NFL FOOTBALL PICKS - FREE WEEKLY ATS PREDICTIONS
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The Vikings are 5-0, the last remaining undefeated team in the league. The Eagles have dropped 2 straight after an impressive 3-0 start. Minnesota HC Mike Zimmer is a defensive veteran who will have watched film of Philadelphia’s last 2 games and should be able to establish a game plan to make Wentz uncomfortable. Both teams have had success on kick returns but Vikings PR Marcus Sherels (2 TDs) and KR Cordarrelle Patterson are especially dangerous. With the Vikings ascending and the Eagles descending, I feel comfortable laying less than a FG in this one.
Both of these teams have not played up to expectations this season although the bar for Green Bay was set much higher before the regular season got underway. The Packers have dominated this series over the past several seasons SU, but their current form does not instill a ton of confidence in their ability to cover a nine-point spread.
The better play in this one could be the UNDER on the 46-point total line. Both defenses are playing fairly well and it is hard to see Chicago scoring all that many points on offense.
This matchup could be just what the Cardinals need to start turning things around. New York’s current problems run deep on both sides of the ball, while the return of Palmer to the starting lineup should give Arizona a big boost on offense.
The extra half point on what opened as a touchdown spread is somewhat of a concern, but I still see the Cardinals playing to expectations to win this game both SU and ATS.
Pittsburgh is always a trendy pick because their offense ignites every field they tread upon. The Steelers have perhaps the most dynamic set of wide receivers and skill players in all of the NFL. The Black and Yellow also have a true tactician at head coach in Mike Tomlin combined with an experienced and seasoned quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger that knows how to catalyze the numbers. However, road points spotted to a home host is usually a dangerous practice in the NFL. When you throw in over a touchdown and it seems to leave takers exposed on the back end. Pittsburgh is a better football team than Miami there is no question about that. However, the stock in both teams are heading in different directions which presents a scenario where a true buy-low, sell-high angle comes in to the picture. Pittsburgh’s defense is not be any stretch what we are accustomed to seeing in their prime. Therefore, a play on the Over along with taking the points with Miami offers tremendous upside in this Week Six fixture.
Very rarely do we see the public heavily enamored by a pooch on the road like we have seen here with the Falcons going in to the Emerald City. Most of the time we do see favorites get most of the money, it’s often a matter of how much. However, Atlanta in this market seems to be a gift to any taker which compels us to stay clear of those offerings that seem too good to be true, because they almost always are. Seattle is known for a robust home field advantage and thus earned the syndicate name of the “12th Man”. Nevertheless, Atlanta has looked good in the early going but their defense looks suspect as usual. We have seen how Seattle handles teams of this nature in similar situations before. Case and point, Seattle’s destruction of San Francisco, followed up by a road assault against the New York Jets. Seattle has improved to a remarkable 3-1 even after they looked imperiled losing 9-3 against Los Angeles in a true defensive struggle. Atlanta’s defense makes them vulnerable week in and week out, we don’t care about what their record says. We will go ahead and spot the points.
Buffalo has defeated their opponents by 15, 16 and 11 points over the past 3 games and 2 of those opponents (NE & ARI) made the conference finals last year. The 49ers have lost 3 of their 4 games by 19, 19 and 12 points as they have had trouble staying competitive since Week 1. Kaepernick is better known for his full-blown afro and political stance than anything he has done on the field in over a year and I don’t see that changing this week. This game has all the hallmarks of a blowout.
Cincy is a desperate club this week but this is their 2nd-straight tough road assignment. The offense lacks an identity outside of Green and this isn’t a matchup they are likely to find it. The Pats didn’t resemble anything similar last week to the team that was shut out by Buffalo just the week before. These two teams last met in the infamous “On to Cincinnati” game in 2014, one week after the Pats were destroyed 41-14 by the Chiefs on Monday night. Their response? A 43-17 butt-kicking of the Bengals. I expect this to be another high-scoring affair and am very comfortable with an Over play in this one.
Both of these teams have been unimpressive at times this season, but I would have to give the slight edge to Houston playing at home. The Texans appear to still be the class of the watered-down AFC South and they are a much better team at NRG Stadium then playing on the road.
I was tempted to go with the UNDER in this game because I see the Colts struggling to put points on the board, but the “best bet” pick is to lay the three points and take the Texans to win both SU and ATS.
This is a huge early-season game for both clubs. Dallas is 4-1 and looking like they are for real and even the 2-3 Giants look like they can compete. The Eagles are 10-2 ATS in the second of back-to-back road games and are playing very well on both sides of the ball. They gave up TD passes on Detroit’s first 3 possessions last week and then limited them to a last-minute FG the rest of the way. Wentz has taken better care of the ball than Cousins and the Redskins signalcaller can expect a lot of pressure up front on passing downs. He has proven to get rattled in the past and I think the Eagles secondary can stay with these receivers if the pass rush is forcing quick throws.
Denver’s offense did take a step backwards without Siemian under center and Atlanta was able to move the ball on its vaunted defense on the ground with a 122 rushing yards in Sunday’s loss. None the less, the Broncos are still one of the best teams in the NFL playing a team that has basically forgotten how to win games.
