Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 15

Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 15

DUNKEL INDEX

NFL

San Francisco at Seattle
The Niners look to build on their 6-0-1 ATS record in their last 7 games in Week 2 of the season. San Francisco is the pick (+3) according to Dunkel, which has the Niners favored by 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (+3)

Game 195-196: San Diego at Philadelphia (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Diego 130.330; Philadelphia 127.063
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 3 1/2; 51
Vegas Line: Philadelphia by 7 1/2; 55
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (+7 1/2); Under

Game 197-198: Cleveland at Baltimore (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland 124.172; Baltimore 139.231
Dunkel Line: Baltimore by 15; 39
Vegas Line: Baltimore by 6 1/2; 43 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (-6 1/2); Under

Game 199-200: Tennessee at Houston (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tennessee 129.239; Houston 135.588
Dunkel Line: Houston by 6 1/2; 47
Vegas Line: Houston by 9 1/2; 43
Dunkel Pick: Tennessee (+9 1/2); Over

Game 201-202: Miami at Indianapolis (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami 132.193; Indianapolis 131.300
Dunkel Line: Miami by 1; 40
Vegas Line: Indianapolis by 3; 43
Dunkel Pick: Miami (+3); Under

Game 203-204: Carolina at Buffalo (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Carolina 133.877; Buffalo 127.706
Dunkel Line: Carolina by 6; 48
Vegas Line: Carolina by 3; 43 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Carolina (-3); Over

Game 205-206: St. Louis at Atlanta (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis 128.652; Atlanta 138.728
Dunkel Line: Atlanta by 10; 51
Vegas Line: Atlanta by 6 1/2; 47
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-6 1/2); Over

Game 207-208: Washington at Green Bay (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington 134.717; Green Bay 139.816
Dunkel Line: Green Bay by 5; 45
Vegas Line: Green Bay by 8; 49 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (+8); Under

Game 209-210: Dallas at Kansas City (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Dallas 125.409; Kansas City 130.522
Dunkel Line: Kansas City by 5; 49
Vegas Line: Kansas City by 3; 46 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Kansas City (-3); Over

Game 211-212: Minnesota at Chicago (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota 131.521; Chicago 135.908
Dunkel Line: Chicago by 4 1/2; 39
Vegas Line: Chicago by 6 1/2; 42
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (+6 1/2); Under

Game 213-214: New Orleans at Tampa Bay (4:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: New Orleans 135.723; Tampa Bay 130.322
Dunkel Line: New Orleans by 5 1/2; 52
Vegas Line: New Orleans by 3; 47
Dunkel Pick: New Orleans (-3); Over

Game 215-216: Detroit at Arizona (4:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit 128.590; Arizona 129.422
Dunkel Line: Arizona by 1; 44
Vegas Line: Detroit by 2; 48
Dunkel Pick: Arizona (+2); Under

Game 213-214: New Orleans at Tampa Bay (4:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: New Orleans 135.723; Tampa Bay 130.322
Dunkel Line: New Orleans by 5 1/2; 52
Vegas Line: New Orleans by 3; 47
Dunkel Pick: New Orleans (-3); Over

Game 215-216: Detroit at Arizona (4:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit 128.590; Arizona 129.422
Dunkel Line: Arizona by 1; 44
Vegas Line: Detroit by 1 1/2; 48
Dunkel Pick: Arizona (+1 1/2); Under

Game 217-218: Jacksonville at Oakland (4:25 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Jacksonville 115.603; Oakland 126.441
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 11; 44
Vegas Line: Oakland by 5 1/2; 39
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (-5 1/2); Over

Game 219-220: Denver at NY Giants (4:25 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Denver 140.089; NY Giants 138.686
Dunkel Line: Denver by 1 1/2; 49
Vegas Line: Denver by 5; 55
Dunkel Pick: NY Giants (+5); Under

Game 221-222: San Francisco at Seattle (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Francisco 140.811; Seattle 139.172
Dunkel Line: San Francisco by 1 1/2; 48
Vegas Line: Seattle by 3; 44 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (+3); Over

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 16

Time Posted: 11:00 p.m. EST (9/11)
Game 223-224: Pittsburgh at Cincinnati (8:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh 127.890; Cincinnati 137.181
Dunkel Line: Cincinnati by 9 1/2; 37
Vegas Line: Cincinnati by 6 1/2; 41
Dunkel Pick: Cincinnati (-6 1/2); Under

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DUNKEL INDEX

MLB

NY Yankees at Boston
The Red Sox look to build on their 17-4 record in their last 21 games as a home favorite of -151 to -200. Boston is the pick (-170) according to Dunkel, which has the Red Sox favored by 2. Dunkel Pick: Boston (-170)

Game 951-952: Miami at NY Mets (1:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami (Koehler) 14.810; NY Mets (Gee) 13.735
Dunkel Line: Miami by 1; 9
Vegas Line: NY Mets (-170); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Miami (+150); Over

Game 953-954: Philadelphia at Washington (1:35 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Philadelphia (Cloyd) 15.215; Washington (Zimmermann) 16.888
Dunkel Line: Washington by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Washington (-200); 8
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-200); Under

Game 955-956: Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh (1:35 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cubs (Wood) 15.816; Pittsburgh (Liriano) 14.838
Dunkel Line: Chicago Cubs by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh (-185); 7
Dunkel Pick: Chicago Cubs (+165); Over

Game 957-958: San Diego at Atlanta (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Diego (Smith); 14.646; Atlanta (Teheran) 16.051
Dunkel Line: Atlanta by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-210); 8
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-210); Under

Game 959-960: Cincinnati at Milwaukee (2:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cincinnati (Arroyo); 16.616; Milwaukee (Gallardo) 14.987
Dunkel Line: Cincinnati by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-125); 8
Dunkel Pick: Cincinnati (-125); Over

Game 961-962: Colorado at Arizona (4:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado (Chacin) 15.835; Arizona (Delgado) 14.954
Dunkel Line: Colorado by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Arizona (-125); 9
Dunkel Pick: Colorado (+105); Under

Game 963-964: San Francisco at LA Dodgers (9:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Francisco (Vogelsong) 15.635; LA Dodgers (Volquez) 14.262
Dunkel Line: San Francisco by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-140); 8
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (+120); Under

Game 965-966: Kansas City at Detroit (1:08 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Kansas City (Guthrie) 15.216; Detroit (Scherzer) 16.794
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 1 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: Detroit (-220); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-220); Over

Game 967-968: Baltimore at Toronto (1:07 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Baltimore (Gonzalez) 16.504; Toronto (Buehrle) 15.043
Dunkel Line: Baltimore by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Baltimore (-120); 9
Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (-120); Under

Game 969-970: Tampa Bay at Minnesota (2:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay (Price) 13.932; Minnesota (Hernandez) 14.378
Dunkel Line: Minnesota by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Tampa Bay (-220); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (+185); Over

Game 971-972: Cleveland at Chicago White Sox (2:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland (McAllister) 16.230; White Sox (Sale) 13.618
Dunkel Line: Cleveland by 2 1/2; 6
Vegas Line: Chicago White Sox (-120); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (+100); Under

Game 973-974: LA Angels at Houston (2:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Angels (Williams) 16.804; Houston (Clemens) 15.229
Dunkel Line: LA Angels by 1 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: LA Angels (-150); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Angels (-150); Over

