Sunday Service Plays
Re: Sunday Service Plays
IND -9.5 vs CHI
Tough loss on the Arizona/Toledo over last night guys. I don't make excuses but I thought I really had that one pegged right, Toledo just refused to score from inside the 5-yard line. Anyway, the NFL is finally here and it's time to start rolling. The Colts are my top play today. In Week 1, I see no reason to overthink things. In my opinion, the Colts are one of the three best teams in the NFL and the Bears are one of the three worst. All the Colts have to do is win by 10. I like my odds. The Colts treat preseason like a glorified practice. They spend all summer preparing for their opening day opponent, that's why they normally play so well in Week 1 after looking like garbage for most of the preseason.
Now, there is a concern that Peyton Manning may be rusty. I don't buy into that for two main reasons. One, I've seen this guy practice up close and personal. Trust me, he could shut his eyes and hit Wayne, Clark and Harrison on a rope. Those guys are so in sync it's scary. The second reason I'm not concerned about Manning is because the Bears defense isn't what it once was. The Colts will be able to run the ball just as well as throw it. We saw that a couple of years ago in the Super Bowl when these two teams met. Plus, the Bears and Colts run the same defense, so Manning sees it all the time in practice. Not good news if you are a Bears fan .
We have an AFC powerhouse opening up their new stadium against an NFC weakling. I see the Colts winning this game by at least 17 points. ***2 UNIT PLAY***
NOS -3.0 vs TAM
I see these two teams going in different directions this year. I predicted last year that the Saints wouldn't make the playoffs because of their defensive weaknesses but I think their defense will be improved this season. When I look at the Bucs, I see a defense that's not nearly as good as it used to be and an offense that's going to struggle to score points on a consistent basis. That won't be a problem for New Orleans, a team that has one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL. I think at the end of this season the Saints will be a playoff team, while the Bucs will win 5-6 games. I'll take a shot with what I believe is the much more talented team playing at home and only laying a field goal. ***1 UNIT PLAY***
Re: Sunday Service Plays
Houston/Pittsburgh Over 43 (POD)
First the Research that went into this game
Houston can very well give Pitt all they can handle. I am actually a fan of Houston in many ways, I love their offense, their coaching as well as their gutsy pick to take Williams over Reggie Bush in an effort to build this defense and to make a stand at some point, the need to build a core of a defense and they have done a decent job at that. The public is about 2/3rds in favor of Pitt here but the line has taken a bit, These 2 teams haven't met since 2005, I think Pitt is going to be in for all they can handle and more importantly, I wouldn't be surprised to see this game go over.
I checked the weather in this game and it will be in the mid 60's and partly cloudy. Note that Houston can flat out put up points and the last 3 road games they have had have gone well over and this Pittsburgh team has a defense that is overrated. Note, this is the same Pittsburgh team that gave up 22 and 29 against Jacksonville at home and on the road they typically play the over as well. Houston has a very competent offense and frankly, I can see this game ending at least in a 24-21 type of ballgame being decided by a field goal. Having said this, I do see Houston covering at the end of the day, but rather than the cover, I will take the over here as I do expect Houston to be an active dog and I have always said, it goes by my active dog/over principle. Keep in mind the over is 6-0 for the Steelers in Game 1 and the Steelers have played the over in their last 4 ballgames. The over is 7-2-1 in the last 10 ballgames for the Texans and the over is 5-1 for the Texans in September as well as.
Re: Sunday Service Plays
Las Vegas Insider-MLB (49-28 since May 26 w/MLB Insiders!)
My Las Vegas Insider is on the Bos Red Sox at 3:05 ET. The Red Sox had won four straight games overall (nine of 11) and all EIGHT over the Rangers this year, as they entered last night's game in Arlington. The Red Sox had scored 75 runs (9.4 per) against the struggling Texas pitching staff (owns worst ERA in MLB) in '08 and pounded out 13 hits and eight runs again last night. However, Boston starter Tim Wakefield couldn't make it out of the second inning (allowed seven runs) and the Red Sox wound up on the short side of a 15-8 loss. They missed an opportunity to gain ground on the Rays in the AL East (trail by 2 1/2), who also lost and remained 5 1/2 games up on the Twins in the wild card chase, as the Twins lost as well. No sense crying over spilled milk, so the defending champs will set their sights on Sunday's game, looking to avoid their first series loss since losing both games of a rain-shortened series at home to the Blue Jays on August 16 and 17. I sure like their chances to win here, as Paul Byrd has rewarded Boston's faith in him. Byrd was coming off an excellent 2007 season in which he helped lead the Indians to the brink of the World Series, going 15-8. However, he had been dreadful for most of '08, before catching 'fire' right after the break. He went 4-0 with a 1.26 ERA for the Indians from July 21-August 9 and Boston traded for him. While he hasn't been as sharp for Boston as he had been in that final four-game stretch for Cleveland, he has gone 3-1 with a 4.78 ERA for the Red Sox, making him 7-1 with a 2.93 ERA over his last eight starts, overall. As mentioned earlier, the Rangers own MLB's worst team ERA (5.32) and in going just 36-35 at home, the Rangers have allowed their opponents to average 6.11 RPG in Arlington. Brandon McCarthy will get the start opposite of Byrd and the 25-year-old right-hander, who began his career with the White Sox in '05, will be looking to build on his first ML win in more than a year when he takes the mound. McCarthy did little in '05 for Chicago and then in '06, was used out of the bullpen for 51 of his 53 appearances. Last year though, 22 of his 23 appearances were as a starter for the Rangers, as he went a disappointing 5-10 with a 4.87 ERA (Rangers were 9-13). McCarthy began this year by going on the 60-day DL on March 30 with right forearm inflammation and didn't make his first start until August 23. He got no-decisions in each of his first two outings of '08 (2.70 ERA) but Tuesday against Seattle, he allowed two ERs and four hits in six innings of a 6-4 win. The victory was his first since July 31, 2007. That's a nice story but here he'll face a Boston lineup which has averaged 9.22 RPG in nine games (8-1) vs Texas pitching in '08 and has put most of its road woes behind it. Boston returned from the break to lose all three games in Anaheim but has since gone 14-7 away from Fenway. Make that 15-7, after this game. Las Vegas Insider on the Bos Red Sox.