NFL Week 6: Monday Night Football Pick & Prediction

Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers, Lambeau Field, 8:15 PM, ESPN (Packers -3.5, O/U: 46.5)

The Lions are coming off an early bye week in time to head to Green Bay with 2 weeks to prepare for the new look Packers offense. The Lions have been slow out of the gate as they’ve had some tough matchups early on and faired pretty well, especially in the Chiefs game. Even so, they’re middle of the road in most team statistical categories. The Lions defense however has stepped up to the plate this year ranking 10th in points allowed and in the top half of the league in turnovers caused and stingy in the redzone only allowing 8 TD’s in 16 trips (50%). Stafford has protected the ball well early and has looked fairly sharp (62.4% completions, 1,122 yards, 9TD’s and only 2 picks. Stafford’s line has done well protecting him as well, better than in years past as he’s only been sacked 7 times and has been able to conduct 2 4th quarter comebacks with 1 game winning drive in his 4 games. They need to get Kerryon Johnson going however as he’s only rushed for 264 yards, averaging 3.4 yards per carry and only 1 rushing TD.

The Packers are coming off another emotional win in Dallas as they move back home for a divisional rival game against an always tough Lions team who have had the better of the Pack in recent years. The Packers have quietly kept in the top half of the league on offense and only recently picked up the rushing game with the explosive performance given by Aaron Jones last week that culminated in 4 TD’s. The one aspect that the Packers have been killing teams is their redzone conversions. They rank 6th with 13 TD’s on 19 trips (68.4%). Rodgers is shockingly outside of the top 10 in passing due to a slow start and having an actual rushing game to utilize more. He’s protective as always with the ball with a 6TD to 1 pick ratio. Aaron Jones may only be averaging 60 yards a game but he’s making the most of his carries averaging 4 yards per carry and more than a 4th of them gaining key first downs but the shocking stat is his league leading 8 TD’s. Davante Adams is supposedly out a few weeks with a turf toe injury so that means more opportunities coming to the rest of the receiver depth like Valdes-Scantling, Allison, Graham, Lewis. The defense bounced back after a disappointing loss to the Eagles who took Green Bay’s rush defense to the woodshed in front of their own fans. It hasn’t negated the fact that they are still a top 10 defense. They are tied for 3rd in the league with 11 turnovers (7 off picks), and top 10 in sacks with 15.

Packers home field advantage is unlike 99% of the league where Vegas gives them a 4 point advantage instead of the traditional 3. Take the Packers to cover in the over, Packers 27-23.

NFL Week 4:Thursday Night Football Pick & Prediction

Philadelphia Eagles @ Green Bay Packers, Lambeau Field, 8:20 PM, FOX/NFLN (Packers -4, O/U: 47.5)

The Eagles are coming off of a tough loss at home against the Lions where they had a second dropped pass that could’ve lead to a win (first happened in week 2 at Atlanta).  Alshon Jeffery is back in the lineup tonight after missing last week and most of the Falcons game, coming out early in the first quarter with a calf injury. Nelson Agholor was looked at often in Jeffery’s absence, seeing about a dozen targets the last few weeks and hauling in 3 scores.  They’ll expect him to continue to contribute, but hopefully with less drops.  The defense is lacking however and will be without Ronald Darby which will hurt the secondary even more as they’re ranked 29th in pass yards allowed.  Wentz by the numbers: 2019, 61 completion %, 803 yards, 6 TD’s and 2 INT’s.  He’s a career 2.5:1 TD to INT ratio and on Thursday nights he’s 3-0 with 61 completion % with 7 TD’s and 1 INT and a 104.5 QB rating.  His road numbers however are 8-13 with a 1.78:1 TD to INT ratio.

The Rodgers led Packers isn’t hyped by a high flying offense this year even though they woke up a bit last week.  The defense is showing off with having the 2nd best defense in points allowed with just 35.  They recorded 12 sacks and 6 turnovers in the first 3 weeks.  The Packers at home on Thursday nights since 2012 are 4-0 and won each game by at least 13 points (2012 v Bears 23-10, 2014 v Vikings 42-10, 2016 v Bears 26-10 & 2017 v Bears 35-14). Rodgers by the numbers: 2019: 61 completion %, 647 yards, 4 TD’s and 0 INT’s.  Over his career he’s just over 4:1 TD to INT ratio.  Thursday nights he’s 9-4 with a 67 completion %, a 6.75:1 TD to INT ratio and a 106 QB Rating.  At home he has a 66 completion % and a 5.57:1 TD to INT ratio and 107.7 QB rating with a record of 66-17-1.

