Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, December 29

Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, December 29

DUNKEL INDEX

NFL

Philadelphia at Dallas
The Eagles look to clinch the NFC East title against a Dallas team that is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 games in Week 17 of the season. Philadelphia is the pick (-6 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Eagles favored by 9 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (-6 1/2)

Game 301-302: Carolina at Atlanta (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Carolina 136.899; Atlanta 127.550
Dunkel Line: Carolina by 9 1/2; 41
Vegas Line: Carolina by 6; 46
Dunkel Pick: Carolina (-6); Under

Game 303-304: Green Bay at Chicago (4:25 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Green Bay 128.107; Chicago 127.223
Dunkel Line: Green Bay by 1; 49
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 305-306: Houston at Tennessee (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Houston 122.822; Tennessee 126.915
Dunkel Line: Tennessee by 4; 48
Vegas Line: Tennessee by 7; 44
Dunkel Pick: Houston (+7); Over

Game 307-308: Cleveland at Pittsburgh (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland 123.172; Pittsburgh 138.965
Dunkel Line: Pittsburgh by 16; 39
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh by 7; 44
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-7); Under

Game 309-310: Washington at NY Giants (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington 125.239; NY Giants 125.422
Dunkel Line: Even; 49
Vegas Line: NY Giants by 4; 45 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (+4); Over

Game 311-312: Baltimore at Cincinnati (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Baltimore 129.905; Cincinnati 141.329
Dunkel Line: Cincinnati by 11 1/2; 38
Vegas Line: Cincinnati by 5 1/2; 44 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cincinnati (-5 1/2); Under

Game 313-314: Jacksonville at Indianapolis (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Jacksonville 125.856; Indianapolis 130.289
Dunkel Line: Indianapolis by 4 1/2; 48
Vegas Line: Indianapolis by 11 1/2; 45 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Jacksonville (+11 1/2); Over

Game 315-316: Philadelphia at Dallas (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Philadelphia 138.210; Dallas 128.464
Dunkel Line: Philadelphia by 9 1/2; 47
Vegas Line: Philadelphia by 6 1/2; 52 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (-6 1/2); Under

Game 317-318: NY Jets at Miami (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Jets 124.040; Miami 139.068
Dunkel Line: Miami by 15; 38
Vegas Line: Miami by 6; 41
Dunkel Pick: Miami (-6); Under

Game 319-320: Detroit at Minnesota (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit 131.660; Minnesota 130.354
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 1 1/2; 58
Vegas Line: Minnesota by 3; 52
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (+3); Over

Game 321-322: Buffalo at New England (4:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Buffalo 123.204; New England 140.765
Dunkel Line: New England by 17 1/2; 44
Vegas Line: New England by 8 1/2; 47
Dunkel Pick: New England (-8 1/2); Under

Game 323-324: Tampa Bay at New Orleans (4:25 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay 131.565; New Orleans 137.432
Dunkel Line: New Orleans by 6; 53
Vegas Line: New Orleans by 13; 47
Dunkel Pick: Tampa Bay (+13); Over

Game 325-326: Denver at Oakland (4:25 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Denver 141.319; Oakland 122.966
Dunkel Line: Denver by 18 1/2; 48
Vegas Line: Denver by 12; 53 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Denver (-12); Under

Game 327-328: San Francisco at Arizona (4:25 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Francisco 142.234; Arizona 144.231
Dunkel Line: Arizona by 2; 46
Vegas Line: San Francisco by 1 1/2; 42
Dunkel Pick: Arizona (+1 1/2); Over

Game 329-330: Kansas City at San Diego (4:25 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Kansas City 138.267; San Diego 138.017
Dunkel Line: Even; 49
Vegas Line: San Diego by 10; 45
Dunkel Pick: Kansas City (+10); Over

Game 331-332: St. Louis at Seattle (4:25 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis 131.754; Seattle 146.570
Dunkel Line: Seattle by 15; 38
Vegas Line: Seattle by 10 1/2; 43
Dunkel Pick: Seattle (-10 1/2); Under

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, December 29

DUNKEL INDEX

NBA

Houston at Oklahoma City
The Rockets visit OKC tonight with a 7-14 ATS record in their last 21 games as a road underdog of 3 1/2 to 6 points. Oklahoma City is the pick (-4 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Thunder favored by 9. Dunkel Pick: Oklahoma City (-4 1/2)

Game 801-802: Atlanta at Orlando (6:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta 120.732; Orlando 118.807
Dunkel Line & Total: Atlanta by 2; 205
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 803-804: Golden State at Cleveland (6:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Golden State 125.313; Cleveland 115.997
Dunkel Line & Total: Golden State by 9 1/2; 201
Vegas Line & Total: Golden State by 6 1/2; 205 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Golden State (-6 1/2); Under

Game 805-806: Sacramento at San Antonio (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Sacramento 114.884; San Antonio 124.487
Dunkel Line & Total: San Antonio by 9 1/2; 217
Vegas Line & Total: San Antonio by 12; 210 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Sacramento (+12); Over

Game 807-808: Houston at Oklahoma City (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Houston 121.533; Oklahoma City 130.615
Dunkel Line & Total: Oklahoma City by 9; 214
Vegas Line & Total: Oklahoma City by 4 1/2; 207
Dunkel Pick: Oklahoma City (-4 1/2); Over

Game 809-810: Philadelphia at LA Lakers (9:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Philadelphia 104.903; LA Lakers 120.315
Dunkel Line & Total: LA Lakers by 15 1/2; 219
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

NHL

Montreal at Florida
The Panthers host the Canadiens tonight looking to improve on their 5-2 record in their last 7 games against Atlantic Division opponents. Florida is the pick (+110) according to Dunkel, which has the Panthers favored by 1 1/2.Dunkel Pick: Florida (+110)

Game 1-2: Montreal at Florida (5:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Montreal 10.396; Florida 11.751
Dunkel Line & Total: Florida by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Montreal (-130); 5
Dunkel Pick: Florida (+110); Over

Game 3-4: Washington at Buffalo (5:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington 11.420; Buffalo 10.099
Dunkel Line & Total: Washington by 1 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Washington (-130); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-130); Under

Game 5-6: Pittsburgh at Columbus (6:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh 12.847; Columbus 10.921
Dunkel Line & Total: Pittsburgh by 2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 7-8: St. Louis at Dallas (6:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis 12.343; Dallas 10.852
Dunkel Line & Total: St. Louis by 1 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: St. Louis (-120); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (-120); Under

Game 9-10: NY Rangers at Tampa Bay (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Rangers 9.574; Tampa Bay 12.169
Dunkel Line & Total: Tampa Bay by 2 1/2; 4
Vegas Line & Total: Tampa Bay (-140); 5
Dunkel Pick: Tampa Bay (-140); Under

Game 11-12: Carolina at Toronto (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Carolina 11.910; Toronto 10.353
Dunkel Line & Total: Carolina by 1 1/2; 6 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Toronto (-140); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Carolina (+120); Over

