Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday October, 4

Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday October, 4

DUNKEL INDEX

NFL

Arizona at St. Louis
The Cardinals look to take advantage of a St. Louis team that is coming off a 19-13 win over Seattle and is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games following a SU win. Arizona is the pick (-1) according to Dunkel, which has the Cardinals favored by 3. Dunkel Pick: Arizona (-1)

Game 301-302: Arizona at St. Louis (8:20 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Arizona 132.310; St. Louis 129.430
Dunkel Line: Arizona by 3; 35
Vegas Line: Arizona by 1; 39 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Arizona (-1); Under

NCAAF

USC at Utah
The Trojans look to build on their 13-5 ATS record in their last 18 games following a bye week. USC is the pick (-14) according to Dunkel, which has the Trojans favored by 23. Dunkel Pick: USC (-14)

Game 303-304: East Carolina at Central Florida (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: East Carolina 81.830; Central Florida 90.125
Dunkel Line: Central Florida by 8 1/2; 52
Vegas Line: Central Florida by 14; 47
Dunkel Pick: East Carolina (+14); Over

Game 305-306: USC at Utah (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: USC 113.016; Utah 90.154
Dunkel Line: USC by 23; 43
Vegas Line: USC by 14; 47 1/2
Dunkel Pick: USC (-14); Under

Game 307-308: Arkansas State at Florida International (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Arkansas State 80.980; Florida International 72.756
Dunkel Line: Arkansas State by 8; 63
Vegas Line: Florida International by 1 1/2; 58
Dunkel Pick: Arkansas State (+1 1/2); Over

WNBA

Los Angeles at Minnesota
The Sparks are coming off a 101-94 win over San Antonio and look to build on their 12-3-1 ATS record in their last 16 games following a SU victory. Los Angeles is the pick (+5 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Lynx favored by only 3. Dunkel Pick: Los Angeles (+5 1/2)

Game 601-602: Los Angeles at Minnesota (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Los Angeles 117.250; Minnesota 120.044
Dunkel Line & Total: Minnesota by 3; 161
Vegas Line & Total: Minnesota by 5 1/2; 166 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Los Angeles (+5 1/2); Under

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday October, 4

David ChanFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Los Angeles vs. Minnesota
Pick: Minnesota
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Minnesota survived a scare to beat the Seattle Storm in three games in the opening round, and will now look to take advantage of home-court.
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Seimone Augustus scored 21 points, and Maya Moore had 20 in the Lynx's 73-72 Game 3 victory.
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LA swept San Antonio in two games, including a 101-94 victory on Saturday led by Candace Parker's 32 points.
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LA now faces the leagues best "home team" in Minnesota though, as the Lynx would go on to win 18 of 19 at the Target Center this season.
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Minnesota lost both games in LA this year, but beat the Sparks 88-77 in front of the home town crowd on September 4th.
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It's interesting to note that LA is just 2-3 ATS its last five as a road dog of 3.5 to 6 points.
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And note that Minnesota is 4-1 ATS this year when "revenging" a loss vs. an opponent.
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I expect the Lynx to be ready tonight, and expect them to pull away down the stretch for the comfortable ATS cover!

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Rob VincilettiFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Arkansas State vs. Florida International    
Play: Florida International
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The Host team has won all 6 times in this series and FIU Returns 17 starters from an 8-5 bowl team. They are 4-1 off a conference loss and played undefeated Louisville down to the wire in a 28-21 loss earlier in the season. Arkansas St blew nearly a two touchdown lead in their last game and has lost 31 of 44 on turf. There is a 40% chance of rain for this one which may further aide FIU in this one. Look for Florida International to get the win here tonight as a small dog.

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Jim FeistFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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East Carolina vs. Central Florida
Play: Under 47½FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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A Conference USA battle and conference play can bring it plenty of defense, especially with East Carolina at 2-0 in conference action. East Carolina has a pop-gun offense ranked 104th in rushing and getting just 20.6 ppg. The defense is playing well, though, off a 28-18 win over UTEP and the previous game they allowed just 27 points to North Carolina of the ACC. The under is 7-3 in the Pirates last 10 conference games. Central Florida is a strong defensive team again and the under is 22-8-1 in the Knights last 31 home games and 40-17-2 under the total in their last 59 games on grass. Play East Carolina/Central Florida under the total.

