Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 2

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 2

Dave Essler

Boston College +4.5

V-Tech has played exactly two road games, barely beating ECU and beating G-Tech by 7, only managing to score 17 points. This game should be low scoring, BC is a tough place to play (small stadium, terrible facilities) and the Hokies have Miami next week. Eagles have played FSU, Clemson, and SoCal in California, they should win this game outright. They still need three more wins to get to six, and it starts here.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 2

Matt Fargo

Tennessee vs. Missouri
Play: Tennessee +10.5

We played against Tennessee last Saturday and it lost big in Alabama which we expected after coming off an upset the previous week at home against South Carolina. The Volunteers hit the road for a second straight week but this time we will be on them as they are getting a very favorable line in my opinion. Yes, Tennessee is winless on the road but two of the losses came against the top two teams in the BCS rankings and in the other, it was able to stay within the number at Florida. The quarterback situation is the concern as Justin Worley was hurt last week and will be out a few weeks while Joshua Dobbs takes over the starting duties. He was decent in backup role last week and with a week of preparation, he will be fine. His teammates say they have no doubt he's ready as they've marveled at the poise Dobbs has shown since arriving on campus. His mobility gives Tennessee's offense an element it lacked with Worley and Missouri has no idea how to prepare. This play is also based on the Missouri loss last week and how difficult it is going to be to recover from. The Tigers jumped to a 14-0 halftime lead, and carried a 17-0 lead into the fourth quarter, only to see Gamecocks quarterback Connor Shaw come off the bench to engineer a big comeback to force overtime on a touchdown pass with just 42 seconds left in regulation. The game ended in double overtime when kicker Andrew Baggett's 24-yard field goal attempt was no good when it hit off the left upright to give South Carolina the win. Missouri was 7-0 at the time and had its sights set on really big things but all that hope is gone and letting that go will be near impossible to do. Tigers quarterback Maty Mauk is expected to make his third career start this week, but James Franklin was upgraded to questionable as his separated throwing shoulder continues to heal. The offense struggled last week and I expect that to carry over here. Tennessee falls into a great situation as we play on road underdogs after a game where they forced one or less turnovers against opponent after three consecutive games where they forced three or more turnovers. This situation is 61-26 ATS (70.1 percent) since 1992. Additionally, the Volunteers are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 2

Jimmy Boyd

Boston College +5

The Eagles have not been given a lot of respect when facing decent opponents, and that has resulted in a 5-1 ATS record against teams with a winning record. They are also 6-1 ATS in their last seven home games. Virginia Tech on the other hand has posted a 1-8 ATS record in their last nine road games, and a 2-9 ATS record in their last 11 games against a team with a losing record. In head-to-head meetings between these teams, the Hokies are 2-5 ATS in the last seven games played at Boston College.

There has been no shortage of scoring at home for the Eagles. They are averaging 32.5 points per game. They also have a 3-1 straight up record when playing in front of their home crowd. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech has averaged just 14 points per game on the road this season. The Hokies offense has a lot of issues right now. They average a mere 266 yards of offense on the road, and are struggling with both the run and pass. Boston College is a mediocre team defensively, but they should look like a championship caliber team against the Hokies this weekend.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 2

EZWINNERS

Penn State Nittany Lions -10.5

Penn State is coming off of a blowout 63-14 loss last week at Ohio State but the Nittany Lions are 6-0 against the spread following a loss under head coach O’Brien and I expect them to bounce back in this game. There is no love lost between these two head coaches as Bill O'Brien was pretty pissed off when Illinois came on campus to recruit players during the Sandusky scandle and I think that will provide extra motivation for PSU. Illinois are just a horrible team on the road. The Illini's Big Ten road losing streak is currently at seventeen games. The Illini are 0-6 straight up and against the spread the last two seasons in true road games and they have been outgained by almost 250 yards per game in those contests. This is only their second true road game of the season having lost 39-19 at Nebraska in their first role as a visitor this season. There has been a lot of criticism of the Penn State defense and first year defensive coordinator John Butler as the team is just 8oth in the nation scoring defense and has allowed 40 points or more in three straight games. I look for the Nittany Lions defense to respond in a big way. Penn State is 6-2 against the spread in their last eight home games and Illinois is on a 4-15 against the spread slide in Big Ten play. Lay the points.

