Tag Archives: Washington Redskins

New England Patriots 2018 Preseason Schedule Announced

Steve Balestrieri
April 11, 2018 at 6:34 pm ET

The NFL announced the 2018 preseason schedule earlier today and the Patriots preseason slate has several familiar foes.

The Pats will be at home for their first two weeks of the preseason against the Washington Redskins and then against the Philadelphia Eagles in a rematch of the two Super Bowl teams in Week 2. They then travel to Carolina in Week 3.  And it wouldn’t be preseason with finishing off with the New York Giants in Week 4 at the Meadowlands. The exact dates and times will be announced at a later date.

According to the Patriots website, their three most frequent preseason opponents in franchise history are the Giants (27), Eagles (22) and Redskins (21).

The Patriots held joint practices together at their training camp location in the 2014 summer before the regular season. The Patriots hosted the Philadelphia Eagles for joint practices also during 2014 in front of huge crowds on the Gillette practice fields.

It will be the fourth time in five years, they’ve met Philadelphia in the preseason’s Week 3 and the 14 years in a row that the Patriots and Giants finish their preseason slate playing one another.

We’ll post the dates of the games as soon as they become available. Now the countdown begins for minicamp and of course training camp.

NFL Week 11 Odds, Predictions and Picks against the spread

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Early Games on Fox

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Early Games on CBS

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Late Afternoon Games

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Prime Time Games

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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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


NFL Week 12 Early Advanced ‘Look-Ahead’ Betting Lines: Pats favored by 14.5 vs Miami

John Morgan
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 this past Thursday’s game between Pittsburgh and Tennessee. Also known as Look-Ahead lines, they give the adventurous sports fan an opportunity to wager on games up to twelve days away. Early lines offer a short opportunity to get a jump on odds that could be less favorable after Sunday’s games.

The good news is that this the bye weeks are over, and that Thanksgiving Day gives us three games to feast on.

On paper the NFL Week 12 schedule does not offer many close games. Eleven games have a spread of 6½ or more and two games list odds of three points or less. The New England Patriots are the heaviest favorites, at -14½ at home versus Miami. Two other home teams are also double-digit favorites. Chicago is at Philadelphia (-11½) and Green Bay plays at Pittsburgh (-12½) next Sunday night.

Home favorites also have the narrowest odds. The Vikings are at Detroit (-1½) in an important NFC North game, and the Rams (-1½) host New Orleans in one of the late afternoon matchups. The only road favorites are Carolina (at the Jets), Tennessee at Indy, Seattle at San Francisco, and Jacksonville at Arizona.

NFL Week 12 Early Odds

Thanksgiving Day, Thursday Nov 24
Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions (-1½) 12:30 pm ET on Fox
Los Angeles Chargers at Dallas Cowboys (-4), 4:30 pm ET on CBS
New York Giants at Washington Redskins (-8½), 8:30 pm ET on NBC

Sunday Nov 26 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals (-8)
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots (-14½)
Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs (-7½)

Sunday Nov 26 at 1:00 pm ET on Fox
Chicago Bears at Philadelphia Eagles (-11½)
Tampa Bay Bucs at Atlanta Falcons (-9)
Carolina Panthers (-4) at New York Jets
Tennessee Titans (-6½) at Indianapolis Colts

Sunday Nov 26 late afternoon games
Seattle Seahawks (-8½) at San Francisco 49ers, 4:00 pm ET on Fox
New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams (-1½), 4:30 pm on CBS
Jacksonville Jaguars (-3½) at Arizona Cardinals, 4:30 pm ET on CBS
Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders (-6½), 4:30 pm ET on CBS

Prime Time Games, 8:30 pm ET
Green Bay Packers at Pittsburgh Steelers (-12½), Sunday November 26 on NBC
Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens (-7½), Monday November 27 on espn


At first glance I like the Vikings (+1½), Rams (-1½), Washington (-8½), Bucs +9 and Packers +12½.


NFL Week 10 Odds, Predictions and Picks against the spread

John Morgan
November 12, 2017 at 7:00 am ET

NFL Week 10 has plenty of interesting story lines. On Sunday night the Patriots travel to their house of horrors, Denver’s Mile High Stadium. The Pats are 2-6 since 2005 in Colorado, and 4-18 in the Rockies since 1969. Despite that alarming trend the Patriots are 7½ point favorites as of Saturday night.

Since their week five bye the Broncos have been in a free fall with no end in sight. First there was a 13-point loss to the Giants, giving Big Blue their only win of 2017. That was followed by a shutout loss to the Chargers, then a five-turnover debacle against KC. Last week the one strong point for Denver, their defense, allowed 51 points. It was the most points allowed by the Broncos since 2010. On top of that the 28 point differential was the worst for Denver since the 2011 season of Tim Tebow.

There are plenty of other games worth watching as well. In the early time slot Minnesota is at Washington, and the Saints travel to Buffalo on a six-game winning streak. Then in the late afternoon time slot Dallas travels to Atlanta without Ezekiel Elliott. Roger Goodell wanted the NFL to have 12-month headlines, but these questionable suspensions and subsequent court cases are crushing the popularity of the sport. The week wraps up with Miami at Carolina on Monday night.

