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BIG AL

5* NCAA FOOTBALL RIVALRY GAME OF THE YEAR

At 12 Noon, on Saturday, our 5* Rivalry Game of the Year is on the Texas Longhorns plus the points over Oklahoma. In the sports world's latest "Game of the Century," both teams enter the contest unbeaten -- both straight-up and ATS. And like many other rivalries, it's profitable to wager on the dog. Since 1988, the favorite in this Red River Rivalry is a poor 7-13 ATS, including 3-9 ATS if its net yards per rush is less than 1.9 yards. The Longhorns have been terrific as an underdog since 1987, going 36-19-1 ATS their last 56, including a super 12-1 ATS since November 1993 off a momentum-building pointspread win. Also, Texas falls into three of my very best College systems, which have records of 23-3, 48-10, and 136-66 ATS. 5* Rivalry Game of the Year on Texas.


5* Texas+7
4* Northwestern+3
Opinion Kentucky Even (pick)

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Ben Burns

Big 10 GOY

Wisconsin

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Jeff Bonds

Double-Dime Bet

Florida / LSU Under 47.0

The LSU Tigers have had quite a long time to prepare for this battle and I anticipate that Les Miles will have a very conservative approach offensively for his freshman QB, as they travel to the Swamp for a night game.

On the other end - questions abound on the health of Percey Harvin and even when he was a 100% against Tennessee - Florida had trouble moving the ball at times.

Both enter a very favorable total trend, as the UNDER is 15-4 in Florida's last 19 games when revenging a loss of seven or fewer points and the UNDER is 12-3 in LSU's last 15 road games against top flight offenses.

Can't see more than 40 points scored in this MONSTER MATCHUP of the previous two national champions.


Double-Dime Bet

Oklahoma / Texas Over 57.0

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Tommy Rider

Double-Dime Bet

Nevada / New Mexico St. Over 67

Every single thing points to this game going way over. I actually have a projected score of 88 here, which is three entire touchdowns over the total. This should probably be a 3 Unit play but I've been burned on some totals this season and I have a bigger play for this week. This is one of my classic "One teams runs the ball well against a team that can't stop the run vs. a team that passes the ball well against a team that can't stop the pass.

Nevada ranks fourth in the nation in rushing offense, averaging 308.0 yards per game on the ground. The Wolf Pack has two of the top three rushers in the WAC, quarterback Colin Kaepernick is second at 102.2 yards per game and running back Vai Taua is third at 85.2 yards per game. Nevada is seventh nationally in total offense, averaging 521.2 yards per game. Defensively, Nevada ranks 118th against the pass, allowing a whopping 332 yards per game.

Meanwhile, the Aggies are allowing teams to run over them for 221 yards per game on the ground. Quarterback Chase Holbrook will have a big day throwing the football but New Mexico State will have no answers for Nevada's rushing attack.

Nevada is averaging 36.6 points per game, while the Aggies are scoring 27.5 points per game. The two are allowing tons of points, too, with Nevada surrendering 31.6 per contest and New Mexico State allowing 29.0. There is no way around it, this will be a shootout and an easy OVER.


3 UNIT SEC GAME OF THE YEAR

Florida +6.0 vs LSU 


Double-Dime Bet

Illinois -11

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Right Angle Sports

2* Bowling Green  / Akron Over

2*  Boise St / Southern Miss Over

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DR BOB

3 Star Selection
OREGON (-18.0) 44 UCLA 16

3 Star Selection
Kansas St. (-2.5) 34 TEXAS A&M 21

3 Star Selection
NORTH CAROLINA (-8.0) 35 Notre Dame 18

2 Star Selection
South Carolina (-1.0) 20 KENTUCKY 10

2 Star Selection
ARKANSAS ST. (-13.0) 42 UL Monroe 20


College Strong Opinions

SMU (+25.0) 30 Tulsa 49

Boise St. (-10.5) 38 SOUTHERN MISS 21

Clemson 17 at WAKE FOREST 16 UNDER 42.0

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Scott Spreitzer

25* Texas

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Spylock

All 1 unit plays

Cincinnati -7.5

Utah -23

Vanderbilt -2.5

Arkansas State -13

Oklahoma State +14

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Nathan Armstrong

10* Underdog Game Of The Year

Colorado +14

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Allan Eastman/Ace Ace

$500.00 Western Michigan (+1.5) over Buffalo
The Bulls are a nice upstart program in the MAC but we’re going to back the tried and true Broncos in this one. Western Michigan has won all three meetings in this series by an average of 17.3 points apiece, including a 10-point victory last season. Buffalo has had two weeks to prepare for this one, but they are just 0-4-1 ATS after a bye.

