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Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday November, 10

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday November, 10

Larry Ness

UNLV vs. Colorado State
Pick: Colorado State

UNLV (2-8) visits Fort Collins on Saturday to take on 2-7 Colorado St. Bobby Hauck took over a UNLV football program in 2010 which had posted just ONE winning season in the previous 15 years (Rebels were 8-5 in 2000). If Hauck had any hopes that things would improve, they disappeared quickly as the Rebels went 2-11 and 2-10 in his first two seasons (make that ONE wining season in 17 years!). There seemed to be a tiny bit of ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ for the 2012 Rebels, but typically, they’ve given away chances for things to have been better. UNLV lost a heartbreaking triple-OT game in its season-opener to Minnesota, jumped out to a 14-0 halftime lead the next week but lost 17-14 to Northern Arizona (the same team which lost the previous week 63-6 to ASU) and then played Washington State tough all the way in game No. 3 before falling, 35-27. I listen to Hauck on his weekly radio show every Wednesday and it was ‘painful’ to hear him talk about the team's missed opportunities but trying to emphasize that the team WAS on the right track. The Rebels won their fourth game of 2012 at home vs Air Force, 38-35. However, FIVE straight losses followed, before UNLV finally got its second win of 2012, 35-7 at home vs New Mexico last Saturday. Sonny Lubick led Colorado St for 15 years, earning NINE bowl appearances but was ‘shown the door’ after going 4-8 in 2006 and 3-9 in 2007. Not much has gone right since for the Rams, as Steve Fairchild took over and went 7-6 in his first season (including a bowl win) but followed with three consecutive 3-9 seasons. Jim McElwain is the new head coach (1st job) and while the Rams opened the season with a 22-17 win over Colorado in Denver, the Rams have beaten only 1-7 (0-5) Hawaii since, 42-27. Clearly, BOTH teams see this game as an opportunity for a win but with all CSU’s problems, it’s hard to ignore the fact that the Rebels entered this season on a run of 16 consecutive road failures, allowing a whopping 44.9 PPG. UNLV is again 0-4 on the road this year (while allowing 37.3 PPG), extending that road slide to 20 in a row. UNLV will win one on the road, eventually, but I’ll let someone else chose the right time.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday November, 10

Bruce Marshall

Wyoming vs. New Mexico
Pick: New Mexico

We have to drill pretty deep to find some good reasons to go with New Mexico.  But, well beneath the surface, arguments exist, even if Bob Davie's land-locked Lobo option is down to only one capable pilot (frosh QBCole Gautsche). One key angle in UNM's favor is the fact that Wyo's soft and undersized front seven (ranks 100th In rush defense) might be the proper elixir for Lobos to rev up their read-option looks and reignite their dwindling bowl hopes.  And Cowboys usually offer their best value getting points on road...not in games near pick'em.  Lots of distractions these days in Laramie, too (HC Dave Christensen returns to sideline after one-week suspension), MW sources report much better vibes around Lobo program these days.  Moreover, last week's win over distraught CSU no "buy" on recently-stumbling Cowboys (only 2-7 SU).

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday November, 10

Scott Spreitzer

Oregon St. at Stanford
Prediction: Oregon St.

OSU HC Mike Riley switched back to Cody Vaz at QB mid-stream last week and it allowed his team to come from behind and defeat Arizona State in what was a very tough situation for the Beavers, coming off their first loss of the season. With Vaz back behind center I expect the Beavers' offense to give the Stanford defense more than they can handle. Defensively, whether the Beavers face an offense led by Josh Nunes or Kevin Hogan, the bottom line is that the Cardinal simply don't stretch defenses enough to keep them honest. Stanford throws too many passes to their TE's and RB's and not enough to their wideouts. OSU's defense (5th against the run) will be able to keep things in front of them and will slow down the Cardinal offense. Oregon State is on an 18-7-1 ATS run on the road and they're on a 6-0-1 ATS run against teams with a winning record. More of the same. I'm taking the points with Oregon State.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday November, 10

