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Labor Day Sports Predictions You Can Bet Against

It’s the start of Labor Day weekend, and I’m kicking back watching Gameday, thinking about college football, the start of the NFL season in five days and the stretch drive of major league baseball. Here’s some general sports predictions covering all three.

These picks have been made, in one form or another, on different spots on TheSportsNotebook, but here’s a summation that brings it all together, with a few brief comments.

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

Las VegasAmerican League Playoff Teams: Baltimore, Cleveland, Oakland, LA Angels*, Kansas City*
National League Playoff Teams: Washington, St. Louis, LA Dodgers, Milwaukee*, Atlanta*
World Series: St. Louis over Oakland

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9 Keys That Will Settle The NL Central Race

The NL Central race is the best storyline major league baseball has going as we head into Labor Day weekend. The Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates are all stacked within four games of each other.

There’s no guarantee the NL Central will sweep the wild-cards, nor is there even a guarantee they will get one, with both the San Francisco Giants and Atlanta Braves in the pictures. So the stakes are high for the NL Central’s power trio. The Notebook Nine will focus on the Brewers, Cards and Pirates, with three pertinent thoughts for each team as we head into the homestretch…

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The 9 Top Games Of College Football Week 1 Saturday

College football Saturdays are back, and without further adieu, here’s the Notebook Nine, the nine best games of the day for the Saturday of college football Week 1. Games are listed in order of kickoff time so you can plan your Saturday accordingly…

Penn State-Central Florida (8:30 AM, ESPN2): A top ‘o the morning to ya, from Ireland, as the Nittany Lions and Knights meet in Dublin. This game is big for UCF—a major bowl bid is guaranteed to one team out of the “Little Five” conferences. Central Florida is the highest ranked in the AP poll of any team out of that group. Penn State begins the James Franklin era with depth a concern, as NCAA sanctions have taken their toll.

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9 Predictions To Start The 2014 NFL Season

The 2014 NFL season is nine days from kickoff next Thursday night, when the Seattle Seahawks hoist their Super Bowl banner for the NBC audience against the Green Bay Packers. It’s time then, for the Notebook Nine, the nine key predictions I’m taking into the season. In the NFL’s case, they make doing nine easy—just one pick for each of the eight divisions, and then an overarching Super Bowl pick. Here we go…

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9 Thoughts On The American League Wild-Card Race

The American League wild-card race has five teams vying for the final spot in the playoffs. Assuming that the runner-up in the Oakland A’s/LA Angels race for the AL West title will be in the wild-card game, that leaves five more teams within five games of each other for the last spot. Those teams are, in order of the current standings, the Seattle Mariners, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians. Here’s nine thoughts on that race as it heads into the homestretch…

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