Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, August 31

Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, August 31

DUNKEL INDEX

NCAAF

Game 155-156: Massachusetts at Wisconsin (12:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Massachusetts 59.820; Wisconsin 101.858
Dunkel Line: Wisconsin by 42; 56
Vegas Line: Wisconsin by 45; 53
Dunkel Pick: Massachusetts (+45); Over

Game 157-158: Central Michigan at Michigan (3:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Central Michigan 75.475; Michigan 103.334
Dunkel Line: Michigan by 28; 57
Vegas Line: Michigan by 31 1/2; 52
Dunkel Pick: Central Michigan (+31 1/2); Over

Game 159-160: Buffalo at Ohio State (12:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Buffalo 69.033; Ohio State 107.807
Dunkel Line: Ohio State by 39; 52
Vegas Line: Ohio State by 36; 55 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Ohio State (-36); Under

Game 161-162: Louisiana Tech at North Carolina State (12:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Louisiana Tech 87.401; North Carolina State 90.011
Dunkel Line: North Carolina State by 2 1/2; 67
Vegas Line: North Carolina State by 14; 62 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Louisiana Tech (+14); Over

Game 163-164: Florida International at Maryland (12:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Florida International 63.357; Maryland 86.608
Dunkel Line: Maryland by 23; 44
Vegas Line: Maryland by 20; 49 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Maryland (-20); Under

Game 165-166: Northern Illinois at Iowa (3:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Northern Illinois 88.871; Iowa 93.896
Dunkel Line: Iowa by 5; 48
Vegas Line: Iowa by 3; 53 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Iowa (-3); Under

Game 167-168: Temple at Notre Dame (3:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Temple 83.736; Notre Dame 108.089
Dunkel Line: Notre Dame by 24 1/2; 58
Vegas Line: Notre Dame by 30; 52 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Temple (+30); Over

Game 169-170: BYU at Virginia (3:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: BYU 92.020; Virginia 94.373
Dunkel Line: Virginia by 2 1/2; 55
Vegas Line: BYU by 3 1/2; 50
Dunkel Pick: Virginia (+3 1/2); Over

Game 171-172: Alabama vs. Virginia Tech (3:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Alabama 117.625; Virginia Tech 87.834
Dunkel Line: Alabama by 30; 42
Vegas Line: Alabama by 19; 45 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Alabama (-19); Under

Game 173-174: UAB at Troy (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: UAB 76.811; Troy 59.941
Dunkel Line: Troy by 3; 69
Vegas Line: Troy by 5 1/2; 63 1/2
Dunkel Pick: UAB (+5 1/2); Over

Game 175-176: Purdue at Cincinnati (12:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Purdue 79.188; Cincinnati 95.647
Dunkel Line: Cincinnati by 16 1/2; 44
Vegas Line: Cincinnati by 10; 50
Dunkel Pick: Cincinnati (-10); Under

Game 177-178: Kentucky vs. Western Kentucky (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Kentucky 70.119; Western Kentucky 76.975
Dunkel Line: Western Kentucky by 7; 60
Vegas Line: Kentucky by 4 1/2; 56 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Western Kentucky (+4 1/2); Over

Game 179-180: Miami (OH) at Marshall (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami (OH) 67.603; Marshall 87.455
Dunkel Line: Marshall by 20; 64
Vegas Line: Marshall by 17 1/2; 69 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Marshall (-17 1/2); Under

Game 181-182: Mississippi State vs. Oklahoma State (3:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Mississippi State 91.055; Oklahoma State 109.048
Dunkel Line: Oklahoma State by 18; 56
Vegas Line: Oklahoma State by 12 1/2; 60
Dunkel Pick: Oklahoma State (-12 1/2); Under   

Game 183-184: UL-Monroe at Oklahoma (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: UL-Monroe 70.886; Oklahoma 109.678
Dunkel Line: Oklahoma by 39; 64
Vegas Line: Oklahoma by 23; 59 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Oklahoma (-23); Over

Game 185-186: Texas State at Southern Mississippi (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Texas State 62.557; Southern Mississippi 71.963
Dunkel Line: Southern Mississippi by 9 1/2; 52
Vegas Line: Southern Mississippi by 7 1/2; 56 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Southern Mississippi (-7 1/2);  Under   

Game 187-188: New Mexico State at Texas (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: New Mexico State 57.485; Texas 97.309
Dunkel Line: Texas by 40; 60
Vegas Line: Texas by 42; 57 1/2
Dunkel Pick: New Mexico State (+42); Over

Game 189-190: Rice at Texas A&M (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Rice 84.354; Texas A&M 121.031
Dunkel Line: Texas A&M by 36 1/2; 66
Vegas Line: Texas A&M by 26 1/2; 71 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Texas A&M (-26 1/2); Under   