The stats and recent history lean heavily in Green Bay’s favor.  Take the Packers to cover in the over, Packers 31-24.

NFL Week 3: Sunday Picks, Predictions & Colin Cowherd’s Blazin’ 5

Atlanta Falcons @ Indianapolis Colts, Lucas Oil Stadium, 1:00 PM, CBS (Colts -1.5, O/U: 47.5)

Brissett is off to a great start even though he’s only thrown for 336 yards but he has completed 64% of his passes with 5 TD’s and only 1 pick. TY has been his biggest target, nearly racking up half of those passing yards and 3 of those TD’s. TY is listed as questionable but it’s the Colts’ first home game without Luck so expect that crowd to be very supportive of a 1-1 team looking to beat a solid Falcons team to move above .500. The Falcons looked horrible in Minnesota and barely held off a very banged up Eagles team at home. With essentially no running game, they’ve had to heavily rely on Matty-Ice very early on and he’s been up and down. Ryan has completed 67% of his passes but is 1:1 on the TD/INT ratio (5/5). Take the Colts to cover in the win, in the under, Colts 23-20.

Baltimore Ravens @ Kansas City Chiefs, Arrowhead Stadium, 1:00 PM, CBS (Chiefs -5.5, O/U: 52.5)

You can’t crown Lamar Jackson just yet. He’s taken it to the weak Dolphins and barely pushed past the lacking Cardinals. He’s played well, completing 72% of his passes for 596 yards, 7 TD’s and no picks. He’s going to go pass for pass with Mahomes but Mahomes has better weapons. It might not have looked like it but the Chiefs struggled 3 out of 4 quarters against the Raiders. A massive record breaking 2nd quarter pushed Patrick and the Chiefs to a lead they would hold the rest of the game. Back at home, the Chiefs will look to assert their explosiveness again. Take the Chiefs to cover in the win, in the over, Chiefs 34-24.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Buffalo Bills, New Era Field, 1:00 PM, CBS (Bills -6, O/U: 43.5)

I don’t know what to make of the Bengals. Dalton has over 700 yards, 4TD’s/1 INT and completed 66% of his passes. The running game has lacked severely which only has 54 yards between their 2 backs. John Ross has emerged as the top target in Green’s absence. A close lose to the Seahawks on the road but a bad loss at home vs the 49ers has everyone wondering who they really are. The Bills will be without stud rookie running back Devin Singletary. Josh Allen has been grinding through the first 2 games, not playing stellar but efficient enough to win both games on the road. The Bills Mafia will be in full hysteria over a 2-0 start. Take the Bills to win but the Bengals to cover in the under, Bills 20-17.

Denver Broncos @ Green Bay Packers, Lambeau Field, 1:00 PM, FOX (Packers -7.5, O/U: 43.5)

The Broncos have had a rough start to the season after an opening night loss to the Raiders and a heartbreaking loss to the Bears last week. Flacco has looked every bit as mediocre as his time in Baltimore but have had good support from the running game with the surprise leading rusher being Royce Freeman. The defense has not been able to record a sack even with star Von Miller. The Packers are off to a fast start even though the first game was very rocky for the new offense but to start 2-0 against a very good Bears and Vikings defenses is a huge start. A big issue with the offense is the sacks allowed and the pressure Rodgers has seen early on. They’ve allowed 7 sacks for negative 55 yards which has contributed to being 7/27 on 3rd downs and 9 three and out drives. The defense has proven how much their improved and that’s really what has helped them stay in games as they continue to get in sync with the new offense. Take the Packers to cover in the win, in the over, Packers 30-21.

