|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|02-12-23||Chiefs v. Eagles -1.5||Top||38-35||Loss||-110||162 h 14 m||Show|
Here it comes! The Eagles and the Chiefs meet up for all the marbles. Mahomes continued his path to possible "GOAT" status with an inspired Conference Final game while obviously playing hurt. So why not another win on Super Sunday?
|02-12-23||Chiefs v. Eagles UNDER 51||Top||38-35||Loss||-110||115 h 56 m||Show|
If solid defense wins big games, then KC's best passing offense matches up poorly as it faces the Eagles and their legitimate league's best pass defense in this year's premier situation. Yes, we are talking about Mahomes, but there are enough question marks around the Chiefs' WRs playing at less than full strength as well as Mahomes' ankle issues to suggest that this won't be a Chief's pass attack in top shape. The Eagles absolutely will give Mahomes a much tougher time as far as passer pressure goes. The Eagles also absolutely will run the ball as they did against SF. They ran on 53% of plays and had a huge 62% in time of possession last in their game (58% on average L3). More of a run game from the Chiefs wouldn't surprise me this week. I expect a slower than anticipated game on Sunday with both teams struggling to move the ball as freely than in previous games. I don't expect any more movement on the total, so I am jumping in now and "absolutely" wagering on Super Sunday's total to go under.
|01-29-23||Bengals +1 v. Chiefs||Top||20-23||Loss||-112||90 h 5 m||Show|
The Bengals were a road favorite just a few days ago, but with clarification about Mahomes' availability, this game is now a pick'em. The Bengals have had more success than any team against the Chiefs. Against the Bills last week, the Bengals' offense was the complete package. Burrow threw for 250 yards and two touchdowns, and the run game put up a huge 160+ yards against a tough Bills run defense. The defense dominated, limiting the Bills to just 60 rush yards, and Allen to no passing TDs.
PLEASE NOTE: This pick was previously posted as favoring the Chiefs, when the write-up clearly stated that it was a selection on the Bengals. It has since been corrected. Call it pilot error: I clicked the wrong button. My apologies for the confusion.
|01-29-23||49ers v. Eagles -2||Top||7-31||Win||100||38 h 28 m||Show|
The Eagles have home field and the crowd on Sunday, but face a 49ers team that has been completely dominant in the second half of the season. Both teams are healthy but the 49ers face some question marks around Samuel and their starting running backs. Philadelphia whipped the Giants, but it has not been smooth sailing while Hurts was injured. He put concerns about his shoulder to rest last week but faces the league's best run defense this week and will likely have to throw the ball more. The SF defense is more susceptible in the air and has also not faced a good rushing QB since Mariotta and the Falcons. Atlanta won that game convincingly.
|01-22-23||Cowboys +4.5 v. 49ers||Top||12-19||Loss||-120||8 h 34 m||Show|
Two very fine teams, both off huge wild card victories, meet up on Sunday. We are looking at the 4th and 5th best offenses, and the 5th and 6th best defenses, so there is no obvious advantage. That said, each defense has weak point. For Dallas, it is the run game; 21st rated though improving lately. The 49ers' soft spot is their pass defense. They are 20th in pass yards allowed and 22 in completion rate.
|01-22-23||Bengals +6 v. Bills||Top||27-10||Win||100||15 h 36 m||Show|
The Bengals travel to Buffalo to play in the snow tomorrow against a favored Bills team. The Dolphins, the best pass-centric team the Bills have faced this year, put up 81 points in three games against Buffalo this year, winning once and losing the others by 3 points. The Bengals are an elite pass-first team with a far better defense than Miami's. With the spread now at 6 points, I am not at all confident that the Bills can put this game away, in spite of Cincinnati's O-line injuries. Burrow, of all passers, is the least likely to be seriously affected by O line deficiencies. Very high sack totals has been the norm for him until this year, and he has thrived anyway. The cold weather has not affected him, he loves the limelight, and he and the Bengals are unlikely to be affected by crowd noise.
|01-21-23||Giants +7.5 v. Eagles||Top||7-38||Loss||-110||43 h 15 m||Show|
The Giants face the Eagles at home in the divisional round. This should be no contest considering their respective positions in the standings, but I believe it will be a much closer game and here is why.
|01-21-23||Jaguars +9.5 v. Chiefs||Top||20-27||Win||100||17 h 30 m||Show|
The last really good team the Chiefs played was the Bengals and they lost. They beat the Chargers, the Jags' competition last week, by 3 points, and the rest of their recent competition hasn't been strong. This is a much better Jags team than the last time the Chiefs faced them and we are now looking at a 9 point spread. Lawrence has grown immensely as a passer and bounced back from some uncharacteristically poor play in the first halves of his last two games, so let us hope his jitters are behind him. The weather will be been less than perfect on Saturday and the Jags have the edge in the run department, so a possible edge there. The Jags' O-line has protected Lawrence very well to date but the Chiefs are a voracious team when it comes to passer pressure. I expect a big game from Etienne on Saturday.
|01-16-23||Cowboys v. Bucs +3||Top||31-14||Loss||-120||19 h 25 m||Show|
Even after a sub .500 season it is hard to go against Brady and the Bucs. It would be easier if Prescott were playing a little better. A few things stand out in this match-up. As noted in the media, the Cowboys a. haven't won in a quite a while against the Bucs, b. don't play well on real grass, and c. Tampa, while losing more than winning this season, are above .500 at home.
The Cowboys have gotten away from their running game lately; the Bucs who are last in the league in rush yards for the season, have put up just as many yards as Dallas lately. The Bucs seldom run the ball, but did against the Cowboys in their first game and again against the Seahawks, two of their best performances this year. The Cowboys are susceptible to the run, so it is a possibility we will see more from Fournette and the rush defense on Monday. Brady has looked better connected to his targets, and might hold on to the ball a little longer with the season on the line.
Prescott has no impressed at all in recent games, and it isn't just the picks he has thrown. The offensive breakdown in a game that should have mattered last week is concerning. Dallas could revert to the run, and should be able to move the ball vs Tampa, but in the end, given his history and his ability to move the ball when he needs to this season, I'm choosing Brady over Prescott. Tampa is as healthy as they have been all season. A mistake could decide this game, a pick or an interception, and it is more likely to come from Dallas. Take Tampa + the points.
|01-15-23||Ravens +9.5 v. Bengals||Top||17-24||Win||100||31 h 53 m||Show|
It is offense vs defense when the Bengals host the Ravens on Sunday. Resting Andrews, Dobbins and others last week, the Ravens deserted their running game, with rookie QB Anthony Brown throwing for 270+ yards, not to mention 2 picks and an end zone fumble. Credit to the kid, he did appear to settle somewhat as the game went on, and it was surprisingly easy at times for the Ravens to move the ball. It will likely be back to Huntley, Dobbins and the running game this week against a solid Bengals run and an average pass defense. Of note, the Bengals are susceptible to longer passing plays; the Ravens averaged over 14 yards per completion last week.
|01-15-23||Ravens v. Bengals UNDER 40.5||Top||17-24||Loss||-110||30 h 28 m||Show|
The Bengals and the Ravens put up 53 points last week but that included two costly picks and a "fumble-six" by the Ravens' rookie QB. Look for the Ravens to go back to their usual rush-first style and slo-ow the game down this week. Burrow has had his struggles against the Baltimore defense this year, and was held to just 200 passing yards, short receptions and a poor completion rate last week. The Ravens haven't been able to put up many points with Huntley under center, and the Bengals are tough to run against. Baltimore's tough defense, with a dry run last week, will tighten the screws on Burrow and limit points more successfully this week. Take Sunday's game to go under the total!
|01-14-23||Chargers v. Jaguars +2.5||Top||30-31||Win||100||24 h 59 m||Show|
This will be an interesting match-up between two young QBs. Trevor Lawrence and the Jags got a taste of "lose and it is over" last week, and Lawrence did seem a little jittery vs. the Titans. He has been a quick study in his brief history so far, and I think he will step up this week. Etienne and the Jags' running game will be a deciding factor. The Jags, unlike the Chargers, have some balance in their offense, and the Chargers REALLY struggle against the run.
|01-14-23||Seahawks +10 v. 49ers||Top||23-41||Loss||-110||42 h 30 m||Show|
It would be hard to imagine the 49ers not emerging victorious on Saturday but the question is "by how much?" First off, there is a huge risk of heavy rain and wind, making for the likelihood of a run-dominated game. The Giants ran 60% of the time in their last game and have had plenty of success with it, averaging 160+ yards in their last three games. The Seahawks' defense doesn't handle the run at all well, so the 49ers would be wise to take advantage irregardless of the weather. Seattle, and especially Walker has had rush success lately, as the Seahawks have put up even more yards than the 49ers on the ground L3 Seattle will likely have a tougher time moving the ball against an excellent SF rush defense.
|01-08-23||Rams v. Seahawks -5.5||Top||16-19||Loss||-115||18 h 43 m||Show|
The Seahawks let the season get away after that promising start, but all is not quite lost yet. A win against the Rams gives them a statistical chance. Seattle rallied last week, putting up 23 points against a tough Jets defense. Smith was solid again, and a little more diverse in his targets and RB Walker is finally back in form, off a pair of 100 yard games in his last two starts. Their defense has been the stumbling block but it has shown recent improvement against some tough competition in their last three weeks. At this point it is at least better than the Rams'.
|01-08-23||Ravens v. Bengals -9||Top||16-27||Win||100||17 h 48 m||Show|
The Ravens, missing Lamar Jackson and other starters, travel to Cincinnati, to face Burrow and the mostly healthy Bengals. Taking the emotional unknown of last week's tragic event out of the game, this is not a situation that favors Baltimore. The Bengals are very much pass-first, in spite of a fine if underused RB in Mixon. While Baltimore is very tough against the run, the Ravens' pass defense is barely average this year, and while they've shown improvement vs the pass lately, the Ravens have not faced a top QB since the Jags. The Ravens can successfully press a QB, but Burrow is an old hand vs passer pressure, and the Bengals O line is much improved this year.
|01-07-23||Titans v. Jaguars -6||Top||16-20||Loss||-110||43 h 55 m||Show|
The Titans are on the road, facing a surging Jags team for all the marbles. While last week’s loss was more of a rest game, the Titans have stumbled almost unbelievably in their last 6 games, with the defense regressing almost everywhere but rushing yards allowed and yards per attempt. Compare to the Jags’ defense who have shown real improvement down the stretch. Points against totals are hugely better, and they are much tougher in the red zone and against the run. Even their passing game is improving, a bonus against the Titans poor pass offense.
|01-01-23||49ers -9.5 v. Raiders||Top||37-34||Loss||-108||26 h 27 m||Show|
The Raiders have been one of the most disappointing teams in the NFL this year, and are now at home to the best defense in the league with a fill-in QB. The 49ers have several reasons to keep their foot on the gas. They have an outside chance at a bye week in the playoffs and they need to give their young and promising QB all the experience they can before the playoffs. Vegas has seen their points-scored drop by 5 in their last three games and by thirteen last week. They lost to the Rams and Steelers with a total of 26 points while Carr was at QB. Now with an untried Stidham under center, the prospects are bleak for point production. Stidham will have to face a healthy Bosa and the rest of the 49ers headhunters. Carr was sacked 3 times last week, and it could go up on Sunday. The Raiders real hope is elite running back Jacobs, but he will have his hands full against the top rushing defense in the league. Jacobs was limited to under three yards a carry last week.
