Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday September, 30

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday September, 30

Andre Gomes

Seattle / St Louis Under 39

Games between the Seahawks and the Rams are generally low scoring affairs and this game should keep this tradition pretty much alive. Seattle is playing very well on this early season, but this has been achieved via a very conservative playbook, where QB Russell Wilson doesn't take any kind of risks, leaving RB Marshawn Lynch the responsibility to carry the team's offense. This is resulting in a solid but very unspectacular offensive production for Seattle, something that has been compensated extremely well due to a great defense that is playing like a top defensive team in the league right now. Now against the Rams offense that is clearly compromised due to an OL that can't protect Sam Bradford at all and with RB Steven Jackson nursing a groin injury, I expect Seattle's top quality defense to keep the Rams offensive production to a minimum today.

On the other side, as I've said, the Seahawks play on a very conservative playbook, therefore it is unlikely to see them having huge offensive plays on their games. The Rams' defense seems improved from last year under Jeff Fischer's guidance and with the Seahawks' passing game not being a danger, I expect the Rams to focus on stopping the Seahawks running game and being at least a bit successful in doing that.

With Seattle's great defense stopping the Rams' poor offense and with St Louis also having a defense decent enough to prevent the conservative Seahawks to have a great offensive game today, I believe this game will end up being a low scoring affair, with both teams playing a rather conservative football and without a lot of big plays. Therefore, I see value on the Under on this contest, even with this low totals line and so, I'll be taking the Under in here.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday September, 30

Matt Rivers

27-13 free play run with a Saturday sweep on Northern Illinois and South Carolina.

Sunday's free play is to back the undefeated Cardinals at home against the Dolphins.'

Miami should have won their game last week at home against the Jets, and I have a strong inkling they will still be stewing over that loss when they take the field in Glendale this afternoon.

Miami's only other road foray was Week One when rookie signal-caller Ryan Tannehill was intercepted three times by the Houston Texans in a 30-10 loss at Reliant Stadium. Arizona's defense has been every bit as tough as Houston's, so expect the rookie to add to his interception total after this game goes final.

Arizona is off to a 3-0 start both straight up and against the spread, and today will be their first try installed as the favorite. The role did not bother them last season, as Ken Whisenhunt's team went 3-1 in that role at home last year, and the Cards have covered 10 of their last 13 overall dating back to last year while also going 10-2 straight up their last dozen games contested.

Miami has been a tough out in the "road underdog" role the past few seasons, but a rookie QB on the road against a defense this tough is a disaster waiting to happen.

Take Arizona.

4♦ ARIZONA

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday September, 30

Jeff Benton

7-1 free play run heading into Sunday thanks to Northwestern covering on Saturday against Indiana.

Your Sunday freebie is the Over in the Saints-Packers contest.

Much has changed since these teams opened the 2011 season in the Big Easy and combined for a whopping 76 points.

As we all know, New Orleans is still in search of their first win, while Green Bay is coming off that horrific non-call on Monday night in their loss to Seattle. Both teams should be eager to strap it on today. and you can surely assume that they will be trading points rapidly as well.

The New Orleans defense is allowing 34 points per game, so after facing the rugged defenses of San Francisco, Chicago and Seattle, look for Aaron Rodgers to finally get his discount double-check working in this one!

Drew Brees has been able to get his team points - 83 of them in fact through three games - and while the Packers defense has been stingy their last two times out, they did allow San Francisco to come up with 30 points that first week of the year.

The Saints have played Over the total in 14 of their last 22, while the Packers are on a 14-6 Over run of their own since last year.

Take the Over to come through in this New Orleans-Green Bay meeting.

4♦ NEW ORLEANS-GREEN BAY OVER

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday September, 30

Craig Davis

Today's free play is on the New Orleans Saints to cover the number against Green Bay. The Packers won last season's meeting 42-34 in one of the more exciting season openers in a while. Drew Brees threw for 419 yards while Aaron Rodgers completed 27 of 35 passes for 312 yards and a couple of touchdowns.

The time before that the Saints blasted the Packers, 51-29, in a game that Drew Brees threw for 323 yards and four TDs. I think it's safe to say both QBs should have good games today, but despite what's happened to the Saints through three games, I still don't believe they should be getting this many points.