Game 975-976: Oakland at Texas (3:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland (Parker) 16.386; Texas (Perez) 14.331
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 2; 8
Vegas Line: Texas (-115); 9
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (-105); Under

Game 977-978: NY Yankees at Boston (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Yankees (Nova) 15.195; Boston (Buchholz) 17.299
Dunkel Line: Boston by 2; 10
Vegas Line: Boston (-170); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Boston (-170); Over

Game 979-980: Seattle at St. Louis (7:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle (Ramirez) 14.202; St. Louis (Miller) 15.767
Dunkel Line: St. Louis by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: St. Louis (-200); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (-200); Over

WNBA

Phoenix at Los Angeles
The Mercury look to build on their 6-0 ATS record in their last 6 games against a team with a winning SU record. Phoenix is the pick (+7 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Sparks favored by only 2 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Phoenix (+7 1/2)

Game 601-602: Indiana at Connecticut (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Indiana 111.346; Connecticut 105.297
Dunkel Line & Total: Indiana by 6; 144
Vegas Line & Total: Indiana by 4 1/2; 138
Dunkel Pick: Indiana (-4 1/2); Over

Game 603-604: Phoenix at Los Angeles (3:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Phoenix 113.497; Los Angeles 115.871
Dunkel Line & Total: Los Angeles by 2 1/2; 159
Vegas Line & Total: Los Angeles by 7 1/2; 165 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Phoenix (+7 1/2); Under

Game 605-606: New York at Washington (4:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: New York 102.832; Washington 107.664
Dunkel Line & Total: Washington by 5; 153
Vegas Line & Total: Washington by 7 1/2; 146
Dunkel Pick: New York (+7 1/2); Over

Game 607-608: Atlanta at San Antonio (4:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta 109.563; San Antonio 107.561
Dunkel Line & Total: Atlanta by 2; 144
Vegas Line & Total: Atlanta by 4 1/2; 151
Dunkel Pick: San Antonio (+4 1/2); Under

CFL

Montreal at BC
The Alouettes look to build on their 5-2 ATS record in their last 7 road games. Montreal is the pick (+8 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Lions favored by only 1. Dunkel Pick: Montreal (+8 1/2)

Game 297-298: Montreal at BC (4:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Montreal 114.127; BC 115.010
Dunkel Line: BC by 1; 48
Vegas Line: BC by 8 1/2; 52 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Montreal (+8 1/2); Under

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Justin BayFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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St Louis vs. AtlantaFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Over 47½FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Rams offense showed some promise in Week 1 with Bradford finishing with 299 yards through the air. Rams defense was a little rough around the edges allowing 390 total yards of offense for the Cardinals. Bradford should be able to put up equivalent numbers against a Falcon's defense that did not perform very well last week.
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Falcon's defense gave up 419 total yards to the Saints last week. Matt Ryan and company should have a better game this week against a Ram's defense that will have trouble guarding the highly potent wide receivers.

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Ben BurnsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Minnesota vs. ChicagoFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: ChicagoFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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With this line staying below the touchdown mark, I believe we're getting some value with the Bears. The home team won both meetings last season. The game here at Chicago was a blowout. The Bears were up 25-3 by halftime and cruised to a 28-10 victory. The Bears check in off a comeback win. The Vikings saw their game go the other way. While the Bears gave up 330 yards in their opener, the Vikes allowed 469. This game figures to have special meaning to Bears' coach Jim Tressman, a native of Minnesota. I expect him to have his team ready and feel that they've got an excellent shot at a big win. Consider Chicago.

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Brandon ShivelyFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay BuccaneersSERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3.5FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Who Dat, Who Dat? The Saints got a HUGE win for Sean Payton and the WHO DAT Nation and now they have a tough divisional game vs. a Tampa Bay team that got caught napping vs. the Jets. The Saints are 0-3 ATS in their L3 road openers and an emotional letdown is expected this week as they have been installed as a RF and nobody is giving the Bucs a chance in this game.....but ME.There was a lot of money riding on the Bucs last week and nobody wants any part of them this week. The Saints embarrassed the Bucs 41-0 LY and I can promise you these professionals remember that. Freeman threw 4 picks that game and he is in a contract year so we are expecting this guy to perform to his full capability. The Saints do have some defensive injuries and we just can't see them being as motivated for this game. For the Bucs to start off 0-2 and a game @ New England in Week 3, then that would be a disaster. Tampa Bay is 6-0 ATS w/ div revenge in Games 1-4 of the season and covered as a 3 pt. home dog in their season opener LY vs. Carolina. I can almost guarantee you that Doug Martin will not avg. only 2.7 YPR this week like he did vs. the Jets. Vincent Jackson had 216 rec yards in the 1st matchup between these two teams LY and he is off to a big start again. The scheduling and motivational dynamics favor Tampa Bay in this game and although I expect them to win this game SU, I will advise you to buy the .5 point if needed to get them at +3.5.

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Jesse SchuleFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Jacksonville vs. OaklandFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: OaklandFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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It wasn't that surprising to see the Jags lose their home opener, but the way they lost was quite concerning. Blaine Gabbert completed fewer than half his passes, failing to engineer a scoring drive and getting picked off twice and sacked six times.
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They only managed 178 total yards of offense against Kansas City, and Maurice Jones-Drew wasn't able to get anything going with the ground game.
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Now this game in Oakland is perhaps the only game on their schedule that you could look at, and say: "this is a winnable game". But is it really?
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The Raiders are surely one of the worst teams in the NFL, but they have demonstrated the ability to compete in this league, far more so than the Jags over the last few seasons.
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Terrelle Pryor didn't have a perfect game against Indy by any stretch of the imagination, but he made things happen. He completed 19-of-29 passes for 217 yards and a TD, and he added another 112 yards on the ground on 13 carries.
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He was picked off twice, but he played well enough to give his team the lead until late in the fourth quarter on the road.
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The Raiders defense did a good job of containing Andrew Luck, who had just 178 yards and a pair of TDs but was sacked four times.
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Oakland out-gained the Colts by nearly 100 yards, but they couldn't overcome the two turnovers on the Pryor interceptions.
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I think Oakland fans should have plenty to cheer about this weekend, as the Raiders should beat up on a very bad Jacksonville team.

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Bryan PowerFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Miami vs. IndianapolisFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: OverFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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It was a vintage Indianapolis game (for the Andrew Luck era) in Week 1 as they grinded out a 21-17 win over a bad Oakland team.  Beating bad teams close, usually at home, has been the hallmark of the Luck era and usually the games stay Under. This is incomprehensible to me given how bad Indy's defense is....
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The Colts have gone 12-5 Under in Luck's 17 regular season starts.  That's pretty surprising considering how good the second year quarterback is and how the bad the Colts defense has been.  Last week, they allowed the Raiders w/ Terrelle Pryor at QB, to gain over six yards per play!  Allowing more than six yards per play is not new to this Colts D as that's what they allowed last year. Pryor ran for over 100 yards himself and was actually made to look good!  While I wouldn't be surprised to see Indianapolis win another close one this week, don't be surprised to see this defense hurt them as the season moves on.
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Miami scored 23 points last week in a road win over Cleveland. They couldn't run the ball at all and new WR Mike Wallace was a non-factor.  But I still though QB Ryan Tannehill played well.  Like the Colts, the Dolphins have been an Under team going back to last season. These teams went Under by a half point when they met last year on this field (Colts won 23-20), but I'll call for slightly more points to be scored this time around and this one goes Over.

