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NFL Week 16 Odds, Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

John Morgan
December 22, 2017 at 8:01 pm ET

NFL Week 16 Odds, Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

Week 16 is unique, with neither Thursday nor Sunday night football – but with two games on Monday. Five teams have clinched a playoff spot and 14 others are still in contention for the post-season. There are plenty of intriguing games worth watching this weekend and next before the playoffs commence. The theory of home field advantage will be put to a test during these three days. Road teams are favored in ten of the sixteen games this week.

There is another oddity about this week’s schedule. Of the four games between teams with winning records, none are on in primetime – and three are broadcast in the early time slot. Fox has always had an affinity for NFC East teams due to their large market sizes. But if the network is not going to make the best game of the week (Falcons at Saints) their showcase game, then give it up to be flexed to Saturday night. Net result is that the two best games (NO-Atl and Patriots-Bills) are on at the same time. Those two back-to-back would have made for superior programming.

To see what games are being broadcast in your area, please check JP Kirby’s 506 Sports.

 

National Broadcasts

3-11 Indianapolis Colts at 8-6 Baltimore Ravens
4:30 pm ET Saturday 12/23 on NFLN; Greg Gumbel, Trent Green
Ravens favored by 13½; over/under 41 points; money line -1000, +675

Baltimore has averaged 31 points over their last five games, in large part to an NFL-best plus-17 turnover differential. The Raven defense ranks 4th with 18.3 points per game and has a league best 33 takeaways. I don’t see how the Indy offense (16.1 ppg, 31st) can keep this game close.

Pick: Ravens 31, Colts 13
Ravens -13½, over 41

 

11-3 Minnesota Vikings at 7-7 Green Bay Packers
8:30 pm ET Saturday 12/23 on NBC; Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth
Vikings favored by 9; over/under 41 points; money line -430, +340

The Vikings are playing for at minimum a first round bye, while Green Bay is eliminated. Minnesota’s defense will dominate a team that may be giving second stringers playing time with an eye on 2018.

Pick: Vikings 27, Packers 13
Vikings -9, under 41

 

11-3 Pittsburgh Steelers at 4-10 Houston Texans
4:30 pm ET, Monday 12/25 on NBC/NFLN; Mike Tirico, Kurt Warner
Steelers favored by 9½; over/under 45 points; money line -450, +350

I’m interested to see if Pittsburgh comes out with their hair on fire after last week’s last second loss. Or will the Steelers play down to their opponent’s level, as they often do. Pittsburgh is notorious for not playing well on the road either, and no Antonio Brown does not help matters. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Pittsburgh comes out flat, but Houston has lost too many key players over the course of their season.

Pick: Steelers 24, Texans 20
Texans +9½, under 45

 

6-8 Oakland Raiders at 12-2 Philadelphia Eagles
8:30 pm ET Monday 12/25 on ESPN; Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden
Eagles favored by 9; over/under 47½ points; money line -400, +330

Oakland is all but mathematically eliminated, and traveling cross country for a meaningless game. Philly wants to clinch the number one seed in the NFC and Nick Foles (4 TDs last week) showed the 31.3 ppg offense is still in capable hands. The Eagle defense should be able to handle Oakland and control this game.

Pick: Eagles 34, Raiders 17
Eagles -9, over 47½

 

Early CBS Games

8-6 Buffalo Bills at 11-3 New England Patriots
Jim Nantz, Tony Romo
Patriots favored by 12; over/under 47½ points; money line -750, +525

This should be a great game, as both teams have plenty to play for. The Patriots need two wins to insure home field throughout the playoffs. Buffalo needs a victory (and help) to make the playoffs. To add to the drama this is a revenge game for the Bills after the hit three weeks ago that resulted in Rob Gronkowski’s suspension. Sean McDermott came up with a great defensive game plan for Buffalo in the last meeting; it will be interesting to see what he has in store Sunday.

Pick: Patriots 27, Bills 20
Bills +12, under 47½

 

7-7 Los Angeles Chargers at 5-9 New York Jets
Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts
Chargers favored by 7; over/under 42½ points; money line -300, +250

After a surprisingly good start, the Jets are 2-7 in their last nine games. As the season has progressed their lack of quality depth has become apparent. The Chargers are in a must-win spot here; the Jets can go back to their original plan of tanking the 2017 season.

Pick: Chargers 27, Jets 17
Chargers -7, over 42½

 

6-8 Miami Dolphins at 8-6 Kansas City Chiefs
Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon
Chiefs favored by 10½; over/under 43½ points; money line -550, +425

Dolphins on the road outdoors in cold weather equals a Miami loss. Kansas City has finally righted their mid-season swoon with home victories over the Raiders and Chargers. Make it three in a row for the Chiefs.

Pick: Chiefs 27, Dolphins 14
Chiefs -10½, under 43½

 

5-9 Denver Broncos at 6-8 Washington Redskins
Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta
Redskins favored by 3½; over/under 40½ points; money line -180, +160

Washington is again in a difficult position due to injuries on their offensive line. Denver has finally got it together the last couple of weeks, just in time to win enough games to miss out on a top-5 draft pick.

Pick: Broncos 20, Redskins 17
Broncos +3½, under 40½

 

0-14 Cleveland Browns at 4-10 Chicago Bears
Tom McCarthy, Steve Beuerlein
Bears favored by 6½; over/under 38 points; money line -280, +240

Chicago has played well at home this year, beating the Steelers and Panthers. Their home losses have all been close (an average of 5 points), and mostly to good teams (Falcons, Vikings, Packers). Cleveland’s 0-16 parade plans remain intact.

Pick: Bears 24, Browns 13
Bears -6½, under 38

 

Early Games on Fox

9-5 Atlanta Falcons at 10-4 New Orleans Saints
Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis
Saints favored by 5½; over/under 52½ points; money line -240, +200

Set your DVR so you can record and watch this game after the Patriots-Bills ends. Two weeks ago the Falcons beat the Saints 20-17 in Atlanta. It is really difficult to sweep a good division rival. The Falcons should be able to keep it close, especially now that RB Tevin Coleman (concussion) has been cleared to play.

Pick: Saints 27, Falcons 24
Falcons +5½, under 51½

 

10-4 Los Angeles Rams at 8-6 Tennessee Titans
Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston
Rams favored by 6½; over/under 47½ points; money line -290, +240

On one hand you have a west coast team having to travel 2000 miles and play a game three hours earlier than usual. On the other hand the Rams are a far superior team than the Titans. LA is back in sync now that Robert Woods is back on the playing field.

Pick: Rams 24, Titans 20
Titans +6½, under 47½

 

8-6 Detroit Lions at 5-9 Cincinnati Bengals
Thom Brennaman, Chris Spielman
Lions favored by 4; over/under 44 points; money line -210, +180

This will be the final home game for Cincy head coach Marvin Lewis. Maybe he and Jeff Fisher can form a speaking tour and teach people how to retain a job much longer than they deserve.

Pick: Lions 24, Bengals 17
Lions -4, under 44

 

4-10 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 10-4 Carolina Panthers
Kenny Albert, Ronde Barber
Panthers favored by 10; over/under 46½ points; money line -475, +375

Can somebody please explain to me why Carolina LB Thomas Davis was originally suspended for two games, rather than one? I think Roger Goodell uses one of those magic eight-balls from the sixties when deciding his punishments.

Pick: Panthers 34, Bucs 17
Panthers -10, over 46½

 

Late Games

10-4 Jacksonville Jaguars at 4-10 San Francisco 49ers
Andrew Catalon, James Lofton (CBS)
Jaguars favored by 4; over/under 42 points; money line -210, +175

When Jimmy Garoppolo was traded, Pats fans wished him well. Now Patriot Nation is full of hand wringing seller’s remorse. The Niners have won three in a row since inserting Jimmy G as their starting quarterback, after a 1-10 start. Jacksonville could be in for a battle on the road here, especially if the Jags have to count on Blake Bortles at critical junctures.

Jaguars 23, Forty Niners 20
Niners +4, over 42

 

8-6 Seattle Seahawks at 8-6 Dallas Cowboys
Joe Buck, Troy Aikman (Fox)
Cowboys favored by 5; over/under 47½ points; money line -240, +200

Dallas has won three straight and have RB Ezekiel Elliott for this game. His presence completely changes the Cowboy offense. Seattle’s defense is just a shell of its former self to injuries. Is it time to replace Pete Carroll?

Pick: Cowboys 27, Seahawks 17
Cowboys +5, under 47½

 

2-12 New York Giants at 6-8 Arizona Cardinals
Dick Stockton, Mark Schlereth (Fox)
Cardinals favored by 3½; over/under 40 points; money line -185, +165

Ho hum, a battle of two under achieving teams. Giants are the bigger mess right now and on the road.

