Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, October 27

Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, October 27

DUNKEL INDEX

NFL

Green Bay at Minnesota
The Vikings look to take advantage of a Green Bay team that is coming off a 31-13 win over Cleveland and is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games following a SU win of more than 14 points. Minnesota is the pick (+9) according to Dunkel, which has the Packers favored by only 6 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (+9)

Game 209-210: San Francisco at Jacksonville (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Francisco 133.619; Jacksonville 119.470
Dunkel Line: San Francisco by 14; 45
Vegas Line: San Francisco by 17; 40 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Jacksonville (+17); Over

Game 211-212: Dallas at Detroit (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Dallas 136.883; Detroit 134.751
Dunkel Line: Dallas by 2; 55
Vegas Line: Detroit by 3; 51
Dunkel Pick: Dallas (+3); Over

Game 213-214: NY Giants at Philadelphia (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Giants 120.995; Philadelphia 132.986
Dunkel Line: Philadelphia by 12; 47
Vegas Line: Philadelphia by 5 1/2; 52 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (-5 1/2); Under

Game 215-216: Cleveland at Kansas City (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland 134.111; Kansas City 138.816
Dunkel Line: Kansas City by 4 1/2; 35
Vegas Line: Kansas City by 7 1/2; 39 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (+7 1/2); Under

Game 217-218: Buffalo at New Orleans (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Buffalo 128.385; New Orleans 143.703
Dunkel Line: New Orleans by 15 1/2; 52
Vegas Line: New Orleans by 11 1/2; 48 1/2
Dunkel Pick: New Orleans (-11 1/2); Over

Game 219-220: Miami at New England (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami 130.863; New England 141.125
Dunkel Line: New England by 10 1/2; 41
Vegas Line: New England by 6 1/2; 45 1/2
Dunkel Pick: New England (-6 1/2); Under

Game 221-222: NY Jets at Cincinnati (4:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Jets 129.905; Cincinnati 133.394
Dunkel Line: Cincinnati by 3 1/2; 44
Vegas Line: Cincinnati by 6 1/2; 41
Dunkel Pick: NY Jets (+6 1/2); Over

Game 223-224: Pittsburgh at Oakland (4:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh 131.150; Oakland 126.352
Dunkel Line: Pittsburgh by 5; 37
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh by 2 1/2; 40 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-2 1/2); Under

Game 225-226: Washington at Denver (4:25 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington 126.807; Denver 147.553
Dunkel Line: Denver by 20 1/2; 62
Vegas Line: Denver by 12 1/2; 58 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Denver (-12 1/2); Over

Game 227-228: Atlanta at Arizona (4:25 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta 132.546; Arizona 130.773
Dunkel Line: Atlanta by 2; 41
Vegas Line: Arizona by 2 1/2; 45
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (+2 1/2); Under

Game 229-230: Green Bay at Minnesota (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Green Bay 137.021; Minnesota 130.329
Dunkel Line: Green Bay by 6 1/2; 50
Vegas Line: Green Bay by 9; 47
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (+9); Over

Game 231-232: Seattle at St. Louis (8:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle 138.973; St. Louis 125.491
Dunkel Line: Seattle by 13 1/2; 38
Vegas Line: Seattle by 10 1/2; 42 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Seattle (-10 1/2); Under

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DUNKEL INDEX

MLB

Boston at St. Louis
The Cardinals look to follow up their win in Game 3 and build on their 5-1 record in Lance Lynn's last 6 Sunday starts. St. Louis is the pick (-115) according to Dunkel, which has the Cardinals favored by 1 1/2 Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (-115)

Game 957-958: Boston at St. Louis (8:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Boston (Buchholz) 16.560; St. Louis (Lynn) 17.930
Dunkel Line: St. Louis by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: St. Louis (-115); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (-115); Under

NHL

Anaheim at Columbus
The Ducks look to follow up their 2-1 win over Ottawa on Friday and build on their 5-0 record in their last 5 games after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game. Anaheim is the pick (-105) according to Dunkel, which has the Ducks favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: Anaheim (-105)

Game 1-2: San Jose at Ottawa (5:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Jose 11.979; Ottawa 12.878
Dunkel Line & Total: Ottawa by 1; 6
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 3-4: Tampa Bay at Florida (5:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay 12.585; Florida 10.019
Dunkel Line & Total: Tampa Bay by 1 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Tampa Bay (-120); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Tampa Bay (-120); Under

Game 5-6: Anaheim at Columbus (6:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Anaheim 12.160; Columbus 11.003
Dunkel Line & Total: Anaheim by 1; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Columbus (-115); 5
Dunkel Pick: Anaheim (-105); Over

Game 7-8: Winnipeg at Colorado (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Winnipeg 11.067; Colorado 12.769
Dunkel Line & Total: Colorado by 1 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Colorado (-200); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Colorado (-200); Under

Game 9-10: Edmonton at Los Angeles (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Edmonton 11.536; Los Angeles 11.026
Dunkel Line & Total: Edmonton by 1/2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Los Angeles (-220); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Edmonton (+180); Over

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Nick ParsonsFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Atlanta vs. ArizonaFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: OverFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Two teams with high expectations entering the season, but which have under-performed so far go head to head on Sunday afternoon.
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Atlanta is 2-4 this year, including 0-2 on the road.

