Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, October 13

Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, October 13

DUNKEL INDEX

NFL

Washington at Dallas
The Cowboys look to bounce back from their 51-48 shootout loss to Denver last week and build on their 5-0 ATS record in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in the previous game. Dallas is the pick (-5 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Cowboys favored by 10 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Dallas (-5 1/2)

Game 203-204: Oakland at Kansas City (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland 123.352; Kansas City 140.131
Dunkel Line: Kansas City by 17; 37
Vegas Line: Kansas City by 8 1/2; 40 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Kansas City (-8 1/2); Under

Game 205-206: Philadelphia at Tampa Bay (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Philadelphia 129.809; Tampa Bay 126.931
Dunkel Line: Philadelphia by 3; 42
Vegas Line: Philadelphia by 1; 45 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (-1); Under

Game 207-208: Green Bay at Baltimore (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Green Bay 136.653; Baltimore 140.600
Dunkel Line: Baltimore by 4; 52
Vegas Line: Green Bay by 3; 48 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (+3); Over

Game 209-210: Detroit at Cleveland (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit 134.371; Cleveland 129.786
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 4 1/2; 48
Vegas Line: Detroit by 2 1/2; 45
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-2 1/2); Over

Game 211-212: Carolina at Minnesota (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Carolina 130.490; Minnesota 134.786
Dunkel Line: Minnesota by 4 1/2; 39
Vegas Line: Minnesota by 2 1/2; 43 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (-2 1/2); Under

Game 213-214: St. Louis at Houston (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis 121.746; Houston 135.228
Dunkel Line: Houston by 13 1/2; 46
Vegas Line: Houston by 7; 43
Dunkel Pick: Houston (-7); Over

Game 215-216: Pittsburgh at NY Jets (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh 128.042; NY Jets 126.477
Dunkel Line: Pittsburgh by 1 1/2; 38
Vegas Line: NY Jets by 2 1/2; 41 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (+2 1/2); Under

Game 217-218: Cincinnati at Buffalo (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cincinnati 138.756; Buffalo 128.385
Dunkel Line: Cincinnati by 10 1/2; 46
Vegas Line: Cincinnati by 7; 42
Dunkel Pick: Cincinnati (-7); Over

Game 219-220: Tennessee at Seattle (4:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tennessee 128.411; Seattle 145.063
Dunkel Line: Seattle by 16 1/2; 36
Vegas Line: Seattle by 13 1/2; 40
Dunkel Pick: Seattle (-13 1/2); Under

Game 221-222: Jacksonville at Denver (4:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Jacksonville 114.807; Denver 147.106
Dunkel Line: Denver by 22 1/2;
Vegas Line: Denver by 27 1/2; 53
Dunkel Pick: Jacksonville (+27 1/2); Over

Game 223-224: Arizona at San Francisco (4:25 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Arizona 125.582; San Francisco 140.096
Dunkel Line: San Francisco by 14 1/2; 38
Vegas Line: San Francisco by 11; 41 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (-11); Under

Game 225-226: New Orleans at New England (4:25 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: New Orleans 140.703; New England 139.551
Dunkel Line: New Orleans by 1; 45
Vegas Line: New England by 2 1/2; 49 1/2
Dunkel Pick: New Orleans (+2 1/2); Under

Game 227-228: Washington at Dallas (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington 127.027; Dallas 137.718
Dunkel Line: Dallas by 10 1/2; 58
Vegas Line: Dallas by 5 1/2; 53
Dunkel Pick: Dallas (-5 1/2); Over

MONDAY, OCTOBER 14

Game 229-230: Indianapolis at San Diego (8:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Indianapolis 139.088; San Diego 131.781
Dunkel Line: Indianapolis by 7 1/2; 54
Vegas Line: Indianapolis by 1; 50
Dunkel Pick: Indianapolis (-1); Over

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DUNKEL INDEX

MLB

Detroit at Boston
The Tigers look to follow up last night's 1-0 victory in Game 1 and build on their 7-1 start in Max Scherzer's last 8 starts after allowing 2 runs or less in their previous game. Detroit is the pick (-105) according to Dunkel, which has the Tigers favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-105)


Game 907-908: Detroit at Boston (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit (Scherzer) 16.544; Boston (Buchholz) 15.631
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 1; 6
Vegas Line: Boston (-115); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-105); Under

NHL

Los Angeles at Florida
The Kings look to build on their 7-1 record in their last 8 games versus the Panthers. Los Angeles is the pick (-140) according to Dunkel, which has the Kings favored by 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Los Angeles (-140)

Game 1-2: Phoenix at Carolina (2:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Phoenix 11.328; Carolina 10.752
Dunkel Line & Total: Phoenix by 1/2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Carolina (-120); 5
Dunkel Pick: Phoenix (+100); Over

Game 3-4: Los Angeles at Florida (3:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Los Angeles 12.194; Florida 10.793
Dunkel Line & Total: Los Angeles by 1 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Los Angeles (-140); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Los Angeles (-140); Under

Game 5-6: New Jersey at Winnipeg (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: New Jersey 11.507; Winnipeg 10.404
Dunkel Line & Total: New Jersey by 1; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Winnipeg (-140); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: New Jersey (+120); Over

