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Saturday Service Plays

Re: Saturday Service Plays

Kevin O’Neill

@Northwestern (+3) over Michigan State

Northwestern is undefeated. And you really shouldn’t be too impressed by that. The schedule has been easy. But wins at Duke and at Iowa far from terrible. They’ve got veteran playmakers in QB CJ Bacher and RB Tyrell Sutton and the 15 starters from a 6-6 team have good chemistry and have taken a step forward. NU’s 5-0 record is not an accident. While no threat to take the Big Ten title, they’re a decent team. And they should play well this week with a week of rest. Michigan State has shown some weaknesses both of offense and defense. Javon Ringer is a tough back with a lot of stamina, but the national reputation he picked up after fourth quarter success against a Notre Dame defense that simply wore down due to their offense’s inability to stay on the field is not entirely warranted. Of his 25 carries against Iowa on Saturday, only 2 were longer than 7 yards, and 15 of the 25 gained 3 yards or less. Iowa’s run defense is certainly better than Northwestern’s, but Ringer is gaining 1.2 yards per attempt less than last year, despite not yet facing the meat of the Spartan schedule. He has gained less than 4.0 yards per rush in three of MSU’s six games thus far. Michigan State’s defense doesn’t have bad numbers, but in fact, it leaves a lot to be desired. They’ve had good success at home against poor offenses (though weather and circumstances helped), but on the road have been lit up. At Cal the Spartans allowed 38 points and 467 yards. At Indiana, Spartans permitted Hoosiers to go for 29 points on 473 yards.That’s some poor defense to go with the pedestrian offense. That’s just not the profile of a team that should be laying points on the road. I’ll be checking out Michigan State’s secondary injuries, as both Otis Wiley and Chris L. Rucker (there’s another Chris Rucker on the team) both left the Iowa game with injuries. Michigan State is playing their seventh game without an off week, while Northwestern is rested, ready, and confident. Pat Fitzgerald and his staff were a little shell-shocked after the tragic death of Randy Walker. They were also very young. Now there’s some veteran hands aboard, and Fitzgerald and his original group has a couple of years of experience. After being through the league a couple of times they’re no longer outclassed by most other staffs.Take the points with a rested, resourceful home dog against an overrated favorite that doesn’t have a lot of offensive pop and struggles defensively on the road.Northwestern by 4.

Kevin O’Neill

@Oregon (-17) over UCLA

Oregon entered a hornet’s nest on Saturday night. The previous Thursday night USC has showed up in Oregon State without the proper attitude, and as a result they fell way behind early and came up just short. There are very few teams in America that wouldn’t have gotten roasted last weekend by a Trojans team that was rested (has yet to play games only 7 days apart) and angry. The Ducks defense was dreadful. The secondary gave up 13 completions of 15 yards or more, including TD’s of 34, 59, and 63 yards. This is a secondary that was lit up by Boise State’s freshman quarterback as well. So the pass defense is clearly a problem for Oregon. But that defense should bounce back here, and they aren’t facing a whole lot. With nothing but young quarterbacks on the Duck roster, we’re ready to forgive that blowout loss and project a bounceback here.We’re less willing to forgive another performance in LA (actually Pasadena) that night. UCLA should have put up a big number, as everyone else has against Washington State. Against 1-A teams, Washington State had allowed 7.4 yards per play, marking their defense as one of the worst five teams in college football. But UCLA’s offense is hardly up to snuff, and as a result the Bruins gained less than 4.4 yards per play, 325 yards on 74 plays. That’s pretty poor against Wazzou’s horrendous D, but that’s all the Bruins could accomplish. It’s a performance that leaves UCLA with only 8 teams gaining fewer yards per game in the entirety of 1-A college football. Despite their poor offensive numbers, UCLA was not challenged by dreadful WSU due to a decent defensive performance. But that had a lot to do with the competition. UCLA had four sacks, but that is unlikely to happen this week, as the Bruins had only four sacks heading into this game. This game may boost UCLA’s confidence, but it really says a lot more about Washington State than it does about UCLA. So Oregon was blasted at USC, and UCLA won big at home over Wazzou. But Oregon is a much better team right now, and Autzen Stadium changes everything. The comfort zone of the young Duck offensive types is a lot higher at home. And with UCLA being the first 1-A team to fail to tear up Washington State, the Oregon defense should have little problem keeping UCLA at bay. Ducks have a lot of talented weapons on offense, and UCLA doesn’t have the weapons to pressure the Oregon defense. After their devastating QB injury last season (left without a QB suited to run their offense), the Ducks lost at UCLA 16- 0 last season. That sets up a solid shutout revenge spot here. Look for the Quack Attack to roll the struggling Bruins. Oregon by 24

