Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, November 7

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, November 7

Brandon Shively

Troy vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
Play: Over 67

We are seeing a posted total of 67 for this game for a good reason. Troy does not like to play defense as they are giving up 34 ppg, while averaging 34 ppg on offense. Troy is led by senior quarterback Corey Robinson who has a trio of speedy receivers who can make defenders miss in the open field. Louisiana is led by Houston transfer quarterback Terrance Broadway who has a 64% completion rate on the season with big 6'4" WR Jamal Robinson as his go-to-man along with workhorse Alonzo Harris coming out of the backfield. Both offense's are dynamic and will be marching up and down the field tonight. Both teams are ranked in the top 25 in the nation in number of 3rd down conversions per game, which further tells me that the chains should keep moving tonight and the scoreboard will be lighting up.

Troy has scored 30+ points in 8 of 9 games this season and the OVER is 8-1 overall in Troy games. Louisiana has played only 2 home games vs. Division I opponents this season, but they have scored 49 and 48 points respectively in these games. Look for this one to finish 9-14 points higher than the posted total of 67 tonight.

Trends:
Over is 14-2 in Trojans last 16 games overall.
Over is 12-4 in Trojans last 16 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Over is 6-0-1 in Ragin' Cajuns last 7 home games.
Over is 6-0 in Ragin' Cajuns last 6 games following a ATS loss.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, November 7

Brady Kannon

Redskins / Vikings Over 48

A match up between two below average teams that have played relatively difficult schedules, meaning they should see some success tonight against a lessor opponent.  The Vikings gave The Cowboys a good run last week, a team with a very poor defense and they meet up again here tonight vs. Washington, another team with a poor defense.  On the flip side, The Redskins have a very good offensive unit and they too will likely feed off of a very weak Minnesota defense.  Looking further, the weakest aspect of these defenses is against the pass and if each coach is going to game plan to attack that weak spot, going through the air will slow the game down, giving us more opportunities for points.  Both teams run the ball well too with Peterson & Morris, so this approach ought to yield some points as well.  Christian Ponder is now in his 3rd game back with the team and is showing signs of improvement each week in moving the offense.  As for the situation, the last 5-Vikings home games have gone Over the total and the last 4-times these two teams have met, the Over is 3-and-1.  The numbers pan out and so does the situation.  Points a plenty in Minneapolis tonight under the Thursday Night Lights.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, November 7

Jeff Scott Sports

3 UNIT PLAY

Minnesota/ Washington Over 49: The Vikings defense has been atrocious this year, especially at home where they have allowed 36.7 ppg and 413 total ypg on the year. Overall Minnesota has allowed 31.5 ppg and this Washington offense is starting to get it going, as they have put up 32 ppg in their last 3 games. Overall the Skins are 5th in total offense putting up 407.6 ypg, while ranking 12th in scoring at 25.4 ppg. Defensively the Skins have been bad all year, as they rank 30th n total defense (398.8 ypg), 28th vs the pass (282.1 ypg) and 31st in points allowed (31.6 ppg). That defense has been even worse since their bye week, allowing 35.3 ppg in their 4 games post bye. Now they take on a resurgent Minnesota offense that has looked good the last 2 weeks, putting up 54 total points. Ponder does make this offense better and the benching in favor of Josh Freeman may have woken him up. This game will be on the fast track of Mall Of America Field and with two hot offenses and two poor defenses we should she a game in the mid 50's at least here.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, November 7

Joe Gavazzi

LA Clippers +4

When not outscoring the Chicago Bulls 31-5 in the first half of the opening game (how good does that look now?), the Heat have been sleep walking through the first 5 games of the NBA schedule at 3-2 SU, 2-3 ATS. They may be able to flip the switch against the high-profile Clippers. But LAC was clearly looking forward to this meeting tonight in dropping a 98-90 decision in Orlando. Clippers actually playing better ball right now than the defending champs making them the percentage side as the underdog.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, November 7

Chris Jordan

My free winner for tonight is on the Miami Heat over the defensively struggling Los Angeles Clippers. After the Clips took it on the chin last night in Orlando, now they have to deal with a Miami team that hasn't had any problem finding the basket, and topping 100 points in each of its first five contests, which happens to be a franchise record to start the season.

I could say the same about Los Angeles, which lit up the scoreboard through its first four games, but then it went cold against the Magic last night. The Clippers went 3-for-19 from 3-point range and shot 37.9 percent overall. And the defense has allowed 109.6 points per game over the team's first five contests.

I just don't see this being the right time to take this team into Miami, where the Heat have won four straight in this series.

Take the Heat as your free winner tonight.

1♦ MIAMI

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, November 7

Jeff Benton

Thursday freebie is the Clippers plus the points at Miami.

As expected, Los Angeles got caught peeking ahead last night as the Clippers were blindsided by the Magic in Orlando.