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Dave CokinFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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East Carolina vs Central Florida
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Central Florida has to get it together off that poor second half in a game they really wanted against Missouri. But the Knights are a substantially stronger team than East Carolina, and the number has become more playable since the opener. I'll side with UCF.

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Frank JordanFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Arkansas State vs. Florida Intl
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Arkansas State and Florida Intl come in 3-7 combined, but this is a fierce Sun Belt Conference rivalry. In the past five years the home team has won, but this is a year for the trend to end. Arkansas State is 2-3 and in their two wins outscored their opponent 89-28, but in their three losses have been outscored 125-60. Florida Intl's single win was by three points and in their four losses lost by at least a TD in all four and by 10+ in the other three. Look for Arkansas State to step up on defense and on offense expose the many weaknesses of Florida Intl's defense. Play Arkansas State

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SPORTS WAGERSFOR THE FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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ST. LOUIS +110 over ArizonaFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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While it has surprised everyone with an impressive 4-0 start through a quarter of the season, a peek under the hood reveals some of Arizona’s flaws. The Cardinals began this season with questions at the all-important quarterback position. Those questions remain unanswered as the duo of Kevin Kolb and an injured John Skelton currently rank the Cards at 29th in passing. And it’s not like the offense can exploit St. Louis’ glaring run defense inefficiency as Arizona is among bottom dwellers there as well, averaging just 68 yards per game rushing. The Cards’ defence has come to the rescue but the unit allowed 400 yards to Ryan Tannehill and Dolphins’ receivers last week.
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The Cardinals are not a 5-0 team. Not only will they travel on a short week here, they’re coming off not one, two or three emotional wins over Seattle, Philly and New England but four after they rallied against Miami last week in a game they were quite fortunate to win.
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While the Cardinals are getting all the accolades, the Rams are being ignored as a much improved club. The team has equalled last year’s win total already, they’re buying into coach Jeff Fisher’s methods and could easily be 3-1 after near miss in Detroit to open the season. They’re taking the field with some confidence these days and are in a great scheduling spot to knock off this emotionally spent and offensively challenged intruder.


East Carolina +11½ -105 over CENTRAL FLORIDA

Are the Knights really double-digits better than the Pirates? We highly doubt it. UCF is 2-2 and has put up some strong offensive numbers by averaging just over 30 points a game. However, when playing two quality clubs in Ohio State and Missouri, they lost them both and scored just 30 points combined. The Knights’ skewed offensive numbers have come against Akron and Florida International, not exactly crème de la crème.

East Carolina’s docket isn’t much different with a blowout loss to #9 South Carolina and a 21-point defeat at the hands of North Carolina. It has won its other three games against much lesser competition.

The C-USA is a weak conference. The Knights open up their home conference schedule here while the Pirates are in first place with a 2-0 conference record. The Pirates’ offense is a work in progress and this line is predicated on them not being able to keep pace. While that is somewhat valid, against UTEP last week, ECU racked up 475 yards of offense while the defense continues to force key turnovers. On a short week for both clubs, in a conference game where familiarity is present, we’ll gladly take the points with a Pirates team that figures to slow down the tempo and stay within striking distance.

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Harry BondiFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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St Louis (+2) over ArizonaFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Arizona has been the surprise of the season so far in the NFL, winning its first four games, but the pointspread has finally caught up to the Cards. Let's not forget this is a team with a back-up QB (Kevin Kolb) playing without its starting running back (Beanie Wells) and now it's laying points on the road? Also, while the Arizona defense has been outstanding, it comes into tonight dealing with key injuries, particularly DE Darnell Dockett, who is questionable. The Rams have been a bit undervalued this year, going 3-1 ATS and 2-0 at home, all as an underdog. The Rams fan base is re-charged with new head coach Jeff Fisher and finally gives this team a home field advantage it hasn't had in years. Home dog is barking. Take the Rams.

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Dave PriceFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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USC Trojans -14.5FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Playing against home underdogs of 14.5 or more points after a loss by 21 or more points has produced a 53-17 ATS mark the last 5 seasons. Teams fitting this scenario have lost by an average of 29.0 points. This system is off to a perfect 3-0 ATS start this season. Utah's offense isn't explosive at all, and the defense just gave up 512 yards to Arizona State. Utah will have no answer for Matt Barkley and his talented receivers in this one. Lay the points.

