Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, November 10

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, November 10

SPORTS WAGERS

Nashville +114 over NEW JERSEY

Regulation only. The Predators are coming off a 5-0 loss in Winnipeg but don’t put too much weight on that. It was one game after defeating the Avalanche and the final score in Winnipeg is very misleading. Backup goaltender Carl Hutton allowed three goals on the first five shots and was yanked eight minutes in. Instead of giving up in their fourth road game in their current 7-game trip, the Preds kept coming and ran into a super-hot Andrej Pavelec. They outshot the Jets 41-32 in that game. In the first three games of this trip, Nashville scored four goals or more in each game. They scored four in Phoenix, four in L.A., six in Colorado and they had enough scoring chances to score four more in Winnipeg. The Preds are creating and the only thing that will prevent them from winning this game is poor goaltending of their own or super-hot goaltending by confirmed starter, Martin Brodeur (chuckle, chuckle).

The Devils can’t score goals. Patrik Elias is out and Brian Gionta may not play. The Flyers scored three times on Philadelphia on Thursday but has scored just one goal total in three other games. Yes, that’s one goal in three games. New Jersey can barely muster up 25 shots on net in a game and at least half of those are from a distance. The New Jersey Devils will Martin Brodeur in net is the least appealing favorite in the NHL because this combination is likely to lose 75% of the time. Wrong side favored.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, November 10

SPORTS WAGERS

Montreal +3½ over HAMILTON

You can’t get away from what you are. On paper, the Tigercats have the better offense than the Alouettes and they also defeated them in two of three games during the regular season. However, this isn’t the regular season anymore and Hamilton simply does not know how or does not have the heart to win in the playoffs. Besides, the two games that Hamilton defeated Montreal, they defeated them by two and three points respectively. The game the Ti-Cats lost was by 31 points.

The Als know how to win in the playoffs. They have the coaching staff and the pedigree to do what it takes to prepare and execute. They also have the league’s best defense and that’s huge come playoff time when QB’s have to make quick decisions in cold weather. In that regard, Tabbies QB, Henry Burris can’t be trusted. Burris threw 19 picks against 24 TD’s for a TD to interception ratio that is alarming to say the least. Burris did not throw a single TD against Montreal’s defense in three regular season games but threw three picks. Montreal's defensive numbers are impressive. The Alouettes led the CFL in fewest yards allowed (314.3 per game) and fewest rushing yards (88.4) and were second in most sacks (59) and interceptions (24). Montreal’s chances of winning here have to be considered equal to Hamilton’s chances. However, when you throw in a 3-point margin, it tilts the field in our favor and that’s all the incentive needed.


SASKATCHEWAN -4 over B.C. Lions

Travis Lulay was benched in favor of Thomas DeMarco down the stretch for the Lions but Head Coach Mike Benevides tabbed Lulay as his starter for this West Division semi-final at Mosaic Stadium. He made that decision yesterday and that’s something we have a big problem with. You make that decision 10 days before a playoff game, not one. Lulay has looked out of sorts the entire year and has played just a handful of snaps over the past three weeks and has only thrown four passes since he injured his shoulder on September 15th.

After a franchise-best 8-1 start, the Roughriders were underwhelming down the stretch, going 3-6 to finish the season. But a pair of crucial wins over the Lions in October, allowing Saskatchewan to take the season series 2-1, was the difference in securing a home playoff game. The Riders whacked the Lions in consecutive games by a combined score of 66-31 in October. That’s when it counted most. A lot of people are looking at Saskatchewan’s final two games, both losses, to Calgary and Edmonton and don’t like the way they ended the season. However, the playoff seedings were in stone at that point, meaning the Riders were playing for nothing. B.C. has been unimpressive on the road the entire season with three wins in 9 attempts with two of those victories occurring against Edmonton and Winnipeg. We don’t like the Lions approach in this game at all. The “surprise” element to announce Lulay as the starter yesterday was a kindergarten move that is going to bite this team where the shine doesn’t shine. The Lions will now pay for that and for not securing home field when they had the chance.   