Pick: Cardinals 24, Giants 13
Cardinals +3½, under 40

 

 

NFL Week 12 Odds, Predictions and Picks against the spread

John Morgan
November 26, 2017 at 6:00 am ET

More than half of the remaining NFL Week 12 games have odds of seven or more points. On paper there are few competitive games, but that doesn’t mean a whole lot. Last week the Chiefs were double-digit favorites but lost to a one-win Giants club in disarray. Washington was an injury riddled 7½ point road dog up against a hot team on a seven game winning streak. The 4-5 Skins were up by 15 with less than two minutes to play and nearly upset the Saints before losing in overtime in one of the season’s most exciting games. On the other hand there are the Patriots, who have not lost since October 1st – and have covered the spread four weeks in a row.

Should the Patriots-Dolphins game turn into a blowout, there may be some competitive games in the early time slot. Buffalo is at KC in a battle between two fading teams. Tampa Bay at Atlanta could be interesting should the Falcons have a letdown after winning at Seattle. In the late time slot the Saints at Rams should be a great game. The night games are nothing special. Green Bay at Pittsburgh would have been a good game if Aaron Rodgers was the QB rather than Brett Hundley. Monday night it is Houston at Baltimore. The only reason to watch that is to witness a potential John Harbaugh meltdown and another Baltimore loss.

Unfortunately New England fans are once again saddled with Ian Eagle and the incompetent Dan Fouts as the broadcast crew for Sunday’s game. It boggles my mind that somebody at CBS considers this pair to be their second best set of announcers. How can anyone possibly consider those two to be better than Greg Gumbel and Trent Green, or Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon?

For a full list of announcers and to see what games are being broadcast in your are, please check JP Kirby’s 506 Sports.

Early Games on CBS

4-6 Miami Dolphins at 8-2 New England Patriots
Patriots favored by 16½; over/under 47½ points; money line -1900, +1000

The Patriots have often struggled against quarterbacks that they have little film to review for tendencies and weaknesses. Does that mean that Matt Moore will lead the Dolphins to an upset? Of course not. The offense is clicking despite several injuries, and the defense has made a 180 turn from the first month of the season.

Pick: Patriots 38, Dolphins 17
New England +16½, over 47½

 

0-10 Cleveland Browns at 4-6 Cincinnati Bengals
Bengals favored by 8; over/under 38 points; money line -410, +340

DeShone Kizer has thrown 14 interceptions, most in the NFL. Cleveland’s defense has been decent, but having to overcome all those turnovers is too much to ask for.

Pick: Bengals 24, Browns 13
Cincinnati -8, under 38

 

5-5 Buffalo Bills at 6-4 Kansas City Chiefs
Chiefs favored by 10; over/under 46½ points; money line -500, +400

Buffalo HC Sean McDermott may be in over his head. With a 5-4 record and the Bills holding onto a wild card spot, he inexplicably benched QB Tyrod Taylor. Taylor is not an elite quarterback by any means, but the replacement was a 5th round rookie going on the road to make his first NFL start. Nathan Peterman proceeded to throw an interception on four of the first five drives, and was mercifully yanked after his fifth pick. McDermott’s reasoning was that he wanted to see what Peterman had and how he could do. Isn’t that what a blowout game in the fourth quarter is for? Or preseason? Or games in December after you have been eliminated from the playoffs, as opposed to a midseason game when you have a winning record?

Pick: Chiefs 31, Bills 20
Kansas City -10, over 46½

 

Early Games on Fox

3-7 Chicago Bears at 9-1 Philadelphia Eagles
Eagles favored by 14; over/under 44½ points; money line -1100, +700

Philly has won eight in a row and is coming off a huge win over division rival Dallas. The Eagles will be on the road for the next three games, playing the Rams, Seahawks and Giants. The Bears have already taken advantage of superior opponents in trap games twice, defeating the Steelers and Panthers. While an upset would be shocking, A close game would not be a surprise.

Pick: Eagles 24, Bears 20
Chicago +14, under 44½

 

4-6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 6-4 Atlanta Falcons
Falcons favored by 9½; over/under 48½ points; money line -475, +375

In their victory last week at Miami the Bucs allowed three pass plays of over 40 yards. That kind of pass defense is going to be in a world of hurt against Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and the Atlanta offense.

Pick: Falcons 30, Bucs 21
Tampa Bay +9½, over 48½

 

7-3 Carolina Panthers at 4-6 New York Jets
Panthers favored by 5½; over/under 40 points; money line -250, +210

Will Carolina be well rested or rusty coming off the bye? If the Panthers are looking ahead to next week’s game at New Orleans, the fundamentally sound Jet defense could cause enough problems to pull off an upset.

Pick: Panthers 20, Jets 17
New York Jets +5½, under 40

 

6-4 Tennessee Titans at 3-7 Indianapolis Colts
Titans favored by 3; over/under 45½ points; money line -165, +145

The Titans bounce back from last Thursday’s loss to Pittsburgh by feasting on an inferior opponent.

Pick: Titans 24, Colts 17
Tennessee -3, under 45½

 

Late Afternoon Games

6-4 Seattle Seahawks at 1-9 San Francisco 49ers
4:05 ET on Fox
Seahawks favored by 6½; over/under 45½ points; money line -300, +250

The 49ers may be able to keep it close thanks to all the injuries on Seattle’s defense. The Niners just don’t have enough talent to beat the Seahawks though.

Pick: Seahawks 27, Niners 20
Seattle -6½, over 45½

 

8-2 New Orleans Saints at 7-3 Los Angeles Rams
4:25 ET on CBS
Rams favored by 2½; over/under 53½ points; money line -145, +125

By far the best game of the week. The Rams have beaten only one good team all season (Jacksonville), and were a bit disappointing in last week’s loss at Minnesota. I’m expecting them to bounce back at home against New Orleans. The Saints defense has been opportunistic (ten interceptions, 13 takeaways) but could be overpowered here. New Orleans gave up 31 points at home to the injury riddled Redskins last week, and haven’t faced an offense this good since their week two loss to the Patriots.

Pick: Rams 31, Saints 27
LA Rams -2½, over 53½

 

7-3 Jacksonville Jaguars at 4-6 Arizona Cardinals
4:25 ET on CBS
Jaguars favored by 5½; over/under 38 points; money line -240, +200

The Jaguar defense is allowing just 14.1 points per game, by far the lowest in the NFL. Jacksonville should be able to feast on Blaine Gabbert and an anemic Arizona offense that has scored more than 21 points just twice all year.

Pick: Jaguars 20, Cardinals 13
Jacksonville -5½, under 38

 

3-7 Denver Broncos at 4-6 Oakland Raiders
4:25 ET on CBS
Raiders favored by 5; over/under 43 points; money line -240, +200

Remember when the experts declared the AFC West to be the best division in the NFL before the 2017 season began? Not much of that talk now, thanks to these two disappointing teams that failed to live up to the hype. Denver has lost six in a row, their worst losing streak since 1990. They could actually benefit from Tim Tebow at this point.

Pick: Raiders 24, Broncos 21
Denver +5, over 43

 

Prime Time Games

5-5 Green Bay Packers at 8-2 Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday night at 8:30 pm ET on NBC
Steelers favored by 14; over/under 43½ points; money line -1000, +600

Last week Pittsburgh was able to stop Tennessee’s running game, force the Titans into predictable pass plays, and take advantage of poor down-and distance situations. That resulted in four Marcus Mariotta interceptions and a 40-17 victory. The same formula worked for Baltimore last week in their 23-0 rout over the Packers as Green Bay turned the ball over five times. No reason to believe this game won’t be more of the same.

Pick: Steelers 31, Packers 10
Pittsburgh -14, under 43½

 

4-6 Houston Texans at 5-5 Baltimore Ravens
Monday night at 8:30 pm ET on espn
Ravens favored by 7; over/under 38 points; money line -320, +260

Tom Savage has ten turnovers (3 picks, 7 fumbles) in just 125 pass attempts. He has been sacked 13 times and is averaging a league-worst 4.54 yards per dropback. This all plays right into the strength of Baltimore’s defense, to force turnovers (an NFL-best 23).

Pick: Ravens 24, Texans 13
Ravens -7, under 37

 

NFL Week 11 Odds, Predictions and Picks against the spread

John Morgan
November 19, 2017 at 11:00 am ET

The Patriots versus Raiders in Mexico City highlights a decent slate of pro football games in Week 11. Four games in particular stand out, conveniently with one in each time slot.

