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.

Week 1 Sunday Games

Well Thursday didn’t go as planned as the Falcons had plenty of head scratching moments and play calls.  The Eagles helped them keep in the game as well, so it was a solid bet until late.  Well, it is week one.  No more pre-season half speed, half of the playbook, these games mean something and teams will play at their hardest to get the ever coveted wins.  On to Sunday’s games to make up for Thursday….

Buffalo at Baltimore, 1:00p, CBS (Ravens -8, O/U: 40)
There isn’t much to say about this dud of a game that hasn’t been written about all off season long. The Bills were reluctant to start their 2018 #1 pick right out of the gate and backed up with that talk by signing AJ McCarron, then after trading him to Oakland, pegging Nate Peterman their starter. The big question is with another rookie 1st rounder Lamar Jackson on the heels of Joe Flacco, will he step up to his Super Bowl caliber play or show that he’s now just washed up? Ravens defense is stingy still given all of the changes through the years.  Peterman looked better in the pre-season than he did last year however, the Ravens eat up quarterbacks that are not really experienced.  I know it’s a lot of points to give for a team that historically doesn’t score a bunch but take the Ravens -8 in the under, Ravens 27-17.

Cincinnati at Indianapolis, 1:00p, CBS (Colts -2, O/U: 48)
Andrew Luck is FINALLY back! It’s been a year and a half and with a somewhat career scare with his shoulder and watching his team suffer a 4-12 season, Luck gives his team a huge confidence boost being in the lineup and since he had last played, he went from having just one decent receiver, and old work horse running back, 2 threatening tight ends and an offensive line that allowed the second most sacks (by 1) but then led the league with 52 the year after. This year they went out and signed Eric Ebron to replace Dwayne Allen, who left 2 seasons ago as well as using some early draft picks to revamp the offensive line to better protect Luck and offer some better blocking for the running game. Luck has only had 1 pre-season and some off-season workouts to knock off the rust, so it’ll be interesting to see how he starts off the season.

For Cincy, not much has changed……for years. Yeah they have Mixon in his 2nd year, AJ still prowling in the deep, and Eifert has given consistency at TE but they will forever be regular season hero’s and post season zeros.  Luck’s magic sparks a little fire in his team, take the Colts to cover in the under, Colts 24-20.

Houston at New England, 1:00p, CBS (Patriots -6.5, O/U: 50)
This should be one of the more interesting matchups of the week. Young vs Old, Promise vs Proven Greatness, Watson Vs Brady. We haven’t seen Watson since his string of a handful of games last year where people were throwing his name into the MVP race. Yeah, he played well……for 6 games. Those games included New England’s defense, which early in the season, are typically giving up tons of yards and points, mediocre defenses from both Tennessee, Seattle and Kansas City, and the bad news Browns defense, which wasn’t stellar last year either.

Patriots are not a great team early on in the season.  Go for the upset in Watson’s return, Texans to win in the under, Texans 24-21.

Jacksonville at N.Y. Giants, 1:00p, FOX (Giants +3, O/U: 42)
In Jacksonville, it looks like it will be another injury plagued season for their receiving corps. Marqis Lee Has suffered an apparent major knee injury. Last year they lost Robinson to a season long injury. If anyone needs the talented receiving corps on the field, it’s Blake Bortles.

It’s sure to be a battle of the star runners though in Fournette and Barkley. Barkley will see his first true test against one of the best defense in the league. Eli sure needs relief with a running game that has been non-existent in the last few seasons.

The Jags aren’t historically great on the road and with OBJ back in the lineup, Eli goes from a low 4 to a high 7.  Add Barkley and you have a completely different looking team.  Take the Giants to win and in the under, Giants 17-14.

Pittsburgh at Cleveland, 1:00p, CBS (Browns +4, O/U: 40.5)
No bell for real this time. Bell has decided to sit out for more money than to sign the franchise tag and play with his teammates. This means second year man and local boy, James Connor is up. The Steelers went out and drafted Washington adding to the outside threats.

The Browns with the first overall pick went with Baker Mayfield and later in the first, snagged Denzel Ward at corner. They also added some depth to the O-line, running backs and receivers in which they got a steal in my mind in the fourth round with Antonio Callaway, who will see significant time in the opener.

