Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, March 3

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, March 3

Michael Alexander

Chicago Bulls vs. Brooklyn Nets    
Play: Chicago Bulls +3

The Brooklyn Nets finally enjoy some quality time in their own building after returning from a grueling seven-game road trip. Their first assignment will be a difficult one, as they entertain the red-hot Chicago Bulls tonight. Chicago broke out to a big early lead before cruising to a 109-90 victory over the New York Knicks on Sunday afternoon while Brooklyn won two in a row to conclude its marathon trek, capped by a 107-98 triumph in Milwaukee. Chicago leads the season series 2-0 while limiting Brooklyn to an average of 77 points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, March 3

Alex Smart

Notre Dame vs North Carolina
Play: Notre Dame +11½

The North Carolina Tarheels enter this contest against downtrodden Notre Dame as the darlings of the public betting world having cashed tickets for their backers 9 of their L/12 overall and 6 straight on their own home floor. Meanwhile the Fighting Irish since losing Jerian Grant their leading scorer -earlier this season, have gone down hill and will not be playing post season basketball this year with a 15-15 record. It is senior night in Chapel Hill this evening , but with Duke on board next, you have to wonder, if the Tarheels will be totally focused. I know the Fighting Irish dont have alot to look forward to, but upsetting one of the nations hottest teams and getting revenge for a 73-62 loss at home as 1.5 point gavs earlier this season, might have them motivated and determined to pull off a big effort. Considering the Clovers ability to score, covering a double digit spread like this offers fair value at around 11 points, and alot of value at 12.5 or more.


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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, March 3

Jack Jones

Brooklyn Nets -3

The Booklyn Nets are going to be highly motivated for a victory tonight. The Bulls have had their number since winning Game 7 of their Eastern Conference playoff series last year. They have also won the first two meetings of the 2013-14 campaign, so you can bet payback will be on Brooklyn's mind.

Quietly, the Nets have been playing their best basketball of the season over the past month. They have gone 8-4 in their last 12 games overall, which includes a home win over the Spurs during this stretch. They are coming off a 7-game road trip, which makes this 8-4 mark even that much more impressive considering they went 4-3 on the trip.

The Bulls are playing incredible basketball right now too, but this is a very tough spot for them. They will be playing the second of a back-to-back and their 5th game in 7 days. This is clearly a tired team that is already playing short-handed. I look for that fatigue to really show tonight as the Nets take it to them from start to finish.

The Nets are 9-1 ATS in thier last 10 games when playing on one days' rest. Brooklyn is 9-4 ATS in its last 13 home games. The motivation plus the tough spot for Chicago certainly makes it worth a small bet on the home team tonight. Bet the Nets Monday.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, March 3

Tom Grassi

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trailblazers    
Play: Los Angeles Lakers +12

This Western Conference meeting features two teams that are getting together for the second time this season, the first coming three months ago. In that effort, the Trail Blazers covered on the road as a 3.5-point favorite, which at least offers the possibility of the revenge angle being put in play for Los Angeles.

These teams are meeting while in the midst of some streaky performances. The Lakers have covered four of their last five road games, the most recent coming last Wednesday in a five-point loss at Memphis as a double-digit dog. Their opponent has struggled with just two covers in their last seven home matchups.

While Los Angeles has usually had major problems when they come to Portland, they are the beneficiaries of a situation that has offered better than 70 percent winners over the past two months. It’s based simply on playing a double-digit road dog with more than a day of rest, with the Lakers’ last game taking place in a home win over Sacramento on Friday night.

The fact that a team struggling on their home court of late is giving so many points is a major reason why we feel that Los Angeles is the play here. They likely won’t win outright, but there’s enough points being offered to allow the Blazers to still win, but make things close, so take the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, March 3

Doug Upstone

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Sacramento Kings    
Play: Sacramento Kings -4

On Monday, Play On home favorites like Sacramento after a loss by 10 points or more, against opponent like New Orleans after four straight losses by 10 points or more. The rationale behind this free play is teams like the Pelicans are truly slumping, while the Kings are favored and it my have been a one game scenario in their loss. In the past 17 years this system is 27-6 ATS, including 2-0 this season.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, March 3

