Tag Archives: Seattle Seahawks

NFL Week 7 Early Advanced ‘Look-Ahead’ Betting Lines: Pats favored by 4 vs Falcons

John Morgan
October 12, 2017 at 6:00 am ET

The Westgate Las Vegas Superbook has published their latest NFL Advanced Betting Lines. These early odds are posted prior to the following week’s games, including the Thursday Night Football game. Also known as Look-Ahead lines, they give the adventurous sports fan an opportunity to wager on games up to twelve days away. If you are in Vegas and have a good feeling about a matchup further down the road, the Westgate offers an opportunity to get a jump on odds that could be less favorable after Sunday’s games.

Week 7 is highlighted by a rematch of what was possibly the greatest championship game in pro sports history. The Atlanta Falcons will travel to Foxborough to take on the New England Patriots a week from Sunday night. The professional handicappers at the Westgate have listed the defending champs as four point favorites for the moment.

Since home field accounts for about a three point advantage on NFL betting lines, that means the Pats would be considered to be slightly (one point) better than Atlanta on a neutral field. That may come as a bit of a surprise to those who have witnessed the performance of New England’s defense this season. On the other hand the Falcons had issues to deal with as well after losing to Buffalo. In spite of extra time to recuperate after last week’s bye, Atlanta still had nine players on this week’s initial injury report. Wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (hamstring), defensive tackle Courtney Upshaw (ankle/knee), wide receiver Justin Hardy (illness) and kicker Matt Bryant (back) did not participate in practice on Wednesday. Wide receiver Julio Jones (hip) was limited, as was outside linebacker Vic Beasley. Atlanta’s premier pass rusher has missed the last two games with a hamstring strain/tear.

Aside from the Sunday night showdown, NFL week 7 does have other games of note. Kansas City is at Oakland for one of those rare Thursday night games worth watching. New Orleans travels to Green Bay in the early Sunday time slot, and the Broncos play the Chargers late Sunday afternoon. The week wraps up with the Eagles hosting Washington for what should be a good Monday night game.

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati has been flexed from a 1:00 pm kickoff to 4:25. That may have been done to mask what was supposed to be a good game in that late afternoon time slot. The 0-5 Giants, now depleted of most of their wide receivers, are the week’s biggest underdogs at 7½ points – despite playing at home. Fortunately for Seattle fans that Seahawks-Giants game – which was originally slated to be the premier game for CBS – will remain in the late time slot. In other programming notes Carolina at Chicago moves from Fox to CBS; the Jets-Dolphins game will be found on Fox rather than CBS.

NFL Week 7 Early Odds

Thursday Oct 19 at 8:30 pm ET on CBS
Kansas City Chiefs (-2½) at Oakland Raiders

Sunday Oct 22 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS
Tennessee Titans (off) at Cleveland Browns
Jacksonville Jaguars (-3) at Indianapolis Colts
Baltimore Ravens at Minnesota Vikings (-3)
Carolina Panthers (-4½) at Chicago Bears

Sunday Oct 22 at 1:00 pm ET on Fox
New York Jets at Miami Dolphins (-4½)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Buffalo Bills (-2)
New Orleans Saints at Green Bay Packers (-6½)
Arizona Cardinals ‘at’ Los Angeles Rams (-3) in London

Sunday Oct 22 late afternoon games
Dallas Cowboys (-4½) at San Francisco 49ers, 4:00 pm ET on Fox
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers (-7), 4:30 pm ET on CBS
Seattle Seahawks (-7½) at New York Giants, 4:30 pm ET on CBS
Denver Broncos (-2½) at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:30 pm ET on CBS

Prime Time Games, 8:30 pm ET
Atlanta Falcons at New England Patriots (-4), Sun Oct 22 on NBC
Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles (-6½), Mon Oct 23 on espn

Week 7 Byes
Detroit Lions
Houston Texans

 

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

 

Podcast: What Do The Richard Sherman And Adrian Peterson Stories Mean For The Patriots?

Russ Goldman
April 6, 2017 at 12:22 pm ET

In this episode we shared our thoughts on the Richard Sherman and Adrian Peterson stories, and later on we started our NFL Draft Preview.

Wild Card Weekend, What to Watch For

Steve Balestrieri
January 6, 2017 at 10:37 am ET

The Patriots are on a well-deserved bye week and will watch the goings on this weekend to learn who’ll be making the trek up to Foxboro next Saturday night. But the Divisional Round talk must wait, as the Wildcard teams square off this week.

The NFL begins with a snoozefest and ends with a bang. The first game of the weekend pits two quarterback-needy teams in Houston and Oakland and ends with a pair of Super Bowl MVPs in pitting the Green Bay Packers against the New York Giants.

Both the AFC and NFC, barring any big upsets appear to be three team races. With neither the Texans or the Raiders having a viable QB to lead them in the postseason, it looks to be Pittsburgh, Kansas City and New England vying for the AFC crown.

The winner of the Giants – Packers game will join the Falcons in having the best chance of beating the Cowboys in Dallas. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s take a look at how these games will break out and we’ll take a shot at predicting them.

Oakland 12-4 @ Houston 9-7:
Houston gets the home field advantage, courtesy of their winning the weakest division in football. But this game is defined by who each team is playing at QB. Houston shelled out big bucks for free agent Brock Osweiler this spring and to say he’s been disappointing would be an understatement. He was benched for Tom Savage but is now thrust back into the starting role due to Savage’s concussion.

The Raiders were a sexy pick to represent the AFC with an opportunistic defense and the stellar play of Derek Carr until he broke his leg. Matt McGloin came on until he too was injured. Now the Raiders turn to Connor Cook who starts his first game of his NFL career in the playoffs.

Houston won because of their defense which allowed the fewest yards in the league, just 301 yards per game. Defensive Coordinator Romeo Crennel knows Cook is making his first start and may have some nerves entering. And he knows how to mix things up. But look Romeo to dial it up with his edge rushers Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus.

Key matchup for the Texans defense will be CB Jonathan Joseph on WR Michael Crabtree. If Cook can get time to throw, look for him to target his 1000-yard receiver. The Raiders offense was potent all season and Crabtree was a big reason why.

Oakland’s defense was ranked 26th this season, allowing 376 yards per game but they have two edge rushers of their own with Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin who is playing some of his best football of his career with the Silver and Black.

This game will come down to defense, the two met in Mexico City earlier this season with the Raiders making a late comeback to win. But prior to that, Lamar Miller had a big day rushing for over 100 yards. The Texans will get Miller back this week and they’ll lean on him hard for this game. Osweiler has to stay out of third and long situations.

Who Wins? This one may come down to turnovers and who can protect the ball best. Houston, for all their warts were 7-1 at home. I think Miller has a productive day and the Texans defense makes a big stop to preserve a low-scoring affair. Texans 17-13

Detroit Lions 9-7 @ Seattle 10-5-1:
This will be an interesting matchup of two teams that rely on the comeback ability of their QBs to get it done at crunch time. While the first game had two teams hurting at the QB position, this one does not. However, Seattle and Detroit are two of the worst running teams in the playoffs.

The Lions win or lose off the arm of Matthew Stafford. In their nine wins, he’s tossed 17 TDs and just three interceptions. In their seven losses, his numbers are just seven TDs and seven INTs. He’s playing with a split on the middle finger of his throwing hand.

Seattle’s Russell Wilson has had an up and down year, he had to deal with the absence of a running game for the first time in his career and he struggled at times. The Seahawks defense still has Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett on the defensive line but the secondary really misses Earl Thomas.

Who Wins? Detroit hasn’t won a road playoff game since 1957. Seattle is a notoriously tough place to play and the crowd will be loud in this one. I don’t think Stafford will be able to generate a late comeback this time around, especially with the absence of a running game. Wilson gets it done and the 12th man is a big part. Seattle 24-21

Miami 10-6 @ Pittsburgh 11-5:
Pittsburgh won their last seven games of the season and enter the game as one of the hottest teams in the league, and this despite sitting Ben Roethlisberger in the final game of the regular season. Miami had one 9 of 10 before laying an egg at home last week against New England. They will be without QB Ryan Tannehill who sprained an MCL in Week 14. Matt Moore will start and he’s a 10-year veteran.

