Week 4: Thursday Night Football

Last week didn’t go as planned as we ended well below .500 in one of the strangest weeks in the NFL in my 24 years of being a fan.  No doubt the emotions of last weekend affected players and teams and I believe it affected the product on the field.  I’ve been talking about the politics from last weekend all week long and I’m going to leave it out of the rest off this blog.  It’s been exhaustive. Politics, off.

Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers, 8:25p (Packers -7, O/U: 44.5)

This will more than likely be close early.  Green Bay’s defense gives up big chunks of yards through the air but matchup a little better with the ground game.  The game plan should be simple for the Bears, get plenty of first downs, run often, keep the ball out of Aaron Rodgers’ hands.  If you can keep the Packers offense off the field, your chance of winning increases tremendously.  Now, I’ve never been a fan of Mike Glennon.  He’s got a nice completion percentage but his coaches have tended to keep him on a leash and not let him loose.  The Bears had a great ground game last week and they’ll look to build on that success this week on the road.  Jordan Howard may lead the team in carries and yards but it’s rookie Tarik Cohen leading the team in yards per carry with 6.5 and the teams leading receiver, giving him a very solid start to his rookie season.  However, that spells trouble for the Bears with trying to stay consistent on offense while keeping possession of the ball.  Green Bay is a tough place to play on the road and Green Bay is one of the best in the league since the turn of the century in winning at home.  Take the Packers to win in the over, 33-17.

Week 3: Monday Night Football

Sheesh, what a week.  Boy, did I take a big hit with all of the upsets and incorrect over/under picks.  I find this sport amazing in the fact that one week, defenses can be stout and give the best offenses so much trouble but then the next week be an open flood gate.  I’m not going to spend anymore time about it, it’s just too embarrassing.  Without further ado, my Monday night pick.

Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals, 8:30p (Cardinals +3, O/U: 46.5)

The injury riddled Cardinals host the humbled Cowboys.  The Boys are coming off a nasty loss in Denver where the defense only allowed Zeke to run for 9 yards and hit Dak more than he’s ever been hit in any game he’s played in.  The Cardinals looked shocked that the Colts gave them a run in Indy last week and Carson looked to have too much on his plate at his advanced age without star running back David Johnson.  The Cowboys will come out hungry and they will get to the non-mobile Palmer multiple times.  Take the road favorites, Cowboys in the under, 27-17.

Week 3: Sunday Picks with Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5

Ok, quick recap from last week.  I took it on the chin with a few games but still ended up 9-7 against the spread and a measly 8-8 with the over/under.  One crazy stat from this past weekend was how many games were in the under.  7 of the 8 1pm games scored in the under with 10 of the 16 games for the weekend ending up in the under.  I was in shock when I kept seeing these scores at the half.  Then there was the shockingly entertaining game on Thursday night.  No one saw that coming.  Both running backs went off and fantasy owners of those players couldn’t have been happier with the outcome of a game that was lumped into the “horrible Thursday Night Football Matchups” category.

This weeks analysis will be shorter due to not having enough creative time set aside, but it doesn’t make my picks any less reliable.  On to the Sunday games.

Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars (L), 9:30a (Jaguars +3, O/U: 39.5)

Jacksonville has shown some promise early on this season but so has that Baltimore defense!  That is a real defense and they look good even with the injury bug flying around.  Remember, it’s in London, Jacksonville’s home away from home.  Still, take the Ravens to win in the under, 19-17.

Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills, 1p (Bills +3, O/U: 39)

You saw what the Broncos did the Zeke right?  It happens again but to McCoy on the road.  Take the Broncos to win in the under, 24-10.

New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers, 1p (Panthers -5.5, O/U: 46.5)

Saints are not the same team on the road but a division rivalry game usually helps keep things interesting.  The Panthers have to deal with losing Greg Olsen but still have a bunch of weapon, Cam just has to find a way to get them the ball.  Take the Panthers in the under 24-17.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Chicago Bears, 1p (Bears +7, O/U: 44)

Take the Steelers in the over, 27-20.

Atlanta Falcons at Detroit Lions, 1p (Lions +3, O/U: 50.5)

Take the Lions in the over, 31-27.

Cleveland Browns at Indianapolis Colts, 1p (Colts +1.5, O/U: 42.5)

Take the Colts in the under, 14-10.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Minnesota Vikings, 1p (+2.5, O/U: 39.5)

Take the Buccs in the under, 17-13.

Houston Texans at New England Patriots, 1p (Patriots -14, O/U: 44.5)

Take the Texans to lose but cover and in the over, 31-28

Miami Dolphins at New York Jets, 1p (Jets +6, O/U: 43.5)

Take the Dolphins in the over, 35-14.

