Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, March 19

Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, March 19

DUNKEL INDEX

NBA

Detroit at Denver
The Nuggets host a Detroit team that comes into tonight's contest with a 2-10-1 ATS record in their last 13 games versus Northwest Division opponents. Denver is the pick (-7 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Nuggets favored by 10. Dunkel Pick: Denver (-7 1/2)

Game 601-602: Chicago at Philadelphia (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Chicago 121.418; Philadelphia 104.061
Dunkel Line & Total: Chicago by 17 1/2; 185
Vegas Line & Total: Chicago by 12 1/2; 195
Dunkel Pick: Chicago (-12 1/2); Under

Game 603-604: Miami at Boston (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami 124.025; Boston 114.261
Dunkel Line & Total: Miami by 10; 205
Vegas Line & Total: Miami by 6 1/2; 199
Dunkel Pick: Miami (-6 1/2); Over

Game 605-606: Charlotte at Brooklyn (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Charlotte 117.797; Brooklyn 125.822
Dunkel Line & Total: Brooklyn by 8; 190
Vegas Line & Total: Brooklyn by 6; 193 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Brooklyn (-6); Under

Game 607-608: Indiana at New York (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Indiana 120.277; New York 116.274
Dunkel Line & Total: Indiana by 4; 189
Vegas Line & Total: Indiana by 2 1/2; 194 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Indiana (-2 1/2); Under

Game 609-610: Toronto at New Orleans (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto 118.645; New Orleans 120.345
Dunkel Line & Total: New Orleans by 1 1/2; 194
Vegas Line & Total: Toronto by 1 1/2; 198 1/2
Dunkel Pick: New Orleans (+1 1/2); Under

Game 611-612: Utah at Memphis (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Utah 108.117; Memphis 126.247
Dunkel Line & Total: Memphis by 18; 191
Vegas Line & Total: Memphis by 11 1/2; 187
Dunkel Pick: Memphis (-11 1/2); Over

Game 613-614: Minnesota at Dallas (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota 118.455; Dallas 121.315
Dunkel Line & Total: Dallas by 3; 218
Vegas Line & Total: Dallas by 5 1/2; 211 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (+5 1/2); Over

Game 615-616: Detroit at Denver (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit 112.645; Denver 122.553
Dunkel Line & Total: Denver by 10; 213
Vegas Line & Total: Denver by 7 1/2; 220
Dunkel Pick: Denver (-7 1/2); Under

Game 617-618: Orlando at Phoenix (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Orlando 110.443; Phoenix 122.231
Dunkel Line & Total: Phoenix by 12; 194
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 619-620: San Antonio at LA Lakers (10:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Antonio 128.103; LA Lakers 111.043
Dunkel Line & Total: San Antonio by 17; 228
Vegas Line & Total: San Antonio by 13; 223
Dunkel Pick: San Antonio (-13); Over

NHL

St. Louis at Chicago
The Blues head to Chicago tonight where they are 2-8 in their last 10 games against the Blackhawks. Chicago is the pick (-120) according to Dunkel, which has the Blackhawks favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: Chicago (-120)

Game 51-52: Tampa Bay at Toronto (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay 11.366; Toronto 10.439
Dunkel Line & Total: Tampa Bay by 1; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Toronto (-115); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Tampa Bay (-105); Under

Game 53-54: St. Louis at Chicago (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis 11.709; Chicago 12.665
Dunkel Line & Total: Chicago by 1; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Chicago (-120); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Chicago (-120); Over

Game 55-56: Colorado at Winnipeg (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado 10.036; Winnipeg 11.127
Dunkel Line & Total: Winnipeg by 1; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Colorado (-120); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Winnipeg (+100); Under

Game 57-58: Nashville at Vancouver (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Nashville 10.124; Vancouver 11.577
Dunkel Line & Total: Vancouver by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Vancouver (-140); 5
Dunkel Pick: Vancouver (-140); Over

