Last week was rough to say the least in terms of my betting picks. Barely hitting on over half our picks, striking out completely on our upset of the week, and once again regretting betting against Lamar Jackson. I took the liberty of spending a lot more time analyzing key injuries, weather predictions, and of course, betting on Lamar. Huge improvements coming this week, here we go.
Cleveland Browns (-1.5) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (+1.5) O/U 39.5
My Pick: Cleveland (-1.5)
One thing I have been perfect on is any game involving Cleveland, and just like last year they’ve gotten on a hot streak at the end of the season. Although Devlin Hodges at starting Quarterback this week seems to cancel out the disadvantage Mason Rudolph would have created, he’s still a third string QB. To add fuel to the fire, JuJu Smith-Schuster is officially inactive for Sunday’s matchup. The Browns will continue to roll in this one, and Baker will lead them right back into the wild card hunt.
Score Prediction: Browns 27 Steelers 13
Green Bay Packers (-6.5) @ New York Giants (+6.5) O/U 44.5
My Pick: Green Bay (-6.5) U 44.5
With New York’s top-2 targets in Engram and Golden Tate both out for Sunday’s matchup, I don’t see the Giants making much noise versus Green Bay. The chance of snow only adds to the damage I expect the Packers to unleash after their abysmal performance against San Francisco last week. Even on the road the feeling of Rodgers and Green Bay in what may be a snow game just screams bounce back performance.
Score Prediction: Packers 34 Giants 10
New York Jets (-3) @ Cincinnati Bengals (+3) O/U 41.5
My Pick: New York (-3)
The Jets defense is hot right now, and as a whole team they’re striking on all units. Their schedule hasn’t been the weakest, but in terms of opposing teams defenses, Le’Veon Bell has been the biggest beneficiary. After his slowest start to a season since the start of his career, he’s been thriving alongside Sam Darnold and the rest of the offense. Cincinnati will bring Dalton back to the starting lineup this week in what should be a final observation of whether or not the need to draft a QB in the draft. If I’m right about Dalton, don’t expect the Bengals to stand a chance this week.
Score Prediction: Jets 33 Bengals 17
Philadelphia Eagles (-10) @ Miami Dolphins (+10) O/U 44.5
My Pick: Philadelphia (-10) O 44.5
This is a huge game for Philadelphia and the matchup couldn’t have come at a better time. The Eagles have struggled on offense and with Zach Ertz showing up in the injury report this week things don’t look like they’ll get any better. The Dolphins, as terrible as they are, will still show up to compete. So I don”t think the Eagles will drop 40+ like others have against Miami this year, but they should at least showcase what Carson is still capable of.
Score Prediction: Eagles 35 Dolphins 10
San Francisco 49ers (+5.5) @ Baltimore Ravens (-5.5) O/U 45.5
My Pick: Baltimore (-5.5) O 45.5
It wasn’t long ago that I said the Niners would host the “game of the year” when they faced Seattle, and this game has the potential to top that. Absolute must watch TV for sure, but I won’t allow myself to ignore what the stats don’t show. Lamar Jackson looks like he’s out there playing on rookie in Madden, meanwhile Jimmy G still looks like the beneficiary of an elite defense. There’s potential that the Niners have an answer for Lamar because they certainly have the talent on all corners of that defense, but this game is going to come down to whether or not Garoppolo can win a shootout. So far, I haven’t seen any evidence that he will prevail in Baltimore.
Score Prediction: 49ers 24 Ravens 31
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (+2.5) O/U 47.5
My Pick: O 47.5
My first ever prediction where I don’t take either team should be a red flag for you. I don’t recommend betting on either team and there’s many reasons. The only thing that’s looked worse than the Bucs defense this year has been Jacksonville’s since Foles returned from injury. I can’t picture a scenario where at least one of these teams doesn’t put up over thirty points, and quite frankly there’s no predicting which team will win. In fact, I even picked up Jameis and Foles on my fantasy team this week and currently have Murray and Prescott on my bench, that should tell you what to expect. As far as who will win, I’m not gonna stop believing in Foles until there’s no excuses left, but that makes me a fan and the number one unspoken rule in gambling, is to never put your money on your team.