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Jimmy BoydFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Florida International +2FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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This matchup has been dominated by the home team, and I expect to see this trend continue tonight. The home team has won each of the past five meetings straight up, and it's 4-0 ATS in the last 4. Arkansas State ran the table in the Sun Belt last season, but it lost a lot on the defensive side of the football. That was evident in last week's 26-13 home loss to a Western Kentucky team that it defeated on the road last year. The Red Wolves were gashed for 243 yards on the ground in that game and currently rank 113th in the country against the run with 224.8 yards allowed per contest. Their inability to stop the run is a big concern because it was their run-stuffing ability that made them so good last season. They ranked 13th in the country last year with 103.5 rushing yards allowed per game. Look for a big game on the ground from FIU tonight. An FIU defense that returns nearly intact led the Sun Belt with 19.5 points allowed per game last season. I expect the Golden Panthers to be the best all-around defensive team in the league this year. I'll grab the home dog as it runs its way to victory tonight.

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Jeff Scott Sports

3 UNIT PLAY

ST LOUIS +1.5 over Arizona: This is a bad spot for the Cardinals as they are on a short week and must travel to take on a Jeff Fishers coached St Louis squad that is home for the 2nd week in a row. This really is a false 4-0 Arizona team. Last week the Cardinals were at home vs a Miami Team that had to travel cross country with a rookie QB and they still needed OT to beat them. Tannehill threw for 400+ yards in that game, showing that their defense has some holes and I expect the crafty Jeff Fisher to come up with a way to exploit that. The Cardinals are not all that good on offense, ranking 25th in passing and 28th and it will be harder for them to run the ball in this one as the Rams get their top run stuffer (Michael Brockers). Stopping the run has been the weakness of the Rams (26th) but they have stopped the pass very well, ranking 11th in the league and let's note that 2 of the opposing QB they have faced are RG3 and Mathew Stafford, so that makes their pass defense ranking even more impressive. Now that pass defense will take on Kevin Kolb, who has a 97.6 QB rating, but still haven't impressed that much throwing for just 188 ypg. On the other side Sam Bradford had a couple of good outings to start the year but struggled in his last 2 games vs tougher defenses. but he has thrown for 265.5 ypg at home and he has 3 TD to just 2 INT's at home, compared to 1 TD and 2 INT's on the road. Jeff Fisher is a solid coach and as a home dog he has done pretty well in his career. Arizona's offense is weak and will be one dimensional in this one and I don't feel that Kolb will make enough plays to pull it out. I also look for Fisher to find a way to exploit that suspect pass defense of the Cardinals. The Cardinals may be 4-0, but they are still ranked at #20 in the Vegas Power Rankings and I feel that makes a St Louis team that is 2-0 at home a Live Dog here. It will be close, but I look for a late FG by Greg Zuerlein, who is a perfect 12-for-12 on field-goal attempts to be the difference here.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday October, 4

Jeff Scott Sports

3 UNIT PLAYS

USC/ Utah Under 48: I like the way this USC defense is playing right now. They come in off a game vs a good California offense and they allowed just 9 points and 250 yards in the game. The Trojans really had just one bad game defensively and that was vs Syracuse and they will be taking on a struggling offense in this one, So I look for their overall defensive numbers to improve. The Utes have been hit by offensive Injuries this year, mainly at QB, and it has hurt them as they come in ranked 116th in total offense (298.2 ypg) and 105th in passing (190.8 ypg). Last week the Utes could muster just 7 points and 209 yards in that game and they may be facing a tougher defense this week. I really don't expect DD out of Utah here. The USC offense has been inconsistent the last two games, putting up just 41 points in their last 2 games after scoring 42+ in each of their first 2 games. Those first 2 games were vs bad defenses and they will not be facing a bad defense in this one. The Utes have a tough defense and they have had to have one as their offense has been so poor. Utah comes in allowing just 21.2 ppg and I feel they will come up with enough plays here to keep USC in the lower 30's at best. I expect at most 42 points in this one.

