Week 15: Thursday Night Football

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs (Chiefs -3.5, O/U: 54.5)

The Chargers are putting Melvin Gordon on the game day watch to see if he’ll suit up or miss another game.  If Gordon can’t go, Eckler will once again fill in.  Rivers played masterfully in the first meeting this year between the teams, at home but still lost by 4.  His play has evolved over the last 14 weeks and he’s taken care of the ball this year (29 td’s and only 6 int’s).  Rivers and Keenan Allen have connected on big scoring plays the last 5 weeks and have really been hitting their strides.  Lets not forget their defense, who is also hitting a stride in their own right.

The Chiefs have had back to back weeks of close games but wins.  Since Hunt was released, they’ve had to rely on numerous backs to fill in, one being former future back of the team, Spencer Ware but will be without him tonight due to a neck strain and concussion from last week.  A new addition to the Chiefs will be on the sidelines as they signed the newly released Kelvin Benjamin.  He will suit up tonight but as we can imagine, will be limited in his role even with Tyreek Hill dealing with an injured foot.  Let’s also not forget how reckless Mahomes has been the last few weeks with his passes, he’s been great but he’s also thrown a few picks that weren’t the best of decisions.

What may make up your mind are the numbers you see here:

Chargers ATS: 7-6, Road ATS: 5-1

Chiefs ATS: 8-4-1, Home ATS: 3-3

This will be a battle all night long.  The Chargers are an unbelievable road team and the Chiefs can still score 30 without Hunt but both will be fighting for the AFC West and a top seed in the playoffs, so I would expect Gordon to play such an important game.  In the end, it will come down to who’s running game will keep the opponents offense off the field in the 4th quarter?  Take the Chargers to cover in the upset win, in the over, Chargers 31-28.

#beatyourbookie

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)

 

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.

Week 1 – Sunday Roundtable with Colin Cowhed’s Blazing 5

Week one, Sunday regular season action is upon us.  Here are my predictions and Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5 picks.  Good luck to all!

Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills,
TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Bills +3 O/U: 45
Rex Ryan’s new era in Buffalo begins with Tyrod Taylor as his starter, unfortunately it’s against a tough Colts team lead by the miraculous Andrew Luck. Buffalo’s defense will make it tough on Luck but Taylor won’t get anything going on offense for the Bills. Pick: Colts 27-17

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears,
TV: 1 p.m., FOX. LINE: Bears -7 O/U: 49
No Jordy Nelson, no problem. Green Bay has had depth at receiver for years with the next best guy always stepping up. James Jones was recently signed to add security to the position for the season, back with his favorite elite quarterback in a very familiar offense. Pack don’t miss a step in Chicago but the spread is almost too great for this division rivalry. Pick: Packers 31-21

Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans,
TV: 1 p.m., CBS. LINE: Texans +1 O/U: 41
Adding Maclin to the receiving corps will help Alex Smith get some touchdowns to the receivers this year, but the Texans defense is back with two of the biggest defensive ends in the game with Clowney being healthy again. The Texans will be without Foster for this game so look to see the back field platooning. Defense wins the day and the Texans are a home dog so take them. Pick: Texans 17-14

Carolina Panthers at Jacksonville Jaguars,
TV: 1 p.m., FOX. LINE: Jags +3 O/U: 40.5
An intriguing matchup with the Jags toughening defense and the lackluster, nearly weaponless Panthers offense. I am surprised the line isn’t closer to a pick’em given that Bortles started to settle in as an NFL starter late last year. He’s got a plethora of young talent at receiver and with TJ as the new addition to the back field, look for the Jags to set a winning building block this year. Cam tries to do it all in this game which will be dangerous. It’ll be close but Cam can’t get the ball to enough guys to make up for missing Benjamin. Pick: Jags 17-16

Cleveland Browns at New York Jets,
TV: 1 p.m., CBS. LINE: Jets -3.5 O/U: 38.5
The Browns have been piecing together a team for years with no real direction. The defense always seemed to be the lone standout and kept them in a few games but the lack of offense proved to be its main weakness. With the Jets defense always being solid, now adding a sure star in Marshall on the outside as a main target, the Jets will try to move on from Geno slowly and find a winner at QB in Fitzpatrick who can win and keep mistakes to a minimum. No cannon but can give Marshall a big year. Pick: Jets 14-12

