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SUNDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
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FALSE FAVORITE GOY
I'm playing on MIAMI. The Bills have been on quite the roll and they were more impressive than the Dolphins last week. That has caused Buffalo to be a slight road favorite here, which I feel is a mistake. Let's not forget that the Bills got crushed 41-17 in their last road game. Back in a hostile environment, I expect them to suffer their second loss this afternoon. It's true that the Dolphins didn't play particularly well last time out. They're a much improved team this season though and that was evident in their previous three games. The Dolphins were 3-0 ATS in those three games. They lost by one at Houston (and very nearly won) and they defeated San Diego after crushing the Patriots at Foxboro the previous week. While the Bills would really like to win, the Dolphins desperately NEED to win. As coach Tony Sparano had to say: "It's important for a lot of reasons. We need to win another home game. We need to win a game in our division. We don't want to fall behind these people. We're not conceding anything here. This is an important game, it really is, and I think our players understand that." While Edwards has been impressive at quarterback for the Bills, Pennington has also been excellent for the Dolphins. Of course, he's got a pair of excellent backs at his disposal. The Bills haven't seen the Wildcat formation and I expect them to have some trouble with it. While the Dolphins may be without Jason Ferguson, it should be noted that the Bills are dealing with numerous injuries on both sides of the ball. Reports from the Dolphins camp are that they are really fired up for this game and ready to go. Several players said Wednesday's practice was their best practice of the season. Left guard Justin Smiley had this to say: "You could just hear it. You could hear these pads. Those things popped today. People were hitting each other. It was a spirited practice...Today, everybody came and was hungry. It was a great practice. I was pretty pumped about that." Look for a determined effort from the Dolphins as they carry over the positive energy from practice and earn the victory, vaulting back into the AFC East race. *2008 False Fav GOY
NFC GAME OF WEEK
I'm taking the points with DETROIT. While they remain winless, the Lions have been involved in back to back close games, earning the cover in each. This afternoon, they'll face a Washington team that has been involved in a close game every single week of the season. The Redskins won by four points last week after losing by two (vs. winless St. Louis) the previous week. They've now seen ALL seven of their games decided by single digits. Those seven games were decided by an average of less than five points each. Considering their tendency to play down to the level of their opponents, it's not particularly surprising to find that the Skins are now a money-burning 1-10-1 ATS the last 12 times that they faced a team with a losing record. While the Lions have been a losing franchise for a long time now, they tend to perform well at home after an extended losing streak. In fact, they're 11-2 ATS the last 13 times they played at home off five or more consecutive losses. Other than running out of the end zone, Orlovsky didn't make many mistakes in his first start. He's got another game and week under his belt and has been in this offense for a few years now. He's got a big arm and was a winner in college. This is his chance, along with several other young Lions, to show that he belongs here and to make a name for himself. I don't believe that this team has quit yet and they'd desperately like to win a game for the home fans. The Redskins can say all the right things about not looking past the Lions but that's easier said than done, as they've got a big Monday night home game on deck and will be over-confident from having blown out the Lions last season. Look for that loss to provide some added motivation for the Lions this week as they take another game down to the wire with a solid shot at earning their first victory. #1 NFC GOW
NFL TOTAL OF WEEK
I'm playing on Arizona and Carolina to finish UNDER the total. It's true that the Cardinals' offense has really been clicking so far this season. However, they've still seen two of their three road games finish below the total and they haven't faced a defense this good yet all season. Carolina is allowing only 14.9 points per game, including a mere 8.2 at home. Not surprisingly, the Panthers have seen the UNDER go a perfect 4-0 in their four home games and 6-1 overall. They faced another potent offense last week and responded by holding the Saints to just seven points. They have now given up just 16 points in their past three games here. The Saints entered that game with the second best offense in the league and QB Brees was averaging a league-leading 332.2 yards passing. His passer rating was 105 and he had 12 touchdown passes in his first six games. He had 27 completions of 20 yards or more in those first seven games. Against Carolina, he had a QB rating of just 61, by far his lowest of the year. He finished with 231 yards and no touchdowns. More than half of those yards came in the fourth quarter, when the game was already out of reach. As mentioned, the Cardinals have seen two of three road games finish below the total. The score of the lone game (at NY Jets) that was high-scoring was somewhat deceiving though, as the Cardinals gave the Jets numerous opportunities on a short field by turning the ball over in their own territory. Forced to play "catch up," the score got out of hand. Their other two road games saw 36 