Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, March 28

Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, March 28

DUNKEL INDEX

NBA

Charlotte at Orlando
The Bobcats head to Orlando tonight where they are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games versus the Magic. Charlotte is the pick (-4) according to Dunkel, which has the Bobcats favored by 7 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Charlotte (-4)

Game 851-852: Boston at Toronto (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Boston 113.369; Toronto 120.591
Dunkel Line & Total: Toronto by 7; 195
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 853-854: Indiana at Washington (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Indiana 116.651; Washington 115.789
Dunkel Line & Total: Indiana by 1; 187
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 855-856: Charlotte at Orlando (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Charlotte 117.699; Orlando 110.439
Dunkel Line & Total: Charlotte by 7 1/2; 206
Vegas Line & Total: Charlotte by 4; 193 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Charlotte (-4); Over

Game 857-858: Cleveland at Brooklyn (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland 117.332; Brooklyn 122.873
Dunkel Line & Total: Brooklyn by 5 1/2; 201
Vegas Line & Total: Brooklyn by 9 1/2; 197 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (+9 1/2); Over

Game 859-860: Miami at Detroit (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami 120.977; Detroit 112.236
Dunkel Line & Total: Miami by 8 1/2; 186
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 861-862: Utah at New Orleans (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Utah 108.872; New Orleans 113.375
Dunkel Line & Total: New Orleans by 4 1/2; 192
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 863-864: LA Lakers at Minnesota (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Lakers 107.385; Minnesota 118.113
Dunkel Line & Total: Minnesota by 10 1/2; 214
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 865-866: Portland at Chicago (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Portland 114.454; Chicago 121.418
Dunkel Line & Total: Chicago by 7; 190
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 867-868: Sacramento at Oklahoma City (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Sacramento 113.711; Oklahoma City 123.246
Dunkel Line & Total: Oklahoma City by 9 1/2; 220
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 869-870: San Antonio at Denver (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Antonio 127.335; Denver 117.962
Dunkel Line & Total: San Antonio by 9 1/2; 210
Vegas Line & Total: San Antonio by 6 1/2; 215
Dunkel Pick: San Antonio (-6 1/2); Under

Game 871-872: New York at Phoenix (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: New York 120.275; Phoenix 118.957
Dunkel Line & Total: New York by 1 1/2; 215
Vegas Line & Total: Phoenix by 6; 209
Dunkel Pick: New York (+6); Over

Game 873-874: Memphis at Golden State (10:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Memphis 120.871; Golden State 121.314
Dunkel Line & Total: Even; 186
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

NHL

Pittsburgh at Columbus
The Penguins head to Columbus tonight where they are 4-0 in their last 4 games versus the Blue Jackets. Pittsburgh is the pick (+100) according to Dunkel, which has the Penguins favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (+100)

Game 1-2: Toronto at Philadelphia (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto 10.431; Philadelphia 12.501
Dunkel Line & Total: Philadelphia by 2; 6 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Philadelphia (-170); 5 1/2

Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (-170); Over
Game 3-4: Pittsburgh at Columbus (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh 11.402; Columbus 10.477
Dunkel Line & Total: Pittsburgh by 1; 4 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Columbus (-120); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (+100); Under

Game 5-6: Chicago at Ottawa (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Chicago 10.729; Ottawa 11.214
Dunkel Line & Total: Ottawa by 1/2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Chicago (-150); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Ottawa (+130); Over

Game 7-8: Nashville at Dallas (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Nashville 10.719; Dallas 11.734
Dunkel Line & Total: Dallas by 1; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Dallas (-170); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Dallas (-170); Under

Game 9-10: NY Rangers at Calgary (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Rangers 10.989; Calgary 11.882
Dunkel Line & Total: Calgary by 1; 6
Vegas Line & Total: NY Rangers (-150); 5
Dunkel Pick: Calgary (+130); Over

Game 11-12: Anaheim at Edmonton (9:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Anaheim 11.958; Edmonton 9.846
Dunkel Line & Total: Anaheim by 2; 4 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Anaheim (-170); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Anaheim (-170); Under