Score Prediction: Bucs 33 Jaguars 31
Tennessee Titans (+1.5) @ Indianapolis Colts (-1.5) O/U 42.5
My Pick: Tennessee (+1.5) U 42.5
These division games are always tough, and personally I have a very bad memory I’d like to forget from last year when this same exact matchup in the same building cost me a lot of money. Yet, that was a game that Andrew Luck was in the beginning of a hot streak, and Jacoby Brissett is coming off a tough divisional loss. While Tennessee’s defense matches up well with Indianapolis, Ryan Tannehill’s recent surge might be something the usual stout Colts D can’t contain.
Score Prediction: Titans 21 Colts 18
Washington Redskins (+9.5) @ Carolina Panthers (-9.5) O/U 39.5
My Pick: Carolina (-9.5)
It took a team as bad as the Detroit Lions to show Washington what it really takes to rank correctly. Nonetheless, Washington’s offense still looked nonexistent, and when they’re matched up with a defense like Carolina’s, that leaves me with no hope for them this weekend. Washington shouldn’t be concerned with putting another game in the win column to begin with.
Score Prediction: Redskins 14 Panthers 24
Los Angeles Rams (-3) @ Arizona Cardinals (+3) O/U 46.5
My Pick: Push, O 46.5
The Rams only being -3 to Arizona says more about Kyler Murray than it does the Rams struggles, but don’t let the number one pick distract you from the real story line here. The Rams are less than a year removed from the Super Bowl and are a staring uphill at Seattle and Minnesota atop the Wild Card standings. Gurley hasn’t been the same workhorse back, the offensive line is not close to what it was in years past, and Jared Goff has looked more like his rookie year self, rather than what we’ve seen the past two seasons. Arizona is ranked 32nd against the pass and against opposing wide receivers and tight ends, so I’m going to lean towards LA. (Although, a great value pick would be Arizona money line this week).
Score Prediction: Rams 38 Cardinals 35
Los Angeles Chargers (-3) @ Denver Broncos (+3) O/U 38.5
My Pick: Los Angeles (-3)
I really think this is a statement game for LA. At 4-7 they’ll have to run the table to even have a chance, but with the second wild card spot currently at a 4-way tie at 6-5 the Chargers are still in the race. We saw last year what this team is capable of when they’re all at full strength. Speaking of injuries, With Drew Lock finally off IR Denver’s Head Coach hasn’t ruled out the possibility of Lock not only playing, but starting. Whoever ends up playing Sunday for Denver, will have to worry about Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram off the edges.
Score Prediction: Chargers 23 Broncos 16
Oakland Raiders (+10.5) @ Kansas City Chiefs (-10.5) O/U 51
My Pick: Kansas City (-10.5) O 51
Patrick Mahomes fantasy owner’s against the Raiders is a day in paradise, and that correlates to touchdowns. Last time these two met Mahomes was still without Tyreek Hill, but that didn’t stop him from throwing for 275 yards and four touchdowns… At halftime. The Raiders playoff hopes were crushed when they dropped the ball against the Jets last week, and a game at Arrowhead will just be the nail in the coffin.
Score Prediction: Raiders 20 Chiefs 41
New England Patriots (-3) @ Houston Texans (+3) O/U 46.5
My Pick: New England ML
One thing that stands out to me is a teams record against the spread. Especially when you’re New England, and you’re favored in every single game, it tends to get difficult. While New England sits at 7-4 ATS, Houston is 5-6. The biggest concern for Houston falls right into the palms of Bill Belichick, and that’s an inability to protect Watson in the pocket. For the second year in a row Deshaun Watson has been harassed in the pocket, and even on his own home turf he’s going to have an uphill battle at the defensive pass rushes New England throws his way.
Score Prediction: Patriots 27 Texans 24
Minnesota Vikings (+2.5) @ Seattle Seahawks (-2.5) O/U 50.5
My Pick: Seattle (-2.5) O 50.5
The only thing I can picture countering the Seahawks defense right now is a set of dynamic wide receivers, an explosive running back, and a Quarterback who can at least get the ball over there. If you saw any of Adam Thielen’s tape at practice today, then you know why I say this. The Vikings offense might finally be back at full strength which could spell trouble for Seattle. As for the home team, Russell Wilson is still playing out of his mind. Kirk may have been able to beat Dallas on a prime time game recently, but the Seahawks are on a different level right now. Expect fireworks on Monday Night.
Score Prediction: Vikings 29 Seahawks 34