New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles, 1p (Eagles -6, O/U: 43.5)

Take the Eagles to cover in the over, 41-24

Seattle Seahawks at Tennessee Titans, 4:05p (-2.5, O/U: 41)

Take the Titans in the over, 24-20.

Cincinnati Bengals at Green Bay Packers, 4:25p (Packers -7.5, O/U: 46.5)

Take the Packers in the under, 27-17.

Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:25p (Chargers +3, O/U: 47.5)

Take the Chiefs in the over, 27-21.

Oakland Raiders at Washington Redskins, 8:30p (Redskins +3, O/U: 54.5)

Take the Raiders in the under, 31-17.

Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5:

Baltimore at Jacksonville – Jacksonville (+3.5)

Denver at Buffalo – Buffalo (+3)

Seattle at Tennessee – Seattle (+2.5)

Kansas City at LA Chargers – LA Chargers (+3)

Dallas at Arizona – Dallas (-3)

 

Week 3: Thursday Night Football

St. Louis Rams @ San Francisco 49ers, 8:25pm (49ers +3, O/U: 40)

Sheesh, what a matchup.  These Thursday night games seem to be one bad matchup after another.  Now, the Rams seem to have some things together on offense with their new coach, Sean McVay, but the faith in Goff still isn’t totally there.  The rise of a semi stable passing game has taken a bit of the burden off of Gurley, who is having a good start to his third year in the league.  This will be a battle of defenses all night.  I’m actually shocked the over/under is where it is at 40.  I’m hinting at half of my prediction.

The 49ers defense has been a surprising bright spot of this team.  Losing key players on their defense over the years as hurt them but others have stepped up and a healthy NaVarro Bowman is the piece that leads this defenses success.  Hoyer needs to settle in.  Give the guy a break, it’s rather hard to go from system to system and play against tough defenses to start the season.  If he can get consistent in the short passing game, Hyde can gash the defense, and the 49ers could push for a bounce back season, starting with this game.

Don’t let the Rams early success grab your faith just yet.  This game could really give you a sense as to the capabilities of the Goff.  Look for the 49ers to steal a win as a home dog in the under, because it’ll be an ugly one.  49ers win in the under, 17-16.

Week 2: Monday Night Football

Detroit Lions @ New York Giants, 8:15p (Giants -3, O/U: 42)

The big question rolling into tonight was OBJ.  Is he making his first start of the season or is he out another week?  As of 7pm as I write this post, he’s expected to play.  You would think that the line or the O/U would move a bit and it held steadfast.  Some lines moved half a point but most stayed at -3.  That’s telling me one of two things, either OBJ isn’t going to change the outcome of this game or they already figured he’d be back (since he was a game-time decision last week and practiced more during the week) and he turns the Giants from underdogs to just barely home favorites against the Lions.

There isn’t much to say about the Giants play last week that makes me feel good about them, even with OBJ in the lineup.  They didn’t have a number 1 receiver and couldn’t get the running game going but Eli Manning did still complete 76% of his passes.  The only thing going for them is their defense.

The lions had all they needed through the air last week but the running game hasn’t been developed yet even with multiple young backs.  Abdullah and Washington will carry the team where Riddick will be used more in the slot and swing passes plays they run.  The Lions won’t need a running game given the Giants front and how good they are.

These two teams met last year, it wasn’t a pretty game to watch.  Both teams had barely crossed 300 total yards of offense and that’ll be the case again tonight as the lineups for these two haven’t changed much at all (yes, even with old Brandon Marshall).  Take the Giants to win but the Lions to cover the spread in a close one in the under, Giants 21-20.

NFL Week 2: Sunday Games & Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5

Welcome back!  We are now into the second Sunday of the season.  We’ve seen a lot from each team (other than the Dolphins and Buccaneers).  The season opened off with a huge upset in New England along with a handful of ugly games.  Lets not waste anymore time.

Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens, 1p (Ravens -7.5, O/U: 39)

The Browns kept up with the Steelers and gave everyone a show.  It’s a shame it was a sham.  This franchise is willing to allow some of their best players uproot and leave which spells bad things for the future.  Ravens defense looked extremely well on the road against the hapless Bengals, who after Thursday night, have yet to score a touchdown after 2 home games.  Ravens roll.  Ravens win in the over, 27-13.

Buffalo Bills at Carolina Panthers, 1p (Panthers -7, O/U: 43)

The Bills looked rough against the heir apparent, NFL’s predicted worst team, the Jets.  Panthers went across the country to whip up on the 49ers in a mostly empty stadium in the bay area.  McCoy will have a hard time averaging 4 yards per carry in this one.  Cam was held back last week but expect Riverboat Ron to let him loose in front of the home crowd.  Panthers win handedly, 31-17

Arizona Cardinals at Indianapolis Colts, 1p ( Colts +7, O/U: 44)

With the Cardinals loss of David Johnson, it takes a huge chunk of their yardage and touchdowns away for 2 – 3 months.  The Colts are without Luck again and the Colts couldn’t look worse without one player especially with it being the most important position on the field.  Palmer still has his areal weapons and that is where the Cardinals will focus their offense while they will run the ball by comity in the backfield.  Take the Cards to win in the over, 35-10.

Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1p (Jaguars +1.5, O/U: 41.5)

The Titans had a toughie at home last week with Carr and the Raiders in town.  The Titans have a sneaky good team with a lot of youth that are rearing to explode as another top contender.  The Jaguars played a great game against Houston in a shocker of an upset.  10 sacks against 2 quarterbacks made the Jags defense look amazing.  Hard to bet against a legit home dog but I’m doing it here.  Titans win a close one in the over, 23-19.

Philadelphia Eagles at Kansas City Chiefs, 1p (Chiefs -5.5, O/U: 47.5)

Chiefs are coming off a massive effort in a shocking upset on opening night in New England.  After that effort, they’ve had a few extra days in between games for rest.  Hunt, Smith and Hill all played out of their minds and expect that to continue but on a smaller scale, in front of one of the loudest stadiums in the league.  Wentz and the Eagles went into FedEx field and spanked the Redskins.  Wentz showed nerves of steel and looks to have be the best QB of last years draft by a mile.  With the addition of Jeffrey, it seems to have sparked Agholor to find his hands in the off season.  My worry with the Eagles is their run game but we have yet to really see them have a run heavy game plan.  Eagles keep it close but the Chiefs win in the under, 24-21.

New England Patriots at New Orleans Saints, 1p (Saints +6, O/U: 57)

I’m sure you all heard about the bludgeoning at home the Patriots took on the opening night all week and how it was a shock to everyone.  Well, you just heard it again, and only because we haven’t been able to say that too much in the last 17 years. so you’re damn right we’re gonna celebrate it.  Not much else to say is that it’s safe to bet the Patriots ATS and they’ll more than likely win you about 60% of the spreads throughout the season.  One thing you can always bank on is that they ALWAYS follow up an embarrassment with an explosive win the next week.  Expect the Pats to have the foot on the Saints’ throats.  Saints looked bad against the Vikes and only gave AP 9 snaps.  Pats ROLL in this one and I wouldn’t be shocked if they covered the O/U themselves, 38-20.

Minnesota Vikings at Pittsburgh Steelers, 1p (Steelers -6, O/U: 44.5)

The Vikings looked spectacular last week at home against the Saints.  Bradford showed how deadly accurate he can be even standing in the pocket, taking shots.  He wasn’t the only Viking that was the talk of the twin cities, Dalvin Cook set a new rookie rushing record for rushing yards in a Vikings rookie running back debut.  The Steelers had a tough fight from the Browns in Cleveland.  Coming home will most certainty bring a different energy to this team as they historically do far better at home.  Bell was held back a bit due to being a holdout all pre season.  Both defenses will show up, causing great battles for field position.  Steelers win in a raucous Heinz Field, in the under, 24-14 .

Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1p (Buccaneers -6.5, O/U: 43.5)

Bears pushed the Falcons to the brink last week, mostly thanks to rookie Tarik Cohen taking over for injured Jeremy Langford.  Glennon isn’t playing with tons of weapons at receiver but stayed fairly consistent but that won’t last for long and not against he Buccs front 7.  We haven’t seen the Buccs play yet and that will definitely be to their advantage.  Buccs come out flying and win in the over, 27-20.

Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05p (Chargers -3.5, O/U: 45.5)

The Chargers looked like the Chargers of old last week, competitive all game long but couldn’t finish.  Granted they had a tough road game against a tough defense and it showed.  They weren’t able to push the ball down the field through the air much and Melvin Gordon only averaged a measly 3 yards per carry.  The Dolphins are another team that we haven’t seen yet and the advantage they had all week was that due to Hurricane Irma, they went out to the west coast early.  With the addition of Cutler while Tannehill is out, the Dolphins upgrade at quarterback (I feel).  Lastly, the Chargers are in LA now and playing in a soccer stadium.  Good luck with that.  Smoking Jay Cutler comes to town with the Fins and steals one in a soccer stadium in the under, 21-20.

New York Jets at Oakland Raiders, 4:05p (Raiders -13.5, O/U: 43.5)

Not much to say here.  Jets seem to be purposely tanking by allowing key players to leave through free agency and trading them away for pennies on the dollar.  Raiders beat a great young team in the Titans, in their house.  I’m almost tempted to say 13.5 isn’t enough of a spread.  Beast Mode is back and showed off his power, and he still has IT!  Raiders win in blowout fashion, in the over, 35-13.

