Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, October 10

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, October 10

Jeff Alexander

Rutgers +19

Louisville hasn't been tested all season, but Rutgers has the potential to give the Cardinals a game tonight. The Scarlet Knights have played Louisville to two and three-point games each of the past two seasons, and they have been a tremendous investment lately against quality competition. The Scarlet Knights are 11-4-1 ATS in their last 16 games versus a team with a winning record and 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 road games versus a team with a winning home record. Rutgers nearly beat Fresno State, a pretty good 5-0 team, on the road. It also defeated an Arkansas team that had enough talent to hang with Texas A&M. I think the books are giving Louisville a little too much respect tonight. We'll take the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, October 10

Bill Biles

Giants / Bears Under 48

I think this game will be a low 40's game. The Giants are struggling putting up points this year. The Bears should be able to score points, but i think 28 will be the most they score. The only thing that concerns me is if their are defensive Touchdowns that occur, but you cannot account for that in a given game. Look for a final of 28-17.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, October 10

Jack Jones

San Diego State -3½

After an 0-3 start that included losses to Ohio State and Oregon State, the San Diego State Aztecs were clearly battle-tested. They would rebound nicely with back-to-back victories over New Mexico State and Nevada to get back on track. Remember, this is a team that won nine games last year and returned 15 starters and 50 lettermen from that squad. There is still a lot to play for with the Mountain West Title within their grasp.

I really like what I’ve seen from the offense in the last two contests. The Aztecs put up 441 total yards against New Mexico State, and a whopping 541 total yards against Nevada last week. Quarterback Quinn Kaehler threw for 286 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner in overtime against Nevada. Running backs Adam Muema (134 yards, 2 TD) and Donnel Pumphrey (112 yards, 1 TD) also had big games against the Wolf Pack.

Air Force is clearly in rebuilding mode in 2013 with a 1-5 start after bringing back just 10 starters from last year’s team. The Falcons are only averaging 25.5 points and 379.5 total yards per game, while giving up a whopping 39.3 points and 493.0 yards per game to rank 119th in the country in total defense. They were beaten by 32 against Utah State, 22 against Boise State, 33 against Wyoming and 18 against Navy. They really haven’t even been all that competitive this season.

San Diego State will have one extra day than Air Force to prepare for this contest. It last played on Friday, October 4, while the Falcons last played on Saturday, October 5. That extra day is huge in these Thursday night games on short weeks. Air Force is 5-14 against the spread in its last 19 games overall. The Falcons are 3-13 against the number in their last 16 home games. The Aztecs are 4-0 against the spread in their last four conference games. San Diego State is 4-0 against the number in its last four meetings with Air Force. Bet San Diego State Thursday.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, October 10

Eddie J

Rutgers at Louisville
Pick: Rutgers

4-1 Rutgers takes on #8 ranked Louisville. Louisville's schedule is very soft and this may be their toughest challenge of the year.The last 6 meetings have come within 3 points between these 2 schools. Rutgers has a very potent offense scoring 40 PPG and have scored 50+ twice this year against Fresno State and SMU. QB Gary Nova has 13 TD's which is second to Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater's 16. We know Louisville will put up points and Rutgers will score their fair share.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, October 10

LT Profits

Rutgers vs Louisville
Pick : Under 56

The Louisville Cardinals are ranked eighth in the country at 5-0 but could use a win over a quality opponent to be taken seriously, which they now get to do vs. the 4-1 Rutgers Scarlet Knights, who are a missed two-point conversion at Fresno State in overtime away from being 5-0 themselves. What may get lost in the shuffle here though is the performance of these two defenses this season. Louisville leads the country in scoring defense allowing an obscene 6.8 points per game while ranking third in total defense and fourth in both rushing defense and passing defense. Rutgers meanwhile is allowing just 376.8 total yards per game and even that figure is skewed by two overtime games. The Knights are actually ahead of Louisville in rushing defense, ranking third at just 70.6 yards per contest. The ‘under’ is 8-1 in the last nine Rutgers road games vs. teams with winning home records.


Detroit vs Oakland
Pick : Under 6.5

The fifth and deciding game of the ALDS between the Detroit Tigers and the Oakland Athletics is a rematch of Game 2 with Justin Verlander facing Sonny Grey, and that was a scoreless game until the ninth inning when the Athletics prevailed 1-0. The former Cy Young winner Verlander may have not lived up to his usual lofty standards during the course of the year, but he is in vintage form currently having tosses 19 scoreless innings over his last three starts while allowing just 13 hits with 33 strikeouts vs. five walks! He allowed four hits and stuck out 11 in seven innings in Game 2. Gray also allowed just four hits in his eight scoreless innings in Game 2 while striking out nine and the rookie posted a 2.67 ERA over his 12 regular season games. The ‘under’ is 7-0 in the Tigers’ last seven road games vs. right-handed starters.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, October 10