Arizona is 3-4, 2-1 at home.
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The visitors will look to build off their 31-23 win over the Bucs, while the Cards look to bounce back after a 34-22 loss to the Seahawks.

When the smoke clears at the end of the night, I expect this total to sail above the posted number.
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The Falcons
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Note that Atlanta has seen the total go "over" the number in seven of its last 13 following a divisional contest.
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The Cardinals
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Note that Arizona has seen the total go "over" the number in 10 of its last 18 in front of the home town crowd.
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The Bottom Line
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It's also interesting to note that seven of these teams last ten vs. each other have gone "over" the number, including the Cardinals 30-24 win in Arizona the last time these teams played in the dessert.

Neither team has thrown in the towel yet and we can expect each to open up the playbook.
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Seriously consider a second look at the "over" in this one.

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Carlo CampanellaFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Dallas Cowboys vs. Detroit LionsFREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Detroit Lions -3FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Cowboys improved to 4-3 and are in first place of the NFC East, but our TEAM TREND tells us that Dallas is a money burning 5-22 ATS during their last 27 road games after holding their previous opponent to 9 points or less! It's tempting to take Dallas and the points, but expect a letdown following last Sunday's emotional division win over the rival Eagles, 17-3, in Philadelphia.

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Art AronsonFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Miami vs. New EnglandFREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Over 44½FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The visiting Miami Dolphins come off 21-23 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Ryan Tannehill finished 19-for-37, passing for 194 yards, three TDs and two INTs in the loss. Mike Wallace had 78 yards receiving while Brandon Gibson had two TDs on four yards receiving. It was a pretty ugly game as both teams finished with less than 300 yards receiving. The New England Patriots come off a disappointing 27-30 loss to division rival New York Jets. Tom Brady was just 22-for-46 for 228 yards, zero TDs and one INT in the loss. Rob Gronkowski made his return to the lineup and was a factor, making eight catches for 114 yards while getting a team high 17 targets. Stevan Ridley had 50 yards and a rushing TD to pace the Pats. Neither team executed the way it wanted to last game and paid for it with disappointing divisional losses. The Dolphins were shut out it in the last game at New England and we should expect the team to remember that loss and will be out to at least to get some points up in Foxboro. The Patriots injuries on defense are starting to show as the team allowed a bad Jets offense to gain almost four yards of total offense. The Dolphins defense is very fragile on the road, allowing 23.7 points per game on the road. Since they allowed just 10 points in week 1, the Dolphins have allowed at least 20 points in every game. The Patriots got Gronkowski, their top red zone target back last week and after another week of practice expect Tom Brady to solve some of his issues. The higher number has hit in all but two Dolphin games this season and three of the last four Patriots games. Take a close look at the “over” in this divisional meeting.

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Will RogersFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Dallas vs. DetroitFREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: DetroitFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Here are my keys to the game:FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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1. Homefield Advantage - The oddsmakers are making the Lions lay the standard three points for homefield advantage here, meaning they basically view these teams as even.  While that may be the case, I think Detroit will be the more desperate team here as they are coming off a loss at home to Cincinnati while Dallas won at Philadelphia last week to claim sole possession of 1st place in the NFC East.  The Lions find themselves in a tight, three-team division race with Green Bay and Chicago and can't really afford to a drop a second home game in as many weeks.
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2.  Dallas Off a Win - This is a situation that has not treated the Cowboys well in recent seasons.  Over the last three years, they are just 5-14 ATS when off a straight up win.
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3. X-Factor - Here's an interesting NFL system: Play against road teams if the line is three points or less and they allowed six points or less the previous game, if matched up against an opponent coming off a loss by 3 points or less.  The system has gone 23-5 ATS since 1983!

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Spartan

New Orleans Saints -11

My long term clients know I am generally not a big fan of double digit spreads in the NFL. But, I'm making an exception here with a Saints team coming off a bye week. They've had two weeks to get lathered up for this game against a Bills squad that can be game at times but are in a lousy position here. I've made a lot of money through the years betting on the Saints in that crazy dome of theirs and this lines up as another nice opportunity. Another thing my regular customers know is that I don't tend to hang my hat on trends. I've just never felt that was the way to go long term, too many trends are simply not relevant. I listen to the talking heads on ESPN and FOX and such and so often they just throw out trends and I swear they are just filling minutes. It's my opinion a truly professional handicapper will perform his due diligence and check trends but they are only a part of the foundation upon to build an actual wager. I have my own process I go through with each and every game and sure, that's part of it but far from the primary factor. Okay, with all that being said I do think it's interesting that the Bills are a flat out miserable 6-25 against the number when taking the field the week following a battle with Miami since the 1998 campaign. That's a tough one to ignore guys. I look for the Bills to come out and hang tough but for the Saints to distance themselves in the final quarter. Take Sean Payton and his Saints here fellas.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, October 27

Raphael Esparza

Jacksonville (+17) over San Francisco

Yes, the 49ers are rolling right now winning four-straight games, all four games by double-digits, but covering this number could be tough. The Jaguars stink, and I don't see them pulling off the upset, but I see them covering this big number like they did against Denver in Denver. I'm not sold 100 percent on this 49ers offense as they are pretty much vanilla when it comes to their play calling. The Jags will hang around at first, but then I see the 49ers pulling away and in the fourth quarter and we should see them run the ball and take control of the clock. This will give the Jags a chance to cover this number, and I see them covering this number. San Francisco is 2-5 ATS against a team with a losing record.

