Saturday Service Plays
Re: Saturday Service Plays
15 DIME - BYU and Ohio State
5 DIME - Nevada, Missouri, Xavier
15 Dime BYU - It's a rematch made in heaven – Mormon heaven. BYU is making its third straight trip to the Las Vegas Bowl, and that's no mistake since it's like a home game with the crowd the Cougars bring, and revenge will be sweet for an early-season loss the Bruins handed BYU in L.A. Bottom line in this is the Cougars are hot and the Bruins certainly are not. I ripped former UCLA coach Karl Dorrell on television earlier this year – turns out I was right once again about another wannabe, as he'll be watching this somewhere on TV with a bucket of fried chicken and some Kool-Aid.
While BYU has won nine straight games, UCLA has stumbled to a 2-5 record down the stretch and that once scary defense looks more like Swiss Cheese heading into this one. DeWayne Walker, the Bruins' defensive coordinator, will coach the team in the bowl game, and I know that means the team could get back to the defensive nature of things in this one, but this is a game BYU prepares extensively for. This is a game the Cougars will want to win by double digits, to earn revenge and to get that respect on national TV. Lay it here, as this is all BYU.
15 Dime OHIO STATE - The schools are the same, but that's about it in this one. But just as I was brilliant in describing the National Championship back in April, I am telling you that Ohio State will blow the Gators out of the water in this one. Just look at how the Gators warmed up for revenge-minded Ohio State: they've played the likes of North Dakota State, Tennessee Tech, NC Central, North Florida, Stetson, Vermont, Jacksonville, Florida AM, Georgia Southern and Charleston Southern … that's 10 cupcakes in the first dozen.
No wonder Florida State beat the Gators by 14 on Nov. 23. I know the Buckeyes haven't had that big of a non-conference slate either, but games against Syracuse, Texas AM, Butler and North Carolina are certainly much better than what Florida has to offer. Take the Buckeyes in this one.
5 Dime NEVADA - New Mexico keeps showing up for these things, but coach Rocky Long never seems to win the door prize. Today will be no different, as the Lobos will face one of the – if not THE – most prolific freshman quarterback in the nation. Colin Kaepernick took charge of Nevada's offense eight games ago and has thrown 19 touchdowns and just three interceptions. Statistically this is a strong New Mexico run defense, but that's mostly because the Mountain West is merely average at pounding the ball.
When Nevada balances things out with Kaepernick and running back Luke Lippencott, the best back in the WAC this season with 1,380 yards, the Lobos will struggle to stay focused. Here's the trick: the more Nevada runs the ball, and the less Kaepernick is forced to throw on third down, the more New Mexico gets frustrated. Make sense? It's all about the balanced attack in this one, and Nevada has the edge with that factor.
5 Dime MISSOURI - It's a border war in St. Louis, and the winner will once again own recruiting and bragging rights in the surrounding areas. And even though Illinois has won seven straight over Mizzou, I am banking on the Tigers to utilize a current three-game win streak to pull this one off thanks to the one thing every college basketball team needs in games like this: depth!
Missouri's Stefhon Hannah leads the team in scoring and assists, but that's of a roster that can go 10 deep and one that has four players averaging double figures. The Tigers catch the Illni off a tough home loss to Miami Ohio – largely considered to be the program's worst pre-conference home loss in 10 years. And while Missouri is sure to bring 40 minutes into the Braggin' Rights game, the biggest problem with Illinois is just that – playing an entire game with intensity.
5 Dime XAVIER - I am not convinced Tennessee is coming close to being the contending team Bruce Pearl expected it to be prior to the season. Not when the last five wins came against UNC Asheville, Western Kentucky, Chattanooga, Lafayette and North Carolina A&T. And while we're going to see Tennessee try to press, trap and speed up the game, this is an entirely different animal it will be facing.
And with Xavier none too pleased after getting drilled by 22 points at Arizona State last week, we're going to see the Musketeers taking advantage of scoring opportunities with a faster-paced game. Xavier is 6-0 at home this season, and in facing a team that has played as easy a schedule as one can get, we're going to see the Musketeers avenge last week's setback in Tempe with a huge win and cover today.
Re: Saturday Service Plays
Teddy June’s 15* College Basketball Game of the Week (8-1 CBB RUN)
My 15* College Basketball Game of the Week is the Xavier Musketeers minus the points over the Tennessee Volunteers. The Musketeers enter today’s matchup 8-2 SU, 4-3 ATS while the Volunteers enter 10-1 SU, 3-4 ATS. Last Saturday, I cashed a ticket going against the Musketeers as they traveled to Arizona State in my College Basketball Upset of the Week. So I certainly was not surprised in the outcome as the Musketeers were in a terrible spot. I certainly was not surprised as I stated back in November I am very high on that Arizona State team. Today we have a similar situation with Tennessee traveling to play at Xavier in what will be their first true road test. One of the best situational plays you can find in college basketball early in the year are teams that are overvalued due to their terrific home success traveling to face a strong opponent in a true road test/environment. Keep in mind, Xavier has won 14 straight at home and they have won 50 of 55 non conference games at the Cintas Center overall. Also Tennessee is a different team away from their friendly confines as they are averaging over 14 points per game less on the road than at home. Also are only shooting 39.1 percent on the road compared to 50.8 percent at Thompson-Boiling Arena. With the Volunteers dropping 4 out of their last 5 games ATS and their only true road test being a 6 point win as 16 point chalk of Chattanooga they are in a bad spot this afternoon. Xavier has shown this year they are a very strong team with big wins and covers over Indiana, Kansas State and Creighton. They are led by a terrific ball handler in Drew Lavender who can get up and down the court quicker than maybe anyone in the nation. This team brings a very balanced attack with 6 players scoring in double figures. Tennessee is making a living on offense this year from pressure defense; they take advantage of inexperience guards with full court pressure and capitalize on the offensive end. In games in which they have faced a good back court they have struggled, i.e. Texas and Western Kentucky. Today they face a strong group of experienced guards who will be able to break the pressure all day long. This will be the best group of guards Volunteers have seen since the Longhorn game in which they got waxed on a neutral court by 19. It is also worth noting Xavier is 14-5-1 ATS their last 20 home games and I expect the home crowd to be electric for this big matchup. I currently have this line at -3.5 and expect it will move early in the day as this game is an early afternoon tip off. Get your play in as early as possible and I have this rated at 10* up to -5. My 15* College Basketball Game of the Week is the Xavier Musketeers minus the points. As always, Good Luck, Let’s make some money.
