Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, November 24

Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, November 24

DUNKEL INDEX

Denver at New England
The Patriots look to bounce back from their 24-20 loss to Carolina on Monday and build on their 30-12-1 ATS record in their last 43 games following a SU defeat as they host the Broncos tonight. New England is the pick (+3) according to Dunkel, which has the Patriots favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: New England (+3)

Game 209-210: Tampa Bay at Detroit (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay 128.582; Detroit 135.111
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 6 1/2; 44
Vegas Line: Detroit by 9 1/2; 49
Dunkel Pick: Tampa Bay (+9 1/2); Under

Game 211-212: Jacksonville at Houston (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Jacksonville 119.849; Houston 126.937
Dunkel Line: Houston by 7; 48
Vegas Line: Houston by 10; 43 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Jacksonville (+10); Over

Game 213-214: Minnesota at Green Bay (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota 122.954; Green Bay 136.887
Dunkel Line: Green Bay by 14; 40
Vegas Line: Green Bay by 4 1/2; 44
Dunkel Pick: Green Bay (-4 1/2); Under

Game 215-216: San Diego at Kansas City (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Diego 129.549; Kansas City 139.034
Dunkel Line: Kansas City by 9 1/2; 37
Vegas Line: Kansas City by 4 1/2; 41 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Kansas City (-4 1/2); Under

Game 217-218: Carolina at Miami (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Carolina 138.175; Miami 136.625
Dunkel Line: Carolina by 1 1/2; 46
Vegas Line: Carolina by 4 1/2; 41
Dunkel Pick: Miami (+4 1/2); Over

Game 219-220: Pittsburgh at Cleveland (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh 126.408; Cleveland 133.629
Dunkel Line: Cleveland by 7; 44
Vegas Line: Cleveland by 1; 40
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (-1); Over

Game 221-222: Chicago at St. Louis (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Chicago 134.228; St. Louis 130.116
Dunkel Line: Chicago by 4; 41
Vegas Line: St. Louis by 2; 45 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Chicago (+2); Under

Game 223-224: NY Jets at Baltimore (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Jets 129.784; Baltimore 130.646
Dunkel Line: Baltimore by 1; 44
Vegas Line: Baltimore by 4; 39
Dunkel Pick: NY Jets (+4); Over

Game 225-226: Tennessee at Oakland (4:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tennessee 125.678; Oakland 128.715
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 3; 37
Vegas Line: Oakland by 1; 41 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (-1); Under

Game 227-228: Indianapolis at Arizona (4:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Indianapolis 136.034; Arizona 135.246
Dunkel Line: Indianapolis by 1; 41
Vegas Line: Arizona by 2 1/2; 45
Dunkel Pick: Indianapolis (+2 1/2); Under

Game 229-230: Dallas at NY Giants (4:25 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Dallas 130.833; NY Giants 134.716
Dunkel Line: NY Giants by 4; 52
Vegas Line: NY Giants by 2 1/2; 45 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Giants (-2 1/2); Over

Game 231-232: Denver at New England (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Denver 140.509; New England 141.251
Dunkel Line: New England by 1; 60
Vegas Line: Denver by 3; 54
Dunkel Pick: New England (+3); Over

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 25

Game 233-234: San Francisco at Washington (8:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Francisco 140.796; Washington 129.253
Dunkel Line: San Francisco by 11 1/2; 42
Vegas Line: San Francisco by 5 1/2; 47
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (-5 1/2); Under

CFL

Hamilton at Saskatchewan
The Tiger-Cats look to build on their 7-1 ATS record in their last 8 road games. Hamilton is the pick (+7) according to Dunkel, which has the Tiger-Cats favored by 2. Dunkel Pick: Hamilton (+7)

Game 291-292: Hamilton at Saskatchewan (6:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Hamilton 118.482; Saskatchewan 116.329
Dunkel Line: Hamilton by 2; 57
Vegas Line: Saskatchewan by 7; 53
Dunkel Pick: Hamilton (+7); Over

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, November 24

DUNKEL INDEX

NBA

Chicago at LA Clippers
The Clippers host the Bulls today and look to build on their 8-1 ATS record in their last 9 games against Central Division opponents. LA is the pick (-6) according to Dunkel, which has the Clippers favored by 9. Dunkel Pick: LA Clippers (-6)

Game 501-502: Detroit at Brooklyn (2:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit 115.850; Brooklyn 116.075
Dunkel Line & Total: Even; 179
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 503-504: Chicago at LA Clippers (3:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Chicago 118.773; LA Clippers 128.644
Dunkel Line & Total: LA Clippers by 9; 199
Vegas Line & Total: LA Clippers by 6; 193 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Clippers (-6); Over

Game 505-506: Phoenix at Orlando (6:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Phoenix 118.099; Orlando 116.003
Dunkel Line & Total: Phoenix by 2;
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 507-508: Utah at Oklahoma City (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Utah 110.022; Oklahoma City 127.248
Dunkel Line & Total: Oklahoma City by 17; 201
Vegas Line & Total: Oklahoma City by 13 1/2; 196 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Oklahoma City (-13 1/2); Over

Game 509-510: Sacramento at LA Lakers (9:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Sacramento 113.214; LA Lakers 121.400
Dunkel Line & Total: LA Lakers by 8; 195
Vegas Line & Total: LA Lakers by 4; 202 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Lakers (-4); Under

NHL

Ottawa at Carolina
The Senators travel to Carolina today to face a Hurricanes' team that is 7-18 in its last 25 home games. Ottawa is the pick (+100) according to Dunkel, which has the Senators favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: Ottawa (+100)

Game 1-2: Ottawa at Carolina (5:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Ottawa 11.513; Carolina 10.430
Dunkel Line & Total: Ottawa by 1; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Carolina (-120); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Ottawa (+100); Under

Game 3-4: Detroit at Buffalo (5:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit 10.821; Buffalo 9.342
Dunkel Line & Total: Detroit by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Detroit (-140); 5
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-140); Over

NCAAB

Charlotte vs. Michigan
The Wolverines play the final round of the Puerto Rico Tip Off against a Charlotte team that is 0-4 ATS in its last 4 games versus Big 10 opponents. Michigan is the pick (-9) according to Dunkel, which has the Wolverines favored by 20 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Michigan (-9)

Game 511-512: Florida International at South Carolina (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Florida International 50.096; South Carolina 61.566
Dunkel Line: South Carolina by 11 1/2
Vegas Line: South Carolina by 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: South Carolina (-8 1/2)

Game 513-514: Harvard at Colorado (4:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Harvard 56.794; Colorado 68.164
Dunkel Line: Colorado by 11 1/2
Vegas Line: Colorado by 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Colorado (-6 1/2)

