Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 8

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 8

Doug Upstone

Seattle Seahawks vs. Carolina Panthers    
Play: Carolina Panthers +3½

On Sunday, Play Against road teams like Seattle when the line is +3.5 to -3.5 the first week of the season, against opposing team after closing out last season strong with four or more wins in last five games (Carolina), after posting a winning record last season. In the last 29 years, this NFL system is 24-5 ATS, 82.3 percent.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 8

Freddy Wills

Tennessee Titans vs. Pittsburgh Steelers    
Play: Tennessee Titans +6.5

Steelers are another one of those teams that are more popular and you will usually see an inflated number because of that. Steelers have a lot of question marks in my opinion without Heath Miller and Mike Wallace and without their starting RB in LeVeon Bell who is out. I'm not so sure that Big Ben is not just content with what he's done in his career and it seems at times that he's not as motivated compared to the other QB's in the league. They did not score more than 27 points in any game last season and I don't see where they've improved.

For the Titans they have a very talented receiving corp that's just waiting to click with Jake Locker who has to stay healthy. They have a nice 1-2 punch at RB with Chris Johnson and Shonn Greene. This team also upgraded along the offensive line and the defense played much better on the road last year than they did at home. I think this is just too many points and I can see the Titans winning this game outright.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 8

SPORTS WAGERS

Houston +245 over OAKLAND

The Astros have been in all three games of this series, winning the opener and losing the past two by two runs and one run respectively. If they lose this one, so be it but it’s a must play because Bartolo Colon is a ludicrous favorite here. Colon's xERA by month this year: 3.60/3.73/4.20/4.64/6.46. So while his ERA looks spectacular, Colon is far from a safe play. The rest he had while on the DL may help the 40-year-old, but that skills trend is unpromising to say the least. Colon is 0-2 since returning from the DL. Overall, the A’s have lost Colon’s last five starts and one of those were to these same Astros, in Oakland, in which Colon was knocked around for seven hit and five runs in four frames.

Paul Clemens was drafted by Atlanta in the 7th round in 2008 then came over to Houston in 2011 as part of the Michael Bourn trade. Since joining the Astros system he has pitched 183 innings between Corpus Christi (AA) and Oklahoma City (AAA). Astros management is undecided whether he will remain a starter or convert to a reliever long-term, but they were impressed with what Clemens did coming out of the bullpen in spring training (1.69 ERA in 5.1 IP). Clemens uses his long, lanky frame and good arm action for a fastball that tops out at 96 with heavy sink. His curveball has good movement that will get called strikes, but he needs to develop it as more of a swing-and-miss pitch off the plate as well. Two areas of concern are inconsistent mechanics, which causes less movement on his pitches and more susceptibility to the long-ball (23 HR in 143 IP last season) but this is a big park that he should benefit in. If Clemens can work the plate better and consistently utilize all four of his pitches—fastball, curveball, slider, change-up—he could become an effective #4 or #5 starter. That said, this one is all about the tag dictating the play.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 8

OC Dooley

Packers / 49ers Under 49

The last time these pair of high-profile squads faced each other was in a memorable playoff shootout where San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick set an all-time NFL record with 181 yards rushing enroute to an extremely high scoring 45-31 triumph. It was exactly a year ago in week-one when these two squads also hooked up in a high scoring 30-22 affair even though at the time Alex Smith was the 49ers starting quarterback. Of course following an infamous mid-season concussion Smith lost his starting role and is now no longer with a team that made it all the way to the Super Bowl. It was at this time a year ago when San Francisco was a “defense first” team that essentially had only a caretaker at the quarterback position. That all changed with Kaepernick being thrust into the spotlight but the bottom line is that if the Niners want to be a legitimate contender to go “all the way” they must shore up a defense that in the final three appearances down the stretch allowed a whopping average of near 30 points per pop. Both offenses even with star quarterbacks begin a new campaign dealing with injuries and attrition including Green Bay that saws top receiver Greg Jennings leave for free agency. Projected top running back DuJuan Harris (knee) has already been lost for the season as well as starting offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga. As for San Francisco elite receiving options Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham begin a new campaign on the injured list. Even though San Francisco was 7-2 “above” the total at home last year while Green Bay is 12-4 “above” the spot in the past sixteen clashes versus NFC West competition, this total has actually dropped from an opening offshore figure of fifty-and-a-half points which to me speaks volumes

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