Thursday Night Throwdown

This division has been a complete surprise full of injuries and unexpected winners.  The Eagles have been a huge surprise as well as the Redskins for that matter.  With the injuries to the Cowboys, expect them to fall from grace until about week 8 when they get some key starters back.  For now, enjoy the power struggle of the NFC East.

Washington Redskins @ New York Giants,
8:25 p.m., TV: CBS/NFLN, LINE: Giants -4, O/U: 45:
Since the air game isn’t so consistent for the Skins, the ground game has been a pleasant surprise.  Morris in week one and now Matt Jones last week going over 100 yards.  Last week, Cousins was actually consistent and didn’t turn the ball over.  He has games like that from time to time.  Eli last week hit OBJ big last week for huge yardage and a score but is bound to be inconsistent but you’ll never know when the “cable” version of Eli shows up.  These two teams played decent against good defenses last week so expect this one to be close and low scoring. My Pick: Giants 21-20.

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.

Thursday Night Throwdown

Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs,
8:25 p.m., TV: CBS/NFLN, LINE: Chiefs -3, O/U: 42.5:

Last week was a bit of a shock seeing Manning struggle.  A lot of off season reports stated his arm was strong and he looked great.  Well, Sunday, not so much.  Reports of no zip being on the ball, ducks being thrown and the deep ball lacking posses questions about Denver’s passing game.  The league is now turning to a shorter passing game, screens and slot receivers are the ones making more catches for more yards.  Does this help Manning through this year, with Sanders, yes.  The defense looked good at least, keeping them in the game last week but the offense sputtered and it scares people.  The Chiefs on the other hand looked amazing and against Yet the wide receivers are still without a TD.  Andy Reid will use Kelce to disrupt the Broncos secondary, creating huge mismatches.  My pick: Chiefs 27-20.

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

Week 15 Recap

Well last week ATS I had a losing record, but if you took all of my picks, you more than likely lost just the juice depending on the bets you made, 7-8-1. Some real surprises were obviously the Eagles against the Vikings and the Cowboys against the Packers. The. Eagles just kept giving the Vikings great field position all game long off the kick offs.  How many times did they think Patterson was going to return a kick for a score in the snow?  The fact that they kept doing it and only making the Vikings play on a 60-70 yard field was crazy.  2 completions could easily put them in the red zone.

I was torn on the Bengals and Lions because they are young teams and aren’t mentally focused enough to finish the season strong. Obviously the Lions have never been in the lead of the NFC North, they’ve never been there, they don’t know how to start applying pressure to the necks of the other teams and solidify the top spot. Who would’ve thought that the Vikings offense would show up like that, let alone the 3rd string RB Matt Asiata for 3 scores.

The other games that sort of caught me off guard was the Seahawks and Giants, I definitely didn’t expect the Giants to get shutout. The Redskins and Falcons game, I knew Kirk Cousins would play well but never thought he would keep them that close in the game. Even though they covered and hit the over, I didn’t think the Raiders would score 31 but when you score on huge plays and often, when you get the ball back that many times, you’re bound to score that many points. Obviously I thought the Broncos were going to go perfect at home as they have been all year, Rivers and the Bolts showed up to play which was a fear of mine. The Jets played better than I expected on the road but the game luckily/unfortunately ended in a push.  Lastly, the Ravens/Lions game.  You mean to tell me that you hold a team to only field goals and still can’t win?  That in itself is enough said!  Congrats to Tucker on being the only kicker in NFL history to hit from 20, 30, 40, 50 & 60 yards in a game.

However, call me a genius on these beauties, Dolphins over the Pats, Bills over the Jags, Colts over the Texans, and the Rams over the Saints. Listen, I have bet against the Dolphins at home too many times this year and got burnt. They’ve played well after opening the season on a horrible losing skid and the Pats were without Gronk. The Jags were without some top offensive players and even though put up ok numbers for this game, but the Jags play terribly at home usually. The Colts were due for a win and it couldn’t have come at a better time than the worst team in the NFL than the Texans. And lastly, the Saints are not the same on the road and the Rams have played very well against good teams at home.

It just goes to show you how hard it is to bet on the NFL, especially with the sort of odds the Sharks put on the games. It’s almost as if they set you up by making some games “must bet on games” and then the outcome is completely the other way. Then you have those games that are a point off, super close, comes down to the last play in the 4th quarter.

You have to watch the trends and ride them because more often than not, they pay out more than you pay in. Some of those trends include, Patriots at home, Broncos at home, Broncos in the over, Ravens home games in the under, against the Patriots on the road. Things like that. Most websites have the most recent trend information like that available for you to use for free.

Look out for my next blog, hopefully tomorrow, with my Thursday game picks and the rest of week 16 analysis and picks.

Cheers!

Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Night…My First Blog

Hey folks, jjkohl here and welcome to my blog.  Bear with me here; this IS my first rodeo in the blogosphere, well other than my days using MySpace and any other social media that we have at our disposal. 

This first blog I just wanted to lay out a description of this blog and what my main objectives are for my entries which I will hope to get more than just one a week in depending on the topics of conversation from week to week.

First, a little about myself, I hail from Reading, Pennsylvania.  I am very much into sports, food, financials, and just living life to the fullest with my beautiful wife and our 2 dogs.  I played high school football, some little league baseball but always have been a fan of all sports and competition.  I try to join recreational dek hockey leagues when I can, playing mostly defense or goalie.

Second, my blog.  My blog will mostly be about sports and whatever other hot news hits the waves, if I feel an outside topic deserves some discussion.  My recent topic of conversation the last few months has been football in the NFL.  My promise in this blog is to not act like a homer, more or less like the rationale sports conversationalist, playing devil’s advocate from time to time.  I don’t care if I’m right or wrong, I really don’t.  I like to follow ESPN’s Colin Cowherds motto, “love your family, like your sports”.  I like a good conversation about sports in general and the more heated the conversation, the better.  Not that I love arguing, but I love the passion on the topic and any great points made for either side.  It adds perspective, which I think lacks in conversations about sports (and many other things in life for that matter) amongst most “homer” fans.  By the way, if you have time to listen, Colin Cowherd is on from 10am-1pm daily on ESPN Radio/ESPN U (tv), always an awesome listen.

I hope this blog is fun for everyone to read.  I’m still trying to figure out the wordpress.com blog site, to which I give thanks for having a free blog site to start up a new hobby of mine.  Comments are always welcome, so a Twitter account will be created to field quick conversation points and to respond back to any readers throughout the day where time permits, since I do have a 8-5 job and a life outside of work.  I will create that Twitter handle for the next blog, where the good stuff will start to be written.

Look out for my next blog, Wednesday, which will cover the upcoming week 15 in NFL action, Fan Duel, my fantasy football team’s outlooks, and spread/predictions using Covers.com as well as my reaction to Bleacher Report’s predictions.