NFL FOOTBALL PICKS - FREE WEEKLY ATS PREDICTIONS
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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.
There is no doubt that Oakland remains one of the hottest teams in the league and it has been especially good on the road this season. The Chiefs continue to find ways to win games, but they are going to have their hands full this Sunday at home.
I am going to stick with the Raiders in this huge division showdown. Their AFC West Division title chances hang in the balance given that earlier loss to Kansas City so I like their chances to even the score this time around.
There is something missing with both of these teams this season, but the Colts still have the overall edge in a head-to-head matchup with Luck back in the lineup. Another thing in the road team’s favor is that Indianapolis is playing for a division title, while the Jets are probably playing for the head coach’s job.
I believe there is quite a bit of value in the OVER on the total line in this matchup given both team’s struggles on defense, but my “best bet” pick is to lay the 2.5 points and take Indianapolis to cover.
Given the fact Tampa Bay has racked up three straight victories on the road, this one seems like a no-brainer to much of the public. Tampa Bay’s two most recent victories are enough alone to sell the Buccaneers as they own a victory at home against Seattle and a triumph away from Florida against the Kansas City Chiefs. Furthermore, San Diego has had a terrible time getting the running game going as they average less than 100 rushing yards per game. All these narratives are working on the psyche of the public in this one as the expectation here is Tampa Bay is underpriced and primed to roll the Bolts at home in an offensive-oriented affair. However, this perspective may be most hazardous as San Diego’s defense may show up and give this Tampa Bay a very difficult time in a defensive-oriented affair. We have seen Tampa Bay’s offense stall on numerous occasions. If Phillip Rivers is able to move the chains effectively as he has, San Diego may rout the Bucs let alone beat them and cover.
As mentioned, both Chicago wins this season were at Soldier Field and achieved against some premiere competition. The Bears handily defeated the Minnesota Vikings and the Detroit Lions both of whom are fighting for playoff position at the present moment. Although Chicago has lost nine games this season, they have looked more competitive as of late as they took games with the Tennessee Titans and New York Giants far in to the fourth quarter. The fact remains the Niners have lost ten in a row and they can’t be trusted. In some markets Chicago was spotting nearly a field goal at one point, the fact we have them at a near-Pick Em makes this play even easier to lay the road point to perhaps the worst team in the NFL.
Both teams are coming off a bad loss, but the overall picture still points to two teams headed in opposite directions. While the Panthers’ downward spiral is likely to continue, Seattle has already proven itself to be a very resilient team that knows how to quickly bounce back from a bad loss.
The current spread has dipped a half point in my favor after opening at seven so there in no doubt that I am going with Seattle to cover at home on Sunday night.
Jacksonville is playing out the string during a very disappointing season. It could be over for the GM David Caldwell/HC Gus Bradley regime after 4 seasons and the players know it. They have stayed in a lot of games but just can’t seem to win any. Denver still has the Patriots, Chiefs and Raiders on their schedule and can’t allow a letdown in this one. I expect Siemian to outplay Bortles and for the Broncos defense to make up for their 4th quarter/OT slide last week.
Cincinnati has won 1 game since September 29th, a 31-17 victory over winless Cleveland. Dalton is not playing well, the o-line has been in flux all year and injuries have taken 2 of their better players away. Philadelphia has lost 4 of their past 5 games but all to quality opponents. The Bengals defense has also allowed a TD on the opening drive in 6 of the past 8 games. If Wentz gets off to a quick start, the offense should be able to sustain drives and tire out a defense that has had to be on the field too long in recent weeks. I don’t expect a renaissance of the Cincinnati offense this Sunday and with the spread only 1 point, I’ll take the hungry visitor to get back on track.
This is a huge game for both teams. The Bills are teetering on a playoff berth and a big win here could be a big step in ending the league’s longest playoff drought. Oakland is tied with New England at 9-2 atop the AFC and would love nothing better than securing a 1st-round bye into the playoffs. Oakland has won 5 in a row but play 3 of their last 4 games on the road, all against division rivals. They won’t overlook a Bills team that while unglamorous, can still get tough wins. If the Raiders defense can keep the Bills running game in check, I believe their offense can do enough to get a big win at home.
Dallas has already proven itself to be the best balanced team in the league when it comes to playing all three phases of the game and, with the exception of last week’s tight victory against Washington, it has proven itself to be the best betting team in the NFL as well by consistently covering the spread.
When a team is this hot it really does not make any sense to go against it. There is always a possibility that this could be the week that Dallas stumbles, but I am still going with the Cowboys on the road minus the points as my “best bet” pick for Thursday night.
It is hard to think of Green Bay as a team to consistently go against right now, but its recent play on the field also makes it hard to think that it can turn things around. The Eagles have been a much better team at home this season and they have always been able to rise to the occasion to keep their record from falling below the .500 mark.