|01-01-23||Colts v. Giants -5.5||Top||10-38||Win||100||60 h 12 m||Show|
The Giants are home to the Colts in Week 17. It is a very significant game for NY, and they likely couldn't have a better opponent. The Colts are going nowhere fast, with an indifferent game last week and essentially no offense. Foles, with very limited time with the team, was about as expected; 3 points and a trio of picks. On a short week for the Colts, don't expect huge improvements from him.
|01-01-23||Jaguars -3 v. Texans||Top||31-3||Win||100||39 h 12 m||Show|
Who would believe the Jaguars as a potential play off team a year ago? The Jags now face the Texans on the road, hoping to improve on a 4-1 recent record. Lawrence has the Jags' offense working very well, with a passer rating of over 100 in 5 of 7 games. Last week was not one of them, but he still played a smart effective game with no picks, against a very tough Jets pass defense. While we have seen more of a pass-first offense lately, the Jags, with Etienne and Robinson (and Lawrence chipping in), could go back to running the ball on Sunday. Houston's rush defense is a mere shadow of their pass defense, and is 32nd in the league in rush yards allowed. Lawrence has been protected well this season but will face some pressure from the Texans, who have had 4 sacks on average over their last three games. The pass defense is the Texans' best (some would say only) asset, but Lawrence maneuvered around an even better one last week.
|12-29-22||Cowboys -10.5 v. Titans||Top||27-13||Win||100||32 h 2 m||Show|
I am holding my nose this week and taking the Cowboy against a wounded and slumping Titans side. We don't know who will actually play for the Titans in a somehow meaningless game for their playoff hopes. For the Cowboys, Thursday's game is a fine chance to press for a play-off bye week, and an opportunity to work out some bugs in their recent inabilities to defend. There are some significant issues in the Cowboys' defense. Their tidal surge of passer pressure (3rd in the league) has ebbed alarmingly in their last three weeks, exposing some real problems. Their passing yards-allowed has climbed by a full 100yds L3, and is actually worse than the 31st ranked Titans' figures over the last three games. Their rushing yards allowed did improve in their last game, but their abilities against the run have not impressed in the second half of the season. Luckily for the Cowboys, the much injured Titans are in no position to take advantage. Tannehill, a very under-rated QB, is out and Henry, who is questionable, may well be rested. The Titans' pass attack was pitiful last week, and the Cowboys' passer rushers should have their way against a poor Titans' pass defense.
|12-26-22||Chargers -4 v. Colts||Top||20-3||Win||100||19 h 11 m||Show|
The Chargers, who still have a shot at a wild card spot, travel to meet up with a struggling Colts team, now finished as far as the postseason. The Colts’ strength has been their defense, but last week’s 2nd half debacle follows a 54 points- allowed effort to the Cowboys, neither looking like an elite defensive performance. 3 Fumbles, 11 penalties and 426 yards-against last week does not look like a team with it’s heart in the game. Coach Saturday’s solution? Replace the quarterback with Foles, who has about three days experience with the offense. Add the loss of Jonathon Taylor, who has driven the Colts’ offense, and you have a recipe for failure.
The Chargers don’t run much but Herbert and Co. have put up over more than 300 passing yards on average in the last three games. Perhaps, as we have seen with many pass-centric teams in the late season, the Chargers will be running at the the Colts' average run defense. Other than last week, Herbert doesn’t usually throw the ball away. He is 2nd in completion % and passing yards this season. The Chargers' very average rush defense is at least a little better against the run lately, holding the Titans to 127 rushing yards and just 1 TD on the ground. They’ve been respectable and improving against the pass, land have limited teams to just 19 points overall in their last three games.
The Chargers are healthier and starting to show what they are capable late in the season. I am not convinced the Colts will show up and put in a full effort after the poor showing of the last two weeks. LA has the momentum and the need for a win. Chargers to win and cover.
|12-25-22||Broncos -2.5 v. Rams||Top||14-51||Loss||-120||17 h 18 m||Show|
The Broncos are in LA to take on the Rams on Christmas day. Who gets the black stuff gift-wrapped under the tree? My bet is the Rams, and here is why.
The Broncos are top five on defense, tough to play against in all areas. The Rams have a QB with 3 weeks experience and a suspect track record up against a very good pass defense. with good passer pressure stats as well. The Rams are even worse than the Broncos as far as protecting their passer, and rarely run the ball. Mayfield will have a bull's eye on his back all afternoon.
The offensively-challenged Broncos have actually scored more points than someone over the last three weeks, and that "someone" is the Rams. The Broncos have kicked it up a notch on offense recently. Their ran for 50% of plays last week, finishing with 165 yards and 4.9 a carry. Russell Wilson is back and Aaron Donald is not. Merry Christmas Russ. The Rams defense has struggled lately, and the pass defense is only 22nd rated. Wilson will be all in to finish on a high note after a putrid season.
The Broncos are favored, which just shows how far the mighty Rams have fallen. Give me the Broncos to win and cover.
|12-25-22||Packers +3.5 v. Dolphins||Top||26-20||Win||100||36 h 14 m||Show|
The Dolphins are home for Christmas after three straight road losses, so situation-critical for them. The Packers are off a pair of wins and still have a small shot at a wild card spot. Miami has a better record at home this season. They had better step up this week. They gave up 29 points on average in their last three games, a full 8 points off break-even. Other than passer pressure, their pass defense is pretty poor, averaging close to 300 yards in their last three games. Their red zone defense and 3rd down conversions-allowed are well below average as well.
|12-24-22||Bengals -3 v. Patriots||Top||22-18||Win||100||38 h 3 m||Show|
It is the Bengals vs the Patriots in a Christmas Eve match-up. The Patriots are off a foolish loss in week 15. They beat poor teams (usually) but struggle more than expected vs elite ones. The Bengals, winners of 7 straight games, are an elite team, certainly on offense. Burrow's average passer rating is 105 over the last 3 weeks, and Week 15's was exactly double that of Mac Jones'. The Bengals have a solid run game in Mixon and Perine should they choose to use it, but really, the offense is all about the pass.
The Patriots are a top ten defense, but have given up more points than the Bengals' somewhat underrated D. NE's best quality is passer pressure: they are third in sacks and first in completion rate allowed. They do give up more TDs to opposing passers than might be expected. Burrow is certainly no stranger in dealing with passer pressure, and the Bengals' O-line is much improved.
The Patriots are very average on offense; mid-pack in points-scored, but last in red zone offense, and poor in third down conversions. They have a pair of solid running backs, but Mac Jones isn't scaring anyone lately. The Bengals defense is solid; eighth and improving in rush yards allowed. Their weak point is their pass defense. They are just 20th in passer yards given up, but other than last week, are very stingy in pass TDs allowed.
Anything can happen on any given week, but the Bengals' as a 3 point favorite is a golden opportunity to me. Jump on this play.
|12-24-22||Lions -2.5 v. Panthers||Top||23-37||Loss||-110||26 h 0 m||Show|
The surging Detroit Lions travel to meet a Panthers team that has won 2 of 3 games, however the only team to beat Detroit recently is the Bills. Goff has been an eye-opener this year. Now a top ten QB, he has been well protected, averaging over 300 yards passing with no picks in 3 weeks. The Lions' time of possession is 56% in the last three weeks, and in spite of a pass-first offense, they have a very acceptable running game.
|12-22-22||Jaguars +1.5 v. Jets||Top||19-3||Win||100||24 h 36 m||Show|
The Jets host the Jaguars in the rain and the wind and prime time on TNF. No Mike White this week for the Jets. It is back to Zach Wilson, who has performed poorly this season, and does not appear to have the confidence of his team mates. As good as the Jets' defense is they are offensively challenged, averaging just 17 points in their last 3 games, and 27th ranked in red zone scoring. Wilson has just 6 TDs, to 6 picks, and has one of the worst completion %s in the league. The Jets are not compensating on the ground, with just 82 yards average rushing last 3 games and 50 last week.
|12-19-22||Rams v. Packers -7||Top||12-24||Win||100||22 h 56 m||Show|
It will be a cold day in Lambeau Field when the Rams travel to face the Packers. the Packers are healthier, better rested and favored by a touchdown on Monday. Mayfield was the talk of the town this week for that last minute drive to beat the Raiders in week 14. Let's keep things in perspective; he and the Rams did nothing for most of the game, the Raiders' pass defense is very poor, and the Rams ended the game with 17 points, almost exactly average for them this season. a plus for the Rams is their run defense, 4th rated this season although yards-against have climbed in the last three games. They are generally below average in passing yards allowed and don't pressure the passer particularly. On offense, they don't usually run the ball although that could change this week. The Packers are very poor against the run, and much tougher (4th in yards allowed} when defending against the pass. Mayfield has been with the team barely 10 days. I think he was running on adrenaline last week and this week will be the real test.
|12-18-22||Titans v. Chargers -2.5||Top||14-17||Win||100||16 h 54 m||Show|
The Titans face the Chargers at home in a a very significant game for both sides. The Chargers are healthier this week with 2 top WRs and their center healthy which should provide a boost to their passing offense. Herbert was on fire last week, throwing for a massive 342 yards vs the Dolphins. Pass defense is the Titan's sore point; they've given up the 31st ranked passing yards this season including 340 on average in the last three games.
As Henry goes, so go the Titans' offense. Usually. The king bounced back vs the Jaguars last week after a couple of off weeks, but the Titans' pass attack just hasn't been dynamic enough to win games lately. They average just 175 yards passing and 18 points-for, and even with Henry they are just 16th in rush yards this season.
Henry should be able to run against LA, but the Chargers have been tough to move against in the air lately, with an opponent's average passer rating of 81 L3 games, and 65 last week.
The Chargers have the momentum, are at home and need this game to keep playoff hopes alive. Look for the Chargers' pass attack to improve this week and LA to win and cover.
|12-18-22||Eagles v. Bears OVER 48.5||Top||25-20||Loss||-110||17 h 47 m||Show|
The Eagles are best in so many categories, points for, TDs scored, and most pass defense categories to name a few, that it is easier to talk about their faults which mostly relate to their run defense. Rush yards-against is just 18th rated, yards per carry is 24th, and they are poor vs rushing QBs. They have also allowed high marks to passers in two of their last three games.
|12-17-22||Dolphins v. Bills UNDER 44||Top||29-32||Loss||-110||26 h 20 m||Show|
The Dolphins face the Bills on a cold day in Buffalo. Better than a cold day in the usual place, though possibly not for the warm weather Dolphins. Miami beat the Bills in their first meeting in September, but have struggled lately with two straight losses. Tua and the Dolphins” pass offense have been much less effective as defenses adjust their coverage to Miami’s pass attack. The Dolphins don’t run much or score much on the ground, a disadvantage considering the snow and cold temperatures this Saturday. On defense, the Dolphins are tough against the run, 7th and improving in rush yards allowed, while giving up just 3.4 yards per carry. They are less successful when it is QBs running. They also get their licks in against passers, with 33 sacks, but do struggle in pass yards allowed (350 yards last week!)
