NFL Week 4: Monday Night Football Pick & Prediction

Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers, Heinz Field, 8:15 PM, ESPN (Steelers -4, O/U: 45.5)

The Bengals are reeling after another tough road loss against the Bills last week. Only being blown out at home against the 49ers, the Bengals have lost their 2 road games by a combined 5 points. Andy Dalton is 4th in the league in passing with 979 yards, 5 TD’s and 3 picks while completing 63% of his passes. He’s been without AJ Green (who is expected to be out until at least week 7) but have had John Ross (13 catches for 292 yards, 3 TD’s) and Tyler Boyd (24 catches for 250 yards) step up to fill his shoes together. Their issues have been lack of Mixon’s rushing game (87 yards on 32 carries) and their rush defense which has given up 168.7 yards per game)

The Steelers are living a very similar story where they’ve had 2 close loses of 6 points combined yet were blown out by the Pats in week one. Shockingly, with Big Ben getting hurt in week 2, the Steelers have managed to stay in both games with their backup, Mason Rudolph. Mason has only completed 57% of his passes but has limited turnovers with 4 pass TD’s and 2 picks. Still, the offense has struggled mightily, averaging 204 yards through the air and 64 yards rushing with Conner only averaging 2.9 yards on 34 carries and 97 yards. The offense isn’t the only one struggling as the defense has given up 303 yards through the air and 139 yards on the ground per game. It has been an ugly start with seeing Big Ben go out with injury, Bell and Brown leaving the offense all in the same season. The Steelers are struggling in a way that could hamper them until the end.

This game will be absolutely nasty as both teams are looking up at the Pound Puppies leading the division…yes, you read that right, 4 weeks in, the Browns are leading the division. Take the Bengals to finally get a road win against a virtually hapless Steelers, Bengals cover in the under, Bengals 20-14.

Week 3: Monday Night Football

Pittsburgh at Tamp Bay, 8:15pm, ESPN, (Buccs -1.5, O/U: 55)

The Steelers are in somewhat of a tailspin at the moment.  Bell still holding out and now the Steelers announce this past weekend that they’re listening to trade inquiries and Brown staging a mini coup, are facing an 0-3 start.  They have looked good on offense, which you should expect with the young talent around Big Ben, but the one time strength of this team, their defense, has looked very mediocre.  Tying Cleveland and blew a two touchdown lead in the 4th quarter against the Chiefs and the Mighty Mahomes, they’re looking to bounce back and right the ship against a red hot Buccs team.

The Buccs obviously didn’t think their season would start 2-0 with Fitz-Noodle-Arm turning into Fitz-Magic, who’s looking to become the first quarterback in league history to start a season with over 400 yards in each of his first three games.  Desean Jackson is looking like the D-Jax of old and Mike Evans is actually getting decent balls thrown his way which has given him the ability to make plays like he did in college and early on in his career.

The difference maker in this one will be which defense holds up against the others offense.  The Buccs front eight have been like a bull in a china shop. Vita Vea will likely be making his rookie debut joining his teammates in battle, making them even more vicious.  This Buccs team look like the Eagles team from last year, running around, making huge plays, scoring a ton and just plain old having fun, man!  It’ll be close but take the Buccs to continue to elevate The Beard and continue Fitz-Magic’s McGregor like swagger, wining and covering in the over, Buccs 31-28.

Ride the Buccs, finishing the week on your way to #beatyourbookie.

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)

 

Week 2 NFL Picks

New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills,
1 p.m., TV: CBS, LINE: Bills +1.5, O/U: 45:
The Patriots came into week one with questions at quarterback until the courts overturned his 4 game suspension. Tom put on a clinic and absolutely made the NFL eat some sour grapes with his play and yes there was even radiogate. McCoy is expected to play given his hamstring issue but wasn’t very effective carrying the ball in week 1 but is still a viable option for Taylor in the pass game. The Bills have a stingy looking defense against a very good Andre Luck and the Colts. Bills win this one despite Gronk having a big game. My Pick: Bills 21-20.