They say there’s a Hard Knocks effect where the team usually looks better than it really is but if you look at the roster improvements and the chip on the shoulder to win A GAME, there’s real motivation to knock off a your main rival.  You better screen shot this, take the Browns to win in upset fashion and in the under, Browns 20-17.

San Francisco at Minnesota, 1:00p, FOX (Vikings -7, O/U: 45.5)
The Jimmy G era in San Fran is upon it’s first full season. The weapons are there for him to be successful and one of those weapons is Shanahan’s offensive mind. They strengthened up the offensive line in the draft and added depth to the already deadly receivers. Garcon, Goodwin, Pettis, Celek and Kittle give Garapolo more than enough options given the unproven running game now turned upside down after losing Mckinnon to a bad knee injury.

Minnesota had an unbelievable run with Case Keenum last year but now will have a new thrower of the pigskin under center, Kirk Cousins. Cousins never had the weapons that the Vikes have and with his consistent play under center, it’ll be interesting to see what he can do with Diggs, Thielen, Treadwell, Rudolph and Cook out of the backfield. The offensive line was huge for then rookie, Dalvin Cook, who emerged as another running back surprise and shared some of the spotlight with the successes that two other rookies had in Hunt and Kamara, last year. Defense has virtually gone unchanged from last year and should be at the top of the league all season, which makes this a really good test for the Garapolo/Shanahan tag team coming into Minnesota.

Take the Vikings to win and cover in the over, Vikings 31-20.

Tampa Bay at New Orleans, 1:00p, FOX (Saints -10, O/U: 49.5)
Tampa can’t seem to get it right, every year. They have some holes and needs to fill on offense still, as most teams do, however, when you spend a first round pick on a quarterback, you expect results EVENTUALLY! The weapons for a quarterback to be successful are there but for some reason, Winston still hasn’t grown professionally and personally. I’m shocked that this incident wasn’t enough for Tampa to look at him and just say “no thanks…no more” and get rid of him. Now they have to use Fitzpatrick to fill in for the first three games of the season, who has his physical deficiencies in the throwing game but is accurate on short passes and knows his abilities.

New Orleans opened up last year deep at the running back spot with AP and Ingram looking to split time however, AP never got going and rookie Alvin Kamara chipped away time from AP who then was traded to the Cardinals after a few games. Kamara was a highlight reel in his rookie season while Ingram returned back to the hype that surrounded him when he was drafted, hitting double digits in rushing touchdowns.

Take the Saints to cover and win in the under, Saints 31-17.

Tennessee at Miami, 1:00p, FOX (Dolphins +1, O/U: 45)
I’m not a fan of these two teams. Mariota hasn’t been spectacular since being drafted and Tannehill hasn’t proven he’s worth his contract. Both guys have talent around them but can’t elevate and play stellar ball. Both guys also have injury issues most notably with Tannehill coming back for his first action since December 2016 from a torn ACL, which he had reinjured last summer to keep him out longer and brought Jay Cutler out of retirement for another horrible season.

This one will be more of a defensive struggle than anything and may be close as well.  Take the home dogs, Dolphins to win in the under, Dolphins 20-17.

Kansas City at L.A. Chargers, 4:05p, CBS (Chargers -3, O/U: 49)
The Chiefs were one of those teams that scored big in last years draft with a surprise star in the backfield , Kareem Hunt. Spencer Ware was slotted as the starter last year before being lost for the year before the season started which catapulted Hunt to starter and then, well, the rest was history, literally. Alex Smith was traded out and Sammy Watkins was brought in, Mahomes gets the nod and however much the defense needed some pieces added, they still caused 26 turnovers for the leagues 2nd best margin (-15).

The Chargers, even since their Marty Shottenheimer days, have always been a pretty good team that didn’t do anything. Again, another team that has weapons surrounding their quarterback but struggle to either get in to the playoffs or go deep in to the playoffs. Their defense needed some pieces in the secondary and I believe they addressed that from what I saw in the pre-season. Rivers bounced back from a career high 21 picks and then last year only throwing 10 with 4,515 yards and 28 TD’s. Gordon had his first 1,000 yard rushing year and Allen had his first full season in a few years, staying injury free for most of it,

This is a tough pick because I’m not high on Mahomes but The Chargers were not good at home last year (being as they were playing in a soccer stadium that held about 20 thousand people). Take the Chiefs to win and cover in the over, Chiefs 28-24.