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Jason Sharpe

Arizona (-2.5) over Atlanta

The Atlanta Falcons come into a tough spot here as they travel out west to face the Arizona Cardinals. The Falcons pulled out a must-win last week at home versus lowly Tampa Bay as they try and restore order on a team that is off to an unexpected 2-4 to start this year. The biggest problem with Atlanta is all the injuries they have to deal with as the injury bug has hit this team hard. The Falcons have been a big money burner for their backers of late, going just 2-7 against the spread in their last nine games and covering only one of their last six road contests. They have also had four of their first six games at home this season but despite that they are still struggling.

Arizona comes in at 3-4 on the season, but their last three losses were as tough as it gets, dropping games against Seattle, San Francisco and New Orleans. They have done well against the lesser type squads and come in with a 4-0 mark against the spread against teams with losing records. The Cardinals got some extra rest and prep time coming into this game as they last played on Thursday night and were off last weekend.

Arizona is the better of these two teams right now. Take Arizona minus the points here. My 6-Unit NFL Game of the Month is this weekend. I have posted three straight winning weeks in pro football and a 7-3 record overall as well. I am just as hot in CFB during this stretch and have a combined 19-10 mark for the month of October in all my football selections. Jump on board and let’s have a big week of winning football action this weekend.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, October 27

Chad Matthews

Pittsburgh / Oakland Under 41

The Steelers head to Oakland this weekend to take on the Raiders at the OC. The Steelers are averaging 17.8 points per game this season, and the Raiders only 17.5 points per game this season. Both teams have decent defense, but the problems for both of these teams are on the offensive side of the ball. The under play is a perfect 7-0 the last seven games played in Oakland. The under is a perfect 4-0 in the Steelers last four games played in the month of October, and the under is 6-0 the last six games the Steelers have played in Week 8. For the 2013 campaign, the Raiders are 1-5 on the over/under, and the Steelers are 2-4 against the total. Combined, these two teams are 3-9 in the over department. The pace these two teams play at this game has under written all over it. Expect a slow-paced game with more field goals than touchdowns. Take under 41 points here.