The day kicks off with a matchup of division leaders, a rarity in the early time slot. The 7-2 Rams have won four straight and bring their top ranked offense (32.9 ppg) to Minnesota. The 7-2 Vikings have won five in a row and are allowing just 18.3 points per game. Minnesota is listed as a 2½ point favorite.

The Patriots and Raiders renew their decades long rivalry in the late afternoon time slot. New England puts a five game winning streak on the line in their second consecutive game on the road at high altitude. The Patriots need a win to keep pace with Pittsburgh for the best record in the AFC, and to maintain their two game lead in the AFC East. 4-5 Oakland has been inconsistent this year but still possess plenty of talent on offense. The Raiders need a victory to keep hopes of winning the AFC West alive.

Sunday night has a good game with Philadelphia at Dallas. The Eagles own the NFL’s best record at 8-1, and have a league-high seven game winning streak. The 5-4 Cowboys need a win to stay in contention for a wild card spot, as nine other NFC teams have at least five wins. With all that has been happening off the field for Jerry Jones, a victory would be sweet. The Jerrah now knows first hand with what it is like to be on the wrong side of Roger Goodell’s erratic system of lies punishment.

Week 11 wraps up with a good game on Monday Night. 5-4 Atlanta travels to Seattle to play the 6-3 Seahawks. The defending NFC champs are in third place, two games behind New Orleans. The Falcons need a win here to not only stay close in the NFC South, but to just keep up as a wild card contender. Seattle is only one game behind the Rams in the NFC West but they have bigger issues. The Seahawks will be without Pro Bowl CB Richard Sherman (ruptured Achilles’ tendon) and Pro Bowl SS Kam Chancellor (neck stinger).

For a full list of announcers and to see what games are being broadcast in your are, please check JP Kirby’s 506 Sports.

Early Games on Fox

5-4 Detroit Lions at 3-6 Chicago Bears
Lions favored by 3; over/under 41 points; money line -150, +130

The Bears continue to find a way to lose close games. Mitch Trubisky has a bright future but right now he’s going through the growing pains of being a rookie quarterback on a bad football team.

Pick: Lions 21, Bears 17
Detroit -3, under 41

 

3-6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 4-5 Miami Dolphins
Pick’em; over/under 41½ points; money line -110, -110

How much of a distraction will the Uber allegations against Jameis Winston be for the Bucs? This game comes down to which CB gets burnt more badly, Miami’s Xavien Howard or Tampa’s nickel duo of Javien Elliott and Robert McClain.

Pick: Buccaneers 20, Dolphins 17
Tampa Bay -0, under 41½

 

7-2 Los Angeles Rams at 7-2 Minnesota Vikings
Vikings favored by 2½; over/under 45½ points; money line -135, +115

Most of the talk has been about Jared Goff and the #1 LA offense against a tough Viking defense. The Rams are well balanced, with Aaron Donald leading the way in Wade Phillips’ defense. LA is allowing just 18.0 points per game and has forced 19 turnovers. Keep an eye on Viking WR Adam Thielen. The D-2 receiver has five games with at least 90 yards receiving, and at least five receptions in all nine games.

Pick: Rams 24, Vikings 20
Los Angeles +2½, under 45½

 

4-5 Washington Redskins at 7-2 New Orleans Saints
Saints favored by 7½; over/under 51½ points; money line -380, +310

The Saints are playing well in all three phases of the game. The offense is far more productive with more emphasis on the running game, keeping opposing defenses off balance. Net result is a 7-game winning streak, tied with Philadelphia for the longest in the NFL this season. Make that eight straight over the injury depleted Skins.

Pick: Saints 31, Redskins 21
New Orleans -7½, over 51½

 

4-5 Arizona Cardinals at 3-6 Houston Texans
Texans favored by 1½; over/under 37½ points; money line -125, +105

You want to know why ratings are down? Games where the starting quarterbacks are Tom Savage and Drew Stanton may have something to do with that.

Pick: Cardinals 19, Texans 16
Arizona +1½, under 37½

 

Early Games on CBS

6-3 Kansas City Chiefs at 1-8 New York Giants
Chiefs favored by 10; over/under 46 points; money line -500, +400

Remember when preseason prognosticators were predicting that the Giants would win the division and contend for the Super Bowl? Now Big Blue is a double-digit underdog at home and instead in contention for the number one pick in the 2018 draft.

Pick: Chiefs 34, Giants 10
Kansas City -10, under 46

 

4-5 Baltimore Ravens at 5-4 Green Bay Packers
Ravens favored by 2; over/under 38 points; money line -130, +110

Brett Hundley looked awful in his first two games, but was improved last week. Packer RB Jamaal will need a productive day to counter Baltimore’s blitz-heavy defense on a cold (33) and windy (12-25) day.

Pick: Packers 20, Ravens 17
Green Bay +2, under 38

 

6-3 Jacksonville Jaguars at 0-9 Cleveland Browns
Jaguars favored by 7½; over/under 37 points; money line -380, +310

Jacksonville may be without their top four receivers, so it will be imperative that the Jags get their running game in gear. Jacksonville’s offensive line has performed well this year, with the Jaguars averaging an NFL best 163 yards rushing per game. Cleveland’s run defense has been their lone bright spot. The Browns are allowing an NFL-low 3.1 yards per carry and just 86 yards rushing per game.

Pick: Browns 20, Jaguars 16
Cleveland +7½, under 37

 

Late Afternoon Games

5-4 Buffalo Bills at 3-6 Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 ET on Fox
Chargers favored by 5½; over/under 41½ points; money line -250, +210

Nathan Peterman gets the start at quarterback over benched Tyrod Taylor. Expecting a rookie QB to win on the road in his first NFL start is a tall order, even though the Chargers have virtually no home field advantage.

Pick: Chargers 27, Bills 16
Los Angeles -5½, over 41½

 

3-6 Cincinnati Bengals at 3-6 Denver Broncos, 4:25 ET on CBS
Broncos favored by 2½; over/under 38½ points; money line -145, +125

Denver has lost five straight and Bronco fans are pointing their fingers at everybody, including John Elway. If the Bengal secondary could not cover Tennessee receivers last week, what will they do at Mile High against Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders?

Pick: Broncos 23, Bengals 20
Denver -2½, over 38½

 

7-2 New England Patriots vs 4-5 Oakland Raiders
4:25 pm ET on CBS, at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City
Patriots favored by 7; over/under 54½ points; money line -320, +270

Jack Tatum. Daryl Stingley. Russ Francis. George Atkinson. Phil Villapiano. Ray Hamilton. Ben Dreith. Stop whining about the Tuck Rule, Raider fans. You scored six points on your final ten possessions of that game, and failed to stop the Patriots on three of their last four possessions.Pats improve to 19-15-1 all time in this series.

Pick: Patriots 31, Raiders 17
New England -7, under 54½

 

Prime Time Games

8-1 Philadelphia Eagles at 5-4 Dallas Cowboys
Sunday night at 8:30 pm ET on NBC
Eagles favored by 5½; over/under 48 points; money line -240, +200

Carson Wentz has thrown 17 touchdown passes against three interceptions in the last five games. Dallas has not been able to contain good quarterbacks and high scoring offenses this year. The Cowboys gave up 35 points in home losses to the Packers and Rams, and 27 points at Atlanta last week.

Pick: Eagles 31, Cowboys 20
Philadelphia -5½, over 48

 

5-4 Atlanta Falcons at 6-3 Seattle Seahawks
Seahawks favored by 3; over/under 45 points; money line -150, +130
Monday night at 8:30 pm ET on espn

The Seahawks are in a difficult situation, playing without CB Richard Sherman and SS Kam Chancellor. Seattle does benefit with the return of FS Earl Thomas, and Atlanta RB Devonta Freeman (concussion) is out. This could easily go either way; it’s tough to pick against Seattle at home. Former Patriot Justin Coleman gets the start at corner in place of Sherman.

Pick: Seahawks 24, Falcons 20
Seattle -3, under 45

 

Bye Week:
7-3 Carolina Panthers
3-7 Indianapolis Colts
4-6 New York Jets
1-9 San Francisco 49ers

 

For a sneak peak at next week’s games, check out NFL Week 12 Early Advanced ‘Look-Ahead Lines: Pats favored by 14.5 vs Miami.

 

NFL Week 12 Early Advanced ‘Look-Ahead’ Betting Lines: Patriots favored by 9 at Jets

John Morgan
November 18, 2016 at 7:00 am ET

Earlier this week the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook released their ‘look ahead’ betting lines for NFL Week 12. These odds are published in advance of any of the prior week’s games being played, including Carolina’s 23-20 Thursday night victory over New Orleans. Early lines give some clairvoyant risk takers an opportunity to roll the dice on games that will not take place for another week and a half. There are times when public reaction to the most recent game clouds reality, and for a moment one can exploit the betting lines on a team that may be overrated or underrated due to the most recent result – or be done in by an unforeseen injury.