I can't tell you how many times this week I've heard someone say, "I'd hate to be Green Bay's next opponent after they got screwed Monday night." The more I hear it, the more I want to go the other way. Sure, they may be seething after that horrible call in the end zone vs. Seattle, but that's not going to make them play any better today, is it?

Are the Saints to blame that the replacement officials sucked? Does Green Bay all-of-a-sudden become more motivated to win because they were dealt a bad hand Monday night? Absolutely not. They will play the same way they would if they'd won that Monday night game. Thinking otherwise is foolishness.

The Saints, on the other hand, are also mad at the league... but for a different reason. But that reason, the pre-season suspensions, has been an excuse too long. Saints players say they are sick and tired of using that as a crutch, and starting this week things will be different. No more blame; no more excuses.

The Saints ranked sixth in the league with 132.9 rushing yards per game last season, which was a big reason for Brees's success... they were more balanced. So far this year, New Orleans is averaging only 92.7 rushing yards per game... good for 22nd in the league.

Having said that, they're still averaging 27.7 points and get ready to face a defense that still hasn't figured itself out. And not only has the defense not figured itself out, but what about Aaron Rodgers. The former league MVP had 45 TD passes a year ago, but finds himself at 3 after 3 games. Yikes.

I have no doubt both teams will play as well as they can, but seven points is just too many. Take the Saints as your free play of the day.

2♦ NEW ORLEANS

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday September, 30

Wunderdog

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh
Pick: Pittsburgh +130

Cincinnati is favored again here, but this team has already clinched and is playing like it at 2-2 the last four games scoring a total of 5 runs in four games! They were favored in all four games, too.  This is the third road game of a season ending a six game trip for the Reds and despite heading to the postseason this is not a great offensive team, ranked 21st in runs scored and 18th in on-base percentage. Cincy goes with Johnny Cueto, but watch him carefully as his last game Cueto's left hamstring tightened as he ran the bases in the second inning, but he stayed in the game. You can't risk an arm like his in a meaningless game with the playoffs on the horizon. In addition, Cueto began this month 0-3 with an 8.22 ERA in his first three starts of September topping the 200 innings pitched mark for the 26-year old. Pittsburgh is off a win yesterday as a home dog and goes with Wandy Rodriguez (12-13, 3.79 ERA), an above average pitcher who is 2-0 his last three starts and in his last seven starts he's gone 4-1 with a 2.98 ERA over that stretch while racking up 28 strikeouts. Play the Pirates.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday September, 30

OC Dooley

Redskins +2

Due to their intense rookie head coach who has received criticism for being too aggressive when opponents line up in “victory” formation, host Tampa Bay enters today’s contest undefeated (3-0 ATS) where it counts. But not only are the Buccaneers being asked by the oddsmakers to lay points this afternoon, they are seemingly facing the wrong opponent. There was much excitement last Sunday when the Redskins played their regular season home opener officially unveiling heavy-hyped quarterback Robert Griffin III in front of the faithful fans. But a long term pattern held up as Washington ended up losing outright at home for a SEVENTH consecutive time. Thus one can argue that this team is actually better off playing on the road where late today a banged-up defense that has yielded a whopping 442 yards per game seemingly will be catching a break. That Redskins stop-unit goes up against a Bucs attack which is averaging a league LOW 258 yards per contest. Quarterback Josh Freeman has the worst completion percentage (51.3) in the entire NFL. My research indicates that the Redskins have COVERED NINE IN A ROW when up against an excellent rush defense who allowed on average less than 71 ground yards per game. Here is a whopping “22-4” SYSTEM (85% the past decade with a money line between +3/-3) which plays ON road teams like Washington with a terrible defense yielding at least 360 totals yards per contest, after permitting at least 400 total yards in three consecutive contests

