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Your free daily picks for Tuesday, May 23, 2017.

Free sports picks allow you to monitor a service to see how they perform before signing up for a long term package. The reason we created our site was to provide free predictions to our visitors so they could find a handicapper that is right for them.

Tony Finn
  • Event: (471) Indianapolis Colts at (472) Los Angeles Rams
    Sport/League: NFL
    Date/Time: September 10, 2017 4PM EDT
    Play: Indianapolis Colts -3.0 (-113)

    The 2017 season opener in the Colts (-3, 48) vs. Rams matchup kicks off the campaign with a backdrop of Los Angeles glitz. The Rams will have a shiny new look on the sidelines under the guidance of a first-year head coach and the likelihood of starting the franchise’s prized signal caller, Jared Goff, from begging to end in 2017. The Sunday afternoon Week #1 event will feature a battle between experience and youth. In a league driven by quarterback play veteran signal-caller Andrew Luck takes his experience to Hollywood to square off against the Rams new coaching staff and second-year field general, Goff.

    Under new front office leadership the Colts made a number of offseason moves. General manager Ryan Grigson is out and former Kansas City Director of Player Personnel Chris Ballard is in. The Los Angeles brain trusts let go of longtime head coach Jeff Fisher, replacing him with Sean McVay, the former Washington Redskins offensive coordinator.

     

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    2017 NFL Week #1 Preview and Prediction – Colts vs Rams – provided by Tony Finn

    Indianapolis Colts
    The Indianapolis Colts began their 2016-17 season, a year ago last January, by firing six of the clubs coaching staff. The organization fired their Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky, Safeties Coach Roy Anderson, Secondary Coach Mike Gillhamer, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Roger Marandino, Tight Ends Coach Alfredo Roberts and Running Backs Coach Charlie Williams.  It began the fourth season under the trio of head coach Chuck Pagano, general manager Ryan Grigson and quarterback Andrew Luck. The Colts entered the 2015 campaign as the defending AFC South champions after compiling an 11–5 record before falling to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. The result of the firings in the 216 offseason were the result of the Colts failures to improve from their 3 consecutive 11–5 records and finished 2015-16 with an 8–8 mark. It was the first time since 2011 and only the 4th time since 1998 that Indy had not qualified for the postseason schedule.

    Backing the Colts — giving or getting points the last two seasons — hasn’t been a profitable venture. Last year the team went 8-8 overall and depending on the particular sportsbook closing numbers the club went 8-8 against the spread, as well.

    Luck did all he could in 2016 to help his team win. Long gone was the pass-happy scheme of Bruce Arians and due to free agent losses, injuries and retirements the offensive coaching staff was forced to engineer a more balanced game-plan with the hope of keeping their undermanned defense off the field and to shorten games.

    Luck was forced to work behind an offensive line that lacked average league talent and do so with aging running back Frank Gore. Luck had just one game-breaker at his disposal, that being receiver T.Y. Hilton.

    The defense was the focus for the new front office this offseason, signing defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins and rush end Jabaal Sheard, while finding the muster to retain CB Darius Butler. The stop-unit did lose safety Mike Adams to the Carolina Panthers and Robert Mathis to retirement.

    The 2017 offseason by new GM Chris Ballard included a large number of upgrades to the offensive and defensive lines. Defensively the team added the aforementioned ex-New York Giants run stuffer Hankins.

    The Colts ranked 30th in the NFL in total defense in 2017. The Finn Factor ratings positioned Indy equally as porous against the pass (29th) as the run (30th).

    The front office did their dandiest to bring in defensive depth and they accomplished this by inking Sheard, Barkevious Mingo, Al Woods, Margus Hunt and Sean Spence via free agency. In the May draft they used a third, fourth and fifth round pick on defensive help selecting Tarell Basham, Grover Stewart and Anthony Walker, respectively. The club spent their first round draft pick on safety Malik Hooker, second round pick on cornerback Quincy Wilson and in the fifth round reached out for cover cornerback Nate Hairston adding capable bodies to the defensive secondary.