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PHILADELPHIA (-5) 29 NY Giants 19SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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After getting their first win of the season at home on Monday night against the hapless Vikings, the Giants face the Eagles for the second time already this season on Sunday. In the win, the Giants were not very good, but just better than a poor Vikings team that was starting QB Josh Freeman after being with the team for a short time and participating in just a few practices. That really speaks to the lack of confidence that they have in the alternatives. Predictably, Freeman was terrible and passed for only 3.3 yps on 53 passes. Overall, the Giants defense completely shut down the Vikings offensive attack, holding them to 206 total yards at 3.0 yppl! The Giant offense was not much better however as they gained just 257 total yards at 3.5 yppl. The +2 turnover margin certainly helped their cause. The Eagles, meanwhile, looked lost offensively as they could only muster 3 points in a 14 point loss to the Cowboys. Nick Foles was inaccurate, immobile and confused and when Matt Barkley entered the game it seemed it couldn’t get much worse but it did. Barkley threw 3 interceptions which could easily have been 5 in less than ten minutes! The Eagles will get Michael Vick back at QB this week and he should be a big improvement over Foles as long as he is not hampered by his hamstring injury. He is supposed to test it out full speed on Friday so stay tuned. My model favors the Eagles here (-7.3) and the matchups once again favor Philadelphia. The Eagles also qualify in a 646-471-40 situation and I like the fact that the Giants are off of a win and played poorly while the Eagles are off of a loss where they looked much worse than they are. Those sorts of dichotomies can produce line value and that is what it appears we have here. I like the Eagles.
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Dallas (+3) 28 DETROIT 25SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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In a bit of a surprise Dallas played a strong defensive game last week in beating the Eagles in Philly, completely shutting down the Eagles offense. Philadelphia ended up with 278 total yards at 3.7 yppl with three fourth quarter Matt Barkley interceptions (which easily could have been five!). They made the Eagle QB’s completely uncomfortable while doing a good job in shutting down the Philly running game. They have now won two divisional games back to back and take to the road for the second consecutive week where they are just 1-2 on the season, beating the Eagles last week and losing to the Chiefs and the Chargers. Adjusted yppl season numbers show Dallas to be a team that is about average on both sides of the ball but has very good efficiency numbers and a favorable +6 net turnover margin. The Lions, meanwhile, come into this game off of a 24-27 home loss to the Bengals which dropped them to 4-3 on the season and facing a bye next week. Overall, the Lions have been just better than average offensively and terrible on defense as they have allowed 398 yards at 6.4 yppl to teams that average 359 yards at 5.6 yppl. I expect that they will be focused for this home game as they would like to head into their bye 5-3 but they should have a tough time here. There are some favorable matchups in this game for the Cowboys and my model only favors the Lions by a point. Dallas also benefits from a negative 54-114-3 situation that plays against the Lions and as a result I like the Cowboys plus the points.
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Miami (+6.5) 20 NEW ENGLAND 23SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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After starting the season 3-0 the Dolphins have really struggled in losing their last three games. Last week they were in a good spot off of their bye and playing the Bills at home but ended up losing the game on a strip sack by Mario Williams late in the game that put the Bills in good position for a game winning field goal. Statistically the game was about even overall, but the -2 turnover margin was a killer for the Dolphins. Adjusted season numbers show Miami to be a slightly below average team all around and they will be facing a Patriots team here that has similar overall numbers. The Patriots have demonstrated greater efficiency overall, and their +5 turnover differential is part of the reason why. The return of Rob Gronkowski certainly helped their offensive cause last week with 8 receptions for 114 yards but he had a couple of opportunities that he did not convert as well. I expect that he will continue to improve as time goes on and may play a role here against a Dolphins team that has been vulnerable to TE’s in the passing game. I don’t have any situations that apply to this game but my model likes the Dolphins so I will lean their way.
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JACKSONVILLE (+16) 13 San Francisco 28SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The 49ers come into this game on a 4 game win streak and after starting the season at 1-2, they have been very good recently. Last week they beat the Titans in Tennessee in a game where QB Jake Locker made his return and San Fran was not in a good spot. Although they lost the total yardage battle, they really dominated the game and were leading 24-0 heading into the 4th quarter. Adjusted numbers show a team that is both productive and efficient with a balanced attack offensively and with the ability to defend both the pass and the run very well. The Jaguars were in a good spot last week at home against the Chargers but did not play well and were beaten 6-24. Overall season numbers show a team that is worst in the league and one that does not match up particularly well against the 49ers in any area. I’m not sure that many on the 49ers won’t look at this trip as a bit of a vacation and I don’t expect their best collective effort here. On the other side, the Jaguars might be a bit more focused on this game as they are still winless and nobody really gives them a shot here. My model favors the 49ers here by 18.4 but the Jaguars qualify in a 123-86-8 situation that plays on winless teams and while I can’t be sure how these teams will perform or what their motivations are here I will offer a weak lean to the Jaguars based on the situation.
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NEW ORLEANS (-11) 31 Buffalo 19SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Saints come off of the bye after a 24-27 last second loss to the Patriots that dropped them to 5-1 on the season, two games ahead of the Panthers. New Orleans has been very good passing the ball once again this season but have had a poor rush offense and a terrible rush defense. That does not provide for a good matchup here against the Bills who bring a strong rushing attack that averages 143 yards at 4.3 ypr against teams that allow 100 yards at 3.9 ypr. In addition, the Bills pass defense has improved recently with the return of their two best secondary players as they held the Dolphins to just 4.4 yps on 39 pass plays last week. From a coaching standpoint, new Bills HC Doug Marrone is very familiar with the Saints offense as he makes his return to New Orleans here where he was the OC of the Saints from 2006-08. My model only favors the Saints by 9.6 but New Orleans is in a good spot coming off their bye while the Bills are on the road for a second consecutive week and are coming off of a last second win against a division rival. This is a non-conference game for the Bills and their running backs have been banged up so I would expect a less than average performance against a Saints defense that has had two weeks to study the Bills and work on their rush defense. I don’t have any situations that apply here but despite the model number and based on what is a very good spot for the Saints, I will lean their way.
