconsin on January 18 and defeated the Badgers by seven and they did so without Mitch McGary, who was injured 10 days earlier. That was Wisconsin’s second loss of the season at the time after the program opened the year 16-0. The wheels came off for the Badgers after that, as they went on to lose three of their next four games and suddenly went from 16-0 to 17-5. The Badgers have regrouped somewhat with three wins in a row but two of those victories occurred against Illinois and Minnesota, not exactly the cream of the crop. The other victory was more impressive, as they defeated the Spartans by two points. Wisconsin commits a turnover on 13 percent of its possessions, the third-lowest rate in the nation and they hardly ever foul, which figures to serve them well in this rematch.

Michigan made an impressive run to the national championship game last March, but its Big Ten campaign was not without big hiccups. Much like they did this season, the Wolverines rolled through the first half of the 2012-13 season, going 7-1 straight up and 6-2 against the spread in their first eight conference games. Once they started playing rematches, however, the Wolverines struggled mightily in the back half of conference play. They covered only one point spread in their last 10 tries. Frankly, we wouldn't be shocked if John Beilein's overachieving squad goes through another second-half point spread slump in 2014, as they are showing signs of it already. Furthermore, this game for the Wolverines is sandwiched between Ohio State and Michigan State on deck next weekend.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, February 16

Wunderdog

Colorado -3.5

Both teams are off losses, but only one is good at bouncing back. Colorado is 27-13-1 against the spread following a spread loss, while USC is 15-31-1 ATS after a straight up loss. USC has been losing a lot this season, losing 10 of their last 11 games. USC is the worst defensive team in the Pac 12, and riding a 3-8-1 ATS run. Colorado has won three of the last four games, the only loss at UCLA. Colorado does a lot of things well, fifth in the Pac 12 in shooting, fourth in field goal shooting defense allowed, sixth in free throws, and scoring defense. USC has been a Pac 12 money-burner for a while, 16-33-2 ATS in their last 51 against the Pac 12, so grab the hungry/bounce back visitors. Play Colorado.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, February 16

River City Sharps

SMU -8

We have had the opportunity to see this SMU team when they played here against Louisville, as well as seeing at least five other games they have played. We have not seen Temple play much until their Friday night game with Louisville, where they were completely blown out of their own place! We did not pull the trigger on Louisville Friday because we felt like Temple might be better than we thought. Boy were we wrong! They are a decent offensive team, but they are seriously one of the worst defensive teams we have watched all season. Now they play a disciplined, confident Larry Brown team that scores the ball and will defend you for 94 feet. The last four teams that Temple has played at home have all shot 51% or greater from the field! The Owls have lost 12 of 13 games and are just 2-8 at home this season. In the first game between these two in Dallas, Temple had one of their worst performances in a 75-52 loss, a game in which SMU outshot the Owls 54.4 to 30.3%. We have been impressed with SMU as they continue to get better and we think that Brown's experience and his team's confidence is enough to get us to a double-digit win.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, February 16

Cajun Sports

Villanova vs. Creighton   
Play: Villanova +3.5

Villanova travels to face Creighton on Sunday evening with tipoff set for 5:00 PM Eastern Time. Villanova will be looking to avenge an earlier loss on their home floor to the Creighton team, it was not just a loss they suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of this Blue Jays team. Villanova has been playing well since that loss posting a 6-0 SU mark with a money-making 5-1 against the spread record over that span. Nova is 11-1 SU on the road this season covering the spread at a rate of 9-3 ATS in those contests. Creighton has been perfect at home SU going 13-0 but their spread record has not been as effective as their SU record with a mark of 7-4 against the number at home. A check of both teams performance against common opponents we see that Villanova holds a decisive advantage with a record of 11-0 SU and 9-2 ATS while Creighton has gone 9-2 SU and just .500 against the spread with a 6-6 ATS mark in those games. We will take the points on Sunday with Nova as they surprise the Jays and win this one straight up. Take the points

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, February 16

Michael Alexander

Colorado vs. USC    
Play:Colorado -3½

When the conference rivals last met, the Buffaloes still were dealing with the shock of losing their most versatile and valuable player, Spencer Dinwiddie, to a season-ending knee injury in their previous game. The win over the Trojans was sandwiched between a pair of two-game losing streaks, but Colorado then began to find its way by winning three straight prior to the loss to the Bruins on Thursday. Colorado starters Askia Booker and Xavier Johnson, who both are from Los Angeles, have elevated their games in Dinwiddie’s absence. USC has ended a lot of Pac-12 losing streaks this season, and Colorado attempts to become the latest team to get a bounce-back win against the last-place club.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, February 16

Harry Bondi

ST JOHNS (-4.5) over Georgetown

Revenge for the Red Storm tonight! Johnnies got blasted by Georgetown in the first game when they forgot to get off the bus for the first half and trailed 42-16 at half! They outscored the Hoyas by 9 in the second half but it was not enough and they lost in embarrassing style to their long time rival 77-60. Lavin's boys remember that thumping and there is no way the offensively challenged Hoyas can match their 9-13 three point shooting or that they will get hosed by the referees at home like they did in DC when Georgetown outscored the Red Storm 22-10 from the free throw line. Take St John's.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, February 16