I would probably go with the OVER in this game given just how many points the Packers have been giving up lately, but my “best bet” pick is to take Philly at home both SU and ATS.
The big difference to me in this game is that Josh McCown will be the starter. Statistically his numbers haven’t been as good as Cody Kessler, but the team seems to some extra jump in their step when he is behind center. Early in the season he a good connection with WR Corey Coleman and in Coleman’s third game back I think the timing should be back to what it was in Week 2 when Coleman caught 8 balls for 105 yards and 2 TDs. I also think that the defense will do OK against the visitor who will unlikely be able to exploit the Cleveland’s biggest weakness their run defense. The Giants are dealing with some offensive line injuries and even with better health they struggled to move the ball on the ground ranking 31st in rushing yards per game . Can the Browns win this game? Probably not, but New York has not won any of their games by more than 7 points this season.
It’s hard to convince anyone to buy in Cincinnati at this point be that they have been very inefficient and a liability up to this point. However, if there was a time to opt in, now would be it. The fact remains true that Cincinnati has won their last six against Baltimore heading in to this affair, so it safe to say the records can be tossed out as the Bengals likely bode the psychological edge. This is a prime chance for Cincy to get themselves out of their rut. While Cincinnati’s playoff aspirations may have seemed to be placed on ice, a win here would be great for morale if nothing else. Given the fact the Bengals come with added points, they may be the stronger of two options in this market as Baltimore’s inconsistencies makes them a risky play spotting these points. Let us not forget the Ravens have also been on a bad stretch as they are just 2-4 in their last six contests.
The Jets enter in the perfect position to sneak up on the Patriots. The Jets’ stock has plummeted only further with each episode of the soap opera surrounding this team. The Jets need a win to hang their hat on this season and nothing would typify this better than defeating their hated foe who seems destined for bigger and better things. The Jets’ season is wrapped up, now it is all for pride. The Jets have won the last meeting between both sides and you have to imagine this is the game they will enter with reckless abandon. While New England has the momentum and assuredly stronger unit, the Jets have home field advantage. New York is known to get to behind their teams whenever it’s a rivalry scenario against anything to do with Boston, Massachusetts and the entire region known as New England. The Jets Nation will be out in droves for this contest and likely spark the engine of the Jets who have been depleted as of late. While New England may win this game, it will certainly be a hard fought one against a hated rival.
The main concern that I have in this game is the health of the Redskins offensive line. If Nsekhe can play the majority of the game I think that Washington will have plenty of opportunities in the passing game. That would probably turn this game into who has the ball last wins type of match. Because I can’t forecast how that is going to work out, I’m going to get some safety in a teaser bet. Check around a bit there are some 7’s still on the board. Wash +13 and Over 45.
San Francisco allows a league-worst 31.3 points per game and has lost by 12+ points in 7 of their 9 losses. Their defense is a sieve vs. the run and that plays right into Miami’s hands. With the weaknesses of the AFC North and South divisions, the Dolphins are battling 3 AFC West teams for 3 playoff positions. They play 3 of their next 4 games on the road and need this win to keep their playoff hopes alive. I don’t see them easing off the gas in this one and despite the 7.5 points, I’ll take them against a 49ers team that has to travel across the country and play an early game in an attempt to thwart a club-record 10th- -straight loss.
The Bears are 2-8 and are amongst the most injury-ravaged teams in the league. On top of that, they are missing 2 key players to suspension. Throw in the fact Barkley is making his first career start and things don’t look good in the windy city. Despite last week’s loss, Tennessee remains in the AFC South picture and still plays Houston at home in Week 17. With Murray and Mariota hot right now, I see the Titans running away from a team, that while game, just doesn’t have the horses to compete right now. Chicago is also 3-12 SU in their last 15 home games.
Detroit has all the momentum. As mentioned they enter this game with wins in five of their last six. In comparison Minnesota has a single win in their last five games. They should have all the confidence in the world facing a team that they have already defeated this season on the road. The Lions are on a roll at home winning four straight with the only loss this season at Ford’s Field by one point to the Titans in an injury filled game in Week 2. The host is undervalued.
Sunday night’s division matchup at Sports Authority Field is shaping up to be a grinder between two of the stingiest defenses in the league. Neither team has played all that well on offense lately so I would not look to either one to suddenly have a breakout game putting points on the board.
The oddsmakers have acted accordingly with a such a low total line (39.5), but I still cannot see final score adding up to 40 points or more so I am still going with the UNDER as my “best bet” pick.
Despite their loss last week, the Saints are still in the NFC South race. They host the Lions next week before playing 3 of their last 4 on the road. They need this win and can’t afford a loss. Los Angeles is playing out the string and aren’t serious playoff contenders. I expect a rested, focused New Orleans squad to score early and often and get a badly-needed cover at home.