Kyle Hunter

Penn State vs. Nebraska    
Play: Penn State

The Penn State Nittany Lions have been much better than almost everyone expected this year. Nebraska has a nice record, but I haven't been overly impressed by the Cornhuskers this year. They were beaten at UCLA and trounced by Ohio State in Columbus. Penn State already went on the road and dominated Iowa. Penn State has the better defense and we are getting more than a touchdown. I like the dog in this one.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday November, 10

Rob Vinciletti

Air Force vs. San Diego State    
Play: Air Force

In this game we want to fade a San Diego St. That is off a Huge road dog win at Boise St last week as a 16 point dog. That win sets the Aztecs up in a play Against system for Conference home favorites the following week if they won at +10 or more on the conference road and are laying 3 or more to a winning team.. The Aztecs are 12-26 ats off 2+ wins and may be flat for an Air Force team they beat last year. Air Force has covered 7 of the last 8 as a road dog from +7.5 to +10 and has won 6 of the last 8 November games. The Flyboys will look to bounce back off a road favored loss at Army last week. Look for Air force to hang in here and get the cover with their solid ground game.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday November, 10

Dave Cokin

Arizona State at USC
Pick: Arizona State

Horrible spot for USC. Mostly meaningless game on the heels of one where the Trojans let it all hang out going for the upset vs. Oregon. I'm not sure there's much left in the tank and that makes Arizona State plus the points a live option.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday November, 10

Johnny Detroit

North Carolina -7.5

We love North Carolina in this spot. Georgia Tech smashed Maryland 33-13, but did all their damage on the ground with 370 yards rushing. Also, GT will need to win two of their final three games to make a bowl and we are sure the TV folks will make sure everyone is aware of this. So there is a blowout win with close to 400 yards on the ground and the need to win 2 of 3 to make a bowl. North Carolina is coming off a bye following the amazing win AND cover vs. NC State. The game was a shoot-out as the two teams combined for over 1100 yards of offense. With Tech running all over North Carolina last season and Maryland last week, the Tar Heels being on a bye has given them extra time to prep the run defense. Even before the extra preparation, North Carolina sits at #19 in the nation on stopping the run and only gives up 111 yards per game. The Maryland box score + hype to make  bowl + North Carolina run defense + North Carolina added week to prep = value with North Carolina. Our math has this number at -10 and will gladly lay the -7.5 for a 1* selection.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday November, 10

Joe Gavazzi

North Carolina -7.5

We have some nice hidden value in this one, despite the fact that each of these teams is 5-4 ATS, and this line is a TD higher than opening week. For it has been a disastrous run for Tech who finished last year on a 1-6 ATS slide, and is currently on a 2-4 SUATS run. Those victories have been against only BC, who is suffering the worst season in recent memory at 2-7 SUATS, and a Maryland team last week who is using their 6th string QB. Their previous three games against quality foes were losses of 24 to BYU, 16 to Clemson, and 23 to Midd Tenn. In those games, they allowed 46 PPG on defense. Now they must travel to North Carolina to face a rested Carolina team who has gone a perfect 5-0 SUATS on this field. Do not discount the last of those victories, a 43-35 ½ point cover against rival NC St when HC Fedora, leading by 6, went for a 2 point conversion to cover the spread! Tarheels have the rush defense at 111/3.0 to slow the Tech option, and two weeks to prepare for it. HC Fedora, one of the greatest proponents of the 200 club, has his Tarheels averaging a balanced 488 yards for 39 PPG behind QB Renner and RB Bernard. Option attacks are not quite as effective when trailing by three TDs.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday November, 10