Game 7-8: Ottawa at Anaheim (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Ottawa 11.388; Anaheim 12.770
Dunkel Line & Total: Anaheim by 1 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Anaheim (-150); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Anaheim (-150); Under

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FezzikFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Jacksonville +28FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Just two weeks ago, Jax was getting 19 at Seattle, and lost by 28. YES, Denver IS slightly better than Sea, but the Seahawks are total juggernauts at home, with a head coach that like to blow out teams.   Denver, off the game of the year @Dallas will be happy to Coast to a 20-24 point win here. Jax loses their no1 pick lineman, BUT Blackmon returned from suspension with fresh legs and had a big day @ the Rams, a game the Jags played even stat wise, but a 80 yard pick 6, and some bad luck doomed them. Grab that+28, and head to the window

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Art AronsonFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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St. Louis vs. HoustonFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: HoustonFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The visiting St. Louis Rams sit at 2-3 SU and 1-4 ATS after a 34-20 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars at home last week. Sam Bradford went 19-for-34 for 222 yards and three TD passes. Austin Pettis had two TD receptions with 49 yards receiving while Zac Stacy had 78 yards rushing in the win.  The Houston Texans sit at 2-3 SU and 0-4-1 ATS after an embarrassing 34-3 loss on Sunday night to the San Francisco 49ers on the road. Matt Schaub had one of the worst games of his career, throwing three interceptions to zero touchdowns while completing 19-of-35 passes. Arian Foster had 98 yards on 21 carries and was pretty much the only chain moving member of the Texans offense. Neither of these teams has performed the way it has wanted early in this season. While the Texans where embarrassed on Sunday Night I feel it was somewhat predictable (I went against them) seeing as the team could easily suffer a letdown after last weeks’ white knuckle loss to the Seahawks. This Texans teams performs much better at home and I expect it to bounce back here and get a win it needs in the worst way to right the ship. The Texans are still 12-7 ATS at home the past three years and now face a team in the Rams who have not played well on the road this season. St. Louis is 0-2 ATS on the road this season and 1-3 ATS as an underdog on the road the spread falls in and around the seven number. Yes the Rams got a win last week but we have to remember it was against the Jaguars and not get too excited.  Consider laying the points with Houston.

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Will Rogers

Pittsburgh vs. N.Y. Jets
Pick: Pittsburgh

With the Jets off a surprising outright victory Monday Night & the Steelers still searching for their first win of the season, and off a bye, I'm going to take the points with Pittsburgh in this Week 6 matchup.

Here are my keys to the game:

1.  Off a Bye - The Steelers are 7-1 straight up off the bye week under Mike Tomlin.  Typically, they have been favored in these games, but because of the 0-4 start, we are able to take them plus a couple of points.  I like it.  The bye should allow the Steelers to refocus and get back on track.

2.  Desperation Time - At the risk of beating a dead horse, the Steelers have yet to check into the win column this season.  They have also yet to cover the spread in any game.  This is the first time ever under Tomlin they have not covered over a four-game span.  Before losing in London to the Vikings two weeks ago, the team was 7-0 SU and 6-0-1 ATS off three straight ATS losses during Tomlin's tenure.

3.  X-Factor -  I was worried that the Jets might be able to "backdoor" the Falcons Monday Night, which is why I only elected to take Atlanta in the first half.  I was wrong anyway, but let's remember this has been an inconsistent team with a rookie quarterback.  I don't see the Jets playing well two weeks in a row.

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Bryan PowerFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Detroit vs. ClevelandFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: DetroitFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Typically, I'm weary of road favorites in NFL (they're just 10-16 ATS this season, including 2-5 last week), but I'll recommend a wager on the Lions this week as they play at the Browns. If Cleveland were a stock, they'd have the feeling of being at a 52-week high right now. They've won 3 straight, but I don't think it lasts..
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I played against Detroit last week as they went to visit a desperate Green Bay team that was off its bye week.  When it was announced gameday morning that their best player, WR Calvin Johnson, would not play, I felt fortunate that I made my bet early, thus ensuring I got a better line.  Turns out that line of thinking was irrelevent as the Packers won 22-9 (line closed at -10.5).  Johnson is listed as probable for this week and I see his return leading to a big offensive day for the Lions here.
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How does your heart not go out to the city of Cleveland? Just when things start going right for the Browns, sparkplug QB Brian Hoyer is lost for the season to an ACL injury.  That means the return of Brandon Weeden, who I have little regard for.  Yes, the team won w/ Weeden under center last week, but that was against a bad Buffalo team.  Look for things to start leveling off for the Browns starting this week.

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SpartanFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Tampa Bay +1FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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For the last couple of weeks this Tampa Bay team has had to listen to everyone criticize them and basically kick sand in their faces. It's my own personal view that this Philadelphia club could very well be just what the doctor ordered. Third straight road game for Kelly's squad and nothing about this spot is telling me to play this extremely mediocre team as a road favorite. Neither team will be enjoying many sundays this season but this spot says home guys to me coming off the bye. Play Tampa to show up at home this sunday guys.

