2019 NFL Week 1: Sunday Games

The first full Sunday of games is upon us! We opened off with a sweet but nail biting cover with the Packers, lets continue that momentum in probably the hardest weeks to bet on NFL football.

Atlanta Falcons @ Minnesota Vikings, U.S. Bank Stadium, 1:00 PM, FOX (Vikings -3.5, O/U: 47)

Devonta Freeman is not as strong of a feature back as he once was years ago. Hampered by injuries, the Falcons had to go out and get him some insurance/backup to help with the load, in Ito Smith. They are stocked full at receiver power though with Jones, Ridley and Sanu. It’ll be tough to cover all 3 guys effectively. For the Vikings, Thielen had the NFL’s 4th most receptions last year with 113 while Diggs had a career high 102 catches. With Cook back 100%, the offense is at full capacity with weapons at Cousin’s disposal to match their strong defense. Take the Vikings to cover in the under, Vikings 24-20.

Baltimore Ravens @ Miami Dolphins, Hard Rock Stadium, 1:00 PM, CBS (Dolphins +7, O/U: 40)

The Ravens are all in on revamping their offense and signed Ingram to lead their backfield as they’ve been searching to rediscover a talented back. With Jackson and Ingram’s running abilities, look for many RPO’s and read options to counter Jackson arm but don’t expect to see 300+ through the air as they lack heavily at receiver and don’t really have a true #1 guy there. The Dolphins saw how their Florida counterparts (Buccs) had successes with Fitzmagic however, they too are without a decent receiving corps and lack a true #1 guy on the outside. Having Drake carry the ball mixed with Balage helps but this one will probably be a snoozer. Take the Ravens to win but the Dolphins to cover in the under, Ravens 20-14.

Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets, MetLife Stadium, 1:00 PM, CBS (Jets -2.5, O/U: 41)

Allen showed flashes of his potential all season last year and it was shocking given his supporting cast being below average. Don’t believe me? Don’t watch many Bills games? Watchin his game against the Viking last year. After offloading Shady McCoy, they’re looking to the impressive in camp and preseason rookie, Singletary, to take most of the workload along with Gore mentoring him up. Allen still doesn’t have anything to write home about in the receiving corps but he’ll make it work. The Jets went out and snatched up Bell after his drama with the Steelers last year where he sat out the whole year seeking a new contract. He will take some pressure off of young Darnold as there wasn’t much of a running game for him to rely on last year in his rookie season. They have some ok receivers but are thin on talent there. Take the Bills to cover in the over, Bills 27-18.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Jacksonville Jaguars, TIAA Bank Field, 1:00 PM, CBS (Jags +3.5, O/U: 50.5)

Losing Hunt didn’t seem to slow this offense as other guys stepped up and filled the roll nicely. Don’t get me wrong, he’s dynamic and offered you a lot of options when using him, but Williams is capable to doing similar things. Mahomes stunned in his first year starting (2nd year in the league) with 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns. The Chiefs led the NFL in scoring with 35.3 points per game (7 touchdowns) which is unbelievable! Reid had Shady McCoy signed to give another weapon to use in the backfield as he can be very shifty and elusive. Adding the Honey Badger for their secondary was a nice upgrade to their air defense. The Jags moved on from Bortles and signed Foles who had been great for the Eagles and even led them to a Super Bowl victory over the Patriots a few seasons ago. The last time he left the Eagles, he didn’t fair to well so we’ll see if he can keep his play up still having a decent supporting cast around him. They also added Conley from the Chiefs to help the receiving corps with the loss of Robinson to the Bears. Fournette still hasa bunch to prove since he hasn’t played to his potential and is reported to have worked hard this off season to improve his game and personal life. I can’t believe this game is only at 3.5 points. Take the Chiefs to win in the over, Chiefs 35-20.

Los Angeles Rams @ Carolina Panthers, Bank of America Stadium, 1:00 PM, FOX (Panthers +1.5, O/U: 49.5)

Goff resigned quietly to match the output he’s had the last few seasons under McVay (last year: 4,688 yards with 32 TD’s). Gurley, Woods, Cooks and Kupp are all healthy and they are all explosive. The offense especially suffered without Kupp. They added some veteran defensive pieces in Clay Matthews and Eric Weddle. Cam had shoulder surgery in the offseason, then had a scare with an ankle injury in the pre season but his supporting cast stays the same (CMC, Moore, Samuel, Olsen). Defense moves to a 3-4 so there could be a learning curve yet with that going into the season. Take the Rams to cover in the under, Rams 24-20.

