NFL Week 12: Thursday Night Game Pick & Prediction

Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans, NRG Stadium, 8:20 PM, FOX/NFLN (Texans -3.5, O/U: 46.5)

The fight for the top of the AFC South is on tonight. Both teams come into this one 6-4 with the Titans on their heels at 5-5 and the Jags within striking distance at 4-6.

The Colts won the first meeting between the 2 at home which came off of a bye. Brissett threw over 300 yards and for 4 TD’s in the game. He has since slowed a bit while also going down during the Steelers game that next week, missing the dolphins game and had a mediocre game last week against the Jags. Marlon Mack went off last week to supplement Brissett as he only has 14 carries but for 109 yards and a touchdown, averaging over 7 yards per carry.

The Texans are coming off a week that saw them get blown out on the road against a red hot Ravens team who covets the top rated offense. The Texans were seen as a team that was going to get into a shootout with Lamar Jackson but they were duds. They’ve found their identity however with Duke Johnson and Carlos Hyde splitting carries and keeping the balance of the offense while Watson finds those opportunities for chunk plays down field that can cut the field in half with 40-50 yard completions.

Short week tends to favor the home team and with the extra motivation after getting drubbed on the road, the Texans have the motivation despite how well the Colts have played on the road. Take the Texans to cover in the over, Texans 27-21.

NFL Week 10: Thursday Night Football

 Los Angeles Chargers @ Oakland Raiders, Oakland Coliseum, 8:20 PM, FOX/NFLN (Raiders +1.5, O/U: 48.5)

Where did last week’s Chargers come from? Home underdogs to the Packers and they blow them out in a huge upset. Rivers had a bunch of yards passing in the game but no scores and no picks, Mike Williams went off with only 3 catches but for 111 yards and Melvin Gordon finally came to life with 80 yards and 2 TD’s coupled with Ekeler’s 70 yards. It was powerful, smashmouth football. Ingram and Bosa beasted for 1.5 sacks each on Rodgers and kept him frustrated most of the night. The Raiders have been a shocking solid football team with a few close but good losses. A big win against the Lions at home after being away from home for well over a month and a half and they didn’t disappoint their fans with a big win against the Lions. Carr stayed efficient while throwing for 2 TD’s with Josh Jacobs rushing for over 100 yards and 2 scores. Granted the Lions don’t have a running game and Stafford was forced to throw 40 times, racking up over 400 yards through the air, the defense got after him a bit sacking him twice and picking him off once. Take the Raiders to cover in the win, in the over, Raiders 27-24.

NFL Week 9: Thursday Night Football Pick & Prediction

San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals, University of Phoenix Stadium. 8:20 PM, FOX/NFLN (Cardinals +10, O/U: 43.5)

Jimmy G and Nicky B are taking a red hot 8-0 show on the road to Arizona. The Cardinals are ripe for the picking as Vegas gave a super juicy line to a banged up Cardinals offense. Kyler has wheels but can they help him avoid a surging Bosa? It’s a similar line (given the 3 point swap for being home) to the Saints line last week and we saw how that went with a less dangerous defense. Take the 49ers to cover in the over, 49ers 31-17.

NFL Week 9: Thursday Night Football Pick & Prediction

San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals, University of Phoenix Stadium. 8:20 PM, FOX/NFLN (Cardinals +10, O/U: 43.5)

Jimmy G and Nicky B are taking a red hot 8-0 show on the road to Arizona. The Cardinals are ripe for the picking as Vegas gave a super juicy line to a banged up Cardinals offense. Kyler has wheels but can they help him avoid a surging Bosa? It’s a similar line (given the 3 point swap for being home) to the Saints line last week and we saw how that went with a less dangerous defense. Take the 49ers to cover in the over, 49ers 31-17.

NFL Week 8: Thursday Night Football Pick & Prediction

Washington Redskins @ Minnesota Vikings, U.S. Bank Stadium, 8:20 PM, FOX/NFLN (Vikings -16.5, O/U: 41.5)

The Redskins have been a mess with the only bright spot being a win against the lowly Dolphins. Former Vikings quarterback Case Keenum gets the nod in a welcoming back to Minnesota to a place where he nearly took the Vikes to a super bowl birth just a few short years ago when he led them to an 11-3 record. Peterson and Thompson are both dealing with injuries so the Redskins will be relying heavily on Keenum. Kirk Cousins has seen a resurgence after his last prime time appearance. After being called out and apologizing to Adam Thielen, Cousins has thrown for at least 300 yards and have at least a 135 passer rating or better in three straight games, which makes him the first NFL quarterback to do so in history. The offense is firing on all cylinders these days as Cook has 5 games over 100 rushing yards and is right behind CMC in many statistical categories and Diggs has enjoyed 3 straight 100+ yard games after a slow start due to Cousins. This one is bound to get ugly. Take the Vikings to cover in the under, Vikings 31-10.

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.