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Stephen NoverFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Denver Broncos vs. NY GiantsFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: NY Giants +4½FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Peyton Manning and the Broncos got a measure of revenge in high style last Thursday burying Baltimore. The Giants meanwhile committed six turnovers in losing on the road to Dallas.
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Does that make the Broncos so superior to the Giants that they should be more than a field goal favorite on the road? Not in my mind.
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The Giants lost to Dallas, 36-31, despite a minus 5 turnover ratio. It's absolutely amazing that New York came that close to pulling off the upset considering the takeaway/giveway disparity.
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While the Broncos are living high right now, the Giants already find themselves in an important matchup. As following this matchup, the Giants play three of their next four games on the road. Those away matchups aren't easy since they are against the Panthers, Chiefs and Bears.
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So this becomes a crucial home game for the Giants. New York usually is at its best when in a tough bind. The Giants are 8-2-1 ATS the past 11 times as an underdog and 10-4-1 ATS against foes with a winning record.
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The Broncos' defense is down from last year. It's bad enough that Von Miller is suspended, but he got in more trouble with the law this week. Miller is proving to be a distraction and a pain in the butt.
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The Broncos' secondary is vulnerable. Cornerback Champ Bailey and middle linebacker Wesley Woodyard are questionable.
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Eli Manning certainly won't lack for motivation being 0-2 against brother Peyton. Eli's three wideouts - Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle - are as good as any trio in the NFL. Talented running back David Wilson could be playing for his starting job. He'll be sky high for this game, too.
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Denver had its big game last week. The Broncos host long-time division rival Oakland on Monday night next week. This game is much bigger for the Giants.

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Art AronsonFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Carolina vs. BuffaloFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Over 43FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Panthers come into Buffalo 0-1 after getting shut down 12-7 at home in a loss to the Seattle Seahawks. QB Cam Newton went 16-for-23 for just 125 yards and one touchdown. Running back DeAngelo Williams rushed for 86 yards on 17 carries while veteran Steve Smith had a TD reception. The Panthers had three fumbles and lost two of them during this game really hurt the offensive output. The Bills are 0-1 after a narrow 23-21 defeat at the hands of the New England Patriots. Bills rookie E.J Manuel impressed everyone in his pro debut, completed 18 of 27 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. The usually explosive C.J Spiller was held to just 41 yards on 17 carries. The Panthers were unable to get much on a very stingy Seahawks defense with is not completely unpredictable but we should expect them to get a bit more here against a Bills defense not really known for shutting down its opponent. "Offensively, we have to score more than seven points, that's what it all comes down to," offensive tackle Jordan Gross said. Buffalo will be playing its second game at home already and will likely improve behind starter Manuel. Take a strong look at the “over.”

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Robert FerringoFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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New Orleans (-3) over Tampa BayFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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I'm never a big fan of playing road favorites in divisional games. But I think that this play warrants it. Tampa Bay has looked horrendous so far this season. I'm not just talking about their Week 1 debacle in New York. This team looked sloppy and disorganized throughout the preseason, and the whole organization is kind of a mess right now. Tampa can't rush the passer, they are still missing one of their best offensive linemen, and they have a quarterback spraying balls all over the place. It is looking more and more like Tampa's competitive 2012 season was an aberration. New Orleans, on the other hand, has to be feeling very good about itself after taking down Atlanta last week. Now they are facing a Tampa team that they throttled 41-0 the last time they saw them. New Orleans is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings, and they are 4-1 ATS in the last five trips down to One Buc Place. The road team is 14-6 ATS in the last 20 meetings, and I have no problem putting my money on Drew Brees over Freeman. The Saints are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 divisional games and 15-7 ATS in their last 22 conference affairs. I still don't trust New Orleans' defense. But I trust the Bucs even less. Lay the points in this one.

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SPORTS WAGERS

Survivor Pick - Week 2

Raise your hand if you sweated out last week’s Survivor Pool with New England or Indianapolis and shame on you if you penciled in the Steelers after we warned you to not go near that favorite last week. Once again, we’re going to stick to our philosophy of avoiding the biggest picks of the week and that would be New England, Houston, Green Bay or Philadelphia of which 85%-95% of your pool will be on. Anybody picking one of those first three teams could not be faulted, however, we would be rather cautious about playing the Eagles. That brings us to our choice, the Bears over the Vikings.

The Lions won by 10 points over the Vikings, but left a ton of points on the field by shooting themselves in the foot over and over again in the first half. They could have scored 50 and should have scored 40. Many teams will make adjustments after Week 1 but the Vikes just don’t have the personnel to get much better. This league is becoming more offensive minded every season and Minnesota is one of few teams that aren’t making the adjustment. Christian Ponder is not fit to QB in this league and when you don’t have a quality QB, you have no shot of winning more games than you lose.

The Bears beat a very tough and well-prepared Bengals squad. Unlike the Lions, who defeated the Vikes by 10, Chicago rarely leaves points on the table. The Bears used to be known for their great defense and they are still a top unit. However, this season, the new Trestman offense has been a success in the one game played and it’s only going to get better. Chicago takes a huge step down in class this week, they have a vastly superior QB and offense and they also have the much better defense. Oh, and the Bears are at home.

Our Week 2 Survivor Pick - straight up - is Chicago.

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Alex SmartFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Detroit Lions vs. Arizona CardinalsFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Arizona Cardinals +2FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Wow ...Where do I start. Year after year the public and so called pros call for the Lions to have a break out year. I can remember as far back as 2008, when a large array of sports writers and wannabe linesmakers would vote on their favorite dark horse, and the Lions , seemed to almost always consisently get, these kinds of acolades. Lots of reasons consistently get used for their projected upswing. The talent is there, now its time to execute, would be a consistent mantra. So here we go again. Replay after replay on the same old predictions. I suppose one of these days it will finally come true. But for now I still look at this team as fade material, especially on the road where they are 1-13 ATS L/14 as a 6 point or less away favorites. I dont care that they put up 34 points last week in a win vs a Minnesota team that looked tired and unconcious.I personally was not that impressed . Sorry Motown supporters, Im not on board with this yet.It must also be noted that the Lions have covered just once in their last 11 games after scoring more than 30 points in their previous game. With my controversial opinion now on record, look for new Arizona QB Carson Palmer to have a big day for new coach Bruce Arians, and for the Cards to make it 7 straight wins SU/ATS at home in this series. Final Note: Home team is 9-0 ATS in their last 9 meetings

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 15

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Pittsburgh at CincinnatiFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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History indicates it becomes very difficult to make the playoffs after starting the season 0-2 so this AFC North rivalry game shapes up to be a very important early season test for both teams. Expect a very physical defensive struggle between these two teams that have played 4 of their last 5 meetings Under the Total. The Bengals' defense did play well by holding the Bears to just 323 yards in their 24-21 loss at Chicago. Now the Bengals (0-1) return home where they have played 4 straight games Under the Total. Additionally, Cincy has played 6 straight games Under the Total against AFC opponents. Expect former-Steeler linebacker James Harrison to be particularly fierce when facing his former team that chose to not re-sign him. Pittsburgh (0-1) has significant problems on offense after a devastating season-ending injury to All-Pro center Maurkice Pouncey and running back LaRon Stephens-Howling last Sunday in their 16-9 loss to Tennessee as a 6-point favorite. The Steelers' offense managed a mere 195 yards of offense against that suspect Titans defense last week. Pittsburgh has played 5 of their last 7 games Under the Total after a point spread loss. Additionally, the Steelers have played 7 of their last 9 games Under the Total against fellow AFC North opponents. Lastly, in their last 6 appearances on Monday Night Football, Pittsburgh has played 5 of these games Under the Total. Take the Under in this one.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 15