Dave Fobare

@Baylor (-4) over Iowa State

In Waco Art Briles has breathed new life into the Baylor Bears. In 2007 Guy Morriss got the Bears off to a 3-1 start, but then lost eight Big 12 games in a row. Baylor has been the Big 12's official whipping boy, going just 35-101 against all opposition since the Big 12 was born. The Bears want Briles to repeat his success at Houston. In 2003, Briles was hired as head coach at Houston, where he took over a program that had an 8–26 record under the previous coach, Dana Dimel. The Cougars went 0–11 just two years before Briles's arrival. In his first season, Briles led the Cougars to a 7–5 record and a bowl appearance. Once Briles had a roster stocked entirely with his recruits Houston began to dominate going 13-3 inside Conference USA in 2006 and 2007. Briles is a highly aggressive coach who doesn't suffer losing easily. Down just 7-0 late in the first quarter last week to Oklahoma Briles decided to go for it on fourth down at the Sooner 32 yard line. That in itself is not too surprising. More and more coaches these days are making the same call. But Baylor needed to get to the 25-yard line. There were some highlights in the Bears' 49-17 loss to Oklahoma. While QB Sam Bradford was burnishing his Heisman credentials with another stellar outing, Baylor's run defense did a very nice job holding the Sooner ground game to just 3.7 yards per rush. Which brings up a rather interesting anomaly. While Art Briles has a deserved reputation as an offensive-minded coach who likes to air it out, it is on the ground that he has turned things around in Waco. Three of the first four FBS games have been played against teams ranked in the Top 25 and yet the Bears have outrushed their opposition 5.5 yards per carry to 3.6. That margin is the chief reason why my stat model makes Baylor a 13- point favorite in this game.The Cyclones haven't been favored by the schedule of late.Each of their last 3 opponents entered their game with a winning record. That triggers a negative 30-62 ATS fatigue system. Both teams are winless inside the Big 12, a situation that usually favors the home team. I've got a 55- 27 ATS situation on Baylor here based on that concept.The best tech system I have on this game is a negative 91- 182 ATS letdown system that plays against Iowa State. Teams off a competitive loss as an underdog usually have a hard time getting past the disappointment and gearing up for the next game. The Cyclones should be more disappointed than most; they blew a 20-point 2nd half lead at home versus nationally ranked Kansas en route to a 35- 33 loss. The Bears themselves were a victim of this very situation last week against Oklahoma. Gene Chizik appears to have the Cyclones headed in the right direction with attention to detail and a dose of discipline. But Art Briles has done the turnaround thing before and the Bears are well ahead of the Cyclones so far.The Iowa State pass defense has been shredded for more than 9 yards per attempt in 2008. Look for the Bears to move the ball successfully just about any way Art Briles wants. Lay the points. Baylor by 11.

Erik Scheponik

South Carolina (PK) over @Kentucky

The Gamecocks definitely have the look of a forgotten team that can come out of nowhere and make noise in the SEC East during the final two months of the season. Preseason media tabbed them a sleeper early on, but after early season losses at Vanderbilt and vs. Georgia, everyone has seemingly jumped off of the bandwagon. Their game with Georgia was a bloody war, as hardhitting a college football game as you will see, and the loss at Vanderbilt (also a hard-fought, physical game) does not look so bad now, as the Commodores still remain undefeated. Basically, we can say that USC lost two games to quality teams by a touchdown despite winning yardage in both games. They bounced back with a big win @ Ole Miss last week, and I really believe they are going to be one of the nation’s top 15 to 20 teams by the time the season is over. The Tommy Beecher experiment is over and Chris Smelley is now back under center for the Steve Spurrier offense. He is off a huge performance at Ole Miss (327 yards, 10 yards per pass, and 3 TD), and more weapons have emerged for him to throw to in recent weeks. Down the stretch last season and early this season, it was only WR Kenny Mckinley and TE Jared Cook that opposing teams had to worry about. However, WRs Moe Brown and Jason Barnes have now emerged as threats, and the SC offense is playing at a higher level. The defense is one of the nation’s best, allowing 245 yards per game, spearheaded by 4 or 5 future NFLers in the back seven. The special teams are also a plus unit.Everything seems to be in place for a nice USC run.All they have to avoid here is a lookahead to LSU next week. Kentucky is a polar opposite to the Kentucky teams of the last few seasons. Those teams were alloffense/ no-defense, but this year it’s a very solid defense leading the way. They are allowing only 8 points per game, but besides Alabama (who they caught the week after the upset of Georgia), who have they played? No one worth mentioning, and that will come back to haunt them here. They are facing a very physical Gamecock defense, the week after facing the nation’s most physical team in Alabama. Their offense is averaging only 4.8 yards per play, and will have trouble moving the ball, while the defense will wear down in the second half.South Carolina has won 8 straight games in this series, and this price is a bargain for the more talented team. USC by 6

Matty Baiungo

@Mississippi St (+2½) over Vanderbilt

Quick, name the team in first place in the vaunted SEC East. Nope, it’s not Florida and it’s not Georgia. And it’s not even the other name programs in Tennessee and South Carolina. The geeks from Nashville are in sole possession of first place. That’s right, the Vanderbilt Commodores sit atop the perch of the Eastern division of the best conference in college football. The same Vanderbilt program that was 8-40 in conference play under head coach Bobby Johnson heading into this season. And it’s even more amazing considering not much was expected from Vanderbilt this year after they lost their “best team in ages” to graduation. Vanderbilt only returned 3 starters on offense including zero on the offensive line, and they were once again picked to finish in the basement in their division. But after five games (5-0 SU and ATS), those pundits were dead wrong. And not only does Vandy have the best record in the SEC along with Alabama and LSU, but is also ranked # 13 in the country. As far-fetched as it seems, it’s true. But is Vanderbilt really that good? Don’t think so. They opened their season as a 3½-point road underdog at Miami Ohio and they won that game 34-13. But for a SEC team to be underdog to a CUSA team shows what the oddsmaker’s thought of Vandy heading into 2008. Next up was South Carolina, a game in which Vandy was a 9½- point home dog. They won 24-17 but were out-gained by 100 yards and benefited from 3 Carolina turnovers. They won their next game over defenseless Rice 38-21, but again, they were out-gained by close to 70 yards and benefited from another two turnovers. Do you see where this is heading? They followed that inside-out win with another at Ole Miss, winning 23-17 despite getting crushed in the stats by 183 yards. Oh yeah, they received another 4 turnovers in Oxford. And last week, they came back from a 13-point deficit to beat Auburn by a point, 14-13.In their three SEC games, Vanderbilt has offensive yardage of 225, 202, and 263. To put that into perspective,Vanderbilt has the 114th ranked offense out of 119 teams. So how long can Vanderbilt carry-on this phoniness? Their magical ride ends this week in Starkville against Mississippi St, but not because the Bulldogs are any good.Vanderbilt’s game last week against Auburn was the biggest in the school’s history. Nashville was abuzz for the two weeks leading up to that game, and it was the perfect set-up for Vandy to “upset” Auburn. Vandy entered off a bye week while they caught Auburn off back-to-back wars with LSU and Tennessee. And the ‘Dores took advantage of the situation. But they lost their quarterback Chris Nickson to a shoulder injury and backup Mackenzi Adams led Vandy to the comeback win. Johnson has yet to say if Nickson will be back or if Adams will get the start, but regardless of who’s under center, Vanderbilt is good fade material in this spot. How can they possibly match last week’s intensity? They can’t, and the fact that they are a road favorite here makes this play much more appealing.Notice the lack of mentioning of Mississippi St. It was done on purpose because this selection is solely based on a play-against Vanderbilt. Even though they stink, Miss St still has the better offense (103-114) and defense (46-47) over Vandy in this game according to the NCAA’s national rankings. Mississippi St by 4.