Teddy June’s College Football Papa John’s Bowl Winner
My 10*College Football Papa John’s Bowl Winner is the Southern Miss Golden Eagles plus the points over the Cincinnati Bearcats. Southern Miss comes into this game with a 7-5 record, and garnering little respect from the sport's gambling world. As 11 point underdogs the Golden Eagles will look to come out and establish the run early against a stout Cincinnati run defense. The Golden Eagles are averaging a solid 200.3 ypg on the ground this year good for 24th in the nation and will control the tempo of this game by demonstrating long drives while taking valuable time off of the clock. Jeremy Young will keep the Cincinnati defenders honest with his ability to scramble from the pocket and make big plays both through the air and with his feet. Damion Fletcher looks to continue his success on the ground as he racked up 133 yds on 27 carries in the Eagles final game of the regular season. Fletcher averages an impressive 5.5 yards per carry on the season. I expect for this team to be pumped for head coach Jeff Bower's final game after spending 17 successful years at Southern Miss. He will be leaving. Southern Miss keeps this game close throughout with a heavy dose of the run and a strong emotional backing. Year after year double digit underdogs in bowl games cash at a very high rate, I’ll side with the big dog here as I expect an inspired performance. My 10* College Football Papa John’s Bowl Winner is the Southern Miss Golden Eagles plus the points. As always, Good Luck, Let’s make some money.
Teddy June’s College Football New Mexico Bowl Winner
My 10* College Football New Mexico Bowl Winner is the New Mexico Lobos minus the points over the Nevada Wolfpack. New Mexico comes into this game with an impressive 8-4 record, while the Wolfpack are sitting at 6-6. Junior Donovan Porterie leads the Lobos into this game with 2636 yards through the air and 13 touchdowns. He will look to expose a spotty Nevada defense which is giving up over 400 yards and 30 pts per game. The Wolfpack start freshman Colin Kaepernick for this one, he has had a solid season but does make a lot of mistakes and can have accuracy problems. The Lobos will be pumped up for their home crowd as they are playing in New Mexico. Meanwhile, The Wolfpack has had their fair share of struggles on the road this year, 2-4 SU and ATS. Their only road wins came against subpar opponents in Utah St and New Mexico St. The Lobo's have two All Mountain West First Team receivers on the field today. Marcus Smith is the Lobo's top receiver and he will attack the questionable Wolf Pack secondary all day. At 6'3, 214pds - Smith makes for an attractive target for Porterie down the field. Coupled with the 6'3 Travis Brown, this tandem looks to give the Wolf Pack secondary more than they are able to handle. The key in this game is going to come down to the ability of the Lobos defense in comparison with Nevada’s. They simply outclass Nevada in every defensive category as they rank nationally 24th in yards allowed, 23rd in passing yards allowed, 31st in rushing yards allowed and 25th in the country points allowed at 20.6. Nevada ranks as one of the worst defenses in the nation and I expect them to struggle today. My 10* College Football New Mexico Bowl Winner is the New Mexico Lobos minus the points. As always, Good Luck, Let’s make some money.
Teddy June’s College Basketball TV Game of the Day (8-1 CBB RUN)
My 10* College Basketball TV Game of the Day is the Michigan State Spartans minus the points over the Texas Longhorns. Michigan State is 10-1 SU, 4-1-2 ATS and Texas enters 11-0 SU, 5-1 ATS. Both teams have earned some strong wins early this season with the Spartans taking down Missouri, at Bradley and BYU. Texas owns wins against UCLA and Tennessee. Anyone that followed me last year during College hoops would know I am big backer of Michigan State at home as year after year this is a terrific home team. They are 7-0 SU this year at home and their success this year has started with their defense. They are only allowing 61.2ppg, 38.1% from the field and 30.5% from 3 point range. On Offense they are very efficient scoring 77.5ppg, shooting a stellar 49.5% from the field and is a strong free throw shooting team at 74.8% as a team. This team starts with stud sophomore forward Raymar Morgan, 16.9ppg, 7.4rpg he has been very impressive in his 2nd year at Michigan State. The floor general and arguably the most clutch player in college basketball returned for his senior year in Drew Neitzel. While his scoring is down about 4 points per game he is not needed to score as much as last year with a much stronger supporting cast. Also he has been very efficient from the field shooting 44.8% from the field and 45.2% from 3 point land. Texas has shown no signs of missing Kevin Durant with a fast early start to the year as the talented back court of A.J. Abrams and D.J. Augustin have picked up the scoring. I feel Spartans have the advantage on the inside and in the paint and will be able to exploit that allowing for some nice open looks from the perimeter. While the students are on break this is still a very big game in the area and I expect the crowd to be it’s usually selves as they provide a nice emotional backing for the Spartans. I currently have this line at -3.5 and expect it to waiver around this number possibly go up a half point to a point. Play this one early and I have it rated at 10* up to -5. My 10* College Basketball TV Game of the Day is the Michigan State Spartans minus the points. As always, Good Luck, Let’s make some money.