Andy Iskoe

Navy -2

Navy looked horrible when it opened the season in Ireland, losing 50-10 to Notre Dame. They lost 2 of the next 3 games to stand 1-3 heading into its annual game with Air Force. Navy upset the Force on the road and has not lost since, reeling of 5 wins in a row, including 2 more on the road at East Carolina and Central Michigan. Troy was expected to be improved this season but is no better than the fourth best team in Conference USA. The Trojans are off of a tough 55-48 loss at SEC Tennessee in which they held a second half lead. They've lost 3 of 4 and have 3 home losses already this season. They close out their home season next week against conference foe Arkansas State. Navy again has a solid ground game that matches up well against Troy's defense while Navy defends the pass well which is the strength of the Troy offense. Navy has shown it can win on the road and is in great form. Troy is not.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday November, 10

Scott Delaney

31-15-1 comp play run heading into today's play on TCU (+7) at home against Kansas State.

I'm not sure how long it's going to take the oddsmakers to give the Horned Frogs some respect, but once again they've made the mistake of making them too big an underdog - this time against Kansas State - and I'll take full advantage of their error in judgement.

I know much of the talk this week has been about Kansas State's Collin Klein, the Heisman front-runner who was knocked out of last Saturday's game against Oklahoma State with an apparent concussion, but whether he plays or not isn't swaying my decision. Not when TCU ranks 13th nationally in rushing defense (3.1 ypc yield).

No, what matters to me when it comes to the Horned Frogs is coach Gary Patterson. The guy is a genius, I don't care what anyone says. He's prepared his teams for bigger games in the past, and will have to prepare for bigger ones down the road. He's seen it all. There isn't another coach I'd rather have, to be quite honest, with what TCU has left on its plate. After today, there is Texas on Thanksgiving and then Oklahoma on Dec. 1. And if there are big numbers there, I'll be all over these Frogs again.

I don't know how much Kansas State will be taking the Frogs seriously. The Wildcats have TCU today and then are at Baylor next week before closing the season against Texas, and it honestly wouldn't surprise me if they're looking past both games and onto the Longhorns.

This is TCU's time of the year, as it's on a 15-6 ATS run in the month of November, and Patterson will have his troops ready for this game.

2♦ TCU

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday November, 10

Chuck O'Brien

My free pick is going to be on the Virginia Cavaliers, laying a cheap number against the Miami Hurricanes. The Cavs have now won two straight in this series, including a 28-21 triumph in Miami Gardens last season.

I know the Canes need just one more win to become bowl eligible, but the Cavs need three. Virginia needs to win out, and it comes in after a much-needed 33-6 win at NC State. Last week's win snapped a six-game losing streak, and realistically, the Cavs could very well run the table to sneak into the postseason.

Following this game, they'll host North Carolina next Thursday and then wrap up the regular season at Virginia Tech the following week. A win today, though, is imminent.

I think the Cavs learned once again what it's like to play offensive-minded football, and should be able to prevail in this one. I like them to pull this one out.

2♦ VIRGINIA

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday November, 10

Craig Davis

Last night's free play was Maryland plus the points in college basketball.

Free play of the day today on Texas A&M to cover the number against Alabama.

Most bettors are expecting a Bama blowout after an emotional win over LSU last week in Baton Rouge.

But I actually think differently. I believe the Aggies coming to town is looked at as an "easy win" despite the fact the Aggies are more than capable of pulling the upset.

Do I think A&M will win this game SU? Absolutely not. But I do believe it will be closer than the pointspread indicates.

Remember, we're talking about 20-year old young men who can't be expected to be "up" for every single game. And coming off the type of game they had last week, can we really expect them to be in their best form again this week.

Don't get me wrong... I know that if there's any coach in American who can motivate a team from week to week, it's Nick Saban. Alabama will be physically ready... but can they be mentally motivated again this week?

And if Texas A&M really is going to be able to get the job done, it's going to be a combo of playing good defense on one side and solid play by QB Johnny Manziel on the other side.

