Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday October, 21

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Ben BurnsFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Tennessee vs. Buffalo
Pick: Tennessee
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While this is a big game for them, I don't believe that the Bills should be favored by more than a field goal here.
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The Titans got back on track last time out, beating Pittsburgh outright. As that was a Thursday game, they've had a couple extra days of preparation here.
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After suffering back to back blowout losses, the Bills also got back on track last week. Like Tennessee's victory, note that Buffalo's win came by only three points.
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The Titans beat the Bills last season and I won't be surprised if they give them all they can handle again here. Consider taking the points.

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Steve MerrilFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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N.Y. Jets vs. New England
Pick: New England
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The New York Jets are currently 3-3 on the season after beating the Colts 35-9 last week.  New York has beat three losing teams as the combined record of those teams is just 8-9.  The Jets three losses have come against winning teams as the teams are a combined 13-6.  New York didn’t just lose those games, they got blown out.  In their three losses, the Jets have lost by a combined score of 84-27.  While New England doesn’t technically have a winning record at just 3-3 on the season, they are certainly one of the best teams in the NFL.  All three of New England’s wins this season have come by double digits, and they will follow suit in this game.
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New England comes in off a loss in Seattle, but that was a terrible scheduling and situational spot for the Patriots.  Despite that, the Patriots dominated the Seahawks as they out-yarded Seattle 475-368.  They lost on a last minute 46-yard touchdown pass, and off such a loss, the Patriots will take out their frustrations on the weak Jets.  New York’s offense is pitiful, and once the potent Patriots offense gets out to a lead, the Jets have no chance to comeback.  There’s a major class difference between these two teams so we’ll lay the big points with the Patriots on Sunday afternoon.

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Jimmy BoydFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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New England Patriots -10.5
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After blowing a 13-point fourth-quarter lead in Seattle last week, the Patriots will be extremely hungry when they take the field Sunday afternoon.
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The Patriots have been an awesome investment in bounce-back spots as they are on a 28-10-1 ATS run in their last 39 games following a loss. Under Bill Belichick, they are 11-3 ATS following a defeat of three points or less. They have won by an average score of 31.4 to 15.7 in this situation.
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New York's wins have come against the Bills, Dolphins and Colts - teams that didn't make the playoffs last season. Its losses have come by an average 19.0 points to the Steelers, 49ers and Texans - teams that made the postseason a year ago.
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The Jets played the Texans to a six-point game at home but were outgained by nearly 100 yards and trailed by as many as 13 points. They were defeated 27-10 by Pittsburgh and 34-0 by San Francisco. New England is certainly capable of blowing out the Jets as well. The Pats won last season's two meetings by an average of 15.0 points.
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New England ranks No. 1 in the NFL in both scoring and total offense with 31.3 points and 445.3 yards per game. The New York offense has been anemic. It ranks 29th in total offense with 295.5 yards per game and 20th in scoring with 22.2 points per game. I don't see the Jets having enough offense to keep up.
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Peyton Manning played a nearly flawless game in New England and the Pats still beat the Broncos by 10 points. New York won't get even close to that kind of performance from Mark Sanchez.
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The Jets are just 3-8 ATS in their last 11 road games. We'll lay the points.

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Ray MonohanFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers    
Play: New Orleans Saints
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Good timing? The return of Vilma to practice during the week lit a fire under several of his mates on the defensive unit, which is ranked dead last in the NFL. Vilma is expected to play between 20 to 30 snaps, two team sources told ESPN's Ed Werder. On offense Saints tight end Jimmy Graham is OUT with an ankle injury. Look for Colston to catch around 8-10 balls Sunday. Lance Moore missed the last game with a hamstring injury but has been healing for two weeks now and is expected to return. Watch for Sproles to have a huge game. He tallied 99 yards from scrimmage and scored in the second meeting with the Bucs last year. The Bucs will have no answer for Brees' accuracy.
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The Bucs looked last week but that was vs. Brady Quinn. This is Drew Brees. I smell trouble for the young squad. They'll be without Aqib Talib to boot. Did you know Tampa Bay has lost 13 of its last 15 games, and the road team is 13-5 ATS in their last 18 meetings. Saints are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games following a S.U. win, and are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games following a ATS win. The Buccaneers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. NFC South, and are 2-9-1 ATS in their last 12 games after allowing less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game, and are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. This is one of those divisional games that ends up closer than expected, but on the road the Saints will have too much offense for the Buccaneers.