You don't think for one minute LA had tonight's meeting with the defending champion Heat on their minds last night? I sure do, and I think we are going to see a very entertaining affair in South Beach tonight.

The Heat have split their first pair of home games against the spread this season, and while they did win last year's home meeting versus the Clippers by double-digits, Miami is just 2-3 against the spread the last 5 times these teams have faced one another.

Look for Los Angeles to bring their "A"-game to the champs tonight after getting caught asleep in Orlando last night.

Clips plus the points to take the Heat right down to the wire.

1♦ L.A. CLIPPERS

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, November 7

Craig Davis

Free play of the day on the Atlanta Hawks over the Denver Nuggets in an early season clash of playoff teams from last year.

Basically, for me, it comes down to the fact I've seen some really good things thus far from the Hawks and I have yet to see many good things in the Denver camp.

True, the Hawks have historically struggled to win in Denver, but like I said, this is a different Hawks team with new leadership and definitely a new Denver team that's on the brink of its worst start in 15 years.

Atlanta mounted a late rally in Los Angeles vs. the Lakers two games ago, but fell up a big short in a 105-103 loss. They followed that up, however, with a 105-100 win over the Sacto Kings the following night on this current west coast road trip.

The Nuggets, on the other hand, are off to an 0-3 start and have to figure out how to stop falling apart in the 4th quarter. In their most recent 102-94 home loss to San Antonio, the Nuggets were leading the game heading to the final 12 minutes, but got outscored 30-16 in the 4th. Ouch.

I understand why the Hawks are getting the points, but I don't think they're going to need them.

Take Atlanta as your free play of the day.

2♦ ATLANTA

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, November 7

Scott Delaney

I really don't care what point anyone has to prove tonight with this game between the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers, this is way too many points for the Rockets to lay to anyone.

Houston hasn't proven anything to me yet, even laying -13 points to the Charlotte Bobcats in the season-opener, and pushing that game with a 96-83 win. So now the Rockets are laying the same number to the Lakers in Houston. So are we to believe the Bobcats and Lakers are the exact same?

I don't think so.

I'm basing this on straight numbers here, as I simply don't believe the Rockets win this game by more than 10, let alone 13. Take the road dog.

2♦ L.A. LAKERS

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, November 7

Brad Wilton

Let's grab the points tonight with Oklahoma as this evening's free play winner.

Things have been way too easy for the Bears this season, especially at home where they seem to average like 80 points per game. I have a feeling that OU will give the Bears a stiff challenge tonight in Waco, as the Sooners were the last team to actually hand Baylor a straight up loss last season in Norman, as the Sooners won that one 42-34.

The key to staying close for the Sooners this evening will be to control the clock, and Oklahoma does have the ground game needed to move the chains and control the clock.

Not saying the Sooners win this one outright, but with the generous double-digits (they have not been a double-digit dog since 2005 season!), I look for OU to keep things within earshot in Waco versus the mighty Bears.

Thriller tonight as Baylor stays unbeaten, but tonight's win does not come easily.

2♦ OKLAHOMA

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, November 7

Brett Atkins

I'm not sure what is wrong with the Denver Nuggets, but last year they were the best home team in the NBA. They lost a mere three games in their own building. Tonight they'll be looking avoid matching that mark just three home games into the seaason.

I know coach Brian Shaw is better than this, and I know he will have his team better prepared after exhibiting frustration with his teams’ effort following Tuesday's 102-94 home loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

Tonight the Nuggets catch an Atlanta team that will be playing its third road game in five days, during a three-game road trip on the West coast. The Hawks lost to the Lakers on Sunday, defeated the Hawks on Tuesday and finish up the road trip tonight. And playing in Denver is never easy.

Remember, the Nuggets were the highest scoring team in the NBA last season with 106.1 points per game, and they've yet to reach the century mark this season. Tonight could be the night we see them break out. Play the home team here.

2♦ DENVER

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, November 7

Dr Bob

Oregon (-10½) 34 STANFORD 27

Oregon is certainly one of the elite teams in the nation and my ratings have this year’s Ducks rated considerably better than any of the great recent teams under former coach Chip Kelly. Stanford ruined Oregon’s season last year with a 17-14 win in Eugene and the Ducks are likely to get their revenge. However, the situation actually favors Stanford. Oregon applies to a negative 17-61-3 ATS situation that plays against elite teams going on the road against a very good team and Stanford has been tough to beat in Palo Alto in recent years. The Cardinal have gone 34-3 straight up in their last 37 home games and while one of those losses was to Oregon two years ago, Stanford also upset the Ducks as a 7 point dog with a 51-42 win on the Farm in 2009. The Cardinal have generally been good in their home games against other good teams, as they are 11-1-1 ATS at home when not favored by 7 points or more, including 6-0 ATS as a home underdog with 5 of those 6 games being straight up wins (5-0 SU as a home dog of 14 points or less).