Teddy June’s College Football Las Vegas Bowl Winner
My 10* College Football Las Vegas Bowl Winner is the BYU Cougars minus the points over the UCLA Bruins. BYU comes into this game statistically dominating every offensive category against the UCLA Bruins. Max Hall has had an incredible year, throwing for 3617 yards and 24 touchdowns. Hall is completing over 60% of his passes and rarely makes mistakes. On the other hand, UCLA has been plagued with QB issues all season. They have been unable to find a consistent answer at this position. Their inconsistency and lack of a solid quarterback is a direct reflection of their poor offensive performance this year. BYU is averaging 304ypg through the air while UCLA is only putting up 185. UCLA is going to rely heavily on its rushing attack but BYU's stingy defense will force UCLA into long down and distance situations. The Cougars are only giving up 18ppg and their opponent’s average under 93ypg on the ground. Harvey Unga will lead the way for the Cougars rushing attack. He averages an impressive 5.3 yards a carry. Hall will also look several times to Unga out of the back field as he is a dangerous receiving threat, accumulating 629 yards through the air on 41 receptions this season. UCLA has played subpar away from home this season, with a 2-4 record on the road. UCLA's defense is injury riddled which will add to the problem they already have in trying to stop the strong arm of Max Hall. UCLA comes into this game dropping 4 out of its last 5 games and struggling to find answers. My 10* College Football Las Vegas Bowl Winner is the BYU Cougars minus the points over the UCLA Bruins.
Teddy June’s Private Players Club
15* Ohio State Buckeyes minus the points (CBB)
15* Xavier Musketeers
15* Ohio State Buckeyes
10* BYU Cougars
10* Southern Miss Golden Eagles
10* New Mexico Lobos
10* Michigan State Spartans
Re: Saturday Service Plays
3 Star Selection
Golden State (-2) over NEW JERSEY
Golden State is at their best when rested and the Warriors are now 26-6 straight up and 24-8 ATS in regular season games after a night off with both Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson in the lineup, including a perfect 7-0 ATS as a road favorite. New Jersey, meanwhile, is only 5-10 straight up and 3-12 ATS at home this season, they’re 0-7 ATS as home after an upset win since last season, and the Nets are just 3-10 ATS as a home underdog since last season (0-6 ATS against Western conference teams). Golden State should be favored by 6 ½ points in this game using their games with Jackson playing and the Nets’ games with both Vince Carter and Jason Kidd playing (they’re 3 points worse than average in those 20 games). I’ll take Golden State in a 3-Star Best Bet at -3 points or less and for 2-Stars at -3 ½ or -4 points.
3-Stars at -3 or less, 2-Stars at -3 1/2 or -4 points.
3 Star Selection
Cal Santa Barbara (+21) over NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina is obviously one of the best teams in the nation, but Santa Barbara is a good team that is probably going to make the NCAA Tournament even if they don’t win the Big West Tournament this season. The Gauchos are a veteran team with good talent and won’t be easily dismissed by any team. North Carolina will certainly be aware of UCSB’s 10-1 record, but the Tarheels apply to a negative 1-22 ATS subset of a 47-95 ATS situation (the only spread loss was by just 1 point) and the Gauchos apply to a 24-6 ATS angle that plays on dogs of 15 points or more after winning 3 or more consecutive games by double-digits. North Carolina has been a great bet at home under coach Roy Williams (41-18 ATS), but they haven’t been a good bet when laying a lot of points to a quality team (unless they’re off a loss), as the Tarheels are just 2-4 ATS as a home favorite of more than 15 points when coming off a win and facing a team with a win percentage of greater than .667. A 2-4 trend is not meaningful, but it’s certainly enough for me not to worry about North Carolina’s great spread record at home. UCSB is 4-0 ATS as an underdog of 17 points or more under coach Bob Williams and the Gauchos are 60% ATS in 10 seasons under Williams as an underdog or pick (49-33-5 ATS), so they are likely to put up a fight. My ratings only favor North Carolina by 19 ½ points and that number would be 21 points if I add 1 ½ points extra to the home court value since the Tarheels have been 1.5 points better at home under Williams than they have been overall (after adjusting for the standard HCA, of course). UCSB is one of the best shooting teams in the nation, connecting on 45% of their 3 point attempts, and good shooting teams usually make for good bets as big underdogs since shooters can shoot regardless of differences in athletic talent. North Carolina doesn’t really defend the 3-point arc very well, allowing 35% on 3-point shots (about average), so the Gauchos should be able to hget some open looks from beyond the arc. I was concerned a bit about UCSB’s 19 point loss at Stanford, but the Gauchos were blown out because they simply had their one bad night shooting the ball, going just 4 for 17 from 3- point range in that game. That game would have been about a 10 point game had the Gauchos been close to their normal shooting. Even with the bad shooting, a 19 point loss at Stanford is not that horrible as Stanford is only about 5 points worse than North Carolina, so USCB would only lose this game by about 24 points if they played just as poorly as they did in that game, which isn’t likely. I’ll take Cal Santa Barbara in a 2-Star Best Bet at +20 points or more and for 3-Stars at +22 points or more.