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DUNKEL INDEX

NCAAB

Vermont at Georgia
The NIT continues tonight with Georgia (19-13 SU) hosting a Vermont team that is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games versus teams with a winning SU record. Georgia is the pick (-5) according to Dunkel, which has the Bulldogs favored by 7 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Georgia (-5)

Game 621-622: Texas Southern vs. Cal Poly (6:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Texas Southern 48.423; Cal Poly 53.759
Dunkel Line: Cal Poly by 5 1/2; 137
Vegas Line: Cal Poly by 3; 130
Dunkel Pick: Cal Poly (-3); Over

Game 623-624: Tennessee vs. Iowa (9:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tennessee 71.682; Iowa 71.401
Dunkel Line: Even; 149
Vegas Line: Tennessee by 2 1/2; 142 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Iowa (+2 1/2); Over

Game 625-626: Illinois at Boston U (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Illinois 67.807; Boston U 53.550
Dunkel Line: Illinois by 14 1/2
Vegas Line: Illinois by 2
Dunkel Pick: Illinois (-2)

Game 627-628: Iona at Louisiana Tech (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Iona 58.497; Louisiana Tech 68.676
Dunkel Line: Louisiana Tech by 10
Vegas Line: Louisiana Tech by 8
Dunkel Pick: Louisiana Tech (-8)

Game 629-630: Vermont at Georgia (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Vermont 58.957; Georgia 66.315
Dunkel Line: Georgia by 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Georgia by 5
Dunkel Pick: Georgia (-5)

Game 631-632: Toledo at Southern Mississippi (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Toledo 53.906; Southern Mississippi 63.352
Dunkel Line: Southern Mississippi by 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Southern Mississippi by 7
Dunkel Pick: Southern Mississippi (-7)

Game 633-634: UC-Irvine at SMU (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: UC-Irvine 57.990; SMU 69.844
Dunkel Line: SMU by 12
Vegas Line: SMU by 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: SMU (-8 1/2)

Game 635-636: LSU at San Francisco (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LSU 61.510; San Francisco 66.160
Dunkel Line: San Francisco by 4 1/2
Vegas Line: San Francisco by 2 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (-2 1/2)

Game 637-638: Utah Valley State at California (10:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Utah Valley State 50.664; California 61.538
Dunkel Line: California by 11
Vegas Line: California by 13 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Utah Valley State (+13 1/2)

Game 645-646: South Dakota State at Old Dominion (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: South Dakota State 57.837; Old Dominion 60.960
Dunkel Line: Old Dominion by 3
Vegas Line: Old Dominion by 1
Dunkel Pick: Old Dominion (-1)

Game 647-648: Hampton at Penn State (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Hampton 53.304; Penn State 63.274
Dunkel Line: Penn State by 10
Vegas Line: Penn State by 13
Dunkel Pick: Hampton (+13)

Game 649-650: Princeton at Tulane (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Princeton 57.264; Tulane 47.585
Dunkel Line: Princeton by 9 1/2
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 651-652: Morehead State at Illinois State (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Morehead State 50.403; Illinois State 54.321
Dunkel Line: Illinois State by 4
Vegas Line: Illinois State by 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Morehead State (+6 1/2)

Game 653-654: Wyoming at Texas A&M (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Wyoming 54.941; Texas A&M 62.104
Dunkel Line: Texas A&M by 7
Vegas Line: Texas A&M by 4
Dunkel Pick: Texas A&M (-4)

Game 655-656: Fresno State at UTEP (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Fresno State 59.701; UTEP 59.710
Dunkel Line: Even
Vegas Line: UTEP by 5
Dunkel Pick: Fresno State (+5)

Game 657-658: Radford at Oregon State (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Radford 46.266; Oregon State 58.550
Dunkel Line: Oregon State by 12 1/2
Vegas Line: Oregon State by 15 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Radford (+15 1/2)

Game 665-666: Quinnipiac at Yale (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Quinnipiac 49.028; Yale 48.938
Dunkel Line: Even
Vegas Line: Yale by 3 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Quinnipiac (+3 1/2)