Detroit Lions @ Philadelphia Eagles, Lincoln Financial Field, 1:00 PM, FOX (Eagles -5.5, O/U: 45.5)

The Lions are coming off a hard fought win against the Chargers at home. Stafford has been very efficient early on as Kerryon Johnson has a slower start to the season than he would like. Stafford has been hooking up with Golladay and rookie tight end sensation TJ Hockenson (even though he only had 1 catch on 3 targets for only 7 yards in week 2). The defense is off to a fast start with 6 sacks and 2 picks. The Eagles are really banged up, so banged up that they had to cancel practice and just do a walk through during the week. No Desean Jackson, Jordan Mailata, or Corey Clement after last weeks rash of injuries. Still banged up but at least probable or questionable to play is Alshon Jeffery and Dallas Goedert. All of whom were injured, most in the 1st quarter of last weeks game. Wentz has been rusty to start and even took a few shots that fans were hoping he’d be ok from but with fast starts with Jackson, Ertz and Agholor, it’s only a matter of time until he is on fire, so long as he can stay healthy. Take the Lions to cover in the win, in the under, Lions 23-21.

Miami Dolphins @ Dallas Cowboys, AT&T Stadium, 1:00 PM, FOX (Cowboys -22, O/U: 46.5)

In my opinion, no analysis is going to persuade you in this one. Take the Cowboys to cover and in the under, Cowboys 30-10.

New York Jets @ New England Patriots, Gillette Stadium, 1:00 PM, CBS (Patriots -21, O/U: 43.5)

I have a similar feeling about the Jets as I do the Dolphins except the Jets have Le’Veon Bell. Like my prediction with the Pats/Dolphins last week, expect the Pats to run up the score on a divisional foe. With Belichick, the uglier the score, the better. Take the Patriots to cover and in the over, Patriots 35-13.

Oakland Raiders @ Minnesota Vikings, U.S. Bank Stadium, 1:00 PM, FOX (Vikings -9, O/U: 43.5)

Take the Raiders to cover but the Vikings to win in the over, Vikings 27-20.

Carolina Panthers @ Arizona Cardinals, University of Phoenix Stadium, 4:05 PM, FOX (Cardinals -2.5, O/U: 44.5)

Take the Cardinals to cover in the under, Cardinals 23-20.

New York Giants @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Raymond James Stadium, 4:05 PM, FOX (Buccs -6, O/U: 47.5)

Take the Giants to cover in the win, in the under, Giants 24-20.

Houston Texans @ Los Angeles Chargers, StubHub Center, 4:25 PM, CBS (Chargers -3 O/U: 49.5)

Take the Chargers to cover in the over, Chargers 28-24.

New Orleans Saints @ Seattle Seahawks, CenturyLink Field, 4:25 PM, CBS (Seahawks -4.5, O/U: 45.5)

Take the Seahawks to cover in the under, Seahawks 27-17.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ San Francisco 49ers, Levi’s Stadium, 4:25 PM, CBS (49ers -6.5, O/U: 44.5)

Take the 49ers to win but the Steelers to cover in the under, 49ers 27-21.

Los Angeles Rams @ Cleveland Browns, FirstEnergy Stadium, 8:20 PM, NBC (Browns +3, O/U: 47.5)

Take the Rams to cover in the over, Rams 31-24.

Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5:

  • Baltimore at Kansas City – Kansas City (-5)
  • Detroit at Philadelphia – Detroit (+6)
  • NY Giants at Tampa Bay – NY Giants (+6)
  • Pittsburgh at San Francisco – Pittsburgh (+6.5)
  • LA Rams at Cleveland – LA Rams (-3.5)

2019 NFL Kickoff Week 1: Thursday Night Football Spread Pick/Prediction

Welcome to week one of the NFL’s 100th season!  These off-seasons seem to get longer and longer as the years go on but that’s only thanks to the 24/7 NFL news cycle.  It also gave me a long time to think about the very average follow up I had in 2018 (51%) to the successes of my 2017 season (56%).  Don’t worry, I’m refreshed, recharged and packing a big ol’ punch for this season.  There have been many dramatic stories around the league to keep us all busy during the summer that any normal fan would feel worn out before even a minute is played this year already, but there’s always something special about opening day.

