NFL Week 5: Monday Night Football Pick & Prediction

Cleveland Browns @ San Francisco 49ers, Levi’s Stadium, 8:15 PM, ESPN (49ers -4.5, O/U: 48.5)

The Browns are hit or miss.  There’s a lot of characters involved with that roster, the big ego’s on the offense (Baker & OBJ) are exhausting and smothering the news on this team.  Baker has his moments but still makes poor “gunslinger” throws that get picked because he’s no Favre.  He’s completed just 59% of his passes and has 4 TD’s to 6 picks.  He can make plays, he can be fluid in the pocket, albeit better to the right than left.  Decision making is his big fault.  He does thrive on hyped up games where his talent is called into question which is what I feel his performance last week was based on adrenaline due to the comparison to Lamar Jackson and the story being pushed, who was a better draft pick?  OBJ was kept silent while the other big threat, Landry went off for season high 8 catches and career best 167 yards before sustaining a concussion to which he was released from concussion protocol late last week so expect to see him on the field.  The Browns defense are middle of the road for points and yards allowed however they are doing very well for themselves on the turnover side of things with 4 picks, 3 forced fumbles, 4 recovered fumbles and then 14 sacks to top all of that.  

Jimmy Garappolo is having a good start to the season as he’s completed 69% but his yardage is light with just 739 yards in 3 games and 5 TD’s to 4 picks but you have to remember, he was out all last year basically so the rust is expected.  Kyle Shanahan will have him up to speed starting with this game as he’s going to need to be extra sharp with the Browns defense even minus Ward in their secondary.  The team is surprisingly near the top in points scored, 2nd in the league with 96 in just 3 weeks as well as being 4th in team yards.  The defense has also been surprisingly strong, near the tops in the league in most team defensive stats including 3 picks, 3 forced fumbles, 5 recovered fumbles and 9 sacks.  Breida and Mostert will need to continue their tag team style who have combined for 428 yards on 75 carries, averaging 5.7 yards per carry.  Expect to see a strong outing for a fresh 49ers team at home.

Take the 49ers to cover in the over, 49ers 28-21.

NFL Week 4: Sunday Games Picks & Predictions with Colin Cowherd’s Balzin’ 5

Carolina Panthers @ Houston Texans, NRG Stadium, 1:00 PM (Texans -5.5, O/U: 47.5)

Allen gets his second start but against an always hungry defense. The Texans have been in fairly close games all season so far due to the lack of running game which gives the offense an overall inconsistency despite the excellent passing game. With all the weapons Allen has, expect the Panthers to keep it close. Take the Texans to win but the Panthers to cover in the over, Texans 27-24.

Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens, M&T Bank Stadium, 1:00 PM (Ravens -7.5, O/U: 46.5)

The Browns are struggling mightily to score only averaging 16 points per game. Baker looks to have regressed with additional weapons while only completing 56.9% of his passes. The Ravens have had an offensive output unlike ever seen in this organization. They’ve averaged 36.7 points and went toe to toe with the supreme offense of the Chiefs last week in a close losing effort. Lamar Jackson has completed 63% of his passes for 863 yards, 7 touchdowns and zero interceptions. Take the Ravens to cover in the win, in the over, Ravens 31-20.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Detroit Lions, Ford Field, 1:00 PM (Lions +7, O/U: 54.5)

The Chiefs have been one of the top offensive teams in the league since week 1 of last year. This year they are averaging 33.6 points and even without Tyreek Hill the last 2 weeks. Sammy Watkins, Travis Kelce, Demarcus Robinsons and newly signed LeSean McCoy have all stepped up when needed. The Lions are a scrappy team who surprisingly lead the NFC North while beating a road tough Chargers and upsetting a championship team in the Eagles in their house. They come home to try their hands at another upset. Stafford has been efficient but the running game with Kerryon Johnson has been lacking which takes a dimension away from this team. Take the Chiefs to cover in the under, Chiefs 31-21.