Miami won an October matchup 30-15 as Jay Ajayi rolled for 204 yards on the ground and Roethlisberger had one of his worst games of the season. Miami is going to need a big game for Ajayi to take the heat off of Moore, who has played very well since coming in for Tannehill. One thing Miami must do, and that is to start quicker. They have been notoriously slow starters all season. Last week they were down 20-0 to New England before waking up. If they start they slowly in Pittsburgh, they’ll get run out of there.

The Steelers big three of Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, and LaVeon Bell are dangerous and should be primed for big games. Pittsburgh’s OL will have to account for Cameron Wake but Bell I believe will have a monster day against a Miami team weak against the run. Ryan Shazier is my “X” factor on defense.

Who Wins? Miami is being written off much too quickly and people forget their big win over the Steelers in October. However, the Steelers are a different team than they were then and playing in 20-degree temps in Heinz Field is a bit different than playing in the hot, humidity of South Beach. Bell carries the Steelers on offense while Shazier has a big day. Pittsburgh is on to a matchup in KC. Steelers 27-14

New York Giants 11-5 @ Green Bay Packers 10-6:
This matchup is the best for last as this should be the game of the week. Two Super Bowl MVP QBs in Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning, cold temps in Lambeau Field and two historic franchises fighting it out.

Green Bay was scuffling along at 4-6 and the cries were “What’s wrong with Aaron Rodgers?” and he made a little prediction about the running the table and voila! The Pack wins six in a row and the Discount Doublecheck guy is being mentioned as an MVP candidate. During the winning streak, Rodgers was hot, flinging 15 TDs and zero INTs, completing 71 percent of his throws.

New York’s offense struggled all season, despite having Odell Beckham Jr. and Victor Cruz, Manning scuffled along, being only the 22nd rated QB in the NFL this season. The Giants offense as a whole struggled, being just 25th in yardage and 26th in scoring. New York is hoping Manning turns it on as he did in the SB winning years of 2007 and 2011 in the playoffs which both had big wins at Lambeau.

Who Wins? The difference in this game may be the Giants defense. They were putrid in 2015 and then went out and spent a ton of money retooling it. And at first glance, they have the 23rd ranked pass defense in the league allowing 251 yards per game. Don’t be fooled by it. This unit got better as the year went on and they held their last four opponents to under 200 yards passing. They can ball hawk too with 19 interceptions in 2016. Upset alert. The Giants get a key late turnover and Manning leads a late field goal drive to send NY away with an upset victory. Giants 24-21. You know where this is going to lead…. Don’t you?

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.

NFL Wild Card Playoff Scenarios Entering Week 17

John Morgan
January 1, 2017 at 9:00 am ET

There is relatively little intrigue in regards to which NFL playoff teams will make the playoffs. Entering the final day of the 2016 NFL regular season ten of the twelve playoff teams have been determined. Four NFC teams are battling for two post-season berths, but one (Tampa Bay) has virtually no chance of making it. One other team (Washington) has to win against a club with nothing to play for (Giants). Two others face each other tonight in a de facto playoff game. Unless Green Bay at Detroit ends in a tie the season continues for the winner, while the losing squad can clean out their lockers and schedule tee times.

 

AFC Wild Card Playoff Scenarios

Pittsburgh and Houston are locked in as the number three and four seeds respectively. That leaves three games to determine the conference playoff seeding. The three AFC games that actually matter today are Miami at New England, Kansas City at San Diego and Oakland at Denver. There are a total of eight possible combined outcomes to those games.

  1. Patriots win, Raiders win, Chiefs win
  2. Patriots win, Raiders win, Chiefs lose
  3. Patriots win, Raiders lose, Chiefs win
  4. Patriots win, Raiders lose, Chiefs lose
  5. Patriots lose, Raiders win, Chiefs win
  6. Patriots lose, Raiders win, Chiefs lose
  7. Patriots lose, Raiders lose, Chiefs win
  8. Patriots lose, Raiders lose, Chiefs lose

 

 

 

Before we get to the wild card round, let’s look at the team getting a bye. New England claims the number one spot and home field advantage throughout the playoffs with either a win or an Oakland loss. Kansas City needs a win plus an Oakland loss to gain a bye as the number two seed; the Chiefs cannot advance to the top slot.

If Miami loses then they will be at Pittsburgh regardless of what happens elsewhere. If Oakland loses and Kansas City wins then the Raiders are at Houston. And if Miami win and Kansas City loses then the Dolphins are at Houston and the Chiefs are at Pittsburgh.

  1. Patriots win, Raiders win, Chiefs win – Mia at Pit, KC at Hou, NE #1, Oak #2
  2. Patriots win, Raiders win, Chiefs lose – Mia at Pit, KC at Hou, NE #1, Oak #2
  3. Patriots win, Raiders lose, Chiefs win – Mia at Pit, Oak at Hou, NE #1, KC #2
  4. Patriots win, Raiders lose, Chiefs lose – Mia at Pit, KC at Hou, NE #1, KC #2
  5. Patriots lose, Raiders win, Chiefs win – Mia at Pit, KC at Hou, Oak #1, NE #2
  6. Patriots lose, Raiders win, Chiefs lose – KC at Pit, Mia at Hou, Oak #1, NE #2
  7. Patriots lose, Raiders lose, Chiefs win – Mia at Pit, Oak at Hou, NE #1, KC #2
  8. Patriots lose, Raiders lose, Chiefs lose – KC at Pit, Mia at Hou, NE#1, Oak #2

 

 

 

 

 

That last scenario is what Miami fans are hoping for. It would mean that the Dolphins would face Tom Savage at quarterback in the first round. Then if Kansas City wins the Fins would be up against Matt McGloin at QB in the division round.

 

 

NFC Wild Card Playoff Scenarios

Dallas is number one and New York number 5 in the NFC. Atlanta and Seattle are division champs that could get a bye at number two, or play next weekend at home as either a number three or four seed. Washington is in as the number six seed as long as the Lions and Packers don’t tie. Detroit could finish as high as number two seed, but for that to happen Seattle has to lose to the Niners. The Lions could also miss the playoffs entirely if they finish the season with a third straight loss and Washington wins. The best Green Bay can do is a number three seed, or they too could miss the playoffs. Tampa Bay needs a miracle.

 

Assuming Seattle defeats San Francisco:

  1. Falcons win, Packers win, Wash wins – Wash at Seattle, Giants at Packers; Falcons #2, Lions out
  2. Falcons win, Packers win, Wash loses – Lions at Seattle, Giants at Packers; Falcons #2, Wash out
  3. Falcons win, Lions win, Wash wins – Wash at Seattle, Giants at Lions; Falcons #2, Packers out
  4. Falcons win, Lions win, Wash loses – Packers at Seattle, Giants at Lions; Falcons #2, Wash out
  5. Falcons lose, Packers win, Wash wins – Wash at Falcons, Giants at Packers; Seattle #2, Lions out
  6. Falcons lose, Packers win, Wash loses – Lions at Falcons, Giants at Packers; Seattle #2, Wash out
  7. Falcons lose, Lions win, Wash wins – Wash at Lions, Giants at Falcons; Seattle #2, Packers out
  8. Falcons lose, Lions win, Wash loses – Packers at Lions, Giants at Falcons; Seattle #2, Wash out

 

 

 

 

 

And if the Niners somehow pull off the upset of the year and beat Seattle then the number five Giants will play at number four Seattle. Here is the rest of the field with that scenario.