MP SportsFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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New York Knicks +5FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Knicks have lost 6 in a row and 12 of their last 14. They have lost 3 consecutive games by 19 or more points. They turned in about as bad of an effort yesterday as it gets in an NBA game. All of this has led to them becoming a 5 point underdog tonight in Detroit against a Pistons team who has been nearly as bad. Detroit has lost 7 of their last 8 and are returning home from a short road-trip in Texas against the Spurs and Rockets. There is no reason for this Pistons team to be favored by 5 points against anyone besides the 76ers. I'm backing New York tonight.
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Charlotte Bobcats +12.5FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Bobcats are coming off a pair of road losses against the Spurs and Thunder in which they failed to cover in each instance despite playing close for the vast majority of the game. This has caused their line in Miami tonight to balloon to a very large 12.5 number that is way too high for how well this team has played on defense throughout the season. Charlotte should be able to keep this one close.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, March 3

Dennis Macklin

Lafayette vs. Loyola Maryland    
Play: Lafayette -3½

Believe it or not, conference tournament action starts tonight and two teams from the Patriot will done for the year. Lafayette travels to Baltimore to face Loyola Maryland in an opening round matchup and the Leopards appear to be the better choice. The teams split home games during the regular season, each blowing out the other by double digits. While Loyola was going 3-10 down the stretch with three straight home losses, Lafayette was on a 6-3 run that included road wins at Bucknell and Holy Cross, two of the top three seeds in the Patriot. While neither of these teams is very much, there is clearly a team in decline and a team on the up escalator. Lafayette should find a way to move on here.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, March 3

Doug Upstone

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Sacramento Kings    
Play: Sacramento Kings -4

On Monday, Play On home favorites like Sacramento after a loss by 10 points or more, against opponent like New Orleans after four straight losses by 10 points or more. The rationale behind this free play is teams like the Pelicans are truly slumping, while the Kings are favored and it my have been a one game scenario in their loss. In the past 17 years this system is 27-6 ATS, including 2-0 this season.

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SPORTS WAGERS

Columbus +103 over TORONTO

Regulation only. The Maple Leafs play their first home game since the Olympic break after opening up with two on the road after it. Not much has changed for the Leafs in that they are still living off some serious good fortune. In their first game back, Toronto was defeated by the Islanders 5-4 and were outshot 35-20. Ok, we’ll excuse them because many teams were flat in their first game back also. On Saturday, in perhaps its biggest game of the year to date, the Maple Leafs looked lost for the first 1½-periods and were quickly down 2-0 before a an extremely lucky tip-in by James Van Riemsdyk woke them up late in the first period. The Leafs were outshot in the first, 14-6. The Phil Kessel/James Van Riemsdyk/Tyler Bozak line has deservedly become one of the most feared in the NHL. However, teams that pay attention to detail, like the Jackets, are going to make life a lot more difficult for that trio. Toronto is the second worst in the NHL at the possession game. One of the primary factors for that has been Randy Carlyle's unwillingness to roll four lines because he doesn’t have NHL caliber players (unless you like two goons) on the fourth line to trust them enough with the game on the line. The Maple Leafs can’t keep playing the way they do (without the puck) and expect to win hockey games, especially down the stretch where good teams rise and bad teams fade.

The Jackets have played two games since the Olympics and like the Maple Leafs they were flat in their first game back, losing to New Jersey 5-2. However, they followed that up with a three-goal win over the Panthers while outshooting Florida, 37-20. Prior to the break, Columbus played at San Jose, Anaheim and Los Angeles and picked up three out of possible six tough points. Marion Gaborik is back and so is Nathan Horton. The Jackets rank 7th in the NHL in goals per game average and that was without Gaborik and Horton. Playing on one day’s rest, the Jackets have won four straight (4-0) and they are also 9-2 following a win. They are the vastly superior team taking back a tag, albeit a small one, against a Toronto team that is coming off a huge game against Montreal and that has the Rangers on deck in New York.


Calgary +183 over MINNESOTA

Situational betting is vital to success and while it doesn’t always work out, it’s one of the reasons why upsets happen so frequently in sports. You cannot take the human element out of anything and the outcome of sporting events is no different. The Wild are 2-0 since the break with wins over Edmonton and Vancouver. That win in Vancouver was big because that’s a rink that the Wild have been slaughtered in over the years. They also won in in extra time. Beating the Canucks is no great feat but for Minnesota it was a significant and satisfying victory. Still, the Wild managed just 23 shots on net and just a handful of scoring chances. The game prior in Edmonton, they managed a mere 21 shots on net against the NHL’s worst defensive team. Minnesota has huge games on deck against Dallas and St. Louis and could definitely be caught napping here. The Wild are tough defensively but they are one of the likeliest teams to suffer upsets because they are offensively challenged and overall just a very average club.

