NFL Week 6: Monday Night Football Pick & Prediction

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

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

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

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

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

Arizona Cardinals @ Cincinnati Bengals, Paul Brown Stadium, 1:00 PM (Bengals -3, O/U: 46.5)

The Cardinals have looked choppy at times through games, mostly in the first half but have seemingly come out in the second half and putting things together on offense. The Bengals are going to be without Green and Ross on the outside and thus basically have no weapons. Both teams have bad offensive lines but Murray has the ability to move out of the pocket and still has Kirk and Fitzgerald to throw to. Take the Cardinals to cover and win outright, in the under, Cardinals 24-17.

Atlanta Falcons @ Houston Texans, NRG Stadium, 1:00 PM (Texans -4, O/U: 49.5)

No one can explain why the Falcons aren’t performing well with the personnel they have. Quinn seems to be on the hotseat given the weak start by the club. Their redzone figures are horrendous and their running game is non-existent which is why Ryan has thrown for over 300 yards in all 4 games. The Falcons have also committed the most penalties in the league. The Texans are coming off a bad loss to a backup quarterback at home. The Texans couldn’t move the ball and Watson was sacked 6 times which brings the season total to 18 times sacked in 4 games. Watson has taken care of the ball while completing 65% of his passes with 6 TD’s and 1 pick. The defense has been pretty good, ranking 10th in least points allowed while also forcing 8 fumbles, recovering 8 fumbles and snagging 13 sacks. Take the Texans to cover in the win and in the over, 28-23.

Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers, Heinz Field, 1:00 PM (Steelers +3, O/U: 43.5)

The Ravens are coming off of 2 losses where Jackson has looked more human. He’s thrown for 596 yards for 7 TD’s and zero picks against the Dolphins and Cardinals but in the last 2 games against the Chiefs and Browns (better defenses) he’s thrown for 517 yards, 3 TD’s and 2 picks. They are still scoring (top ranked offense) but are allowing big time yardage on defense (bottom 3rd in the league on defese). The Steelers have been bottom 3rd in the league on offense as it’s evident that missing Ben, Bell and Brown have significantly hurt. Conner woke up a bit against the Bengals however it didn’t blow anyone away. The defense has kept the Steelers in 2 of 3 of their losses even though they’ve even been middle of the road compared to the rest of the league. Take the Ravens to cover in the over, Ravens 28-17.

Buffalo Bills @ Tennessee Titans, Nissan Stadium, 1:00 PM (Titans -3.5, O/U: 39.5)

The Bills Defense has really stepped up this season. They’re 5th in the league in least points allowed and 2nd in yards allowed. They’re passing has been middle of the road but the rushing duo of Gore and Singletary has been top 5 in most rushing categories. Allen has been shacky to start the season, with only having 3 TD’s against 6 picks. The Titans are an up and down team offensively, very inconsistent. The one consistent that has been very evident is that Mariota has thrown for 7 TD’s and zero picks. The offense has been pretty efficient, ranking 25 in yards but 13 in points scored. The defense is also ranked in the top half of the league. The one thing the Bills can do is make offenses make mistakes or stall their drives. Take the Bills to win outright and cover in the under, Bills 21-17.

Chicago Bears @ Oakland Raiders, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – London, 1:00 PM (Raiders +6, O/U: 40.5)

Take the Bears to win but the Raiders cover in the under, Bears 20-17.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Carolina Panthers, Bank of America Stadium, 1:00 PM (Panthers -3, O/U: 40.5)

Take the Jaguars to cover in the win in the over, Jags 24-21.

Minnesota Vikings @ New York Giants, MetLife Stadium, 1:00 PM (Giants +6, O/U: 43.5)

Take the Vikings to win but the Giants to cover in the over, Vikings 27-24.

New England Patriots @ Washington Redskins, FedEx Field, 1:00 PM (Redskins +16, O/U: 41.5)

Take the Patriots to cover in the over, Patriots 31-13.