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DUNKEL INDEX

NCAAB

Tennessee vs. Michigan
The Wolverines come into their Sweet 16 matchup with Tennessee tonight carrying a 7-1 ATS record in their last 8 NCAA Tournament games. Michigan is the pick (-2 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Wolverines favored by 6. Dunkel Pick: Michigan (-2 1/2)

Game 875-876: Connecticut vs. Iowa State (7:27 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Connecticut 69.610; Iowa State 72.616
Dunkel Line: Iowa State by 3; 152
Vegas Line: Iowa State by 1 1/2; 146
Dunkel Pick: Iowa State (-1 1/2); Over

Game 877-878: Michigan State vs. Virginia (9:57 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Michigan State 71.838; Virginia 73.158
Dunkel Line: Virginia by 1 1/2; 122
Vegas Line: Michigan State by 2; 127
Dunkel Pick: Virginia (+2); Under

Game 879-880: Tennessee at Michigan (7:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tennessee 70.456; Michigan 76.396
Dunkel Line: Michigan by 6; 142
Vegas Line: Michigan by 2 1/2; 134
Dunkel Pick: Michigan (-2 1/2); Over

Game 881-882: Kentucky vs. Louisville (9:45 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Kentucky 71.430; Louisville 73.049
Dunkel Line: Louisville by 1 1/2; 131
Vegas Line: Louisville by 4 1/2; 138 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Kentucky (+4 1/2); Under

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Jimmy BoydFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Cavaliers have the nation's No. 1 ranked scoring defense. Just to get an idea of how important a good defense is when it comes to winning games, you only have to look at the top five scoring defenses in the country. Obviously Virginia is first on the list allowing 55.5 points per game, followed by San Diego State, Florida, Clemson and Arizona. Four of the top five scoring defenses not only made the NCAA Tournament, but are still alive in the Sweet 16 which proves the adage of defense wins championships is still holding true.
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Not only are the Cavaliers an outstanding team defensively, they also happened to be one of the hottest teams in the country. Virginia has won 18 of its last 19 games, with the only loss during that stretch coming on the road in a meaningless game against Maryland to end the regular season. It took overtime for the Terrapins to win that game. There is a lot of hype surrounding the fact that Michigan State is healthy and not to be trifled with, but the Cavaliers have been under the radar for most of the season and it is the Spartans that need to be wary coming into this matchup.

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Bryan PowerFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Michigan St vs. VirginiaFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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This is a rare instance of a #1 seed being the underdog against a #4 seed. But really, I'm not surprised.
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Virginia was considered to be the weakest #1 seed coming into the Tournament despite winning both the regular season and tournament championships in the ACC.  The Hoos are also the #1 defensive team in the country, giving up just 55.5 points per game.  Yet, their Sweet 16 opponent Michigan State is the consensus choice to win the East Region and advance to the Final Four.
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I understand why MSU has the public support as every four-year scholarship senior has been to a Final Four for HC Tom Izzo. But the current class is going to snap the streak.  Though unhealthy for most of the regular season, you have to remember that Sparty didn't win back to back games in February or March before the Big 10 Tournament.
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After a somewhat shaky performance in its first game against Coastal Carolina, the Cavs were dominant against Memphis.  Their trademark pack-line defense held the Tigers to 40 percent shooting, including 3 for 17 outside the paint.  If they can reduce Michigan State to a jumpshooting team in this one, I like their chances.  Sparty was curiously -22 in free throw attempts vs. Delaware/Harvard.   This is an excellent value on the top seed, who by the way has not lost a game in regulation since January 13th!

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Joe D'AmicoFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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What a lack of respect Virginia is getting. This is only the 2nd time since 1992 that a #1 seed is an underdog in a Sweet 16 matchup. The Cavaliers come in winning all 5 post-season games over FSU, Pitt, Duke, Coastal Carolina, and Memphis. They dropped their final regular season game after winning 13 straight. MSU won all 5 of their post-season games, over 3 nobody's in Northwestern, Delaware, and Harvard. They ended their regular season at 5-7 their L12. The Cavs control the game tempo by moving the ball around and frustrating defenses. This is a problem for the Spartans who have issues in transition and get very sloppy on "D". Virginia allows just 65.9 PPG and makes it impossible to penetrate the paint. Michigan State's defense leaves a lot to be desired. They blew a 16-point lead to Harvard before getting saved by 3-pointers. The Spartans play a 4-Guard set and will have trouble in the middle and on the boards here against a rotating roster of Cavaliers that are almost all 6-8" or taller. I'm going with Virginia here.