Pass NBA

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, November 10

Nelly

St. Louis Rams + over Indianapolis Colts

Coming off a dramatic Sunday night win the Colts could be in a flat spot this week hosting a Rams team that has been pretty competitive behind Kellen Clemens. The Rams easily could have defeated Seattle and played right with a solid Titans team last week in a challenging scheduling spot. Indianapolis has a big Thursday night division game on deck in what will be a key game in the standings against Tennessee which could make this a dangerous game for the heavy favorite. St. Louis has been very tough against the pass this season and the Colts still have not found a consistent rushing attack while it seems the Rams have found the star in the backfield that they need behind Zac Stacy. This line opened as the biggest favorite spread since 2009 for the Colts, counting eight separate meetings with Jacksonville and while value is not as strong currently with the line falling dramatically throughout the week this is still a favorable spot for the underdog. The Colts are 17-7 in the last 24 regular season games but 12 of those wins came by seven or fewer points as there have not been many blowout wins behind Andrew Luck.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, November 10

Brady Kannon

Baltimore Ravens +2

Despite struggling through a three game losing streak, at this short price, we are ready to back The Ravens here today as an in division, home underdog.  Bengals signal caller Andy Dalton, as a small favorite (less than 5-points) is just 2-7-and-1 ATS in division games.. while Joe Flacco gets up for good teams, going a perfect 3-and-0 ATS as an underdog at home.  Toss in the fact that as a team, Cincinnati is 0-and-6 ATS when laying points on the road in division.  So while the situation sets up nicely, we believe it does also on the field.  The Baltimore offense has been very average but today they go against a Bengals stop unit that is now without Geno Atkins and Ray Maualuga - and both Michael Boley and James Harrison are banged up and listed as questionable.  On the other side, The Ravens defense is solid and healthy, and ought to be able to keep the Cincinnati offense in check. Finally, from a pride standpoint, defending SuperBowl Champions are 4-and-0 SUATS coming off of three straight losses.  With a win here today, Coach Harbaugh has his team right back in the mix for the division crown.. and what a better place to rebound than at home.  We'll take the points and the birds to bounce back against The Bengals in Baltimore.

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Sam Martin

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens
Prediction: Baltimore Ravens

Ravens have looked nothing like the team that won last year's Super Bowl over the past few weeks, coming into this game riding a three-game losing skid, including back-to-back division losses against Pittsburgh and Cleveland. This is the third straight division game with Cincinnati coming into town, and we'll back the Ravens today against a Bengals team that has not looked good at all away from home.

Bengals just 2-3 straight up with only one ATS cover in those five road contests, including two outright losses as favorites at Cleveland and last week at Miami at a similar price as this game. Their two wins came by just three points each, and they face a desperate Baltimore team today that is 27-12 against the spread at home after rushing for 75 yards or less in their last three games.

Love to back teams coming off back-to-back division losses if they face another division foe this week. Take the Ravens in this virtual pick 'em spot to end their losing streak with a close win.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, November 10

Doug Upstone

Bills vs. Steelers
Play: Under 43½

On Sunday, Play Under the total on teams like Pittsburgh, after going over the total by more than 28 points in their previous game, who have a win percentage of 25 percent of less, playing a team with a losing record. The logic here is a team like the Steelers will have a bounce back with a better defensive showing and their opponent is not very good either and probably struggles on offense. In the past 29 years, this NFL system is 22-4, 84.6 percent.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, November 10

Jeff Alexander

St. Louis Rams +10

This is a bad spot for the Colts, who are coming off a big come from behind win at division rival Houston and have a big division game against Tennessee Thursday. The Colts don't have a home win of more than 6 points this season. Additionally, the Rams have played well the past two weeks, losing to Seattle by 5 points and Tennessee by 7. The Rams have run the ball extremely well and played hard-nosed defense the past two weeks, and I believe that will be the recipe for a cover in this one. Indy's run defense is very suspect. That's good news for us considering the Rams racked up 200 rushing yards on a Seattle stop unit that is among the best in the league. The Rams are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games versus winning teams and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 road games. Also, playing on road teams that give up 24 points or more per game has resulted in a 71-36 ATS record the last 10 seasons if they have been held to 7 points or less in the first half in two straight games.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, November 10

Freddy Wills

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Tennessee Titans    
Play: Jacksonville Jaguars +12½

It's certainly hard to back the Jaguars on any week, but double digit dog to a division opponent is always enticing. These teams know each other and the Titans have an even bigger divisional game they are looking ahead to. I don't care what coaches and players say it's hard not to look ahead to a Thursday night showdown with the Colts when you have the Jaguars on Sunday. The Jaguars should be focused and they want to win, and are off a bye week. I can see them being in this game while the Titans go through the motions.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, November 10