Game 13-14: Vancouver at Calgary (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Vancouver 12.998; Calgary 10.550
Dunkel Line & Total: Vancouver by 2 1/2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Vancouver (-140); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Vancouver (-140); Over

Game 15-16: Winnipeg at Colorado (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Winnipeg 11.182; Colorado 10.211
Dunkel Line & Total: Winnipeg by 1; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Colorado (-160); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Winnipeg (+140); Under

Game 17-18: NY Islanders at Minnesota (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Islanders 11.347; Minnesota 10.021
Dunkel Line & Total: NY Islanders by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 19-20: Anaheim at San Jose (10:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Anaheim 11.204; San Jose 12.778
Dunkel Line & Total: San Jose by 1 1/2; 4
Vegas Line & Total: San Jose (-165); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Jose (-165); Under

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DUNKEL INDEX

NCAAB

Howard at USC
The 8-4 Trojans play host to a Howard team that is 0-7 ATS in its last 7 games against teams with a winning record. USC is the pick (-23) according to Dunkel, which has the Trojans favored by 27 1/2. Dunkel Pick: USC (-23)

Game 811-812: Georgia State at East Carolina (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Georgia State 55.666; East Carolina 61.324
Dunkel Line: East Carolina by 5 1/2; 152
Vegas Line: East Carolina by 1 1/2; 146 1/2
Dunkel Pick: East Carolina (-1 1/2); Over

Game 813-814: Buffalo at Drexel (2:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Buffalo 54.688; Drexel 60.847
Dunkel Line: Drexel by 6
Vegas Line: Drexel by 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Buffalo (+8 1/2)

Game 815-816: Bowling Green at Wright State (3:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Bowling Green 48.284; Wright State 57.563
Dunkel Line: Wright State by 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Wright State by 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Wright State (-6 1/2)

Game 817-818: William & Mary at West Virginia (3:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: William & Mary 56.009; West Virginia 62.786
Dunkel Line: West Virginia by 7
Vegas Line: West Virginia by 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: William & Mary (+9 1/2)

Game 819-820: Southern Illinois at Miami (OH) (3:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Southern Illinois 49.337; Miami (OH) 55.571
Dunkel Line: Miami (OH) by 6
Vegas Line: Miami (OH) by 2 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Miami (OH) (-2 1/2)

Game 821-822: Cal Poly at Stanford (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cal Poly 56.926; Stanford 67.109
Dunkel Line: Stanford by 10
Vegas Line: Stanford by 13 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cal Poly (+13 1/2)

Game 823-824: Georgia Tech at Charlotte (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Georgia Tech 58.364; Charlotte 63.170
Dunkel Line: Charlotte by 5; 136
Vegas Line: Charlotte by 3; 143 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Charlotte (-3); Under

Game 825-826: Tulsa at Maryland (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tulsa 55.784; Maryland 63.801
Dunkel Line: Maryland by 8; 155
Vegas Line: Maryland by 10 1/2; 147 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Tulsa (+10 1/2; Over

Game 827-828: Maine vs. Middle Tennessee State (4:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Maine 39.978; Middle Tennessee State 56.911
Dunkel Line: Middle Tennessee State by 17
Vegas Line: Middle Tennessee State by 19
Dunkel Pick: Maine (+19)

Game 829-830: Grand Canyon at Chattanooga (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Grand Canyon 40.777; Chattanooga 45.216
Dunkel Line: Chattanooga by 4 1/2
Vegas Line: Chattanooga by 2
Dunkel Pick: Chattanooga (-2)

Game 835-836: Pennsylvania at Rider (12:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pennsylvania 50.926; Rider 52.506
Dunkel Line: Rider by 1 1/2
Vegas Line: Rider by 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Pennsylvania (+8 1/2)

Game 837-838: South Dakota at Youngstown State (2:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: South Dakota 44.884; Youngstown State 56.154
Dunkel Line: Youngstown State by 11 1/2
Vegas Line: Youngstown State by 9
Dunkel Pick: Youngstown State (-9)

Game 839-840: College of Charleston at The Citadel (2:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: College of Charleston 50.720; The Citadel 39.778
Dunkel Line: College of Charleston by 11
Vegas Line: College of Charleston by 8
Dunkel Pick: College of Charleston (-8)

Game 841-842: Drake at IUPUI (2:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Drake 54.464; IUPUI 51.108
Dunkel Line: Drake by 3 1/2
Vegas Line: Drake by 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Drake (+5 1/2)

Game 843-844: Canisius at Notre Dame (5:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Canisius 53.655; Notre Dame 70.165
Dunkel Line: Notre Dame by 16 1/2; 141
Vegas Line: Notre Dame by 11; 146 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Notre Dame (-11); Under

Game 845-846: Eastern Kentucky at IPFW (2:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Eastern Kentucky 53.063; IPFW 55.783
Dunkel Line: IPFW by 2 1/2; 133
Vegas Line: IPFW by 4 1/2; 138 1/2

Dunkel Pick: Eastern Kentucky (+4 1/2); Under
Game 847-848: Brown at Niagara (2:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Brown 51.940; Niagara 54.258
Dunkel Line: Niagara by 2 1/2
Vegas Line: Pick
Dunkel Pick: Niagara

Game 849-850: SE Missouri State at Missouri State (3:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: SE Missouri State 51.678; Missouri State 60.242
Dunkel Line: Missouri State by 8 1/2; 147
Vegas Line: Missouri State by 7 1/2; 143 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Missouri State (-7 1/2); Over

Game 851-852: UC-Riverside at Sacramento State (5:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: UC-Riverside 44.085; Sacramento State 48.563
Dunkel Line: Sacramento State by 4 1/2
Vegas Line: Sacramento State by 2
Dunkel Pick: Sacramento State (-2)

Game 853-854: Murray State at Dayton (2:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Murray State 51.092; Dayton 63.919
Dunkel Line: Dayton by 13
Vegas Line: Dayton by 16
Dunkel Pick: Murray State (+16)

Game 855-856: Davidson at Wichita State (3:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Davidson 56.059; Wichita State 70.253
Dunkel Line: Wichita State by 14; 156
Vegas Line: Wichita State by 17 1/2; 147 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Davidson (+17 1/2); Over

Game 857-858: North Dakota at Northern Colorado (4:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: North Dakota 48.142; Northern Colorado 57.696
Dunkel Line: Northern Colorado by 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Northern Colorado by 6
Dunkel Pick: Northern Colorado (-6)

Game 859-860: Quinnipiac at Oregon State (11:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Quinnipiac 51.314; Oregon State 60.654
Dunkel Line: Oregon State by 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Oregon State by 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Oregon State (-6 1/2)

Game 871-872: Morgan State at Oregon (3:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Morgan State 50.593; Oregon 71.338
Dunkel Line: Oregon by 21
Vegas Line: Oregon by 24 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Morgan State (+24 1/2)

Game 873-874: Chicago State at Creighton (5:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Chicago State 47.638; Creighton 70.636
Dunkel Line: Creighton by 23
Vegas Line: Creighton by 28
Dunkel Pick: Chicago State (+28)