Manziel exploded onto the college football scene this season, leading the SEC in total offense with 383.2 YPG and rushing with 102.4 YPG and guiding Texas A&M to a 7-2 record and a 4-2 record in SEC play.

True, Manziel is only a frosh, but he looks like a trusted veteran who is more than capable of running an offense like a senior. The kid has a great arm, but what's more impressive is his ability to decide when to throw the ball into tight coverage, throw it away, or when to tuck it and run.

3♦ TEXAS A&M

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday November, 10

Jeff Benton

Your Saturday freebie is the Georgia Bulldogs to have their way at Auburn.

Wonder how much longer the Tiger Nation is going to let Gene Chizik coach on the Plains? This Tigers team is plain awful and has been since the departure of Cam Newton.

Auburn has not covered two games in a row since Newton was under center back in 2010, and their 2-7 spread mark this year certainly does not instill confidence in backing them plus the points against a Georgia team that is a win away from punching their ticket to Atlanta for the second straight year in the SEC Championship game.

UGa shook off an early 10-0 deficit last week at home to a dangerous Ole Miss team, winning 37-10 going away. The Dawgs are on a 10-6 spread run away from Athens, and Mark Richt has certainly taken care of business against Auburn of late, going 5-1 straight up and 4-2 against the spread the last six times these schools have met. The lone loss coming to Superman Cam Newton back in the magical 2010 season.

With the Tigers allowing 31 points per game in conference action, only a matter of time before this one turns ugly.

Georgia by 21 points minimum.

4♦ GEORGIA


Your other Saturday comp play hails from the Big 10 where I will take the points with the rested Northwestern Wildcats.

Northwestern has been off since their 28-17 win and cover at home over Iowa, as the Wildcats improved to 8-1 versus the line for the season, while also improving to 7-2 overall for the season.

Pat Fitzgerald engineered a win at Michigan Stadium the last time the Wildcats made the trek to Ann Arbor, as Northwestern won a 21-14 decision back in '08 as the road underdog. The 'Cats are actually 3-1 against the spread the last four series meetings versus Michigan.

The Wolverines were able to pull away from Minnesota last week despite the absence of QB Denard Robinson, and while Robinson is expected to be back for this one, you have to wonder if that right hand won't give him problems as the game moves on?

Michigan is just 4-5 overall against the spread this year, and this impost seems a few points too high for them to cover against a rested and capable pup.

Take Northwestern plus the points.

3♦ NORTHWESTERN

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday November, 10

Chris Jordan

The No. 1 team in the nation's next test is the Texas A&M Aggies, who bring their versatile quarterback and high-speed offense that comes at you non-stop. That won't scare me one bit, though, as the Crimson Tide are at home and playing some phenomenal football. I'm laying the points with 'Bama as my free play tonight.

Alabama (9-0, 6-0) secures a spot in the SEC championship game with a win here, and at this point I don't know of a team that can derail this team with two national titles in three years and a third in its sights.

Last week's win over the LSU Tigers was a huge sigh of relief for Alabama, and now it can continue on its torrid run, blasting through SEC foes by the biggest of margins. I know the Aggies have quarterback Johnny Manziel, the league's leading rusher and scorer and most believe the No. 3 passer confronts one of the nation's stingiest defenses with a tough test; but what about the fact he faces his first big defensive test in Alabama, which is allowing 66 yards a game rushing?

I'll lay the points with the defensive Tide here.

5♦ ALABAMA


My late freebie for Saturday takes me out to Baton Rouge, as I'm playing the road underdog Mississippi State Bulldogs against the LSU Tigers. I know the Bayou Bengals will be coming into this one pissed off after Alabama's late win last week, but there's something about this rivalry tonight that has always seen the Dawgs give LSU fits.

And this is just not any old rivalry, when No. 9-ranked LSU (7-2, 3-2 SEC) entertains No. 22 Mississippi State (7-2, 3-2), it will mark the 106th game between the two programs dating to 1896. This is the one opponent the Tigers have played more than anybody else.

