Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday February 3rd

Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday February 3rd

DUNKEL INDEX

Baltimore vs. San Francisco
The 49ers look to build on their 9-3 ATS record in their last 12 non-conference games. San Francisco is the pick (-3 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the 49ers favored by 6. Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (-3 1/2)

Game 101-102: Baltimore vs. San Francisco (6:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Baltimore 136.325; San Francisco 142.495
Dunkel Line: San Francisco by 6; 44
Vegas Line: San Francisco by 3 1/2; 48
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (-3 1/2); Under

NHL

Ottawa at Montreal
The Senators look to take advantage of a Montreal team that is coming off a 6-1 win over Buffalo and is 7-21 in its last 28 games after scoring 5 goals or more in the previous game. Ottawa is the pick (+105) according to Dunkel, which has the Senators favored by 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Ottawa (+105)

Game 51-52: Pittsburgh at Washington (12:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh 11.383; Washington 11.651
Dunkel Line & Total: Washington by 1/2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Pittsburgh (-130); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (+110); Over

Game 53-54: Ottawa at Montreal (2:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Ottawa 12.725; Montreal 11.056
Dunkel Line & Total: Ottawa by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Montreal (-125); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Ottawa (+105); Over

Game 55-56: Florida at Buffalo (3:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Florida 10.463; Buffalo 11.358
Dunkel Line & Total: Buffalo by 1; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Buffalo (-160); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Buffalo (-160); Under

Game 57-58: New Jersey at NY Islanders (3:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: New Jersey 12.094; NY Islanders 10.929
Dunkel Line & Total: New Jersey by 1; 5
Vegas Line & Total: NY Islanders (-120); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: New Jersey (+100); Under

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DUNKEL INDEX

NBA

LA Clippers at Boston
The Clippers look to take advantage of a Boston team that is coming off a 97-84 win over Orlando and is 2-8-1 ATS in its last 11 games following a SU win of more than 10 points. LA is the pick (-1) according to Dunkel, which has the Clippers favored by 3 1/2. Dunkel Pick: LA Clippers (-1)

Game 801-802: LA Clippers at Boston (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Clippers 121.067; Boston 117.559
Dunkel Line & Total: LA Clippers by 3 1/2; 181
Vegas Line & Total: LA Clippers by 1; 184 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Clippers (-1); Under

Game 803-804: LA Lakers at Detroit (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Lakers 119.293; Detroit 118.674
Dunkel Line & Total: LA Lakers by 1; 204
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 805-806: Miami at Toronto (2:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami 124.324; Toronto 118.385
Dunkel Line & Total: Miami by 6; 191
Vegas Line & Total: Miami by 4 1/2; 195 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Miami (-4 1/2); Under

NCAAB

Oregon State at Stanford
The Beavers look to build on their 5-1 ATS record in their last 6 road games. Oregon State is the pick (+10) according to Dunkel, which has the Cardinal favored by only 5 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Oregon State (+10)

Game 807-808: Providence at Villanova (12:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Providence 60.602; Villanova 64.428
Dunkel Line: Villanova by 4
Vegas Line: Villanova by 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Providence (+6 1/2)

Game 809-810: Iowa at Minnesota (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Iowa 68.347; Minnesota 74.631
Dunkel Line: Minnesota by 6 1/2; 142
Vegas Line: Minnesota by 9 1/2; 138
Dunkel Pick: Iowa (+9 1/2); Over

Game 811-812: Marquette at Louisville (2:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Marquette 67.115; Louisville 79.712
Dunkel Line: Louisville by 12 1/2; 129
Vegas Line: Louisville by 10 1/2; 132 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Louisville (-10 1/2); Under

Game 813-814: South Florida at Connecticut (2:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: South Florida 58.805; Connecticut 66.474
Dunkel Line: Connecticut by 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Connecticut by 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: South Florida (+9 1/2)

Game 815-816: Virginia at Georgia Tech (3:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Virginia 66.190; Georgia Tech 65.824
Dunkel Line: Even; 117
Vegas Line: Virginia by 2; 112
Dunkel Pick: Georgia Tech (+2); Over

Game 817-818: Oregon State at Stanford (3:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oregon State 59.535; Stanford 64.953
Dunkel Line: Stanford by 5 1/2
Vegas Line: Stanford by 10
Dunkel Pick: Oregon State (+10)

Game 819-820: Wisconsin at Illinois (3:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Wisconsin 67.778; Illinois 68.750
Dunkel Line: Illinois by 1; 130
Vegas Line: Wisconsin by 1 1/2; 126
Dunkel Pick: Illinois (+1 1/2); Over

Game 821-822: Rider at Marist (2:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Rider 48.925; Marist 47.039
Dunkel Line: Rider by 2
Vegas Line: Rider by 3 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Marist (+3 1/2)

Game 823-824: St. Peter's at Manhattan (3:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Peter's 43.191; Manhattan 54.503
Dunkel Line: Manhattan by 11 1/2
Vegas Line: Manhattan by 8
Dunkel Pick: Manhattan (-8)

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday February 3rd

Otto SportsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Frank Gore Rushing AttemptsFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Over 19.5FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Frank Gore is a workhorse for the 49ers, plain and simple. Their preferred method of attack is to pound the football on the ground and San Francisco has arguably the best offensive line in NFL so that method makes perfect sense. Based on season long numbers this prop might seem like it’s priced high at first glance but don’t let those season long numbers cloud your view.
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Gore didn’t have the heaviest workload during the regular season as head coach Jim Harbaugh routinely spelled him with Kendall Hunter. But Hunter went down with a knee injury and hasn’t played since Week 12. Let’s look at Gore’s workload pre and post Hunter injury…
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While in the rotation with Hunter in Weeks 1 through 12 Gore had just two 20 carry games. Since Hunter went down Gore had three 20 carry games in the final five weeks of the regular season and two 20 carry games so far here in the playoffs. That’s five 20 or more carry games in the last seven weeks! We can put an asterisk next to one of the games during this seven week run where Gore failed to get 20 carries as San Francisco was forced to abandon the run in a blowout loss at Seattle.
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Baltimore ranked 26th in Football Outsiders’ rushing defense and they’ve given up at least 100 yards in all three of their playoff games. Not even the return of Ray Lewis has helped their rush defense so Gore should have plenty of success and get plenty of carries while the ground-and-pound clicks. And I expect San Francisco to win this game so he’ll see plenty of late game “run out the clock” type carries. Play this one over.
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Ray Lewis solo tackles + special teams solo tackles + assisted tackles
Recommendation: Over 10.5FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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It’s important to note in this bet that LVH does not count sacks toward the total. You should check to see whether or not they count if you play it at another shop. Having said that, Lewis doesn’t get many sacks anyway (just one this season to date) so it shouldn’t be a factor one way or another.
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Lewis played just six regular season games thanks to a serious triceps injury but he was very productive in those six games. In his final regular season appearance he racked up a combined 14 solo and assisted tackles. In his three-game stint since coming back from injury here in the playoffs he’s racked up a combined 34 solo and assisted tackles and has obliterated the 10.5 number we see here in all three games. And San Francisco, with their ground and pound between the tackles style running, should play right into our hands with this bet and give Lewis plenty of opportunities to rack up stops.

