NFL FOOTBALL PICKS - FREE WEEKLY ATS PREDICTIONS
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The assumption here is that Ravens undefeated streak will finally come to an end be that the Birds are finally facing a team of consequence even if it is in Baltimore. Furthermore, Oakland has had this team’s number look no further than last year. When you couple this narrative with the fact Oakland is undefeated on the road this year, the Raiders look like a sure-fire play. Nevertheless, when we see the public heavily favoring a pooch something needs to set off an alarm. Generally, dogs are never played on that’s why they are underdogs but when we see significant action on a pooch, usually that signifies a trap play fading the favorite. Baltimore is not giving away much here and if they were to win yet again it would likely be a nail-biter. Baltimore will get it done once again.
Detroit has won the last 6 matchups between these two clubs and is 6-2 ATS in the last 8 overall meetings. It has been almost a calendar year since Chicago won a home game and I don’t see that streak being broken this week. The Lions can pass the ball while the Bears defense has struggled to contain 3 QBs with a combined 10 NFL starts before this week. Stafford is a long-time starter and should pick apart this secondary. I expect Chicago to put up a fight against a division rival but their dearth of talent at several positions will doom them in the end.
The Chief have already struggled in their first road game this year and they are coming into a very hostile environment this Sunday night at Heinz Field against a Steelers’ team looking to take out some frustration from last week’s loss.
The betting public continues to bet down the spread in this matchup, but that only makes Pittsburgh an even more attractive play. Lay the 5.5 points and bet on the Steelers to quickly return to form in front of the home-town crowd.
This looks like a trap game for Denver this week but I’m not buying it. Coming off a big conference road win last week, the Broncos won’t take the Buccaneers lightly. Winston does commit TOs but he has some weapons on offense, namely WRs Mike Evans and Adam Humphries (19 catches, 232 yards, 1 TD last week). They know their run defense hasn’t been up to par but expect DC Wade Phillips to come up with a plan to contain Sims, a dangerous runner in his own right. Some questioned how Siemian would respond in his first road contest against a perennial playoff team last Sunday and he answered all the questions. The line is only a FG and I expect the more talented Broncos to get another cover on the road this week.
This almost becomes a must-win game at home for Cincinnati as one of the top teams in the AFC, but Miami is not about to make things easy after putting together a solid performance on offense the past two weeks.
My first thought was to go with the Dolphins and the seven points on the road, but I think that both of these teams will score enough points to take the total OVER BetOnline’s current 44.5-point betting line.
Given the early numbers for both team’s gun-slinging quarterbacks you would expect an old-fashioned shootout on Monday night at the Superdome, especially since it is pretty obvious that neither team is going to scare anyone with their defense.
This makes it very tempting to test BetOnline’s hefty 53.5-point total line in this game, but I am going to still go with New Orleans minus the three points at home. This Saints definitely have their problems on both sides of the ball, but they also have the ability to elevate their game in prime time matchups.
Defense almost always beats offense when the chips are down. San Francisco has no semblance of offense, while Seattle’s defense looks like their traditional Legion of Boom selves. There is a reason why Seattle has dominated this series as of late, they simply play a better brand of football than San Francisco. Seattle’s offensive approach is traditional yet methodical and we would like to imagine the Hawks can generate success against this extremely porous San Francisco defense. Conversely, the 49ers won’t have a response as their offense has been marred by inconsistency. In addition, the Seahawks will likely get their starting running back to return for this game on Sunday. His name is Thomas Rawls. Rawls has emerged as a revelation for the Seahawks and he has established himself as the primary option in the post-Beast Mode aka Marshawn Lynch era. San Francisco’s secondary is generally weak, Lockett should feast. The difference in results for San Francisco when facing Los Angeles and Carolina demonstrates how vulnerable the Niners are against experienced and prolific quarterbacks. This game should be no different.
Early money in rolled in on the Eagles in this contest and since then the public has shifted their focus toward the Steelers who are now spotting just above a field goal. Philadelphia has the hot hand right now and they are the benefactors of getting the Steelers at home. Initially we anticipated an overreaction to materialize in the direction of Philly, given their impressive result fostered on Monday night. No such occurrence has taken shape and not too long ago last year we saw Pittsburgh offered in a similar market when they visited the New York Jets. Almost all were on the Steelers laying away points and the Jets won the contest outright. It wouldn’t be any surprising if this course of events were to occur again. While everyone is expecting a shootout, we will once again lay that heavy lean banking on the defenses perhaps overcompensating to keep this contest a game of possessions.
The Redskins appear to be reeling right now while New York’s big offseason investment on the defensive side of ball appears to be paying off. They shut down the Saints last week, a team that gauged them for 608 yards and 7 TDs only a season ago. Manning is playing well and he won’t force the action Beckham Jr.s way if he isn’t open. I look for the Giants to get a big win at home this week and move to 3-0 on the year.
Both of these teams need this win as both penciled this matchup for a victory when the schedule came out. The Titans are a better club than they were in 2015 but the offense isn’t producing points. Oakland is scoring lots of points but has allowed 500+ yards of offense in each of their first 2 outings, the first team since the ‘67 Falcons to achieve that dubious mark. The Raiders failed as a home favorite last week but have been a good road dog in recent years. I see their offense scoring just enough points to get a big road cover this week.
