Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 22

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 22

Marc Lawrence

Cleveland vs. Minnesota
Pick: Cleveland

The Vikes dropped a heartbreaker at Chicago last week, dropping to 0-2 on the season, and 0-2 ITS (In The Stats) as well. It marks the 4th time in the past six years Minnesota is winless heading into Game Three, while Cleveland trumps them by one, opening 0-2 for the 5th time since 2008.  While deuces are wild in this contest, we're not wild about the Vikes and their chances today. Not only do they fall into the same scheduling scenario outlined above for the Titans, Minny is just 3-10 ITS since Game Seven of the season last year, and 3-9 ATS as a favorite of less than 6 points under Leslie Frazier. On the other side of the coin, the blue-collar Browns have yet to allow 300 yards under new mentor Rob Chudzinski and just traded star RB Trent Richardson for a No.1 pick in next year's draft.  Look for a unified effort from players who suddenly realize they must produce or they'll be headed out.  Cleveland's 6-1 ATS in their young franchise history away from home against winless teams off back-to-back losses adds fuel to the fire.  Minnesota's achy-breaky heartache continues.  We recommend a 1-unit play on Cleveland.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 22

Art Aronson

Arizona vs. New Orleans
Pick: Arizona

The visiting Arizona Cardinals are 1-1 but could easily be 2-0 as week 1’s defeat to the Rams was on a last minute field goal.  The Cardinals did win their home opener in St. Louis with an impressive 25-21 win over the Detroit Lions. QB Carson Palmer was 22-for-39 for 248 yards, one TD and one INT. Rashard Mendenhall had 55 yards on five carries to go with a touchdown. It took a last minute drive by Drew Brees to set up field goal for the New Orleans Saints to narrowly edge out Tampa Bay 16-14 and move to 2-0 in the process. Brees finished 26/46 for 322 yards, one TD and two INTs. Jimmy Graham had 10 receptions for 179 yards. The Cardinals are now 2-0 ATS this season under new head coach Bruce Arians. Carson Palmer has brought some stability to the offense that has actually given the pretty good Arizona defense a break unlike past seasons.  The Saints didn’t look overly impressive in Tampa but are 2-0 and the rightful favorites at home here. Still, the Arizona is a more complete football team than we have seen in years and should not be this much of an underdog. Grab the points here and be ecstatic if you get Arizona with the number straying about the touchdown point.  The Saints have played two very close games versus divisional opponents and I fully expect a bit of a letdown here with Arizona coming into town. This game is likely to be a lot closer than many think.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 22

Jesse Schule

Detroit vs. Washington
Pick: Over

“We have a team that you’re going to be proud of,” Shanahan said. “They have set the expectations: anything short of a Super Bowl is a failure.”

This was a comment from the Redskins coach back in August, but after an 0-2 start to the season, Shanahan might be fortunate if he his team can even compete for a playoff spot.

The Redskins defense was ranked the worst in the NFL against the pass in 2012, and they've been lit up for a combined 71 points in consecutive losses in the first two weeks of the 2013 season.

With the offensive juggernaut that is the Detroit Lions coming to town this week, the Skins are gonna be hard pressed to turn things around.

The Lions were far more dangerous on offense with a healthy Reggie Bush in a 34-24 victory over Minnesota in Week 1. Bush led the team with 101 yards on four catches, and another 90 yards on the ground. He missed the second half of last week's loss to Arizona with a knee injury, but an MRI shows no structural damage and he could be ready to go on Sunday.

Megatron had six receptions for 116 yards and a pair of TDs in Arizona, and he's gonna be a handful for this woeful Washington secondary.