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Dave CokinFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans
Pick: Houston Texans
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Big spot for Houston off the miserable showing last Sunday night. The Texans should be able to damage a ravaged Ravens defense, and I would expect a good Houston stop unit to rebound here. Number is high, but I'll side with the Texans.

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Andy IskoeFOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Oakland -6FOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Jacksonville returns from its Bye that followed a pair of home losses of 38 and 17 points. The Jaguars are considered by many to be the weakest team in the NFL. Oakland returned from its Bye last week and played well in losing at unbeaten Atlanta, enjoying their best rushing game of the season. Defensively the Raiders' have held 3 of 5 foes to under 60 yards rushing. Oakland's defensive weakness has been against the pass. But Jacksonville has a very limited passing attack and has netted less than 150 passing yards in each of its last 4 games. Now they take to the road for the first time in a month. The Jaguars are also being outgained by an average of 183 ypg, 75 ypg more than the second worst net negative ypg team! Oakland has the better overall talent with a solid edge at QB. Both teams have played tough early season schedules but in most areas the Raiders have performed better. Although both teams are an identical 1-4, Oakland is the much better team.

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JR O'DonnellFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Tennessee +3FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Were grabbing the early call NFL nasty nasty dog!!! looking deep in the #'s these Titans have been blasted the first few weeks of the season as they had the misfortune of one of the toughest schedules in the NFL.... Lions/Minny/New En/Houston/Pittsburgh..... wow... Now they will match up well with the soft "Buff Bills"... Power rated @ a pickem here guys as Hasselbeck will lead the troops here... Get after these Titans have who have C Johnson looking to rollup a great day as he will face a D that  740 rushing yards and seven TDs on the ground  last 3...... These Titans have owned the Bills as 4/4 W's last 4 and 8 -1 last 9  vs Bills... The Titans are getting healthy boys.... (  Wr Britt back in the house)... Titans out right.

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Pittsburgh -1FOR THE LARGEST SELECTION OF FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Steelers are a dominant 13-3 the last 16 games at Cincy. The Steelers off a bad loss to the Titans last week and sitting at 2-3 SU with only 1 cover all year! Their offensive line is depleted with injuries and their running game is in a funk and beat up to. This is a do or die game for the Steelers tonight. Somehow Big Ben comes up big in games like this, and Cincy is ripe for the taking with a suspect defense that cannot expose all the Steelers weakness's. All Pitt's losses have came on the road which has driven this line down.
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Cincy have issues of their own here against a banged up Steelers team losing by 10 to the Browns and a rookie QB last week, and losing at home to the Dolphins 2 weeks ago again to a rookie QB. Not sure Cincy can beat a focused yet injured Steelers team who are in a must win scenario. Better defense lies with Pitt, in a tight one I am taking them and counting on Big Ben to improvise a few miracles here tonight. Pitt is 4th in the NFL in total yards allowed and must use their passing game which is ranked 7th in the NFL tonight. I see a 3 -4 point game here, Steelers find a way.

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LEE EARNEST

Pittsburgh Steelers -1

I feel that Pittsburgh is being undervalued here given their slow start this season. The Steelers have been plagued with injuries to start the year and that has cost them a couple of game. However, this is still a more than capable team and even sitting at 2-3 to start the year they still have a very good chance to win their division and it is all going to start with this game. Pittsburgh has won the last 4 meeting with Cincinnati both SU and ATS and since 1992 they are an astonishing 16-5 ATS. Pittsburgh just seems to find a way to win against this team. Yes the Bengals are a much improved team over the last couple of season with the addition of Andy Dalton and AJ Green, but there are question marks on this teams defense that have arisen over their last two games seeing how they lost to both Miami and Cleveland. Pittsburgh is not a pushover team by any stretch of the imagination. They still have a stellar defensive corp ( even without Troy Polamalou ) and they have the ability to make big plays on offense. Given Cincinnati struggles on defense and with it being almost a "must win" for Pittsburgh, I'll back Pittsburgh at a virtual pick'em.