  1. Falcons win, Packers win, Wash wins – Skins at Packers, Falcons #2, Lions out
  2. Falcons win, Packers win, Wash loses – Lions at Packers, Falcons #2, Skins out
  3. Falcons win, Lions win, Wash wins – Skins at Lions, Falcons #2, Packers out
  4. Falcons win, Lions win, Wash loses – Packers at Lions, Falcons #2, Skins out
  5. Falcons lose, Packers win, Wash wins – Skins at Packers, Falcons #2, Lions out
  6. Falcons lose, Packers win, Wash loses – Lions at Packers, Falcons #2, Skins out
  7. Falcons lose, Lions win, Wash wins – Skins at Falcons, Lions #2, Packers out
  8. Falcons lose, Lions win, Wash loses – Packers at Falcons, Lions #2, Skins out

 

 

 

 

 

NFL Week 17 Playoff Picture: AFC #1 Seed Still Up For Grabs

John Morgan
December 29, 2016 at 7:00 am ET

Week 16 took much of the drama out of the final Sunday of the 2016 NFL regular season. Ten of the twelve post-season entries have been determined, but there is still plenty of drama available to make week 17 intriguing.

After having to travel to Denver last year Patriot fans are well aware of the importance of home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Bill Belichick will surely remind the team of last year’s 20-10 week 17 loss at Miami, complete with embarrassing film clips in team meetings. Add in the benching of a starter and it is doubtful there will be any lack of intensity in Miami Gardens.

In terms of other games, the one with the most impact is Green Bay at Detroit. Barring a tie the winner moves on as NFC North champion while the season ends for the loser. New England fans seeking an easier road to the playoffs will root for an Oakland loss at Denver and a victory by the Chiefs at San Diego. That would mean the Patriots cannot play both KC and Pittsburgh – the only two AFC teams with quarterbacks who were starters at the beginning of this month.

Note: for the sake of both clarity and sanity, outcomes dependent on ties have for the most part not been included.

 

AFC Playoff Picture

The AFC field was finalized last week, thanks in large part to Baltimore’s loss to Pittsburgh and Denver’s loss at Kansas City. On top of that two teams – Pittsburgh at #3 and Houston at #4 – cannot move up or down regardless of this week’s outcomes.

13-2 New England Patriots
At Miami, 1:00 pm ET on CBS; favored by 9½.
Can finish as #1 or #2 seed.
– Clinch #1 seed with win at Miami.
– Clinch #1 seed with Oakland loss.
– Drop to #2 seed with both loss to Dolphins, plus Raiders win.

12-3 Oakland Raiders
At Denver, 4:25 pm ET on CBS; 1-point underdog.
Can Finish as #1, #2 or #5 seed.
– Clinch #1 seed with both a win at Denver, plus a New England loss.
– Clinch at least the #2 seed with either one of the above.
– Drop to #5 seed with both a loss to Broncos, plus Chiefs win.

10-5 Pittsburgh Steelers
Home vs Cleveland, 1:00 pm ET on CBS; favored by 6.
Locked in as #3 seed.
Note: Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell are all not expected to play.

9-6 Houston Texans
At Tennessee, 1:00 pm ET on CBS; 3-point underdog.
Locked in as #4 seed.
Note: quarterbacks will be Tom Savage vs Matt Cassel.

11-4 Kansas City Chiefs
At San Diego, 4:25 pm ET on CBS; favored by 6.
Can finish as #2, #5 or #6 seed.
– Clinch #2 seed with both a win and a Raider loss.
– Clinch at least #5 seed with a win.
– Also clinch at least #5 seed with a Dolphins loss.
– Drop to #6 seed with both a loss, plus a Dolphins win.

10-5 Miami Dolphins
Home vs New England, 1:00 pm ET on CBS; 9½ point underdog.
Can finish as #5 or #6 seed.
– Clinch # 5 seed with both a win, plus a Chiefs loss.
– Remain a #6 seed under all other scenarios.

 

NFC Playoff Picture

Green Bay, Detroit, Washington and Tampa Bay are vying for two playoff slots. Even though the Redskins are currently on the outside looking in, their playoff chances are very good. With the Packers and Lions playing each other Sunday night the loser of that game could be done. Washington controls its own destiny, gaining a playoff berth with a win as long as the Packers and Lions don’t tie. Tampa Bay on the other hand needs seven games to go their way to extend their season, including a Giants-Skins tie.

13-2 Dallas Cowboys
At Philadelphia, 1:00 pm ET on FOX; 3-point underdog.
Locked in as number one seed.
Biggest news in Dallas is how a Cowboy fan got revenge on the fiancee who dumped her.

10-5 Atlanta Falcons
Home vs New Orleans, 4:25 pm ET on FOX; favored by 6½.
Can finish as #2, #3 or #4 seed.
– Clinch #2 seed with a win at New Orleans.
– Also clinch #2 seed with losses by both Seattle and Detroit.
– Clinch at least #3 seed with loss by either Seahawks or Lions.
– Drop to #4 seed with (a) loss to Saints, plus (b) Seahawks win, plus (c) Lions win.

9-5-1 Seattle Seahawks
At San Francisco, 4:25 pm ET on FOX; favored by 9½.
Can finish as #2, #3 or #4 seed.
– Clinch #2 seed with both a win, plus a Falcons loss.
– Clinch at least #3 seed with a win.
– Drop to #4 seed with loss to 49ers.
Think Seattle regrets that early season loss to the Rams now?

9-6 Green Bay Packers
At Detroit, 8:30 pm ET on NBC; favored by 3½.
Can finish as #3, #4 or #6 seed – or can miss playoffs.
– Clinch #3 seed with a win, plus Seattle loss.
– Clinch at least #4 seed with a win.
– Still clinch a playoff spot as #6 seed with loss Washington loss.
– Eliminated from #3 seed if Seattle wins.
– Eliminated from #4 seed with loss to Lions.
– Completely miss playoffs with both a loss, plus Washington wins.

10-5 New York Giants
At Washington, 4:25 pm ET on FOX; 7-point underdogs.
Locked in as #5 seed.

9-6 Detroit Lions
Home vs Green Bay, 8:30 pm ET on NBC; 3½ point underdogs.
Can finish as #2, #3, #4 or #6 seed – or miss playoffs entirely.
– Clinch #2 seed with a win, plus losses by both Atlanta and Seattle.
– Can clinch at least #3 with a win, plus loss by either Atlanta or Seattle.
– Clinch at least #4 seed with a win.
– Clinch a playoff spot and at least #6 seed with a Washington loss.
– Eliminated from first round bye with win by either Falcons or Seahawks.
– Eliminated from #3 seed with wins by both Falcons and Seahawks.
– Loss to Packers eliminates Detroit from #4 seed or better.
– Eliminated from playoffs with both a loss, plus a Washington win.

8-6-1 Washington Redskins
Home vs New York Giants, 4:25 pm ET on FOX; favored by 7.
Can only be either #6 seed or miss playoffs.
– Clinch #6 seed with a win, as long as Detroit-Green Bay does not end in a tie.
– Eliminated from playoffs with a loss.
– Eliminated from playoffs with a Lions-Packers tie.

 

Tampa Bay Bucs Playoff Picture

The Buccaneers deserve their own category simply because their playoff scenario is stranger than Rex Ryan’s proclivity for hidden cameras in an orthopedic surgeon’s office. Not only do the Bucs need a game to end in a tie, they also need two meaningless non-conference games to end in their favor. Oh, and for the Niners to beat Seattle too.

8-7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Home vs Carolina, 1:00 pm ET on FOX; favored by 5½.
Can finish as #6 seed or miss playoffs.
Clinch playoff spot with every one of the following:
– A win vs Carolina, plus
– Washington ties Giants, plus
– Packers lose to Lions; plus
That would mean Tampa can top Green Bay based on Strength of Schedule if:
– Dallas beats Philadelphia, plus
– San Francisco beats Seattle, plus
– Indianapolis beats Jacksonville, plus
– Tennessee beats Houston

No problem.

 

 

Happy New Year everyone!