Texas Longhorns -27.5

Twice in the ten seasons the Texas Longhorns have narrowly escaped with close wins against these Kansas Jayhawks in Lawrence but Texas has dominated Kansas at home under Mack Brown and I don't see any reason for that to change in this matchup. In their last four trips to Austin, the Jayhawks have lost 43-0, 51-20, 66-14 and 59-0. This year's edition of the Longhorns is not as potent as teams of the past, but this team is on a roll having won four straight games including an win over the Sooners at the Cotton Bowl. The key offensively for Texas has been to run first to setup the pass and I see no reason why that success won't continue in this game. On the defensive side of the ball the Longhorns have been so much better since Greg Robinson took over as defensive coordinator for Manny Diaz. Kansas is one of the worst teams in the FBS. They rank near the very bottom in passing offense, rushing offense, total offense, scoring offense, rushing defense, passing defense, total defense, you get the picture. A couple games into the season it was looking like UT head coach Mack Brown wouldn't make it until the end of the season but now the Longhorns control their own destiny to win the Big 12 Championship and a possible BCS bowl birth. Texas needs to keep win and this is a game to get some style points. Lay the points with the Horns.

Tennessee Volunteers +10

This is a great opportunity for Tennessee to catch Missouri in a huge flat spot this week. The Tigers were one fourth down and 15 yards to go stop away last Saturday from all but punching their ticket to Atlanta to play in the SEC championship game. Instead they blow a 17 points fourth quarter lead only to lose in double overtime as their game tying field goal attempt hit the upright. Tennessee is just 4-4 on the season and come into this game off of a 45-10 beating at the hands of Alabama, but that beating is not a demoralizing blow like the one that the Tigers suffered last week. The Vols can be a dangerous team. Tennessee upset the same Gamecocks that knocked off Missouri two weeks ago 23-21 in overtime and they also lost by only three in overtime at Georgia on October 5th. Freshmen quarterback Joshua Dobbs will be making his first career start for the Vols. Dobbs came on in relief after an injury to Justin Worley in the first half against Alabama last week. Dobbs was 5 for 12 for 75 against the Crimson Tide and led a pair of second half scoring drives. This should not be looked at as a downgrade at the position. What Dobbs lacks in experience over Worley, he makes up with much more talent. The Tennessee offensive line has been pretty solid only allowing one sack per game in SEC play and I expect Dobbs to move this Vols offense. Take the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 2

Chip Chirimbes

Tennessee vs. Missouri    
Play: Tennessee +10½

Last week 'we' posted South Carolina who overcame a 17-point fourth quarter deficit to shock the Missouri at home with an double-overtime win. Last year the Tigers defeated Tennessee 51-48 in 4OT's a game where the Vols gained 585 yards. The Vols are off a 45-10 beating at the hands of Alabama and have responded well after terrible beat downs. They are 5-1 straight-up and 5-0-1 ATS under Butch Jones after a loss of 27 or more points. Add that they are 7-1 ATS in revenge games give us TENNESSEE!

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 2

Jim Feist

Miami (Fla) vs. Florida State    
Play: Miami (Fla) +21½

Unbeaten Miami (7-0 SU, 4-3 ATS) has been undervalued for a while on a 10-3 ATS run. Al Golden runs a fine program and the offense is very talented and balanced, averaging 39 points, 270 yards passing and 214 yds rushing. Last Year FSU won at Miami, 33-20 and Miami lost star freshman Duke Johnson in the second half with an injury. Johnson is healthy now and a powerhouse back with 655 yards, averaging 7.1 ypc, so grab the big dog. Play Miami.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 2

