Week 11: Monday Night Football

Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Rams, 8:20p, ESPN (Rams -3, O/U: 64)

This game has been circled by all fans since week 4 when these two teams have been on fire, turning out tons of points each week. No it’s not in Mexico City thanks to a rump shaking Shakira concert. If you think that will slow up the guys, think twice. The Chiefs were spending time in Denver to get their bodies used to the similar altitude that Mexico City would’ve had.

Mahomes and Goff have nearly identical numbers other than touchdowns (Mahomes 31, Goff 22) and the Chiefs have scored the most points each game on average, in the NFL. Similarly, the Rams have out paced “The Greatest Show in Turf” in most offensive categories this season. They will be without stud Cooper Kupp for the rest of the season due to a torn ACL from last week but don’t think it’ll hinder Goff too much.

This is going to be like a Madden game on easy. I’m predicting massive scoring, mostly through the air. The Rams pass rush will have their hands full chasing around Mahomes. Take the Chiefs to cover in the over (that’s right, I said over 64 points), Chiefs 42-36.

#beatyourbookie

Week 4: Thursday Night Football

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

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

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

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

Week 1: Monday Night Football

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#beatyourbookie

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 10: Sunday Games w/Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5

Thursday nights game was close and I nearly hit on the score exactly.  We knew that the game was going to score in the under.  Both defenses are pretty good with the Seahawks being the obvious better team defensively.  Stanton came out as a shocker by besting Wilson in yards but that’ll happen when you throw it 47 times (even though he only completed 24 of them).  I was surprised that the bruiser of a back, AP, was only held to 29 yards but still had 21 carries.  That number just shocks me, I mean, 1.4 yards per carry is what he left the game with.  I’m astounded by that.  I guess you can only bet he’ll have a great game every other week.  Nonetheless, we ended up pushing another game, bringing the total on the year to 6 pushes.  Hopefully the rest of the week doesn’t hinge on whether we could’ve had a good week with this game being a cover or not.  With that said, here’s Sunday’s games:

New Orleans Saints at Buffalo Bills, 1p (Bills +3, O/U: 48)

The Saints look to continue their high flying offense on the road but we all know that usually isn’t a guarantee.  The Bills look to rebound after an embarrassing loss to the Jets last week.  Some feel as though the Bills will come out swinging because of that, but the Saints have a half presentable defense this year.  Take the Saints in the under, 27-20.

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears, 1p (Bears -4.5, O/U: 37.5)

Brett Hundley hasn’t looked like the quarterback that the Packers thought they drafted.  If he’s the guy that they thought would one day be in line to succeed Rodgers, they’re in trouble.  Colin Kaepernick would’ve been the more sensible solution, even a week after seeing Hundley’s first start.  The Bears have turned to Mitch-a-polooza in Chicago where he’s looked pretty good for being a guy who played football at North Carolina.  Their defense is coming around too.  Take the Bears to cover in the under, 21-13.

Cleveland Browns at Detroit Lions, 1p (Lions -10.5, O/U: 43.5)

The Lions still seemed to be firing on all cylinders lately.  They actually showed flashes of a running game.  Stafford has always been great and he’ll continue that.  For the Browns…..well……it’s the Browns.  Take the Lions in the under, 31-10.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis Colts, 1p (Colts +10, O/U: 45)

The Steelers tend to play Jekyll and Hyde when playing at home and on the road (worse on the road).  Their defense has been the surprise of the team this year.  They went into Detroit 2 weeks ago and came away the shocking victors.  The Colts have been, well, underwhelming, and that’s not because they’ve screwed me over in 4 of the 5 games I took them in.  They have a highly touted former Patriots backup (which seems to be a thing lately), but without a new offensive line, he could end up like Andrew Luck, who’s prognoses has gone from, back in a few weeks to career ending injury.  Take the Steelers to cover in the over, 31-17. 

Los Angeles Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1p (Jaguars -5, O/U: 41)

This should be a really good matchup.  The Chargers have been noticeably better on the road than at home and actually have looked more comfortable.  They started 0-4 with 3 of those games at home, 3-1 in their last 4 (2-1 on the road).  Fournette is back this week after his one game team levied suspension.  Despite missing last week, he’s 6th in rushing.  If the Chargers can slow down Fournette, they’ll have a real shot at beating a team that has been a real surprise in the league this year.  This could be a real good chance at another push for me but I think that the Chargers could take this one.  Take the Chargers to cover in the over, 24-21.

