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NFL Week 5 Odds, Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

John Morgan
October 8, 2017 at 9:30 am ET

NFL Week 5 kicked off with the unusual occurrence of a decent Thursday night game. The Patriots overcame two turnovers, twelve penalties and an inability to finish (1-3 in red zone, settling for four field goals) to defeat the Bucs 19-14 in Tampa. Nick Folk’s three missed field goals were the bulls eye for the wrath of Buc fans, but there was more to their loss than that. Tampa Bay was unable to capitalize on either turnover, and the play calling deserved scrutiny as well. Doug Martin gashed the Patriot defense to the tune of 5.7 yards per carry, but he was not utilized at all on the final three possessions. Both teams are on the road next week: the Patriots at the Jets, and Tampa Bay at Arizona.

Pittsburgh (-8) is the only team favored by more than a touchdown this week. Tennessee (at Miami), Kansas City (at Houston) and Minnesota (at Chicago) join New England at Tampa as the Week 5 road favorites. The Patriots had spent most of the week at -5½ but Rob Gronkowski’s status spurred late money on the Bucs, bringing the final line to four points in most venues, and even 3½ at some parlors.

Some interesting Money Lines to consider this week include the underdog Chargers +150 at the Giants and Buffalo +150 at Cincinnati. On the other side favorites Tennessee -145 at Miami, Kansas City -120 at Houston, and Minnesota -145 at Chicago are worth a look. The largest point totals are Green Bay at Dallas (52½) and Seahawks at Rams (47½). On the other end of the scale Baltimore at Oakland and the Bills at Bengals both have over/unders of 39½.

To see what games are being broadcast in your neck of the woods, check out 506 Sports NFL Maps.


NFL Week 5 Early Games

Los Angeles Chargers at New York Giants (-3½), o/u 45

The Chargers fired head coach Mike McCoy after losing so many winnable games a year ago. Fast forward to the 2017 season and it’s déjà vu. Under Anthony Lynn the Chargers are 0-4 with three losses by three points or less. The crowd could turn on the Giants should they fall behind, and they have never had much of a home field advantage over the years in East Rutherford.

Pick: Chargers 24, Giants 20
Chargers +3½ (two units)


Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals (-3), 39½

The Buffalo defense is allowing an NFL best 13.5 point per game. Cincinnati’s offense struggled mightily the first two games of the year, but has scored 55 points the last two weeks. Flying under the radar is the Bengal defense. Cincy’s D is giving up just 16.8 points per game and 4.4 yards per play, both third best in the league. The Bills are attempting to win consecutive road games, and face the challenge of playing three away games in four weeks.

Pick: Bengals 17, Bills 13
Bengals -3
Under 39½


New York Jets at Cleveland Browns (pick), 40

Both teams are devoid of talent and looking ahead to the 2018 draft. The Jets have taken a page from the movie Major League and are sabotaging management’s plans to tank. Todd Bowles has Gang Green playing solid fundamental football on defense, forcing opponents to go on long drives while waiting to exploit a mistake. Cleveland’s defense has played well against the run but the Browns are allowing 8.3 yards per pass attempt.

Pick: Jets 20, Browns 17
Jets +0


Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers (-9), 42½

The Steelers beat arch rival Baltimore last week, and face the undefeated Chiefs a week ago. This is the perfect setup for a letdown, and the Jaguar defense is capable of keeping this game close.

Pick: Steelers 24, Jaguars 17
Jaguars +9


Tennessee Titans (-2½) at Miami Dolphins, 43

Matt Cassel is expected to get the start for Tennessee due to Marcus Mariota’s hamstring injury. Since 2012 Cassel is 8-18 with 27 TD and 36 picks. Despite Miami’s offensive impotence (last in the NFL with 8.3 points per game), it is really difficult to picture the Titans going on the road for a win Sunday.

Pick: Dolphins 16, Titans 13
Dolphins +2½
Under 43


San Francisco 49ers at Indianapolis Colts (-1½), 44½

There is no justification to take the Niners on the road straight up, and this point spread is so low that is essentially what one would be doing. Indy plays well in spurts but then looks awful the next quarter. The Colt defense is dead last at 34.0 points per game and is allowing 6.1 yards per play (29th). San Fran’s offense has been equally inefficient, so something has to give there. The Niners rank 26th in scoring (16.5 ppg), 26th in yards per play (4.7), 28th in the red zone (38.5%) and 30th on third down (30%).

Pick: Colts 24, Niners 20
Colts -1½


Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles (-6½), 45

The Cardinals have been unable to do anything at all on the ground since losing RB David Johnson in week one. That puts more pressure on Carson Palmer to carry the team. Problem is that the Cardinal offensive line is a sieve. Once the Eagles take a lead they can tee it up against that OL. Palmer has already been sacked a league high 17 times and that number may reach 20 – by halftime.

Pick: Eagles 24, Cardinals 13
Eagles -6½


Carolina Panthers at Detroit Lions (-2½), 42½

Detroit leads the league with 11 takeaways, while Carolina has none in the last three games and is 31st with a -5 turnover differential. The Lion defense Carolina’s signature win last week was more about what the Patriot defense did not do than what the Panthers did do. Carolina is scoring 19.5 points per game despite having played against three bad defenses. Last week Cam Newton wasn’t able to handle success very well; how will he handle a loss with all eyes upon him Sunday? It’s really difficult to win back-to-back road games in the NFL.

Pick: Lions 20, Panthers 16
Lions -2½


NFL Week 5 Late Games

Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams (-1½), 47½

What, the Rams are favored to beat Seattle?! The Seahawk defense has struggled against opposing running backs in both the running game (5.0 yards per carry) and catching passes out of the backfield (8 yards per pass attempt). Todd Gurley presents a matchup problem for the Seattle defense that will not have the benefit of their 12th man home crowd. On the other side of the ball the Ram defense has struggled (4.9 yards per carry, 26.3 points per game), but still should be able to take advantage of a porous Seattle offensive line.

Pick: Rams 23, Seahawks 20
Rams -1½
Under 47½


Baltimore Ravens at Oakland Raiders (-3), 39½

Joe Flacco has now thrown an interception in ten straight games. The Raven QB has a league worst 5.0 yards per pass attempt and 31st ranked passer rating of 65.0. The Raven defense has struggled against the run, which plays right into Oakland’s game plan. With Derek Carr (back injury) out, EJ Manuel will be under center for the Raiders. That means plenty of carries for Marshawn Lynch and Jalen Richard.

Pick: Raiders 24, Ravens 17
Raiders -3


Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys (-3), 52½

Dallas plays much better at home, where Dak Prescott has a 109.6 passer rating in his last seven games. The Cowboy offensive line has not performed as well as they did last year, but should be able to easily handle a mediocre Green Bay defense. That means a big day for Ezekiel Elliott, who has underwhelmed to the tune of 3.6 yards per carry this year. The Packers will be able to score enough to make this game close, aided by the lack of Sean Lee on defense for Dallas. Cowboys get a small bit of revenge for last year’s playoff loss to Green Bay.

Pick: Cowboys 34, Packers 30
Cowboys -3
over 52½


NFL Week 5 Prime Time Games

Kansas City Chiefs (-1) at Houston Texans, 45 (Sunday night)

Houston obliterated Tennessee last week with an aggressive defense that limited the Titans to two third down conversions and nine first downs, while amassing five turnovers. DeShaun Watson broke through for five touchdowns last week and appears to be the franchise quarterback the Texans have been lacking since their inception. Kansas City finally has a good offense to compliment their defense for the first time since Dick Vermeil was the KC head coach. The Chiefs are averaging an NFL-best 6.8 yards per play, spreading the ball around to Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. KC is in a bit of a tough spot, going on the road after a hard fought Monday night game. In case you missed it the ‘meaningless’ final play of the game left gamblers in either ecstasy or agony.

Pick: Texans 24, Chiefs 20
Texans +1


Minnesota Vikings (-3) at Chicago Bears, 40 (Monday night)

The Chicago defense is allowing 26.0 point per game (27th) and a 47% third down conversion rate (31st). Offensively they 29th in scoring (15.2 ppg) and 23rd in yards per play (4.9). It does not matter who the quarterback is for either team or where the game is played. Minnesota (and about 90% of the NFL) is more than a field goal better than Chicago.

Pick: Vikings 27, Bears 17
Vikings -3 (two units)


NFL Week 5 Byes

Atlanta Falcons

Denver Broncos

New Orleans Saints

Washington Redskins


NFL Week 2 Odds, TV Info and Predictions

John Morgan
September 17, 2017 at 7:00 am ET

After an insipid Thursday night abomination, the rest of NFL week two gets underway on Sunday. The Patriots at New Orleans highlights the early games, in a matchup featuring a pair of future Hall of Fame quarterbacks. Dallas at Denver is the best late afternoon game, unless you enjoy watching the Jets getting pounded at Oakland. The best game of the week comes on Sunday night with Green Bay at Atlanta in a rematch of last season’s NFC championship. Week two wraps up with Detroit at the Giants on Monday night.

For specific information on what games are being broadcast in your locale, please check out 506 Sports NFL Maps.


Sunday Sept 17, 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta
Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars
Broadcast in Tennessee, northern Florida and southern Georgia.
Titans favored by 1; point total 41½

Let’s pump the brakes a bit on the Jaguars bandwagon. Their defense was superb last week, but that Houston offensive line was a sieve. Tennessee has a better QB, offensive line and running game than Jacksonville. Tough call here but I’ll give a slight lean to the Titans as the jags fall back to earth.
Titans 20, Jaguars 17


Sunday Sept 17, 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Andrew Catalon, James Lofton
Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens
Broadcast in DC, Maryland, central PA, West Virginia, Ohio and eastern Kentucky.
Ravens -8½; o/u 39

Baltimore collected five turnovers last week, but that was against a Bengal offense that has not scored a touchdown after 120 minutes of football. On the other hand the Browns may have a bit of a letdown after gearing up all offseason for the Steelers in week one. While I am not sold on the Ravens, I don’t know if I can trust the Browns to be competitive in consecutive weeks.
Ravens 24, Browns 17


Sunday Sept 17, 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon
Buffalo Bills at Carolina Panthers
Broadcast in western New York, Virginia and the Carolinas.
Panthers -7; o/u 43

Buffalo beat the pitiful Jets at home last week, but did so in less than convincing fashion. Carolina’s defense should shut down the Bills, The Panthers roll in their home opener as they try to revert to their 2015 form.
Panthers 24, Bills 13


Sunday Sept 17, 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Jim Nantz, Tony Romo
New England Patriots at New Orleans Saints
Available in most markets that don’t have a local team playing at the same time.
Patriots -6½; o/u 57

The idiotic talk of a 19-0 season thankfully dissipated quickly in New England. The Patriots are already a patchwork team due to injuries, but the New Orleans defense is just what the doctor ordered for the Pats. Now that the spread is below seven points I like New England here, despite the lack of options at WR.
Patriots 34, Saints 27


Sunday Sept 17, 1:00 pm ET on Fox; Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston
Arizona Cardinals at Indianapolis Colts
Broadcast in Arizona and Indiana.
Cardinals -7; o/u 44
Carson Palmer is toast, and RB David Johnson is out for two months. Despite his short time with the Colts, former third string QB Jacoby Brissett is a huge upgrade over Scott Tolzein. Despite all of that the Cardinal defense should dominate and Arizona wins easily.
Cardinals 27, Colts 16


Sunday Sept 17, 1:00 pm ET on Fox; Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis
Philadelphia Eagles at Kansas City Chiefs
Broadcast in eastern NY, eastern PA, and most states west of the Mississippi.
Chiefs -5½; o/u 47½

With extra time to prepare and this being their home opener, KC should have no letdown after last week’s win in Foxboro. The Chiefs defense should be able to contain Carson Wentz while Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill prove to be too much for a pretty good Philly defense.
Chiefs 27, Eagles 17