Once again the New England Patriots are the biggest favorite of the week despite playing on the road, this time by nine points over the stumbling Jets. Tennessee listed as a one point favorite over Chicago is the narrowest spread of the week. The Bears and Jets are two of five home underdogs in week twelve. Despite losing four in a row the Steelers are favored by three at Indy; the Giants are favored by 6½ at winless Cleveland; and Tampa Bay is a 6½ point home dog to the Seahawks.

Week 12 features five division games, two of which are part of the Thanksgiving Day triple header. NFC rivalries start Turkey Day, commencing with Minnesota at Detroit and then followed by Washington at Dallas. Sunday finishes with two AFC rivalry games that swapped places for Sunday Night Football. Originally the Patriots were scheduled to play the Jets on NBC. Thanks to Gang Green already totaling more losses in their first ten games than they compiled in all of 2015, the Pats-Jets game was removed from prime time. The Chiefs and Broncos both have seven victories already, tied for the most in the AFC with New England and Oakland. End result is that Kansas City at Denver will be the showcase game on Sunday night, and rightfully so.

The two other prime time games look interesting as well, which is a welcome sight after a season full of shoddy matchups on Thursday and Monday nights. On Thanksgiving night the Colts host Pittsburgh in a game that could have significant playoff implications once the regular season ends. And on Monday night the NFC’s version of the slumping Steelers – the Green Bay Packers – travel to Philadelphia to take on the 5-4 Eagles.

Other games of note in Week 12 include Cincinnati at Baltimore in the AFC North, San Diego at Houston, Arizona at Atlanta and Carolina at Oakland. Why so many decent games for a change? Perhaps it has something to do with not having a half dozen teams off with a bye. Sit back, feast and enjoy.

 

NFL Week 12 Early Advanced ‘Look-Ahead’ Betting Lines

5-4 Minnesota Vikings at 5-4 Detroit Lions (-3)
Thursday November 24 at 12:30 pm ET on CBS

5-3-1 Washington Redskins at 8-1 Dallas Cowboys (-6½)
Thursday November 24 at 4:30 pm ET on FOX

4-5 Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) at 4-5 Indianapolis Colts
Thursday November 24 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC

4-6 San Diego Chargers at 6-3 Houston Texans (-2)
Sunday November 27 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS

5-5 Tennessee Titans (-1) at 2-7 Chicago Bears
Sunday November 27 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS

2-7 Jacksonville Jaguars at 4-5 Buffalo Bills (-7)
Sunday November 27 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS

3-5-1 Cincinnati Bengals at 5-4 Baltimore Ravens (-1½)
Sunday November 27 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS

4-4-1 Arizona Cardinals at 6-4 Atlanta Falcons (-3)
Sunday November 27 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX

1-8 San Francisco 49ers at 5-4 Miami Dolphins (-8)
Sunday November 27 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX

4-5 Los Angeles Rams at 4-5 New Orleans Saints (-6)
Sunday November 27 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX

6-3 New York Giants (-6½) at 0-10 Cleveland Browns
Sunday November 27 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX

6-2-1 Seattle Seahawks (-6½) at 4-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sunday November 27 at 4:05 pm ET on FOX

7-2 New England Patriots (-9) at 3-7 New York Jets
Sunday November 27 at 4:25 pm ET on CBS

3-6 Carolina Panthers at 7-2 Oakland Raiders (-3½)
Sunday November 27 at 4:25 pm ET on CBS

7-2 Kansas City Chiefs at 7-3 Denver Broncos (-3)
Sunday November 27 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC

4-5 Green Bay Packers at 5-4 Philadelphia Eagles (-3)
Monday November 28 at 8:30 pm ET on BSPN

 

No animals were harmed in the publishing of this blog.

NFL Week 10 Early Advanced ‘Look-Ahead’ Betting Lines: Patriots favored by 7.5 vs Seahawks

John Morgan
November 1, 2016 at 9:00 pm ET

On Tuesday afternoon the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook released their advanced betting lines, also known as look-ahead lines. These early lines give some clairvoyant risk takers an opportunity to roll the dice on games that will not be played for another week and a half. There are times when public reaction to the most recent game clouds reality, and for a moment one can exploit the odds on an overrated or underrated team – or be done in by an unforeseen injury.

New England hosts Seattle on Sunday night in Week 10 on NBC. The Patriots-Seahawks rematch is the most enticing game of the week. The last time these two met was in Super Bowl XLIX – or for those like me that have grown weary of roman numerals, SB 49 aka the 2014-15 championship game. The 7-1 Patriots are favored by just over a touchdown at home against the 4-2-1 Seahawks. This week Seattle hosts Buffalo while the Pats are off with a bye.

Week 10 has a rather compelling late afternoon game as a warmup for Sunday Night Football. The 6-1 Cowboys travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers in a late afternoon game on FOX. The Dallas-Pittsburgh contest is the only game without an early line, due to uncertainty at the quarterback position. On the other end of the spectrum is yet another awful Thursday night game, with Cleveland at Baltimore. The Ravens are favored by 9½, the second largest advanced line of the week.

Not surprisingly the biggest spread involves the club competing with the Browns for the first overall pick in next spring’s draft. The 49ers, losers of six straight, are an 11-point underdogs at Arizona. San Francisco has lost by an average of more than 17 points during their six game skid, only once losing by fewer than twelve points.

There are three games with road favorites in Week 10. The Jaguars (+2) vs Houston, Saints (+1) vs Broncos and Titans (+2½) vs Packers are all home dogs looking for an upset.

Buffalo, Detroit, Indianapolis and Oakland are all off with byes in Week 10. After that only six teams (Falcons, Browns, Broncos, Jets, Chargers and Titans) have a bye remaining – in either Week 11 or 13.

 

NFL Week 10 Early Advanced ‘Look-Ahead’ Betting Lines

Thursday November 10:

0-8 Cleveland Browns at 3-4 Baltimore Ravens (-9½), NFLN

 

Sunday November 13 Early Games:

5-3 Houston Texans (-2) at 2-5 Jacksonville Jaguars, CBS

5-2 Kansas City Chiefs at 2-5 Carolina Panthers (-2½), CBS

6-2 Denver Broncos (-1) at 3-4 New Orleans Saints, CBS

3-4 Los Angeles Rams at 3-5 New York Jets (-2½), FOX

5-3 Atlanta Falcons at 4-3 Philadelphia Eagles (-2½), FOX

5-2 Minnesota Vikings at 4-3-1 Washington Redskins (-1½), FOX

4-3 Green Bay Packers (-2½) at 4-4 Tennessee Titans, FOX

2-6 Chicago Bears at 3-4 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3), FOX

 

Sunday November 13 Late Games:

3-4 Miami Dolphins at 3-5 San Diego Chargers (-4), CBS

1-6 San Francisco 49ers at 3-4-1 Arizona Cardinals (-11), FOX

6-1 Dallas Cowboys at 4-3 Pittsburgh Steelers (no line), FOX

4-2-1 Seattle Seahawks at 7-1 New England Patriots (-7½), NBC

 

Monday November 14:

3-4-1 Cincinnati Bengals at 4-3 New York Giants (-2), BSPN

 

 

Week Nine kicks off on Thursday with Atlanta at Tampa Bay. Both teams have shoddy defenses that rank near the bottom of the NFL in every meaningful category. With that in mind I am extremely confident that this will be a very high scoring game. Thursday night games are usually tough on the visiting team, but Atlanta to Tampa is a relatively short trip. It is also difficult to sweep a division opponent; Atlanta has the edge with the revenge factor.

For Tampa Bay their running back situation is disheartening. Jacquizz Rodgers joins Doug Martin on the sidelines with an injury, and Charles Sims is already on IR. The Falcons have the better quarterback, better receivers and better running backs right now. The Bucs are a bit of a mirage with two of their wins coming against Carolina without Cam Newton and against the pitiful Forty Niners. I don’t see how Tampa Bay can keep up against the Falcons.

Prediction: Falcons 35, Buccaneers 24
Falcons -3½ (one unit) . . . . over 50½ (three units) . . . . Atlanta -175

 

NFL Week 7 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

John Morgan
October 23, 2016 at 6:00 am ET

The 5-1 New England Patriots will take part in the marquee game of NFL Week 7, traveling to Pittsburgh to face the 4-2 Steelers. Although this contest has lost a bit of its luster due to the absence of Ben Roethlisberger, it is still the best matchup of the week. With elite players such as Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown that are capable of making defenders look foolish, Pittsburgh is still a formidable foe even without Big Ben.