Wunderdog

San Jose at Vancouver
Pick: Under 5.5

These clubs are both off to good starts with 6 wins and just 1 loss between them. The Sharks have been great on the back side of the ice, as they have allowed three opponents a grand total of 4 goals on the season. They will head to Vancouver, and the Canucks have been doing some defending of their own, as they have killed all 15 power-play opportunities this season. The Sharks have packed their "D" for road games, as they are 8-1-3 to the UNDER in their last 12. The Canucks have played defensive at home where they are 6-1-1 to the UNDER. This series has seen just one of the last six make it over the total, and this one isn't likely to get there either. Make the play on the UNDER.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, October 10

Playersbet

Colorado / Boston Over 5½

Colorado is on a roll to start this NHL season, winning their 1st 3 games. We expect plenty of offense in tonight’s matchup. Both Boston and the Av’s are playing great hickey right now. The avs are coming into tonight’s putting up 11 goals in their past 3 games and we look for them to get a couple more tonight. Both teams come into tonight’s match up averaging over three goals per game. Take the over as this should be a great hockey game.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, October 10

Jeff Benton

Your Thursday freebie comes in baseball as I side with the Oakland A's to advance to the ALCS with the Game Five win over the Detroit Tigers.

I think Jim Leyland made a mistake when he used likely Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer in relief on Tuesday night at Comerica Park. Yes, the Tigers were able to dodge the bullet in their 8-6 win, but I feel the momentum really is with the Athletics tonight, as Oakland is still very confident they can take care of business here on their home diamond.

Velrander pitched a four-hit shutout over Oakland last October in the decisive Game Five of this round, but that was then, and this is now. Verlander is still very tough to beat, but he is not his old invincible self this season, and he is matched against a young gun in Sonny Gray who was masterful in outdueling Verlander in Game Two, as Gray handcuffed the Tigers over 8 scoreless innings while allowing just 4 hits and striking out 9.

Miguel Cabrera is clearly hurting, and with his big bat silenced, I can see Gray keeping the other Detroit bats just as quiet.

Going with Gray to edge Verlander in the clincher tonight.

2♦ OAKLAND

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, October 10

Craig Davis

Thursday's free play is the Arizona Wildcats.

Free play of the day on the Arizona Wildcats plus the number vs. a team welcoming in the Coach Orgeron era.

Less than two weeks after losing HC Lane Kiffin to firing (after an embarrassing loss to Arizona State), the USC Trojans (3-2, 0-2) are fairly confident they can get their first Pac 12 win of the season.

The Arizona Wildcats, on the other hand, are also coming in off a bye, licking their wounds after a big loss to the Washington Huskies.

Something's gotta give, and while I believe the Trojans have more talent, the coaching change (and possibly a philosophy change) is all happening too fast and the Wildcats have enough talent to stay in this game.

New OC Clay Helton will be calling plays for the first time all season, and there's a feeling in Los Angeles that QB Cody Kessler will be learning how to keep the tempo up and throw to a bunch of different receivers. Eventually he'll "get it", but in the early going I have a feeling it will be a lot of pressure on him that he's not used to dealing with.

Arizona's ground game (55th in the nation) should keep the ball out of Kessler's hands enough to frustrate him, as the Trojans obviously want their offense on the field more than not.

If Marquise Lee doesn't play (which I don't think he will) it only helps our cause.

Take Arizona plus the points as your free play of the day.

2♦ ARIZONA

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, October 10

Brad Wilton

My free play goes on Thursday night as I will side with the Under in the San Diego State-Air Force contest from Colorado Springs.

The Aztecs are coming off a 51-44 overtime win over Nevada that obviously sailed Over the total, but Rocky Long's team has played both of their road games this season Under the total, and Long is quite familiar with the option attack the Falcons like to run on offense over the years.

Air Force just held Under the total in their service battle with Navy, and they have held Under the total in this series 4 of the last 5 times these schools have tangled.

Weather expected to be a little gusty on Thursday night, so look for the ground game to chew up clock.

Take San Diego State and Air Force to hold Under the total on Thursday in this Mountain West meeting.

2♦ SAN DIEGO STATE-AIR FORCE UNDER

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, October 10

Harry Bondi

SAN DIEGO STATE (-3) over Air Force

After a sluggish 0-3 start to the season, San Diego State is getting healthy and has now won two in a row. Yes, those wins came against inferior competition (New Mexico State and Nevada), but at 1-5 with its only win of the season coming against Colgate, the Fly Boys fit the profile of another lowly opponent for the Aztecs. New starting QB Quinn Kaehler has re-energized the San Diego State passing attack and must have been licking his chops in preparation for this game as the Air Force defense has allowed 44.6 points per game the last five weeks. Aztecs Head Coach Rocky Long is quite familiar with the Air Force option attack having spent 10 years with New Mexico before joining the San Diego State staff three seasons ago so it won't take much to limit the Fly Boys tonight, especially since they are on their third starting QB this season. Air Force is a dismal 3-13 ATS at home the last three-plus seasons and that trend continues tonight. Lay the field goal.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, October 10

