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Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, February 25

Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, February 25

DUNKEL INDEX

NBA

Houston at Sacramento
The Rockets head to Sacramento tonight to face a Kings team that is coming off a 109-95 win over Denver and is 3-10 ATS in its last 13 games following a SU win of more than 10 points. Houston is the pick (-4 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Rockets favored by 8 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Houston (-4 1/2)

Game 501-502: Orlando at Washington (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Orlando 112.103; Washington 124.402
Dunkel Line & Total: Washington by 12 1/2; 202
Vegas Line & Total: Washington by 9 1/2; 196 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-9 1/2); Over

Game 503-504: Toronto at Cleveland (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto 122.358; Cleveland 117.139
Dunkel Line & Total: Toronto by 5; 188
Vegas Line & Total: Toronto by 3; 192 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (-3); Under

Game 505-506: LA Lakers at Indiana (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Lakers 111.182; Indiana 122.069
Dunkel Line & Total: Indiana by 11; 198
Vegas Line & Total: Indiana by 13; 202
Dunkel Pick: LA Lakers (+13); Under

Game 507-508: Chicago at Atlanta (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Chicago 117.853; Atlanta 120.774
Dunkel Line & Total: Atlanta by 3; 186
Vegas Line & Total: Atlanta by 1; 188
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-1); Under

Game 509-510: Portland at Denver (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Portland 122.365; Denver 112.163
Dunkel Line & Total: Portland by 10; 222
Vegas Line & Total: Portland by 2 1/2; 215
Dunkel Pick: Portland (-2 1/2); Over

Game 511-512: Minnesota at Phoenix (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota 122.013; Phoenix 122.657
Dunkel Line & Total: Phoenix by 1; 209
Vegas Line & Total: Phoenix by 3 1/2; 215
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (+3 1/2); Under

Game 513-514: Houston at Sacramento (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Houston 124.193; Sacramento 115.587
Dunkel Line & Total: Houston by 8 1/2; 208
Vegas Line & Total: Houston by 4 1/2; 212 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Houston (-4 1/2); Under


NHL

Carolina at Buffalo
The NHL starts back up after the Olympics break and features Carolina heading to Buffalo to face a Sabres team that is 0-8 in its last 8 home games. Carolina is the pick (-145) according to Dunkel, which has the Hurricanes favored by 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Carolina (-145)

Game 51-52: Carolina at Buffalo (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Carolina 11.613; Buffalo 10.066
Dunkel Line & Total: Carolina by 1 1/2; 4
Vegas Line & Total: Carolina (-145); 5
Dunkel Pick: Carolina (-145); Under

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DUNKEL INDEX

NCAAB

Florida at Vanderbilt
The Gators (8-2 on the road) head to Nashville tonight to face a Vanderbilt team that is 4-11 ATS in its last 15 home games against a team with a winning road record. Florida is the pick (-8 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Gators favored by 10 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Florida (-8 1/2)

Game 515-516: Iowa at Minnesota (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Iowa 74.617; Minnesota 65.308
Dunkel Line: Iowa by 9 1/2; 150
Vegas Line: Iowa by 2 1/2; 145 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Iowa (-2 1/2); Over

Game 517-518: Kansas State at Texas Tech (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Kansas State 70.873; Texas Tech 66.765
Dunkel Line: Kansas State by 4; 135
Vegas Line: Texas Tech 1; 130
Dunkel Pick: Kansas State (+1); Over

Game 519-520: Virginia Tech at Duke (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Virginia Tech 50.937; Duke 79.838
Dunkel Line: Duke by 29; 130
Vegas Line: Duke by 21 1/2; 139
Dunkel Pick: Duke (-21 1/2)

Game 521-522: Youngstown State at Cleveland State (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Youngstown State 51.590; Cleveland State 57.091
Dunkel Line: Cleveland State by 5 1/2
Vegas Line: Cleveland State by 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Youngstown State (+9 1/2)

Game 523-524: Xavier at St. John's (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Xavier 64.958; St. John's 68.652
Dunkel Line: St. John's by 3 1/2; 142
Vegas Line: St. John's by 7; 138
Dunkel Pick: Xavier (+7); Over

Game 525-526: Dayton at St. Joseph's (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Dayton 62.762; St. Joseph's 67.672
Dunkel Line: St. Joseph's by 5; 144
Vegas Line: St. Joseph's by 3; 138 1/2
Dunkel Pick: St. Joseph's (-3); Over