The Bills defend very well on the ground, but are less successful against good passing teams like the Vikings and Dolphins. On offense, they are a better team than Miami on the ground, but have seen their passing yards and points drop somewhat of late. Allen has been sacked steadily, but it doesn’t seem to affect him particularly. On defense the Bills have limited teams to 15 points L3, and have been tough in the Red Zone, in takeaways, and on passer pressure . They’ve been very solid vs the run and have limited passers to a rating of 81 for the season.
Conditions suggest more of a running game on Saturday which favors the Bills. I think Buffalo stands a very good chance of shutting down Miami’s pass-first offense this week, but the best bet will be on the total. Take the Dolphins and Bills to go under.
|12-15-22||49ers -3 v. Seahawks||Top||21-13||Win||100||47 h 34 m||Show|
The 49ers survived without Jimmy G very well thank you very much, however it was a very ugly week for the Seahawks, losing to the Lowly Panthers at home. The Panthers ran all over the Seahawks, finishing with more than 200 yards rushing. Geno Smith looked very human vs. a decent Panthers' pass defense, and was sacked three times by a team 20th in sacks this season. The Giants defense will be in a feeding frenzy after a no sacks but dominant defensive performance against Tampa Bay. The jury is still out on injured Seahawks' running backs, though it looks like Walker will be back. The 49ers are not a team to face with an unbalanced offense, and Seattle managed just 46 yards rushing yards last week and an average of 67 yards L3 games. Purdy is questionable at QB, but there is nothing wrong with the 49ers' running game. These are very favorable odds for the moment, and they will not get better. Jump on this one without delay.
|12-12-22||Patriots -1.5 v. Cardinals||Top||27-13||Win||100||19 h 52 m||Show|
The Cardinals put points on the board when they face mediocre defenses, but that hasn't guaranteed a win by any means. When they face a top defense, and there haven't been many lately, they struggle to score at all. It isn't as if Murray or the Cardinals' offense has excelled in any offensive areas. Murray has been average in passing yards for, and worst in the NFL in yards per attempt and completion. He might be more difficult against the Patriots as a rusher. The Patriots have struggled to contain running quarterbacks in the past. Wheels or not, I have confidence that New England will shut down Murray and the Cardinals offense.
|12-11-22||Bucs v. 49ers UNDER 37.5||Top||7-35||Loss||-112||16 h 36 m||Show|
The Buccaneers face the 49ers at home after a come-from-behind victory vs the Saints last week. Let's not forget that the Bucs did nothing on offense for most of the game, ending with one less than the usual average 18 points on offense. The 49ers defense is a different beast than the Saints'. They are first overall, stifling against the run if Tampa attempts it, and a healthy eighth against the pass. The 49ers have held passers including Tua to a 69 passer rating in their last three weeks. The 49ers are also physically tough on passers, and had 4 sacks and 4 takeaways last week.
|12-11-22||Ravens +2 v. Steelers||Top||16-14||Win||100||35 h 18 m||Show|
The Raven are an underdog in Pittsburgh, missing Lamar Jackson for at least this game. Huntley filled in well against a tough Broncos defense, passing for 187 yards and throwing for a high completion rate, while running efffectively and getting the game-winning TD. We will likely see more of a pass-focused attack from Huntley, which is a benefit vs the Steelers. The Steelers are tough against the rush, but one of the worst teams in the league when defending against the pass. They don't even pressure passers consistently with just 22 sacks, including only one last week. The Steelers' big defensive weapon, TJ Watts is questionable and likely compromised for this week.
Rookie QB Pickett has shown much better in recent weeks, but against relatively poor defenses. The Ravens are easily a top ten defense, very good at limiting points and third down conversions. The Steelers rushed for over 150 yards last week but no one runs successfully against the Ravens. While they are looser (but improving) in passing yards allowed, they will be tough on the young quarterback, with 37 sacks on just a 19% pressure rate.
The Ravens are a large step above any defense that the Steelers have shown well against, and Pittsburgh may have much more trouble moving the ball. Considering the Steelers' pass defense, Huntley and the Ravens may show quite well against the Steelers on Sunday. Take the Ravens to cover, if not win.
|12-11-22||Vikings v. Lions -2||Top||23-34||Win||100||12 h 4 m||Show|
The Lions are favored and it is not really a surprise by the numbers. No team has improved as much on offense this year as the Lions. Their points-scored total has improved by a touchdown in recent games and they have been brilliant in the red zone. They trail the Vikings in only one offensive category (rush yards per attempt) over the last three games. The Vikings have experienced some drop-off on offense, especially in pass categories in recent games. Some of this decline can be explained by their competition; they've faced 4 top-ten defenses in their last 4 games, and still won 3 of them.
|12-08-22||Raiders -6 v. Rams||Top||16-17||Loss||-110||19 h 11 m||Show|
The Rams, at home to the Raiders this week, are in a pretty deep hole, missing Kupp, Stafford, Donald and a host of others, and with possibly Baker Mayfield at QB. The Rams have almost abandoned their pass-first offense, with rush plays shifting from 38% for the season to over 50% in the last three weeks. Against Seattle, they had considerably more rush yards (171) than pass yards (148). However it is not just the passing game that is struggling. There is almost no area on defense that hasn't declined significantly in the last three games. The Rams have allowed over 300 yards passing, 26 points against and a passer rating of 111 L3. Rush yards have remained consistent mainly because opposing teams are jumping on the Rams' poor pass defense.
|12-05-22||Saints v. Bucs UNDER 41.5||Top||16-17||Win||100||21 h 57 m||Show|
The Buccaneers are at home and facing the Saints, a team that has dominated Brady since his arrival in Tampa. It is a critical game, but neither team seems to be playing with much success lately. The Bucs have averaged just 18 points a game all season, a far cry from their heyday. The Saints offense managed a goose egg last week, but did hold a tough 49’ers offense to just 13 points. Both defenses have limited the opposition to just 17 points in their last three games.
Tampa, at 32nd in most rush categories, will do anything other than run the ball, despite the success they had against the Seahawks. The Saints will run but appear to be spinning their wheels for the last 3 weeks, managing just 3 yards a carry, 60 yards a game, and no points at all from the run. New Orleans’ pass attack under Dalton has been consistently very average, with nothing standing out other than too many picks, sacks and fumbles.
Brady has been accurate, well protected until last week, but playing small ball all season, with the 26th (and sinking) ranked yards per completion figures in the league. With Wirfs out and the usual Saints strategy for Brady of “go straight at him”, he may just sully his uniform this week.
The Buccaneers beat the Saints earlier in the season in New Orleans, but the Saints have owned the Bucs in the regular season when facing them on the road. I think the safest outcome this week is in the total. Look for both defenses to star against a pair of struggling offenses, and wager on the under.
|12-04-22||Titans v. Eagles -4||Top||10-35||Win||100||48 h 4 m||Show|
The Titans face the Eagles, who are 4-1 at home, and on the rebound from a few weeks of indifferent play. Their biggest concern is the alarming number of points they allowed against the Commanders and Packers. They are healthier this week and face a Titans team that does not put up a ton of points nor yards, nor do they control time of possession like the Commanders. The Titans' offense is usually all about Henry and the run game, but that has not been the case lately. The Titans have managed to rush for just 71 yards on average in their last three games, while running the ball just 42% of the game. Tannehill has thrown the ball well over 100 yards more than the Titans' average, has been accurate and better protected in that time. Facing the Eagles, the Titans might be better resorting to plan A, unless their is some issue with Henry.
|12-04-22||Steelers +1 v. Falcons||Top||19-16||Win||100||25 h 59 m||Show|
The Falcons are in 2nd place in a very weak NFL South, but have failed to break .500 despite many chances. The Steelers are last in their division, but appear to be the team with some momentum, showing improvement in many offense and defense area. The Falcons are all about the run, 4th in rushing yards, with a trio of running backs and a good rushing QB in Mariota. This rushing success hasn't translated into points as the Falcons have seen their scoring drop precipitously in recent weeks. The 7th ranked Steelers rush defense matches up well against a run-first offense, limiting rush yards to an average of 67, and yards/attempt to 3.1 in in their last three games.
|12-04-22||Commanders -2 v. Giants||Top||20-20||Loss||-110||11 h 55 m||Show|
The Giants, at home to a commanding Washington team, have fallen on harder times lately. Their fine running back Barkley hasn't been nearly as dynamic lately and the rush offense has dropped by 30 yards a game L3. This is a huge concern in a rush-first offense. Where the Giants real trouble lies is on defense, with significant decreases in effectiveness in numerous areas; points allowed, and red zone defense to name just 2 of many. As much as the Giants' defense has struggled, the Commanders' has surged. They've seen a drop in points-allowed from 19 to 14, and opposing passer rating drop from 90 to 70, comparing last three games to season average. The Commanders' most impressive stat in their recent surge is their ability to control games through time of possession. and I believe this will continue on Sunday. Their rush game, from a variety of sources, may not be flashy but they consistently move the sticks enough to maintain possession. Heinicke doesn't thrill anyone as a passer, but has been very well protected in recent games, and effective as a game manager. The Commanders face a poor rush defense on Sunday; the Giants are just 26th and struggling against the run. They've allowed significantly more pass yards lately and in spite of a blitz-heavy pass defense, they are just 26th in sacks.
|12-01-22||Bills v. Patriots OVER 43.5||Top||24-10||Loss||-110||20 h 39 m||Show|
The Bills face the Patriots at home in a much anticipated meeting. The Patriots haven’t face many top offenses this year, so the Vikings’ high point total didn’t really surprise. As good as their offense has been, NE can struggle against elite and especially rushing QBs. While Allen is playing hurt, there is nothing wrong with his legs, and he has a terrific track record against NE. The Patriots had very little success in managing Jefferson last week. Can they do any better against “Allen to Diggs?”