Game 191-192: Toledo at Florida (12:20 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Toledo 82.912; Florida 100.309
Dunkel Line: Florida by 17 1/2; 59
Vegas Line: Florida by 24; 56
Dunkel Pick: Toledo (+24); Over

Game 193-194: UL-Lafayette at Arkansas (4:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: UL-Lafayette 85.803; Arkansas 89.504
Dunkel Line: Arkansas by 3 1/2; 62
Vegas Line: Arkansas by 11; 58 1/2
Dunkel Pick: UL-Lafayette (+11); Over   

Game 195-196: Washington State at Auburn (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington State 77.054; Auburn 94.109
Dunkel Line: Auburn by 17; 54
Vegas Line: Auburn by 14; 59 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Auburn (-14); Under

Game 197-198: Idaho at North Texas (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Idaho 56.179; North Texas 74.687
Dunkel Line: North Texas by 18 1/2; 52
Vegas Line: North Texas by 14 1/2; 56 1/2
Dunkel Pick: North Texas (-14 1/2); Under   

Game 199-200: Penn State vs. Syracuse (3:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Penn State 98.095; Syracuse 89.033
Dunkel Line: Penn State by 9; 54
Vegas Line: Penn State by 7; 51
Dunkel Pick: Penn State (-7); Over

Game 201-202: Wyoming at Nebraska (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Wyoming 75.015; Nebraska 106.012
Dunkel Line: Nebraska by 31; 61
Vegas Line: Nebraska by 28; 66
Dunkel Pick: Nebraska (-28); Under     

Game 203-204: TX-San Antonio at New Mexico (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: TX-San Antonio 68.040; New Mexico 68.133
Dunkel Line: Even; 58
Vegas Line: New Mexico by 3; 54 1/2
Dunkel Pick: TX-San Antonio (+3); Over 

Game 205-206: Georgia at Clemson (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Georgia 104.800; Clemson 105.763
Dunkel Line: Clemson by 1; 76
Vegas Line: Georgia by 2; 72
Dunkel Pick: Clemson (+2); Over     

Game 207-208: LSU vs. TCU (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LSU 106.932; TCU 99.914
Dunkel Line: LSU by 7; 47
Vegas Line: LSU by 4; 50 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LSU (-4); Under

Game 209-210: Boise State at Washington (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Boise State 97.295; Washington 96.349
Dunkel Line: Boise State by 1; 57
Vegas Line: Washington by 4; 52 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Boise State (+4); Over   

Game 211-212: Nevada at UCLA (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Nevada 79.826; UCLA 109.534
Dunkel Line: UCLA by 29 1/2; 62
Vegas Line: UCLA by 19 1/2; 66 1/2
Dunkel Pick: UCLA (-19 1/2); Under 

Game 213.214: Northwestern at California (10:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Northwestern 94.781; California 90.947
Dunkel Line: Northwestern by 4; 64
Vegas Line: Northwestern by 6; 58 1/2
Dunkel Pick: California (+6); Over

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DUNKEL INDEX

MLB

St. Louis at Pittsburgh
The Cardinals look to bounce back from last night's 5-0 loss and build on their 10-2 record in Lance Lynn's last 12 starts after scoring 2 runs or less in their previous game. St. Louis is the pick (+115) according to Dunkel, which has the Cardinals favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (+115)

Game 901-902: Philadelphia at Chicago Cubs (4:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Philadelphia (Lee) 14.931; Cubs (Rusin) 13.636
Dunkel Line: Philadelphia by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line: Philadelphia (-140); No Run Total
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (-140); N/A

Game 903-904: NY Mets at Washington (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Mets (Wheeler) 15.585; Washington (Haren) 14.665
Dunkel Line: NY Mets by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Washington (-155); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Mets (+135); Over

Game 905-906: St. Louis at Pittsburgh (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis (Lynn) 16.181; Pittsburgh (Burnett) 15.000
Dunkel Line: St. Louis by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh (-135); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (+115); Over

Game 907-908: Miami at Atlanta (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami (Turner) 14.189; Atlanta (Minor) 16.081
Dunkel Line: Atlanta by 2; 6
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-230); 7
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-230); Under

Game 909-910: Cincinnati at Colorado (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cincinnati (Reynolds) 15.181; Colorado (Nicasio) 16.294
Dunkel Line: Colorado by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-125); 10
Dunkel Pick: Colorado (+105); Under

Game 911-912: San Francisco at Arizona (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Francisco (Vogelsong) 14.710; Arizona (Cahill) 16.453
Dunkel Line: Arizona by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Arizona (-140); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Arizona (-140); Over

Game 913-914: San Diego at LA Dodgers (9:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Diego (Cashner) 15.072; LA Dodgers (Capuano) 14.143
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 1; 6
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-160); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (+140); Under

Game 915-916: Kansas City at Toronto (1:07 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Kansas City (Guthrie) 14.298; Toronto (Dickey) 15.734
Dunkel Line: Toronto by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Toronto (-130); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (-130); Over