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Sam MartinFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Baltimore at San FranciscoFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Prediction: UnderFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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There's almost always value in betting the Under in the Super Bowl as the big game receives a ton of action from non-regular sports bettors, who typically play the Over. It makes sense, as it's "easier" to root for the offense than the defense. This year is no exception, with a high opening number of 49 points (although it has been bet down a bit already), and we'll look for the defenses to be in control for most of this game. Both teams feature a heavy running game and we don't have the big name quarterbacks this year along the likes of Manning, Brady, Rogers, or Brees. More running plays means the clock keeps moving, and if the running games are successful then drives of even 30 or 40 yards can take a good 5-6 minutes off the clock without resulting in any points. Both defenses only give up 39 ppg a game combined on the season - well below this posted number - and neither team has what we would consider to be an "explosive" offense. It might be easier to root for the offenses, but it's smarter to back the defenses.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday February 3rd

Rob VenoFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Total Interceptions by Both TeamsFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Recommendation: Over 1.5FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Baltimore has faced a trio of strong quarterbacks and passing attacks in the playoffs thus far. Despite allowing a rather hefty 286.7 passing yards per game this postseason, the Ravens have been a successful ball hawking secondary. Versus Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, Baltimore has come up with five interceptions mostly due to physical coverage and an active defensive line. Batted balls by Ravens defensive linemen frustrated the 6-5 Brady in the AFC Championship including a key fourth quarter interception. The active, arms up approach of Baltimore’s defensive line has now seen three straight above average sized quarterbacks and should be able to create a couple of opportunities against 6-6 Colin Kaepernick who doesn’t have an extremely high release point. Ravens cornerbacks Corey Graham and Cary Williams along with veteran free safety Ed Reed are all capable of capitalizing on whatever chances are created.
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For San Francisco it has been a different story in the playoffs as they’ve yet to come up with an interception. However, they had more difficult matchups against the receiving arsenals of Green Bay and Atlanta. Baltimore’s Joe Flacco has not been picked off in his 96 playoff pass attempts and his talented receiving corps group is very confident right now. However, Denver was the only opponent which posed a consistent pass pressure threat along with a solid secondary. In that game, Flacco was under duress multiple times and he avoided every landmine. Expect Jim Harbaugh to have a game plan which includes resurrecting the 49ers pass rush allowing the defense to have a couple of shots at interceptions. Although they are relatively unflappable, this setting could cause each quarterback to have an errant throw or two especially early on. These passing attacks are good enough to have strong performances here but the fundamentals and situation suggest more than one interception will occur.
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Anquan Boldin Total ReceptionsFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Recommendation: Over 4.5FFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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In a game of this magnitude, it makes perfect sense to side with players who exude physical and mental toughness. Two years ago I played a Hines Ward receiving yards prop over the total because there was value in the number due to the perception that he was an aging and fading star. Ward’s overall toughness and big game prowess came through (7 catches, 78 yards) and the ticket was easily cashed. This year presents a similar situation except Anquan Boldin is not viewed as aging. Still, there looks to be plenty of value in his total receptions prop. After a slow start in the first couple games of the season, Boldin has been targeted by Joe Flacco seven times or more in 12 of the team’s last 16 games including 10+ five times. More importantly, here in the playoffs Boldin has become even more of a target with Flacco tossing his way an average of nine times per game resulting in 5.3 receptions per contest. Expect the numbers to grow even higher on Sunday as San Francisco will be extremely aware of Torrey Smith’s ability to hurt them deep. Boldin is likely to get one-on-one opportunities with San Francisco’s corners and even slot chances against nickel defense. These are all favorable for the physical and sure handed Boldin who came through with eight receptions for 84 yards in the 2009 Super Bowl versus a hard-nosed Pittsburgh secondary. There are a host of reasons to like this play so I have no problem laying the -120 juice with over 4.5 catches.

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WunderdogFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ersFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: First Quarter UNDER 10FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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During the 2012-13 regular season, an average of 9.4 points per game where scored in the first quarter. In this game we have two good offenses and two good defenses. Baltimore games averaged 10.0 first quarter points while San Francisco games averaged just 7.9 per game. Average the two and we get 9.0 points which is over a full point and a half lower than this posted total. In the history of the Super Bowl, the first quarter has proved to be a low scoring one as an average of 8.3 points per game has been scored. And, it's been getting lower-scoring! Twelve of the last fourteen Super Bowls have seen 10 or fewer points scored in the first quarter. One of the years this bet went OVER was in 2011 but that came only thanks to a very rare pick-6 touchdown. Last year was one of the UNDERs as 9 points were scored. The last five years have seen an average of 7.8 points scored in the first quarter (3, 3, 10, 14, 9). The quarterbacks in those games: Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Kurt Warner, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger. As the magnitude of this game seems grows each year, the stakes only get bigger. That results in an inevitable "feeling out" process early in the game. Each team has prepared meticulously but they still need some time to figure out what they can accomplish versus their opponent. Above all, they are trying to avoid big mistakes early. So the play calling, and the play on the field, tend to be conservative in the early going. Even in Super Bowl games that were expected to be very high-scoring, the 1st quarter has gone UNDER the total much more than not. Five years ago the total between the Giants and Patriots was 53.5. In that game, 3 points were scored in the first-quarter. Three years ago, the total in the Saints-Colts game was set at 56.5. The 1st quarter total went under the 10.5 line. Last year the total was 53.5 and the first-quarter went UNDER. With twelve of the last fourteen Super Bowls producing 10 or fewer points in the first quarter, the UNDER is the play here.