Calgary is on our radar because they remain one of the most undervalued squads in the NHL. Every publication and so-called expert is insisting that the Flames are a mess and should unload players at the deadline but that’s really not necessary. At the moment, the Flames have a solid prospect system. 2013 first-round pick Sean Monahan is going to be producing for years along with Joe Colborne and Mikael Backland. Recent call-up, Mikael Granlund has not looked a bit out of place in two games and Calgary’s defense is pretty good with Mark Giordano (undoubtedly one of the games most underrated players), Dennis Wideman and T.J. Brodie. Yeah, the Flames are flawed and still a long way from being contenders but they are headed in the right direction, they play their hearts out every single night and they are very capable of beating almost anyone in favorable situations. Calgary has won seven of its last 10 games and they have allowed two goals or less in five straight and six of their past seven. They are quietly putting together a very decent run and it would be of no surprise to us if they keep it going here. At this price in a favorable spot, the risk is worth the reward.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, March 3

SPORTS WAGERS

Kansas State +9 over OKLAHOMA STATE

The Wildcats are probably in. They have wins over Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa State and Texas, they have 10 wins in the conference and they also have 20 wins overall. What K-State doesn’t have is a signature road win and the committee usually likes to see one of those. We’re not saying that the Wildcats will be left out should they finish the regular season without a notable road victory but a win here would leave nothing to doubt. The oddsmakers may have this line a little too high because they must figure K-State is in while the Cowboys remain on the bubble.

For OSU to get in they have to defeat the Cyclones at Iowa State on Saturday. A win here combined with a loss at Iowa State and the Cowboys aren’t likely to get an at-large bid. A loss here combined with a win over Iowa State on Saturday and it would be very difficult for the committee to ignore them. The Cowboys took the first step in their quest to get in with a HUGE win over Kansas on Saturday night. Oklahoma State played with incredible intensity and fought back from being down by 10 with about eight minutes to go. Down the stretch of that game every possession was vital and the Cowboys celebrated and picked up more intensity with every made bucket and with every stop. When Marcus Smart grabbed a rebound with 14 seconds left and the Cowboys up seven, the Cowboys reacted like they had just won a championship. The fans reacted the same way after the game, as they flocked onto the court by the thousands. Coming back on one day’s rest and being asked to win by double digits against a quality club is a tall order, especially when you consider that the entire team, school and community is till celebrating. If K-State cares about this game, they may win it outright.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, March 3

Wunderdog

Montreal @ Los Angeles
Pick: Los Angeles -160

The Los Angeles Kings saw the Olympic break come as a savior as they hit pause at 6-16 in their 22 games leading up to it. They have certainly gotten back on track as they are a perfect 3-0 since the break, and look a lot more like the team we saw earlier in the season. They have out-scored their three opponents by an 11-5 count. Montreal was also struggling, and benefitted from the rest having won two of three on the return, but they have played three straight games vs. good teams. And now they have to head across the country to take on a fourth that is playing great hockey, and is too much to ask. The Kings are now 44-17 in their last 61 at home, and 28-11 here vs. a winning team. Make the play on Los Ageles.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, March 3

Bob Balfe

Memphis Grizzles -1.5

Washington has been on a nice little winning streak, but go and look at the soft teams they have played in that stretch. It has been very impressive and not to take anything away from them, but tonight they will face a physical Memphis team that will not allow Washington to get easy buckets. Memphis is an overall better team and should make this a defensive struggle. Take the Grizzles.

Oklahoma State/Kansas State Over 137.5

When these teams got together earlier this season neither shot the ball well from the floor or the 3 point line, but they both have the ability to get to the foul line and make shots with the clock stopped. I don’t think it’s possible for either team to shoot as bad as they did the first meeting and in that game both teams scored in the 70’s. This should be an entertaining game with a ton of scoring. Take the Over.

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Joe Williams

Knicks / Pistons Over

The trends might see the under is 5-0 in the past five in this series, and 5-0 in the past five meetings in Auburn Hills, but this is the Pistons we're talking about. You never bet the under in Detroit games, especially at home.

The over is 20-6 in Detroit's past 26 at home, and 46-17 in their past 63 games overall. The over is also 4-1 in their past five home games against a team with a losing road record.

The over has cashed in eight of New York's past 10 road games, and is 5-1 in their past six overall. The over is also 6-1 in their past seven road games against a team with a losing home record.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, March 3

Red Dog Sports

Kansas Stvs. Oklahoma St
Play: Over 137½

These two played a 74-71 (145) game back on January 4, 2014. Neither team shot well as one was 22/60 (36%) and the other was 21/52 (40%). KSU has played 10 unders/16 overs and averages just 133.5 ppg with their opponent but the home team is Oklahoma State and they average close to 149 ppg with 14 overs/11 unders. KSU is led by Williams, Foster and Gipson while the Cowboys have Smart, Nash, Brown and Forte all in the 13 to 17 ppg range.