Game 667-668: Towson at USC Upstate (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Towson 54.903; USC Upstate 53.850
Dunkel Line: Towson by 1
Vegas Line: USC Upstate by 3
Dunkel Pick: Towson (+3)

Game 669-670: Cleveland State at Ohio (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland State 58.406; Ohio 54.655
Dunkel Line: Cleveland State by 4
Vegas Line: Pick
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland State

Game 671-672: Akron at IPFW (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Akron 53.730; IPFW 58.321
Dunkel Line: IPFW by 4 1/2
Vegas Line: IPFW by 2 1/2
Dunkel Pick: IPFW (-2 1/2)

Game 673-674: Murray State at Missouri State (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Murray State 52.463; Missouri State 59.891
Dunkel Line: Missouri State by 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Missouri State by 4 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Missouri State (-4 1/2)

Game 675-676: North Dakota at NE-Omaha (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: North Dakota 48.469; NE-Omaha 50.828
Dunkel Line: NE-Omaha by 2 1/2
Vegas Line: NE-Omaha by 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: North Dakota (+6 1/2)

Game 677-678: TX-Corpus Christi at Northern Colorado (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: TX-Corpus Christi 49.256; Northern Colorado 48.032
Dunkel Line: TX-Corpus Christi by 1
Vegas Line: Northern Colorado by 7
Dunkel Pick: TX-Corpus Christi (+7)

Game 679-680: Pacific at Grand Canyon (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pacific 50.821; Grand Canyon 51.537
Dunkel Line: Grand Canyon by 1
Vegas Line: Pacific by 3 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Grand Canyon (+3 1/2)

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Jimmy Boyd

Louisiana Tech -8

It is hard telling where or not Louisiana Tech would have made the NCAA Tournament if Raheem Appleby did not miss 12 games this season. I would think the Bulldogs would have been a much better team down the stretch with him in the lineup. Three of the team's losses happened in his absence. Since Appleby's return the Bulldogs have posted a 5-1 record. Even without him for a third of the season Louisiana Tech managed to finish averaging 81 points per game with ranks 15th in the nation.

The Bulldogs explosive offense should put a huge number on the board against Iona's weak defense. The Gaels have surrendered an average of 78.2 points per game when playing on the road. Meanwhile, Louisiana Tech has been solid defensively allowing just 60.3 points per game at home. The Bulldogs are 13-1 in home games with a 24.1 point average margin of victory. They should have no problem winning this game by a double-digit margin.

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Sean HiggsFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Iowa vs. TennesseeFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Iowa -1FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Yeah. We are backing a small fave that has played like garbage down the stretch. Yes, we had the Vols a couple times in the SEC tournament. Yes, I know I told you how great the defense is playing. But this is why it is called March Madness baby! I think the depth of Iowa will make a difference and I actually this winner to knock off UMass in the next round.

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Rob VincilettiFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Detroit Pistons vs. Denver NuggetsFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Detroit Pistons +7FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Pistons creamed the Nuggets earlier in the season by 17. Tonight we have a system that has cashed 14 of 15 times playing against rested home favorites with a total that is 190 or higher if they scored 110 or more in a home dog win and are now taking on a team like the Pistons that come in off a home dog straight up and ats loss. Denver snapped the LA. Clippers wins streak at home on Monday night. This game looks like a potential flat spot off the big upset win. Denver is 0-6 ats as a home favorite from -3.5 to -7 and has failed to cover 10 of the last 14 in the 2nd half vs losing teams. Look for Detroit to hang around tonight.


