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 14: Monday Night Football

Minnesota vs Seattle (Seahawks -3, O/U: 46)

The Vikings have been seesawing the last handful of weeks winning, losing, winning, losing. They have had success when they’ve had a pass rush and more importantly failures when they couldn’t get to the quarterback. They also haven’t been able to stay up with top competitive teams in the league like the Bears, Patriots and Saints. Don’t let that win in Green Bay fool you, it’s a great win in Lambeau but against a defense that isn’t great and an offense lacking punch.

The Seahawks have been on fire with a 3 game winning streak despite having lost to the Rams twice, Chargers and Bears. The two differences are they were closer games and they’ve won the “easier” games. Another difference is the play calling. The Seahawks run the ball more as Wilson averages less than 250 yards per game but in his last 4 games he has 11 TDs to 0 picks. Their defense has quietly been climbing the ladder to bring a top 10 defense as well, allowing the league’s 9th best in scoring (21.6 points).

Take the Seahawks to cover in the over, Seahawks 28-24.

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 10: Thursday Night Football

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

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

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

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

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

#beatyourbookie

Week 5: Thursday Night Football

Indianapolis vs New England, 8:20p, NFLN, (Patriots -10.5, O/U: 50)

It’s the battle of the twelves.  Andrew Luck back at it and revitalizing the Colts/Patriots rivalry that once included former Colts great Peyton Manning.

Both leaders will more than likely be without their top receivers (Hilton, Gronkowski) but Brady still would have Chris Hogan, Eric Ebron and newcomer Josh Gordon.  The running games for both have been coming along with both introducing rookies into thei backfields, leading their rushing attacks with Hines/Wilkins for the Colts and Michel for the Pats.

The Colts defense has looked improved compared to their most recent seasons and actually are near the pace the Patriots have set themselves this season.  The difference maker will be if the Patriots line can stop the defensive front of the Colts since Brady has an obvious lack of mobility.  This will be close early but once Brady gets dialed in, expect him to slowly pull away from the not quite 100% Andrew Luck.

There has been a huge uprising in the league this year where games you thought were a lock were turned upside down in the first few minutes.  Just when you thought, “ok, maybe this one isn’t such a slam dunk given how hard it’s been to nail bets this year”, not so fast my friend, just a friendly reminder, it’s HARD to win in Gillette Stadium.  Take the Patriots to cover in the win and in the under, Patriots 28-17.

#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 3: Monday Night Football

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

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

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

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

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