And even though the Tigers have dominated the Bulldogs, with 12 consecutive victories in the series, the last three seasons have seen these two battle in tight games, with physical, defensive, smashmouth football. The Tigers went into Starkville last season ranked No. 1 and pulled away for a hard-fought 19-6 win.

I expect to see LSU a bit mopey today, after last week's loss, some may even define them as uninspired. It'll be during that time the Dawgs will need to step up and steal some momentum in this game to keep things close.

I'll play the road dog in this one, and look for Mississippi State to keep things close.

1♦ MISSISSIPPI STATE

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday November, 10

Matt Rivers

Saturday's free play in college football is to go with Notre Dame to crush Boston College.

The Irish dodged a major bullet last week at home in their double-overtime escape-job over Pittsburgh, obviously failing the spread as the 17 point chalk. Brian Kelly's team has had better success this season when playing away from South Bend, as evidenced by their 4-0 spread mark away from home. Remember their last road game? A 30-13 ambush of Oklahoma as the double-digit underdog.

I think if the Irish can win at Norman, they will be able to roll in Chestnut Hill against a Boston College team that is just 2-7 straight up and has failed miserably in both tries when getting double-digits - losing by 44 to Florida State, and 20 to Georgia Tech.

Boston College is also on a 2-5 spread dip as a home underdog, and they have now lost the last three in this series versus Notre Dame.

Irish received their wake-up call last Saturday, this Saturday they do some serious damage.

Lay the points with Notre Dame.

5♦ NOTRE DAME

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday November, 10

Jeff Scott Sports

5 UNIT PLAY

OKLAHOMA -21.5 over Baylor: The Baylor Bears have put up some huge offensive numbers this year, but this will be the best defense they have faced this year. Baylor has faced just 2 good defenses on the year (TCU & Iowa State) and they have been held to just 21 points in each game. In contrast, Baylor has scored 41+ points in their other 6 games this year. The Sooners have the defense to slow them down in this one. Defensively is where the Bears struggle mightily, allowing 527.3 ypg and 39.1 ypg on the year. Last week Baylor held a very weak Kansas offense to just 14 points, but they had allowed 52.3 ppg in their other 4 Big 12 games this year. The Sooner offense has been a bit inconsistent this year, but they have plenty of weapons and they have averaged 487.6 ypg and 39.5 ppg on the year.  Oklahoma should be able to breakout with 50+ points in this one, while the Bears will be held to 21 points or less. This should be a blowout.

4 UNIT PLAY

AKRON -16 over UMass:  I know you shouldn't as a bad team to win for you, but I feel this is the perfect spot to go against that theory. What a frustrating year it has been for Terry Bowden and his Zips and I feel they will take out all their frustrations out on this bad UMass squad. Despite their 1-9 record the Zipps offense has been very good, ranking 43rd overall (436.7 ypg) and 66th in points scored (27.6 ppg). The Zipp passing attack ranks first in the MAC and 14th in the nation (316.1 ypg) and should b able to have a big game vs this mediocre UMass pass defense that ranks 65th in the nation. The Zipp running game has not gotten untracked this year, but they should have a good game vs a UMass defense that ranks 123rd vs the run. A running game from Akron will only help open even more throwing lanes for their passing game. The Zips have struggled on defense, but UMass has one of the worst offenses in the nation. UMass has been outscored by 42 pg in their last 4 games overall and by 40.2 ppg on the road this year. Akron has been waiting for a chance to explode on someone and this is that chance. Both teams are bad, but Akron is worlds ahead on offense and should win this one by at least 3 TD's.

