NFL ATS Favorite of the Week Predictions
Each week throughout the NFL season we will provide our readers with what our team believes is the top favorite or favorites on the board. To make our NFL Favorite Pick List the team has to offer good value on the point spread line, so the majority of our plays will be in small spread favorites.
The reason the majority of our suggested plays will be in the low point spread range is the lower probability of winning but not covering the line. A team can dominate a game, but one random play can result in a seven plus point swing in the game or even worse the dreaded backdoor cover. You know the scenario, the 6-point underdog trailing by 10 in the last minute of a game playing against a prevent defense scoring a touchdown to get the cover with seconds left on the clock.
Our NFL handicappers are not some ESPN highlights watching weekend tipsters. The SBS team are experienced bettors whose pocketbook depends on the accuracy of their predictive outcomes on the games.
(Check right up to one hour before game time for additional plays)
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Los Angles Chargers at Baltimore Ravens
Line: Ravens -2.5
The Chargers managed just 198 yards in the previous meeting versus Baltimore in Week 16 at StubHub Center in Carson, CA. They followed that game up with another dismal offensive performance against the Broncos in Week 17 making a change in form unlikely against the Ravens.
Last week the Browns got to the Ravens pass defense for 376 yards using a lot of motion with QB Baker Mayfield freelancing it. The Chargers may try some of the same, but QB Philip Rivers doesn’t have anywhere near the mobility of Mayfield and that with the adjustments that I expect Baltimore to make lower the probability of success for the visitor.
If the Ravens can avoid putting themselves in third and long and having to deal with the Chargers top level pass rush, they can win this going away.
Take the Baltimore Ravens -2.5
The Vikings will be without their MLB, but were banking on the Lions not being to generate much in the run game or passing game today. Take Minnesota -6.5
We'll lay the 1-2 points on the Titans to get the win and cover over the NY Giants who haven't really beaten much in their recent wins. Take Tennessee -1 W
We're not sold on the Dolphins who were very lucky to escape last week with a win over Buffalo. Take the Patriots -9 L.
We'll go with the Steelers +3 L to get the money and the cover over the Charger without RB Melvin Gordon.
We're going to lay the big spread on the Chargers. Take the LA Chargers -14 W.
We like the Rams to get the win and cover versus the Chiefs on Monday night - Play on the Rams -3.5 L
We're on the Eagles -7.5 L
The Redskins are underrated and should find the Falcons soft defense to their liking. Take Washington -2 L.
If the rested Steelers don't come out flat they win this easily by two TDs. Take Pittsburgh -8.5 W.
We're going with the Eagles to get the money today. Take Philadelphia -3.5 L.
We like the Jaguars -3 L to go into Dallas and stop the one trick pony offense of the Cowboys.
Not a ton of favorites on the board that catch our fancy this week, but we're going to "square pants" it today and take the Rams -7.5 L and the Eagles -3 L.
Left tackle is an issue for the Jacksonville, but this is the Jets with a rookie QB. Take the Jaguars -7 W (buy down if you must).
We're taking the Panthers -3 W to get the money against the Bengals that are likely to struggle running the ball this week.
I'm playing the Falcons -5.5 W to win and get the money versus Carolina and the Texans -3 L to easily take care of the hurting Titans. We're going to add the Bears to this list at -3.5 on Monday night against the banged up and over-rated Seahawks.
We wanted to get up our picks before the lines move, so we'll swing back with some reasoning before kickoff.
Using the lines avaiable at 5Dimes: The Ravens -7 -120 to put a beatdown on the Bills and the Broncos -3 -105 to get past a very mediocre Seahawks team.
We like the Cowboys -3 (-125) W, Bills -2.5 W and the 49ers -5 W in Week 17.
We like the Cardinals with QB change to get the win and cover over the beat up Giants. Play on the Cards -4 W
We're going to take Atlanta laying the big number on the road against a divisional foe. The Bucs just don't match up well. Play on the Falcons -6.5 L .
We like the Vikings -2.5 L and the Jaguars -2.5 W to get it done and cover this week.
Look for the Rams to have a big day today. Play on the Rams -7 W. We also like Baltimore -3 W to get it done today.
We're going with the Monday night game this week. We like the Baltimore minus the big number. Houston QB Tom Savage is outmatched against this defense. Play on the Ravens -7 P
Sure, it’s difficult to replace Ezekiel Elliott - it’s step down to anyone that put in, but I think that the key here will be the absence of Sean Lee at MLB. He’s the cog that makes the wheel turn on this defensive unit and they just weren’t the same last week without him. Philadelphia comes into this game rested off their bye and they get back two key players in their leading receiver TE and Zach Ertz and starting RCB Ronald Darby. The six-point handicap is a bit excessive, but the Eagles front seven should be all over Dak Preston and with LT Tyron Smith expected to miss again this week it’s nearly a foregone conclusion. Play on the Eagles -6 W
We like the Titans to get the money in Week 10 against a Bengals team that appears to have thrown in the towel. Play on the Titans -4.5 L (half point)
It’s difficult not to back the Rams in this spot. The Giants had a ton of injuries on offensive and now they’re starting to pile up on defense. The Giants could back door this if the Rams don’t extend the margin, but I think that they’ll be up to the task. Play on the Rams -6 W
The Skins have all kinds of offensive line issues making the Cowboys the only way to go here at a small price. Play on the Cowboys -2.5 W
We're on the Tennessee Titans -6 over the Cleveland Browns L.