From Le’Veon Bell signing with the Jets for less money than he sat out for/demanding from the Steelers, to Antonio Brown’s freezer burnt feet and helmet issues, Ezekiel Elliot and Melvin Gordon pulling the holdout card Bell made so famous, then Zeke signing a huge deal given the very thin market for dynamic backs and the Chargers telling Gordon to forget about signing a massive deal in LA and that he should seek a trade, to the sad retirement of one of the games top quarterbacks, Andrew Luck, just a few weeks before the season starts.  It has been a whirlwind with many changes and new names and faces in new places but we’ve made it.  The time is now and kickoff is here, let’s get after it!

Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears, Soldier Field, 8:20 PM, NBC (Bears -3, O/U: 46.5):

We go into the opening day of the 100th year with the most storied rivalry in the league’s history. We got a glimpse of how great it is nearly a year ago when the then newly acquired Khalil Mack dominated the first half of the game and gave the Packers and their fans a scare when he hobbled Rodgers with a few hits and injured his knee.  Rodgers goes into the half, doses up on some major pain killers and comes out and blows up the Bears secondary and their 20 point lead to win 24-23 and then gave a hilarious post game interview, clearly high on pain meds mixed with the high of beating their fiercest division rival.  We will get much of the same tonight but hopefully with less knee torqueing on Rodgers since that plagued him most of last season (I know, I’m a Packers homer).

High Rodgers

This year the Bears are trying to build off of their 12-4, NFC North division champs season last year that catapulted them from a bottom 8 team to a playoff caliber team that ended in the playoffs with the ill fated Cody Parkey “double doink”. Most of the significant changes were the addition of Mack but also the offensive efficiency due to a coaching change.  The Bears would game-plan the scripts of their first few drives of each game pretty well in order to get games off to good starts and for Trubisky to build confidence.  Out of their 43 offensive touchdowns, 24 of them were in the first half (56%).  Their running game has something to prove and will have a challenge with having a younger/unproven backfield in which will more than likely split the workload between 3 different backs, at least at first.

The Packers will come to the season opener with a new coach Matt LaFleur, coaching staff, offense and have a young receiving corps lead by Davante Adams given the deductions over the last two seasons of mainstays Randall Cobb (Dallas Cowboys) and Jordy Nelson (retiring after spending last year in Oakland).  The Packers also discovered a running game in Aaron Jones last year before he was lost to the season with injury.  He is poised to bounce back this year, hopefully giving the Packers a 1,000 yard back again and continue on the TD tear he was on last year where he scored 8 TD’s in 7 games before his injury.  The Packers last 1,000 yard rusher was way back in 2013 and 2014 when Eddie Lacy squeaked over the mark in back to back years (1,178/1,139).  In Rodger’s 11 years as a starter, he’s only had 4 years with a 1,000 yard back.  Lastly, the Packers have invested in their defense through the draft and even picked up former Bear safety, Adrian Amos, in free agency.  It could be the Packers best defense since their Super Bowl win in 2010.

The Packers will catch the Bears off guard with the full playbook of the Packers offense being unveiled in a special rivalry meeting.  I may be a homer here but you also have to look at it as a matchup of QB’s as in, who would you take? Take the Packers to beat the Bears and cover in the over, Packers 27-20.

Week 9: Monday Night Football

You live and die by half points.  Yesterday, I died by one.  The Titans were a half point away from making yesterday a little better.  But hey, check out that Colts game!  Tom Savage didn’t look good early on this season and he didn’t look any better yesterday.  Two shocks yesterday was how exploited the Broncos defense was and that the Jaguars played so well without Leonard Fournette.  Tough one tonight, lets look at it:

Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers, 8:30p (Packers +2, O/U: 42.5)

Detroit comes into this game with one of the worst yards per play in the league and the Packers have to try and rekindle their offense in the wake of Aaron Rodger’s injury.  Brett Hundley had 2 weeks to better understand the offense and get into rhythm with the first team offense.  The Lions have had their usual passing game but they haven’t had a 100 yard rusher since Reggie Bush was in town in 2013 and have only one once in Green Bay since 1992 and it came at the hands of Matthew Stafford in 2013.  Aaron Jones has been a surprise diamond in the rough find for Green Bay, who has been struggling to find consistency in the backfield for years.  I still like Green Bay getting +2 at home against an offense that can’t put the ball in the endzone inside the opponents redzone.  This game either puts me at 50% or 58% so it’s important that I dig down deep on this one.  Take the Packers to cover in the over, Packers 24-21.

