Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, October 12

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, October 12

Who 2 Beton Sports

LA Dodgers vs St. Louis
Pick : LA Dodgers -129

The Los Angeles Dodgers are down 1-0 in the NL Championship Series and have more value when approaching a Series bet to not only win today with Clayton Kershaw on the mound but to win the NL Pennant, than they have before today's contest. The Dodgers lefty will come up big today,  Saturday's Game 2 against the host St. Louis Cardinals, and while Kershaw lost both starts against St. Louis this season, permitting six runs in 13 frames, this St Louis lineup is, overall, dismal against lefty starters and southpaw pitching period.

Cardinals rookie Michael Wacha has surrendered one hit in each of his last two outings and was dominant in a season-saving elimination game against Pittsburgh in the NL Division Series. Despite their loss in 13 last night at Busch, the Dodgers are the hottest team in baseball, and the best from top to bottom. Kershaw was dominant in his first NLCS start, striking out 12 and giving up one run on three hits in seven innings against Atlanta, a lineup that has similar numbers to the Cardinals against left-handed pitching. He came back on three days' rest despite throwing 124 pitches and allowed only two hits on three runs over six frames. Kershaw led the NL with 232 strikeouts with a 1.83 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP,. Wacha carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning in Game 4 in Pittsburgh, albeit against a Pirates lineup that isn't as dangerous as the Dodgers, only to see it broken up by Pedro Alvarez's solo home run. It was the only hit allowed by Wacha, who tied his season high with his second straight nine-strikeout performance.

Dodgers are 7-1 in their last 8 games with the total set at 6.5 or lower,  4-0 in Kershaw's last 4 starts with the total set at 6.5 or lower, 5-1 in Kershaw's last 6 road starts, 25-9 in Kershaw's last 34 starts as a favorite of -110 to -150 and 55-26 in Kershaw's last 81 starts as a favorite.

The Cardinals are 1-4 in their last 5 games as an underdog of +110 to +150 and 1-4 in their last 5 playoff games as an underdog.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, October 12

Tony Karpinski

Oregon vs. Washington    
Play: Oregon -12½

Oregon is justly the complete package, with rushing, passing, Mariota, although not the most precise, he gets the job done, with 1358 yds, and 14 tds, and their defense, 2nd in the nation for ppg, giving up 11.8/ game. This is a game the Ducks can get pumped for, Washington isn’t a slump, and they will be fired up for this one as well. Now, with that in mind, keep in mind, Oregon historically owns Washington in their matchups. Washington deserves a lot more reverence, than many people are giving them, and is likely one of the best 1 loss teams in the country, behind Georgia and LSU. But, they haven’t played an offense like that of Oregon yet on the season, where they have given up 24 to middling Illinois. Led behind Jr. RB Bishop Sankey, and his 732 yds, and 7 tds, he will be firing the holes all game long. Oregon scores big, as well as that the total has gone OVER in all 5 of Oregon's last 5 on the road. Oregon Rolls here 50-28

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Jimmy Boyd

Wyoming -13½

The Cowboys are clearly a much better team than the Lobos, and they will have several key advantages in this matchup. Both teams have done a lot of scoring this season, but New Mexico's 34.5 points per game on the road still falls short of Wyoming's 38.5 points scored at home. The Lobos are coming off a big win and playing in a letdown spot today. They are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points.

The biggest advantage Wyoming has in this game is its defense. The Cowboys have held opponents to just 8.5 points per game when playing at home. The Lobos have a huge run bias this season and Wyoming has held opponents to a mere 2.8 yards per carry for 102 rushing yards when playing in front of their home crowd. The Cowboys come into this game with a 7-0 ATS record against a team with a losing record and a 4-1 ATS record in their last five conference games.

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Doug Upstone

Texas A&M vs. Ole Miss    
Play: Ole Miss +7

Ole Miss comes off two tough road losses and doesn't get much easier Saturday night as they host number 9 Texas A&M, fresh off a bye. They are plus 7 in some places and I think that is the play here at home in a night game in front of a national audience. They are better than they've shown the last two weeks and may eek out an outright win. I'd also lean towards the under.


East Carolina vs. Tulane    
Play: Tulane +9½

For Saturday, Play ON home underdogs like Tulane of 3.5 to 10 points, off a close home win by three points or less, in the first half of the season. In the last 21 years, this system is 23-3 ATS, 88.5 percent. This college football system has won nine in a row.