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David GlisanFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Colorado -120FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Some concern about a possible hangover from Avs' head coach Patrick Roy's emotional return to Montreal on Tuesday night but the fact that Colorado lost that game works in our favor here.  More importantly,  the Winnipeg Jets are playing dismal hockey at the moment.  Besides, it would be unlike Colorado's tightly wound head coach to let his team slip in this spot.  They've won 3 of 4 from Winnipeg this year and catch the Jets having lost 7 of 8.  Jets have scored more than 3 only once since the Olympic break and with the exception of a 7 goal outburst against Dallas (their only win in L7) they're averaging 1.85 goals per game during their downturn.  Avs have won 7 of 9 and have been one of the biggest 'bullies' in the NHL this year absolutely dominating opponents with losing records.  Against sub .500 teams the Avs are 24-8 +11.8 units this year and enter this game on a 12-2 +9.6 unit run against losing teams.

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Art AronsonFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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San Antonio Spurs vs. Los Angeles LakersSERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Play: San Antonio Spurs -13FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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I rarely like to take this large of favorite on the road but I feel like the Spurs are on such a systematic roll right now and that this game won’t be close whatsoever. Take note that the Spurs have limited the Lakers to 85.2 points per game while winning the past six matchups by an average of 19.1, including last season's first-round playoff sweep. The Spurs have scored a league-best 114.3 per game this month, 9.2 above their season average. San Antonio has won 10 games in a row and now holds the leagues’ longest winning streak currently. "We're getting our rhythm," Spurs guard Tony Parker said. "Manu looks good, he looks healthy. Timmy, his outside shot is coming around. We're all doing little stuff. The Spurs just seem to have the Lakers number and I don’t think that changes here. The Spurs play a style that is conducive to using their bench and subbing players in and out that can still be effective as the starters and that is why you see the bench extend leads that make games become blowouts. San Antonio is 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS in games against the Spurs the last three seasons. Whether the Spurs want to admit it or not, getting the number one seed in the west will be very important for the team going into these playoffs against the other tough clubs in the Western conference. I think they continue to go for the jugular. Consider laying the points in what should prove to be an epic one-sided rout.

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Jim FeistFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Indiana Pacers vs. New York KnicksFREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Indiana Pacers -2½FOR  FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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This is a bad matchup for the Knicks as the Pacers have no weaknesses, a great defense that is second in the NBA in points allowed and a dominant rebounding team, 3rd in rebounds. The Knicks are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games vs. a team with a winning record. The Pacers were down by 25 in the second quarter, but responded with one of the most impressive comebacks of the NBA season, catching the Detroit Pistons in the fourth quarter and eventually pulling away in overtime for a 112-104 victory Saturday night. Indiana leads Miami by 3 1/2 games in the race for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Andrew Bynum scored 15 points with nine rebounds in 20 minutes for the Pacers. Paul George had 30 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Pacers. New York has no one like him, a selfish, unmotivated team. The Knicks rank 20th in the NBA in scoring, 26th in rebounds and are 15-20 at home, plus 2-6 ATS in their last 8 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. The Pacers are 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings and the favorite is 7-0 ATS in the last 7 meetings.

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Matt FargoFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Louisiana State vs. San FranciscoFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: Louisiana StateFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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San Francisco, having posted its highest West Coast Conference victory total since 1977, was actually thinking NCAA Tournament but a loss against BYU in overtime in the WCC Tournament dashed those dreams. The Dons haven't made it to the Big Dance since 1998 so it was a disappointing ending to a great season. They haven't beaten any team of any major significance this season as their heir best outings were a pair of close losses to BYU with the last month. San Francisco's best win? American perhaps and that is pushing it. LSU had hopes of an NCAA Tournament bid this season but it could never get anything going in the SEC, losing four games by four points or less and two in overtime. The good thing for the Tigers is that they are a young team and can build on this postseason experience to carry them into the Big Dance next season. The Tigers beat an NCAA 10th seeded, Atlantic-10 Tournament champions St. Joseph, earlier this season and eight-seed Kentucky. There is no lack of motivation. "Not for me," senior Andre Stringer said. "And with the kind of guys we have on this team, I don't think we'll have a problem with motivation." Added the other senior Shavon Coleman, "Being a senior, I wanted to out on a strong note and this is the chance to do that. When I saw we got another shot in the NIT, I was very happy." Here, we play on road teams in a game involving two teams allowing between 67 and 74 ppg, after a loss by 15 points or more. This situation is 231-148 ATS (60.9 percent) over the last five seasons.