Week 15 NFL Playoff Picture: Six Teams Can Clinch Playoff Spots

John Morgan
December 15, 2016 at 7:00 am ET

Heading into Week 15 only the Dallas Cowboys have clinched a playoff spot. After this weekend that is bound to change. Six other teams, including the New England Patriots, can punch a ticket to the post-season this weekend.

In the AFC the Jets, Jaguars and Browns have been eliminated. San Diego and Cincinnati are all but done. And after last week’s losses the Colts and Bills are comatose and on life support. The Patriots, Chiefs and Raiders are going to be playing in January. That leaves the Steelers, Ravens, Broncos and Dolphins vying for two post-season positions while Houston and Tennessee battle for the AFC South title.

Over in the NFC Dallas has clinched a playoff spot while on the other end the Niners, Rams and Bears are looking ahead to the draft. Four other teams – the Eagles, Panthers, Saints and Cardinals – are all but mathematically eliminated. With Seattle virtually assured of winning the NFC West that leaves seven teams going for four playoff slots.

I know ties happen – as Donovan McNabb and Jay Gruden now realize – but for the sake of clarity (and sanity) I’ll avoid bringing those possibilities up.

 

AFC East

11-2 New England Patriots
Currently AFC #1 seed.
3-game division lead with three games remaining.
Remaining Opponents 20-19: at 8-5 Broncos; vs 4-9 Jets; at 8-5 Dolphins.
– Can clinch division title with either a win or a Miami loss.
– Can clinch a first round bye with a win.
– Can clinch a first round bye with (a) a Miami loss, plus either (b) a Pittsburgh loss.
– Can clinch a first round bye with (a) a Miami loss, plus (b) a Kansas City win.
– 99% chance of winning the AFC East.
– 99.9% chance of making the playoffs.

8-5 Miami Dolphins
Currently AFC #7 seed.
Remaining Opponents 21-18: at 4-9 Jets; at 6-7 Bills; vs 11-2 Patriots.
– Eliminated from division title with either a loss or a New England win.
– Eliminated from #5 slot with both (a) a loss, plus (b) a Kansas City win.
– 40% chance of making the playoffs.

6-7 Buffalo Bills
Currently AFC #11 seed.
Remaining Opponents : vs 0-13 Browns; vs 8-5 Dolphins; at 4-9 Jets.
– Eliminated from playoffs with (a) loss to Browns plus Miami wins; or (b) loss to Browns plus Baltimore wins; or (c) Broncos win.
– 2% chance of making the playoffs.

 

AFC West

10-3 Kansas City Chiefs
Currently AFC #2 seed.
Remaining Opponents 20-19: vs 7-6 Titans; vs 8-5 Broncos; at 5-8 Chargers.
– Clinch a playoff spot with a win.
– Clinch a playoff spot with (a) a Broncos loss, plus either (b) a Baltimore or Pittsburgh loss.
– Clinch at least the #5 seed with (a) a win, plus (b) a Miami loss.
– Eliminated from #1 seed with a New England win.
– 74% chance of winning the AFC West.
– 99% chance of making the playoffs.

10-3 Oakland Raiders
Currently AFC #5 seed.
Remaining Opponents 19-20: at 5-8 Chargers; vs 6-7 Colts; at 8-5 Broncos.
– Clinch a playoff spot with a win.
– Clinch a playoff spot with (a) a Miami loss, plus (b) either a Pittsburgh or Baltimore loss, plus (c) either a Denver or Kansas City loss.
– Clinch at least the #5 seed with (a) a win, plus (b) a Denver loss.
– 25% chance of winning the AFC West.
– 99% chance of making the playoffs.

8-5 Denver Broncos
Currently AFC #6 seed.
Remaining Opponents 31-8: vs 11-2 Patriots; at 10-3 Chiefs; at 10-3 Raiders.
– Eliminated from division title with either (a) a loss to Patriots, or (b) a Kansas City win.
– Eliminated from #5 seed with both (a) a loss to Patriots, plus (b) an Oakland win.
– 1% chance of winning the AFC West.
– 38% chance of making the playoffs.

5-8 San Diego Chargers
Currently AFC #13 seed.
Remaining Opponents 20-19: vs 10-3 Raiders; at 0-13 Browns; vs 10-3 Chiefs.
– Eliminated from playoffs with a loss.
– Eliminated from playoffs with either (a) a Miami win, or (b) a Denver win, or (c) wins by both Pittsburgh and Baltimore.
– cannot win the AFC West.
– less than 1% chance of making the playoffs.

 

AFC North

8-5 Pittsburgh Steelers
Currently AFC #3 seed.
Remaining Opponents 12-26-1: at 5-7-1 Bengals; vs 7-6 Ravens; vs 0-13 Browns.
– Eliminated from #1 seed with either (a) a loss, or (b) a New England win.
– Eliminated from first round bye with (a) a loss, plus (b) either a Kansas City, Oakland or Denver win.
– 80% chance of winning AFC North.
– 87% chance of making the playoffs.

7-6 Baltimore Ravens
Currently AFC #8 seed.
Remaining Opponents 18-20-1: vs 5-8 Eagles; at 8-5 Steelers; at 5-7-1 Bengals.
– Eliminated from first round bye with a loss.
– Eliminated from first round bye with a win by either Kansas City, Oakland or Denver.
– 20% chance of winning AFC North.
– 30% chance of making the playoffs.

5-7-1 Cincinnati Bengals
Currently AFC #12 seed.
Remaining Opponents 18-20-1: vs 8-5 Steelers; at 7-6 Texans; vs 7-6 Ravens.
– Eliminated from division title with a Baltimore win.
– Eliminated from playoffs with a loss to Pittsburgh.
– Eliminated from playoffs with both (a) a Baltimore win, plus either (b) a Miami or Denver win.
– less than 1% chance of winning AFC North or making the playoffs.

 

AFC South

7-6 Houston Texans
Currently AFC #4 seed.
Remaining Opponents 14-24-1: at vs 2-11 Jaguars; vs 5-7-1 Bengals; at 7-6 Titans.
– Eliminated from first round bye with a loss.
– Eliminated from number three seed with either a Kansas City, Oakland or Denver win.
– 78% chance of winning AFC South.
– 79% chance of making the playoffs.

7-6 Tennessee Titans
Currently AFC #9 seed.
Remaining Opponents 19-20: at 10-3 Chiefs; at 2-11 Jaguars; vs 7-6 Texans.
– Eliminated from first round bye with either (a) a loss, or (b) an Oakland win, or (c) a Denver win.
– Eliminated from number three seed with both (a) a loss, and (b) a Pittsburgh win.
– 21% chance of winning AFC South.
– 23% chance of making the playoffs.

6-7 Indianapolis Colts
Currently AFC #10 seed.
Remaining Opponents 19-20: at 7-6 Vikings; at 10-3 Raiders; vs 2-11 Jaguars.
– Eliminated from division title with a loss, plus either a Houston or Tennessee win.
– Eliminated from playoffs with (a) a loss, plus (b) a Miami win, plus (c) either a Houston or Tennessee win.
– Eliminated from playoffs with (a) a loss, plus (b) a Houston win, plus (c) either a Baltimore or Denver win.
– Eliminated from playoffs with (a) a loss, plus (b) a Tennessee win, plus (c) either a Baltimore or Denver win.
– 1% chance of winning AFC South.
– 2% chance of making the playoffs.

 

NFC East

11-1 Dallas Cowboys
Currently NFC #1 seed.
Remaining Opponents 22-17: vs 8-5 Buccaneers; vs 9-4 Lions; at 5-8 Eagles.
– Clinch division and first round bye with (a) a win, plus (b) Giants lose to Detroit.
– Clinch at least the #5 seed with either a win, or an Atlanta loss.
– 95% chance of winning the NFC East.
– Cowboys clinched a playoff spot in Week 13.