Sunday Sept 17, 1:00 pm ET on Fox; Kenny Albert, Ronde Barber
Minnesota Vikings at Pittsburgh Steelers
Broadcast in most of New England, the Rust Belt, and the Northern Plains.
Steelers -6½; o/u 44½

The Steelers are a much better team at home than on the road, so disregard last week’s narrow victory. Even if Sam Bradford (knees) can play, I’ll take the combination of Big Ben, Bell and Brown in a home opener over the Vikes.
Steelers 27, Vikings 17


Sunday Sept 17, 1:00 pm ET on Fox; Dick Stockton, Mark Schlereth
Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Broadcast in most of the southeast, and northern Illinois.
Bucs -6½; o/u 43½

While Mike Glennon would love to return to Tampa and defeat his former team, the problem is that he’s more suited to being a backup QB – and the Bucs know his tendencies inside and out. Jameis Winston now has DeSean Jackson as an option if Mike Evans is double covered, a problem the Chicago defense has no answer for.
Buccaneers 31, Bears 14


Sunday Sept 17, 4:05 pm ET on CBS; Greg Gumbel, Trent Green
Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Chargers
Broadcast in south and central Florida, southern California and Fargo.
Chargers -3½; o/u 45½

With this being their first game of the year, the west coast travel should not be an issue for Miami. I’m not yet ready to buy in to the hype that the Chargers will win the division. The big question will be how many empty seats there will be in the 27,000 seat soccer stadium the Chargers now call home.
Dolphins 24, Chargers 21


Sunday Sept 17, 4:05 pm ET on CBS; Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts
New York Jets at Oakland Raiders
Broadcast in eastern NY, eastern PA, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Chicago, KC, Minnesota, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, northern California and southern Oregon.
Raiders -13½; 43½

Let’s see, on one hand we have one of the best offenses in the league. On the other side there is the dumpster fire known as the Jets, attempting to tank their way to the number one pick of the 2018 draft.
Raiders 34, Jets 13


Sunday Sept 17, 4:25 pm ET on Fox; Thom Brennaman, Chris Spielman
Washington Redskins at Los Angeles Rams
Broadcast in southern California, Virginia, Maryland and DC.
Rams -2½; o/u 45½

Similar to Jacksonville, I want to see if the Ram defense can keep it going in week two – this time against a better offense. If this was still Jeff Fisher running the show then I’d be confident in a bounce back game for Kirk Cousins. With Wade Phillips as the defensive coordinator, perhaps I may need to start believing in this team.
Rams 20, Skins 17


Sunday Sept 17, 4:25 pm ET on Fox; Joe Buck, Troy Aikman
Dallas Cowboys at Denver Broncos
Broadcast in most markets (see Wash-Rams and Niners-Seahawks).
Cowboys -2½; o/u 43

Denver’s defense is not quite as good as it was in recent seasons. The Dallas offensive line should control this game, and the Broncos don’t have an offense that can keep up with a decent team.
Cowboys 23, Broncos 16


Sunday Sept 17, 4:25 pm ET on Fox; Sam Rosen, David Diehl
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks
Broadcast in northern California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Alaska and Reno NV.
Seahawks -14; o/u 42

Seattle gets their aggression out after losing a game they should have won at Green Bay due to dumb penalties and questionable flags.
Seahawks 27, Niners 13


Sunday Sept 17, 8:30 pm ET on NBC; Al Michaels, Cris Collisworth
Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons
Broadcast in all markets.
Falcons -3; 56

This is not only the best game of the week, it could have been one of the best entire year had it been scheduled for later in the season. The Packers were fortunate to win last week against Seattle; they will be playing against a far superior offense on Sunday night.
Falcons 30, Packers 24


Monday Sept 18, 8:30 pm ET on espn; Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden
Detroit Lions at New York Giants
Broadcast in all markets.
Giants -3; o/u 42½

Tough call here, but I’ll take the Giants to rebound while Detroit – playing outside of their dome – is slowed down against a good NYG defense.
Giants 24, Lions 20


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NFL Week 1 Odds, TV Info and Predictions

John Morgan
September 7, 2017 at 3:00 pm ET

After what has seemed to be an eternity, the 2017 NFL season kicks off Thursday. Here is a look at the odds, television broadcast information, and predictions.

To see what games are being broadcast in your area, check out Patriot fan JP Kirby’s Week One NFL Maps.


Thursday Sept 7, 8:30 pm ET on NBC; Al Michaels, Cris Collisworth
Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots
Broadcast in all markets.
Patriots -9; over/under 48½

With the exception of clock management, Andy Reid is one of the best coaches in the NFL. Unlike the playoff game two seasons ago, the Chiefs have a healthy Justin Houston to disrupt the Patriot offense. I expect this game to start out close, but nobody makes better in-game adjustments than the New England coaching staff.
Patriots 27, Chiefs 17


Sunday Sept 10, 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills
Broadcast in New England, New York and some of Florida (West Palm, Fort Myers).
Bills -9; 40

It is going to be easy to simply bet against the Jets every weekend this year. Division games tend to be tough though, and Buffalo QB Tyrod Taylor is bound to be rusty after missing the last two weeks due to a concussion.
Bills 24, Jets 13


Sunday Sept 10, 1:00 pm ET on Fox; Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis
Atlanta Falcons at Chicago Bears
Broadcast in most of the southeast and upper central US.
Falcons -7; 49

Much has been made about the psyche of Atlanta after the Super Bowl, and the tendency of SB losers to regress the following season. That may well happen, but not in this game. The Falcon offense will have its way with a mediocre Chicago defense, and the Bears don’t have any offensive firepower to keep pace.
Falcons 31, Bears 17


Sunday Sept 10, 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Andrew Catalon, James Lofton
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans
Broadcast in Texas and northern Florida.
Texans -5½; 39½

Houston had the number one ranked defense in 2016, and that was without J.J. Watt. The Texan defense will harass Blake Bortles into costly turnovers, and coast to victory.
Texans 24, Jaguars 13


Sunday Sept 10, 1:00 pm ET on Fox; Kenny Albert, Ronde Barber
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins
Broadcast in the northeast, and most states west of the Mississippi.
Eagles -1; 48

The Eagle offensive line did not look good at all in the preseason, particularly in the running game. Even though Washington’s secondary is no better than average, it would be too much to ask Carson Wentz to carry the team. The Skins added Terrell Pryor but lost DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon in free agency. I don’t have a strong feel either way in this game; forced to choose, I’ll go with the home team.
Redskins 31, Eagles 28


Sunday Sept 10, 1:00 pm ET on Fox; Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston
Arizona Cardinals at Detroit Lions
Broadcast in Arizona, Washington, Michigan and Toledo.
Cardinals -2; 48

I don’t anticipate Carson Palmer having a bounce-back season, but with David Johnson at running back it may not matter for Arizona. Detroit desperately needs some production at RB from Ameer Abdullah, who appeared in only two games last year. This is another game that could easily go either way.
Lions 27, Cardinals 24


Sunday Sept 10, 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Jim Nantz, Tony Romo
Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans
Broadcast in Tennessee and most states west of the Mississippi.
Titans -2½; 50½

This is the most intriguing game of the week, featuring two young quality quarterbacks and two up and coming teams. Oakland has a more dynamic offense, but I’ll go with Tennessee’s superior defense in what should be a very close and entertaining game.
Titans 27, Raiders 24


Sunday Sept 10, 1:00 pm ET on Fox
Tampa Bay Bucs at Miami Dolphins
Buccaneers -2½; 41½
Game Postponed to Week 11 due to Hurricane Irma


Sunday Sept 10, 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals
Broadcast in Cincinnati, eastern Kentucky, DC and Maryland.
Bengals -3; 42½

Baltimore has major issues on their offensive line, and Joe Flacco practiced for the first time last weekend after missing the entire training camp and preseason with a disk issue in his back.
Bengals 20, Ravens 16


Sunday Sept 10, 1:00 pm ET on CBS’ Greg Gumbel, Trent Green
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns
Broadcast in most of the southeast and Great Lakes region.
Steelers -9; 46½

Pittsburgh has struggled mightily on the road in recent years, but this is the Browns. In a rare game when Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell are all healthy and available, the Steeler offense should be able to score early and often. DeShone Kizer had a good preseason, but playing against second stringers is not the same as facing a blitzing Steeler defense.
Steelers 31, Browns 13


Sunday Sept 10, 4:05 pm ET on CBS; Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts
Indianapolis Colts at Los Angeles Rams
Broadcast in Indiana, Illinois, Arizona, Utah, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Detroit, Philadelphia, West Palm and Ft Myers.
Rams -3½; 41½

There are plenty of question marks here, in what looms to be the worst game of the week. The Rams have a new coach (Sean McVay), a 2nd year quarterback who underwhelmed last year (Jared Goff), and will probably be without their best Player (holdout Aaron Donald). With Andrew Luck out the Colts turn to Scott Tolzein at quarterback, who was unimpressive in training camp and preseason. This game could be ugly, with multiple unforced turnovers.
Rams 20, Colts 16


Sunday Sept 10, 4:25 pm on Fox; Joe Buck, Troy Aikman
Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers
Broadcast in all markets except the Carolinas, San Francisco and Reno.
Packers -3; 51

Thankfully there is at least one late game worth watching. Seattle’s already strong defense got better with the acquisition of former Jet Sheldon Richardson. The Seahawk offensive line has taken a step back however, and none of their running backs are particularly impressive. The addition of TE Martellus Bennett gives the Packers another option, which could open things up for receivers Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams.
Packers 31, Seahawks 24


Sunday Sept 10, 4:25 pm on Fox; Thom Brennaman, Chris Spielman
Carolina Panthers at San Francisco 49ers
Broadcast in the Carolinas, San Francisco and Reno.
Panthers -5½; 47½

Even though this is a road trip across three time zones, with this being week one that factor should have only a minimal effect. The Niner defense has improved but still has a long ways to go. Look for Cam Newton and the Panthers to rebound from a disappointing 2016 campaign, and for rookie RB Christian McCaffery to rejuvenate the Carolina offense.
Panthers 27, Forty Niners 13


Sunday Sept 10, 8:30 pm on NBC; Al Michaels, Cris Collisworth
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
Broadcast in all markets.
Cowboys -4; 47½

This should be a high scoring and entertaining contest. The Cowboys will have difficulty covering Odell Beckham, Brandon Marshall and Sterling Sheppard all at the same time. On the other side of the ball the Dallas offensive line should be able to open things up for RB Ezekiel Elliott before he begins his questionable suspension.
Cowboys 28, Giants 27


Monday Sept 11, 7:10 pm on espn; Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden
New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings
Broadcast in all markets.
Vikings -3; 48

The NFL schedule makers threw espn a bone here, with Adrian Peterson returning to Minnesota in prime time in week one. The Saints traded WR Brandin Cooks early in the off season and WR Willie Snead is suspended for a DUI. However, Drew Brees still has Michael Thomas (92 receptions for 1,137 yards and 9 TD in 2016), and Ted Ginn is expected to step in to the spot vacated by Cooks. I will be curious to see how Minnesota utilizes rookie RB Dalvin Cook (2,253 yards from scrimmage and 20 TD at Florida State last year).
Saints 31, Vikings 28


Monday Sept 11, 10:20 pm ET on espn; Beth Mowins, Rex Ryan
Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos
Broadcast in all markets.
Broncos -3½; 43½

There has been a fair amount of hype for the Chargers in 2017, but I’ll believe that when I see it. Both teams get key offensive players back who were unavailable due to injuries last year: Charger WR Keenan Allen and Bronco RB C.J. Anderson.
Chargers 20, Broncos 17


Best Bets:
Texans -5½ vs Jaguars (3 units)
Panthers -5½ at 49ers (2 units)
Rams -3½ vs Colts (1 unit)


NFL Week 14 Odds, Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

John Morgan
December 10, 2016 at 2:00 pm ET

The schedule makers saved the best for last in NFL Week 14. On Sunday night Dallas is at the New York Giants in an NFC East showdown. Then on Monday night the Ravens and Patriots square off in a battle of division leading AFC rivals. While those two contests are the only ones (other than Thursday’s Raider-Chiefs game) between pairs of teams with winning records, there are still plenty of other interesting and competitive games.