Most of the country will get Pittsburgh at Indy early on CBS. Fox has the early time slot split between the Saints-Bills in the east, and Minnesota-Washington in the west. The Pats-Broncos game is available most everywhere, though Hartford is stubbornly (and stupidly) opting to air the Giants game instead. smh…. For a full list of announcers and to see what games are being broadcast in your are, please check JP Kirby’s 506 Sports.


Early Games on Fox

6-2 Minnesota Vikings at 4-4 Washington Redskins
Vikings favored by 1½; over/under 41 points; money line -125, +105

Washington has had injuries throughout their entire offensive line this season. They get three starters (LG Shawn Lauvo, C Spencer Long, RG Brandon Scherff) back this week. That should significantly help matters, but LT is still a sore spot. Minnesota Pro Bowl DE Everson Griffen already has ten sacks, and will make LT TJ Clemmings look incompetent.

Pick: Vikings 23, Redskins 17
Minnesota -1½, under 41


4-4 Green Bay Packers at 3-5 Chicago Bears
Bears favored by 5½; over/under 37½ points; money line -250, +210

It would be no surprise whatsoever if the Pack finishes the season in last place in the NFC North. Perhaps then they can use their early draft picks to shore up that Swiss cheese offensive line. Here’s a question: will Brett Hundley be able to make the roster on a CFL or Arena league team in 2018?

Pick: Bears 20, Packers 17
Packers +5½, under 37½


3-5 Cincinnati Bengals at 5-3 Tennessee Titans
Titans favored by 4½; over/under 40½ points; money line -220, +180

Cincinnati has given up 25 ppg over the last three weeks, losing two of three since their bye. Two of those games were against Jacksonville and Indianapolis, neither of which are offensive juggernauts. More alarming was the Bengals regression on offense last week, with a mere eight first downs and seven points scored.

Pick: Titans 20, Bengals 17
Cincinnati +4½, under 40½


6-2 New Orleans Saints at 5-3 Buffalo Bills
Saints favored by 3; over/under 47½ points; money line -145, +125

The Saints are overdue for a letdown loss, but will it come now? Here is dome team playing outside up north in the last half of the season against a team coming off an embarrassing loss. I just don’t think that the Bills can keep up with the New Orleans offense though. The Saints have a balanced attack and are playing complimentary football. That is something they have lacked since winning the Super Bowl eight years ago. Logically the Saints win, but I’m taking the Bills to bounce back in a slight upset. Buffalo wins their fifth straight home game.

Pick: Bills 24, Saints 20
Buffalo +3, under 47½


Early Games on CBS

6-2 Pittsburgh Steelers at 3-6 Indianapolis Colts
Steelers favored by 10; over/under 45 points; money line -500, +400

Pittsburgh has a tendency to play down to the level of their opponents on the road. That doesn’t mean the Colts will pull off the upset though; they are still awful. Indy has an atrocious minus-98 point differential already. To place that in perspective that is worse than even the one-win Giants, or the winless Browns and Niners.

Pick: Steelers 27, Colts 20
Indianapolis +10, over 45


3-5 Los Angeles Chargers at 5-3 Jacksonville Jaguars
Jaguars favored by 4½; over/under 41 points; money line -210, +180

RB Leonard Fournette will have fresh legs after three weeks off. He faces a Charger run defense that is allowing 4.6 yards per carry (28th) and 135 yards per game (31st). The Jacksonville defense is for real, allowing an NFL-best 14.6 points per game.

Pick: Jaguars 24, Chargers 13
Jacksonville -4½, under 41


4-5 New York Jets at 2-6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jets favored by 2½; over/under 43½ points; money line -140, +120

Tampa Bay’s defense has been a sore spot all season. The Buccaneer defense generates no pass rush, with a league-worst eight sacks on the season. That has resulted in 7.9 yards per pass attempt (28th) and 24.8 points per game (26th). Give journeyman QB Josh McCown enough time and he will avoid critical mistakes and do just enough to win.

Pick: Jets 24, Bucs 20
Gang Green -2½, over 43½


0-8 Cleveland Browns at 4-4 Detroit Lions
Lions favored by 11; over/under 43½ points; money line -625, +450

The Cleveland defense has actually played well this year. The Browns are allowing only 2.9 yards per rush (1st) and 4.9 yards per play (8th). The offense though ranks at or near the bottom in nearly every statistical category. Detroit may be inconsistent, but they have far more talent and should win easily.

Pick: Lions 31, Browns 13
Detroit -11, over 43½


Late Afternoon Games

3-5 Houston Texans at 6-2 Los Angeles Rams
Rams favored by 11½; over/under 45½ points; money line -675, +475

This would have been a really great game to watch. Unfortunately it’s Tom Savage at QB rather than DeShaun Watson, and JJ Watt and Whitney Houston are sidelined as well. The Rams put up 51 points last week and now have to be considered a genuine contender to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. QB Jared Goff’s numbers through eight games: 2,030 yards passing with 13 TD against only 4 INT. Goff also leads the NFL with 8.3 yards per pass attempt and 13.8 yards per completion.