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Robert Ferringo

New Orleans / New England Under 49.5

When the public sees a Drew Brees vs. Tom Brady matchup, their first thought is: points! But that would completely ignore how both of these teams are winning this year. The Saints and Patriots are getting the job done with defense, and I think we're going to see continued improvement from the stop units this week. The Saints haven't given up over 20 points all season, while the Patriots have held all but one of their opponents to three touchdowns or less. New England is giving up an average of just 11.5 points in its last four games, and they are just 1-4 against the total this year. That is the same over/under mark the Saints are sporting. Both coaches have re-dedicated themselves to running the football on offense, and that has made a major difference for both of these teams. New Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan runs a similar scheme to his brother, Rex, and Rex's blitz-happy Jets defense has given Brady fits over the past few years. This one will come close to the number, but I can see somewhere in the neighborhood of 46 points scored, and this one will stay under.

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Randall the HandleFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Steelers (0-5) at N.Y. Jets (3-2)
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Out of sight, out of mind. In sight, in mind. That’s how this one sets up as the winless Steelers haven’t been seen or heard from in two weeks, since losing to Minnesota across the pond. The Jets are fresh on everyone’s noggin as they pulled off an exciting win in Monday’s featured game at Atlanta. Based on those results and the mental images left by them, the Jets will have the public’s support. They won’t have ours. Firstly, it’s hardly fair that one team has 14 days to prepare for a game while the other has six days. Secondly, Pittsburgh has not forced a turnover on the year. That’s bound to change, especially with a young and error-prone Geno Smith throwing for the Jets. Smith has been dynamic at times, but he’s still thrown more intercepts than touchdowns while being sacked 18 times (2nd most in league). Pittsburgh appears to have a good runner on the field now in rookie Le’Veon Bell and they brought in some experience on the offensive line. Happy to take anything offered in this scenario. TAKING: STEELERS +2½
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Bengals (3-2) at Bills (2-3)FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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It’s not often that teams get to spot the Bills a converted touchdown at home. In fact, only the Patriots have earned that right since the 2008 season. As mediocre as the Bills have been these past few seasons, Buffalo is rarely an easy out at the Ralph and the almighty pointspread will confirm that. We hardly think these Bengals rate higher than many a team that has visited here. We can’t ignore Buffalo’s current quarterback situation but, given the circumstances, the Bills should be able to run the ball effectively enough to allow QB Thad Lewis to game manage. Meanwhile, questions remain about Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton and his passing ability. Dalton has not a thrown a touchdown pass in his last eight quarters while throwing for a pair of interceptions and it won’t help that S Jairus Byrd is likely to take the field for the Bills. Buffalo has covered four straight as hosts. Taking a full TD allows us plenty of room in this one. TAKING: BILLS +7
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Colts (4-1) at Chargers (2-3)FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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We’re not going to take anything away from Indianapolis. They have done an outstanding job transitioning from the Peyton Manning era to the continually ascending Andrew Luck age. By year’s end, we fully expect the Colts to be further along than these Chargers, but on this day, we find the visitor in a tough spot. Indy will play this one fresh off of a huge comeback win over the previously undefeated Seahawks. Now they’ll travel to the southwest to face this non-descript foe, a game they may not be quite focused upon. After this matchup, they will fly home on a short week to host none other than Indianapolis icon Peyton Manning and his high-flying Broncos. A more mature team could likely concentrate on this one, but it will be tough for this young group. San Diego has had its ups and downs this season, with new coaching, players and management. But they’ve split two home games, competing in both off of the productive arm of QB Philip Rivers. In a slight upset, we’ll call the Bolts to zap the Colts. TAKING: CHARGERS +1½
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Raiders (2-3) at Chiefs (5-0)FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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If you watched Tuesday morning football last week, you witnessed Oakland’s upset win over the Chargers. If you missed it, it was no fluke as the Raiders are finding their way back to respectability. They aren’t to be taken lightly. However, this assignment may be too big for them. The Chiefs are playing outstanding football at the moment. They’ve allowed only 58 points in five games while their run defence is fourth-best in the league. Oakland was able to intercept Philip Rivers three times last week en route to its win. You can bet that the cautious Alex Smith will not be as generous. TAKING: CHIEFS –9
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Eagles (2-3) at Buccaneers (0-4)FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Yes, the Buccaneers are a mess at the moment, but we still find Philadelphia to be miscast as a road favourite here. The Eagles’ two wins have been against a pair of meek NFC East foes whose combined record is 1-8. Granted, the Bucs are winless, but they’ve had two weeks to prepare for this home tilt and, most importantly, two weeks to get rookie QB Mike Glennon some first-team reps. Nick Foles will get the start for Philadelphia as Michael Vick is sidelined. Foles is just 1-5 as a starter and while he looked okay in relief last week against the Giants, he was facing the league’s worst defence. TAKING: BUCCANEERS +1
