Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, February 2

Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, February 2

DUNKEL INDEX

NFL

Seattle vs. Denver
In Super Bowl XLVIII,  the Seahawks face a Broncos team that is 15-2 ATS in its last 17 games when playing with 2 weeks of rest. Denver is the pick (-2 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Broncos favored by 5. Dunkel Pick: Denver (-2 1/2)

Game 101-102: Seattle vs. Denver (6:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle 142.278; Denver 147.399
Dunkel Line: Denver by 5; 44
Vegas Line: Denver by 2 1/2; 47 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Denver (-2 1/2); Under

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, February 2

DUNKEL INDEX

NBA

Orlando at Boston
The Celtics look to snap a four-game losing streak against an Orlando team that is 1-10 ATS in its last 11 road games. Boston is the pick (-5) according to Dunkel, which has the Celtics favored by 8. Dunkel Pick: Boston (-5)

Game 801-802: Orlando at Boston (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Orlando 108.117; Boston 116.351
Dunkel Line & Total: Boston by 8; 186
Vegas Line & Total: Boston by 5; 191 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Boston (-5); Under

NHL

Detroit at Washington
The Red Wings beat the Capitals 4-3 in a shootout at home on Friday and now head to Washington with the Caps carrying a 1-10 record in their last 11 games when playing on 1 days rest. Detroit is the pick (+115) according to Dunkel, which has the Red Wings favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: Detroit (+115)

Game 51-52: Detroit at Washington (12:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit 11.760; Washington 10.829
Dunkel Line & Total: Detroit by 1; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Washington (-135); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (+115); Over

Game 53-54: Winnipeg at Montreal (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Winnipeg 10.069; Montreal 11.507
Dunkel Line & Total: Montreal by 1 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Montreal (-150); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Montreal (-150); Under

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DUNKEL INDEX

NCAAB

Michigan at Indiana
The Hoosiers host a Michigan team that is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games at Assembly Hall. Indiana is the pick (+2 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Hoosiers favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: Indiana (+2 1/2)

Game 803-804: Purdue at Penn State (11:30 a.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Purdue 63.747; Penn State 63.079
Dunkel Line: Purdue by 1; 148
Vegas Line: Penn State by 3 1/2; 142 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Purdue (+3 1/2); Over

Game 805-806: South Florida at Cincinnati (12:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: South Florida 53.253; Cincinnati 75.656
Dunkel Line: Cincinnati by 22 1/2; 117
Vegas Line: Cincinnati by 14 1/2; 127
Dunkel Pick: Cincinnati (-14 1/2); Under

Game 807-808: Virginia at Pittsburgh (12:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Virginia 70.655; Pittsburgh 77.327
Dunkel Line: Pittsburgh by 6 1/2; 119
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh by 4; 125
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-4); Under

Game 809-810: Oakland at WI-Milwaukee (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland 53.170; WI-Milwaukee 50.671
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 2 1/2; 158
Vegas Line: WI-Milwaukee by 2; 151
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (+2); Over

Game 811-812: Michigan at Indiana (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Michigan 70.951; Indiana 71.740
Dunkel Line: Indiana by 1; 144
Vegas Line: Michigan by 2 1/2; 139 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Indiana (+2 1/2); Over

Game 813-814: Buffalo at Bowling Green (2:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Buffalo 58.828; Bowling Green 54.913
Dunkel Line: Buffalo by 4; 122
Vegas Line: Buffalo by 2 1/2; 128
Dunkel Pick: Buffalo (-2 1/2); Under

Game 815-816: William & Mary at James Madison (2:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: William & Mary 51.363; James Madison 52.973
Dunkel Line: James Madison by 1 1/2; 126
Vegas Line: Pick; 133 1/2
Dunkel Pick: James Madison; Under

Game 817-818: UCLA at Oregon State (2:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: UCLA 69.840; Oregon State 66.782
Dunkel Line: UCLA by 3; 159
Vegas Line: UCLA by 5 1/2; 154
Dunkel Pick: Oregon State (+5 1/2); Over

