NFL FOOTBALL PICKS - FREE WEEKLY ATS PREDICTIONS
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New York cannot improve its playoff position with a victory on Sunday, but it would still love nothing better than to eliminate its division rival from the postseason, so look for a full four-quarter effort to win this game. The Redskins already won the first meeting this season on the road, so they should have the slight edge this time around on their home field.
Both teams have demonstrated to ability to move the ball quickly down the field when their quarterback gets hot. I think that Manning and Cousins are each set up to have a good day throwing the ball in a game that should go OVER the current 49-point line.
Even though the Lions appeared to be a lock to win the NFC North and are now left fighting for their playoff life, this is still one of the better balanced teams in the NFC. Head coach Jim Caldwell is already under fire, but I see his team rallying with a much better effort this week. The Cowboys may not even need this game if the Giants lose on Thursday night, so I would question their motivation level on Monday night.
I would think that Dallas still gets the SU win at home, but I honestly believe that the Lions will fight tooth and nail to keep things closer than seven points.
The Packers/Vikings rivalry is one for the ages and with the playoff implications on the lines here it is essentially a do-or-die situation for Minnesota. The Vikings have certainly appeared more human after being the NFL’s top team in the first half of the regular season. The Packers have won in four in a row as mentioned and with this portfolio of results comes a likely overreaction. When you toss in the narrative that the Packers get the Vikings at home in late December, nostalgia may actually steer the consensus. The Packers are known for a robust home field advantage at Lambeau Field. The Packers are a very tough team to beat in Green Bay this time of year and the market is basing itself around this scenario. Given the fact the Vikings were pummeled last week, while Green Bay extended their winning streak we have a typical buy-low sell-high situation. Minnesota can lose this game but still cover as the Packers are likely to implore an inflated number on any taker by virtue of their namesake alone. We will have no part of this and there is a reason why extra juice is required to take Minnesota against the spread. The books are banking on the Vikings covering and with that being said, we will go ahead and fade the public in this one.
Warm weather teams may find themselves in all sorts of trouble this time of year. The ecosystem in the Midwest is far contrasting to the warm and temperate sunny shores of San Diego. The Bolts love to throw the ball as well and they may be relying on this initiative even more with respect to injuries that have hampered their rushing department even more. With this being said, San Diego may have a lot of trouble playing in these frigid temperatures which to the Browns is another day at the office. Cleveland is hungry for their first win and situationally on paper this scenario sets up perfectly for them to just that. San Diego is not a good enough football team to spotting points to anyone, including Cleveland. With Cleveland ever inching closer to infamy, the Browns will come out in desperation to avoid the stigma of being the second winless team in NFL history. While there is likely a mass exodus on queue for many of the Browns’ talent in the off-season, the fact remains they have one more chance to give their fans something to cheer about on Christmas morning. While the weather may play a factor in this affair, many may feel inclined to hop on the Under. However, the weather will only truly influence San Diego’s efforts. Cleveland may not just win this one but do so convincingly.
Tampa Bay is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 visits to The Big Easy and need to win their last 2 games for a shot at a playoff berth. Their defense came up big in their last encounter with New Orleans and allowed an average of 13 ppg during their recent winning streak. The defense gives up yards but toughens up on their side of the field. The Saints offense has been very up-and-down over the past month, scoring 49, 13, 11 and 48 points in their last 4 games. I believe a healthier Martin and the Buccaneers defense will do enough to get a big road win for the visitor this week.
This game features 2 teams going in wildly different directions. Tennessee needs to win this game to set up a division-clinching battle with Houston next week. The Jaguars have 2 wins all year and will draft in the Top 5 again next year. The Titans’ run game is strong and while Mariota hasn’t been great the past 2 weeks, he’s been good enough to get wins. Doug Marrone is the interim head coach for Jacksonville and it’s not likely he can right the ship in the next 2 weeks. Look for Tennessee to be productive in the run game and for the defense to force Bortles into mistakes. The Jaguars have an edge in this series in recent years but I expect that trend to falter this week.
This matchup is shaping up to be another low-scoring grinder between two teams that will simply try and outlast one another. Weather is not expected to be a major factor with milder temperatures forecast for Christmas night, but it is still easy to see why the total line has been set so low for this game.
I am going to default to the better overall team playing at home as my rational for betting on the Chiefs to win and cover the four points on Sunday night.
The Patriots need to win this game to maintain their No.1 seed for the playoffs. New York is finishing a very difficult season and getting a look at Petty to see if he is in their future plans. He will have a better chance at success if he looks more at Marshall and Enunwa, especially in this game. The Jets were blown out 49-19 in 2012 by New England but every game since has been decided by 9 or fewer points and the Jets have actually won a few of those games. While I expect the Pats to win this game, I think some pride and competitiveness still remains with these Jet players and they will give a decent accounting of themselves. They must do 2 things in this game; run the ball affectively and mount some pressure on Brady.
New York needs this game much more than Philly and it also has a big edge in momentum with its recent play. The Eagles will still put up a good fight against a bitter division rival, but the end result is highly unlikely to change given that they continue to find ways to lose games they actually had a chance to win.
On a short week, take the Giants and lay the three points as they pull off the season sweep against Philadelphia.
Carolina is forced to ride out the string following one of its best seasons in franchise history, but there is still a sense of pride with this team to put up a decent fight against the Redskins. Washington remains one of those teams that most times does find a way to win, but always keeps things interesting to the final gun.
I would lean towards taking Carolina and the points in this matchup in what could very well be a three-point game either way. The Panthers would still like to finish the season on a high note and Washington has already proven that it likes to win games the hard way.