Jeff Scott Sports

4 UNIT PLAY

NEW ORLEANS -6.5 over Dallas: The Saints continue to be a mission team and will be a very angry bunch after laying an egg at the Jets last week. Good thing they are at home here, where they are 13-0 SU & ATS in their last 13 with Payton on the sidelines, plus they are 10-1 ATS in non-division games when playing off of one loss exact, while the Cowboys are just 5-16 ATS their last 21 off a SU win. Drew Brees has been awesome at home, averaging 361 ypg passing, with a 9.4 ypa average and a 14-2 TD-INT ration this year. Those outstanding numbers will be going up against the Cowboys worst rated passing defense. Dallas played well in a road game vs Philly earlier this year, but in road games vs San Diego and Detroit, they were outgained by a combined 575 yards, while allowing 874 yards passing in the two games. Brees will have a field day with this team tonight. The Dallas offense has been decent this year, but they still can't run the ball and that should allow this top ten Saints defense to pressure Romo into some mistakes that we all know he can make. This Saints defense has been awesome at home this year as they have allowed just 311 ypg and 14.5 ppg here this year, while the Cowboys have averaged just 318.3 ppg and have scored just 21 ppg on the road this year. Mismatches on both sides of the ball here should lead the saints to at least a 2 TD win.

3 UNIT PLAYS

GIANTS -7 over Oakland: Very nice spot here for the Giants to pick up a win and keep that momentum going that they had prior to the Bye week. The Giants won their last two games vs the Bye week and with Dallas in New Orleans and Philly in Green Bay they have a real shot here at closing the gap even more for a chance at stealing the NFC West crown. This team will be fully focused here and will be taking on an Oakland team that is 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games on the east coast, plus they will be without RB McFadden for this one as well. The Giants defense has held their last 2 opponents and Eli has stopped giving the ball to the other team. Early start time for the Raiders vs a rested and rejuvenated Giants squad should be good for a 2 TD+ win by the Giants in this one.

Carolina/ San Francisco Over 43: The Carolina offense comes in on fire as they have put up 30= points in each their last 4 games. That stretch has now helped them up their season average to 25.5 ppg. The Niner offense has been on a tear in their last 5 games as they have averaged 34.8 ppg over that stretch, hitting 31+ points in each game. For the year, the Niners have put up 27.3 ppg overall and 26.8 ppg at home. Both defense have been very solid over their recent stretches, but neither team face a scoring offense ranked higher than 14th in that span. Carolina has yet to face a top 10 scoring offense this year, but the Niners have 3 times and allowed 27 or more in each one of those games. Let's also note that the Niners are 15-2 to the Over in their last 17 games off a bye week, while the Panthers are 13-2-2 to the Over in their last 17 vs a team with a winning record. I see this one topping 48 points.

2 UNIT PLAYS

San Diego/ Denver Under 58: The Bolts and every one else around the NFL know how to give yourself the best shot at upsetting the Broncos and that is ball control and San Diego is one of the better teams in the league in doing that. They will dink and dunk and use their improving ground game to keep Peyton on the sidelines, where he can't beat you. For Denver, yes they will score points, but they also don't score all that quickly too many times. they will also work the ball down field and San Diego would rather allow them to do that rather than the big quick strike. Bottom line here is San Diego will not let this be a shootout. That is not how you beat Denver and San Diego knows it. I look for them to control the clock and keep this game in the 40's.

BALTIMORE +1 over Cincinnati: The ravens are 3-5 overall, but 1-4 on the road and 2-1 at home (3-0 ATS). Joe Flacco has struggled on the road with a 68.4 passer rating, while throwing all 9 of his picks away from home, while at home he has a passer rating of 99.3. Flacco will get to face a beat up Cincinnati defense, that has lost their best DL, LB and DB. Andy Dalton had some good games in a row, but he regressed last week and you can bet that the Ravens are looking to make him regress even more here. The Ravens are the defending SB champs and while they won't make it back there they can still make a run at the division title with a big win here.