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Cleveland (+7.5) 14 KANSAS CITY 21SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Browns have finally benched QB Brandon Weeden after a second consecutive wretched performance in their 13-31 loss to the Packers last week. Jason Campbell could be a slight improvement but it really couldn’t get much worse after Weeden’s stat line of 3.0 yps on 45 pass plays and his 0-4 record as a starter this season. I don’t expect fireworks from a Browns offense that has produced 4.6 yppl to teams that allow 5.6 yppl but my metrics are telling me that the Chiefs, while a highly efficient team, are a bit lucky to be 7-0 with the statistical profile that they have. Their +11 turnover margin is certainly a big part of that efficiency and while QB Alex Smith has historically had a low adjusted turnover percentage and their defense has been playing to their potential this season, there have been some fortunate circumstances and bounces along the way as they are +5 in fumbles this season. Fortunate bounces tend to even out over the long haul but I’m not sure that they will here against a Browns QB that has only seen limited action the past couple of seasons and is making his first start of the year in Kansas City. I don’t have any situations that apply to this game but my model favors the Chiefs here by 6.7 points so at the current line of 7.5 I will offer a weak lean the Browns way.
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NY Jets (+6.5) 20 CINCINNATI 21SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Jets come into this game with a 4-3 record after a 30-27 OT win versus division rival New England last week. Outside of a short period of time between the first and second quarters, the Jets really controlled this game. They held the Patriots to just 295 total yards at 4.2 yppl and nearly doubled time of possession (46:13 to 23:40). The Jets are a better team than what popular perception projects as they are around average offensively and very good on defense (allowing 4.6 yppl to teams that gain 5.1 yppl on average). They have been handcuffed at times by a rookie quarterback learning on the job and as a result are second from the bottom in net turnovers (-11). As mentioned last week, that accelerated turnover rate will likely regress towards the mean and we have already seen that recently as the Jets were -10 in their first four games and are only -1 in their last three. The Bengals come off of a big 27-24 last second win in Detroit where they were very good passing the ball (364 yards at 10.4 yps) but not very good defending the pass (357 yards at 7.0 yps). They also lost their best cover corner Leon Hall in this game and will look to move forward without him here. My model on this game favors the Bengals by only 4.8 points and the Jets also qualify in several situations that are 646-471-40, 233-142-17, and 137-55-7 (including 61-14-3 the last 8 years) but the Bengals qualify in a pretty good 122-63-7 situation of their own. I like the Jets plus the points.
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OAKLAND (+2.5) 20 Pittsburgh 17SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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After starting the season 0-4 the Steelers have rebounded nicely, winning their last two games against the Jets and the Ravens. The Steelers running game looks to be improved after a strong performance against the Ravens last week (142 yards at 5.1 ypc) as rookie RB Le’Veon Bell ran well. Adjusted season numbers show the Steelers to be a team that is below average offensively but pretty good on defense as they have allowed just 308 yards at 5.1 yppl to teams that average 341 yards at 5.4 yppl. They come off of a home win versus division rival Baltimore that was once again decided by a field goal and now travel across the country to play the Raiders who are coming off their bye and a 7-24 loss to the Chiefs. The Raiders had played pretty well with Pryor at QB up until a 4th quarter collapse against the Chiefs and have now had two weeks to correct their mistakes and study and prepare for the Steelers. The Raiders are in a good spot here and also benefit from several situations (a 646-471-40 situation that plays on them and a negative 81-161-8 situation that plays against the Steelers). My model says that the line is fair on this game but with the combination of good situations and favorable spot the Raiders should play well. I like Oakland plus the points.
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Washington (+12) 26 DENVER 37SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Washington won a wild shootout 45-41 last week against the Bears in a game where the Redskins offense rolled up 499 total yards at 6.8 yppl in a balanced effort (209 yards rushing/290 yards passing). While their offense has been better, their defense is still a major concern as they gave up 360 yards at 7.1 yppl to the Bears. I don’t expect it to get any better this week as they travel to Denver to face Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense off of a 33-39 loss to the Colts last Sunday night. The Broncos offense has been excellent this season but their Achilles heel has been their pass defense as they are allowing an unbelievable 320 yards at 7.3 yps to teams that average 240 yards at 6.2 yps. Peyton Manning didn’t practice on Wednesday and although he is expected to play on Sunday he may be a bit bothered by an ankle injury that he sustained on Sunday night. I expect the Redskins to play competitively here as they have the ability to move the ball offensively and put points on the board. I don’t expect that they will be able to slow down the Broncos offense unless Peyton is bothered by the ankle and the Redskins are able to generate pressure against a Broncos offensive line that has been hampered by injuries. My model favors the Broncos in this game slightly but the Redskins qualify in a 26-3 situation and have some matchups here that they should be able to exploit enough to remain close. I’ll lean with Washington plus the points.
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Green Bay (-8.5) 31 MINNESOTA 18SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Packers have been hurt by injuries to key players this season but it has not really affected their overall performance on the field. They dominated the game last week against the Browns (358 yards at 5.5 yppl to 216 yards at 3.2 yppl) despite not having their best pass rusher (Clay Matthews), several other linebackers (Nick Perry and Brad Jones), two WR’s (James Jones and Randall Cobb) and losing TE Jermichael Finley during the game. Their run game overall has really improved this season and that has made a big difference. They are rushing for 136 yards at 5.2 ypc against teams that allow 109 yards at 4.3 ypc and on defense they are allowing only 80 yards at 3.5 ypc to teams that average 106 yards at 4.0 ypc. I’m not sure how the Vikings will slow down the Packers here and I’m equally as concerned about the ability of the Vikings to score. The Vikings are allowing 30 points per game to teams that only average 23 and possess an offense that is only gaining 317 yards at 5.1 yppl to teams that allow 350 yards at 5.5 yppl. I don’t see things changing with Christian Ponder back at QB here. My model likes the Packers but I don’t have any situations that apply so I will lean with Green Bay minus the points.
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Seattle (-11) 31 St. Louis 14SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Seahawks come out of a mini-bye after beating the Cardinals in Arizona 34-22 last Thursday night and now travel to play another division rival in St. Louis. They did not have much trouble in beating the Cardinals as they led 31-13 entering the 4th quarter and overall held Arizona to just 234 yards at 3.3 yppl. Adjusted season numbers have the Seahawks near the top in every category assessed as they possess a well balanced team in all phases of the game. They should be prepared to take on a poor Rams team that is on the opposite end of the spectrum with terrible adjusted numbers. They should get worse this week as the Rams lost QB Sam Bradford to a season ending ACL injury last week and will now start backup Kellen Clemens, who is not good, against an excellent pass rushing/pass defense team. In addition, there is talk that Seattle may get a boost with the return of WR Percy Harvin. Matchups in this game all strongly favor the Seahawks and my model loves Seattle here as well, adjusted for QB change. Seattle also qualifies in a 118-56-6 situation and that is enough for me to like the Seahawks minus the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, October 27