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

Matty Baiungo

@Wisconsin (+5)  over Penn St

Wisconsin enters off back-to-back demoralizing losses. Two weeks back, they thoroughly outplayed Michigan is every facet of the game but blew a 19-0 halftime lead in Ann Arbor. Last week, the Badgers went toe-to-toe with Ohio St before coughing-up a 17-13 lead late in the game. And there may be some concern that those two losses can carry over into this game against a pretty good Penn St team. But knowing the make-up and foundation at Wisconsin, that scenario is unlikely. Head coach Bret Bielema is a Barry Alvarez protégé, and after working under Alvarez, Bielema has mimicked his coaching style after the Madison legend. The Badgers play a tough brand of football, and to think they would come out and just go through the motions is hard to fathom, especially in front of their loyal fans. Last week’s home loss was the first under Bielema (14-0 prior), and only the second for the Badgers since 2004. Penn St is rolling along at 6-0 straight-up and 4-1 against the spread. But who have they played? A bunch of nobodies actually as the cumulative record of those six opponents is just 13-18 with only one of those teams, Illinois (3-2), having a winning record. It’s easy to put-up gaudy offensive numbers (over 44 points per game on 500 yards) against overmatched opponents, but they’ll face a stiff defense in Wisconsin that allows just 17 points per game on just over 300 yards per game. This will be Penn St’s first real test of the season, and the fact that they have yet to be in a close game makes this a bad spot for them, especially laying points on the road. And not only will Penn St’s offense be facing a real defense for the first time, but also their defense will be in for a challenge as well. Wisconsin running back P.J. Hill is a big bruising back, and he’ll be a lot different than the quick scat backs that Penn St has faced. Hill and the Badgers play smash-mouth football, which is the polar opposite of the gimmicky offenses that the Nittany Lions have faced thus far. Wisconsin knows they can’t get into a shootout and expect to win here, so look for them to play ball control and solid defense. The dynamic of this game is unfamiliar to Joe Pa’s club as they’ll be in a dogfight throughout. This series hasn’t seen a lot of points scored as the teams have averaged only 37 points per game. And if that history continues here,it definitely favors the home dog. Wisconsin by 1.

Kevin O’Neill

@Southern Miss (+12) over Boise State

Boise’s got a terrific team. But they’ve got the strongest home field advantage in the country. In this instance they’re picking the wrong time to come to Hattiesburg. Southern Miss actually played pretty well in their home loss Saturday. They outrushed UTEP 277-116, outgained the Miners 6.6 yards per play to 5.0 yards per play yet somehow found a way to lose 40-37 in double overtime. Damion Fletcher ran for 260 yards, a career high, but three missed field goals and a critical non-call on an obvious UTEP intentional grounding penalty contributed to the disappointing result. UTEP had kickoff returns of 50 and 55 yards and Mike Price succeeded with a gutsy 4th and long fake punt from UTEP’s own-11 yard line. Despite an 0-2 start in conference play, the Golden Eagles know that they’ve got some good things going on. New coach Larry Fedora has the offense playing well, and the future here looks bright. And he’ll have their full focus this week after the disappointing loss to UTEP, as they take on a Top 25 team at home, which is a rare opportunity in Hattiesburg. Can Boise State really be up for this game? They beat this team 38-16 last year, already have a win at Oregon, and have got a huge revenge game against Hawaii in six days. So both overconfidence and a lookahead are on the docket. Chris Peterson is an excellent coach for Boise, but is only 3-7 as a road favorite. The Broncos have a tremendous home field edge but hitting the highway is often their downfall. Freshman QB Kellen Moore had an effective game in the upset win over Oregon, but the Ducks were shell-shocked in that game after losing their starting quarterbacks each of the previous two weeks. And the BSU offense is not getting the kind of run support they’ve had in decent years. They went for 132 yards on 44 carries on against Louisiana Tech, keeping their season rushing average under 3.0 yards per attempt. Ian Johnson has been less productive on the ground this year, though he is more of a receiving threat out of the backfield, earning his first 100+ yard receiving game vs. Louisiana Tech. Boise’s good, but can you expect significant production in a non-conference road game? Boise to Hattiesburg isn’t exactly effortless travel. And BSU knows they handled this bunch last year relatively easily.They may be a bit overconfident, which seems to be a problem for them on the road, as they are 3-7 against the spread as a road favorite the past two years. They can overwhelm inferior opposition on the Smurf Turf in Boise but don’t do quite as well on the road. Every reason to expect USM’s best shot here, and you can’t say the same for Boise. The Golden Eagles strong running game behind Fletcher will help control the ball and run the clock,keeping the ball away from the Broncos. Double digits look promising here. Boise by only 4.

