Tag Archives: Ryan Grigson

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.

 

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