 

Week 6: Monday Night Football & Analysis

Well, we’ve come down to the end of week 6 and yet another bounce back week for me.  Tonight’s game will either cap me at 57% winners or 64% winners, either way, you should’ve made some money.

I don’t know what is going on in this league lately, maybe it’s the injuries, maybe it’s that some of these teams really did their home work in the coaching hires they’ve made and the rookies they’ve drafted but the league is super competitive this year.  18 teams hover at or around (higher/lower) the .500 mark by a game.  Now, you have 6 teams 2 games or more below .500 and 6 teams that are 2 games or more above .500 but it’s rather tight with more than half of the league.  Not to mention, a team like the 49ers have lost every game this year to go 0-6.  That might sound really bad, but take a look at how much they’ve lost by in their last 5 games and you may think differently about them, at Seahawks by 3, at home to the Rams by 2, at Cardinals by 3, at Colts by 3, at Redskins by 2.  That’s a helluva effort by Shanahan and his crew.

With that, lets go to some stats that I came across after breaking down my first 6 weeks of picks and let me tell you, there are some really odd trends.  Through the first 90 games:

ATS O/U ATS O/U
Thursday Night Sunday 1p
5-1 3-3 21-28-1 25-25
83% 50% 43% 50%
Sunday 4p Sunday Night
14-8 14-8 2-4 2-4
61% 61% 33% 33%
Monday Night Primetime
4-1-1 3-2-1 11-6-1 8-9-1
80% 60% 65% 47%
Bookend Nights Overall
9-2-1 6-5-1 46-42-2 47-42-1
82% 55% 52% 53%

There are my overall stats, pretty simplistic breakdown with the added bonus of seeing each set of games throughout the week.  The “Bookend Nights” are the combined record of the Thursday and Monday night games.  Pretty astonishing isn’t it?  I just love to see the trends when you breakdown my basic overall record to see where the strengths and weaknesses are in my picks.  That being said, I had some time to look at this breakdown even further:

Underdog Picks Road Dog Picks Home Dog Picks
22-9-1 71% 15-5-1 75% 7-4 64%
Favorite Picks Road Favorite Picks Home Favorite Picks
24-33-1 42% 8-13-1 38% 16-20 44%
Picks 7+ Points Picks 6.5 – 3 Points Picks 2.5 or Less Pts.
10-12 46% 24-23-2 51% 12-7 63%

As you can see here, I broke down my overall even farther, to the underdog and favorites in each pick as well as with 3 different spread categories.  I apparently LOVE the underdog picks and do very well in deciding on which underdog games will pay dividends.  The one jaw dropper I saw was my record with the road dogs.  75% winners on road dogs!  That’s insane!  Those are games not many bettors take and I’ve already bet on 21 of them, and pretty successfully.  Sadly, not so much on the favorites.  The one thing I’m jealous on is my one good buddies record on the games he picks to bet on with the favorites.  I think it’s obvious that I need to take some notes with him.

I also gave a point spread breakdown because there are games where you sit there, look at the line and go “man, if it was 6.5 instead of 7, I’d take it” among other lines scenarios.  Well, you can now look at my trends using that same thought process.  How successful I’ve been in selecting which spreads I’m better at deciding who’s going to cover.  I was actually shocked since the 2.5 point or less games are so hard to determine given that Vegas thinks the 2 teams at play are fairly equal, or at least that the road dog or road favorite is a bit more dominate even in the other teams house.  Nevertheless, I do pretty well with games that have under a 3 point spread.  But no you might want to know about the road dogs and favorites right?  Look no further:

RDog Picks 7+ Points RDog Picks 6.5-3 Points RDog Picks 2.5 or Less Pts
3-1 75% 8-3-1 73% 4-1 80%
RFav. Picks 7+ Points RFav Picks 6.5-3 Points RFav. Picks 2.5 or Less Pts
0-3 0% 4-6-1 40% 4-4 50%
Dog Picks 7+ Points Dog Picks 6.5-3 Points Dog Picks 2.5 or Less Pts
1-0 100% 3-4 43% 3-0 100%
Fav. Picks 7+ Points Fav Picks 6.5-3 Points Fav. Picks 2.5 or Less Pts
6-8 43% 9-10 47% 1-2 33%