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Scott Spreitzer

Spurs vs. Nuggets
Play: Over 215½

The Spurs have been smoking-hot on the offensive end, including 108 points scored against these Denver Nuggets just two nights ago. Denver is not going to the playoffs this postseason and there's a lack of intensity on the defensive end. The Nuggets have allowed 100 points or more in 18 of their last 19 games and I don't expect them to have an answer for the Spurs. The teams combined for 211 points on Wednesday. Denver scored 103 points even though they only scored 15 in the second quarter. But scoring points is what they have been doing of late. Besides allowing all those points mentioned above, the Nuggets have scored 103 or more points in 11 of their last 14 games, while averaging 118 ppg in their last six home games. I expect more of the same. The total has been set high, but for good reason and it's not high enough as far as I'm concerned. I'm recommending a play on the Over between the Spurs & Nuggets on Friday.

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Nick Parsons

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Philadelphia Flyers    
Play: Philadelphia Flyers -163

These team’s have played twice this year and the Leafs have won both. I think there are enough significant factors working in favor of Philadelphia for it to avenge those losses and think its worth the price of admission tonight.

Toronto won 3-1 in Philadelphia back on November 2nd and then 4-3 at home on March 8th.

As primarily a situational handicapper, these are the types of contests I’m constantly keeping my eyes open for. After five-straight victories, the Flyers have dropped two straight. With a date vs. Boston up next, tonight’s contest takes on added importance for them.

The Leafs are doing what they do best at this time of year, crashing and burning at an epic rate, losers of six-straight, most recently a lacklustre 5-3 setback to St. Louis on Tuesday. This also sets up as a look ahead spot for Toronto which hosts the Wings tomorrow night.

Note that Toronto is a poor 9-10 (-2.2 units) this season when playing with two or more days rest.

And note that Philadelphia is 16-10 (+7.2 units) in revenging a loss vs. an opponent and 11-7 (+5 units) after a loss by 2 goals or more.

Overwhelming situational, motivational and statistical factors make the Flyers an intriguing investment opportunity on Friday night.

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Jim Feist

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Brooklyn Nets    
Play: Cleveland Cavaliers +8½

Home court hasn't mattered much when these teams meet with the road team 15-5 ATS in the last 20 meetings. Cleveland has been undervalued by oddsmakers for a while, on a 6-0 ATS run, plus the Cavaliers are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games following a win. They are rested after a road win at Detroit. The Cavaliers overcame a 16-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Detroit Pistons on Dion Waiters' baseline jumper as time expired. With nine games left, Cleveland remains in 10th place in the Eastern Conference, three games behind No. 8 Atlanta and a half-game behind the Knicks. The Cavaliers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games, 13-3 ATS following a spread win. Brooklyn is favored at home but not an explosive offensive team, 21st in the NBA in points scored. The old men of this team come off an OT loss at Charlotte on Wednesday, 116-111. Paul Pierce played 31 minutes in this one, but you wouldn't know it by looking at the box score. He mustered only eight points on seven shots and was all but invisible for long stretches of time throughout the game. The Cavaliers are 6-2 ATS in the last 8 meetings in Brooklyn, so grab the hungry visitors.

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Tom Grassi

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Brooklyn Nets    
Play: Cleveland Cavaliers +9½

The Cleveland Cavaliers have been perhaps the NBA’s most disappointing team this year, but over the past two weeks, they’ve been gold to handicappers, covering eight of their last nine games. Despite that blazing stretch, they travel to Brooklyn tonight as nearly a double-digit underdog.

Since early last month, the Cavs have managed to cover seven of their last nine games in that situation. They’ve also won their last three games straight up, and that end result has been reason enough to back them in the following contest, having beaten the pointspread 10 of the last 12 times.