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Lions (1-0) at Cardinals (0-1)FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Lions made a visit to the desert a year ago and had their lunch fed to them as the Cardinals dominated in a 38-10 pasting. Perhaps Detroit is a better team this season, but Arizona's improvement likely rates higher. The difference being that the Cardinals upgraded at the all-important quarterback position going from an array of rag-tag throwers (Ryan Lindley in this game a year ago) to veteran Carson Palmer (327 yards and 2 TDs last week). Sure, the Lions have Calvin Johnson, but the Cards have Patrick Peterson, who can at least disrupt Megatron somewhat. Detroit lacks a cover corner capable of covering top-rated receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Factor in that the Cardinals have a better group of secondary receivers and that they're playing on a terrain that doesn't favour this visitor, we find it odd that Detroit is favoured in this one. Arizona is tough at home, quietly winning nine of past 13 here. TAKING: CARDINALS +1½
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Broncos (1-0) at Giants (0-1)FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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There are a number of games this week that are simply overreactions to Week 1. This one stands out like a penguin in Africa. If this game was played before last week, we'd be looking at the Broncos as a very slight favourite. But when Peyton Manning opens up with a record-tying seven-touchdown performance and kid brother Eli's Giants turn the ball over a half-dozen times in a loss, the line is sure to be skewed. Not to detract from Denver's performance in the Thursday night opener, but it was opening night for the NFL in a game that a revved-up Broncos sought retribution on the team that knocked them out of the playoffs a year ago. You can bet that Tom Coughlin will have whipped his boys into shape after last week's fiasco with the Cowboys. The Giants are rarely a dog in this range, especially at home. G-Men are 8-2-1 in past 11 when taking points. TAKING: GIANTS +4½
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Chargers (0-1) at Eagles (1-0)FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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This week's flavour of the week is Chocolate Chip Kelly. The new coach of the Eagles displayed his rabbit-paced offence in the early Monday nighter last week for the entire football world to see. Many were gassed just watching it on TV. After jumping out to a 26-7 lead at halftime, the Eagles hung on for a 33-27 win. Was it a case of nursing a big lead or did Washington's defensive braintrusts make proper adjustments at halftime? The Chargers blew a big lead of their own on Monday night, but there were positives to build upon. Most notably was the inspired play of QB Philip Rivers after going AWOL the past couple of seasons. There is a better attitude on this team and they appear to have the mental fortitude to do battle after such a tough loss. The Eagles are pumped up right now, but let's see how this innovative style plays out over time. We'll gladly err on the side of caution. TAKING: CHARGERS +7
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Browns (0-1) at Ravens (0-1)FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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This one isn't so much about endorsing the Browns as it is fading the Ravens in this price range. After a good start, Baltimore faced some adversity in its opening-day loss to the Broncos and fell completely apart upon doing so. It was clear that the defending Super Bowl champions lacked depth and, until some of those deficiencies are addressed properly, we'll take the wait-and-see approach. The Browns continue to be a decent defensive unit, but the offence remains a perpetual work in progress. Having a week to review their paltry output and facing a wounded division rival, taking the offered points is preferred. TAKING: BROWNS +6½
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Titans (1-0) at Texans (1-0)FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Titans pulled off a big upset by defeating the Steelers in Pittsburgh last Sunday. Don't be fooled by that result. Pittsburgh had one of their worst performances in recent history, aided by a seriously depleted roster. Despite Pittsburgh's inabilities, the Titans' offence managed a measly 3.6 yards per play on offence. To put that into perspective, the 32nd-ranked team a year ago averaged 4.1 yards per play. Now the Titans will travel again, only this time to face a Houston team that plays extremely well on both sides of the ball. Tennessee was crushed by a 38-14 count on this field a year ago and they've not improved enough to make up the disparity. TAKING: TEXANS -9
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Dolphins (1-0) at Colts (1-0)FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Does it make sense to spot points with a team that is 10-1 going back to last year in one-score games and who needed a late drive last week to take down the Raiders? We think not. We'd rather back a sound Miami team that can play defence (six interceptions and six sacks versus the Browns) much better than its host and who should be able to run the ball better this week when facing Indy's suspect ground stoppers. The Fish took one on the chin here last year, succumbing 23-20 when all was said and done. But this is a more capable unit and one that we think will redeem itself. TAKING: DOLPHINS +2½
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Panthers (0-1) at Bills (0-1)FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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This one has an odd stench to it as the underachieving Panthers are favoured in Buffalo against a Bills team that looked surprisingly spirited in a near miss to the Patriots. But the more it smells, the more we like to stick our noses right in it. Carolina went toe-to-toe with an NFC power team. Buffalo played well, but New England's offence was clearly out of sync with its new personnel. Carolina has been a poor starting team and may come out with its hair on fire here. Taking double digits to a divisional foe is much different than taking a field goal to a visiting NFC squad. TAKING: PANTHERS -3
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Rams (1-0) at Falcons (0-1)FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Falcons are a capable bunch, aren't they? While there's not much shame in losing to New Orleans, some of Atlanta's issues were clearly exposed and a fix may not be forthcoming. The Falcons entered the season with a suspect offensive line. Matt Ryan has learned to live with his lack of protection, but the visiting Rams are quarterback guzzlers. St. Louis led the league in sacks last year with 51. This athletic bunch figures to pester Matty Ice all afternoon and it doesn't help much that both of Atlanta's star receivers are hobbled. The Rams are undervalued right now. Take advantage while you can. TAKING: RAMS +6½
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Redskins (0-1) at Packers (0-1)FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Redskins will feel like this game is in slow motion after facing the maniacal Eagles on Monday night. That could work to Green Bay's advantage as the talented Packers may lull Washington into a trance before unleashing some of its offensive arsenal. This is a tough assignment for the Redskins, playing on a short week and heading to Lambeau to face a Green Bay team in its home opener. The Packers have covered five straight at home and, with the Bears and Lions keeping them honest out of the gate, expect Green Bay to let it all hang out on this day. TAKING: PACKERS -7FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Cowboys (1-0) at Chiefs (1-0)FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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While the Cowboys remain an enigma, there's little logic in enlisting a Kansas City team that was 2-14 a year ago as a 3-point choice in this one. If the dismantling of the Jaguars last week was a component of this line, shame on you Mr. Oddsmaker. Before last week's win over Jacksonville, the Chiefs had not covered as a favourite since the 2010 season. While K.C. was beating up a weakling, Dallas defeated the NFC East-favoured Giants. Facing a Cowboys team that is littered with playmakers, the Chiefs must prove that they belong in this class. Until they do, we'll fade them in these situations. TAKING: COWBOYS +3
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Vikings (0-1) at Bears (1-0)FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The genie might be back in the bottle in Minnesota. After an impressive 11-5 season a year ago, the Vikings looked less than ordinary in a loss at Detroit. The Vikes must now travel again to a place that has not been welcoming to them. The Bears have won six of the past seven on this field and that trend figures to continue. After coughing up three interceptions last week to Detroit's tame secondary, QB Christian Ponder will be hard-pressed to avoid turnovers against Chicago's ball-hawking defence. Notably, Chicago's offence performed admirably against a solid Cincinnati defence a week ago with the offensive line not allowing a sack of QB Jay Cutler. TAKING: BEARS -6
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Saints (1-0) at Bucs (0-1)FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Rarely do you get what you see or see what you get in the NFL. This is a prime example. The Saints are fresh off an impressive win against one of the NFC contenders. The Bucs, well, they lost a clunker to the dysfunctional Jets. Easy pickings, right? Not in this league. There is a lot of talent on the Tampa side, including its beefed-up pass rush. With a trip to New England on deck, that talent needs to find a way to compete here in order to avoid an 0-3 start. It's early, but the Saints could be in a letdown spot after last week's win. We see a close one. TAKING: BUCCANEERS +3½
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Jaguars (0-1) at Raiders (0-1)FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Take a picture. This is likely the only time the Raiders will be favoured this season. That in itself is reason enough to back the dog. Granted, the dog is a real woofer, but Oakland is best-suited to cover big spreads as it did in a gutsy effort in Indianapolis last week. QB Terrelle Pryor was fun to watch, but it's never a good thing in this league when your quarterback is your best rusher. We recognize that the Jaguars are horrid, but investing in Oakland to not only win but win by a margin would not be sound advice. TAKING: JAGUARS +5½
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49ers (1-0) at Seahawks (1-0)FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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This should be fun. Both teams won on their own turf a year ago, but Seattle managed to cover both. The Seahawks' win was the more impressive of the two as they slammed the Niners to the tune of 42-13. However, San Fran had just come off an emotional Sunday night road win in New England and may have been caught a bit flat. They won't make that same mistake again. The 49ers went to the Super Bowl last year and consecutive NFC title games. While we respect the Seahawks, San Francisco's resume makes it hard to resist any time we're offered points. TAKING: 49ERS +3
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Steelers (0-1) at Bengals (0-1)FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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This is the most glaring overreaction to Week 1 results on the entire menu. For a moment, let's pretend that this is opening week. What would this line be? Bengals by 3? Maybe 3 1/2. Granted, the Steelers are a mess, but rolling over and playing dead is not in their DNA. This is the first time Cincinnati has been favoured over Pittsburgh in eight years. The Steelers have owned the Bengals here, winning 10 of their past 11 played at Paul Brown Stadium. Not only must the Bengals win, they must win by more than a touchdown. That's a tall order no matter what we've witnessed so far. TAKING: STEELERS +7