The winner of this game will hold a very early lead in pursuit of home field advantage for the AFC playoffs. The game kicks off at 4:25 pm eastern time and will be televised nationally on CBS, with the exceptions of Atlanta and San Francisco.

In the early time slot there are a few compelling games to check out. On FOX the undefeated Minnesota Vikings go on the road to face the Eagles, and New Orleans is at Kansas City. The Bills and Dolphins renew their AFC East rivalry in south Florida on CBS; the Patriots will play at Buffalo next week. The two prime time games should be competitive as well. Sunday night Arizona hosts the Seahawks, and then Houston is at Denver in a battle between two AFC contenders on Monday night.

 

NFL Week 7 Early NFC Games

 

★★ 3-3 New York Giants ‘at’ 3-3 Los Angeles Rams in London
Sunday, October 23 at 9:30 am ET on NFLN; Kevin Harlan and Dan Fouts
Giants -2½ . . . . over/under 44½ . . . . NYG -145, LAR +125
Broadcast in all markets.

An already good Ram defense gets better with the return of DE Robert Quinn from a shoulder injury. Between injuries to their running backs and poor play up front the Giants’ rushing game is non-existent. Getting pressure without having to blitz will allow LA to cover New York’s receivers better than Baltimore did last week.

Prediction: Rams 27, Giants 17
Rams +2½ (two units). . . . . under 44½ . . . . . Los Angeles +125

Final Score: Giants 17, Rams 10 x
Rams +2½ xx . . . . under 44½ ✓ . . . . Rams +125 x

 

★★★★ 5-0 Minnesota Vikings at 3-2 Philadelphia Eagles
Sunday, October 23 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Thom Brennaman, Troy Aikman and Erin Andrews
Vikings -2½ . . . . over/under 39½ . . . . MIN -155, PHI +135
Broadcast in New England, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana, Las Vegas NV, New Mexico, New York (except Buffalo and NYC), Charlotte NC, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee (except Nashville), Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Minnesota is no fluke, possessing the best defense in the NFL. As expected Philadelphia rookie RT Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who is subbing for suspended starter Lance Johnson, struggled last week. That’s a situation that Viking head coach will be able to exploit. The Vikes would surely like to help teammate Sam Bradford stick one to his former team after casting him off as an afterthought.

Prediction: Vikings 20, Eagles 13
Vikings -2½ (one unit) . . . . . under 39½ . . . . . Minnesota -155

Final Score: Eagles 21, Vikings 10 x
Vikings -2½ x . . . . under 39½ ✓ . . . . Vikings -155

 

★★★ 4-2 Washington Redskins at 3-3 Detroit Lions
Sunday, October 23 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Justin Kutcher, Charles Davis and Chris Speilman
Lions -1½ . . . . over/under 49½ . . . . DET -125, WAS +105
Broadcast in DC, Michigan, North Carolina (except Charlotte), Virginia and West Virginia.

Washington has won four straight after stumbling out of the gate. Does that mean that the Skins are better right now, or due for a stinker? Detroit has been up and down all season thus far. This one is really tough to call. With hesitation I will give a slight lean to the team on the winning streak.

Prediction: Redskins 27, Lions 24
Redskins +1½ . . . . . over 49½ . . . . . Washington +105

Final Score: Lions 20, Redskins 17 x
Redskins +1½ x . . . . over 49½ x . . . . Redskins +105 x

 

NFL Week 7 Early Inter-Conference Game

 

★★★★ 2-3 New Orleans Saints at 3-2 Kansas City Chiefs
Sunday, October 23 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Kenny Albert, John Lynch and Pam Oliver
Chiefs -6 . . . . over/under 50½ . . . . KAN -240, NOR +200
Broadcast in Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Nebraska.

The Saint offense ranks second in the NFL, averaging 31.0 points per game. However, their problem once again is a shoddy defense that ranks near the bottom in just about every category. Jamaal Charles should be back at full strength, giving KC a potent 1-2 punch out of the backfield along with Spencer Ware (5.3 yards per carry). The Chief defense is still not the same with OLB Justin Houston remaining on PUP, but is far superior to the swiss cheese New Orleans D.

Prediction: Chiefs 34, Saints 27
Chiefs -6 . . . . . over 50½ (one unit) . . . . . Kansas City -240

Final Score: Chiefs 27, Saints 21 ✓
Chiefs -6 -push- . . . . over 50½ x . . . . Chiefs -240 ✓

 

NFL Week 7 Early AFC Games

 

★★ 0-6 Cleveland Browns at 2-4 Cincinnati Bengals
Sunday, October 23 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Andrew Catalon, Steve Beuerlein and Steve Tasker
Bengals -10 . . . . over/under 45 . . . . CIN -500, CLE +400
Broadcast in eastern Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia.

Only two teams are giving up more points (29.3 per game) than Cleveland. The Browns just don’t come up big in the clutch allowing opponents to score touchdowns in 73% of their red zone possessions. Cincinnati is not performing well in the red zone either. The Bengals rank 28th on offense (8/19, 42%) and 27th on defense (13/19, 68.%) in the red zone. On paper Cincy should win this game easily. It will be interesting to see how the Bengals respond to last week’s loss at New England. With Ben Roethliberger out, this is a golden opportunity to make a run for the AFC North title.

Prediction: Bengals 30, Browns 23
Browns +10 (one unit) . . . . . over 45 . . . . . Cincinnati -500

Final Score: Bengals 31, Browns 17 ✓
Browns +10 x . . . . over 45 ✓ . . . . Bengals -500 ✓

 

★★★ 4-2 Buffalo Bills at 2-4 Miami Dolphins
Sunday, October 23 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Tom McCarthy and Adam Archuleta
Bills -2½ . . . . over/under 44½ . . . . BUF -140, MIA +120
Broadcast in south and central Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, western New York and Rhode Island.

Since Ryan Tannehill became Miami’s starting quarterback Buffalo has dominated this series, winning six of the last eight games. The Bills are plainly superior on both the offensive and defensive line, even without NT Marcell Dareus. Miami’s offensive line is getting healthier and Buffalo RB LeSean McCoy may not play due to a hamstring injury. Still, the best hope for Miami is for the Bills to be looking ahead to next week’s game against the Patriots. Rex Ryan’s crew is due for an unexpected loss.

Prediction: Dolphins 20, Bills 17
Dolphins +2½ . . . . . under 44½ . . . . . Miami +120

Final Score: Dolphins 28, Bills 25 ✓
Dolphins +2½ ✓ . . . . under 44½ x . . . . Dolphins +120 ✓

 

★★★ 4-2 Oakland Raiders at 2-3 Jacksonville Jaguars
Sunday, October 23 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Greg Gumbel, Trent Green and Jamie Erdahl
Jaguars -1½ . . . . over/under 47½ . . . . JAC -115, OAK +105
Broadcast in Alabama, northern Florida, Georgia (except Atlanta), Michigan, Mississippi, Wisconsin, and everywhere west of the Mississippi River (with the exception of Houston and Kansas City).

The Oakland defense ranks last in yards allowed (445 per game), last in passing (8.9 yards per attempt and 313 yards per game), last in yards per play (6.9), 31st in opponent red zone possessions (4.7 per game) and 30th in run defense (4.8 yards per carry). Somehow the Raiders have clamped down in the clutch however, holding the opposition to 53.6% red zone touchdowns (16th) and 4.2 third down conversions per game (5th). Jacksonville cannot run the ball though, and Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree should be able to get open early and often against the Jaguar secondary. Trivia: the last time these two met was three years ago. The quarterbacks then were Terrelle Pryor and Chad Henne, and the running backs were Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew.

Prediction: Raiders 28, Jaguars 24
Raiders +1½ . . . . . over 47½ (one unit) . . . . . Oakland +105

Final Score: Raiders 33, Jaguars 16 ✓
Raiders +1½ ✓ . . . . over 47½ . . . . Raiders +105 ✓

 

★★ 2-4 Indianapolis Colts at 3-3 Tennessee Titans
Sunday, October 23 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Spero Dedes and Solomon Wilcots
Titans -3 . . . . over/under 48 . . . . TEN -175, IND +155
Broadcast in Atlanta GA, Illinois, Indiana, western Kentucky, Tennessee and Houston TX.

