Week 10: Thursday Night Football

Carolina at Pittsburgh, 8:20p, NFLN (Steelers -3.5, O/U: 51.5)

Finally, we get a game on Thursday worthy of most football fans’ time.

The Panthers have enjoyed the last couple of games with Eric Reid on board to help the defense as the offense keeps rolling at home.  On the road, it’s a little bit of a different story where Cam stays the same but the offense doesn’t score as much.  History points to the Panthers as being a weak road team and even though they’ve lost 2 of 3 on the road (their only 2 losses), they were within 7 points in both games.  In fact, Cam has been stellar as far as his completion percentage and passer rating.  Cam is certainly having a career year but not only is Cam playing well, Christian McCaffrey is having a fantastic sophomore season in the NFL as well.

The Steelers have enjoyed a 4 game winning streak that started after a week 4 loss at home to division foe, Ravens.  That loss put them 0-2 at home and 1-2-1 overall with the season in peril, uncertainty with the Bell situation, turmoil in the organization with AB until they met the high flying Falcons at home the next week.  They haven’t looked back since.  Yes Big Ben has thrown 7 picks but also has 16 touchdowns, Conner slightly outperforming Bell from last year with the same amount of starts and Brown might not have a ton of yards or a great average per catch but has 9 touchdowns.  The defense has been in lockdown mode the last 4 weeks.

With the defense in lockdown mode, take the Steelers to cover in the over, Steelers 31-27.

#beatyourbookie

Week 3: Monday Night Football

Pittsburgh at Tamp Bay, 8:15pm, ESPN, (Buccs -1.5, O/U: 55)

The Steelers are in somewhat of a tailspin at the moment.  Bell still holding out and now the Steelers announce this past weekend that they’re listening to trade inquiries and Brown staging a mini coup, are facing an 0-3 start.  They have looked good on offense, which you should expect with the young talent around Big Ben, but the one time strength of this team, their defense, has looked very mediocre.  Tying Cleveland and blew a two touchdown lead in the 4th quarter against the Chiefs and the Mighty Mahomes, they’re looking to bounce back and right the ship against a red hot Buccs team.

The Buccs obviously didn’t think their season would start 2-0 with Fitz-Noodle-Arm turning into Fitz-Magic, who’s looking to become the first quarterback in league history to start a season with over 400 yards in each of his first three games.  Desean Jackson is looking like the D-Jax of old and Mike Evans is actually getting decent balls thrown his way which has given him the ability to make plays like he did in college and early on in his career.

The difference maker in this one will be which defense holds up against the others offense.  The Buccs front eight have been like a bull in a china shop. Vita Vea will likely be making his rookie debut joining his teammates in battle, making them even more vicious.  This Buccs team look like the Eagles team from last year, running around, making huge plays, scoring a ton and just plain old having fun, man!  It’ll be close but take the Buccs to continue to elevate The Beard and continue Fitz-Magic’s McGregor like swagger, wining and covering in the over, Buccs 31-28.

Ride the Buccs, finishing the week on your way to #beatyourbookie.

Week 11: Sunday Games with Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5

Starting the week with a win on Thursday is something I’ve done quite a bit this year.  Getting that first win sets the tone for my picks for the rest of the week.  It’s not that I’ll be a little more risky with my picks after a Thursday win or more cautious if I had lost but the confidence is stronger and there’s less second guessing.  I’m on my road to magical numbers and I haven’t lost sight of the overall goal (56%-60%) winners.

I told you the Steelers are just a different team at home, however I didn’t expect the cover win by 23!  Mariota didn’t look too comfortale early and that ruined whatever confidence he had coming into the ketchup bottle.  If you liked that pick and took it, you’re going to love these.  On to Sunday’s games:

Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears, 1p (Bears +3, O/U: 41)

The Bears are coming off a shocking loss against the Packers.  Mitch-a-palooza had to strap up his work belt extra tight given that his rushing game was non-existant.  Howard had 15 carries for 54 yards (3.6 yards per carry) but one rush snapped off for 25 which puts his other 14 carries at just over 2 yards per carry.  Bears can’t put that much on Trubisky’s shoulders and expect to win.  The Lions had trouble putting the Browns away last week.  Being tied with the Browns heading into the 4th quarter at home, has me nervous about them along with both teams record against the spread (5-4) and the Lions away ATS record (3-1) and the Bears home ATS record (4-1).  Take the Lions to cover in the over, 27-20.  

