Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

Nelly

Iowa State - over Kansas

Getting a Big XII win was huge for Kansas last week as the Jayhawks upset West Virginia to avoid a third straight winless conference season. James Sims had a great day on the ground for Kansas with some big runs and there were some breaks in the game as Kansas was out-gained in the upset. It was a terrible spot for West Virginia as the Mountaineers nearly beat Texas the previous week and faced a third road game in four weeks with long travel. It has been a tough season for 1-9 Iowa State but the Cyclones are in a final home game this week and this should be a spot the team comes together to play well. Iowa State won 51-23 in this matchup last season on the road and the Cyclones have won three in a row in this series. Last week's loss to Oklahoma had a very misleading final score as the Cyclones have been more competitive than it looks and the home schedule has featured very close games with quality teams including losing by six to Iowa, by one against Texas, and by four against TCU. The 31-point loss to Oklahoma State was also very misleading as the yardage was nearly even and it was a one-score game into the second half before turnovers turned the tide. Kansas has not won a road game since 2009, losing 23 in a row with just a 6-16-1 ATS mark and this will be just the second smallest underdog spread for Kansas on the streak. These are not good teams but this situation sets up well for Iowa State to play well and Kansas to perhaps be a bit flat on the road off huge win for the program.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

River City Sharps

Utah St -10.5

This would be a bigger play (and you are more than welcome to play it that way) but our fault, this is a line we should have jumped on sooner. This game opened at 7.5 and is now sitting at 10.5 or 11! Snooze you lose! We really like what Utah State has done with their team since having to replace QB Chuckie Keeton. They struggled last week a bit with UNLV, but have been scoring over 31 ppg. The story, however, has been their defense, as they are holding opponents to just over 19 ppg. Interesting stat here....in games against common opponents, Colorado St has given up an average of 36.5 ppg while Utah State has only allowed 16.5 ppg. The Aggies defense and home cooking spells a double digit win for Utah State.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

Jimmy Boyd

NC State +6½

The Wolfpack are getting a lot of points for a home team considering East Carolina has played such a soft schedule this season. The talent gap between Conference USA and the ACC is a big one. The Pirates may average a lot of points per game, but you also have to consider the fact that their opponents defensive average for points allowed is over 30 points per game. In East Carolina's game against Virginia Tech, they managed to score a mere 10 points which illustrates the talent gap between the two conferences.

The Wolfpack are a .500 team when playing at home. They have a 3-3 record, and have played some great defense. NC State's opponents have averaged 28.7 points per game, yet the Wolfpack have allowed just 21 points per game when they are playing at home. The Pirates have a very strong pass bias, and I expect them to struggle against a Wolfpack secondary that has allowed a 57.6% pass completion rate for a mere 206 passing yards per game.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

GamePlan

Pittsburgh vs. Syracuse    
Play: Pittsburgh +1

Here's an old rivalry that has experienced some great moments over the years. This won't be one of them as both teams are struggling through mediocre seasons and may need to win this game to earn a Bowl Game. Pittsburgh is coming off a tough loss to North Carolina, while the Orange are coming off an absolute drubbing at the hands of Florida State. While Pitt sits at just 5-5, the Panthers have been competitive in 9 of their 10 games, with the only blowout coming in the season opener against the mighty Seminoles of Florida State. Syracuse has been far less consistent, looking really good at times, but also getting absolutely BURIED in four contests...losses to FSU, Clemson, Georgia Tech and Northwestern. The key game to consider here is Georgia Tech which is the most easily comparable common opponent. The Panthers gave Georgia Tech all they wanted in a 21-10 road loss where Pitt actually led for a good chunk of the game. By comparison, the Orange were humiliated on the road when they visited the Yellow Jackets and Syracuse has not seemed to recover from that beating despite solid wins over ACC foes Wake Forest and Maryland.