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Packers (2-2) at Ravens (3-2)FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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While the Packers came back from their bye week with a tidy 22-9 win over the Lions last week, concerns still remain. Known for its offensive firepower, Green Bay has been struggling in the red zone lately. Against a weak Lions defence, they didn’t score a touchdown in both trips inside the 20. Since its season opener, Green Bay has scored a major in just five of 12 trips inside zone rouge. Baltimore may not look like the team that went on that playoff tear last year, but the Ravens can still play defence. Their offence produced nicely last week after utilizing Ray Rice properly. They hardly deserve to be the underdog here. TAKING: RAVENS +3
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Lions (3-2) at Browns (3-2)FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Only crazies would have predicted that heading into Week 6, this would be a battle between first-place clubs. But in the league of week-to-week, anything can happen and usually does. The Lions could be headed back to their underachieving ways. They were clawless in their annual loss in Green Bay and now must travel to face the streaking Browns. WR Calvin Johnson makes a world of difference for the Leos and his status may not be known until game time. Meanwhile, the Browns have rallied around each other since the backlash from the Trent Richardson trade. Hot team taking home points against poor traveler with injury concerns works for us. TAKING: BROWNS +2½
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Panthers (1-3) at Vikings (1-3)FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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It appears that Matt Cassel will get the start at QB for the struggling Vikings. While Cassel likely gives them the best chance to win right now, that doesn’t mean it will happen. Minnesota’s lone win came overseas against the hapless Steelers. They’ll now face a solid Carolina defence, one that has given up the fifth-fewest rushing yards per game in the NFL. The Panthers get strong play from their defensive line and outstanding LB Luke Kuechly. They can contain Adrian Peterson. The same cannot be said for Minnesota’s defence, which will try to stop Carolina’s run game which ranks higher than the Vikings’ run game. TAKING: PANTHERS +2½
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Rams (2-3) at Texans (2-3)FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Texans have lost three in a row so everyone is down on them. As such, the line is adjusted to reflect such sentiment. Before last week’s win over the Jaguars (woo-hoo), you couldn’t give away money on the Rams. Prior to Houston’s skid, the Texans were a 7½-point choice to the Titans. Have the Rams done anything worthwhile to be less of a dog than Tennessee? The Rams still are without a running game. Sam Bradford is proving to be a stiff and St. Louis has lost both away games by a combined 62-31. This one could be a bargain. TAKING: TEXANS –7½
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Titans (3-2) at Seahawks (4-1)FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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We mentioned in this space last week that Ryan Fitzpatrick may be a better option than Jake Locker. Our bad. Fitzpatrick looked completely out of place last week against the Chiefs and while Kansas City’s defence is a tough unit to crack, this Seattle group playing at home after a loss could be even tougher. Seattle is back home after two road games. In consecutive home games before embarking on the two-game road trip, the Seachickens outscored their visitors by a combined 74-20. Seattle has won 10 straight on this field, covering nine in the process. Tennessee simply does not have the scoring capability to keep this one within range. TAKING: SEATTLE –13½
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Jaguars (0-5) at Broncos (5-0)FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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We never knew pointspreads could go this high. Considering that we have possibly the worst team we’ve seen in years playing against one of the best squads we’ve seen in some time, this is about as big as it gets. So what do you do? Spot four touchdowns? That takes nerve. Take a Jacksonville team that has scored 51 points on the year, same amount that Denver scored last week? That takes rocks for brains. Well, rocks it is. Denver can take a breather here after last week’s exhausting thriller with Dallas. The Broncos go to Indy next week. Don’t be surprised to see Denver’s “B” team in late, perhaps allowing the Jags to cover through an enormous back door. TAKING: JAGUARS +27
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Cardinals (3-2) at 49ers (3-2)FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Arizona plays much better in Phoenix, but that’s not to say that they aren’t earners on the road. The Cardinals have won just one of past 10 away but they are 5-4-1 versus the number in that set and rarely are they taking this many. San Francisco appears to have its mojo back after a couple of lopsided home wins, but that pair came against the woeful Rams and the labouring Texans. San Fran is still lacking a breakout passing game and Arizona’s secondary remains an opportunistic bunch. Cards may have found a runner in rookie Andre Ellington. Say what you will, but these two have the same record and this divisional game should stay close. TAKING: CARDINALS +11
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Saints (5-0) at Patriots (4-1)FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Two of the best quarterbacks in the game square off in this one, as do the X’s and O’s mastery of two fine coaches. While it’s tough to fade the Saints right now, this one sets up too nicely for us to ignore the Patriots. New England had looked rather ordinary despite a 4-0 start to the season. It caught up to the Pats in a 13-6 loss at Cincinnati last week. That allowed for this number to dip under a field goal and that will work for us here. Saints are on the road and on grass for consecutive weeks while facing one of the best home teams of our time on the back end of the trip. Rather tough. TAKING: PATRIOTS –2½
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Redskins (1-3) at Dallas (2-3)FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Redskins have more to worry about than changing their nickname. But while a 1-3 start in most divisions would spell doom, a win here puts them right back in the thick of things. There’s no reason that it can’t happen. Washington has had a couple weeks to get ready for this contest with their great rival and the Cowboys could be spent after the shootout loss with Denver. The ’Skins have covered six straight in this series, having gone 3-3 straight up, but never losing by more than three points. Washington is feeling good about itself with a win prior to a bye and it won’t lack motivation here. TAKING: REDSKINS +5½