Dallas at Carolina, 4:25p, FOX (Panthers -3, O/U: 42)
The Cowboys come in to the season with some notable players from the last decade plus, missing, Dez and Witten. Two key targets that Dak had used to get his career started. His backfield buddy Zeke will be there with him along with some returning outside guys in Beasley and Williams but every other receiver is relatively new (Hurns, Austin, Thompson and Gallup through the draft). The Witten successors aren’t as promising as Witten was but their serviceable and that O-Line virtually remains the same with the addition for Connor Williams at LG. Defensive squad virtually unchanged except for the return of Randy Gregory and a bunch of 2018 draftees to fill in some needed depth.

The Panthers return nearly every starter from last year while adding some more weapons to the outside of their offense in DJ Moore, and surprisingly did well without Kelvin Benjamin, trading him away to the Bills. Olsen is back, someone who Newton sorely missed. The thing that scares me about the Panthers is how consistently inconsistent they’ve been from year to year, including Cam Newton. They’ve snaked through losing and winning season each of the last 6 seasons.

Dallas won’t be able to keep up offensively but expect a close one.  Take the Panthers to cover and win in the under, Panthers 24-17.

Seattle at Denver, 4:25p, FOX (Broncos -3, O/U: 42)
Talk about a tale of two teams. These two have fallen far from their once prominent spot at the top of the football world with their super bowl wins, but now find themselves rebuilding. The Seahawks barely finished with a winning record at 9-7 while the Broncos hit near rock bottom at 5-11. So much talent on both sides but it was age that caught up to the Hawks and a bad quarterback situation that caught the Broncs and GM John Elway napping.

Broncos went out and fixed their QB situation by getting Case Keenum, although it may be a short-term pickup but they better figure out what they’re going to do going forward since Case is no guarantee and they sent Paxton packing. Both teams will have rookies in starting slot for the game, including the remarkable Shaq Griffin who had his left hand amputated as a young child.

Take the Broncos to win and cover in the under, Broncos 20-14.

Washington at Arizona, 4:25p, FOX (Cardinals -1.5, O/U: 43.5)
Out goes Cousins, in comes Smith. You can only franchise tag a guy so many times before he says no and hits the trade wire. Surprising to also see AP on this team, given that he was a free agent into week 3 of the pre-season before Derrius Guice Blew a wheel for the season. The Redskins used a ton of draft picks to fill gaps in their depth chart but also gained some solid players who could see some significant time in the season opener.

The Cardinals out and tried to get their future franchise QB in Josh Rosen. In my eyes, he’s going to be the best that comes out of their draft. If there’s a team that you should be excited for down the road it’s the Cardinals. David Johnson is still young, JJ Nelson is hitting his prime and Christian Kirk should turn into a nice replacement to Larry Fitzgerald once he decides to retire. The real question is how long with Sam Bradford last as the starter?

Take the Redskins to win and cover in the under, Redskins 24-17.

Chicago at Green Bay, 8:20p, MNBC (Packers -7, O/U: 47)
Battle of the two teams vying for the services of Khalil Mack. Well, that’s one thing the Bears can hold over the Packers head, other than this, however, they don’t have much to talk trash about. They’re inferior at almost every position. The one thing that is hard to do, is go into Green Bay and win with Aaron Rodgers playing. The Bears were so bad, they wouldn’t let Trubisky use the expanded version of the playbook for much of their season and still finished behind the Packers who were 7-9 mostly without the services of Rodgers.

The Bears are inferior to the Packers at every position. They spent the off season trying to improve the receiving corps that Trubisky has to throw to. My issue is with Trubisky, I just don’t think he’s the guy they need to take them to the next level. The guy didn’t even get to work with the full playbook. They’re hoping that bringing in Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel and Trey Burton will help elevate his game.

For the Packers, out goes Jordy Nelson and in comes Jimmy Graham. Rodgers is back and healthy and they have some new draft picks to add to the depth at receiver and corner, which was very much so needed. Not only did they get Jimmy G and draft themselves a bunch of help all over the roster, they ponied up on Rodgers’ contract and made him one of the richest players in the NFL. When Rodgers is in the lineup, this team has super bowl potential no matter the roster around him but it should be exciting to see him go up against Mack.