Game 917-918: Baltimore at NY Yankees (1:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Baltimore (Feldman) 16.051; NY Yankees (Nova) 15.134
Dunkel Line: Baltimore by 1; 8
Vegas Line: NY Yankees (-125); 9
Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (+105); Under

Game 919-920: Cleveland at Detroit (7:08 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland (Kazmir) 14.618; Detroit (Sanchez) 15.932
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Detroit (-170); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-170); Over

Game 921-922: Chicago White Sox at Boston (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Danks) 16.284; Boston (Peavy) 17.946
Dunkel Line: Boston by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Boston (-210); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Boston (-210); Over

Game 923-924: Seattle at Houston (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle (Saunders) 14.563; Houston (Keuchel) 13.439
Dunkel Line: Seattle by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Houston (-110); 9
Dunkel Pick: Seattle (-110); Under

Game 925-926: Minnesota at Texas (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota (Pelfrey) 15.791; Texas (Garza) 14.870
Dunkel Line: Minnesota by 1; 10
Vegas Line: Texas (-240); 9
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (+200); Over

Game 927-928: Tampa Bay at Oakland (9:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay (Cobb) 14.816; Oakland (Gray) 16.482
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line: Oakland (-130); 7
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (-130); Under

Game 929-930: LA Angels at Milwaukee (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Angels (Williams) 16.179; Milwaukee (Estrada) 14.739
Dunkel Line: LA Angels by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Milwaukee (-150); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Angels (+130); Over

WNBA

Atlanta at Chicago
The Sky look to take advantage of an Atlanta team that is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 road games. Chicago is the pick (-7 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Sky favored by 10 1/2.
Dunkel Pick: Chicago (-7 1/2)

Game 601-602: Los Angeles at San Antonio (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Los Angeles 117.541; San Antonio 107.760
Dunkel Line & Total: Los Angeles by 10; 151
Vegas Line & Total: Los Angeles by 8 1/2; 155
Dunkel Pick: Los Angeles (-8 1/2); Under

Game 603-604: Seattle at Minnesota (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle 113.177; Minnesota 116.838
Dunkel Line & Total: Minnesota by 3 1/2; 152
Vegas Line & Total: Minnesota by 12; 147 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Seattle (+12); Over

Game 605-606: Atlanta at Chicago (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta 109.781; Chicago 120.084
Dunkel Line & Total: Chicago by 10 1/2; 159
Vegas Line & Total: Chicago by 7 1/2; 152
Dunkel Pick: Chicago (-7 1/2); Over

Game 607-608: Connecticut at Phoenix (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Connecticut 105.038; Phoenix 115.242
Dunkel Line & Total: Phoenix by 10; 152
Vegas Line & Total: Phoenix by 11 1/2; 157 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Connecticut (+11 1/2); Under

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Alex SmartFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Mississippi State vs. Oklahoma StateFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Oklahoma State -11½FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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This game in Houston(Texas Kick off Classic) is being played very close to the heart of Big 12 Country, and I expect the vast majority of the crowd will firmly behind the Cowboys. You can bet that the explosive Cowboys offense, will be primed to show up a school that the media likes to tell us comes from the best defensive conference in the country (SEC). . I expect the Oklahoma States very fast paced offense, to keep Mississippi State D very off balanced .Last season opposing defenses had alot of problems getting defensive calls in the game vs the Cowboys because nobody was substituting and the ball was being snapped so quickly. I really believe Miss State is going to have alot of issues facing a spread offense they can wear defenses down quickly. It must also be noted that the Bulldogs will be replacing three starters in the defensive backfield and be very inexperienced . A poor pass rush late last season helped result in the defense surrendering more than 400 yards in three of the final six games and more than 230 passing yards in five of those games. The young men from Starkville registered just 18 sacks in 13 games.Despite of the constant talk of hope, from DAWG fans, I wont be surprised if another ugly outing by the Bulldogs D is on todays agenda. Bulldogs are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games in August.

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Red Dog SportsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Georgia vs. ClemsonFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Under 73FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Both teams can score quickly as they are led by great quarterbacks (Murray for Georgia and Boyd for Clemson) but in the season opener it may take some time for points to be scored. A long drive leading to a missed field goal will have this game in the 60's. Take a look at the under in this game.

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JR O'DonnellFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Virginia Tech +18FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Virginia Tech gets our CFB members call as the Dog will stay inside the # .. yes we are standing in front of the Bama Train. Nick Saban and  Frank Beamer are two top notch coaches and the Jay Oster is bucking one of his favorite sayings... "yes it looks way way too easy to take the points with VT... nevertheless we are staying true to our power ratings @ - 11 flat for the Tide..... Offense puts people in the stands &  Defense covers spreads and these Hokies were 32nd in the nation l yr.