Chicago appears to be a team that is in serious trouble, while the Cowboys are playing with a new-found air of confidence despite the fact that Tony Romo remains out of the lineup. I am just not sure that the actual gap between the two teams justifies BetOnline’s seven-point spread.
Desperation can sometimes lead to inspired play and the Bears might actually be better off if Hoyer gets the start. Look for the Cowboys to get the SU win in Big D, but I am taking the Bears to cover with the points.
Arizona is clearly the better team but will have some issues to deal with. They are travelling cross country (never easy for west coast teams) for an early Sunday game and have to deal with a very mobile QB. The Bills did score 31 points last week against a decent defense but I expect the Cards to be ready. I don’t see WRs Marquise Goodwin and Greg Salas hauling in 70+ yard TD receptions again and Watkins will have a very tough test in CB Patrick Peterson. The Cardinals have a very balanced offense but can burn teams with the passing game if they see a favorable matchup. I see the Arizona WRs having a big day against the Bills’ CBs and expect the visitor to get a cover on the road in this contest.
Both teams come in hot off a fast start and while you would think that this game would be the early stumbling block without Brady, New England appears to be a team possessed in its mission to win these first four games to prove a point to the entire league.
It is not all that often that you can get New England and a few points in a game at Gillette Stadium, so I am jumping on the opportunity with a “best bet” pick that the Patriots move to 3-0 behind whichever quarterback is calling the plays.
Philadelphia did have the benefit of playing Cleveland at home on opening day, but it still looked good on both sides of the ball while Chicago’s struggles on offense appeared to have carried over from last year when it was ranked 21st in the NFL in total yards and 23rd in scoring.
I went with the Eagles last week laying 3.5 points at home and I am going to ride them again with the three points on the road this week as my “best bet” pick for Monday night.
The Saints have always had two issues that have held them back from going to the next level. The first issue is that the Saints do not play well outside of the Superdome. New Orleans has lost many games they should have won both in the regular season and in the playoffs when they were away from home. Second, New Orleans has had and continues to deal with many woes on defense. Look no further than the Saints producing 500 yards of offense and 34 points and losing….Simply put the lack of defense by the Saints combined with the Giants’ home-field advantage should be enough for us to lay the visiting points. While this game may in fact be yet another shootout, the Giants have the intangibles in their favor. Expect this game to not be as much of a shootout as we saw last year, when there was over 100 total points scored and over 1,000 yards of offense.
Last year Indianapolis squared off with Denver and the Broncos were considered a lock to win the game. The Colts would come up with the victory. Now the consensus finds themselves a bit more divided about the next edition in this budding rivalry. However, what Denver’s defense has done as of recent is historic. The Broncos defense in consecutive games dating back to the 2015 Playoffs have shut down Pittsburgh, New England with Tom Brady and now Carolina twice. Good defensive teams do not pull of feats like this but great ones certainly do. Offense win games and as Denver has vividly shown us, defense wins championship. The Broncos will dictate the pace of this game and absolutely dominate the Colts who are still reeling from Detroit’s invasion of Lucas Oil Stadium. Scoring will likely be kept to a minimum contrary to popular belief as Denver wins games with their defense. The result should be no different here.
Oakland has failed miserably in the recent past as a favourite but I like them this week. They have a better offense; especially the o-line and can find the end zone from in close. While their defense was exposed last week, I think they will do better against an offense that has struggled on third down and in the red zone for over their past 10 games. Atlanta is 2-8 SU over that span and I expect the Raiders to improve to 2-0 in their home opener.
Washington is 8-3 ATS in the last 11 games they have hosted Dallas. Cousins played very well at home last season and I expect him to bounce back from a subpar performance. He wasn’t sacked in the opener and faces a team limited in pass rushers. The Skins have to stay with the run as they became too one-dimensional vs. Pittsburgh. Also, look for CB Josh Norman to stay with Bryant after WR Antonio Brown lit up the Redskins without Norman covering him.
Neither team in this division clash was at its best on opening day, but they both found ways to come away with a win. I would expect a much better showing from both under the prime time lights of US Bank Stadium, but in the end I still have the slight edge going to Green Bay as the better all-around team.
Look for Rodgers to have a big night in Minnesota’s new digs with the memory of that late-season loss to the Vikings last season that cost Green Bay the NFC North title still pretty fresh in his head. Lay the points on the road team with the Packers winning both SU and ATS.
You can’t make a living taking divisional road favorites but I think the Ravens rate a play here. They are 7-1 ATS in their last eight visits to Cleveland and they have a lot more talent on both sides of the ball. I can see their defense dominating an offense that has a new QB and doesn’t do anything particularly well. While the Baltimore offense is far from dynamic, Flacco has the arm to hurt this team deep and the addition of WR Mike Wallace (66-yard TD last week) allows the deep ball to be incorporated back into the Ravens offense. I think it will be a long day for the Browns this Sunday.