The injury-depleted Bills aren’t playing up to their early season standard in the last month, but it hasn’t been the offense that has taken the biggest hit. Buffalo has averaged 29 points on offense over the last three games, almost the same as their season’s average. They are running the ball more and had solid success in the red zone last week. Where the Bills have struggled in the last 4 weeks is on defense. They have seen their points-allowed climb to 27 over the last three games, up 8 from their season average. The Patriots, who are not the strongest offense managed to put up 26 points and over 400 yards on offense against the Vikings last week. The Bills have had reinforcements on the injury front, but now have Von Miller MIA, a huge hit. Jones had his best game of the season last week, with 3 TDs, no picks and a 116 passer rating. The Bills have allowed 293 passing yards in the last 3 games, and a 93 passer rating. While the Patriots are just 2 games away from a miserable 10 point result on offense, I think there is potential for them to put up some points this week again. The total is Thursday night’s best bet. Wager on the over.
|11-28-22||Steelers v. Colts -2||Top||24-17||Loss||-110||18 h 19 m||Show|
Ryan is back at QB for the Colts, and while he didn't excel last week, he will face the Steelers' much poorer pass defense in Week 12. Ryan has been very good at home this season, and while Jonathon Taylor is a solid running back, the Colts are statistically a pass-first offense. This bodes well against the Steelers, who are essentially last in the league when defending the pass. The Steelers have a reputation as a top team against the run, which is somewhat true. They do limit the opposition to under 4 yards per rush attempt, and 67 yards rushing on average in their last three games, but given how poor their pass defense is, their last three opponents chose to pass 64% of the time. The Colts have had problems protecting the passer this season, however the Steelers are not the man-eaters of yesteryear in passer pressure, with just a 14% pressure rating and 19 sacks.
|11-27-22||Raiders v. Seahawks -3.5||Top||40-34||Loss||-120||16 h 26 m||Show|
The Buccaneers tested the Seahawks defense in their European match-up, and the Seahawks, whose defense looked to be on the upswing after 4 straight wins, failed the exam. Tampa doesn't usually run much, but wound up with 161 rushing yards and a win. Fast forward to week 12. The Raiders have Josh Jacobs, a terrific and underutilized RB. What are the bets we see far more of him this week? Seattle can also run the ball and the Raiders' run defense isn't that much better than the Seahawks, but both these teams are pass-happy and normally rely on their strength in the air. Carr and Smith are both quality QBs with very similar stats. Smith is more accurate, Carr puts up a few more yards, and neither turns the ball over very often. Both have quality targets.
|11-27-22||Falcons v. Commanders -4||Top||13-19||Win||100||36 h 31 m||Show|
The Falcons are very much a rush-first offense, with the second fewest passing plays in the NFL, and facing a loss to injury of their top Tight End this week. The lack of a pass attack will be a huge issue when facing the Commanders on Sunday, as Washington's surging defense has sliced and diced the run, allowing an average of just 57 yards in their last three games. In Fact the entire Commanders defense has taken off, showing significant improvement in all areas against not insignificant opposition. The same cannot be said for the Falcons' defense who are bottom five in points and yards allowed.
|11-27-22||Bucs -3 v. Browns||Top||17-23||Loss||-118||19 h 22 m||Show|
The Buccaneers actually ran the ball consistently against the Seahawks and came away with a solid result, 161 yards rushing, a huge spike in their lousy time of possession stats, their best 3rd down conversion figures of the year, not to mention a victory. Let us hope that they spent the bye week refining their running game, taking some of the load off their aging QB. The Browns' defense struggles in most categories, including against the run, allowing 135 yards average in their L3 games and a very high 171 yards in Week 11. Add on 5.3 yards allowed per rush attempt in recent games. They haven't been much better against the pass, allowing a 111 average passer rating as well as 27 points against in their last 3 games.
|11-24-22||Giants v. Cowboys -10||Top||20-28||Loss||-108||16 h 26 m||Show|
The Giants, who have lost badly in 2 of 3 games, now face the home team Dallas Cowboys, hot off a huge blow-out of the Vikings. The Cowboys can dominate on offense and defense, but struggle against running backs and rushing QBs on defense. It is no secret; the Packers and Bears ran the ball with success, but it took Rodgers' best game of the season, and some explosive passing plays, to bounce back and win. The Giants have a strong running back in Barkley and Jones at QB is another rush option, but as far as the passing game goes, Jones is hardly Rodgers at his best. The Packers were top 10 in passer protection while the Giants are 27th in sacks. Jones is 28th is pass yards, 25th in Yds/completion, and had a QB rating in the 70's last week. Not to mention WR injury issues this week. Or that they are up against the league's top pass rushing team.
|11-21-22||49ers -7.5 v. Cardinals||Top||38-10||Win||100||21 h 33 m||Show|
Coming into MNF It is now the Cardinals who have injury issues, with key players out, and Hopkins and Murray both questionable with hamstring problems. McCoy filled in well last week, but the Cardinals face one of the leagues' top defenses in the 49ers. Even after their win last week, Arizona is giving up 27 points on average in their last three games. That 49er defense is hard to play against in all categories. Nobody runs successfully against them and with the Cardinals running less and less in recent games, SF can key on the Arizona pass attack, which has not been particularly dynamic this year, just 18th in yards, and last in yds/attempt and yds/completion. In spite of the Cardinals' short pass game, Murray/McCoy have been sacked at close to 4 times a game in recent action, a situation made worse this week by San Francisco's third-ranked (not third rate) passer pressure rating.
|11-21-22||49ers v. Cardinals UNDER 43||Top||38-10||Loss||-110||9 h 20 m||Show|
The 49ers are in Mexico City at a a point in the season where all systems are go. They are healthier, have a dominant run attack, and very tough pass offense lately. They face a Cardinals team who have grown one dimensional on offense, and with possible injuries to key players this week. The Cardinals don't run the ball much, relying on a very short yardage pass attack. While they beat the Rams last week, their passing game hasn't been especially successful this season, just 18th in yards, and last in yds/attempt and yds/completion. I expect the 49ers to key on the Arizona passing game, and rough up who ever plays at QB. The SF defense is tough in all categories, and the 49ers' offense are very strong in holding on to the football with very good time of possession and third down conversion stats. The 49ers don't normally put up huge point totals, but will be very successful at limiting the Cardinals' chances today. Take this game to go under.
|11-20-22||Cowboys v. Vikings OVER 48.5||Top||40-3||Loss||-110||28 h 56 m||Show|
The Cowboys are on the road again, this time in a show-down with a red-hot Vikings team. A pass-first team, the Vikings have a very successful rush offense considering they only run the ball a third of the time. Add some great targets for Cousins, Jefferson being the standout, and you have a formidable offense. The Cowboys have allowed 28 and 29 points in their last two weeks and 26 against the Eagles earlier. They have been done in by their inability to handle the run, but their passer rating has climbed to 114/L3 games, in spite of leading the league in passer pressures. The Vikings have a fine running back in Cook, who overachieves considering his usage. I expect the Vikings, like the Packers, to run far more than usual on Sunday.
|11-20-22||Bengals -3.5 v. Steelers||Top||37-30||Win||100||15 h 56 m||Show|
The Steelers are off a win, have TJ Watt back, and are playing at home, but face a very tough Bengals team this week. Joe Burrow is the 2nd best quarterback in the game, and has only improved lately, completing 77 % of his passes in his last three games, with a passer rating of 117. The Bengals’ O-line has improved this season. Burrows was sacked just twice in his last game, and the Bengals’ sacked % is lower than Sunday’s opposition’s numbers. Burrow seems impervious to sacks anyway and in spite of the hits he has taken, he doesn’t turn over the ball very often. Joe Mixon ran for huge yards in his last game, but the Bengals are usually very much a pass-first offense, a big advantage vs the Steelers’ defense. Pittsburgh shut down the Saints’ running game and are 6th in rush yards allowed, but they are not as tough against the pass. They are thirtieth for the season, though improving, in pass yards allowed and have managed only to hold QBs to a to- healthy 99 passer rating in their last three games.
The Bengals defense is reasonably balanced, underrated and improving in many areas lately including rush yards allowed and rush yards/attempt. They have a very good pass defense in spite of low passer pressure figures and are solid in takeaways. Let’s not forget who they are facing this week. Harris had a solid game on the ground and Picket ran for 50+ yards and managed not to throw a pick, but we are talking a 73 passer rating over the last three weeks and a 31st points-scored ranking this season. As good as he is, TJ Watt won’t be playing on the Steelers’ offense. Take the Bengals to win and cover.
|11-20-22||Commanders -3 v. Texans||Top||23-10||Win||100||61 h 49 m||Show|
The Commanders, on a short week after a massive victory against the Eagles, now face a struggling Texans team at home. Washington’s defense has taken a step forward lately and is very strong vs. the run. Their pass defense is still their weakness but they face Mills this week, who has struggled in his 2nd year. The Texans’ pass defense had been their strong point, but has struggled lately, allowing a passer rating of 119 over their last 3 weeks.
|11-17-22||Titans +3 v. Packers||Top||27-17||Win||100||30 h 55 m||Show|
We could see a couple of run-first offenses when the Packers meet the Titans on TNF, based on the Packers’ success against the Cowboys. Henry and the Titans are formidable on the ground, and while Henry was limited against the Broncos last week, he’ll have and easier time rushing against the Packers’ sub-par run defense this week. That may not be the case for the Packers’ fine RB duo, Dillon and Jones. The Titans have one of the league’s top run defenses and are very tough in 3rd down conversions. We’ve seen a general improvement in the Titans’ defense lately; even the pass defense has improved, limiting opposing passers to a 74 rating in the last three weeks. The Titans QB pressure stats are among the best in the league, with 103 pressures, 29 sacks and 40 knock-downs. They are tough in points allowed, 3rd down conversions, and take-aways as well, making for a difficult evening for Rodgers on Thursday.
The Packers defense, as mentioned, is weak against the run, but tough for the season, though regressing lately, in the air. Their passer pressure stats are below average, but are up against a Titans O-line that has struggled to protect Tannehill, last week being the exception.
Rodgers had his best game of the season last week, but one game does not a season make. He and the Packers’ offense has struggled with picks and fumbles this season. The Packers successfully exploited the Cowboys’ poor run defense last week. Rogers actually threw less than average, although more successfully. He is still banged up with an injured thumb on his throwing hand.
I like Henry to bounce back with a big game on a chilly Thursday night. Tannehill is also off his best game of the season, and is an underestimated offense manager. Take the visiting team Titans to cover, although a win would not surprise me.
|11-14-22||Commanders v. Eagles -10.5||Top||32-21||Loss||-110||17 h 22 m||Show|
The Commanders were in tough against the Vikings last week and won their three previous games but they are on the road against a team that is consistently good in just about every area on Monday. Not to mention healthier and better rested. The Eagles run defense is their weak point, and the Commanders do have their 2 player run attack performing well, but the Commanders don't put up many rush points. The Commanders' pass attack is very pedestrian, and will face a pass defense that is formidable in takeaways, passer rating, sacks, etc, etc. I really don't see the Commanders scoring a ton of points on Monday. Wentz is probably very lucky to be out of this one.
|11-13-22||Cowboys -5 v. Packers||Top||28-31||Loss||-108||78 h 35 m||Show|
The Cowboys come into their road game with the Packers healthy, rested and on a two game win streak, none of which can be said of the Packers. On offense, they have seen a huge improvement since the return of Prescott, plus games against a couple of lesser lights. One of those 'lesser lights' just beat up on Green Bay last week. There is almost no area where the Packers can match the Cowboys offense over their last three games. Prescott has bounced back from injury well, and the run game has taken off in recent weeks.
|11-13-22||Broncos v. Titans -2.5||Top||10-17||Win||100||43 h 53 m||Show|
The Broncos managed 21 points in their last game and are off a bye in week 9 but they face a tough run-crazy Titans squad just minutes away from beating the Chiefs last week. The Broncos offense has been a disappointment but the defense has been spot-on this year. They are tough to score on and defend well in the red zone, but are best against the pass, which is definitely secondary in the Titans' plans. Note that the Broncos also lost their top pass rusher, traded away at the deadline. The Broncos can be run on, at 21st and 27th in rush yards allowed and yards per attempt, but they are not as easy to score rush points on. Both of these teams' defenses are about equally hard on passers,while neither team is particularly good at protecting their own QB.