2-Stars at +20 or more, 3-Stars at +22 or more.
2 Star Selection
UC Irvine (+21 1/2) over TEXAS A&M
Texas A&M beat me the other night by playing their best game of the year, but the line on this game is fair (I also made it 21 points) and UC Irvine applies to a very good 128-54-2 ATS big underdog situation. The Anteaters are also coming off a loss at Sam Houston State on Thursday and coach coach Pat Douglass’ team has always been good as a road dog off a loss, especially when getting a lot of points. In fact, UC Irvine is an incredible 20-2 ATS in 11 seasons under Douglass as a road underdog of more than 8 points following a loss, including 12 straight winners. I’ll take UC Irvine in a 2- Star Best Bet at +21 points or more.
2-Stars at +21 points or more,
3 Star Selection
OHIO STATE (-6) over Florida
It’s finally payback time for Ohio State and their fans, as they get Florida at home after having lost to the Gators twice last season, once in Gainesville and once in the NCAA Championship game. Florida has beaten up on a bunch of truly pathetic teams this season, but they’ve shown that they are not very good by struggling in the 3 games they’ve played against decent teams. The Gators lost by 14 points at home to Florida State, who I rate the same as Ohio State. Florida’s other two games against decent teams resulted in a 10 point home win over an North Dakota State team that is 9 points worse than Ohio State and a 3 point win last week on a neutral floor against a Georgia Southern team that is about 7 ½ points worse than the Buckeyes. If Florida plays this game at the same level they played in those 3 games against decent teams they’ll lose by 13 points. Ohio State isn’t as good as they were last season either, but at least the Buckeyes have played some good games against decent teams this season. My ratings actually favor Ohio State by 6 ½ points, but I still expect them to win by double-digits given that Florida applies to a very negative 19-60-4 ATS subset of a 52-139-9 ATS situation. I’ll take Ohio State in a 3-Star Best Bet at -6 or less and for 2-Stars at -6 ½ or -7 points.
3-Stars at -6 or less, 2-Stars at -6 1/2 or -6.
2 Star Selection
San Francisco (+22 1/2) over NOTRE DAME
San Francisco has been a disappointing team so far this season, but that could change with sophomore F Jay Watkins being activated from academic probation starting today. Watkins shot 49% from the field last season as a complimentary scorer to a couple of stars but he is one of the best players on USF’s team this year and the Dons have been one player shy of being a decent team. The Dons have 4 solid players each averaging over 30 minutes a game and shooting 44.5% or better from the field (they combine for 46.7% shooting) and the rest of the team combine to make just 35.7% of their shots. Those other players won’t be taking up as many minutes with Watkins in the rotation and I expect USF to start playing better once Watkins builds up his stamina. Watkins may not get a ton of minutes today but my ratings favor Notre Dame by only 20 ½ points based on USF’s games so far this season without Watkins and the Dons apply to a 42- 9-1 ATS subset of a very good 128-54-2 ATS big road underdog situation as long as they are getting 21 points or more. USF is just 39-53-3 ATS in all games under coach Evans, but the Dons are 14-6 ATS as a road dog of more than 7 points while Notre Dame is just 12- 22-1 ATS as a home favorite of 12 points or more under coach Mike Brey. I’ll take USF in a 3-Star Best Bet at +22 points or more and for 2-Stars at +21 1/2 or +21.
3-Stars at +22 or more, 2-Stars at +21 1/2 or +21.
3 Star Selection
Stanford (-5) over Texas Tech
Stanford’s start 7-footer Brook Lopez regained his academic good standing on Thursday against Santa Clara and dominated the Broncos for 20 points, 6 rebounds and a blocked shot in just 19 minutes. Stanford was among the best 15 teams in the nation before the more talented of the Lopez twins joined the rotation and they may be a top-10 team with him. Stanford has some good 3-point shooters (41.5% as a team) and having to worry about a post scorer of Lopez’ stature will make it tougher to guard the perimeter. Texas Tech doesn’t defend the 3-point shot well to begin with (39% allowed), so Stanford should have there way offensively inside and outside in this game. Texas Tech is a pretty good offensive team, but the Cardinal only allow 38% shooting and have two many big quality big men for the Red Raiders to handle. Dallas is not anywhere close to Lubbock, so this site has little or no advantage for the Red Raider, who are just 15-29 ATS as regular season underdog away from Lubbock. My ratings favor Stanford by 7 points and the Cardinal apply to a solid 172-89-9 ATS momentum situation. I’ll take Stanford in a 3- Star Best Bet at -6 points or less and for 2-Stars at -6 ½ or -7 points.
3-Stars at -6 or less, 2-Stars at -6 1/2 or -7 points.