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TAMPA BAY (+1.5) 23 Philadelphia 22FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Eagles won a divisional contest 36-21 last week against the NY Giants in a game where Michael Vick was injured but backup Nick Foles came in and played well. The big difference in the game was turnover margin as the Eagles posted a +4 and that difference is very difficult to overcome. The Philly offense has been very good, averaging 6.7 YPPL to teams that allow 5.9 YPPL. That side of the ball has not been the problem, as their defense continues to perform poorly, albeit with improvement versus the Giants last week where they shut down the run game but struggled once again defending the pass. Meanwhile, the Bucs come off the bye where new QB Mike Glennon has been able to get some reps and develop chemistry with the WR’s. Bucs season numbers show a terrible offensive team, particularly passing the ball, and a solid defensive team that is very good defending the pass. Philadelphia qualifies in several situations that are 642-467-40 and 26-3 while the Bucs qualify in a 163-261-16 play against spot. Numbers and matchups also favor the Eagles here but my concern is that the Eagles are in a divisional sandwich (Giants last week/Cowboys next week) and might be a bit flat while the Bucs come off the bye focused on getting their first win. The Bucs are a talented team that has underperformed and I expect their best effort here. I don’t have much of an opinion on this game but I’ll offer a slight lean to the Bucs despite the numbers going the other way.
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Carolina (+2.5) 22 MINNESOTA 21FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Panthers come into this game after a 6-22 loss in Arizona where they outgained the Cardinals 353 at 5.3 YPPL to 253 at 4.6 YPPL. Cam Newton had a rough day getting sacked seven times and throwing three interceptions as the Panthers could not get the win coming off their bye week. Adjusted numbers show the Panthers to have a good rushing game and a poor passing offense. Defensively, they have been good against the run and just better than average against the pass. They now travel to Minnesota to take on a Vikings team that is coming off their bye and a 34-27 win in London versus the Steelers which gave them their first win of the season. The one matchup advantage in this game lies in the Panthers ability to run the ball effectively, and I anticipate that they will get Cam Newton more involved in this aspect of the offense once again. Model numbers slightly support the Panthers and they also qualify in a 38-10 situation so I will lean their way.
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HOUSTON (-7.5) 28 St. Louis 16FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Rams come into this game off of an unimpressive home victory over the Jaguars where the total yardage comparison was just about even and they were outperformed from a YPPL perspective at 6.2 for Jacksonville and 5.3 for the Rams. They won the all-important turnover battle 3-0 and were able to escape with a 14 point victory and cover. From an overall compensated YPPL view, they are the 2nd worst team in the NFL to date, just above the team they just beat. They are +2 in net turnovers gained so far this season and that explains a bit of their modest success to date. On the other side, the Texans have the statistical profile of a good team (particularly on defense) but have had a penchant for offering up big plays to their opponents and as a result have poor efficiency numbers. Case in point - last week they outgained the 49ers in total yardage but were blown out 34-3. Their -8 net turnover number on the season explains quite a bit of the difference in yardage based performance and actual outcomes. The Texans will have a significant advantage rushing the football in this game and my model likes the Texans here quite a bit. I’m not sure how the Rams will compete in this game as Houston is a talented and well schemed team that has been embarrassed the past two weeks and should play inspired football here. The Texans also qualify in a 401-280-31 situation and Dr. Bob has been nice enough to add a 76-28-3 situation with a 46-13-3 subset that also applies to the Texans. I like the Texans here.
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Pittsburgh (+2.5) 20 NY JETS 22FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Steelers enter this game off of a 27-34 loss to the Vikings in London before the bye. They have had a couple of weeks now to stew on their terrible 0-4 start and have made some adjustments while trading for former Arizona LT Levi Brown, who will take over for Mike Adams. Adjusted season numbers on the Steelers are not terrible outside of their 31st ranked rushing attack but they have once again suffered from the turnover problem with a net turnover loss of -11, which is 2nd worst in the league. The Jets have the statistical profile of a pretty good team and could very easily be 4-1 right now as they gave the Patriots a gift a few Thursday nights ago. The Steelers will have serious trouble running the ball in this game against a Jets rush defense that is best in the league by my metrics. This is still a talented Steelers team that is coming off of a bye and will be focused and motivated to get their first win here with extra time to prepare. The opposite might be said of the Jets who come off of a huge Monday night upset against the Falcons in Atlanta and may have not have the same sense of urgency here. The Jets do qualify in a 642-467-40 situation and a 308-192-21 subset but don’t qualify in the best part of an additional subset. Numbers and matchups both support the Jets but the spot is not a good one so I will lean slightly with the Steelers +2.5.
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Tennessee (+13) 16 SEATTLE 28FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Tennessee comes into this game after two 4th quarter Ryan Fitzpatrick interceptions gave away a 17-13 lead before eventually losing to the Chiefs 17-26. Overall, they have played slightly below average offensively and a bit over average on defense. The Seahawks have played well across the board and are happy to be back home after two consecutive 10AM start times. The Titans don’t match up particularly well here but have played very good pass defense overall and if the Seahawks continue to be limited by injuries along their offensive line the Titans have a shot at keeping this one close. I don’t have any situations that apply to this game but my model favors the Seahawks by about 12 points so based on projected line value I will lean slightly with the Titans and the points.