Tennessee Titans @ Cleveland Browns, FirstEnergy Stadium, 1:00 PM, CBS (Browns -5.5, O/U: 45)

Mariotta still hasn’t started 16 games in a season which is problematic when talking about your franchise guy.  After a strong 2016, he’s had a rough go with a TD/INT ratio of 1/1 and barely cracks 3,000 when he does play most of the season. The Titans defense proved tough under new head coach Vrabel and will continue that trend this year.  The Browns added OBJ to the opposite side of the offense alongside former LSU teammate Landry.  They also will be led by Nick Chubb in the backfield with newly signed Hunt sitting 8 weeks on suspension from his time with the Chiefs.  Baker had a solid rookie season with a 2/1 TD/INT ratio, led the Browns to a handful of unforeseen wins given their 1-31 record the previous 2 seasons and even had the pull to get his OC and coach fired early in the season.  Take the Browns to cover in the under, Browns 27-13.

Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia Eagles, Lincoln Financial Field, 1:00 PM, FOX (Eagles -10, O/U: 44.5)

The Redskins will have Guice back after being lost all of last year with a knee injury.  AP was figured to be shuffled in with Guice and Thompson but as of Sunday morning, AP may be deactivated and the Skins will only suit 2 backs.  They are very young at receiver and have a very average quarterback in Keenam.  The Eagles will have Wentz back 100% and doubled down on his health by allowing Foles to fly the coup to the Jags to start there.  Desean Jackson is back in town and looking to continue what he does best in a high powered offense, take the tops off defenses.  Eagles also added depth in their backfield by signing Howard from the Bears and drafting Sanders from PSU with Sproles coming back for what seems to be his last season.  We have our first HUGE line on the young season.  Take the Eagles to cover in the under, Eagles 28-10.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Seattle Seahawks, CenturyLink Field, 4:05 PM, CBS (Seahawks -9.5, O/U: 44.5)

The Bengals are without star receiver Green for at least this week and maybe the next 2 which leaves them shorthanded in their air attack.  Mixon looked great in his rookie season with 1,100 yards and 8 TD’s even with injuries to their top offensive guys like Dalton and Eifert who were out for large chunks of the season.  Dalton and Eifert are back at 100% however.  The Seahawks were in desperate need of a turnaround seeing their defense slip from Legion of Boom to middle of the road.  They went out and traded for Clowney to add to the front/pass rush as Wagner still leads them.  Wilson has been consistent over his career and is finding himself with a running game that he can rely on again.  Take the Seahawks to cover in the under, Seahawks 24-14.

Indianapolis Colts @ Los Angeles Chargers, StubHub Center, 4:05 PM, CBS (Chargers -6.5, O/U: 44.5)

Luck’s retirement caught everyone off guard.  Luckily they had traded for Brissett a few years ago when Luck had nagging, reoccurring injuries that made him miss a bunch of games.  When Brissett played, he played fairly well.  In 2017, he played most of the year in Luck’s absence and piled up over 3,000 yards and had a 2/1 TD/INT ratio.  With Mack in his second season in the backfield, the addition of Funchess to the receiving corps and Ebron building on a career year last year (750 yards and 13 TD’s), look for the Colts to not miss much of a beat over Luck’s departure.  The Chargers however are missing key players in key roles.  No Gordon due to a holdout, no Williams who singed with the Raiders and no James on the defensive side of the ball with an injury.  Mix that with no Gates for the first time in 15 years and Rivers has an uphill climb to start the season.  Take the Colts to win in the over, Colts 24-21.

Detroit Lions @ Arizona Cardinals, University of Phoenix Stadium, 4:25 PM, FOX (Cards +3, O/U: 46.5)

The Lions had a rough first year under Patricia during his rookie campaign as head coach.  New additions will help the Lions get back on track with Flowers on the defensive side and Amendola on the offensive side.  Johnson will once again lead the backfield as he was one of the few bright spots on this offense last year during his rookie season as he averaged a massive 5.4 yards per carry.  Stafford will still have Golladay and Jones after Kearse went down with a potential career ending leg injury in the pre season.  The Cardinals drafted quarterbacks in back to back years in the first round.  As they selected the 5’10” Murray, they eventually then traded Rosen to the Dolphins.  Murray didn’t look fantastic in the pre season but with a great offensive mind like rookie head coach Kingsbury, he could flourish.  Johnson needs to get back to his 2016 self soon as he’s been ineffective the last few seasons though not all his fault as the offensive line hasn’t done it’s job either.  Adding Terrell Suggs on the defensive side of the ball is a great pass rushing pairing with Chandler Jones.  Take the Lions to win in the under, Lions 24-17.

