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Houston’s fifth-ranked scoring defense (20.1 points per game) will set the pace for this affair and dictate from the get-go. The Texans rushing attack ranks 6th in the NFL producing 130.4 yards per game and Houston will deploy this approach to keep Philly’s 27th-ranked defense in terms of total yardage against per game (385.6 yards per game) to keep Philadelphia’s offense off the field, extend their possessions to create more scoring chances, and neutralize the hostile crowd. The Texans earned their 11th win of the season while also getting their first victory against Philadelphia in their franchise’s history.
The Chiefs continue to feel the pressure from Los Angeles in a tight division race and Seattle's margin for error to earn a wild-card playoff spot is getting rather slim. With so much on the line for either team, I actually see the defense being the focal point of this game.
Kansas City should win and cover if it plays to form, but my ‘best bet’ pick for Sunday night is the UNDER on an inflated total line.
With all of that said, we fully expect the Patriots to handle business at home this week. The Bills are preparing for next year’s draft, as the Patriots look to get healthy as they’ll roll into the playoffs in a couple weeks.
This could end up being a very competitive game between two of the better play calling head coaches in the league between, Kyle Shanahan and Matt Nagy. The Bears are 3-3 on the road this season, while the 49ers are 4-3 when playing at home. Given the recent success of the Bears defense against offenses like the Rams and the Packers, we expect them to hold up well against a Nick Mullens led offense.
Each of these teams needs a win on Saturday night to help its chance to lock up a division title, but my lean is towards Los Angeles at home as the better all-around ball club. Jackson has provided a spark at quarterback, but this game comes down to the Ravens’ defense trying to slow down the potent Chargers’ offense.
The Saints are one of the top teams in the NFL this season when playing to form. However, Carolina can still be a big thorn in their side in this home-and-home series over the next three weeks.
New Orleans has been an excellent road team all year long, but there has to be some concern with covering six points on the road against a very desperate division foe. I will take those six points and Carolina ATS on Monday night.
If Minnesota wins out, they return to the post-season. Given how they have looked as of late combined with the hype that surrounded this team due to their performance last season, anything less than a playoff berth would be unacceptable for this Vikings bunch. Minnesota won't make the mistake of taking Miami lightly, and they have the benefit of having their faithful behind them in this contest. For New England, neither of the two applied. Minnesota will win this one by convincing margins.
Games do not get any bigger than this in the month of December. The Chiefs have set the pace in the AFC West all season long since that Week 1 win, but the Chargers have remained right on their heel’s week after week. One way or the other, this is going to be a great way to kick off Week 15.
Since I have a field goal winning this game for either team, I will take the Chargers and the 3.5 points on the current betting line to cover ATS.
When these two teams met last season in Los Angeles, there were significant playoff implications for both sides. Coming into this matchup, the Eagles are one more loss away from sealing an early trip to the offseason. The Rams know just how important that No. 1 seed in the NFC would be to their Super Bowl chances, so I am expecting a quick return to form.
While I am not all that thrilled to lay the nine points in this NFC clash, I just cannot see Philly keeping things closer than 10 points against the Rams playing at home.
The last time we saw these two teams play was back in Week 1 when the Bears blew a 20-point lead and Aaron Rodgers returned from injury in the second half and led them to a 24-23 victory. With how well the Bears defense performed against the Rams this past week at home, it's tough to pick against them this week.
Expect both teams to come out at the top of their game, both looking to prove something here in Week 15. Perhaps we’ll see the Steelers revert back to their ways of going for two-points rather than kicking the extra point given the uncertainty at the kicker position. We’ll take Brady and Belichick on the road this week. Bet on New England to take down Pittsburgh in Week 15.
This is a must-win game for both teams in the competitive race for a wild-card spot in the NFC. The Vikings have had their issues winning in Seattle in recent years, and there is nothing that tells me they can reverse that negative trend against a Seahawks' team building some solid momentum in an effort to get back to the playoffs.
Lay the three points and take Seattle at home both SU and ATS.
The Rams have established themselves as the team to beat in the NFC, but they have not always done it in a convincing fashion with a number of close calls along the way. Chicago was on the road to elite status in the conference, but last Sunday’s stunning loss brought it back to earth.
The play in this one hinges on Trubisky's playing status. With his current "questionable status", I will lay the points and take the Rams to cover.
Dallas on the road will undoubtedly be a significant step-up for the Eagles in competitive quality compared to beating up on a snake-bitten Washington team on their own turf, last Sunday. The writing is on the wall with this one, as the Eagles went from a 5.5-point favorite last week (despite covering by 7.5 points over the number) to an initial four-point underdog this week before initial public action on Philadelphia pushed the champs to their present offering. This 9.5-point swing showcases the market's reluctance to buy into a repeat performance like we saw on Sunday Night by Philly and we will take such a position as well. Dallas wins and covers on its own field to keep its late-season surge flowing.
While the Redskin injuries have severely damaged the post-season outlook of Washington, they are still in contention for the NFC East or a wildcard berth in the playoffs as they are right in the thick of both races. A win here keeps those hopes alive. For New York, they remain at the bottom of the division and towards the basement of the conference with their season pretty much called a wrap. We posed the query of the wrong team being favored here, and that is only heightened by motivation levels here as well. Skins win outright.
Jacksonville lost to Tennessee 9-6 in Week 3 as a heavy 10-point home favorite so you can see why the total is set so low for Thursday’s rematch. You probably cannot go wrong with a play on the UNDER this time around despite the low number and the SU lean is towards a Tennessee sweep.
The Titans are still in the AFC playoff race, and they have shown a knack for winning games. I still think this will be a three-point game either way, so I am taking Jacksonville and the 4.5 points.
The Panthers have announced Ron Rivera will take over defensive play-calling duties. Carolina also fired DL coach Brady Hoke and DB's coach Jeff Imamura. DC Eric Washington will stick around, but he will oversee the defensive front seven with Rivera taking on a more significant role. In the midst of a four-game losing streak and fading out of playoff contention, the Panther's had to try something. While the Browns hold a 3-2-1 home record this season, Sunday against the Texans was the first time Baker Mayfield looked like a rookie QB. The Panthers have struggled on the road this season with a 1-5 record but should come out ahead of the Browns in Week 14.
The Ravens will be the 5th top-8 defense in Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed to QB’s that Patrick Mahomes has faced his season. His passing lines in the first 4: 304-1-0, 303-4-1, 375-3-1 and 249-3-0. Despite how good the Baltimore defense is, it’s hard to see the Ravens offense keeping up with such a high-powered offense. Especially in Arrowhead Stadium, where the Chiefs are 5-0 on the season, playing behind one of the NFL’s loudest crowds.