Game 527-528: Clemson at Wake Forest (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Clemson 61.363; Wake Forest 62.391
Dunkel Line: Wake Forest by 1
Vegas Line: Clemson by 2 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Wake Forest (+2 1/2)

Game 529-530: Valparaiso at Wright State (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Valparaiso 55.715; Wright State 60.870
Dunkel Line: Wright State by 5
Vegas Line: Wright State by 3
Dunkel Pick: Wright State (-3)

Game 531-532: Florida at Vanderbilt (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Florida 74.998; Vanderbilt 64.289
Dunkel Line: Florida by 10 1/2; 118
Vegas Line: Florida by 8 1/2; 123 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Florida (-8 1/2); Under

Game 533-534: Wichita State at Bradley (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Wichita State 68.204; Bradley 59.762
Dunkel Line: Wichita State by 8 1/2; 138
Vegas Line: Wichita State by 12; 130 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Bradley (+12); Over

Game 535-536: Drake at Evansville (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Drake 50.276; Evansville 55.857
Dunkel Line: Evansville by 5 1/2
Vegas Line: Evansville by 2
Dunkel Pick: Evansville (-2)

Game 537-538: Illinois-Chicago at WI-Milwaukee (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Illinois-Chicago 47.581; WI-Milwaukee 52.842
Dunkel Line: WI-Milwaukee by 5 1/2
Vegas Line: WI-Milwaukee by 8
Dunkel Pick: Illinois-Chicago (+8)

Game 539-540: Loyola-Chicago at Missouri State (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Loyola-Chicago 52.028; Missouri State 57.016
Dunkel Line: Missouri State by 5
Vegas Line: Missouri State by 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Loyola-Chicago (+7 1/2)

Game 541-542: Seton Hall at DePaul (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Seton Hall 65.840; DePaul 56.964
Dunkel Line: Seton Hall by 9; 138
Vegas Line: Seton Hall by 5; 143 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Seton Hall (-5); Under

Game 543-544: Indiana at Wisconsin (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Indiana 61.634; Wisconsin 77.519
Dunkel Line: Wisconsin by 16; 140
Vegas Line: Wisconsin by 10; 136 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Wisconsin (-10); Over

Game 545-546: Missouri at Georgia (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Missouri 65.879; Georgia 64.818
Dunkel Line: Missouri by 1; 136
Vegas Line: Georgia by 1 1/2; 139
Dunkel Pick: Missouri (+1 1/2); Under

Game 547-548: Air Force at Wyoming (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Air Force 49.902; Wyoming 65.425
Dunkel Line: Wyoming by 15 1/2
Vegas Line: Wyoming by 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Wyoming (-8 1/2)

Game 549-550: Utah State at New Mexico (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Utah State 61.225; New Mexico 68.084
Dunkel Line: New Mexico by 7; 134
Vegas Line: New Mexico by 11 1/2; 136 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Utah State (+11 1/2); Under

Game 551-552: San Jose State at San Diego State (11:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Jose State 43.615; San Diego State 70.011
Dunkel Line: San Diego State by 26 1/2; 128
Vegas Line: San Diego State by 21; 123
Dunkel Pick: San Diego State (-21); Over

Game 553-554: Fairfield at St. Peter's (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Fairfield 47.222; St. Peter's 49.528
Dunkel Line: St. Peter's by 2 1/2
Vegas Line: St. Peter's by 4 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Fairfield (+4 1/2)

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, February 25

Brandon Shively

Xavier vs. St Johns
Play: St Johns -6

This is a Saint John's who is now playing like the team that was much anticipated at the beginning of the season. They are now 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games and have only lost twice in their last 10 games with the two losses coming by 3 points @ Villanova and by 3 @ Creighton. Saint John's last two home games have been more than impressive, both 20+ victories over Butler and Georgetown and they have been doing it by playing defense. Over their last 5 games, they are holding opponents to 40% shooting from the floor and 60 ppg. They are long and athletic and can rebound and block shots. HC Lavin has finally got the Red Storm playing his brand of basketball and I like them tonight to win by double digits vs. a Xavier team that with all due respect, is still an A-10 team that is trying to adjust to Big East play- the same way Butler is. (Saint John's beat Butler 77-52 last week) Xavier is a smaller team that relies heavily on Semaj Christon at the guard spot. Christon is a good player, but he lacks the perimeter jump shot which limits his game and will limit Xavier tonight. Xavier has a couple big guys in the paint that can bag, but they are slow on their feet and Saint John's more athletic 'bigs' will have their way. Outside of the road win vs. Butler (fellow A-10 member), Xavier has lost their last 4 Big East road games by 9 or more points. Look for the HOTTER team to build the lead at home tonight and win this game by 12-14 points as Saint John's is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games and 8-1 ATS their last 9 games vs. the Big East. Play on Saint John's


