Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday October, 6

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday October, 6

PORTS WAGERS

Series - San Francisco +115 over CINCINNATI

The Reds have home field advantage but the first two games are in San Fran and that bodes well for the Giants with Matt Cain going, followed by Madison Bumgarner. The Reds’ also clinched early, which allowed them to set up their rotation of 19-game winner Johnny Cueto, followed by Bronson Arroyo and Mat Latos.

Still, the edge on the hill has to go to this talented and experienced starting staff of the Giants. Cain won his final six regular-season decisions and struck out 193 batters in 219 1/3 innings this season. He hasn't lost in 10 starts since Aug. 6 at St. Louis and has plenty of post-season cred to fall back on. Madison Bumgarner went 10-3 at AT&T with a 2.38 ERA. Tim Lincecum and his outstanding playoff profile will start game three in Cincinnati. Despite Lincecum’s struggles this season, that’s still a daunting trio to have to face.

Cueto is a Cy Young candidate that is coming off his best season but he has a history of late season struggles and this year was no different. He lost his first three September starts to Philly, Houston and Miami before beating the Cubbies, Brewers and Pirates. Those were six very winnable games but Cueto won just two while surrendering 14 runs to the former three. Untrustworthy Bronson Arroyo starts game two followed by Mat Latos in game three.

The Reds enter this series still looking for their first playoff win — that’s game not series — since sweeping the Dodgers in the Division Series back in 1995. They could come in tentative and ripe to get beat. The Giants come in peaking at precisely the right time. San Fran had the best record in baseball (18-8) and hit .295 as a team in September. Since August 1, they’ve averaged 5.2 runs per game. That gives them an edge at the plate, not to mention its already established edge on the hill, edge in experience and a definite managerial edge over what some are calling the worst playoff manager ever in Dusty Baker. Give the Reds an edge in the pen but all other signs point in the Giants direction. If Cinci wins this series, so be it but we’re going with the best of it by taking back a tag on the team with fewer weaknesses.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday October, 6

BOB BALFE

Central Michigan +11.5 over Toledo

Again I think this is a game in which the wrong team is favored. Last week I advised you to take the CMU money line and they did not cash against N. Illinois, but I am not giving up on this veteran team. Toledo has won the past few years with ease and I think this is the year CMU gets a victory. Toledo has a young offensive line and their center might not play today. Central Michigan’s Offensive Line has been one of the best in the nation since last year as they do not allow many sacks. The key for me is Toledo’s Defensive line which is banged up and on the young side. The Line play should be dominated by Central Michigan. I like the money line here at +340 especially with all those defensive line injuries for the Rockets. CMU has good experienced targets at WR and an experienced QB. If they cant get it done today then we will write this team off as a failure. Take Central Michigan.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday October, 6

Chuck O'Brien
         
Now, let's get to your first free pick for Saturday, as I feed off last night's rock-solid Under in the Utah State-BYU game, which upped my comp run to 117-84-3.

Tonight I take you down to Ruston, Louisiana, where the UNLV Rebels are in town to play the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at Joe Aillet Stadium. And believe me when I tell you, the Dawgs are going to shred the Rebels, making them look like the dismal UNLV team we're all used to, not the scrappy program that has could easily be 3-2, not 1-4.

I watched all four of UNLV's home games, and know exactly what happened in its lone road game so far, last week at Utah State. And I can tell you this is an entirely different 'losing team' than we've seen in past years. It's not secret Bobby Hauck is likely on the hot seat, but truthfully, this might be the most talented 1-4 team he's had since arriving in Las Vegas.

Now, that all being said, if there is one game the Rebels are going to get roughed up in, it's this one. After traveling up to Utah last week, and now having to come down to Louisiana, I don't think the Rebels have enough firepower to keep up with the Bulldogs.

Honestly, La Tech possesses one of the nation's most dangerous attacks, one that has embarrassed Illinois, 52-24; came back on Virginia, 44-38; and that struck for more than 50 points in its first three games.

That won't bode well for a UNLV defense that ranks 92nd in the nation and that is tied for 85th in the country in allowing 30.4 points per game. UNLV has now given up exactly 35 points in three straight games, to: Washington State, Air Force and Utah State. I can only imagine what the Bulldogs, who average 52 points a game, will put up today. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised to see them score double what the Rebels have given up in those three contests.

Yes, Louisiana Tech could very well score 70 points in this game.

After all, the Dawgs have won two straight against teams from BCS automatic qualifying conferences by a combined margin of 96-62. And with this being only the second home game for La Tech, in five weeks, but one that starts a three-game homestand, I have to believe it'll be more than ready to run it up.

The Bulldogs are looking to move to 5-0 and would match the program's best start since opening the 1975 season 5-0. It will also extend its regular season winning streak to 12 games with this blowout win.