New Orleans Saints -2

This is another game where I feel that the Saints are incredibly undervalued in this role, given their rocky start this season. Offensively this team is still the juggernaut that they were in years past, it is on the defensive side of the ball where this Saints team is falling short. Their defense is just in shambles and is bleeding profusely. They can't seem to stop anybody and they are allowing teams to run all over them with they themselves can't seem to run the ball at all. The Saints are averaging less than 80 yards per game on the ground and I think this is where people are going to mis-read this game. The Saints can't run the ball, but that doesn't matter because Tampa's defensive strength is in stopping the run. The area where they are weakest is defending the pass. the Saints can't run the ball anyway so I don't see why they would try very much when that plays into the defense's strength. Tampa is currently giving up an average of 300 yards through the air and that doesn't bode well when you have a passing surgeon such as Drew Brees in the backfield. Brees averages about 350 yards passing per game against regular competition. Against a weak secondary and pass rush he should have no problem finding his open receivers. The Saints got a taste of their first win of the season last week and I'm willing to bet that they want more. They themselves probably never figured that they would start the season 0-4 and with this being an important divisional game I'm going to look for the Saints to give the Bucs all they can handle. 2 points isn't too much to ask to cover.


Green Bay Packers -5

For me this game comes down to the fact that St Louis doesn't have their biggest playmaker on the field in Danny Amendola. Amendola was approx 60% of St Louis' offense up until the point where he got hurt. When Bradford was in trouble he would simply loft the ball to Amendola anywhere on the field knowing that Danny gave him the best shot, Bradford doesn't have that type of security now. Amendola is a dangerous player and I don't know if a young team such as the Rams can overcome a loss like that, especially now when they have to face the pass rush of Clay Matthews. Green Bay on the other hand will be looking to ride the momentum of their complete and total thrashing of what was supposed to be one of the best defenses in the league on their home turf, I'm talking about the Houston Texans. That Texans win was just what Green Bay needed to silence all of the doubters and critics who were whispering about how they thought the team was underachieving this year. That game showed everyone that this Green Bay can still play at the level that they were at last year. Laying the points on the road is always a tough thing to do but Green Bay is just the all around better team and should win this game by double digits. Lay the points

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San Francisco -125FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Since his late season return, Chris Carpenter's numbers look fairly decent: 26.2 IP, 9 ERs. Make no mistake, he's been fortunate and hasn't looked sharp. I've watched both of his postseason starts and clearly the stuff just isn't there, hence why he's fanned only three batters and had six swinging strikes. Meanwhile, Ryan Vogelsong had his struggles in late August/early September but has rallied back and allowed three earned runs his last five starts including two solid postseason outings. I supported him in his last start against St. Louis and Carpenter and he didn't disappoint as the Giants won 7-1. Obviously this is a do-or-die situation for the Giants but that is only a small part of this handicap. I've been playing against "damaged" starting pitchers all season and won't stop here.

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Bob Balfe

Giants -6 over Redskins

RG3 is going to be a stud in the NFL, but lets not forget this will be his first division game and wins in the NFC East are not easy. The Giants are clicking right now and should be able to move the ball against this injured and weak Washington Defense. The Redskins will be without Garcon today and with a rookie running back and a rookie quarterback should have a tough time on the road. The Giants are the defending champs and want payback against a Redskins team that beat them twice last year. They will not take this team lightly. The Giants are an experienced team playing with each other and should win this important division game. Take New York.