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Dave EsslerFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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UL-Monore +23.5FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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I was going to hold out here, but doubt 24 comes back, and if it does, is widely available enough for me to release at that number. I don't get all the love for the Sooners, having to retool without Landry Jones, and perhaps more importantly they've got a Conference game in week two against West Virginia, which clearly means the back door will be wide open all day. This is a Sooner team that couldn't focus against Notre Dame and lost as double-digit favorites at home, by more than two touchdowns.  UL-Monore will throw the ball all over the field, which is also a good thing because they can score quickly, which might come in handy late. They bring back 17 of 22 starters, including quarterback Keith Browning, from a team that played Arkansas, Baylor, and Auburn, to start last season. Point being, playing in Norman is no big deal, and the fans and players in Norman on this day will think playing ULM is no big deal, either, so ULM should well stay withing this number.

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River City SportsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Kentucky vs. Western KentuckyFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Kentucky -4.5FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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A clean slate is what is on tap for both new UK HC Mark Stoops and new WKU boss Bobby Petrino. Believe it or not, there are lots of intriguing matchups here in a game with two teams that don’t feature lots of star power. Consider WKU went to Lexington last year and beat the Cats on a trick play in OT, building the case to fire HC Joker Phillips. Petrino made silent overtures about wanting to interview for the UK HC job but was never given the chance, so that’s on his mind. UK just wants to avenge an embarrassing loss to an in-state Sun Belt foe in Stoops first day on the job. UK brings back OC Neil Brown, who runs the “Air Raid” offense that was made popular in Lexington with Hal Mumme and Tim Couch. UK really hurting for depth, but has some legitimate beef on the front line of both sides of the ball and some playmakers. Look for them to use both Whitlow and Smith at QB, mixing it up against the ‘Toppers, while reports suggest that Petrino is really struggling to find a starting QB to run his complex system. Cats need this game more and will be jacked up in first game of Stoops era, buoyed by a pro-UK crowd in Nashville. Cats close this out late for a 10 point win.
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La. Tech vs. NC StateFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: La Tech +13.5FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Skip Holtz takes over the program at La. Tech and will be hard pressed to improve upon the teams churned out by Spike Dykes, who have gone to Ole Miss, Virginia and Illinois the last 3 seasons and come away with W’s. Meanwhile, Dave Doeren takes over at NC State and they have aspirations of another quality bowl appearance. Both of these teams are young and both have plenty of questions, but we simply think the number is too high for an opener. Texas tech transfer QB Young should feel right at home in the spread offense run by the Bulldogs, which NC State is not as accustomed to playing against. The Bulldogs have a habit of showing up big against the BCS-conference schools and will again make this game close.

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WunderdogFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Purdue at CincinnatiFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: Cincinnati -10.5FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Purdue and Cincinnati both have new coaches on the sidelines and that means a new system to learn. Purdue's new leader is Kent State's Darrell Hazell. His first move was to ditch the spread offense in favor of a pro-style attack, as he wants to become a more physical offense. Cincinnati has a pair of QBs that have promise, but it looks as though the decision has been made, handing the job to Brendon Kay. Cincinnati allowed just 18.6 points per game a year ago. They have a lot of those pieces back to build upon, and perhaps could be even better this season. The Boilermakers lack speed, and playing on turf has been problematic as they have covered just 3 of their last 14 playing on it. Meanwhile the Bearcats have dominated on turf going 8-3 ATS in their last 11. Purdue has a long way to go on defense, and Cincinnati has a punishing running game to take advantage. The Bearcats went 6-1 at home last season winning on average by 19 points per game. Take Cincinnati here.

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Harry BondiFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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WESTERN KENTUCKY (+5) over KentuckySERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Today, we look at a game from Saturday's card in a game that pits two teams with new head coaches. Western Kentucky has brought in former embattled Arkansas head man Bobby "Ride My Hog" Petrino, who, despite his off-field problems, has had great success as a head coach. He inherits a team with 14 returning starters that is getting almost a touchdown on a neutral site against a Kentucky team they beat outright last year for the school's first-ever win over a BCS team. New Wildcats Head Coach Mark Stoops is installing a new, up-tempo offense, but none of his QBs stepped up in the fall practice to take the starting job, so he will be forced to play a rotation of two QBs behind one of the most inexperienced offensive lines in college football. Take the points.
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UL-Monroe (+24) over OklahomaFREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Today, we look at a game from Saturday's card where we'll take advantage of an inflated favorite. We just can't see the Sooners being focused on this game since they have a Big 12 Conference game on tap next week against West Virginia. For UL-Monroe, however, this is a Super Bowl type of game and they have spent the entire offseason preparing. The Warhawks regularly schedule BCS schools so they won't be intimidated by Oklahoma and if they fall behind they will never be out of range for the cover since this is a pass-happy team. QB Kolton Browning is expected to break a number of school records this year and will be running an offense that returns eight starters from a team that averaged 33.8 points per game last season. Take the more motivated, double-digit, passing underdog!