Pittsburgh/ Syracuse Under 58: Wow. I really don't see nearly 60 points in this game. This is the Big East for crying out loud. Yes the Cuse use the no huddle offense but in their last 2 weeks they have really struggling, putting up just 28 points in the game vs FCS foe Stony Brook and then in their next game vs Minnesota they could muster just 10 points. The Defense for the Panthers is coming around as they have allowed just 27 points in their last 2 games and with teh extra prep time will find a way to keep this Cuse no-huddle attack under wraps. Pittsburgh is not a take chances kind of offense and they will not look to get into a shootout in this one. The Panthers do run the ball (40 per game) more than they throw it (30 per game) and that kind of ball control will help them eat clock and keep the Syracuse offense off the field. They will also be facing a Syracuse defense that has allowed just 17 ppg in their last 2 games. This game should be a hard fought typical Big East game and not a Big 12 shootout and that should keep the game in the 40's and not the 50's.

Arkansas State/ FIU Under 58: Both of the these defenses have struggled as both have allowed 30+ ppg, but I still see this one as an Under play. FIU has struggled on offense of late as they have averaged just 20.3 ppg in their last 3 games, and Im not sure they will do much better in this one. The Arkansas State defense has allowed 30 ppg, but if you take out the games vs Nebraska and Oregon on the road then in their other 3 games they have allowed just 18 ppg. I would put the FIU offense in the category of of Arkansas State's other 3 opponents (Memphis, Alcorn State and WKU) than Oregon and Nebraska. The brought back 10 starters this year and was supposed to be the best in the Sun Belt, but they have struggled and have allowed 39 ppg, but i expect a better showing tonight vs an Arky State team that is not all that explosive. Sure the Red Wolves put up 30 ppg, but they do run the ball more than throw it and they put up 26 FR'd per game, which would indicate they have some time consuming drives. This is a big game in the Sun Belt and I expect both teams to bring their "A" games on defense, which should keep this game from reaching the 50's.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday October, 4

David Banks

Cardinals / Rams Under 39.5

The Arizona Cardinals (4-0, 3-1 ATS) were extremely fortunate to get by the Dolphins last week 24-21 in overtime despite being badly outplayed on the stat sheet, and they now have a road date with the pesky St. Louis Rams (2-2, 3-1 ATS) Thursday night. You can catch all the action from the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, MO at 8:20 ET live on NFL Network.

The Cardinals managed to remain unbeaten despite getting dominated on the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball by Miami. Arizona was outgained by a robust 183 total yards in the contest, as what had been a formidable defensive line over the first three weeks was unable to put sufficient pressure on the Dolphins' rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill, enabling him to pass for an amazing 431 yards. The offensive line was even worse, as it was unable to open up any running lanes or pass protect. The Cardinals had a pathetic 28 rushing yards for the game on 15 carries (1.9 YPC) while the Miami front seven spent most of the game in the Arizona backfield, sacking Kevin Kolb eight times! At the end of the day though, good teams find a way to win games where they are badly outplayed, and Arizona was able to do that under extreme circumstances as the Cardinals tied the game 21-21 on a fourth-and-10 touchdown pass from Kolb to Andre Roberts with 22 seconds left in regulation time. Now it remains to be seen if the Cardinal were simply looking past that non-conference game while looking ahead to this divisional battle just four days later. You may have the answer to that question in the early minutes of this contest.

As for the Rams, they have already matched their win total from all of last year when they finished at 2-14, and they are a perfect 2-0 here at the Edward Jones Dome so far after upsetting the Seattle Seahawks 19-13 last week. St. Louis also won a game where it was probably outplayed, although not to the degree that Arizona was. The Rams were only outgained by 33 total yards, but they were unable to run the ball much, managing only 75 yards on 27 carries as Steven Jackson seems to still be affected by his nagging groin injury. Quarterback Sam Bradford was not spectacular either, completing 16-of-30 passes for 221 yards and one interception without throwing a touchdown pass. In fact, the star of the game for the Rams was their rookie kicker Greg Zuerlein, who kicked four field goals while twice setting team records for the longest field goal in franchise history! He first broke the team record by booting a 58-yarder in the first quarter, only to later top that by booming a 60-yarder in the third quarter. St. Louis did not have a legitimate offensive touchdown in the game, as its only touchdown came off of a fake field goal.