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

Red Sheet

RATINGS:
89 & ABOVE: SUPERIOR PLAY
88 & BELOW: ABOVE AVERAGE PLAY

MISSISSIPPI STATE 22 - Vanderbilt 15 - (2:30 EDT) -- Line opened at Pick-em, and is now Vanderbilt minus 2½. Largest early week line movement here, which mirrors public appreciation of the resurgent 'Dores, who are off to their best start in 65 years. But the Bulldogs, who have been somewhat of a disappointment so far, are rested off a close loss to mighty LSU, & catch Vandy off its draining win over Auburn. The SEC dog, taking on squads off big games, has been a profitable proposition so far, & this certainly fits in nicely with that trend. And don't forget the 24 pts that the 'Dogs posted in that loss the Bengals. Upset.

RATING: MISSISSIPPI STATE 89

Air Force 42 - SAN DIEGO STATE 20 - (9:30) --Line opened at AirForce Minus 8½, and is now minus 10. We originally liked this one, but decided against placing it among our Rated Plays on Pointwise, because of the fact that the Falcons were in off a triad of exhausting games, not the least of which was LW's tight loss to Navy. But military squads are never down, psychologically, so no reason that AF can't get back on track quickly, especially against an Aztec team which yielded 569 RYs in last year's 55-23 Falcon win. So check last week's SDSt rushing effort: a 383-(-13) yd deficit vs TCU. Spot is more than reasonable.

RATING: AIR FORCE 89

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Marc Lawrence Playbook

5* BEST BET
FLORIDA over Lsu by 16
No, Gator fans… your team’s earlier loss to Ole Miss did not eliminate them from this year’s BCS title chase. Today’s foe, LSU, proved as much in 2007 when they became the fi rst team with TWO losses to reach the championship game. This season’s Bengals look to be just as nasty and physical as always but the Gators are one tough reptile to skin at The Swamp. UF coach Urban Meyer stands 14-3 ATS as a dog or favorite of less than 10 point when playing with revenge and he’s cashed the winning ticket in all three matchups with Les Miles. The rested Tigers are just 2-5-1 ATS off a bye week and Miles has lit a match to some major currency in today’s role, going 3-10 ATS as an SEC road dog (0-5 versus a team with revenge). At fi rst glance it may appear dicey but our INCREDIBLE STAT OF THE WEEK on page 3 says the Gators are the play. Toss in the fact that defending National Champions are fl at out terrible when playing on the road off back-to-back wins against an opponent that allows 19 or less (9-25 ATS). A win here keeps Florida in the hunt and at this short price, should grab us the money to boot.

4* BEST BET
MISSISSIPPI ST over Vanderbilt by 11
Don’t look now but the Commodore Express could be ready to derail.Unbeaten Vanderbilt is 5-0 SU for the fi rst time since 1943 but the Dores pull into the Starkville station today with nothing but bad pointspread numbers. For openers, Vandy has gone just 1-5 ATS against .350 or less opposition, they’ve failed to get the money in fi ve of their last six tries as SEC road chalk and if they remain favored at game time, the Commies will fi nd themselves in the role of ‘5-0 Fat Cat’, an affl iction that usually results in empty wallets for those looking to cash in with the high calorie crowd. MSU coach Sylvester Croom has had a week off to pick up the pieces from an awful 1-4 start and with the best of this week’s SMART BOX in his corner, Sly could up his record to 5-1 ATS as a dog playing with rest (Vandy currently 0-3-1 ATS against a rested foe). The Bulldogs have cashed in fi ve of the last six meetings, including three straight in front of the home folks, so we’ll expect the cowbells to clang loud and clear as Missy State bursts Vanderbilt’s bubble. THIS JUST IN: Game Six 5-0 SUATS dogs or favs of 3 or less points are just 1-4 SUATS.

3* BEST BET
OREGON over Ucla by 27
woeful Washington State last week because Saturday’s showdown with Oregon has all the makings of the Bruins’ earlier three losses in ’08,embarrassments that saw Rick Neuheisel’s team outscored by a 126-41 margin. Rick is not so slick when tangling with a PAC 10 foe off a loss,posting a miserable 7-21 ATS career mark (1-12 L13) and the Bruins head straight into the crapper in Game Six, covering just TWICE in the last 15 years. On the other hand, Oregon’s Mike Bellotti looks to be playing with a stacked deck. He’s a solid 15-7 versus the number at Eugene when playing with conference revenge, a stat that sweetens to 13-4 if his opponent is not undefeated. Believe it or not, Mr. Ripley, last year’s stupefying 16-0 Oregon loss at UCLA is the ONLY shutout suffered by Bellotti in his coaching career! Backed by the Ducks’ recent 10-1 string of ATS success as double-digit conference chalk, we gladly take fl ight with the Quack Attack.

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

John Fina

Selection: Miami Florida -17

Reason: Put us down on Miami Florida -17 for our Free College Football Selection on Saturday. Today Central Florida will be on the road as they take on Miami Florida. We will lay the points with Miami Florida! The fact that the Hurricanes are still a young team works in their favor for this matchup, as well as the fact that there is also a big difference in class between these two teams. The Hurricanes are going to show a lot of discipline and motivation after coming off two recent close losses to North Carolina and Florida State in ACC games. The intrastate rivalry between these two programs is intense for Miami Florida and they'll be looking for a rout and keen on protecting their rich recruitment base. Central Florida is a team with gravely inferior skill players, only scoring 3 TDs in their last three games on the road. The Hurricanes have enough skill to beat the Knights, who are having some issues with confidence and enthusiasm. Lay the points with the much superior team! Take Miami Florida -17

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

Tony Mathews

Iowa vs. Indiana
Play: Iowa -6

Iowa should be able to dominate both lines of scrimmage with ease this week and their superiority in the trenches means they’ll have no trouble covering the spread.

While the Hawkeyes were defeated by Pittsburgh, Northwestern and Michigan State in their last three games, they were close ones, where Iowa lost by only 9 points combined. Furthermore they out gained everyone of their opponents and had an average of 4 first downs more than each team that they faced.