The Pitt defense has been solid for much of the year despite playing a pretty darn tough schedule. The highlight of the year came in a victory over Notre Dame, plus the Panthers were very competitive in losses to teams like Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Georgia Tech. Syracuse has proved dominant against teams with bad offenses who cannot protect their quarterback, but the Orange have really struggled against anyone who has shown real physicality along the line of scrimmage. Syracuse QB Terrell Hunt got off to a great start in his career, but he has completely fallen apart in recent weeks and he's definitely a notch or two below Pitt's Tom Savage, though the latter hasn't exactly set the world on fire either. Unless the Syracuse pass defense gets a LOT better overnight, we look for the Panthers to get a hard-earned road victory in this one.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

Chip Chirimbes

Wisconsin vs. Minnesota    
Play: Wisconsin -16½

The Wisconsin Badgers are the only team that hasn't been beaten by the numbers as the are 9-0-1 ATS. It's difficult to understand how two teams from the same conference with the same record can have such a large point spread differential. Minnesota is on a four-game winning streak and has had a week off and they have Michigan State next. The Badgers have won nine straight in the series and just seem to have their way against the Gophers. Wisconsin already has two runners with over 1,00 yards Melvin Gordon and James White and a third ready to crash that mark. Number out of whack.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

Red Dog Sports

Baylor vs. Oklahoma St
Play: Under 79½

Both teams are great on offense but the game will be played at Oklahoma State and the Cowboys will do what they can to slow down the Bears' offense. Bryce Petty can run and pass for Baylor but all it takes is for one team to not show up on offense and we have a game that stays under. I think we see a final score in the low 70's.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

Jeff Alexander

Oklahoma State +9.5

I'll take the points with Oklahoma State at home where it has won 16 of its last 17, including 8 straight. The Cowboys have also won 10 straight home games against Baylor. Additionally, Baylor is on a 0-36 slide in road games against AP-ranked opponents, including 0-10 under Briles with three of these coming in Stillwater. I really like what Oklahoma State’s defense brings to the table. It leads the Big 12 in third-down defense, allowing opponents to convert first downs just 32.0 percent of the time. Its third down success is directly related to what it has been able to accomplish on first down. It has held foes to three yards or fewer on 185 of 343 first-down plays this season (53.9 percent of the time). In other words, they’ve enjoyed plenty of third-and-longs. I expect Oklahoma State's defense to be just a little bit better at home Saturday. Bet the Cowboys as they give Baylor a game.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

Jim Feist

Texas A&M vs. LSU    
Play: LSU -4

This Texas A&M is terrible, 89th in the nation allowing 30.9 ppg. They lost to Bama (49-42), beat Ole Miss (41-38), lost to Auburn (45-41) and come off a 51-41 win over Miss State. The Aggies defense allowed 556 yards (299 rushing). LSU has great balance on offense behind senior QB Zach Mettenberger (20 TDs, 7 INTs, 2,733 yds) and the Tigers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a bye week. Meanwhile the Aggies are 16-36-1 ATS in their last 53 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. Play LSU!

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

Eddie J

Michigan vs Iowa
Pick: Michigan

The 7-3 Michigan Wolverines head to Iowa to take on the 6-4 Hawkeyes on Saturday afternoon. Michigan averages 34.3 PPG and has the #19th ranked defense allowing only 347.6 yards per game. QB Devin Gardner with 25 total TD's has 2 top receivers's in Jeremy Gallon and Devin Funchess who both average 16.3 yards per catch. Iowa has a solid defense allowing only 319.2 yards per game which is good for 9th in the country and are led by RB Mark Weisman with 777 yards on the ground. The defenses matchup with each other but Michigan has way too many playmakers on offense and as long as they protect the football they will win this game SU. Michigan routed Iowa 42-17 last year and much hasn't changed for these 2 squads. Take the Wolverines.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

Joe Gavazzi

Ohio St. -34

Top 5 BCS teams must always lay inflated number in November. In this case, however, due to the hot start this season by Indiana, this number is little more than a TD higher than where it would have been to open the season. Last week, Indiana suited up against Wisconsin without RB Coleman, their best runner, who is again expected to miss this game. Indiana was outrushed 554- 102 in their annual 51-3 drubbing at the hands of the Badgers. Meanwhile, Ohio St. was costing themselves style points in allowing 35 points to the Illini. Yet, the Buckeyes still had a resounding victory of 60-35 outrushing the Illini 441-132. That poor defensive performance has made life miserable for many Ohio St. defenders in this week’s Columbus practices. Expect a resounding Ohio St. victory as the Buckeyes win their 23rd consecutive game under HC Meyer. In so doing, consider the streaks that will be extended. Ohio St. is currently on an 11-3 ATS run, has a long term record of 47-22 ATS vs. the Big 10 (10-4 ATS under Meyer), and is on a run of 12-4 ATS laying 23 or more points. No defensive apathy from the Buckeyes this week, knowing they allowed the Hoosiers 49 points last year.