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Wunderdog

Highest-Scoring Half
Play: 2nd + OT -135

Once again we look to take advantage of an oddsmakers error in a prop bet on which they have miscalculated. Which half of football games sees more scoring? So far this season, we have seen a virtual dead-heat with 23.3 points being scored on average in the first half and 23.6 scored in the second half of games. But we need to dig deeper. In 47 Super Bowls, the average score for the first and second halves, respectively, has been 21.49 and 24.32. So we see that the second half average score is 13% higher. Excluding the push in 2012, the second half has been the highest scoring half in 29 of 46 Super Bowls (63%). Fair odds on a 63% bet are -170. But, it gets better. Lets look at how things have changed over the years. The discrepancy has become more pronounced. In the last 23 years, the scoring has been as follows: First half = 22.31, Second half = 28.18. That's a 26% difference in points! In the last 16 years, the second half has been the highest scoring half 12 times out of 14 years (85.7%). And, that includes a fluke pick-6 three years ago in the first quarter. Without that, we might have seen the 13 out 14 years that the 2nd half has outscored the first half. So, -135 odds on this bet provides a lot of value.

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SPORTS WAGERSFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Seattle +108 over DENVERFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Roughly about six weeks ago, books were putting out a Super Bowl line that featured the NFC versus the AFC, regardless of the matchup. This wasn’t a random number either, as the oddsmakers had to consider every possible Super Bowl matchup and what they came up with was the NFC as a 2½-point choice regardless of the matchup. Surely at that point, a Seattle/Denver Super Bowl was a distinct possibility that certainly was considered when they posted that advanced line. Now, we can break down this game like anyone else but that would just be redundant, as we all know it’ll come down to Seattle’s defense versus Denver’s offense. That said, we’re always looking to play the side that offers up the most value and when you consider that just a few weeks ago, the NFC was a 2½-point favorite over the AFC, our choice isn’t a difficult one.
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The betting market loves offense and they love Peyton Manning. Make no mistake. This is Manning's Super Bowl as far as the media is concerned. He will embody the success or failure by the Broncos. He's the default MVP unless someone else does something really notable. He deserves it too, as watching Manning run an offense, especially when you have money on him, is one of the most enjoyable and compelling spectacles in sports. No QB in the history of the NFL has ever had as much presence, knowledge or ability to instantly recognize what the defense is bringing as Peyton Manning. He is the master of the quick read and perhaps the toughest quarterback to confuse in the NFL. However, this is also going to be the coldest Super Bowl ever and that has to favor the Seahawks. It’ll favor the Seahawks even more if there are gusty winds. 
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Let’s not forget that the Broncos defense is pure garbage. Week after week, they were torched but their league-leading offense masked their deficiencies. They Broncos surrendered 51 points to Dallas, 39 to Indy, 28 to K.C., 28 to Tennessee and 34 to New England. That’s just five games and Seahawks didn’t give up that many points in combined in their final 13 games of the year including playoffs.
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When we look at the schedules of these teams throughout the year, what we see is a Broncos team that had it rather easy. Their best win was against New England in the AFC Championship? Kansas City? Truthfully, the Broncos played weakling after weakling that included games against Oakland (twice) Baltimore, the Giants, Jacksonville, Washington, Houston, Tennessee and Philadelphia. Of course Manning is going to put up big numbers against that group. The Broncos toughest games this year were against Dallas, Indy, New England and Kansas City. They lost to the Patriots in the regular season, they lost to both Dallas and Indy and they defeated K.C both times, by 10 and 7 points respectively. Meanwhile, the Seahawks played San Fran three times, New Orleans twice and Carolina once. They went 4-1 in those games with only loss occurring in San Fran by two points.
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Seattle is the 16th team to appear in the Super Bowl as the squad that allowed the fewest points during the regular season. The previous 15 that accomplished the same feat are 12-3 in the championship game. Peyton Manning led the NFL in passing. A regular season passing leader has NEVER won a Super Bowl and only four have been in the SB. They all lost, Dan Marino in 1984, Kurt Warner in 2001, Rich Gannon in 2002 and Tom Brady in 2007. You can add Peyton Manning in 2013 to that group. The better team taking a tag is the right way to play this one.