$400.00 Eastern Michigan (-1) over Army
Army pulled one of the more stunning upsets of the week last week, beating Tulane as a 20-point underdog. It was their first win of the season and teams off a win as a 20-point (or more) dog are usually a solid fade in their next game. Army is just 2-8 ATS in its last 10 home games and they are playing an Eastern Michigan team that is a bit better than its record. EMU just beat a very talented Bowling Green team (doing so as a 19-point underdog!) and the Black Knights are just 1-5 ATS against MAC teams.

$400.00 Iowa State (+5) over Baylor
I just don’t think that Baylor should be laying points to anyone. Iowa State has played three tough games in a row – almost beating Kansas, losing in overtime to UNLV, and playing a tight rivalry game at Iowa – and I think they are ready to break through the win column. Statistically, the Cyclones have the better offense and the better defense in this game. The underdog is 4-1 ATS in this series.

$300.00 LSU (+6) over Florida
We’re going to be going with power in this one. LSU has dominating offensive and defensive lines and I think that they will control the smaller Gators. LSU is the defending national champions for good reason, and if Florida had trouble with Ole Miss at home they should get run through by the Tigers. This is way too many points for Florida to be laying in a game that LSU can win outright.

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Larry Ness

LEGEND Play-CFB (10-2 or 83.3 percent ATS in CFB since '05)

Georgia


Las Vegas Insider 7-3 in FB '08

UTEP

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Computer Crushers Guaranteed Selections

500K BIG EAST CONFERENCE CRUSHER PLAY OF THE YEAR
West Virginia -24


500K CONFERENCE USA CRUSHER PLAY OF THE YEAR
Tulsa -24.5


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Sports Wise Guys

5 Star Picks

Arizona State +27 over USC
Michigan State -2 over Northwestern
Tennessee +12 over Georgia
Arizona -6 over Stanford
Cincinnati -7.5 over Rutgers

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Youngstown Connection Guaranteed Selection

Red River Shoot Out Winner
Texas +6

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ASA

TEXAS A&M AGGIES (+3.5) over Kansas State Wildcats
3-Star Texas A&M +3.5

With the way KSU’s defense has been playing, there is no reason for them to be favored on the road. The Wildcat stop unit has allowed 577, 509 and 626 yards and 44 PPG their last three games (vs. Louisville, Louisiana-Lafayette & Texas Tech). And while the Aggies have not been a potent offense this season, it looks to us that they are starting to “come around” with Mike Sherman’s new schemes. They should be able to do some damage against the nation’s 102nd ranked defense. Last week vs. Oklahoma State, even though they were beaten badly, the light came on for the Aggie offense. They put up 28 points and 402 yards of total offense (184 rushing and 218 passing). Their 184 yards on the ground came at a 6.1 yards per carry clip which should continue this Saturday vs. a Wildcat defense that has allowed 5 yards per carry this season. QB Jerrod Johnson, who subbed for the injured Stephen McGee the last two weeks is getting better. However, there is a chance McGee returns from an injured shoulder this week. Either way, expect the Aggies to move the ball on Saturday. We mentioned earlier about the defensive struggles the Cats have had their last three games. Well those deficiencies go back further to last season. If you take out their two “cupcake” games this year vs. North Texas and Montana State, this Kansas State defense has been absolutely shredded their last 6 games. You saw the numbers for this year where they have allowed 1,712 yards in their LAST THREE GAMES, however let’s glance back at the end of 2007. They faced off vs. Fresno State, Missouri and Nebraska, the Wildcats allowed 1,678 yards on those final three of last year. Thus, minus the North Texas and Montana State games this year, KSU has allowed a horrible 3,390 total yards their last six games (vs. opponents with at least a pulse). That’s an average of 565 yards per game! This KSU team is not the Bill Snyder led Wildcats of old. Their defense is weak, their running game is suspect and they can’t win on the road. They have only won 2 of their last 9 games dating back to last season and those wins were against an 0-5 North Texas team and a Division 1AA Montana State team. Their road woes are worse. This team is just 2-13 SU their last 15 road tilts dating back to 2005. Not a team you would want to back in the role of road favorite. We’ll fade them here and take A&M to win this game at home.