Pick: Rams 27, Texans 13
Los Angeles -11½, under 45½


5-3 Dallas Cowboys at 4-4 Atlanta Falcons
Falcons favored by 3; over/under 48½ points; money line -150, +130

The Dallas offense has been clicking, and the Atlanta defense has been missing. The Cowboys will be without RB Ezekiel Elliott however. Perhaps more importantly all-pro LT Tyron Smith will also be inactive due to a groin injury. Atlanta needs to get their offense back in gear to keep their playoff hopes reasonably alive.

Pick: Falcons 28, Cowboys 27
Dallas +3, over 48½


1-7 New York Giants at 0-9 San Francisco 49ers
Giants favored by 2½; over/under 42 points; money line -145, +125

Week after week I keep picking Santa Clara to win a game. Week after week the Miners find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Now they host Team Turmoil, traveling three time zones. The G-men have given up on their season and their coach is Dead Man Walking. The legend of Jimmy Garoppolo in the City by the Bay commences. Only masochists would tune in to watch a game between two teams with a combined 1-16 record.

Pick: Niners 3, Giants 2
Niners +2½, under 42


Prime Time Games

6-2 New England Patriots at 3-5 Denver Broncos
Patriot favored by 7½; over/under 44½ points; money line -320, +260

New England fans are rightfully going to temper their expectations based on the Patriots history in Denver. The Broncos have not looked good since their week five bye. Denver has lost four straight, turning the ball over 13 times in that span. To win they will need their defense to come through against a Patriot offense that is without WR Chris Hogan (shoulder). Danny Amendola has been playing through a knee injury, so the Pats could rely more on James White in the passing game. The Broncos can’t focus on stopping both Rob Gronkowski and the Patriot running backs at the same time. Brock Osweiler and the Denver offense will make a critical gaffe or two against Matt Patricia’s defense.

Pick: Patriots 31, Broncos 17
New England -7½, over 44½


4-4 Miami Dolphins at 6-3 Carolina Panthers
Panthers favored by 9; over/under 38½ points; money line -450, +350

Continuity on offensive lines is a key to productivity. Miami will make two changes to their OL this week, adding LG Ted Larsen but losing RT Ja’Wuan James. That could be problematic against a Carolina defense that is allowing only 17.7 ppg.

Pick: Panthers 24, Dolphins 17
Miami +9, over 38½


Bye Week:
4-5 Baltimore Ravens
6-3 Kansas City Chiefs
4-5 Oakland Raiders
8-1 Philadelphia Eagles


For a sneak peak at next week’s games, check out NFL Week 11 Early Advanced ‘Look-Ahead Lines: Patriots favored by 6 vs Raiders in Mexico City.


NFL Week 7 Odds, Predictions and Picks against the spread

John Morgan
October 22, 2017 at 6:00 am ET

NFL Week 7 is highlighted by the most hyped and anticipated game of the 2017 season. The Atlanta Falcons travel to Foxborough for only the second time this millennium, in a rematch of the greatest Super Bowl in NFL history. The Patriots lead the all-time series 8-6 and are 5-0 in the Belichick-Brady era. New England was listed as a 3½ point favorite for most of the week, with that number dropping to three late Friday. As of Saturday night 63% of the money bet on the spread is taking the Falcons to cover, 74% of the money line is on Atlanta, and 77% is on the point total going over 56½ points.

Ironically the Pats-Falcons game will end up being no more than the second most exciting game of the week. In a departure from the usual Thursday night fare, NFL fans were treated to a wild and stunning ending to the week’s first game. If seven lead changes weren’t enough, consider the final half minute of the Raiders closing drive to beat Kansas City.

  • Completion on 4th and 11 for a first down.
  • Two incomplete passes.
  • Touchdown pass to tie the game.
  • Scoring play reviewed; call reversed, out of bounds inside the one yard line.
  • Ten second runoff; game clock down to 0:03 seconds.
  • Pass completed for touchdown.
  • Penalty, offensive pass interference; TD nullified, ten yard penalty.
  • Pass incomplete, clock at 0:00.
  • Penalty on defense; Raiders get an untimed down.
  • Pass again incomplete.
  • Another penalty on KC, another untimed play for Oakland.
  • Pass complete for touchdown to tie the game.
  • Extra point good to win the game.

As a whole the public tends to place more money on the favorite than on the underdog. Those that bet the chalk in week six lost their shirt. Favorites covered the spread in a mere three games last week, and underdogs won nine of those 14 games straight up. Both home teams favored by 13½ lost (Atlanta to Miami and Denver to the Giants). In addition Minnesota knocked out Green Bay, Pittsburgh handed Kansas City their first loss, and the Chargers (at Oakland) and Bears (at Baltimore) pulled off road upsets. The 2017 has provided plenty of inconsistency, with teams looking strong one week and bad the next.

