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NCAAF Friday Service Plays 9/4/15

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    NCAAF Friday’s Tip Sheet
    By Brian Edwards

    **Michigan State at Western Michigan**

    — Michigan State finished 2014 with an 11-2 straight-up record and a 9-4 against-the-spread mark. Since 2011, Mark Dantonio’s team has hooked up its gambling supporters at a 34-20 ATS clip. The Spartans capped last year with a 42-41 comeback win over Baylor at the Cotton Bowl. They won outright as 2.5-point underdogs after rallying from a 41-21 deficit.

    — Michigan State returns seven starters on offense and six on defense. The latter unit lost a key starter to a season-ending injury a few weeks ago when Ed Davis went down. He had 58 tackles and seven sacks last season.

    — Dantonio lost workhorse running back Jeremy Langford and his top two wide receivers, but the offense still has its leader in QB Connor Cook. The senior signal caller threw for 3,214 yards with a 24/8 touchdown-to-interception ratio in 2014. Cook has a 47/15 TD-INT ratio for his career. Langford is gone after rushing for 1,522 yards and 22 TDs. Also, Cook’s favorite target Tony Lippett has departed following a season in which he hauled in 65 receptions for 1,198 yards and 11 TDs.

    — Michigan State owns an incredible 17-4-1 spread record in 22 games as a road favorite on Dantonio’s watch.

    — Western Michigan improved from 1-11 in P.J. Fleck’s first season (’13) to go 8-5 SU and 10-3 ATS last year. The Broncos bring back nine starters on offense and seven on defense. They saw their six-game winning streak snapped in the regular-season finale, a 31-21 home loss to No. Illinois, and then dropped a 38-24 decision to Air Force as two-point ‘chalk’ at the Idaho Potato Bowl.

    — Western Michigan returns nearly all of its skill players, including true sophomore RB Jarvion Franklin, who came out of nowhere to rush for 1,551 yards and 24 TDs while averaging 5.1 yards per carry. He also had 14 catches for 163 yards and one TD. Franklin garnered MAC Offensive Player of the Year honors, was on the first-team All-MAC squad and was also the MAC Freshman of the Year.

    — As a third-year sophomore in 2014, Zach Terrell completed 67.9 percent of his passes for 3,443 yards with a 26/10 TD-INT ratio. Terrell has two of the MAC’s top wideouts in juniors Corey Davis and Daniel Braverman. Davis had 78 receptions for 1,408 yards and 15 TDs last year, while Braverman finished the season with 86 catches for 997 yards and six TDs.

    — Western Michigan played a pair of Power Five opponents last year, losing 43-34 at Purdue as an 8.5-point underdog in the season opener. The Broncos also lost at Virginia Tech, but they took the cash in a 35-17 loss as 21-point ‘dogs.

    — Western Michigan opened the season at Michigan State two seasons ago, losing 26-13 in East Lansing. However, Fleck’s team covered the number as a 28-point underdog.

    — As of Tuesday, most books had Michigan State listed as an 18-point favorite with a total of 58. The Broncos were +650 on the money line (risk $100 to win $650).

    — Kickoff on Friday night is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPNU.

    **Baylor at Southern Methodist**

    — Baylor smashed SMU by a 45-7 count as a 34.5-point home favorite in last season’s opener. The Bears defense limited the Mustangs to just 67 yards of total offense. Baylor has won 11 in a row over SMU and has taken the cash in the last 10 head-to-head meetings.

    –Art Briles’ squad returns nine starters on offense and nine starters on defense. Baylor finished last year with an 11-2 SU record and a 7-5-1 ATS ledger. The Bears 41-27 at West Va. and then lost to Michigan State in heartbreaking fashion in the postseason.

    — With Bryce Petty gone to the NFL, junior QB Seth Russell is poised to take over under center. The fourth-year junior had eight TD passes compared to only one interception last season. Russell will have weapons galore around him, including one of the nation’s best set of wide receivers. Corey Coleman had 64 receptions for 1,119 yards and 11 TDs in 2014, while K.D. Cannon hauled in 58 catches for 1,030 yards and eight TDs. RB Shock Linwood also returns following a season in which he ran for 1,252 yards and 15 scores.

    — Baylor has posted a 5-7-1 spread record in 13 games as a road ‘chalk’ during Briles’s tenure.

    — The Baylor defense will be led by senior DE Shawn Oakman, who had 51 tackles, 11 sacks and nine QB hurries in 2014. This unit allowed 25.5 points per game last year.

    — As of Tuesday, most spots had Baylor favored by 36 with a total of 74.5 points.

    — SMU was outscored by a combined score of 159-6 in three games against Power Five schools (at Baylor, vs. Texas A&M and vs. TCU) in 2014. The Mustangs saw June Jones resign after a 43-6 loss at North Texas in Week 2. They would lose their first 11 games before winning 27-20 at UConn as 14-point underdogs in the regular-season finale.