MISSISSIPPI STATE BULLDOGS (+2.5) over Vanderbilt Commodores
3-Star Mississippi State (+2.5)

Well, Vanderbilt is now 5-0 after a 14-13 win over Auburn on Saturday. As far as we’re concerned they are the worst undefeated team in the country. We give the Commodores credit for being unbeaten, however this is not a team you want laying points on the road. They aren’t that good quite yet. Well Vandy finally put up more yardage than their opponent for once. That out gained an offensively challenged Auburn team by 55 yards. The Dores did that by gaining only 263 yards on the day. This team only averages 278 total YPG so they are not a team that is going to run away with any games. Before last week, Vanderbilt was actually out gained in each of their previous three games which were wins against Ole Miss, Rice and South Carolina. Not only were they out yarded, it was a drastic difference with their opponents in those three games netting 1,117 yards combined while Vandy only came up with 771 total yards in those contest. In other words, they were winning games they probably shouldn’t have been. Mississippi State is just 1-4 on the year, however they are a very dangerous home dog in this game. They have had two full weeks off because of last Saturday’s bye and they have played very well in their two SEC games this season easily covering both. The Dogs lost 3-2 at home vs. Auburn as a 10-point dog. They also traveled to one of the toughest venues in the county, not to mention one of the best teams in the nation, and lost 34-24 @ LSU as a 24-point puppy. This Vanderbilt team is not accustomed to being “at the top of the mountain” in the SEC. In fact, they have been a road favorite in the SEC just 3 times since 1995. They are 0-3 ATS in those games. They have been winning with smoke and mirrors as their offense is among the worst in the nation (114th in total yards). They now are laying points on the road vs. a rested team with a pretty good defense. Those are not the ingredients for success. We’ll call for the out right upset as Mississippi State wins this one at home.


GEORGIA BULLDOGS (-12.5) over Tennessee Volunteers
ASA 4-Star Georgia (-12.5)


BAYLOR BEARS (-4.5) over Iowa State Cyclones
5-Star Baylor (-4.5)

The Bears were playing pretty good football until they ran into gigantic buzz saw last week in Oklahoma. A hiccup in that game was to be expected as the Sooners are playing fantastic football right now. OU whipped Baylor 49-17 as was to be expected. However, watch this week as the boys from Waco bounce back. Before running into the Sooners, the Bears had won 2 of their previous 3 games with their only loss coming @ UConn by just 3 points. This team is starting to play much better on offense as they are now grasping new coach Art Briles complex system. They are especially efficient running the ball as they stand 16th nationally in that category averaging 218 yards per game on an impressive 5.5 yards per carry. Their freshman QB Robert Griffin is a very tough match up for any defense as he has not only passed for 831 yards but he has also run for nearly 500 this year. That’s a ASA’s SEC Game of the Week This section of 1st & Goal has our SEC Game of the Week. We have great ties or contacts in this region and have always done well with our SEC picks. See who we like this week below. terrible match up for an Iowa State team that has struggled to stop the run in 2008. The Cyclones are allowing their opponents to rake them for 175 YPG on nearly 5 yards per carry. That ranks them near the bottom of Division 1A at 94th. Baylor’s offense is tough to prepare for and ISU will have serious problems containing them on Saturday. This will be a tough game mentally for ISU. That’s because this team was on the verge of a HUGE upset last week and home and blew it. They led Kansas 20-0 at halftime and couldn’t hold on. It would have been the Cyclones first win over a ranked team since 2005. The Jayhawks took control immediately in the second half scoring TD’s on their first three possessions to take a 21-20 lead. Iowa State had the ball with just over one minute remaining and a chance to drive into field goal range a get a win. They were unable to move the ball and lost 35-33. Now going on the road will be tough. Iowa State has played two road games this year and lost both @ UNLV and @ Iowa. This is a young team that will have a tough time bouncing back in this spot. Baylor will be ready to atone for last week’s big home loss.