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Rob Vinciletti

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Indiana Pacers
Play: Indiana Pacers -13

The Pacers are a much better team here and are at home against an inept LA Team. The Lakers fit one of our solid league wide systems that plays against rested road dogs of 10 or more points with a total that is 190 or higher if they are coming off a game where they failed to cover as a home dog of 4 or less and are now taking on a team that scored 100 or more as a road favorite and had 15 or less turnovers. These road teams rarely cover in this system. The Lakers have failed to cove 6 of the last 8 as a road dog of more than 12 and have lost and failed to cover 3 of the last 4 in the series. The Pacers should coast here as they have covered in 4 of the last 5 as a home favorite from -12.5 to -15 and 7 of the last 9 on Tuesday. The Pacers will likely coast in this one.


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Scott Spreitzer

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Indiana Pacers
Play: Los Angeles Lakers +13

Thanks to last week's trade, the Lakers are getting a motivated effort from a couple of newcomers along with the return of Pau Gasol. Kent Bazemore and Marshon Brooks are averaging 26.5 combined ppg on 21-of-41, 51% shooting. Gasol scored 16 and 22 points in his last two games, while pulling down 18 rebounds, while Jodie Meeks has scored 35 points over the last two games, combined. The Lakers are getting a spirited effort right now and they'll face an Indiana team that can pick up a comfortable win without covering the big number. Los Angeles has been double-digit dogs five times since January 15, covering four. They're on an 8-2 ATS run away from home and own a 5-0 ATS mark on the road against teams with a winning home record. The Pacers are in a bit of a lull right now and may remain that way until the juices get flowing for a home tilt with Golden State on March 4. I expect Indiana to get the SU win tonight, but grabbing a baker's dozen is the recommendation. I'm taking the points with the Lakers on Tuesday.

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David Glisan

Iowa -2.5

A lot more upside with Iowa in this Big 10 matchup.  Hawkeyes have won 8 of 12 SU and ATS but enter this contest off a loss.  Iowa has been a very good road investment this season (7-1 ATS) and catch Minnesota in poor form.  Gophers on a 3-7 SU/4-6 ATS run and have lost 2 of their last 3 at home.  Some handicappers will point to Minnesota having 'revenge' for a blowout road loss to Iowa in mid January but bettors who have backed the Golden Gophers in 'revenge' spots have had their heads handed to them--Minnesota 1-6 ATS in revenge spots this season.  Iowa is simply the better team and should be able to win and cover this small number.

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Art Aronson

Houston Rockets vs. Sacramento Kings    
Play: Sacramento Kings +4½

The Sacramento Kings quietly has put together a nice stretch of games together here and I am betting the team competes hard against a good Rockets squad here. The Kings have won two straight and three of four coming into this game. The Kings also have the extra motivation of 21 point loss at Houston back on January 22nd. The Houston Rockets are coming off two mentally draining road games at Golden State and Phoenix and might be putting it on “cruise mode” a little bit here in Sacramento with a big road trip ending game in LA versus the powerhouse Clippers on the schedule next. Not that Houston is just 1-3 ATS after playing three consecutive road games. The Kings are a strong 8-4 ATS versus Southwest opponents and should come in with some confidence having won the last meeting between these two teams in Sacramento back in mid-December. The Kings have the second-worst record in the Western Conference but are seeking their first three-game winning streak since Jan. 7-12. Consider grabbing the points in this situation.

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Red Dog Sports

Xavier vs. St. John's
Play: St. John's -6

The Red Storm are off a 3 point loss at Villanova and they have been hot at home. The last few home games:

win by 25 vs. Butler
win by 22 vs. GTown
win by 5 vs. Creighton
win by 15 vs. Marquette

They are led by:

Harrison 17.8 ppg
Sampson 12.7 ppg
Jordan 9

Xavier is off a 22 point loss at Georgetown, a 9 point loss at Marquette and another loss by 23 away from home. Xavier won 70-60 at home back in December.

