Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 1

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 1

Sean Higgs

Ohio vs. Louisville    
Play: Ohio +21½

I do like UL but I can't count out Ohio. They were playing great ball last year until getting hit by the injury bug. Cards will have a lot of pressure on them. Bobcats have a QB in Tettleton and RB in Blankenship who can work the clock and make plays. This is a big number vs an offense that score.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 1

Joe Duffy

Colorado vs. Colorado St
Play: Over 48½

Mike MacIntyre is the new CU coach and while he has kept things a mystery, is very likely to increase the pace with his pistol formation. Last year, it produced an astounding 446.2 yards and 34.7 points a game a year ago when he was calling the shots at San Jose State.

The Buffs have their top three rushers and top three receivers back, as well as three starters on the offensive line and a dangerous receiver who sat out last year after knee surgery in junior Paul Richardson.

CSU is also expected to open it up. Rashard Higgins, a 6-foot-2, 180-pound speedster from Mesquite, Texas, beat out three other talented true freshmen as well as redshirt freshman Jordon Vaden for a starting receiver spot. He’s got the size and speed to stretch the field in a way that the Rams weren’t able to do last season.

Speedy freshman will touch the call a lot for the Rams, which means big plays. Both teams are likely to open things up. Again, handicapping totals is so much more about pace than offensive or defensive competence. With a fairly low total, this soars over.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 1

Big Kat Sports

Ohio vs. #216 Louisville
Take: Ohio +20.5

The Louisville Cardinals, who are a National Title contender, may have their hands full this afternoon when the Ohio Bobcats come to town. The Cardinals will be looking for back to back BCS Bowl appearances as they are the cream of the crop in whatever the new conference is called that they play in. It has teams from the old Big East and some from Conference USA and this is the only year that the winner will be an AQ to a BCS game. It doesn’t look like the Bobcats can win this one outright but they should be able to keep things close throughout the contest. Tyler Tettleton is a very good dual-threat QB and the senior really manages the game well and doesn’t really make mistakes. He threw only 4 picks last year with 18 TD’s and over 2800 yards. The Bobcats also have a workhorse running back in Beau Blankenship who went for over 1600 yard s in 2012 and a WR crew will be able to get open against a Louisville D that allowed nearly 24 PPG last season. Look for Louisville to blitz Tettleton a ton under a new package installed by DC Vance Bradford, but this strategy may backfire a bit as Tettleton has been known throughout his career to make plays downfield while on the run. Louisville gets the win this afternoon but it’ll be a lot closer than the experts predict. Take Ohio plus the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 1

Tony Stoffo

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Chicago Cubs
Play: Chicago Cubs   

Strong umpire trend in effect here calling for a play on the Cubbies here. Favorites are 18-2 in last 20 games that Bob Davidson has been the home plate umpire - too strong of a trend to let pass by here. Chicago the play here. Phillies are 1-6 in Kendrick's last 7 road starts vs. a team with a losing record. Phillies are 0-4 in Kendrick's last 4 starts as an underdog. Phillies are 0-4 in Kendrick's last 4 starts during game 3 of a series.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 1

Craig Davis

Free play of the day on the LA Dodgers on the run line over the San Diego Padres.

It's almost too easy to take the Dodgers these days, especially against teams from the inept NL West division. They continue to run out their stud pitchers and dominating everyone that gets in their way.

If it's not Kershaw, it's Ryu. If it's not Ryu, it's Nolasco. If it's not Nolasco, it's Zack Greinke... and that's who they will run out there today.

Greinke has been just as good as the rest of them, and at times he's the best pitcher in the rotation.

Greinke is 13-3 with a 2.86 ERA and has won his last six decisions, including a near complete game shutout vs. the Cubs in his last start.

He's 2-0 in his career vs. the Padres with a 2.37 ERA and is 7-1 with a 2.29 ERA in 10 starts at home this season.

Tyson Ross, to his own right, has been pretty good this year as well... but simply doesn't get the run support he needs to leave with a chance at a win. He is 3-7 on the season because he's getting less than 3 runs per game of support.

It should be close and low scoring for a while, but in the end the Dodgers are simply too strong at home for the Padres.

2♦ L.A. DODGERS -1.5

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 1

Brad Wilton

Your free play winner for this Sunday comes in college football as I back Colorado and Colorado State to hold Under the posted total.

Here you have a 1st year coach in Mike Macintyre who takes over the rebuilding Buffaloes, and a 2nd year coach in Jim McElwain with a Rams team that was not exactly an offensive "juggernaut" last year. Colorado State opened the year by scoring 22 points or less in each of their first 7 games, and that includes their 22-17 season opening win over Colorado in Denver.

Colorado was similarly offensively-challenged last season, as they were held to 17 points or less in 8 of their 12 games overall last year, and that is part of the reason former San Jose State coach Macintyre was hired to take over for Jon Embree.

The last 5 times these in-state rivals have played have ended up holding Under the total, and 7 of the last 9 series meetings overall between the teams have ended up Under as well.

New season, but nothing changes here. Colorado and Colorado State to hold low.

2♦ COLORADO-COLORADO STATE UNDER

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 1

Brett Atkins

My free winner for Sunday is on the Oakland Athletics, laying a cheap price over the Tampa Bay Rays, as the American League wild-card race continues to heat up.

I'm not sure what happened to the Tampa Bay Rays, but it appears to me their playoff hopes are fading, as they've lost six of seven thanks to a futile offense. The slumping have lost three in a row and after yesterday's 2-1 loss and I think the A's are in the right spot to pounce, as they look to better position themselves for the postseason.

The Athletics have now five of their last six and have moved ahead of the Rays by 1-1/2 games for the first American League wild-card spot, while the Rays are in front of the New York Yankees by 3-1/2 games for the second.

This one is about momentum, as the A's will complete the sweep.

1♦ OAKLAND

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 1

Chris Jordan

Yesterday my free pick was the UCLA Bruins cashing in over the UNR Wolfpack. That was too easy. Today I lay another big chalk for you for free, as I like the Louisville Cardinals in their kickoff-game to the regular season, against the Ohio Bobcats, who are about to get an up-close meeting with Teddy Bridgewater.

I have the utmost respect for Ohio coach Frank Solich. But his Bobcats are going to get worked.

Don't get me wrong, a guy like him will have his troops ready to roll and fully prepared for this season-opener, but to think the Bobcats will be able to hang with one of the most complete teams in the nation is ludicrous. Not for 60 minutes.

The ninth-ranked Cardinals are led by Heisman Trophy-candidate Teddy Bridgewater, who leads an offensive unit that ranked 52nd in the nation last year, and could be a top 10 powerhouse this year.

The defenders on Ohio's defense have never faced a quarterback like Bridgewater, I'm sure of it, as this kid could very well be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 draft. Last year he accounted for 27 touchdowns. This year he is wiser and more mature. And his ability to recognize all his targets and utilize his entire unit will tell the tale after today.

The main ingredient there, lending to his diversity, will be running back Senorise Perry, who will make his first career start. He returns to the lineup after tearing his ACL on Nov. 10 against Syracuse, and I think he's going to have a huge impact in helping this offense.

On the other side of the ball, the 'Cats will have to contend with a Louisville defense that smothered the normally dangerous Florida Gators a stunning Sugar Bowl upset in January. Defensive coordinator Vance Bedford knows the potential of greatness with EVERYBODY back.

This one gets ugly!

5♦ LOUISVILLE

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