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EZWINNERSFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Texas Southern +4.5FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Cal Poly made it to the dance with a 13-19 record thanks to a run in the Big West tournament where they beat UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara and Northridge in the championship game. Now they find themselves as the favorite in this match up with TSU, but I think the wrong team is favored. This is a solid TSU team. The Tigers won the SWAC regular-season title last year in head coach Mike Davis' first year last season but were ineligible because of NCAA sanctions. This year the Tigers won the Southwestern Athletic Conference's automatic bid once again and I like the way they matchup here with the Mustangs. SWAC Player of the Year 6-10 center Aaric Murray is a tough match up for this Cal Poly team that before their run in the Big West tournament struggled to end the regular season, losing nine of its last eleven games. TSU comes into this game with a lot of confidence on a nine game winning streak and a head coach in Mike Davis that has been here before. Take the points.

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John Ryan

Cal Poly SLO vs. Texas Southern    
Play: Cal Poly SLO -3½

The simulator shows a high probability that CPS will win this game by at least 6 points. I had CPS in their last game, which was the Championship of the Big West Conference and don't be misled by the losing record. They are just the 20th team in NCAA history to make the Big Dance sporting a losing record. Head Coach Callero even stated tongue in cheek, that if they win the National Championship they will have a winning record. Even the opponent, Texas Southern, started out 5-9, but finished with nine straight wins to get to this most unlikely matchup. Texas Southern is a good feel story developed by former NBA player John Lucas, who battled substance abuse successfully. This program is based on helping the troubled athlete find their path in life. Their leader is a great example of this foundation. Aairic Murray was set to be a possible lottery pick playing at LaSalle. Troubled entered in his and he was suspended and transferred to West Virginia, where even more trouble developed. He has gotten his life together, is drug tested weekly and is averaging 21 PPG and 8 RPG. However, CPS has won their last three games with intense pressure and defense, and solid rebounding at both ends of the court. They will contain Murray and I strongly believe will wear down Texas Southern. Callero is a solid 9-2 ATS (+6.8 Units) in road games versus teams who are called for 17 or less fouls/game as the coach of CPS. Davis is just 16-38 ATS (-25.8 Units) after having won 8 or more of their last 10 games in all games he has coached since 1997.


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Dennis Macklin

Hampton vs. Penn State    
Play: Penn State -12½

The Nits are not much but they are a battle tested Big Ten team that is slowly on the improve. Forget about Penn State going 3-7 down the stretch, that was for the most part facing their conference monsters. The Nits were 9-4 in non-conf play including (and most importantly for our purposes) a perfect 4-0 against teams outside to top 200 with all wins by more than they are giving up here. The Hampton Pirates are a middle of the road 18-12 MEAC team that played one significant opponent all year .... they lost by 29 to Virginia which pretty much tells you all you need to know. Penn State figures to be a comfortable winner here.

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Indiana Pacers vs. New York KnicksFREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Indiana Pacers -2.5FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Indiana is back to winning with wins in each of their last four games and six of 10 coming into this game at MSG. Indiana is 19-13 on the road and those 13 losses are tied for fewest in the East. New York has won six in a row to put them in the 9th spot in the East five games back in the loss column with 15 games to go. The Knicks haven't used the Garden to their advantage as they are 15-20 at home. In this match up of foes look for the Pacers to make it five in a row and end the Knicks winning streak and possible shot at the playoffs. Play Indiana