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Jim Feist

Houston vs. Sacramento
Play: Over 212½

Houston has an attacking offense, 3rd in NBA in scoring (106 ppg), defense suffers ranked 19th allowing 101.7 ppg. Houston is 5-1-1 over the total when they face the uptempo Pacific division. They won't have any trouble scoring on the Sacramento Kings, a group that ONLY cares about offense. Their defense is 26th in points allowed, 23rd in FG shooting D, 26th at defending 3 37%. At least the offense has punch, off a 109-95 win at banged up Denver. Isaiah Thomas scored 33 points, Rudy Gay had 32, and the team his 30-36 free throws. The Sacramento defense still allowed Denver to his 15-of-32 three pointers! The Kings are 15-7-1 over the total at home against a team with a winning road record, as well as 39-17-2 over the total against the NBA Southwest division.

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Don Best Consensus

Utah State at New Mexico
Pick: New Mexico

What a performance by the Lobos Saturday, holding San Diego State to a season-low 44 points. Now they host Utah State, who they beat 78-65 @USU on 1/28. The Lobos have been ON FIRE for the bettors, winning 9 of their last 10 and going 9-1 ATS. Meanwhile the Aggies have lost three straight (0-3 ATS). Things get nasty in THE PIT and Lobos run away in this one.

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Marc Lawrence

Loyola Chicago at Missouri State
Pick: Missouri State

In one of the most puzzling results of the 2013-14 season, the cellar-dwelling Ramblers drilled Missouri State by 32 points earlier this season, the Bears’ 2nd worst conference loss since 1990. Needless to say, the Bears will be looking for major revenge as they continue their battle for third place in the Missouri Valley Conference with four other teams. It’s not like Loyola is a horrible team at 9-17, but the problem has been on the road where they have dropped 17 straight decisions dating back to last season (check Bradley result on Saturday). Last year, they won 15 games and lost seven others by 3 points or less, but they entered this campaign (their first in the MVC) with just three scholarship upperclassmen. As for Missouri State, former Purdue assistant Paul Lusk, now in his 3rd season at the helm for the Bears, has guided his squad to a 17-9 mark, and is 8-2 ATS at home with conference revenge (3-0 ATS as a favorite). We feel that Lusk will have his team primed to atone for that embarrassing defeat suffered at Loyola in early January, and extend the 29-10-1 ATS mark they’ve posted during SU conference wins as a favorite. Look for the Bears to take the Ramblers back behind the woodshed in this payback special. We recommend a 1-unit play on Missouri State.

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Bruce Marshall

Missouri at Georgia
Pick: Georgia

While most of the SEC (including Mizzou) is stuck in quicksand at mid-table in a hard-to-believe seven-way tie for fourth place at 7-7 in league play, Mark Fox's Georgia has quietly ascended to third, thanks to new scoring sources emerging (such as soph G Kenny Gaines, 20-plus points in two of last three and off a career-best 27 on Saturday at South Carolina). The Bulldogs out-executed Mizzou in the late going of their OT upset win at Columbia on Jan. 8, when UGa played with emotion for Fox, whose dad had passed just prior to that game. Like most SEC Big Dance-hopeful squads, the Tigers are jeopardizing their chances of getting a call on Selection Sunday because they continue to struggle on the road, where they have lost five of their last six league games.

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DAVE COKIN

FLORIDA AT VANDERBILT
PLAY: VANDERBILT +8.5

Congratulations are in order for the Florida Gators. Billy Donovan’s team has climbed the ratings ladder steadily and they’ve now ascended to the top perch in the polls. Now comes the big challenge, and that’s to stay there.

The first test for Florida comes tonight as they take a trip to Nashville for a duel with Vanderbilt. The Commodores are strictly middle of the SEC pack at 7-7 and with a 15-11 overall slate, the NIT is probably their best post-season destination.

But don’t discount the chances of a shocker tonight. There’s a quirky little angle in play here. If you go back and chart how teams have done in their first game following a move to the top spot in the rankings, you’ll find that it’s not particularly good. Florida is in that role tonight.

I’m not big on angles or trends unless there’s some logical rationale as to why they work. In this case, it’s a readily apparent trio of reasons that make perfect sense to me. On the one hand, the Gators almost cannot help but be a little satisfied. There’s also the pressure of now having to live up to the new expectations that come with being number one.