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Chad MatthewsFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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How many times will Peyton Manning say "Omaha" during the game? - Over 27.5 -130
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Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning shouted the audible call "Omaha" 44 times during Denver’s divisional playoff win over the San Diego Chargers. After his calls gained national attention following that game, Manning used “Omaha” less in the AFC Championship Game but still managed to say it 31 times. Businesses based in Omaha, Nebraska, have donated money, including Omaha Steaks, Mutual of Omaha, FNB Omaha, CenturyLink, ConAgra Foods, Union Pacific, DJ's Dugout and Cox Communications every time Manning says "Omaha" This fund-raising program will now continue on to the Super Bowl, with each "Omaha" Manning utters being worth more money since more Omaha businesses will participate for this Sunday's event.

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Allen EastmanFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Will there be a score in the first 6:30 of the game? - No -110VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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I don’t expect much scoring early in the game. Both defenses will set the tone. There is so much build up to this game that both teams will come out and be conservative. No one wants to make an early mistake that could cost their team the game. I think that both teams are going to struggle to get used to the weather. And both teams will have nerves to deal with. I think both teams will have to punt on their first drive and maybe their first two drives. Thus, I don’t expect to see any points right out of the gate in this game.

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AlatexFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Marshawn Lynch receiving yardsFREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Under 15.5 -130FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Marshawn Lynch has not been a part of the passing game much this season, but it has been even less in recent weeks. He caught a total of 37 passes in 18 games thus far for a total of 319 yards. Breaking it down game by game, this prop would have only cashed six times and two of those totaled 16 yards receiving. Looking at just the most recent games, Lynch has caught a total of four passes for 12 yards in the last four games. He would have gone over this prop total in just one of Seattle’s last eight games. Seattle is not a big screen team and Lynch is obviously not a check-down target of Russell Wilson. The math alone gives us value in playing this one under the total.

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Ian CameronFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Will the game ever be tied after 0-0 (first score)?VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Yes +105FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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This has all the makings of being a back and forth game between two teams that not only were the best teams in their respective conferences but who I predicted to reach Super Bowl XLVIII during the preseason. Denver’s strength on offense is throwing the football whereas Seattle boasts the #1 pass defense in the league. On the flip side, the Seahawks are at their best when they can effectively run the football with Marshawn Lynch which in turn sets up the passing game for Russell Wilson. Seattle has a capable passing attack but they’d prefer to get the ground game going first. However, Denver’s best attribute defensively is stopping the run as they held both playoff opponents, San Diego and New England, to 129 rushing yards combined (3.8 ypc). So you essentially have strength vs. strength which is why I believe separation will be very difficult to obtain. I projecte a competitive affair from start to finish. At the small plus price, I made a bet on there being a tie score at least once during the course of the game.

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Teddy CoversFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Doug Baldwin Total Receiving YardsFREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Recommendation: Over 39.5FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Baldwin’s season averages won’t support this wager – hence some early Under money that drove this total from 40.5 down to 39.5 at several key books.   But with Percy Harvin on the field for the Super Bowl, it should open things up for Baldwin.  And Baldwin has become Wilson’s go-to guy down the stretch.  He had 63+ receiving yards six of the last nine games that he was involved in the offense (he  sat for most of their Week 17 regular season finale), including a six catch, 106 yard effort against the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.  And this is the type of wager we can cash with a single big play!