9-4 New York Giants
Currently NFC #5 seed.
Remaining Opponents : vs 9-4 Lions; at 5-8 Eagles; at 7-5-1 Redskins.
– Clinch playoff spot with (a) win vs Detroit, plus (b) losses by Green Bay, Minnesota and Washington.
– Eliminated from first round bye with loss to Detroit.
– Eliminated from division title with both a loss, plus Dallas win.
– 5% chance of winning NFC East.
– 79% chance of making playoffs.

7-5-1 Washington Redskins
Currently NFC #7 seed.
Remaining Opponents 17-22: vs 5-8 Panthers; at 3-10 Bears; vs 9-4 Giants.
– Eliminated from #5 seed with both a loss, plus a Detroit loss to Giants.
– Can not win NFC East.
– 49% chance of making playoffs as wild card.

5-8 Philadelphia Eagles
Currently NFC #13 seed.
Remaining Opponents : at 7-6 Ravens; vs 9-4 Giants; vs 11-2 Cowboys.
– Eliminated from playoffs with a loss.
– Eliminated from playoffs with a win by either Washington, Atlanta, Green Bay or Minnesota.
– Can not win NFC East.
– less than 1% chance of making playoffs as #6 seed.

 

NFC North

9-4 Detroit Lions
Currently NFC #2 seed.
Remaining Opponents 27-12: at 9-4 Giants; at 11-2 Cowboys; vs 7-6 Packers.
– Clinch NFC North with both a win, plus a Green Bay loss.
– Eliminated from #1 seed with both a loss, plus a Dallas win.
– 73% chance of winning NFC North.
– 80% chance of making playoffs.

7-6 Minnesota Vikings
Currently NFC #8 seed.
Remaining Opponents 16-22: vs 6-7 Colts; at 7-6 Packers; vs 3-10 Bears.
– Eliminated from division title with a loss or a Detroit win.
– Eliminated from playoffs with (a) a loss, plus (b) Tampa Bay and Atlanta wins, plus (c) either a Washington or New York win.
– 5% chance of winning NFC North.
– 12% chance of making playoffs.

7-6 Green Bay Packers
Currently NFC #9 seed.
Remaining Opponents 19-20: at 3-10 Bears; vs 7-6 Packers; at 9-4 Lions.
– Eliminated from division title with a loss or a Detroit win.
– Eliminated from first round bye with both a loss, plus a win by either Seattle, Atlanta or Tampa Bay.
– Eliminated from #3 seed with (a) a loss, plus (b) a Seattle win, plus (c) a win by either Atlanta or Tampa Bay.
– Eliminated from #5 seed with (a) a loss, plus (b) both Detroit and Washington wins.
– Eliminated from #5 seed with (a) a loss, plus (b) Detroit, Atlanta and Tampa Bay all win.
– Eliminated from playoffs with (a) a loss, plus (b) Detroit, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Washington all win.
– 22% chance of winning NFC North.
– 26% chance of making playoffs.

 

NFC West

8-4-1 Seattle Seahawks
Currently NFC #3 seed.
Remaining Opponents 10-28-1: vs 4-9 Rams; vs 5-7-1 Cardinals; at 1-12 49ers.
– Clinch NFC West with either a win, or an Arizona loss.
– Eliminated from #1 seed with either a loss, or a Dallas win.
– 99% chance of winning NFC West.

5-7-1 Arizona Cardinals
Currently NFC #10 seed.
Remaining Opponents 17-21-1: vs 5-8 Saints; at 8-4-1 Seahawks; at 4-9 Rams.
– Eliminated from division title with either a loss or a Seattle win.
– Eliminated from playoffs with a loss.
– Eliminated from playoffs with wins by Seattle, Atlanta and Tampa Bay.
– 1% chance of making the playoffs.

 

NFC South

8-5 Atlanta Falcons
Currently NFC #4 seed.
Remaining Opponents 11-28: vs 1-12 49ers; at 5-8 Panthers; vs 5-8 Saints.
– Eliminated from #1 seed with either a loss, or a Dallas win.
– 75% chance of winning NFC South.
– 91% chance of making playoffs.

8-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Currently NFC #6 seed.
Remaining Opponents 21-18: at 11-2 Cowboys; at 5-8 Saints; vs 5-8 Panthers.
– Eliminated from #1 seed with a loss to Dallas.
– 25% chance of winning NFC South.
– 58% chance of making playoffs.

5-8 New Orleans Saints
Currently NFC #11 seed.
Remaining Opponents 21-17-1: at 5-7-1 Cardinals; vs 8-5 Buccaneers; at 8-5 Falcons.
– Eliminated from division title with win by either Atlanta or Tampa Bay.
– Eliminated from playoffs with a loss.
– Eliminated from playoffs with wins by either (a) Atlanta and Tampa Bay, or (b) Atlanta and Washington, or (c) Tampa Bay and Washington.
– Eliminated from playoffs with wins by (a) Minnesota, plus (b) Green Bay, plus (c) either Atlanta or Tampa Bay.
– less than 1% chance of making playoffs.

5-8 Carolina Panthers
Currently NFC #12 seed.
Remaining Opponents 23-15-1: at 7-5-1 Redskins; vs 8-5 Falcons; at 8-5 Buccaneers
– Eliminated from division title with win by either Atlanta or Tampa Bay.
– Eliminated from playoffs with a loss.
– Eliminated from playoffs with wins by both Atlanta and Tampa Bay.
– Eliminated from playoffs with wins by (a) Minnesota, plus (b) Green Bay, plus (c) either Atlanta or Tampa Bay.
– less than 1% chance of making playoffs.

 

Week 14 NFL Playoff Picture: Pats, Seahawks, Cowboys Can Clinch Division Titles

John Morgan
December 11, 2016 at 10:00 am ET

It is December and we are now in the fourth quarter of the 2016 NFL regular season.

That means it is now late enough in the year that we can talk about playoff races.

Heading into Week 14 there are four teams that have been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs: the Browns, Jaguars, Jets and Forty Niners. After this weekend six others will most likely officially be out of it: the Bengals, Chargers, Bears, Rams, Panthers and Eagles. The Cardinals, Saints and Bills are already on life support and could be declared dead very soon.

That leaves nineteen teams with varying possibilities fighting for twelve playoff spots. Here is a look at the current status of those teams heading into Sunday’s games.

 

AFC East

10-2 New England Patriots
Currently AFC #1 seed.
3-game division lead with four games remaining.
Remaining Opponents 25-23: vs 7-5 Ravens; at 8-4 Broncos; vs 3-9 Jets; at 7-5 Dolphins.
– Can clinch division plus first round bye with (a) win vs Ravens, plus (b) Dolphins loss to Cardinals, plus (c) Steelers loss to Bills.
– Can clinch division and #3 seed with (a) win vs Ravens, plus (b) Dolphins loss to Cardinals.
– 98% chance of winning the AFC East.
– 99% chance of making the playoffs.

7-5 Miami Dolphins
Currently AFC #7 seed.
Remaining Opponents 24-23-1: vs 5-6-1 Cardinals; at 3-9 Jets; at 6-6 Bills; vs 10-2 Patriots.
– Eliminated from #1 seed with a loss.
– Eliminated from division title with (a) loss to Cardinals, plus (b) Patriots win vs Ravens.
– 2% chance of winning the AFC East.
– 24% chance of making the playoffs.
– 76% chance of missing the playoffs.

 

AFC West

10-3 Kansas City Chiefs
Currently AFC #2 seed.
Remaining Opponents 19-17: vs 6-6 Titans; vs 8-4 Broncos; at 5-7 Chargers.
– 73% chance of winning the AFC West.
– 99% chance of making the playoffs.

10-3 Oakland Raiders
Currently AFC #5 seed.
Remaining Opponents 19-17: at 5-7 Chargers; vs 6-6 Colts; at 8-4 Broncos.
– 23% chance of winning the AFC West.
– 99% chance of making the playoffs.