Game 515-516: TCU at Washington State (6:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: TCU 48.135; Washington State 67.318
Dunkel Line: Washington State by 19
Vegas Line: Washington State by 14 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington State (-14 1/2)

Game 517-518: San Francisco at Oregon (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Francisco 56.538; Oregon 69.540
Dunkel Line: Oregon by 13
Vegas Line: Oregon by 16
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (+16)

Game 519-520: Long Beach State vs. Kansas State (11:30 a.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Long Beach State 53.997; Kansas State 57.273
Dunkel Line: Kansas State by 3 1/2
Vegas Line: Kansas State by 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Long Beach State (+6 1/2)

Game 521-522: Georgetown vs. VCU (2:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Georgetown 69.216; VCU 65.439
Dunkel Line: Georgetown by 4
Vegas Line: Georgetown by 1
Dunkel Pick: Georgetown (-1)

Game 523-524: Northeastern vs. Florida State (4:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Northeastern 51.015; Florida State 65.736
Dunkel Line: Florida State by 14 1/2
Vegas Line: Florida State by 12 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Florida State (-12 1/2)

Game 525-526: Charlotte vs. Michigan (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Charlotte 54.766; Michigan 75.197
Dunkel Line: Michigan by 20 1/2
Vegas Line: Michigan by 9
Dunkel Pick: Michigan (-9)

Game 527-528: Houston Baptist vs. South Alabama (3:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Houston  Baptist 39.833; South Alabama 54.916
Dunkel Line: South Alabama by 15
Vegas Line: South Alabama by 13
Dunkel Pick: South Alabama (-13)

Game 531-532: North Carolina vs. Louisville (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: North Carolina 65.344; Louisville 78.860
Dunkel Line: Louisville by 13 1/2
Vegas Line: Louisville by 10
Dunkel Pick: Louisville (-10)

Game 533-534: Fairfield vs. Richmond (2:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Fairfield 49.230; Richmond 54.439
Dunkel Line: Richmond by 5
Vegas Line: Richmond by 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Fairfield (+7 1/2)

Game 535-536: Hartford vs. Holy Cross (6:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Hartford 45.630; Holy Cross 52.383
Dunkel Line: Holy Cross by 7
Vegas Line: Holy Cross by 4 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Holy Cross (-4 1/2)

Game 537-538: Hofstra vs. Belmont (8:20 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Hofstra 47.628; Belmont 64.395
Dunkel Line: Belmont by 16 1/2
Vegas Line: Belmont by 14
Dunkel Pick: Belmont (-14)

Game 539-540: Davidson vs. New Mexico (12:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Davidson 56.944; New Mexico 63.408
Dunkel Line: New Mexico by 6 1/2
Vegas Line: New Mexico by 13
Dunkel Pick: Davidson (+13)

Game 541-542: Nebraska vs. Georgia (2:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Nebraska 64.863; Georgia 58.473
Dunkel Line: Nebraska by 6 1/2
Vegas Line: Nebraska by 3 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Nebraska (-3 1/2)

Game 543-544: UAB vs. Temple (6:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: UAB 64.259; Temple 56.879
Dunkel Line: UAB by 7 1/2
Vegas Line: UAB by 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: UAB (-5 1/2)

Game 545-546: Massachusetts vs. Clemson (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Massachusetts 65.964; Clemson 63.802
Dunkel Line: Massachusetts by 2
Vegas Line: Pick
Dunkel Pick: Massachusetts

Game 547-548: Florida Atlantic vs. Toledo (1:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Florida Atlantic 48.022; Toledo 55.987
Dunkel Line: Toledo by 8
Vegas Line: Toledo by 12
Dunkel Pick: Florida Atlantic (+12)

Game 549-550: Stony Brook at Detroit (4:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Stony Brook 54.902; Detroit 59.145
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 4
Vegas Line: Detroit by 1 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-1 1/2)

Game 551-552: SIU-Edwardsville vs. Loyola-Chicago (2:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: SIU-Edwardsville 41.781; Loyola-Chicago 46.051
Dunkel Line: Loyola-Chicago by 4 1/2
Vegas Line: Loyola-Chicago by 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: SIU-Edwardsville (+5 1/2)

Game 553-554: UC Davis at Portland State (6:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: UC Davis 45.837; Portland State 50.169
Dunkel Line: Portland State by 4 1/2
Vegas Line: Portland State by 2 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Portland State (-2 1/2)

Game 555-556: St. Francis (NY) vs. Oakland (12:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Francis (NY) 52.227; Oakland 46.746
Dunkel Line: St. Francis (NY) by 5 1/2
Vegas Line: St. Francis (NY) by 2
Dunkel Pick: St. Francis (NY) (-2)

Game 557-558: UL-Lafayette at Coastal Carolina (3:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: UL-Lafayette 52.887; Coastal Carolina 49.296
Dunkel Line: UL-Lafayette by 3 1/2
Vegas Line: Coastal Carolina by 2 1/2
Dunkel Pick: UL-Lafayette (+2 1/2)

Game 559-560: LIU-Brooklyn vs. Boston U (4:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LIU-Brooklyn 43.279; Boston U 55.619
Dunkel Line: Boston U by 12 1/2
Vegas Line: Boston U by 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Boston U (-9 1/2)

Game 561-562: Eastern Washington at UC-Irvine (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Eastern Washington 54.275; UC-Irvine 58.699
Dunkel Line: UC-Irvine by 4 1/2
Vegas Line: UC-Irvine by 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Eastern Washington (+6 1/2)

Game 563-564: Northern Iowa vs. Maryland (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Northern Iowa 57.836; Maryland 66.401
Dunkel Line: Maryland by 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Maryland by 5
Dunkel Pick: Maryland (-5)

Game 565-566: LaSalle vs. Providence (9:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LaSalle 58.287; Providence 65.778
Dunkel Line: Providence by 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Providence by 4 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Providence (-4 1/2)

Game 567-568: Siena at Purdue (12:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Siena 48.126; Purdue 63.243
Dunkel Line: Purdue by 15
Vegas Line: Purdue by 17 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Siena (+17 1/2)

Game 569-570: Morehead State at Nevada (6:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Morehead State 46.635; Nevada 58.552
Dunkel Line: Nevada by 12
Vegas Line: Nevada by 4 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Nevada (-4 1/2)

Game 571-572: North Dakota State at North Dakota (6:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: North Dakota State 57.568; North Dakota 49.436
Dunkel Line: North Dakota State by 8
Vegas Line: North Dakota State by 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: North Dakota State (-5 1/2)