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, February 2

Scott Delaney
INSTEAD OF LEACHING OFF OTHERS WORK GO GET IT YOURSELF VIKESFAG
I see Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch has the all-around garden variety running back proposition bets available at most sports books. Some are more intriguing to me than others, but the first one I want you looking at is the number of receptions he will have in the championship game.
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I see the number listed at two (2) receptions, with the Over being priced at +110. That truly makes no sense to me, knowing the Seahawks' Russell Wilson will be looking to use dink-and-dunk methods to move the ball effectively in this cold-weather game. Although Wilson has top targets to turn to, including Percy Harvin, who will return, his best option in those short-yardage situations will be Lynch.
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The quietly spoken running back who didn't have much to say during Tuesday's Media Day, I think will speak in volumes with a diverse offensive effort, and should catch at least two passes from Wilson. That would be a push, at the very least. But let's just say they find a rhythm - Wilson and Lynch - they could easily connect four times.
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In 16 regular season games, Lynch caught 2 or more passes 10 different times. In seven games he caught at least three passes. In two playoffs games, he has just one reception, I understand that. But this is an entirely different football game, and his services will need to expand for this game. For the record, his most receptions in one game this season - it came against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium, where he caught six passes. In fact, he was most effective as a receiver with six receptions for 73 yards, while he rushed for only 47 yards.
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5♦ MARSHAWN LYNCH OVER 2 RECEPTIONS
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To go along with a play on Marshawn Lynch catching more than two passes in the big game, I have to believe his teammate, and quarterback, Russell Wilson, will complete more than 16-1/2 passes in this game.
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Though it's easy to say the second-year pro has been in a funk of late, averaging just 12.5 completions in the playoffs, and 12.75 in his last four games overall, this is the big stage and his presence is necessary for a team win.
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Wilson will also welcome back Percy Harvin, and against Denver’s 27th-ranked pass defense, I suspect he'll be able to produce much better numbers than we've seen since mid-December.
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The 5-foot-11, 205-pound strong-armed quarterback completed at least 18 passes in seven regular-season games, and 15 or more passes in 10 regular-season games. He also responded in his team's biggest game to-date - the NFC Championship against San Francisco - with 16 completions against the 49ers' stalwart defense.
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Provided there is no inclement weather, which is becoming evident with latest forecasts, Wilson should be within this number by the time the fourth quarter rolls around, and if the game is as tight as the point spread is prescribing, his dink-and-dunk methods will help creep his tally over the number.
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4♦ RUSSELL WILSON OVER 16-1/2 COMPLETIONS


Another valuable price I see with the big-game props is on Denver cornerback Champ Bailey, and whether or not he'll nab himself an interception. Whether or not the former Georgia-standouot who has waited 15 years to be on this stage actually has a chance against the Seahawks' young gunslinger, Russell Wilson, is beyond me. But you have a guy like that back there in that secondary, and a price of +350 to swipe one pass, I think you have to take a chance.

The Broncos have the 27th-ranked pass defense, and something tells me that's going to give Wilson a bit of confidence -- some chutzpah, if you will -- to stand back in the pocket and fire away at Denver's secondary. And in that cold weather, one good shot from a defensive lineman could result in a wobbly pass Bailey will zero in on.

The hype of Richard Sherman in this game would make any defensive back fired up for their own performance, and I can't think of a better veteran to invest in than a veteran like Bailey.

The key is to keep Wilson contained in the pocket, and I think the Broncos will have a good chance at doing that during the early part of the game, and if we're going to cash in on this prop, it'll be in the second or third quarter.

Regardless of the outcome, or what you think the Broncos are capable of in this game, it's worth a small play on Bailey getting an interception.

3♦ CHAMP BAILEY "YES" INTERCEPTION


I've touched upon two Seattle Seahawks props, then a defensive one for Denver. Let's talk about an offensive proposition for the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVII, as I like what I am seeing with the price on whether or not Knowshon Moreno will score a touchdown in the game.

Kind of ironic I talked about Champ Bailey, a former Georgia-standout, because Moreno is also a Georgia-grad. Those Bulldogs could make a big difference for the Broncos. I was really surprised to see the price so big on the NO for him to score, given the Broncos could find themselves in red-zone territory and short-yardage situations against this Seattle defense.

While the Seahawks have the No. 1 overall defense, the deficiency - if that's a safe word to use - on the stop unit is with the rushing defense, which ranks seventh in the league. It's the one part of Seattle's stop unit the Broncos have to attack, and must be successful against, if they want to win this game.