New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys, AT&T Stadium, 4:25 PM, FOX (Cowboys -7, O/U: 45.5)

The Giants are trying to fool everyone here.  Trading away start receiver OBJ to solely put the offense on Barkley given his 2,000+ yards from scrimmage in his spectacular rookie season.  The Giants are thin at receiver and now are relying on Sheppard as their #1 guy with Engram continuing to build on his successes at TE.  Question is, how long does Manning last before the impressive rookie Jones comes in?  The Cowboys spent the entire offseason talking about money.  With Zeke holding out and feuding with Owner Jerry Jones up until late last week, Zeke hasn’t been with the team all pre season.  Cowboys are assuring us that he is game ready.  Dak stayed quiet and poised that they will have a great year and it is promising with Cooper having a tremendous impact on the offense last year and Gallop looking great his rookie year along with the surprising emergence of Vander Esche in the middle of their defense, 2019 is looking up for the Boys.  Take the Cowboys to win in the over, Cowboys 31-20.

San Francisco 49ers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Raymond James Stadium, 4:25 PM, FOX (Buccs -1, O/U: 51)

Jimmy G is back 100% from his season ending knee injury and really nothing much has changed on his offense to improve the squad he left.  He looked good for the 9ers in 2017 ending the season going 5-0 after being traded but only lasted 3 games last year.  Receiving corps is still thin, there’s not really a #1 feature back behind Jimmy G and the defense struggled at times.  The Buccs ring Arians out of retirement as this could be Winston’s last chance to prove himself before his out as starter.  He loses Desean Jackson on the outside but still has Evans, Godwin and OJ Howard to throw to.  Barber and Jones will split the backfield but neither have looked like the feature back the team needs.  Take the Buccs to win in the under, Buccs 24-20.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ New England Patriots, Gillette Stadium, 8:20 PM, NBC (Patriots -5.5, O/U: 49.5)

Brown and Bell both gone, 2 explosive players.  Enter in Conner (973yards and 12 TD’s rushing) who proved he could give the Steelers just as good a chance to win games as Bell with less gruff and the emergence of JuJu (111 catches and 7 TD’s in 2018) and James Washington on the outside and it’s as if the Steelers really won’t seem to miss a beat and just offloaded a bunch of drama.  Steelers also have been rebuilding their defense through the draft with TJ Watt a few years ago and now Devin Bush Jr just this season.  Brady loses Gronk and will be without rookie standout Harry to kickoff the season against the Steelers in which he is a perfect 8-0 at Gillette against them.  Brady will always be a quarterback that makes hero’s out of guys you’ve never heard of but this year will be different with Josh Gordon being back, Edelman, Dorsett, Demaryius Thomas and now Antonio Brown in the receiving corps.  A major bright spot last year was Michel becoming the feature back as a rookie and looks to have that locked up for as long as he plays well.  The only thing against the Patriots at home is that they’re known to start seasons a little slow, especially on the defensive side of the ball.  Take the Steelers to cover in the loss, in the over, Patriots 31-27.

Colin Cowherd’s Blazin 5:

  • LA Rams at Carolina – LA Rams (-1.5)
  • Atlanta at Minnesota – Atlanta (+4)
  • Indianapolis at LA Chargers – Indianapolis (+6.5)
  • Pittsburgh at New England – Pittsburgh (+6)
  • Houston at New Orleans – Houston (+7)

Week 4: Thursday Night Football

Minnesota at L.A. Rams, 8:20p, NFLN (Rams -7, O/U: 49.5)

This past Sunday, The Vikes got absolutely embarrassed at home by rookie Josh Allen. I mean, he literally leapt over their best linebacker with ease. The Bills took the opening kickoff and then drove the field 75 yards to a touchdown. Kirk Cousins didn’t help his teams cause or confidence by having 2 sacks fumbles that lead to 10 more points and a Bills 17-0 lead after the first. A good team being embarrassed one week basically means that they get revenge the next however it will be very tough to do so when going on the road against one of the best defenses and one of the best offenses in the league.