Dr BobFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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LOUISVILLE (-19) 41 Rutgers 17FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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I almost pulled the trigger on this game and would have had the line stayed at -17 or less. Louisville is not just an elite offensive team with Heisman Trophy candidate Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback, but the Cardinals also have a very good defense that’s allowed just 4.0 yards per play and 6.8 points per game to teams that would combine to average 5.0 yppl and 19 points per game against an average defensive unit. Rutgers has a better than average offense that has averaged 5.9 yppl and rates at 0.3 yppl better than average with quarterback Tom Savage under center but my math model projects just 293 yards at 4.8 yppl for the Scarlet Knights in this game and the Cardinals held a better than average Kentucky attack to just 13 points.
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Rutgers also has a slightly better than average defense that’s yielded 4.9 yppl to teams that would combine to average 5.0 yppl against an average defensive unit, but Bridewater and company have averaged 7.9 yppl and 44 points per game (against teams that would allow 6.2 yppl to an average team). The absence of top target WR DeVante Parker is a concern but the Cardinals have good depth at wide receiver with 5 other receivers with 12 to 16 catches on the season. My math model projects 521 yarsd at 7.4 yppl for Louisville in this game and Bridgewater should have a huge game against a sub-par Rutgers pass defense. However, when the Cardinals build a big lead they aren’t as likely to extend it by simply running the ball because Rutgers has a very good run defense that’s given up just 3.3 yards per rushing play this season (against teams that would average 4.6 yprp against an average defense).
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My math projects a 24 point win by Louisville if they run their normal offense the entire game but they are likely to run more if they build a comfortable lead and I get Louisville by 22 points as a fair line in this game. I’ll still call for a 24 point win because the Cardinals apply to a very good 72-19-2 ATS situation while Rutgers applies to a 26-72-1 ATS letdown situation that is based on last week’s overtime win against SMU. The only thing that kept me from making this a Best Bet was a 63-18-2 ATS statistical profile indicator that applies to Rutgers that is based on their great run defense (teams that control the line of scrimmage are usually good bets as underdogs). But, I still like the Cardinals.
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San Diego State (-3½) 30 AIR FORCE 26SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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San Diego State has a better than average run defense (4.5 yards per rushing play allowed to teams that would average 4.8 yprp against an average defense) and Aztecs coach Rocky Long is well schooled in defending the option after many years as a defensive coordinator and head coach in the same league with Air Force (Long was at New Mexico prior to coming to San Diego). Air Force should move the ball at a decent clip (I project 5.2 yards per play) but San Diego State should have even more offensive success against a bad Air Force defense that’s given up 6.7 yppl this season to teams that would combine to average 5.8 yppl against an average team. San Diego State is better now that Quin Kaehler has started the last 3 games in place of the horrible Adam Dingwell (39.7% completions) but that Aztecs have still been 0.7 yppl worse than average in Keahler’s 3 starts. That’s still better than the Air Force defense and my math model projects 409 yards at 5.7 yppl for the Aztecs in this game. Overall the math favors San Diego State by 4 points so this game is priced about right.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, October 10

Joe Gavazzi

Oakland -105

It was nearly 1 year ago today that from this mound Verlander pitched a 4 hit shutout to win the playoff series from the As. After pitching brilliantly in an eventual 1-0 loss to Oakland Saturday night, Verlander goes to the mound for the finale with a 22IP scoreless post-season streak vs. the As. Though Verlander is a solid choice to start this game because of his vast experience, please note that he was just 13-12 this season with the As winning just 7/16 road starts where he posted a 3.73 ERA. Oakland counters with Gray who has been brilliant since his second half call-up. The year to date ERA for Gray is 2.38 with Oakland going 4-2 in his home starts where he posted a 1.99 ERA. Though Gray was not around for Oaklands 1-0 victory last Saturday night, he clearly proved he was not shying away from the bright lights. More importantly than this pitching matchup for the purposes of our selection, are Oaklands home field and their current form. While Detroit was 43-40 on the road this year, Oakland had a record of 53-30 at home including 40-19 recently and 32-15 following a defeat. The As have played the most consistent baseball of any team in either league. Since mid-May Oakland is 79-46, a .632 winning clip including 26-11 of late. That holds significance because NO TEAM IN MLB FINISHED THE YEAR PLAYING .600 BALL OR BETTER.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, October 10

Jeff Scott Sports

3 UNIT PLAY

NY Giants +8 over CHICAGO: I have to feel that the Giants pride will show up in this one and that they will look to try and get a win before their break. The Giants have had major turnover problems this year that has really cost them at the wrong times, but take away the miscues and the team really isn't all that bad. They still have a very good QB behind center and a solid group of WRs. Their defense isn't all that bad it's just been put in bad spots by its offense. The Bears are a solid team, but they still have some issues on offense and their defense isn't the greatest, ranking 28th in points allowed (28 ppg) and 24th vs the pass (278.8 ypg). A nice trend here to support this play as QB Jay Cutler is 2-15 ATS as a non-divisional home favorite when his team has a winning record. The Giants will be pumped up here an no matter how bad they I have played I don't feel that the Bears should be favored by this much over a quality for. This game will be decided by a FG.

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