NFL FOOTBALL PICKS ATS - FREE WEEKLY EXPERT PREDICTIONS
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Cleveland showed a lot of moxie getting to this spot, not to mention a lot of offense. When looking for these little X-factor upset candidates, the Browns check a lot of boxes. They're a wide-range team that can be pretty hard to stop on the high end of that range. There are just certain matchup components within this game that might be too hard for the Browns to buck. I don't think that the Browns' secondary can come up with the right answers. It's going to take a lot of twists and turns in Cleveland's favor to keep this one from getting out of hand. I'm taking Kansas City at home.
Baltimore played +83 rushing yards per game this season while Buffalo played -12 in that department. And according to our homework over the last ten seasons or so, teams that win the ground battles in the NFL cover the spread about 65 percent of the time. Also, the Ravens own the better defense in this match-up. Also, the Bills are banged-up on offense. Also, while home teams and favorites own SU and ATS edges in the divisional round of the playoffs over recent seasons, those involved teams with bye weeks. Neither of these teams had last week off. We like Baltimore here for the win on the money line.
I just can't trust the Rams offense in this match-up, nor can I bet against the Packers offense that is playing some of the best football we have seen from an NFC team in years. I believe the Rams offensive problems become the storyline this week.
To be completely transparent, I was surprised to learn that Baltimore was being favored in this game given their prior loss to Tennessee combined with the fact this game will be played in Nashville. However, I also understand the narrative because the Ravens offense has hung huge numbers in recent weeks averaging 37 points over the last five games. If Baltimore can post another number in that range, I don't believe Tennessee has the firepower to produce that many scoring opportunities. The problem with that narrative is that Baltimore's final five games were against 5 of the worst defenses/teams in the NFL. Therefore, I'm just not certain we should expect the huge numbers to continue.
The Titans defense is not exactly exceeding expectations, but bettors should not forget that Derrick Henry's success on the ground is the equivalent of keeping the ball out of Lamar Jackson's hands. Henry has been phenomenal this season and deserves a ton of respect. With that said, QB Ryan Tannehill is having an exceptional season that has mostly gone unnoticed. Tannehill has passed for nearly 4,000 yards and produced 33 touchdowns with just seven picks. Receivers A.J Brown has eclipsed the 1,000-yard barrier, and Corey Davis is just 16 yards shy of accomplishing the same goal. I have watched Tennessee's offense often this season, and they are a well-rounded group. If they can just get some help from the Titans defense, I think Tennessee's offense can get the job done yet again. It's definitely not a sure bet because this should be another close game but if you want some extra value; also consider the Tennessee moneyline!
We expect both Kamara and WR Thomas to return for New Orleans, while Chicago will probably be without a key guy on defense. Also, the Saints own the better running game and the better run defense. Ultimately, New Orleans is a 12-4 division champion, while Chicago is a .500 outfit. We're giving the points here with the Saints.
Even the most-ardent Bills backer would have to admit the Colts have a certain indefinable quality that could make them more of a handful than what you see on paper. Between the coaching staff and Rivers, there's a lot of IQ and experience on that sideline. If something about the Bills is off, the Colts will pounce. I just think the Bills' story as a rising contender is more-complete, something that has been building the last few years and really starting to culminate into something major. How far they go remains to be seen, but I see them getting out of this with the win and cover on Saturday.
It's not easy to make a spreads pick, even with all things considered. With Terry McLaurin likely out and Antonio Gibson iffy, the Washington offense is a reasonable cause of concern. But maybe they're lucky to be playing another team from what has been a highly-dysfunctional NFC East. Philly's offense will have more viable weaponry available for this game, but they're still an offense that doesn't fire often. And against this Washington defense, I suspect it will be a grind for Philly. I see Washington crossing the finish line a nose ahead for the big win in a low scoring game.
As you can see from my analysis above, there are far more concerns for Washington in this week 17 match-up. The availability of Smith will be very important towards improving those concerns mainly because Smith has been much better at protecting the football. The turnover battle will be extremely important in this match-up and could determine the outcome. However, I simply see far more realistic possibilities for the Eagles pulling this victory out. Washington has seemingly more motivation for this game and that seems to overvalue the public’s betting perception towards Washington’s favor. In reality, the Eagles have the more probable paths to victory with Hurts at quarterback and I think that is the play here.