Brad Diamond

Rutgers over Temple
Play: Rutgers

Granted Temple is coming off their finest offensive show of the season, despite losing 59-49 on the road to defense less SMU. Temple is 1-7 SU when they hit field in East Brunswick Saturday afternoon. Temple is 0-4 SU on the road. The Scarlet Knights (4-3) return home where they are 3-1 SU. Rutgers, unlike Temple, won in OT at SMU. More important, their recent losses have been to units with a combined SU mark of 20-2 (Louisville included). Rutgers will have a HUGE emotional edge this time around, although the Owls are in revenge. Temple has made numerous lineup changes over the last few weeks seeing QB Walker maturing into a positive athlete. However, there are numerous problems on the offensive line which will play into the Rutgers defensive approach. Also, Temple's defense is surrendering 516 yards per game! Rutgers HC Kyle Flood has addressed the Nova INT issue this week in practice changing the routes of various passing plays. Since 2003 the Knights are 3-0 SU in the series winning by the average margin of 17 points. With Temple 3-7 ATS in November and 2-7 ATS against winning football teams.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 2

Kyle Hunter

Oklahoma State vs. Texas Tech    
Play: Texas Tech +1

The Texas Tech Red Raiders played well in a loss last week at Oklahoma. Texas Tech led in the second half, and I think they showed they are for real in that game. The last time Oklahoma State came to Lubbock they won 66-6. You better believe Texas Tech players have heard about that all week. Texas Tech is a much better team than they were then, and the Oklahoma State Cowboys aren't even close to the same caliber of team they were a couple years ago. Texas Tech will have a good home crowd and a ton of revenge on their minds in this one. Take Texas Tech.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 2

Freddy Wills

Tennessee vs. Missouri    
Play: Tennessee +10½

Volunteers have done something that Missouri has not and that is beat South Carolina at home. I do not see Tennessee being this bad on the road and it is an over reaction by the linesmakers because they know people will still bet on Missouri in this spot. Tennessee can take away Missouris defensive strength which is its pass rush. Tenn has the best offensive line in the country by manys opinion and they come into this game only allowing 8 sacks on the year and making room for a running game by 5 yards per carry led by RB Rajon Neal. Matty Mauk is not as good as I thought he continues to pass up open guys under neath for the big play down field and that will hurt him here.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 2

Steve Janus

Mississippi State +12½

The Bulldogs enter riding a two game winning streak after holding off Kentucky 28-22 last Thursday. Mississippi State has won three of four overall, but have failed to cover the spread in three straight. It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to see the Bulldogs listed as a double-digit underdog, considering their win over the Wildcats was arguably their most impressive victory of the season. However, the Bulldogs have played extremely well in their two conference road games. They lost 20-24 at Auburn on a last second touchdown and while they ended up losing 26-59 at LSU, they trailed the Tigers by a score of of just 26-31 going into the 4th quarter.

With South Carolina knocking off an undefeated Missouri team last week in dramatic fashion, oddsmakers have likely set this line knowing the public will be all over the Gamecocks. When you look at the South Carolina schedule, you will find just two wins all season by more than 10-points and those came against a couple of average teams in North Carolina and Arkansas. With the Bulldogs playing on extra rest and the Gamecocks off a massive win, this is clearly a letdown spot for the home team.

There’s a strong system backing a fade of South Carolina on Saturday. Favorites of 10.5 to 21 points, who have won between 60% to 80% of their games, off an upset win as an underdog against a team with a winning record are just 5-25 (16.7%) ATS since 1992.

Favorites of 10.5 to 21 points, who have won between 60% to 80% of their games, off an upset win as an underdog against a team with a winning record are just 5-25 (16.7%) ATS since 1992.

