NFL Week 7: Thursday Night Football

Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos, Broncos Stadium at Mile High, 8:20 PM, FOX/NFLN (Broncos +3, O/U: 49.5)

The Chiefs are reeling after a second straight loss after opening up the season 4-0. Mahomes had been dealing with a banged up ankle the last few weeks as well as having top receivers out with injuries. It was evident that he missed Tyreek Hill as he hit hill on a massive 46 yard TD early in the game, throwing short into double coverage as Tyreek leaped over the underneath defender to catch the ball and twist into the endzone. Hill would go on to lead the team in targets with 10, hauling in 5 for 80 yards and 2 TD’s. The Chiefs deficiencies on defense would lead to their demise however, when leading in the 2nd quarter 17-3, they allowed the Texans to score 20 unanswered points on 3 straight drives which totaled 204 yards. The Chiefs allowed nearly 500 yards of offense and allowed nearly 40 minutes of possession time keeping the high powered offense off the field and limited once they got on to the field. Regardless, the offense ranks 5th in points scored and 3rd in yardage when they are on the field.

The Broncos are coming off back to back wins after starting off 0-4. The convincing win against the roller coaster Titans was exactly what the team needed for a confidence boost heading into this matchup especially given that this offense has struggled even with the veteran Flacco and the young stud Phillip Lindsay. Flacco has been unimpressive in his 6 starts as he averages under 250 yards per game while also throwing only 6 TD’s but 5 picks. Lindsay has done what he can with his 397 yards and 4 TD’s but a poor 3rd down conversion percentage (33%) stalls drives early and puts the defense on the field for longer than they should be out there. Luckily even with all of that time spent on the field, they rank in the top 10 in points allowed (7th) and top 5 in yards allowed (4th). Still, beating a banged up Chargers team in their home isn’t special since the Chargers home games seem like road games to them and the Titans went ahead and benched Mariota even though he hadn’t thrown a pick all year coming into the game.

The Chiefs will have a tough time against the Broncos defensive front but with Hill back, don’t expect Mahomes to be under pressure all night once they start airing the ball out. Take the Chiefs to cover in the under, Chiefs 31-17.

NFL Week 6: Thursday Night Football Pick & Prediction

New York Giants @ New England Patriots, Gillette Stadium, 8:20 PM, FOX/NFLN (Patriots -17, O/U: 41.5)

The Giants have been hanging in this season despite their absolutely horrendous defense. Their defense ranks 34rd to last in yards allowed with 2,047 yards however their offense are tops in the league with the highest percentage of drives that end in a turnover (20.4%).  That puts tired defenses back on the field to get torched.  Their defense still has output (5 picks, 6 fumbles recovered and 13 sacks) but when you’re on the field all the time, you’re bound to make plays but give up a ton of yards.  The Giants are also down to their 3rd string running back (Jon Hillman) with Saquon Barkley being out with a severe ankle sprain and Wayne Gallman has a concussion and is ruled out.  Daniel Jones is completing 64% of his passes but only averaging 248 yards in his 3 starts.  Barkley surely has made defenses solely focus on Jones as his yards have steadily declined with each game he’s started, 336 yards against the Buccs with Barkley, 225 against the Redskins & 182 yards against the Vikings, both games without Barkley.  Expect more of the same as he’s thrown his 3 picks in games without Barkley.