Game 875-876: Howard at USC (5:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Howard 35.874; USC 63.347
Dunkel Line: USC by 27 1/2
Vegas Line: USC by 23
Dunkel Pick: USC (-23)

Game 877-878: Hartford at Washington (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Hartford 46.061; Washington 60.731
Dunkel Line: Washington by 14 1/2
Vegas Line: Washington by 10
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-10)

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, December 29

Nick ParsonsFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Detroit vs. MinnesotaFOR  FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: UnderFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Last week I recommended a play on the "under" 50 total points scored between the Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers. San Diego would end up winning 26-13 and the total did indeed stay well below the posted number.
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This week I believe that the "under" in the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings matchup offers great value.
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As with almost all of my "totals plays", this is a great situational selection.
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Detroit's spiral down the proverbial crapper continued in last week's 23-20 overtime loss to the Giants at home.
While the Lions' once prolific offense has stalled, their defensive unit has actually been decent, allowing just 36 total points in its last two setbacks.
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Minnesota limps to the finish line now, coming off a 42-14 destruction in Cincinnati last week. That said, throwing a monkey-wrench into its rivals plans will be the motivation this team feeds off in its regular season finale.
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While these teams have typically played to higher scoring affairs in the recent past, I believe that the situation that each finds itself in coming into this contest lends itself to a lower-scoring defensive battle this afternoon; consider a second look at the "under" in this one.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, December 29

Rickie RobbinsFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati BengalsSERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Baltimore Ravens +6½FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Cincinnati Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens face off on Sunday in Cincinnati for what could be a meaningful game when it comes to the AFC Playoffs.
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The Cincinnati Bengals have clinched the AFC North title and a home playoff game but with a win and a New England loss they would get a first round bye and the number two seed in the AFC. Then Bengals have made the playoffs the past two seasons but they are looking to break through with a win this year. Andy Dalton has completed 62.2 percent of his passes for 31 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. BenJarvus Green-Ellis has rushed for 690 yards and seven touchdowns and Giovanni Bernard has rushed for 673 yards and he has 51 receptions. A.J. Green has 94 receptions for 1,365 yards and 10 touchdowns and Marvin Jones has 46 catches and nine touchdowns. Vontaze Burfict has 157 tackles and 3.0 sacks, Rey Maualuga has 72 tackles, and Wallace Gilberry and Carlos Dunlap have 7.5 sacks each. The Bengals offense is averaging 26.4 points and 366.8 yards per game while defensively they are allowing 19.2 points and their opponents average 311.1 yards per game. The Bengals have shown the ability to beat anyone on any given day.
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The Baltimore Ravens are going to need to win and then they are going to need help if they are going to make the playoffs this season. The Ravens need Miami to lose or they will be eliminated and will not be defending their Super Bowl crown. Joe Flacco has completed 58.9 percent of his passes with 18 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. The Ravens running game has been disappointing with Ray Rice rushing for 645 yards but catching 51 passes out of the backfield and Bernard Pierce rushing for 408 yards. Torrey Smith has 62 receptions and Marlomn Brown has 44 catches but after trading Anquan Boldin and then Jacoby Jones miss a good chunk of the season the Baltimore passing game ahs struggled as well. Daryl Smith has 118 tackles and 5.0 sacks, James Ihedigbo has 94 tackles, and Terrell Suggs as 79 tackles and 10 sacks. The Ravens simply lost too much from last years team to make a legitimate run at repeating.
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The Ravens are in a must win situation. The Bengals have already clinched a playoff spot. I look for the Ravens to win here outright. Taking the points is an easy win.
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Cincinnati is 4-10-2 against the spread against the AFC North. Baltimore is 19-7-2 against the spread against a team with a winning record, and is 3-1-1 against the spread in the last five meetings of these two.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, December 29

Stephen NoverFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh SteelersSERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Pittsburgh Steelers -7FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The price is reasonable enough to get behind Pittsburgh, which has playoff motivation, historical pride and has been playing far better than Cleveland.
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The Steelers have covered six of their last seven. They have won five of their last seven games with each victory coming by seven or more points. This includes a 27-11 win at Cleveland five weeks ago.
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The Browns never recovered from losing sparkplug quarterback Brian Hoyer in Week 5. They are 1-9 SU, 3-7 ATS since then. Even with Josh Gordon emerging as an elite wide receiver, the Browns' offense is way below average because of inferior quarterbacks and a ground game that ranks 27th and has scored only one rushing touchdown on the road all season.
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Emerging tight end Jordan Cameron isn't likely to play either as he recovers from a concussion that kept him out of last week's loss against the Jets. The Browns also could be missing cornerback Joe Haden, who has a hip pointer.
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Cleveland's defense was underrated during the first half of the season, but it has worn down. The Browns have surrendered an average of 31.5 points during their last six games.
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Pittsburgh's offense is coming on. Le'Veon Bell keeps getting better and better. The Steelers' offensive line has come together to allow just six sacks in the last six games. Ben Roethlisberger, one of the great cold weather quarterbacks, has taken advantage throwing for 19 touchdowns with five interceptions in his last eight games. Big Ben ranks in the top seven in passing yards and touchdowns. Only seven starting quarterbacks have a higher quarterback rating than Roethlisberger.
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The Steelers have absolutely dominated the Browns during the Roethlisberger era winning 16 of 17 times. Pittsburgh's only loss during this span came last season when Charlie Batch was forced to be its quarterback due to an injury to Roethlisberger. Batch was picked off three times.
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Pittsburgh has defeated Cleveland the past 13 times at home. The Browns have averaged only 9.4 points per game during their last 11 meetings versus the Steelers.


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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, December 29