8-4 Denver Broncos
Currently AFC #6 seed.
Remaining Opponents 36-14: at 6-6 Titans; vs 10-2 Patriots; at 10-3 Chiefs; at 10-3 Raiders.
– 4% chance of winning the AFC West.
– 58% chance of making the playoffs.
– 42% chance of missing the playoffs.

 

AFC North

7-5 Baltimore Ravens
Currently AFC #3 seed.
Remaining Opponents 26-21-1: at 10-2 Patriots; vs 5-7 Eagles; at 7-5 Steelers; at 4-7-1 Bengals.
– 37% chance of winning AFC North.
– 42% chance of making the playoffs.
– 58% chance of missing the playoffs.

7-5 Pittsburgh Steelers
Currently AFC #8 seed.
Remaining Opponents 17-30-1: at 6-6 Bills; at 4-7-1 Bengals; vs 7-5 Ravens; vs 0-12 Browns.
– 62% chance of winning AFC North.
– 68% chance of making the playoffs.
– 32% chance of missing the playoffs.

 

AFC South

6-6 Houston Texans
Currently AFC #4 seed.
Remaining Opponents 18-29-1: at 6-6 Colts; vs 2-10 Jaguars; vs 4-7-1 Bengals; at 6-6 Titans.
– 59% chance of winning AFC South.
– 41% chance of missing the playoffs.

6-6 Indianapolis Colts
Currently AFC #9 seed.
Remaining Opponents : vs 6-6 Texans; at 6-6 Vikings; at 10-3 Raiders; vs 2-10 Jaguars.
– 28% chance of winning AFC South.
– 72% chance of missing the playoffs.

6-6 Tennessee Titans
Currently AFC #10 seed.
Remaining Opponents: vs 8-4 Broncos; at 10-3 Chiefs; at 2-10 Jaguars; vs 6-6 Texans.
– 13% chance of winning AFC South.
– 86% chance of missing the playoffs.

 

NFC East

11-1 Dallas Cowboys
Currently NFC #1 seed.
3-game division lead with four games remaining.
Remaining Opponents 28-20: at 8-4 Giants; vs 7-5 Buccaneers; vs 8-4 Lions; at 5-7 Eagles.
– Can clinch division plus number one seed with (a) win at Giants, plus (b) Seahawks loss to Packers, plus (c) Lions loss to Bears.
– Can clinch division and bye with (a) win at Giants, plus either (b)Seahawks loss to Packers, or (c) lions loss to Bears.
– Can clinch division and #3 seed with win at Giants.
– Can clinch a playoff spot and #5 seed despite a loss, with either (a) Bucs loss to Saints, or (b) Falcons loss to Rams.
– 98% chance of winning the NFC East.
– Cowboys clinched a playoff spot in Week 13.

8-4 New York Giants
Currently NFC #5 seed.
Remaining Opponents 30-17-1: vs 11-1 Cowboys; vs 8-4 Lions; at 5-7 Eagles; at 6-5-1 Redskins.
– 2% chance of winning NFC East.
– 66% chance of making playoffs.
– 34% chance of missing playoffs.
– Eliminated from division title with loss to Cowboys.

6-5-1 Washington Redskins
Currently NFC #7 seed.
Remaining Opponents 20-28: at 5-7 Eagles; vs 4-8 Panthers; at 3-9 Bears; vs 8-4 Giants.
– Cannot win NFC East.
– 47% chance of making playoffs as wild card.
– 53% chance of missing playoffs.

 

NFC West

8-3-1 Seattle Seahawks
Currently NFC #2 seed.
3-game division lead with four games remaining.
Remaining Opponents 16-31-1: at 6-6 Packers; vs 4-8 Rams; vs 5-6-1 Cardinals; at 1-11 49ers.
– 99% chance of winning NFC West.
– Can clinch division with a win, plus a Cardinals loss.
– Eliminated from #1 seed with a loss, plus a Cowboys win.

 

NFC North

8-4 Detroit Lions
Currently NFC #3 seed.
2-game division lead with four games remaining.
Remaining Opponents 28-20: vs 3-9 Bears; at 8-4 Giants; at 11-1 Cowboys; vs 6-6 Packers.
– 79% chance of winning NFC North.
– 85% chance of making playoffs.
– 15% chance of missing playoffs.
– Eliminated from #1 seed with (a) loss to Bears, and (b) Cowboys win vs Giants.

6-6 Minnesota Vikings
Currently NFC #8 seed.
Remaining Opponents 17-31: at 2-10 Jaguars; vs 6-6 Colts; at 6-6 Packers; vs 3-9 Bears.
– 5% chance of winning NFC North.
– 23% chance of making playoffs.
– 77% chance of missing playoffs.
– Eliminated from first round bye with (a) loss to Jaguars, and (b) Seahawks win at Packers.
– Eliminated from division title with (a) loss to Jaguars, and (b) Lions win vs Bears.

6-6 Green Bay Packers
Currently NFC #9 seed.
Remaining Opponents 25-22-1: vs 8-3-1 Seahawks; at 3-9 Bears; vs 6-6 Packers; at 8-4 Lions.
– 16% chance of winning NFC North.
– 22% chance of making playoffs.
– 78% chance of missing playoffs.
– Eliminated from first round bye with loss to Seahawks.

 

NFC South

7-5 Atlanta Falcons
Currently NFC #4 seed.
Remaining Opponents 14-34: at 4-8 Rams; vs 1-11 49ers; at 4-8 Panthers; vs 5-7 Saints.
– 71% chance of winning NFC South.
– 87% chance of making playoffs.
– 13% chance of missing playoffs.
– Eliminated from #1 seed with either (a) loss to Rams, or (b) Cowboys win at Giants.

7-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Currently NFC #6 seed.
Remaining Opponents : vs 5-7 Saints; at 11-1 Cowboys; at 5-7 Saints; vs 4-8 Panthers.
– 26% chance of winning NFC South.
– 60% chance of making playoffs.
– 40% chance of missing playoffs.
– Eliminated from #1 seed with either (a) loss to Saints, or (b) Cowboys win at Giants.

 

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.

 

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NFL Week 11 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

John Morgan
November 20, 2016 at 7:00 am ET

There are three significant games between pairs of winning teams in 2016 NFL Week 11. Back in Week 1 the Cowboys settled for field goals three times within the 10-yard line, and blew a fourth quarter lead in a one point loss to the Giants. Since then Dallas has reeled off eight wins in a row, and now possess the best record in the league. In an early Sunday game the Cowboys host Baltimore, who has won each of their games since a Week 8 bye and are now atop the AFC North.

Philadelphia held the league’s best offense to 15 points in a victory over Atlanta last week. In the late afternoon time slot the Eagles get another difficult challenge, traveling to Seattle to play the Seahawks. A third game between two clubs with winning records takes place on Monday night when Houston plays Oakland in Mexico City.

 

NFL Week 11 Early Games on CBS

★★★ 5-5 Tennessee Titans at 4-5 Indianapolis Colts
Sunday November 20 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Spero Dedes and Solomon Wilcots
Colts -3 . . . . over/under 52½ . . . . IND -150, TEN +130
Broadcast in Huntsville AL, Springfield IL, Indiana, central and western Kentucky, and Tennessee.

After lighting up the scoreboard for 47 points against Green Bay last week, the Titans are averaging 34 points per game over the last six weeks. The NFL promotes Andrew Luck as the new face of their league, but right now Marcus Mariota is the third best quarterback in the NFL behind Tom Brady and Matt Ryan.

Prediction: Titans 35, Colts 31
Titans +3 . . . . over 52½ (one unit) . . . . . Tennessee +130

Final Score: Colts 24, Titans 17 x
Titans +3 x . . . . over 52½ x . . . . Titans +130 x

 

★★ 2-7 Jacksonville Jaguars at 5-4 Detroit Lions
Sunday November 20 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Andrew Catalan, Steve Beuerlein and Steve Tasker
Lions -6 . . . . over/under 47½ . . . . DET -260, JAC +220
Broadcast in northern Florida, southern Georgia, Michigan and Green Bay WI.