The Patriots absolutely destroy teams with bad defenses and they don’t ever let up against division rivals or teams that they have a grudge against. If you think the Pats forgot about the 2 super bowls that Eli stole from them, you’re sadly mistaken.  Eli has always played them tough and this will be the first meeting since before 2007 where the Giants will face the Patriots without Eli.  The Pats against Eli were 2-3 with the average game being decided by a mere 3 points!  The Patriots are the leagues top defense, which is rare for them at this point of the season and have only allowed 34 points in 5 weeks which is nearly half of the 49ers who are 2nd.  They’ve allowed the 2nd least amount of yards but tops in average yards allowed per play and are tied with the Steelers for the most turnovers created with 11 picks, 1 fumble recovered and an amazing 24 sacks (leading the NFL).  Brady hasn’t needed to be relied upon as much as the Pats usually do early in the season.  He still has top 10 stats in most categories and protecting the ball as he does with 10 TD’s against 2 picks.  Now, granted, they’ve probably had the softest schedule of any NFL team, outside of playing the Steelers and Bills, they’ve played 3 of the leagues worst and you might as well add the Giants to that since they are bottom half of the league in most categories.  Lastly, Brady passed Brett Favre on the all-time yards list last week, it’s Favre’s 50th birthday today and tonight Brady only needs 18 more yards to pass Peyton Manning for 2nd all-time (how ironic).

Take the Patriots to cover in the under, Patriots 31-10.

NFL Week 3: Thursday Night Football Prediction & Pick

Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars, TIAA Bank Field, 8:20 PM, NFLN (Jaguars +1.5, O/U: 38.5)

The Titans have been a bit unpredictable to start the season with clubbing the Browns and bursting their hype bubble in their own home to coming back home and falling to the Andrew Luck-less Colts. Mariota has been careful with the ball throwing zero picks but just barely cracked the 400 yard mark.  The workhorse has been Derrick Henry averaging just under 5 yards per carry and found the end zone 3 times (2 rushing TD’s, 1 receiving TD’s).  The defense has played well, holding opponents to being 8/24 on 3rd downs, have only allowed 365 passing yards through the first 2 games, caused 5 turnovers (4 INT’s, 1 fumble recovery)which leads the league in turnover differential (+5) and have only allowed 32 points which is good for 6th least allowed in the league.  Issues I see are that they’re only 3/20 on 3rd down, the o-line has also been sacked 8 times, and have allowed the 7th most yards per game on the ground.

There’s really not much I can say about the Jaguars other than that in most stat categories, they’re middle of the road or leaning towards the bottom 3rd in the league.  Gardner Minshew looked ok in his first NFL regular season action and has completed a fantastic 77.6% of his passes with 3 TD’s and a INT.  He’s also able to make up for the lack of rushing attack from once highly touted Fournette, with 7 carries for 62 yards and actually has a team long 21 yard carry.  DJ Chark (11-201-2TD’s) and Chris Conley (10-170-1TD) have been the teams leading receivers.  Big issues I see with the Jags are having a mediocre offense now being lead by a rookie, tied for the 3rd worst turnover differential (-3).

Take the Titans to cover in the win and in the under, Titans 21-13.

2019 NFL Kickoff Week 1: Thursday Night Football Spread Pick/Prediction

Welcome to week one of the NFL’s 100th season!  These off-seasons seem to get longer and longer as the years go on but that’s only thanks to the 24/7 NFL news cycle.  It also gave me a long time to think about the very average follow up I had in 2018 (51%) to the successes of my 2017 season (56%).  Don’t worry, I’m refreshed, recharged and packing a big ol’ punch for this season.  There have been many dramatic stories around the league to keep us all busy during the summer that any normal fan would feel worn out before even a minute is played this year already, but there’s always something special about opening day.

From Le’Veon Bell signing with the Jets for less money than he sat out for/demanding from the Steelers, to Antonio Brown’s freezer burnt feet and helmet issues, Ezekiel Elliot and Melvin Gordon pulling the holdout card Bell made so famous, then Zeke signing a huge deal given the very thin market for dynamic backs and the Chargers telling Gordon to forget about signing a massive deal in LA and that he should seek a trade, to the sad retirement of one of the games top quarterbacks, Andrew Luck, just a few weeks before the season starts.  It has been a whirlwind with many changes and new names and faces in new places but we’ve made it.  The time is now and kickoff is here, let’s get after it!

Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears, Soldier Field, 8:20 PM, NBC (Bears -3, O/U: 46.5):

We go into the opening day of the 100th year with the most storied rivalry in the league’s history. We got a glimpse of how great it is nearly a year ago when the then newly acquired Khalil Mack dominated the first half of the game and gave the Packers and their fans a scare when he hobbled Rodgers with a few hits and injured his knee.  Rodgers goes into the half, doses up on some major pain killers and comes out and blows up the Bears secondary and their 20 point lead to win 24-23 and then gave a hilarious post game interview, clearly high on pain meds mixed with the high of beating their fiercest division rival.  We will get much of the same tonight but hopefully with less knee torqueing on Rodgers since that plagued him most of last season (I know, I’m a Packers homer).

High Rodgers

This year the Bears are trying to build off of their 12-4, NFC North division champs season last year that catapulted them from a bottom 8 team to a playoff caliber team that ended in the playoffs with the ill fated Cody Parkey “double doink”. Most of the significant changes were the addition of Mack but also the offensive efficiency due to a coaching change.  The Bears would game-plan the scripts of their first few drives of each game pretty well in order to get games off to good starts and for Trubisky to build confidence.  Out of their 43 offensive touchdowns, 24 of them were in the first half (56%).  Their running game has something to prove and will have a challenge with having a younger/unproven backfield in which will more than likely split the workload between 3 different backs, at least at first.

The Packers will come to the season opener with a new coach Matt LaFleur, coaching staff, offense and have a young receiving corps lead by Davante Adams given the deductions over the last two seasons of mainstays Randall Cobb (Dallas Cowboys) and Jordy Nelson (retiring after spending last year in Oakland).  The Packers also discovered a running game in Aaron Jones last year before he was lost to the season with injury.  He is poised to bounce back this year, hopefully giving the Packers a 1,000 yard back again and continue on the TD tear he was on last year where he scored 8 TD’s in 7 games before his injury.  The Packers last 1,000 yard rusher was way back in 2013 and 2014 when Eddie Lacy squeaked over the mark in back to back years (1,178/1,139).  In Rodger’s 11 years as a starter, he’s only had 4 years with a 1,000 yard back.  Lastly, the Packers have invested in their defense through the draft and even picked up former Bear safety, Adrian Amos, in free agency.  It could be the Packers best defense since their Super Bowl win in 2010.

The Packers will catch the Bears off guard with the full playbook of the Packers offense being unveiled in a special rivalry meeting.  I may be a homer here but you also have to look at it as a matchup of QB’s as in, who would you take? Take the Packers to beat the Bears and cover in the over, Packers 27-20.

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 10: Thursday Night Football

Week 9 wasn’t quite as “coachable” as I thought but we technically still didn’t have a losing week, going 6-6-1.  Shocks of last week were the Bills (embarrassing actually), the Ravens, the Bengals coming out flatter than flat, the Chiefs and Dolphins actually keeping up with an NFL team.  Basically all of my losses and the push were shocks.  Some road favorites were some of those losses which are tougher covers.  Hard week but we have another good one brewing starting with tonight’s game.

Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals, 8:25p (Cardinals +6, O/U: 40)

New addition to the offensive line for the Seahawks, Duane Brown, was adventurous but he improved the line from weeks ago.  It was adventurous due to the fact that he had a few penalties along with the rest of the team, a season high 16.  Those penalties, a ridiculous number mind you, helped keep the Redskins close and in the end, Cousins capitalized and won the game for them being as accurate as ever.  Wilson nearly pulled off a comeback on his own, striking hard and fast down the field but ultimately leaving too much time on the clock.  The Seahawks still have a staunch defense and can eat up the Cardinals given their lack of an arm under center which will be a difference maker.

The Cardinals made a smart move a few weeks back in picking AP up.  In 3 starts, 2 of them have seen him carry the ball 25+ times for 130+ yards in each game.  It looks like the AP of old and he has to be given Stanton, his hapless quarterback.  Stanton showed some accuracy late in the game last week but ultimately was just mediocre.  Fitzgerald was se I effective but with 5 catches for just 70 yards, expect him to continue being the lead receiver but in a dink and dunk offense.