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Teddy CoversFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Northwestern vs. CaliforniaFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: NorthwesternFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Jeff Tedford enjoyed great success with the Bears early in his tenure.  He was a hot prospect, coveted by NFL teams.  But after peaking with a 10 win season in 2006, the Cal program started to decline.  The Tedford era ended with 5-7, 7-6 and 3-9 campaigns; a harbinger of things to come.
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New Cal head coach Sonny Dykes had great success running the spread offense at Louisiana Tech.  The Bulldogs won nine games last year, averaging 51.5 points and 578 yards per game; leading the nation in both categories.  But Dykes first year at LaTech wasn’t nearly as pretty: 27 points per game on 390 yards of offense in a 5-7 SU, 5-7 ATS season.  It’s worth noting that against WAC competition, the Bulldogs won only as a favorite that year – beating the teams they were supposed to beat, but unable to step up in class.
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Dykes is installing the same spread offense at Cal with new offensive coordinator Tony Franklin.  New defensive coordinator Andy Buh has switched from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense this year, forcing several linebackers to convert to defensive end in the offseason.  And there’s an entirely new staff of assistants, a complete coaching housecleaning.
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Dykes is starting true frosh QB Jared Goff in the season opener against Northwestern.   This team lacks senior leadership, with only 12 seniors on the roster.  Dykes: “We’re a very young team that’s playing a very difficult schedule. If you’re on the outside of our program and you’re looking at Cal football, it doesn’t look very good.”  I agree with that quote 100%!
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Northwestern went 10-3 SU, 11-1-1 ATS last year, an under-the-radar pointspread machine.  That included straight up road wins at Michigan State, Syracuse and Minnesota.  They won three road games in 2011 as well, including an impressive upset at Nebraska.  Two experienced QB’s – Kain Colter, a dangerous running threat and Trevor Siemian, an effective downfield passer – give the new Bears defense multiple looks to worry about.  The Wildcats defense held opponents to 22 points per game last year and their front seven is loaded once again.
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Bottom line?  There’s a class difference between these two teams that isn’t fully reflected in this pointspread.  Even in a late night West Coast game like this one (situational advantage for Cal), don’t expect miracles from the Bears in their first game under Dykes against a Big 10 contender like the Wildcats.

