Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday December, 30

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

Matt Rivers

Sunday NFL free play winner is the underdog Vikings at home against the visiting Packers.

Big time implications on the line in this one, as Minnesota needs a win to clinch a playoff spot, and of course the sub-story is Adrian Peterson's quest for the single-season rushing record. As for Green Bay, the need a win to clinch the overall #2 NFC seed and a playoff bye that comes along with it.

As hot as Green Bay has been - nine wins in their last ten games, including four straight wins and covers - it should be noted that three of the Pack's four losses on the season have come when they were on the road.

Minnesota has lost the last five series meetings, but the home team is on a 4-1 spread run the last five times these teams have played. The Vikings have been rock-solid at home this year, going 6-1 straight up, and they have gone a perfect 3-0 both straight up and against the spread when listed as a home underdog this season (wins over the 49ers, Lions, and Bears).

The Vikings just went on the road and held the Houston Texans without a touchdown on their home field, expect the Minny defense to be tough on Aaron Rodgers this afternoon.

Take Minnesota plus the points.

3♦ MINNESOTA


Sunday free play in the NFL is the Over in the Eagles-Giants game.

In what could very well be the last game Andy Reid coaches on the Philly sideline and the last game Mike Vick QB's in an Eagles uniform, look for the points to add up on the MetLife Stadium scoreboard.

The Giants need a win here and a ton of help to make it to the postseason, and with just 14 points scored their past pair of games, it is high-time Eli Manning gets this offense in gear. With the Philadelphia defense having allowed 30 points or better in five of their last seven games, there is a strong chance Eli rings the bell a few times in this one.

Philadelphia has played Overs in their last pair and four of their last five overall, so don't let the fact the G-Men have been Under in six of their last seven frighten you away from playing this one Over.

The last three series meetings between these NFC East rivals have held Low, but with the Giants trying to keep their playoff hopes alive, and with Reid and Vick likely playing their swan-song, I think we see a higher-scoring affair today.

Eagles-Giants Over the total.

1♦ PHILADELPHIA-N.Y. GIANTS OVER

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

Stephen Nover

St Louis +12

I'm a buyer with the Rams at this price. The Seahawks are playing great and are unbeaten at home. But the Seahawks already have clinched a playoff spot. The Seahawks have to know that the Cardinals aren't upsetting the 49ers in San Francisco so winning the NFC West Division isn't going to happen for them.

The Rams have a lot going for them in this matchups, too, and Jeff Fisher has them highly motivated to finish above .500 for the first time in nine years.

St. Louis has covered in each of its last six division games, including beating the Seahawks, 19-13, on Sept. 30. The Rams are 6-2 ATS versus foes with a winning record and 5-0 ATS during their last five away games. As a 'dog this season, the Rams are 10-3 ATS.

Fisher has made the Rams tougher both physically and mentally. The Rams have a very underrated defensive line with 46 sacks, which is third-highest in the NFL. St. Louis has limited four of its last five opponents to 17 points or fewer.

The line has climbed higher with the news that Seattle's star cornerback Richard Sherman won't be suspended. Sherman may be the finest cornerback, but Seattle still is thin at cornerback if Marcus Trufant and Walter Thurmond remain out. Trufant has missed the last four games while Thurmond has sat out the past two weeks.

The Seahawks have been fortunate to have played poor passing teams down the stretch. Seattle's last seven games have come against the Vikings, Jets, Dolphins, Bears, Cardinals, Bills and 49ers. Sam Bradford has been playing better for St. Louis as his offensive line has become more stable. Bradford has two-touchdown passing games during five of his last seven matchups.

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

Matt Fargo

Houston vs. Indianapolis
Pick: Indianapolis

Houston can grab the top seed in the AFC with a win at Indianapolis but the value is clearly on the Colts side here as two weeks ago, the Texans were favored by 10.5-points at home and now is favored by a touchdown on the road.  Houston has a lot to play for while Indianapolis has nothing to play for. Don't think the Colts are going to hand this over to the Texans though by resting their starters in preparation for their playoff game next week. "We're going in to win," Colts interim head coach Bruce Arians told WNDE-AM in Indianapolis. "We gotta keep rising." Making this even bigger is the fact that Indianapolis want to gain some momentum after getting outgained badly in its last three games. And there is also the side story about head coach Chuck Pagano making his return to the team so the players would like nothing more than to reward him with a victory in his first game back. The Texans need to win to grab the top seed in the AFC which comes with home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The linesmakers have adjusted the line because of this which is the case for most games that include a team in a must win situation late in the season. Houston started the season strong but it has been leaking oil of late with losses in two of its last three games and it has been outgained in four of its last five including 158 yards last week at home against Minnesota. The Texans could very well bounce back here but winning this big on the road against a very hungry team is simply too much to ask for.