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Browns (3-3) at Chiefs (7-0)FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Chiefs are good, but they aren’t 7-0 good. This team is not built to win by big margins. They have a game-managing quarterback in Alex Smith and what appears to be a strong defence. While Kansas City has yet to lose, Smith has failed to throw for a touchdown in four of his team’s wins. As we head into the fourth Sunday of October, Smith has yet to throw for a touchdown this month. We can’t knock success as K.C. has defeated teams it was supposed to beat. But the pedigree comes into question when the docket includes the Jaguars, two rookie quarterbacks in Terrelle Pryor and Case Keenum, backup Ryan Fitzpatrick and the hapless Giants. The Browns have struggled offensively. They will give veteran QB Jason Campbell his first start this season in an attempt to jumpstart the offence. Even if Campbell cannot ignite a passing game, we’re comfortable relying on the Brownies’ defence to keep this one within range. Kansas City’s passing game is non-threatening and with Cleveland not allowing a 100-yard rusher on the season, Jamal Charles’ abilities can be contained. We saw the Chiefs just get by in a similar situation last week. This one could mirror that contest. TAKING: BROWNS +7½
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Giants (1-6) at Eagles (3-4)FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The best thing that could have happened to us here was having the Giants win last week. New York’s victory over the Vikings on Monday was uglier than any monster that may come knocking at your door next week. If not for myriad Minnesota miscues, the Giants would still be winless. Their issues certainly did not get resolved. They had to sign Peyton Hillis off the street to play running back. By Hillis’ own admission, he had rubber legs as the game went on. QB Eli Manning didn’t throw an interception, but that’s only because Minny’s secondary can’t catch. Eli has thrown 15 picks to date and that has factored in to the younger Manning’s 31st ranked passer rating. Michael Vick returns to guide the Eagles after Nick Foles suffered a concussion last week. Vick may not be at full speed, but even at half-speed, the elusive QB lays over this awful Giants defence. Philly won the first matchup in New York by an easy 36-21 count and covered for the ninth time in 11 tries against this foe. This assignment might be the easiest of them all. TAKING: EAGLES –5½
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Falcons (2-4) at Cardinals (3-4)FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Falcons avoided a three-game home sweep by knocking off the 0-6 Bucs last week. Woo-hoo! Now these battered birds will take flight down to the desert in hopes of getting back to relevance. We’d be surprised if that happens. Atlanta is playing with its “B” team. The loss of star receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones cannot be overstated enough. While Harry Douglas performed admirably against Tampa, he’s not a No. 1 guy. And it’s not like the Falcons can rely on their run game as Jacquizz Rodgers ran for 16 yards on eight tries last week. Stephen Jackson could return to the lineup, but he continues to have health issues and, more importantly, Arizona’s run defence is a formidable unit. The Cardinals have lost four games, but there is little shame in losing three of them to the Seahawks, Saints and 49ers. This visitor no longer ranks with that trio and the Falcons have yet to win on the road this season. Last week’s results produced a short line here. We’re happy to take advantage. TAKING: CARDINALS –2½
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49ers (5-2) at Jaguars (0-7)FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Having played Houston, Arizona and Tennessee prior to this one and then having a bye next week, the Niners will basically have had October off. While it’s not easy to endorse the Jaguars, the same scenario factors in here as it did in the Broncos/Jaguars contest a couple of weeks back as it is tough to fully focus on such a weak opponent. The Jaguars have been better with Chad Henne at quarterback and with Justin Blackmon back from suspension. Keep in mind that this game is in London, England, and the 49ers have travelled a long way to be spotting a boat-load of points. TAKING: JAGUARS +16½
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Cowboys (4-3) at Lions (4-3)FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Slight lean to the Lions here as they will be playing back-to-back home games before embarking on a two-game road trip. That amplifies the importance of this one after last week’s close loss to the Bengals. Dallas could be flat, arriving here after a tough three-game set that featured a shootout with the Broncos, followed by two divisional games. The ’Boys lost some key guys in the process and they’ll have a tough time going toe-to-toe with a Lions team that is averaging 33 points a game here. Dallas hasn’t faced too many teams that can pressure the quarterback like Detroit can. The Cowboys could be in for a long afternoon. TAKING: LIONS –3