|11-13-22||Texans v. Giants UNDER 41||Top||16-24||Win||100||12 h 26 m||Show|
The Giants will be running fools on Sunday at home to the Texans, partly because that is what their offense does best. The Barkley/ Jones duo leads the Giants to 4th best in the league in rushing yards. It is also what the Texans' defense does worst. They are 32nd in rush yards allowed and 30th in yards per attempt among other unflattering stats. The Texans will also run. Their rookie RB Pierce was terrific in his last game a huge bounce-back from week 8, but he is a beaten up this week. The Texans pass game has struggled this season; 26th in passing yards, 27th in yards/completion and an 80 passer rating for the season. Mills throws to may picks compared to touchdowns. Both teams are solid in passer pressures, esp the Texans.
|11-13-22||Texans v. Giants -4||Top||16-24||Win||100||12 h 20 m||Show|
It will be Barkley vs Pierce, two very good RBs looking to lead a pair of run-first offenses when the Texans take on the Giants in New York. Pierce is banged up, but likely to play and off a very impressive rebound game against the Eagles. Barkley is healthy and well rested after a bye week, and playing against the worst run defense in the league. The Texans are 32nd in rush yards allowed and very poor in all other categories, and of course, teams routinely run against them most of the time. In this case it will Barkley and QB Jones, a terrific one-two punch, 4th in the league in rushing yards. How will Pierce fare? The Giants rush defense give up plenty of yards, but not points. The New York defense overall is very good in the red zone, and in limiting 3rd down conversions. The pass defense is average in yards, and limits passers to an 82 rating lately. The Giants blitz a lot, but it is the Texans who are the more successful pressure-ers. Opposing passers have looked good lately with a 108 rating in the last 3 Texans' games.
|11-10-22||Falcons -3 v. Panthers||Top||15-25||Loss||-104||32 h 14 m||Show|
It could be very much a run-centric game when the Falcons meet the Panthers on Thursday. The Falcons run more than just about anyone, and now have Patterson back, plus an up-and-comer in Allgeier, plus Huntley, and not to mention Mariota. Rain and wind are in the forecast, and the Panthers have a poor 28th rated rush defense.
|11-07-22||Ravens -1.5 v. Saints||Top||27-13||Win||100||10 h 31 m||Show|
The Ravens and Jackson face the Saints and Dalton under the lights on Monday Night Football. Not a lot separates these two teams in stats, although the Ravens have faced much stiffer defenses. The Ravens' addition of Roquan Smith also adds a solid component to their defense. The Saints completely shut down the hapless Raiders last week but the same team gave up 42 points to the Cardinals the week before.
|11-06-22||Seahawks +2 v. Cardinals||Top||31-21||Win||100||20 h 48 m||Show|
The Seahawks meet the Cardinals at home off three straight victories, one of them against the Cardinals. The Seahawks have a much improved defense since the start of the season. There is now no defensive category that Seattle doesn't lead the Cardinals in the last three games, against roughly similar competition. The Cardinals' defense is struggling against the run which plays to Seattle's fine young running back Walker III. Arizona has also allowed a 93 average passer rating compared to 76 for the Seahawks in their last three games.
|11-06-22||Dolphins -4 v. Bears||Top||35-32||Loss||-110||38 h 34 m||Show|
Facing the Bears at home, the Dolphins successfully propped up a couple of areas in need of improvement, pass defense and run offense. The Bears brought in a quality receiver, but moved their top two defensive players out. We saw some of the effect last week as the Chicago defense absolutely plummeted in effectiveness. They allowed double their season's average points against total, and their vaunted pass defense fell apart, allowing a third more yards. Against a healthy and fired up Tua-lead Dolphins pass attack, this is not good news.
|11-06-22||Packers -3.5 v. Lions||Top||9-15||Loss||-110||2 h 25 m||Show|
The Lions' offense bounced back against the Dolphins last week but went absolutely nowhere in previous weeks against the Cowboys and Patriots. The Packers have a solid pass defense, 2nd in pass yards allowed, which will go some way to limiting Detroit's options. Green Bay is also strong in red zone defense, and have limited 3rd down conversions. They have an average passer rating of 79 in their last three weeks. The Lions also just shipped out their talented tight end at the deadline.
|11-03-22||Eagles -13.5 v. Texans||Top||29-17||Loss||-116||44 h 23 m||Show|
The Eagles, 3rd in points scored this year, have beaten 4 teams by 12 or more points this season. The Texans have lost just once by more than Thursday's total points, but have yet to face a top 10 defense, let alone a team of the caliber of the Eagles. The Raiders and the Chargers put up 30+ points against Houston, but neither team has as complete an offense as the Eagles. Philadelphia does give up more rush yards and yards per attempt lately, their weakest spot on defense, but the Texans don't really have a run game. The Texans could have an opportunity to pressure Hurts as they are 19th and improving in sacks, but Hurts and Co. could just run the ball down the Texans' throats all evening if they wanted. the Texans gave up a whopping 314 rushing yards last week, and stand last in rush yards. The Eagles, really, should be able to pass or run at will, and will likely have a huge time of possession advantage. As long as they show up to play, the Eagles should win and cover under the light on TNF.
|10-31-22||Bengals -3 v. Browns||Top||13-32||Loss||-120||21 h 7 m||Show|
The Bengals offense is sizzling, showing huge improvement in their recent games. They put up mammoth yards last week, and are top eight in points and Red zone offense, and top 2 in possession time and 3rd down conversions. While they are running more successfully and getting more points from the rush offense, It is their passing game, as expected that is carrying the team. Burrows has been a standout and isn't even sacked as often lately. In fact, using sack %, the Browns' QB Brissett has been sacked just as often in recent games.
|10-30-22||Commanders +3 v. Colts||Top||17-16||Win||100||39 h 23 m||Show|
The Colts are on the road and facing an improved Commanders team off a big win last week. Neither team puts many points on the board, and neither team gives up many against. Both defenses are top ten in applying pressure on passers, and almost equally bad in protecting their own QBs. The Commanders have a pair of accomplished and complementary RBs, and are using them more each week. The Colts have a recovering Jonathon Taylor, who has been seriously under-used when playing to date. For whatever reason, the Colts are in the cellar in rushing categories, but that may change this week. With a young QB who has yet to throw a pass in the NFL, the run game will likely be a huge part of the Colts offense on Sunday.
|10-30-22||Titans +1 v. Texans||Top||17-10||Win||100||21 h 29 m||Show|
It is all about the run on both sides of the ball for the Titans. King Henry is most of the offense, but Tennessee isn't even close to having the best running stats. The Titans run a very efficient offense, scoring more points with less yards. Tannehill is out, and while he doesn't put up huge numbers, he has been accurate, effective and doesn't make many mistakes. It remains to be seen how much the inclusion of Willis will affect the Titans' offense management. Willis will bring his own abilities. He can run effectively, adding to an otherwise one-dimensional run offense.
|10-30-22||Bears +10 v. Cowboys||Top||29-49||Loss||-110||13 h 23 m||Show|
So far this season the Cowboys' success is largely defense-driven. That may change with Prescott back, but against a very tough Bears defense, I don't see Dallas as a huge scoring threat this week. For the Bears, their limited success is all about gaining on the ground and limiting the opposition's pass offense. The Bears have the most rushing yards in the league; their pair of running backs and a mobile QB in Fields put up a mighty 240 plus yards against the Patriots last week. The Cowboys can also run the football, but will likely miss key performer Elliott to injury this week.
|10-27-22||Ravens +1.5 v. Bucs||Top||27-22||Win||100||20 h 44 m||Show|
The Bucs may be playing at home, but after their recent performances, the reception may not be all that warm. There is a lot of fault finding going on and much of it is directed towards Brady. He certainly hasn’t stood out in recent games, this against pass defenses no better than the Ravens’. Considering how well protected he is, his stats are far from outstanding. While the Bucs are 6th in pass yards, their yards per attempt and per completion are well down in the leagues’ 20th rank. Brady has an average passer rating of just 87 in the last three games. Tampa Bay has no run game to speak of; they’ve only run on 21% of their plays L3, and are last in rushing yards and yards/attempt. Did I mention they are 26th in points scored?
As for the Ravens’ offense, they are 6th in points scored, and solid in converting third downs. While Jackson’s pass numbers are nothing special, he and the Baltimore backs have run very successfully. And while the offense is definitely run-first, the Ravens at least have a pass attack, decent in yards per attempt and completion, if low in total yards.
On defense, the Buccaneers are still 6th in pass yards allowed but have seen a regression in many defensive categories. They have been relatively easy to run on, horrible defending in the red zone, and seen points allowed climb to a high of 21 against the Panthers last week. Their Qb pressure figures have been good this season, but they managed only 1 sack last week.
As the Bucs’ defense has sunk, there has been a definite improvement in The Ravens’ defense in their last three games, especially in the red zone and in Qb pressure (5 sacks last week and an average of 4 L3 games). The are strong against the run should Tampa make the effort, and improving in pass defense.
I don’t foresee a huge improvement in the Buccaneers’ fortunes this week. The ravens’ offense does not match up well against the Buccaneers’ strengths. Both teams have injuries but Tampa really drew the short straw as far as missing starters goes. Gone too is some of that Buccaneers’ mystique. Losing to two of the worst teams back to back, a sullen and ineffective Brady, and nowevery opposing team out to kick them while they are down, doesn’t bode well for the near future. They say bad things come in threes. Look for another poor game from the Bucs. Take the Ravens on Thursday on Thursday night.
|10-24-22||Bears v. Patriots UNDER 40.5||Top||33-14||Loss||-110||20 h 9 m||Show|
A healthy Bears team is at home against the Patriots under the lights of Monday Night. The Bears have a few points in their favor; rest, an extremely good pass defense, although one that doesn't pressure much, and a strong run offense, with a pair of good RBs and a mobile Justin Fields. Fields as a passer is another story, worst or near in most QB categories including avg. passer rating, has been sacked 23 times and pressured at an extraordinary rate to date. It isn't about to change in Week seven as the Patriots have a solid pass defense, and are 7th in sacks.
|10-23-22||Jets -1 v. Broncos||Top||16-9||Win||100||16 h 22 m||Show|
The Broncos, the NFL's whipping boys, face the surprising young Jets at home this week. Fresh off a big victory against the Packers, the Jets are a much improved club, not just since last year, but since the beginning of the season. They have put close to double the points on the board than the Broncos over the last three weeks, and allowed less. NY is 8th vs 30th on offense in the red zone. Their run game has improved dramatically this season. Their defense over the last three weeks has been a match to a tough Broncos' defense, stronger against the run, and improving against the pass.
|10-23-22||Jets v. Broncos UNDER 37||Top||16-9||Win||100||16 h 7 m||Show|
Two very tough defense are featured in the Jets/Broncos match-up in Week seven. The Broncos don't score points easily and now without Wilson, turn the reins over to a little-tested QB. The Jets offense has been able to put up points to date, but they will face their toughest defense of the season in the Broncos. The Jets' defense has vastly improved this season and have allowed less points than the Broncos over the last three games. Both teams have potent pass pressure units: The Broncos have been unable to protect their passer this season and are 28th in sacks allowed. The other Wilson, Zach, that is, has been well protected to date , but still with limited success as a passer. It could be a tough game for him. The total is low; I'm wagering on this game going lower. Take the under on Sunday. 9*!
|10-23-22||Lions v. Cowboys -6.5||Top||6-24||Win||100||37 h 58 m||Show|
The Week seven matchup between Detroit and Dallas features the return of Dak Prescott. Rush was an indifferent fill in, and while the Cowboys stepped up their run game, they have struggled to score points, depending on a very tough defense for their present 4-2 record. They gave up 26 points against the Eagles, but are otherwise close to the top in points allowed. They have been reasonably tough to run against, but are very hard on the pass, limiting yards and yds/attempt. They have tenacious skills in pressuring the passer and sport an avg. opposing QB rating of just 78.
|10-23-22||Packers v. Commanders +5.5||Top||21-23||Win||100||2 h 25 m||Show|
The Commanders are off a rare win, and with Wentz out, have a capable and more mobile replacement in Heinecke. Neither of these two teams put up a lot of points. Washington is 29th, and has averaged just 13 points L3. The Commmanders’ defense has limited teams to 17 points on average, getting good results with strong passer pressure figures and tough red line defense. They have developed their rush attack, running more often and with better success, but haven’t been able to protect their own passer, have a high number of turnovers, and a low passer rating.