    Ballard massively overhauled the defense for the sole purpose of making a 2017 run at the AFC South title. Ballard held serve with former GM Ryan Grigson’s offensive line. Ballard was vocal before and after this spring’s draft that the current player personnel on the O-Line were not only getting a bad rap but showed significant improvement as the 2016 season wore on.

    Los Angeles Rams
    Goff doesn’t have the talent surrounding him to become a second-year quarterback-wonder. The offense has no true game breakers at the receiver positions making ground-gaining life difficult for running back Todd Gurley. While most NFL pundits lambasted Colts general manager Grigson a season ago it was the Los Angeles Rams offensive line that lacked competence. Rookie QB Goff had a large number of mental breakdowns and lapses in courage behind an offensive line that offered him little to no time to execute the game plan. Goff not only crumbled on most Sunday afternoons under the pressure of opposing defensive fronts his accuracy rating was the lowest of any quarterback in the league.

    At this time a year ago, during his rookie minicamp, Goff looked everything but comfortable. The Rams’ No. 1 overall pick scuffled with every important variable that makes an NFL leader successful. He didn’t understand the playbook verbiage and struggled with even the simplest parts of his job, moving the offense in and out of the huddle and managing the play clock.

    The Rams’ offense last year was nothing short of a disaster. The head coach and his staff at the time, Jeff Fisher, dummied down the playbook to the point that the unit was laughably predictable. The biggest hurdle that Goff had to overcome was the under-talented offensive line. In the latter stages of the season opposing defenses didn’t respect Goff and the passing game and focused on stacking the box and containing the dangerous legs of Todd Gurley.

    New head coach Sean McVay and the front office made offseason upgrades to the offensive line and have added depth to their receiving corps through free agency.. For most of last season, the Rams lined up with left tackle Greg Robinson, left guard Rodger Saffold, center Tim Barnes, with a rotation of Jamon Brown plus Cody Wichmann at right guard and right tackle was manned by Rob Havenstein. The average age of this group was less than 25-years-old. Experience wasn’t the unit’s strength.

    The 2017 offensive line, barring training camp injuries, projects out as newly signed Andrew Whitworth at left tackle, Saffold at left guard, former Vikings and Redskins’ John Sullivan at center, Havenstein at right guard and Robinson at right tackle. While there is reasonable optimism that Goff will operate behind a more experienced and talented group believing the winter changes are the cure for the maladies that Goff suffered through a season ago. is unrealistic.

    Week #1 Outlook:
    The strength of the Rams is their defense but the lack of offensive production puts the stop-unit in a large number of field position conundrums that the squad ultimately won’t be able to overcome, especially against quality offenses and experienced quarterbacks.  There is no doubt that Goff is talented and will grow in conjunction with the improvement of the team’s offensive line, but the new coaching staff is by all evidence mortgaging the 2017 season and will let Goff grow into the team leader role, slowly.  The new team of coaches and their overall plan won’t come to fruition in 2017, especially in Week #1.

    2017 NFL Week #1 Free Pick is a play on Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts (-3) minus the points.

     

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The Prez
  • Event: (461) Arizona Cardinals at (462) Detroit Lions
    Sport/League: NFL
    Date/Time: September 10, 2017 1PM EDT
    Play: Detroit Lions -2.5 (-105)

    Two NFC foes take the 2017 opener in Detroit on Ford Field when the Lions (-2.5, 50) host the Arizona Cardinals in the Week #1 event. Detroit scuffled in the latter portion of the 2016 season. After a 9-4 start to the campaign the team lost their final three games to finish 9-7 and earn an NFC Wild Card berth. Arizona missed the postseason for the first time in three season finishing second in the NFC West with a 7-8-1 mark.

    Courtesy of The Prez

    Arizona Cardinals
    The Cardinals were a major disappointment last season. Head coach Bruce Arians and the front office didn’t believe the squad and units had personnel holes and during the offseason spoke openly about the results of the 2016 campaign being “one of those seasons.” Hence, the team was relatively quiet during the offseason concerning free agents.