3 Star Selection
Columbia (+22 1/2) over VILLANOVA
Columbia is a team that returned all 5 starters and all key reserves from last year’s team but have played a little worse than they did last season. The Lions are actually a better team than last season, but it hasn’t shown up yet because of their mysteriously bad 3-point shooting. The Lions knocked down 40% of their long range shots last season but have made just 32% from beyond the arc this year. That is not likely to continue and the Lions have already started to get their shooting touch back, shooting 42% from 3-point range in their last 3 games. That coincides with sharp shooting junior guard K.J. Matsui getting more minutes in place of injured starter Patrick Foley. Foley has made just 31% of his shots from the field prior to getting hurt and Matsui, a 42% lifetime 3-point shooter, has made 50% of his shots and 56.5% from 3-point range. Columbia is playing better defense and rebounding better than they did last season and their rating is only slightly worse than last year’s rating despite the bad shooting (38.6% overall and 32% from 3-point range). If each Columbia player made their current career percentage of 3-point shots then the Lions would be a bit more than 3 points better than they have been so far this year, and that would put them right at my pre-season rating on them. I get a fair line of 20 points using current year games only for Columbia and Villanova’s games since talented freshman Corey Fisher started getting major minutes (he played just 4 minutes total in the Wildcats’ first 2 games, which were both sub-par efforts), and I expect Columbia’s 3-point shooting resurgence to continue in this game against a lazy Wildcats’ defense that has allowed opponents to take and make open 3-point shots all season (40.3% 3-pointers allowed). The fair line would be 17 points if each Columbia player made their career percentage of 3-pointers. Aside from the line value, Columbia applies to a 128-54-2 ATS big road underdog situation while Villanova applies to a negative 10-37 ATS subset of a 47-95 ATS big non-conference home favorite letdown situation. Columbia will slow down the pace, hit their open 3- pointers and keep this game pretty competitive, which they’ve had a tendency to do as big dogs under coach Joseph Jones, whose team is 18-10 ATS as an underdog of 8 points or more and 5-1 ATS getting 20 points or more. I’ll take Columbia in a 3-Star Best Bet at +21 points or more and for 2-Stars at +20 ½ or +20 points.
3-Stars at +21 or more, 2-Stars at +20 1/2 or +20 points
Re: Saturday Service Plays
Tulsa -12 Big!
This is the list of the bigger plays I made and the prices played at
Xavier minus 3.5, Creighton minus 12.5, Arizona minus 11, Norhteastern plus 13 Cornell plus 17 (a bit smaller) Col plus 2.5, Tex SO plus 12 Iowa st plus 8.5 Ohio u plus 7 UTEP MINUS 11 (VERY BIG, almost as good as TUlsa) Kentucky minus 13 Iona plus 3.5.
I am well aware that most of these numbers do not exist. I am honoring request of people who r interested in all games, in case numbers should show or they agree with it and will play at 1/2 pt worse.
Re: Saturday Service Plays
Sport: College Football
Game: UCLA Bruins @ BYU Cougars - Saturday December 22, 2007 8:00 pm
Pick: 4 units (Free Play) ATS: BYU Cougars -6 (-110)
BYU comes into this one having won perhaps the most underrated conference in the land in the Mountain West this season. The time off definitely benefitted BYU QB Max Hall, who had a lame shoulder the last couple of weeks in the regualr season. BYU feels on par with anyone they play, and they feel like they lost one they should have won, to UCLA earlier this season. They were leading in that game only to fall apart late. UCLA, on the other hand, is a team in turmoil, after the firing of well liked HC Karl Dorrell. DeWayne Walker is coaching them in this bowl game, and he'll have the kids attention, but we seriously question how well the Bruins will handle adversity in this game, which they'll certainly face. BYU is a very good football team, and will have the upper hand in this game. They get the big win that will propel towards a top 20 preseason ranking in 2008. Throw in the fact that this game is played in Las Vegas and one of these teams parties quite a bit and the other does not? Four units on BYU.