The Nets suffered a tough overtime loss at Charlotte on Wednesday night, and over the past two years, a result like that has lingered into Brooklyn’s next game. To be exact, the Nets have lost 21 games during that span by six points or less, and in that next game, they’ve only been able to cover on four occasions

While the Cavaliers have gotten the bulk of the early money, the line really hasn’t moved either way. Still, they’ve been able to beat the pointspread in six of the last eight games they’ve played in Brooklyn, and given the amount of points they’re getting tonight, we’ll take the points.

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Ray Monohan

Michigan State vs. Virginia
Play: Michigan State -2

This is a great opportunity for Michigan State to show us what they are capable of. It is not often that a #1 seed is not the favourite in a game against a #4 but in this case I think it is completely justified. Virginia is to be respected but not feared. They just don’t have the firepower and as a result have only one way to win. MSU has lots of talent plus a coach that gets them here all the time. That will make a difference too.

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Rob Vinciletti

Charlotte Bobcats vs. Orlando Magic    
Play: Charlotte Bobcats -4

The Bobcats fit a solid system here that plays on rested conference road favorites that won and covered as home favorite, while scoring 100 or more points,vs an opponent off a home dog spread win by 7 or more points. This system has cashed over 80% long term. Charlotte has covered the last 5 in the series and won by 10 the last time they were here in Orlando. They have also won and covered 14 of the last 19 vs teams that allow 99 or more points per game. The Magic are 0-3 ats after allowing 85 or less points and have lost 10 of the last 11 wit 2 days rest. Look for Charlotte to win and cover.


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David Glisan

Spurs / Nuggets Under 215

Teams combined for 211 on Wednesday in San Antonio.  Both teams playing a lot more UN games lately with both UN in 5 of L7.  4 straight head to head including two this season have gone UN.  My number on the game comes in at 209.

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Teddy Covers

Cleveland vs. Brooklyn
Pick: Cleveland

I used Cleveland as a ‘free play’ on Wednesday Night when they pulled the outright upset over the Pistons as six point underdogs.  And I’m ready to ride the Cavs again on Friday Night as road ‘dogs in Brooklyn.  Here’s an excerpt from my last write-up in support of Mike Brown's squad.

The betting markets have soured on the Cleveland Cavaliers since leading scorer and assist man Kyrie Irving got hurt. The ‘dead’ Cavs had just pulled off outright upset road wins as big underdogs at Golden State and Phoenix before the injury, but they lost by 22 on the night that Irving went down.

Since that blowout loss to the Clippers, the Cavs have been pointspread machines, reeling off six consecutive pointspread covers. That stretch includes three straight outright upsets along with a trio of closer than expected losses against elites Houston, Oklahoma City and Miami.

One player’s injury is another player’s opportunity.  While the markets downgraded the Cavs after Irving got hurt, backup point guard Jarrett Jack stepped into the starters roll. And much as he did two years ago in New Orleans, or last year in Golden State, Jack has delivered, setting up teammates Dion Waiters, Luol Deng and Spencer Hawes for good shots while averaging more than 16 points and committing just two turnovers per game during this span.

The Nets are a tired crew right now, having played three consecutive overtime games since Sunday. Returning home off a three game road trip, I’m not expecting Brooklyn’s ‘A’ game here. Look for the Cavs to hang around for a long, long time in this one!  Take Cleveland.

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Brandon Shively

Connecticut vs. Iowa St
Play: Over 147

I like this game OVER the Total tonight for a number of reasons. Iowa State comes into this game scoring 83 points a game on the season and are a perfect 2-0 OVER in this tournament as they are averaging 88 points in their two wins. UConn is averaging 72 ppg on the season but are a 39% 3 point shooting team and have the guards in Napier and Boatright to get out in transition. UConn is also a perfect 2-0 OVER in the tournament averaging 73 ppg in regulation. I will not account for the 19 points they scored in overtime vs. Saint Joes. For Iowa State, they took a loss when G. Niang broke his foot in the first round. After watching the Cyclones play against North Carolina, I saw them go with a smaller line-up that more relied on their speed. I see them playing this game again with a smaller, quicker lineup that will be pushing the tempo. Iowa State will be using a lineup where all the players are 6'6" or shorter. While they will push the pace and score, they will also be at a disadvantage on the defensive end going up against the bigger and taller UConn frontline. UConn has 5 guys that are 6'6" or taller and they will be able to get easy buckets and be the more physical down low. In closing I feel both teams pose mismatches against the other team and this in turn will turn into an abundance of points for both teams. We will see a final score in the 81-77 range tonight as this game sails OVER the Total by 10-13 points. UConn is 8-0 OVER in their last 8 matchups vs. the Big 12 while Iowa State is 14-5-1 OVER their last 20 non-conference games and 6-1 OVER in their last 7 tournament games. Play on UConn/Iowa State OVER the TOTAL