    While the front office and the coaching staff were satisfied to hold serve with last year’s roster they enter the 2017 season opener against the Lions in Detroit with a number of question marks.  Given the struggles from last season and the players they lost, their 2017 results will be dictated by a 37 year-old quarterback, Carson Palmer, that waited until February after his body healed to announce he would return for another season.

     

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    Detroit Lions

    Matthew Stafford led a 2016 Detroit offense to the largest number of fourth quarter comebacks in a single season. Stafford threw for more than 4,200 yards for the sixth straight season. Stafford and offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter clicked big time in 2016.

    Running back Ameer Abdullah enters the Week #1 affair healthy. He was lost for the 2016 campaign to injured reserve due to a foot injury.  Stafford will have the veteran presence of Golden Tate and Marvin Jones to throw to again this season.

    The Lions upgraded the offensive line by adding 2016 Pro Bowl guard T.J. Lang and tackle Rick Wagner who departed Baltimore after starting 47 career games for the Ravens.

    The Lions team liability a season ago was their defense. The secondary, most concerning their cover corners, surrendered 16 touchdowns and intercepted a mere three passes in 2016. Detroit also fell short in pressuring opposing quarterbacks.

    The stop-unit lost safety Rafael Bush to the New Orleans Saints as well as defensive end Devin Taylor to free agency. The team cut linebacker DeAndre Levy.

    The Lions did add defensive tackle Jordan Hill, linebackers Nick Bellore and Paul Worrilow, and added depth to the cover-corner position by signing D.J. Hayden.

    The Lions host an aging and less talented Arizona Cardinals troupe that will have traveled three time zones for this 2017 opener. The Cardinals receivers will be the primary focus for head coach Jim Caldwell’s defensive staff.

    Defensively the Cardinals are well-rounded and balanced but the personnel they lost this offseason wasn’t adequately replaced. Arizona’s Week #1 matchup versus Stafford and company will be difficult test.

    I fully expect Teryl Austin’s secondary to do just enough to assist the Lions’ high powered offense under the guidance of Stafford to outscore Palmer and the Cardinals while covering the field goal handicap, as well.

    2017 NFL Season Opener Free Pick is a play on the Detroit Lions minus the points.

     

     

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Bryan Leonard
  • Event: (457) Jacksonville Jaguars at (458) Houston Texans
    Sport/League: NFL
    Date/Time: September 10, 2017 1PM EDT
    Play: Jacksonville Jaguars 5.0 (-110)

    457 Jacksonville at Houston

    NFL visiting teams who won 0-6 games the previous season are a great play in opening week. Throw in the fact that Houston swept the Jaguars last year and we have an overconfident favorite. Jacksonville was a hot pick to improve last year and now the hype has faded. But this is a team that has a bright future. Houston enters the year with an untested quarterback along with high expectations. They will be in for a battle right out of the gate.

    PLAY JACKSONVILLE

Cal Sports
  • Event: (451) Kansas City Chiefs at (452) New England Patriots
    Sport/League: NFL
    Date/Time: September 7, 2017 8PM EDT
    Play: Total Under 49.0 (-108)

    OPENING NIGHT OF THE NFL – Thursday September 7, 2017  (8:30 PM)

    #451/#452 UNDER 48.5 Kansas City/ New England 8:30 PM

    Last season the Patriots were #4 averaging 386 YPG on offense while the Chiefs finished #20 at 343 YPG. However, looking at their scoring New England (also #3) averaged 27.6 points/game while KC was #13 in the league scoring 24.3 points/game. Both teams offenses were aided by the fact that these two teams were the NFL’s #1 and #3 teams in regards to turnover margin as KC was +16 TO’s, with 33 takeaways and 17 giveaway’s while NE was +12 with 23 “only” takeaways and a league low 11 giveaways.

    When we look on the defensive side of the ball the Patriots were #8, allowing 326 YPG while the Chiefs were #24 at 368 YPG. What set these two teams apart from the rest of the NFL was their scoring defenses as New England led the league allowing only 15.6 PPG while Kansas City was #7 allowing 19.4 PPG. The Chiefs finished #5 in the league in Red Zone defense while New England was #3 in Goal to Goal defense.