Week 7 is full of games that are close matchups, at least on paper. While week six had what appeared to be plenty of blowouts (and we saw how that turned out), there are zero games with a spread of more than six points this week. Road teams are favored nearly as often as home team, accounting for many of those low odds. New Orleans at Green Bay and Tampa Bay at Buffalo appear to be the most watchable of the eight games in the early time slot. Cincinnati at Pittsburgh was flexed to a later kickoff to help improve the quality of the late afternoon games. Another good option as a prelude to the Pats-Falcons game is Denver at the Chargers. Atlanta at New England is of course the must-watch game on Sunday night. Monday night features Carson Wentz and Philadelphia hosting Washington. The Eagles went on the road to defeat Carolina last week, and now own the NFL’s best record at 5-1.


Early Games on CBS

3-3 Tennessee Titans at 0-6 Cleveland Browns
Titans favored by 6; over/under 45½; money line -250, +210

The Titans have displayed an annoying penchant for playing down to the level of their opponents. However, this is the Browns we are talking about. Even if Tennessee starts slow – as they often do – the Titans should still be able to win this game with less than 100% productivity.

Pick: Titans 24, Browns 20; Cleveland +6


3-3 Jacksonville Jaguars at 2-4 Indianapolis Colts
Jaguars favored by 3; over/under 43½; money line -165, +145

The Colts are unable to finish games, a sign of substandard coaching. Jacksonville failed to live up to lofty expectations in 2016, but this season their defense (18.3 ppg, 312 ypg) is carrying the Jags to playoff contention.

Pick: Jaguars 27, Colts 17; Jacksonville -3.


3-3 Baltimore Ravens at 4-2 Minnesota Vikings
Vikings favored by 5½; over/under 38½; money line -250, +210

Don’t be fooled by Baltimore’s record. Their wins were against the Raiders without Derek Carr, the Browns, and a Bengal team still in preseason form in week one. The Ravens home loss last week to the lowly Bears was not an anomaly.

Pick: Vikings 24, Ravens 13; Minnesota -5½


4-2 Carolina Panthers at 2-4 Chicago Bears
Panthers favored by 3; over/under 41; money line -170, +150

So when the dust all settled this game was cross flexed from Fox to CBS and the Miami-Jets game went from CBS to Fox. Why bother? Is anybody outside of those four fan bases going to watch either game? Mitch Trubisky looks like he will become a good NFL quarterback. But for this game the Bears are facing a well rested Panther team wanting to rid themselves of the taste of last week’s defeat. Beating the Ravens doesn’t really count for much; the Bears still have a long ways to go before becoming a contender.

Pick: Panthers 24, Bears 17; Panthers -3


Early Games on Fox

3-3 New York Jets at 3-2 Miami Dolphins
Dolphins favored by 3; over/under 38; money line -175, +155

Adam Gase finally figured out that Jay Cutler (an NFL-worst 5.2 yards per pass attempt) was not going to lead the Dolphins to many victories. Miami made no pretense what their plan was, lining up in two or three tight end formations, and was able run the ball effectively in last week’s win at Atlanta. Expect more of the same in this game. Woody Hayes would love this game.

Pick: Dolphins 17, Jets 16; Jets +3, under 38


2-3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 3-2 Buffalo Bills
Bills favored by 3; over/under 45; money line -150, +130

Jameis Winston will get the start for the Bucs, despite his bum shoulder. Tampa Bay’s defense has underachieved this season, but they finally get the heart of their D – linebackers LaVonte David and Kwon Alexander – healthy and on the field together. Their productivity is key, as Buffalo RB LeSean McCoy has bounced back from a couple of sub-par games with 98 yards from scrimmage in the win at Atlanta, and 99 yards at Cincinnati.

Pick: Bucs 20, Bills 16; Tampa Bay +3; under 45


3-2 New Orleans Saints at 4-2 Green Bay Packers
Saints favored by 4; over/under 47½; money line -210 +180

The Saints look for their fourth straight win while Green Bay QB Brent Hundley gets his first NFL start. Unfortunately for him the New Orleans defense has risen from the dead, forcing nine takeaways this season. On the other side of the ball the Saints have discovered a running game – ironically, with incumbent Mark Ingram rather than Adrian Peterson.

Pick: Saints 31-17; New Orleans -4


3-3 Arizona Cardinals ‘at’ 4-2 Los Angeles Rams, in London
Rams favored by 3; over/under 45½; money line -160, +140

Adrian Peterson had a big game in his debut last week, but don’t expect a repeat performance. The Arizona offensive line is still awful, and the Ram defense is much better than Tampa Bay’s injury riddled D. Jared Goff and the LA offense (a league-best 29.8 points per game) should give European NFL fans plenty of scoring to cheer for. Arizona’s defense (26.3 ppg) is nowhere near as formidable as they had been the previous four years.

Pick: Rams 31, Cardinals 24; Los Angeles -3


Late Afternoon Games

2-3 Dallas at 0-6 San Francisco 49ers, 4:00 ET on Fox
Cowboys favored by 6; over/under 48½; money line -265, +225

The Cowboys have not lived up to pre-season expectations, despite being able to play Ezekiel Elliott. After losing five straight games by a field goal or less, the Niners finally get their first W.