Game 573-574: Chattanooga at UCLA (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Chattanooga 40.714; UCLA 68.213
Dunkel Line: UCLA by 27 1/2
Vegas Line: UCLA by 23
Dunkel Pick: UCLA (-23)

Game 581-582: Vermont at Duke (6:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Vermont 48.156; Duke 78.621
Dunkel Line: Duke by 30 1/2
Vegas Line: Duke by 23 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Duke (-23 1/2)

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, November 24

Tony George

Chargers vs. Chiefs
Play: Under 42½

Kansas City returns home with their tail between their legs somewhat after getting schooled by Peyton Manning and the Bronco’s on Sunday Night, but no one is complaining in KC as the Chiefs sit at 9-1 on the year, a vast improvement from last year’s 2 win season and total debacle. The offense of Kansas City was exposed last Sunday, as I have said all year they were below average, but the Chiefs made it respectable and prove they are a Top 7 team in the NFL, and of course we all know KC is a different animal at Arrowhead, one of the toughest Venues in the NFL to play in outside of Seattle and New Orleans. Kansas City’s vaunted defense never got to Manning last week and were called out by the national media, and Philip Rivers should take notice they want some atonement for that this Sunday at home in front of a sold out crowd.

The Chargers are still inventing ways to lose even without Norv Turner screwing it up, and another down to the last play again last week against Miami before losing. The Chargers have a running game with Matthews, and QB Rivers not quite as bad at turning it over in years past is having a decent year. Neither team is going to light up the scoreboard on a very cold Sunday in Kansas City this Sunday and one has to look at the scheduling spot here for both teams. Last Week the Chargers traveled east to Miami and now travel to Arrowhead licking their wounds. Kansas City off a emotional and heartbreaking loss to Denver, and they have those same Bronco’s on deck at Arrowhead next week. A dangerous spot for both teams.

The Chargers have made it their identity to get into last minute type games where they lose inside of the final minute like Houston to open the season, at Tennessee, at Washington and last week had a shot in the end zone on the last play at Miami and they hang around in every game including against Denver 2 weeks ago. This is going to be a battle for both these teams and I like the KC’s defense at home to get it done in a tight one. I would lean the Points and the Chargers here on a side play but the value in some tough cold weather with KC’s offense in a funk, is in the totals play. 14-10, 17-13 type ballgame.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, November 24

Carlo Campanella

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns    
Play: Cleveland Browns -1½

The Browns are playing solid football now that former starting QB Brandon Weeden is on the bench. Cleveland hosts Pittsburgh on Sunday knowing they're 5-1 ATS this season with QBs Campbell or Hoyer as their starter- And, that ATS loss came just last Sunday when losing to the Bengals. Pittsburgh has dominated this Division battle, posting a 3-1 SU & ATS record during the last two years, but it's time for the Browns fans to finally get an edge on their rival Steelers. Pittsburgh heads to Cleveland owning a 4-6 record, mainly due to the lack of a rushing game as their averaging just 77 rushing yards for 3.4 yards per carry! That's trouble on the road in Cleveland, as the Browns are stingy against the run while holding foes to 3.5 yards per rush this season. Knowing that these Steelers are a money burning 3-12 ATS when they rush for 75 yards or less the last three seasons, we'll back the Browns at home with QB Jason Campbell taking the snaps.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, November 24

Nick Parsons

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns    
Play: Pittsburgh Steelers +2½

Divisional contests are always the toughest and most of the time mean more to the home side. The AFC North is led by the Bengals at 7-4, and log-jammed behind them are the Steelers, Browns and Ravens all at 4-6. There are six weeks remaining which means that mathematically, all of these teams have a shot at catching Cincinnati.

The Steelers are coming off a dominating 37-27 win over the Lions last weekend (I had the "over" in that one as a guaranteed pick, a total which eclipsed the number in the first half).

The Browns are coming off a 41-20 beat-down loss at the hands of the Bengals.

For all intents and purposes, the season is on the line for both teams this weekend. A divisional setback at this point will spell doom for the loser.

"Momentum" and "chemistry" are two key factors at this time of year, and in this department there's no question that the Steelers have the advantage. They've won two straight while the Browns come into this contest having lost four of their last five, giving up a whopping 144 points in the process (conversely, the Steelers have given up just 37 over their last two wins).

If history is any precedence, then Pittsburgh has to be loving its chances as it's 17-2 SU its last 19 in this series.

I'm banking on the hot visiting side to continue to roll this week and will recommend a second look at Pittsburgh.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, November 24

AC Dinero

New York Jets vs. Baltimore Ravens
Play: Baltimore Ravens -3.5

The Ravens come home after a tough loss at Chicago. Pretty much every game from here on out is a playoff game for the defending Super Bowl Champions. I had this team as a disappointment at the beginning of the season, and it looks like I will be proven correct. But I think they win this game at home against a struggling NY Jet rookie QB who can't stop turning the ball over and realizes these are Big 12 defenses where tackling is optional that he is facing. The Raven running game finally showed a pulse last weekend. The Ravens are the better team in the red zone and make fewer mistakes. Lay the points with the home team.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, November 24

Jason Sharpe

Detroit -9 over Tampa Bay

Don’t be fooled by this Tampa Bay team and their second straight win last weekend. That victory came against an Atlanta team that is in total shambles right now and looks to have quit on the year. It was a nice victory for the Bucs, but you have to wonder what they are playing for now after winning their first two games of the season and heading back out onto the road here for this one. The monkey is off their backs now, and the sense of urgency probably won’t be there for Tampa Bay in this game. Add in the fact the Bucs are going with a rookie quarterback in Mike Glennon, and though Glennon has done a fine job, things get a lot harder for rookie QBs when they hit the road against a fierce Lions pass rush and inside a rowdy dome stadium.

The Detroit Lions come into this one with a chip on their shoulder as they feel like they let their last game slip through their fingers. The Lions dominated most of the game after the first quarter last week until totally collapsing in the last six minutes against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was a very tough spot for Detroit, who was on the road for the second week in a row after playing a huge divisional game the week before and going up against a desperate Steelers squad. Also, Detroit has only played four home games this season and will be excited here as it’s their first home contest in a month.