The Lions defense hasn't exactly been watertight either, so I wouldn't expect a one-sided game, the home team should get it's fair share of points as well.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 22

John Ryan

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New England Patriots
Prediction: New England Patriots

The simulator shows a high probability that the Patriots will win this game by at least 10 points. All week long I have heard and read reports of the Patriots being the worst 2-0 team in the NFL. Brady has completed just five more passes than have been incomplete ones. They find ways to win no matter who is on the field. They are once again dominating the clock and their passing defense has been excellent. Although just two games, opposing QB have been limited to a 61.2 passer rating and Bucs QB Freeman is going to struggle. The Bucs can run the ball and the Patriots defense will allow that to a degree. Problem for the Bucs is that the Patriots are excellent at limited yards on first down creating advantages for themselves in 2nd and 3rd and long situations. I also believe Brady will have a huge day against a highly suspect Bucs secondary. Of the 48 passes completed by Brady 20 have been to Edelman. So, expect far better ball distribution form Brady to as many as 6 receivers in this game. Patriots are a resounding 25-10 ATS (+14.0 Units) after gaining 4 or less yards/play in their previous game since 1992. Take the Patriots.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 22

Stephen Nover

Detroit vs. Washington
Play: Under 49

If Robert Griffin III and Reggie Bush were both healthy, I wouldn't consider going under the total. But they aren't.

Griffin is working his way back into shape after missing the entire offseason and preseason following knee surgery. He has yet to display the running skills he had before the injury. Bush isn't likely to play greatly reducing the Lions' offense. If he does play, he won't be at 100 percent.

Both Griffin and the Lions offense are impacted by this game being played on grass. Griffin's lifetime quarterback percentage is down 20 points when playing on grass as opposed to artificial turf. The Lions are a carpet team. They were held to 21 at Arizona last week. The Lions are averaging just 17 points during their past three grass contests.

Neither team has good field goal kickers either. The Redskins are going with backup John Potter, who missed his only field goal try in the NFL last week. Lions kicker David Akers was horrible with San Francisco last year and he's been bad, too, with the Lions. He just may be washed up.

The Redskins' defense is better than perceived. The Redskins faced the Eagles in Week 1 and were caught flatfooted as other teams will be when they take on Philadelphia's fast break offense. Then the Redskins had to play the Packers in Green Bay last week. The Packers may have the best offense in football.

Washington's defense is healthier than what it was last year. The Lions are not intimidating away from home, especially when playing on grass and not having a healthy Bush.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 22

Chip Chirimbes

San Diego Chargers vs. Tennessee Titans    
Play: Tennessee Titans -2½

The 'public' is over reacting to the Chargers win over the Eagles last week and they will get caught by an underrated Titans club that has played tough in both contest this season. Take Tennessee!

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 22

Brandon Shively

Rams vs. Cowboys
Play: Over 47

If the Rams had a legit running game, then they might be playoff contenders as they have opened up their passing game nicely in the first two weeks. Sure, they lost to Atlanta 31-24, but they were only outyarded 357-352. The speedsters Pettis and Austin were targeted 23 times in the game and they accounted for all 3 of Bradford's TD passes. So needless to say, they will test the Cowboy's secondary this afternoon. The Rams are 4th in the NFL in passing yards while we saw the Cowboys get lit up by Eli in week 1. A lot of those yards were garbage yards, but we feel the Rams will score today with little resistance. The Rams are 5-1 OVER the L4Y when the total is 46 or higher. We think that the Dallas defense is still a work in progress with the hiring of DC Monte Kiffin who had been the DC at USC with his son. We saw USC's defense regress in 201002012 and believe it might be time for Kiffin to hang his shoes up. Romo has weapons with Dez Bryant and we already saw Fitzgerald have a field day on the smaller cornerbacks of Saint Louis. There is only one play on this game and that is the OVER

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 22

Freddy Wills

Green Bay Packers vs. Cincinnati Bengals    
Play: Cincinnati Bengals +3

The Bengals should easily be sitting at 2-0 after they were up double digits on the road against the Bears and if they did close that game out late we would have a different spread here in my opinion. It also hurt the Bengals that they looked poor on Monday night and now the public is rushing behind the Packers on the road. The Bengals had a tough match up against the Steelers defense with Ike Taylor having the physical ability to take A.J Green out of the game so I expect the offense to rebound here. I actually thought the fact that Dalton was forced to use his other weapons will only make them better for games where they have to put up points. Giovani Bernard and Tyler Eiffert both had big games and it is clear these two offensive rookies are going to have a positive impact on this game. The Packers are a one dimensional bunch especially without Laci. I know Starks looked great last week and he has fantasy football guru's going crazy, but the Redskins defense has been the worst in the league thus far. The Bengals are really strong up front ranking 3rd in sack % last year. They will be a tough bunch at home here while the Packers defense had to juggle their secondary with three injuries last week all who are questionable this week. A.J. Green should have a huge game as the Packers lack a guy that can shut him down like the Steelers.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 22