Jacksonville Jaguars at Cleveland Browns, 1p (Browns +7.5, O/U: 37)

The Browns come into this game with one of the lowest scoring offenses (15.9) in the league while facing one of the best defenses who has allowed the least amount of points to it’s opponents (14.9).   The Browns held it together for three strong quarters agains the Lions in Detroit last week which tells me that they still repect their coach and will play hard, even being winless.  The Jaguars pulled out an OT win against the Chargers who are a very strong road team.  Bortles slipped into his old was with low completion percentage and more picks than TD’s but were able to steal a win.  Take the Jaguars to cover in the under, 24-10.

Baltimore Ravens at Green Bay Packers, 1p (Packers +2, O/U: 38)

The Packers picked up a crucial win against the Bears last week, and right when I wrote off Hundley.  Unfortunately for the Packers, Montgomery and Jones are both likely to miss this game meaning Jamaal Williams will have to fill in, which he did very successfully last week.  Baltimore had a bye week but the week before, they nearly knocked off the Titans in their own house.  This coming from a team that just seems very bland and not really excitting, especially on the road.  Take the Packers to cover in the over, 21-20.

Arizona Cardinals at Houston Texans, 1p (Texans -2, O/U: 37.5)

In a league where your quarterback is the most valuable player on your team (and highest paid player), it’s inheriantly important that they stay healthy.  With Palmer and Watson out, it becomes a battle between Stanton and Savage.  Get ready for 50% completions and a bunch of running.  These kinds of games make picking a winner very hard.  You litterally have to go through the rosters and base it off of the position matchup and then if you’re still baffled, go to coaching.  Here, I like the coaching and the offense of the Cardinals so take them to cover in the under, 17-13.

Los Angeles Rams at Minnesota Vikings, 1p (Vikings -2.5, O/U: 45.5)

This is an interesting matchup, one to watch.  Both teams are 7-2, 6-3 ATS, at the top of their divisions, and have exceeded their pre-season expectations from day one.  The Vikings had doneit with Sam Bradford in the first game but with Case Keenum ever since, which is impressive.  The Rams success started with the change at head coach which seemed to have sparked Jared Goff.  Both defenses are solid but expect this to be more of a shootout.  Again, we have to matchup the QB’s and start spelling out who’s better where.  The Rams just have a stronger team and will cover in the over, 31-27.

Washington Redskins at New Orleans Saints, 1p (Saints -7.5, O/U: 51.5)

Nothing to surprise you with here about the Saints.  They have returned to their offensive prowess but also added some solid running to their game.  Drew Brees isn’t throwing as many passes but still is effective while he has Ingram and Kamra behind him enjoying great seasons especially since Ap has left town.  The Redskins followed up their huge win in Seattle by hanging along another of the leagues better teams, the Vikings but ultimately losing.  The Redskins have a commitee backfield which is tough to get consistency running the ball.  Take the Saints to cover in the under, 31-17.

Kansas City Chiefs at New York Giants, 1p (Giants +10.5, O/U:+45.5)

So this is where the Giants are at, they lost to the (at the time) winless 49ers.  Eli kept it together and didn’t throw a pick but his defense (which is supposed to be their bright spot), broke down badly.  Run game, pass game, the 49ers just had their way with the Giants defense.  The Chiefs had to deal with Zeke who whittled their defense down for 27 carries.  Andy Reid off of bye weeks is one of if not the best at coming away with a win.  Take the Chiefs to cover in the under, 27-14.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Miami Dolphins, 1p (Dolphins +1, O/U: 42)

The matchup that was supposed to happen week one is finally on 11 weeks later.  Given the way they both have played this year, I wouldn’t be mad if they just took another bye week.  They both have disappointing offenses and to demonstrate how this game with go, grease your hand up with butter and try to turn a door nob.  Take the Buccs to cover in the under, 17-14.

Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05p (Chargers -6, O/U: 41)

The Bills are turning to their rookie quarterback (seems to be a growing trend lately), marking his first start and road game seeing action.  McCoy hasn’t been his normal self.  The Chargers have been pressing opponents lately, at home and on the road (mostly on the road).  The Chargers nearly stole one in Jacsonville last week.  This week the Chargers take over the rookie with their dangerous pass rush and to cover in the under, Chargers 24-10.