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 15

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Cleveland at BaltimoreFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: Over 43.5FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The defending Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens will try to get some things fixed after getting torched for seven TDs by Peyton Manning in their opener. But is it fixable? Baltimore lost a lot of talent and leadership from a defense that has mostly dominated in recent years. Gone are the emotional and statistical leaders from this defense. The Ravens opened up the playbook for Joe Flacco at the end of last season and it delivered a Super Bowl. As a result, they gave Joe Flacco a big contract, and the offense is now the focal point of this team. Baltimore will get RT Michael Oher back for this game, which will only assist the running game. Cleveland simply made too many mistakes against Miami, got behind and was forced to the air, and that did not work out so well. Baltimore simply doesn't have the ability to get pressure in the same way Miami did a week ago, and I think Brandon Weeden will have a lot more time, and he will also be able to get Trent Richardson more involved in the running game early. The Ravens went for 27 points and almost 400 yards on the road last week vs. at least as good of a defense as they will face at home this week. The Ravens have opened things up after a loss, where they are 12-4 to the OVER in their last 16. Look for Joe Flacco behind a raucous crowd to go nuts here. Make the play on the OVER.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 15

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Miami (+2.5) 20 over INDIANAPOLIS 21SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Dolphins enter this contest off of a 23-10 win at Cleveland last week in a defensive struggle as they gave up just 291 yards at 4.0 yards per play while generating 6 sacks and 3 turnovers. Offensively they were terrible running the ball with just 21 rushing yards at 1.1 yards per rush as the OL and the RB’s were equally unimpressive. They only had 7 yards rushing at halftime and essentially gave up on the run late in the game. They did, however, pass the ball fairly well as QB Ryan Tannehill completed 24 of 38 for 255 yards as he was their only real offense.
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Indianapolis was fortunate to beat a game Raiders team as a last minute INT near the goal line sealed the victory. Otherwise, it was a pedestrian like performance as they were unimpressive statistically gaining just 275 yards at 5.4 yards per play. QB Luck was efficient, hitting on 78% of his mainly short passes for 147 yards while the run game was very good in gaining 128 yards and 5.1 yards per carry. The OL did not protect Luck very well but were much better creating room in the run game. Keep in mind; this was against an Oakland defense that was fielding 9 new starters. Defensively, the Colts gave up 372 yards at 5.9 yards per play and had a difficult time containing QB Pryor who ran for 112 on only 13 carries. This sort of performance was par for the course for the Colts last year as they were continuously outperformed statistically but won 11 games nonetheless.
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I show some value on the Dolphins in this game as I have it lined around 1 and I have situations going both ways here. Matchup analysis forecasts the Dolphins having an edge passing the ball on the Colts with minimal rushing success while the Colts should also be able to pass the ball, with less success than the Dolphins, and not be able to run the ball very well. Dr. Bob has also contributed a 48-16 Under situation that applies to this game as long as the total stays below 43. I lean with the Dolphins and the Under.
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HOUSTON (-9.5) 28 over Tennessee 17FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Titans enter Week 2 off of a 16-9 victory in Pittsburgh that was dominated by defense on both sides. There were only 428 total yards gained in this game for both teams combined for an average of 3.75 yards per play. The Titans took advantage of a banged up Steelers offensive line with 5 sacks and forced 2 turnovers. When Pro Bowl C Maurkice Pouncey left the game with a knee injury in the first quarter, 2nd year player Kevin Beachum took over and forced a shift in scheme that limited their ability to run the ball. To their credit, the Titans played a mistake free game on offense with no turnovers and only 1 sack given up.
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The Texans opened the season with a second half come from behind victory against the San Diego Chargers on Monday night in a game where they trailed by 21 points in the third quarter. They outplayed the Chargers from the line of scrimmage and made big plays when they needed them, especially late in the game. On offense they demonstrated balance with the ability to run and pass with QB Matt Schaub having a very good night completing over 75% of his passes for 7.0 yards per pass.
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This is a divisional game and as such these teams know each other well. In fact, Tennessee OC Loggains has instituted an offensive scheme that is very similar to the Texans. From a matchup perspective, Houston projects to have a significant advantage in the passing game, with both teams having about average rushing success. My line on this game favors Houston by about 8 points which shows some live value on the Titans but the Texans qualify in a 60-17-2 situation which is enough for me to lean with the Texans minus the points.
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Cleveland (+6.5) 19 BALTIMORE 23FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Browns come into this contest off of a 23-10 home loss to the Miami Dolphins in a game that featured great rush defense on both sides. The Browns held the Dolphins to .9 yards per carry for the game and made them one dimensional offensively in the second half after holding them to just 7 yards rushing at halftime. I thought that Brandon Weeden didn’t play as poorly as his stats suggest. Two of his INT’s were tipped, and the right side of his offensive line was terrible, allowing Cameron Wake three sacks and being flagged for multiple penalties, one of which brought back a touchdown.
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Baltimore enters this contest off the Thursday Night 2013 season kick off game against the Broncos where they were destroyed in the second half, being outscored 35-10 after leading 17-14 at halftime. When all was said and done, they allowed Peyton Manning to throw for 7 TD’s and tie the NFL record for TD passes in a game. Their defense was terrible and their offense was not a lot better as Joe Flacco clearly misses WR Anquan Boldin and TE Dennis Pitta. In addition, the Ravens did not rush the ball well, totaling just 58 yards at 2.8 yards per carry. Without the threat of a run game and injuries to OT Michael Oher and WR Jacoby Jones, the Ravens offense struggled.
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Baltimore qualifies in a very good play against situation here that is 47-107-3 (5-29 the last 7 years) and a subset that is 29-82-2. In addition, Dr. Bob was nice enough to pass along a strong 28-5 situation that plays on the Browns, further bolstering their technical support. What I don’t like in this game, however, are a few things: John Harbaugh is very good when given time to prepare and off a loss, the Ravens are playing their home opener after their Super Bowl victory, and a bad matchup with the Browns offensive line that gave up 6 sacks last week now faces Suggs, Dumervil, and an angry Ravens team that was embarrassed last week. I lean to the Browns based on the strong situational support.
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Washington (+7) 24 GREEN BAY 28FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Redskins opened the season at home with the return of QB Robert Griffin and lots of excitement but were quickly shocked by the pace and scope of the Eagles offense. After a backwards pass by Michael Vick that was returned for a Redskins TD to start the game, the Eagles outscored the Redskins 26-0 the rest of the first half. Griffin was clearly rusty in the early going and the Eagles game planned around shutting down RB Alfred Morris as they correctly expected the Redskins wouldn’t put Griffin at risk. Once Washington was able to get their bearings, the mounted a comeback to get back in the game but ultimately could not close the sizable gap that they ended the first half with.
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The Packers hung tough with the 49ers in Candlestick Park and while they clearly executed their defensive game plan of shutting down the run (90 yards and 2.6 yards per carry) the 49ers passing game was the difference in the game. Colin Kaepernick was excellent passing the ball (69.3% completions for over 400 yards) and WR Anquan Boldin could not be stopped, making big plays even while being double covered. They were, however, without the key communicator of their defense and most experienced safety, Morgan Burnett as well as CB Casey Hayward.
