Free Picks: Service Plays for Wednesday, March 19

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

Joe Gavazzi

Iowa -1.5

Tennessee played their best down the stretch, going 5-1 SU, 4-1 ATS before bowing to No. 1 Florida (56-49). They are led by the interior power of Maymon and Stokes and the perimeter pop of McRae. Much of that late season damage, however, was done against the inferior 2nd division of the SEC. Now facing an Iowa team from the notably superior Big 10 will present too great a challenge. The Hawkeyes totally tanked down the stretch and should be happy they are even appearing in this First Four game. But, that slap in the face by the NCAA Committee should further reinforce the Iowa need for redemption. Hawkeyes have the inside prowess to match the Vols' interior strength. They also have a far deeper roster led by veteran stars, Marble and White, to wear down an outmanned Tennessee team. A double digit Iowa victory would certainly not surprise this bureau.

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

Harry Bondi

LSU (+1) over San Francisco

Motivation is big in these NIT games as the backers of St Johns and Florida State (we had Florida Gulf coast!) found out last night. LSU was hoping for the NCAA Tournament but after stumbling down the stretch and getting hammered by Kentucky in the SEC Tournament they new the best they could hope for was THE NIT and they are excited to keep playing basketball. Senior Shavon Coleman said "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." The only other four-year player on LSU's roster, Andre Stringer, was also excited "I can't really describe how excited I am that this season continues," Stringer said. "With the kind of guys we have on this team, we won't have a problem with motivation." The Dons finished the season strong and placed second in the West Coast Conference but will have problems handling a team as athletic as LSU. Motivated Tigers take out San Francisco!

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

The Real Animal

Southern Miss -7

Toledo is #290 defensively in field goal percentage allowed yielding 76-points away this year. They lost 98-77 last time out to Western Michigan. Southern Miss is stingy at home permitting just 59.3 per game. The Golden Eagles are also 14-0 in their own gym and come off an embarrassing blowout loss to Louisiana Tech last week when they allowed a season-high 88 points. This team recently gave up only 49 and 51 points in back-to-back road games. I think Toledo will be overmatched in this arena where Southern Miss covered 9/11 this year as a home chalk. Toledo lost the boards to Western Michigan 46-27 and the Golden Eagles were +6.4 in rebounds per game this year. Southern Miss has five players that average 9.6 points or more per game and they are extremely deep.

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

Jeff Scott Sports

3 UNIT PLAYS

Cal Poly SLO/ Texas Southern Under 130: Cal Poly SLO plays at a very slow pace and it really helped them in the Big West tournament. I can't see them changing their tune here as it gives them their best shot at winning. Texas Southern doesn't really play at a sow pace, but what they have done is played excellent defense during their 9 game win streak, allowing just 63.9 ppg over that stretch. It will not be hard for them to maintain numbers like that vs the Mustang squad that has averaged just 58.8 ppg in their last 5 games and just 62 ppg overall this year. Cal Poly can't score, but they know all about playing some defense as they have allowed just 64.7 ppg overall, including 56.2 ppg in their last 5 games. Cal Poly should slow the game down and give Texas Southern less possessions than they want. Both teams play sound defense and really only one team can score. Very hard to see either team hitting 65 points in this one.

Vermont/ Georgia Under 135.5: (Added) Really not understanding this line, especially the way both teams play defense and at a slow pace on offense. The Georgia Bulldogs have played great defense on their home floor this year, allowing just 60.7 ppg on 36.4% shooting and Vermont is not a great offense away from home, where they average just 68.6 ppg. Vermont knows all about playing some defense as they come in ranked 14th in the nation in points allowed (60.5 ppg) and 14th in defensive FG% (39.3%). On this year they have allowed just 63.3 ppg on 40.9% shooting and Georgia has averaged just 65 ppg in their last 4 home games. Both teams play excellent defense and both will play at a slow pace. Very hard to see the game hitting 130 points at all.

2 UNIT PLAY

Iowa/ Tennessee Under 144: We all know that Iowa likes to speed up the pace, but Tennessee has the ability to slow this game as they have played excellent defense of late and are very patient on offense. They also know they can't win they game if it's a shootout. The Vols have allowed more than 59 points just once in their last 8 games, giving up an average of 51.5 ppg over that stretch. That is playing some lockdown defense. Now Iowa have played Northwestern and Illinois in their last 2 games and were slowed down to the point that they could score just 62 and 63 points in the two games. Iowa isn't much for defense, but Tennessee is not a strong offensive team as they average just 70.5 ppg overall and they have scored just 64.8 ppg in their 5 neutral site games this year, while Iowa has allowed just 69.6 ppg on 41.3% shooting in their 5 games on neutral courts this year. Im not sure we will see either team hitting 70 points in this one.

1 UNIT PLAY

SMU/ UC Irvine Under 132: This SMU team was snubbed big time by the committee and I see them trying to make a statement in this game and for this team that means bringing the defensive intensity. This team already plays great defense, but at home they have allowed just 59.1 ppg on a mere 35.1% shooting. They will take on a struggling UC Irvine offense that has averaged just 62.8 ppg in their last 5 games and just 66.9 ppg on the road. SMU has scored 76 ppg on their home floor, but I don't expect them to come all that close to this one vs an Anteater defense that has allowed just 48.4 ppg in their last 5 games overall and 62.3 ppg on the road this year. Neither teams plays at an uptempo pace and both teams play excellent defense. We also note that the Under is 24-5 in UC Irvine's last 29 games overall and the Under is 11-1 in their last 12 non-conference games. Very hard to expect more than 125 points in this one.

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

OC Dooley

Sixers +13

Back on Monday woeful Philadelphia actually was leading outright for a brief period in the fourth and final quarter on the road against one the NBA’s best sides (Indiana) and ended up successfully COVERING the spread for a second consecutive outing.  Philadelphia has already broken an all-time franchise record for futility with 21 consecutive losses and their 0-16 skid in front of the HOME fans is tied for the second-longest streak of futility in NBA history, so this becomes a law-of-averages wager.  Here is an incredible 81-PERCENT SYSTEM (30-7 since 1996) which plays ON double-digit home underdogs like Philadelphia revenging a loss versus an opponent where the defense allowed 100+ points, off a “cover” where the team lost straight-up as an underdog.  That system favors Philadelphia who back in the beginning of the season (first week of November) actually defeated Chicago outright erasing a fifteen point deficit along the way

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