Look for the Seahawks to take out some aggression this week, rectifying last weeks bad loss at home (which is usually a guarantee in Seattle).  The Cardinals can run all they want but if the Hawks stack the box, I don’t see AP getting much going (even though I would like him too since he’s starting on my fantasy team).  Take the Seahawks to win in the under, Seahawks 24-14.

 

Week 9: Thursday Night Football / Week 8: 69% Winners ATS!

What an exciting time to be alive if you’ve been following this blog all year.  First off, thank you.  I have been aiming to give you at least a professional bettors covering percentage, which hovers around 56%-57%.  Not only has this been a fun experience but also some sort of social experiment in a way.

I’ve always talked about getting betting stats down and seeing the outcomes and trends for myself.  Keeping record of how well I’d do if I were to look at every line, every week and bet on all of them.  Would I make out, break even or lose my ass off?  After the first half of the season, I’m seeing trends in my own picks.  How I favor different matchups and spreads, how I look at teams differently after a bye, on a short or long week and now dealing with London games.  It’s all very fascinating to see it laying out in front of your face.

Last week I went for 69% winners! I totally flubbed on the Buccs, Bengals, Dolphins and Raiders however, not even close oon those guys but nailed the other 9 games.  8 games had a spread of a touchdown or more and I hit on 7 of them.  Those games haven’t been a strong point for me this year, until last week that is.  It seems that as this season rolls on, you can figure out who’s legit and whose not.  I feel like I’m at that point but I don’t want to get cocky about it, we’ll just be like Bill Belichick and say I’m on to next week.

Now I’m only sitting at 54% for the year but I’m also trending up with 3 straight winning weeks.  Those wins almost cover the Bovada juice that they charge you per deposit, not that you would make 13 separate deposits just to bet all of the NFL games each week, but you get the point.  At 54%, using Bovada, you could be in the plus.

I’ll give more breakdowns over the next week of my picks and where my picks are trending so that you have an updated idea where I’ve been strong lately.  Anyways, on to tonight’s game:

Buffalo Bills at New York Jets, 8:25p (Jets +3, O/U: 42.5)

Well Thursday night games have mostly been about the bottom of the barrel teams squaring off but here we have some middle of the road teams who are having better than expected seasons.  The Jets basically look at every win a bonus given almost every “analyst” in the country had them losing every game to winning a max of 2-3!  They’d have to be pretty piss poor and lose their remaining games to stay within those predictions but had a great start against some tough teams.

The Jets traded for Rashard Robinson (cornerback) from the 49ers at the trade deadline.  Robinson was a 4th round pick in 2016 from LSU but has been hit with 10 penalties already this year, leading the league.  The Bills went out and got Kelvin Benjamin from the Panthers, in which I say is a huge win for Buffalo.  I mean the Panthers don’t even have Olsen back for a few more weeks.  You need all of the big/physical bodies you can get when you’re not an accurate middle to deep ball hurler like Newton.

The Bills are flying high this year with a defense that is playing much better and an offense with some new key parts like Jordan Matthews and Kelvin Benjamin.  Tyrod Taylor has been fairly accurate this year and has an 8/2 TD/INT ratio, which is great but McCown for the Jets has over 1800 yards, completed over 70% of his throws but has turned the rock over 7 times to his 12 TD’s.  Matt Forte called out his coordinator after the focused on the passing game in the rain last week more than him in the run game.  It was a close game that they ultimately lost to a Falcons team who seems to be lost after last years Super Bowl run.

The Jets added some offensive talent this past offseason but I’m still going to pick the Bills to cover in this one because the Jets are basically the same team as they were when they lost to the Bills earlier in the season and the Bills have upgraded in a key area of their offense, adding a big target.  After all, the Bills are 5-1-1 ATS.  The Jets are 5-2-1 (4-0 at home) but like I said, Bills improved and covered the spread in the week one matchup against these two and will do it again on the road this week.  Take the Bills to cover in the under, Bills 24-16.