    — SMU went out and hired highly-regarded Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris as its next head coach. Morris, who spent 16 years as a high school coach in Texas before getting the Clemson gig, inherits a team which finished 1-11 SU and 4-8 ATS last season. The Mustangs bring back nine starters on offense and seven on defense.

    — Morris will give junior Matt Davis the starting nod at QB. Davis started the last five games last year, finishing the campaign with 855 passing yards and a 3/5 TD-INT ratio. Davis rushed for a team-best 613 yards and four TDs while averaging 5.7 YPC.

    — From 2009-2013, SMU compiled an 8-2 spread record in 10 games as a home underdog. However, the Mustangs limped to a 1-5 ATS mark in six such spots last season.

    — ESPN will have the telecast at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

    **Washington at Boise State**

    — Chris Petersen enjoyed a dynastic eight-year tenure at Boise State from 2006-2013, turning down a plethora of big-name jobs while compiling a 92-13 record with seven double-digit win seasons and five years with 12 wins or more. However, when the University of Washington came calling, Petersen finally decided to make the move to a Power Five school. Now he returns to the smurf turf to take on his former team Friday night at 10:15 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.

    — As of Tuesday, most books had Boise State installed as an 11.5-point home favorite with a total of 57. The Huskies were available on the money line for a +350 payout (risk $100 to win $350).

    — Boise State went 12-2 straight up and 8-6 against the spread in 2014. The Broncos bring back nine starters on offense and eight on defense. They have named true sophomore Ryan Finley as the starting quarterback. Finley served as the departed Grant Hedrick’s back-up last year, completing 12-of-27 throws for 161 yards and two TDs with one interception.

    — BSU has to replace workhorse RB Jay Ajayi, who was drafted by the Miami Dolphins after rushing for 1,823 yards and 28 TDs last season.

    — Since 2006, the first year of Petersen’s tenure, Boise State has won 55 of 57 home games with the two losses coming by three combined points. This is the first time since 2009 — when the Broncos smashed Oregon and LeGarrette Blount to begin Chip Kelly’s reign — that they’ve played a season opener at home.

    — The BSU defense is led by LBs Tanner Vallejo and Kamalei Correa. Vallejo had a team-high 100 tackles in 2014, while Correa had 59 tackles and 12 sacks.

    — Washington finished a disappointing 8-6 SU in Petersen’s first season, going 7-7 versus the number. The Huskies lost a 30-22 decision to Oklahoma State six-point ‘chalk’ at the Cactus Bowl. They return five starters on offense and four on defense.

    — Petersen told the media Monday that he’s decided on a new starting QB but won’t reveal the news before Friday’s kick. The three candidates are junior Jeff Lindquist, redshirt freshman K.J. Carta-Samuels and true freshman Jake Browning. Lindquist started one game last season, finishing the year with only 10 completions in 30 attempts for 162 yards and one TD without an interception. Cyler Miles was the starter last year and had a 17/4 TD-INT ratio and four rushing scores in 2014. However, a lingering hip injury forced Miles into retirement over the summer.

    — Petersen had this say about the homefield advantage BSU will enjoy: “It’s a great place to play. Unbelievable home-field advantage. The size of the stadium has nothing to do with it. Those are very passionate fans and a really good place to play a college football game. Noise is a factor. Tough place to play.”

    — Washington returns its top four pass catchers and top two leading rushers, including Dwayne Washington, who had 697 rushing yards and nine TDs with a 5.3 YPC average. Senior WR Jaydon Mickens had 60 catches for 617 yards and four TDs last year.

    — BSU posted a 4-3 spread record as a home favorite last season, while UW went 2-1 ATS as a road underdog.



    NCAA Football 2* (151) Baylor -35.5


    GMC CFB Selections

    160 BOISE STATE -12


    Andre Ramirez

    10* Charlotte / Georgia St. – Under 74


    ben burns

    10* Colorado-8


    steve Fezzik

    Boise St. -10.5 (-110)
    This game has BLOWOUT written all over it … Boise State is a fringe top 30 team, white 17 starters back. Washington isn’t even a top 60 team, has just 9 starters back, and no QB … Boise has a home field worth 7 full points, and they are more than 7 points better than Washington on a neutral. Further, they have a 6-38 loss 2 years ago, to fuel the fire here Boise knows is it CRITICAL to look good to move up in the polls, they firmly believe they have a shot to go 12-0, but it has be an impressive 12-0 due to their weak schedule, to maximize where they can land in the Bowls.The power ratings love the play. The Blue TURF HFA makes it stronger. The huge edge in returning starters is a huge moneymaker early in the year.