Cincinnati Bengals at Denver Broncos, 4:25p (Broncos -2.5, O/U: 38)

The Bengals just haven’t looked right all year.  The frustrations seems to boil a few weeks ago when Green was throwing haymakers in the first half.  Dalton looked better this week but with no running game, they can’t setup defenses for the pass.  The Broncos are another example of why quarterbacks are important to your team.  Not just important, vital!  Siemianhasn’t worked since last year and to be so desperate to bring back Osweiller, says a lot about how they feel about their QB situation.  I feel like the Bronceos defense won’t allow another loss at home.  Take the Broncos to win in the under, 16-10.

New England Patriots at Oakland Raiders (MC), 4:25p (Raiders +7.5, O/U: 54.5)

Mexico City will see their first NFL game in live action and it’s two well respected and talented teams.  I said this earlier and actually called it in my first game this year, I like the Patriots but 7 or more points are reserved for team like the Browns, Giants, Colts and maybe even the 49ers.  Neutral field games for the Patriots (basically all of their super bowls), have mostly all been close but it is Tom Brady we’re talking about.  The Raiders  had a slip up in the beginning with Carr missing some games but are back on track with a couple of wins strunge together.  Big bets are on the Pats and this being a neutral field, makes it that much tougher.  Take the Raiders to cover but loss in the under, Pats 24-21.

Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys, 8:30p (Cowboys +6, O/U: 48)

The Eagles come into this one as one of, if not the hottest team in the NFL.  Carson Wentz and his new additions have been lights out and the defense has been quite impressive as well, but offense always gets the head lines.  The Eagles have shown consistency week in and week out and will continue to do so this week.  The Cowboys have been on the Zeke roller coaster every week with news he’d be either in or out of the headlines.  Well, Zeke is finally going to serve those 6 weeks and the ‘Boys will be down Sean Lee as well, whose the go to guy or the quarterback of the defense.  This all coming as the season takes a turn to the finish line.   Take the Eagles to cover in the over, 34-20.

Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5:

Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5 had an amazing start.  Four weeks in, he was 15-5 (75% winners) but have calmed to a very respectable 30-20 (60%) but he is still picking gem weeks.  He really likes Chiacago becasue he’s been burnt by the Lions before.  Some advice, when I agree with betting on a team with Colin, my record is 21-10 (68% winners).  This week, we’ll call them locks, Packers and Eagles.  I actually would bet HEAVY on the Eagles if you get them anywhere near his line but even at 7 or less really.  Here are his picks/lines from Friday:

  • Detroit at Chicago – Chicago (+3)
  • Cincinnati at Denver – Denver (-2.5)
  • Tampa Bay at Miami – Tampa Bay (+3)
  • Baltimore at Green Bay – Green Bay (+2)
  • Philadelphia at Dallas – Philadelphia (-3.5)

 

 

Week 7: Thursday Night Football

Last week we ended up at 8-6 thanks to a touchdown with less than a minute to go in the 4th by Derek Henry.  All the Colts had to do was keep the Titans in front of them and they had the game covered by a half point.  That’s betting pro ball for ya.  The Titans needed to break an 11 game losing skid against the Colts and they did it in fashion.  regardless, an 8-6 record, keeps you in the plus and above the juice if you’re using an online source that takes 5%.  Now, to the Thursday night game.

Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders, 8:25p (Raiders +3, O/U: 46.5)

Kansas City is coming off a bad loss against the Steelers and at home even.  Alex Smith had a hard time all game long, where most of his yardage came in the 4th quarter.  The Chiefs couldn’t even get their run game going.  Rookie sensation Kareen Hunt was held to 21 yards on 9 carries but had 5 catches for 89 yards.  Pittsburgh also held the ball for over 36 minutes which kept the Chiefs offense off the field and out of rhythm (3/11 on 3rd downs).  Derek Carr came back last week after 2 weeks off to basically a broken back.  Miraculously he felt good enough to play but certainly didn’t look the same.  The run game was average and usually when that happens, you have to be special through the air, which Carr was not.  Whether Carr is even healthier this week, still raises questions but at 2-4 for the year, they desperately need a win and signed former 49er NaVorro Bowman to help their floundering defense.  The Chiefs have been one of the strongest road teams this year, winning and covering the spread in all 3 road games this year, while scoring in the over in 2 of those 3.  For a strong team like the Chiefs, after a loss like last week, a bounce back game is in order.  Take the Chiefs as road favorites to cover in the win but in the under, as I don’t think Carr is 100% and that’ll affect his game, Chiefs 27-17.