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Jacksonville (+26.5) 15 DENVER 35FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Jaguars won the yardage battle but lost on the scoreboard last week in a 20-34 loss at St. Louis. Notably, they failed to get the cover as they took a field goal off the board after a penalty to go for it on 4th and 3 early in the second half. They are a bad team but Blaine Gabbert has played off the charts bad and having Chad Henne here is a minor upgrade at this point. The numbers tell the tale: Efficiency numbers that are the worst in the league and adjusted stats in nearly every category that are abysmal. On the other side, the Broncos are the best team in the league with stats just the opposite of the Jaguars. Their scoring proclivity has been amazing as they are averaging an unbelievable 46 points per game! Who would suggest a play on the Jaguars? I don’t know if I am going to be that bold this week as I’m not sure what the game plan is for the Broncos, or at what point they take their starters out of the game. It is entirely possible that they could be out early in the second half and the Jaguars score against the Broncos backups late for a backdoor cover. The Broncos are in a soft spot in this contest. They played a big national game in the 4:25 slot last week against the Cowboys in Dallas and next week travel to Indianapolis to play against Peyton’s former team. They are home for what I’m sure many on the team view as an easy week and won’t bring their best effort here. I also have a situation that is one of my favorite and seems to work well every year on the Jaguars that is 149-85-10. I like the Jaguars plus the huge number here.
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NEW ENGLAND (-2.5) 26 New Orleans 22SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Saints enter this game off of a 26-18 win in Chicago last week where they lost the stat battle but a lot of the yardage from the Bears came late in the game with the Saints somewhat comfortably ahead. New Orleans really controlled this game the entire way. Overall season numbers show the Saints to be an excellent passing team with a poor rushing attack and bad run defense. On the other side, the Patriots have had a very good rushing game this year averaging 119 yards at 4.5 YPC to teams that allow 97 yards at 3.9 YPC. They should be able to run the ball on the Saints here and that presents a matchup problem for New Orleans especially if Rob Gronkowski makes it back for this game. If Gronk is indeed back and at full strength, the Patriots passing offense will be markedly better than season numbers to this point indicate (this will be the first game with both Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski in the lineup together). New England qualifies in a 259-142-20 situation but my model favors the Saints slightly. From the Patriots perspective, I like the fact that New England is coming off a loss and the Saints are playing their 2nd consecutive road game. However, the Saints have the bye next week and will be motivated to bring an undefeated record into the break. Based on the situation I will lean with the Patriots minus the short number.
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SAN FRANCISCO (-10.5) 24 Arizona 13SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Cardinals surprisingly have a winning record at 3-2 to this point, tied with the 49ers and trailing the Seahawks by just a game. They beat the Panthers off their bye last week in Arizona 22-6 but lost the overall yardage and stat battle (253 at 4.6 YPPL for Arizona and 353 and 5.3 YPPL for Carolina). Cam Newton was harassed most of the game and was sacked 7 times and threw 3 INTS in a good overall performance by the Cardinals defense. Adjusted season numbers do not support the profile of a winning team with Arizona averaging 5.1 YPPL against teams that give up 5.7 YPPL on offense, although defensively they have been good. San Francisco pounded the Texans last Sunday night 34-3 powered by a +4 turnover differential including another pick six thrown by the Texans. The 49ers have been about average on offense this year behind a strong rush game but have been very good defensively, allowing only 4.7 YPPL to teams that gain 5.6 YPPL. The Cardinals won’t overlook this trip but it is worth noting that they do play next Thursday night at home against the Seahawks. I don’t have any situations that apply to this game and my model favors the 49ers here by 11.3 so based on the current number I will lean with San Francisco minus the points.
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DALLAS (-5.5) 33 Washington 17FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Washington has not been the same team this year as Robert Griffin has struggled coming back off his injury and while overall yardage and YPPL stats are about average, they don’t tell the full story. The Redskins have padded their stats a bit in the second half of games and while they were more competitive against the Lions and beat the Raiders (with Matt Flynn starting) their adjusted stats paint the profile of a below average team. They are coming off the bye but there is not a significant adjustment made here for their position (Mike Shanahan coached teams are 10-6-1 ATS off the bye) and while I expect the trend line to continue upwards in regards to their overall performance numbers, they will likely be outmatched here. The Cowboys lost a heartbreaker last week on another crucial Tony Romo late game interception, but his performance for most of the game was outstanding. Overall season numbers have the Cowboys generating above average offensive output with a below average defensive performance, particularly against the pass. Dallas qualifies in several situations that are 162-93, 273-167-14 and 69-39-4 and my non-adjusted model likes the Cowboys here by 8.3 points. I also like the fact that Tony Romo is 7-1 ATS off back to back losses and that this game is in primetime on Sunday night which should negate the hangover effects of the Broncos game. I like the Cowboys.
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SAN DIEGO (+1.5) 30 Indianapolis 23FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Colts come off of a big 34-28 home win against previously undefeated Seattle in a game where they blocked a field goal and returned it for a touchdown and made some big plays including 73 and 29 yard TD passes from Andrew Luck. However, they did lose the overall stat battle with 319 yards at 5.5 YPPL to 423 yards and 6.3 YPPL for the Seahawks. Seattle was in a tough spot, playing in their 2nd consecutive 10AM start time game and with a really banged up offensive line missing multiple starters. Overall on the season the Colts have been good on offense with a balanced attack and below average defensively. The Chargers come into this game off of a late Sunday night 17-27 loss against division rival Oakland where they were -5 in turnover differential. Season numbers show the Chargers with an above average offense driven by the play of Philip Rivers and a poor defense, especially versus the pass. I have situations going both ways here with the stronger situations favoring the Chargers. My model likes San Diego here by 5.1 points not accounting for situations and the Colts might be in a let down spot off the big home win and with a Sunday night home contest against the Broncos on deck. I like the Chargers.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, October 13