Four other games are between clubs that both have at least a .500 record and genuine hopes for making the playoffs. Seattle at Green Bay, Pittsburgh at Buffalo, Denver at Tennessee and Houston at Indianapolis are all good matchups between teams fighting for a playoff spot. The only real stinkers this week are the Jets at Forty Niners and the battle for Ohio between Cincinnati and Cleveland.


NFL Week 14 Early Games on CBS

★★★★ 8-4 Denver Broncos at 6-6 Tennessee Titans
Sunday December 11 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Evan Washburn.
Titans -1 . . . . over/under 43½ . . . . TEN -120, DEN +100
• Broadcast in Alaska, Arkansas, northern Alabama, Los Angeles CA, Palm Springs CA, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Sioux City IA, Kansas, Bowling Green KY, northern Mississippi, Missouri (except Hannibal), Montana, Nebraska, Las Vegas NV, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon (except Eugene), South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Tennessee defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau should be able to confuse whomever is at quarterback for the Broncos. The Titans are better defending the run than the pass and newly signed Justin Forsett has shown no signs in the last two seasons of being the answer to Denver’s inability to run the ball. Without the advantage of opponent’s gasping for air at Mile High the Broncos could be looking at their fifth loss in their last nine games.

Prediction: Titans 23, Broncos 20
Titans -1 . . . . . under 43½ . . . . . Tennessee -120

Final Score: Titans 13, Broncos 10 ✓
Titans -1 ✓ . . . . . under 43½ ✓ . . . . . Titans -120 ✓


★★★★ 6-6 Houston Texans at 6-6 Indianapolis Colts
Sunday December 11 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon.
Colts -6½ . . . . over/under 46½ . . . . IND -280, HOU +240
• Broadcast in Indiana, Louisville KY, Shreveport LA and Texas.

Houston is 1-5 on the road this year, averaging a league-worst 13.2 points per game away from home. After crushing the Jets last week the Colts seek their first back-to-back victories this season. Andrew Luck is playing better than he did early in the year and the Colts are healthier, with both lines performing better as well. I’ll take Luck at home over Brock Osweiler and his sub-60% completion rate on the road.

Prediction: Colts 27, Texans 20
Colts -6½ . . . . . over 46½ . . . . . Indianapolis -280

Final Score: Texans 22, Colts 17 x
Colts -6½ x . . . . . over 46½ x . . . . . Colts -280 x


★★ 4-7-1 Cincinnati Bengals at 0-12 Cleveland Browns
Sunday December 11 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Andrew Catalon, Steve Beuerlein, Steve Tasker.
Bengals -5½ . . . . over/under 41 . . . . CIN -240, CLE +200
• Broadcast in eastern Kentucky and Ohio.

I keep getting suckered in by big point spreads for the Browns, and keep getting hosed. Cleveland is not only winless, they are also an NFL-worst 2-10 against the spread. The Bengals aren’t much better: 4-7-1 straight up, 3-8-1 ATS; 1-5 S/U and 0-5-1 ATS on the road. Even without AJ Green Cincy should win this game against a rusty Robert Griffin at QB for Cleveland. On a side note former Patriot Jonathan Cooper will make his first start at right guard for the Browns.

Prediction: Bengals 24, Browns 23
Browns +5½ . . . . . over 41 . . . . . Cincinnati -240

Final Score: Bengals 23, Browns 10 ✓
Browns +5½ x . . . . . over 41 x . . . . . Bengals -240 ✓


★★★★ 7-5 Pittsburgh Steelers at 6-6 Buffalo Bills
Sunday December 11 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson.
Steelers -3 . . . . over/under 46½ . . . . PIT -150, BUF +130
• Broadcast in New England, Alabama (except Birmingham and Huntsville), DC, Florida (except Jacksonville and Miami), Georgia, Louisiana (except Shreveport), Maryland, Mississippi (except Tupelo), New York (except NYC), North Carolina (except Charlotte), Pennsylvania (except Philadelphia), South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

Following a four game mid-season losing streak, the Steelers have rebounded with three straight victories. With LB Ryan Shazier back on the field the Pittsburgh defense has vastly improved. The Steelers surrendered an average of just ten points per game during the current winning streak – with two of those wins coming on the road. Similar to the Steelers with Shazier, Buffalo is a much better team when LeSean Mcoy is able to play. Take away two games with very limited action and the running back is averaging 125 yards from scrimmage per game. The Shazier-McCoy matchup will be fun to watch, and will likely determine the outcome. Forecast is for snow and 15-25 mph winds, but that shouldn’t be much of a factor considering that the Steelers are used to that type of weather.

Prediction: Steelers 24, Bills 20
Steelers -3 . . . . . under 46½ . . . . . Pittsburgh -150

Final Score: Steelers 27, Bills 20 ✓
Steelers -3 ✓ . . . . . under 46½ x . . . . . Steelers -150 ✓


★★★ 3-9 Chicago Bears at 8-4 Detroit Lions
Sunday December 11 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Spero Dedes, Solomon Wilcots.
Lions -7½ . . . . over/under 43½ . . . . DET -330, CHI +270
• Broadcast in Illinois, Iowa (except Sioux City), Michigan, Hannibal MO and Wisconsin.

Former Patriot Akiem Hicks is coming off a 10-tackle, two-sack game last week. Detroit center Travis Swanson is out with a concussion, and guard Graham Glasgow will slide over to replace him. 2015 first round pick Laken Tomlinson would then start at guard; how those two fare versus Hicks will determine whether or not the Bears can pull off an upset. Chicago was able to pressure Matthew Stafford into early interceptions in a week three victory. However the Detroit defense has come on strong lately, holding opponents to an average of 16.3 points over the last six games.

Prediction: Lions 24, Bears 17
Bears +7½ . . . . . under 43½ . . . . . Detroit -330

Final Score: Lions 20, Bears 17 ✓
Bears +7½ ✓ . . . . . under 43½ ✓ . . . . . Lions -330 ✓


NFL Week 14 Early Games on FOX

★★★ 5-7 San Diego Chargers at 4-8 Carolina Panthers
Sunday December 11 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Sam Rosen, Brady Quinn, Jennifer Hale.
Panthers -1½ . . . . over/under 48½ . . . . CAR -125, SDG +105
• Broadcast in San Diego CA, Santa Barbara CA, Augusta GA, Columbus GA, North Carolina and South Carolina.

With C Ryan Kalil and RT Michael Oher on injured reserve, the Carolina offensive line has turned into a sieve. As a result Cam Newton has completed less than 50% of his passes in three straight games, and has surpassed a 60% completion rate just once all season. San Diego should be able to dominate the line of scrimmage behind Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. Despite the long trip for an early kickoff the Chargers should win this game; they are the better team on both sides of the ball.

Prediction: Chargers 24, Panthers 20
Chargers +1½ (one unit) . . . . . under 48½ . . . . . San Diego +105

Final Score: Panthers 28, Chargers 16 x
Chargers +1½ x . . . . . under 48½ ✓ . . . . . Chargers +105 x


★★★ 5-6-1 Arizona Cardinals at 7-5 Miami Dolphins
Sunday December 11 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Chris Myers, Ronde Barber, Holly Sonders.
Cardinals -1½ . . . . over/under 43½ . . . . ARI -125, MIA +105
• Broadcast in New England (except Hartford), Arizona, Florida (except Jacksonville), Boise ID and Rochester NY.

After going 7-1 on the road last year the Cardinals are just 1-4 away from home in 2016, and have lost three straight on the road. Miami is due to bounce back after last week’s epic failure at Baltimore, but Arizona does have some matchups in their favor. The Cardinals can run the ball with David Johnson, who leads the NFL with 1,709 yards from scrimmage (142 ypg). Miami ranks 30th against the run in both yards per carry (4.7) and yards per game (130). However the Dolphins have an advantage with Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh against an o-line that is poor in pass protection. I’m thinking both teams regress to their norms after last week’s games. Arizona hasn’t shown me any reason to believe in them either on the road, or in consecutive games.

Prediction: Dolphins 24, Cardinals 17
Dolphins +1½ (two units) . . . . . under 43½ . . . . . Miami +105

Final Score: Dolphins 26, Cardinals 23 ✓
Dolphins +1½ ✓✓ . . . . . under 43½ x . . . . . Dolphins +105 ✓


★★ 6-6 Minnesota Vikings at 2-10 Jacksonville Jaguars
Sunday December 11 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Laura Okmin.
Vikings -3½ . . . . over/under 39½ . . . . MIN -170, JAC +150
• Broadcast in Alaska, Jacksonville FL, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Toledo OH, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Jacksonville has lost seven in a row. Minnesota has lost six of their last seven, but at least their defense is keeping them in a position to win. Even with safety Harrison Smith sidelined the Viking defense should be able to do enough to carry Minnesota to a victory.

Prediction: Vikings 23, Jaguars 13
Vikings -3½ (two units) . . . . . under 39½ . . . . . Minnesota -170

Final Score: Vikings 25, Jaguars 16 ✓
Vikings -1½ ✓✓ . . . . . under 39½ x . . . . . Vikings -170 ✓


★★★ 6-5-1 Washington Redskins at 5-7 Philadelphia Eagles
Sunday December 11 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Pam Oliver.
Redskins -2½ . . . . over/under 46½ . . . . WAS -130, PHI +110
• Broadcast in Alabama, Arkansas, California (except San Diego and Santa Barbara), Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Georgia (except Augusta and Columbus), Hawaii, Idaho (except Boise), Indiana (except Indianapolis), Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York (except Buffalo and Rochester), Ohio (except Cleveland and Toledo), Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee (except Nashville), Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Washington is dealing with multiple injuries to their offensive line. All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams returns from his suspension just in time for the Skins. Presuming that Kirk Cousins is given a decent amount of time, he should be able to pick apart a mediocre Philadelphia secondary. Washington is in a tough spot having to play a third straight road game, but they are definitely the better team. Playing away from home hasn’t bothered Cousins, who has 18 touchdowns to only four picks in his last nine road games.

Prediction: Redskins 31, Eagles 27
Redskins -2½ . . . . . over 46½ (two units) . . . . . Washington -130

Final Score: Redskins 27, Eagles 22 ✓
Redskins -2½ ✓ . . . . . over 46½ ✓✓ . . . . . Redskins -130 ✓


NFL Week 14 Late Games on CBS

3-9 New York Jets at 1-11 San Francisco 49ers
Sunday December 11 at 4:05 pm ET on CBS; Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, Jamie Erdahl.
Niners -2½ . . . . over/under 43½ . . . . SFO -150, NYJ +130
• Broadcast in Arizona, California (except LA and Palm Springs), Jacksonville FL, Miami FL, Minnesota, Reno NV, New York City, Charlotte NC, Eugene OR and Philadelphia PA.

The San Francisco defense is awful and the Niners have lost eleven straight, including five in a row at home. In their last three home games SF has lost by an average of 16 points. At least the Jets have a decent defense.

Prediction: Jets 17, 49ers 13
Jets +2½ (one unit) . . . . . under 43½ (one unit) . . . . . New York +130

Final Score: Jets 23, 49ers 17 OT ✓
Jets +2½ . . . . . under 43½ . . . . . Jets +130 ✓


NFL Week 14 Late Games on FOX

★★★★ 5-7 New Orleans Saints at 7-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sunday December 11 at 4:25 pm ET on FOX; Thom Brennaman, Charles Davis, Chris Spielman, Peter Schrager.
Buccaneers -2½ . . . . over/under 51½ . . . . TAM -140, NOR +120
• Broadcast in Mobile AL, Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Roanoke VA, Beckley WV and Charleston WV.

