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It's hard to tell how the Elliot situation will affect Dallas; he could come out gangbusters and carry this team, or he could play sparingly and/or be ineffective. We just don't know. But we do know that New York was a better team last year than its record would indicate, and it played the Cowboys tough twice last season. We expect this one to be close, too, so we're taking the Giants and the points for our free NFL pick.
The Bears have the defense, and they won the NFC North last season, but the Packers have Rodgers. I think Green Bay is in for a big-time rebound season and that will begin in this game, Even in the Windy City and with the D, the Bears have the Packers are the pick in this game. Rodgers will get some help in the run game, and he will do the rest while the Green Bay defense will have a good season-opening showing. The Packers will cover the spread and not only that, but I am taking them to win the game outright.
Both these teams will probably play many starters for at least a half, including the quarterbacks. And yet both are getting good play out of their back-ups QBs. We're not sure who's going to win this game, but we do expect some points to be scored. So we're going with the over here for our free NFL pick.
Oakland without Carr might be a better team than Green Bay without Rodgers. The Packers, as usual, are having trouble running the ball, and their defense has allowed 755 yards through two exhibition games. Meanwhile, Coach Gruden is apparently trying to use these games to instill a winning atmosphere. We like the Raiders here, and we'll play them for the win on the NFL money line.
New England is just the better, deeper team here. The Patriots should possess a lead when Brady leaves the game, and then they still own the better back-up quarterback situation. In fact, we're surprised they're not favored by more than three points.
Baltimore seems to take these exhibition games more seriously than most. Also, Green Bay got out-played last week. Also, the Ravens own the better and deeper defense. We're betting Baltimore here.
Ryan playing a couple of series could mean 3-10 points to Atlanta, and the Falcons backup QBs have looked good so far. Meanwhile, the New York defense gave up a bunch of yards through the air last week. We like Atlanta here at home giving a short spread.
Motivation means a ton when it comes to handicapping these pre-season games, and in this spot, Washington needs a better showing more than Cleveland. Plus, the Redskins should give Haskins some work, and they might own the better defense. We'll take Washington.
Like what we have seen in both conference championship matches, this game will also likely be settled on the final possession. This contest may have shades of the first meeting between these two sides in 2002 with a late New England field goal deciding the outcome. Either way, Brady gets his sixth ring, and the Patriots cover while he does so.
The Patriots get the automatic edge betting the side in this game given their experience on the NFL’s biggest stage. However, the big question when it comes to the total line is will the game turn into a shootout as the current 56.5-point betting line suggests.
Even after shutting out the high-powered Chiefs in the first half of AFC title game, the Patriots gave up 31 points. I think it is going to take more than 30 points to beat the Rams this Sunday in a game that once again goes OVER.
Kansas City looked like one of the best teams in the NFL all season long, and that didn't change in their first playoff win. The Chiefs will have home-field advantage for this game, and all signs point to them reaching the Super Bowl. But, as long as the Patriots still have Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, I refuse to bet against them. They have done this too many times, and they know how to win on the road in the playoffs.
This game will likely be settled on the final possession. One can expect to see a lot of scoring here by virtue of quick strike drives predominantly through the air. This game should see both teams eclipse the 30-point threshold and as a result, puts the Over at the current number is well within reach.
This is the rematch that everyone has been waiting for. The total line suggests another track meet between these two high-powered offenses. However, each team's defense has been able to step up its game when necessary. Each side also has the ability to move the ball on the ground to also keep the scoring lower than expected.
Beating the Saints SU in the Superdome is a tall task, but I am taking the Rams and the favorable 3.5-point spread to cover.
The Patriots will do what they are known to do in the playoffs and raise their game to an elite level that none have been able to replicate on a consistent basis. With an extra week of preparation to their advantage and a true home-field edge, the Patriots will easily cover this line and win by at least a touchdown.
They're favoring the Chiefs at home this weekend -5.5, but don't be surprised if we see the Colts sneaking out of Arrowhead with a victory. As great as Andy Reid is at head coaching, he has struggled in the playoffs with a record of 11-13, 1-4 in his time with the Chiefs. We'll see if Patrick Mahomes can be the difference. We like the chances.
The Saints have been able to establish themselves as the team to beat in the NFC this season, especially playing on their home field. However, betting against the Eagles right now comes with some added risk given their current form.
I would still pencil in New Orleans for next week’s NFC title game, but I am taking Philly and the eight points to keep things interesting enough to cover.