Steve Janus

Atlanta Falcons +3

I was impressed with Atlanta’s ability to overcome some pretty serious injuries and still find a way to secure a win at home over St Louis. Miami’s 2-0 start has been impressive, but I still don’t get the feeling the Dolphins are an elite team. Atlanta is going to be extremely motivated to avoid going back under .500 with a home game against the Patriots looming next week. The Falcons are also going to be playing with a chip on their shoulder, knowing they are an underdog to a team that won a total of seven games last year.

The Falcons injuries are certainly a concern, but anytime you have an elite quarterback like Matt Ryan with the kind of weapons he has in the passing game, you always have a chance to win. Miami’s defense has looked good early, but I’m concerned with the play of their secondary. They allowed Brandon Weeden and Andrew Luck to throw for a combined 610 yards. What saved them is four interceptions by the two second-year signal callers.

Ryan knows how to take care of the football and I expect him to be on top of his game knowing the offense has to play well for them to win. Going back to last season, no quarterback has a better QBR on the road than Ryan. Atlanta's simply got more playmakers on the outside for Miami to contain. They have really struggled to guard the tight end and that's good news for one of the all-time greats in Tony Gonzalez.

There’s a solid system favoring the Falcons and their ability to take care of the football. Road teams with a line of +3 to -3 are 63-31 (67%) ATS after a game where they didn’t commit a turnover and 47-18 (72.3%) ATS after allowing 375 or more total yards in 2 consecutive games.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 22

Jamie Tursini

San Diego Chargers vs. Tennessee Titans    
Play: Tennessee Titans -3

This is a great spot to go against the Chargers. They are in perfect position for a letdown. Off of Monday night's collapse in Week 1. Then travel back east on a short week and beat the Eagles (as 7 point dogs). Classic "letdown" spot without question going on the road again. They will have little to no emotion for this one. Lay the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 22

Dave Price

Washington Redskins -1½

The Redskins are in a 0-2 hole but don't count them out yet. They got off to a slow 3-6 start last season before rallying for seven straight wins on their way to the NFC East title. They haven't started 0-3 since 2001, and I don't expect them to start that way this year. Washington has won 21 in a row at home against the Lions, who have struggled at just about every road venue of late. Detroit is 2-9 in its last 11 road games, including 0-4 in its last 4. With Reggie Bush banged up, Detroit will likely have to take a pass-happy approach. We saw how well that approach worked for them last season. Even if Bush decides to lace 'em up, I can't see Detroit wanting to risk his knee by handing him the ball 20 times. Keep in mind the Lions offense went scoreless when Bush didn't play much in the second half against the Cardinals. The Redskins are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games overall. Take Washington.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 22

Lee Williams

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Seattle Seahawks    
Play: Jacksonville Jaguars +20

Seattle is off a big win over San Francisco and we are not sure how much focus and energy they will have here against winless Jacksonville.Seahawks are 15-33-3 ATS in their last 51 games following a SU win of more than 14 points.Jacksonville will be looking for improvement offensively and we think they will get enough worked out to keep this competitive. Take points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 22

Alex Smart

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Seattle Seahawks    
Play: Jacksonville Jaguars +19½

The square money continues to pile in on the Seattle Seahawks. Afterall these are two teams that are at the opposite end of the performance spectrum. The average bettor, might look at this game as a sure bet. The truth is that talent wise, Jacksonville is not as bad as many think and are cable of squeaking out a cover in this spot. As of the time of this recommendation the line had not hit 20. But with that said, it must be noted NFL teams that have been asked to cover 20 or more points have failed to cover the last six times! With that said, Plug your nose, take a deep breath, and take the points!