The Lions need this game badly, especially after blowing their last game. Look for an all-out effort in this one at home, where they are a very strong 3-1 this season so far. Take Detroit minus the points here.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, November 24

Wunderdog

Carolina at Miami
Pick: Carolina -4

Four weeks ago, sitting at 3-3, I stated on ESPN that the Carolina Panthers were solidly a top 10 team. Since then they have won four straight games both straight-up and against the spread but amazingly they are still under the radar. Some claimed that their wins came against weak teams, but the last two weeks they added San Francisco and New England to their victims list. Yet still the respect is low. If other big name NFL teams had reeled off six straight wins SU and ATS, they would be posted as a much bigger favorite here. Yet, we get one of the best teams in the league facing a bad team and laying less than a touchdown. That's value you don't often see in the NFL. Carolina has played consistent defense all season, but what they have added now is a consistent offense. That has been even more true when they face a team that is .500 or worse, like the Dolphins. Carolina's last five games vs. a .500 or less team has seen them produce 34, 31, 30, 35 and 28 points - an average of 31.6 points per game. Miami started the season 3-0, but have not been the same team since, as they are just 2-5 in their last seven games. The Carolina offense should have no problems doing what they have done against pedestrian teams, as Miami has allowed 20 or more points to eight of their last nine opponents. Carolina is 9-3 ATS in their last 12 on the road. Make the play on Carolina.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, November 24

Jimmy Boyd

Carolina Panthers -4½

The Carolina Panthers are easily the hottest team in the NFL right now. They are riding a six game win streak that includes victories over New England and San Francisco. This week they will face a Dolphins team that is just 5-5 on the year, and has a locker room surrounded in controversy. The Dolphins managed to squeak by an overrated Chargers team, and they gave the Tampa Bay Buccaneers their first win of the season.

Carolina makes a strong argument for having the best defense in the NFL. They have held opponents to 13.5 points per game overall, and are allowing just 15.6 points per game when playing on the road. Carolina specializes in forcing turnovers, while the offense does a great job of avoiding them. The Panthers have forced two or more turnovers in six of their last seven games. The offense has committed just four turnovers in their last six games combined. I think Carolina once again dominates the turnover margin, and they should pick up a big win on the road over Miami.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, November 24

Mike O'ConnorFREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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DETROIT (-8) 31 Tampa Bay 18FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Buccaneers come into this game off of a 41-28 home win against the Falcons in a game where they were outgained 410 yards at 6.3 yppl to 421 yards at 6.5 yppl but were +3 in turnover margin and actually led 41-13 before giving up some late yards and points. Tampa Bay is a talented team and have been playing better recently with Mike Glennon making good decisions and not turning the ball over. This week they travel to Detroit to take on the Lions as they try to rebound from a 27-37 loss to the Steelers in Pittsburgh. The Lions played excellent run defense in that game holding the Steelers to 45 yards at 2.0 ypr but could not stop Pittsburgh’s passing offense as they rolled up 358 yards at 7.8 yps. Detroit was also -3 in turnover margin, which is hard to overcome, and gambled on a fake field goal that didn’t work. With the loss the Lions dropped to 6-4 and into a first place tie with the Bears and will look to rebound this week before a Thanksgiving Day showdown with the Packers. The Lions have played well on offense this year averaging 416 yards at 6.1 yppl against teams that allow 360 yards at 5.5 yppl and will face a Tampa Bay defense that has been about average from the line of scrimmage overall (allowing 345 yards at 5.6 yppl to teams that gain 355 yards at 5.6 yppl). Matchup analysis suggests the Buccaneers may be able to keep this close but the Lions qualify in a 123-63-7 situation and my model favors them here as well (-10.1) so I will lean their way.
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GREEN BAY (-4) 24 Minnesota 18FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Packers enter this game desperate for a win after losing their last three and falling back to 5-5. With the loss last week Green Bay now faces two divisional games in five days (Minnesota on Sunday and at Detroit on Thanksgiving Day) as they try to hang in the divisional race. They hope Aaron Rodgers is back for next week but this week is huge for the Packers as HC Mike McCarthy has signaled all hands on deck in calling a win this week urgent. Last week against the Giants the Packers won the statistical battle (394 yards at 7.6 yppl to 334 yards at 5.3 yppl for the Giants) but were -2 in turnovers and that essentially cost them the game. On the other side, the Vikings have no realistic playoff aspirations at this point as they are coming off a 20-41 loss to the Seahawks in Seattle. They did a pretty good job of slowing down the Seahawks rushing attack (94 yards at 3.5 ypr) but were beaten badly in the passing game (230 yards at 11.0 yps) and finished the game -4 in turnover margin. It really doesn’t make a difference who they start at QB; their bigger problem may be if RB Adrian Peterson is limited this week as he is dealing with a groin injury. I have situations that go both ways in this game but my model favors the Packers (-6.1) and so based on that I will lean with Green Bay minus the points.
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ST. LOUIS (-1) 25 Chicago 23FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Bears come into this game off of a home OT 23-20 win over the Ravens in a game that was delayed over two hours due to torrential downpours and strong winds. Trailing 0-10 the Bears came back once play resumed and took a 20-17 lead late into the fourth quarter and eventually won on a Robbie Gould 38 yard field goal in OT. With the win the Bears are tied for first place in the NFC North with the Lions and lead Green Bay by just a game. Chicago has played well on offense this year overall (averaging 368 yards at 5.9 yppl to teams that allow 353 yards at 5.5 yppl) but have been below average on defense having suffered key injuries at every level that has really affected their performance. Their rush defense has been particularly poor and last week they allowed one of the worst rushing offenses in the league in the Ravens (#30 ranking) to have a breakout game (174 yards at 4.2 ypr). I expect that they will have some problems stopping the Rams rush attack this week with the recent emergence of rookie RB Zac Stacey as he has rushed for 537 yards at 4.2 ypr since taking over as the starter and has provided a boost to the Rams running game. St. Louis is just 4-6 on the season and has 6 teams ahead of them in the wild card race but only 1 team has more than a 2 game advantage. The Rams believe that they still have a shot and I expect a strong performance off the bye at home in this game. My model favors the Rams here by -2.8 but the Bears benefit from a negative 56-115-3 situation that plays against the Rams. I’ll lean with the model and what appears to be a good spot with a weak lean to the Rams minus the short number.