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SPORTS WAGERS

WISCONSIN -10 over Northwestern

The obvious choice here would be to take the points with the Wildcats of Northwestern. This is a Wildcat team that is 4-1 with their only loss coming last week at home to the powerful Buckeyes in a game they led throughout until the fourth quarter. The Badgers are just 3-2 with wins over Massachusetts, Tennessee Tech and Purdue. Under normal circumstances, we would certainly be inclined to take the point but these circumstances are anything but. In terms of situational plays, you would be hard-pressed to find a team this entire season that has had a bigger situational edge than the Badgers have today.

Northwestern is coming off one of the biggest games in its history. They were hugely energized and sky high for last week’s showdown with the Buckeyes. The Wildcats played their hearts out and led 23-20 going to the fourth quarter. Every stop they made was a celebration the entire day but in the end, this team dropped a 40-30 decision and now they have to travel after the emotional toll that game took on them. Additionally, Northwestern will be playing a Badger team that has had an extra week to prepare. There are times when you have to completely ignore the X’s and O’s of a matchup and focus in on an extremely difficult spot. That applies here for the visitor, as they come in emotionally drained after playing in the biggest games of their lives to that point. These are still kids and the impact of that game and loss gets revealed here against Wisky.       


KANSAS STATE +18 over Baylor

This is truly one of those classic sell-high opportunities on Baylor. The Bears are 4-0 and they have scored an incredible 69 points or more in every game. Baylor’s average margin of victory this year is 43 points and as a result, we get the benefit of an extremely inflated number here in much the same fashion as we did last week when the Broncos went into Dallas on Sunday as a 7½-point favorite. The Bears have played a super-soft home schedule this year. They have yet to play on the road and this is not an easy place for any visitor, let alone asking said visitor to win by a margin like this one.

K-State has a four-point loss at Oklahoma State and a 10-point loss to Texas but the main reason they are being offered a spot like this is because of its disturbing opening week loss to North Dakota State. However, we’re not putting too much weight on that. Upsets happen in sports all the time. Big upsets occur from time to time as well and that was just one of those instances when the big chalk figured all they had to do to win was show up. This Wildcats squad is still coached by one of the best in the country. Bill Snyder’s teams always improve week by week and his club rarely gets whacked at home. You would be paying a huge premium to wager on the 15th ranked Bears on the road here and that’s something we cannot get on board with.


UTEP +10 over Tulsa

The Golden Hurricane is coming off an OT loss against Rice last week. They are now 1-4 overall and 0-2 on the road after losses to Bowling Green by 17 and to Oklahoma by 29. Sure, those are a couple of real difficult road games but Tulsa also lost to Iowa State at home by 17 and its only win so far came by three points against Colorado State the week after the Rams were involved in a barn-burning fourth-quarter rivalry-game loss on a Sunday night against Colorado. 

The Miners are coming off their bye week. They get some healthy bodies back and they possess a very capable offense. UTEP will score some points again here but offense is not their problem. The Miners defense can’t stop anyone and that’s why they are being offered this generous spot. However, Tulsa is a club that relies mainly on the running game. With the passing game struggling, the Hurricane will once again lean heavily on tailback Trey Watts. While the Hurricane are surely going to get theirs, spotting 10 points on the road with a running team that is 1-4 and has Tulane at home next cannot come recommended. UTEP’s big play chops also gives them a great chance to come in through the back door should they find themselves down by two TD’s in the fourth quarter. The Miners have a shot a legit shot of an upset here.

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SPORTS WAGERS

DETROIT -½ -102 over Philadelphia

Regulation only. The Flyers lone win in four games came against the Panthers in Craig Berube’s coaching debut. In four games thus far, Philadelphia has yet to score more than two goals in any of them. Instead of carrying over the momentum of their first win, the Flyers lost at home to a Phoenix squad last night that was playing its third game in four days and tail end of back-to-back road games. Peter Laviolette was not the problem in Philadelphia. The problem is a defense that is too old and too slow, a group of forwards that seem to be getting worse (Claude Giroux, Matt Read, Sean Couturier) instead of better and a bunch of other guys past their prime. Oh, and in net, Ray Emery and Steve Mason are insignificant. The Flyers are a mess and Berube, a former goon, is the guy they’ve chosen to turn it around and teach these guys some hockey? Seriously?  Bobby Clarke and Paul Holmgren have combined to ruin this franchise and as they say in poker, these two guys are drawing dead. Philadelphia has one win at the Joe in their past 18 games there and they couldn’t have picked a worse time to face the Red Wings.