    The Over/Under line is certainly inflated with having two top ten scoring defenses. Both teams have ‘bend but don’t brake’ defenses with offenses that that prefer to run the ball and rarely play up-tempo. While the opening Thursday Night means we have last year’s Super Bowl Champ in this case it is also the only AFC game with two of last year’s post=season participants. It will be a low scoring affair tonight!

    PLAY: UNDER THE TOTAL - Kansas City at New England

Bryan Leonard
  • Event: (979) Miami Marlins at (980) Oakland Athletics
    Sport/League: MLB
    Date/Time: May 23, 2017 10PM EDT
    Play: Miami Marlins +112

    979 Miami at Oakland

    Much prefer Jose Arena here than Jesse Hahn of the A's who we have graded at 31% worse than an average Major League pitcher. On a poor defensive squad like the A's which are 22% worse than league average. Miami has adges of 12%, 9% and 15% edges offensively from overall, home/away and lefty/righty numbers. We know the AL has dominated Interleague play, but we want no part of the Athletics here.

    PLAY MIAMI

The Prez
  • Event: (969) Detroit Tigers at (970) Houston Astros
    Sport/League: MLB
    Date/Time: May 23, 2017 8PM EDT
    Play: Total Over 8.5 (-120)

    Detroit and Houston (-220, 8.5) square off on Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park in a game that should be contrary to Monday night's 1-0 victory by the Astros. The game is scheduled to start at 8:10 p.m. with the Tigers sending Jordan Zimmermann (4-2, 6.25 ERA) to the mound to oppose Astros Lance McCullers (4-1, 2.65).

    Courtesy of The Prez

    The Astros starter Lance McCullers Jr. has been at his best in May. McCullers has the longest active scoreless inning streak in the American League at 17 innings, and hasn't allowed an earned run in three consecutive road starts. However, in this baseball fan's opinion he doesn't miss enough bats to be considered with the MLB pitching elite. He has pitched far above his career averages in ground ball percentage while striking out nearly a batter per innings. Part of his 2017 success has come via opposing offenses that are not going to put up crooked numbers at a high rate or where slumping when McCullers faced them. The average wRC+ versus right-handed pitching that the Houston right-hander has faced this year is just under 80. The Astros right-hander's most dominating performance so far this year was against a 71 wRC+ versus righties when he faced a Kansas City Royals lineup that had a .205 batting average against and a .279 on-base-percentage.

    Zimmermann is off a victory against Baltimore in which he when surrendered four runs and seven hits over six innings. The former Washington National right-hander has not been competitive since arriving in Detroit and the first two months of the 2017 campaign is resembling his 2016 season. Zimmerman has allowed four or more runs in six of his first eight starts and tonight's turn comes in the smallish confines of Minute Maid.

    Unlike last night's game that saw both starting pitchers and a duo of Houston relievers shut down the opposing lineups tonight's game will see a large number of walks and runs scored.

    $2 Tuesday MLB Free Prediction recommends a play on OVER the TOTAL of 8.5 runs.

Scott Spreitzer
  • Event: (975) Toronto Blue Jays at (976) Milwaukee Brewers
    Sport/League: MLB
    Date/Time: May 23, 2017 7PM EDT
    Play: Milwaukee Brewers -115

    I'm recommending a play on the Brewers with Nelson over Biagini.  Milwaukee is in first place in the NL Central and has won seven of its last nine games, including four on the road.  The Brewers won both games against the Blue Jays in April and Toronto has lost five of its last seven games overall and remains in last place in the AL East. The Blue Jays are 9-15 away from home and are riddled with injuries and they have lost five of their last six interleague games.  Jimmy Nelson is coming off two quality starts and he has a 1.15 ERA and .193 BAA in May. Joe Biagini will make his fourth start and he got rocked his last time out allowing six runs (five earned) in four innings at Atlanta.  Biagini has given up 12 earned runs on 18 hits in 18 innings on the road this season. We expect more of the same.  We're recommending a play on the Brewers on Tuesday.  Thanks & GL!  Scott Spreitzer.