Pick: 49ers 24-21; San Fran +6


4-2 Pittsburgh Steelers at 2-3 Cincinnati Bengals, 4:30 ET on CBS
Steelers favored by 5½; over/under 40½; money line -250, +210

It is amazing to consider the possibility that Cincinnati, who looked awful in their first two games, could be in first place in the AFC North with a victory. Steeler WR Martavis Bryant, who asked to be traded due to his role in the offense, could have a big game here. In five games against the Bengals Bryant has three touchdowns, catching 21 out of 32 passes thrown his way for 257 yards.

Pick: Steelers 24-20; Cincinnati +5½


3-2 Seattle Seahawks at 1-5 New York Giants, 4:30 ET on CBS
Seahawks favored by 4; over/under 39½; money line -210, +180

Seattle’s offensive line has caused problems for their offense. Their defense is still a force, which is bad news for an injury ravaged Giants squad.

Pick: Seahawks 24-13; Seattle -4


3-2 Denver Broncos at 2-4 Los Angeles Chargers, 4:30 ET on CBS
Even odds (pick’em); over/under 40½; money line -110, -110

The threat of Demaryius Thomas (10 catches, 133 yards last week) will enable CJ Anderson to run the ball. The Chargers will do what they do best: lose a close game.

Pick: Broncos 24-20; Denver (pk)


Prime Time Games

3-2 Atlanta Falcons at 4-2 New England Patriots, Sunday 8:30 ET on NBC
Patriots favored by 3; over/under 56½; money line -160, +140

Atlanta’s offense presents difficult matchups for the Patriot defense. The Falcons get a very tiny bit of revenge, but the Super Bowl LI legacy will live long after this game is forgotten.

Pick: Falcons 31, Patriots 27; Atlanta +3


3-2 Washington Redskins at 5-1 Philadelphia Eagles, Monday 8:30 pm ET on espn
Eagles favored by 4½; over/under 49; money line -225, +185

Philly is clicking on all cylinders right now. Washington on the other hand is banged up, with injuries to both corners.

Pick: Eagles 30-20; Philadelphia -4½


Best Bets:
Jaguars -3
Saints -4
49ers +6
Seahawks -4
Bucs-Bills under 45
Eagles -4½
Jets-Dolphins under 38


NFL Week 8 Early Advanced ‘Look-Ahead’ Betting Lines: Pats favored by 7 at Chargers

John Morgan
October 19, 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. In other words, these week 8 odds are published prior to the week 7 games being played. 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 this week’s games.

The early week 8 games don’t offer a whole lot worth watching. Best of the lot in the early Sunday time slot involve the AFC East versus AFC West. The AFCE is currently a home favorite in both games. Buffalo (-2½ point) hosts Oakland, and the Chargers visit New England (-7).

Week 8 kicks off with a couple of mediocre games. Miami is at Baltimore on Thursday night, and Minnesota plays Cleveland in a Sunday morning breakfast game from London. Things improve in the late afternoon slot with Houston at Seattle and Dallas at Washington. Sunday night features Pittsburgh at Detroit, with the Steelers favored by three. Then we have a good (!) Monday night game to finish the week. Denver is at Kansas City in the 115th meeting between these two original AFL rivals.


NFL Week 8 Early Odds

Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens (-4½), Thursday October 26 at 8:30 pm ET on CBS

Minnesota Vikings (-7½) vs Cleveland Browns in London, Sunday October 29 at 9:30 am ET on NFLN

Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals (-3½), Sunday October 29 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1½), Sunday October 29 at 1:00 pm ET on Fox
Oakland Raiders at Buffalo Bills (-2½), Sunday October 29 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS
Los Angeles Chargers at New England Patriots (-7), Sunday October 29 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS
Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints (-8½), Sunday October 29 at 1:00 pm ET on Fox
Atlanta Falcons (-7) at New York Jets, Sunday October 29 at 1:00 pm ET on Fox
San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles (-10½), Sunday October 29 at 1:00 pm ET on Fox

Houston Texans at Seattle Seahawks (-6½), Sunday October 29 at 4:00 pm ET on CBS
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins (-1), Sunday October 29 at 4:30 pm ET on Fox

Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) at Detroit Lions, Sunday October 29 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (-6½), Monday October 30 at 8:30 pm ET on espn


NFL Week 3 Odds, TV Info, Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

John Morgan
September 23, 2017 at 2:00 pm ET

Only ten teams remain undefeated after just two weeks, and two of those clubs are 1-0. The best game of the week includes a pair of those teams and two of the NFL’s highest paid quarterbacks. Atlanta is at Detroit in a matchup that actually looks better now than it did when the schedule was released last spring.

Atlanta (at Detroit) and Oakland (at Washington) are both three point road favorites, highlighting the slate of NFL Week 3 games. The Patriots are favored by two touchdowns in Foxboro against Houston in a rematch of last year’s playoff game. The Browns are surprise road favorites at Indianapolis as the Colts continue their post-deflategate descent into the abyss.

Four of the nine winless teams will attempt to avoid an 0-3 start while facing a 2-0 club. Starting the season in that manner will put any head coach and general manager on the hot seat. Teams such as the Giants and Bengals that are taking an unexpected drastic downturn are already feeling the heat. In other cases owners of bad teams don’t have enough patience for a team to develop, a situation exacerbated by sports talk radio and anonymous internet commentary. The inevitable result will be another HC or GM change, and the losing cycle simply continues.