Jacksonville refuses to run the ball (20.9 rushes per game, fewest in NFL) despite ranking 30th in yards per pass attempt. On top of that the Jaguars are 31st in penalty yards per game (81.4) and last in turnover differential. At home the Lions should have no problem in this game.

Prediction: Lions 31, Jaguars 20
Lions -6 (two units) . . . . over 47½ . . . . . Detroit -260

Final Score: Lions 26, Jaguars 19 ✓
Lions -6 ✓✓ . . . . over 47½ x . . . . Lions -260 ✓

 

★★★★★ 5-4 Baltimore Ravens at 8-1 Dallas Cowboys
Sunday November 20 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts and Evan Washburn
Cowboys -7½ . . . . over/under 44½ . . . . DAL -340, BAL +280
Broadcast in all markets except for Cincinnati, Kansas City, Minneapolis, New York City, and those markets airing one of the three other early CBS games.

The Dallas offense impressed last week at Pittsburgh, but Baltimore’s defense is far superior. The Raven defense ranks first in yardage (282 per game), third downs (31.5%), yards per carry (3.3), rushing yards per game (71) and is third in scoring (17.8 points per game). The Dallas offense is just as good, though some of their numbers have been aided by mediocre defenses (Bears, Niners, Packers, Steelers, Browns). The problem for the Ravens is that their offense has been inept (4.8 yards per play, 30th) and too dependent on Joe Flacco (42.3 pass attempts per game, most in the NFL).

Prediction: Cowboys 24, Ravens 20
Ravens +7½ (one unit) . . . . under 44½ . . . . . Dallas -340

Final Score: Cowboys 27, Ravens 17 ✓
Ravens +7½ x . . . . under 44½ ✓ . . . . Cowboys -340 ✓

 

★★ 4-5 Pittsburgh Steelers at 0-10 Cleveland Browns
Sunday November 20 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon
Steelers -8½ . . . . over/under 43½ . . . . PIT -380, CLE +310
Broadcast in Fargo ND, Ohio (except Cincinnati), Pennsylvania (except Harrisburg and Philadelphia) and West Virginia.

The Steelers have not won a game since October 9, but this week they have the perfect cure for what ails them: a game against the Browns. Pittsburgh has struggled on defense, but Cleveland’s passing game has been impotent thanks to their merry go round at quarterback, which has in turn allowed opponents to stack the box and stop Isaiah Crowell and the running game. On the other side of the ball only the Niners have a worse defense than the Browns. Cleveland ranks last in third down defense and yards per pass, and is 31st in points, yards, rushing yards and red zone D.

That being said I am not expecting a blowout. The Steelers have not looked good away from home, losing their last three on the road – games in which they were favored to win each time. The Browns have actually either been winning or tied at halftime in half of their games this year. DE Cameron Heyward and WR Markus Wheaton were placed on Injured Reserve this week; the loss of Heyward in particular is a blow for their struggling defense.

Prediction: Steelers 27, Browns 20
Browns +8½ . . . . over 43½ . . . . . Pittsburgh -380

Final Score: Steelers 24, Browns 9 ✓
Browns +8½ x . . . . over 43½ x . . . . Steelers -380 ✓

 

NFL Week 11 Early Sunday Games on FOX

★★★ 4-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 7-2 Kansas City Chiefs
Sunday November 20 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston and Laura Okmin
Chiefs -7½ . . . . over/under 44½ . . . . KAN -320, TAM +260
Broadcast in Alabama (except Huntsville and Mobile), Fort Smith AR, Florida (except Jacksonville, Miami and West Palm Beach), northern California, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Reno NV, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming.

The Chiefs have won five straight to quietly take a share of the lead in the AFC West. The Kansas City defense (18.7 points allowed, 7th) has carried the team, thanks to a league best 22 takeaways and +14 turnover differential. However KC has had trouble stopping the run, and Doug Martin is back in the lineup from his hamstring injury for the Bucs. The Chiefs have allowed opponents to rush for 4.7 yards per carry (30th) and 122 yards per game (27th). If CB Marcus Peters (hip pointer) is unable to play that will open things up for WR Mike Evans and the Buc offense – and possibly an upset to end Kansas City’s ten-game home winning streak.

Prediction: Chiefs 24, Buccaneers 17
Buccaneers +7½ . . . . under 44½ . . . . . Tampa Bay +260

Final Score: Buccaneers 19, Chiefs 17 x
Buccaneers +7½ ✓ . . . . under 44½ ✓ . . . . Buccaneers +260 ✓

 

★★ 2-7 Chicago Bears at 6-3 New York Giants
Sunday November 20 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch and Pam Oliver
Giants -7½ . . . . over/under 41½ . . . . NYG -280, CHI +240
Broadcast in New England, DC, Illinois (except southern IL), Indiana (except Indianapolis), New Orleans LA, Grand Rapids MI, Mississippi, eastern New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania (except Pittsburgh), Memphis TN, Austin TX, and Virginia.

The Giants have won four in a row and are receiving a lot of hype from the New York based national media. I am not particularly impressed by Big Blue; they should have lost to Philly and barely beat the Ravens, Rams and an uninspired Bengals team. Today they get an easy home game against a Bears team that is now without RG Kevin Long, NT Will Sutton and wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White. Those losses on offense will result in Jay Cutler making a critical error or three that results in a turnover. The Giants’ six wins have been by a combined total of just 21 points, with none by more than seven. I’ll give a slight lean to the Bears plus the points here.

Prediction: Giants 27, Bears 20
Bears +7½ . . . . over 41½ . . . . . New York -280

Final Score: Giants 22, Bears 16 ✓
Bears +7½ ✓ . . . . over 41½ x . . . . Giants -280 ✓

 

★★★ 4-4-1 Arizona Cardinals at 5-4 Minnesota Vikings
Sunday November 20 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Erin Andrews
Vikings -2 . . . . over/under 40½ . . . . MIN -130, ARI +110
Broadcast in Huntsville AL, Mobile AL, Alaska, Arkansas (except Ft Smith), Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, eastern Kentucky, Louisiana (except New Orleans), Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Las Vegas NV, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas (except Austin, Dallas and Houston), Washington and Wisconsin.

Before the season began these two playoff teams from 2015 were considered to be serious contenders to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. The Vikings have lost four in a row and the only reason Arizona has made its way up to .500 is because they got to play the Niners twice, plus the Jets. Both teams have capable defenses, ranking first and third in points allowed. Minnesota’s offensive line is a mess though, with one injury after another. Meanwhile Carson Palmer can’t hold onto the ball, fumbling it an NFL-high ten times this season.

Prediction: Vikings 23, Cardinals 17
Vikings -2 . . . . under 40½ . . . . . Minnesota -135

Final Score: Vikings 30, Cardinals 24 ✓
Vikings -2 ✓ . . . . under 40½ x . . . . Vikings -135 ✓

 

★★★★ 4-5 Buffalo Bills at 3-5-1 Cincinnati Bengals
Sunday November 20 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Thom Brennaman, Charles Davis and Chris Speilman
Bengals -2½ . . . . over/under 47½ . . . . CIN -135, BUF +115
Broadcast in Kentucky, western New York, Ohio (except Cleveland) and West Virginia.

For only the second time since September the Bengals get to play in Cincinnati; their only victory during that time span was against the Browns. Cincy’s offensive line has struggled, while Jerry Hughes and Lorenzo Alexander have wreaked havoc on opponents with Buffalo’s pass rush. The Bills are 4-1 with a healthy LeSean McCoy, while the Bengals seem to still be in a hangover from last season’s playoff meltdown against Pittsburgh.