Dave Price

Buffalo Bills +7

The Bengals are being overvalued by odds makers here given they are 0-2 on the road and have only one victory by more than seven points this season. The Bills have had an extra three days to prepare having played the Thursday game last week. They lost that game to the Browns by 13 points because of a late pick-six, otherwise they haven't lost by more than seven points this season. The Bills have been strong at home where they are 2-1 with a win over the defending Super Bowl champs and a narrow loss to New England. The Bills have responded well following road defeats as they are 7-0 ATS when coming off a road loss since the start of last season. They have won by an average score of 27.0 to 18.7 in this situation. They are also 6-0 ATS in home games after 1 or more consecutive losses since the beginning of last season, winning by an average score of 27.2 to 16.8 in this situation. Buffalo is 4-0 ATS in its last 4 home games, and it has a sterling record against the Bengals. The Bills are 8-1 in the last nine meetings, including 4-0 at home, with the lone loss coming by three points. The Cincinnati offense has really struggled, and that gives the Bills a shot here despite being without E.J. Manuel. Take the points.

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Red Dog Sports

Jacksonville Jaguars +27½

Take Jax +27.5. The Jaguars are one of the worst teams in the NFL but they are still professional players. Maurice Jones-Drew is a solid runner and should gain some yards on the ground. Denver is off a 51-48 road game at Dallas and they are playing Indianapolis next game. Surely, there will be some looking ahead to facing Andrew Luck and the Colts. Denver should get a blowout win but look for Jax to stay within 21 to 24 points.

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Jeff Alexander

Green Bay Packers -2.5

The Packers are being favored on the road against the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens for a reason. That reason is Baltimore's defense, which is allowing 5.4 yards per game. The books don't see it having an answer for a Green Bay offense that is averaging 7.0 yards per play, and neither do I. Playing on all teams when the line is +3 to -3 that racked up 400 total yards or more last game and average 5.8 yards or more per play are 24-5 ATS the last 5 seasons if they're up against a team that allows 5.4-5.8 yards per play. Teams fitting these parameters have won by an average of 8.9 points. Additionally, the Packers are 14-5 ATS in their last 19 games versus a team with a winning record, and they have won 3 of 4 all-time meetings with the Ravens. Bet Green Bay.

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Bill Biles

Bengals/Bills Under 42

The Bills are playing great defense this year behind Kiko Alonso who is my pick for rookie of the year so far. The Bills will be starting Thad Lewis off the Practice squad this week, and he will have to play against a top 5 defense that shut down Tom Brady last week. Look for the Bills to have trouble scoring points in this one, as i see a 24-10 game.

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AC Dinero

Tennessee Titans vs. Seattle Seahawks
Play: Tennessee Titans +14

Seattle has talent across the board, which is why they are close to a 2 TD favorite this weekend. They live off the big play, which could be bad if they don't hit them since they are only converting 31% on 3rd down. The Titan pass D is pretty good at 6 ypa and are only giving up 28% on 3rd down. Even though the Titans are starting a back up QB, it wasn't as if the starter was lighting it up. Tennessee will run behind an improved OL, which been effective thus far. The Titans also don't beat themselves with mistakes, and thus, should be able to stay with in 2TD's of a very good Seattle team.

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Wunderdog

Washington at Dallas
Pick: Under 53

The "game of the year" last week between Dallas and the Denver Broncos saw nearly 100 points scored. That game garnered a ton of attention and it has pushed the total a bit higher here for this one vs. Washington. This is a huge division rivalry game, and these types of games are often played with a lot of defensive intensity. There is more at stake here, as the loser will suffer their fourth loss, so I do expect this one to be played tough in the trenches. Last year these teams played to totals of 47 and 48, so there is definitely some wiggle room as the total is set too high. Washington has not scored a ton of points in any game this season as RGII continues to struggle to get healthy after knee surgery. The Skins defense has allowed fewer points in consecutive games, and is now coming off a bye. Dallas has shown the ability to clamp down on defense after allowing 30+ in their previous game, and have gone 8-2 to the UNDER in their last 10 after having done so. Under Mike Shanahan, the Redskins are 17-7 to the UNDER when facing great offensive teams (those like Dallas averaging over 5.6 yards per play). Play this one UNDER the total.