There’s also the other side of the equation, which in this case is Vanderbilt. A win over the top rated team in the country would be as big it gets for the Commodores. You’d better believe they’re going to be very fired up at this opportunity, and that goes for their fans as well. In a situation such as this, I actually add one point to whatever home court advantage already exists.

I also see at least a little value here. I made the right price on this game Florida -7. But with the newly minted top rating, the books have adjusted the line a bit, and it appears to me to be a shade higher than it ought to be.

Florida is certainly capable of winning this by a margin. But the track record of teams in this scenario is not the greatest and it’s not like the Gators have been bludgeoning SEC opposition on the road. I like Vanderbilt to make this one very interesting and the Commodores plus the points are my side tonight.

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Alex Smart

Iowa vs. Minnesota    
Play: Iowa -135

The Hawkeyes are the 7th highest scoring team in the country, averaging 83 points per game. They have only failed to top the 80 point plateau just eight times in 26 games. This talented young group have alot of offensive weapons spread thoroughtout the lineup. The Hawkeyes 7 losses have come to the top 22 teams in the country, with the average margin of defeat coming by 4.86ppg. Needless to say they are solid team with alot of promise, and on the cusp of big things. But last time out the culmination of some tough games,finally led to a down performance against red hot Wisconsin on their own home floor in a 79-74 loss.

Iowa were unable to handle the pressure of that game and the subseqent aftermatch of furious fans as forward Zach McCabe who overall has shown a lot of class, and not made excuses, shot back against Hawkeye faithfull who criticized his ugly performance this past Saturday via social media. Thanks to that tirade, Coach McCaffery has told his team to shut down their access to twitter, and for his kids to get back to taking their frustrations out on opponents and not anonymous internet trolls, with anger issues.

College hoops teams dont have great bounceback records when dealing with losses and adversity like pro teams do, thus they are not always great bets in these situations. But with that said, Iowas got alot to prove and tonight and against a Minnesota team that has been clobbered in back to back DD losses and unable to score more than 54 points in three straight games , getting a win and short cover seems viable and worth a small investment.
Iowa is 5-0 ATS L/5 meetings


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Mid-Major Matt

Air Force at Wyoming
Pick: Air Force +9

It's been a rough few weeks for Wyoming who lost Larry Nance Jr and now will be without Charles Hankerson Jr. Now they'll rely on Riley Grabau and Josh Adams as they take on Air Force. The depth for the Cowboys will be severely tested now. They've played four of their last six home games in single digits and don't mind a low scoring game. Air Force meanwhile is going to change things up as they've decided to pick up the pace and shoot faster in possessions. The Falcons have failed to get over 60 points in their last eight games. Despite the lack of scoring, they've been able to keep things close on the road. AFA has covered in six of their nine lined road games and nine of their 14 Mountain West games. Air Force has won two straight games in Laramie and was up seven at halftime against the Cowboys at home this season. I think this one's a low scoring affair which benefits a Falcons team that struggles to score.

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Larry Ness

Kansas State at Texas Tech
Prediction: Texas Tech

Tubby Smith has led Tulsa, Georgia, Kentucky and Minnesota to NCAA bids (17 times in 22 years of coaching), including winning an NCAA title in his first season at Kentucky (1998). This is Tubby's 1st season at Texas Tech and no NCAA bid awaits. In fact, at 13-14, the Red Raiders will be lucky to be playing in ANY three-lettered postseason tourney this year. Texas Tech hosts Kansas St tonight, plays at Baylor and No. 8 Kansas, then hosts No. 17 Texas, prior to the Big 12 tourney (bleak outlook).

As for Kansas St (18-9, 8-6 Big 12), the Wildcats are not quite in bubble trouble yet, but the team's Big Dance seed number has been sliding in recent weeks. Kansas St is extremely deep, with 10 players seeing significant minutes. Defense has been the key all year for Bruce Weber's team, as KSU allows 64.1 PPG (42nd) on 40.3 percent shooting (45th), including 28.8 percent on threes (7th). However, KSU has allowed 87 and 86 points in its last two road games, while entering this contest 1-6 SU in true road games this year (allowing 76.4 PPG), winning only 65-47 at TCU (9-18 on the season, including 0-15 in Big 12 play).

Texas Tech's last game was at Stillwater (this past Saturday, coming off a heartbreaking 64-63 home loss to Kansas the game before!), a contest which featured the return of Oklahoma's Marcus Smart from his suspension. Tech was clearly in the WRONG place at the WRONG time, as the Cowboys connected on 56.9 percent as a team with all FIVE starters scoring in double digits in an 84-62 win.