New Orleans had trouble throwing the ball against Detroit, so expect the Saints to return to a more balanced offense that worked effectively earlier this year. The Tampa Bay defense ranks 26th in yards per rush (4.4) and 25th in rushing yards per game (116). The Bucs have been hot but even though this is a division game they could be caught looking ahead to next week’s Sunday night game against the Cowboys.

Prediction: Saints 31, Buccaneers 27
Saints +2½ (one unit) . . . . . over 51½ . . . . . New Orleans +120

Final Score: Buccaneers 16, Saints 11 x
Saints +2½ x . . . . . over 51½ x . . . . . Saints +120 x


★★★★★ 8-3-1 Seattle Seahawks at 6-6 Green Bay Packers
Sunday December 11 at 4:25 pm ET on FOX; Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews.
Seahawks -3 . . . . over/under 45 . . . . SEA -145, GNB +125
• Broadcast in almost all markets. Available everywhere except for those areas airing the Saints-Bucs or Falcons-Rams game. Also not available in the San Francisco bay area due to NFL broadcast rules.

Green Bay getting point at home is almost unheard of, especially after a pair of wins. The Packers improved dramatically on defense the last two weeks, but that may be a function of the opposing offenses. Seattle has been playing very well and the Green Bay defensive back seven is in bad shape right now. I’ll take Russell Wilson and Seattle’s superior defense. Regardless of the outcome this should be a great game for football fans to watch.

Prediction: Seahawks 30, Packers 24
Seahawks -3 . . . . . over 45 . . . . . Seattle -145

Final Score: Packers 38, Seahawks 10 x
Seahawks -3 x . . . . . over 45 ✓ . . . . . Seahawks -145 x


★★★ 7-5 Atlanta Falcons at 4-8 Los Angeles Rams
Sunday December 11 at 4:25 pm ET on FOX; Dick Stockton, David Diehl, Kristina Pink.
Falcons -6½ . . . . over/under 45 . . . . ATL -270, LAR +230
• Broadcast in Alabama (except Mobile), southern California (except San Diego) and Georgia.

I am leery of Atlanta’s offense outdoors against a good defense. Now add in WR Julio Jones attempting to play through a turf toe injury that makes it extremely difficult to plant your foot. And for good measure WR Mohamed Sanu has already been ruled out with a groin injury. If the Rams didn’t have such an inept offense then LA plus the points at home against a team traveling cross country would be the easy pick. But can anyone have faith in a Jeff Fisher-coached team?

Prediction: Falcons 24, Rams 20
Rams +6½ . . . . . under 45 . . . . . Atlanta -270

Final Score: Falcons 42, Rams 14 ✓
Rams +6½ x . . . . . under 45 x . . . . . Falcons -270 ✓


NFL Week 14 Prime Time Games

★★★★★ 11-1 Dallas Cowboys at 8-4 New York Giants
Sunday December 11 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC; Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya.
Cowboys -3½ . . . . over/under 46½ . . . . DAL -190, NYG +170

Much was made of the Giant’s six game winning streak, but that was a house of cards. I know you can only play who is on your schedule, but look at who Big Blue played prior to losing to Pittsburgh. Defeating the Browns, Bears, Bengals, Eagles and Rams isn’t all that difficult. Last week Le’veon Bell gashed the G-Men for 118 yards on the ground another 64 yards on six receptions. Ezekiel Elliott should be able to run all day as well. That will neutralize any hope the Giants have of staying in the game with their pass rush. Dallas will be out for revenge for their only loss of the season, and get it.

Prediction: Cowboys 27, Giants 20
Cowboys -3½ (one unit) . . . . . over 46½ . . . . . Dallas -190

Final Score: Giants 10, Cowboys 7 x
Cowboys -3½ x . . . . . over 46½ x . . . . . Cowboys -190 x


★★★★★ 7-5 Baltimore Ravens at 10-2 New England Patriots
Sunday December 11 at 8:30 pm ET on BSPN; Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters
Patriots -7 . . . . over/under 45½ . . . . NWE -300, BAL +250

Joe Flacco and the Baltimore offense had a breakout game against Miami last week. That was an anomaly though, don’t expect a repeat of that performance. The Ravens rank 30th on third down (34.1%), 24th in yards per play (5.1) and 21st in scoring (21.3 points per game). Baltimore does have an excellent defense though, allowing just 17.2 points per game (2nd in the NFL). OT Nate Solder will need some help slowing down OLB Terrell Suggs. The Ravens excel against the run, so the Patriots will once again rely on quick short passes to a variety of targets.

Baltimore’s recent winning streak (four out of five) has caught people’s attention. However, all four of those wins were at home; their only road victories were at Cleveland and Jacksonville. Those two teams are a combined 2-22. They beat an injured Steeler team and then won against Cleveland again and Cincinnati. While the win over Miami was impressive I just cannot picture Baltimore winning this game. What will John Harbaugh whine about this time?

Prediction: Patriots 24, Ravens 20
Ravens +7 . . . . . under 45½ . . . . . New England -300

Final Score: Patriots 30, Ravens 23 ✓
Ravens +7 -push- . . . . . under 45½ x . . . . . Patriots -300 ✓


★★★★★ 10-2 Oakland Raiders at 9-3 Kansas City Chiefs
Thursday December 7 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC; Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya.
Chiefs -3½ . . . . over/under 46 . . . . KAN -175, OAK +155

I felt the combination of Oakland’s inferior defense, Derek Carr’s injury and the home field advantage delivered by an underrated Arrowhead Stadium crowd would result in a Kansas City win. I didn’t anticipate Tyreek Hill having such an impact. To me Spencer Ware and KC running the ball would be the decisive factor, but the Chiefs ran for just 65 yards. Alex Smith was able to pass the ball downfield for 264 yards while Carr went just 17-41 for a paltry 117 yards.

Prediction: Chiefs 31, Raiders 20
Chiefs -3½ (two units) . . . . . over 46 . . . . . Kansas City -175

Final Score: Chiefs 21, Raiders 13 ✓
Chiefs -3½ ✓✓ . . . . . over 46 x . . . . . Chiefs -175 ✓


NFL Week 14 Parlays and Teasers

3-Game Parlay (one unit): x
Jaguars vs Vikings -3½ ✓
Giants vs Cowboys -3½ x
Cardinals at Dolphins +1½ ✓

5-Team 6-Point Teaser (two units): xx
Falcons at Rams +12½ x
Buccaneers vs Saints +8½ ✓
Cardinals at Dolphins +7½ ✓
Colts vs Texans +12½ ✓
Jets at 49ers under 49½ ✓


Tale of the Tape

For the second week in a row my teaser and parlay were blown up by a low scoring game. Two weeks ago I anticipated the Packers-Eagles game to be high scoring based upon those two defenses. Philly only managed to score 13 points and the total was under by 7½ points. Last week was more of the same. I expected Detroit-New Orleans to be a high scoring affair. The Detroit defense had its best game of the season, limiting the Saints – at home no less – to 13 points as well. In retrospect I should not have been surprised; that was the sixth straight game that Detroit has held an opponent to 20 or fewer points.

Week 13 Results:
10-5 Straight Up
7-8 Against the Spread
9-6 Over/Under
2-unit plays: 3-3, -60
1-unit plays: 3-0, +300
3-Game Parlay: 1u, -110
5-Game Teaser: 2u, -220
18 units invested
6-5, -90 on $1980 risk.
-4.5% ROI

Year to Date Results:
114-76-2 Straight Up
102-85-5 Against the Spread
106-86 Over/Under
5-unit plays: 1-0, +500
4-unit plays: 1-0, +400
3-unit plays: 6-5-1, +120
2-unit plays: 35-19-1, +2800
1-unit plays: 39-26-1, +1030
Parlays: 3-8, +1410
Teasers: 6-5, +2610
91-63-3, +8870 on original $2310 risk.
384.0% ROI on original $2310 bankroll.
31.5% ROI on $28,160 (256 units) of total weekly investments.

6-5, -90 on 18 units (-4.5%) in Week 13.
6-9-1, -360 on 28 units (-11.7%) in Week 12.
9-2, +2380 on 16 units (+135.2%) in Week 11.
4-9, -510 on 18 units (-25.8%) in Week 10.
7-4, +850 on 17 units (+45.5%) in Week 9.
11-2, +3470 on 27 units (+116.8%) in Week 8.
3-6, -480 on 12 units (-36.4%) in Week 7.
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


Patriots – Rams Keys, Who Has the Razor’s Edge?

Steve Balestrieri
December 2, 2016 at 6:00 am ET

The New England Patriots return home to Gillette Stadium for a game against the Los Angeles Rams. The kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

This week’s game will be televised by Fox Sports and can be seen locally on Fox 25 Channel 25 in Boston. Kevin Burkhardt will handle play-by-play duties with John Lynch as the color analyst. Pam Oliver will work the sidelines. The game will also be aired on the Patriots flagship radio station 98.5 The SportsHub with Bob Socci and Scott Zolak on the call, produced by Marc Cappello.

The Patriots (9-2) improved to 6-0 on the road this season with a 22-17 win over the New York Jets. Tom Brady led the game-winning drive with just over five minutes to go and tossed the winning touchdown pass to Malcolm Mitchell. The rookie WR had two touchdowns on the day. Brady passed the 60,000-yard plateau in his career and the comeback win was his 50th with career win #200 tying Peyton Manning for the all-time lead for quarterbacks.

The Rams (4-7) lost a blowout contest in New Orleans 49-21 to the Saints. The Rams defense which had allowed only 50 points in the previous four games allowed nearly that to Drew Brees and the Saints.  The good news was however that rookie QB Jared Goff in just his second NFL start tossed three touchdowns.

We here at PatsFans.com are continuing our “Razor’s Edge” column in 2016 to give some quick analysis on some of the key matchups of the game and what you can look for in how the game plays out.

Series History:
The Patriots and Rams are meeting for the just the 13th time as they are pretty unfamiliar with one another. The two teams did meet in Super Bowl XXXVI with the Pats upsetting the heavily favored Rams 20-17. Although the Patriots hold an overall 7-5 edge in the 12 contests dating back to 1974, they are just 2-3 at home.

The Pats have won the last four meetings with the last a 45-7 win in London back in 2012. Tom Brady threw for four touchdowns, two to Rob Gronkowski and two to WR Brandon Lloyd.

Here is a look at some of the key matchups and who holds the Razor’s Edge.

First up is the Patriots offense:

NFL Thanksgiving Day Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

John Morgan
November 24, 2016 at 10:30 am ET

Happy Turkey Day everyone! NFL fans will be treated to what looks like three interesting and competitive games today. None of the six teams playing Thursday enter the day with a losing record; I can’t recall that ever being the case in previous years. Sit back, drink, feast and enjoy the company of your family and friends everyone.


★★★★ 6-4 Minnesota Vikings at 6-4 Detroit Lions

Thursday November 24 at 12:30 pm ET on CBS; Jim Nantz, Phil Simms and Tracy Wolfson.
Lions -2 . . . . over/under 42 . . . . DET -135, MIN +115

Detroit won the last meeting between these two in Week 9 in overtime, 22-16. The winning score came on a Matthew Stafford to Golden Tate 28 yard pass on the first possession of OT. The Vikings had completed a 79-yard drive for a TD to take the lead with just 23 seconds remaining. Stafford completed two passes against a soft zone prevent defense to move the ball to the 40, and inside the dome Matt Prater connected on a 58-yard field goal to force overtime. A defensive pass interference penalty against Xavier Rhodes on 3rd and 10 kept the drive alive with a new set of downs. After two rushes went nowhere Stafford hit Tate on the left sideline to complete the come from behind victory.