Even with Rodgers at the helm, the Packers are not getting the job done on offense. They are still pass -centric, but Rodger’s targets are not of the usual Green Bay standard, and will be in short supply due to injury today. It has been more peckers than Packers, in the bird sense of the word. They are 27th in yards/completion, and middle of the pack in passing yards, low for a pass first offense. Rodgers has been sacked about as often as anyone, and the Packers turn the ball over an unacceptable number of times.
The Packers have the league’s top pas defense, severely limiting yards, and with a sack % of 9.5. This could be more of a run-first game today, the Packers by necessity and the Commanders by design. It is hard to be bullish on this year’s Commanders, but I like their chances today. They will be very tough on a weak Packers’ O line, limiting points again. Take the Commanders with the points today
|10-20-22||Saints +2.5 v. Cardinals||Top||34-42||Loss||-110||29 h 31 m||Show|
The Saints and Cardinals, a pair of 2-4 underachievers, meet in Arizona in week 7. The Cardinals’ inability to score against a normally weak Seahawks defense last week was a bit of a surprise, although they are just 22nd in points scored, but no Tds against Seattle? The Saints put up 39 the week before. The Cardinals get Hopkins back, but lose Brown at the same time. Murray’s passer rating has averaged in the 80s and hit 64 last week. He did run well, but overall the Cardinals rush attack is exactly average.
The Saint have not struggled to score points this year, it is preventing them that has been the problem, with the 29th points allowed so far this season. This from a team defense that was expected to be top ten this year. The Saints don’t pressure passers much, but have had 13 sacks to date, and they got to Burrows 3 times last week. Arizona has struggled to protect Murray in the last three games, culminating in a 6 sack game in week 6. The Saints will need to be tougher on him and cause a few turnovers; those have been few a nd far between.
The Saints put up monster numbers with the run last week. Kamara has been hot but he isn’t their only option. They would be wise to stick to the running game. The pass attack was very poor last week. It is still unknown who will start on Thursday, but it probably won’t make that much difference.
The Cardinals have struggled at home, and far more resemble the late 2021 team than the early one. Hopkins is a gain but is not going to be a one-person savior of the Cardinals’ problem offense. The Saints still have injury issues on offense but have managed to put up points anyway. Look for them to win or keep this game close. Take the Saints +1 ½.
|10-17-22||Broncos v. Chargers -4.5||Top||16-19||Loss||-108||20 h 46 m||Show|
A much healthier Chargers team meets a struggling Broncos side on MNF. Wilson is playing hurt and has not shown well to say the least, stumbling out of week five with an ugly 54 passer rating. The Broncos are 31st in points scored and 32nd in red zone scoring. They've put up some yards but haven't converted on third downs and have no finish. They are 26th in sacks allowed, including 4 last week.
|10-16-22||Bills -2.5 v. Chiefs||Top||24-20||Win||100||15 h 45 m||Show|
The Bills face the Chiefs at Arrowhead coming in a 2.5 point favorite. Sure, it is Mahomes vs. Allen, two "pretty good" passers, but defense will decide this game, and on that note the Bills have a huge edge. Mahomes can maneuver his way out of most situations, but he may have his hands full on Sunday. A lot of the Chiefs' defense is just being on the field more than the opposition. While both pass defenses have solid pass pressure stats, the Bills do it with out blitzing much. Looking at other critical pass defense stats the Bills have a huge advantage, but none more explicit that opposing passer rating; the Bills are first with an avg. passer rating of 67, compared to KC's 105. Buffalo has given up the least points to date, while the Chiefs struggle to 24th. Rush defense stats for the Chiefs are curious. Nobody runs much against the Chiefs because they are usually playing catch-up. Last week the Raiders put up 155 yards, more than 70 over the Chiefs' average allowed. The Chiefs are 31st in defending the red zone at this moment.
|10-16-22||49ers -4 v. Falcons||Top||14-28||Loss||-110||36 h 58 m||Show|
The 49ers meet the run-happy Atlanta Falcons at home in week 6. The Falcons run more than just about anyone and have had some success this season. They are 4th in rushing yards, 8th in yards/attempt and 4th in rushing first downs. They'd better be good as it is the only game in town. The Falcons' pass attack is minimal; 30th in yards and completion %, with a 78 average passer rating. Mariota has been sacked 12 times, 5 last week alone, with as many picks as TDs to date.
|10-16-22||Jaguars v. Colts UNDER 41.5||Top||27-34||Loss||-110||13 h 2 m||Show|
The Colts and Jaguars managed just 18 points combined on offense in Week Five. The good news is that the defenses allowed a total of just 21. The Colts are the worst team in points scored in the NFL. They are 27th in rushing yards and that was with Taylor playing in half the games. Now with two running backs out and a strong Jags’ run defense (6th in rushing yards, and 4th in yards/carry), the Colts will be relying on Ryan and the passing offense for points and yards. Ryan has been sacked at a 10% rate, has given up far too many interceptions, and the Colts are 31st in the league in fumbles. Ryan also faces a Jaguars’ pass defense that has limited opposing QBs to a 74 passer rating.
The Jags’ semi-rookie quarterback has had a couple of solid performances, but the last two were substandard. He threw for a year-high 286 yards, but poor pass completion % and untimely picks limited his effectiveness. He can’t blame QB pressure, as there really wasn’t much from the Texans. There will be a lot more trouble from the Colts’ defense in Week Six. The Jaguars were absolutely hopeless in the red zone last week.
The Jags’ run game has shown steady improvement and is now a legitimate two pronged threat, however they face a tough Colts’ run defense that is fourth in yards given up and second in yards/attempt. Two strong defenses, key injuries on both sides and lots of question marks in both offenses sounds like a recipe for a low scoring game. Take the Jaguars and the Colts to go under on Sunday.
|10-13-22||Washington Commanders v. Bears +1.5||Top||12-7||Loss||-110||19 h 42 m||Show|
Will it be one step forward and two steps back, or has Fields made a legitimate step as a developing QB? The Bears have been a run-first offense to date, but Fields had his first good start of the season vs the Vikings, with personal highs in passing yards, completion %, and a passer rating of 118. He also ran successfully. The Bears’ passing offense until last week left much to be desired. The run game was limited last week but has been a strength, fifth in the league in yards to date, with Herbert, Montgomery and Fields all as viable options.
The Commanders’ offense is almost entirely about the pass; their run game is virtual nonexistent, which is a shame as the Bears struggle vs the run. Wentz threw for a ton of yards against the Titans last week, but results have been mixed in other games. He has been sacked 20 times this season and has thrown 6 interceptions to date, with just an 86 average passer rating.
The Commanders’ defense is middle of the pack to date against the run, and poor against the pass. The two teams are roughly equal in QB pressure, although the Commanders have more sacks. Washington doesn’t force very many turnovers, with just 1 interception to date. Other than last week against Cousins, the Bears’ pass offense has been impressive; 5 interceptions to date, 9th in pass yards allowed while limiting opposing passers to an 82 passer rating this season.
No one expected much of the Bears this year. They are undefeated at home, and for them it is definitely a case of the glass half full so far. More was expected of the Commanders, and there is turmoil around Wentz’s play in particular. Heads could roll if the Commanders lose this game. I am on the side of the young never-say-die Bears this week. Look for another home victory on TNF. 9*!
|10-10-22||Raiders v. Chiefs -7||Top||29-30||Loss||-110||10 h 3 m||Show|
Based on past results, a win should be in cards for the Chiefs today. Kansas City's offense is a different beast this year; equally competent, but much more time-consuming, with more short targets for Mahomes, and a well developed running game. The Chiefs have been great in the red zone, and with the exception of last week, Mahomes has had solid protection. Even against that tough Buccaneers pass offense, Mahomes was a wizard in avoidance, and had great success. At home at Arrowhead, and against another AFC West opponent, I like their chances. On defense, they have been great against the run, which is important against a Raiders' team who are having good success on the ground. The KC pass defense has given up yards, a ton of them facing Brady last week, but they have managed solid passer pressure, and are 7th in sacks, against a Raiders' O-line with mixed success.
|10-09-22||Eagles -5 v. Cardinals||Top||20-17||Loss||-110||78 h 6 m||Show|
The Eagles, looking for 5-0, are on the road facing the Cardinals. Murray and the Cardinals looked better in Week four, but face MUCH stiffer competition this week. The Cardinals losing 3 starters from their O-line to injury against the league’s toughest pass rush is hardly ideal.
The Eagles are better in almost every offensive and defensive category when compared to the Cardinals, and any categories where the Eagles showed weakness (as in Week one points allowed) they have addressed. They have controlled play in their games, are very good in the Red zone on both sides of the ball, and have been adaptable. Facing a tough pass rush last week, the Eagles produced monster yardage with the run game.
The most telling category for me is quarterback pressure. The Eagles, as noted, are first in sacks, and the Cardinals are 32nd. Allowing Hurts and Philadelphia’s very fine pass offense that kind of freedom is very dangerous. Against a stout Eagles defense, I don’t see Murray or the Arizona run offense having a comfortable game. Philadelphia at 6-0 seems like a distinct possibility. Take the Eagles to win and cover.
|10-09-22||Cowboys +5.5 v. Rams||Top||22-10||Win||100||15 h 19 m||Show|
The 3-1 Cowboys face the 2-2 Rams in LA, with the usual huge hooplah surrounding these two teams. Dallas is a 5 1/2 point underdog. Is this the week that Stafford starts to show his worth in 2022? Against a very tough Dallas pass defense, I have my doubts. The Rams are 29th in points scored, averaging less than the Cowboys sans Dak. Cooper Rush is 15 points higher in average QB rating, has been sacked just 4 times, and has yet to give up a pick. Stafford has been sacked 16 times and has 6 interceptions to date. Add to that an unwillingness to throw to more than 2 receivers.