Iowa’s misfortune is not due to skill per se, but to turnovers and a general bout of bad luck. The Hawkeyes allow an average of 13 points per game and their solid defense is perfectly capable of managing the Hoosier spread offense.

Iowa will “break the rock’ against Indiana with RB Shonn Green who possesses a lot of talent and has averaged 158 yards rushing in his last two games. The Hawkeyes are a good team that just needs to get over the hump to win.

Indiana does not play the role of the underdog well. For the last 35 times they've been in the Underdog role, Indiana is 11-23-1 ATS.

Take Iowa -6!

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

Marc Lawrence

Play On: Oklahoma State

The Cowboys battle the Tigers in a battle of Big 12 Conference unbeaten powers this evening. From our database we note that underdogs Game SIx matchups involving a pair of undefeated opponents are 10-2 ATS if the foe won its last game by 24 or more points. In addition, OSU head coach Mike Gundy is 3-0-1 ATS with the Cowboys in games off back-to-back wins when he is seeking revenge. With Missouri 0-3-1 ATS off a win in games before tackling Texas we'll grab the points with this high-powered offense.

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Bob Majors

Northwestern +1.5 vs Michigan St.

Michigan State Spartans (5-1, 2-0) has propelled into the rankings after winning 5 straight games.  Northwestern Wildcats (5-0, 1-0) have also won 5 straight and this is a Big Ten clash beginning in the early afternoon Pacific Time.

The Spartans battled Iowa last week and finally won 16-13 after a strong defensive effort stopped a fourth down in the 4th quarter to secure their victory. RB Javon Ringer leads the conference with a 174.7 scrimmage yards per game. 

The Wildcats came back September 27th against Iowa winning 22-17.  They also have a strong RB in Tyrell Sutton who carried the ball 24 times for 77 yards plus catching 6 passes for 72 additional yards.  He is also averaging 124.0 scrimmage yards per game to rank 6th in the Big Ten.

Northwestern won last year game in overtime 48-41 and has won four of the last six meeting with Michigan State.

The Spartans are 8-17 ATS in their last 25 conference games.  The Wilcats are 6-1 aTS in the last 7 games following a buy week.

Take the Wildcats at home plus the small number in a close game.

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Mr A

Purdue at Ohio State         

The Buckeyes should have no troubles against the Boilermakers. Look for quarterback Terrelle Pryor and running back Beanie Wells to batter Purdue's powerless defense, ranked 104th against the run.

Ohio State Buckeyes -18


New Mexico at (9) BYU

BYU potent offense led by quarterback Max Hall will be relentless with aerial attack against New Mexico. Mercy on the Lobos! New Mexico is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games.

BYU Cougars -24


Penn State at Wisconsin     

Nittany Lions are better on both sides of the ball. Look for Penn State's explosive offense, ranked ninth in the country this season, averaging 499.7 yards per game and scoring 44.8 points per game to stay unbeaten against their supposing toughest opponent of the season, the falling Badgers.

Penn State Nittany Lions -6
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Johnny Guild

Ball State Cardinals at Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

The hot Ball State Cardinals are undefeated with a 6-0 record and should have no problems against the Hilltoppers in Kentucky. Look for the Cardinals offense to overpower Western Kentucky, especially with a passing assault. Ball State is 6-0 ATS in their last six games and
15-4 in its last 19 road games.

Ball State Cardinals -16

Texas Tech Red Raiders -20.5
Auburn Tigers -17
Tulsa Golden Hurricane -24.5
LSU Tigers +6
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JB's Computer Picks

Tampa Bay Rays -110
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Bobby Maxwell

Texas vs. Oklahoma -6', at Dallas

We improved to 74-63 with our FREE selections Friday when the Phillies took Game 2 against the Dodgers. Today we're on the college gridiron for a comp play on the Sooners as they take on the Longhorns in the Red River Shootout.

The Red River Rivalry is alway a fun time but always seems to be a lopsided affair. The game hasn't been decided by less than seven points in any of the last 14 years. Today will be no different as Oklahoma flexes its muscle and takes it to the Longhorns.

The Sooners are putting up 49.6 points and 540 yards per game this season and they are getting outstanding play from sophomore QB Sam Bradford who is completing 72.6 percent of his throws for 1,665 yards, 18 TDs and three INTs. Their lowest point total this season came in a 35-10 win over TCU two weeks ago when they covered as an 18 1/2-point favorite.

Last week at Baylor, Oklahoma scored a 49-17 win as a 25-point road chalk. Last year against Texas, Bradford threw for three TDs as the Sooners got a 28-21 win. The last time both these teams came into this game ranked in the Top 5 was in 2004 when Oklahoma got a 12-0 win as a 7 1/2-point favorite.

The Sooners are on ATS runs of 4-0 overall, 4-1 after a spread-cover and 4-1 against teams with a winning record.

Texas has the offense to hang in this game for a while, but we're not sure they can stop Oklahoma from scoring. The 'Horns will make some key mistakes in the second half and you'll see the Sooners pull away. Play Oklahoma.

3♦ OKLAHOMA
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Drew Gordon

South Carolina -2' at KENTUCKY

Solid Free Play winner on the Phillies over the Dodgers 8-5 Friday! We turn our attention to the college Gridiron this Saturday...

At first glance this may not seem like such a bargain, but when you dig a little deeper the only play in this contest is the Gamecocks and here's why:

First, South Carolina has owned Kentucky, beating them 8 straight times in this series (6-2 ATS). Even worse for the Wildcats is they've lost to a Spurrier-led team every time they faced them, going 0-15 versus the Ol' Ball Coach! In other words, Spurrier knows how to beat Kentucky, and this particular Wildcats team is especially susceptible in this match up.