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 22

Bryan Leonard

Chicago / Pittsburgh Under 40.5

Divisional sandwich game for Chicago The Bears needed to late game comebacks to win straight up at home Chicago has a very opportunistic defense that doesn't have to worry about the Steelers running game Cutler has been sacked once after 38 sacks last season Pittsburgh is averaging just 54 offensive plays per game, league average is 66 Rushing just 37.5 yards per contest, league average is 101.7 They can't establish the run and the young offensive line can't protect Big Ben The defense is playing well now but will wear down unless the offense can keep them off the field

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 22

Terron Chapman

San Diego Chargers vs. Tennessee Titans
Play: Tennessee Titans -3

The NFL schedule-makers didn’t do the San Diego Chargers any favors to start the season. After traveling east for an early start time with the fast-paced Philadelphia Eagles and coming out victorious, 33-30, the Chargers will have to regroup and travel east for the second time in as many weeks. This time, a physical Tennessee Titans team awaits them, looking to bounce back in their home opener from a heartbreaking overtime loss to the Houston Texans, 30-24.

It’s hard to point the finger at one player for a loss, but Jake Locker’s accuracy – or lack thereof – continues to haunt the Titans. Tennessee overcame Locker’s inaccuracy against the Steelers in Week one but they weren’t able to do so Sunday. Locker’s inability to be accurate on third downs in most concerning. He was just 6-for-11 for 42 yards, a TD and a fumble on third down. Only three completions converted a third down. It’s early, but the Titans rank last in the league in passing (123y/gm). If they expect to contend, Locker will have to be more consistent. Good news for him and the Titans faithful is the Chargers and their porous pass defense is on deck. The Chargers rank 31st in the league allowing 9.4 yards per pass attempt. There should be plenty of opportunities for Locker to connect on Sunday, the question is will he?

The Chargers shouldn’t be taken lightly after blowing a 21-point lead against the Texans then following it up with bounce back win against Philadelphia. Phillip Rivers has been kept upright thus far as the O-line has allowed just two sacks. They’ll face another test Sunday against a Titans team that’s registered seven sacks so far.

The Chargers have won nine straight in the series. In fact, the Titans haven’t beaten the Chargers since relocating from Houston to Nashville (8-0) and that includes a 38-10 beat down last season. However, this is a tough spot for the visitor and we like the Titans chances of putting an end to that streak. Lay the points with the host at your sportsbook.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 22

Larry Ness

N.Y. Giants vs. Carolina
Pick: N.Y. Giants

Carolina has lost 14 of 16 games during Rivera's two plus years as head coach in games decided by seven or less points...

The New York Giants fell 41-23 to Denver last week (now 0-2), getting plagued by turnovers for the second consecutive game. The Giants, who had six giveaways in a 36-31 Week 1 loss to Dallas, added four more vs the Broncos. Eli accounted for all of the TOs with four INTs, giving him an NFL-leading SEVEN on the season. The Giants have 10 TOs and just two takeaways for an awful minis-8 TO ratio after just two games. The Panthers are also 0-2, giving away a 4th-quarter lead at home in Week 1 to Seattle (lost 12-7), then allowing Buffalo rookie E.J. Manuel drive the Bills 80 yards (with no timeouts!) in the game’s final minutes, scoring the game-winner with two seconds remaining.

The Giants visit the Panthers for the second consecutive year in Week 3, this time with both teams winless and desperate to salvage their seasons. The Giants can only hope this Sunday’s game goes as well as last year’s visit to Carolina, a game the Giants won, 36-7! The Giants scored on EIGHT of 10 possessions last year vs the Panthers, running for 125 yards while Eli threw for 288 yards with one TD and no INTs. One can’t expect the Giants to rely much on their running game on Sunday, basically because the Giants don’t have one. New York enters Week 3 dead-last in the NFL, averaging 36.5 YPG on 2.2 YPC!

However, Eli’s 812 passing yards are second to only Rodgers’ 813 and despite shooting itself in the foot with 10 TOs, New York has scored 31 and 23 points. The Bills got 24 vs Carolina last weekend, so I see no reason why the Giants won’t score here. After all, Carolina has allowed 403.0 YPG, including 293.5 passing and now must play without Charles Godfrey for the rest of the season, after the starting free safety tore his right Achilles tendon last Sunday.