Los Angeles Chargers @ Miami Dolphins, Hard Rock Stadium, 1:00 PM (Dolphins +14, O/U: 44.5)

The Chargers are always a tough road team. They’ve missed key players and especially on defense with Derwin James. Phillip Rivers has been exceptional and especially with top target Keenan Allen, expect that to continue with Fitzpatrick now a Steeler. The Dolphins handed the keys to Rosen last week and given how bad the defense was and the many drops his receivers had, overshadowed the good things he did. Expect him to have a his best outing of the season today. Take the Chargers to cover in the under, Chargers 34-17.

New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills, New Era Field, 1:00 PM (Bills +7, O/U: 41.5)

The Patriots defense has started out very strong, probably the strongest any Pats defense have ever started by blowing out the Steelers, Dolphins and the Jets, only allowing 17 points. Brady has completed 68% of his throws for 911 yards, 7 TD’s and zero picks. The rushing game hasn’t really been there but it hasn’t been needed with how efficient Brady has been. The Bills have been scrappy and impressive with wins against the Jets and Giants on the road and beating the Bengals in a close one at home. You should rarely if ever bet against Bill Belichick and the Pats even though this one will be tough for them. Take the Patriots to cover in the under, Patriots 27-17.

Oakland Raiders @ Indianapolis Colts, Lucas Oil Stadium, 1:00 PM (Colts -6.5, O/U: 46.5)

The Raiders have looked ok to start off the season. Sure they had a bad week against the Vikings but they held the Chiefs scoreless in 3 of 4 quarters the week before and beat the Broncos in week 1. Josh Jacobs has looked like an offensive rookie of the year candidate averaging 5 yards per carry. Carr has completed 73% of his passes but has 4 TD’s and 3 picks. The Colts have kept all games under a touchdown and have won 2 of them. Brissett has also completed over 70% of his passes and Marlon Mack has averaged 4.9 yards per rush on 61 carries for 299 yards. Both teams have allowed 70+ points in the first 3 weeks but the Colts have faced one team that is mediocre at best on offense where the Raiders have faced a top team in the Chiefs and held them to 28. Take the Colts to win but the Raiders to cover in the under, Colts 21-20.

Tennessee Titans @ Atlanta Falcons, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, 1:00 PM (Falcons -3.5, O/U: 46.5)

Tennessee has been inconsistent as a team since drafting Mariota and having him lead this team. The one thing Mariota has done well is not throwing picks. What has helped him do that is the rushing game with Derrick Henry and Mariota’s own legs. The Falcons have been shockingly average given the big names on this offense. The rushing game has been non existent and the big performances by Julio Jones to nab 4 reception TD’s and 2 for Hooper and Ridley, to be 1-2 with 2 road games and barely coming away with a win against an Eagles team who lost their 2 top receivers in the opening quarter at home is concerning for their defense and if they can hold an average Mariota. Titans defense can be stout but I expect the better quarterback to be more careful with the ball and start to turn it around. Take the Falcons to cover in the over, Falcons 31-17

Washington Redskins @ New York Giants, MetLife Stadium, 1:00 PM (Giants -3, O/U: 48.5)

The Redskins are choppy but hang in games for some reason. Keenan is a never give up guy and is very fiery. Keenan has completed 69% of his passes despite having a big name but we may see a big name emerging for them, Terry McLaurin who has 16 catches for 257 yards and 3 scores. Chris Thompson has been amazing out of the backfield with 16 catches and 195 yards as the second leading receiver on the team. Danny Dimes has breathed life into this team but it came at the expense of losing Saquon Barkley for at least 1-2 months with a severe sprain of his ankle. Evan Engram has been their top receiver, surprisingly. Given the Barkley injury, expect this one to be close.  Big late injury report has McLaurin out for the game as well. Take the Giants to cover in the under, Giants 24-13.

Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals, University of Phoenix Stadium, 4:05 PM (Cardinals +5, O/U: 47.5)

The Seahawks defense hasn’t been anywhere close to what they had been but Wilson has bailed them out with big time consistency, completing 71% of his passes for 901 yards and 7 TD’s with zero picks. Tyler Lockett has been the main target while D.K. Metcalf has emerged as another favorite target. Chris Carson has been a bruiser of a back but relatively ineffective. The Cardinals have played tough to start the season marking a tie against the Lions, going toe to toe with the Ravens and losing by less than a touchdown and suffered mightily against the Panthers at home. The defense hasn’t been great and they start slow in the first half, being outscored but have outscored opponents in the second half as you saw against the Lions. Take the Seahawks to cover in the over, Seahawks 27-21.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, 4:05 PM (Rams -9, O/U: 48.5)

Jameis Winston has been highly inconsistent only completing 60% of his passes while tossing 5 TD’s and 4 picks. Ronald Jones has been a bright spot of the offense, emerging as their top back averaging 5.29 yards per carry but is not used as much as he should be given they’re often behind in games. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin have been Winston’s top receivers. A big win against the Panthers makes you question their power but their losses haven’t been terrible. The Rams are looking as powerful as ever and Cooper Kupp being back shows how much Goff missed him while catching a team best 23 passes while seeing the teams best 31 targets for a team best 267 yards and a team best 2 reception TD’s. Cooks and Woods are right behind him and are virtually seeing the same amount of targets. The duo of Gurley and Brown have been powerful and effective in mixing it up, keeping defenses on their toes. Take the Rams to cover in the over, Rams 34-23.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Denver Broncos, Broncos Stadium at Mile High, 4:25 PM (Broncos -2.5, O/U: 37.5)

The Jags new found quarterback Gardner Minshew has taken the world and the meme world by storm. He’s come out firing and efficiently while also using his legs when in need. He’s been so good that Jalen Ramsey now doesn’t want to be traded. Minshew has completed 73.9% of his passes for 692 yards and 5 TD’s and just 1 pick. Fournette has been good enough when used but Minshew has 80 yards on 11 carries. DJ Chark and Chris Conley have been the top air targets with both averaging at least 16+ yards per catch, which is astounding. The Broncos thought the savior to their offensive troubles was the signing of Joe Flacco, who is trying to stave off retirement. they’ve played tough teams to start the year and have lost to them all but they weren’t terribly bad losses. He’s completed 69% of his passes but low yardage (773) and only 2 TD’s with 2 picks. Courtland Sutton has been his top target but has yet to reach the endzone while Emmanuel Sanders is showing he still has it being the second favorite target and 2 scores. With all of the big time players on this defense and defensive front, they are without a sack, which is a big deal! Take the Jaguars to cover in the win, in the over, Jaguars 24-21.

Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears, Soldier Field, 4:25 PM (Bears -1, O/U: 38.5)

The Vikings have been an up and down team so far this year, beating 2 teams that are also inconsistent and tough. It almost seems like the Vikings don’t want Cousins to throw the ball given his inconsistencies, completing only 59% of his passes for 3 TD’s and 2 picks. Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison have been the real leaders of this offense with over 500 yards combined, both averaging over 5 yards per carry and 5 TD’s. The Bears offense has been stagnant and also don’t fully trust Trubisky throwing the ball. The best quote about him was from the Packers Tramon Williams who said the key to their planning on defense was making Trubisky play quarterback. If that doesn’t scare you about your QB situation, I don’t know what will. Take the Bears to win in the under, Bears 20-17.

Dallas Cowboys @ New Orleans Saints, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, 8:20 PM (Saints +3, O/U: 48.5)

Dak has been unbelievable to start the year, completing 75% of his passes for 920 yards, 9 TD’s and 2 picks.  He’s playing for a contract so expect him to be at the top of his game against a banged up Saints defense.  Zeke has been averaging over 5 yards per carry. Cooper, Gallup and Cobb have been going nuts on the offense and have seen many targets because it’s just too tough to cover all of them.  Bridgewater shocked everyone in the Seattle game with the win but he didn’t look great.  Going against a much tougher defense will expose him greatly.  Take the Cowboys to cover in the over, Cowboys 31-24.