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HOUSTON (-10) 27 Jacksonville 14FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Jaguars enter this game off of a 14-27 loss at home to the Cardinals last week in a game that they led 14-7 in the second quarter before being outscored 20-0 the rest of the game. It was a fairly dominant performance statistically for Arizona (419 yards at 6.3 yppl to 274 yards at 4.6 yppl for the Jaguars) and with the loss Jacksonville has now dropped to 1-9 on the year. Adjusted season numbers show the Jaguars to be a poor team, with a terrible offense and an equally bad defense. They did hold the Cardinals to 17 yards at 0.8 ypr last week so that is certainly something to build on. Unfortunately there is not much else at this point. This week they face a divisional rival in the Houston Texans that have had their own problems this season with a 2-8 record, having lost their last 8 games. Statistically they look a lot better than their record would suggest with a better than average offense and a defense that has performed well in allowing 287 yards at 5.1 yppl to teams that average 336 yards at 5.4 yppl. Their -11 turnover margin is a clear reason for the subpar overall performance this season and part of the reason for the switch to rookie QB Case Keenum. Keenum has shown glimpses of being a good quarterback and after being taken out of the game last week he has regained his job and will start against the Jaguars. In 4 games he has only thrown 1 interception (he has fumbled 4 times) and if they don’t win the turnover battle in this game the Jaguars will find it very difficult to come away with a victory. The Jaguars do benefit from a 137-218-11 situation that plays against the Texans here but my model favors the Texans in this spot (-13.4). Not much of an opinion here but I will lean with the model and look for the better team to win the game and cover the number. I lean with the Texans.
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Tennessee (pk) 23 OAKLAND 18FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Titans come into this game off of a disappointing 27-30 home loss to the Colts in a game that they led 14-0 and 17-6 at halftime. The Colts took over the game in the second half and ultimately dropped the Titans to a 4-6 record with no room for error moving forward as they attempt to stay within the wildcard playoff picture. Outside of a few dropped passes the Titans offense played pretty well with Ryan Fitzpatrick running some no-huddle style offense and overall playing a very good game. The difference essentially was a fumbled kickoff that the Colts converted quickly into 7 points and a 20-17 lead early in the third quarter. Since it was a Thursday night game the Titans will have some extra time to regroup as they travel to Oakland to face a Raiders team that comes into this game off of an impressive 28-23 upset of the Texans with new QB Matt McGloin notching his first win. McGloin played pretty well last week in completing 18-32 for 176 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions but will now face a team that has some game film on him within this offense to study. My model favors the Titans here (-2.7) and they also qualify in a 240-145-8 situation. In addition, I like what Tennessee did last week in modifying their offense to fit the QB’s strengths. I expect Tennessee to apply pressure via creative blitz packages and force the young QB into making some tough decisions in his second start and that could lead to some trouble. With Tennessee off the loss and extra time to prepare facing a rookie QB off his first start and upset win, I like the Titans minus the small number.
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NY GIANTS (-2.5) 24 Dallas 21FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Dallas comes into this game off of the bye after being blasted by the Saints on Sunday night football two weeks ago, losing several key players in the process. The final score could have been much worse with an incredible stat-line of (193 yards at 4.5 yppl for Dallas to 625 yards at 7.8 yppl for the Saints). The Cowboys will look to regroup this week in a big game against the Giants with positioning within a tight divisional race at stake. Dallas really needed the break as they had poor performances in their three previous games (loss to the Lions, narrow win at home against the Vikings and loss to the Saints). They should be prepared in this game but they will face a Giants team that is much improved since their 36-31 Week 1 victory. The addition at linebacker of Jon Beason has really helped the Giants on defense while RB Andre Brown coming back off of injury has given their run game and pass protection some much needed help. The Cowboys adjusted stats show a team that has been below average offensively, particularly in the run game, and a defense that has been terrible in allowing 441 yards at 6.3 yppl to teams that gain 380 yards at 5.8 yppl on average. The Giants have a similar profile on offense but a defense that has played very well in allowing 338 yards at 5.2 yppl to teams that gain 370 yards at 5.8 yppl and I expect that will be the difference in this game. The Cowboys do benefit from a negative 137-218-11 situation that plays against the Giants but my model likes the Giants in this spot (-6.1). In what I expect will be a close game I’ll lean with the model and pick the Giants minus points.
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Denver (-2.5) 29 NEW ENGLAND 26FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Broncos come into this game off of a big 27-17 home win against the previously unbeaten Chiefs for the division lead and are in a bit of a tough spot this week as they face Kansas City again next week. Meanwhile, the Patriots are coming off of a controversial loss on Monday night to the Panthers 20-24 in a game that they could have won and will look to bounce back at home on Sunday night. This should be a good matchup as both teams have gotten some of their key players back recently but there are some injury concerns for the Patriots in this game with their secondary really banged up. That could be a problem as they face Peyton Manning and a passing offense that is averaging 350 yards at 8.2 yps against teams that allow 261 yards at 6.7 yps. My model likes the Broncos quite a bit here (-6.3) but the Patriots qualify in a good 82-166-9 situation and with the Patriots injuries and the Broncos in a difficult spot I am going to pass on this game. I’ll lean slightly with the Broncos.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, November 24