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Harry Bondi

Dallas / Carolina Under 46

It's been a serious sophomore slump for QB Cam Newton this year as the Carolina offense has been held to 12 points or less in three out of five games this year. We expect those struggles to continue today as the Panthers will be without All Pro center center Ryan Kalil (out for the season) against a Dallas defense that ranks No. 2 in the league in total yardage per game allowed. Meanwhile the Panthers defense has been a bright spot this year and won't have any problems limiting the one-dimensional Dallas attack that relies solely on the passing game and will see its already feeble running game have even more issues today without Demarco Murray. The Cowboys have gone under in five of their last six road games and we see that trend continuing today. Go under.

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DAVID BANKS

Steelers / Bengals Over 45

The Pittsburgh Steelers (2-3, 1-4 ATS) may be approaching desperation mode when they visit the Cincinnati Bengals (3-3, 2-3-1 ATS) in a key division battle on Sunday Night Football this week at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, OH at 8:20 ET on NBC. The Steelers are in third place in the AFC North right now behind the 5-1 Baltimore Ravens and these Bengals, and Pittsburgh can ill afford to drop to 2-4 while losing to a division foe. The Bengals blew chance to pull a game closer to the Ravens last week when they lost to the Browns 34-24, handing Cleveland its first win of the season.

The big story on the Pittsburgh side for this game is injuries, as Troy Polamalu is again out after reinjuring his calf in his first game back two weeks ago, and perhaps more importantly, running back Rashard Mendenhall was declared out yesterday with a foot injury, which essentially changes the Steelers' game plan. Pittsburgh had hoped to establish the run with Mendenhall in this game as he looked great in his only full game this season two weeks ago, but his absence probably means that Ben Roethlisberger will throw the ball close to 40 times, especially since third string running back Jonathan Dwyer will start with second-stringer Isaac Redman also out with a knee injury. With all of that being said, Roethlisberger has flourished in a gunslinger role the last couple of years with the running game down, and this season has been no different with Big Ben ranking fourth in the NFL in QB Rating at 99.9. He has passed for 1487 yards on 7.5 yards per attempt while completing 64.6 percent of his passes, with 10 touchdown passes and just two interceptions. He will also be passing against a weak Cincinnati secondary with Dre Kirkpatrick out, meaning that the overrated Terence Newman gets the start at cornerback as Nate Clements moves over to play out of position at safety. Big Ben can exploit that as long as he eludes a very good Cincinnati pass rush that is tied with Green Bay for the NFL lead with 21 sacks. Roethlisberger has made eluding rushers an art form though, as he probably has the best pocket awareness in the NFL.

The Bengals are 3-3, but are they really that good? Remember last year when they backed into the playoffs at 9-7 despite going 0-7 vs. fellow playoff teams and 9-0 vs. clubs with losing records? Well, their three wins this year have come vs. the Browns (1-5), Jaguars (1-4) and the Redskins (3-3) when Washington had five defensive starters out, and as mentioned, they even lost to the Browns in the rematch last week. Now Cincinnati ranks ninth in the NFL in total offense, but besides doing it vs. a weak schedule, the Bengals have become a pronounced passing team in Andy Dalton's second season, ranking eighth in passing but 21st in rushing while averaging just 3.9 yard per rush. The problem with that here is that Pittsburgh ranks third against the pass at 200.8 yards per game while allowing only 6,2 yards per attempt. The Steelers have been unusually vulnerable against the run allowing 4.1 yards per carry, but the overrated BenJarvus Green-Ellis is proving to be a bust as the starting running back for the Bengals.

Then there is the psychological advantage that the Steelers seem to have over Cincinnati, as Pittsburgh is 8-2 both straight up and ATS in the last 10 head-to-head meetings including a perfect 4-0 straight up and ATS the last two years. The Bengals are also 0-5-3 ATS in their last eight games following a straight up loss.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday October, 21

Dave Price

Indianapolis Colts -1.5

The Colts have been a good investment recently in bounce back spots as they are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a loss. Cleveland's double-digit upset win over Cincinnati last week puts it in a tough spot here as road teams when the line is +3 to -3 off an upset win at home by 10 points or more, after the first month of the season, are just 7-28 ATS since 1983. Teams fitting this situation are 0-6 ATS the last 5 seasons. The Browns have one of the worst pass defenses in the entire league, ranking 30th with 294.2 yards allowed per game. I like Andrew Luck to have a big day against this porous unit, and the Colts should be able to cover this small number as a result.