Colin Cowherd’s Blazin’ 5:

  • Tennessee at Atlanta – Tennessee (+3.5)
  • Cleveland at Baltimore – Baltimore (-7)
  • Oakland at Indianapolis – Oakland (+6.5)
  • Seattle at Arizona – Arizona (+5.5)
  • Dallas at New Orleans – New Orleans (+2.5)

NFL Week 2: Monday Night Football Prediction & Pick

Cleveland Browns @ New York Jets, MetLife Stadium, 8:15 PM, ESPN (Jets +6.5, O/U: 45.5)

Cleveland came out flat last week and were all hype on paper and got punched in the mouth in front of their own fans by a Titans team who really has many doubts up and down that roster.  Even their more sturdy/reliable defense was shown up.  On paper, the Browns look stacked and should have a winning season but you don’t win games on swagger.  Mayfield might’ve been selected #1 overall and turned around the Browns from being 1-31 over the previous 2 seasons before his arrival, but he still has a ton to prove.  Throwing 3 picks to open the season, is not ideal but it is a learning curve.  OBJ had watchgate all week and threatens to wear it again tonight.  Are the Browns self imploding over self wants?

The Jets are without their young QB Darnold as he was dealt a mono diagnosis early in the week.  Trevor Siemian will be filling in and he’s been looking for his next break since he’s left Denver.  At least the Jets will have someone whose started and played a full NFL season instead of some young hanger-on whose been a career backup with a handful of NFL game action throws in his short career.  They traded the Patriots for Demaryius Thomas with Quincy Enunwa being lost for the year.  Bell will have to be relied upon to carry a big workload since Thomas won’t be up to speed on the playbook.  Robby Anderson needs to turn it on to swoop in under the radar if the Jets are looking to steal one in a moment of weakness.

OBJ may have fired up Greg Williams and his defense by calling him out during the week for purposely trying to injure players and he will certainly have a target on his back and even his watch.  Given that, Take the Browns to win but the Jets to cover in the over, Browns 27-24.

 

NFL Week 2: Sunday Game Predictions & Picks

Arizona Cardinals @ Baltimore Ravens, M&T Bank Stadium, 1:00 PM, FOX (Ravens -12.5, O/U: 46.5)

The Cardinals are on the road so don’t expect any comeback miracles like last week. They played 3 quarters of bad football and pulled it together at home to tie the Lions. The Ravens brought it last week versus the Dolphins with Lamar Jackson going off with rookie receiver Marquise Brown. Expect the Ravens to do a similar thing to a similarly bad team although not on a similar level. Take the Ravens to cover in the win and in the over, Ravens 34-20.

Buffalo Bills @ New York Giants, MetLife Stadium, 1:00 PM, CBS (Giants +2.5, O/U: 44.5)

The Bills had a slow opening week 1 but bounced back to win against the Jets while also producing 6 20 yards or more plays. The Giants got drubbed by the Cowboys and now have their #1 receiver, Sterling Shepard in concussion protocol. The Giants also only went 2 for 11 on 3rd downs and the Bills defense is stingy, only allowing 3.4 yards per play, the best out of all of the teams in week 1. Take the Bills to cover in the win, in the under, Bills 24-16.

Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins, FedEx Field, 1:00 PM, FOX (Redskins +5, O/U: 47.5)

Dallas looked really good in the opening week against the Giants. Cobb, scored in his debut with the team and Zeke also found the endzone after ending his contract disputes. The Redskins got up big early on the Eagles but allowed them to comeback and win the game, nearly covering the 10 point spread until Keenum lead a very late TD drive with 12 seconds left that was meaningless other than to the people who bet the Eagles to cover. Take the Cowboys to win and cover a more manageable spread in the over, Cowboys 31-20.

Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans, Nissan Stadium, 1:00 PM, CBS (Titans -3.5, O/U: 43.5)

The Colts pushed the Chargers to OT last week and Brissett looked pretty good (21/27, 190, 2TD’s). Mack also stepped up with 174 yards and a score on 25 carries. The Titans blew up everyone’s expectations of what the Browns hyped themselves up to be. Mariota was efficient and tossed 3 scores in the absolute beating of the Browns. Push the upset alert in this one. Take the Colts to cover and win in the over, Colts 24-21.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans, NRG Stadium, 1:00 PM, CBS (Texans -8, O/U: 42.5)

Gardner Minshew looked good filling in for the injured Foles and was really efficient (22/25, 275, 2 TD/1 INT) with his top receiver being DJ Chark. The Texans had an amazing game with the Saints last Monday night and nearly pulled it off with 2 huge 4th quarter throws from Watson, going 75 yards in 37 seconds, with less than 2 minutes to go. JJ Watt didn’t record a recordable stat other than a game played number but still made big impacts on the game with his pressure on Brees. Expect him to have his first tackle and sack of the year early in this one. Speaking of sacks, the Texans gave up 6 on Watson last week, which must improve if they want their young star QB healthy for 16 games. Take the Texans cover in the win and in the over, Texans 28-16.

Los Angeles Chargers @ Detroit Lions, Ford Field, 1:00 PM, CBS (Lions +1.5, O/U: 47.5)

Ekeler stepped into the roll as the feature back much like when he did when Gordon had injuries and looked really good (154 scrimmage yards). Ekeler had 3 scores with one of them being the game winning score in OT against the Colts. The defense was worrisome but had standouts individually. Stafford threw for 385 yards and 3 scores against the Cardinals but the team couldn’t hold on to the 18 point lead on the road and eventually tied the Cardinals. TJ Hockenson had 6 catches for 131 yards and a TD in his debut, making him the new record holder for receiving yards by a rookie TE. I know the Chargers are much better on the road than at home however they are still missing Derwin James and now will be without top TE Hunter Henry for 4-6 weeks. Take the Lions to win and cover in the over, Lions 27-24.

Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers, Lambeau Field, 1:00 PM, FOX (Packers -2.5, O/U: 43.5)

The Vikings scored all of their points off of short field turnovers by the Falcons last week which put that game out of reach early. Kirk Cousins was only 8/10 for 98 yards and a TD while Dalvin Cook had 21 carries for 111 yards and 2 scores. They travel to Green Bay where the Packers rarely turn the ball over and has been consistently one of the toughest places to play in the NFL for opponents. The Packers new look offense did not get off to the great start like many anticipated it would. They were only 2 of 12 on 3rd downs but scored the only TD of the game which proved huge. With 3 extra days of prep for the Packers, expect them to have sured up their flaws and mistakes to take one at home against a division rival. Take the Packers to win and cover in the over, Packers 27-24.

New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins, Hard Rock Stadium, 1:00 PM, CBS (Dolphins +18, O/U: 48.5)

We have our first college football line of the year with this one. Not much to say for this matchup other than the Patriots are a finally tuned machine with tremendous coaching. Antonio Brown will get his first looks in the offense with a little over a week to prepare and study the playbook. Tom Brady looked as dangerous as ever throwing nearly 350 yards and 3 TD’s and spread the ball to 7 different receivers, 3 of which had at least 5 catches. The Dolphins looked absolutely atrocious last week. They deserve this line as they were stopped on the ground and forced through the air, where they completed less than 50% of their passes. The Patriots will not think twice about running up the score on a division rival. Take the Patriots to cover in the under, Patriots 34-10.

San Francisco 49ers @ Cincinnati Bengals, Paul Brown Stadium, 1:00 PM, FOX (Bengals Pick’em, O/U: 46.5)

The 49ers kept the mystery around Garapolo going another week as he tried to get his feet wet after missing all of 2018. He looked as expected in the opener but the defense looked great (not hard to do when Winston throws directly to your cornerbacks). The 49ers secondary outpaced ALL of 2018’s 2 picks with 3 and 2 of them being returned for TD’s. Richard Sherman had his first INT in over a year after having none last year and returned it to the house. 30 carries were spread out over 3 backs with Coleman spraining his ankle (out for week 2). AJ Green is still out for the Bengals as they gave the Seahawks fits in their own house, nearly pulling off the upset win. Dalton threw for over 400 yards as the run game was basically a non factor. John Ross went off with 7 cathces for 158 yards and 2 TD’s. I think the 49ers will eventually get better once Jimmy G gets some more games under his belt. Take the Bengals to win the pick’em in the over, Bengals 28-21.