New York Jets @ Philadelphia Eagles, Lincoln Financial Field, 1:00 PM (Eagles -14, O/U: 43.5)

Take the Eagles to cover in the under, Eagles 27-9.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, 1:00 PM (Saints -3, O/U: 47.5)

Take the Saints to cover in the under, Saints 27-20.

Denver Broncos @ Los Angeles Chargers, StubHub Center, 4:05 PM (Chargers -5.5, O/U: 44.5)

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

Green Bay Packers @ Dallas Cowboys, AT&T Stadium, 4:25 PM (Cowboys -3.5, O/U: 46.5)

Take the Packers to cover in the win, in the over, Packers 27-24.

Indianapolis Colts @ Kansas City Chiefs, Arrowhead Stadium, 8:20 PM, NBC (Chiefs -10.5, O/U: 55.5)

Take the Chiefs to cover in the over, Chiefs 35-23.

Colin Cowherd’s Blazin’ 5:

  • Arizona at Cincinnati – Arizona (+3)
  • Tampa Bay at New Orleans – New Orleans (-3)
  • Minnesota at NY Giants – Minnesota (-4.5)
  • Chicago at Oakland – Chicago (-4.5)
  • Green Bay at Dallas – Green Bay (+3.5)

NFL Week 4:Thursday Night Football Pick & Prediction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5:

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

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)

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

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

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

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

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

High Rodgers

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

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

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

Week 1: Monday Night Football

It’s absolutely remarkable how Vegas can set these lines so close to the outcome of the games. Makes you wonder what the secret is, how much homework they do, what kind of insiders they have, or if there’s a formula or algorithm. I had two losses, 1 win and a push within zero to three points of the spread.  Four of the sixteen games could’ve gone either way with a late field goal.  I also had another five games where a touchdown either way could’ve changed the outcome for my bets.  That’s nine of sixteen games where one score (field goal or touchdown) could’ve swung my bets positive or negatively.  I’ve been following lines for  a few years now and I am still amazed by how close these lines are generated to the actual scores of games.  Let the conspiracy theorists converge!

As far as Sunday’s games, I’ve well documented my own 1pm games as mediocre and 2018 has started out no different there. 4-4 against the spread with two games very close from changing that in the 4th quarter of their games until late mistakes happened (Colts & Giants).  I called for a Browns win and they nearly pulled it off to give their fans free Bud Light on opening day no thanks to TJ Watt!  Still, it’s the first season since 2004 that the Browns haven’t lost the opener, so things are looking up in “The Land”.

I bounced back nicely in the 4pm games going 3-0-1. I called the Chargers struggle at home continuing from last season, AP looking good in DC and the Broncos starting the new chapter with Keenum (even though it was a push).

Sunday night was disappointing as far as covering the spread. Seven points is a lot to give up in any game, especially since you don’t know how the teams are going to do in full game action.  I also must admit that I underestimated the Khalil Mack factor.  He made his presence known in that first half, especially when Aaron Rodgers was knocked out before the half.  Still, if that line had performed like they did after the half, all game long, we probably would’ve seen a bigger win and possible cover for the Packers at home, so I’m sticking by my bet and it was just unfortunate to see the line play a poor first half and Rodgers missing nearly all of the second.

I finished Sunday with a 7-6-1 (54%) record, with the potential to pull out a 60% winner’s week in week 1 so I’m optimistic and anxious to watch these games. Now, on to Monday night’s picks…

N.Y. Jets at Detroit, 7:10 PM, ESPN (Lions -7, O/U: 45)

I know what you’re thinking, the Jets are starting rookie Same Darnold, the Lions will blow them out on the road. For that, I have to steal one from Lee Corso, not so fast my friend!  Darnold won that job outright from a guy who’s looked good in the pre-season after not playing for 2 years due to a horrific knee injury (Bridgewater) and a guy beyond his prime, which wasn’t that much of a prime to begin with (McCown).  Don’t mistake him for just some rookie either.  He was taken because he was good and seemed to be the most poised and prepared to start for a team right out of the gate.  The only question was how high would his ceiling be?