Houston Texans at Carolina Panthers,
1 p.m., TV: CBS, LINE: Panthers -3, O/U: 41:
Houston couldn’t stop a thing last week against the Chiefs. With a stacked defensive line, Alex Smith should’ve been under tons of pressure and it should’ve been closer and yes, they were predicted to win. Hoyer didn’t have a great game and now Mallett is under center. He has a strong arm with a lot of talent but his downfall is never living up to his potential. With a shot in Houston and not sitting behind Brady, maybe it’ll liven up the kid. Kuechly is out with a concussion from last weeks game against the Jags but with him out, the Panthers still stuffed the Jags. Mallett seemed to get the offense going last week almost making a comeback. The Panthers didn’t have a whole lot of options in the air game but Stewart looked like his old/healthy self with a huge game given the low expectations. My Pick: Texans 24-20.

Arizona Cardinals at Chicago Bears,
1 p.m., TV: FOX, LINE: Bears +2.5, O/U: 46:
Palmer tore up a Saints secondary that was suspect going into the game. The Bears also got lit up by a fantastic looking Packers air game. Ellington may be out but that air game will be as strong as ever. The Bears put up a good fight against Green Bay at home but with Cutler making mistakes and even late in the game when he needs to be at his best, it gives the Bears a disadvantage where they don’t need it. Where they make up for it is Forte however, he’s not the guy who has the ball in his hands every play to make better decisions. My Pick: Cardinals -2.5.

San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals,
1 p.m., TV: CBS, LINE: Bengals -3.5, O/U: 48:
The Bengals have been unreal at home and another monster on the road and especially ugly late in the seasons. Keenan Allen had a career game last week with a missing Antonio Gates. Tyler Eifert also had a career game in last week’s matchup against the Raiders. With these two offenses on point to start the season off right, the defenses won’t have a chance to keep the end zone clear of celebrations. I’m just surprised there isn’t a side bet for Adam “Pacman” Jones getting into trouble again, seeing that he had a fit of rage last week that costed him some good cabbage. My Pick: Bengals 31-24.

Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns,
1 p.m., TV: CBS, LINE: Browns +1.5, O/U: 41:
Mariota looked like a seasoned vet last week torching the Buccs secondary for 4 scores. This week also marks the first career start for Johnny Manziel who looked good at times and bad at other times. This is also the second week in a row 2 Heisman wining quarterbacks will be facing each other. Last week it was the last 2 years winners and this week is the winner from 3 years ago versus last year’s winner. Mariota has workable weapons, Manziel doesn’t. My Pick: Titans 22-20.

Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings,
1 p.m., TV: FOX, LINE: Vikings -3, O/U: 44.5:
The Vikings did not look good at all last week but in the new home they turn it around. They didn’t feed Adrian Peterson the rock like they should’ve but that changes today. Teddy is still young and doesn’t have the control of the team like a vet can. The Lions offense has always been decent and Ebron looked to have a good start to his sophomore bid. My Pick: Lions 20-17.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints,
1 p.m., TV: FOX, LINE: Saints -10, O/U: 47:
Division rivalries are always good games but Winston seemed to be exposed by a not that great Titans defense. Saints secondary got torched by a healthy Carson Palmer but recoup against a raw Winston. Brees looked like himself and on the road even. Look for him to explode at home and expose the Buccs again and then some. My Pick: Saints 35-17

Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants,
1 p.m., TV: FOX LINE: Giants -2, O/U: 49:
The Giants looked pretty resilient last week in Dallas and nearly won the game but gave it up late. Eli looked like typical Eli and look for that to continue against a Falcons team that gave the Eagles fits early last week and even beat them. The Falcons can be iffy on the road in outdoors games and the Giants aren’t favored that much but the offense didn’t look great. My Pick: Falcons 23-17.

San Francisco 49ers at Pittsburgh Steelers,
1 p.m., TV: FOX, LINE: Steelers -6, O/U: 46:
The 49ers came out of the gates with a nice upset win. The defense put together a great game against an offense that was poised to do great things given the momentum coming off of last season. Big Ben and the Steelers had some lapses in judgement when covering Gronk last week but with over a week to prepare and seeing what things did work for the 49ers and their run game, they have a big game and really show us who the 9ers are. My Pick: Steelers 33-14.