Re: Saturday Service Plays
Nite Owl Sports
Sport: NFL Football
Game: Dallas Cowboys @ Carolina Panthers - Saturday December 22, 2007 8:15 pm
Pick: 2 units (Normal) ATS: Dallas Cowboys -10.5 (-108)
As wil be clear from our write up below, we like the Dallas Cowboys in this game, but this is not one of our favorite NFL games this weekend, which features six other stronger NFL picks by Nite Owl, including three huge five unit plays (two Sunday and one Monday night). Nite Owl has established its perch at the top of Top Ten's NFL leaderboard (see above) with a hot December, winning 65% of our last 20 NFL picks, by selecting only those games where one side has a very high probability of "covering," like Buffalo demolishing Miami in our AFC Game of the Year two weeks ago, and Tampa Bay doing likewise to Atlanta as our featured free newsletter pick last Sunday. Our three five unit NFL picks this weekend can be purchased on an individual basis, for $35 each, or (a better deal) together and along with our other NFL picks as part of any of our reasonably priced NFL packages, NFL/college FB bowl combo packs, or all sports combo packs. We hope to have you on board with us this weekend and at least for the rest of the college and pro football seasons, but whatever you decide to do, enjoy the games, good luck, and bet smart. And now, the write up for our pick on Dallas over Carolina.When one looks at what each of these two teams has accomplished this year, and the numbers posted by each of them in getting to where they are today (Dallas tied for first in NFC at 12-2 and Carolina in line for a lottery pick at a disappointing 6-8), its obvious who is the better team and who should win this game as well as cover the point spread. But as Cowboys have taught us again this year, just when it seems they are cruising towards the Super Bowl in a flood of TR (Tony Romo) to TO (we all know who he is) bombs, the Boys sleep walk through 3 quarters of a game and then wake up just in time to put together a last minute desperation drive which gets them the win but sends their backers home with thinner wallets. That tired act has worked twice for them this year, against Buffalo and Detroit, and they thought they could pull it off again last week, at home against Philly, but they fell flat on their faces while Tony Romo had the worst game of his NFL career, going 13-36 with 3 INTs and no TDs and getting sacked 3 times, looking so bad that he couldnt have even completed a pass at one of the Dallas Cowgirl cheerleaders if he tried. The official team explanation for his lousy performance was that he had injured the thumb on his passing hand, and that (along with Carolinas shocking upset of Seattle last Sunday) is what has kept the line on this game pretty steady at 10.5 all week, despite the apparent mismatch. The word is that the thumb and hand have been rested for most of the week and are in good enough condition for Romo to start, which is good news for Cowboy fans given that their back-up is Brad Johnson, who is almost as much of an NFL antique as Carolina back-up QB Vinny Testaverde (wouldnt that be something if those two ended up playing against each other, and the Geritol commercials during play stoppages were the most exciting part of the game?). But back to the task at hand, trying to decide if the real Cowboys will be the team that shows up in Charlotte Saturday night, and we say they will, because this time, unlike in their non-covering last minute road wins as heavy favorites this year, there is a sense of urgency for them. That is because after last Sundays surprise loss to Philly, they now have Green Bay breathing down their necks for the best record in the NFC and HFA (home field advantage) throughout the NFC playoffs, which most (us included) believe will determine which NFC team goes to the Super Bowl. With the Boys having to play their regular season finale next week in Washington against a Redskins team that gave them all they could handle earlier in the season in Dallas and always gets up during Dallas week, even more so if they are playing for a playoff spot, which they just might be, the Boys know they must win this game against Carolina.. If one looks at Cowboys other road games this year, its pretty clear that in games they think are important, like their two road division games at NY and Philly, both won convincingly by Dallas, and their 34-10 beat down of the Bears in Chicago in week 3 as 3 point road dogs, when the sports world still looked at da Bears as defending Super Bowl champs (not chumps), Cowboys are a very good team when they play to their potential, which they do when they have a sense of urgency like they do this week. Since Dallas is clearly the better team here and the outcome of this game will be determined more by emotion than by talent, we have devoted most of this write-up to Cowboys likely emotional state for this game and explaining why they are not likely to show up unfocused and unmotivated like earlier in the season at Detroit, at Buffalo and last week vs Philly. But no game write-up would be complete without at least some discussion of the opponent as well as some of the teams comparative numbers. Carolina pulled off a real shocker last week, not only because Seattle had been playing so well, but because Carolina had been playing so poorly, especially at home, where they previously had beaten only the lowly 49ers, had been pounded by the other two playoff teams they had faced at home (losing by 18 to Indy and by 13 to Tampa), and had even lost convincingly to playoff bubble teams Houston and New Orleans. But one of the two main factors working in Carolinas favor last Sunday (the other being Seattles malaise and surprising ineptitude on offense), DE Julius Peppers, will not play against Dallas, having badly sprained a knee in that game, but not until after he had made life miserable for the Seattle backfield and had forced 3 fumbles (one of which was recovered by Carolina). Speaking of making life miserable for opposing backfields, Dallas has 38 QB sacks this year, twice as many as Carolinas gentlemanly 19 sacks, and we expect Carolina QB Mike Moore to have a game more similar to his previous performances in limited action (a 51 QB rating with 0 TDs and 3 INTs before last Sundays improved numbers of 19-27 for 208 yards and no INTs, but still no TDs). Before summing up, just a quick recap of Cowboys 35-14 win over Panthers last year in Charlotte with #1 Panther QB Jake Delhomme playing, and how they did it. In a nutshell, they outgained Panthers 2/1 (400 yards to 200), had only 1 TO to 3 for Carolina, and turned a close game into a rout by outscoring a worn down Panther team 25-0 in the fourth quarter (in other words, a focused, businesslike effort by Dallas, which is what we expect from them Saturday night). We like Dallas for two units at the prevailing price of 10.5, and would take them for 3 units at - 10 but only one unit at - 11 (and would pass if line moves past 11, which we doubt it will). We dont like the total on this game, as we expect Dallas to dominate on both sides of the ball (scoring well and holding down the Panther offense), but if you have access to individual team totals, we recommend, as a way to get added value from this game, taking over for the number of points to be scored by Cowboys, and under for the number of points to be scored by Carolina. While no individual team totals have yet been posted for this game and wont be until Saturday morning at the earliest, we estimate the totals line for Dallas to be about 26 or 26.5, and for Carolina to be about 14.5 or 15. We would recommend Dallas over for 2-3 units at anything under 27, and Carolina under, also for 2-3 units at a line of 14 or higher, with the units depending on how favorable a line you get for each wager
Re: Saturday Service Plays
1. 300,000* Cowboys
2. 50,000* UCLA
3. 50,000* Valparaiso
1. Cowboys- Now that Jessica-gate is over, the Cowboys can get back to the business of dominating the NFC, and that includes a short-handed and extremely flawed Carolina team in this Saturday nighter.