3 UNIT PLAYS

MISSISSIPPI -3 over Vanderbilt: The Rebels are off blowout loss at Georgia, but prior to that game they had won on the road vs Arkansas, blewout Auburn at home, lost by just 3 to Texas A&M and lost by 19 as 30 point dogs vs Alabama. This is a team that has been playing very well for much of the year as their 7-2 ATS mark would indicate. The Ole Miss offense has been very good this year, especially at home where they have averaged 483.4 ypg and 35.2 ppg on the year. A big part of the Ole Miss offense is their run game that has churned out 218 ypg and 5.2 ypc at home and that isn’t good news for a Vandy defense that has allowed 186 ypg and 4.7 ypc on the road this year. The Rebels pass the ball about 13 times less a game at home than they run it, but they have been very effective when they pass as they have averaged 264 ypg and 9.2 yards per attempt. While the Vandy defense has been solid this year they will have a hard time stopping this Rebel offense enough to give their own offense a chance for a win. That Vandy offense has been pretty good this year as they have averaged 25.4 ppg overall, but on the road they struggle to score, averaging just 18.8 ppg. Vandy is off BB blow out wins, but they were vs UMass and Kentucky, which is not impressive at all. Vandy did struggle at home with Auburn (won by 4) and lost Big to Georgia (45 points), while Ole Miss Beat Vandy by 21 at home and lost to Georgia by 27. Ole miss is the more impressive 5-4 team here and will show it by winning by at least a TD in this one. 

POWER ANGLE PLAY

SYRACUSE +2 over Louisville:  The Cardinals are a very phony 9-0 on the year. 5 of their wins have come in the final possession and if you take out the North Carolina game then their other 4 non- league wins have come vs team that are a combined 27 games below .500. In contrast to this Louisville's 4 non-league games so far have come vs teams with a combined record of 36-11. The Cardinals do have Teddy Bridgewater running their show, but this Syracuse defense is not that bad, ranking 39th in the nation vs the pass (209.1 ypg). The Cuse also have a solid QB in Ryan Nassib and he has helped them to the 20th ranked passing offense in the nation, with 306.8 ypg. Louisville allows just 189 ypg through the air, but have faced only one offense that can throw the ball as well as the Cuse can and that was North Carolina and in that game they allowed the Heels 363 yards through the air. They will have similar problems stopping the pass in this one. Yards per play tells a story here as well. Desptie the discrepancy in records the Cuse gain 5.9 ypp and allow just 5.5 ypp, while Louisville gains 6.3 ypp and allows 5.2 ypp. pretty even. Syracuse has 18 seniors on their roster, but 10 of those are starters and this is their final home game of the year. What better way to go out than by knocking Louisville from the ranks of the unbeaten, while at the same time helping you own cause by keeping those bowl hopes alive. Louisville have been lucky at times this year, but their luck runs out today. POWER ANGLE FOR THIS PLAY--- This is Taken from Marc Lawrence and it is a wild one. LOL. Play AGAINST any road team off a SUATS conference win from Game 10 out with a perfect record as a favorite or dog of 4 or less points against a foe that allows 24 or fewer PPG – provided they’ve won 20 or less of their previous 28 road games. Told ya it was wild, but teams in this spot are just 2-16 ATS since 1980.


Florida/ UL Lafayette Under 50.5:  This Florida defense is awesome this year, allowing just 286.9 ypg and 12.1 ppg on the year. They have even better numbers in the Swamp, where they have allowed just 254.4 ypg and 7.6 ppg. No matter how good the Ragin Cajun offense is within the Sun Belt, they will not do damage vs this Gator squad in this one. On offense the Gators have put up just 23 total points in their last 2 games. Their offense has been inconsistent all year and now that they are finished with their SEC schedule I look for their offense to be a little vanilla for the next couple of weeks, before their big game vs Florida State. Even vs a bad Sun Belt defense I just don’t see the Gators putting up more than 35 points, while UL Lafayette will not reach double digits here. Look for the low 40’s at best here. 