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Teddy Covers

Big Ticket - Arkansas
4* Ohio State
3* Northwestern
3* Okie State
3* Georgia
3* LA Tech
3* FLA International
2* Central Michigan

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BEN BURNS

BIG 10 GAME OF YEAR

I'm taking the points with WISCONSIN. Penn State has admittedly played very well thus far. However, the games have been getting progressively more difficult and this is by far the toughest yet. Not only are the Nittany Lions facing their toughest opponent but they are also playing the second of back to back road games for the first time this season. Note that the Nittany Lions were 0-3 SU/ATS the last two years when playing in that situation. Last season, after playing at Michigan the previous week, the Nittany Lions were favored at Illinois. They lost outright. Later in the season, after winning 31-0 at Temple the previous week, the Nittany Lions were favored at Michigan State. Once again, they lost outright. In 2006, the Nittany Lions only played back to back road games once, which is the case for them again this season. Also like this year, the 2006 Nittany Lions back to back road games came at Purdue and at Wisconsin. That season, Penn State went into Purdue and beat the Boilermakers by 12 points. However, when they traveled to Wisconsin the following week, they were beaten by double- digits. While the Nittany Lions have been playing well, due to the fact that they're loved by the betting public so much, they still haven't been able to cover their inflated pointspreads the last couple of weeks. Last week, despite significantly outgaining the Boilermakers, Penn State had to settle for a push (vs. the closing line) at Purdue. In fact, the Nittany Lions were lucky to even get the push, as Purdue had a touchdown called back, missed a pair of relatively field goals AND missed a point after attempt. The previous week, the Lions won but didn't cover vs. Illinois. Including those results, Penn State is now a money-burning 3-12-1 ATS its last 16 conference games. Since beating up on Wisconsin last season, they're 0-5-1 ATS in six Big 10 games. Note that this week's line has risen from it's opening number, providing additional value with the home dog. It should also be mentioned that Penn State is 4-8-1 ATS the last 13 times it was favored on the road by -3.5 to -7 points and is also 4-8 ATS the past few seasons when coming off back to back SU victories. Paterno knows that the Badgers will be an extremely tough test and was quoted as saying: "I think this will be a real physical test for it (PSU defensive line). No question about it. Wisconsin is a very big, strong, well organized, precise, experienced offensive football team with a dynamic kid running the quarterback spot." Last year's loss at Penn State was Wisconsin's worst loss under coach Bret Bielema and will provide plenty of added motivation for the Badgers here. After back to back heart-breaking losses vs. Michigan and Ohio State, the fear of falling to 0-3 in conference play should also ensure an extremely motivated effort. Yes, the Badgers have lost two in a row. However, as Bielema noted: "...we're five points away from being a 5-0 football team." The 3-point loss to Ohio State was their first home loss since 2005. The Badgers are 5-2 when hosting Penn State and the two losses (1996 and 2002) both came by only three points. The Badgers are a terrific 18-7 ATS (16-9 SU) the past 25 times that they were coming off back to back SU losses and I look for them to bounce back in a big way again here. *Big 10 GOY

GOW

I'm taking the points with MIAMI OHIO. The Huskies are favored by this much because they are playing at home and because they have been the more competitive team thus far. They're still only 2-3 though (Miami is 1-4) and I don't believe they are ready to be laying double-digits. Keep in mind that this team went just 2-10 last year and that the two wins (vs. Idaho and Kent State) both came by just seven points. This year's team brought back a ton of starters and is certainly improved. However, I don't believe that they're as good as the betting public believes them to be. They fought very hard and played well at Tennessee last week - that's a tough loss to overcome though, as they nearly pulled off the upset and the players have been thinking all week about "what could have been." The Huskies are currently dealing with some serious quarterback issues. Redshirt freshman Chandler Harnish was great in a week one start at Minnesota but he went down with an injury at Western Michigan. Although still recovering from off-season shoulder surgery on his throwing arm, senior Dan Nicholson took the majority of the snaps after Harnish's injury. However, Nicholson injured his non-throwing shoulder last week and did not return for the second half. Neither Harnish nor Nicholson are back to 100% yet which leaves a hole at quarterback. Either they'll have a QB who isn't 100% or they'll be down to third stringer DeMarcus Grady. Note that Grady was four of 10 for 39 yards last week. Either way, note that the Huskies are 0-4 ATS the last four times that they were favored in the -10.5 to -21 range and that they lost three of those games outright. Overall, the Huskies are a dismal 3-9 ATS the last 12 times that they were laying points. It's true that the Red Hawks have under-achieved thus far and that they're coming off a disappointing loss. They're still the defending MAC East champs though and they brought back a whopping 17 starters from that team, including nine on the defensive side of the ball. Note that they outgained league opponents by 97.8 yards last season, which was the best in the MAC. They know that their season is essentially a write-off if they lose here but also know that they can get back in the MAC East race with a win here, as no team in that division is currently better than 1-1. The Red Hawks are 5-3 ATS the last eight times that they were underdogs in the +10.5 to +21 range. During that stretch, they've also gone a perfect 3-0 ATS when playing a road game with an over/under line ranging from 42.5 to 45. These teams have met three times since 2002 and all three meetings were decided by 11 points or less, most recently a 3-point game in 2006. Look for this afternoon's game to prove closer than most are expecting once again. *GOW