Thursday Night Football stats: 5-1 ATS with a current streak of 4 covers in a row!

One last thing since I won’t blog before Saturday, GO BLUE!!!  Yeah, I said it….

 

Week 1: Sunday Games

We made it!  The first Sunday.  Here is the schedule along with Covers.com spread and the over/under.  Below is Cowherd’s Blazing 5.

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills, 1:00pm (Bills -8, O/U: 40)

Two teams looking to purposely tank this year, Jets more than the Bills.  I really don’t know what to say about it other than both teams being stinkers.  Bills win 24-10.

Atlanta Falcons at Chicago Bears, 1:00pm (Bears +6, O/U: 48.5)

Powerhouse offense against a softie in the NFC.  No proven leader for the Bears makes this one an ugly game for them.  Falcons win on the road and exact a little revenge for the 28-3 super bowl disaster.  Expect a road blowout.  Falcons win 38-10.

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals, 1:00pm (Bengals -3, O/U: 41.5)

This is usually a great game with great defenses clashing.  I like the Bengals offense more but they have to deal with their top linebacker being suspended.  Should be a close one.  Bengals win 21-14.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns, 1:00pm (Browns +9, O/U: 46.5)

Well, another year has arrived for the Browns and another rough start is awaiting them.  Some of the most dynamic players in the league are on the Steelers roster.  Expect another blowout on the road.  Steelers win 41-13.

Arizona Cardinals at Detroit Lions, 1:00pm (Lions +2.5, O/U: 48)

Time for Stafford to show off the most expensive arm in the league.  Cardinals defense should be ready for the task.  Lions win 31-28.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans, 1:00pm (Texans -5, O/U: 39.5)

What an abysmal game. I see many turnovers coming.  Houston strong brings a certain strength. Texans 24-10.

Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans, 1:00pm (Titans -3, O/U: 50.5)

Raiders going across the country to the Titans.  Titans look to be a top 5 team in the league.  Should be a great showdown against 2 young stars under center.  Titans defense is the difference maker. Titans win 20-14.

Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins, 1:00pm (Redskins +1, O/U: 48)

Eagles look to build on a very successful rookie season for Wentz while the Redskins deal with another average year from Cousins.  Eagles win 27-21.

Indianapolis Colts at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05pm (Rams -4.5, O/U: 41.5)

No Luck for the Colts in LA.  We get to see if Goff can take advantage of that since his offense will probably have the most time on the field.  Rams win 24-13.

Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers, 4:25pm (Packers -3, O/U: 51)

Always an amazing week one matchup.  Seattle makes it tough against the Pack but the Pack are pretty damn good at home.  Lacy doesn’t make a huge impact coming back to Lambeau with the packers front 7.  Packers win 35-31

Carolina Panthers at San Francisco 49ers, 4:25pm (49ers +5, O/U: 47.5)

Panthers have to fly cross country to play this one, and usually that affects teams pretty good.  Expect Cam and the Panthers to play well given being on the west coast.  49ers basically have new management and have Hyde and Garcon to lead this offense with formidable Hoyer under center. Panthers win 28-24.

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys, 8:30pm (Cowboys -4, O/U: 47.5)

Zeke is loose, no suspension but OBJ has an ankle issue and is a game time decision.  Many think he’ll sit but it’s still not certain.  Cowboys win 34-21.

Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5:

Eagles -1

49ers +5.5

Ravens +3

Lions +2

Packers -3

 

Week 2 NFL Picks

New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills,
1 p.m., TV: CBS, LINE: Bills +1.5, O/U: 45:
The Patriots came into week one with questions at quarterback until the courts overturned his 4 game suspension. Tom put on a clinic and absolutely made the NFL eat some sour grapes with his play and yes there was even radiogate. McCoy is expected to play given his hamstring issue but wasn’t very effective carrying the ball in week 1 but is still a viable option for Taylor in the pass game. The Bills have a stingy looking defense against a very good Andre Luck and the Colts. Bills win this one despite Gronk having a big game. My Pick: Bills 21-20.

Houston Texans at Carolina Panthers,
1 p.m., TV: CBS, LINE: Panthers -3, O/U: 41:
Houston couldn’t stop a thing last week against the Chiefs. With a stacked defensive line, Alex Smith should’ve been under tons of pressure and it should’ve been closer and yes, they were predicted to win. Hoyer didn’t have a great game and now Mallett is under center. He has a strong arm with a lot of talent but his downfall is never living up to his potential. With a shot in Houston and not sitting behind Brady, maybe it’ll liven up the kid. Kuechly is out with a concussion from last weeks game against the Jags but with him out, the Panthers still stuffed the Jags. Mallett seemed to get the offense going last week almost making a comeback. The Panthers didn’t have a whole lot of options in the air game but Stewart looked like his old/healthy self with a huge game given the low expectations. My Pick: Texans 24-20.