The two teams now share the lead in the NFC North. For Detroit a victory would be significant, as they would own the tiebreaker for the division title over Minnesota based on a season sweep between the two clubs. Earlier this year Minnesota was the last team to remain undefeated at 5-0 and was considered to be a strong contender for the NFC title. Four straight losses after their bye ended that talk, but after last week’s win against Arizona the Vikings are still in a great position to make the playoffs thanks to their hot start.

Minnesota’s pass rush seemed to be rejuvenated last week, but much of that can be attributed to Arizona’s inferior offensive line. Xavier Rhodes is one of, if not the best corner in the NFL right now. Neither team can run the ball, so the pass rush and pass coverage become vital Thursday. A key matchup to watch will be Lion CB Darius Clay versus Viking WR Stefon Diggs. In two games against the Lions Diggs has 19 receptions for 188 yards and two touchdowns.

With a betting line this low you can ignore the point spread, since so few games are determined by one or two points. Detroit has found ways to win close games this year, a mark of a good team; all six of their wins have been fourth quarter comeback victories. On the other hand I like Minnesota’s defense better, and it is always extremely difficult to sweep a division rival of comparable quality.

Prediction: Vikings 20, Lions 17
Vikings +2 . . . . under 42 . . . . . Minnesota +115

Final Score: Lions 16, Vikings 13 x
Vikings +2 x . . . . under 42 ✓ . . . . . Vikings +115 x


★★★★★ 6-3-1 Washington Redskins at 9-1 Dallas Cowboys

Thursday November 24 at 4:30 pm ET on FOX; Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Erin Andrews.
Cowboys -6 . . . . over/under 52½ . . . . DAL -260, WAS +220

Dallas receives plenty of publicity, in large part because Jerry Jones is a camera and microphone magnet. The reality is that the Cowboys own the best record in the NFL, so they deserve a tip of the hat. As hard as Jones attempted to create a quarterback controversy this season, there was none to be had thanks to Tony Romo taking the high road. Since he is the quarterback Dak Prescott is the center of attention for sports talk show mediots, but the rookie QB is not the biggest reason for the Cowboys’ success. The Dallas offensive line wins the battle in the trenches play after play, keeping Prescott’s jersey clean and giving him plenty of time to throw. Couple that with the openings that unit provides running back Ezekiel Elliott, and even the best opposing defenses are in trouble.

Thanks to that superior offensive line Dallas is able to run the ball on more than 50% of their offensive plays, most in the league. The physical dominance wears down opponents; the Cowboys have the highest time of possession in the NFL at 33:08 per game, a positive differential of more than six minutes per game. Dallas ranks third in scoring (28.5 ppg), fourth in yardage (413), third in yards per play (6.2) and third on 3rd down 48.4%). The defense isn’t to shabby either, allowing just 18.7 points per game.

The one area that Dallas can be exploited is their pass defense. The Cowboys allow opponents to complete 69.3% of their passes, which is the second most in the league. Safety Barry Church (forearm) and corner Morris Claiborne (groin) have been ruled out. Washington QB Kirk Cousins should be able to pick the Dallas secondary apart with passes to tight end Jordan Reed (49 receptions, 67 yards per game, 30 first downs) and wide receivers Jamison Crowder (47 receptions, 64 yards per game, 6 touchdowns), Pierre Garcon (48 catches, 32 first downs) and DeSean Jackson (34 receptions, 13.7 yards per catch).

There is a hidden x-factor in this game. Washington not only travels on a short week, they just played on Sunday night. That is a difficult turnaround in any circumstance, even more so when playing a brutally physical offensive juggernaut. Washington has enough offensive firepower to keep it close, but I can’t see them being able to pull off a win in this scenario.

Prediction: Cowboys 34, Redskins 24
Cowboys -6 . . . . over 52½ . . . . . Dallas -260

Final Score: Cowboys 31, Redskins 26 ✓
Cowboys -6 x . . . . over 52½ ✓ . . . . . Cowboys -260 ✓


★★★★ 5-5 Pittsburgh Steelers at 5-5 Indianapolis Colts

Thursday November 24 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC; Mike Tirico, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya.
Steelers -8 . . . . over/under 49½ . . . . PIT -360, IND +300

The Colts will be without quarterback Andrew Luck, who suffered a concussion last week. A backup being asked to take over is always a difficult task, but being thrown into the fray with just three days to prepare is problematic for both the quarterback and offensive coordinator. To make this situation even more challenging the Indy offensive line has been a sieve (see: concussion, Luck).

Indianapolis will need to get their running game in gear or this could be a blowout. The ageless Frank Gore is averaging 84.3 yards from scrimmage this season. That kind of productivity can alleviate some of the burden from QB Scott Tolzien. Last week the Steelers were able to bottle up the Cleveland running game. Once that happened the Browns were forced to throw the ball, and Pittsburgh racked up eight sacks for a loss of 70 yards. The Steelers would love to see something close to that again; their defense had only 78 yards lost on sacks in the previous nine games combined.

I would be all in on Pittsburgh, but they have been terrible on the road. Philadelphia crushed the Steelers 34-3 and they looked putrid at Miami in a 30-15 loss to the then 1-4 Dolphins. Three weeks ago Pittsburgh was held scoreless until the fourth quarter at Baltimore; a win at Cleveland doesn’t really say much.

Indianapolis has been maddeningly inconsistent as well, losing winnable games and then turning around and beating the Packers in Green Bay just when I figured they were toast. Against better judgement I will go ahead and take Pittsburgh and a sizable number of points, despite their road woes.

Prediction: Steelers 27, Colts 13
Steelers -8 (two units) . . . . under 49½ (one unit) . . . . . Pittsburgh -360

Final Score: Steelers 28, Colts 7 ✓
Steelers -8 ✓✓ . . . . over 49½ x . . . . . Steelers -360 ✓


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


Seahawks at Patriots: In-Depth Team Stats, Odds and More

John Morgan
November 10, 2016 at 12:00 am ET

Super Bowl 49 was arguably the most exciting and memorable championship game in the history of the National Football League. On Sunday NFL fans will be treated to a rematch of that epic event as the Seattle Seahawks travel to Foxboro to take on the New England Patriots. Currently these two clubs are favorites to represent their respective conferences at NRG Stadium in Houston on February 5 for Super Bowl 51.



Who: 5-2-1 Seattle Seahawks (1st in NFC West, 2nd in NFC) at 7-1 New England Patriots (1st in AFC East, 1st in AFC).

What: 2016 NFL Week Ten Game of the Week.

When: Sunday November 13 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC.

Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough MA; FieldTurf surface.

Weather: 10% chance of precipitation. Clear skies with a daytime high of 48° and overnight low of 30°. Winds at 5-10 mph; game time temperature in the mid to high thirties. Keep in mind that this is New England, so the forecast could very well change between now and kickoff.

Coaches: Pete Carroll is in his 11th year as an NFL head coach. Carroll is 98-69-1 in the regular season, and 9-6 in 15 playoff games. Now in his seventh year with Seattle, Petey is 65-38-1 (.630) with the Seahawks, plus 8-4 in the playoffs. Carroll’s teams have won two conference championships and one Super Bowl; his clubs have made it to the playoffs in seven of his ten years as head coach.

Bill Belichick is now in his 22nd year as an NFL head coach, with a 230-114 (.669) regular season record. BB also has 14 playoff appearances, including the last seven in a row. Belichick is 23-10 in the playoffs (22-9, .710 with the Patriots) with four Lombardi trophies and six conference championships. The Hoodie also has two Super Bowl rings as defensive coordinator for the Giants.

Odds: In the early advanced look-ahead lines published on Tuesday November 1 the Patriots were listed as 7½ point favorites. Those odds remained the same after Seattle’s victory over Buffalo on Monday night. As of Tuesday the over/under is 49. Heading into Week Ten the Patriots were listed as favorites at +200 (2:1) to win the Super Bowl. Next up are two NFC teams. The Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys are both dropped from +1000 (10:1) to +800 (8:1) to win it all after their week nine victories.

Head-to-Head Series Record: Including the Super Bowl victory, the Patriots lead the all-time series 9-8. The two teams have met three times in the regular season since Bill Belichick became head coach of the Patriots. The Pats won 30-20 in the last game at Foxboro in 2004. In December of 2008 the Patriots won 24-21 when Sammy Morris vaulted in to the end zone on 4th and one with 2:44 left to play. In the U mad bro game of 2012 the Seahawks came from behind for a 24-23 home victory. Carroll has a 2-2 career record versus the Patriots, splitting two games in 1994 when he was with the Jets. Belichick is 4-2 against Seattle, including two games when he was with the Browns.


Here is a look at how the two teams compare statistically; the numbers reflect an average per game (or per play), rather than aggregate totals. Per-game and per-play stats are used rather than gross totals because that makes the rankings more meaningful, and because they provide a better context in regards to what to expect in any given game. Numbers in green indicate a top-ten ranking while underlined green is top-five; red indicates a bottom-ten ranking and underlined red is bottom-five.

As you can see below this is a classic NFL great offense versus great defense matchup.


New England Patriots Offense versus Seattle Seahawks Defense

Scoring per Game: Patriots 27.1 (6th); Seahawks 16.8 (3rd)

Yardage per Game: Patriots 380 (7th); Seahawks 333 (9th)

First Downs per Game: Patriots 21.1 (14th); Seahawks 20.4 (15th)

Yards per Play: Patriots 6.0 (5th); Seahawks 4.9 (4th)

Yards per Drive: Patriots 35.1 (8th); Seahawks 29.0 (7th)

Points per Drive: Patriots 2.56 (4th); Seahawks 1.36 (3rd)

Drive Success Rate: Patriots .744 (6th); Seahawks .655 (5th)

Points per Play: Patriots .429 (3rd); Seahawks .248 (1st)

Touchdowns per Game: Patriots 3.2 (1st); Seahawks 1.6 (1st)

Red Zone Touchdowns per Game: Patriots 2.2 (8th); Seahawks 1.2 (2nd)

Red Zone TD Percentage: Patriots 66.7% (6th); Seahawks 43.5% (2nd)

Plays per Game: Patriots 63.2 (21st); Seahawks 67.6 (29th)

Third Down Conversions per Game: Patriots 6.38 (3rd); Seahawks 6.38 (29th)

Third Down Conversion Percentage: Patriots 47.2% (4th); Seahawks 42.9% (26th)

Punts per Score: Patriots 0.9 (11th); Seahawks 1.5 (4th)

Punts per Game: Patriots 4.38 (8th); Seahawks 5.00 (9th)

Rushing Yards: Patriots 116.4 (8th); Seahawks 98.8 (12th)

Yards per Carry: Patriots 3.88 (26th); Seahawks 3.53 (5th)

Passing Yards: Patriots 264 (9th); Seahawks 234 (10th)

Gross Yards per Pass Attempt: Patriots 8.90 (2nd); Seahawks 7.02 (14th)

Net Yards per Pass Attempt: Patriots 8.48 (2nd); Seahawks 6.45 (11th)

Completion Percentage: Patriots 69.9% (1st); Seahawks 62.4% (11th)

Passer Rating: Patriots 118.8 (2nd); Seahawks 81.6 (6th)

TD Passes/Picks: Patriots  Patriots +16 (2nd), 16/0; Seahawks  Patriots +0 (5th), 6/6

Complete Passes per Game: Patriots 21.8 (23rd); Seahawks 22.6 (14th)

Incomplete Passes per Game: Patriots 9.4 (1st); Seahawks 13.6 (11th)

Quarterback Sacks per Game: Patriots 2.13 (11th); Seahawks 3.38 (1st)

Sack Yardage Lost per Game: Patriots 13.0 (12th); Seahawks 20.6 (2nd)


Seattle Seahawks Offense versus New England Patriots Defense

Scoring: Seahawks 20.3 (23rd); Patriots 16.5 (2nd)

Yardage: Seahawks 332 (26th); Patriots 354 (15th)