Lay the big number with confidence, as the Bulldogs romp.

5♦ LOUISIANA TECH

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday October, 6

Matt Rivers

Utah State a free play winner last night, now 31-16 with my comp play selections.

Saturday's free play is the Cincinnati Bearcats to run over the Miami-Ohio Redhawks.

Miami-Ohio comes in Nippert Stadium with wins in their last pair of games, but they have not had much luck in this series, as the Redhawks are winless versus the Bearcats since the 2005 season.

Cincy is on a six game series winning streak, covering in five of those six, and five of the wins have come by 24-points or more! That is what I call domination, and that is why I have no issue laying the near three touchdowns in this spot.

Cincinnati has won all three of their games thus far, including a pulsating 27-24 upset win over Virginia Tech last Saturday at FedEx Field.

Could the Bearcats be a little high on themselves coming into this game?

Possibly, but with only Fordham on their schedule next weekend, I don't think it will take long for Butch Jones to get his teams attention and have the Bearcats pile the points on the Redhawks.

Go ahead and lay the wood as Cincy keeps their perfect record intact.

3♦ CINCINNATI

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday October, 6

Jeff Benton

Your Saturday freebie is the Miss State Bulldogs to add to Kentucky's season of misery.

Wildcats lost their Starting QB Maxwell Smith last week, and also lost one of their best defensive players against South Carolina, all the while the Bulldogs were resting after their 34-10 pasting of South Alabama on September 22nd.

The stingy defense of Mississippi State has given up 10 points or less in three of their four games this season - ALL straight up wins by the way.

Dan Mullen's team leads the nation in turnover margin at 3.25 per game. The Bulldogs have nine interceptions and six fumble recoveries.

Miss State has not lost in Lexington since 2005, covering each of their last three visits to the Bluegrass State.

The bye week under their belts, and the fact Kentucky has been battered and bruised the past two weeks playing South Carolina and Florida adds up to a comfortable Mississippi State road win and cover.

Lay it as State improves to 5-0 on the year.

5♦ MISS STATE

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday October, 6

Craig Davis

Tonight's free play is on Ohio State over Nebraska.

Talk about revenge... the Buckeyes had a 3-touchdown lead in the third quarter last year in Lincoln before Braxton Miller got hurt. Enter Joe Bauserman and enter the worst come-from-behind win the Buckeyes have ever given up.

Nebraska comes into this game ranked 21st in the nation despite a loss to UCLA a few weeks ago. Overall they're 4-1 but 1-0 in Big 10 Conference play after last week's impressive come-from-behind win over Wisconsin... much like last year's win over Ohio State.

Taylor Martinez is clearly the key to this offense and threw for 181 yards and had 2 touchdowns in that win over Wisky. The only way Martinez is going to be able to establish his run game is if he can throw effectively. OSU has been known to be a bit porous, so if Martinez can establish that early, it might be a long night for the Buckeyes.

OSU is ranked #12 in the nation with a 5-0 overall record... and enters off a less-than-impressive win over Michigan State. No disrespect, but MSU lost badly to Notre Dame and exposed the secret to beating them.

Their offense runs around Braxton Miller, so it's pretty ovbious that if he's on, the Buckeys are on... and vice versa is true as well.

Expect a lot of fireworks, but in the end the Buckeyes win by a TD.

2♦ OHIO STATE

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday October, 6

Scott Delaney

My free pick run is currently at 17-8, and Saturday I look to improve with North Carolina laying the points at home against Virginia Tech in ACC action. I don't know what happened to coach Frank Beamer's troops, but after seeing them lose to Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, and being purged from the national rankings, there's no doubt this is a team with serious weaknesses on both sides of the ball. And that's not going to cut it against a North Carolina team looking to earn its first Atlantic Coast Conference win.

Amazingly, something I didn't realize, Virginia Tech is 13-0 in regular-season games in the state of North Carolina and hasn't lost to the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill since 1938. But today, in catching 5-1/2 points, the Hokies are in big trouble and will not only see that 74-year old streak come to an end, but will lose badly.

North Carolina coach Larry Fedora has his fast-paced Tar Heels offense buzzing about, as it's averaging more than 43 points and 477 total yards per game. And there's not just an offense to speak of, as the defense comes in after recording its second shutout of the season.

And even though this is a huge test for UNC, in facing a big-game program that has won six of eight Coastal Division titles, I like my chances with this rejuvenated program.

The goal, one would think, is to use their bruising rushing game to control the clock and keep the ball out of Virginia Tech's hands, but get this, 19 of North Carolina's 34 scoring drives this season have taken 2 minutes or less.

In UNC's three wins, its scoring margin is an average of 49.6 points per game. The losses - both on the road - were by a total of 6 points, losing by one at Wake Forest and five at Louisville.