1 UNIT PLAYS

Houston/ Arizona Over 42: The Houston defense is a shell of it's self as they have allowed 28.7 ppg during their slide this year, while their offense has looked much better in their two games with Case Keenum at the helm.Also looking good with Keenum a the helm is WR Andre Johnson, who had a career day last week, catching 9 passes for 229 yards and 3 TD's in last weeks loss to the Colts. This revived Houston passing game will be going up against an Arizona defense that is 24th in the league vs the pass, allowing 254.2 ypg through the air.The Arizona offense is not that great, but they are starting to look a bit better of late and should be able to put up a nice number of points vs this Houston defense that may be very deflated after the 4th quarter collapse vs the Colts. This game should be played in the 50's.

St Louis +9 over INDIANAPOLIS: Clear flat spot for the Colts here as they are off San Diego, Denver and last week's late rally win over Houston, with a Thursday road game vs Tennessee on deck. The Rams have played very well in their last 2 losses vs Seattle and Tennessee and should be able to keep this one close as well.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, November 10

Chris Jordan

My free winner for Sunday is on the Arizona Cardinals, against the struggling Houston Texans, who just announced Arian Foster has been lost for the season. Trust me, I had the Cardinals penciled in long before this, but it makes perfect sense to go against the Texans no matter what, as they'll be out of it mentally.

Arizona tends to get super-charged for certain teams, or games, at home. And today will be one of those days the Cardinals get after it in Glendale, Ariz.

Not only are the Texans dealing with the loss of Foster, but they'll be without coach Gary Kubiak, who collapsed on the sidelines of last Sunday night's game against the Indianapolis Colts and was hospitalized for what was described as a "mini-stroke."

The Cardinals, meanwhile, had a bye week after a 27-13 victory at home over Atlanta.

This is great spot for Arizona.

4♦ ARIZONA

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Jeff Benton

Your Sunday freebie is the Cardinals coming off their bye to continue the Texans season of misery.

After starting 2-0, Houston has spiraled with 6 straight losses, and their spread mark of 1-7 for the year has burned their backers repeatedly.

Arizona went to their break with a dominating home effort versus Atlanta, as the Cardinals took that game 29-13 as the -2 1/2 point favorites. Arizona has been a "go with" at home this season, sporting a 3-1 mark now both straight up and against the spread, including wins and covers over Detroit and Carolina earlier in the season.

Houston will be coached by Wade Phillips today as Gary Kubiak gets his health back, and while Phillips has been the head man before, he is bringing a team that blew a double-digit lead at home to Indianapolis in their last game into Glendale for this one. The Texans just have the look of a beaten team.

Cardinals the call here.

3♦ ARIZONA

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, November 10

Craig Davis

Today's free play is on the Cincinnati Bengals over the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.

Let's face it, these aren't the same Ravens that won the Super Bowl last year. No Reed. No Lewis. Five other fairly significant players lost to free agency... all so Baltimore can afford to pay Joe Flacco!!

Is he still a solid QB? Absolutely. But there's no way he's worth the money they paid him and it's going to haunt this team for at least the next four or five years.

The Bengals, on the other hand, are headed towards where Baltimore has been recently... on top.

They are clearly the best team in that division and proving to be one of the best teams in all of football.

Sure, they lost a stinker of a game to the Bears early and I'm still not sure how they lost to Cleveland. And that Thursday night loss to Miami! Huh???

Still, Cincy has beaten the Jets (by 40), the Lions and Bills on the road, and the mighty Patriots in a defensive battle prior to their most recent loss at Miami.

Each and every week you have to come prepared to play or you will get bitten. Just ask the Redskins. They found out the hard way Thursday against the 1-7 Vikings.

3♦ CINCINNATI

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, November 10

Scott Delaney

My free play for Sunday is on the Detroit Lions, getting it done over the Chicago Bears in NFC North action. In basically getting to pick the winner only, I have to side with the Lions here, as they've performed better over the first nine weeks, and have good reason to be motivated for this game.

Aside from it being a division-rival, the Packers are missing Aaron Rodgers, and could very well suffer a loss to the Eagles today. So by winning in Chicago today, the Lions would unlock a three-way tie in the division and took over sole possession of first place, provided the Pack lose.

Detroit will be trying to do something it hasn't done since 2007, that being win in Chicago. The Lions have dropped five straight at Soldier Field, and this is the best spot for them to get that win.