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Ian CameronFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Joe Flacco Pass AttemptsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Over 33.5FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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My thinking behind this prop is fairly straightforward. I don’t see the Ravens being able to get their running game going against the staunch 49ers defensive front. Baltimore running backs Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce were held in check by the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship with just 100 rushing yards. New England had the 9th ranked run defense in the NFL this season. San Francisco has the 4th ranked run defense allowing a paltry 94.2 yards per game. I don’t anticipate seeing a lot of success running the football for Baltimore once again this week and that will force Joe Flacco into passing situations early and often if the Ravens are going to be able to move the football and put points on the board.
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Flacco’s pass attempts skyrocketed upward in Baltimore’s last two playoff games. He threw the football 34 times against Denver despite the Ravens run game working well that day and he threw the football 36 times against New England. Part of it was because the run game didn’t work against the Patriots but also because Flacco is playing his best football of the season and maybe of his career entering Sunday’s game (8 TDs, 0 INTs, 114.7 QB rating during postseason).
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Oddsmakers are telling us with San Francisco being favored that Baltimore is expected to be trailing for at least a decent portion of this game. Most teams that are trailing in the Super Bowl don’t play conservative and run the football, they let it all hang out because there is no tomorrow and I expect the Ravens to be a pass heavy team once again this week just like they were in their two previous playoff wins.
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Keep in mind that Atlanta’s Matt Ryan had 42 pass attempts in the NFC Championship and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers had 39 pass attempts in the Divisional Round –both due to a similar lack of success running the ball against the 49ers along with edges both teams found in the passing game. Obviously both of those efforts eclipsed Flacco’s current number of 33.5 and with weather conditions being a non-factor in the Superdome I’m confident we’ll see this one go over.
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Michael Crabtree Total ReceptionsFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Recommendation: Over 6FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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A lot of times we talk about betting the “hot team” in the NFL playoffs. Well I guess you can say that I’m betting the “hot wide receiver” here with this prop recommendation as I’m playing Michael Crabtree over six total receptions at a reasonable. Slowly but steadily Crabtree has become a bigger go-to target in the passing game for Colin Kaepernick. Crabtree has had six or more catches in six of San Francisco’s last seven games. The one game where he didn’t was a rain soaked affair in Seattle when the 49ers were caught in the mother of all miserable travel spots having played in New England the week before. Crabtree caught nine passes and was targeted 11 times by Kaepernick in the Divisional Playoff round against Green Bay. He caught six passes and was targeted seven times in the NFC Championship against Atlanta. He should have an impact on this game against a Baltimore secondary that was spotty in their pass coverage throughout the season and ranked just 17th in the NFL in pass defense allowing over 220 passing yards per game. This is one matchup where the absence of Lardarius Webb at cornerback for Baltimore could be felt in a big way.

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Matt FargoFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Total Rushing Yards by Bernard Pierce
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Over 33.5 (-115)
Under 33.5 (-115)
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Pick: Over 33.5 (-115)
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Ray Rice is the lead back for the Ravens but Peirce is a quality backup that has done exceptionally well in the latter part of the season. After gaining more than 34 yards only once in his first 12 games, he has surpassed 34 yards in five of his last seven games while averaging 64.9 ypg over that stretch. His 6.0 ypc average is what is most appealing for this prop as he gets big chunks at a time.
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Team to make longest field goal
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Baltimore (-125)
San Francisco (-105)
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Pick: Baltimore (-125)
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Ravens kicker Justin Tucker has missed only three field goals all season and is a perfect 4-4 from beyond 50 yards. Conversely, David Akers for San Francisco has not attempted a field goal over 40 yards in the playoffs where he was just 9-19 during the regular season. Not only does Baltimore have the better chance of making a long one, but the 49ers won't even be taking a chance on attempting anything long.
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First score of the game will be
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Touchdown (-150)
Field goal/safety (+120)
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Pick: Field goal/safety (+120)
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Nine of the last 14 Super Bowls have seen a field goal or a safety lead off the scoring and at favorable odds here, I like that to continue. These are two strong offensive teams but the Super Bowl will tighten up even the best of them. Over these last 14 Super Bowls, there have been an average of only 5.6 ppg scored in the first quarter, so touchdowns have been rare.
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Will there be a lead change in the second half?
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Yes (+170)
No (-210)
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Pick: Yes (+170)
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Going along with the team scoring first concept, a close game throughout means lead changes and that means in the second half as well. There were lead changes in the second half in both championship games and, while both defenses pitched a shutout in the second half, we likely will not be seeing that again here. As long as we don't get the fluke early blowout by one team, we could see multiple lead changes.

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Steve MerrilFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Highest scoring half
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First half (-115)
Second half (-105)
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Pick: Second half (-105)
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Over the past decade, the first quarter of the Super Bowl has been low scoring and the fourth quarter has been high scoring, which gives this prop value. The Ravens rank seventh with an average of 13.1 points scored in the second half while the 49ers rank fourth with an average of 14.7 points scored in the second half. In the Playoffs, Baltimore averaged 16.3 points in the second half while the 49ers averaged 17.5 in the final two quarters.
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Total Pass Completions
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Over 38.5 (-125)
Under 38.5 (-105)
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Pick: Under 38.5 (-105)
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Joe Flacco and Colin Kaepernick completed a total of 84 passes in five playoff games. For the season, Flacco (19.4) and Kaepernick (16.4) completed an average of 35.8 passes per game. Their combined pass attempts prop equals 61 which means they need to complete 64 percent of their passes for this prop to cash. With two strong secondaries, we don’t expect that to happen.
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Jacoby Jones (Ravens) Receptions
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Over 1.5 (-115)
Under 1.5 (-115)
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Pick: Over 1.5 -115
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San Francisco will emphasize their coverage on Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith. The 49ers also have a very good covering linebacker in NaVorro Bowman who will be on Dennis Pitta. That leaves Jacoby Jones as the forgotten receiver. He has been targeted 10 times in Baltimore’s three playoff games - 22 times in the six games since Jim Caldwell started calling plays. Jones will be left open a lot so two easy pitch and catches by him and Flacco make this prop a winner.

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Sean MurphyFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Longest Touchdown Scored
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Over 46.5 yards (-110)
Under 46.5 yards (-129)
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Pick: Over 46.5 yards (-110)
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Both the Ravens and 49ers have big play potential, not only on offense, but on defense and special teams as well. I like the matchup of Baltimore's down field passing attack against an aggressive 49ers secondary in particular. Joe Flacco won't hesitate to take his shots with Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin. On the other side, we've already seen Colin Kaepernick run for a 56-yard touchdown in these playoffs. Both teams feature home-run hitters out of the backfield as well, and I'm not talking about Ray Rice and Frank Gore. Don't be surprised if we see a long touchdown run from either Bernard Pierce or LaMichael James in this game.
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Team that scores first wins game
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Yes (-175)
No (+135)
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Pick: No (+135)
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Both the Ravens and 49ers are comfortable playing from behind. In fact, that's when they've played some of their best football in these playoffs. The Ravens rallied back from four deficits in Denver. They gave up the game's opening score and trailed by six points at halftime in New England. San Francisco fell behind 7-0 against Green Bay and needed to fight back from a 17-0 hole in Atlanta. No surprise if an early score serves to galvanize the opposition in New Orleans.