What we have here is likely as a result of the apparent comeback the Ravens put together on Monday night against New England on the road. While Baltimore still lost, they Ravens trailed by 20 at one point before getting the difference to within a field goal. However, New England’s atypically poor play paved the way for Baltimore to come back and it was by no means a prime indicator of Baltimore’s faculties as a football team. There were many questionable play calls by Jim Harbaugh and as a result Baltimore beat themselves even when New England gave them every chance to actually win the game let alone come back. While the Eagles may be 1-6 ATS in their previous seven, you simply cannot trust the Ravens with points. This is a football team whose 7-6 record does not reflect the true quality of this team. Baltimore is not a good football team. While the Eagles may have since derailed in their own right, much of the public is probably staying clear by the play of their rookie quarterback. Nevertheless, the Eagles are due for a win and the Ravens will likely give the Eagles a chance at acquiring that win. The sheer volume of points here is worth targeting as there is a significant chance here that we may see the Ravens overvalued prone to fail to cover yet again by virtue of an overlay. Philadelphia is the same team that beat Atlanta on the road and Detroit at home this season and there is no reason to suspect they cannot win this one outright.
From the onset, the early action on the BIlls, is almost a platitude of Cleveland’s abysmal campaign. This is assuredly an overreaction to what was witnessed last week with Cleveland being pummeled yet again. However, in spite of the Bills getting buried in the snow on their own field by Pittsburgh, this team is spotting over double-digit points and summarily the public has more trust in this situation even with enhanced juice. Very rarely do we get an opportunity to lay a team that continues to lose, take back a significant amount of points and do so at a cheaper price. Sure, Cleveland may be 0-10 ATS in their last ten matches up but the Bills are 1-7 ATS in their last eight, failing to cover in three consecutive games as well. On another note, we see here 99% of the public liking the Bills outright on the Money Line. Considering the price here and the notion it is free money, do not be surprised if the Browns crush everyone’s bankroll here and pull off their first win. We have seen a similar narrative taken shape in the Over/Under market where the Under seems to be the trendy play. Let us remind everyone that the Browns and Bills have two of the worst defenses in all of the NFL. As maligned as their offenses are, their defenses will likely provide concessions in what will likely be a shootout contrary to popular belief.
The Raiders are 10-5 ATS in their last 15 matchups with San Diego and 6-1 ATS in their last 7 visits. They are still in the divisional hunt as they only need a slip-up by Kansas City to reclaim top spot in the division. Carr was dreadful last week but should bounce back with rest. I expect Rivers to pass for a fair amount of yardage but also to commit a few costly TOs. The Raiders lead with league with a +15 TO differential and will be poised to capitalize on any Chargers miscues. The line is only a FG and I expect Oakland to build on their 6-1 SU away-from-home record (including game in Mexico City) this week.
The Packers are allowing only 12 ppg during their winning streak as the defense has really stepped up their game. They had 5 interceptions and harassed Seahawks’ QB Russell Wilson for most of the game. Despite Rodgers’ limitations, he is making plays with regularity while Montgomery’s transformation into a RB has also been a big positive for the offense. Green Bay is 15-3 ATS in their last 18 visits to Chicago and 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games. They are very much in the playoff hunt and won’t overlook their biggest (although undermanned) rival in a crucial game.
The Steelers are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 visits to Paul Brown Stadium. This has become a very fierce rivalry in recent years, especially since LB Vontaze Burfict joined the Bengals. Pittsburgh has a 1-game lead in the division and host Baltimore next week. I don’t expect the Steelers to overlook this divisional foe before they face their biggest rival. Look for the Pittsburgh pass rush to have a big day and for Bell to continue his torrid pace.
Bettors obviously fear that there are some deeper cracks in the foundation with Dallas by edging this spread down to a touchdown after it opened at 7.5 points. Tampa Bay is a solid playoff team this season, but it is hard to completely discount everything that the Cowboys have accomplished before failing to cover in their last three games.
I am going to roll the dice that Dallas does return to form in front of the home-town crowd this Sunday night by covering the touchdown spread against the Bucs.
The Rams have been able to play their division rivals rather tough in recent years, but they could be in for a tough go of things this time around on the road against a Seattle team that quickly needs to get back on track in hopes of pulling off a deep run in the postseason.
Giving up nearly two touchdowns to any division opponent is never an ideal bet, but given just how bad Los Angeles has looked over the entire second half of the season, I will still lay the points and take Seattle to cover.
The current seven-point spread in this game has PUSH written all over it with New England getting the SU win by a touchdown. If it does happen to move a half point either way you may want bet accordingly. My “best bet” pick in this conference battle is the UNDER on the current 45-point total line.
I see each team’s defense really stepping up its game on Monday night to make life tough on both Flacco and Brady for all four quarters.
The Texans rank 5th in pass defense allowing 208.4 yards per game, but they haven’t been as sharp in recent weeks allowing six of their last eight opponents to pass for over 230 yards and they’ve allowed QBs to complete 67.4 percent of their passes over their last five games. Last time these tgwo clubs met Houston racked up a season high 414 yards and the 26 points were only one shy of their season high total of 27. The Colts offense is in top form right now scoring 96 points over the last three games with Luck. WR Donte Moncrief has become a TD machine scoring one in each of his last five games since returning from an injury. The last game meeting resulted in 49 points nad there’s no reason to think that number can’t be matched or surpassed this week.
The Redskins are still in the playoff hunt while the Eagles are out. Washington’s offense is playing at a much higher level than Philadelphia’s (14 ppg last 3 games, all losses) and their passing game should give this defense lots of problems. They also get the edge at QB as Cousins is also playing much better than Wentz right now. The Skins have won the last four matchups in this series and with the spread only one point, I look for them to make it five in a row with a big road win this week.