Florida St. -57

Potential legal issues for Sem QB Winston did not appear to negatively impact his performance in last week’s 59-3 wipeout of Syracuse. Style points continue to be a priority for this team with a realization that a National Championship season has real potential. The Seminoles are now 10-0 ATS as home favorite of 14 or more points with a cover margin of 16 PPG. Key factor of coverage is that the second team of Florida St. is still notably better than Idaho.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

Kyle Hunter

Boise State vs. San Diego State    
Play: Boise State -5

The Boise State Broncos lost to San Diego State at home last year. Boise State almost never loses at home, and you better believe they circled this game a very long time ago. The Broncos will be out for revenge here. San Diego State was very fortunate to win last week in Hawaii against a winless Hawaii team. The Aztecs have some nice pieces, but they also aren't a complete team. Chris Petersen's team will be ready for this one. Expect Boise State to exact revenge on San Diego State. Take Boise State.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

Rob Vinciletti

Western Kentucky vs. Texas State    
Play: Western Kentucky -4½

WKU fits a nifty little road warrior system that plays on road favorites that were road favorites in their last game and won the game but failed to cover the spread and allowed 17 or less points. These teams are 32-9-3 to the spread. The Hilltoppers coach Pertrino has won 13 of 14 in conference games if he has won the last 2, covering in 11 of those 13 wins. Western Kentucky has edges on both sides of the ball against a Texas St team that has lost 7 of 8 vs winning teams. WKU is 12-4 to the spread on the road and should emerge with a win and cover here tonight. Take Western Kentucky.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

Freddy Wills

Michigan State vs. Northwestern    
Play: Northwestern +7½

Northwestern keeps finding new ways to lose, but they have been in every game with the exception of their hang over vs. Wisconsin

Flying under the radar is the play of Northwestern's defense. Michigan State's offense is no juggernaut especially on the road and QB Connor Cook has only been great when they are able to run the ball. Northwestern has kept all opponents under 5 yards per carry except Wisconsin and Ohio State. Northwestern's pass defense has also been great with 18 interceptions. That's led to good 3rd down defense which is where Michigan State will run into trouble in this game. Northwestern is also solid in red zone defense allowing just 54% touch downs while Michigan State is only converting 47% of their RZ appearances on the road into TD's.

Northwestern essentially beat Nebraska on the road where Michigan State won as a -5.5 road favorite. IF you remember Nebraska threw a silly 60 yard hail mary to win the game. So we have established NW on neutral field is better than Nebraska yet we are getting 2 extra points. NW is a well coached team that has shown they can battle through tough breaks. This is their game of the year and their chance to show up with a big win to save their bowl hopes. I won't be surprised if it happens.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

Joseph D'Amico

Texas A&M vs. LSU
Play: Over 73

Only 1 game separates these two teams in the SEC West. The Aggies are 8-2 overall, 4-2 in Conference play, 5-5 ATS, and have 8 OVERS and 2 UNDERS. The Tigers are 7-3 SU, 3-3 in Conference play, 4-5-1 against the number, and also have 8 OVERS and 2 UNDERS. The Aggies have one revenge game this season on their minds and this is it after they lost LY's matchup, 24-19. LSU has 3 losses and 1 more can definitely change their post-season situation. A&M puts up 578 Total Yards and 49.2 PPG. Johnny Manziel with 3313 YP a 73% CR, 31/11 TD/INT ratio and another 600 yards rushing and 8 more scores on the ground making him a solid shot at back-to-back Heisman's. LSU posts 460.4 YPG and account for 37.9 PPG. QB, Mettenberger has a 65.7% CR, 2733 YP, and 20/7 TD/INT ratio. RBs Hill, Magee, and Hilliard combined for almost 1700 YR and 24 TDs while Beckahm jr and Landry have about 2100 yards receiving and 16 scores. Here's the issue, A&M ranks from 88th to 106th in every major defensive category allowing 30.9 PPG on 454.4 YPG while LSU yields 353.7 YPG and when facing mobile QBs, they get shredded like the 44 they gave up to Georgia and the 38 to 'Bama. The game is going to be a shootout. The OVER is 7-0 in the Aggies L7 Conference games and 8-2 in the Tigers L10 overall. Take the Over here.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

Brandon Shively

Washington vs. Oregon State    
Play: Oregon State +1½

Oregon State is a 'mission' team this year and while they have been disappointing in the recent weeks, they are in good position to knock of the Washington Huskies who are 0-3 SU in Pac 12 play this year on the road.