We're playing the Buccaneers -1.5 L, New Orleans -4 W and Green Bay -3 L.
We're going with the LA Rams -1 L and Cincinnati -3 W .
Play on the Patriots -9 L.
The Panthers are without their Pro Bowl TE, but they have other weapons to exploit the Saints soft defensive unit. The New Orleans offensive line is a mess which plays into Carolina’s strength – their front 7. Play on the Panthers -5.5 L.
Los Angeles Rams -2.5 L and the Oakland Raiders -13.5 W.
This is a more of a play against the Jets than a play on the Bills. The Jets offense on paper is arguably the weakest unit in the league especially at WR with their injuries and suspensions. Buffalo’s front seven is solid and the addition of SS Micah Hyde and FS Jordan Poyer should be able to keep New York’s top offensive weapon RB Matt Forte in check. The Bills should find the end zone enough to extend the margin here. Play on the Bills -7.5 W
We also like the Vikings -3 W
The Seahawks last three road games look like this; a 14-5 loss at Tampa Bay, a 38-10 loss at Green Bay and a narrow 25-23 win over the lowly 49ers in San Francisco. The losses aside the offense scored under their opponent’s season average in all three games. Having a drop off in scoring on the road is common, but the Seahawks have a big drop off scoring 12 points fewer than they score at home. Seattle did get their running game going last week and did beat the Falcons by two at home earlier this season, but it would be a stretch to see them keeping up with a team that averaged 35 points per game at the Georgia Dome. If the Falcons get a double lead in this game it could be lights out for the Seahawks with their poor pass protection. Play on the Atlanta Falcons -4.5
Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans
These two teams played back on November 21st in Oakland with the Raiders getting the money in a 27-20 win as a -6.5 point favorite. In that game Derek Carr completed 21 of 30 throwing for 295 yards and this time around they’ll be going with rookie QB Connor Cook who is a career 14 of 21 for 150 yards with 1 TD, I INT and 2 fumbles (1 lost). Oakland couldn’t get the running game on track in that game running for a total of 30 yards on 20 carries and with Cook behind center that’s likely to not show much improvement. The Texans after a rough stretch where they gave up 161 yards to the Colts and 190 yards to the Broncos on the ground have held their opponent to under 100 yards in seven games and to 109 or fewer in the other two in the nine games since. Houston hasn’t actually been an offensive juggernaut this season scoring a season high 27 points back in Week 4, but they haven’t needed to in most games holding the opposition to an average of 20.5 points per game. Laying over a field goal does come with some risk considering that their last four victories have been by a combined 11 points. That said, they did move the ball well against the Raiders in their earlier meeting and that was with Brock Osweiler behind center and with their opponent starting a rookie and playing without their left tackle, we believe the Texans are the play here. Play on the Houston Texans -4 Won
Week 17 Fav of the Week Wagers: Eagles -6 Won, Patriots -7.5 Won, Titans-3 Won and Chiefs -4.5 Won.
Week 16 Favorite of the Week Bets: Green Bay -7 Won and New Orleans -3 -115 Won at Bovada
Week 15 Fav of the Week selections: NY Giants -4 Won and Arizona -3 Lost.
Week 14 Fav of the Week selections: Seattle -3 Lost and Tennessee -1 Won.
Week 13 Fav of the Week picks: Baltimore -3.5 Won, Seattle -7 Won, Pittsburgh -6 Won and Indianapolis -1.5 Won.
Favorite of the week for Week 12: Detroit -2 Won and Baltimore -4 Won.
It’s always dangerous laying points when you play the Packers with Aaron Rodgers behind center. Such as was the case a few weeks back when the Falcons were laying a field goal hosting the Pack in an eventual 33-32 win by Atlanta but Green Bay cover. We think it’s going to be different this week. After their opening week blowout loss to the Steelers the Skins have played well enough to win every game going 5-2-1 over the eight-game span narrowly losing to Dallas and Detroit and tying Cincinnati. Green Bay has allowed over 30 points per game in four of their last five games holding only the Bears (who were forced to go with a third string QB for most of the game) to under that number. Washington hasn’t allowed 30 points since Week 1 and has an underrated offense ranking No. 1 or No. 2 versus their opponent’s defense in four straight. Play on the Redskins -2 Won
Other Week 11 ATS favorite picks: NY Giants -7. Lost
The Jags moved the ball exceptional well last week against the Chiefs racking up 449 yards of offense (205 rushing/244 passing). They'll face a Houston defense that ranks 30th against the run on the road and they may be without by far and away their top corner A.J. Bouye. The Texans are 0-3 on the road having been outscored 85 to 22. Play on the Jacksonville Jaguars -2. Lost
This will be strength versus strength with the Jets run defense against the Dolphins new found rushing attack. I think that the Fish can get their share of yardage on the ground and if New York commits the safeties in the run defense Miami should be able to exploit a pass defense that is ranked 31st in the league! Adding more value to our play is the state of the Jets offensive line that may be without three starters for this match. Play on the Miami Dolphins -4 Push
Week 8 point spread favorite plays: Patriots -5.5 Won and Cowboys -5 Won.