    smart sports investments

    Risk 2.00 to win 1.82 [159] Washington U +12 -110 vs Boise State



    2* (150) Hawaii +7.5


    NEWSLETTER College Football Prediction From Doc’s Sports

    Take Boise State (-12) over Washington (10 p.m., Friday, Sept. 4)
    Chris Petersen returns to Boise to lead his Huskies into battle with the Broncos. Boise State really put it together last year late, and expect that momentum to carry over into this season when some feel they have a chance to run the table and make the four-team playoff. Despite having two high draft picks on defense, Washington was not a very good team in 2014, and I do not see things getting any better this year in a loaded PAC-12. There is also revenge for the Broncos as Washington beat them in their last meeting, 38-6, in the game I believe drove Chris Petersen out of Boise.


    NEWSLETTER College FootballPrediction From Strike Point Sports

    Take ‘Under’ 56.5 Washington at Boise State (10 p.m., Friday, Sept. 4)
    This total is dropping like a rock, and for good reason. Even better, is it is still too high. These two teams will be lucky to get to 52 total points and at most I see this one at 31-21. This is a nationally-televised game in which a new QB will be leading a coach into his old stomping grounds. This is a Boise State defense that should be very solid in front of their home crowd. The young QB will be facing said solid defense, plus an extremely rowdy crowd. Chris Pederson, former Boise State coach, knows the players on the opposing sideline, and he knows what it takes to slow them down. Boise State is also starting a young QB in Ryan Finley, and playing in a big, early-season game such as this won’t do wonders for his nerves. With all of this said, I do not think that Washington can come in to Boise and win this game outright, but I do believe they are going to make a game of it, and keep the score low. I know that I gave a previous score, but that is the max number for the contest. To be honest I see this game having a 27-20 feel to it. Take the ‘under’ here as both teams offenses will start the season slowly.


    joe gavazzi


    Baylor (-35) at SMU 7:00 ET ESPN

    The Baylor Bears visit the SMU Mustangs for the opening game of the 2015 CFB campaign for each team. All eyes will be on Top 5 Baylor with the ESPN cameras whirring. I don’t know about you, but I have had just about enough of the talking heads espousing the excellence of Baylor, both in the years gone by and their projections for this upcoming football season. There is no question that the Bears have been a team on the rise. Under 8th year HC Art Briles, the Bears have reached the pinnacle of the CFB world with Bowl appearances in each of the previous 5 seasons. In the last 2 years alone, the Bears are 22-4 SU, while in the last 4 years, Baylor has a combined record of 32-16 ATS. But, what goes up in college football … must come down! With numbers approaching the stratosphere, look for the overrated Bears to disappoint their backers once mid-October rolls around. With an easy schedule the first 2 months, the Bears are clearly favored to be 7-0 SU, as they enter a brutal November stretch.

    What makes the Bears such an exciting team is their high-powered offense. After scoring 52 PPG in 2013 on an average of 619 YPG, Baylor was expected to regress. But last year’s number of 48 PPG on 581 YPG means they barely skipped a beat. In the last 4 seasons, they have run for at least 215 YPG and passed for at least 340 YPG. With 9 RS to the offensive side of the ball, look for the Bears to again be an offensive juggernaut. But, that is not all this team is about. For, this is a vastly improved defensive team over the 2012 edition. In the last 2 seasons, Baylor has allowed a combined 24 PPG and just 371 YPG. Those are impressive numbers when you consider the offensive output.

    Last year, SMU took 33 points from Baylor in Waco and got smacked 45-0! The game was every bit as bad as the final score with the yardage in favor of Baylor 574-67. The bully role has been one that has been good to Bear backers, as under HC Briles, the Bears are recently 8-1 ATS L2Y, when laying 30 or more points (conversely, SMU has faltered in this role with a record of 1-5 ATS as home dog last year, failing 58-6 to A&M, 56-0 to TCU, 41-3 to Cincinnati, 48-10 to Memphis and 35-9 to Houston). As good as Baylor was last year is as bad as SMU was in 2014. It was so bad that 7th year HC June Jones quit in the 2nd week of the season. The Ponies were embarrassed going 1-11 SU (beat UConn the last week of the season), being outscored 41-11 and outgained 499-269. In an effort to turnaround the program, SMU has hired former Clemson OC, Chad Morris, an offensive guru. This is about a large of a discrepancy as any you will see in an opening CFB game. And, I have learned over the years that “when it looks this easy … you had better look the other way.”

    Ponies prance, at the price, of course.