As you saw, I’m a huge fan of the road dog and they help me win a good percentage of my games but I wanted to see what kinds of spreads I bet on them (RDog) with and the outcomes, as well as road favorites (Rfav.), the home dog picks (Dog), and home favorite picks (Fav.).  The numbers speak for themselves, road dog record, no matter what spread you’re getting, if I’m betting a road dog, you should be as well.  Same goes for the home dogs 7+ points and 2.5 points or less.  So far I’m undefeated there.

So there you have it, the complete breakdown of my picks.  You can see my strengths and weaknesses from the first 6 weeks of the season.  I hope to give you updates on these stats at the end of every month going forward.  Now, on to tonight’s Monday Night Football pick:

Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans, 8:30p (Titans -7.5, O/U: 48)

So let me get this straight, the Colts who are 2-3, who have a capable quarterback, receivers and running back are 7.5 point road dogs to the Titans who are without their stud rookie receiver and will start their leader, quarterback Marcus Mariota after sitting out a week with a hamstring issue?   Hamstrings are no joke and take some time to heal.  Mariota, even with a good offensive line, is known to scramble and make plays with his legs.  The Colts will look to keep him in the pocket and hit him low or at least wrap him up to the point where he tries to break free and possibly re-aggravate his hamstring injury.  He won’t have much help around him with injuries and DeMarco Murray having a bleak couple of weeks in rushing yards.  Jacoby Brissett has some of the tools that Andrew Luck has in regards to movement.  They both can move well inside and outside of the pocket, it’s the decision making that’s key.  Brissett has 60% completions this year and only 3 INT’s but just a measly 2 TD’s.  He hasn’t looked fantastic in the red zone with his arm but has made things happen with his 3 TD runs.  In the end, both defenses are in the bottom 3rd in the league, the Colts are worse but bad is bad.  I don’t expect this to be a shootout but I do expect the Colts to keep it close.  Take the Titans to win but the Colts to cover as road dogs in the under, 21-17.

Lastly, I want to wish my warmest regards to Aaron Rodgers.  I was devastated to hear about the broken collarbone.  I’m a huge Packer fan and he is our team.  I hope for a speedy recovery, we need ya 12!

 

Week 5: Sunday Games with Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5

The week started off great with a big win.  I know Gronk was listed as out and that changed the line late but given I was finishing up the article, I didn’t hear about his injury until right at kickoff.  Ok, let’s not jinx the good start so far and get to todays picks.

Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals, 1p (Bengals -3, O/U: 39.5)

The Bills defense has shown up to play this year.  They got Matty Ice to look average again (which he is) by throwing all kinds of looks at him and rushing hard.  People undersold on the Bills early on but they’ve proven they can beat the best on the road.  The Bengals had a good week, doesn’t mean you should jump back on board but they looked much better.  Daulton can move a little in the pocket but can he stand in there with rushers coming after him and be responsible with the ball?  Take the Bills to win in the Over, 24-21.

New York Jets at Cleveland Browns, 1p (Pickem, O/U: 40)

The Jets are another team that was sold out on early on.  They were picked to go 0-16 by the great Colin Cowherd.  They’re now tied with the Patriots and have a good shot to stay up near the top of the AFC.  They have to get their offense going to do so though.  Their defense has allowed 92 points and their offense has only scored 75.  Being 2-0 at home and 0-2 on the road speaks volumes, they need their fans and the comfort of playing at home to play well.  McCown has completed 70% of his passes but has a 3/3 TD/INT ratio.  Their run game is their strength, 7th in the league.  The Browns defense isn’t the worst but it’s still down there.  They’ve thrown Kizer to the wolves and the poor kid can’t even break free.  51% completions, 3 TD’s to 8 INT’s.  It doesn’t look good for him.  There’s not one bright spot on this team and they’re going to vey for the 1st pick in the draft again and probably squander it again. Take the Jets as a straight up winner in the under, 17-10.