New York Jets at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1p (Buccaneers +1.5, O/U: 43.5)

The Jets are still impressing, especially after taking the Bills to task last week.  Their efforts have kept them in the hunt for a playoff spot (2.5 games back of the AFC East leading Patriots), even for a 4-5 team.  McCown has kept the ball in pretty safe hands while the running game has been keeping defenses honest with a pair of older backs.  The Buccs haven’t lived up to expectations this year and now their young star QB is hurt and will miss a few weeks.  After watching Hardknocks this year, I could’ve sworn this team could’ve turned some heads but now D-JAx is back to attitude he showed Philly on the way out and Fitzpatrick is leading the team.  The line moved 1 point in favor of the Jets since yesterday and I can’t believe that Fitz helped move that line.  Take the Jets to roll in the over, 31-17.

Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans, 1p (Titans -5.5, O/U: 40.5)

What’s there to say about the Bengals? A team that once had really good regular seasons but fizzled when it came time for playoffs, to a team that just can’t do much of anything. Of their 3 wins, only 1 came against a team at our above .500 (Bills).  The Titans have been a sleeper team to watch all season. They have statement wins against the Jags and Seahawks and are vying to stay atop of their division. Take the Titans to cover in the over, 27-20.
Minnesota Vikings at Washington Redskins, 1p (Redskins +1.5, O/U: 40.5)

In the Case Keenum parts of the season, the Vikings have surprisingly been able to survive with a 5-2 record. While their record may be impressive it’s echo they came against that’s as equally unimpressive (Buccs, Bears,  Packers,  Ravens, Browns).  Keenum’s first test comes against a Redskins team flying high off of last week’s win in Seattle. Look for the Redskins offense to be on, as Cousins did his best Aaron Rodgers impression last week. Also look for their pass rush and coverage team too suffocate Keenum. How are the Vikes road favorites in this one? Take the Redskins to cover in the over with a win, 24-21.

Houston Texans at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05p (Rams -12, O/U: 45.5)

This line rose a point since Friday so that just tells you how Vegas feels about the Texans. They looked bad in week one with Savage and they still looked horrible with him last week losing against the Colts! Talk about surprises in the NFL, the Rams turnaround from last year is amazing. We knew Gurley would have another good season but for Goff to look completely different is the real shock. Now he has better weapons than last year but it’s definitely the change in mindset of this team from their new coach that has them flying. Take the Rams to win handedly in the under, 27-10.


Dallas Cowboys at Atlanta Falcons, 4:25p (Falcons -3, O/U: 48.5)

The Falcons may have one of the best offenses in the league but they just can’t pull away from opponents in their games. Just when you thought they get a decent lead, it’s squandered away late and they have to claw on the 4th. Their schedule up to this point shows the struggle of this season (wins: Bears, Packers, Lions, Jets / losses: Bills, Dolphins, Patriots, Panthers).  The ‘Boys will be without the only “boy” on their roster (Elliott) as it looks like he finally will be serving his 6 game suspension. They’ll still have some success given the veterans on their roster and the talented Dak Prescott under center. They’ve beaten some really good teams in the last 2 weeks (Chiefs & Redskins) but losing Zeke is huge.  The Falcons will be able to build a lead through the air of their defense can hold the boys on offense. Take the Falcons to cover the in the over, 31-27.

New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers, 4:25p (49ers +2.5, O/U: 42)

This one should be an interesting game.  I’m not kidding you, interestingly bad. These offenses are in shambles but their defenses have kept them in games. I don’t have many whimsical stats for you but the excitement of possibly seeing Jimmy Garoppolo is alive and could breathe life into this team if he eventually takes the field today. Take the 49ers to cover in the under, 14-13.

New England Patriots at Denver Broncos, 8:30p (Broncos +7, O/U: 44.5)

The line has come down to 7 which makes this a near “must bet” game. I know Denver has played the Patriots well in the last few years but the had one of the best QB’s to lace them up leading them.  This offense is lackluster, and have been flat all season long. Osweiler got the nod to start last week and it didn’t go very well and while he may have beaten the Patriots the last time Blake faced them, basically all of his key weapons have some sort of nagging injuries and there’s a bunch of tape on his game and if anyone can scour tape and magnify flaws of a bad QB, it’s Belichick and the Pats.  Brady and the Pats are showing everyone how you follow up a Super Bowl win, starting the next session 6-2 with wins like the Saints game in New Orleans.  Don’t expect much to change for them in this game. They’re going to want to get on the board fast and often. Take the Patriots to cover in the over, 31-17.

Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5:

  • Minnesota -1
  • LA Chargers +4
  • Buffalo +2.5
  • Tampa Bay +2.5
  • Dallas +3

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)

 

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