Seattle Seahawks @ Pittsburgh Steelers, Heinz Field, 1:00 PM, FOX (Steelers -3.5, O/U: 47.5)

The Seahawks squeaked out a win at home, surprisingly having trouble with Andy Dalton even without AJ Green. The offense looked mediocre as the rushing game was fairly silent most of the game as well. Wilson was kept to less than 200 yards but I will give them the benefit of the doubt as rain was a factor in hindering the game. The Steelers looked horrendous on the road with the Patriots even though that is the M.O. on Brady versus the Steelers (beating the Steelers in the last 9 meetings). The line couldn’t help get James Conner going on his 10 carries (only 21 yards). Big Ben competed less than 50% of his passes and threw a pick. Going 3 for 12 on 3rd downs never helps. The Steelers do bounce back from bad losses like last week and usually play buttoned up the next week. Seattle has to cross the country to play what would be a morning game on the west coast. Take the Steelers to win in the under, Steelers 21-17.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Oakland Raiders, Oakland Coliseum, 4:05 PM, CBS (Raiders +7, O/U: 53.5)

The Chiefs lost Tyreek Hill in last weeks game for 4-6 weeks with a dislocated clavicle joint. His absence meant nothing as Sammy Watkins filled in nicely with 9 catches for 198 yards and 3 scores. LeSean McCoy torched the defense with 81 yards on 10 carries so you should expect him to get the feature work until he slows. The Defense however allowed 347 yards to a rookie quarterback last week. The Raiders offensive line looked stellar, not allowing a sack on Derek Carr against a stingy/tough Broncos defense, which allowed Carr to gel with new favorite target Tyrell Williams (6 catches, 105 yards and 1 TD). Josh Jacobs looked as good as advertised (23 carries, 85 yards and 2 TD’s). The defense even got in on the party with 3 sacks and a forced fumble. I was shocked by this line as Vegas thinks the Chiefs would be a 13 point favorite at home versus the Raiders. Take the Chiefs to win but the Raiders to cover in the over, Chiefs 31-27.

Chicago Bears @ Denver Broncos, Broncos Stadium at Mile High, 4:25 PM, FOX (Broncos +1.5, O/U: 40.5)

The Bears looked about as bad on offense as you could look in the opening week. Many penalties, Trubisky completing less than 50% of his passes, run game non-existent, 3 for 15 on third down. This is the second year between coach and QB so you would’ve thought it would’ve looked better by now. The defense held up its end of the bargain, keeping Rodgers out of the endzone most of the night. The Broncos also looked miserable in the opening week. After supposedly finding a decent QB to run this team in Flacco, he looked mediocre going 21/31, 268 yards and a TD. They probably should’ve ran more since the running back tandem of Freeman and Lindsay combined for 99 yards on 21 carries. Sutton and Sanders were the only standouts having 7 grabs for 120 yards & 5 grabs for 85 yards and a score, respectively. Take the Bears to cover with a win in the under, Bears 20-17.