Mississippi State not only has the defense to keep South Carolina from running up the score, but they will likely be able to put up some points against the Gamecocks defense. The Bulldogs feature the 32nd ranked rushing attack in the country at 205.4 ypg and the 38th ranked offense overall at 456 ypg. This team put up 468 yards of total offense against a pretty good LSU defense earlier this year and we just saw South Carolina allow Missouri to pile on 404 yards with a freshman quarterback under center.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 2

Scott Spreitzer

Northwestern at Nebraska
Prediction: Northwestern

Last week's performance in a 34-23 loss at Minnesota was like hitting rock-bottom for the Husker football program. But I don't see them bouncing back in a big way until the defensive coaches change the game plan to account for mobile QBs. Northwestern will employ two QBs on Saturday and one, Kain Kolter can "pick-em-up and put-em-down," while Trevor Siemian can take the Husker secondary through the air. Nebraska's defensive schemes leave a lot of open real estate in the middle of the field and Northwestern HC Pat Fitzgerald obviously has the mind to take full advantage. Taylor Martinez likely won't play on Saturday putting Tommy Armstrong and Ron Kellogg-III behind center for the Huskers. Both backups run the offense as well as "T-Mart" has this season, so no drop-off for the Husker offense. But Nebraska receivers drop passes too frequently and I just don't believe they can pull away from the Wildcats. Northwestern beat a better Nebraska team in Lincoln two years ago and led the Huskers 28-16 in Evanston with 6 minutes to go in last year's game before Nebraska made a rare, furious comeback to win the game 29-28. The 'Cats are in no way going to be intimidated by the "Sea of Red" and I'm not going to be surprised if they win the game outright. The Pelini coaching family are have a horrible week...a horrible season...and I'm betting it gets even worse on Saturday. I'm recommending a play on Northwestern plus the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 2

John Ryan

Northern Illinois at Massachusetts
Prediction: Massachusetts

The simulator shows a high probability that UMASS will lose this game by fewer than 24 points. Admittedly, NI is ranked No. 17 in the nation and is taking on a vastly inferior foe in 1-win UMASS. However, this is where the danger can often times arise for the ranked team playing on the road. This line is just too high and it reflects the public's irrational exuberance that NI needs to destroy the Minutemen in order to gain more support for a run into the Top-10 rankings. However, this is not the case and NI may be an excellent team, but they are hardly the likes of any team currently in the Top-10. Making things worse, is that these young men will be looking toward the two week showdowns with Ball State, who is undefeated in conference play and then Toledo the next week. NI is off a strong an dominant game defeating Eastern Michigan 59-20 and covered the 31 1/2 point spread. They tallied 661 offensive yards. However, it is often difficult to replicate elite levels of performance in consecutive weeks. NI is just 7-18 ATS (-12.8 Units) after gaining 7.25 or more yards/play in their previous game since 1992. The media is correct in stating that NI has a very weak SOS. They have played a schedule that has a quotient of 16 based on my calculations. By comparison, UMASS has played a SOS that produces a 29 quotient. Looking at elite teams, for example, we see that Georgia has played a SOS equal to 46. So, a 16 reading is a schedule against hardly any formable foes. This will come to haunt them down the stretch. Take UMASS.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 2

Steve Merril

Oklahoma State vs. Texas Tech    
Play: Oklahoma State +1

Teams often suffer a letdown after losing a big game and that might be the case with Texas Tech this week. The Red Raiders were highly ranked and undefeated heading into Oklahoma last week, but lost 38-30 in a high-scoring shootout. That type of loss often leaves a team flat the following week. We also get value playing against Texas Tech as they are an overrated squad. The Red Raiders have outgained their eight opponents 6.1-4.9 yards per play, however those opponents have been outgained 5.1-6.0 yppl on average this season, so Texas Tech is only +0.1 yppl above average on offense and just +0.2 yppl above average on defense when factoring in their strength of schedule.

Oklahoma State also rates just +0.1 yppl better on offense, averaging 5.8 yppl (versus opponents that allow 5.7 yppl), however the Cowboys are a much better defensive team, allowing just 4.6 yards per play this season (versus opponents that average 5.3 yppl). Oklahoma State has been especially strong versus the pass, allowing just 52.3% completions and only 5.8 yards per pass this season (versus opponents that average 57.7% and 6.8 ypp). This is important because Texas Tech is a pass-heavy offense that has thrown for 77% of their total offensive yards this season. The Red Raiders have not been in the same class the past two seasons against Oklahoma State, going 0-2 SU/ATS with losses by 59-21 and 66-6.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 2