Colt owner Jim Irsay says that criticism of GM Ryan Grigson is unjust. No mention that the only draft pick Grigson has got right was the no-brainer for Andrew Luck after the team tanked in order to obtain the number one overall pick in the draft. Grigson whined about the contract that he himself gave to Luck, leaving him little money to spend under the salary cap. Perhaps Grigson should look at how franchises like Pittsburgh and Green Bay get it done year after year rather than attempting to frame a team he can’t beat.

Irsay went on to say that with a few bounces the Colts could be 6-0. While that might be true, what is more probable than not is that with a few bounces Indy could be 0-6. You know it is time for the owner to just shut up and go away when Antonio Cromartie makes a more coherent and intelligent comment than Irsay.

Prediction: Titans 30, Colts 24
Titans -3 . . . . . over 48 . . . . . Tennessee -175

Final Score: Colts 34, Titans 26 x
Titans -3 x . . . . over 48 ✓ . . . . Titans -175 x

 

★★ 3-3 Baltimore Ravens at 1-4 New York Jets
Sunday, October 23 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Ian Eagle and Rich Gannon
Jets -2 . . . . over/under 41 . . . . NYJ -130, BAL +110
Broadcast in Connecticut, DC, Maryland, western Massachusetts, eastern New York (Albany, NYC), North Carolina, Pennsylvania (except Philadelphia), South Carolina, Vermont and Virginia.

The Jets are an abysmal 1-5 and the wheels may be falling off. In Todd Bowles’ defense, Gang Green has had to open the season against five teams that made the playoffs last year, and only two home games. Not surprisingly Baltimore’s 3-0 start was a mirage. Despite a relatively easy schedule thus far the Raven offense is averaging just 4.9 yards per play (29th). John Harbaugh didn’t read the NFL rule book last week, apparently thinking that a Cover 2 defense was an illegal formation. End result was a loss to the Giants even though their sole offensive weapon was Odell Beckham.

Prediction: Jets 23, Ravens 17
Jets -2 . . . . . under 41 . . . . . New York -130

Final Score: Jets 24, Ravens 16 ✓
Jets -2 ✓ . . . . under 41 ✓ . . . . Jets -130 ✓

 

NFL Week 7 Game of the Week

 

★★★★★ 5-1 New England Patriots at 4-2 Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday, October 23 at 4:25 pm ET on CBS; Jim Nantz, Phil Simms and Tracy Wolfson
Patriots -7 . . . . over/under 47½ . . . . NWE -310 PIT +260
Broadcast in all markets with the exception of Atlanta and San Francisco.

With Landry Jones under center you can count on Le’Veon Bell running the ball more than the ten times he did last week. Bell is averaging 5.5 yards per carry and 147 yards from scrimmage this year. Jones does not have anywhere near the same ability to pass the ball deep to Antonio Brown that Ben Roethisberger does. That means this game hinges on New England’s ability to neutralize Bell, and prevent the Steeler offense from keeping Brady, Gronk and company on the sidelines.

Prediction: Patriots 30, Steelers 20
Patriots -7 . . . . . over 47½ . . . . . New England -310

Final Score: Patriots 27, Steelers 16 ✓
Patriots -7 ✓ . . . . over 47½ x . . . . Patriots -310 ✓

 

Other NFL Week 7 Late Games

 

★★ 2-4 San Diego Chargers at 4-2 Atlanta Falcons
Sunday, October 23 at 4:05 pm ET on FOX; Sam Rosen, Daryl Johnston and Laura Okmin
Falcons -6 . . . . over/under 54½ . . . . ATL -240, SDC +200
Broadcast in Alabama, southern California, parts of Florida (Jacksonville, Miami, West Palm), Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, South Carolina, Baltimore, Buffalo, Nashville and New York City.

Thanks to a stealth negative PR campaign waged by the Chargers and the NFL this off-season, most people don’t think much of DE Joey Bosa. The reality is that his presence has improved the Charger defense. Much of that is due to his play, but equally important is that opponents can no longer focus on stopping OLB Melvin Ingram. Those two are going to have to dominate if San Diego is to have a chance of winning. Nobody has been able to completely neutralize Atlanta’s offense. The Falcons lead the NFL with 33.2 points per game, 442 yards per game and 9.9 yards per pass attempt. Mike McCoy is not a head coach that I have faith in to come up with a game plan to stop Atlanta.

Prediction: Falcons 34, Chargers 27
Falcons -6 . . . . . over 54½ (two units) . . . . . Atlanta -240

Final Score: Chargers 33, Falcons 30 OT x
Falcons -6 x . . . . over 54½ ✓✓ . . . . Falcons -240 x

 

2-3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 1-5 San Francisco 49ers
Sunday, October 23 at 4:05 pm ET on FOX; Chris Myers, Ronde Barber and Jennifer Hale
Niners -1 . . . . over/under 45½ . . . . SFO -115, TAM -105
Broadcast in northern California, Florida (except Jacksonville, Miami and West Palm Beach) and Reno NV.

Neither team has a good defense, but San Francisco is particularly bad. The Niner D is 31st in scoring (30.8 ppg), thanks to a run defense that is giving up 5.0 yards per carry and a jaw-dropping 175 rushing yards per game. The Bucs on the other hand are a team that has never performed well on the west coast (7-28), though to be fair that record was complied under other coaching regimes.

Prediction: Buccaneers 24, 49ers 20
Buccaneers +1 . . . . . under 45½ . . . . . Tampa Bay -105

Final Score: Buccaneers 34, Forty Niners 17 ✓
Buccaneers +1 ✓ . . . . under 45½ x . . . . Buccaneers -105 ✓

 

NFL Week 7 Night Games

 

★★★★ 4-1 Seattle Seahawks at 2-3 Arizona Cardinals
Sunday, October 23 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC; Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya
Cardinals -1 . . . . over/under 43½ . . . . ARI -120, SEA +100
Broadcast in all markets.

Arizona has been known for their vertical passing game and not much of a running game in recent years. 2016 is different though, with RB David Johnson shouldering the load for the Cardinals. Johnson leads the NFL with 833 yards from scrimmage, with 568 rushing yards and 265 receiving for an average of 139 yards per game. Arizona would love to put an end to reporters questions about being outscored by Seattle 105-34 in their last three games in Phoenix, but the Seahawks are a worthy adversary. Russell Wilson has thrown 158 passes without an interception. After a slow start (15 points in two games) the Seattle offense has gelled; the Seahawks have averaged 30 points in their last three games.

Prediction: Seahawks 23, Cardinals 20
Seahawks +1 . . . . . under 43½ . . . . . Seattle +100

Final Score: Seahawks 6, Cardinals 6 (OT) -tie-
Seahawks +1 ✓ . . . . under 43½ ✓ . . . . Seahawks -100 -push-

 

★★★★ 4-2 Houston Texans at 4-2 Denver Broncos
Monday, October 24 at 8:30 pm ET on BSPN; Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden and Lisa Salters
Broncos -8 . . . . over/under 40½ . . . . DEN -360, HOU +300
Broadcast in all markets.

While the headlines will focus on Brock Osweiler returning to Denver, the primary focus should be on the Broncos’ impotent offense. Denver has managed to score only 29 combined points in their last two games, and both were against mediocre defenses. Unfortunately for Houston their defense has been ravaged with injuries and they just don’t have enough firepower on offense to overcome that fact.

Prediction: Broncos 23, Texans 17
Texans +8 . . . . . under 40½ . . . . . Denver -360

Final Score: Broncos 27, Texans 9 ✓
Texans +8 x . . . . under 40½ ✓ . . . . Broncos -360 ✓

 

★★ 1-5 Chicago Bears at 3-2 Green Bay Packers
Thursday, October 20 at 8:30 pm ET on CBS; Jim Nantz, Phil Simms and Tracy Wolfson
Packers -7½ . . . . over/under 46½ . . . . GNB -350, CHI +290
Broadcast in all markets.

Prediction: Packers 27, Bears 13
Packers -7½ (one unit) . . . . . under 46½ . . . . . Green Bay -350

As expected, the Packers were able to take care of business at home. The Bears simply do not have the talent level or depth to compete against better teams.

Final Score: Packers 26, Bears 10 ✓
Packers -7½ . . . . under 46½ ✓ . . . . Packers -350 ✓

 

3-Team Parlay (one unit): x
Chargers at Falcons over 54½ ✓
Rams +2½ vs Giants x
Vikings -2½ at Eagles x

4-Team 6-Point Teaser (two units): xx
Chargers at Falcons over 48½ ✓
Vikings +3½ at Eagles x
Raiders at Jaguars over 41½ ✓
Rams +8½ vs Giants ✓

 

 

Tale of the Tape

The only downside to Week Six was that neither of my top picks were winners. A four-team teaser was a big payoff, comprised of the Pats (vs Bengals), Cowboys (at Packers) and Bills (at Rams) all winning outright, while the Falcons (at Seahawks) covered easily. Worst predictions were Pittsburgh (-7) at Miami and Raiders (-2½) versus Chiefs.