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Andre Gomes

Cleveland Browns +2

It might sound crazy to take the Browns on the road in such a short spread. However, I believe Cleveland is really going to win their second game in a row today! They will be facing an Indianapolis team, whose rookie quarterback Andrew Luck is coming from a very poor game in NY against the Jets last Sunday. Even though Cleveland's pass defense hasn't been great, it's important to mention that they have been able to intercept their opposing quarterback a lot this season, so they will be a very tough opponent for Andrew Luck today, who even though is able to throw some good passes especially to Reggie Wayne, he is also prone to throw some poor passes that Cleveland's secondary is more than ready to take advantage of them. The situation of Andrew Luck becomes even more problematic due to the fact that his offensive line isn't very good and he will be facing a good Browns pass rush that should be able to put him under pressure, even though Luck has been impressive with his mobility. In terms of the running game, the Colts are generally a very poor team on this department and they only got worse since Donald Brown got sidelined with a knee injury. Therefore, I believe Indianapolis will be able to have some offensive production today via their passing game, but Andrew Luck is also likely to be intercepted a few times today.

In terms of the Brown offense, Brandon Weeden has been able to produce some yardage on the team's passing game, however it is also true that he has been intercepted a considerable number of times this season. But the good news for Weeden today is that Indianapolis hasn't been able to intercept their opposing quarterbacks, with just two interceptions in five games! With the Colts being unlikely of taking advantage of Weeden's occasional poor passes, I believe Weeden will be able to have a solid game today, while taking advantage of the poor Colts' secondary and the fact that Indianapolis' best pass rush Robert Mathis is out with a knee injury. In the running game, Trent Richardson was limited in practice this week with a ribs injury, but he has a very favorable matchup against a poor Colts run defense, so I expect Cleveland to be able to have a good offensive game today.

With both teams having a similar level, I believe it will be Cleveland's ability to force turnovers in opposition with Indianapolis' inability of taking advantage of the chances they have for a defensive big play that will decide this game. I believe Indianapolis will turn the ball over more times than Cleveland today and in such a tight game, this will make the difference. Therefore, I'll be taking the Browns in here.

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Joe Gavazzi

New England Patriots -10½

There are only 2 late afternoon games (Eastern Time) this week. Each has been changed to a 4:25 start time to allow the Internet Sports Books to enter the early scores and give the players a true accounting of their balances heading into late game action. In the 1st of those we see a battle of 3-3 SU, AFC East teams. That however is the only way in which these teams are alike. The Jets beat Indy last week 35-9 in a game where they outgained the Colts by only 53 yards, but profited from a +4 net TO margin. Further west New England was blowing a 4th quarter lead losing at Seattle 24-23, a game in which they outgained the Seahawks by over 100 yards. In this lose vs. win set, look for the fortunes of each of these teams to reverse. New England has most recently succeeded against the Jets with a 3-0 SU ATS mark. If we've learned 1 thing over the years by watching Belicheck and Brady, it is that you never want to fade them off a loss, a role in which they stand 23-7 ATS. New England outrushes foes 153- 83 while the Jets are being outrushed 150-110. Once that dominance at the point of attack has been established, QB Brady vs. QB Sanchez becomes no contest.