Sunday, Sept 24 at 9:30 am ET on Yahoo.com. Announcers: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton.
Baltimore Ravens ‘at’ Jacksonville Jaguars in London
No television broadcast except in each team’s home market.
Ravens favored by 3½; point total 39½

Sunday kicks off with the first of three 2017 breakfast football games. The Ravens and Jaguars play at Wembley Stadium, one of five international contests to take place this season. The Baltimore defense already has ten turnovers, eight interceptions and eight sacks. In case any defensive coordinator could not figure it out, last week Tennessee gave the league a blueprint on how to game plan against the Jags. It’s simple: put eight in the box to neutralize Leonard Fournette and dare Jacksonville to pass. Since 2014 Blake Bortles has an NFL high 66 turnovers and 53 picks.

Ravens 24, Jaguars 13
Baltimore -3½ (three units)


Sunday, Sept 24 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Beth Mowins, Jay Feely
Cleveland Browns at Indianapolis Colts
Broadcast in Ohio and Indiana.
Browns favored by 1½; point total 42½

For the Browns to be favored against anybody other than the Jets is a surprise. For that to happen on the road is newsworthy. The Colts had gotten away with dominating a weak division from 2003 on, after Eddie George retired and Steve McNair’s body gave out for Tennessee. Indy may very well win this game, but the cosmic retribution for attempting to frame the Patriots will continue for years.

Colts 23, Browns 20
Colts +1½


Sunday, Sept 24 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Greg Gumbel, Trent Green
Pittsburgh Steelers at Chicago Bears
Broadcast throughout most of the Mid-Atlantic states and Great Lakes region.
Steelers favored by 7; point total 44

Pittsburgh is notorious for playing down to (or below) their competition when away from Heinz Field. That shouldn’t be of any concern Sunday. Mike Glennon has thus far proven that he did not deserve his free agency contract and should forever return to backup status. The Steelers have attempted to upgrade their secondary the last two off seasons. This is just another tuneup for them until they face some real competition.

Steelers 24, Bears 16
Steelers -7


Sunday, Sept 24 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Tom McCarthy, Steve Tasker, Steve Beuerlein
Miami Dolphins at New York Jets
Broadcast in eastern New York and Florida (except Jacksonville and Tallahassee).
Dolphins favored by 6; point total 43

Among other deficiencies, the Jets have been been terrible against the run. Team Green is giving up 185 rushing yards per game and 5.4 yards per carry. Miami’s Jay Ajayi is leading the NFL with 122 rushing yards per game and is averaging 4.4 yards per carry. Even Jay Cutler can’t screw this game up.

Dolphins 27, Jets 17
Dolphins -6 (two units)


Sunday, Sept 24 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta
Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills
Broadcast in New York (except NYC and Albany), and most of the western US.
Broncos favored by 3; point total 39

Who are the Broncos? The team gifted with a slim home victory against an average team in week one? Or the the one that looked like a well balanced machine, dominating against what we thought was a formidable opponent last week? The Buffalo offense is far too one-dimensional and reliant on LeSean McCoy for him to be effective.

Broncos 24, Bills 13
Broncos -3 (three units)


Sunday, Sept 24 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts
Houston Texans at New England Patriots
Broadcast in New England, Tennessee (except Memphis), Greenville, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, Los Angeles, Hawaii, eastern Oregon and eastern Washington.
Patriots favored by 14; point total 44

A repeat of last season’s playoff game would not be a surprise. The Houston defense is still as formidable as it was last year when they led the NFL in total yards allowed. The Texans have not given up a touchdown pass this season and are limiting opponents to a 26% conversion rate on third down. Most remarkably they have not permitted an opponent to pass for 300 yards in 31 consecutive games.

The Patriots will be without tackle Marcus Cannon, which makes an already tough job more difficult for the offense. The problem for Houston is that their offense is a work in progress. Rookie QB DeShaun Watson is still learning the game and has no playmakers to work with. The Patriot offense will eventually get it in gear and Houston doesn’t have the horses to keep up.

Patriots 27, Texans 16
Texans +14


Sunday, Sept 24 at 1:00 pm ET on Fox; Kenny Albert, Ronde Barber
New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers
Broadcast in North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas.
Panthers favored by 3½; point total 46½

Carolina has allowed a mere six points in two games but now faces their first legitimate offense. The problem for New Orleans is that their defense is one of the worst in the NFL for the fourth straight season, and seems to be getting worse rather than better.

Panthers 27, Saints 20
Panthers -3½


Sunday, Sept 24 at 1:00 pm ET on Fox; Thom Brennaman, Chris Spielman
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Minnesota Vikings
Broadcast in Florida (except Miami and West Palm Beach), parts of Illinois, Wisconsin (except Green Bay and Milwaukee), Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Montana, and North and South Dakota.
Bucs favored by 2½; point total 39

Minnesota is another of many teams that looked great one game (week one) and awful (week two) this season. The Bucs have only played one game and since it was against Chicago we have to take it with a grain of salt. Despite that caveat Tampa looks strong on both sides of the ball and should be considered a serious playoff contender.