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Bills (3-4) at Saints (5-1)FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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You know the Saints will be looking to bounce right back after spending two weeks mulling over the difficult loss to the Patriots. We fully expect a New Orleans win, but that’s not to say that it has to be by this prohibitive margin. The Bills don’t deserve to be lumped with the other clubs that would be double-digit dogs here. Buffalo has fought hard in all of its games and its four losses have been by an average of 6.2 points. The Bills are better at home, but they did win in Miami last week and they have enough talent to stick around with mostly anyone, including this host. TAKING: BILLS +11
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Dolphins (3-3) at Patriots (5-2)FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Bill Belichick knows how to exploit a weakness. With Miami’s vividly poor pass protection, expect Belichick to sic his guys on Ryan Tannehill like Dobermans on a T-bone. These Patriots may not be as feared as recent editions, but they’ve still won all three games played in Foxboro and they’ve handled the Dolphins in six straight, including last year’s 28-0 win on this field. Tom Brady enjoyed having TE Rob Gronkowski back on the field last week and Gronk’s presence can only help the entire offence. It doesn’t help that Miami is in the midst of a three-game skid. This is not the place to correct things. TAKING: PATRIOTS –6½
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Jets (4-3) at Bengals (5-2)FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Jets are too young and energetic to have a letdown after defeating their nemesis, the Patriots. More importantly, these Jets are strong defensively and Cincinnati is not exactly known for its offensive outbursts. The Bengals have won only once by more than seven and that was back in Week 2 against a troubled Steelers team. Jets rookie QB Geno Smith has been inconsistent with his lose-win-lose-win pattern, but he also appears poised and mature enough to learn on the go. It will help that the Bengals suffered a huge loss when CB Leon Hall was lost for the year in last week’s game. This one has field goal written all over it. TAKING: JETS +6½
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Steelers (2-4) at Raiders (2-4)FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Steelers have won two in a row, but the only thing better about them since losing four straight to start the year is their record. Pittsburgh still lacks a pass rush. It still can’t protect its quarterback. QB Ben Roethlisberger lacks quality possession players around him. Big Ben threw for only 160 yards in Pittsburgh’s win over Baltimore last week. That game was in Pittsburgh. Now the Steelers must travel west to face a rested Oakland team that has won two of three at the Coliseum. Pittsburgh rarely performs well after games with the hated Ravens. Having them spot points on the road in a difficult situation is not the route to go here. TAKING: RAIDERS +2½
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Redskins (2-4) at Broncos (6-1)FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Mike Shanahan’s return to Denver won’t be as notable as Peyton Manning’s return to Indianapolis last week, but the result should be the same. While Shanahan’s Redskins are improving offensively, the defence remains vulnerable. That will not bode well against the Broncos, who are coming home after their first loss and have averaged more than 43 points per game at Mile High. Making matters worse, Washington is likely to be without two starting safeties and they have little depth at the position. Denver’s defence needs to be better, but if they hold the ’Skins in the 20s, a Broncos cover should follow. TAKING: BRONCOS –12½
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Packers (4-2) at Vikings (1-5)FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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These days, every week is Halloween in Minnesota. It will take a very short memory to back them here after watching the debacle in New York on Monday night. The bright side is that no team can ever be that bad again. The Packers are clearly superior, but they continue to lose receivers at a rapid rate. That should have them running frequently with RB Eddie Lacy establishing himself more and more each week. Minnesota QB Christian Ponder is back at the helm and, while he leaves much to be desired, he still gives the Vikes their best chance to compete. Substantial road faves in division are money guzzlers. TAKING: VIKINGS +9½
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Seahawks (5-1) at Rams (3-4)FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Rams are garbage, but for whatever reason, they seem to play their best against their superior division opponents. St. Louis won this game last year, prior to losing by just seven in Seattle. The Rams return home after splitting a pair of road games. Last Sunday’s game proved costly as St. Louis lost starting QB Sam Bradford. Or was it? Bradford has struggled all season long and Kellen Clemens will take over. Clemens is a lifetime backup, but he understands the position and the coaching staff should come up with a safe game plan. Seattle is much more timid when travelling and the big number is a turn off. TAKING: RAMS +10½