St. Louis Rams at Washington Redskins,
1 p.m., TV: FOX, LINE: Redskins +4, O/U: 41:
The Rams came out and had decent expectations going into the Seahawks game last week and nearly lost it but fended them off for a huge upset win. They always play tough defense at home but have never had a consistent starter behind center. Now that Foles is in town, the guy gives a great deep ball threat and the Redskins have been a dumpster fire for years but the defense can stop drives but if the offense can’t get anything going, it’ll wear them out and open them up. My Pick: Rams 31-19

Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville Jaguars,
4:05 p.m., TV: CBS, LINE: Jaguars +6.5, O/U: 42:
The Dolphins enjoyed a nice win last week against the Skins but this week against the Jags could prove to be a tougher play, defensively anyways. The Jags usually have a decent defense but still allowed the Panthers to score 20 without a whole lot of offensive weapons. The Jags will hold the Dolphins buy not enough due to the offense being stuffed by a much improved Fins defensive front. My Pick: Dolphins 24-14.

Baltimore Ravens at Oakland Raiders,
4:05 p.m., TV: CBS, LINE: Raiders +6, O/U: 42:
What to make of the Ravens. They had a hard time getting anything going on offense last week agains the Broncos but the defense looked really good and even after losing Suggs for the year after tearing his Achilles. The Raiders got off to an ok start but after Carr left the game with a hand injury, all hope went out the door. With Carr back this week, some of that hope is back. This will be another low scoring affair but with the better team coming out on top. Don’t be surprised if the Raiders keep it close however. My Pick: Ravens 20-17.

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles,
4:25 p.m., TV: FOX, LINE: Eagles -7, O/U: 54.5:
The Eagles might’ve started slow but finished big last week against the Falcons last week. The Falcons still took them to the woodshed long enough to get the win but give the Eagles a few extra minutes last week and they would’ve pulled it out. The defense still got blown out of the water in the air game even with Maxwell as a new edition. The Falcons still had some big time targets to throw to but the Cowboys don’t have Dez in the lineup. They do however have good depth of trustworthy receivers that can step up and contribute. 7 is a pretty big spread for these two to go at it. My Pick: Eagles 30-25.

Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers,
8:30 p.m., TV: NBC, LINE: Packers +3.5, O/U: 50:
The Seahawks have lost some key members on their defense especially since one of them is by their own doings, not figuring out the Chancellor thing yet. The Packers are unreal at home, always count on them to ride high with Rodgers behind center. The Packers had a 12 point lead in the NFC Championship game in Green Bay last year. They let that game slip away and the Hawks pulled off some kind of miracle. That doesn’t sit well with Green Bay who haven’t beat them since 2010, 5 matchups ago. Rodgers will be out for blood and with James Jones filling in for Jordy Nelson in the best possible way last week, that’s going to make them that much more dangerous this year. The Seahawks put together a decent offensive performance in a tough road matchup against the Rams last week. They normally don’t score like that on the road and to be up in tough Green Bay, they won’t duplicate over 30 points but Jimmy Graham helps. My Pick: Packers 31-26.

NFL Week 1 – Thursday Night Throwdown

Back for the 2015 season. It’s been another long offseason with many news topics that have been discussed and there’s usually one that beats the dead horse and this year it involves the high profiled QB Tom Brady and “deflategate”. Well, it all turned out to be much to do about nothing and his 4 game suspension was over-ruled to which he will be starting the season opener tonight. The Steelers have also had some issues with star players getting into trouble but the suspensions actually sticking, seeing Martavis Bryant out with a 4 game suspension as well as Le’Veon Bell’s 2 games, who coincidentally was with former teammate, now Patriot, LeGarrette Blount, who is also dealing with a suspension of his own.

Nevertheless, the season is upon us, let football begin!

New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, TV: NBC @ 8:30 p.m.; LINE: Patriots -7.5, O/U 52:

Both teams are dealing with key injuries and suspensions, luckily for the Pats, Brady avoided his. Now with all eyes, ears and hands all over the Patriots, this will be a huge kickoff (highly rated) for the NFL with all of the surrounding controversy and attention that the Pats have found themselves in this year already. Brady will be ever prepared, as he always is but don’t look for this one to be a high scoring contest. The light rain they are having will start the game off slow and these two defenses aren’t half bad either. Yes, Wilfork is gone and is now pretending to be a kicker during practices with the Texans but the defensive front will still be strong. Troy Polamalu is now retired after acknowledging losing some steps in his game over the last few years. This defense in some ways is younger now so look for them to play refreshed but don’t be surprised with some mistakes sprinkled in. With the new extra point rules, it’ll be interesting to see if the coaches use different strategies in this wet affair. Both quarterbacks are great game managers so there will be no rushing anything.  They both know they can’t allow mistakes to happen since the other will capitalize on them.  No underinflated balls will be helping Tom win this one but look for the Steelers to keep it close. Patriots 24-20.