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Jeff Scott Sports

5 UNIT PLAY

Oakland/ Jacksonville under 44: Last year these teams put up 69 points, but I don't expect the same thing here. The Jags offense is very vanilla and conservative and they will need to use ball control to keep an Oakland offense that has some pop, on the sidelines. Jacksonville averages just 242 ypg and 3 ppg on the year and should not be able to put up much on this Raiders defense that has played pretty good at home, allowing just 345.5 ypg. The Raiders offense has been explosive at times this year, but still they come in averaging just 17.4 ppg. The Raiders have gotten away from their run game, but they should look to establish that in this one vs a Jags defense that has allowed 163 ypg on the ground this year. That will certainly eat some clock. I expect both teams to run the ball allot  which should keep the clock rolling. and keep this one well under the total. KEY TREND--- Jacksonville is 16-5 to the Under after allowing 175+ rushing yards in their last game.   

4 UNIT PLAY

POWER ANGLE PLAY

Dallas -1 over CAROLINA: Last week the Cowboys really got their ground game going and vs a tougher defense then they will face this week. The Cowboys need the run to take the pressure off of Romo and I really look for them to pound the ball here Vs a Carolina defense that has allowed 127.4 ypg on the ground at 4.4 yards per pop.That will only open up the throwing lanes for this Dallas pass offense that has averaged 287.8 ypg through the air to put up some big yards on a Carolina defense that is 19th vs the pass, allowing 249 ypg. On Offense Carolina is 13th in rushing, but they will need to throw it here if they wanna keep pace with the Cowboys and that is not their strong suit. The panthers are just 22nd in passing and Newton has not looked that great after an impressive 1st year in the league. Today it won't get easier for him as the Cowboys have the top passing defense in the league, allowing just 181.6 ypg. Dallas is the better team here and they played a very good game last week vs Baltimore, but just came up a bit short. The Won't in this game as they have the better offense and better defense and should win by at least a TD. POWER ANGLE FOR THIS PLAY--- Play on any road team in a conference game if they are off a road game in which both teams scored 24 or more points. Teams in this spot are 31-9 ATS the last 40 times the situation came up.

3 UNIT PLAYS

Arizona/ Minnesota Under 40.5: Both teams are having problems protecting their QB’s and that should leads to allot of running in this game. Arizona doesn’t have a great running game, but they will need to run the ball to keep these Minnesota pass rushers from teeing off on Skelton. Even with their passing game Arizona is not really an explosive offense as they average just 4.6 yards per play on the year. Minnesota has an excellent running game behind Adrian Petersen and I look for them to use that running game allot in order to keep a solid Arizona pass rush from getting to Ponder. Both teams have a rather conservative style of play and that should translate into this game staying well under the number. I look for 31 points at most here.


NEW ENGLAND -10.5 over NY Jets: Gotta like the Pats here vs a team they hate and coming off a loss. The jets have played well last week, but the Colts are not the Pats. The Jet offense was better last week, but they still have problems how to use Tebow and that will lead to inconsistencies and you cant have that vs this team. You mostly must score an every drive and the Jets haven't been close to doing that this year. New York averages just 22.2 ppg and 184 ypg passing and number like that aren't good vs the Pats. New England comes in averaging 453 ypg and 31.3 ppg on the year and the fact that they can now run the ball (153 ypg) has made them so much more difficult to defend. NY Is already thin on defense, especially in the defensive backfield and they will have big problems trying to slow down this no-huddle speed offense of the Pats. New England is angry once again and you can bet that they will take their frustrations out on their hated rivals from New York.   


HOUSTON -7 over Baltimore: Last week Houston got a wakeup call vs the Packers but they will bounce back in this one. Baltimore is being hit hard by injuries on the defensive side of the ball right now and last week it really hurt them vs the run as they allowed Dallas 227 yards on the ground. Now Arian Foster gets his shot at this defense and he is an angry back after being held to just 28 yards last week vs the Packers. Once the ground game gets going then Matt Schaub should be able to get some big plays downfield vs a weakened Baltimore secondary. On offense Baltimore can put up points, but this Houston defense is one of the best in the league and will bounce back after such a bad showing last week vs Green Bay. Look for Houston to get back on track vs a Baltimore team that just doesn’t have enough defense to keep this one close.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday October, 21

Scott Delaney

Now let's get to your free winner for Sunday, as I'm looking at the Green Bay Packers to get it done over the St. Louis Rams.