The Cowboys’ defense struggles against the run, but the Rams hardly have a running game, and are sitting 30th in rushing yards. The Cowboys are top five in QB pressure, and 2nd in fewest yards per pass attempt. It could be more of the same for Stafford this week, after being pushed around by the 49ers last week. The Rams’ O-line has multiple injury issues at the moment.
Can the Dallas Cowboys offense produce points against the Rams? First off, they may not need that many. They have solid options at running back with Pollard and Elliott, averaging over 100yds a game. Rush now has a few games under his bet and has shown marked improvement. He threw for 223 yards and a 107 QB rating last week, not bad for a back up. There are flaws in this version of the Rams, and injuries aren’t helping. I am on the Cowboys and the Cowboys’ defense on Sunday. Take them at +5.5, although an outright win would not surprise me. 9*!
|10-09-22||Seahawks v. Saints OVER 44.5||Top||32-39||Win||100||14 h 34 m||Show|
The 1-3 Saints face the 2-2 Seahawks in new Orleans on Sunday. The Seahawks put up a whopping 48 points against Detroit, but gave back almost as many on defense. Geno Smith is the darling of Seattle , with comparisons to Wilson in his prime. He is a surprising 3rd in passer rating for the season, has been remarkably accurate, and appears to be settling in as a solid option. He has a good running back in Penny, terrific targets, and has had time to operate. The Seahawks are 5th in sacks allowed. New Orleans doesn’t blitz frequently, and are not strong in pressuring QBs, just 23rd in sacks to date. They gave up 263 yards to Cousins last week, but otherwise have limited teams in passing yards. They are just 20th in rushing yards allowed. They have not proved to be as dominant a defense as might have been expected to date.
Dalton was fine last week against a bottom-third Vikings defense. Kamara should be back with Ingram this week. The Saints managed 25 (nearly 28) points vs the Vikings, and have a great opportunity to score more against a highly suspect Seahawks defense. Seattle is in the bottom third in most of the league’s defensive categories, including points, passing yards and rushing yards allowed, and makes most passers look like stars.
Both teams should move the ball well, and while the Seahawks scoring another 48 against the Saints is unlikely, New Orleans has an opportunity to set a season high for points against Seattle this week. Take this game to go over.
|10-06-22||Colts v. Broncos -2.5||Top||12-9||Loss||-130||30 h 43 m||Show|
The 30th and 31st-best scoring offenses meet for the fifth week of Thursday Night Football. Injuries have compromised both teams' running games, Wilson is sore, and the Colts defense has take a pair of hits. Is Ryan starting to look more comfortable? He was better last week, but that was against arguably the worst team in pass defense. The Colts' offensive line has struggled and could be worse this week. Ryan has been sacked at the league maximum, with five interceptions and a ton of fumbles to date.
The Broncos have been tough on passers; 5th in pass yards allowed, 2nd in passing TDs allowed, and with strong QB pressure, 6th in sacks. Their rush defense broke down inexplicably last week, but the Colts' rush attack has been surprisingly unimpressive to date, and now is missing Taylor. Wilson is a trooper, and looked much better last week, finishing with a very high passer rating. The Colts are not such a threat to pressure Wilson, and he is also far more mobile than Ryan. The Broncos at least have a plan B for a rush attack, and if anyone should be worried about fumbles, it is the Colts.
A line of -3 is available for Denver, and anything under that is a bonus. I am on the Broncos to bounce back, win and cover.
|10-03-22||Rams v. 49ers UNDER 42.5||Top||9-24||Win||100||11 h 39 m||Show|
MNF week 4 brings us the next installment in the Rams/49ers’ rivalry. So what has the home team done well to date? Sterling defense in all three games; they’ve limited points and yards, have a great pass defense, and solid run defense. The 49ers are also very good in time of possession. One caveat; they have lost Trent Williams for this week. Their rush offense has been solid as well, although it did stumble vs Denver. The big question on pass defense, is how much can Jimmy G improve after a terrible effort against a very tough Broncos pass defense. The Rams’ defense has been solid against the run but has given up plenty of pass yards and is just average in Qb pressures. Will Garoppolo break out in Week 4? I don’t see it, although he does have a fine record against the Rams.
We know what Stafford is capable of, but he has only had middling results so far, including 5 interceptions. He had a good effort against the Cardinals last week, but faces a much tougher defensive beast on Monday. Stafford and the Rams’ 30th ranked run game were stymied by the Bills’ defense, which is similar in make-up to the 49ers’. My conclusion: neither team gets very many points for very different reasons. Take the Under on Monday.
|10-02-22||Washington Commanders v. Cowboys -3||Top||10-25||Win||100||36 h 29 m||Show|
The Commanders, everyone’s latest whipping boys take on the Cowboys, already damned and redeemed this season. The Cowboys will likely start Cooper Rush again. Rush has been competent, if not at all spectacular, well protected by the Cowboys’ O-line, and has great receivers, including a returning Michael Gallup. Wentz has been a sitting duck behind an ineffective Washington O-line. Sacked as often as Burrows, no one has faced more QB pressure or the blitz than Wentz. Tough conditions to excel under. Sacked 9 times last week, the Commanders’ passing yards dropped by 100 yards from week two. Facing the Cowboys’ top of the line pass defense, it will likely be another long day for Wentz. Adding an indifferent run game, averaging just 86 yards a game, doesn’t aid the overall Commanders’ offense.
The Dallas run defense has not been as effective, allowing 130+ yds an attempt and nearly 5 yds per carry. The Giants ran for 167 yards last week. The overall defense has been very effective, limiting teams to just 17+ points a game to date.
The Cowboys have a pair of good running backs and a top 11 run game. The Commanders’ defense have not handled the run nor the pass well to date. Look for a good situation for Pollard and Elliott. It should also be Rush’s best opportunity for a breakthrough week. I see the Cowboys seriously limiting Wentz and the Commander’s offense, and scoring enough to both win and cover on Sunday.
|10-02-22||Browns v. Falcons||Top||20-23||Loss||-118||12 h 27 m||Show|
The Browns, a small favorite, face the 1-2 Falcons at home in week 4. Brissett has looked pretty sharp as a stand-in, with a healthy 10th rated QB ranking and a solid performance last week. He had 2 Tds, 0 interceptions and a 109 passer rating in week 3, not to mention a 74% completion rate in his last two games. Then there is Chubb, and don’t forget about Hunt, making a very tough 1-2 punch on the top running game in the league. The Browns’ offense have been the best in the league in time of possession, and they don’t turn the ball over very often. The Falcons have been turnover-prone to date.
The Falcons have put up almost as many points as the Browns. Mariota had a solid game in week three, and has also run the ball well, but has been sacked more than average, and has already thrown 3 picks. The Falcons’ Patterson put up huge numbers on the run last week, and has been a surprise standout so far, but is questionable with a knee injury for week four. Other than Mariota, Patterson IS the Falcons running game. He is a huge loss if his play is compromised.
All eyes were on the Browns’ defense after week two’s catastrophic ending. They played much better in week three, and have been tough against the run, although were a bit sloppy last week. They have also been tough on opposing passers, although injuries will play a role in that regard this Sunday.
The Falcons defense is one of the worst in the league in a number of defensive categories, including points, total yards, and passing yards. They are just mid-pack in rushing categories, and while they are solid in QB pressure, the Browns’ O-line has protected Brissett well.
Look for another solid game from Brissett, and the Browns’ rush game to again dominate. If Patterson is compromised, things could go badly for the Falcons. Take the Browns to win.
|10-02-22||Vikings -2.5 v. Saints||28-25||Win||100||47 h 24 m||Show|
The Vikings and Saints travel to London, each with potentially serious holes in the line-up due to injuries. The Vikings will have Cousins at QB, and he could be the difference maker today. We could see a bounce-back game from Jefferson but Cousins has plenty of targets if the Saints key on JJ as other teams have lately. The Saints have a huge butcher's bill and could be down to Dalton at QB. Even if Winston plays there are huge questions around his performances lately, with a 79 average passer rating and more interceptions than TDs to date. Both top running backs are questionable for Sunday.
On defense, neither team has excelled. The Vikings have given up yards but not points, the Saints have been the reverse. The Saints to date have been weaker against the run, and don't pressure the passer effectively. The Vikings O-line has protected Cousins well, and not so for the Saints.
I am on the Vikings today. They have fared well in London in previous games. I expect them to win and cover on Sunday.
|09-29-22||Dolphins +4 v. Bengals||Top||15-27||Loss||-120||19 h 25 m||Show|
Thursday night Football week 4 is a tough call, especially considering the question marks around Tua and a number of other Dolphins. Both teams are pass-centric to the extreme. The Dolphins are 31st in rush offense. The Bengals have a solid RB in Mixon but he just hasn’t been used as much as might be expected. The Dolphins’ defense has been top ten vs the run, while the Bengals rush defense has struggled and could be exploited.
Tua, if available, has excelled this year and has largely been well protected. The Dolphins have great receivers, and when healthy should compete with any team. Burrow has been pressured and sacked on far too many occasions to date. The Bengals won’t have as easy a time of it this week as they did vs the Jets. I expect Miami to take it to Burrow, and all of that pressure comes at a price.
The Dolphins defense came up big on numerous occasions vs the Bills. I expect a big game from them. I am not confident that the Bengals are out of the woods yet or that their offensive line can stand up to Miami. Burrow better have his dancing shoes on. Expect a close game but take the Dolphins to cover. 9*!
|09-26-22||Cowboys +1 v. Giants||Top||23-16||Win||100||10 h 35 m||Show|
The 1-1 Cowboys face off with the 2-0 Giants in a highly touted MNF game. Sorry Giants, but I am not sure that 3-0 is a real possibility. First off, I am not sold on Jones nor the Giants ability to protect him on Monday. Jones was well under 200 yds passing, with very short yds/comp and was sacked multiple time. This against 2 relatively poor pass attacks. The Cowboys’ pass defense has been formidable, top 5 in most categories, and a passer nightmare in both games. The Giants also saw the run game (Barkley) fall off significantly in week two after a fine and much publicized effort in Week one against a weak defense. The Cowboys’ rush defense was much better in week two, holding Mixon and the Bengals to 89 yards.
On defense the Giants have not really impressed. The run defense struggled against the Titans as expected but allowed nearly 120 yds against Carolina. They are 30th in yards per completion, again vs. two sub-par passers.
Perhaps the biggest question in this game surrounds the Dallas offense after the loss of Prescott. The Cowboys have a very good two pronged running attack. Rush threw for more yards and had a higher passer rating than Jones in week two. He has been well protected and has brilliant targets available. Even with injury returns, the Giants will likely struggle to get to Rush this week. The rest of the Dallas team will have Rush in about in as good a position to succeed as could be hoped for.