Check back for a preview of Sunday’s picks! Good luck!

Betting lines provided by Bovada

Week 7: Monday Night Mash-up

Houston Texans @ Pittsburgh Steelers,
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Steelers -3. O/U: 44.5:

The Texans go into Pittsburgh on a 2 game skid. They are 1-2 on the road and the offense has been all ground game and Arian Foster. Fitzpatrick has shown leadership in close games and has shown he can sustain some long drives but isn’t going to have that massive 300 yard game. The defense has helped but it is not dominating like everyone thought it would be. Yes, Clowney went out early in the season but they practically have the same defensive line as last year and have only 10 sacks with Watt having 4 of them. They have games with 1 or none and they dumped a ton of money on Watt and a 1st overall, 1st round draft pick on Clowney. There is a possibility that Clowney may return tonight but if he does, how effective will he be and how much will we see him?

The Steelers are 25-2 on Monday night at home and 8-0 of those at Heinz Field. However the Steelers haven’t been that impressive, especially their defense. They are older, slower and can’t hang with the young speedy receivers that are beating them. Big Ben has been picking it up since weeks 3, 4, 5 but hit a wall last week against the Browns. Speaking of Brown, Antonio Brown has been their star catching 5 of Ben’s 8 TD’s. The two-headed rushing monster of Bell and Blount in the back field has helped. The offense ranks 8th in passing and 4th in rushing but are 31st in the league in the red zone. The Offense is there, the defense is not. The defense will have a hard time against the Texans rush game. Watt will have a tough time getting to Ben but if he does he will have a doubly hard time bringing him down.

Take the Steelers to win with the points, and this one will score in the Over because neither defense is overpowering. Steelers 27-21

Colin Cowherd went 3-2 yesterday and yes, it turns out that the Chiefs/Chargers game was a trap bet and we now know that the 49ers can’t fill major defensive players’ roles with more than 2 defensive stars being out, I thought they would.

MATCHUP SPREAD (H) WISE GUYS AGREE W/L/P HERD’S RECORD WISE GUYS
Bengals @ Colts (-3) -3 Y W 20-12 18-14
Dolphins (+3) @ Bears -3 Y W 21-12 19-14
Giants (+6.5) @ Cowboys -6.5 Y L 21-13 19-15
Chiefs (+4) @ Chargers -4 Y W 22-13 20-15
49ers (+6.5) @ Broncos -6.5 Y L 22-14 20-16

Week 2: Thursday Night Division Mash Up

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens,
TV: 8:25 p.m. ET, CBS, NFL Network. LINE: Ravens -2.5. O/U: 44:

Enough of the Ray Rice story. I don’t need to re-hash details with all of the other major media doing that so this is strictly about the game at hand. The Ravens normally hand out about 150 media passes for games, today they handed out 500! So it will be talked about all broadcast long.

Last week the Steelers were tested by a virtually weaponless Browns team but held on to win. They will need more grit from their players against the Ravens. 9 out of the last 10 meetings have been decided by 3 points or less. Le’Veon Bell has had his share of off the field issues but was in action last week and scored a TD while rushing for 109 yards also while catching 6 passes for 88 yards. Big Ben looked decent with 365 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT. The Ravens, aside from not having Ray Rice in the backfield, had issues with his replacement, Bernard Pierce, who fumbled on a key play and was benched for it. 3rd back Justin Forsett picked up the slack carrying the ball 11 times for 70 yards and a TD. Only having 3 running backs on the roster, John Harbaugh hasn’t tipped his hat as to who will start however we can only assume it will be Bernard Pierce as well as a healthy mix of Forsett. Sorry fantasy guys, unless one of those guys breaks out, the Ravens won’t have a start running back this year to yank decent points off of. With that being said, it’s in Baltimore, and the home teams have only a 5-5 record in the last 10 (the Ravens only having 2 of those wins at home. But Flacco and Steve Smith looked very good in their first game together so don’t let the home game numbers scare you. Teams, even under conditions similar to these, rally well and on short weeks, the home team has the advantage on the rest factor especially since the Steelers were on the road Sunday against the Browns. Take the Ravens in the Under with the points in this one as it will be another tight one, Ravens 23-20.