Why are they susceptible? Because while Kentucky's defense has been their strong suite, their offense is nothing to write home about with QB Mike Hartline taking over the reins from Andre Woodson. Sure, they managed to pad their stats against the likes of Norfolk State and Western Kentucky, but against one of the better stop-units in the SEC, we'll see this Wildcats offense get exposed in this one. Note, South Carolina may give up more points (14 vs 7), but they allow fewer yards per game than Kentucky (245 vs 259), having played tougher competition!

On the flip side, you have to like what you saw from the Gamecocks QB Chris Smelley last week at Ole Miss, tossing for a career-best 327 yards and 3 TDs! This was the same Ole Miss defense that gave Tim Tebow all he could handle, so don't go downplaying Smelley's effort in that contest. Granted, the Wildcats defense is excellent, but the Ol' Ball Coach clearly knows how to beat them, and with Smelley coming into his own, he's got the firepower to do it!

Finally, its no secret the Wildcats have burned their backers in Lexington of late, going just 1-4-1 ATS over their last 6 at home! Not only that, but with the Gamecocks being 7-3 ATS over their last 10 meetings, the trends clearly point to South Carolina. In the end, this is a hard fought defensive battle, eventually won by the better/hotter offense - South Carolina.

Take South Carolina over Kentucky in early SEC action.

2♦ SOUTH CAROLINA
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Sports Gambling Hotline

Tennessee at GEORGIA -12'

Today, we will lay the wood with the Georgia Bulldogs who should be more than ready to bang-a-gong, get-it-on against Tennessee.

First off, UGA laid an egg their last time on this field, as they let Alabama clobber them. Secondly, the Bulldogs have had an extra week to prepare for a team that has peed all over them the last 2 season's, and finally they are taking on a Tennessee team that has scored a combined, pathetic 31 points over their last 3 games!

We like the Bulldogs to get their double-revenge in a big way today, and send the Vols to another crushing defeat.

Tennessee can boast no better than a 3-3-1 spread mark their last 7 when installed as a dog, and Georgia does own a solid 6-1 spread mark their last 7 when playing off a bye.

Go right ahead and lay the double-digits, as the 'Dawgs take out some frustration on the offensively-challenged visitors from Knoxville.

Play on UGA.

5♦ GEORGIA
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Bobby Maxwell

Notre Dame at NORTH CAROLINA -8

We've got a comp winner coming your want today as we play North Carolina to get the job done at home against Notre Dame.

It seems like North Carolina has straightened out its season despite losing starting QB T.J. Yates two games ago. The Tar Heels have stepped up the defense and backup QB Cam Sexton has avoided the major mistakes.

The Heels lost Yates during a 20-17 loss to Virginia Tech but have since rallied to beat Miami 28-24 in South Florida and then returned home to beat UConn 38-12 last week as an eight-point home chalk. They were outgained and lost the time of possession battle but made the most of three INTs and a blocked punt.

Notre Dame held on to beat Stanford 28-21 and while the Irish have won four of their first five games, this not a good team yet. They are on the right track to getting back to being a national contender but it isn't there yet. Look for North Carolina's defense to completely shut down the Irish.

The Heels are on ATS runs of 7-3 at home, 9-3 against teams wtih a winning record, 5-1 in non-conference action and 4-1 in October. Notre Dame is just 12-21-1 ATS overall, 5-9 as a 'dog and 2-5 ATS against the ACC.

We like how this Tar Heels team has responded to injury. The defense has decided it will lead the way and they'll get it done today against the Irish. Play North Carolina.

2♦ NORTH CAROLINA
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Drew Gordon

Arkansas +17 at AUBURN

Solid Free Play winner on the Phillies over the Dodgers 8-5 Friday! We turn our attention to the college Gridiron this Saturday...

Look guys, I think we can all agree that Auburn will win this contest, but how can you possibly back this Tigers bunch as double-digit favorites when their offense is nowhere to be found?! Did you know that Auburn is just 4-13 ATS over their last 17 as a double-digit favorite, including back-to-back ATS losses in that spot to Southern Miss (27-13 SU win, but no cover as -19' point favorite) AND at Mississippi State (laughable 3-2 SU win, but no cover as -10 point fav)!

Its clear the perception of this Razorbacks team has taken a nose dive after 3 straight BRUTAL SEC contests. However, before you go jumping ship on this Arkansas team, consider the fact they were only down 17-7 to Florida at the start of the 4th quarter in their last game. They held the Gators to 14 first half points, and collected the only interception of Tim Tebow this season, so don't go quitting on this Razorbacks defense just yet, as they're just starting to show signs of improvement.

I don't want to beat a dead horse, but the fact coach Tuberville fired his offensive coordinator 6 games into the season should say something! The Tigers rank 104th nationally on offense, and facing a team desperate for a win, and extremely familiar with the Tigers blitzing defense is NOT a good match up, not as a double-digit favorite. The fact the underdog is 6-2 ATS over their last 8 meetings is also a very tough to ignore!

Bottom line, Auburn's defense is excellent, but after watching Arkansas play 3 solid quarters of defense against the Gators last week, I'm convinced they can keep the sputtering Tigers offense at bay, keeping this game well within the number!

Take Arkansas plus the points over Auburn in afternoon SEC action.

2♦ ARKANSAS
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Karl Garrett

Ball State -15' at WESTERN KENTUCKY

Sure this is a big price to lay on the road with a school named Ball State, but the G-Man believes the edge in this one is so huge, I must lay it!

The Cardinals are perfect at 6-0 straight up, going 4-0-1 against the spread in their 5 lined game thus far. A look at common opponents reveals the Hilltoppers losing to Indiana, 31-3, and the Cardinals drilling the Hoosiers, 42-20. Based on that fact alone, the Cards should roll by 24 points minimum.

Ball State is off next week, and only plays lowly Eastern Michigan the following week, so you know they will want to air it out in a big way in this one.

State has also covered 16 of their last 21 games, and currently find themselves in the Top 25 for the first time in school history.

Ball State to name it in this absolute blowout, rout, burial.