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Alf MusketaFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Anquan Boldin Total Receiving YardsFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Recommendation: Over 70.5FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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There are so many different ways to attack the Super Bowl props and with over 300 available, you should come ready to invest your money in value plays and also back the props that favor the way you believe the flow of the game will be. For example; if you envision the game to be a low scoring hard hitting contest, then it makes sense to use props that have running backs Ray Rice, Frank Gore and bet them over in total rushing attempts and yards, also field goals over. Conversely, if you like the game to be loose and high scoring, wager on over touchdown props, quarterbacks yardage over, wide receivers/tight-ends receptions and yardage over.
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Anquan Boldin is the go-to wide receiver for Baltimore. It seems Joe Flacco looks for him on every third down pass play and pressure situations. He played through hamstring injuries and ankle injuries for most of the regular season but in the playoffs he has been on fire and has come down with many amazing catches. Versus the Patriots, Boldin had 60 yards and two touchdowns, against the Broncos 11 receptions and 71 yards, and again on the road vs. the Colts indoors on field turf much like the Superdome, he had 145 yards.
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The upside for this yardage prop is on the over not the under. It is much more likely that Boldin will get to 100 yards than him being shut down by the weak 49ers’ secondary that gave up 182 yards to Atlanta's Julio Jones, 100 yards to Roddy White, and another 78 yards to tight end Tony Gonzalez in the NFC Championship game – not to mention that Matt Ryan threw for 396 yards on San Francisco.
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The line on this prop opened 66.5 and is now 70.5 in some sportsbooks. Be sure to shop around and get the lowest number to beat without laying additional vigorish.

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Teddy CoversFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Frank Gore Rushing Yards vs. Louisville Points (vs. Marquette on Sunday)
Recommendation: Gore +3.5FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Frank Gore is the heart and the soul of the 49ers offense.  We can expect the Ravens defense to concentrate on slowing Colin Kaepernick’s big play ability on the read-option, much like Atlanta did in the NFC Championship Game.  The end result of that defensive effort for Gore was a 21 carry, 90-yard effort on the heels of his 23 carry, 119-yard effort against the Packers the previous week.  If San Fran has a second half lead, there’s going to be a steady stream of Gore rushing yards. 
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Will There Be Three Consecutive Scores for Either Team?
Recommendation: Yes (-170 @ LVH)FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The 49ers-Falcons NFC Championship Game was a real nail-biter that came down to the final possession; a tight, thrilling contest.  But if you bet the “Yes” on this prop in that ballgame, you cashed a winning bet by the first play of the second quarter.  Football is a game of momentum swings; even in competitively lined contests like this one.  On a stage like the Super Bowl, those momentum swings are magnified. That’s why this prop has cashed 24 times in the last 31 Super Bowls, including three of the last four years – all tight, competitive Super Bowls.  And if this Super Bowl turns out to be not so tight and competitive, this prop will cash with ease.

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SUPER BOWL XLVII - Will a Field Goal be Scored in the 1st Quarter?
YES -115
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SUPER BOWL XLVII - Will there be More Points Scored in which half
First Half +110
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SUPER BOWL XLVII - Longest Touchdown Scored in the Game (Yardage)
Under 46.5 Yards -125
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SUPER BOWL XLVII - Team to Score the Longest Touchdown in the Game
49ers -120
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SUPER BOWL XLVII - Will there be a Special Teams or Defensive Touchdown scored in the game?
Yes +155
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SUPER BOWL XLVII - Longest Successful Field Goal in the Game
Over 44.5 -130
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SUPER BOWL XLVII - Team to make the Longest Successful Field Goal in the Game
Ravens -145
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SUPER BOWL XLVII - Team to make the Shortest Successful Field Goal in the Game
Ravens -105
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SUPER BOWL XLVII - Team to make most successful 3 point Field Goals in the game?
Ravens -105
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SUPER BOWL XLVII - Distance of first punt in the Game
Under 48.5 -115
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SUPER BOWL XLVII - Will either team successfully convert a 4th down attempt?
Yes -210
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SUPER BOWL XLVII - Will a Roughing the Passer penalty be called in the game?
Yes -105
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(BAL @ SF) - Total Interceptions - Joe Flacco (BAL)
Over 1/2 INT -160
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(BAL @ SF) - Total Interceptions - Colin Kaepernick (SF)
Over 1/2 -140
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(BAL @ SF) - Will Colin Kaepernick (SF) score a Rushing TD in the game?
Yes +115
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(BAL @ SF) - Player to score the first Baltimore TD in the game
Field (any player other than listed ones) 5/1 odds
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SUPER BOWL XLVII SPECIALS - How long will the post game handshake/hug last between Jim & John Harbaugh?
Under 7 seconds -120
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SUPER BOWL XLVII SPECIALS - If Ray Lewis is interviewed on TV after the game on the field or in the locker room how many times will he mention "God/Lord"
Over 3 -120
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SUPER BOWL XLVII SPECIALS - What will the TV Rating be for the Super Bowl?
Under 46 -105
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SUPER BOWL XLVII SPECIALS - What will be the highest tweet per second during the Super Bowl?
Under 17,000 -105

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Prop Picks - 49ers
By CarbonSports

Today I’m looking at the various props offered regarding the 49ers performance in the big game on Sunday. Like yesterday’s piece on Baltimore, there are some good numbers out there with the 49ers player props.

Here are a couple that have got my attention.

Aldon Smith – Total solo + assisted tackles (sacks don’t count): Over 3.5 (-150) vs. Under 3.5 (+120)

After all the accolades Smith got during the season when he was on pace to break the single-season sack record, he seems to have disappeared in the playoffs. In the two playoff games Smith has a grand total of 3 tackles and 0 sacks. Green Bay and Atlanta found ways to neutralize his pass-rushing ability and with Justin Smith nowhere near 100%, offensive lines can key on Smith and take him out of the game.

Baltimore should be able to accomplish this as well as any help they do bring against San Francisco’s defense ends will clearly be on Aldon’s side. Even if he does break free for a sack or two they won’t count towards this bet so you’ve really got to hope he catches Ray Rice running or on screen passes an awful lot.
I just don’t see it happening. If you take away his sacks, he only got to 4 or more tackles five times this season. Even then, most of those games he finished with only 4, so it’s not like he is a dominating force if you take away his pass-rushing ability.

Take the +120 on the under.

Colin Kaepernick – Total completions: Over 17.5 (+100) vs. Under 17.5 (-120)

Kaepernick has been the talk of the 49ers ever since he became the starter and it has been his playmaking ability that got San Francisco to this point. But he is still refining his passing game and that only comes with time.

Since he became the full-time starter he has only topped 17.5 completions three times. One of those was their Week 16 (42-13) blowout loss in Seattle when San Fran got behind early on and had to basically abandon their running game. Kaepernick attempted 36 passes that day (his most all season) and completed 19 of them.