Randall the HandleFREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Eagles (9-6) at Cowboys (8-7)FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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This is for all the marbles as the winner goes to the playoffs and the loser goes home. While most will agree that the Cowboys are a joke, the only funny thing here is this point spread. The Cowboys can’t be a touchdown home underdog to the Eagles. Most of this inflated line is predicated on QB Tony Romo being sidelined and veteran QB Kyle Orton taking over. Orton may not be Romo but this price would have been Philly by 2½ with Romo playing and we don’t think the switch is worth four or more points. Let’s face it, Romo hasn’t exactly shone in this scenario with a 1-6 record in winner-take0all games. Orton is one of the better backups and he’s capable of putting up points. The Dallas defence is certainly an issue but with so many points to play with in a ‘playoff’ situation such as this, we can’t help but take what is being given to us. TAKING: COWBOYS +6½
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Jaguars (4-11) at Colts (10-5)FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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A year ago this weekend, the Colts played a meaningless game against Houston, but it was a game the Texans needed to improve their playoff seeding. Coach Chuck Pagano promised not to sit players and the result was a 28-16 Indianapolis win. So when Pagano says they will play hard this Sunday, we believe him. Indy figures to treat this one with importance as it could slightly improve its playoff spot, possibly moving from a No. 4 seed to a No. 3. The Colts have been up and down this season, but enter this one off of consecutive wins for the first time since early November and they’d like nothing more than to build more momentum heading to the post-season. Their opponent on this day is a wreck. While the Jaguars showed some improvement after an 0-8 start, they remain one of the weaker teams in the league and they are playing with a makeshift lineup due to a multitude of injuries. The Colts crushed the Jags 37-3 in an earlier meeting. This could be similar. TAKING: COLTS -11½
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49ers (11-4) at Cardinals (10-5)FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Despite Arizona’s good record and recent form, they will need a minor miracle to get to the playoffs as their only way in is if they win this one and the Saints lose at home to the Bucs. Arizona will continue to battle, but the Cards return to the desert after pulling off a huge upset in Seattle last week. Asking the Cards to take down the Seahawks and 49ers in consecutive weeks is too tall of an order at this time. Arizona has struggled in its own division, with a 3-8 mark dating back to the start of last season. The Niners took the first game of this set by a 32-20 score and that was as a 10-point choice. The Niners have already punched their ticket to the playoffs, but they could be the top seed if they win here and the Seahawks are upset again by the Rams. You know Jim Harbaugh will not let his guys let up. TAKING: 49ERS –1
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Ravens (8-7) at Bengals (10-5)FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Bengals would like nothing more than to put a fork in last year’s Super Bowl champions, while securing a No. 3 seed or better and there’s little reason to think that it won’t happen. Cincinnati has been dominant at home, winning and covering all seven games played here. Andy Dalton’s offence has not scored fewer than 41 points in each of its past four on this field. The Ravens have struggled on the road this year with two wins in seven tries. Baltimore’s ground game has gone missing, resulting in the offence scoring more than 20 points only twice in its past 10 games. TAKING: BENGALS –6
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Texans (2-13) at Titans (6-9)FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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We’re taking Tennessee here and already regretting it. It’s just that the Texans are unbettable. Houston has now lost 13 straight (won first two games on last play of game). They are down to third and fourth stringers at several key positions. One quarterback is worse than the next and it is blatantly clear that this squad cannot wait for this miserable season to end. The Titans may not be much, but they seem to try each week and if nothing else, Houston’s last win (way back in September) was against Tennessee, making this a game that the Titans would like to win out of sheer embarrassment. TAKING: TITANS +7
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Browns (4-11) at Steelers (7-8)FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Steelers will need some divine intervention to get to the post-season and a win here is just one piece of what is required. Despite how well the Steelers have played lately, we think they could run out of gas here. They won a huge emotional game on a Monday night over the Bengals and followed that one up with a draining win at Green Bay last week. Even though Cleveland has had another down year, it’s tough to spot this many points in a divisional game with a Pittsburgh team that does not pressure opposing quarterbacks. Cleveland QB Jason Campbell is capable, given some time to make throws. TAKING: BROWNS +7
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Redskins (3-12) at Giants (6-9)FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Redskins have been more competitive since inserting Kirk Cousins into the lineup, losing a pair of close games. Prefer going that route than having to give away any points with a Giants team that has been awful offensively and lost more starters this past Sunday in Detroit. The G-Men were already without their best receiver as Victor Cruz is done for the year and they could be down to one healthy running back as Andre Brown might miss this one with a concussion sustained last week. QB Eli Manning will end a horrible season that has seen him fail to adjust to a myriad of offensive lineman. Skins can end with a win. TAKING: REDSKINS +3½
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Panthers (11-4) at Falcons (4-11)FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Would usually lean to the loosey-goosey home squad in a matchup such as this one but with Atlanta flying home on a short week and losing a tough one in front of a national audience, we think they’ll be more likely to fold their tent and call it a day. The Panthers lock up the NFC South here with a win and while they these cats play in an awful lot of close games, their 11th-ranked ground game should be able to take advantage of Atlanta’s 32nd-ranked run stoppers. Carolina’s defence is more than capable of shutting down this familiar opponent as it did in the first match. TAKING: PANTHERS –6
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Jets (7-8) at Dolphins (8-7)FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Dolphins clinch a playoff spot with a win plus a Ravens loss or tie; or a Dolphins win plus a Chargers win; or a Dolphins tie plus a Ravens loss plus a Chargers loss or tie; or a Dolphins tie plus a Ravens tie plus a Chargers tie. Got that? To simplify, the fish must win and if they do, they’ll likely qualify as one of the two wild-card playoff teams. After that stinker last week, we expect Miami to bounce back. They’ll face a Jets team they dominated 23-3 earlier this month, a game that saw New York pass for just 78 yards. TAKING: DOLPHINS –6
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Lions (7-8) at Vikings (4-10-1)FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Lions will show up here because why? This team couldn’t muster up enough game to take down the Giants in a crucial matchup last week. Talk about demoralized. Underachieving Detroit has now lost five of its past six and could be without its best players as WR Calvin Johnson may sit out with foot issues. There were nine Lions that did not practise this week and it looks like they will play out the string with a group of ‘B’ players. This has also been a minefield for the Leos, losing six of past seven at the Metrodome. TAKING: VIKINGS –3
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Bills (6-9) at Patriots (11-4)FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Bills are a bit of an enigma this season with their losing record despite a strong running game and a league-leading 56 sacks. But we believe that Doug Marrone has them on the right track. Tiding a two-game winning streak heading into this one, this is the kind of morale builder that this young team needs. Winning in New England in December is never easy, but Buffalo knows this opponent all too well and the Bills nearly pulled off an upset of the Pats earlier in the year. Obviously, the Patriots are superior but Buffalo’s current form could have us entering through the back door for a cover here. TAKING: BILLS +9
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Buccaneers (4-11) at Saints (10-5)FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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This price is likely inflated as the Saints need to win in order to qualify for the playoffs, but we’re prepared to pay the premium. New Orleans could get in if it loses, but that would require the 49ers defeating the Cardinals. So, with matters in their own hands and playing at the Superdome, where the Saints have won 16 straight and covered in 15 of those, look for Sean Payton to pull out all stops against a crummy Bucs squad in order to secure a trip to the post-season. The Saints are home for only the second time in six weeks and their last game here was a 31-13 domination of the Panthers. TAKING: SAINTS –12½
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Broncos (12-3) at Raiders (4-11)FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Raiders showed some moxie earlier in the year but a lack of talent eventually weighed through and now Oakland has dropped seven of eight while giving up nearly 120 points in its previous three games. That doesn’t bode well against Denver’s strong offence, especially when it is likely that the Broncos will need a victory to secure top seed in the AFC. Terrelle Pryor will be back at quarterback for the hosts, but he clearly isn’t ready for this assignment and things could go from bad to worse. Oakland likely is too distracted this week to care about this meaningless finale. Denver romps. TAKING: BRONCOS –12
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Chiefs (11-4) at Chargers (8-7)FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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By the time this one kicks off, the Chargers could be out of the playoff picture. They need both Baltimore and Miami to lose. If not, this one will be San Diego’s final game of the season. That scenario makes this one tough to call as the line will likely drop significantly. That said, the Chiefs are locked in as the top wild-card team and they will be playing at half speed. Andy Reid hasn’t stated it publicly but as he did in Philly on several occasions, he will likely rest his starters in order to be best prepared for next week’s road playoff game. We’ll lean San Diego at current price or dropped price. TAKING: CHARGERS –9½
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Rams (7-8) at Seahawks (12-3)FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Was last week’s home loss to the Cardinals a fluke or sign of things to come for the Seahawks? Seattle’s offence has hit a bit of a snag, tallying just 50 points in its past three games, two of them being losses where they never got past 17 points. This is also not the best of matchups for them as the Rams should have defeated Seattle in their earlier meeting when QB Russell Wilson was sacked seven times, but managed a 14-9 win despite St. Louis being on the doorstep at the end. The Rams are on a bit of a roll, winning consecutive games, including an upset of the Saints. TAKING: RAMS +10½