Bucs 24, Vikings 17
Bucs -2½ (one unit0)


Sunday, Sept 24 at 1:00 pm ET on Fox; Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston
Atlanta Falcons at Detroit Lions
Broadcast in Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, most of Illinois, Green Bay, Milwaukee and Topeka.
Falcons favored by 3; point total 50½

The much anticipated Super Bowl hangover has not materialized for Atlanta. 2-0 Detroit has looked good in both of their games as well. RB Ameer Abdullah appears to be fully recovered from a 2016 Lisfranc injury, which has helped to diversify the Lion offense. A dome road game aids Atlanta’s chances, but the Falcons will be without leading pass rusher Vic Beasley (hamstring).

Lions 27, Falcons 24
Lions +3


Sunday, Sept 24 at 1:00 ET on Fox; Joe Buck, Troy Aikman
New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles
Broadcast in most of the northeast (except Boston, Buffalo, Pittsburgh), Cincinnati, eastern Kentucky, West Palm Beach, Texas (except Houston), Oklahoma, Kansas (except Topeka), Utah, Arizona, Las Vegas and southern California.
Eagles favored by 6; point total 42½

Fox is sending their number one announcing crew to this game, and beaming it in to nearly every neutral television market. Considering how the Giants have played so far that may be a mistake, despite all the scattered New York transplants. Despite some injuries the Eagle defense should dominate New York’s porous offensive line. The vaunted Giant defense hasn’t done anything special yet, though that could change against an inconsistent Philly offense. Perhaps the G-men get it together with their backs up against the wall, but the Eagles are the superior team.

Eagles 24, Giants 14
Eagles -6


Sunday, Sept 24 at 4:00 pm ET on Fox; Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis
Seattle Seahawks at Tennessee Titans
Broadcast in Alaska, northern California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, New Mexico, Ohio (except Cincinnati), Tennessee, Wyoming, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, Miami, Pittsburgh and Reno.
Titans favored by 2½; point total 41

Seattle is one of many teams that looks awful early this season due to the deficiencies with their offensive line. Facing an aggressive Dick LeBeau defense without the benefit of their 12th man won’t help. Seattle’s potent defense will once again have to carry the day for the Seahawks to eek out a road victory.

Seahawks 17, Titans 16
Seahawks +2½, under 41 (one unit)


Sunday, Sept 24 at 4:30 pm ET on CBS; Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon
Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers
Broadcast in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Reno.
Chiefs favored by 3; point total 47½

In recent seasons the Chargers seemed to lose every close game they played in, losing games they should have won. The proper response of a change in head coach was supposed to curtail that epidemic. So far this year we just have more of the same. If you enjoy watching good running backs then this game is a must-see, featuring Kareem Hunt and Melvin Gordon. KC has the better defense and better head coach.

Chiefs 27, Chargers 23
Chiefs -3


Sunday, Sept 24 at 4:30 pm ET on CBS; Jim Nantz, Tony Romo
Cincinnati Bengals at Green Bay Packers
Broadcast in all markets except Arkansas, California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Nashville and Reno.
Packers favored by 8; point total 46½

This looked like it should be a quality, highly competitive game when the schedule was announced back in April. Both offensive lines are sieves, the Bengals don’t know what it is like to score a touchdown, and Green Bay’s defense is a work in progress. Despite injuries and their o-line, Green Bay should win this game easily.

Packers 24, Bengals 13
Packers -8, under 46½ (two units)


Sunday, Sept 24 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC; Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth
Oakland Raiders at Washington Redskins
Broadcast in all Markets.
Raiders favored by 3; point total 55

The Washington offense is still forming an identity after free agent departures of wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon. Marshawn Lynch has added another dimension to an already potent Oakland offense. The Raider defense (4.8 yards per carry) hasn’t noticeably improved so the Redskins should be able to keep this game tight.

Raiders 31, Redskins 24
Raiders -3


Monday, Sept 25 at 8:30 pm ET on espn; Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden
Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals
Broadcast in all markets.
Cowboys favored by 3; point total 47

Here we are with yet another schizophrenic team, the Cowboys. Expect Dallas to rebound after last week’s embarrassment. The Arizona offense is lost with no compass without RB David Johnson. The Cardinal defense used to dominate but that is no longer the case. Expect the Cowboy offensive line to control the game while the Arizona offense sputters.

Cowboys 27, Cardinals 17
Cowboys -3 (two units)


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!

NFL Week 16 Early Advanced ‘Look-Ahead’ Betting Lines: Pats 13.5 point favorites

John Morgan
December 15, 2016 at 4:20 pm ET

The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has published their Advanced Lines for NFL Week 16. These early odds look ahead to the following week’s games for those willing to roll the dice. When visiting Sin City you can wager up to 3,000 clams on one of the games – prior to Sunday’s week 15 action occurring. While subsequent injuries can dramatically change the prognosis of future games, over reaction from the most recent result can also be minimized.