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CINCINNATI (-10½) 35 Purdue 20FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Purdue may have made the same mistake with the hiring of Darrell Hazell that Kansas made a few years ago with Turner Gill. You might recall that Gill took over a horrible Buffalo team and turned them into a respectable squad while earning a national reputation with an 8-6 campaign in 2008 that put him on the radar of schools from higher profile conferences. However, that 8-6 record in 2008 was nothing more than luck, as Buffalo was +19 in turnovers and won 3 games in overtime. The Bulls weren’t a good team at all (they were 0.8 yards per play worse than average from the line of scrimmage based on my ratings) but Gill’s reputation was cemented by that luck and Kansas went on to pay for their mistake with two horrible seasons (2010 and 11) that added up to a 5-19 record and Gill’s firing.
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Hazell took over a decent Kent State program coming off consecutive 5-7 seasons and he led them to another 5-7 season in 2011. However, Kent was actually worse than they were in 2009 and 2010, as they went from a rating of -0.8 yppl in 2009 and -0.7 yppl in 2010 to a -1.1 yppl rating in Hazell’s first season in 2011. That fact was hidden by the decent 5-7 record that was the result of a +12 turnover margin with +7 of that coming on fumbles, which are almost completely random. Kent had a surprising 11-3 record last season that got that attention of gullible programs like Purdue. What the athletic director at Purdue obviously didn’t realize is that Kent’s success last year was a complete mirage and that the Flashes were still a below average team. Kent actually did improve from the line of scrimmage, as they were only 0.3 yppl worse than an average team but most of the success came from a mostly lucky +20 turnover margin and a 5-0 edge in return touchdowns (also mostly random). Kent averaged a rating of -0.7 yppl from the line of scrimmage in the two years before Hazell was the head coach and the Flashes averaged a rating of -0.7 yppl in two years with Hazell as head coach, with his first year being particularly horrible (-1.1 yppl). I doubt that the luck that Hazell experienced in two seasons at Kent State will carry over the Purdue.
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Purdue’s new offensive coordinator, John Shoop, had good offenses in his final 3 years at North Carolina but it took him time to build that success, as his first two years the Tarheels offense was a combined 0.2 yppl worse than average, which is bad for a team from a BCS conference. Purdue should be a pretty good running team with RB Akem Hunt showing signs of being an explosive weapon in a backup role on offense (622 rushing yards at 8.7 ypr and 9.9 yards on 21 passes targeted at him the last two years) and on special teams. The Boilermakers also have a running quarterback in Rob Henry, who led the team in rushing playing part time in 2010. Henry can certainly run but his passing skills are questionable given his 53.5% career completion percentage (107 for 200) and a rating of 0.8 yards per pass play worse than average (5.7 yppp against teams that would allow 6.5 yppp to an average QB) over the final 9 games in 2010 when he started playing regularly. The receiving corps doesn’t look good enough to help Henry out and I expect the Boilermakers to struggle throwing the ball (except on throws to running backs, which they were great at last season) while running at a better than average clip. Overall the Boilermakers rate a bit worse than average offensively and I expect just 5.1 yppl for them in this game against slightly better than average Cincy defense whose points allowed last season (18.5 per game) was very misleading (they were just 0.1 yppl better than average).
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Purdue’s defense has been worse than average the last two seasons but should improve to about average this year with 8 returning starters and a capable defensive coordinator in Greg Hudson, who put together decent units throughout his career as a DC at Minnesota (2000-04) and East Carolina (2005-09). Cincinnati’s offense was very good last season, averaging 6.6 yppl against teams that would combine to allow 5.8 yppl to an average attack. Those numbers are a bit skewed by the 10.5 yppl they racked up in their 48-34 bowl win over Duke but their median rating was still 0.7 yppl better than average. Cincinnati was much more successful offensively after Brendon Kay took over at quarterback for the final 5 games, as he averaged 8.4 yards per pass play (against teams that would allow 6.7 yppp) while Munchie Legaux was only 0.5 yppp better than average (6.7 yppp against teams that would allow 6.2 yppp to an average QB). Legaux also threw 9 interceptions on 230 passes while Kay threw only 2 picks on 138 passes. Despite Kay being significantly better last season new coach Tommy Tuberville has said that he’ll play both quarterbacks early in the season. Regardless, I don’t expect Cincy’s offense to be as good as it was while learning a new system and it’s highly unlikely that the Bearcats will average 14.8 yards per reception again (12.0 is average). Having a veteran offensive line (4 of 5 starters return) will help and I still expect the Bearcats to have a good attack (I rate them at +0.4 yppl).
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Teams with new coaching staffs can be tricky to forecast early in the season but I have years of data to project early season ratings and my ratings favor Cincinnati by 11 points in this game. While there doesn’t appear to be any line value there is some history favoring Cincy in this game as teams with new coaches tend to perform much worse when opening up the season on the road. In fact, teams with new head coaches are just 20-38-2 ATS since 2002 as road underdogs of more than 3 points in their opening game and Purdue applies to an 8-30-1 ATS subset of that angle. I’d consider Cincinnati a Strong Opinion at -10 points or less.

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Larry NessFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Buffalo at Ohio StateFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: BuffaloFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Urban Meyer led Ohio State to a 12-0 season in his first year at Columbus in 2012, wasting little time in helping the Buckeyes bounce from a 6-7 finish in 2011, Ohio St’s 1st non-10 win (or more) season since 2004. Ohio State opens the 2013 season ranked No. 2 in the polls (naturally, Alabama is No. 1) and with probation no longer an issue, expectations are “BCS title or bust” in Columbus. Ohio State puts its 12-game winning streak on the line Saturday afternoon against Buffalo of the MAC. The Bulls are coming off a 4-8 season, which unfortunately for head coach Jeff Quinn, represents his best single-season record since taking over for Turner Gill in 2010 (went 2-10 that first year and then 3-9 in 2011).
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The Buckeyes will be the highest-ranked team the Bulls have ever faced but Quinn’s team should draw some positive memories from its season-opener last year when the Bulls (+38) were highly-competitive in a 45-23 loss in Athens, Georgia at the hands of the then-No. 6 Bulldogs. Buffalo trailed just 24-16 at the half in last year’s season opener at Georgia and actually won the TOP (32:07-to-27:53). The Buffalo offense was underwhelming last season, averaging only 21.3 PPG. QB Alex Zordich lost his starting job during the season to Joe Licata (Buffalo won three of his four starts) but Zordich has regained his starting role to open 2013. That said, both QBs are likely to see time under center this year.
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RB Branden Oliver is back after gaining 821 yards (5.5 YPC) plus Devin Campbell (502 yards as a freshman) should receive his fair share of carries as well. WR Alex Neutz was named to the All-MAC First Team despite Buffalo’s shaky QB play, catching 65 balls for 1,015 yards with 11 TDs. The Bulls' offensive attack needs to improve, matching the play of the team’s defense. Buffalo played much better in the second half of the season and finished the year ranked 37th in the FBS in total defense, yielding just 363.7 YPG and ending the season with 34 QB sacks.
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Meyer implemented his spread offense upon his arrival at Ohio State and QB Braxton Miller was terrific (58.3% for 2,039 yards with 15 TDS and just six INTs / 1,271 rushing yards on 5.6 YPC with 13 TDs). Ohio St led the Big Ten in scoring (37.2 PPG) and Miller shad help from RB Carlos Hyde, who rushed for 970 rushing yards while scoring 16 TDs. However, he'll be out of action for the first three games of the season while serving a suspension. Defensively, Ohio St allowed 22.8 PPG last year (31st in the nation) but eight starters were lost after last season. "Defense is where the issues are," Meyer admitted. "We lost our entire front seven, (but) I believe we recruited well."
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This Buffalo team return 16 starters and just may be able to run the ball on an Ohio St defensive front which lost all four starters from LY’s team. Buffalo easily covered last year’s season-opener at Georgia (as mentioned earlier), plus also covered at Pittsburgh (+ 30.5) in a 35-16 loss at Pittsburgh in its 2011 season-opener. Why not make it three straight covers with this team, which figures to be WAY better than the 3-9 team from 2011 or last year’s 4-8 club? Take the points.