The Rams are on fire this year, picking up right where they left off from last year. Granted, they started off with a few softballs with the Raiders and Cardinals but had a bit of a test against a team that’s been a better road team than a home team, in the Chargers. The Rams ultimately beat them and covered the spread. Goff and his numerous weapons have gelled well with McVay’s playbook and they don’t seem to show any signs of slowing down, averaging 34 points/game on offense and only 12/game on defense.

Short week, big spread to cover but the Bills defense isn’t nearly as good as the Vikings and you see how they played in Minnesota last week. Expect the Rams to learn from what they saw Sunday and pressure Cousins all night. Take the Rams to cover in the win, in the over, Rams 31-21.

Week 2: Thursday Night Football

Week one is in the books! It is statistically the hardest week to predict anything when it comes to the NFL and we made it out alive with 60% winners!  That caught me by surprise since I was only hoping to get at least around 53%.  The one real shocker was Buccs at the Saints.  Who knew the bearded one would go for over 400 yards in a shootout against Brees?  I know a ton of people were knocked out of elimination pools over it and well, we were caught too, figuring that the Saints covering a 10 point spread was cake.  The other disappointment was the Packers, which I already expressed in a previous post that had Rodgers been healthy all game, I think they would’ve covered that spread.

It’s been a long two and a half days without football but boy, do we have a great matchup tonight…

Baltimore at Cincinnati, 8:20 PM, NFLN (Bengals +1, O/U: 45)

The Ravens absolutely unloaded on the Bills last week and actually forced out Peterman, who was touted as having improved and looked good in the pre-season, for rookie Josh Allen. Now there was a lot of speculation that the Ravens were going to have a great game, but not this great.  Flacco was predicted to have a solid game partly due to having rookie Lamar Jackson on his heels for the starting role.  Flacco finished 25/34 for 236 yards and 3 touchdowns.  The Ravens had questions at running back as to who would lead the team and that seemed to be Kenneth Dixon who had nearly as many carries as both Collins and Allen combined. Lastly, what can we say about the defense? I think it’s back to being great.

The Bengals looked pretty decent against the Colts. Dalton went 21/28 for 243 and 2 scores while throwing a solo pick.  Dixon ran hard in his 17 carries for 95 yards and a score; his biggest run came in at 27 yards.  He averaged 5.6 yards per carry and even without the 27 yard gain; he averaged 4.25 yards/carry.  He’s looking to have a breakout sophomore year.  People weren’t sure what they’d see out of AJ Green since he’s turned 30 and all.  Well, he didn’t disappoint either.  He went off for 6 grabs and 92 yards and even was nice enough to throw a score in there, so I think it’s safe to say that he’ll have another consistent 1,000 yard year.  The Colts lack of running game made the Bengals defense look a little better than it is so look for this one to be a close game.

The Ravens will be tested by the fairly balanced Bengals offense but Dalton folds under big pressure defenses which is exactly what the Ravens are. Take the Ravens to win and cover on the road in the under, Ravens 20-17.

Fast 8

You can’t ask for anything better for the start of the season.  60% winners is the overall that I was hoping to get to for the season and to have it week one is special. Look out for a new feature to the blog, my “Fast 8” picks.  Every week, I’ll choose 8 games that I feel are absolutely worthy of your money on the game.  Think of these games as the best bets of the week or the fastest way to cash/a wining week.  Count this game in with the Fast 8 this week.

It should be another fun dynamic of my blog and another tool for you to #beatyourbookie ……good luck everyone!

Week 10: Thursday Night Football

Week 9 wasn’t quite as “coachable” as I thought but we technically still didn’t have a losing week, going 6-6-1.  Shocks of last week were the Bills (embarrassing actually), the Ravens, the Bengals coming out flatter than flat, the Chiefs and Dolphins actually keeping up with an NFL team.  Basically all of my losses and the push were shocks.  Some road favorites were some of those losses which are tougher covers.  Hard week but we have another good one brewing starting with tonight’s game.

Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals, 8:25p (Cardinals +6, O/U: 40)

New addition to the offensive line for the Seahawks, Duane Brown, was adventurous but he improved the line from weeks ago.  It was adventurous due to the fact that he had a few penalties along with the rest of the team, a season high 16.  Those penalties, a ridiculous number mind you, helped keep the Redskins close and in the end, Cousins capitalized and won the game for them being as accurate as ever.  Wilson nearly pulled off a comeback on his own, striking hard and fast down the field but ultimately leaving too much time on the clock.  The Seahawks still have a staunch defense and can eat up the Cardinals given their lack of an arm under center which will be a difference maker.