Detroit will be in a foul mood after back-to-back losses to Boston and Phoenix. The Red Wings have scored just eight times in four games but that slow pace is unsustainable because this team is too talented to suffer offensive woes. You can’t be truly successful without elite talent and the Detroit Red Wings have it in spades. Pavel Datsyuk is universally revered around the NHL for a reason. He scores some of the slickest goals while winning defensive player of the year awards while winning gentlemanly player awards. He gets to line up with point-per-game skill monster Henrik Zetterberg too, which kinda makes them a lot to handle. They’ve added to their firepower by bringing in multi-season 40-goal-scorer Daniel Alfredsson and all that goes with him. They brought in Stephen Weiss, whose been scoring over 20 goals a year consistently while playing with a bucket of Playdoh and a Raggedy-Ann doll for linemates. Johan “The Mule” Franzen has scored over 27 goals four times in his career (all since ’07), and scores them in a way that creates space for his linemates, which is to say, he lives in the dirty areas. And their forward depth is remarkable – guys like Justin Abdelkader and Mikael Samuelsson can all chip in consistently. This is a great team that is about to go off and losing to the Flyers after back-to-back losses is not an option.


Dallas +134 over MINNESOTA

OT included. The Stars 4-1 victory last night in Winnipeg only confirms our submission that this is going to be a tough team for many years to come. The foundation for the Stars to thrive has been set. With Jim Nill making outstanding acquisitions, with Lindy Ruff coaching and with an abundance of talent, Dallas is not going to be relevant, they already are. This is a Stars club with huge profit potential over the next week or two because the oddsmakers have not caught on to just how good this team really is. With six days off to prepare, the Stars came out flying last night and put away the Jets early with a 3-0 first period. They breezed to a 4-1 win and will have plenty left in the tank to carry that momentum into this one. We would have preferred Kari Lehtonen in net again but Dan Ellis gets the call here and that’s not going to deter us from taking back this sweet tag.

The Wild have one win, one loss and 2 OT losses to open the year. Their only win came by a 2-1 score over the Jets. The Wild have scored two goals in three of their four games and overall they have tallied just 9 in four games. Before the start of the year we figured that the Wild could make some noise but after four games, we’re not so sure. The Wild were weak in net already. They were in the bottom third in the league in even-strength save percentage last season and Niklas Backstrom (injured already) and Josh Harding are only getting older. Sure, the Wild blue-line looks superficially improved (well, except for the likelihood that Tom Gilbert is better than Keith Ballard) but that’s not going to help them if their old goalies can’t stop any rubber. Charlie Coyle had a nice rookie season but he also spent most of his time with Koivu and Parise. Koivu and Parise are probably good enough to make Steve Bernier into a twenty-five goal guy, so how much do we really know about Coyle yet? Fact is, the loss of reliable veterans like Pierre Marc-Bouchard, Matt Cullen and Cal Clutterbuck hurt Minnesota’s depth. It hurt it a lot. The Wild are expecting a lot out of Mikael “can’t check his coat” Granlund and Nino Neiderietter’s skating stride. Minnesota is not better than last year but that’s what happens when you sign two free-agents to twin 100 million dollar contracts. Beyond Suter, Koivu, Brodin, Parise and Heatley, Chuck Fletcher simply hasn’t put a good enough supporting cast around his prized acquisitions. What a waste but it should come as no surprise as Fletcher is following in the footsteps of his dad, who tore apart teams that hitched their wagon to him. Big overlay.


Colorado +121 over WASHINGTON

OT included. At some point the Avalanche are going to come back down to earth but until they do they are certainly worth riding with a take-back on them like the one offered here. Most people expected the Avs to lose their first game on Thursday night in Boston but this team is going so good that J.S. Giguere pitched a shutout. The Avalanche have not allowed more than one goal in any of their four games so far. They have outscored the opposition 13-3 and Semyon Varlamov has been brilliant in all three games he’s played. The Avs are playing outstanding hockey in all phases and it’s no fluke either. Colorado’s opening night win over Anaheim ended with Patrick Roy’s well-documented outburst on Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau. We’ve all seen the highlights but if you get a chance, watch it again but this time pay attention to the players on the Avs bench. As Roy is freaking out, the Avs players on the bench are all in awe of Roy. They’re smiling, they’re jacked up and they look like they want to lift this guy on their shoulders. Roy set an early tone to this season, as if to say, “Don’t even think of messing with my boys” and his boys have responded. Colorado can’t wait to get back onto the ice, as they play their hearts out for their new coach.