Want balance? UNC ranks 12th in scoring with 43.2 points per game, while ranking 19th in holding teams to 14.6 points per game. UNC ranks 32nd overall with more than 475 yards per game, while ranking 16th in the country with a defense that limits foes to less than 300 yards per game. The passing offense is 23rd best in the country, with more than 300 yards via the air; the passing D stifles teams to just 200 yards per game, ranking 33rd in the nation.

None of that bodes well for Virginia Tech, which has the 85th-ranked offense in the nation, and has been vividly inconsistent this thus far.

Lay the points as the Tar Heels make a statement to the ACC and themselves with a huge win and cover.

4♦ NORTH CAROLINA

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday October, 6

Chris Jordan

Let's take a look at my free winner for Saturday, as I take you to Colorado Springs for the Armed Forces showdown between the Navy Midshipmen and Air Force Falcons. Admittedly, I started the week thinking the Falcons would be a great play; instead, I'm playing the Under with a pair of run-happy offenses on the field.

And this has nothing to do with the fact it's kicking off a tad-bit earlier than normal early games start - here in Vegas it begins at 8:30 a.m. - after all, during basic training these guys are up at 4:15 a.m.

No, the thought process is that when  the nation's No. 1 rushing offense and No. 24 rush attack are on the field, the clock will be running right along with these teams. Air Force brings the nation's best ground game into this game, averaging 396 yards per game. Navy, meanwhile, tallies 219 yards per contest.

Conversely speaking, the Middies have the 117th scoring offense with just 14.5 points per game, having scored more than 10 points just once this season. And though Air Force's scoring offense is 27th in the land, with 37 points per game, the Middies have done a respectable job in allowing just 24.7 points per game.

This should be a physical game, too, as last year's game ended in controversy and a 35-34 Air Force overtime win in Annapolis, Md.  And when you're talking about the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy, these teams - no matter how good or bad each team is - take pride filling the trophy case. The trophy goes to the military academy with the best record in round-robin competition between Air Force, Navy and Army.

Right now, Air Force has the trophy. And it's been either Air Force or Navy taking home the trophy over the past 15 years, shutting out Army since 1996.

Now I know Air Force has seen a slew of Over trends improve since last season, but Navy is in on Under runs of 5-0 against non-Independent teams, 5-1 on the road, 10-3 when playing on grass and 6-1 overall.

And in this series, the under has come in six of the last eight meetings and four of the last five in Colorado Springs.

2♦ UNDER 54

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday October, 6

Harry Bondi

Virginia Tech +6

Virginia Tech comes in with a disappointing 3-2 record, but Frank Beamer and his team are not panicking. They realize that they are still 1-0 in ACC play and very much alive for another Coastal Division title and a bid for a BCS Bowl Game, if they take care of business beginning today in conference play. Simply put, North Carolina does not deserve to be a six-point chalk here. This line is a overreaction to the Hokies' recent struggles. The Tar Heels are a team that is still getting used to the personnel and scheme changes that have been made by new head coach Larry Fedora. Two of their three wins have comes against cupcakes Elon and Idaho, with the losses coming to Louisville and a bad Wake Forest team. Virginia Tech is desperate for a win, they've got the better defense and they're getting almost a TD head start. Take the generous points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday October, 6

OC Dooley

Southern Mississippi +10

In recent years these two programs have been among the best in the “non” BCS category, which makes taking the generous points from the oddsmakers enticing.  It is easy to see why Boise State has been cast as a prohibitive road favorite as Southern Mississippi (0-4) is coming off the school’s first winless month of September dating all the way back to 1976.  But the Golden Eagles who are adjusting to a new coaching staff showed promise in September’s final outing as they successfully covered the spread in a close 21-17 tussle against then #19 ranked Louisville.  All four of their opponents during the opening month including Nebraska and East Carolina are all Division I-A programs, so today’s home underdog has been tested as opposed to scheduling “cupcakes” to build team confidence.  Of course Boise State is no longer garnering national attention due to serious graduation losses that including the exit of four-year star quarterback Kellen Moore.  The Broncos come into this contest having failed to cover consecutive contests and last Saturday they barely survived on the road against lowly New Mexico (32-29 final score) who the prior campaign had lost 11 of 12 games.  As mentioned at the top of this analysis both sides have enjoyed recent “non” BCS success and today marks just the third all-time meeting, with the last encounter being way back in 2008

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday October, 6

Rocketman

North Texas @ Houston
Play: Houston -11

North Texas travels to Houston to take on the Cougars on Saturday night. Houston is putting up big offensive numbers again this year averaging 503.8 yards per game overall this season. North Texas is 0-6 SU and 1-5 ATS last 3 years after a win against a conference opponent. Houston is 7-1 ATS last 3 years against a team with a losing record. Houston beat North Texas 48-23 last year and I'm expecting a similar whipping this year. North Texas is 7-17 ATS last 24 games after allowing 20 points or less in their previous game. North Texas is 4-15 ATS last 19 games after a SU win. North Texas is 1-4 ATS last 5 games against Conference USA opponents. Houston is 7-1 ATS last 8 games after a SU win. Houston is 13-3 ATS last 16 games against a team with a losing record. Houston is 6-1 ATS last 7 games after an ATS win. I'm expecting this to be Houston's best performance of the season here tonight. We'll recommend a small play on Houston!

