NFL Week 7: Thursday Night Football

Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos, Broncos Stadium at Mile High, 8:20 PM, FOX/NFLN (Broncos +3, O/U: 49.5)

The Chiefs are reeling after a second straight loss after opening up the season 4-0. Mahomes had been dealing with a banged up ankle the last few weeks as well as having top receivers out with injuries. It was evident that he missed Tyreek Hill as he hit hill on a massive 46 yard TD early in the game, throwing short into double coverage as Tyreek leaped over the underneath defender to catch the ball and twist into the endzone. Hill would go on to lead the team in targets with 10, hauling in 5 for 80 yards and 2 TD’s. The Chiefs deficiencies on defense would lead to their demise however, when leading in the 2nd quarter 17-3, they allowed the Texans to score 20 unanswered points on 3 straight drives which totaled 204 yards. The Chiefs allowed nearly 500 yards of offense and allowed nearly 40 minutes of possession time keeping the high powered offense off the field and limited once they got on to the field. Regardless, the offense ranks 5th in points scored and 3rd in yardage when they are on the field.

The Broncos are coming off back to back wins after starting off 0-4. The convincing win against the roller coaster Titans was exactly what the team needed for a confidence boost heading into this matchup especially given that this offense has struggled even with the veteran Flacco and the young stud Phillip Lindsay. Flacco has been unimpressive in his 6 starts as he averages under 250 yards per game while also throwing only 6 TD’s but 5 picks. Lindsay has done what he can with his 397 yards and 4 TD’s but a poor 3rd down conversion percentage (33%) stalls drives early and puts the defense on the field for longer than they should be out there. Luckily even with all of that time spent on the field, they rank in the top 10 in points allowed (7th) and top 5 in yards allowed (4th). Still, beating a banged up Chargers team in their home isn’t special since the Chargers home games seem like road games to them and the Titans went ahead and benched Mariota even though he hadn’t thrown a pick all year coming into the game.

The Chiefs will have a tough time against the Broncos defensive front but with Hill back, don’t expect Mahomes to be under pressure all night once they start airing the ball out. Take the Chiefs to cover in the under, Chiefs 31-17.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Colin Cowherd’s Blazin’ 5:

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

NFL Week 1: Monday Night Football

Houston Texans @ New Orleans Saints, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, 7:10 PM, ESPN (Saints -6.5, O/U: 52.5)

The Texans made some moves this offseason to help Lamar Miller and the rushing game and it proved necessary as Miller is lost this season before the preseason ended to a knee injury. They traded for Duke Johnson and Carlos Hyde, who are a good enough tandum to be effective enough. They also valued Watson’s blindside (Tunsil) more than a second elite pass rusher (Clowney). The Saints had back to back disappointing losses in the playoffs to end their season, last year on a brutal non call PI. Not a bunch changed on their roster but with Murray replacing Ingram and Cook coming in for a hole at TE coming off of a great year with Oakland should keep their offense on track. Saints end a 5 year opening week winless drought by winning but take the Texans to cover in the over, Saints 31-27.

Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders, Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, 10:20 PM, ESPN (Raiders +3, O/U: 42.5)

The Broncos have been waiting for years and finally, they have someone to lead their offense in Flacco. Philip Lindsay is back 100% from his broken wrist in the last game of last year, building off an amazing performance as an undrafted rookie. Flacco will have two great young receivers in Sutton and Hamilton to throw to as well as veteran Sanders. The defense pretty much stayed the same, should continue to dominate. The Raiders were mired by the AB drama between the frostbitten feet, helmet issues and GM/fines/contract issues, they still showed on HBO’S “Hard Knocks” that they had still worked hard despite all of that and played fairly well fitting their pre season games. Impressive undrafted rookie Kellan Doss comes back from his week on the Jaguars practice squad to sign a decent deal to be on the 52 man roster to fill in for AB’s spot. He will see plenty of targets after his impressive pre season. Josh Jacobs was drafted to be the feature back for the offense and from what he showed in his limited carries in the pre season, we’re in for a treat. I may be a bit high on them but take the Raiders to cover in the upset win in the under, Raiders 21-20.

Week 2: Thursday Night Football

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fast 8

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

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

Week 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 2: Thursday Night Division Mash Up

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

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

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