Randall the HandleFREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Bears 6-4 at Rams 4-6FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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As if playing in a storm, in the cold, on a soggy field and having a two-hour weather delay wasn't enough, Chicago then needed overtime to secure a win over the Ravens. After that fatiguing effort, the Bears must travel to play the rested Rams whose last contest was a dominant upset win at Indianapolis two weeks ago. Don't be fooled by Chicago's winning record. The Bears got out to a 3-0 start, some of it fortunate, before injuries to their defensive front seven made them quite vulnerable. Since then, they've had a losing record while currently standing 25th in the league in points allowed. Chicago has been unable to stop opposing ground games as its past four opponents have run for not less than 145 yards, including last week's 174 yards to the struggling Baltimore running game. This should suit the Rams well after discovering a quality back in Zac Stacey, who has racked up more than 300 yards over his past three games, including three touchdowns. With a strong outing against the Seahawks recently and the big win over Indy, St. Louis could be turning a corner. TAKING: RAMS -1
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Panthers 7-3 at Dolphins 5-5FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Carolina coach Ron Rivera has been insistent that his team won't let down after huge win over the Patriots. As we've pointed out on numerous occasions, the mental aspect of this game plays a huge part in many of its outcomes. After wins in two divisional games then continuing with consecutive wins at San Fran and New England, this becomes a classic letdown spot for the visiting Panthers. Don't get us wrong, we think highly of this emerging team but it's been in more than its fair share of close games and that type of affair will get us a cover here. QB Cam Newton has but still lacks the maturity to handle the ebbs and flows. Newton continues to overthrow too many receivers and it could prove costly against Miami's underrated secondary. It also won't help Carolina's cause that DE Charles Johnson could miss after injuring his knee. Miami put forth a good effort in midst of its bully saga and we expect the same on this day. TAKING: DOLPHINS +4 1/2
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Broncos 9-1 at Patriots 7-3FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Arch-frenemies Peyton Manning and Tom Brady go at it for the 14th time. Brady and his Patriots hold a 9-4 advantage and we think it could be extended this weekend. This will be the first time since 2005 that the Pats will be the home underdogs. That should be enough in itself. Denver may be worthy of the tag but they have played only two winning teams, including last week's victory over the offensively limited Kansas City Chiefs. Facing potent attacks, Denver gave up 48 to Dallas and 39 to the Colts. You know Bill Belichick will have studied those films and he should have a few tricks prepared for an underwhelming Broncos defence. Denver is not without its issues on offence as Manning is still bothered by a wonky ankle and now slot receiver and ex-Patriot Wes Welker could miss this highly anticipated match with his old mates due to concussion and neck issues. The Patriots were a 5 1/2 -point choice on this field in last year's matchup before emerging with a 31-21 victory. Things have not changed enough for the price to change this drastically, other than public perceptions. TAKINGK COLTS +2 1/2
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Buccaneers 2-8 at Lions 6-4FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Lions have not been more than a three-point favourite since opening week as a 4 1/2 -point choice against the Vikes. This host is too chaotic and poorly coached to be spotting points in the upper range. The Bucs may have a dreadful record -losing eight straight will do that to you -but they seem to have righted the ship somewhat after back-to-back wins. QB Mike Glennon appears to be settling in with each outing and Tampa's improved running game has assisted the passing game. Detroit's elite WR Calvin Johnson is always a concern but the Buccaneers have corner Darrelle Revis to help negate Megatron's presence. TAKING: BUCCANEERS +9
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Jaguars 1-9 at Texans 2-8FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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No, this is not a prank. The Texans are actually favoured by 10 just a week after losing on the square as a 10-point choice to Oakland, extending their current losing streak to a league-high eight games. It's a lost season for both clubs but the Jags expected to have a down year while Houston was expected by many to win its division. In addition, Houston's fans have turned on their beloved group and that won't help matters either. TAKING: JAGUARS +10
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Vikings 2-8 at Packers 5-5FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Packers have suffered through a myriad of injuries this year and last, but none more severe than the loss of QB Aaron Rodgers. The MVP pivot hopes to return next Thursday but for now, it appears Scott Tolzien will get his second start. The youngster was on the practice squad just three weeks ago but he now finds himself filling in for his all-star mentor. Tolzien has moved the ball at times but rookie mistakes have cost him, making him risky as a favourite. The Vikings have a quarterback crisis of their own, but they know this foe and they'll be looking to avenge an earlier 44-31 loss, that one with Rodgers. TAKING: VIKINGS +4 1/2
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Chargers 4-6 at Chiefs 9-1FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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This is more Kansas City's speed, facing another sub .500 squad. The schedulers have not been kind to the Chargers. This will be San Diego's fourth trip to the Eastern time zone in five games. Its only home game in that span was to Denver. Now they'll head to one of the NFL's most difficult venues to take on a Chiefs team that just suffered its first loss. K.C. is a risky favourite, relying on turnovers and ball control to win, but it has proven effective to this point and the timing once again falls into its wheelhouse. The Bolts are on a three-game slide and the offence has come down a gear or two from its earlier pace. TAKING: CHIEFS -4 1/2
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Steelers 4-6 at Browns 4-6FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Steelers are suddenly sexy again. Well, not in those bumble bee costumes but you get our point. Pittsburgh has strung a couple of home wins together and, in doing so, have put themselves back on the wild-card radar. We're not sold quite yet. The Steelers have one road win in five tries. Their run defence is not the run-stuffing unit from years past, ranking 26th at 125 yards per game. This will complete a circuit through the AFC North for the Browns after not faring well against the Ravens and Bengals. But if Cleveland can cut down on turnovers and run the ball effectively, both of which it's capable of doing, it could avoid a three-game divisional sweep. TAKING: BROWNS -1
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Jets 5-5 at Ravens 4-6FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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No team is more schizophrenic than these Jets, now in the throes of a 10-game win-lose-win-lose pattern. At some point, it's going to end but it may not be on this day. The Ravens haven't been favoured by this much since a Week 2 win over the Browns and with good reason. This 4-6 squad has struggled offensively for most of the year as QB Joe Flacco ranks a disappointing 26th in the league with a 75.3 passer rating and 13 interceptions, the most he's thrown in his career with six games still remaining. Giving away points to a decent New York defence will not come without challenges and the Jets'signing of ex-Raven S Ed Reed will only compound things. TAKING: JETS +3 1/2
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Titans 4-6 at Raiders 4-6FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Raiders come up with a surprise win every so often but that's usually when they are receiving a basket full of points. Being expected to win is a horse of a different colour. Oakland has been listed as chalk just twice this year. It did manage a cover as a 4-point choice over the lowly Jaguars (who doesn't?) but were crushed 49-20 as a slight fave to the Eagles. The Raiders won last week but they haven't won consecutive games since the midway point of last year. Tennessee seems to have settled in with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback and if the Titans offence and defence ever come to play on the same day, they might actually do some damage. TAKINGS: TITANS Even
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Colts 7-3 at Cardinals 6-4FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Both have winning records but can either be trusted? The Colts have been falling behind early in games only to have fought back in two of their past three en route to victories. The 38-8 home crushing to the Rams is puzzling and lends itself to doubt. The Cardinals are in a bit of a groove, winning three straight but that was against the Falcons, Texans and Jaguars who are 5-25 combined. This will be a step up for Arizona and that could be a problem as they've lost to winners in the form of Saints, Niners and Seahawks. Indy has had 10 days to prepare for its host and with Andrew Luck finally clicking with his receivers after losing Reggie Wayne, we'll give the visitor the nod.
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Cowboys 5-5 at Giants 4-6FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Fun, wow! This zany division remains up for grabs and this one could set the tone for which team ultimately takes it. The Cowboys have been torched by every quality quarterback that they have faced this season.
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While Eli Manning may be classified as semi-quality, he too managed to throw for 428 yards in the season opener in Dallas.
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Of course, six turnovers were the Giants' undoing in that one but despite the disparity in turnovers, the Giants nearly pulled that one off. They've had this one marked ever since and with these two headed in opposite directions, much prefer the motivated home club at the short price. TAKING: GIANTS -2 1/2
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49ers 6-4 at Redskins 3-7FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Washington's defence is one of the weakest units in the league. But timing could be right here as the Niners arrive here after dropping a pair of down to the wire games against the Panthers and Saints respectively. San Franscisco still ranks 32nd in passing yards at 168 per game, nearly 20 yards behind the 31st placed Raiders. The Redskins have taken a significant step backward after an inspiring 2012 campaign but they still employ some weapons on offence and despite their porous record, a couple of wins could change things in volatile NFC East. This will be treated as a make or break game and a close one would not surprise. TAKING: REDSKINS +5 1/2