Seattle Seahawks at St. Louis Rams,
TV: 1 p.m., FOX. LINE: Rams +4 O/U: 41.5
These two always seem to give each other fits and Seattle has never been stellar on the road. The Rams always give good teams trouble on the defensive side but with Foles as their new guy behind center, it may rejuvenate the franchise who were at the mercy of Sam Bradford and his knees. Expect bigger things from the Rams this year but Foles hasn’t faced a defense like this yet and had an average year compared to his first with Chip Kelly in Philly. Pick: Seahawks 20-17

Miami Dolphins at Washington Redskins,
TV: 1 p.m., CBS. LINE: Redskins +5 O/U: 45.5
The Dolphins anchored their man behind center with a nice new fat contract but now come the expectations. The Dolphins aren’t just going to rely on Tannehill as they added a stud at defensive tackle in Suh. Adding him will make the front defensive line that much tougher. Dolphins go from mediocre to playoff contenders this year. The Redskins have been in a tailspin again this offseason with more RGIII talk. With Cousins starting, they’re offense will have less distraction with injuries and off the field comments but Cousins isn’t their guy and the Redskins should’ve traded him when his value was very high 2 years ago. It must hurt being a home dog by more than a field goal but it’s for good reason. Pick: Fins 31-17

New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals,
TV: 4:05 p.m., FOX. LINE: Cards -2.5 O/U: 48
Jimmy Graham is no longer the main, attractive weapon in Who Dat nation. Brandin Cooks is now the young outstanding weapon opposite Colston that will keep the passing game thriving but still not as hot as it has been in years past. Brees took a bit of a hit in yardage however will still have more than 4,000 yards. The Cards have Palmer back and healthy. With the addition of Chris Johnson and some other young backs platooning in, the Cards could have a moderately successful season if most of the main offensive pieces stay healthy. This game is in doors which is both teams bread and butter. Look for it to be close like the line states but the Cards hold on. Pick: Cards 27-24

Detroit Lions at San Diego Chargers,
TV: 4:05 p.m., FOX. LINE: Chargers -3.5 O/U: 46
The Chargers open up at home without their start tight end Gates in the lineup. No more Matthews in the backfield will prove to shortchange the Chargers in the redzone. However the lack off redzone threats for the Chargers, the Lions are without Suh on their defensive front. That will considerably change the dynamic of their pass rush. Nonetheless, both teams still have the ability to air it out. Pick: Chargers 24-21

Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos,
TV: 4:25 p.m., CBS. LINE: Broncos -5 O/U: 47
With new offensive minds for the Broncos and an aging legend who still deals with numbness in his throwing hand, look for the Broncos to tone it down a bit in the air game, especially without Julius Thomas now with the Jags. The running game isn’t a sure bet to take over the offense but the days of 45-50 TD’s in the passing game are over for Manning. The Ravens on the other hand found a gem last year in Forsett. Coupled with the strong armed Flacco and Steve Smith threat, the Ravens are poised to have a good year. Pick: Broncos 27-24

Cincinnati Bengals at Oakland Raiders,
TV: 4:25 p.m., CBS. LINE: Raiders +3 O/U: 43
The Raiders all around looked pretty good this off season. Defensively sound and Carr is developing nicely for them. The Bengals are going to put up their typical average season, good start, horrible finish. Teams are now on to Andy Daulton and once under substantial pressure, he will turn the ball over. Look for the Bengals to go to the run game more this year than in the past to limit picks. Pick: Raiders 21-17

Tennessee Titans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers,
TV: 4:25 p.m., CBS. LINE: Buccs -3 O/U: 41
The rookie quarterback matchup, Winston and Mariota is what we’ve all been waiting to see. Who made out better. This will show which quarterback was better prepared for their inaugural season. That being said, Winston was drafted into a much better offensive situation than Mariota. With Evans and Jackson on the outside Jenkins at tight end, and Martin/Sims combo in the backfield, the Buccs are going to be riding high this year if Winston can settle into the offense at full pace. Mariota has a little more work to do with the lack of weapons compared to Winston but he is a great game manager and doesn’t make errors often. Pick: Buccs 27-21

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys,
TV: 8:30 p.m., NBC. LINE: Cowboys -7 O/U: 52.5
Another early divisional matchup pits the revamped Giants offense with Cruz back, the Giants are poised to have a pretty successful air attack again this year. The Cowboys are without their leading rusher in Murray, jetting to another divisional rival, the Eagles, but landed Run DMC formerly of the Raiders. He hasn’t been all that cracked up to be since he was drafted but a new place, new team, new O-line might bring some spark out of him. Still, Romo, Dez and Witten are a tough combo in itself to handle. Pick: Cowboys 30-27

Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5 Picks:
Jaguars (+3) 23-20
Ravens (+5) 27-26
Packers (-7) 34-20
Rams (+4.5) 27-26
Giants (+6) 28-26

For Those Only Looking For My NFL Thoughts…

For now, here are my thoughts on the Thursday game:

Thursday 12/12/13

Chargers @ Broncos

Covers.com

Covers.com is a site I use to check lines and trends since they do polls of the users of the site as well as 12 “expert” odds makers and how they feel the game will go with the given lines.  They also have a little write up and prediction at the end of every games preview.  Also included on this site for every game is individual and team stats, as well as injuries and previous 10 games of each team and previous 10 meetings of the two teams.  This site gives you a lot of information to use and it’s all free!

Covers.com says: Broncos 37 – Chargers 27 in the Over

Bleacher Report

Bleacher Report shows the Odds Shark computer prediction for every game which runs thousands of simulation models to come up with an estimated guess based on facts and factors for the game.  Bleacher Report gives you the computers scores and then gives you their predictions against or with the computers outcome, so you’re really getting two predictions.

Odds Shark says:  38.2 – 27.9 Broncos Victory in the Over

Bleacher Report says:  San Diego will have to play one of its best games of the year to hang with the Broncos. Rivers has been absolutely great, and Chargers head coach Mike McCoy might have some insight as to how to slow down Manning and Co. But Denver has proven it can cover big numbers. Give the points with the Broncos, and pay attention to the OVER trends below as well.

My Predictions

Listen, I lost out on this game the first time around, I won’t do that again!  I took the BRONCOS on the points and the OVER back in early November and lost out because they scored under 56 only totaling 48 points.  Out of the Broncos 13 games so far this year, 2 games have scored under the point total, back to back weeks but first being against the Chargers.  They were the first real test for Peyton and his Broncos, making the highlight reels feature the other team as well and actually keeping the game within reach for the Chargers.  Broncos still covered but barely.  This week it’s Denver, in the cold again, but Manning put to rest the accusations that he doesn’t play well in the cold and wouldn’t play well in Denver come crunch time, late in the season and through the playoffs. Broncos are -10 with an over/under of 55.5. 

I say stay away from the spread as I think it could go either way but definitely take the OVER 55.5 as the Broncos have this unreal offense and listen, Denver has covered the points or came within 7 of the total by themselves alone in 3 of 7 home games this year, and 4 of 13 overall.  In the NFL, that means you are scary good!  I want to say, with the Broncos being at home, they will want to end the last regular season home game for its fans on a high scoring note, not to mention the excitement of having their coach John Fox back on the sidelines.  He missed his first game after open heart surgery in week 10 when they played the Chargers and makes his first game return against them…coincidence?

Broncos 45 – Chargers 31

Trends:

  • Broncos cover or come within 7 of the points total by themselves in 3 of 7 home games
  • Broncos have beaten the Chargers four straight overall
  • Chargers are 5-1-1 ATS past seven games at Denver
  • Chargers are 5-1-1 ATS in the past seven games as road underdogs
  • OVER is 12-2-1 past 15 games when Chargers are road underdogs
  • OVER is 10-1-1 past 12 Broncos home games
  • OVER is 8-0-1 past nine times Broncos home as double-digit favorites
  • Chargers Pass/Overall Defense entering this week are both 28th in the NFL
  • Broncos Pass/Overall Defense entering this week are 29th/25th in the NFL
  • Chargers Pass/Overall Offense and Points entering this week are 4th/4th/11th in the NFL
  • Broncos Pass/Overall Offense and Points entering this week are all 1st in the NFL
  • Manning has recorded 11 games with 300+ passing yards this season, tying Tom Brady for the 2nd most in NFL history
  • Chargers WR Keenan Allen has 61 catches (a franchise record for a rookie) for 902 yards, 5 TD’s
  • The Broncos need to score 75 points in their final 3 games to break the NFL record of 589 total season points set by the Patriots in 2007.  They average 39.6 points per game so far this year

The rest of the NFL games (lines only), spreads are for the home team.