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With both teams coming off of Week 1 losses and high expectations for 2013 there will be a focused effort by both clubs. The Packers studied defense of the read option in the offseason after being shredded in the playoffs by the 49ers last year and knowing that they would open the season with San Francisco and Washington in the first two weeks. They should be well prepared to defend it here and combined with a limited risk scheme that the Redskins will continue to employ in regards to Robert Griffin, the matchup favors the Packers. There is also a lack of both skill and experience in the Redskins secondary and I fully expect Aaron Rodgers to exploit that weakness here. I do, however, have a good 60-17-2 situation that plays on the Redskins in this spot and coupled with the fact that Green Bay demonstrated poor coverage last week and the large number, I will lean slightly with the Redskins plus the points.
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KANSAS CITY (-3) 24 Dallas 17FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Cowboys opened the season with a big divisional win on Sunday night versus the Giants in a game that was handed to them via 6 Giants turnovers. The Giants won the statistical battle with a big play passing offense (479 total yards and 8.3 yards per play) but lost the important battle on the scoreboard by turning the ball over repeatedly. Tony Romo threw the ball efficiently and effectively (73.5% on 49 attempts for 244 yards) as the Cowboys did enough to pull out a victory. They did leave the game a bit banged up though, as Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, and CB Morris Claiborne suffered injuries.
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Kansas City had a much easier time in dismantling a poor Jacksonville team 28-2. It was a dominant defensive performance as new DC Bob Sutton’s pressure scheme completely shut down the Jaguars offense (178 total yards at 2.5 yards per play with 6 sacks and 2 INTs). Offensively, the Chiefs were efficient in utilizing a very good running game and short passing attack while committing no turnovers with only 1 sack.
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Matchup analysis shows the Chiefs with a rushing advantage while both teams should be able to pass the ball efficiently. I have the Chiefs favored in this game by 4 points but don’t have any systems that apply. New Chiefs HC Andy Reid also knows the opponent in this game very well, having played against them twice a year for the past 14 years as HC of the Eagles. Even with a homecoming looming in Philadelphia next Thursday night for the Chiefs new HC, I think that he will have his team energized and focused here in front of the home crowd for the first time this season so I will lean with the Chiefs.
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Minnesota (+6) 20 CHICAGO 21FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Minnesota comes into this game after a terrible performance against the Lions in a game that they should have lost by more than the final 10 point margin. Christian Ponder played poorly, and a dominant Lions DL completely shut down Adrian Peterson after the initial 78 yard TD run on his first carry. In fact, after that first run AP only had 17 carries for 15 yards and was a complete non-factor. Reviewing the game I was shocked at how badly Ponder played, making both poor decisions and poor throws with a lack of confidence in his reads. Throwing an interception once every 9.3 attempts isn’t going to cut it. I do think part of it was the fact that he is playing against a much improved Lions defense, but this was just a bad showing. The Lions moved up and down the field (478 total yards and 6.4 yards per play) and would have scored more if not for a dropped wide open pass inside the Minnesota 10 yard line, a fumbled FG snap and a ball that Ponder threw that was dropped by the defender that would have likely been a pick 6.
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The Bears were fortunate in beating the Bengals at home, coming back from an 11 point deficit midway through the 3rd quarter, but showed improvement in some important areas in Marc Trestmans first game as HC. The Bears run game was shut down but QB Jay Cutler played a smart game, making generally good decisions and getting rid of the ball quickly. The offensive line looks to be improved and should only get better with more reps as they have 4 new pieces in place, including 2 rookies on the right side. The defense was very good in shutting down the run, but let Andy Dalton complete 78.8% of his passes and throw for 277 yards. They did however benefit from a +2 turnover margin, intercepting Dalton twice and recovering a fumble.
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Matchup analysis suggests a good passing advantage for the Bears both offensively and on defense, while the Vikings should have the advantage on the ground. My number on this game is Chicago -8 but the Vikings apply to a good 60-17-2 situation that plays on them here. I also believe that the Bears OL will have its hands full with good Minnesota DE’s Allen and Robison and with DT Kevin Williams coming back from injury. Dr. Bob was kind enough to add a 48-16 Under situation that applies here as long as the total stays below 43. It is also interesting to note that former Bears LT J’Marcus Webb is now with the Vikings after being cut by the Bears at the end of preseason and may be able to provide some useful intelligence on the Bears. I like the Vikings here.
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St. Louis (+6.5) 23 ATLANTA 24FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Rams come into Atlanta off of a hard fought 27-24 home divisional win versus the Cardinals in a game in which they trailed by 11 points in the 4th quarter. The game was closely matched in just about every area; points, yards, yards per play and turnovers. The one statistical difference that was significant was the 4-0 sack differential in favor of the Rams. This wasn’t surprising as the Rams were one of the league leaders in sacks last year (and the Cardinals the worst in surrendering them), but the bulk of the damage was done by DE Quinn, who registered 3 on his own and forced 2 fumbles. On offense, the Rams couldn’t generate much rushing the ball, but QB Bradford had some success in the air with new receiving weapons TE Cook and WR Austin combining for about half of his completions.
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Atlanta walked into a hornets nest in New Orleans and faced an inspired football team with its coach back and a new defensive coordinator ready to attack in Rob Ryan. It’s not surprising that nearly 800 yards of combined offense was generated, but it was a bit surprising that only 40 points were scored. Both teams passed the ball well with minimal rushing impact as both teams ran for less than 90 yards. The pass protection for the Falcons looks like it could be a problem as the Saints registered 3 sacks and otherwise pressured Ryan on numerous other occasions. When they did choose to rush the ball, the Falcons were effective as they ran for 6.3 yards per carry (on only 14 attempts).
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Jeff Fisher teams are historically very good as underdogs (82-56 ATS including 11-3 in 2012) and are facing an Atlanta team that may have some issues protecting QB Matt Ryan. In addition, I have a couple of very good situations that play against the Falcons here that are 25-69-4 and 47-107-3 (5-29 the last 7 years). My line on this game shows some value on the Rams as well. I am aware of the fact that the Falcons are very good off of a loss (18-5-1 ATS) recently and play well at home. When those two are combined we see that Mike Smith is 11-4-1 ATS at home off a loss, and while that is a good record it is still not as good as Jeff Fishers overall underdog record. I like the Rams plus the points.
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TAMPA BAY (+3) 24 New Orleans 21FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Saints enter this game coming off of a season opening 23-17 home win against the Falcons where HC Sean Payton celebrated his return after his year-long suspension. The win came in dramatic fashion as the Falcons had a chance to win it at the end but couldn’t pull it out after a dropped Steven Jackson 3rd down pass and an interception on 4th down. New Orleans, as expected, passed the ball well but surprisingly struggled a bit in the running game. On defense they pressured Matt Ryan behind a subpar offensive line, but generally looked more active and executed much better than last year. They did, however, benefit from a hobbled WR Roddy White and the absence of CB Asante Samuel on defense.
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Tampa Bay surprisingly struggled against the Jets last week, eventually losing a game that they had in their grasp 18-17 on a terrible defensive penalty that set the Jets up for a FG to win it. The offense looked out of sorts, the running game was stuffed (only 65 yards at 2.6 YPC), and there appeared to be some problems on the sideline with LT Donald Penn and QB Josh Freeman. The Jets defensive line is very good and combined with a good game-plan they shut down the Bucs offense, holding them to only 250 total yards and 4.2 yards per play. On defense, they played fairly well against a below average Jets offense, holding them to 304 yards and 4.2 yards per play.