FALSE FAVORITE GAME OF MONTH

I'm taking the points with MISSISSIPPI STATE. Vanderbilt has certainly gotten off to a great start. However, I still don't believe that the Commodores are as good as their perfect record indicates. Additionally, this is an extremely difficult spot. For starters, they're on the road at a venue where they have always struggled. Additionally, they're potentially in a big letdown spot, after recording one of the bigger wins in school history last week, a hard fought and physical 14-13 affair vs. Auburn. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs come in desperate for a victory and well-rested after having had last week off. Note that the Bulldogs have won six of their last seven against Vanderbilt at home, winning each of the last five meetings here since 1971. Prior to their bye, the Bulldogs had played well, easily covering in a 34-24 loss at LSU. Coach Sylvester Croom had this to say: "I thought we played hard. We played with a lot of passion and commitment throughout the course of the ballgame. We got better at a lot of things." Including their cover vs. the Tigers, the Bulldogs are now 4-1 ATS since 2006 when coming off consecutive SU losses. During the same stretch, they've gone 3-0 ATS when coming off a bye. Looking back further and we find that the Bulldogs are a profitable 25-16-1 ATS the last 42 times that they played a game with a line ranging from +3 to -3. During the same stretch, the Commodores were just 3-10 SU/ATS when playing a game with a line in that range, including 0-3 SU/ATS the last few seasons. The Bulldogs have only played two home games so far. They took care of business against Southeastern Louisiana (34 -10 win) and they very nearly beat Auburn in their only other game here, losing by only one. I'll take the points but I look for Croom to have his Bulldogs ready and for them to play the best game of their season and hand the Commodores their first loss. *False Favorite GOM

BLUE CHIP TOTAL

I'm playing on Iowa and Indiana to finish UNDER the total. This over/under line has climbed from its opener and now sits above the key number of 44. I believe that offers us terrific value for a game which I expect to be low-scoring. For starters, note that the UNDER is a perfect 7-0 the last seven times that the Hawkeyes played a road game with an over/under line in the 42.5 to 45 range. This year's Hawkeyes are allowing an average of 11.2 points per game, which is the second best mark in the entire country. With an average of only 34.6 combined points per game, it's no surprise that the Hawkeyes' five lined games have ALL stayed below the total. Looking back further and we find the UNDER at a highly profitable 15-3 the last 18 Iowa lined games. It's true that the Hoosiers' defense doesn't rank among the best in the country. Through five games, Indiana is allowing an average of 23.2 points. However, the Hawkeyes have been making all defenses look good lately. Iowa scored just 13 points last time out, the fourth straight time it failed to score more than 20. Since Iowa primarily likes to run the ball, it should also be noted that while the secondary has been somewhat suspect, Indiana's run defense has actually been quite respectable, allowing 122 rushing yard per game. That's well below the league average of 151.2 per game. The Hoosiers also like to run the ball frequently. In fact, their 38.8 rushing attempts per game is even more than Iowa's 37.5 per game. The Hoosiers will be running against an Iowa defense which allows only 98.8 yards per game on the ground and just 281 overall. Indiana managed only seven points and 293 points vs. Minnesota last time out and this Iowa defense is even better. While the offense struggled, the Hoosiers did play well defensively against the Gophers. They limited Minnesota to 16 points and 333 yards. The defense got four sacks and forced a pair of turnovers. Look for the defenses to play well again this week and for a heavy dose of the run

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EZ WINNERS

5* Miss. St. +3 (buy the .5 point)

3* Georgia -12.5

2* S. Carolina -3

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Glen Mcgrew

Blowout GOM Texas Tech

Big 10 GOY Northwestern

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Jim Feist

TV GOM Wisconsin

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