Joe Gavazzi

Villanova +2.5

A true handicapper's conundrum when asked to make a decision between the 60-7 SU home court of Creighton, 12-0 SU this season, and the revenge motive of the No. 1 team in the league playing with lone loss revenge for a 96-68 beat down. You will recall that was the Monday night, where Wragge and McDermott led a contingent of Blue Jays, who knocked down 20+ triples at Wells Fargo, many coming in the first 8 minutes of play. The Wildcats have since gone 6-0 SU ATS, lead Creighton by a game in the loss column, and have lost to only Syracuse in road or neutral games. 13th year Villanova HC Wright has made all the right moves in adjusting to the rule changes to return to his 4 guard roots, surrounding interior force Pinckney, to create a Wildcat team reminiscent of his Big Dance appearances. In an under the radar type of way, the Wildcats have held their last 4 league opponents to just 58 PPG. When Wright's teams enter a game following consecutive defensive performances of 65 or less points, they are 42-23 ATS. Siding with embarrassing lone conference revenge, an improving defense, and the better balanced offense against a Creighton team who may have peaked a bit early, if their recent 0-4 ATS log is to be believed.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, February 16

Dave Essler

St. John's -4

Not sure what this line will do. I suspect waiting will get us a better number, but it is what it is and that's information. The Hoyas have indeed won four straight, but since their neutral court win over Michigan State, they haven't beaten a good team. Conversely, St. Johns has, beating Creighton, as well as Providence and Seton Hall on the road. Huge confidence wins. G-Town wants to play inside, which of course plays right into the teeth of the St. Johns defense, which leads the nation in block percentage, and of course we love the fact that St. Johns has done a great job of not turning the ball over. Remember, this is a Hoya team that has been beaten badly on the road, and has lost at home to Seton Hall. I do think regression happens here, not to mention that G-Town kicked the shit out of St. Johns earlier this season. St. Johns should ramp up the pace, which should pay it's dividends in the 2H since their bench is shorter, IMO, and the Red Storm shoot FT's well enough to cover at the line should it come to that. Don't most of them?

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, February 16

Jeff Scott Sports

3 UNIT PLAY

Michigan State/ Nebraska Under 135: The Spartans are favored by 13.5 in this game and Nebraska averages 57.1 ppg on the road, so unless the Spartans score 80+ I don't see how this game goes over. In the Big 10 it has been even worse for the Nebraska offense as they have averaged just 55.1 ppg in their Big 10 road games, while scoring more than 57 points in those games. The Husker have played good defense in their Big 10 road games, allowing just 67.3 ppg in those games and they should easily keep the Spartans, that are missing Appling, out of the the 80 point range in this one. The Spartans havn't been as great defensively as in years past, but they do allow just 64.8 ppg at home and I can't see the Nebraska offense really approaching that. The Huskers will slow it down and the Spartans will play great defense, which should keep this one in the 120's 

2 UNIT PLAY

Michigan/ Wisconsin Under 138: Just can't see this game being that high scoring. The Under is 9-4 the last 13 meetings and while the last 3 in the series have gone over, we note that those games averaged just 133.6 ppg, and that includes one of the games going into OT. Both teams come in playing very good defense, as the Wolverines have allowed just 64.8 ppg in their last 5 games and 58 ppg at home on the year. The Badgers have been clicking defensively of late, allowing just 62.2 ppg in their last 6 games, while also allowing just 61.8 ppg on the road this year. Both teams play at a medium pace, but just too much defense in this one for it to go Over the total.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, February 16

Brian Edwards 

Villanova at Creighton
Play: Creighton -2.5

Creighton has failed to cover the number in four consecutive games because it has been overpriced. However, in today's home game vs. Villanova, the price is right for a play on the Bluejays, who are 2.5-point home favorites vs. the Wildcats. Greg McDermott's team is undefeated in 13 home games this season with a 7-4 spread record. Creighton has been a single-digit home 'chalk' three times, posting a 2-1 ATS mark. When these teams met in Philadelphia on Jan. 20, it was all Creighton from the jump. The Bluejays put on a show, setting school and Big East records by draining 21-of-35 attempts from 3-point range. They led by 40 – that's right, 40! – with more than six minutes remaining. Ethan Wragge scored a career-high 27 points thanks to nine treys on 14 attempts. With eight 3-balls in the first 16 minutes and change, Wragge surpassed his previous career high of 22 points before halftime. Doug McDermott was steady as usual, producing 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field. Austin Chatman dished out 10 assists, while Jahenns Manigat finished with 19 points. Now obviously, I'm not expecting another shooting show like we saw in the City of Brotherly Love. Villanova will have revenge on its mind and if anything, what happened in the first encounter could be advantageous for the Wildcats. I'm expecting a tight game that will likely be decided at crunch time, but that's when McDermott is at his best. With McDermott delivering when it matters most, I think Creighton gets some separation in the last two minutes to win by 6-8 points and hook its backers up with a winning ticket. It's going to be a 16th straight home win for the Bluejays in Sunday's Big East showdown in Omaha.

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