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Marc LawrenceFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Jacksonville vs. IndianapolisFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: JacksonvilleFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Colts need a win today and a Patriots loss, along with a Bengals loss or tie, to secure the No. 2 seed, and a first-round bye in this year’s playoffs. Which means they will come out of the locker room determined to accomplish their goal. The problem is capable and determined are separated by ability and, according to our database, Indy is lacking on both counts having gone 2-11 ATS of late as division chalk of more than 6 points. The Horseshoes are also 0-7 ATS as favorites in Last Home Games. Enter the lowly Jags whose improved play down the stretch took them out of the running for the top pick in this year’s draft. Jacksonville enjoys playing in Nap Town where they are 5-1 ATS their last six visits. They are also 11-4 ATS in this series when seeking revenge. By the time the Colts get word that today’s playoff scenario is not developing as it hoped, it could be pine-time for Andrew Luck. Now aren't you glad that you read this write-up.  We recommend a 1-unit play on Jacksonville.

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Jesse SchuleFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Denver vs. OaklandFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: UnderFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Broncos led by just three points heading into the fourth quarter of last week's game on the road in Houston, but went on to score 21 unanswered points in the final period. Denver will wrap up the season on the road in Oakland, and the Broncos need a win to lock up top spot in the AFC.
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The Raiders have made the controversial decision to start Terrelle Pryor at quarterback in the season finale, after he lost the starting job to Matt McGloin. The move doesn't sit well with Pryor's agent, who says the team is putting his client in a position to fail.
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Pryor has been picked off six times, without throwing for a single touchdown in his last five appearances. He's been dangerous with his legs, but Denver's defense has been good against the run all year. They held RGIII to just seven yards on five carries, and earlier in the season they roughed up Mike Vick in 52-20 victory over the Eagles.
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The Broncos will be without Von Miller on defense, but remember he didn't play while serving a suspension through the first five games of the season.
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Injuries on offense might be a bigger concern, with Welker still suffering from a concussion and a banged up offensive line. Oakland did well last week, limiting Phillip Rivers to just 201 yards with one TD and an INT.
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We've seen the total go under in two of the last three meetings between these two teams, and the number for this game is way higher than it was in any of those previous contests.
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Expect Manning to rest in the fourth quarter if Denver has a big lead, and I wouldn't be too optimistic about Oakland scoring a lot of points here.

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Art AronsonFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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St. Louis vs. SeattleFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: OverFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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These division rivals always play each other tough. The Seahawks would escape St. Louis by the skin of their teeth in late November, holding on for a 14-9 victory. Four of these teams last five in the series have fallen below the number, including the last three straight, but I'm expecting that trend to shift in the opposite direction this afternoon. Seattle of course comes in highly motivated after blowing a chance to lock up home field advantage throughout the playoffs in last week's 17-10 home loss to the Cardinals, snapping a 14-game win streak at CenturyLink Field (note that Seattle has seen the total go over the number in three of five this season as a favorite of 10 or more points). The Rams of course will be looking to avenge the earlier loss and to avoid a seventh straight losing season. Keep your eyes on St. Louis RB Zac Stacy, leader of a group which has averaged 155.6 YPG since late October. You'll also want to track QB Kellen Clemens, who after going just 15 of 31 for 158 yards and two INTs in the Seattle setback, has gone 30 of 40 for 316 yards with two TDs over his last two (note that St. Louis has seen the total fly above the number in four of its seven road games, and six of 11 as an underdog this season). I think this sets up as a higher-scoring shootout as the Seahawks offense finally gets untracked in the team's most important game of the year; consider a second look at the "over".

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Jimmy BoydFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Steelers/Browns Under 44FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Browns have a very underrated defense, and with the Steelers offensive line playing as poorly as they have, we should have a field position battle on our hands. The Browns have a solid secondary unit, holding opposing quarterbacks to a 59.9 percent pass completion rate and a mere 224 passing yards per game. Pittsburgh's inability to run the ball could end up being a big issue if Roethlisberger and Co. are forced to abandon the run early. The last time these teams met the total was set at 40 points and the game still stayed under. I don't see how the change in venue is enough to influence this line by four points and expect a different result.
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Even if the Steelers manage to match there 23.9 points scored per game, I don't see a scenario where the Browns will score many points in this matchup. Cleveland has struggled on the road averaging just 18 points per game. They have a wealth of issues at the quarterback position, and the Steelers defense has played well down the stretch. Pittsburgh is holding opponents to just 3.9 yards per carry against the run at home, and the secondary is allowing a mere 57.3 percent completion rate for 193 passing yards in those games.

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Carolina SportsFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati BengalsSERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Cincinnati Bengals -6FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Bengals still have a shot at a bye in the playoffs but need to win this game. They bounced back big last week with an pounding of the Vikings at home and won't let down in this game.
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The Ravens crapped the bed at home last week vs the Pats and now don't hold their destiny in hand. The Ravens are only 2-5 SU and 3-4 ATS on the road this year. Ravens are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games in December.
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The Bengals play well at home as they are 7-0 SU and 7-0 ATS this season. Cincinnati is 8-1 ATS in home games after covering the spread in 2 out of their last 3 games over the last 3 seasons. Take the Bengals today.