Carolina Panthers at Detroit Lions, 1p (Lions -2.5, O/U: 42.5)

The Panthers went into New England and upset the defending Champs.  It was a shocking win and Cam looked like his old self.  It’s been almost a year and a half since we’ve seen him perform like that.  The Lions have had way too many come from behind games in the 4th quarter to my liking and they’ve been exceptionally lucky in those games, coming out better than .500 in wining those games.  When does the luck run out or are they that clutch when they absolutely need a score?  I don’t think the Panthers can pull off another road upset especially given the off the field issues that followed came after a press conference this week that caused a lot of negative buzz.  Take the Lions to cover in the win and in the under (possibly in the 4th quarter?), 20-17.

San Francisco 49ers at Indianapolis Colts, 1p (Colts -1.5, O/U: 44.5)

This matchup was initially billed as a snoozer but then Jacoby Brissett has taken over the reigns in Lucks absence and has really looked good.  They’ve had a tough schedule early without Luck and played most of the teams tough but have had their fair share of turnovers that turned into points.  The 49ers also have had a tough schedule to start the season, Panthers, Seahawks, Rams, Cardinals and they’ve lost the last 3 games by a field goal.  The 49ers defense has hung tough, even on then road.  The Colts can run with the better teams if they don’t turn the ball over and have a shot at wins against the bottom 3rd of the league.  This was a toughy but I am going to take the 49ers to win and in the over, 27-24.

Tennessee Titans at Miami Dolphins, 1p (Dolphins +2.5, O/U: 43)

Mariota will be out with Matt Cassel filling in.  The Dolphins who looked to have fell into a miracle with Cutler coming out of retirement and playing for Adam Gase again, winning their first game, Cutler smiling.  Since, they’ve looked miserable on offense with Ajayi virtually pulling a disappearing act on the stat sheet.  What did it in for me was Cutler on a noticeable run play, Cutler spread wide out to help sell the trick play just stood there, nonchalantly, uninterested in the play.  I guess we’re back to the old Cutler.  The Titans however still have a really good 1-2 punch in the backfield with Murray and Henry.  That will be the key to the game for the Titans, run early and often, and control the clock, keeping the rock out of Ajayi’s hands.  Take the Titans to win and cover in the under, 20-10.

Los Angeles Chargers at New York Giants, 1p (Giants -1.5, O/U: 47.5)

The Chargers haven’t looked good at home and actually have shown to not really have a fan base, even seeing other teams fan bases show up more than their own.  The Chargers have been in all of their games this year and that is a continuation of the last year.  They are another team, like the 49ers, who have had 3 of their 4 losses end with a difference of 3 or less points.  Three of their 4 games have been at home so I think the road game across country may give them a change of scenery and spark this team in an odd way.  The Giants started the first 2 games of the year looking absolutely unwatchable.  They had question marks in the backfield and on the offensive line but no one thought it would help generate the product that was shown.  In the last few weeks however, we’ve seen a turn around, losing each of the last 2 on the road by a field goal or less.  They still have those questions but have played better despite the fact.  The Chargers however, have been the better team statistically and both defenses have been keeping their teams in games.  I still would take the Chargers to cover the spread, being given 3, to win in the over, 31-24.

Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles, 1p (Eagles -6.5, O/U: 45)

These 2 teams have been exciting to watch, even the Cardinals who have been without their star running back David Johnson.  Now, that has meant that Carson Palmer has had to throw more but with their receiving corps, it’s been fluid.  The Eagles pass game improved with their offseason additions but the real surprise was the emergence of a solid run game.  They lost Sproles for the season but Blount has taken hold of primary back duties with Smallwood complimenting him nicely.  This will be a very fun game to watch.  The Cardinals need their fans in this time of need, missing Johnson so take the Eagles to cover this one in the over, since it will be a shootout, 35-27.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers, 1p (Steelers -7.5, O/U: 42.5)