Another one of those games was the 16-13 OT loss to the Rams where he went 21-for-32 passing. Kaepernick had still gone over 17.5 without the extra frame – he completed 3 passes in OT – but it was still right on the number with 18. Defensively, the Rams are quite similar to Baltimore in terms of bringing pressure and being physical with wide receivers making getting over this number tough.

Even in this stadium against the sieve-like New Orleans pass defense, Kaepernick only went 16-25 passing in the 31-21 win. In the playoffs he has finished with 17 and 16 completions respectively, but Green Bay and Atlanta’s defenses aren’t quite on the level that this Baltimore team is.

Take under 17.5

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Prop Picks - Ravens
By CarbonSports

Today, I’m looking at specific prop bets regarding the Ravens and have found a few very attractive ones.

Anquan Boldin total receptions: Over 4.5 (-150) or Under 4.5 (+120)

This prop is heavily juiced to the over and for good reason. Boldin has been targeted at least 7 times in each playoff game thus far and with his ability to be that clutch possession-type receiver, he will be instrumental in the Ravens quest for a championship. He has caught at least 5 passes in each playoff game so far and will likely reach that number in the Super Bowl.
   
I say that because San Francisco has got to be weary of the speed demons WR Jacoby Jones and Torrey Smith stretching the field and taking the cap off the defense. They’ve seen plenty of film of Flacco airing out deep to one of those guys and having plenty of success doing it. The 49ers will aim to take that away from the Ravens and keep everything in front of them. Baltimore will continue to try and stretch the field and when they do, that leaves plenty of room for Boldin to operate in the 5-to-20-yard range and move the chains.

The juice is a bit steep, but Boldin has been on the big stage before (with Arizona) and that night he caught 8 passes for 84 yards as teammates Steve Breaston and Larry Fitzgerald were the deep threats that day. Baltimore will use him in a similar fashion.

Take the over.

Total rushing yards for Baltimore: Over 104.5 (-115) or Under 104.5 (-115)

One of Baltimore’s best players is RB Ray Rice, but he’ll have a tough time running the ball against this 49ers defense. During the regular season, San Francisco was 4th in the league in rushing yards against at 94.2 per game. In their two playoff games they have bettered that number to 92.5/game and their worst effort was exactly 104 yards allowed to Green Bay. A few of those runs came in garbage time though as San Fran was more concerned with not letting anything go over their head for big plays. Either way, both of their games this postseason have been under this number and when these two teams met a year ago, Baltimore still only ran for 92 yards total. For this to have any chance of going “over,” someone on Baltimore will have to break a long one and I don’t see it happening.

In last year’s game the longest rush anyone on Baltimore had was 12 yards and that was with Ricky Williams. In the NFC Championship, the longest rush the 49ers allowed was 12 yards as well and vs. Green Bay they gave up a long rush of 19. Unless there are a handful of runs like that by Baltimore, this prop has little chance to eclipse this number.

Take the under.

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Super Bowl XLVII Props
By CarbonSports

Super Bowl week is here and as the players arrive in New Orleans and get ready for media day, bettors everywhere are pouring over the massive Super Bowl prop cards. This year is no different and it can be exhausting to go through and find good investments. I'll touch on a few of the props I like in the next few days, starting with the generic "game" ones.

What will the coin toss be (Heads/Tails)? And which team will win the Coin Toss (Baltimore/SF)?

Heads (-105) vs. Tails (-105) and Baltimore (-105) vs. San Francisco (-105)

I'm not a big fan of betting the heads/tails option because it doesn't make much sense to cost yourself 5 cents on the dollar to bet on something you can do with a buddy in the comfort of your own living room. Because it's the Super Bowl though, bettors love to make this wager and I can tell you that in the past four years it's landed on "heads" and that may be significant. I say that because while there have been many streaks by one side of the coin in Super Bowl history, not once have we seen the same result five years in a row, so it might be "tails" time.
   
Which team will win the coin toss is a different story though. Before the Patriots (AFC) won the toss last year, the NFC was on a 14-0 run winning the toss. That was only the 15th time the AFC has won the coin toss in the history of the Super Bowl and as a franchise the 49ers are 4-1. Baltimore will have a chance to lower San Fran's winning percentage by picking their option as the "road" team. With the coin toss won or lost this year, Baltimore only received the ball to start the game once, so look for them to defer if they do win it.

Longest FG made in the game: Over 44.5 (-115) or Under 44.5 (-115)

A good rule of thumb when trying to figure out how long FG's will be, always add 17 yards to the line of scrimmage. Kickers typically line up 7 yards behind the line and the posts are 10 yards deep in the end zone, so for this one to go over a drive would have to stall out at the 28-yard line or further.

San Francisco was tied for 1st in the NFL this year with 2.4 FG attempts per game and although Baltimore was 23rd (1.8), these are two defenses that will really clamp down on you. San Francisco and Baltimore take pride in forcing teams to attempt a FG after it looked like a TD was coming. Neither team has attempted many FG's so far in the postseason and that hurts the "over's" chances here but other than Denver, neither team has really faced against a top quality defense that knows how to toughen up in their own zone. With perfect conditions inside the dome and this contest expected to be tight and points at a premium, you've got to expect one of these kickers to knock in one 45 yards or more.

Take the over.

Number of different players to have a pass attempt: Over 2.5 (+240) vs. Under 2.5 (-320)

This is always a fun Super Bowl prop to look at because you are trying to gameplan along with the coaches and figuring out if some sort of trick play should be in the works. Back in 2005 we saw WR Antwaan Randel-El connect on a TD pass to Hines Ward in the Super Bowl, and trick plays have been known to pop up in the Super Bowl over the years. RB Frank Gore has never attempted a pass in his career, but Ray Rice has, twice, so when you add in that element, that +240 is quite attractive.

Finally, we have the Kaepernick/Alex Smith scenario here as well. Before Smith went down with a concussion in Week 10 and Kaepernick was the starter for good, these two shuttled in and out of offensive series all the time for the 49ers. Putting in Alex Smith for a few reps is something you cannot put past Jim Harbaugh and I think he lets Smith see the field at least once. He knows the Ravens have spent their time figuring out every which way to stop Kaepernick and could've completely forgotten about Smith. Green Bay "forgot" about the "pistol" formation San Francisco has relied heavily on in these playoffs after they didn't run it for the final few weeks. The Packers were shocked, unprepared, and torched by the pistol. Who says Jim Harbaugh doesn't try that again with Alex Smith in there a few times? Smith doesn't have to do well for this bet, simply attempt a pass.

Whether or not Smith comes into this game doesn't change the fact that there are too many variables not to take the value on over 2.5 (+240) here. Trick plays, injuries, and Alex Smith are all legitimate options and with it being brother vs. brother here, chances are these two know each other so well that they'll each have a few tricks up their sleeve too.