Redskins @ Falcons -6.5   O/U 51

49ers @ Buccaneers +5   O/U 41

Seahawks @ Giants +7   O/U 41

Bears @ Browns -1   O/U 45

Texans @ Colts -5.5   O/U 45.5

Bills @ Jaguars +2   O/U 43

Patriots @ Dolphins +2.5   O/U 45.5

Eagles @ Vikings +4.5   O/U 51

Chiefs @ Raiders +4   O/U 41

Jets @ Panthers -11   O/U 40.5

Packers @ Cowboys -7   O/U 48.5

Saints @ Rams +5.5   O/U 47

Cardinals @ Titans +2.5   O/U 41.5

Bengals @ Steelers +3   O/U 40.5

Ravens @ Lions -6   O/U 48

Check back before Sunday for the rest of My NFL week 15 write ups, I will have updated Lines, picks, analysis using all of the up to date injury information.

Musings & Week 15 Thursday Game

Welcome back readers!  Today I will be discussing how my fantasy football teams did this past week and who I have starting this week, and a quick preview of all week 15 NFL action as well as spread, over/under analysis and predictions using the lines from Covers.com.  I will also give my reaction Bleacher Report’s week 15 predictions.  I cut out the Fan Duel conversation and saved that for a topic for next week.

I run in just in 2 leagues, only because more would be too much work to have to update constantly on my type of schedule.  One is in one of my buddies’ league with a gentlemen’s wager of $20 per team.  This past week was the start of the playoffs for this league.  I came into the playoffs like Seattle a few years back, I was 6-7 but on a current 2 game slide.  I had to face a team with Peyton Manning (31 points), Antonio Brown (19 points), Andre Johnson (15 points), and the Chiefs Defense (27 points).  To say the least, it was a tough game.  However, I had a team worthy of being competitive but just couldn’t match up with the stats of my opponent, Drew Brees (28 points), Desean Jackson (11 points), Chris Johnson (8 points), and Jason Witten (7 points).  Now those players mentioned as the highlights on my team were actually outscored by my kicker (all but Brees), Phil Dawson (16 points), who was signed Sunday, around 3 pm, as a last minute acquisition because I forgot to start my actual kicker Mason Crosby.  Nevertheless, my team ultimately lost 118-80 and was booted from the playoffs.

My other league, I am the commissioner of.  This league consists of a few newbies to fantasy football or guys who only have a season or two under their belts.  Again, gentlemen’s wager of just $10.  I have dominated this league, going 8-0 to open the season but limped to my first week bye going 2-3 in the last 5 weeks.  This week is my bye but heading in to my first playoff matchup, this will be my starting lineup for next week:

QB Drew Brees/WR Vincent Jackson/WR Demarius Thomas/RB Pierre Thomas/RB Jamaal Charles/TE Tony Gonzalez/WR-TE-RB Dwayne Bowe/K Garrett Hartley/DEF Seattle Seahawks

Now here is when I’m just supposed to brag about how I picked some of these guys up in lopsided trade with a newbie or picked a couple of these guys up off the free agents waiver wire and hit big.  No.  I drafted every one of my starters and this is why having a strong draft will carry you through your season and the playoffs.  From what I’ve noticed in fantasy football, not many people are willing to trade because you play just about everyone at some point in the season.  I must applaud my good buddy Josh in the $20 league he runs, he traded me Drew Brees and Chris Johnson for Marcus Colston and Adrian Peterson (trade happened around week 4 or so).  I saw that as a fair trade and one that I thought would benefit me in the long run since Brees puts up crazy numbers and the Vikings offense has been hot and cold through the first couple of weeks this season.  Nevertheless, he made it past the first round (and picked up McCown just before the week started to which he scored him 38 points, Peterson got hurt and only scored him 1 point but had Shady McCoy which scored him 33 points to which McCown/McCoy accounted for 71 of his winning 104 points this past week against a team that only scored 78 points, so yeah…) and I didn’t.

I didn’t have as strong of a draft as my other league but was also playing against some smarter fantasy players who all drafted well.  Through the season I was in that waiver wires hunt every week, trying to catch the next couple week starter that busts out for 20-30 quick points.  Live by the draft, die by the draft.  Do your homework, have a strong draft and make smart moves/trades.

Now, on to my week 15 analysis and picks.  I will be going into depth on Sunday’s and Monday’s games later this week for analysis.  I will put the lines up now so you know where they are at least starting Wednesday.