Arizona swept the two head-to-head meeting last season, and when the last matchup went 'over' in a 23-20 win, it snapped a seven-game 'under' streak in this series. The 'under' is also 11-5 in the last 16 Arizona divisional games, as well as 15-6-1 in the last 22 St. Louis conference games. Meanwhile, Arizona is 6-2 ATS and 7-1 straight up in the last eight meetings here in St. Louis.

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Wunderdog

USC at Utah
Pick: Utah +14.5

When Matt Barkley shunned the NFL draft, many thought that the USC Trojans would run the table and find themselves in a National Championship game. Those plans ended when they lost to Stanford a couple of weeks ago. That game dropped USC to 0-3 ATS. This team does have talent, but has not played to it yet. They struggled at a neutral site vs. Syracuse, allowing 29 points. USC hasn't played here in nearly 100 years, and could be affected by the altitude. The Utes have always done well here and they are 48-27 ATS in their last 75 games as an underdog. Matt Barkley was the leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy when the season started, but he has thrown five INTs already. Last week it was the ground game that garnered nearly 300 yards while he passed for just 192. Utah has had two weeks to prepare, but more importantly they’ve had two weeks to get healthy. They will have DE Joe Kruger back, along with S Eric Rowe. Additionally, John White who rushed for over 1,500 yards a year ago and missed the BYU game should be a lot healthier. Overall, it has been a disappointing start for USC and Utah has been bitten by the injury bug. Utah is a lot healthier for this one and should make a game out of this. Take the points and play on Utah.

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Matt Rivers

Gave you a comp play winner on Minnesota-Toronto Under to close the regular season in baseball.

Now 30-15-2 with my comp play releases.

Tonight's free play is the Pirates of East Carolina as they head to Central Florida getting double-digits.

Central Florida is off a tough loss at home to Missouri this past Saturday and could be a little deflated stepping down versus ECU.

George O'Leary's team best be on their guard, as East Carolina has held the upper-hand in this rivalry winning five of the last six series meetings straight up. The Pirates also bring a 3-2 record into this contest tonight with QB Shane Carden coming off a 300-plus yards passing game last week in a home win and cover over UTEP.

The Knights just don't have enough big playmakers for me to feel comfortable backing them as the double-digit chalk, and they are already 0-2 this season against the spread when listed in that role which further proves my point.

ECU a "live dog" tonight in Orlando. Take the points.

3♦ EAST CAROLINA

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Jeff Benton

9-3 freebie run with the Red Sox-Yankees Over last night.

Your Thursday freebie is another total. Go Under in the Cardinals-Rams meeting tonight.

Let's start with the fact all three Thursday night NFL games this year have stayed Under the total. For you Einstein's, that is a 100% stat through three games contested.

Arizona has only allowed 61 total points in their four games played, with three of their four games holding Under the posted price.

St. Louis opened the year with a pair of Overs in their meetings with Detroit and Washington, but the Rams have settled into a pair of defensive battles the past two games, playing Unders in games against Chicago and Seattle.

Based on the fact seven of the last eight series meetings between these NFC West division rivals have held Under the total, I would say the chances of this turning into a field possession, field goal game look pretty solid.

Go with the Cardinals and Rams to play Low.

4♦ ARIZONA-ST. LOUIS UNDER

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Craig Davis

Your Thursday free play is Utah.

Going to back Utah plus the points (+14) at home against Southern Cal tonight.

Not too often the Utes are a home dog, but they've delivered in that role by going 4-2 against the oddsmakers catching points in Salt Lake City since 2001.

Utah got hammered prior to its by week in a 37-7 loss at Arizona State. But the Sun Devils hammered them last season too. Against Southern Cal, on the other hand, the Utes gave the Trojans all they could handle in last year's road loss.

The biggest problem for Utah this season has been the ankle injury suffered in the season's second week by top running back John White. He missed the upset home win against BYU and wasn't at 100 percent in the Arizona State game. But having a bye last weekend had to help.

Don't know what to make of this USC team. It struggled to outscore Syracuse in its road opener and then fell to 0-2 ATS this season as a road chalk when it lost outright as a 9 1/2-point pup at Stanford three weeks back.

USC wins on the field, but this is too many points for the Trojans to be laying so I'll grab the two touchdowns and look for a Pac-12 home dog to bark for the second straight Thursday just as Washington did in last week's upset of Stanford.

1♦ UTAH

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