Moreno rushed for 1,038 yards this season, the first time he reached the 1,000-yard plateau. The Broncos' offensive line has opened enough holes for Moreno to capitalize on most defensive coverages and tally a cumulative 1,761 yards from scrimmage.

The 5-foot-11, 220-pound bruising power back recorded a career-best 13 touchdowns - including 10 on the ground - and it's pure value to bet he'll get one in the big game, when the price is Even money.

4♦ KNOWSHON MORENO "YES" TOUCHDOWN

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, February 2

Rob Veno   

Total Yardage Of All Field Goals Made
Recommendation: Over 110.5

The current game time weather report of 35-40 degrees and moderate winds diminishing throughout the night helps to provide value for this play. The baseline premise figures there to be a minimum of three combined field goals in this contest which averages out to a 38 yarder and a pair of 37’s. Denver’s PK Matt Prater and Seattle’s Steven Hauschka have each proven to be extremely accurate from between 30-49 yards. Combined, the duo has connected on 33 of 34 97%. The only miss was a 48-yard indoor attempt by Hauschka which was blocked by the Indianapolis Colts. There is recent history that can be applied here as both of these kickers played in Met Life Stadium this season. Prater kicked in a late afternoon game with perfect 70 degree, 3 mph wind conditions back on September 15 and went 2 for 2 from 42 and 47 yards. In his only road game with an attempt in subpar weather, he went 1-1 (27 yards) at New England in 22 degree and 22 mph wind conditions. It is important to note that that was also a Sunday night game played outdoors in the Northeast with more difficult elements than what’s projected for this Super Bowl. All things considered, we can feel pretty comfortable with Prater up to 49 yards out.

Seattle’s Steven Haushka has kicked in adverse weather at home multiple times including the playoff game three weeks ago versus New Orleans. He was 3-3 (38, 49, 26) in that game with 20 mph winds. The Seahawks last seven games have all been played in temperatures between 36-48 degrees. Hauschka was terrific in this venue on December 15th going hitting all three field goal attempts (49, 44, 24) when the temperature was 30 degrees with the wind chill.

Figuring the kickers to be reliable inside 50 yards the component of ample opportunities must occur to cash this prop. In 18 games this season, the Seahawks have had two or more field goal attempts 16 times (89%) and they’ve had three tries in each of their playoff games. Denver has trended toward multiple field goal attempts recently having tried 16 in their last six games and at least two in each of those. The numbers suggest that this pair of dependable kickers will have enough opportunities to compile made field goal aggregate yardage of over 110.5.

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Alex SmartFOR REE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Seattle vs. DenverFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Over 48FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The under has dominated this years playoffs. Whether it is part of a coincidental trend or because teams tend to play more conservatively in the post season. Did the weather play a roll or did some unfortunate offensive drives and miscues end with fewer points being scored? Im sure it was all of the above and even more situations I did not mention that surely contributed to the low scoring games.
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Alot of consideration and time has gone into setting the total on this years Super Bowl. The linesmakers in my humble opinion may have under estimated the number by a few points, on the low side, as my own numbers suggest a total that fits in better at around 50 total points going on the board. The compensation of the total from the books comes from this years playoff under trend. With so much square money coming in on this contest ,you can bet the basic approach of most of these bettors will be to chase what has already been trending.
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In closing conventional wisdom is not always wrong, but profits soar when a sports investor can identify the right situations and find value going against the public. I personally would tend to feel that this game shows some value on the Total being eclipsed.