Arizona Cardinals at Chicago Bears,
1 p.m., TV: FOX, LINE: Bears +2.5, O/U: 46:
Palmer tore up a Saints secondary that was suspect going into the game. The Bears also got lit up by a fantastic looking Packers air game. Ellington may be out but that air game will be as strong as ever. The Bears put up a good fight against Green Bay at home but with Cutler making mistakes and even late in the game when he needs to be at his best, it gives the Bears a disadvantage where they don’t need it. Where they make up for it is Forte however, he’s not the guy who has the ball in his hands every play to make better decisions. My Pick: Cardinals -2.5.

San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals,
1 p.m., TV: CBS, LINE: Bengals -3.5, O/U: 48:
The Bengals have been unreal at home and another monster on the road and especially ugly late in the seasons. Keenan Allen had a career game last week with a missing Antonio Gates. Tyler Eifert also had a career game in last week’s matchup against the Raiders. With these two offenses on point to start the season off right, the defenses won’t have a chance to keep the end zone clear of celebrations. I’m just surprised there isn’t a side bet for Adam “Pacman” Jones getting into trouble again, seeing that he had a fit of rage last week that costed him some good cabbage. My Pick: Bengals 31-24.

Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns,
1 p.m., TV: CBS, LINE: Browns +1.5, O/U: 41:
Mariota looked like a seasoned vet last week torching the Buccs secondary for 4 scores. This week also marks the first career start for Johnny Manziel who looked good at times and bad at other times. This is also the second week in a row 2 Heisman wining quarterbacks will be facing each other. Last week it was the last 2 years winners and this week is the winner from 3 years ago versus last year’s winner. Mariota has workable weapons, Manziel doesn’t. My Pick: Titans 22-20.

Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings,
1 p.m., TV: FOX, LINE: Vikings -3, O/U: 44.5:
The Vikings did not look good at all last week but in the new home they turn it around. They didn’t feed Adrian Peterson the rock like they should’ve but that changes today. Teddy is still young and doesn’t have the control of the team like a vet can. The Lions offense has always been decent and Ebron looked to have a good start to his sophomore bid. My Pick: Lions 20-17.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints,
1 p.m., TV: FOX, LINE: Saints -10, O/U: 47:
Division rivalries are always good games but Winston seemed to be exposed by a not that great Titans defense. Saints secondary got torched by a healthy Carson Palmer but recoup against a raw Winston. Brees looked like himself and on the road even. Look for him to explode at home and expose the Buccs again and then some. My Pick: Saints 35-17

Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants,
1 p.m., TV: FOX LINE: Giants -2, O/U: 49:
The Giants looked pretty resilient last week in Dallas and nearly won the game but gave it up late. Eli looked like typical Eli and look for that to continue against a Falcons team that gave the Eagles fits early last week and even beat them. The Falcons can be iffy on the road in outdoors games and the Giants aren’t favored that much but the offense didn’t look great. My Pick: Falcons 23-17.

San Francisco 49ers at Pittsburgh Steelers,
1 p.m., TV: FOX, LINE: Steelers -6, O/U: 46:
The 49ers came out of the gates with a nice upset win. The defense put together a great game against an offense that was poised to do great things given the momentum coming off of last season. Big Ben and the Steelers had some lapses in judgement when covering Gronk last week but with over a week to prepare and seeing what things did work for the 49ers and their run game, they have a big game and really show us who the 9ers are. My Pick: Steelers 33-14.

St. Louis Rams at Washington Redskins,
1 p.m., TV: FOX, LINE: Redskins +4, O/U: 41:
The Rams came out and had decent expectations going into the Seahawks game last week and nearly lost it but fended them off for a huge upset win. They always play tough defense at home but have never had a consistent starter behind center. Now that Foles is in town, the guy gives a great deep ball threat and the Redskins have been a dumpster fire for years but the defense can stop drives but if the offense can’t get anything going, it’ll wear them out and open them up. My Pick: Rams 31-19

Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville Jaguars,
4:05 p.m., TV: CBS, LINE: Jaguars +6.5, O/U: 42:
The Dolphins enjoyed a nice win last week against the Skins but this week against the Jags could prove to be a tougher play, defensively anyways. The Jags usually have a decent defense but still allowed the Panthers to score 20 without a whole lot of offensive weapons. The Jags will hold the Dolphins buy not enough due to the offense being stuffed by a much improved Fins defensive front. My Pick: Dolphins 24-14.