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday September, 30

Bryan Leonard

San Francisco / San Diego Under 7.5

Tim Lincecum heads to the hill for the Giants, looking to gain some momentum before the postseason. Lincecum has been outstanding in his career against the Padres, with a 2.28 ERA in 21 career starts. Over those 138 innings, the Padres have hit just .207 against the unorthodox right hander. In 10 career starts at Petco Park, Lincecum has a 2.15 ERA. Lincecum wants to make amends for his mediocre regular season by being a force in the playoffs and the first step on that path is to end the season strong. Edinson Volquez takes the mound for the Padres, looking to finish his first season with the Padres on a high note. Volquez, the former Cincinnati Red who had to endure the hitter-friendly conditions of Great American Ball Park, has really enjoyed pitching at Petco Park, going 6-5 with a 2.89 ERA in 16 starts. With two fairly inconsistent offenses and two pitchers who are comfortable in the Petco Park environment, this has the makings of a low-scoring affair. Home plate umpire Gary Cederstrom is a pretty neutral umpire as it pertains to totals, so he should let the pitchers do the work here.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday September, 30

Jeff Scott Sports

4 UNIT PLAY

San Francisco -3.5 Over NY JETS: In watching the Jets offense these days it is obvious that they have no identity and really don't know how to use Tebow in their offense. They look lost at times out there with him in there and I feel it has been more of a distraction for this team than anything else. The Jets are not a good offense to begin with so they don't need the distractions. Now they get to take on one of the best defenses in the league and a San Fran team that is very angry after laying an egg in Minnesota last week. The Jets last week vs Miami were outgained by 100 yards on the ground and now they must contend with this power running game of of the Niners. The Niners run game will then set up some easy passes and that is not good news for the Jets who will are without Revis for the rest of the year. New York is really in disarray right now and I just don't see them coming up with a good enough effort to stay close in this one.

3 UNIT PLAYS

Arizona/ Miami Under 39: This Arizona defense has been special in the early going as they have held teams to just 316 ypg and 11.4 ppg. Their run defense is key here and this front 7 has been solid, allowing just 106 ypg on 3.9 ypc. Miami is a run first offense as they have put up 175 ypg on the ground and with all that running they will eat plenty of clock here. I expect the Cardinals to try and take the run away and that will force rookie QB to make the kind of plays that he's just not ready to make of yet. On offense the Cardinals have not really been a down the field kind of offense. They come in averaging just 263 ypg on a mere 4.5 yards per play, while scoring just 22.3 ppg. This is not a team that will score quickly or take too many chances as they know that with the defense they have they can just play the field position game. Dating back to the preaseason Miami has had troubles scoring and it will not get much better in the desert today, while Arizona's own offense will not get much vs a an underrated Miami defense. KEY TREND--- The Under is 11-2 in Miami's last 13 road games vs the NFC.

POWER ANGLE PLAY

San Diego -1.5 over KANSAS CITY: I like the Bolts in this one, mainly due to their defense, which is far better than that of the Chiefs.  Kansas City is 16th in total defense (347 ypg allowed), but 28th in points allowed (33 ppg). Not very good at all. The Chargers offense has been held in check in 2 of their three games, but this team has way too much offensive talent to be kept down for too long. Ryan Mathews will be making his second start of the year and he will only get better in the coming weeks. For Kansas City, they are all about running the ball as they are tops in that department at 191.7 ypg, but year in and year out the Chargers have been stout at stopping the run, allowing just 67.3 ypg (4th in league). The Chargers defense is much better than the Chiefs and they will make Cassel beat them, which is something that he isn’t accustomed to be asked to do. The Chargers offense will only be better now that Mathews has a game under his belt. San Diego bounces back from last week’s tough loss. POWER ANGLE FOR THIS PLAY--- Play against home teams if the line is +3 to -3 if they are off 1 or more Unders in a row and allow at least 14 ppg in the first half of games this year. Teams in this spot are just 3-22 ATS the last 5 seasons. 


New England -3.5 over BUFFALO: 2002 was the last time the Pats lost 3 games in a row and I don't expect them to here in this one. Even at 1-2 the Pats are still a very good team and still are the favorites to win the AFC East. Questions about the Pats offense were answered last week when they put up 30 points on a very good Baltimore defense. The Pats passing game was in high gear and will be taking on a weak Buffalo pass defense that has allowed 248 ypg through the air thus far. The Pats can be thrown on, but Buffalo is all about the run and the Pats have allowed just 82 ypg on the ground so far this year. Buffalo has looked good the last two weeks, but that was vs weak competition and remember that they did allow a weak Jets offense to put up 48 on them in week 1. New England is off a tough loss last week and they are a very angry bunch just looking to take their frustrations out on someone. Sorry Buffalo, but you will be the sacrificial lamb in this one.

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