Alex Smart's Featured Package

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Bob BalfeFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Seattle Seahawks Denver BroncosFREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Seattle Seahawks +2FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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At the beginning of the year a lot of experts picked Denver and Seattle to face each other in the Super Bowl and then after this wacky season it is ironic that they indeed are playing each other. This is a Super Bowl like no other. Each year this big game holds a story line. Peyton Manning was out of football 2 years ago and now has broken records that could stand for years to come. This is a guy who couldn’t shake your hand with any force 48 months ago and now has his team in the Super Bowl. In my opinion he is in the top 5 quarterbacks to ever play the game. The problem for Manning is he is 37 years old and is up against the new aged defense of the NFL in the Seahawks. Seattle is number one across the board in all defensive categories. This Seahawks Defense is years ahead of what defenses in the NFL will be like in years to come. They are the LeBron James of football. When Seattle has the ball they will give Denver a look they are not used to. Russell Wilson can move the chains with his feet and that is something Denver is not used to as they have faced mostly in the pocket quarterbacks. Seattle can run the rock and play great defense. This is a winning combo to win the Super Bowl. There has been a lot of talk about the Denver Defense over the past month. This is a defense that gave up a ton of points early in the season and then as they lost their best players actually got better statistically. I chalk this up to nothing more than the opponents they have played not playing that well in that Denver thin air. This is a defensive unit that lost key players in all levels of their defense. This super bowl reminds me of the Raiders/Bucs if I had to compare it to one. The overall team speed favors the Seahawks. Top rated defenses usually win Super Bowls. Both teams are deserving to win this game and I think it should be a good one, but in the end I think Seattle can disrupt Manning enough to win this football game. Let's not forget about Percy Harvin the ultimate X Factor in a game like this. Take Seattle.

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Harry BondiFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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LONGEST SUCCESSFUL FIELD GOAL - Over 44.5 YardsVlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Many people are concerned about the weather and the wind in New York and think it will negatively affect the two kickers, but that just gives us value on this wager. Denver's Matt Prater and Seattle's Steven Hauschka made 58-of-61 field goals in the regular season and 11-of-12 in the postseason. They have also been very good from long distances, making 9-of-10 field goals of 50 or more yards and 19-of-20 from 40-49 yards. Both of these kickers' home stadiums are outside so they are used to the elements, and both have already played in this stadium during the regular season. This game is expected to be close and both coaches won't hesitate to try a long field goal when they are in this range, especially at the end of the half, or the end of the game. Go over 44.5.

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Joe Gavazzi 

Seattle +2 & Under 48.5

It can be generalized into a simplistic choice of offense vs defense. QB Manning and the Broncos possess arguably the best offense in the history of the NFL. The Seattle defense was the best in the league this year. Anyone who has followed my history of NFL selections will not be surprised that I am favoring Seattle with the superior defense and running game.

Behind QB Manning and an offensive line that kept him virtually untouched the entire season, Manning threw for nearly 5,500 yards and 55 TDs to rack up over 600 points, the highest scoring offense ever in the NFL. A diverse receiving corps includes wideouts, Welker, Thomas, and Decker, along with TE Thomas. They were quickly on the same page with their QB from the beginning of the season. The running of RBs Ball and Moreno that led to a nearly 120 RYPG ground game that kept things honest and provided a semblance of balance. The defense allowed 25 PPG, though much of that came in garbage time. Most important in this game will be a rush defense that allowed just 100/3.9 per game. A clear advantage for the Broncos is the vast Super Bowl experience edge of HC Fox and QB Manning.

Our preference in this game, however, will be the better running game and the league’s number one defense. What the Seahawks lack in Super Bowl experience, they make up for in attitude. That is something that has directly filtered down from HC Carroll, who has created a highly competitive atmosphere and brings great energy to the entire team. Leading the offense is second year QB Wilson. He is not going to win the game for the Seahawks, but he has proven in two years that he is mature beyond his years and will most probably avoid critical mistakes. It’s the Seattle ground game at 140/3.3 that is their bread and butter. Though the OL endured numerous injuries throughout the season, they are now as healthy as they have been since August. It is that unit that will open holes for beastly RB Lynch, who is the emotional leader of the offense with inspirational runs in which he refuses to be tackled. The Seahawks’ receiving corps is less dynamic than that of the Broncos. WRs Tate, Kearse, and Baldwin are hardly household names or even appear on many fantasy league rosters. The real X Factor for this offense is the return of the explosive Percy Harvin, a potential game breaker with both his kick returns and his ability to gain yards after the catch. This is an underrated offense whose job it will be to move the ball on the ground and with precision, playing keep away from the Broncos’ offense. But the real star of this team is the number one defense, who leads the league with only 15 PPG, while allowing just 283 YPG. Most impressive is the 59% completion rate allowed for just 5.4 yards per catch. If you’re looking for the X Factor of this defense, consider that they lead the league in takeaways and turnover margin with +23. And I’ve made it very clear about the importance of being on the plus side of the turnover margin, as any team in the NFL regular season who authored a positive turnover margin had a record of 154-32 ATS.