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Marc LawrenceFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Carolina Panthers at Miami DolphinsFREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Prediction: Miami DolphinsFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The NFL’s newest hot commodity, Cam Newton’s Carolina Panthers, take a 6-game win streak into South Beach when they meet the Miami Bullies, err Dolphins, on Sunday. And while we’ve ridden most of the Carolina win skein, we’re opting to hop off here as they suddenly become a bit to puffy for our taste. It starts with the fact that teams off a win over the Patriots are just 4-8 SU and 3-9 ATS of late, including 0-4 ATS as favorites. Then there’s the fact that NFL favorites of 3 or more points, riding a 6-game SUATS win streak-exact, are 5-13 ATS since 1980, including 0-4 ATS away. We’re not thrilled that the Richie Incognito soap opera continues in Miami, but reports are that the locker room remains positive and the players are on the same page. Thus, with Carolina a not-so-fine 0-8 SUATS in its franchise history as non-division road chalk off a SUATS win – and the Dolphins 8-4 SU and 11-1 ATS as single-digit non-division dogs, including 4-0 SUATS at home – we’re calling for the upset as the streak stops at six. And that’s no bull.  We recommend a 1-unit play on Miami.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, November 24

Doug UpstoneFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Pittsburgh vs. ClevelandFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Under 40FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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On Sunday, Play Under on home teams like Cleveland, when the total is between 35.5 and 42 points, after having lost four out of their last five games, with a win percentage between 25% to 40%, playing a team with a losing record in the second half of the season. In the last decade, this NFL system is a superb 23-5, 82.1 percent, with the average total score 33.2 points.

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Jim FeistFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Jaguars vs TexansFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: OverFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Jacksonville is moving the football, averaging 21.5 ppg the last two games, one their first win. Jacksonville is 4-0 over the total on the road and on a 5-1 run over the total overall. Their last 4 road games they've allowed 27, 35, 34 and 45 points. This defense ranks 24th against the pass and dead last against the run. Houston is giving up points, as well, and the over is 5-0 in Texans last 5 home games. With this game indoors and a low total for an NFL game these teams, play the Jaguars/Texans over the total.

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King CreoleFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Dallas +3FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Not impressed by the G-Men's current 4-game winning streak. Especially when you consider who the opponents were. Much prefer a Cowboy team that's already gone 7-3 ATS on the year. Not only that, but DALLAS is 9-1 ATS on the road after allowing 35+ pts... 7-1 ATS off their Bye Week... 9-3 ATS in Week Twelve... 4-0 ATS after passing for < 150 yards... and 4-1 ATS as an underdog this season.
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This is New York's THIRD straight home game in a row. And that's a DANGER SIGN for teams who won each of those two  previous home games.
2-10 ATS since 2008: All teams in their third STRAIGHT home game (Giants) off BB SU wins. These teams have gone a PERFECT 0-4 ATS in the last three seasons.
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Let's query that current winning streak for the hosts...
3-12 ATS since 2002: All home favorites of -10 < points playing off 3 or more SU wins (Giants) versus any opponent off a SU loss (COWBOYS).
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Dallas comes off their Bye Week after s**ting the bed in their last game.
12-3-1 ATS: All underdogs off heir Bye Week... and a SU loss in which they allowed 35 > pts (COWBOYS). These teams have gone 6-1-1 ATS as underdogs of < 11 points.
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That opponent in Dallas' last loss was the hot New Orleans Saints.
6-0 ATS since 2003: All underdogs playing off a SU road loss against the New Orl Saints (DALLAS) versus any .500 < opponent off a SDU win (New York).
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In that last loss, Dallas gave up a whopping 49 points...
9-1 ATS last 2 years: All teams playing off a road loss in which they allowed 48 or more points (COWBOYS). These teams have gone a PERFECT 6-0 ATS dating back to 2007 against any .500 < DIVISION opponent (Giants).
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Giants: 3-9-1 ATS in Week Twelve... 2-6 ATS off an ATS win... 1-5-1 ATS after allowing < 15 points... and 1-7 ATS as division home favorites of < 7 points.

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SPORTS WAGERSFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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MIAMI +5 over CarolinaFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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One always has to be aware of situational betting and in terms of that, this might be the best situational wager of the season. Forget the X’s and O’s here. You don’t need us, marble mouth Shannon Sharpe, Dan Marino or Terry Bradshaw to inform you that the Carolina Panthers are for real and that they’re vastly superior to the Dolphins. That said, it is virtually impossible to maintain high intensity levels throughout an entire season and for the Panthers, playing this game in Miami is akin to playing an exhibition game after winning the Super Bowl. After losing in Arizona way back in Week 5, the Panthers have reeled off six wins in a row. Two weeks ago, Carolina went into San Francisco and defeated the 49ers 10-9. On Monday night, the Panthers hosted their first Monday Night Football game in five years against the Patriots. The city was jacked up and so too were the Panthers. Carolina played their hearts out for 60 minutes. Every player on that team played like it was life or death. Every hit, every tackle, every completed pass, every broken up pass and every score or prevention was celebrated at an extremely high level. There is no possible way that the Panthers bring that same intensity level on the road with them this week. In fact, the Panthers figure to bring a fraction of that level here after six straight wins and consecutive victories over San Fran and New England. Upsets happen in sports all the time and they occur when the superior team takes the inferior team lightly after a big win and intensity levels are way down. The Panthers and the city are still gloating after Monday’s huge performance that came right down to the final play. Carolina pays the price here. We’re calling the Dolphins outright but will take a little insurance with the points being offered.
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CLEVELAND -1 over PittsburghFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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If the Browns have any chance to stay in the race they must beat Pittsburgh and Jacksonville in back-to-back home games to reach .500. They have a young, emerging defense with an offense that has big holes to fill but Jason Campbell has looked very comfortable out there since taking over. Campbell has passed for around 250 or more yards in all his starts so far. At home the Browns have taken down the Bengals, Bills and Ravens and it would be of no surprise adding these Steelers to that list in a favorable spot.
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Misery loves company and we mention that because the Steelers travel to Baltimore next week on Thanksgiving Thursday with an opportunity to make life just as miserable for their most hated rival. That featured game on Thursday night likely has the Steelers a little out of focus for this one. Even at their very best, the Steelers would be in trouble here. The Steelers aren’t going to the playoffs. They know it and we know it and now this one essentially serves as an elimination match. Nobody’s coming back from 4-7, not even in this slow-speed chase. The Steelers have a little momentum, a capable quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger and little else. They’re a mid-pack defense that doesn’t register many turnovers or sacks. The Steelers are a great organization saddled with a declining team and salary-cap issues. Finishing 7-9 or 8-8 only delays the inevitable and denies them of a high draft pick to help start the rebuild. Pittsburgh has one road win in five games. They were actually very fortunate to win last week after Detroit’s HC, Jim Schwartz decided to fake a short FG attempt that would have put the Lions up 7 in the dying minutes. The Steelers have already lost to Tennessee, Minnesota and Oakland, they were buried by Chicago and New England and with Baltimore up next on Thursday, they once again become a very beatable club.