Washington has one win in four tries and probably should be 0-4 after they rallied from a 4-1 deficit to defeat the Flames. They allowed 39 shots on net in that game and they allowed 36 shots on net to the Canes in their last game. The Capitals defense remains their weak link. The Caps are basically going with five defensemen that consist of John Erskine, Karl Alzner, Connor Carrick, Mike Green and John Carlson with Jack Hillen getting the occasional shift. Even Caps diehards would call Mike Green average in the d-zone, meaning he’s a nightmare. After that it’s a defensive tire fire, assuming there’s a way to make tires out of pure gasoline. The Caps are spending too much time in their own end and until they upgrade in the back end they will continue be a huge risk spotting juice. Hot versus cold gets the call here.

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Dave Cokin

Georgia Tech vs BYU
Take: BYU

Georgia Tech was blown out at home last season by BYU. The Yellow Jackets would no doubt like to erase that unfortunate memory today as they visit Provo for the rematch.

I’ll go ahead and assume there’s lots of motivation for visitors today based on that 2012 result. But incentive doesn’t automatically lead to success and I’m seeing a game that could bear great similarity to the one we saw between these two teams last season.

When Georgia Tech is able to rev up that option attack, they can be a pretty good football team. But when the opposition takes that element away, the Yellow Jackets are basically dead in the water. They just aren’t versatile enough offensively to compensate.

That’s all kinds of bad news here for Georgia Tech. BYU knows how to defense the option, and unless they flat out blow their assignments tonight, I can’t see the Yellow Jackets having their usual success rate here.

The Cougars are also going to be looking to run the football. That’s where this gets interesting. The overall stats say the Yellow Jackets are good enough against the run. The reality is that they might not be, and I’m banking on that here.

Georgia Tech was allowing very little on the ground going into last week’s game with Miami. But those stats were against a collection of teams with pedestrian running games. Against the ‘Canes, Georgia Tech was simply run over, surrendering a whopping 7.3 ypc. That does not bode well at all for them against what BYU is going to be trying to do all day.

I see the intangibles favoring the hosts as well. They’ve had an extra day to prep having played on Friday last week. The altitude can’t be a plus for Georgia Tech, and they’re also off a game in which they were physically pounded. I can this being a duel for awhile, but expect the Cougars to eventually assume command en route to a comfortable win. I’ll recommend laying the points with BYU.

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LT Profits

L.A. Dodgers vs St. Louis
Pick : Under 6

The Los Angeles Dodgers are looking to even up their series with the St. Louis Cardinals after losing in 13 innings last night, but the story here is that both teams have excellent starters that should eat up innings and save the bullpens. Clayton Kershaw is the probable Cy Young Award winner and he is now pitching on normal rest after allowing just two unearned runs in six innings Monday vs. Atlanta on three days rest, meaning that he has allowed only one earned run in 26 innings over his last four starts with 36 strikeouts vs. six walks! All that Michael Wacha of the Cardinals did on Monday was take a no-hitter into the eighth inning, with a solo homer by Pedro Alvarez of Pittsburgh being the only hit he allowed in 7.1 frames. The ‘under’ is 12-3-1 in the Cardinals’ last 16 home games vs. left-handed starters.


Alabama vs Kentucky
Pick : Alabama -26

We are not usually in the habit of playing prohibitive favorites or giving a lot of points on the road, but yet we are breaking both of those rules here as we simply do not see how the Alabama Crimson Tide beat the Kentucky Wildcats by less than four touchdowns the way the Alabama defense has looked most of the year. If you take away the 49-42 shootout win over Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M, the 5-0 Tide have allowed exactly 10, 6, 0 and 3 points respectively in their other four victories! Just about the only risk to not covering this spread is Nick Saban refusing to run up the score, but given that we do not see the Wildcats topping 10 points, 38 points by Alabama does not seem like much to ask. Kentucky is 1-10 ATS in its last 11 games following an ATS win.

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Bob Balfe

LA Dodgers -125

Well if you stayed up last night you watched a good one that the Dodgers did enough to win, but just feel short and really blew a good outing by Greinke. Kershaw is the best pitcher in the game right now and the scary part is he has not been human the last few starts. In his last 19 innings he has only allowed 1 run. This obviously is a big game for the Dodgers that if they lose its all, but over. You need to win your starts with your best pitcher and the fact that he is the best pitcher in the game makes me really like the Dodgers today. Take L.A.