The Giants are a small favorite. Take the Cowboys to steal this one on the road.
|09-25-22||Falcons +1 v. Seahawks||Top||27-23||Win||100||4 h 49 m||Show|
The Falcons have held their own against 2 tough opponents, scoring 26 and 27 points and covering in both games. They have a solid rush offense to date, and Mariota has put them in a position to win both games. The 1-1 Seahawks were lucky to win their first game and lost badly last week. They are close to the bottom in many offensive categories, including time of possession and points scored. They have no run game to speak of. Geno Smith has been accurate but unable to generate points or yards.
|09-25-22||Ravens -2 v. Patriots||Top||37-26||Win||100||25 h 22 m||Show|
It was just the one quarter... Like the old joke, the Ravens’ 4th quarter soured a fine game from Lamar Jackson. And yes, the Patriots’ won last week, but against a Steelers team with not much of an offense. The Patriots do not have the receivers, nor can Jones run and gun with Jackson. Not to mention, the Ravens blitz and Jones is very susceptible. Both teams have been solid vs. the run, but NE hasn’t faced a QB who can scramble like Jackson. The Ravens lack of rushing offense, other than Jackson, is a concern, but that may change today. New England does have two solid running backs.
Jackson’s QB rating is right up there, Jones is 18th. Jackson has thrown just 1 interception; Jones 2. Neither passer was sacked last game. NE may be missing their top receiver in this game, a situation they can ill afford.
I am wagering on the Ravens this week and expect them to bounce back from their ugly loss in week two. I also expect the Ravens' defense to be on their very best behavior and make the necessary adjustments, and had success backing the Browns' defense to respond this week. Jones has yet to prove himself this year; Jackson will be the game breaker. The line has dropped below a field goal. Jump on the Ravens to win and cover.
|09-25-22||Chiefs -5.5 v. Colts||Top||17-20||Loss||-110||22 h 26 m||Show|
The 2-0 Chiefs face a struggling Colts team in Indianapolis on Sunday. The Colts game in week two could hardly have gone worse, but the line has drifted in the Colts’ favor. I am unsure why. KC and Patrick Mahomes have looked very good in their opening two games. Mahomes has adapted comfortably to his new circumstances, and we are seeing some timely running from this pass-centric offense. Mahomes has had great protection, hasn’t thrown an interception, and has a monster QB rating.
The Colts’ offense has been a shambles, and were shut out last week. Taylor only carried the ball 9 times, which is incomprehensible. Ryan does not look settled, and has been very poor under pressure, of which there has been lots as the Colts’ O-line has struggled. Ryan threw 3 interceptions, was sacked multiple times, and ended with a miserable 34 passer rating. He may benefit from the return of a quality target, but that is still an unknown.
Kc did not defend well vs the pass last week but faced a much tougher opponent in the Chargers. They have been more successful applying pressure to the passer than the Colts, but haven’t faced a top running back like Taylor this year, so will need to work to contain him.
The Colts would have to make a huge adjustment to come within a TD of the Chiefs and there really is no sign of that in week three. To add to their problems, the Colts will miss a pair of key people on defense this week. I am on KC to win and cover on the road on Sunday.
|09-25-22||Eagles -6 v. Washington Commanders||Top||24-8||Win||100||13 h 49 m||Show|
The Eagles collectively improved from week 1, and manhandled the Vikings in a complete game winning effort. Hurts looked poised and produced in the air and, of course, on the ground. The Eagles’ running game is on fire with Sanders averaging 88 yds a game and 5.9 yds/carry. Hurts has “chipped in” with 147 yards to date, ahead of all passers. On defense, they limited the Vikings’ run game to 62 yds and all but shut down the highly touted Jefferson in the air. The Vikings’ offense was on the field less than 40% of the time.
The Commanders lost to Detroit, but Wentz made it interesting in the second half. He has thrown for over 300 yards in the first two games, but also had 3 interceptions and was sacked 6 times to date. Wentz had better be good as Washington has had no appreciable running game to date. The Commanders’ defense has struggled against the run, at or near the bottom in yds and yds/carry, and giving up 191 yards to the Lions last week. They’ve also given up considerably more yards in the air than the Eagles.
I am big on the Eagles this year, but was concerned with their defensive play in Week one. Week two showed real improvement against a possible play-off team. There is much talk about a revenge game for Wentz this week. That sentiment goes both ways as Russell Wilson found out in his first game back in Seattle. Take the Eagles to win and cover. 9*!
|09-22-22||Steelers v. Browns -4.5||Top||17-29||Win||100||26 h 41 m||Show|
Thursday Night Football brings you an odd match-up this week featuring a team that can’t score vs a team the apparently can’t defend. We have heard about the Browns’ defensive debacle endlessly, but there were high points in that game for the Browns. Jacoby Brissett looked pretty good, and significantly better than the previous week. He was accurate, threw for 221 yds, had a passer rating of 98.5, and was protected well by the Browns’ O line. The Browns’ rush attack was overpowering, and is first in the league, with 184 yds last week and a potent two pronged attack from Chubb and Hunt. The Steelers have yet to face a good running team, but are still 23rd in yards allowed. They are also 30th in passing yards allowed, still missing Watt, and had zero sacks last week.
The Browns are missing key people on defense, which will make a difference, but less so against the Steelers. Trubisky has not been effective, and if anything was worse last week. He is 28th in passing yards, and 26th in QB rating. He was sacked three times last week and has not looked good handling pressure. The Steelers have not mounted a real run game yet, which leads one to wonder what have they been doing on offense? They haven’t had the ball much is the correct response, and are 30th in offensive time of possession.
I expect Cleveland to run up some points, and the defense to be on their best behavior, especially at home. Take the Browns to win and cover.
|09-19-22||Vikings +2.5 v. Eagles||Top||7-24||Loss||-110||31 h 16 m||Show|
The Vikings off a hug win against the Packers, looked solid on both offense and defense. Admittedly this was not a vintage game from Rogers, but give the Vikings some credit; they sacked him 4 times, and held Rogers to a 74.7 QB rating. On offense, Cousins, Jefferson, and Cook all looked terrific. Cousins was accurate, and ran up 269 passing yds with 2 TDs and a 118 QB rating.
The Eagles put up a bunch of points but were hardly in control against a team much weaker than the Vikings. Hurts struggled in the air but was a force on the ground. The Eagles’ run game is a force to be reckoned with, and it isn’t just Hurts. The Eagles have a very good offensive line, and a solid running back in Sanders. The Eagles cannot afford to expose Hurts to the same degree very often.
The Eagles’ defense was a concern. They were just OK vs. Gough and the pass, but were very poor vs. the run. As talented as it is the defense is, did not look composed or effective. Can they improve significantly in a week? It seems a tall order. I like the Eagles this year, but just not yet. Take the Vikings to cover.
|09-18-22||Patriots v. Steelers UNDER 40.5||Top||17-14||Win||100||37 h 7 m||Show|
Looking the Patriots and Steelers in week one, there was no joy to be seen, other than the Steelers’ pass defense. They were full marks for a 7 sack, 5 turnover day. And it wasn’t just Watt who excelled, although he will be sorely missed on Sunday. The Patriots’ run defense was also effective, limiting the Dolphins to 65 yards and 2.8 yds a carry. Their pass defense did manage 3 sacks.
Neither quarterback impressed at all. Jones’ accuracy was ok but he also missed relievers badly at very critical moments. He was sacked twice and threw 1 interception. Trubinsky shouldn’t even attempt a long game. He wasn’t intercepted because he consistently overthrew his receivers, had just a 55 % completion rate and looked uncomfortable under pressure. He will likely see more pressure on Sunday.
The two teams were 26th and 27th in total yards on offense last week, with a negligible and unsuccessful running game. Both teams finished under 80 total yards rushing and an average of 3.5 and 3.4 yds per carry.
Where are the points going to come from on Sunday? New England only managed 7 in week one, and the Steelers’ defense accounted for most of the Steelers’ field position and 7 of their points. The answer about points is they aren’t coming, or not very many of them. Take the Patriots and Steelers to go under.
|09-18-22||Dolphins v. Ravens UNDER 44.5||Top||42-38||Loss||-110||12 h 51 m||Show|
The Ravens won easily last week, but it wasn’t the most inspiring of wins. While they limited the Jets’ running game, they allowed Flacco a ton of passing yards. They did sack him three times and pressured him frequently. On offense they took advantage of good field position. Jackson threw for 3 touchdowns, but just 211 yards. He was sacked twice. The Ravens rushed for just 63 yards, and 3 yds per carry with minimal yards from Jackson himself.
The Dolphins rolled over the Patriots, with a fine first outing from Tua and his top two receivers. It was all in the air, as the Dolphins ran for just 78 yards, no TDs and five first downs. The defense pretty well shut down the Patriots’ attack allowing just 270 total yards and 1 TD.
The Dolphins love to blitz and thoroughly disrupted the Ravens’ offense in their meeting last year. Expect more of the same tactic until it is proven unsuccessful. Obviously the Ravens have had lots of time to develop a better strategy, but Jackson can expect plenty of pressure this week.
The Dolphins are expected to be a very good defensive team this year. They won’t have to worry about much of a run game from Miami considering last week’s performance. They should pressure Tua much more than he was last week, although the number of yards given up to Flacco is disconcerting. The Dolphins have the injury bug with their offensive line., making the Ravens’ job slightly easier.
It is hard to pick a clear victor so I am looking to the total. This could be more of a defensive battle than might be expected. Take the total to go under. 9*!
|09-15-22||Chargers v. Chiefs -3.5||Top||24-27||Loss||-115||22 h 48 m||Show|
It is the Chargers and the Chiefs in a barn burner of a match-up on TNF. Mahomes and the Chiefs overpowered the Cardinals over 3 quarters, then coasted home while resting starters, which is significant considering the quick turn-around in Week Two. The Chargers prevailed in a much closer match-up vs the Raiders, and were all out until the last series.
|09-12-22||Broncos -6.5 v. Seahawks||Top||16-17||Loss||-115||21 h 21 m||Show|
For the Broncos, it is kind of like starting school with the brand new outfit; new QB, new coach and new plan for the offense. Same old defense, which is a good thing. Rated well into the top 10, the Broncos’ defense allowed the third lowest points last year. They were particularly good against the pass, and in the red zone, but look for a new emphasis on bringing pressure to quarterbacks this year. The Broncos on offense have a powerful rushing duo in Williams and Gordon, and fine receivers. What remains to be seen is how much of an addition Wilson can be to take the Broncos to the next step and how quickly he can do it.
Much is made in the media about the Seahawks and the return of Wilson. It will be very surprising if the Seahawks thrive rather than flounder this year, and the Broncos will be a very tough opening match. As much as the Seahawks know Russell Wilson, Wilson the playmaker, also knows the Seahawks. Emotions aside, this might be the very best place for Wilson and the Broncos to start.
On offense, Seattle hopes that RB force Penny will continue as he finished last year. It is eight years since Geno Smith played as a starting quarterback, so no great expectations there. Smith did not thrive under pressure last year, and while still has some very fine targets, he is a big step back on QB for the Seahawks this year.
Look for the tough Broncos defense to hold things together early and pressure Smith, and possibly more of a running game early from the Broncos. Wilson knows why he is there, is a consummate professional and competitor, and WILL establish a pass attack. Projected scores for this match vary wildly from a grudge win by a vengeful Seattle squad to a Broncos blowout. I expect something in the middle. Take Denver to win and cover. 9*!