Once again the New England Patriots are listed as the heaviest favorite in Week 16. Two weeks ago the Pats defeated the Jets by only five points, but that result apparently did not sway the professional handicappers. The Patriots are at home this time, and the Jets already had their annual Super Bowl in that November 27 loss. New England has (with Dallas) the best record in the NFL, and is 10-3 against the spread. By Christmas Eve Gang Green could be in even more disarray than they already are now. The seven-game delta in season wins between the Patriots and Jets is the largest of the sixteen games on schedule for Week 16.

Only two games will be played on Sunday since that is Christmas, but they are both good ones. At 4:30 pm eastern time Baltimore is at Pittsburgh. These contests are always very physical and the last three games between these two have been decided by an average of just four points. To add further intrigue the winner will likely win the NFC North while the loser will be left scrambling for a playoff spot.

The Sunday night game is just as compelling. Denver travels to Kansas City in a battle of AFC West rivals. The Broncos are in a difficult situation, finishing the season with games against the Patriots, KC and Oakland. Arrowhead Stadium will be rocking and the Chiefs would love to be able to hammer a nail in the coffin on Denver’s season.

In the early time slot on Saturday the best game is Minnesota at Green Bay. Both teams are on the playoff bubble, currently two games behind the Lions in the NFC North. This week the Vikings are home against Indianapolis while the Packers travel to Chicago.

Tampa Bay plays the Saints for the second time in three weeks, this time in New Orleans. This game was flexed to the late afternoon time slot and will surely be the primary game for the doubleheader on Fox.

Week 16 wraps up with an unusual occurrence: a quality game on Monday Night Football. Detroit is at Dallas for what could possibly be a game for the number one seed, and a preview of the NFC conference finals. We will soon have a better idea of just how strong Detroit is. The 9-4 Lions finish the season at the Giants, at Dallas and home versus Green Bay.

The week kicks off on Thursday night with the Giants at Philadelphia. New York is one of five road teams to be favored in Week 16. That says more about the poor play of those home teams than anything else. The home dogs are Philly, the Bears, Panthers, Jaguars and Browns.


NFL Week 16 Early Advanced Look-Ahead Betting Lines

9-4 New York Giants (-3) at 5-8 Philadelphia Eagles
Thursday December 22 at 8:25 pm ET on NBC

7-5-1 Washington Redskins (-3½) at 3-10 Chicago Bears
Saturday December 24 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX

8-5 Miami Dolphins at 6-7 Buffalo Bills (-3½)
Saturday December 24 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS

8-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 5-8 New Orleans Saints (-3)
Saturday December 24 at 4:25 pm ET on FOX

8-5 Atlanta Falcons (-2½) at 5-8 Carolina Panthers
Saturday December 24 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX

7-6 Minnesota Vikings at 7-6 Green Bay Packers (-5)
Saturday December 24 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX

4-9 New York Jets at 11-2 New England Patriots (-13½)
Saturday December 24 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS

7-6 Tennessee Titans (-3½) at 2-11 Jacksonville Jaguars
Saturday December 24 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS

5-8 San Diego Chargers (-4½) at 0-13 Cleveland Browns
Saturday December 24 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS

6-7 Indianapolis Colts at 10-3 Oakland Raiders (-6)
Saturday December 24 at 4:05 pm ET on CBS

1-12 San Francisco 49ers at 4-9 Los Angeles Rams (-2½)
Saturday December 24 at 4:25 pm ET on FOX

5-7-1 Arizona Cardinals at 8-4-1 Seattle Seahawks (-7½)
Saturday December 24 at 4:25 pm ET on FOX

5-7-1 Cincinnati Bengals at 7-5 Houston Texans (-2½)
Saturday December 24 at 8:25 pm ET on NFLN

7-6 Baltimore Ravens at 8-5 Pittsburgh Steelers (-6½)
Sunday December 25 at 4:30 pm ET on NFLN

8-5 Denver Broncos at 10-3 Kansas City Chiefs (-4)
Sunday December 25 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC

9-4 Detroit Lions at 11-2 Dallas Cowboys (-7)
Monday December 26 at 8:30 pm ET on BSPN



NFL Week 15 Thursday Night Football

Back to this week’s games for a moment. Week fifteen kicks off tonight with a typical Thursday night game: a bad team being featured in prime time in a game that won’t be competitive. Yes Seattle lost last week to Green Bay. However the Seahawks have responded to their three losses this season with victories by an average of 19 points. And yes Seattle lost to the Rams in Week 2, but their offense – in particular their offensive line – is performing far better than they did in early September.

This is the leagues best offense facing the league’s worst offense. In a rebound situation. Back home in a stadium providing one of, if not the most favorable home field advantages in all pro sports. Against a rookie quarterback who did not play in a pro style offense in college, making just the fifth start of his career. Against a team that has given up after losing eight of their last nine games. A team averaging a mere 12 points per game since late October.

Take the Seahawks, despite the huge spread.

Prediction: Seahawks 34, Rams 9
Seahawks -15 (two units) . . . . . over 39½ . . . . . Seattle -1600

Final Score: Seahawks 24, Rams 3 ✓
Seahawks -15 ✓✓ . . . . . over 39½ x . . . . . Seahawks -1600 ✓