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Point Train

Virginia Tech (-9) over Pittsburgh

VA Tech QB Thomas has found his groove over the past couple of weeks (71% and 4 TD last two games) after struggling mightily early in the season. He had an awful performance in last year’s 35-17 blowout loss at Pitt and he’s ready to redeem himself on Saturday. Pitt QB Savage has 6 INT passes already this season and that’s not good news against this VA Tech defense that already has 13 INT. Pittsburgh’s defense gave up 55 points in its only road game so far this season at Duke. Expect surging VA Tech to run away with this game.

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SPORTS WAGERS

ST. LOUIS +129 over Los Angeles

This NLCS has become a game of Survivor. After a marathon game last night in which the Cardinals somehow found a way to eliminate Zack Greinke’s great game and overcome Joe Kelly’s shaky one, the Cards come into this Game 2 with a ton of momentum, not to mention other favorable intangibles. We mentioned yesterday how Dodgers manager Don Mattingly had made some questionable decisions in the NLDS that did not cost his team. Well, he cost them last night by pulling Adrian Gonzalez in a move that was actually mind-boggling. Furthermore, the impact that Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina has on these games cannot be measured by his offense. This guy might be the greatest catcher to ever play the game and he’s a big reason why the Cardinals can hang in when things aren’t going so well. Both teams have numerous injuries to key personnel. The Dodgers are the walking wounded with Andre Ethier barely being able to run and Hanley Ramirez having difficulty swinging the bat. The Cardinals have several key players on the DL and have been using their “B” lineup for weeks. It basically comes down to which team endures better and if the Dodgers, who had numerous opportunities to win last night couldn’t do so, it’s unlikely they will find a way to win here.

Clayton Kershaw obviously needs no introductions. The guy is the straight goods with outstanding stuff and the pedigree to match. It would be shocking to see the Cardinals score more than two runs off him whether he goes six, seven, eight or nine innings. This is certainly not about wagering against Kershaw. However, with a take-back of +129 and the bullpens figuring on impacting the outcome, we’ll gladly back the home side because Michael Wacha is a true stud also. This kid has been unhittable in his past two games, allowing just one hit in each. Wacha has 18 K’s over his past 16 innings to go along with a BAA of .043. The crazy part is that these Dodgers have never faced him before and that’s a huge edge in his favor. You think Yasiel Puig looked foolish at the plate last night? Wait til you see Molina and Wacha do a number on this kid, who went 0-6 last night. The Cardinals have the better bullpen and they also have the better defense. With a pitching matchup that we’re not conceding favors the Dodgers, St. Louis taking back +129 at home in this game is bordering on ridiculous and there is no chance we’re passing it up.

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SPORTS WAGERS

Juan Manuel Marquez -131 over Tim Bradley

Both men are highly accomplished and coming off big wins. Juan Marquez finally got that elusive win over Manny Pacquiao with a clean one punch KO last year and Bradley had to fight through the depths of hell to overcome determined Ruslin Provodnikov 6 months ago. Bradley also holds a disputed win over Manny Pacquiao in 2012.

Bradley is quick handed, he can box when he chooses and has incredible stamina and will. He also has a good chin but not iron. It was his will and conditioning that kept him alive against Provodnikov. A notable detriment for Bradley is his hitting power. Punchers are born and not made and he simply doesn’t get natural leverage on his shots like some punchers.

Marquez has had a rebirth with conditioning Coach Angel Heredia. Already a master boxer with power, Heredia has turned back the clock on the 40 year old Marquez and given him a base of core strength that he never had before. And while he could always punch, he seems to have added explosion to his punches, as evidenced by his destruction of Pacquiao.

The concern for Bradley is that he doesn’t have the firepower to keep Marquez off of him. And while he is fast and can box, Marquez isn’t easily out-boxed. In recent years, only Floyd Mayweather was able to take advantage of an under-prepared Marquez. But Marquez is fully prepared and locked and loaded for this fight. Further, Bradley talked of serious concussive effects he had after the Provodnikov fight. That was the kind of fight that can change a fighter’s neurology and how they are able to handle future punishment.

Marquez will be throwing bombs all the way through. Bradley will have moments but Marquez can stay close and eventually catch up. If Marquez can fight on virtual even terms with whirling dervish Pacquiao, the more conventional and lighter hitting Bradley should be easier. We see Bradley as possibly being damaged goods and right now with Marquez’s training he is in vintage form. Expect Marquez to eventually pound Bradley into a stoppage, perhaps somewhere around the 8th round.