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Dave Price

Kansas State +9

Oklahoma State is on the bubble and needs this win. However, I believe asking the Cowboys to win by double digits against a good Kansas State team in the aftermath of an absolutely huge win over Kansas is too much to ask. I feel a bit of a letdown in inevitable here for Oklahoma State, and it will have to grind this one out. Kansas State has won five of the past six meetings with the loss coming by only six points. Plus, the Wildcats don't have a good road win this season so they'll be looking to better their tournament seeding by getting one here. Joe Lunardi currently has them as an eight-seed. While the revenge angle is in play for Oklahoma State, we can't ignore that it is just 2-9 ATS under coach Travis Ford when seeking revenge an upset loss to an opponent. It has lost by an average score of 75.7 to 74.2 in these spots. The Cowboys have outscored opponents by a healthy 12.0 points per game this season, but K-State is 8-1 ATS this season versus team that outscore the opposition by 8.0 ppg or more. The Wildcats have defeated these teams by an average score of 73.0 to 69.3. Take the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, March 3

Jeff Alexander

Notre Dame +11

This is the last game of the regular season for Notre Dame, and I expect it to treat it like a championship game. North Carolina still has a big showdown with Duke ahead and will have a tough time getting up for a team it defeated by 11 on the road last month. Playing against double-digit favorites riding a winning streak of 10 games or more has resulted in a 172-126 ATS record the last 5 seasons. Additionally, road teams playing on 1 day of rest or none that are out for revenge for a home loss to an opponent are 390-272 ATS the last 5 seasons. Bet Notre Dame.

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Harry Bondi

NC STATE (+11.5) over Pittsburgh

FREE WINNERS are now 6-2 our last eight! Today, we cash in again with a big dog against an overrated Pittsburgh team. Panthers are just 4-5 in their last nine games, with three of those four wins in overtime. Pitt has not won a game by double digits since January 21st, some five weeks ago! Wolfpack were in a tough spot Saturday and got blown out by Miami, (we had the Canes as part of a 3-1 day!), but had played North Carolina and Syracuse tough in their prior two games. Panthers home floor has been no help to them as they have lost four of their last five home games. Wolfpack keep it close, take the generous points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, March 3

Dr. Bob

Opinion – NORTH CAROLINA (-11½) over Notre Dame

Notre Dame is just 8-19-1 ATS this season and the Irish are still a bit overrated. My ratings favor a streaking North Carolina team (11 straight wins and 9-2 ATS) by 13 points in this game and the Tarheels are 90-53-1 ATS at home when not favored by 27 points or more under coach Roy Williams. Notre Dame, meanwhile, is just 28-53-6 ATS after exactly 1 loss under coach Mike Brey. I’ll lean with North Carolina minus the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, March 3

Rocketman

Montreal @ Los Angeles
Play: Montreal +150

The Montreal Canadians travel to Los Angeles to take on the Kings on Monday night.  Montreal is 4-1 last 5 games scoring 4 goals per game.  Montreal is 14-5 SU overall overall vs Los Angeles since 1996.  Montreal is 4-0 last 4 games when playing on one days rest.  Montreal is 5-1 last 6 games overall.  Montreal is 5-1 last 6 games against the Western Conference.  Los Angeles is 2-5 last 7 games after allowing two goals or less in their previous game.  Los Angeles is 2-6 last 8 games against the Eastern Conference.  Los Angeles is 2-7 last 9 games when playing on one days rest.  Montreal has won 7 of the past 8 meetings overall in this series including 4-0 last 4 meetings in Los Angeles.  We'll recommend a small play on Montreal tonight!

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, March 3

Andrew Lange

Notre Dame at North Carolina
Play: 1st Half Under

Notre Dame has been playing ultra-slow of late with seven of their last eight games in regulation featuring less than 60 possessions. The only game that wasn't was against North Carolina but that game still had a modest 67 possessions and 135 points (50 points 1st half). Some of that had to do with the slow nature of the ACC but Mike Brey knows how bad his defense is and the only way to offset it is to shorten the game and milk clock when they have the ball on offense. That is the blueprint of how to beat (or compete with) North Carolina. Early in the season the Tar Heels lost low possession grinders to Miami, Syracuse, and Virginia. During their run of 11 straight wins, they've managed to control tempo on most nights. However, we saw last time out that you can play the slow-down game as Virginia Tech lost 60-56 and kept the game at 60 possessions. Off an overtime loss against Pitt two days ago, I have my concerns that Notre Dame may wear down. But I look for them to come out early, value possessions, and keep UNC from easy buckets in transition.

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