As for the rest of the team, they went out and signed Isaiah Crowell to help Powell in the backfield, Terrell Pryor and Andre Roberts to the receiving corps, and Spencer Long as starting center to help give Darnold protection and Weapons to use. The defensive side of the ball saw Trumaine Johnson and Morris Claiborne signed to help the secondary as well as Avery Williamson to start at middle linebacker.

The Lions pretty much go unchanged other than LeGarrette Blount being signed with rookie Kerryon Johnson to compete with Theo Riddick for carries to improve the ground game that Detroit has lacked in Reggie Bush (even he wasn’t a great rusher for them). Stafford has strung together nearly a decades worth of 4,000 plus yard seasons and doesn’t seem to stop that trend given Tate and Jones tearing it up on the outsides.  Jim Bob Cooter has drawn up a pretty exciting offense these last couple of seasons, let’s see what he can do with a fully functional offense.  Devon Kennard and Christian Jones where brought in to boost the linebacking crew and to improve the defense against the run, since they were near the bottom of the league in rushing allowed.  It’s not hard to do when you lose guys like Suh and Nata from your front.

Look for this to be close but don’t be surprised if the Jets keep it interesting. Take the Jets to cover getting 7 but lose to the Lions in the over, Lions 28-24.

L.A. Rams at Oakland, 10:20 PM, ESPN (Raiders +5, O/U: 47.5)

The Rams return for their second season under head coach Sean McVay who brought this team back to life after a dismal 4-12 first season in LA, with an 11-5 finish but a Wild Card loss to the Falcons. With Sammy Watkins leaving us fans thought that they’d still have an arsenal of guys to through to with then rookie Cooper Kupp looking pretty good in his first season but then we all were shocked when Brandin Cooks was picked up.  McVay wanted to make sure that Goff could replicate his 2017 success with having numerous guys to throw to on the outside.  The offense will continue to improve under McVay as he’s being compared to the likes of Kyle Shanahan, and having a genius like mind when it comes to the offensive game.  Veteran defensive pickups like Suh, Talib and Peters are sure to bolster a defense already feared from the likes of Donald.  Rams went all in on this team the last few years and their fans are being rewarded with the fantastic play and now early contenders for the NFC Championship predictions.

The Raiders made some offseason moves of their own, while one could’ve started a riot, some other veteran signings were poised to being back some of that offensive spark they had two seasons ago. Jordy Nelson and Doug Martin are seen as offering more to stabilize the offense and offer different options for John Gruden, who has not been on the sidelines as the head of a football club in a decade.  Justin Ellis and Tank Carradine were brought in to strengthen the defensive front while Tahir Whitehead and Emmanuel Lamur were to strengthen the outside of the box/front 8 of the defense.  Marcus Gilchrist and Leon Hall were brought in to help the secondary, adding to the overall presence of veteran leadership.

The one move that has been the buzz of the team, however, was the trading of Khalil Mack to the Bears for a few first round picks and more. Mack, who was looking for a new deal, seemingly was upset with how the Raiders were conducting their side of the negotiations and how little respect was given to Mack when contract negotiations were being discussed.  The Bears received immediate return after showing Mack some contract love in his first game as a Bear, and the Raiders were left looking like cheapskates and a laughing stock of the league for letting their best player go over a worthy contract negotiation, questioning Gruden and his philosophy.

The locker room has to be devastated and especially for the defensive side for the Raiders. The rams with all of the confidence in the world are going to Oakland as five point favorites.  Look for the Rams to win handedly and cover the five point spread in the over, Rams 38-17.

Don’t forget, Colin Cowherd had the Jets at +6.5 in his Blazinn 5 and while the Wise Men didn’t agree, I feel like it’s still a quality bet being given a whole touchdown. I’m also looking to get back above 50% on 7+ point picks.  Hope your Sunday was fruitful.  Pray to the football gods for Darnold that you can #beatyourbookie Monday night, and catapult me to 60% winners for the week.  Good luck to all!

#beatyourbookie