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

Red Dog Sports

Wofford +9.5

This should be a low scoring game today. Virginia just lost to ODU and should beat Wofford but may be looking ahead to their next game, which is their ACC opener against UNC. UVA is led by Joe Harris, who should lead the way with about 14 points for the Cavaliers. They play great defense under coach Tony Bennett.

The Wofford Terriers have played some close low scoring games as well. They just lost to Xavier by one point.

This game could end 55-50 since we do have a total of 107 in this game.

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

Freddy Wills

Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts    
Play: Indianapolis Colts

Texans have really struggled down the stretch going 14-55 on third downs on offense. Facing the Colts could brighten up their day, but the Colts would love to get a win against their division rivals here. I think the Colts will have a ton of inspiration on their sidelines with Chuck Pagano coming back making the difference. The Texans may be able to hold on with a win to earn a bye, but I think the game will be their for the Colts to win especially given how the Texans have played of late.

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

Charlie Scott

St. Louis Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks
Play: St. Louis Rams   

We cashed last week with Seattle Over ! Don't get me wrong, Seattle is a good Team and has been playing very well the last Month. However, in the parity driven NFL, especially within a point spread NFL, Nothing Last Forever and Teams don't keep scoring 50+ point per game. Anytime You can get double digits with a decent Jeff Fisher Coached Team, I believe their worth a look.


Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins
Play: Dallas Cowboys 

While the General Public seems to be in love with RG3 and the Skins, I'll go the other way and take the Cowboys + the points. Keep in mind RG3 is banged up and it matters because he is not a pocket passer and needs to be mobile to be successful. Dallas Def Coo Ryan is an above average Coordinator and I believe facing the Redskins offense, for the second time in 5 weeks will be easier for the Defensive Players. Romo & Company are due to win a big game, why not Tonight. Shop for the +3.5 ! PLAY DALLAS

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

David Banks

Cowboys / Redskins Over 49

Exactly like last season, there is a pseudo-playoff game to determine the NFC East winner on the last week of the season as the Dallas Cowboys (8-7, 6-9 ATS) visit the Washington Redskins (9-6, 10-5 ATS) Sunday at FedEx Field in Landover, MD at 8:20 ET on NBC. In all likelihood, this is like a true playoff game with the winner winning the division and the loser not making the playoffs. That is definitely the case for the Cowboys and it will be the case for the Redskins unless the Bears, Vikings and Giants all lose, in which case Washington would be a wild card with a loss. Last year, the Cowboys were in this exact situation on the road and lost to the Giants, who went on to win the Super Bowl after not qualifying for the playoffs until winning that season finale.

But back to this year, these two combatants will probably take different approaches to attempt to win this game. Dallas quarterback Tony Romo and wide receiver Dez Bryant are two of the hottest players at their positions in the NFL right now while running back Demarco Murray has been a disappointment since returning from his injury, so you can expect Dallas to put a lot of balls in the air. The Cowboys are now up to third in the NFL in passing offense thanks to Romo averaging 302.2 yards per game. He passed for 416 yards vs. the Saints last week with Bryant having 224 of the receiving yards and two touchdowns. Bryant now has at least one touchdown reception in seven consecutive games, totaling 10 touchdowns in those contests. Murray meanwhile managed only 40 rushing yards vs. the worst rushing defense in the league last week in New Orleans, and he still seems hindered by the foot injury that kept him out of six games. Then again a one dimensional passing attack is not the worst thing here as Dallas will be passing against a 30th ranked Washington passing defense allowing 287.7 yards per game.

Washington will have a difficult time stopping Romo and Bryant defensively, but one thing that the Redskins can do is keep the Dallas offense off the field by controlling the clock with their running game on offense. That makes more sense considering Robert Griffin III was not his usual self last week as he too remained bothered by an injury, in this case a knee injury that forced him to miss one game two weeks ago. Griffin is not the only rookie in the Washington backfield that is having a big season though, as Alfred Morris is fourth in the NFL in rushing with 1410 yards on the ground while averaging a nice 4.7 yards per carry. Look for heavy doses of Morris here vs. a struggling Dallas run defense that is allowing a brutal 5.3 yards per carry to opposing running backs in the last four weeks. Consider also that few people expected the young Skins to be in this position before this season started, so it is not difficult to envision Washington resorting to a conservative "not to lose" game plan.

The 'under' is 4-1-1 in the last six head-to-head meetings here in Washington, as well as 12-5 in the last 17 Redskins' games vs. teams with winning records. The 'under' is also 8-2 in the last 10 Dallas road games. Not today!

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

Harry Bondi

Green Bay / Minnesota Under 46

The Packers are known as an "over" team, but in the "Black and Blue" Division, Green Bay has gone under in 5 straight contests. This is a different Green Bay offense than a year ago. The team is averaging 7 points per game less this season than last year when it went 15-1 and was the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, and it has scored more than 28 points just four times this season, after eclipsing that mark 11 times in 2012. In a game that will be played like a postseason game with so much at stake for both teams, we expect both offenses to play conservative and keep this one under the total.

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