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Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Diego ChargersSERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Kansas City Chiefs +9½FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The San Diego Chargers will look to complete the season sweep for the second consecutive season, when they host the playoff-bound Kansas City Chiefs in the final regular season game for both teams. It was about one month ago when the Chargers defeated the Chiefs 41-38 as 4-point road underdogs. In that game the Chargers outgained Kansas City 491-395. The Chargers are 8-2 SU and 7-3 ATS L10 against the Chiefs. This will be second highest line for the home team against the Chiefs. They did cover a 14-point spread back in 2009, winning 43-14. Kansas City lost 23-7 as 8-point home chalk last week and you can bet Andy Reid was not a happy camper in practice all week. His teams have a great history of bouncing back after a blowout loss. Even though they might be resting a lot of starters, I would be shocked if this game is decided by more than 7 points. The Chargers are not the healthiest of teams right now, and giving 9.5 points to your rival who is coming off a bad loss seems like a classic overlay to me.
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It is true that the Chargers need to win this game while the Chiefs are just looking to gain some momentum heading into the postseason. But, the Chargers need some help too. They need losses or ties from both Miami and Baltimore to sneak into the playoffs for the first time since 2009. The Chiefs are pumped up for this game and they would like nothing better than to put an end to the Chargers winning streak and a possible playoff birth. I think the key will be Jamaal Charles early and often. In the first meeting, Charles had 115 rushing yards on just 14 carries, and two touchdowns. Give him the rock 25 times and who knows what kind of numbers he will have. Look for a lot of screen plays as the Chargers are one of the worst NFL teams at defending screens this season. The Chiefs defense was much better in the first half of the season. The offense has struggled too as the Chiefs are just 2-8 ITS (in the stats) in their last 10 games. The Chargers are 7-3 ITS in their last 10 games. Even though the Chargers have the better stats of late, this game has the feel of a closer game than most experts are predicting.
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The Chiefs have the No. 1 Special Teams unit in the NFL according to Football Outsiders. That's huge when getting close to 10 points. The Chargers are ranked No. 15. Two good offensive lines will go head-to-head in this game as the Chiefs are ranked No. 2 while the home Chargers are ranked No. 4. Here is the big advantage for the underdog Chiefs. Kansas City's Defensive line is ranked No. 6 while the Chargers D-line is ranked No. 32. The chiefs are ranked 9th in rushing, averaging 27 points per game and only allow 19 points per game. If the Chiefs come to play (and I think they will) this should be a close game.
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I really believe Baltimore and/or Miami will win, and than this game will mean nothing for the Chargers. It will still mean something for the Chiefs. This line will be heading down, so if you like the underdog in this game, I would get down ASAP. The Kansas City Chiefs are 6-1 ATS on the road this season. Take the road dog in this classic overlay!

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Tony GeorgeFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas CowboysVIKESFAG
Play: Dallas Cowboys +7FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The NFC East Title on the line. Tony Romo out, John Kitna called up from nowhere to fill in as a backup, Kyle Orton to lead the Cowboys on Sunday Night at Jerry World in a marquee game. Dallas has seen this movie before, ….win and you’re in! For those of you living under a rock, it has not worked out well for the Cowboys or their backers. Perhaps with Romo being out, Dallas is more attractive? I say yes. This will force Dallas to run it more, and at days end Bill Callahan and Jason Garret cannot screw up that game plan! Philly can score no doubt, but I expect the best defensive effort of the season by Dallas here. Not sure this one is not a nail biter on Sunday night, Week 17 in a must win never come easy in any scenario. You always look at every angle on the planet to take home dogs in the NFL, and if you lay points on the road over 4 or 5 points, there is eminent doom that awaits you in most cases.
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Philly has been on fire and scoring points with ease and blowing people out. Their performance against Chicago was the best of the season and they in fact have surprised many with Foles at QB and Chip Kelly’s high octane attack has gained traction. The whole world loves Philly here without Romo in the game, but we are betting into numbers and not games here in the NFL. The sooner you realize that the better.
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At days end, I like Dallas to cover the number here and think they will find success running the ball and using short play action passes to the tight end and Dez Bryant should find some room here. That said Philly will trade punches as well. I expect a 3-4 point game here in a hard fought battle for the division title, the value lies in taking points here.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans SaintsVlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Play: New Orleans Saints -12½FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Saints have been like night and day when playing at home and on the road this year, especially when it comes to covering the spread. The home team is 13-2 ATS in all New Orleans games this year. The Saints are like Magic when playing under Sean Payton in the Superdome. They are 14-1 ATS at home dating back to 2011 under Sean Payton. Sure, this is a big double digit spread this afternoon and if you guys know me, then you are aware that I very rarely lay the chalk, especially double digits. Well, this afternoon is one of those RARE cases but one that is fully warranted. When the Saints build a lead at home, they do not let off the gas. The 'Who Dat Nation' is winning at home this year by a average score of 33-15. Brees is completing 73% of his passes at home and I am looking for a big game out of Brees coming back home off back-to-back road games, one similar to his 4TD/ 0 INT performance in his last home game vs. Carolina.
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Looking at Tampa Bay, this is a team that is only averaging 15 ppg on the road this season as they are 2-5 ATS in their 7 road games. They have been virtual 'no-shows' their last two road games and this afternoon the Superdome will be rocking. I feel that the Saints are clearly 2 touchdowns better than Tampa Bay in this spot. Motivation will not be a problem either. If Atlanta beats Carolina early in the day, then a win by New Orleans will give them a first round bye and trust me, the Saints know how important home field advantage is for them. Regardless, the Saints need a win to clinch a playoff berth and that is what they are going to do today.
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In closing, this is a tricky week in the NFL with inflated lines due to playoff scenarios so proceed with caution. This is the only spread that I feel the inflated line is warranted and where I know the Saints can win by 3 touchdowns or more. I am 6-0 my last 6 premium Total plays and that is what I am releasing this weekend. Hop on board and lets have your man send you a nice paycheck after this Sunday is over with.


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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, December 29

Bill Biles

San Diego Chargers -9

The Chiefs will be resting their starters, and depending on what happens in the 1pm games the Chargers might be playing for a playoff spot. Look for the Chargers to play some good football at home and win the last regular season game this year in San Diego.

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Bills vs. PatriotsFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Pretty big number for a late division December game in Foxboro. Buffalo has QB issues, as the have all season, so lokk for them to try and run the ball. Actually look for New England to try too as well (both average 4.2 ypc). Neither is great at stopping the run, giving up over 4.2 ypc. Neither passing game is explosive. in fact, Buffalo averages less than 6.0 ypa. The Patriot pass is is OK, but Buffalo is pretty good, giving up less than 6.0 ypa. Neither team excels at converting 3rd down at less than 38%. New England isn't great defending 3rd down, but they are playing a sub par offense. Neither team turns the ball over, so the Under looks like a nice play.

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WunderdogFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Tampa Bay at New OrleansFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: Tampa Bay +13FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The New Orleans Saints could win the division with some help. Or, they could miss the playoffs entirely with a loss and an Arizona win. The Saints are in the playoffs no matter what if they take care of business against Tampa Bay. They have dominated at home where they are 7-0 but this is just too many points. The Saints' offense has lacked the explosiveness we have seen in the past, with five of their 10 wins havinge come by just one possession. They are just 1-3 in their last four games, having averaged just 16.8 points per game. So, a huge number here could be in jeopardy. The Saints needed a field goal as time expired to slip past the Bucs early in the season, when the Bucs were on their way to a dreadful 0-8 start. Tampa Bay has played much better as QB Mike Glennon continues to advance, and they are 4-3 over their last seven games. New Orleans simply isn't playing very well right now while the Bucs are on the upswing. Tampa Bay has muscled their way to an 18-6 ATS record on the road vs. a winning team in their last 24. The Saints have played well under the line at 1-5 ATS in their last six. In their last 63 home games vs. losing teams, New Orleans is 22-41 ATS. They are also just 26-46 in their last 72 home division games. The number is inflated here. Take the Buccaneers.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, December 29