4♦ BALL STATE

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Bob Balfe

Western Kentucky +16.5 over Ball State

Ball State is off to a 6-0 start and are ranked in the top 25 for the first time ever. Talk about pressure. The Cardinals have a great offense and a very experienced team, but they do allow 350 yards a game and have been very fortunate this year at getting turnovers or teams faltering at the right times. The betting public is all over Ball State and this line should be in the 20's if Vegas wanted even money on each side. This game is set low for a reason. Look for the Hilltoppers to give Ball State their best shot. Take Western Kentucky.

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Rocketman Sports

Purdue / Ohio State 
Play:1* Ohio State -18 1/2

Purdue is allowing 38 points per game on the road this season.  Ohio State is scoring 32.7 points per game at home this year.  Ohio State is allowing only 16.2 points per game overall and 11.2 points per game at home this season.  Ohio State is 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS at home vs Purdue since 1992.  Purdue is 1-4 ATS before playing Northwestern last 5.  Boilermakers are 8-20-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.  Boilermakers are 5-17-1 ATS in their last 23 games following a SU loss.  Boilermakers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.  Boilermakers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.  Boilermakers are 3-14-1 ATS in their last 18 games in October.  Boilermakers are 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall.  Boilermakers are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games following a double-digit loss at home.  Boilermakers are 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.  Buckeyes are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games in October.  Buckeyes are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.  Buckeyes are 23-8 ATS in their last 31 conference games.  Buckeyes are 15-7 ATS in their last 22 games following a ATS win.  Favorite is 7-2 ATS in their last 9 meetings.  Home team is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 meetings.  We'll play Ohio State for 1 unit today! 

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Gamblers World

New Mexico Lobos vs. BYU Cougars

Prediction: BYU Cougars

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Tom Stryker

NEVADA (-) over New Mexico State

This is going to be an awfully tough spot for New Mexico State. The Aggies have dropped 10 of their last 11 in this series and must travel to Mackay Stadium to face a red-hot Nevada bunch. In case you haven't noticed, Wolf Pack starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been in a zone in his last two games tossing for 716 yards and eight touchdowns!

Fading coach Chris Ault's troops in Reno hasn't been a wise investment either. At home, Nevada has cruised to a 30-15 SU and 28-13 ATS mark in its last 45 games including 13-2 ATS in this set priced as a favorite. With those two parameters applied and the Wolf Pack off a blowout win of 10 points or more, this situation zips to a sensational 7-0 SU and ATS.

Meanwhile, going against New Mexico State on foreign soil has been a lucrative option over the years. In fact, in their last 41 as a guest, the Aggies are a dismal 7-34 SU and 13-27 ATS including 9-23 ATS in this set running without rest.

The Wolf Pack offense has been in high gear in the last two games (98 points and 1,127 yards) and they'll be primed for this contest. Lay the lumber here men! Take Nevada.


MISSISSIPPI ST (+) over Vanderbilt

With its spotless 5-0 SU record and shiny No. 13 ranking, Vanderbilt makes the voyage to Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field in search of its sixth victory of the season. I sure hope the Commodores enjoyed their recent success because they won’t leave Starkville with a “W” in their pocket. MSU head Coach Sylvester Croom and the Bulldogs will be revved up and ready to pull of this upset. My system book agrees.

At game six of the regular season or later, the pressure for undefeated road favorites starts to mount. Since 1980, college teams in this specific set are a soft 162-211 ATS. There are a couple of tighteners to this system that makes things worse and Vanderbilt applies to one of them. If our undefeated game six or later road favorite enters off an underdog win, this situation crashes to a wallet-breaking 5-15 ATS including 1-12 ATS provided our piece of chalk is laying -14’ or less! The Commodores apply to all three sets.

Mississippi State can play a lick of defense and they’ll be able to keep Vandy’s offense in check. The Bulldogs are one of the nation’s best against the pass (ranked 11th) allowing just 153.4 yards per game. Also, MSU has recorded an average of 6.6 tackles-for-loss each game and that places State 27th in the nation in that defensive category.

Since the 1983 season, Vanderbilt has been installed a conference road favorite six times and it has produced as stiff 2-4 SU and 1-5 ATS record. Respect is certainly to the Commodores and the job they’ve done this season. However, conference road favorites that carry a winning record (greater than .500) have dropped 54 of their last 86 games to the Las Vegas number provided they just won straight up as a conference home dog in their last game. Grab all the points you can get here men. Take Mississippi State!

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Ben Burns

Boston Bruins at Minnesota Wild
Prediction: Minnesota Wild

The Wild had a great regular season last year, finishing on top of the Northwest Division. They ended up losing in the first round of the playoffs though which should mean that they'll be extremely anxious to rid the "bad taste" from their mouths. The Wild, who were a solid 5-2 during the preseason, should be strong again this season. They've been great at home for years and they've also fared well vs. teams from the East. In the history of the franchise, the Wild are a profitable 63-49 (+13.9) against non-conference opponents. They're also 6-1 all-time against the Bruins. I believe that the current price is fair and feel that they've got an excellent shot at winning their home opener. Consider Minnesota

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Scott Rickenbach

Utah / Wyoming
PICK: Wyoming +23.5

The Cowboys narrowly missed my card today. It may seem tough to trust Wyoming with the poor numbers they've put up this season. However, they're very hungry for this game as they've been embarrassed by Utah in their recent meetings and it's created some intense feelings between these two head coaches. The Cowboys will do everything they can to battle the Utes tough all the way in this game. A blustery day in Laramie should also give an advantage to the big dog getting all the points here! Wyoming should enjoy the Utes high powered offense being somewhat neutralized by the weather conditions in Wyoming Saturday afternoon. The Utes have struggled some recently with mistakes on both sides of the ball and that makes it tough to cover a large pointspread like Utah is being asked to cover on Saturday! In essence, Cowboys Head Coach Glenn knows his team is playing for his job and Wyoming will be doing everything they can against what has become a hated rival. That means this game will be much closer than what the odds makers are calling for. Play Wyoming plus the points on Saturday afternoon!