NORTH CAROLINA -7.5 over Georgia Tech:  With the Heels on probation this season, you can bet  that HC Larry Fedora will have them playing these final three games with reckless abandon as they can still lay claim to the ACC Coastal crown. They won’t be going to nearby Charlotte to take on either FSU or Clemson for all the conference marbles but they’ll still be able to hang the division championship banner from the rafters. The Tech offense is very good this year, but their defense is a big reason they stand at 4-5 on the year and it wont get any easier for them here vs a Heels squad that has averaged 487.8 ypg and 39.4 ppg. The Heels have been even more impressive at home, averaging 530.7 ypg and 49.2 ppg. The Tech defense has allowed 26.7 ppg on the road, so I don’t expect them to slow Carolina down here. The Jackets do score 27 ppg on the road, but they are just 1-2 away from home and will be facing a Heels defense that has allowed just 15 ppg on their home field this year. North Carolina had a week to prepare for the triple option and they have both the better offense and defense in this one. I expect them to win by 14+ here.


Michigan/ Northwestern Under 52.5: This Michigan Defense has been stellar this year, allowing more than 13 points just once in their last 7 games. At home the the Wolverines have allowed just 278.5 ypg and 12 ppg. Overall the Wolverines have avoided giving up to many big plays, allowing just 4.5 ypg, which is one of the best marks in the nation. The Northwestern defense has not been that overly great, but they have allowed just 22.3 ppg on the year and they haven't allowed the big play all that often, allowing just 5.2 yards per play. The Two defense will go up against a couple of primarily running teams. The Cats run the ball nearly 17 more times per game than they throw it and Michigan is has a pretty good run defense allowing just 143 ypc at 3.7 yards per pop. Michigan also runs the ball nearly 17 more times per game than they throw it and like Michigan the Cats have a good run defense, allowing 122.7 ypg at 3.6 ypc. All that running with small gains at a time should eat plenty of clock. Both defenses are solid and just don't allow too many big plays. They make you work your way down field and eat clock and that should keep this game in the 40's.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday November, 10

SPORTS WAGERS

Georgia Tech +7½ -105 over NORTH CAROLINA

12:30 PM EST. Georgia Tech is the hungrier team here and has shown major improvement on both sides of the ball as well as in attitude since the BYU loss. Paul Johnson's Jackets are starting to come around and this is too much weight for a North Carolina team with no postseason future to lay coming off such a fulfilling win. Tech can play as an equal here, and if the Jackets can't win this one outright it will probably be because their special teams failed them.

The Tar Heels are coming off that win over in-state rival N.C. State last week. This is a program that has played a weak schedule, has already lost to Duke and Wake Forest and is certainly not 7½ points better than the Jackets.  UNC’s best effort would have difficulty covering this number and after game against Wolfpack, don’t expect that here. Upset alert is on.


Mississippi State +16 -105 over LSU

7:00 PM EST. Two TD’s plus seems a bit rich here. Had this one been played last week instead of this week, LSU would’ve been about a nine or 10-point choice. Mississippi State is a lot better than the heartless effort put forth last week against the Aggies and as a result, we get an inflated number in this one. The Bulldogs match up better this week and are practically guaranteed to give a better effort than last Saturday’s.

LSU is coming off that huge loss against Alabama. QB Zach Mettenberger's breakout performance certainly gives the Tigers confidence moving forward. However, one can never ignore the toll a game against the #1 seed takes on a team booth physically and emotionally. LSU impressed everyone in that game. They were given very little chance of pulling the upset but came so close to doing just that. For LSU, last season’s title game left scars and it took them time to recover. Look for a similar fate here, as they’re in a much better spot next week at home against Arkansas. This is truly a buy low, sell high opportunity.


OKLAHOMA ST -10 -105 over West Virginia

3:30 PM EST. Oklahoma State is a capable, well-coached outfit that's outgaining its foes by about 200 yards per game. QB Wes Lunt's injury has this number lower than it should be. This team has ample confidence in Clint Chelf, who appears to be the new starter. RB Joseph Randle will find plenty of room no matter who is taking snaps and his offense will be backed by superior special teams and a strong secondary that matches up well here.