The Jags have had a shocking start to the season, at 2-2 but a loss to the Jets in OT may have brought their larger than normal self start back down to Earth.  Bortles actually has 7 TD’s to 3 INT’s but lacks in the yardage and seems to have been on a leash to start the year and control his play, especially given the talent they have in the backfield with him, Leonard Fournette.  They’ve also had the best defense against the pass, given they’ve also played the Jets, Texans (before Watson started) and the hapless Ravens.  The Steelers have also had a good start but given their schedule so far, who knows how good they really are.  Bell has had a decent but slower than normal start given he sat out all of the pre-season.  The surprise for the Steelers has been their defense, 2nd overall and 2nd against the pass.  Big Ben has a 62% completion percentage with a 6/2 TD/INT ratio.  With this one being at home, take the Steelers to win in the under, 21-10

Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05p (Rams -1.5, 47.5)

All of a sudden the Rams have an efficient offense.  The arrival of their new young coach, Sean McVay, has given Goff a new start in year 2.  The Rams have the 5th best offense overall and pass offense in the league.  Their defense needs a boost but they have the talent to turn it around.  The Seahawks have been the typical slow start Seahawks but have been turning it on lately with their offense.  The only real defense they faced to give them trouble was the 49ers, to which they almost lost to them in mostly a field goal challenge.  The Seahawks offensive line will have the microscope on it again, as they allow Wilson to constantly be under duress.  The Rams typically give the Seahawks fits and especially in Seattle.  I would take the Rams to cover, win and in the under, 27-20.

Baltimore Ravens at Oakland Raiders, 4:05p (Raiders -3, O/U: 39.5)

The Ravens have looked absolutely horrible this season and the only reason they are 2-0 is because those wins came against similar dumpster fires earlier on in the season, the Bengals and Browns.  They got trounced by the Jags in London and the Steelers just last week.  Their offense is near last in the league and their defense is in the bottom 3rd of the league.  Now the Raiders started hot but the last 2 games have been a struggle but against 2 solid defenses (Redskins/Broncos).  They also lost their leader, Derek Carr, to a back injury for 2-6 weeks.  EJ Manuel is a capable backup and can get some wins in the next few weeks but it’ll take his best, starting with a good potential confidence booster in this matchup.  This should be an easy cover at home, take the Raiders to cover in the under, 20-14.

Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys, 4:25p (Cowboys -3, O/U: 45)

These 2 teams always seem to give a show.  Green Bay has been red hot despite lacking a real running game, to which they are 28th in the league.  The real shocker has been their defense which has been 6th in the league.  This team has basically lived and died by the arm of Rodgers who is off to a great start, averaging 286 yards/game and a rating just over 100.  Dallas’s motivation for this game is to avenge the bad loss to the Rams at home last week.  This team all around has been a middle of the pack team all around.  They really don’t have a deep threat and opposing defenses can keep the play within 15 yards of the line of scrimmage which bodes not so good for Dak.  Zeke has had successful games against Green Bay (2 games totaling 282 yards), so expect him to have a solid game.  This will be an amazing game to watch with the Cowboys wanting payback for last years heartbreaking playoff loss.  Green Bay needs this win as a landmark win, to help their critics R-E-L-A-X.  Take the Packers to cover and win in the over on the road, 34-29.

Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans, 8:30p (Texans +1, O/U: 45)

A lot of people are giving Houston a real shot at winning this game and it’s because of the play of Rookie, Deshaun Watson.  The Texans haven’t had a great passing game but it’s been effective.  Not only can he pass but he’s rushed for nearly 150 yards on 19 carries (7.79 yards per rush average).  He looks to be the real deal for them which could make them more dangerous as the season goes on.  Watt and Clowney will have to watch their rush, how deep into the pocket they go on Smith since Smith is a mobile quarterback.  What can you say about the Chiefs that will convince you not to take them?  Absolutely nothing.  You’re talking about the 2nd best offense and 1st rushing offense in the league.  Alex Smith has been on a tear, 8/0 TD/INT ratio along with Kareem Hunts record setting 502 yards on 68 carries (7.38 yards/carry) and 4 TD’s.  Their defense hasn’t been terribly great but that can be attributed to facing strong offenses early, not to mention, the offense has been on fire!  Despite the calls for an upset, I’m taking the Chiefs to get to 5-0 by covering in the over, 31-27.

Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5:

Carolina @ Detroit (-3)

LA Chargers (+3.5) @ NY Giants

Seattle @ LA Rams (-2.5)

Green Bay @ Dallas (-2)

Kansas City @ Houston (+1)