Stanford is known for their great defense, and that unit is great once again (4.7 yards per play allowed to teams that would combine to average 6.1 yppl against an average team) but Oregon’s stop unit is just as good, allowing 4.4 yppl to teams that would combine to average 5.6 yppl against an average team. The Ducks’ defense is actually 1.4 yppl better than average with their starters on the field, which is the same rating as Stanford’s defense. The Cardinal will be without one of their best defenders in DE Ben Gardner, but DE Henry Anderson is finally returning to the lineup after missing 6 games and Anderson is nearly as good as Gardner (he had 13 tackles for loss last season to Gardner’s 14.5 TFL).

Offense is where Oregon separates themselves from Stanford and just about every other team in the nation. The Ducks have averaged 54 points per game and over 600 total yards at 7.7 yppl and I rate that unit at 2.4 yppl better than average with quarterback Marcus Mariota in the game. Stanford does have a very good offense, averaging 6.4 yppl against teams that would allow 5.4 yppl to an average team but that’s not really close to as good as the Oregon attack. Overall the math favors Oregon by 9 ½ points, so there is not really much of an edge here based on line value. However, the 17-61-3 ATS situation that applies to Oregon will have me leaning with the Cardinal, who have a recent tradition of playing well in these showdown games. As far as Oregon’s revenge motive is concerned, that is not really a factor. In fact, teams that lost just 1 game the previous season are below 50% ATS against the lone team that beat them the previous year, including 5-18 ATS as a conference favorite of more than 3 points (0-5 ATS after a bye week, so rest makes no difference). If the opponent has a win percentage of .400 or better, the record is just 2-16 ATS for the revenging team. So, if your reason for liking Oregon was revenge then you should come up with another reason. I can really see this one going either way, but the situation favors Stanford.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, November 7

Wunderdog

Oregon at Stanford
Pick: Stanford +11

This is one of the biggest games of the season as the winner here has life to play for the BCS Title. If there is one team that has been able to slow down the "Quack Attack," it has been Stanford. Two years ago the Cardinal lost to Oregon 53-30, but that final score was very misleading. Stanford committed five turnovers in that game, but held Oregon to 387 total yards at 6.1 yards per play. Last year on the road, Stanford held the Ducks to just 14 points in a huge 17-14 upset, with the Ducks averaging just 5.26 yards per play. Given that Oregon averages 8.1 yards per play, those numbers are very good. The Stanford defense has allowed fewer yards per game this year than the defense from a year ago, while the offense is also a bit better. Stanford is on a 10-1 ATS run vs. unbeaten teams and they are 20-7 ATS under David Shaw following a win. Take the points and play on Stanford in what should be a close game.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, November 7

OC Dooley

Troy State +14

Most reading this analysis remember exactly one week ago when Troy State in what was a very rare appearance in front of their home fans lost outright by a 49-37 count in a contest where the Trojans were actually cast as a favorite.  Due to that poor effort it should come as no shock that the money-line for this particular contest has risen from an opening offshore figure of thirteen points.  One of the keys to this selection has to do with FAMILIARITY as this will mark the third time this campaign that Troy State is taking the field on a THURSDAY which has given the coaching staff experience for preparing their troops for weeknight action.  More importantly with an upset this evening the Men of Troy also would become BOWL ELIGIBLE which is very big news considering that this school based in the football-crazed state of Alabama has “failed” to qualify for the postseason each of the past two years.  Admittedly tonight’s host Louisiana-Lafayette has been the class of the Sun Belt Conference and is armed with a current 6-0 winning tear.  But my research indicates that Troy State is ranked way up at #2 in the conference in the critical category of rush DEFENSE as they are holding the opposition to an average of just 136 yards per contest on the ground.  Here is an outstanding 83-PERCENT SYSTEM (34-7 the past five years with at least 7 regular season games already played) that goes ON road underdogs like Troy State with a quality offense (5.6 to 6.2 average yards per play gained) going up against an opponent with a shaky defense (5.6 to 6.2 average yards per play permitted).  That system favors Troy State who according to their head coach are out to make a “statement” this evening

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, November 7

Harry Bondi

OREGON (-10) over Stanford

Last year, Harry Bondi released Stanford (+20) in a outright stunning upset of the Ducks as our 2012 College Football "Underdog Lock of the Year." Tonight, in the rematch we'll lay the points with Oregon, which is obviously playing with monster revenge. The Ducks have too much firepower for a Stanford offense that has regressed this season. The Cardinal hasn’t scored more than 24 points in any of its last three games, including a 27-21 loss to Utah. Meanwhile, Heisman hopeful Marcus Mariota and the Oregon offense hasn't been held to under 42 points this season will take advantage of a Stanford defense that will be without star defensive end Ben Gardner. Oregon has covered seven out of eight this season, 23 out of its last 34 and is a perfect 11-0 ATS on the road the last three seasons. Lay it!

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