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Michael RispoliFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Purdue vs. CincinnatiFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Cincinnati -10½FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Coach Tommy Tuberville's team lost several key members off of last years roster but he's filled the gaps nicely and has the Bearcats primed for a battle with Louisville for the Conference Championship. Purdue is 1-11 ATS as a road underdog with a spread between 10.5 and 14. Interestingly enough Cincinnati is 12 -1 as a home favorite with a spread between 10.5 and 14.

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Steve JanusFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Florida Gators -23½FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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A lot of people look at the numbers Toledo put up offensively last year and the fact that they have nine starters coming back and instantly assume they will have no trouble scoring close to 20-points against a depleted Florida defense. It's a possibility, but this same high-powered offense managed just 15 points on 315 yards of total offense in their bowl loss to Utah State. Playing on the road against an SEC team is unlike anything the Toledo players have ever experienced. If things don't go their way early, I could see this game getting ugly in a hurry.
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A big system that backs laying the big number in this game is Florida is 7-1 ATS over the last five years as a favorite of 23 to 27 points.
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As good as Florida was last year and the fact that they come in ranked No. 10, a lot of experts are down on this team and aren't giving them much of a chance at all to contend in the SEC. Regardless if that will come true or not, Florida has heard the doubters all offseason and you have to believe they feel a bit disrespected. Don't be surprised if they take out their frustration on the Rockets.
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Another thing to keep in mind is that Florida thinks they have a shot at playing for a national championship. Whenever a team has those goals in mind, they tend to run up the score against inferior teams. If the Gators jump out to a 20-point halftime lead, they aren't going to come out in the second half looking to push it to 40.

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Andy IskoeFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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California +6FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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New coach Dykes inherits a talented team at Cal that failed to meet expectations quite often under former coach Tedford who was an excellent recruiter, worked extremely well in developing quarterbacks but seemed out of his comfort zone on the sidelines as head man. Dykes elevated the fortunes of Louisiana Tech to earn this gig and he brings a powered offensive game plan along with great enthusiasm to his new program. Northwestern is thought to have a real chance to be a factor in the Big 10 race and ex-linebacker/current head coach Fitzgerald is considered one of the best coaches in all of college football. He is 50-39 SU (41-41 ATS) in 7 seasons as Wildcats coach and let the program to a 10-3 record in 2012 that included a Bowl win over Mississippi State. Northwestern was a pointspread darling last season, going 11-1 ATS. Such success often regresses the following season and we should see the first of several ATS losses here. Northwestern does face recruiting impediments not faced by other programs due to strict academic requirements. They do return plenty of experience from last season which should serve them well in coming weeks with four straight home games. But asking Northwestern to win by a margin on the road may be asking too much when facing a talented team eager to begin the new coaching regime on a positive note. Cal has the athletes to turn around the fortunes of team more talented than last season's 3-9 record would suggest.

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Tony GeorgeFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Purdue vs. CincinnatiFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Purdue +11FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Bearcats get Tommy Tubberville, so slowly say goodbye to your winning ways Bearcat fans!  That being said Purdue has managed back to back Bowl Game appearances and head coach Hazell has done a nice job of getting Purdue back on the map.  This line opened at 14 and dropped to 10 before settling at 11 late in the week, with the money coming in on Cincy this week.  I disagree totally with the move back up off the fall number of 10,  and had previously bet this at +14 on the Cantor futures.  Rob Henery is a solid QB but they have a frosh superstar in Danny Etling (remember that name !) should he falter, and RB Akeem Hunt is serviceable and is backed up by 2 solid fill ins and word is that frosh Keyante Green has impressed.
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Cincy switches from the spread attack to a pro style offense under Tubberville so there is a learning curve there. Anytime you install a new system and coaching staff there is some adjustments to be expected and laying this type of number, even with Cincy having a good QB and veteran OL, I think Purdue will come in here and put up a fight in a game that quite frankly can go either way by 3 to 6 points, the value is in the line.