Jeff Alexander

Iowa +9.5

Wisconsin is precisely the type of team Iowa has thrived against in the Kirk Ferentz era. The Hawkeyes are an eye-popping 20-2 ATS versus excellent rushing teams that average 5.25 yards or more per carry under Ferentz. Believe it or not, Iowa has won by an average of 9.0 points in this spot. It's also worth mentioning that the Hawkeyes are 15-2 ATS versus teams that average 230 rushing yards or more per game under Ferentz, and they have defeated these opponents by 4.3 points per game. The Hawks rank 11th in the nation in total defense with 320.5 yards allowed per game. They rank 12th in the country in scoring defense with 18.1 points allowed per contest. I expect Iowa's defense to be able to slow down Wisconsin's running game enough to keep this one within the number.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 2

Rob Vinciletti

Pittsburgh vs. Georgia Tech    
Play: Georgia Tech -10½

The Yellow Jackets will look to Sting the Pitt. Panthers early and often today with their vaunted rush attack that has seen them blowout a similarly ranked team like Syracuse 56-0 earlier this season. Pitt. has failed to cover the last 9 road games vs ACC Teams and covers around 20% of the time when they are outrushed on the road which is something that surely will happen here today against GA. Tech, who is in the top 5 in Rushing in the country averaging nearly 320 yards per game. With GA. Tech 8-0 ats as a home favorite vs an opponent off a loss of 10 or more points, there's only one way to go here. Take GA. Tech.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 2

Joseph D'Amico

Pittsburgh vs. Georgia Tech    
Play: Georgia Tech -10½

G Tech will get their 3rd straight victory, qualifying the Yellow Jackets for a Bowl game. Their triple-offense posted 91 points the L2 games and face a subpar Panthers "D" that showed that they can't compete with the option scheme when they were dominated by Navy in LWs 24-21 loss. The offense's ground game has sputtered, averaging just 55 YR a game over the L3 contests. That leaves the unit in QB, Tom Savages shaky hands. GT leads the ACC and are 4th ranked with 316.2 YPG rushing. QB, Vad Lee has a stable of ball-carriers (Top-4 w/ 1648 YR and 21 TDs) which allows the QB to connect with his wideouts. On "D", the YJs yield just 19.9 PPG, ranking 17th nationally in Yards Allowed. The Panthers are 0-4 ATS their L4 games played on the road and 4-9 ATS their L13 Conference games. The Yellow Jackets are 6-1 ATS their L7 games played at home and 8-2-1 ATS their L11 Conference games. Take Georgia Tech.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 2

Jack Jones

East Carolina -24½

The East Carolina Pirates are one of the better non-BCS teams in the country. They somehow fly under the radar, but this is a team that you will want to back Saturday as they take on one of the worst teams in the FBS in Florida International.

East Carolina is 5-2 this season despite playing a pretty tough schedule. Its only losses came to Virginia Tech (10-15) as an 8.5-point underdog where it held the Hokies (6-2) to 311 total yards. Its other loss came at Tulane (6-2) by a final of 33-36 in a game it dominated in every phase except the final score. The Panthers outgained the Green Wave 543-310 and obviously should have rolled.

Four of ECU's five victories this season have come by double-digits, including a 55-31 win at North Carolina as a 12.5-point under. That's the same UNC team that nearly beat Miami and one that is a quality foe. Last time out, the Pirates rolled Southern Miss 55-14 at home. That was on November 19, which means they have had two weeks of rest heading into this one.

Plays on favorites of 21.5 to 31 points (E CAROLINA) - when playing with two weeks or more of rest are 44-13 (77.2%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. As you can see, favorites in this price range on rest have been absolutely dominant over the past 10 years.

Florida International has had no problem losing by margins of more than 24.5 points this season. It lost at Maryland (10-43), versus (UCF 0-38) and at Louisville (0-72) in three of its first four games to open the season. The other loss may have been even more troubling, which was a 13-34 home loss to FCS opponent Bethune Cookman. Last week, FIU lost at home 7-23 to a terrible Louisiana Tech team as well.