First Downs: Seahawks 18.0 (29th); Patriots 20.8 (20th)

Yards per Play: Seahawks 5.5 (16th); Patriots 5.4 (12th)

Yards per Drive: Seahawks 29.0 (26th); Patriots 32.5 (16th)

Points per Drive: Seahawks 1.62 (26th); Patriots 1.53 (6th)

Drive Success Rate: Seahawks .654 (27th); Patriots .700 (14th)

Points per Play: Seahawks .336 (19th); Patriots .252 (3rd)

Touchdowns per Game: Seahawks 2.1 (24th); Patriots 1.9 (5th)

Red Zone Touchdowns per Game: Seahawks 1.8 (15th); Patriots 1.6 (12th)

Red Zone TD Percentage: Seahawks 56.0% (16th); Patriots 59.1% (22nd)

Plays per Game: Seahawks 60.2 (29th); Patriots 65.5 (21st)

Third Down Conversions per Game: Seahawks 4.50 (26th); Patriots 5.38 (21st)

Third Down Conversion Percentage: Seahawks 36.4% (24th); Patriots 40.6% (20th)

Punts per Offensive Score: Seahawks 1.3 (20th); Patriots 1.5 (6th)

Punts per Game: Seahawks 5.00 (17th); Patriots 4.50 (19th)

Rushing Yards: Seahawks 75.4 (30th); Patriots 101.6 (15th)

Yards per Carry: Seahawks 3.21 (30th); Patriots 4.15 (16th)

Passing Yards: Seahawks 257 (13th); Patriots 253 (18th)

Gross Yards per Pass Attempt: Seahawks 7.92 (5th); Patriots 6.67 (7th)

Net Yards per Pass Attempt: Seahawks 7.39; Patriots 6.15

Completion Percentage: Seahawks 66.9% (7th); Patriots 62.5% (14th)

Passer Rating: Seahawks 95.9 (11th); Patriots 84.9 (10th)

TD Passes/Picks: Seahawks +5 (20th), 8/3; Patriots -4 (12th), 9/5

Complete Passes per Game: Seahawks 23.2 (17th); Patriots 24.6 (25th)

Incomplete Passes per Game: Seahawks 11.5 (5th); Patriots 14.8 (5th)

Quarterback Sacks per Game: Seahawks 2.00 (9th); Patriots 1.63 (28th)

Sack Yardage Lost: Seahawks 18.5 (27th); Patriots 10.3 (27th)



Turnover Differential: Patriots +0.38 per game, 8th (+3 total); Seahawks +0.25 per game, 12th (+2 total)

Patriot Giveaways: 0.75 per game, 3rd (6 total); Seahawk Takeaways: 1.00 per game, 23rd (8 total)

Seahawk Giveaways: 0.75 per game, 3rd (6 total); Patriot Takeaways: 1.13 per game, 20th (9 total)



Penalties per Game: Patriots 6.5 (11th); Seahawks 8.1 (26th)

Penalty Yards per Game: Patriots 61.9 (17th); Seahawks 71.9 (27th)

Opponent Penalties per Game: Patriots 7.1 (17th); Seahawks 6.4 (24th)

Opponent Penalty Yards per Game: Patriots 57.5 (22nd); Seahawks 56.1 (23rd)


Football Outsiders Statistics and Rankings

Team Efficiency: Total Weighted DVOA: Patriots 20.2% (4th); Seahawks 18.8% (6th)

Team Efficiency: Offense DVOA: Patriots 19.2% (3rd); Seahawks -3.3% (18th)

Team Efficiency: Defense DVOA: Patriots 2.1% (19th); Seahawks -21.7% (3rd)

Special Teams DVOA: Patriots 2.4% (7th); Seahawks 0.7% (12th)


This game will be a very difficult task for the Patriots. The Seattle Seahawks still possess a formidable defense on all three levels. Coming off a bye the Pats do have the advantage of being both healthy and well rested, as well as having extra time to prepare for their opponent. Conversely Seattle not only has to overcome the challenge of traveling across three time zones, they also have to do so on a short week after playing Monday night. The Seahawks will have extra motivation of looking for revenge for their Super Bowl loss, but that extra adrenaline won’t be enough. I’ll take Bill Belichick and Tom Brady at home with extra preparation time over the Legion of Doom defense.

Early Prediction: Patriots 27, Seahawks 17


NFL Week 8 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

John Morgan
October 30, 2016 at 6:00 am ET

Week 8 is highlighted by a chance for the New England Patriots to avenge their only loss of the 2016 season. The Pats travel to Buffalo seeking their fourth straight win while the Bills look to rebound from last week’s loss to Miami. Back in week four an emotionally spent New England team lost to the Bills after shockingly beginning the season 3-0, much to the chagrin of every person who has ever had an office at 345 Park Avenue. The game kicks off at 1:00 pm eastern time and will be carried by many CBS stations in the eastern United States.

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-win team, the handicappers at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook have listed the Pats as the second biggest favorite of the week.

Meanwhile Roger Goodell and his minions have become a text book example of how to not arrogantly and condescendingly alienate your customers. It is amazing to see how such highly paid people turn one event after another in to such public relation blunders. The fact that Goodell remains in office speaks volumes about the lack of character of many NFL owners.


NFL Week 8 Early Games on FOX

★★★ 4-3 Washington Redskins ‘at’ 3-4 Cincinnati Bengals in London
Sunday, October 30 at 9:30 am ET; Kenny Albert, John Lynch and Pam Oliver
Bengals -3 . . . . over/under 49½ . . . . CIN -150, WAS +130
Broadcast in all markets.

Cincinnati is the better team on paper but the Bengals still seem to be hungover from their epic playoff meltdown in early January. However, Washington is missing three key players: Josh Norman, Trent Williams and Brandon Scherff. Without Norman on defense and those two offensive linemen the Skins are very beatable.

Prediction: Bengals 24, Redskins 20
Bengals -3. . . . . under 49½ . . . . . Cincinnati -150

Final Score: Redskins 27, Bengals 27 (OT) -tie-
Bengals -3 x . . . . under 49½ x. . . . Bengals -150 -push-


★★★ 4-3 Detroit Lions at 4-3 Houston Texans
Sunday, October 30 at 1:00 pm ET; Chris Myers, Ronde Barber and Jennifer Hale
Texans -2½ . . . . over/under 46 . . . . HOU -140, DET +120
Broadcast in Illinois, Indiana (except Indianapolis), Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin and Nashville TN.

After losing three straight by a total of eleven points Detroit won three in a row at home by a total of seven points. The Lions should be able to take advantage of Houston’s mediocre run defense (4.4 yards per carry, 135 yards per game) and inconsistent passing game.

Prediction: Lions 24, Texans 20
Lions +2½ . . . . . under 46 . . . . . Detroit +120

Final Score: Texans 20, Lions 13 x
Lions +2½ x . . . . under 46 ✓ . . . . Lions +120 x


★★★★ 4-1-1 Seattle Seahawks at 2-4 New Orleans Saints
Sunday, October 30 at 1:00 pm ET; Justin Kutcher, Charles Davis, Chris Spielman
Seahawks -2½ . . . . over/under 48 . . . . SEA -140 NOR +120
Broadcast in most markets.

Seattle played five tough quarters of football last Sunday night and now has to travel 2600 miles across two time zones. In the last seven games road teams coming off a 0-7, losing by an average of 19.3 points per game. The Saints should have won their third in a row last week at Kansas City. A well thrown pass by Drew Brees was tipped and returned for a pick six, turning out to be the difference in a 27-21 loss. Seattle’s defense is banged up and after appearing to gel, the Seahawk offensive line has taken a step backwards. That’s bad news for Pete Carrol’s crew. The Saints are averaging 36 points per game at home.

Prediction: Saints 34, Seahawks 27
Saints +2½ (one unit) . . . . . over 48 (two units) . . . . . New Orleans +120

Final Score: Saints 25, Seahawks 20 ✓
Saints +2½ . . . . over 48 xx . . . . Saints +120 ✓


★★★ 3-3-1 Arizona Cardinals at 1-5 Carolina Panthers
Sunday, October 30 at 1:00 pm ET; Sam Rosen, Daryl Johnston and Laura Okmin
Panthers -3 . . . . over/under 47½ . . . . CAR -155, ARI +135
Broadcast in Arizona, North Carolina, South Carolina and western Virginia.

Arizona is in the same situation as Seattle, making a long road trip for an early game after a long, tough game Sunday night. Even though the Carolina secondary is not as effective as a year ago, Carson Palmer has regressed even more so. Carolina has had a tough schedule, they are better than their record indicates. The Panthers have lost to Minnesota and have three road losses to decent teams. Carolina has lost at Denver, New Orleans and Atlanta; their other loss was with Derek Anderson at quarterback.

Prediction: Panthers 24, Cardinals 20
Panthers -3 (one unit) . . . . under 47½ . . . . . Carolina -155

Final Score: Panthers 30, Cardinals 20 ✓
Panthers -3 . . . . under 47½ x . . . . Panthers -155 ✓


NFL Week 8 Game of the Week

★★★★★ 6-1 New England Patriots at 4-3 Buffalo Bills
Sunday, October 30 at 1:00 pm ET on CBSIan Eagle, Dan Fouts and Evan Washburn
Patriots -6½ . . . . over/under 47 . . . . NWE -260, BUF +220
Broadcast in New England, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, DC, south Florida (Fort Myers, Tampa and West Palm Beach), Georgia, Hawaii, eastern Kentucky, Louisiana (except Baton Rouge and New Orleans), Maryland, Michigan (except Detroit and Flint), Minnesota, Mississippi, New York (except NYC), North Carolina (except Charlotte), Oklahoma, Pennsylvania (except Scranton), South Carolina, Tennessee (except Knoxville), Texas (except Houston), Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Chicago IL, Cincinnati OH and Las Vegas NV.

In ‘revenge’ games against a team that they lost to earlier in the season, the Patriots are 8-0 with Tom Brady at quarterback. The combined score of the last four of those games is 166-51. Nose Tackle Marcel Dareus returns to the lineup for Buffalo, but the Bills will be without RB LeSean McCoy, WR Marquise Goodwin and DT Jerel Worthy.

Prediction: Patriots 31, Bills 17
Patriots -6½ (five units). . . . . over 47 . . . . . New England -260

Final Score: Patriots 41, Bills 25 ✓
Patriots -6½ ✓✓✓✓✓ . . . . over 47 ✓ . . . . Patriots -260 ✓


NFL Week 8 Early Games on CBS

2-5 New York Jets at 0-7 Cleveland Browns
Sunday, October 30 at 1:00 pm ET; Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon
Jets -2½ . . . . over/under 44 . . . . NYJ -140, CLE +120
Broadcast in New York City, Ohio (except Cincinnati) and Scranton PA.

The Browns have to win at least one game this year, right?

Prediction: Browns 23, Jets 20
Browns +2½ . . . . . under 44 . . . . . Cleveland +120

Final Score: Jets 31, Browns 28 x
Browns +2½ x . . . . under 44 x . . . . Browns +120 x


★★★ 5-2 Oakland Raiders at 3-3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sunday, October 30 at 1:00 pm ET; Andrew Catalon, Steve Beuerlein, Steve Tasker
Pick’em . . . . over/under 49½ . . . . OAK -110, TAM -110
Broadcast in northern California, north and central Florida, and Reno NV.

The Raiders spent the week in Florida, so jet lag and an early kickoff is not an issue. The Bucs are fortunate to be 3-3. Two weeks ago they faced Carolina without Cam Newton, and last week they played San Francisco.

Prediction: Raiders 27, Bucs 24
Raiders +0 . . . . . over 49½ . . . . . Oakland -110

Final Score: Raiders 30, Buccaneers 24 (OT) ✓
Raiders +0 ✓ . . . . over 49½ ✓ . . . . Raiders -110 ✓


★★★ 4-2 Kansas City Chiefs at 3-4 Indianapolis Colts
Sunday, October 30 at 1:00 pm ET; Spero Dedes and Solomon Wilcots
Chiefs -3 . . . . over/under 50 . . . . KAN -145, IND +125
Broadcast in Illinois (except Chicago), Indiana, Iowa, western Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Fargo ND and Knoxville TN.