Take the Packers to win and cover in the over, Packers 31-21.

Colin Cowherd’s Blazin 5 Picks:

  • Buffalo at Baltimore – Baltimore (-7)
  • San Francisco at Minnesota – Minnesota (-6)
  • Houston at New England – Houston (+6.5)
  • Jacksonville at NY Giants – NY Giants (+6)
  • NY Jets at Detroit – NY Jets (+6.5)

There you have it.  My Sunday picks are locked in with a few shockers.  It certainly should be an entertaining week with plenty to look out for to set up week two picks.  Happy football day and good luck!

Week 8: Thursday Night Football

We barely escaped the week with a winning record and on the verge of a really good week or a really bad week with the 2 pushes.  Nevertheless, I had an issue with my bread and butter, the primetime games.  Now I knew that the Falcons were having trouble covering their games but every team that struggles can turn it around with a defense that allows a lot of yards, which the Patriots defense has done a bunch of this year.  WRONG!  Belichick corrected that ship.  Falcons were beyond ineffective until late when they threw Julio Jones’ way more.  Hopefully we can continue this roll with our back to back winning weeks.  On to tonight’s game:

Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens, 8:25p (Ravens -3, O/U: 37.5)

By god, what a barn burner we have tonight.  Sheesh.  Just when you thought the Thursday night games were turning out some good matchups for fans, they hand deliver this turd of a game.  As you just finish your delicious, beautifully constructed meal consisting pan seared steak and baked potato, this pops on your TV to put a bad taste in your mouth.

Cutler did everyone a favor and broke some ribs but the jokes on him, it’s hard to smoke a pack of cigs on the sideline with busted ribs.  Moore stepped in and showed his team why they should’ve had more (no pun intended) faith in him from the beginning.  Moore is a capable fill in until Tannehill takes back over.  Now, Cutler was actually having quite a game before his injury and against a Jets defense that hasn’t looked too bad against some good teams this year.  Cutler exits and Moore comes in to lead them back with 17 points in the 4th to win it.

The Ravens just haven’t been consistent.  Beating a poorly playing Bengals team in week one, the hapless Browns in week 2 and since have been 1-4 with their only win coming against a Raiders team without Derek Carr.  Flacco has looked bad, and they’ve been relying on their running game to pick up the slack which hurts their yards per play and to only average 18 points a game and 35% on third downs just spells out bad football.

I’m shocked that the Ravens are still 3 point favorites given their noticeable offensive struggles.  Take the Dolphins as road dogs to turnout Moore (pun intended) offense this week than under Cutler’s watch and to win this ugly baby of a game on the road in the under, Dolphins 20-14.

Extras:  World Series talk.  Holy S**t, what a series so far.  2 games in, noted at a game a piece, everyone swinging for the god damned fences, hoping for their chance at a memorable World Series moon shot.  The pitching has been great, the power hitting has been unreal and we’ve seen a really quick game one and a longer than normal game 2.  Puig’s stare down after looking a running back to second in the later innings was epic but the Astros comeback was thrilling.  Dodgers showed you how not to blow through your bullpen so quickly with a short lead.  Any-who, looking forward to the game in Houston this weekend, should be great.  Go Dodger dogs, haha!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5:

Carolina @ Detroit (-3)

LA Chargers (+3.5) @ NY Giants

Seattle @ LA Rams (-2.5)

Green Bay @ Dallas (-2)

Kansas City @ Houston (+1)

 

Week 4: Sunday Games & Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5

Well, we opened up with a great win.  Boy did that game look ugly for the Bears.  They had the game plan I talked about in the last post however, couldn’t stick to it.  Not because the game strayed away from it but because they couldn’t hold onto the football early on.  Lots of early turnovers and giving the ball to Aaron Rodgers instead of keeping it from hi, put them in an early hole that they never could escape.  I always feel hesitation when swallowing a touchdown but I couldn’t pass there and now we have a few Sunday to choose from.  There’s work to do for my comeback off of a really bad week.  This week I’m going to pick just a handful of games to write about and then just give you my picks for the rest.  Lets get to it.