New Orleans Saints @ Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, 4:25 PM, FOX (Rams -2, O/U: 52.5)

The Saints had a heckuva shootout showdown in the Dome last week against he Texans even with being hosed by the refs twice, again, in a big game. Brees had 370 yards, 2 scores and a pick while Kamara picked up where he left off having 97 yards on 13 carries. The nice complimentary play came from Latavious Murray, who broke off a 30 yard touchdown run. Ted Ginn (7 catches on 7 targets for 101 yards) and Michael Thomas (10 catches for 123 yards) both had big days. The defense combined for 6 sacks against a tough Watson. The only thing working against the Saints is going on the road to an outdoor stadium, to which they play as a different team all together. The Rams were back in form on the road in Carolina mixing the passing and run games well. No real standouts other than Gurley’s 97 yards on 14 carries and Malcolm Browns 2 TD runs. The defense racked up 3 sacks, a pick and 2 forced fumbles. Take the Rams at home to win and cover in the over, Rams 34-31.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Atlanta Falcons, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, 8:20 PM, NBC (Falcons +1.5, O/U: 52.5)

The Eagles were able to overcome a 17 point deficit to the Redskins at home by pulling out to a 12 point lead late in the 4th quarter before allowing the Redskins to score a touchdown with 12 seconds left. Wentz eventually started to connect for big plays to DeSean Jackson starting late in the 2nd quarter with a 51 yard TD bomb and later with a 53 yard TD bomb, bringing Eagles fans to their feet for the days of old with D-Jax. Wentz finished 28/39 for 313 yards and 3 scores while Jackson finished with 8 catches for 154 yards and 2 scores. The running game saw shares of carries equally to Sproles, Howard and Sanders (9-47, 6-44, 11-25), whit Sanders having the longest rush of the day (19 yards). The Falcons turned the ball over way too much in their matchup against the Vikings in Minnesota. They gave the Vikings 4 touchdowns off of those turnovers and all of them on short fields. They were down 21-0 at the half because of those mistakes. Ryan’s stats look efficient going 33/46 for 304 yards and 2 scores but those 2 picks that he has put them in bad spots. Going down early, eliminated the need for a balanced run attack and therefore 9 different receivers were used to try and make a comeback. 2 late TD’s in the 4th quarter was all they could muster. Take the Eagles to cover in the win in the over, Eagles 31-24.

Colin Cowherd’s Blazin 5:

  • Buffalo at NY Giants – Buffalo (-2)
  • Seattle at Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh (-3.5)
  • Chicago at Denver – Denver (+2.5)
  • New Orleans at LA Rams – LA Rams (-2.5)
  • Philadelphia at Atlanta – Atlanta (+2)

Week 15: Saturday Games

Houston vs. New York Jets, 4:30p, NFLN (Jets +7, O/U: 44.5)

Houston had been on a tear with a 9 game winning streak until the Colts messed that up. They look to rebound against the lowly Jets. Despite giving up nearly 400 yards last week, the Texans have the 5th best defense in terms of points allowed and 5th best against the run. This bodes well for them given that the Jets pass game is virtually non existent. A surprising stat is that the Texans are 3-1 on grass this year. Pair that up with Watson’s 112.9 QBR in his last 7 games with 13 TDs and 2 picks alongside Hopkins 5 game road streak catching a touchdown, it makes for a dangerous setup against the Jets.

Speaking of the Jets, Darnold led his team with under 2 minutes left to beat the Bills and snap a 6 game losing streak. Neither rookie quarterback looked all that impressive however after starting with so much hype but failing on his face since week 3, Darnold needed something to gain the confidence back. With the team needing receivers, running back, a defense, the Jets will likely struggle often today.

Take the Texans to cover in the under, Texans 24-10.

Cleveland vs. Denver, 8:30p, NFLN (Broncos -1.5, O/U: 47)

This game feels like a trap given the national following the Browns have accrued. Baker Mayfield has come on strong as of late, leading this team with grit. The Browns are 3-1 in their last 4 with five wins against the Falcons and Panthers. Nick Chubb has also been on a roll with 5 straight games scoring on the ground. Their defense has had individual successes in the form of sacks and picks. Garrett has 7.5 of his 13.5 sacks in the last 7 games along with Randall picking 2 of his 4 passes in the last 3 games.

The Broncos have also been 3-1 in their last 4 games, also against great teams (Steelers and Chargers). Even with the big wins, Keenum has had 3 straight games with less than 200 yards. Phillip Lindsay has been hot and cold all season but still is starring at a 1,000 yard season and double digit rushing touchdowns. Von Miller has led the Broncos defensive resurgence with 9.5 of his 13.5 sacks in the last 8 games.