The Colt defense is not good at all. Indy is allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete 68% of their passes (30th)and is tied with New Orleans with a league-low two interceptions. Kansas City’s balanced offense and bend but don’t break defense should be able to do just enough for a close road win.

Prediction: Chiefs 27, Colts 20
Chiefs -3 (one unit). . . . . under 50 . . . . . Kansas City -145

Final Score: Chiefs 30, Colts 14 ✓
Chiefs -3 . . . . under 50 ✓ . . . . Chiefs -145 ✓


NFL Week 8 Late Games

★★★★ 3-4 San Diego Chargers at 5-2 Denver Broncos
Sunday, October 30 at 4:05 pm ET on CBS; Greg Gumbel, Trent Green and Jamie Erdahl
Broncos -4 . . . . over/under 43½ . . . . DEN -200, SDC +175
Broadcast in Arizona, southern California, Colorado, Idaho, southern Louisiana (Baton Rouge and New Orleans), eastern Michigan (Flint and Detroit), Montana, New Mexico, Charlotte NC, Bismark ND, Portland OR, South Dakota, Houston TX, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

San Diego won the first meeting between these two rivals, but circumstances are different now. This time the game is at Mile High, Gary Kubiak is back coaching and Trevor Siemian is healthy for Denver. Winning back-to-back road games is rare in the NFL. San Diego is not only facing that challenge, but also coming off an overtime game on the road. Then there is the Denver defense playing at home. There are too many factors that are not in the Chargers’ favor.

Prediction: Broncos 24, Chargers 17
Broncos -4 (three units). . . . . under 43½ . . . . . Denver -200

Final Score: Broncos 27, Chargers 19 ✓
Broncos -4 ✓✓✓ . . . . under 43½ x . . . . Broncos -200 ✓


★★★★★ 4-2 Green Bay Packers at 4-3 Atlanta Falcons
Sunday, October 30 at 4:25 pm ET on FOX; Thom Brennaman, Troy Aikman and Erin Andrews
Falcons -3 . . . . over/under 52½ . . . . ATL -155, GNB +135
Broadcast in all markets with the exception of Denver.

The Packers will be well rested, having last played in an easy 26-10 victory over the Bears ten days ago. Atlanta may be at home but they played to overtime last week. Aaron Rodgers should have a big game against a Falcon defense that is allowing opponents to complete 67% of their passes.

Prediction: Packers 34, Falcons 31, Packers 27
Packers +3 . . . . . over 52½ (three units) . . . . . Green Bay +135

Final Score: Falcons 33, Packers 32 x
Packers +3 x . . . . over 52½ ✓✓✓ . . . . Packers +135 x


★★★★ 4-2 Philadelphia Eagles at 5-1 Dallas Cowboys
Sunday, October 30 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC; Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya
Cowboys -4½ . . . . over/under 43 . . . . DAL -210, PHI +180
Broadcast in all markets.

The Eagles surrendered 230 rushing yards to Washington two weeks ago. If Philly couldn’t stop the Skins’ ground game, how can they slow down Ezekiel Elliott? Should Philadelphia stack the box and sell out to stop the run, that just opens up the passing game. Dallas gets WR Dez Bryant back after missing three games due to a knee injury.

Prediction: Cowboys 27, Eagles 17
Cowboys -4½ (two units). . . . . over 43 . . . . . Dallas -210

Final Score: Cowboys 29, Eagles 23 (OT) ✓
Cowboys -4½ ✓✓ . . . . over 43 ✓ . . . . Cowboys -210 ✓


★★ 5-1 Minnesota Vikings at 1-6 Chicago Bears
Monday, October 30 at 8:30 pm ET; Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden and Lisa Salters
Vikings -4½ . . . . over/under 40½ . . . . MIN -210, CHI +175
Broadcast in all markets.

After losing their first game of the season the Vikings will be highly motivated. By the time this one is over Jay Cutler will be wishing that he was still on the sideline as a backup.

Prediction: Vikings 24, Bears 13
Vikings -4½ (two units). . . . . under 40½ . . . . . Minnesota -210

Final Score: Bears 20, Vikings 10 x
Vikings -4½ xx . . . . under 40½ ✓ . . . . Vikings -210 x


2-4 Jacksonville Jaguars at 3-4 Tennessee Titans
Thursday, October 27 on NFLN; Jim Nantz, Phil Simms and Tracy Wolfson
Titans -3 . . . . over/under 43½ . . . . TEN -150, JAC +130
Broadcast in all markets.

As expected the Jags showed that they are not yet ready for prime time. Maybe next year.

Prediction: Titans 23, Jaguars 13
Titans -3 (two units) . . . . under 43½ (one unit) . . . . Tennessee -150

Final Score: Titans 36, Jaguars 22 ✓
Titans -3 ✓✓ . . . . under 43½ x . . . . Titans -150 ✓


3-Team Parlay (two units): ✓✓
Patriots -6½ at Bills ✓
Cowboys -4½ vs Eagles ✓
Broncos -4 vs Chargers ✓

4-Team 6-Point Teaser (two units): ✓✓
Patriots -½ at Bills ✓
Cowboys +1½ vs Eagles ✓
Broncos +2 vs Chargers ✓
Packers +9 vs Falcons ✓


Tale of the Tape

As evidenced by the paltry amount of wagers, I didn’t feel particularly strongly on any games last week – and it showed in the results. In retrospect it made no sense to venture on either a parlay or teaser considering that lack of confidence. Worst decision was backing a Minnesota team overdue for a loss. That one cost me not only on the Vikings-Eagles game, but also on a four-game teaser. Easiest bet was on Atlanta-San Diego being a high scoring game.

Week 7 Results:
9-5-1 Straight Up
7-7-1 Against the Spread
10-5 Over/Under
2-unit plays: 1-1, -20
1-unit plays: 2-3, -130
3-Game Parlay: 1u, 0-1, -110
4-Game Teaser: 2u, 0-1, -220
12 units invested
3-6, -480 on $1320 risk
-36.4% ROI

Year to Date Results:
59-47-1 Straight Up
59-45-3 Against the Spread
59-48 Over/Under
3-unit plays: 2-5-1, -1080
2-unit plays: 17-10, +1250
1-unit plays: 26-11-1, +1380
Parlays: 1-4, +160
Teasers: 3-2, +1470
49-32-2, +3290 on original $2310 risk.
142.4% ROI on original $2310 bankroll.
28.6% ROI on $14,520 (132 units) of total weekly investments.

3-6, -480 on 12 units (-36.4%) in Week 7.
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.


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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 6 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

John Morgan
October 16, 2016 at 8:15 am ET

After an impressive 33-13 victory at Cleveland, the Patriots return to Foxboro to face the Cincinnati Bengals. Gillette Stadium will be rocking for the 2016 home debut of Tom Brady after his four game Article 46 exile. With clear skies and only a slight breeze perhaps the wine and cheese crowd might even remain in their red seats and brave the 67° forecasted temperature to view TB12 live, rather than retreating to the Putnam Club lounge.

The game kicks off at 1:00 pm eastern time with fairly extensive nationwide coverage by CBS. Ian Eagle will handle the play-by-play duties, with Dan Fouts adding in the commentary. Why these two are considered by CBS to be the number two broadcast team while the Greg Gumbel-Trent Green duo is third is baffling.

In the late time slot there are two interesting NFC contests. Green Bay hosts a much improved Dallas team seeking its fifth straight win. The Packers need a win to stay close to undefeated Minnesota in the NFC North. At the same time the Falcons take their Space Invaders Offense to the CLink against Seattle. Atlanta owns the best offense in the NFL while the Seahawks rank third, averaging just 13.5 points allowed per game. To see what is being broadcast where you live, check out Pats fan JP Kirby’s NFL Maps.


New England Patriots Game of the Week


★★★★★ 2-3 Cincinnati Bengals at 4-1 New England Patriots
Sunday, October 16 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts and Evan Washburn
Patriots -7½ . . . . over/under 47½ . . . . NWE -360, CIN +300

Any defense with Geno Atkins, Vontaze Burfict, Domato Peko, Carlos Dunlap and Michael Johnson – complimented with AJ Green at wide receiver – cannot be taken lightly. More disconcerting to me is that teams tend to rebound after a poor performance, and Cincy looked awful last week. Even though the Bengals are a desperate team on the ropes, the Patriots should win this game easily. Considering the stinker against Buffalo is still fresh in their memory, there is no reason for the Patriots to be looking ahead to next week’s game at Pittsburgh.

Once again an Ohio team is in the wrong place at the wrong time. The scorched earth tour continues.

Prediction: Patriots 31, Bengals 17
Patriots -7½ (one unit) . . . . . over 47½ . . . . . New England -360

Final Score: Patriots 35, Bengals 17 ✓
Patriots -7½ . . . . over 47½ ✓ . . . . Patriots -360 ✓


NFL Week 6 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread


★★ 3-2 Baltimore Ravens at 2-3 New York Giants
Sunday, October 16 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Greg Gumbel, Trent Green and Jamie Erdahl
Giants -3½ . . . . over/under 44½ . . . . NYG -175, BAL +155

I am not buying the ‘Ravens could be 5-0’ line after losing two close games. Baltimore’s three wins were against bad teams, while the Giants had to go on the road to play Minnesota and Green Bay. The Giants should dominate the Baltimore offensive line, but New York’s 29th ranked minus-7 turnover differential is disconcerting.

Prediction: Giants 23, Ravens 21
Ravens +3½ . . . . . under 44½ . . . . . Baltimore +155

Final Score: Giants 27, Ravens 23 ✓
Ravens +3½ x . . . . under 44½ x . . . . Ravens +155 x


★★★★ 1-3 Carolina Panthers at 1-3 New Orleans Saints
Sunday, October 16 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Sam Rosen, Daryl Johnston and Laura Okmin
Panthers -3 . . . . over/under 53½ . . . . CAR -150, NOR +130

This is a big game for the two NFC South rivals. Neither team has lived up to preseason expectations and one of these two clubs will drop to 1-4. While the Super Bowl hangover is a real thing for teams that have less time to rest and rehabilitate their bodies after playing until February, it seems unfathomable that the Panthers are on the precipice of tumbling from 15-1 to 1-5. The New Orleans running game has improved, taking some pressure off of Drew Brees to do it all. Even so I will take Cam Newton’s return to give Carolina enough of a lift to overcome a raucous partisan N’awlins dome crowd.

Prediction: Panthers 31, Saints 27
Panthers -3 . . . . . over 53½ . . . . . Carolina -150

Final Score: Saints 41, Panthers 38 x
Panthers -3 x . . . . over 53½ ✓ . . . . Panthers -150 x


★★★ 4-1 Pittsburgh Steelers at 1-4 Miami Dolphins
Sunday, October 16 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Spero Dedes and Solomon Wilcots
Steelers -7 . . . . over/under 49 . . . . PIT -330, MIA +270

Miami’s off-season game plan was to shore up their defensive front line, but that investment has yet to show any dividends. The Dolphins are giving up an incredible league-worst 151 rushing yards per game. The offensive line is equally chaotic, with three o-linemen just released even though there were no apparent improvements available. Normally I would consider this to be a trap game for Pittsburgh with the Patriots on the schedule next week. That is not going to be the case after the 34-3 loss to the Eagles in their most recent road game.