Ricardo Nunez +350 over Carlos Reveco

We find that the little men, guys 112 and under, tend to be quite unpredictable. What we mean is that upsets seem to occur more often with the little men. If you review records of some of these warriors you might notice KO losses to unknowns and big wins over top fighters. We bring this up because Ricardo Nunez is a massive underdog, yet we give him a solid chance to win. Nunez is fighting on the road and has been stopped three times in his career but he is tall, can punch and has ability. He has been on a good run lately, going 10-1 in his last 11. His only loss in that run was to IBF champ Moruti Mthalane, who has a legit claim as the top flyweight in the world.

Nunez scored an early knockdown but was overwhelmed later in the fight. Mthalane, some will remember, gave Nonito Donaire hell in 2008 and was given a TKO loss because of a cut that didn’t seem to bother him in the least. It seemed like he was pulled because he was making things too close. Juan Carlo Reveco is a tough guy and solid fighter. He is certainly not an easy out in his backyard in Argentina and has never lost there. We just don’t see him as a special talent or much better than Nunez. In fact, Revco is very short and may have trouble with Nunez’s length. We see a competitive fight where anything could play out and Nunez has the power to erase a potential bad decision with a stoppage. Nunez figures to be competitive and is extremely undervalued in this fight, as he most certainly has a legit chance at an upset.

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Wunderdog

Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay
Pick: Under 5.5

Last season the Tampa Bay Lightning offense came out firing, and they enter this game off a seven goal outburst against Florida at home. The problem is Pittsburgh is not Florida, and their three previous games saw them score just seven times. The Penguins are off a horrendous performance against Florida, where they allowed six goals. They will be seeking redemption here tonight, as the other three Penguins opponents tallied a total of three goals. The Penguins have been on-guard against a team that exploded for five or more goals in their last game, as they are 5-0 in their last five, to the UNDER when facing them. They have also dug in after allowing five goals in their last game, going 5-1 to the UNDER in the last six occurrences. Tampa is 7-0 to the UNDER facing a team that allowed five or more goals in their last game. Look for this one to play UNDER the total.

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OC Dooley

Utah +6.5

The last time the Utah Utes hit the field was in a primetime affair last Thursday when they took road favorite UCLA right down to the wire in what ended up to be a 34-27 final verdict. I have found out that Utah starting quarterback Travis Wilson due to ILLNESS was bed-ridden the entire day leading up to the contest. To make a long story short with extended rest Wilson will be much healthier coming into another home contest against #5 ranked Stanford who has the nation’s second-longest winning streak (13-0) right behind Ohio State. For those who stayed up late last Saturday evening you saw Stanford basically outlast Washington in a 31-28 nationally televised thriller in front of the home fans. While Stanford ended up extending their winning streak they were actually OUTGAINED in a contest (489-to-279 yards) they were lucky to survive as the Cardinal ran for a “season low” 191 yards on the ground. Another week of rushing woes would be a detriment to the Cardinal since a stout Utah Utes defensive front has limited the opposition to an average of just 131 yards per game on the ground so far. That same Utah defense actually leads the entire Pac-12 conference in the critical area of SACKS (18) as they give opposing quarterback fits each week. For the entire season to date Stanford is forcing on average just 7 turnovers per game which is second-worst in the conference just ahead of Utah so one can argue that they are laying too many points this evening. Certainly Utah and their fans are fired up for this contest as the last time they faced Stanford on the same field (1996) was a full seventeen years ago

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NHL Predictions

St Louis Blues -1.5 +155

Another fade of the New York Rangers here, as we take the Blues to win by 2 or more at home. The Rangers start the season off with a 9 game road trip, and it hasn't been pretty for them. They are 1-3 on the year with their latest two losses being 6-0 and 9-2 against Anaheim and San Jose. They now face one of the toughest teams to beat at home in St Louis who are 3-0 to start the season, and who went 15-8-1 at home last year. This will be St Louis' fourth straight home game to open the season and so far we've seen a 4-2 victory over Nashville, 7-0 over Florida, and 3-2 over the defending Stanley Cup Champs Blackhawks. The Rangers will change things up in net going with Martin Biron who has a 9.78 GAA and .762 SV% when he's entered in relief. Jaroslav Halak is probable for St Louis and he already has a stellar 1.34 GAA and .948 SV% to go along with his 3-0 record. The Blues are 31-11 in their last 42 vs a Eastern Confernece opponents, 52-23 in their last 75 home games, and 18-8 in their last 26 vs a team with a winnig % below .400. This Rangers team has a lot to figure out, and they won't do it tonight in St Louis. Take the Blues on the puck line.

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Big Al McMordie

Penn St. + over Michigan Wolverines.

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