Take the over.

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POINTWISE

SAN FRANCISCO (NT) (13-4-1) VS BALTIMORE (AT) (13-6)

SUPERDOME - NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - ARTIFICIAL TURF

CURRENT LINE: SAN FRANCISCO BY 3½ - OVER/UNDER LINE: 47½

SUPER BOWL FACTS (In No Particular Order of Importance) In the first 33 Super Bowls, the spread had come into play only 5 times, but the last 13 have seen 4 such instances: Tennessee (+7) losing 23-16 in Super Bowl XXXIV; Carolina (+7) losing 32-29 in Super Bowl XXXVII, Philadelphia (+7) losing 24- 21 in Super Bowl XXXIX, & Arizona (+7) losing 27-23 in Super Bowl XLIII. The underdog has gone 10-5-2 ATS in the last 17 Super Bowls. The Ravens & Niners have played just 2 common opponents, a total of 5 games. Baltimore has gone 3-0 SU, and 2-1 ATS, while SanFrancisco has gone 1-1, both SU and ATS. In those games, the Ravens held edges of 11.7 ppg SU, & 14.3 ppg ATS, while the Niners had deficits of 8.0 ppg SU, & 9.0 ppg ATS. The Ravens have held 9 foes below 17 pts, & the Niners have held 8 foes below 17 pts, & 5 foes to a TD or less. Offensively, Baltimore ranks 16th in total "O", & 10th in scoring, while SanFran ranks 11th in total "O", & 11th in scoring.

Defensively, the Niners rank 3rd in total "D", & 2nd in pts allowed, while the Ravens rank 17th in total "D", & 12th in pts allowed. Baltimore ranks in the Top 10 in 6 offensive categories, & in the Top 5 in just one, while SanFran ranks in the top 10 in 9 offensive categories, & in the Top 5 in six. The Ravens rank in the Top 10 in 4 defensive columns, & in the Top 5 in none, while the Niners rank in the Top 10 in 12 defensive columns, & in the Top 4 in eleven. Ravens selected to Pro Bowl: RB Rice, FB Leach, OG Yanda, DT Ngata, DB Reed, & KR Jones. Niners selected to Pro Bowl: RB Gore, OT Staley, OG Iupati, DT Smith, LB Smith, LB Bowman, LB Willis, DB Whitner, DB Goldson.

This is just the 10th start for Kaepernick, 3rd fewest by a starting Super Bowl QB (Giants' Hostetler in '90, & Rams' Ferragamo in '79). The Niners' win over the Falcons marked their first playoff road win since 1988. The Ravens are 13-7 all-time in the playoffs, with their .650 pct the best in NFL history.

SanFran's overcoming of a 17-pt deficit was the 3rd largest in playoff history, the 2nd largest in a title game (18, by the Colts over the Pats in '06), & the largest in an NFL title game (trailed 24-7 with 8:09 left in 2nd). Flacco is the only QB to win a playoff game in each of his first 5 seasons, & his 6 road wins are the most in playoff history. Brady was an astounding 67-0 SU at home when leading at the half, before losing to the Ravens (led 13-7). This marks the 1st time since '97 that both road teams won their division Title Games, & just the 3rd time since the 1970 merger of the NFL & AFL. The Ravens (21-0) & Niners (14-0), combined for a 35-0 2nd half scoring edge in their title games. Flacco has thrown 8 TDs & no INTs in his 93 playoff aerials this year. This marks the 9th straight year that the team with the best record in the NFL hasn't won the Super Bowl. Niners are the 11th different NFC team the reach the Super Bowl in the last 12 years. SanFran's longest winning streak all season was just 2 games, before its current 3-game run.

Baltimore's 9 playoff road wins ties Dallas for the 2nd most, 1 less than GreenBay. Kaepernick is 7-2 as a starter, & his 181 RYs (11.3 ypr) vs the Packers, set an all-time rushing record for a QB in any game in the NFL's 93-yd history. He had just 2 carries for 21 yds vs the Falcons (10.5 ypr). Baltimore is only the 2nd team to beat both Peyton Manning & Tom Brady in the same post-season ('10 Jets). The Ravens' 4 TDs vs the Pats came on drives of 90, 87, 63, & 47 yds, while the Niners' 4 TDs vs the Falcons came on drives of 80, 82, 82, & 38 yds. These 2 have never lost a SuperBowl, with this the first for the Niners (5-0) since '94, & for the Ravens (1-0) since '00. Lewis was MVP of SuperBowl XXXV. Baltimore's "D" is definitely better than its stats, as it recovers from the injury bug, most notably Lewis' torn tri.

Flacco's 8-2 record in his first 5 years puts him just 1 behind Brady's 9-0, & ties him with Roethlisberger, also 8-2. John Harbaugh is 8-4 in playoffs, while Jim is 3-1. These 2 met on Thanksgiving Day in '11, with the Ravens prevailing 16-6, in a defensive struggle. The Niners had a 182-(-2) yd deficit in the first quarter at Atlanta. SanFran TE Davis caught only 7 passes in his previous 7 games, before 5 vs the Falcons (106 yds & a TD). Niners' James scored his 1st career TD in that win (3rd straight NFC title game that has happened).

Did anyone mention that this pits 2 brothers as opposing head coaches? Thus, the "Harbaugh Bowl" moniker. The 2 have made major adjustments, with the Niners replacing Smith with the sensational Kaepernick in game #10, while the Ravens changed offensive coordinators in game #14 (Caldwell for Cameron), & both moves have certainly panned out. A year ago, these 2 squads suffered bitter defeats in their title games (missed chip shot FG for Ravens, & fumbled punt for Niners). Thus, no questioning their pedigree. Lewis' swan song may have the earmarks of destiny, with his surrounding cast (Flacco, Rice, Boldin, Reed, etc) certainly capable. But the Niners definitely have proven themselves, especially with those 45 pts, 323 RYs, & 579 TYs vs the Packers. No question that Kaepernick is the key, as defending the "Pistol" has proven unsolvable thus far. That Raven "D" is loaded with quality, & wily veterans, but may just be a step too slow to contain this Niner. This could be a classic. We'll lay the spot.

PROPHECY: SAN FRANCISCO 31 - Baltimore 23 RATING: 4

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PLAYBOOK

(13-6) BALTIMORE RAVENS VS. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (13-4-1)

Baltimore over San Francisco by 1

Get ready for the Bro Bowl. Unlike Romulus and Remus, Jim and John Harbaugh will not be fighting to a terrible death.

Instead, they are the first pair of brothers to coach against each other in a Super Bowl. And as such, SB XLVII will be filled with plenty of firsts… and lasts.