Newton had an awful game against the Giants in Week 3 of last year (16-of-30 for 242 yards with three INTs) and in the end, I don’t want any part of the Panthers. Since Rivera took over in Carolina in 2011 (Newton’s rookie year), the Panthers have lost 10 games in which they've held a lead in the fourth quarter, tied with Philadelphia for most in the league.

Rivera is firmly on the hot seat, having lost 14 of 16 games during his two plus years as head coach in games decided by seven or less points. That’s a record which is hard to ignore. New York is well aware that it needs to win here, as the last time a team made the postseason after starting 0-2 was 2008, and NO team opening 0-3 has qualified for the playoffs since 1998! Giants get the “must-win” game.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 22

Joseph D'Amico

Buffalo Bills vs. NY Jets    
Play: Buffalo Bills +3

Let's talk about a big AFC East rivalry game this Sunday as the Buffalo Bills are at the New York Jets. New York is -1. Total 39. Both teams come in a perfect 2-0 against the line this season. NY's defense has looked good but their offense has mustered a mere 28 total points. Geno Smith's inexperience along with a Jets weak OL has resulted in the QBs 4 INTs and 9 sacks. EJ Manuel has looked sharp with a 68.2% CR and 446 YP. His TD pass with two seconds left on the clock to give the team a win over Carolina gave him some self-esteem and the team some momentum. The solid ground game of Spiller and Jackson will keep the Jets "D" honest and allow the Bills to get the win here against their Divisional rival.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 22

Carlo Campanella

Browns vs. Vikings
Play: Under 41

Off an 0-2 start, Cleveland had a busy week, trading starting RB Trent Richardson to the Colts and benching QB Weeden with a minor injury and replacing him with 3rd stringer, Brian Hoyer (2nd stringer is Jason Campbell.) The Browns have struggled offensively since last season, being held to 12 points or less in 4 STRAIGHT games, including 10 points by the Dolphins in Week #1 and just 6 points last Sunday by the Ravens. With the offensive changes made this week, don't expect a major turnaround this Sunday on the road in Minnesota, especially knowing that these Browns are 1-8 SU in their last nine games away from home. The one thing the Browns do have going for them is their defense against the run- It's currently ranked 6th in the NFL. In fact, Cleveland held Ray Rice and Baltimore to 99 yards rushing last week and Reggie Bush and his Dolphins to only 20 yards in Week #1, for a 3.4 yards per rush average. That's a BAD match-up for the Vikings, who rely on RB Peterson to move the ball. With QB Ponder facing the Brown's secondary of CB Joe Haden and S TJ Ward, expect the Vikings to have trouble putting up points as they look for their first victory of the season.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 22

Doug Upstone

Arizona Cardinals vs. New Orleans Saints    
Play: Arizona Cardinals

On Sunday, Play On road underdogs like Arizona, who was a bad team from last season (25% to 40% win percentage), playing a team (New Orleans) that had a losing record last year. In the past decade, this NFL system is 27-6 ATS, 81.6 percent including 11-1 the last five seasons. During this period the underdog has lost by just 4.6 yards a game.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Sunday, September 22

Rob Vinciletti

Houston Texans vs. Baltimore Ravens    
Play: Baltimore Ravens +3

Baltimore will be taking at least 3 here points here today as they will be without Starting Running back Ray Rice. The Ravens fit 2 Powerful systems here today. First we want to play on defending super bowl champions vs an opponent that is off back to back wins. They we want to play against road favorites like Houston of -3 or less that are off a home favored win but lost to the spread. These road favorites are just 5-22 ats. Baltimore has won 17 of 19 at home, 11 of the last 12 Conference games and 6 of 7 in the series. Houston is 1-7 straight up in game three of the season. The Texans have not played well particularly on the first half's the last 2 weeks and need late rallies to win at San Diego and then at home last week to Tennessee. Look for Baltimore to give Houston a tough game here and perhaps emerge with a win. Take Baltimore.

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