New Orleans Saints at Miami Dolphins (L), 9:30a (Dolphins +3, O/U: 50.5)

This one scares me only because teams that play in London one week, have the next week off.  I wonder how much of a distraction Adrian Peterson is in the locker room, calling for some more touches.  Take the Dolphins in the under, 27-21.

 
Buffalo Bills at Atlanta Falcons, 1p (Falcons -8, O/U: 48.5)

Bills looked good last week at home against one of the best defenses in the league but the Falcons are monsters at home.  I don’t like swallowing a touchdown or more but you need to have an amazing offense to cover, which the Falcons have.  Take the Falcons to win in the Over, 38-13.

 
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens, 1p (Ravens +3, O/U: 42.5)

This game will surely disappoint on offense but if you’re a defense kind of game.  As long as you’re a defense guy, this is a heckuva matchup. Ravens are more consistent at home, and the Steelers unravel away from Heinz Stadium.  Some outlier stats is that the Steelers are 0-4-1 against the spread with the Ravens with the underdog being 4-0-1 in those same meetings.  Take the Ravens in the under, 17-10.

 
Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns, 1p (Browns +3, O/U: 41.5)

Bengals and Browns.  Probably the worst matchup of the season.  Bengals FINALLY scored some touchdowns last week!  I think the Bengals pull this one out in front of the dog pack.  Bengals in the under, 20-14.

 
Los Angeles Rams at Dallas Cowboys, 1p (Cowboys -6.5, O/U: 48.5)

This line started around -9.5 and -10 in some areas, went to -6 and now at -6.5.  That tells me that Vegas, doesn’t know if they can truly trust a Rams line.  Cowboys are tough at home and will more than likely win this game but it’ll be closer given that the Rams have a new coaching staff that has this offense clicking.  The defense has always been solid but never had a complimentary offense.  The Rams will break that unreal Cowboys offensive line here and there but Dak is too good when escaping the pocket.  This is a favorite by nearly a touchdown that I just can’t pull the trigger on.  Take the Rams in the under but the Cowboys to win, 24-21.

 
Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans, 1p (Texans +2.5, O/U: 43.5)

Titans even on the road will roll on the Texans.  Watson may shine a bit but the Titans are sneaky good this year on both sides of the ball.  Take the Titans in the over, 27-17.

 
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings, 1p (Vikings -2.5, O/U: 42.5)

Another NFC North matchup this week.  Once again, no Sam Bradford but we all have seen how capable this team is with or without him.  The Vikings have some really solid weapons other than Diggs.  The Lions are coming off of a heartbreaking loss due to a replay basically taking away a touchdown.  The bets are swinging around 54% Lions -46% Vikings.  That is too close to touch for most bettors but if your feeling lucky, listen up.  Take the Lions in the over, 31-27.

 
Carolina Panthers at New England Patriots, 1p (Patriots -9, O/U: 49.5)

I want to give the Panthers the benefit of the doubt, that they’ll keep it close and respectable but I can’t.  Again, another touchdown, plus spread that the favorite will cover given the lack of available weapons and a declining Cam Newton.  Take the Patriots to win in the under, 34-13.

 
Jacksonville Jaguars at New York Jets, 1p (Jets +3, O/U: 38.5)

The Jets defense has awoken.  I know what you’re gonna say, “but Jacksonville looked so good last week in London and blew out the Ravens”.  Well, again, I go back to how things used to be.  There’s more London games this year and thus has resulted in you not getting the next week off if you play there. In turn, it’s basically a short week for the team with all of that travel.  Take the Jets as home dogs to win it in the over, 21-20.

 
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals, 4:05p (Cardinals -6.5, O/U: 44.5)

Another big spread for the week and again one that I think gets covered by the home team.  Typically if a team plays Thursday night the week before and Sunday the next week, I like taking them with the extra few days of preparation.  Those extra days aren’t going to help the 49ers who last week gave up a ton of yards and points to the Rams.  Now they eventually came back with a valiant effort but ultimately, still lost.  The 49ers were given a +3 spread last week at home, this week +6.5.  Only a 3.5 point difference and that is basically a 3 point swing for being away now.  So to me, that’s saying that the Cardinals are viewed as .5 point favorites over the Rams.  I don’t buy that yet.  Larry Fitzgerald will have another solid matchup this week given how bad the 49ers secondary is.  Take the Cardinals in the under, 31-10.