Week 6 Results:
11-4 Straight Up
10-4-1 Against the Spread
10-5 Over/Under
2-unit plays: 0-2, -280
1-unit plays: 8-0-1, +790
3-Game Parlay: 1u, 0-1, -110
4-Game Teaser: 3u, 1-0, +900
17 units invested
9-3-1, +1300 on $1870 risk
69.5% ROI

Year to Date Results:
50-42 Straight Up
52-38-2 Against the Spread
49-43 Over/Under
3-unit plays: 2-5-1, -1080
2-unit plays: 16-9, +1380
1-unit plays: 24-8-1, +1510
Parlays: 1-3, +270
Teasers: 3-1, +1690
46-26-2, +3770 on original $2310 risk.
163.2% ROI on original $2310 bankroll.
28.6% ROI on $13,200 (120 units) of total weekly investments.

9-3-1, +1300 on 17 units (+69.5%) in Week 6.
7-7, +50 on 22 units (+2.1%) in Week 5.
9-2, +1910 on 18 units (+96.5%) in Week 4.
3-9-1, -1280 on 22 units (-58.2%) in Week 3.
9-3, +950 on 20 units (+43.2%) in Week 2.
9-2, +840 on 21 units (+36.4%) in Week 1.

 

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the publisher of this website. Neither the author nor this website promote or advocate gambling. This is solely for entertainment purposes only. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, please call 1-888-ADMIT-IT or 1-888-GA-HELPS.

 

Follow on Twitter @AllThingsPats

 

NFL Week 8 Early Advanced ‘Look-Ahead’ Betting Lines – Patriots a 6-Point Favorite at Buffalo

John Morgan
October 19, 2016 at 11:00 pm ET

On Wednesday afternoon the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook released their advanced betting lines, also known as look-ahead lines. These early lines give some clairvoyant risk takers an opportunity to roll the dice on games that will not be played for another week and a half. There are times when public reaction to the most recent game clouds reality, and for a moment one can exploit the odds on an overrated or underrated team – or be done in by an unforeseen injury.

Week 8 features a rematch between New England and Buffalo. In the first game between these two original AFL rivals at Foxboro the Bills handed the Patriots their sole loss of the season. With rookie Jacoby Brisset under center Buffalo dominated, shutting the Pats out 16-0. Even though the Patriots are on the road against a 4-2, the handicappers at the Westgate have listed the Pats as the second biggest favorite of the week.

Another team seeking payback for an earlier loss is Denver. The Broncos were stunned in front of a national audience last Thursday at San Diego, overpowered by a feisty Charger team that once again attempted to give the game away in the final minutes. In the largest spread of the week the Broncos are favored by seven.

At the other end of the spectrum Oakland at Tampa Bay is listed as a pick’em. The next closest line belongs to a game between two teams that have not lived up to preseason expectations. 1-5 Carolina is a one-point home favorite versus Arizona. The Panthers are coming off a bye while the 3-3 Cardinals look to keep momentum going after demolishing the Jets 28-3.

The Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers are all off with a bye.

 

NFL Week 8 Early Advanced ‘Look-Ahead’ Betting Lines

 

Thursday October 27:

2-3 Jacksonville Jaguars at 3-3 Tennessee Titans (-3) [NFLN]

 

Sunday October 30 Early Games:

4-2 Washington Redskins ‘at’ 2-4 Cincinnati Bengals (-3) in London [FOX]

3-3 Detroit Lions at 4-2 Houston Texans (-3) [FOX]

4-1 Seattle Seahawks at 2-3 New Orleans Saints (-5½) [FOX]

5-1 New England Patriots (-6) at 4-2 Buffalo Bills [CBS]

1-5 New York Jets (-3) at 0-6 Cleveland Browns [CBS]

4-2 Oakland Raiders at 2-3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (PK) [CBS]

3-2 Kansas City Chiefs (-2½) at 2-4 Indianapolis Colts [CBS]

3-3 Arizona Cardinals at 1-5 Carolina Panthers (-1) [FOX]

Sunday October 30 Late Games:

2-4 San Diego Chargers at 4-2 Denver Broncos (-7) [CBS]

3-2 Green Bay Packers at 4-2 Atlanta Falcons (-2½) [FOX]

3-2 Philadelphia Eagles at 5-1 Dallas Cowboys (-4½) [NBC]

 

Monday October 31:

5-0 Minnesota Vikings (-5½) at 1-5 Chicago Bears [BSPN]

 

 

As for Thursday’s game, Green Bay should win at home easily. Something does seem off with the Packer offense, whether it be the play calling or Aaron Rodgers adjusting to footballs that are not over-inflated. Green Bay’s defense is improved over recent years however, and Chicago does not have the level of talent to keep up.

1-5 Chicago Bears at 3-2 Green Bay Packers
Thursday, October 20 at 8:30 pm ET on CBS; Jim Nantz, Phil Simms and Tracy Wolfson
Packers -7½ . . . . over/under 46½ . . . . GNB -350, CHI +290

Prediction: Packers 27, Bears 13
Packers -7½ (one unit) . . . . . under 46½ . . . . . Green Bay -350

 

Podcast: Patriots Victory Review And Dolphins Preview

Russ Goldman
September 14, 2016 at 11:21 am ET

We looked back at the victory against the Cardinals and went into detail how the Patriots won this game. Later on we previewed the upcoming game for the Pats against the Dolphins.

Week 1 Patriots Report Card Vs Arizona

Steve Balestrieri
at 10:05 am ET

The weekend is over, the second and third looks at the film are in and the grades are ready for the Patriots 23-21 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday Night Football. An unfortunate computer glitch prevented this from being posted on Monday afternoon where it will be for the rest of the season.

So how did the Patriots grade out? Considering that the best QB and TE in the game were missing along with the team’s best RB, both starting tackles and their most clutch DE, it is a good day to be a Patriots fan considering how the game turned out.

So let’s start with the offense and the players can come forward to pick up their grade sheets.

Quarterback: A
Okay, so it was far from perfect but considering what Jimmy Garoppolo was dealing with, missing so many key components in the offense, and having two new members of the team playing in their first game in New England (Bennett, Hogan), and facing a 13-3, Final Four team on the road? Oh and he was starting his first NFL game.

Jimmy G. (you can’t call him that!), played with remarkable poise and coolness in the pocket. His looking off of the deep safety (Swearinger), on the Hogan TD was sweet, as well as his recognizing the coverage and changing the play at the line.

The buying of time on the 3rd and 15 to Amendola was Brady-esque. He shoulder-faked the safety and slid in the pocket to his left and didn’t panic and throw too soon, which would have resulted in a pick. He threw a laser to Mitchell which turned into a 28-yard gain. Ditto for the 3-yard 3rd down conversion to James White.

He needed to get his second half sideline throw to Julian Edelman out much faster. Edelman was about de-cleated by Patrick Peterson. Overall, it was a great performance, now….we’re on to Miami.

Running Backs: B
LeGarrette Blount, who continues to get a ton of shade thrown on him, played pretty solidly. His touchdown run was classic. He got up a head of steam and carried half of the Arizona defense the final 3-4 yards into the end zone.

He made a nice run on the 3rd and 11 on the Pats final drive, making Peterson miss and rumbling 13 yards for the first down. His average wasn’t great but he was the lead back for a team effort 106-yard night. If I told you the Pats would rush for 100+ yards last week, would you take it?

James White did a good job in blitz pickups and made a couple of nice catches out of the backfield, scooping one almost on the turf and another shielding the defender using his body to get a tough first down. Brandon Bolden? Ugly exchange resulted in a fumble.

Wide Receivers: A-
Garoppolo got over his opening throw jitters by leaning on Julian Edelman who had three catches for 37 yards on the opening drive. He looked like his normal uncoverable self, underneath the coverage and any lingering doubts about his foot seemed at least for now, to be put to rest.

Chris Hogan capped off the opening drive with a 37-yard TD catch. He shimmied rookie Brandon Williams out of his jock and had an easy touchdown. He looks like a happy camper being in New England and it showed on the field. He did whiff badly on a wham block that got Blount hammered six yards deep in the backfield.

Malcolm Mitchell and Danny Amendola didn’t get a ton of targets but both turned in big plays with a 28-yard catch and run, burning the aforementioned Williams. Amendola’s 32-yard catch on 3rd and 15 was money. Wasn’t an easy catch and he recognized the play breaking down and cut his route deeper finding the sweet spot in the zone.