It’s far easier to bet the Broncos in this game and root for the offense. If you bet the Seahawks, you’ll be holding your breath the entire game that QB Manning and the Broncos’ offense does not explode. Yet this bureau will hold fast to the tried and true formula that running game, a superior defense, and a positive turnover margin is what wins in the NFL. Those factors clearly point to the Seahawks, who are my selection for this Super Bowl victory.

Regarding the over/under selection: there’s never been a higher scoring season in the NFL. Rule changes favor the offense, as does the more offensive minded philosophy. If you’ve followed our over/under selections this season, you know we took advantage of the built in 2-3 points of value when the line maker failed to adjust for the greater scoring. In this game, however, we must shift gears as fundamentals clearly point to a lower scoring game. As the season wore on, the Bronco offense became more conservative. That has been especially true in a pair of playoff victories. Yet the strong history of overs for Denver is what in part keeps this total propped up. It would be quite a surprise if the Seattle game plan did not incorporate a keep away philosophy to it. It has been their MO for much of the season. The result is that each of these teams have recently authored 5 consecutive unders. And despite the fact that fireworks often evolve in the fourth quarter of Championship games, I still believe that the percentage side is for a lower scoring game.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, February 2

Joseph D'AmicoFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Seattle vs. DenverFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Under 48½FOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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Seattle relies upon Marshawn Lynch to do their work on offense. This is the keep QB, Russell Wilson from making as few mistakes as possible. Therefore the Seahawks will keep the ball on the ground against the 7th-ranked stop-unit of the Denver defense. Wilson has no deep-threat and knowing this, the Bronco's will keep the pressure on from a slew of schemes from the LB corps from every angle. Denver can score but have put a lot of stock in the ground game of Moreno and Ball which allows Manning to open up the passing game but does use up a lot of clock. Weather is forecasted as low-temperature, possible snow, and high, swirling winds. This will keep Manning and his high-flying air attack very careful. Seattle also ranks #1 in Total Yards, Passing Yards, and Points Allowed on "D". The Seahawks have had trouble protecting their QB, while the Bronco's offense has post-season experience to keep mistakes to a minimum and wear down the Seahawks. Seattle has played to 7 straight Unders while Denver comes in with 5 in a row Under the number. Take the Under.

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Insider Angles

Team to have more first downs in the game – Seattle +2½ (+135): As you will see, we opted to go with positive odds for all of our prop selections beginning with this one. This comes down to the style of play that each team enjoys, as the Broncos are more of a quick strike team while the Seahawks are more methodical with a ball-control offense keyed by the running of Marshawn Lynch and the game management of Russell Wilson, who does not make many mistakes. We actually feel that underdog Seattle will do a better job of running its offense the way it wants here, as we do not expect Peyton Manning and the Broncos to have has easy a time against the top ranked defense in football as they did vs. typical AFC defenses. That does not necessarily mean that the Seahawks will emerge victorious, but we do think they will win the Time of Possession battle, which would be a boon to this prop.

First score of the game is not a touchdown (+135): No matter how experienced you are, there are always some nerves early in the Super Bowl that can lead to some sloppy play until the teams settle down. Also, as mentioned, the Broncos may not have as easy a time finding the end zone early on vs. the best defense they have seen all year, and they may settle for a field goal the first time they are faced with a fourth down decision just to get some points on the board. And if the Seahawks are the first team to score, it is even more likely to be a field goal as Wilson is more apt to throw the ball away in the red zone if nothing is open. Both teams have solid kickers in Matt Prater of the Broncos and Steven Hauschka.