 
Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05p (Chargers -2.5, O/U: 47.5)

LeGarrette Blount had himself a game last week.  Look for him to bust loose again with Sproles out for the season with the multitude of injuries sustained in last weeks game (knee/wrist).  Smallwood will be peppered in there as a change of pace back and Wentz will be told to launch the big chunk yardage plays when he can.  The Chargers are 0-3 this year and playing their home games in a soccer field.  There’s even talks about if the Chargers should stay or go back to San Diego.  Even with their defensive front, I think this team has already lost the edge.  Take the Eagles to win in the over, 35-17.

 
New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 4:05p (Buccaneers -3, O/U: 44.5)

Gosh, where do I begin?  Winston can’t keep himself from making poor decisions with the ball through the air, even with the weapons he has.  The Giants looked a bit better last week with OBJ back and healthy last week.  They are still struggling with their ground game but making it work with 4 different guys.  The Buccs also banged up on defense, especially their front.  Take the Giants to win in the over, 26-20.

 
Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos, 4:25p (Broncos -3, O/U:46)

Rivalry game with a really good and young offense going to the house of a really good, veteran defense that have won a super bowl recently.  The Broncos, while not having a household name at quarterback, have been consistently gaining yards and scoring, complementing their defense well.  The Raiders defense, especially through the air, has been atrocious.  Take the Broncos to win in the under, 24-17.

 
Indianapolis Colts at Seattle Seahawks, 8:30p (Seahawks -13, O/U: 41.5)

This line I have no clue how it blew up to 13.  I mean, it even grew a .5 point since the line opened.  The Seahawks offense, even at home, has been absolutely terrible.  They only scored 12 points at home against the 49ers a few weeks ago.  What is the logic behind this line?  Brissett is a capable quarterback and proved it last week with the start and win at home over the Browns.  This game is looking juicy for a Colts bet.  Take the Seahawks to win but the Colts to keep it close in the under, Colts 17-10.

Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5 on the year is an amazing 11-4 to start 2017, here’s his picks for the week:

Giants (+3) @ Buccs
Steelers @ Ravens (+3)
Rams (+8) @ Cowboys
Raiders @ Broncos (-2.5)
Redskins @ Chiefs (-6.5)

 

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

Week 2: Thursday Night Football

Welcome to week 2 in the NFL.  Piggybacking off of my 60%+ winners against the spread AND with the over/under, we’re starting week 2 with a toughie.  Lets get to it!

Houston Texans @ Cincinnati Bengals, 8:25p (Bengals -6, O/U: 38):

Yeah you better believe these two teams will keep this puppy in the under.  The way the offenses looked in the openers last week, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a battle of the kickers.  Houston’s offensive line was atrocious last week but we’re not pointing any fingers or nothing (*ahem* Right Tackle Kendall Lamm *ahem*).  Lamm allowed 3 sacks alone, Xavier Su’aFilo allowed 2 at Left Guard and Left Tackle Chris Clark allowed one.  Savage and Watson were sacked a combined 10 times last week…….10!  That line was worse than a leaking faucet, it was a gushing dam breaking wide open.

Wild card for this week, Watson is starting.  Savage couldn’t get rid of the ball fast enough and he looked like he was stuck in cement.  Watson brings a more mobile ability to the position to get out of the pocket but he’s still a rookie, still developing his pro chops.

The Bengals showed their worst side of their game.  Having an average franchise quarterback.  Dalton has been in this system for years now and still shows nasty inconsistency, even with the weapons he has.  The running game was average.  Bernard averaged over 5 yards per carry but had a 23 yard run mixed in there.  The other 6 carries yielded him less than a 3 yard average.  Hill averaged almost 4.5 yards per carry but had a 12 yard run in there, meaning the other 5 averaged less than 3 yards.  The only thing the Bengals had going for them was their defense didn’t give up a ton.  The only reason the Ravens put up 20 was because of all of the Bengals turnovers.  I mean, neither team cracked 275 net yards!  BORING!

Expect this one to be boring as well, maybe even just as sloppy, which makes this prediction that much harder!  I like Watson getting the start but their defense will suffer with the loss of Brian Cushing to a concussion and 10 game PED suspension, among many other injuries to the squad.  Look for the Bengals to pull it together, somewhat, as a do-over for their fans tonight.  Bengals 20-13.