Thanks to the Cowboys loss against the Eagles, and a solid win by the Panthers over Seattle last week at home, we're getting a bargain price on what has all the makings of a blowout. Make no mistake, Dallas will win this game BIG and here's why:
First, Romo and company will be looking to make up for a terrible showing against the Eagles. Owens can blame Romo's girlfriend, but the truth of the matter was it as a bad game for the entire Dallas offense, and I expect they'll be extremely focused in tonight's bounce back effort. The fact star DE Julius Peppers is listed as doubtful only makes Romo's job that much easier.
Second, one unit that didn't struggle last week was the Dallas defense, which is allowing just 19 ppg on 301 total yards (90 rushing) on the road this season. They've been excellent against the run all season, so don't expect much from Foster or Williams. And if they decide to "air it out" with Matt Moore, he'll get well acquainted with a Dallas defense that loves to pressure the QB with Ellis and Ware among others!
Finally, let's talk motivation, as a win here gives the Cowboys home-field advantage in the NFC. While Dallas does own the tie-breaker with Green Bay, the fact the Packers have the Bears and Lions left means Dallas cannot afford to screw around with Carolina tonight. We'll chalk up last week as an abberation... Look for the Cowboys to get back on track with a lopsided win and cover against Carolina in this one!
Take the Cowboys BIG over the Panthers as your top-rated play of the day.
2. UCLA- While BYU statistically dominated their match up earlier this season, the Bruins won handily 27-17... This time around, I expect the winner to come by a field goal, as underestimating UCLA in this spot would be big mistake.
More than anything, what keeps UCLA in this game is their defense, which has been excellent over their last 3 games, allowing 16 ppg on 312 total yards (only 170 yards passing/game). While critics will argue that BYU's defensive numbers are just as good over the same span, clearly they didn't look at the level of competition. Bruins covered 3 straight against Arizona State, Oregon, and Southern Cal thanks to their defense... So don't tell me the Cougars covers against Wyoming, Utah, and San Diego State are the same thing!
Also consider the time off has allowed QB Ben Olson to get his head on straight. He's been dealing with injuries all season, and understandbly has looked like a shell of his former self. With loads of rest and practice time, look for the talented signal caller to finally deliver against a beatable Cougars defense.
Finally, make no mistake, the Bruins are playing for defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker's job as head coach. After dismissing Karl Dorrell, the players want nothing more than the continuity Walker brings to the job. He's extremely popular inside the program, but will have to get a win here to impress the suits who will decide his fate... I say the Bruins respond accordingly!
Take UCLA plus the points over Brigham Young in tonight's Las Vegas Bowl.
3. Valparaiso- As much history as there is behind the Badgers at the Kohl Center, try and remember that this is not the Tucker and Taylor led Wisky team you're used to seeing. In fact, this year's version of Wisconsin looks incredibly vunerable in this spot as heavy favorite against a solid Valpo team.
Speaking of the Crusaders, they can attribute a lot of their success to the return of their top-6 players, as this veteran team knows how to win on the road (wins at Detroit, at Wright State). I'm not saying they win outright, far from it, but making them double-digit dogs in this spot is outrageous considering their recent play, averaging 77 ppg on an impressive 51% shooting (44% from 3-point) over their last 5 games!
Wisky meanwhile, has looked less than impressive over the same span, going 2-3 ATS, with a blowout loss at Duke, and an outright loss at home to Marquette. Their offense just hasn't been executing, averaging 67 ppg over their last 5, and while the Crusaders defense isn't as good as the Badgers, they're still good enough to give Wisconsin trouble the way they're playing right now.
Finally, underestimate Valpo at your own risk tonight, as they're a solid 4-1 ATS away this season. Laying this many points with a good, but not great Wisconsin team is just plain ridiculous. The Badgers will win this game, but you better believe the Crusaders will make them work for it, keeping this one easily within the number!
Take Valparaiso plus the points over Wisconsin in this college hoops match up.
1. 50,000* New Mexico
2. 50,000* Ohio State
1. New Mexico- As good as the Wolfpack has looked behind their stud freshman QB Kaepernick, the Lobos defense has looked better. Say what you will about the dual-threat Nevada signal caller, but he's still a freshman, and freshman don't do well against complicated, blitz heavy defenses like the Lobos. New Mexico's defense is allowing 19 ppg on just 314 total yards (174 passing yards/contest) over their last 3 games.
All I've heard all week is how Rocky Long is 0-4 SUATS in Bowl games, and while that's true, let's not get carried away. Basing your decision on one stat is short-sighted, especially when you consider all the other factors in New Mexico's favor, including the fact their offense will be facing a very beatable Wolfpack defense, allowing 32 ppg on 400+ total yards! Sure, we'll give the edge to Kaepernick, but Lobos QB Porterie is no slouch, tossing for 2636 yards and 13 TD to 8 INT ratio. Not to mention a huge offensive line punching holes for first-team Mountain West RB Ferguson.
Finally, despite their troubles covering at home, there's no question the Lobos will benefit from playing in the friendly confines of home. Offensively, they average over 11 more points per game than their season average there (35 to 24) and are much more effective running the ball, which is the key to keeping Nevada's pistol offense off the field. In the end, coach Long gets his first Bowl win and the Lobos grab the cash!
Take New Mexico over Nevada in this afternoon's New Mexico Bowl.