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The Bucs come into this game with the value meter pointed clearly down by the media based on their Week 1 disaster in New York. The Saints, on the other hand, are back to being the Saints by beating the Falcons last week and their value meter is clearly trending up based on public perception and media coverage. There are still some problems on this defense with a few more key players getting banged up in last week’s win as they continue to transition into Rob Ryan’s new scheme. The last time these two teams played last December in New Orleans, the Saints dominated the Bucs in a 41-0 blowout. As a result the Bucs will be a little more focused in this game. It is also possible that the Saints, who are coming off a huge win, may let down a bit. In addition, I have a couple of good situations that play on the Bucs that are 42-16 and 41-13 and my line on this game shows a couple of points worth of value on the Bucs. I like Tampa Bay plus the points.
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Detroit (-1.5) 24 ARIZONA 19FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Lions come into this game looking very impressive to my eyes in beating the Vikings 34-24. The final score could have been a lot worse and the Lions team as a whole seems to have improved from last year. The addition of Reggie Bush and his ability to create in space were evident last week with 191 total yards on 4 receptions and 21 carries. The Lions seemed to move easily at times down the field with a good run/pass mix. Defensively, the Lions are very strong up front and with a good rotation they are able to keep players fresh. On the back end, they have also improved with a healthy Louis Delmas and Glover Quin at the safety positions.
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The Cardinals were another team that impressed me and seem improved, as I did not have very high aspirations for this team entering the year. They certainly still have limitations and that begins with their offensive line, which is not very good. LT Levi Brown was exposed last week and overall the line gave up 4 sacks and multiple pressures. Carson Palmer did a very good job despite the lack of a running game and poor offensive line play, completing 26 of 40 for over 300 yards. He clearly is a huge upgrade over last year and gives the offensive unit an entirely different feel. Defensively, the Cards played well in shutting down the run (67 yards and 2.8 yards per carry) but had some issues in their pass defense as Sam Bradford completed 71% of his passes for nearly 300 yards.
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Matchup analysis projects the Lions with a good passing advantage overall, but particularly on offense. The Cardinals shouldn’t be able to run the ball at all here against a stout defensive front while the Lions should have around league average success on the ground. I don’t have any situations that apply to this game and have it lined at Lions -1.5. Last season the Lions came to Arizona as a 5.5 point favorite and got crushed 38-10. The Lions are much improved this year, have a big advantage on the DL, and certainly remember last year’s beating. That is enough for me to lean to the Lions minus the points.
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Jacksonville (+5.5) 16 OAKLAND 20FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Jaguars come into this game having been embarrassed by a terrible beating last week at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs. The offensive performance was abysmal, particularly the passing game where the Jags threw 41 times, completed 19 and gained just 107 yards (sack yardage taken out) while being sacked 6 times and turning the ball over twice. This week QB Chad Henne takes over for Blaine Gabbert and should provide some form of improvement if for no other reason than it can’t get any worse. It did get better defensively, at least statistically, as the Jags held the Chiefs to 293 total yards and 4.8 yards per play.
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Oakland played much better than many, including myself, expected in losing on a last minute interception down near the goal line with a chance to beat the Colts in Indy. Outside of his two interceptions Pryor player well, completing 19 of 29 passes for 201 yards while rushing for over 100 yards. The rush game outside of Pryor was not good with Darren McFadden repeatedly diving into the line 17 times for 48 yards. The offensive line played better than expected with all of the changes and receivers D. Moore and Rod Streater also played well. Despite 9 new starters the defense played was impressive in holding the Colts offense to 275 total yards at 5.4 yards per play.
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My number on this game is Oakland -6 so the line seems to be fair. Matchup analysis shows a significant advantage in the passing game both offensively and defensively for the Raiders with both teams being able to run the ball fairly well. I don’t have any situations on this game but Dr. Bob was nice enough to supply a good 28-5 system that plays here on the Jaguars as well as a 115-62-8 Under situation that applies if the total remains below 40. I don’t have a strong opinion either way on this game so I will side with the situations and lean to the Jaguars and the Under.
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San Francisco (+3 -120) 21 SEATTLE 23FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The 49ers began the season with a 34-28 home win over the Packers last week in a game that featured very good passing offense and very good rushing defense by both teams. The 49ers posted 494 yards, much of that attributable to Kaepernick’s 404 passing yards. He did play against a beat up secondary that was missing several key players, but it was clear that the 49ers game plan included attacking through the air, especially in the middle of the field. The 49ers also did a good job on defense, containing the Packers no-huddle offense with 5 three and outs, 2 turnovers and limiting their rushing game to just 63 yards at 3.3 yards per carry.
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The Seahawks beat the 10AM PST curse that they had been under previously (19-34 over 12 seasons in 10AM PST start time games) in holding off the Panthers in a low scoring 12-7 victory. Seattle QB Russell Wilson carried over into 2013 his continued trend of impressive games that got better as the year progressed in 2012. What was more impressive is that he did it without much of a running game as the Panthers held Seattle to 73 yards and 3.2 yards per carry. The Seahawk defense held Carolina’s passing offense in check but as mentioned last week, it can be susceptible to the run and allowed 124 yards at 5 yards per carry in that game. That does not bode well in a matchup with one of the best rushing teams in the NFL in the San Francisco 49ers.
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Last year these teams split with the Seahawks losing in San Francisco on a Thursday night in October by the score of 13-6. They got their revenge in a big way on December 23rd, crushing the 49ers in Seattle 42-13. The 49ers certainly remember that game and I believe are a more talented team overall than the Seahawks. The better team doesn’t always win games though, especially in Seattle which offers one of the best home field advantages in the NFL. I don’t have any situations on this game but matchup analysis projects the 49ers with a solid rushing advantage on both sides of the ball. The Seahawks, according to my matchup calculations, will have the passing advantage in this game and overall my numbers favor the Seahawks by around 4. I don’t feel strongly either way but it should be a great game to watch and I will lean slightly with the 49ers based on their ability to run the ball and stop the run.
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Pittsburgh (+6.5) 17 CINCINNATI 20FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Steelers come off a bad performance against the Tennessee Titans that saw them lose the game but also lose several key players as C Maurkice Pouncey and LB Larry Foote were both lost for the season with injuries. The Steelers were held on offense to only 195 yards at 3.7 yards per play with only 32 yards rushing and 2.1 yards per carry. On defense they played typical Steelers football, holding the Titans to 233 yards at 3.8 yards per play but not forcing any turnovers while giving away 2 themselves.
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The Bengals lost a tough game versus the Bears last week with overall stats that were very close but just like the Steelers they lost the turnover battle by 2. They enter this game having split the series last year, losing at home 24-17 and beating the Steelers in Pittsburgh 13-10. Matchup analysis shows a defensive struggle with neither team having the ability to move the ball very well. I don’t have any situations that apply to this game and my line is Bengals -7 so this game to me is really a toss-up. I will lean to the Steelers plus the points and the Under.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 15