The Harbaughs
The Harbaugh brothers became the only siblings to coach against one another in any NFL game on Thanksgiving Day, 2011, when the Ravens beat the 49ers, 16-6.

A lot has happened since then. Baltimore has gone 18-8 SU, with half of the losses by 3 or fewer points. Meanwhile, in 25 games since the inaugural Harbaugh battle, San Francisco has gone 18-6-1, with all but one win by more than 3 points. Good luck fi guring out how that fits into this handicap!

What does figure, though, is that BOTH Harbaughs bring plenty to the table in this contest. Under Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco is: 25-1-1 SU in games in which the 49ers rush the ball 25 or more times; 7-1 SUATS versus AFC opposition (only loss to brother John’s Ravens); and 19-5 SU and 18-4-2 ATS in games played outside the NFC West.

With John Harbaugh, Baltimore is: 6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS with rest; 30-12 SU versus an opponent Harbaugh defeated in the last meeting; and 13-7 SU and 12-8 ATS against NFC opposition.

Over, Brother
In addition, they each bring smiles to ‘Over’ players’ faces with Frisco Jim standing 10-1 SU and 8-2-1 ‘Over’ in games where the total is set at more than 43 points, while Baltimore John is 5-1-1 ‘Over’ in games where the total is identically set at more than 43 points.

Behind Center
To no one’s surprise, both quarterbacks bring the postseason’s best QB Ratings into the fray with Baltimore’s Joe Flacco topping the list at 114.7, with 8 TD’s and 0 INT’s, while San Fran’s Colin Kaepernick is right on his heels at 105.9, with 3 TD’s and 1 INT.

Flacco’s regular season QB Rating was 87.7. Kaepernick’s was 98.3. Flacco is 62-30 SU and 50-38-4 ATS in his NFL career, while going 44-45-3 ‘Under.’ In games against the NFC – and given the fact he’s started every game since he and John Harbaugh came aboard together in 2008 – Flacco’s numbers mirror Harbaugh’s in games against NFC opponents (13-7 SU and 12-8 ATS and 12-6-2 ‘Over’). During the postseason, Super Joe is 8-4 SU and ATS and 4-8 ‘Under.’

Kaepernick shined after taking over as the Niners’ starter in mid-November, going 7-2 SU and 5-3-1 ATS and 8-1 ‘Over.’ The lead pistol is 6-0 SU and 5-0-1 ATS in non-division games.

Head-To-Head
Breaking down each team’s schedule, in games versus fellow playoff teams this season, Baltimore went 4-3 SU and ATS and 3-4 ITS (In The Stats), losing the stats by an average 20 YPG. Meanwhile, San Francisco was 5-2 SU and 3-3-1 ATS and 3-4 ITS, breaking even in YPG.

In games against common opponents this season (Giants and Patriots), Baltimore was 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS, winning the stats by an average 127 YPG. On the fl ip side, San Francisco struggled against the common tandem, going 1-1 SU and ATS despite being outyarded in both games by an average 86 YPG.

Statistically Speaking
Baltimore’s 364 YPG offense is the 11th best in the league while its 361 YPG defense ranks No. 21.

San Francisco owns a Top 10 ranked offense and defense, averaging 375 YPG on offense and 308 YPG on defense.

From Game Nine out, or the 2nd half of the season, the Ravens’ net yardage (offense gained and defense allowed) improved 31 YPG. Surprisingly, the Niners’ net yardage slipped 29 YPG over the same span.

Defense Rules… Most Of The Time It’s no surprise that 39 of the 46 Super Bowl winners have owned Top 10 ranked defenses.

What is surprising, though, is that while clubs with the better defense have gone 22-10 SU and 17-13-2 ATS in the big game since 1981, these teams are only 2-4 SU and 1-5 ATS the last six years.

Super Bowl History
• Baltimore’s top guns – the alias Smith and Flacco – have been a chief contributor to this franchise’s all-time best 13-7 postseason record in NFL history. The Ravens are 1-0 SU and ATS in their only Super Bowl appearance.

• San Francisco has yet to lose a Super Bowl, going 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS all-time.

• The NFC has controlled the last 31 Super Bowls, going 21-10 SU and 20-9-3 ATS, including 4-0 SU and ATS the last four years. However, the AFC actually holds the upper hand of late, going 9-6 SU the last 15 years.

• 15 of the last 18 quarterbacks have owned a QB Rating of 92.6 or better.

• Teams who lost SU as a playoff favorite last year (Niners) are 4-9 SU and ATS, including 0-5 ATS as favorites.

• Teams off a SU underdog win (Ravens) are 13-6-1 ATS, including 7-1-1 ATS off back-to-back SU underdog wins.

• Favorites who allow 3.9 or more Yards Per Rush (Niners) are 3-6 SU and 2-7 ATS.

• Teams with a better win percentage (Niners) are on a 3-6 SU and 0-9 ATS slide.

• The last seven NFC representatives have faced the AFC East in their designated non-conference games.

• 12 of 18 Super Bowl games on artifi cial turf have played ‘Under’ the total.

At Last
And then there’s Ray Lewis, Baltimore’s mercurial LB and MVP from SB XXXV in 2001 when the Ravens beat the New York Giants, 34-7.

This game marks Lewis’ last game as a player in his NFL career, thus guaranteeing, at the very least, an emotional effort from the Black Birds.

The Bottom Line
Both teams bring strong numbers to the table, especially since making vital positional changes to each offense (Colin Kaepernick replacing Alex Smith at quarterback for the 49ers and new OC Jim Caldwell replacing Cam Cameron for the Ravens). But it’s hard to turn an eye against a team that has downed sure-fi re Hall of Famers Peyton Manning and Tom Brady on their home fi elds in each of its last two games.

So from the ‘Bro Bowl’ to Lewis’ last game, don’t expect SB XLVII to end tragically like the tale of Romulus and Remus. Instead, in the end, look for John to be crowned king of the Harbaughs.

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WINNING POINTS

SUPER BOWL XLVII

Baltimore over San Francisco by 3 (at New Orleans, LA)

We absolutely guarantee the winner of Super Bowl XLVII at the Superdome in New Orleans will be a Harbaugh-coached team.We just have to figure out if it is John Harbaugh’s Ravens, or his younger brother Jim’s 49ers. Favorites have covered in seven of the 10 playoff games, yet we’re going to side with Baltimore. John Harbaugh has brought the Ravens to the AFC championship game in three of his five seasons. Now he’s reached the Super Bowl. The Ravens hosted the 49ers on Thanksgiving night last season and won, 16-6.