While you never like to give points on the road in a division matchup, I am looking for the Broncos to quickly bounce back with a much better effort this Thursday night in this prime time matchup to win and cover the three-point spread.
The final betting line for both the spread and the total will hinge of Newton’s ability to play, but even if he is under center on Monday night I see the Panthers’ offense still struggling to score points. Carolina’s defense can only play better and it should be able to keep the Bucs in check to make this a low-scoring affair.
If the closing total line would dip lower than 41 points I might rethink this pick, but right now I remain pretty confident that each team will struggle to put more than 20 points on the board making by “best bet” pick for Monday night the UNDER.
The Bills are poised to be the sexier play after they pulled off a historic shutout win of the New England Patriots in Foxboro, last week and this is reflected in the heavy action on the Bills. Los Angeles has won three games in a row but that narrative pales in comparison to what Buffalo achieved and thus the favorable play here is the Bills with the points according to most. However, Los Angeles has yielded some impressive results in their own right, most notably a defensive win against Seattle where the Rams outdueled the Hawks 9-3. While many are expecting a defensive contest in light of the offensive struggles for both teams, this may be the game where both outfits finally showcase some proficiency on the offensive end of the ball.
There is not a team in all the NFL with higher stock right now than the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings defeated the New York Giants on Monday night remaining undefeated at 4-0. Almost always the winner of a featured primetime game is prone to an overreaction next week, especially when that team boasts an impressive record and resume season-to-date. Minnesota has taken down Green Bay and Carolina as to round off some of their more noteworthy victims. As a result, the Vikings are going to see heavy action from most of the public and the price reflects the market’s play on general perception of this team. The Vikings are likely spotting more points than necessary and this can also be chalked up to the fact Minnesota is playing this one at home as well. Houston is 3-1 for a reason, many should not be so quick to forget that Houston has plenty of weapons in their own right. However, regardless of whether Minnesota wins or not, the amount of takers willing to lay heavy juice on the Vikings outright is alarming enough to lay the team certainly in an against-the-spread scenario. Expect the Texans to keep this one close.
This game shapes up to be a score fest with both QBs chucking it most of the game. Fitzpatrick has made several gaffes on the year but does average 253 passing ypg. If he gets protection, he should be able to deliver some big throws. Big Ben threw 4 passes of 20 yards or longer last week and connected on 3 of them for 116 yards and 3 scores. If the Steelers get up early, they won’t let up. Conversely, New York will go to RB Matt Forte if they get a lead but only if he is making positive yardage. The number is less than 7 converted TDs and I like this game to go over the number.
The Eagles are 22-6 SU following their bye week and I don’t expect that to change this week. This game looks similar to last week’s DEN/TB game in that an expected big visiting favorite comes in with a low number. Philadelphia visits Washington next week but I don’t expect them to overlook a desperate Lions squad that needs a win badly to stop the bleeding.
This is a bad combination for the Giants in its second-straight road game against the NFC North. They are on a short week coming off a very shoddy effort facing a well-rested team coming off a bye.
Green Bay has already proven to be a successful betting team following a week off and that trend holds true this Sunday night. My “best bet” pick for this contest is to lay the seven points on the home team in another big prime time win at Lambeau.
Dallas has played food football in 2016 but I see this as a big step up in class for them. Dalton is better than any QB they have seen so far, as is Green. Cincinnati must get their ground game going and I believe they can get positive results in this matchup. The Bengals know they have to keep Elliott in check and I expect that to be their main priority. They will want Prescott to try and make plays from the pocket while they give him different looks on defense. With the Steelers and Ravens both at 3-1, this is a game the Bengals can’t lose.
Both teams are in desperate need of a win to avoid that dreaded 1-4 early hole, but you would have to think that Arizona should be able to rise to the occasion to get one even if Palmer is out of the lineup. The 49ers are a bad team and one that appears destined to only get worse as the season wears on.
That being said, I am still not all that thrilled going with Arizona as a road favorite given what I have seen from this offense so far. That could set the stage for a division rivalry grinder that once again stays UNDER the 42-point total line like it has for most of the recent head-to-head meetings in San Francisco.
Last Sunday the Giants demonstrated many of the traits that have led to three-straight losing seasons, while the Vikings rallied as a team in the face of devastating injuries to keep their winning streak alive.
I am not about to bet on New York turning things around or Minnesota slowing down. Betting on sports most times dictates that you keep on riding the hot hand until it cools and that is what I am doing this Monday night with my “best bet” pick that the Vikings cover at home.
Very rarely do we favor a road favorite spotting points to a home pooch while also going with the public for intent and purposes. However, we are not by any means suggesting this a qualitative play but we will go forth and lean on the Panthers in this one because they simply have the offense that Atlanta’s defense will probably have difficulty in solving. In fact, Carolina’s 1-2 start has made the Panthers ever more available but look at who they lost to: the defending Super Bowl Champions, the team that beat them, the Denver Broncos by just one point on the road to kick off the season and the undefeated Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings are the defending NFC North champions and the game was once again very close. Carolina is probably the best 1-2 team you will ever come across and this contest will be a prime market to showcase their supremacy which hasn’t lost a step by any means.