River City Sharps

NY Giants -3

It certainly appears that the end of the Mike Shanahan era in Washington is coming to an end after this Sunday's matchup with the Giants. While the season has also been a disappointment for the Giants, they have quietly won 6 of their last 10 games and played better during the second half of the season. A win would send them out with a good taste in their mouth and the Redskins organization is simply a disaster at this point. Even though the Giants offense has sputtered at times this season and been cursed by turovers, they are actually averaging 365 ypg in their division games and the Redskins porous defense is allowing teams to throw at a 67% clip this year. Manning and the Giants pick this defense apart to end their year.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, December 29

Mike O'ConnorFREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Carolina (-6) 29 ATLANTA 19FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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With their huge 17-13 home win last week against the Saints, the Panthers are in good position to win the NFC South and gain a first round bye and possibly even better. One of the keys is to beat the Falcons in this game in Atlanta and I expect that they will take care of business here. The Panthers were fortunate to come away with the victory last week as they were outgained 365 yards at 4.5 yppl to 223 yards at 5.3 yppl and needed a 65 yard touchdown drive in the last 55 seconds with no timeouts to get the win. The concern here is that they might be a bit flat after such an emotional, late win against their #1 foe but they are getting a Falcons team that will be operating on a short week after a Monday night close loss to the 49ers in San Francisco and could be a bit flat themselves. I have been saying it all season but the Panthers are an efficient team that has been helped by a good turnover differential (+12), but are not a team without flaws that can be exposed. They get a good matchup here against the Falcons in the run game as Atlanta is terrible at defending the run (allowing 137 yards at 5.0 ypr against teams that gain 119 yards at 4.4 ypr on average) while the Panthers are a better than average running team (127 yards at 4.3 ypr against teams that allow 112 yards at 4.3 ypr). The Falcons have historically been good at home and off a loss under the current regime but that has not been the case this season with just a 3-4 ATS record. I have situations that go both ways in this game (with the stronger indicators favoring Carolina), but my model only favors the Panthers in this spot by -4.6 points. I’ll lean to the Panthers based on the strength of the systems (which includes one of my best that is 214-99-15).
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Detroit (+3) 25 MINNESOTA 27FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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After squandering their lead in the NFC North and a disappointing 16-18 loss on Monday night football two weeks ago, the Lions still were in playoff contention last week with a home game against the Giants. They came through with a terrible performance in a 20-23 OT home loss as a nine point favorite and as a result, a season that seemed promising a month ago has now been officially declared a disappointment. After such a deflating defeat last week, I don’t expect a highly motivated Lions team here. They will be facing a Vikings team that was thoroughly whipped last week in a 14-42 loss in Cincinnati where they were outgained 209 yards at 4.4 yppl to 431 yards at 5.7 yppl for the Bengals and will be looking to rebound here and finish out their season strong in the last game in the Metrodome. The matchups aren’t good for the Vikings here though, as the Lions pass the ball well (average 286 yards at 7.0 yps against teams that allow 243 yards at 6.3 yps) while the Vikings have been terrible defending the pass (allowing 294 yards at 6.8 yps against teams that gain 248 yards at 6.5 yps on average). Offensively, the Vikings strength is their run game but Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart are both banged up and will be facing a Lions run defense that is pretty good (allowing 97 yards at 4.3 ypr and held the Giants to 43 yards at 2.2 ypr last week). The Vikings do qualify in a 198-124-3 situation but my model favors the Lions here by -3.0. With conflicting situation and line value, I’ll lean slightly to the Lions plus the points.
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NY GIANTS (-3.5) 22 Washington 18FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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With a deflating last minute loss to the Cowboys in a game that the Redskins led by nine mid-way through the fourth quarter, I can’t imagine that they will be focused to play well here. They have a coach that is likely on his way out, are playing their backup QB who while playing well in spots clearly has some limitations, and a defense that is below average (allowing 6.0 yppl to teams that average 5.8 yppl). Last week was their last home game and now they must travel to face the Giants in a meaningless game. On the other side, the Giants came through with a nice rebound performance last week in beating the Lions 23-20 in OT and they’ll look to finish out their season strong in their final home game here. Overall, the Giants have had a well below average offense this season with a defense that has played pretty well. New York is a team that has been killed by turnovers this season with an NFC worst -15 (I take out Hail Mary’s at the end of halves/games). I don’t have any situations in play in this game but my model favors the Giants by -4.4 so I will lean their way.
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TENNESSEE (-7) 25 Houston 17FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Texans are a mess. They had their chances last week in the home finale against the Broncos and only trailed 13-16 in the fourth quarter before imploding as they eventually lost 13-37. They were dominated in the stats with a 240 at 3.6 yppl to 511 at 7.3 yppl difference with a -2 turnover deficit. They have now lost 13 straight games and I’m sure many players on the team will be happy to just end the season without getting injured in this game. It may also be in managements best interest to lose this game with the #1 pick in the 2014 draft at stake as well. With an interim coach, players on their way out, uncertainty and ineffective QB play it’s tough to envision the Texans playing inspired football in this one. On the other side, the Titans are at least playing for their coach in their last home game of the year and I expect a motivated effort here. From a statistical perspective, the oddsmakers look to have this one right as I have this game lined at Tennessee -7.0 and I don’t have any situations in play. This one is a toss-up but I’ll lean to what I expect will be the more motivated team and side with the Titans minus the points.
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CINCINNATI (-6) 26 Baltimore 16FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Ravens had a chance to improve their position in the playoff race last week at home against the Patriots but their -4 turnover margin made the game non-competitive in a 7-41 beatdown. They’ll look to redeem themselves while fighting for their playoff lives this week in Cincinnati against a Bengals team that has already won the AFC North but can earn a bye with a win here and a Patriots loss. Baltimore is a below average team this year with an offense that has been terrible (averaging 315 yards at 4.7 yppl against teams that allow 351 yards at 5.4 yppl) and a defense that has been a little better than average. While they are -6 in net turnovers overall, they are +2 in fumbles so they have had a small bit of luck on their side as well. When these teams met back in November, the Ravens won 20-17 but were outgained 189 total yards at 2.7 yppl to 364 yards at 4.2 yppl for the Bengals. I expect the Ravens to have a difficult time moving the ball in this game against a Cincinnati defense that has been very good this season (allowing 311 yards at 4.8 yppl to teams that average 353 yards at 5.4 yppl) while the Bengals should be able to move the ball at around their season average. I don’t have any situations in play here but my model likes the Bengals quite a bit (-10.9) and as a result, I’ll lean their way.