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday October, 6

Charlie Scott

Northwestern vs. Penn State
Play: Northwestern 

Everyone knows the Hell Penn St Players & Coaches have been through the last Year. Looking to fade Penn St as a Favorite vs an undefeated NorthWestern Team that can score points on offense and has a quality, experienced Head Coach that has been through the Big 10 Wars.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday October, 6

Tony Stoffo

Hawaii vs. San Diego State
Play: Hawaii     

Hawaii has been crushed in it's games so far this season - however I have to say here that they have played some great defenses against USC and BYU. And against Nevada the weakest defense they have faced this season that did manage to score 24 points. For today they will be facing a San Diego State defense that ranks 86th in the nation in total yards allowed, 112th in passing yards allowed, and 93rd in points allowed. So I can see the Warriors putting up a good number on the scoreboard here. So with the odds makers being forced to post this ridiculous high number here to try and get some Hawaii money - makes for a highly recommended play on Hawaii here today. Warriors are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 road games vs. a team with a losing home record. Aztecs are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday October, 6

Ray Monohan

Washington State vs. Oregon State
Play: Washington State     

Last week at Century Link field in Seattle the Cougars played a great first half of football against the Ducks, the second half was terrible but Mike Leach can tell his team they hung with a national title contender now at least. The Cougs are No. 3 in the Pac-12 in passing, but their problem is they just can't run the ball. Last in rushing and have a minus-3 turnover margin. The OSU Beavers ranked 17th in the nation are turning heads this year on the west coast. Their leader sophomore QB Sean Mannion, has the No. 4 passing offense in the nation, but they only average 25 ppg good for 82nd in the country. They also have the worst pass D in the Pac 12. The Cougars are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a double-digit loss at home. The Beavers are 1-4 ATS vs. a team with a losing record. The road team is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings. I'm not calling for the outright win here but 15.5 points is to large a spread. Connor Halliday and Marquess Wilson will do enough damage to keep this one close. WSU will play a great game on the road for Leach and stay in it till the end in this one.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday October, 6

Game of the Week - Duke (-1.5) *5Units

Service Plays
Ohio St (-3) *3 Units
Boston College  (-7) *3 Units
La Tech (-27) * 2 Units

Upset Game of the Week - Vanderbilt (+230) *1

-Fo Bros

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday October, 6

MLB Predictions

Athletics / Tigers Under 7.5

The Oakland Athletics have home field advantage in the series, as the first two games will be played in Detroit. The Tigers finished the season with a 88-74 record, while the Athletics won the AL West with a 94-68 record. Oakland is 44-37 on the road, while Detroit is a solid 50-31 at home. Tonight we see Jarrod Parker on the mound for Oakland who is 13-8 on the season with a 3.47 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, and .248 opponents batting average. He faced Detroit once this season at home where he went 5.2 innings giving up 6 hits and 2 earned runs. That start came on May 13th. Tigers ace and potential Cy Young winner Justin Verlander will be on the mound to start the all important Game 1 of this ALDS. Verlander went 17-8 this year with a 2.64 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and .217 opponents batting average. At home his numbers were even better with a 9-2 record, stellar 1.65 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, and .187 opponents batting average. Over his last 4 starts he went 4-0 with a 0.64 ERA. He has faced Oakland twice this season. In Oakland on May 13th he actually faced Parker and went 7 innings giving up 2 hits and 1 earned run in a 3-1 Tigers victory. He then pitched against the A's on September 19th at home where he also got a victory going 6 innings scattering 5 hits and allowing 0 earned runs. In his career against Oakland he is 7-5 with a 2.38 ERA. Take note that the UNDER is 5-1 in Parker's lsat 6 starts overall, 5-2 in his last 7 starts as an underdog, and 9-3 in his last 12 starts with 4 days rest. The UNDER is 25-12-1 in Verlander's last 38 home starts vs a team with a winning record, and 14-5-1 in his last 20 starts as a favorite of -151 to -200. Despite seeing these two teams playing some higher scoring games this year, this is the playoffs and we have two solid pitchers on the mound tonight. These two faced each other earlier this year and we saw a total of 4 runs scored. Oakland has scored a combined 3 runs in the 2 games that Verlander has started in. If Parker can limit the damage done by Cabrera and Fielder this should be a very low scoring affair, and I like the value on the UNDER.

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