San Antonio Spurs vs. Denver Nuggets
Play: San Antonio Spurs -6.5

It's not often you will find me laying a large number like this on the road, but the Spurs are a team I feel confident in. The Spurs are the hottest team in the NBA (15 game winning streak) and they are a ca$h machine when playing on the road. They are 10-0 SU and 7-3 ATS this year as a road favorite of 4-8 points. That includes a PERFECT 3-0 ATS for the month of March. Tonight should be a walk in the park considering the depleted lineup that Denver is playing with. The Nuggets have been banged up all year, but now Wilson Chandler and JJ Hickson are out with injuries. Hickson is the team's leading rebounder and Chandler is the team's second leading scorer. While some might look at the fact that Denver played the Spurs close to a 108-103 loss on Wednesday night, I will instead look at the fact the Spurs committed 21 turnovers and got no contribution from the bench. I will also note that the Spurs were up 17 points entering the 4th quarter before Popovich let the starters get a breather. A usual solid bench, Ginobli,Mills, and Belinelli were ice-cold from the floor. Look for the bench to play a much better game, especially in the 4th quarter. This is one of the deepest benches in the NBA and I like the depth to take a toll on this depleted Denver lineup that basically has D-League players coming off the bench. Not only do the Spurs have the much better and deeper offense; they also have the better defense. The Spurs are only giving up 94 ppg over their last 5 games while Denver is defenseless giving up 111 ppg in over their last 5 games. I clearly see the Spurs beating up on Denver tonight and winning this game by double digits. We are going to lay 6.5 points with the HOTTEST team in the NBA vs. a team in Denver that is basically playing with only 3 players that are relevant with Lawson, Foye, and Faried. This one gets ugly, quick. Lay the points with the Spurs tonight.


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Michigan State -2FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Michigan State was my pick to win the tournament and I'm not backing away from that now. Virginia is a very good defensive team that struggles at times on the offensive end of the floor. The Spartans can play defense as well, but they are the more dynamic offensive team. Senior forward Adreian Payne is a nightmare match up for teams and I believe he will be the MVP of the Final Four. Sparty has been here before and they are loaded with tournament experience. Lay the points.
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Its hard to find a team that is playing any better than Tennessee as the Vols are getting hot at the right time of the year. Michigan will be at a huge disadvantage in the paint where they are one of the worst rebounding teams in the nation and Tennessee is one of the best. Michigan's sharp shooter Nik Stauskas has won a lot of games for the Wolverines this season, but he will be shadowed by Tennessee's Josh Richardson who is one of the best defensive players in the nation. Wrong team is favored, take the points.
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Kentucky +4FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Kentucky came into this season ranked #1 in the nation as one of the most hyped teams of all time. They didn't live up to those expectations early, but this young team has put it together down the stretch. They nearly beat a veteran Florida team in the SEC championship and took down undefeated Wichita State in this last game. They already beat Louisville earlier this year and after the game the Cardinal's star guard Russ Smith said that the Wildcats "were not a good match up for them". Take the points.

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Chase DiamondFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Kentucky vs LouisvilleFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Big time rivals square off in 26-10 Kentucky and 31-5 Louisville. Big time revenge spot for Louisville since they lost earlier this year 73-66 Rick Pitino will have his team firing on all cylinders tonight. This line is a little high but with Louisville winning 7 in a row they are super hot right now and laying the points is a good investment. Public is 50/50 on this game but I want my clients laying a 400* play on Louisville here minus the points here. Be sure to check out my 750* NBA Lockdown play forsale on Chase's homepage he is 34-14 last 48 NBA plays that's 72% winners!