Baltimore Ravens at Oakland Raiders,
4:05 p.m., TV: CBS, LINE: Raiders +6, O/U: 42:
What to make of the Ravens. They had a hard time getting anything going on offense last week agains the Broncos but the defense looked really good and even after losing Suggs for the year after tearing his Achilles. The Raiders got off to an ok start but after Carr left the game with a hand injury, all hope went out the door. With Carr back this week, some of that hope is back. This will be another low scoring affair but with the better team coming out on top. Don’t be surprised if the Raiders keep it close however. My Pick: Ravens 20-17.

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles,
4:25 p.m., TV: FOX, LINE: Eagles -7, O/U: 54.5:
The Eagles might’ve started slow but finished big last week against the Falcons last week. The Falcons still took them to the woodshed long enough to get the win but give the Eagles a few extra minutes last week and they would’ve pulled it out. The defense still got blown out of the water in the air game even with Maxwell as a new edition. The Falcons still had some big time targets to throw to but the Cowboys don’t have Dez in the lineup. They do however have good depth of trustworthy receivers that can step up and contribute. 7 is a pretty big spread for these two to go at it. My Pick: Eagles 30-25.

Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers,
8:30 p.m., TV: NBC, LINE: Packers +3.5, O/U: 50:
The Seahawks have lost some key members on their defense especially since one of them is by their own doings, not figuring out the Chancellor thing yet. The Packers are unreal at home, always count on them to ride high with Rodgers behind center. The Packers had a 12 point lead in the NFC Championship game in Green Bay last year. They let that game slip away and the Hawks pulled off some kind of miracle. That doesn’t sit well with Green Bay who haven’t beat them since 2010, 5 matchups ago. Rodgers will be out for blood and with James Jones filling in for Jordy Nelson in the best possible way last week, that’s going to make them that much more dangerous this year. The Seahawks put together a decent offensive performance in a tough road matchup against the Rams last week. They normally don’t score like that on the road and to be up in tough Green Bay, they won’t duplicate over 30 points but Jimmy Graham helps. My Pick: Packers 31-26.

NFL Week 1 – Thursday Night Throwdown

Back for the 2015 season. It’s been another long offseason with many news topics that have been discussed and there’s usually one that beats the dead horse and this year it involves the high profiled QB Tom Brady and “deflategate”. Well, it all turned out to be much to do about nothing and his 4 game suspension was over-ruled to which he will be starting the season opener tonight. The Steelers have also had some issues with star players getting into trouble but the suspensions actually sticking, seeing Martavis Bryant out with a 4 game suspension as well as Le’Veon Bell’s 2 games, who coincidentally was with former teammate, now Patriot, LeGarrette Blount, who is also dealing with a suspension of his own.

Nevertheless, the season is upon us, let football begin!

New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, TV: NBC @ 8:30 p.m.; LINE: Patriots -7.5, O/U 52:

Both teams are dealing with key injuries and suspensions, luckily for the Pats, Brady avoided his. Now with all eyes, ears and hands all over the Patriots, this will be a huge kickoff (highly rated) for the NFL with all of the surrounding controversy and attention that the Pats have found themselves in this year already. Brady will be ever prepared, as he always is but don’t look for this one to be a high scoring contest. The light rain they are having will start the game off slow and these two defenses aren’t half bad either. Yes, Wilfork is gone and is now pretending to be a kicker during practices with the Texans but the defensive front will still be strong. Troy Polamalu is now retired after acknowledging losing some steps in his game over the last few years. This defense in some ways is younger now so look for them to play refreshed but don’t be surprised with some mistakes sprinkled in. With the new extra point rules, it’ll be interesting to see if the coaches use different strategies in this wet affair. Both quarterbacks are great game managers so there will be no rushing anything.  They both know they can’t allow mistakes to happen since the other will capitalize on them.  No underinflated balls will be helping Tom win this one but look for the Steelers to keep it close. Patriots 24-20.

Check back for a preview of Sunday’s picks! Good luck!

Betting lines provided by Bovada

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