Prediction: Steelers 31, Dolphins 13
Steelers -7 (two units) . . . . . under 49 . . . . . Pittsburgh -330

Final Score: Dolphins 30, Steelers 15 x
Steelers -7 xx . . . . under 49 ✓ . . . . Steelers -330 x


★★ 1-3 Jacksonville Jaguars at 1-4 Chicago Bears
Sunday, October 16 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Andrew Catalon and Steve Tasker and Steve Beuerlein
Bears -1½ . . . . over/under 45½ . . . . CHI -125, JAC +105

Make no mistake, the Bears are not good. That being said, the Chicago offense is improving. Jordan Howard is averaging 5.8 yards per carry and has compiled 295 yards from scrimmage in the last two games since assuming his role as the starting running back. On the other hand the Bear defense may be just what the doctor ordered for Blake Bortles and the Jaguars for back-to-back victories.

Prediction: Jaguars 27, Bears 24
Jaguars +1½ . . . . over 45½ . . . . Jacksonville +105

Final Score: Jaguars 17, Bears 16 ✓
Jaguars +1½ ✓ . . . . over 45½ x . . . . Jaguars +105 ✓


★★ 1-4 San Francisco 49ers at 3-2 Buffalo Bills
Sunday, October 16 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Dick Stockton, Chris Spielman and Kristina Pink
Bills -8½ . . . . over/under 44½ . . . . BUF -360, SFO +300

Blaine Gabbert has been awful at quarterback, and Colin Kaepernick is a better fit in Chip Kelly’s offense. Buffalo’s defense is improved over last year, particularly on third down and in the red zone. San Francisco’s defense is in shambles, allowing an average of 35 points over the last four games. If the Niners were incapable of slowing down David Johnson at home, how can they be expected to slow down LeSean McCoy on the road?

Prediction: Bills 34, Niners 17
Bills -8½ (one unit) . . . . over 44½ . . . . Buffalo -360

Final Score: Bills 45, Niners 16 ✓
Bills -8½ . . . . over 44½ ✓ . . . . Bills -360 ✓


★★★ 3-2 Los Angeles Rams at 2-3 Detroit Lions
Sunday, October 16 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Justin Kutcher, Charles Davis and Peter Schrager
Lions -2½ . . . . over/under 44½ . . . . DET -160, LAR +140

Detroit is not the same defense without DE Ziggy Ansah, but the LA offensive line has been ineffective. The Rams depend on RB Todd Gurley, but opponents are selling out to stop the run, resulting in Gurley repeatedly being hit in the backfield prior to having a chance to go anywhere. Jeff Fisher’s annual quest for 7-9 continues as planned.

Prediction: Lions 20, Rams 16
Lions -2½ . . . . under 44½ . . . . Detroit -160

Final Score: Lions 31, Rams 28 ✓
Lions -2½ ✓ . . . . under 44½ x . . . . Lions -160 ✓


0-5 Cleveland Browns at 2-3 Tennessee Titans
Sunday, October 16 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Tom McCarthy and Adam Archuleta
Titans -7½ . . . . over/under 43½ . . . . TEN -330, CLE +270

Tennessee won last week’s game at Miami by playing keep away. The Titans rushed for 235 yards and ran 29 more plays (70-41) than the Dolphins, en route more than a 13 minute advantage in time of possession. If the Browns let anything close to that happen then they have no chance. Cleveland does have a much better running game than Miami does, and the Tennessee offense is not built to come from behind to win. Do the Titans know how to handle success? If not, this could be Cleveland’s best chance for a win this season.

Prediction: Titans 23, Browns 17
Browns +7½ (one unit) . . . . under 43½ . . . . Cleveland +270

Final Score: Titans 28, Browns 26 ✓
Browns +7½ . . . . under 43½ x . . . . Browns +270 x


★★★★ 3-1 Philadelphia Eagles at 3-2 Washington Redskins
Sunday, October 16 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Kenny Albert, John Lynch and Pam Oliver
Eagles -3½ . . . . over/under 44½ . . . . PHI -150, WAS +130

The reason that Philadelphia has looked so much better than last year is their defense. The Eagles rank second in scoring (12.8 points per game), second in yardage (267 per game) and are eighth at 5.0 yards per play. The Washington defense will surely target RT Halapoulivaati Vaitai. The rookie will be making his first start thanks to the ten-game suspension of Lane Johnson. I’ll take a hot Washington team at home over a Philly club on the road that is cooling off.

Prediction: Redskins 24, Eagles 20
Redskins +3½ (one unit) . . . . over 44½ . . . . Washington +130

Final Score: Redskins 27, Eagles 20 ✓
Redskins +3½ . . . . over 44½ ✓ . . . . Redskins +130 ✓


Late NFL Week 6 Games


★★★★ 2-2 Kansas City Chiefs at 4-1 Oakland Raiders
Sunday, October 16 at 4:05 pm ET on CBS; Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon
Chiefs -2½ . . . . over/under 46 . . . . KAN -130, OAK +110

This game started out with Oakland favored by one, but has swung 3½ points the other way. Jamaal Charles is reportedly ready for a full workload, which is bad news for an Oakland defense that has allowed 28 or more points in four out of five games. Raider RB Latavius Murray is out with a toe injury, which means that this game will likely come down to the KC pass defense versus Derek Carr throwing to Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree.

Prediction: Raiders 31, Chiefs 28
Raiders +2½ . . . . over 46 (two units) . . . . Oakland +110

Final Score: Chiefs 26, Raiders 10 x
Raiders +2½ x . . . . over 46 xx . . . . Raiders +110 x


★★★★★ 4-1 Atlanta Falcons at 3-1 Seattle Seahawks
Sunday, October 16 at 4:25 pm ET on FOX; Chris Myers, Ronde Barber and Jennifer Hale
Seahawks -6½ . . . . over/under 45½ . . . . SEA -260, ATL +220

Matt Ryan has been spectacular in Kyle Shanahan’s offense, spreading the ball around and keeping opposing defenses on their heels. Seattle’s defense – and their loud home field advantage – is suited to take advantage of a very average Atlanta offensive line though. The Falcons were able to take advantage of mismatches against Denver with their linebackers unable to keep up with running backs Devonte Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Seattle is solid at the second level with Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright, but that is still a matchup that favors the Falcons. This should be an exciting game and it is unfortunate that so many will not see it. As well as Atlanta has been playing, it is extremely rare for a team to win back-to-back road games against quality opponents.

Prediction: Seahawks 27, Falcons 24
Falcons +6½ (one unit) . . . . over 45½ (one unit) . . . . Seattle -260

Final Score: Seahawks 26, Falcons 24 ✓
Falcons +6½ . . . . over 45½ . . . . Seahawks -260 ✓


★★★★ 4-1 Dallas Cowboys at 3-1 Green Bay Packers
Sunday, October 16 at 4:25 pm ET on FOX; Thom Brennaman, Troy Aikman and Erin Andrews
Packers -4½ . . . . over/under 47½ . . . . GNB -220, DAL +180

Jerry Jones quietly ceded some decision making to his son Stephen a few years ago, and it has paid off. Rather than fixate on name stars, Dallas invested early draft picks on their offensive line – and it has paid off. This game will be determined in the trenches even if this isn’t the Ice Bowl. The Cowboys are averaging an NFL-best 155 yards per game rushing, while Green Bay is allowing a league-best 43 yards rushing per game and a minuscule 2.0 yards per carry. Rookie Ezekiel Elliott has lived up to the hype for Dallas. The former Buckeye leads the league in rushing (109 yards per game) and first downs (31), and already has five rushes for 20+ yards and twelve carries for 10+ yards.

Prediction: Packers 20, Cowboys 17
Cowboys +4½ (one unit) . . . . under 47½ . . . . Green Bay -220

Final Score: Cowboys 30, Packers 16 x
Cowboys +4½ . . . . under 47½ ✓ . . . . Packers -220 x


★★★ 2-3 Indianapolis Colts at 3-2 Houston Texans
Sunday, October 16 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC; Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya
Texans -3 . . . . over/under 48 . . . . HOU -150, IND +130

On one hand I want Indianapolis to win enough games to just barely miss the playoffs, and at the same time miss out on having an early draft pick. On the other hand it won’t really matter because Ryan Grigson has proven that he cannot build a decent roster. In case you wonder why Grigson succumbed to the temptation to attempt to frame the Patriots, consider his work history. In 2001 Grigson was with the Rams when the Patriots beat them in the Super Bowl. Three years later he was with the Eagles when Philly lost to New England in the big game. Then he is hired by Indianapolis, a franchise that has nightmares for all the would-be glory that dissipated with losses to New England. Nothing like a football Sunday to be capped off with Grigson and Irsay having to suffer another loss by the Colts.

Prediction: Texans 31, Colts 24
Texans -3 (one unit) . . . . over 48 . . . . Houston -150

Final Score: Texans 26, Colts 23 (OT) ✓
Texans -3 push . . . . over 48 ✓ . . . . Texans -150 ✓


★★ 1-4 New York Jets at 2-3 Arizona Cardinals
Monday, October 17 at 8:30 pm ET on BSPN; Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden and Lisa Salters
Cardinals -7½ . . . . over/under 46 . . . . ARI -335, NYJ +275

Back-to-back prime time schadenfreude. Gang Green’s superb front line cannot mask their deficiencies in the secondary. Going on the road to face a team that thrives on the vertical passing game is a recipe for more embarrassment, turmoil and finger pointing from the Jet locker room.

Prediction: Cardinals 27, Jets 17
Cardinals -7½ . . . . under 46 . . . . Arizona -335

Final Score: Cardinals 28, Jets 3 ✓
Cardinals -7½ ✓ . . . . under 46 ✓ . . . . Cardinals -335 ✓


★★ 4-1 Denver Broncos at 1-4 San Diego Chargers
Thursday October 13 at 8:30 pm ET on NFLN; Jim Nantz, Phil Simms and Tracy Wolfson

Did you notice the absolute lack of poise by San Diego head coach Mike McCoy in the final minute of Thursday’s game? With the outcome on the line after Denver recovered an onside kick McCoy was kneeling on the headline with his eyes closed and head down for an interminable amount of time. What kind of leadership is that? San Diego won in spite of McCoy’s chokefest and complete lack of aplomb. Fortunately for San Diego they were facing a road team on a short week with questions at quarterback.

Prediction: Chargers 20, Broncos 17
Chargers +3½ (one unit). . . . under 45 . . . . San Diego +155

Final Score: Chargers 21, Broncos 13 ✓
Chargers +3½ …. under 45 ✓ …. Chargers +155 ✓


3-Team Parlay (one unit): x
Falcons +6½ at Seahawks ✓
Steelers -7½ at Dolphins x
Raiders at Chiefs over 46 x

4-Team 6-Point Teaser (three units): ✓✓✓
Patriots -1½ vs Bengals ✓
Cowboys +10½ at Packers ✓
Falcons +12½ at Seahawks ✓
Bills -2½ vs Rams ✓


Tale of the Tape

Week 5 was so-so, with a teaser bailing me out of what would have been a losing week. Best calls were Vikings -6½ at Houston, Titans +3½ at Miami and Falcons +5½ at Denver. As bad as taking the Rams at home against the Bills and Baltimore over Washington, the worst prediction by far was Cincinnati over Dallas. 37-23-1 and plus $2470 is something I will take any time after five weeks.

Week 5 Results:
7-7 Straight Up
7-7 Against the Spread
5-9 Over/Under
2-unit plays: 3-4, -280
1-unit plays: 3-2, +80
3-Game Parlay: 1u, 0-1, -110
3-Game Teaser: 2u, 1-0, +360
22 units invested
7-7, +50 on $2420 risk
2.1% ROI

Year to Date Results:
39-38 Straight Up
42-34-1 Against the Spread
39-38 Over/Under
3-unit plays: 2-5-1, -1080
2-unit plays: 16-7, +1660
1-unit plays: 16-8, +720
Parlays: 1-2, +380
Teasers: 2-1, +790
37-23-1, +2470 on original $2310 risk.
106.9% ROI on original $2310 bankroll.
21.8% ROI on $11,330 (103 units) of total weekly investments.

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