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River City SportsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Green Bay at BaltimoreFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Baltimore  +3FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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We think we have found a really good spot here for the home dog against a heavy public favorite. We know that Aaron Rodgers may get his yards and points in this game, but the absence of Clay Matthews for the Pack could mean a heavy dose of Ray Rice. The Packers run defense isn’t that great anyway, but take away your best player and this could mean a lot of trouble for the Packers defense. Another stat of interest: the Ravens are 13-0 in their last 13 home games vs. NFC opponents. Ravens QB Joe Flacco has not been great at the start of the season, but this is the time and the type of game where he comes up big…the Sharps expect more of that Sunday. With this line (as all lines in NFL), make sure you get the Ravens plus the full 3 points!

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Marc Lawrence

Detroit Lions at Cleveland Browns
Prediction: Cleveland Browns

It wasn't supposed to happen this way. Not when Cleveland started 0-2, traded star RB Trent Richardson to the Colts and was forced to start 3rd-string QB Brian Hoyer in Week Three. Lo and behold, three weeks later they sit tied atop the AFC North at 3-2 after having been written off as being Johnny Football whores. With confidence at an arguable all-time expansion high, they host the Lions in the finale of a 3-game home stand with the knowledge that dogs of more than 2 points off a win of 7 or more points are 9-2 ATS in this role since 1980. The real key here, though, is the Browns defense, one that has held three opponents to season-low yards this campaign. On the flip side, the Lions have allowed more than 400 yards in each of their last three games, the last a 22-9 loss at Green Bay minus the services of star WR Calvin Johnson (check status this week). The loss could largely be attributed to negative plays as QB Matthew Stafford was sacked five times and Lions runners were tackled seven times for loss, but that's what happens when the opposing team's defense is controlling the game. With NFL Thursday winners a commanding 27-9 SU and 24-11-1 ATS at home the next game against opponents off a loss, look for the Pound to be barking again this Sunday. We recommend a 1-unit play on Cleveland.

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John Ryan

Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Jets
Prediction: New York Jets

The simulator shows a high probability that the Jets will win this game by a minimum of four points. I had mentioned in last week's winning pick on the Jets that their defensive front is playing at a very high level and grades as one of the best in the NFL. This is a nightmare matchup problem for any OC coordinator and they are only going to get better. Despite the NY media attacks on the Jets recent attention to defensive players in the draft, those decisions are not paying handsome dividends. Sheldon Richardson was drafted last year as the 13th overall pick and he grades as the third best DE in the game right now. He ranks second behind J.J. Waat in runs top in the NFL. Tackle Damon Harrison ranks the best at his position stopping the run. Muhammed Wilkerson got off to a slow start this season, but in recent weeks his game is elevating to the levels seen last season. I don't see Pittsburgh having the ability to run the ball consistently against this defensive line and without the ground attack, Roethlisberger will be subject to pressure and 'hurries' all game. The Jets, however, have an advantage on the OL and will be able to establish the run allowing Geno Smith the ability to call an appropriate audible and use play action to exploit man coverage situations. The Jets have the better OL and DL and I believe they will dominate this game. Steelers are an imperfect 0-7 ATS (-7.7 Units) after 3 consecutive games with a turnover margin of -1 or worse over the last 3 seasons. SIM projects that Steelers will gain between 50 and 75 yards. In past games, they re 1-8 ATS the past three seasons and 10-39 ATS since 1992 when gaining 50 to 75 rushing yards. Take the Jets.

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Ben Burns

St Louis vs. Houston
Play: Under 43

Both these teams are off to disappointing starts. The Rams are 2-3 SU and 1-4 ATS. The Texans check in at 2-3 SU and 0-5 ATS. They've also both been profitable for "over" bettors, the "over" going a combined 7-3 in their 10 games.

In my opinion, those results have worked in our favor; helping to keep the line above the important 41 mark. As of this writing, its climbed to 43. I believe that's providing us with very fair value.

The Texans managed a mere three points last week. They've scored only 32 in their last three games combined.

While the points allowed (27.8 overall, 23.5 at home) doesn't look too impressive, keep in mind that the Texans are allowing just 260.2 yards per game. That happens to be the best mark in the entire league. By far.

The Texans are particularly stingy against the pass, allowing 134.2 yards per game

While they were without Cortland Finnegan, the Rams are off their best defensive performance of the season - albeit against Jacksonville.

The Rams finally got their ground game going last week, running the ball 36 times for 143 yards. They'd desperately like to be able to keep that up .

The Texans are also a team which would really like to be able to run the ball - particularly with all Schaub's interceptions seemingly going the other way.

While I've already acknowledge it hasn't been the case this season, the "under" is still a healthy 12-8 the Texans last 20 home games. During that stretch, the "under" is also 12-6-1 in the Rams' road games.

With both teams running the ball frequently, I expect the clock to keep moving. The "under" is 6-1 the last seven times that the Texans were listed as home favorites in the 7.5 to 10 range, stats I feel have a solid shot at improving this afternoon. If you can get at least 43, consider the Under.

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