The Cardinals made a smart move a few weeks back in picking AP up.  In 3 starts, 2 of them have seen him carry the ball 25+ times for 130+ yards in each game.  It looks like the AP of old and he has to be given Stanton, his hapless quarterback.  Stanton showed some accuracy late in the game last week but ultimately was just mediocre.  Fitzgerald was se I effective but with 5 catches for just 70 yards, expect him to continue being the lead receiver but in a dink and dunk offense.

Look for the Seahawks to take out some aggression this week, rectifying last weeks bad loss at home (which is usually a guarantee in Seattle).  The Cardinals can run all they want but if the Hawks stack the box, I don’t see AP getting much going (even though I would like him too since he’s starting on my fantasy team).  Take the Seahawks to win in the under, Seahawks 24-14.

 

Week 9: Thursday Night Football / Week 8: 69% Winners ATS!

What an exciting time to be alive if you’ve been following this blog all year.  First off, thank you.  I have been aiming to give you at least a professional bettors covering percentage, which hovers around 56%-57%.  Not only has this been a fun experience but also some sort of social experiment in a way.

I’ve always talked about getting betting stats down and seeing the outcomes and trends for myself.  Keeping record of how well I’d do if I were to look at every line, every week and bet on all of them.  Would I make out, break even or lose my ass off?  After the first half of the season, I’m seeing trends in my own picks.  How I favor different matchups and spreads, how I look at teams differently after a bye, on a short or long week and now dealing with London games.  It’s all very fascinating to see it laying out in front of your face.

Last week I went for 69% winners! I totally flubbed on the Buccs, Bengals, Dolphins and Raiders however, not even close oon those guys but nailed the other 9 games.  8 games had a spread of a touchdown or more and I hit on 7 of them.  Those games haven’t been a strong point for me this year, until last week that is.  It seems that as this season rolls on, you can figure out who’s legit and whose not.  I feel like I’m at that point but I don’t want to get cocky about it, we’ll just be like Bill Belichick and say I’m on to next week.

Now I’m only sitting at 54% for the year but I’m also trending up with 3 straight winning weeks.  Those wins almost cover the Bovada juice that they charge you per deposit, not that you would make 13 separate deposits just to bet all of the NFL games each week, but you get the point.  At 54%, using Bovada, you could be in the plus.

I’ll give more breakdowns over the next week of my picks and where my picks are trending so that you have an updated idea where I’ve been strong lately.  Anyways, on to tonight’s game:

Buffalo Bills at New York Jets, 8:25p (Jets +3, O/U: 42.5)

Well Thursday night games have mostly been about the bottom of the barrel teams squaring off but here we have some middle of the road teams who are having better than expected seasons.  The Jets basically look at every win a bonus given almost every “analyst” in the country had them losing every game to winning a max of 2-3!  They’d have to be pretty piss poor and lose their remaining games to stay within those predictions but had a great start against some tough teams.

The Jets traded for Rashard Robinson (cornerback) from the 49ers at the trade deadline.  Robinson was a 4th round pick in 2016 from LSU but has been hit with 10 penalties already this year, leading the league.  The Bills went out and got Kelvin Benjamin from the Panthers, in which I say is a huge win for Buffalo.  I mean the Panthers don’t even have Olsen back for a few more weeks.  You need all of the big/physical bodies you can get when you’re not an accurate middle to deep ball hurler like Newton.

The Bills are flying high this year with a defense that is playing much better and an offense with some new key parts like Jordan Matthews and Kelvin Benjamin.  Tyrod Taylor has been fairly accurate this year and has an 8/2 TD/INT ratio, which is great but McCown for the Jets has over 1800 yards, completed over 70% of his throws but has turned the rock over 7 times to his 12 TD’s.  Matt Forte called out his coordinator after the focused on the passing game in the rain last week more than him in the run game.  It was a close game that they ultimately lost to a Falcons team who seems to be lost after last years Super Bowl run.

The Jets added some offensive talent this past offseason but I’m still going to pick the Bills to cover in this one because the Jets are basically the same team as they were when they lost to the Bills earlier in the season and the Bills have upgraded in a key area of their offense, adding a big target.  After all, the Bills are 5-1-1 ATS.  The Jets are 5-2-1 (4-0 at home) but like I said, Bills improved and covered the spread in the week one matchup against these two and will do it again on the road this week.  Take the Bills to cover in the under, Bills 24-16.

 

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)

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5:

Steelers -7

Redskins +2.5

Dolphins +4.5

Falcons -2.5

Cowboys -2