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Will RogersFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Charlotte vs. BrooklynFREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: UnderFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Given what these two teams are capable of, this total is far too high.
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Here are my keys to the game:FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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1. Bobcats Defense - One of the biggest surprises of this NBA season has to be the fact Charlotte ranks among the top four in the league in terms of points allowed.  Even in Monday's loss to Atlanta, they only gave up 97 points, which is right on their season average.  Over the last five games, they're allowing just 93 PPG and given their own offensive deficiencies, it's no surprise then that all five games have gone Under the total.
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2. Nets Defense - Despite being minus Kevin Garnett, Brooklyn has allowed an average of just 90.7 points during its five-game home winning streak. As alluded to above, Charlotte ranks near the bottom of the league offensively and is coming off a loss where they shot the ball at just a 35.3 percent clip. Keeping the Bobcats in check shouldn't be much trouble for the Nets here.
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3. X-Factor - Brooklyn is 9-3 Under this season after scoring 105 or more points in its last game.

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DAVE COKINGO GET IT YOURSELF VIKESFAG
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CAL IRVINE VS SMUGO GET IT YOURSELF VIKESFAG
PLAY: SMU -9GO GET IT YOURSELF VIKESFAG
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Welcome to Snub City, otherwise known as SMU. The Mustangs are the consensus choice as this season’s most unfortunate victim of the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee. SMU will now have a chance to prove wrong those who refused to extend the Big Dance invite by winning the NIT.
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SMU is the top seed in the Little Dance, and rightfully so off the numbers. There’s really not much question that they belonged in the field of 68. But they’re instead lined up tonight against a Big West team and it’ll be interesting to see which version of the Mustangs takes the court.
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SMU could be an angry unit tonight, intent on making a major statement. But there’s also a very real possibility that the huge disappointment this team suffered while waiting for their name to get called on Selection Sunday will create a hangover effect. Or is there?
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If recent results are an indication, visiting UC-Irvine is in big trouble tonight. Here’s a rundown of the top snubs over the last few years, and their opening round NIT results (the opponent is in parentheses). Note that rather that just use my opinion, I decided to use the highest rated Kenpom teams from each season for the study.
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2013: Iowa 68-52 (Indiana State)
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2013; Baylor 112-66 (Long Beach State)
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2012: Stanford 76-65 (Cleveland State)
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2012: Drexel 81-56 (UCF)
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2011: Wichita State 76-49 (Nebraska)
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2011: New Mexico 69-57 (UTEP)
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2010: Dayton 63-42 (Illinois State)
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2010: Virginia Tech 81-61 (Quinnipiac)
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2009: Baylor and Georgetown were matched up vs. one another in the opening round. Baylor won by two.
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2008: Ohio State 84-66 (NC-Asheville)
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2008: Virginia Tech 94-62 (Morgan State)
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2007: Mississippi State 82-63 (Miss Valley)
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2007: Air Force 75-51 (Austin Peay)
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2006: Missouri State 76-67 (Stanford)
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2006: Louisville 71-54 (Delaware State)
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I figured going back eight years was plenty. Discounting the one year when the top two snubs were somehow stuck playing one another right out of the gate, this is some pretty compelling stuff. Blowout after blowout after blowout.
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There’s no such thing as a perfect trend. Any play can go up in flames. But the track record here is crystal clear. That is, we’re getting angry teams taking out its frustrations on lesser opposition.
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I don’t see a good reason to expect anything different tonight. UC Irvine is a good team, and their size has been an issue for several opponents. But they’re the second best team on this court tonight, and it’s not especially close. I’ll look for SMU to unload on the Anteaters tonight.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, March 19

Mid-Major MattFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Towson at USC UpstateFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: USC Upstate -2.5FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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It's USC Upstate and Towson in the CIT on Wednesday. The Spartans closed out the year winning six of their last nine falling in two overtimes to Mercer in their conference tournament. This is an impressive team that is in the top 50 in rebounds and assists per game. They are led by Torrey Craig, Ty Greene and Ricardo Glenn who each score over 10 points per game. They are an impressive rebounding team with three players averaging at least six per game. They will need that to slow down Jerrelle Benimon who averages a double double himself. Towson had their seven game win streak last time out falling to William and Mary. These are two impressive teams who fell short in their tournaments. I'll lean to the home team who will be excited to get a Towson on their homecourt.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, March 19

Jack Jones

New Orleans Pelicans +1½

Despite being out of the playoff hunt, this young New Orleans Pelicans team has not quit on their season. They really don't know any better. That's why they are a solid play as a 1.5-point home underdog to the Toronto Raptors tonight, and also for a couple of other reasons.