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Matt FargoFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Kentucky vs. Western KentuckySERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Kentucky -4FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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This is a neutral site game taking place at LP Field in Nashville. Kentucky is coming off a dreadful 2-10 season, its worst campaign since going 2-9 back in 2004. Gone is former head coach Joker Phillips and in is Mark Stoops who most recent held the defensive coordinator job at Florida St. His main priority will be to turn around a defense that struggled by allowing 391 ypg and 31 ppg and he should be the man to do it. His defenses at Florida St. third and second over the last two seasons and while the talent is not nearly as good in Kentucky, he will get the most out of his players. Stoops brought in Neal Brown to take over the offense after having a lot of success as offensive coordinator at Texas Tech the last three years. The Wildcats have 14 starters back, seven on each side of the ball, and the young players that saw action last year will benefit from that experience. Western Kentucky was very successful last year as it went to its first ever bowl game. The Hilltoppers did not come away with the win as they were without head coach Willie Taggart who left to become the head coach at USF. They hired Bobby Petrino to take over and he is the big name coach that can give this team that annual recruiting edge. Western Kentucky also brings back 14 starters from last year's 7-6 team but it will not be sneaking up on anyone this season like it did a year ago. The Hilltoppers do possess one of the best running backs in the conference in Antonio Andrews but they do have to replace their quarterback. On the other side of the ball, the entire front four will be new and the already average defense is expected to take a step back. This is a revenge game for Kentucky as it lost at home to the Hilltoppers in overtime by a point despite outgaining them in the process. Even with that loss, this is still the SEC against the SBC and the talent difference is still fairly large. Look for the Wildcats to get their revenge and open the Stoops era with a momentum building victory.

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Ben BurnsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Alabama vs. Virginia TechFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: Virginia TechFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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I won with the Tide in each of the last two BCS championship games and obviously have much respect for them.
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That said, this line looks a little high ...SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Obviously, the Hokies have fallen upon hard times the last couple of years. They're not without talent though.
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This is about as big as it gets for the Hokies. An ESPN game vs. the 2-time defending champs. On the other hand, while they get an open date next, the Tide have an even bigger game up next, as they'll face Texas A@M (the only team that beat them last year) on 9/14.
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While scoring an upset here is obviously going to be a major challenge, the Hokies are the type of team that believes it can play with the champs. They've got experience at the QB position and I look for them to put up a bigger fight than most will be expecting. At 21 or better, take a look at grabbing the points.

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Bryan PowerFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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LSU vs TCUFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: UnderFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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While one primetime battle on Saturday promises to be a shootout (Georgia/Clemson), expect far fewer points to be scored in Cowboys Stadium when LSU takes on TCU.  Both programs are known for traditionally having stout defenses and I don't think this year will be any different. Take the Under.
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LSU enters 2013 somewhat under the radar, at least by their lofty standards.  For the first time in three years, they enter a game ranked outside the AP Top 10. According to said rankings, they are actually the SIXTH best team in the SEC, trailing Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas A&M and Florida. But I feel they are being undervalued.  Last year's defense gave up more than 22 points in a game only one time. Granted, they have lost a ton of talent to the NFL from that unit, but they don't rebuild, they reload in Baton Rouge under Les Miles.  On offense though, I have some concerns.  Running back Jeremy Hill may or may not play here due to an off-season arrest. The passing game ranked near the bottom of the country last season.  As a result, Cam Cameron has been brought on as the new offensive coordinator. On his resume is a 1-15 season with the NFL's Miami Dolphins.  He was dumped as the OC last year in Baltimore and all the Ravens did was go on to win the Super Bowl.
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TCU is a contender in the wide open Big 12.  They bring back nine starters on the defensive side of the ball, which has been a strong suit under Head Coach Gary Patterson. From 2008-10, the Horned Frogs finished #1 in total defense nationally each season, becoming only the third program in history to do that three consecutive seasons. Here they will be facing an LSU Offense that averaged just 17.2 PPG away from home last season and 278.4 yards per game.  This number just seems too high for a pair of programs that traditionally bring it defensively.

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John RyanFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Massachusetts at WisconsinFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Prediction: UnderFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The simulator shows a high probability that fewer than 53 points will be scored in this mismatch of teams. This game is a mismatch, but the public is betting the 'OVER' with an irrational exuberance that is exceeding more than 70% of all wagers made. Whenever I have a play graded as a 3* or higher play and the betting si this extreme to the OPPOSIE side, it serves top reinforce the play and my confidence in the projected outcome. SIM projects that UMASS will have less than 50 rushing yards. In past games, where the Wisconsin defense has allowed fewer than 50 rushing yards, the 'UNDER' has gone 10-3 since 1992. The Badgers have no need to run up the score on the Minutemen and I see this as a 38-3 type of game. This is not a recommendation to take the points at 44 1/2 either.

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