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Jimmy Moore

Texas vs. Oklahoma
Pick:Oklahoma -6.5

Both teams have been very impressive so far this season but Oklahoma has done it against a better schedule. Look for the Sooner defense to have some success against the Longhorns offense to get the win and cover for the Sooners.

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O.C. Dooley

"1 UNIT" COLLEGE COACHING INTANGIBLE

Auburn -16' at home versus Arkansas

The "coaching intangible" involves current Arkansas headmaster Bobby Petrino who created a ton of controversy a year ago when he virtually walked out of an NFL contract with the Atlanta Falcons immediately following a Monday night appearance.  Petrino who was grilled by the national media informed the various Falcons players by issuing a note, rather than facing them in person.  But the ultimate controversy involving Petrino was back in the 2003 season when he was in the middle of a highly successful four-year run at Lousiville where his team compiled a brilliant 41-9 overall record.  Back in 2003 offcials from Auburn actually flew to SECRETLY interview for Tom Tuberville's job.  The news of that interview quickly LEAKED to the national media which ultimately saved Tuberville's job as he is still at Auburn, while Petrino retained his position at Louisville.  To make a long story short, today marks the FIRST TIME that Bobby Petrino has traveled to Auburn since that infamous 2003 interview with school officials.  Since Tommy Tuberville was in line to be fired by that inerview, you know that he would love to whip Petrino this afternoon.  Of course Arkansas has already been whipped, allowing a scary total of 139 points in the past 3 games with all of them blowout losses to ranked teams.  The bottom line is that Auburn's ailing offensive attack which has a current #14 national ranking, is facing the perfect defense to instantly get "healthy" against.  On Wednesday of this week Auburn created some controversy of their own when offensive coordinator Tony Frankin was fired as the players simply could not adjust to his complicated "spread" attack. To give you an idea how poorly the Auburn offense has performed, they have 57 plays for NEGATIVE yards which is WORST in the entire nation.  Once again the Tigers are facing a wretched Arkansas defense which in one road game this season at Texas got lit up for 52 points, at the right time. It was one week ago when ESPN's "Gameday" pregame show visited the campus of Vanderbilt for the first time ever, which caused alot of excitement for the Commodores who are off to their first 5-0 start since way back in 1943.  The fact of the matter is that Auburn has lost by only a combined SIX points in a pair of 2008 defeats.  Auburn just happens to be tied for #2 nationally in scoring DEFENSE, allowing the opposition to average only 11 points per contest.  My research indicates that the Tigers have outscored competitors by a whopping 75-16 in the first-half so far.  I have also found out that in the past 5 years, Auburn has WON 9 of 10 times when shaking off an outright loss on the scoreboard.  Auburn also is 7-1 ATS when off a straight-up loss when they were cast as a road favorite.  As explained earlier in this analysis, today Tommy Tuberville finally gets REVENGE against Bobby Petrino who nearly cost him his job at Auburn a little more than five years ago

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Indiancowboy Comp

Wisconsin +6

The line movement here surprises me a great deal. The line opened up at -4 and has quickly gone up to -6 in favor of Penn State. I understand that the love for Penn State here as they are a decent team, but with 58% of the public favoring them the line has jumped to their end. But, is Penn State really that good? This is a Big 10 game on the road for the Nittany Lions. Wisconsin is irritated with two losses and they are at home where they recently loss to Ohio State by a field goal. They come off back to back losses as they lost to Michigan on the road prior to that game - a game in which they were favored. Yes, Penn State beat Purdue, but by no means does that mean Wisconsin is equal to Purdue as the Badgers are desperate for a win and frankly, I think they can win this game outright. This will be my comp pick for Saturday as the desperate Badgers off back to back losses face a Nittany Lion team that has yet to be tested on the road. Penn State is just 1-5 ATS when facing teams with a winning record and the home team is 4-0 ATS in this series of late. I believe the line is inflated here given Wisconsin's lack of covers of late, but they likely cover here.

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Mr East

Texas Longhorns / Oklahoma Sooners
2 units Under 56

The Red River Rivalry will play it's 2008 edition, when the Oklahoma Soonerrs head to Dallas to take on the Texas Longhorns. This is a huge game, with National Title implications, both enter ranked in the top 5. Oklahoma Coach Stoopes is 3-0 ATS when both these teams come in with such lofty rankings. Both these teams enter with perfect resumes, getting it done on both sides of the ball. Oklahoma has been 3 yards per play better than their opponent, averaging 6.8ypp on offense while allowing a stingy 3.8ypp on defense. The Longhorns have been 2.1ypp better than their opponents at 6.6ypp on offense to a defense that is allowing just 4.5ypp. If there is one tell-tale that marks this game, that has to have you concerned if your a Sooner fan, it's the fact that the only real defense they played was TCU, and they were held to just 25 rushing yards on 36 carries! The same TCU team made 8 trips into OU territory in that game, but came away with 0 points. That tells me that this game is not going to be as high scoring as many believe. Bradford has done a great job, and certainly deserves Heisman attention, but he hasn't been under pressure all season. The fact that the Sooners could stop a team 8 times in + territory without allowing a single point, legitimizes their 3.8ypp defense, and Texas is going to meet their biggest resistance yet this season. These teams have put up some huge offensive numbers before this meeting, but that is always the case, as each of these teams often come into this one averaging 30-40 or more points a game, because of the position on the schedule, building against some soft touches. I expect this game to be played close to the vest, feeling each other out, and finding where the weaknesses are, and would expect this one to play under the total! Give me 2 defenses of this magnitude, and a total in the mid 50s, and I'll ride the under everytime!

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