Will there be one scoreless quarter – Yes (+240): This play, besides the great odds being offered, is based more on Seattle being able to do what it wants. We think that the Seahawks will be successful in slowing down Manning, who again has not faced a defense nearly as good as Seattle’s all season, and his targets for at least one full quarter and we also trust the Seattle offense to take time off the clock. Of course, this prop would also require the Seahawks to bog down around midfield before getting into field goal range, but our feeling here is that the +240 odds make this risk worthwhile.

Montee Ball pass receptions – ‘under’ 1½ (+120): Ball had a total of 20 receptions in 16 regular season games, and after being held without a catch in the first playoff game, the only reason he caught three passes in the AFC Championship Game was because the Broncos had a big enough lead on the Patriots that they took the opportunity to give Knowshon Moreno and his ailing ribs that have bothered him since he rushed for 224 yards at New England back in Week 12 some rest. We do not anticipate a blowout here and remember that Ball is still a fumble prone rookie, so do expect to see him on the field as much here with Moreno having had two full weeks off to recover since playing basically one half last game.

Peyton Manning throws an interception before throwing a touchdown (+200): Did we mention that the Seahawks are the best defense that Manning has seen all season? And the biggest strength of the defense is the secondary, led by one of the best cover corners in the game in Richard Sherman. And if you do not believe that Sherman is one of the league’s best cornerbacks, you can just ask him! Yes, Manning had 55 touchdown passes vs. 10 interceptions during the year, but as the adage goes, “Good defense stops good offense”, so do not expect Peyton to solve the Seattle defense right away, possibly frustrating him into forcing a pass or two.

Super Bowl XLVIII MVP – Richard Sherman (+2000): It seems almost a given that Manning will win the MVP if the Broncos win even if he does not really deserve it as this may be his last chance as the big prize. But there is practically zero value at taking Manning at a shade over even money at +110, so why not take a shot at these 20/1 odds on the best Seattle defender, as if the Seahawks win, the victory is more likely to be keyed by their great defense. Do not surprised if that includes a Sherman interception, and these odds will look mighty good if he could run one back for a Pick Six.

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Jesse Schule
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Will Denver score a rushing TD? Yes/No - Yes
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When I had a chance to look at the prop bets being offered this year, my first thought is that the bookmakers are basing the lines on season averages, and not factoring in certain variables such as weather conditions, injuries and recent trends in these playoffs.
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I think this is a mistake, and I'm planning on exploiting some weak lines with five player props for the big game. These are available for sale for as low as 10$ each.
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I do have a free prop bet for you, and I'm looking at: Denver to score a rushing  TD -110. Now some people seem to be expecting the Broncos to come out passing, but if you have watched Denver in these playoffs so far, you will have noticed that their running game has been firing on all cylinders. Both teams could be forced to lean on the run due to weather conditions, and I believe that chances are, the Broncos will punch one in.

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Marc LawrenceFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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South Florida at CincinnatiFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
Prediction: South FloridaFOR FREE SERVlCE PLAYS VlSlT THESPREAD.COM
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The Bearcats come into this one as the filling for a juicy sandwich, coming off a monster battle with Louisville and with a look-ahead game against UConn on deck (Cincy is 2-7 ATS as conference favorites after the Cardinals, and 0-5 ATS at home before the Huskies). And like that 6-foot Italian sub that serves as a rather meaningless appetizer on the Super Bowl spread, this one will attract little attention starting off the afternoon of the NFL?s ultimate showdown. If you look at the Bulls? schedule, you?ll see several road wins dotting the docket, and the Bulls are 6-0 ATS on the road in this series (the visitor is also 11-3 ATS in all USF games at press time). The Bearcats? dismal 3-10 ATS mark as conference chalk laying 14 or more points clinches it. It won?t be pretty, but a Bulls? cover can give you some extra Super Bowl cash. You can thank us later. We recommend a 1-unit play on South Florida.

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