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THURSDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
Re: THURSDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
2 Star Selection
Furman (+12) over CITADEL
The Citadel has won 10 consecutive games and is coming off a 64-46 upset win at Davidson in which Wildcats’ star Stephen Curry did not play. While the Bulldogs have been winning games, they haven’t been winning by big margins and they’ve won just 1 of their 11 home games by 10 points or more (a 14 point win over Western Carolina). The Citadel is 16-5-1 ATS in all games this season, but just 5-5 ATS at home and 0-2 ATS as a home favorite of 7 points or more, so they tend to play to the level of their opposition. Furman is 8-0-1 ATS in their last 9 games and The Citadel applies to a very negative 0-25-3 ATS subset of a 42-104-3 ATS big home favorite letdown situation while also applying to a negative 22-57 ATS situation that plays against double-digit favorites that haven’t played in more than a week. My rating favor the Bulldogs by 11 ½ points, so the line is fair, and I’ll take Furman in a 2-Star Best Bet at +11 points or more.2-Stars at +11 or more.
2 Star Selection
New Orleans (+11 ½) over ARKANSAS LITTLE ROCK
New Orleans is coming off a 16 point loss as a 7 ½ point dog at UL Lafayette while Arkansas Little Rock is coming off an upset win at North Texas. That’s a nice scenario for the underdog New Orleans squad as both these teams play better after a loss and both play better as underdogs. New Orleans is just 8-16 ATS after a win in two seasons under coach Joe Pasternack, but the Privateers are 11-5-1 ATS after a game in which they lost straight up and lost to the spread (5-0-1 ATS this season) while also being better as an underdog (16-12-1 ATS) than they are as a favorite or pick (5-13 ATS). The Privateers are at their best as an underdog after a straight up and ATS loss, going 8-1-1 ATS in that role. Little Rock is just 6-18-2 ATS when favored by 7 points or more (1-8 ATS this season) and the Trojans are just 9-17 ATS after an upset win (1-5 ATS when favored by 7 or more). In addition to the team trends, Little Rock applies to a negative 17-62-3 ATS big home favorite letdown situation. My rating favor Little Rock by 11 ½ points, so the line is fair, and I’ll take New Orleans in a 2-Star Best Bet at +11 points or more and for 3-Stars at +12 or more.2-Stars at +11 or more, 3-Stars at +12 or more.
2 Star Selection
STANFORD (+5 ½) over Ucla
Stanford has lost 7 or their last 9 games, but 5 of those losses have come on the road and the Cardinal have been pretty good at home with wins over NCAA Tournament bound Arizona and Cal. The Cardinal are still winless in conference road games after losing 3 consecutive games away from The Farm, including the last two as favorites at Oregon State and at Oregon, but Stanford plays with a lot more confidence at home and have done a good job of bouncing back from losses on this floor. Stanford is 3-0 straight up and ATS this season at home after a loss, beating Arizona 76-60 after losing to Arizona State, beating Cal 75-69 after losing consecutive road games in the state of Washington, and beating a decent Washington State team 65-54 to end a 3 game losing streak that included a 63-97 loss at UCLA. Stanford has also been good when new coach Johnnie Dawkins has had 3 or more days off in between games to prepare, as the Cardinal are 9-2 ATS this season in such games – including 6-0 ATS at home. That 34 point loss at UCLA actually sets up Stanford in a very good 30-4-1 ATS subset of a 94-30-2 ATS humiliation revenge situation. I know UCLA is coming off an upset loss to Washington State, but the Bruins are just 1-4 ATS in recent years as a road favorite of 4 points or more following a loss and that 94-30-2 ATS situation is 16-2 ATS when the opponent is coming off an upset loss. Stanford also applies to a 51-13-1 ATS strong home court underdog angle. UCLA has struggled away from Pauley Pavilion this season, as the Bruins are just 2-5 straight up away from home against teams of NIT quality or better with the victories coming by just 2 points and by 4 points. Two of those games were against teams of Stanford’s caliber and those games were a 3 point loss on a neutral floor to Michigan and a spread losing 2 point win at Washington State. UCLA simply doesn’t play well defensively, as the Bruins have allowed 48% shooting in Pac-10 games this season and have allowed 50% shooting or higher in each of their past 4 games. Stanford is not a good defensive team either, but the Cardinal are a good offensive team that can take advantage of UCLA’s defensive lapses and keep this game competitive. My ratings using all games this season favor UCLA by just 3 points and using UCLA’s road games against Stanford’s home games would result in an even game. Stanford has struggled in Pac-10 play but using conference games only would favor UCLA by only 6 points and that number would be 3 ½ points if I only used Stanford’s conference home game ratings. The line is too high no matter how I crunch the numbers and the situation favors the Cardinal. I’ll take Stanford in a 2-Star Best Bet at +5 points or more and for 3-Stars at +6 points or more.2-Stars at +5 or more, 3-Stars at +6.
2 Star Selection
SANTA CLARA (+10) over Gonzaga
Santa Clara has under-performed most of the season, but the Broncos have shown that they can compete with good teams with a home win over St. Mary’s (by 18 points) and close losses to UAB, Arizona, and at St. Mary’s (all by 3 points or less). One game against a good team in which the Broncos did not compete was a 53-95 loss at Gonzaga in mid-January, but that loss actually sets up Santa Clara in a 94-30-2 ATS humiliation revenge situation and Gonzaga applies to a negative 86-168-9 ATS road letdown situation. My ratings favor Gonzaga by 9 ½ points, so the line is fair, and I’ll take Santa Clara in a 2-Star Best Bet at +9 points or more and for 3-Stars at +11 or more.2-Stars at +9 or more, 3-Stars at +11.
Re: THURSDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
5 Dime - Florida International
Big revenge game for Florida International as it dropped a 68-63 decision at Middle Tennessee State January 10 in the season's first meeting, a game in which it trailed by 14 with a little over 10 minutes to play before staging a late road rally. But there's more than payback at stake for the Golden Panthers tonight as they're in the running to host a first-round conference tournament game next week with two games left to play in the regular season, both on their home floor.
Florida International is coming off a 79-66 loss at conference leader Western Kentucky, but don't be alarmed as the Hilltoppers were the team with revenge on Saturday having been upset in Miami back on January 8 as a six-point road favorite in a 81-79 loss. The Golden Panthers have made a habit of pulling off big upsets at home this season as their previous home outing put an end to Troy State's 10-game winning streak as they knocked off the Trojans 87-86, a game where they blew a 13-point lead before hitting a three-pointer to prevail with three seconds to play. FIU also beat Fordham from the Atlantic-10 and Toledo from the Mid-American Conference at home this season while barely losing to South Alabama (57-62) from Conference USA and Cleveland State (58-66) from the Horizon League.
Two Thursdays ago I told you to go against Middle Tennessee State when I backed Troy at home against the Blue Raiders as my College Revenge Game of the Year selection. One of the key reasons was the fact that MTSU simply struggles on the road. It just managed to snap a five-game overall road losing streak and notch its first conference win in six highway outings with six-point win over a 6-23 Florida Atlantic squad on Saturday.
Florida International has gotten a tremendous boost from the return of star freshman forward Freddy Asprilla, who returned from a injury-caused, seven-game absence with back-to-back outings of 16 points and 8 rebounds and 21 points and 15 boards. He had 28 points and 10 rebounds in the Golden Panthers' loss at Middle Tennessee State earlier this season.