Tech can't match KSU's depth but the Red Raiders own a good trio of frontcourt players in the 6-7 Crockett (14.3-6.6), the 6-7 Tolbert (11.1-6.0) and the 6-11 Kravic (6.7-4.4) plus a solid trio of guards in Turner (9.8-2.7 APG), Hannahs (8.7) and Gotcher (7.4).

The Wildcats come in just 6-6 since a 10-game win streak and as noted, have been a poor road team all season (have lost SIX in a row after that win over hapless TCU). Tech hung tough in Manhattan (lost by eight despite shooting just 33.9%) and here in Lubbock, I expect them to win, Tubby gets to 13-13 and may just find a way to get to .500 and sneak into postseason play (his teams have played in some postseason tourney in 19 of his last 20 seasons).

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Jimmy Boyd

Air Force vs. Wyoming    
Play: Air Force +8½

The value in this matchup is clearly on the Air Force Falcons. Air Force is a much better team than their record indicates, especially when playing on the road. The Falcons may be 3-7 straight up in road games, but they are also 7-3 ATS in those matchups. The Falcons are averaging 67.3 points per game this season, while the Cowboys are averaging just 65.4 points per game. This should be a low scoring game, and I think the 8.5 points the Falcons are being spotted is far too many for a game that could go either way.

The Falcons have played well against good defensive teams. They are 18-9 ATS over the last two seasons when facing an opponent that has a defensive shooting percentage of 42 percent or less. The last time these teams met the game was decided by a mere seven points. Wyoming shot well above average in that matchup making 50 percent of their attempts. That is unlikely to take place again, so I don't think Cowboys will be able to increase their margin of victory in this game.

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Tom Grassi

Clemson vs. Wake Forest    
Play: Wake Forest +2½

Wake Forest has watched what had been a promising season collapse under the weight of seven consecutive straight up losses, not having beaten the spread in any of the contests. In comparison, their opponents, the Tigers, have bounced back with two straight wins after a three-game losing skid.

Just over a month ago, Clemson squeaked out a cover as a 7.5-point favorite in a 61-53 home win over the Demon Deacons. Not only does Wake Forest have the revenge angle going for them in this game, but they have the intimidating fact that they’ve beaten the Tigers 11 of the last 12 times when facing them at home.

For the Deacons to pull off the upset, they’re going to have to clamp down on the defense, since this losing streak has only seen two foes kept under 70 points for the game. They also need to at least keep pace on the boards, or it may be a case of history repeating itself.

When it comes to early betting action for this game, Clemson is winning in dominant fashion, at almost a 9-1 rate. Ordinarily, that type of heavy support means the line has taken a big jump, but instead, it’s inched up just a half-point. Something has kept that number lower, and the something is likely the wiseguy action on the Deacons. We take their opinions seriously, so coupled with the above data, we say to take the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, February 25

Doug Upstone

Youngstown State vs. Cleveland State    
Play: Youngstown State +9½

On Tuesday, Play On road teams as an underdog or pick like Youngstown State after failing to cover three of their last four against the spread, against opponent like Cleveland State who has covered 12 or more of their last 15 contests against the spread. The thinking for this free pick is opposites attract and teams like Youngstown find a way to beat the number and Cleveland State is bound to stumble against the oddsmaker. In the last 17 years, this situation is 28-5 ATS, 84.8 percent (2-0 this year) with the average score differential 4.8 points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Tuesday, February 25

LT Profits

Xavier Vs St. Johns
Pick: Xavier +6.5

The 18-9 Xavier Musketeers and 18-10 St. John’s Red Storm are trying to earn at-large berths to the NCAA Tournament, but this game may mean more to Xavier as it looks to bounce back from a 74-52 loss at Georgetown and it is lacking in quality wins. Only three of Xavier’s wins have come vs. teams in the Pomeroy Top 50, and one of those was vs. this St. John’s team at home on New Year’s Eve. St. John’s is ranked 29th on Pomeroy, so completing a sweep here would help the Musketeers’ cause, not to mention giving them a possible tiebreaker if the selection committee only chooses one of these schools. St. John’s is only 210th in effective field goal percentage and last in the Big East on defensive rebounding percentage, both pivotal in losing the first meeting. Xavier is 20-7 ATS in its last 27 games vs. teams with a winning percentage above .600.

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