Atrocious QB play from Ryan Fitzpatrick has put him on the bench for this one and back up QB Geno Smith gets the start. Smith has been underwhelming since he was drafted, but he catches a break this week. The Ravens defense is beat up with three of their starting LBs out and one of their starting corners plus the other corner Jimmy Smith is dealing with a concussion and has been cleared to play yet. The injuries don’t end on the defense, with their best linemen G Marshal Yanda expected to miss along with their best receiver so far this season Steve Smith Sr. Both of these teams have been burning their backers money, but the smart money is on the Jets who have a large situational advantage in this game . Play on the NY Jets -2 Won
Additional selections: Jacksonville -2 Lost
The Titans have been in every single one of their games this and it wouldn’t be a reach to think that with a couple of breaks they could be 5-0. The Browns have also played better than their 0-5 record suggests winning the offensive yards battle in three of the five games and keeping within a touchdown in two of the games. That’s something that we don’t think that they will do this week against Tennessee. The Browns are primarily a rushing team and don’t have the ability to push the ball downfield and we aren’t forecasted that to change against the Titans underrated group. The host (No. 2 Rushing Offense) on the other hand should be able to run against the Browns whose run defense numbers are skewed by their weak pass defense. Play on the Tennessee Titans -7.5 Loss (backdoored)
We were hoping that TE Tyler Eifert would make his season debut this week for Cincinnati, but he tweaked his back in practice this week and will miss. That drops this play down a level, but not enough to discard it. The Bengals have easily the best the defense the Cowboys have faced this season and with LB Vontaze Burfict back in the fold and rounding into form this unit can be elite. That not a good sign for the Cowboys and Dak Preston who could be missing their LT Tyron Smith and his back-up Chaz Green. The Bengals are one of the better road teams in the league going 7-3 over their last ten and they should improve on that number this week in Dallas. Play on the Cincinnati Bengals -2 Lost
Both teams are expected to have their star running back making their season debut in this game, but we think one will have a lot more success than the other. The Steelers run D is far superior to the Chiefs allowing 75.3 yards per game on 3.8 per carry this season so we don’t expect Jamaal Charles who is reported to be eased into the line-up to have a big impact on this game. It’s a different story for Le'Veon Bell who is 100% healthy after sitting out a three game suspension. DeAngelo Williams filled in adequately, but Bell is a far superior pass catcher giving the Steelers offense another dimension. The return of Bell is not the only reason we think that Pittsburgh can get the money. The Jets offense was among the leagues best in the first two games of the season but went into last week with three of their top four receivers not 100% and couldn’t take advantage of the mediocre KC defense. The Chargers scored 27 points on this defense and looked unstoppable until WR Keenan Allen went down and the Steelers have the weapons to do the same to Chiefs. Play on the Pittsburgh Steelers -4.5 Won.
More Plays: Baltimore -3.5 Lost
The Bucs pass defense has struggled to start the season allowing 315 passing yards last week to the Cardinals and 322 in Week 1 to the Falcons. The good news is that their opponent this week is unlikely to be able to exploit the weakness. The Rams have passed for an average of 169.5 yards in their two matches this season. We also don’t think that Los Angeles will be able to run the ball on the Bucs who have allowed three yards a carry this season. The Bucs have the weapons to score on anyone and against an opponent that doesn’t offer much on that side of the ball, this could get ugly. Play on the Tampa Buccaneers -4.5 Lost
The NY Jets defense came up with seven sacks against the Bengals last week and will face a Bills team that is expected to be without starting left tackle Cordy Glenn. The Buffalo offense struggled last week against Baltimore managing just 7 points on 160 yards of offense. Jets RB Matt Forte had a great debut with 96 yards on the ground on 22 carries and caught 5 passes for 59 yards. We expect Forte to have another big game tonight. Take the NY Jets -1 Won (37-31)
Additional Week 2 predictions: Carolina -12 Won (46-27) and Denver -6.5 (Won 34-20).
Sure it was only preseason, but the Ravens looked awfully good and should be able to run against the Bills. Take the Ravens -3 Won 13-7
The Pats come into this game minus Brady and Gronkowski and their starting LT and RT. Take the Cardinals -7 Lost outright 23-21