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, October 27

Wunderdog

Washington at Denver
Pick: Under 59

There is no question that the Denver Broncos are an efficient offensive team, but what Peyton manning was doing was simply unsustainable. He has cooled off a bit, and teams are learning from film what the Broncos are doing and are making some adjustments. Manning took a lot of big hits last week, and missed practice on Wednesday. The ball simply didn't look good coming out against Indianapolis. The Colts showed a recipe for disrupting Manning and you can be sure the rest of the league took notice. Washington does get good pressure, so I think they can hurry Manning enough to take a couple of drives away from him. Washington is going to try and run the ball here to try to shorten the game and keep the Broncos offense on the sidelines. And, running the ball is what Washington does well (4th in the league in rushing yards per game and 2nd in yards per carry). But, Denver has done well against the run, so it will be interesting to see this one play out. Washington is 8-2 to the UNDER in their last 10 vs. a winning home team. They are also 9-2 UNDER the past couple of seasons when facing great offensive teams (those like Denver averaging 5.7+ yards per play). And, since the arrival of Mike Shanahan, the Redskins are a perfect 8-0 UNDER on the road vs. winning teams. These expected shootouts, much like Philly and Dallas last week, often don't pan out. Take the UNDER.

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River City Sports

Dolphins at Patriots
Play: Patriots -6

Home field has been good to the Patriots and they will try and protect it Sunday against the Dolphins. Last week, the Patriots lost to the jets on a phantom call in OT, their first loss in the last 13 meetings to the Jets. Likewise, the Fins dropped a 23-21 decision to the Bills. Ryan Tannehill has been inconsistent, showing flashes of brilliance while still not taking good enough care of the football. He has 9 TD’s and 7 picks this season. Tom Brady is still getting comfortable with different receivers, but having Gronk back is a big plus. Wanna know why we really like the Patriots? How about off a loss, the Patriots are 24-9 ATS off a SU loss. Belichick hates to lose, Brady hates to lose….Patriots won’t lose Sunday, they roll over the Fins coming up to the cold!

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Marc Lawrence

Washington Redskins at Denver Broncos
Prediction: Washington Redskins

This game marks Mike Shanahan?s return to Denver where he was pink-slipped after the 2009 season ? and rest assured he is coming to play. There was little love left upon his departure and he would like nothing better than to send the Broncos back to the canvas for a second straight week. Our NFL Coaches League database league reports good and bad news for the squint-eyed Shanahan. For openers, he knows the AFC West and was installed as a double-digit dog only once against this loop when he took 11.5 points at San Diego where his club won, 23-7. On the flip side, Shanahan is just 15-25-2 ATS in his NFL career in games off a SU underdog win, including a gaudy 1-9 ATS against AFC West foes. Meanwhile, Denver looks to fight off the dreaded ?bubble-burst? (at its worst when teams play the next week without rest) knowing they are just 1-6 ATS home against .400 or less opposition. When push comes to shove, we?ll shove the favorite aside here and grab the points. We recommend a 1-unit play on Washington.

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Steve Merril

NY Jets vs. Cincinnati Bengals    
Play: Cincinnati Bengals -5½

The Jets have alternated wins and losses in every game so far this season. New York's four wins have come by 1, 7, 2, and 3 points while two of their three losses have come by 13 points or more. They’ve only beaten one winning team (Patriots last week) and the combined record of the teams they beat in their other three games is just 5-15. In fact, the Jets have played just one winning team all season (Patriots); they’ve actually faced them twice. New York has strong seasonal defensive numbers, but those numbers have come against a very weak slate of opposing offenses. The Jets are holding opponents to 4.6 yards per play (#3 in the NFL) and 5.9 yards per pass attempt (#4 in the NFL). But as a collective group, their opponents only rank #22 in the league in those categories. The Jets’ defense will be facing a strong Cincinnati offense that is averaging 5.5 yards per play (#12) and 7.4 yards per pass attempt (#9). So the numbers clearly show that New York’s defense is taking a major step-up in class in this game against the Bengals.

Cincinnati’s defense has been solid this season. The Bengals are allowing just 19.3 points per game while holding opponents to only 334.3 yards of total offense per game. Cincinnati is giving up 5.0 yards per play (#7) and 6.1 yards per pass attempt (#6). Those numbers are strong, and the Jets’ offense will have trouble moving the ball consistently in this game. Cincinnati will be playing their only home game in a 5-game stretch so we expect a peak performance in front of the home fans. The Bengals look to be hitting their stride right now, and the Jets are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time off their big home underdog win last week. We’ll lay the points with the Bengals in this game on Sunday afternoon.

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Jimmy Boyd

Vikings/Packers Under 47½

The total on this game is set far too high. While the Packers have certainly done a decent amount of scoring this season, the Vikings have not. They average just 18.5 points per game on the season. Once Green Bay builds a comfortable lead in the second half they will start running the ball on clock-killing drives. The Vikings don’t have the offensive talent to stage a comeback, especially against a Packers defense that has held opponents to 21.2 points per game on 3.4 rushing yards per carry and a 60.5% pass completion percentage.

The only total at 47 points or more for the Vikings was in last week’s game against the New York Giants. They put up just 7 points while allowing 23 points to the Giants staying well under that posted total. The Packers have had gone under the total in each of their last three games as the defense improves with each passing week. If this game ends up being close it will be because the Vikings play a great game defensively. If it is a blowout, it will most likely be because of the Vikings inability to score points. Either way, this game stays under the total.

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Bill Biles

Redskins/Broncos Over 57½

Both these teams can score on every drive, and their defenses are not very good. This game will be a shout out. Look for a final of 41-28 or something close to that. Broncos over has been 7-0 this year

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Red Dog Sports

San Francisco 49ers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars    
Play: San Francisco 49ers -14

Take San Francisco is this game that is set for Wembley Stadium in London. The 49ers need to stay with the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West so they should be focused. The 49ers are 4-0 ATS in its last four and scored 31, 32, 34 and 35 points. Frank Gore has run well as he has over 400 yards in those four games and QB Colin Kaepernick has 5 touchdowns and only 1 interception in that span. Jax is 0-7 this year and looked poor last week. Chad Henne had 318 yards passing but stalled in the red zone and the Jaguars were unable to run the ball well as they had just 78 yards on the ground.

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Chip Chirimbes

Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots    
Play: Miami Dolphins +7

There is something amiss in New England and that's not to say things are so good in Miami right now. The Dolphins have dropped three straight and combined with their bye week haven't been to the winners circle in five weeks. Both are off conference upset losses but I see Miami keeping this one close.

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