The Mountaineers were a mess before last week’s crushing double OT loss to TCU and now they have to travel with that blow hanging over their heads. That was really their only opportunity for relevance this year and they blew it. After WV’s demoralizing loss, it would take Hall of Fame coaching to get this team out of the tank and it should be obvious that West Virginia doesn't exactly have that. Prior to that game, WVU was crushed at Texas Tech and humiliated at home by Kansas State. Dana Holgorsen's squad has covered just once in the past seven games and we've seen all we need to see to confirm that West Virginia football is in big trouble. Our plan is to fire away against them when it’s warranted, as it is here.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday November, 10

SPORTS WAGERS


GOLDEN STATE +117 over Denver

The Nuggets are coming off a nice win over the Jazz last night but that was at home, where they thrive. The road is a completely different story for this offensive minded group. Denver opened the season with three successive road losses in Philly, Orlando and Miami. They looked lost in two of those away games. A subsequent three-game winning streak has them seemingly back on track but we’re not buying it just yet, as a little complacency has likely set in after this short win streak.  Despite the recent success, the Nuggets still take too many three-point and low percentage shots for our liking.

The Warriors were a 7-point dog in L.A. last night and got whacked by 30. That has most people backing way off them but not us. Golden State is still 3-3 on the year. They already have a road win over the Clippers at the Staples Center and have played just two home games all season, splitting them. The Warriors are under the radar but we saw signs of them being relevant last season under defensive-minded Coach Mark Jackson and their slow rise should continue this season. This is a winnable game against a not so tough guest.


PORTLAND +124 over San Antonio

San Antonio is an elite team. They’re once again rolling and off to a solid 5-1 start. These players have played in a lot of big games over the years but a game in Portland, being its third road game in four days is not one of them. Expect them to ease up a little with games against the Lakers and Knicks on deck. The Spurs have not been that sharp on the road with a four-point win over New Orleans, a 12-point loss to the Clippers but did cap it off with last night’s 11-point win over the Kings.

The Blazers are off to a 2-3 start. They recently played three consecutive road games in Ok City, Houston and Dallas. They returned home to face the Clippers on Thursday and they’re likely to be much sharper here with time to prepare.  Being fresh and in a better situational spot, this small number (Spurs -2½) suggests the Trailblazers will be in a good position to win outright. We agree and that’s the way we’ll play it.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday November, 10

Bob Balfe

Tulsa -3.5

This is a rivalry game that goes back many years that comes to an end today as Houston leaves for the Big East. The Cougars always have a great offense, but this year the talent in receivers is not at what it usually is. This unit is going to be awesome in a year, but are young. To make matters worst Houston is without their stud running back. Tulsa actually has a pretty good defense and I really like how this team has played in their conference the last few seasons. Houston had a lot more on their mind this week as their best cornerback had a freak injury in practice that could cost him his career and more sadly his life His football career is probably over and when a team goes through something like that every last player looks in the mirror knowing very well that could be them. Tulsa is a better team this year and should win on the road here. Take Tulsa.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday November, 10

Harry Bondi

WAKE FOREST (+7.5) over NC State

NC State has been one of the most disappointing teams in the country this season and after two dismal losses to North Carolina and Virginia there is now way Tom O'Brien's team should be laying a TD to anyone, especially to Wake Forest, which has the same exact record at 5-4 overall. The main problem for the Wolfpack is that they are a severely one-dimensional offense with absolutely no running game. NC State has rushed for 67 yards or less as a team in its last four games and the offensive line is having all kinds of problems protecting the QB. Other than its losses to power teams Clemson and Florida State, Wake Forest has not lost to anyone by more than a TD all season. The Demon Deacons are 7-2 ATS in this series the last nine meetings and will get the cover again here. Take the generous points.

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