East Carolina is putting up 37.1 points per game and 447.1 yards per game to rank 43rd in the country in total offense. It has been even better on the other side of the ball, allowing 23.4 points and 342.1 yards per game to rank 18th in total defense. Florida International is scoring just 11.1 points per game and averaging 219.6 yards per game to rank 124th out of 125 teams in total offense. It will have a hard time putting up enough points against this stout ECU defense to stay within the number.

Florida International is 0-7 ATS in its last seven games vs. a team with a winning record. The Panthers are 1-7 ATS in their last eight home games. East Carolina is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 games after outgaining its last opponent by 225 or more total yards. The Panthers are 0-9 ATS in their last nine home games after playing their previous game at home. Bet East Carolina Saturday.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 2

Dave Price

Texas Tech +1

Motivated by last week's 38-30 loss at Oklahoma, Texas Tech will be ready to bounce back strong. As if last week's defeat doesn't provide enough motivation, the Red Raiders have lost four straight to Oklahoma State, getting pummeled 66-6 the last time they hosted. It's safe to say Texas Tech's blood will be boiling when it takes the field this evening. The Red Raiders have been a nice investment in bounce-back spots, going 55-35 ATS after 1 or more consecutive straight up losses since 1992. They have won these games by an average score of 34.7 to 25.1. Texas Tech has also been tough at home over the last 21 seasons, going 69-44 ATS during this span with an average winning margin of 15.5 points. The Red Raiders are off to a 4-0 start at home this season, which is significant because the Cowboys are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 road games versus a team with a winning home record. The Cowboys are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 road games overall. Oklahoma State ranks 65th in the country against the pass, and that number is deceiving as its toughest games are still ahead. Texas Tech boasts the 2nd-best passing attack in the country, and I expect it to shred the Cowboys here. Take Texas Tech.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 2

Charlie Scott

Army vs. Air Force
Play: Under 54.5

While both Teams stink this is a BIg game for the Academies. Both Teams run the ball via the Triple Option and struggle passing. Since running the ball will be most of the offense , expect the clock to keep running. Both Defense's face this offense every day in practice and have for a # of YRs. In a big game like this defense and Not committing turnovers will be a priority, while Air Force has a 3rd or 4th string QB to choose from and Army has had an extra week off to prepare. UNDER !


Wisconsin vs. Iowa
Play: Iowa +9.5

I'm hoping and expecting an old school ugly Big 10 game that won't allow Wisconsins offense to take advantage of their speed. Iowa is a decent Big 10 team that likes to play physical and won't be pushed around by Wisconsin. Iowa's QB was recruited out of Florida and can play and will be pretty good when he's a SR. Hawkeyes a a Live Home Double Digit Dog !


Mississippi St vs. South Carolina
Play: Mississippi St +12.5 

This is more of a play studying South Carolina and betting that due to schedule dynamics South Carolina comes in banged up and flat Today as a Double Digit Favorite. First off Mississippi St has had a couple of extra days off, while South Carolina comes into this game off an OT lucky Win at Mizzou where they were down 17 in the 2nd half. In South Carolina's 8 games this Season they have Won by more than 13, 2 times. The first was a throwout rain delay in wk#1 vs NC and Arkansas. Off the Missouri gift from the Gods The Ole Ball Coach just want a Win Today. Miss ST

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 2

Harry Bondi

ARIZONA (-16) over California

Two weeks ago we cashed a 5-Star "Lock" Play when we used Oregon State (-11) over California, 49-17. This game will be very similar. The Bears are a disaster right now with a 1-7 ATS record this season. They are also 6-12 ATS at home the last three seasons and 4-13 ATS vs. teams with a winning record. They have been besieged by injuries and the lack of depth has been a major problem. First-year head coach Sonny Dykes is already playing for next year, which means he is using a ton of young and inexperienced players at key positions. The Wildcats are averaging 36 points per game and will have their way with a Bears defense that is allowing a whopping 44 points per game. Arizona is 12-5 ATS in this series and 4-0 ATS as a favorite this year. It's a rout. Lay the lumber.

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