points scored at San Francisco and 41 at Washington. These teams also faced each other last October. That game had an over/under line of 38.5. This afternoon's number is several points higher, providing us with excellent value. Note that last year's game still finished below the number, finishing with a final score of 25-10 in favor of Carolina. Following last year's game the Cardinals had a bye week. After the bye week, they scored just 10 points in a game which finished with a final score of 17-10. That's worth mentioning as the Cardinals also coming off a bye this week. Including last year's result, they've seen the UNDER go 2-0 the last two times they were coming off a bye and 11-5 the last 16. The Cardinals have seen the UNDER go 15 their last 20 home games. They've also seen the UNDER go 6-1 the last seven times they were coming off a victory vs. a division opponent. Looking back further and we find the UNDER at a highly profitable 31-12-2 their last 45 in that situation. Look for another big defensive effort as this game proves lower-scoring than most are expecting once again. *total of the week
Re: SUNDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
4-Unit Play. Take 'Under' 42.0 Buffalo at Miami
2.5-Unit Play. Take Dallas (-2.5) over Tampa Bay
2-Unit Play. Take Cincinnati (+9.5) over Houston
2-Unit Play. Take Detroit (+7.5) over Washington
2-Unit Play. TEASER: Take Jacksonville (-0.5) over Cleveland AND Take Philadelphia (-2) over Atlanta
2-Unit Play. Take ‘Under’ 46.0 San Diego at New Orleans
1.5-Unit Play. Take San Diego (-3) over New Orleans
1.5-Unit Play. Take Buffalo (-1.5) over Miami
2-Unit Play. Take Tennessee (-4) over Indianapolis
Re: SUNDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
ASA 3-Star #206 @ Miami (+1.5) over Buffalo
This is a huge game for the Fins. They are just 2-4 on the season and they cannot fall much further behind in the AFC East. Buffalo has some cushion with only one loss this year, however they have not played great in their two road games. The Bills were crushed @ Arizona 41-17 and in their road win @ St. Louis they were out gained by 103 yards. This Buffalo team is definitely improved, but not quite ready to be laying points on the road. Many have talked about how well Buffalo QB Trent Edwards has been playing, but lets not forget about the Dolphins Chad Pennington whose numbers are right there with Edwards. Pennington has completed nearly 69% of his passes for 1400 yards. His running game with Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams has also been solid. They have proven they can beat good teams tripping up both San Diego and New England this year. Off two straight losses @ Houston and at home vs. Baltimore, Miami really needs this win. The Bills are coming off a big home win vs. San Diego last Sunday. While they shouldn’t look past the Fins as they are very under rated in our opinion, with huge games vs. the Jets and Pats on deck, Buffalo could be flat here. The Bills are banged up in the secondary with starting CB Terrance McGee and Ashton Ybouty possibly out this week. That would leave Buffalo with just three corners, two of which are rookies. Also, DE Aaron Schobel, their best pass rusher, might be held out due to an injured foot. Miami’s head coach Tony Sparano is a hard nosed leader who was REALLY upset with the way his defense played last week. Expect Miami to play much better on that side of the ball this week. The Bills have had trouble running the ball with starter Marshawn Lynch yet to crack 100 yards. That will be a problem again on Sunday as the Dolphins allow just 97 YPG. The Bills are simply not yet to be trusted on the road as they are just 14-31 SU their last 45 away games. Now begin favored might be a bit too much against a decent Miami team. We’ll take the points with the homer here.
ASA 3-Star #210 @ Philadelphia Eagles (-9) over Atlanta Falcons
The Eagles come in at 3-3 and being in the ultra tough NFC East, this is pretty much a must win game at home. After this game, Philly plays three of their next four on the road so they will definitely play with a sense of urgency here. Also, despite a .500 record, the Eagles are in LAST place in the AFC East behind the 5-1 Giants, the 5-2 Redskins and the 4-3 Cowboys. They simply cannot afford a loss at home this weekend with the potential of falling even further behind that talented trio. Both teams are off a bye, however we feel that gives Philadelphia more of an advantage. Top notch defensive coordinator Jimmy Johnson will have some very confusing schemes now designed to throw off rookie QB Matt Ryan. Johnson loves to blitz and we expect Ryan to be completely baffled by what Philly will throw at home this week. The Eagle defense allows just 91 YPG rushing, so look for them to take away Atlanta’s vaunted rushing attack and put the pressure squarely on Ryan’s shoulders. Not something a rookie needs in a tough road venue. Atlanta is just 1-2 SU in their three road games losing by identical 24-9 scores @ Tampa and Carolina. They did beat GB 27-24 with an injured Aaron Rodgers directing the Packer offense. The Falcons have been out gained in all three road games, including their win. Ryan has completed just 50% of his passes on the road and he has thrown 3 interceptions and just 2 TD’s. Philly has played the MUCH tougher schedule already facing the likes of Dallas, Washington, Pittsburgh & Chicago. The Eagles have outgained their opponents at home by an average of 100 YPG and won by an average of 12 PPG. QB Donovan McNabb has been playing lights out at QB and he gets his #1 weapon Brian Westbrook back in the line up on Sunday. The very good home team is back into a corner and must win this game. They do it EASILY. Take Philly and lay the number.