Tight Ends: A
We didn’t have a Gronk sighting but did see a black Unicorn and was he impressive. Martellus Bennett was praised by both Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels for his unselfish play. His blocking was like carrying an extra tight end out there and he man-handled Chandler Jones with ease on many running plays.

A.J. Derby played only a handful of snaps and it wasn’t pretty…nuff said.

Offensive Line: B
Maybe this is a bit high of a grade, but considering who wasn’t playing, who was and who their opponent was, it was a much better scenario than was widely imagined, especially in the Arizona and national press outlets.

Joe Thuney was very solid overall and held up well in pass protection. David Andrews had an up and down night, but his communication, key against facing a team that loves the A-gap blitz like Arizona was good. Cameron Fleming did okay for the most part facing Jones, which was supposed to be a mismatch. He frequently used the cut block to slow him down and keep him from getting his arms up.

Alex Karras, Shaq Mason, and Marcus Cannon struggled for stretches. But overall the unit held their own against a very tough defense on the road.

Defensive Line: B
The Patriots edge rushers Chris Long and Jabaal Sheard were very solid if unspectacular. They did a great job of setting the edge and funneling the plays back to the inside. David Johnson had 16 carries for 89 yards but 45 of them came on one play where the tackling was poor everywhere. But for the rest of the evening, they held the dangerous RB for 15 carries for 44 yards, less than 3 yards per pop. Long had a sack, three QB pressures and drew a holding penalty. Sheard had four QB pressures.

Alan Branch and Malcom Brown were solid inside, they also got some good rotation in with Vincent Valentine and Anthony Johnson seeing some significant snaps. The pass rush was okay but not great and netted three sacks. They’ll be better as the season moves along.

Linebackers: C+
This wasn’t the greatest of games for the Patriots dynamic duo of Dont’a Hightower and Jamie Collins. The game plan was a bit more passive than usual with the defense taking deep drops to keep the play in front of them, forcing the Cards to go the length of the field and preventing chunk plays.

Hightower had just one tackle and seemed to be a non-factor for much of the game. Collins did have a sack and blew up a screen pass in the backfield, dropping Andre Ellington for a loss. But we’ve come to expect more. He also took a costly penalty, trying to block an extra point.

Shea McClellin and Jonathan Freeny played sparingly and Barkevious Mingo played surprisingly only on Special Teams.

Secondary: B
It wasn’t always pretty, but overall they got the job done. They held the Cardinals who averaged 30 points and 300 yards a game thru the air, to just 21 and 252. Malcolm Butler was toasted early on a deep pass to Michael Floyd that he tried to sell to the refs that he stepped out of bounds on.

Logan Ryan had good coverage on but was victimized by Larry Fitzgerald for two touchdowns because…he’s Larry Fitz. You couldn’t get much better coverage than he did on those. Justin Coleman had a nice pass breakup on a deep John Brown route. Rookie Cyrus Jones gave up a big 18-yarder on the final drive that could have allowed the winning field goal.

Devin McCourty was outstanding and was everywhere they needed him to be. Pat Chung was solid in the box.

Special Teams: A+
Go to the head of the class Stephen Gostkowski. He not only made all five kicks, (3 FGs and 2 PATs) but his kickoffs consistently pinned the Cards deep in the end and forced them to go long distances to score. He was a major factor in this win and it had nothing to do with scoring. Ryan Allen had the hang time on his punts to give the dangerous Peterson little room to run. The coverage units were fantastic.

Coaches: A
Belichick is the gold standard and everyone else plays for second. It is ridiculous that he never gets any kudos for coach of the year. Fantastic game plan and getting the players ready to go in a hostile environment on Sunday night.

Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia both had excellent plans and they both saw them thru well. Was it perfect? No but it was damned good enough. Joe Judge’s charges had their best game in a year.

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Wednesday Daily Rundown 9/14: New England Patriots News and Notes

Ian Logue
at 8:14 am ET

Here’s a quick rundown of this morning’s top stories.

Patriots Wearing All Blue Next Week – The team unveiled their “Color Rush” jerseys for this week and it looks like they’ll be wearing all blue when they take on the Texans next week.

The uniforms were shown on Tuesday at the Pro Shop, with several players’ jerseys already available for sale.  The jerseys are blue with red stripes on the shoulders, with the numbers outlined in red, with the words “We are all Patriots” embroidered on the collar.

The team will also be wearing blue pants, giving them their first all-blue look since the 2002 season when they wore them in a loss to the Broncos at Gillette Stadium.  Hopefully, they have a little better luck this time around.

Herd Envisioning Brady in Dallas – We’re just getting started with Jimmy Garoppolo’s run as a starter and if what took place Sunday night continues, the amount of chatter about his future is going to cascade over like a waterfall and create a likely situation where some will begin to wonder about whether or not it makes sense to stick with the younger player and move on from Brady.

It will likely be much worse in the media and the whispers are already starting, with Colin Cowherd spending some time on Friday discussing the fact that he could see a desperate Dallas Cowboys franchise making a move to bring him to Dallas.

“If you wait until the very end, it’s too late,” said Cowherd.  “To get rid of a legendary quarterback, you have to let go of him while he still has wins, stats, and production left.”

Cowherd believes two years is the max Brady has left and he believes the Patriots should consider moving him in the next 1-2 years and stick with Garoppolo if the Patriots are confident that the former Eastern Illinois standout can be “the guy”.  Given Dallas’ issues, Cowherd believes it’s a “perfect” situation, giving him Dez Bryant for at least two years and an opportunity to get the Cowboys back to the Super Bowl.

Here’s the video of the segment for those who want to listen to it:

Bennett Earns Praise – Martellus Bennett wasn’t able to go out and have a big night after spending much of the game inside blocking at the line and keeping Chandler Jones away from Garoppolo. But on Tuesday Josh McDaniels talked about the veteran tight end, calling him “unselfish” after Bennett went out and did exactly what they needed as the Patriots won their first game of the season.

“Marty certainly did an excellent job the other night, ran behind them a lot in the running game,” said McDaniels during his conference call.  “He did a good job on the edge, we kept him in pass protection more than a handful of times and he did a nice job in terms of securing the edge of the pocket there too.”

Bennett finished with just 3 receptions on five targets, one of which came on third down.  Overall he looked more comfortable than he did during the preseason and watching him manhandle Jones was great to see as he’ll be a player who will definitely be able to help out in that role this season.

McDaniels was pleased with his performance and while he didn’t have a big night, McDaniels pointed out that what Bennett did went far beyond what showed up in the final totals.

“[He’s an] unselfish, team guy.  Just played hard on every snap, played a ton of snaps for us and really did his job. When he was asked to do whatever it was, he performed his responsibility and helped us in a number of different ways. That’s what our tight end positon generally does, and like I said, Marty was out there most of the time the other night and did a nice job of it. We gained a lot of production out of the things that he did, regardless of whether they showed up in the statistics or not.”

Gronkowski Could Be Out a Bit Longer – After sitting out week one, it looks like Rob Gronkowski might not be out on the field this week against the Dolphins either.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the veteran tight end could actually miss the first few games of 2016 as he continues dealing with a nagging hamstring injury that kept him from making the trip to Arizona after he was downgraded to “Out” prior to the contest.

Gronkowski suffered the injury during training camp and called himself “week to week” when he recently spoke to reporters, which raised a red flag after he said it and ended up being worth the concern when Gronk was unable to play on Sunday night.

With the long-term goal being to have Gronkowski healthy for the postseason, having him sit out now is certainly more preferable if it means he’ll be good to go by the time January gets here.  While it was great to see Garoppolo overcome injuries to lead the team to a win, it would definitely be a little easier if Gronkowski could be part of the mix as they get set to face what should be two tough opponents in Miami this week, as well as the Texans next week.

But for now they still have to try and win with whoever is out there, and hopefully, we see Gronkowski back in action in the not-too-distant future.

Patriots Bring In Players For a Workout, Release One – The team might have been off on Tuesday but the coaches were doing some due diligence on several players, with NESN.com reporting that the team worked out four players.

According to the report, those players included wide receiver Anthony Dable, guard Ian Silberman, as well as defensive ends Davis Tull and Ryan Russell.  They also released defensive back Mike Hilton from the practice squad.

Dobson Works out with the 49ers – Oddly enough after being released by the Patriots during final cuts, wide receiver Aaron Dobson hasn’t found a new home yet.

According to CSN Bay Area, the veteran receiver worked out for the 49ers on Tuesday, although no signing is believed to be imminent.  Dobson has reportedly also worked out for Philadelphia and the Jets but the former second-round pick hasn’t landed anywhere at this point.