2. Ohio State- How much things change from one year to the next, as we're no longer talking about players like Horford and Oden, but instead about freshman like Calathes and Koufos. Make no mistake, coach Matta and his Buckeye's have an axe to grind with this Gators team, and this afternoon presents the perfect oppurtunity at home for some much needed payback.
Both teams are young and experiencing growing pains, but I saw some signs of growth from Ohio State in their 80-63 thrashing of Cleveland State. First of all, they went on the road and dominated a solid Vikings team, limiting them to 36% shooting. Second, we saw what veterans are left on this Buckeye's roster really contribute, in Butler and Hunter. And third, the young bucks on this team, Lighty and Koufos, are playing rock-solid basketball for being underclassmen.
The same cannot be said of Florida simply because coach Donovan has loaded their schedule with cupcakes (surely to protect their young players), including 8 non-lined contests thus far! Even against real competition they showed us little positive, as a 65-51 home loss to Florida State clearly demonstrated. In other words, once you get over the name on the front of their jersey's, this Florida team is a flawed bunch.
Bottom line, with revenge on the brain, look for this talented Ohio State squad to build off their win at Cleveland State with another strong win and cover this afternoon at home. Florida is a pretender this season with all the cupcakes they've played, and today they get fully exposed by a motivated Buckeye's squad.
Take Ohio State comfortably over Florida in this college hoops match up.
Re: Saturday Service Plays
BUCKS 3-Game Executive Report
Game: Charlotte Bobcats vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Prediction: Milwaukee Bucks Reason: I'm laying the points with MILWAUKEE. The situation favors the revenge-minded home team here. While the Bucks have had the past couple of nights off, the Bobcats are off a home win vs. the Knicks last night. That's worth mentioning for a couple of reasons. For starters, the Bucks are 6-2 SU and 5-3 ATS when playing with two day's rest. Additionally, the Bobcats are 0-5 SU and 1-4 ATS when playing the second of back to back games. Both teams are much better on their home floor. While the Bobcats are now 9-6 at home, they're an awful 1-8 on the road. Meanwhile, the Bucks are an awful 2-12 on the road but a terrific 8-3 at home. Look for homecourt to prove the difference once again as the rested Bucks avenge an early November loss at Charlotte.
HEAT 3 Game Executive Report
Game: Utah Jazz vs. Miami Heat
Prediction: Miami Heat Reason: I'm playing on MIAMI. I won with Utah yesterday. However, that doesn't mean that everything is suddenly right for the Jazz. They're still banged-up and they're still 3-8 SU/ATS their last 11 games. They're also typically a terrible team when playing the second of back to back games. In fact, the Jazz are just 3-10 the last 13 times that they played in that situation. Of course, the Heat have also been struggling. However, they've been showing signs of coming around and star Dwayne Wade has looked better and better with every game. After Thursday's game, he finally said: "I'm probably all the way back." The Heat, who had yesterday off, have owned the Jazz here in recent years, going 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS the last four meetings here. Look for them to continue that homecourt domination this evening, avenging a loss at Utah three weeks ago.
NETS 3 Game Executive Report
Game: Golden State Warriors vs. New Jersey Nets
Prediction: New Jersey Nets Reason: I'm taking the points with NEW JERSEY. While they've beaten a couple of weak teams (Minnesota and Memphis) on the road lately, the Warriors are still just 2-3 SU/ATS their last five away from home. They've struggled away from home for years and that's particularly been the case here in New Jersey. In fact, they're 0-9 SU and 2-7 ATS their last nine trips here. The Nets come off a momentum-building OT win at Miami. As Vince Carter said: "We are a better team than our record is showing." I fully believe this to be true. Look for the Nets to carry positive momentum forward from their overtime victory and continue their homecourt domination in this series.
UNDER Hornets/TWolves Total Annihilator
Game: Minnesota Timberwolves vs. New Orleans Hornets
Prediction: under Reason: I'm playing on the T-Wolves and Hornets to finish UNDER the total. Both teams saw their most recent game finish above the total. The Hornets and Sonics snuck above the number a few nights ago while the T-Wolves were involved in a high-scoring game vs. the Pacers last night. That hasn't been "normal" though. Indeed, the T-Wolves have still seen the UNDER go 5-2-1 their past eight games while the Hornets have still seen the UNDER go 5-1 their last six and 14-6 their last 20. Its also worth mentioning that the Hornets have seen the UNDER go a perfect 5-0 this season after scoring 105 or more points in their previous game. Additionally, the T-Wolves have seen the UNDER go 5-1 this season when playing the second of back to back games. The fact that the T-Wolves upset the Hornets earlier is also noteworthy as the Hornets have seen the UNDER go 6-2 the last eight times they faced a team which defeated them in their previous meeting. Look for another strong defensive effort tonight and for the UNDER to improve to 7-0 for the season when the T-Wolves have played on a Saturday.
Re: Saturday Service Plays
Vegas Experts Tip Of The Day
the last 2 months (Oct 15-10).(.Nov 17-10)
won last night
UCLA held eight of its opponents to 24 points or less this season. BYU held eight of its last nine opponents to 24 or less. UCLA is 13-4 UNDER in road games after 1 or more consecutive wins against the spread over the last 2 seasons: it got the cover in its season-ending loss to USC. BYU is 29-14 UNDER as a favorite of 3.5 to 10 points since 1992 and 10-2 UNDER in games played on a neutral field since 1992.
Play on: Under
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