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DAVE COKIN
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There wasn’t a great deal of suspense with the quartet of Thursday night Sweet 16 hookups. The only game in doubt late was San Diego State-Arizona and even that was pretty well decided by the final minute, with only the spread winner still in question.
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I expect a different story to unfold tonight. I can see at least three of the four games this evening going right to the wire. One of those could well be the clash between Michigan State and Virginia.
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My call here is at odds with my number on the game. I have Virginia as the slightly better team on the math, and they’re the underdog. Normally, that would be a virtual automatic take for me. But for whatever reason, the numbers haven’t been especially reliable this post-season, and I don’t think they’ll pay off here, either.
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The big key for me is the Izzo factor. This isn’t a knock on Tony Bennett. Virginia is a legit number one seed and Bennett has to be high on everyone’s Coach of the Year rundown. But Tom Izzo is about as good as it gets when it comes to the big games, and he’s at it again this season.
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The Spartans literally limped to the regular season finish line, losing seven of their last 12 games. But they’ve since rattled off five wins in succession, and they’ve done so in dominant fashion. Michigan State has gotten healthy after enduring an endless string of injuries, and they’re playing even better than when they rolled to the 18-1 start.
INSTEAD OF LEACHING OFF OTHERS WORK GO GET IT YOURSELF VIKESFAG
I will certainly not be even mildly surprised if Virginia wins this game. No one should, as a matter of fact. The Spartans have been sent home in this round in each of the last two years and the Cavaliers might do so again. But I’m of the belief that Izzo has his team peaking right now, and when that has been the case in the past, fading Michigan State has been a losing proposition. I’m going with the Spartans to get it done tonight.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, March 28

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Connecticut vs Iowa StFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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We feel that the wrong team is favored when Connecticut takes on Iowa State in the Sweet 16 from Madison Square Garden. Underdog Connecticut is ranked one spot higher than Iowa State at 19th overall on the Pomeroy Ratings and the favored Cyclones will be without Georges Niang and his 16.7 points per game. UConn is far superior defensively ranking 10th in the country in defensive efficiency and ninth in effective field goal percentage against, keyed by ranking seventh in two-point defense at 41.8 percent. Offensively, the Huskies rank 17th in three-point shooting at 39.2 percent and can take advantage of an Iowa State team ranked 134th in three-point defense. Iowa State is a great offensive team but its offensive strength plays into the UConn defensive strength as ISU is ninth in two-point offense but just 101st shooting threes. Connecticut is 4-1 ATS its last five vs. teams with a winning percentage above .600.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, March 28

Jeff Clement

Michigan State vs. Virginia
Play: Virginia +2.5

Michigan St. destroyed Delaware in the 2nd round as Adrian Payne scored a career high 41 points but the Spartans don not play well at Madison Square Garden where they are 2-10 SU all time. Virginia beat Memphis in the 2nd round behind a great defensive performance as they held them to only 3 for 13 for 3 point range and outrebounded them 32-25. The Cavaliers defense has only allowed a team to score over 61 points twice in last 13 games. Virginia is 8-0 ATS on neutral site games and if they can shut down the Spartans 3 point barrage they will win. Prediction: VIRG 66 MSU 62.

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New York Rangers at Calgary FlamesFOR SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Rangers are heating up at the right time as they have won five straight games after defeating Philadelphia on Wednesday at home. They now have a three-point lead over the Flyers for second place in the Metropolitan Division and they bring in the best road record in the Eastern Conference. That inflates their lines and gives us value with the home team and despite a poor season, Calgary is in good shape to snap New York's winning streak. The Flames lost their last game against Anaheim at home by just one goal on Wednesday and this one sets up similar to a recent situation. Calgary was coming off a one goal loss at home against Los Angeles a couple weeks back and two days later, it pounded the Ducks at home 7-2. The Flames have been playing their best hockey of the season as they are 14-9 over their last 23 games including a very solid 10-4 in their last 14 home games. Additionally, Calgary is 8-2 against the moneyline off a home loss by one goal this season while the Rangers are 1-8 against the moneyline in road games after a two-game unbeaten streak over the last two seasons. It is important to note that the Rangers are 12-12-0 against Western Conference opponents while the Flames are 12-10-4 against Eastern Conference opponents on the season.

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