Prediction: Bills 27, Bengals 20
Bills +2½ (two units) . . . . under 47½ . . . . . Buffalo +125

Final Score: Bills 16, Bengals 12 ✓
Bills +2½ ✓✓ . . . . under 47½ ✓ . . . . Bills +125 ✓

 

NFL Week 11 Late Game on FOX

★★ 5-4 Miami Dolphins at 4-5 Los Angeles Rams
Sunday November 20 at 4:05 pm ET on FOX; Chris Myers, Ronde Barber and Jennifer Hale
Dolphins -1 . . . . over/under 39½ . . . . MIA -115, LAR +105
Broadcast in southern California, Hawaii, east Florida (Jacksonville, Miami, West Palm Beach), Baltimore, Dallas, Detroit, Cleveland, Houston, Indianapolis, Nashville and Pittsburgh.

Miami will attempt to control the game with Jay Ajayi running the ball, but the Rams have been very effective defending the rush. The Rams finally start rookie quarterback Jared Goff this week. Goff possesses a far superior arm than Case Keenum, but the Dolphins have a very effective pass rush. More downfield passes would open the running game up for Todd Gurley, but that will be a moot point if Goff is being pressured into making mistakes. Miami will be without LT Brandon Albert, which should allow the Rams to get to Ryan Tannehill.

Prediction: Rams 16, Dolphins 13
Rams +1 . . . . under 39½ (two units) . . . . . Rams -105

Final Score: Dolphins 14, Rams 10 x
Rams +1 x . . . . under 39½ ✓✓ . . . . . Rams -105 x

 

NFL Week 11 Late Games on CBS

★★★★ 7-2 New England Patriots at 1-8 San Francisco 49ers
Sunday November 20 at 4:25 pm ET on CBS; Greg Gumbel, Trent Green and Jamie Erdahl
Patriots -11½ . . . . over/under 51 . . . . NWE -600, SFO +450
Broadcast in New England, California (except San Diego), Hawaii, South Dakota, Buffalo, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Mobile, Pittsburgh, Reno, Tampa and West Palm Beach.

On paper the New England offense versus the San Francisco defense is a mismatch of epic proportions, even without Rob Gronkowski. However the Patriot defense struggled to slow down Seattle last week, and the Niners have had times when their offense has been able to move the ball effectively on offense. I thought this would be a good game for New England to utilize Tyler Gaffney, and give LeGarrette Blount a bit of a breather. Gaffney was waived though, so this may instead be a chance for Dion Lewis to shake off the rust and get some reps in his first game of the season.

Prediction: Patriots 35, Forty Niners 17
Patriots -11½ (two units) . . . . over 51 . . . . New England -650

Final Score: Patriots 30, Niners 17 ✓
Patriots -11½ ✓✓ . . . . over 51 x . . . . Patriots -650 ✓

 

★★★★ 5-4 Philadelphia Eagles at 6-2-1 Seattle Seahawks
Sunday November 20 at 4:25 pm ET on CBS; Jim Nantz, Phil Simms and Tracy Wolfson
Seahawks -6½ . . . . over/under 43 . . . . SEA -280, PHI +240
Broadcast in all markets except for Los Angeles and those showing the Patriots-Niners game, above.

It will be interesting to see how Carson Wentz handles the noise in Seattle. Philadelphia has struggled in pass protection since Lane Johnson was suspended; Cliff Avril and Frank Clark should be able to pressure the rookie quarterback into mistakes. Seattle’s defense has improved with the return of Kam Chancellor from a groin injury. Philly can generate more of a pass rush against Seattle than the Patriots did, but their secondary has been prone to blown coverages.

Prediction: Seahawks 24, Eagles 13
Seahawks -6½ (one unit) . . . . under 43 . . . . . Seattle -280

Final Score: Seahawks 26, Eagles 15 ✓
Seahawks -6½ . . . . under 43 ✓ . . . . . Seahawks -280 ✓

 

NFL Week 11 Sunday Night Football on NBC

★★★★ 4-5 Green Bay Packers at 5-3-1 Washington Redskins
Sunday November 20 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC; Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya
Redskins -3 . . . . over/under 48½ . . . . WAS -145, GNB +125
Broadcast in all markets.

RB James Starks is back from his knee injury, but the Packers have problems on their offensive line. Center JC Tretter and RG TJ Lang are out, and though LT David Bakhtiari will play, he is dealing with a knee injury from last week’s game. Green Bay is also suffering from injuries at linebacker and in their secondary, allowing opponents to gain 7.7 yards per pass attempt (30th). Kirk Cousins should have a big game against this suspect pass coverage.

Prediction: Redskins 31, Packers 27
Redskins -3 . . . . over 48½ . . . . . Washington -145

Final Score: Redskins 42, Packers 24 ✓
Redskins -3 ✓ . . . . over 48½ ✓ . . . . . Redskins -145 ✓

 

NFL Week 11 Monday Night Football on BSPN

★★★★ 6-3 Houston Texans ‘at’ 7-2 Oakland Raiders in Mexico City
Monday November 21 at 8:30 pm ET on BSPN; Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden and Lisa Salters
Raiders -6 . . . . over/under 46 . . . . OAK -250, HOU +210
Broadcast in all markets.

Derek Carr (17 TD, 3 INT) has been on fire this season, and Oakland is scoring 27.2 points per game, fifth most in the NFL. Houston got its first road win of the year last week at Jacksonville, by three points – despite a net total of 92 passing yards. Oakland should win this game easily.

Prediction: Raiders 27, Texans 17
Raiders -6 (two units) . . . . under 46 . . . . . Oakland -250

Final Score: Raiders 27, Texans 20 ✓
Raiders -6 ✓✓ . . . . under 46 x . . . . . Raiders -250 ✓

 

NFL Week 11 Byes

6-4 Atlanta Falcons
7-3 Denver Broncos
3-7 New York Jets
4-6 San Diego Chargers

 

NFL Week 11 Thursday Night Football

★★★ 4-5 New Orleans Saints at 3-6 Carolina Panthers
Thursday, November 17 at 8:300 pm ET on NBC; Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya
Panthers -3½ . . . . over/under 53 . . . . CAR -185, NOR +165
Broadcast in all markets.

Week by week the Panthers slowly creep back into the playoff race after a horrendous start to the season.

Prediction: Panthers 31, Saints 27
Panthers -3½ . . . . over 53 . . . . . Carolina -185

Final Score: Panthers 23, Saints 20 ✓
Panthers -3½ x . . . . over 53 x . . . . Panthers -185 ✓

 

NFL Week 11 Parlays and Teasers

3-Team Parlay (one unit):
Lions -6 vs Jaguars ✓
Patriots -11½ at 49ers ✓
Raiders -6 vs Texans ✓

5-Team 6-Point Teaser (two units): ✓✓
Lions -0 vs Jaguars ✓
Patriots -5½ at 49ers ✓
Bills +8½ at Bengals ✓
Buccaneers +13½ at Chiefs ✓
Ravens +13½ at Cowboys ✓

 

Tale of the Tape

Week 10 was a mixed bag at best, expecting the Falcons-Eagles to be a shootout but hitting on a couple other overs (Packers-Titans, Bucs-Bears). There just were not very many games I felt particularly confident about – zero wagers over two units – so I really should have limited the number of games I played.

Week 10 Results:
6-8 Straight Up
4-10 Against the Spread
9-5 Over/Under
2-unit plays: 3-1, +380
1-unit plays: 1-6, -560
3-Game Parlay: 1u, -110
4-Game Teaser: 2u, -220
18 units invested
4-9, -510 on $1980 risk.
-25.8% ROI

Year to Date Results:
82-63-2 Straight Up
78-65-4 Against the Spread
82-65 Over/Under
5-unit plays: 1-0, +500
3-unit plays: 6-5-1, +120
2-unit plays: 24-13, +1990
1-unit plays: 33-20-1, +1090
Parlays: 2-6, +1140
Teasers: 5-3, +2150
71-47-2, +7100 on original $2310 risk.
307.4% ROI on original $2310 bankroll.
33.3% ROI on $21,340 (194 units) of total weekly investments.

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.

 

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