    Michigan St. (-18) at W. Michigan 7:00 ET ESPNU

    Michigan St. visits in-state rival W. Michigan in the opening game of the 2015 CFB season for each team. When these teams met in the opening week of the 2013 season, Michigan St. prevailed 26-13 as a 27 point home favorite. Including that victory, Michigan St. has gone on to compile a record of 24-3 SU, 17-8 ATS L2Y. Once again this season, with 7 starters returning to each side of the ball, the Spartans are again expected to be among the cream of the crop this CFB season. But, with their thrilling 42-41 Bowl victory against Baylor to close the 2014 season (4thBowl win in a row) and with a look ahead next week to revenge for one of only 2 losses last year vs. Oregon, this has sandwich spot written all over it for Sparty. In years gone by, the defense has carried this team. The 2013 team allowed just 13 PPG on 252 YPG. Even last year’s allowance of 21/316 was impressive, considering they outscored opponents by 22 PPG, while outgaining them by 185 YPG. But, there are big changes on the Michigan St. sideline. Gone is long-time DC Narduzzi, who is now the HC at Pitt. This will be the first game for HC Dantonio without Narduzzi on his coaching staff. In his stead, is Mark Snyder, the former DC at Texas A&M. But, remember that is a Texas A&M defense which allowed an average of 30 PPG and 463 YPG in the previous 2 seasons combined. Narduzzi, he is not! There is no doubt that the Spartans are an experienced team with a 200 Club offense and an outstanding defensive pedigree. But, are they ready for this road game in this spot?

    That brings us to a W. Michigan team, who is one of the most experienced in the land with 16 RS. Along with back to back Top Rated MAC recruiting classes, this team has learned how to “row the boat,” their motto under 3rd year HC PJ Fleck. After going 1-11 SU in 2013, the Broncos had one of the biggest turnarounds in CFB last year with a record of 8-5 SU, 9-3 ATS. Improvement was palpable on both sides of the ball, as they went from being outscored 35-17 to outscoring the opposition 34-25. The Broncos will clearly be tested in the month of September with games against these Spartans, at Georgia Southern and at Ohio St. But, none will hold greater significance than this in-state rivalry against the Spartans.

    The technicals are all wrong in supporting this play as Western is 3-8 ATS as home dog L8Y, while Michigan St. is a CFB best 17-4 ATS as road chalk under Dantonio. But, the improved nature of W. Michigan, the sandwich spot for the Spartans and the change in DC for Michigan St., all lead us to this value laden home underdog spot.


    Washington at Boise St. (-12) 10:15 ET ESPN

    Each week in this space, I isolate the CFB LONE RANGER CONTRARY PLAY OF THE WEEK. It is a blend of statistical, situational and technical analysis that will result in an outstanding opportunity for you to cash a winning ticket.

    At 10:15 pm ET, as televised on ESPN, the Washington Huskies visit the Boise St. Broncos in a battle of 2 of the premier programs in the Northwest. Much has changed since the start of last year with this line. In fact, were this contest to have been played at this site at the beginning of last season, the Huskies would have been a small road favorite.

    When these teams last met, in the 1st game of the 2013 season, current 2nd year Washington HC Petersen was coaching the last of his 8 years as head man of the Broncos. Washington, playing at home in Seattle, ruled the day in the final year of the Steve Sarkisian rein. The final score was 38-6 in favor of the Huskies as 3 point home favorite. One must wonder, if that did not play a small part in the decision of Petersen to switch ranks and become head man of the Huskies last season.

    In so doing, Petersen led Washington to an 8-6 SU, 7-6 ATS mark. But, the season culminated with 30-22 loss to Oklahoma St. in their Bowl game. Now, Washington brings back just 10 RS from that team, is one of the least experienced teams in the nation and is in true rebuilding mode. He takes this young team on their first road trip to one of the toughest venues in the nation (just ask Petersen, who was 48-2 SU at this site) with a young QB and offensive line. There they will matchup against a Boise team, who returns 17 starters for exciting 2nd year HC Harsin.

    Last year, Harsin proved his success at Arkansas St. was no fluke by leading a Boise team to a record of 12-2 SU, 8-6 ATS, highlighted by 9 consecutive victories to close the season, culminating with a 38-30 victory over Arizona in their Bowl game. Fly in the ointment, however, is the loss of last year’s starting QB Hedrick and OC Mike Sanford, who matriculated to Notre Dame. The offensive transition may not go quite as smoothly as Bronco backers believe!

    No longer are the flying geese plummeting to their deaths on the blue turf of Boise. I guess, they learned better since that first night. But, it has not stopped the public from being in love with the notion of Boise, the Broncos or the Blue Field. In fact, the public is all over the home team in this one, making you, me and the Lone Ranger the only one who are suiting up on the side of the road dog in this one! Mush! Huskies!


    ras – (right angle sports)

    Top Play – Georgia State



    Michigan State



    “PAC-12 GOW MAX BET” 3* Boise State -10.5



    2* (151) Baylor -35.5

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