2nd cousins Bradley Chubb and Nick Chubb won’t be taking it easy on each other as both have eyes on the playoffs.

Take the Browns to cover in the over, Browns 27-24.

Week 3: Thursday Night Football

Last week was horrible for yours truly.  One of my worst weeks since picking winners.  This week, we will right the ship.  We have a toughie to kick off this week so lets get to it.

New York at Cleveland, 8:20p, NFLN (Browns -3, O/U: 41)

New York comes into this matchup being brought back down to earth last week by the Dolphins, following their Rookie quarterbacks huge first win in his first game in Detroit in week one.  Sam Darnold looked more like a rookie last week but with more picks than touchdowns however he still had poise and threw for over 300 yards despite the turnovers and lack of running game.

The Browns are still looking for their first win and they can just taste it.  No, they’re not salivating at the thought of the beer lockers being slung open if they win, they literally tasted a victory.  The Browns entered the fourth quarter holding a 12-3 lead giving up 15 unanswered points before Tyrod Taylor launched the ball to the back of the end zone and Antonio Callaway making a huge grab to tie the game at 18, with a pending extra point.  The Browns, rarely in this position to take the lead late in the fourth quarter, ended up missing the extra point which would’ve given them a 19-18 lead.  They’re tired of losing, tired of coming up just short and a hungry in front of their fans, but keep in mind, it’s still the Browns.

The line is surprising given the Browns usually finding ways to lose games and they’re rarely favorites.  The moneyline scares me a bit with the Jets getting +150 and the Browns getting -170 but I’m still rolling with the safe bet, taking the Jets to cover and win in the under, Jets 21-17.

I feel for you Brownies, I want you to win (just not this week) but like a friend has perfectly put it, until you show me you can win, I will bet against you.  Happy Thursday football night, good betting and don’t forget to #beatyourbookie.

2018 NFL Kickoff: Thursday Night Football

As I sit here and watch the end of the last episode of Hard Knocks with the Browns, I have to start by mentioning how disappointing it was to not see Cajuste get a spot and how shocked I was that they let Nassib go.  I thought for sure Nassib was a lock and with Cajuste having a pretty decent offensive game in the last pre-season game, thought they might keep him but I know they already had 3 solid tight ends so the harsh reality was just seeing him cut.  Anyways, without further ado…..

Welcome to the start of the 2018 NFL season and the start of my predictions machine (hint: I am the machine haha!).

Atlanta at Philadelphia, 8:20p, NBC (Eagles: -1, O/U: 44.5):

The Falcons will play a little roll reversal coming into this game as underdogs compared to being favorites going into Philly for the NFC Divisional game last season.  The previous seasons Super Bowl champs are 12-2 in the last 14 season openers.  The average point totals in those games racked up to a whopping nearly 48 points.

The Eagles have many questions coming into this game as Foles had a bad pre-season and they are dealing with a handful of injuries to key players.  Doug Pederson will keep Foles reigned in and focused while calling plays that will be successful and suit his skill set, like he did in the playoffs.

The Falcons roster hasn’t changed much other than adding another offensive weapon via the draft, Calvin Ridley.  The only worrisome note was the drop in offensive scoring output from 33.8 points in 2016 under Shanahan to 22.1 points in 2017 under Sarkisian.  Given that it was the teams first year under Sark, they should see improvement in their consistency, from game to game, in year 2 under his watch.

The game moved 3 points after the official news that Wentz was out and Foles was in as starter for the Eagles.  To be honest, that’s scary but it also gives me what I need to know about the Eagles.  Like I said, Doug keeps Foles in line for this week and keeps the game close but take the Falcons and their high powered offense to cover +1 and win in the over, Falcons 24-21.

There you have it, game one in the predictions column.  Happy football eve everyone!  Don’t forget to thaw the dip, get the family sized bag of Tostito’s and get your order in early to your favorite wing joint…… oh, and good luck!

#beatyourbookie