3♦ DETROIT

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, November 10

Brad Wilton

Free play time for Sunday, and believe it or not, I do like the Over in the Seattle-Atlanta game at the Georgia Dome.

This is a rematch of last year's playoff contest that Atlanta was able to win 30-28 - obviously landing Over the total - but the Falcons do come into this one having scored just 23 points in their last pair of games (both losses).

Seattle comes into this affair having played 12 of their last 17 regular season games Over the posted total, while Atlanta is back home where they have played each of their last 6 games Over the posted price.

These teams are meeting for the 5th time since the 2007 season season, and all 4 of the previous meetings have ended up toppling the total.

Atlanta is due for some points after being stymied their last couple of road games, and you just know Seattle is itching for a little in-season payback from last year's stinging playoff loss in January.

Go with the Seahawks and Falcons Over the total.

1♦ SEATTLE-ATLANTA OVER

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, November 10

Brett Atkins

On the heels of nailing my freebie last night, an easy total on Fresno/Wyoming Under, I come with another total, as I like the Green Bay/Philadelphia game to go over the posted 47.

Yes, when the schedule makers put together this week's NFL slate, the last thing they'd imagine there would be no Aaron Rodgers or Michael Vick under center.

Instead, with Rodgers out due to a broken collarbone and Vick nursing a sore hamstring, we have Nick Foles vs. Seneca Wallace. And I'm telling you we'll be just fine with these two offenses putting points on the board.

Foles tied a single-game record with seven touchdown passes last week when Philadelphia trounced the Oakland Raiders, 49-20, and Wallace has enough experience to basically get under center, snap the ball and let the Packers go on cruise control against the league's worst defense.

Trust me, the one goes high.

5♦ Packers/Eagles Over

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, November 10

EZWINNERS

Houston Texans +3

A crushing loss for the Texans last week, but I think they get up off the mat. Quarterback Case Keenum provides a spark to this offense and he also makes wide receiver Andre Johnson relevant once again with his ability to throw the ball downfield. Carson Palmer is also not Andrew Luck and the Arizona offense should cause the Texans as many problems as the Colts did last week. I like Houston to end their six game losing streak. Take the points.

Teaser San Francisco & Denver

I like San Francisco and Denver to both pick up straight up wins in these games. I do expect these games to be a little tougher than maybe expected but I don't see either team losing. The Broncos will be with out head coach John Fox for the first time, but Jack Del Rio has head coaching experience and the offense has a coach on the field with Peyton Manning. The Panthers are playing some very good football as well, but San Francisco is on a roll. Cam Newton and company will give them a run for their money, but the Niners get the win at home.

Dallas Cowb0ys +6.5

The Cowboys sure looked like crap last week against the Vikings, so you can be sure that they will go toe to toe with the Saints. Dallas always seems plays to the level of their competition and the Saints should bring out the best in them. New Orleans is tough to beat at home, but the Jets defense was able to get after Drew Brees last week. DeMarcus Ware returns for the Cowboys defense to help pressure Brees. Look for this one to be close. Take the points.

Jacksonville Jaguars +13.5

You can't ask for a better spot to back the Jaguars. Winless teams coming off of a bye week have been very profitable over the years and they are catching almost two full touchdowns in this game. The 0-8 Jags' opponents are a combined 43-18 and they played quarterbacks Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck and Colin Kaepernick. Jake Locker and the Titans are priced way too high in my opinion. Take the points.

Pittsburgh Steelers -3

The Steelers got the shit beat out of them last week at New England 55-31, but I like them to cash the ticket in this game. Pittsburgh's offense actually looked pretty good last week as Big Ben and company put up 35 points and I look for the offense to have success at home again this week. Pittsburgh is starting to be able to run the ball just enough with LeVon Bell to open things up in the passing game and they should be successful against the Bills defense. The Steelers defense has been a major disappointment, but I like them to perform much better against Buffalo here at home. EJ Manual will be back under center for the Bills and I think that is actually a downgrade for the Buffalo offense. Teams that are at home after allowing 50 or more points in their previous game are 11-2 against the spread since 2005. Lay the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, November 10

John Ryan

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans
Prediction: Jacksonville Jaguars