I really had to think about this one, wondering if the ever-precarious 5-point spread was a trap with the Green Bay Packers, or if they've clearly turned the page after stomping all over the Houston Texans last week.

I really had to wonder which 'improved defense' was going to be tested more, and which one might be exposed. I mean, the Packers ranked dead last in the NFL in yards allowed in 2011; this year they rank 14th overall through six games. Then there's the Rams, who also had one of the worst overall stop units in the league, but is in after stifling the Dolphins to 119 yards rushing, despite a loss, and limiting the Cardinals to just three points in a win the previous week.

So how do I decide what to do? I really had to wwonder.

Quick glance to last year's abysmal defensive units with these two, and I see the Packers used a 21-point second quarter to ride out a 24-3 victory over the Rams in Green Bay. So if that defense last year was able to hold the Rams to a field goal, what possibly will happen this season?

Though I know the Rams have won all three of their home games, the Packers have won nine of the last 12 in this series. And the way the light seemingly flickered on for them last week in Houston, I have to believe they'll be just fine for this year's clash with the Rams.

Lay the ever-precarious 5-point spread.

3♦ GREEN BAY

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday October, 21

Chuck O'Brien

On the heels of delivering Kent State, an easy free college winner on Saturday, I'm playing the Indianapolis Colts against the Cleveland Browns for my NFL freebie on Sunday. And make note as I go live with this play at 5 p.m. pacific on Saturday, I see the Colts are laying an awfully cheap price of -2 points, and even see some 1s out there. Do your best to shop for this line, and get the best price possible in this battle of rookie quarterbacks.

Andrew Luck and Brandon Weeden have done some impressive things this season, thus far, but I'm going to have to put my money on the Colts in this one. I mean, forget the fact the Colts have won five of their last six meetings with the Browns, we know those games involved Peyton Manning, right? This is more about judging a pair of mediocre teams and asking yourself: which one is better?

The Colts(2-3) are definitely better than the one-win Browns (1-5), who looked great in their Buckeye State battle last week against the Cincinnati Bengals, but that's to be expected. With the weight off their shoulders now, I don't expect much from the Browns today, especially defensively, with one of the worst overall stop units in the league.

Luck became the first rookie quarterback in league history to top 1,200 yards and win two games in his first four games and needs just one more 300-yard game to become the franchise's second rookie quarterback to have four 300-yard passing games in a season, joining Manning. Yes, all that in one breath. And you can't honestly believe the Browns, with the 30th-ranked passing defense, are going to stop the Colts' aerial attack, do you?

Cleveland, which has lost 10 straight road games, and despite ranking third in the NFL with 10 interceptions, doesn't have the personnel to go into Indy and contend with one of the league's top receivers, Reggie Wayne, and his complement, Donnie Avery. Know what, in a game like this, don't be surprised to see rookie receiver T.Y. Hilton light things up as well.

Though I've seen some impressive ATS marks for the Browns, lest we forget they're usually catching lofty numbers, and this line is basically asking us to pick the winner. My choice is the Colts.

2♦ COLTS

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday October, 21

Jeff Benton

Your Sunday freebie is the Under in the Arizona-Minnesota contest.

Last week the Vikings were engaged in a rare shoot-out, losing 38-26 at Washington. That game obviously landed Over the posted total, but Minny had played Under in their previous four games leading up to that slugfest in D.C.

As for Arizona, they continue to play them lower-scoring and close to the vest. The Cardinals have held Under the total in their last pair of games, and five of their six games played overall this season. The Cards are on a 10-4-1 Under clip dating back to last season with eight of their last ten road games having played Under the total.

These teams played last season in the Twin Cities and just did hold Under in a 34-10 Minnesota win. I don't expect that many points this afternoon. Plenty of three-and-outs in this one.

Take the Under in Arizona-Minnesota.

4♦ ARIZONA-MINNESOTA UNDER

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