It appears the worm has turned in this rivalry. Buffalo is a division champion with a seemingly very bright future, while New England is probably playing out the end of its dynasty. The Bills are still chasing good seeding for the playoffs while the Patriots have little to play for, other than perhaps pride. Also, New England has allowed 436 yards on the ground over its last two games. And while the Patriots nearly beat Buffalo two months ago by rushing for 188 yards, we doubt they'll do that again. We're betting the Bills here, minus the points.
Tennessee is tough. They're a well-coached team that brings it every week. They can make some of their weaknesses show less when everything is clicking. But with the top seed in the offing in a season where it means more, the Packers might have a little more of an ax to grind in this particular matchup. I see a well-contested game where the Packers get a little separation late to get the win and cover at Lambeau on Sunday night.
These teams are headed in different directions as of late, and we usually love betting hot against cold. However, we still believe Miami's offense is better with Fitzpatrick rather than Tagovailoa. Yes, the Dolphins are winning and covering with Tago, but that's been mainly thanks to the defense. Miami produced just 13 points against Denver a few weeks ago, 20 against the Jets, 19 against Cincinnati, and had zero at halftime last week. Las Vegas, meanwhile, may be 1-4 over its previous five games, but it was right in three of those losses. And even if Carr can't play, Mariota looked good last week. Finally, we're never shy about betting against the public flow. We'll take the Raiders and the points here.
I am going, to be honest; As a handicapper, it is never a best practice to judge a team solely by their last performance. However, the Saints appear to be "off" and less potent on the offensive side of the football. The Saints will get a better match-up this Sunday against the Vikings defense, but who will take advantage of the match-up? RB Alvin Kamara has been contained for nearly the entire 2nd half of the season, and with Thomas out, there is no clear go-to threat in the passing game. Meanwhile, Minnesota has an established repertoire on offense. RB Dalvin Cook is the centerpiece and has become one of the NFL's best backs. Meanwhile, the continued emergence of WR Justin Jefferson is a huge boost to the passing attack alongside Adam Thielen. Overall, the Vikings' offense is downright dangerous, and if they can just get a little help from the defense, this is an opportunity for the Vikings to surprise the general public. I would not be surprised by an outright upset from Minnesota. As a result, I will take the points with complete confidence and point out that Minnesota has always played the Saints exceptionally well, covering eight of the last 12 meetings.
Pittsburgh is struggling a bit as of late, but it's still clearly the better team here, and it needs this one. Cincinnati is just an inferior opponent in this spot, maybe playing with its third-string QB. This looks like one of those games the Steelers lead by 10 points or so into the fourth quarter, then ice things down with a Roethlisberger touchdown pass or a defensive score. We're giving the points here with Pittsburgh.
It's not an easy spot for the Browns. While it is Cleveland who is fancied as the far better team, it is the Giants who have been imminently more-superior from a betting sense, at 8-5, as opposed to 5-8 for the Browns—a staggeringly-poor ATS mark for a team that has overperformed by most people's estimations this season. I just think their paths intercept here in a way that better suits Cleveland. I see urgency setting in as Cleveland pulls away from a Giants' squad that has maybe hit a wall. I'll take Cleveland.
I think the Steelers are in that period of the season that you see with many teams that get out to a fast start. And it doesn't mean they won't be a major factor in the postseason, but they have just hit a little lull. They're also playing teams that can better bring that to light lately—a revved up Washington team with a lot to play for and now a home Buffalo team that is peaking. I don't rule out the possibility that a Steelers' defense can have a major say in this game, but I see the greater effervescence on offense getting Buffalo to the winner's circle. I'll take the Bills.
A few things here prevent me from taking the obvious route. After all, the Chiefs won by 27 in Denver not too long ago, and the Broncos aren't flying high in light of all the injuries and now a dose of the virus complicating things further. Still, Kansas City is in a position to relax a little, a sense only enhanced by a second meeting against a team they smashed without even really having a good game across many fronts. Granted, banking on a letdown with the Chiefs hasn't really paid off great this year in spots. But in betting, these teams have been equally productive against the spread this season. And on Sunday night, the value appears to be with the Broncos. I'll take Denver and the points.