Dallas Cowboys at Denver Broncos, 4:25p (Broncos +2.5, O/U: 43)

The Cowboys offense proved they could handle a tough defense and still pull out a great win.  They moved the ball against the Giants between the 20’s pretty good, which will be key in this game.  The Broncos still have to deal with Siemian being an average quarterback, which hurts their air game.  Look for CJ Anderson to have a few more carries as he and Charles combined to average 4 yards per carry against a solid defensive front.  In another tough matchup today, I usually don’t like to predict that road favorites will win but take the Boys in the under, 21-17.

Washington Redskins at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25p (Rams-2.5, O/U: 45.5)

The Redskins got embarrassed at home by the Eagles last week.  Cousins will finally show that he is not worth a franchise tag, ever.  This is mostly due to his weapons leaving town (Garcon/Jackson).  The Redskins lack a running game to take pressure off of Cousins but they are negligible when rotating.  Rams and Goff really took it to the Luckless Colts at home, with a less than stellar home crowd turnout.  Redskins defense gets to Goff unlike the Colts were able to do.  Rams rushing offense had a lackluster showing of about a 2 yard per carry average.  Redskins keep it close on the road and win in the under, 24-20.

San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks, 4:25p (Seahawks -14, O/U: 41.5)

In a divisional matchup, the 49ers head into a dangerous Seattle fan base that rivals the best in the league.  They allowed the Panthers to come into their house and throw them around, allowing them to control the clock with a steady dose of rushes.  Hoyer and the offense couldn’t get anything going and Hoyer is their quarterback.  Seattle had a tough first game going to Green Bay and couldn’t get too much going.  Seattle will look to redeem itself by embarrassing their rivals.  Seattle gets a boost from their 12th man and rolls in the under as the 49ers won’t score much, 27-10.

Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons, 8:30p (Falcons -3, O/U: 56)

Green Bay faced Seattle last week in their season opener at home and put up solid numbers but couldn’t get their point total to reflect the yardage they put up.  The Falcons did extremely well against the Packers last year on their way to the Super Bowl.  7 combined TD’s through the air by both Rodgers and Ryan. The Packers rushing game was not established quite yet while Devonta Freeman was held to 3.2 yards per carry.  Last week the Falcons were pushed to the brink last week as the Bears tried to mount a 4th quarter comeback.  Packers now have Ty Montgomery solidified as the starter which should be a difference maker.  Packers win in the under, 31-24.

Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5:

Steelers -7

Redskins +2.5

Dolphins +4.5

Falcons -2.5

Cowboys -2

Week 2: Thursday Night Football

Welcome to week 2 in the NFL.  Piggybacking off of my 60%+ winners against the spread AND with the over/under, we’re starting week 2 with a toughie.  Lets get to it!

Houston Texans @ Cincinnati Bengals, 8:25p (Bengals -6, O/U: 38):

Yeah you better believe these two teams will keep this puppy in the under.  The way the offenses looked in the openers last week, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a battle of the kickers.  Houston’s offensive line was atrocious last week but we’re not pointing any fingers or nothing (*ahem* Right Tackle Kendall Lamm *ahem*).  Lamm allowed 3 sacks alone, Xavier Su’aFilo allowed 2 at Left Guard and Left Tackle Chris Clark allowed one.  Savage and Watson were sacked a combined 10 times last week…….10!  That line was worse than a leaking faucet, it was a gushing dam breaking wide open.

Wild card for this week, Watson is starting.  Savage couldn’t get rid of the ball fast enough and he looked like he was stuck in cement.  Watson brings a more mobile ability to the position to get out of the pocket but he’s still a rookie, still developing his pro chops.

The Bengals showed their worst side of their game.  Having an average franchise quarterback.  Dalton has been in this system for years now and still shows nasty inconsistency, even with the weapons he has.  The running game was average.  Bernard averaged over 5 yards per carry but had a 23 yard run mixed in there.  The other 6 carries yielded him less than a 3 yard average.  Hill averaged almost 4.5 yards per carry but had a 12 yard run in there, meaning the other 5 averaged less than 3 yards.  The only thing the Bengals had going for them was their defense didn’t give up a ton.  The only reason the Ravens put up 20 was because of all of the Bengals turnovers.  I mean, neither team cracked 275 net yards!  BORING!

Expect this one to be boring as well, maybe even just as sloppy, which makes this prediction that much harder!  I like Watson getting the start but their defense will suffer with the loss of Brian Cushing to a concussion and 10 game PED suspension, among many other injuries to the squad.  Look for the Bengals to pull it together, somewhat, as a do-over for their fans tonight.  Bengals 20-13.