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Tampa Bay (+12.5) 18 NEW ORLEANS 27SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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After winning four of their previous five games, the Buccaneers dropped their second straight in their 13-23 loss in St. Louis last week. The Rams defense really shut the Bucs down, sacking Mike Glennon seven times and holding the Bucs offense to only 170 total yards at 3.0 yppl. The Bucs defense played pretty well themselves, holding the Rams to 281 total yards at 4.8 yppl but on the season Tampa has an about average defense (allowing 343 yards at 5.3 yppl to teams that gain 349 yards at 5.3 yppl on average). After a promising start, Bucs QB Mike Glennon has not performed particularly well statistically, and in his last four games he is only passing for an average of 119 yards per game at 4.5 yps with 4 TDs and 4 INTs and a 1-3 record. He’ll be hard pressed to keep up with the excellent passing offense of the Saints (303 yards at 6.9 yps against teams that allow 232 yards at 6.1 yps). New Orleans needs this game to clinch a playoff spot and coupled with a Carolina loss can still win the NFC South and a first round bye. The Saints defense performed well last week in holding the Panthers to only 223 total yards at 5.3 yppl overall, but just couldn’t keep the Panthers from scoring late in their 13-17 loss in Carolina. The Saints are coming off of three consecutive tough games including two for the division lead with the Panthers and may not have as much juice this week against a 4-11 Tampa team. They have been unbelievable at home (7-0 SU and 6-1 ATS), winning by an average score of 32.9 – 15.4 and will be tough to beat here once again. My model favors the Saints by -15.4 but the Bucs qualify in a good 79-27-2 situation so with line value and strong angle going opposite directions, I’ll just lean with the situation and the Bucs plus the large number.
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Buffalo (+8.5) 19 NEW ENGLAND 24SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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With an outstanding overall performance last week in their 19-0 shutout win against the Dolphins, the Bills have won two straight and will look to close out the year strong with a win in their final game here in New England. Behind backup QB Thad Lewis, the Bills dominated Miami in the stats (393 yards at 5.4 yppl to 103 yards at 2.0 yppl) and their defense came through with a terrific performance registering seven sacks and two interceptions. The Bills defense has played much better in the second half of the season after several injured players have worked their way back in the secondary. In fact, in their past seven games the Bills are allowing an impressive 150 yards passing per game on average for 4.6 yps, while picking off ten passes. They’ll face a Patriots offense here that has had multiple injuries in the TE/WR group this season but still have a better than average offense that averages 385 yards at 5.5 yppl against teams that allow 338 yards at 5.3 yppl. The New England defense is really where they have struggled with key injuries in their front seven and in their last ten games they have allowed 140 rushing yards at 4.7 ypr per game. They’ll face a Bills team here that runs that ball well and have averaged 145 yards at 4.4 ypr to teams that allow 113 yards at 4.3 ypr on average. The Patriots can still capture the #1 seed in the AFC with a bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs with a win here and a Denver loss so they will be focused and motivated to perform well. Buffalo qualifies in a 151-87-5 situation and my model only favors the Patriots by -6.8 here so while I think the Patriots win the game, I like the Bills plus the points.
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OAKLAND (+12) 23 Denver 34FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Having already clinched the AFC West and a first round bye, the Broncos will look to clinch the #1 seed in the AFC and home field advantage throughout the playoffs with a win here against the 4-11 Raiders. Denver has been very good at putting away inferior opponents as they are 6-0 SU and 4-1-1 ATS this season when facing a below .500 opponent, winning by an average score of 41 – 20.8. Earlier this season they beat the Raiders 37-21 in Denver on a Monday night, outgaining them 536 yards at 7.3 yppl to 342 yards at 6.7 yppl and ran out to a 27-7 halftime lead before Oakland made it a bit closer in the second half. Facing Payton Manning and a Denver offense that averages 459 yards at 6.9 yppl against teams that allow 363 yards at 5.7 yppl, the Raiders will have a hard time keeping up here once again. It looks like they are going back to Terrelle Pryor in this one, although it’s possible that McGloin comes in as well and while they gain some additional rushing ability with Pryor, they lose some pass game potency. The Broncos have shown some weakness in defending the run recently with injuries/illness to Vickerson and Wolfe up front but they played better last week in holding the Texans to 87 rushing yards at 3.3 ypr. My model favors the Broncos by -12.7 while the Raiders benefit from a negative 15-46 situation that plays against Denver here so I’ll lean slightly with the system and call for the Raiders to keep it within the large number.
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SEATTLE (-11.5) 28 St. Louis 15FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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After a poor 3-6 start to the season the Rams have come on strong the past six weeks, going 4-2 SU and ATS with wins over some pretty good teams in the Colts, Bears, Saints and Bucs while only losing road games to the 49ers and Cardinals. Their defense has been playing lights out during this time, holding opponents to just 18.5 points per game and smothering opponents in the run game (allowing an average of 68 yards at 2.9 ypr). Their 49 sacks rank third in the league on the season as they are averaging 3.3 per game against teams that allow 2.5 on average. They’ll look to hold down a Seattle offense that has been difficult to defend both against the run as well as the pass. Seattle can wrap up the #1 seed in the NFC and a first round bye as well as home field advantage throughout the playoffs with a win here and will be focused after last week’s 10-17 home loss to the Cardinals. Offensively, they couldn’t get much going in the pass game last week as the Cardinals held the Seattle passing offense to just 89 yards for 2.9 yps with 2 interceptions. I expect the Seahawks to bounce back this week at home where they are 14-1 SU the past two seasons, winning by an average score of 29.9 – 13.1. The St. Louis offense has not been very good this season (averaging 317 yards at 5.2 yppl against teams that allow 338 yards at 5.4 yppl) and will have some problems scoring against a Seattle defense that I have rated as the best in the league. The Rams qualify in a 280-174-14 situation but my model favors the Seahawks by -14.9. I’ll lean with the model and the motivated home team off a loss and call for a Seattle cover.
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Philadelphia (-7) 32 DALLAS 20FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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With a dominating performance in their 54-11 home win last Sunday night against the Bears, the Eagles appear to be hitting on all cylinders and have improved as the season has progressed. The entire Eagles offense seems to be in synch with all parts performing at a high level and a coach that is designing and calling plays that put those players in the best position to succeed. In their win last week they rolled up 516 yards at 8.5 yppl and in their past seven games (6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS) they are averaging 449 yards at 7.5 yppl! Outside of the flat spot game in Minnesota two weeks ago, the Eagles defense is only giving up 16.8 points over this same time period while allowing 5.3 yppl. They are a team that appears to be peaking at the right time as they enter this game for the NFC East title. On the other side, the Cowboys are a team that was fortunate to get the 24-23 win last week against the Redskins as they trailed by 9 points in the fourth quarter but a late rally and 4th down Tony Romo TD pass got them the win. With the news this week that Romo underwent back surgery on Friday morning and is out for this game, the Cowboys could be in trouble with Kyle Orton taking over. Orton is a seasoned QB that can win with a good team around him as he did early in his career in Chicago (21-12) but with less talented teams (Den and KC) he has not performed as well and is only 9-20 in his last 29 starts. With a terrible defense that is allowing 420 yards at 6.2 yppl behind him, I don’t believe Orton excels in his first start in two years against an Eagles team that has played well defensively. The Cowboys adjusted yppl numbers paint the statistical profile of a below average team while their +10 turnover differential (including +5 in net fumbles) has given them an advantage with some luck. They also won’t have Tony Romo’s 5.5% career touchdown numbers working in their favor and instead will be replaced with Orton’s 3.7%. Philly has also played well on the road this year (5-2 SU and ATS). I have situations that go both ways here but my model likes the Eagles quite a bit in this spot (-13.4) adjusting for Romo’s absence. I like the Eagles.

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