Mike Rose
  • Event: (955) Pittsburgh Pirates at (956) Atlanta Braves
    Sport/League: MLB
    Date/Time: May 23, 2017 7PM EDT
    Play: Pittsburgh Pirates +105

    Since getting swept in LA, Pittsburgh split with the D’backs in the desert and then followed it up with series wins at home against Washington and Philadelphia before dropping the series opener to Atlanta with their ace on the bump. The Braves are no doubt playing some pretty solid ball right now having won seven of nine, but I question the move to pitch Dickey on such short rest. They’ll be lucky to get five innings from him tonight, and that will do them no favors after being forced to burn the pen up due to another short outing from Folty. While Glasnow has had his issues, he’s the one with the live arm in this contest, and Atlanta’s down three units against righties overall. They’ve also had issues with Ks against RHP. The Buccos already got to Dickey once this season, and have been a +$$ investment when matched up against righties overall. With that, I give the Pirates an excellent shot of evening this series up and improving their ghastly road record in the process.
     
    **SLAM THE PIRATES** (GLASNOW/DICKEY)
Tony Finn
  • Event: (961) Minnesota Twins at (962) Baltimore Orioles
    Sport/League: MLB
    Date/Time: May 23, 2017 7PM EDT
    Play: Baltimore Orioles -134

    MLB Free Pick to Click: Twins at Orioles

    Minnesota vs. Baltimore tonight in the second game of this American League series is scheduled to see first pitch at 7:05 p.m. ET on Oriole Park Field at Camden Yards. The Twins send veteran right-hander Ervin Santana (6-2, 2.07 ERA) to the hill to oppose Orioles righty Dylan Bundy (5-2, 2.97).

    Free Pick to Click provided by Tony Finn

    Santana was thought to have a big advantage in his last start against the Colorado Rockies. It was a cold and dry night at Target Field and typically in conditions not hot and humid Santana is at this best mitigating his fly ball tendencies. Throw in the fact that Santana's start to the 2017 campaign had been ridiculously good. In his starts the Twins righty had avoided hard contact (25.9% and a 13.2% LD rate) and Colorado had not been nearly as offensive on the road ranking 23rd in all of baseball in the OPS department away from Coors Field.

    However, what goes up must come down, and this includes 35-plus year old pitchers that were well above their career averages in every important category. Santana had been spot-on with his command in the first month and a half of the campaign but that has escaped him over the last few starts. In his loss to the Rockies it was obvious that Santana didn't have his best command. Santana fell behind four of the five batters he faced in the opening frame and it was his demise, light's out, easy pickings for the Colorado lineup.

    Santana allowed five runs on six hits and four walks over seven innings in a 5-1 loss in the first game of a that doubleheader at Target Field. It was just the third time over his past 27 starts that Santana allowed at least five runs, causing his season ERA to go from 1.50 to 2.07. At issue was falling behind hitters, as he threw first-pitch strikes to only 10 of the batters he faced.

    Santana's career has been easily tracked. His success and his failures are all dependent on his command. Over his career opposing batters have hit .259/.365/.447 when he falls behind, 1-0, AND just .229/.273/.352 when he gets ahead, 1-0, in the count. Most teams known and understand how to defeat Santana and Baltimore's skipper is one of those individuals. Santana is a porous 4-5 with a 4.87 ERA in 15 career starts against Baltimore and has allowed three homers to Chris Davis.

    Baltimore starter Dylan Bundy who had gone at least six innings in each of his first eight starts and hadn’t allowed more than three runs in any of them, exited his last start after allowing a career-high six runs on eight hits over six innings against a capable and dangerous Detroit Tigers batting order.

    Bundy, who pitched one inning of scoreless relief in his lone career appearance against Minnesota, is 3-0 with a 2.05 ERA and 0.91 WHIP in four home starts this season and has a big advantage the first two to three times though the Twins lineup tonight... because he is a relative unknown to the Minnesota player personnel.

    Free Pick to Click is a play on the Baltimore Orioles (Bundy) -134