River City Sports

Miami Dolphins at Indianapolis Colts
Play: Indianapolis Colts -2.5

This is the second in road back to back games for Dolphins, who beat the browns in Cleveland last weekend. Last year, the Colts were able to escape with a 23-20 victory and we anticipate a similar style to this game. Ryan Tannehill played pretty well last week against the Browns, considering he had virtually no running game to help him. He will find the defense much tougher this week against the Colts, who hold a big HF advantage at the Dome. Andrew Luck played well LW against the Raiders and had to manage to bring them back to avoid the upset. Colts have won 8 of last 11 ATS at the Dome and we like that to continue here against a road-weary Dolphins team.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 15

Marc LawrenceFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Miami vs. IndianapolisFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: MiamiFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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We’re normally not much for backing road teams off an ‘inside-out’ road win the previous week but this looks more to be a play ‘against’ the Colts than one on the Dolphins. After witnessing the Fish close and upfront during the offseason down here in South Florida, we can inform you the team’s defense is the real-deal. It will keep them in games they have no business being in (read: last week in Cleveland) and will be covering up for an offense that is nowhere close to being playoff caliber. That being said, Indy continues to win games with smoke and mirrors (outgained last six games) and has allowed more yards than its gained in its last 18 games despite a 12-6 mark behind Andrew Luck. Yes, sometimes it’s better to have Luck on your side but eventually you’re going to have to win games the old fashioned way – on the field – if you are to be taken seriously. Last year Indy raced past Miami, 23-20, on this field as a 2.5-point home dog, a game in which the Colts actually won the stats, 516-365. It’s our feeling they won’t sniff 500 yards against this defense. With Joe Philbin 6-1-1 ATS as a single-digit dog, and 15-3 ATS as a road dog off a win, revenge works Miami’s way today.  We recommend a 1-unit play on Miami.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 15

Matt FargoFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Cleveland vs. BaltimoreFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: ClevelandFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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We played on the Browns last week and they fell to Miami 23-10 despite outgaining the Dolphins by 16 total yards. Turnovers were the issue as quarterback Brandon Weeden tossed three picks but I expect a better game out of him this week. I also expect a better gameplan. The game was close until late in the fourth quarter yet Cleveland threw the ball 53 times compared to running it just 13 times. Trent Richardson is more valuable than that and he needs more touches. Balance will be the key against a Baltimore defense that was lit up last week. The Ravens have had some extra time to get ready for this game following their blowout loss at Denver a week ago this past Thursday. It was a close game for a while but Denver was able to pull away early in the third quarter thanks to a record setting performance from Peyton Manning. Now Baltimore heads home for the first time as reigning Super Bowl Champions and while the atmosphere will be electric, I do not think they Ravens have what it takes yet to win big here. The biggest liability now for Baltimore on offense is its passing game. Gone is wide receiver Anquan Boldin, they are without tight end Dennis Pitta, and Jacoby Jones, who was signed to a big deal in the offseason, is out for several weeks with an injury. The only threat that the Ravens have right now is Torrey Smith and cornerback Joe Haden will be blanketing him all day. Running back Ray Rice will be asked to make up for it but the Browns clamped down on Miami's running game, allowing just 20 yards on 23 carries (0.9 ypc). This is a very underrated defense in my opinion. Looking at history, the Browns have not had much success in this series of late as the Ravens have won all 10 games against the Browns under coach Jim Harbaugh while sporting a plus-14 turnover margin. Cleveland has been a very good bounce back team as it is 10-4-1 ATS in its last 15 games following a loss. Meanwhile, the Ravens are 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous game. I expect this line to go up as we get closer to kickoff after coming down from the opening so while we are catching a solid number now, waiting it out is not going to hurt.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 15

Will RogersFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Cleveland vs. BaltimoreFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: UnderFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Last week's free play was on Under Cleveland and I'll go the same way this week as this time the Browns match up against a more familiar foe, the Baltimore Ravens. The Super Bowl Champs will be eager to atone for last week's embarrassing performance against Peyton Manning and the Broncos.
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Here are my keys to the game:FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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1. What Happened Last Week - It was a case of new regime, but same old result for Cleveland as they were held to only 10 points by the Miami Dolphins.  QB Brandon Weeden threw three first half interceptions.  For the game, the Browns gained only 291 total yards.  New offensive coordinator Norv Turner seemed to abandon the run with Trent Richardson way too early (just 13 rushes the whole game!), which is troubling.  Baltimore has a lot of new faces on defense, but it's still a proud group and like I said they will want to atone for getting "lit up" by Peyton Manning, who threw for seven touchdowns.  Needless to say, it will be a lot easier this week facing Weeden, who has arguably the worst receiving corps in the league to throw to.
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2. Series History - These teams have gone Under in each of the previous five matchups.  Baltimore has beaten Cleveland 10 straight times, holding them to 15, 16, 14, 10, 10, 17, 0, 3, 27 and 10 points. That's an average of just 11.2 points per game!
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3. X-Factor - Cleveland is 11-1 Under after scoring 14 or less points in their previous game.

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