UNDER 42 Cleveland Browns @ Jacksonville Jaguars
First off, statistically when we plug the numbers into our mathematical model this game should have a Total set of 37.5 NOT the 42 that Vegas has posted. The Browns offense has really struggled this year and has scored 11 or less points in 4 of 6 games this season which has them ranked 30th in the NFL in total ‘O’. More importantly for us is the fact that they scored an average of 1-point for every 16.66 yards gained with puts then 27th in the league in yards per point scored. Cleveland Brown fans are mystified by the decline of the Browns offense which returned essentially intact from last year, averaged over 25 ppg and was 8th in the league in Total ‘O’. Defensively though the Browns defense has played very well when it comes to yards-per-points allowed, ranking 3rd in the league at 18.64. Meaning it takes Browns opponents 18.64 yards to score 1-point which is very good. Jacksonville comes into this game having faced four explosive offenses which makes their defensive numbers a little misleading. Overall the Jags rank 21st in the NFL in Total ‘D’ but again if we look at yppa they are 8th in the league at 15.96 or they allow 1-point for every 15.96 yards gained by their opponent. Offensively they’ve put up some big scores but it takes them a lot of yards to get those points. They average 14.83 ypps which ranks them 16th in the league. The Jags are looking to get their running game going which was evidenced by their 155 rushing yards against the Broncos two weeks ago. RB’s Taylor and Jones-Drew should have good success against a Browns defense allowing 4.8 yards per rush. Collectively we can’t see this game topping 40 points. Play under!
Re: SUNDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
9* 77.8% Non-Conference ATS BLOWOUT**
REASON FOR PICK: **9** 77.8% Non-Conference Game of the Year** The last two weeks have shown how teams can completely turn things around if they want to. Since Scott Linehan was fired, the Rams have a newfound confidence as they have won their two games under Jim Haslett and they have come against two tough opponents in Washington and Dallas. Yes, the Cowboys were without Tony Romo but if this game was played three weeks ago, St. Louis probably would not have shown up. This league is about confidence and the Rams have it right now.
New England caught some very early breaks against Denver on Monday night with turnovers and an injury to quarterback Jay Cutler. It was an impressive win no doubt but it is very unlikely the Patriots can do it two weeks in a row. That win over Denver was a big one and with a game at Indianapolis next week, this is a horrible spot for New England. The wins by St. Louis may have caught its attention but I am far from sold on this offense and its very aging defense.
The St. Louis offense is making strides. Marc Bulger, who was benched under Linehan which did not go over well with the other players, is coming off his best game against the Cowboys as he posted a 118.5 passer rating. The Rams 34 points scored was a season high and was just nine fewer points that the club had totaled over its first four games of the season. Steven Jackson ran everywhere against Dallas and there is no reason to believe he won’t do it again against the Patriots.
New England lost safety Rodney Harrison for the season and even though he is old, he was a big part of the defense. The secondary was not good to begin with and his loss hurts both the passing defense as well as the rushing defense. The Patriots are allowing 7.7 ypa which is 24th in the league and they are allowing 4.5 ypc on the ground which is also 24th. Thus the 313.2 ypg allowed overall, which is 13th in the NFL, is extremely skewed as this team gives up big chunks.
The St. Louis defense is no prize as it is 29th in the NFL overall but the Patriots offense is a shell of what it was last season. Matt Cassel had solid numbers against the Broncos but he is still unable to get the ball downfield on a consistent basis. Sammy Morris ran all over Denver but I don’t see him putting up another big game. The Rams defensive line is making strides. After recording just three sacks in their first three games, the Rams have 11 sacks in their past three contests.
As mentioned, the Patriots were beneficiaries of turnover by the Broncos on Monday night and that plays against them here. Play against favorites of 3.5 to 10 points after a game where they forced five or more turnovers going up against an opponent after a game where they committed no turnovers. This situation is 28-8 ATS (77.8 percent) since 1983 with the average point differential actually favoring the underdog at +0.9 ppg. The Rams keep the momentum going. 9* St. Louis Rams