For now, here are my thoughts on the Thursday game:

Thursday 12/12/13

Chargers @ Broncos

Covers.com

Covers.com is a site I use to check lines and trends since they do polls of the users of the site as well as 12 “expert” odds makers and how they feel the game will go with the given lines.  They also have a little write up and prediction at the end of every games preview.  Also included on this site for every game is individual and team stats, as well as injuries and previous 10 games of each team and previous 10 meetings of the two teams.  This site gives you a lot of information to use and it’s all free!

Bleacher Report

Bleacher Report shows the Odds Shark computer prediction for every game which runs thousands of simulation models to come up with an estimated guess based on facts and factors for the game.  Bleacher Report gives you the computers scores and then gives you their predictions against or with the computers outcome, so you’re really getting two predictions.

Odds Shark says:  38.2 – 27.9 Broncos Victory in the Over

Bleacher Report says:  San Diego will have to play one of its best games of the year to hang with the Broncos. Rivers has been absolutely great, and Chargers head coach Mike McCoy might have some insight as to how to slow down Manning and Co. But Denver has proven it can cover big numbers. Give the points with the Broncos, and pay attention to the OVER trends below as well.

Covers.com says: Broncos 37 – Chargers 27 in the Over

My Predictions

Listen, I lost out on this game the first time around, I won’t do that again!  I took the BRONCOS on the points and the OVER back in early November and lost out because they scored under 56 only totaling 48 points.  Out of the Broncos 13 games so far this year, 2 games have scored under the point total, back to back weeks but first being against the Chargers.  They were the first real test for Peyton and his Broncos, making the highlight reels feature the other team as well and actually keeping the game within reach for the Chargers.  Broncos still covered but barely.  This week it’s Denver, in the cold again, but Manning put to rest the accusations that he doesn’t play well in the cold and wouldn’t play well in Denver come crunch time, late in the season and through the playoffs. Broncos are -10 with an over/under of 55.5. 

I say stay away from the spread as I think it could go either way but definitely take the OVER 55.5 as the Broncos have this unreal offense and listen, Denver has covered the points or came within 7 of the total by themselves alone in 3 of 7 home games this year, and 4 of 13 overall.  In the NFL, that means you are scary good!  I want to say, with the Broncos being at home, they will want to end the last regular season home game for its fans on a high scoring note, not to mention the excitement of having their coach John Fox back on the sidelines.  He missed his first game after open heart surgery in week 10 when they played the Chargers and makes his first game return against them…coincidence?

Broncos 45 – Chargers 31

Trends:

  • Broncos cover or come within 7 of the points total by themselves in 3 of 7 home games
  • Broncos have beaten the Chargers four straight overall
  • Chargers are 5-1-1 ATS past seven games at Denver
  • Chargers are 5-1-1 ATS in the past seven games as road underdogs
  • OVER is 12-2-1 past 15 games when Chargers are road underdogs
  • OVER is 10-1-1 past 12 Broncos home games
  • OVER is 8-0-1 past nine times Broncos home as double-digit favorites
  • Chargers Pass/Overall Defense entering this week are both 28th in the NFL
  • Broncos Pass/Overall Defense entering this week are 29th/25th in the NFL
  • Chargers Pass/Overall Offense and Points entering this week are 4th/4th/11th in the NFL
  • Broncos Pass/Overall Offense and Points entering this week are all 1st in the NFL
  • Manning has recorded 11 games with 300+ passing yards this season, tying Tom Brady for the 2nd most in NFL history
  • Chargers WR Keenan Allen has 61 catches (a franchise record for a rookie) for 902 yards, 5 TD’s
  • The Broncos need to score 75 points in their final 3 games to break the NFL record of 589 total season points set by the Patriots in 2007.  They average 39.6 points per game so far this year

The rest of the NFL games (lines only), spreads are for the home team.

Redskins @ Falcons -6.5   O/U 51

49ers @ Buccaneers +5   O/U 41

Seahawks @ Giants +7   O/U 41

Bears @ Browns -1   O/U 45

Texans @ Colts -5.5   O/U 45.5

Bills @ Jaguars +2   O/U 43

Patriots @ Dolphins +2.5   O/U 45.5

Eagles @ Vikings +4.5   O/U 51

Chiefs @ Raiders +4   O/U 41

Jets @ Panthers -11   O/U 40.5

Packers @ Cowboys -7   O/U 48.5

Saints @ Rams +5.5   O/U 47

Cardinals @ Titans +2.5   O/U 41.5

Bengals @ Steelers +3   O/U 40.5

Ravens @ Lions -6   O/U 48