Oregon State comes into this game with revenge on their mind from last year's 20-17 loss. It was a tough loss because Oregon State dominated the stats, 427-293. It was quarterback Sean Mannion's first game back from an injury and he threw 4 interceptions showing his rust. This year, Mannion has been much sharper and leads in the Beavers and a high powered aerial attack.

HC Mike Riley has a good coach and he knows how to cover spreads. I like Oregon State and their 17 returning starter team to right the ship tonight vs. a Washington team that is expected to be without their starting quarterback, Keith Price. Price got injured in last week's game and is listed as doubtful for this game. His replacement his rFR Cyler Myles who will be under pressure in Corvalis. This is atough stadium for any quarterback to play at, especially one that is making his first collegiate start. Myles is a mobile quarterback, but I expect him to make more mistakes than the senior Sean Mannion for Oregon State.

Oregon State has owned this series going 8-1 ATS the last 9 matchups and I like the fact that HC Mike Riley is 12-1 ATS his last 13 tries in conference games of B2B losses when the last game was a conference game.

Look for the senior quarterback, Sean Mannion, to lead his team at home and get this mission team back on track with a satisfying revenge win.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

Bruce Marshall

UTEP vs Tulane
Pick: Tulane

We’re not convinced that win over impotent FIU is any buy signal for UTEP, whose fans have already turned their attention to Tim Floyd’s hoopsters. Bowl-eligible Tulane has had a bye week to straighten out recent offensive malaise and get QB Nick Montana healthy again. Green Wave might actually sell a few tickets for once in their final home game at venerable Superdome before move back to campus and new stadium next year.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

Charlie Scott

Michigan vs. Iowa
Play: Michigan

Michigan has Not played their best ball this Season, but they do have talent & speed. To be honest I just don't understand this line, Iowa is a decent Team as a Dog, but should Not be favored by this many points because their offense struggles to score points. Take the Points !

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

Bill Milton

Northwestern (+) over Michigan State

Wildcats have lost six in a row coming into this, but in reality could have won five of those six games, so they are better than the record shows. Also, even with the long losing streak, with a win here and next week vs Illinois they will be going to a bowl, so they can salvage something out of this season. As for MSU, they of course want to win this,  but they can still clinch the Legends Division with a win next week against Minnesota, or more likely a loss later today by the Gophers, as UM plays Wisconsin. MSU did benefit from five Nebraska turnovers last week and turned four of those miscues into points in a game in which they were actually outgained.  Too much value to pass up here...we will take the home team.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

Harry Bondi

UTAH +2 over Washington State

Washington State is in a horrible spot here as they come in off a huge upset win at Arizona and have a huge rivalry game on deck just six days away when they square off in the Apple Cup against Washington. That’s a tough predicament for a young team not used to success. Utah has fallen on hard times since beating Stanford at home, losing four straight games, but this defense is for real. The Utes lead the nation in sacks and have limited the offenses of Oregon, USC and Arizona State to below their season average in points per game. WSU QB Connor Halliday leads the conference in INTs and we expect him to be forced into some key mistakes today. On offense, the Utes are without starting QB Travis Wilson, who suffered a concussion back on Nov. 9, but will lean on a running game that will have success against a soft Cougar defensive front. It’s letdown city for WSU as Utah steals a road win.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, November 23

Alex Smith Sports

Coastal Carolina vs South Carolina
Pick: Coastal Carolina

The Chanticleers from Myrtle Beach will have a solid crowd with them in Columbia on Saturday. This is a pretty potent offensive attack and South Carolina is still looking for a shot at the SEC Title game, which means they will put up an effort, but this is a solid backdoor spot as the Gamecocks will sit starters if a big lead is established. I'll take Coastal getting 5 TDs

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