Now this may not even be Harbaugh’s best Ravens team due to defensive injuries, but the veteran-led Ravens have tremendous momentum,are resilient and Joe Flacco is playing the best he’s ever played away from M&T Bank Stadium.There’s also the Ray Lewis retirement motivation factor. It shouldn’t be discounted.The Ravens are 5-5 without their future Hall of Fame linebacker and 8-1 with him.The 37-year-old Lewis not only still has it in this his 17th and final season, but he remains a huge inspiration to his teammates.This isn’t an anti-49ers play. Obviously by the final margin we’re expecting a close game.

We just feel this is Baltimore’s time. Colin Kaepernick has elevated the 49ers’ offense to be on a par with their upper tier defense.Kaepernick’s quarterback rating is well above 100 since he became the starter leading San Francisco to eight victories in its last 10 games. Kaepernick has been brilliant in his playoff wins against Green Bay and Atlanta throwing for a combined 496 yards, rushing for another 202 yards and accounting for five touchdowns. Kaepernick brings a mobility factor the Ravens have yet to encounter.Yet during their past two games the Ravens knocked off Peyton Manning and Tom Brady – two of the all-time greatest quarterbacks – in successive weeks on the road. That achievement can’t be downplayed and it proves Baltimore is way past its late season blues when it dropped four of its last five regular season games.In beating New England in the AFC championship game,the Ravens held the Patriots to fewer than 14 points.That hadn’t happened to New England since Week 2. The Ravens’ veteran and proud defense has two weeks to study Kaepernick.

The Falcons kept Kaepernick much more in check than Green Bay learning from the Packers’ mistake of not keeping Kaepernick in the pocket. Flacco outplayed Brady in last year’s AFC title game in Foxboro. He outplayed Manning in the cold at Denver and he outplayed Brady again in Foxboro during this year’s title game. Flacco has a 15-to-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio during his last six postseason games. Flacco has won more than half of his playoff road games. His six playoff road victories are more than Joe Montana, Terry Bradshaw, Steve Young,Troy Aikman, Favre, Brady and Manning.Those seven legendary quarterbacks were a combined 13-29 in road playoff contests.

Kaepernick has elevated the play of Michael Crabtree turning him into a legitimate No. 1 wide receiver. Frank Gore remains highly effective. LaMichael James is a dangerous scatback and Vernon Davis always has to be watched.San Francisco’s offensive line is one of the best, if not the best in the league.The 49ers’ offense, however, has shined much more at home. San Francisco has failed to break the 383-yard barrier in nine road matchups. Baltimore’s offense has come together at the right time. No team has had more downfield passing success during the postseason than the Ravens. Flacco has averaged 284 yards passing in three playoff games this year. He’s thrown eight touchdown passes without an interception. His quarterback rating for the postseason is 125.6, 116.2 and 106.3. By comparison,Aaron Rodgers led the NFL with a 108 quarterback rating. Baltimore’s offensive line has stepped up during the postseason.

Flacco has thrown touchdown passes of 40 yards of longer to six different receivers this year.Ray Rice is one of the five best all-purpose backs in the league. Kicker Justin Tucker made 14 of 17 field goal attempts from 40 yards or more, including nailing a game-winning 47-yard field goal in tough weather conditions at Denver.Contrast this with San Francisco kicker David Akers,who may be the least effective starting kicker in the league missing 13 of 42 field goal attempts, including a 38-yarder in Atlanta’s dome stadium during the NFC title game.Akers is 9-for-19 in field goal tries from 40 plus yards. Baltimore has another special teams edge with Pro Bowl returner Jacoby Jones. He led the league in kick return average at 30.7 yards and was 15th in punt return average at 9.2 while tying for the league lead with three total return touchdowns.

It was a botched punt return that cost the 49ers a trip to the Super Bowl last season. San Francisco’s defense allowed just 4.7 yards per play during the regular season, which was the best mark in the NFC.The 49ers surrendered the second-fewest points in the league. Star defensive lineman Justin Smith has shown he can hold up despite playing with a bulky arm brace to protect a torn bicep.The 49ers can be beat on the ground, though, especially now with topnotch run-stuffer Smith at less than 100 percent.They yielded an average of 143 yards rushing during the five games they did not win.Rice provides Flacco with a solid running option and is perhaps the best checkdown receiving back in the league.The Ravens averaged 13 more runs and 74.2 more yards on the ground in their first three games after replacing stodgy offensive coordinator Cam Cameron with Jim Caldwell in Week 15. San Francisco is a solid, wellcoached team. But the Ravens are on a roll.They’ve beaten the two best AFC teams as underdogs of more than a touchdown. The Patriots would have opened the favorite against the 49ers if they would have reached the Super Bowl.Taking the points with the Ravens is the way to go. BALTIMORE 27-24 .OVER/UNDER: Just 22 points were scored when Jim and John Harbaugh matched wits for the first time last season in Baltimore on Thanksgiving night.

It was the first time in NFL history that two brothers opposed each other as head coaches. Count on many more points being scored in Round 2 of the Harbaugh Civil War.We’re calling it for Baltimore, 27-24. The Ravens sacked Alex Smith nine times in a 16-6 win during that Thanksgiving victory. The 49ers have replaced Smith, a game-manager with a limited arm, with electrifying Colin Kaepernick. The change has made the 49ers go from a team that used to rely on its defense and field position to a quick-strike offense capable of moving the ball on the ground and through the air with a downfield, attack mentality. Kaepernick ranks with Robert Griffin III and Cam Newton as the most dangerous running quarterback.The 49ers have gone over in their last six games.The Ravens went over in six of its nine games versus playoff opponents matchup when offensive reserves played much of the time. San Francisco has a very strong defense, but it hasn’t been dominant down the stretch.If you throw out the 49ers’game against the offensively-challenged Cardinals and their fourth-string quarterback Brian Hoyer, San Francisco has given up an average of 32.7 points in its last four games. Joe Flacco can take advantage riding a hot streak of eight touchdown throws in Baltimore’s three playoff victories. Anquan Boldin has stepped up nicely for Flacco with 16 catches, 276 yards and three touchdowns during the playoffs.

Both Kaepernick and Flacco are going to be helped playing on a fast track inside the temperature-controlled Superdome in New Orleans.

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Andrew LangeFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick was sacked three times or more in three games this season. In his first real extended playing time of his career, Kaepernick was brought down three times against St. Louis, who finished second in the NFL in sacks. The Rams got to him again three times in Week 13 and Miami, another above average pass rush, took him down four times. Other than that, including both postseason games, Kaepernick was sacked either once or not at all. Baltimore posted a league average 37 sacks during the regular season. En route to the Super Bowl, they notched three apiece against Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck – two of the least mobile quarterbacks in the league. And against Tom Brady, who also isn't very swift and threw the ball 54 times, the Ravens came up empty in the sack department. To lose this bet, Baltimore will need to record three sacks. I don’t see that happening.

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