The simulator shows a high probability that JAX will lose this game by fewer than 9 points. It may appear to a be reach, but I am also going to play a 1* amount using the Money Line. Supporting this graded play is a proven system posting a 24-5 ATS mark for 83% winners since 2002. This system has also gone 8-1 ATS over the past three seasons. Play on dogs of 10.5 or more points (JACKSONVILLE) after being beaten by the spread by 49 or more points total in their last seven games and now playing a conference game. This is simply agme that Tennessee will get caught looking ahead to games that will decide their playoff run. Problem is, they better pay attention to the Jags this week. I really like the matchup of Cecil Shorts against any of the Titans corners. Verner and McCourty have played well this season and neither are matched up ever against the opponent's lead receiver. So, no matter, who is responsible for defending Shorts, they are going to have their hands full. Also, Maurice-Jones Drew has been a large disappointment for fantasy owners this year, but he is a position today to have a monster game. The Titans run defense has tailed off considerably over the past two weeks and JAX will look to establish the run game, and then get Shorts in man coverage situations to stretch the field. They may have played horrid football for most of the year, but these are still professional players with pride and if ever there was a time for them to put it together this is a great spot.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, November 10

Joe Gavazzi

Green Bay -1

Last Monday night, we took it in the chops with "Green Bay and OVER" when QB Rogers exited early first quarter with a broken collarbone. Green Bay played poorly enough in the 27-20 loss to Chicago, that the odds maker has docked the Packers 10 points for his absence. Time to step in with Green Bay at a value price on a field where they remain 19-6 ATS. On MNF, Green Bay did run for 199 yards behind RB Lacy. He, among others, will step up making this a huge value play. Well aware that Philadelphia, following their 49-20 victory at Oakland, is now 4-1 ATS away covering by 47 net points, with a +7 TO margin. But does anyone really believe that QB Foles is going to duplicate the best ever passing performance in NFL history with 7 TDs, over 400 yards, and a perfect QB rating of 158.3? NOT!…making this incredible value play a viable candidate for the NFL GOY.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, November 10

Wunderdog

North Carolina-Wilmington at Iowa State
Pick: Iowa State -20

A tough start for North Carolina-Wilmington, beginning the season in Iowa. They got smoked by Iowa the last game (82-39), shooting 22%, and now head to Iowa State two days later. Iowa led 48-12 at the half! UNC-Wilmington doesn't have anyone back who averaged at least 10 points a game last season. The Seahawks are 1-4 ATS in their last five road games. Meanwhile, Iowa State has new faces on a team that went 23-12 last year, including crushing Notre Dame and losing to Ohio State on a last-second shot in the NCAA tournament. Coach Fred Hoiberg is an excellent recruiter and has a talented team with returner center Percy Gibson, the biggest player on the team and an established center, plus highly regarded recruit guard DeAndre Kane, a transfer from Marshall. The Cyclones are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 home games, and hold all the cards. Play Iowa State.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, November 10

OC Dooley

Broncos / Chargers Over 57.5

This is the second consecutive week that CBS has a “doubleheader” late day telecast and odds are we will have a repeat of last week’s shootout in New England where the Patriots scored the most points (55) that the Pittsburgh defense has ever given up.  Most reading this analysis are most likely aware that Denver has played OVER the total in all eight games so far courtesy of an offense that has averaged nearly 43 points per game.  The Broncos along with their superstar quarterback Peyton Manning (2,919 pass yards) and wide receiver West Welker (50 receptions, 555 yards, 9 touchdowns) are on pace to snap the single-season NFL points record set back in 2007 by Welker’s former employer. What makes this particular total intriguing has to do with San Diego quarterback Phillip Rivers who returns to the national stage.  In the final couple of years with Norv Turner as head coach Rivers was plagued by turnovers which in turn saw his statistics plunge.  But with a new coaching regime in 2013 Rivers has returned to elite status with an NFL-BEST completion percentage (72.2) and a career high quarterback rating (106.5).  For those who have followed the Broncos the defense repeatedly has been burned by opposing “tight ends” and that should continue today versus San Diego’s Antonio Gates (48 receptions, 550 yards, 2 touchdowns) who has put up big statistics.  The problem with the Chargers is a defense that overall has performed well but a week ago surrendered 30 points in a wild shootout.  The key to this total actually has to do with the SCHEDULE as in the next couple of weeks both sides will have to deal with a Divisional foe (Kansas City) who currently has the best stop-unit in the league .

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