N.Y. GIANTS -2½ over Dallas

Isn’t this the exact same time every year that the Giants come on and the Cowboys fade away? This week we’ll see if the G-Men’s four-game winning streak was legit. New York’s four wins have come in Philly the week that Matt Barkley played and Nick Foles was out, plus three home games against the Vikings, Raiders and the injury-ravaged version of the Packers. The sad state of the NFC East has the Giants in contention for the division with only a 4-6 record. A loss here says the wins were just a function of the schedule and luck but there are things about the Giants we should not ignore. Granted the Giants have hosted some bad teams, but they have only allowed four passing scores at home this year and that includes facing Big Bro Peyton (307, 2 TD). The Giants secondary has improved since their rocky start to the season and their offense is back to form. The rushing defense is top ten now, as they have allowed only three rushing scores in the last nine games. Freezing cold temperatures in New York gives the Giants an even bigger edge here.

There is no fix for a bad defense. Prior to its bye, Dallas was clobbered two weeks ago on Sunday night in New Orleans by a score of 49-17. The last time a Dallas tape looked as it bad as it did that Sunday night, Abraham Zapruder was filming it. The Cowboys rank as the worst defense against quarterbacks and running backs. They have already allowed five quarterbacks to throw for more than 390 yards including Eli Manning in the first meeting. On the road, Dallas has allowed seven touchdowns to running backs over the last TWO ROAD GAMES. The Giants may not be quite as good as their recent winning streak suggests but the Cowboys defense has been that bad and it gets worse when the ‘Boys travel. We can usually expect a rebound from a team that gets humiliated their last time out but in the Cowboys case, we’re not buying it. This is a badly coached team with no heart, no guts and absolutely no defense.

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Bryan PowerFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Tennessee vs. OaklandFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: TennesseeFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Raiders almost never win back to back games. Seriously.  They won last week, 28-23 over hapless Houston, but the Silver and Black are 0-3 straight up off their previous three SU victories this season and have lost those games by an average margin of nearly three touchdowns per game.  Last time in this scenario resulted in a 49-20 home loss to Philadelphia where Eagles Nick Foles matched a NFL record w/ 7 TD passes.  Over the last two years, Oakland has strung B2B wins together only one time, last year beating Jacksonville and Kansas City in consecutive weeks.  I don't see Matt McGloin leading this team to victory two weeks in a row.
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The Titans have lost 5 of 6 to fall off the playoff pace, but a win here would get them right back in the thick of things as the middle of the AFC is very weak.  Tennessee too has a backup QB w/ Ryan Fitzpatrick.  Despite his struggles, it's easy to forget that they led the Colts 14-0 last week.  Having not played since Thursday the previous week, the Titans have the scheduling edge.  I don't know how Oakland has gotten to four wins. They won't add to that total Sunday.

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Teddy CoversFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Chicago vs. St. LouisFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: St. LouisFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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St Louis went into the bye with a boatload of positive momentum, breaking out with a 30 point win at Indy. But that effort didn’t come in a vacuum.
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Here’s an excerpt from what I wrote about the Rams prior to that ballgame:
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“St Louis lost at home to Tennessee last week, but the Rams showed numerous positive signs in that game prior to the defeat.  The Rams ran the football effectively all afternoon for the second straight week against a solid stop unit, with Zac Stacy bulling his way to another 100+ yard game on the ground.  The much maligned offensive line blew open holes for Stacy, and gave Kellen Clemens solid protection.
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“Clemens was accurate and played mostly mistake free football; all you can ask from a backup QB.  They scored touchdowns, not settling for field goals. Their pass rush was tremendous, forcing Jake Locker into numerous poor throws while notching four sacks.  And coming off a disheartening loss on Monday Night, the Rams bounced back positively from adversity on several occasions, immediately responding to Tennessee touchdowns with TD drives of their own.”
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This Rams team is better than their 4-6 record would indicate. Meanwhile, the Bears are weaker than their 6-4 record would indicate, as clearly evidenced by their dismal 2-7-1 ATS mark, with only a single pointspread cover since September. Their offense lacks explosiveness with Josh McCown and their defense is a shell of what it was to open the season thanks to a bevy of key injuries.  Chicago stole a win they probably didn’t deserve last week. I’m not expecting that to happen two weeks in a row!

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Sean Murphy
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Minnesota vs. Green Bay
Pick: Green Bay
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You won't find a much stronger motivational spot for the Packers, who are coming off extremely rare back-to-back losses at Lambeau Field, and three consecutive defeats overall (they lost to the Giants on the road last Sunday).
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The Vikings look like the perfect opponent to take their frustrations out on, as Minnesota stays on the road for the second straight week after getting leveled in Seattle last Sunday.
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Yes, the Packers are a much different team without Aaron Rodgers at the helm, but Scott Tolzien has stepped in and done some good things playing in a rather large shadow. After learning on the fly over the last two games, I look for Tolzien to step up with a big performance in front of the Lambeau faithful on Sunday.
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Facing a defense like the Vikings will help. Minnesota is giving up 5.8 yards per play this season, and that number has gotten worse lately, rising to 6.1 ypp over its last three contests.
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After hanging tough in back-to-back games against the Cowboys and Redskins (and winning the latter), we saw the bottom fall out for the Vikes last Sunday in Seattle. This is quite simply a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, as they'll undoubtedly get the reeling Packers best shot on Sunday.
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Green Bay realizes the importance of regaining its footing here before heading to Detroit for a tough Thanksgiving Day matchup. The Packers are hoping that Aaron Rodgers could return for that one, but regardless, a decisive win here would make them feel an awful lot better, heading in above .500 rather than below.
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Look for a big game from Tolzien, Eddie Lacy, and the Packers offense, as they cruise to a key division win over a down-trodden Vikings squad that will just be looking forward to heading back home.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, November 24

Jimmy Boyd

Carolina Panthers -4½

The Carolina Panthers are easily the hottest team in the NFL right now. They are riding a six game win streak that includes victories over New England and San Francisco. This week they will face a Dolphins team that is just 5-5 on the year, and has a locker room surrounded in controversy. The Dolphins managed to squeak by an overrated Chargers team, and they gave the Tampa Bay Buccaneers their first win of the season.

Carolina makes a strong argument for having the best defense in the NFL. They have held opponents to 13.5 points per game overall, and are allowing just 15.6 points per game when playing on the road. Carolina specializes in forcing turnovers, while the offense does a great job of avoiding them. The Panthers have forced two or more turnovers in six of their last seven games. The offense has committed just four turnovers in their last six games combined. I think Carolina once again dominates the turnover margin, and they should pick up a big win on the road over Miami.

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