The Pelicans have gone 4-2 in their last six games overall with their only losses coming to Western Conference playoff contenders in Memphis and Portland by a combined 10 points. Star forward Anthony Davis has averaged 32.3 points and 14.3 rebounds during this stretch. Tyreke Evans has really stepped up his game, too, putting up 20-plus points in six of his past seven games.

While New Orleans comes in well-rested having two days off since beating the Celtics on Sunday, Toronto enters this contest running on fumes. It will be playing the second of a back-to-back after last night's 113-118 overtime loss at Atlanta. This will also be the 7th game in 11 days for the Raptors, and I really look for them to wear down in the second half.

Making matters worse for the Raptors is that they are short-handed right now. Patrick Patterson is out with an elbow injury, while Jonas Valanciunas is doubtful to play tonight due to a back injury. New Orleans is 4-0 ATS in its last four games when playing on two days' rest. Bet the Pelicans Wednesday.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, March 19

Steve Janus

Iowa Hawkeyes -2

Despite the fact that the majority of the bets have come in on the Volunteers, we have seen this line jump from Tennessee being favored to Iowa favored by 2-points. That right there is a sign that big money is on the Hawkeyes and I believe for good reason. Iowa played about as poorly as they good down the stretch, which dropped them from a 5 to 11 seed and nearly cost them a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

Losing to Northwestern in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament served as a wake-up call and Iowa will also be playing with a little extra motivation in this one. Head coach Fran McCaffery's son will undergo surgery prior to the game to have a thyroid tumer removed. It's a very unfortunate event, but I believe it's going to help Iowa break their funk. We see it all the time in sports where a team rallies around something like this (Indianapolis Colts 2012).

While Iowa is no longer ranked in the polls, they are still No. 22 overall in the BPI, 9-spots in front of Tennessee and ahead of the likes of No.2 seeded Michigan.Simply put the Hawkeyes are a better team than they are getting credit for and one that could do some serious damage in the field of 64.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, March 19

Tom Grassi

Hampton vs. Penn State    
Play: Hampton +13

This CBI Tournament game features two teams taking the court against each other for the first time ever as the Hampton Pirates take a huge jump in the quality of their opposition with a trip to Happy Valley to face the Penn State Nittany Lions. The winner of this game will take on the Siena Saints next Monday, after Siena knocked off Stony Brook last night.

Each team is coming off a loss suffered in their respective conference tournaments, but the two schools tend to react differently as to how they play in their next outing. The Nittany Lions have managed to cover just four of their last 13 games when coming off a defeat, while the Pirates have run off five pointspread wins in their last seven tries under that situation.

Despite this being on Penn State’s home court, they haven’t done terribly well when playing before friendly crowds, managing a 3-8 mark versus the line in their last 11 games. Couple that with the double-digit line offered by the offshore Books, and it makes simply covering this matchup that much harder.

When it comes to the early money being wagered, Penn State’s backers hold a 2-1 advantage, yet the line has dropped a half-point. That once again indicates that the Sharps have gotten in early on the Pirates, so we’re going to take not only the hint, but the points as well.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, March 19

Marc Lawrence

Miami Heat at Boston Celtics
Prediction: Boston Celtics

The Celtics host the Heat in an Eastern Conference clash in Beantown Wednesday evening where Boston will look to continue its mastery over Miami. That's confirmed by the fact that the Shamrocks are 13-4 ATS of late in this series, including 6-1 ATS the last seven games in Boston. With the Heat in off a win over the Cavs in Cleveland last night, look for more of the same this evening. We recommend a 1-unit play on Boston.

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